8 Tips For Social Business: A HootSuite White Paper


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

8 Tips For Social Business: A HootSuite White Paper

  1. 1. 8 Tips for Social Business8 Tips for Social Business It’s important to state there is no correct level of Social Maturity. It’s not a competition. You don’t win by reaching the Social Enterprise stage of the SocialSocial is now a pivotal point for business transactions. Maturity Model, nor are you necessarily a betterIt’s no longer new and is mature beyond the point practitioner of social business by being there. We’veof being an enjoyable way to pass the time or play merely observed that these stages exist and somegames. Social media is, however, young enough that organizations pass through them sequentially onbest practices for social business are still being carved the way to being a fully engaged Social Enterprise.out – the standard for enterprise integration of social Others will stay at the Social Team or Advocate stagemedia has yet to drawn. permanently as the size and scale of their needsThe future of business engagement on all levels, simply don’t justify the expansion and necessarywhether it be from a sales, HR, customer service or provision of resources that goes along with it.marketing standpoint, is inherently social. It’s where We do find it’s helpful for organizations to define whereyour customers dwell and is now the first language of they are in their Social Maturity in order to betterthe next generation of customers and employees alike. understand their present situation and, in cases whereYour business is becoming social, and understanding it’s appropriate, to prepare to scale and expand ahow is the key to success. This paper outlines the social offering. Ultimately it’s about knowing wherepath to success in eight simple steps that you can use you’re headed so you can do a little groundworkto implement and evaluate social within your various before you get there.teams and departments. Social Advocate: This is social engagement at its simplest stage. At this stage, social is in the hands ofUnderstanding Social Business a single individual within an organization. This person usually has strong personal social involvement andWhat social business, exactly? At the simplest level, may have emerged from within the organization as asocial business is when any organization engages with logical leader in social, or perhaps hired specifically toan audience either internal or external, maybe both, tackle social for the organization – the social expert.using one or many social platforms. This principleapplies to businesses of all manner, including boutique Social Teams: A Social Advocate can only do sofashion designers using Twitter to let eager bloggers much. Enter the social team. Typically the Social Teamand shoppers know that next season’s pieces are is departmentally focused. In the early days of social,en route to retail outlets. Or maybe you’re a globally these teams were nearly all centered around marketingdistributed corporation using multiple social platforms or PR, but more recently we’re seeing the spread ofto prospect for sales leads, amplify your corporate social teams throughout an organization.culture to support HR, and allow teams to collaborateinter-departmentally, across time zones and diversecultures. Both examples could be described,reasonably, as practicing social business albeit theyoccupy positions on either end of a spectrum wedefine as the Social Maturity Model. 2
  2. 2. 8 Tips for Social BusinessSocial Business: Once you have a number of social Tip 1: Evaluate:teams operating in separate departments, you’reon your way to the Social Business stage. A more After taking stock of your organization’s positiontelling and significant sign is the way an organization on our Social Maturity Model, it’s time to ask a fewhandles the socially native concepts of openness questions. First, where have you already or where doand transparency. Is your organization having open you plan to deploy social programs and against whichdialogue in front of its customers, partners, and even goals? In either case, avoid considering social in acompetitors? vacuum. Take the time to understand where it best fitsSocial Enterprise: A Social Business operating your organization and how to integrate it into existingacross time zones or cultures. You have good policy organizational and departmental goals. You’re notgoverning social engagement that empowers your reinventing wheels for social, just using it to make theteams to engage customers directly. You’re turning the ones you have turn faster.tools you’ve used to engage outwardly with customers Where will it allow you to reach the customersinward to foster better internal collaborative practices. or stakeholders who most crave deeper, richerThe numbers support the increased application dialogue? Perhaps it’s the marketing department,and scaling of social in business, particularly at the the traditional home of social media in business, butenterprise end. A McKinsey Global Institute study that’s not a given. Pehaps it’s HR? Maybe you’rethat looked at applying social across the consumer better to consider developing a robust internal socialpackaged goods, retail financial services, advanced ecosystem, harnessing the power of inward-facingmanufacturing, and professional services sectors social before you look outward? How are you goingestimated social could contribute up to $1.3 trillion measure and quantify the success of social programs?in value in those areas. A full two-thirds of that value Look beyond vanity metrics such as Likes and Followslay solely within improving communication and and try, for example, to find a direct link betweencollaboration across enterprises, an area which is conversation and conversion. [Link to Adobe webinar]hugely under-developed with the same report stating Focus on influence and analytics over inflating a groupthat only 3 percent of enterprises are currently fully size or follower base.socially networked. But with over half, 52 percent, What can you reasonably afford to dedicate to socialof managers confirming the importance of social in terms of time and tools? The allocation of humanto their business today and 82 percent agreeing resources is far and away the most significant costto its importance within the next three years, good tied to social. What will your team(s) look like? Identifypreparation and planning for the growth of social leadership within your organization or begin the huntbusiness, both inside and outside the firewall, is now to find it from the outside. With team(s) in place,top-of-the-to-do-list critical. educate and cross-train team members so that they can be rotated across different areas of specialization. Empower your people. We practice this at HootSuite as a way of providing our people the ability to engage our customers multi-dimensionally rather than silo-ing expertise department to department. 3
  3. 3. 8 Tips for Social BusinessLook for a reliable and scalable social tool that digital leaders to team members further educatescentralizes control over your social platforms and puts and empowers your Social Team to contribute to thethe power to listen, engage, collaborate and analyze conversation. Should the need or the desire to scalein the hands of your do-ers, practitioners and experts. your social program arise, you have pre-trained yourMake decisions about which platforms you will be next generation of social leadership. Your social toolsactive on or where you may need to consolidate should also be able to grow along with you, enablingexisting accounts. Observe the largest organizations growth by being modular and flexible to facilitate evenin your industry vertical and learn from their successes further decentralization, expansion, and conversation.and mistakes. Engage them in conversation about the http://blog.hootsuite.com/video-seagatefuture of social in your industry. Look deeper than theusual social suspects like Facebook and Twitter to Tip 3: Listen & Learnother platforms like Quora or Get Satisfaction whereyou may have existing communities of powerful unpaidsocial advocates already at work on your behalf. “The conversation is happening about your brand whetherTip 2: Organize you’re a part of it or not.”While you want to centralize control over your social – Seth Godin.platforms with a social tool like a dashboard, youwant to de-centralize the conversations you have There’s no question. People are talking about yourover them. To do that, you need to empower your organization. And if by chance they’re not, thenpractitioners and teams to engage your customers in they’re talking about your competitors and starting aconversation directly. Imagine the opposite of the hub conversation you’ll have trouble being a part of. Don’tand spoke model – fully distributed content creation let your organization get left behind. Amazon founder,arising from each point of contact independently. The Jeff Bezos once described your brand as, “whatCity of New York (CNY), in moving toward achieving people say about you when you’re not in the room.”their goal of becoming the world’s leading digital city, Today, not only do you have an opportunity to be in theembedded a Social Advocate in each of its agencies room but to take an active role in the conversation itself.allowing autonomous control over departmental Good search practices start with monitoring formessaging. Empowered autonomy of this kind mentions – the good, the bad and the ugly – of yourbecomes particularly relevant on a global scale where organization, but can also focus on topics related toa centralized approach may not respect or understand your business where you may wish to become ancultural differences at the micro level. influencer. At HootSuite we monitor for off- as wellConsolidate your efforts. Each CNY Social Advocate on-brand messages in order to assist users who mayalso belonged to a center of excellence run by the not spell HootSuite correctly 100 percent of the time.CNY Digital Media team that fostered collaboration, Undoubtedly Hilton adjusts its search parametersco-ordination on messaging and sharing of learning to exclude mentions of either Paris or Perez. Witharound best practices. Hearst Publishing and social, it is also possible to monitor certain users orTime Inc. have digital leadership that identify top organizations closely without them knowing you’re listening.performing social properties (citation?), and sharestories of success crafted by the teams that runthem. Transferring knowledge and best practices from 4
  4. 4. 8 Tips for Social BusinessGather your feedback. There are some interesting accommodation advice to travelers whether a Hilton isdisconnects between consumers’ and businesses’ a viable option or not.perceptions on why people engage with organizationsvia social media. 73 percent of businesses feel Perks don’t hurt. As mentioned above, 61 percent ofconsumers want to learn about new products consumers use social to look for discounts. Socialwhile only 51 percent of consumers give that as a is obviously a great way to highlight promotions andreason. 61 percent of businesses think consumers deals, but make them appropriate and relevant towant to be part of a community. Only 22 percent of your brand. For example, why would a bakery giveconsumers support that thought while 61 and 55 away an iPad? Promotions of this kind are commonpercent of consumers want discounts and to purchase and can build vanity metrics such as Likes or Follows,something respectively. Better monitoring, listening but those need to be balanced with engagement.and analysis of conversation and feedback could lead How engaged are iPad fans with bakeries? Fans ofto programs across departments from advertising to customized cakes are much more likely to be highlycustomer service, HR or sales to close these gaps and engaged and even influential to a fledgling bakery.build more empathetic, customer-centric relationships. Fewer more influential followers trump hordes of deal hunters every time. With HootSuite’s custom URLTip 4: Engage to Build Community parameters, our bakery could even track conversions arising directly from their posts to Twitter, Facebook orWhile each brand will have it’s own communication LinkedIn and put that iPad to use around the office.style, there is a right way and a wrong. The mostimportant thing you can do is to acknowledge the Tip 5: Collaboratevoice of the customer, really hear and respect whatthey are saying. If what you’re hearing is a complaint, Share learning internally. Encourage your Sociallet them know a resolution is being sought, then Teams to distribute new learning both within the Teamfollow through on that resolution to the best of your and your organization as a whole. Keep an ongoingorganization’s ability. Once again, don’t consider social loop of discovery and dissemination where bestin a vacuum. Integrate your response with existing practices, positive messaging or common questionschannels and let the most appropriate channel lead are put forward for comment or collaboration. Athe way to resolution. social platform like Yammer is an exceptional tool for supporting secure internal conversation and exchangeListen and pick your moments. If sales are a priority, of ideas.nurture potential leads with relevant and helpfulcontent. Make sales through engagement. The age- Ultimately better internal collaboration supportsold sales maxim, “Make a friend first, a sale second” improved external engagement, keeping messagingstill applies to social, only even more so due to social’s consistent, intelligent and brand-appropriate. Theability to amplify positive, or negative, experiences. New York Public Library @NYPL uses HootSuite to coordinate a decentralized team of experts. RatherGive advice. Hilton Hotels takes an entirely non-sales than impose a centralized Social Team to respondoriented approach with @HiltonSuggests by taking an to inquiries, @NYPL tapped into the existing,engagement for engagement’s sake position. Hilton extraordinarily deep knowledge base of librarians bymonitors online conversation for travelers looking for training and empowering them to use social.recommendations all over the world. Acting as a quasiglobal concierge, @HiltonSuggests steps in to offer 5
  5. 5. 8 Tips for Social BusinessAs the largest online public library in the world, Team members are also easily added and removed@NYPL receives a very high volume of inbound as organizations expand and contract. Removal isrequests. Using HootSuite, the @NYPL experts are instantaneous in the event that a team member isn’table to, through a shared dashboard, assign inquiries exiting on good terms. The now infamousto the appropriate area of expertise, collaborate @MarcJacobsintl intern meltdown where CEO,departmentally on a response, share and edit as Robert Duffy was described as a “tyrant” by an over-necessary and schedule the response to go out at a worked intern would have been prevented by usingtime their audience is most likely to receive and read HootSuite’s Limited Permissions setting to limit hisit. Visits to the library’s website coming from Twitter access to publish without approval.increased more than 350 percent in one year. Tip 7: Measure ROITip 6: Secure It’s important for social data to be relevant toFear over losing control is an understandable barrier stakeholders within organization, but often they speakto implementing social media across an organization. only to the practitioners. This makes it difficult toIt is important to note that mistakes are preventable. communicate value, or to make important decisionsWhile perhaps confusing personal and branded related to the use or investment in social media foraccounts, an employee of Chrysler’s social media the organization. It does not need to be so. Tie socialagency with access to the @ChryslerAutos account to the big picture by linking it to organizational andtweeted using questionable language to comment on departmental goals. Users can start with trackingthe driving abilities of fellow Detroiters. A Red Cross the Like, @mention, Retweet or Follow, but tap in toemployee, in a similar slip-up, professed her love for the power to go much further and deeper. Build the#gettngslizzerd with her favorite Delaware beer brand capacity for measurement into every social action.on @RedCross. In each case, the missteps were Use URL shorteners, like our own ow.ly links, to trackhandled well and the damage to each organization your click-throughs. Integrate Google Analytics andwas more along the lines of temporary embarrassment Facebook Insights to track on-site conversions or drillthan anything permanent, but why not stop them in to geographic disparities in data.before they occur? One of the more powerful, recent integrations atHootSuite developed Secure Profiles specifically HootSuite is our partnership with Adobe SiteCatalyst.in response to instances like these to put a solid For the first time ever, you’re able to track the pathmeasure of prevention in place. This provides an from social message to conversion and attach aextra prompt when publishing to important branded dollar value to individual social messages againstaccounts, preventing errandt posts intended for Key Performance Indicators. You’re able to see whichpersonal accounts. social platform performs best against certain kinds of messaging, analyze which of your Social AdvocatesLimited Permissions is another unique security feature. is driving more revenue per message and understandHootSuite offers multiple levels of account access and what times of day work best for which kinds ofplaces limits on which team members can participate communication. MediaLeaders, working on behalf ofin outbound social conversation directly. The Limited The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, ran a compelling pilotPermissions puts control over publishing firmly in the study of this capability in 2011 where they were ablehands of those who are most trusted. Your social tools to directly link room reservations to individual tweets.should too. 6
  6. 6. 8 Tips for Social BusinessReporting is important. With HootSuite you can use Learn Moredata gained from Adobe SiteCatalyst, FacebookInsights, Google Analytics, Google+ Pages Analytics, There are those who have gone before you and fromTwitter Profile Stats, our own custom ow.ly Click them we’ve gathered a handy series of case studiesStats to generate easy, drag and drop social analytics across a number of sectors. Find them at blog.reports shared easily by email. More importantly, you hootsuite.com/something something case studies.can analyze that data to optimize future programs Learn more: hootsuite.com/enterpriseand messaging. For agencies: hootsuite.com/agenciesTip 8: Amplify For tips, tools and up-to-the-minute information: blog.hootsuite.comDouble down. One of the benefits of goodmeasurement and understanding of your data isthe ability to hone your messaging and understandwhat did and didn’t work from a content perspective.Organic social is testing your content for you. Paidsocial allows you to commit dollars with data-backedbelief in your programs and messaging. Invest inpromoted tweets, accounts or trends across socialplatforms or accounts that have already demonstratedthe highest yield. Invest in social tools that allow youto scale your programs effectively across teams,departments, geographies, brands etc. in order tobuild social media success into your strategy.ConclusionWith these 8 Tips, you’re better positioned to goforward and succeed in social business, whetheryou’re at the Social Advocate, Team, Business orEnterprise stage of Social Maturity. With the nextgeneration of consumers and employees adoptingsocial as their media of choice, the future of businessand the future of social are inextricably linked.The time is now. One day, in the not-too-distantfuture, there will be no more social business. Theadjectification era of social as it relates to business willbe past as social’s integration into business completesitself. Social will simply be business, business willsimply be social. Today you have eight more ways toget you there. 7