Great tips for Social Business


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Social is now a pivotal point for business transactions. It’s no longer new and is mature beyond the point of being an enjoyable way to pass the time or play games. Social media is, however, young enough that best practices for social business are still being carved out – the standard for enterprise integration of social media has yet to drawn.

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Great tips for Social Business

  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 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 isUnderstanding Social Business in the hands of a single individual within an organization. This person usually has strongWhat is social business, exactly? At the simplest level, personal social involvement and may havesocial business is when any organization engages with emerged from within the organization as a logicalan audience either internal or external, maybe both, leader in social, or perhaps hired specifically tousing one or many social platforms. This principle tackle social for the organization – the social expert.applies to businesses of all manner, including boutiquefashion designers using Twitter to let eager bloggers Social Teams: A Social Advocate can only do soand shoppers know that next season’s pieces are much. Enter the social team. Typically the Socialen route to retail outlets. Or maybe you’re a globally Team is departmentally focused. In the early daysdistributed corporation using multiple social platforms of social, these teams were nearly all centeredto prospect for sales leads, amplify your corporate around marketing or PR, but more recently we’reculture to support HR, and allow teams to collaborate seeing the spread of social teams throughoutinter-departmentally, across time zones and diverse an organization.cultures. 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 Business Social Business: Once you have a number of social teams operating in separate departments, Tip 1: Evaluate: you’re on your way to the Social Business stage. A more telling and significant sign is the After taking stock of your organization’s position way an organization handles the socially native on our Social Maturity Model, it’s time to ask a few concepts of openness and transparency. Is your questions. First, where have you already or where do organization having open dialogue in front of its you plan to deploy social programs and against which customers, partners, and even competitors? goals? In either case, avoid considering social in a vacuum. Take the time to understand where it best fits Social Enterprise: A Social Business operating your organization and how to integrate it into existing across time zones or cultures. You have good organizational and departmental goals. You’re not policy governing social engagement that reinventing wheels for social, just using it to make the empowers your teams to engage customers ones you have turn faster. directly. You’re turning the tools you’ve used to engage outwardly with customers inward to Where will it allow you to reach the customers foster better internal collaborative practices. or stakeholders who most crave deeper, richer dialogue? Perhaps it’s the marketing department,The numbers support the increased application the traditional home of social media in business, butand scaling of social in business, particularly at the that’s not a given. Pehaps it’s HR? Maybe you’reenterprise end. A McKinsey Global Institute study better to consider developing a robust internal socialthat looked at applying social across the consumer ecosystem, harnessing the power of inward-facingpackaged goods, retail financial services, advanced social before you look outward? How are you goingmanufacturing, and professional services sectors measure and quantify the success of social programs?estimated social could contribute up to $1.3 trillion Look beyond vanity metrics such as Likes and Followsin value in those areas. A full two-thirds of that value and try, for example, to find a direct link betweenlay solely within improving communication and conversation and conversion. Focus on influence andcollaboration across enterprises, an area which is analytics over inflating a group size or follower base.hugely under-developed with the same report statingthat only 3 percent of enterprises are currently fully What can you reasonably afford to dedicate to socialsocially networked. But with over half, 52 percent, in terms of time and tools? The allocation of humanof managers confirming the importance of social resources is far and away the most significant costto their business today and 82 percent agreeing tied to social. What will your team(s) look like? Identifyto its importance within the next three years, good leadership within your organization or begin the huntpreparation and planning for the growth of social to find it from the outside. With your team(s) in place,business, both inside and outside the firewall, is now educate and cross-train team members so that theytop-of-the-to-do-list critical. 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 Business Look for a reliable and scalable social tool that performing social properties, and share stories centralizes control over your social platforms and of success crafted by the teams that run them. puts the power to listen, engage, collaborate and Transferring knowledge and best practices from analyze in the hands of your do-ers, practitioners digital leaders to team members further educates and experts. Make decisions about which platforms and empowers your Social Team to contribute to the you will be active on or where you may need to conversation. Should the need or the desire to scale consolidate existing accounts. Observe the largest your social program arise, you have pre-trained your organizations in your industry vertical and learn next generation of social leadership. Your social from their successes and mistakes. Engage them tools should also be able to grow along with you, in conversation about the future of social in your enabling growth by being modular and flexible to industry. Look deeper than the usual social suspects facilitate even further decentralization, expansion, like Facebook and Twitter to other platforms like and conversation. Quora or Get Satisfaction where you may have existing communities of powerful unpaid social advocates already at work on your behalf. Tip 3: Listen & Learn Tip 2: Organize “The conversation is happeningWhile you want to centralize control over your social about your brand whetherplatforms with a social tool like a dashboard, you you’re a part of it or not.”want to de-centralize the conversations you haveover them. To do that, you need to empower your – Seth Godin.practitioners and teams to engage your customers inconversation directly. Imagine the opposite of the hub There’s no question. People are talking about yourand spoke model – fully distributed content creation organization. And if by chance they’re not, thenarising from each point of contact independently. The they’re talking about your competitors and starting aCity of New York (CNY), in moving toward achieving conversation you’ll have trouble being a part of. Don’ttheir goal of becoming the world’s leading digital city, let your organization get left behind. Amazon founder,embedded a Social Advocate in each of its agencies Jeff Bezos once described your brand as, “whatallowing autonomous control over departmental people say about you when you’re not in the room.”messaging. Empowered autonomy of this kind Today, not only do you have an opportunity to be in thebecomes particularly relevant on a global scale where room but to take an active role in the conversation itself.a centralized approach may not respect or understandcultural differences at the micro level. Good search practices start with monitoring forConsolidate your efforts. Each CNY Social Advocate mentions – the good, the bad and the ugly – of your organization, but can also focus on topics related toalso belonged to a center of excellence run by the your business where you may wish to become anCNY Digital Media team that fostered collaboration, influencer. At HootSuite we monitor for off- as wellco-ordination on messaging and sharing of learning on-brand messages in order to assist users who mayaround best practices. Hearst Publishing and not spell HootSuite correctly 100 percent of the time.Time Inc. have digital leadership that identify top Undoubtedly Hilton adjusts its search parameters 4
  4. 4. 8 Tips for Social Businessto exclude mentions of either Paris or Perez. With oriented approach with @HiltonSuggests by taking ansocial, it is also possible to monitor certain users or engagement for engagement’s sake position. Hiltonorganizations closely without them knowing you’re listening. monitors online conversation for travelers looking for recommendations all over the world. Acting as a quasiGather your feedback. There are some interesting global concierge, @HiltonSuggests steps in to offerdisconnects between consumers’ and businesses’ accommodation advice to travelers whether a Hilton isperceptions on why people engage with organizations a viable option or not.via social media. 73 percent of businesses feelconsumers want to learn about new products Perks don’t hurt. As mentioned above, 61 percent ofwhile only 51 percent of consumers give that as a consumers use social to look for discounts. Socialreason. 61 percent of businesses think consumers is obviously a great way to highlight promotions andwant to be part of a community. Only 22 percent of deals, but make them appropriate and relevant toconsumers support that thought while 61 and 55 your brand. For example, why would a bakery givepercent of consumers want discounts and to purchase away an iPad? Promotions of this kind are commonsomething respectively. Better monitoring, listening and can build vanity metrics such as Likes or Follows,and analysis of conversation and feedback could lead but those need to be balanced with programs across departments from advertising to How engaged are iPad fans with bakeries? Fans ofcustomer service, HR or sales to close these gaps and customized cakes are much more likely to be highlybuild more empathetic, customer-centric relationships. engaged and even influential to a fledgling bakery. Fewer more influential followers trump hordes of deal hunters every time. With HootSuite’s custom URL Tip 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, 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,let them know a resolution is being sought, then Share learning internally. Encourage your Socialfollow through on that resolution to the best of your Teams to distribute new learning both within the Teamorganization’s ability. Once again, don’t consider social and your organization as a whole. Keep an ongoingin a vacuum. Integrate your response with existing loop of discovery and dissemination where bestchannels and let the most appropriate channel lead practices, positive messaging or common questionsthe way to resolution. are put forward for comment or collaboration. A social platform like Yammer is an exceptional tool forListen and pick your moments. If sales are a priority, supporting secure internal conversation and exchangenurture potential leads with relevant and helpful of ideas.content. Make sales through engagement. The age-old sales maxim, “Make a friend first, a sale second” Ultimately better internal collaboration supportsstill applies to social, only even more so due to social’s improved external engagement, keeping messagingability to amplify positive, or negative, experiences. consistent, intelligent and brand-appropriate. The New York Public Library @NYPL uses HootSuite toGive advice. Hilton Hotels takes an entirely non-sales coordinate a decentralized team of experts. 5
  5. 5. 8 Tips for Social BusinessRather than impose a centralized Social Team to Limited Permissions is another unique security feature.respond to inquiries, @NYPL tapped into the existing, HootSuite offers multiple levels of account access andextraordinarily deep knowledge base of librarians by places limits on which team members can participatetraining and empowering them to use social. in outbound social conversation directly. The Limited Permissions puts control over publishing firmly in theAs the largest online public library in the world, hands of those who are most trusted. Your social tools@NYPL receives a very high volume of inbound should too.requests. Using HootSuite, the @NYPL experts areable to, through a shared dashboard, assign inquiries Team members are also easily added and removedto the appropriate area of expertise, collaborate as organizations expand and contract. Removal isdepartmentally on a response, share and edit as instantaneous in the event that a team member isn’tnecessary and schedule the response to go out at a exiting on good terms. The now infamoustime their audience is most likely to receive and read @MarcJacobsintl intern meltdown where CEO,it. Visits to the library’s website coming from Twitter Robert Duffy was described as a “tyrant” by an over-increased more than 350 percent in one year. worked intern would have been prevented by using HootSuite’s Limited Permissions setting to limit his access to publish without approval. Tip 6: Secure Tip 7: Measure ROIFear over losing control is an understandable barrierto implementing social media across an organization.It is important to note that mistakes are preventable. It’s important for social data to be relevant toWhile perhaps confusing personal and branded stakeholders within organization, but often they speakaccounts, an employee of Chrysler’s social media only to the practitioners. This makes it difficult toagency with access to the @ChryslerAutos account communicate value, or to make important decisionstweeted using questionable language to comment on related to the use or investment in social media forthe driving abilities of fellow Detroiters. A Red Cross the organization. It does not need to be so. Tie socialemployee, in a similar slip-up, professed her love for to the big picture by linking it to organizational and#gettngslizzerd with her favorite Delaware beer brand departmental goals. Users can start with trackingon @RedCross. In each case, the missteps were the Like, @mention, Retweet or Follow, but tap in tohandled well and the damage to each organization the power to go much further and deeper. Build thewas more along the lines of temporary embarrassment capacity for measurement into every social action.than anything permanent, but why not stop them Use URL shorteners, like our own links, to trackbefore they occur? your click-throughs. Integrate Google Analytics and Facebook Insights to track on-site conversions or drillHootSuite developed Secure Profiles specifically in to geographic disparities in response to instances like these to put a solidmeasure of prevention in place. This provides an One of the more powerful, recent integrations atextra prompt when publishing to important branded HootSuite is our partnership with Adobe SiteCatalyst.accounts, preventing errandt posts intended for For the first time ever, you’re able to track the pathpersonal accounts. from social message to conversion and attach a dollar value to individual social messages against Key Performance Indicators. You’re able to see which 6
  6. 6. 8 Tips for Social Businesssocial platform performs best against certain kinds of social as their media of choice, the future of businessmessaging, analyze which of your Social Advocates and the future of social are inextricably driving more revenue per message and understand The time is now. One day, in the not-too-distantwhat times of day work best for which kinds of future, there will be no more social business. Thecommunication. MediaLeaders, working on behalf of adjectification era of social as it relates to business willThe Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, ran a compelling pilot be past as social’s integration into business completesstudy of this capability in 2011 where they were able itself. Social will simply be business, business willto directly link room reservations to individual tweets. simply be social. Today you have eight more ways toReporting is important. With HootSuite you can use get you gained from Adobe SiteCatalyst, FacebookInsights, Google Analytics, Google+ Pages Analytics,Twitter Profile Stats, our own custom Click Learn MoreStats to generate easy, drag and drop social analyticsreports shared easily by email. More importantly, you There are those who have gone before you andcan analyze that data to optimize future programs from them we’ve gathered a handy series of caseand messaging. studies across a number of sectors. Find them at: study-resources/ Tip 8: Amplify Learn more: down. One of the benefits of good For agencies: and understanding of your data is For tips, tools and up-to-the-minute information:the ability to hone your messaging and understand blog.hootsuite.comwhat 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 adopting 7