Companies are getting started with implementing social business strategies, so as a company owner you need to pick somewhere to start. Based on the idea of have successful initiatives, I recommend starting with a focus on one of three key areas: Connections, Communication, or Content.
• Connections: To whom are you connected and how? Traditional marketing approaches tend to choose targets, send offers, track responses, adjust and repeat while hoping for better results. Taking a social business approach to connections leads to more persistent, long-term relationship management instead. At one company, social media was seen as an opportunity to increase interaction among customers and employees, leading to long-term sales results. The company created and implemented a plan to employ social channels for proactive customer support, creating stronger consumer connections and increasing the likelihood of customers to recommend their products.
• Communication: As social media channels mature, the good news is that plenty of content is being created to be mined. The bad news is that the amount of content to be mined can quickly overwhelm most market research departments. Moreover, selecting the right tool to engage can be a tricky task. “Social Architecture” can play a guiding role for companies. This approach helps guide the efforts of its marketing department and multiple agency partners, ensuring a consistent focus on your business goals.
• Content: Are you measuring for meaning? Managers must focus on measuring what they can control, not just measuring to provide content to fill up charts and graphs. The substance of social business initiatives must relate to how the business manages itself. At a manufacturing company, a campaign using Facebook as a backbone for a new product launch was measured closely for fan engagement, local participation, and sales results.
Formulating social business strategy requires a holistic approach, supported by an integration of the company’s vision. Today however, with growing budgets being devoted towards social business initiatives, creating competitive advantage will become increasingly difficult. Focusing on one aspect of connections, communication, and content will help managers build and sustain a leadership position that lasts.