Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What’s the Secret of Social Media? That’s Easy: Collaboration

Everyone may talk about social media, but how many people can actually do social media – and how many do it well? Sure, there are the marketing powerhouses from Coca-Cola, Ford, Zappos, Nike, and Apple who amaze us with their Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube pages. But for most small and mid-sized businesses, how many can honestly describe their social media campaigns as successful and inspiring?

According to the book by Anthony Bradley and Mark McDonald, The Social Organization, How to Use Social Media to Tap the Collective Genius of Your Customers and Employees, the solution may be simple: “Organizational success with social media is fundamentally a leadership and management challenge, not a technology implementation. Achieving that success creates mass collaboration that gives organizations unique capabilities to create value for customers, employees, and stakeholders.”

In order to get started in social media, there are some action items that everyone can agree as essential. These include: define your strategy, assess the environment and determine which social media platforms are appropriate for your organization and industry, define your goals, assemble your team, define what your customers will gain from your efforts, create the campaigns that you will implement, educate your team, determine budgets and resources to execute your strategy, and develop your social media guidelines. Last but not least, measure and refine your engagements, programs, and initiatives – and remember, keep your social media antenna alert 24/7.

But these action items are not sufficient for social media success. The authors identified six core disciplines that can turn COLLABORATION into results:

[1] Vision: define a compelling vision of progress toward becoming a highly collaborative organization.

[2] Strategy: take community collaboration from risky and random success to measurable business value.

[3] Purpose: rally people around a clear purpose, don’t just provide social media technology.

[4] Launch: create a collaborative environment and persuade customers and employees to embrace it.

[5] Guide: participate in and influence communities as they pursue your purpose, without stifling collaboration.

[6] Adapt: respond creatively to change by modifying your organization in order to better support community collaboration.

The book concludes with a question and a challenge: “Will you be a social organization or will you be competing against social organizations? In the next 10 years, your ability to evolve into a social organization may determine if you thrive, survive, or disappear.”

Take the Social Readiness Assessment from Gartner:

1 comment:

  1. The efficiency of any business tool can be hampered if not used properly. It wouldn’t matter if you are using a well-known social media site, if you fail to acquire followers or prospective customers, the end result wouldn’t be as you’d hoped. Collaborating with other social network users will contribute to the growth of your business, and you must, therefore, have a clear plan on how to engage them into your organization.

    Kevin Beamer


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