From What’s Now To #WhatsNext [August 30]
Did we miss anything? What social trends are you curious about this week?
B2B, B2C, B2X. Microsoft was smart enough to coin that last term when it announced that it would be merging Skype with Lync, its enterprise communications platform. The convergence of consumer and enterprise technology is a trend that poses interesting challenges and opportunities for organizations across the board. Where social media is concerned, the phenomenon of convergence is (finally) resulting in the realization that social media platforms – once regarded as exclusive for B2C brands – can help drive business for B2B.
I have had at least 57 different “A-HA!” moments recently, as I navigate our current client portfolio to learn about the current state of their social media programs and help them find their social business sweet spot. I want to dedicate this week’s roundup to social business practices, starting with Danny Brown’s blog post on this topic in which he shared various reports that show B2B brands are waking up to the opportunities that digital and social media present in the face of shorter buy-in cycles.
Fragmented Social Media Strategy
The challenge for B2B companies that want to achieve social business transformation is particularly tough as, based on a recent report by Eloqua, B2B marketers have a more diverse social referrer portfolio than B2C marketers – while Facebook is most of what B2C brands need, B2B companies have spread out their social media presence across more channels in an attempt to influence the customer journey at the precise moment when decisions are made. However, according to an Altimeter Study around the Evolution of Social Business, only 34 percent of companies feel their social media strategy is connected to customers, while most feel they are executing on a fragmented social media strategy that is not grounded on business goals.
The Road To Social Business
Altimeter found that some of the reasons why companies don’t feel they have achieved the social business transformation include: unaligned executives, no budget, and disparate, uncoordiated efforts with social media being spread out across deparments. Altimeter did amazing work identifying the Six Stages of Social Business Transformation and I encourage you to spend some time with this report to better understand your own challenges and process towards implementing a social media program that impacts the bottom line. If you are a B2B business, this is a great framework to start with to help align your overall business communications program with social, and to push social into all part of your business.
What’s Next For Social Business
I believe the key steps to move from social media to social business are: strategy, integration, enablement, alignment. A hollistic content strategy that sustains an owned-earned-shared-paid ecosystem. The integration of social into organizational departments, the result of which is better collaboration across departments. The enablement of organizational teams (sales, marketing) as well as employees in order to inject social into the company’s bloodstream. And the alignment with business-level strategy, including measurement against bottom-line objectives. Getting these parts to move together requires a level of orchestration that can easily overwhelm, but the challenge is by no means impossible to overcome. And that’s usually where we come in.
Where are you on the road to social business?
What are some of your biggest challenges to generating content?
Coordinating with other departments?
Enabling teams and employees to get social?
Getting executive buy-in?