You don’t have twitter!? That’s okay what your snapchat then?
Social media strategy is a part of a company’s social business strategy. It consists of the channels, platforms and tactics to support publishing, listening, and engagement” (Li & Solis, 2013, p.1). Businesses reach their social business strategy goals by using social media strategies in a couple of ways.
- B2C – mainly involved with marketing departments to outreach to, engage with and generate consumers.
- B2B – businesses are just starting to strengthen B2B links through social media strategies.
- Internally – develop the company culture within the business by improving the 4 C’s
The iceberg diagram below is visual representation that shows behind the scenes of the social media strategy of businesses that we as consumers experience.
Social business strategy on the other hand is the “the integration of social technologies and processes into business values, processes, and practices to build relationships and spark conversations inside and outside the organization, creating value and optimizing impact for customers and business alike” (Li and Solis, 2013, p.1). It is the big picture of the businesses social strategy that aligns with the overall strategic objectives of the business.
Elements and Maturity of on-line presence
Altimeter conducted report on social business strategy evolution which shows 2 critical elements of a strategy to be; 1. its alignment with the business objectives and 2. the businesses dedication to seeing those objectives met.
The research also describes how, in both large and small businesses, a coherent and comprehensive social business strategy does not occur overnight but that each business does go through 6 stages of distinct stages of maturity as the strategy develops.
Social business strategy success
So the obvious question then is what are the factors in order to achieve social business strategy success. Wait no further, I am about to tell you, with the help of Li and Solis.
- Business goal definition – This is crucial to define the direction of the entire business and then derive objectives from this to achieve the goal.
- Establish vision – create a long term business vision that reflects being a social business. Then convey this to your stakeholders, consumers and employees to establish the reason for this journey to a social business.
- Executive support – Key executive players must reflect the desire to meet the social business strategy goals in all their actions. THey must walk the talk and support the strategy from the top down.
- Create a roadmap – A business needs to have a written roadmap of the things they will do to achieve the social business strategy, not just a idea, to refer back to and remain on track. This roadmap must include what they WON’T do as well.
- Processes and discipline – As the business grows into a social one, more people must be educated around social activity, processes must be materialised and instilling discipline and accountability become key success factors.
Staffing – “Invest in people and resources to make sure it’s not a one-time hit.” -Julie Bornstein, SVP of Digital for Sephora
- Technology – This factor of success must be done LAST. After everything else is functional you must then select the technology that is required to meet the needs the social business strategy demands.
Thoughts on this:
This strikes me as the one of the most important concepts for businesses that wish to do the social media thingy right. They must first align their business to reflect their intended direction otherwise it would not work.
Although, there must be some difficulties in this alignment, especially in large established businesses. I have identified company culture as a potential barrier of implementation (training older staff and controlling younger staff, or overall a resistance to change), but what do you think are some more? Leave your thoughts below!
References in order of appearance:
Li, C. & Solis, B. (2013). The evolution of social business: Six stages of social business transformation. Altimeter Group.
Chapter 3, Weber, L. (2011). Building enterprise-wide engagement capability in Everywhere: Comprehensive digital business strategy for the social media era (pp. 59-86). Hoboken, NJ, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.