A social business is business that also uses tools like social media, social software and technology-based social networks to enable connections between people, information and assets to help organisations take decisions. Deloitte and MIT Sloan recently released the findings of a survey that asked the question “What are the barriers for senior leadership to adopting a social business”. The results for me were not that surprising. Mature businesses that used social media well, had top management championing social media adoption and integrating it into strategy. It seems intuitive that if your customers and the world around you were adopting tools you were not familiar with – you would become obsolete at some time (think dinosaurs). Senior management needs to get socially enabled.
What was surprising to me was that most companies still saw social media as a marketing tool. The power of social media is (1) networking that gives you access to real time information (whether perceived or factual – it can be a threat) (2) strategy formulation – whether it is crowd sourcing or testing – social media is a unique platform that is yet to be exploited (3) relationship development with various stakeholders.
Senior managers often fear social media and this is understandable as the guidelines and formalities are evolving as we speak. I suggest hire someone young to manage and teach social media and social media protocols. Do invest in a social media protocol and train people frequently on how to keep their public and private life separate. Always ask yourself before you upload something on social media – what is the worst case situation of how this will be perceived. Have a crisis management plan – when social media goes viral you have no time to think and more important it has no boundaries.
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