I recently read an article on the perspective of author and IT expert Scott Klososky, who states that enterprises just aren’t getting social media. In his opinion, many companies are failing to see the value in social media and some are even having trouble defining it. In his new book “Enterprise Social Technology” Scott encourages readers to take advantage of the inherent value of social media within their companies. We couldn’t agree more, but we also see enormous opportunities on the horizon. Here at Visible, we see huge demand from companies for their social media efforts to drive business value. More than ever before, companies must prove the value in everything they do and therefore, social media programs must translate into business value at every point.
Surely, some brands are still struggling to successfully launch into the social ecosystem, but as Scott points out, the benefits for companies that make the leap are enormous. Scott explains that the “biggest benefit (for enterprises) is all about connecting people at a price and scale we’ve never had and at a speed we’ve never had.” Specific benefits of social media engagement that he highlights include:
- Overall cost reduction,
- Ability to drive top line revenue, and;
- Fresh ways to earn new customers while better serving your existing customer base.
To realize the full business value of social media, however, we believe that companies have to take a personalized, cross-departmental approach that creates a powerful network of customer touch points. As Brian Solis recently wrote, “dabbling in social media through the silos of marketing, service, or communications is important, but it isn’t nearly enough to introduce the roadmap to produce internal and external transformation.” By taking an integrated, cross-departmental approach to social media, we’ve seen companies empower all parts of their organization from customer service, PR to marketing departments. This enables them to deliver an integrated customer experience at every touch point, which is a critical step towards engaging customers and building brand evangelists. Ultimately, these benefits are achieved as a result of integrated and collaborative social media efforts across your organization.
Georgina Lidlaw at GigaOM also recently commented on Brian Solis’s article and noted, “Having a single person manage an organization’s social media presence is common and it’s also the norm in organizations that aren’t entirely convinced of the value of social media.” This is something we have seen time and again. It raises the question that we have been talking with many companies about; “is it time for businesses to rethink their business model and take advantage of all that social media has to offer?” After all, social media success cannot be achieved in silos.
The potential benefits for companies who integrate social programs far outweigh the risks. Enterprises that embrace social media with a keen eye to integrate data across-departments will emerge as more competitive and agile companies in the long run. As social media guru Brian Solis has said, “this is your time…”