The way of doing business has changed very substantially, first with the advent of Internet and Web, and second, with the increasing focus on Social Media. Internet and Web metamorphosed everything-recruiting, hiring, consumer expectations, customer support, marketing strategies, IT investments, corporate structure, job responsibilities, workplace skills, employer/employee relations and more. And, social media, with its increasing use by people not only for personal networking but also for their buying and purchasing activities leading to Social Consumerism, has created a virtual platform stringing together business owners and consumers. Seemingly a nascent social business marketplace is quoted at least $100 billion
Interestingly, the given infographic by Kissmetrics shows the demography of social media:
So, social media has become a dominant channel from business and consumer perspectives. However, the problem is that there is pretty large confusion about how most organizations today plan and implement social media. Business executives are still grappling with the problem of optimum use of social media to leverage maximum business objectives.
- Why businesses/companies should adopt social media?
- How does social media have substantial and positive impact to their business?
- How should they use social media internally as well as externally?
- Which social media platforms should be used?
- Which social media platform is particularly suitable for their target audience?
- How do they engage their customers on the social media?
These are the questions business leaders want answered first. Dion Hinchcliffe in his article “As collaboration goes social, where will it thrive?” added a few more- “If social business has become one of the most interesting new avenues to explore in how we manage and operate our organizations, where then can we see that it will thrive? Will certain industries be much more amenable to adoption, or addressed more proactively by software vendors? What other dimensions matter and more importantly, when and where should organizations focus their social business efforts?”
To answer these queries, Dion Hinchchliffe took reference from the McKinsey Quarterly article and its findings of its annual surveys of Web 2.0 use in the enterprise.
Dion succinctly figured out the following areas where social collaboration will find strong adoption:
- Certain industries have adopted social business faster.
- Organizations that are fully networked and have a high information flow will thrive the most.
- Environments that have had (often long-standing) unsolved business needs around information and collaboration.
7 “musts” for the companies implementing social media
Augie Ray, the Forrester Analyst, who is leaving Forrester to join some Fortune 500 in one of his articles, identified 7 “musts” for the companies implementing social media:
- Must be proactive
- Must improve customer support
- Must participate
- Must respond
- Must move faster
- Must realize every employee is a marketer
Adoption of Social Media and its Implications
Adoption of social media brings the companies in sync with the consumers driven by social conversations going on social networking channels. The adoption leads to interaction and engagement with customers help them getting the insight and feedback to improve their products and service offerings. This is validated by the McKinsey new research , which finds “a new class of company( calling such company the networked enterprise) is emerging—one that uses collaborative Web 2.0 technologies intensively to connect the internal efforts of employees and to extend the organization’s reach to customers, partners, and suppliers.”
In fact, the McKinsey data show “fully networked enterprises are not only more likely to be market leaders or to be gaining market share but also use management practices that lead to margins higher than those of companies using the Web in more limited ways.”