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August 7, 2014

Study: Social Business Is Worth the Investment

By Karen J. Bannan

A technology that can aid in the decision-making process, bring about fundamental change and bring employees together is important – and worth investing in, according to a new study by MIT Sloan Management Review.

The study — Moving Beyond Marketing: Generating Social Business Value Across the Enterprise – surveyed more than 4,800 global business executives in 26 industries and 109 countries. One of the more interesting takeaways: social business initiatives including social media, social software and social networks, are positively impacting business outcomes. It is also gaining in importance, with 73 percent of respondents saying that social business important or somewhat important today, and about nine out of ten saying it will be important over the next three years.

The biggest change, according to the report, is the number of companies “actively” measuring their social business efforts. In fact, 90 percent of the most socially mature companies are measuring their efforts — connecting operational and financial metrics to business outcomes — as compared to less than half of the least mature do. This may be that the further ahead a company is with its social business efforts, the more value may put on them.
“A key finding is that social business value is a function of what we call social business maturity — the breadth and sophistication of its initiatives,” according to the study.

From a reader’s perspective, it’s worth noting that those companies looking to get more out of their social business efforts may want to start considering if and how they are measuring the success of their programs. While the process may seem daunting, as the MIT Slone Management Review found, it’s certainly worth the effort.

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