One of the benefits of social business is its ability to facilitate collaboration and discussion. Employees can bounce ideas and innovation off each other. However, that information can’t live in a vacuum. A great idea means nothing if you don’t have a way to vet and disseminate it, taking it from idea to action.
Millions of organizations say they are embracing social business, but just how many are successful? It can be a difficult question to answer. Recently, The Economist Intelligence Unit took the guesswork out of the equation for 25 companies, placing their executives to a list of social business leaders. Five of the companies received even bigger accolades, being placed on a Top 5 list.
As a recent Forbes.com article points out, there are some highly regulated companies that may have problems convincing industry regulators and their own legal and compliance departments of the value of social media and social business. After all, one unauthorized public slip and a company will have more to deal with – and pay for — than bad press. The article makes the case for a stepped, phased social media approach, which is a smart option for social business as well.
The value of social business efforts is in the eye of the beholder, according to Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter Group. And yet there are strategies and moves that can benefit organizations across the board.
Social media expert and author Vala Afshar this month was interviewed by U.S. News and World Report about how to stay competitive. His answer: Take a social-first attitude in whatever you do. “Social-first is a culture – you work together as a team because you trust, respect and care for each other,” he is quoted as saying. Collaboration and social business is a big part of the social-first strategy, something that’s imperative since, as he points out, companies don’t own the customer service experience anymore. The customer does, so you need to be doing everything in your power to give them what they want when they want it. Social business and collaboration can help make that happen.
It’s been a summer of social gaffes. Most recently, pop singer Robin Thicke was the casualty of a giant PR blunder. Television network VH1 created a hashtag — #AskThicke – and asked the Twitterverse to send in their questions for the Blurred Lines crooner. The result was both hysterical (if you’re not Thicke or the VH1 PR team) and something that serves as a cautionary tale.
It is the type of news story that takes social media by storm. Facebook conducted an experiment with more than 700,000 users, deliberately altering news feeds so they appeared mostly positive or mostly negative. Dubbed by some as massive virtual mind game, the 2012 experiment designed to see if a news feed can spread emotions went viral once news broke.