Social Enterprise is the push for 2012. But if your company is only doing a technology push be aware an implementation is much more than hitting the switch on Social. Social Enterprise is a collaboration play and the technology that enables it accounts for only about 15% of the needed effort. However, if Social is not done properly it can become 100% problem. A Social Enterprise is a sense and respond organization that is able to engage and respond to social data in ways that optimize your brand. Social puts the customer first.
Social messaging is immediate and as such the most impactful response is time sensative, targeted, and specific. In order to sense and respond in ways that are socially impactful to your brand a company must be able to determine who needs to respond and how to respond. Most companies believe the who" that I am referring to is the Social Community manager. In actuality it is rarely valuable for the community manager to respond. Proper delegation planning is key to success.
If you are going to go into Social determine why and how you plan to use it. Ensure that you have a collaborative workflow and matching service level criteria to support your goal. Gone are the days that a single department owns a product or a customer. Empower all potential responders to understand the social impact, determine your company's best position and utilize the data in ways that make sense across the organization.
A single customer review can and often includes information that is product satisfaction related and should go to product development, as well as, technical support. In addition, that same review may include fulfillment of service data that may need to be reviewed across multiple areas of the organization, as well as with partners who may be involved with fulfillment or retail point of purchase. In some cases that customer may also be an employee and the information may need to be shared or cleared with Human Resources and Public Relations.
Be thoughtful and plan collaboratively across your organization. If collaboration is not the norm for your company then support change efforts with communication, training (gamification), and rewards. Just turning on an social application without these factors limits the potential ROI of Social Enterprise. Clearly plan, design, seed, measure, and maintain. Make sure your ROI ties to your goals and that you are actually succeeding at what you want to accomplish.
Remember, what differentiates social from other innovations is that it has a life of its own. Investing in Social is a commitment to continual and ongoing care and feeding. Prepare to work within that Social stream and integrate the stream into the fiber of your organization. Taking these foundational steps insure your organization is poised for success.
Noreen Poli is product manager and consultant at Ready, Set, Go Social! Her projects range from award winning methodologies to end-to-end mobile gamified applications. Her background in product management is enhanced by experience in user research, analytics, human behavior, and social giving her a unique skill-set custom made for this era of realtime analytics and personalized products.