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Are businesses ready for social business?

10 tests for social media usage which show social business maturity

We have spent the last five years trying to convince companies to engage with social media. From initial scepticism (‘this is all very interesting but it’s really not for us’), interest and enthusiasm for social media in the UK and other countries has grown rapidly over the last 18 months. The CIM social media benchmark research shows that the majority of companies now have some type of social media presence.

However, most remain at an experimental/testing the water stage of social media maturity. Many view social media as another broadcasting channel for talking AT rather than WITH customers. Very few organisations have developed an integrated and coordinated Social Media Strategy fully aligned with and supportive of core business goals and objectives.

Social media pitfalls remain common and suggest a company limited in its social business maturity. These 10 social media pitfalls identified by Darren Healy of Uber Social Media are still all too common:

  • 1. Don’t leave it to one person to handle
  • 2. Don’t leave it to the wrong person or people
  • 3. There is no social media content strategy
  • 4. Lack of understanding of social media ROI
  • 5. They are on the wrong platforms
  • 6. There is no social policy for employees
  • 7. You're trying to control communications you shouldn't
  • 8. No employee empowerment to fix problems
  • 9. Social media is not fully integrated with business goals and objectives
  • 10. Some aren’t prepared for the long term effort necessary to see results

The need for companies to accelerate progress in this area has become ‘mission critical’. The term Social Media itself has become dated and will soon be replaced by the more generic term Social Business. Current leading-edge thinking is that we are on the verge of another tectonic shift: from Social Media to Social Business. Companies who have made good progress with the former will ‘get this’. Those stuck at the starting blocks will not.

How prepared is your company for Social Business? Are you ready? What are the main obstacles and barriers you need to overcome. In my next article for Smart Insights, I'll look in more detail at what's involved.

To help you make the transition, I've prepared a reading list of articles which show how companies are making the transition.

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