Deloitte University Press Released a report earlier this month that echoes much of what we are seeing in the marketplace and is consistent with our findings from the 2013 State of Community Management. Although one thing we disagree on is their perception that progress is slow. We think the steady growth of social business and online communities have effectively demonstrated the need to change the way business is done and that progress is consistent with the complexity of the task.
At issue may be the way this report defines social business as primarily a technology and data centric initiative. While technology is a critical enabler, social business it is primarily about people and how they are organized to develop value. Our view is skewed but we’ve found that members of TheCR Network are succeeding because of their focus on what the report points out are the “must haves” for success (below), only one of which are related to technology.
Businesses that have more developed social business capabilities don’t view social business solely as an application or tool. They have integrated it into many functions, such as strategy and operations, and use it in daily decision making. As a business solution, social has evolved, moving well beyond the marketing department, to address business objectives across the organization:
- 65% of respondents use social business tools to understand market shifts.
- 45% turn to it to improve visibility into operations.
- 45% leverage it to identify internal talent.
Leadership support, measurement capability, content and appropriate processes are must haves for social business success.To spur and maintain the adoption of social, companies are systematically nurturing it. Company leaders are driving a conversational culture in very hands-on ways, including using social media themselves. Although the discipline of measurement is still evolving, more mature companies don’t let measurement challenges halt the progress. Successful social business efforts never skimp on content quality. Companies continually create it, curate it and keep it fresh to ensure participation. Finally, social business changes the way work gets done, and processes need to be designed to assure its adoption and success.
The Community Roundtable’s core offering is TheCR Network, a membership network that provides strategic, tactical and professional development programming for community and social business leaders. The network enables members to connect and form lasting relationships with experts and peers as well as get access to vetted content.