Integrate social media into your business

We are entering a new era of business. The Great Recession forced many businesses to make tough decisions and take a hard look at their operations. Companies had to take out cost and do more with less, which sometimes meant removing redundant processes and/or technology to create higher productivity without increasing headcount.

Additionally, there is a fundamental media shift that businesses can no longer ignore. The explosive growth of web 2.0 and social media is rapidly changing the business landscape, calling into question the antiquated technologies and processes that defined the last web 1.0 shift. In this new business paradigm many companies struggle with where to start. As you look at developing your social business strategy here are some grounding concepts that will help you focus and prioritize what you need to do.

Social media vs. social business focus

Companies often focus on how to use social media outlets and ask questions like: How do we create a fan page on Facebook? Do we need to be on Twitter, LinkedIn or Foursquare? How do we get viewers for our YouTube videos?

These are the wrong questions and focus.

Grounding questions

Your focus should be on prioritizing which aspects of social media are relevant based on your business objectives. The right kinds of questions include:

  • How can we better align innovation with market demand?
  • How do we increase sales and market share?
  • How can we increase customer satisfaction and retention?

Getting started – business alignment

In my experience working with companies, the most successful social business programs are integrated into an overarching business plan and aren’t executed as individual experiments. Before diving into any project, step back and look at the big picture.

Once you’ve determined the answers to the questions above and aligned with your business strategy, you will be in a much better place to deliver a social business solution that delivers value.

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