The social web is now at the sharp edge of the interaction between companies, and their customers and markets.
Naturally, senior executives now ask, “Prove to me that social works.”
We recently asked this question of three Australian social leaders.
Here are five insights from them into how they have used the social web to drive business growth and change.
- Let disruption play its part. Going social is disruptive. It will likely cut across well-established (and comfortable) processes and habits. Don’t fight this disruption, channel it – but gain the support and approval from senior management first. Plan for push-back, and expect varying levels of support, caution and obstruction. Be a social ninja, using the oncoming momentum of push-back to your advantage.
- Create a social showcase. Make a case to start a meaningful social program that you’re confident you can deliver. Measure pre-program social benchmarks, measure as you roll the program out, and measure on completion. Data always beat opinion. To close the project, formally brief management and stakeholders on how it changed things.
- Measure, measure, then measure again. Again for emphasis: data beat opinion! Once you work off data, the world shifts. The social web is very good at giving you the data you need to change the way you market, sell and support.
- Change the way you frame your story. Social stops you talking at customers and supports meaningful engagement with them. Join the conversations they are already having about your brand, products and services. Improve your alignment around brand messaging, built on understanding audiences by listening through social. Have a long-term view: you won’t change much in a week.
- Deliver results. That way you demonstrate the value of social. Your senior management will then ‘get’ social, and your colleagues will too. Define what success will look like, built on engagement, reach, sales, customer satisfaction, and brand share. Use data to know that you are succeeding, and understand why.
By deploying these tactics, and ones like them, you can demonstrate the effectiveness of the social web, demonstrate measurable value, and use social to grow your business.
Alan Smith is Head of Customer Engagement at Digivizer.