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5 social best practice insights from social leaders

The social web is moving into a new era, very much at the sharp edge of the interaction between companies and their customers and markets.

A common question on the lips of senor executives remains, “Prove to me that social works.”

In our recent Social Leadership Forum, Digivizer CEO Emma Lo Russo asked this question of three Australian social leaders.

Here are 5 insights into how they have used the social web to drive business growth and change.

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  1. Let disruption play its part. The innate nature of the social web will probably cut across well-established (and comfortable) processes and habits. Rather than fight disruption, channel it – but gain the support and approval from senior management first. Plan for push-back, expecting varying levels of support, caution and obstruction. Be a social ninja, using the oncoming momentum of push-back to your advantage.
  2. Create a social showcase. Make a case to start a meaningful social program, one that you’re confident you can deliver. Measure pre-program social benchmarks, measure as you roll the program out, and measure on completion. Data trump opinion. To close the project, formally brief management and stakeholders on how it changed things.
  3. Measure, measure, then measure again. We’ve just touched on this point, but again for emphasis: data beat opinions! 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.
  4. Change the way you frame your story. Social stops you talking at customers and supports meaningful engagement with customers. You move to joining the conversations they are already having – about your brand, your products and your services. Improve your alignment around brand messaging, built on understanding audiences by listening through social, and having a long-term view. Social lets organizations become customer-centric in a way that actually means something.
  5. Deliver results. That way you demonstrate the value of social. Your senior management will get social, and your colleagues will too. Define what success will look like, built on engagement, reach, sales, customer satisfaction, and brand share. Again, rely on data: know that you are succeeding, and understand why.

In short, social does work. More importantly, social helps you demonstrate – with evidence and data – that social works.

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. What’s more, you can do this as a large company, as a small or medium-sized business, even as a start-up. Social doesn’t favour size: it favours companies seeking insights.

 

For more on this discussion, read the full conversation.

Alan Smith: Alan is Head of Customer Engagement at DIGIVIZER.