Just what is a social business? And what makes a social business leader? When The BrainYard went in search of people and organizations that are setting the social business pace, we found lots of common ground, including an inherent belief that social products and practices could improve business processes, and an openness to try new things. We also found lots of examples of companies using social technologies for collaboration and for identifying and leveraging expertise within the organization.
Indeed, there are many ways to tell that you are — or are on your way to becoming — a social business leader. Conversely, there are some sure signs that you’re not even close. Here are 10 ways to tell that you, your organization, or maybe both, are not leading the way — at least not yet — when it comes to social.
1. You think that social = Facebook. Period.
2. Your Facebook presence is a Wikipedia placeholder.
3. Your company has had presence on Twitter for two years, but the latest post says, “Hey, we’re on Twitter! Follow us!”
4. You believe that social anything is just one big productivity sink. You want your users doing real work, not wasting time on social media.
5. No one at your company really understands social technology and social models, and no one is really all that interested in taking a lead position on its implementation and use over time.
6. You don’t understand why other companies are having a difficult time dealing with customer complaints and other negative comments posted on external social media and company websites — your company simply deletes them.
7. You see value in letting the marketing department make use of social media for company branding purposes, but you don’t see any reason for social to be extended from there in the organization — or, for that matter, into legacy IT systems.
8. You’ve heard that internal social business technologies are important, and you’ve been reading stories about companies that are saving money and increasing productivity with such systems. You think that social business technology is probably worth pursuing, but your line-of-business managers don’t have the time or inclination to get involved and provide feedback. So you tell the IT department to find something that can be implemented cheaply and quickly, and to let you know when it is up.
9. When an internal social business platform is deployed, you take the, “If you build it, they will come” approach. After all, you’ve heard that the development of social business processes at companies is organic to an extent, and you figure that users will start to use the new system in time, once they have a need for it.
10. You’re using external and internal social media platforms, but you aren’t using any social monitoring or measuring tools. But your gut is telling you that things are going well and that the organization is getting some return on investment.
Is your organization a social business? Are you a social business leader? How can you tell?