Social business, the change lies with the people

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Editor’s note: Today we’d like to introduce a new Zyncro Blog author, Billie Lou Sastre; we’re really delighted to have her on the team… Billie specializes in social media and in implementing 2.0 strategies. During her career in MRW as Social Media Manager among other responsibilities, she decided to create her own project, Par de Dos, a consultancy that helps companies to develop social media strategies integrated with their existing marketing plan. Welcome onboard, Billie 😉

The social revolution started some years ago with more evolved businesses adapting to the social business model, defined as:

“An organization that has put in place the strategy, technology and processes to systematically engage all individuals of its ecosystem (employees, customers, partners, suppliers) to maximize the co-created value”

An organizational change in the social media is essentially a challenge of leadership and business management, and not just about implementing technology; technology is the medium. To order to make a company social, you need to create mass collaboration processes that bring value to all stakeholders.

But are we truly prepared to be social companies? To be one, we need to:

 

  1. Serve the individual (internal and external). In others, really be aware of all the people who have contact with our company when preparing our strategic plan.
  2. Listen (inside and out). It is not enough to just remember them when defining our strategic plan, we need to learn to listen on all levels. To do that, social tools are extremely useful.
  3. Respond. It is another step forward; if we know how to listen, we gather all our stakeholders’ concerns, ideas, and contributions, we reply to them and start dialog, we can generate more value.
  4. Learn and evolve. Through active dialog with individuals, we can get important feedback on where we are and what we can do to improve. We need to demonstrate that active listening can be used to innovate.
  5. Become social. This entire process is optimized when we learn to become social companies, collaborate and co-create.

“A change that must be led by the company’s director and supported by all the managers”

Until now, many directors didnt understand the power of social media. They know that the company needs to be there, but they don’t know why, they don’t incorporate it into their business strategies.

We often hear of businesspeople who aren’t on the social networks through fear of expressing themselves openly. Others see them more as a sales and communication tool (generally unidirectional) in which they transfer their offline communication to online without any guide and with the sole purpose to increase sales or brand presence. Most of these companies do not have internal social structures and I can tell you that there is no one who has a social profile among the executive positions

Evolution towards a social business model is a long path. Few companies have adopted it fully as we go from an industrial culture to a post-industrial one. However, it is the future. When companies know how to feed off the enormous value of their contributors, employees, providers and customers, they will find themselves at a stage capable of generating inmeasurable value.

“Running a social company has a much deeper meaning. It requires a fundamental cultural change throughout the organization.

To be a social business, a business must be sincerely interested in listening to customers and empowering employees to have an open conversation with them. In this new business model, strict hierarchies are no longer valid. We cannot avoid “innovative spirits” and attitudes in all aspects of the organization, and of course, knowledge must flow in all directions and be driven by all people in this new company.

Social networks are only tools to interact with individuals, tools with an infinite power to transform relationships with customers, providers, employees and stakeholders, but if the company is not culturally prepared and does not incorporate this new philosophy within its business strategies, it is unlikely that these tools can be used for innovation and creating business value.