By Mike Stiles on Dec 17, 2013
Today’s post comes from Jack Newton, Dir. of Outbound Product Management & Strategy for Oracle Social Cloud. He shares some results from Oracle’s Socially Enabled Enterprise study which looks through the eyes of more than 900 Marketing and IT leaders at how organizations are leveraging social technologies and practices around the world.
With 72% of adult Internet users in the U.S. being active on at least one social network, you can’t ignore social’s power to shape your brand. But driving engagement should just be the starting point – not the destination.
When social capabilities are woven into the fabric of daily business operations - from consumer marketing and sales, to customer service and research, to employee communications and collaboration – social has the potential to go far beyond building brand awareness to the transformation of the organization. Creating better customer experiences, enabling more responsive internal networks and driving organizational efficiencies are just some of the paybacks.
With all of the potential benefits, it’s time to resolve to make 2014 the year of the Socially Enabled Enterprise.
Resolution 1 – Dedicate Yourself to the Cause
Chances are that your organization aspires to be socially enabled since 97% of Marketing and IT leaders surveyed say it's part of their strategic agenda.
There are several reasons why you should be prepared to get more social. Consider:
- Enterprises are increasing their investment in social platforms. Eight in ten believe their organizations will increase their social business application investment over the coming year.
- More funding for social may be available. A sizable number of Marketers and IT leaders (48% and 35%) believe that it will be easier to get funding for social business initiatives over the next 12 months.
- Get ready to grow your staff. More than half of IT and Marketing leaders indicate that the size of their respective departments will grow over the next 12 months.
If you’re already well on the way, then challenge yourself to build upon the success that you’ve experienced. If you’re just getting started, assess where you are today and create a roadmap for where you want to head.
Resolution 2 – Use Social for More Than Just Marketing
Sharing what you’re learning from social listening may inspire you and your peers to think about new and better ways to serve customers.
Today almost half of study respondents use insights from social within their department to learn informally. Some of the top ways that study respondents anticipate that they will use insights derived from social platforms in the future include:
- Integration into customer care initiatives (60%)
- Leverage departmentally to help impact goals (62%)
- Inform product and R&D efforts (45%)
When it comes to R&D and new product development today, organizations outside of the U.S. are significantly more likely to use social business insights: Non-U.S. at 38.6% compared to 29.5% for U.S.
Resolution 3 – Celebrate Success
Now you’re on board and have some insights and goals in place. What should you do if others don’t share the same excitement around socially enabling the organization?
First, don’t feel discouraged. It could just be you are outpacing the ability of the organization to adapt. According to the study, 43% Marketing and IT leaders believe it will take their companies more than a year to leverage social business activities throughout their organizations.
One way to kick start social is to resolve to make showing progress a priority; Set some concrete objectives, champion them departmentally at first, and then work your way up the chain of command so others can see what successes you are having. Keep an eye out for opportunities to achieve some quick wins. A succession of quick wins goes a long way toward building momentum and shows commitment. Early success often earns you freedom to try more with social.
Start the Year Off Right
Start the year off on solid ground by immediately leveraging social. Listen to what's being said by your customers, prospects, influencers, competitors and detractors on social networks. Use what you learn to guide your company’s efforts in marketing, sales, product development, human resources, customer support and more. Your competitors are doing it. And if you don't, 2014 may be a year when they pass you by.
So say goodbye to 2013 and make 2014 the year you become the catalyst to make your company a socially enabled enterprise!