By Mike Stiles on Sep 09, 2014
A social enabled enterprise is one that activates social media across every department to the effect of optimizing internal communication and improving customer experiences. Despite those clearly positive benefits, it calls for root changes in how organizations are structured. That’s why even today, the struggle to infuse social rages on.
An easier blog to write would be to call for corporate silos to come down. We’ve done that…a few times. But the reality is many of those silos have the permanence of Stonehenge. Silos work for somebody, and those somebodies are defending them to the death.
Does that mean social at such enterprises is a lost cause? Nope. Let’s say the silo walls stay up. Here are 8 steps to becoming a social enabled enterprise anyway.
1. Accept What’s Going On
Adopt a birds-eye view of what’s happening in marketing and what customers now expect from businesses. They don’t see your departments, nor do they care. In every interaction, it’s just you, and them. If one hub falls short, the WHOLE brand gets blamed.
2. Name Your Change Agent
A mighty leader needs to take the reins of this effort. Preferably someone charismatic, highly respected, and passionate about the benefits social integration will bring to the customer.
3. Task Force Time
This leader must organize a social task force, pulling in representatives from every silo that will be affected. Each member must be an ambassador to their silo, represent their department, and reach authentic buy-in.
Where are you headed? What does it look like when completed? How will it affect MY department? What does MY department have to gain from this? Each task force member should have a clear vision of the promised land.
5. What Can Your Tech Do?
Assess the tech tools and platforms each silo is using to achieve their goals. Knowing that people like to stay with what they’re used to, what social management platform has the ability to ramp up and integrate with most existing enterprise systems?
Even if they’ve worked there for 15 years (in fact especially if they’ve been there that long) re-onboard all staff around the organization’s new priority to customer interaction and relationship building via social.
7. Nurture & Protect
You know all the great work that’s been done to nurture and protect the silos? That same fervor must now also go toward maintaining social as the lifeblood of how information courses throughout the enterprise; how it’s distributed and tapped into. Social data + enterprise data = the heart.
8. Post a Lookout
At this stage, your change agent’s focus should shift toward monitoring and assessing oncoming trends and developments in social, content, and marketing so, as to keep the org from having to play catch-up.
If you can’t tear down corporate silos, you can at least lay social across the tops of those silos so improved connections result. Given how orgs are still struggling, even this cursory approach will likely place you in the upper percentile of enterprises best positioned to deliver on the promise of social business.