The recently released eBook by Brian Solis and Charlene Li, The Seven Success Factors of Social Business Strategy, addresses problems and provides solutions for enterprise organizations that are using disjointed tactics, rather than a cohesive strategy, when employing social media initiatives.
While this eBook is most appropriate for the enterprise organization, the strategic advice within provides a solid framework with a foundation in long-term business objectives that are applicable to businesses of any size. The reader will find guidance to create a strategic plan with defined goals, guidelines and processes that will scale a cohesive social media strategy that is tied to real business results.
The eBook contained detailed processes for strategic development with a few core themes throughout. Here are my top takeaways from the eBook:
Tie KPIs to Business Objectives
A focus on business objectives was the most consistent theme throughout the eBook. An early defining moment was a suggestion to "…stay away from the general (and ultimately not very useful) question, 'What is the ROI of social media?'“
Instead, focus on long-term and company-wide business objectives and how social media can be used as a tool to help carry out these objectives in a more effective manner.
Executive Support is Essential
Without executive support, budgets, head count and prioritization will be a regular battle that puts the social strategy (or lack thereof) on the hot-seat during budgetary discussions. Connecting the social media strategy with business objectives is key to winning and maintaining support.
Use an executive scorecard or dashboard to measure social media results and evaluate against tangible business results. This process will establish your business objectives as the "North Star" of the social media strategy, rather than "shares," "likes" or more cursory social media KPIs.
Scale With a Social Media Center of Excellence (CoE)
Developing a hub, or CoE, as a process and policy authority allows organizations to scale a coherent strategy and consistent experience across business units. A lack of governance, organization and vision creates chaos among employees and customers. Use the steps in the eBook to develop a CoE to scale social media initiatives throughout the organization.
Engage Industry Experts to Jumpstart and Maintain a Cutting-Edge Strategy
Employing external industry experts is especially important for enterprise organizations. These advisors don't have the burden of internal administrative duties that stifle education and strategic evolution. Employing industry experts is the easiest way for medium and large organizations to jumpstart and maintain a cutting-edge strategy over the long-term.
Strategic Development is a Journey, Not a Destination
There are far too many moving pieces in a social media strategy to just work the same process over and over again. Business objectives change, social media tools evolve and customer expectations rise with regularity. Start with the unique and inspired goals of your business and develop a cohesive strategy that is organized across business units. Be sure to constantly realign the strategy towards the most direct path to success.
Use the eBook The Seven Success Factors of Social Business Strategy to get started on a cohesive social media strategy that accomplishes long-term business objectives at your enterprise organization.