At the close of our month of Social Business, our expert contributors discussed the secrets of successful deployment, navigating the ecosystem and SEO primers.
Viviana Faga (@vivfaga): There's so much about social business software that's brilliantly intuitive and self-explanatory, it's tempting to think that deployment should be a no-brainer. Just give people the tools, and things will take care of themselves, right?
Er…no. However compelling the technology, the leap to social entails something of a cultural shift. Ingrained habits, established work patterns, mistaken expectations and the all-too-human resistance to change (no matter how beneficial the change is) are just a few of the institutional forces that can hamper adoption and usage. Ignore these realities and you risk disappointing results.
With that in mind, here are a few proven principles to ease the transition, minimize discomfort, ensure buy-in and drive substantial benefits from your social business software.
Chris Bucholtz (@bucholtz): When businesses talk about Social CRM, those discussions often devolve to a discussion of technology — which is completely understandable. There’s no one turn-key Social CRM application out there, so a truly complete Social CRM solution is going to involve several technology components — CRM, social measurement and monitoring tools, sales enablement applications and the integration needed to make them all work together.
But if there’s one common hazard that lays CRM efforts low, it’s the inclination to view it as an IT issue. Selecting the right tools is not an IT effort — at least not initially. It needs to be based around business needs first, with the IT department acting as a partner to ensure that the solutions that meet the business needs satisfy the technology, financial and compliance needs of the business as well as possible.
From there, however, CRM lives and dies on the behavior of the people who use it. If there’s executive support for it, if it’s evangelized internally, if the reasons for its use are effectively explained, and if the early wins scored through its use are broadcast through the entire organization to help encourage future wins, there’s a good chance CRM will take root. The philosophy of CRM is crucial for the technology of CRM to succeed.
Billy Cripe (@billycripe): Social media strategists are often separated from the SEO and web teams. This is unfortunate because they seek the same goals — awareness of the website and engagement with the audience. SEO has evolved as a sophisticated but largely separate discipline from social media and community development. As a result the social media strategist is often left out of the loop when it comes to SEO best practices.
To remedy this problem we’ve put together a list of basic SEO concepts and how they are impacted by social media. Incorporate these simple concepts into the fabric of how your social teams work. Make sure your SEO teams understand why the social teams are interested in their work. They’re not looking to take over — they’re looking to boost the effectiveness and output of SEO.
Rob Howard (@robhoward): Social media webinars. Web 2.0 books for beginners. Social business conferences. Blogs on how to build a successful online community. These are all things that people and companies are doing to keep up with the ever-changing world of social; however, many organizations still struggle to understand what exactly social is and how it fits into an organization’s overall business objectives.
To put things into perspective, let’s talk about the “Social Ecosystem.” The Social Ecosystem is a tool we use to help customers understand how they should approach social technology. It is the universe of all the different social connections that are available to organizations — a network of people who participate in social.
Three different layers make up the social ecosystem. Your organization needs to have a strategy in place for each of these layers.