Social Optimization as part of Social Business Strategy

This presentation is a summary of slides from a three part class on social media strategy. It was designed for the particular audience, which was business school students and entrepreneurs. The last slide provides a basic exercise for getting started on building a stronger foundation for your social strategy. I am revising the second two parts (Social Media & Implementation) for a more general audience to upload shortly. The class name has since been updated to “Social Business Strategy.” Please feel free to contact me should you be interested in learning more about this class and supporting materials.

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Google Wave, starting up

I just started two waves on Google Wave about “Social Business Strategy” and “Collaborative Culture”. As the invites to the Google Wave beta only went out today, we will see if this wave grows. So far, no response and only four of my contacts are on there, but they are 10 time zones away. So, I invite you to join the wave if you are there and let me know who else is out there. I like the concept, but sure is hard to test when limited the invited test group.

Here’s the waves…

SOCIAL BUSINESS STRATEGY: Let’s define it together.

Applying social technologies to add value to your organisation requires cultural shifts for implementation to succeed. Leadership needs to be 100% committed and engaged in the process for it to succeed. Trust is critical. Monitoring and Measuring is important to get commited engagement and verify results for ROI both in time and money. The technologies are the tools, the people are what make social business strategy effective.

COLLABORATIVE CULTURE Currently working with the challenges in adapting hierarchical corporate cultures to one that is more collaborative to prepare for implementing social business strategy. Would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this topic.

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What is Social Strategy?

From "Why Social Security?" (1937)
After a week of teaching and presenting corporate workshops on Social Strategy, I am struck by the fresh untainted perspective of the university students and the entrepreneurs and the resistant fear of the larger corporate clients. I sift through from my favorite tweets and blogs, a few searches based on kernels and new thoughts. I allow myself to get “sucked in” in the name of research. I keep fighting with the semantics in my search. It must go beyond social media as a marketing tool, enterprise 2.0 as internal communications systems, and social enterprise CSR for directing public opinion. To be truly effective social strategy, it must include all these elements. I follow “social media optimization” (and “optimization”), “social strategy”, “social business”, “enterprise 2.0”, “knowledge sharing”, “knowledge management”, and more.

Thanks to Beth Kanter’s tweet I’m lead to, Antisocial: Why Corporate America Keeps Rejecting Social Media” by Geoff Livingston of CRT/Tanaka. Geoff talks about the five barriers: Control, Authenticity, Self-Promotion, Shiny Object Syndrome and Personal Brand Conundrums. I might add anti-social Corporate Culture (lack of trust) and not shared Vision to his list. All of these issues are easier to teach a student or easier to adapt for entrepreneurs, therefore giving them a clear edge. The follow up article was equally interesting: Top Five Organizational Silos” identified: CxO Suite, PR/Public Affairs, IT, Sales and Marketing /Donor Development, and Legal. With start ups these roles are already shared, so they find it easier to avoid (ie. The solos are not constructed in cement yet). I was finally getting to the content and conversations I wanted to hear more.

Social Business Design by Gurav Mishra of 20/20 Social

I come from a background in knowledge management (corporate) and learning management (education) where they are essentially same thing, just different names. I knew I had to dig deeper changing my semantics yet again to get what I wanted. So I hit it and was pleased to see others with the same evolution of thoughts. It is “Social Business Strategy.” Guarav Mishra of 20/20 Social phrased it very well in his article titled appropriately, “From Social Media Marketing to Social Business Strategy”. When working with companies on their social strategy, it often gets relegated to the Communications or Marketing departments otherwise thought of as “soft” side of business. It is a strategic decision to be social, and must be treated as part of the objectives of the organization. Social business strategy must be adopted organization wide if it is to be effective. It is not just about refining the communications and using new tools. It is a change in culture and how we do business both inside and outside our organizations. Jeremiah Owyang of Altimeter Groupdoes a nice job bullet pointing the areas of impact for social strategy in“Companies Must Plan Holistically For Social –Beyond Marketing

Of course, we come to the area that we all love, the return on investment, the impact on business performance and the future. Oliver Marks of ZDNet presents the issue of cultural adaptation to the collaborative model in his post on How To Sell Collaborative Business Performance Internally”. He stresses the importance of leadership and vision in creating success in his post “Social Business in Action – Establishing Excellence”. Identifying and the champions and ambassadors that will make the social change happen are important to recognize and treat as such. The vision that is expressed from the leadership should be clear, concise and something that the entire community can embrace. Entrepreneurs and students are social in nature, as a matter of survival. They often need the assistance in refining their goals and objectives so that they too can communicate their vision.

At least now I know what I need to call it, concise and clear: Social Business Strategy. Who else is working from this angle that we should follow?

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