I am sure you must have heard the following trends and right now you might be distracted from one of your favorite social networking site to read my message. Someone told me that the attention span has dramatically reduced to 8 seconds. 8 seconds is really nothing!
While we have a clear purpose to connect to our family, friends and even strangers out there on the social network, we barely talk or connect to our own colleagues. We understand that it just does not happen on its own, organizations need to identify their internal social health status and slowly but steadily move towards becoming a fully networked organization. Most organizations are dismally disconnected. Some are partially connected and very few are fully networked organizations.
The value of social network platform is contingent on your industry, your market, and most importantly your corporate goals. A well-managed social listening strategy should be pursued for particular business objectives directly tied to all business purposes such as marketing, sales, finance, legal, customer service, PR, or HR.
Public social listening services, such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram etc comprise large and complex networks of people who are self-organised into groups and communities based on their personal and professional interests. People connect directly with other people to build a personal and professional network. They can also join groups and communities that are organized around attributes such as products, lifestyles, entertainment, institutions, politics, and geographic locations. You know it, you are part of many such groups yourself, aren’t you?
But did you know that many businesses and many potential competitors of yours are using the similar Friend-of-a-Friend (FOAF) model to enable interactions beyond direct connections? Trust is a function of connection proximity – the closer you are, the more trusted you are. Information, both positive and negative, can spread geometrically through a FOAF network. Consider it word of mouth that travels at the speed of light.
A couple years ago McKinsey had started a series of interesting series around networked organisations. what it measured was the collective impact of internal as well as external network performance of organisations. Most organisations lacked that and were clearly seeing death-in-the-face. In fact many organisations did not survive and most will have to change should they want to continue to entice the social consumer. But interesting things started happening since 2012, social became more and more pervasive, economic malaise pushed organisations, employees and consumers to do more with less and therefore get smarter. Meaning we all went to the web! Whether it was to buy a car, an insurance, a vacation or even simple grocery shopping. Of course some organisations did not sit still (see survey courtesy McKinsey below). Did you also know that McKinsey itself is massively disrupting the high-end strategy consulting market by bringing in self-serviceable web-based management consulting tools to their clients?
When some of these organisations started adopting social technologies to both internal (employees) and external (customers), they noticed a dramatic increase in speed and efficiency that enabled employees to work smoothly across cross-functional domains. They also saw an increase in collective learning and organisational development was not only noticeable but also continuous. It was in motion! And lastly but probably the most important was that organisations developed strong and sophisticated understanding of their customer needs! This is a gold mine when it comes to competitiveness.
But anyways, enough about those organizations, where is your organisation in its journey towards digital transformation?
What is a fully networked organization? Keeping in mind of your 8-second attention span, I simply drew this venn diagram and hopefully you get the picture! In other articles I will start explaining about other individual domains, for now this should do it.
- Social platforms facilitates the creation and sharing of user-generated content. In the past couple of years, social platform services have experienced explosive growth; consumers, meaning you and I, are flocking to services such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest.
- Social platforms are ubiquitous, so should your social strategy be! Consumers can access social networking services from their laptops, smartphones, tablets, and video game consoles. This ease of access and obviously intense individual connectedness has further fuelled adoption.
- Businesses – weather for profit or non-profit, need to understand that social networking is an integral part of their customers’ lives. They should be of your organisations as well. It may have started with the younger generation, tech-savvy geeks, but adoption of social networking services has been occurring across a broad range of demographics.
- Don’t make assumptions about your target customers’ use of social networking. Check customer preferences for social media with hard data. Erroneously assuming your customers “don’t do social” can be a disastrous mistake.
- Get started with your digital transformation strategy today! Measure your organizations’ digital competence, ensure your digital literacy is sufficient and embark on your hyper-connected digital transformation program.
Next blog we will ponder about social networking patterns and how they can be used within enterprises to generate interest, improve brand likability for both your employees and customers alike and fuel adoption.