Buzzwords get thrown around a lot in our industry. You’ll hear people say, “I’m a social media guru,” or “Let’s talk about social ROI,” or “Engagement and organic conversations are the key,” and just roll your eyes and look away.
The honest problem with buzzwords is that they start out innocent enough and retain their truthfulness and benefits long after their meanings have been tarnished by overuse. It’s true that you should strive to create honest, transparent conversations with your target markets and striving to achieve a measurable, financial return on the investment a business makes in social activities is not a bad thing. (I’m not going to touch the “guru” one, let’s just all pretend that doesn’t exist, m’kay?)
The problem comes in when the negative connotations behind buzzwords cause people to lose faith in the positive foundational structure that allowed it to disseminate into the culture in the first place.
I’ve noticed some backlash with social media and the term “Social Business” lately, so I wanted to take this opportunity to strip away the candy shell and explore what really holds this idea up as a sustainable practice.
Social = Digital = Transparent = Communicative
What is it that we’re really saying when we say a business needs to make the transition to a social business? Well, ideally, we are saying that internal processes need to be adjusted to account for the accessibility of information and communication though digital channels. Whether those adjustments come in the form of interdepartmental lines of communication being cleaned up or completely tearing down institutional legacy barriers between organizational silos, the essence is that the way companies interact and communicate with customers in order to influence sales and brand sentiment is different today that it was 5-10 years ago and companies need to adjust for that fact.
So, in essence we are saying that companies need to be open to adopting and incorporating digital practices into their business functions. Companies must revisit their organizational structures, capabilities and resources and strategically and effectively integrate new practices based on external and internal communications to those. This integration can range from strategy, to CRM systems, to brand identity, to development and production, to data mining, content creation and all the way to executive leadership.
It’s never as simple as just hiring an intern and saying “Go do Facebook.”
So yes, in a matter of thinking, we are all transition agents in this process, using our expertise and experience to help others make these changes until they are willing and able to continue the practices on their own. But even more than that, here at SocialCRMInfo.com, we are hoping to educate you on the importance and overall trends that cause these transitions to be necessary.
Sure, you’ll have to upgrade some systems, but why do those systems need to be updated and what purposes will they now point to/replace from the old model? That’s what we’re here to discover. We have tools that will help you in this process and this growing resource is here to help you learn about this transition, but ultimately, we’re talking foundational support here, and all businesses are supported by the bottom line.
It always comes back to money, and that’s the real issue here. People are changing the way they are buying and learning about things and if you’re not actively and objectionably putting your company into that stream of communication, you’ll lose that support and all the buzzwords on the planet won’t be able to save you at that point.
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