Social Media Strategy & Social Business Strategy

 

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You might ask yourself how is social media strategy in any way related to social business strategy? Is it because they both deal with social strategies? Maybe. But the key words here are media and business, which are two different things.

A social media strategy defines the relationships, their value, and sets out a plan to harness them to achieve a particular goal or set of goals. According to a report by Li and Solis, social media strategy lays out the channels, platforms and tactics to support publishing, listening, and engagement.

However, a social business strategy is social technologies, business values, processes, and practices unified to build relationships both within and outside the organization. Such a strategy is effective when there is an equal share of business goals and organizational support to deliver such goals.

Social Business Strategy Elements:  

In an altimeter report by Li and Solis, there are six basic elements or phases of development which result in a successful social business. These elements are planning, presence, engagement, formalized, strategic, and converged.

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Source: http://www.slideshare.net/Altimeter/the-evolution-of-social-business-six-stages-of-social-media-transformation

 

Planning: This stage is all about listening and learning. Understand how customers use social channels and determine customers’ behaviors. What do they want? What are they most likely after?

Presence: Here, we stake our claim. Use common social channels like Facebook and YouTube to develop a projection of traffic in regards to specific interests.

Engagement: In this stage, relationships are deepened through dialogs. Providing support, advice, or recommendations in a way of connecting and relating to customers. An example could be a heating and refrigeration company providing customers with simple tips to prolonging appliances and getting the most of out it.

Formalized: Basically, setting governance for social, while also maintaining professional organization work. Maintain a parallel level of coordination between employees and executives to ensure that whatever is going on online, customer relations, is given the same treatment as to within the organization itself.

Strategic: This element involves scaling or connecting across all business units such as human resources, sales, finance, and supply chain.

Converged: Integrate social into the business strategy, leaving the business fully socialized.

Through these levels is what produces a social business. But how can the maturity of a social business strategy be assessed? Assessing the maturity of a social business is done by using the elements mention above as guidelines. With these elements, a business can be able to identify its current status in regards to social implementation.

 

Success Factors:     

Along with all this, is list of success factors of a social business strategy which include:

  1. Goals – a business strategy is defined by the business’s main goals
  2. Vision – with a business goal, there are also visions of what the business will be in the coming years. Thus, providing a focus on strategy.
  3. Support – support within the organization, especially from managers to employees,  is essential
  4. Strategy – planning ahead and having strategic roadmap will assist an organization to achieve its goals.
  5. Guidelines – clear and direct rules and guidelines are key to ensuring everyone knows what to do and how to do it under any circumstances.
  6. Staff – look ahead and plan what is best for the staff and encourage skill improvements so the business is prepared for social implementation.
  7. Invest – careful selection of technology is to be done after considering strategies.

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Source: http://pt.slideshare.net/TouchstoneCRM/6-executing-a-social-crm-strategy 

 

 

Thank You for reading…Remember to like, share, or comment…

 

References:

[Report] The Evolution of Social Business: Six Stages of Social Media… (n.d.). Retrieved May 26, 2016, from http://www.slideshare.net/Altimeter/the-evolution-of-social-business-six-stages-of-social-media-transformation
The 7 Success Factors of Social Business Strategy [INFOGRAPHIC] – Brian Solis. (n.d.). Retrieved May 26, 2016, from http://www.briansolis.com/2015/04/7-success-factors-social-business-strategy-infographic/
6 executing a social crm strategy. (n.d.). Retrieved May 2,6 2016, from http://www.slideshare.net/TouchstoneCRM/6-executing-a-social-crm-strategy

Online Communities and Communities of Practice

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A community, as we know it, is  a social unit of any size that shares a common value, situated in a given geological area, or connected by durable relations. This builds the relationship which gives each individual a sense of social identity and practice.

But this is just a community in general. What about an online community or a community of practice?

Online Community:   Community

An online community is made up of a network of people who communicate with one another online using interactive tools such as emails, forums, chat rooms, and discussion boards. It provides a place where real-world communities have the ability to interact easier and more accessible. In a business, online communities have the power to create and retain productive relationships. These days, online communities are a major asset in business industries.

Community of Practice:     mainpage-image

A community of practice, on the other hand, is a group  of people who share a common passion for something they do. They interact with one another to learn how to do such things better. In other words, as explained by Wenger- Traynor, a community of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly. A very good example is Mighty Car Mods (my previous post). In a community of practice, there are three defining characteristics or elements.

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The first one is the domain. A community of practice has an identity defined by a domain of interest. In this domain, commitments are done in forms of membership and therefore distinguishes its members from other people. However, a domain of interests is not recognized as an expertise outside the community.

The second characteristic is the community. Members of the community engage in joint activities, discussions, and exchange information to help one another. But this doesn’t necessarily have to be on a daily basis. Some members may choose to meet in cafes or studios. Some may decide to have discussions on a specific day of the week.

The last characteristic is practice. A community of practice is not merely a community where people have simple conversations about favorite foods or hobbies. The members are practitioners, and they share solutions to  problems, strategies, tools, and personal experiences to assist one another in addressing a specific issue.

According to Wenger-Traynor, it is the combination of these characteristics which constitutes a community of practice. Having these 3 characteristics balanced results in such a community.

Difference: 

So how is an online community different from a community of practice?

Unlike a community of practice which requires membership, an online community is accessible, both sites and  information, and open to anyone online, thus creating a limitless number of participants. Online communities are more internet based, resulting in a wide geographical diversity of members. However, in a community of practice, it is mostly physical interactions and meetings.

Benefits and Limitations: Below is an outline of how online communities and communities of practice have benefits as well as limitations in regards to businesses.

Community of Practice:

Benefits

  • Communication and knowledge sharing
  • Wide range of expertise
  • Easy to gain information from different perspectives

Limitations

  • Conflict with hierarchy orders
  • Time consuming
  • Tendency to keep or share information

Online Community:

Benefits:

  • Cheap marketing
  • Easy to gain and retain customers
  • Form relationships/ partnerships

Limitations:

  • Information Vulnerability
  • Business credibility
  •  Security

 

References

Introduction to communities of practice. (n.d.). Retrieved May 25, 2016, from http://wenger-trayner.com/introduction-to-communities-of-practice/

Mighty Car Mods – A social media perspective

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Love cars? Are you a car enthusiast or simply enjoy modifying mad cars? Then you, my friend, will love Mighty Car Mods! You don’t need to have expensive, fancy, or powerful cars to have fun. Mighty Car Mods gives you an opportunity to embrace both you and your car in ways unimaginable through the MCM car community. Interested? Let me first tell you about Mighty Car Mods.

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Retrieved from https://mightycarmods.com/

Now, you may have heard about it, seen stickers on panels, windows, or bumpers, because MCM is more popular than you can imagine. Mighty Car Mods, proudly supported by Just Car Insurance, is an independent automotive film series created by two friends, Marty and Moog. It started back in 2007 in Australia when these two friends started filming cars in Marty’s mom’s driveway. At first, the idea was to make a car show called “Clean & Green Car”, which was meant to be a blog focusing on economical and sustainable Japanese cars. But when their first video hit 307 views on the first week on YouTube, it served as a sign that they have given the world a whole new level of car modifications. These days, millions of people watch MCM each week. According to their official website, MCM series now sees up to 3 million views per week, making it the #1 automotive channel in Australia and #1 DIY automotive channel in the world. One of their video series, “Lend us a ride” has since been licensed by Quantas Airlines and appears on their flights domestically and internationally.

Unbelievable right? This is why I have chosen to dedicate this blog post to MCM and describe the ways that they use social media to share their voice, videos, and creativity with the world.

Social Medias Used:      download (3)

MCM is involved in just about any social media platform. They have a Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, Google +, Flickr, YouTube, and Wiki. They even have discussion forums, email sharing, and magazines. The social media platforms they use are active and updated regularly. Facebook and YouTube are the most active ones. Replies to comments are done straight away and more information is provided once asked for.

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Source: Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/mightycarmods/

 

Here are some MCM statistics from some platforms:

fb-art   : 1, 040, 423 plus Likes

instagram_logo_0  : 192K followers

YouTube  : A range of 1 million plus views per video and more than 1 million subscribers

download : 27.9K followers

The Four C’s: 

Along with the types of social medias Mighty Car Mods uses, I will also share how Niall Cook’s 4 c’s – Communication, Collaboration, Cooperation, and Connection – are also key concepts in MCM.

Mighty Car Mods mainly focuses on sharing automotive creativity with the world. In regards to Cook’s concepts, this is  a form of connection. However, in a way, it can also be looked at as a form of cooperation, which according to Cook, is more aimed at sharing information and content. I have elaborated above on how they utilize social media platforms and how effective MCM reaches out. Connection is the key concept in MCM which ensures everyone in the community remains connected and updated. And with connection, information sharing is made possible, hence cooperation.

With the ability to connect,  MCM uses social media such as Facebook to communicate with and update followers. They post information about new DIY projects coming up and updates on videos being edited or uploaded to YouTube. Once you subscribe to YoutTube or follow on Facebook, you get notifications whenever something comes up. Here is a video as an example. Marty and Moog posted on Facebook that they were sitting in a carpark and they want to lend a car. At exactly 57 seconds later, honestly 57 seconds, cars started rumbling into the area.

MCM also does a lot of collaborative techniques. Recently, followers on Facebook were asking who is responsible for editing the videos before they were uploaded to Facebook. Moog answered, basically saying that the decisions relate to the cars, and sometimes it is voluntary. If it was his car or his idea of a mod, he’ll be doing most of the editing. Sometimes, they help each other doing bits of everything. They take turns filming, editing, or carrying out the mods. One might do this bit, and the other comes in and does the rest.  They have been doing so for 10 years that it is almost impossible to differentiate their editing styles.

Thinking about the purpose MCM has on the world and its followers, it can also be related to a concept of collaboration. From MCM, Marty and Moog does the filming, demonstrates the mods, and uploads it. Then the viewers will see the techniques demonstrated in the videos, learn how to do it, and apply it to their own.

S.O.C.I.A.L  Approach:      images (1)

With the effective use of social media in MCM, they are scalable, open, consistent, intuitive, active, and limitless.

MCM is scalable: They have regular updates on their social media sites. Viewers/ followers can receive offers such as MCM products or behind the scenes specials to the mods. Through this, MCM easily retains its followers and attracts thousands more at the same time.

MCM is open: MCM is not just about Marty and Moog sharing knowledge about mad mods. MCM includes both its creators and audiences in every way. For example, not only does the audience watch what MCM decides to share, but MCM also listens to what the audience wants and considers it. Recently on their latest episode that came out, “The $3000 turbo car challenge“, they prepared the cars for the battle and asked the audience what sorts of events or obstacles they want to see the cars go through. They don’t always make the decisions. Because of how open MCM is,  the followers also have a say.

MCM is consistent: You get what you expect  and when you expect from MCM. Followers are chained to the fact that they get what they want. MCM is all about modifying cars and that’s exactly what each video delivers. Whenever a project was being carried out, updates on the release date is posted on Facebook, informing the followers when to expect the next video release. And when the day comes, MCM lives up to the expectations.

MCM is intuitive: Type in “Mighty car mods” in any web browser and you will easily get to their official website. Filled with all their videos, products, and an easy navigation throughout the whole site.

MCM is active: As soon as a post hits their page, especially Facebook, it triggers and maintains a set of conversations between both MCM and followers.

MCM is limitless: There are things MCM does that you wouldn’t even think about doing. Their mods can start from just being cheap to absolutely creative and adaptive. When it is time for a change, they never neglect their willingness to expand their limits.

To conclude, Mighty Car Mods uses and implements social media effectively. Even though MCM is mostly Marty and Moog, there is a whole community of car enthusiasts that are supporting the team. They’ve started out as just something fun to do on the weekends to being #1 in the automotive channels and worldwide DIY modifications.

 

References:

Niall Cook – Entrepreneur, author, and consultant. (n.d.). Retrieved May 20, 2016, from http://www.niallcook.com/

Mighty Car Mods | Official Website Blog Stickers DVD’s Shirts and more. (n.d.). Retrieved May 20, 2016, from https://mightycarmods.com/

Cam Findlay. (n.d.). Retrieved May 20, 2016, from http://www.camfindlay.com/blog/the-4c-s-in-the-wild-silverstripe-open-source-community/

 

Cook’s 4 c’s and Cisco’s Approach

What come’s to your mind when you hear “The 4 c’s of social software”? I’m sure you instantly think about something being all technology related or social media. In fact, you’re right. It does has a lot to do with social media. The 4 c’s are actually known to most people as Cook’s 4 c’s Approach. This is basically a guide, model, or a framework which assists organizations in choosing the right social tools when they integrate social media into the enterprise. So what are those 4 c’s?

The 4 c’s are simply:

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Communication: Communication platforms enable people to carry out conversations either in forms of text, image, voice, video, or a combination of these. Communication is also a crucial tool in a business because it transfers information from employee to employee, carrying out daily tasks at the most effective way possible. Recall back when we had to physically deliver information in the workplace. A simple message could take an amount of time to deliver from one end to the other. But today, with social media implementation, information delivery is instantaneous, which gives employees more time to do other tasks and the entire business becoming more productive.

Collaboration: Collaboration is the idea of efforts being coordinated among a group of people with a common goal. These days, countless softwares allow user collaboration and in terms of the advantage, businesses which implement these collaborative technologies benefit from it.  Examples of collaboration are wikis, community software developers, and much more. To have collaboration in terms of a workplace, it is obvious that this will boost the business performance.

Cooperation: Cooperation for some people, may be considered as “helping” in general. In this concept, employees contribute and assist each other in a specific task to reach an assigned goal. Sometimes these are done in forms of tasks being split into subtasks, allowing the main goal to be achieved faster but have less stress on the workers. Imagine this concept being put to use in the workplace. Of course, not all businesses are the same. For some, adding more people to a specific task will complicate the whole situation while on the other hand, adding more people means less working time.

Connection: As obvious as it is, connection provides interaction among two or more employees in different ways. Think about your Facebook. You connect to other people and there forms the interaction. In the workplace, social media has been proving to be an effective tool for a good business performance. It encourages open communication, ensures everyone has a voice and can be heard, and most important of all, gives a sense of trust and belonging among both the manager and the employees.

A good example of a company implementing all of this is CISCO. They have an approach in which they call “The S.O.C.I.A.L Approach”. In this approach:

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means scalable, which relates to the need of crafting your social media posts to enable growth and constant supply of value. This involves daily updates and offers that retain audience engagement and also attract more.

O means open, which is the ability to demonstrate good leadership and lead from the top by encouraging participation in an open and transparent manner. Think of it as following a blog. The blogger shares knowledge to the followers in forms of posts while the followers follow the posts with hopes to learn something new.

C means consistent. This is the concept with the idea that the person posting the content is doing so in a quality, regular manner. This also relates to a blog. Followers wish to get what they expect. So if a blogger is supposed to blog weekly or the posts are not of quality, this may result in having lesser followers.  Consistency is the key.

means intuitive. Every business wants a good impression on its customers. When a business website can’t be found due to poor connectivity or navigation methods, it could lead to less public recognition. Businesses aim for the public to notice them so it is crucial to encourage social media through employees which in turn, will spread it to the public, giving the business a familiar and excellent customer impression.

A means active. Be active in creating and sharing information to initiate and retain conversations. This shows the business’s passion with their work.

L means limitless, which is to be flexible with social media and willing to make changes based on executives comfort and consideration to the target market. This is like using different social media platforms to ensure delivery of a diverse range of contents to audiences.

So is implementing social media into the workplace a good idea based on these concepts? I sure do think so. This will then place a challenge on the employees to deal with complex environmental changes and developments (also known as their personal knowledge management).

“Yes” or “No” to Social Media in the workplace?

Do you remember back in the late 90’s when life seemed very simple? News travels either by the local radio channel or people talking. Back then, things were so simple that trust and social interactions were not things that we have second thoughts about. Of course on a day-to-day basis, there may be some gossips, but it’s like it never mattered as much as it does these days. Now that social media is adopted in almost every inch of the world, words become painful, trust is almost impossible to gain, and everyone else is just more self-centered. So is it safe to say that social media may be giving us instant communication but also driving us apart? Something to think about.

Let’s start with families at home, surrounded by their neighbors, friends, and even other family members of the same community. Don’t you think that things were more social back then compared to how we are these days? I remember my family and other relatives in the community on how we used to gather almost every weekend and have small family parties, enjoy delicious meals together, and just be social with one another. Having such ability to come together as one, our society functions effectively. We had trust among us and say in terms of social capital (figure 1), the community does function effectively.

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But what about in the workplace? I’ve had some past experiences with how employers deal with social media and let me tell you, it is quite surprising sometimes. One time I was working with our government’s national archives division and employees were not permitted to use any form of social media during work hours. Our division director even hired a computer networking group to get into our system and block such sites. The idea is that he does not want his employees to be spending too much time online rather than doing the work. So what happens is that whenever us employees have issues or suggestions, we take it right up to the director’s office. In terms of digital, we used simple emails just to get documents through.

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Now from what I’ve studied so far in this paper, I do believe that a workplace without interaction is not a workplace at all. And that is what I experienced with the job I mentioned above. We rarely interact with fellow employees or even the boss himself. You just stay in your office and if called upon, then that’s when you get to talk.

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In comparison to my most recent job, things were done very differently. I was working with a computer repairs company and our boss had opposite ways of managing. There were only a few of us employees, since it is a private company, and most of the time we work together as a team. We were ENCOURAGED to use social media to keep in contact at all times, with fellow employees and the boss of course, and introduce our services to the general public. I saw that using social media to promote the business was greatly effective that posting flyers. Few days later into the job and I felt like I was home. I can walk up to the boss and talk anytime I want. We can even share jokes and teach one another new things. To me, it’s like working with friends, learning together and doing what we love. Interactions were so good and everyday after 5, all of us sit down for 30 minutes, sharing new ideas, suggestions, or even recommendations for the next day. Everyone gets to have a say in everything! In the end, trust was earned among us. Oh and on the weekends, we would go for picnics, have a few beers and enjoy the beautiful beaches. Now what better social capital can there be?

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Social media is great for organizations but as long as there is TRUST to mitigate issues like information safety, nothing can go wrong. Some employers may see things differently, probably due to culture and keeping with the traditional ways. However, all we can do is keep introducing the benefits to social media implementation and hopefully things will improve as time goes. Here is a quick video of how social media help both the employees and the business itself.