Are you sitting on the social technologies launch pad, poised for takeoff? Already soaring in digital engagement? Or still working out how to build a starship?
Social technology adoption has more than doubled in the past two years, and leading enterprises are achieving a wide range of objectives from social capabilities (Source: IBM Business Tech Trends Study). But it’s a long way to the stars – and the path is not always clear.
According to a new study by the IBM Center for Applied Insights, “Charting the social universe: Social ambitions drive business impact,” a full 74 percent of executives agree that a social business is one that uses social technologies to foster collaboration among customers, employees and partners. Yet only 20 percent think their own organizations are currently acting truly social.
What’s holding these businesses back? Most executives recognize the potential of social technologies, but some aren’t sure where to start or how to advance their capabilities. In other words, they know where they want to go. What they don’t know is just how to get there.
At the frontiers of the social universe
So how are the pioneers tackling their journey to the stars?
Most forms of business change are gradual, and integrating social is no exception. Enterprises change over time, as they adapt to new internal and external stimuli. We discovered that the pioneers are evolving by deploying five distinct groups of social capabilities, each aimed at realizing a particular goal. They don’t pursue these “social ambitions” in any fixed order, though. Their individual circumstances dictate where they begin.
All aboard! 5 social ambitions
Drive internal and external collaboration
The social capabilities required to drive internal and external collaboration touch every part of the organization. This is probably why 41 percent of respondents have deployed them via cloud and 64 percent via mobile devices.
Build, educate and protect the workforce
Executives focusing on this ambition say coaching is one of the best ways of encouraging employees to use social tools for training, communicating policy and raising security awareness. They also practice what they preach: 82 percent use social networks to recruit new staff.
Understand and engage customers
Most enterprises concentrating on this goal track their progress via customer satisfaction surveys, customer retention and conversion rates and other such metrics. Showcasing the benefits is key: 30 percent recommend using success stories to drive adoption of these solutions.
Mine community expertise
Implementing the social capabilities needed to mine community expertise often involves working with a wider group of executives than is the case with other social ambitions. It also requires a more grassroots approach: 43 percent of respondents relied on employee evangelists to help kick-start the transition.
Improve business processes
Most early adopters have focused on incorporating social into financial processes or supply chain management processes. And they say it’s imperative to understand that embedding social isn’t just about bolting a few extra components onto an existing business process. It’s about making social capabilities an integral part of the underlying system: 43 percent of respondents told us their company systems are now set to automatically use social capabilities.
Watch the video
To learn more:
- Study link – http://www.ibm.com/ibmcai/SocialStudy
- Hear more from IBM about social capabilities – http://www.ibm.com/social
About the IBM Center for Applied Insights
The IBM Center for Applied Insights introduces new ways of thinking, working and leading. Through evidence-based research, the Center arms leaders with pragmatic guidance and the case for change.
–Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Social Media Strategist, IBM Center for Applied Insights