To continue the theme of talking about readiness to adopt Social Business, let's take a deeper dive into the culture element that was highlighted in the HBR article "Taking Social Media from Talk to Action". "Many organizations seem to operate under old paradigms, viewing social media as one-way flow marketing messages, instead of capitalizing on the opportunity to monitor, analyze, and participate in the millions of conversations between consumers" In my opinion, there are two main drivers to this:
- Companies are not listening to what is being said about them
- Employees are not given 'permission' to engage in a dialog with customers because the perceived risk is too high
To the second point above, let's say that companies have established a listening capability. Typically, Social Media managers will monitor the conversations and route them to the appropriate employee for engagement. Are your employees ready to engage (beyond the small number of external communications professionals)? Have they been given 'permission' to speak on behalf of their company by their management? Are they adequately trained? Do they know where to go for help and support if required? On the surface, this also looks easy ... but in reality it takes culture change. It requires trust and a willingness to accept risk (with appropriate mitigation in place like training).
It easy to leverage social within the boundaries of the old paradigm, but that's not Social Business. It's a journey, but the rewards can be significant.