11 Questions for your Organization’s B2B / B2C Social Media Strategy:
There’s only one answer to the question, ‘which Social Media strategy / approach should we take?’
Why? Because every organization is different and every organization’s customer group is different. The Internet and Social Media have fragmented the market intensely, Complicating this further, Social Media is gradually devolving the traditional role of marketing and sales into the rest of the organization. These groups once believed they were in charge of the customer relationship.
Clearly, this is no longer the case thanks to the customer’s increasing encroachment into many parts of the organization via social media. Ask the Twitter Department at JetBlue:
It looks like almost the entire operation now has responsibility for the customer.
While JetBlue may be ahead of the curve, this is going to happen in many more organizations.
Incidentally, calling this phenomena “social media” limits understanding of its scope. I think it’s “Social Media Business Commerce” (SMBC). Unwieldy, but let’s call it that for now.
The real question about strategy should be:
What better questions do we need to answer in order to develop a corporate SMBC business plan?
Here’s my suggestion; ask these sort of Solution Focused questions:
What are we already doing well (and not so well) in social media, no matter where in the organization (internally/externally)? How did we mange to get there?
What are our various customer groups (within our ‘community’) doing well with SMBC? What will they be doing in the future?
Suppose we were serving the customer effectively with SMBC – what role would it take in the organization?
Suppose that our SMBC approach is a series of happy accidents from which we fearlessly learn – how would we capitalize on the learning?
How would our various functional groups use SMBC to collaborate among themselves on behalf of the customer and become more productive, efficient, etc.?
How would we be using SMBC to grow our bottom line (vs. react to it)?
What new tools / approaches would we need to take in order to make it work, e.g., policy, legal, etc. so they add value (vs. get in the way)?
How would we align our business metrics with SMBC metrics?
How would the organization know the CEO’s priorities for SMBC, especially as they evolve?
Suppose we constantly evaluated our SMBC strategy (vs. leaving it to the annual plan) – how would that help profitability?
Suppose the CEO mandated SMBC as people development strategy (vs. technology) – how would that help organizational effectiveness?
Where do we begin?
Step #1: Have everyone in the organization ask themselves:
What did we do to make the Internet work for us (after it first frightened us)?
Step #2: Begin with the first of the above questions.
One last point. Social media firms are largely driven by ad revenue. Like all tech revolutions, this is a bubble that will burst. But the sector will reshape and grow.
More on Solution Focus