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Social Technology and Business Decisions

The real business challenge with the Social Web isn’t social media itself, but rather its relationship to the business or organizational processes that create the experiences that are talked about in the first place. Understanding how your internal processes drive the conversations that circulate on the Social Web—and how social analytics can be used to inform business decisions and potential process changes that relates to them—is the hinge point in moving to a social business.

Create a Social Business Part I of this book started with the engagement processes and the ways in which interaction and participation with social content can connect your audience with your brand (for better or for worse!). Built into the engagement process is a recognition of the new role of the customer, now much more of a participant in the marketplace and increasingly in the businesses and organizations that serve it

The key to combining listening data, obtained via support forums and similar applications, and other information gathered through direct connection with your customers is that this needs to be connected to your business strategy and the processes that surround it. In other words, traditional marketing is largely focused on market study (both pre and post) that informs a message. Listening—in the simple sense— conveys back to you the degree to which that message was consistent with the actual Social Media Marketing


It is important to understand the requirement for collaboration in creating a social business: Otherwise, it’s easy to fall into the trap of “this (Social CRM) is the same as what we’ve been doing…only now our customers are a formal part of it.” The problem with this kind of thinking is not that there aren’t analogies to existing processes—there are, just as there would be in any business process evolution. Rather, it’s because the “same as…” is exactly the excuse used to avoid substantive change inside your firm or organization, an excuse that inertial forces within will desperately seek.

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