I have been on a mission to help senior management teams at Fortune 500 companies learn about the power of real-time social media. It hasn't been easy. There are still so many misconceptions about what social media is; why it's changing everything (really? yes, really); and how to get on board.
A corporate officer of a large multinational bank recently said to me, "It's as if there is a red line drawn down the middle of the organization. On one side are those who 'get' social media and the importance of becoming a social enterprise. On the other side are those who simply don't. And it's starting to affect our productivity and business results."
Bringing the 'other side' to the table is the next big wave inside Fortune 500 organizations. This is one of the biggest management undertakings ever -- bigger than pay for performance; bigger than quality management; bigger than Six Sigma; certainly bigger than sustainability. This is the grand-daddy of them all. Here's what you need to know for 2013:
1. BEYOND MARKETING. The true social enterprise is so far beyond marketing, it isn't even funny.
a. The social enterprise means Finance, Human Resources, Operations, Communications, Customer Service, Information Technology, Sales, and then Marketing are affected.
b. 'Going Social' means you need to start thinking about the organizational ecosystem as a whole, not the free-standing silos that plague most companies now. Social media impacts the entire organization. This is a good thing, because properly constructed and executed, it has the ability to help grow the organization internally and externally as well.
c. Social media activities need to support the business strategy. Audit Social media marketing and social customer service for best practices and lessons learned. They've been at it longer than the rest of the organization and can offer valuable insight.
2. SOCIAL MEETS BIG DATA IN THE CLOUD. The three-way between social, big data, and the cloud is where it's at in 2013. All the serious venture money is pouring in to this area. The possibilities are literally endless. Even Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, is finally 'speaking social.' That's epic.
a. Information technology departments MUST get out of the silo. The desperate need for the integration of out-dated customer relationship management systems with social is just one area crying out for attention. Get your IT people educated on social technologies and platforms NOW.
b. Big data is the big money-maker going forward. "He who owns the data WINS" has never been more true. Do you and your teams know how to data mine Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, etc. etc.? Didn't think so. Time to get busy.
c. You're moving into the cloud anyway. Now's the time to go social. Align those two (and then take it mobile) and see what happens. THIS is where new revenue will come from.
3. SOCIAL BUSINESS ARCHITECTURE AND ALIGNMENT. It's time to move from ad hoc and rogue social media initiatives to a comprehensive approach.
a. Cross-functional social teams need to construct the new social architecture. This includes establishing policies and procedures, rules of engagement, communications, education, monitoring, and departmental integration.
b. Identify social centers of excellence that align to key performance indicators. Measure process improvements both historically and in real-time using sophisticated new social dashboards that monitor and listen to employees and customers.
4. SOCIAL MEDIA EDUCATION This has been my drumbeat since we held the first Gravity Summit Business event at UCLA in 2009. Educate, inform, empower is my mantra.
a. Take social education seriously. Help is available. I will personally consult with you and your senior teams. If not me, then call someone. Get your executives trained NOW. That red line running through the organization is really bright in the boardroom.
b. The enterprise not fluent in social is at a competitive disadvantage. All employees must be exposed to basic social media training and education to attain a knowledge baseline in the organization.
b. Most companies need outside consultation and guidance. This is not a 'build it here' solution for most companies. Most of today's education systems inside the enterprise rely on technologies and procedures that do not encompass social platforms.
2013 is going to be super exciting. The economy will eventually improve. When it does, the organizations that are social, mobile, in the cloud, and using big data will be on top. The rest of you will wonder what happened. It's not a bubble, it's a wave. And if you don't know that, you're not on it. Get social now!