The 5 Steps of Developing a Social Business


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Although social business is a relatively new aspect in business, it is steadily and successfully being employed across different types of businesses. It has proven to be an effectual business engagement especially to businesses which have many employees and a wide clientele base. The effectiveness of social business is attributed to fact that it actively engages all the principles in the general operation of the overall business.

These principles are made up of the core business communities which include employees, employers, customers, analysts, prospects, user groups, suppliers, donors, analysts, grassroots supporters and user groups. For transcendent business results, each of these communities takes up an active participation in the daily running of a company. This is in complete contrast to the traditional business set up, which granted all the business operational powers to the main executives.

Just like many other significant business strategies, the development process of a social business is gradually implemented in stages. Here are the main developmental stages for a business developing from a traditional set-up to a full social business set-up.

  1. Traditional Stage

Businesses in this stage operate through the common business channels, where there is a minimal link between the customers and the employees and/or executive. The clients provide very minimal feedback on the products and/or services. Due to the minimal interaction with the customers, the businesses do not consider taking advantage of social media. Additionally, the marketing is mainly done through the traditional marketing methods of newspapers, magazines and television commercials.

  1. Experimental Stage

In this stage, the interaction with customers is still minimal although better than the traditional stage. The employees gather feedback from them, which is later analyzed by a group of individuals commonly referred to as mavericks. In addition to that, the mavericks also monitor the social circles on how different business communities relate to the specific brand. Although there is no formal social business structure, the mavericks will begin experimenting and advocating for a social business. After witnessing the experimental social business results, the enthusiasm spreads among the employees in the entire company as the executives start considering social business as a viable option.

  1. Operational Stage

Unlike the previous stage where social business is experimented in chosen departments, the aspect now becomes operational in all the departments. All the business communities (employees, employers, analysts, consultants, customers, supporters etc) and their roles are adequately defined before they are gradually integrated into the social business. Individual leaders from each of the communities are expected to monitor and analyze the transcendent results. For excellent implementation and analysis, only ideal and measurable channels are used in the social business.

  1. Measurable Stage

The social interactions are better and more solid compared to the previous stages. The interaction with the customers is especially beneficial since the sales productivity significantly improves. The central team then presents the exceptional social business results to the executives. Each aspect of the business, including the interactions between the major business communities, channels used, ROI of social media is effectively analyzed. If the executives are content with the results, they give a green light for the full engagement of social business. The general perception of the company changes as the individual business communities gradually embrace social business. All the social business tools are effectually optimized and training is done on new social business channels as they are being integrated into the overall business structure.

  1. Fully Operational Stage

All the business communities fully implement this business structure. There is maximum interaction between them and special attention is paid to the customer relationships. Customers, on the other hand, appreciate the relationship between them and the different company levels. This meritoriously keeps them loyal to the business. The sales and the overall company revenue drastically improve as the employees and executives embrace this as a major business breakthrough.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Koka Sexton
Koka Sexton, Social Selling Evangelist and Sr. Social Marketing Manager at LinkedIn, is one of the most recognized social selling experts in the technology industry. A career in helping companies use social media for lead generation, creating new opportunities, and engaging customers. READ MORE at the LinkedIn Sales Solutions blog.


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