The 6 step process to a Social Enterprise


Share on LinkedIn

In In my previous blog, I talked about what makes an enterprise social. We identified that enterprises need to seek employee community, customer community as well as external communities to get to becoming truly social. This takes time and resources.

This blog provides a simple 6 step process that organisations can adopt, in order to harness the benefits of the various communities and becoming social.

Step 1: Identify the communities you wish to target initially

Choosing which community an enterprise wants to target first, would realy depend on the type of the enterprise. For example a large insurance firm with thousands of agents employed, or a large retail bank with thousands of employees in their branches would greatly benefit if their employees are social. Companies more focused on customers, with much fewer employees should focus on the customer community, while marketing organizations, and companies who are wanting brand visibility should target consumers and external communities initially.

Step 2: Define the Social Intent also known as Social Objectives

Unlike traditional enterprise initiatives (such as ERP or CRM), when you implement programs relating to social communities it is important to understand that Intent/Objective precedes strategy.

For example for the customer community, one may have ‘Increasing Revenue’ as the Social Intent. Similarly if you are focusing on the employee community, ‘Collaboration’ or ‘Innovation’ could be the Social Intent. Most organizations that are targeting external communities and consumers have ‘Brand Management’ as the Social Intent

Step 3: Identify Social Use Cases

Before we get into this, lets understand or define what are Social Use Cases. For simplicity, lets define these as elements that help meeting the identified Social Intent.

For ex: If we are targeting the customer for becoming social, and our Social Intent was ‘Product Innovation’, then you can attain insights relating to what features your customer base wants from the community through a number of smaller projects or initiatives. In this case a partial list would comprise of;

– Blogs

– Forums

– Listening to conversations & text mining

Each of these can constitute a Social Use Case that ensures that the Social intent for Customer Product Innovation is supported.

Step 4: Build your Social CRM strategy and road map

Having clearly defined the social use cases, you are now in a position to map out your Social CRM strategy and build your road map. The Social CRM Strategy defines the social organization structure, the channels you will engage,the hardware and software platforms you will use, risk mitigation plan and metrics to measure the effectiveness of your strategy. In many cases it will also map out your integration plan to existing back end systems.

Step 5: Communicate, train your team and implement the strategy

Obviously, this is the most critical element to being successful in becoming a social enterprise. It is important to build up the hype as you implement your plan. Communicate aggressively the benefits, create an aura of excitement around this program, have senior executives participate and lead these initiatives, by blogging or emailing the importance. Do not underestimate the importance of training your team and anyone who will come into contact due to this social program being implemented.

Identify all members, which could include, CSR’s from your contact center, legal, HR any and everyone who could be remotely connected with this program and have them trained.

Start with a pilot set of users. This will help streamline communications, resolve user adoption issues, and overall health-check your initiative, before it gets widespread.

Finally communicate your successes, however small they may be. Keep the excitement going.

Step 6: Expand

Once this initiative is operational expand to adding additional social use cases and/or expand to add other community groups mentioned in step 1.

Dileep Srinivasan
Cognizant Technology Solutions
Dileep is a Visionary and Thought Leader, engaged in propeling organizations to build effective businesses. His unique strength is also focused on nurturing tomorrow's leaders to realize their individual potential. He has led organizations in building a 3 – 5 year CRM & Social CRM vision along with strategic roadmaps, that are focused on meeting their investment objectives.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here