A major thanks to Yves Van Seters who gave a cool presentation at LeadsUnited Social Media Catch Up (#LUsmCU) on how IBM uses a social business strategy instead of a tight social media policy! IBM proves with this case that social media is more then just a marketing or communication tool….All 400 000 IBM employees are brand/company ambassadors, and IBM facilitates them on how to….with few policy rules, but with good training!
Most companies struggle with this huge paradox….they see great advantages in using social media regarding brand reputation, CRM, advertising, … but struggle with:
- employees tweeting and Facebook posting in support of an ad campaign. Do they have guidelines on what to do? Are they allowed to access Facebook during work hours….
- customers reacting through Twitter and Facebook on a poor service or unavailability….if social media is run by your communications officer(s). He needs to take this up to sales and distribution, or your brand images will deteriorate….but what if your communications officer (isn’t around or isn’t paying attention? – he is only human!)
- social media influentials (like blogger, …) are better used as insiders….but can you lever important information on to company outsiders?
With a social business strategy in place, your employees are trained and facilitated so they know how to behave in the social (media) world…All those company ambassadors will pick up more information then your complete communications department and last but not least they will have the network you’re dreaming of to get your message across.
And they will have connections with influencers….and they will leak the right amount of information at the right time (like Apple does all the time).
So big CEO’s, CIO’s, CTO, … and all other leaders out there….choose a social media strategy above a social media policy. This will take strong leadership….but the outcome will be even better! A social company!
It’s been a while but I feel the need to add a flat statement:
“Social business strategy is more than just social media use for commercial purpose. Social business hits the heart of the organisation.”