At the surface, business managers seem completely at ease with this question; however, while cool and confident on the outside, on the inside, they’re biting their nails and pacing the floor wondering what it takes to become a social business. Just to make things clear, being a social business does not necessarily mean having social media accounts. This may be a terrifying thought for the approximate 64 percent of B2B companies who currently use social media – no one likes to know that what they’re doing may not be enough.
Before you break into a panic, remember that all it takes is the right approach to see big business benefits like reduced time to market and lower churn rates. The question is: What approach must a business take to become truly social? This was the question tackled during today’s panel session “Becoming a Social Business” at ITEXPO Las Vegas 2013.
ITEXPO Las Vegas, which officially kicked off today, is packed to the brim with exciting speeches and panel sessions, including a highly anticipated keynote speech from Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak. During today’s panel session, our very own Director of Content Marketing, Carrie Schmelkin, sat down with Labinot Bytqi, Founder and CEO of Salaborate, and Andrew Cook, Microsoft, to get down to the bottom of not only what a social business is defined as, but what it takes to become a truly social business.
“A social business is comprised of three core things,” Cook explains. “The first is the ability to have open conversations, the second is the ability to connect with people and the third is the ability to share and perceive knowledge freely. Businesses that do that are really embodying what social is about.”
At the end of the day, social is all about just getting back to the basics. “We’re social animals,” says Cook, “and those are the aspects of what makes us social.”
Top Tips for Becoming a Better Social Business:
- Real-time operations: “[Working] in real-time is key to becoming a social business,” Bytqi says.
- Design for internal and external user base: “You have your customers and the core ecosystem – your partners and internal employees – so when you design, you have to keep all of this in mind,” Cook explains.
- Mobility is key: Providing 24×7 access to your mobile customers is critical for becoming a better social business, according to Bytqi.
- Don’t jump in blindly: “You need to have a strategy, a clear purpose and a reason for people to want to adopt this,” Cook says. “Think in terms of your communications as one-to-one, one-to-few and one-to-many.”
- Don’t leave your employees high and dry: According to Bytqi, companies can experience an increase of almost 30 percent more revenue per employee by enabling them to be more social.
Remember to check in with Content Boost all week for other main highlights of ITEXPO West 2013.