ENTERPRISE SOCIAL TECHNOLOGY SERIES
As social media sites continue their meteoric rise as the fastest growing online, the push for companies to adopt social technology increases as well. TDK’s Enterprise Social Technology Series outlines a path for incorporating social technology into enterprise business models. The series will consist of the following articles:
- Researching Social Technology
- Setting Goals and Objectives
- Strategic and Tactical Planning
- Key Performance Indicators
- Listening and Participation
- Content Creation and Buzz Generation
Setting Social Technology Goals and Objectives
The main reason businesses need to pay attention to social media is simple: Customer expectations. Research assembled by HubSpot indicates customers expect to see businesses active on social technology sites. There are abundant opportunities for B2C and B2B enterprises to engage with current and prospective customers using social technology.
“One thing about social media that makes it so powerful is that you generate a following with current or prospective customers by writing good content, sharing it with the audience and benefiting from them sharing it as well,” said James Dickman, TDK Technologies Web & Mobile Team Lead. “You always like to see your community naturally seeding your content.”
Setting meaningful goals and objectives that align with what customers want is a critical part of any enterprise social technology plan. The ability to produce beneficial results from social technology usage is highly correlated with the ability to create meaningful goals and objectives. Every aspect of social technology usage should be traceable back to an objective which supports a meaningful goal.
Goals should be broad descriptions of abstract general intentions which dovetail with the vision and mission of the company. Objectives should support specific goals and be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time orientated. Later you will be creating strategies to support these objectives and tactics. When your plan is complete, you will be able to connect specific tactics all the way up to the broad goal level.
Below are some common examples of goals and objectives for enterprise social technology plans and how these can be tied together:
Goal: Enhance the company brand
The Pew Research Center started tracking social media usage in 2005 when just 5 percent of American adults used at least one of these platforms. By 2011 that share had risen to half of all Americans, and today 69 percent of the public uses some type of social media. This trend presents opportunities for enterprises to build their brands.
1. Build brand awareness by exposing the brand to new people
2. Improve brand reputation management by reducing the negative brand mentions and increasing positive brand mentions
3. Increase engagement with company brand
4. Increase reach of thought leadership content
Goal: Increase market share
The HubSpot report indicates customers are far more likely to buy from a company with a social media presence that is relevant, engaging and helpful.
1. Increase sales
2. Increase prospects and leads
3. Increase sales reviews
4. Energize existing client base and improve the lifetime value of clients
Goal: Improve business intelligence
Social media conversations are not monologues. Businesses can gather key insights through Social Listening to uncover and identify conversations that include their brand, company or industry.
1. Improve knowledge of prospects and clients
2. Improve knowledge of competitors
3. Improve knowledge of industry, technology and management trends
Goal: Reduce costs of doing business and enhance productivity
Firms have enlisted social technology to deliver more effective customer service experiences, manage human resources and perhaps reduce advertising costs.
1. Improve recruiting of top talent
2. Improve internal communications
3. Improve company morale
4. Improve return on marketing investment
Effective goals and objectives are typically created by a team with input from company stakeholders responsible for the mission and vision of the company. Objectives should be attainable but challenging. Accountability for the desired results should lie with certain individuals or groups. Keep in mind that the objective examples given above should be expanded to be more specific to your company and to include measurability and time factors, such as “Increase sales by 10% for the calendar year” or “Increase internal communication amongst project team members by 10% in the 2nd quarter”.
Don’t forget to leverage what you learned in your social technology research phase when creating goals and objectives. This is especially important in ensuring objectives will be both meaningful and attainable. Once you’ve managed to set your goals and objectives it is then time to move on to incorporating strategies and tactics which will support them. Learn more about this process in the next part of the Enterprise Social Technology Series: Strategic and Tactical Planning.