Ten Steps to building a Social Business from IBM

According to IBM, social business is transforming the way enterprises work to better capitalize on our most valuable resource: people. Recently Big Blue outlined a ten step plan to build a social business.

1. Start with a strong collaborative workforce

Create a culture of working openly across business units, borders and boundaries. Empower your employees to innovate, collaborate and act with speed and certainty. Mobile apps accelerate access to expertise. CEO and executive blogs, social jams and communities surface ideas and stimulate ongoing digital dialogue to yield new insights.

2. Cultivate sharing

Help your employees find common ground and collaborate around areas of shared interest, including clients, industries, geographies and business roles. Employee-led communities can connect people who want to join forces to bring new ideas to life.

3. Listen and solve

Engage clients socially to enhance user support, quality, satisfaction and speed. By monitoring client comments on social media, you can proactively identify and resolve client issues to prevent critical situations. 36 per cent of companies that use social tools have reported higher customer service ratings.

4. Attract the best talent

Use social media and talent communities to attract, identify and engage new talent and to enrich the on-boarding experience.

5. Improve the way we work

Infuse social into virtually every aspect of how your business operates: research, marketing and sales, supply chain and support, and more. Allow development teams to use an employee-driven talent cloud, ideation and other social practices to speed innovation and deliver better products and services. 65 per cent of executives use social business tools to understand market shifts.

6. Listen for value

Look for tools that help you analyze employee feedback and sentiment to provide strategic insights to decision makers. This helps identify ways that make collaboration with clients and business partners easier. 71 per cent of CEOs believe employees are their most important source of sustained economic value.

7. Embrace external input

Encourage product teams to collaborate socially with clients and partners on new features and functionality. Mining external social sites can help you to gauge marketplace perceptions that inform better business decisions.

8. Deepen client relationships

Use social business to connect with clients in new and meaningful ways. Help prospects and clients engage directly with inside sales representatives via a wide variety of means. Individualized, client-empowering portals and functional communities can help enhance client satisfaction.

In the next five years. 57 per cent of CEOs expect digital channels to be a key way to engage customers.

9. Grow supply chain opportunities

Supplier Connections, a business-to-business, connects small businesses to the supply chains of Fortune 500 companies, powering macroeconomic growth for the business ecosystem.

10. Build a security-rich social computing foundation

Effective social computing guidelines, governance and digital education help foster a culture of trust to encourage social business integration and growth. About 70 per cent of executives believe social business can fundamentally change the way their company works.

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