Social Business is the strategic use of the internet, social and mobile apps by a company, to engage employees and clients.
Being both an HR and Marketing practitioner, I observed the disconnect of the strategies of the two departments. For example, marketing are more aggressive and social media savvy, but some of their strategy is stand alone, non inclusive and does not benefit the overall employer brand.
A good marketing campaign will not only yield better sales, it’ll also generate positive PR that can attract sought after talents; and existing employees not looking for better employer.
On the other hand, an HR who is lukewarm to corporate use of social media is not in the position to introduce social business. Likewise, an HR who is a stranger to cybercrime and cyber risks/abuses, will not be able to formulate an internet and social media policy with IT and Marketing. IT provides the framework for security and Marketing, on reputation management.
It’s easy to spot a biz that is not into social business. Employees are using their “personal” social media accounts to advertise or promote job openings, or sell products and services. Or employees taking the initiative to create unofficial company pages.
I likewise observed that some biz are not yet a people driven enterprise. While majority of companies are sensitive to customer needs, not all will give equal importance to employee needs. Sad? But it’s a reality in PH employment landscape, w/ the exception of shared services and multi-national industries.
What HR Can Do To Transition A Company To Social Business
Firstly, debunk the notion that social media is a quick way to achieve sales goals or recruit people, emphasis on the word “quick”. If this mindset is not corrected, the user will end up spamming and the business have effectively shot itself on the foot.
Being social is about connecting and listening to people, building influence and growing the relationship. It’s good for pull marketing, employer branding and public relations.
Secondly, employees should be made to understand that their online disclosures, and behavior may encourage or discourage decision makers to embrace social media as tool for their organization. This is one of the reasons, why I advocate cyber wellness for companies too.
Thirdly, follow these 11 steps to social business
- Lay-down the HR 3.0 foundation
- Set online philosophy (company’s attitude towards social media and the internet)
- Set the boundaries/ write a policy (how to avoid abuses and protect company interest and reputation)
- Prepare cyber wellness and employee advocacy training modules and roll-out training
- Reach out to IT, Sales, Marketing, Corporate Communications and Customer Relations, to collaborate and co-champion an inclusive strategy that will serve all their objectives.
- Identify IT requirements for social engagement and business analytics.
- Identify key people or departments who will be in the forefront
- Weigh-in the cost vis-a-vis the ROI
- Get top management approval for the over-all strategy. If disapproved, just implement HR 3.0
- Roll-out and train people
- Inspect what you expect
- Recalibrate strategies, equip and involve employees.
- Inspect what you expect
- Repeat steps 9-10 as needed.
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