Social Media in Business: Key Facts and Future Trend


Recently John Seely Brown published interesting post on crucial role of Social Media in the Reinvention of Business.  He suggests that constant improvement of core competencies is not enough and corporations should be open to new ideas from the edge of the company to penetrate to the core from the outside in. Social Media will play significant role in that transformation.

The invention of cloud-computing changes operation of many business. It means that small, idea-driven operations do not have to invest in building their own computing infrastructructures. Amazon Web Services offers cloud-based application services, P&G Connect+Develop to encourage external innovation partnerships, IMB’s Jams platform for collaborative innovation and others.

According to John Hagel and John Seely Brown there is an important shift from classical view on purpose of the firm. Instead of cost minimization purpose, the new purpose that the firm has is to promote the development of talents and capabilities and thereby attract the retain the best in the ongoing wars for talent. Meanwhile, it creates an entrepreneurial culture that nurtures employees’ questing and connecting dispositions.

This approach is exactly what Google and Facebook see to be doing, as people are attracted to them because of their learning environments and freedom to think radical thoughts. Companies need to move out of their comfort zones with regards to innovation and marketing.

Social Media is the perfect tool to help companies quit their comfort zone, as it represents the threat to the conventional corporate environment through transparency and unpredictability. The statistics shows that the most innovative companies are those that are tied into social media and the more executives experiment with social media, the more they’ll see how it can play a crucial part in forming the infrastructure transforming corporations for the future.

According to Social Media Sorcerer, there are 5 great benefits generated by social media that make your business stand out of the crowd:

  1. Makes you stand out of the crowd, through creating buzz around your business and adding value to your competitive advantage
  2. Creates simple Branding across all platforms
  3. Engaging directly with customers and getting feedback
  4. Increases website traffic by linking through from your other social media accounts (LinkedIn, Youtube).
  5. Reduces Marketing Costs as all social media tools can be correlated into working hard for your business 24/7.

Source: Acognita,  Research sponsored by TNS media Intelligence/Cymfony

As suggested by Deepak Sani, SME expert, more small businesses are becoming more aware of the power of social media as a tool to reach new and existing customers in a dynamic and engaging way. According to the study by the Nelisen Company, adults who use social networks follow usually particular brands, visit blogs and other social platforms. The future growth predictions reveal that social media for business will take up a significant amount of digital media budgets for SMEs by the end of 2014.

Social Business, Deepak Sani, Hiscox

Social Business, Deepak Sani, Hiscox

As we see there is an obvious steadily-growing trend that requires businesses to incorporate social media into the business strategy, brings business value and various benefits to different organizations/companies. In order to embed the social media into the main business strategic plan, the following steps are suggested by Heidi Cohen, Marketing Expert:

1. Measure return on investment (ROI). Better methods are required to track socia media’s contribution and measure towards company goals.

2. Develop and executive integrated social media strategy. It will require support from across organization including marketing, communication, customer service, etc. Engage every department, including Human Resources.

3. Have corporate social media guidelines. It is critical to have a set of policies to develop employees awareness about social media role in the company. It should encompass information on how employees should act on behalf of the organization, how they should act as individuals and how consumers and public should act as well.  The Ford’s social media policy might be a good example.

Ford Social Media Guidelines

4. Gain senior management support. Employees need to see commitment of company executives and senior executives through appropriate resources allocation, budget and employees.

5. Dedicate at least one employee to social-media activities full-time.  This is a critical point for most companies, as measuring results and tracking progress through market indicators as well engagement with customers is a time-consuming process.

5 key indicators of social media adoption over time, by Heidi Cohen

5 key indicators of social media adoption over time, by Heidi Cohen

Here are also some suggestions on “the Do’s and Don’ts” when incorporating social media into your business strategy: