Why Stakeholder Management is Important in Social Media

The social technology trifecta, according to CV Harquail suggests that social media technologies are making it possible for us to transform how individuals, organizations and economics interact with each other. Stakeholder management is focussed on creating positive relationships with stakeholders through the appropriate management of their expectations and agreed objectives.

In an open and transparent society, stakeholder management must be on the agenda of organisations.

Social technologies create the opportunity for change at all three levels of productive participation:

  • At the Individual level, social technologies give us tools for self-expression, self-affirmation, voice and agency. They give us places to participate and actual things to do that can make a difference.
  • At the Organizational level, social technologies connect us and coordinate us through communication networks and locations. They let us find the information and the colleagues we need, when we need them. They let us share resources so that we work more efficiently, and share ideas so that we work more effectively. They let us collaborate to pursue shared purpose.
  • At the Economic level, social technologies help organizations rethink their relationships with their stakeholders. They let organizations align and negotiate with stakeholders across both similarities and differences.

Think big

However, to enable this, leadership is required, and leaders must think bigger because change in one of the three levels is not autonomous, but affects the other two levels as well. There are many examples of this, think of the freelance economy –partially- ignited by digital and social. It creates opportunities but also challenges, authorities needs to think well about these developments and how laws can effectively support change.

To me society and authorities need to be included, or if they are, they need to be explicitely mentioned.

In another article “Open Innovation Also Means Engaging the Inside“ I referred to open innovation, being too much focussed on getting the outside in, but is a great means to engage the internal organisation as well and create a more balanced stakeholder environment.

Social technology are enablers

Social technologies are great means to analyse, interpret, influence and collaborate with both the internal and external environments. As referred to in the opening paragraph, in an open and transparent society, individuals, organisations and economies need to have a systematic approach, are being forced to be clear and relevant to each and every one of them.

Relationships are key but they can be created or destroyed in a blink.

Are you looking at your social technology and social business initiatives from a stakeholder management perspective?