One of the most vexing issues facing executives today is the phenomenon of social media. Social media has blurred the lines between the professional and personal lives of employees, resulting in a disruption in the traditional boundary between internal and external company information.
Social media is an unplanned environment. Any organization wishing to utilize the platforms, technologies, methods and behaviors can be successful only by going in with a plan. The plan may be to utilize social media for marketing purposes to start, but most companies realize quickly that almost every function can harness it for good. In fact, many companies are adopting what is now commonly known as a social business model.
Despite the fact that social media is a relatively new phenomenon, there are best practices and processes emerging. When implemented and grown correctly, a small pool of talented people can empower an organization of enormous size to function more efficiently and offer customers better products and services.
When the Internet became available for commercial use in 1995, many managers shrugged off website and web application development as risky and unnecessary. Today, the same sentiment can prevail while social technologies and methods reach very broad adoption. Taking a systematic and deliberate test-and-learn approach to social media promises the same kinds of competitive advantages afforded the early adopters of the World Wide Web.
Change is afoot, and there is magic in it. The network effect of social media, based on sound planning and consideration of opportunities and risks, can deliver tremendous ROI.