What exactly is a social business strategy, then? The more blogs and white papers I read the more I am convinced few people really understand the answer to this simple question. A strategy, simply defined, is a plan, or series of plans,for obtaining a specific goal… A social business strategy, therefore, is:
“A plan that takes into account the dual ownership of the role of the customer to your organization to maximize your ability to meet specific organizational goals.”
Funny, as I read that back all I see is blah, blah,blah… Okay, let’s try to make this a little simpler.
What do I mean by the dual ownership of the role of the customer?
It is important to understand that the customer is simply the person receiving products or services. In traditional B2C relationships this is the direct buyer, in Government it is the citizen.
Dual ownership simply addresses the fact that the organization delivering products/services and the customer that is receiving the products/services both own the relationship. We do not live in a world where the majority of organizations can dictate what customers receive nor do we live in a world where customers dictate. It is always, and always will be, a compromise. Organizations will seek to increase profits while customers will seek to maximize the value of their purchase.
What kind of plans are you referring to?
These plans must first acknowledge the dual ownership and find ways to bring the customer and organization, in the right amount required to meet the goals specified, together. Plans may leverage tactics like:
- Developing a social support community.
- Building pages on Facebook.
- Including a suggestion box in the front of the store.
- Direct phone calls to customers to ask them what they want to buy.
This is not rocket science. While many of the concepts need you to think differently about the customer,and need different approaches and different measurements, it still all comes back to finding ways to meet your organizational goals. Not that complicated, is it?