The research shows that currently only 16 percent of CEOs are using social networks to be more directly involved and connected with their employees, customers and partners. In the next three to five years this figure will increase to 57 percent. Social media are currently the least used means to interact with stakeholders. Within five years they become the number two “engagement” method, closely behind face-to-face interactions as number one.
Forbes reports the following key findings:
Face-to-face, the physical contact, creates and maintains trust on a small scale, but is the most effective. Social networks are cost-effective technologies that expand wider transparency and trust, both inside and outside the organization. They drive sharing, accountability and loyalty, and because the interviewed CEOs like to lead by example, trust is broadened effectively.
Openness and collaboration with the various stakeholder groups support the realisation of a market-driven organization. CEOs said that they most focus on customer insights and significant investments are made in order to develop capabilities. Social media strengthen the intangible assets, which determine the organization’s value for more than 75 percent. The ability to extract insights, integrate collaboration tools, but also the soft skills mentioned in the key findings are all part of the intangible capitals.
Not only customer insights are of importance, involvement and understanding of all stakeholder groups align with a best practice from BI, namely the hybrid approach: use different types of conversations (from facts, opinions, unmet needs to rumors) and different stakeholders to synthesize and derive decisions and actions from them, iteratively. This iteration directs and validates planning, goals and so forth.
Collaboration to the outside is increasingly taken into account, how do you think this will affect organizational structures?
What investments do you see as key for an effective integration of social media and their data?
By Gianluigi Cuccureddu
Gianluigi Cuccureddu, contributing editor, is an experienced writer specializing in innovation, open business, new media and marketing. He is Managing Partner of the 90:10 Group, a global Open Business consultancy. They help clients leverage social media as business accelerators to generate faster, better and cheaper business output. Social media integration is the new secret ingredient to achieve sustainable competitive advantage in delighting the clients’ customers while continuously driving their cost down.