Raz Chorev | Socially Acceptable..
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Social Media at Board Room level

Social media is widely regarded as a marketing activity, or at least an area which should be looked after by the CMO and marketing people within the organization. However IMHO, Social Media affects the entire business, and should be looked at Board Room and CEO level. Alan See, VP Marketing at Berry Network, suggests that implementing Social Media in the organization, will transform the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) into an acting COO (Chief Operating Officer). Alan explains in his blog post, the role of a traditional COO, showing how the CMO’s role becomes more operational when it comes to social media implementation.

However, I see the role of social media should really be discussed with even higher view of the business, which is more strategic than operational. This could be a typical discussion at the C Suite:

Social Media in the boardroom

CEO: Does Wall Street really care about this stuff? I thought this only involved your PR department.  What’s our competition doing?

 

CFO:  Are we talking about decreasing costs or increasing revenues with this strategy?

 

CIO:  What about network security?  By the way, we can’t allow everyone to be downloading all these new untested desktop social applications.  And don’t even get me going about the mobile angle.

 

Legal:  I’ll need to consider our risk and exposure.  Have we addressed any standards or procedures around social media?  Who did you say was going to be blogging and tweeting?

 

CSO:  Are we using this to generate sales leads or is it about customer service?  If it’s about leads, will the quality be good?  Should my sales teams be involved?  What about my call center?

 

HR:  Are we going to allow all employees access?  If so, what about productivity?  Are we using this for recruiting?

This is quite a simplistic outline of this discussion, but you can already see how Social media can really have a substantial effect on the business as a whole, effecting every department.

Do you still think it’s  marketing fluff?

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  • http://www.uxcconnect.com.au Iggy Pintado

    Raz

    Great article. The smart companies ARE having these discussions at board level RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. I know the company I work for – UXC Connect – is because I’m leading them.

    One question I would add is: how can our company leverage our collective connections to bolster our customer relationship management? Almost everyone here is asking :)

    I guess that organizations that aren’t having these discussions at this level will be washed along the shore of missed opportunity while others are riding the innovation wave.

    Cheers,
    Iggy Pintado
    Director, Marketing, Sustainability and Innovation
    UXC Connect

    • http://www.razchorev.com Raz Chorev

      Great question, Iggy!
      If I understand you correctly, you’re asking how a company can leverage their employees’ personal networks, collectively? This is an interesting concept, which once only used used to be employed with the sales/BDM department. I would ask if there could be a cooperation between sales and HR department, to come up with an education (and then incentive) plan, to encourage people from all parts of the company, to become Brand Ambassadors for the company. Then, when there are awareness of expectations, and clear purpose, the company’s employees will gladly go to their network. It cannot be centralized (with a system) by the company IMHO, however through ongoing education and incentive plan, it can happen… Your thoughts?

  • http://za.linkedin.com/in/melanieminnaar Melanie Minnaar

    Other than having company execs engage in social media as a new and additional channel to communicate, I am not convinced that the topic of social media will and should ever be given more prominence over other business imperatives. The channel is the key in my opinion – and that is good enough. To expose the execs and organisation to a changed media/channel landscape and how best to represent themselves in this new space.

    We have been successful in taking the topic of social media to the boardroom table in our organisation by making it relevant through the employee base, and launched an internal social network for staff bodies around the globe to communicate with each other, share ideas, vent and get to know their colleagues.
    The burning platform were the employees, and this is always going to get you to the boardroom quicker :-)

    Melanie Minnaar
    Senior Manager, Creative Management, Marketing Ops & Strategic Projects
    Standard Bank, South Africa

  • http://www.iGo2Group.com Michael Green

    Because #SocialMedia has transformed that way we share, access, and consume information #sm offers immense opportunities to amplify messages and influence.

    In my experience some of the board room challenges are:
    1) Integration into other amplification channels (e.g. PR & Marketing)
    2) Integration into current [legacy] business processes
    3) …..and one of the most important factors is most people around the boardroom table aren’t using #sm = so education is required

    As with any new business model that is created by a new generation ….. the current generation is going to have to pay for it!

    So my advice is be educated or …. risk your business.

    Mike Green @iGo2Group

  • http://brendanmarsh.com Brendan Marsh

    Great article Raz.

    From a management perspective, use of social networks can on the one hand, be productive & useful but on the other hand be distracting & counter-productive. It all boils down to the maturity & education of staff.

    For example, if you’re a CIO for an ISP or some sort of call centre operation, you’re naturally going to want to restrict these mediums. If however, your staff are educated & mature enough to portray a positive, helpful, outwards appearance and associate their public social image with their corporate culture, then it can be quite a wonderful thing. Couple this with a solid social media strategy, involving someone to manage it with input from PR & Marketing and you have an ideal setup.

    Having been a few years out of the corporate world, I’ve found that twitter has been great for working in the startup tech scene. The collaborative, networking & social nature of social networks, especially twitter, has opened many doors that otherwise would not have been open.

  • Claudio Gradley

    honestly I couldnt agree more. Nicely said dude, and merry xmas

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