When initially studying organisations and the behaviour that makes them successful a few years ago, it was qualified that if you wanted competitive advantage, you had to harness your workforce to work towards a common goal. You needed a strategy, a vision which was implemented and at the core of competencies for all employees. You have to have ‘buy in’ from each employee and your leaders to sponsor this vision as an ongoing tactic without being a one time gimmick.
I thought, once an organisation had hooked on to the secret of instilling a specific culture as a point of success then there was nothing else to be done.
It seems though, the next level to competitive advantage, would be taking the organisations culture, and aiming it toward a social media strategy. Simply because this appears to be the way of the future, and how current and future generations will demand to deal with an organisation. It seems a very big task if you think about how much energy it would take to convince each person in your workplace as it is now, each with a differing level of tech savvy and comfort level with using social media technology.
To unite the organisation in its mission, the resounding theme from all academic writing I have read so far is to ensure the business objects are aligned. This makes sense, as it would be hard to achieve a common goal when departments in the organisations are trying to achieve their own departmental goals with their own separate means for doing so. In a write up by Weber in 2011, the how would be to combine the ‘smarts’ of the organisation on the whole, not just the executives, with a tool – an eForum. This would be responsible for many different aspects involved with engaging both the work force, and the target audience as an ongoing, and long term strategy.
You get the feel from the term ‘business objectives’ there is a little more structure to implementing ‘social media as a strategy’ than letting loose their tech savvy interns with any idea they see fit. There must be thought into the platforms, content, the interaction between the organisation and the audience, and the metrics to gauge the success (because a lot of organisations demand this idea of return on investment). Therefore the way in which social media is introduced as a strategy to the business would have to be in stages, as the maturity level of the organisation evolves. Inducting social media strategies into the business is very much an investment.
To help you picture the end goal, I will leave you with a quote which resonated with me from another of the articles I have read, by Li and Solis: “As a result of the cross-functional and executive support, social business strategies start to weave into the fabric of an evolving organisation”.
..Is this how our organisations are going to achieve that next level competitive advantage, or is it marketing fad hot for this moment?