Your definitive guide to Social Media Transformation

Social Media Transformation
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Social Media Transformation is the integration of social media processes and technology into sales, marketing, HR and corporate communications. In this guide I will outline how this process is implemented based on our client work and current industry intelligence.

Social media is evolving from a simple marketing channel to a complex and lucrative tool for corporations, yet we still see the majority of organisations fail to harness its true potential. This is not due to a lack of trying but rather a failure to understand how to apply social media across multiple areas of the business and apply the correct procedures to actualise campaign objectives.

According to authors in ” The social media transformation process: curating content into strategy | Emerald Insight“:

The ubiquity of social media has had a profound effect on the way we communicate and is of significant importance to society and business. Social media tools have helped break down geographical barriers that once restricted communication and have led to an explosion of e-participation, virtual presence, and online communities.

At the moment we are focusing a lot of our work on helping our clients achieve social media transformation across the whole business. This has allowed us to be uniquely placed to codify social media transformation into a system which can be replicated across many different organisations.

Why social media & why now?

Social media success is now a vital part of business strategy in 2020. This fact may be known in sales and marketing teams but HR and corporate communications departments are still neglecting social media as a tool to help them achieve specific commercial goals in their respective business units.

Why social media

What is social media transformation?

At its core, Social Media Transformation (SMT) is the integration of social media processes and technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers. 

There is a general understanding that social media is becoming important, but a lack of appreciation as to how and what that success looks like. Social media is widespread across the globe. However, this practice is often random with a lack of coherent strategy and direction across the company.

The common red flags of poor social media implementation usually consist of:

  • A centrally planned “social media team” which coordinates all activities across multiple different regions and business units. 
  • Random social media activity from members of a company. 
  • Lack of activity on social media “shutdown” due to fear of reputational damage. 

Effective SMT should be approached as a holistic activity involving many different areas of the business. Social media, particularly in larger enterprises, should be decentralised as much as possible to different geographies and product/service niches. This is because hyper-personalisation and authentic narratives are becoming drastically more important for anyone involved in the world of social media. Social media communication is also incredibly time orientated which exaggerates this need further.

This calls for a more flexible and agile approach to social media usage which can respond to the demands of a fast-paced, local social media age.

What does social media success look like in 2020?

Social Media success means many different things to different people. For some clients success equates to demand but for others success relates to better talent acquisition. I have listed a few more objectives which we have identified in the below image:

What does success look like?

What are the components of social media transformation?

SMT is a collaborative effort across many different business units.

As a result, true SMT is not just a marketing and sales activity. Social media can have a profound positive difference across business units in corporate communications and HR.

For this reason, SMT should be approached as a multifaceted activity which involves cooperation with many different stakeholders in your organisation.

However, whilst the context of each SMT would be vastly different for each company and business unit, there are still fundamental principles which apply to all transformation projects.

One such principle is the successful application of people, processes and technology. The three pillars of any project involves these elements.

People, process, technology

Social media transformation for marketing and sales

SMT in sales and marketing teams involves deployment of a social selling programme for internal sales teams, creative and campaign processes for marketing and a unified Sales & Marketing framework which aligns the work of both teams together.

SMT success in marketing and sales is usually quantified by an increase in demand for marketing and sales leads for commercial teams. 

The components of SMT in sales usually consists of the following pieces:

Components of social media transformation

SMT in marketing and sales is usually a collaborative project involving marketing and sales leaders.

Example of social media transformation marketing and sales structure

Below is an example of what an amplification unit within our SMT module looks like. As you can see, successful amplification of social media falls across many different areas of the sales and marketing unit.

Example of social media transformation

Social media transformation for corporate communications

The transformation for corporate communications involves activation of senior leaders in the C-Suite, cultivating corporate culture on social media, managing reputational risk and understanding how to harness PR using social media.

Corporate communications teams should make use of Twitter as well as LinkedIn and Facebook to create powerful voices with their leadership teams.

The components of SMT in corporate communications usually consists of the following pieces:

Corporate communucations

Good corporate social media deploys dynamic leadership campaigns which engage key stakeholders. It also has a robust reputational risk and compliance strategy to ensure that the integrity of the brand is maintained. Integration with existing and emerging PR campaigns such as quarter earnings is also an important part of the transformation process in corporate communications.

Thought leadership

Social media transformation for HR professionals 

Transformation for HR professionals is focused on understanding how to use the power of your people to boost organic reach across social media, create cultures that attract and retain the best talent and engage with employees.

HR transformation focuses on how social media can assist in making sure organisations attract and maintain the best talent. This can be achieved by cultivating LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter career pages.

Social Media Transformation

If you would like to tune into a webinar focusing on the introduction to social transformation then please follow this link to register!

Written by James Saward-Anderson Co Founder, Social Tree Global

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