I have pitched for Social Media contracts from companies both big and small and the answer has been eerily the same; yes we need social media and we are willing to take you up or no, we already have an agency that handle our PR and social media. In the case of the former, even though there was recognition of the role that social media could play; none of these companies have been willing to go the whole nine yards to make it happen. In the latter, most of these companies that should be miles ahead when it comes to social media are still lagging in mediocrity, something they probably do not notice because the whole scope and potential of social media escapes them.
The case for social media has been made across all industries the world over. The case studies are there for us to mull over, interrogate, learn from, and adopt to local businesses. The sexiness of these success stories have driven the need for locally initiated viral social media initiatives which are unfortunately superficial and therefore of no long term consequence to a company’s bottom-line. Whereas it easy to make easy money from businesses by selling to them the sexier side of social media, what we have decided as a business is to focus on selling the substance that make these social media successes possible. We have increasingly focused on selling the idea of social businesses.
Our focus on selling the idea of a social business has been a conscious one because we are judged by the work we do. Taking up a client and doing superficial work that result in short lived successes is now how we want to do business. As a result, this has affected the contracts we take in terms of the time-lines. The case that needs to be made at this stage in Kenya is not the case for social media but rather the case for a social business. A digital company should not be selling Facebook and Twitter but rather organizational transformation towards as social business because anything else is superficial.
These are the best definitions out there…
“A social business is an organization designed consciously around sociality and social tools, as a response to a changed world and the emergence of the social web, including social media, social networks, and a long list of other advances.”
– Stowe Boyd
“Today, by combining social networking tools – internally and externally – with sophisticated analytic capabilities, companies are transforming their business processes, building stronger relationships among their employees, customers and business partners and making better decisions, faster. This is what makes a social business – embracing networks of people to create new business value and opportunities.”
– Alistair Rennie (IBM Manager, Social Business)
Social Media should thus not be reduced to tweeting and facebooking as a strategy but rather focused on redefining businesses processes and adjusting them for social: and that is where Socialight Media Ltd. has made a conscious decision to go. Anyone can set up a Twitter and Facebook account; but very few will go the extra mile to do the hard work that involves an attempt to change an organizations established processes and introduce a new culture that is driven around sociality.
We need to stop the mediocre adoption that is just for show because as a business, you lose in the endgame that is the bottom-line which is increasingly dependent on everything social.
What say you?