How Businesses Can Start to Be Social

R Ray Wang is Principal Analyst and CEO at Constellation Research and the author of the forthcoming (working title) The New Laws of Business to be published by Harvard Business Press.

His blog, A Software Insider’s Point of View, provides insight into how disruptive technologies and new business models impact the enterprise and attracts millions of page views per year.

A founding partner and research analyst for enterprise strategy at Altimeter Group, he has been recognized as a leading analyst. You can find him blogging at Forbes CIO Central and Harvard Business Review.

What will you be talking about in the upcoming book?

The working title of the book talks about the future of business in a world of people-to-people networks and a series of new laws of business.

We are hearing a lot about “social business”. How can companies approach becoming social?

The secret to becoming social comes from improving engagement.

Is social for any size of business – or just enterprises?

Social works for all sizes. It’s a cultural shift and an organizational shift. This is more than about size of company.  It’s definitely easier to implement in smaller groups.

Is it something companies do externally, or internally also?

Social is about how we reach out to stakeholders, both internal and external. Internal usually means employees but includes other types of workers and contractors in projects. External ties customers, suppliers, and partners.

Where do you come in and what does your consultancy bring to the process?

Unlike pseudo research-based consulting firms, we’re an analyst firm and our job is put our best ideas and thoughts into research for our clients to use. We help clients with upfront strategy, ideation, and short-list selection. We also provide ongoing guidance and advice through advisory sessions, workshops, and teleconferences.

Talking about where social can truly make an impact, what areas would you cite as being most open for change?

We’d start by the business need you have first. We put 43 use cases for social business to start with.

Could you give some examples of companies that are doing great at being social, and why?

I’d like to but wait for the case studies…
Try our SuperNova Award Winners: SOCIAL BUSINESS

Henry Ho, Partner, CORE4 Research

Vincent Boon, Head of Community, giffgaff

What are the biggest challenges in going social?

Social is not about the technologies. In fact, it’s about a cultural shift inside out the company. If there isn’t the support or the transformation required for success, social will not take hold.

Could you share actionable steps that businesses beginning the social journey can take?

Take a look at our post introducing our 43 use cases.

Tell us about #crchat. What do you cover in those chats? How can people interact with you?

#CRChat is the brainchild of our Director of Community and Brand, Courtney Sato. Topics relate back to our 6 key business themes:

  • Future of work
  • Next gen customer experience
  • Matrix commerce
  • Big data, analytics and performance management
  • Tech optimization and innovation
  • Consumerization of IT and the new C-suite

She selects topics every Tuesday at 9am and we get on and chat. Some of the topics come from a Paper.li curation, others come from our clients in our communities.

I put together a #CRChat Wrapup when I get a moment to scan what’s new. I use Paper.li as my curation point and then I just tweet away based on the most interesting articles collected.

What excites you the most about your field at the moment?

There’s so much opportunity and passion in what people are doing. Technology provides us with new opportunities to create new experiences, reduce inefficiencies, transform the world we live in. This is a great time.

Photo: Software Insider POV on flickr

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