The Importance Of An Enterprise Social Strategy: Are You Driving Blind Through Social?

The Importance Of An Enterprise Social Strategy: Are You Driving Blind Through Social?

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself. ” – Eleanor Roosevelt


As one of the most admired first ladies of all time, it cannot be argued that Eleanor Roosevelt had a skill and craftiness for coining a phrase. From a young age we are instructed on the value of independence. “Do your own work” and “don’t look at your ‘neighbors’ paper” are common phases that still ring in my ears from elementary school. But there is something to be said about what we can learn from others. While being independent and completing something on our own can be empowering, so can collaboration and using our “neighbors” to help direct and maneuver the next best move. We learn by observing.

From being a starter on a sports team, top in the class, having the most current wardrobe, having the most up to date gadget, driving the best car on the block, or owning the biggest house on the street, the drive to surpass others in deep within us. We live on a competitive planet–one where having the next best thing before it is even available is valued and sought after.

With competition trimming every avenue of our lives it only makes sense that this would also hit in the business world. Competition exists in every field. If you are working in a crowded field, you won’t be successful by doing what everyone else is doing. We learn by example. Observing what competitors are doing well provides the opportunity to consider a similar formula for your brand and company. However, just because something is working well for someone else does not mean they hold the perfect recipe. Focus on your core market and audience and pay attention to your target group. Tweak the recipe that your competitors are using to best fit the needs of your organization.

Top 5 Reasons Enterprise Social Initiatives FailFree Download: Top 5 Reasons Enterprise Social Initiatives Fail

In this download, you will find the following information:

  • The most common reasons enterprise social initiatives fail and what you can do to avoid them
  • Enterprise social initiative best practices
  • What we have learned from delivering several successful enterprise social initiatives at our clients

It is not uncommon that companies and senior leaders feel the pressure from industry peers and competitors to have the next best service offering or the newest technology update. Enterprise social tools are no exception. Technology is deployed haphazardly, without a clear purpose or plan to achieve specific business goals and without a target group in mind. The hunger and drive to stay on top can be blinding and clouds careful consideration of a tactful and clear strategy. Thus resulting in an unsuccessful deployment.

However, there is something to being calculatedly innovative and having a clear strategy in place before implementation.  In order to successfully implement enterprise social, a comprehensive plan must be created that aligns and supports specific priorities and objectives for business units. The strategy must also include governance, education and mentoring, policies and guidelines, and community management training. To determine your strategy, you must understand fully the internal and external environmental factors that affect you. With that understanding, you can identify your clear advantages and use these to be successful.

Consider the following items before starting to create your enterprise social strategy:

1) Identify your business goals
Do not make the mistake of confusing business goals with digital goals

2) Reach out to executives and stakeholders
Identify concerns that business leaders think about on a regular basis

3) Branch out and consider networking with thought leaders outside of your organization
Having an “outsider” provide an objective solution to a problem they have previously tackled in their organization and your are currently experiencing is a great way to gain insights on potential solutions you may not have previously considered –LinkedIn Groups are a great forum for such conversations

4) Consider working with a consulting partner
An experienced partner has worked with other organization that have made mistakes which they can help you avoid right off the bat

5) Know and understand the history behind your current systems and processes
While starting with a fresh & clean slate may be appealing, there is a reason for your current systems and processes. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”–George Santayana

Be a success story. Be the example that industry peers attempt to mimic.


To see previous posts in the series 5 Reason Enterprise Social Initiatives Fail click below:

Why Enterprise Social Network Pilots Don’t Take Flight

Context, Key To Enterprise Social Success (a.k.a. Why most social initiatives fail)

Show Me The Money: One Reason For Enterprise Social Failure

The Missing Part Of Your Enterprise Social Network: Executive Support