From frontline customer service and support, to public responses to crises, social media is now the standard for how businesses meet their customers.
Information is expected to be available on a variety of different devices at a moment's notice and tailored in the exact format consumers prefer.
Yet, there are some business leaders who remain skeptical of offering a high level of visibility online. This is a missed opportunity.
Leadership's active involvement in social media and other online channels is critical to a modernized enterprise, and further, is representative of a larger change.
It represents a commitment to digital transformation. In order for digital transformation to be successful in an enterprise, two conditions need to be met:
1. The purpose of the company must be clearly defined and upheld with integrity throughout the company.
Prior to social channels being a vehicle for brands, communication from a brand was top-down.
With the emergence of new communication channels, consumers are now exposed to even more aspects of a brand.
For example, we know how a business treats its employees, and we can see how wonderful (or terrible) a company's customer service is by scrolling through their Facebook page. It's a feedback loop that replaces top-down communication.
This applies internally as well. Mission statements, core value outlines - these are all necessary to internal branding. Digital transformation within an enterprise allows business leaders to engage with their employees in a more approachable format.
2. Executive leadership must be actively involved and visible on digital channels.
When a business leader truly wants to embrace a change at their company, they'll view it as a strategic investment in the long-term health of the business.
Engaging online isn't about being the first to have a profile on the hottest new social channel, it's about seeing how this platform will encourage the right kind of communication with your stakeholders.
Digital technology has the potential to strengthen the relationship between employees and employers, or consumers and brands but in the end, tools can only do so much. It's the leadership behind the tools that are responsible for bringing that transformation to life.
Perhaps somewhat ironically, the technological evolution in the workplace is seldom about the actual tech. It's about the long-term vision for the business.
While a tool can shorten a sales cycle or improve internal processes, digital transformation as an idea is also about seeing the potential change in mindset that the tool represents.
Ivan Tsarynny (@Ivan_Tsarynny) is the co-founder and CEO of PostBeyond, an enterprise software platform that empowers employees to share their excitement about their company on social media. He will be presenting during SMWi Toronto (@SMWiToronto), an independent Social Media Week, June 6-9 in Toronto.