Frequently Asked Questions about the Social Business Engine

What is the Social Business Engine?

Social Business Engine is a digital media property that provides actionable insights for modern business executives into the use of social media technologies across all functions of a business. The content is delivered in three formats: videos, podcasts and Journals.

Who is Bernie Borges?

Bernie Borges is the CEO of Find and Convert a digital marketing agency serving B2B clients since 2003. Bernie is an author, podcaster, blogger, speaker and trainer. He is passionate about evangelizing the potential of social business outcomes. In addition to being included on many lists of marketers to follow, he is an IBM Futurist and Dell Social Business Influencer.

How can the Social Business Engine help you and your organization?

Whether you’re a c-suite executive or a manager many steps removed from the c-suite, the variety of content allows anyone to gain actionable insights into social business in action. The podcast and video format mostly features brands in action. The Journal tackles a unique topic that might apply to your business. Consuming content on the Social Business Engine will provide actionable strategies, insights and inspirational ideas to consider in your organization.

How can you become a guest on Social Business Engine?

We look for two types of guests: Brands and Influential Thought Leaders. We look for people at brands with a story to share pertaining to their social business journey. The specific areas of the business we showcase span marketing, sales, employee advocacy, recruiting, customer service and commerce. We showcase thought leaders with a body of work such as a book or research report that contributes to your understanding of a specific element of social business strategy.

Who is Social Business Engines’ audience?

While anyone with interest in social business can consume our content, we deliver an editorial plan that serves mid-level and senior levels of management in mid to large organizations.

How can you sponsor a Social Business Journal?

Our sponsors are technology and service providers that contribute to social business success. Sponsorship options include co-branding a series of podcasts or Journals and co-branding a series of videos. Sponsorships are also available on our website and weekly newsletter.

What is the Social Business Journal?

The Social Business Journal is an e-book style content asset. It is produced in cooperation with a sponsor to provide robust insight into a social business topic. It is available for download through our Journals page as well as through promotional communications through our social media accounts and our weekly newsletter.

Frequently Asked Questions about Social Business

What is Social Business?

Social business refers to an intentional strategy whereby an organization embraces the culture and technology of social media technologies channeled to specific business functions such as customer service, sales, marketing, employee advocacy, recruiting and commerce. A social business proactively engages employees by training them to be social internally and externally. A social business is better positioned to achieve business goals in a competitive global economy an better positioned to attract and retain talent.

What is Employee Advocacy?

Employee advocacy is an intentional plan whereby employees are encouraged to be brand ambassadors and content contributors. An effective employee advocacy program includes training, a software-based platform to streamline execution and measurement, ongoing coaching and support. It also includes a plan for content curation and guidance in creating original content for employees who elect to create original content. An employee advocacy program has many benefits to a business including increased reach, lead generation, brand building/support and strengthened employee morale improving recruiting and retention.

What is Social Selling?

Social selling is a phrase that’s become popular and refers to a process whereby people who are directly or indirectly involved in new business development engage with people on social media in a manner that is relevant and helpful. Posting relevant content to social media accounts and engaging with others that post are effective ways to attract people with interest in your business, as well as expanding the breadth of your online network. Effective social selling strategies are proven to generate leads and new business opportunities.

How do we start being a social business?

While a social business strategy is unique to each organization, there are common elements. Start with an understanding of your customer and his/her pain points. Determine where your customers spend time online. Examine your offering in the market in comparison to your competitors. Examine the reach of your employees. After some due diligence, identify the initial area of the business to focus. See question 1.

Why does Social Business matter?

The impact of being a social business is multi-faceted. Internally, employees can feel empowered and motivated. A social business has a better chance of innovating through social collaboration. Customer service can be improved through social, especially when you consider customers’ expectation in response to feedback/complaints posted on social media. As mentioned in question 2, employee brand ambassadors can be a powerful asset to the business.

Why should your organization become a Social Business?

Research indicates that most employees prefer to work for a digitally enabled organization and millennials are approaching 50% of the workforce in the U.S. In other words, employees – the most valuable asset to any business – want to work in a social business. Additionally, reaching and attracting your customers and prospective customers is more probable in a social business.

How big does an organization need to be in order to implement social business?

There is no minimum size for social business. A solo-preneur might not be capable of implementing some social business practices that pertain to employee involvement.

Don’t we need to be social media experts to be a social business?

You do not need to be social media experts. That said, an acumen of comtemporary digital communication channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter is needed. Many social businesses begin with limited understanding of social media. A strategic roadmap will include organic onboarding of participants and learning the basics of social media with focus on the strategic plan for social business. In other words, it is not necessary to learn all social media platforms to succeed in social business.

How do you measure social business?

This is a common question that is easily addressed by a well documented strategic plan. If your goal is to improve customer service, your metrics will pertain to this function. If your goal is to increase business development results, then likewise your metrics will pertain to details such as leads, event attendance, new contacts, online to offline conversation conversions, etc. It is critical to determine the business function that will be the area of focus in your initial social business.

What is the role of content in social business?

Content plays a huge role in social business especially in social selling and social marketing. The people we engage with online don’t want to be sold. By providing relevant and useful content, we build trust. And, trust can lead to relationships, which can lead to business results. Content curation and original content through employees is another critical element in social business. When content is purely about your brand an it is pushed out by “your logo” it has limited results. Content produced and/or shared by employees is very effective in the modern social business.

What if employees leave the company?

Employees want to work at companies who represent a cause of some sort. Healthcare companies help people get and stay well. If your company is a niche B2B company, give employees the opportunity to integrate their work with support for one of their favorite. Deciding to become a social business will not fix fundamental problems with your product or service offering. Address those first, then embark on your social business journey. If/when your employees leave your company, a favorable opinion of your brand will bode well in their WOM activities.

What is the difference between using social media and being a social business?

It’s been said that “doing social media” is tactical and campaign focused. A social business is on a multi-year strategic plan. A social business has a DNA across the organization that embraces social media technologies across business functions. Social business is not limited to the marketing function. See question 1.

What is brand advocacy?

Brand advocacy refers to the sentiment that people other than your own employees will advocate for your brand because you’ve created a great experience for them. It typically results organically by becoming a social business. A formalized Ambassador Program has become popular among some brands who give special attention to a community of people who are loyal and passionate advocates for a brand.

What does it mean to be an influencer?

In the context of social business, an influencer is someone who has earned respect on a specific topic or industry segment through a loyal following of people. Brands engage with influencers to partner with them in various ways for mutual benefit. Influencer relations require planning and a mindset of “what’s in it for the influencer.” When a brand attempts to engage an influencer with a self-centered approach, results are usually limited.

What is the different between being an influencer vs a brand advocate?

An influencer has expertise in a topic that is relevant to your business. She may be a speaker or author or executive whose opinions and commentary are very influential. An influencer may or may not be your customer. A brand advocate is usually a customer. She may not be influential, but she is loyal to your brand and is willing to advocate for it online proactively or reactively.

What is the biggest barrier to becoming a social business?

Usually the biggest barrier to becoming a social business is the lack of understanding the “why” of becoming a social business. This is a mindset hurdle in the senior leadership that is a critical roadblock. Becoming a social business is a strategic initiative. Even if employees are actively campaigning internally to become a social business, without executive support, it won’t happen. Becoming a social business requires capital investment in social technologies and change management. The c-suite must be on board for social business to become a reality.

Does Social Business help with recruiting new talent to our organization?

Research indicates that employees overwhelmingly want to work for a digitally enabled organization. A social business can attract new employees through word of mouth from other employees. Another factor in attracting employees is by observing the way your brand and your employees engage online in sales, marketing, customer service, commerce and in the recruiting process. A digitally savvy employee candidate can assess your social business demeanor just by “listening” to your social activities, visiting LinkedIn profiles of key employees and by crowdsourcing opinions from friends and strangers with an opinion to share about your brand.

How can you help us become a social business?

Start by subscribing to the content on Social Business Engine. Listen to our weekly podcasts. Watch our videos. Download our Journals. Additionally, if you want advisory support to become a social business, contact us to arrange a complimentary consultation.

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