Social Business Roadmap

Purpose of the roadmap

This roadmap is a tool to help organizations effectively develop social business processes and to help identify and address potential issues before they become real problems.

The roadmap is designed as a framework – that is, it addresses a wide variety of issues and challenges, not all of which will be applicable to every organization. Organizations are encouraged to use this roadmap as a starting point, but to customize it to their particular circumstances including their regulatory environment, organizational culture, level of familiarity with different tools, and of course their overall strategic goals and objectives.

Organizations that follow this roadmap will move from tactical, ad hoc, and suboptimal approaches to social business technologies to a more strategic and systematic implementation.

Introduction to the roadmap

The social business roadmap consists of eight primary steps. Each step is briefly described here and is addressed in substantially more detail over the course of the document. Links to the eight steps take you to our wiki, where we discuss the "what's next", case studies, and your additional thoughts and feedback.

  1. Emergence. In this step the organization is not using social technologies in any formal or organized way. Instead, individuals or small groups within the organization are experimenting with social technologies to determine whether there is business value to them.
  2. Strategy. Once the organization begins to develop experience with social technologies and has identified potential business value from their use, it is important to create a framework that identifies how it expects to use these technologies, and the goals and objectives for their use.
  3. Development. With the strategy in place, the organization can make informed decisions about what tools to implement, how to implement them, where to implement them, and how they will potentially scale more broadly within the organization.
  4. Monitoring. Initially the organization should spend time monitoring and listening to the conversations taking place in and around a particular tool to get a sense of the nature of the tool, the content of the conversations, the target audiences, and who the leading participants are. This is perhaps more visible in externally focused processes but is important for internal ones as well.
  5. Participation. Once the organization has done some listening it will be able to participate more meaningfully and should begin doing so according to what it has learned about the target market and the nature of the conversations on the various tools.
  6. Engagement. The goal is for participation to move to engagement – from speaking at or to customers to engaging with them. This means creating processes to respond to issues, both internally and externally, and ensuring that communications are clear, accurate, and authentic.
  7. Governance. This step describes the process for developing an effective governance framework for social business processes. Some of the steps are specific to certain tools or capabilities, while others are more broadly applicable, such as an acceptable usage policy.
  8. Optimization. Once social business processes are in place, they should be actively managed and reviewed to ensure that the organization is realizing the expected benefits. This includes but is not limited to monitoring the tools in real time, identifying and measuring specific metrics, and training users on new or evolving tools and processes.
Roadmap Infographic Thumbnail

In addition to the roadmap document, we have also created a detailed infographic of the eight steps. Please feel free to download this graphic and share.

Contact

Please contact Jesse Wilkins, Director, Systems of Engagement, to schedule a briefing for your organization. Andrea Baker, Manager, Systems of Engagement Development is available to present classified briefings for organizations with security concerns. You can engage in the continuing conversation about the roadmap by following @jessewilkins and @immunity on twitter.