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The 6 step process to a Social Enterprise

Submitted by on June 2, 2010 – 3:11 am11 Comments

In In my previous blog, I talked about what makes an enterprise social. We identified that enterprises need to seek employee community, customer community as well as external communities to get to becoming truly social. This takes time and resources.

This blog provides a simple 6 step process that organisations can adopt, in order to harness the benefits of the various communities and becoming social.

Step 1: Identify the communities you wish to target initially

Choosing which community an enterprise wants to target first, would realy depend on the type of the enterprise. For example a large insurance firm with thousands of agents employed, or a large retail bank with thousands of employees in their branches would greatly benefit if their employees are social. Companies more focused on customers, with much fewer employees should focus on the customer community, while marketing organizations, and companies who are wanting brand visibility should target consumers and external communities initially.

Step 2: Define the Social Intent also known as Social Objectives

Unlike traditional enterprise initiatives (such as ERP or CRM), when you implement programs relating to social communities it is important to understand that Intent/Objective precedes strategy.

For example for the customer community, one may have ‘Increasing Revenue’ as the Social Intent. Similarly if you are focusing on the employee community, ‘Collaboration’ or ‘Innovation’ could be the Social Intent. Most organizations that are targeting external communities and consumers have ‘Brand Management’ as the Social Intent

Step 3: Identify Social Use Cases

Before we get into this, lets understand or define what are Social Use Cases. For simplicity, lets define these as elements that help meeting the identified Social Intent.

For ex: If we are targeting the customer for becoming social, and our Social Intent was ‘Product Innovation’, then you can attain insights relating to what features your customer base wants from the community through a number of smaller projects or initiatives. In this case a partial list would comprise of;

– Blogs

– Forums

– Listening to conversations & text mining

Each of these can constitute a Social Use Case that ensures that the Social intent for Customer Product Innovation is supported.

Step 4: Build your Social CRM strategy and road map

Having clearly defined the social use cases, you are now in a position to map out your Social CRM strategy and build your road map.  The Social CRM Strategy defines the social organization structure, the channels you will engage,the hardware and software platforms you will use, risk mitigation plan and metrics to measure the effectiveness of your strategy. In many cases it will also map out your integration plan to existing back end systems.

Step 5: Communicate, train your team and implement the strategy

Obviously, this is the most critical element to being successful in becoming a social enterprise. It is important to build up the hype as you implement your plan. Communicate aggressively the benefits, create an aura of excitement around this program, have senior executives participate and lead these initiatives, by blogging or emailing the importance. Do not underestimate the importance of training your team and anyone who will come into contact due to this social program being implemented.

Identify all members, which could include, CSR’s from your contact center, legal, HR any and everyone who could be remotely connected with this program and have them trained.

Start with a pilot set of users. This will help streamline communications, resolve user adoption issues, and overall health-check your initiative, before it gets widespread.

Finally communicate your successes, however small they may be. Keep the excitement going.

Step 6: Expand

Once this initiative is operational expand to adding additional social use cases and/or expand to add other community groups mentioned in step 1.


This blog was first published at this site wwwdileepsri.com and at syndicated at www.customethink.com, where it was rated amongst the top posts for that week.



  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dileep, Dileep Srinivasan. Dileep Srinivasan said: #SCRM: 6 steps to a social enterprise: start with identifying the communities of interest – http://bit.ly/ai6hdG […]

  • Manab Mohanty says:

    Thank you for a great blog on how to start with for the Social CRM initiaitves. As we know kicking off the process in this nascent stage of Social CRM adoption is very important and organizations are aking cautious steps towards this. This gives them a guideline how to embrace the very necessary social media platform for corporate sucess. Also defining new Process alignments, social media policies and optimization would be an integral part of their Social CRM strategy.

  • Hart Hooton says:

    Hi Dileep:

    Easy, concise way of looking at the process for orgs to undertake as they “socialize” their business. Where does “listening” to the targeted communities fit into your 6-step process? Part of this process gains by being less corporate-centric and more externally focused, even user-centric. Target the communities, then listen to what they say, what they are talking about, what they might want/need. Then on to use cases before developing the intent/objectives to drive strategy and tactics.


  • Dileep says:

    Hello Hart,

    Thankyou for your valuable inputs. I fully agree that listening should be the first thing to be adopted by enterprises when they are ready to implement or go social. In my steps, this comes in step 3.

    In fact I view listening, as the first use case any organization should start with, however, to me step 1 and step 2 are focused on getting the organization community centric.

    If this is not done and they start putting in place solutions like listening, many organizations could fail in properly responding to what they hear and also will not be able to derive actionable insights.

    Hence, it is important to get the Social Intent mandated right up front.

    Cases like Nestle (Kit-Kat fiasco) have happened because, smaller groups just went blindly on to hooking up with the community and while they listened they also reacted without an approach chalked for a response when the need arose. Hence, if the intent at a higher (40,000ft) level had been laid out, the outcome could have been different.

    Further, by leading with Intent before even adopting to listening or any other use cases, organizations can target themselves to be more community centric, since the resources and outcomes will be focused towards deriving actionable insights through the voice of the community and aligned with the Social Intent.

    But yes, I certainly agree with you that any begining should start with listening. It should certainly be one of the core use cases that every organization should adopt first.

    You are also bang on, about moving from corporate centric to being user centric. They certainly need to be externally focused and this outcome is going to happen irrespective of an organizations readiness.

  • Hi Dileep,

    Welcome to the world of blogging & what an entry! 😀

    Your post on the 6 steps comes as a savior to many who are frustrated with the complexities involved in making an enterprise ‘social’. This is a complex topic, yet you have managed to drill it down to a simple process. Its people who can simplify things who can help cross the chasm of innovation adoption. So I am sure you have a lot riding on you now! 😉

    The devil now lies in the details! 😀

    Making an organization customer/community/user centric rather than business-centric is easier said than done. I would like to see more details about each of the steps in your subsequent posts.

    Also, when you say that the Social Intent/Objective must be defined upfront, doesn’t it also help in preparing KPIs/Maturity Model as well as in defining ROI? Since you have already dealt with step 1 in your previous post, I am interested in reading more about step 2. This is the place where most people I talk to are stuck at. In fact, many are already into step 3 even without going through step 2.

    Thinker, Tinker, Connector
    http://j.mp/prem_k | http://twitter.com/prem_k
    Evangelist – Social CRM, Cognizant.com

  • Amit says:

    Hi Dileep,

    This blog really helps understand a complex stuff in very simple steps. It provides a map to an organization to decide where to start and helps understand in which phase it currently is .

    It would be intresteing to read the subsequent blogs which would have more details on each of the steps..

  • Raju Gaikwad says:

    Excellent blog. It’s provides a structured and simplistic approach of enabling Social Enterprise. I think the next challenge in the thought process is how does one keep the community vibrant and Social Enterprise ticking so that Social Intent is intact.

  • Great story and example

  • Amiable post and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you as your information.

  • Dileep says:

    certainly possible, but would like to have a look at your site. please send me the links. Thanks.

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