A recent study by PulsePoint Group in collaboration with The Economist Intelligence Unit titled, “The Economics of A Fully Engaged Enterprise” (their definition is close to that of a social business, see below) found that companies that fully embrace social business initiatives are experiencing four times greater business impact than companies that do not.
The study identified six types of socially engaged enterprises and provides insights for organizations that want to measure themselves against peers and find the right strategy for improving business and economic impact from their investments in social business:
The study, conducted in February 2012, found that in the most companies where social business is a priority, the CEO and other executives are the vital advocates for cultural change that drives deeper levels of engagement within the organization.
More than three hundred C-suite and senior executives were surveyed for their perspectives on social engagement including definitions, drivers, barriers, and advocates related to current and future activities.
Here are some additional highlights from the study:
- The average return on social engagement was calculated to be between 3-5%. The most engaged businesses are reporting a calculated 7.7% business impact specifically from social engagement, which is four times the performance of the lowest performers who only achieved a 1.9% estimated return.
- The top two areas where executives thought social engagement had real value were improved marketing and sales effectiveness (84%) and increased sales and market share (81%)
- Executive advocacy is critical, now and in the future. Two-thirds of the organizations achieving the highest returns reported that their C-suites are active advocates– that is, they commit to social engagement as a strategy and they reallocate resources to make it happen.
- Executives defined social engagement today as online listening (28%), blogging (24%) and building relationships with online influencers (21%). But the top performers have a different view – they will be more focused on ideas and action in the next two years. Big-return companies crowdsource new products (57%), or let customers participate in developing ideas — they are predicting a significant portion of new products will be derived from social engagement insights.
Social Engagement Defined
A socially engaged enterprise actively engages constituents (employees, customers, partners, and other stakeholders) in meaningful conversations – enabled by social technologies – so that both parties benefit. This mutual exchange of value is not just about products but about useful information that builds commonality of interests and a sense of trust.
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