By Ytzik Aranov, Managing Partner, Social2B

For those of you who’ve been through business school lectures on Michael Porter’s Value Chain Analysis this doesn’t come as news to you.  But when asked to implement social media practices, policies, platforms, tools, etc., in today’s corporation or enterprise, we throw out all of what we learned that makes the enterprise tick and elect to “surf” it through!

Attention – and I quote:

“Social Media (in the Enterprise) is a Business Process, not a channel, department, or vertical silo”.

End quote.

You heard it here!  Think about it.  Social media touches upon every department, every business process, every channel, every prospect / customer interaction, every investor, every supplier, in short, it touches the entire organization.

In today’s marketplace, social media and an enterprise’s online brand architecture and social media footprint is arguably, the most important business process affecting the entire Enterprise Value Chain.  Poor implementation of a solid online & social media platform strategy & tactics directly impacts a company’s ability to market, sell and extend its brand reach, globally.  Failure to effectively implement an integrated social media strategy & tactics across the entire Value Chain could potentially lead to lower revenues (read, shareholder value), slippage in market share, increased financial exposure, risk, and more

Value Chain

One of the most effective measurement techniques to measure enterprise social media effectiveness, both pre- and post-implementation, is to diagnose the “Social Media Maturity Index” (see graphic), which establishes a recognizable industry-specific metric with which to assess the social media value, influence, depth, and footprint of an enterprise’s value chain components – combining both departments and business processes.  Moreover, the social media maturity Index in its very essence is a barometer of how the value chain is capable of moving at the speed of (digital & social) business today.

So, when looking for added revenue stream, cost savings, internal value, constraints, and external interfaces with the world, then social media maturity acutely identifies the lack of, or plethora, of business excellence in sync with today’s pace of commerce.

OK, skeptics, How do we drill down into the Enterprise Value Chain and establish Social Value Chain Maturity & Scalability? Let’s break it apart into pieces.  Look at the following chart that defines touch points throughout selected departments throughout the enterprise, and their social media impacts.


Social Value Chain


The same goes for every other vertical silo, and, every business processes.  Each and every business process running across – horizontally – the enterprise has multiple social media touch points.

Social media maturity, coupled with an integrated online, SEO, SEM and Social Community Marketing strategy replaces one-way communication with dialogue. Participation by customers, suppliers, employees, the industry, the market, etc., and feedback from them all (!), must be listened to because it has the power to make or break your enterprise or enterprise function.  Social media tools allow us to observe the conversations, measure, monitor, track and quantify the online & social media reach and influence. It allows us to assess and re-assess the correct strategy & tactics from the bottom up to increase revenues, open new markets, capture greater market share, lower costs and in general, improve the bottom-line ROI.

So, what about ROI?

If done right — and you’ll have to come back for a later post on this subject — the Social Media Maturity Index is then mapped by those of you honored to be the “Keeper of the Social Keys” in the enterprise, to any existing enterprise Balanced Scorecard KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in use by the Executive suite (read CFO), in order to assess true ROI, Economic Value & shareholder value. And, by the way, to justify shifting dollars from traditional advertising / marketing into your online / social media marketing budget.


In Summary:


The value in executing a Social Media Maturity Index exercise, as the very first step prior to embarking on that “Journey to the Edge of the Social World”, includes, but by no means is limited to:


  • Creating a more aligned and more cohesive internal organization (whether vertical silo or horizontal business process) involved with social media and its offshoots;
  • Developing a cross-enterprise social media policy – let me guess, you’re thinking about it, while hundreds of employees across the value chain are uncontrollably blogging & Tweeting about the company without any filters – to manage the social media impact;
  • Channeling the endless volume of Content across the enterprise that is not “curated”, re-purposed or managed effectively throughout the enterprise, thereby losing SEO and ranking power;
  • Implementing a solid, instantaneous, Reputation Management process – what’s that? – more on that in another post …;
  • Hiring – training – more targeted and experienced human resources to effectively channel the enterprise’s social media assets and better utilization of current ones;
  • Mapping out a better-defined path to enterprise success by assessing the maturity of the organization and its readiness to embrace a new channel (SM) affecting the entire value chain – from customer service to distributor relations to marketing;
  • Establishing a quantifiable and actionable ROI – well, we know what that means (Return-On-Ignoring, Return-on-I (me!), etc. – in short, how we justify the extra capital needed to implement targeted social media campaigns to accelerate products or services sales.

The Social Media Maturity Index provides an immediate snapshot of where every Value Chain component of the organization is today is with respect to social media & market acceleration and what can be expected in terms of performance based on the overall social media maturity of the enterprise. It also maps out where each Value Chain component is lacking and what can be done to accelerate it and better sync it to the other Value Chain components thereby creating a powerhouse enterprise that socially rocks!