Key Points Every Business Manager Should Know About Social Media

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Steve Nicholls, Author of Social Media in Business, Says to Gain Competitive Edge, Managers Need to Incorporate Social Media Into Overall Business Strategy (Tip Sheet)

With the constant expansion of social technologies, gaining a competitive advantage has virtually become unfeasible without incorporating a social media strategy as a resource. Incorporating social media within a business strategy needs to be a matter of how rather than when; the sooner it is absorbed into the DNA of your organization, the more innovative and competitive your organization can be. Steve Nicholls, author of Social Media in Business, outlines below what every manager should know about the use and implementation of social media in business.

Social Media Opportunities
First of all, managers need to have a holistic perspective on the opportunities afforded by social technologies. The latter allow for visible market presence, allowing the business to access both global and local markets in an unprecedented way; communication opportunities; facilitating and widening communication avenues within the company and beyond; communities, creating and getting access to key communities for your business; collective intelligence, tapping into useful information to enhance your business; and collaboration opportunities, offering a plethora of tools to collaborate more efficiently with other parties.

Social Media Risks
Social media also presents risks that managers need to be aware of. Social media risks can affect either the organization as a whole, such as when it creates security issues, or the individual on a personal level, such as when privacy dilemmas arise. Putting mitigation strategies in place, within a regularly-audited and monitored social media policy, is crucial in order to minimize risks and optimize benefits, protecting both the organization and the individual within the organization.

The Manager’s Role
The manager's role in the implementation process of an organization’s social media strategy is crucial. It includes creating a common language, so that everyone in the organization can participate equally; adopting the right mindset, showing a positive attitude towards the project from start to finish will influence the whole group psychology and thus the project’s potential for success; having clear organizational goals, clarifying these will help everyone stay on track at all times; affording the proper amount of time, time is the most significant cost when it comes to social media and allowing enough time is a significant aspect to consider; allocating resources, distributing responsibilities and providing the appropriate soft and hard infrastructure needed for the project to unfold is key; and having a vision for the future; being a visionary for the company and making sure the organization evolves as social technologies move forward is an important part of the manager’s role.

The Environment
Taking into consideration the environment in which social media will operate is essential. This includes looking at the organizational context, including the company’s regulations, budget, available skills and existing competition. Part of this context is organizational culture; perhaps the most influential aspect for the manager to consider. A closed culture will almost completely impede on the project, whilst an open one will allow it to flourish; making sure that organizational culture is open enough for a project to move forward is one of the most important tasks for a manager to achieve. Having a systematic approach to implementing the project will detect all those opportunities that your company needs to capitalize on as well as both the visible and invisible risks that need to be mitigated. Creating the conditions necessary for the successful implementation of a social media project, according to the context in which it is born, will thus make all the difference between how successful it will be.

To download the full white paper regarding what every business manager needs to know about implementing an effective social media strategy that will help your company gain a competitive edge, please visit:

About Steve Nicholls
Steve Nicholls is the author of the best-selling book Social Media in Business, a celebrated international speaker, and social media strategist who consults with business executives to facilitate implementation of winning social media strategies. As a former business executive, Steve is unique among social media experts in his ability to bridge the language gap between those developing new technology and the senior executives who need to implement them to keep their company’s competitive edge. Beginning his career as a project manager in skyscraper construction, Steve earned his MBA at Henley Business School in 1992 and his Masters of Science in Organizational Development from the University of Portsmouth in 2008. His background as a project manager, combined with his extensive experience in the business and technology industries, Steve possesses the unique ability to assist companies in creating and their own unique blueprint for social media success.


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Stacy Callahan
Astonish Media Group
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