“Take charge of your social media strategy or watch others take charge,” is the blunt message from George Eby Mathew, digital media specialist at Infosys, for CIOs who are behind left behind as other business units — like marketing — lead the social media strategies in their respective enterprises. Mathew notes that CIOs are often reluctant to take on this new field because they are bogged down by the burden of managing new frameworks and infrastructure. These include the impact of consumerisation of technology as users take to a range of channels and devices, and customise and tailor their IT services. “Either fix the mess or embrace the trend,” he states in a breakfast forum at the recent CIO Summit in Auckland.
“Ten years from now social media will be part and parcel of every enterprise software you purchase. It’s not quite there yet, but it’s starting already.”
He lists steps CIOs can take to implement a successful social media plan. 1. Listen. Monitor and analyse sentiment about your organisations on social media. Dashboard this information and help your business understand what is being said. 2. Engage. Find the influencers who are driving the conversation about your brand. Talk with them about your brand. If something negative is said at the minimum you should apologise, and work towards resolving. Mathew suggests as consumers increasingly use social media to vent their frustrations, a portion of the traditional call centre budget should be allocated towards social media monitoring. 3. Embed. Make social media a part of your business by implementing it in your workflow and software.
His final piece of advice is to have a plan ready before the enterprise starts working towards a social media strategy. “Have a framework ready before the business comes to you requesting this cool new thing. You’ll be surprised at how impressive this can be,” says Mathew. Sim Ahmed (@simantics) is a reporter for CIO New Zealand.
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