How social is changing business

In the course of a business day, an average consumer uses up to four devices and multiple third-party applications, including social networking sites. As more and more people engage online, 82 percent of them are engaged in social networking. Forty-four percent of consumers use social media to complain to companies, and 20 percent of customers expect a speedy response when they contact a company via social media.

These technology consumers are both your customers and your employees, and their fluency in social computing offers two exciting opportunities for organizations like yours: social customer engagement and social productivity.

Social Customer Engagement is the practice of using external social capabilities to gain insight from customers in order to boost sales or achieve marketing objectives. For example:

  • Sales teams can identify new leads through social listening and customer profiling or build existing relationships through stakeholder management.

  • Marketing teams can engage directly with customers to foster product innovation, create loyalty to multiple brands, and gain customers insights through profiling.

  • Support teams can identify and speed escalation of and response to customer issues.

  • Retention teams can create a unique customer experience that fosters loyalty, builds brand trust and generates new market opportunities.

Social Productivity is the use of social tools within your business to improve how well and how fast you get work done (business productivity). It can also include working with customers and other external parties, but it is about the collaboration it takes to achieve a common goal. Sixty-five percent of companies are deploying at least one social software tool today, and the trend is expected to continue as social networking demonstrates its value in these ways:

  • Social tools make it easy to share information broadly with peers and collaborate effectively with partners and stakeholders outside of your organization.

  • They offer choice in how information is consumed, including across multiple personas and devices.

  • Individuals benefit from shared knowledge, skills, and expertise by connecting to people with relevant expertise and information.

  • Employees can communicate wherever and whenever across multiple devices while sharing and creating in virtual meeting spaces.

Enterprise class social

Microsoft is in the unique position of being able to deliver social experiences across Microsoft products that people love on a connected platform that can provide IT with what’s needed to create enterprise-class social. That means a rich experience with familiar tools like Microsoft Office—with the control you need to keep IT secure, the business regulatory compliant, and your customer information secure.

Here’s how some Microsoft Services customers have been putting enterprise-class social to work for them:

  • BMW Latin America: To promote the launch of two new model lines, BMW Latin America wanted to kick off an interactive marketing campaign through the Facebook social network that would support the launch and collect audience data. With the support of Windows Azure, BMW was able to scale its social media campaign dynamically to meet demand and ultimately engage 90,000 consumers. By connecting the user information to its internal CRM system, the campaign converted 900 campaign participants into sales prospects. BMW ran the campaign in 10 markets and in two languages without making a large infrastructure investment or relying on corporate support.

  • ASB Bank: Upon moving into a new headquarters, ASB wanted to develop a comprehensive workflow and social collaboration environment to enable new ways of working. ASB deployed SharePoint 2013 to contribute to an innovative work environment where employees can discover, share, and organize information and ideas, which will boost collaboration and productivity companywide.

  • Tyco: As part of the efforts to drive corporate restructuring, Tyco needed to educate employees about the difference between the old Tyco and the new one – on everything from restructuring to branding. Tyco turned to Yammer to support a vast, global workforce to increase reach and get employees involved. By integrating Yammer into the applications Tyco’s workforce relies on, like Microsoft SharePoint, Tyco was able to help transform disparate business units into a single, cohesive company, driving a new corporate culture.