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Making the case for social business: Appealing to the wallet

This is part two of a three part series on how to build the case for social business and get buy-in from the decision makers in your organization. You can check out part one here.

We started out making the case that the shift for social business is a necessity borne out of inevitability. Human behavior has changed as a result of technology and the way we communicate and source information has made it a necessity for businesses to adapt.

Additionally, millennials are joining the workforce, obtaining higher ranking positions, and making more of the decisions. They will also increasingly influence the entire economy by how they choose to spend their disposable income.

But there’s more to consider than just the inevitable future…what about the present?

Let’s be honest with one another, when it comes down to it, decision makers often care about one thing: money. In most cases, the belief is that unless you are saving it or making it, you’re not driving business value. Obviously we can wrestle with that all day and talk about more intangible benefits that social tools can provide to a company, but in the end your boss wants to know how it affects the bottom line.

Making the case for social media marketing, internal social collaboration tools, and the cultural shift towards openness and accountability, is typically best presented next to dollar signs. Try asking simple questions:

  • Can increased productivity impact the bottom line?

  • What about customer retention? Does retaining a customer improve revenue and decrease expenses?

  • Can innovation and ideation drive revenue?

  • Why should you ask those questions?

The reason to ask these questions is because these are all improvements that can impact the company’s bottom line. More productivity means a lower cost of goods and services produced. Though there’s no consensus on exactly how much more it costs to get a new customers than to keep an existing one, the results are clear…it costs more to get a new client than to keep an old one. If innovation and ideation aren’t ways to increase revenue, someone better tell Apple, Amazon and Google immediately. They’re wasting money!

The data has shown that social tools, when properly deployed can lead to improvements in all of these areas and more.

We haven’t even begun to see all of the benefits that internal social collaboration can provide, but what company doesn’t want:

  • increased brand awareness

  • improved customer service

  • more engaged employees

  • faster decision making

  • less meetings

  • less email

Sounds pretty good to me and it seems like all of those benefits make a pretty compelling case, that social business can actually stuff those wallets with a little more cash.

This post was first written for Social Business News in 2013 so some of the information and vendors may not be around anymore.


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