Let’s start by taking a closer look at what it means. In our book, The Hyper-Social Organization, we define companies that are successful at leveraging the social as those that have been able to turn their business processes into social processes. That does not mean slapping those processes on top of social media — but it means powering those processes with people, or humans, and to anchor those processes in what we termed human 1.0 characteristics like reciprocity, fairness, status and power, tribal social instincts and the like. So in a way, succeeding at leveraging the social is allowing your employees to behave like humans with customers, prospects, partners and potential employees. Some call it humanizing your company.
Those companies that are able to humanize their company derive unbelievable benefits compared to those that continue the old ways of behaving in the marketplace — more loyal customers, more positive word of mouth (which leads to twice the amount of new business than traditional marketing programs), and more loyal and passionate employees.
Which brings us back to the ROI question — how do you calculate the ROI of becoming human in the workplace once again? You don’t.
Now what people talk about when they think ROI of social media programs is the ROI associated with traditional marketing programs run on top of social media platforms. But succeeding at leveraging the social in business is fundamentally much more profound than running traditional marketing program like couponing on top of those social platforms.
What do you think?