Linking business goals and social media activities: A method for the utilization of social business
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Social media use is no longer a choice for most organizations. It has developed into a required component of business presence in modern society. The differentiating characteristic of social media compared to other business presence is that the interaction is public. Organizations struggle to adapt social media into their business strategy. Due to a lack of understanding of how to correctly integrate social media, organizations tend to just do something with it. Social media strategies tend to neglect the link with underlying goals of an organization. This research focusses on that gap of understanding. It attempts to develop a method that facilitates organizations to deploy social media activities in alignment with their business goals. A model is constructed that aligns typical business goals to typical social media activities. This model is validated through a five round Delphi study involving 9 experts in the field of social business. The resulting Social Business Model contains 12 common business goals, each with a variety of designated social media activities that are specifically written in detail for a particular goal. To facilitate the deployment of this model, the Social Business Method is developed, consisting of three main steps. 1: Assess the current situation through an assessment of the current business and social media activity, business opportunities and weaknesses. 2: Apply the Social Business Model by determining the business goals of the organization and aligning these with suitable social media activities. 3: Formalize a social business strategy by transforming the given social media activities from the Social Business Model into practical activities formed in a social business strategy. The advantage of the method is that it facilitates a large part of the thinking process that requires an organization to assess why it is using social media and how it can best be used to achieve their business goals.