How to Weave Social Media Into the Fabric of the Business

Social media usually starts out as a marketing effort, but it must become part of the business, coordinating multiple functions and lines of business to meet customer needs in the moment.


What Drove KLM to become a Social Business


On April 14, 2010, Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted, spewing ash into the skies and triggering the biggest disruption in European air traffic since World War II.




In response, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines mustered volunteer employees who responded in real time on Facebook and Twitter around the clock to help rebook the flights of some of its 50,000 stranded passengers. handipad

The event transformed the way KLM interacts with travelers through social media, going from trading tweets to conducting business transactions within days.

Today, KLM has 150 employees who serve travelers using social media 24×7. By using social for business transactions, KLM has created a pull for customers to have more social interactions with the company, which lets it pinpoint new business opportunities, including new routes and services.


Sources: “KLM’s Social Media Strategy – Part 1” (Meanwhile at KLM, July 25, 2012),KLM’s 150 Social Media Customer Service Agents Generate $25M in Annual Revenue(VentureBeat, May 21, 2015)



Social Business is a Step Toward Live Business


Live Businesses – able to coordinate multiple functions so they can respond to and even anticipate customer demand at any moment. Social business is an important step toward that goal.



Four Ways to Create a Live Social Business


Use Social Metaphors in Processes

Offering customers the ability to “like” things in your catalog or see collaborative filtering should be part of your customer-facing processes.



Embed Social Deep into Operations

Social data should be integrated with enterprise resource planning, business process management, procurement, order fulfillment, and workforce analytics systems so that social becomes a part of how people do their everyday jobs. That increases speed, efficacy, and collaboration.



Be the Next Uber

Social gives you a direct connection to and understanding of customers, employees, and partners that you could never have had before. Exploit it to create powerful new digital business models.



Get Senior Executives Involved

When adoption of its social collaboration technologies plateaued a year after the initial rollout, Bayer MaterialScience (now called Covestro) implemented a reverse-mentoring program that pairs social media-savvy employees with senior executives.



download arrowTo learn more about how to integrate social into your business operations, read the in-depth report In a Live Business: Social Gets Its MBA.


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