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“Social tools have the potential to change organizations, but only if those tools are implemented in a way that changes how individual employees work day to day.”

– McKinsey January 2015 Survey Insights

There was a time when organizations employed entire groups whose primary job was to type. You may have seen pictures of the typing pools of the 1950s with seas of people at desks clanking away on typewriters. I think that is how social media will be in the next 20 to 30 years.

More and more, organizations are integrating social media across disciplines and departments. A recent McKinsey survey asked companies how they are adopting and applying social technologies for business processes. According to the survey results, here are the top eight organizational processes in which social technologies and tools are used:

  • Public relations
  • Customer relationship management
  • Executing marketing activities
  • Developing customer insights and competitive intelligence
  • Recruiting/hiring
  • Sales and sales force management
  • After-sales services, including customer support
  • New product development/research and development

These results show social technologies are being used across organizations to achieve a wide range of goals—most commonly in the areas of public relations, marketing, sales, and customer service.

How Can Your Organization Culturalize Social Media?

If you’re looking to further integrate social media into your organization, here are four practical steps to get you started:

  • Take an inventory of your current status. How is your organization currently using social media? In what areas would you like to be using it that you’re not?
  • Create a social media task force. Identify key individuals who already know how to use social technology across your organization.
  • Equip them with training, tools, and support to begin using social media to achieve their personal objectives and your overall organizational goals.
  • Provide results to key leadership to encourage buy-in. Show data that supports the benefits of your social efforts, and then provide a proposal to expand your social presence moving forward.

How Will Your Organization Use Social Technology to Accomplish Your Goals?

According to the McKinsey social survey, 72 percent of organizations expect their investment in social tools to expand in the next three years. That’s a big jump from the 58 percent of organizations who responded positively to the same question in 2014.

As more companies embrace social technology and find ways to measure its impact, social adoption will continue to increase and expand. Are you leading your organization by example, encouraging your staff to leverage social media, and empowering them to take your message and mission to their networks?