By - July 23rd, 2014

Lara Ruth, Vice President, Content and Social at Citibank North America, shares her thoughts on the findings from the State of Corporate Social Media Briefing 2014

If 2013 was the year of ramping up of social media, 2014 has been the year of integration. Rather than social media being thought of separately it’s slowly progressing to being a key component across multiple functions. Companies, both B2C and B2B, are getting that it can no longer be in its own world or being an afterthought. Social has to line up with what companies are doing elsewhere as well as have the ability to escalate concerns internally across even the most complex of organizations. If you can’t do that, you’re already behind.

Now that the vast majority of companies are in social, and multiple platforms at that, just having a presence isn’t enough. Organizations are appreciating that social touches all key aspects of the business – attracting new talent, retaining your customers, and celebrating your organization and its employees for the little wins along the way.

At the end of the day, your customers don’t care how you’re organized – the number of people staffing your teams, their titles, even what your key metrics are in social based on senior mandates within your company. No.

Your customers care that you’re listening, responding, and preferably acting. This is why the organizations that are standing out in social are learning that a siloed approach just doesn’t work.

Is social stagnating? I dare say no. It’s hard for me to even put those two words together in one sentence. Those massive spikes of changes though are becoming less the norm, but I would not say that it is stagnating. Platforms continue to evolve. With constant changes on these networks layered on with paid media, there are too many variables for anything to become too set in stone.

I’m of the mindset that social has not matured (past tense) but that it is beginning to mature. Companies are no longer doing social for social’s sake.

It’s not a box companies are simply checking off, if you will. Initially it was just a corporate imperative to be present in social. With increased requests for budgets, staffing, and the like, senior business heads have more questions and want more data to back up these requests.

Now it’s understanding the value, what’s working (and, more importantly, why) and how it’s driving corporate business goals. It is no longer acceptable to simply track trend lines on all social variables but instead understanding what really matters to your company – remembering that social is not one size fits all.

As you continue to think about your social strategy, this briefing has some valuable insights to keep in mind – to see where your organization falls in the mix and where, perhaps, some changes are in order or even in store in the year ahead.

Lara Ruth

Vice President, Content and Social

Citibank North America

** This year's briefing is available as a free download. A free copy of the 22-page management strategy briefing can be downloaded here.

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