Australian organisations find social media a source of competitive advantage

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Australian organisations find social media a source of competitive advantage says Deloitte

Growth in use of social tools due to changing social media usage

17 December 2014: The competitiveness of Australian companies will depend on a range of factors, but will ultimately come down to how quickly and efficiently we can innovate and adapt to the needs of customers in their chosen markets, says Deloitte in its report Australian Business Trends 2014: How Australian business can capitalise on the latest global trends.

This report examines how Australian businesses can capitalise on the latest global trends in order to benefit from new technologies and an accompanying explosion in the movement of goods, services, capital, people, ideas, cultures and values.

One of the key trends in the report, ‘Social business, global business’, explores the impact and value of social media and how organisations no longer view social media as just a marketing tool.

Executives are realising that establishing a social media presence and acquiring the associated technology is simply the first step in a journey. They are building the processes, capabilities and organisational structures required to succeed as social businesses. For many, the development of social business will mean very real and radical changes – not only to businesses’ relationships with customers, but to their operations and to the very nature of their organisations.

“Australia is the fifth most concentrated smartphone market in the world* and in an increasingly online social world our smartphones are becoming one of the most important ways we connect with each other,” says Niki Alcorn, Deloitte Consulting Partner. “Our smartphone usage is arguably both growing and enriching our social interactions which will impact how global businesses are likely to engage with employees and consumers alike through many different forms of social media comprising blogs, social platforms and networking or community sites.”

The report highlighted that Australian businesses are at different stages of maturity in their uptake of social media. Some local pioneers are adapting their operating models to incorporate social-derived data, tools, software and channels. Conversely, it seems that some Australian organisations are failing to effectively embrace social business as a part of core business operations due to a lack of awareness and understanding of social tools.

“More companies will need to proactively respond to what they hear and learn from customers via social sources. Right now the emphasis is still on brand management and the use of social tools by business to help market or sell products,” said Ms Alcorn. “Businesses are learning that to successfully use social in business, they need to tap into the burgeoning number of social communities. Brands that recognise this will continue to have the advantage.”

Australian businesses can capitalise on ‘social business’ by:

  • Adapting operating models to incorporate social-derived data, software, tools and channels
  • Advertising through social media, which is rapidly growing in Australia
  • Tapping into the burgeoning number of social communities now residing in cyberspace

The report notes that entirely new businesses are growing from social roots. For example 10EQS, a crowd sourced consulting and professional services organisation supported by online collaboration tools, provides in-depth answers to complex, specialised questions for which traditional consulting is too costly. 10EQS reduces the transaction cost of information by simply connecting clients with professionals online. Its entire model, as well as its clients’ increasing comfort in using crowd-based insights, is due to the growing prevalence of social business models in Australia.

“Companies now recognise that social business offers the potential for progress across many dimensions. As corporate ambitions grow, so will the use of social tools as they allow organisations to ‘be global’ while removing many of the hurdles associated with ‘going global’,” observed Ms Alcorn.

“It will be the forward-looking Australian businesses that proactively embrace the new challenges of getting the right information to the right audience at the right time, by using the social channels most likely to resonate with them, which will thrive in the future,” concluded Ms Alcorn.

*Deloitte Mobile Consumer Survey 2014 the Australian Cut Revolution and Evolution

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