Shifting Out of Second: Spur the Effort

It may be tempting to believe that social media’s popularity outside the office will imbue efforts inside if the technology is right. Although there may be some initial enthusiasm, it can quickly vanish. To spur and maintain the adoption of social, companies need to nurture it in a systematic way. Businesses that are making the greatest progress toward becoming a socially connected enterprise focus rigorously on four interrelated areas: leading a social culture, measuring what matters, keeping content fresh and changing the way work gets done.

Leading a Social Culture

Although providing a tool may be a springboard for adoption, it is not enough. Company leaders must actively drive its use.

When Teva launched Radar to accelerate the resolution of supply-chain issues, for example, the project gained bottom-up traction because the tool added value to people’s jobs. However, whenever top management support faded, the effort quickly lost steam; with every change in top management, Jean-Francois found herself reaching out to the new leaders and bringing them on board in order to rekindle the momentum.

Furthermore, “[for] social collaboration to be successful in business, leaders have to explain the why,” says Michael Slind. “Leaders need to really collaborate and make sure people understand the importance of transparency, shared accountability — and sharing in general.” Connecting social with important business objectives is the crux of “explaining the why.” Morgan Stanley’s Boyman, for example, credits the head of sales for connecting social to business needs and assuring that the bank became a social business leader in its industry. “If I didn’t have the head of our sales force tell me that we have to be the first in the industry to do this, it never would have happened,” says Boyman. “Even when the project hit initial bumps because of the realization it would require IT dollars, he was still committed to keeping people focused and getting the needed resources.” Leadership also plays a pivotal role in creating a social business culture. American Express SVP Leslie Berland notes: “Does the company have leaders who are believers in what’s possible? That’s a big piece of the [social business] puzzle.”

At companies known for their social culture, such as Cisco and American Express, an open and collaborative culture is always in the room. “Cisco has a really open culture of transparency and trust,” says Jordan.


1. As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP and Deloitte Services LP, which are separate subsidiaries of Deloitte LLP. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

2. Pike Research: Social Media in the Utility Industry Consumer Survey, 2011 (Pike Research rebranded as Navigant Research in 2012).

3. McKinsey Global Institute: The Social Economy: Unlocking Value and Productivity through Social Technologies, July 2012

4. Forrester: The Four Social Marketing Tools You Need, February 25, 2013

5. Gartner: Agenda Overview for Social Software and Collaboration, 2013. January 2, 2013

6. Deloitte: U.S. State of the Media Democracy Survey, Seventh Edition, 2013

7. Gartner: Predicts 2013 Social and Collaboration Go Deeper and Wider, November 28, 2012

8. Dion Hinchcliffe interview with Robert Berkman, MIT Sloan Management Review, June 3, 2013. See:

9. In order to assess the impact of multiple variables at once, a regression analysis was used to identify statistically significant and practically meaningful adoption factors, that contributed to social business maturity.

10. LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index assesses a company’s activity on LinkedIn by measuring four areas: brand, reach, activity and contribution. Brand is measured based on the completeness of a company’s sales force profile. Reach is measured by the number of LinkedIn connections. Activity is measured by the number of searches and messages (InMails) sales professionals are executing and sending. Contribution is measured by the amount of content updates sales professionals are posting to LinkedIn.


12. Nielsen: Double Vision — Global Trends in Tablet and Smartphone Use While Watching TV, April 5, 2012

13. Nielsen: State of the Media Spring 2012 Advertising & Audiences, Part 2: By Demographic, April 27, 2012

14. David M. Gilfoil and Charles Jobs: Return on Investment for Social Media: A Proposed Framework for Understanding, Implementing, and Measuring the Return, Journal of Business & Economic Research, Vol. 10 No. 11, 2012.

15. Jason Miller: New metrics to help agencies determine value of social media, February 20, 2013.

16. Gartner: 2013 Social Marketing Survey Finding: Content Creation Fuels Social Marketing, March 25, 2013

17. (Accessed May 3, 2013)

18. Deloitte: Tech Trends 2013: Elements of postdigital, 2013

19. Punit Renjen: Lead or Be Left Behind: A Chairman’s Perspective on Social Media, Directors & Boards, First Quarter 2013.

i. John Hagel: Enterprises Still Honing Their Social Skills, February 1, 2013