Corporate governance of social business strategy

Dell, at the beginning had a very centralized governance and strategy over its operational social media resources at the beginning (Li, 2010).  Li (2010), goes on to say that they eventually loosened up their governance where there was still a centralized social media council, but other departments were allowed to meet up weekly to discuss the content and how the strategy should be implemented. This is a great example of a large Fortune 500 company slowly adopting open leadership governance of their social media strategy to help them keep it aligned with their business strategy. Trusting departments to act autonomously according to strategy is hard, but each function/department should have their governance group, which should allay these fears (Zhu, 2012). This is all about building a relationship and trusting in your competent employees to ensure organizational alignment with any strategy (Richards-Gustafson, n.d.).

Organizational alignment is when business strategy meets business culture, where visions are aligned, and business goals and objectives should be drafted towards this business strategy (Richards-Gustafson, n.d.). Organizational alignment and its governance should be part of the business and social media strategic planning from the beginning (Zhu, 2012).  For social media strategy creation efforts, best practices dictate to borrow heavily from their current IT strategies and governance processes (Wollan, Smith, & Zhou, 2010). This is especially the case when trying to derive data from social media platforms to facilitate future strategic data-driven decisions on their products/services.

However, to ensure that there is an organization alignment with either the business strategy or social media strategy the BusinessWeek Online (2010) outlined: that there should be measurable critical success factors and key performance indicators that are required to reach strategic goals; and by using simple daily action plans for their employees to clear up any confusion.  Richards-Gustafson (n.d.) stated her outline as developing a supportive culture through aligning all the business goals to the business strategy while training non-competent employees; work towards building trust, open communication, and transparency; and promote people and teams to be more autonomous in driving this alignment.  Both BusinessWeek Online (2010) and Richards-Gustafson (n.d.) stated that having all levels of management involved and embodying the strategy themselves is key to driving organizational alignment with strategy.  However, according to Zhu (2012), management helps in implementing strategy while governances monitor strategy compliance.