With the explosion of social media across the Internet more businesses have turned to sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to get their messages across to the public.
However, Gys Kappers, the CEO of WyseTalk, believes that not enough companies in South Africa are making use of social media.
“Countries like Nigeria and Kenya are actually two or three times ahead of (South Africa) from a social media perspective. From a social business perspective, the view is that South Africa is in the very early adopter stage,” he said in an interview with ITNewsAfrica in Johannesburg.
“I think what is going to happen in the next couple of years is complete convergence. Social media from an external perspective (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook) is going to be understood better by enterprises in terms of how they manage their brands. There is going to be an increase in convergence with social business software within the enterprise so that there is an alignment between the strategy of how to take a brand external and manage that aspect, as well as taking a brand internal and managing that aspect – and then using that data to make better decisions over time.”
WyseTalk provides social business software and collaboration tools to companies, and Kappers actually wrote his Executive MBA thesis on The delay of social business software adoption in the enterprise and its effects.
The company provides businesses with an invite-only Social Business platform that allows companies to communicate, collaborate and innovate with colleagues, employees and suppliers in a secure manner.
According to Kappers, the slow adoption of social business software is mainly due to a lack of understanding.
“There is a delay because there is a massive generational impact. If you go into an enterprise where the leaders of the business are from the older generation, there is a lot of fear around intellectual property and about how one conducts conversations etc. The delay is around not understanding what is actually starting to happen. Statistically, businesses that embrace social business software are leaps and bounds ahead of their competitors.”
Despite this delay, the use of social business software is becoming a growing trend. “WyseTalk is very early to market in the South African context but we have certainly had major successes. Since we have been live in the last 15 months, we have garnered a number of really strong brands. And in terms of our engagement methodology, it is not that we are just selling software – we are engaging with them to see how we can help and partner with them. We have had some unbelievable success rates in the businesses that we have represented,” Kappers explained.
He stressed that businesses need to have a clearly defined social business software plan –
“Ostensibly a company’s value is what it feeds back to its stakeholders over time. The reality is if you don’t have a strategy that is well thought out and well formulated, both from a social media and a social business perspective, the chances of it succeeding are low. And if you fail here, you fail catastrophically.”
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech Editor