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Enterprises that embrace collaboration, ’citizen journalism’ and customer advocacy are increasingly recognising the longer-term value this strategy brings to a brand.

The CIO is being challenged on every level - from delivering analytics and cost savings to the CFO, mobile devices and sales automation to the VP of Sales and even social media strategies for the CMO. Social media and enterprise mobility are the foundation blocks for responding effectively to these challenges and achieving competitive advantage.

SEnterprises are also being driven by consumers embracing new media experiences with staggering speed and using mobile devices as the preferred routes for content consumption. The ability to consume and interact with content anywhere, anytime – and to share and discuss that content experience with other people via social networks – is becoming an integral part of people’s lives. Recommendations and advocacy via social networks is prompting businesses and brands to realise the value of customer engagement. Brands are becoming conversations.

Social networks have consumerised technology, as user behaviour in sharing, collaborating and recommending is becoming increasingly entrenched. Traditional media is losing influence as the trusted intermediary between a brand and the consumer. ‘Citizen journalists’ are the new intermediaries and are recognised as powerful advocates. Brand reputation is now a real-time concern – Twitter can amplify a corporate success or mistake around the globe in seconds.

Enterprises that embrace collaboration, ’citizen journalism’ and customer advocacy are increasingly recognising the longer-term value this strategy brings to a brand. Advocates are not to be confused with influencers such as journalists. Whilst magazines and newspapers are useful for generating interest, they are not so effective in driving purchase decisions. Advocates on the other hand have an emotional engagement with a brand and will tell others – on forums, on Twitter, on Facebook and face-to-face with friends, family, peers and colleagues.

An increasing number of the popular brands are beginning to use co-creation and engagement via social media. Some are using their Facebook page as an extension of their website and use Twitter as a community news feed driving additional revenue via special offers enhanced by geo-location services.. The aim is to create a community channel designed to accelerate product development and innovation by real-time engagement with customers. In using ’citizen journalism’ and being seen to do this publicly has been highly successful and has led to a high level of positive customer advocacy.

Customer advocacy on social networks may also be an important measure of brand loyalty and serve as a predictor of increased revenues and stock prices of brand companies. A recent study by Pace University examined share price movements of a number of major brands between April 2010 and Feb 2011, cross-referencing it against Facebook Like, Twitter Follower and YouTube View data. The study was able to reliably predict the daily stock price over a 10 month period.

The bottom line? An enterprise mobility strategy is the foundation for achieving a 24/7, real-time, customer focused mobile enterprise and Vodafone Global Enterprise can help you achieve it.

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