It’s the end of 2014 and most of the popular social media platforms have been around for more than 7 years now, yes more than 7 years – that is longer than most companies have as a strategic long term plan, yet most companies have not yet begun to embrace the concept of social business.
Social Business extends further than Social Media, Social Business is the complete deal and it also involves Social Engagement, which is changing the way we do business and rapidly moving business and marketing models away from the traditional B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumer) models. The new engagement model is C2C (Consumer to Consumer) and the real meaning of that is that every single person in the organisation is a sales person. Why you may ask? The simple and only reason that is important is that people buy from people.
No matter what you do in an organisation, you are a sales person – your opinions are highly regarded by those you meet and your recommendation or complaint about the organisation will make the sale. The response to this type of message is often, how do we keep the people from saying such things? Well honestly you cannot so don’t waste your energy, rather accept this and trust the people within the organisation to be good representatives.
How is this possible? It is about leadership and as any guru will tell you ‘Lead by Example’! The example expected here are open and transparent interactions with clients form the directors of the organisation. The days of hiring someone to do this for you are over! Directors need to have communication skills, because if you cannot communicate you cannot lead.
It is not about if you are going to do it, it is about how are you going to do it effectively. Effectiveness only comes from practice, never from talking about doing it.
The brutal reality is that if you are not on Social Networks your customers may perceive you to have gone out of business and if you are still in business they may think that you are not really interested in serving them. Customers don’t understand your business case for not being on Social Media and if your staff are not already there, my comment is that you have not set the right example as a leader.
Don’t think you can be the proverbial ostrich – this time will not pass, now is the time to get going and get going fast, even if you don’t have a brand, start building one. Social networks are the most effective way to build your brand and engage in conversation with your customers.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net