Social media is word of mouth on steroids. You can get the word out in blinding speed and not just locally, but on a global scale. It is really good to find new people willing to do business with you. It is great to measure customer satisfaction and to improve customer satisfaction. It is good for research. It is good for getting insights, collaborating on ideas. It is good for positioning. Starting your strategy on social media is all about defining your unique positioning. Social media can help you there. It’s a great recruitment tool. It’s really good for promotion. It helps you build your communities. It’s now. It’s immediate. That’s where the power of social media is.
If you put this in a wider context, social media is the biggest change in business I have seen in my corporate career. Why you would ask? Check out these 4 changes in business, being instigated by social media (source: Intersection Consulting):
- The world, the business is changing from selling to connecting with an audience, no longer can brands dictate the people in the market what to buy, but it’s the brand and the people connecting, communicating, interacting, making sure that the right person gets the right product at the right time. I now train sales teams on how to use social media to be more effective in selling. The art of social selling is all about building online relationships with your customers. Not via promotions but by developing yourself as an expert in your field.
- It is changing from large campaigns to small acts. No longer one uniform message to anonymous targets and market segments. But now, it is small acts to individual groups of people within individual or specific market segments – very powerful. I can now advertise on Facebook where I can target men between 20 and 25 years, living in London and are passionate about golf.
- It’s from controlling the message to bringing transparency. It’s no longer that you can tell the audience what to do, but it is about being open, and about understanding what your market wants and tailoring your message based on their needs. You can no longer expect your audience to say what you want them to say. You need to listen to them and tailor your message. Make your message transparent to what they want to hear. Blackberry is the classic example of what happens when you don’t listen online and then when it was too late they were trying to control the message by putting a video on youtube with “an apology” from their CEO. Check the video below and judge for yourself.
- The biggest change is from being hard to reach to being available everywhere. Instead of you expecting your customers to come to your website to connect with you, you go to the the places where they hangout like Facebook, LinkedIn or on Twitter, and you connect with them where they are. How familiar are those situations where you need to call your bank and the first thing you hear is the “your call is important to us” busy signal.
This is why I think there’s such a fundamental change in the way businesses go about doing their business and this is not a change happening in a few years. This is a generational change. This will take 10 to 20 years to really change the way businesses operate. It’s a fundamental change. It’s changing from a closed, controlled and intuitive business approach to being open, random and networked. It is no longer your target database, but it is your community that drives what you do. And this is why I love Social Media.