Are you missing the social media advantage?

What has your company done differently as a result of the growing public adoption of social media technologies?

Opened up a Twitter account? Tick.

Facebook? Tick.

LinkedIn, perhaps? Tick, tick (two ticks because the CEO also has a LinkedIn profile).

Yep, they’re all important to varying degrees, depending of course on what business you’re in and who your audience is, but it’s akin to putting on your track shoes in readiness for a big race. It’s a start, but it’s not the same as getting on the running track and giving the race your best shot.

I ask this in all seriousness: are your social media efforts merely part of a box-checking exercise –  something you feel you need to be involved in because everyone else is? Or has your company taken advantage of the opportunity social media provides to change the mindset of your organisation (internally and externally) so it is more in sync with today’s hyper-connected consumer?

Attention deficit marketplace

If it’s the latter, congratulations! You’ve latched on to the fact social media is more about people than technology, you understand the world has changed and that your business needs to start thinking and acting differently in order to stay in touch with an ‘attention deficit marketplace’ (as opposed to merely jumping on Facebook).

I’m not saying do away with traditional marketing communications methods altogether because many of them still do work, but do explore other options that allow your brand to more genuinely and holistically connect with people that matter most to the success of your business.

Use this opportunity to put a ‘human face’ to your organisation; create multimedia content that resonates with potential customers and helps move them towards a purchase decision; add value to people’s lives by helping them rather than overtly pitching.

Get the CEO involved

Why can’t the CEO publish a weekly blog post and, every now and then, field comments and questions directly from the public on Twitter or via a Google Hangout? Why can’t they record audio podcasts for the staff, or better still, interview employees about what’s important to them in terms of the company they work for?

How many passionate experts are employed by your organisation? Why haven’t they got their own online video ‘show’? Why don’t they record podcasts or write blog posts that are informative and relevant to your customers?

Does your organisation take a leadership positioning on issues confronting your industry (and use publishing platforms and social media tools to ignite debate and conversation)?

Do you know who your brand’s biggest fans are? (Hint: they’re probably active on your Facebook page). Bring ’em in to your headquarters – sit them down with your company’s experts and let them riff on things that are of interest to them.

If you ‘pooh-pooh’ these types of activities and immediately set up roadblocks (ie “it can’t be done!”), you’re already on the way of losing touch with your more connected customers who, let it be said, are probably happy to engage with your brand but only in ways that are genuine, transparent and respectfully two-way.

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