As we covered in part 1 of Why your Social Business will be a hit, the future is not about more ways to connect with your customers. The future is about building a synergy between your products/services, your customers, and your employees. The future is about building a business that defines a social ecosystem build on mutual innovation, insights, and real-time feedback. Make your customers happier, engage your staff to new levels, and shift a company into a community.
Benefits of Shifting to a Social Business
- Creating a near real-time matrix between customer, staff, and business increases your connection to motivation and perception, rather than only sales
- Turning social media into actionable customer management inputs & actionable data
- Identify high risk events and systematic break-downs faster, as well as the viral spread of ideas and essential comments
- Reduce marketing spends and increase efficiency by building a highly profitable, sustainable, and self-managing influencer channel
- Unsurpassed loyalty & retention results due to a deeper connection with customers
What you need to Implement Right Away
IBM would say that a Social Business must be:
- A Social Business is engaged—deeply connecting people, including customers, employees, and partners, to be involved in productive, efficient ways.
- A Social Business is transparent—removing boundaries to information, experts and assets, helping people align every action to drive business results.
- A Social Business is nimble—speeding up business with information and insight to anticipate and address evolving opportunities.
In today’s social media-charged business world, these principles carry plenty of weight with your customers and should in any boardroom. Often it’s not as easy as simply stating these principles and watching the results roll in or knowing what to do next.
Here are some implementations many businesses can strive for:
- Understand what social media means to your business: how many sales does it create; which channel are most of your customers using; what type of tactic will work best to address their communication preferences; how do your social media customer stratify compared to your overall customer base
- Understand what your business’ pain points and key strengths with the customer base are. Implement a social media and product enhancement strategy that targets each of them. Your customers need to know
- Define a community space for engagement with customers. Physical or virtual, this will facilitate both growth and the perception of interdependence between business and customer.
- Challenge and understand employees. Money does not motivate all employees. They must be invigorated, appreciated, and drivers of the business rather than a tool.
- Create products which are about your customers. Whether its identifying the causes they are most interested in, or embracing life experiences research shows you that they share, your ability to add more value to their experience results in substantial social growth.
- Reward referrers and embrace evangelists with a customer partnership strategy / influencer channel
- Stop challenging on price. Challenge either on innovation, quality of customer connection, or ability to address weaknesses with unmatchable strengths.
- Love what you do. It’s no longer a career or a job, it’s your social world.