Hey, it’s Social Media Sean here. Sean is my name, and social media is my game! Today, I’m going to be talking about how to become a social business and why that’s so important.
The first thing to look at about becoming a social business is Social PR – Social Public Relations. More than ever now, your image and brand awareness isn’t something that you have time to sculpt. Back in the day it was so easy you could sculpt your press release, take your time and have it edited a kazillion times and put it out into the world with your perfect marketing message. Well, most of that type of literature is ignored these days. Social media, and online, is about a conversation. So you need to look good, not just on your website – but on your twitter, your facebook and blog. If you haven’t updated your blog in the last few months, right off the bat you lose a little credibility points. If your twitter stream is really inactive or the tweets are kind of sporadic or only self promotional, again you’re going to lose more points. If your facebook page has no, or little engagement and nothing of interest again you’re losing points. You could be a super established company, and have a ton of customers, but first impressions matter. So the first way is to really nail the social PR.
The second thing that is really important is to have thought leadership in your industry. In order to have thought leadership, you need to really clearly identify what it is that makes you, your company or your products and services stand out. Let people know that you’re the go-to person for that type of information. So not only talking about your particular products and services, but about the industry as a whole and getting the message out there. You can do that through podcasts, videos and pictures. This, again, is a really easy way that when people come across your business they can see that you do know what you’re doing, you’re not just self promotional, that you care about your industry and what it is that you do. So that’s a really important one.
The third thing to look at about becoming a social business is really leveraging your community online. To be a social business, that means that you have the opportunity to interact with your customers before the buying process, during the sales processes and after. By having a strong community online, you’re really able to help keep them better engaged. Better engaged means longer term customers. For the most part, it’s always cheaper to keep a customer than to get a new one. Building that community can really help increase the value of each and every one of your customers.
Now to become a social business, you really have to train your people what it’s like to work in a social culture/social business. So employee training is a big one. What that means is training your employees how to use social media in a way that is fun and empowering but also represents the company in the way that it is, what it is about and the true culture of that company. We’ve really got to educate and train the employees on how to use social media in a responsible way, but to build their own personal brands and their own corporate brands at the same time. Through training and monitoring, these are the really important things to be able to be successful. If you just give them twitter accounts and tell them to post about the company, or do this or that with little to no instruction or without a policy you’re looking for future fires. So employee training is really important.
Now with that employee training, one of the things is to train them how to use internal social media. One example is Yammer. Yammer is like Facebook, but it’s private for just the people in your company. With an internal social network now we’re getting into new ways of collaborating and getting workflow improving. Having that internal social network is a way to keep the culture connected and the employees more engaged. Most of your employees are probably using social networks in one way or another during the day. So why not get them spending some time on the internal social networks? Collaborating about projects, talking and sharing about them and it’s also great practice for them to learn how to do it in public. So the second part of that is teaching them how to use these platforms and making it exciting for them.
There are a few thoughts on how to become a social business. I hope you’ve gotten some value out of this today. I look forward to any questions or comments at the end! Thanks for stopping by!