People are seeking friendships. There is no denying that the explosion of social media websites like Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter represent our insatiable appetite for connecting with people and even companies.

The driving force behind the social media explosion is not Facebook it’s a deep-rooted social desire for humans to connect and be connected. Social media is going to revolutionise everything, it’s not a passing fad.

Until the industrial revolution people were connected, as part of a tribe, a closely-knit social community, that relied on one another for companionship, survival and growth. The industrial revolution changed this. Tribes largely vanished leaving a sense of disconnectedness in modern societies.

The Internet is allowing people and tribes to reconnect, across the globe and close at home.

The phenomenon is people’s desire and need for friendships. Not glib friendships like inviting people to be friends on your company’s Facebook page. Unless all you want are friendships without commitment. Business strategies should aim not to build friendships but to deliver the benefits of friendships.

A framework exists that companies can use to develop stronger partnerships and deliver the benefits of friendships to the people they work with and sell too.

Studies by the Oxford University conclude that there are three universal benefits of friendship found in all growing and strong friendships. They are:

1. Be supportive
2. Share dreams and aspirations
3. Encourage and allow other friendships to grow

Are you sharing your dreams and aspirations with the people who are important to your business? Are you being supportive? Are you using your influence to connect people with other people or companies, even if those companies are your competitors?

In today’s new world of work, companies need to focus on building mutually beneficial partnerships with their customers and staff and then the privilege of loyalty may be bestowed

For more thoughts and insights read:

When Social Media grows Up
Herding Cats

Contact Dean van Leeuwen directly, he’d value your thoughts on this subject especially examples of what your company is doing to build stronger relationships with customers and people they employ.

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