I have been involved in social media for the past few years and enjoy looking at new ways that social media can be adopted in business. I am a bit of a dabbler and over the past few months I have been researching a few ideas and wanted to share the outcomes with you.
1) Real life events are social media’s best friend
We have been running a number of social media campaigns this year for a number of different size companies and brands. In most of these campaigns we are using competitions to create energy around the brand and introduce the brand to new consumers online.
What has been interesting though has been how effective it has been to couple social media platforms alongside real life events. These events are enhanced by a competition or journalism of the event. Almost like the energy that a good MC brings to an event.
We have found that when executed correctly and energetically the company or brand profiles gain in numbers of followers and the level of interaction with fans.
An example of this was when I attended the Social Media World Forum a few months ago. I endeavored to blog throughout the event to tell my readers and the event guests what was taking place at the event and my opinion on it. I also made a point to tweet frequently throughout the 2 day event and became very visible in the twittersphere over the Social Media World Forum.
The end result is shown in the graph below:
An increase in over 100 followers at an event that only had about 300 people attending. On top of this I experienced record traffic to my blog and my twitter following continued to grow substantially over the next week by an additional 100 followers while my new followers started to retweet my content to their communities and followers.
2) First person communication trumps third person every time
Social media is a conversational environment. Third person communication tends to alienate your fan base and create a bigger gap between them and you. Third person communications also creates an element of pride and either a feeling of being spoken down to or spoken at.
First person conversational type communications does so much towards engaging your audience better:
- It eliminates heirarchy the engagement
- It highlights the fan instead of the brand or company
- It invites a response
- It breaks down the “brick and mortar” barriers between your customer and the team inside your company
3) Organisations need a “change agent” in order to adopt social media effectively
Jim Collins, in his book “How the Mighty Fall”, writes about how organisations has fly wheels. These are processes and ways of doing things that take time to put in place and sometimes to even see the benefits from the fly wheel. These fly wheels become the way that business makes money, research and designs products, looks after employees and a host of other elements that make large organisations successful.
I believe that Social Technology (the ideal’s and processes of communication that forms the foundation of social media) is the next fly wheel for business. Businesses should be looking at how they can transition their business organisation into a social business. Businesses of the future need to look at what it means to become social in order to gain the right competitive in the future.
Social businesses are not companies that have Facebook addicted staff and where productivity levels are lower than ever before. In fact, a social business is one that understands the economy of the new social internet and how to harness this economy to:
- improve product development
- engage generation y employees more effectively
- market the company to prospective top talent in the marketplace
- use the power of crowds to sell, buy and create products and services
- train leadership more effectively
- create strong business networks
- protect your company image
- market your business
- speak to your customers (CRM)
- increase sales
Change agents are people dedicated to getting the Social Business Fly Wheel moving in your business. They will highlight the areas for change in your business, implement the strategies and training for those changes to take place, lay the foundations for successful transition into a social business and finally provide guidance, expertise and energy to turn the fly wheel into a profitable venture.
So there you have it, my top three social media lessons for business so far in 2011. If you would like to discuss these in more detail please feel free to comment below.
I also have a coaching program to help equip change agents and a few presentations that speak into Social Media for Business that you could use at you next conference if you would like to start this discussion in your company.