It is amazing the impact that “Going Social” can have on an organization and there are many ways that this can be accomplished. I work with clients in nearly every potential industry from Healthcare to Non-Profits, from Manufacturing to Global Insurance Providers and Social Media is on the minds of EVERY one of my clients. At the same time I do get some of my clients taking a very hard stance against Social Media and trying to stop any employees from engaging in “company related social media”. In my opinion this stance is a mistake for the same reason that not having web site in 2012 is a mistake, or not having email provisioned for employees or denying employees different opportunities to increase business connections through professional networking.
Since the opening up of the Internet for commerce there has not been a more radical shift in how Employees interact with each other and with customers and potential customers. I am a Sales Professional. I leverage the power of Social Media EVERY SINGLE DAY. I connect with my clients, my friends and at times complete strangers through this blog, my twitter posts, Facebook status updates, and my Google+ updates. There is no going back and there really is two choices in this new Social Wave that we are in…strap on the surf board and ride the wave or lay flat and get crushed…there really is no avoiding it.
I was reading an interesting post from a friend of a friend about his take on Social Media options out there today and how the ebb and flow of Social Media have come and gone but then returned with a new face. The Power of Social Media to provide a voice to those who otherwise would not have one, to allow instant connections both in business and a much more personal level is unique to the scalability of Social Media and these connections are truly global.
The big thing about taking on the behemoth that is Social Media is that it means that you have to be ready to commit to the bit. I know from experience over the past 6 months of jumping in with both feet that maintaining a continuous and unified Social Media Presence is very hard and very time consuming and while most individuals would not commit the 30 – 40 hours per month (and that is on the low end) to build and maintain a social presence that I have tried to achieve…there are huge benefits for those that do. Then we can look to actually extending this to the Enterprise…Social Media on an individual scale is a challenge from the personal branding scale but when we build this out to what is the Corporate Strategy that the hundreds or thousands of individuals that will contribute to this overall benchmark will be and what is the impact if one or two go “off the reservation” and negatively impact the social impact of the company?
Looking at Social Media it can be like drinking from a fire hose and while that is daunting and even down right scary the benefits can be and have been for me enormous. Social Media for me has allowed me to make 24 x 7 connections with my clients, my prospective clients and my colleagues about the Technology Trends that I am seeing unfold. It gives me a space and a forum to vent and let off some steam. It lets me wake up in the morning and get some perspective on my upcoming day. It is my own mental workout and for that I am greatful for the opportunity and for those who not only stop by once but that come back over and over.
Now as for how can your organization use Social Media to win? Well there is the option that I took on and and that is to actively leverage Social Media as a Sales Channel. Then there is the opportunity to turn on Social Media to connect with your customers and track and ensure their satisfaction. There is the Collaboration that an internal Social Connection brings…the sharing of insights of knowledge and of resources to achieve a common goal. There is the recruitment and retention of staff that HR can leverage through social channels. There is the Marketing and Branding opportunities that can be achieved at a fraction of traditional advertising.
Now there are risks both on a personal level and at the corporate level that you need to look at to. I have put myself out there for the world to see. At times it feels like I am standing naked in Times Square yelling at the top of my lungs “Hey, Look at Me…I have something to say” meanwhile there are 1 Billion other people all doing the exact same thing at the same time. I have been blessed and fortunate enough to have been successful in developing a relatively engaged following within my “network” but for many this can be discouraging and I can see that for a business that is risk averse…this adds a unique wrinkle to the potential success of a Social Project.
At the end of the day…it really is about go big or go home. Social is here to stay…love it or hate it, Facebook, G+, Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, Instagram, WordPress, and all the other potential venues are here, will be here and will not go away so either embrace the New Media…or get out of its way!
I am an always connected, always on kind of technology geek…and for that reason I have an affinity to the world of online connections. Can I interact socially in person absolutely…it is just not one of my passions…ask me to stand in front of 1000 people and give a speech I am there in a heart beat but ask me to mingle and talk one on one to strangers…not my favorite thing…not a fan of the Mingling…that might be a reason I am not a fan of “Clubbing” either.
Well surprisingly looking at my word count today…I had something to say about this topic.
Have yourself a great day, a great weekend and remember…GET SOCIAL!
Chris J Powell