As you know that we are attending BlogWorld Expo East in New York City. We had a pleasure of attending Jay Baer’s (@jaybaer) session in which he shared how to make your business faster, smarter, and more social. These ideas come from his book The Now Revolution which you should consider reading if you like this post. Here is a summary of his presentation:
For years, businesses have had a set way of communicating with customers. Through telephone service calls, complaint letters, and the occasional email. In the past three years though, the way businesses and customers interact has been drastically changed. Thanks to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, and review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, every customer is now a reporter whose opinions and complaints can be heard by thousands within minutes of an interaction. The businesses are faced with the task of not only sorting through these complaints, but to verify that each is a true complaint and then react in a timely fashion. This is real time business.
This is the task of todays businesses, to adapt and become faster, smarter, and more social. Businesses have made some of these adaptations before, at the advent of the telephone, fax machine, and email, but social media is an entirely different beast. A company cannot just have an account and assume that make them social like they can with email or the telephone. Social businesses need to create a corporate culture and identity that is shared by all members of this company. One example Jay gives is of ThinkGeek, the online retailer. Because ThinkGeek works toward a corporate cultue of geekiness, each employee can interact with customers the same way. Jay recommends that companies stop trying to hire employees based on skill and instead hire based on passion. Doing so promotes the idea of “one mind, one heart” that brings together a cohesive corporate culture.
Businesses need to take this unifying culture and use it to decentralize their social media operations. Social media interactions and social media returns need to spread beyond the marketing or IT department into an “unofficial marketing army” that can both promote the company brand while being de facto customer service and marketing agents.
Jay proposes three levels to social media management, the coaches, the booth, and the players. The coaches are a group of individuals that set the high level social media policy. This would be a group made up of employees from multiple departments who would plan the companies social engagement plan. The booth (usually a set of managers) acts like a set of assistant coaches who take the overall strategy and handle its decimation and implementation. Finally, the players are the road warriors who are responsible for actually interacting with clients. They should be supervised by the coaches and booth, but they should be autonomous enough to work on their own.
Businesses also need to recognize that there is no magic number for social media engagement. No number of fans or followers is the perfect number, so companies need to learn to accept that. The booth and coaches also need to share information which the social media players. Withholding information about the effectiveness or implementation of social media campaigns does no one any food.
Finally, businesses need to get more social. They can do this by answering questions and concerns that their clients have. Even just saying thank you and I’m sorry can have a huge impact on your clients and your reputation.
These ideas come from his book The Now Revolution which you should consider reading if you like this post.
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