A social attitude

23 Dec

Surely you are aware that the way we communicate is no longer the same as 30, 20 or even 10 years ago. Our buying decisions, how we listen/buy music, buy/read books, magazines, watch movies or even communicate has drastically changed. Organizations no longer tell us what to THINK we evaluate them and make our own judgements. Transparency and value are more important than ever, and those organizations still playing the game with the old rulebook are getting left behind. Doing “social media” is no longer going to cut it. You need to adopt a social attitude. Just like you need to socialize puppies when they are young so they grow to be well-adjusted dogs, you need to adopt a social attitude to grow your community of raving fans.

So how do you become social? As I mentioned in my previous post How to Be Awesome Online it starts with your core message. One you have identified who you are, who you are targeting you can move on to the how. It is extremely important to remember that you no longer have the luxury of broadcasting your message to an audience, instead you need to  build a community of people who support your company/brand. From a larger perspective, this is much more effective anyways, assuming you are transparent and are providing value to your community. And remember that you are not “selling” on social media, but engaging with your community.

Do your homework.

Develop guidelines for your organization such as how, where and who. You want to ensure your team knows what its’ goals are online (building a community vs. selling). You also want to determine where to establish presence (based on your organizational needs) and whether or not you want to set some guidelines for your team’s personal use. Please not this does not read “ban social media for employees” but rather form an agreement on how your team should engage/promote your brand online. Your raving fans can certainly grow from the inside out. Regardless of the industry you are in (yes lawyers have gone social too) there will be a tool/platform that is right for your needs. Determine your measures of success. Number of followers does not equal success, engagement does.

Take Action

Smaller, less bureaucratic organizations may have an advantage because they can start implementing change without all the hoohaw of research, senior management engagement or board approvals. The most valuable thing a company can do is start talking with their community just as people do at networking events in real life. With guidelines in place, start implementing away. Hire/consult knowledgeable people, who knows, they could be sitting right next to you in the lunch room. If you are already online remember that the more you contribute and create the more value you are adding to your ecosystem.

Be Real

Don’t spew “corporate” message. Nobody wants regurgitated jargon for lunch. Don’t be afraid to show a less-than-put-together version of yourself or organization online. Organizations are made up of people, and people are naturally social beings. If you care about your community and it shows, people will want to be part of your tribe.

Don’t post and ditch

I heard this one on a webinar I attended last night. The Facebook Guru Amy Porterfield stressed the importance of sticking around after you post content online. Just like you wouldn’t call you friend, say hello then hang up, why post and leave? Even if you only get one or two comments, people will see that you are engaging in conversation. It is far more appealing to interact with organization of people than bots.

Do it Again

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Just because you tweeted or posted something yesterday doesn’t mean your work is done. You keep doing, engaging and learning. If you are adding value, people will want to keep hearing from you.

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