Is Your Company Social?
Let’s step away from technology for a minute and refine the question:
- Do you communicate with your staff about the things your business is working on? (New products offerings, new market segments, new hires)
- Do you have company events like town halls, summer picnics, movie or bowling outings, volunteering or any other activity that puts your people together?
- Do you have open lines of communication with your clients? (Take them to lunch, give them a call, customer surveys)
If you answered yes to these kinds of questions, then I would consider your company a social organization. This doesn’t mean you have any idea what you are doing with social media or social marketing, but at least you have the building blocks to build a social media practice within your company.
Why Do You Want To Be Social?
We have all heard how social can help us grow our business more quickly and efficiently than ever before. We have heard about Dell selling millions of dollars of computers through deals posted via Twitter. Companies doubling their revenue in 12-18 months using LinkedIn and effectively selling through relationships. Groupon crushing a small business with a deal that is so good they can’t meet the demand. Viral YouTube videos of a guy that helped sell a ridiculous amount of after shave for men.
The list of social media success stories is endless. So we all want to “do social media” to reap the rewards. Before your company takes that leap, you might want to consider why and how.
Why do you want to use social in your business?
- Increase sales
- Tell your customers about new products/services
- Strengthen the relationships with your customer
- Strengthen the relationships with your staff
- Provide better customer support
The logical next step is to figure out how you will use social in your business. Don’t just dive in without giving this some serious thought.
How Do You Get There?
Please don’t set up a Facebook account and a LinkedIn profile and tell everyone you are all over social media. It requires people, training, content and strategy. It also requires an ongoing, long-term commitment to execution.
How are you going to use social in your business?
- Which people on your team will be coming up with the content?
- Who is going to push the content out to your web site and social media sites?
- How many cameras should you buy for employees to keep with them to capture great moments?
- Do you need to hire someone to do this full time?
- Are you going to train your sales team how to use LinkedIn effectively? (Increase sales)
- Are you going to look for new team members on LinkedIn as part of your recruiting process? (Prospective employees will check out your existing team member profiles)
- Are you going to blog regularly? (Keep everyone up to speed on what is going on at your company)
- Does Facebook matter for you? (If you are a business to business services company, not sure the answer is yes)
- Does Twitter matter for you? (How many customers or people in your industry are using Twitter?)
- Does < insert popular new social media site here > matter for you? (Pinterest anyone?)
I encourage you to think about these questions. Be honest with yourself and your employees about social media. Are you using the tools effectively? Do you have the right people in place? Have you provided appropriate training? Do you have a “Don’t Be Stupid” social media policy? Are you following a content strategy? Are you paying attention to the number of connections, likes and followers growing over time? Are you seeing comments or discussions?
The sooner you can answer these questions confidently, the sooner you will be able to answer yes to the question of whether or not you are a social company.