Running a Content Marketing firm, one of the major issues I face is convincing the clients on why they should develop their business as a “Social Business” and the advantages from it. For those who smirk at this question, yes I smirk too. But convincing the clients on the What and Why of this detail isn’t as easy as it would seem.
So what exactly is Social Business? Ans – Any business that involves the understanding of how your customers or stakeholders connect to and understand your business, and how you mould your business strategy based on their interests, can be defined as Social Business.
And its not just the customer relations or marketing department of your firm that is to get involved with this. Everyone – executive team, production, management, sales and more. This brings in a collaborative effort towards meaningful innovation for your customers, at the same time being directly aligned to your business objectives.
A successful Social Business has three characteristics –
1. It is participative
When I mentioned that Social Business are all about collaborative effort, I seriously meant it. Only when the business is continually connected to its customers, will it be able to respond smartly to the market dynamics and change in competitiveness. By directly involving the customers and stakeholders in the equation, it becomes a win-win situation for all – the customers get to feel important and the business gets collective and real-life feedback from them.
2. Passion is the driving force
Never for once misunderstand that the audience loves your business because of what you do. People love your brand only because of how it helps them.
No one loves a chatting app. Rather, they love staying connected via messages all the time.
No one loves a location based networking app. Rather, they love getting to know where their closest friends are.
Its as simple as that.
Getting the focus of your business on something larger than your brand is critical for its growth. If all your activities are business oriented, why would it interest the people?
3. The business is purpose driven
Am reminded of the title of Roy Spence and Haley Rushings book – “It’s not what you sell. It’s what you stand for”. And it stands true in this case. A Social Business is never revenue or even idea driven. It is always purpose driven – its about the higher calling.
People should feel a purpose in connecting to your business. It shouldn’t be just about discounts and offers. It shouldn’t be about who was gifted the largest piece of the pie. It should be about how many people happily shared the pie.
By understanding the interests, lifestyles and behaviour of your audience, you can identify the road that connects your customers to your business. Don’t attempt to build a community around a product. Build one around your customer.
So, is yours a social business? Are you doing things correctly? Differently? Please do share your thoughts.
– Vijay S Paul
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