Lots to get through but what strikes me in the early stages are the variety of bite sized foundation-comments which underpin the necessary approach to a fruitful social business strategy.
Before I delve into some paraphrases here’s a quote which stands the test of time……guess who said it? (answer at the end of this post)
“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him.
He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it.
He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it.
We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.”
To me this is at the very core of the revised attitude most companies need to adopt. They may have paid lip-service to this over the last century but today and in the future this attitude has to prevail, there is nowhere to hide anymore. The challenge for more established organisations will be the sediment of a long held internal culture. It will take years for many organisations to make the necessary shift towards an open and collaborative platform BUT it’s a shift that has to happen.
By way of offering some enlightenment here are 4 paraphrases and my narratives from Brian’s book:
1. “The change in social media is happening so fast it is impossible to be an expert. We’re all just students, literally learning something new every day”
No one has the keys to the digital castle and some of us are more informed at-the- moment. At best we are navigators of the opportunities before us. Avoid know-it-all smugness, accept that no questions are stupid and be generous with sharing insights.
2. “The good thing about social media is it gives everyone a voice. The bad thing is …..it gives everyone a voice.”
This taps into the common fear that many organisations have; losing control. Too late you’ve lost control. Do not fear. A successful social business strategy (external) needs to be coupled with being a social business (internal) and that entails, in part, having policies, processes and guidelines which can manage negative reactions or controversy. Knowing yourself as a company and understanding your customers’ desires often negates disruptive feedback, minimising risk.
3. “The true character of any business is revealed in the collective experiences of its customers. It’s about what people say when you’re not around.”
As people continually connect with one another vast networks rich with interaction abound. It’s not brands with ‘clever messaging,’ attractive tool-based promotions or creative activations that control this space, its people; you and me.
4. “Businesses that aspire to a higher purpose will outperform businesses that focus on the bottom line.”
This graphic says it all. Give people a common interest, add value to their lives and give them a reason to share experiences. Another challenge for most organisations is that they are socially inept, never having the need or desire to ‘give’ rather than ‘take.’
I’ll follow up with more observations from Brian’s book as I work through it.
The fabulous quote came from Mahatma Gandhi!