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Stop using social media, be a social business instead


If you intend to use social media as a part of your business’ growth strategy, you are going to need a totally new way of envisaging and operating your entire organisation. The social media beast came, saw and conquered… with a few likes and tweets here and there. Social media has rapidly gone from a gimmicky broadcast toy to an irreplaceable, interactive, and conversational tool.

Roughly one in four businesses in Australia are utilising social media, so it is quite obvious that no one doubts the power of social media. However, what businesses need right now is a better and improved approach to maximise the potential of social media adoption.

Do I hear a “how?” out there?

Well, the first step is changing the corporate mindset. Businesses need to stop thinking ‘social media’ and start focusing on becoming a ‘social business’. What does this mean? Online interaction should not be seen as just another marketing-fad-of-the-day but rather as an embracing of a social attitude in all aspects of business, be it sales, operations or recruitment.

To be social means to be engaging, so what you need to do is actively create and maintain better connections with your customers, prospects, suppliers and employees. For example, your website states who you are and what you do, but on the hand a blog reveals your character as an organisation, what you think and believe in. A blog personalises turns your android business into a person. Now how’s that for standing out from the crowd?

How can you make yours a social business?

The first step is having a purpose. Why do you wish to become a social business? Are you using social media to increase your online presence? Or do you want to converse with your customers, and potential customers about your products and/or services? Once you have a goal, it will be much easier to score.

Now once you go out there in the wider public domain, you will receive both positive and negative feedback. It is therefore of utmost importance that you are able to harness the positive ones while vigilantly monitoring the negatives. The last thing you want is your business going viral, in the wrong light. With social media, you must stay on your toes and have quick solutions at your finger tips.

Lastly, you must work towards developing a true social culture as a business. What is a true social culture? It is one of listening and sharing. As a social business, you’ll need to listen, by closely and broadly monitoring social sites for opportunities.

By listening for “I’m interested in finding out about…” you are in an active position to identify a warm opportunity and convert a loyal customer.

Additionally, by sharing thoughts, ideas and experiences from various sources, you cement your position as a thought leader – by creating value in and for your defined community.