August 9, 2010

Is Your Business Social?

They're talking about you anyway.

Relationship and conversation are mentioned relentlessly on the social web but what do they really mean? Are we friends simply because we follow or connect?

Imagine if you arrived at a private party where you only knew the host and began to hand out business cards. Or worse, how would you feel if you were on the receiving end of this sales pitch?

In Six Pixels of Separation, Mitch Joel refers to praising slow.

These channels are not one-night stands and your business is not a campaign. If you are in the space, spamming and yelling won't work. Simply "being on" Twitter or "having a" Facebook page is not participation.

What Will They Say?

There is a common fear that opening yourself to online scrutiny is dangerous.

The issue is not whether these channels will discuss your business or industry, that's already happening. So do you want in or would you rather hide?

The Power of The Web.

As witnessed by the story of Tanner Bawn last week. Air Canada dismantled his wheelchair on a trip to NYC and were unable to reassemble it.

Then the bumbling began.

The social community had gathered in NYC as a fundraiser for Tanner and the same people created online outrage when this happened. The story quickly spread through the larger Twitter community and Air Canada couldn't ignore it.

Use stories like this as fuel for how you respond to the online reality.

Get involved in the conversations of your customers and potential customers and initiate new ones, then give it time and patience and be human.

Social media are not quick fixes or cheap campaigns to boost outbound messaging but rather essential to business, research, education and integrated activities.

People are social, media are not.
David Armano

It's interesting to note that after all this talk of gadgets and channels, the old adage rings true - treat me like you want to be treated. Your customers concur.

Patience is a virtue not a business plan. It is up to us to change that.

What says you?

knealemann
strategy. marketing. media.

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image credit: socialmediatoday
 
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