Creating a social business is one of the most challenging changes for companies today. It takes time to adapt new communication tools and change an organizational structure to serve the customer. Social media networks play a large role in social business. These tools allow each business to capitalize on new business opportunities through effective and efficient communication.
The overall message to put the customer first and build relationships has been stressed in the business world for a long time. If fact, in 1997 Tom Morris wrote in his book, If Aristotle Ran General Motors, “In business, like every other aspect of life, relationships rule the world. A relationship built of falsehood is like a house built on sand; one built on trust is like a fortress anchored in rock.” In the book Relationship Marketing (1991), Regis McKenna said, “Companies will seek to achieve a superior position by building solid relationships with their customers: relationships based on trust, responsiveness, and quality.” Creating a social business is still about building customer relationships. Social networks are tools that provide companies the opportunity to connect with their audience in real time and with quality content.
While building relationships are important, many leaders also care about generating leads. The ability to track and generate leads is very important as provides you a return on your investment. However, if you have a lead generation model in place but lack an overall strategy, your leads will not show the result you expect. If a business can effectively capitalize on a strategy and execute the strategy to its full potential, the return on investment will show. In social media, it’s a world of balance. Time and effort need to be invested into your customer relationships prior to selling and driving the next conversion step in the process. Willie Degel summed it up in a quote from his television show, Restaurant Stakeout, “If you only care about the bottom line and not about your customers, then you will go out of business.”
As we build relationships with our customers and generate quality leads, the way how we do this is shifting. Social media has been a great tool for businesses to connect with customer in this ever-connected, multiple-device and customer-driven world. Here are some of my favorite videos that demonstrate how businesses should be social.
Become a Customer Company
Social Business: New Ways of Working
Smarter Marketing: Meet Your Customer