Enterprise Social Alignment is important for any organization today. The following definitions will clarify what the term “social” is all about:
Social Networking (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, You-Tube, etc.) is about presence; you having a (hopefully) professional presence on these sites to create awareness and marketing gravity for your unique brand and quantifiable value-added services.
Social media is the platform, or the vehicle to get you there, and it encompasses more than social networks. It includes being more searchable, paying for unique positions online, and using conversion strategies to take buyers from interested to engaged.
Social Market Leadership
Social market leadership is about purpose. It’s a fundamental shift in buying behavior that business professionals must understand and master. To succeed, you’ll have to have a very real purpose of why you’re online, whom you’re trying to ‘‘date,’’ and what will influence their thinking and call to action.
This past year, I had the opportunity to work closely with Matt Rosenhaft and team at Social Gastronomy on several engagements. One of the best explanations of the evolution of social networking is his fishing analogy, shown below (click on the graphic for full size image).
Use of the public social networks—LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and so on—is similar to you going ocean fishing: you’re throwing a huge net out there for anything that you may catch. It could be a marlin or a car tire! As your value to a community matures, your value-added proposition evolves with corporate online communities (fish farming). These are more controlled environments with private access, profile-based interactions, and a very real business purpose of why these users are there.
When you share content, engage and influence others, and in the process create an opt-in scenario where they want to buy from you, you’ve created a fish store. As you learn key insights about not just their demographics but also their psychographics (preferences, tastes, digital habits), you’ve created a fish tank. When you apply those insights to enhance their unique experiences with you and your brand, online and offline, you’ve created a fish bowl. Each scenario is more intimate and much more focused on the clients’ interests, preferences, and habits than on your products and services.
To learn more, read the revised and updated Relationship Economics paperback edition with 40 percent new content, including an all-new chapter 10 on social media and business relationships (Wiley, Feb. 2011).