It truly is amazing how much technology has turned our worlds upside down and I love it! Gone are the days where I have to depend on big media outlets for news as the information important to me just happens to find me through connections I value and trust. I really enjoy the science and psychology of social networks, but the human element is what really moves me. I would like to share some of my favorite thoughts from some brilliant folks and expand a bit on those thoughts. Hopefully this adds to how you approach and value social networks.
“Social media puts the “public” into PR and the “market” into marketing.” – Chris Brogan
The social community has access to the greatest source of information of all time, each other. The public is having discussions about all sorts of topics including a brand or organization you may care deeply about. If you want to have a voice in those conversations, as a brand or individual, you need to become a part of it and be prepared to be active and authentic in an effort to earn the communities trust.
What you feed your network or audience is directly related to what you can expect in return. Gone are the days of convince and convert, it has now shifted to converse and convert. The Internet has moved from a network of computers and machines to a network of people. The network has more to say about your reputation than you do.
The technology is nothing more than a vehicle for enhancing relationships. It is not the relationship and does not dismiss the need for real life, face to face relationships.
“Not only is the customer right, the customer is right – right now!!” ~ Frank Eliason, author @AtYourService
People can broadcast their feelings to anyone that wants to listen from virtually anywhere. Some would consider their smartphone to be the most intimate device they own and use it to manage much of their day to day lives. At any moment they can let their network know how they feel about the service they received at the local coffee shop to the amazing movie they just saw. Are you listening? Hopefully you are and you can appreciate what is being said.
Chances are you will come across people that aren’t very happy with you. I think most people will complain because they want things to be made right. Your critics may actually be of greatest value to you and what a great opportunity you have to put your intentions to make things right on public display!
“A brand not responding on Twitter is like hanging up the phone on customers – with millions watching!” ~ Dave Kerpen, author likeable social media
So now that I’ve expressed the importance of being present, hopefully it is easy to recognize the importance of being engaged. There are far too many social profiles that want to broadcast messages and not respond to replies. I’m not just referring to negative posts in this regard. Every interaction is an opportunity to say “thank you” or “I’m sorry, how can I make things right?”.
I’m a huge fan of two Cable TV series, Homeland and The Newsroom. I think both shows try to keep their Facebook communities warm as they work toward new seasons. Every time they post something on their page fans will post something along the lines of:
best show ever, when does the new season start?
This is a great opportunity for the show to reply, keep the community informed and excited. I hardly ever see the profile respond to inquiries like this.
Do you follow a truly connected brand in social? I would love to hear some great examples of a connected brand.