The benefit from a firm grasp of social media for companies is impossible to ignore. Whether you work in marketing, advertising, public relations or interactive, there are distinct competitive advantages for both individuals and businesses from a better understanding of the social web.
So much of social technology and media engagement is centered on listening – not something many people, let alone companies, are very good at. What are some of the significant corporate cultural shifts and behaviors that you see as necessary to understanding, energizing and embracing the groundswell?
We lay out in the book five key objectives that you can achieve by tapping into the groundswell: Listening, Talking, Energizing, Supporting, and Embracing.
- Never forget that the groundswell is about person-to-person activity. You are not speaking as “the company”, but as a person. Most companies don’t know how to do this, and it takes a lot of practice to find that voice and feel comfortable with it.
- Be a good listener. All companies say they listen to their customers, but do they really LISTEN and let people know that they are listening?
- Be patient. This takes a long time because you are going to be transforming your company, one person at a time.
- Be opportunistic. Start small with the people who are most passionate about building relationships with customers.
- Be flexible. You never know what’s going to happen so you have to constantly adjust your thinking and learn.
- Be collaborative. You need people from up and down the management chain to buy-in.
- Most importantly, be humble. Remember that you are not as powerful as the groundswell. If you forget this, they will let you know.