Why companies should invest in Social by Design (part 2)

How can you quickly update from an organization that socially integrates, to one that’s authentically social by design? Focus on people first, with your technology and products as a second thing. Rethink and sharpen your mission, vision and key values. They should be clear, you should, after all, know what change you want to bring across. Start with this, and now be honest. You probably want to go as fast as you can to the improved situation – the greater service or product; the business model that will make the world a bit better; the reason why you exist. Involve those customers who are interesting for the success of your mission to be able to get closer to what you envision, and you will certainly get there much faster.

Now produce that content that is going to make them interested in following you or make them even more interesting to their own network. That way they automatically act as an ambassador for your company and mission; it will produce organic sharing. Know where your customers are, which media, which sites, on mobile? Be present on mobile, and make sure that the user experience leads to social action. Listen and participate on social platforms, show that you care and willing to adapt. 

And this is important: ask yourself: how does my business fit in social media? Instead of: how do social media fit into my business? From social integration to social by design (The Wallblog). About what does my community and their community converse, and what should we therefore embrace in our business? Don’t be scared to adapt (not completely change) the business model. The original business model might be better of when certain parts – for instance distribution or creating brand awareness – get designed fitting the customer’s current identity. A nice example to inspire you is the liquid content strategy of Coca Cola with which the target audience should proliferate the brand. Watch these movies! (http://hornergraphic.com/2013/02/coca-colas-liquid-content-strategy/).

Getting your company social by design takes effort and time. Realize that you don’t have to be like Facebook – literally having created a social community. Using existing social platforms to be social by design is a great alternative. Create a place on your customers’ favorite media – and the appropriate media to your organization – and start the interaction. Plan, but also improvise, a social business is human and making mistakes is therefore allowed. There are many examples even of companies that were honored for smooth recoveries (on social media) to mistakes they had made or negative comments they received. Also, it is good to be critical, as it will help you determine boundaries and sharpen you strategy. To what extend should a company let its business be designed by its customers? Where is the border between the core of the business values and products that cannot be touched, and what can be changed under influence of customers? Criticisms about the social by design concept center around this idea. How can your organization and employees stay focused when the business model can constantly be adapted to social media? What should be possible and not, in your opinion? Please share your thoughts below, we’re curious!

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