In the office, the word social will often lead to thoughts of the bubbling water cooler, the well-used coffee maker, and employees being unproductive. Step outside the office and the word social is a beautifully fresh way to describe connecting and communicating.
When you as a person are online, how social are you? Do you keep current on email correspondence? Do you interact with others on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook?
When you as an organization are online, how social are you? Do you keep current on email correspondence? Do you interact with others on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook?
In reference to the online presence of their employer, many people respond saying, “You are kidding, right? We barely have a web site let alone a Twitter account.” That is a sad state of affairs because you will be discussed.
Interacting With Your Customers
The online conversation is constant and it is growing. If your organization is not being discussed, it will be soon.
Make sure you are in a position to give instant feedback and awe-inspiring customer service. Engage your customers and talk to them. Build apps that build your reputation. Make it easy and fun for your customers to interact with you.
They will keep coming back.
Managers enable and constrain their people in order for them to be as effective and productive as possible. Enabling services like Twitter and LinkedIn often seem like the opposite of being effective and productive.
Convincing a decision-maker to block access to these communication mechanisms is as easy as pointing out some awful communication. Admittedly, there is bad with the good. For better or for worse, though, the bad exists in the news, it exists in search results, in fact it exists in every corner of our online world.
So we filter.
Interacting With Your Peers
As an IT professional, there is a significant amount of information that comes across my Twitter feed and through the LinkedIn groups I subscribe to that affects both my clients and my career. I use the relevant information and leave the rest. More than consuming, though, I am also a writer, a mentor, a developer, and a community builder. The more you contribute, the more help you will receive so become a wise investor of your limited time.
Imagine asking a technical question and getting a couple dozen answers and options. Imagine interacting with your peers in other organizations or with peers using the same tools or with peers dealing with similar issues. As long as you are a good citizen and are contributing to the conversation, people will help.
You are now more productive and more connected.
The Social Enterprise
In order for your enterprise to stay relevant with your customers, it will need to interact; to be social. If you want loyal customers, give them a view into your organization. Engage them in conversation. Be brave and ask them what they hate about you. Let them vent, respond with compassion, then ask them what they love. Social can bring goodwill.
In order for employees to have access to their peers and to this timely and relevant information, they will need to interact; to be social. I’ll bet you end up surprised at how useful being social is to you.
I care deeply about the enterprise, the customer, and the employee as well as about software architecture and mobile enterprise development. Guess what? You can find me on Twitter!