Businesses assume they need to “get what their competitor is getting”. While this may be true if you’re both warehouses or tie shops, it’s less true if you have other, more pressing concerns than branding and PR. Those are important, absolutely. But, if you find yourself making social a line item and your sales are tanking, you need to get your priorities straight.
However, the business model and revenue generation needs to be stable before adding social or digital to the mix. The reason businesses are confused about this is largely due to the Silicon Valley effect, where first comes fame, then success. It’s not realistic for most organizations and also not sustainable in a different economic climate, like Omaha, where I am based.
For a long time, social was perceived as fluff.
With its convergence with digital media (ad purchasing, PPC, SEO, content marketing) social has gained a new respect from even the stodgiest of industries and the most well-versed on these platforms find themselves struggling to keep up with the changes and evaluate and learn any new platforms.
The legitimacy of social media as an enterprise tool reigns as the most important in my mind. Business owners and executives now realize on some level that there is a blurring of the lines between social and enterprise tools. While social media was initially seen as fun, or a game, these platforms can be used to engage with prospects, service current clients, increase communication between employees and build a brand beyond the “geography you’re dealt”. If you are on social media, you are struggling to be very good with at least one of those things, and if you aren’t, the purchasing and job seeking public (at least a portion of it) will notice.
Social and digital are also swerving more toward product development.
It’s becoming a continuous conversation with employees, clients customers, and end-users. I’ve always appreciated that social gives those without a strong voice, a chance to communicate with the biggest brands. While that shifts significantly from time to time and the big guys will always outspend the little ones, CEOs and CTOs are making decisions about what to include in their software from things they hear from prospects and clients online.
Additionally, there is a shift toward a more organic approach to SEO and content. While there will always be a proliferation of writing, businesses are starting to expect more than just the right “searchable” word on a page. It is my hope that better writing will win out. Sort of quality finally beating quantity in a quantifiable way.
While some changes made seem smaller than others, it’s important not to underestimate the mightiness of slight alterations within your business. Frequent maintenance on the latest business trends throughout the years can make or break an organization. If you haven’t caught the social bug yet, this is the year to familiarize yourself — you could stumble across a hidden talent within your skillset you were completely unaware of.
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