All Articles Marketing Brands & Campaigns 7 ways social media is changing the way we do business

7 ways social media is changing the way we do business

5 min read

Brands & Campaigns

This post was written by Jay Baer and Amber Naslund and was culled from their book, “The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter & More Social,” available now.

Business has changed. This new era (we call it “The Now Revolution”) is characterized by speed, by new expectations and demands from customers, and by dynamic and ever-shifting systems and tools. This is an era of open communication and reciprocal, real-time online participation.

This is a change that isn’t really about the technology of social media, but about how businesses need to adapt amid consumers’ embrace of it.

The Now Revolution forces us to rethink our business from the inside out — just as we have for each communications revolution that came before. We can re-engineer the culture, people and processes that dictate how we operate and make this time the most incredible opportunity in business history.

There are seven keys to making The Now Revolution work for you.

  1. New Bedrock: Deeply shared values and invested individuals make up a company culture that can and will embrace speed, nimbleness and decentralized decision-making. Your healthy culture will share an optimism and open dialogue that embraces independence and a free flow of ideas, feedback, and input from all areas of the company.
  2. Talent You Can Trust: The Now Revolution is about people, not logos. You won’t just rely on official spokespeople to steward your brand; rather you’ll bring aboard (and work hard to retain) people throughout the company that can build and nurture your community. Social media is not just a job, but also a skill.
  3. Organized Armies: The organizational models that emerge in your real-time business will distribute decision-making and authority throughout the company. You’ll find ways to reduce friction and procedural bottlenecks in favor of faster, more fluid communication within and among the ranks, potentially using internal social media to do so.
  4. The New Telephone: Just like you’ve put a phone on everyone’s desk in your company, you’ll incorporate social media listening capabilities into your work to power your day-to-day business. As you’ve adopted systems to manage your e-mail, your Web analytics, or your customer relationship management, you’ll now adopt systems that help you hear the important conversations that are happening online.
  5. Response-Ability: The Humanization Highway will guide your social media journey, and you’ll start talking to your customers in ways you never have before. What starts as reacting and responding will give way to contribution and participation, even your own storytelling. Not only will you be part of the conversations that others have started, but you’ll start your own.
  6. Fire Extinguishers: Preparedness is part of what will define your company’s success. As much as crisis is something you work to prevent, you’ll have a plan for its possibility. Because social media is always on and always moving, the plan you develop will not only define urgency and crisis in your own context, but give your employees all of the guidance needed to create an immediate and informed response.
  7. Calculators: Keeping score matters. Knowing what information you have available will help you determine what you can easily measure or what new tracking methods or systems you might need to put in place. You’ll also evaluate what your investment will be in social media, from hard costs like technology to soft costs like staff time.

Armed with both your goals and that data, you’ll select straightforward, clear metrics that will show you whether you’re making progress toward your objectives.

You are experiencing history. The next generation of human and business connectivity is here.

The social Web amplifies even the quietest voices, provides ways to connect unbound by time and geography, and creates urgency and opportunity at every turn. The technology is new. But the central philosophies of social media conversations and connections are familiar indeed. Social media enables big companies to act small again, and it allows small companies to engage with their customers in new and exciting ways.

But success isn’t about “being on Twitter” or mastering any other particular social tool. Instead, success accrues to businesses that are present, agile, responsive, and prepared. The companies that tame the Now Revolution see that this isn’t really a technology trend at all, but rather a trend of humanization that makes your people as much the star of your show as your products have been historically.

The Now Revolution means that almost any business can be a superstar, including yours. Are you ready to take the stage?

We’re happy to announce that Jay Baer will be joining the SmartBrief on Social Media Advisory Board, a group of social media thought leaders and practitioners who serve advisers and contributors to this blog and the daily SmartBrief on Social Media newsletter. The board plays a vital role in keeping SmartBrief on the cutting edge of social media, and we’re excited to have Jay aboard.