I’ve done it. It’s gone. Cold turkey. After years of asserting we need to measure what matters in social business – as opposed to just tracking outcomes we can count easily — I decided to take down the social sharing counter on my blog. You can still share our blog items on social media tools – please do! –but we won’t be quantifying every act of sharing anymore.
Ironically, as more so-called experts raise their voices, the value of sharing real expertise has only grown–but now the challenge becomes creating the right context for that sharing. To be a credible thought partner, brands need to know who their real tribes are and learn what they care about. Create a clean, well-lighted place–or, better yet, join one that already exists. Give up a little control. Worry a little less about yourself. Stop being so damn smart and start being a little more human. In an era when everybody seems to be yelling, a little quiet confidence can go a long way.
A customer shares an insight within your company’s online community. He somehow found the time in between meetings, phone calls and lunch to share a suggestion, idea or complaint in a discussion thread. “It would be great if the XYZ product would … ,” he writes. What does your company do with that customer input? This is the $1,000,000 dollar question — literally.
So no to social media muddle and focus on the customer journey.
Online communities which enable learning and draw directly from peer-peer experiences are by definition a success.
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Community happens when members have found each other and have a vested interest in collaborating through content and conversation. At the end of the day, people come for content and stay for community.
Before your marketing department skips off to push information about a webinar or a new product or service out the virtual door, it’s worth taking a moment to ask: Is this information adding value in the social sphere? Would anyone care about this tweet, post or blog? Is it simply self-serving? Does it demonstrate integrity and shepherd a new idea or point-of-view? Does it demonstrate trust and a deep awareness of the audience and business needs it tries to support?
And, simply put, would anyone want to say “thank you” for this information?