Social: Engage or die
[Re-posted from The Social Enterprise (Down Under) Blog]
Brian Solis of The Altimeter Group has long been a strong proponent of social media and is well known for some of his books such as "Putting the Public back in Public Relations", "The End of Business as Usual" and "Engage".
To gain a better understanding of the revolution that is happening in brand engagement with customers, his thoughts are a great place to start. The video at the foot of this blog post for instance sums up very well the changes that organisations need to put in place to enter the new era that salesforce.com describes as "The Social Enterprise."
What particularly resonated with me is where he talks about how companies have for the last few decades been trying to put as much distance in between themselves and the customer as possible. Beginning with those impersonal mail-merge mail-spams, then automating customer service and offshoring the conversation to far-flung destinations.
Then social media came along and changed all of that, putting the customer back in touch with the brands with which they interact, on terms that better suit the customer than business. His thoughts here also are very profound:
"Why Do Customers Use Social Networks for Customer Service? Because They Can…"
But he makes the point far stronger that brands are not going to fix this just by putting in place some new social media tools. This revolution requires fundamental changes within. These new tools cannot be best leveraged by simply using the old thinking. The customer has to be placed at the centre of the organisation. Without this change in the culture, the new channel to market will only serve to further frustrate the customer.
You can learn more here about Radian6, Chatter and other tools that can help that move to The Social Enterprise.
Brian spoke at Dreamforce last year, watch here is his view on what defines the Social Enterprise.