Why should you listen to social media?

Written on Aug 02 2012

 Since we live in an age of conversation, business has a new rhythm. Every day, we have to stay in tune with our audiences, see them develop and divide in smaller groups with different voices and needs. The rising impact of social media is constant proof for what is happening to the context of business.

There are many proposed tools, but the key elements we have to work with are attitudes and time. In the case of small and midsize companies, social media is perceived either as a magic tool that enables visibility in a short period of time, or as a deceiving way of spending your money and time. By approaching expectations of low cost and high reward, the results are often seen as disproportionately low when compared to the time and dollars spent. That’s the wrong way of seeing things!

The best thing CEO’s should do is listen to social media’s rhythm!

We need to take a calm, focused, and realistic approach to wiring social media into an organization’s communication plan. It’s our job now to steward our knowledge, share it internally, and educate others on what we believe to be true and why it matters. We are the interpreters of a new conversational language, the ambassadors for a shift in operations, in culture, in communication, in business.

The metaphor that explains social media best

In order to understand the shift between offline communication and social media I want to tell you about a metaphor I encountered in Drew McLellan’s book: Age of Conversation:

“What happens when you put a raisin in a bowl of water? It takes in water and swells up. And what if you put a grape in sugar solution? It loses water and shrivels up. Try and replicate the same experiment with a coconut and, predictably, nothing happens. The coconut remains unchanged.”

In this scenery, the coconut is a good example for a business that doesn’t believe in contextual business change. Therefore, it has a rich core, but also a hard impermeable boundary — designed to keep information from going out and outside information from flowing in freely. This is a safe business, but not a conversational one!

On the other hand, what happens to the raisins and the grapes is a natural phenomenon called osmosis, ‘the net movement of water across a semi-permeable membrane’. It also can define a company that is permeable to its environment’s changes and listens to its rhythm.

The social media component of your business is similar to osmosis and this means:

  • Providing valuable, but simple and social content
  • Listening to what people say
  • Replying and providing feedback in a natural, almost organic way

Listening to social media’s rhythm is a matter of choice for any business, as each CEO is responsible for how he manages his/her company. The age of conversation is already here and the hardest part is not enabling the social component of your company. The hardest part is the change of your business’s skin.

We developed our application in order to understand social media in an organic way, as we believe that communicating simply social with your fans and customers is part of any valuable business. Let us start the osmosis for your company!

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