A few days ago, I was thinking about what separates the great organisations from the good ones. I tried to connect a few successful companies with the secrets behind their success. Here is a small question for you to get thinking on this..what is common to Google, Apple and simple? Of course the letters LE, but the prize goes to the correct answer, “their commitment to make people happy”. Google and Apple have positioned themselves as people-focused firms, creating innovative products and services that not only work for people but also delight them. They have established a clear differentiation based on delighting their customers, stakeholders and followers with simple and easy to use products and services. In this post, let us learn how any organisation which aims to become a social business, needs to focus on ‘the people’ to be successful.
Focus on people – Make them happy
Businesses traditionally have been focusing on people in one form or the other. Every organisation works hard to keep their customers happy as that would guarantee their existence. Some businesses focus on keeping their employees satisfied with good facilities, pay and perks.These companies think that happy employees lead to higher productivity and thereby better results. A few large organisations with deep pockets can afford to keep not only their customers and employees happy, but also extend their reach to the stakeholders like shareholders and suppliers. However, a social business needs to do all the above and a bit extra as well. Let us see in the next section what social businesses need to do to get it right.
Social business – Internal and external people
Social businesses have to optimise their business strategies, operations and resources towards the ‘people’. The people here means those who are both ‘internal’ as well as ‘external’ to the organisation. Internal people are the employees and other key stakeholders such as the management, sponsors and the shareholders. They are critical to the success of any initiative as everything starts with them, from the business vision to strategy, from planning to execution and delivery. External people refers to the customers and suppliers. However, in the context of social business, the list doesn’t end here. These external people include the followers, friends and fans on social and professional networks. Social businesses succeed by putting the people’s interests first beyond anything. Their business objectives and bottom lines are all dependent on their people-focus. Social businesses have to ensure that both the internal and external people are happy.Here is how they can achieve this. :
- Involve, encourage and empower the right teams
- Find, connect and follow the right people
- Educate, influence and engage your followers
In the following sections, let us see how the organisations can become effective following the above rules.
Involve, encourage and empower the right teams
Teams make or break your organisations initiatives and attempts for successful campaigns. Great teams often are one of the biggest success factors behind great social businesses. You need to involve the team members from the very beginning so that they none of the team members feel left out. Also, this would help build ownership in them and increases their responsibility. Encourage and motivate the team members to start delivering towards the goals of social business. Empower them to take decisions on their own, try new things and implement their ideas. No matter if the ideas are bad or good, let the team work on those ideas and realise the efficacy of these ideas, on their own. Empowering the teams enables the team to own up the social business initiative and deliver activities and succeed, all by themselves.
For successful social business, empower the team and allow them to:
- Estimate the efforts and timelines
- Come up with the plan
- Commit and agree upon the plans
- Deliver on the plans
- Bring out the problems, if any, during the execution
Find, Connect and follow the right people
- Define the profiles of the people who fit your business requirements
- Create a persona with the demographics and psychographics
- Search, browse and look out for the people fitting in the persona
- Connect to these people and follow their activities on networks
- Interact with them by liking and favouriting their content
- Engage with the people by sharing their content across networks
Educate, engage and influence your followers
Following people on the social and professional networks, interacting with with them and sharing their content is one thing. It is quite another level to get people to follow you. Even harder is to engage people consistently with content that they are interested in. Of course, the most difficult step in the social engagement is to be able to influence your followers, friends and fans positively and increase their trust in you and your brand. The starting point for all of these accomplishments is to start sharing content which aligns with the interests of your followers. Make it worthy of their likes, and encourage them to comment upon and share it with others in their network. Influence your followers
Given below are some useful tips to help you with engaging your audience and influencing them.
- Identify the target audience from amongst your followers, friends and fans on networks
- Understand their interests and focus areas
- Align your campaigns and content to be aligned with their interests
- Interact with them, encourage people to like your content and share it
- Reach out to friends of friends (FoF) and widen your network reach
- Influence your followers to trust your brand and make them your ambassadors
Hope you find the above suggestions helpful in your social business efforts. As always, please let me know your views for improving this blog. Until next post, Ciao!