By John Booth
Sure, most everyone you know is on Facebook these days, and if you are watching closely, you’ll notice that your teens have migrated to Twitter and Snap Chat. Social platforms have become an integral part of our lives – whether it’s Pinterest to share ideas or Foursquare to find a restaurant, Americans are spending more time online than ever before. Sure, these examples are all about social media designed for personal use, but have you noticed how your use of social media has begun to blend the personal with the professional? The two spheres are rapidly converging. What’s accelerating this change? Collaboration.
Collaboration is what the new social business model is all about — connecting people to expertise both inside and outside of the company. Social businesses are transparent, nimble, and people-centric. They rely on social networks, real-time collaboration, mobility, and integration to create business value. The payoffs are meaningful: deepened customer relationships, greater operational efficiencies, and optimized workforces.
As social collaboration increases, company-supplied tools are playing smaller roles than they did just a short while ago and bring your own device (BYOD) policies are increasingly prominent. Half of all employees that collaborate with coworkers do so with more than three devices. Why are businesses embracing this? Its good business. Companies get newer technology faster, purchase fewer devices and support the core of the new “Social Business Model” – COLLABORATION!
Embracing the new social business model isn’t just about letting employees use their personal devices for business – it means investing in a new marketing model. A recent LinkedIn study showed 81% of small and medium-size businesses are using social marketing to drive their business and increase their brand awareness. Sixty percent of those companies found social media platforms helpful in acquiring new customers. The companies that are experiencing the fastest growth in revenue are also spending the most on social media marketing – more than both email marketing and all forms of traditional marketing combined!
The Social Business Model is everything the traditional model is not. It focuses on the user, organizes itself and it’s self directing… Say good bye to the historical customer/business model and hello to something more like Charlotte’s Web. If your marketing plan doesn’t support the formation of these kinds of social connections, you’re missing opportunities and revenue. Challenge your marketing team to evolve from the traditional, linear model of marketing to a strategy that includes inbound marketing, social media platforms and other connection points with your target audience. There is clear evidence that this type of marketing is delivering results and will continue to be a significant component of the small and midsize business marketing plan for years to come.
John Booth is the President and Creative Director of Quintain Marketing