Social technology (social media) brought about something greater than new toys. It brought about the biggest shift the world has ever seen! That shift has brought some of the worlds largest and most “powerful” companies to their knees.
Traditionally the business had the voice, and it went like this: “See/hear our messages, buy our stuff, and then you might receive extra value or information. But most importantly, BUY OUR STUFF!”
Then social technology came along, and the consumer got brave and powerful! And most businesses got scared (some are still yet to really notice).
Social Consumer: “Make an effort, provide us with enough valuable content, in the right context, coupled with actual human engagement, in order to build a trusting relationship with us, as individual humans not groups of data. Then we will buy from you when, and only when, we require your product/service. And if you continue to do this we might even become trusting advocates, leading to repeat business and sharing of your brilliance.”
This shift in business, although ignited by technology, is actually more about human behaviour. And if you look back over time, technologies come and go, but humans remain. What does that tell you?
Social technologies are windows. They are windows into the life of each of individual customer. The magical thing about windows is that you can see through them from both sides. Lie, or try to trick your customers into thinking you’ve become human, and they can tell…the brilliant thing is that you can see their reaction! Warning, it won’t be pretty.
However, if you take the time to understand each individual better, have conversations with them, and pass value through the window…well…you, and the rest of the world will be able to see the positive outcomes that this creates for both parties on either side of the window.
The Social Media window is transparent, and it opens both ways. The lock however, is on the side of the consumer.
That wall you once had between you and your consumers, stick a window in it and see just how bright your businesses future can be.
P.S. A window is easy to climb through. But that 100+ year old wall is impossible to climb over. Food for thought.