The term ‘social business’ has been coined to describe the new generation of social media marketing. To benefit fully from this fast-growing communications channel, businesses need to be engaged in two-way social conversations – remembering to listen and react to both consumers and other businesses.
Within the social business environment, it is vital that Kent-based companies (whether they have a regional or a local approach to business) adopt the mantra of ‘putting the customer first’. Digital encounters are the start of developing a social business – often acting as an online handshake to start a conversation.
At every level, people are now connecting on a scale more vast than any previous experience. Interactions occur in real-time, via second-by-second developments that expose ever-increasing numbers of individuals to messages that are not controlled by the organisation.
It is the classic data conundrum: quantity over quality. The huge amount of data generated by social media can now be readily tracked and analysed – but a real social business also knows how to act on the knowledge that can be attained from it. Capturing and storing such ‘big data’ is relatively simple but using it to make intelligent decisions can be very challenging, where sharing and transferring information play a key role in benefiting from all the hard work.
Many consumer brands are now showing how it is possible to listen and react to consumers to actively drive the development of their business. Fundamentally it is down to the changes in the way people conduct themselves in core operations of the business – so leading the social revolution can be used to flag your organisation as a leader in social understanding.
A recent example of high-impact social media commentary is the launch event hosted by Apple in Cupertino and Beijing. The tweets sent in the hours immediately following the event were analysed to determine the online sentiment surrounding the announcements. This revealed that almost three-quarters of the 1.5 million tweets sent in relation to the event in the 24-hour period did not contain negative or positive comment. People were simply passing news around without really digesting it.
The lack of excitement and positivity surrounding the launch led to scepticism about the new products. Ultimately this led to a reduction in the stock value of the company in a matter of days. This was not directly based on the social media commentary, but the combined sentiment of the tweets did contribute to the overall lack of confidence in the launch, and a fall in stock price. As scary as this may sound, it is rapidly becoming part of the modern business world.
As we all know, in Kent even more so than our capital, people buy people. It’s a saying that sticks because it remains true. Online interactions managed well will manifest into face-to-face meetings. The power of social is proven: it’s just a matter of applying the concepts and working with all of that data.
Katie King will be presenting one of the inspirational keynotes at Kent 2020 Vision Marketing LIVE on 23rd October 2013. You can also follow her on Twitter @katieeking.
Visitors and potential exhibitors can find out more and register online at the event website: www.kent2020marketing.co.uk.