Is Being Social Good Business?

An example of a social network diagram.

 As social networking in business continues defining itself so rapidly we will see many large and small players circumvented if they ignore it.

 One thing I notice with many business peers, including CEO’s and business leaders alike, is they generally focus on what they understand well.

Social networks” as a relatively new phenomena is generally not one of them.

 My view which I share with many others is that social networking is at the very heart of commerce and is not only about being social. I believe that tapping into this evolving way to reach markets will soon be almost mandatory for most businesses. And once it matures in the next year or so, the explosion to mainstream will see a consolidation of large and small (search optimization engine) companies. Then the value of the social networks will very apparent and at its highest.

I was interested in a question in Linkedin Wikinomics posted by Kumaran SELVARAJALU. Here he asks:

“If it’s true that we can only have approximately 150 meaningful relationships (Dunbar’s assessment of the neo-cortex) then what is social network achieving?”

On the social side, as humans we most certainly do need to fit in and be social. And having a large group of “friends” can be seen to satisfy that need. It may also be especially important if your need is to have others take you seriously by showing a high count of friends. But whatever the motive, social networking lets you have contact with people that you would otherwise not and be sought out by people you otherwise never meet, as you all communicate back and forth to build a bond.  It’s as simple as sending messages and/or giving something away, like knowledge. Inviting opinion, also often achieves good connections.

In sales, resistance to “sales messages” is always high, without trust. But it improves as the marketer’s bonding improves. The aim in building social networks is to achieve this too to establish a bond and a trust so influence and acceptance is more certain.

The potential and use of this medium for organized market research and reach is even now quite gargantuan. And this will evolve more as  mass social media connections become more and more organized. 

As we watch what early adopters have learned and as technology applications start catching them up, social media marketing will also ramp up and outstrip all other conventional methods. With direct access to consumer group needs, selling messages will be highly effective to target very well defined markets. Then as higher and higher percentages connect to the value of being exposed in markets that understand their needs, ongoing business influence will be very two way and highly customer aligned.

In my view a good aim over the next couple of years in a business, should be to develop strong search engine optimization based business models and a social network following. If this can be demonstrated to have effective influence and connection for selling in its chosen market it will be the goodwill of the future. That of course will also provide exit strategies for many as the social networking business itself matures and consolidations begin.

To respond to the question, what is social network achieving? I say it is not only about being social or having an ability to manage more than 150 friends and family. It is also a “means to an end” to communicate and influence others to enter into a transaction of some sort.

 

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2 thoughts on “Is Being Social Good Business?

  1. The use of Twitter to promote products & services, see http://bit.ly/SXat8, is one of the better summaries around on business use. The author has some good advice. It is refreshing there is not magic bullet promised. The reality, there is still work, but with some sensible ways of doing it.

    In fact all sales people should read this. I know from my own experience there that there can be no tenure without trust. It has tips on to using Twitter to be efficient and effective with vital selling habits like “touch”, “listening” and “building relationships”.

    “As social networking in business continues defining itself so rapidly we will see many large and small players circumvented if they ignore it. One thing I notice with many business peers, including CEO’s and business leaders alike, is they generally focus on what they understand well. Social networks” as a relatively new phenomena, is generally not one of them”

    I am also interested in this view especially if there is a real issue just now for companies whose CEO’s and Marketing Execs etc remain slow on the uptake? My take is judging by all the discussion on this, people are still trying to figure it all out, so there is no terminal reason to go mad on it … YET!!!

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