Social business has mainly been discussed in terms of what it can do for the company in terms of efficiency of Knowledge Management and Sharing and the impact it has on the organization and culture. One of the aspects of Social Business that so far is under-exposed is the positive (or negative…) impact on the way customers perceive the brand and thus the influence it has on their buying behavior. In this post I will briefly outline how Social Business and Brand Equity are related and help to reframe your thinking about Social Business and why it can be a sound market approach for your organization.
Last week had the privilege of attending the CRM Seminar on “Social CRM for Business” organised by BPT Partners, where Paul Greenberg managed to attract a large number the world’s thought leaders on Social CRM and market players during a two-day event in a snowed-in Westin Hotel in Washington DC. To the members of the #SCRM Accidental Community it felt like the culmination point (hence the term #scrmsummit ) after many, many months of tweet conversation, blogging and commenting, skype chatting that have helped us shape our ideas of what a Social CRM Strategy could look like as well as the promise it holds concerning how business can be changed for the benefit of all parties involved. It was great to meet in person finally!
Twitter has become quite centtral in the way that I go out and research subjects that interest me, and to exchange with people that have knowledge and insight about these. Before I used to turn to Google, but it was very difficult to find the nuggets of knowledge you’re looking for when you get 36 million search results (most of them irrelevant). Twitter has turned out to be an extremely effective tool as a community-based knowledge transfer tool.
I used to be a sceptic – proudly saying I did not tweet – as I did not see the value of telling the whole world that I was having double-twisted latté macchiato cappucino coffee or whatever at a Starbuck’s. Boy was I wrong! Twitter has been the most effective tool that I have found yet. I set up Tweetdeck and did one column that filters on the #scrm hashtag (my main interest), and another on #e20 (these are linked as Social Business, hopefully Esteban Kolsky and I can tell you more about it during the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Paris and Boston). Soon I found out who the most interesting tweeters to follow were (or is it twits? lol) and reached out.
About a week ago John Moore @JohnFMoore put his stake in the ground on what Social Support Communities are in the arena of Social CRM. His definition centres around their purpose of conversation around dealing Support questions, for example the Dell Support Site. This got me thinking about what Lithium and Helpstream o.a. actually do, and I believe they cover can a far wider purpose.
The very promising field of Social CRM has been using english as its lingua franca to discuss and exchange ideas. I for example am Dutch, live in Paris and but I use English to express myself in this blog. Likewise, the #scrm discussions seem to take it for granted that online customer communities will use english, and thus these communities run the risk of missing out on solutions found in peer communities hosted in other languages.
In the perfect online customer community the best-of-breed solutions are selected, localised and transposed for the benefit of all the customers wherever they may be. China for example now has more internet users (est.338 million) than the USA has inhabitants – imagine the potential for crowd sourcing!