Business have adapted to every revolution throughout history, but the move to understanding and using social media hasn’t yet happened. We’re on the cusp of a new media revolution, and that’s exactly what Jay Baer and Amber Naslund talked about during their presentation for the Social Media Business Summit at BlogWorld Expo.
This is a topic that personally interests me not because I’m a business owner, but because in marketing products on my own blog, After Graduation, I’ve had to reach out to businesses and organizations who do not yet use social media. Several have told me that learning about blogging and social media isn’t relevant to them. *insert gasp and shocked face here*
If you’re a business owner, I think you can learn a lot from some of Amber’s parting words: “This is real!” Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are not going away, and ignoring this method of connection with your consumer is going to hurt your brand in the end. As Jay noted, we’ve moved from a master and servant type of relationship between businesses and their consumers to a real peer to peer connection.
During the session and in Amber and Jay’s book, The Now Revolution, the two give seven key shifts that a business needs to make. You’re going to have to pick up a copy yourself to read all about them yourself, but I wanted to mention one of the most important points they referenced in their session, which is also a part of their book:
“The spokespeople for your business aren’t just the leaders anymore, the ones that are quoted in the New York Times business section, on the cover of Fortune magazine. In real-time business, team members of every stripe are on the front lines, as representatives of your company, your brand, your purpose.”
In other words, your social media isn’t just handled by your PR department or your media department. Every employee is a representative of your company in a way that they never were in the past. You need to acquire talent you can trust. People are connecting with others via Twitter, Facebook, and other new media platforms, and they’re ranting or raving about your company to anyone that will listen. If they know and employee, even a janitor or intern, they feel like they have an “in” with the company.
So, if you wouldn’t allow someone to run your Twitter, you probably need to think twice about hiring them at all. The Revolution Amber and Jay talk about in their book is all about quick response, and it’s a 24/7/365 job, so when your PR team is sleeping, the front line of attack with a crisis are your other employees.
I was super impressed by Jay and Amber’s session, and highly recommend picking up their book when it comes out everywhere in February 2011! Check out more right now at www.NowRevolutionBook.com.