7 Essential Qualities for Designing Your Business Around Social

To understand how to operate your small business in this social media influenced environment is to be especially aware of the humanizing aspects of this platform.

In fact, one could argue that understanding these influences and designing your business around them is more important than using social media at all. 

2011.2.13 Bare Metal

Take a Longer View

More businesses are integrating social media practices into their marketing.  However, for the most part, it is as if they have added a new layer to what they were already doing – a new coat of paint to dress up old practices to make them relevant.

Taking a superficial approach is to lose sight of the key ingredients that makes this work.  This is what happened a few years ago when there was social pressure for businesses to be more green. A few changes were made, with the most common one being an obligatory nod to green in marketing materials.

Now consumers tend to doubt those claims regarding sustainability and green. The same thing is likely to happen with your social media work if you do not take a long-term view.

Social is at the core of who we are as human beings. It's personal.  To express that in your social marketing means you have to strip away what is no longer relevant, all of the old coats of paint – and start fresh from bare metal.

There is a big difference between that and just adding a social layer on top of what used to work.

Here are the key factors that I believe we will all have to address to design our businesses around the relevant social qualities that are now part of the fabric of our business environment. 

1. Visibility - What makes social media so effective for small businesses are the countless ways for enhancing your visibility.  Creating a distributed presence on multiple social networks using multi-media is essential for building a presence that ensures the relevance of your business.

2. Authenticity – Consumers want to have a relationship with your company. They want to know what's going on behind the scenes.  They are curious and that curiosity has to be fed for those relationships to endure.

3. Accessibility – The Web gives all of us more access to people, companies, and causes. This has conditioned consumers to expect to have open access to your business – and especially with you if you happen to be the owner.

4. Community – We have reached a point where it may not be possible to be successful without having a meaningful connection with the communities in which you operate. The social entrepreneurship trend is encouraging new business models that equally serve both the needs of businesses – and the communities they serve.

5. Personalization – As everyone gets more comfortable with social media, personalization will become a necessary business objective. Don't you notice this now?  Aren't you better acquainted with some of your high school friends now than when you were in school with them every day?

6. Relevance – When you build relationships in communities and personalize your business, you enhance your opportunities for alignment with your ideal customers – those that find your solutions to be most relevant.  Furthermore, you minimize the possibility of attracting customers that are just not right for you, which simplifies your life while enhancing your business profitability.

7. Media – There has never been a better time to be entrepreneur.  Now that we control our media presence, we can use our entrepreneurial skills to accomplish all of our business objectives, while also enjoying both the flexibility and control that social media affords us.

Our social behaviors determine who we engage with and how we interact. For entrepreneurs and small business owners like you and me, this has special relevance to our vital interactions with customers.

Now is the time to take a closer look at your business model to engage with your customers in ways that they are becoming more accustomed to – and that are more relevant to your successful relationship with them.

Feel free to share this with your friends by clicking on the Facebook Like button below, leave a comment, or consider subscribing to the feed. 

Until tomorrow,  Jeff

Photo Credit: The US Army

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