Connected Economy Alignment is Value


In this connected economy, the challenge is not connectivity – but alignment.

If you look for differences you will find them; and if you seek alignment, cooperation, and collaboration, you will find that too. This is why learning to effectively manage your business networks is without question the key to your business success.

Alignment is the result of taking connectivity to the next level. This is often accomplished by partnering or collaborating to progressively achieve mutually beneficial objectives.

Who are these partners?

These are logically team members, friends, and influencers, but could also be what you to be competitors.

Alignment Builds Value

When a company gives freely, it earns the respect of the community, and that creates alignment. When a business is creating and sharing solutions that are relevant to their communities, alignment is naturally achieved.

This is why businesses need to start thinking of being problem solvers, what I like to think of as being in the answers business.

In addition to the content solutions that your business shares online, your products and services are also tangible and desirable solutions.

However, it is vital to first share free content in the form of tips and advice. That is what attracts buyers to what your business is selling. It’s a process of attraction that leads to engagement to build relationships and trust that ultimately lead to profitable outcomes.

The Social Marketing Process ©Jeff Korhan

The Social Marketing Process ©Jeff Korhan


Business in The Trust Economy

Like it or not, our business environment is being profoundly shaped by the influences of social media, and smart businesses are learning they can prosper if they seek to understand and embrace it.

Many of us are competitive by nature. Yet, when we channel those energies toward increasing value for the communities we serve, we can not only achieve our goals, but help others do the same.

Being a team player is a skill that ranks above technical talents. This is why nearly anyone will choose to to align their business with partners they trust, and therefore enjoy working with.

Communities are the New Markets

Traditional marketing speaks to markets, which are an abstract construct created by businesses that want to sell to buyers.

That’s a model that has become irrelevant in this connected and socially influenced economy. Consumer now have a voice, and every business should be finding new ways to engage customers with your brand.

We all live and work in local communities. So, respecting their dynamics is essential for succeeding in a trust economy.

It has taken me some time to learn this, but the feedback I am consistently receiving these days underscores its value.

This recent quote from Twitter is an example:

2013-06-07 Collaboration

Truth be told, that tweet was the inspiration for this post.

So, look no further than the comments of your community friends and followers for what matters most.

Pretty simple, huh?

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, helps mainstream small businesses create exceptional customer experiences that accelerate business growth. Get more from Jeff on LinkedInTwitter and Google+.

Jeff is also the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – Just Released April 2013 (Wiley)

Optimize Facebook by Thinking Like Facebook

Facebook is a world distinct from the rest of the social media universe for one reason – Facebook controls Facebook.

For the most part what happens in Facebook stays within Facebook, and that’s just the way they want it.

Social Context and Smart Lists

The interrelationships and contextual information shared on Facebook builds social context that allows advertisers to target buyers with laser accuracy – far greater than is possible on the open web.

Logically, Facebook wants to amplify that context even further. This is why they recently created smart lists.  You can learn more about smart lists here.

Facebook takes the data from your friends social graphs to populate smart lists. As you add new friends, they will automatically add them to the appropriate list based on the information they share.

One of the smart lists Facebook provides is for organizing your high school classmates. However, since not everyone lists where they went to high school, Facebook serves up suggested friends to add to the respective lists.

In other words, you are working for Facebook by helping them to create better lists.

Naturally, you should expect at least a little compensation for your efforts. Keep reading to learn how this can work in your favor.

Define Local to Your Advantage

You are no doubt aware that in addition to social, the future of search is all about mobile and location. Facebook provides all users with a smart list for their location, but they also give you adjustable settings to define your location – for your benefit.  

If you are a hyperlocal business that only works in a small geographic radius, then you should adjust the settings according.

For my work as a professional speaker and consultant, it is to my advantage to fish in a bigger pond.  This is why I have expanded my location to include the greater Chicago metropolitan area.

The key to optimizing Facebook is discerning why they do what they do – and then responding to that in a way that works for you and them.

Whether your focus is narrow or wide, there are advertisers looking to connect with people like you.

The secret is both you and Facebook want the same thing. The better you contextually define who you are, the more you help Facebook and yourself.

Trusted Friends are Your Inner Circle

Facebook also recently announced they will be launching a service to help you recover your password or have it reset if your account has been hacked.  Since a hacked account compromises your email, this Trusted Friends feature will allow your selected friends to help you get access and change both your email and password.

Is this really just about security?

Once again, think like Facebook.

There is no doubt that Facebook has been under pressure to provide a secure user experience.  But why not fix the problem from the inside?

When you put your Facebook search and advertising hat on you begin to see the potential genius in this feature. Your three to five most trusted friends will presumably lie down in traffic for you.

So, if you are an ardent fan of a particular product or service, advertisers will likely pay dearly to connect with your trusted friends.

What Does this Mean for You?

When you use the trusted friends feature you are strongly aligning yourself with them – and defining yourself in the process.

I’m not saying I have the answers here – just that those choices should be made with care.

One idea that comes to mind is diversity.

Consider this. Search is about influence. If you choose only local friends you are sending a message to Facebook about your influence – that its local.

If you choose friends from around the world you are sending another.

Neither is right or wrong.

The point is that you choices matter.

There will more changes with Facebook – you can count on it.

Just think like Facebook and you can best represent yourself – and occasionally create more opportunities for creating alignment that helps you to optimize Facebook, regardless of whether your motives are personal or professional – or both.

What do you think about this?

Leave a comment below or share this with your community on with any of the share buttons below – or on the little red bar at the bottom of this page.  

Until tomorrow,  Jeff

Photo Credit: Master Isolated

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