How will social media affect work? What will be the next hot trend and tool? We can hardly predict what will take off a day from now, never mind a month or a year. My suggestion is to focus more on the social part of the expression -- this will give us more information about ourselves and our behavior and perhaps an idea or two about where we want to take this conversation collectively.
Social media is already affecting the way we work and think. When I first came to the U.S. some nineteen years ago I didn't know a soul and I didn't own a thing -- my coordinates started with me alone, my skills, and past cultural references. As I adapted to the environment, I created new mash-ups of knowledge and people filtered through and via me. The result of this two way exposure is an international network of practice that comprises more than 1,800 individuals. Could this be my customer database?
Hold that thought for a moment and come with me to visit another how as in How do I feel about my experience? A question we may ask ourselves sincerely and often and that companies may stumble upon asking with the same sentiment once in a blue moon. This was the center piece of a recent Friday Musing by Becky Carroll at Customers Rock! If we are so intent on talking about relationships, then the way our customers feel about us matters -- yes, to the bottom line as well.
Taking a look at how most blog posts are written, they are usually a mash up of ideas by a number of authors and people who build on each other. This is not new. What is new is that with new media, free or low cost software, more voices have joined the conversation in more ways.
Most organizations are beginning to think about how to insert themselves in the conversation. To me B2B businesses have tremendous opportunities to become more strategic about how they work with supply chain, alliances, and customers. Is social media changing the way we work? Will it allow companies to do away with RFPs? Lewis Green has a provocative post over at the MarketingProfs:Daily Fix that reveals the Dirty Little Secret about Proposals. The how question there is How would you change RFPs and proposals? In this case we already know how we fell about them, don't we?
Organizations like predictability because markets like and reward predictability. The more established a company and its track record, the harder for it and its people to make conscious decisions on how to change the way they do things. Social media sounds fascinating and at the same time quite subversive and upsetting. The most upsetting part of course is the deal with reputation.
Yet it is a proactive, open conversation that can build reputations and brands. So are there any surprises in your thinking? Are we going to change our practices as a result of an increased demand for transparency in the democratization of broadcasting? Andy Nulman thinks the surprise in satisfying the question How do you live your life and conduct your business? resides in changing what people know about you.
Take these questions, mix them up and what do you get?
[when the logo is created by consumers, it may express more the reality of how]