Using social media does not make you a social business. Using social media inside a culture that is social, does.
If leaders don’t invest in a social, client focused business culture, social software and strategies will gather dust like last year’s consultant’s report.
Social is sharing – Sharing nurtures trust – Trust builds relationships.
Relationships build business.
Collaboration, innovation and community is embedded into every facet of the social business. In a recent post: Can Google+ Drive Social Business?, I referred to John Jantsch’s article: The Far Reaching Implications of The Social Business Model for his opinion that social behaviour drives social business.
We’ve always been social and formed communities, but now technology has allowed us to do this “without the constraint of geography.”
We now can connect with anyone, collaborate anywhere and form communities with everyone.
…And we don’t need to invest big bucks to do it.,
How can Google+ help you become a “social business”?
A big advantage of using Google+ for social business is that it gives you access to all of Google’s products.
This means that you can share and collaborate with Google Docs, Slides, Spreadsheets, Presentations, and Videos on your Google+ stream as well as access Google+ from any of them.
How’s that for integration?
Social businesses create products and services with communities rather than for them.
Suggestion: Use Google+ Circles to organize employees, projects, departments, customers and even your emails.
You can then target:
A single person – typing in the name of one person sends them the equivalent of a private message, so long as no other people or circles are selected.
A Circle – the update is viewable by anyone in that circle.
A group of Circles – anyone in those circles can see the update.
Your Circles – everyone you have added to any circle can see the update.
Extended Circles – your update is open to everyone in your circles, as well as anyone they have in their circles.
Public – anyone on the web can see the update.
Inside those circles, use Google+Hangouts to:
- Share and collaborate on projects with Google Docs.
- Hold live feedback discussions with clients.
- Conduct virtual whiteboard brainstorming sessions
Social business can source expertise, advice, resources, partnerships and supplies by simply asking, referring and listening. The big advantage that Google+ has for companies is that they can now follow, link-mention, or comment with anyone on Google+, not just their followers.
Suggestion: Use your Google+ Business Page to find people grouped around your product or service.
Search for influencers and people in industries related to your service.
Create a circle of prospective clients and check for common themes.
Interact by leaving +1’s and/or comments. This will both increase your following but also keep you on top of what’s buzzing in your particular sector.
Being able to listen and engage with people, to be able to project their needs by understanding their problems is key to innovation.
The core of a community is a shared purpose. Businesses create communities to increase brand awareness, build a following, and develop brand authority and trust.
Suggestion: Dive into Google+ Communities and take advantage of the massive opportunities there to reach people who share specific interests.
Here are some recommendations from my G+ friend, Mark Traphagen.
Build your own Communities – Think about the main topics that relate to your brand and form Communities around them, inviting your current followers to them.
Post regularly – Communities thrive on engagement. Be sure to post original and curated content at least daily and respond to other’s post promptly.
Participate on other Communities – Use Google+’s internal search to find similar Communities and participate. If it not a public Community, you’ll need to be approved by the moderator so contribute helpful, not spammy content.
Promote Your Community Outside of Google+ – Anyone with a Google account can access G+ Communities so promote yours on your wbsite, email, and other social platforms.
Set up a Community for customer service – Invite current clients to discuss, ask questions and interact with others.
The key to making Communities work is good moderation. If you’re new to moderating Communities, there’s a Community Moderators community (of course). Many businesses are running their day to day operations using Google Business Apps. What makes Google+ valuable is that it adds a social layer over all parts of your company.
Google+ let’s you get down to business and with people.