You probably hear this once a day: "If you are not in the social web – you will soon be out of business" – It may come as a surprise – but I don't think so.
But still it's a good idea to look under the hood of the re-engineering process in our business society:
Today one can search "Has anybody Experience with…" and Google for instance returns 16 Million results. Just 5 years ago this question would have been irrelevant as there was an insignificant number of user generated content that would answer the question.
The level of influence has shifted from industry generated promotional content to user experience based content contribution. Businesses will not die if they don't participate in the social web – but they will loose influence and settle with the 20% of accidental sales versus the 80% recommendation based educated purchase decisions.
The understanding of the social business dynamics direct the the strategic social media engagements. A large percentage of businesses use the social web to tweet their offers, ask questions in LinkedIn hoping people look up their websites, promote their products on fan pages, considering those Facebook pages as new advertising platforms and promote it as a good augmentation to traditional marketing. You can easily ignore those – the results are less than expected and often times counter productive as those promotions leads to a user to be blocked, marked as spam and actually locked out of the ecosystem.
Unless you develop a market engagement strategy that includes methods and models for individual conversations, online collaboration and co-creation – you better safe your time and continue to do business as usual.
Wait what business leaders experience, what creative ideas they come up with, wait how they capture the market and how they engage with customers, partners and prospects. Wait and see them using strategic models and frameworks and if you are a follower – take it easy and do what made them successful – you will see it in a few years.
One of the very important lessons I learned from being in the social web since 2003 – Any new technology offers a radical change in leadership – but it never happened. Leaders remain leaders and followers remain followers.
Leadership has nothing to do with size or money but with the ability to differentiate between a lame new thing and a significant change in our industry – then taking the time for a strategic engagement and execute that plan.
(my social presence on one page)