If You Know the Value of Social, Don’t Read This

Brian Solis at Affiliate Summit East 2009Keynoting the Dell B2B Social Media Huddle last week, Brian Solis shared with laser precision the reason you're reading this blog post, why I wrote it and what social means for the future business.

And here's a little hint.

It's not about PR.  And it's not about marketing.  It's about something much, much bigger.  If you read this excerpt from his talk, which I've listened to several times already, you're taking the first step toward reinventing your future and your role as an agent of change at your organization.

Here it is…

“It's up to you to figure out the value you're going to produce and then just do it.  Invest in your community through intelligence, help, insight and guidance.  It's about becoming that expert that you once relied upon to get your story out there. You're job moving forward is to find the social consumer, engage with the social consumer. Build authority for yourself and he organization you work with and then design the entire ecosystem around experiences that can be shared and should be shared.”

“This a real powerful time in the history of business. Where people want to engage directly you and you want to engage directly with them. This isn't just about social media. It's also about business reinvention. It's about revisiting your mission, purpose, story and culture. Because in order to have a front facing engagement strategy, a lot of those things are going to have to change.”

“It's not just about social media.  It's bigger than that.  What you're looking at right now, why we're here together right now, is actually one of the first steps in transforming business, putting customers right back into the front and center of everything you do, which goes against decades of companies moving away from that. As a consumer, we all know that pain. When's the last time you tried to get someone on the phone at a business because you had a problem help with their product or service. The process is automated know.”

“And know, suddenly Twitter, Facebook, blogs, everything that gives customers a voice, gives them power. So now businesses have to do an about face.  And this is part of the job that we each have.  We have to show why, we have to show how, we have to show to what extent, we have to show the business value and the business outcomes of all of this.  But more importantly, you're change agents.  And you jobs overall, is to make your companies more relevant, not just to the social consumer, but to everyone in general.”

I interviewed Brian Solis for a chapter on building the business case for social marketing in my book Social Marketing to the Business Customer. This was before he joined Altimeter, and he outlined the social media research methodology he was using at the time to collect, classify and analyze evidence of purchasing decisions being influenced and made through social channels.

One of the things he mentioned, which he repeated in the Dell B2B Social Media Huddle Keynote, was the amount of time and energy that goes into collecting the necessary research that goes into building a smart social media strategy.  This makes his move to Altimeter a wise one, because now, he no longer has to give that research away to make a market for his services.  Now, social media research IS his service.  Kudos Brian!  Very well done.

And thanks to Neville Hobson for recording the presentation and making it available as a podcast.

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