A little bit ago, Rob Preston from Information Week posted an article: “Down To Business: Are Execs Twittering Their Time Away?”
In it, he asks:
It comes down to this: Are Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, as well as the more enterprise-focused social apps from the likes of Socialtext, IBM and Microsoft, really helping us communicate, collaborate, solve problems, and close deals?
Are they establishing executives as thought leaders and providing valuable references to third-party thinking? Or are they just forums for poseurs to primp for the adoring or drive-by masses?
I think Rob is asking the wrong questions.
Rather than thinking about “social apps” as things that help us “communicate,” we should think of them as ways to help us listen.
Instead of “collaborating,” we should be asking ourselves how we can be relating with customers.
Instead of “solving” momentary and temporary “problems,” we should be thinking in terms of serving our customers’ long-term needs, now and for many years to come.
And as far as using social media to “close deals,” well — closing deals will simply be the natural outcome of truly getting to know and care about our customers.
In this era, it’s imperative that we do business for the sake of serving our customers first and letting the profits come as the result of truly befriending them. Customers know that businesses need profits to survive and thrive. They will make sure that we get our profits if we just be real with them — if we listen to them, build relationships with them, and serve them the way they want to be served.