Social media: a window on your culture

Engagement

A study done by Charlene Li’s Altimeter Group shows that companies who engage in social media have done better financially, even in a recession.

Li is quick to point out that the companies’ financial success is not necessarily caused by their social media engagement, but there is a strong correlation.

What does it suggest? Here are three things that stand out:

  1. The winners are using social media across the organisation, not just as part of marketing and HR
  2. Their social media use is an outgrowth of a customer-centric culture, not an add-on.
  3. Social media for them is as much about listening to their customers, as about sending messages.

iJump’s focus on culture

Sometimes potential clients just don’t get Marie. They can understand me, with my marketing and technology background, but Marie is neither a techie, nor a marketer. She’s a customer service specialist, and a trainer who helps move people from apathy or fear, to engagement.

Those skills are crucial to make social media more than just a passing fad for companies.

Yes, the technology is important (and ever-changing). What’s more important are the people who drive it.

Social media is only ever a window on your culture. If you have an unhealthy culture, it will come through, whether communications departments forbid it or not. If you have a healthy, vibrant culture, that will come through, too.

Our job isn’t just showing you the window, it’s enabling change in the culture inside, which in turn leads to genuine, human engagement between you and your customers.

What’s your organisation like? Ready for the window, or stitching up the curtains?

39 thoughts on “Social media: a window on your culture

  • Carl

    Agree with the sentiment that companies shouldn’t view social media [facebook/twitter etc] as a one way street, those that do will be quickly dissascoitated from.

    Reply
    • Simon

      Thanks Carl, and thanks for the retweet!

      Reply
  • Carl

    Agree with the sentiment that companies shouldn’t view social media [facebook/twitter etc] as a one way street, those that do will be quickly dissascoitated from.

    Reply
    • Simon

      Thanks Carl, and thanks for the retweet!

      Reply
  • Matt @ Kurb

    I think I said something on here about “fish jumping in the boat” this year, but for me the recession has meant steady growth rather than the spike I was expecting. Does this mean a spike next year?

    I do muso’s mainly and some small biz, you guys do big org’s but a similar pattern emerges: brands engaging are finding direction to move forward with a recovery around the corner . . . brands that aren’t engaging just have the same problems they had last year, except amplified by the drop in turnover and current economic conditions.

    Reply
    • Simon

      Yep, and I think part of it is attitude. The ones who are refusing to engage until they see irrefutable proof are unlikely to do anything, the ones who are willing to take a bit of a step of faith are finding that their experiments are paying off. Actually I read a great article about it the other day here.

      Reply
  • Luigi Cappel

    Good sound logic. I’ve been discussing some new initiatives with my parent company and all 3 points above are relevant.

    It can also be a double edged sword as you said, because if people are thinking negatively about the organisation, it will come through, but that is also an opportunity to hear what people are saying, listen and respond.

    That’s one of the important things I see as value for social networking is that you can hear what people are saying, good or bad, and engage with them. If it wasn’t good, you can often turn a bad situation into something better than it was to start with.

    Reply
  • Luigi Cappel

    Good sound logic. I’ve been discussing some new initiatives with my parent company and all 3 points above are relevant.

    It can also be a double edged sword as you said, because if people are thinking negatively about the organisation, it will come through, but that is also an opportunity to hear what people are saying, listen and respond.

    That’s one of the important things I see as value for social networking is that you can hear what people are saying, good or bad, and engage with them. If it wasn’t good, you can often turn a bad situation into something better than it was to start with.

    Reply
  • Pingback: justinflitter (Justin Flitter)

  • Pingback: justinflitter (Justin Flitter)

  • Pingback: AdageBusiness (Graeme)

  • Pingback: kaedron (Francois Bondiguel)

  • Simon

    Yep, and I think part of it is attitude. The ones who are refusing to engage until they see irrefutable proof are unlikely to do anything, the ones who are willing to take a bit of a step of faith are finding that their experiments are paying off. Actually I read a great article about it the other day here.

    Reply
  • Simon

    So true! What’s that stat about the best customer service comes from bad situations turned around?

    Reply
  • Simon

    So true! What’s that stat about the best customer service comes from bad situations turned around?

    Reply
  • Pingback: justinflitter (Justin)

  • Pingback: mikefixs (Mike Johansson)

  • Pingback: audaciousgloop (Simon Young)

  • andrewnim

    Well I get Marie. Really for a company Social Media is all about engagement with customers. Customers want a relationship with on a personal level. We have all bought from a company based on the personal service we got, that they listened. I think its great to have a customer centric person as part of the team. Possibly what we are seeing is the companies who are using the new advertising paradigm well, just as Ford did during the 1930’s.

    Reply
    • Simon

      I’m intrigued … what do you mean by what Ford did in the 1930s?

      Reply
  • andrewnim

    Well I get Marie. Really for a company Social Media is all about engagement with customers. Customers want a relationship with on a personal level. We have all bought from a company based on the personal service we got, that they listened. I think its great to have a customer centric person as part of the team. Possibly what we are seeing is the companies who are using the new advertising paradigm well, just as Ford did during the 1930’s.

    Reply
    • Simon

      I’m intrigued … what do you mean by what Ford did in the 1930s?

      Reply
  • Annemieke

    I fully agree. Social media is not a solution to everything, but it is a way to involve your customer. But you have to work hard for it, it doesn’t come on its own. Starting a blog or social network because everybody is doing it may not be the solution. You really have to find the customer and encourage them to give feed back on your product, brands or company and start interacting with them (there must be soemthing into it for them as well). In my point of view it is a good idea to start internally with social media, because every employee has to understand what’s it about. And also because you can make some mistakes internally and learn from it before you go externally. Then do research what suits your target audience and take your best practices out! I agree that convincing people (especially management) is crucial in this process. I’m very lucky to work in a company where higher management is very open minded and created a core innovation team, with someone (me!) who is fully dedicated to social media. We started our internal podcast and have our own platform with an internal wiki, a blog, RSS-reader, our podcast and idea platform. So our culture is moving to “social media” and with that we are one face to the customer re these new communication tools.

    Reply
    • Simon

      Great stuff Annemieke! Inside out helps prevent silly public mistakes, and also makes the experience more real for everyone.

      Reply
  • Annemieke

    I fully agree. Social media is not a solution to everything, but it is a way to involve your customer. But you have to work hard for it, it doesn’t come on its own. Starting a blog or social network because everybody is doing it may not be the solution. You really have to find the customer and encourage them to give feed back on your product, brands or company and start interacting with them (there must be soemthing into it for them as well). In my point of view it is a good idea to start internally with social media, because every employee has to understand what’s it about. And also because you can make some mistakes internally and learn from it before you go externally. Then do research what suits your target audience and take your best practices out! I agree that convincing people (especially management) is crucial in this process. I’m very lucky to work in a company where higher management is very open minded and created a core innovation team, with someone (me!) who is fully dedicated to social media. We started our internal podcast and have our own platform with an internal wiki, a blog, RSS-reader, our podcast and idea platform. So our culture is moving to “social media” and with that we are one face to the customer re these new communication tools.

    Reply
    • Simon

      Great stuff Annemieke! Inside out helps prevent silly public mistakes, and also makes the experience more real for everyone.

      Reply
  • Zak

    Agreed on Point 3, social media monitoring is really growing right now. Companies need to know the “buzz” around their products and brands direct from the customer!

    Reply
    • Simon

      Thanks Zak.

      Reply
  • Zak

    Agreed on Point 3, social media monitoring is really growing right now. Companies need to know the “buzz” around their products and brands direct from the customer!

    Reply
    • Simon

      Thanks Zak.

      Reply
  • Pingback: MadeFromNZ (MadeFromNZ)

  • Pingback: 4Eyes Friday 31 July

  • Pingback: 4Eyes Friday 31 July | Tracta

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *