The GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS and the increasing use SOCIAL MEDIA have created a powerful duo in changing how we reach and communicate with each other and our unique “customers.” It is helping us discover the common ground upon which we walk across the world when it comes to pioneering new possibilities in government leadership and in the global marketplaces, workplaces, and communities we share. Recently, at an ONLINE DIALOGUE that we hosted at the Global Dialogue Center, I had an opportunity to see first-hand at “The Future of Connecting with Customers.”
First, think of “customers” in the broadest sense as anyone you are trying to reach. This session was an online exploration of how social media is changing the possibilities and making it essential for us to find the right combination of tools to reach our unique “customers.” We asked this question: What is your BIGGEST CHALLENGE today in connecting with your customers? Over 200+ leaders, business owners, and innovators from government, military, corporate, small-medium businesses and entrepreneurs showed up from all over the U.S. and 10+ countries to TELL US!
See if you agree! [PDF of Responses]
EXAMPLES of SOCIAL MEDIA CONNECTION EXCELLENCE
During the event, we highlighted social networks that were doing more than collecting people on a site—ones that were engaging people in an ongoing dialogue that seemed exceptional. I told my story of joining GovLoop as my example of excellence.
GovLoop is relatively new to me, but it has left a BIG IMPRESSION. I’ve been involved and pioneering avenues of virtual communications for well-over a decade — and I actively work on Facebook, Xing, Greater IBM Connection, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogging in multiple ways. When you arrive at GovLoop, you can FEEL the difference — it’s ALIVE! You can almost hear the murmur of interesting conversations going on. I was amazed that within minutes, I had my own page, a blog, posted on my wall, and joined a group. People are friendly —even to outsiders — and demontrate interest in what you have to say. This doesn’t happen everywhere! One of the highlights for me in my first days was the “My Ranking” feature. There was something really nice to now that the contributions you make mattered and were noticed.
Before the session, I asked Steve Ressler about his thinking and what lessons he has learned in working to creating this clear DISTINCTION at GovLoop for all of us…
What are your thoughts about the value of social media gathering, the challenges you see, and your experience at GovLoop?
Debbe Kennedy, founder, Global Dialogue Center
author, Putting Our Differences to Work
Fastest Way to Innovation, Leadership, and High Performance
I believe that social media forces us to think in terms of adding value. People may chose to be here or not – to contribute or not. The site that holds people’s attention and adds value is the site that becomes “sticky.” It only remains “sticky” for as long as the membership perceive value.
Well said, David! Your insight is validating for me. Focusing on “value” isn’t popular in all circles for social media. I’ve seen some pretty manipulative, shady intentions that seem transparent. Also, think some of it is untentional, because when you’re learning some of the “must do” lists lead some people to try into things you probably wouldn’t have done on your own. Interestingly, this is also true in the physical world, don’t you think? Bringing VALUE is the “price to stay.”
One example, I shared at our session that got some “whences” in the audience was the auto-feed programs on Twitter. Some people set them up to spew out two-three pages of content all at once. To the receiver it like getting spammed and the value is lost. After observing it for while, it appeared to me to be like someone elbowing everyone else out of the way — leaving so space or anyone else to share. It did have a positive influence on me causing me to really focus on what and when I post.
Have no idea if this is right, but it feels good. What does VALUE mean to you personally in social media? What makes you stay?
VALUE to me in social media is: the buck doesn’t stop there. If I come across a site, person, or article and I am not thinking of then next thing that comes after that, that’s a dead end. People, companies, sites that propel your thinking forward are of greatest value in my opinion.
I regret the momentary dead-end after your comment — just returning. Your comment describes what I think a lot of us feel. Especially, when you’re knew to a place. Reaching the point of…okay now what? is not a fun place. “Propelling your thinking forward” is a great aspiration for us all. Thank you. Debbe