There Are No Social Businesses Without ‘The Embrace’

By Stevie Sleeter, Content & Social Media Manager

Published: January 24, 2016

Photo courtesy of Ludic Creatives from the 2014 Social Shake-Up Conference

“If you ask a CEO what keeps them up at night, their typical response is technology. If you ask a CMO, they say we don’t know our customers as well as we’d like to know them. But we know them. There’s a gap between us and the C-suite. Although none of them would say, ‘We don’t care about our customers,’ if they were truly customer-centric, CEOs and CMOs would put people first.”

In fact, 88 percent of CEOs said their companies are undergoing digital transformation; yet only 25 percent studied the digital customer. This is where the problem begins.

Business Has Never Been Human

“There is nothing about relationships in CRM,” says Brian Solis, the principal analyst with Altimeter Group. “We could be more human. Some of us are still fighting the same thing today as we were in early 2000. Just because you come out on social doesn’t make you social. You really have to try to be transparent, to connect with someone. That’s the core of what makes business social. A lot of us lost sight of that.”

Truer words were never spoken. Most companies today unknowingly use technology to further distance themselves from customers. Facebook and Twitter don’t make us “social.” People do. And we must start acting more human, more transparent.

Here’s why:

  • Everything we do is a shared experience. Whether or not you are listening, monitoring and interacting online — people are sharing information about you.
  • We are getting used to great. As technology improves and digital experiences become more seamless, the reality is we’re spoiling ourselves. Most information is at our fingertips 24/7 and we’ve come to expect that most things entertain us in some way.
  • Competition is growing. We’re not just competing with our fellow competitors, we’re competing with these expectations. We’re competing with great and consumers are expecting nothing less.
  • People trust others more than they trust brands. Enough said.

How To Fix It

Do you see the future of your company as more responsive and listening more to customers? That’s what social brings to the party. If your company isn’t responsive, and if it doesn’t listen, what are you going to do? Nothing.

It will truly take a culture shift to turn a non-social business to one that really encircles their customer. And it starts with “The Embrace.” “The Embrace” is a strategy by Brian Solis and mindset between a company and their customer that says ‘I have your attention, you have my attention. Now what am I going to do with that as a business? What happens next?’ The human touch. The power of all social technologies is the ability for a company to literally say or portray the idea of ‘I care about you’ and really have the customer feel it.

“A social business is different than social media. A social business is one that recognizes it needs to be more open, more transparent. You can be a social business without technology.” Changing your company to be less corporate, less “I can’t talk to you unless it goes through a press department” – and more “look, I have something that is of value to you.”

Social media gives us the ability to listen, learn, track, and measure. But if you are simply “facilitating social media” and not acting as a social business, the benefits are minimal.

Ready to stop reacting and start cultivating a community? Let’s chat!