Yesterday I had the great honor of being a guest for the second time on The Peter McClellan Show. It was great fun discuss with Peter the new direction of SocialNicole as a virtual agency that brings some of the most talented digital communications specialist in the industry under one “roof” to create an affordable option for businesses looking for expert assistance to help with their online and offline brand presence. Want to learn more about what a “virtual” agency is and what the benefits are to the client click here to listen to the show. We also discussed the future of social media for businesses. My belief is that businesses will need to become “social” businesses to survive and thrive in the future. What is a “social” business? A social business is a business that embraces social media and digital communications as a core component of how they communicate. Social businesses understand that they need to invest a professional branded presence online and offline. This presence reaches all aspects of their communications from a logo that translates from digital to print with ease, to a website that is designed to be user-friendly and interactive, to the social media strategy that will build a community that wants to interact with a company because the company provides consistent value to the community members. Social businesses understand that their social interactions online are not about them, but about their target audience. Social businesses understand that social media is not a place for broadcasting messages, but a way for companies to connect, engage and provide value to their communities. Social businesses have a core belief that open communication is essential not only with customers, but also with employees. Social businesses embrace social tools, empower their employees to use them and encourage them to use them to advance the business mission and serve customers. Social businesses understand that their image is tied into the people they employ and train those employees to be great ambassadors. Finally there are many moving pieces to the operation of a social business and investing in strategy and implementation to ensure these pieces run smoothly is essential. On Peter McClellan’s show we discussed the success of one of my clients who has made the transformation as a social business in the last 9 months. My client, Pete Semington (@PrinterPete) of Dunn and Semington Commercial Printing is an example of social business success. What makes Pete a great client and case study is his willingness to invest in the process and to understand the importance of creating a consistent branded presence online and offline. He was willing to re-design his website even though his old site was only 3 years old, because he understood it was necessary to get his branded message across. He has invested in a new enews design to match his website design and he has invested in ongoing implementation. Pete’s investment has paid off as he has seen his sales grow 20% in 2010 and 2011 looks strong. Interested in hearing more about social business, check out the radio show here. I would love to hear your thoughts about the future of social media and social businesses.
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