Here are all of the posts tagged ‘social business’.
Why do we talk? We look for information, we develop social bonds, we offer our help and we try to influence the way we’re perceived. Maslow theorised on the hierarchy of needs more than 50 years ago and they were revisited a few months ago by Adams in a study of the way we use social media.
What’s extraordinary about social media? One of the most unique elements is that it has offered brands the opportunity to suddenly use modes of communication that have been restricted to people for thousands of years. It’s not about an interaction based on interruption any more: we’re not talking about providing an experience, blocking it with a message and hoping for attention from the audience. We’re talking about building value together with people, through conversation.
At We Are Social we’re glad to work with one of the brands that relishes this change: BNL BNP Paribas. Today, in the august setting of Ara Pacis in Rome, an event took place titled “People, Projects, Technologies: from conversation to trust”. Italian journalist Luca De Biase was the moderator for a discussion about how brands can generate value with people. And to mark the occasion, BNL announced the project we’ve been working on with them, a new way to think about the relationship between brands and people – BNL People.
“People” means “clients”, but also the people who work for the bank and in its ecosystem: through discussion, exchange and dialogue, BNL will show its humanity. The employees’ involvement is open, honest and transparent: they will take part in this project telling their own stories, both professional and personal. Their passions, interests and their values will be under the spotlight.
One of the elements that struck us the most while working on this initiative is how the bank chose to tell people’s stories, to give visibility to whom represent the brand everyday, who make BNL a real “enabler”, a “human” institution to support people’s projects.
Toghether with BNL, we’ve created a series of initiatives to showcase this approach. One of the first is an application that allows everyone to create an infographic to understand their own way to be social, with the objective to introduce the “human” element that characterizes the use of social channels.
You can find BNL People on several channels: Facebook, Twitter and the website. Thanks to everyone who made this possible, we’re looking forward to see more and more brands adopt this approach to conversation as a way to build value with people.
The way people shift from awareness to loyalty, through consideration, intention and purchase has radically changed in short, the purchase funnel is no more. The customer journey has become ‘dynamic’, and Altimeter are investigating this as one of their research themes. Here at We Are Social, we’re lucky to be experiencing this evolution up close, from all over the world, and we can see the huge impact that conversations and social media are having.
Laptops, Smartphones, Tablets – connected devices of all flavours are now part of everyday life: being able to connect from everywhere and at any time means a continuous exchange with the people (and brands) we care about. Content has become a part of conversations, a spark to ignite them. To adapt to this age of conversation, content needs to be broken down into small pieces, suitable for continuous micro-interactions. The multiple channels that people use means you can take advantage of specific device characteristics: e.g. location based social networks (GPS), photo sharing (mobile camera and connectivity) or social TV applications (TV syncing technologies).
As Shiv Singh points out, social media is becoming more like “air”: part of everything we touch, see and interact with. While people interact with multiple channels, different types of content, people and brands in different parts of their social graph, social platforms like Facebook and Twitter understand the importance of aggregating various conversations and signals into a unified stream. Think about Facebook integrating external platforms (like Pinterest or Foursquare) into your news feed, or Twitter showing images and videos from external platforms in your Twitter stream. People choose to use social platforms based on what parts of their social graph are also using the platform and because of platform’s functionality. When they want to know what’s going on amongst their social graph, it’s important they have one (or a few) point of reference: which is why social networks often try to act as a personal “dashboard” for your social life.
With over 500m people active on Facebook each day, the amount of content, information, interactions and call to actions that touch people’s lives has grown exponentially. Attention has become the scarcest resource people have: it’s very important to leverage technology to surface only what really matters to them, selecting what should be in the foreground. But while technology is an enabler in this process, the real element that decides what gets people’s scarce attention is trust. With so many devices, platforms, connections and brands converging into a continuous user experience, people prioritise only the relevant and trustworthy interactions. Brands therefore must learn to participate in conversations to which they can add value, in order to build trust and develop a continuous relationship.
Research on brand side
In order to develop trust, it’s fundamental brands understand their audiences from a demographic, psychographic as well as sociographic point of view. It’s not enough any more for brands to know just the typical profile of the people they’re interacting with: it’s crucial to understand the people themselves and the dynamics of influence inside their groups. To do this, both listening to the conversations they are having and having a hands-on feel for the community dynamics are essential to generate relevant and actionable insights. And you must do this in real-time, in order to be able to participate in those conversations and develop effective relationships: brands must structure their offerings and internal processes in order to follow peoples’ paths dynamically.
Conversation is the product
All the changes related to this new dynamic customer journey are evolving the way brands think about their business models. Conversational elements need to become part of their products and services: a reason to consider when making a purchase (or deciding to spread the word about a product) is how integrated it needs to be with channels people use everyday. Since social media is so embedded in people’s everyday lives, offering a service through these channels can be a strong point of difference.
The evolution towards a dynamic customer journey also redefines the way people think about brands and products, putting a strong emphasis on the role of conversation. Companies have a huge opportunity to analyse and evolve their models gradually, allowing conversation to be a visible, differentiating and relevant element of their offering.