The Difference Between the .com and Social Revolution

The internet was a global revolution.

IT systems became powerful and cheap enough that allowed people to buy and sell across the Internet. Remember the Internet (something we all now see as a utility and human right) had only been around for 30 years. Just imagine, a small company in Cornwall, could sell its goods and services worldwide, competing with global multinationals? It’s a reality.  But, as my co-founder, Adam Gray says, “you can take company with rubbish processes, bolt on a web store and hope to sell something. But it’s still a rubbish company with rubbish processes” The world then moved to mobile. Even in areas where there is low Internet penetration you can move money around by text message. You are now part of another global revolution. Social. No, I don’t mean taking photos of your lunch, I mean using Social for competitive advantage and to help you increase your revenue. I would be so bold that Social is here to save us! Will get to that in a minute. I’m also not talking about digital transformation. Digital is not Social and Social is not Digital (another blog). Digital is about IT, striping out cost and making the company more agile through a change. So why is social here to save us? Remember when we distanced ourselves from our customers with websites or at least moved our customers to arms length relationship, well we can get reverse that decline with social. Analogy about using muscles. When we don’t use muscles they gradually go to waste. That is what happens when we are not close to customers we lose our skills. Some if you may know I’ve just launched a book and while I’ve done this through a major publisher, Kogan Page, I’ve stayed close to my customers. I’ve answered questions about shipping, is there a Spanish version? Questions about a spoken word version. All useful feedback that my publisher and I are using to make sure we understand our supply chain and to make sure we are providing product that meets our customers requirements. This has also been back up with “research”, I’ve run Twitter polls to see which language versions people most want. All of this small scale, but certainly achievable my B2C and B2B brands if they just exercised their customer experience muscles. Maybe it’s time to get back closer to customers? Maybe it’s time to start using social to interact with those customers, rather than see it as a channel to push content that people won’t read elsewhere. Related: How Companies Going Through Digital Transformation Can Garner Trust