Archive for April, 2009

How to drive business in social media?

Posted in 1, innovation, Web 2.0 on April 29, 2009 by Geir Stene


There’s an ongoing discussion about how to drive business in social medias. And as you might have guessed I have an opinion on the subject.

It’s like beginning with the end of a story to ask the question how to drive business in social medias. It’s better, I believe, to start asking what you sell. “How to” will  depend on what your business is all about. What is your business model? What is it you produce and sell? And foremost “social media” isn’t one thing, it’s a wide range of arenas. Did that sound complex? It is. Neither of the elements can be forced to function in contradiction to itself, so to try to force a non fitting business model into a social media where it doesn’t belong – won’t work.

Let’s forget about social media for a little. My thesis is that humans haven’t changed much lately(last mill years or so) , the new digital media enable communication between the masses, in a speed and spread we haven’t seen before, but little else have changed. (when I was a teenager it was a sport for the young boys to look thru the keyhole into the girl dressing room at school, now young boys can look it up on the internet, but it’s the same phenomena?)

Is there anything around that has been sold for a long time, where the social aspect is involved? Do I need to say more than the brand of Tupperware? The memberships of cooperative chains? Benefit programs as a member (car, travel clubs, airline mileage programs) and so forth. A VIP access to a nightclub contain the essence of a “social sale”. You get a certain treatment, because you belong to a certain group. To be able to sell something in a social media, you have to blend your business model into the group, code and motifs for the group we are speaking of. In other words it’s more of using the right (and fitted) sales strategy, and then find the channels and arenas to conduct you sales, than “forcing” any sale into a social media.

It’s even interesting to ask the question why? Why sell anything in a social media? Why not give something to the users? With the strategy to build a strong brand, and build a loyalty towards your brand?  Libresse is doing such a thing. Nike too. Or, why not do as 3M have done for years, using the customers complaints as their best innovational input, for producing better products, new products and customers support?  NextGenTel is using twitter actively to look for negative comments on their products, and reply them directly and offer them a solution, before the one complaining even got to make the phone call to them asking for support. That’s giving value to their customer, building loyalty and an ambassador for their brand and products.

In my opinion there are a big stack of available tools, techniques to sell, promote, build brand and get new ideas from your customers in the social media environment.