Social Business For Small Business

Later this week I’ll be presenting at a technology conference on using CRM in a modern world to increase performance, productivity and sales.

Yup, it will be 1 hour where I might gamify myself to see how many buzzwords I can use in the allotted time. (Pity the Guinness Book of Records already came out this year!)

None the less, it got me thinking. Thinking about how to apply some of these trends to small businesses. In particular I’m referring to independently owned businesses or those with 3-5 employees.

In addition to the ‘usual’ challenges we face it can be frustrating when we learn about new techniques, technologies or practices that are proven to increase results but are faced with a serious barrier to adoption OR the difficulty in applying them to our work.

Point in case; it’s no surprise that a large percentage of CRM growth in the next few years is going to be from small businesses after more affordable and relevant options have come to market in recent time.

In my presentation I will stand tall and hang my hat on 5 trends that are important to increased ROI from CRM usage in today’s world.  (buzz buzz). Two of these are extremely hard to apply to the small business. These are:

  1. Social Business
  2. Gamification

Or are they hard to apply to small business?

Let’s look at Social Business.

If you’re not aware, Salesforce.com (among others) have been speaking of business being social for at least two years now. This is in direct correlation to the impact of social media on the world and, in particular, for large organizations. (Did you know that there are a reported 150m customer interactions EVERY DAY through social media?)

Social Business is taking the concept of social media and making it inward facing, i.e. internal.

We are all probably aware that Intranets were a big thing back in the day. Well, they are back. Only this time, new technologies and the worlds understanding of social media have enabled much higher adoption and success rates. Success being measured by increased employee performance, satisfaction and engagement.

Engagement. That is the key word.

And that, is how small businesses can apply the concept to their world. They can apply the concept of social business to their network. To the people that can help them grow their businesses.

You may have heard me speak of three ways to cultivate relationships.

  1. Share connections
  2. Share knowledge
  3. Share compassion

3 things to share with 3-5 people in your network. every day. 

Social Business - Image Courtesy of Hoopla.net

Social Business – Image Courtesy of Hoopla.net

Now you can add the three core concepts of social business to this:

  1. Think and inspire
  2. Connect and teach
  3. Innovate and create

You may already do this through social networks on a ‘broadcast’ basis. You may already do this directly with people in your network. However, what many don’t do is do it on a group basis where all members of the group are aware of what is happening and they they are, in fact, in a social sphere of like minded people.

You may need a vehicle for optimal results, this can be something as simple as a LinkedIn or Facebook group.

If engaged employees are seen to be better performers the same applies to people in your network being better referral partners and advocates for your business.

Comments?

Is this something that you feel could work for you and your business?

Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

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