#Social2011: Is “The Now Revolution” here?
After the opening keynote, I attended my first break out session, “The Now Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter, and More Social” led by Amber Naslund (who also happens to work at Radian 6). She and Jay Baer wrote a book with the same title and she was here to talk about how companies can equip their employees to respond and interact with consumers in real-time.
She started off by reminding the audience that sometimes organizations and brands create social media messes for themselves and that thanks to technology, we’ve adapted to the speed of business (telephone to fax machine, to email, etc.), but we haven’t adopted our businesses to the speed of social. Herein lies our problem.
To fix this, Amber suggests that companies must start from within. This means decentralizing communication and empowering all members to represent the organization online. Engaging all members ensures that consumers are taken care of in-real time and as Amber stated, “A committee meeting cannot be held every time the organization needs to respond to a consumer’s tweet.”
To alleviate apprehension that leaders may feel about decentralizing communication, set and determine guidelines and hire trustworthy people. Amber stressed that there was room for all members of an organization to be involved at some level, with varying responsibilities. Like a baseball team, the organization’s members must act together to accomplish the task (or win the game). This can’t be left to one person to do single-handily.
Towards the end of her presentation, Amber said something that made a lot of people around me nod in agreement. Social Media is just a role right now, but sooner or later, it wont just be a job, it’ll be a skill. We don’t have a manager of “the email” or of “the phone.” Those are just skills. I understand her point, and agree for the most part but I think that there will always need to be someone overseeing the social charge, even if the rest of the organization has mastered the social media skills.
In a few years, Amber predicts that every company will be social because consumers are demanding it. This isn’t a threat, rather it’s a huge opportunity to be highly in-tuned and engaged with consumers. To stay ahead of the curve, companies need to implement social listening programs throughout the whole organization because one day (thanks to social), all employees will become unofficial members of the marketing team.
Is the “The Now Revolution” here? I don’t think so, but it’s on its way.