We've just finished watching the most connected Olympics ever. Who didn't tweet or update their Facebook status about an event, a team or an athlete over the past 17 days. We connected to friends, family, media outlets, journalists, athletes and coaches. We shared thrilling victories and disappointing TV coverage. We questioned online strategies and discovered alternatives based on feedback from social networks. China's Sina Weibo managed 393 million social posts around the Olympics. The opening ceremonies inspired 9.6 million tweets. And, the Spice Girls closing ceremony performance surpassed Usain Bolt's 200M race with 116,000 tweets per minute vs. 80,000 tweets per minute.
Don't you want to be this connected for business? Of course you do! Connectivity is at the heart of all communications, from the telegraph to the telephone, from the TV to the internet, from email to social media. The challenge for business users is in understanding who, what, when, where and how to connect. The key is in thinking like a journalist. Connect to friends and colleagues who have common interests or inspire you to success. Connect when it makes sense for business and when you have something meaningful to share. Your audience desires certain types of information. Think about that content and deliver social updates that fulfill that need. Connect in response to customer demand. If your customers are asking questions about products or support, provide answers.
Where to connect can be overwhelming, but it always comes back to your customers. Where are they? While there are many social networks that fulfill both business and consumer needs, not everyone is on these networks for the same reasons. Your customers may enjoy Pinterest, but are they pinning for business or personal reasons. It's the same with Facebook. Identify where your customers are and create appropriate content. Sometimes its as simple as a heads up on product functionality. Other times it may be a hurrah for a valued business partner.
Managing your social connectivity for business is often the most daunting aspect of a social media strategy. Simplifying listening and posting across multiple platforms requires time, attention and the help of social media monitoring/measurement tools. These tools (e.g., Radian6, Visible Heat, TweetDeck) can filter the noise and help you hear the comments that are most important for your business. After all not everyone wanted to hear about synchronized swimming, but most Americans wanted to hear about the swimming feats of Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin.
The guidelines for external social connectivity also apply for enterprise social communications. Connect to colleagues who share your goals, influence your success or provide meaningful content. Follow discussions that broaden your perspectives. Engage to learn, educate, share, simplify, collaborate or simply to connect. In many companies email has displaced a phone call. Will social chat displace email. Probably. Consider how we will be connecting for business success in the future. Don't be a laggard. Social media may make your business as successful as the London 2012 games!
What's your perspective?