The Now Revolution

“Business has changed. We can talk about doing Facebook or doing Twitter, but what we really need to know is how to incorporate social media into our work.”

– Social Fresh Keynote Speaker Amber Naslund (@ambercadabra) of Radian6

Social Fresh Charlotte, 2010The Now Revolution is characterized by increased speed; heightened expectations; and open, reciprocal communication. This revolution requires a shift in culture.

The internal culture of a now organization should incorporate:

  • solidarity of purpose: the company message should be clear and well-accepted by internal staff members.
  • demonstrated trust in employees: the company should have policies that show support for their employees as representatives of the company.
  • laboratories and feedback loops: the company should develop a willingness for experimentation – to try, to fail, to learn, and to try again.
  • diversity of ideas: the company should employ and listen to people with a wide variety of experiences and ideas.
  • reward systems: the company should reward employees who can create and maintain customer relationships.

Hiring is the first, best way to develop a now culture. What to look for in now talent:

  • curiosity: Those who are interested in learning something new.
  • enthusiasm: Employees that are excited. Ever tried to get someone to tweet who isn’t excited about it?
  • innovation: People who are ready to try, to fail, to re-build, and succeed.
  • motivation:  Workers who will work with excitement.
  • collaboration: People who can play well with others. Social media does not happen in a bubble. It requires a joint effort to be effective.
  • translation: Employees who speak the language of business as well as the language of relationship-building – and can translate between the two.
  • humility: People who don’t want to be “rockstars.” Social media efforts impact the company overall, not the success of one individual.
  • awareness: People listening to the buzz going on around them and who can manage the rapid flow of digital information.

Once the talent is assembled, the now culture is built through creating a structure for business in social media. This is an issue of mindset and approach in addition to procedure. The mindset of a now employee is one of constant judgment. Companies should supply examples of good judgment and create opportunities for their employees to actively listen to and interact with customers.

The company’s policies and structures impact the way they will deal with customer relations, internal disputes, and crisis communication. A good structure empowers volunteer armies to lead the charge of online brand management.

The structure also dictates the company’s methods for measurement of goals (like awareness, sales, and loyalty) in the social media program. Data for awareness goals might include traffic from social sites, new visitors, and content views. Data for sales goals might include social touchpoints, offer responses, unique leads, and points of need. Data for loyalty might include sentiment increase, content interaction, postive reviews, and customer service.

In the end, says @ambercadabra, “now is real. It’s time to get on board.”

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