If I owned my own business, or managed one for someone else, I would work very hard to only hire conscientious employees with an internal locus of control. I would also check their online profiles to see if they were good digital citizens. I’d be looking for employees with a specific personality profile and a track record of operating professionally personal accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. If they also had a current blog with good content and conversation around that content, it would be a home run.
I would then work very hard on a daily basis to impress the socks off of my conscientious and connected employees. After I had trained them to be good at their current jobs, I’d make sure they understood that I expected them to make decisions and take actions in an attempt to impress every one of our customers, every single time. I would expect them to partner with me and their peers to develop solutions on how to fix any broken systems and continually improve our ability to deliver products and service so good that our competitors will struggle to keep their current customers from becoming our loyal customers.
I’d provide my employees with social media guidelines that would help them make better decisions about how to represent our business in their online social networks. I would hold myself accountable for earning their good faith and positive word-of-mouth marketing away from work by the way I had treated them while they spent time with me at work. I’d ask them to keep their eyes and ears open for content and conversations online that might be opportunities (e.g. personal recommendation for our products and services) or threats (e.g. customer complaints) to our business. I’d recognize and reward good social business behavior, and quickly address with training and clarified expectations poor social business behavior. I LOVE this excerpt from the TNT Social Media Guidelines:
I think it’s safe to assume that the majority of my competitors will continue to sleep through these times of tremendous change in the way we communicate. They will continue with their systems of haphazard hiring, inadequate training, and ridiculous expectations for their disengaged employees to impress their customers. They will be oblivious to the effects their turnover mill of disgusted yet hyper connected employees has on their ability to grow their business.
My competitors will probably continue to compare themselves to each other, thereby ensuring that they are all very comfortable in their mediocrity. The bar is very low for social business awareness and savvy. No one cares more about your business than you and your employees. Why would you outsource the passion and experience of those voices to an agency? I would not.
This a time of tremendous strategic opportunity for any business with the leadership foresight to see the radical new potential of the empowered, enabled, and responsible social employee. Good social business is more than a marketing issue – it is a leadership imperative.
What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!