A social network platform is good business

Let's say you had built a really great business.   You've poured energy, thought, and sweat into every little detail of this business.  You love your business.  Not only that, you feel called to provide the service you do. Every business owner understands the power of relationship and recommendation.  Relationship with customers is what keeps a customer when your price of product is higher than the other guy.  The same is true towards the business owner and their own vendors, we are more likely to keep our business with those we have a relationship with. Business owners love the call from a potential customer that starts with, "Hey, I was talking with one of your other customers and they told me I should call you."  Jackpot.

Let's take it one step further: What if a potential customer not only heard about your relationship with another customer but they were able to see your calling to serve as well?  What if they could have a inside look at what you were trying to do better as a business?  What if they were able to see how passionate your team was about your business?  What if they were able to see lots of costumers praising your business?  Think about the exposure this could bring to the service you want to provide?

This is all possible through establishing a social network platform.  But it's not about mass marketing or random tweets, it's about making personal touches of your business public.  It's about looking at your tribe and encouraging them and their interaction with one another.  It's about the ability to say, "I see you working" and I'm passionate about what we are doing together or I'm passionate about the service we are providing to you as a customer.

The old way of business is drifting away.  The business networks of the past are slowly fading away because of the power of e-commerce.

Is your business prepared?  Do you have a plan to engage the next generation of customers?


Like Tina Turner sweaty and singing

Let me ask you as a leader, "What's social network got to do with it?"  You are officially welcome for having Tina Turner stuck in your head for the rest of the day.  If it wasn't me who put Tina, all sweaty and singing, in your head, it would have been Oprah...so it's best it came from me.


I'm not sure if you've caught on to this whole internet thing, but social networking is big.  You, as a leader, could be using these resources in several ways! Here are a couple of ways you can be #winning like Charlie Sheen using Social Networks:

1.  Publicly recognizing your people- The next generation is okay with messages over Facebook and Twitter, so why not affirm them for things they are doing right!  They look like they are #winning and you get to practice catching people doing things right. Plus, now a whole lot of people see that you are affirming a gift in someone.  Who doesn't want to be a part of that?

2.  Sharing information- This is probably the fastest way to share information with people.  Where was the first place I learned that Osama Bin Laden was shot?  Not on TV or CNN.com. I was on twitter and then checked Facebook.

3.  Attracting new people- Social networks might be your next big recruiting tool.  People talk...on statuses.  Time to lean into the reality that the new "word of mouth" is actually "word online."

4.  Filtering new people- The nice thing about recruiting new people from social networks is that it allows organizations to filter people.  That picture you posted of yourself two weeks ago on a drinking binge running from that police car with only one handcuff on was cool to your friends.  But that same picture just eliminated you from getting the job you wanted at the orphanage.  (Drastic example?  More than likely.)

5.  Give a glimpse-  This applies especially to the people you lead.  I have a friend who manages a lot of people over a large geographical area.  One thing he does extremely well is that he tweets what he is doing that day, where he is, and who he is with.  Brilliant!  Do you know why?  The people he leads sees how hard he is working and caring for people, they get a glimpse of what his life is like.  They know where he is and why sometimes they can't get a hold of him or why he might not be returning a call right away.  What it really says to people is how much he cares and is willing to support people.

So don't be scared of social networking.  Embrace it!  Every leader needs to be working on it or someone else will invent something and you will be so far behind we will just stop looking for you to ever show up.  For example:

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