I had the pleasure of sitting in on a very special talk by Francois Gossieaux at a Third Tuesday Ottawa event. He spoke about understanding human behaviour before trying to understand the social media tools.
We are a social being
Humans are hard wired to help. What divides us from other mammals on this planet is we are a social being. We will help someone in need in our social realm, whether we know them or not. However, on the other side, we are also hard wired to punish someone who is unfair. If we receive bad customer service, we will go out of our way to purchase a “yourcompanysucks.com” website and put effort in to letting the world know of our bad experience.
Knowing this helps us understand the two frameworks involved in making a decision to help. For example: a scientist asked three groups of people for help. He offered group 1 nothing, group 2 $5 and group 3 $0.50. Group 3 helped 10 per cent more than group 2, and group 1 helped 30 per cent more tan group 2.
The social framework involves those in group 1, and the market framework involves those in group 2. To be truly successful in social media engagement, you must tap in to the social framework.
So what does this mean for a business
1. Tribal characteristics
As a business, we should be thinking of tribal characteristics and not the personal characteristics. As social beings we trust our tribe – are social network. To be truly successful in engaging with your public, it is more important to know who they hang out with rather than knowing their gender or salary.
2. Enough about you already
Imagine going to a party, you meet someone and you start conversing. You engage in a conversation that goes back and forth. Then you meet someone who talks about him/herself all night. Who are you going to call the next morning? Of course, the one you conversed with. Social media is not an information channel, the public doesn’t listen anymore. We are too overwhelmed and bombarded with messages every minute – nay every second of our waking day. Engage with your audience, don’t just push key messages and talk about your organization.
3. Be human-centric
Create a community. Fiskars is an organization that made scissors. They truly wanted to be human-centric, so they created a community called the Fiskateers, crafting ambassadors. Fiskars realized the tribal characteristics of the women using their products: the women were scrap-bookers. Therefore they created a community of women who love scrap-booking. They supplied them with scissors with the name Fiskateers engraved on it and a revolution of Fiskateers were born. Fiskars online presence and sales increased dramatically.
4. Don’t get fixed on fixed hierarchy
Who ever said only the boss can tweet a message? Who made the decision of having a corporate account with only one person managing the content? Stop fixating on who is aloud to tweet in the name of your organization. Instead ask who in your organization is passionate about your business. Take the passionate ones and encourage them to tweet about your organization.
If you want to be social do not allow only your tools in the house. Allow the tools your employees are comfortable using. In other words, don’t ban Facebook, but allow Facebook to create an engaging online conversation. Your employees are just as important to engage with as your customers.
5. The social media centre of excellence
Once you have found your group of passionate leaders, create your social media centre of excellence. You should have someone from each department involved in the centre of excellence. This will connect HR with marketers who will connect with sales and unify the company’s culture.
What do you think? Have we lost ourselves in the tools of social media and forgotten about the humans behind the tools?