So you've signed up on social networks like Facebook and Twitter to promote your business. What's the next step?
Many members of the baby boom generation (born between 1946 and 1964) are having difficulty figuring that out. For decades, their businesses used push media like print and radio to sell to target markets. Now, faced with customer expectations for real-time, personal attention, boomer business professionals have been slow in moving forward.
Why? Because unlike traditional marketing, successful social networking attracts, or pulls, people into a loyal, vibrant community of followers. Now, business owners must strategize how to engage customers one-on-one, learn more about their needs, and track their thoughts and responses. Individual conversation replaces focus groups, grass-roots contact precludes email and phone surveys.
However, boomer business leaders have two major truths working to their advantage in developing social business.
- Younger generations don't have decades of experience facing technological business challenges. Think about it: boomers have adopted personal computers, application software, fax machines, email, websites, and mobile phones as part of everyday business activities.There are 75 million boomers in business today, managing 75 percent of Fortune 500 companies. They are resourceful, savvy individuals who have the ability to become trailblazers in the brave new world of social business.
- They are already powerful influencers in real-world business because of their depth of knowledge and experience. The potential for carrying that authority into social networking on Facebook and Twitter is enormous.If a company has an industry expert, why not use his or her magnetism to attract a following? Likewise, if a brand has established credibility, why not merge the existing level of trust into that brand's first social networking steps?
For boomer business leaders, the key to success lies in combining their own strengths with customer-centric strategies that drive social business.