For technology and marketing evangelists it’s easy to get caught up in the shiny objects. Many marketers and business leaders have shiny object syndrome in their DNA. Tools and technology come naturally for them. This is good when it comes to innovating and developing technology.
When it comes to social business and the art and science of integrating social technologies and processes with the goal of using them to become more human, better connect with and serve clients and the larger ecosystem there is much danger in only focusing on the tools and technology.
Why you ask? Because regardless how cool or shiny the technology is, it is humans that will use it. It’s humans that will run it.
Yes, we need measurement tools. We need data. We need integrated platforms that work for us 24/7 even when we’re not working. Our websites must be mobile responsive. We have approximately 10 seconds or less when someone visits our website or blog to impress them enough to stick around. If we don’t they’ll click away to somewhere else, that usually being a competitor.
Our content must be easily consumed on iPads, iPhones, Kindles, Androids, tablets, desktops and everything in between.
Yet, who is holding those devices? Yup, the humans. We can’t only focus on the technology integration. We must also focus on the words, tone used. It must be consumable in a way that the desired audience wants to read and consume it. You must know who they are, where they came from and what they want from you, if anything.
So, as you plan for your next social business “big shiny object” you want to implement or the next big social media program do not forget the humans who must use it.
Who cares if you develop and implement the best social marketing program or purchased the most awesome measurement platform on the planet if people are not trained how to use or benefit from it?
Think your sales people really want to use that new shiny object? The answer is NO! Not unless you can prove to them why they should care. Why should they invest time to understand and learn it? WHY should they try new methods? What is the purpose when they think what they are doing is the best they can do?
You will have a hard time getting stakeholders on board if they have not been involved in the process. You must facilitate their involvement. It takes teamwork, communication, collaboration. It takes a lot more than a cool set of shiny objects to move the needle toward becoming a social business.
Remember, becoming a social business is about the journey. It’s not a destination and you can’t magically put your finger on the calendar and announce “this is the day we will become a social business.”
Enjoy the ride. Make sure you have good people with you. Let them enjoy it too. Give them keys when you need to. Empower them, inspire them and help them help you and your business succeed.
We work with businesses of all sizes from startups, solo entrepreneurs to enterprise Fortune 100 organizations. I can tell you the number #1 success factor is how well they are working together and collaborating internal. Don’t over focus on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or social measurement and analysis platforms.
Focus on the people as much if not more than you focus on the technology. Without them, your technology is nothing more than a shiny object.