The November edition of the Harvard Business Review argues that most companies do not succeed in online social platforms because they merely import their digital strategies to these venues.
Mikotaj Jan Piskorksi says that the primary advantage of a social strategy over a purely digital one is in tapping into how people really want to connect with other people, not with a company. A business with a successful social strategy helps people form and strengthen relationships in ways that also benefit the company.
Digital strategies broadcast commercial messages and seek customer feedback in order to facilitate marketing and sell goods and services.
Social strategies help people improve existing relationships or build new ones if they do free work on the company’s behalf.
Many companies are still prisoners of digital strategies which means they are failing to harness the real value of social media for their organisations.
They are failing to treat users of social networks as unique individuals and are broadcasting mass commercial messages which do not lay the foundations for generating friendly and long term commercially valuable relationships.
Zappos, owned by , which is regarded as one of the world’s leading companies when it comes to using social media for customer service, does not have masses of followers on Facebook. Talking privately to members of the Social Media Leadership Forum last week, they explained that they wanted to treat all of their customers as friends. They are looking for genuine long term customers for life – high-quality, committed followers; and not for large numbers of ‘likes’ for the sake of a superficial, short term headline-grabbing result.