How should we structure our business when it comes to communications

Written by Julian Sykes

So this is a problem that presented itself when social media and platforms such as facebook and twitter became genuine places for brands to sell to their audience. What is that problem?

Well let's think about where these platforms reside. They are part of the digital ripple created from the invention of the internet. A place which has always been about communication and information. So we have a system that is in effect an extension of employee's personalities. It is another version of how they answer the phone or how they greet you in a shop, it's how your letters are written and how you structure your company. So when and why did social media fall into the preserve of marketing and sales?

The problem for us is two fold:

Firstly it is how the internet started. For many it was about real estate and land. Your new webpage became a brochure and sales pitch for your brand. At that time with the limited technology we can understand this. However as the internet has progressed our development or usage in this context hasn't kept pace. We still think of the internet as a space for selling as apposed to creating a space which provides a representation of our brand, it's values and it's structure.

Secondly (which follows on from this is the idea of customers/clients/audiences) with the ability to access millions of people instantly our desire to create genuinely good service in person seems to have become dulled. Getting 3,000 Unique visits on your site or 500 likes on your facebook page is the catnip of our time. Yet we have almost started to look down on retail in a traditional sense. Why would I buy this at a shop when I can buy it on Amazon?

We need to start looking at the whole picture. Looking at how our companies can combine these new opportunities and tools and use them to create brand online. Concentrating on the story as apposed to the sales pitch. It is an opportunity to look at how as companies we work and structure ourselves. The response however to this challenge is often "we have always done it this way". The routine of doing things in a particular way are so embedded within our businesses that we hide behind them. We actually know that they may not be the best way to do things but they feel safe and they are understood.

So what does all this mean?

Firstly I don't think we can just change. We need time and repeated opportunities to adjust move and alter. These initial changes are probably the hardest, but if you genuinely want to explore new possibilities then it has to be done. There obviously has to be a desire by all employee's for the change. Simple beginnings maybe creating a space to ask for new ideas. This could be a physical wall or a space online. Once you begin this there may opportunities to bring others in to help. Customers are very helpful, beyond that you could bring in specialists to help look into the future with you. Neutrality within these early steps can be really important.

So what do people think? do you agree or disagree? are there other things people would bring up? Thank you for reading the ramble.