What I, the consumer, want you to do, is start talking to me. I want you to acknowledge that I’m a person rather than a number. I want you to actually care about what I think, and what my preferences are.
My B.S. meter is extremely functional right now and the more you try to funnel me into your sales system, the more I’m going to run in the other direction. What may even be more imperative for you to understand is that I may never come back after that and with the power of instant interaction on the web, I may share that with 20,000 other people.
But when the people from the Paramount Hotel in New York City are engaging with me on Twitter about Lady Gaga (who I’m crazy about) and Times Square, not pushing their hotel amenities in my face, I’m immediately sold on staying there the next time I’m in New York, even if there is a less expensive, more practical choice of a hotel closer and more convenient.
When the unknown pancake lodge 10 miles out of the way takes the time to talk to me on a social channel and makes me feel comfortable, I’m choosing them over Ihop.
I, the consumer, don’t want you to say that you know everything about a specific area. I know that’s not real. I don’t want you to try to sell me something the first time we talk, because that’s just annoying. I’m conscious of the tricks now, and have a way of giving you direct feedback. I hope you’re paying attention to it.
And I, the ever changing structure of the business world, need you to understand that if you want to keep up with me, you have to adapt, realize things have changed and start evolving with the rest of the world.
The first step you can take to adapt to the ubiquity of the social business mindset is cultivate your ability to communicate effectively with others. It wasn’t demanded of you to develop your ability to be conversationally adept just five years ago. Today, it’s a prerequisite for an effective business person.
Secondly, realize how transparent you really are. When you make a mistake, there is no more brushing it under the rug. We all see you now, and you should embrace your vulnerability. We know you’re human, and we want you to demonstrate that.
Lastly, care. Social media has made it increasingly difficult for inauthentic people and brands to continue being counterfeit. The social media revolution demands a behavioral change. Having a semblance of genuinely caring about the consumer isn’t enough anymore, it has to be real.
I hear a lot of people saying “the world is changing,” and I definitely agree. But a more accurate statement may be “the world has changed, and you need to change with it.” Natural selection is about to take place on a large scale. Be on the right side of change.