“The foundation of business is changing under our feet, and we need folks who are adaptable to – even thrive on – engineering and stewarding that change.”
In the following Q&A, Amber Naslund, VP of Social Strategy for Radian6, discusses her new book, The Now Revolution: 7 Shifts To Make Your Business Faster, Smarter, and More Social, which she co-authored with social media strategy consultant Jay Baer. Recently, Naslund hosted a webinar (now available as a free download), in which she discussed how small businesses can apply the lessons from her book to their own social media and recruiting strategies.
What gave you the idea for The Now Revolution? Jay [Baer, co-author of The Now Revolution] and I talked at great length about how many books there were about social media marketing, but how few there were about how to adapt your business to what social media has brought about. We wanted to write something that looked at social business from that angle.
What does ‘successful adoption of the social web’ mean to you? Successful adoption is unique to every business and its goals, to be sure. But in general terms, it’s embracing the cycle of listening, responding, participating, and storytelling, while putting in place the internal pieces to make social media not just an add-on, but an integrated part of each piece of the business.
Is there a difference between a company’s culture and its employment brand? Often there is, but ideally there isn’t. The brand is often the appearance we like to create for external observers. But if we do our jobs really well, the culture is expressed and represented by the brand, and the brand carries over internally as well as externally. It’s no coincidence that the companies that do social well have a strong cultural foundation; social media is a window into corporate culture unlike we’ve seen before.
Employers often argue that they do not have the time and resources needed to adopt a social media strategy. How do you respond to that? Make no mistake: social media does take time and resources. Without a doubt. So that’s a valid concern. But we keep thinking about social media as an “and” instead of an “or”. Auditing what we do already and finding the things that aren’t working anymore or that have run their course can free up people, time, and budget to put toward progressive ideas like social media.
Are businesses that do not have a social media presence doomed to fail? Fail? No. But there’s no question that they’re missing opportunities. And if their customers, partners, and peers aren’t driving them to adopt it now, they soon will.
You recently said that companies need to start ‘hiring a different breed of person.’ Can you expound on that? More than ever, we need polymaths. We need people who excel across disciplines and are capable of being more generalists than specialists. They need to embody strong and diverse character attributes, not just sets of functional skills. Mindset and work ethic are as critical as they’ve ever been, along with a capacity to innovate even in the most traditional of roles. The foundation of business is changing under our feet, and we need folks who are adaptable to – even thrive on – engineering and stewarding that change.
Finally, if readers can take only one thing from The Now Revolution what do you hope it will be? That we have to get away from a focus on the tools and tactics, and move toward an understanding that, as Jay says, the goal is not to be good at social media. The goal is to be good at business, and social media can support that.
Want to know more? Hear the recent webinar hosted by Amber Naslund, Social Media for Small Business. Learn what you need to know now to grow your business by leveraging new social technologies. Download it here for free.