So you and your marketing team are trying to figure out how you can use social media – particularly that behemoth that is Facebook – to get closer to your customers. You’ve built your Facebook page, and you’re waiting for the “likes” to come galloping in. You know you’ve got to do that elusive thing called “engagement”, but how, precisely, do you do that?
There are lots of ways. You tell a good story, you listen to your customers, you give them a chance to be heard and a reason to keep listening to you. And you may already be doing all that. But one key ingredient you can’t ignore – and this goes triple for disruptive technologies, and organizations with sustainability as part of their brand stories – is culture. Building it, using it to reach out to your audience, and then listening carefully to your audience so that you can evolve, and stay relevant. An endless cultural feedback loop.
Brain Solis talks about it in his new book, The End of Business As Usual: Rewire the Way You Work To Succeed In the Customer Revolution.
According to Solis, the brands of the future, the ones that will win the branding war, are the ones that bring together customers, stakeholders and companies into a stew that aspires to something greater than business. That “something” might be a conversation, experience or movement that only happened because a brand fostered it.
It’s easy to see how to harness this trend for clean and disruptive technologies. (OK, easy to see how, but not easy to do.) You can use Facebook to pose a question. Ask your followers (your tribe, after all), what they want to see, what they care about.
Then give them that.
Do they want to know if your materials are responsibly sourced? Tell them. Then tell them your plans for improving your track record, if you don’t rate an A+. Today’s cynical, educated consumers can’t be dazzled by empty claims, but they can be courted and engaged by transparency.
Need more story ideas for reinforcing culture?
Who are your suppliers? Your employees and staff? What’s their sustainability vision? How did they get into this business? How did you get into this business? What are the controversies in your industry? The pros and cons? Where do you come down?
There is no shortage of ways to build, reveal and reinforce culture. The question is whether you’ll allocate the resources to do it.