The official book launch of “The Conversation Company” – Gent
After writing the big success “The Conversation Manager” Steven Van Belleghem introduced his second (would-be) best-seller “The Conversation Company” today. After a hand full of warm-up speakers who gave us an introduction on “underutilized potential” (something we all have and should use), staggering numbers of “the conversation manager” (23 500 copies sold – best marketing book in Holland – more then 700 attendees today (probably the best ‘in-crowd’ of marketing & social media professionals today in Belgium – …), it was time for Steven himself to take the spotlight and talk about how to transform your company into a conversation company. It’s all about culture, people and, off course, social media to connect and take you organisation to a higher level.
His first book “the conversation manager” is all about communication. So most companies added social media to their checklist, and this way social media became a checklist. Facebook, Check! Twitter, Check! Foursquare, Check! … But most companies didn’t take this to the next level, or even worse didn”t understand the true power and usage of social media, which made many Twitter accounts orphan accounts (look at @bankofamerica f.i.) or in between off line (traditional) campaign most social media capacity and opportunities were not being used.
How can an organisation or company take advantage of these opportunities?
Company Culture should be about true values, and values who make you do what you say (and not only say what you do, or only say…). With a clear identity your company can make a difference. Your company culture should be the only long term strategy of your company!
The “ekin” program of Nike which turn employees into true company ambassadors (check: http://www.polledemaagt.com/blog/remarkable-corporate-culture-nikes-ekin-tattoos/).
The people are the media in 2012.
28% of your customers are very satisfied customers, but they don’t tell anyone.
40% of your employees are very satisfied employees, but they don’t tell anyone.
This is true underutilized potential! Be shure to satisfy your customers, but engage them to talk about it!
Companies like Torfs shoes (BE), Mobile Vikins (BE), Zappos are true conversation companies where this potential is being used!
Apple or Disney are adored companies with a lot of customer ambassadors, but employees are sworn to secrecy….
Employees talk about different stuff then your customers, but have equal value in the conversation. Let’s hope your brand ambassadors are already working inside your company. So help them to be proud of their job. Every employee has a (valuable) story tell, so share this stories.
Transparency and people are your in-company strengths.
Social media should be about reach AND collaboration. Know your targeted audience (not like Moleskine) when you use social media to engage your people/customers/… and aim for structural collaboration with your customers (like KLM and LEGO).
To make your company a people oriented company everything should be about customer experience which connects your customers with your company (=employees). This is possible thanks to:
- The science of managing expectations that fulfill the needs of the Customer experience
- The Conversation between your company and the customer (didn’t someone write a book about this…the conversation manager?)
- Content is always the start of a (good) conversation, and content doesn’t equal campaign!
- Structural collaboration with your audience. It’s like having employees that’s aren’t on your payroll
Steven always ends with a call for action. So let’s get things in motion!
- build up your knowledge
- use pilot projects – don’t wait to act
- integration and the lever effect
AND within 2 to 7 years (depending on your company culture and CEO) you will transform your company into a conversation company