Social media is the “connective tissue” of a business. It’s not just about how to use Twitter or Facebook it’s about connecting the tangible aspects of a business to the digital space which connects the business to the modern customer.
Social media expert, Nancy Georges sees social media as a tool for progression in business and sees upcoming Social Media Week as a “festival of connectivity” for businesses of all shapes and sizes and their customers.
Georges, who is the founder of online community, Social Media Women and also a panelist at Sydney’s Social Media Week, argues that consumers are savvy in social media but “business-to-consumers have a long way to go.” and as a result, businesses are losing their once loyal customers.
Georges says the reason for this is: “Technology is expensive here compared to elsewhere so Aussies are more reluctant to update their technology unless they really have to.”
“We’re an island, and we’ve been allowed to act like an island for a long time – but the thing is, the audience is no longer captive [on this island] they’re also connected [to the rest of the globe],” says Georges.
She believes that business in Australia has been too protected. “We have a very establishment-heavy country which means not too many people want to change the system.”
The remedy for this entrenched business culture can be found among the leaders of tomorrow.
“As younger generations come through and businesses start to develop, we’ll achieve global success. As this happens more, the establishment and the system will be bucked,” says Georges.
Georges is concerned that without action and bravery, “we’ll end up working for foreign businesses in a country when where we really should be working for Aussie businesses” she says.
She argues that the proliferation of social has catalysed a shake up within the business sector, and it looks like this: “It has hit your hip pocket and your year-after-year results are poor,” says Georges. “In the jewelry industry there’s a trade show where they invite new people to showcase their products – those stands have really shaken up the established exhibitors. They can’t rest on their laurels – their customers are going to see these cool new stands and new products, and will want them in their shops. When you start to lose money and you see your customer going elsewhere, you know you have to act. It’s happening now,” she says.
As Australia’s entrepreneurial spirit begins to blossom, Georges says: “We’re beginning to see more collaboration and I believe that’s because of how we connect online.”
Entrepreneur, Seth Godin, last week spoke at a Business Chicks event (organised by Social Media Women) and said: “the tools are there now, it’s time to use them”.
The Social Media Women founder believes well established enterprises can learn from the invariable risk-taking that occurs in a start up as well as their natural penchant for social. “I’m not saying start ups have all the answers, but when you’re new and hungry you can act more lively,” says Georges.
“I just think people need to be a bit more brave – step out of your comfort zone and realise that no question in this space is a dumb question. That’s the thing about people like me, in the social media space – we’re here to help,” explains Georges.
As a panel host at Social Media Week, Georges will be discussing the customer journey – ‘Empowering the customer journey through social media’. Georges says: “I want to show everybody, every service provider, product provider, retailer, business specialist, whoever, that they have to focus on the customer and act like a customer-focused retailer.”
“Still people still see a topic about the customer and go: ‘that’s not me, I don’t need to know about that’ – but it’s relevant to everyone,” says Georges.
As the Social Media Women co-founder, Nancy Georges organises monthly meetups in Sydney and invites experts from all fields to share their journey in an extension of her sharing of information.
Social Media Week. The consumer journey panel
September 23 11:15 AM – 12:00 PM