I’ve been a pretty early adapter of social media and the different platforms out there. I was in college when Facebook started making its way onto the scene. Since then, I have generally taken to all of the different platforms relatively quickly, except for Google+ for the life of me I can’t figure it out. I need to find a manual or something.
Needless to say, I have always recognized there is a fine line we must walk when it comes to social media. It’s a balancing act of who we are, and who we want the world to see.
All the readings for class this week, were right up my alley because JWA is starting on their own social media quest. Our main competitor, Simpler, has an entire department devoted to Publishing and Social Media, but they have a lot lot more consultants then we do. JWA only has me. I’m the loan social soldier competing against a giant. But, in that story the little guy wins, right? Right?! So, currently in our small part of the consulting galaxy the conversation is going on with out us, which is why we need to play catch-up. Or, we need to join the conversation at least.
JWA has always operated by referrals and word of mouth. Now, as Gary Vaynerchuck’s said, “Word of mouth is the currency and now we have infrastructure for word of mouth to be on steroids.” JWA is selling a different type of commodity then most people marketing themselves and their product. Our product are the consultants that work for us and the knowledge that they bring to the table. Here’s some background: JWA teaches companies the Toyota Management System of Lean Principles. What does that mean? Basically, a really simple answer is that the consultants take inefficient practices and make them more efficient by increasing productivity and turnover time, but not by decreasing the work force. They don’t go in and lay people off. They go in and make people more productive. The Toyota Management System has always crowd sourced its employees in the same way that businesses are leveraging their work force to solve problems through social media.
My bosses understand that the world we live in has changed a lot, which is why they hired me. JWA is a brand, just like any other company. The thing about branding is that it has to be united across all platforms. The same is true of social media, you have to brand yourself and be true to you company, their customers, audience, and workers. JWA is never going to have a entire department devoted to social media, but that’s fine they don’t need to. All they need is a plan, that they stick to. Sometimes people get in over-their-heads when it come to social media, you have to know what platform is right for your business and where your audience is online. They world is shifting so fast these days.
If you had told me, 5 years ago that I would be allowed to surf the web at work and hang out on social media sites all day I would have called you crazy. Now, look at me. Who’s crazy now huh?