The Future of Business & Social Media
Sept. 27th, 2013
by Laurent Dhollande
In an article recently published on Forbes.com, Jason Nazar articulates 10 themes and 5 predictions related to "The Future of Entrepreneurship & Business." The article resonates well with our company philosophy. I invite all our employees and friends to read it, and I am taking this opportunity to highlight three of the themes and one of the predictions I found most relevant to our company's #1 initiative around social media.
1) Our Network is our #1 Currency – That's why Social Media is so important to us. That’s why every employee in our company is part of the social media team.
2) Maintain & Develop Our Personal Brand – Because we see our company brand as built on the sum of our personal brands – all 50 employees of our company personal brands that is. These personal brands express themselves every day in face-to-face, phone, and email interactions with clients and partners, but also on social media where we contribute to various virtual communities, and in the process evangelize what we stand for.
3) Find the Leader in Every Employee - To quote the author: “Don’t wait to be told what to do, you can do anything,” especially with social media where we want to "put (our) employees in a situation where they’re forced to lead." Doing this, of course, helps develop our personal brands (#2) and expand our collective network (#1). That may mean at times that we put ourselves in new and perhaps uncomfortable situations. This is a good thing. Being put slightly outside of our comfort zone is the best way to learn new skills.
I know some of our employees are not always very comfortable with social media. They may not always know what to say, afraid to look dumb or say silly things. Well, as long as we are sincere, authentic, and well intentioned, people will forgive and forget our silly moments. Exposing ourselves by going into the arena is part of leadership.
Saying awkward things from time to time is a normal part of spontaneous conversations. I have made remarks on social media that ranged from silly to plain embarrassing. That's okay. Being too polished is also being unauthentic.
Some of us, of course, are professionals at being silly. We all know that our very own Keith can be darn plain embarrassing with some of his productions, like this VO intro video viewed by more than 62,000 people. 62,000 sources of embarrassment … and signs of leadership. Can we help make it reach 100,000 views? Can we make this McDonald’s Farm video reach 10,000 views?
4) Two out of Five U.S. Workers will be Entrepreneurs – Absolutely! That's why we find ourselves in the midst of an incredible industry with the opportunity to help an ever-larger number of entrepreneurs be successful. We do this by delivering a shared infrastructure under our Workplace-as-a-Service™ model, which integrates 4 basic elements:
- The workspace, i.e. the physical component of the workplace, with on-demand offices and conference rooms.
- Technology, including hosted telephony and connectivity so that the entrepreneurs we host are always efficiently connected.
- A support community that mentors them, shoulders them, and services them as they grow.
- A quasi-ubiquitous network of connected workspaces, CloudTouchdown™, so that the workplace moves with them, wherever they are.
There is just one theme in the article which I did not care for, specifically "Old Is New." To me 'Old is getting older every day' is a more accurate depiction of the universal Law of aging. That Law applies to us too: shed the old and embrace the new!
In then end, I can agree with 9 out of 10 themes and 5 out of 5 predictions of this article: a pretty darn good batting average.
Let me finish this blog post with a definition of "brand" by Seth Godin which I found on the Internet and which I find particularly relevant to our business:
A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.
Each CloudVO™ venue has its own brand. CloudTouchdown™ and its network is meant to reinforce and supplement that local brand, which should remain the primary and overwhelming brand in our partners’ local markets. Let’s all use social media to give our partners brands a meaningful boost!