The word “purpose” probably draws a nod and a stifled yawn from many business owners. Few owners would admit to a commitment to a purpose and the long term that fades in and out. Yet purpose is not as pervasive and easy as it sounds. Purpose means that quality decisions are not situational. The advent of social mediums is creating a stir within business across all markets globally but has business defined its purpose?.
When you consider a primary purpose of any business is to serve its customers efficiently and effectively with value proposition they offer then one must consider the impending impact of social mediums on that purpose. But will business leaders react and jump into the medium without a clear purpose in mind?
Are social networks situational or do they represent strategic shifts of strategic importance?
“But it is equally important to realize that communications in and of itself, especially if it’s a new form of communications, does not necessarily act as the primary draw for new users. For instance, going back to the days of consumer online services, email was not a very effective draw to acquire new users. This was mainly due to the fact that most people had no idea what email was and how useful it could be.
So other benefits were emphasized, like unique content, to acquire new users. Yet once users discovered the benefits of email, it became the common ubiquitous activity among the community. As a result, it’s critical to understand that what attracts people initially is often not what keeps people on your network interested and vested in the long run… a dynamic that is a critical guide for strategic planning.”
“As the web portals of the last generation learned, communications anchors their traffic… Yahoo! would be a shadow of itself were it not for free email, IM, etc. Social networks, which are rapidly becoming the portals of the next generation, must place high strategic priority on their communications functionality if they wish to continue their pace of traffic growth, usage, and retention.”
While communications is a critical factor for every business it is not the only factor to consider. As the business markets become more and more engaged with the medium of social networks it is of critical importance that they define the “purpose” of their involvement. Once a clear purpose is defined then, as our diagram illustrates, one can expect to map out effective strategies and actions to fulfills said purpose.
Strategies followed by actions can be measured to verify intent and whether said actions are fulfilling stated purposes. Situational reactions to the growth of the medium will only end in wasted time, energy and expense that cannot deliver on business purposes.
What say you?