Become a digital anthropologist

In a recent post “Are you making it difficult for your customers to get in touch,” I referred to a survey from SMB DigitalScape that indicates that many of you are not yet leveraging the power of social media — only 19.5 percent of SMBs have a link to a Facebook page on your website and even fewer have links to Twitter and LinkedIn.

Brian Solis, an analyst at Altimeter Group, explains why he believes businesses need to embrace the new digital platforms and how to go about it in “10 Ways Your Business Can Combat Digital Darwinism,” which runs in Forbes.  In Solis’ view, business isn’t changing because of social media; customer expectations are changing business.

He says,” ….you can create brand pages on every social network you can imagine and you won’t succeed unless you know whom you are trying to reach and where, what it is consumers expect and value, and how these channels represent a meaningful opportunity for you and your customers to connect.”

Solis advises against embracing the new disruptive digital platforms without first learning how to use them to redefine the relationship with customers. The new consumers find and share information – and make decisions – differently from traditional consumers. Keep your traditional customers but grow your business to meet the needs of the new connected ones, he advises.

Among the 10 trends he believes you need to understand, besides social networks and mobile devices, are geo-location check-in services such as Foursquare; crowd sourced discounts like Groupon; and referral based solutions including Yelp.

“Regardless of technology, the future of business isn’t created, it’s co-created,” Solis says. Good reminder!

Read:  “10 Ways Your Business Can Combat Digital Darwinism