Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Technology, Internet And Social Media - Productivity Tools


Disturbing it is that business people who are smart and clever in their business yet are still not quite getting the point about the new technologies and marketing potential of the online environment. 

Q: Why might a company switch to cloud computing for their accounting? 

A: To be in possession of real time data on their numbers in the business and streamline processes to manage that information so that you as manager can run your business more effectively.

Q:Why should a company use social media? 

A: I don't really know... Oh to look trendy... 

No. 

That's not why you would use the online world for your business. You use the online environment and tools to be more productive and sell more.

You use these tools all to become more productive - and do more with less.

That's the long and the short of it.

Your Website, Social Media And Making It Work For You

How do I tell if someone has a cohesive strategy for making technology, the internet and social media a centre for productivity in their business? I listen to see if they are talking about the website as something separate and apart from their online presence. I listen to see if they believe they can learn all they need to know in a week or two and think that's all they need to know to master this part of their business.

Since I have spent so many years studying this stuff and monitoring the changes that have happened over that time, I know how naive and unrealistic that is.

If you are going to "do something with social media after... you do X with your website" then you have not understood that the website and the social media marketing elements need to work together.

You might even not understand that the person doing your website changes may know nothing about how to make you website productive. That's typically, in their mind,  not what they are there to do.  That's not my opinion, that's verbatim what I have been told by people who work in this industry.

Now this is an important thing to understand.

If your web person is design focused then by and large, they are there to make it look good on the screen.

Not for Google.

If they are coders then they want the code to be clean, or maybe they will settle for the template working without obvious glitches.

Not for Google.

If your website has not been updated in the past 3 years you can be certain that it is not doing all it could be.  No question about it.

Which does not mean that is is doing all it could be if it is newly revised - many new websites don't work at all in the ways that let them add to productivity.

Oh and you should know - paying a lot of money for your website work is no indicator of capacity to work. Let me say that again. Paying a lot of money does not mean it will work better or even at all.

Now this is a complex and changing environment and some things that make the website work have nothing to do with the web person. Some things are a factor of the information that must come from the owner of the business.

These are issues not of a technical nature but of a company narrative and focus. Of vision and ability to communicate the story of the business, and the understanding the business has of it's worth and what their customers value. Many businesses don't even know what that is, so will struggle to communicate that in their marketing.

So too, when it comes to your company being visible online on both the website and social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook, or your blog, or Linkedin or all of these, and more besides.

We are stuck with this not uncommon problem that is always there to catch us out. That is - Not knowing what we don't know.  Not knowing what a problem is - is not the same as there being no problem, though to that business it can LOOK THE SAME.

Action

Learning what you need to know to be able to identify problems that are not readily apparent is part of our job as managers of our business.

The other invisible aspect of this, is the cost you are paying for not knowing.  The cost you are incurring in sales not made, inefficiency, wasted man-hours and lack of good system and data by which to streamline and make the business more efficient and staff more effective.






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