Social and digital media have changed the world and business forever! I can say this with absolute authority as this is where I play. No longer can business leaders and owners hide behind closed doors and have immunity from their decisions. Now through the social and digital media channels everyone has a vote, and they are voting whether you are there or not.
Every business, every corporation, government and person is now under a microscope and held up to the light of integrity, globally conscious decision making, engagement with their market, quality control and more. Once more the world has a voice and it is just getting louder. I for one welcome it with open arms, because it is through the true voice of each of us that change happens.
We welcome this change, the shift to a more aware and globally conscious world!
Here are some of the shifts in business and marketing consciousness that brand a business as a modern one:
1. Your Company has a Grand Vision of the Future
Not only for the company itself but for the whole world, it stays on track with this vision through every decision it makes. You understand that for every choice made there are not only business consequences and reasons, but there are global ones. Every decision made reflects this mindset.
2. Your Business is Done with Integrity Daily & Becomes Known for It
To do this a business needs a set of values it does business by. Every person working in and on that business needs to know about the core values and also do business with and for you in line with those values. Your core values must be so ingrained in your company that you would hire and fire according to those values. Your first step is to figure out the core values of your company, by asking: what do you believe in and what do you stand for? Figure out what is important and do business accordingly.
3. Your Company Does Business in the Here and Now
Businesses that incorporate this sign of happiness are aware of trends and opportunities in the here and now. They do not worry about what happened in the past other than to learn and move forward with new awareness. They do not repeat mistakes and are constantly evolving. Businesses that do business this way are also very aware of the effect of the day to day toil on their emplyees and make room for enjoyment in each and every day.
4. Your Company Has an Appreciation Mindset
This is not about a grandstanding gesture for public viewing, it is about your company being grateful for its employees, grateful to the companies you do business with and even grateful for your competition and showing that in private and public ways. Does your business only contact an employee or a customer when something is wrong or only when you want to sell them something?
Do you compliment your employees regularly for the work they do for you? Do you honor your loyal customers out of the blue with some small benefit or just a thank you card to let them know you are grateful for their return custom? Businesses who do this engender loyalty and word of mouth recommendations that help them to grow. "Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, 'make me feel important.' Never forget this message when working with people." – Mary Kay Ash
5. You Are in a Business You Love
Doing what you love and turning that into a business is the most satisfying thing you can do to earn a living. When you do business doing what you love you never have to worry about feeling motivated, or surviving the down times. Your excitement levels never lag because you love doing what you are doing so much, you would do it for free. I believe that when you are in the right business, you will feel very much like you are in love, you will get that thrill in your veins when you work on your plans, you will get goose bumps of excitement as you see your vision coming to fruition...
“The more meaningfully we’re engaged and the more we believe that what we’re doing is meaningful, the more happy we are,” says David Mensink, a psychologist with the student counseling centre at Dalhousie University
6. Your Business Embraces Change
Staying up to date is just good business, this means listening to what is happening in the market place and to what your customers and audience is saying about your business and your niche. John F. Kennedy said: “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
7. Your Business Makes Time to Celebrate
It only needs to be a small occasion, yet celebrating those small successes paves the way for larger ones, it allows everyone to know you are on track and it allows everyone to become involved with the growth of the company. Happiness is contagious and the happier everyone involved is the better. Great campaigns have been built on a celebration for a company's success and this can be a way for a company to give back to its customers too.
One company I know of has a weekly 'Awesomeness Report" that is collated from every employee at the end of each week, they are asked for a summary of their successes from their time in and out of work and this is published via email to every employee celebrating the small and large successes in the lives of everyone. (That has to be one of the best ideas I have ever heard of!) Think of the movie 'Legally Blonde 2' where Elle introduced the idea of the 'Snap Cup'..
8. Businesses Actively Seek Ways to Add Value
Giving and sharing is great PR for any company, adding value is a requirement of any company that expects to achieve its goals. Remember giving always comes back to the giver ten-fold, whether you are a company known for giving back to the community, to your employees or to your customers or all three – giving and adding value can only increase the happiness of the company and the culture of your brand. Your business actively seeks ways to enrich the lives of others on the planet who are not as well off, through charity, giving and supporting those who do.
9. Business Can Be Fun!
This is where corporations can take a leaf out of some of the most innovative companies in the world. Innovation and inspiration come from making life fun and fun and happiness can help put things in perspective. Make sure your company is filled with laughter daily. Go take a look at Google's offices and you will get the idea that they value creativity and innovation.
Steve Jobs from Apple said, "Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they're not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."
Annie Infinite helps people find their authentic voice and project it out into the world with integrity, passion and authenticity. Annie Infinite is the owner of Saucy Social Media a social media management, consulting and training company, specialising in the strategic use of social media to get you the results you need: social media auditing, creating social media strategic plans, social media management and education (workshops) and training (in-house) in social media for businesses.