I have learned something new.

Keith McFarland wrote an excellent book called Breakthrough Company. I am becoming literally obsessed with the contents of the book and am starting on my 5th straight read. Now the only question is: How do I relate this to social media marketing for small business?

There is a point in the book where Keith starts talking about the concept of relying on outside influences to grow your company to a new level. I have always believed in using mentors and outside consultants to help with the things you are simply… not good at…There is one reference in the book that hit me pretty hard on a social media level:

“We found that breakthrough companies are also adapt at using advisory boards… investors… consultants and advisers. What sets these companies apart is not that they have the support structures but the optimal manner in which they learn from them. Just as breakthrough companies invested heavily in their employees… they have equally high expectations of outsiders in whom they come to depend. The comparison companies we studied on the other appeared to be less eager to form real partnerships with entities outside of the firm. For example, while some of the companies we studied formed customer counsels these meetings seemed to be highly scripted broadcast events that involved ONE way communication.

-Keith McFarland, Breakthrough Company

We are talking about HUGE breakthrough companies here: Intuit, the SAS Institute, Polaris, and Paychex (to name a few). The beautiful thing about what Keith is explaining above is the concept of listening to outside forces to grow in considerable ways as a company.

It is important that (as a small business) you start to transition and learn about new ways to communicate with customers. The companies listed above KILLED it in large part because they actually participated in TWO way communication with their customers. Imagine that… two way communication. Stop talking to a brick wall and start communicating on a level that your competition hasn’t touched.

Listen to outside influences, customers, and lastly: your competition.

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