Zappos-izing Companies

Zappos has become iconic as THE enterprise that embraces social media – it occupies a singular position that no other company seems to be able to touch so far. And it’s surprising that we haven’t heard of any other company that hasn’t institutionalized social media as an important facet of their organization. Social media is generally being recognized as innovating business disciplines from marketing to business networking to HR. Why aren’t more companies, particularly in the service industries, getting all their employees to social network with their client bases?

At Domus Consulting, we’re fortunate and honored to work with companies who want to infuse the culture of social media into their organizations. We call it Zappos-izing the company. The process of training every employee in a company on how to use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for networking and communication purposes will yield four results:

  1. Internally, it will facilitate online social interaction across the enterprise with no departmental or geographical borders, and transcend the office siloes that naturally inhibit information flow.
  2. Externally, it will make the enterprise’s relationships and dealings with their client base more transparent by using the public conversational pipes of social media.
  3. It will create more business opportunities by connecting the enterprise “network” with other forming networks within client and partner organizations. As any Twitterer knows, it’s much easier to have a conversation with someone else on Twitter when you don’t need to schedule an appointment with their gatekeeper.
  4. It will change the corporate culture because the social media is…well, fun. People in general are at first reluctant to join social networks because it seems scary to open themselves up to the world. Once they dive in, they realize the water is fine, and most enjoy the interaction and the networking opportunities they bring. Many become fanatical. The feeling of belonging elevates company spirit.

Just result #4 is a good reason to implement a management edict to attend training webinar sessions.

Daniel McCarthy, CEO of NCI, a publishing / local advertising company with a business based on nurturing local client relationships, saw the social media opportunity and embarked on Project Massive Network, with the mission of getting NCI employees AND their clients onto the social media. In the spirit of transparency, he has even opened up the webinars we’re doing together with NCI to show the methodology. Dan will be chronicling the Project on his blog Viral Housing Fix; the first installment is up. You’ll also be able to follow the progress with #NCI, the Twitter hashtag system that allows participants to comment and Q&A about the Project.

About Pat Kitano

Patrick Kitano works with brands in developing hyperlocal engagement solutions and is administrator of the Breaking News Network, a national hyperlocal network devoted to community service. He is the author of The Local Network on Street Fight, and is reachable via Twitter @pkitano and email

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