How to Refocus Your Business in the Social Age: Video Interview with Valeria Maltoni

by Eric Melin on February 10, 2012

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How important is it to start re-thinking about your business from a social perspective?

Yesterday at the Social:IRL conference “Rethinking Business in the Age of the Social Consumer.” Valeria Maltoni (@ConversationAge on Twitter) explained to Kansas City’s best and brightest why its important to re-think your business and some of the ways that businesses can challenge themselves in this age of social media. Valeria blogs about this kind of stuff all the time at Conversation Agent.

She is a big-picture thinker, and she specializes in helping companies focus their promise and create a platform that delivers strength, resilience, and endurance to the business. What I liked about her POV is that once a company starts thinking this way, it’s impossible to go back and think any other way. It’s kind of like an optical illusion. Once you see the man’s face in this picture, you can’t ‘unsee’ it. This applies to the seeing the picture of social fundamentals of your business. Once you ‘get it,’ it will affect everything going forward.

Valeria Maltoni’s definition of “brand” - the sum of promises made, promises kept and the unbounded expectations market

Listen to the interview below that Robert Madison and I recorded with Valeria after her presentation — she sums up her number-one point pretty succinctly:

Some more takeaways I got from her big-picture presentation:

  • There’s always a danger of cognitive dissonance when the inner-workings of the organization don’t match the outward brand messaging through social channels.
  • We are social animals and it is our nature to compete with others, now with these new tools, we are putting this together in social media.
  • The genius of Pinterest is in its composition: It allows you to put pages together visually that mean something to you.
  • One major challenge with social and business is this: How do we make our customers feel powerful? When they feel like the idea (about your business, ways to make their lives better) is coming from them, that’s very powerful.
  • People used to go online just to get coupons, but now they are interacting with brands and expectations have changed.
  • Customers and fans want to share things that make them look smart – the brand is now an “agent” and enabler of cultural production.
  • It all comes down to closing the gap between your promises and what you deliver.

Thanks to Social:IRL, all the other speakers, and Valeria Maltoni for a great day of learning!

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