I read this Business Insider article on what one of the youngest employees at Google, Falon Fatemi, is now doing at her company, Node, that could disrupt search as we know it. The phrase “accelerate serendipity” got me thinking.
Pre-social, ‘serendipity’ meant that water cooler moment, a chance encounter on the train, in the bar, or on the golf course. That off-the-cuff comment which you overhear where you would either ignore the speaker or proffer an opinion: “As it happens I know someone you should meet, who may be able to help. Here is their telephone number.”
Or it was blind luck dialing through a call list and it happened to be the right time for that person to want to take your call: “You know what, I was thinking about “xyz”, how lucky you called.”
Social selling: The world’s biggest water cooler
Fast forward to the 21st century and we can access 2bn people, via the web, at a single click. That is one big water cooler. There are millions of water cooler moments happening at any one time, with everyone offering advice, positive insights – and some not so positive.
The difference between the pre-social era (when I grew up) and today, is that this wealth of information is growing exponentially. It is moving away fast from the world of the rare chance encounter, to being swamped by chance encounters.
Relationships, be it personal or business, are built on trust. Latest research points to the fact that society is not engaging as much as it did with pushy email marketing (Wetherspoons recently deleted its entire email database). We don’t click on banner ads and don’t like being followed around the web by retargeting algorithms.
However, our innate human ability to operate in a community or tribe still exists for us to survive. What can’t be digitised is its true value in the modern world. Trust is built over time, it is unique to each one of us and depends on the varying levels of risk we are prepared to undertake. Trust cannot be digitized, but digital can be used to influence.
In the business world, you are continually building your community or tribe and connecting. For the most part, physically and then digitally. More than likely via LinkedIn and Twitter. This means that you are now part of that huge water cooler. The opportunity for chance encounters and meetings is huge.
Building trust, increasing sales leads
This is what social selling is all about. Social behaviours, which engender trust in your first-degree network, will pull through to your second and third-degree network. So that when that moment of serendipity happens, the level of trust is such that it has de-risked your online presence.
Yes, you must build and earn that trust and it is by no means a done deal. However, I would suggest that if you have a poor social network, community or tribe and have not demonstrated that you are trusted by others then you will eventually fade into the analogue wastelands.
The question you must ask yourself is this. How well am I using social to accelerate serendipity for my business?
As you can no doubt tell, I am passionate about social and creating serendipity through my network and beyond. Get in touch to see how I can help you accelerate yours.
Digital Leadership Associates: We are a Social Media Agency. We do three things: Social Media Strategy, Social Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.