Social Business Management: Engaging the Tribe

300 business owners gathered here in Denver for the Vistage All-city, all day, leadership event. Vistage is a company that creates mastermind groups or boards for small to mid-sized business owners. I am here to discuss how to incorporate today’s social media marketing tools into their business.

The opening speaker was Dave Logan, author of Tribal Leadership. There is another famous Dave Logan here in Colorado (the voice of the Denver Broncos). I think some were surprised to learn we weren’t going to talk football leadership.

Dave Logan says the strength of your company is determined not by the CEO, but by the strength of the tribe. Of course he is talking about your executive team, your board of directors or core management team members (he says ideally a tribe is at least 20 people) but I wonder if your customers can also become tribe members? If you have strong values that are ingrained into your company, the tribe should be able to make decisions and recruit other supporters because the tribe knows your business.

Your customers, and potential customers, can provide innovative ideas, give you needed feedback, and potentially solve some major company problems…if you engage them in these conversations. In the social stratosphere, you can throw a question out or a poll, and within minutes you can have wonderful data and perhaps a few solutions.

Before you start throwing out that tribal invitation, there are a few things to consider.

1. Are your values so clear that it comes across in your communications and marketing messages? Like Zappos, do your customers even know what you value?

2. What are you doing that communicates those values?

2. Are your values so clear that others can tell what they are without reading them? Are you living them and walking the talk?

3. Does your tribe feel valued and that their input appreciated?

4. How are you willing to solicit feedback and invite new ideas from your tribes?

Well then….what are you waiting for? Go engage!

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from the tribe.