The Social Contact Centre

to a social networking way of working through the eyes of a Contact Centre manager

You’re only as strong as your Huddle

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Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Social Networking is about working with the Crowd. A crowd can be intimidating, hostile, argumentative and impersonal. The crowd can’t be controlled in any way. The art of social networking is to create your own Huddle from the Crowd. We’ve all seen the Huddles in action. A group of like-minded individuals get together and joke, gossip and trade ideas or opinion. It’s a friendlier and more open subset who have bought in to a common objective, empathise with it and are willing to share with the group. In the social networking world an effective Huddle can brainstorm, protest, innovate, execute huge projects, and serve better, faster, bigger and at lower cost than other methods. An effective Huddle is an enormously valuable prize to aim for.

Interacting with the Crowd through Social Media is challenging. A few tweets or posts in and the responses (if there are any) will seem to be from complete strangers. By volume of activity and most importantly from volume of listening you begin to see the shape of the Crowd. You see who is most vociferous, the little subgroups who always seem to be commenting on each other’s activity, who the “grandees” are that everyone defers to. There’ll be references to things in the past that you have no knowledge of. You’ll seek some engagement with the Crowd and questions will be greeted with stony silence, replies will be ignored and you’ll wonder whether anyone is noticing your contributions at all. In time, little by little, the odd regular exchange will begin and you’ll start getting likes and retweets. Your forum questions will be answered and your own opinions will be more favourably received.

The point is that you earn your own place in the crowd and you observe and understand the “hierarchy”. The Huddle forms around you through interaction with the Crowd. So how do you make sure its the right Huddle at the right time? The key is participation…you are part of the Huddle not just an observer. The social network is like a flock of starlings. There’s a pattern to it but it’s constantly changing. If you just take snapshots you don’t appreciate the structure and the rhythm. When the time comes for action you’ll be faced by a Crowd not a Huddle.


Written by greencontact

February 10, 2012 at 11:05 am

Posted in Opinion

Tagged with , ,

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