I wrote about the FUEL Conference earlier and what a success I believe it to have been; but I didn’t go into my thoughts following the event.
It strikes me that company culture is a key factor in a successful social and community strategy.
The companies that are doing well and really engaging with their customers through communities, social networks and other web 2.0 tools are those that are doing so as an extension of their company culture and their business model if you will.
They are companies that truly value their customers, that really want to engage with them in honest and open dialogue, that want to have fun and that want to create remarkable products and experiences.
They have, to paraphrase Tara Hunt, “made happiness their business model”.
These are not companies that have outsourced their call centres to India, in fact these are companies that have banana phones rather than call centres.
These are not companies that are solely motivated by profit but if you treat your customers with respect and give them great experiences and products the bottom line will naturally follow.