A Strong Foundation: The Role of Infrastructure in Building Social Relationships
When you think of a home, you think of time spent with loved ones and all the memories held under one roof. You rarely think about the materials that hold the house together — the foundation that makes it possible to have a home.
The same applies to social. You rarely think about the systems in place to make all those tweets, shares, and conversations possible. You overlook the role of infrastructure in building and maintaining relationships.
But the reality is: “without an infrastructure, you’re just not social,” says Sonja Broze, Head of Social Relationship Infrastructure at PayPal.
Why the Emphasis on Infrastructure?
It’s clear to Sonja, and other leaders at PayPal, that social isn’t just another platform to push promotional messages onto customers. Rather, it presents an opportunity to converse with them, get to know them, and nurture relationships with them.
And with 132 million active registered PayPal accounts in 193 markets, the brand has a lot of relationships to maintain. So, they’ve put in place a framework that would integrate their social channels, keep track of conversations worldwide, and provide valuable feedback.
This is especially helpful as PayPal continues to expand into international markets. Thanks to a robust infrastructure, PayPal knows when their customers need help, and how to take steps to get in touch. And they know this on a global scale.
An infrastructure empowers companies to “make business decisions by knowing — not just having — customers,” Sonja says.
A Bold Prediction
Sonja believes enterprises will soon (if they haven’t already) put the same emphasis on building a strong social infrastructure. “Infrastructure isn’t a sexy word,” she says. “But it allows us to stay in touch with those that matter to us most — our customers.”