Facebook has issued a cease and desist notice to an Israeli firm that claims to be able to subconsciously alter people's behaviour. 'The Spinner' charges a fee to "subconsciously influence" targets by exposing them to online posts "disguised as editorial content".

For those who still think the earth is flat, we never went to the moon, the Sun is just a great big lightbulb, the 'Corona Virus' is a Chinese plot to destabilise the world and outbound marketing still works as effectively as the 'good old days' then this probably isn't the blog for you.

We've seen social media proven to be used to topple regimes, get Presidents elected and help sway the UK electorate to get divorced from the EU. So, if it isn't a platform of note why is there so much evidence that using social platforms to spread fake news and intrusive adverts akin to a global virus much bigger than the current 'Corona' one does indeed 'influence' perceptions and attitudes?

What if social was used for all the right reasons - simply being social?

Maybe now's the time to have a think about how you might innovate your company's approach to social media and develop a strategy that helps to get your message across in a way that isn't intrusive. Marketing transformation today has more to do with a better understanding around how, where, and why your potential customers are wanting to access information about your product and company - all on their terms, not yours. 

With 3.8bn people around the world on one social platform or other they're wanting to do this in a way that doesn't include trying to navigate your website funnel, going to Google, and then risking your cold spammy outbound text messages and e-mails.

A study by the Edelman Trust Barometer found that 67% of consumers trust “company technical experts,” while only 43% trust CEOs. Employee generated content is often more authentic than company-produced content. Therefore, consumers are more likely to trust what individuals have to say over any corporate communication.

Matching content with a face helps brands gain consumer trust.

When benchmarked strong 'social leaders' all seem to adopt five key behaviours. 

They are…

1) Authentic – They are “real”; in other words, genuine, believable human beings that you warm to. It’s one of the reasons why leaders are increasingly outperforming brand social media channels.

2) Conversational – They get involved in the conversation, by replying to comments and questions. “Likes” aren’t enough. And, it’s not just a broadcast all about them. Connected leaders listen.

3) Have a purpose that inspires – Connected leaders’ content isn’t just there for the sake of it, rehashing posts from the PR team. It has a purpose that relates to their core beliefsand mission.

4) Share insights – Leaders haven’t got there by accident – it’s because of a lot of hard work, commercial acumen and talent. People want to know how they got there. So their insights and opinions are invaluable.

5) Present – This is both about having a regular cadence of posts and activity (no drive-by Likes) and thinking holistically about their digital footprint and public profile. For top leaders it’s not enough just to be on LinkedIn. They need to think bigger and more broadly.

If you're currently one of those businesses in the market for a change in CEO or CMO in order to 'freshen up' and 'reinvigorate' the strategy, direction, and leadership of the company perhaps you want to try a litmus test to see if they're as good a fit as the CV says.

If it was me I would like to know if they really understand the strategic value of the medium they spend most of your marketing budget on.

1) FOMO - Why are they on Social Media? A lot of people use LinkedIn and other social platforms only when they are looking for a new job or to announce how important they are when they get one - After that NOTHING so how are they going to inspire the team and learn what's new? Do they know about 'TikTok' and do they talk about it, do they really understand the potential opportunity within social commerce and live streaming?

2) Check out their 'Social Proof' - are they a passive or active user of social media. Does it look like they 'show up' on a regular basis and engage with others, and what do they do on other social networks. Do they have a regular blog, do they produce and write industry articles. do they actively and proactively 'grow' their network. Are they seen as someone whose authentic, not just pumping out the corporate message. 

3) Would you consider them as 'Social Influencer' - Do they 'actively' use social media to share knowledge and offer advice? Are they seen by others as someone to go to for advice, evidential knowledge. Do they 'listen' and engage in other people's post and articles. Are these not important leadership traits today?

 Social media requires a strategy that sits across the entire business enterprise - WHY?

Because that's how today's social savvy consumer 'experiences' what you say you do.