I talk to many, many senior executives and the response I get frightens me. In the last week alone I've had the following comments
1. "We have started a journey on digital" - But looking at the company It's very clear from the social profiles, (because, I can, of course see directly into the company with social) they have not.
2. We have purchased tools to do this? - A fool with a tool, is still a fool. It's very clear from this companies social media profiles that they don't know what digital means. They may have purchased some tools, but I would guess to replicate, analogue process.
3. We are leaving this to marketing - This is an interesting one. Again, I can see directly into the company with social media. I can see, your belief system, I can see exactly what you think of digital. It is clear that while marketing may "get" digital. None of the people in Marketing can evidence this on their social profiles. None of the sales people are exhibiting the profiles that show they understand the digital buyer.
There is a massive gap in the world today between the digital leaders and the digital laggards. Talking recently on Linkedin it is very clear that while you need to know what to do, you also have to understand the rules of engagement.
For example, did you know that if you use emojis in your Linkedin profile, you will be ignored by the LinkedIn algorithm?
A "masterclass" won't help you anymore. We've all been on training courses where we attend for a day and go back to our desks and do nothing.
Social media has changed society and its changed business. Just think, the Arab spring, the ALS Ice Bucket challenge and turn on the TV News and it will be about who has tweeted. You may not like the freedoms that social media gives us in society, but the genie is out of the bottle.
In business, social has transformed the way we work. We are able to look people up before we meet them and make judgements about what you are like. Will it be an insightful meeting or will it be dull and I should I just cancel it at the last moment?
In the last 5 years most businesses, have approached social media from a tactical point of view. Each department, Sales, Human Resources (HR), Customer Experience (CX), Marketing etc have had their own siloed team and the order of the day has been to tactically post, chasing likes and followers.
But something has changed. All the world is on social media. The research from Hootsuite and We are Social Media https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2019-q4-global-digital-statshot shows there are 3.75 Billion people in the world active on social media. From a B2B Enterprise prospective, that is pretty much everybody you are going to need to sell to.
Research by Accenture shows that we are spending 6.4 hours a day on the internet, which if we take out the time we are asleep, we are now spending half our lives on the internet.
In the last 5 years, Social media has grown up from a tactical play thing to a global phenomenon. That growth means that as well as changing society globally, it’s changed commerce and business leaders like us are waking up and not viewing social media tactically, but, strategically.
n fact, Social Media has become a boardroom issue.
As we start a new decade, the actions we take in the next few years will govern if we are going to remain relevant to this social media empowered customer. Leadership is about understanding the opportunity and leading with it within our organisation. What got us here, won’t get us there and this will require your business to change. Change in our people, change in our process and change in our leadership.
What will that mean for our business? While social transformation in sales, often called social selling or digital selling, often grabs the headlines, Social impacts across the whole of the enterprise. Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Human Resources. Empowering, the employees to communicate internally and externally, as well as providing a business case to increase revenue and reduce costs. This is about embedding (internal and external) trust right across the business.
While, 2030 seems a long way away, our businesses will only survive if we connect with our prospects, clients, employees, future employees and suppliers. And they are all on, and are active on, social media. It’s time to grasp the social media thistle.
Social media, will get you closer to your prospects, your customers, your employees, your future employees, your alumni, your suppliers, your future suppliers, .... which will enable you to build, better relationships. Helping you sell more, retain more clients, find and recruit the best employees, retain the ones you have, find better suppliers, retain the ones you have.
It's time you company became social.