The 'Butterfly Effect' is based on the idea that small things can have a non-linear impact on a complex system. The concept being that a butterfly flapping its wings can cause a typhoon, which isn't really true but a great metaphor for what's going on today.
This blog is aimed at retail leaders and how the same 'Butterfly Effect' concept using free to use, free to access social media might just help you and your business come through this crisis.
If you're reading this blog there's a high probability you will be doing it from home on one social platform or other - just like millions of others around the world.
As retail starts to feel the full and brutal brunt of this butterfly winged global pandemic we're seeing those with already weak balance sheets on the precipice of disaster.
Sadly it's taking with them the human element of employees, associated families and suppliers.
Companies like 'Primark' have already closed the doors and cancelling production orders whilst feeling the pain of not enabling an online community to purchase. We see headlines like this not every week, not every day, but every hour at the moment.
This is a retail landscape never seen before - not even during WW2!
This shit is real and it's impacting every single person on the planet along with businesses that once thought they had time to adjust and assumed they were impenetrable.
News stories rely on big headlines to draw us in so it's no surprise that 'Sir Philip Green's empire is now back in the headlines as his retail portfolio 'Arcadia' continues its inevitable decline. My guess is even the mighty BooHoo and many other online fashionistas will already be feeling the impact as consumers can't really wear that shiny new outfit or book that holiday if their sat at home in their PJ's cogitating if they can continue to buy food or the supply chain starts to dry up can they?
The time for leaders to reset the way we think about doing business is most definitely a major and is today a major immediate imperative.
With repeated headlines around household name retailers in distress we don't seem to be hearing that much from the leaders of these companies. Other than telling us that they're closing, they seem to be particularly absent on the 'free to use' social platforms everyone (including employees and suppliers) around the world are now accessing at a much greater rate than ever before
Prior to this pandemic I heard many excuses from leadership teams as to why they don't have a strong social footprint, but none of them seem to stack up.
They still think that social media is something the guy with the beard, or the girl with the tattoo in marketing do - so it's no wonder you rarely see a CMO or others in the leadership team produce regular blogs, which for me is further evidence to support the view that they don't have a clue about social media and what a 'content led' strategy really is. Link to original blog here.
There are 3 key pillars associated with a really strong social media presence in the business world so if your leadership team aren't 'leading' it's no surprise the social proof is missing from the rest of the organisation;
- A relatable personal profile - based on 'who' you are, not what you do.
- The ability to build relationships - grow your network in a social way with a business objective and most important;
- The ability to be able to share what you know - consistent creation, production and sharing of knowledge about the subject matter you have experience with.
Every company I benchmark against all 3 of these fall way short, personal profiles on LinkedIn are still way off the mark, people still don't publish a good photo (or make it visible), they are yet to truly understand the potency of the platform for personal growth, development and branding.
And very few of the CMO's I talk to rarely produce a personal blog. So, very much definitely a case of not 'walking the social talk'.
When the proverbial shit hits the fan and they find themselves in the job centre next to previous employees they suddenly turn to platforms like 'LinkedIn' to tell the world the are 'available' and can offer so much.
So, I would assume we can agree that as a result Covid-19' has forced us to rethink how we might better work for the benefit of the planet and operate a more efficient business by taking action now rather than just cogitate and debate?
"If ever there was a better time for companies to think about using social media as an enterprise wide 'strategic opportunity' including upskilling the workforce for employee advocacy training I don’t know what is"?
If you're in retail in any sector no amount of quantitative easing is going to get customers back to the high street or shopping mall, in particular when the overriding message from government and health officials is to create a mood of physical social isolation that 'could' last for 3-4 months (possibly longer) at the very least.
Had your leadership team looked at one of the other global changes in human behaviour maybe they would be able to ride out this commercial storm better than most.
They didn't, and now you and them are sat at home trying to do their job but without your companies ability to continue to remain front of mind with huge spend on advertising - so how's that going to build confidence that you're all going to come out the other side with a company to work for?
It's not too late - contact me, I can help train and and show you and your employees how.
U.K. billionaire Sir Philip Green has reportedly asked the landlords of his retail empire for rent cuts of up to 50% as the tycoon’s Arcadia Group faces revenue annihilation during the coronavirus crisis. Green, best known for his Topshop chain, has in the past told Forbes that he favors a means tested rent and business rate measure in the U.K. to help save brick and mortar businesses that cannot compete with online retailers.