Covid19 has placed many strains on business, social distancing, and the need to provide network leadership and the need to be digital.

Our prospects and customers have all shifted to digital and social. Where once social was a destination, new research now shows that social is where we are. 

One of the DLA Ignite team, Eric Doyle, said recently his son did a school project on BrewDog.  He knows all about the CEO (James Watt) because he is visible on Social. 

Eric’s son wants to work at BrewDog when he leaves school.  In fact employees are already aligning themselves with leaders who stand out on Social. 

This is causing a massive skills gap as employees look to their leaders to provide them with the both the training they need and for their leaders to lead.... in this digital world.

The skills gap is a challenge for a number of reasons...

The Assumptive CEO - My business partner, Adam Gray and I were invited to have a chat with a CEO of a company that sells “social tools”.  We asked him “why when you are a social company, are you crap at social?”  He was amazed when we showed him his company social profiles. All it said was “buy our product because we are great”.  Of course, there was little or no engagement.  He assumed that employees would just know what to do and do it.  Where upon, people need to be shown what to do and given permission to be on social by leadership.

The Assumption Employees Will do “Social” - As above, there is an assumption that employees will just do it.  Employees need leadership, they want the C-Suite to set the culture and drive the change.

“The Be More Like Rob” Strategy - This is where a business decides to treat social like another marketing tactic. There is an employee who shows an affinity to social, so rather than invest in the team, they tell the team to be “more like Rob” or whatever the name of the person.  Of course being “a little bit pregnant” never works. People will always make excuses why they are not like Rob. 

Here’s Some Free Training Strategy - There is a reason why training is free.  I’m amazed that people still fall for this one.  Google and Microsoft have recently put on the web some free training and it was all based on the world Pre-Covid19. I wouldn’t want to work for a company that was betting it’s future on free training. 

Get a “Guru in and Hope for The best” - One tactic I’ve seen a lot is where people “nickel and dime” and hope. Social is like anything we teach strategically, health and safety, diversity and inclusion, discrimination, etc. We know there are bad behaviours and good behaviours and it’s critical our team(s) don’t learn the bad behaviours.  Just like learning to play any sport like tennis, you can learn bad habits, just by watching other people do these bad habits on social.  But these business decide not to invest and "reinvent the wheel", where they could get a company in like us and accelerate usage of social.  Without the embarrassing mistakes the employees will end up making.

The Masterclass - Always one on the road to nowhere. Social requires you to work differently.  I know I need to lose weight, which requires me to train 3 times a week and change my eating habits.  The last thing I need to do is spend an hour or a day in the gym. It will probably do me damage.  People often offer masterclass, again, it's about getting a little bit pregnant.  Social isn't a tactic. it's a strategy. 

Use Tim’s Book Approach - I am flattered that people say to me that they are using my book “Social Selling - Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers” (available on Amazon worldwide) as the basis for their social selling strategy but it’s a tactic, not a strategy.  Salespeople need a methodology to work too, while the book is a great grounding, reading a book on Judo, does not make you a Judo expert. 

We don’t trust the Salesforce to be on social - A marketing leader once said to me that she didn’t trust the sales team, so actively banned them from social. Another amazing attitude, with proven ROIs on social going back some six years, maybe it’s either time to get new salespeople or a new marketing leader. 

So how do you choose a company to partner with to help you on this journey?

You need to find a company that exhibits all the behaviours that a modern social organisation offers.

  1. The CEO is active on social.  I'm a CEO and I'm writing this blog.
  2. The company doesn’t write LinkedIn profiles, social is about empowering your employees to write their own profiles.
  3. The companies marketing does not say “buy our stuff, because we are great”. 
  4. The companies social profiles are kept up to date.
  5. The companies social profiles have engagement from not just the employees. 
  6. The company keeps up to date with latest changes in social media.
  7. The employees are empowered to be on social. 
  8. The company isn't just a born again PR Agency or Marketing Agency, they need to be born and bred social selling company.
  9. Any social selling company must only use social selling to get business, yes?  If they use advertising, email or cold calling then surely that's admission that social selling does not work.
  10. The company offers a global network of people who can implement based on local language, local experiences, etc. The last thing a business project needs is a US centric view of the world.  

This week, I was contacted by company that won business at a large US software house.  They wanted me to bail them out as they had no idea how to implement social selling in such a business. Worth thinking about!

Social is not a tactic, it's a strategy.

A strategy that can be deployed across the whole of the business, from Sales, to Human Resources (HR), to Procurement, to Customer Service, etc etc.  Like all strategies it should be driven from the top down as well as the bottom up.  It makes companies more efficient (do more for less cost).

If you want to chat, contact me here