“So, why have you done the same thing month after month, year after year…posting bland, corporate content on Social Media that receives little or no engagement and does nothing to help us understand how you will help us or shows us that you really understand our issues…?”
“…its good for visibility…”
A question we often ask and an answer we often receive…
It regularly comes with an inflection at the end, like a question, because the person offering the response isn’t that convinced either.
Visibility is important, yes. But it’s merely the start of the story, the beginning of a process… the very top of the modern commercial iceberg.
Anybody can have visibility on Social Media, its cheap and easy. Do something stand out, make a noise, a flashbang and you are ‘seen’….so what?
So you get a flash of visibility, what are you going to do with it? Its temporary, its throw away, you can’t bank on it…..nothing has changed.
To get what we need in the B2B space with Social Media, we must use sustainable and strategic ‘visibility’ as a conduit to generate ‘Qualified Relevance’.
Qualified Relevance over simple visibility is important, here is why:
Nearly 800 million people on this platform alone – all saying pretty much the same thing and blending into one big undistinguishable mess
Your sector produces a tidal wave of tidal wave of content marketing that is making it harder for companies in your sector to connect with B2B customers and prospects
64% of buyers say that an organisation thought leadership content is a more trustworthy basis for assessing its capabilities and competency than its marketing materials and product sheets. Edelman and LinkedIn Thought Leadership Impact Study, Sept 2021
63% of buyers say that your thought leadership is important in providing proof that an organisation genuinely understands or can solve your specific business challenges. Edelman and LinkedIn Thought Leadership Impact Study, Sept 2021
Qualified Relevance means you are using you and your team’s presence and behaviour on Social Media to tune into modern buyers and affect real, lasting change.
- You are standing out – crisp and clear - in a see of cheap, throw away noise and chatter.
- You are beginning to dominate the digital conversation around what it is that you do.
- You are becoming the trusted advisor in your space; you are turning the volume down on your competition and becoming the most respected technical and Commercial influencers in your space…
Not the sort you see on reality tv shows posing and unboxing new clothes….respected Technical and Commercial influencers.
Think about this…
“My team and I have become the leading technical influencers in the… (insert your industry). We have grown our digital networks to the point we are now seen as the global advisors…all of the conversation is with us, all of the eyes are on us , all of the opportunity is with us”.
Influencers…perceived by some as a dirty word but something you and your team should be grabbing.
As modern business people that's just one of the new glossary of business terms we should be getting comfortable with…
For example: Omi channelling, multi-threading, Digital Dominance, buyer centric profiling…and we mentioned before ‘Qualified relevance’.
These are terms and more are some that you many not fully understand right now, but it’s important you do in the modern B2B world we operate in.
They key is not to be scared off by these and run away from them but to study them, embrace them and embed them within your business.
So, let’s look at some of the key concepts of Strategic Social Media for businesses…. this is what we need to first understand, then implement and deliver.
1. Build Meaningful Networks
Most people have digital business connections. How many connections do you and your team have on LinkedIn for example?
Fewer people have taken those connections and moulded them into meaningful networks.
Here is the difference:
A list of connections is exactly that, a list, just like the yellow pages. Its static, inactive, and rarely used.
A meaningful network is the opposite. Its active and dynamic, its present and alive.
Your meaningful network can perform several different functions:
- They amplify your message through interacting with your content
- The influence others to follow you
- The make introductions for you
- They refer you
- They discuss assistance with you
- The support and guide you
- The create conversations around you
- They request proposals from you
- They send you purchase orders
Do you prefer a dead list of contacts or a dynamic community of people working to help you?
....lots of connections or a dynamic and meaningful network?
2. Digital Dominance
Any good Social Media strategy worth its salt should include how to build Digital Dominance in your markets and sectors.
We teach our candidates how to use Social Media to achieve multiple aims for the business.
This isn’t about throwing some content onto LinkedIn and suddenly the Purchase orders start flying in…. not at all.
Digital Dominance is run in parallel with Building meaningful networks, they feed from each other.
Digital Dominance is using Social Media to drive internet search results.
In the past we use to spend fortunes every year on Search Engine Optimisation to make sure that our Website appeared on the first few pages of google. It was a lottery and a constantly moving goal post.
When you start to work Digital Dominance plays with your team, you get to the stage where an internet use types in a search phrase that you should be that answer to and instead of your website maybe making onto the top ten list, the first 4 pages of results are your profiles and you content.
All free, algorithmically safe, and completely sustainable.
Check you Social Media strategy, if it’s about lead generation, it probably misses out on this important element.
3. Creating Digital Proof
80% of all B2B transaction are predicated to be done through digital channels by 2025, this means the shift is happening now.
Buying has changed for everyone. Studies show 33% of buyers don’t want to speak to your salespeople…. they make their minds up about shortlists from Social Media.
If you claim to be specialists or experts on particular fields, you need to create content around it. And not just once, regularly.
Documenting the challenges you face in your industry, interesting projects you are delivering, spotlighting your people, commenting on world issues……being present as a team and creating digital poof that, not only are you experts and specialists, but you are also good people.
We need to get it right…
The latest Edelman and LinkedIn Trust and credibility report tell us (link below):
“64% of buyers say that an organisation thought leadership content is a more trustworthy basis for assessing its capabilities and competency than its marketing materials and product sheets”.
Think about that for a second in the context of what you are putting out there…
Building meaningful networks, Digital Dominance and creating digital proof all work hand in hand and are the basic foundational element of any good Social Media Strategy.
When these all start to come together, there is an interesting development. When teams really double down on these 3 elements something incredible happens right at the intersection. Every candidate starts to develop a strong and powerful Digital Identity.
Everyone in their network can see what they stand for, everyone knows what they are famous for. They have opened their shoulders and they are in charge of their Social Media.
This is an important development and is an essential part of any Strategic Social Media team transformation.
What is outlined above is real business transformation, not a campaign. Its not something you can learn and develop in an afternoon or a short course on 'LinkedIn Visibility.....
We meet leadership teams who tell us they tried Social Media and it didn’t work. In every case they tried to shortcut the transformation and it simply became a transaction.
Our aim is to give you the tools you need to become the leading Technical and Commercial influencers in your space.
Our aim is give you all you need to create sustainable Qualified Relevance
Our aim is to give you a stable platform for growth.
This takes time, commitment and energy but the rewards are worth it.
- Closer relationships with prospects
- Early to the table
- Recognised leaders in your field
- Recruitment opportunities
- Trusted advisor status
- More stable pipeline
- Stronger forecasts
- Increased Order intake
- Higher profit
- Improved Ebita
- A shared sense of purpose in the team
So, Building meaningful networks, Digital Dominance, Creating Digital Proof all pulling through to your individual and team Digital Identity.
What is it that binds this all together and makes sure it lasts and continues to grow...?
Your Passive Social Presence and you Active Social Behaviour....its the glue and its something we can explore in future articles
The conversation about whether this all works or not is over - dead - in the trash.
The question now is if your organisation has the culture to accept change, the mind to accept alternative perspectives and the hunger to win...
As a modern leader its important you get comfortable with the terms in this article.
Understanding what they mean, what they represent and how you can put them to work for your business.
Putting this all together and repeating it brings Qualified Relevance…and that’s the goal.
This is just the start….we have much more to explore together.
Live Social ‘22
Visibility on Social Media is fast, cheap and generally meaningless....businesses should be focusing on Qualified Relevance... Eric Doyle - January 2022