If you’re a big fan of the 80’s you will almost inevitably have seen (or heard) of stranger things. If not what rock have you been hiding under?

The premise is simple. A rag tag bunch of (nerdy) 80's kids take on shady government types and a dark scifi/ horror underworld subtly referred to as the upside down, a mirror image of our universe (populated by all manner of nasty creatures).

The homage to 80’s pop culture and movies is staggering.

I’m going to (try) and draw some parallels to the way you currently run your business in 2022 and the upside down.

The upside down is like a dark mirror image of what our world looks like. There are all sorts of monsters in there (none of them pleasant) all hell bent on invading and taking over our (digital) world.

The Demogorgon (Sales) - Impervious to bullets, can heal quickly and has a heightened sense of smell. I don’t think I could of found a more obvious metaphor for traditional sales if I tried 😂

The Mind flayer AKA the shadow monster (Marketing) - This is the hive mind of the upside down, it controls all the creatures in the upside down and has no definitive shape to speak of but it send out its feelers once it’s found a target (see the Demogorgon above).

Vecna (The Brand) - A more coherent human mind in this jumble of hive mind. The head if you will. To say he isn't trusted would be mild understatement.

See traditional BD, marketing and sales have changed.

Organisations still think this process is the same as it was 20 years ago. They are still trying to overlay traditional sales and marketing methodology to social (which is far more nuanced). Social media is like the real world and this more traditional model is trying to (unsuccessfully) invade, but it gets trumped every time by a bunch of kids whose compassion love and friendship far outweighs anything the upside down can throw at them.

I was speaking to a large account the other day and they were still focused on trade shows and F2F meetings. I explained to them that whilst F2F is the end result of getting social right, it simply cannot compete with the volume of scale of social.

I can have a 100 different conversations all going on in real time (granted this is hard to do) in the digital world. That is physically impossible for me to do in the real world.

I was in a Linkedin audio room the other day (this really was the upside down). A guy from a very prominent management consultancy (10k+ employees) said that they were sending out 100’s of inmails to companies (treating it just like traditional cold calling/ cold emailing).

Surprise surprise, they were getting very low acceptance rates and wondering why? 

First thing I noticed was he had an extremely poorly optimised profile. One that no one would WANT to connect to on a human level first.

We have to be human first, there has to be a SOCIAL reason for people to want to WANT to connect to us first. Sorry but this is a SOCIAL MEDIA platform.

Get that right and the rest follows. He was being way too much Demogorgon, which is just scary. 

Personal brands are winning over the big boys. Your internal teams are full of people. People who could all be sharing their ideas, vision and expertise. Not the hive mind of a brand, but individuals.

It’s not one departments job to drive demand anymore (it’s your whole teams responsibility).

Take that big brand I mentioned earlier, all they put out is corporate brochure content (read sales content) that gets little to no engagement. Now imagine if their employee base started putting out their own advocacy and thought leadership content?

The latest Edelman and LinkedIn Trust and credibility report tell us

"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".

Their company page has 10,837 followers.

They have 129 employees on Linkedin (an average Linkedin connection count is 900) so that’s a 116,100 follower count potential audience.

That’s 2580 pieces of unique content (across a 5 day work week) over a month. All speaking and talking directly to that diverse follower base. Pretty staggering. The difference being that people actually want to consume this, because it adds value.

With those numbers you’d absolutely run circles around even the mindflayer of marketing (gasp).

Social Selling is using your presence and behaviour on Social Media to build influence, make connections, grow relationships and trust, which leads to conversations, commercial interaction and growth.

The more brands encapsulate and trust their employees the Will Byers, Dustin Hendersons, Max Mayfields, Billy Hargroves, Joyce Byers, Jim Hoppers and Nancy Wheelers of your world the happier your customers will be and the less upside down our world will become.

And I for one am looking to closing the gateway to that scary upside down forever.

See you next week for more "Stranger Things".