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It’s Time for Your Enterprise to Run on Social

It’s Time for Your Enterprise to Run on Social

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

Social Media over the last two years has jumped from Marketing to Sales to customer service to HR to Procurement to Supply Chain and it’s now jumped to Finance. In fact social media is now used throughout the business. 

Why is this?

More than 4.1 billion people are now online, meaning that 54 percent of the world’s total population is using the internet in July 2018. The number of internet users around the world grew by eight percent over the past year, with growth boosted by accelerating adoption across Africa and South Asia.

The number of people using social media continues to grow at an impressive rate too, with the latest data showing that global users increased by 11 percent in the year to July 2018.

Roughly 300 million people came online in the twelve months to July 2018, equating to an average of almost 10 new users every second. With 328 million new users adopting social media in the past 12 months, we’re still seeing additions of almost one million new social media users every day, Well over 3.3 billion people now use social media each month, with at least 92 percent of them accessing social media via mobile devices. With 562 Million on the professional business network LinkedIn. This for a business is a massive network in which to target with your message.

People are Social

Every since humans were on the Serengeti, we found that two things kept us alive, one was to keep moving, the other was to form a tribe. It’s something that humans have always done, Unions, Committees, Groups, Communities we have always worked better in teams and strive to be connected with other people. We find talking to other people “natural”, regardless if we are introverts or extroverts, we know how to talk and communicate.

Social Media – A Modern Form of Communication

As well as forming groups we have also looked for ways to communicate with more people, the telegram, the telephone, the letter, the fax, the email and now social media. All of them are easy ways for us to communicate and what humans like best of all is it’s “friction free”. Which means it does not take much effort to communicate.

Email and Text Progression to Social

Where as in the 90s email ruled the world, now in my life, none of my friends are on email. My 80 year old mother, moved to Facebook Messenger 12 months ago. Why? Because “it’s easier” and she complains about the “effort” of sending an email.

Similar at work, we run our business (including our resellers) on social, my team know if they email me during the day, I don’t reply. If they “Slack” me they can usually get me instantly. The great think about social media at work is the way it reduces the “2 page email” that nobody read, the “copy all” and all of those other time stealers. I’ve written before about how social powered the business, such as helping new starters, supporting maternity returners, for sales people contributing quicker, supporting the forecasting process, until we got a 95% accurate forecast.

Enterprise Wide Social Media

In this article, written in 2016, I talked about how Social was “seeping” into different areas of the business.

Social has Hacked the Enterprise – Are you Ready?

Most of us think of Social as being, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram etc, but there is also social to be used internally such as Microsoft’s Yammer, Slack, Jive, Facebook’s Chatter, and Glip. Many companies are using bits of these social platforms, where as, we run the business on social!

Which means we have internal social and external social as well as a merger of the two.

What About Enterprise Social Media?

All modern organisations are on social, think about it. Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, Human Resources, Procurement, Research and Development (R&D), Public Relations (PR) in fact all of a companies departments are now on social. But the problem is, this is all soloed and of a tactical nature.

Taking Tactical Social Strategic

In today’s world, your prospect’s, customer’s and your employees are all on social. Nobody has forced them, in fact they have chosen to be on social, because of us human’s social nature and the fact social

No other technology has impacted people and business that way.

Time for the C-Suite to get Social

No i’m not talking about putting the CEO on Twitter. I’m talking about getting the C-Suite to understand the macro-impact of social across the business, the efficiencies, the incremental revenue impact and the competitive advantage. They don’t have to be on social themselves (but it helps) but understanding why if they don’t do something they are falling behind help too.

 People who read this article also read these:

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Vs Intent Data – Are You In Control of the Buyer Journey

What Do You Do When You Have Too Many Leads and Meetings?


Common sense…

Employee Advocacy Program? How To Get Executive Support

Employee Advocacy Program? How To Get Executive Support

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

There is a lot of talk and articles about Employee Advocacy, many of them are pretty “fluffy” and certainly wouldn’t stand up to any financial rigour.  As business leaders we don’t want to be shown research figures, they are all “so what?”.  We want to understand the business case and the way our business will be impacted.  Positively, we hope.

Any company that knows their stuff will know all of this.  But there is one thing that companies especially around employee advocacy miss.  Employee advocacy requires change, which should be pretty straightforward to support but how will you embed that change?

Here are 6 things you need to cover when creating an internal employee advocacy business case.

  1. Show me the money! – As a CEO I need to see a financial benefit for doing this.  There has to be an incremental revenue uplift or what’s the point?
  2. How will I get competitive advantage – It’s all very well putting these research “facts” in front of me, but we all know they are pretty meaningless.  Come on, what tangible benefit will I get as a business?
  3. How will you motivate the people to do this?  This requires change, how will you take everybody along on the journey? 
  4. If your solution includes creation of play books. Play books don’t work as people will find every excuse to say they don’t work for them, as they want to avoid the change. How will you get around this?
  5. How will you empower people to change?
  6. Empowerment is temporary, how do you embed the change?

If the “employee advocacy” company you are working with know their stuff, all of these answers, should be pretty straight forward!  If not, you need to make excuses and leave.

People who read this article also read these:

Cold Calling – Eliminating the “if only you had called the other week …” response

Why going social is easier than I thought…and much more difficult.

The Truth About Paid Media – What the Advertising Gurus Won’t Tell You!

The Truth About Employee Advocacy Programs

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

Employee advocacy programs seem to be in vogue at the moment.

The plan is very simple: with many employees now on social media, why not get them to tweet on the company’s behalf?  If you have 100,000 employees and they are all tweeting, your share of voice is going to massive.

The problem with this, as we mention our book, Social Selling: Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers is that people will read such a tweet and say, “Well Tim would say that, he works there and is biased”.

Altimeter point out that that “21% of consumers report “liking” employee posts—a far higher engagement rate than the average social ad.”  But if you read the detail of the report, the people liking those tweets are friends.

The report seems to indicate that there is a lot of tweeting, but is it really being amplified and reaching new consumers, which is the objective?

In the book we talk about Trust Vs. Control and how brands like to control the message, and therefore your customers don’t trust what you are saying.  We discuss influence marketing; this is where consumers trust the message, but brands have little control over what is said.

Is employee advocacy about throwing muck at the wall and hoping it sticks?

When Matt and I started writing this book, we wanted to change the perception that social doesn’t always have a real impact on the top line. As a sales leader said to me, “This stuff on social selling is all very well, but where are my leads?”. We want to make sure people understand that successful and efficient social selling can and does lead to further leads.

Employee advocacy seems to sit in the realms of measurements such as clicks and share of voice, which are more vanity metrics than the stuff that can create you leads.

Can employee advocacy create you inbound?  I’m sure with all that social noise you’re creating by posting corporate articles it might create inbound, but it might also turn consumers off.

Employee advocacy is also about attitude

If you watch Andrew Grill’s (@andrewgrill) video on branded advertising he explains how IBM is using employee advocacy as a way to recruit people.  If, for example, your friend is tweeting about the amazing time s/he is having when working at IBM, you may want some of that too and hope to work at IBM.

In addition, if you are in a position to draw up a short list to buy a product or service, you are more likely to put IBM on that short list.

My guess is that you are more likely to see a company in a better light and put them on a short list by having people using the subtle approach than maybe a friend who is trying to push a corporate white paper at you.

Digital Leadership Associates: We are a Social Media Agency. We do three things: Social Media StrategySocial Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.

Why Martech is Like a Pair of Flared Trousers

Why Martech is Like a Pair of Flared Trousers

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

My business partner tells a story about the time he drove to St. Albans, which is a town a few miles outside London.

When he got there, his client was very excited and agitated.  What’s up, Adam asked.  “Did you see our ad?”, was the answer.  Adam hadn’t.

“Our new billboard on the way into St. Albans”.  the client repeated.

Adam’s client went on to explain that they had spent £20,000 on a billboard and were very pleased with this.  Of course, this had been “sold” to them by a marketing agency along with phrases such as, “think of the ‘eyeballs’ driving into St. Albans all looking at your ad and all the leads.” 

The big question

When anybody talks to Adam about a marketing campaign, he always asks the question: “Does the phone ring more?”

And of course, it didn’t for this client.  Adam was like all the other drivers into St. Albans who totally ignored the advert.  The advert was just noise.

Now here’s the rub.

So is every form of cold outreach.

How many emails do you get a day from people you don’t know where you either just delete them or block them?  I have a friend who does not have an email address, he doesn’t need one.

There is a whole industry around using manipulative techniques to get you to open emails.  In Europe if you use manipulation it will just annoy the respondent.

Like many of us I’m sure, if you don’t know the person calling you on your mobile, you know it’s a cold call and don’t answer.

I live in an ad free world and I know many people who use ad blockers and their use is growing 30% year on year.

Every form of cold outreach is becoming less and less effective

This form of marketing has two things in common:

  1. It requires you interrupt the consumer.
  2. It means you are broadcasting (aka shouting) at customers.

Leo Burnett was one of the founders of interrupt marketing.  The way it was designed is this.  You take an uneducated buyer and “touch them”, you interrupt them and tell them about your product or service, as many times as you can.  It’s technology straight from the 1930s and things don’t seem to have changed much. 

The problem is things have changed.  We now have educated buyers.

If you want something, you go onto the internet and research it, or you ask your network.

One of our clients tells the story about his wife who wanted a new car.  She went onto the internet and asked her Facebook friends whether should she get the Audi, the Mercedes or a BMW.  The discussion determined that she needed to get the Audi and not from her local dealer but from one 200 miles away.  Decision made.

When you interrupt people now you just annoy them, nobody likes being sold to.

So the current solution to the problem is easy, we get a computer to help us.

Poor email open rates?  Let’s machine gun out more and more emails!

Unable to understand where our clients are in the buying cycle? Let’s throw content at them in the hope they will buy something through marketing automation!

Creating rubbish content that nobody reads? No problem, we can buy our way up Google!

Our website didn’t convert the client? No worries we will chase them around the internet trying to sell them something which they have already purchased from a competitor.

It goes on and on.  Martech does enable us to implement 1930s marketing practices at scale and at a scale Leo never imagined.  No wonder the consumer is ad blocking, pushing for laws like GDPR in Europe and more.  We all want to hide from the rise of the marketing machines and the onslaught of all that cold outreach.

Before I finish, there is a happy ending to this blog.  It’s called social media.  Your customers are on it pretty much all day and they are searching for your product and service, having conversations about your products and services.  Now if only there was a way to tap into that?  You could make a fortune!  Food for thought.

So why is martech like a pair of flared trousers?  We know we all had a pair, but will never admit it – this writer included!

Digital Leadership Associates: We are a Social Media Agency. We do three things: Social Media StrategySocial Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.

Stop making excuses before it’s too late

by Adam Gray | @AGSocialMedia | LinkedIn

At Digital Leadership Associates we are fortunate enough to work with a load of great companies, some of whom are household names. Many of them are globally successful organisations and have recruited (and retained) some of the most talented people I have met. But (and there’s always a “but” isn’t there) people think that their salvation will come from a new technique, tool or process rather than from hard work.

Let me give that some context it I may.

We all know, if we are honest, that there’s no shortcut to success. We know that if there was EVERYONE would be doing it – and they’re not. However, this underlying belief doesn’t stop us from continually searching for that silver bullet, that “hack”, that “cheat” that will somehow give us a head start.

So, when we talk to organisations about how they can deploy social media they often really do understand what needs to happen. They get that social media is the future for their organisation, in fact ALL organisations, and they know that to be successful requires them to rethink how they do things and make everyone accountable (and responsible) for the success or failure.

They know (because we tell them) that they will need to write content, often. And they say “we can do that” because they know that it’s a crucial part of being a star. They know that asking people who work 40 hours per week to each spend one hour per week (2.5%) of their time writing just one article each and every week is actually not that big an ask.

Quit making excuses and conquer the world

They know that if the staff of 1,000 all do this every week, by the end of the year they will have 52,000 articles about their products and brands in the public domain and they see how this effectively shuts-out their competition. They see that this will revolutionise how effective they are at communicating, marketing, generating leads and, of course, selling.They hear this, and they believe it.

Then, what usually happens is that they don’t do it. Often, it’s as if they don’t even try. They do some work…then they sort of give up.

Yes, they deploy our social selling programme and they start to get recognition. They begin to engage with their prospects and they generate inbound and it has a dramatic effect on sales. But they often seem unable to make that leap from being competitive to being dominant.

Perhaps they start to place some more process around their corporate social presence and they see that their share of voice has increased and that they are being the focus of more conversations.

But what they haven’t done is “eat their competition”. They just seem to do more of what they have always done…but a bit better.

Whilst it’s not a crime of course, it does seem like a terrible missed opportunity. At Digital Leadership Associates we are a small organization. 10 staff (plus a couple of doers behind the scenes) and we manage to produce more than one piece of original content every single day. This drives three or more pieces of inbound every single day. If we can do it I’m sure you can too. So quit making excuses and conquer the world!

Digital Leadership Associates: We are a Social Media Agency. We do three things: Social Media StrategySocial Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.

The Transformational Power of Social Media and the BIP

The Transformational Power of Social Media and the BIP

by Adam Gray | @AGSocialMedia | LinkedIn

The transformational nature of social media is something that we couldn’t possibly have envisaged even 20 years ago. That’s something I can’t stop talking about (if you’ve met me you’ll know what I mean!). So, let me tell you about where I’ll be in the next few weeks if you fancy a chat – and let me get in a bit of a plug as well.

I’m speaking at the BIP in Australia next month, in the Blue Mountains (just outside Sydney) on 13/14 September. Then I’ll be at Torquay (just outside Melbourne) on 21/22 September). There are still tickets available for what is a truly outstanding business development event organised by Alec Blacklaw.

I’m currently arranging meetings in Sydney and Melbourne around these two events so if you’re around and would like to sit down, grab a coffee and talk about a world of opportunities, then please message me!

Anyway, as I’m sitting at my desk at home, looking out across the garden in leafy England I have been contemplating how the internet, and more specifically social media, has had a transformational effect on my life and my business. A transformation effect that I never could have envisaged and which can have the same transformation effect on your life too.

I don’t know if you’ve read the book “Funky Business” (Ridderstrale & Nordstrom pub published way back in 1999? It’s a fantastic read. It talks about the transformational effect of the internet, the realisation of “the global village”, and the idea that your niche should be as narrow as possible because, with the internet, you are selling to a truly global audience.

It doesn’t really matter how many people there are in your town who will buy what you’re selling because the world is quite literally your marketplace. If you can get a copy of the book you should do because it’s as relevant today in terms of shaping your thinking.

It’s all about trust

My business Digital Leadership Associates is expanding in to North America, Australia and Africa, as well as mainland Europe so we are becoming a truly global business. I never would have imagined that I would be part of a small organisation which such large aspirations, and I certainly never imagined that these opportunities would be driven my circumstances rather than by a burning desire to travel!

But, that’s the way things happen in a connected world. Your “fame” spreads from person-to-person irrespective of where those people are, rather than street-to-street as it used to do. This means that opportunities also appear in far-flung places because people have heard about you from people that they know and trust and, even with the advent of the internet, business is still largely based on trust.

To capitalise on social media all the pieces of the puzzle have to be in place

  1. You have to be open to new ideas, new opportunities, new relationships and new ways of doing things. As the saying goes, “minds are like parachutes, they work best when they’re open”, and the “serendipity engine” that is the internet certainly multiplies the chances of being in the right place at the right time.
  2. You have to believe that you have something to offer. So often businesses (and people) think that they’re nothing special, that they are a commodity, and the reality is that if you don’t have confidence in yourself there’s very little chance that anyone else will. So you need to believe that you’re really good at what you do and if you’re not “really good at it” you need to get better so that you are!
  3. You need to work really hard. The internet provides you with a limitless amount of free connectivity, an almost infinite number of people to talk to and ways to promote your strengths to a global marketplace. For many years I wondered at how some people were successful and other’s not. Often it isn’t based on talent, but based on application. With LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and all of the other social platforms you have the chance to talk to people as often as you want, but I bet you don’t. I bet you don’t write a blog every day? Or Tweet every hour? Comment on someone else’s post every 30 minutes? Make a video every week? But you could, if success really mattered! People who are truly successful in the online world tend to be workaholics.
  4. Be open. I know this was in point number one, but it is so important. Connect with everybody you can. Everybody you meet. Everybody you want to meet. Connect with EVERYONE (you can always un-connect if they spam you) because you never know where the next opportunity or “champion” will come from.
  5. Be professional. Everything you do needs to be as good as you can possibly make it. That doesn’t mean that you do nothing until everything is perfect, but you need to assume that people who see you will be critical about what you do. So, give them as little as possible to criticise. Spelling, grammar, quality of photos, subject matter. Everything you can possibly control you must.
  6. Share everything. The internet is the greatest information distribution tool since the invention of the written word. The more good stuff you put out, the more chance there is that it will get shared and that someone will see it, be impressed and make contact as a result. But those wonderful ideas, that great methodology, those fantastic infographics do you no good whatsoever when they’re locked in your desk drawer.

One of the things we so often see is that even clients that work for large, global enterprises fail to see the vital nature of having a global network. We work with them to help change this mindset. We work with them to help them see not just why becoming a social business/businessperson is so vital, but how they should do it. How they can use their skills, how they can use their resources and how they can increase visibility, increase reputation and increase sales fast.

So, come to the BIP and get a sneak preview from me about how you and your business can embrace the power of social media and rocket your business forward.

I hope to see you there!

Digital Leadership Associates: We are a Social Media Agency. We do three things: Social Media StrategySocial Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.