There are several reasons why I think businesses hamstring their social efforts. First, there’s an overriding, if misguided, pressure to get things “perfect” on social, which is sometimes used as an excuse to avoid getting involved at all. The permanent nature of anything that’s posted on the web tends to freak out the “control the message” crowd who has their fingers poised over the delete button to instantly erase ill-advised comments or content. We’re never far removed from the latest social snafu by a public figure, or the next one to come, and that fear can be paralyzing.
In his new e-book There is No B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human: #H2H my good friend Bryan Kramer gives some wise advice to brands: “I don’t care what language you speak, who your brand is or what message you’re trying to send, we all need to speak more human.” I love that statement because it so perfectly reminds us that in the midst of all of our increasingly complex digital sophistication, making the human connection is more important than anything else. Because of the power of social to inform and educate consumers, companies need to be a part of the social scape, and that’s means functioning in the world on a human to human scale. They can no longer afford to hide behind a logo. They have to converse with their market and above all, listen.
In a late 2013 study, Gallup found that only 13% of workers actually feel engaged at their jobs. What’s worse is that 63% of the workforce is not engaged at all. But wait, the news gets even more disheartening. An astounding 24%, one-quarter of the global workforce, is actively disengaged right now. Essentially we have a significant number of workers doing their best impression of corporate zombies who go through the everyday motions to collect a paycheck.
Music, newspapers, books… most forms of media were exciting, high-pressure hothouses, environments with hits and winners and action and impact.
Many players in these industries are now trying to figure out where all the zing went. The mattering seems to have left.
Where did it go? It turns out that the air didn’t get let out, the balloon disappeared.
Balloons have pressure because there’s only one tiny opening. Scarce shelf space. Only room for one newspaper. Only forty titles on the Billboard chart. It’s that opening that creates the environment that allows pressure to exist, that pulls the rest of the balloon taut.
Make your content focused on conversation instead of thinking of yourself as a media business like so many are now preaching. Instead think of your brand as the people who make it up, and change the focus from “Convince & Convert” to “Converse & Convert!” Content creates conversation between you and more importantly amongst others.
What was that noise?
Someone just broke the e-commerce sound barrier!
In the third quarter of 2014 Williams-Sonoma’s e-commerce sales represented 51.5% ($587 million) of total company sales overtaking their store sales ($566 million) for the first time!
Even more importantly this increase is not due to offsetting reductions in store sales with the $566 million in store sales representing an increase of 4.8% year over year for the quarter.
Many companies completely outsource social media management. These companies may have good reasons for this decision. Yet, when outsourced, social media communications misrepresent reality. In fact, is it possible that completely outsourcing your social media accounts should be outlawed? Below are a couple issues to consider:
There is no doubt anymore that the social media revolution has made permanent changes to the communication landscape-both for companies and individuals. However the individual changes are what’s driving the social media industry in business, and many companies are still slow picking up on this.
You’ve heard me talk about employee advocacy before, and how important it is to Empower your Employees (who will then Power your Brand) and to encourage them to “be social” in today’s relationship age. The fact that relationships are the new currency is true whether you are looking for a job, planning an event or selling a product/service. That being said, I’m always on the lookout for companies that “get” this concept, and especially for a company that can help other companies to start doing the same. To this end I recently joined Dynamic Signal’s Advisory Board and am working with them to make their product the best it can be.