I recently spoke at a sales kickoff and one of the things we try and do before speaking in front of a large audience is to get an understanding of the audiences attitude to social media, especially in the B2B (Business to business) space.
One common comment we get is:
“I perceive there to be a lot of “noise” on social media, and done badly social media can have a negative effect on my perception of someone professionally. How do we ensure we create value for people via social media rather than being a nuisance?”
It’s certainly something we see in many large corporations. Here, the culture has changed enormously. One day you spoke to the outside world without permission or training and you got fired. The next, the corporation wants everybody sharing and talking.
Don’t get trapped in the jar
But for this to succeed, you need to train and mentor people carefully. Human nature is such that if you motivate humans with sticks – rather than carrots – they very rarely feel confident to do something differently with their own initiative.
If you put a flea in a jar with the lid on, the flea gets used to its environment and it will jump until it finds the top of the jar. It learns that it cannot jump any further. Remove the lid and you expect the flea to jump out of the jar and make its escape. But it doesn’t. The flea, jumps as if the lid was still there.
The same with humans. If we teach them to work in a particular way, then they carry on that way. That is, after all, what we have told them to do.
The problem that most companies have is that to get humans to do something different is to implement a change program. What I’ve seen in many companies is what I call the “well meaning webinar”. This is where somebody, runs an “all hands webinar” to propose a new way of working.
But this has a number of problems with attendees who:
- Don’t turn up.
- May not believe in what you are talking about.
- Don’t have the skills to do what you want.
- Say they understand but don’t.
- Have the webinar on, while they eat their lunch. You did call it at lunch time after all.
- Leave the webinar running in the background but do something that they think is more interesting, such as reading the newspaper or doing email.
- I could go on….
Webinars are scientifically proven not to support change. They are lazy training, supported by trainers who want your money and are not around to follow through with change in your organisation. By the way, we actually turn business down, where we are asked to provide training by webinar.
What has this got to do with noise on social media?
Well of course there are spammers on social media, but I’ve been on social media for nine years and give them six months they soon fall by the wayside. If you are going to expend energy into something, you need to get an output.
If I get on a ride at the fair I want to feel giddy or slightly sick, the same for spammers, ignore them and they won’t get a fairground ride ‘buzz’ and they will go away.
What I found out when I rolled out social selling across a salesforce of 2,000 across Europe was that people sat in meetings and training courses and all said, “yes, I get social media”. Then they would stop me in the corridor and say, “so how do I send a Tweet?”
So not only do you need to train people, you also need to offer mentoring and importantly mentoring from somebody they respect.
Social selling: Make sure you get a positive social buzz
Here at DLA, we are the only social selling company to use the 70:20:10 change management methodology. Which provides a company with experience, exposure, and education with mentoring.
This is the only way we can make sure your employees don’t make a lot of “noise” on social media, as we know that done badly social media can have a negative effect on your prospects and customers. It’s also detrimental to the reputation of your company, especially when you are looking to hire new people.
So, social selling is about creating value for people via social media rather than being a nuisance. But you need to work with the experts and get in-house training to deliver real benefits to the business. And that’s where we can help.
Digital Leadership Associates: We are Global Social Media Management Consultancy. We do three things: Social Media Strategy, Social Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email or call one of our founders on 00 44 7823 534 557 and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.