Where Does Your Power for Revenue Originate?

Where-Does-Your-Power-for-Revenue-Originate

Formulating a social media plan has many rushing to hyped up platforms to shout, pose, rant and act if they are celebrities and that others care. Or you have heard and hopefully not said: “We should use social media because our competition does.” This is difficult to accept as a foundation for a strategy and plan.

It’s better to walk alone than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.” 
-  Gandhi

Today I want to share some thoughts about the real power of social media and how it potentially relates to your company, team and revenue growth.

I suspect it will be much different from the noise marketers share. Please note that my focus is to support profitable B2B revenue growth and may not align well with your business.

Before we talk about social media, here are fundamental beliefs I hope you can agree with:

  • We do not march to the drummer of ‘the crowd’, we follow our own path. We have a purpose and a unique value proposition regardless of the noise and hype.

  • As a business selling to businesses (B2B), we stand out as a company focused on SERVICE more than sales.

  • We understand the value of and believe in ‘walking the talk’ vs. shouting ‘look at me’.

  • Our team is the heart and soul of the business and is the source of over-the-top satisfaction of our clients and customers. There is daily evidence of the team’s commitment and expertise as seen from personal notes, smiles, thank-you’s, referrals, and continued business.

  • Our “brand” is based on the SERVICE we provide, the impact we make and the enthusiastic reviews our clients/customers share with others. We do the work with the hope they will say “remarkable and comprehensive solutions” and “surprising results” or possibly “appreciative of the personalized and timely support.”

  • “Fake” is a reality online. We do not give much attention to online hype where bots (not humans) can be programmed to make something appear to be true, or to be more important than it is.

There are more but these can get you started.

ENTER SOCIAL MEDIA

Until we began to identify “us” as outlined above, our mindset, purpose, and principles, we could not approach social media. It would be much like random acts of networking, where someone attends a networking event or tradeshow with nothing more than hope in their pocket.

The list above is not complete and hopefully it will ignite your own thought leadership to be proactive (not reactive). We can now use social media as a mechanism to connect, share success stories, and to SERVE.   As a result, those who listen, watch, have conversations and want to be our ‘friend’ will get a sample of our SERVICE and benefit.

Since social media provides us with a special opportunity to be helpful and make an impact to those in need, which are samples of the team’s character and expertise, we use the plethora of platforms to:

  • Listen and observe
  • Celebrate
  • Show empathy
  • Rant
  • Scowl
  • Cheer
  • Criticize
  • Educate
  • Make introductions
  • Make invitations
  • Be open to new ideas
  • Share valuable resources
  • Tell a story
  • Shine the light on awesome (give recognition)
  • Call out ‘wrongness’
  • Have fun
  • Support others
  • Be serious
  • Be happy
  • Be sad, mad or glad

This list reflects thought leadership in a way that is ‘human’ aka social. Social media will, in essence, reflect our goals, our services, our commitment, and our priorities.

Depending on the personas of your best customers, you may limit your activity to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  As you evolve as a company, you will gain confidence and likely explore the opportunities with YouTube, Vimeo, SlideShare, Medium, Instagram, and hundreds of others. You may even participate in social group sites such as Quora or GoodReads (owned by Amazon).

At each step, remember that social media platforms are limited and inconsistent. Many are for-profit organizations where the user (you and I) are the product and they sell advertising to get the attention of those we serve. We provide the content and connections in social media platforms and advertisers pay for our attention.

Even with the constant changes and inconsistencies, they do offer a way for us to deliver helpful information. I don’t doubt that five years from today social media will not look the same nor will our culture view/use it in the same way.

Because your business is not a “one-trick-pony”, but offers many services and products, topics will vary.  In fact, it will be tempting to become a fire hose and talk about ‘everything’. The unexpected and unpredictable nature of sharing ‘everything’ can be interesting but a lack of focus to a mission leads to eyeballs and attention without revenue.

FAILURE

Once your company offers anything accessible by the public, there will be disagreements and conflicts. If you are a church or political organization, it goes without saying that conflicts will exist, but we are not using our business or team to persuade others about politics or religion.

  • Disagreements and controversy can appear to be failure.
  • Poor customer service that leads to social media complaints can appear to be failure.
  • A failed product can trigger a public complaint on social media.

These are not an indication of failure until there is a lack of response, a negative response or many others ‘pile on’ with similar stories. These are opportunities for your team to respond in remarkable ways that people can admire.

The power of social media then comes from the ability to listen, connect, make an introduction and apologize with a solution in a transparent environment, while everyone is watching. It is also an opportunity for fans and enthusiasts to raise their hand with a cheer to support your company.

Yelp is a social media directory which can be abused and manipulated. Even so, it is a go-to resource with the hope to see red flags or remarkable stories.

A lack of attention or being visible when people search for social proof can appear to be failure. It is not. Social media reflects the best and the worst, the skills or the lack of them. A company going through growing pains or launching a new product will have rocky days and perfection is not possible.  Being available for personal contact is extremely important, but it's not always beneficial to have a long string of issues in social media highlighting the story of “They have a good heart, but don’t have their act together yet.”

Used correctly social media is a tool that will enhance your company's brand. Yes, you may experience short term misses. But that is not failure. 

The only thing worse than the fear of a failure being seen on social media, is to be bland and non-committal. You might as well not be there at all.   

What does this have to do with growing profitable revenue?

  • Social media is a listening post. While we can’t read minds, there is often an indication of what people are interested in, their challenges and stories of success.

  • Social media is a simple tool to make introductions in much the same way as you would do it when networking. You overhear a conversation, you know you can add value, you introduce yourself and do just that.

  • Social media is a simple tool to make invitations. If there is enough trust or interest, a personal invitation can change ‘everything’. Invitations to events (online or offline), to speak, to be a guest author, to talk about a collaboration, to get an opinion, etc., are but a few possibilities.

  • Social media is a tool humans can use to share their thoughts, ideas and experiences. When people are inspired, moved and moved, they are compelled to share. Baby Shark has been viewed over 3.2 billion times on YouTube.
    • NOTE: The real power of social media to support revenue growth does not come from how much you talk about you. Doubling the number of posts and number of social media platforms does not improve the likelihood of success. It is not a billboard or a sign on a bulletin board at a grocery store. It is not a sign on a bus or smoke signal.

  • Social media is a mechanism for “Word of Mouth” and referrals. By creating something special that meets the needs and wants of those your serve, they have an opportunity to socially share with a click.

Social media is not the ‘brand’. Social media reflects your brand, that is determined by your purpose, how you serve, and deliver excellence.

If your team has not yet developed a foundation for what you believe, is struggling with delivering products and services that make customers raise an eyebrow, using social media will not help you be ‘better’. (Though social media is a perfect method for listening.)

An organization that focuses first on delivering with excellence has little to fear. Such an organization is relentless in its pursuit to provide value. Their use of social media will reflect that excellence and add to their power to grow profitable revenue.

If this was interesting, you might like:

  The Reality of What’s What – Branding, Social Media and Humans >

  How to Develop Your Company's Purpose >

  How to Develop Your Company Mission Statement >

  A Simpler Approach to Create Your Ideal Client Persona >

 

Topics: Brand Management Strategy Revenue Generation Social Media