Social media start for your boss


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If you need to help somebody starting in the social media world you will notice three things:
1) The more convincing you do the higher the resistance
2) The fear of “not getting it” is typically stronger than curiosity
3) No matter how little your knowledge is – it is overwhelming to the other.

Some social media consultants fail to help their clients to get started because they are too overwhelming.

Some steps you can ask your boss to take:

1) Approachability
Make yourself approachable. Share your current presence like a LinkedIn profile or Facebook profile with business or personal friends and ask them to share their profiles with you.

2) Visits
Visit your contacts profiles and just get an idea what is on top of their mind. Often times that’s the spark for response, comments, dialog… At this point, don’t waste ant time of browsing around and checking all those people. Just don’t.

3) Openness
Be as open as you feel comfortable, and share your ideas, challenges, what you are doing etc. so your business contacts and friends can chime in, comment and get in touch with you that way. Don’t be too worried about openness – just stay in your comfort level.

4) Review
By now you recognize that you get to know people much faster and even more deeply than in the real world. You just experienced social media in it’s core values: an open, sharing, conversational way to socially engage with more people faster than any other way we engaged with our species. The SMACAD NCP Model helps to manage the quality and the value of the relationships.

5) Behavior
You learned two more things: Promotion is bad, personal conversation is great. And if you don’t like promotions, don’t threaten your customers with promotions. Funny isn’t it? Social media is NOT an advertising channel.

6) Expand
Now expand into your greater business world as sales person, product manager, channel manager, marketing manager… and connect with all your existing customers, partners, business friends to learn more about them. You will notice how good your relationships actually are. Like all of us you will be surprised how little you know about your customers or business partners. Because so many were not much more than a representative of a logo with a phone number and an email address.

7) The Listening thing
You are now learning something else: The “listening part” isn’t oral listening, but reading and having an idea what your customers and partners are up to. In the future you won’t ask any longer “how are you?” because you know! That way you can help and actually become a business friend vis-a-vis a cold calling sales annoyance. No matter what position you are in, you will be able to have the same relationship to your clients like the golf playing executives have with their friends on the greens.

8) Leverage
With the experience so far you will wonder who else in your organization can be helpful or benefit from your learning. You will get even more engaged but there is not enough time on earth. Now you will want to set objectives for you and your business, think about a general strategy for your entire team and (hopefully) will get together with your customers and involve them in your strategy building part.

9) A new state of mind
You learn yet another important lesson: Social media is not a marketing gig where you push out information into a new channel – but a powerful way to collaborate with a huge number of customers, even around the globe, in a never seen before efficient way.

10) A corporate social media strategy
Consider doing a full 360 degree assessment of your brand, your customers, your partners and your competitors. Conduct a SWOT analysis and create a cross functional business strategy based on your findings. By now you experienced social media as a way to grow your business into an all new dimension. You also know now that shortcuts and out-sourced tweets, quick and dirty fan pages and silly promotions are not only useless but even counter productive. You will want to gradually empower your entire organization to adopt social media to build a better customer experience, alleviate useless marketing expenditure, improve customer service while reducing service cost, leverage the social media communication model to be more widely recommended and grow your brand reputation.

Almost all steps are easy to do with no special advice necessary. It is primarily about the experience not so much the business benefit. Only in step 10 it is most likely that you will no longer do it with trial and error but go a more methodical approach. Leverage technologies and frameworks to conduct an assessment, use a professional strategy framework to create a strategy and other models for plan preparation and execution.

Feel free to touch base if you need any help.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Axel Schultze
CEO of Society3. Our S3 Buzz technology is empowering business teams to create buzz campaigns and increase mentions and reach. S3 Buzz provides specific solutions for event buzz, products and brand buzz, partner buzz and talent acquisition buzz campaigns. We helped creating campaigns with up to 100 Million in reach. Silicon Valley entrepreneur, published author, frequent speaker, and winner of the 2008 SF Entrepreneur award. Former CEO of BlueRoads, Infinigate, Computer2000.


  1. Axel,
    Great points you’ve noted. This approach reminds me of Mashable’s interview with George Colony from Forrester some time ago. The points George raised were very much in line with what you’ve outlined – simple practical points that are designed to build comfort and competence in a CEO so that they can “ease” into their role as a new leader.

    I often get out to talk to CEO groups (via Vistage/TEC) and I’m constantly reminded how how hard they find it given they have been fed a steady diet of hogwash for the past few years. This is a post I’ll reference in the future.


    Mark Parker
    Smart Selling

  2. Thanks Mark. I gave a key note a week ago and was asked to not get too strategic but give some practical advice. I was really moved when the people came afterwords and thanked me that they learned so much from the speech. I thanked them because I learned too: Many of us, including myself often get way too far ahead 😉


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