Building a community online is critical today and Mike Briercliffe- One of the Founding Partners Of The Influential Visions Podcast shared some amazing value in this interview. Mike was a computing veteran with over 40 years of working experience and was a mentor to me over the last decade teaching me many things about marketing, business and life.
He was responsible for building some of the largest communities in the technology space and also HR and he always shared his knowledge freely and his enthusiasm with all he met.
- In This Time of Global Crisis: Will Social Media Find Its Next Level Of Maturity?
- “Blessed are the community builders for they shall inherit the social sphere” Mike Briercliffe.
- Maturing your social media action capabilities takes time and planning. Community building is no different.
- If you haven’t already started where do you begin?
- Training your people how to use social selling seems to be crucial what is your view on this?
Blessed are the Community Builders : Mike Briercliffe
Online community building is critical today and Mike Briercliffe- One of the Founding Partners Of The Influential Visions Podcast shared some amazing value in this interview. Mike was a computing veteran with over 40 years of working experience and a mentor to me over the last decade.
He was responsible for building some of the largest communities on LinkedIn and for helping numerous people in their careers and businesses, many have shown their gratitude for his guidance and assistance in building successful communities themselves.
Some of the online communities Mike had been a part of have more active members than you may believe, in particular, the SAAS group on LinkedIn is now approaching 140K members and the HR group has well over 1 million members now.
As a community builder naturally there are many free community platforms such as Facebook groups and other online community platforms where you can house group members and their activities can be private or public depending on how you run your own online community.
Online communities provide a great way for people to connect with others who share similar interests, goals, and values. In fact, research shows that online communities can positively impact mental health by providing social support, increasing feelings of belongingness and self-esteem, and reducing isolation and loneliness.
Of course, building an online community is not always easy at the beginning and this is why working with experts can be so helpful in order to get your community started on the right foot.
As he said, “I’m not a big fan of the ‘build it and they will come” philosophy – you need to have a plan and put in the hard work required up-front if you want your online community to grow into a successful community where you can even hire a community manager.
Online community and building online communities are key to success
In This Time of Global Crisis: Will Social Media Find Its Next Level Of Maturity?
“Blessed are the community builders for they shall inherit the social sphere” Mike Briercliffe.
Maturing your social media action capabilities takes time and planning. Community building is no different.
If you haven’t already started where do you begin?
Training your people how to use social selling seems to be crucial what is your view on this?
Here is a brief summary of what we discussed: (If you wish to read the full transcript that is below)
- Mike Briercliffe and I discussed the role of social media in light of the global pandemic.
- Social media is reaching a new level of maturity, as people are using it to share information and connect with each other.
- Both Mike Briercliffe and I have taught workshops on social media.
- Mike Briercliffe believed that communities are key to success in social media.
- He advised companies to focus on building communities of interested individuals around the topics they are interested in.
- Companies should use the personal profiles of their employees to build connections with potential customers on social media.
- To be successful with social selling, you need to figure out what you’ve got as potential assets and who your target audience is.
- LinkedIn is a great place to start for identifying potential customers and building relationships.
- Training your employees on how to use social media effectively is crucial for success.
- Mike Briercliffe advised going and surrounding the person you want to engage with socially in order to learn about them before engaging.
- He also suggests getting to know all there is to know about a potential customer before trying to sell them anything.
- Social selling is about understanding your customer and their interests, and then engaging in conversation with them.
- Content is important, but it must be presented in the right context or it will be ineffective.
- Mike Briercliffe had over 40 years of experience in marketing and was a strong advocate for contextual content.
- He found that many people selling social media services do not understand what social selling is, and advises against simply bombarding potential customers with sales pitches.
- Instead, he recommended doing research to determine your target audience and what their interests are, then engaging them in conversation before making any offers.
- Social selling is about understanding everything you possibly can about your customer, including what matters to them and what their interests are.
- Don’t go into social media with the intent of aggressively selling; instead, try to surround your customer in a non-intrusive way and take it from there.
- Be sure to give your customers good content that will engage them and leave them feeling good.
Here is the full transcript from the community building online conversation
I’m sorry, I still laugh whenever this, if anyone’s watching this on YouTube, you don’t hear the voice, no one hears the voice, but this woman on Zoom, she says this meeting is being recorded. It’s too much for me. I’m afraid you got to smile. Right. And I’m very, very, very grateful to have Mike Briarcliffe here with me today. And he’s, he’s one of the founding partners of Influential Visions Podcast. And he’s a computing veteran with over 40 years of working experience. And yeah, it’s, it’s an interesting time right now. We’re both, we’re both stuck. We can’t go to the office and meet, or we can’t even meet for a glass of wine. So it’s a very tough time right now. And hence why we’re doing lots of podcasts, right? So, it’s lovely to see you, Mike. And so in this time of global crisis, do you think social media will find its next level of maturity?
Interesting question. I think it is doing, I think there are people looking at it, the whole scene in a different light. Many people have been critical of the social media and my view of what they say, my response to them. In fact, just this morning, I was moderating a group and I gave this response. It’s immediate. What goes on? It can be good. What goes on? It can be bad if you’ve got about the experience. It’s not the fault of the media it’s to do with the idiots that are using it for bad purposes. And that comment went down quite well in the community that I was moderating. I think there’s so much happening today that could not happen if social media didn’t exist, none of what’s happening in terms of communication person to person level.
That’s one too many levels, too many, too many levels as a globe-to-globe level. None of that could be happening and let’s not, let’s not forget. This is not really a new, you think it’s been going through it. You know, bulletin boards were alive in 30 odd years ago and everything we see today is a descendant them to the bulletin board. Most sophisticated, there are wider audiences, there are better management tools. There actually are a focus groups. There are some that, some of these things that aren’t focused at all, but none of it could be happening if it wasn’t the fact that things like combi jacks were going, I don’t know when 30 odd years ago.
So And a bulletin board was just basically a piece of a website, right. With some code that had responses from people and threads. Right. So people had like a topic and then there’d be loads of loads of conversations around it, or
A bit like a Facebook page. But, well, we, we started to mature this kind of stuff in about 98. Well, I say we, I was around at the time and I was dabbling with that, but I think it first got the name or it initially got the name, social media sometime in the early, when was that? The early two thousand, in the nineties when I was messing around developing things like LinkedIn that never made it. And some of the things that didn’t make it by the way, but you know, we didn’t have a name for it. It would just, it would just stay on a bulletin board really. So anyway, the question was, is it reaching a new level of maturity? And the, and the answer is in people’s minds is maturing. I think, you know, right now my daughter, Lisa who, you know, pretty well.
And she’s also involved in this, she’s launched three new focus groups in the last two weeks that attract, and are attracting loads of attention because she’s focused on the needs of the moment using tools that are already there, not inventing anything, just basically she’s got a, a group that’s focused on pets. She’s got a group that’s focused on, gluten-free eating and she’s got a group that’s focused on music and the lockdown and that music and the lockdown pages. It doesn’t go into thousands in two or three days when he’s gone to hundreds in two or three days, people are really interested in sharing the vibe and telling each other what their favourite music is, what lifts them in these times of stress and strain. And so, people are going live on it as well. So, you know, all of this is really nothing to do with the technology and the maturing of it is to do with people’s attitudes and the maturing of those. So, they answer to your question as yeah, social media is really important. It is maturing, not only technical issue, although a technological issue. Well, I think some new technology will emerge from you all by the way. And you and I have been discussing that earlier, which is really all about adapting, what exists. It’s not about inventing new things, but adapting what exists to do the job, but has it been coming and it’s accelerating and the answer to your question.
Yeah. So just if people don’t really realize why they’re listening to us and why they should listen to you, I mean, both of us have taught workshops around social media and I personally taught some workshops for delivery partners for some of the major technology vendors. And yeah, and I know you’ve also coached social media workshops for the actual technology vendors themselves. So, you know, those are a couple of reasons why people and we’ve got a great podcast kind of a bit fun and a bit quirky. Right. You know, and sometimes I wear funny clothes. Yeah. And I like, I put on funny hats and stuff. Yeah.
Oh, I wear a shirt and you’re wearing your shirt. So we’re quite similar.
And I’ve got a giraffe that my daughter painted me. And unfortunately, she’s got a lockdown with her mother. So there we go. That’s another story. Right? So there’s this quote that I saw you posted, well, you actually created this one line or the other day. And, and I want to know what you mean by it really, so we can delve into it. It’s a good one. And you said, you said, bless all the community builders for, they shall inherit the social sphere.
Yeah. A bit of a, a bit of a play on biblical words. Bless it. All the meek for they shall inherit the earth and all that stuff. Was that sermon on the Mount?
It was. I think, I think so. Yeah.
Yeah. Well, you and I know people who, who over time we’ve discussed the philosophy of social business to business, social media is where we have our heart really. And there’s some well-known people in the us who you and I both love and respect. And I remember saying to one of them probably getting on for 10 years ago, now communities are where this thing’s at. And you can argue that, you know, the word community is hot, it’s heightened age. And that, you know, we, we all think we build a community when we, when we have a fit when we have a Facebook presence when people follow us. But I mean, focus communities are the key. I mentioned my daughter earlier at Lisa. She she’s got a number of these groups. They’re 20,000 people focused in her group on, on gluten-free eating globally. So that really is a community.
She’s got a page of west Highland terrier fanatics who are a thousand strong. And she got this new music in the lockdown page, which is three or four, I think already. And then creating community is something that’s been really important to me for the last last decade. Really, I, I operate a number of LinkedIn groups and LinkedIn groups of the critics and still do have the critiques. But, the, what, the people who preside is a pompous word, but I’m still, I can’t think of a better word. People who preside over the building of those communities but doing the whole world a great service. If it wasn’t for the people who are building those communities, or at least hosting those communities, then it will be, we’re all talking to the whole world. And we don’t want to talk to them. We want to talk to the people are really interested in the topics that they’re interested in. And, you know, there are many, there are probably hundreds of thousands of people who, who host communities. And I think a bit of, bit of self-worth coming in here. I think they do the whole world of great SEO. So bless it. Are they for that? And we’d all, we’d have no order by social media communities are the index key to social media.
Yeah. So it’s, it’s very relevant to account-based marketing and, you know, people that are listening to this will know what account-based marketing is. And once you get the communities working with the influencers, working with the corporations, then you have very, very successful account-based marketing programs as far as far as I’m that, you know, and that’s what I’ve proven the past week, we’re doing one to two podcasts per day. And, you know, I’m scheduled in with some amazing guests, you know, the next, the next few weeks and the content has been fantastic. And, and the feedback from it has been absolutely superb. So that’s, those are the people that I’m trying to target because we’re B2B, I focused on a very small target and those people, I want them to enjoy the content. That’s the most important thing. They must enjoy the content. And, and they must realize that we really do know what we’re doing. That’s, that’s, that’s, that’s the bonus of having real influencer marketing is, is account-based marketing in my mind. And I was trying to come up with a book title for that, but we can talk about that later, but so maturing your social media action capabilities takes time and planning. And some of the companies and people listening to this may not have started. So, if you haven’t already started, where, where would you begin to, to with this?
Well, I assume you’re asking me that question from the point of view of a company. Now, every company has made up of individuals and every individual, probably not everyone, but 99% of individuals, we’ve got LinkedIn profiles, they’ve got Facebook profiles. Some of them have got Twitter profiles. So, Instagram, I don’t think WhatsApp counts in this context to be Frank all a lot, lots of people I know would argue with that. But, you know, I think things that are open to the world for the world to see of the world to be attracted to all where I focus my attention. I think there are other things that come into that, but anything has to do with putting out the things about which you are interested is key. So, for instance, on my, I’ve got two Instagram accounts, I got one for skiing. And as you know, I’m very interested in that industry.
And I got one to me and I put, I put stuff out on there that I think it’s pictorial, Instagram’s all of pictures. And behind the pictures, some level of communication, I still find that that obfuscating about how you deal with direct messaging on Instagram, by the way. So, I’m not that much of an expert, but you know, I use Instagram, everyone’s got a Facebook page. I always got a Facebook presence. Big question is, do people, the companies really benefit from in some way, hijacking the personal profiles, all the individual people on Facebook know that they do to my mind, B2B as all we’ve majored on LinkedIn and Twitter. I don’t mean LinkedIn and Twitter necessarily separately either. I think LinkedIn is massively underrated and by the way, deservedly. So, because I think LinkedIn in many ways lets yourself down, but there’s no other place on earth that I can go to now with very sophisticated search engine.
I don’t mean like SEO. I mean like a search engine where I can pinpoint people. Now there’s no other social network that can do that because there are 500 million or something people on eight. And if I want to know who’s got an interest in Oracle, or who’s got an interest in IBM and who’s already at the director level or the C level, and they happened to live in Burnley, then I’m going to find it. I’m going to know you can’t do that on any other social platform. So, I’ve always regarded LinkedIn despite its shortcomings. And despite it, it drives me mad sometimes, but it has the keys to the castle to be Frank. If you only knew how to use those keys properly will be much more well-respected than it is. And I’ve always regarded Twitter as a way to radiate that.
I’ve always thought the right thing to do is to say what you want to on LinkedIn, and then tell the well on Twitter that you’ve said it, and whether you are a company or individual, in my opinion, that that is the truth. So the question is, if you are a business and you are not yet up the maturity curve in terms of social media communication, you need to figure out what you’ve got as a potentially let into assets. I think in a, in a B2B context, you should think, figure out who’s got a profile on LinkedIn. And for that matter, who hasn’t, and if they haven’t, you should be asking them serious questions. Why the ambulance, although you’ve got to recognize the middle of all that, that LinkedIn is a, is a recruiting drive. And as well as a business promotional grind, and you should teach them, you should, you should figure out how to help them make those profiles better.
That’s not an easy task. That is not an easy task. Getting to the point where I was dealing with a major, a major vendor, let’s say that seven years ago, six years ago, seven years ago. And you know, you push you out of the open door when you talk to 10% of the, of the sales force, for instance, but the other 90% of Salesforce six or seven years ago, just didn’t want to know, dealing with getting those people to a level where they understand the assets that they have individually and how to join those assets together. On behalf of the business, to me is a major, a major goal. And it is a major task I suspect what’s happening right now with all these COVID-19 malarkey is going to make people realize even more than they already did. And some cases I’ve just said, all of them have been just how important that profile is.
So I’d start with, I wouldn’t ignore Facebook. I wouldn’t ignore Instagram at all, but I bring them in at a later point, I’d start with every employee who has a LinkedIn profile start to get them to a point where they’re acting with that profile on behalf of the company they work for, and then get them to a point where they’ve got some active Twitter activity going and maybe even do that for them. And there are tools around which enable the aggregation of what, what someone said on their LinkedIn profile to be pushed out to the world by multiple Twitter accounts. So I’m rumbling, but the key issue is start with what you’ve got, next thing. And you and I had this conversation, not more than half an hour ago, where’s the traffic you want to, where are the people you want to find?
Where are the people where, which social network are, they are going to be interested in what you do or what you’ve got to say and go focus on that social network, find that social network go and find the communities within it and focus on the community when you start that whole profile by figuring out who runs those communities and go make friends with people that are in those communities, they all need encouragement, and they all need some way of staying alive. And they, they really do those community builders. Those community owners really do hold the keys to the castle. Yeah,
Yeah. Very much so. And yeah, I mean, I’ve, I’ve noticed a huge spike actually recently the past week in the amount of people actually on LinkedIn and actually messaging, messaging me commenting on, on, on video. And, you know, and I think the more you engage with people the better really, but so obviously there are best practices to follow and this sort of stuff. And, you know, from what you’ve said, training your people, how to use social selling seems to be crucial. What’s your, what’s your view on that?
Well, I think social selling is a much maligned, overused and badly used phrase. There are some friends of ours who we, you know, people like Tim who really do know what social selling is. Yeah. Tim Hughes, I’m talking about, they both suspect most of the people who talk about social selling, don’t really know what it’s about. And, and there are people, some of us from our friends and associates are out there evangelizing it. I’m doing a hell of a good job, but it’s a hell of a world with hundreds of thousands of people in it. And, you know, coaching people in groups of 12 at a time is good, but it isn’t going to come up well, overnight, as far as social selling is concerned, I think you’ve got to get to a position where your people are familiar with the platforms and the routines and the technologies that they are being involved in. So I’ll go back to my comment that about LinkedIn and Twitter on the others, I’m not ignoring the others. I’m just focusing for the minute. I’ll make that Twitter. I’m making sure the familiar and give them time to be familiar.
Sorry, Mike, you just broke up for about five seconds. So can you just.
Okay. So what was the last thing you heard?
Just the importance of you were just, you literally just finished saying that you, you were going to focus on LinkedIn and Twitter and you know, you got to come back to Instagram and Facebook and…
Okay. So we’re talking about the, now we’re talking about getting the social selling thing moving, and I’ve been, I’ve been singing the praises of the people like 10, who do that kind of thing. You know, to some degree, we all will do that kind of thing, but, but there are people who really specialize in it and, and he’s one of them, getting to the point where a business owner or a business unit manager or the CEO or whatever you want to call that leader understands the importance. It can be quite tough. It’s several years ago now, probably more than five or six. When someone said to me, how much time should I let my people spend on social media, as opposed to being on the phone? I say, hold on, don’t be daft, why would you want to be able to be on the phone?
You’ve got social media; you can’t search the phone. I wish time did. He used to let me use yellow pages for when, when selling was in it’s, you know, find somebody in a, in the building industry and go and sell him a building system. And the answer, the question is, you know, I would think 50 or 60% of the time needs to be spent on social media now. And the rest of the time needs to be spent doing more physical things like meeting people face-to-face but the whole process of selling the whole process, social selling really is to use all the tools. We now have to the best of your ability in order to engage the audience or, well, not the audience, really the audience, but then one by one by one in a social selling and social selling way. And throughout that process of spending 60 or 70% of your time or whatever the number was at your side, you’re learning about them.
You know, you said to me, in our last conversation an hour ago, you said this guy looked at my LinkedIn profile, you know, and that’s interesting, isn’t it? Yeah. So, you know, we let the guy know we’ve seen him and we start to understand what that guy’s about. We start to understand what, what he’s achievements are, where he is in the business. We see if we can find him on Twitter, we see if we can find him on Facebook, we get to know what his interests are. It’s easy for me. If I say to somebody, by the way, I know tissue, we’re already into a conversation, which can then go on to onto business. And that’s a bit like it used to be at the golf club, you know, walking into the golf club and saying, oh, Friday, you’re doing business was often the opening line to something you wanted to sell it. Right. I’m going to have one of those horrible coughs, dry throat. Sorry. That’s not COVID. I thought I had something in there that just reminded me of something. I heard something yesterday. I think it was well, maybe it was this morning.
Whenever I hear the, the term COVID-19 unexpected here… Now, remember you said that I saw that sometime not quite amusing response. I don’t know. There we go. So basically, you built through social selling, you’re building a familiarity with the person before you even get to the person and you don’t, you don’t throw what you know about him or her in that face, but you’ll remember it influence so that we, we brought on just last month to do a job for one of the, one of the manufacturers that we deal with. And I said, I’ll go and find out about her. And I find out about it. And she was ill at the time essentially. And you know, we have, well, we have a relationship now, a familiarity simply because I noticed, I think on Facebook that she was ill, even though we were dealing with her somewhere over here on LinkedIn and Twitter
And I didn’t spot it. So it’s because we were engaging with her in a, in a conversation on LinkedIn where she hadn’t mentioned that she was ill. Yeah. Or she’d had an accident. And you were engaging with her on a different platform where she’d mentioned that she, so it’s, it’s quite interesting when you see the difference between one platform to another. Yeah. Like, like just today, for example, I posted social selling is…
I posted a video. I was in my car. I’d just been for a walk and I posted that on Facebook. Yeah. And all my private YouTube channel, but I wouldn’t put that on Influential Visions. Right. YouTube. And I wouldn’t put it on LinkedIn and I wouldn’t put it on Twitter because it’s, I’d rather keep my Facebook as being a bit more familiar and a bit more fun and upbeat. But that’s how I personally run what I’m doing. Everybody’s different in how they do everything. And it’s up to someone to give them some advice, to help them make a decision as to how they post and where they post and what they post. Right.
Okay. So basically go and surround the person that you are looking to engage with socially. And I’ve talked about business to business. Now, go ahead and go surround the person, go and find out what is Facebook says. If you can go ahead and say it, go ahead and see if you can find him on Instagram. She didn’t find that one interest on Pinterest cracking on Pinterest, finding on LinkedIn. For sure. See if you find him on Twitter, start to understand what’s coming out from this person. Maybe nothing’s coming out from this person. I don’t know, but basically find out all about before you start to engage. That’s the first trick. Now, after that, it’s a question of not rushing in like, you know, I’m writing a blog at the moment, which will probably publish through through Influential Visions, which is all about the offshoring outsourcing scenario.
You know, the world is full of people who want to develop the, for me, not many of them find out on stuff to be developed before they sell. Give me a sales page. The qualification process in the heads of these people is will I engage with them on LinkedIn? Well, you know, I’ve got 17,000 followers or something on LinkedIn. So it’s 70,000 connections on LinkedIn or something like that. My attitude is on LinkedIn is always being engage with you. And there’s a good reason for that, by the way, which is more than, I’m a nice guy, because if I engage with them, get to be me, I’m second level to all those connections as well, which makes make my reach enormous 17,000 direct connections with all the next level connections they’re gone. And the ability for me to message people if I want to do with my, my shirt, with my search criteria on, on sales now.
So navigate you in this case, it gives me a second level of reach. I don’t know what the number is. It’s resilience. Yeah. So that’s why I said, that’s why I’m doing not because I think, well, this guy’s trying to sell me some software from the Indian subcontinent. I must talk to him. The next thing that happens when I engage with him and well, over 50% of cases, I get a slam dunk. I do this by please. Can I have a telephone conversation? Yeah, I’ll be on the phone all damn day. If I responded to every one of them. And I normally give them a response, which is, I’m glad to be connected to with you, but you haven’t even asked if I’ve got anything to be developed before. You’re telling me what you can do. So you know, the whole process he’s naive in the extreme and I’m blogging about you. Currently. It will be a long blog, which I’ll probably have to break up into episodes, but you know, that, that whole way people think that what you do is you get, will meet, to find people who you think might be interested in your stuff.
And then you give them a sales pitch back. It’s like walking into a bar and then starting a sales pitch with a Flipboard on the counter. It’s crazy. These people are, they’re not, they’re not badly. They’ve got bad intent, just that they’re all stupid in the extreme to waste their time and waste my time, doing what they do. Then they should be asking me the question. You know, I’m, I’m the, I’m the main manager, the main administrative behind the group of what software as a service now 117,000 people or something on the main manager on that, what they should be saying to me to say to me, do you want any software developed for, and then comes to title? The software is service group on LinkedIn. They cleared automated age because it says software over within LinkedIn. And I go back and say, do you know what LinkedIn is?
Do you know what a LinkedIn group is? Why would I want to be developing software? If I have 50,000 people who do by the way. But you know, asking me that question, you’re trying to thrust me that a pie that says you’ve decided that I should buy your stuff right now. You’re pissing me off in a big way. I don’t follow them. I just, them a slight backhander and tell them to go away, go away, come back. When you’ve, when you’ve learned how to do your thing. So a lot of people are in on this social selling thing. You haven’t got the faintest idea. What it really means what they should be doing is figuring out who I influenced, figuring out what business interests I’ve got and say, oh, by the way, on your Influential Visions Podcast, do you need some kind of audience monitoring device? Because we do those. That’s what they should be doing. Not saying, well, I’m bound. Thank you. Ma’am why don’t you buy my stuff? It’s crazy…
I echo that completely. Like literally it happens to me every week. Yeah.
What time do we say something to me? Eight times a day at the moment. Wow. Literally eight times day.
You know, what’s funny though, is I, what made me smile the other days this, so I connected with this, with this lady before. So I sent her a request. She connected with me. No, before she accepted it, she said, I don’t want to buy whatever you’re selling. I don’t want to buy it. I don’t need it. And that was her first message to me. Yeah. So I asked her to connect with me. And then before she accepted it, she said, whatever you’re selling, I don’t want to buy it. I said, hold on a minute, we deal with big corporations. I’m not trying to sell you anything. Yeah. And, and she accepted my request right away and we became friends. Right. But like that, you know, that’s one option. That’s one way you could potentially do it. But it depends. It’s a funny old game that really?
Yeah. But I think they, I think the key is going to the question about social selling, start with what you’ve got. Use your brains in the same way you always did when you were selling, you know, typewriters on the high street. If you’re that old and figure out who’s got need for a typewriter, not simply to tell every possibility they need a time writer, figure out where the need is going, serve the need, do all the research. You can. There’s more research available through, through the social business networks than there ever was. Find out who you’re selling to find out what their interests are, find out what makes them tick, the marriage, find the golf family, find out just as much as you can. And then go on with conversation with them, not in a obsequious way, in an intelligent way, over the conversation and somewhere down the track. So by the way, I’m interested in selling you some stuff. Are you interested? This is why I do what I think you might want you to know. It’s a pretty, a pretty rudimentary way to put it. But that’s what social selling has always been to me.
Yeah. Well, I’m what I’m really enjoying is the strategic placement of content. That’s something that fits into this well. And you know, I think I’m writing a blog around that. Are they actually at the moment around how people just post content and they, and they basically post company content and how that actually has damaged the, the, the whole thing for businesses. Yeah, because few years ago, that’s, that was the history. When people decided they get a jump on social media, then the marketing manager said, right, you need to be on social media, go and sell this stuff, go and promote this stuff. And then they started promoting all this company content without building relationships. And that was the biggest problem that existed in the beginning. But obviously we’ve kind of come around from there and we’ve come to the point where people are like right now, they’re very worried. You know, you’ve got big security vendors who are saying, no, sorry, you’re not posting anything right now. Don’t engage with anyone about anything publicly at all because of the situation where we’re at right now. So, I think it’s a very, very strategic play right now for the medium to long term security of the business and the mistakes that can be made can be very, very big. Right?
I hadn’t really heard the word content in a meaningful way until two, three or four years ago. I mean, I’m sure it would be used in the meeting. Yeah. Quite a lot, but I never really understood what content was. And I went to see a very charming lady who was the managing director for the company, which is now part of IBM. I didn’t mention a name. I’m shying well away from mentioning any of the vendors names I mentioned IBM, but this company. That’s part of a big part of that. And now she said, content is king. I was, you’ve got to get the content mind. Well, I thought I’d go, go and figure out what she really meant. She was a true-blue marketeer. And I was, you know, I was a homegrown marketer. Content was, I thought, well, that’s not true content. Isn’t king context is king content. The prince context is king. If you present anything to someone out of context, you are wasting your time. So if you don’t get the context right, for something that you’re going to present content valuable, but in the wrong place, at the wrong time, in the wrong arms, it’s just a waste of time and money. So context that’s one of my epithets of the last 25 years, really context is king content. Important context is king.
They’re always telling me that. And you’re right, because if you, if you don’t, if you don’t give them context, they’re just like, well, what, what’s this guy talking about? What’s this lady talking about? Yeah. It’s completely irrelevant. Isn’t it?
Yeah. Well, it can be. So it’s really important in social selling to get the context, right? If I’m going to talk to you initially about your golf or your ski or your football preferences, I’ve got to know what I’m talking about. You know, if, if I’m going to, if I’m going to start to engage with somebody on the Metro shrieking circuit player, I’m a logician can play. I probably played it badly 10 times, my whole life. I’m not going to go. I’m not going to talk to him on that basis. She’s got no authority skiing. I’ve got some authority golf. I used to have football. You know, other policies, I’m being a Burnley supporter. But the reality is if you’re going to have a conversation with somebody, who’s going to be meaningful, it’s got to be meaningful for you or meaningful for him or, or her. Otherwise you’re just wasting your time. You are not going to gain the respect. Somebody says to me, oh, I’ll let you share skiing. Mike, what do you thinking about next season? Now I can talk to him quite, you know, quite authoritatively. Well, I think the options are for going to north America or, you know, going to the Alps or going off to Eastern Europe or whatever it might be. I can speak with some authority. So don’t when you’re social selling, don’t get yourself into water where you’re, you’re not going to be able to swim.
Like an idiot
Well, not only look like you, you are, but you know, you’re going to lose a first fence. You’re going to fall at the first fence where you got to do is, you know, if you were in, if you went into a bar right now and you knew there was a guy in the bar who wants to buy some stuff from you, you wouldn’t go and walk up to him and say, Hey, I understand you want to buy some stuff. You say, hello, how are you doing? How are you doing? I hear that, big, the golf club. And that’s what people in the social space fail to do. And you know, social selling is about surrounding the person, not, not aggressively, but surrounding them in the sense that you understand everything that you possibly can. That means something to them, what they are focused on, what matters to them and then take it from there. Yeah.
And think about these, think about these endorphins that we’re, that we’re giving people. And every time we’d like something, every time we comment on something, every time we favourite something that they’ve put out there, you know, or we engage in a meaningful way with that, that gives them endorphins. And those are feel good hormones, right? And, and, and you know, that benefits their brain. So eventually they get to talk to you or, or, but you can also do that with content. If the content is good and you’ve already made contact with them, we need to take it easy. You know, you don’t need to hard sell anymore. Like hard selling is unfortunately have come from hard sales backgrounds, or they’ve been trained by someone that knows about push selling. And then they’ve, they’ve come into social media and said, right, you need to go and push these people to buy this, but you don’t even know what they want.
So my mind is about solutions. That’s, that’s my mind. It’s like you see where their company’s going. You know, you know, probably more about their company than they do, because you’ve been working with that company for maybe 25 years or 20 years, or your network has, and you turn around and you just watch it and you know exactly what they need before they even know it. But you don’t push them onto that. You try and help them to become better at what they do. You have to my mind, you have to want to give you, leave that person with a better life than before you met them. That’s my intention with everybody. Yeah. And I think if you walk into any relationship like that, even if you sell them something or you don’t, at least you’re going to be improving their life. That’s, that’s how I look at a business really, and life, you know,
One of the most important things about social media that was ever spoken to me is that you’re not only trying to influence the person that you’re in contact with. You’re really reaching beyond them to their own that network, if they think you’re okay, but they don’t want to buy your stuff or don’t want to be of service or whatever, if you think you’re okay, next time someone says, do you know anyone who can handle a podcast for me? There you go. So, you know, it’s because they like helping people as well. So, the whole thing about social, isn’t simply the first level of connections. It’s all about the next level of connections to the making, making the best impression you can on the largest network account on a one-to-one basis gives you the added value of all that one, two odds as well. So, you know, I, I’m not sure I’ve given a concise answer as to where you start, if you can get started. But I think the key issue is you start! Leave everything in a state where it’s still a healthy part of the network. So that later benefits might come from it.
Wonderful. Well, thanks Mike. That’s no, I think that’s been fantastic. And I’ll, I’ll drop some resources in, in the bottom of this. I’ve got a good blog about affinity propagation. That’s just what you’re talking about. It’s about, it’s about taking a message and pushing that message out to the right people who then share that message and that’s affinity propagation. So yeah, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll find that and drop that in the resources somewhere. If anyone wants it, when you don’t see it, if you’re listening on a platform, you can’t find it. Please message me. And I’ll, I’ll happily drop that to you, but thank you. And yeah, really appreciate your time.
Your thanks very much.
Checkout Affinity Propagation and https://legacymediahub.com/what-is-affinity-propagation/