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Social Isn't Another Chocolate With a Different Wrapper

Often we talk to people about social media, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and internal social such as Slack, Chatter, Yammer etc.

People talk about them tactically, it’s all about arranging for your mates to meet at the pub, cat photos or taking photos of your lunch. Has anything changed? I had a comment on a LinkedIn post today that mentioned that social was “Another Chocolate With a Different Wrapper”.

More than 4.1 billion people are now online, meaning that 54 percent of the world’s total population is using the internet in July 2018.

The number of internet users around the world grew by eight percent over the past year, with growth boosted by accelerating adoption across Africa and South Asia.

The number of people using social media continues to grow at an impressive rate too, with the latest data showing that global users increased by 11 percent in the year to July 2018.

Roughly 300 million people came online in the twelve months to July 2018, equating to an average of almost 10 new users every second. With 328 million new users adopting social media in the past 12 months, we’re still seeing additions of almost one million new social media users every day, Well over 3.3 billion people now use social media each month, with at least 92 percent of them accessing social media via mobile devices. With 562 Million on the professional business network LinkedIn. This for a business is a massive network in which to target with your message.

We work with companies creating a social media strategy. This is often assumed to be something to do with marketing and about how much, what and what time they post. And there is the first mistake people often make, that Social is purely a tactic that marketing use, they post stuff and hope something happens.

If you start probing then companies will admit that social is in marketing, sales, customer service , human resources, procurement, Finance, I could go on. But the only department that people really “see” is marketing.

It’s watching the “penny drop” when you explain to people that social isn’t about, “sales” or about “marketing” in facts it’s about the whole of the business. Then when you explain how bringing all of these departments together under one strategy, that people start to see the power.

Related: Is Spending Piles of Money on Marketing Just a Waste?

Humans are after all a naturally social bunch, ever since we started to make ourselves known on the Serengeti in Africa, we realised two things. 1. We need to keep moving and 2. We formed a team. And we have been forming tribes, unions, committees ever since. To be social to be human. Social media is just a natural extension of our natural need to communicate.

In my recent conversation I had on Digital Transformations when I asked why digital transformations failed the response was “siloed thinking”. So often I was told that IT did IT stuff, Marketing did Marketing stuff, Sales did Sales stuff, etc and it was the Board (C-Suite in the US) that needed to bring it all together.

So Where Do We Go From Here?

C-Level and Boards need to understand the power of social media. This is not about getting CFOs to Tweet, it is getting them to understand the business case and power of using social across the business. Increasing revenue and sales to increasing competitive advantage .

All R evolutions Start Through Small Changes

Getting your board (C-Suite) together for a day to take then through a number of exercises so they understand how the world has changed and how social media now powers businesses across the globe.