My friend and former business partner, Gary Goldhammer, pointed me to a “must read” blog post the other day via Twitter - you know the way most tweet-peeps do – using one of those short untypeable urls. so followers can follow his link and Gary can check in on how many of us believed him.
And from there, there was the usual social media sequence: embedded in the author’s post was the Powerpoint Mr. Armano used during his talk. Embedded on that Powerpoint was a link to the document sharing site, Slideshare, where I could download the presentation. From there I could “like” it, “share” it, comment on it or link through to check out Edelman’s other presentations and where I could “follow” Edelman Digital’s posting activity so I’d be alerted when new stuff was uploaded there for my enlightenment.
The end game of Mr. Armano’s talk (and that which comprises much of today’s professional social media zeitgeist) is how marketers might best go about using Engagement to Sell people – and ultimately reap the benefits of doing so (from sales to shareholder value).
Gary, Edelman Digital, and Mr. Armano are doing so and reaping the benefits.
And lucky me. I have the skills to take up Gary and Mr. Armano on their information offers, and Edelman gets one more marketplace reputation or popularity point among us onliners in the guise of a follower or commentor or a tweet or a share.
But here’s the deal - today, right now, a Very Large Percentage of people - inside every kind of organization – giant, small and in between, and Buying People, Selling People, Servicing People and Governing People do not have the knowledge and skills to participate in, lead, implement, strategize or evaluate social media.
If Engagement is so vital to the marketplace (and it is), and resources are (necessarily) shifting “online,” brands ought to look very hard and very soon at who is NOT there to Engage or to be Engaged.
-- Who among their customers is not there?
-- Who is “not there” among their employees?
-- Who is “not there” among their leaders?
Who is “not there” because they don’t have the skills to lead or influence or participate in the connected marketplace?
And the answer is “most people,” “most employees,” “most leaders,” “most consumers.”
So I ask - or rather throw out the challenge – if social media Engagement is so vital could just ONE of those social media initiatives a brand undertakes be about bringing people IN? Not another initiative to get a like, follower or mention but another Person to Engage or to be Engaged.
Could it be about not just hiring the best social media guru out there, but training employees and giving the organization - and the Employee People in it - 21st century skills security?
Could just one be not only co-opting an online community of people already there, but building up the community of people who can be there with some initiative aimed at giving them either access, knowledge or skills?
Could it be about engaging with high schools, colleges and universities toward adding digital skills and professional social media skills into curriculum? Or supporting organizations like P21 (Partnership for 21st Century Skills)?
Or, what about sponsoring an online community or non-profit group trying to get people up to speed so they can reap the benefits of being connected and have some kind of skills security? I’ll bet WeAreVisible could use a boost.
Or, maybe it is simply authentically supporting digital literacy as public policy and taking a hard look at their own efforts toward Net Neutrality and broadband public policy. Does their stand on these really synch up with their online Engagement and Community Management activities?
Engage, manage and build community around that, please – just a little.
Because our social media world is not “The World.” Not even close.