Everything good in life , a cool business , a great romance , a powerful social movement – begins with a conversation – Daniel H. Pink
Part of the reason for starting this blog was to share the journey Bromford are on towards becoming a social business. Two years in – what have we learned?
A social business attracts people who are passionate about what they do.
Passionate people like to talk about the difference they make.
A social business isn’t afraid about those people taking centre stage.
The experiences they create for customers result in conversations.
The conversations become the brand.
So , if Dan Pink is right , and I believe he is , why when it comes to social media do we often talk about the medium itself and not the conversation?
Let’s face it – you wouldn’t teach a child to read by explaining about the apostrophe , the semicolon and the paragraph. You’d start with the compelling story.
One of the questions I’m asked the most is “How do Bromford train people on Social Media?”
Immy is the strangest of creatures – a genuine evangelist for the power of social media for social good. But she never talks about social media.
Indeed the approach to her #MyStory workshops – which have been sweeping across Bromford Support – is unique: train people on social media without actually mentioning it.
#MyStory is built all around the person and the conversation. Who are they? What do they care about?
The medium is irrelevant. The conversation is everything.
Immy has written a brilliant post on the approach- which I urge you to read. But I want to pick out a couple of things that I think we can all learn from.
1- “Don’t be an Egg”
One of the first things #MyStory teaches is to express yourself as a person. So start with your bio. Why should someone follow you? Don’t waste time with all that guff about “these opinions are mine and not my employers” – say something useful about yourself. Here is profile of someone who has the #MyStory treatment. They make me want to know more about the person. They make me want to connect.
2 – “Don’t be Corporate”
Trying to get people to adopt a corporate tone of voice on SM is what scares people off. It would be like me trying to talk in a Welsh accent. I’d find it uncomfortable. I’d probably get it wrong. And I’d feel a bit silly.
Let people be themselves. If you don’t it will come across as less than authentic. But , as Immy said to me , ” you have to be brave , you have to step out of your comfort zone. As management you are allowing people freedom, cultivating creativity and ultimately opening colleagues to a whole new world, you have to trust your culture and your colleagues to let it thrive.”
2 - Stop thinking social media and start thinking people
I asked Immy for her take on People Powered Social Media. This is what she said:
“In order to get a great wave of communicators, you have to tap into their passions, why they come to work, what they care about inside and outside. Once you look at the person, invest in their development, care about what they care about and then put social into the mix, you will have engaged colleagues that are content creators – inspiring others in the world around them. It’s self sustainable like this, they will get it, they will look at new innovations themselves, they won’t need to be spoon fed, they won’t need top down instructions about how they should talk about their work and their stories. They will engage with the world around them and ensure they are relevant to what people are talking about.”
There a million and one self proclaimed Social Media experts out there but I don’t think you will come across much wiser advice than that.
Immy has provided a wonderful list of Bromford Support Colleagues who are all telling #MyStory. Over 160 of them. That sounds like the start of a powerful social movement.
Maybe if Dan Pink did social media training – it would be #MyStory