I recently attended the NEDMA 2012 keynote presentation given by Paul Gillin, author of “Social Marketing to the Business Customer”, and came away fascinated by the idea of “stealing” and why it may not be such a bad idea for growing your business. In fact, stealing could open up many avenues and possibilities that we as marketers haven’t thought of before.
But before you peg me as a thief, let me clarify what I mean by stealing: it is taking advantage of the information being shared freely on the web – by businesses and consumers alike - to help you keep up with the latest trends, strategies, and approaches to be smarter and more current. And giving a nod to the principle of reciprocity: give back by sharing too.
Sharing through social media channels, particularly among friends and acquaintances has become commonplace, and is burgeoning in the business world too through LinkedIn and many other business-related sites. However, I’ve been programmed from the earliest days of my career to hold tight the inner workings of my company’s or client’s business; whether it was the agency’s secret sauce to developing great creative, or applying unique approaches to solving business problems.
I needed to change my way of thinking and more freely share ideas and points of view, which in turn will hopefully foster smart business strategies and growth. And Paul Gillin’s presentation helped open my eyes to this opportunity.
Here are some strategies I found interesting in his presentation to help unlock and showcase your company’s expertise and ideas through sharing:
- Assign an expert within your organization to be the GURU for each discipline – have them provide content such as blogs and articles. This encourages peer to peer interaction among like-minded individuals, and establishes trust.
- Create a help desk of sorts, and invite customers and prospects to ask questions, pose a problem; and in turn the help desk will troubleshoot and create solutions for them.
- Find and train ninjas within the organization – people who can absorb knowledge and pass on that value. Experts can train those that are motivated to learn more to create a pervasive atmosphere of helping and sharing ideas with others.
- Use branded channels such as SlideShare and Scribd to share your ideas; and of course use your company blog and social media accounts.
As Paul said, share everything! With this mindset, the possibilities are endless. So, in keeping with this idea, I consider this blog my first step in sharing.