EDUCATE OR WIN?

You Can Educate

You Can Educate

You Can Educate or You Can Win!

Or You Can Win

Or You Can Win

These two concepts seem to get confused in today’s modern world of Information. I’m all about Educating, and come from a family of Educators with a mother who has a Ph.D in Adult Education, so I am all about Education – but recently I attended a meeting of a certain political party (if you follow me on other sites you will see where I lean but for this article we will keep it generic). And they were asking how they could get younger people to attend their meetings. They kept saying that if they could get them to the meetings and then educate them they would see the light. This reminded me of Albert Einstein’s quote:

Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.

That is what this particular group has continued to do. I had to say something and stated that if young people came to that meeting they would not come back. You need to meet them where they are and make the message about them or at least as it relates to them. One of the leaders of the group stated that if he could just get his nieces and nephews to get off their phone so he could talk to them… and I rebutted and said you are missing the point. You have to be where they are, on the smart phone or tablet, to get your message across. Oh and it has to be FUN, not stuffy or boring. This didn’t seem to go over well but afterwards several people came up to me and said they wanted me to continue to come back, they liked what I said and I even got invited to another political party meeting.

I made the statement at that time “You can either Educate or You Can Win – You can’t do both!” After making that statement I started really thinking about it and how it relates to both political messages and ideology and to business in general. I see a lot of people and businesses, including my company, trying to educate but not shooting to win. I see other companies that shoot to win.

So before I lose you I do believe you can do both but you must first win before you can educate or to put it another way; you need to get their attention first before they will listen. This is a concept called “Persuasion”. No one listens unless they know the WIFM (What’s In It For Me) or in this case What’s In It For Them. And if you are going after the younger crowd you need to get their attention in 140 characters or less.

So in the case of Educating or Winning there are two distinct strategies:

  1. When Educating you give them information that is historical, fact based, logical and hope that will lead them to a conclusion to move in the direction you are trying to get them to go.
  2. When trying to Win you give them simple concepts that they can use right away and also show them how it affects their lives in the present and make it rewarding and FUN!

The above is definitely a simplification of the two strategies and I will elaborate in tomorrow’s blog on the “Strategy of Winning”.

Zig Ziglar Winning quote

For those of you who followed me or read my stuff in the past it has been awhile since I sat down and wrote a blog post. I am back and hope to gain you back as followers and hope to add some new people along the way. I have been absent too long and I choose to develop a habit of WINNING starting today!

LA_ retouch glasses

 

Les Adkins CEO and Founder Orange SMS, Serial Entrepreneur, Adventurer, and co-founder APocket (coming to your mobile device soon) #ChangeTheWorld

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Do you have a Strong Social Media Consultant?

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction” Albert Einstein

I wonder what Albert Einstein would of said about Social Media today? His quote above is appropriate because Social Media Consultants, strong ones, tend to go in the opposite direction of accepted, traditional,  business practices.

So continuing with our next 5 Signs “You’ve Got a Strong SM-(Social Media) – Consultant or Agency”  Please see the first 15 signs of 25 in previous blogs on MySylbert.com

Here we go:

“16.) Listens to you when you are discussing your challenges (example: Connie Reece)”

This is a very important one. Make sure that the consultant is using a methodology similar to POST created by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff  that can be found in the book Groundswell.

P eople = audience

O bjective = what do they want their audience to do, what behavior change?

S trategy = the strategy to affect a behavior change and action and build trust

T echnology = implementing the strategy where your audience is.

The only way you can do this effectively is to listen to the challenges and truly listen through active listening not waiting to sell you their platform.

“17. Helps and guides clients so that they can understand the benefit of social media and implement it properly (themselves) (example: Amber Naslund)”

This one goes against what most so-called consultants are telling you, but the goal of a strong consultant should be to build an internal team around them that allows the company, or organization, to implement and maintain any social media strategy themselves, internally.

They should work with those currently involved in the company’s social media implementation and help them improve or focus what they are already doing into a true strategic part of the companies communication to employees, vendors, prospects and customers.

“18. Knows that social networking works best when they are conversing, sharing, and being human (i.e. doesn’t self promote)” (example Chris Brogan)

Remember there are other ways to promote your organization and business. Social Media is more about building Trust, and this involves adding value to your audience without self promotion.

I was asked the other day about companies that do Social Media but provide a proprietary platform. My thought is that although some of them may provide great knowledge their ultimate goal is to sell their own platform whether it fits your needs or not. Beware the platform based Social Media pitch.

“19. Educates clients on understanding that they no longer own or control their brand and educate them on how to create customer evangelists (example: Ben Mcconnell & Jackie Huba)”

This is a hard one,  but one that any strong consultant should be conveying to their client. As we have said previously it goes against that old traditional business model of control, control, control and protect your brand.

“20. Won’t act as your social media ‘voice’ or ghostwrite for you (example Laura Bergells)

This debate is continuing as I write this, as there are several agencies doing this and making quite a lot of money. The question is really of time and resources for the company. I do agree with #20 very strongly and if you must have another agency or someone else write your posts, make sure they are writing “on your behalf” and that is stated clearly. Don’t let them make it look like it is coming from you!

Work with a consultant to define your audience, form your message and strategy but ultimately you or your internal staff need to do the actual implementation. You can always consult but beware having someone else do all of it for you.

Tomorrow we will disclose the final 5. Have a great day!

Les Adkins –  Orange SMS CEO Social Media Strategist, speaker, consultant, author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn