by Rod Rodriguez
“Good sales people sell value and social media is the best place to find this value because of its transparency” — Gary Vaynerchuk
“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is — it is what consumers tell each other it is.” — Scott Cook
“What do you think Jesus would twitter, ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone’ or ‘Has anyone seen Judas? He was here a minute ago.” — Chris Cornell
by Rod Rodriguez
Around my group of friends and coworkers it’s no secret that I’m passionate about business, marketing, and sales; especially when its pertains to Veterans. During a recent conversation, the topic of social media came up and how important it is to the success of today’s businesses. I brought up a multi-million-dollar (perhaps billion dollar) tech giant whose social media engagement was to put it mildly, garbage. They didn’t seem to care about engaging the world through any social media platforms with the exception of Facebook and LinkedIn, and even those were obvious cookie cutter posts that screamed faceless corporation. I didn’t like the image the company projected through its lack of social media engagement and felt that a turnaround on this would be a great idea. I was rebutted with the argument that they didn’t need it, that they were so huge already that business came to them, that they didn’t need to go find it. This argument hit me hard because I realized that most likely it was THAT very attitude, that idea, that was the very reason this nameless company wasn’t using social media. Someone thought they were too big for it, that social media engagement was for companies vying for business, not for a company whose bussiness was sought after.
“Too big to fail” is a term we’ve come to associate with the poor business practices of financial institutions that seemed to be too wealthy and too large to ever consider being susceptible to volatile markets to a degree that they would crumble requiring bail outs from the federal government in order to survive. This same expression could be used to describe large corporations outside of the financial industry that many thought were too large to succumb to modern business practices and marketing. Sears, Kmart, and recently Toys R Us, have all found themselves being cut down to shadows of their former glory or completely put out of business. So, what does this have to do with social media? A crappy Instagram account was hardly the downfall of Sears.
The moment you think you CAN’T fail, you’re setting yourself up to do just that. Social media has become more than just a series of teen friendly apps, its become the new golf course! Million dollar deals are now made on the DM (Direct Message) on any social media platform you can think of. I’ve booked podcast interviews, discussed sponsorships, and have exchanged messages with business leaders, educators, writers, actors, just about anyone over Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Snapchat. Whether you’re making $0 or a billion, you should ALWAYS be striving to be the best in your industry and that means you HAVE to be using the newest tools of business.
If there is one lesson we all need to learn in business and in life in general is that no one is too big to fail. We are never so successful that we become immune to the potential of disaster, the worst part of that is ignoring modern trends means that any failure you meet is simply self-imposed. Large corporations need to wake up to the fact that there are some hungry players out there and they are small, light, and WILL out maneuver you through the use of smart social media engagement which will lead to sales, which will lead to more resources with which to dethrone whoever is king of the mountain at that moment. No matter how large your business becomes, think like a struggling entrepreneur! Always be on the lookout for the next competitive edge. Otherwise you’re begging to be on the homepage of a prominent business website with the title, “What Happened?”
Rod Rodriguez is a 13 year combat Veteran of the US Army. He holds a B.S. in US Intelligence Studies and an M.S. in Mental Health Counseling. Rod is also the host of The After Action Review (AAR) Podcast, a show dedicated to Veteran entrepreneurship. Visit the The AAR Podcast Facebook page atwww.facebook.com/theaarpodcast and atwww.theaarpodcast.com