Have many sales is your social media strategy giving your business?

Is social media something you love or could you just not be bothered?

Is the time and effort you spend on social media paying dividends? Are you getting visitors to your website? Are you getting conversions or sales as a result of the time spent on social media?

A fundamental change in the way we communicate

Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogging, Instagram and many others apparently accounts for more than 50% of online communication. That’s pretty incredible when you consider that this is measured against email.

Source Facebook

There is no doubt that social media is powerful. I live in East London, South Africa on the east coast of Africa. A while ago a very popular beachfront village, Cape St Francis, which is about 400km away from me, was hit by devastating fires. Over 70 luxury  thatch-roofed homes were destroyed by fire within a few hours. I was able to see the devastation immediately on Facebook as concerned residents and onlookers posted pictures of the blazing inferno and posted away.

The next morning the local newspaper, the Daily Dispatch, didn’t run the story as the fire had started after their printing deadline. So social media brings instant news from sources we trust (our social media contacts).

People faced with a story like this, comment and repost the images and spread the news amongst their social media circles and the story spreads out in ever broadening circles. So each of us, play a part in actively engaging with and spreading in this unfolding story.

Now if we could harness that power of communications in our businesses we would really be using social media to our advantage.

So what’s the catalyst

In the St Francis tragedy example, people were united by a cause, a communal feeling of horror at the speed and devastation of the runaway fire and by the human impact that it had on the many people who were affected.

So how do you put a fire under the social media strategy in your business?

You start a movement

Michael Robert in his cult classic “Strategy Pure and Simple” called it a driving force. He went on to name 12 possible driving forces within any organisation. Gary Sinek in “Start with Why” called it the “Why” of any business, Seth Godin calls it building a tribe and Rich Schefren calls it starting a cause or movement.

So if we are to be successful in the social media environment we need to be able to articulate the “why” of our business in a moral frame.

Case Study

Image courtesy of www.sleekgeek.co.za

A South African, Elan Lohmann did just that.

He gave up his job to build a cause or movement after he experienced a life changing transformation. Elan was a podgy, but highly successful digital media head at one of the countries largest publishing groups. He dragged his podgy body off to a gym and started eating properly. He became addicted to the transformation he managed to create with his body.

So, Lohmann resigned and decided that he would use his four hundred odd thousand Rand of savings to sustain his living expenses whilst he built a movement and so Sleekgeek was formed.

His defined goal is to influence 100 000 South Africans to live healthier lives, to inspire them to train, to lose weight and to eat properly.

“I aim to combine my  Digital experience with the health and fitness industry to achieve this. As yet I do not even have a plan …or whether it is a far-fetched notion which honestly feels scary and beautiful at the same time.”

Here is a man who has had the balls to give up everything, launch himself into the unknown, based on his vision and a moral crusade to make the world a better place for at least 100 000 people.

Elan does this with confidence because he knows he is going to make a difference to others lives. He says it’s the universe calling. Maybe it is, maybe it’s a hell of an ego trip to have 100 000 people following you… I am not sure.

What I am sure of, is that Elan has articulated a cause, one worth fighting for that resonates with all geeks who know that sitting behind a computer screen all day munching on crisps and drinking Coke and forgoing daily exercise is a one-way slide to obesity.

Now I have no doubt that along the way Elan is going to make money from this project. Imagine building 100 000 followers in your tribe. People who are actively wanting to pursue your goals and who look up to you are their mentor and leader.

In time, if not already, every fitness supplement manufacturer and every gym equipment manufacturer is going to be banging on his door to get involved.

With skill, Elan will be able to monetize this project and build a legacy. What an enormous ego boost that is going to be for him.

Naturally, the Twitter waves in South Africa are abuzz with the hashtag #Sleekgeek. Elan has managed to capture the hearts and imaginations of many South Africans and probably people further abroad. These people have adopted his cause, his movement and are spreading the news. Sleekgeek is big and it’s trending.

So what is your cause? What is your movement about?

Read Sleekgeek’s incredible story here

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