Known to many as the “Zig Ziglar of Social Media”, Les Adkins helps Businesses Bridge the Gap between Old Corporate and Tech-Savvy Business Models. In addition to his featured articles in such media sources as ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, he’s been an international speaker, trainer, and inspiration to many-certainly a perpetuation of his primary influences, Zig Ziglar and Les Brown. Today, he talks with Craig Williams of Global Authority Agency about where social media is going and that it is still not too late to jump on board.
Craig: This is Craig Williams and today I am talking with the CEO and founder of Orange SMS, Les Adkins. Les is based out of Atlanta, Georgia and he works with the social media strategies in helping companies build up their mobile and social media strategy. Just tell me a little bit about Orange SMS, what you do and how you got started.
Les: What we do is, in a nutshell, help organizations with their social business strategy. I was recently … Actually, just last week or two weeks ago I believe, at a Mobility LIVE Conference 2014 and one of the things that they kept saying about companies … Companies have already bypass social media. They’ve used it and tried to use it and now what they’re really looking for or need is a social business strategy that fits over their corporate strategy.
What we’ve been doing since day one is trying to help organizations understand that social media truly is a strategy, it needs to be wrapped around their corporate objectives as oppose to just a single, “I use social media for marketing or I use social medial for sales,” that it truly is an overarching strategy.
My company goes into an organization and helps them form and then helps them map out their social media campaign on how to build that brand, increase that strategy and increase their goals for the company.
Craig: You kind of feel like when it started, because social media was new and nobody really knew which platforms we’re going to take off or how to use it, it was sort of piecemeal for these companies. Somebody kind of along the way said, “Hey, maybe we should join this LinkedIn thing.” Then, “Oh yeah, we should use Twitter.”
Craig: Now, you’ve figured out that this needs a little more control because it really comes down to how you’re building your brand and your image.
Les: Correct. Also, one of the big things too is the laws for social media are different from each country. There’s a supreme court law passed here in the US that stated that anything said in social media is a form of free speech so therefore a company that has done badly and people were talking about them can’t sue for liable, but in other countries like Turkey and Brazil where they control it a little bit more, you’ve got to be more careful if you’re in those countries speaking bad about a company.
One of the big things too is understanding how to have really good social media policies and understand the landscape per se of social media around the world.
Craig: Yeah, because if you did know that that wasn’t protected that that could be a big shock.
Craig: Let’s talk a little bit more about these companies themselves. I know in the beginning most companies is sort of like an ad hoc task like that would be added to somebody’s job, “Oh hey, we need this to be taken care of you, take care of our social media.”
Now that they really, in the last, I don’t know, maybe few years, it really started to move away from that because there’s a whole real mean for this to be something that someone does for a company full time. Tell me a little bit about where you see all this going.
You went to this conference and they’ve definitely pointed out something that it sounds like that you agree with. The landscape is changing tremendously and so your company is able to come in and really help these companies get away from that ad hoc environment and to understand really what they need to do. Tell me a little bit about in what ways that you help the company?
Les: That’s a great beginning of what we’ve done and the interesting thing is we’ve been doing this almost since day one about six years ago, but nobody really knew what it was from a strategy point of view or thought they needed it like you said, they’d give it to the intern and say, “Okay, you’re in charge over social media. Go make us a Facebook page.”
What we actually have done … We partnered with some other organizations, a company called Aquent and a company called Siteminis and have developed some training sessions and some consulted accessions that go in and talk to executives about what their overarching goals are for the organization and then we do a two day campaign or two day workshop that will get everyone involved who touches their social media or touches their social business strategy and get them on the same page.
If you look at companies right now, the big thing that’s happening is the executives are looking at social media as possibly a branding so then they put it into marketing, but then sales uses it as a sales tool to reach their customers. You may have four or five departments that are very siloed doing different things, putting out different post and sometimes putting out different mixed messages. What we do is … I’m sorry?
Craig: That’s never good where one department is not talking to the other.