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Adopting a social mindset

Brook Bentley
bbentley@nnbw.biz
Mark Babbitt
Courtesy Mark Babbitt |

“Social today is a mindset,” Mark Babbitt, leadership and career mentor, blogger, speaker and author, explained.

Babbitt discussed social media and how it has created a new way of leading organizations, communicating with customers, engaging with employees and building community allowing companies to shift from the industrial age into the social age.

Differentiating employees and leaders with an industrial versus a social mindset can be like looking for a blue unicorn, Babbitt explained. Some characteristics of this blue unicorn include being an active listener, a relentless giver, mindful and present, a builder of open circles and a chief facilitation officer.

“Their focus is on getting the right people, in the right room, at the right time,” Babbitt said.

“It only takes one person,” Babbitt said about the social mindset shift.

Babbitt focused on the importance of a company identifying what they are really good at and knowing whom their market is. Brand reputation, employee engagement, social media and content marketing are part of what he considers important. He highlighted social selling, meaning building a relationship first and then finding a mutually beneficial solution rather than social spamming.

“If you want people to know what you do, what you’re really good at, you have got to get online. You just have to,” Babbitt emphasized.

Consumers crave objective information about items and purchases; Babbitt calls it the testimonial economy. One of the benefits of social leadership in a company is creating brand ambassadors via friends, colleagues and people who use a product rather than relying on celebrity endorsements, which are proven to have lost their effect in marketing a product.

Companies need to be socially aware, and work to move away from “the way we have always done it” logic, and instead build great relationships that drive people to stay with a company. “Start to develop customers for life,” Babbitt said.

Babbitt addressed Millenials and the importance of the social mindset to them. He explained they were not the ones to invent it, but they were the first to have access and take advantage of it.

“They are really the first generation that has allowed themselves to enjoy their work,” Babbitt said.

Bringing a company social is a new concept and inspiring companies to adopt a social mindset is hard. “You have to start hiring for a culture you want to see three years from now,” Babbitt emphasized.

Babbitt addressed the concern that exists with the known information that Millenials leave jobs after about three years and explained that engaged Millenials will stay at a job an average of seven years, reminding that Millenials are 35 and have cars, families and need for stability. He mentioned companies that are working with this known information and moving people within their job roles every couple years to counter their desire to leave the company.

Social media presents a forum for people to talk good about a company, and at times also talk poorly of a company, but as Babbitt explained, that is also an opportunity to turn a person’s experience around and become a champion for said company.

“It only takes one person,” Babbitt said to the point of the social mindset shift occurring at a company.

Mark Babbit spoke at the Reno-Tahoe American Marketing Association luncheon on May 17. Babbitt is president of Switch & Shift, which is a company devoted to helping leaders and employees switch from an Industrial Age to a Social Age mindset so that their organizations can shift into a whole new level of prosperity.


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