Picture this: you are a company talking the talk of social. You claim to understand it. You say you are part of that movement. You “preach” it.
And then something happens: one of your employees goes to visit a client and he knows little about your competition, little about what social really means, little about the recent trends or moves or articles or discussions.
And there you have it, the moment of revelation (for the client, that is). On that moment you have proved to the client that he gets social, he lives social, he uses social to form a network of connections that can help him, teach him, make him understand the current challenges. You don’t.
You prove to him the value of using social media to keep up-to-date with the topics that should interest you both (you more than him, actually). You prove to him the value of using social technologies on the inside, sharing the torrent of knowledge formed on the outside with co-workers inside his company.
He now knows the he can come to you armed: with knowledge, with understanding, with experience, with the network, with the resources, the posts, the whitepapers, the videos, the webinars, the livestreams, the conversations on Twitter, Facebook, Google +. And he can even, secretly desiring that you really really got it, give some tips to your employee, explain to him the current state of your competition, of the market, of the challenges… (what a surreal moment!).
The only problem is that in the end both will lose: he loses his faith in you as a partner that gets it, that could help him understand a little bit more, while you are constantly losing by not embracing social on the inside, by not stimulating or empowering your people to get it & to get involved!
You will keep losing it… until you walk the talk.