After spending more than 25 years gaining experience in the field of sales and training, Les Adkins has become one of the industry’s leading voices marching forward into the future. His credentials, both as founder of Orange SMS, a consulting company that specializes in social media optimization and mobile and digital strategy, and as an international consultant, speaker, trainer and author, ensure that his message on the future of social media rings loud and clear.
“I think the biggest changes come where people are now looking to, ‘How do we make this all work?’ as opposed to, ‘Let’s hurry up and make sure that we have a presence on all these social media platforms.’ Les Adkins explains how, after the initial social media boom when many companies focused more on accumulating likes and amassing followers, their understanding of social media grew, which in turn has caused their priorities to shift. Now, “it’s all about creating influence,” the expert says.
Cialdini’s principles of influence, for example, establish the 6 main factors that can impact the effect one can have on others when it comes to all matters involving persuasion. Created by Dr. Robert Cialdini in his well-regarded 1984 book called simply, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion,” the six principles are reciprocity, commitment, social proof, liking, authority and scarcity and they all have a role to play as far as influence goes. But, as Les Adkins cautions, it is important to know how to benefit from this group of factors:
“If you use it for bad, it’s only going to last for a short while. If you use it for good, it will have that longevity and you’ll be able to continue using it.” Being knowledgeable in your field of expertise is essential, but so is getting respect and credibility for that knowledge. In this regard, Les gives himself as an example, referring to his reputation as “The Zig Ziglar of Social Media,” a nickname he was given by others as a result of his experience in this niche, and one that has gained additional authority due to his relationship to Tom Ziglar, the son and heir to his father’s business and sales philosophy.
Another valuable approach is the one outlined in Ned Herrmann’s Whole Brain Model, according to which customers make decisions based on four distinct thinking preferences.
“Most people don’t use just one or two or three; they might have a mixture of all three or all two or maybe even all four, and so you really have to start developing your message around those thinking preferences and understanding how those influence principles can get you an immediate loyalty factor or an immediate positive outcome to whatever it is you’re trying to achieve.” Thus, no matter what combination a customer’s thought process entails, be it fact-based or sequential, feeling-driven or intuitive, the service provider must always be able to address those specific needs in order to form the basis of a successful relationship.
Les Adkins also draws attention to the prevalence of mobile devices in today’s digital landscape. “There was a quote that came out that said that there are, at the end of 2014, more mobile devices in the world than there are people.” As the mainstream moves away from the dominance of desktops and laptops to devices that are easier to carry and use, a genuine mobile presence has become a necessity for any business that’s looking to grow.
As one of the most significant personalities working in the industry nowadays, Les Adkins has a few more projects coming up the pipeline which are aimed at continuously developing and refining his philosophy. First off, a soon to be finished revamping of his company’s website, http://www.orange-sms.com, which provides consultancy services and aims to bridge the gap between the old style of doing business and the more tech-savvy business models of today. He also plans to launch a new app for mobile devices called “APocket,” a tool through which any aspiring entrepreneur or individual can build their influence by focusing on the top 50 contacts that can help him or her grow and develop both in business and in life. In addition, he is planning on organizing a workshop seminar around April in order to impart some of the insights gained through all his years of experience.
With a bright future and lofty goals in mind, Les Adkins is well on his way to becoming a true social media guru, someone whose ideas and imagination can help shape the future of this increasingly important niche, as well as a creative thinker who isn’t afraid to share the secrets that make up the magic behind social media.