709: Employee Involvement on Social Media w/ Brian Stern

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Brian Stern, CEO of LED Supply Co..

Click here to connect with this guest on LinkedIn.

Looking for a guaranteed way to create content that resonates with your audience? Start a podcast, interview your ideal clients and let them choose the topic of the interview, because if your ideal clients care about the topic, there's a good chance the rest of your audience will care about it too. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the B tob growth show, podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. What you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources? You've come to the right place. I'm Jonathan Green and I'm James Carberry. Let's get it into the show. Welcome back to the B tob growth show. This episode is sponsored by Directive Consulting, the B Tob Search Marketing Agency. Today we are joined by Brian Stern. Brian is the CETO at led Supply Co. Brian, welcome to the show. Thank you very much for having me. That's a pleasure to have you on the show, where today we're going to be talking about employee involvement on social media and we were talking but just just before we started recording, and we've obviously talked about employee involvement at company culture. We've also talked about what companies are doing with social media. I think this is fantastic. Is a me a blending of the two, talking about okay, how do we get our employee involvement and focus that on social media? It's going to be a great topic. But of course, before we get into that, Brian, maybe you can tell us a little about what you and your team are up to these days. Yeah, it's definitely a so I started the company in two thousand and nine. We started as an led lighting manufacture kind of flip flop to what we're what we were doing and became an led lighting distributor and have primarily been doing that ever since. We've been extremely fast growing. We were on the five hundred two years running and have been on the five thousand a couple of times as well and just been trying to kind of keep the company growing over the last few years. Last year we started two different divisions of the company, Les Contracting, which is an electrical contracting division,...

...and LESC energy, which is a renewables division, basically to provide services to our existing customer base through old supply coup so we've been building those up over the last twelve months and those are starting to really get some legs as well, which has been exciting, and building up our employee our employee base within those two divisions of the company. And speaking of sort of building up your employee base, I mean obviously you've your you're a quickly growing company, which is fantastic. Part of the reason that we found you and wanted to get you on the show is because you have experience this kind of growth and at least in part it is a tributable to this idea of sort of maximizing, utilizing the employee involvement on social media. So I know we've got a sort of for points that we're going to be getting through on today's episode. But, Brian, where would you like to start? Yeah, definitely. I can kind of start with how we kind of originally formulated our social media strategy, just because it's been pretty organic since we started started the company. Social media for us was something that was always interesting, but we were unsure of kind of where was going to create the most value. A few different social media platforms for us have been the most valuable. I would say linkedin primarily has has been where we've we've seen the most value so far. But what we started to find out was that our vendors, in our customers, were paying a lot of attention to everything that we were posting. It was kind of surprising, you know, we would meet with customers, we meet with vendors, and the first, one of the first things that they would say to us is like hey, you know, saw saw updates on your linkedin profile about, you know, your new building development. And this was happening over and over again, and so we started to put more and more effort into kind of what we were doing from a social media standpoint and our marketing manager is definitely, you know, that's been one of our core focuses.

But one of the most exciting things that we started to find was that, you know, when we got our employees involved with social media posts or posted about our employees, it definitely got them excited and we found that they wanted to be more and more involved with what we were posting and how we're going about posting things. And so through that we've kind of started to develop a little bit of a strategy how we're focusing kind of our social media efforts and the types of different things that we're posting. Yeah, that was one of the very first things that I had noticed, even even when I was reaching out to you to put sort of pick your brain about what we can talk about on today's episode. It was exactly that, in employee involvement, in in the social media post and I know that one of the things that you had mentioned is that it actually shows your customers, it shows your vendors that you that you value your employees definitely. So, you know, the more we kind of get them involved and, you know, the more we post about them, I think. I think first off our employees really appreciate it, but then, you know, our customers feel more connected to the company. They get to see the different employees that are possibly working in areas of the company that they might not be working with within a daily basis, and then our vendors also see kind of how deeper organization goes and how engaged our employees are, and it's edit a remarkable amount of value to the company, to the culture and definitely has helped strengthen a lot of our customer and bender relationships. Yeah, I and one of them. Again, one of the things that you mentioned was for me, me more of a bond with your with your customer base. I mean it's enhancing that level of trust. You're putting a putting a human face to what otherwise might be, you know, more of a a morphous sort of service or product. I mean you're really putting a human spin on things exactly. I truly think that customers want to...

...feel more connected to the customer, to the vendors that they're doing business with and, you know, the easier you can make it for them to be able to do that, I think the better. And you know, because this is something that it's really you know, our social media strategy has really been formatively in the last three to five years, but over that time period we've just found a tremendous amount of interest in kind of what we're doing. You know, it's exciting that our customers want to know what the latest stuff they's are at the company, what's the next product that we're focusing on, what's you know, what's the next growth engine that's you know, led supply co is is working on? And all the time when we speak with our customers, they're bringing up to us things that we're posting on Linkedin or facebook or wherever it might be or twitter, and it's exciting to see how engaged they are with those types of posts. M Yeah, and and not only not only engage, but at point number three, one of the things that were can be taught about today is even inspiring a level of confidence in the company itself. I mean you see, you see the people behind the company, and that's inspiring an additional level of confidence. Definitely. We work with some very large vendors like GE and Phillips and Eden and some very big names and you know, when you're when you're starting out in any industry, there's a lot of difficulty in establishing yourself. Well, what we're what we've found is that kind of through our social media presence, we can kind of get our name out there in a significant way and even at large companies like that, they're finding that, you know, they're getting excited about the stuff that we're posting and it shows them that we're a deeper organization than we might look like we are from the surface. There's more to it and there's more that...

...we're getting involved with, and it's you know, it's a also produces some very good talking points when you're sitting down with some upper management at those organizations and and they already know quite a bit about your company just from what you've been posting on social media. So for us it's been extremely beneficial. It is definitely strengthens a lot of relationships and it is improved, I think, the way that our vendors view us quite a bit. M Yeah, well, and and based on our our conversation sort of offline, it's not only seeing a sort of a benefit to you and your company with a relationships you've created with with with clients and vendors, but also even just by investing in your employees. You've said there. That's that's almost shown improvements on that side of the spectrum as well. Yeah, definitely. You know, the more we invest in our employees, the more we engage our employees, I think, the better they are. You know, in terms of customer service. We found just by engaging them in social media, that's it kind of continues to strengthen the relationships with their customers and then improves just their ability to serve those customers. And we can kind of showcase what we're doing for employees through social media and you know, I think that that has kind of helped them feel more both more engaged with the company but also more in tune with kind of the company culture. You can kind of been kind of morph you know, what's how you how you want people to view the company through, kind of through what you're posting, and I think it helps to build a deeper company culture than you could have other was. All right, today's growth stories about search engine marketing. Clear Company is an HR tech company that was doing a lot of things right. Their messaging was clear, their product produced incredible results. They were struggling to drive qualified traffic to their website. Then they...

...found directive consulting, a BB search marketing agency. Within the first twelve months of working with directive, clear company was able to increase their qualified lead volume by a hundred and fifty seven percent. I have a hunch that directive can get these kind of results for Youtube. So head over to directive consultingcom and request a totally free custom proposal. That's directive consultingcom. All right, let's get back to this interview. Well, here's the ving ground. I mean think. I think we've also seen sort of social media done wrong at times. I mean those are the ones that get that get shared the most in yours. You know, everyone said like, Oh my God, look at you know, can you believe with these guys posted? Do you have any, you know, pieces of advice when it comes to maybe some some dues or don'ts things that you have experienced places in any sort of utilizing this, employing involvement on social media, like ways in which it is worked? How do you you know, how do you keep it genuine? How do you see a return on on what you're doing? Definitely, it's so really fantastic question. This is plenty of plenty of companies and plenty of people that have, you know, made lots of mistakes and social media and you have to keep a very close eye on it because the more you're engaging potential customers or customers, the more opportunity there is for issues to arise or posts or comments to be made that might be negative and need to be addressed. But what we've tried to do is you need to keep it professional but playful. If it's if it's too professional, it's kind of boring. You know, you need some excitement behind it. People don't always want to be reading business news. They don't always want to be, you know, learning about a specific product, they want to know more about kind of the culture behind it and the people behind it, and so having a certain amount of playfulness, I...

...think, is extremely important and that's what's going to engage the customer vendor base. In terms of monitoring, that's just as important as, you know, as kind of the strategy behind the posts. You know, if you if you're all over the place and you're not doing a very good job of monitoring, it's you know, it's very possible you could have a customer that are had of a bad experience with you and maybe post something that to explain their experience, you know, an in negative view, and it's really important for you to be able to address that very, very quickly and you want to over over address it and you want to make sure that that customer knows that, first off, seeing that they posted it, but then you're doing something to improve that experience that maybe wasn't as positive as it should have been and letting your your other userbase know that. You know, if something does go wrong, you're addressing it immediately, and I think that's where a lot of people probably fall short is, you know, they either get angry that someone posted something or they don't know, take some two weeks to get back to that customer and then it can, you know, it can kind of explode on them. And so you know you're never going to have a hundred percent happy customers. It's just impossible. Something will always go wrong at some point and it's just a matter of being proactive on how you handle those situations so that there's the potential for a positive outcome. Yeah, it's you know, psychologically it's everyone is always so much eager to focus on on the good news, the good aspects, the good post it's very tip. It very difficulty when you see someone that had a negative experience a sort of, I'd say, you know, through of eat crow and just kind of own it and say, well, but how can we how can we fix this? How can we make it better? I think psychologically that is a that's a that's a can be a difficult step for certain people to take. So it's great...

...that you recognize it and clearly you have sort of processes and steps in place to manage it when that does happen. Like you said, not everyone is going to be satisfied one hundred percent of the time. It does really reflect, though, on your company how you handle it during those situations. Definitely, and you know the amount of negative responses that we get. You know they're pretty few and far between, but just like any other industry, there's always the potential for them. In most cases I try to address them myself as the CEO of the company. So let that customer know that first stuff we're taking very seriously and the response is coming from the person at the highest level so that they know that I'm willing to do anything that it takes to make sure that their negative experience becomes a positive one in the future, and I think, I think that's you know, it's an important step to take. It doesn't always have to be the seeo responding to things like that, but they want to know that you're taking it seriously and you're doing something serious to address it, and you know that is the most important part of it. Yeah, absolutely, and, like you said, hopefully that is that's the exception to the rule and not the rule itself. If you're getting more complaints than compliments, maybe you need to revalue wait some other things in your company. Anyway, I would agree with that. So, Brian, we've been we've been asking a lot of our guests in two thousand and eighteen have been able to feature so many amazing company leaders, founder CEOS, such as yourself, Brian. What kind of legacy are you hoping to leave behind at the end of the day, and whether that is related to led supply go you know, professionally or personally, or maybe even a combination of the two? Yeah, it's definitely, I mean the biggest thing for me. We're in our ninth year of business right now, which is pretty wild to think about. It feels like, you know, I started it just, you know, a year or two go, but but we are in our ninth...

...year and coming up on ten here. I start to think about kind of where it can go and where I wanted to go, and you know what I wanted to look like ten, twenty, thirty years from now? We have thirty three employees and we a lot of those employees have been with us for a long period of time. Some of them have been with us since we started the company or just after, and I'm really I really want to build a company that can kind of just stand on its two feet and last an extremely long time and provide for all of our employees and you know, allow for them to grow with the organization. That's been one of the biggest things for us is just kind of employee loyalty and if they stick with us, they're going to move into new positions, into new areas of the company. But I want to build a company that's, you know, will be here twenty, thirty years from now and can be around even if I'm not, and it's it just it has a solid foundation and it has the ability to kind of keep on going, and that's one of the biggest things for me is is kind of focusing on what pieces I need to put in place to make sure that the company not only has a really bright future, but it just has a strong, stable base and stable core. Yeah, yeah, absolutely well, and you know the way that you're so very intentional about treating your employees a certain way, involving your employees. I think that's a obviously a great part of that that puzzle. So again we've been talking with Brian Stern. Brian is the CEO led supply. Go Brian. If anyone in our audience they they're interested in finding out more about today's episode, they want to they want to connect with you, they want to find out more about led and what you and your team were up to. What's the best way for them to go about doing that? Yeah, definitely. You can...

...reach us at eight seven, seven, five nine, five, four, seven, six nine, which is our main line. visit us at www dot codecom or visit our linkedin page. Just search led Supply Co. You'll come up on our linkedin page and chances are you'll be able to find me. So reach out to me. Happy to talk and appreciate you listening to that. Yeah, absolutely, Brian. Thank you so much for your time. It really was a pleasure having on the show today. Thank you very much. There are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the bed growth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations with likeminded people. Will Talk Business, we'll talk family, will talk goals and dreams, will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a BB growth dinner in a city near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's be tob growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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