Now that it’s all taking much longer. 2 small Sales & Marcom Neuro tips.

Last week, thousands of professionals started flooding social media with articles titled “Discover how to use your existing content to drive next-gen customer experiences,” “Learn more about how SMEs can benefit from digital transformation and what critical success factors are,” and the absolute gem: “43% of CEOs say IT teams are replaceable, but WE know and YOU know that IT can revolutionize productivity like no other. Change the thinking.”

What was going on here?

In just one week, a legion of hardworking professionals turned into a bunch of digitally pubescent brand ambassadors. Meanwhile, outside, the nation was busy trying to contain COVID-19, and like every strategist my age, I was trying to run our primary homeschool from my desk.


What a colossal missed opportunity, this deluge of social sales gibberish. The content was often so self-centered that even the ducks of WC-Duck would exclaim, ‘What The Quack!!!’. The question that immediately came to mind: “why are some of the smartest and funniest minds I know wasting valuable time and resources creating this type of content?”

You’ll never walk alone

Bees, ants, some bats, and humans are successful because of one remarkable characteristic: collaboration. This power is most evident when we are attacked by a common enemy. Comets, volcanoes, and viruses make our differences disappear. Danger triggers our helpfulness mode. And when our help is appreciated, our bodies produce endorphins – the happiness hormone – which makes us even more willing to help each other. That is our strength.

Blood, sweat and tears

We are powerful when we collaborate, but it’s also our weakness. When the danger becomes overwhelming and we can’t see the near future, we switch to panic mode. Our brain starts producing cortisol – the stress hormone. We go from “You’ll never walk alone” to “So long, friends, it’s over.” And you can see that on LinkedIn. Gallons of cortisol. And it’s partly justified because these are anxious times.

Listen up folks, I need you to keep your strategic hats on. Fear has a massive impact on social media, especially now that we’re thrust into a fully digital world and sharing everything from our homes without any filter. This can either be a massive opportunity or a dangerous pitfall, depending on how we approach it, and the data doesn’t lie.


  • Posts shared by employees have on average 561% more reach than those shared from a company page.
  • User-generated content is shared 24 times more than content created by companies.
  • Only 33% of social media users trust messages from companies.
  • In contrast, trust in messages from family and friends on social media is much higher at 84%.

As you can see, a post made by employees driven by fear does even more damage to your company, your credibility, your brand. It’s a shame, because now more than ever, we are capable of helping each other. We see this in our streets, villages, and cities. But also digitally. Now is the time to adjust your story accordingly. From selling to helping. That will give you much more in return.

But how do you come up with a message that people will appreciate? Here are two small tips I’d like to share with you:

A friendly and helpful message

In times of stress, we tend to forget about the needs of others. However, science shows that helping others activates the same parts of our brain as sex or food. So, try being helpful a few times a week and enjoy a healthy dose of endorphins. Say goodbye to stress. You’ll also notice that it increases the likelihood of your message being shared and replied to.

Get some sun

You’re missing out on the mood-boosting benefits of sunlight and fresh air if you stay indoors. Sunlight triggers serotonin production, lowers your blood pressure, and reduces cortisol, the stress hormone. Step outside, and get into the right mood, right now.

These are stressful times. But write what you really think and feel. Help people and companies. You can do it. Your work and your clients deserve it. I’m sure of it.

Brains. Beauty. Brands. Soak it up.


PS. My colleague Remco de Groot has written a useful article on brand ambassadorship during a crisis.

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