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Summary of “Building Social Credibility” Part I

Presented by Rob Peters, CEO of Standard of Trust

Summarized By Alex Jarett

As Rob Peters, CEO of Standard of Trust, and author of  “Standard of Trust Leadership: Transforming Business Cultures Through Purpose, Performance, and Relationship Capital” explains his passion for Social Credibility to me, he describes his path as more of a journey of exploration, and as he starts his presentation by explaining that Social Media as a concept has been around for over 2000 years. Rob points to Marcus Cicero a Roman politician stationed in Turkey who used a traveling wax tablet transported by horseback to his friends and associates to keep in touch, and then fast forwards to English the coffee houses of 1650s. Rob points out that the coffee conversation starter of “What news have you,” is exactly the same as todays social media feed of “What’s on your mind.”

It’s a great set up to the next part of his presentation, where he fast forwards again to the present and gives us a chart that demonstrates the different organizing forces that guide our society since WWII, starting with Fear and then shifting to Family, then Money, and now relationships. Rob indicates that the technology combined with this shift has made relationships the new capital of this era. He points out that Radio, and then TV, transformed to the current internet, so the transmissions also changed from one-way to two-way.   As a result the objectives have also changed, from selling and informing, to the current mode of transforming.

Rob goes on to show that people have always been social, by connecting, engaging in conversation and sharing stuff. Helping each other and finally, by belonging in groups. All of these activities are both online and online. The impact of his statement really hit me on his next slide which showed a picture of a live social media networking group. In 2005, the beginning of the group, Rob shows a picture of everyone talking to each other. In 2013, he shows a picture of everyone talking to each other AND SIMULTAENOUSLY broadcasting their experience. The end result is that 1000’s (if not millions) of people have the potential to be touched by the conversation in the room and beyond. That’s very mid blowing and his next chart goes on to demonstrate the impact on the business world, leadership and communication.

This next chart Rob shows is a comparison of the “older” way of thinking to the “new way” of thinking. In the old, institutional way of thinking, there is “Red Ocean” thinking at the top and the thinking goes down the pyramid. In the NEW way of thinking, the NETWORK is the way we communicate, not through a pyramid, so you must interact and respond to all the stakeholders. This offers a huge shift for business leaders, sales executives and more. Dealing with this shift is important for all of us.

Rob shows that an executives Digital Reality is now the perception of you and it’s what counts now. As a sales executive, for example, he says that the combination of LinkedIn, Twitter and Google search is how people learn about you PRIOR to meeting you, so that’s what counts, as 70% of sales cycles occur before the conversation.

So Rob asks, “What is your Digital Presence? What is your “Promise” that you are making through the Digital perception of you? What, asks Rob, is your “Relationship Capital.” Rob indicates that your digital presence is a combination of what people say about you, what your promise is and personal brand.

Now Rob shifts his presentation through a variety of slides which summarize the following key points:

  1. People buy from people they trust
  2. If you don’t have a strong profile, they won’t know you and won’t trust you.
  3. The multitude of research that shows that research is done prior to buying
  4. The resulting conclusion that you need start measuring your social media impact online.
  5. That the “Network” looks at you, whether CEO or CIO or Sales Executive FIRST, before the company. This is a huge statement, to me, and if you get that, will make a lasting impression on you, as your own personal brand, and the combination of everyone’s personal brand in a company now have an impact on that company more than ever before!

That was all preamble, to what I think is Rob’s greatest contribution in part one of his presentation, which is a Pyramid of Influence.   Rob and his partners created a pyramid that looks has the following layers, I’ll list them in order, so the top is the top of the pyramid.


The top level is the people in the NETWORK who inspire and serve the network of people, (i.e. the community). At the bottom is the people who at least have an identity. I’ll describe each level quickly now starting from the bottom:

  1. Identity – you have a profile on the main social medias and it matches you.
  2. Interact – you are seen to be involved at some point in the community. Maybe you like a few posts, you talk to people. You are there.
  3. Informed – you are seen by your comments, actions to be informed, so your level of respect goes up.
  4. Influence – you have the ability to influence others.
  5. Inspire – you have the ability to both inspire and influence others.

What’s exciting to me when I see Rob’s chart is that ALL OF US have the ability to transcend the pyramid to the top if we learn the strategies and apply them, just like the other influences have already done. What’s it worth to you? Take a look at LinkedIn’s Pulse and see what the top influencers have in terms of audiences. Some have over 1,000,000 followers! Do you need a million? Maybe not. It’s possible that 5000 followers would accomplish your goals very well, especially in a niche.

That’s the summary of the first half of the presentation. In the second half Rob reviews the following:

  1. Which sites to make sure you are on (Here’s a clue, LinkedIn is the first)
  2. Some practical tips to follow for our profile and other basics
  3. Relationship strategies
  4. Guidelines to making connections
  5. Group guidelines
  6. Twitter Overview and why you need to be on it now
  7. The different ways to use Twitter
  8. Tools to help with Twitter and LinkedIn
  9. The steps to take on your own Social Media Journey

Next Steps:

In the next article I’ll summarize Part 2 of his presentation, so stay tuned, in the meantime:

  1. Want to see the whole presentation? We’ve posted it here.
  2. Want to follow Rob on LinkedIN? Go here He posts on LinkedIn regularly as well as the ability to get his book.
Updated: June 8, 2015 — 2:24 pm

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