Posts Tagged ‘connection’

The 10-60-30 Rule of Social Selling

April 12, 2014

If Social Selling is all about Connecting, Listening and Content Sharing, then getting started on Social Media can be a daunting task. Have you ever wondered which tools you could/should be using? And more importantly, how much time you need to spend on it. Here is my take (and experience) on it.

connect - listen - share

Connecting
Social Networking platforms are made for connecting. Here you will find the obvious candidates such as LinkedIn and Twitter. However, Xing and Viadeo might be good alternatives in the German and French speaking markets. Not everyone is on LinkedIn. In a B2B situation, Facebook seems the last option social sellers jump on. But since so many people have a profile here, it might make sense to link here too but you need a clear strategy on what and how to share. The inevitable discussion between personal and professional lives.

Finding and connecting new prospects and clients are here clearly the marching orders. Nothing new so far. Make discovering new contacts part of your daily routine.

Listening
Here it becomes a little more complicated and time consuming. There are at least 2 reasons for monitoring: understanding what your contacts are saying/doing/interested in and finding interesting content to share in the content sharing stage.

Listening to what your contacts are saying can be done through Hootsuite and LinkedIn Saved Searches, while finding content could be done through Google Alerts, LinkedIn Pulse, Feedly or any other RSS feeder program.

How much time you will be spending on this part of your social selling routine will vary a lot depending on the number of contacts, the activity level of those contacts, the variety of topics you are following and how much reading you will be doing yourself.

Content Sharing
Content is everywhere on the internet but prime locations are Slideshare, YouTube (or Vimeo), Blogs and Forums. Once you have that content you will want to share it. Tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite.

Additionally to sharing interesting content from others (less than 40% of all your content) you will need to create. You might create presentations, blog posts and general status updates/tweets. Let me be clear that this is a time intensive task and thus easily postponed. Once you created your own content you will want to share this with your contacts via Status Updates and Tweets.

Finally, through the monitoring and listening programs you will also find more opportunities to engage with and help your clients and prospects. Your entrance ticket to become a trusted advisor.

Again, it is hard to put a number on this when it comes to time spent. Do not consider this lost time but think how much time you saved by not having to drive to your client to have a conversation.

10-60-30 Rule of Social Selling
Social Selling is more about the approach rather than the use of a number of tools (see above). Over the course of time, this has evolved into a daily routine. My experience has demonstrated that the different steps and tools must be interwoven with everything you do during the day.

Today I can say that I spend about 10% of my time working on the connecting bit. 60% reviewing what my listening tools unearth in terms of client conversations and content. And I must admit that most of the time goes to reading and qualifying whether this information can be shared to provide more value to the clients (and me, of course). Finally, 30% is the actual sharing and personal content creation.

So how does your social selling routine stack up?

Is LinkedIn running out steam for recruiters?

February 6, 2012

Over the last couple of weeks I have had many recruiters in my social media classes and every time they focus all their attention on LinkedIn as a recruitment tool.  When I come to Facebook, they seem to be shutting down. It seems they do not take Facebook seriously as a recruitment environment.  Maybe, they should think again.

One reason is that there are over 880 million people on Facebook vs the 147 million on LinkedIn.  Secondly, more and more companies are active through a fan pages on Facebook and using it for employer branding.  Fan pages allow much more flexibility and functionality to companies and recruiters than the LinkedIn Company pages.

And then there are several applications that have started to give LinkedIn a run for its money.  They listen to names such as Glassdoor, Beknown, Talent.me and BranchOut.  These apps bring LinkedIn functionality to Facebook making it the next best environment for recruitment.

Glassdoor is a free jobs and career community that offers the world an inside look at jobs and companies. Using the Inside Connection product lets you find companies and what connections inside you might have.  Additionally, you can find interview questions, salary ranges, company reviews, and job openings.  In true social media style the content is generated by the job seekers.

Beknown is a Facebook application by Monster.  There is a lot similarity between Beknown and LinkedIn: create a profile, you connect with people, get recommendations, find jobs, and follow companies. Beknown will let you see the 1st and 2nd line connections like LinkedIn. As you accept people in your network, you earn badges like in Foursquare.

Talent.me is a professional networking app on Facebook which answers the questions where your friends worked and who your inside connections are at companies.  The goal of Talent.me is to help you leverage your friend network and make it work for your career advancement.  You can also endorse your connections and build communities around specific talents.  This social media network seems to be very US focused.

And finally, there is BranchOut.  On BranchOut, users leverage their Facebook friends to find jobs, find sales leads, recruit talent, and setup relationships with your professional contacts. BranchOut also operates the largest job board on Facebook with over 3 millions jobs in 60 countries.  Recruiters from all over the world are joining BranchOut and taking advantage of lower priced recruitment packages to find and attract new talent.

Of course, LinkedIn is still the standard when it comes to recruitment, but I am convinced that Facebook will take over very soon.  Today, it seems that BranchOut is the forerunner but it is still early days.

Do you know any other tools?  Feel free to share through the comment field.

Are you ruining your business reputation?

April 5, 2011

When it comes to business networking, LinkedIn has been the trusted platform of choice. A large number of members are conscious of the fact that they need to have a professional profile. A further reduced number is making the most of the “Status update” to bring value to their network and drive traffic to good content. Over the last weeks and months, the level of professionalism of the “Status Updates” has dropped considerably. When you were looking for people that said that “hated their job” or “were bored”, you needed to do this on platforms such as Facebook. We all remember the “OMG, I hate my job post on Facebook”.

Well, today you can find similar posts on LinkedIn with compliments of Twitter.  Thanks to LinkedIn Signal search option, these messages now become very apparent and public.  I am even convinced the people who have these types of posts are no longer aware of the fact they linked their Twitter account to their LinkedIn account.  So messages such as below are now regulars on LinkedIn reducing the level of professionalism of certain people.

On another note, we all know the name calling of Facebook, but say welcome to similar expressions on LinkedIn!  Here are some examples.

Do you really want your professional reputation tarnished by these types of comments?  Your co-workers are listening to you on business networks… not to mention your current and future employers.

Though it is simple to connect your social media accounts, you really need to think this through.  Do you really want people to see where you are eating (Foursquare to Twitter to LinkedIn)? What you are doing in the garden or what store you are at?  If you are a frequent Twitterer, the constant status updates will annoy the hell out of your contacts and you will soon be stopped being followed in professional networks achieving the opposite of what you were aiming for.

If you want update your status on multiple networks, consider using tools such as tweetdeck or hootsuite where at least you know where you are posting the messages.  And remember to disconnect all post-through actions.

Are you a conversationalist on LinkedIn?

August 14, 2010

As part of my social media monitoring research I have also analyzed the conversation activity on LinkedIn.  Conversations happen at Group, Poll and Answer level.  For groups I focused attention on Belgian groups (with 800+ members) to find out how good a tool LinkedIn is to leverage the knowledge of the crowd.

Here are some remarkable results:

  • Groups: 78% of all discussion posts remain UNANSWERED.  15% have less than 5 answers.
  • Polls: 71% of polls get between 1 and 20 votes.  Only 2% remain unaswered!
  • Answers: Only 12% go “Unanswered” while 44% get less than 5 and 35% between 6 and 20 answers.

The group statistics intrigued me and asked for some more explanation.  I challenged a few groups by posting a discussion about the fact that LinkedIn Groups are a waste of time.  I got 12 answers (in 5 groups – proving my point?).  I want to share the content of these answers with you:

  • There are the non-believers (and I am NOT one of them) because of their lack of persistence or success and they gave up.
  • LinkedIn is really a tool used to CONNECT with other people which explains why the post “Who will directly connect with me and I will not reject you” is the most popular discussions in a large number of groups (even worldwide!).
  • People are TOO BUSY to read and react to the posts or they get too many mails with updates from the groups they below to.
  • Discussion topics are started in the WRONG GROUP and with the wrong audience.
  • People feel the point of the discussion topic is either to SELL you something or to be proven right and thus refuse to react.
  • People do not feel comfortable SHARING their ideas or COMMENTING on ideas with strangers.

So the conclusion is really that LinkedIn is the perfect business tool to connect with other people who you might meet face-to-face to sell your product or service to but not to share ideas with on large scale online.

Enough of the negativism and let’s be positive…

In order to improve the quality of LinkedIn for you and your peers, it is my recommendation that every time you login to LinkedIn you take the time to comment on and contribute to at least one post, vote on one poll and answer one question – total time investment: 15 minutes!  There will be a return on this investment by more people connecting with you which is why you were there to begin with.

Just imagine if in a group of 800 members that log on once a week and follow the recommendations from above, the wealth of information we would have access to? Is that to much to ask?

I love to hear from you with comments, feedback, push back and suggestions.  You can also reach me by mail (adammic@vanguard-leadership.be).

Turning the table on recruitment companies.

July 13, 2010

When you have to look for a new job there is one message you can not miss since it is shouted from every rooftop: “make sure you have your social media profiles available everywhere, updated and looking professional” because recruitment companies will be using them to screen you before meeting you.  It is whispered they might even be looking for you, but are they really!

And this is the moment when I would like to turn the table on the recruitment companies.

For those of us passively looking for a new employment opportunity, we are the ones looking (and shopping around)… and here the sky darkens above the hills of recruitment companies.  In my current research of “social media in the recruitment world in Belgium”, some of the results are staggering!  The results are based on factual findings using social media, so “no correction by discussion”.

The final results will be available next week but here are some of the questions I am asking myself (and the recruitment companies):

  • Why do candidates have to be active, visible and findable in social media when recruitment companies are not (check their website for social media links)?
  • Why do candidates have to have a professional picture when most of the recruiters do not have one at all?
  • Why do candidates have to have many connections (let’s say 300 for argument’s sake and of course visible to the recruiter to check the quality) and the recruiter less than 50 (I am not kidding)?
  • Why do candidates have to have blogs and links to their websites and recruiters or their companies not?

So far I have not heard or found any good answers to these questions other than recruitment companies saying they are using social media.  I wonder how?  Anyone care to comment or to enlighten me?

By the way, if you are interested in a copy of the results, you can reach out to me!  Contact details below.

—————————————————————————-

Email: adammic@vanguard-leadership.be

Mob. +32 478 50 41 35

Website: www.vanguard-leadership.be

Blog: http://micvadam.wordpress.com/

Find me also on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Netlog, etc.

5 steps to implement a social networking policy

April 26, 2010

As I recently read, controlling Social Networking is like herding sheep.  You can close them in but beware some might escape and you will have to chase them back in; or you let it open and some will run away and do dangerous things.  In any case you need guidelines and this as of the first employee that uses Social Media and Networking!

Have you seen the number of articles appear that tell us of social networking sites, especially Facebook and Twitter) being closed down by IT – the hard way!  Actually, a study done by the Belgian IT magazine (Smart Business Strategies) this week confirms this.  But this does not really solve the problem as employees will look for other ways to participate and companies will have to sit back and be reactive.  Why not being proactive?

Rather than being reactive or repressive, would it not make more sense to provide guidance to your employees?  But how do you start this?  I have come up with a simple 5 step approach:

Step 1: Create awareness of what social networking is, who are the providers, what are the benefits and what are the dangers.

Step 2: Create an Inventory of where the company and its employees are active today in social media and networking.  You will be amazed about the number of platforms you get!

Step 3: Create Social Networking Policies.

Step 4: Provide the necessary Training on the platforms that are most common and fall within the guidelines of the policy.

Step 5: Monitor the progress from a brand and person point of view.

Going through these 5 steps and working with the employees, companies will be able to create proactive and constructive guidelines that work.

Are you being monitored?

April 4, 2010

Courtesy istock

It has been a great week for the followers, including myself, of social media news in Belgium.  Several stories hit the press.  It’s fueling the debate on social networking in business and the need to create awareness and policies..

I love it when companies say that allow their employees to use social media.  This is great and encouraged till criticism, not so good news and negative comments are published.  Then there is a crack down like this week at “De Lijn”, the Flemish bus company.  Immediately, the spokesperson refers to an internet policy that is in place but I can’t stop wondering whether the employees have read it or even know about it?

I love it when companies want to block social media.  As I have mentioned in previous blog posts that social media, including Twitter can not be blocked.  Business is seeing the dangers (information leakage, hacking opportunities, or posting career and company damaging messages) and beginning to see that awareness building needs to be done.

Two interesting articles in the educational sphere poked my interest this week.  Firstly, 2 students were dismissed after creating a Facebook group to ridicule their teachers. This is of course not the first time this happens in our small country.  Secondly, the educational staff is reluctant to participate to social media for a number of reasons such as privacy, contribution to the educational track, lack of guidelines, etc.  Here too, there is a loud cry for guidelines and it is great to hear that it is being worked on for next schoolyear.

There is one thing that catches my attention in all of this: how are companies keeping tabs on their employees?  Do they überhaupt know in which social media their employees are participating?  How much time are they spending to monitor their employees? And do they know? Is this a breach of privacy? To me these issues seem the biggest challenge of all.

Even though I have some answers, any and all thoughts are welcome!

Social networking blocking myths busted

March 11, 2010

Last week I picked up an article on banning social networking at work (http://tinyurl.com/y9oyza4) on CNN.com.  Time-wasting is being cited as the most important reason for blocking social networking. But they have to admit that social networking is not a fad and certainly not going away!  The conclusion being that companies have different stances but blocking seems to be the best route.

While this might be an option, I have argued several times that blocking social networks is not an option due to the fact that people will participate anyway via other means e.g. working from home or a mobile platform.

When you are a CIO and blocking social networking site, here is something that will blow your socks off! There is a very simple way to pass around your blocked http://www.facebook.com url going to social networks and you will not like it!  There is a legal way to beat the social network ban.  Just go to the bottom of this article… (http://tinyurl.com/y8bqbvr). Are you willing to block Google at your company?  Or invest more money for more robust web-filtering software?

And here is another bit of news I picked up last week.  You thought your email address was fairly safe in Facebook.  Well here too, I have news for you!  Now everyone can get your email address out of Facebook through a very simple operation.  Some email programs allow you to import contact from other sources and guess what it includes your email address.  There is only one catch, they must be your friend, but how picky are we accepting friends or contacts?  Just use the Facebook application “export contacts” and you are on your way…

If you think that good governance and guidelines are not needed, you will be left behind and mistakes will happen that you will come to regret.  Time to implement your social networking policy or talk to me.

Social Networking Survey Results

February 19, 2010

Social Networking is here to stay and we can not ignore it.  It is expanding at lightning speed and integration with every day platforms and applications are announced daily.  After last week’s announcement of Google buzz, Microsoft is announcing the integration of LinkedIn, Facebook and MySpace into Office 2010 which is coming in June.

Companies are increasingly more concerned with allowing people to access to social network during business hours.  The need to implement a Social Networking Policy is growing fast.  In the light of my current business occupation, I have done a survey among my contacts to get an initial idea of the state of mind.  Here are results of my findings.

It is clear business has discovered social networking as a means to reach out to its target audience.  Over 95% of the respondents indicate they are using social media on a very regular basis for business.  Over 62% have also embraced social networking on a personal level.

Question 1: What are you using social networking for?

Personal only 3,20%
Business only 34,40%
Both 62,40%

The IT department is having great concerns that people are using the company infrastructure.  There are issues such as security breaches, bandwidth and intrusions that come up as major headaches.  Management on the other hand is more and more concerned about other issue such as time wasting and image loss.  Are these concerns warranted?  The results to the next question confirm this there is some reason for concern.

Question 2: What platforms are using to participate to social networking?

Work PC 84,90%
Home PC 72,00%
Mobile platform 21,50%

From these numbers, we can conclude that company infrastructure is used to participate to social networking which is normal as 90%+ are using social networking for business purposes.  Interesting to note that 1 in 5 is using a smartphone to participate into social networking.

As part of my research, I also wanted to get an insight into which social networking platforms are being used.  Due to the nature of the audience in the survey, business social networking is over represented.  However, the numbers are still valid to make some assumptions and conclusions.

There are 3 clear leaders that come out of the research which is not really a surprise.  LinkedIn, Facebook and Plaxo.  Then there is a middle group with applications such as blogs, microblogs (Twitter), RSS feeds, YouTube.  And finally there are the odd one’s out such as gaming, podcasts, virtual worlds, Flickr.

Question 3: What social media are you participating in?

LinkedIn 97,80%
Facebook 60,20%
Plaxo 49,50%
Blogs 31,20%
YouTube 24,70%
RSS Feeds 24,70%
Twitter 22,60%
Flickr 5,40%
Podcast 4,30%
Gaming 2,20%
Virtual world 1,10%

Taking the concerns of question 2 around infrastructure and management issues and combining the information from question 3 around where people are active, it is fair for any company to ask which, if any limitation, rules or guidelines need to be created.  Research done by Manpower recently indicated that about 75% of companies worldwide do not have a formal policy in place.  The numbers below are only a confirmation of this survey.

Question 4: Does your company have a social media policy (that you are aware of)?

Yes 15,10%
Partly (Blogging) 11,80%
No 62,40%
Do no know 10,80%

As we know there are risks involved when people participate to social networking.  The line between personal life and business life is getting blurred and integration of different application will make this even more blurred.  When does business end and personal life begin?  It is getting more obvious that social media/networking policies are drawn up to protect companies and individuals from liabilities, law suits and abuse.

For more information on how to create a “Social Networking Policy”, comments or this survey, contact Mic Adam at info@vanguard-leadership.be

As I am sharing the results of my findings with you, and in order to collect a little more detail I would like to request that you participate in this 30 second follow up survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7LC77BS

Network Maintenance

December 13, 2009

As the year end in sight, I am sure you will agree with me it is a good time to do some maintenance on your network. You can more sure you have all the contact details and they are still correct for all your contacts.

1. For those close friends and contacts that you see and hear on a regular basis and want to thank for the wonderful year, it is time to send them their personalized “holiday” card.

2. Then there are those contacts you want to hold “warm” for the upcoming year.  You might have talked to them during the year, a semi personalized mail/”holiday” card would be in order good to bring your name back into the limelight.

3. Then there are the people you have lost out of sight.  Those long lost friends that you have not kept in touch with.  Time to use the social media sites to renew friendship and business relationship.  Just making a connection might work wonders and who knows they can help you in 2010.  Make sure you get their contact info for next year!

4. People that arein your contact list but you have no clue who they are or what they do.  Maybe a good moment to archive these contacts.  Or even better renew your friendship through a simple mail to find out what they are up to and how you an help eachother.

5. Finally, go through your rolodex, outlook files, on-line media and see if any people need to be removed (I mean archived, not deleted) from your list of contacts.  I have personally 2 friends I will remove from my list because they passed away in the last year.


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