Posts Tagged ‘google’

How social is the CIO-of-the-Year 2014?

October 1, 2014

The end of the year is slowly on the horizon.  And with that come numerous competitions for “best in class”.  One of these is the Datanews “CIO of the Year” competition.

CIO of the yearSometime ago (august) the list of the top 10 nominees was published.  Each of the nominees was selected for having a good vision, strategic insight, leadership qualities and personality.  And then is was up to the the public to vote who will be in the top 3!  The winner will be crowned on November 20th in Brussels.

I started wondering how these CIO’s would go about promoting their candidacy for the top 3.  One great place to do this is social media.  Think of the success of #TVVV or #BGT.   Since I had some reasearch (blogpost of April 2011) a long while back, I decided to take another look on social media.  After all these years I expected the presence to be much improved.  But no, it was again (still?) staggering to see their presence is very limited.

LinkedIn

All CIO’s have a reasonable complete profile and good amount of contacts.  However, few have discovered the functionality of sharing a Status Update which could be formidable weapon in their quest to become one of the Top 3 CIO’s.

Only one CIO noticed that I visited their profile and wanted to connect.  The rest did not even click back.  Well I guess who will get my vote.

Twitter

7 out of the 10 do have a twitter account which  I think is great. When it comes to tweeting few have masterd the art.  They all remain under 300 tweets (all-time) and 50% have not tweeted at all.  I just wonder if they know who is following they.

Facebook

Half the CIOs are on facebook. And of those who are, none of them have protected their friends and/or pictures.  I would have thought they of all people would know something about privacy.

Google+

CIO’s seem not to missed Google+ completely.  I think 3 have discovered it probably by accident but their profile lack content and general information.  It is as good as empty.  But then again, Google+ is considered to be the desert among social media platforms.  Maybe CIO’s will move directly to ello.co?

Other platform

When it comes to leadership one would hope that CIO’s run a blog but unfortunately, I was not able to find one.  Neither do they have a slideshare account or YouTube channel.  But one could say this is only for marketing.

cio logo
CIO messages2

Conclusion

Even though their companies are using social media heavily, CIO’s themselves still have not discovered Social Media – the cloud applications that outrun any other application domain.  It is clear that Social Media will have a minimal bearing on the winning of votes to be among the top 3.  This was a sad conclusion on most of the profiles of the 10 CIO’s

 

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?

6 Social Media things to do before breakfast

January 25, 2014

When you get involved in social media, you quickly learn that it requires regularity and discipline.  Creating a daily routine is of course one of the best ways to approach this.  Over time I have together a 30-minute routine.

Source: www.socialbel.com

Here are the things I do before breakfast:

  1. Email
    1. Delete uninteresting/unwanted emails.
    2. Mark emails to be treated during the workday.
    3. Answer urgent emails.
    4. Check emails from LinkedIn groups for good content and mark for later reading.
    5. Review Google Alerts and mark interesting items with GetPocket.
  2. Social media monitoring
    1. Review social media monitoring dashboard and react appropriately.
    2. Go to Hootsuite and review monitoring columns and react appropriately.
  3. LinkedIn
    1. People Who viewed your profile is a perfect opportunity to start a conversation or even get connected (selectively).
    2. Contacts show people that have a New job, Birthday or Work Anniversary.  This again is a great opportunity to start a conversation.
    3. Review LinkedIn Inbox for messages and connection requests.
  4. Twitter
    1. Check tweets that mention me and act appropriately
    2. Check new followers out
    3. Check who unfollowed me and decide on course of action (recapture or accept)
    4. Quickly review the recent Tweet stream
  5. Facebook & Google+
    1. Check personal and company timelines for posts from friends and fans
    2. Wish friends a Happy Birthday
    3. Check messages and take action if needed
  6. Content sharing
    1. Share my quote of the day or content from others across a number of platforms
    2. Contribute and share content through my Tumblr blog on Social Media tools

Having created this routine, I am able to start my day informed, organized and inspired.   Since I have created this morning, I have also developed a similar approach for the evening routine.  The evening routine focuses more on content generation but I will discuss this in another blog post.

Do you have a similar routine? Why not share it through the comments below.  Or do you want details about any of the steps mentioned in my routine, send me a mail (mic@vanguard-leadership.be)

13 Social Media Tools you should use as a consultant in 2014

December 27, 2013

Social-Media-ToolsOver the course of the years we have seen an explosion of social media networks and tools.  Though most of these tools come in Freemium, most of us continue with the free version.   Here is a list of tools  – and I will exclude Twitter and LinkedIn since most of you are using these anyway-  you should be using if you are trying to make your life simpler while using social media.

1. Hootsuite (www.hootsuite.com )

Whether you are managing, monitoring or posting (planning) messages, Hootsuite is the tool that allows you to manage 5 profile for free (my suggestions: personal Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts plus your Facebook page and LinkedIn Company page).

2. Google Alerts (www.google.com/alerts )

To complete your social media monitor you could set up a number of Google Alerts to get informed when Google has indexed more articles within your search criteria (your area of expertise, News, Video’s, etc.) . This is an ideal source to find content to share with your audience or leads

3. Buffer (www.bufferapp.com )

As a consultant you are probably reading a lot of blogs or articles.  Posting and sharing this information all at the same time is not a good idea.  Buffer will help you out by allowing you to schedule posts from theses articles themselves over 10 time slots during the course of the day on 3 social media platforms for free.

4. Commun.it (www.commun.it )

If you are a Twitter user, understanding and managing your audience is key.  Keep track of your new followers, who to unfollow, who to engage, etc. is good to know but what really stands out is to know who is no longer following you.  Commun.it and some other tools will provide you with the answer.  You can re-engage them and recapture your unfollowers.

5. WordPress (www.wordpress.com )

Consultants have  a lot of knowledge which could position themselves as a thought leaders.  You are probably trying to get into the press to get visibility with your target audience and it does not always work out every month.  So why not auto-publish and start your own blog.  Sharing your views, best practices, tips and tricks are great ways to get recognized for your knowledge.

6. Slideshare (www.slideshare.net)

Giving presentations and training sessions are part of your life.  Uploading your presentations to Slideshare will not only boost your SEO, but also create thought leadership and even generate leads.  It is also a great source to find information about your area of expertise or about your clients.

7. YouTube (www.youtube.com )

People like to see their consultants at work. Nothing works better than videos.  Using Instagram, Vine or just your smartphone you can create a good sample of what you do.  Posting these videos of presentations, training sessions or workshops will create the necessary trust to get invited for a sales pitch.

8. Google+ (www.googleplus.com )

You are for or against G+.  I am all in favor because the Hangouts are a powerful tool for communicating with clients.  Using these Hangouts you can not only save yourself from driving a lot of miles to visit your clients but also have face to face contacts and share data/presentations/et al from your PC in a streamlined way.  It can also be a great collaboration platform between fellow consultants working on the same projects.  A wonderful timesaver

9. Doodle (www.doodle.com )

Setting up meetings via email and/or phone can be very time consuming, so let Doodle help you find the ideal time to meet.  Yet another timesaver.

10. Dropbox (www.dropbox.com )

Sharing files has never been easier, using Dropbox you can share files between your own devices (PC/Smartphone/Tablet) but also between clients or peers.  There are of course alternatives such as Google Doc, Skydrive, Googgle Drive, etc.  These applications can also be used for making a backup of your data.

11. Evernote (www.evernote.com)

One of the apps I have come to appreciate over the course of the last year is Evernote.  Taking notes has never been easier.  The notes are synchronized between your devices so which ever device your bring to the meeting you have the latest meeting report on you.

12. Zapier/IFTTT (www.zapier.com & www.ifttt.com)

Though I am not a big fan of automating my social media activity, I have found that Zapier and IFTTT do have a place in my modus operandi.  It can automate the repetitive tasks I would do anyway.  And yes, they are people who are against this

13. Wunderlist (www.wunderlist.com)

If you are a bit like me you have a number of to do lists, As with Evernote, I have come to appreciate Wunderlist as a cross-device platform to keep track of all those tasks I need to accomplish.

Of course, the list does not end here.  There is always a bit of a trade-off between how much time you need to spend using the tool and how much ROI it provides.  Which other one’s are you using to make your social media life simpler or more complete.

Are you automating your social media?

October 12, 2013

It is just over a month ago that Belgium had its first #kloutparty.  To attend you needed to prove (or not) your influence by having a high Kloutscore.

social-media-marketing-integration-automation-625x

Have you ever wondered how some of these young men and women have done it to increase their influence in a short period of time?  Do you really think they are on social media all day? Think again because there are some shortcuts…  Some are using social media automation tools.  Whether this is a good idea or not, you are the judge but here is a partial list of useful tools…

To start you can use the tools the platforms themselves offer.  For example, your LinkedIn status can automatically be posted through on your Twitter account; On Twitter you are able to send your post through to Facebook.  On Facebook you can schedule your posts in the future on your fan page allowing you to distribute messages throughout the day and when your fans are online and available.  Some people schedule messages on Sunday for the rest of the week.

There are, of course, also a set of tools that allow you to schedule posts on these platforms.  Listing all of them is not an option and would lead us to far but here are some examples: Facebook posts scan be easily scheduled using Postplanner, Tweets using Tweetlater and pins on Pinterest using ViralTag.  Individually these are good tools but they are limited to one platform.

Postplanner

Scheduling on multiple platforms can be made easy through applications such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and others.  They allow you to place one post on multiple platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and even Google+.  The biggest advantage is that you only have to enter the post once and it gets posted to all selected platforms.  The biggest drawback is that it is a same message everywhere and that is not always best practice.  The scheduling option is useful to optimize the spread of posts throughout the day or when your target audience is online.

Some people love to share information with their network.  They read a lot of stuff, discover new and interesting information and want to share it.  Even though most of the content platforms do have a “share” button, the readers do not want to overshare message in a short period of time.  In comes Bufferapp (aka Buffer). Buffer makes your life easier with a smarter way to schedule the great content you find.   Custom scheduling, multiple accounts and detailed analytics make this app your best friend when reading and sharing information.  With simple keystroke you fill up your Buffer at one time in the day and Buffer automatically posts them for you through the day.   This is a great way to spread your activity level through the day.

IFTTT

And then, there are some extreme tools that really automate your social media: IFTTT, Zapier, Socialoomph and many more.  These tools work on the simple principle of “Action & Reaction” of better “Trigger & Reaction”.  IFTTT and Zapier use “recipes” to automate social media activity meaning if you place a message on one platform it triggers an action on a platform.  An example: if you have a new follower (IF/Trigger) you could create a DM or Reply Tweet to welcome your new follower (THEN THIS/reaction).  Using these tools you can automate a lot of your social media activity from just one post.  However, I want to caution you here that these tools also hold certain dangers that could have a negative effect. An example: If your trigger is a #hashtag do not blindly Retweet this message as it could say bad things about you!

Personally I am not a big fan of automation but in certain cases I do use it once in a while.  It turns out that these are the action that I would do anyway and hold very little danger.  Which of these tools you will be using will depend on what your are trying to automate keeping in mind the advantages but also possible disadvantages.  As always there is no social media automation tool that fits all needs.  My personal favorite is Buffer.

Which ones are you using and what are your experiences?

Corporate Social Media Amplified!

January 2, 2013

One of trends for 2013 will be “Amplification”. The times that companies and people rely on asking others to redistribute their posts and messages is over.  Just like with email, you as a fan are getting too many messages and notifications (many of you are turning them off) and thus ignoring these requests.

brand advocateAs more and more of the employees are becoming active on social media, companies are realizing that they are low hanging fruit when it comes to brand ambassadorship.  They want to enlist them as ambassadors and are setting up awareness sessions in the hope these employees will actually help spread the word.  .

Companies are also looking for new ways to get their messages promoted. Help is on the way in form of Social Media Amplification Applications.  The concept is simple: Leverage employees, partners, customers and fans to share your company’s social media messages on your behalf.  The objective is to drive traffic to websites, campaign or blogs to generate leads.

How does it work?

Step 1: Find amplication application

There are a number of these applications available today.  I predict that there will be more coming in 2013.  GaggleAMP, SocialSeeder, Spread.US and Socialtoaster are in the forefront today.  For more details, see below.

Step 2: Recruit fans

You will invite and recruit fans, influencers and employees to join your distribution community.  You might have to implement some form of gamification (2nd trends for 2013) in order for them to join your circle of amplifiers.

Step 3: Create Messages

Create the content you want to get distributed through the community. And make it easy for your amplifiers to distribute it in their social networks

Step 4: Amplication Process

The amplification application will inform by email (or other forms) your community there are messages ready for distribution.  The amplifiers then can select which messages they distribute in which social network.

Step 5: Monitor & analyze

As with any campaign, you need to monitor the process, analyze the results and fine-tune your next steps. Continue to engage your community of amplifiers.

Who are some players?

GaggleAMP, US based company, is the social marketing platform that lets companies amplify their social media reach by leveraging individual employees, customers and partners. (source GaggleAMP)

gaggleamp logoGaggleAMP empowers a company’s stakeholders (both internal and external – employees, customers, constituents etc.) to promote synchronized messages across social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Users can share these messages on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn automatically, by e-mail notification or from the website thus giving the user full control of what is getting shared where.  The gamification option makes this tool more engaging.

In addition to the message amplification, GaggleAMP provides a myriad of unique analytics about how the messages perform in the various social media networks including message reach, clicks, comments, Likes, shares, re-tweets and more.

Pricing starts at $25/month for 50 messages shared.  There is a 7 day free trail period.

More info: http://www.gaggleamp.com

SocialSeeder, a Belgian company, unlocks the power of your true influencers.

As a company tapping into the potential of social media your holy grail is to find and identify super influencers to quickly spread news and create a buzz on new products & services.

socialseeder logoSocialSeeder facilitates employees, clients, fans, partners & other influencers to seed the messages you want to bring across via social media and allows to measure the impact in full detail through a personalised dashboard. (Source – SocialSeeder).

SocialSeeder, is focusing on Social Media Campaigns.  You start by creating your list of amplifiers (Influencers & Ambassadors).  You follow this up with the creation of campaign which will result in an email being created where you ask the amplifiers to distribute via the networks of their choice (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or even email). The user has full control of which message gets distributed where.

A comprehensive number of statistics are available to both track each amplifier and message amplification by platform and hits.

Pricing starts at 25€ per campaign/month.

More info: http://www.socialseeder.com

SocialToaster, a US based company, allows an organization to recruit supporters to help automatically create word-of-mouth referrals and traffic through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. (Source – Socialtoaster).

socialtoaster logoSocialToaster amplifies corporate messaging on brands’ social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn), proving that there is immense value in social media engagement. Loyal fans of a brand called ‘Super Fans’ are mobilized with an email whenever the brand has blog postings, events, articles, or promotions for them to promote. With just one click, Super Fans share the brand’s content with peers across all of their selected social networking sites. The visibility of the message increases exponentially as the content is shared. (Source Socialtoaster)

Socialtoaster allows you to run in the cloud and on your own servers.  Other interesting features are gamification and viral recruitment formulas.

Pricing starts at $399/month.

More info: http://www.socialtoaster.com

Spread.us,, US based company, is a twitter-only tool that allows you to promote campaigns and blog posts. It enables website readers to automatically share and distribute newly published content from their favorite content or blog on Twitter. (source: Spread.us).

spread us logoFirst you enlist the support of your supporters by inviting them.  You then create the perfect tweet which will get distributed automatically via their accounts.  Then you track the performance of the post through a number of statistics.  The biggest drawback of this tool is the lack of control on the user’s side.  Opting out is the list only option for the end user to stop tweets being posted through his/her account.

Pricing starts at $0 for up to 5 subscribers.  Between 6 to 25 subscribers (fans) you will pay $4/month with variable pricing if fans increase or decrease.

More info: http://www.spread.us

I am sure there are other programs out there.  So if you know of any please let me know and I will add them in my next review cycle.

What are your thoughts on these applications?  Good thing or not?

I look forward to your reactions, comments, feedback and input.

Participation – Amplification – Gamification

December 24, 2012

TrendsThis is the time when everyone creates a list of things that were or things that will be.  Normally, I do not participate in this ritual but this year I  can’t stop myself.  The reason being that the lists I am seeing are so out there in terms of predictions that I want to bring back to pragmatism to 2013.  I see 5 major trends for 2013 and here they are!

Participation - Now that Facebook has reached over 1 billion members, it is fair to assume participationthat in Belgium we will round the cape of 5 million in 2013.  With LinkedIn having 187 million users, we will pass the 1.5 million users in Belgium in 2013.  However, I am predicting a boom of twitter usage in Belgium with thanks to the traditional media. Inspirational is the radio with programs such as #hautekiet or #touché, TV with the hashtag #7dag or #SODD, and traditional magazines such as Flair, Humo and many more.  Slowly they are driving consumers to Twitter and thus comes the explosion of number of users.  I think we could be looking at 2.5 million accounts with 1 million active users by the end of the year.

Amplification – Many companies are setting up company accounts on social media but they are struggling to get the following they would like to have.  However, they are forgetting the “untapped potential” they are sitting on.  A fair amount of their employees is active on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) during and after working hours (survey Vanguard Leadership October 2012).  Unfortunately, they rarely follow, like or support their company on social media.  And these would be the best ambassadors for your company.  Remember the old days when they were motivated to recommend their company to their friends in the real world…

ampliCompanies are taking notice and we are seeing that large companies are running “awareness sessions” for their employees with a number of goals in mind: provide information about the general use of social media, explain the social media policy but mostly to ask employees to become social media ambassadors for their companies.  This leads to another trends for 2013, the introduction of social media “amplification software”.  These software packages will allow companies to post messages on the corporate accounts, inform their employees, ambassadors and influencers about these messages and have them re-distributed by their employees, ambassadors and influencers.  Tap into the “untapped potential“.

Gamification = Even though this word has been on the lips of many, I think 2013 is thegame year when it will become real.  The gaming techniques will find their way in which we use social media, learn, or do business.  Today the emphasis  lies on badges, mayorships, free goods, etc. but the evolution is going to be quick and innovative.  A true revolution in the making.

So the biggest challenge for companies in 2013 is how their are going to use awareness building  to inspire their employees’ participation to social media to become ambassadors and amplify the corporate messages using a number of gamification schemes.

How far on this journey are you today?

Finally, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas!

xmas

The Employee Engagement Index

October 22, 2012
Companies want to pick the low hanging fruit, but when it comes to social media, it seems they are not seeing the ‘low hanging fruit.  Many companies are creating corporate social media accounts but fail not only to communicate them to their clients but also their employees.  A lot of companies do not mention their social media accounts on their website allthough that is changing.

Companies, especially the marketeers, are struggling to get engaged fans/followers/connections, etc.  A lot of effort is put in creative marketing to be able to attract clients and have them become ambassadors. Through these fans/followers they hope to get their messages amplified.

But what about engaging your employees as ambassadors and amplificators.   During a series of awareness sessions in different companies, i could not help to see that few people were actually following their company on platforms such as twitter, facebook or linkedin. The main reason being a lack of information and awareness. Companies expect their employees to follow these account automatically. There are a few simple solutions to address this situation and could include:

  • Social media awareness sessions
  • Mention all  accounts in the social media policy
  • Training program includes following all company accounts
  • Email and intranet campaign to increase account awareness
  • Adding links to intranet and website

How do you measure if you are successful? Why not create an Employee Engagement Index.   The number could reflect a ratio such as:

  1. # of employees  following corporate accounts divided by total employee count
  2. # of employees that follow corporate accounts divided by the employees on social media (or specific platform)

This number by itself is not so important. It serves as a baseline. Tracking the progression as you undertake social media awareness building is more important. It will provide you with insight of how well you are doing.

The next challenge is get corporate messages amplified by these people. Here too there are several scenario’s. The best of all worlds is that your employees take the initiative to share message by themselves but we all know this is the most difficult route.  the WIIFM factor has to big. Alternatively, you could offer tools to re-publish but that is really a bad idea. People want to be in control of what they share with their network.  And then there are some tools available (www.gaggleamp.com) that allow users to select what they forward. In any case, the network of your employees is the first step to client engagement and conversation.

Which innovating techniques and tools are you using to use your employees as amplificators and ambassadors?

The Social Media Alphabet

April 11, 2012

There was a time when the phonetic alphabet (Cfr. Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_phonetic_alphabet) was used to spell out letters.  Remember the “T for Tango” or “C for Charlie”.

But today we live and work in a world with a whole new generational language and fairly soon there will likely be classes on, “how to speak Social Media”. But any language starts with an alphabet.  So here is my take on how to teach the alphabet.

The benefits of using this alphabet is that many generations can relate to these platforms and the usage of these names increases your “coolness” factor.

Which other platforms would you use?


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