Posts Tagged ‘hootsuite’

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?


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