Posts Tagged ‘social media monitoring’

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)

The Twitter “Black Hole”

May 1, 2013

I was recently putting together a presentation on Employer Branding when I ran across what I would like to call the Twitter “Black Hole”.  Many companies are using Twitter for posting jobs as part of their employer branding strategy which makes perfect sense.  However, Employer Branding is about how you look to the outside world.

Twitter black hole

On Twitter, there are 3 visual ways that will help you with this Employer Branding.  There is of course, the profile picture.  Getting rid of the “egg” as a profile picture is a basic step that everyone has conquered.  Having a personalized good background is another visual that a lot of companies have mastered, but when it comes to the Twitter “cover” picture (Header), that has been lost in translation. A missed opportunity to make a statement.  Or are you sending your candidates into a black hole?

This phenomenon is not only showing in recruitment and employer branding accounts but also on many corporate accounts.  Why?  I think it is more about ignorance that inability.  Some organizations are doing it right as shown below.

Twitter EB

Having a great cover picture (Header)  on your profile is a great asset as we all know since a picture says more than a thousand words. The picture should say something about you or the type of company that you are.  Like on Facebook there are creative ways to make use of this picture as shown below.

Twitter clever

Next step?

Time to update your 3 Twitter visuals and brand your account.  Knowing the dimension of these picture is key, so here are the dimensions for your reference:

Twitter profile picture: 81 x 81 pixels (Max 2MB)

Header picture: 520 x 260 pixels (Max. 5MB)

Background picture: 1600 x 1200 pixels (Max. 2MB)

Have you seen any creative use of pictures on Twitter profiles?  Let me know!

Your daily Social Media Routine

July 10, 2012

When you have joined the social media movement, the real work (and fun) starts.  I am always astonished that people ask me how much time they should spend on social media.  We all know this is an impossible question to answer since everyone has a different number of accounts and a different modus operandi.  However, I think we should put the time usage in function of the goal we are trying to achieve using social media.

So, I am beginning to return this question with a few another questions: “How much time do you need to spend on e-mail daily?” or “Does anyone question the time you spend on doing emails to get your job done?”  Not! Well eventually social media should follow the same guidelines.  However, in order to get started it might be good to create an approach, let’s call it a “social media routine”.

Here is a one I want to share with you.  It consists of 3 parts: Reviewing your social media monitoring; reviewing your own accounts and posting content for your target audience; and reading and sharing content from others via your accounts.

Step 1: Review your social media monitoring results

You know people are talking about you in wide sense of the word, so you need to monitor social media.  This is true for both you as an individual and for your company.

This can be done via a number of free tools such as Google Alerts (good for content but bad for Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn) or Socialmention – Addictomatic (more focus on social networks but not always accurate).  However, when you are serious about monitoring (and you should be), you will need to pay a monthly fee for good results from all platforms.  Tracebuzz, Engagor, Attentio, Mentions.net, Meltwater, Radian6 are just a few of the platforms you could use.  It important to test drive them to see if they deliver the results you are looking for.

Your daily routine is to check the messages for sentiment and get back to people.  Simply put this means: thanking them for positive comments and taking actions to address the negative comments.

Step 2: Review own accounts and post content to your accounts

Though you have already looked at your social media monitoring results, it is important to review all your OWN social media accounts for any comments or posts. These are messages addressed to you.  These might or not have shown up in your social media monitoring.  Keep in mind that these are people talking to YOU and thus need an answer.

This is also the ideal moment to post new own content for your target audience.  This is the “valuable” information you want to share with our network. Depending on the platform you will be posting daily (Twitter and Facebook) to monthly (blogs). Content can take many forms: text, images, video or audio.  You can also run polls and post events.  Sharing is fun!

Your daily routine will consist of reading the comments, reacting to those comments and posting new content.

The tools you could use vary from the platforms themselves to social media aggregators such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck.

Step 3: Reading and sharing information from others

Social media is full of interesting information waiting to be shared.  As I mentioned before some content is created by you but most is really created by others.  Sharing content from others can help you create visibility and position you as a valuable resource for your network.  This side of social media takes the most time since you will have to do a lot of reading before sharing it with you target audience. This part of social media could take 80% of your time.

There are many ways to share content through your social media accounts.  Many platforms have a “SHARE button” but I have found that Bufferapp is a great application that allows you to share information/websites on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn while you are reading the information.  Even better, Bufferapp will spread your postings during the day.

So your daily routine should be about finding the websites that contain good complementary content for your target audience, read and share it with that audience.

Finally, what I have explained is not only true for you as an individual but also for a company or organization since you are trying to become a valuable partner and resource  for your prospects and clients.  Keep in mind that information that is being distributed via company-owned accounts (fan pages on Facebook, company profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter and Youtube accounts) can and should be amplified through employee personal accounts.

Any thoughts? Comments?  Best practices you want to share?  Feel free to use the comment fields in this blog.  I look forward to starting the conversation with you.

The anatomy of a good social media policy

March 7, 2012

Whether your company is active on social media, your employees probably are.  So you should have a policy.  Over the course of the last few years I have been involved in writing and reviewing a lot of social media policies around the world.  It is becoming clear that social media policies have some kind of anatomy.

Of course, there is not “one fits all” solution since every company has its own needs and wants.  I would like to share with you what I am seeing as best practice components in social media policies.

Here are the different section one could have in a policy

1. Why do you have a social media policy?

In general employees do not like policies.  But protecting the reputation of your company is every employee’s duty and that is what a policy should attempt to achieve.  You can carve your policy in such a way that your employees are your ambassadors

2. What is social media?

Most of your employees have a limited view of what social media really is.  It is more than Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  A good definition of what you as company understand under social media will help you set the scene.

3. Which social media and networks are we talking about?

It is good idea to name the major different social media platforms, what they are best used for and what the benefits and dangers are.

4. To whom does the policy apply?

Different types of people are working in companies.  Of course you have employees of which some are spokespeople.  Many companies also employ contractors or free-lancers and you need to decide whether your policy will also apply to these people.  You might need a subtract for them.

5. How to get access of social media?

In some companies you still need to ask permission to access the internet and/or social media. We tend to think that this practice is becoming extinct but still many companies block access to social media for the majority of their employees under the umbrella of productivity loss.  That is what the social media policy is trying to address.

6. Definition of Terms

In this section you will define the difference between policy and guideline, personal vs professional use, employee vs spokesperson, etc.

7. Social Media Policy

It is clear that some items must be policy (use of logo’s, spokepeople, disclaimers, creation and ownership of accounts, etc.)

    1. For spokespeople
    2. For employees
    3. For contractors

8. Social Media guidelines

The social media guideline will help your employees protect their own reputation and thus also the reputation of the company.  In this section you will find items such as authenticity, correct errors, honesty, suggestion of identity and email addresses, etc.

9. Where can you your company on social media? And how are you using it?

Do not assume that your employees know what social media you are using as a company.  A lot of companies do not mention their accounts on website and leave it up to their employees to discover where they are.  This practice will make sure that all your employees know what the official accounts are.

It is also a best practice to tell your employees what you are using these social media accounts for.  Let’s call it leading by example.

10. How do you handle mentions (positive and negative)?

We all know that companies and people are talked about.  Many companies have some kind of social media monitoring but many more do not.  So if your employees who can be your eyes and ears in social media (provided they are your ambassadors) see any message, they need to know what the procedure is to handle these mentions or posts.

11. Where do you get help for your Social Media

As companies are gearing up for social media, it is also a good idea to setup a help desk or a social media help account (which could be any employee within the company).  Indicate in your policy who these people are and where you can get the necessary training.

12. Tips and tricks

Nothing works better to create ambassadors than provide tips and trick so you should include examples with tips and tricks.

I understand that including all these sections can lead to a long document that people might not read which brings me to a final point about a social media policy.  The key to success is the roll out phase. That’s the moment where you can create a simple hand-out or give-away that supports the introduction and announcement of the policy.  You can really get creative with this and get a lot of support for your policy.

I would love to hear your comments and feedback.

To Be or Not To Be on Social Media?

September 18, 2011

Many companies and professionals are already using social media to promote their products and services, connect with their clients and prospects and manage their reputation.  However, there are even more skeptical people in this world (working in smaller companies or as freelancers) that think of 1000 reasons why they should not be present.  Let me give 10 reason why they should reconsider.

Looking for new clients and prospects?

1. We live in a knowledge society, so sharing our knowledge is best done through a blog which will increase your visibility.  You will be able to provide your clients and prospects with relevant information and score higher in Google Search (SEO).

2. Your Blog will help you demonstrate your expertise in your field.  You will become a source for information for both your existing clients and your prospective clients.

3. Social Media allows you to be on top of things.  You are able to spot questions in your field of expertise and answer them quickly.

Looking for new contacts?

4. The power of social networking lies in the 2nd degree (the contacts of your contacts).  Social Media allows you to reach out to these 2nd degree contacts easily to establish new connections.

5. Social Media allows you to identify the Influencers in your domain of expertise.  Connecting with these Influencers will allow you to (possibly) use them for introductions, recommendations, and feedback.

6. Storytelling  is very powerful, so you should tell a good story!  Clients and prospects alike will get to know you better and this will lead to more trust.

7. By now you know you can not do everything yourself.  Creating a strong network is thus a must.  Social Media allows you to find Freelancers, Consultants and new business partners quickly and efficiently.

Looking at new products and services?

8. Social Media allows you to creatively promote your Products or Services.  Using video or photo you can lift the customer experience to the next level.

9. You have many good ideas but will they fly?  Crowd sourcing will allow you to test the waters without spending much money.  People love to help and contribute.  But remember, treat them special whether your product or service flies or not.

Finally, the last point (and in my opinion the most important one) is that you should be present in social media to listen what is being said about you, your company, your products and your people.  As is the case in the real world people talk about you in the widest sense of the word (just think when you were at a network meeting and someone was talking about you behind your back… What did you do?). You need to start Monitoring Social Media for mentions (both GOOD and BAD) today!

Have other ideas, concerns, blocking factors, etc., then I look forward to your comments to this post.

Are we dumb? Lazy? Or naive?

December 11, 2010

We are joining social media platforms and making new friends every day.  Moreover, we even become friends with people we have never met before.  Some people pride themselves in having as many friends as possible and this is not without danger.

When horror stories began to appear in the US, we Europeans had some good giggles about all those stupid and silly things some people did.  Whether they were comments on Facebook, messages on Twitter or videos on YouTube, we could not believe our ears.  We got confirmation of the statement “only in the USA something like this can happen”.  It would not happen in Europe.  We, Europeans, know much better what privacy is plus we even think that our privacy is well protected.  Not to say, that we think we are smarter.  But nothing is further from the truth.  Looking at the newspapers over the last weeks, European horror stories are featured daily and they are not any different than we one’s we laughed at. Why?  Are we as dumb as the Americans or are we as naïf as they are?

Many of us are just unaware of the dangers of social media.  By providing information about yourself on social media you are giving up your right to privacy.  All the information is stored on a server “somewhere” in the world so how can you protect that data?  Of course, social media platforms provide a number of security and privacy settings but your data is still in the cloud and you have no control over it.  Luckily, I see a number of social media policies that clearly state that you give up your right to privacy when you participate to social media but the issue is that most people do not know of the existence of such a policy in their company not to say they have not read them.

Sometime ago I read a great quote by Sam Lessin: “Privacy used to be cheap but now it is a precious good that is expensive to keep”.  Even though this is very correct, I do not entirely subscribe to it.  I want to argue that if you do not want people to know certain details about you, you should just not post or share it on any social media platform.  Privacy is at your own discretion and under your control – End of story and free of charge!

The problem might have deeper roots.  It starts with the fact that 95% of us who participate in social media never read the terms of service of those platforms.  We press “I accept” within seconds since we really have no choice when we want to participate.  It continues with the fact that 50% never changes the standard privacy and security settings and thus opens the can of worms even further.  Finally, no one ever reads a book or manual on how to use the different platforms and that is where the biggest problem is lingering.  Did you ever read a book about Facebook or Twitter?  We no longer read manuals in general (even if we buy a car, mobile phone or digital camera) and are unaware of the pitfalls.  Is that not just the recipe for disaster?

Is there a role for government, business or the general education system here?  Yes, I am convinced of it.  People need this information and built up these skills so they can reduce these types of horror stories.  True, it is up to the individual to take some action but still a gentle push can go a long way.  Or even better, put a “how to use social media” manual or book under the Christmas tree this year for all your friends and beloved family and make them read it.

Is your social media monitoring flawed?

November 28, 2010

Once you have stepped through the gate of social media, you realize that social media monitoring is a must.  Having followed several discussions about social media monitoring, I am constantly amazed to hear what people seem to be using as their monitoring tool.

Overview

I think there is a need to explain what we mean when we speak about social media monitoring.  To illustrate what I consider to be the different levels of monitoring, I want to make a comparison to life on and around a golf club.

In the golf club Translates to social media
Your golf partner talks to you and you listen and engage in a conversation Messages are posted on your social media profiles and you must respond
Fellow golfers in the club house are talking about you People are mentioning your company name, product and or people in social media
Everyone is talking about new trends in golfing or great golf clubs to visit Trending topics, client & competitor mentions

I can hear some of you say that I am missing sentiment analysis.  Though this is important, the quality and quantity of messages are critical and come first.  Sentiment analysis comes second.

Practically

I have been running a number of social media monitoring tools on 3 types of information:  my name (mic adam), a small business (multiple companies including vanguard leadership) and a generic term.  Tools include software such as Google alerts, Socialmention, Tracebuzz, Backtype, Tweetdeck,  Engagor, and many more.

Listening to your own accounts is simple but a lot of time forgotten by companies as has been demonstrated by research by Wildfire PR and Vanguard Leadership in their social media monitoring research.

Monitoring social media for company or product mentions is a different animal all together.  Today, there are a lot of tools available from free to paid services, but…

The results are baffling and lack every sense of consistency.  I would like to demonstrate this using the generic term “social media policy”.  The daily results over a period of 5 days are summarized in the following table:

Tool Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
A 300 158 259 87 81
B 124 149 149 163 99
C 15 33 13 20 15
D 0 0 0 1 1

Where is the consistency in this?

Another thing I noticed is all the tools do not pick up the same messages.  Even worse, some tools pick up incorrect messages (even after tuning).  Social media is really a form of business intelligence and as a user you are dependent on the quality of the data warehouse your supplier delivers.

Conclusions

  • There are different tools available that accomplish different things.  Tweetdeck might be great to monitor your own accounts, but may be less appropriate to monitor keywords
  • There is not ONE  tool that will provide you all the information.  You need to implement and use several tools to have complete view.
  • When running different tools you need human intervention to review and aggregate the results as well as the sentiment analysis.

Do you have similar experiences? Know of a great tool that does everything and is affordable? Want to give feedback?  I love to hear from you.

SM Monitoring: are you REALLY listening?

May 30, 2010

Over the course of the last weeks I have been talking to, presenting to and listening to a large number of people on social media.  If we consider that social media is about creating content, sharing content and interaction about the content, I can safely assume that the last part requires listening which is minimized by a lot of people and companies.  So if you are not listening, you how can you interact.

I want to address 3 things in this post:

  1. What is monitoring
  2. Real life examples (mine)
  3. Conclusions

If after reading this post you are ready to challenge me, then I look forward to having a constructive discussion.

1. Monitoring

Allow me first to try and define what I mean by “listening” or monitoring as I understand it (and yes, please correct me if I have missed something)

  1. The most recognized form of monitoring is company/brand monitoring.  This falls in the realm of the marketers but a large number struggle how to implement this but at least the awareness is there.
  2. Website monitoring is done by IT.  From this practice stands the action of blocking certain websites such as porn site, but also Facebook, Twitter and/or YouTube.  But what about networking sites such as Netlog,  BEBO, Hi5 or even Hyves.  BTW did you block Chatroulette, 4chan, certain blogs and the like?

I have 2 pieces of bad news.   The first, though this might seems very pragmatic and successful approach on the surface, I hate to disappoint IT and HR people as many employees are switching to devices such as smart phones to update their Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Secondly, there are new social media platforms popping up every day and how do you keep track of which ones to block?  Oh yes, when you hear about it in the news… unfortunately, it might be one of your employees getting into the limelight.

3. Outward employees social media monitoring consisting of who of your employees is on social media and what are they saying (about your company, your clients, your partners, your competition or even themselves (in their job)).  This is not only touching many nerves, it is a taboo!

2. Personal examples

That people and companies (in Belgium certainly) are not listening, I would like to demonstrate with 2 personal examples.

First, when I tried to switch from one type of subscription to another within the SAME telecom operator it took 7 days!  I was in their store everyday but posted messages and Twitter and Facebook.  Even wrote an email to their marketing department (I got an answer back 10 days after the problem was solved – BTW the guy did not even take the time to see what my first name was and assumed it was an abbreviation for a female’s name).  Not ONE reaction!  Great opportunity for bashing and bad for customer satisfaction.

Secondly, I took part in a webinar about social media.  It focused for 60% on Twitter alone as what social media is.  I decided to voice my comment and sent a tweet with the fact I was very disappointed about the content.  A great opportunity to engage with a client I thought.  I guess not, since the reaction was: an invite to join their LinkedIn group.   So the listening skills are not there.

But it is not all bad.  I am having problems with my Gowalla account.  I sent a tweet into the world asking for help from anyone who could help me and yes, Gowalla is listening (and hopefully solving my problem).

3. Some conclusions

I have also taken some time to review some monitoring tools.  There is whole list of tools (http://wiki.kenburbary.com/ – Ken Burbary).   There are some free tools which do a fair job but if you need more there are the paying software subscriptions (mainly targeted at marketers for brand monitoring).  I have signed up for freemium accounts and gotten demonstration of the different platforms.

One concern I want to voice is that all demos are given on the basis of brands such as Audi, Lexus, Coca-Cola, etc.  where there are thousands on conversations taking place every day/week.  So if you miss one there is no big problem.  Looking at where the rubber hits the road, when you talk about small to medium-sized business (in a country like Belgium which is the size of a handkerchief) the number of posts is very small to none existent.  Caution is required.

My other conclusions are today the following:

  • There is not ONE tool that gives you all the answers.
  • Free tools are delivering some good results but you need to do a lot of work after it.
  • Paying platforms deliver a whole range of reports and nicely arranged graphs, data charts etc.
  • Paying platforms seem to be missing social media platforms (LinkedIn being the major one missing or badly covered).

4. Ready to challenge me?

All reactions and comments are welcome.  If you have good or bad examples of social media monitoring feel free to share them with me.  Feel free to challenge me.  My email is adammic@vanguard-leadership.be


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