Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Put your social media Sombrero on!

January 31, 2016

You will probably recognize the following scenario.  You enroll for a training or webinar to learn new things.  During the session there are a lot’s of tips and tricks you think you should implement but as you are keeping up with the pace, they get lost.  And then we all suffer from the “I will do it tomorrow” syndrome.  However, the next day we either forget or fall victim to our hectic business-as-usual where other fires have to be put out. Finally, we only implement less than 10% of what we learned.

I see this happening to too when people who learn all about LinkedIn or Social Media in trainings.  As a trainer it is frustrating that all your good tips & tricks were no implemented (in the spur on the moment).

sombreroRecently, I came across an interesting app called Sombrero which actually starts where you left of in your social media training.  This app acts as you guide and teacher but in small bits on a daily basis.  I tried the app myself first and then spoke with the people from Sotrender, the company behind this app.

 

Getting started is simple!

Installing the app is easy and so is setting it up.  Register your social media profiles like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and the small tasks start rolling in.  The nice thing is that the app takes babysteps as the task are simple and take very short time to complete.  The app gives you a real sense of accomplishment but still you are moving forward to professionalizing your social media presence.  True, if you are already active the first days/week might be boring but it provides some good benchmarking on where you are.

sombrero app

As you move along the timeline, tasks become a bit more challenging but reflect how you should be running your social media.  I found a great complement to my training program.

It is not all sunshine, of course!

What caught my attention is that there is bit of confusion around the target profiles: personal vs company profiles.  The app wants to serve both and it is not always clear which way it tilts.

Since I mostly focus on B2B, LinkedIn is a major component.  Unfortunately, this bit is missing today.   I understand it will be coming in next versions.

Another little drawback is the fact that it is an English-only version and my feeling tells me that the audience best served is not always used to work in English.

Must-do!

Since this app is free (and there is no catch) and very educational, I think you try it on your smartphone or tablet.  I am convinced that you will learn a thing or two even if you have some experience.  The app really delivers when it comes pushing your boundaries and boosting your online performance.

Let me know what you think!

 

Employee Advocacy in 9 questions?

November 27, 2015

I recently organized an event together with “ADM – Where Business meets ICT” on the subject of Employee Advocacy.  It is a hot topic for many companies as the low hanging fruit for brand ambassadors has not been picked yet.

Here is what members of ADM taught us.  The full list of questions are below in the appendix

Q1: What words come to mind when you hear the word “Employee Advocacy”?

Here is what the audience thought….

EA - 11

We all know that Employee advocacy” is a term used to describe the exposure that employees generate for brands & company using both their own online and offline assets.

Q2 – Q4 pertained to current Employee Advocacy

About 2 out 3 companies that took part in the on line survey during the event had a program in shape or form for EA.  Most of the Advocacy seemed to happen on LinkedIn (45%) while Twitter and Facebook came in 2nd with about 23%.   In most companies between 15% and 25% of employees are being advocates.

Q5: What Employee Advocacy programs do you know?

One thing that is clear is that even though there are many platforms out there, people seem to know few of them.

EA - 12

Q6 – Q8 pertained to who drives the EA initiative

Though marketing seems to be the biggest driver (46%), HR and communications are close seconds.  Even though we seem to hear that incentives are the key to successful EA, most of the companies in the survey disagreed.  Less than 30% offer incentives to their employees.

EA - 14

Now with Employee Advocacy comes the danger of having things go wrong so having a clear up to date social media policy is key.  As my other research has shown about 50% of companies are not paying attention and have no or an outdated social media policy.

Q9: Who is responsible for the content that will be shared through Employee Advocacy?

The obvious answer seems to be marketing but stories from and by employees seem to be the trick to successful EA.

Conclusion

If your company want to start with an Employee advocacy plan a few steps need to taken:

  1. Make sure you have a culture of sharing and openness
  2. Update your social media policy
  3. Have your employee create content
  4. Implement an employee advocacy platform
  5. Encourage sharing through a smart incentive plan

What are your thoughts, feedback and experiences? Love to hear from you

EA - 13

Appendix: questions asked to about 70 companies during the event

  1. What words come to mind when you hear the word “Employee Advocacy”?
  2. Does your company have an Employee Advocacy program?
  3. On what platforms is your advocacy happing?
  4. What % of your employees participate in advocacy?
  5. What EA platform are you using or know of?
  6. Which department drives EA?
  7. Are people incentivized for being an advocate?
  8. Do you have an updated social media policy?
  9. Who is responsible for creating content to be shared via EA?

The Renaissance of the social media policy

October 15, 2015

Let’s start in 2009

2009 is the year that social media breaks through on a large scale.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the likes are adding members quickly.  I would like to call this the age of “consumersation of Social Media”.

social media errorsBut 2009 is also the year that we start seeing how naif people are.  They post anything and everything on social media.  They tarnish not only their own reputation but also that of the companies they work for.  Some even get fired for their behavior.  But also companies make mistakes with this young and new medium.  And then companies do what companies do best: the lock down and lockout social media on the work floor!

They did however not count on the fact that mobile was also becoming a  commodity. People creative as they are fled to these mobile devices to take part in social media during work hours.   Companies had to do something: The social media policy was born!

2011 – 2012

one in fiveWhen I did my survey about social media policies in companies, I found that only 1 in 5 companies had one.  Even worse: within those companies less than 10% of the employees knew about it.  This still holds true today.  Social Media policies were merely a tick in the box.

Companies only made one when disaster struck.  They created them as insurance policies.

2015:  Time for a social media policy renaissance

We are now 2015 and there 3 important reasons why companies should revisit their social media policy or create one.

3 reasons socmedpol

Reason #1: We all know that 2015 is the year of the video more specifically live-streaming.  Apps such as Meerkat, Periscope or even Blab give every employee a live camera in their hand.  What if they start live streaming your production process?  What if they stream paying events?  And this is just the beginning.

Reason #2: For years companies have been looking for ambassadors.  They kept looking outside the company and forgot their biggest assets, the employees.  Today Employee Advocacy is stepping into the limelight.  Employees can amplify company approved content and get a higher organic reach.  Today companies are using a number of tools from rFactr, over GaggleAmp to Sociabble or Smarpshare just to name a few.  But what if your employee add comments to post that are not appropriate?

Reason #3: More and more companies are embracing Social Selling (aka the use of social media by sales to find leads and build relationships).  We all know how disciplined sales people are and things can go wrong very quickly (and yes, this is black & white).  You really need a policy to help this people with their social media.

And finally, people are still naif in this day and age.  They are still being fired for posting stupid stuff.

So time for the renaissance of the social media policy.  If yours is more than 2 years old, it is time for a revision.

Conclusion

From my current research, it looks like about 50% of the companies have as policy of which some are more than 2 years old.  With social election in many companies coming up, it might be a good idea to include some paragraphs about union behavior and use  of social within your enterprise.

In my next article I will focus on the how you make/update your current social media policy.

You really want me to pay for LinkedIn?

November 15, 2014

paying for Linkedin I recently read yet another article about 8 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade To LinkedIn Premium.

Though I am not against paying for LinkedIn I believe you should be stretching it first to its limits before you do pay.  I find that a lot of people are paying where they shouldn’t or as they are not using the extra functionality.  Let me give you some insight into why I think you should not pay…

Additional Filters

I agree with the fact that the advanced search of LinkedIn is very powerful.  If and when you are working in a smaller type market (Belgium with 2.3 million members), these extra parameters are of no value.

Tip : just use the keyword search to get better results.  You will not be disappointed.

More Search Results

Okay, you can see more than 100 profiles which means that your search is not specific enough.  Let’s be honest you do not have the time or even energy to scroll through 30 screens.  You are not doing this on Google search so why would you do it on LinkedIn.

Tip: Be more specific in your search criteria.

More saved searches

There is something to be said about that were it not that few people (that I know or  have been in my classes) even know about this function.  It is very powerful to detect who in your network has changed his/her profile and now falls into your “target audience”.

Tip: set up your 3 saved searches

Do more reference searches

To my knowledge few people are even coming close to using this function.  Heck, most of them have not even discovered where this button is.  And let’s be real, in my neck of the world people ask you who to contact as reference.

Tip: Get some recommendations and endorsements of your skills. You could add to your summary that you are willing to provide references (if needed).

Inmails

Of course, this is one of the high flyers when it comes to paying for LinkedIn.  Is sending emails to someone you do not know really such a good idea or practice? And by-the-way, did you know that you can send an email to anyone for free?

Tip: Just join one of the groups that person belongs to and your email is free!

More Introductions

Yet another one of LinkedIn’s biggest secrets.  Like in real life you can be introduced by someone you mutually know.  The quality of the network of many LinkedIn members is very good so they can do this type of introductions. Great feature but rarely used.  I rarely get a request (which I gladly pass along – try me!) even though I do have a large network.   Since this feature is hardly known few use up the 3 introductions.

Tip: Use your monthly 3 free introductions and be open to pass introduction.

Free subscription

See full profiles of 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree contact

Yes, it can be frustrating not to see the details of your 3rd degree contacts.  However, these people have a public profile which can be easily found back through a simple google search.  All you have to do is enter the First name, initial and company and Google will give you the public LinkedIn profile.  Here you will find the full story.  Have you ever tried?

Tip:  Try a Google Search on one of your 3rd degree contacts.

Who viewed your profile

Yet another top reason to pay for LinkedIn.  You can see everyone who visited your profile in the last 90 days.  Do you have any idea how many people visit your profile on a daily?  I dare to tell me it is over 5 which is what you see when you have a free subscription.  And no, you will nog see more from the anonymous people who view your profile.

Tip: Check your “Who viewed your profile” daily and you will catch all viewers.

Open profile

Are you really waiting for unknown people to send you emails on LinkedIn?

Tip: Just mention you email address in your summary or make visual on your public profile

The gold Badge (Premium)

Well, what a vain person are you?

Tip: Be less vain!

Conclusion

Unless you are a recruiter or salesperson working in a very large community, it makes no sense to pay for LinkedIn.  Stretch the free version of LinkedIn to its limits  before you decide to pay.  Yes, I have recently signed up for a premium account for Sales Navigator.  As part of my social selling practice, I need to appraised of its functionality.  The jury is out whether this will actually bring me the so much awaited ROI.  Will keep you posted on my results!

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

 

How Often? When? And How Many?

August 31, 2014

social-media-crazyThere are all kinds of statistics around about when to post where and with what frequency in order to reach as many people as possible.  Over the course of the summer, I conducted a survey among my LinkedIn contacts, Twitter followers and Facebook friends to understand their social media behaviour.  Here are the results.

Twitter

Check Frequency: 45% check Twitter mulitple times per day.  Add another 17% that checks it daily.

Check Peak:  The prime moments for checking Twitter seems to be during and after work hours (over 70% for both categories).  The morning seems to show the lowest activity and so do breaks.

Post Frequency: There is a wide spread which is linked to the large number of lurkers on Twitter.  However, it seems that 43% tweet 1-3/week,.  27% do it between 1 and 3 times per day.  Less than 10% tweet more than 5 times per day.

LinkedIn

Check Frequency: The use of LinkedIn for more than HR purposes is driving up the frequency with which people check LinkedIn.  With over 35% checking multiple times/day and 29% daily we give LinkedIn a thumbs up. Amazingly enough 2% never visits their profile while the rest checks it once a month.

Check Peak: As can be expected with a “professional” networking platform, most people access it during the work day.  An amazing 80% do it during work hours.  Breaks, mornings and evenigs do not seem to be  so popular.  It si considered work.

Post Frequency: From experience I know people do not do many Status Updates on LinkedIn.  The survey confirmed this again with 27% never posting and 33% only once a month.  Less than 11% post daily on LinkedIn.

Facebook

Check Frequency: As expected over 65% check their Facebook multiple times per day.  Adding the 17% of daily checkers and we can conclude we are addicted to Facebook!

Check Peak: Here too, not many surprises except the fact that before breakfast does not do so well.  The highest peak lies in the evening after work.

Post Frequency: Since facebook has the highest degree of “lurkers” it is not surprising that weekly (42%) and daily (31%) post are the dominant numbers here.

Google what?

Yet again, Google+ demonstrates its ability to stay under the radar.  Even though there are so many accounts (gmail users, android users, picasa users, youtube user, etc.) few people are even aware they have a G+ account.  More that 60% never visit the account with another 10% that don’t even know they have such an account.

Conclusion

Though this research did not reveal anything dramatic, it confirms that LinkedIn is the professional tool of choice and tolerated in the workplace; Facebook the lurking tool into our realm of friends and brands; Twitter the platform no one really knows what to think of; and Google+ that special place in the desert!

How does your social media behaviour fit in with these results?

Here is the graphic representation of these survey results.

Social Media Access (1)

What is your Twitter clockspeed?

July 22, 2014

timer social mediaSalespeople are embracing social selling.  There are a lot of benefits to adding social to your traditional sales process which has been covered in many different articles.  These articles cover things such as researching your clients, content curation, relationship building and even lead generation.

After doing some research of where your target audience is , creating social (selling) profiles is easy.  Especially with all the good advice, tips and tricks you can find on the internet.  But then the next dilemma’s  arrive on the scene: what content to post where, how many posts and how much time will this take?

Of course, there is no unique and one answer to these questions.  There are some articles out there that say you will be spending 20 – 60 minutes per day, but is that realistic?  Looking at the forerunners of social selling might give us some more insight.  Where better to look for inspiration on the above questions than to the list with the Top 30 Social Salespeople.  Today, I will focus on what they do on Twitter.

Quantity

There are many posts about how many times you should tweet per day.  One thing that seems to jump out is that the quantity seems to be going up.  In the past it was once a day but today the number is likely going up to 3 to 8 tweets a day.  This includes of course your tweets, retweets and replies to others.

But how many are our experts averaging?  A quick analysis gives us a range between 4 and 36 tweets per DAY!  The average being 17.  One of the reasons why this number could high is because these experts are taking part in twitter chats and are much solicited by their “fans” but that could also be considered as social selling.

Digging a little deeper, it seems they are tweeting every day of the week with Saturday and Sunday at a 1/3 or less of the weekday volume.  And most tweet around the clock with a real dip around 2-5 AM.  I assume this has to do with their worldwide audience and their use of scheduling tools.

And then there is the lifespan of a tweet.  After some digging I found that this varies between 10 and 18 minutes.

Conclusion: There is, of course, no exact number but it seems that you need to tweet 10+ times/day or otherwise said “once every hour” during the workday. And possibly 3 times/day during the weekend.

Content Structure

How-To-Write-The-Perfect-TweetThere is no such thing as a perfect tweet, but common knowledge has it that every tweet should have a good text with a call to action, a link to more content and one or more hashtags.  To make the tweet complete, you might add a twitter handle as part of a reply or general mention.

Unfortunately, most tweets do not adhere to this scheme.  Our experts manage include a link to more content in about 15% to 90% of their tweets. The average being one tweet out of two having a link.  When it comes to the use of hashtags, we see a similar behavior.  The experts average between 0 and 4 hashtags per tweet.

Conclusion: Every tweet you send out should have at least one or possibly 2 hashtags.

Time investment

So how much time do you spend tweeting?  The 2 above topics can give us some indication on how much time you will be spending per day.  Since there is no real science to this, here are some of my thoughts

  • Tweet 12-15 x day
  • Every other tweet has a link to additional content and a good hashtag.
  • Average time to create and send out a tweet: 1 minute (and yes this can vary) but keep in mind that some thought needs to go into the text, call to action and hashtag(s) to use.
  • If you include a link in your tweet or you retweet a tweet with a link, you need make sure you have read the content of the link which I will count as 1 minute per link. Since half the tweets contain links this will consume some time.

Conclusion: Taking the above bullet points into account, you will spend 20 minutes or more per day on your outgoing tweets.

And there is more

Of course, sending out tweets (like sending out email content) is only the beginning of the integration of social into your sales process.  You will be investing time into listening, content reading /curation and actual relationship building.  More to follow in future posts.

So how much time do you think you invest into your social selling routine?

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?

Why “Who viewed my profile” on LinkedIn is crap!

March 13, 2014

When you use linkedIn we all love the feature “Who has viewed our profile”.  Though this is a key feature on LinkedIn and in a social selling approach, it is also a great source of frustration.

But first something else I am wondering about connected to “Who has viewed your profile”.  Recently I saw a post that someone who completes their “Summary” get 10x more views on LinkedIn.  Watch out there is a catch which I will come to later.  For now, no one nor any article can explain me if this is true or why?  Of course, I believe you need to complete this section in your profile since it is your evelator pitch.  But what the effect is on being found, I do not really get.  Well secretly, I do.  Anyone (from LinkedIn) care to comment and back it up with proof?

And now for my catches.

LI - profile view

LinkedIn is all  about networking.  And still people decide they want to remain semi-anonymous or anonymous.  It is my experience these people are either my competitors or recruiters.  I can’t t get my head around the fact they are not open to being identified.  I wonder if they go to real life network meetings with a bag over their head or hand you a business card from someone else?  Strange!  I guess they have a good reason which I fail to understand, but that is my problem and yes, my frustration.  Let me tell you I will let you know if I viewed your profile and who knows maybe we can help eachother!  That is the true nature of networking and LinkedIn.

LI anonymous

But recently I ran across another interesting  issue.  The count of people who viewed my profile seems to be different depending on the language interface I use.  Below is a screenshot of my profile views using the english (342) and dutch (559) interface.  Very strange indeed.  It seems LinkedIn makes me more popular in NL than EN. And yes, they are the same people.   Out goes my trust in LinkedIn statistics!  Anyone care to enlighten me?

LI - EN-NL views

Let me be clear, I am a LinkedIn addict and believer but sometimes we need to step back to put it all into perspective.  Of course, I will continue to use the “who viewed my profile” to reach out to people and conduct business.  I love to hear your views and comments!


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