Social Selling on Facebook IS creepy!

I came across an interesting infographic from HubSpot where they asked “Is Social Selling Creepy?”. Indeed it could be if you do not change the word selling to serving. Taking the approach of Social Serving to your clients and providing them value will always win over ” I see you play golf, I do too, buy from me”

However the survey HubSpot ran was specifically around the research you conduct and what you do with that found information. So it is very interesting to read.

Not surprising were the Facebook responses.

Would is be creepy if a salesperson sent you a Facebook message? Yes = 81%

Would it be creepy if a salesperson sent you a friend request? Yes = 78%

I wrote about Facebook in this blog, perhaps you have read it? They asked, Do you Facebook? I said, No

FaceBookCreepy

So here is the full infographic, I would be delighted to hear your thoughts on what you think is or is not creepy about a sales person reaching out via social media. Pop a comment below.

 

High Five Hubspot for this content http://blog.hubspot.com/sales 

Social Selling Creepy Infographic

Category: Uncategorized

3+3 rules to write emails which get 40% response rate. By Ankur Chaudhary

Increased Email Response

It takes only 2.7 seconds for a reader to decide if they want to take action to an email (reply, forward or delete). Your one self-focused line can be blasted away into oblivion with one click from the reader.

With today’s crazy-busy buyers, how do you get their attention? Jill Konarth one of best sales-thought leaders who has years of research in buyers’ behavior, discovered that readers evaluate an email on four key questions:

  • How simple is it?
  • Does this person offer value to my business?
  • Is this aligned with my objectives?
  • How big a priority is it?

Critical factors you need to think about before you craft a message:

Length: 80.8% of prospects read emails on mobile screens. The shorter, the better. Keep your emails under 90 words.

Subject Line: Be precise and action-oriented. There has been enough debate on whether length of subject lines matters. My experience being: they don’t matter. If you have a referral or relevant name to drop, always mention that. Subject lines that address immediate concerns, company changes, or critical business issues are always highly effective.

Here are some example subject lines that get reads:

  • Quick questions about next quarter’s sales targets
  • Ideas for disrupting the top of sales funnel
  • Sam Ribnick suggested I get in touch with you
  • 3 steps to improve social selling ROI

Personalize: If I had to pick a single most critical factor to help get a response, I would chose personalization of an email. Work to surprise your buyer with your relevant research on their challenges and needs. If there is a reference point for you to mention, please do.

Pique curiosity: Present a compelling value to your buyer, you can do this in following ways:

  • Refer prospect challenges. Example: If you are like most marketers today, you’re under a ton of pressure to increase your lead effectiveness.
  • Refer similar customers. Example: I thought you might be interested in what we did with…
  • Mention Trigger events. Example: The reason I contacted you is because I read about your (triggering event). Based on my experience working with other firms, when (triggering event) happens, it usually creates (problems/challenges) with …
  • Refer to industry trend. Example:In researching your competitors, I learnt that one of the prime initiatives this year for (Blank) industry is…
  • Direct Value Proposition. Example: We help large companies reduce cost of sales by …
  • Refer the competition. Example: Hi Marc, I had a question about your competitor “XYZ”. Did you know they were looking to implement our software? If you have time next week, I can help you with …

Value Proposition:Buyers don’t care about your products and services. They want results. State your value proposition in clear business terms. Corporate buyers are particularly attracted to phrases such as: increased revenue, improved customer retention, higher ROI, increased competitor differentiation, decreased costs, etc.

Close graciously: Do this by inviting an action. It could be a meeting request or a question which could be replied to in a few words. Example: If you are the appropriate person to speak with, what does the calendar look like early next week? If not, who do you recommend I speak with?

I have experienced that when you follow these simple rules, prospects want to open a dialogue with you and share their business objectives, needs, and challenges. I used these rules to achieve more than a 40% response rate.

What are some of the best practices you use while sending prospecting emails to your buyers? I would love to hear what has been effective email response strategy for you.

 

Follow Ankur Chaudhary on Twitter

Find Ankur Chaudhary on LinkedIn

Category: Email

​Twitter Undergoes a Makeover

The website now has a new homepage to greet its users

Social networking service Twitter has just revamped its homepage in an attempt to attract more non-users to create an account.

Twitter has announced in an official blog post that their homepage was getting “refreshed,” implying that they wanted to make it more attractive so that it would convince people to sign up for a new account.

Given that Twitter has laid much emphasis on the fact that it became one of the most reliable real-time news search engines, and that it wants to add even more users to the hundreds of millions who already access its service every month, this change was no surprise.

Since the old homepage was rather scant in terms of design and even information, many people considered it was about time Twitter came up with an overhaul.

The simple background image that was urging users to log in has now turned into a more complex one, which is made up of several categories people can choose from.

The new homepage gives you a preview of how Twitter works

Based on what they are interested in, Twitter users can now click on a certain category and they will be taken to torrents of tweets related to that particular subject. This way, they can get a closer look at how things work and maybe they will be convinced that a Twitter account is something they absolutely need.

Or at least this is what Twitter had in mind when it rolled out the new feature, mainly based on the statistics showing that more than 125 million people visit the homepage every month without signing up for an account, Mashable reports.

This impressive number must have been the reason behind Twitter’s decision to take some measures and have some work done on its homepage in order to intrigue curious onlookers by adding some samples of tweets.

It has now added categories like Politics, Pop Artists or Cute Animals, with the sole purpose of convincing people that they should sing up in order to enjoy the real-time content.

It’s almost as if Twitter were giving them a taste of what they could experience if they decide to get started on the social network.

The homepage has been made available for US users only for the time being, but Twitter announced it would gradually roll it out in other countries as well.

Compliments to Softpedia for content

Category: Twitter

10 important changes you need to know about LinkedIn for 2015 by Greg Cooper

The LinkedIn development team have been busy. The last few months have seen many changes, big and small, to the world’s #1 business networking platform and the New Year will bring more. In this post I am going to highlight some of the ones I feel are most important for you to know about. You should be aware that because of the way that LinkedIn phases in updates gradually across its customer base it is likely that you will have some but not all of the changes mentioned below.

Why you may ask is it so important to keep up to date with changes to LinkedIn? Isn’t it at the end of the day just another business application like Word or Excel? Well no actually. LinkedIn is also the place where buyer and seller meet and build relationships. Studies consistently show that that the most successful sales people spend more time on LinkedIn than their less successful colleagues. Part of this time is spent making sure they keep abreast of changes because being fluent on LinkedIn gives you a competitive edge.

And so to the changes. Here in my opinion are some of the most important recent and planned changes you need to know about.

1. Revised pricing

LinkedIn recently revamped its pricing model, dumping the lower priced “Spotlight” and “Business” accounts and making “Business Plus” the entry level paid account. This represents a significant hike in pricing. Larger businesses and those selling high value products or services will still regard the paid account as good value however many small businesses are likely to balk at paying $49.95 per month.

If you are not sure if it is worth paying for a premium account LinkedIn has made it easy to upgrade, downgrade, or cancel anytime from your settings page. Here is acomparison of the different accounts. You can also try out any premium account for free for 30 days.

Here is an excellent article by Andy Brandt that reviews the recent price changes.

2. Profile Page – “View Page As” option

With the new profile page design you can “view page as” it will be seen by (a) your connections (b) by the public i.e.anyone. The latter is a stripped down version of your page which does not show blog posts, contact information, endorsements or recommendations, media files.

This is a useful reminder of the importance of reaching out to connect with your target audience so they have access to your profile page in its full glory!

Button allows you to see your profile as your connections or the public do

3. Permaedit Mode

Although the “edit profile” command remains at the moment in the drop down menu this is now redundant as scrolling over any section on the profile page will automatically turn on edit mode for that section – see below:

Scrolling over the profile page now instantly switches edit mode on

4. New look Homepage

LinkedIn have redesigned and simplified the homepage to become a personal dashboard.This is an update I don’t have at the time of writing. This is LinkedIn’s description of the main changes.

“At the very top of the homepage, your new dashboard gives you instant feedback on how you’re doing. See how many people have viewed you and understand how your status updates are performing. Click on either one to get deeper insights into what’s resonating with the connections you care about. Learn who found you – from that CEO to a long-lost friend – and how they found you, plus how you rank across your connections, within your company, and other LinkedIn members like you. Make quick edits to your profile – which help us surface better opportunities, news, and connection ideas for you – with a single click”.

There is also a new “Keep in touch box” at the top right of the page where you can share a comment, say congrats, or like an update.

Click here to read LinkedIn’s announcement about the redesigned homepage.

5. Redesigned recommendation feature

The recommendation feature is one of the longest established and most important LinkedIn features but until very recently had received little attention from the design team. I am glad to say the feature has now been completely updated, for example the rather bizarre option to send out up to 200 recommendations requests at once has been replaced by the option to send a maximum of three requests at one time.

6. Removal of group connection request

A couple of months ago LinkedIn quietly removed the ability to send connection invitations to people in a shared group. This was a very popular and useful feature. and many people are unhappy that this has disappeared. Being in the same group implies shared interests and would therefore seem a reasonable basis for connecting. If LinkedIn were concerned this feature was being abused it would have been simpler in my opinion to add an opt out in the settings menu.

7. New connection options

A change is coming to the standard connection request process from a member’s page. Currently clicking on the connect button on someone’s profile will bring up the dialogue box shown above. In future clicking on this button will automatically send a standard non-personalised connect request. In order to send a personalised request (recommended) it will be necessary to click on the drop down menu and select the customised request option.

I do not have this update yet.

8. How people found you

When you check who has viewed your profile LinkedIn now helpfully tells you how that person came to your profile e.g. from a group, the mobile app, the who viewed your profile page. Whilst this is not necessarily the most important recent change it does give useful feedback on which aspects of your LinkedIn activity are being effective in getting you noticed.

9. New Inmail policy

From January 2015 Inmails will work differently. Instead of receiving credits for Inmails that are not read the system will be turned on its head so in future you receive a credit for every response received (Reply or Not Interested) from a recipient within 90 days. If you don’t get a response within 90 days, however, the InMail credit will be lost.

The monthly Inmail allowance will also increase depending on your membership. For example the entry level Business Plus account will now receive 15 instead of 10 per month. Unused Inmails will continue to be valid for 90 days, after which they are deleted.

It is possible to purchase up to 10 additional Inmails.

Read the LinkedIn policy in full.

10. New LinkedIn search engine

Over the last 18 months LinkedIn has been developing and rolling out a new search engine code named “Galene”. This has largely replaced the original “Lucene” search engine which was no longer able to cope with the volume and rate of change of LinkedIn’s data.

The key benefits provided by the new search engine are:

  • Instant member search of whole LinkedIn database
  • Improved relevance as a result of a more sophisticated algorithm

This is a work in progress and some of the results that a LinkedIn search currently produces can be a bit puzzling with no obvious logic. However it does seem that some of the factors that will influence your ranking on a given search are location, social proximity (how closely connected you are to an individual), and keywords.

There are many more impenetrable criteria hidden in the bowels of the algorithm which we can only guess at, but as with Google search the best advice for users is to make sure you are posting good quality content that is relevant to your audience and you have written and optimised your profile with the customer in mind.

Stop press: LinkedIn have just announced that free account users will now be able to view full names and profiles for anyone in their extended network, this was previously only available to paid subscribers. At the same time LinkedIn are introducing a new restriction on the number of searches that free account users can make each month – this is know as the rather vaguely defined “commercial limit”.A progress bar will appear in your search results when 30% of your searches are left, and will continue to remind you in 5% increments. After you’ve reached the limit, you’ll continue to be able to search, but will see a limited number of results. Your free monthly usage will reset on the 1st of each calendar month.

You can read more here.

I’d love to hear what you think of these changes and any other changes which you feel will have a significant impact on the way you use LinkedIn.

If you have enjoyed this article please share it so other people can too.

_________________________________

Greg Cooper is a Marketing Coach and LinkedIn specialist and Google+ trainer based in Bristol, UK. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Direct Marketing. For over twenty years Greg ran an award winning direct marketing agency working with leading technology companies like IBM, SAP, and Siemens. Today he works with SMEs and Business Units of larger companies. He is an accredited coach on the Government sponsored Growth Accelerator Programme.

For more information about Greg’s Coaching and Training Services or to join the mailing list please click here.

Social Selling Trends for 2015 by Jeffrey Gitomer

Free Sales! Free Sales! Step Right Up and Get Your Free Sales!

What are your social goals this year?

No, not who are you taking to the dance on Saturday night. What are your intentions to create more online social involvement that leads to attraction, engagement and sales. Social sales. Oh, that.

UPDATE: Social sales and social selling is the new black.

SET YOUR SALES COMPASS ON “SOCIAL” AND THINK ABOUT THIS:
• What are your social value offerings?
• What are your social product offerings?
• What is attractive about your social offerings?
• Where is the perceived value in your social outreach?
• Where is the perceived value in your social offerings?

These are painful questions – but I’m just getting started.

My good friend, and IBM’s social evangelist, Sandy Carter, asked me to comment on what’s next in the world of social selling for 2015.

Here are the Social Media and Social Selling Trends for 2015:
 Social media and social selling are entering the next phase. It’s the “comfortable with” phase – big companies and previous naysayers in general are branching out and digging in. Everyone is realizing the unlimited power, and has some experience with the process and applications. Comfortable enough to BUY.
Social Selling Challenge: Are your customers and prospects buying from your online offerings?
• Will your social selling offers only bring sales? The discount offerings bring customers. The value offerings bring customers and PROFIT!
Social Selling Challenge: How much profit are your online sales bringing in?
• Every social media site is trying to do and be everything to everyone. Photos are now everywhere. Videos are now everywhere. The “likers” are now everywhere.
Social Selling Challenge: How current is your social presence? Are you gaining a following?
• Kids will continue to abandon Facebook for Instagram – 300,000 million Instagram users – and don’t be misled by the word “kid” – in 5 years they’re your new customer – and will probably be more social savvy than you are.
Social Selling Challenge: What are your kids doing? What are they buying?
• Smartphones will continue to be the social involvement device of choice.And the app will continue to dominate Internet use.
Social Selling Challenge: Do you have a social selling app? What’s your plan to get one or improve the one you have?
• “Social” involvement is no longer an option – it’s an imperative. You no longer have a choice – it’s all in or be left out.
Social Selling Challenge: Who is in charge of social sales and social selling in your company?
 Social selling is becoming more prevalent and more sophisticated.Analytics is the new black. Data-driven selling is the new norm.
Social Selling Challenge: do you know who your online customers are?
 App developers are thriving to capacity. That should tell you the story all by itself.
Social Selling Challenge: Partner with an app developer and make something happen.
• Purchases are the final frontier. The more people buy online, the more social interaction becomes and stays relevant. Ratings by customers will outweigh all other forms of advertisements.
Social Selling Challenge: What is your social selling volume? And what’s your plan to double it?

My business plan for 2015 has a heavy concentration on social selling. So much so that I am writing (like this), investing in infrastructure (website and apps), and intensifying my social presence with more value messages.

Oh, I am also learning. Social selling is more fluid than mercury. Changes occur by the hour. And game-changers appear daily. I study the marketplace and especially MY marketplace, daily.

Where is the attraction coming from and what’s happening once the attracted actually land someplace? Are they buying or are they flying (okay, clicking) away?

Social selling is on the rapid rise. And unless you’re Amazon or Apple, you’re way behind the eight ball in development and execution.

Hopefully your competition sucks worse than you do. And hopefully you’re doing something about it sooner than they do.

This article can be found in the Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Pocket Reference

Jeffrey Gitomer

6 things I learned as a drummer in a marching band. Guest post by Rob Wilmot

When I was nine I joined a marching band. Because I was a strong lad they put me on the tenor drum – a sort of base drum but smaller and you bang it from above. I dressed in the uniform with all the braid, sash, tall hat and white gloves. We dedicated two nights a week to band practice and during summer weekends marched through the streets and performed set pieces on sports fields all around the country. We took it all very seriously. I learned a lot about how individuals come together to work as a team and here’s the six most important lessons my time in the ‘Carefree Jazz’ Marching Band taught me.

1) Preparation

I kept my uniform in pristine condition, including whitening my plimsolls until the gleamed and polishing every bit of the chrome on my drum until it glistened. Then there was the practice. We practiced until we could do it without thinking. We became a unit. I remember one of my proudest moments when staff sergeant Nixon from the airbase down the road shouted at me, ‘Wilmot, that’s the finest marching I’ve ever seen’. I liked the praise. Positive reinforcement sticks.

2) Commitment

Turning up on time and giving 100% to the job in hand: the fundamentals to success in anything that you put your mind and heart to.

3) Synchronicity

One of the core judging criteria during competitions was how well we all marched and played together. I learned how to march in formation, whist keeping the beat and twiddling my drumsticks in the air.

4) Individuality

During competitions, points were actually deducted if you simply copied the beat of the base drum. I learned the art of syncopation, and counterpoint, following the beat of the base drum, but adding my distinct individual contribution that made the whole sound richer. I developed some pretty fantastic drumstick twiddling action that got me noticed by the judges too!

5) Tenacity

We lost – a lot, but we were determined that we one day we would win the team category section and I stuck to my personal ambition of winning the individual tenor drum We learned from our mistakes, tightened up on the marching, and developed ever more original styling for our musical renditions. It took two years of hard work and ploughing on through the disappointments, but we eventually won the nationals and got through to the world championships.

6) Conflict resolution

The base drummer was taller and wider than me and didn’t like me at all. When I look back I think its because she thought I wanted her job. She sniped at me, and bitched about me behind my back. She even made me cry once (hey I was only nine remember), and this made me feel rubbish and doubt myself. So how did I handle this? Well, one hot summer Saturday afternoon we had just finished our signature marching of the field tune ‘Take Me Home Country Roads’ when our base drummer fainted, and I caught her. I could have let her drop, and when she came round, she knew this. We still rubbed each other up the wrong way after from time to time, but we got on a whole lot better after that.

Rob Wilmot

Find Rob on LinkedIn or Twitter

Category: Uncategorized

Twitter ROI is 965% higher than Adwords. Guest post by Ehsan K

All businesses around the world operate in different ways and have different objective but, they all have one very important goal in common;  ROI.

ROI is a question you hear everywhere and almost by everyone; but in different shape and form of course.

Businesses adopted almost every new technology and platform to ensure they are seen by their customers and prospects at all times. This is particularly true when it comes to social media. However one thing has remained vague since adoption of social media, in 2009, by businesses; and that is ROI!

According to Javier Burón, Founder and CEO of SocialBro, 88% of marketers want to know how to measure ROI of their social media activities. Javier presented an interesting slide in which he broke down different channels (most used by marketers for advertising); and Twitter clearly stands out!

SocialBro

As it is evident above, every channel is pushing ROI; and of course deployment of a specific channel would depend on type of business and target audience. Thus, it is critical for businesses and marketers to know their audience well before spending money on any channel; in particular on social media where everything is all about conversation and content.

Good social media content has to be a combination of relevancy, reach and quality. Needless to say, no-one can guarantee and even achieve ROI in social media unless they are relevant and meaningful to their audience; which begins with listening. This is possibly why Twitter is constantly improving its usability and accessibility; to be easier for people to use the channel.

According to some anecdotal research, well over 65% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from brands they follow. So you can guess what would be the case if brands don’t interact with their followers on Twitter and mobile has a major role in converting Twitter followers to actual business customers. Therefore having an attribution model in place is very important; something can substantially help measuring ROI.

Search Engine Watch

So, unlike many brands competing for more followers on Twitter or more likes on Facebook; numbers, including number of posts by brands, are to some large extent irrelevant to success in social media, proactive engagement and meaningful conversations are the way forward. So, don’t worry about ROI, just try to make sense; and remain transparent and authentic at all times. this way people trust you and happily spend their money with you; then ROI in social media will no longer be vague.

Follow Ehsan on Twitter

Why a social media will is a must for this digital age. Guest Post by Nam Nguyen

Social media is the social interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.

According to theE-marketer report in 2013, the number of people around the world that used social networks increased from 1.47 billion in 2012 to 1.73 billion in 2013 and by 2017, the global social audience will be 2.55 billion.

Social media has become so big that one in four people belong to at least one social network such as Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Twitter. Social media platforms are connecting us like never before enabling us to stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues from around the world. Pictures, updates, conversations and tagged images from your network form nothing short of a vast memory bank for you and those around you.  Allowing you to document and life experiences and much more, or your family and friends decide to memorialise your account, those archives can be helpful.

These platforms are constantly evolving, providing value in a variety of ways to each and every one of us. It is vital though that you remember and treat your online presence as an asset, your asset.

Every time we use the internet, we create what is known as a digital footprint. This footprint, over the years becomes huge and important. It contains traces from our personal, professional and financial lives. As a result, our digital footprint becomes valuable – not only for us but for people around us as well. That is why it is important to think about – what will happen to this digital footprint when we pass away? How can we protect or transfer our digital legacy to right beneficiaries?

We collect various items as we grow at different stages of our lives.  It could a collection of stories, an archive of classic movies or a stack of letters but with the growing age of technology everything is different now. These used to be our physical assets but now it’s all digital.  As a result we have to make sure our digital assets are all protected in case something happens.

Social media has now become so big that even The Law society is now urging people to leave clear instructions about what should happen to their social media, computer games and other online accounts after their death.

Recently, Kings Court Trust highlighted the need for companies like Planned Departure. Planned Departure is an electronic vault which keeps all your digital assets such as social media accounts, emails and digital copies of other documents safe and secure. It also makes it possible for users to specify right beneficiaries for everything and releases information to right people at the right time. Have a look at this one minute video to understand how Planned Departure solves this important problem.

So to summarise, social media has become integral part of our digital life. Our social media accounts can be precious for our friends and family after we pass away. At the same time, if not planned properly, these accounts can be lost, locked or abused by identity thieves. So it is important for you to plan properly and protect these accounts by creating a social media will.

Find PlannedDepature on Twitter

 

 

Category: Social Media

How much faster did these media billionaires make their money

New versus Old Media Billionaires: Mark Zuckerberg versus Rupert Murdoch

We know that new media businesses are growing at a much faster pace than their old media counterparts. I thought it would be interesting to see just how this is affecting these wealthy businessmen in the media industry. How much faster did these new media billionaires make their money?

Check out the comparison on the infographic below.

Ben Martin Infographic New-vs-Old-Billionaires

Category: Uncategorized

The Most Important Digital Transformation Initiatives Ranked

Alitimeter lasted post it their report “the state of digital transformation for 2014” is a highly recommended read.

 

It was interesting to note that whilst 88% of organisations where undergoing a digital transformation, 42% percent of them had not mapped the customer journey but investing in digital channels anyway.

Digital Transformation Initiatives Ben Martin

In previous reports from Altimeter it showed the typically the CEO role was not leading the digital transformation projects. This report  dramatically shows a major shift in sponsorship. These projects are now shown to be driven by the

CMO, CEO and CIO (54%, 42% and 29% respectively)

Also included in their post, Altimeter asked the participants to position the most common challenges that exist for digital transformation initiatives.

Top Challenges for Digital Transformation Ben Martin

Go read the full post now, and download the report, happy reading

 

88% percent of surveyed organisations are undergoing a digital transformation TWEET THIS

Changing company culture is the number 1 challenge according to Altimeter TWEET THIS