Not when… but how to do social business

The data is clear: social business propels results. Fifty seven percent of companies who invest in social business outperform their peers. They see real business value, whether it’s a 25% increase in business or a 20% drop in the time it takes to manage projects.

Social business is no longer “nice to do,” it’s a necessity to survive today’s volatile business climate. According to Forrester Research, spending on social business software is expected to grow at a rate of 61 percent through 2016.

So what does a social business look like?

A social business isn’t just a company that has a Facebook page and a Twitter handle. A social business is one that embraces and cultivates a spirit of collaboration and community throughout its organization—both internally and externally.

There are three distinct characteristics of a social business:

  • Engaged—deeply connecting people, including customers, employees, and partners, to be involved in productive, efficient ways.
  • Transparent—removing boundaries to information, experts and assets, helping people align every action to drive business results.
  • Nimble—speeding up business with information and insight to anticipate and address evolving opportunities.

Social Business is about moving beyond the social media tools you’re currently familiar with to unlock the potential of the people and gain a competitive advantage. Today, by combining social networking tools—internally and externally—with sophisticated analytic capabilities, companies are transforming their business processes, building stronger relationships among their employees, customers and business partners and making better decisions, faster. This is what makes a social business—embracing networks of people to create new business value and opportunities.

What other charateristics do you think there are for a social business?

Category: Social Business

Should You Let Your Employees Work From Home?

Today, many companies offer their employees the option to work from home, even if they live relatively close to the office.   But common sense tells us that for some employees, this may not be the best option. This decision tree created with Mindflash, will help you decide if you should let your employees work remotely, or if they should be required to work in-house.

Let me know which route you chose.

Why You Should Not Auto-Post Your Tweets to LinkedIn

When I am presenting to teams about the use of LinkedIn one question that always gets asked is “How do i sync my Twitter account with LinkedIn?”.  So I thought I would write a quick post.

If you are not familiar with this option on LinkedIn, it basically allows you to connect LinkedIn to your Twitter feed and then automatically post all of your tweets to LinkedIn as updates.

Here is what it looks like when you send a tweet to LinkedIn…

You’ll notice that next to the name it says “via Twitter”. If you scan through your updates, you will probably see quite a few of these auto-posted tweets.

Like many things in social media, there are no steadfast laws or rules about what you can and can’t do in situations like this, only opinions and best practices. That said, I personally don’t think people should auto-post tweets to LinkedIn and here are 3 reasons why:

Frequency
The number of times most people tweet on a daily basis are far greater the number of times most experts say you should post updates on LinkedIn. The recommended frequency for tweeting is about 5-10 times per day according to some experts, while many LinkedIn Gurus agree that you should post updates no more than 1-2 times per day.

If I wanted to sift through 1000s of tweets per day from my connections, I would follow them on Twitter and do it there. I want my LinkedIn update stream to be clean and uncluttered so I can interact with my connections on a more personal level, which is why I generally will hide updates from my LinkedIn connections if they are auto-posting more than a few tweets a day.

Etiquette
The etiquette and terminology on the two platforms are completely different. Many people on LinkedIn don’t know what a hashtag is or what RT means. They aren’t familiar with #followfriday or #musicmonday. They could be confused when they see me referred to as @social_ben instead of my full name.

Twitter has a language of its own and doesn’t always translate very well for non-twitter users, which make up a majority of LinkedIn’s demographic. Heck, I’ve been on Twitter for 3 years and I still don’t understand what some peoples’ tweets say.

Shareability
This is my #1 reason not to auto-post tweets to LinkedIn.

Why would I want to Favorite, Retweet or Reply to your LinkedIn update on Twitter? Many auto-tweets I see have good content, usually an article or quote that I WOULD like to share with my LinkedIn connections… but I can’t because they are tweets, not direct updates.

A Few Alternatives

It only takes a few extra seconds to jump on LinkedIn and post an update directly. I suggest you pick 1 or 2 of your best tweets each day, remove all the # and @ twitter references and update your LinkedIn profile like it was meant to be updated, directly from LinkedIn’s homepage.

You could also use a Social Media Management Tool like Hootsuite to send updates to both Twitter and LinkedIn at the same time. Just remember that your update is going to LinkedIn as well so try to limit the tweet-speak.

If you just can’t live without tweeting to LinkedIn, you could at least change your setting so that only tweets that include #in or #li will be shown in your LinkedIn updates. I’ll make it VERY easy for you to do this… just click here to go directly to your Twitter settings in LinkedIn and check the box that says “Share only tweets that contain #in (#li also works) in your LinkedIn status.”

Do you agree with me? Can you think of other reasons why you should not (or should) auto-post tweets to LinkedIn?

 

The Future of the Shop Window

The ‘Future of the Shop Window’ is a brand new area for the In-Store Show 2012, designed and delivered by Collaboration Matters and powered by IBM.

 

 

I first saw this concept at the UCExpo some months ago. To be honest it was one of the best interactive stands I had seen in a long time. If they wanted to push people out of the corporate comfort zone, they did just that. Collaboration Matters took a spin on the famous Nighthawks at the Diner by Edward Hopper

The audience where able to participate and influence changes in the actors next moves by tweeting certain hash tags on the day. Whilst also taking part in Social Business conversations that where posed by the audience and Collaboration Matters.

 

 

Collaboration Matters & IBM will be bring this concept to the Inspiration In-Store Marketing event, on the 27th-28th June, with a whole new design around the shop window. Instead of mannequins in the window there are real people! Watch as the shop window becomes an interactive catwalk.  What’s more you can shape the action that takes place behind the window through the power of Twitter.

 

This will be a great event with a great line up. Check it out here and register.  I hope to see you ther.

 

Social Networking for Sellers, A Point of View

Everyone is talking about being social, but what does that mean to you, a seller? How can it help you? Where do you start? These and many more questions are also being asked.

Lets cut to the chase, Social Media, Social Business, Social Networking, what ever you want to call it, put simply its just another form of communication. You have been doing it for years, its just the growth in technology has just made it easier to be louder and reach a wider audience.
Some of the benefits will include; efficiency, collaboration, identification and not least, trust.

BUT these benefits will not will not happen overnight, it is a journey you will have to undertake. Some will adopt to this new way of communicating quicker than others but make no mistake we all need to be on this road.

Why? Lets look at some reasons:

Having a digital presence is one of the best ways to be found, creating your personal brand that in turn will help you become eminent in your field of expertise.

A recent study has shown that the role of the buyer (seeker of information) has changed. No longer so they pick up the telephone to you (do they know you even) and ask “is this the right thing I need”. They are looking for this information online. Eighty five percent of the buying decision has already been made before you the sales person even get involved.

We Sell or Else (#wesoe), lets face it. If you can utilise another channel to assist in growing your business then its a no brainer.

If your still wondering can social technologies really help grow your business, there are a whole raft of success stories that can be found on online. Personally, I have seen and experienced $millions of generated business

Where do you start? Firstly understand the tools. Identify which platforms you customers are on and participate in. Places like LinkedIn, Twitter, FaceBook or Google+ for instance. Start with three or four and ensure that one of your choices includes blogging.

Whats on offer?
LinkedIn – For a seller this should be the most important place to start. The team will help shape your profile from a resume style to a value proposition to a client. Help you understand how to utilise your network and what additional applications will work best for you.
Twitter – Lets call this an information portal. Are you advising your network what we do, what you do, the latest news, information that grabs your attention. Let people follow you and manage your reputation.
Blogging – This in my humble opinion is going to be paramount to building your eminence, creating digital footprints that allows you to be found when someone searches for you. Now whilst the premise for these tools is business, I do advocate the creation of personality, so if you want to talk about something non business (yet professional) do so.

Thoughts for your next steps?
Find your focal team, the ones that are early adopters are normally the best, teach teachers spread the word or ground swell. Get to grips on what to measure.
Lastly if you need advice or tips on best practice drop me a line.

Why not share some of your thoughts and questions below..