My Dad’s bigger than your Dad – “the social taunt”

Perhaps some have of us have moved on from the playground taunt of “my Dad’s bigger than your Dad” to “I have more followers than you”. In fact just yesterday I was listening to a webinar where the speaker went into bragging mode, I hope it was not just me thinking – “so what?”

I relish getting more followers, that instant fix that justifies why I am here in the social arena. If they then share my content, that is what I call success, that is what I am addicted to (see previous blog) So having a huge following does not really count for much unless they can move your content for you, does it?

So my first question to you. Does the size of some ones following impact your decision to click the follow button?

For me, in some small way, it does. But I also consider the other numbers that are displayed, like how many tweets versus how many followers. For instance :-

bSo here we have someone who is  either providing great content, or they deemed it necessary to purchase fake followers. How do you know if this entity is able to provide value to you and strengthen your reach. I use StatusPeople, its a great tool, to help me decide the answer to that last question. So in regards to the above twitter user this is the view StatusPeople provided:

b1With that kind of information I can make an informed decision to follow, either they have some great content and or they can help move my content (if they like it)

So let me give you some other examples

a

and StatusPeople said

a1

***************************************

c

and StatusPeople said

c1

Perhaps I am just too cynical in my old age, but if you cant provide me with reciprocal value, then that is why I don’t follow you back.

Does size matter? Please leave your comments below as to how you make a decision to follow or even like someone back. Do you use another tool you would like to tell us about?

Tomorrow’s cities: How big data is changing the world

Here is a very insightful and interesting article from the BBC about Big Data and how it could be used to shape the nature of cities in the future. It includes a nice mention for the company I work for – IBM. There are also some great factual snippets which you could use in conversation.

  • Each engine of a jet on a flight from London to New York generates 10TB of data every 30 minutes “TweetThis
  • In 2013 internet data, mostly user-contributed, will account for 1,000 exabytes “TweetThis
  • Open weather data collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association has an annual estimated value of $10bn “TweetThis
  • Every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data “TweetThis
  • 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the past two years “TweetThis
  • Every minute 100,000 tweets are sent globally “TweetThis
  • Google receives two million search requests every minute “TweetThis

Stand Out on LinkedIn with Rich Media

LinkedIn profiles can be so more than just a boring online version of your résumé.

Use LinkedIn profile like Coke, Ford and many others do: to promote themselves. Company websites and commercials contain customer testimonials, product demonstrations, and visual proof of their products. They use video, presentations and images to convey their message.

So can you! It just takes a little creativity…

What Media Can You Add?

LinkedIn now supports  images, video, audio, presentations and documents by certain providers listed here; others may work too. You have the choice to upload a file or use a URL if already published to the web.

These nifty media clips can be placed in various places in your profile. They can be part of your summary, incorporated into each position listed in your experience section, and in your education section. Just go to edit your profile and look for the little blue box. See image below.

LinkedIn Summary Ben Martin

What to Showcase?

Think about the problems or challenges of the audience you want to do business with. Does you company already have assets you can use, perhaps on YouTube  or perhaps they have material available on Slideshare. What value can you provide that differentiates you from the hundreds and thousands of other people who have the same job title as you?

LinkedIn is one of the first stops your client will make when they look you up. Why not go one step further and create you own original content. You can create a PowerPoint highlighting your knowledge or accomplishments and publish it to SlideShare. This is fairly simple to do. The most difficult part is figuring out what you will put into your PowerPoint presentation. Search around SlideShare and get ideas from other people who have created online content in your area of expertise. If you are interested in creating something a bit jazzier than PowerPoint, you may want to test Prezi.

Think of your profile as you window of credibility, what would you want someone to find if they were searching for you on the web?

Make your LinkedIn profile rock… with a media rich profile!

Inside Sales and the IT Buyer: The shift of communication [Infographic]

 

Inside sales and web are the mainstay of the purchase process for many buyers of hardware, software and services. The use of the web in every step of the buyers journey is increasing, even down to executing the purchase. Clients are now demanding and expect their suppliers to provide web experiences that provide them immediate access to information. Encompassing the initial search phase, such as guidance and help on address challenges being faced, all the way through to pricing information and even transactional history.

The data and trends below where identified in a marketplace study, led by Market Development and Insights, conducted in November 2012 through to January 2013 to understand client usage of inside sales and online commerce throughout the decision making process.

 

Inside Sales, Ben Martin, Infographic

So How Powerful is Visual Content on Social Media?

So How Powerful is Visual Content on Social Media?

Simply Measured looked at Facebook’s top 10 brand pages to find out the real numbers and facts and figures on the engagement and sharing levels of photos and videos in comparison to text and discovered:

Videos are shared 1,200 percent more than links and and text posts combined

Photos are liked 200% more than text updates

To put some perspective on the power of visual content other studies show that Photo and video posts on Pinterest are referring more traffic than Twitter, Stumbleupon, LinkedIn and Google+.

For more insights into the power of visual content below are some more revelations.

5 Reasons your should be using Images in your Marketing

The Facts and Figures about the Power of Visual Content - Infographic

via The Facts and Figures about the Power of Visual Content – Infographic.

Has LinkedIn lost its way? The culling of value

LinkedIn has just notified its members via its help center, that LinkedIn Signal (recently renamed “Updates”) is to be sunset on the 29th LinkedIn Signal falls victimJuly. (Update 23/07 “Signal” or it’s latest name “Updates” is 100% being sunset)

To me this is yet another blow in using this tool to engage with like minded business professionals. If you do not know what Signal is, it provided a great way to listen for certain updates relating to keywords you where interested in. They could come from status updates, profile updates, group updates. In essence providing a great way to connect and reach out to another and have a conversation.

What else have we lost, all of the applications. I used the WordPress application, a lot.  They kept the events application for a while and then it was KIA. Answers was another great area to connect and build your expertise by helping others – KIA,

LinkedIn have been talking a lot about “Social Selling” and how their platform best suits this buzz word. So why oh why LinkedIn are you taking all the parts that suit, engagement, credibility and social selling, out.

 

Which element have you missed most as a result of the LinkedIn firing squad?

01/08 Update: A variation of the functions Signal offered will be available in LinkedIn’s Unified Search Engine – the date for this yet to be advised.

 

 

 

 

You’re busy, but still want to build online credibility – here’s how

Finding time these days to create or add to your “digital” credibility is a huge challenge.,
Perhaps you’re in a role that requires an almost constant attachment to the phone. Or maybe a lot of your time is spent on site visits. I have heard all the explanations, so I know it is difficult for you to find the time to build your authority through content and online contribution. However, not contributing in the social space can be more damaging and costly in the long term.Building credibility, authority and demand for your knowledge will result in a massive return for you, your company and the client experience. For example, a sales person can spend less time prospecting and reinvest the time saved into other areas. I am also a great believer that everyone is in sales regardless of where they sit in an organization.

Here are some activities sorted by time that you can consider to start building your credibility:

Minimal Time Commitment:

Take 30 minutes at the beginning of the week to schedule tweets, LinkedIn posts and even Facebook if you must! (see my previous post, They asked “Do you Facebook? I said no”), all about the areas of your expertise. These can be original ideas that provide value and helpfulness or links to useful content from other locations.

Medium Time Commitment:

Start contributing to groups, forums, or blogs that are in your focus area. Offer your thought leadership. Answer questions and resist the desire to sell or promote your company solution if it is not relevant. Be genuine and authentic and the readers will find you.

Develop relationships with other influencers or content creators in your field. This can be achieved by simply commenting on their posts, connecting at events, reweeting their content and following up. They will expand your reach and send recommendations your way in the long run.

Large Time Commitment:

Start and maintain your own blog on the area of your expertise, or offer yourself to be a regular contributor to a third party site. This does require a larger than average investment in time but research shows that creating regular content will generate upwards of 55% more visits to you and increase your visibility for search engines. Blogging will help you build the top of your funnel to pull in more prospects and hopefully more quality leads.

From my experience the “I don’t have the time” excuse underpins the biggest reason that people don’t participate and that reason is, people have no clue what to write about. There is this shortage of ideas. Equally challenging is the time factor of course, as we all have so many other things we have to do.

So start by committing some time, your competition are! Think about the wealth of knowledge you have and the value that can bring beyond what a website can do. Take part in conversations, start conversations and to coin Nike – Just Do It.

How to Use Social Media to Find Customers and Generate Leads [Infographic]

Using social media to create conversation, provide value, credibility and trust is only the start. How do you convert those “Likes” into customers?

This infographic,  compiled by Wishpond, shows that 77 percent of business-to consumer (B2C) marketers have acquired customers through Facebook, while business-to-business (B2B) marketers have found more success on LinkedIn — finding it a whopping 277% more effective than Facebook or Twitter.

Lead Gneration on Social Media Ben Martin #wesoe

What platforms do you use? What are your tips for success? Join the discussion below and say hello.

How to fail at social selling in five steps and how to SUCCEED in three #WESOE

How to fail at social selling in five steps

1 Produce content
2 Promote to social media platforms
3 Pray (Pay!) for comments and RT’s
4 Promote some more
5 Be disappointed. Give up.

What if there was a better way. A way that actually gets results.
A way that builds engagement
A way that generates SALES

There is:

Three steps to success using Social Media to sell.
Creating the Social Wrap with three ways to “serve”

1: (OB) SERVE
Before joining the conversation, listen
FIND: your audience, prospects, segment or whatever you call it
LISTEN: to their conversation, their questions and what they talk about.
DISCOVER: what they care about, focus on and want to get done first.

This should be a huge part of what you do first. Simply listen to the conversations that are happening around you. Sign up for LinkedIn groups, check leading blog posts, send out surveys. Do what ever it takes to develop a deep understanding of what motivates your prospects. What do they care about, struggle with and desire. Ask follow up questions to gain clarification and develop an intimate knowledge of what their world looks like.

2: (DE) SERVE
Now and only now, join in the conversation.
DEVELOP: intelligent perspectives, insights and resources
CONTRIBUTE: to the conversation by offering highly valuable insights, data and facts
ENGAGE: in meaningful dialogue with those who care and matter

When you have developed a deep understanding of your prospect you can then join in the conversation. But only then. Do not take to spam messages and ensure you tailor your messages. For example The biggest mistake you can do is use a template LinkedIn message. Personalise.

Produce quality content, that demonstrates value, meets the prospects needs, offers tangible practical actionable advice that meets the prospects needs. Deliver instant value of what it would be like to work with you.

3: (RE) SERVE
Focus on the few, not the many.
FOCUS: on your tribe of peers and followers, connectors and leaders.
FIND: those that deserve your time, follow up and start the journey forward.
FAVOUR: the few who are worth your time, effort and dedication

It is very easy to get hung on on the “how many RT’s did I get today” buzz. Focusing on this craze will help flatter your ego and of course make you feel like you have accomplished something.

But it does not produce results.

So be selective spend your time with those that engage with your content and are likely to be decision makers. Ask questions, promote their content, and above all thank them.

Create the “social wrap” equation:

Observe – Deserve – Reserve