They asked, “Do you facebook?” I said no

They asked, “Do you Facebook?” I said no, (ok I fibbed, I am on it, I use it to stalk my wife, it saves having a conversation later) joke hunny!

They said this would be an eye opening webinar, that Facebook was a sales tool in disguise, that sales people could build better relationships, reach new clients and drive sales. I was intrigued because I and I will be honest, dislike Facebook. But as always, I was receptive to being converted, so I allocated an hour of my time to revisit and maybe discover this potential.

I wasn’t converted and for 24 hours I struggled to understand why. I understood the privacy settings, the creation of groups and how you can feed different messages to different parts of your network, I get that, much like Google+.

My conclusion was that it must be more than just one thing, so here are three.

1) The webinar was run by a marketer, (nothing wrong with that of course.) But the conversation revolved around demonstrations of what brands were doing. Not what or how an individual sales person could benefit.

2) I have yet to hear someone in a B2B environment say “hello C’suite, will you be my friend on Facebook?”. Even rephrasing it to “Join my network on Facebook” doesn’t sound right.

3) With other platforms that I use for business, engagement and relationship building cant I just have one place that is mine where I can relax, chill out and if I feel the need to just talk rubbish I can. Yes I know your can separate by using the groups, but it just means they’re in the room next door.

So here’s my question? Can I convince you, the sales person, that Facebook is not the place for connecting with your clients?

Twitter – Business Networking on Steroids!

(also written from a Brand perspective just to be fair)

Seventy nine percent of Twitter followers (versus 60 percent of Facebook fans) are more likely to recommend brands since becoming a fan or follower.
Sixty seven percent of Twitter followers (versus 51 percent of Facebook fans) are more likely to buy the brands they follow.
Facebook’s shared links average three clicks, while Twitter’s tweets generate nineteen clicks on average

Want more? Ok!

Twitter users generated double the median monthly leads of non-Twitter users.
Consumers active on Twitter are three times more likely to affect a brand’s online reputation through syndicated Tweets, blog posts, articles and product reviews.
Twenty percent of consumers indicate they have followed a brand on Twitter in order to interact with the company – more than e-mail subscribers or Facebook fans.

If that doesn’t sway you, then there is always LinkedIn – where it does feel right to say “Join my network of business professionals”

See my LinkedIn posts

Statistic credits to
http://www.businessinsider.com/twitter-destroys-facebook-2010-12
http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007639
http://www.exacttarget.com/

Twitter Facts And Figures For Businesses And Brands [INFOGRAPHIC]

Did you know that a recent survey showed that people are 25 percent more likely to buy a product that they would be proud to own if it has social media buttons next to it? Conversely, the same study revealed that users are 25 percent lesslikely to buy an embarrassing product if it’s placed anywhere near a social sharing tool.

Of course, this conflict presents something of a problem for brands. Used well, social media can empower businesses of all shapes and sizes, allowing them to reach vast audiences and shift huge amounts of product. Used poorly, and it’s going to have the exact opposite effect. Egg? Meet face.

It’s certainly true that there’s a steep learning curve. For example, while 26 percent of businesses regularly include “call to action” messages in their tweets, if brands do this too often they’ll drive away large sections of their community. Equally, brands that never issue calls to action – which amounts to almost half (49 percent) – are missing out on a golden opportunity.

It’s not all about marketing and sales, either. Amazingly, some 70 percent of brands ignore complaints on Twitter. Not only does this mean they’re saying goodbye to tons of repeat business, but when you consider that 83 percent of people who complained on Twitter loved the response from those companies that did make the effort, well… you do the math.

This infographic from Webpresence.TV takes a closer look at social media facts and figures for brands.

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..

You Don’t Follow Me Back!

I often see tweets in my stream that word along the lines of “@soandso unfollwed me” or like this I saw today –

So what!

To be honest you telling me this is likely to make me unfollow you. Is this your ego or vanity? Are you hoping to build a reciprocal following, if so wheres the value in that? You followed them because something they said either helped you, educated  you or maybe their bio grabbed your interest right?

The question to ask is WHY are they not following you in return. Perhaps they do not see any reason too, yet…..

What are your thoughts……

 

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