Posts Tagged ‘vanguard leadership’

3 outrageous prediction for 2015!

02/01/2015

madame soleil

As one year comes to and end and the new year is about to start, we find ourselves in the time when annual reviews and 2015 predictions are plenty.  I am slowly getting fed up with large number of posts about the future.  BTW, which of the 2014 prediction come true?  No one really checks.

It seems everyone has a crystal ball and is a futurologist or trend watcher.  Where did the time go when Madame Soleil was the person to go to to get predictions for the new year.  Nostalgia… I guess I must be a romantic.

Enough of “Video will be the preferred content form” or “Content Marketing finally matures” or “Everything mobile”!  I do not want to hear this anymore, but under the mantra “if you can’t beat them, join them”, here is my spin on the predictions for 2015:

3 outrageous predictions for 2015!

crystal-ball

Facebook will disappear this year!

For the last year or so, we have heard more and more people saying they want to stop their Facebook account because of the ever changing privacy rules or abundant advertising .  But guess what?  Facebook is not stupid and saw this coming.  So they are launching Facebook for Business now.  More constant and better money flow? Great move on their behalf except that most people use Facebook for private use (not business) and are shutting down their account.  Why should companies get started on Facebook for Business. I guess death will quick.

Google+ finally gets off the ground

All those sleeping Google+ users (Gmail users, Android phone users, YouTube-ers, Bloggers, et al) finally realize they already have a Google+ account. Moreover, since they are running away from Facebook, Google+ becomes the next safe haven where their friends will be posting their personal updates.  And yes, privacy is much better and less advertising.  So getting to 1.6 billion members in 2015 will be a piece of cake.  Sorry Ello.co or seen.it.

Microsoft buys LinkedIn

I can see you shake your head but think about it.  Microsoft already owns the largest Enterprise Social Network (Yammer) which focusses on the intra-company social media so it make sense to add an external social media network to it.  Business meets Business.  And yes, Microsoft has the cash to burn.  A marriage made in heaven for professional social media and networking.  The benefit for LinkedIn will be that finally the company pages really get developed to create more value to the business users.

What do you think? Do you agree with any of these outrageous social media predictions? Do you have any you’d like to share? Please share your comments below.

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What is your Twitter clockspeed in #socialselling?

22/07/2014

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?

Is paying for LinkedIn ego-tripping?

25/09/2013

The large majority of people are using LinkedIn for free.  However, you get constantly bombarded with upgrade requests from LinkedIn.  And yes, a number of people are paying but it is really needed or worth it?

Let me be clear, if you are in recruitment there is no doubt that paying for LinkedIn is an asset but otherwise I think paying is more a status symbol especially when your target audience (eg. Belgium with less than 1.8 million members) is less than 2 miilion people.  Are you collecting badges?

If you are paying for LinkedIn, keep in mind that you will have to put in the work to use the functionality you are paying for and that cost is often overlooked.

The Facts

LinkedIn offers a bunch of different payment schemes.  From Premium over Sales and job Seekers to Recruiters.  With formulas varying between 20€ to 300€/month for different types of functionality.

But what are you getting?  You will see more than the last 5 people who viewed your profile, You will see full names in the 3rd degree, You can review more profiles, you have more saved searches and introductions, and yes, the all-important Inmails.

The Reality

After asking around most people seem to pay for one of these functions: who viewed my profile and send Inmails.

Looking at these and other paying features, you will find that a lot is never used or there are simple work arounds.  Let’s take a look at some of these paying items.

Ask yourself how many people have viewed your profile in the last 3 days?  I’ll bet you that it is less than 5 unless you post great stuff via your status update or change your personal profile data every day.  So if you are using LinkedIn intensively (as you claim), you will look at this daily or every other day and you will catch who viewed your profile. So no need to pay.

You want to send emails to people in the 2nd degree and beyond, Inmail is your answer.  This is an Email via LinkedIn that the receiver needs to answer within 7 days (or you get your credit back).  A subscription will give you between 3 and 25 Inmails per month.  This sounds great but after asking around it seems few people are actually using this to its full potential. Are you really sending 3 to 25 emails per month via this system on LinkedIn?  Okay, it is probably the best feature paying on LinkedIn but most people are not aware that they can be purchased separately for about 10€/Inmail thus payment for use versus a subscription might be a better option.

By the way, did you know you can send ANYONE on LinkedIn a free message if you are a member of the same group on LinkedIn?

An then there are other options such as using introductions to get a mail to a 2nd degree contact or the plain old Google Search option to find someone’s email address.  So here too the conclusion must be that you can live without.

In real life we ask people to introduce us to other people, but we rarely use this feature in on LinkedIn.  Again, how many introductions do you ask on a monthly basis? And yes the answer is that you can do this on a free subscription (3 per month).

And then there is the search and view of people’s profile.  You can click and see the first 100 profiles on a free subscription.  Do you really want to review the 299th profile?  Maybe your search criteria need to be fine-tuned.

Have you ever heard of “saved searches”.  If not, do not feel bad because you are not alone.  “Saved searches” will run a specific search combination on a regular basis (weekly/monthly) and send you a list of profiles that meet that criteria.  It is similar to Google Alerts.  Both are great tools to generate leads.  Again, you have 3 of these searches with a free subscription.  So why pay if these 3 have not been used yet.

The only conclusion I can draw from the above is that paying for LinkedIn is more of a status symbol than of real use with a good ROI.  If you are looking for real ROI, you need to keep your network warm while slowly expanding it with a purpose.

“Keeping your network warm” Tips

I would like to end this post on a constructive way to keep your network warm.  Are you willing to spend 20 minutes/day to have a real ROI from your network?

  1. Make sure your profile is up to speed and includes your contact information visibly.  Set your “how others see my profile when I click” to full view.
  2. Do regular “Status Updates” sharing both own information and information from others you want to share with your network.
  3. Use the renewed Network/Contact tab option “Daily” (Stay in touch with your network)
    1. Congratulate your contacts with their new jobs
    2. Wish your contacts a Happy birthday
    3. Congratulate your contacts on being x number of years in their job
    4. Review the new posts and comments in the groups you belong to and contribute where possible
    5. Check out who reviewed your profile
      1. 1st degree contact -> send a message to start a conversation
      2. 2nd degree contact -> if interesting “connect” or even better “ask for an “introduction” through a mutual friend
      3. Check out the results of your “saved searched” and act upon it.
      4. Review Companies that you follow for interesting content (for sharing)

Your moment to comment

Do I hear people grumbling or saying “yes, I always thought so”, I’d love to hear from you.  Do you agree or disagree with me?  And what are you doing to keep your network warm?

One thing is sure, I am not going to pay for LinkedIn (but never say never)

Employer Branding on your LinkedIn Company Page – A myriad of missed opportunities

01/07/2013

Social media is a great means to do Employer Branding.  There are not only content platforms such as YouTube, Pinterest, Blogs  and others, but also engagement platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.

When it comes to B-2-B platforms, LinkedIn stands out with the company profile as a the flagship.  However, many companies do not take advantage, to say the least, of its functionality.  A myriad of missed opportunities!  Let me try and show you the way.

Of course, you need to start by creating a company profile which not only has a your logo as a company profile picture (100 x 60 – Max 2MB) but also the basic data about the company (description, website, size, industry, etc.).  Most companies have got this correct and needs no further explanation.

When it comes to Employer Branding, the Cover picture, LinkedIn calls this the “Image” is widely forgotten.  This image (646 x 220 pixels – Max. 2MB) can help you send out a clear message about who you are. A missed opportunity to make a strong statement.

Image LI comp prof

Giving future candidates a view of your product portfolio is a key element in your Employer Branding.  And can be done the “Products and Services” tab. It is still strange to see that few companies have completed this.  Here you can not only add the description of different products and services your company is offering but also include a video or promotion.

Image LI comp prof products

We all know that employees  are your best ambassadors.  However, most do not recommend the products/services of their company on the LinkedIn company profile even though these employees do link their personal profile to the company profile.  Probably it is not because they do not want to but they do not know about this.  Yet another missed opportunity.

I am amazed to see how few companies use the company profile status update to start conversations with both employees and followers.  This is the perfect way to engage future candidates or request referrals to fill job vacancies.  Nothing to post?  How about the employee testimonials, job openings, best place to work, picture of the last event, company information, etc.

Image LI Comp prof status

Coming back to your employees being your best ambassadors, it is a good practice to enlist their support to Like,  Share or Comment on your company profile status updates.  It will broaden the reach of your company messages.  It can create a must wanted ripple effect.

Finally, if you want to spend some money, you can of course create a Career page on your company profile.  There is a silver subscription coming with a price tag of around €8.000 and a gold subscription over €15.000 giving you as an employer some great Employer Branding functionality including banners, video, information and employee testimonials.

All companies are looking to pick the low hanging fruit and don’t see it most of the time.  The LinkedIn Company profile is one of those low hanging fruit ripe to be picked.  Why wait?  Get started today!


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