Monthly Archives: October 2010

Going dark

It’s a risk when you have built up an audience and an expectation of your ideas, recommendations and insights to stop. Taking a break from social media can set you back several weeks and months.

However, with coursework and pitch deadlines looming, I wanted to manage the expectations of readers and advise that it is only a temporary break and that normal service will resume in a week or two.

You’ll see from the Twitter feed that I’m taking a break there too. I’ll be in touch soon.

Top Tweets of the Week (14 Oct 2010)

A little late this week (I’m into my last two weeks of intense coursework) but here are some links and content I picked up this week that I feel are worthy of your attention.

Monday – Check out this SlideShare Presentation on LinkedIn : BROKEN MEETINGS (and how you’ll fix them) http://slidesha.re/c8jRsj

Tuesday – 25% of UK Top 100 CEOs called Michael, Ian, John or Andrewhttp://ow.ly/2S2io #dependablenames

Tuesday – Five Corporate Blog Must-Haves http://bit.ly/97jel2

Tuesday – 71% of tweets ignored from @wireduk http://ow.ly/2S2qM

Wednesday – RT @markwschaefer: New post:Twitter success stories: Explaining the ROI of Twitter http://bit.ly/auFwaU

Thursday – RT @briansolis Introducing The Conversation Prism Version 3.0 http://bit.ly/aWgT0O

Friday – RT @smexaminer How to Integrate Video Into Your Social Media Marketing http://bit.ly/9AVfZ4

Maximising potential (A CIM event review)

The CIM Manchester branch laid on an interesting event involving speaker Chris Hughes last week. Here are my takeaway’s from an engaging session with Chris on improving not only your, but your team’s performance too. This plays to the ‘be inspired’ element of the blog!

1. Personal effectiveness is linked to time effectiveness.

2. Do you routinely focus on the small £10 jobs or that one important £1000 job?

3. Identify the non-productive emotions that inevitably manifest themselves when you’re not in your groove – anger, frustration, upset, lethargy etc.

4. Recognise that non-productive emotions lead to non-productive behaviours such as procrastination, time wasting, blaming others, putting things off, aimlessly browsing the internet, gossiping in the office etc.

5. Half an hour of dead time a day when extrapolated  is almost a month in unproductive time!

6. Remove quick wins culture and replace with continuous improvement, recognising that after any training and development there will be an inevitable increase but that over time it will fall off. The key is to continually invest so slight troughs always turn into bigger  peaks and that performance is improved consistently over time.

7. Applying a small change in thought inevitably leads to a big change in behaviour.

8. Focus on what you are best at. Master your potential, but seek to step out of your comfort zone.

9. Change always leads to improvement which leads to success. Learning from bad, poor, upsetting experiences is the way we learn best. Challenging yourself to try new things is critical.

10. Ultimately, focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. Seems obvious, but hoards of people go into work dreading it… often because they are putting off the £1000 job because it is too difficult when it actually just needs to be tackled a little differently!

In summary, an interesting session delivering in an engaging way by a passionate, talented professional.

Stepping into the blog spotlight

Writing a blog can be a very personal and cathartic journey, or it can be a credible way to drive traffic to your business. Crack it and it does both!

One thing is certain. Doing all you you can to ensure it is seen by as many people as possible is time well spent. There are a number of ways of doing this from going viral with links, adopting a response strategy on higher traffic blogs to indexing your blog in as many directories as possible.

To help, below are a number of clickable links to the top blog directories and indexes where you could and should add your blog in order for it to be found and read more easily.

www.blogarama.com

www.blogsearch.com

www.blogbunch.com

www.blogcatalog.com

www.blogexplosion.com

http://tools.blogflux.com

www.bloggernity.com

www.bloglisting.net

www.blogrankings.com

www.bloglines.com

www.ontoplist.com

http://technorati.com/

Sound like too much effort?

Look at it this way. If you write a blog, or plan to, you have content other people crave. You are ahead of the game. Content is where the market is moving. Content means expertise. Having content means you can promote yourself more effectively as expert across traditional and new social networks as well as in other offline channels.

Positioning yourself as competent, credible and approachable gives you the best chance of business success as a trusted and valued partner.

So when you look at it like that, what are you waiting for?

Image Live Music News & Review

The do’s and don’ts of social media marketing (A CIM event review)

The North West branch of The CIM recently staged a ‘Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Marketing’ event. It was interesting learning more about the CIM’s position on social media and to hear from two industry practitioners including Marketing Scout’s Helen Dolce-Lund. Here are my key takeaways.

1. In a presentation delivered by Regional Director Diane Earles, it was encouraging to see the CIM sit up and look at social media from a business-use perspective. Though some of the examples cited were a little dated (Dell Outlet succeeding on Twitter, the relaunch of Wispa via Facebook and US shoe seller Zappos delivering gold standard service via social media) there were some interesting statistics on social media use and how personal and professional use is beginning to blur.

2. It is critical to think about your objectives of getting involved in social media before you get involved. Go where your audience is and use the tools that best promote your products and expertise. Video showcases product, white papers, podcasts and webinars deliver opinion and perceived expertise.

3. Brands clearly need to take some risk to engage audiences through social media. Establish how brave or conservative your business is and choose the channels that are less risky.

4. Don’t look at a popular channel and assume you can’t make it work. You might not think your customers use Facebook, but they all have a life when they leave their office. You can use the targeted advertising tool to see if there is value in targeting a particular geographic, age, gender, job title or sector before actually having to use it. Having a profile on high traffic social media sites also does wonders for your search engine optimisation.

5. Helen reminded the assembled group that for professionals and jobseekers, it goes without saying that you should set up an active Linkedin profile – and that it should be kept separate from Facebook and Twitter accounts, unless you take a professional approach to them all. Understanding privacy settings is also critical – especially if you ever looking for a new position!

In summary, an interesting event with some new material for the social media naive and a refresher for the early adopters.

Information regarding future events is available from the main CIM North West site.

Top Tweets of the Week (8 Oct 2010)

More from the Twitterati that I think is worthy of your attention.

A real social media related feast this week – especially useful for the doubters and detractors, but also as a timely reminder to the more open minded. Hope you all had a good week, and as ever that these links (in brackets) provide some inspiration.

Monday – RT @Econsultancy: The demise of the new media empire? (http://ecly.co/av4IjL)

Tuesday – 5 Tips for Utilizing Skype for Small Business (http://bit.ly/aLqB98)

Wednesday – Approach your next task differently from Seth’s Blog: Next! (http://bit.ly/cQoI1n) RT @ThisIsSethsBlog

Thursday – Interesting RT @OnlineMediaTips: How Businesses should use social media – A Slideshare presentation (http://is.gd/a8Nun)

Thursday – RT @smb2b Pros and Cons of Blocking Social Media at Your B2B Company (http://bit.ly/b8LtEe)

Friday – Brilliant RT @TweetSmarter: Superman’s social network nightmare (http://j.mp/d1Hr4y)

Marketing Metrics 10: Linkedin

[Image http://www.iconarchive.com/icons]

Linkedin is THE platform for business professionals looking to develop themselves, their contact pool and their business. What began several years ago as a professional networking forum quickly evolved into a powerful tool to raise profile and showcase expertise.

As Facebook rose to prominence in the consumer space, Linkedin has been quick to deploy the latest techniques to ensure it stays ahead of competitors like Ning and Plaxo.

Whilst social media (annoying term!) continues its progression into business, and published luminaries’ pontificate on how to monetize it, we the practitioners are left to try and find a way to make it work.

In my  view, Linkedin supports two specific objectives: profile and reputation raising AND lead generation. But in this era of soft marketing, you should categorically focus on the former before crashing ahead with the later. The loud, spamming bores are given short thrift on Linkedin.

And, if you follow my non-nonsense ten-step approach to making Linkedin work for you, you’ll be well on your way personally and professionally to achieving both objectives.

If you’re viewed as someone people value through your contributions on Linkedin, you will be sought out. This means posting answers, offering solutions and sharing interesting content. Group members will want to connect with you, your contacts will want to recommend you to their contacts and over time be recommended by you. All these numbers are pretty tangible.

[Image from http://sterlingadvisorsllc.com]

So too, are the tangible numbers related to lead generation. This starts with group and answer discussions, click-throughs to [or downloads of] associated content like slides, blog posts, web visits, Twitter, views/follows on company profile, provision of Answers etc, all leading to connection requests and enquiries.

Everything you do on Linkedin gets you closer to the people you want to get close to. Applying Frignes Karinthy’s six degrees of separation strategy means that technically there is little stopping you accessing the FTSE 100 CEO you seek an audience with; you just have to do it in the right way as you get one shot.

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Few account holders stray beyond the free platform such is the integration with other tools including email, Twitter, Slideshare, WordPress and Amazon. But upgrading to one of the business plans affords the opportunity not only to use InMail to communicate with anyone, run detailed 3rd level searches and see expanded profiles but also to see who has been looking at your profile.

Professionals and companies – such as recruitment – are generating real revenue through platforms like Linkedin. Given you can take a step-by-step approach to building your expert profile, contact pool and leads, can you really afford not to?