LinkedIn 201 Basics: How To Share Thought Leadership [Infographic]

Four easy steps to building your online subject matter reputation by sharing informative articles on LinkedIn

Four easy steps to building your online subject matter reputation by sharing informative articles on LinkedIn

No Time For Social Media? Why You Should Make Some

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I came across this article, How to Make Space for Social Media,  published on Harvard Business Review by Alexandra Samuel, Vice-President of Social Media at Vision Critical, a market research technology provider (@awsamuel). She had me from the first sentence:

Few professionals were sitting at their desks in 2004, eyeing the empty slots in their calendars and wishing that somebody would just invent a new way of communicating to fill those long and lonely minutes.

Nice. And, something I wanted to share in a way more robust than a simple tweet or LinkedIn update, which is why I’ve based this entry on her’s.

In the article she takes an honest look not at not just the reasons why it makes sense for today’s executives to be active on social media, but why it’s worth giving up other activities in order to find the time to participate. It’s powerful stuff. She supported one of my recurring mantras regarding social business for companies — hire a social media professional to lead the way — but goes on to address the individual executive’s reason for doing so.

Here are the four questions she says execs need to ask themselves in order to realize the value spending (more) time on social networks:

  1. What am I learning from social media?
  2. Who am I meeting through social media?
  3. Who am I reaching through social media?
  4. How am I replenished by social media?

Please read the article for the reasoning behind the questions. There’s a lot to learn — and to teach others resistant to the idea of devoting time and energy to social media — that you will be able to use.

After all, the best way to get senior management “buy-in” for your social media initiatives is to first explain the “why” before the “what, how and when”.

It’s Marketing; It’s Social Media; It’s Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

I’ve written before about who “owns” social media in any given organization (see: Who Owns Social Media? Ultimate Answer: The Opposites) During my decade at AOL (Community and Social Messaging), we worked in the Product dept., although viewing “product” as the home of social media may have been  unique to the situation, both in the company (one of the first online community hubs) and the time (mid ’90s — mid ’00s). At BusinessWeek, it was the digital dept and for sure, what better place for a digital tool like social media to live? But at Bloomberg LP it was the Communications dept and that certainly made sense and where I am now, KPMG LLP, it resides in marketing.

So, I can tell you from experience, there are arguments for social media being based in whichever department I (or perhaps, you) work in at the time. As stated in my prior post it the goal should be that social media live everywhere in a modern organization and so usually I try to stay departmental-agnostic. So I am always on the lookout for some function-based thought leadership piece that makes a good case for why social is a key tool for them.

That brings us to this article,’12 From ’12: The Ultimate List Of The Year’s Top Marketing Lessons‘ on Forbes written by Lisa Arthur (CMO of Aprimo), where she lists her key marketing developments from 2012:

1) Marketing is transforming 2) It’s all about engagement 3) Accountability means transparency
4) Social is a strategy 5) Mobile is moving to the top of the agenda 6) Showrooming is here to stay
7) Zombies live among us 8) Technology rules 9) If you don’t have expertise, partner with someone who does
10) We’re stronger together 11) It’s never too late to start changing the game 12) Stay agile

It struck me that, without exception, what she is saying about marketing is also true about social media. Read more of this post

Of Failure and Redemption: When ‘Twit’ Happens

 

Social media and politics were made for each other. After all, when politicians get on their soapboxes, typically labeled CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, FNN, et. al., the masses get on theirs named Facebook, LinkedIn, and yes, the insta-poll of all social media, Twitter. Here are two lessons for effective social media management– pre and post crisis.

By now, you’ve heard of KitchenAid‘s unfortunate social media faux-pas. During one of the biggest media events in the past four years this obviously unintended ugly tweet was issued from the@KitchenAid Twitter account: I say unintended because from the moment I saw the tweet, as someone who has manned multiple social media accounts for employers and clients, I knew exactly what happened.

Just about everyone who handles multiple social media accounts uses some kind of console, a social media content management system such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, or one of the other more sophisticated systems such as Sprout Social. I have no knowledge of which system the KitchenAid tweeter used (and keep in mind, it may not have even been a KitchenAid employee who did this, but someone at a social media agency) but I am certain s/he had both the KitchenAid account and a personal account loaded on the same tool, and simply forgot to switch from one to the other.

Lesson #1:
Don’t let employees, or agents, mix business and personal social media accounts on the same management tool.

Of course, the social media world exploded with criticism. But what happened next is a good primer for others on what to do when the Tweet hits the fan:.

Eight minutes later, the offending tweet was pulled and the first of a series of apology tweets were issued by Cynthia Soledad, the brand manager Click image to see larger version): This is a great example of digital damage control. No half-baked excuses. No “we were hacked” knee-jerk response. A quick reply, with apology, from a real person who can be contacted for more info.

Lesson #2:
Respond quickly, honestly and appropriately.

All of the above: brand damaging post on a social media site; remedial action; full accountability; full transparency — all leading to dousing the fire — happened in less that 2.5 hours.

In social media as in life, accidents will happen. KitchenAid’s response is a lesson for all.

 

B2B: The Business Side of Social Media

B2B Social Marketing

  • “You can’t do social media from a standing start.”
  • “You don’t have to pull your kimono completely open.”
  • “Content is the catalyst of the social web.”
  • “Be helpful. That’s the magic pixie dust.”
  • “Where there is no margin, there is no mission.”

One of my favorite things about social media is what I call “serendipitous discovery” — the process where you begin by reading something which leads you to something else , and that leads you to another thing, and so on until you wind up finding some tasty nugget that you hadn’t intended to look for at the start. You just follow the trail.

And so this morning, while checking the Twitter stream of a friend of mine, CK Kerley, whose expertise in B2B digital marketing is second to none, I noticed one of her Tweets thanked someone unknown to me (Allen Silveri) for an “awesome article”. Being a fan of awesome articles on B2B marketing I checked out his Twitter stream hoping to find that link and, not finding a reference to an article, went to his agency’s home page, Schubert.com. That led me to their blog and this entry, Social Media Truths in B2B Marketing by Schubert’s PR Director Brian Courtney, regarding insights gleaned while attending the Social Media @ Work Conference in Harrisburg last October.

Whew! Got that? Brian identified five takeaways from speakers at that conference which I believe make sense for anyone engaging in B2B social media: (click for more) Read more of this post

Food for Thought: Adding Social Media to the Menu

After taking time off for summer adventures, misadventures and mishaps (fodder for future posts, no doubt) I came across an article written earlier this year by confessed social media neophyte Bruce Buscel on his attempts to secure PR services for his relatively new restaurant, Southfork Kitchen, located in New York’s vaunted Hamptons on Long Island’s east end. While restaurant centric in nature, there are  lessons to learn for all businesses, big and small, about how social media has changed the landscape for both marketing and public relations.

After two failed attempts to engage a PR firm to support his restaurant’s launch, first with  traditional PR firm that appeared to just go through the (unsuccessful) motions and another with a “foodie” led boutique firm which (on paper) would seem to have been a good fit but ultimately wanted to change the client rather than support it, Bruce  realized that:

“The old P.R. model is as useless as the fax machines on which press releases used to arrive.”

He decided to turn to media firms with expertise in social media. Surveying six of them, he came up with a digital dozen strategies for social media. From those, here are my top five social media strategies for all businesses (paraphrased):

  1. It’s a dialogue– listen and respond
    The first word in social media is “social”. It’s a dialogue, not a broadcast. Listen always; respond frequently; curate connections.
  2. Keep your social media activity current.
    The only thing worse than not being involved in social media is to allow your participation to go stale.
  3. Know your audience.
    Engage them where they already are participating online. Keep in mind that if your customer base is comprised of several distinct audiences that participate on different social networks you’ll need to tailor your content for each.
  4. Assess your progress regularly.
    Like any other business discipline, you need to plan strategy, execute tactics, assess results,  and then modify your plan as indicated. To do so you need to track KPI (Key Performance Indicators) relevant to your specific business and goals (likes, follows, time spent; service issues handled, sales/conversions, etc.) .
  5. Engage a social media pro to get you started and then plan long-term
    Bruce is not alone in wondering how to get up to speed on social media. my advice is, as always, hire a social media professional (one who has successfully been performing social media as a profession for a number of years) to get you started. Then, plan on who will take over that role long-term. Consider bringing your contracted pro in-house if it makes sense for you both.

Bruce concludes,

“What is the sound of irony? We are all in the P.R. business now.”

Indeed.

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