June 30th, 2012 // 16 Tips to Build a Social Business, Entrepreneur & Life Game Plan that Rocks!
Posted in // Social Media Today
Posted by // Pam Moore
This morning my son was telling me about his plans to be an orthodontist, worship Pastor and an “agency guy” with his parents. As his eyes lit up and his excitement filled the room, I couldn’t help but be excited with him. His vigor was addictive and it made me want to draw close, listen and feel what he was feeling.
It reminded me how as business leaders, entrepreneurs, marketers, product managers, CEOs, CIOs, volunteers, moms, dads, and people we lose our “ummmph!” We let life get us down. We let mean bullies poke holes in our dreams. We let doubt of self stop us in our tracks or distract us from the goals.
We must learn from our youth. They have the confidence as nobody has told them they can’t succeed or be anything they want to be. How are they different than us? How are they any better? Why should my son be able to achieve being an orthodontist, worship Pastor or “agency guy” any more than you or the guy next door that has the same dreams? The truth is he shouldn’t!
The difference is that kids believe in themselves. Many of them have not been pushed down by the bullies or the hard knocks of life quite yet.
It’s time you do the same. Put back on your “kid confidence.” Put on your game face, get on the field and play the game like you haven’t done in years. Play the game to win and win big!
16 Tips to Build a Social Business Game Plan that Rocks!
1. Find the kid in you! Remember when you started your business? Remember the excitement you could feel in your bones? The chills you got as you saw your logo for the first time? The feeling you had when you closed the first deal? The belief you had in reaching your dreams? Write down your top 10 memories of starting your business or career. Include wins, losses and how you grew from them. When the goin’ gets tough, get out this list and be reminded how far you have come!
2. Embrace the WHY you started your business or career in the first place. Embrace those kid feelings again and get focused on the end goal.What is the WHY of your business and life? Do you want to be financially independent? Do you want to spend more time with family and friends? Do you want to retire to an island made for two? Whatever it is, embrace it and remind yourself of it daily! Write it down, hang it on the wall. Talk about it. Work for it! Own it and make it a reality, not a dream!
3. Refine the WHAT! What do you want to be when you and your business grows up? How do you envision yourself working, serving your clients? What will you offer that provides unique value? What is it that makes you and your business unique?
4. Develop a game plan. What are your goals? Why are you playing? How will you build a team? What are the plays you need to win? Who needs to be on your team? Goals and objectives are critical for any business large or small. If you don’t have a plan for your business, marketing, social media and don’t know how to build one, find someone who does. Get the help you need and don’t waste another day guessing and missing the goal.
5. Slow down to speed up and win! Don’t be afraid to take a time out or take time to work on game plays, build your communication and brand strategies, competitive attack tactics, or a simple day or week off to rejuvenate and reinvigorate. It’s not about being first on the field and not being prepared. It’s about being on time and being trained, prepared and ready to win!
6. Know the playing field. Any good teams understands the ecosystem. What is the weather like? What is the tone of conversations? Who is talking? Who is listening? Who is cheering? Who will throw rotten apples at you? How will you become part of the ecosystem? Who are your target clients? What do they need? How can you get in their head and connect with them? What parts of your business do you need to modify to ensure success? How can you fit in yet stand out? Knowing the ecosystem of your market, industry, social networks, client base is key to success. Take time to learn and understand where and how you fit in and the best ways you can provide unique value and compete better than the rest!
7. Work smarter not harder. My guess is your why of life is not to work weekends, worry about paying your bills or tweet 24/7! Remember your time is your most valuable asset. Social media isn’t free. Be wise in how you spend each and every minute. Just because your competition is spending 20 hours a week at local networking meetings or spending 20 hours on Facebook and Twitter doesn’t mean that’s what you need to do. Building your game plan first will ensure you focus on the activities and priorities that will bring your business results. This is the biggest mistake I see businesses of all sizes and shapes make.
8. Build your team. Having the right people on the field at the right time is key to success! Recruit and nurture those who also have a why that aligns with yours. Avoid the toxic type who only want to complain or bad mouth others. You need team captains and go to people. People who have your back. Coaches who can lead you. When building your network using social media focus on conversation that helps you learn and grow. Conversation that can help others. Keep a focus on connecting with an objective to build your team, your tribe, your community, your business and your ecosystem.
9. Learn the drills. Don’t get too tactical and technical that you lose sight of the why and how. With social media you could spend three years learning tools and technology. The truth is the only guarantee is change. You’ll never learn all the tools. Instead focus on your audience, business goals, objectives and how you can leverage social to meet the goals. Facebook should fit within your business. Do not resize, reshape your business to fit within Facebook! Of course you need to learn tools. However, knowing why you’re using them and what your objectives and goals are should be first priority! You don’t need to know how to run a twitter auto follow tool or what your Facebook edge rank is to set objectives!
10. Show up for practice. Engage and truly show up with hands, feet and heart. Don’t just go thru the motions. Accept you don’t know everything and that mistakes are part of the game. Practice doesn’t have to make perfect. Instead shoot for imperfect perfection. When you make a mistake, learn from it. Stand back up fast, wipe off the hurt and don’t head to the bench. Head back to the practice field with a positive outlook. Failure and mistakes are events, not a person or a team!
11. Be real. There is only one you, period. Don’t let your fear or insecurities of succeeding keep you from letting the real you shine thru and make people smile, learn and succeed! The more you share of yourself, the closer your target market will draw to you. Inspire them to be real with you by you setting an example of doing such first.
12. Seek joy. Don’t look for trouble. Don’t worry about the competition. Don’t let only dollars keep you up at night. Focus on the joy, the people that bring you joy. Focus on what will bring you joy in life, joy in your business. If you do this then you’ll find yourself bringing joy to others. If a potential client doesn’t bring you joy then it may be the right decision not to work with that client.
13. People throw rocks at things that shine. The more you win, the more you open up to your audience, the more you shine will make the people who aren’t doing the same want to dull your shine. Your “self proclaimed” competition may throw rocks at you. Let them bounce off of you. Those are the days that you embrace your game plan and your why. Chances are they aren’t even in your league even though they think they are. They don’t know your game plans or why you are doing what you are doing. They are probably so busy copying you, trying to figure out what you’re doing that they’re losing their own traction and place on the field. It’s okay. Let them spin as the more they follow you, the further the distance becomes between you and them as you’re moving forward while they’re trying to learn everything you’ve already been doing for the past 18 months!
14. It’s not only about winning. Yes, we all like to win. We want the big trophy at the end of the season. However, we don’t have to come in first place. Set a plan with goals and objectives and you’ll have something to celebrate.
15. Celebrate the milestones. As you reach a milestone, win a game, earn a client, win a point, celebrate! Take your team to lunch, dinner or special event. Take time to thank those who helped you achieve the success. Celebrate and embrace the greatness of what you’ve accomplished.
16. Don’t quit. Most new businesses give up right before they would have succeeded! Even if you hit a wall, run out of money or become over tired, do not give up! If you’re an entrepreneur, what is your alternative? Go back to the corporate life you left? Is that really what you want? Set your plan A and tweak it if you want. However, don’t fall back to a Plan B if it has the word “Quit” in the first paragraph. You can and will succeed if you work smart. Be dynamic and respond to the market but don’t quit!
What’s Your Game Plan?
How do you plan to win the game? How are you already winning? What is your role in the ecosystem? What is your role in the game? Are you a good team player? Are you showing up but not really a true team member? What tips can you offer to coach and mentor others that are just joining the game?
Read the entire post in SocialMediaToday.com posted by Pam Moore.
See the Original Article posted by Pam Moore on her blog, PamMarketingNut.com. ___________________________________________________________________________
Pam Moore is CEO/Founder of FruitZoom, Inc.
Half marketing, half geek, social media addict, CEO, entrepreneur, speaker, trainer, coach. Lover of strategy, ROI, Brand, God, Family, Friends, Beach & Life! 15+ years of experience helping small startups to Fortune 100 companies, budgets teeny tiny to big in both B2B and B2C markets build brand awareness, grow new markets, develop communities and master ROI across all mediums! Industries of expertise include high technology, non-profit & fundraising, green eco-friendly, enterprise data storage, professional services and storage management, real estate and home building, natural lighting, database analytics & modeling, online marketing, as well as web 2.0 ecommerce for online retailers.
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June 28th, 2012 // The Future of Social CRM
Posted in // Social Media Today
Posted by // Koka Sexton
Social media has grown at a rapid pace in the past decade. More than 300 million people are on Facebook now, and Twitter is growing at an even faster rate. Beyond the two social media staples, Millennials and the soon-to-be adults before them are using more and more social media sites to share content, connect and act as consumers.
The sales world, naturally, has found ways to take advantage of the social media evolution. Sales teams have tapped into the social media landscape to find consumer interest, prospective clients and build relationships with customers. The results of social media customer relationships management, or social CRM, has resulted in a multi-billion dollar industry. Social CRM applications and strategies are common among sales teams and boosting productivity. Sales people have had to adjust their sales game to the social media world, while customers now expect to be engaged regularly in that world.
But what now? What is the future of Social CRM? How will it be used years from now?
The future of social CRM might be entrenched in its ability to make profit on a consistent basis, but its future also relies on the ability of sales people to continue reaching generation after generation.
The Washington Post ran a post from Venture Beat that explored the challenge the business world faces while mastering one generation’s technological evolution and waiting to see the fruition of another. The article, titled “Why marketers need to get to know Gen C,” read:
“This generation will push even farther the principles we are just starting to master to connect with Millennials. This group turns 18 in just 4 years. Will you be ready to reach them? Some things to consider: Forget Facebook. Well maybe not completely, time will tell. But one thing’s for sure: To reach this audience, you’ll need to go beyond the ‘social staples’.”
While it is important to understand the leading social media sites, it is also in your best interest to look beyond them and incorporate the up-and-coming sites into your social media CRM monitoring tools and apps.
Other social media sites, such as Pinterest and Path, are on the rise and can offer more insight into the customer’s habits. You need to familiarize yourself with the sites, so you can better relate to your customer down the road, too. The article in the Post continued to read, “The generation that expects immediate interactivity will also demand the ultimate personalization. Jaded by marketing, they will need to be convinced of why what you are selling is relevant to their particular areas of interest.” Clearly, the post points out, one of the best way to prepare yourself for the future of social media CRM is to arm yourself with information, so you’re ready to relate to your customers.
Some also believe the future of social media CRM lies within a business’s ability to have its customers interact with its social media presence for profit. For example: Share X product with your friends and contacts online across a variety of social media platforms, and we’ll provide you X product at a discounted rate. Essentially, you work with the customer so they work for you. Win win.
The health of social media CRM also depends on sales people’s ability to use it effectively. Sending links, posting videos and posting announcements to your company’s Facebook page is not enough. You have to engage the customer, according to CRM Magazine. In the future, sales people will be most successful when they learn how to exist within the confines of a social media landscape instead of an advertising one.
If you’re on a social media site, you need to engage with consumers accordingly. You must put the robotic sales pitch aside and engage the consumer to earn their loyalty and trust. A bland statement or factoid about your company will do no good. Instead, post a video or question costumers can respond to to get a conversation going. Once the conversation is moving, you gain valuable insight into the customer’s needs, and you’re better able to sell your product. Once you log those notes into your social media CRM tools, you’ll have a more comprehensive profile of your consumer base.
Social media CRM, if approached correctly while being willing to change as generations flux, will likely evolve into an inherent part of overall customer relationship management. Social media CRM guru Thomas Wieberneit essentially said the same in an interview with GetApp.com when predicting the future of the ever growing market. “I do see the term ‘Social CRM’ vanish soon and be merged back into CRM,” Wieberneit said. “CRM inherently is social.”
Read the entire post in SocialMediaToday.com posted by Koka Sexton.
See the Original Article posted by Koka Sexton in InsideView. ___________________________________________________________________________
Koka Sexton, Director of Social Strategy at InsideView, is one of the most recognized social experts in the technology industry. With ten+ years of sales experience and a passion for social media, Koka is the perfect evangelist for social selling, a topic that he promotes through national speaking engagements and InsideView's newest social media endeavor: Social Selling University. Koka's expertise extends beyond his endless knowledge of social networks into his skill at employing them to drive lead generation, create new opportunities, and engage customers.
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June 27th, 2012 // Teens Running Circles Around Parents on Social Media
Posted in // MediaPost.com
Posted by // Erik Sass
It seems to be an eternal truth: parents always try to monitor their teens to prevent them from doing stupid, self-destructive things, and the teens always succeed in evading them. The latest iteration is occurring online, with social media, where the kids frolicking with risk-taking abandon right under the noses of their elders.
That’s according to a new survey from McAfee titled “The Digital Divide: How the Online Behavior of Teens is Getting Past Parents.” First of all, teens are spending way more time online than their parents suspect -- five hours a day versus two hours a day, respectively. The same is true of social media in particular: while 48% of parents think their teens check social media daily, the actual proportion is 60%. Just 22% of parents think their teens check social media “constantly,” versus 41% actually doing so.
Parents are trying to supervise teens’ social media use, with 49% installing parental controls and 44.3% saying they know their teens’ passwords. But teens are using a variety of strategies to evade parental supervision, and it seems to be working, judging by the fact that many parents aren’t even aware of what’s going on. Overall 71% of teens say they hide their online activity from their parents, while only 56% of parents are aware of this.
In terms of specific strategies, 53.3% of teens say they clear their browser history, while just 17.5% of parents are aware they’re doing this. 45.9% of teens say they minimize browsers when their parents are around, while just 16.6% of parents are aware this is happening. 18.9% of teens delete inappropriate videos, while just 5.4% of parents have caught on to this. 19.9% of teens manipulate privacy settings to block their parents, with just 8.1% of parents noticing. 21.3% of teens use their phone to access social media, while just 9.7% of parents realize this. And of course there’s always good, old-fashioned lying, with 22.9% of teens resorting to this time-honored strategy, while just 10.5% of parents are aware they’re being lied to.
To their credit some parents are aware, at least in a general sense, that their outmatched, with 23% admitting they feel “overwhelmed” by modern technology, and a similar proportion saying they don’t have the time or energy to keep up with their kids online.
Read the entire post in MediaPost.com posted by Erik Sass.
Erik Sass is a regular contributor to MediaPost.com.
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June 26th, 2012 // 5 Tools for Turning Social Media Relationships Into In-Person Connections
Posted in // Mashable.com
Posted by // Jeremy Goldman
Social media can be applied to all kinds of activities, including staying in touch with relatives, getting advice, and playing games. One type of application that is growing is the development of in-person relationships resulting from connections originally built exclusively on social media platforms. Building connections in person is incredibly important despite the rise of social media, according to Ed Keller and Brad Fay, co-authors of The Face-to-Face Book: Why Real Relationships Rule in a Digital Marketplace.
Keller and Fay’s research uncovered that in the United States, 75% of conversations occur in person, with less than 10% occurring via social media. Their data also showed that, on average, in-person conversations are thought to be more credible, and often skew more positive than those conducted using social media.
Of course, it’s not always easy to manage the transition of a social media acquaintance into an in-person friendship. Here are a few tools that can help make that happen.
Lanyrd, a social conference directory, is a great way of finding out where your social media connections will be so that you can arrange to meet up. The site allows you to sign in with Twitter and then see Lanyrd’s list of suggested events you may be interested in. To help you build connections with your Twitter friends, there’s a “from contacts” tab that lets you see all of the events your contacts have said they’ll attend. A glance at this list will show you which events will be more conducive to making more in-person connections.
Next to each conference or event, Lanyrd offers two main buttons: “Attend,” to signify you’ll be in attendance, and “track,” to bookmark an event and keep tabs on it.
While it’s not too uncommon for a Twitter user to follow thousands of other users, social media practitioners tend to be more selective on LinkedIn and Facebook. Inviting a Twitter acquaintance to connect on LinkedIn or Facebook is often seen as a move towards a more formal relationship.
“I often ask fellow #LikeableChat participants to [join me on LinkedIn] after we chat. It solidifies the connection,” says Valerie Pritchard, a research coordinator and writer at social media marketing firm, Likeable.
For many, LinkedIn is an incredibly useful tool for building and maintaining professional relationships, providing access to plenty of information about someone, such as shared alma maters, mutual connections, and similarities in work histories, leading to opportunities for bonding.
Banjo is one of the fastest growing mobile platforms used to maintain and develop in-person connections. In April, the service announced it had slightly more than 500,000 monthly active users, with total membership hitting 900,000.
Banjo can find your connections across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and it alerts you when your contacts are within a geographic interval of your choosing. This makes it incredibly easy to arrange spur-of-the-moment meetings with online acquaintances.
Banjo is also great if you’re planning a visit to a place where you don’t have many friends. You simply tell Banjo where you plan to be, and it will load a map indicating where your online friends (and other Banjo users) are in the vicinity.
Similar to Banjo, Sonar is a mobile app that lets you check in to physical locations and know when your social media contacts are at the same venue or nearby. One key feature of Sonar is letting you know when your friends’ friends are nearby as well, revealing connections you might not have otherwise made. With Sonar, it’s not uncommon to check in to a busy venue such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and find someone with four Facebook friends, two LinkedIn connections, and dozens of Twitter followers in common.
Sonar usage is particularly heavy in fields such as digital marketing and among communities such as parenting bloggers, in which people usually form strong connections online before ever meeting in real life. During conferences where these communities come together in person, Sonar is very useful in making sure users don’t miss the people they really want to meet.
Of course, going to a meetup is a great way to meet some of your online friends in real life. You can do this by setting up an account on Meetup.com, and linking it to your Facebook account so you can see where your friends will be. You can flesh out your profile with specific interests, which lets Meetup improve the meetups that it suggests to you, or you can simply search by keyword. Meetups are organized for all sorts of interests from politics to botany.
Of course, Meetup.com isn’t the only way to strengthen relationships made online. Google Groups is a very useful choice when it comes to organizing a tight-knit community and planning in-person meetings.
What’s your favorite way to turn your social media connections into actual in-person friends? Have your say in the comments below.
Read the entire post in Mashable.com posted by Jeremy Goldman.
Jeremy Goldman is a social media and ecommerce executive at Unilever. He has more than 10 years of experience as an online marketer and emerging technologies strategist for a number of beauty brands, including Dove, Kiehl’s, TIGI, Jurlique, and Temptu. Follow him @jeremarketer.