2013 Insider Social Media Predictions

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Below is the SlideShare presentation compiled by Lee Odden (@leeodden) and Dell. It has a wealth of information from leading thought leaders in the space of social media and becoming a social business. The presentation is hosted on SlideShare and contains 18 slides. It is well worth your time to read each and act accordingly for your business. As always, I’d recommend that before you jump on any new social channel (new to you), do your research first. Is it a place where your prospects and customers are going? What are your competitors doing in the space? How does this new channel advance the achievement of your organizational goals?

Social Media Predictions for 2013 from Dell Social Media

A key takeaway reminder is included in the summary from the slides “The biggest opportunity for businesses in 2013 is to be a social business, not simply a business in social”.  This sentiment has been a common thread for the last little while, however, the challenge is understanding what it means to be a social business and how to sell that to the senior leaders in your organizations, if they are not convinced.

My greatest takeaway was from Philip Sheldrake’s, answer to what is the greatest overrated and underrated metric “Any output metric not correlated to your specific outcome metrics, is not just overrated, it’s irrelevant”.

Finding the deck in my reader this morning (through a post by Lee Odden), reinforced lessons from earlier in the week. I was fortunate enough to be a participant at the Waterloo Region Small Business Center‘s “Social Media Summit” and was in the audience when Kelly Craft, was presenting “Social Analytics” (will share Kelly’s deck when available). Her key point, among many was very similar in tenure with Philip’s but with Kelly’s own spin and unique voice. Some of the key points in Kelly’s presentation are captured in the tweet stream below. A full stream of valuable information is available under the hashtag #socbizwr on Twitter.

Social Business, Analytics

@krcraft on analytics

Social Business, Analytics

Notes from @krcraft

I enjoyed revisiting the thoughts of some trusted resources in the deck from Dell and connecting to some new minds. I trust that you will find the information equally of value. To your continued success on the road to becoming a “Social Business”.

The contributors included in the Dell Deck: Anita Campbell, Ann Handley, Gaurav Mishra, Geoff Livingston, Lee Hopkins, Lee Odden, Michael Brito, Paul Gillin, Philip Sheldrake, Ray Wang, Rohit Bhargava, Shel Israel, Toby Bloomberg and Valeria, Maltoni

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IBM’s Social Evangelist – Reblog

It’s been an interesting week already. Yesterday, I was able to participate in in the Waterloo Region Social Media Summit, hosted by the Small Business Center. The day was full of great information from the generous and talented speakers (to see the stream use #socbizwr). What was telling that in the course of these 24 hours, I’ve listen to Joe Thornley, CEO of Thornley Fallis (@Thornley) keynote at the summit talk about the need for senior leadership in social, returned home and caught this compelling discussion/debate with @tedrubin and @jasonkeath in IBM’s webcast debate the ROI of social media and the need for senior level engagement and leadership (watch here). http://youtu.be/29i4L0mui2U

Today, as I scanned my reader, I came across this great presentation from Sandy Carter, VP Social Business Evangelist at IBM sharing information from IBM’s CEO survey. What’s nice about this short presentation is the key takeaways and the excellent examples of CEO’s that have embrace social to engage with their customers and how they are empowering their employees to do the same. Both are worth your time.

– Gordon

Social Media to Social Business

Happy Monday!

Welcome to our Social Business Coffee Break on one of my favorites!  The importance of key leadership is crucial for great Adoption!

Tell me what you think!!

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How not to Sell an $18,000 P.2

Car Sales, Customer Service

Source: Flickr Creative Commons Martinak15

When we lasted visited our story, Joan and I were heading back to our home town from a day of work and meetings, still missing that key ingredient to making an informed decision for our impending car purchase.

Having determined that the one dealership in London did not have the model we were interested in, we head out to the second dealership, conveniently located along the route home. What I haven’t shared to this point, is that we have a 3 year old dog at home, that insists upon sharing his dissatisfaction with us if we’re out too long or he’s not feed at a respectable hour. With the weight of the day and the impending mess at home, we were anxious to get the test drive under our collective belts, get home, relax and discuss the purchase.

We arrived with anticipation at the dealership, and to be fair, explained that we would not be purchasing today, but wanted to test drive a particular model. The person who greeted us was less than welcoming and we were ushered to a sales representative. Our representative, even after being told what we wanted, insisted on going through the process (even handing us a pamphlet of the car we’d already thoroughly checked out). After a firm but determined reiteration that we were here for a test drive, we were told they’d check. Minutes later our rep confirmed what we already knew, that they had the models on site and he’d have one brought in from the back for us. Twenty minutes later, we were in our car and heading home, still without having a test drive. During that period we were ignored, nor given any updates on the status of our request, despite the rep walking past us a number of times.

There was one more hope, on the route we were taking was another city, Woodstock, that had the same car manufacturer. We’d make a quick stop there and inquire. We arrived and finally were given the opportunity to test drive a vehicle. Having done our test drive, the rep proceeded to try and sell.  We’d gone so far we agreed to wait to chat to the Business Manager to discuss the options, etc., twenty minutes later, we learned the business manager was still tied up. We left explaining we’d use the online application available. To make a long story shorter, we ended up purchasing the vehicle, only after the online application failed, making two additional trips to the dealership to fill out the paperwork and so forth, and then finally picking up the car – the Friday before Joan was slated to start her new job on the Monday. What should have been a 3 – 4 day process at the absolute most, ended up being a 2+ week odyssey that resulted in our getting the make and model, but not the colour. The car was brought in from another nearby dealership (likely one we’d already visited). If not for the warranty, the few additional bells and whistles and favorable financing options, we’d have walked away ages ago to the trusted and know brand. In fact, the process is on going. One of the dealerships, the one with the booked test drive and had the car in the mall when we arrived, continues to send us messages about our missed opportunities on their latest offers. Laughable.

The purpose of these posts is not to vent, but to illustrate the need for organizations to integrate their online and real world businesses. Even when a “dealership/franchise” opportunity exists, if the proper processes where in place, imagine how much easier this journey could have worked.  From our initial contact, the car manufacturer could have assisted in the process, by identifying available models on the lot (I’m sure they have the info from an inventory management perspective). The systems could have been tied to provide a test drive format (booking) as was offered, even if it meant bringing the vehicle in from another dealership to the one physically closest to us. How the manufacturer and dealerships split the commissions or swapped vehicles (as was our case), could have and should have been seamless to the buyer. We didn’t need to be sold, other than the performance of the vehicle in our hands. All we needed to know, based on our research, was whether or not Joan would be comfortable in her daily 2 hours of travel, to and fro from work and home. There was absolutely nothing that the representatives brought to the process. The front end could have captured more information on our “pain points” and aided in a wonderful experience. In current literature, you’ll read a lot about collaboration and social and business customer relationship management systems and how to improve the customer experience. These tools aren’t meant to replace the human interaction but enhance them.

Imagine, if when we started our journey and shared our information, we were asked to fill out a quick evaluation to identify what we knew and understood about their vehicle and options. The questionnaire would identify opportunities for meaningful discussion with the rep, not the walk around and reiteration of features we already knew about. Clearly we’d have been much more impressed and not felt like our time was being wasted.  We also would likely have raved about a system that seemed individualized, even for an international car manufacturer. Isn’t that after all what the process is all about.

In her book “The Zen of Social Media Marketing”, Shama Kabani, discusses the A.C.T. principle.  Kabani explains that the A stands for Attract, the C for Consume/Convert and the T for Transform. During this process, we had been attracted to the brand from our online research. We consumed the abundant information available from the manufacturer, industry thought leaders and friends with their experience with the brand. It was during the “convert” stage, that the process feel apart. Because of our experience, they have lost the opportunity to transform us into brand advocates. In fact, if anyone asks me for a recommendation, the trusted brand with the used car and their valiant efforts to get us in one, is who gets the nod.

Understanding the “buyer persona” is fundamental to doing business well today. Listed below are some great resources for you to consider. I hope you find your sweet spot. I know that if a prospect approached me with, I’ve done my research, I like what I see, I need to check out this one element and then I’ll be happy to do business with you – I’ll feel like I’ve done my marketing correctly.

Resources

What is the Buyer Persona — Adelle Revella Buyer Persona Institute.

Using Customer Journey Maps to Improve CX — Adam Richardson Havard Business Review 2010

Optimize – How to attract and engage more customers — Lee Odden, John Wiley and Son’s 2011

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Diverse Impact

Impact of technology on mass communication

Football and mass communication

In his recent blog post “Why do we care about football”, Seth Godin noted “how the sport turned into a cultural touchstone”. He illustrated his point with  the equation; ” Tribes -> TV -> Money  -> Mass -> TV -> Tribes”. The article is a great reminder of how the golden age of television and the NFL evolved together from the mid – late 60’s to today.

What was compelling for me, was his assertion that other than the Super Bowl game itself, the “mass TV”  component of the equation is all but basically over.

I’d have to say I agree and we’ve seen it with the splintering of cable vs traditional broadcast networks. Even the ads for the Super Bowl that everyone used to have to wait for, were available on-line days, if not weeks in advance of the game, building their own culture.  As someone involved in marketing and the whole customer experience, it’s apparent to me daily that there is definitely a shift in consumption. Instead of one to many, the relationship is much more intimate.  Godin noted:

The new media giants of our age (Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.) don’t point everyone to one bit of content, don’t trade in mass. Instead, they splinter, connecting many to many, not many to one.  The cultural touchstones we’re building today are mostly not mass, mostly not for everyone. Instead, the process is Tribes -> Connections/communities -> Diverse impact… So instead we build our lives around cultural pockets, not cultural mass.

It was the last line that really struck home and what I try to focus on with each client I work  with. Each is a unique business, with their own set of values, needs and yes, issues. Working with them to identify their abilities, to create value for their clients, to separate them from the pack and help build meaningful relationships with their customers, vendors, staff and the community at large is my focus. The fun for me has been in exploring the various tools available; be it social media and traditional marketing platforms, customer relationship management systems, workflow management systems, measurement systems or crafting the strategies/tactics to help them meet and even better – exceed their organizational goals.

In the Diverse Message blog, we’ll be seeking to cover all of these various themes and will be turning to qualified professionals in many areas to bring the best possible information to you. I imagine that on occasion we will come across some divergent positions, as the new tools for business continue to evolve but that just expands our discussion and understanding.

The MarketingProf’s link is an affiliate program that I’m pleased to be associated with.

LinkedIn, What’s so great about it?

LinkedIn, Social Media

A powerful social channel for business

Is LinkedIn,  still the overlooked social channel for business? I was speaking to a colleague on a Skype call last week and as we’re both in the infancy stages of developing our businesses, we had the inevitable discussions about which social channels we should be utilizing in our businesses. Both of us are interested and work within the social media/business training and consultancy arena and felt it was important to have a solid grounding in each channel, but what was right for our audiences?

The usual suspects were discussed and evaluated. Our attention turned to LinkedIn. I’ve been on the network since 2006, but up until last year had really only used it to stay in touch with work colleagues from the past, participate in groups to gather more information and research on industries and events.  To a  limited extent, I had used the search functions to identify prospects and potential networking connections within a specific geographic area and industries.

When I began to get serious about it and read materials like Neal Schaffer’s  (of Windmill Networking) excellent book Maximizing LinkedIn, I learned to optimize my profile properly, how to engage in groups and discussions to share and learn with peers, mentors and prospective clients.  I saw my connections increase and they were for the most part  meaningful and rewarding. My experience with LinkedIn over the last year, has demonstrated to me it’s absolute power.  I shared my experience with my colleague, specifically sharing information on the search function. The next day I received the following email;

” OMG, I just ran a search for XXX industries and there are 9,000 prospective organizations within a 60 mile radius” 

My LinkedIn network, visualized

My LinkedIn network, visualized (Photo credit: For Inspiration Only)

As a reminder, my colleagues company is focusing on the absolute power of marrying Content Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media, and most organizations are in need of services like what they offer. The effect almost overwhelming. By applying filters, segmented the prospects and so forth, I’m sure they’ll get them down to a manageable number to approach. The first filter was looking only at 2nd level contacts to determine who they had that could become a warm contact through a LinkedIn introduction.

The network is constantly tweaking it’s platform to deliver increased user satisfaction. One of the latest additions, was the increased power delivered to the company page segment. What I particularly like is the products and services tabs, where you can have specific client recommendations appear right below each of your services. I’ll use HubSpot’s company page, as a great example of what you can do.

Are you using LinkedIn as effectively as possible?