Prospects and Customers Want You Engaged in Social Media

Social Media Stats You Can’t Argue With

  • 95% of new media users believe companies or brands should have a social media presence.
  • 89% believe that they should interact with their consumers in this space.

If you have to ask whether or not you or your company should be engaged in social media, go back and read the two statistics above.

Your customers and prospects are telling you that they want you or your brand to have a LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other types of social accounts. They are also telling you that they want you to engage in conversations with them. Continue reading Prospects and Customers Want You Engaged in Social Media

Social Media Short on Miracles

And now a special announcement: Social Media does not produce miracles and will not work for you if you do not know what it is that you do (very well I hope) and what messages you want to communicate to deliver your compelling offer or interesting (people actually want to consume it) content.

Having 5,00 Twitter followers will not make it happen automatically. Those 1,000 Facebook friends you have, most do not personally know you. The same if you have over 500 connections on LinkedIn. Doesn’t mean that they can’t become customers, it just means you won’t sell them based on your winning personality.

So let’s set the stage.

Marketing: Management process through which the goods and services you offer move from concept to the customer. Its doing business in terms of customer needs and their satisfaction.

As a practice, it consists in coordination of four elements called 4P’s:

  • Identification, selection, and development of a product
  • Determination of its price
  • Selection of a distribution channel to reach the customer’s place
  • Development and implementation of a promotional strategy

Advertising: A form of communication intended to persuade its viewers, readers or listeners to take some action. It usually includes the name of a product or service and how that product or service could benefit the consumer, to persuade potential customers to purchase or to consume that particular brand. Continue reading Social Media Short on Miracles

The Missing Social Media Ingredient

Social Media is everywhere. They talk about it on the news and radio, there are articles in newspapers and magazines, and searching “Social Media” on Google returns 194 million results.

If you want to learn more about it there are hundreds of thousands of blogs, podcasts, and videos available to review. There is no excuse why you cannot figure out how to put social media to work for you. Well maybe one excuse.

That excuse is the missing ingredient in most people’s social media strategy and its “Time”. You can’t learn time and its a limited resource. You either have it or you don’t. Or you need to find or create it.

You really have three choices if you want to get serious about making social media a part of your marketing efforts.

  • You can learn it from scratch by simply diving in and figuring things out.
  • You can tap into the knowledge of others through classes, books, workshops, blogs, audio, and podcasts.
  • You can outsource your efforts.

Regardless of which you choose you will still have to invest some time and money. Continue reading The Missing Social Media Ingredient

Social Media Sonar blog Wins Blogoff II Contest

blogoff2Actually the blog wasn’t competing but I was using two posts that are currently listed here: “The 7 Worst LinkedIn Mistakes and Their Fixes” and “Are You a Lion, Turtle, HoundDog, or Alley Cat – What’s Your LinkedIn Connection Strategy”.

Here’s a press snippet:

Blog-Off II, a blogging contest offering social media enthusiasts and professionals the opportunity to be independently assessed by judges and statistics on their capability of implementing the fundamentals of social media marketing, came to a close with the announcement of the winner on December 24th.  This years winner, Sean Nelson author of the Social Media Sonar blog, was able to beat out an impressive collection of 28 bloggers representing 6 countries.  During the 12 day contest. Sean’s two posts generated over 8,000 visits and over 200 comments, with an impressive time spent on each post of 6:17 and 5:09 (that’s minutes:seconds).”

What’s not covered in the results above are the several hundred comments that were made in LinkedIn groups where I posted a link to the articles in a Discussion Post and as a News Article. Continue reading Social Media Sonar blog Wins Blogoff II Contest

The 4 C’s of Social Media

Back in 1998 I started building my first website for an Insurance company. The CEO had heard that in one of my graduate school classes I had had to submit a class project using html. He decided that I was just the person he was looking for to build the companies first website.

It was true that I had used html in that project, but all I really did was sit next to a project member while he copied snippets of code from a book to create our first web page. At the time I started creating the companies website it was cool and cutting edge to have a website but it wasn’t necessarily viewed as a business requirement. That would change over the next year.

In 2010 I think we’re at a similar point. Social Media/Networking is still viewed by some as not a business requirement but I expect that will change over the next year. Some will do so because they get it, others because they fear getting left behind. Even if they’re not sure what it is they might be left behind by.

To start off the new year I’m going to discuss what I call the 4 C’s of social media. These are the four concepts we focus on with our clients. Continue reading The 4 C’s of Social Media

What is a Social Networking/Media Expert?

I recently was asked to speak at a workshop on LinkedIn by a connection of mine.  A week or so prior to the event I received an email from her to use to promote the event.  The description headline stopped me in my tracks…”Sean Nelson the King of LinkedIn”

It took me about two seconds to fire off an email telling her to ditch the royal reference ASAP.  A lot of people would call me an expert on LinkedIn, its their opinion so they can think or say what they like.  I have a different different way of describing what I am.  “I’m simply a small business owner that learned how to use LinkedIn and Social networking / media in order to network more efficiently and to drive new business.”

The word “expert” is thrown around way too often these days with little to back up the claim.  What does a LinkedIn expert look like?  How do you determine that they are an expert?  The same goes for “social networking/media expert”.

I was looking at my home page the other day and noticed an updated profile for a connection of mine and someone I’ve known for the last couple of years.  Curious about what changed I took a look at his profile and immediately noticed that after years in another field he was now a social media expert.

Now anyone can learn a lot about social media and be seen as an expert or extremely knowledgeable even if they’re not in the marketing or advertising field.  I’m a prime example of that.  I learned LinkedIn and social networking/media through trial and error trying to drive business for my insurance agency.

In this case the person had attended a couple of my LinkedIn workshops, a few other social media workshops, and was partnering with a company jumping from Google Adwords to social media.  It takes more than attending a couple of workshops and working in the industry to be an expert.

So what is an expert and how do you determine if you’re one?  Is it valid to claim that you are an expert or does that title have to be conferred upon you by another person?  I’m not certain what the official definition is but here are some thoughts about what I think it takes to potentially be considered an expert: Continue reading What is a Social Networking/Media Expert?

Social Media Sonar September Posts

September was a busy and productive month with 7 posts, including the first three parts of my 10 part LinkedIn series “Can LinkedIn Work for You?”.  This month also included a primer on Twitter speak and a graphic detailing the social media/networking process.

Here’s a review and links to each article.

3 Steps to LinkedIn Success

Even if you’re not at the head of the list, only 24% of LinkedIn users are deemed “Active Users”. So once again the opportunity is out there. You simply need to focus on these three areas starting out to find success with LinkedIn.

Enhance Your Networking with LinkedIn (part 3 of 10)

The core of LinkedIn revolves around connecting to other business professionals. Networking exclusively on LinkedIn, though, ignores the human element of face to face interaction. How do you use it to enhance your other networking?

Do You Speak Twittinese?

Social networking and social media are introducing new languages in order to communicate. For those of you still working on speaking the native language of Twittinese, I offer this basic primer course.

Why Are You On LinkedIn? (Part 2 of 10)

In Part 2 of the 10 Part Series “Can LinkedIn Work for You?” we start with a question…“Why are you on LinkedIn?” LinkedIn takes time and effort to produce results. Without this answer “How do you know what actions you should be taking?”

LinkedIn User Guide

Why do only 25% of LinkedIn members use the site on a regular basis? Because most don’t know what to do after signing up. If you haven’t figured out how to use LinkedIn these resources will help.

Can LinkedIn Work for You? (part 1 of 10)

The first article in this 10 Part series asks “Can LinkedIn work for you?”. There are over 45 million people now on LinkedIn but only about 25% are active users. These articles will provide tips and strategies to more effectively use LinkedIn.

Social Media Process in a Picture

Yesterday I wrote about 6 tools that we use at SONARconnects to create and implement social media/networking strategies for ourselves and our client’s. This got me to thinking about how to simplify things by laying out the process in a graphic.

Social Media Sonar provides the following four resources for FREE… 1.  The Blog, 2. The Online Marketing/Social Media Blueprint, 3.  Conversion Rate Optimization Guide, 4.  Resource Center.  If these help you implement your own online marketing program, great. We love helping people. If you decide you need some help, great. We love new clients.  Contact Us if we can help you.

Do You Speak Twittinese?

I speak one language.  I did learn a few words of Latin in my freshman year of college.  And growing up in New Orleans and spending time in Lafayette, LA I learned a few choice words in Cajun French.  But for the record I claim just the one.

I don’t know a single shortened word of Text (as in to txt).  No desire to learn the first.  But Twitter is simple enough that even I can figure it out.  For those of you still working on speaking the native language of Twitinese, I offer this basic primer course.

Tweet
A tweet is simply a statement, message, or string of words composed of a 140 or less characters.  It’s a slightly elongated headline, but like a headline, the more interesting the tweet the more likely someone will react and take action with it.

@username
This is your handle on LinkedIn.  I’m old enough to remember when CB radio’s were the hot thing (Think Smokey and the Bandit) and every trucker and some other interesting people had creative handles.  “That’s a big 10-4 Big Momma, I’ll catch you on the flip flop”.   CB’s were the Texting of the 70’s.

Want to send a tweet to someone, use their handle.  Respond to a tweet and it adds the @ of the person you are replying to.

Unfortunately there’s a downside too.  @’s done solely for the purpose of spamming your marketing message are @ssinine.  They’re enough to make me unfollow someone.  If your message can’t gain traction in a regular tweet what makes anyone think it will do better by adding my @seanenelson.

Direct Message or DM
A good idea, that isn’t much use if you have a couple of hundred followers.  When I first started on Twitter I tried to look at and reply to direct messages.  Now the only time I do is when I’m waiting for an oil change and have nothing better to do with my iPhone.

Automated replies when you follow someone pretty much killed DM.  If you want to send someone a message you’ll have better luck putting a message in a bottle than sending a DM on Twitter. Continue reading Do You Speak Twittinese?

LinkedIn User Guide

Mondays are the day that I post my most significant blog post for the week.  If you’re looking for Part 2 in the 10 Part LinkedIn series it will be released on Monday.
One of the statements I made in Part 1 was that I wasn’t sure why people chose to sign up for a LinkedIn account and then did nothing.  Someone posted a comment to the blog stating that most people don’t know what to do once they sign up for an account.
I can understand that lack of knowledge would lead to lack of activity.  The next question I have, though, is “why is anyone letting a lack of knowledge get in the way of a potential resource that can help you grow your network, develop relationships, and drive new business?”
With any new tool, technology, etc. you have the choice in how long it takes to go from a novice to an effective user.
You can choose to do nothing
You can choose to learn it on your own
You can choose to tap into the knowledge of others
You can choose to outsource the activity
When I started to learn how to use LinkedIn I chose #2 and #3.  First I looked around the site to see if I could figure it out on my own.  While I learned the basics I decided I would be better served tapping into the knowledge of others to speed up the learning curve.
I started reading any blog I could find that talked about LinkedIn.  At the time there weren’t that many so I bought a LinkedIn ebook.  This one ebook provided the framework I needed to build a foundation of knowledge.  It also introduced me to some tips and strategies to put to work immediately.
The book I purchased was a high level overview of LinkedIn.  When I decided to write my first LinkedIn ebook I decided I would take the opposite approach and write a very detailed book.  I also decided to base the book chapters on the navigational structure of LinkedIn, making it a great reference tool.  Have a question about Groups, go to the Groups chapter.
In June I released the revision of my first book re-titled as the “LinkedIn MBA”.  I also wrote a workbook, the “LinkedIn MBA Workbook” to help people create a “killer” profile, begin building their credibility, and extend their reach.  Combined the two form a perfect resource for someone who has a LinkedIn account but is not sure what they should be doing.
The book is over 150 pages with close to 100 screenshots and the workbook is around 21 pages.  So you have a choice.  You can continue to do nothing.  You can invest the time to learn it from scratch.  Or you can invest $9.97 (the cost for the book and workbook combined) and begin putting LinkedIn to work for you as soon as today.
The question to ask yourself it what is your time worth?  The minimum wage is $7.25 so if it takes you 40 hours to learn what is in the book and work book your time in cost at a minimum would be $290.  (the average hourly rate for a LinkedIn member is actually $52.40 making the time cost $2,096.15)
The information I share on this blog is free and you can learn a lot by reading through the posts.  I just don’t have the space to provide information in as detailed a manner as in the book.  Also the blog is written based on what I find interesting each week, whereas the book is organized more on a start to finish basis.
For more information on the LinkedIn MBA and the LinkedIn MBA Work book go to http://socialmediasonar.com/book.html
Stop by next Monday for Part 2, “Why are you on LinkedIn?”, of my LinkedIn series.

LinkedIn MBA Cover 200Mondays are the day that I post my most significant blog post for the week.  If you’re looking for Part 2 in the 10 Part LinkedIn series it will be released on Monday.

One of the statements I made in Part 1 was that I wasn’t sure why people chose to sign up for a LinkedIn account and then did nothing.  Someone posted a comment to the blog stating that most people don’t know what to do once they sign up for an account.

I can understand that lack of knowledge would lead to lack of activity.  The next question I have, though, is “why is anyone letting a lack of knowledge get in the way of a potential resource that can help you grow your network, develop relationships, and drive new business?”

With any new tool, technology, etc. you have the choice in how long it takes to go from a novice to an effective user.

  • You can choose to do nothing
  • You can choose to learn it on your own
  • You can choose to tap into the knowledge of others
  • You can choose to outsource the activity

When I started to learn how to use LinkedIn I chose #2 and #3.  First I looked around the site to see if I could figure it out on my own.  While I learned the basics I decided I would be better served tapping into the knowledge of others to speed up the learning curve.

I started reading any blog I could find that talked about LinkedIn.  At the time there weren’t that many so I bought a LinkedIn ebook.  This one ebook provided the framework I needed to build a foundation of knowledge about LinkedIn.  It also introduced me to some tips and strategies to put to work immediately.

The book I purchased was a high level overview of LinkedIn.  When I decided to write my first LinkedIn ebook I decided I would take the opposite approach and write a very detailed book.  I also decided to base the book chapters on the navigational structure of LinkedIn, making it a great reference tool.  Have a question about Groups, go to the Groups chapter.

In June I released the revision of my first book re-titled as the “LinkedIn MBA”.  I also wrote a workbook, the “LinkedIn MBA Workbook” to help people create a “killer” profile, begin building their credibility, and extend their reach.  Combined the two form a perfect resource for someone who has a LinkedIn account but is not sure what they should be doing.

The book is over 150 pages with close to 100 screenshots and the workbook is around 21 pages.  So you have a choice.  You can continue to do nothing.  You can invest the time to learn it from scratch.  Or you can invest $9.97 (the cost for the book and workbook combined) and begin putting LinkedIn to work for you as soon as today.

The question to ask yourself it what is your time worth?  The minimum wage is $7.25 so if it takes you 40 hours to learn what is in the book and work book your time in cost at a minimum would be $290.  (the average hourly rate for a LinkedIn member is actually $52.40 making the time cost $2,096.15)

The information I share on this blog is free and you can learn a lot by reading through the posts.  I just don’t have the space to provide information in as detailed a manner as in the book.  Also the blog is written based on what I find interesting each week, whereas the book is organized more on a start to finish basis.

For more information on the LinkedIn MBA and the LinkedIn MBA Work book go to http://socialmediasonar.com/book.html

Stop by next Monday for Part 2, “Why are you on LinkedIn?”, of my LinkedIn series.

Social Media Process in a Picture

Yesterday I wrote about 6 tools that we use at SONARconnects to create and implement social media/networking strategies for ourselves and our client’s.  This got me to thinking about how to simplify things by laying out the process in a graphic.  Below is the result of that exercise.  I hope it helps you see the overall picture.

Social Media Process flow

Does this help you see things more clearly?

Social Media Sonar provides the following four resources for FREE… 1.  The Blog, 2. The Online Marketing/Social Media Blueprint, 3.  Conversion Rate Optimization Guide, 4.  Resource Center.  If these help you implement your own online marketing program, great. We love helping people. If you decide you need some help, great. We love new clients.  Contact Us if we can help you.