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

5 Ways to Communicate Your Message on LinkedIn (Part 8 of 10)

When I first joined LinkedIn my thought was that this would be a good place to network and connect to other business professionals.  What I’ve learned since is that LinkedIn is a great place to communicate your message to millions of business professionals.  Most often through indirect methods.

Most people think in term of communicating directly, but that’s a traditional perspective.  Social networking/media has its own rules in regards to sales related activites and most often using a direct sales pitch will fail and potentially cause damage to your brand.

There are a few ways to communicate directly on LinkedIn.  The most obvious is to send a direct message to your first degree connections.  Personally when I receive a direct sales message I immediately archive it.  Most often it’s from someone I’m connected to but do not personally know.  If I receive several I simply remove the connection.

If you want to sell to me you have to first introduce yourself and then start a conversation.  It all starts with the three requirements necessary for someone to choose to do business with you.  First they have to know you, second they need to like you, and finally they need to trust you.

Connecting or interacting within LinkedIn groups can accomplish the “getting to know you” requirement.  Moving to like and trust requires time and interaction.  You’re going to have to share value over time for this to occur.

Here are some of the ways that I communicate my message to tens of thousands of LinkedIn members each week. Continue reading 5 Ways to Communicate Your Message on LinkedIn (Part 8 of 10)

A Case of LinkedIn Spam?

I’ve been on LinkedIn for over three years and I’ve been amazed that spam related content has not been a huge issue.  Rarely do I see, or maybe its that I haven’t recognized it, this type of activity.  Compared to Twitter direct sales messages rarely work.

Today I received a message from a fellow group member that at first I assumed was legitimate.  Now I’m not so sure.  I’m going to leave the final decision up to you.

First here’s the message I received from Bradley Mitchell which included a note apparently sent to him from Mr. Brad Kenzie.  It includes a link to http://www.moresocialleads.com which advertises a social media product called PMA Desk.

the spam message

The message is pretty straight forward.  Since I work with clients helping them with their social media strategies, and having written a blog for the past two years that discusses LinkedIn and social media, I was curious.  I clicked on the link to check it out. Continue reading A Case of LinkedIn Spam?

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?

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.

6 Social Media/Networking Tools for Businesses

social media swirlMany people use the term “Social Media” to represent the vast array of social networking sites, social media sites, and tools available.  What we’re really talking about is the Social Web.  The Social Web is made up of Social Networking and Social Media.

Social Networking is about sharing the conversation.  Social Media is about sharing content.  Combined they form an effective toolbox to grow you business.

Sharing the Conversation
There are hundreds social networking sites available and you could spend unlimited time trying to determine how to use each.  I’m looking to use social networking in as efficient manner as possible so I focus on two networking sites and one hybrid.

The two sites that I use are LinkedIn and Facebook.  Both allow me to build communities of people, engage and interact with them, and communicate to on an ongoing basis.  The results may include branding but the end goal is always monetization.

LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a natural fit from a membership perspective.  The average household income per member is $109,000, close to 80% have attended college, and 49% are decision makers.  The average LinkedIn member is a great prospect.

LinkedIn is a somewhat closed environment and it takes time and effort to build the right communities and typically most of our communications are indirect in nature.  I want those in my networks to see the messages I deliver over time and to get to know, like, and trust me so that when they have a need for the services I provide, I’m top of mind.

It also doesn’t hurt that you have the ability to prospect and then see how you connect into each opportunity. Continue reading 6 Social Media/Networking Tools for Businesses