Archives For social media

When I say “event” or “Lunch & Learn”, the first question is, “How do we get people to come?  Tomorrow I am conducting a conference on entrepreneurial thinking and we have over 130 people signed up – how did that happen?  Well, there are many factors, but one factor should be the use of social media.  If you are not leveraging social media tools in your business to build a following, you should be.  If you are, check to make sure you are actually building, and not wasting your time.

Understanding How it Works

First, I think it’s important to say, social media is not a quick, over night kind of thing.  People who use social media as another avenue for spam are not going to be successful.  No one is going to buy a magazine full of advertisements.  I remember watching one of my friends open his Car & Driver Magazine in high school. The first thing he would do is flip through to find the ad pages and rip them out.  Then he would hold up the remaining magazine – it would be half the thickness of the original.

Social media is about content and creating value.  What do your readers want?  What will help them with the business they are trying to build?  You can’t just guess on this, you need input.  I recommend asking your best clients what to put out there.  It also has to be something you are passionate about.  If you don’t have  a passion for the things your clients need, you might be in the wrong business.  When the two come together, something happens – people start following.

Gary Vaynerchuck, author of Crush It, gives us a sense of that passion – check out his blog. Of course, if you know Gary, you don’t read his blog, rather you watch it.  On the other hand, David Meerman Scott does a great job explaining how content should work and how to build, what he calls personas of the people you aim to reach – check out his book, The New Rules of Marketing & PR.

Talking Strategy

Yesterday I was on a coaching call with a marketing VP talking strategy and social media.  His company has content, but as we read through it, we both saw the same problem – the content is to technical and too generic.  His market is pretty specific, yet his content is not.  If I ask him to describe his target prospect, he can do it, but when I read the headlines on his blog, they don’t tend to attract the right target – or any specific target.

Social media is a process – its a set of tools that allow me to address a people group.  The group already exists out there.  My job is to write compelling content to the group as if I am the newspaper serving a local town.  My content has to be great – it has to compete with a million other people.  This is where Simon Sinek’s video, which I posted a few weeks ago, comes inStarting with the Why.  When I think about my own business and why it has been successful over the past 8 years, I know it is because I am doing exactly what Simon is describing – I am selling my Why.  In my words, I am working to meet the needs of my people group.  A concept I describe in detail in my book, From Vendor to Adviser.

When a business owner or VP, of a large company division, wakes up in the morning, I doubt they are thinking about your products and they probably won’t tune into your blog post if it’s all about you.  Yet they will probably read their email first.  For some reason, even the busiest people go to email first.  What are they looking for?  If something is going on in their business, it’s likely somewhere in email and like most professionals, they head there first.  The question is, will they subscribe to your media, making it part of the morning routine?

So How Did We Get the 130 People?

Building an audience happens through social media – making contacts, building trust, and building interest.  It won’t happen overnight, in fact the first year of my blog, I struggled reach more than 10 to 15 readers in a day; sometimes less.  Some people continue to buy lists and make calls, and there is a place for this, but calling people you don’t know, and more importantly, who don’t know you, is a tough way to build an audience for your upcoming event.

© 2012, David Stelzl

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Looking at Google+

March 15, 2012 — 1 Comment

I’ve been looking at Google+ this week…why?  Because it seems like everyone is on Google for something, and that means Google+ will likely gain a strong following.  I have a Facebook company page, and of course, everyone is on Facebook too – so what should we do with Google+?

First – click the g+ and connect with me on this page!

Well to start with – you need a way to connect with clients and prospects – Linkedin is a great networking tool for me, but are your clients using it actively?  I suspect they have a profile set up – but are they paying attention to the posts?  Probably not.  In my own experience, Linkedin is a great way to keep track of where people are as they move from job to job.  If you call on the larger enterprise, this can be useful – IT people leave every 18 months on average, so keeping track can be an important part of territory management.  On the SMB side, hopefully you call on business owners – they are probably not moving around.  If they are, their credit is probably not very good…

Facebook has a strong following – and the business side is growing, but for the average sales person, you probably don’t have your own corporate page – so now you are somehow mixing your personal friends, high school and college contacts, and business contacts all in one.  This just doesn’t do it for me.  I don’t think my clients are interested in old fraternity pictures taken several decades ago.

Google+ seems to have a friendlier interface for this type of thing.  The circle thing works for me, but the “Create pages” feature is really powerful.  You can now set up your profile, and then create a special page – which, unlike Facebook (at least from what I see here), you can create a unique landing page in a matter of minutes.  You can post pictures and bio info specific to what you do, add daily info and insight, and begin building connections that center around your professional side, without getting caught up in the personal side.  80/20 was recommended somewhere – 80% professional, with about 20% personal to give this a personal feel without going overboard.  If you are involved in other leadership activities with outside organizations you might consider building more pages for these things.  Unlike Facebook, they are unique pages with no connection between them – other than you manage them from a central place. The people who connect to you don’t see a bunch of unrelated tabs and posts.

I am now exploring how I might use this to create landing pages for books I’ve written, and more.  Check it out – and see if this might be a way to set up your personal web landing page to communicate your value to those you call on.

© 2012, David Stelzl

Finally on Facebook

February 29, 2012 — Leave a comment

I admit I am not an early adopter, but recently I have been doing some research on how to use social media more effectively than I already am.  David Meerman Scott and Chris Brogan have been strong influences on what I do in this area, and of course, they highly recommend it! Coca-Cola uses it, and, well,  I guess everyone is out there with the exception of me (until now – visit my page).

Do you have a company page up?  Since just about everyone has a Facebook page at this point, it would make sense that we all get on board and build some business pages.  The more online presence you can build the better off you are.  However, I continue to warn people not to put garbage online.  What you do in your spare time is none of my business, but what you post becomes the business of every prospect and future employer.  Don’t get careless and start posting pictures and updates that turn people away.

On the other hand, imagine the power of you having many pages out there with links to valuable content, videos with educational material, and a forum to interact with your clients.  Leverage this tool, and keep it up to date with the latest.  In the mean time, be sure to visit my page, give me some ideas on improvements (which I am working on slowly in my “Free” time…) and hit the LIKE button while you are out there!

(Visit my page)

© 2012, David Stelzl

Yesterday we completed our first day of Making Money w/ Security – an online security sales course I provide through webex.  As security trends evolve, one area has become particularly interesting to me – that of social media and how it can be used as a vehicle for social engineering.  After class one attendee passed on an article from the WSJ, Spam Finds a New Target…here are some important points from the Wall Street Journal’s write up…

  • Facebook blocks over 200 million malicious actions every day!
  • In August 2011, over 92% of email messages were spam messages, in Nov, over 70%.  These numbers fluctuate month to month, but they are always high.
  • Twitter and Facebook are the new targets – people are on to the email problems, but social media is wide open as people accept friend requests from unknowns.  In fact, in another recent article, WSJ reported on a study showing the number of men who gave out sensitive information, including passwords, to a white hat hacker posing as a 25 year old woman using social media!  Incredible, but believable.

As I speak to executives around the world at Lunch & Learns and other customer facing events, I am hearing the need to leverage social media as a means of marketing and branding.  I agree, this is a tool that can accelerate any company’s business when used correctly.  But this also opens the door for users, who are completely unaware of the security risks, to invite predictors to install code on their machines.  The same machines that will later access the company’s most sensitive data.  If you are not attending Making Money w/ Security this week, stay tuned – we’ll be scheduling more later this year.

© 2012, David Stelzl

A long time friend and colleague of mine is interviewing – so what does he do?  First he finds out who he will be interviewing with, then he heads to Linkedin to prepare.  Using the search features, he locates the people he’ll be interviewing with.  Since he upgraded, he can now see full profiles of people he is not linked to, allowing him to learn about their backgrounds, expertise, favorite books, and perhaps hobbies and interests.  Then going on to advanced searches, with his upgrade in hand, he can search for other titles within the company, learning more about the organization, who he might want to know more about during the interview process, and perhaps some of the people he knows, who are linked to people he’ll be meeting with.  From there, a few emails or phone calls may give him the insider advantage.  How about sales?

Are you leveraging this tool before going out on sales calls? It’s no different than my colleagues interview – he’s on a sales call just like you.  As I connect with different people I am finding many sales people are not keeping up their profiles, adding contacts, and doing everything they can to research upcoming meetings, while also creating an attractive profile for themselves online.  Two things you must do: Prepare for sales calls using the advanced features of LinkedIn, doing everything you can to learn about the people you will be meeting with.  Secondly, make sure you are up to date and attractive – assume those you are meeting with are checking you out online.  If you don’t have a great picture, get one.  Meeting someone with a face in mind makes a difference too.

© David Stelzl, 2010

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