JUNE’S BEST – LinkedIn, Trust, and Making The Most of Your Content

July - Celebrate!

July – Celebrate!

July is upon us, and we here in the States are getting ready for our annual tribute to patriotism, fireworks and barbecues!
June was a bumper crop month for quality content across the digital marketing industry, and I’m only too happy to share the top articles I’ve read:

LinkedIn Ninja Tricks!

LinkedIn Ninja Tricks!

 

 
Facebook seems to get the attention from online sources (granted, cracking the 2 billion users mark is noteworthy…), but many of the businesses I speak with are still kind of scratching their head when it comes to LinkedIn. This top list of tips and tricks from Melonie Dodaro will get you to that next level of skill in using this great professional channel.

Sincerity

Sincerity

 

 
Sincerity and Trust have been the key components for strong customer and business relationships since forever. Building them online isn’t impossible, but it is different. This article introduces some areas of consideration about communication and how you do this. The line between communication and action is pretty clear.

Credibility

Credibility

 

 
Beyond getting found, your website needs to build and maintain your professional credibility. If you’re wondering how a website can do that, then you will find this article Laura Forer of MarketingProfs very, very valuable.

My Community

My Community

 

 
When I speak about online relationships, I refer to the mental model I call VACC (Visitors / Audience / Customers / Community). In this insightful article, Irfan Ahmad digs into how a business can approach this with Facebook Groups, an underutilized resource for most businesses. If you take this on, you’re ALREADY in the lead, since chances are your competition ISN’T doing it!

Social Media Posts

Social Media Posts

 
 
So, that post from last Tuesday blew the doors off in Shares and Comments! WOO-HOO!!!!! Now, how can you leverage what was obviously a Great Piece of Content again and take advantage of it’s quality and virality? Here are 5 ways to look at….

 

Reuse That Content!

Reuse That Content!

As a follow-on to the previous article, how do you take that premier article you’ve written and reuse (or “slice & dice”…) it in such a way that you can make the most of it. Here are nine ways you could repurpose it and reach oven more of an interested audience. Remember, everyone has a preferred way of communicating, and by doing this you are making practical use of that fact!

The Integrity and Priorities of Place

The Priority of Place

The Priority of Place

I recently wrote about how the things you actually spend time on uncover your priorities. A colleague of mine noted that what you spend money on does the same thing, which is partially true. There are a number of things you spend money on that are not discretionary, like food (if you are fortunate enough to have the money for food…).

Other interesting indicators of priority are your decisions made in the midst of radical change.

I recently read an article in the Guardian by a professor at Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana. I should say ‘former professor’, as the college just closed after operating since 1889. Rensselaer, IN has a population of just under 6,000 souls and is definitely NOT a place you might expect a college to be.  Ranked as a “Best Midwestern College” by the Princeton Review and U.S  News, it nonetheless announced on February 3, 2017 that it will temporarily suspend operations at the end of the 2016-2017 academic year. The article’s author, Jon Nichols, rightly interprets that to mean “Students: transfer now; Faculty & employees: you will need a new job soon.”

Mr. Nichols doesn’t want to move.

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How Do You Focus To Listen?

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Listen-To-Understand

Listen-To-Understand

There is a budding resurgence taking place concerning the importance of Conversation in life and business. Not that a lot of the words aren’t just hanging out there, dissipating in the wind. A lot of businesses grab the “shiny thing” when it comes to the latest discussions and thinking around whatever can keep us growing, or at least “safe.” I still experience an enormous amount of Telling and Broadcasting instead of Conversation and Engagement, both online and off-line. Even conversation has numerous forks in the concept, the largest two seem to be “listening-to-reply” and “listening-to-understand.”
A few years ago I wrote an article about the abundance of LIKING-type behavior online in comparison to the actual conversation taking place. Businesses were still trying to figure out this new paradigm where the customers actually controlled the brand perceptions, and NOT the BRAND controlling them. Along with the immature capabilities for measuring real engagement and the misunderstanding surrounding the actual meaning and value of a LIKE or a FOLLOW or a “+1” meant that the definitions of success were too fuzzy, and likely incorrect.
Things are different now.

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There are some CHANGES you should know about….

Changes

CHANGE – And Now For Something Different

Change signifies life and the movement through time we all take part in. The dual focus I have taken within this blog has been about things I have a long-time and deep abiding interest in AND the phenomenon we loosely and broadly call “social media” and the business and more human aspects of it.

As of this past few weeks my more business-focused writing will take place on the blog that is part of my new Social Sapiens site. Some of those will be cross-posted here (and vice versa…) as they have aspects of my passion for being human online or how what happens online impacts us in real life. I intend to continue to write for this blog in broader areas that include many of the things I’ve written about before, but that business owners and entrepreneurs may or may not find as directly pertinent to their bottom lines (although my hope is that the work published here will be valuable and thought-provoking to whomever takes the time to read and consider it…).

Please join me on my other blog soon, and keep your eye here for more articles too!

 

FOCUS: What About Customer Experience and Relationships?

Visitors Audience Customers Community

On the lookout for…?

“Relationships?! How do you do that when your business is all about selling boxes of widgets? Folks come to my site, order them and I ship them out…”

This is a common question. You have always viewed your company as one that makes something that others buy (hopefully more than once…), and then you make sure they get it. Pretty much the definition of “transactional”, and, especially if you operate an e-commerce site, you only know them by a name, address and order number. It doesn’t look like the opportunities to establish and grow a relationship, as you’re thinking of it, are that ripe.

…or are they?…

I’ve written before about a descriptive construct I call the VACC. It stands for Visitors/Audience/Customers/Community. There are different ways of looking at the people who interact with your business: The Customer Journey, the Sales Funnel, and so on. Viewing these people through the VACC lens focuses on the stage of the relationship they have with you business, and how you communicate and interact with them. Each stage is valuable and there is no hard line dividing them. Nonetheless, knowing, in greater depth, what each set of these people are looking for, how they act and react to you and your business, what their expectations are, and how you can communicate with them is vital to your business growth. Not knowing is the same as tossing your product out on to a virtual (or real…) sidewalk and hoping the right folks come by.

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Are You Really Thrilled With That Visit?

NPS Ranger greets visitors at the visitor cent...

NPS Ranger greets visitors at the visitor center front desk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What do you think about when you hear the word “visitors?”

Context can provide you with different pictures…
If you are sitting in a meeting at work and your boss introduces a couple of people at the front with her as “visitors from headquarters,” your thoughts may turn to why someone from corporate came to visit your office in the hinterlands. They might be new managers acquainting themselves with the company, consultants that will be working with you, or the dreaded HR reps….

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5 Superior Social Media Posts to Drive Your Business!

You want “The Short List.”

This list gives you the best information for your business, and let’s you understand what will make your digital and social media marketing work so you can get back to work. I have collected these 5 articles from around the web as the best of the best for October. Read them all, then figure out how you can execute on them, based on your goals and resources.

Ultimate Blog Post list

Ultimate Blog Post list

You’ve got a blog or intend to start one, but are REALLY intimidated by the idea of having to come up with posts every week (or however frequently you have decided to publish…). I scan this list regularly to jog my creative juices and come up with new ideas. This article is by Russ Henneberry of DigitalMarketer.com.

Social Media Expectations

Social Media Expectations

There are still a lot of entrepreneurs and small businesses that are guilty of “magical thinking” when it comes to what social media can accomplish for their businesses.
When you go searching around the web for ideas to improve your digital and social media marketing, you’re confronted with the same thing I am: a TON of information! You don’t have the time, the patience, or maybe even the depth of expertise or comfort in a lot of these areas to know who’s reliable or who’s just selling something. This article by Carol Stephen helps you stay grounded.

ROI cost-effectiveness

ROI cost-effectiveness

The acronym ROI (Return On Investment) is so easily bandied about that most of the time you think you know what it means, and you’re wrong. I learned so much by reading the works of K.D. Paine that I want you to become acquainted with her and her work. Most of the time, what you really want to know is the CEA (Cost-Effectiveness Analysis), which “compares the relative costs and outcomes (effects) of two or more courses of action.” This article will help you get the difference so you can figure it into your calculations for resources and costs.

Social Media and Competitors

Social Media and Competitors

If there really is “nothing new under the sun,” then it makes particular sense to check out what your competitors are doing (successfully and unsuccessfully…) on social media. This article by Matt Walker, CEO of Main Path Marketing, outlines some great tips and a good starting methodology to figure out how other companies’ social media strategies, altered to fit your business, can help you. Competitor research is something that a lot of small and medium businesses miss, and it can be a real gold mine.

Networks and Communities

Networks and Communities

Networks connect; communities care.” In this Harvard Business Review article, Henry Mintzberg, a professor of management studies at McGill University in Montreal, touches upon the roles of each kind of construct. In my business I work with clients to understand the opportunity and value of each kind of construct (network, audience, and community) and ensure that businesses approach them in ways that drive the greatest value. If you want to get a handle on the differences and challenges, this is a great place to start.

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