What do first-year marketers need to learn? Here's an account of what Maura Cullen learned during her first year at Addvocate-Trapit.Read More
I recently read an article titled "Marketers regularly use over 100 software programs." When I saw the headline, I paused and thought, "How can that be true?" After reading the article, I got a better appreciation of his intended message. There's an abundance of software solutions that we can purchase to help us do our jobs.
Let's just focus on content marketing. There are hundreds of companies in market serving the needs associated with content marketing. As marketers, we look for a "best of breed" offering. Ideally we want something that can provide a complete "end to end" workflow so that our ROI objectives can be achieved without integrating disparate tools.
We all have a slightly different slant on what is meant by content marketing, but no matter: content marketing is our attempt to find the most efficient/economical way to deliver the right content at the right time through the right channel so we can engage, retain, and build trust with our audience.
To find the right solution, you must identify the key components that will meet the needs of your content marketing team. There are five key components associated with a content marketing workflow:
- Content discovery
- Content curation
- Content distribution
- Content amplification
- Content analysis
1. Content Discovery
Today it is nearly impossible to create enough content to be and stay relevant. With so many channels of distribution, a continuous flow of highly relevant content is now table stakes. If you are not keeping your audience interested in what you are saying, you can bet that someone else is.
Discovery is different from curation. Many point solutions say they can curate content. But they forget to tell you something important: You need to "bring your own content." In other words, you need to find and create your own content for distribution.
Robert Rose recently remarked:
"...[C]ompanies with a competitive advantage are companies that are 'ostensibly search' technologies.... These companies are truly doing some interesting and technologically difficult things when it comes to doing true semantic analysis on a corpus of content - and doing something valuable with it."
And trust Robert when he says it is "technologically difficult," which is why so many companies don't really provide the power of discovery aside their curation capabilities.
2. Content Curation
Curation is about choosing the right content to share with your audience. It is also about making sure that the content is optimized to create the experience you want.
Curation is an art. It takes a keen creative mind to decide what content to share, when to share it, and where to share it. The capability to co-mingle created and curated content in your workspace, and then choose the appropriate content predicated on audience and intent - that is what curation is all about.
Many point solutions will say that they "facilitate curation." But how many provide seamless discovery from the Internet, as well as from behind corporate firewalls? How many provide an easy taxonomy to organize and prepare the content for curation? And how many - in the same interface - allow the curator the ability to make all the required edits and annotated comments to ensure the content is optimized for maximum impact?
At Addvocate-Trapit, we can do that.
3. Content Distribution
Distribution of content seems simple. However, there are so many ways to reach your audience. We have Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, email, web properties, and - let's not forget - TV, Billboards, radio, etc. It seems never-ending, if not completely overwhelming.
"Hunt, cut and paste" is just no longer a viable option. Social media publishing alone requires regular frequency. What organization can afford to search, cut, and paste to Twitter 10-15 times/day, Facebook and LinkedIn 5 times/week, and Pinterest 10 times/week? With content that is meaningful to the intended audience?
Make your life easy, efficient, and effective. Find a solution that gives you "push of the button" publishing - from one application.
4) Content Amplification
Fill your organization with "everyday" marketers. Leverage the power of your people to get your voice heard.
Employee advocacy is real, and it should be an integral part of your marketing strategy. Some organizations decide to empower their employees to leverage their personal social media networks and encourage them to share content. Other organizations prefer to moderate the content that their employees share. Either way, they recognize the need to amplify the brand voice through employee advocacy.
The most effective application will allow you to choose the approach with which your company is comfortable, while taking advantage of the content that was discovered and curated by that same application. So whether you want marketing-discovered and curated content, or employee discovered and curated, note that the best solution will offer both.
5) Content Analytics
And let's not forget ROI. We need to know how our content is performing. It is important to see how much engagement we are creating with the content that we publish and share. We also need to measure the effectiveness of our employee advocacy activity to ensure that our teams are engaged and their content is being acknowledged.
This is really all about building our brand, cultivating awareness, and generating leads. Metrics are a key part of any great content marketing solution. Without this, it is virtually impossible to gauge the effectiveness of your content marketing plan.
In Case You Missed It...
This week Addvocate and Trapit came together in a very important merger to deliver the first complete content marketing solution. Providing marketers what they need to discover, curate, publish, amplify, and analyze relevant, personalized content is our mission. We hope you agree that we do it best.
Want to Learn More?
We look forward to hearing from you soon!
-Pat Hume, President of Addvocate-Trapit
Content marketing is a lot like cooking. With the right ingredients, the right measurements, and the right recipes, you'll be able to serve up scrumptious morsels of content to your audience.
This week, Addvocate and Trapit merged. Together, the combined company provides you with the ingredients, utensils, and appliances you need to become a maître cuisinier of content.
In the graphic below, you'll see how you can take our technologies' ingredients and meld them with the tastes of your company. That way, you can deliver piping hot content to your hungry audience at the right time and in the right places.
Let's take a look at the infographic closer. First up, the ingredients...
1. A hearty content strategy
Your content strategy is like salt. From salty pretzels to savory treats like chocolate chip cookies, every recipe needs salt. Similarly, every content team needs a strategy.
Unfortunately, only 35% of content marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. Which means that a lot of people are committing random acts of content.
To help you develop a strategy and tactics, we created an interactive content curation workbook, which you can download and fill out.
2. A heaping spoonful of content sources
Created content is important for any business. You need your e-books, customer testimonials, and case studies. But most marketers are not able to create enough content. The Aberdeen Group has found that 68% of marketers are unable to create enough content to satiate their audience.
So, what do companies do? They rely on content from other sources. Heck, even those marketers who can create enough content could benefit from some third-party content.
Why? Sharing only branded content is like eating only Snickers bars for the rest of your life. At first, gobbling up nougat, caramel, peanuts, and chocolate for every meal might sound appetizing. But after a few days, you will have quite the tummy ache.
The same is true of sharing only branded content. Your followers will get sick of reading branded post after branded post, and they will begin to file those posts away as corporate spam. To break up the monotony, it's wise for marketers to share third-party content. In fact, the Aberdeen Group has done a study on this subject. They found that best-in-class sellers rely heavily on content, especially third-party content, to close deals.
With Addvocate-Trapit's library of over 100,000 sources, you can find the third-party content that you need, and you can co-mingle it with your created content.
3. An assortment of publishing channels
This goes back to your content strategy. Where are you going to serve up your piping hot content?
To give you a few ideas, you can create e-mail newsletters. You can share content on your social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. You can share content internally to educate your team.
Those are just a few examples. The most creative people will find new ways and innovative techniques.
4. Your executive curatorial chefs
Someone needs to oversee the cooks in the kitchen. Many times, the best content marketing team will have a few people overseeing their recipes so that you have different opinions and perspectives. Does this taste too salty? Is this too sweet? Is this too hot?
But remember: Nothing gets done if you have too many cooks in the kitchen.
5. A handful of helpers
In order to get your message out there, you need a human face. You need helpers who will promote your brand's messages and represent your brand well.
Did you know that 90% of people trust recommendations from people they actually know? So, why not have your employees support your marketing efforts by sharing your messages with their peers?
1. Plan it.
Your content strategy needs some planning. Think of it like creating a menu. You need to think about the flavors and foods your customers will want? In the case of content, what themes and types of content will your audience want?
To help you formulate your content menu, here's a page from our content curation workbook.
2. Discover it.
There are 1,600 varieties of bananas alone, and scientists continually make new varieties. In a similar fashion, people keep making more and more content.
- Facebook users share nearly 2.5 million pieces of content.
- Twitter users tweet nearly 300,000 times.
- Instagram users post nearly 220,000 new photos.
- YouTube users upload 72 hours of new video content.
- Apple users download nearly 50,000 apps.
- Email users send over 200 million messages.
That's quite the smorgasbord of content. In order to sift through the content and find the tastiest items on the internet, you're going to need some help. Through our product's machine learning and artificial intelligence, our platform shrinks the internet, and it learns your tastes, making it easier to find what you and your buyers want, when you want it.
3. Curate it.
Most chocolate chip cookies are good, but there's nothing quite like your grandmother's special recipe. Bakers and chefs have to leave their mark on their food. And the same is true of your content. You have to add something memorable - a spicy point of view, a sweet certain tone of voice, or a salty remark.
In short, don't be bland.
4. Share it.
Don't hoard all the good stuff for yourself. When you create or discover a real treat, share it with others. The channels that you use will depend largely on your company's goals and profile. You may want to tap into Facebook's 1 billion users who are looking to be entertained. Or maybe LinkedIn's more "serious" platform is for you.
Remember: You shouldn't serve soup on a plate, nor should you serve the same across all social channels.
For instance, your LinkedIn followers may want to read industry news and how-to posts, but your Pinterest audience is going to want infographics and photos.
5. Amplify it.
Expedite your created and curated content to your waiters and helpers, and let them pass it along to their followers. Let them be the "front of the house" for you.
Trust me, you're going to need their help.
Right now, the reach of brands is plummeting. But individual users still can reach their audiences. In fact, they can reach an audience that is 10 times larger than what your brand is reaching through its social channels. That's a lot of reach. Why not use them?
6. Analyze it.
Some recipes are great and are worth repeating without making any changes. Others need small adjustments. And let's face it, there are some recipes that are total duds you simply have to ditch.
When creating and curating content, you have to figure out what works. With the analytics and reporting capabilities of Addvocate-Trapit, you can determine what success looks like for your content strategies.
Ready to start cooking the perfect content meal?
We look forward to hearing from you soon!
Merger provides marketers with a complete content workflow encompassing discovery, curation, distribution, employee amplification, and analytics
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 9, 2014 - Addvocate and Trapit, two leading providers of content discovery and curation, social selling, and advocacy services for marketers, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to merge. The new San Francisco-based company will change the way organizations discover, publish, share, and amplify content across websites, blogs, social networks, newsletters, and other destinations.;
Combined, Addvocate-Trapit offers its users a massive content library; artificial intelligence-based discovery capabilities; and the easy, one-click content distribution process of Trapit with the sophisticated employee advocacy capabilities of Addvocate. The merger immediately positions the new company as the only solution that combines all these capabilities.
"For the first time, marketers now have a single platform that provides a complete workflow for the discovery, curation, delivery, amplification, and analysis of unique content, eliminating the massive time and dollar investment required to create all original brand content," said Gary Griffiths, CEO of the combined company and CEO and co-founder of Trapit. "No longer do marketers need to manage dozens of disparate marketing tools to initiate and analyze their engagement with their target audiences."
The company is also announcing the first closing of an $10m Series B funding led by Rogers Venture Partners of Palo Alto, Calif., with participation from Trapit investors including Astro Digital Sdn Bhd, Southeast Asia's largest satellite broadcast company.
An end to "bring your own content"
A cloud-based subscription service, Addvocate-Trapit addresses the challenges marketers face in trying to create enough original content to satiate the appetites of their information-seeking target audiences. While other tools enable organizations to collect or distribute content, they require marketers to spend countless hours hunting for or creating relevant content, following RSS feeds and monitoring Google alerts, a process known as "bring your own content" (BYOC). Trapit does away with BYOC by curating its proprietary library of more than 100,000 content sources-twice the size of the Google News index. With this library, Addvocate-Trapit enables marketers to cultivate a unique voice through useful and significant content to which the audience has not previously been exposed. These sources are drawn from blogs, professional journals, news services, magazines, podcasts, and more than 10,000 video channels. All of the sources have been vetted by human editors who ensure that the content is original, of high quality, and relevant to the marketer's needs.
Trapit's core technology is derived from the DARPA-funded research project in artificial intelligence and machine learning contracted to SRI International.
Solving the marketer's dilemma
"Addvocate-Trapit introduces highly intelligent technology, going beyond just curation to meet all the requirements for content marketing, social selling, and advocacy," Griffiths said. "Trapit is a platform, whereas competing products are simply software applications."
Addvocate-Trapit thus solve the marketer's dilemma by:
- Delivering a complete solution
- Reducing cost
- Increasing efficiency
- Triggering engagement
- Producing ROI/insight
"The integration of Addvocate and Trapit is a brilliant move," said Ruth Papazian, chief marketing officer and head of business development for HD Vest Financial Services. "I believe it will provide significant value to our content marketing efforts. Trapit has become a core element of our social media outreach program and has delivered us a tremendous return on investment. I'm really looking forward to all the new possibilities that we can draw from the combined capabilities of Addvocate and Trapit."
How it works
Addvocate-Trapit offers marketers the ability to set up "traps"-collections of content on any topic. Trapit technology delivers a constant feed of real-time, and relevant content on these topics, which can be further filtered and refined by the user. The system learns from each marketer's activity and from the user's interactions with the content. The content is then easily distributed to any channel including corporate social networks, blogs, websites, microsites, or other destinations. Additionally, technology from Addvocate enables organizations to provide this content to their employees for distribution through their own social channels. The most recent Nielsen study on the subject identified word-of- mouth recommendations as the most trustworthy source of information for 84 percent of consumers, while only 42 percent trusted banner ads. Addvocate-Trapit capitalizes on this trust in personal recommendations by enabling employees to become a team of advocates for the brand. They can share unique content with thousands of their own friends and followers to amplify the brand's information flow.
Addvocate-Trapit provides a workflow optimized to each social network, automatically formatting shared content for posts to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ or other social networks. In this way, Addvocate-Trapit minimizes the need to "buy your own engagement" (BYOE), reducing dependency on promoted tweets, Google AdWords, and other means of increasing engagement with target audiences. Automated analytics indicate which content is working best for various consumer audiences.
Addvocate-Trapit addresses the skepticism that some of today's buyers show toward content distributed by faceless brands on social media. Content shared from individual personal accounts, however, often gain more trust and engagement
"The discovery of content is the most difficult part of the content equation," Griffiths noted, "and nearly all our competitors have found discovery too big a task to absorb. Addvocate-Trapit uses advanced artificial intelligence to dig deep on the Web, surfacing the most relevant content for each user based on content needs. Our pedigree and our sophisticated technology place us in a category of our own in our relationships with major brands and their marketers."
Addvocate-Trapit is dedicated to helping customers engage their audiences through quality, curated content and employee advocacy. Its technology helps to raise the signal and lower the noise, making content discovery, sharing, and publishing easier than ever.
Trapit started as a free app with over 10 million users discovering news and content of all kinds. Trapit's commercial application was developed to combine the elegance of an award-winning consumer app with the feature set businesses need to engage their audiences and measure ROI. Addvocate is a cloud-based employee advocacy platform that helps marketers build brands and increase engagement by giving employees an easy and fun way to post and share content to their social networks.
"When you're finished changing, you're finished." - Benjamin Franklin
It wasn't long ago - less than a year - that I wrote about the first significant change to our business. It was a difficult but necessary decision to abandon our then popular free consumer service. Today is also about change, but instead of shutting something down, we're expanding. Expanding our product offerings, expanding our team, and hopefully expanding our opportunities.
Today we are announcing the merger of Addvocate and Trapit. Not only a change for Addvocate and Trapit but also a major change for the marketplace and how content marketing needs will be met.
We all know the market is fragmented - literally hundreds of companies attacking different elements of the problems you face in reaching prospective companies. We heard from many of our customers and prospects that they had to purchase many point solutions to get what was needed to execute their marketing plans. We listened, and we decided to be aggressive and be on the leading edge of many more expected mergers and acquisitions in the industry. We wanted to be first to deliver a truly comprehensive solution to meet your needs. We decided to make a change. We decided to merge two companies.
Addvocate and Trapit have much in common; California-based startups, venture backed, both looking to build a successful business serving the increasingly expanding market broadly defined as Content Marketing.
But our two companies are very different, as well. Addvocate's operations are contained solely in San Francisco. While Trapit maintains headquarters in San Francisco, our small company is decentralized, with our largest office in Portland, Oregon.
Prior to our merger, we were addressing this large market from different perspectives. For Addvocate, it was about enabling a company's entire work force to generate, curate, and share information in the interest of building awareness for the brand or product. It's a powerful concept - employee advocacy - one in which every single employee becomes an extension of the marketing team. Meanwhile, Trapit's approach focused on content: the discovery, curation, and distribution of highly relevant, real-time content to the audience our customers are trying to reach. For content is the currency in which marketers trade.
This difference between Addvocate and Trapit is critical, for together we deliver a complete range of capabilities needed by marketing leaders as they execute their content marketing strategies. The new platform combines the power of discovery (both machine and user-generated), curation, distribution, and amplification of highly relevant content. All of this is integrated with analytic tools to help marketers determine what content is working and what is not, thus providing the insight needed to derive real ROI.
This change allows us to solve two real problems: 1) marketers are able to get the right content, at the right time, and they can deliver it through the right channels; and 2) they can do it all within on solution. Trapit brings the unsurpassed power of its AI/Machine Learning content discovery and curation platform, while Addvocate empowers employees to amplify the voice of the brand in a very human way.
You can read about the power of this combination in our press release. As you can imagine, I want to talk about change. And culture.
Like people, every company has a unique personality. Both companies have built brands they are proud of, and they have developed work styles and routines that are familiar and comfortable. And now that changes, for both sides. We will embrace this change so as to provide an even better experience for our customers. This will be evident in a richer, more complete solution, continued focus on excellence in execution, an undying passion for our customers' coupled with even more excitement about winning in the marketplace.
I will not trivialize that we have work to do to ensure that our objectives are achieved. Change is hard. Mergers are hard. Mergers require give and take.
But rest assured that we will adapt accordingly so the new company emerges better and stronger than before. Our identity will be forged in how well we serve our customers. From listening to your needs and responding with the delivery of a high-quality solution, to sales integrity, to informative marketing, thought leadership, and most importantly customer success.
We believe that the combination of Addvocate and Trapit position us to do just that and to do it better than anyone else.
As a result of this merger, there will be more choices, more service, more resources. And of course, more cash, thanks to a new infusion of capital led by Rogers Venture Partners of Palo Alto. Trust that I realize that the challenge will be combining the best of two cultures, creating one that is unique and stronger than either alone.
We are all excited about today's news and ask that you reach out to us to learn more about our plans and how you can benefit immediately. Embrace the change with us.
-Gary Griffiths, CEO of Addvocate-Trapit
Management guru David Maister once said that the best new client is an existing client. Maister’s quote originated closer to the era of Mad Men than Microsoft, but it is just as relevant to today’s social marketing discussion as it was to pre-Internet sales mantras. In fact, it may be even more relevant as companies grapple with increasing pressure to deliver more for less.
Let me explain.
It’s a Matter of Trust
Restrictive firewalls, heavy-handed policies, outdated technology…these things haven’t stopped your employees from being active on social media. They are already sharing content about their job and company with friends, family and untold others. The reach of that sharing is staggering: recent studies found that the average number of user connections across social networks is 846 (Pew Research, 2013 and DMR, 2014). Not only are their networks considerable, but they are something entirely more important - they are trusted. Eighty-four percent of people trust recommendations from people they know, compared to 42% who trust banner ads. (Nielsen, 2013)
And, all the while, your headcount-strapped social media team is moving mountains to keep branded feeds updated. Branded feeds that are typically not interesting and not trusted.
What if The Team You Needed to Hire Was Already Hired?
All of this begs the question: “Why aren’t you enlisting all of your employees to build a massive, company-wide army of advocates who can help build brand equity and drive more engagement with your marketing campaigns?” It’s not like they aren’t already talking about you and your brand:
50% of employees post messages, pictures or videos in social media about their employer. (KRC Research 2013)
39% of employees have shared praise or positive comments online about their employer. (KRC Research 2013)
They’re already there. Ready to engage, already engaged.
Equipped with the right tools, an employee advocacy program that embraces employees rather than excludes them has wide reaching benefits.
Why Do My Customers Care About Cat Videos?
You might be thinking, “Beyond the occasional Facebook post about one of our new products, what could my employees possibly be sharing that would be of any interest to my customers?” The answer is; a lot.
One of the biggest knocks against past and current social marketing by brands is that it’s inhuman, cold, one-way. It’s a brand pushing advertising, not being social. Frankly, it’s an accurate knock. Inside many brand teams, that mindset is shifting. Brands are waking up to the fact that people like interacting with other people. Yet, they struggle with exactly where to start, because, for many, embracing employee advocacy is as much a cultural shift as it is a marketing shift.
Taking That First Step
The core of a successful employee advocacy program is trust. It’s the trust that’s inherent in people-to-people social media relationships as I’ve mentioned earlier in this article. It’s also the trust that’s required between the management of a company and it’s employees. Getting it right means standing behind your employees and empowering them - all of them - to share content that relates to them as individuals. You’ll find that it humanizes your brand, makes it more relatable to your customers and lets your employees become a part of your larger story. It will open up opportunities to connect with fans, followers, customers, and partners in a new way.
Hello Addvocate Fans, Friends and Followers,
I am thrilled to say that we are just two days away from our next live Google Hangout on Air. This week I will be hosting Twitter & Social Selling Enthusiast Brian Fanzo. Brian is an avid speaker on the subjects of social selling, specifically focused on utilizing the Twitter Platform. He will bring with him insight, information and a whole lot of energy to make this live event fun and engaging. Last month I hosted Jill Rowley to talk about specific LinkedIn hacks sales folks can to do to up the ante with social selling. Now let’s flip the switch and address Twitter.
On Wednesday Brian and I will walk our audience through the top Twitter hacks that will help you as a sales person grow your network, establish credible relationships and ultimately grow your pipeline. You may be thinking, “What kind of Hacks are you talking about Sheridan?” Well, I can give you a teaser but you will need to watch live to really learn the ropes. And if there is anyone that can make you a Twitter Social Selling Master, it’s Brian.
So sign up today or you can click this link at 11am on the 19th for the live event!
Picture Courtesy of: Fares Kameli from Pinterest
Nothing is more nerve-racking than hearing: “There is going to be a change in management” or “You will be getting a new manager.” Immediately all of these questions start populating your brain and taking over your mind:
What will he or she be like?
Will they be a micromanager?
Will they flip my world upside down?
Will they be a good mentor?
Will we get along?
I know the panic. We have all been. Throughout a person’s career you will report to a manage a variety of different people with a variety of personalities. You will love some people and some, maybe not so much. But as a manager you have the ability to create and harness a culture, an internal community of advocates that will be motivated to show up, work hard and build up your brand message. Sometimes with a change in management you will be in charge of rebuilding and transforming the way business had been managed and run prior to your arrival, but think of it as an opportunity to refresh and start from scratch.
Change is never easy. It’s usually cumbersome and complicated but going with the right attitude and goals can help bring some ease to these situations. Regardless if you are a new manager or a veteran, stepping into a new role with a new team, here are some values to remember, execute and appreciate:
Have Their Back
The first thing that a successful and motivating manager will communicate to his or her team is that: You will have their back and will be there for support every day. Because you are a new member of the management team, your workforce will probably be a bit hesitant to voice their need for such support so it’s important to be proactive and voice the fact that you are there to mentor them, help them, grow and most importantly be successful to grow their career.
1:1’s are Key
I get it, we all have too many meetings. That’s the nature of the professional world. People call meetings to call meetings. Yes, I get it, a majority of them can be a waste of time. But 1:1 meetings are different and they are necessary. They provide an open and honest avenue of communication between a manager and the employee. Because it’s just two people, everyone can be transparent with what is on their mind in terms of their role, their life or anything in between. 1:1’s also give each individual the opportunity to provide feedback on their performance in a safe, honest environment.
Remember to Breathe
Whether you manage a team of 1, 10 or 100. It can get overwhelming and exhausting. As a manager you are not only in charge of the success of your team, you are in charge of leading them to great things individually and as organization. This takes a severe amount of patience, honesty and yes sometimes a breather. Day to day routines can become overinendated with meetings, events, issues, fires, you name it. A good leader knows when to step back, recharge and conquer your days with a fresh, rested outlook. A good leader has a vision of what they want their team to consist of and what they want their team to deliver. But a tired manager won’t be able to execute on this vision. Collecting your thoughts, gathering the right people and creating the best team with clarity will make success a given.
No one likes to feel like they aren’t in the know or involved with what’s going on in the business and more so with the health of the business. It’s like being the last one picked in kickball during the 5th grade. It hurts. It sucks. No one likes feeling like that. As a manager you will have more of the inside track to the executive team and what they are thinking of in terms of company and strategy. Host all hands meetings with your team and give them monthly updates to what is going on ‘behind the scenes.’ It will make them feel like they are involved in the larger health of the business and feel motivated to be brand advocates.
Set Goals & Health Checks
People always work better when provided metrics and goals to achieve. In general, people like to be guided and directed to achieve milestones that have been established for them. As a manager it is up to you to work with your team to draft such goals. Depending on your industry, your role and your business these will be different and unique for every individual. But they all should be made a priority to be set and reviewed on an ongoing basis. Setting goals for a fiscal year seems like a great way to paint a picture. But a lot can happen in a hear. Heck, a lot can happen in a month. Setting achievable goals is necessary. And as a leader, you need to hold your team accountable but also be there to help them get there.
Remember, as a manager people will look up to you. Don’t disappoint your team. Don’t disappoint your brand. You are in this role because you are viewed as someone who can lead a team to success. Be open. Be transparent. Be awesome. Your team will flourish and thrive if you guide them with passion, information and inspiration.
There are so many people out there contributing to popular thought, in a never-ending variety of topics. But what does that really mean? Many people look at a thought-leader and think, “they’re an expert” or “wow, they really have all the answers.” While this may may appear to be true on one level, the reality is that being a thought-leader is exactly that: thought leading.
“True thought leadership is the act of leading or developing popular thought around a specific topic.” - Yours Truly
Full disclosure, this is my own definition of what it means to be a thought leader. But hear me out, I think it fits well.
I like this definition because of the emphasis on “leading” and “developing.” Nowhere does it say anything about “owning” a thought or idea. Often times people are looking for solid answers and thus look to “thought-leaders” to find them. However, it’s not the individual who “owns” the ideas, they’ve simply created an avenue for these ideas to snowball and flourish. This post is going to dive into how exactly that is done.
There’s nothing wrong with coming to conclusions and using those who make intelligent decisions to.. That’s all well and good. But to truly continue to lead and evolve popular thought, we must be willing to forgo “owned” ideas in light of new perspectives and ideas.
There are a few basic things to keep in mind. Here are some ways of thinking that will allow you to become a “thought-leader” in the truest sense of the word:
Open up the conversation: Getting multiple perspectives is essential to a developing and meaningful conversation. Open the doors to anyone who has interest in the topic at hand. There is always room to learn something new, and bringing more people into the conversation will continue to foster a community of contributors.
Ambiguity is okay: It’s okay to explore an idea without claiming to “have the answer.” Often times people come to find their own answers through this open dialogue. When I hear “I don’t know” enter a conversation, what my mind hears is, “opportunity.” Not knowing is the ground floor for starting a new and completely original conversation. So go ahead and be comfortable using those three magic words to spark thought evolution.
Let go: Letting go of that sense of ownership is key to being a thought leader. Only when we focus on the conversation and not the ego of whoever claims to own an idea, can we learn and grow. A true thought leader is selfless in this sense and accepts change to an idea that they may have been holding onto for a long time, if it’s appropriate.
There’s no such thing as a stupid question: When talking about ideas, questions are the fuel to the fire and spark dialogue. Sometimes, the most silly-seeming questions open the conversation to the most valuable topics. So don’t leave any stone unturned, ask those questions you may be holding onto.
Know when to listen: Sometimes we’re so focussed on getting our own point across that we can’t take in someone else's. Remember, it’s all about the evolution of popular though and not what you think is right. It’s definitely okay to disagree but be sure to be receptive to the information, digest it then reply in a way that works for you.
We try our best here at Addvocate to create an environment for thought leaders to really take charge and evolve topic around social media in the enterprise. We do that by following the points above and maintaining an open mind around subject matter and perspective.
We’ve hosted multiple events with some true thought leaders in the employee advocacy and social media space. We’ll be having a discussion November 19th with Brian Fanzo on social selling using Twitter. Sign up and become part of the conversation.
Here are some of our past events:
How Employee Advocacy is Rocking the Social Media Marketing World, with Mike Bruny
Help! Nobody Does Anything on My Company Twitter Feed, with Andy Newbom
Supercharge Your Social Selling: Techniques and Hacks for LinkedIn, With Jill Rowley
Back in 2008, while just a year in my tenure at salesforce.com, a fork landed right in the middle of my career road. I was up for promotion from an Enterprise Business Rep to a Very Small Business Account Executive and I had to decide if sales is what I really wanted to do. The paycheck was lucrative and the travel opportunities sexy. But one day I woke up, looked in the mirror and said: I am a marketer. And I haven’t looked back.
I was hired as the the Events Marketing Manager, tasked to manage and scale the what was called: “webinar program.” When people hear ‘webinar’ a couple words come to mind: Slides. Product. Pitch. Boring. Informative. Long. Powerpoint. These words do fit the traditional webinar model. Usually it is a Product Marketer joined by a Customer, Thought-Leader, Colleague, walking the audience through why such and such product is the best. Why you need to buy it. And ya-da ya-da.
I will be the first to admit that I fell victim to the model. But back in 2008, that’s the model that worked for enterprise technology companies. People wanted information, and they wanted to hear it in a live, interactive way. Technologies such as Gotowebinar, Webex, On24 paved the way for businesses to capitalize on an avenue to bring their messages to the masses regardless of geography.
As manager of the webinar program, I ran the events seamlessly and thoroughly. Made sure my speakers were on time, had their scripts ready to roll and the campaign piece put to bed. And it went great. They were a success. I was able to scale the program because it was model that was easily delivered. I transformed what started as an awareness program, to a pipeline driving beast, working with every product that was in our salesforce suite and ran the program globally. 2:00am morning events in India. Not a problem. People were excited to have a manager to make it happen and help build out their product pipeline.
And that’s what I did.
Fast forward to today.
There has been a change in marketing. We have seen a shift from what we called branded marketing to what I call people-to-people marketing. What this means is that customers, prospects, fans and followers want to connect with your brand, product and culture in an authentic, meaningful way. They don’t want the pressure and saturation that traditional marketing tactics tend to suggest. It’s about human connection. It’s about passion. It’s about interaction and connectivity.
And hence, the new webinar was born.
Hopefully by now, I have you on the edge of your seat wondering: “Well Sheridan, what exactly is a new webinar.” While I have not coined or trademarked this new concept, in my personal opinion, and what I am a part of here at Addvocate, is a new, humanized-webinar program. This is how I bucket these webinars or “Hangouts” as we call them.
So why do these programs triumph over the traditional webinar model?
First I will say this, I am not saying that traditional model won’t work for some companies. It has and it still can. What I am preaching is that there is a new way to connect your community and promote your product in a way that is less invasive, less-pitchy but delivers the same goal and will drive lead generation.
We at Addvocate have created a series of these events or as I said above, Hangouts. We chose Google as our avenue for delivery and focus our content on what the social media market is looking to hear. We build them up. We promote them consistently and most importantly we encourage our entire community and culture to be involved.
So far our Library consists of 3 Hangouts:
How Employee Advocacy is Rocking the Social Media Marketing World, August 7th. My guest: Mike Bruny
Help! Nobody Does Anything on My Company Twitter Feed, September 17th. My guest: Andy Newbom
Supercharge Your Social Selling: Techniques and Hacks for LinkedIn, October 23rd. My guest: Jill Rowley
The Hangout will air next Wednesday, November 19th at 11am. I am excited. It will be fun. No scripts. No slides. Just an open-ended discussion.
So if you are thinking about building out your webinar strategy ask yourself two questions:
Who is my audience and what do they need to know?
How can we, as a brand deliver this message in human way?
Have any more insight into the new world of webinars? Let us know! #AskAddvocate
As we gear up for the Holiday season, people and organizations are starting to think about their strategy for the new year. Because this time of year, things can get hectic and even more chaotic with travel schedules, budget meeting, year-end reviews, holiday parties, you name it, it’s important to begin strategizing now to make sure that your marketing ducks are aligned and come Jan 2nd, you are ready to hit the brand ground running. Here are some best practices every marketer should be thinking about incorporating into your larger brand strategy to grow brand awareness and create a healthy social culture and community.
Make Social a Priority
It’s no surprise that social media has revolutionized how brand’s connect with their community of customers, followers, prospects, and partners. Remember, social channels aren’t simply avenues to promote your products. They are channels that drive engagement, collaboration and connections that can transform the way your brand is perceived. These social interactions should absolutely touch every part of the business and how allow everyone within your brand to build connections and ultimately create a positive brand reputation.
Set Attainable Social Goals
The Brands that just let loose on social media, post to post, with no strategy or milestones established will actually hurt their brand. Social media is complex. The channels are cumbersome and with the variety of functionality you need to make sure you not only understand that values of each channel, but set goals to achieve established milestones. Training your brand advocates is a great first step to align the company and the messages.
Decide what you want social media to do for your brand and strategize from there. Build out a team of advocates that can help bring your message to the masses in a human, direct way.
Be sure to optimize the content that is created and curated by your advocate army. This will personalize the social experience for everyone in your community.
Keep your Ears Open
Sometimes we get so wrapped up as social contributors that we forget to take a breath, sit back, and listen to what your community is talking about. As a Brand, you cannot and will not succeed in social marketing and brand advocacy if you don’t digest what is being said and shared across social media. There are plenty of social listening technologies that can enable parts of your brand to investigate and decipher how people, customers and prospects feel about your brand, your message and ultimately the product. Social listening provides you the “Why” in the piece of the marketing puzzle. Reading the truth from the people closest to your brand will provide you transparent, honest information so you can gather it, digest it, and make a move accordingly. Social listening is the avenue to hear what people are talking about and adjust your business, brand and message accordingly.
Okay, if you don't like the word lurk or stalk, think about this as: social hovering. The bottom line is that your customers, prospects, partners, fans, and followers are talking about your brand across multiple channels, and it’s your job as a company to find out what they are saying. This can and will be crucial to the success of your brand reputation. But keep your lurking or social stalking broad. Remember, there are a variety of different channels that provide a variety of ways for people to talk and share visually. Don’t just think ‘My Brand’, be open to thinking about the industry at large and the market you are trying to infiltrate. Take that data, soak it up, and start devising a strategy to address these conversations.
Social media provides you a mechanism to connect and collaborate with anyone, anywhere. What social media was for brands a year ago, isn’t where it is now nor where it is going. Brands are not only thinking about building out social media teams with trainings and internal advocates, they are starting to think scalability. Social media not only connects people from across the globe, it can and should involve everyone.
Create Engaging and Authentic Conversations
Long gone are the days where you need to think of ways to kickstart or stimulate conversations between your community and brand. Today, especially with the rise of the millennials, people are more socially vocal than ever. People and brands alike have found out that in today’s social enterprise, people want to connect to people, not brands. Companies and individual crave transparent, authentic relationships even yes, on social media. To ensure this activity, you need to for one empower everyone in your organization to have a voice, but secondly you need to encourage them to be active participants on social media as brand advocates. It will be these advocates that will drive engaged and interactive conversations that will drive positive traffic back to your business. Always ask yourself: What can I say to add to the conversation and bring credibility to the picture.
What is Working?
Last but not least, assessment is key to your larger marketing strategy. Why put in all the work if you can’t measure it. Yes, yes, I know measure the Social ROI can be a bit difficult but you can report progress. Engagement, advocacy, and social listening are pieces of the puzzle that will allow you as a brand to see what is working and what do we need to change. Investing in significant technology tools such as social listening, content marketing tools, and lastly an employee advocacy platform can provide your team not only the platforms to expand the reach of your message, encourage participation, but really increase your brand reputation.
Investigating this level of data will allow you stand by your efforts and grow the parts of this puzzle that are showing the most engagement.
So this is just the beginning and a starting off point that brands should be thinking about as the new year approaches. Next Wednesday, I will be hosting Twitter expert and social selling expert Brian Fanzo to have a live, interactive discussion on how to grow your personal brand on Twitter, drive new relationships grow your network and ultimately your pipeline. Sign up now! I promise no slides, just fun chat.
For enterprises and startups and every business in between, it is standard practice for a CEO to want a hand in every part of their business. That’s just one of the traits of an entrepreneur. Visibility is crucial for a leader. But for a CEO of a start-up, sometimes you just need to have trust in your people, remember you hired them for a reason, and let them spread their wings. Trying to have a say on everything and have your hands involved in every project just isn’t scalable and will actually hinder the progress and growth of your company. As a leader, you are in charge of spreading the message of your brand and building a great team to carry on that mission. So the best thing, the smartest thing you can do as an entrepreneur is to take a step back, believe in your people, and let them pull some of the weight.
Letting go can be a bit hard. Leaders tend to think of their businesses as their “babies” that they want to watch grow, excel and succeed. But empowering your workforce to be a part of that growth is how you will get your business to thrive. The bottom line is that everyone you have hired will bring a different piece of the pie to your brand, your business and your community. Motivating and guiding will be the best thing you can do for your workforce and your business.
The best leaders trust their employees to be the conduits of the brand’s message and goals. Lack of trust or fear of letting go will transform you into a micromanager which is never a good manager to be. Why? Because micro-managers create anxiety for their employees which causes fear and ultimately distraction from their tasks at hand, decreasing participation, action and execution. An organized leader can provide his or her team the expertise and direction they need to ultimately complete tasks and work the way you wish. Remember it’s now about the how, it’s about the result. Everyone has different work ethic, different communication styles, different means to get to an end. Everyone works in unique ways. So don’t focus on the fact that things perhaps “don’t get done in the way you would do them.” Focus on the fact that the work was completed and it was completed successfully.
Brand don’t turn into successes overnight. Especially startups. Startups are intense and take severe and focused dedication to grow and thrive. And most importantly, startups are a family, a group effort. That’s what makes such businesses unique. At a startup you are forced to wear a handful of hats because the number of tasks usually outweighs the amount of resources. But really that’s what makes a start up fun. You can have your hands wet in a handful of different projects that will help you grow your skillsets. Startups provide their workforce a sense of ownership and pride because as a member of that small business, you are making the strides across all the business units to grow your brand, your product and your message. Staying focused can be a bit tricky when you are managing a handful of different duties, but a dedicated, committed employee will find their own way to pull it together to get the job done and get it done right.
Provide Constructive Criticism
We are not mind readers. It would be cool if we were (or maybe not!) but the matter of fact is, we as employees crave feedback and yes, constructive criticism. Regardless if you are a strong, transparent and motivating leader, your people will make mistakes. We are human after all. It’s just in our nature. But catching these mistakes and being transparent about them to your workforce will inherently be a positive thing. Criticism one makes us stronger as individual contributors, but it also helps us polish our skills. This takes an open forum of communication from all parties. Employees and Leaders. Employees need to know they have the support from the executive team to give them feedback but they also need to know its encouraged to be upfront and ask.
I am no CEO, but I have been on the front lines of a growing startup and a member of a team looking to scale, grow and thrive. Growing a business and a culture isn’t an easy thing; but knowing you have hired the best, that you are all in it together, and you all have your eye on the prize will help you conquer everyday and every task as they come.
The modern employee is social. They have multiple communication styles. They are connected. And the way they work is more diverse and expressive than ever. Majority of offices are compiled now of multi-generation individuals that differ when it comes to relationships, work ethic, culture and transparency. We have the baby boomers, who embrace the more traditional way of working. We have the Generation X folks who combine innovation and traditional work ethic and then we have the Millennials. According to Deloitte’s Report “Who Are the Millennials,” They [Millenials] combine the teamwork ethic of the Boomers with the can-do attitude of the Veterans and the technological savvy of the Xers. At first glance, and even at second glance, Generation Next may be the ideal workforce—and ideal citizens.”
So how can an organization make every person happy regardless of what generation they belong and grow your army of Advocates. It’s about connecting everyone on a common ground, being transparent as a brand and being sensitive to the values that each of your employee’s embrace. A business needs to be a network, a culture of message and people that actively and openly communicate and strive to hit milestones as a team. By providing your workforce technologies that build on this network and encourage communication will not only make your employees happy employees, it will make them feel empowered to be conduits of the brands for which they represent.
Here are three ways to bridge the connection between everyone in your organization:
Boomers, Gen X and Millennials all have something in common. They have their hands deep in a variety of different technologies. Some may understand platforms more granularly while others may take a bit more time to wrap their head around the value of the technology. Regardless of your skill or interest level, technology will be the central nervous system or internal hub of how you connect and intertwine your workforce. Employee Advocacy platforms are a great way to bring together your teams in a moderated, connected way. You can collaborate around content and share what is going on within your business unit. Regardless if you are a C-level executive or a new hire right out of college, you have the opportunity to connect with you company and the company culture in a new, human, innovative way.
Transparency Keeps People Happy & Motivated
People like to be informed. They like to be in the know and feel like they have all the slices of the information pie in personal life and professional life. It’s just how we behave as humans. The more we know, the more we feel connected, motivated and supported. Social employees crave technology that gives them just that: information to make them feel involved. Information to help them connect. Information to help them do their jobs better. Collaboration technologies provide organizations a gateway to connect everyone within their organization. Employees can share information, insight and have discussions with one another on projects. These platforms also are a great way to escalate internal issues that need executive support or more hands on action. Why? Because this collaboration is internally consumed and available for everyone to see. No more secrets or quiet talks at the water cooler, with such collaboration platforms everyone can have a voice and stay involved.
Get Everyone Engaged
We have all been hearing the buzz around “the engaged employee.” But what does it really mean to a business? The bottom line is that if an employee is informed, if they are allowed to have a voice and an opinion, if they can collaborate internally and socially externally, they will feel empowered. And with empowerment comes satisfaction, drive and motivation to be a connected conduit of the brand aka an engaged employee. Your employees are already communicating across multiple platforms with other employees and their personal networks. Harnessing these efforts and creating an army of ambassadors will not only enhance the number of engaged employees but will help build your brand momentum simultaneously. Content was king last year, today engagement triumphs.
Whether you check the baby boomer box or the millennial box, as an employee you have the right to be a part of the larger nervous system of your brand and the message of your brand. For businesses, your people are the core of your culture, community and values. Filling in these three pieces of the happy pie, you will be on your way to growing a community of employees that will be your best brand advocates.
Are you interested to help kick-start your employee’s social efforts and help them create new business opportunities in innovative ways? In just two weeks from today, I will be be hosting Brian Fanzo, Twitter Guru and Social Selling Ninja to discuss how to use social media, specifically Twitter to up your game in regards to growing valuable connections. No Slides. No boredom. Just awesome discussion. Stay tuned for a little teaser!
As Head of Customer Success one of the first questions that always comes up in our discovery calls is: How can I make this employee advocacy initiative succeed and how can I motivate my team to get involved? This may seem like a complex question, but it isn’t. It comes down to opening the branded doors and giving everyone within your organization an avenue to have a voice. And yes, that means letting go of the marketing reigns a bit and being more open to a new sense of community and messaging.
This is the hardest part that for which marketing and comms teams need to come to terms. “What do you mean I have to let go of my brand?” Wait. That’s not what we are talking about here. Employee Advocacy can get a bad rap for a number of reasons. One reason is that marketers hold their brand and messaging with such a tight grip they worry that anything off-brand or off-message could be detrimental to the success of their efforts. And yes, most companies have probably had an ‘episode’ where something was shared on social media that shouldn’t have been. It happens. And it’s okay. But it has caused the enterprise and even smaller companies to hold social activities close to a small group with a tight, controlled hold.
Time to squash these and bring to light what we mean when we talk about letting go of the reigns. This should be embraced rather than shunned. Social media platforms are built for people to take risks, try new things while growing brand presence and community involvement.
The fact is that finding the balance between opening the floodgates of a variety of messages and keeping everyone on social lock-down is achievable. This is why employee advocacy was born. To provide companies the technology that harnesses your people’s social activities in a safe, moderated and encouraging way to expand the footprint of your message and messages. You may be asking what do you mean ‘messages.’ Let me break it down for you.
Marketers usually have one on-point brand message. But your company has a lot of other things they are doing as an organization that your employees are involved with and they want to share these with their following. I write a lot on this concept of people-to-people marketing. This is where brands need to be. Why? Because people trust people. They trust and digest content posted by people they know and respect. Branded marketing is falling to the wayside of personalized content. This is why programs like employee advocacy are working and transforming marketing in a very human way.
So how can I make my program work and succeed?
The minute you let go, empower your people to curate and share content to their channels with the support of their brand behind them, is when your story will begin. Marketing is about telling a story. Having your employees paint their own picture about your brand story will resonate more with your audience. Not only will it resonate across social, it will spark collaboration, discussion, engagement, and actually curate content that complements your story. Yes, the marketing, PR, and Comms departments can be involved as well to populate branded content and maybe more specialized content but the success of a program relies on the larger participation of your company. What I tell our customers before they deploy their EA program is: Be transparent and show your employees you value their efforts and their voice. If they feel this sense of connection to the larger brand message at hand they will absolutely want to opt in to such an initiative.
Here are my last thoughts as marketers and brands begin think about letting go of the messaging reigns:
Outline the program and allow people to opt-in - Don’t make it mandatory
Train your members & educate them to the "what's in it for them"
Encourage story telling and individualized, human content
Le everyone participate
On November 19th at 11am PDT. I will be hosting Brian Fanzo to discuss how Twitter can help or hurt your sales efforts. We will get into the nitty gritty of the do’s and the dont’s. This session will be fun, interactive and I promise, No slides. Stay tuned for more information and maybe even a teaser.
Who is ready for Halloween? We are! I thought I would wrap up the week with something light and silly! We here at Addvocate are avid animal lovers. We are constantly talking about our own pets and sharing funny pet stories and pictures. So I thought it only appropriate to share with you some funny Halloween snapshots of you guessed it, animals dressed up for Halloween! Thank you Buzzfeed for the inspiration. Enjoy and be safe tonight! Happy Halloween!
Did we miss a good one?! Let us know!
Marketing has sure undergone a metamorphosis. Traditional Marketing set the bar with print campaigns, direct mail and coupons. Activities that brands have been doing for decades. As we entered into the digital era, email campaigns became dominant and brands started to develop new ways to promote their products. And it worked. Then with the birth of social media marketing, every marketer’s world changed. Being able to create new, interactive ways to connect with your buyer revolutionized how marketing departments thought about strategy and lead generation.
Brands are now thinking how they can super-charge content marketing, brand marketing, employee advocacy, people-to-people marketing and any and every other way to distinguish themselves amongst their competition and put a human spin on how you engage and nurture relationships with your buyer. So how can brands leverage influencer marketing? Influencer marketing is a concept that leverages thought leaders or distinguished individuals to help promote your brands message by creating and sharing content created by these individuals. Influencer marketing can create a large opportunity for your marketing departments.
So where does a company start? How can a brand identify the right people for their product? For their market? For their audience? I am constantly creating original content that will bring something to our Addvocate audience. I write on our industry, social media, technology disruptors and topics that are unique and for which I am passionate. My goal is to produce content that meet the needs of our Addvocate community. But sometimes life gets busy and I turn to the influencers in my network to share and leverage effective and informative content. It is actually a good thing to mix up the content you share with your networks. While I would like to think everyone appreciates my writing, I get it, people like change and variety.
If you are thinking about incorporating influencer content into your larger marketing strategy I suggest you take a step back and think about what you want to achieve. If it’s leads, think content about your industry and press coverage that position your brand in the top spotlight. If it’s brand awareness, think about content that promotes your message in a human way. If it’s people to people marketing you are looking to achieve, empower your employees to step up, have a voice and be advocates for your brand. The winning marketers do a bit of everything. So to kickstart your influencer marketing I suggest you do the following:
Make Connections with the Best
Your influencer list isn’t going to build itself. It takes time, dedication, research and your network. They exist and they are out there, active on social media, consistently sharing quality, trustworthy content. But you need to put your best “sleuth” foot forward and do some investigating. I would even go a step further and create some internal guidelines or ‘specs’ that the content must meet to be considered thought-leadership worthy. Some general suggestions: look at speakers at large conferences, look at industry analysts, look at Pulse authors, Business2Community & Social Media Today authors. These are folks that have a following, have connections, have authority and most importantly have influence. Start following, start connecting and you will find content worthy of your influencers strategy.
Get to Know Them
Now that you have found those influencers in your network, are connected, and thinking about repurposing their content: stop, breathe, get to know them. I am not saying that you need to be golfing buddies and have them over for Sunday night supper. But I am saying that connecting isn’t enough. Take a step further. Social media platforms provide a plethora of personal, transparent information. See where they attended school. Learn about companies that have worked for in the past. Investigate any philanthropies they are involved with or any causes for which their are passionate and involved. Knowing a bit more about these influencers will help you target where they content will resonate best. LinkedIn, specifically, is a great platform because it’s where these folks publish most of their content. Ask yourself qualifying questions before sharing the content. Does this piece fit with our message in our industry? Will this content engage our community and spark collaboration? If so, then awesome! You have found influencers. Keep them in your network and stay up to date.
Don’t Stop At LinkedIn
People think that LinkedIn is the go-to-platform for business use cases. It is a great platform to source authentic and professional content and a place to grow your network. But Twitter is also a key player in your influencer strategy. Twitter Lists allow you to segment your Influencers so you can consistently follow their activity and have a one-stop-shop to go and source content. You can create multiple lists to go a step further. Such as: Keynote Speakers, Industry Analysts, Content Wizards. However you choose and whatever way best fits your day to day routine.
Take these Relationships Offline
Influencer Marketing is different because these are actually people. Not branded channels, not logos. People. These folks have made a name and reputation for themselves by evangelizing causes, messages and strategies. Recognize them for that. They have built their careers to achieve such notoriety. After connecting, start collaborating. Tweet to them. Comment on their content. Re Share their work. Cite their work. And remember: Attribute them. If they will be in your neck of the woods for a speaking engagement, attend and shake their hand and introduce yourself post event. Putting a face to a name or a Twitter handle can help take relationships to the next level. This is the foundation that will make your influencer marketing tactics work and make them successful.
Influencer Marketing can be a bit daunting, but it’s achievable. Outline your strategy, start small and then go from there. We will be hosting Twitter expert Brian Fanzo on November 20th to discuss how sales people are ruining their careers but using Twitter incorrectly. Be sure to join us for this fun, informative, interactive hang out. I promise no slides, just fun. Stay tuned for more information!
Today I had the pleasure of hosting social selling enthusiast Jill Rowley to chat about the in's and out's of social selling. The fact is that most people and most brands are still trying to figure out the how and what of social selling. We know it works. Platforms like LinkedIn have spoon fed us technology that allows us to get to know our buyer in a more personal, transparent way. But how do we harness this and what are the best ways to do? And more importantly what are the steps I "sales person" need to know to get it right and fill my pipeline.
We have your answers.
Watch this short, interactive (and fun) discussion between myself and Jill. We address any curiosity you may have around social selling and uncover the ways to get this process right.
This is the third event in our live series of live events. Our next event will be November 19th, stay tuned for more details.
We are just two days away from our Live HOA with Social Selling Expert Jill Rowley. As Head of Customer Success I am constantly talking to our Addvocate community about employee advocacy, social media and everything in between. Every month I invite a social thought leader to join me in conversation covering a variety of topics.
In August I hosted Mike Bruny in a conversation on how Employee Advocacy is taking the social media world by storm. Last month, Andy Newbom, social media and coffee expert in a fun discussion around why people want to connect with real people, not brands on Twitter. They were fun, they were interactive and there were no slides or powerpoint presentations whatsoever. Our hangouts are different because they are on-the-fly and disruptive. I make a point to keep things light, sometimes even funny, but downright informative. I want our audience to walk away with new, innovative knowledge that will help them do something different in how they engage on social media to build their social reputation and begin to think about social media in different, new ways.
This Thursday, October 23rd at 11am PDT I will kick off an interactive, informative and fun conversation on the best ways or as we have been calling it, the "best LinkedIn Hacks" to up the ante for all you social sellers out there. We will cover best practices, do's and don'ts and I may even send our audience away with a little social selling homework. As mentioned, my goal is to help our audience be more successful in incorporating social media into the way a person or a brand does business. So sign up today!
I felt like a kid on Christmas this morning when I received an email from one of my friends subject line: “Marcel is back!!!”
I knew instantly that she was referring to Marcel the Shell with Shoes on. One of the most beloved and interesting cartoons ever to hit the interwebs. Can you believe that it’s been 3 years since Jenny Slate and her husband Dean Fleis released the last Marcel video. I thought Marcel had had her 15 minutes of social media minutes of fame, so I was pleased, actually ecstatic to find out that Marcel was just on vacation and taking a little “shell nap.”
They first Marcel video released in 2010 and has received over 23 million views on YouTube to date. The sequel debuted in 2011 and has been viewed over 8 million times.
So what makes Marcel different? Why does social media consumers love him? Let’s break it down:
He is a shell that talks in a very delicate voice
He has shoes, a face and she likes that about himself and he has a lot of other great qualities
He likes to keep a clean house
He likes to make salad with friends from upstate
He wears lentils as a hat
He uses a hair to tie his skis to a car
He likes to talk on the phone “hello this is me!”
He hang glides on a dorito for adventure
He doesn’t drink soda as he fears he will float up to the ceiling
He wants a dog but settles for a piece of lint
He gets a sunburn if he looks at a diamond
He can’t lift many things
He thinks his head is perfectly sized for his body
He won’t fight unless provoked
He gets out of breath easy, needs drips of water
He uses a bug for a car, only goes where the bug goe
He doesn’t read the newspaper, He reads receipts for a dose of daily life
He once went to a hotel and the bed was made from a muffin, slept 8 to a muffin
“Treats & snoozing, snoozing & treats….”
Marcel loves his catch phrases and makes this prevalent in episode 3, “life is a party, rock your body!,” He doesn’t like shrimp. He thinks they are the idiots of the sea, because one time “he saw a shrimp swim right into a rock.” Needless to say, Marcel never fails to impress, bring a laugh and make an impact.
Viewers are laughing and sharing this video like crazy. The views are climbing and people are collaborating…and well, Marcel is trending. The comments are flooding on the YouTube video and we only anticipate that people will be shouting across social media that Marcel is back.
“This is the greatest thing that could've possibly happened today. #marceltheshell”
“this is just everything. part 3 is finally here!!! #marceltheshell”
“I saw the thumbnail in my subscriptions and screamed OMG YES”
“THIS MADE MY WHOLE LIFE “
Marcel has not limited himself to YouTube. He is going mainstream. Marcel the Shell has already inspired one book for Slate and Fleischer-Camp, New York Times best-seller Marcel the Shell With Shoes On: Things About Me. The second children’s book, Marcel the Shell: The Most Surprised I’ve Ever Been will be released tomorrow, on Tuesday, Oct. 21. So it’s perfect timing that he has returned to social media in full effect.
Are you happy Marcel is back? We sure are. His cuteness brings some hilarity to our days and really showcases that social media is the building blocks to get noticed, tell a story and make things happen. Jenny and Dean had an idea, they executed and made it happen. Now look at them! Social stars.
We will be covering how salespeople can use LinkedIn to be social stars, interested in learning how to kickstart your social selling skills, Join our live HOA, this Thursday October 23rd at 11am. I will be hosting social guru Jill Rowley to discuss how to up the ante on social selling, get noticed, make an impact and fill your pipeline.
Any weathered conference attendee will tell you, when attending a conference you generally know what to expect. long lines, sub-par lunches, pens… lots of pens, and overwhelmingly dry speeches.
But I must say I was surprised when, for the final keynote of Dreamforce 2014, the chatter shifted from “what software will help lower my bottom line” to “how can we save the planet and ourselves”. That’s no small subject to tackle, and I have to give credit to Mr. Al Gore and the legendary Neil Young for taking it on.
I have to admit, I expected (or hoped) to witness a couple guitar licks work their way onto stage, but even without such luck the performance was stimulating and refreshing. It speaks volumes that, in a commercially-centric environment, we can take a second to break away from product pitches and sales meetings to confront the most important issues of our time.
Al covered how we are affecting the earth's environment and the economic, sociological, and political implications that go along with this catastrophe. And I use the word catastrophe without a spec of exaggeration. He pointed out that we are at a critical stage to make some major changes, if we want to ensure the survival of future generations. I won’t dive deep into the subject matter of the keynote, as I’m sure a recorded version of the keynote will be available (and I encourage all to watch it).
What I will say, however, is that Salesforce.com should be commended for using their spotlight to present the right information to the right people at a most critical time. Some of the countries top business leaders were in attendance, and they are the ones who can make real changes. We all like to think that buying solar panels for our house and committing to colder showers will make a difference, and it does, however small it is. However, we won’t begin to see real change until massive corporations and organizations take responsibility for the only planet we have.
I can only hope that this is a sign that we are moving in the right direction. With all the fear pouring onto our everyday lives, it is refreshing to experience the hope of a bright future for Humankind and our only planet. To all responsible for organizing and executing a great event, thank you for a great Dreamforce and I’m looking forward to what #DF15 has in store.