Posts Tagged ‘social media for business’

Do you want my number or do you want to connect?

February 15, 2012
Alone in a crowd

Do you want to really connect?

@gregcantyfuzion is following you – Great, that’s another follower and your numbers are building. Who exactly is this guy?

According to his bio he is a partner with a PR & Marketing in Cork and Dublin firm, called Fuzion. If you have any interest in this guy having had a peep at his profile you might follow him back. Why did he follow you and what is the value of the connection- is he just “collecting numbers” for vanity sake?

I try a little test when people connect with me by asking a simple question – “Hi Greg, thanks for connecting, how is everything in your world?

On Twitter, nine times out of ten I don’t get a response – they are either rude or just in a game of boosting their numbers. Worthwhile connection? – mostly not.

Greg Canty wants to connect with you on LinkedIn – Great, that’s another connection and your numbers are building. Who exactly is this guy?

According to his quite detailed bio I can see what he does, where he works now and where he worked in the past, I see links to his website, his recent comments and his other connections. He looks interesting so you decide to connect with him. Why did he follow you and what is the value of the connection – is he just “collecting numbers” for vanity sake?

I try a little test when people connect with me and ask a simple question – “Hi Greg, thanks for connecting , how is business with you?

On LinkedIn, nine times out of ten I do get a response – quickly you get a sense of why they wanted to connect with you. Worthwhile connection? – mostly.

These are generalisations but from my own experience the quality of your LinkedIn connections are much better, which says a lot about the platform. This is not to say that Twitter connections are worthless, but many of them seem to have very little depth. On LinkedIn the platform makes you jump a few hoops before it allows you to request a connection, which does preserve the quality to some degree.

You can find a “gem” of a connection on any platform but as with everything else in life if it’s too easy then it probably isn’t worth as much. The real magic starts when you start communicating openly with these connections and get a chance to show them who you are and what you do and vice versa.

so … do you want my number or do you want to connect ..?

Happy connecting !!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Some simple LinkedIn Tips

May 16, 2011
Fortune Magazine - LinkedIn

Fortune Magazine acknowledge role of LinkedIn

I just completed some interesting training for a large company who are trying to get to grips with LinkedIn. I found that while most of the team were all signed up to the platform no one was actually “posting” anything on it!

For anyone who is thinking about jumping into LinkedIn or who is thinking about using it in a more serious way I have a few simple tips:

Your Objective?

Try to figure out what you want to achieve from the platform – this will change as you explore some of the features but it will help you to get going initially.

Jump in, it’s here to stay

This platform isn’t going away – get in there as quick as possible and establish yourself. The platform is quickly becoming the business “social media” platform with huge growth year on year.

All the big companies are represented on it and you really don’t want to be left out of the party!

Make sure you have your profile fully up to date and use a professional photo of yourself. (Check your “profile completeness” score on your profile page). Go beyond just signing up!

Be patient – people are listening

At first you make thing that no one is listening to your comments and updates – you would be surprised! Even when you post your name and your company are constantly coming to the attention of your connections and group members.

Learn how to be sticky

With your posts put some time and attention into your “headlines” – there is a lot of content being posted on the platform so try extra hard to grab the readers attention quickly with strong headlines.

Groups are the Power Tool

For me groups are where the main action is from the point of view of getting your “voice” and message heard. You will be able to build your own connections naturally over time but joining groups is an easy way of “turbo charging” your audience – simply, join groups and you will have access to a lot more people. Of course you need to find the right ones that are relevant to your business.

Use your raw material (create if necessary)

When posting you should use raw material, which you have already created – links to articles or news items on your website etc. If you need to create new material consider starting a blog and create articles of interest from here. In this way you can “recycle” the articles at a later date. By posting links to your blog or other material this has the added bonus of improving optimisation.

Find your voice

I would recommend not getting too caught up with formality on the platform. It is “social” media and you will find out after time that lighter, more informal posts tend to receive a better response than heavier material. The most important thing is that you are “yourself”.

Grab opportunities to connect

If you are going to maximise the benefit of LinkedIn it is important that you are proactive about building connections. If you are going to spend time posting you may as well do it to a larger audience.

Make recommendations

Recommendations are very powerful – where else online can you record someone’s positive feedback about you? These tend to occur in a reciprocal way so take the first step and start recommending people who you respect and can vouch for.

Not only will you recruit a “friend for life”  but if the feeling is mutual you will probably gather a very strong recommendation for your own profile page for all to see. Make sure you are honest and don’t exaggerate, this is too easily seen through – keep it honest and believable.

Always thank

When people go to the bother of connecting with you make sure you acknowledge it by thanking them. When someone comments on your posts make sure you acknowledge it.

Thanks for reading!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Barack Obama and his “Penny Drop” Social Media moment

May 9, 2011
Barack Obama and Social Media

Barack Obama's Social Media "Penny Drop" Moment!

I have come to realise that no matter how you map out the Social Media Opportunity for clients, or try to demonstrate the success that others have had using the different platforms, they themselves have to realise the magic, the possibilities – I call it the “penny drop” moment!

Once that happens they are “off”, they are converts, they assign resources to their social media efforts and they start seeing results.

The “penny drop” moment arrives at different times for everyone and for each of the different platforms.

For me it happened at different times :

Facebook – a peer I met in Dublin casually commented on “how well Fuzion were doing“, I gladly accepted the compliment but asked how they arrived at that conclusion, ” Oh, I follow you on Facebook” … Hmm, I didn’t realise how many people were listening or paying attention to what I was saying

Twitter – we were able to achieve valuable coverage for a client, an International NGO during the Haiti disaster by communicating directly with journalists on Twitter who were actually out there  …. Hmmm, now I get it!

LinkedIn – this one was easy, reaching out to the business community in your target locations and being able to generate relevant discussions on your areas of expertise. You go to networking meetings and people you have never met, come up and chat to you because they have seen your posts and recognise your ugly mug …… Hmmm, this seems to be working – no brainer!!

Blogging – in the beginning you wonder how this will work for you, then you see with “sticky” content (stuff that is interesting, or made interesting) and posts in relation to your areas of expertise that you receive large numbers of hits and your search engine scores are great. I even managed to highlight nasty issues, quickly sorted out issues with a national phone provider and had material published nationally …. Hmmmm, now I get it!

If you are in any doubt or need further convincing about the value of Social Media we might ask Barack Obama, the leader of the free world, the first ever “social media” President , when was his “penny drop” moment? ….. Hmmmm, I’m the President of the United States!

Have you had yours ?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

The Business Social Media Dilemma

May 2, 2011
Gary Vaynerchuk signing his new book

Gary Vaynerchuk signing his new book

In the terrific Smarter Egg book learning programme our group has just finished reading and discussing the excellent book by Gary Vaynerchuk, “The Thank You Economy” , which deals broadly with businesses adopting a “Thank You” philosophy and embracing the Social Media opportunity properly to be successful in the marketplace.

The book was really interesting but in it Gary V took a huge swipe at PR companies for their approach to Social Media for their clients, which was a little unfair (then again, it depends on your PR company!).

Basically he stated that 90% of the worst social media engagements were produced by PR companies! Even stronger than that he accused PR companies of spotting that the “wind” was blowing away from them towards social media and the reason they are engaging with clients in this area is just to bolster up their fees and chargeable hours.

In my experience Gary is way off the mark but it does put the spotlight on what I refer to as the “Social Media Dilemma“.

Social Media Dilemma

It goes like this – as a PR company who always takes a broad “holistic” approach to communications we know and clearly understand the benefit of Social Media for our clients, in fact in 99% of cases well before them. We push for them to engage in this area properly but we do realise that the “voice” used on the platforms should be a trusted and skilled internal voice.

Now for the dilemma – often this trusted and skilled voice is not available and our client is not prepared to allocate the proper resource to this area.

To make sure that they do not get left behind their competitors we will make ensure that our client’s open up their Social Media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube and their blog), that they look the part as they are an extension of their brand online and we will also provide them with the necessary training so that they are well equipped to use them proficiently.

We know we cannot do this for them but we will always be there to support them and will never be shy in recommending that they should be more active in that space. Sometimes as an option we might assist them in the “learning phase” until they are fully up and running. (often we have to be quite careful with Social Media conversations because if a client isn’t ready to listen you will end up annoying them!)

We see the huge opportunity for clients and if the Social Media platforms were not there we would be gutted – they add so much opportunity for all our clients.

Swiss Watchmaker
Master Craftsman

Dilemma: Who? – Social Media Manager

Who looks after the Social Media in a business is a vital issue. Gary V refers to this person as the “Community Manager” and is quite right in stating that it should not be someone that you can’t find anything else to do with!

He rightly suggests that this person should not be an intern or another junior person. It should be someone who knows the business intimately, who understands the customer, who is passionate about customer service and who is well able to communicate in the “social media” arena – this person must be quite skilled in this area, which is often underestimated.

Why Social Media activity fails?

This leads me to Gary’s suggestions as to why most Social Media initiatives fail:

1. Using tactics instead of strategy

2. Using it to exclusively put out fires

3. Using it to brag

4. Using it as a press release

5. Exclusively re-tweeting other people’s material rather than generating “own” content

6. Using it to push product

7. Expecting immediate results

I agree with Gary on all of these points 100% but I think it is missing a BIG, BIG last point – a NUMBER 8!

8. Skill

This for me is probably the biggest point and while Gary alludes to it at times I think he actually doesn’t fully appreciate it and maybe he takes his own talent in this area for granted.

Using social media is a very highly skilled discipline, which requires individuals:

  • who understand each of the media intimately
  • who have strong “informal writing” ability
  • who understand the business and customers well
  • who can be fully trusted to be the voice of the company,
  • who have enquiring minds
  • who can manage the unstructured nature of the communications
  • who can respond themselves under most circumstances but knowing when they need assistance
  • who can spot and manage communications with genuine customers and at the same time filter out posts by possible competitors/cranks
  • who have the ability to summarise and relate issues back to management in a timely fashion.

To add to this the platforms have to be managed 24/7, which requires some co-ordination of resources, consistency and dedication.

Wow – that is some job!

Gary Vaynerchuk is a social media genius who is the passionate owner of his own wine business, which makes him quite unique – maybe he underestimates his ability in this area and as a result thinks it is easy for anyone to just jump in and be an expert.

So Gary, thanks for the book, thanks for the terrific examples (Old Spice and the San Francisco dentist!) and insights, never underestimate your own skills and please don’t be too hard on the poor PR companies in the future!

Fuzion provide Social Media Consultancy and Social Media Training.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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