My quote of the year 2013 – Social Media, Social Networks and Social Business

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Credits: © Mirma -

Credits: © Mirma –

In 2010, I started pinning down my main message to companies and their C-level managers in one quote. Thereafter, different quotes evolved which I collected in the vision area of the „About“ page.

The value of such a quote is for some managers marginal and for others massive when using it to explain the transformation of the business into a digital community-centric company or brand. Take it for what it is, and for what it’s worth for you, or let’s discuss it.

For this year the quote will be about social business strategy…

„Social Networking is business intend. Social Media is business duty. Social Business is business freestyle.“

Just before you start asking… By „business freestlye“, I address all departments in your company (like marketing, sales, customer service, HR, or other) that are responsible for planning, using, handling, and organizing the business tactics and strategy around the brand, product line or service offering of business relevance.

Some facts that might be interesting for each one of those..
Social Networks – Which are growing fastest?
Social Media – Facts, Figures and Stats 2013
Social Business – Some Facts 2013

PS: If you do it right, your workforce will freak out like the guy in this post. Believe me…!

Hyperconnected lives? Pros and Cons for the younger generations

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Have you ever thought about our hyperconnected lives? Technology experts, when asked about the positive and negative influences of hyperconnectivity on the younger generation, find different arguments for the pros and cons. Those various arguments are highlighted in a new infographic by Internet Provider and you are invited to discuss it.

Interested to getting your views on it…

Please include attribution to with this graphic.

The Hyperconnected Life

Keep it Running

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The economy is worse than most of us have ever seen. It is more difficult than ever before to keep a business up and running. Here are some common pitfalls that businesses can encounter and the ways to avoid them:
Inability to Reach Desired Sales Goals
If your sales figures are less than desired, your losses can multiply as you fail to meet all of your fixed cost requirements, such as overhead and payment for your inventory. One strategy to reverse this trend is to lower your prices. This could result in attracting more customers to help cover your expenses. It will also buy you time until your business is able to rebound. Lowering prices is also effective when you don’t have any funds for promotions or advertising.
Poor Management
This is one of the biggest reasons why small businesses fail. It can include anything from the inability to manage people, customer relations, financial aspects, marketing or security. Starting a business is completely different from managing employees. Some people are more suited to one task than the other. If you feel that you don’t have the ability that it takes to manage people, you need to hire someone who has experience in this area. The same goes for the financial aspects of your business. If you are not good at crunching numbers and keeping track of the books, bring in someone who has managed the finances of other businesses. This will allow you to focus on your strengths. LexisNexis debt recovery can help your business with all of its skip tracing and debt collection needs.
Wrong Location
Location is a key factor in the success or failure of many businesses, especially those in the hospitality and retail businesses. They need a location that is visible and in a high traffic area. Retail stores and restaurants need sufficient parking and a steady flow of drive-by and walk-in traffic. Before you decide on where your business will be located, carefully study the area. Check the information about the population and see if it matches your desired market. Is the population stable, increasing or decreasing? It would also be wise to check the local business trends for the area. Find out how many businesses have opened and closed recently.
These are just a few of the many issues that can trip up a business owner and cause financial hardship. Always do your homework and don’t rush into any major decisions. It is always best to learn from the mistakes of others. This will allow your business to prosper where they failed.

Utilizing Social Media in a Big Company

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Many big companies take sales for granted. After all, they’re big for a reason, whether it be a unique service or simply providing so much for so little it’s inconvenient to go anywhere else. Even if they don’t go out of their way to reach customers, they will still get sales with a little bit of marketing. And this is technically true for some companies.
None the less, it is financially crippling. Even if the company still makes money, they could make so much more if they simply attempted to reach out to people using social media.

From an economic standpoint, social media is by far one of the most efficient and cheapest source of advertisement in history. By simply posting a post on Facebook or tweeting on Twitter, a company can instantly send out the equivalent of hundreds of pamphlets to hundreds of people. This makes it an incredibly useful source of advertising sales, new products and so forth.
Just look at how people can connect with TrueCar, Inc on Linkedin for an example of how to do it right. They have connections with every major social network, as every company now days should if they want to maximize profits.

There is another reason to use social media. Many larger companies have poor reputations, deserved or not. By being willing to connect with people ‚where they live‘, so to speak, you can gain a lot of good will and this sales. However, in order for this to work a real effort must be made to connect to your customer base. Simply posting on the social media networks is not enough, you must openly participate in dialogue with people.

A good policy is to always reply to any messages sent to you or posts made on your walls, whether it be a thank you for a good message or an apology for a negative one. It is a good idea to hire a few people or even a company to handle your social media for you so you are not overwhelmed by a large volume of people, many of whom will end up feeling neglected if you cannot respond promptly.
Social Media is the future. Never before has there been such an easy to use way to instantly access millions of people. If a company can take advantage of this and connect with their customers, they will reap the rewards.

Trust the Right People

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These days it is easier than ever to position yourself as an expert in your field…even if you are not actually an expert. It is something that more and more people are doing and this can make it really difficult to figure out who the most trustworthy sources of information (and opinions) are. Nowhere is this truer than on the Internet. So how do you know which sources are worth trusting and which aren’t?
The first thing that you should do, when figuring out whether or not a source is trustworthy, is to check out their background. Do a Google search on the person and see what you can find. If all you can find are blog posts but no actual biographical information or records, you should probably move on to someone else. A trustworthy source will have done the work to build up that expertise. He or she will have verifiable degrees or practical experience backing them up. This doesn’t mean you can’t agree with a person’s opinion. It simply means that you shouldn’t use it as the reason to make a decision about important life matters.
For example, let’s look at Charles E Phillips former co-President, Oracle Corp.. When you put his name into Google a plethora of articles and records come up. This information goes beyond the boundaries of a simple Wikipedia entry (though Wikipedia can be a worthwhile source once in a while). There are articles in trusted publications about him and his background. The first page of the Google search brings up sources like The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, etc. This is what you want to see. If all you find are links to Ezine articles pieces, self published Yahoo News Network articles and a blog? You might want to treat carefully.
If you aren’t sure whether or not to trust a publication, check out its history. How long has the publication been in business? Who sits on its board? Who owns the publication? What are the backgrounds of these people? Do you trust that their opinions aren’t influencing the reporting done by the publication you want to cite?
Basically, when you want to know whether or not a source is trustworthy, you need to do a little “leg” work. You can’t assume that someone is automatically trustworthy because he has been published. Gone are the days of “well he has a book so he must know what he’s talking about.”

Reputation Management Information for Business Owners

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Unfortunately, most business owners don’t consider establishing a reputation management campaign until disaster has already struck. While taking measures to control your company reputation after slanderous or other undesirable information is plastered on the Internet is an important step, sometimes this post-situation management isn’t effective at clearing your business name.

In the fast-paced world of social media and digital information you must take preemptive measures to keep your business name and brand unwavering in the eyes of your customers, both current and potential.

Steps of Reputation Management
Reputation management isn’t a new concept within the business world, but since the introduction of social media platforms and its various spin-off websites, this mode of safeguarding your company’s good name has altered from print-only mediums. Although the specifics of a reputation management campaign can vary, the three most common principles include:

Establishing a Reputation
While this may be the most complicated and time-consuming process, establishing a good reputation within your industry is paramount to long-term success.Reputation Maintenance – Now that you’ve built a solid reputation within your industry for quality service, products and customer care , you must maintain this reputation. Reputation maintenance involves a myriad of steps, which may include continual monitoring customer reviews on social media sites and updating a business blog with vital and free information. Reputation Recovery – Even by following the aforementioned steps, it’s still possible to receive bad marketing from competitors or jilted customers. This is the most important step out of the aforementioned as it involves rescuing your reputation through a series of marketing techniques and positive business promotions.

Advanced Advice
Although securing your reputation is a continual process, professional reputation management consultants demystify the abundance of information about reputation management. Due to unique circumstances that can tarnish your business reputation, it’s important to place your business focus not on covering up negative remarks, but replacing these remarks with positive truths.
While certain forms of reputation management are considered manipulative as they attempt to alter search results, other forms don’t necessarily alter results but rather place the focus on the positive qualities of a particular business or person. The most effective way to accomplish this goal includes:
Publishing several websites that spin your business in a positive light. Soliciting mentions in highly respected third party directory listings.Proactively respond to criticism found in public spaces with an explanation and solution.Offering a level of transparency within the company so current and potential customers are aware of your business practices and procedures.

Study: Social Media Use Helps CEOs Build Trust

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We already know that Social Media use confers a wide variety of benefits for the average company. It can work as an effective platform for marketing a new product. It can act as a focus group to gauge consumer opinions. It can be used to reinforce brand image and community engagement on a day-to-day basis. And, for most basic uses, social media is free, easy, accessible, and convenient. From a business perspective, there’s really not much to dislike.

Now research has revealed another reason for businesses to use social media: credibility.
According to a study released recently by BRANDfog, a social media consulting firm, CEOs that use social media are perceived by consumers as more credible.

A full 82% of the respondents in the survey said that they trust a company more when its top executive actively uses and communicates via social media. Furthermore, 77% said that they were more likely to purchase a product from a business that has a socially-engaged CEO. These findings fall in line with earlier credibility studies, although they are the first to consider the CEO’s role in particular.

The strong preference given to CEO engagement is likely a testament to the power of informal, personalized communication in the digital age. In the past, an executive might have given a human face to his or her business by writing individualized letters with custom pens or by making a point to speak with small shareholders at the annual meeting. These days this appeal to personalized informality is best found on Facebook and Twitter, where the CEOs communicate just as we do and may actually respond to our individual comments or complaints.

At the same time, social media is perceived as an „honest forum“ where people can speak candidly and where companies cannot stand behind layers of advertisers, consultants, and brand managers. By putting its brand message on Facebook and Twitter – and by keeping that message the same across traditional and non-traditional platforms – companies can appear more transparent and dependable. A brand message coming from the CEO only boosts that perceived transparency.

A minority of top CEOs currently use Facebook and/or Twitter to connect with consumers. Is this about to change? If companies are paying attention to this study, the answer very well may be yes.

This post is a guest post from Inkhead.

Hörbuch oder Videotraining – Was bildet mehr?

08.03.2012 von  
Kategorie: Daily Top 3

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Es ist ein wenig, wie eine Entscheidung zwischen Podcast- und Youtube-Training für Manager. Wo ist wohl die Zukunft der Management-Fortbildung? Selbst so mancher Professor sucht offensichtlich noch einen Weg, das ideale Managementtarining für Führungskräfte anzubieten. Oder nutzt Prof. Seiwert einfach nur die Chance, die sich bietet? Ich weiß es nicht…

Als ich vor drei Jahren die Bärenstrategie von Prof. Lothar Seiwert gelobt habe, so tat ich dies auf der Basis eines Hörbuches. Inzwischen bietet die Pink University eine neue, einfache Art der Weiterbildung an: mit Kurzvideos ausgesuchter Top-Dozenten… im klassischen Frontaltraining, nicht interaktiv via Skype & Co..

Und auch hier stellt Prof. Seiwert seine Expertise in einem -in diesem Falle sogar kostenfreien- Video mit einem ähnlichen inhaltlichen Thema dar. Persönlich hat mir das Hörbuch selber besser gefallen, aber auch weil Fabeln halt nunmal nicht pink sind und sich beim Hörbuch viel in der Fantasie des Hörers abspielt und mehr zum Sinnieren anregt. Pink ist zudem nicht meine Farbe. Die Art und Layout der von dem Unternehmen selbst produzierten Videos ist Geschmackssache.

Aber seht selbst…

Normalerweise müssen die fachlichen und beruflichen Videos für einen kleinen Betrag einmalig gekauft werden, um dann unbegrenzt, online zur Verfügung. Das Ganze ist on-demand, also grundsätzlich ganz im Trend der Zeit.

Die Leser von TheStrategyWeb einfach auch mal die Gelegenheit, sich selbst von der Qualität der Pink University zu überzeugen. Einen Gutschein von 5€ erhaltet ihr, wenn ihr den Code 13Bfa verwendet. Viel Spaß!

PS: Und teilt bitte eure Meinung hier mit…, denn auch mich interessiert, ob das ein Konzept der Zukunft zur Weiterbildung ist. Danke!

Blog Marketing Dies ist ein durch hallimash vermittelter, honorierter Eintrag