Monday, April 30, 2012

Twitter: What’s the First Step?

I had the pleasure of reconnecting with a former client recently.  The client is embarking upon a new professional project and had some questions about Twitter.

Twitter, we noted over coffee, can play an extremely valuable tool. Why?  Because there are already folks engaging and connecting on Twitter related to the very same topic this professional is pursuing. 

Once those folks are discovered on Twitter, the social media platform will be of tremendous value to build interest, engagement and ultimately business development success for this former client. 

This individual already has a Twitter account, but isn’t active or strategic related to this new project.

By tapping into relevant conversation and engagement, Twitter is sure to be an effective way to drive interest in this new business program.

The First Step is the Most Important
Let’s say the business program had something to do with team building...  (it doesn’t, this is just an example to protect the innocent.)

The first (and most critical) step is to do reconnaissance work and connect with relevant folks who are Tweeting about relevant topics related to team building. 

The best tool to do this is TweetLevel.  Using the free application, it only takes a moment (well, 30 seconds) to identify relevant people by context and subject.

  1. Type the phrase “team building” into TweetLevel.  
  2. Hit enter
  3. In 30 seconds TweetLevel will report:

  • Top Tweeters by Share of Voice – so now you can follow these folks and see what they are saying, what content they are sharing.  
  • Most Frequent Words Used - when folks Tweet about “team building” – so now when Tweeting you can use these keyword hashtags for maximum impact. 
  • Top Shared Web Links - related to “team building” – for any web research that can help in marketing. 
  • Top 100 Tweeters by Relevance over Last 100 Days - for the topic “team building” – so now you can follow these folks and start engaging, retweeting, conversing, sharing

Why bother to follow people already talking about team building, you ask? 

Without this first search, any effort expended on Twitter is meaningless as without context there is no relevant engagement.

Try it!  Search on any topic:  from massage therapy or personal finances to dog training or personal coaching…You have my word - this is by far the most effective first step to embark upon a strategic and relevant Twitter program.  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

There Will Be Birds

Ethel didn't chase after birds today. 

Ethel’s been plagued by birds since the warm weather has hit.  During every walk, she lunges unexpectantly at a robin or sparrow that has the misfortune of pecking around on nearby ground, or a seagull with the nerve to fly in her "air space."

It’s a losing proposition.  The offending bird simply flies away, as Ethel lunges and leaps, strangling herself on her choke chain while painfully pulling my arm out of its socket.

For months on end, I made the habit of calmly telling Ethel, “Yes, there will be birds” when an aviary incident took place.

It seemed like forever for Ethel to get wise about avoiding this trigger to a negative reactive response.
But today, she got smart.  Despite the robins and sparrows rooting around in the lawn during our morning walk, and the seagulls zooming overhead, Ethel heeded that calm reminder “Yes, there will be birds” and responded in a more positive fashion – by simply not reacting.
It can be like that in the consulting world of business-to-business marketing, as well. 
Something unsettling happens, like a new client with fast-breaking projects, or a rash of proposals all due in the same week, or the feeling that it’s just one fire drill after another without break.  The temptation is to lunge wildly, get choked up, and let the unexpected situation trigger a negative reactive response.
Instead, like Ethel, perhaps it is wiser to remember the lessons of past situations, and realize that, yes, there will be birds.  The trick is to not let them get the best of us.   I’m slow to learn this lesson for sure.

This whole thought process reminds me of these wise words discovered many years ago:  where attention goes, energy flows.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Are You Ready for the Three-Sentence-Email-Challenge?

A recently received email from a new client included this intriguing signature line:

Q: Why is this email three sentences or less? A:

The link leads to a short web page that extols the virtues of a three-sentence email.

Here’s what's displayed on the web page:

The Problem E-mail takes too long to respond to, resulting in continuous inbox overflow for those who receive a lot of it.

The Solution Treat all email responses like SMS text messages, using a set number of letters per response. Since it’s too hard to count letters, we count sentences is a personal policy that all email responses regardless of recipient or subject will be three sentences or less. It’s that simple.

Taking the Challenge
How refreshing!  

In the spirit of personal improvement,  I’m taking the “three sentence email challenge” in the upcoming week.  Starting Monday, my goal is to issue only three sentence press releases. 

Join me, why don't you?

Are a week's worth of three-sentence emails possible?  Let's see!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Cool World of LinkedInLabs: 4 Tools You Don’t Want to Miss

LinkedIn is the foremost social media tool for business-to-business community members.

With over 2 million companies representing all industries, sizes and geographies active in LinkedIn,  it’s the b-to-b social media platform that delivers a powerful punch.

LinkedIn Labs
This post puts the spotlight on LinkedIn Labs, a set of projects and experimental features built by the employees of LinkedIn.  

LinkedIn Labs currently makes 16 applications available for free, accessed with only a simple LinkedIn log in.

LinkedIn shares the feature sets as demonstrations and to solicit feedback. Note applications featured in  "the Lab" may be added and removed over time based on popularity and support. Here are some current favorites: 

LinkedIn Maps
Use this tool to visualize your professional network, clustered in real-time based on inter-relationships. You’ll see how your existing connections interrelate with each other, and you can Tweet or share the map on social media of course!

Overwhelmed with all those status updates from your connections? Signal is aimed at making it easy to glean the most relevant insights from the never-ending stream of status updates and news.

This one is a must!  Named a Hackday Winner, this is a slick visual representation of everyone in your network who changed jobs in a given year. Didn't we see this as an email at the end of each year?

I can’t believe I just found this one!  This application lets you turn your LinkedIn Profile into a beautiful resume in seconds. Avoid the hassles of building and updating multiple Word and PDF documents. Pick a resume template, customize content, and and share the result to your heart's content.