7 Habits of Highly Social Media Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Remember that social media is a means to an end, not an end in its own right. (Unless you are a PR agent who’s business is selling social media services)

You are here to attract new people to your offering always remember you have actual work to do. Products to sell, a service to deliver. Keep an eye on the time you spend on your social networks and ensure that it is kept in check. Set yourself timeslots where you update and respond.

Stephen Covey refers to a woodsman who is to busy cutting wood with a blunt saw to take time sharpen it (thus reducing his effort) so he continues to work hard. If he were to stop to talk to everyone that walks past about the logs he was producing he may get lots of interest but may never cut any wood to actually sell.

Sharpening your social media saw is really a case of ensuring are being efficient about what you do so that you still have ability to service your customers once you have attracted them.

References and Inspiration in 7 Habits of Highly Social Media – Intro

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

7 Habits of Highly Social Media – Habit 6: Synergize to Engage with your audience.

Involve others where possible, hopefully from within your organisation, or seek outside assistance to discuss and create ideas.

As the Social Media coordinator within your organisation you are may feel you do not have all the knowledge, experience or content or time to do it all. That is where others come in.

The best people to write engaging content about your companies activities are the people doing it. Get the sales people to write blogs and discuss new technologies, ask the engineers on the road to write about preventative measure that could help avoid some of the smaller problems.

These same people can then actively engage in the discussion they create drawing people to your content. This all shows that your organisation has a variety of people with expert knowledge rather than just someone with a twitter or facebook account.

References and Inspiration in 7 Habits of Highly Social Media – Intro

7 Habits of Highly Social Media – Habit 5: Seek First to Listen, Then to Be Heard

Take a step back.

Look to see what people actually get from your service.

The old adage of sell the sizzle not the sausage has never been more true. Listen for what the end user will find interesting rather then the bit you want to talk about. Yes the yield to cost ratio of a blah blah blah may get you excited but having enough money in 2-3 years to pay for a child’s university education is what someone is more likely to be searching for when they find you. (If you do it right)

Once you understand what people are willing to listen to you can then ensure you talk about what interests them. Including all the correct keyword hooks that tehy want to hear.

As soon as someone is interested they will actually listen to what you have to offer, and how it will help them at that point your message will actually be heard.

References and Inspiration in 7 Habits of Highly Social Media – Intro

7 Habits of Highly Social Media – Habit 4: Think Win/Win

Win/Win is social media is just the same as in business,
– Lose / Win – you give all your knowledge away and people do it themselves.
– Win / Lose – you use the hard sell, links to product pages over the place, you may get some orders (you win) but there is no real benefit to the general listener
– Win / Win, you post useful info to inform and encourages people to engage with your subject (they win) , you become a recognised expert (you win) as people begin to use your snippets (they win) ultimately they recognise they can not do it all themselves and as you are their go to expert they ask you for your services (you win) you both grow an ongoing business relationship (win/win)
Note the order this happens in, They Win first, you give, they gain. Then you start to win too.

References and Inspiration in 7 Habits of Highly Social Media – Intro

7 Habits of Highly Social Media – Habit 3: Put First Things First

You need to cover all your bases, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube to name but a few, the advantage you now have is that you are using a single source, your website blog, so you already have the content that you can point all of these towards (thus reducing your overall workload).

Now, analyse your response, look where you get the most activity and give that some focus, however activity is often confused with results, take a second look. 10,000 followers on twitter, but only 100 clicks, maybe one purchase. 1000 people in your LinkedIn group, with  50 clicks and three purchases. Look to where your results come from and give it some real backing. You maybe surprised as to where you get your results.

There are plenty of tools for this,
Google analytics – Web analytics
Bitly – url shortener with analytics
Plus many more.

References and Inspiration in 7 Habits of Highly Social Media – Intro

7 Habits of Highly Social Media – Habit 1: Be Proactive

Get out there!

Do something and do it regularly. Effective Social media relies on consistently providing snippets that engage and/or entertain. Providing these regularly ensures you are kept in the forefront of your readers awareness. They naturally remember you when your subject is mentioned.

Therefore decide that you, or your organisation, are actually going to do it, and be serious about it.
If you go into social media half hearted, you are wasting your time (and therefore money). If you only dabble, you are likely to get minimal results, you may make some interesting contacts and hopefully get the odd bit of business, but you are unlikely to get the fantastic results you have heard about and were hoping for.

References and Inspiration in 7 Habits of Highly Social Media – Intro

7 Habits of Highly Social Media – Intro

Following attending a multitude of social media events recently I thought I would try to put some business perspective onto how to integrate a social strategy into your business.

To this end I have borrowed the ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ from Stephen Covey and put a light-hearted social slant on them to give us the ‘7 habits of highly social media.’

Habit 1. Be Proactive
Habit 2. Begin with a blog behind.
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 4: Think Win/Win
Habit 5: Seek First to Listen, Then to Be Heard
Habit 6: Synergize (Engage with your audience)
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Reference and inspiration from
Stephen Covey – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®
Graham Jones at JCI UK Inspiration Day

Google analytics – Web analytics
Bitly – url shortener with analytics
Harry from Minimoko (at Tea and the Zen of Social Media )
Kathryn McMann (at Tea and the Zen of Social Media )
Sinead Mac Manus from 8fold (at Tea and the Zen of Social Media )
Lee Smallwood from digicoms


Habit 3: Put First Things First

Making the most of technology

I have known Positive computing for several years now and have always turned to them as a source of advice and equipment. So was really pleased to see that Julian Lewis has started a regular newsletter to inform people about changes in technology. I strongly recommend you sign up to the Positive Newsletter to enable you to keep  up to date.

In this issue Julian covers a variety of issues, a couple of which I can give testimonials for his advice

Dropbox, an excellent solution for keeping multiple pc’s/laptops in sync, while providing you a remote repository that is effectively an offsite backup.

Having been introduced to Dropbox by Positive around 12 months ago I now use it as my primary document location. This allows me to switch between a powerful desktop replacement laptop and a Dell netbook depending on where I am going and what resources I need on at the time, safe in the knowledge that I always have the documents I need.

Social Media, a great recommendation for Hootsuite, and advice on finding the right media strategy, ties in nicely with a couple of blog articles I have written recently about ensuring you have the correct message for your business. As Julian says in his newsletter there are plenty of Social Media Experts out there so talk to them about the how to do it. I would also add make sure you know your own message that you can then publicise about through the social media.

There is much more in the newsletter so go check it out.

7 Habits of Highly Social Media – Habit 2: Begin with a blog behind.

A slight adaptation of the familiar ‘Begin with the end in mind’ the often quoted 2nd habit from Stephen Covey, and I feel a valuable one.

We hear so many Social Media experts telling us how good all of the different social media channels are and that they can drive traffic to your site, but how or why?
Tweet this, Youtube that, Liking it on Facebook, or simply Linking it In,  just have a quick look at how much work you are doing, I have mentioned four and there are many more, are you quadrupling your workload by putting information on them all?

This week is Social Media Week, a series of workshops and presentations being held locally and globally, I have been to 4 so far in London, (http://socialmediaweek.org/london/ ) there are many more around the world, and you could pick up so fantastic information. I know I have. It has built on information that I have received from various events recently including JCI Inspiration Day www.jcireading.co.uk/id2011

Before I go much further I am advocating formulating a strategy, there are plenty of social media experts our there to advise you about each channel, my role here is to help you to create an effective and productive strategy from which you will profit for many years.

The main point of this article is to get you thinking. Why use social media in your business? Simple answer is usually ‘to get people to………’ to do what? Call you? Buy from you? Look at your website?

The overriding theme that is coming through is actually none of the above:
It is actually ‘engage people’
Once you engage them, you can interact, inform, influence and help them. All of these activities can be done by providing information via a blog which drives people to your website. This information is a central repository that all of the channels guide people too, once there they can read, comment, discuss all of which brings them one step closer to wanting your product or service.

So in short, ‘Begin with a blog behind’ save time by putting everything in one place (your blog) then promote it via the channels (that you feel suit your business) this focuses both you and your audience to one place. Be consistent about making updates so that there is regular new content that people will want to come back to.

>>related article: The Social for Business Revolution, How to effectively write for social media.
References and Inspiration in 7 Habits of Highly Social Media – Intro

of the familiar

The Social for Business Revolution, How to effectively write for social media.

Having just spent the weekend at the JCI UK Inspiration day hosted by JCI Reading (www.jcireading.co.uk/ID2011) focusing on Social Media and obtaining the best from it alongside what JCI means to some of its members, I thought a short article on Social for Business may be of use to some people.

We regularly hear that social media is taking over in terms of lead generation and that we should all be blogging twice a day and tweeting, facebooking, LinkinIning (think I just made that one up) about our informative blogs.

The reaction I see from most people when there here this is either;

I don’t have enough time to do that, I have actual work to do
or
What the hell am I going to write about without giving away all the knowledge I have spent years learning.

So let’s address these two point. So in reverse order, What and How:

What do you write about?
Whatever you write about it must be done with some enthusiasm, something that draws people into what you are discussing and shows that you are keen and able to help. One easy what to identify these is to know both your company and personal values. Once you know what you care about (and why) make sure you supply a consistent message to your readers. It also allows you to release responsibility to others to write some of the articles as you know everyone is ‘on message’.

How do you write without giving away all your knowledge?
By picking subjects that show you have knowledge you can are actually giving yourself ‘status’ showing that you are an expert in your field. A vast majority of what you know you discount as being valuable because you have already moved on to the next concept, idea or speciality. Therefore spending time working on what you do know that you can tell people ie Identifying your Resources, will be time well spent.

Moving onto having the time.

One of the main reasons most people feel they do not have the time is that they do not know the What and How, therefore they are constantly questioning themselves and what they are writing about. As soon as you know what is ‘on message’ and that you can quickly check that you are encouraging interest rather than giving away secrets you instantly cut out most of the time taken to write articles.

Therefore whenever you have an idea about what you want to write about you will be able to effectively write a short article that you can share on your blog.

Happy writing.

>> Related article ‘Begin with a blog behind