Social media – my experiment produced 3 clients over 12 months. I can get more for less effort through general networking. There is a process however. Comment me if you want to discuss further…
Category Archives: Social media
So, 2010 sees British politics hung like a donkey – long, limp and pretty lack lustre. Or is it? I think we all may be in for a surprise. For the first time since the late 90′s the electorate seem engaged. This couch potato nation is back on it’s feet and clearly up for a fight. We voted for a change all right. We voted for an end to homogenised politics. Give us ropey policy and we’ll give you a mediocre mandate.
Can we all create big opportunities over the next term? I think so, but it has be led by the entrepreneurial spirit that we have lost during Labour. We all got a little too comfortable and complacent, the money came a little too easily.
Innovative media, games, software, films, music, product design and engineering – that’s what we’re good at and that’s what we need to focus on.
And the Conservatives ARE the party for business (and that’s not intended to be a promo), so let’s keep reminding them to support us creatives more effectively.
This needs to be a ground up campaign. I want more business, they want more taxes. Sounds like a good match.
Everyday I am bombarded by people telling me how to improve my company’s social media presence. “Increase your retweets” or “Link this app to this one!” they shout. It’s all very interesting, but in terms of generating B2B relationships, completely ineffectual.
In the last 12 months how many of your social network contacts have you referred business to or vice versa? In fact, how many have you even called?
Given the choice between a massive (and generic) obligation to the many, versus the provision of an excellent service to my chosen few, I’ll choose the latter every time. Dunbar reckons I can only deal with 150 of them anyway. See info on Dunbar’s number http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar’s_number
So here are my alternative Top 10 Tips for B2B social media:
- Concentrate on relevant content for your client and prospect base – quality, not quantity.
- Concentrate on developing relationships with the contacts who give you business already or ones who are happy to refer new contacts to you.
- Concentrate on no more than 150 client relationships at any given time. If the business is growing beyond that then hire more account management staff.
- Facebook is next to useless for maintaining exclusive business relationships. When friends and family find you, one casual comment can cause huge damage.
- Twitter is very valuable for sharing external and relevant content with your business network.
- Ask for recommendations from your network on LinkedIn or Plaxo (I don’t try to maintain both – too time consuming). Try to keep these recommendations at around 10% of your total network.
- Don’t be afraid to connect your contacts to each other. If you feel nervous about this, then there’s something wrong with your service – fix it!
- Update your network at least twice a year. Phone them, meet them and discuss how you can be helping one another – they want business too.
- Realise that those you don’t contact naturally are probably causing you stress or costing you money!
- Finally, focus on finding more people like the ones you already love!
Right, I’m off to disconnect from 76 people on my network.
Strategy boards, knowledge transfer networks, development agencies, innovation centres, sector skills councils, workforce management schemes – the list goes on and on.
When will the government learn that all these “initiatives” will never work? Is it because they’re wrong to try to help? No. Is it because the people that work in them are not dedicated? Definitely not!
The failure of these organisations is solely based on their inability to appoint and fund commercial companies who have a proven track record in the business world (their hands are tied). Unfortunately, government programmes focus on “outputs” (statistics to make THEM look good), not profit – and the last time I looked my business survives and grows on the latter.
One of the only areas working well under this situation is university research access, but all too often UK tech inventors don’t need a bunch of students to test or seek out functionality – they need professional marketing, financial and HR assistance to get their ground-breaking products out there.
In the past year I have met with 17 government sponsored organisations. In each case my clients could, and would, offer exceptional value to the enhancement of UK competitiveness, but the answer was always the same, “Sorry we cannot be seen to part fund or appoint commercial organisations to help as other, like businesses, could call foul play.”
What a ridiculous notion. Government should be over-the-moon that successful companies have a desire and vision on how they can help – and at a highly reduced cost. But I suppose that when they can’t even decide on a stable brand name for their initiatives there’s little hope for anything changing fast.
Could we chase the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on this? Oh, sorry I mean BERR, no actually they have just changed their name again to BIS (The Dept. for Business Innovation & Skills).
I rest my case.
Here’s 10 revenue ideas for Twitter without relinquishing their “no advertising” promise. All these concepts would reduce “noise” and allow us business users to focus on the groups of people we want to engage with.
- Charge a penny per tweet (but under 21’s continue to tweet for free).
- Colour code users (e.g. by age/business/interests etc.) with filters to exclude categories. Charge a small fee per exclusion selected.
- Analyse total user topics & activity types each month and sell reports on demographics and trends.
- Rent user data on opted-in individuals.
- Publish a quarterly e-book on the best tweets.
- Utilise the four branding pillars for Twitter products – what we watch, what we wear, what we listen to and what we play. This could further extend offerings across Facebook and YouTube as well.
- Provide a paid for monitoring service for top brands like Sony, Samsung, Microsoft, Apple, etc.
- Allow users to pay for and review more details on other users before “following” to ensure they are appropriate (e.g. $10 for 7 days on a maximum of 100 people viewed).
- Offer a premium account for businesses.
- Sell virtual coffee and addiction counselling (ok, just joking!).
Have I missed any?
The Christmas break is a great time to reflect on your business. You should be through the stress of final deliveries for customers, no phones to answer and no staff asking for advice or guidance. This is prime thinking time, and it doesn’t have to consume your precious days off either, just park stuff and let your subconscious do the analysis.
So here’s my 12 days of Christmas plan. Maybe it will helpful to you as a guideline.
Day 1 – I relax, relax and relax some more. Chill down, clear 2009 out of my head and enjoy time with my friends and family. A cluttered mind doesn’t think straight.
Day 2 – I have already ordered and received my two business books and novel from Amazon. I will enjoy reading them over the next two weeks and let them challenge me. (Well, maybe not the sword fighting and magic wizard stuff!)
Day 3 – Each day I note and take away a few points I can realistically action in the New Year or use to develop new ideas for my clients.
Day 4 – I review 2009. What could I have done better? Where were my successes? What was a total waste of my time? Only takes me an hour and I write it all down.
Day 5 – I start to organise my ideas into categories. (1) Increasing customer value (2) Technologies and process that can make me more efficient (3) Marketing ideas for generating new business over the next year.
Day 6 – I clear out and/or archive inactive client paperwork from my PC and filing cabinets.
Day 7 – I chill out – its New Year’s Eve!
Day 8 – I totally chill out! I’m exhausted from the previous night.
Day 9 – Clear out day. Remove unnecessary contacts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and MSOutlook, etc.
Day 10 – I chill out and detoxify myself for all the Christmas excess.
Day 11 – I finish my books, pick-up dry cleaning, buy my Moleskine for the year (they’re on sale!) and ease myself back into work mentality.
Day 12 – I’m invigorated and ready for 2010’s business challenges. I start to contact all my clients and prospects and begin to implement some of those new ideas. I love Toothbone again.
Wishing you all a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!
I don’t think there is anything worse than a grumpy marketing professional.
I see my job as keeping my clients invigorated about their businesses. If I continually bring pessimism and bad ideas I don’t deserve the work. So…try something new this week, be dangerous and crack a joke or two. You’ll be surprised at how many positive responses you actually get.
AND OVER DELIVER! If you’re a true creative you’ll have no problem generating plenty of ideas. Sometimes the wacky, off the cuff concepts are the ones that work. Keep in mind your client’s business though, inappropriate or crude ideas will never go down well.
This week, remember that Christmas is coming – keep a smile on your face, not your heart on your sleeve.