Timing is Everything

Albert Einstein once said: “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”  Obviously Einstein never saw the way some dealerships post in social media. Consider the example of the dealership which posts pictures of the proud customer standing by their new car shaking hands with the happy sales person. Great idea, but not the way the folks at a dealership in North Carolina do it. Every Saturday they post a dozen or so pictures of customers on their Facebook page in a 5-10 minute time span. These sales didn’t happen all at once, but the postings did.

Look, Facebook updates only stay active for a few minutes or hours if you’re fortunate. Generally, users who are online at the exact time you post a picture may see it, like it, comment on it and even share it. However, unless they only like a few pages and have a small number of friends, they most likely will not see your pictures if you post them all at once. True, it’s easier to post in the fashion, but it is most likely a waste of your time. Therefore, it is most advantages to post more frequently and spread your updates over time. Don’t forget that posting pictures, links, updates and videos on the weekends will get your page more comments and sharing. But who has that kind of time for Facebook, especially over the weekend?

Here’s the solution: Schedule your status updates to appear when you think your customers and friends are on Facebook. Just follow these simple steps:

  • Go to your status update box and share a status update, picture, link or video.
  • In the bottom left-hand corner you will see a small clock. Hover over the clock to assign a date and time.
  • Select the appropriate year, month, day, hour and minute you wish to have you post appear.
  • Click on the schedule button and you are finished.

You can also edit the scheduled time and date of the post by highlighting the Edit Page, selecting Use Activity Log, then select the scheduled post to edit, and change the date to whatever you like.

This little tool makes it very easy for you to spread the good news over Facebook whenever your fans may be reading.  Everything does not happen at once. Why would you post that way?

Don’t Get Hijacked

Did you hear the story about the store owner who fired his Facebook Manager?

It’s not a very good story.

Shortly after the “Facebook Guy” was separated from the company, the General Manager realized their Facebook Page had been hijacked. Since all of the Admins were Managers of the page, the ex-employee had the power and ability to change the administration levels of the others and literally take over the entire page. If that doesn’t shake you up, it should.

That is exactly why Facebook has created five different levels to which an individual Admin can be assigned. Let’s review each of the five roles, how they differ and what needs to be considered when assigning Admin roles.

Insight Analysis– This level can only review the page insights and is the lowest level of permission.

Advertiser– This will most likely be the level given to third party advertisers or your internal marketing people permitting them to see insights and create ads.

Moderator– The Moderator level can do everything the first two levels are allowed to do. Additionally, they can add or delete comments as well as respond to messages as the Page. This level is recommended for most team members.

Content Creator– This level has all of the aforementioned permissions and can also create posts as the Page, edit the Page, and add Apps.

Manager– Your Manager(s) have a full set of permissions including the ability to add new administrators and set their permissions levels.

Take a moment to review and edit your Admins’ roles on your Facebook Page. When on your Page, go to your Admin Panel, click Manage, then Settings, then Admin Roles, and select the appropriate level for each of your Admins.

Don’t leave your Page and business at risk! Make sure your team is connected to your Page at the appropriate level and don’t let your Page get hijacked.

Bet You’re Missing Out!

One of the key skills in consulting is being able to assess people and organizations quickly and efficiently. Professional consultants are constantly honing their assessment skills and abilities. However, when it comes to social media, it is easy to determine if an organization is not leveraging the power of Facebook in an effort to build relationships with current and future customers.
If you are part of a leadership team or organization that believes the following, you are most likely missing out:
1) The only thing people talk about on Facebook is what they’re doing for lunch or dinner!
2) Our policy prohibits employees from “playing around” in Facebook on a company computer or on company time!
3) We delegated our Facebook Page to __________ because they are under 30 and understand that computer stuff!
4) We measure our Facebook success by the number of “likes” we get!
5) We tried it for a couple of weeks and it didn’t do anything for us!

Trust me! If your leadership team is guilty of any of these, you are really missing out on the Facebook movement.
In a recent survey, over 57% of the respondents indicated they spent more time talking to people online than in real life. Like it or not, social media is where the “talking” is happening. Social media success is commonly defined by how effectively you build relationships and social capital. It’s not about what people are doing for lunch. Unless, of course, you’re talking about an event which your company is sponsoring.
If you are not leveraging the power of your team by encouraging them to be Facebook ambassadors and creating a social media policy which describes key dos and don’ts for them to follow, you’re missing out.
Let me ask you this: Would you allow your Facebook page administrator to appear on the noon news to represent your company or organization? Would you hold them accountable to develop and maintain customer relationships? If your response was no, you’re missing out!
Facebook isn’t a quick fix. Facebook success will not come overnight. In fact, success will be an ongoing venture. Furthermore, meaningful measurements are critical to creating a successful Facebook strategy.
When it comes to Facebook, if you believe the aforementioned five points, I bet you’re missing out!

Social Media and Symbiosis

Scientists and biologists have talked about symbiosis, a word derived from the ancient Greek meaning syn- “with” and biosis-“living” since Plato was a pup. In the late 18 hundreds, social scientists began using the term in connection with people living together in mutual relationships. In nature, there are three common types of symbiotic relationships, mutualistic, commensalistic and parasitic. It is my assertion that these three relationships are also present in our social media world. Which relationship type are you?

Mutualistic relationships are described as a relationship wherein both parties benefit. A great example from nature of this type is the Clown Fish and the sea anemone. A sea anemone has hundreds of poisonous tentacles to ward off predators, but the clown fish is immune to the poison. He hides from his enemies in the tentacles, eats small invertebrates and his waste feeds the anemone. Let’s not take this analogy too far, but the best types of relationships in the social media world are mutualistic, where both parties benefit. There are many great examples of businesses sharing educational and entertaining posts which enhance the lives of their fans. Their fans, in turn, visit the business and serve as ambassadors for their store by recommending you and your page or site.

The Chevrolet MirayCommensalistic relationships are recognized as those in which one party benefits and the other is not harmed or helped in any way. There are few examples of commensalism in nature and in social media, but I think a good example is my photograph of the Miray from the NAIAS. Several dealerships have “borrowed” it for their Facebook cover picture. They benefit by having a striking cover picture and I, in no way am harmed or will I benefit in any way.

Parasitic relationships exist when one party benefits and the other is harmed. We all know people who behave in a parasitic manner. The best thing about social media is, when people act parasitic, you can block or delete them. For what it’s worth, don’t be a social media parasite and don’t accept them in your life.

Social media is based on people “living with” and relating to each other. You and your team can build healthy social media relationships by focusing on becoming more mutualistic.

Vegas and Networking?

Walking the Strip in Las Vegas can be very interesting, especially at 3:30AM. However, I don’t know about you, but I hate the dudes in the neon shirts who try to get your attention by clapping their brochures which promote some of Vegas’s finest “massage” therapists. It is doubtful this style of promotion actually builds business. So you may be asking; “What’s this have to do with networking”? Fact is, we all have seen the “business card networker” at nearly every networking event we’ve attended. They walk up to a perfect stranger, flash their business card (much like the guys in neon shirts), and nearly force us to take it. They then mumble something that is totally unimportant and they move on to the next “victim” of their time wasting actions.

It’s pretty easy to not be “that guy!” But here are a few tips that might help you with your networking at future networking events as you try to “connect” with new folks:

Establish Your Priorities: Know exactly what you hope to get out of this particular networking event or face-to-face meeting. More importantly, be sure to help the person/people you meet to get something they are looking for. Once you help them get what they’re looking for, they will be much more open to helping you.

Have a Plan: This can truly be anything. It all depends on your brand and what you want others to know about you, your products and services, or your organization. You might want to meet 3 people with whom you want to develop a relationship, or perhaps you will want to gain support for a certain need in your business, like website development, Social Media coaching, teamwork, resume building, et cetera. Just be sure your goals are clear and you have a defined plan.

Be a Connector: Here’s a flash—-It’s not all about you! Make it a goal to introduce at least two people to each other who you think can likely help each other. They will remember you and that is quite likely one of your goals.

Focus on the Future: Dwelling in the past doesn’t help anyone. Talk about what‘s happening in the future and how both of you can help each other achieve great things. There is altogether too much negativity these days…leave it out in your car. Think possibilities!

A few other don’ts include, but are not limited to; don’t just hear…listen. Don’t sell…help. Don’t tell…ask.

Partner with a Friend: Here at The CPO Institute, we encourage Partnering in many ways. What we are talking about here is working with a friend before the networking session to set your individual priorities, plans and goals. Share them with each other, try to introduce each other to at least one perfect stranger with common goals or interests, but don’t simply hang out together. Following the event, it’s a great idea to review how things went for each other. Share who some of your best contacts where and what your follow-up strategies are.

Follow Through: All too often, people don’t follow-up on the valuable contacts they make at networking events. If you meet someone you want to generate a business relationship with, find out if they are into Social Media and which ones. Be sure to get their contact info and follow-up with a phone call, email, note, and/or friend them on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Bottom line, don’t be that guy in the neon shirt! If you want to inform people of you and your “Personal Brand” you must have a plan, help others get what they need, and work with a Partner to get the best results from a networking event and to connect with others.

Did you know you can follow TJ Wisner on his new Facebook Page…see you there!

Administer Your Admins

As Facebook continues to expand it’s focus to include the business world, they finally have created a way for page owners to protect themselves from page hijackers. One of my basic keys to success in social media is to have a policy. A policy which includes removing all passwords and administrative abilities. But, the new levels of admin helps protect you, the business and page owner. Let’s take a brief look at each of the five levels.

Insight Analyst– This is the most limited level and can only view the page insights.

Advertiser– This level can view insights and create ads. Both of the first two are probably most appropriate for third party providers.

Moderator– A Moderator has the ability to do the previously mentioned activities and they can add or delete comments on the page. They also have the ability to respond to messages.

Content Creator– This admin level can do all the aforementioned functions and they can create posts as the page, edit the page and add apps.

Manager– The Manager has full access to the page and they are they only people who can add administrators and set permission levels for said admins.

Facebook Admin Roles

I’m a big supporter of employing what I call a “Social Media Squad” within your organization to fully leverage this incredible tool. However, I strongly recommend you review your Admins and assign the proper level of control each has on your most valuable Page.

Secrets to Social Media Success

The recent surveys show us that over 71% of respondents use some sort of social media to help make their purchase decision. Let’s assume for a moment that this number is inflated and only half of your customers use some sort of social media in making their decision. How well does your biz leverage social media to build relationships with your on-line community and help them make their choice? There are plenty of keys to success in social media, but here are four absolutes which lead to building solid relationships with and garnering recommendations from your customers:

Leaders Lead– Our experience and research tells us that organizations which do the best job of leveraging social media are those wherein the process is clearly driven top-down. This doesn’t mean you cannot have a successful Facebook presence by delegating it to an employee in the back-end of the business or by simply outsourcing the entire effort. However, the most highly effective social media efforts are typically led by the organizations natural leaders.

Focus on Relationships– By now, this is not a secret. Social media isn’t about selling; it’s about building relationships, referrals and recommendations. People follow businesses and brands which help them learn to make their life better, or simply enhance their day. If your page is focused on marketing and increasing your click-through rates, your analytics will ultimately be weak and your relationships will not be productive. In social media, some say relate or die, I say relate and thrive.

It’s our Culture– Building social media capital must become part of your organizations culture. If Facebook and Twitter are check boxes to show you are “playing” in the virtual world, it will not be very effective. If on the other hand, social media is woven in the very fabric of your stores interaction with current and future customers, you will then enjoy the fruits of your efforts.

Make it about Them– Now hear this, your social media strategy must be externally focused! Everything you do must be geared toward your social media fans followers. By making their world a better place, they will appreciate you and your organization. More importantly, they will tell others. Make it easy for them to recommend you and your business. Expect recommendations. Recognize recommendations.

There are countless keys to success in social media, but if you lead the process, focus on relationship building, blend it into your culture and make it about your followers, you will be well on your way to being successful in social media world.

 

 

Connecting on Facebook

People who have heard me speak about social media and Facebook in particular know, I believe everyone should follow the three “E’s” of content. This is more of a VLOG than a BLOG this month…enjoy the first of many very brief videos on connecting in social media. Check out this 1:13 video entitled cleverly enough…Connecting in Facebook!

Enjoy and stay connected!

Start Over

There are those who predict the demise of mankind at precisely 11:11AM on December 12, 2012 in accordance with the Mayan Calendar. If you subscribe to this theory, stop wasting time reading and go spend your time with family and friends. However, if you believe you and your business will continue through 2012 and beyond, you need to keep reading.
Business owners often ask me: Which social media platform will help me and my team leverage social media the most? There are many options and platforms business leaders can use to help grow their brand and build relationships with current and potential customers.
If your organization has a successful social media strategy, we hope to provide a few tips to help this strategy become more successful. If you haven’t yet created a strategy, it’s time to “Start Over.” That’s correct, start over!
Starting over? Look, there are a few small businesses which are doing a great job with their social media strategy. Our objective is to help you ROCK the social media world. But, it won’t be easy. Being social isn’t something you can, or should outsource. Start over by outlining three objectives you want to accomplish regarding your current and future customers. Do you want to enhance two way communications, increase awareness, expand coverage, or maybe recognize clients, reward employees, improve name/brand recognition? Think about it! Simply define three things you would like to improve in the area of customer relationships.
Social Media is about being social. It’s all about building relationships with your co-workers, community and customers. Starting with strategy is the best way to optimize your time and effectiveness in social media. Social media is like every other element of your business, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Contrary to what many social media experts recommend, it’s not best to jump in and “play around” with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or any other social media platform.
Get started, or start over, and craft a specific strategy for you social media efforts. If you’re on Facebook, please join our “Getting Social” group and tell us your three objectives.

Are Your Connections Mutualistic or Parasitic?

Scientists and biologists have talked about symbiosis, a word derived from the ancient Greek meaning syn- “with” and biosis-“living” since Plato was a pup. In the late 18 hundreds, social scientists began using the term in connection with people living together in mutual relationships. In nature, there are three common types of symbiotic relationships, mutualistic, commensalistic and parasitic. It is my assertion that these three relationships are also present in our social media world. Which relationship type are you?

Clownfish/ Anemone

Mutualistic relationships are described as a relationship wherein both parties benefit. A great example from nature of this type is the Clown Fish and the sea anemone. A sea anemone has hundreds of poisonous tentacles to ward off predators, but the clown fish is immune to the poison. He hides from his enemies in the tentacles, eats small invertebrates and his waste feeds the anemone. Let’s not take this analogy too far, but the best types of relationships in the social media world are mutualistic, where both parties benefit. There are many great examples of fan pages who share educational and entertaining posts which enhance the lives of their fans. In turn, they remain loyal to your brand, store or biz. Moreover, they recommend your biz products and services.

Commensalistic relationships are recognized as those in which one party benefits and the other is not harmed or helped in any way. Birds follow cattle or horses as they graze in an effort to feed off the insects which are stirred by the movement of the cattle. The four legged creatures are not affected in any way. There are few example of commensalism in nature and in social media, but I think a good example is my photograph of the General Motors concept car, Miray, from the NAIAS which several dealerships have “borrowed” for their Facebook cover picture. They benefit by having a striking cover picture and I, in no way am harmed nor will I benefit in any way.

The last one exits, unfortunately, in many relationships, not simply in social media. Parasitic relationships exist when one party benefits and the other is harmed. We all know people who behave in a parasitic fashion. The best thing about social media is, when that happens, you can block or delete them. For what it’s worth, don’t be a social media parasite and don’t accept them in your life connections. When fans feel you are “parasitic” they will unlike your page and quite likely your biz.

Social media is based on people “living with” and relating to each other. To build healthy social media relationships, focus on becoming more mutualistic. Healthy relationships between people, on social media and in life, are connections wherein both parties benefit…remember this in your social media efforts.