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Power to The People (& Apps)

Power to The People (& Apps)

To effectively reach and engage with your audience and grow your business through LinkedIN and Twitter takes more than the right tools...it also takes processes and people. LinkedIn continues its strong upward trajectory steadily growing from 37 million in 2009 to 364 million members Q1 2015; which makes LinkedIN the clear leader to target business connections. However, what many people don't know is that 85% of B2B marketers use Twitter as part of their strategic marketing efforts according to the Content Marketing Institute, and Marketing Profs: Surprisingly, that’s only 6% less than LinkedIN. It's interesting to see how LinkedIn continues to evolve and transform into a content publishing hub and B2B marketing channel. LinkedIn's Publisher and the acquisitions Pulse and Slideshare enable anyone to share ideas and potentially reach a larger audience than on their own blog. Navigator is LinkedIn's selling tool for the social era. This sales tool features sophisticated algorithm to give you lead recommendations that are tailored to you. Easily save leads and create a sales lead lists. In addition there are many other tools to help you get LinkedIn's full potential. Candidly, I started my social selling journey exclusively in LinkedIn and didn't begin using Twitter seriously until early 2015; but, the more time I spend using Twitter the more powerful I find it to be for business development. I think one of Twitter's strengths is the ease in which you're able to communicate with your target audience. Use Key Words, hashtags, or other search functions to find your target; then instantly send an @mention (public) message anyone. Twitter's growing popularity has resulted in the creation of about 1.5 million applications. As they relate to "Social Business", tools like Hootsuite,ManageFlitterSocialOomph, and others enable amplification your message and the ability to scale marketing activities in Twitter.

It just makes sense to use LinkedIN and Twitter together.

I think it just makes sense to use LinkedIN and Twitter together. For example, the content in LinkedIN member profiles and advanced filters like company size, job function, seniority level, etc. enable you to find quality prospects and their companies; however, the process to establish meaningful engagements tends to take some time. On the other hand, Twitter can be faster and more agile with the ability to target using many "social filters" that enable listening and engaging in real-time conversations; but Twitter does not innately have deep professional and business related details. Anyone serious about using social media to grow business quickly realizes that tools are essential to scale your ability to find, attract, engage, and nurture potential opportunities into valuable relationships. Tools are so important that Neal Schaefer of Maximize Social (https://maximizeyoursocial.com/) launched two "Social Tools Summit" (https://twitter.com/socialtoolssmmt) conferences in 2015. According to Neal, "If you want to scale your ROI, you have to learn how to combine tools and best practices into an operational fabric that is both strategic and practical". Ian Cleary, featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, VentureBeat and other media, is another thought leader who has built a global reputation primarily through blogging about how to get results in social media through smart use of tools and technology. Ian continually researches and test tools used with virtually all significant social media networks; the results of which are searchable in Ian's RazorSocial Tools Directory (https://www.razorsocial.com/askrazorsocial/).

People trained in best practices; skilled using multiple tools; and guided by strategic processes are the keys to achieving optimum performance.

Regardless of your preferred social media network and tools, we find that people trained in best practices; skilled using multiple tools; and guided by strategic processes are the keys to achieving optimum performance. From our perspective, which is based on extensive research and experimentation, we find that each platform and eco-system of enabling tools has limitations; it takes people and processes to bridge the gaps between apps. Consider the impact of seamlessly working in LinkedIN and Twitter simultaneously. You discover some great tweets about a topic of interest, start following the Tweeter and start a two-way dialogue. Now search for the person in LinkedIN. If the search is successful we have now have two points of contact and can pursue deepening the relationship through either or both networks. While the focus of this post is on LinkedIn and Twitter, imagine the impact of finding your new connections complete digital dossier virtually automatically. This is just one of the reason's we use Nimble as our Social Networking hub.

Capture LinkedIN and Twitter opportunities in Nimble Social CRM.

Nimble Social CRM is a very simple and affordable tool to automatically capture contact information. Regardless of where you might discover a person; LinkedIn, Twitter, a blog, virtually anywhere on the internet, including your email inbox, Nimble finds the complete digital dossier of the person. Click save and you've "captured" an otherwise fleeting connection into a new potential opportunity. With Nimble as our hub, we use an assortment of other tools tools to efficiently find, attract, engage, and nurture relationships across multiple social media networks. Like any good crafts-person, we have a number of tools in our bag. LinkedIN has such extensive "built-in" capabilities that we primarily focus on maximizing its capabilities from within the LinkedIN platform. We think it's important to learn to use all of the LinkedIn features like Advanced Search, Share, Connects, Interests, group discussions, a collection of plug-ins, and more. However, there are some external tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, SalesLoft that we also implement to enhance our LinkedIN work.

We rely on a suite of integrated tools to leverage the potential of Twitter.

In contrast to LinkedIn, we take a different approach when using Twitter that relies heavily on a suite of integrated tools to leverage Twitter's potential. Our "bag of tools" tends to change somewhat regularly, but I'll mention a few to illustrate the value of using a mix of tools. I'm finding that some tools are best suited for finding and reaching out to a target audience while others might be better at engaging and nurturing. I’m going to hit just a quick highlight or two for each tool, but rest assured most tools have many more capabilities. Also, anyone familiar with these tools will know that there is functionality overlap, and some may prefer to focus on one or the other tool. From my perspective, some tools are better and easier to use for some functions than others, so we prefer to invest the small monthly fees necessary to achieve peak performance. ManageFlitter is probably best know for its Unfollow feature by many, but it's tag line is, "Work Faster and Smarter with Twitter"; which well describes how we think of all the tools. The Power Mode is a very cool way to target your audience based on key words and a number of other filters like influence, tweet volume, number of followers, recent activity, etc. ManageFlitter, like other tools, offerd very cool automation, but we find it’s sometimes better to have a person follow, send a personalized tweet, AND add to a Twitter list. Adding people to Twitter lists is so important for follow up campaigns and lists make it easier to stay engaged and develop deeper relationships. Commun.it is our engagement and nurturing tool. It’s super easy to quickly do retweet a volume of the most popular tweets from from those we follow and to run daily campaigns like thanking those who mention us or new followers. In addition, you are able engage with groups, which are ostensibly your Twitter lists. The last Twitter tool for this discussion is SocialOomph, which we like because of the ease of repurposing content to tweet or post multiple times automatically. Using Queue Reservoirs you can create a series of tweets and posts that are automatically sent at pre-determined intervals or randomly; think of it like running a series of micro tweeting campaigns. The Queue feature is significant in comparison to other tools that enable bulk Twitter uploads, because we can add a picture that will show within the Tweet, which is not possible with most APIs for bulk Twitter uploads. According to Twitter’s data, tweets with a photo average a 35% boost in retweets.

Tools help you work smarter and faster in social media networks.

Each of the tools just highlighted, and many more, help you work smarter and faster in multiple social media networks, but without a clear plan supported with processes you’ll be going nowhere very fast! We've developed our Circle of Objectives to help use social media in a way that supports our business goals. Each tool or platform can be effective in achieving one or more business development objectives. Most experts would agree that the over-arching object of social media is to add new subscribers to your email lists; so social media needs to drive visitors to your website and blog. We always ask ourselves, how does this tool and our activities help us Find, Attract, and Engage with our target audience. The final step to making your social selling program effective is designing processes that foster team collaboration and innovation. I’ll share our ideas on this topic in another blog post. For now, I hope you have a better sense of why it takes people working with the right mix of tools to achieve your business objectives.