Three Things to Jump Start your Social Media & Networking Campaigns

In this new age of networking (online and in-person) what is the one question you ask yourself and others most often? Think about it? If you are like many of us, you may think the one thing that annoys you most is “pushy people,” or more importantly pushy salespeople. Yes? Have you been to a local Chamber of Commerce or other Networking event and found yourself in the middle of (10) people all trying to sell you something before they even know your name?
Well, just like with many of our other posts we continue to report to our readers and followers some fantastic ways to get your message across without having to call, email, or text another person to death! Social Media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, EmpireAvenue, FourSquare, Quora, Redditt, Digg, Pinterest, Tumblr, Scoop-it, StumbleUpon, Etc all allow us to pull other works, ideas, and statements thus increasing you or your brands exposure, which hopefully results in sales if your message was received well. Ah, yes does this sound familiar… being social huh? Anyway, you get the idea and many of you may or may not have heard of the push and pull concept before. However, we are sure, if you are anything like us, that someone in a prior job or even in your family may have introduced you to this concept or was/has tried to sell you or have you sell something extra so they can benefit. The good’ol push and pull strategy, only in this post, we are trying to emphasize to everyone the pull strategy (in content not distribution) versus the annoying push strategies (again in content not distribution) that most of us hate!
So, as more people and companies look for additional ways to attract more friends, followers, likes, etc, let’s think about how we can use networking events or social media sites to help each other versus hinder one another, a brand, or company. Great, so how you ask? This week we would like our readers to think about three simple things (REASON, CONNECTING, and FORMING ALLIES), so you can use these social networking clubs or sites to help another person or company pull their message across multiple platforms versus pushing a sale on them.
1. REASON
First, think about some of the REASONS you or your company might use the push and pull strategy(s). If you are still not familiar with these concepts, please see Push & Pull Promotional Strategy for a very simple explanation but remember we are talking about information and ideas in this post, so please also remember that. Now that you are familiar with the two strategies… what are the reasons you may want to use the pull strategy with networking or social media? Again, isn’t networking and social media about being social versus talking about yourself or selling something? Don’t friends and sales come from your ability to be social in these and other operating platforms? Besides who wants to always hear about you or something you may be selling right? Simply put, the reason you should be on any social media network or at a local networking event is to provide information, so you can give someone else another REASON to stay in contact, like, follow, or buy something from you at a later date. This is being the true industry expert and a main reason to pull people together not push them away!

2. CONNECT
While many of us find that connecting with others often involves a phone call after a phone call, follow up email after email, and annoying direct messages (more like pushing), whereas connecting should really be about connecting to others with REASON for them to help pull your message or product along just like in the distribution channel processes. Does that make since? Since we are focusing on social media and networking in this post, moving forward in your campaigns start to think about ways that you can CONNECT (tweet, retweet, like, pin, +1, etc) with others to help them spread their message(s). Simply, connecting one person to another, basically means that you are trying to bridge a gap between someone in your network (business or personal) and someone else, so everyone sees the value in the engagement or new acquaintance. Thus, both parties should see more exposure, friends, followers, and/or sales. Sounds easy enough right? So why do people continue to look to connect to others for self or company gain instead of first trying to get a message across? Start today by helping to break this mold and pull more messages through your networking efforts or social media sites and see if you can actually connect (pull) even more people into the conversation. Heck, curate something; re-pin, or retweet and see how that/these help expand your networks and/or connections.

3. FORM ALLIES
Lastly and with any networking or social media strategy as we have been discussing let’s not forget about one of the most important parts in trying to pull your/someone else’s message across any channel. Regardless of what network you are using, remember to equally share and help one another; otherwise, one party may feel as if the other party is not doing as much as they can to help the other. Consider this your marriage and form strategic alliances with allies that will help amplify your personal or business message. All too often this seems so easy but all too often it fails (just like marriage), as we forget to reinforce the value we bring to a local or online network “sharing.” If more people and companies would stop competing for friends and business and start forming allies, more friends and sales will surely follow. People and companies value partners and regardless if you are competing in the same industry or among the same friends just remember to create value that keeps people coming back for more. When value is created, more alliances are formed, and more pulling of messages will come.
Surely, by identifying a reason, connection, and ally you and/or your company will take the next step in building stronger relationships that ultimately results in more sales. As many of you know, Seven Times Seven is a consulting agency and thanks again to our clients, friends, and followers, we were able to once again provide our readers with another piece of important information that you can also pass along to your friends, followers, partners, or acquaintances; thus, increasing ours and your own value. Until next week, we look forward to also sharing your information and connecting more with you online and/or in-person. In the meantime, please drop us a line or contact David Dandaneau with additional thoughts or questions that we can help answer next week in our tip and surely don’t forget to KEEP SMILING!

David Dandaneau is a Consultant at [SevenTimesSeven]. He specializes in helping business owners “manage their business and not their processes!” For more connect with him via Twitter @ddandaneau or any of the other social platforms you may find him on.


Why you Need to Identify your Social Media Influencers and Competition!

As many of you know we (Seven Times Seven, LLC) help small business owners navigate seven (i.e. Payroll, Workers’ Compensation, Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), Wireless Devices, Social Media, CRM, and Website Design & Integration) distinct (sometimes challenging) segments required for any long-term business venture/success, regardless of the industry that you compete in. Needless to say, these seven segments most or the time make business owners want to vomit, as the commitment (time) they all require are more times than not… having you asking yourself if or how you can measure any return on your investment(s) in these things. Well, we are here to tell you that in order to produce greater profits, you need to document, make people/businesses aware of what you offer, and communicate effectively. Communication is key in all these and other segments but none more important than with social media. Before, you say you have tried it and it didn’t work for you, we want you to take a step back, and think of why or why not, as these new mediums are well worth your time and commitment(s). Here’s why!
Who is Using Social Media and What Networks are they?
The first thing you must ask about social media is who in your circle of influence (personally or professionally) is/are using these new tools effectively? Next, what mediums (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, EmpireAvenue, FourSquare, Quora, Redditt, Digg, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc) are they and what are they doing to communicate with their established networks? Once you have found similar (people or businesses) join these networks and start conversing with your influencers and competition to see if they respond to you. If they do, then you know that they are having success and understand the networks they are operating on and if they don’t respond, it’s probably because they too don’t understand how to use these medians to drive ROI and communicate effectively. Either you respond, like, or follow in return or you don’t it’s that easy to tell who is using these mediums effectively. Really, by scouring the landscape and finding others (networks they are using), will help you determine what networks you also need to be involved in… Really it is that simple!
Now What?
After you have found your influencers and competition online, now all you have to do is put together a few time slots during the week to develop, engage, and communicate with others (literally think about a few times either in the morning or evening to do this, 30minutes-1hr daily). Seriously, with almost any social media site they only take a few minutes to set up and most of the time you can also import your information from sites such as Twitter and Facebook to get going. Therefore, whether you think Twitter and Facebook (work or do not), set them up anyway, as these will make your life easier once you find out what sites you want to participate in… heck if you are like us, go for all of them! After all what do you have to lose… increases/increasing in your knowledge and/or Google search rankings?
Get Customers and ROI!
The most important part about social media is producing new customers, acquaintances, and/or ROI. If you stick to your daily or weekly updates (new material, new posts, blog posts, reposts, shares, tweets, retweets, or curated material), you should notice after a couple of weeks (our 90-day rule) whether your material is being accepted or not. Obviously, new friends, likes, followers, direct messages are just some of the ways to judge your success but also remember to watch your Kred, Klout, PeerIndex,and Share Prices to also judge success and potential new customers. Perhaps the most important thing to remember regardless of the mediums you use online is try not to post to much or too little. Instead, you need to focus on providing “VALUE” (daily or weekly industry, academic, or personal postings) to your network and competition, which will ultimately end up building your credibility and endorsements that eventually result(s) in even more friends, ROI, and new customers.   
So, what are you doing with social media online that is helping you grow your business locally, regionally, or nationally? Have you tried these methods in your business? We would love to hear more about how you use social media, CRM, or wireless devices to communicate effectively. So please feel free to connect with us here, any of our other networks (Google Seven Times Seven, LLC), or with David Dandaneau directly through his 25+ social networks, so we can all connect, share, and grow together to provide even more influence. Until next week, keep smiling and we will look forward to hearing, sharing, and engaging online with everyone soon to achieve even more extraordinary results. Cheers

David Dandaneau is a Consultant at [SevenTimesSeven]. He specializes in helping business owners “manage their business and not their processes!” For more connect with him via Twitter @ddandaneau or any of the other social platforms you may find him on.


Is Social Media & Curation the New Searches? Yes, Here is WHY!

This piece is an expansion of an article written by Matthew Ingram on Gigaom
“With new changes that offer personalized search results — most of which are being taken from its own Google+ social network — Google has just made social connections and links the new search-engine optimization strategy”
This is a good analysis presented to readers by Mathew Ingram where he describes how Google recently changed their search results to include their new social networking site Google+. The impacts this change may have on the media industry and in particular “social media,” is great, as Google loves to throw their weight around now that they are trying their luck at the social side of things.
For all of you out there who are not at all familiar with the new changes, Mr Ingram does a great job at explaining them and here is another article that describes even further how Google has and/or is changing Google+ into an essential social network for any search marketer.
To expand upon Mathew’s point… the time where Media Specialists could use tools such as Twitter like RSS feeds is over and now people and companies must engage their audiences through +1’s, comments, likes, or curation. 
Let’s face it, social media companies along Google will continue to innovate, so we all have a better chance of finding others or being found. It is not the innovation’s themselves that matter, rather how we work together as a whole to achieve more. 

Selected by Seven Times Seven covering “Consulting Advice for Small Business Owners”

Curated by David Dandaneau
Read full article here: Media memo: Google just upped the ante on being social

David Dandaneau is a Consultant at [SevenTimesSeven]. He specializes in helping business owners “manage their business and not their processes!” For more connect with him via Twitter @ddandaneau or any of the other social platforms you may find him on.