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.


Advertisements

How do you decide on the Right Company and/or Professional to assist in a Buying or Outsourcing Decision?

As a person or business owner, you may often find yourself asking difficult questions and often coming up with little to know answers. Does this sound like you? If so, how do you know who to trust or how to evaluate a company and/or their credentials in order to decide if they can actually serve you and/or your business needs?
Regardless of the industry and/or business professional, that you may be dealing with most industries have standards that you can use to evaluate not only the staff but the entire business and industry, which may be as easy as performing a Google search. However, the fact is most people and businesses do not actually have the required time to invest and/or research a particular industry (even so called Googling), so they often call on third party facilitators to oversee a particular business or personal purchase decision. These people whom you rely on and  often referred to as consultants, brokers, advisers, etc maybe the solution that you are looking for or are they? The question still remains… and that is how do you really know whom you are dealing with?
Here are some questions you should ask yourself when deciding on the right professional or company to help facilitate any buying decision. Can anyone be a doctor? The answer to this question is simply no, as there is schooling and there are requirements that all doctors must go through before they can actually advise you or prescribe a remedy. And yes, this includes doctors, other than those doctors you go to see for medical illnesses. Can anyone be an attorney? Again, the answer to this question is no and again there are many years of schooling and tests that a person must go through in order to represent you in court, help you start a business, or help you fight for justice. Can anyone be banker? Well, this is a tricky one. There are many good bankers out there that can help facilitate a loan or advise you on a good investment. However, if you want a well-respected and reputable banker (Financial Consultant) then more times then not you would be looking to deal with someone who yet again has had extensive training and/or education; otherwise, their advisements may end up costing you your life or business savings, just ask all those who trusted Bernie Madoff or ENRON with their money.
All too often, even after asking yourself or evaluating a business or professionals credentials or answering the aforementioned questions many people and/or organizations will still move forward with a purchase or outsourcing decision without understanding the real danger that these decisions may pose over the long-term. Much too often these decisions maybe influenced by price, friends, and/or other companies that have done business with these people or organizations in the past. However, rest assured that in this new age of digital communication, well respected businesses and people are here to help advise you on almost any personal or business purchase decision. 
For instance, here at Seven Times Seven, we advise people, organizations, and communities on some of the difficult decisions facing you and/or your business in regards to workers compensation, payroll, Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), wireless devices, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technologies, website development, and social media. Since we believe in helping our clients make sound buying decisions, we thought we would provide a few insights to our readers and followers, as to what you should be asking yourself before making any purchase decision in these respected segments. 
Workers Compensation, Payroll, and Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs)
Wireless Devices
  • Is the carrier regional, national, or worldwide?
  • Is the device(s) locked or unlocked? Can the device be unlocked if currently locked?
  • Is the device compatible with your other personal or business devices (i.e. computer, tablet, landline, etc?)
  • Will you be locked into a long-term agreement and if so what are the terms if you cannot honor the agreement?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Is the CRM solution (HOSTED) external to the company such as SalesForce, NetSuite, or Oracle, etc?
  • Is the CRM solution (ON-PREMISE) and runs at your home or place of business such as SugarCRM, Microsoft, Seibel, ACT, etc?
  • Is the CRM solution (HYBRID), which is a combination of hosted and on-premise solutions?
  • How will the CRM company or you protect your confidential data?
  • What are the back-up systems used and where are they located in case of an emergency?
  • Does or will the CRM solution you choose provide customer support?
Website Development and Social Media
  • Is the company and/or person reputable and how long have they been in the business?
  • How compatible is the platform you will be developing with other developmental mediums?
  • What are the true costs associated with maintenance, upgrades, new designs, etc?
  • Are the mediums that you want geared towards your personal or business goals and/or target markets?
  • How do you get questions answered (i.e. are there charges for tech support and if so are they hourly, weekly, or monthly fees?) 
  • Will the chosen mediums increase your Google search rankings and if so how will this be measured? 

As with any service offering there are a lot of questions that go into deciding what service you may ultimately decide on but if not asked prior more times than not you may find yourself using people, systems, or companies that are not part of your long-term goals. Albeit, many time we as consumers make purchasing decisions based on emotion, if you take the emotions out and ask yourself  a few simple questions, in the long-run you will be glad you did even if it turned out to be the wrong decision. The thing to remember is consider a person or businesses experience, credentials, education, and take the extra time needed to look under the hood before making any irrational purchase decision, as we are sure you will be glad that you did. Obviously, the questions stated are only a start, so if we can help you or your company come up with answers that you may have in regards to one of our consulting segments please do not hesitate to reach out or contact us via Phone, Email, Social Media, or connect with David Dandaneaudirectly. After all and as our motto goes, we help you manage your life and business, so you don’t have to manage your processes!

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.