lundi 28 avril 2014

Following Devastating Arkansas Tornados, #PrayForArkansas Trends on Twitter

Twitter is praying for the lost and injured in Arkansas with the hashtag #PrayForArkansas trending this morning.

The hashtag follows a range of devastating tornados tearing through Arkansas April 27th.

Torndos struck Vilonia in central Arkansas’ Faulkner county, with an entire neighborhood of 50 or so homes reported as having been destroyed.

Around 10 people are believed to have died if Faulkner country, with more missing along the Interstate 40 near Mayflower, 22 miles northwest of state capital Little Rock.

The currently death toll is officially 17, with officials believing more bodies may be found.

Twitter gave their wishes, as well as giving reports from the ground.

via Business 2 Community

Ariana Grande Song Results In #BuyProblemOniTunes (Which Isn’t As Bad As It Sounds)

The new Ariana Grande single has topped the Twitter charts with the hashtag #BuyProblemOniTunes leading across the United States this morning, but it’s not as bad as it sounds.

First: there is no problem in buying things on iTunes, despite how the hashtag reads; Grande’s new single is called “Problem.”

The single, featuring Iggy Azalea was released on iTunes April 27th.

According to reports, the single hit the number one position on the iTunes charts one hour after release.

Fans seem to be impressed by the song, not only trending the hashtag, but giving their blushing support, including from some well known celebs.

via Business 2 Community

How to make a recruitment video for your company

How to make a recruitment video for your company image John Bull World War I recruiting posterFinding talented new employees for your company is critical to its growth, regardless of the size or type of organisation that you run. However the traditional recruitment process is often inefficient, with large amounts of time and money used on tracking down the right candidates.

Over the last few years, there has been a major shift in recruitment towards something that’s more of a fusion between recruitment and marketing, with an increasing number of companies turning to video in a bid to shorten the recruitment process and attract the best candidates possible.

Here’s an excellent example from Zendesk, a company that builds software for customer engagement. This laidback company uses video to show what it’s about and what potential employees can expect when they come to work every day.

With online job adverts including video achieving an average of 12% more views and 34% more applicants than those without, there’s much to be gained by incorporating video into your online recruitment strategy.

Using Video to Brand Your Company

The traditional recruitment process is all about the skills and attributes of the potential employee, but if you want to attract top talent you need to convince them that they want to work for you. Video is the perfect medium for this.

A standard careers page on a website can only tell you so much, but video has the power to relate, engage and tell a story about a company’s culture and environment. This means potential applicants can become better acquainted with the company before they apply, and companies can target a specific audience.

A good recruitment video demonstrates the personality of a company, and helps to build a profile of what it’s like to work there. It helps to demonstrate the human side of an organisation, and gives potential applicants a way to ‘interview’ the company before they apply.

Hopefully you will steer away from the cliched ping pong table, Playstation and Nintendo Wii.

The tech and startup world is always on the hunt for new talent, so it’s little surprise that they’re leading the way in terms of online video recruitment. This video from SnazzyRoom takes its cue from the success of another startup, Dollar Shave Clue, in its hunt for a new developer.

Although much less formal than many recruitment videos, this style of video fits with a tech startup. SnazzyRoom demonstrates its unique sense of humour and doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it definitely gets its message across.

Apple has taken a totally different approach. It’s stayed true to its brand in this genuine, sincere recruitment video. In keeping with the vision of Steve Jobs in ensuring that everything Apple delivers is beyond expectations, this video is for you if you’re detail-oriented, have a strong work ethic and want to change the world.

Types of Recruitment Videos

Depending on the size of your company, it’s unlikely that you’ll want to create a new recruitment video for each vacancy you advertise (although if you do, kudos to you!). It’s also largely unnecessary.

As long as you cover some basics in a handful of videos – namely what your company’s about, what it’s like to work there, and include some stories and experiences from current employees – potential applicants will have something to refer to each time a new vacancy is advertised.

Here are some excellent examples of different types of recruitment videos.

Inside HubSpot is all about the branding, showing the company as one with a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality. The video demonstrates the numerous perks enjoyed by employees, and is both professional and fun to watch. It achieves an excellent mix between employee perks and serious company information.

Rackspace has made a ‘day in the life of’ style video, with a twist. Filmed through the eyes of an employee over the course of a single day, this video doesn’t need to use words to demonstrate the unique working environment. It’s so good that viewers gain an understanding of the company ethos simply from the visuals.

Starbucks has a great reputation as a company in which to learn and grow, and this video is aimed at students and graduates looking to start a career. This personal and targeted approach gives an insight into working at the company from an employee’s perspective.

Now to a spoof video that ended up being a huge success and going viral. Back in 2012, Twitter ran a Hack Week competition to make the best and worst recruitment videos. Twitter employees, Ian Padgham and Jeremy Briggs, made the following spoof in the style of a corny old-school training video, which subsequently went viral in its first weekend. In poking fun at traditional recruitment videos, they’ve branded Twitter as a great place to work with a good sense of humour.

Finally, Step Change Marketing in Sydney has used humour in a video that demonstrates the sort of people they don’t want to work for them. They’re all too aware of the stereotypes working in the marketing industry so they’ve targeted people who love the job but hate the politics in this amusing recruitment video.

Running a Focused Recruitment Campaign

The beauty of video is that you can run a focused, targeted campaign that’s accessible to a huge online audience.

Use of social media is growing by the day, and utilising these platforms is crucial to attracting the sort of computer-savvy millennials companies are searching for. Many companies have a presence on YouTube, where videos can be organised according to content and purpose, such as employee recruitment, making it easy for applicants to find and view your videos.

LinkedIn is one of the most popular channels for employee recruitment, making it an excellent tool for reaching out to recruits through video. Many large organisations have a careers page within their LinkedIn profile, and adding your videos here is a quick and easy way to extend your reach.

Facebook is another tool employers should be utilising. Creative employers can target ads to specific users, and should ensure they maintain a Facebook presence so recruits can ask questions before or during the application procedure. Google TrueView video ads are another great tool for employers targeting a specific audience.

Finally, with all the attention on social media, it’s easy to forget about your own website. Making your recruitment videos visible and accessible via a link from your homepage, or devoting an entire section of your website to recruitment will help to show your company ethics and attract the right sort of candidate.

Ultimately, there’s no single rule to making a successful recruitment video, with tone, humour and style varying depending on the company and the sort of candidates you want to attract.

The essential element to any online video is staying true to your brand so that, regardless of the type of video you make, you will attract the right sort of employee for your company. And with video working out cheaper on average than many recruiter fees, incorporating video into your recruitment strategy is a win-win situation for employers and candidates.

via Business 2 Community

Lead Management: 7 Steps to the Process that Creates Revenue

A few weeks ago, I was speaking with a director of marketing about a demand generation program he was getting ready to launch for his company. He had formulated some aggressive objectives for this program, and he was covering all the bases during one of our meetings. When I asked about lead follow up, he brought up the fact that his sales team had only followed up on 11% of the leads marketing had sent them the year before. I said, “You know, you really don’t need to develop any new programs. If sales just doubled their follow-up rate to 22%, you’d meet your numbers.”

Of course, I was speaking tongue-in-cheek, but there was a certain truth to my comments. When it comes to being a “revenue generating marketer,” I find that many marketers are looking for the next “silver bullet” – the latest and greatest solution to their lead and revenue generation challenges. But in so doing, they often forget the tried and true, the things that work every time they are tried. Lead management is one of those things.

So, what exactly is lead management? In short, it’s seven distinct, but interdependent processes that are used to manage the receiving, qualifying, routing, nurturing and closing of sales leads.

Lead management is not a technology (although it’s almost impossible to maintain proper lead management without marketing technology). It’s not a program – programs usually have an end date. To think lead management, one needs to think “process.” Or maybe, “framework.” And a proper lead management process or framework consists of…Lead Management: 7 Steps to the Process that Creates Revenue image approaching footsteps

  • A Lead Planning Process

    A documented “quota”, developed and agreed to by marketing and sales, for how many qualified leads marketing will deliver to sales. This quota is based on the revenue goals for which marketing is held accountable.

  • A Lead Qualification Process

    This consists of written definitions for every stage in the lead funnel or waterfall (terms such as inquiry, lead, qualified lead, etc.); criteria used for determining those definitions; and lead scoring, which is a numerical ranking of leads in the qualification model.

  • A Lead Routing Process

    This is a mapping to show how qualified leads will be routed to sales, how non-sales ready leads will be nurtured, and how sales will send not-ready-to-buy leads back to marketing.

  • A Lead Nurturing Process

    Through the use of marketing campaigns, this process is where leads are regularly provided information, based on their wants/needs. This process keeps them conversing, moves them further down the buying cycle, and creates favor to company.

  • A Content Development Process

    You can’t have an effective lead nurturing process if you don’t have a process for creating content. This process is for creating marketing content that is relevant to your audience, and moves them further along the buying process.

  • A Metrics Process

    A process that dictates what will be measured, who is responsible for the measurement, and (perhaps most importantly) how the analysis of the measurements will be used for future demand generation programs.

Let’s face it: lead management is the boring part of marketing. It’s process-oriented, left-brain work. However, it’s a foundational piece that will elevate marketing and sales effectiveness to much higher levels. Investing the necessary time, money and resources into establishing a lead management process will yield substantial increase on the return of marketing and sales programs. It may not be new or shiny. But it works….every time it’s tried.

via Business 2 Community

Does Content Marketing Aid Conversion? Hell Yeah!

Have you ever responded to a question and then, ten minutes later, come up with a much smarter answer? It happens to me all the time. I’m constantly replaying conversations over in my mind and thinking: I should have said that instead.

It happened to me only yesterday. I was speaking at an event in Amsterdam when a journalist cornered me and asked me on camera (I hate speaking on camera) how content marketing could aid conversion.

I stumbled through a few well-versed quotes about how content generates traffic and builds trust by humanizing the brand, etc., but he didn’t seem convinced.

To be honest, I wasn’t entirely convinced myself.

What I should have done is thrown the question back at him.

As a journalist, he should know that content marketing aids conversion. The publishing and broadcasting industries have been using content marketing to aid conversions for years now. I’ve said it before: there is nothing new about content marketing.

Traditional media outlets sell advertising on the back of great content. Consumers, who are initially attracted to media outlets by their content, buy products and services that are advertised alongside this content. If anyone should know that content marketing works well to aid conversions, then a journalist whose livelihood relies on producing great content that ultimately generates revenue should know better.

Even companies like Google that don’t produce content (in the traditional sense) rely on great content to aid conversions. In Google’s case, their search engine results pages (SERPs) are their content. These results need to be strong enough to sell advertising on the back of them. Google got good at delivering relevant results (content) and therefore was able to selling highly lucrative ad space when its competitors floundered.

As email marketers, we should always remember that great content helps sell more products.

Despite this, I constantly see a flood of dull, boring and unengaging emails hitting my inbox. If I’m going to convert, I’m going to need to be entertained, informed or otherwise engaged beyond the promise of another weekly/monthly newsletter.

The moral of the story is, if you want to get good at selling more, get your content right first.

Now, where’s that journalist? I’ve got some great content to share with you.

This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.

via Business 2 Community

4 SEO Techniques That You Need To Avoid

For long we have spoken about what techniques you need to apply to optimize your website for the search engines. Today let us look at some SEO techniques which can cause harm instead of benefitting your site and may even lead to your site getting penalized and so need to be avoided.

4 SEO Techniques That You Need To Avoid image 4 SEO Techniques that you Need to Avoid

Low Quality Links: You must seriously avoid adding huge number of links, especially those of low quality sites. Till some time back, websites added large number of links to get higher ranking on the search engines. But now Google doesn’t appreciate this mass addition of links; infact many sites have been penalized by Google for having too many low quality backlinks. Even if you have lesser number of links but they are all of high quality and reputed sites, then it will work in favor of your website.

Keyword manipulation: Gone are the days when keyword stuffing used to be overlooked by the search engines. Google comes down heavily on manipulative techniques and so over stuffing of keywords is not appreciated at all. You need to remember that your text should appeal to the reader first and if it impresses them then it will get noticed by the search engines. So your content should be excellent and informative. If you cram it up with nonsensical sounding sentences just to fit in the keywords, you will earn the wrath of the sentinels of Google. Be watchful about the language of your content and include the keywords just once or twice, unlike earlier where you filled it up with the keywords.

Spammy Guest Blogging: Guest blogging is a great SEO technique to increase brand awareness and popularizing the site. But this method was misused by many as they started posting spammy blog posts just to catch the attention of the search engines. Google realized this and has warned the guest bloggers that they should desist from spammy guest blogging and avoid posting blogs on sites which are in no way relevant to their own sites. You can guest blog but only for high quality sites and not merely for acquiring links or for SEO purposes.

Anchor text manipulation: Manipulators do not leave any opportunity to get through to the top of the search engine rankings. Even the anchor text was not spared. So Google had to strictly scrutinize this aspect and it stressed that all anchor text links should be no-follow links, else the violating sites would be penalized.

With people contemplating on whether SEO is dead, it needs to be stressed here that it is not. Just stick to ethical way of optimizing your site, and avoid using black hat SEO techniques. Remember that slow and steady always gets you to the finishing line and so you need to be patient. Just abide by the rules and regulations introduced in the ever evolving world of SEO and keep adapting to the changes, instead of resorting to manipulative techniques.

via Business 2 Community

5 Ways Brands Get Noticed On Social Media

5 Ways Brands Get Noticed On Social Media image oreo2 brand twitter

With more than a billion people connected via the Web, many brands are struggling to get their content noticed amidst the growing noise of person-to-person communication. 5 Ways Brands Get Noticed On Social Media image 5 most important parts teaser

Even companies that can break through the clutter must learn to share content in a way that reflects positively on their brand. No longer is it about just being on social media, but rather being valuable on social media.

Here are 5 behaviors exhibited by brands that are successful in truly interacting with their audience on social.

1. Loosen the tie

Finally, big brands are rolling up their sleeves, loosening their ties and bringing their personalities to the forefront.

Social media is about being–well, social. It’s not all about business. Nobody wants to read only about how “great” you are, what new products you have out and why they should buy from you–all the time.

They want something that will make them smile. They want something they can personally relate to. Allowing this “transparency” can be a positive step forward to having more brand equity and customer engagement.


Kmart’s “Ship My Pants” commercial:

Or Delta Airlines’ cheeky tweet:

2. The “Share” Factor

The beauty of going viral or gaining popularity quickly is that it creates a micro-universe – one where thousands (or millions) of people share in enjoying, mocking or commenting on one single piece of content. But what causes that to happen?

I call it the “share” factor. It’s the blend of perfect timing with the right audience on the right channel. When the content is irresistible, it causes the masses to spread the word.

These things are usually something we can all relate to, have never seen before, are knee slapping hilarious, or tear-jerking like a Sarah McLachlan commercial. The key here is to be bold in creating content that sparks an “Aha!” or a “Ha ha!” But never lose sight of your marketing message.


Oreo’s “Superbowl Blackout” tweet:

And Pantene’s Philippines #ShineStrong Ad:

3. Add Value

Seriously–nobody wants to hear an ad anymore. People want content that adds value to their life. Brands are using social media and creativity to generate content that is meaningful or useful right here, right now.

Pinterest, a great example, has given brands elasticity in how they reach their audience and gives them a free and easy way to share their new products and inspire their customers.

YouTube is another. With millions of viewers and vloggers, the possibilities of creating interactive and sharable content are virtually endless. By endorsing vloggers, brands are allowing others to advocate for their products, rather than just themselves.

4. Empower the people

Many brands are positioning their employees to be, in a sense, brand ambassadors on social media. This is a powerful tool that can help your content be found easier. It also unveils an internal personality and culture of the brand, which before may have been faceless or unknown.

Some brands are even empowering the consumers themselves. Lay’s Do Us a Flavor makes it fun, interactive and productive to allow the customer’s voice to be heard. Who wouldn’t want Spaghetti Lays? Right?

The key here is to treat social media as a conversation rather than just a broadcast.

Last, but not least:

5. Consistency

Having a consistent brand is critical both online and offline. Consistency in style, voice and values sets a level of expectation for you and your customers. It can create an immediate trigger for us to recognize the brand and what it represents.

Nothing’s worse than looking at something and saying, “What happened?” or “That doesn’t look right.”

A bad example of this is when rolled out its new site in fall 2013. By embracing a more “retro” approach, they did away with the sleek, modern and confident design they spent years building and replaced it with one that was cluttered and inconsistent with their social media presence.

Here’s an example of great brand consistency on social media (and yes, I like Oreos):

5 Ways Brands Get Noticed On Social Media image oreo2 brand facebook

5 Ways Brands Get Noticed On Social Media image oreo2 brand twitter

I’ll leave you with a quote of inspiration:

“A brand must use consumer participation to shape the fundamentals of what it offers people, and constantly keep up with changing needs. It’s the game of relevance, and brand and consumer must be on the same side.

– Tracey Follows, Planning Partner, VCCP (

via Business 2 Community

How to Increase Millennials’ Brand Loyalty

The defining feature of the millennial generation is technology. No one is surprised by this anymore, as we see the evidence ranging from the increase of deaths from drivers texting at the wheel to Pew’s research that shows that most millennials respond that technology is the most unique thing about growing up in their generation.

I may not be speaking for all but definitely most millennials, then, when I say that technology is the way to a millennial’s heart.

How to Increase Millennials’ Brand Loyalty image phone envy lead

It starts early these days. Source:

Seeing as how the millennial generation is so crucial to building a loyal customer base that keeps coming back over the period of a long life, one important question to address is how to increase millennials’ brand loyalty.

This is a particularly challenging task because, according to Taryn Luna at The Boston Globe, millennials “have become skilled at finding ways to avoid the constant stream of advertising. They skip past ads, block them, or simply ignore the come-ons.” We’re skeptical, choosy, and armed with all the information we need right in our iPhones, making us a slippery target for marketers.

Here are some do’s regarding increasing millennials’ brand loyalty:

  • DO be subtle. This is the most important point and deserves to be emphasized again and again, in a completely non-subtle manner. As mentioned above, millennials are not only cynical about advertisements, but they also know how to evade them altogether. Even tactics such as embedded marketing (otherwise known as product placement), which is built to be sneaky and subconscious, are susceptible to the cynics. Be evasive to evade the evaders. Whatever you do, never admit that the millennials are your target!

  • DO emphasize the ease-of-use of your technology – and I know you have to have technology, or else you wouldn’t be trying to appeal to millennials. Why are products like iPhones and Google’s various services so popular? These are products designed to be intuitive, that you can pick up in minutes. Apple and Google are so ubiquitous that their design standard is what we expect now. This applies to small companies too – those that have websites lacking in flow are deemed less than professional. Millennials are so accustomed to technology that it’s easy to tell when something isn’t where it’s supposed to be, so test, test, test!

  • DO incorporate social media into everything you do. Social media time takes up 27% of Internet usage, and one can only imagine that it would be higher for the younger generation. In the age of constant notifications, you can be sure that buzzing them through their Twitter handle is a reliable way of getting hold of somebody. Furthermore, social media is so versatile and cost-effective that virtually (no pun intended) any company can fit it into their plans. It takes time to learn to incorporate social media into everyday happenings, but this way you provide the most engaging content through the most engaging channels to your customers. What’s not to like?

via Business 2 Community

The Cure for Bloggus Interruptus

The Cure for Bloggus Interruptus image liveblogging

I am suffering from Bloggus Interruptus.

Like anything, the more you blog, the better you get at it. Bloggers who commit to a consistent schedule find that it becomes easier, faster, and more fun. Even the creative juices start flowing better once you adopt the discipline of regular writing.

For the past five years, I have blogged my butt off. I have been extremely disciplined in my writing and approach, churning out at least two strong posts a week without fail.

Until last month.

For the first time since 2009, I turned it off for almost four weeks during an extended business/vacation trip to California, Australia, and New Zealand,

I prepared for this trip for months by “writing ahead” so I could keep the posts coming to my readers. I even tried to publish posts that would create limited conversation so I could focus on relaxation, and it worked — during this month I did not write a single blog post. In fact, short of addressing a few reader comments, I didn’t write a single word.

I was ready for this break, not just from a physical and psychological point of view, but as an experiment to see what it would be like to disembark from the blogging train for an extended period of time. Blogging has become such a big part of my life that I wanted to see how I would react if it went away.

Here are my two big learnings:

1) There is a lot of pressure associated with “new.” I love blogging. It is the most fun part of my job. But I probably didn’t fully realize the pressure created by the unrelenting need to be original until I put the brakes on. Creating a business presence based on a continuous flow of new ideas is difficult and it was liberating to be removed from that for a little while. I probably need to do this once a year.

2) I had a surprisingly difficult time re-engaging. Out of the daily routine for so long, I felt a little blog-dizzy trying to get back on the train. I have a lot of post ideas but getting started again felt dis-orienting.

So here is what I did to overcome Bloggus Interruptus.


The “fuel” for this blog are the ideas — just headlines, really — that I collect constantly. I was out of this habit on my trip which meant I really had no fresh ideas to riff on. So I spent a few days just collecting random ideas for potential posts. These ideas might come from something I read, a question somebody asks me, or a discussion with a friend.

Brain dump

I had to get back in the writing groove so I spent two hours writing a few paragraphs on anything that came into my head. These may or may not turn into blog posts one day but it at least got my head focused on the writing process.

Re-establishing the discipline

Years ago I realized that blogging was an essential part of my business so it could not be an afterthought. I had to schedule time to blog just like I might schedule time for meetings or business trips.

Even though I might not be psychologically ready to re-start the process, I simply had to get back on that schedule. I blocked out time to blog and stuck to it even if I had to drag my mind along for awhile.

Anyway, I was a little surprised by this post-trip blog grogginess and when I am surprised by something it usually makes a good blog post, so there you have it! My first attempt to overcome Bloggus Interruptus!

Thanks for sticking around while I was gone. I appreciate each and every reader and the time you spend with me. Do you ever take a hiatus from blogging? Can you share your ideas on how you get back to blogging after a break?

Illustration courtesy of Toothpaste for Dinner

Mark Schaefer is an educator and marketing consultant specializing in social media workshops. He blogs at {grow} and is the author of several best-selling marketing books including Return On Influence.

via Business 2 Community

FinancialForce ERP Review – Financial Management on the Salesforce Platform

FinancialForce ERP Review – The vendor has made the smart decision to build its solution on top of the Salesforce platform, making it incredibly easy for Salesforce clients to use FinancialForce ERP

Mid-market organizations are continually looking for ways to increase operational speed and efficiency, and FinancialForce ERP is a cloud-based tool that can get them there. Built natively on the Salesforce platform, FinancialForce ERP provides enterprise resource planning tools that organizations can utilize to streamline their processes and ultimately reduce operating costs.

In this FinancialForce ERP review, I will guide readers through the cloud ERP solution, making sure to describe some of the platform’s key features along the way. Because FinancialForce ERP is built on the Salesforce platform, I will make sure to note any ways that Salesforce users can get additional benefits from using the tool, as well.

FinancialForce ERP Review – About the Solution

FinancialForce ERP is an enterprise resource planning solution. Organized into five main product families, FinancialForce ERP helps organizations with issues related to financial management, ordering and billing, professional services automation, supply chain management, and human resources management. When used as a cohesive set, FinancialForce ERP’s suite of tools allow businesses to increase operational capacities and respond more quickly to clients throughout the lifecycle of their accounts.

Main Functionality of FinancialForce ERP

FinancialForce ERP’s financial management module is often viewed as the most important component for mid-market organizations. Using FinancialForce ERP’s financial management features, finance departments are able to handle invoicing, accounts receivable, revenue recognition, fixed assets, spend management, and accounts payable on an Enterprise class, scalable platform.

FinancialForce ERP also provides a number of tools for accommodating ordering and billing needs. The application streamlines the cash collection and revenue recognition process, and eliminates the need for the re-entry of data within Salesforce. Advanced quoting, recurring billing, and media billing are three other advanced tools that larger organizations will appreciate.

For organizations that sell by the hour or the day, FinancialForce ERP’s professional services automation tools are a standout feature. Teams from multiple departments have complete visibility and insight into how their companies are performing when it comes to sales, services, delivery, and finance. This leads to better resource management, as team members leverage tools to eliminate silos and work together more efficiently, which ultimately results in increased profits.

Benefits of Using FinancialForce ERP

As organizations transition from CRM to ERP tools, and different departments start using their own technologies, chaos often reigns. From a customer service perspective, users from inside an organization only see a slice of what their clients are going through. This can be confusing internally, and it can be confusing for customers as they get bounced around from department to department in search of answers to their questions. FinancialForce ERP eliminates the boundaries between departments by offering organizations a unified ERP solution that is built on the Salesforce platform.

By starting with a leading solution like Salesforce, the team at FinancialForce ERP is able to manage the complete customer journey within a solitary platform. FinancialForce ERP users can’t tell when they’ve transferred from one tool to another because everything is happening inside a unified location. FinancialForce ERP runs completely on the Salesforce platform, with a single sign-on and no synchronization required. This is a major benefit that FinancialForce ERP provides its users, which competing tools cannot offer.

The Basics: What Does the Interface Look Like?

Take a look at the FinancialForce ERP dashboard to get a complete overview of your company’s current standing. On a single page, you’ll see an expenses analysis, overdue bills, and information about any large purchases that have been made this quarter. The dashboard is also where you’ll find a list of items to approve, along with any upcoming tasks you’ve been assigned.

FinancialForce ERP Review – Financial Management on the Salesforce Platform image FFE1

FinancialForce ERP main dashboard

Collaborate with colleagues through threaded conversations. These conversations show up in your feed, and they can quickly be sorted by post date. By uploading files, links, and polls, you can get even more use out of your feed.

FinancialForce ERP Review – Financial Management on the Salesforce Platform image FFE2

Threaded conversations for increased collaboration

FinancialForce ERP offers an incredibly useful mobile client, which pops up when you visit the platform on your smartphone or tablet. FinancialForce ERP’s mobile interface works on both iOS and Android devices, and it enables you to complete virtually any business action right from your smartphone screen.

FinancialForce ERP Review – Financial Management on the Salesforce Platform image FFE3

FinancialForce ERP’s mobile client

Support Information

For new users, getting started with an ERP solution often seem overwhelming. FinancialForce ERP has made this process easier by publishing dozens of videos, demonstrations, whitepapers, and ebooks online. Users with additional questions are encouraged to contact the company via email or telephone at any time.

Pricing Information

FinancialForce ERP is a cloud-based platform. Pricing for the solution is based on a per user subscription model, which individual costs determined based on each user’s role within the organizations.

FinancialForce ERP Review – The Bottom Line

Rather than expecting mid-market organizations to utilize separate software for CRM and ERP, FinancialForce ERP has made the smart decision to build its solution on top of the Salesforce platform. Doing this makes it incredibly easy for Salesforce clients to use FinancialForce ERP, and it allows organizations to eliminate the complexities involved in synchronizing data across multiple solutions. FinancialForce ERP has created a single social layer and virtually eliminated the heavy lifting that’s involved with implementing and managing a traditional ERP solution, which is why I feel confident in recommending it for evaluation for mid-market organizations that are looking for an ERP solution.

Ratings: ease of use 5/5, features 5/5, value 5/5

via Business 2 Community

An Out-of-Body (or Out-of-Business) Experience is What You Need

An Out of Body (or Out of Business) Experience is What You Need image peering inAs many of you know, I help out some of my friends at their market stand at Lancaster Central Market a few days a week, and I really enjoy the time I spend there, and it’s actually quite good for recharging me for what I do in my own business. The other day, one of the owners of the stand stepped out from behind the counter and went out front where the customers stand. She quickly noticed that there was some kind of “gunk” on the glass window of the refrigeration unit, as if some kid had chewed something up and spit it out. I could tell by the look on her face that there was something unpleasant there, and she proceeded to clean it up.

In fact, we often step outside to take a look at what the business looks like from the customer’s perspective.

This is easy to do, at least from a physical standpoint, at something like a brick and mortar stand or business. And it’s certainly helpful and instructive.

But what can be even more helpful is if you can find a way to step out of your business in a more figurative sense, and see what others are seeing and perceiving from the outside in. What do outsiders think of your business?

Take the time to ask your customers for their honest opinions on your business. Don’t just go to your closest friends and regulars. They might just tell you what you want to hear. Find people who perhaps you don’t even know. Get their input on everything from the products you offer to your customer service. Be prepared to learn some things that maybe you don’t really want to hear. But good or bad, it’s all information that you need to know.

You’ll want to make sure you wear your thickest skin and be ready for whatever comes your way.

But most importantly: listen. Take it all to heart and evaluate it accordingly. Celebrate the good, and accept the bad as potential points of improvement.

When’s the last time you stepped outside of your business to see it how your customers see it?

via Business 2 Community

3 Ways to Rebuild Google+

Sitting at 300 million users, Google+ is no laughing matter. Why? Because it is Google’s brainchild.

Using Google+ from a marketing perspective is a difficult endeavor, but far from impossible. The platform is similar to LinkedIn’s professional stance, the personality of Facebook, and the politeness of Twitter. The trick is setting up your profile to maximize your outreach.

Here’s an infographic on becoming a G+ wizard for a more visualized approach.

Utilizing Influencers

An influencer is a thought leader, force, business owner, or authority within a certain industry. Think of these people as the ones who speak at conferences and publish the occasional book — these are figureheads you and your competitors share.

Finding influencers on Google+ is essential to attract attention and learn how to maximize the potential of every post. Typically, big names in an industry (the CEOs, speakers, writers, etc.) have social media channels to promote their ideas and keep followers informed. Google+, while not a necessity, is a good place to find them.

Start collecting a list of names (or companies) that lead the way within an industry. Go into Google+ and start searching, adding them to groups, and backtracking to see who their influencers are. In addition, use the following platforms for locating thought leaders/influencers:

  • Amazon authors with popular books on relevant subjects.

  • Use a competitor’s G+ activity wall to see who they follow.

  • Double-up by matching popular Twitter handles with Google+ accounts.

  • When Googling, which Google Authorship accounts show up frequently?

  • Dig through comments for popular commenters.

  • With Google+ Ripples, backtrack re-share stats to find which accounts generate hype.

With influencers, you are exposed to the industry’s top content. More importantly, you have a chance to attract notice and have your content/posts brought into the limelight by influencers. In the end, this increases followers for all parties involved and ranks the influences high on search results.

The Authorship Equation

Google Authorship is a powerful tool for bloggers and businesses hoping to be better bloggers. You’ve seen these authors on search results whether you know it or not: This is when a link is attached to a photo of a Google+ profile. If you click the portrait, you’re taken to a user-specific results page with other authored posts by the same person.

Authorship is complicated and takes some time to put in place, though the benefits of doing so are staggering. For one, having Authorship status ranks your content higher on search results. This high-ranking, original, and creative content then becomes ammo for posting on social media and sharing across Google+.

Sharing & Creating

Speaking of content, the worth of the content you publish is the only way to generate interest. Like with Facebook and Twitter, consistency is paramount and it’s best to set up a daily reminder that says, “Do Google+, NOW!”

Unlike your personal Facebook page and professional-heavy LinkedIn, Google+ content is usually industry-related and (gasp) entertaining. The trick is creating content that is yours. These pieces are either links to blogs you wrote, images, videos, and thoughts by you. At the same time, it’s important to keep up a healthy amount of shares from your influences to keep up the idea that you know what you’re talking about.

Google+ is very much like LinkedIn in that you have to work at it to make it worth the effort. With creative and original content (as well as some work on your end), becoming a Google+ influencer is not out of the question.

via Business 2 Community

dimanche 27 avril 2014

How to Stay Healthy While Working from Home

How to Stay Healthy While Working from Home image screen shot 2014 04 27 at 6 11 23 pm

When my coworkers found out I was leaving my job at an ad agency to go work from home at Radian6, I remember them clearly saying, “You’re going to get fat.” To them, working from home likely meant balancing your laptop from your pajama-covered knees at 3pm. Working from home meant literally rolling out of bed to work, or working at all hours, eating potato chips at midnight. In other words, working from home meant I wouldn’t be productive or healthy.

Three years after that initial conversation with my coworkers, I am still working from home. And guess what? I am more productive than ever before. I also weigh ten pounds less than I did while working at the ad agency. My bad back is hardly an issue, and I’m stronger and can run farther and faster.

Not only is working from home a conducive work environment for my job (I write, edit and produce content), but it’s made me a healthier person. Here’s how I did it.

A Regular Running Schedule

On my first day at Radian6, at 7:30am, I started running. It was the first time I ran since the mile run in high school gym class. I hated running, but I figured it was a quick, free way to burn calories and jump start my day. I haven’t stopped this routine. This gets me energized for the day ahead and puts me on a schedule.

Mentally Separating Home from Work

Running in the morning gets me out of the house so that when I return, I can shower, eat breakfast and start working. It removes me from the “rolling out of bed to work” mentality. I also have a dedicated work space. This helps me focus, and when I need breaks, I can leave the room and mentally separate myself from my workload.

Walking During Conference Calls

Unless I need to be in front of the computer, I walk during all my conference calls. I pace the hallways, walk outside or do laps around my living room. This burn calories (it’s also how I achieve my FitBit goals), but it also helps me really pay attention to the call. Without a computer, there’s no temptation to multitask.

Moving My Workspace

Even though I have a dedicated work space, I like to move around. This small change gives me a fresh state of mind. Whether it’s Starbucks, sitting outside or at the dining room table, I like to change the scenery. At the same time, I don’t work in or near the kitchen, because I’d be too tempted to snack.

How to Stay Healthy While Working from Home image screen shot 2014 04 27 at 6 16 40 pm

Me in 2014 after three years of working from home

Food Shopping the Healthy Way

Since I work from home, I eat what’s in my kitchen. Therefore, I make sure to shop for healthy snacks and meals. I think this is a big reason for losing the weight. At the agency, there would be tempting homemade goodies everywhere. I can’t eat what I don’t have, so I make sure not to have those foods available.

Small Meals Throughout the Day

Because I have access to an entire kitchen, I eat many small meals during the day versus three big meals. I start my day with an egg and coffee, a granola bar around 11am, a salad or small sandwich for lunch and then yogurt or veggies in the afternoon. At the end of the day, I eat a small portion dinner with my family. I also don’t go out to lunch more than once a month or so.

Whether you work from home or not, you need a good work/life, healthy balance. If your only kickboxing class is at 10am, make it happen. You can come into work earlier or work later, or find other ways to make up the time. Take the time to prepare a healthy lunch and take breaks for snacks. Go out for lunch or coffee less often. Without a healthy body, you can’t take care of your family, yourself or do your job. All employers should recognize this, so no excuses!

Do you work from home? If so, how do you stay healthy?

via Business 2 Community

LinkedIn Endorsements Updated – FINALLY!

LinkedIn Endorsements Updated – FINALLY! image shutterstock 177532427

Many of you have grown tired of being prompted to endorse your connections . Many of you have also grown tired of getting LinkedIn endorsements from people you have never worked with or getting LinkedIn endorsements for skills that you do not have like underwater basket weaving. (I do know of someone who received this endorsement). That is changing!

LinkedIn Endorsements Changes

If you edit your profile and scroll down to the “Skills & Endorsements” section and select edit, you will be given four options.

I want to be endorsed

Yes or No For most of us we want to be endorsed. Hey why wouldn’t I want to be endorsed?

If you are a financial adviser or any other position that is heavily regulated, they cannot be endorsed. This has been a real problem for financial advisers. Do not endorse your stock broker, insurance agent, fee based financial adviser… you create problems for them!

Include me in endorsement suggestions to my connections

Do you want your connections to be prompted to endorse you? WOW that is a tough one. I have so many endorsements that the answer is probably no but… I am not sure on this one. I will leave the box checked for the time being.

Show me suggestions to endorse my connections

This is one box that I will uncheck. I no longer want to be harassed to endorse my connections.

If I want to endorse someone I will explicitly go into their profile and endorse them. I have to do the same to make a recommendation.

Send me notifications via email when my connections endorse me

If someone endorses me I still want to know. Specifically, if they endorse me for a skill I do not possess I really want to know about it.

Reorder Your Skills

It is a subtle change but you can now re-order your skills. Bring the skills that you want to LinkedIn endorsements to the top. This has two effects:

  1. Your connections will be prompted for the skills at the top of your list

  2. You will come up higher in search rankings for the skills that you want to be found

Other LinkedIn Changes

There are a lot of other changes other than LinkedIn Endorsements that are coming.

New LinkedIn Inbox

The inbox has been enhanced to be easier to use. For more information check out LinkedInExpert’s post.

New LinkedIn Groups Page

If you used the LinkedIn groups page in the past it has been fairly clumsy going in between groups. Now it has been greatly streamlined.

New LinkedIn Group Digest E-Mail Formats

If you belong to LinkedIn groups you may have noticed the changes to the digest e-mail formats. LinkedIn is currently beta-testing several formats and we will see which one wins.

LinkedIn Publisher

LinkedIn is opening up their publishing platform to everyone. Today, it is only for key influencers. They are slowly opening this up to everyone. Currently, you have to apply for early access. I applied several weeks ago and am still waiting for access.

LinkedInChat Tweetchat

If you want to stay up to date on changes to LinkedIn, participate in the weekly Tweetchat called LinkedInChat. This tweetchat is run by my friend Viveka von Rosen, aka @LinkedInExpert. Her trusty sidekick, Steve Cassady, @SteveCassady is always there to assist.

I know the changes are happening fast and furious on LinkedIn right now. Hopefully, this update helps you keep up with how to create, manage and promote your personal brand.

via Business 2 Community

The Value of Market Research: Examples from the Alcohol Industry

The Value of Market Research: Examples from the Alcohol Industry image trends brands and ethics on alcohol

Why research?

Market research is something all organisations, in all areas of business, can and should participate in. Anywhere where there are competitors to consider, consumers to understand, and business context to work with, research can only help. The alcoholic beverages market is not just a highly competitive area, it’s also a heavily regulated industry, and one with significant social considerations and implications. So understanding the market is perhaps even more important here than anywhere else.

Learning from the Online World

Social media analysis allows for a more wide-ranging form of market research than ever before: scaling up the principles of traditional surveys or focus groups to larger groups of people, and listening to their unsolicited opinions. Combine this breadth with significant depth of insights, and it’s clear that understanding online customer opinions is hugely valuable.

And that’s what this case study demonstrates. Using the ForSight platform, millions of online posts were analysed in terms of a variety of aspects of the alcohol industry. Areas covered include:

How people drink

Through nuanced text analysis, it’s possible to get an understanding of consumer behaviour. In this study, we look at what aspects of pubs appeal to people in the UK, and also at how consumers describe the reasons for drinking alcohol: is it a social thing? At home or out at a bar? To relax and unwind or party all night?

What people drink

Simply looking at ‘share of voice,’ using mentions, hashtags, or similar, will give insights into how different types of drink, or brands, are fairing. Wine or Beer in the UK? Pelforth or Kronenbourg in France? Jack Daniels or Jim Beam in Rhode Island? Once there, dive deeper to ask what’s driving people’s positive (or negative) sentiment towards their drinks: establish why consumers do what they do, and buy what they buy.

Who the consumers are

Demographics, such as gender, geography, age, or income bracket, have traditionally been the way to segment people, including respondents in market research. Here, however, we use Crimson hexagon’s Affinities tool to look at the actual, granular, interests of individuals. Rather than making assumptions about people based on demographics, why not look at who they really are, and what they are genuinely interested in?

Social implications

Alcohol has real, and serious, social implications. There are considerations that marketers and researchers should strive to understand, such as ‘binge drinking’, health issues, and under-age drinking. In this study, we take one such example, drink driving, and look at both attitudes (from condemnation to jokes) and effective messaging for prevention.

Download the full study now to see how knowledge, of the kind made possible by social media analytics, can be far more than just metrics or sentiment. It can be nuanced, detailed, and allow for both the avoidance of failure and, more importantly, the achievement of success.

The Value of Market Research: Examples from the Alcohol Industry image 385529e4 5206 4933 9dc3 93a29766e35e

via Business 2 Community

Bad Advice Time: Write Epic Content

Bad Advice Time: Write Epic Content image 2854340861 0687d20ed4 mImagine the following scenario. You are an aspiring author. You have an idea for a story but you just don’t know how to make the most of it. How can you get into the mindset of writing a novel? What pitfalls should you try to avoid as you progress? What obstacles are likely to be the most difficult to overcome? You hear that there are very experienced authors who have been successful with their works. Finally, one day you gather up your courage and approach one of these gurus. You ask all of your questions and hope, pleadingly, for a helpful answer. The response you get is,

“Write something epic.”

This sounds like the punchline to a terrible joke, but in point of fact, if you are a marketer just beginning your professional life, you can encounter exactly this kind of experience when looking for information on how to make your company’s content marketing effective. You probably have a lot of questions. What is the best way to appeal to your existing and potential customers? How can you make sure your content is converting leads to sales? Are the leads you are getting via your content qualified in some way? How much time should you invest in a content marketing strategy?

Your first step might be to use Google to find out what other marketers are offering in terms of advice. What you might be shocked to discover is how many well-established, well-respected people in the online world suggest, in regard to content marketing, that you write “epic content.” Some blog posts even promise to tell you how to write epic content.

You might find this hard to believe, so here are a few examples.

How to Create Epic Content” – Demian Farnworth for Copyblogger

Key take-aways – You are trying to write a masterpiece, your post needs to be super long, crush the competition with your epic content

“Cutting the Crap: Real Advice for Creating Epic Content” – Francisco Rosales, Social Mouths

Key take-aways – Be edgy/controversial, piggy-back on current events, use a theme to write your post around

The 6 Principles of Epic Content Marketing” – Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute

Key take-aways – Fill a need, find your voice, should be devoid of sales speak

Refresher course – What does “Epic” mean?

When you look up the word “epic” you find the following:

1.noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series ofgreat achievements or events is narrated in elevated style: Homer’s Iliad is an epic poem.

2.resembling or suggesting such poetry: an epic novel on the founding of the country.

3.heroic; majestic; impressively great: the epic events of the war.

4.of unusually great size or extent: a crime wave of epic proportions.

5.Slang. spectacular; very impressive; awesome: Their burgers and fries are epic!

Is this really the kind of content you want or need for your company blog, white paper, or webinar? Can you afford the time investment necessary to create content that is “epic,” especially if that content needs to be devoid of sales speak?

This is not making a lot of sense.

Advice that might be slightly more useful

Rather than suggesting that you write “epic” content, which either means that your content should be actually epic or that you should write content that is good (a no-brainer in our opinion) here are some things you might want to strive for instead:

Write content that will matter to your customers and potential customers: It is important to remember that a lot of the blogs you read about content marketing are written by people who either make their money off their blogs via advertising or affiliate marketing or who make their money talking about marketing to other marketers. That is not you. As much as we all want massive traffic for our blog posts, the more important thing is that you get the RIGHT traffic. That means that being “edgy” or controversial or newsjacking probably is not the best strategy for you. Write about the types of things your customers often ask about for starters, then go from there.

Write content that your desired audience will have time to read: A couple of the posts we linked to above suggest that “epic content” means a post that is 2,000 words long. That takes a long time to write, but are any of your contacts likely to sit down and read a post that long, especially if it is not an area of interest for them? That is not terribly likely.

Don’t shy away completely from mentioning your brand/product/service: Let’s say the ideal happens and your post gets shared beyond your direct community. Would a stranger to your blog post know what your company does? If what your company does is not easy to ascertain, how will your content actually help your company grow?

Advising companies to write good content is like advising companies to make good products. If you are going to put out a representation of your company, of course it be good, epic, totally rad, peachy, divine, and otherwise awesome. That’s easy. The concept of “content marketing” has been around long enough now that it’s time to dig a little deeper. What can that “epic” content do for your company? How do you find the time to create it? How do you measure the ROI of your efforts?

In other words, it’s time to get real.

Image Credit: via Creative Commons

via Business 2 Community

An Empowering Era for Women in Ads – It’s About Time

Unfortunately, beauty, self-esteem, and confidence have long been things women (not all, but many) struggle with. And being constantly bombarded with advertisements featuring beyond gorgeous women hasn’t helped the fight to make all women feel empowered.

Fortunately, several brands have taken it upon themselves to inspire women to feel a variety of positive emotions when it comes to the way they look, act and feel. While some may argue brands do this condescendingly, I think ads empowering women to see their true beauty, do whatever they want to do, and be noticed for who they are (and not what they look like), have and will continue to encourage and inspire women of all ages.

Let’s look at four advertising campaigns leading the way with empowering women and girls:

The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

Dove is arguably the leader in the movement to show a woman’s true beauty. In the business of helping women feel beautiful in their own skin for several years now, over the past year or so, Dove has released three powerful and emotion stirring videos.

Dove: Patches

The latest in Dove’s Real Beauty campaign, watch as these women experience the results of a beauty patch; a patch developed to enhance the way women perceive their own beauty.

I won’t spoil the ending for those of you who haven’t watched the video, but remember: feeling beautiful and confident starts on the inside.

And of course you’ve seen the Dove Real Beauty Sketches and Selfie videos, which also advocates for the inner beauty in all women; you just have to find it and believe in it.

Thank you, Dove, for inspiring young girls and women to own their beauty, perceived flaws and all. It’s about time this movement caught on.

#AerieREAL Campaign

Within the past five months or so, Aerie has ceased using photoshop to alter their (already) gorgeous models.

Retouching is a thing of the past for Aerie; they’re getting REAL with their #AerieREAL campaign.

An Empowering Era for Women in Ads – It’s About Time image aerie letter to girls

Evident on all mediums, Aerie has really gotten REAL with this campaign. Just browse through their website, Facebook page, or Instagram. You’ll be met with encouraging words and examples of real women and real beauty.

Well done, Aerie.


For a makeup company, COVERGIRL has done an exceptional job at empowering women. While their #GirlsCan campaign is not directly aimed at helping women feel more beautiful in the traditional sense, it certainly speaks to women who have heard “girls can’t”.

Guess what world…


Sure, these are celebrities, but they’re celebrities who were told they can’t. However, that didn’t stop them.

Now more than ever, we need to remind women and girls they can do ANYTHING they want to do. And hey, if you’re wearing COVERGIRL, you’ll probably look good doing it!

Ban Bossy Campaign

Not a traditional ad campaign, this is a public service campaign brought to you by Lean In and the Girl Scouts of USA. The #banbossy campaign is rooted in the idea that too many girls avoid leadership roles for fear of being labeled “bossy.” In fact, the hesitation, avoidance, and lack of self-esteem begin as early as elementary school.

So instead of watching the number of women leaders drop, let’s encourage girls and women to want to lead.

Beyoncé says it best,

An Empowering Era for Women in Ads – It’s About Time image Ban Bossy Quote Graphic Beyonce

Image source: Ban Bossy

I can’t wait to see if this continues to gain momentum, and hopefully, society takes notice of this movement, too.

Kudos to the #banbossy team and supporters.

And if you would like to pledge to ban bossy, visit

Four of the many campaigns empowering women to take ownership of their natural beauty and ability to do anything, these examples are a few of my favorites. A true feminist, as I’ve mentioned before, I can’t wait to see how this trend catches on and evolves.

Have you seen any empowering and encouraging ad campaigns featuring or directed at women and girls? Share them with us in the comments below.

via Business 2 Community

Measuring LinkedIn with Google Analytics

Measuring LinkedIn with Google Analytics image LinkedIn metricsDoes your company leverage its LinkedIn profile? Are you using LinkedIn discussion groups? Can job seekers find their next great role on your LinkedIn page? All great questions. And if you answer yes to these (I hope you do) are you also measuring the value LinkedIn can provide for your SEO and possibly your lead-gen efforts?

Here are a couple ways you can geek out with LinkedIn, Google Analytics, and regular expressions to help paint your LinkedIn ROI picture.

Google Analytics is already good at showing you total traffic hitting your site via LinkedIn. These examples drill in a bit to help you see WHERE on LinkedIn folks are finding you. Please let me know how you use and adapt them!

I’ll show you how you set-up widgets for your Company Profile and Discussion Group. You can use these same principles to measure clicks to your job postings.

(NOTE: Job postings need to be on a web page you track with Google Analytics. If instead you use a 3rd party recruiting tool, you might not be able to measure job posting related SEO.)

LinkedIn Company Profile

So, here’s what I see in Google Analytics:

Measuring LinkedIn with Google Analytics image bank of america 300x200 150x150

It’s important to be aware of the URLs by which your company profile is accessed. Your profile is available via a company ID in the URL and by the more reader-friendly vanity URL. In my company’s case, those URLs are


The former can be found by hovering your mouse over your company name in your update feed:

Measuring LinkedIn with Google Analytics image google analytics linkedin profile

With that, here’s the setup for the Google Analytics widget shown above:

Measuring LinkedIn with Google Analytics image google analytics linkedin profile widget config

And here’s the Regular Expression string:


Please leave the trailing slash off the end of URL strings within your RegEx (using this example). You’ll block referrers that don’t include that slash.

LinkedIn Groups and Careers

Repeat the steps above to create additional widgets for your LinkedIn Groups and Careers.

Edit your RegEx strings as necessary… but here are hints using my examples using “contains” rather than Regular Expression:





Google Analytics Dashboards

Here’s a link to a dashboard template you can import into your Google Analytics account. It’s a modified version from Erik Wagner. You’ll need to change config settings as necessary.

Happy tracking!

via Business 2 Community

Gut-Check Time! 4 Signs Social Media Isn’t Right for Your Business

Gut Check Time! 4 Signs Social Media Isnt Right for Your Business image twitter for business facebook stats 1So you read an article one time from that one website and the author told you that this new social media site was the ultimate lead generating machine.

Then you ran (not literally, of course) over to that social media site and created an account. You spent about ten or so hours digging into what that site had to offer, maybe sent out some cool posts, connected with a few people, and generally just wasted a bunch of time.

You may or may not have ever logged in again. And if you did, you had to cut yourself off after 30 minutes for fear of another lost day.

The problem here is that oftentimes people latch onto new social media tools that are praised for “business growth”, get pumped about that tool, and then don’t use it because it doesn’t really add any value to what they’re trying to accomplish. Why? Mostly, it’s for two reasons:

  1. It’s not the right tool for the business

  2. The user isn’t utilizing the social media tool correctly

According to,social networking sites are a top news source for 27.8% of Americans, ranking below newspapers (28.8%) and above radio (18.8%) and print publications (6%). They can be extremely beneficial for your business as long as you focus on the right ones.

There are a ton of articles out there that dig into each specific site, so I want to stay pretty broad. Nonetheless, here are four signs that a social network you’re utilizing might not be that good of a fit.

1) You’re Not Sure Why You’re Using It

This is similar to what I was talking about above. You’re using Facebook or Twitter because some article told you to, or because you heard it generates great leads, or your friends that runs a completely different business found some success on it.

You heard through the grapevine that it brought some success and you want in, which is completely understandable.

Regardless of why you’re on the social media site the real problem is that you don’t have a plan and therefore not seeing the ROI of actually using that site. You’re simply just there to be there.

Common symptoms include:

  • Posting with no plan or direction

  • Posting any kind of content that you find

  • Not specifying goals

  • Not analyzing metrics and results

The Remedy

The solution here is simple. You need to develop a clear marketing plan for the social network, with your goals in mind. If it doesn’t look like this social network is going to help you achieve these goals after hashing out a strategy, it might be time to ditch it.

Now, I’m not saying just because you don’t know why you’re using it means it’s not right for your business. Find out what benefit this site is bringing to your business by creating and analyzing goals. If you can clearly see the benefit or know what analytics will help you after you implement goals then keep it!

When it’s Time to Cancel Your Account

If you’ve come up with awesome goals and found a tool or strategy to analyze these goals but you still aren’t getting results, then it might be time to hit “delete.” If you have no idea how to easily and efficiently meet your goals, measure the benefits and find that ROI then ultimately it’s a waste of your time.

2) You’re Not Reaching the Right Audience

If all you hear is crickets on a social media site then it’s time to exit stage left. Do you post on a regular basis and get no likes, retweets, +1’s, or whatever other engagement terms the next social sites have come up with?

Common symptoms include:

  • The sound of crickets

  • Low engagement

  • Very few likes, follows, connections

  • The wrong type of audience is trying to connect

  • No business leads are being generated

The Remedy

Build an audience by reaching out to them; don’t expect them to just come to you. It takes a while to build an audience and nobody expects you to have 50,000 Facebook likes right away.

When it’s Time to Cancel Your Account

After you’ve reached out to your audience, run some promotions, and you still aren’t engaging with your audience on that platform then it’s time to keep the train moving along.

Now you might be saying, “Hey! People are listening to me, I’m really funny and clever and everyone loves my posts.” That’s great, but ask yourself: “who are these people exactly?” If they aren’t people who are going to purchase your product or service or enhance your brand in some way then it’s probably not worth it.

3) You Don’t Have the Right Content

Different social sites require using different content. Twitter is better for sharing articles, Facebook is great for visuals, Pinterest loves products, LinkedIn is great for articles and insider industry information, Google+ is great for everything.

So, if you don’t have 500+ pictures of desserts, then maybe Pinterest isn’t for you. (But really, the food section is dangerous).

Point here is that content is key in any type of marketing. Maybe your audience is actually on a social site and they want to engage with you, you’re just not sharing the type of things they want to see.

Common symptoms include:

  • Low engagement with your posts

  • Very few shares, retweets, etc.

  • Lack of content to share on the site

The Remedy

If you don’t have the right content for social media sites, then you probably need to start creating better content. Blogs, infographics, photos of current projects, company culture pictures, premium informational content such as eBooks, webinars, anything you can think of!

Social media is all about sharing what you know and giving your audience insight into what your company is really about so creating content that content will cure your content cold!

When it’s Time to Cancel Your Account

You can probably remedy this situation pretty easily. But sometimes your audience doesn’t want to see your content on that site. We’ve heard about a lot of marketing agencies having success on Pinterest but even though we have awesome visual content we just can’t seem to tap into it.

Sometimes you have to realize that your efforts are probably more useful down other avenues, especially if you’re a small business.

4) You Don’t Have the Time for It

You can get away with posting on Facebook twice a week if that’s what you really want to do. Pinterest could be even less. Twitter could be up to 20 times a day. If you aren’t posting things on these sites as often as you should be then your account is going to look outdated and you’re business is going to look silly.

Common symptoms include:

  • Outdated posts

  • Small bursts of activity with a lot of down time in between

  • Losing your following due to inactivity

The Remedy

A lot of social media sites have implemented scheduling posts into their platform or you can find an outside tool that will help you do it. If you can take an hour or two out of your week just to schedule posts for the next week it’ll help you stay on the ball and not seem like you’ve forgotten about all of your social media friends!

When it’s Time to Cancel Your Account

If you don’t have time to schedule posts or keep up with posting in real time then you should delete. There is nothing worse in my opinion than an outdated social media site. It makes you look unprofessional and untrustworthy.


Don’t let trends get the best of you! Just because someone tells you that this site is the best thing since Facebook doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Assess your goals, content, audience and time to figure out if it’s worth the effort.

via Business 2 Community

Do You Really Know Your Customers?

Do You Really Know Your Customers? image paparazzi

Image Courtesy – Trend Hunters

Google trends shows that since mid 2007, there has been a consistent level of interest in customer advocacy as a topic.

With the advent of social media and the amplification of the voice of the consumer, brands who want to put customer engagement at the center of their strategy, are getting more and more serious about nurturing these advocates (like Telstra announced in Feb).

They start and run advocacy programs.

Unfortunately, most of these programs are nothing but “old wine in new bottle”.

What people do not understand is that you can not start an advocacy program and build/nurture customer advocates. There is a certain amount of rigour that the entire organization needs to show towards having the customer engagement at the center of everything that they do.

An interesting HBR blog about Customer Advocacy started with the following question:

Who sells your products or services?

This was not a rhetorical question. This was a profound question. The simple answer to the question used to be your sales and marketing teams. Now, the answer is gradually moving towards customers. Yes, your customers could potentially be your biggest sales drivers. However, if you really wanted to engage these customers and provide them the right platforms and help them help you, you need to first understand your customers a bit better than you do currently.

If you look at the total population of your existing customers, you shall find that there are a mix of customers:

  • Neutral Customers: Some customers who are happy with your product/service at the price you are providing, but are willing to switch to a different vendor when they get a better deal. They have no emotional engagement with you or your product/service.

  • Dissatisfied customers: Some of your customers would also fall in this category. They dont like your product or service but dont complaint either. They are dissatisfied but likely to continue to do business with you. This could be mostly due to inertia (they dont want to put in the effort to terminate your product and seek a replacement as this could mean too much work for them).

  • Actively dissatisfied customers: These are the customers who are not happy with what you do and are also vocal about their feelings of dissatisfaction. They have some emotional investment in the product/service. These customers are potentially good candidates to turn into loyal customers or even customer advocates, if treated well.

  • Loyal customers: These are customers who like what you have to offer and hence will continue to do business with you. These are the customers where you shall find that their investments with you will grow over time. These are the customers who are willing to give you a testimonial for you or your offering. These are also the customers who are willing to go on stage and talk about how you or your products have helped them whenever you want them to. So, they do all of these when asked for.

  • Customer advocates: These are also loyal customers but who on their own go out and talk about how good you or your products are . They don’t need an invitation or a request from you to sing your praises. They will find ways and means to voice their opinion. Usually, the percentage of your customers (if any at all) who are already advocates for you is very less, in the lower single digit of all your customer population.

Now, how you engage with each of these sets of customers is very different. But in order to do so, you do need to understand which bucket does a customer belong.

A good sales executive can potentially use this information about the customer to build a sales strategy around this classification. How you sell to a nuetral customer could be slightly different that how you sell to an actively dissatisfied customer and that would be very different than how you sell to an advocate or a loyal customer.

Knowing this classification can also help your marketing teams define different strategies, content and marketing campaigns for different types of customers.

Knowing this classification can also help your product development team to decide whom should they want inputs on new products from and whom should they contact for a feedback about a feature in the existing product/service offering.

Knowing this classification can also help your customer service team to treat them accordingly.

If you try and treat all of these types of customers the same and try to make them all your advocates, you shall not only fail in creating more advocates but also potentially run the risk of losing some of these customers.

So, do you really know your customers?

via Business 2 Community