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6 Roadblocks to Social Media Success (and how to overcome them)

by channelmaven on March 26, 2015

What’s not to love about social media? It’s a perfect place to gather information, research buying decisions and practice social selling. A standout social profile makes all the difference and it’s often only a few tweaks away.

Thousands of Partners have attended our Social Media Rally Stations™ at numerous channel events and hundreds more have been coached during one-2-one consultations with our team over the phone. In both situations we dive deep to help Partners and Vendors put their best social foot forward. Here are the six most common social media roadblocks we encounter.

1. Headshot and Profile Photo

Headshots are the social media equivalent of a first impression. Think about how you want to appear and keep that in mind while choosing your image. A great photo while winning a 4th of July pie-eating contest is better left for personal social accounts. Business platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn are where you want to be taken seriously and a professional headshot with a basic background, cropped at the shoulders works best. Second best is having someone take your picture against a clean background and (please) avoid selfies, cropping someone out of your picture, looking goofy or too casual.

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2. Contact Information

Have you ever jumped on LinkedIn to acquaint yourself with someone right before your first meeting? It happens more than you think. The goal of your social profile is to build rapport before you meet. Appeal to those who don’t yet know you and use your contact information to introduce yourself before you interact.

LinkedIn has an entire section dedicated to contact information. Unfortunately, many of us quickly paste a company URL into the “Company Website” field or overlook the section entirely.  We recommend paying close attention to the following:

  • Provide a business email address
  • Add a Skype or IM user name
  • Hyperlink to your Twitter handle
  • Include up to three website links: to your homepage, to products or solutions you and to company blogs

Twitter is different. Due to character limitations we’re forced to create short profile bios so, use the space wisely. Include #hashtags for your keywords, and links to your website or LinkedIn page to encourage connections across platforms.

3. Work History and Summary

Is your work history really THAT important? Or does listing the name of a former employer suffice? Think about how you look at profiles and your buying process. If Profile ‘A’ lacks info and Profile ‘B’ has succinct summaries of industry related experience which one make you you feel more comfortable? Keep this in mind while putting together a summary of your professional experiences:

  • Highlight expertise and achievements
  • Include examples of how you’ve helped companies and customers in the past
  • Add a few personal details to bring forth your personality
  • Incorporate keywords that relate to your line of work
  • Be consistent with keywords across social platforms

4. Keywords Matter

If you’re not found on the first page of search, the chances of being found online are slim. SEO (search engine optimization) is what determines how much search exposure you gain and it’s driven, in part, by keywords. Competitors actively work to rank higher than you in search results by using keywords to gain advantage. Don’t gift them an extra advantage by neglecting an opportunity to keyword your profiles. Making it easier to be found in search is as simple as including keywords on Twitter bios, LinkedIn titles, summaries, and work history, to inform search engines what you’re known for.

Think about:

  • The words you want associated with you and your company
  • Words potential customers use when looking for your product or service
  • How to incorporate these naturally into bios, profiles, website and content

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5. Connect with strangers

The objective of social media is to drive more awareness for you and your company, right? Social Media is a great way to accomplish that. Connect with others in your industry and the industry your customers serve, even if you’ve never met. Think about it as an online networking event. Add value to conversations, and introduce yourself. Think about making connections with those you can help as well as those who can help you.

Connect with:

  • Companies and individuals you partner with
  • Business associates
  • Others in your industry
  • Thought leaders
  • Publications you frequently refer to
  • Customers and potential customers

6. Put Your Content to Work

Content is the common ground between you and your connections. It gives you something to talk about and sets the tone for what’s important to you. Posting relevant, useful content on social media is one of the friendliest things you can do to improve social engagement and reach.

Consistency in posting is more important than frequency but often we wonder: how much content is enough? Twitter feeds move fast and it’s nearly impossible to “over post”.  On LinkedIn, if you’re posting more than once a day, it’s likely too much. Try posting 2-3 times a week on LinkedIn and find a cadence for Twitter that you can consistently accomplish. For example, you might try to post once a day but as time allows, add more posts to your Twitter cadence.

When looking for content to post, we recommend a 70/30 split. Most of the posts should be thought provoking and industry relevant, the remainder are specific to your company, products and services.

70-30 split

Ready, Set… Go!

We’d love to hear about your successes and challenges with social media and help you find answers. Please let up know how we can help. Happy posting and we look forward to meeting you on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Photo Credit: photoworkout.com, www.semrush.com, www.spiro.ir
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5 Ways to Step-Up Your Project Management Skills

by channelmaven on March 19, 2015

We know that at the end of the day a channel program or channel marketing program’s success can be defined through its project manager.  Project management isn’t everyone’s forte, but it is a crucial component for a successful program.  No time to take a project management course?  No problem – we’ll outline five steps we make sure to include on each of our projects.

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Step 1, Project Planning:

Don’t rush this step – it will help guide you through your project.  Before the project starts, create a plan to envision the steps to reach successful completion.  Make sure you fully understand the goal of the project and work backwards from there to set up milestones.  For example, when we launch a Campaign In-a-Box™ we want to ensure we know who all the decision makers at a vendor will be.  Does corporate marketing need to get involved?  What about product marketing?  Will we have time to talk to a partner to understand how they want to use this great demand generation content we’re producing?  Also, be sure to include some wiggle room in your plan for any unexpected surprises – you want to stay flexible.

Step 2, Budget Management:

Always start a project knowing your allotted budget and implement processes to ensure you stay within that budget.  How do you do this?  Allocate budgets to tasks/ deliverables, frequently track actual time and expenses against your budget and keep close watch of scope creep  – if a request doesn’t fit within your allotted budget, table it for a later project. Don’t forget to relay to the team members how much time or budget they have to spend on different parts of the project.

 

Step 3, Schedule Tracking:

Projects, like our Social Media Rally Station™, can have lots of moving parts.  To help stay on track, be sure to regularly revisit your project plan to stay on top of deliverables and due dates, and also to update your plan as tasks are complete or priorities change. We also use a tool called SmartSheet which allows us to make comments in the spreadsheet that automatically update everyone on the project.

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Step 4, Communication:

This may be the most important step and should be a two-way process among team members and stakeholders.  Do this by holding team meetings, regularly checking in with team members and providing overall status updates to stakeholders.  If you have a project management tool like Basecamp you can save all messages, files and notes there.

 

Step 5, Project Wrap Up:

Always take some time to officially wrap up your project. This means externally and internally. Meet with external stakeholders to see how they felt the project went. We suggest a presentation showing them where you started and how far you’ve come.  Meet with your team to review your accomplishments, talk about lessons learned and celebrate – you’ve earned it!

Photo Credit: moneyyarn.com, hugh-igc.com

 

 

 

 

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Why You Need to Really Engage Your Audience at Your Next Event

by channelmaven on March 17, 2015

Keynotes are great, even better when they’re motivational in nature. Breakouts certainly help your partners or sales team pick up some valuable information. Elvis walking around, getting in on that selfie…well, it is a conference.

Your team has been planning for months how you can best engage your sales force or partners at your annual conference. When you only have a few days and hundreds of attendees how do you provide them with custom support and ensure they have a game plan to better engage customers on day 1?  Introducing the Social Media Rally Station™. In less than 15 minutes we work one-on-one with your partners, your sales people, your customers and build their online presence and social strategy.

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How does it work, you ask?  Simple. Head shots, social media consulting, competitive reports, and content. You can read more about that in our blog post ‘Social Media Rally Station™ gets a Makeover’ 

Here are 5 Reasons why you need a Social Media Rally Station™ at your next event:

1.  Oh No! Not another Presentation!

Your attendees are there to learn, but have you noticed that by Day 2 those breakout crowds are thinning. Distract them, engage them and motivate them with a social media overhaul. The Social Media Rally Station breaks up the same old with some actual human interaction.

2.  One Size Does Not Fit All

After doing these for several years one thing we’ve learned is that every attendee has a different  need, a different question on growing their business, and comes at their business from  a different point of view.  Each interaction at our Social Media Rally Station is customized to help your partners and each person take their social media presence to the next level.   Let’s make your profile complete so your customers can find a professional online presence. Expert on LinkedIn?  Let’s talk about twitter.  Social media guru? Let’s move to Search Engine Optimization or run a Channel Maven Social Intelligence Report  to see how you stack up against the competition.

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3.  Their Success is Your Success

Those attendees whether a partner, sales person, or customer certainly influence your business.  When they are more successful, you are more successful.  By ensuring they have the tools they need to make a good impression online and can easily promote your solutions on their websites, their profiles and their social posts they will become your megaphone and gain more business for both of you.

4.  Gain Traction for your Partner Resources

We’ve all done it.  Spend months and millions building a program or platform for partners to leverage and there’s no adoption.  It’s not that they don’t want it, it’s most likely that they don’t know about it, or heard about it when they were busy doing something else and never signed up.  Once they sign up, they’re that much more likely to use the program or platform. Use the  Social Media Rally Station to inform your audiences of your program.

5.  Get more Exposure for Your Event

We don’t call it the Social Media RALLY Station for nuthin’.  While your attendees are sitting with our consultants we get them to post, tweet, mention, retweet…you mention it…about your event.  You’ll find a huge uptick in followers and hashtags and mentions which drives more virtual interest and live engagement.

Engage your audience, and help them build their social presence with something more than that selfie with Elvis. Call Channel Maven Consulting today to learn how we can help.

 

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Ideal Channel Social Content – Tips, Tricks and Tools

by channelmaven on March 11, 2015

Finding great content to share with connections and followers can be a bit of a headache…wait, scratch that. We like to compare it to an adult participating in a children’s scavenger hunt – yes, it can be that easy! What if we told you that a week’s worth of great content can be gathered and ready to share across your social profiles in just 20 minutes? Would you be interested? Of course you would! Here at Channel Maven Consulting we use multiple free tools to make this process virtually painless. What tools you ask? Continue on to see.

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