#Bufferchat: The Art of Storytelling

bufferchat

My recap of the 2/8/2017 #Bufferchat hosted by @buffer.  Join the conversation every Wednesday at 12pm EST.

Q1: In your opinion, what are the fundamentals of a great story?

  • A great story is one that others can relate to and are inspired by
  • A great story teaches a lesson & inspires

Q2: Why infuse storytelling into marketing?

  • Add storytelling to marketing to help build a bridge to the customer – help them relate to you
  • Storytelling helps customers take the journey with you
  • Storytelling differentiates your brand from the pack – you are not simply pushing info or broadcasting brand info

Q3: What kind of content can you create to tell stories? What forms can stories take?

  • Video, video, video
  • Infographics are great storytellers that are easily digested
  • Tweetchats allow participants to contribute to the story

Q4: What are tips for making sure your brand voice is heard through your storytelling?

  • Don’t simply tell your story, respond to comments and engage
  • Tell a story how your brand helped a customer succeed – or better yet, invite a customer to do it

Q5: How can you involve your audience/customers in your storytelling?

  • Invite them to tell a story – how did you help them be successful
  • Invite customers into community focus groups to discuss products, issues, and solutions
  • Make the customer the star of the story, rather than your brand

Q6: Which companies or personal brands do a great job at telling stories, and how?

Q7: What makes someone a great storyteller?

  • They build trust right away
  • You can relate to them
  • A great storyteller DOES NOT lecture or talk down to you – you feel engaged

Here is a video example of storytelling content from my community: the customer telling their amazing story.  Boston Engineering – Reverse Engineer 20 Million Years of Biological Evolution:

Thanks for reading – I look forward to you comments and hope to see you at the next #bufferchat.

Cheers,

Toby

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#TwitterSmarter: Tips to Rock Your B2B Social Media Marketing

twittersmarter

My recap of the 1/19/2017 #TwitterSmarter hosted by @MadalynSklar &   Join the conversation every Thursday at 1pm EST.

: If you could have anyone in the world mentor you, who would it be?

Q1: How can B2B companies benefit from incorporating social media in their marketing strategy?

  • Social not only gives B2B reach, but allows companies to show how they are different from their competition
  • It increases knowledge share and creates educated customers
  • Social increases interaction, interaction builds trust, trust = relationships & SALES

Q2: How can social media help B2B companies with their global presence and outreach?

  • Social provide reach that enables you to connect with potential customers
  • Social allows you to easily tailor your message to your customer (no matter culture or platform)

Q3: How can you create memorable content on social media to help your brand visibility?

  • Create content that help your customer use your product better – tips & tricks – best practices
  • Create content that helps your customer before speaking about your brand

Q4: How can social media help you craft your unique brand messaging?

  • Social allows you to listen to what your target (and existing) customers are talking about
  • After listening to and learning from your customers, create content that fills that need
  • Listen to what your customer’s pain points are
  • Social allows your customers to complain to you (think community), rather than rant on a 3rd party platform
  • Social gives your salespeople content to open discussions – rather than: “I’m calling to check in”

Q5: How can you measure the success of your social media marketing for B2B companies?

  • Measure with utm codes within links and track via Google Analytics
  • Measure traffic to your site or electronic storefront – Discussions within your community – Blog subscriptions

Q6: How can social media be a competitive advantage for B2B companies?

  • Many use Social, few use it well
  • Just as you need to prove your brand / product is different – you need to do the same with your Social efforts
  • Don’t use Social because “everyone does,” find and utilize the platforms your customers are using

Thank you for reading – hope to see you at #TwitterSmarter soon and I look forward to your comments.  When embarking on your Social campaign, ensure you have the right lines in the water to balance reach with engagement.  This blog sums up this chat topic.

Best,

Toby

#Bufferchat: Building an Emergent Organization

bufferchat

My recap of the 1/18/2017 #Bufferchat hosted by @buffer & @theready.  Join the conversation every Wednesday at 12pm EST.

Icebreaker: If you could pick any workplace perk, what would it be?

  • Onsite dry cleaning would be an awesome workplace perk
  • Tasty snacks & really awesome coffee

Q1: In these constantly changing times, what does it look like for a company to embrace a forward-thinking, emergent mindset?

  • Judging and rewarding employees by meeting goals and not simply face-time.
  • It’s not the hours you put in, but what you put in the hours
  • Providing your employees with the best technology to help them be productive:

Q2: How have the needs of organizations changed as technology has evolved?

  • Customers EXPECT acknowledgement and answers quicker
  • Employees to be always available
  • Technology saavy employees who are willing to open to change

Q3: What are signs that a company needs to make a change in how it functions?

  • When leadership says: “We’ve ALWAYS done it that way”
  • If Employee turnover rockets
  • If you still use a fax machine

Q4: What are ways for a company to begin to make positive shifts in how it operates?

  • Talk to your front lines: they are in touch with your customers
  • Executive participation with your company’s community
  • Executives living their philosophies and not just preach them – your employees want to follow your lead

Q5: In your opinion, what’s the most important change an organization can make to help them thrive in the future?

  • Tear down silos – make your organization as horizontal as possible – we all have the same company on our badge
  • Connect with your employees – make them owners and show how they contribute to success
  • Communicate and be transparent to your employees and customers
  • If you take employee surveys: give feedback and actually implement some of their suggestions

Q6: How can organizations support modern career growth?

  • Training and seminars
  • Send employees to industry specific shows
  • Encourage employees participate in tweetchats

Q7: What are your favorite resources about the future of work, organizational transformation, and/or emergent companies?

  • Communities and Tweetchats

Bonus! How would you summarize today’s discussion in one tweet?

  • Listen, learn, change, adapt – There is always a better way; find it.

Thanks for reading! Please join me @buffer @ariellemargot and a host of fine folks at the next chat.

Cheers,

Toby

 

#HootChat – Content creation with limited resources

Hootchat

My recap of the 8/18 #HootChat hosted by @hootsuite & @iraa.  Join the conversation every Thursday at 3pm EST.

Q1. What is content marketing?

  • Content Marketing is customer centric – News they can use
  • Content Marketing is not talking about your brand – it is tailoring information your customers value
  • Content Marketing helps your customers educate themselves

Q2. What are some goals of content marketing?

Q3. Why is content marketing hard for a small team?

  • It takes time to find and create creative and educational content
  • I utilize customer-generated – saves time and is trusted
  • Sometimes a small team is more focused

Q4. What can a small team do to create engaging content?

  • Utilize customer-generated or 3rd party content to supplement your own

Q5. What are audience personas and how should they affect your content creation?

  • Before starting your content creation, better understand what your customers value or you will fail
  • Is your audience the C-suite or the front lines? Best know as it changes the tone and length of your content
  • Audience personas tell you what they value and want to read / learn about

Q6. What can teams do to extend the life of their current content?

  • Update and refresh documents / videos / blogs as needed
  • Utilizing a different Social Channel will help you repurpose content

Q7. Where do teams go wrong when creating content?

  • They focus on their message rather than what is interesting to the customer
  • Forcing customers to fill out a survey or form before they can view the content
  • Using too many Social Channels and not using any of them correctly
  • Not allowing or responding to comments or questions from customers

Looking forward to collaborating with you at the next #Hootchat!

 

Communities ARE Social Media

SocialandCommunity

There is confusion about the relation between these two and the misunderstanding that communities are not social media.  Not so.  Social Media is a form of electronic communication that consists of different platforms; communities are one of those platforms.  How do you want to engage?

Social Media defined by  Merriam Webster:

Forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content.

Online Communities defined by  CommonCraft.com:

An online community is a group of people with common interests who use the Internet (web sites, email, instant messaging, etc) to communicate, work together and pursue their interests over time.

Social networks like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook are fun and sexy: they are used for social listening, brand promotion, and limited customer engagement.  Communities are electronic Town Halls that enable conversations and deeper engagement: customers provide feedback, comments, and questions; brands have obligation to respond.

No matter brand promotion, customer service, or customer engagement, you must understand your audience: what networks are they using, and where you are comfortable engaging.  As with anything: you need the right tool for the right job.  For social media, you need the right network to reach customers and have the right conversations. Communities are social media.

Where do your conversations happen?

Cheers,

Toby

 

 

Give Back – Pay It Forward

GiveBack

Last weekend I had the pleasure of returning to my high school alma mater, Pomfret School, to participate in their Career Expo.  I spoke to students about networking and the importance of building and protecting a social brand.  It was wonderful to share a topic I am so passionate about and give back to a place that has given me so much.  Eyes popped open.

Many use social networks and most of them do not realize the important of their personal brand and how easy it is to destroy it.  Your social media brand is one without context: a third party gives you a look and makes a decision based on the pictures you post and the comments you make.   I am not going into my entire presentation, but here are two of my slides that I believe offer some fantastic social guidance.

Brand

social

I would love to discuss any and all aspects of social media and personal branding with you; please contact me.  The larger point of this blog is to give back to people and organizations that have touched you.  Writing a check will always be appreciated, but your time, knowledge, and experience is much more valuable.  Give back & pay it forward.

Best,

Toby

My Workstyle – Lead & Inspire

Simon

I often get asked: “What makes you tick and how do you motivate others?”  These are my four principals; I would love to discuss them further with you.

Collaborate, Question, Understand

  • Ask: Is this the best way and why?
  • Remove silos & work towards a common goal
  • Understand goals, expectations & what equals success

Manage people not spreadsheets

  • Encourage and empower
  • Ensure my message is understood
  • Numbers are easy to manage, people are not
  • Metrics are guardrails that ensure you are on track

Be a customer advocate

  • Have a win-win outlook
  • Do not hide behind bad policy
  • Help them navigate your processes
  • Be their partner and make life easier

Engagement over membership

  • Rather than 100,000 members, achieve a 90% answer rate
  • 75% of content / answers are customer driven
  • Without engagement, you have a list, not a community

How do you manage, motivate, and keep your team on track?  I welcome your comments and questions.

Best,

Toby