My Blog is Dead …. Long Live my Blog! #SocialSelling

blog-pic-b2cPublished my first blog on the 25th February 2014, following that I’ve publish 65 posts.

My objective was to get read, never thought I would get some many followers, retweets and meet so many interesting people. Back then I didn’t really understand what community meant, I do now.

But the time has come to move on. Wednesday 5th August, will be the day I cut new blog and a new adventure.

I’m hoping you will stick with me.

SP_the_aft_lounge_03socialsaleslounge.com Will be the same me, writing about Social Selling and as I’ve always written. No fluffy, meaningless slogans, but real solutions you can implement to over achieve your number, quicker.

In addition, I’m going to invite the people that influence me to guest blog.  (If you are interested in guest blogging then please contact me tim_hughes1@hotmail.com )

There is a new Twitter handle @SocialSalesLnge to support this community, and you can still find me at @Timothy_Hughes

My partner in this new adventure @Mbrit will make his own contributions as well has support the venture from a technical nature.

Do hope we can count on your support.

 

Tim Hughes is a Social Selling Innovator and Pioneer his blog has become a reference point for Sales People throughout the world to get hints and tips to get into Social Selling; Newbies and Influencers alike. Tim’s 27 years as a quota carrying salesperson, means he cuts the fluff and speaks in a no nonsense style. The blog is not about slogans but about how you can use Social to allow you to over achieve your quota, quicker.

Tim Hughes is a Speaker and Blogger on Social Selling and be can be contacted @Timothy_Hughes or Tim_Hughes1@hotmail.com or contact me at LinkedIn

 

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Twitter – The Power of 3 Technique #SocialMedia #SocialSelling

the-power-of-3I’ve been on Twitter since April 2009 and in that time I’ve been able to create a community an with an amazing bunch of followers.

This is one of many articles about how I use Twitter, my intention is to help you and maybe help you, get more, from what is a great modern medium.

 

Twitter 4The Power of 3

I’ve written many times about the power of Twitter for engagement, the expansion of ideas, debate and learning from meeting strangers and making friends alike.

Twitter should be a two way dialogue. Tweet something and people will make a comment or better still, start a conversation.

During my Twitter travels I often come across somebodies Twitter profile. It is always interesting to read a person’s Advatar and see their last few Tweets.

Automated tweetsBut People Let Themselves Down

Too often when I look at a person’s profile, last few Tweets are full of automated messages, Corporate “let’s throw something at the wall and hope it sticks” Tweets or conversations where I don’t understand the context.  I’m sure that is meaningful to them, but not meaningful to me.

Your Twitter Profile reflects You

Sorry but I treat a person’s profile, like I treat mine. It is an extension of myself.  When I visit your profile, I get a feel for the type of person you are.

retweet-viralSorry But I Never say Thank You, I Retweet (RT)

Many people say Thank You on Twitter and there is nothing wrong in doing that.  I never do, or rarely do, sorry but after hitting 30,000 followers something had to give. I try and answer all conversations and comment personally and that takes a lot of time.
My way of saying Thank You is to Retweet somebody. For me, that is the biggest (flattering) thing you can do on Twitter.

Thank you tweetSo What is the Power of 3?

Whenever I sit down and work through the interactions on my Twitter accounts, I will always try and finishing by leaving 3 Tweets / 3 Pieces of Content at the top of my Twitter stream.  It does not matter how many conversations I’ve had, if you come and look at my profile, there should be content.  A reflection of me.  Better still, content you will feel to interact or even Re-tweet.

Turning round what i said above. If anybody visits my Twitter profile, it should have something interesting for that viewer. No conversations and any follower will know I don’t do “Corporate Boring stuff” and no boring automated Tweets asking you to like my Facebook page.  Stuff you it will hopefully want to interact with or even RT.

Men are silhouetted against a video screen with a Twitter logo as he poses with a Samsung S4 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of ZenicaRemember Your Twitter Profile Reflects Me and You

Twitter is the ultimate in democracy, tomorrow everybody can unfollow me. By following me everyday people “vote for me”.  When people, prospective followers and myself visit your Twitter profile, what is it do you want to be famous for?

The Power of 3, may take some organisation and a little effort, but the benefits in terms of growing your own platform and community, should pay off.

Hope you enjoyed, would welcome your comments on the Blog below.

 

Tim Hughes is a leading person in Social Media, based in the UK. He has been described as a Social Selling innovator and Blogs on Social Selling and how Social Media will impact companies now and in the future.

Tim can be contacted at @timothy_hughes and @OracleTim

My #SocialMedia Contact Points, Please Connect with me #Socialselling

Thanks for reading this, if you want to connect with me or follow me elsewhere in Social Media here are my contact points.  Clicking on the link below, should, take you direct to me, in case of an error, I have provided the name I am registered under.

DSC_0072xxxxx copy 2My Blog on WordPress

Personal Twitter @Timothy_hughes

Work Twitter @OracleTim

chiefmarketerPlease click on the links below to make contact

LinkedIn – Registered as TimothyHughes1

Facebook – Registered as Timothy Hughes (Tim)

Google+ – Find me at google.com/+TimothyHughes1

Pinterest – Registered as timothyhughes

Quora – Registered as Timothy-Hughes-4

Storify – Registered as Timothy_Hughes

Conferize – Registered as timothyhughes

Instagram – Registered as Tim_Hughes1

Strava – Registered as TimothyHughes

 Foursquare – Registered as Timothy_Hughes

I’m a member of Procurious – the world’s first online business network dedicated to Procurement and Supply Chain Professionals, to connect with me click on the link

Round up of October’s #SocialSelling Articles

chiefmarketerWelcome to October’s Social Selling and Marketing Automation articles.

Published a few day into November, sorry it is late but I was on holiday for two weeks and it took me a couple of days to catch up.

Always a please to create this as it forces me to read all the latest though leadership articles by the best writers out there.

 

Might not always agree with them, but how do we advance without debate?

Hope you find them interesting.

The Sales Manager’s Quick Guide to Social Selling http://blog.hubspot.com/sales/sales-managers-guide-to-social-selling via @hubspot

  • Quick start for Social Selling – The first steps.

$20 billion global market for marketing software today – Chief Marketing Technologist http://chiefmartec.com/2014/10/global-market-marketing-software-20-2-billion/ via @chiefmartec

  • How big is the Marketing Automation Market?

29 Sales Training Blogs You Need To Be Reading http://revenue365.com/29-sales-training-blogs-need-reading/ via @BakingSteel

  • Keeping up to date with latest thought leadership is a good investment.

How to Write Click-Worthy Blog Headlines Without Resorting to Clickbait http://unbounce.com/content-marketing/how-to-craft-headlines-that-get-clicked-without-resorting-to-clickbait/ via @unbounce

  • Headlines are critical to get people to read and share your content.

How To Improve Your Email Subject Lines: Top Performing Words Other Sales Reps Are Using http://www.yesware.com/blog/2014/10/02/email-subject-line-analysis/ via @yesware #socialselling

  • Email still work as a way of getting hold of people, this gives you ideas about words and phrases to use to get maximum impact.

7 Price Objections and What’s Behind Them – RAIN Group http://www.rainsalestraining.com/blog/7-price-objections-and-whats-behind-them#.VD6XxUOUavA.twitter

  • Good reminder about what is behind price objections.

Over $21.8 billion of funding for marketing technology http://chiefmartec.com/2014/09/21-8-billion-marketing-technology-funding/ via @chiefmartec

  • Where the VC money is in Marketing Automation.

Beating Lower Priced Competitors http://partnersinexcellenceblog.com/beating-lower-priced-competitors/ via @davidabrock

  • We have all been there, sell value; always.

10 Outreach Best Practices That Separate Success From Failure http://www.siegemedia.com/10-outreach-best-practices-that-separate-success-from-failure via @siegemedia

  • When contacting people goes wrong.  Here are 10 ideas to get you back on track.

Content Marketing 101: Your Ultimate Resources Guide http://labs.openviewpartners.com/create-convert-ultimate-content-marketing-resource-guide/

  • As per the title, a great resource to use in Marketing.

How illusionists can teach you the art of phone-call convincing http://blog.aircall.io/post/98301963731/how-illusionists-can-teach-you-the-art-of-phone-call#.VDZr7pK5qcI.twitter

  • The fundamentals of cold calling; storytelling, being calm and using silence.

The Three Frameworks You Need to Create Powerful Presentations & Tell Compelling Stories http://www.tomtunguz.com/storytelling-duarte

  • Good article on the psychology of storytelling; how you can present so an audience listens and learns.

Tim Hughes has been mentioned in Forbes as one of the top 100 Global Social Sellers, he can be contacted at @timothy_hughes

12 Reasons Why I Know Your’re Not a #SocialEnterprise #CustExp #CustServ

social enterprise wordleRecently brainstormed some recent Customer Experiences and came up with 12 areas of bad practice and listed them in terms of how they impact on Social Enterprise.

 

 

1. You are still using Blackberries.
2. I call you up to buy something and it was near on impossible to make that purchase.
3. When I did finely buy something and it went wrong, the onus was on me to fix it.
4. I complained about you on Social Media and nothing happened.
5. I contacted you on Twitter and you told me to ring your call centre.
6. I researched your products on my mobile on the train into work and your website was unusable.
7. I tried to buy something at 08:00 PM and got stuck on your web site and there was no way of interacting with you.
8. You are too scared to make mistakes in product development and innovation.
9. You don’t have customer product advocates.
10. You cannot innovate quicker than your competition.
11. You don’t crowdsource product design.
12. I’m not able to share and discuss my experiences on your web site.

There are probably many more.

If you can think of additional points, please leave a comment with an email or Twitter handle and I will publish again crediting you.

13. I don’t know/trust your CEO, because he/she has no social presence via @ShevINY

 

 

Tim Hughes is a Speaker and Market Influencer you can contact him at @timothy_Hughes and @OracleTim

Influencer Marketing an Introduction and FAQ #Socialselling #CustExp #Influence

Agreed recently to provide an interview to help somebody with their dissertation on Influence Marketing, so the following gives an introduction into this subject.  The artcle covers the difference between Social CRM and Influence MarketingCovering the difference with CRM and why you need both as part of any Social Selling program.

In addition it serves as a FAQs to my blog.  These are the questions I get asked most frequently.

The materiel is reproduced here as it was part of the agreement that anything I create in the interview, I own and can reuse on this blog.

The questions are in normal text and the answers in bold.

Interview with Timothy Hughes, August 2014

By Jessica Dibady

1) On your LinkedIn profile, we can read that you are a Social Selling Evangelist, Market Influencer, Storyteller and Tech Blogger. Could you please explain what is a Social Selling Evangelist?

Selling has not changed, since I started 25 years ago. What has changed is the ability to use new technologies to help us sell. For example, Social Media listening, LinkedIn, Enterprise Social Networks, etc.

When I was at school, there was one BBC micro, 3 TV channels and the PC had not been invented. Today, when we want to buy a new product or service, we don’t call a supplier. We search on Google, ask friends, colleagues and influencers. We go to chat rooms, and use Social Media to do our research.

That means that by the time somebody comes to purchase something, they probably know more than the sales person. In fact they may have already made a purchase decision. 25 years ago customers got 80% of product data from the supplier, now it’s 20%.

Social Selling is the ability to use Social Media to supplement a salesperson. As an evangelist, I speak at conferences and support companies who want to implement Social Selling.

2) From your Sales and Supply Chain management background, how did you profit from these Social careers in your work and what kinds of experience have you take in?

Using Social has enabled me to spread a message, wider in the online world. Often this has been picked up by the offline world where I have gained speaker engagements, offers to guest blog or write in the press, etc.

On my blog I explain how we have used Social Media listening to gain leads and to exclude competition from deals in sales pursuits.

3) How would you define Influencer Marketing?

A primary objective of an effective Marketing department is market place visibility. The team needs to build awareness for a product, company, or other positive change.
But, often, awareness isn’t enough. How can Marketing move beyond mere visibility to engage customers, generate leads, or encourage purchase behavior? One tactic for generating influence is to “borrow” it from those experts or individuals who already have the ability to persuade or move customers to take action.
Successful influencer marketing isn’t just about paying boldfaced names or social media stars. It has its own nuances.
People love to have a third party view on any discussion, especially if that person is independent. In the past people turned to companies such as Gartner, Forester but in the “new world” of Social, a new independent person has emerged that has a view point. The blogger.

Bloggers, generally are not connected to any major product or brand and are therefore seen as trusted advisers.

Influencer marketing is about getting influencers to say “nice” things about your brand.

Below you can see there are different types of influencers, such as Journalists and Analysts, each company may have different individuals to face off to these people. For example PR. Bloggers, may have less influence, but may have a higher level of trust.

The diagram below explains the difference between Influence Relationship Marketing (IRM) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

Onalytica Slides jpeg

 

4) How long have you been an influencer? Based on your experience, why should brands work with influencers?

I’ve never been aware I was an Influencer, but started getting contacted by companies, probably 18 months ago.

Brands should work with Influencers as they have a higher level of trust by consumers; in most cases they are independent.

5) What would you say are the differences between Word of Mouth and Influencer Marketing strategies?

Below is a diagram from Forrester which explains the different Marketing techniques and the level of trust your customers gives it. As the level of trust goes up, the more a company or brand losses control.

For example; Marketing from your Marketing department, is highly controlled. You choose the wording and the messaging. Customers will usually say “they would say that wouldn’t they” and it is seen by customers as biased.

As you move up the graph, as you lose control of what is said, you gain trust.

The next level of Marketing you should introduce is to get your channel to market for you. Again, the charge of “they would say that” can be leveled against you, but often these partners will own customers relationships at individual accounts. For example, they may be trusted advisors at a customer or account level.

Customer advocates are a key component to the marketing mix. Often the people that will speak for you can turn and speak against. But if run properly these individuals can be harnessed to provide input into product development and innovation as well as saying nice things about you. I know a person who is a MicroScooter product advocate and he is proud of the product and the changes he has enabled. He tells me about it all the time and now I am telling you. That, is great marketing.

Influencer Marketing is a natural extension of traditional marketing efforts, according to Demand Gen Report’s 2014 Content Preferences Survey, 72% of respondents turned to peers for relevant content when researching Business to Business (B2B) purchasing decisions.

According to Marketing Automation Company, Marketo, one third of B2B organizations currently have a digital influencer marketing program.

AttendeeViewerImage001-bmp

6) How would you describe an influencer? Which role does he play for the brand?

To quote Influence Marketing company http://www.onalytica.com “Influence can be defined as the capacity of an individual, organisation or publication to impact upon the actions, views or opinions of others over whom they do not hold power. Influence is topical – that is to say, the amount of influence a stakeholder has will vary by subject matter, whether this be smartphones, fashion or finance. For example, an article in the Financial Times (FT) about the performance of a major public company is likely to have a larger impact upon the firm’s corporate reputation and stock price than a similar piece by a private blogger. However, the FT probably has less influence than many blogs when it comes to subjects such as climate change or wildlife.”

I’ve also borrowed this Influence map from http://www.onalytica.com which is a graphical representation of Influence in the online world.

Note: This Influence Map may not cover the whole Social Graph, the reader therefore needs to understand what Social Graph it covers; Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and the methodology in its creation.

network_map_interactive_formative_blog

People need to understand that in many cases there will be influencers in the online world, but there are also influencers in the off line world.  Many journalists for example, work in the off line world and as they see their world published in newspapers they fail to work in the online world.

As part of any influence marketing program, I recommend you look at both aspects, as often there is little or no overlap.

7) It is not new knowledge that Storytelling is critical for companies. How are influencers a good fit for companies to spread Storytelling?

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou

Stories are a way to get a point across; Influencers, Brands and in fact anybody trying to get a point across should look at Storytelling at a technique.
8) I have read different articles on Internet and the assumption was that Influencer Marketing is more efficient when launching a product or for an event. What is your point of view on this topic?

Influencer Marketing is certainly one of the tactics that a company should have in it’s marketing mix.

I’ve seen examples where this can certainly “short cut” certain activities, but it can back fire.

To quote Julie Ogilvie, Research Director at SiriusDecisions and presenter of the Influencer Program of the Year Awards. “B2B organizations need to create better alignment in order to make conversations and engagement consistent and thorough,” and followed up by saying “Companies are thinking about how to leverage influencers, and areas like content marketing are the major causes for this demand.”

9) Have you already observed a failure in the market when using Influencer marketing strategy? Can you say more about it?

Influencing the Influencers is critical to success. This does not mean approaching an Influencer and trying to sell to them. There needs to be a reason why you approach an Influencer, the Influencers needs to respect you and you must demonstrate value. I’ve heard of companies that have dispatched a salesperson with a “standard” White Paper; it didn’t work. Your risk is that Influencer can then Blog about it negatively. Refer back to the point on Trust vs. Control before.

10) Do you think that there are only special cases where Influencer Marketing strategy can improve brand identity?

I’ve seen examples in both Business to Consumer (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B) where influencers have backed products and this has created “buzz” in the market. This has then carried initial sales of the product, before the traditional marketing kicks in.
New Product introductions (NPIs) would be great examples of this.

11) In your opinion and despite the sector, could any company take advantage from influencer marketing?

My view is yes, most B2B and B2C can employ influencer marketing. When added to the marketing mix, influencers can help amplify a company’s marketing message and, in turn, reach a wider audience.

12) When you answered to my tweet on August 2nd, you wrote at the end: “The devil is in the detail…”. Considering your comment, which kinds of factors make Influencer Marketing so challenging?

See my answer to question 9. Many organisations think you find influencers then dispatch sales people with a piece of standard collateral. Job done. Fail!

There is a whole process to manage, from finding the influencers, executing your plan to influence them. There is also the post “event” process to maybe nurture these Influential relationships.

13) Do you have an anecdote to tell regarding your participation to influencer programs?

Took part in a recent Social Media event. A product got 30 Influential Social Media into a (all expenses paid) hotel for two days. From this I gained 29 new Social Media contacts, which has taken my @Klout score from 65 to 71.
Great example of “value” I obtained by attending the event.

The organizers took two months to find the right candidates. They only invited people with @Klout of 60 and above, but also looked at up and coming people and not just “Tier 1” influencers.

 

For more information contact @timothy_hughes

Getting your next 1000 Followers – Using Twitter Lists. #Socialselling

lists

Getting Your Next 1,000 Followers – Using Twitter Lists

So you are on Twitter, been posting for a few weeks, months or even years, how do you get your next 1,000 followers?

Even if you are lucky enough to create your own content, “Getting Social” is about sharing and this means you need to share content.  Which requires you to ReTweet (RT) or Mention Tweets (MT).  Sharing puts other peoples content on your Tweet feed, and it’s great to “share the love”.

Let’s Get Organized

To move to the next level and get the next 1,000 followers requires you to get (more) organized.

The best way to do this, is by using Twitter Lists.

  • Lists allow you to group people by subject, niche, interest.

For example you can create a list for your Niche of Thought Leaders, Journalists, Market Influencers.  All good back ground reading to be a specialist in your niche but also good material of interest for your audience.  Meaning you can RT and MT content that will be good for your followers and the future followers you will attract.

Creating a List is Easy

See link on Wikihow – http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Twitter-List this has nice images on how ….

If you use the IPhone App – Click on “me” at the bottom right

Page down to “Lists”

Click on the “+” at the Top Right

This enables you to create a List

Enter a name and a description (you have the choice of making this Public or Private)

(Public lists anybody can see them and private lists, only you can see them.)

Would you Like Some Ready Built Lists?

All sounds too difficult?

People like @cinnamon_carter and @oracletim have ready built lists you can subscribe to.

Why would you do this?  While you may want to create your own unique lists, why not take lists trusted individuals have created.  Both @cinnamon_carter and @oracletim are very proud of their lists and welcome you to subscribe.

How Do I subscribe to a list?

Search for @cinnamon_carter and page down on her Twitter page to List.  For example cinnamons_top_500, cinnamons spiced up list, check them out, etc.

Click on the List and top left hand corner, click subscribe.

Check them out, they are pretty extensive.

To get that next 1,000 followers people are going to need to want to follow you.  This means you are going to need to offer high quality content at fairly regular intervals.  Getting organized by using Lists will give you that “free flow” of high quality content.