Guest Post: How to Run Your Business Exclusively in the Cloud

Choosing to move your business exclusively to the cloud isn’t just a matter of being in good company, as a majority of organizations start making the shift. Working in the cloud, though, will also become the norm for your clients, who are accustomed to doing everything from holding meetings to managing projects with cloud-based tools. Now, moving to the cloud doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are five ways to leverage the cloud to benefit your business.

Back Up Your Data

Data loss due to hardware failure, hacking or human error are pervasive threats for any small business. Don’t leave yourself open to data vulnerabilities and profit loss. Set the standard for safety and organization by creating a data backup policy. Instead of relying on your own team to back up data and perform test restorations, outsource it to a third-party cloud provider.

A service like Mozy offers varied pricing for small businesses and enterprise companies alike to protect valuable workplace data, while helping to grow their business. Mozy also allows users to create an automated backup schedule to keep their data safe and ready to restore when needed.

Dominate Your Marketing Game

Marketers have long used the cloud to create and schedule social media posts with tools like Buffer. But creating podcasts in the cloud can also raise awareness for your business and attract new customers. According to a survey from Edison Research, fans of podcasts listen to an average of five on-demand presentations per week. As podcasts grow in popularity, they represent untapped opportunity to market to new audiences who are looking for business advice, insights and non-traditional entertainment.

Small-business owners can use podcasts with tools like Skype to interview guests and Audacity to edit their audio. These podcasts can be used to promote your products and/or interview delighted customers. Speaking directly to your target market every week can also quickly build credibility and trust to expand your marketing efforts.

Onboard Virtual Employees

Finding employees on sites like UpWork and Guru.com is the easy part. Figuring out how to onboard and train employees so they can immediately jump into their new roles isn’t always an intuitive process. Give new hires a face-to-face welcome with cloud-based tools through video chat or a group meeting with services like Redbooth.

Next, give your new employees access to online project management tools like Google Docs and Asana to help outline their responsibilities. But, unlike employees who physically work in the office, virtual employers tend to miss out on the social aspects that a traditional workplace affords. Looking for ways to make these employees feel like a bigger part of the team? Combat the negative side effects of isolation with weekly checkins to keep your employees engaged with your business and their work.

Collaborate Online

Cut down time spent on project management and collaborate online instead. There’s no need to schedule in-person or video meetings with employees and freelancers. Instead, use a cloud-based collaborative tool like Trello to set up a visual dashboard that will help to better manage your projects. Assign teams to specific tasks, upload images and videos, and stay in touch on project deadlines without leaving the Trello system.

Meantime, Slack offers users the ability to conduct real-time messaging and upload projects as well as stay on task and maintain their productivity. Through Slack, workplace teams get a completely transparent view of a project from start to finish and can make calls right from the platform to ask questions or follow up on a task.

Let Clients Find You

Working exclusively in the cloud makes it easier to find clients and start earning revenue immediately. Creating a company profile on LinkedIn is just the first step. Next, use LinkedIn’s publishing platform as another avenue to post your company’s content marketing pieces in order to directly target your next dream client.

Optimize your website to attract clients with videos explaining your services and products, offer unique content to prospects in exchange for their contact information, and routinely host an industry podcast. But there are other ways to find clients when they need you most. For example, expanding your reach by signing up as a consultant on a site like Guru.com can also help put you in front of clients who need you most.

Deciding whether to run your business in the cloud shouldn’t even be a debate. But finding the right tools and processes to help run your business can overwhelm even the best of decision-makers. Start by focusing on the tools you need most and expand as your company grows.

Share

Guest Post: Increase Your Social Media Engagement with These Proven Strategies

How-to-Create-a-Brand-Identity-Using-Social-Media-04

There is no question that social media has earned its spot in every business’ digital marketing strategy. The rise of social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn have forever shaped the way users express themselves online.

Nowadays, almost every business has some type of social media account. 83% of fortune 500 companies have a presence on Twitter and over 3 million companies have LinkedIn profiles. However, simply having a social media account and posting content is not enough. What makes the difference between good brands and great brands on social is not only the quality of content, but also the level of interaction and engagement they devote to their audience. Are you replying back to users who comment on your photos? Do you regularly like trending posts within your industry? Have you developed an online personality for your brand?

Follow these guaranteed strategies and you’ll be well on your way to connecting with your target audience and increasing engagement on all of your social media platforms.

Facebook

4 million likes are generated by Facebook users every minute.

Liking is one of the most important aspects of social media. So hop on the bandwagon and click the thumbs up button! It’s important to like something when you see that it pertains to your business because you’re not only engaging with your industry, but you’re also connecting with accounts who share similar interests. Over time, social media platforms will start to see patterns in the content you’re liking and expose you to more related items. The great thing about Facebook is that if you have a particular reaction to a post, you can choose that instead of just thumbs up. Choose the laughing emoji when something is funny or the angry face when you’re upset. The important thing is when you react to a post, you begin to get filtered into a particular niche. What you discover in that niche is other users who belong there as well.

Those users are your target audience. So be friendly and say hi! Put a huge emphasis on liking content in your social media marketing strategy. Give users a like on their posts and explore what you have in common. These users will start to recognize your name and become familiar with your online presence. With one click and some curiosity, they could end up on your page! Don’t be stingy with likes, spread the love and watch it return back to you.

Instagram

Instagram generates over 3.5 billion likes a day and its usage has doubled in the last two years.

Much like Facebook, the way you’re able to connect with people through Instagram is by liking photos. Some users will exercise proper etiquette and like one of your photos in return for your like, but other times it just might not happen. That’s okay though, there’s no limit on the amount of posts you can like, so go ahead and double tap on posts that are relevant to your industry!

YouTube

100 million people take social action on YouTube every week in the form of likes, shares, or comments.

Commenting is just as important as liking for the same reason that you get to interact with your target audience and engage in your community. The difference with a comment versus a like is that you have the opportunity to communicate your unique perspective on a topic.

You can answer questions on trending posts, offer insight, or type something reactionary. This will help increase your engagement because users can actually see what you’re thinking.  They can go off on your ideas or like your comment in agreement with what you’ve said. Comments provide another opportunity for users to engage with your brand. Be social and leave a comment!

Twitter

500 million Tweets are sent every day, which translates, to 6,000 Tweets a second.

Twitter is all about the short and the sweet. Essentially, Twitter is a string of comments. The way you get your brand to increase engagement on Twitter is by participating in the never-ending dialogue. You can do this by liking, commenting, and most importantly, retweeting.

Twitter is a little different from other social platforms because it has a higher frequency of posts. According to Neil Patel (social media marketing maven and co-founder of KISSmetrics) the optimal amount to post on Twitter to increase engagement is 1 – 5 posts a day. Plan your posts beforehand or retweet other authorities within your industry. Keep up with the pace of Twitter so users can recognize your effort.

LinkedIn

The 14 most popular posts on LinkedIn are all about advice in the workplace.

LinkedIn is the platform business professionals go to in order to apply for an internship, look for a job, or expand the range of their professional network. What users are looking for on LinkedIn is the means to gain a better standing in their career. This can be in the form of acquiring a job or the knowledge to gain better skills. Your posts on LinkedIn should be about interesting water cooler topics professionals can read in their downtime. It’s perfectly acceptable to be on LinkedIn during work, so keep your content related to the workplace if you want to see engagement from this audience!

A Quick Recap

Social media marketing is genuinely about being social on the screen. If your brand is

participating in the social aspect of each platform, you will begin to see engagement rise because your account is active. It’s important to keep that part of social media in mind because it shows your followers you understand how to use their media! Let’s Recap:

  • Facebook – Like posts that are related to your industry
  • Instagram – Double tap appropriate photos in your niche
  • YouTube – Provide insight, leave a comment
  • Twitter – Keep up with the pace of tweets
  • LinkedIn – Make it about the workplace

 

About Author:

therese

Therese Palmere is a passionate content writer at Aumcore. Aumcore is a New York based digital marketing agency offering solutions from creative social media campaigns to SEO and web design driven by results.

Share

Social Cloud Customer Service Has Dismantled the Old Marketing Funnel

Old Marketing Funnel Days: In the days before social media, marketers would target key customers and go through an awareness, desire, interest and then action (buying) process; essentially the old marketing function. The marketer would start with a large number of customers at the top of this so called “funnel” and as the customers in the “funnel” were approached, there would become fewer customers, narrowing down to those with the desire, interest and ending up with enough customers that would eventually take action and buy whatever was being offered.

The Way a Company Manages Their Social Media Can Destroy the “Old” Marketing Funnel. Today, we know that social media plays a significant role in the purchase decisions of potential buyers. That’s why the way a company manages their social media can turn consumers from brand advocates to troublesome trolls. And there’s an invisibility of social media that has completely destroyed the marketing funnel.

How Does Social Media #Fail Affect the “Old” Marketing Funnel? What do I mean by this? Let’s say I am a customer who is having issues and I post #fail and the brand’s name. And then let’s say there are 1, or 10 or 100 or 1,000 people who might have been interested in becoming aware of that company’s products and services. But because they saw my #fail, they make a mental note and a decision, unbeknownst to the brand, to never buy from that company. They saw the company didn’t have that customer back when they had a question or need help. And this is essentially why Social Cloud Customer Service is the New Marketing. How customers get treated in Customer Service and when they share that affects the future purchasing power of that pool of customers who might have been interested.

Customers Opt Out Without The Brand Even Knowing They’ve Lost a Customer Because those customers opted out, they will never be in the companies “old” marketing funnel. They may have had the potential to become part of a targeted segment that could have gone through the various stages of awareness, desire, interest and then action. However, because those customers saw the #fail post, they will never be a potential customers. Essentially the pool of customers that company might have drawn upon is now much smaller.

Loosing Customers You Didn’t Know You Lost. The company many not realize they lost those customers. They make still send out marketing messages. But it’s every likely that those customers who made mental note of how another customer was treated, will never respond to any marketing messages and never buy from that brand. And that’s what I mean about the customers disappearing or becoming invisible to a brand. They are no longer available to be marketed to. They will just ignore the marketing messages because they saw when I tried to get help, the company didn’t reach out in social media and try to help. And this is the invisibility that is affecting many companies and they don’t even realize that by poorly managing their social media, they have shrunk their customer base.

Managing Your Social Media Well Can Be a Customer Attractor. On the other hand, let’s say there is a customer who complains in social media and the company is paying attention. They are monitoring, listening and respond quickly and resolve the issue. 1 or 10 or 100 or 1,000 customers will have seen this and as a result, they make mental note of it. They might not be in the market for what the company is offering at that exact moment, but when they are and they have to choose a brand, they are going to choose a brand that has their back or a company that they have seen take care of another customer’s issue quickly and meet the customer expectations.

Not Responding To #Fail Is No Way To  Manage Your Current and Future Customers. The failure to meet or exceed those expectations can drive away new and existing customers. This is why I think the old “marketing funnel” has really been dismantled. With more and more companies turning to social media to communicate with consumers, it’s important to manage the channels in a way that builds brand loyalty and converts users into advocates. Today’s consumers turn to social media when they have a question about their purchase. The way your company manages customer service via social media can build brand loyalty & turn users into advocates.

info2 info1

You can get the full infographic from IntelliResponse here.

Where do you stand? Are you monitoring, listening and responding? Or are you not even paying attention to social media?

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst

Constellation Research, Covering Customer-Facing Applications that Create Awesome Customer Experiences

Share

Making Social Customer Care Great Marketing

Social Customer Care

Social Customer Care, simply put, has become an expectation amongst consumers. Social Customer Care is one of the most important aspects of the customer experience. Telling your community that you’re accessible on social channels delivers a strong message. Your community and supporters are online, and it is fundamentally changing how and where constituents look for support, and how they engage with you today. 

 1-9-90 Rule: Social Customer Care Is Ruled by the Lurkers

I remember when I was first on Twitter back in 2008. It seemed like a great place for customers to express their frustration. But I could see where organizations might not see the real ROI. Part of the reason is of the 1-9-90 rule. That’s a rule that is really an approximation and it goes like this: about 1% of population post in social networks, 9% respond and about 90 lurk (read, but don’t post.) Of course the ratios change for different industries, but the take-a-way is that most people read, they don’t post.

 Social Customer Care Does Matter

This lower posting (10%) rate might lead many organizations to think they are not very many people are on social networks. However, what I learned in speaking to many consumers and even B2B business buyers is that people do look and they do read. And they form an opinion of a company based on what they see. They may not post, but they do make a decision or form an opinion about a company and how it treats it’s customers. So in actuality, that 10% that post is like the tip of the iceberg, where the affect is really on the 90%. So that’s why, for organizations of any size, listening to constituents online not only presents the opportunity to uncover and address complaints and issues, but also the opportunity to learn, improve, and engage your audience in new ways to strengthen – or build new – relationships over time.

My Personal Experience With Social Customer Care and An Airline

I remember one time when I was trying to fly to London to give a speech on customer service. The plane I was supposed to take had mechanical issues and was not going to take off for a long time. If I took that flight, I would miss my speaking slot. I saw another flight that was leaving within 30 minutes to London and went to the gate to see if I could get on that flight. They said no, even though there were seats.

I then tweeted to the airline for help. They responded within 30 seconds. They asked me to Direct Message them with the issue. Low and be hold, within 5 minutes on was on that flight that the gate attendants said I could not get on. I went up to the gate attendant’s and showed them that I was on the flight they had denied me access to. They said, “How did you get on?” I said Twitter. And they were really surprised.

Realizing that gate attendants have rules and regulations they have to follow, I got why perhaps they couldn’t get me on. But I was also amazed that a tweet could over rule either the regulation or the stubbornness of those gate attendants. And I can tell you that, that experience definitely left me with a strong opinion about that airline. And it was a positive one — because when I really needed them to come through for me, they did. And it happened through social media! (And yes I made it to my speech on time! And this episode with Twitter was a large topic of conversation at that conference…)

 Come Hear More About Social Customer Care and Marketing

In June, I will be leading a panel where you dan learn how HP, Alex & Ani and Honeywell not only provide exceptional service to their customers through social channels, but how they capitalize on these interactions as a marketing opportunity. It’s at the Salesforce Connections Conference in NYC. If you are skeptical about social customer service and how it affects the brand and can actually work to your advantage as positive Marketing, please join us!

My Recommendations on Social Customer Care:

1. Start by listening using either free or paid social listening tools

2. Determine if your brand is being talked about: It could be, no one is talking about you; it could be they are and it’s negative or positive; you’ll also want to monitor your competitors to see if people are talking about them and what’s being said.

3. Once you see if anyone is talking about your company in social networks, and whether it’s positive or negative or neutral, you can then create the beginnings of a social media customer care / marketing strategy. But it all starts with listening first. You have to know if you are part of the conversation online or not.

4. If no one is talking about your brand online, then that’s when you have to figure out a strategy to begin the conversation. If the sentiment is negative, then you have to figure out why and what you can do about it. Sometimes it maybe a product defect or poor service. Those are within a brand’s control to fix. And if it’s positive, then a strategy to keep that conversation alive and positive is also required.

Social Networking is Not for the Faint of Heart.

It’s a ton of work, it’s not free and requires strategy, processes, people and technology. And the ROI is very high. Here’s some videos that will give you more info on the business return on social customer care:

• How To Measure Social Customer Care

• How Social Customer Experience and Social Media Benefit the Entire Company

* How To Build a Business Case for Social Customer Care

What’s your point of view on social customer care and how it can affect marketing and brand reputation?

@drnatalie

VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research
Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Deliver Great Customer Experiences and Keep Brand Promises
Share

Content Management Best Practices in Staffing

Often times when I talk to marketers they are finally realizing they are becoming publishers. Most brands started out with some sort of website, though it was mostly a brochure, it had content. But with the advent of so many new channels via social and digital – the need for content has gone up exponentially. In fact a brand or an individual can build their reputation and trust amongst their customer base, based on the content they create and distribute. B2C marketers, when asked in a survey (1) said they wanted content to be able to help them:

  1. Become better at converting visitors on website: 65 percent
  2. Create more engaging/higher-quality content: 62 percent
  3. Become better storytellers: 61 percent
  4. Optimize content: 61 percent
  5. Organize website content: 61 percent.

In the B2B world, marketers said measurement is a key area in which they are struggling. Though, those that used LinkedIn as a distribution channel 94 percent found it to be the most used and the most effective social media distribution platform for placement of their content. (2) That makes sense, as LinkedIn is the business social network for many people.

As we talked to content marketers, another thing was clear. It’s not free. It takes money and time — and that means staff with particular skill sets to accomplish the various aspects of creating, editing, distributing and measurement of the contents effectiveness. As a result of this need for content and the need for senior leadership to understand how important content management is, we created a report that covers some best practices when staffing up a team to deliver on a brand’s promise. The link to a snapshot of the report can be found here.

As you are creating your content management strategy, don’t forget about the people. Yes, it’s important to have technology, but you also need process and people to make it all work!

@drnatalie

VP and Principle Analyst, Constellation Research

(1) http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/2015_B2C…

(2) http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2014/10/2015-b2b-content-marketing-…

Share

The Social Selling Index: What’s Your Score?

If you are in sales, which in some capacity we all are, you really must begin the road down social selling. As I have worked on research on this topic, I’ve gotten comments that range everything from “What’s social selling?” to “Social Selling is the best thing that has every happened to sales!” So if you don’t know what social selling is – here’s a paper that will help you understand some of what you need to know: How Sales Leaders and Sales Reps Can Create a Social Selling Organization. When I was at the LinkedIn’s Social Selling Conference, I was given my Social Selling Index (SSI). What is that? The Social Selling Index is made up of 4 pillars:

4 Pilllars of the Social Selling IndexThe Social Selling Index is measured on a scale of 0-100. Each area has a total possible score of 25. What are the drivers of the Social Selling Index? And why should salespeople care about improving their SSI? Here’s some stats that may surprise you below. LinkedIn Research looked at the people who filled out their profile and it showed that SSI leaders have 45% more opportunities per quarter and are 51% more likely to hit quotas than SSI laggards.* (*Source: LinkedIn Global Survey of 5,000 Sales Professionals, October 2013)

Stats on Social Selling Index natalie petouhoff LinkedIn

Those with a high SSI score were promoted 17 months faster than those with low SSI. Those with a higher SSI could reach VP level 41 months faster than those with a low SSI.

Promotions to Club natalie petouhoff LinkedIn

If you are not sure if social selling is for you, you might want to shift that thinking. Otherwise you might be left behind. Wondering who has already adopted Social Selling Index? Here’s some stats:

Who is using the social selling index natalie petouhoff LinkedIn

Create a Strong Personal Brand

Improving your SSI means that you have to understand each section of the SSI. The first part is about creating a personal brand. I was fortunate that when I began my career I did a lot of writing and established myself as someone who often wrote about the leading edge of what was going on in tech and software. That helped. What also helped was that I had bosses who realized the importance of a strong personal brand. At the time I was a management consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers. The partner I worked for explained to me that the reason businesses buy from PWC was, and it was in this order: 1. Who I was (my personal brand, the work I’d be doing and the expertise I’d bring to the table 2. The actual work we would do 3. the fact that we were from the firm PWC. At the time PWC was a 150 year old brand. To me, having a well established brand recognize the importance of personal branding was pretty unusual and astounding. But I went with it and it has served me well. Flash forward 15-20 years and now personal branding is — well let’s just say — “in fashion!”

How do you create a personal brand. Part of that can be done on LinkedIn. Research shows that 81% of people are more likely to engage with someone with a strong, professional brand. When I was at the LinkedIn Social Selling Conference, they gave each attendee their social selling index. Mine is below. What you can see is that I score very high (21) in creating a professional brand. However, I score lower in the next two sections of the social selling index. That makes sense because I am an analyst, not a sales person. I score better on building strong relationships, because that is something that is important as an analyst. So if you have not tried social selling, I highly recommend it. It’s truly where the future of selling is going. And note that it may require that you and / or your team get training. It’s important to understand some of the best practices so you can maximize your social selling success!

 

LinkedIn Profile Dr Natalie Social Selling Index3

And here’s a link to a paper on some best practices on social selling that I put together: How Sales Leaders and Sales Reps Can Create a Social Selling Organization.

@Drnatalie

VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Create Better Customer Experiences.

Share

Is Social Selling Going to Make a Difference in Your Sales Organization?

In speaking to many sales leaders and sales reps (especially outside of Silicon Valley) they were wondering, “Would social selling make a difference to my sales organization and our sales results?” Having been in the “social media / digital world” for a while I found that an interesting question. But often if you are in the mix of something you can’t see what others can’t see. So I did some research on social selling to back up what my gut what was telling me, i.e., “Yes, social selling makes a tremendous difference to a sales organization’s bottomline.”

You might be wondering, what types of statistics are out there around social selling and it’s effectiveness. Here’s a few:

  • Sixty-five percent of the most successful sales people who use social media as part of the selling process believe social media is critical to their success
  • Studies show 78% of salespeople who use social media outsell their peers
  • Research into actual use of social selling has revealed that sales professionals who use social selling are 51% more likely to exceed quota, three times more likely to go to a special sales event for top sellers and get promoted faster*

Why might this be the case? Nearly 60% of a typical purchasing decision—researching solutions, ranking options, setting requirements, benchmarking pricing, and so on—before even having a conversation with a supplier. Sadly, however, 2/3 of firms do not have a social media strategy for their sales organization, even though 80% of the sales people surveyed believe the sales force would be more productive with a greater social media presence.

So I began looking at the critical components of social selling and found that sales managers, despite the few that are very successful, many are unsure how to use social selling. Sixty-eight to 84% of salespeople surveyed feel the sales process is changing faster than sales organization are responding. However, according to the report Powering Profitable Sales Growth: Five Imperatives from the 2014 Sales Performance Optimization Study, Accenture and CSO Insights, digital transformation, digital selling, applying digital tools, online and social media to enable digital relationships and drive sales across multiple channels is fast emerging as a primary driver of market differentiation, business growth and profitability.

Here’s some of the reasons sales team leaders and members are not leaving social media and social selling:

1. Sales leaders are not moving their teams to social selling.

2. Sales individuals and teams don’t have online professional brands.

3. Sales and marketing teams are not working together as a united front.

4. Salespeople don’t have the digital proficiency to develop an effective online brand to drive more sales.

Sales leaders must understand how to leverage social selling to advance the relationship between their prospects, potential customers and current customers. In addition, businesses need to learn how to make the most of each individual salesperson’s online brand while keeping the company’s social persona intact. And I will explore more about social selling and solving these issues in the next blog post.

Here’s a link to the snapshot of the report on Social Selling.

@drnatalie

VP and Principal Analyst, Covering Marketing, Sales and Service To Create Amazing Customer Experiences

Catch Constellation’s Connected Enterprise – The innovation summit for the enterprise November 4 – 6, 2015. The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, California.

*LinkedIn Research Surveys and Analysis of Using Social Selling Tools Data 2014- 2015

Share

Sales Navigator – LinkedIn’s New Way to Operationalize Social Selling

I was just at Sales Connect Conference, LinkedIn’s Social Selling Conference. I was there to meet and great many of the top minds in social selling and to do research for an upcoming report. What I found was that one of the best things about being at the conference (besides the technology) was to be in a room full of people who are all thinking the same thing. It’s time to change how company’s operate. It’s time to change how people get treated at work. It’s time to change how sales people are perceived. It’s just plain time to change.

I liked the idea of a Social Selling Index (SSI) and that through that one could tell where they stand with respect to using new tools like Sales Navigator and to know what we need to change. The biggest take-a-way I got from the conference was that sales is less about the product or service you are offering, and more about the relationship you are building with the customer or person you are selling to. That seems so simple that it is feels kinda silly writing it. But having been in sales positions before and knowing that the sales was more about getting the quota for that quarter than it was about how I was going to build a relationship with someone over the long haul and be able to look them in the eye 20 years from now. After thinking about it like that it doesn’t seem silly writing it.

Sales and the profession of sales has changed. It is about the relationship. And this is not new. It used to be that way when we were oriented toward mom and pop shops, where everyone in the village knew each other and did have to look each other in the eye over 20 or 30 years. With industrialization and expansion, we lost that sense of personal responsibility to those we sell to and now it’s back. And I’m glad because I feel better about the way the world is starting to go. I feel better about the level of integrity that digital / social and SaaS is bringing to sales. I’m glad that people are accountable and that we now can see a future where we are honest with ourselves and our customers.

How are you feeling about sale these days? Do you think social / digital / SaaS has changed anything?

If you missed the conference, here’s my storify report… that has all the tweets from the hashtag #SalesConnect https://storify.com/drnatalie/how-linkedin-is-changing-sales

@drnatalie

VP and Principle Analyst covering Marketing, Sales, Customer Service to bring about Amazing Customer Experiences and Long Lasting Relationships in Business

Share

Lithium Launches Study: Americans Torn Between Good Internet and Sex: Are Our Values Out of Wack?

Lithium Launches Inaugural Customer Expectations Survey. This study shows how online experiences are essential to American life.  Americans evenly split on whether to give up good sex or good Internet if forced to choose.

My POV: Are you kidding me? What happened to being human? Have we lost our way? Or is this the right way to go? The studies show that multi-tasking actually makes your brain overworked and foggy. Yet every single day we – I – do it. And this study is showing how we are valuing being connected online versus doing something that is so essential as part of basic life as we know the human experience. I’ve been part of the digital world for a long time, joining LinkedIn and YouTube in about 2006. I have been writing about the online customer experience for years. So I am as guilty and responsible as anyone as part of this evolution. But I wonder for my own personal life as well as those of my friends, family and colleagues — if we have gone too far and whether we are over connected?

There’s really no going back, but perhaps there is a balance. We got here, now. And so what are the next steps and where will this all take us? I think balance is key. But who decides what that balance is. If online customer experiences were more effective and efficient, perhaps we’d have more time to do basic human things- like relax, talk to people in person, enjoy a good afternoon at the pool, go on vacation and not look at email… But we have to be mindful about our choices. We have to wake-up and look at our lives and choices. And then make very, very important decisions as consumers / customers. We – customers – need to vote with our feet – and only buy from companies that provided a shared-value customer experience – which is being talked about at #LiNc conference #LiNc2014. That means an experience that provides value for both the customer and the company.

I know what you are thinking. Natalie, you’ve been writing about that very thing for 20 years. I guess I need to keep writing about it until more and more companies actually deliver on it. 

Brands needs to be aware that consumers are getting weary. How can they make the experience better so that they become a preferred destination and provider? If the customer gets too tired and weary, they won’t buy. They will put it off. So its never been more important to look at the online customer experience as a key to whether customers choose your business to interact with – and that will determine the customer lifetime value. And brands need to make sure that whatever PR and Marketing is promising, that Customer Service can deliver it. That is what Customer Experience is – that full customer lifecycle – that should be driving a continuos circle, repeated over and over and over… awareness, interest, consideration, purchase, loyalty, advocacy and referral and repeat continuously… 

The technology is now there that can deliver more than we have ever been able to provide. But does your company have the skills and human capital and leadership to deliver great next generation customer experiences? Here’s more on the study. I think you will find the results fascinating…

THE STUDY

The study has data from a survey conducted online on their behalf by Harris Poll in April among over 2,100 American adults who are online that sheds light on how the Internet may be changing the country’s expectations and behaviors. The survey covered a broad spectrum of online behaviors and attitudes, exposing what Americans want from their online experiences and the brands with which they do business online.

Some key findings of the study:

    • Americans overwhelmingly rely on the Web to research big purchases
      • 81% use an online source to research a big purchase
      • Two in three Americans (67%) use 2 or more online sources for their research
      • Nearly 1 in 10 (9%) of 18-34 year olds use 6 or more sources!
    • Two-thirds of Americans (67%) tend to call an “800” or toll free number for help as a last resort
    • Consumers are going online to request help on a product or service—and want responses fast
      • Almost 9 in 10 (87%) have ever requested help online
      • Two-thirds (66%) expect a same-day response to their online request
      • 43% expect a response within an hour
      • 14% expect a response in a lightning fast five minutes or less
    • People may be more likely to go online to praise than complain
      • 61% of Americans disagree that they are more likely to go online to complain about a product or service than to praise it
      • But younger Americans seem to complain at higher rates than older Americans
        • 35-44 year olds are more likely than those age 45+ to go online to complain than to praise (46% vs. 35%, respectively)
    • Americans give Internet a fundamental place in their lives–and are fairly evenly split on whether to give up good sex or good Internet if forced to choose
      • 48% of Americans would give up good sex; 52% would give up good Internet
      • But age and gender seem to play a role in how Americans responded to this question
        • 57% of US women would give up good sex versus only 40% of US men who would do so
      • 57% of US women would give up good sex versus only 40% of US men who would do so

Lithium has created an infographic that summarizes the key findings from this survey. The infographic is available for download here.

This Lithium Customer Expectations Survey from Nielsen reflects similar research findings Lithium uncovered in a Millward Brown study last October regarding customer expectations unique to their Twitter experiences. A summary of that study is available online athttp://www.lithium.com/company/news-room/press-releases/2013/consumers-will-punish-brands-that-fail-to-respond-on-twitter-quickly

Connect with me on Twitter at @DrNatalie and let me know what you think!
Skype: drnatalie007 | LinkedIn | Google+

Catch my latest:
• Thoughts at www.DrNatalieNews.com 
• Upcoming book series: “7 Steps To Digital Customer Experience Mastery” (working title) 

SAVE THE DATE!
Constellation’s 4th Annual Connected Enterprise 
The Executive Innovation Conference | October 29th-31st

Half Moon Bay, CA | Ritz Carlton

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
Share

The Social Consumer – An Interview WIth Mike Krigsman and Vala Afshar at the NMX Conference

I had the opportunity to interview Mike Krigsman and Vala Afshar at the NMX Conference about their views on the intersection of the social consumer and businesses. What do businesses need to understand about the social consumer? What mistakes are they making? And what does it look like when business do a great job of interacting with the social consumer. These two experts share their insights with me.

About the interviewees:
Vala is the Chief Customer Officer and CMO at Enterasys which is a Siemens Enterprise company. A critical component of Siemens Enterprise Communications, Enterasys answers the challenge, bringing a new level of intelligence to IT, with solutions that include wired and wireless network infrastructure, advanced security, and network management. He is also an author, Inventor, Blogger and his posts can be see at: huffingtonpost.com/vala-afshar/

Vala can be found on twitter at: @ValaAfshar

Mike Krigsman provides strategy consulting, writes about CIO issues and the cloud for ZDNet and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.
Mike can be found on Twitter at @mkrigsman

At Social Business Builders,
we work with brands & software companies to deliver increased revenue and decreased costs.
Our Motto? Learn. Share. Grow!

@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff
310-919-8467

Want to see how to get an ROI from Social Media? Check out these fun videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media
Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Here’s My book on How Businesses can Drive Sales on Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Want to get more info on the business use of social media? Connect with me here:
Twitter:
 @drnatalie
LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
G+ : Google Plus posts
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/natalie.petouhoff

Enhanced by Zemanta
Share