How Effective Is Your Corporate Social Media Strategy?

29 10 2013

Where do you fit on the social media continuum?  Many folks have some friends on Facebook (1.1 billion users), an incomplete profile on LinkedIn (240 million users), a bunch of views on Youtube (1 billion unique users/month) and that is about it.  While many folks don’t tweet (555 million users) regularly, ALL of us have purchased a ton of things online.  Fewer of us write checks than ever before and many use our “phone” to transact financial business and get answers to a myriad of questions.  Regardless of where you are personally on social media and how you measure your activity today compared to five years ago, your findings will be not be shocking.  We have all made individual moves forward.  So what about your corporate plan?  What moves has your Eye Cubed organization made or is preparing to make?

social-media-seo-logos

My company, PFP, started our LinkedIn Group “Where Your Credit Union Goes To Grow” in March, 2013 and the group consistently grows each month.  When you search Groups in LinkedIn under “Credit Union”, we are currently ranked #28!  That is a good start to a very robust plan.   Our purpose is to become national thought leaders and value generators for the credit union industry.  We are definitely on the best platform.  Nothing compares to LinkedIn to achieve the goal of B to B networking.

You cannot prove you can swim when you only have your foot in the water!

We have only just begun.  It is fair to say that our initial foray into social media has merely taken us out of the gate and represents a small fraction of our overall strategy.  When you combine our B to B and B to C strategies, we will be managing ten social media pages via five platforms in 2014.  We have a ton of work to do to build our community and provide meaningful value.

This aint no “Field Of Dreams”…. For everyone to come, we have to do more than just “Build it”!

There are three core competencies needed to have a successful social media game plan:

  • Content Acquisition
  • Marketing/ Dissemination
  • Community Acquisition

Most organizations are unwilling to excel at all three consistently over a long period of time.  If one of the above is ignored, the overall initiative will be off balance and will miss the mark.

  • It takes time to provide meaningful content.
  • It requires work to develop original thought.
  • It takes diligence to demonstrate effective distribution.
  • It takes effort to build a growing network.

You need “numbers” to play the numbers game!        

We need to get comfortable with the fact that “small” percentages of our network will see our efforts and a “smaller” percentage will act on it.  The good news is that those numbers are relative and become “big” when our social media community is “big”.  Like any marketing and sales strategy, metrics drive our activity.  As we develop a track record of actions and measurable results, we will improve the top line and bottom line by focusing on the activities that drive our metrics beyond our targets.

We are building an asset, not buying a lottery ticket.  Eye Cubed companies invest the time necessary to build by executing a sound strategy.  While social media is not a new concept to anyone, for most companies, infusing an effective plan into the culture is pure innovation and fits neatly into the Eye Cubed philosophies presented in the prior posts.

Eye-Cubed leaders need:

  • Vision to feel the Inspiration
  • Vision to see the Innovation
  • Vision to execute the Implementation
Advertisements




Are You Aware of The Social Media Golden Rule?

24 07 2013

Social-Media-Golden-Rule

“FOLLOW OTHERS IN SOCIAL MEDIA AS YOU WOULD FOLLOW THEM FACE TO FACE.”

Applaud Twitter who has made it easier for us to follow the Social Media Golden Rule by eliminating the “Auto-Followback” option!

Of all of the many lessons out there we learned about social media, perhaps one of the greatest lessons of all is:

“THERE IS NO EASY WAY TO MAKE SOCIAL MEDIA WORK. SHORT CUTS SIMPLY DO NOT EXIST.” 

While I tried a few along the way, there was one short-cut that had been out there in the Twittersphere that I had avoided, perhaps by luck or perhaps due to something in my gut that had told me “NO, DON’T DO THAT”.   Ironically, this feature has just been removed and is now forbidden forever.  The tool is the “auto-followback” feature that was available as part of many Twitter applications.  It automatically followed anyone who happened to follow you.

While it is the goal of many (including myself) to have an ever-expanding network of followers to influence, bring value and thought, there has never been any virtue to having tens of thousands of followers if 95% of them are garbage, useless, spam and fake. And for you to follow folks just because they are following you is an easy way to build a network with a porous foundation.

As a result, I always looked at my followers and made sure that I was only following those whom I felt were legitimate individuals and valuable additions to my network.  I manually selected followers both in my searches and as part of my follow-back process.  This took more time but was well worth it.  For now, my network is significantly more valuable to me than it otherwise would have been.  The ability to gloat about a huge network has never been my goal.  Sheer numbers can be very deceiving.

There is no doubt that I have a broad definition of acceptable followers to whom I would welcome the follow and gladly follow back.  However, I am actually making a decision on each one of them.

Similarly, we do this in “real life”, face to face.  We would never blindly support someone and be a part of their personal network if we don’t have some kind of connection to them.  We need to have a reason to continue the acquaintance.  We need to know something about them that validates the relationship.  And like I mentioned earlier, while our standards can be very broad, they must exist.

So like many days, while I opened my Twitter account with the desire to automatically and systematically “unfollow” those who I have followed and have (for some reason) not followed me back.  Let’s applaud Twitter for their “big news”.

If you follow social media’s Golden Rule, you will surely find great success:

“FOLLOW OTHERS IN SOCIAL MEDIA AS YOU WOULD FOLLOW THEM FACE TO FACE.”

Please take a moment and follow me on Twitter.  I am sure we have a lot to share and even more to learn from one another.  @Suss33





Why You Should Act (in social media) Like The Top 0.5%?

9 07 2013

Since Sept 6, 2012, I have been a fully engaged power user in LinkedIn, Twitter and WordPress.  Having posted hundreds of updates on LinkedIn, tweeted 1500+ tweets and written 53 blog posts, I was asked two questions last night:

social-media-guru

  1. Why are you doing this?
  2. Are you getting anything out of your efforts?

I knew I had his attention for about 15 seconds yet my answer was much longer than that.  As a point of reference, out of the five men sitting around the small table having a discussion, three of them read my work regularly.  That’s 60%!  (including me….see how numbers can play tricks on perception?)  I started to answer him but tailed off as he drifted to another conversation.  So I challenged myself to introduce the question and answer it over the next 325 words. (I try to keep my posts below 500 words…now I only have 297 words left). 

Why am I doing this? (And why you should be inspired to do it as well)

  • Thought Leader:

I want to be more than a legend in my own mind!  I need credibility.  My consistent presence and quality content will do just that.  If it is truly “good stuff” (you will be the judge of that), I will be looked at as the thought leader I wish to become.

  •  Value Generator to enhance my company’s image to clients and prospects:

We are reminded constantly that without value, we have no chance for business continuity.  CEOs and “C” level executives want to be engaged and I refuse to be considered a “vendor” to our client-partners.  Intellectual discussions about business challenges (coupled with solutions) bring the value for which I envision.  My presence on the web addressing critical Eye-Cubed issues reinforces the value added.

  • I’m more than an “owner”or SVP of PFP:

I have had a plethora of experiences since 1996.  However, keeping the lessons within my company limits the audience.  Others can gain perspective from my path.   Through speaking, writing and consulting, I can build my impact and influence. 

Am I getting results? (What is in it for you too?)

  • Thought Leader:

New opportunities have been uncovered as my reputation builds. 

  1. Radio Interview on implementing change. 
  2. Corporate Briefing interview on Collaboration with a strategic partner. 
  3. Speaking engagements to industry leaders on succession, growth and innovation
  • Value Generator:

At a high level meeting with one of our top three clients, a senior executive introduced herself to me and said: “Yes, we have connected on LinkedIn.  I read your blog.  It is good.  I get a lot of stuff thrown my way but I like your work.  I read it.”  We then talked about strategy and the future.  They wanted to know how PFP can help them reach their goals as an organization.

I went into this project with a long-term view and did not expect to have such measurable results so soon.  Businesses are evolving and the Eye-Cubed leadership needed to excel could not be more pronounced.  With the goal of continuing to add value every day, Eye push forward!  The results speak for themselves.





Leadership As The Cornerstone of Inspiration

19 03 2013

To Lead!  To inspire others!  To motivate others!  To guide others!

Inspire

Without the ability to lead, we would never have an opportunity to inspire and excel as an Eye-Cubed-U graduate.  And as we learned in the post “Leadership, The Prerequisite Of Inspiration”, we strive to achieve the status of “You da man!/wo-man! Leadership”.  Once achieved, we have the ability to inspire others throughout our lives.  The life cycles we move through present the forum to develop ones leadership quotient and build our inspirational platform.  Have you taken advantage of those moments or allowed them to pass by without personal growth and the necessary experience to be the inspirational force to others in your life?

Who to lead/inspire?

  • Friends
  • Classmates
  • Co-workers
  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Employees
  • Community
  • Executives
  • Partners
  • Parents

The potential world in which you inspire grows over time.  Ultimately, when you reach the pinnacle of leadership, you will experience a time period when inspiration and leadership will simultaneously be needed from you to most, if not all, of the groups listed above.  Imagine the day when your inspirational world is complete.  This responsibility can be considered a burden or an honor.  It could be overwhelming or personally “inspiring”.  People either run from it or sprint to it.  Each individual handles this reality differently (possesses different levels of leadership quotient) and as a result, rises to meet varying portions of the inspirational needs of each subset.

Leadership lighthouse

I believe I am there today.  I am at a special point in my life.  And I consider this an honor, a challenge and a responsibility.  While everyone needs inspiration, it can never be accomplished using a cookie-cutter approach.  Like management, coaching and leadership, inspiration is a very personal emotion.  My children are inspired very differently compared to my partners.  The executives working with me in PFP gain their inspirational infusion in a significantly unique way compared to my employees.  And I realize, over the past few years, my parents look towards me for inspiration as well.  They too have special trigger-points that push them, motivate them and ultimately inspire them.  My leadership quotient is at a particular high point in my because I am capable of providing inspiration in a flexible manner based on my targeted group or individual.

I recognize that leadership and athleticism have something in common.  To be truly great, one needs to practice.  To maximize ones potential, one must take full advantage of every opportunity to gain experience, test newfound skills and challenge ones competitive thirst to be the best and “win”.  While the development period is definable, so too is the peak of athleticism and leadership.  There is a beginning, middle and end.

  1. Your children will not always need the same type of inspiration and leadership.
  2. Your community will develop new leaders over time as your position moves from being the active leader to the respected “elder statesman”.
  3. Your organization must execute succession planning and develop a new generation of leaders to inspire others in order to perpetuate corporate greatness.

However, this is not a story of sadness and futility.  It is never time to put oneself out to pasture and wait.  Rather, I propose two reactions.  The first is to “be in the moment” of leadership and truly inspire others when given the opportunity.  If you have the position as inspirational leader, take full advantage.   Second, and most importantly, personally measure and analyze your inspirational world.  Is there a group or sub-group you should be inspiring and leading yet you are not effective in that pursuit today?  Can you add to your world and begin inspiring others?

LeadershipOpportunitiesForGrowth

As of September 5th, 2012, I have decided to do just that.  If I possess the skill and qualification to be inspirational and lead others, my world has broadened to include an ever-widening network on LinkedIn, Twitter and WordPress.  Other social networks will be explored and the inspiration I deliver will spread over the worldwide web in a way I had never imagined.  I will inspire others online as well as face-to-face in presentations, Keynote addresses and all day experiences.  I will not stop broadening my network.

Perhaps the inspiration and leadership lifecycle has lengthened.  Join me on the path.  Inspire me to continue in Eye-Cubed style.  Lead me as I attempt to lead others.





Invaluable Perspectives from Keynote Interview of David J. Sussman, Esq. CLU

22 01 2013

Do not miss Ronald Allen’s live keynote interview of David Susman, Esq. CLU, SVP of PFP and President of Eye-Cubed-U, LLC

Gain perspectives on:  Succession, Corporate Value, Leadership, Partnership, Change, Inspiration, Innovation, Family Businesses and more.  The President and innovator of Eye-Cubed-U, LLC shares his experiences and philosophies that spurred the formation of a new wave of corporate language and culture.

Click Here and listen live!  It really is a fantastic interview.  Thank you.

Tune In

Hear about these wonderful people:

Understand:

  • The culture of the credit union industry
  • Selling to the credit union industry
  • Adding value to B to B clients
  • Innovating the Insurance Industry

Perspectives on how to become a:

  • Consultant
  • Speaker
  • Keynote Speaker
  • Presenter
  • Thought Leader

Hear advice on:

Books mentioned in the interview:

Companies mentioned by David Sussman and Ronald Allen:





One Must Inspire To Be An Eye-Cubed Leader: But Where and How?

27 11 2012

Re-Introducing TWITTER!

To be an Eye-Cubed Leader, one must be able to both find and deliver inspiration.  A tremendous tool towards this end is Twitter, yes Twitter.  It is not just a useless bunch of banter from our lost teenagers.  It is a tremendously powerful communications network.  Information flows more rapidly through Twitter than it does through our traditional news networks or any other medium.  It has been used to organize powerfully productive change as well as terribly destructive action.  When unlocked, it will definitely further your personal and business agenda.  The key is to understand it, practice using it, and build your twitter muscle.

My recommendation, if you are new to twitter, is to take it slow.

  1. First of all, one must believe in and understand Twitter’s power and usefulness.
  2. Second, one must learn how to filter information so one can receive the desired information flow.
  3. Third, one must learn how to effectively tweet and get information to your network, customers, prospects and others who are interested in your words.
  4. Fourth, take a few minutes each day/week to build your twitter acumen.  There is no rush; no medals for getting there the quickest, however, the rewards for developing this skill-set are tremendous and essential.

My initial goal was to build a twitter network as part of my quest to become a value generator and thought leader for the Eye-Cubed philosophy being developed in this blog.  And as part of this goal, I needed to understand Twitter and learn how to find, filter and productively disseminate information into the twittosphere.

During my first 60 days on Twitter, in addition to learning about filtering the information flow into my account, I have been writing tweets and sending them out to my growing network (as well as the entire tweeting world).  Their purpose was to inspire (a key skill of an Eye-Cubed leader) others.  Twitter is an extension of Eye-Cubed University.  The messages are consistent with those in my posts and effectively promote the Eye-Cubed brand.  The most challenging and rewarding part of the process of tweeting is creating a powerful message in 140 characters or less. The following selected tweets were the product of my first 60 days:

  • As storms pass overhead in Westport CT, I think of how prepared we are for the unexpected. And then I think of my business and ask again.
  • Corporate evolution must take place. Yet beware! Too far of a “leap” will leave you vulnerable and weak.
  • You are the CEO of YOU! Have you focused on improving your personal brand?
  • Good morning! It’s an amazing day that deserves your energy! Where are you going to put it? Be present in whatever you choose to do.
  • Learned today that the greatest challenge for companies is NOT finding innovative ideas, it’s prioritizing them and planning implementation!
  • If you are showing up at a meeting unprepared…. be prepared to have a weak showing.
  • Who is your best friend? Do they know? What did you do today to connect with him/her?
  • Creativity comes from seeing beyond what you see, feeling more than what you feel and imagining more than what others imagine!
  • If u want 2 feel good & get unconditional acceptance, get a dog. If u want 2 improve, get a friend who will tell u the way it is.
  • Inspiration can come from so many places. Grab it when you see it! This hits you right between the eyes.
  • While SELF HELP is an $11+ billion industry, & Ive purchased my share, shouldn’t it be called OTHER PEOPLE’S HELP?
  • There is a fine line between a “collaborative coma” and the “emotional rant”. Today, I am not sure which characteristic is worse.
  • Without the right direction, we could be successful all the way out of business! Be careful what you are asking for! You just might get it.
  • What’s worse than falling victim to circumstance? Being able to see the downfall, know how to resolve it and not being able to lead the team.
  • U are one of the rare few who break through the barrier between hearing or reading something inspirational and doing something about it!
  • The most inspirational thoughts come from a clear head, void of distraction and negativity. How long will your head be clear today?
  • Growth begins at the end of your comfort zone! How can you challenge yourself today and step outside yours?
  • When the energy is positive, grab it! If the energy is not, push back!
  • When a dog looks at you and he is wagging his tail, what is he saying?
  • Make friends by doing for them…much more often than you expect for them to do for you!
  • The best way to avoid frustration is to be void of expectation and selfish wants.
  • No deposit…No return!!
  • Do u listen 2 the words coming from the person directly in front of u OR the stories going on in ur head! The words r real, not the stories
  • Bank on yourself. Make lots of deposits, don’t take on too much credit, invest in the long term and prepare for the future
  • One of the best tricks to losing weight is sleeping at least 8 hours each day! Just don’t do it during the hours of 9-5!
  • Never use the rationale that everyone does it. It is a sure path to trouble!
  • Inspiration is looking at something, seeing it work or how it makes you feel then applying it to you.
  • Never Skip A ‪#Meal, just eat less at each one.
  • Taking small consistent steps over a long period of time will result in great things!
  • Tweeting at 35,000 feet! Sometimes its great to have ones head in the clouds!
  • Statements are made just as loudly with silence as with words. Be aware of your choices.
  • Are people’s moods impacted by the seasons? If you live in San Diego or Arizona, will your moods swing less often since weather is perfect?
  • One man/woman will never be able to move as fast and as far as a team of men/women!
  • When you have a clear goal coupled with an intense burning desire followed by consistent action, you will find success!
  • If its really dark out and you need to get “there”, burning the candle on both ends doubles the amount of light you see!
  • To prepare for a storm, don’t be overextended, have reserves, and a strong foundation. Be prepared to wait it out…as log as necessary!
  • When our children are faced with tough choices, we are obligated to send clear decisive messages to them! Build their confidence.
  • If you had to prepare a bag, one bag to take out of your house, what would you put in it? Do you know what’s important to you?
  • The best opportunities are early each day! This is where you can carve out another 30 minutes to do something and become GREAT!
  • My two dogs are like big pillows with heartbeats!
  • The most important ‪#qualification is an intense burning ‪#desire!
  • Repeat after me… “Today I am the best ME that I can possibly be!”… Now live up to those words for the next 24 hours.
  • Every ‪#morning, u are invited to ‪#God‘s show, (‪#SUNRISE). There’s nothing more ‪#inspiring! How many have u seen? When will u see it again?
  • Supreme success comes from consistently doing the things that “suck”, after the novelty wears off.
  • On a day when you blow off your ‪#training, the ‪#competition just got a bit closer to you…or further away from you!
  • One ‪#hug is better than having as many ‪#followers as Justin ‪#Beiber.
  • Your children’s attitudes about work and/or our business is a direct reflection of yours!
  • If 1% of the people get inspired by my philosophy, I would like to get 2000 of them in a room and deliver the presentation of a lifetime!

I have learned a ton over my first 60 days in this incredible world and realize that as soon as I “master” this communication tool, there will be another tool to dig into.  It will never end.  But the Eye-Cubed lesson is simple, loud and profound:  Social Media is neither a fad nor a game.   It is a necessity for the future success of growing our personal and corporate brand.  Embrace this fact and lean into the obvious challenge.  We have the world to gain when we do and everything to lose if we do not.

If you choose to learn (or you may already be out there), I invite you to “follow” me on Twitter @Suss33.  I will certainly follow you back and will look forward to your tweets.  A world of information will be shared, 140 characters at a time!

If you, your company, your industry conference or team is in need of the best keynote speaker, motivational management consultant, or inspirational presenter for your conference, strategic planning meeting or for professional development, click on these words and see how Eye-Cubed-U is prepared to help you.