Win More Business: Tap Into Conversational Search Using Twitter

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Courtesy Albert Einstein Wikiquote King of Observation

Chris Brogan’s latest post “How Hotels Can Win More Business Travel” is a look at how all social media marketers, social media consultants, entrepreneurs, and large companies should be looking at applying social media networks to their challenges. Implementing new processes in order to meet a business challenge is often a matter of observing and re-engineering. In Chris’s post, search is the main tool with an open mind to possibilities. Let’s take a look at 3 of Chris’s steps.

While Chris addresses hotels, I will plug in his first 3 Steps for restaurants:

1. Get Aggressive with Search: Chris utilized a Twitter search that found conversations surrounding lodging in Austin, Texas for the SXSW conference. He found folks who were having a problem finding accommodations.  Chris’s idea: “If I were an Austin, TX hotel property with open beds, I’d go after each and every one of them with a rate quote and an easy link to make the reservation.

Restaurant’s Strategy: (dg) If I were a Austin area restaurant, I would also tap into these travel conversations on Twitter. Here is how I would engage:

A.) Welcome each traveler to Austin

B.) Promote Hotel(s) that you wish to partner with by tweeting their facilities with a link to reservations with contact information

C.) Welcome them to my restaurant with an added incentive, give away, or special that makes them feel compelled to investigate

2. Improve Your Concierge Service: Chris’s idea here is simple yet few are doing it. He talks about chronicling and then databasing a travelers tendancies, wants, and needs. “How hard would it be to database your guests a little bit, and start to understand their recurring business travel needs? How difficult would it be to share them across properties?

Restaurant’s Strategy: (dg) Like inventory control when chef’s order their supplies, a customer’s preferences for dishes would be a database that could be very impressive to both local and business travelers.  With these tendencies, a restaurant could Tweet specials, special nights, or offers with confidence. Create a database of your customers.

Real Strategy to Connect: At the restaurant location, offer them the opportunity to actually login and sign up to be your fan on Facebook and connect on Twitter. This is the next generation version of those stale paper “How Did We Do” evaluation forms so many restaurants use.

3. Get Aggressive with Offers: CB “Right now, there’s no reason why not to build incentives into property loyalty. Hotels.com has a book 10 nights through them, get 1 night free (without any loyalty required to any particular chain). It’s a really clever offer. It could be countered easily and retain chain loyalty fairly easily.”

Restaurant’s Strategy: Due to the economic crisis we all face, eating out today is often a luxury for most people. Restaurant’s should consider leveraging their food as a commodity by offering special value items, menus, or incentives. Granted many restaurants offer value but do they do this strategically? Often the value offer is something that is seen as less value and more fluff. The free dessert, apertif, or side dish just isn’t going to get it in today’s world.

Restaurants must give something their customers actually want and give it to them with the idea that they can make up the costs in return visits, alcohol sales, and viral marketing word of mouth.

Social Media Decision Tree Tips for Realtors and Brokers

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Chris Brogan President New Marketing Labs

Chris Brogan one of the best social media experts inspired me to write this article aimed at helping  Realtors and Brokers understand the social media decision tree. In Chris’s article “Social Media Decision Tree” he makes two very important points:

  1. “Coming up with a one-size fits all strategy for dragging companies into social media is just goofy.”
  2. “It’s not all about the conversation. It’s not a matter of whether you get it or don’t. Like all things, it’s finding what works, building from a foundation, measuring progress, and adapting to new situations.”

Takeaways:

  • There is NO one right way to utilize social media networks and tools. There is only what’s right for you
  • Experiment and find what works best for you. Experiment by listening first

Realtor-Broker Social Media Decision Tree: Yes or No

Q: Should you or your company blog?

A: Yes! I believe that all Realtors and Brokers should blog considering the fact that anywhere from 60%+ of consumers begin their search for real estate or real estate related service online by searching on Google.

A: No! If you do not have a plan and strategy then blogging is useless and in some cases detrimental.

Q: Should you be on Activerain.com?

A: Yes! ActiveRain.com is the most robust social media site specifically built for the real estate community. If you are not networking, communicating, collaborating, and educating your peers and consumers on Active Rain you are missing a huge opportunity.

A: No! If you are a superstar like Olivia Hsu Decker or you are so busy writing offers that you would neglect your work in establishing your brand on this social site then don’t bother to try to fake it.

Q: Should you be using Twitter?

A: Yes! Major global companies, brands, entrepreneurs, and mass media agencies are flocking to Twitter to engage, move information, collaborate, and network. If you want to learn it is also an incredible research resource.

A: No! If you plan on hammering your audience with listing notices, sales pitches, and a constant stream of me-me-me do NOT join Twitter. Many Realtors and Brokers think that the strategy behind Twitter is that of a “job board” where they slam their property listing up like a resume with absolutely no value attached.

Conclusion:

Facebook, Plaxo, and all the rest of the social media networks or Web 2.0 tools are only worth the time investment and hard work if you are passionate, believe in their effectiveness, and you are willing to be patient. Understanding the strategy of “giving first” is the very pillar that will determine success or failure.

A Job Seeker’s Day In The World of Social Media

Chicago Sun-Times published this deansguide article 2-08-09

In my post “Job Seekers How Do You Organize Your Day?” I ask the reader to identify whether they were making 10 mistakes  in their job search. As a follow up to this article I want to outline a day in the life of a job seeker who utilizes social media for their job search efforts. No resumes are sent in the making of this day-just value.

Daily Structure for Job Seekers Utilizing Social Media

1. 8:00am Check email:

2. 8:30am Check Google Reader:  Job Seekers should have their feed reader filled with the following resources:

a.) Blogs authored by companies that are on your company target list
b.) Linkedin Q&A, where you can follow relevant information to your targeted niche
c.) Blogs authored by associations or networking blogs within your field of interest
d.) Twitter feeds from recruiters, career strategists, and your local job market news agencies

3. 9:30am Linkedin: Create a new message in the “What are you working on” tool on your home page. This tool provides exposure of your activities to your entire network:

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4.  9:45am Linkedin: Ask or Answer a Question to demonstrate your expertise

5.  10:30am Blog:  Check your blog stats, answer any comments, monitor traffic for each blog article within the last week, check keyword and Referrers sections

6.  11:00am Write Article: Choose a subject from the research you performed in your Google Reader and email check.

7.  11:45am Lunch-Twitter: Broadcast your new article & mine for article resources

8.  12:45pm Social Media Networking: Deliver your value by leaving link(s) to your article(s) on your targeted company’s blog(s), mass media blogs, industry association sites, and influential blogs comment sections. Ex below Ryan Phillipenko left a link (in red) to his blog .

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9.  2:00pm Check Email-Twitter: Return all messages and reach out to one new contact

10. 2:30pm Research Networking: Look for offline networking meetings, events, meetups, tweetups, and charity events

11.  3:30pm Cold Calls: Call your network and offer your value. Offer to volunteer, provide free services, or offer any breaking news or resources that will help your networking partners

12.  4:00pm Twitter: Tweet your latest article, leave at least 5 new messages with valuable resource links, connect via conversation with at least 3 new people

13. 4:45pm Review Monster.com & Careerbuilder.com: stay connected to these sites

14. 5:15pm  Linkedin Answer Follow up: Look for follow up to questions that are niche specific to your job search.

15. 5:45pm  Read One Social Media Blog: Read at least one current article from social media experts Chris Brogan, Guy Kawasaki, Peter Kim, Pat Kitano, or InnerArchitect

Can You Help Save This Girl’s Life: A Mother’s Plea in the Blogosphere and Twitter

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Courtesy thedomesticdiva.wordpress.com daughter Marielle desperately needs your help!

It is not often that I make impassioned pleas on deansguide but this is a very very grave situation and one worthy of support. As I rolled through my twitter feeds, a new friend Chris Brogan, left a link to the following article written by blogger the domestic diva “Sew Urgent: Help Save My Daughter’s Life”

There is Hope:

Marielle is being transfered to a new and better hospital NY Presbyterian-Columbia University Hospital (NYP) in hopes their additional living-donor kidney programs will save her life. Please consider the following kidney donor options if you or somebody you know can help Marielle.

Compatible Living Donor

Incompatible Donor Program

Paired Donor Exchange Program

Deceased Donor Program

Chris Brogan’s Two Tips To Public Speaking: What’s In It For Me?

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 11-20-08

Do you want to learn two hugely important tips to become a better public speaker, more connected with your audience, and a method to provide your audience with an actionable next step? If the answer is yes then please read Chris Brogan’s fantastic article “Two Important Speaking Tips.”

Courtesy of (CC) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com and bub.blicio.us.

Chris Brogan, one of this generation’s true social media superstars states: WIIFM aka “What Is In It For Me?” Before you can understand how to provide the audience with the answer to WIIFM, let’s examine one of the most common mistakes speakers make–me included.

Our Introduction Rarely Connects Us to the Audience

According to Chris: “We have a tendency to clear our autobiographical throats before we dig into educating an audience. Then, we end with no real sense of what comes next. This means we leave people excited, but with nothing to do.”

Analysis: Often times I rely upon building my credentials first before getting to WIIFM. Do you find yourself moving your own value message forward before connecting with the audience’s need to CARE about your message?

2 Tips to Help Your Public Speaking

1. WIIFM: Ask Your Audience a Question- According to Chris you want to ask your audience a question “that sounds like it came right out of their head.”

Example: If you are giving a session on the merits of blogging as a tool for job seekers in their job search you might ask:

“Do you think people REALLY believe blogging will change the process of searching for a job?”

Benefits: By asking this type of question, you are relating to the audience’s need to care and understand what is in it for me.

Second benefit is what Chris refers to as taking away their “sword”:

“This means start by making sure your audience (especially if they’re skeptics) knows that you’re on their side.

2. Takeaways: these are very important for a speaker to include in their presentation. They are the next step actions and things people can do to apply the tips-information you have provided during your presentation. As Chris states, and I can vouch for this myself, takeaways are “the whole “next steps” stuff that people seem to crave at events.”

The Takeaways you provide should be “very actionable.” When I finished my workshop on Blogging to Employment, I gave my audience a homework assignment that included research, writing their initial blog article, and formulation of a target list.

Benefit of Takeaways Keeps You Connected: you remain connected and have a solid reason to collaborate with your audience as a resource and coach for their next step actionable items.

Organizational Structure: people need and want structure and organization. By giving Takeaways and “homework” you are helping your audience to be more organized in their quest for new information and solutions.