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Social Selling Case Study: Doug Ales of ABB

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A 25-year veteran with a large power and automation technology company, ABB, Doug Ales helps people achieve dependable, justifiable, and safe electrical systems. His employer markets their products through a network of electrical wholesale distributors, so not only must Doug compete for his customer’s business, but he must also vie for his distributor’s attention. Using a “solution sales” strategy that was two decades old, Doug wanted to see if social selling could accelerate his growth. The Challenge In Doug’s industry, the local electrical distributor provides the customer’s connection; Doug provides the application experience. By working together, they grow their mutual business. Could social selling help Doug accelerate networking, build relationships, and grow sales? After deciding to give social selling a try, Doug polished his LinkedIn profile and optimized it for specific keywords. He then began posting regular status updates, engaging in LinkedIn Group discussions and growing his network with people who were engaging on social media. However, he soon discovered that the industrial executives that he needed to connect with were mostly inactive on social media. Doug learned how to gauge a person’s activity on LinkedIn and then found that the connections he wanted most usually had a LinkedIn profile […]

How To Create Powerful LinkedIn Lead Generation Messages

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Are you actively engaging potential prospects on LinkedIn? If not, it’s likely because you lack an effective social selling process that is streamlined and designed to help engage your target market while moving them through the sales process. Sound complex? Bear with me…you’ll catch up by the end of this article. I broke down how my LinkedIn social selling funnel works a while back (go here if you haven’t seen it yet) and described in detail how I move conversations offline. What I didn’t describe was exactly what you should say, or at least what I say when communicating with new connections. I have a series of lead generation messages that I use at different steps of the process to start a dialogue with prospects on LinkedIn. It starts with the initial connection request and finishes with a request to move the conversation offline – either to the phone, Skype or in-person if they’re local. 1. Send a Personal Message When Connecting Do you include a personal message when sending invitations to connect on LinkedIn? Social selling is all about personalization and developing relationships based on trust and value. It’s for this reason that I ALWAYS stress the importance of […]

Why Personalized Marketing Will Dominate In 2015

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After binge-watching a favorite show on Netflix, you land on a screen that kindly introduces you to a few other options you are likely to enjoy. Respond to the siren’s song, and you’ll soon be hours into another series marathon. Personalized marketing engages consumers with custom offers and services. This strategy has been gaining speed and will become imperative for companies looking to grow in 2015. Most marketers know this is true, but only 6% are planning with personalization in mind. To keep your company’s edge, 2015 is the year to personalize your marketing. Research shows 45% of online shoppers prefer websites with tailored recommendations. How can your products and services better serve each unique customer? Formstack, an online form builder tailored for conversion rate optimization, recently released a new infographic on 5 personalized marketing predictions you can use to help prepare your marketing strategy. Check it out below, and leverage these tips as you begin planning your 2015 content and campaigns. How Do You Begin? Getting to know your customers is the first step in creating a customized experience. Interviews, case studies, customer surveys, and website cookies can all provide valuable data about the people who need your goods […]

Dear Sandals, Your Social Media Sucks (But My Vacation Rocked)

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Do you have a client or personally manage social media for the tourism industry? I just arrived back home from an incredible destination wedding at Sandals Grande St. Lucian and the experience couldn’t have been more perfect. From the moment we arrived we were treated like VIPs among VIPs – sure, it likely had something to do with the fact that we were getting married there but that didn’t rob the sentiment whatsoever. I’m not writing this article to say that I had a problem with my experience at Sandals, quite the opposite actually. My experience was so good that I wanted to share it on the Sandals St. Lucia Facebook page until I realized it was a total ghost town. Then we realize there was a second nearly identical page with duplicate content. This is something I have come to expect from second-rate businesses but a company like Sandals can really shine on social media with a great strategy. Everything about what they provide kicks ass and the world should know about it. The problem is that Sandals is going to need a nice pair of running shoes to catch up because they’ve been neglecting to capitalize on the […]

10 Actionable Social Media Tasks To Kick Off Your 2015 Strategy

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Do you want tighten up your social media strategy for 2015? There’s something about the New Year that gets everybody inspired to make a shift for the better in all areas of their lives, especially in business. The social media landscape is always changing so fast that it makes it difficult to move year-to-year without some needed adjustments to stay on course. This got me thinking about the various rituals I go through each year at this time when re-strategizing for success in the New Year so I decided to compile them in a list here for you plus I added a couple extra tasks to address major shifts in the social media world this year. 1. Find Your Most Popular Posts of 2014 There are three metrics I rely on to find my most popular content: social shares, traffic and time spent on page (in that order). Social shares are the most important to me because people found that content valuable enough to share after consuming it – that’s key. Measuring traffic is important but that really only tells us how good your title is so we have to look at the time spent on page to determine if […]

7 Tactics To Connect With Decision Makers On LinkedIn

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Have you been wasting a lot of time and energy trying to get in touch decision makers in your target market? Do you struggle with figuring out who is the right person to reach out to in a company that could facilitate an introduction to the decision maker? If you are like many entrepreneurs, business owners and sales professionals, you may be struggling to find and connect with those all important decision makers that are essential to your ability to make a sale. The good news is that LinkedIn provides an effective way to by-pass gatekeepers and find and connect with your prospects.  Yet many people still don’t take advantage of this either because they lack the knowledge or believe that it will be too time consuming or difficult to learn or use. I will provide you with seven essential tactics that you can start to use today that will help you get on the radar of the decision makers and connect with them. 1. Have A Complete & Professional LinkedIn Profile Before you begin any activities that will put you in front of key decision makers, you must first ensure that you have a profile that is professional, search-optimized […]

How To Create Content That Drives Traffic For YEARS

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Do you have content that keeps driving traffic to your site for months or even years? Evergreen content is the kind that never goes out of style because the information stands the test of time. 15% of the web traffic my site got in 2014 came from this article and this article…both were written in 2013. The latter of which was originally published in 2012 but updated a year later, to be exact. I’m going to show you exactly what I’ve learned over the past few years from writing hundreds of articles. Not every one of them has been a hit but there are definitely enough similarities among the best of the best to craft some helpful guidelines. 1. Find The Right Topic Before you try to create your killer evergreen content, you need to realize a few things. First off, creating evergreen content takes a lot of work and there is no true “magic bullet” for success, only guidelines. Secondly, there is no way that every article you write will be a hit and drive traffic for years so you have to be selective about the topics that you will invest more time into. A great topic for evergreen […]

The Top 10 Social Media Articles of 2014

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There’s something about the New Year that really gets me rejuvenated. The idea of fresh beginnings and a clean slate gives me the energy to tackle even bigger projects and beat the records I set the year before. Part of that process for me includes looking at the most popular articles of the year from my blog so I can continue to provide more of the content my audience loves and less of anything else. I noticed a couple interesting trends as well: Readers LOVE hearing what “the experts” have to say All articles contained information that was immediately useful and actionable in some way I used a combination of web site traffic and social shares to determine the most popular articles. As you can see below, social shares were the largest ranking factor in the final decision but web traffic co-related pretty closely. *All social share stats are based on calculations done on December 29, 2014 1. 7 Experts Tell You How To Generate Leads With Social Media Published October 15, 2014 8396 Social Shares I talked to seven experts on social media, social selling and lead generation to find out the answer to one question: where are businesses […]

10 Experts Predict Digital Marketing Trends For 2015

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Are you wondering which digital marketing trends are going to dominate 2015 and which ones will die? I asked 10 marketing experts what their thoughts are on digital marketing trends for 2015 and was shocked to hear a lot of similar predictions come up. I didn’t brief any of them on what the other experts had said so every answer was genuine and unprovoked. One thing is certain…there is a dramatic shift towards paid social media advertising in 2015 as organic reach continues to decline on Facebook and potentially other networks as they surge in popularity. There is only so much attention to go around and 2015 will see businesses fighting tooth and nail to get their slice of the action. Here’s what the experts had to say when I asked them which digital marketing trends they see dying in 2015 and which trends they see catching more steam. 1. Get Ready For Paid Social 2015 will see both the death of unreasonable expectations from organic social media and the corresponding further growth of paid social. Countless business owners have come up to me and said that they’re doing everything they should be doing on social media but achieving little, […]

Is Facebook Organic Reach Going To Die In 2015?

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Are you seeing Facebook organic reach declining for your business page? You’re not alone and it’s likely that things are about to get worse before getting any better. Facebook released an official statement a month ago detailing their plans to cut promotional posts in the News Feed going forward in January 2015. It’s spurred a lot of heated debate on whether Facebook is even worthwhile for businesses anymore and I certainly have my own opinion on the matter as well. Before we get into it, let’s see exactly what Facebook said that has business owners in such a tizzy. “According to people we surveyed, there are some consistent traits that make organic posts feel too promotional: Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads “Beginning in January 2015, people will see less of this type of content in their News Feeds. As we’ve said before, News Feed is already a competitive place – as more people and Pages are posting content, competition to appear in News Feed has increased. All of this means […]