Enterprise Software Sales Rebounded in 2010


Better Customer Service from Generosity

generosity and hospitality lead to better customer service

I’ve taught many that hospitality and generosity are the roots of quality customer service and I’ve recently had two separate experiences that have added to my thinking.

1. Shannon, IHOP, East Bidwell St, Folsom, California

It’s a tricky balance at a restaurant and rarely well delivered. Don’t pay enough attention to me and I’m not happy. Pay too much attention to me and I’m annoyed. Shannon knows how to do it and I learned a new rule. It’s “one extra visit.”
So, what are the usual visits if you ‘re going to add an extra?
Continue Reading…

Innovation on TED: Caleb Chung plays with Pleo

I watched this video tonight with my six year old daughter.  She’s taken an interest in art.  It’s fun to expose her to all it’s forms and what role art has in most everything.  Caleb says, “Innovation happens when art meets science.”

We watched with interest as Caleb shared his thinking through a variety of toy inventions including the Furbee and then Pleo, an amazing step in the idea of an intelligent learning toy – but not in the way you might think.

Caleb’s closing slide in this interesting presentation about innovation says:

We are responsible
For planting the seeds of awareness
For the children of our dreams
For dreaming well

The Office: Best Pranks on Dwight

I’m a fan of “The Office,” and some of my favorite scenes are when Jim pulls pranks on Dwight.

Social Business Capability Maturity Scorecard

This is our (c7 Group) take on the current maturity model for the engaged enterprise. This is a tremendous leap for many businesses.  There is struggle, and therefore desire, to understand and leverage the technological and cultural change.

This tool should, at least, help you understand what social business technology is, and what the success factors are for enterprise social collaboration projects.

The conversation around best practices and failed attempts is critical. Please participate.

Everybody’s Doing It: How Marketers Are Utilizing Social Media In 2010

Nice info-graphic on how social media is being used this year from a marketing only perspective. I have a lot of respect for Flowtown and the work they do in social media marketing.  They are a standout agency in an industry segment with fragmented qualifications, pricing disparity and further confusion from rapid innovation.  It’s challenging to qualify work in social media right now. Flowtown gets it.

Everybody’s Doing It: How Marketers Are Utilizing Social Media In 2010
Flowtown – Social Media Marketing Application

Why ‘Facebook For The Enterprise’ Vendors Are Wrong

Comprehending the difference between “social media” and what is becoming known as “social business” or “Enterprise 2.0” can be challenging.  Even successful consulting firms and marketing agencies are confused.  I’m excited to see this article in Forbes magazine from our friend Christopher Lochhead, chief strategy advisor and board member at Jive Software.  It will help provide some clarity. [ Disclaimer: My company, C7 Group is a management consulting firm helping business with social business strategy and integration.]  This article was also re-posted at C7Group
Continue Reading…

Chris Cobetto demonstrates the driving line at Virginia International Raceway

Chris Cobetto is a buddy of mine from High School. We where roommates our senior year at The Kiski School.  Chris had die-cast models of race cars in his room back then…now he plays with some bigger toys.  Chris, now President of National Auto Sports Association (NASA) Mid-Atlantic, runs more than a dozen races, High Performance Driving Education (HPDE) and Autocross.

Although we’re not in touch near as much as I’d like, I have a tremendous amount of respect for his commitment.  Chris lives his passion.  Take a quick drive with him around the track at VIR.

The 10 Secrets Of A Successful Social Media Blog

It was about a year ago and I noticed a rather quirky social media blog with a good selection of key words in its title  called the ” Social Media Examiner”. It was late last week and an article in the worlds largest blog the Huffington Post featured an interview with the founder of that blog Michael Stelzner that piqued my interest.

The reason my ears pricked up was because on scanning the article the traffic and success that he has garnered in less than 12 months was not just notable but stunning.

Here are some of the milestones after launching on October 12, 2009.

  • 13,000 people visited the site within the first 2 weeks
  • January 2010 (only 3 months after launch) he had 10,000 email subscribers
  • January 2010 he had 55,000 unique visitors to the blog
  • In February (less than 5 months after launch) the site was rated as the number one small business blog on the planet by Technorati
  • It currently generates 300,000 page views a month
  • The Social Media Examiner Facebook Fan page has over 11,500 fans
  • Less than 12 months after launch he has an email list of over 30,000 subscribers

So what are some of the secrets behind Michael’s success with the “Social Media Examiner”? but before we answer that let us look at what he was doing prior to launching the  blog.

In 2005 he started a blog called “Writing White Papers” which was quite successful… its tag line “How To Capture Readers and Keep them Engaged”. He wrote whitepapers for Microsoft, FedEx, Motorola and Dow Jones. In just over 4 years he had just over 25,000 email subscribers so he had obtained some blogging experience that provided him with basics of what to do and not to do with a blog.

The success secrets of the “Social Media Examiner” are highlighted by the following ten revelations as stated by Michael.

1. He collaborated with other successful  people such as Mari Smith, a Facebook specialist, Chris Garrett who had co-authored Problogger the book and Denise Wakeman from the blog sqaud.. he called them his firestarters.

2. Held a major online virtual summit called “Social Media Success Summit 2009″ prior to the launch of his blog which attracted over 700 attendees and was completely online and Gary Vaynerchuk was the keynote speaker. (by the way the summit generated over $900,000 in revenue)

3. Composed a team of writers who provided guest posts on Social Media Examiner including Jason Falls and Casey Hibbard of the blog, Stories that Sells as well as an additional team of writers. A proportion of these writers substantial followings drove readership to the new blog.

4. Interviewed 16 social media marketing thought leaders at Blog World Expo including Scott Monty and Chris Brogan and released these videos over 9 months slowly.

5. Publishes a long magazine-style article every weekday that is  edited for top quality writing prior to hitting the blog publish button

6. Implemented an email acquisition strategy that includes a pop over form that hovers over the screen for first time visitors (it includes a free Twitter video tutorial)  as well as offering a subscription form on the right sidebar. The other email subscriber tactics includes a suggestion to refer a friend to to join the email list and the Facebook fan page also has a video inviting visitors to subscribe.

7. A Facebook fan page that is well designed and optimized including a Friendpile social plugin that shows all of a visitors Facebook friends that like Social Media Examiner. Other strategies included invitations to join the Facebook Fan page that were broadcasted to the email list generating almost 1,000 fans overnight. He made a note that the keyword to use is “Join” not “Follow Us”

8. On Facebook Michael has the rule that they reply to every comment on the Facebook page

9. Social Media Examiners Facebook editorial guide involves “breaking news” as opposed to “writing features” on the flagship blog site.

10. Ultra-rich content that is offered for free on social media examiner acts as the major incentive to attend a virtual summit where people know they will get even more valuable and in depth information from the top experts in their field

What is empowering about this story is that he didn’t spend a dime on his marketing (just his time) and leveraged the power of social media including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

How could you take these tips and make your blog more successful?

It would seem that we need to take some of Jeff Bullas’s good advice. Do you have any additional suggestions to add? Are you writing “breaking news” or “writing features?”

Life is Full of Beauty. Notice It.

Page 3 of 16«12345»10...Last »