Are You Leading the Resistance?

Are You Leading the Resistance?

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This video was made in 2007. It has had 1,057,844 hits and 1,607 likes. Obviously, it resonated with the audience. The video mentions MySpace and not Twitter nor Google Plus; however its key point still is valid today in 2012. For businesses to thrive in the modern economy, optimize opportunities, and keep up with the times, they have to get their feet wet in the social media world. So how come more businesses aren’t taking advantage of it?

The video is primarily talking about the potential of a network and friends. Most people think of friends as something that’s really casual. However, your friends are your gatekeepers. They promote you; they’re your luminaries. They offer friendly perceptions about you into the world based on what you put out there.

In my role, I’ve had a lot of success with social media. I’ve used Twitter as another touch point for the different integrated marketing strategies that I use to promote our conferences, our CIOs, and our sponsors. For our recruitment process, we have an integrated campaign that utilizes street teams, CTA advertisements, Google, and Facebook ads. We’re finding that CTA “El” advertisements are very useful recruitment reminders. People commonly say things like, “I saw someone on the street team, then saw a Facebook ad, and then I saw an ‘El’ advertisement. That’s what led me to go to your site and learn more.” Social media is helping us have similar success when it comes to promoting our events within our CIO network.

Twitter has also been really successful as a final touch point when it comes to awareness. I can easily and really quickly formulate a tweet with correct hashtags that I think our audience will find. Recently, we were very successful in using Twitter as a final reminder to get a sponsor to close at the $20,000 level! It wasn’t the company’s first time hearing about i.c.stars. The executives had never been to a conference, but through word of mouth, they learned about other companies that had great success sponsoring us. I loved the executive’s line,

“I had been meaning to do this forever! I just saw your Tweet, and I thought I would give you a call.”

He had only five minutes left in the work day. He saw a tweet, picked up the phone and called me. We closed a deal in less than 24 hours because it was an immediate need for him, and Twitter was what assisted in pushing the close.

It is important to make sure that the link I share with people in a tweet has all the information they need to make a decision. I always have my Twitter handle on the page, as well as my direct line, my email address, and the documentation they need to make a decision. This executive went to the website and was able to easily say, “Okay this is what I’m interested in, and this is what I want to do because I know the value of it.” I just answered any remaining questions.

LinkedIn is another social media avenue I use to facilitate business. LinkedIn, like Facebook and Twitter, has a status update feature. You can talk about what you’re currently doing as well as what you’re reading. I can see other people that I want to connect with that potentially are reading similar books as me or have just read a book that I recently finished. Then I use that as an opportunity to re-engage with them. I have
350+ connections. LinkedIn makes staying up to date on what everyone else is doing manageable.

I usually pick five people a month that I want to somehow re-engage with. I don’t want to just say, “Hey, this is what I’m doing!” I ask questions about what’s going on in their business and what they are working on. Then I try to give gifts, which is essential to i.c.stars’ culture. For example, let’s say someone is looking to implement a new software. I may know of a CIO that just implemented similar software. I’ll say, “That sounds like a tough task. I know this CIO just did a similar project, and I’ll make this introduction for you. This way you can get feedback on what went well and what didn’t go well.” By doing this, I’ve improved my value to them as a connector, and they can do peer-to-peer networking. I’ve found people remember that. They might not remember it in 10 days or a year. But when they have another need, I’m seeing that more people in my network are reaching out to me. I’ve found that strategy really useful when it comes to staying top of mind within my network.

I think one of the top myths out there is, “My network isn’t on any sort of social media outlet.”

In our social enterprise business, we show our clients that maybe you’re not on Twitter, but there is another social channel your ideal connections are on. I think it’s hard for business leaders to think through social media as a top priority when they still don’t know much about it. Many of them also hear from others and on the news about company blow ups because of a damaging tweet or Facebook post. They don’t hear all the great successes of it.

Are you doing anything at your organization to change perceptions about social media? Are you taking full advantage of the true value that your network brings? Or are you leading the resistance, and leading your organization away from opportunity?

A Measurable Impact

Initial placement rate:
95%
Industry retention rate:
81%
College attendance rate:
44%
Alumni actively engaged in their communities:
70%
Average 12-month earnings before program:
$9,000
Average 12-month earnings after program:
$31,000