Does Your Social Networking Answer the WIIFM Question?


What’s In It For Me?

The reality is that people are always looking to understand how they will benefit from any activity or action undertaken. They may be totally supportive of an idea or a plan, but their own interests will eventually come into play. With that in mind do you have the WIIFM answer for your customers and prospects?

Does Your Offer Answer Your Customer’s WIIFM Question?

If you can answer that question for them and answer it repeatedly with a benefit that they perceive has value and is of interest; you will get their attention. We are all bombarded with information constantly and one of the easiest ways to weed through the information is by looking for those messages that quickly tell them what is in it for them and make if very clear what they have to gain.

They will take that information and then weigh it against their cost. If the benefit out weighs the cost, they will be interested and act. If the perceived benefit does not outweigh the cost, they will move on to the next offer.

Do You Struggle with the WIIFM Question for Yourself?

So whether you are promoting yourself, your business, your service, or your product; you must be able to provide your reader with an answer to the WIIFM question. If you can’t or you don’t it is wasted effort on your part and you then need to look at the WIIFM question for yourself.

If you don’t want to put the work into your own activities then YOU must be failing your own WIIFM question. For whatever reason you do not feel that putting the effort into your own activities is worth the benefit you will receive.

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Tom Staskiewicz creates networking strategies that help you build your individual and business brands. Ask him how! Check out the UPPROACH website.

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Does Networking Work?


Have you ever wondered if networking pays off?

Here is my latest experience. Approximately 8 weeks ago my contract was ended. I had been contracting at one company for the past 3 ½ years and it was only supposed to be a 1 year contract. That worked out well for me and I am happy that it lasted that long. I will get back to the end of the contract in a little bit.

Prior to this contract I had been looking for work for about 6 months. I had some things here and there that kept us going, but it was tough regardless. What is important, however, is what I did while I was with this company.

Take Action

The first action, not under my control, was shortly after I started I was called to a regional employment role in my church. The second action was I started using LinkedIn. The third actions was the more I learned the more I wanted to learn on how it could help me with my search.

Learn to Network

By learning how to network and allowing my network to get to know me I made many great contacts. I didn’t know everyone in my network at first and in many cases I am still getting to know them; but I will keep working on this.

Make Lots of Connections

About 1 1/2 years after getting into LinkedIn I started on Facebook. I had watched my teenagers use MySpace and then Facebook and thought they were wasting their time. I was wrong! At least with the idea that Facebook offered nothing for me. I started connecting with all kinds of people and it has been great.

I now have over 850 connections on LinkedIn connecting me to over 8 MILLION people and I have over 650 connections on Facebook. Some of the LinkedIn and Facebook connections are duplicated, but most are not.

After the Contract Ended

Anyway back to having the contract end… I contacted my and other recruiting companies to see what might be available. It wasn’t long and I had a couple of opportunities presented. One ended up panning out and I started the Tuesday after Labor Day.

Emailed Over 170 Contacts

The other thing that I did, however, was send an email to about 170 of my email contacts. That process generated over a dozen responses with possible opportunities. Where I went wrong was not sending that email out earlier in the process.

Let People in Your Network Know Who You Are and What You Can Do

When people in your network know you, know what you can do, and know what you want to do; they are there to help. My email went out a couple of weeks ago and I am still being contacted by members of my network to see what they can do to help. The truth is that I still have well over one thousand people that I could contact; a majority of whom I did not know three years ago.

I connect with new people all the time; it is my goal to be adding 5 – 10 new connections either on LinkedIn of Facebook every week. Sometimes it is as many as 20 per week and this is what YOU must be doing as well.

Networking works when you give it a chance.

Networking May Be Right Up There With The Fear Of Speaking


My LinkedIn Poll

I have an unscientific LinkedIn poll with a few results, but I am going out on a limb to draw some conclusions because I find it interesting.

The question I asked and the possible responses:

What is your greatest networking challenge?

  • Identifying possible connections?
  • Lack of comfort when inviting?
  • Available time?
  • Understanding networking value?
  • Believe it to be bothersome?

I was and still am asking about your biggest challenge to networking (go to my poll to participate). I am suprised by the responses I have received. The results are split 50/50 between small and large organizations, 33% women and 67% male, 33% C and VP-level, and all respondents were between 35 and 54.

As to response all but one indicates a lack of comfort when inviting people to connect and one of the non-C and VP level individuals indicated time constraints.

As I said above 50% of the current responses are from C and VP-level respondents and these individuals all identified the lack of comfort inviting as their biggest challenge as well. This really surprised me. I expected time challenges to be their reason.

What Do the Responses Mean

Although I received just a couple of comments; those comments and my experience lead me to the conclusion that the problem is a fear of rejection. The fear of rejection is powerful and it stands in the way of many successes. Successful people, however, do not let this fear stop them. They continually move forward.

When you invite people you do put yourself out there and invite a potential negative response, but that is a risk you must take; if you are going to be successful. If you are still laboring over a no response; you must really question your commitment.

The reality is that the worse that can happen is someone says: no. At that point you just need to dust yourself off and move on. Don’t dwell on it when someone says no; keep moving forward to your next invitation.

Your level of success can be measured by the size of your rolodex. The truly successful realize that they cannot do it on their own, it is with the help of others that they will continue to move forward.

I would appreciate it if you would take a minute to respond to my poll, so we can build better results.

Facebook “Like” and Comment


Interpreting the Use of the Facebook “Like” Button and Comment Features Is Not Intuitive

Do you pay attention to “Likes” and Comments to the posts on your profile or Fan Page? If the Viral Nature of Social Networking is important to you; understanding these features is critical.

My interest in how things happen causes me to focus on what I am seeing and as I pay more attention; more things come to light.

What I Have Seen

What I have noticed is when I see a post that originated with someone that is not a Friend or Fan; it does not always show up the same. Sometimes the comments have a familiar name attached, other times one or more Friend’s name are said to “Like” the post, and other times I will see names I recognize with both the “Like” and the comment. Does that sound familiar or ring a bell with you?

You May Say So What; If So, Read On

Before I go further I will remind you that “Like”, Comment, and Share are critical to going viral. If you are going to be successful with your Social Networking you must be going viral; which means your Friends and Fans must be “Liking” and Commenting!

Why the Differences in What We See

Facebook is all about the Viral effect and that is the reason for the differences in what you see. If you have a friend or friends that comment; you will see the post plus those comments. If your friend or friends only click “Like” then you will see the post and only that those Friends “Like” the post. If you see both, then you have Friends that are both “Liking” and Commenting. If you do not see the post, then that means your Friends did not feel it was worth “Liking” or making a comment.

Facebook is not going to bother you with information from people that you do not know. That is called spam and Facebook does not want to be a party to spam or claims of spam. The same goes for your posts; if your Friends and Fans do not feel your post deserves an action; it dies with them!

Is There Anything Else That Needs To Be Understood About Likes and Comments?

For you to see any post; it must originate, be “liked”, commented on, or shared by a connection of yours. This connection can be either a Fan Page or a Friend or be a paid advertisement where you meet the target market criteria. If one or more of these criteria is not met, you will not see the post.

I Have a Facebook Fan Page; You Mean I Need Facebook Friends Too?


I Have Fans; Do I Need Facebook Friends Too?

The answer is a resounding YES!

But I Already Have a Fan Page, So Don’t I Just Need to Get More Fans?

The answer to this question is a resounding NO! It is true that you need to be getting more Fans, but that is not enough.

Before going any further let’s get a definition of Facebook Friends versus Facebook Fans. It is important that you have a good understanding of this difference because it is incredibly important to the “going viral” process.

Friends

A Friend is someone that either you invited to join you on Facebook, someone that invited you to join them on Facebook, or a third party that recommended that the two of you become Friends.

What this means is that there was an overt act on the part of someone to extend the invite or recommendation. There was also an overt act to accept the invitation or react to the recommendation. You can only be a Friend of another individual if they accept the offer of friendship.

Fans

A Fan is someone connected to your Facebook Fan (business) Page. They may have had your Page suggested by a Friend of theirs or maybe even you as that Friend. In the latter instance the Friend may become a Fan out of loyalty to you or even loyalty to the person that made the suggestion.

However, as easily as they became a Fan they can stop being a Fan. It only takes a click of the mouse to “Unlike” a page and Fans can disappear and leave no trace. Unless you have a very small Fan base, it is difficult to know who has joined or left your Fan base.

In addition to being suggested as a prospective Fan; a potential fan may join because they have seen something about your Fan Page that created an interest on their part. In either case the Fan has taken an overt action to a Page suggestion or a Page ad, or an overt response to something they have seen or found in a search on Facebook or even the Internet to become a Fan.

Fans can only become a Fan by clicking the “Like” button for a Fan Page. That “Like” button can be one on your Fan Page or one that has been placed on one or more pages of your or other’s websites. Friends can suggest that you become a Fan, but no one can force you to become a Fan.

So, there we have it. Friends belong to people and Fans belong to Pages.

Getting Back to Why I Need Friends

There are two reasons why you must have many Friends on Facebook. First, so you can suggest your Page to those that you believe will be interested in your Fan Page and second, even though they may not be Fans, your friends may still be interested in your message or know people that are interested and be willing to propagate your message through their Friend Base.

Although we like to think that our message has broad reader appeal, that is seldom the case. From my observations although your message may resonate with many Fans and Friends; only a few will be motivated to act on your message. Obviously the more Friends and Fans that you have; the greater more chances that you have for people to repeat your message.

Repeating your message over and over is critical to your going viral; Fans and Friends are critical to getting the repetition. You cannot afford to not be increasing your Fans and Friends at every opportunity. Successful people have large networks; that means lots of Fans, Friends, Followers, Connections, etc. Do not let your efforts of creating messages go to waste by not having and continually building an audience!

STOP! Before You Take a Step Forward on Your Social Marketing – Read This!


Social Media Marketing Reality

First, do not get me wrong; I am a proponent of Social Media Marketing and I encourage the behavior. The problem is that it is being sold to you incorrectly. Social Networking Consultants, Specialists, Experts, or whatever you want to call them are not telling you the truth!

Social Media Marketing Is Not a Rainmaker Proposition

Social Media Marketing has the potential to drive business, and, yes, even massive business through your doors. The caveat is that it takes work; lots of work. It takes commitment; lots of commitment. It takes time; lots of time.

There is no getting around it; Social Media Marketing is not for the faint of heart.

Case in Point

Earlier this year I was talking to a friend about Social Media Marketing and the opportunities that it offers a business. While I am firmly committed to that statement; I have since come to realize that most business owners do not have the level of commitment necessary to make it successful.

This friend changed the website; it was not necessarily for the better. In fact, the old site, to me, was far more aesthetically pleasing. The content from the old page to the new page is not significantly different, but they can say things have changed.

As part of the new look they created a blog. Blogs are great but again they require commitment and dedication. This is not a stop-start proposition; this is a commitment and your audience is expecting regular postings. This friend created three or four articles over the span of four or five days in February and has done nothing since.

The truth is they should pull down the blog. This minimal effort gives the impression that there is no follow through within the organization and does not help them and, in fact, does more damage. It is like jumping into the deep part of the lake and making a big splash and then not coming back to the surface because you were not prepared and had not made the prior commitment to learn how to swim.

Social Media Marketing Requires Commitment

It is not that these owners are not committed to their business; it is the commitment to Social Media Marketing that is lacking. Not surprisingly business owners have many other day-to-day tasks that occupy their time and it is hard to think about Social Media Marketing when your biggest customer is getting ready to bail on you or your top salesperson is considering a new opportunity.

Obviously those situations loom larger and their immediate impact on the business is far more important and the effect is far more quickly realized and felt. The truth is that most business owners and managers do not have the time available to put into Social Media Marketing.

Before You Jump In; Ask Yourself If You Are Ready to Follow Through

Do not just stick your toe into the water to determine the temperature. This is a situation where you make the commitment, jump in, and stay there for the long-haul.

Next Time I Will Talk About Trying To Do Too Much

Social Media Consultants talk about using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Mashable, Websites, Blogs, Digg, Del-i-cious, YouTube, and others. The truth is that it takes an entire department or staff to monitor all of those sites and a tremendous commitment. Trying to do too much; too fast will leave you frustrated and unsatisfied. Do not do it!