Links of Note, April 2009

Here are April’s Links of Note. Below, I provide a brief summary of each link. You can also check out the comments I left on the original posts.

1. How an Introvert used Social Media to Generate New Business and a Career

This guest post on Hubspot’s Marketing Blog accompanied Brent Leary’s webinar, “How to Use Social Media to Attract More Customers.” Leary, author of Barack Obama’s Social Media Lessons For Business, provides great examples of how Barrack Obama used social media to collect contact information for the campaign’s Customer (here, perhaps more aptly called, “Community”) Relationship Management (CRM) application. In particular, Obama used the announcement of his vice presidential nominee to add contacts to this database. Leary’s webinar also provided helpful tips and examples of tools to use as we integrate captivating content into the more operationally-oriented CRM (Community or Customer Relationship Management) model.

2. Social Networking 

In this post, Margaret of Baccalieu Consulting (specializing in Web Site Design and Development) provides a helpful overview on ways a small consulting business has explored using social networking sites, including blogging, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, and most recently, Twitter.

3. The “How to Be Likeable Series.” Ten Things You Can Do Today 

According to G.L. Hoffman, veteran career advisor, Chairman of JobDig, author of Dig Your Job, and weekly guest writer at US News and World Report. …“To a large measure, your likeability will lead to success or failure. It often trumps skill levels in surveys of HR people who are asked to name the most important characteristic of job candidates and employees.”

In Hoffman’s likeability series, Tip Number 7. “The Trick to Listening” caught my attention most. “Listen, acknowledge, and add something of value.” For me, this advice applies particularly well to not only how to engage with the subject matters I interview on a regular basis as a technical communicator, but also how to comment on blog posts.

4. Teaching Leadership at Gettysburg 

Eric Schultz, author of the Occasional CEO blog and King Phillip’s War, describes The Gettysburg Leadership Program as an ideal program to help “make” future leaders. I was particularly engaged by the way our National Parks and private sector are working together to develop leadership potential. I liked this quotation on leadership, from a program participant:

“In both the private sector and in government, the most prized attribute for any executive is leadership. Leaders impart vision, set the agenda, and inspire. And most successful leaders are not “born”–they are made.

5. 16 Social Media Tips Relating to Listening

Christine B. Whittemore of Simple Marketing Now  and Flooring the Consumer  provides a great list of listening tips from Toby Bloomberg’s SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING GPS. Christine highlights Bloomberg’s unique use of Twitter as an interviewing tool, and as a way of aggregating responses in a book-style format.

6. 10 Tips for Twitter Un-Marketing

Leigh Duncan-Durst provides a comprehensive list of Twitter best practices and recommended tweeters, who best represent their brands’ respective personalities. I strongly agreed with Duncan-Durst’s position that “the most successful brands on Twitter not only engage regularly, they engage within the scope of providing helpful service to their networks of prospects and customers. This means they are tied in with the customer service function. Some are tied in with product development, as well.”

7. The Quicksand of Social Media Buzzwords 

Amber Naslund points out that “the conversation on the social web often stops after the buzzwords.” She calls for people who can articulate why relationships matter in the first place and encourages social media users not to get lost in the rhetoric.

8. Excerpt: Things That Scare Me

Ann Handley observes how she has learned to leverage her writer’s sensitivity as a strength. “Sometimes, recognition of who you are grows into acceptance. And if you’re lucky, you figure out how to leverage that weakness.”

9. Just as Difficult as It Seems 

Chris Brogan sets expectations that adding social media to your marketing mix is not as simple as adding a few bullets to someone’s position responsibilities. He points out that though social media is not rocket science, “…It does take a ton of time…and the only way it’ll work is to have someone within a company take ownership of the platforms and act as both an advocate for the audience as well as the company.”

10. How to justify content and inbound marketing investments

Seamus Walsh of VAZT: B2B Content Marketing provides a staggering Forrester statistic: “Technology vendors are spending, on average, 19% of their selling, general and administration (SG&A) costs of $132,262 per quota-carrying salesperson, in support-related activities.” The Forrester report provides these action steps:

  • “Develop messaging, collateral, call scripts, follow up tools and buyer training all focused on helpings salespeople gain access to a specific role with-in a given account.” 
  • “Provide materials that can be tailored to the situation and not standard presentations.”
  • “Build a business case that helps realize your customer’s vision, not just your ROI.”

11. Get on the Right Side of the Fence

This post served as a follow-up to Chris Brogan’s webinar at Hubspot: How to Demonstrate the Value of Social Media to the Boss. Brogan gathered case studies on Delicious and provided how-to implementation steps during the Hubspot webinar—all of which were aimed at showing the ROI of social media and providing examples of how to get started using it, to support discussions with your corporate decision-makers.

12. Good Karma with a New Contest

Ann Handley announces a special contest on This Mommy Gig, a blog for mothers who think and write.

13. Inside the Minds of Twitter Users 

Ann Handley of MarketingProfs makes her debut on Mashable’s Social Media site. She presents the results of a recent MarketingProfs survey, which explores the motivations of users on Twitter.

14. User Forum for 31 Days to Build a Better Blog

In April, Darren Rowse began a series of posts at his highly successful blog. The posts represent a 31-day challenge to improve your blog. I am completing the challenge at my own pace. I highly recommend Rowse’s blogging tips and exercises, as well as the user’s forum for anyone participating.

Photo Credit, net_efekt