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  • Category Archives Social Media
  • Featured ImageLinkedIn Cheat Sheet

    We really liked this straightforward infographic outlining the power of LinkedIn for business networking and marketing.  Unlike Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn was originally created for business – incorporating the powerful elements of social media with traditional business tools.  If you are not currently using LinkedIn, this outline created by Mindflash.com has some great information for both the novice and veteran.

  • Facebook Timeline for Pages: Guide to understanding the new changes!

    Main Facebook Page Changes Effective 2/29/12
    “Mission control for your business on Facebook”

    In the words of Facebook: Pages are the essential place on Facebook for businesses to build connections with people. It’s where you connect with fans by announcing new products, sharing news, and gathering feedback. Your Page is also where you create unique brand content that can become ads and sponsored stories. It’s the core place for businesses to manage their posting and advertising content.


    Pages allow you to:
    1. Express your identity with features like cover photo and Page timeline.
    2. Reach and engage your audience on the web and on mobile.
    3. Respond to people in a quick, more personal way.

    <DRUM ROLL> The changes:

    1. You Can No Longer LAND on a Custom Landing Page or Tab! Welcome pages and tabs still exist, but you can no longer default to land on any tabs. As with the timeline on your profile your photos and apps show in the central section in boxes, which means we can add a nice looking graphic to our Welcome pages and tabs to encourage people to click on them. Here’s what FB say about the central boxes:
    Photos, likes and apps are now at the top of your Page. Photos show in the first spot, but you can change the order of everything else so people see what matters most. You can show a maximum number of 12 apps, so make sure to put your most important ones first.

    2. Cover Photo. This is the large picture at top of your screen. This is where your page branding can be done. Facebook has placed many restrictions on what you can and can’t have on your cover photo:

    Cover images must be at least 399 pixels wide and may not contain: Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website” Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”.


    3. Your Profile Picture which will initially be the top part of your avatar must be square and at least 180px wide. It should also be scalable to 32×32, because it shows up in many other places (posts, ads, etc.).

    This entire picture is the avatar (180x540px). The part taken for your Profile Picture will only be the top 180×180 (see the red square).

    4. You Can Pin Posts to the Top of Your Wall. You can now move posts to the top of your wall and have it remain there for 7 days. You just hover over the post with your cursor and a pencil appears, you click it and there will be a choice of items: Pin to Top, Change Date, Reposition Photo, Hide from Page, Delete Post, Mark as Spam. This is a great feature, b/c your important post stays visible for as long as you’d like. The other option you will see when hovering over the post is a star. When you click the star, you can feature your post because it covers the width of your page so it’s double-wide and draws attention.

    5. There’s a new admin panel. Everything is in one place. You can see your notifications, new likes, insights and the new private messages that people can now send you from your page. From your admin panel you will also see the Manage button which gives you access to the main editing section of your page (Basic Info, Manage Permissions, Apps and so on). Not much has changed in there apart from the Manage Permissions section which no longer has the default landing tab section. Also from the admin panel, you can access Facebook ads, a function to share your page and to invite friends, plus access to ‘help’.

    6. You can now get Messages on pages. Your fans can message you directly on the Facebook Page. The messages will show within your admin panel and you can respond from there. This is a HUGE because you can now message, individually, your fans. There is real two-way communication!

    7. Tab Pages are now BIGGER. The official size is 520px wide and unlimited length. Tabs were the items that were listed under your profile picture before (videos, blog, YouTube, questions, etc.). Now they are under the Cover Photo and larger. Only 4 appear at a time and the others are available in a drop down menu. These can be moved around, but the PICTURES tab cannot be moved. This is where all of your “old pages” will appear, including your Welcome or Landing Page.

    8. You will AUTOMATICALLY get the new design on March 30th. So jump and play around and make the most of it, because it’s coming whether we like it or not!

    Why do need to know about social media? That’s where the people are. As a sales professional, you are continually seeking to meet new people. You attend networking events, you are cold calling, you place ads, you put a listing in the yellow pages, and you create flyers all as a way to meet new people to build relationships with, to become prospects, referrals, and business partners. The main function of social media is to meet people. “Your customers hang out in social networks.” – Seth Godin

    If you have any specific questions, feel free to email at dbeauvais@southwesternconsulting.com or post a comment below and we’ll help you in the transition. If you want more information on Selling with Social Media, email us for more information on some upcoming workshops.

    Dawn Beauvais

    Social Media Marketing Consultant

  • 5 Easy Steps to Creating a Follow-Up System

    5 Easy Steps for Effective Follow Up & How to Incorporate Social Media

    For sales professionals, having an up-to-date contact management database is one of the KEY systems you must have in place to be successful. Even more important, is having a
    system in place to create effective follow-up. Your business is built on following up with leads and building relationships.

    If you don’t have a contact management system in place, you will not be able to follow-up effectively with prospects, you could lose clients and you will not be able to build your business.

    Your contact management system doesn’t need to be an expensive database but it does need to be easy to use, easy to maintain and easy for you to find your contact data. Once your contact management system is in place, you need to ensure that you keep it up-to-date and are using it to follow-up with prospects and client regularly.

    Here are 5 easy strategies for an effective follow-up system:

    1.   Update as you go. Whenever you speak with or email a contact, take a few minutes afterwards to update your database with this information BEFORE moving on to the next task. For example, did your conversation end with you promising to contact them again? If so, note this and create a follow-up task so you don’t forget.

    2. Touch base regularly. Each month go through your database and see who you haven’t had any contact with over the last few months. Send them a ‘just touching base with you’ email or call them.

    3. Don’t forget snail mail. A handwritten thank-you card gets noticed, so invest time in writing personal notes to key contacts – they will remember you for it. If you want to keep it automated, a great tool to use is Send Out Cards – it’s really quick and simple to use. You can choose to send either a card or postcard and it is a great ‘stay-in-touch’ service. It is just as simple to use as email, only more personal!

    4. Send a newsletter. It is not exactly a personal one-on-one follow-up, but it is keeping you in touch with your database and your name in front of them. Your newsletter may generate a response from the reader, which means you will be able to turn this into a one-on-one communication with your contact!

    5. Make it a habit: Update your database regularly. If you don’t get the opportunity to update your database as you’re going along, spend 20 minutes at the end of each day reflecting on what you’ve done during the day, who you’ve contacted, what the outcome was, and enter all of this information into your contact management system.


    1. LINKEDIN TIP: Do a search to see if your contact has a LinkedIn profile. If so, send a request to connect. Do not use the default invite – write a personal note that addresses your conversation, thanks them for them time, etc.
    2. TWITTER TIP: Search for their Twitter profile and follow them.  The nice thing about twitter is that you can follow anyone; you don’t have to wait to be accepted. You can then send a direct message to them on Twitter. Take the time to review their Twitter feed and find a tweet that is worth re-tweeting. Everyone loves to have their contact re-tweeted and it will help to build a lasting relationship.
    3. FACEBOOK TIP: Most people are not going to add new contacts to their Facebook profile, because it is a place for connecting with friends. But, some contacts may have business pages that are used for just that – business. Do a Facebook search for the contact’s business name and if they have a Facebook PAGE, then be sure to LIKE it. This gives you another platform to connect with your contact and build a relationship.


    For more tips on using  SOCIAL MEDIA for marketing and follow-up, check out Rory Vaden’s NEXT GENERATION MARKETING.

  • 5 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on LinkedIn

    So you want to use LinkedIn to increase your sales? It’s no wonder it’s the place to be with over 100 million affluent, ambitious and influential business people like yourself connecting daily. Many sales professional are trying to use LinkedIn to find more leads, to connect with decision makers and increase sales; but most are not seeing results.

    You can make the most of your LinkedIn marketing efforts by avoiding these 5 mistakes:


    The first thing people do when they join LinkedIn is to create a profile. There are places to add previous job roles, qualifications, etc. and this is where people make the mistake of turning their profile into a resume. Unless you are job hunting, resist the temptation to complete these sections in complete detail.

    The most effective introductions focus on who you help and what problems you help them solve or results you help them achieve. Then you can give them more details as to why you are uniquely qualified to help.

    LinkedIn is for making business connections and you need to design your profile to have the impact you want on those connections.


    When people find you in searches on LinkedIn or when you contribute to Group discussions or Answers Q&A section; the only thing visible is a little box with your name, photo, and your headline. If your headline is your job title, “Sales Manager at XYZ Company”, it doesn’t give people a compelling reason to connect with you; unless they are seeking out your company or sales managers to market to. NOTE: unless you change your headline manually, LinkedIn takes the headline from your last job title.

    COMPARE: Sales Manager at A1 Consulting TO: 4.7 Billion Sales > 900% Growth | Grew Share 14 to 44% | VP Sales Marketing A1 Consulting


    If you create your LinkedIn profile and then fail to reach out to others and join groups where your prospects are, then it’s like attending a networking event and standing in a corner waiting for people to come to you. You need to go out and engage with others.

    Here are some easy ways to engage with others:

    • Update your status message daily

    • Comment on other people’s statuses just like Facebook and Twitter

    • Answer questions on the Q & A boards – This will help you prove your expertise and appears as a leader


    When most people send out invitations to connect, they leave LinkedIn default message. They don’t personalize the email and explain to prospective connections why they should engage and connect with you. You need to tell people what they will get out of the relationship. It also shows the prospective connections that you are taking the time to draft a personal email showing that the connection is important to you. Otherwise, sending the default message looks like you are just spamming a target list to see how many connections you can get. Your connections should be about quality not quantity.


    After coaching many sales professionals to optimize their LinkedIn profiles, I have found that most of them had joined groups that were “sales” groups filled with their competition. Now, it’s good to join some of your own industry’s groups so you have up-to-date information, tools and strategies. But you want to join groups that your prospects belong to – and not just your competition. And, you can join up to 50 groups. Join as many as you can be active in and that you see as your target market. Remember, that when you put out new content and send it to your groups, it will be delivered as a message to them. So, if you belong to 50 groups with 1000 people in each group, your content will immediately reach 50,000 people in your target market.

    IF YOU ARE COMPLETELY NEW TO LINKEDIN, download your FREE guide to Getting Started with LinkedIn.

    IF YOU ARE READY FOR MORE ADVANCED LINKEDIN AND OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TECHNIQUES, Rory Vaden’s Next Generation Marketing is for you. You will create new strategies, develop bigger audiences, and foster synergy
    between your old customers and your new prospects.

    You will develop a simple, straightforward, easy-to-manage strategy (which is the most critical step) to increasing your revenue from social media. This program goes beyond anything that has ever been done before, because Rory takes the tireless wisdom of thousands of hours of training on social media and connects it with century-old rock solid principles of professional salesmanship and success. He shows you how to apply everything you already know about sales to this new and exciting medium of social media.

    BUY NOW!

  • Selling with Social Media: Prospecting with LinkedIn

    Selling with Social Media: Prospecting with LinkedIn

    So you’ve set up all of your profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin; now what?

    Below is a sneak peek into some of the social media training we will be covering in Southwestern Consulting’s brand new coaching session:  Get Found, Get Known, Get Clients!

    LinkedIn is a social network that is known for being used primarily by professionals. It’s use is continuing to evolve as more people are joining the network and it is becoming useful to a wider variety of industries. LinkedIn is a great place to connect with other professionals in the same industry and who may be able to help you with referrals or information. It is a great place to build a community of potential customers.

     The video below shows you how to use Linked In to immediately develop a list of target prospects for just about any business you are in. Whether it’s developing referral partners or gathering pre-approach on cold prospects the “advanced search” feature on Linked In can provide you with an immediate, targeted, and free list of people to try and meet. The list gives you a chance to gather a bit more information than you’d normally have on any introductory approach. You can spend thousands of dollars buying lists that are out-dated and that have limited information or you can use Linked In for a very up to date list with lots of detailed information.

    Rory Vaden MBA is a self-discipline strategist, author, and motivational speaker. He is known world-wide for his resonating “Take the Stairs” message of self-discipline. With so many people wondering if social media is the next “escalator” to success Rory has gotten intimately involved with what social media can and can’t do. This video segment is one of 25 lessons from his brand new 3 disc resource called Next Generation Marketing: Selling products, services, and ideas with social media in 30 minutes a day.


    There are hundreds of “experts” out there talking about how to add followers, so why am I taking the time to write an article about growing your Twitter base? Because there’s lots of gimmicks, lots of tricks, lots of alleged shortcuts, and you guys know I despise that junk. Here is the TAKE THE STAIRS DISCIPLINED attitude about growing your follower base: “It’s not about how many followers you have, but the quality and responsiveness of your followers.”

    Growing your Twittership is just like joining any other community; it takes time, patience, and energy. The 5000 people who have joined the Take the Stairs tour on Twitter have come about through only 3300 Tweets that I’ve posted. 5000 followers on 3300 tweets is a  low volume of Tweets to reach that level of followership, so here are some practical tips to maximize your time on Twitter if you’re just getting started:

    1. It’s a Numbers Game
    Just like sales, sports, business, dating, or anything else you have to do a bunch of bad ones before you can do a bunch of good ones. Facebook is like friends at a barbeque, LinkedIn is like colleagues at the office, and Twitter is like the chatter at a party. So one way to get popular is to go to lots of parties and to get involved in lots of conversations. In other words, the more you tweet the more followers you will get because the more opportunities there are for you to be heard.

    2. Load Your List
    This isn’t a fool-proof strategy but if you have a digital list of all of your contacts somewhere, save them to a .csv excel file. Then import them to Gmail (free) and when you open a Twitter profile you can import your contact list into Twitter and automatically follow friends that you already have who are on the platform.

    3. Follow People
    In the early stages of Twitter the fastest way to get followers was to follow others and hope they return the favor. You don’t just want to follow anyone though; follow people who are Tweeting about things you care about. One shortcut strategy that doesn’t work is following a bunch of people and then un-following the ones who don’t follow you back (called Vetting). First of all, you’ll be building a crappy community of people who don’t really care about you or what you’re doing because they’re just trying to add followers the same as you. Not to mention that this is illegal on Twitter and they will catch you and turn off your account. However, follow people who are saying something worthwhile and who share the same interests as you and there’s a good chance they’ll follow you back and that they’ll forward – or re-tweet (RT) – some of the things you are saying to their followers and then those people will follow you as well. You can do keyword searches on search.twitter.com or on applications like Tweetdeck to help you find people who are interested in the same things that you are (i.e. I have columns on my Tweetdeck that search for terms like “sales, Rory Vaden, stairs, take the stairs, discipline, Success Starts Now, social media, etc.”).

    4. Follow People Back
    If someone follows you, then follow them back. That shows that you are not a celebrity that is not willing to follow people back but that you are interested in developing relationships with people which attracts more followers. I personally follow everyone who follows me at this point and many people do. I think it’s kind of rude not to follow someone back although some others have a different philosophy.

    5. Be Human
    People want to know the real you. They don’t want a bunch of corporate jargon or just to be broadcasted to about your products. Promoting your brand/company/product is great but just make sure that you are vulnerable at times and give people an inside look at who you are. And don’t be afraid to be yourself. The best thing in the world is to have people un-follow you because they don’t like something you said. That’s fine because you are creating your very own target market. The beauty of the internet is that you no longer have to worry about making everyone happy because there are enough people out there that you can just be yourself and people will want to be a part of that. Remember, “be who you are and say what you mean because those who mind, don’t matter; and those who matter, don’t mind.”

    6. Scratch My Back and I’ll Scratch Yours
    Probably the second most powerful way (next to #10 on this list) I’ve seen to get followers is to target people on Twitter who tweet about similar things that you’re interested in and then RT (re-tweet) their content (make sure to use their Twitter handle such as “RT @rory_vaden” in your post). If they are using Tweetdeck or any other similar service, they will see that you forwarded their content; which is a great compliment. And very often they will either publicly thank you or even better they will return the favor by finding something valuable that you’ve written and they’ll RT you back. Either way, whenever someone mentions you (i.e. they write a post with your Twitter handle in it) then ALL of their followers have an opportunity to see your handle, check out your profile, and possibly begin following you.

    7. Share the Love
    When someone does RT you or give you a mention make sure to thank them and if possible find something relevant they have to RT back. This ensures that they will continue to RT you in the future and that you will both grow together. Twitter is all about forming a community of people around the things that you’re interested in. ALWAYS be looking for opportunities to RT valuable information (sayings, videos, pics, blog articles, etc.) from other people out into your Twitter stream. Also on Follow Fridays (designated by hash tag #FF) it’s customary in Twitter culture to announce to the world who your highest recommendations are for good people to follow.

    8. Announce it on High
    Make sure that you let people know on your e-mail signature that you are on these other platforms. You can also add it to your business cards or other marketing materials. And of course you want to have intertwining links to your Facebook, LinkedIn, You Tube, Twitter, and Blog. They should all point to each of the others.

    9. Have a Blog
    Your blog is the central home point of all of your social media relations. It’s where people learn about you and it’s often where they go to get involved in a relationship and hopefully someday a financial transaction with you. All of the other social media sites (FB, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) are just flag posts that help you grow communities and traffic that you can direct to your blog. Your blog is where you share whatever your expertise is; in my case it’s strategies for improving your self-discipline in every area of your life and how to do things you don’t want to do.

    And finally the best, grandest, most important, and biggest secret of all…put out good content!!!! Say something that adds value to people’s lives. No one cares that you’re eating a burrito on the porch. Not unless you’re a food critic and you give reports on the best restaurants in town. Tell me something that I can use in my life. I’ll let you sell something to me but only after you’ve first earned my trust by giving me a chance to glean some wisdom from you. If you’re in real estate, show me some pictures on good deals. If you’re a financial advisor, give me a link to an article that explains why we should stay invested when everything tanks. If you sell cars, give me the lowdown on what the coolest features are on the new models and tell me the horror stories of the crap cars on the market. You get the idea. Give people something of value. Share your expertise. Be helpful and don’t be selfish. I hope that you all get value from the things I’m putting out. My biggest fear is being one more person who is broadcasting 10 million messages on the highest volume possible out to a bunch of people who don’t care.

    As I re-read this post I realize that I’m feeling a bit feisty on this issue for some reason. Probably because there are so many cheeseball gimmicks about how to get more followers.  Having lots of followers doesn’t mean you’re cool necessarily. It does mean though that you have the rare privilege and opportunity to impact people’s lives. When it comes to social media there is a whole lot of ego and a whole lot of “escalator mentality” going around in social media land and I’m not a fan of that part of it.

    The most blatant truth I’ve realized is that if I’m no fun in real life, then I will be no fun online (there is no difference). Let’s be people who are interesting and let’s be people who give and share our expertise in a concise way that helps the lives of others and not just our own pocket books. Let’s work to be disciplined about caring for others more than we care for ourselves; that’s hard work for me, too.

    Thank you for the compliment of being my friend and my follower.

    Follow us at www.roryontwitter.com, Friend us at www.roryonfacebook.com, Watch us at www.roryonyoutube.com

    For information on booking motivational speaker and self-discipline strategist Rory Vaden please visit us at www.roryvaden.com

    For information on sales coaching, sales training, or sales consulting please visit www.southwesternconsulting.com

    Have a college-aged student in your life that you want to introduce to success principles, entrepreneurship, and leadership? Have them check out The Southwestern Company paid internship at www.southwesterninternship.com

    Join motivational speaker Rory Vaden’s Take the Stairs Tour:

    Click Here

    See you in the stairwell,

    Rory Vaden
    Take the stairs – Success means doing what others won’t.


    Twitter connects businesses to customers in real-time. Businesses use Twitter to quickly share information with people interested in their products and services, gather real-time market intelligence and feedback, and build relationships with customers, partners and influential people. From brand lift, to CRM, to direct sales, Twitter offers businesses a chance to reach an engaged audience. Here is Twitter’s own guide to Twitter for Business: http://business.twitter.com/.

    Rory Vaden, self-discipline strategist and co-founder of Southwestern Consutling™  has taken his own experiences with Twitter and broken it down into a few simple steps for attracting more business through Twitter.  Listen in to this 8 minute audio lesson to begin increasing your sales todayl.  

     3 Twitter Techniques for Attracting Business  

    Let us know how this worked for you . . .

  • Powerful Online Listening – The Basics of Tweetdeck

    By:  Rory Vaden

    Tweetdeck is a powerful listening tool; Twitter is pretty much useless without Tweetdeck. There are three primary benefits of using this free service:

    1. Tweetdeck allows you to segment all the people you are “following” into smaller sub-categories.
    2. You can monitor what is being said about any specific term such as your name, your company, your industry, etc.
    3. Tweetdeck enables you to learn about any specific topic that you are interested in by again monitoring some specific terms.

    Like everything else, it takes discipline to set it up after work hours, discipline to check in on it every so often after work hours, and discipline to contribute to the community regularly (via SocialOomph after work hours).

    The first technique is what I call Friend Feeding. It eliminates all the noise of all the people you are following and allows you to target . . .