New Top 100 Image Generator

You asked and we provided – you can now generate a Top 100 image from your Rise Board for sharing far and wide.

I’ve started including it in my release announcement Tweets too, with immediate good evidence of higher engagement than previous tweets with similar content.

For instance this post scored over 400 impressions and 26 engagements

Screenshot 2017-09-11 10.18.00

While a similar tweet in May with only the top 10 scored only 200 impressions and one engagement…

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I hope you enjoy the new image feature.

 

Selling B2B? Why you need a social selling success tracking program.

Social Selling, the use of social media like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn by sales professionals, is a great buzz phrase. But does it really work?

IBM seems to think so – their social selling pilot in 2012 saw a 400% increase in sales on top of massive increases in reach. LinkedIn agree, their research in 2016 found that sales people who share content are 45% more likely to exceed quota.

Many other professional services firms have since followed suit – often by buying LinkedIn Sales Navigator licences for staff (e.g. Ernst & Young).

Certainly “social selling” is now  dominated  by LinkedIn with its 200 million strong professional user base, and now backed by Microsoft, it is set to maintain its dominance.

However social selling can and will happen on other tools and sites:

  • Quora questions and answers can deliver very targeted leads
  • Twitter provides a fast moving environment for breaking news
  • TED talks can strengthen existing thought leadership positions
  • Presentation decks on Slideshare can keep presenting for you long after the original talk
  • Blog posts can provide the space to make an argument effectively.
  • Sector focused Facebook groups can be lively and engaging
  • Whatsapp groups can trigger rapid responses among business people.

New sites can pop up too, like Gartner’s new cloudadvice.com platform that offers a forum for experts while tools like Blab.im can pop up and go away in just a few months.

For some businesses, they may also run their own online social platforms – whether multi-stakeholder such as the business2community.com blogging community or a corporate focused one such as CapGemini’s Expert Connect.

Then of course there are geographically localised sites that may offer more profitable prospecting in specific countries, such as Xing in Germany, Viadeo in France or Weibo in China.

The lesson is that when it comes to B2B social selling there is unlikely to ever be a single site that covers all your needs for all your sales focused staff.

Analyse that!

This then presents a problem when it comes to analysing what works. Whether from a management point of view, asking “is our licence money well spent?”, or from an indvidual point of view, “where should I invest my time?” – having so many different options brings a struggle to create a cohesive strategy.

One way to decide, is to use a data driven approach: look at the results of activity and link them back to success. Do more of what seems to work and less of what doesn’t.

Many platforms offer their own analytics which do go some way to providing the necessary feedback loop. They offer  scores based on your activity – whether specific metrics, e.g. number of tweet impressions or a more sophisticated, composite index such as Klout or LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index. These are what are termed native analytics tools as provided by the platform.

However, most native analytics tools are biased towards usage rather than value.

Take LinkedIn’s SSI for example. One LinkedIn trainer, Andy Foote, who looked in detail at how the score algorithm is calculated said:

“Frankly, it looks like a checklist for how to become an aggressive LinkedIn pest.”

It’s true. Every analytics package always has designer bias built in. In LinkedIn’s case it makes complete sense that the metrics should prioritise getting people to use LinkedIn over other priorities. Even something as simple as the order in which analytics are shown reflects the preference of the designer, yet the viewer will instinctively treat the first metric as more important – it’s simply the way we’re wired.

How can I bias the analytics towards business value for us, not the platform?

One way to do this is to create your own social selling score and composite metrics instead. You can then order and weight metrics according to your contextual priorities, not those of the underlying communications platform.

Creating a meaningful social score for your staff need not be difficult or expensive: using a spreadsheet you can import raw usage data from any of your sales navigator staff from Linkedin, you can download data from twitter analytics too. Combine it all together and you can create a social selling composite report for each sales rep that reflects your priorities as a business (and your experience of what works in your sector). Then email out the score to each rep and you can get them engaged and motivated to focus on the right social selling behaviours.

Of course if that sounds like too much work to do each week, then you can of course use Rise to take away much of the heavy lifting. Rise will pull in the data automatically where possible, process it and calculate a score. Rise will then share the results to each sales rep via email or in a personal online dashboard.

If you’d like to try Rise out (for free) then we recommend a simple RiseFuse implementation. This app uses Klout scores as a proxy for more detailed metrics. It means you can be up and running in half an hour. Or if you’d like to take your time then contact us and we’d be happy to walk you through what’s possible.

Investing in Sales Navigator licences? Put some budget into success tracking too.

I think the key takeaway for me is that if you are spending in the thousands to give your staff sales navigator licences then you should spend in the hundreds to make sure that investment is giving you value (management reporting) and personal feedback so that your staff  can optimise their behaviour to give them value (personal reporting).

Automate your life with the Rise.global Zapier app

Automation is one of those things that makes life a little bit easier.

I’m certainly someone who likes to automate wherever I can, and nowhere more so in my digital notifications.

As a Rise.global regular I look out for updates to my score on Twitter Followers Club and Twitter Activity Club. I am actively trying to improve my use of Twitter at the moment so I find both boards provide helpful analytics for me to optimise with.

However, the updates come via email and I’m also someone who gets a deluge of email so the updates are sometimes missed.

risezapierThis is where Zapier comes in for me – Zapier is a kind of bridge between different software systems. If something happens on one system, it can then trigger activity on another.

Wonderful” I thought, “perhaps Zapier can help me get notifications direct to my mobile phone?

Adn Indeed it does, Zapier supports “Pushover” a dedicated notifications service for my mobile.

So all I needed to do was to get Zapier to look out for releases of the boards I’m interested in and then get Pushover to notify me of my latest score directly onto my phone.

Here’s the result:

2016-09-21-10-06-42

Now you can see, alongside my other phone notifications I get my latest Twitter Followers Club score.

Because this is Zapier, I could have done this for a whole host of others services too such as adding a new to do item to Asana or a new card on Trello. I can even configure it to post out to Twitter on my behalf, letting my followers know my awesome new score.

Automation made that bit easier with Zapier.

If you’d like to use the Rise.Global Zapier app then follow this link to gain access to the beta. You’ll then be able to use Rise as an app on your own Zapier account.

 

How I did it

If you’re interested in copying me and setting up a notification for yourself then here’s how I did it, step by step. You’ll of course need your own Zapier.com account to do it.

  1. Sign up with Zapier.com
  2. Add the Rise.global app
  3. On Rise.global, sign in, go to Edit Profile then API key and click the button to generate your api key (you’ll need this later on)
  4. On Zapier create a zap
    screenshot-2016-09-30-15-23-21
  5. Choose Rise as the Trigger
    screenshot-2016-09-30-15-23-51
  6. In the options you’ll need to use your API key to connect Zapier to your Rise.global account
  7. Now choose which Rise Board you want to be the trigger for activity each time it releases (typically weekly for most Rise Boards).
  8. Now set up the Action. I chose to use Pushover but you could use a different app you’re more familiar with.
    screenshot-2016-09-30-15-43-29
  9. Now inside your notification, and this is the fiddly bit, you need to define the message that you want to send, each time the release occurs.

    Here you can see I am using Board Name, the name of the release, my score and my rank as the merge fields.
    screenshot-2016-09-30-15-24-16

  10.  That’s it, test your zap and then turn it on. Now sit back and wait for your personal analytics news to come to you!

 

How to use your Rise profile when requesting a Twitter verified account

Twitter verified accounts are all the rage, especially for senior influencers across the web: using your Rise.global profile will help you justify verification.

Now Twitter has opened up the verification program to allow self nominations, it’s time for you to request verified status for yourself.

As part of verification, Twitter requires you to provide site URLs that:

“help express the account holder’s newsworthiness or relevancy in their field.” – Twitter verification guidance

An excellent URL for doing exactly this is your Rise profile.

Your Rise profile shows the fields you are influential in, and your current score or ranking within those fields. Because your score is regularly being updated, the team at Twitter can be assured that it is an accurate and up to date reflection of your influential status across one or more fields.

Copy the URL from your profile and include it on your twitter verification form, as I’ve done below:

Screenshot 2016-07-26 10.31.12

Here’s my current Rise profile that will be seen by the team at Twitter.

Screenshot 2016-07-26 10.43.05

 

For each Rise Board you are participating in, you can configure how your score / rank is displayed to the world at large using the Settings for each board:

Getting Going as a Blogger

If you haven’t got a Rise profile yet then it’s easy to get one. Simply sign up to Rise and connect your social media accounts. Then, if you haven’t been added to any boards yet, search the Public Boards to find relevant communities, then use the Join button to request inclusion on the board.

If you’re looking for inspiration, why not visit the profiles of some other senior influencers who’ve also set up their Rise profiles e.g.  Justin Matthew:

Justin Matthew

Screenshot 2016-07-26 10.50.59

Gary Arndt

Screenshot 2016-07-26 11.04.00

Siddharth Chatterjee

Screenshot 2016-07-26 11.04.46

UPDATE – 19/Sep/2016

Please note that Twitter alone is responsible for grading whether your account is suitable for verification. Your use of a Rise profile as a submission URL should accompany other materials showing you to be a figure of public interest.

 

 

The top 10 barriers to social media tracking success.

In this post I outline the ten barriers that stop many businesses from measuring our social media return on investment effectively. I then propose a simple four step solution.  This is a summary of a talk on how to measure social media success given at Spring Fair and at Jewellery & Watch (slides).

 

Social media is a potential bottomless time pit – we can spend countless hours tweeting, posting and snapping with no return. In an ideal world we’d know what worked and do more of that: that’s the promise of effective social media measurement and tracking.

 

Before most businesses achieve a self-tracking culture that lets them see their social media ROI there are 10 barriers they must overcome.

 

None of the barriers are insurmountable but each presents difficulties.

 

The barriers are:

 

  1. No link from digital to physical events

For many bricks and mortar businesses, the transaction is completed in the physical world – someone comes into your shop for example. In this environment it’s really hard to attribute transactions back to their digital roots on social media or elsewhere.

 

  1. Not tracking as a team

Evaluating the analytics and planning optimization strategies as a result requires the mindshare of more than one person in a team. Trying to do analytics on your own, while possible, is hard to maintain momentum. Without the key team bought in, to looking at the metrics, it’s very hard to justify the necessary iterations you will need to make.

 

  1. Trying to track success in multiple channels simultaneously

 

In my experience I’m only really able to concentrate on one metric at a time. Trying to evaluate the results from multiple channels reduces the focus you need to be successful at optimization. It’s all too easy to flick flack between channels and getting nowhere as a result.

 

  1. Trying to track metrics for multiple stages of maturity simultaneously

 

Social media channels evolve through 4 stages of maturity. It is only worth tracking the metrics of one stage at a time – the stage your channel is currently at. To do otherwise again will blur the focus of your optimization efforts. The four stages of maturity are covered in the GERM model – metrics for really busy folk. They are Getting Going, Engagement, Reliable Reach and Monetisation.

 

  1. Metric Overload

 

Most social media channels have a plethora of analytics and metrics they output for you – far too many to be useful all at once. Looking at too many metrics will dull your focus and reduce your ability to optimize effectively. Don’t forget, our objective is to know what works – by focusing on one metric at a time we know whether changes we make to our channel are effecting that metric positively or negatively.

 

  1. Being seduced by vanity metrics

 

Vanity metrics are the easy metrics that make us feel good – total followers, total fans for example. But vanity metrics don’t tell enough of the story – we have a 1000 followers but do they care about our content? There’s no point in having 100s of fans if we never post anything.

 

  1. Undisciplined analytics processes

 

Looking at the stats every few months or so doesn’t create an internal culture that can use metrics to improve your social media channel. Without a consistent analytics discipline in place (weekly metrics meeting for example) you’re unlikely to make those kaizen optimisations that are needed for real success.

 

  1. Fuzzy marketing strategy

 

If your marketing strategy lacks clarity – your audience, your message, your channels, your pipeline is fuzzy then your social media channel will be fuzzy. Metrics need specificity to be useful – what exactly are you trying to achieve with your social media channel?

 

  1. Hazy audience development plan

 

This is all too often the case, where the target audience definition is hazy and the way in which we’ll reach them is not thought out. While you don’t necessarily need to worry about this until you’re worrying about growing a reliable reach – your audience development plan needs to state how and why your audience will grow.

 

  1. Not valuing our own time

 

The number one barrier I see when trying to achieve social media success is not valuing our own time – if you don’t know how much you’ve invested, it’s hard to make a call as to whether what comes out is worth it. It may be that after all those hours creating your own media channel you’d have been better off paying to advertise on someone else’s!

 

So how do you set about overcoming these barriers in your own social media measurement efforts?

4 Step Approach

There are 4 steps, and the great news is that they are refreshingly easy to do and will actual reduce the amount of work you do today rather than increase it!

 

  1. Start with a single channel

Your metrics journey starts with just one channel – focus on getting that right first before worrying about your other channels. Metrics is a discipline. Habit forming and focus is more important than covering all the bases.

 

  1. Focus on the metrics appropriate to your channel’s stage of maturity

 

Take an honest look at your channel (or better still ask one of your audience members) and ask yourself what stage you are at – getting going, engagement, reliable reach or monetization. Then choose one metric to focus on, appropriate to that stage.

 

  1. Only analyse what you plan to optimize

 

There’s no point looking at metrics if you don’t do anything about them. There’s no point doing anything unless you look at the metrics to see if it worked. Optimisation is not about making multiple sweeping changes – one change at a time (weekly for example) is enough for you to learn what works best with your audience.

 

  1. Form a metrics tracking habit

 

Evaluate your metrics regularly and consistently as this will allow you to make the multiple small improvements which will eventually bring you social media success.

 

Am I eating my own dog food?

 

In the software industry the phrase “are you eating your own dog food?” or more positively “are you sipping your own champagne?” asks tech executives to use their own tools and prove their efficacy themselves.

 

Over the past few weeks I’ve applied this approach to my own personal twitter account @tobyberesford. I identified that the channel was stuck at the “getting going” stage – I simply wasn’t posting consistently every day.

 

To form a metrics habit I joined up with the free “Twitter Activity Club” (aka the TAC) provided by Rise.global. Each week the board emails me with my average tweets per day, and the week to week change.

 

Taking a look at my stats on the TAC I soon saw my own, rather choppy, performance. Some weeks I tweeted plenty, others not so much. I am yo-yoing up and down in terms of activity and consequently rank on the leaderboard.

 

I’m now working on some more consistent habits. I’m using Buffer to make sure I’ve scheduled at least 4 tweets going out every day. Now its up to me to make sure I stick to that discipline and once confident that I’ve achieved that I’ll move (finally) past the getting going stage and then I’ll start working on improving my audience’s level of engagement with my tweets.

 

What’s your next step in your journey?

If you’re still getting going then I recommend joining theTwitter Activity Club and taking advantage of the free weekly metrics service.

If you’re thinking about engagement then join the Twitter Engagement Club or, if you’re now working on growing your reach then join the Twitter Followers Club. Each club provides the right metric for your Twitter channel depending on its level of maturity.

 

 

 

G.E.R.M. – the right communication metrics to track with digital media

The G.E.R.M. model (Getting Going, Engagement, Reliable Reach, Monetisation) focuses your scarce resources by making you track and evaluate only the metrics relevant to your media channel’s stage of maturity right now – this forces you to only analyse what you plan to optimise.

Keeping track of metrics on your digital channels is hard, really hard. For one, there are just so many channels (web, twitter, mobile, facebook, email) and then for each there is a different set of metrics (visitors, retweets, downloads, likes and so on).

Who is to say which metrics are worth tracking and are actually important?

Today, we all default to tracking the “vanity metric” which is reach. The number of people your channel purports to reach. It’s a vanity metric because it is easy to track and makes us feel important – how many visitors, how many fans, how many followers, email subscribers… But vanity metrics say nothing about the health of our channel.

  • What’s the point of 1 million followers if you never tweet?
  • What’s the point of 10,000 fans if they never engage?
  • What’s the point of 1,000 downloads if they never buy?

That’s just it, vanity reach metrics alone are not enough to create a successful media channel (and that applies to old media just as much as new.) To be successful you need to track the other metrics that matter to you.

This is where GERM comes in.

It helps you arrange your metric tracking into four sensible buckets each applying to a different stage of your channels development.

 

This will free you up because the GERM model requires only that you look at the metric of the current stage. If you’re just getting going, you don’t need to measure whether you’re monetising. If you’re focusing on building engagement, you don’t need to worry about growing your reach.

This will give your evaluation efforts, a real focus on what matters right now for your channel.

Let’s have a look at the four stages in detail and give some examples of metrics applicable for each stage. We’ll use Twitter as our example channel here but it could be any media channel. The principles are the same.

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Getting Going

At the getting going stage, your channel is in its infancy. Right now your job is to create content consistently. Can you set a content volume target and reach it, day in day out. It’s more important that you are consistent in when you post than how much content you post. There are plenty of monthly magazines out there still going strong.

At the Getting Going stage your metrics are all about how consistent you are: how many tweets per day, blog posts per month for example.

Engagement

In engagement the question is really – are we relevant to our target audience. Every media channel needs a target audience (if you don’t have one defined, go back to the drawing board and describe it now!). Engagement is all about measuring whether the content you are producing is engaging and interesting to your target audience.

On Twitter we might count number of retweets, particularly those from people we see as our target audience. At a live event this might be number of questions, on the web it’s average dwell time.

Reliable Reach & Virality

Do you have a reliable audience that is tuning in to your media channel on a regular basis? This is all about creating a reliable reach – people who are listening to what you have to say. Virality is about ensuring that your reach is growing, ideally through word of mouth which costs you nothing.

Metrics to measure when you are focusing on your reach include bounce rate if you’re on the web, % growth in number of followers per week if you’re on Twitter.

Monetisation

Fourth and finally it’s time to think about monetisation. Are you reaping the financial rewards you want from your media channel? And in this context monetisation is any business objective you have for your media channel – it could be to view some adverts, make a donation, subscribe to a list or even visit another media channel you own.

The exact metrics you measure here will depend on your specific business needs. Most people don’t monetise directly on social media so the monetisation metric on Twitter tends to be the number of referrals it has driven to the website.

So there you have it – GERM – a nice easy to remember acronym to help guide you in building an effective media channel.

Does it work?

I’ve started using it myself and it has exposed a key weakness in my personal social media brand – particularly on Twitter – I am simply not consistent enough with my posting. Some weeks I post over 20 times, some nothing at all – clearly this isn’t a real media channel.

I’ve now started to use Buffer to pre-load and schedule tweets which has definitely helped me. Next up I’m doing strategy work to ensure that I’m tweeting about the topics that are going to be of interest to my target audience.

Does Rise have any free tools to help?

Well funnily enough there is the free Twitter Activity Club to do the tracking of tweet consistency (for those at the Getting Going stage) for you. Each week it emails with a count of tweets and average tweets per day. It then compares your work rate with the previous week to give you a measure of whether you’re getting better or worse.

I recommend you join the Twitter Activity Club Rise board with your Twitter account and email address and you’ll start seeing your weekly score come through. It’s a great way to get going and to measure what’s important first when it comes to your media channel metrics.

 

 

Why leaders must take control of the score

As a leader, one of your jobs is to keep those you lead focused on the goals you are trying to reach.

An underused tool in every leader’s toolbox is to create and share “the score”.

“The score” is how you have decided everyone should measure success, whether as individuals or as a group.

Whether we realise it or not, we all take account of the score in our daily lives. Indeed,  if you don’t share the score, people will invent their own. This can have hideous consequences as people chase after the wrong activities. No, it’s far better for you to take control of the score by choosing which KPIs matter and communicating them clearly.

As a leader it is your job to identify the scores that matter for the objectives you are seeking.

To do this, first write out the objectives and the success criteria for those objectives. These may be fairly numerical already. Then break down those objectives into the constituent parts and identify the important signals that you can measure reliably and easily. These are the metrics that go into making your score.

Next you need to attribute the score correctly. You have several options:

  • personal scores – this is a score for each individual. This approach works best in a group setting where there isn’t really a team objective – e.g. a conference, a group of separate businesses or a very large business
  • team scores – a score for your team. This works best when you are seeking to focus the efforts of your internal team – e.g. a KPI such as number of visitors to our website each month
  • market comparison – in more mature markets it may be more useful to focus on the comparison with peers – e.g. we are the number 1 supplier of milk in our region.

Finally, as a leader it’s not only your job to identify the scores that matter but also to communicate them regularly.

This could take many forms from a weekly email to a big screen TV leaderboard in the office. Whatever you choose, you need to remember that facts don’t speak for themselves. The medium you choose is important – people will take more notice of a leaderboard engraved in stone than one hastily scrawled on a piece of paper!

The score is an essential part of leadership. We all take account of the score whether we realise it or not. As a leader you can leverage the score and its communication to achieve the goals you’ve set for your team.

A great example of the importance of leaders and ‘communicating the score’ has recently taken the world’s media by storm. The Republican Party or Grand Old Party (GOP) Presidential candidates for the 2016 US elections recently debated each other on Fox News and presented to the audience what “scores” were important to them to keep and raise for the country. From here on in, how these individuals communicate their leadership goals to the people will be paramount. The use of Social Media will be more important than ever in reaching out and speaking to the electorate. Therefore we plan to monitor the online influence of the candidates and how this correlates with their popularity in the polls. Why not follow the The GOP Candidates Social Media Power Board and see for yourself. Interested in how much influence you have online? Why not join our Online Influencer Board and see how you compare?