Employee Advocacy = Engaged Employees

A great work environment with happy employees is the start for creating sincere and enduring employee advocates. When people experience a wonderful culture in action and believe in the reputation of their company, they become your most effective spokespeople.

Why Does it Matter?

There is a lot of research out there that supports the direct correlation between employee satisfaction and its impact on customer satisfaction.  When employees are engaged advocates, they will go the extra mile for the customer, seeking out alternate and better ways to deliver service that amazes and delights. These employees don’t mind spending extra time with a customer to ensure their complete satisfaction, has been met, and are more likely to set achievable expectations for customer service delivery and timing.

Additionally, employee advocacy humanizes your brand. It puts a face to the brick and mortar of your business and allows people outside the company to better identify with your people-driven mission. It’s like word-of-mouth advertising… a very powerful weapon in the war for customer satisfaction and their dollars.

What’s in it for Employees?

Empowerment allows employees to become stakeholders by having them take part in decision-making processes. This empowerment enables them to take responsibility for their role and manage their behaviors and outcomes.  A culture of trust allows people to do their job, autonomously. Employees want to create their own successes, and with that find greater satisfaction in themselves and with the culture around them.

Feedback is a powerful tool in the workplace. It enables people to see how they contribute to the bigger picture of the organization. It’s important for each employee to see how her specific role impacts the organization. Show employees, directly, how their work is improving customer retention, profitability, or the metric that is most closely related to their position. This will motivate them in their jobs, in attainable goals, and increase their engagement.

Skills and knowledge training provides the growth and expansion employees need to keep improving and advancing in their careers. Challenge them to find learning opportunities that can be applied to their jobs and allow them to put this new-found knowledge to work. The empowerment and satisfaction they can reap from this experience will encourage them to look forward to future learnings to continue growing their skills and knowledge.

Collaboration across an organization opens the door to team spirit and engages people at a more root level because they believe every employee is approachable for conversation. Being able to collaborate on projects with colleagues will increase employee engagement, and make the projects more satisfying and effective allowing employees to ideate, give peers feedback and bring solutions to the forefront. In other words, to take ownership.

Why You Need Advocates

Employees who are advocates for their organization cast a wider net not only inside the organization but externally, as well. They reach a larger audience and position themselves as the voice of the organization. They will increase your brand engagement with potential new customers and employees, which from a monetary value, can save companies dollars in advertising and marketing promotions. As engaged employees, advocates are tremendous agents and defenders of your company’s reputation, again positioning themselves as a voice for their employer. Further, research has shown that employee advocates can increase the stock value of organizations by over two and a half times versus organizations that do not support employee advocacy and engagement.

Creating Advocacy

Focus on your culture to understand how employees view the company. To truly understand how successful an advocacy program will work, you first need to understand what people are thinking. If you guess you may guess wrong and that could produce a myriad of consequences. Leadership needs to have the courage to ask, “What do you like and dislike about working here?” This information is gold to the wise employer. With this in hand, set out to better understand what your employees are seeing and that may even include how they view the leadership within the organization. Be prepared to leave your ego at the door, as the feedback may be a wake-up call for management, but if the goal is to create a better workplace, recognition of what works and what is failing miserably must be addressed.

Communication is key here. Employees are inspired by leadership that is open and authentic with communications. Strong leadership that has a clear idea of the company’s direction will be viewed much more favorably than a waffling leader that is out of touch with the company’s mission. When communications flow back and forth between leadership and the employee population, the likelihood of misunderstandings and mistakes lessens.

Measure the results. Whenever possible, track the metrics that will gauge the outcomes of employee advocacy. For example, if increased customer retention is the goal, design a program to determine what a successful outcome will be. Communicate this goal to your employees, then provide them with the resources and opportunities to explore and expand on their knowledge and skills in support of the goal. By tracking the data, you can adjust how you communicate and incentivize your employee advocacy initiatives for future goals.

Trust and Opportunity

Organizations need to believe in their employees and want to help them to promote the organization, but first they need to give them good reasons. Pressuring them rather than encouraging them will not work. Advocacy needs to flow naturally for it to be believable. Leadership can, however, empower employees with knowledge and tools to promote the benefits. With a minimal amount of direction, companies can offer opportunities for employees to exercise their bragging rights in a public, social way. I know of companies that had business cards printed for each employee so if that person was interacting in a social setting and felt the opportunity was right, they could hand their business card to potential new customers and even use it as a referral card for job seekers.

Of course, having a set of “Do’s and Don’ts” is helpful so employees understand what would fall outside the parameters of advocacy. No organization can tolerate proprietary information being shared with people outside the company, so establishing parameters that address items such as this, is important.

The Dividends

Essentially, the value of having employees who act as brand advocates offers a value next to priceless. What better way to market your organization, espouse the features of your products and spread the word in a social manner that is much less expensive than traditional marketing and advertising.

To me, employee advocacy is when employees look forward to pitching the benefits of their organization and do it because they’re excited and energized, not because they’re specifically prompted by management. What sets these advocates apart from other employees is they’re engaged with their employer and find their workplace environment a satisfying atmosphere where communication and opportunity to grow and collaborate occur with consistency.

And most importantly, organizations need to give employees a reason to advocate for the company. An engaged employee advocate is the best bet you have for increasing customer satisfaction, and to experience business prosperity in an organic manner that is natural and unprompted. And the best aspect is, it’s one of the best methods for retaining valuable talent and attracting more of the same.

Photo Credit: martinlouis2212 Flickr via Compfight cc

Just Because I Like You Doesn’t Mean I’ll Stay

When we associate ourselves with brands, we are associating ourselves with a feeling.

Maybe it’s the way it makes you feel or the way it makes your niece or nephew feel that in turn makes you feel a certain way. Good or bad, you know the feeling.

Getting It Right

There are a few brands that you can identify with that truly “nailed it” when it came to their first impression with you.

One brand that has directly impacted my life positively is something I do not even use anymore. However, I simply associate positive feelings with the brand.

I was new to audiobooks and quite frankly I have to admit I am not an early adopter to any new tech for the most part. The only way to haggle me into potentially paying for your service is to give me a deal I can’t refuse: free trial.

My favorite part? You get (1) free book upon signing up AND you get to keep it. Cool right? I know.

I instantly got excited because I was going on a road trip and seeing as I had plenty of expenses ahead of me — I wasn’t looking to spend any on books.

I searched a subject that I had been studying and instantly came across, “Pitch Anything” by Oren Klaff. I read the comments and synopsis and proceeded to fall in love. I knew I needed to have this book.

I downloaded and listened to the entire book in one day. It was like I found the perfect bottle of wine. I could consume it over and over again — much like my unhealthy obsession with soup. ;)

I had associated Audible now with — excited, comfortable, dependable, worth it’s value — type of feelings. The feelings were so strong I went and bought the physical book later.

Now, I no longer need Audible and Audible lost the immediate opportunity to steer me back onto their site to continue my trial. After my trial, I haven’t been back and it’s not entirely a bad thing.

I associate the brand with positive feelings. It would be hard to sway my brand loyalty to any other audiobook site/company — unless it was somehow tremendously easier to use/have greater access to.

If someone were to ask me where they can access audiobooks, Audible would be the first and only choice I would recommend.

To make things more interesting, my laziness for downloading excessive apps/books has led me to my most recent discovery:

Medium articles read via Pocket.

How does this work?

  • Download Medium app + Pocket app
  • Enable “Pocket App” on activities
  • Save Medium articles on Pocket
  • Go to Pocket
  • Click “Listen (TTS)”

TTS = Text-to-speech

The voice over reminds me of a feminine anonymous voice.

Wait, So I thought They “Nailed It”?

Well, yes, they did. They nailed the feeling I should associate with the brand. However, the organic engagement and customer experience part? Yes, that was absent. It seemed like the extent they went was reaching back out via email. It was so disappointing.

I am a regular Barnes & Nobles loiterer. Yes, loiterer — that person that reads 1–2 books while i’m there and leaves empty handed.

Is this a bad thing? Not really, I probably spend most (if any) disposable income at B & N. They aren’t missing out on any potential $$ opportunity with me. Instead, they are providing a positive and welcoming customer experience that allows me to purchase on my own accord.

If you’ve been the occasional loiterer, you can attest to the joy of not being pressured to buy something you aren’t sure about.

Humans like to use all senses to make a decision:

  • Touch
  • Taste
  • Sight
  • Sound
  • Smell

I’d tack on pressure as another in my opinion. If I feel too much pressure, I get a bad taste in my mouth and immediately refuse to buy. If I don’t have enough, I am reluctant to act. There should be some type of pressure and just enough. I see those “helpful” employees that wander around saying, “Can I help you look for something?”, as that pressure. It’s healthy. But, no i’m good…thanks for asking.

How Do You Know When To Engage?

This is where data analysis comes into play. If your company has not batted an eye at how it can use its own data to make more informed decisions for the customer experience (CX), well — that is a shame. No data analysis, no data advantage — it’s simple. You need it and if you don’t have it, you are behind.

In the world we live in today, data collection and analysis is a necessity. If you don’t do it, your competitor will and they will ultimately dip from your honey jar.

You may have manifested the honey from your bees but the honey can be taken if left in plain sight — think bears.

The external factors will always and should always keep you on your toes.

You or your brand/company will fight an uphill battle unless you beat down the path and make it literally impossible to want to seek another trail.

As long as you are staying ahead, listening, and engaging when it matters most to your customers — the better feelings you/your brand/company is associated with.

Keep it simplebuild relationships and care about them.

A version of this was originally on

6 Things To Make Your Customer Service Standout

Have you ever heard the saying, “The moment you win a new customer, you begin to lose them?” There’s definite truth to this, but there are simple ways to keep your customers engaged with you, your product and company that can make them long-term partners.

Build a Personal Relationship

One of the biggest engagement factors with clients is how they feel they are perceived and treated by their service provider. So how much do you know about your clients, not only their product issues and concerns, but them personally? Ultimately, people want to deal with people, preferably people they actually like because they have a personal connection. Companies that overly automate their service communications may do this for expedience and in some instances it makes sense, but with this, some of the personalization from a human voice is lost. It doesn’t really give customers a chance to feel appreciated or understood by a fellow human being. Even though we live in a very technology-driven world, most people still prefer to hear the voice of a customer service person on the other end of the phone or to have an attentive live chat on a website.

Additionally, an inviting and friendly voice asking someone about their day shows interest and an effort to connect on the human level, and this is not only always welcome but also helps build a relationship. Also something as small as asking about their day can increase customer satisfaction and all with little effort.

Setting and Managing Expectations

Service reps often fall prey to setting unrealistic expectations because they want to tell customers what they believe they want to hear. But setting unrealistic expectations creates a false stage for what people can expect and if you don’t deliver on what was promised, you can expect to meet with resistance and hostility the next time you speak with your customer. Articulating this in clear terms is a very important responsibility for anyone working in a service capacity. Good communication and timely feedback can give your customers peace of mind, even in the instance when the solution to their problem cannot be fixed in a timely fashion. People prefer to know upfront what can and what cannot be done, but more than that, they want to know they can rely on the expertise, follow-through and sincere interest by the service provider to make inroads on the resolution… this means honest communication about the limitations of what you can do, explaining what resources you will need to bring in to fix the problem, how much time it will take, what might potentially make the resolution stall, and the timing of the subsequent communications they can expect to receive. Also, put yourself in their shoes. Think about the last time you had to call someone to help you with a product or service. Did you get off the phone feeling confident that your problem would be resolved, or that you’re just a voice on the phone with a complaint? Was the explanation of how to solve the problem reasonable or just words to end the call more quickly?

Keep in mind, following up with customers is another essential aspect of setting expectations. No one wants to feel snubbed and that their issue has fallen through a crack. Even under circumstances when the service rep assumes a problem is solved, they need to regroup with the customer to ensure that the problem has, indeed, been solved and the customer is satisfied. This is where good communication skills are called into play. When working with clients, gaining their trust and confidence can work in your favor as you assist them during the service experience. Some problems are a quick fix and others will take time to investigate and resolve. Communicating this to customers helps them to better understand what to expect and doesn’t leave them feeling in the dark.

Own Your Mistakes

One of the worse things any business can do is not accept responsibility for errors, or worse misdirect the error back to the client as something they did wrong. Customers don’t like mistakes… no one does, but when people know there is a human being on the other end who is taking ownership of the problem, it becomes a much more tolerable situation. Taking the time to forge relationships with customers means you are much more likely to be dealing with an understanding customer when inevitable issues arise. Knowing this, companies need to take the necessary steps to ensure their frontline service providers are empowered with the authority to take responsibility. For these employees that are customer-facing, being able to solve problems empathetically, and with swift and confident determination not only assures your customers that they are in competent hands, but also empowers your employees to go the extra mile… and this includes having the confidence to say, “I don’t know, but will find out,” as part of the resolution process. This response, also, requires confidence and faith in your employees to know they can do this if the problem cannot be corrected at the moment they are interacting with the customer.

Bending Over Backwards

Have you ever experienced working with a customer service rep that pulled out all the stops to help you? If you’ve been lucky, you can say, “yes,” to this. Those of us who have, know we’ve been considered a priority and our problem is the only thing that is in the spotlight to receive attention. It’s abundantly obvious when customers are made to feel important and it’s also obvious when customer service representatives are bothered or annoyed by the interruption of a customer’s request for help. Getting the brush-off when the interaction is face-to-face or being rushed off the phone is not an effective way to engender oneself with a customer. In a survey conducted by help desk software developer Help Scout, they found poor service delivery not only affects a company’s ability to satisfy their customers’ needs, but not surprisingly affects a company’s bottom line.

Respect Their Time

Time is a commodity of which we all wish we had more. In today’s world we are all called upon to do more with less and with that want our time observed and respected. In regards to service delivery, this means giving customers your undivided attention and listening to understand and not just to respond in some obligatory way. If your company is organized to deliver service via the phone, you need to be attentive to the customer on the other end of the phone and not scanning emails, or preoccupied with other work sitting on your desk. People can “sense” when their time is being wasted and may either get angry at the lack of concern or worse, the customer ends the call before their issue has been addressed and resolved. With this later action, some form of retribution may be sought out by the customer, so be prepared to deal with backlash.

Loyalty is a Two-way Street

Most consumers will stay with a brand or service provider for the long-term, if they have received the service they expect, and are consistently shown the value of their patronage with honest, personal and timely service and follow-up. (Further, they may in turn express their satisfaction by acting as a referral source for your company.) Keep in mind, it takes more than treating people as you wish to be treated, it means treating them as they wish to be treated. There is no one size fits all when it comes to working with people, but certain skills like listening to understand, remaining focused on the customer in front of you or with you via the phone, and even remaining attentive when your company website provides a chat option for service, will help you to gain the customers’ confidence in helping them resolve a problem.

Put yourself in the shoes of the customer and image your reaction to how you were last treated by a service provider. Providing great customer service is a skill that not everyone has, but is one that a willing and determined person can learn.

Here’s to your next great customer interaction.

photo credit: d_t_vos Week 6 via photopin (license)

Influencer Marketing Gone Wrong—Avoiding the Most Common Mistakes

Are you responsible for managing campaigns to roll out a new product or service? Or are you one of the essential cogs in the HR machine with a job that includes finding top talent? In either scenario (and in many others) influencer marketing may be exactly what you’re looking for.

As I’ve said before, I am a brand champion for talent, and I think it’s important to understand how influencer marketing is reshaping the way businesses market and sell their products.

I also think it’s important to understand what to and what NOT to do when you’re considering working with an influencer to speak on your brand’s behalf.

Influencer marketing is one of the hottest (and cost-effective) forms of marketing today, and it works. But—and this is a big but—only when it’s done right. Problems with influencer marketing happen when brands “hear the buzzword,” and jump right in without developing a strategy and foundation for their program.

All too often, this approach to influencer marketing ends in failure. Or worse, damage to the brand’s reputation.

It’s no secret that this type of marketing can be one of the best ways to build brand awareness. Studies have found that influencer marketing, which is basically highly targeted and strategized word-of-mouth marketing, generates two times more sales than paid advertising. Better yet, customers gained through this kind of marketing have a 37 percent higher chance of becoming loyal customers.

Influencer marketing can also have a very high ROI: Businesses make an average of $6.50 per dollar spent. No wonder so many marketers are scrambling to give it a try. However, there’s just one major problem: Too many brands do it wrong. Here are some common mistakes and tips so you can avoid making them.

Mistake #1: Not Treating Influencers Like Real People

Lack of authenticity is often one of the biggest issues in influencer marketing campaigns. Influencers are people—they may be people who’ve branded themselves well and have created an impressive online or offline reputation, but they’re still people. Many brands seem to forget this; they approach influencers like another faceless brand or company and neglect to treat them like real human beings.

Don’t Make This Mistake

Influencer marketing is about establishing and building relationships—real connections with real people. Here are some ground rules:

  • Approach influencers like you would a co-worker or industry professional you admire.
  • Write them a personalized message, and avoid anything that sounds automated or cliché.
  • Pay them an authentic compliment.
  • Give them a little creative freedom when they do agree to share their feelings about your brand.

The point of influencer marketing is, well, their opinions. That’s why you’ve done your research and chosen the best ones for your company or brand (see below about choosing incorrectly!). Don’t box them in by telling them exactly what to say or how to say it.

Influencers have feelings too—treat them like the people they are.

Mistake #2: Approaching the Wrong Influencer for Your Campaign

Finding the right influencer–someone who resonates with the audience you’re marketing to—is essential for the success of your campaign. Choosing someone based only on the number of their online friends or followers can misfire. If the person you’ve chosen doesn’t jive with your brand’s personality, marketing through them will never get the response you want, no matter how many followers they have. Your chosen influencers should have a lot in common with your brand: Interests, target audiences, expertise, and even aesthetics.

Don’t Make This Mistake

How do you choose the right influencers? Think of your organization’s hiring process: When you’re considering a potential employee, you screen them to make sure they fit the company culture, right? The concept is the same.

Do some research into your prospective influencer’s background:

  • How do they behave with their friends and followers?
  • Are they engaging with other brands? Which ones?
  • What is their reputation?
  • What material are they sharing and how is it resonating with the people you hope to reach?
  • Are they active in the same forums the people you hope to reach are?

Take a look at your potential influencer’s followers.

  • What are they discussing?
  • What do they like or dislike?
  • What do they share online?
  • Do they resemble any of your customer profiles, or seem like people who might use your product or service or tell others about them?

Understanding an influencer’s personal brand will help you decide whether they mesh with your company culture. It will also help you approach them with a more personal touch—a win-win effort.

Mistake #3: Being Disorganized—or Too Strict

Disorganization and a lack of communication will kill any relationship—business or otherwise. Chances are, you pour a lot of resources into your other marketing campaigns, so plan to do the same for any influencer marketing campaigns you manage.

Influencer marketing campaigns should be just as organized as your other campaigns. Trust me, the influencer will thank you. Nothing is worse than agreeing to help out a brand only to find out they don’t even know what they want or need from you.

Having said that, be open to their suggestions. For example, I mentioned giving influencers a little freedom when it comes to spreading the news about your brand. They’re an influencer—give them the trust they have earned by reaching that status.

Don’t Make This Mistake

Start with an outline of how your campaign will work. You’ll need some sort of editorial calendar and an idea of how you want to have your brand portrayed. Keeping with your brand voice, give your influencer a basic outline of what you expect from them but be flexible. Again, keep an open mind, and listen to them. Leave room for feedback and adjustment.

However, make very sure your influencer understands the Federal Trade Commission’s (FCC) Endorsement Guide—and plans to follow it. When it comes to the use of endorsements and testimonials, the FTC has set out some guiding principles, which you and your influencer must adhere to. For example, influencers must disclose their connections to a brand when they are making recommendations or endorsements.

Figure out how you will answer the following:

  • Who will be monitoring and managing the campaign and the influencer’s work?
  • What are the terms of employment or the contract?
  • How will you compensate your influencer?
  • How will you know the campaign has been successful?
  • What happens after the campaign ends?

Taking the time to answer these and other questions and to plan thoughtfully will make your (and the influencer’s) life easier in the long run.

Give Your Business the Care It Deserves

You’ve worked hard to build your business—you should work just as hard to market it well. Whether you’re on the hunt for new employees or pitching a new product, influencers have the ability to help you tremendously, and you want to approach them in a way that makes them feel excited to lend a hand. Influencer marketing is about fostering a relationship with the influencer, and by extension, his or her followers. If your heart is in it, the influencer’s will be, too. And great things can happen!

This post was first published on first published on V3Broadsuite on 3/30/16.

photo credit: few tools erase mistakes via photopin (license)

What Drives Social Influence? Insights From Recruiting Circles

Written by Carter J. Hostelley, CEO, Leadtail

Marketers change jobs a lot. So every few months I hear from someone who’s job hunting again. Typically, we get together to grab coffee and chat about their situation. And at some point, they ask, “Hey, are there any recruiters you’d recommend I talk to?”

Now, imagine you’re an executive recruiter sitting nearby and listening in. Wouldn’t you like to pull up a chair and join our conversation? Sure you would. And maybe you’d also wonder how to influence me, so that I recommended you.

Social Listening Isn’t Enough

These days, you don’t need to hang out at coffee shops to listen in. You can just tap into your favorite social media news feed to discover what’s being discussed and shared at any moment. But pretty quickly you’ll get overwhelmed. Why? Because you don’t know which conversations to join, whom to engage, and how to influence them.

Without context, social listening isn’t helpful. To make social media more relevant and actionable, you need to tune-out ambient noise. In other words, you need to move from social listening to social insights.

Case In Point: How Do Recruiters Engage on Twitter?

Let’s say you’re an executive recruiter who wants to know what other recruiters are up to on social media. Or maybe you work for a company that sells to recruiters. In either case, you’re looking for social insights about recruiting professionals.

That’s exactly what asked my company to do recently. So we developed a report: How Recruiters Engage on Twitter. It summarizes how 557 North American recruiters participated, engaged, and were influenced on Twitter, from June-August 2013. During that time, our sample of  recruiters generated 173,903 tweets, 106,343 shared links, and had a total of 1,533,429 followers.

Why look at Twitter activity? Because it’s a good proxy for social media behavior overall, and offers an advantage over other data sources (such as surveys, polls and focus groups), because it reveals what people actually do, versus what they say they do.

Leadtail Chart Social Influence (2)For example, here’s a visual representation of the people who are most retweeted by recruiters we analyzed:

This report also provides other useful social insights, including: most popular hashtags, most shared content sources, and the top 25 industry publications shared by these recruiters.

Best Practices of Top Influencers

Exclusively for this post, we dove even deeper into Twitter activity among the five people who influence recruiters most. They are:

@MeghanMBiro — Meghan Biro, Founder & CEO, TalentCulture
@blogging4jobs — Jessica Merrell, Editor of Blogging4Jobs
@jimstroud — Jim Stroud, Director of Sourcing and Social Strategy, Bernard Hodes Group
@YouTernMark — Mark Babbitt, Founder & CEO, YouTern
@GlenCathey — Glen Cathey, SVP Talent Strategy and Innovation, Kforce

What did we discover by examining the behavior of this elite group?

•  Influencers tweet a LOT. 4 out of 5 of these top influencers tweet 15+ times a day. (Meghan blows them all away, with an average 107 tweets/day!)

•  Influencers develop a “brand” of their own. Each top influencer has a style and focus that’s unique. For instance, @JimStroud focuses on social recruiting and job search strategy, while @GlenCathey’s approach is decidedly more tech-and-data driven.

•  Influencers don’t lean on retweets. All 5 of the top influencers go light on the RT, keeping them to less than 15% of overall tweet volume. Instead, they share lots of links and often mention other folks.

•  Influencers embrace the community. 3 out of 5 of these influencers will most likely follow you back (they follow 70%+ of those who follow them), and 4 out of 5 include an “@” mention in most of their tweets.

•  Influencers tweet with a goal in mind. Whether it’s to get the word out about their next event, to sell their services, or to grow their audience, these folks tweet links that drive traffic to their other online channels (websites, other social media sites, etc.) 10%-50% of the time.

While these “best practices” come from observing the Twitter activity of only 5 key influencers, they also provide insights into how you may want to consider approaching Twitter and social media to boost your influence.

Tips To Increase Your Social Influence

How can you move from social listening to social insights (and perhaps have an impact on the right people)? Here are 5 tips:

•  Listen to your target audience. Who cares what anyone and everyone is saying? Instead, listen to what’s on the minds of customers, prospects, and key influencers.
•  Be where the right conversations are happening. So many social networks, so little time! Invest your efforts in the social platforms where your target audience is active.
•  Talk about relevant topics. What issues, news, and events have captured the attention of the folks you’re looking to engage? Shouldn’t you be talking about that, too?
•  Discover who’s doing the influencing. Which publications and people do your buyers read, share and interact with? Pay attention to who is popular and influential, and how they engage.
•  Work the aisles. Just being present in social media is not enough. You must cultivate relationships with a community that you develop over time. Eventually, you’ll be in a position to influence those who matter most to you.

Now, imagine we’re back in that coffee shop, where you’re listening to my conversation with my marketing colleague. Let’s say you decide to introduce yourself. Wouldn’t it be great if I said, “Thanks for coming over, I actually follow you on Twitter! I love your comments and the content you share.”? That means you’ve done a great job of influencing me, before our conversation even begins!

Now It’s Your Turn

How are you generating social insights today? What strategies have you found successful in becoming more influential on social media? Share your thoughts in the comments area.

Carter Hostelley (2)(About the Author: Carter Hostelley is the Founder and CEO of Leadtail, a B2B social media and insights agency. He and his team have developed and implemented social media programs for leading business brands and technology startups including WageWorks, Alcatel-Lucent, Symantec, Adaptive Planning, NetBase, and PunchTab. They also publish periodic social insights reports on senior marketers, HR professionals, and recruiters. These reports have been covered by publications such as: Forbes, Business Insider, Huffington Post, ERE, MarketingProfs, AllTwitter, and Social Times. Carter also has over 15 years experience working with venture-backed technology startups in numerous executive roles, and is a contributing author at CMSWire. Connect with him on LinkedIn, Twitter or via email.)

(Editor’s Note: To discuss World of Work topics like this with others in the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events every Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome for events, or to join our ongoing Twitter conversation anytime. Learn more…)