Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Social Media Marketing: Small Business, Collaboration Tools and Recruiting - Bill Vick Interviews Robin Good

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Social media marketing can be toughest thing to grasp if you are not heavily active and exposed to the many new social media communities blossoming out there. It's a wild world of fascinating new stuff and I do understand that for most it may look more of a waste of precious, rare time than a really significant advancement in your ability to extract some value from this possible new activity.


But, as you probably know, things are often not quite like the way they look. There is generally much more under the hood of anything than what you can grasp at a first, superficial glance. The same applies to social media marketing.

What hits the view is a lot of superficial, shallow, burst-like noise and a lack of focus or interest for any specific direction. I know. I also sense that the feeling you get is one that makes you feel that to reproduce any of what you see others do in these social environments, you would have to waste a lot of of your scarce and precious time.

But to be honest, things are not so bad as they appear. What makes them appear so shallow at first, is the amount of serendipitous, superficial chit chat that a large majority of social media users engage in. But by looking a bit beyond that, you will discover that there are many different gradients of how people, engage and share their interests in a social media environment. Isn't it true that also in real, physical social life many of our conversations at the water cooler or at the street corner bar are focused on very shallow, low friction but high-affinity exchanges?

Online social media allows you to extend gradually your social relationships no matter what your interest or business focus. Social media makes this possible by allowing you to easily help others resolve a problem, by sharing great stuff you have found on the web or by sharing your own problems and needs hoping that someone has been in the same situation and can help you now, just in time.

By extending virtually your water cooler and street corner bar social network to many more people, who are within a mouse click away 24/7 you truly augment your ability to exchange, reflect, be inspired or to get help within a much shorter time turnaround than you have ever experienced in physical life.

This is why social media can be both so apparently useless and time consuming, and why instead, if you invest some little time on it, by sharing good things with others, just like you do at the water cooler or street corner bar, it can turn around to be one of your most powerful life resources for just about anything you may be in need of.

Here, in this short video interview with Bill Vick, I share some of my own little learned lessons on the front of social media marketing by recounting how useful these have been when I have been in search of other talent.

Video of Robin Good interview via Skype by Bill Vick of Xtremerecruiting -
Robin was in Rome, Italy and Bill was in Dallas, Texas. This interview has a few audio/video hiccups but nothing so serious to prevent you from understanding the key things being said.


Full English Text Transcript

Bill Vick:Robin, I wonder if you take a second and kind of give us a 20 thousand-foot view of you and all the many many things that you're doing online into social media.

Robin Good: I'm based here in sunny Rome, Italy.

I'm a young entrepreneur, who has decided to move away from traditional communication consulting for large international organizations and I've chosen to test gradually how much I could become independent by sharing actually my own findings, my own discoveries that I need to do because nowadays, with the phase of change we have you keep learning everyday new things.

Unless you do it, somebody else you can be sure is going to do it in your place.

So to do that I have to test, experiment, find new ways to be competitive and I've found out that by sharing these information with others I not only can get more credibility, trust and more consulting jobs, but eventually people refer to me as somebody that they can learn from something useful.

It's up to me then if I want just to publish free articles online which I've been doing now for several years and monetize them through contextual advertising, or if I want like you Bill have done have done create e-books, traditional print books, DVDs, podcast, videos or other form of content monetization which may include also learning courses, interactive environments, and other forms of professional training, which are developing now online, to monetize this knowledge which I'm available to give out both on a free level as well on a paid one.

Bill Vick: Well I don't think too many people have the view, and the scope, and the breadth of understanding of social media as you do. You're a prolific writer, you write articles on a regular basis that details this technology and how it's working...

How do you see these changes in technology impacting small businesses, particularly how might they impact recruiting firms or any small business?

Robin Good: Well on a first level, these new technologies impact small businesses which have human resources that are open minded enough to test and experiment with them because they can ultimate and simplify a great deal of tedious, repetitive, time-consuming work that we're all being submitted to for a long time.

So if you look at it in the face, there's a lot of gain just in the efficiency of how things can be run...

Mentality Change Required - To Collaborate Effectively Online

This has to go together with some change of mentality also in how the small business's approach this.

So you can be a traditional small business and adopt new technologies, you can be a small business that is very innovative as long as you reflect in your way of operating the new paradigm of new media technologies which is all about sharing, transparency, and make it very clear among team-members what is happening.

The more we hide, conceal, keep for ourselves, to keep greater value, doesn't work very well in this new paradigm, just like, you know, apparently, traditional content, music, video is working less and less in the traditional paid formats.

So the holding up, that attitude, doesn't work too well.

For a small business one of the most important things to do is to team up with distributed collaborators.

You can't afford anymore to have people there all the time and pay a fixed amount of money. So your team flexibly opens up and restricts depending on the amount of work and projects you do. And so teaming up with them properly is very essential.

Emails is not up to speed to do everything, so you need some collaboration tools to talk to people in real time like we're doing, but also to record, report and organize this stuff.

So there, there is a great deal of even very simple free tools and small businesses should have and one or two young minded people dedicated to in exploring, gradually adopting into the framework of the company.

That I think is the main thing.

Social Media Recruiting Tips

Coming to the recruiting side, I think it depends where you look at this issue from. That is if you are somebody [...] trying to recruit new people, I don't know how much social media today, probably you know more than me about this, can really help you find somebody.

For me it's very difficult: I am a small business online, and I find it extremely hard to find talented people, but that maybe because I am very demanding, and I am trying to find very special people.

It is true though that the people I find generally do not come from traditional venues, that is the typical list, or recruitment agency, or that type of situation, but rather from contacts that hear from me that I have a specific need and this takes place right inside what you are calling today social media.

Now that's a concept that it's very hard for small business to grasp because it's too [..] and it ranges across many different tools, at least in the eyes of street people.

So in my case, to be practical, through my blog, through my site, and through Twitter, a simple social tool, which allows me to publish short messages of what I'm interested in or doing, and I use it mostly to broadcast what I find interesting around me, new tools, new news, reports that are interesting that I just can write about, I just Twitter it, and I have a community of friends that follows that... and I receive also interesting things from them.

Inside Twitter I can say "I'm looking for a new designer, or I'm looking for this or that" and from time to time people say "Hey, I've got this friend, you want to talk to him? He's just completed a project or something like this".

Even on Skype: we're talking right now on Skype. Skype is a social media tool, there's is a mood-message tone that you can set that is next to your name icon and says whatever you want, and you can use it there as well to search for things... and I have to say I've used it myself quite a few times, to search for people. People I wanted to hire and I could not find anywhere else.

Now I have six hundred contacts in my Skype: somebody looking at me is going to see that thing and say "Oh, just what I was looking for" or "I was always thinking to call Robin but I never had the time, or don't feel good about talking to him", so that's another way to do it.

And one tip before I end to make this even more valuable: if you use Skype and you're a professional, you can buy for these few extra dollars this possibility to have voice mail, a Skype number and so on... I suggest you do that, if not only for this one social media tip, that is: when you have put some credit in your Skype, you can configure it so that if you are off-line, Skype will forward any call that comes in to your mobile or to your home number (whatever number you choose).

Now there is a very special subtle thing about this: it's not the coolness of being forwarded a call that I am referring to. The coolness is that when you have set that feature on Skype up, your icon in Skype will always look green, even when you're off-line!

So you're always very visible to people and if you're trying to get attention, to get a message across, that helps.

I didn't do it on purpose, I learned it because people were messaging me all the time when I was off, and I was saying "what's wrong with these people, don't they see that I'm gray?".
But I wasn't gray!

I looked then at my Skype icon from another computer and realized it all in a flash. If you pay a little extra money for Skype, you do get more visibility. And that's why Skype can act too as an effective social marketing tool, if you will.

Over to you!

Bill Vick: It's a great tip, and Robin I want to thank you so much for the wisdom, and the ideas, and the views on this whole process.

Bill Vick -
Reference: XtreneRecruiting [ Read more ]
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posted by Nicolo' Canali De Rossi on Tuesday, May 6 2008, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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