The Art of Social Networking

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A conversation on a Google-Hangout I had recently brought me to the idea of writing this blog post. A participant asked me: “How can I use networking for my business on the social web?” My reply was: “The same way you do it offline – getting in touch with people, maintaining relationships and making use of your contacts when the right time has come.”

Pretty short answer – right? But, guess what, there are also people who are not used to offline networking, are not members of a golf club neither do they participate at events. And, of course, online networking also has got some differences to offline networking – the main principles are the same though. This article is especially for them.
 
The Goal
Networking is not an end in itself. When you start out with networking you should know what you want to reach. For example you want to find a new job or you are interested in entering a new geografical market with your business. Depending on your goal you start getting in touch with people who meet your criteria. That might be common sense, I know, but I can see it on a daily basis that there are many people out in the social web world who connect just for connections sake. Society3 CEO,  Axel Schultze, wrote a great blog post about that.
 
“Don’t become a digital tramp.”
Axel Schultze
 
The Attitude
The quality of each relationship equals the attitude you approach people. A minimum amount of love for people is necessary to be successful in networking. It will be hard for grumpy people to build and maintain many intense connections. You also seek for people who are similar as you are. Birds of a feather flock together! The second point is appreciation. You need to respect others for whom they are and show your appreciation. I’m OK, you’re OK is the right attitude for networkers.
 
Building your Online Network
Find the right people and let them find you! Do an online assessment and find out what platforms the people you want to get in touch use. Make sure that your profiles are complete and get organized regarding your social presence. You can do that by using services like  XeeMe or  About.Me  where you have all your social platforms listed at one place.
 
Find groups of interest and provide meaningful content there. Get in discussions with the group members. Do not think about selling or even attempt to sell or advertise there. Find out how the people fit your interests and your goal. After a while, when you feel comfortable about it, send a connection request along side with a personal message. You will also realize that your discussion partners will do the same. The great thing about the social web is that all the information you need is there. You get to know what the people are up to, what businesses they run, what their needs are. Always be polite and be of help for others. Provide them with what they need and show appreciation for what they are contributing to the community – like posts, comment on their posts and share their content with your network. Once you are a full member of the community you will get recommended and second or third degree connections want to connect with you. You have started the ball rolling!
 
Maintaining Relationships
Keep the most important people on your radar screen! Once you reached a network of a few hundred or even thousand people, it is necessary to get organized. There are people who are more important for you than the others. Put them into lists. Most of the platforms provide you with such a service. If you are on XeeMe you can use the app  S3 Flights, a kind of social spreadsheet for making sure to follow the right people. Go through your lists on a daily basis. Read what your online friends are up to. Engage with them – which means comment, chat, like, re-tweet favourite the content of your interest. Help them getting their message out. Do them a favor whenever you can. 
 
You will realize they do the same for you. That way you will reach your goals through social networking. 
 
 
 

Unpopular Decisions – Firing People

Firing People

S. Hofschlaeger / pixelio.de

After a long time I had to do it again – I had to fire an employee today. After the event came to my mind that I wrote a blog post about firing people some years ago. As my old blog is not on the web anymore and I believe what I wrote back then is still valid today, I thought should share this with you.

Firing people is a process hated by everyone. It is unpopular, sometimes it makes managers feel guilty and nobody likes to tell the truth about why it is happening. Often it is blamed on the market conditions, competition, or whatever else.

“Once you have decided to layoff employees, just do it, and take on responsibility for what you are doing.”
Roger Koplenig, 2005

Managers are responsible for laying off people and nobody else. They should have a look into the mirror and take on responsibility for their decisions. In such a situation a manager should simply say, “I made the decision. This is what we are going to do.” If you do not have the courage to do this, do not be a manager.

In the case of “mass firing” the people getting laid off are not “at fault”. More likely, it was the fault of the top management – the same top management with golden parachutes. At the very least management should provide services like job counseling, resume writing assistance, and job search help. There are firms that specialize in helping employees during “transitions”.

As painful a layoff may be, it is a good time to terminate marginal employees. It is good for the marginal employee, because he is not tainted with getting fired. He can blame on the management because of mass firing.

Sometimes managers show the people they are firing how hard it is on them. It is like the boy who murders his parents and then asks the court for leniency, because he is an orphan now.

What do you think about it? Please share your opinion in the comments below.

By Roger Koplenig
Social sig:  http://XeeMe.com/RogerKoplenig

When in Rome, do as the Romans do

Passport-to-trade2.0-logoI congratulate the team members of the “Passport to Trade 2.0″ project. They have done a great job by gathering the right information about business culture and behaviour in several European countries.

We all know the ancient proverb: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” But, do we always stick to this advice? Certainly not, as we often do not know how people of the different countries do. Especially when doing business abroad, it is absolutely necessary to know how to act accordingly in the respective countries and situations.

If you want to do business in Austria, I only can recommend you to read all chapters about the country at the project website businessculture.org. There you will find the major pitfalls that might occur when looking for business opportunities and getting in touch with Austrian people.

Being a Swedish immigrant, who has been living in Austria for 40 years, I could not refrain from laughing a few times when reading the text, because I realized how good the description matched my own attitudes, habits, and behaviour. There is a lot of great advice on the website.

In particular, I would suggest to keep the following in mind when building a business relationship with Austrian people:

“Austrians are generally conservative people and are prudent and moderate in their behaviour. They respect perfectionism in all areas of business and private life, and in their approach to work they tend to focus on achieving the task at hand.”

You will find much more information on the website, including topics like business communication and business etiquette in Austria.

Roger Koplenig
Social sig: http://XeeMe.com/RogerKoplenig

Social Tips to Grow Followers, Klout score and Real Influence #1 by @DaniBachmannCH

Daniel Bachmann, the Swiss guy who “helps people to get the best out of it since the C64“, has started blogging.

His very first blog post is about social tips to grow followers and social influence. A very Daniel Bachmanninteresting topic and strategies for getting influential on the social web might be different in detail. Anyway, he put together a very good summary of 15 points how he got there. Here you can find his full post on the topic. I met Daniel on the social web via XeeMe.com about a year ago and I only can recommend him to people who like to network and socialice with a person who is very supportive and compassionate – who doesn’t like that – come on get in touch with him?!

I would like to highlight three points he mentioned there, because I am sure they are most important:

2. Update all your social profiles to a high standard, including a picture and a bio
5. Give first, rather than expecting something, be generous with likes and positive engagement
11. Grow Twitter by following new people and sharing interesting content, that gets retweeted

Again, please read his post, share your thoughts there, and of course his post. As I am also commenting his post, we will get into an interesting discussion there. Probably you have found other points which were more crusial for your strategy.

I have underestimated the power of Twitter so far. Maybe because I am European (Twitter is still a mayor US network)  or simply because I thought I don’t have the time to feed it with proper frequency to get noticed there.

You want to connect with me? As always – my social sig is: http://XeeMe.com/RogerKoplenig

Promote Yourself by Markku Tauriainen

This is a great example for social collaboration on the internet with a win-win-win situation.

Markku TauriainenMarkku Tauriainen (Entrepreneur from Finland) is offering people on his blog  to promote their entire social presence via a XeeMe. You don’t know XeeMe? – Please refer to my blog post about this great service here.

By doing this he gets more traction on his blog, the promoted people will get in touch with new interesting people and XeeMe will get new members (a tripple win situation).

Please follow this link to his offer:  Promote Yourself.

And, as usual, you can find my entire social presence here: http://XeeMe.com/RogerKoplenig

Meine XeeMe Geschichte – Social Media Präsenz-Management vom Feinsten

XeeMe_Logo

Heute möchte ich über Social-Media Präsenz-Management berichten, wie ich damit begann es nutzen und wie ich es heute einsetze. (English speakers please follow this link to my XeeMe Story) 2010 erwähnte ein finnischer Online-Freund einen Link zu einer Seite, welche sich XeeSM nannte. Auf dieser Seite listete er alle Links zu seinen Profilen auf allen Social-Media Plattformen auf. Großartige Idee, dachte ich mir und registrierte mich dort (13. März 2010, Mitglieds-Nr. 32384), ohne zu wissen, welch’ großen Nutzen ich daraus ziehen sollte. Heute kennt man dieses kostenfreie Social-Media Präsenz-Management-Tool als XeeMe (sieh mich – vom englischen “see me”) und hat sich großartig entwickelt (mehr als 1 Million Mitglieder). Übrigens feiert XeeMe am Montag, den 5. August 2013 seinen zweiten Geburtstag – ein herzliches Happy Birthday an dieser Stelle. Aber, weiter im Thema. Anstatt alle meine Plattform-Profile überall anzuführen oder in langen Listen einzutragen, begann ich also damit nur meinen Xeeme-Link anzuführen, wo meine vollständige Social-Media-Präsenz angeführt war.

Was passierte danach? Ehrlich gesagt, nicht viel. Damals war XeeMe in seiner Alpha-Phase und ich besuchte mein Profil nicht mehr, bis ich am 8. Juli 2011 eine E-Mail von Axel Schultze, CEO von XeeMe, erhielt und informiert wurde, dass XeeSM nun Google+ unterstütze. Nun begann ich mehr darüber in Erfahrung zu bringen. Eines der ersten Lern-Videos, welches ich mir ansah, war vom XeeMe Mitglied Wayne Ulery, das zweite Video von Mick Say. Ich nahm mit ihre Ratschläge zu Herzen und meine machte tolle Erfahrung mit Social-Media Präsenz Management vom Feinsten, wie auch echtem Online Netzwerken. Mein hoch qualitatives Netzwerk wuchs enorm. Auf jeder Plattform entwickelte sich mein Netzwerk von 100 Verbindungen auf weit über 1000.

“Management wandelt Strategie in Resultate. Für Social-Media-Management empfehle ich XeeMe.”  Roger Koplenig

Das soziale Management-ToolXeeMe_Roger_Koplenig_Dashboard
Mein großer Nutzen aus der Verwendung dieses Tools war nicht nur, dass ich alle meine Netzwerk-Links auf einer Seite darstellen konnte, sondern vielmehr die Organisation meiner Online-Kontakte über alle Netzwerke hinweg. Schon nach kurzer Zeit hatte ich alle Links wichtiger Menschen in meinem XeeMe Adressbuch, genannt “Focus”. Und das ermöglichte mir, meine Netzwerk-Bemühungen genau auf die Menschen zu konzentrieren, die für mich auf die eine oder andere Weise wichtig waren. Kategorien wurden angelegt und Leute zu diesen zugeordnet. Beispielsweise ist heute noch eine meiner wichtigen Kategorien der “Innere Kreis” für Menschen, mit welchen ich täglich in Kontakt bin. Mein Online-Verhalten änderte sich von “netzwerk-orientiert” zu “menschen-orientiert”. Immer, wenn ich “hören” möchte, was sie gerade interessiert, habe ich die Möglichkeit direkt auf ihr Facebook, Twitter oder jedes andere Profil zu kommen. Sie sind immer genau einen Klick von mir entfernt. Das gute daran ist, dass man auf diese Art sogar mehrere Hundert Menschen in eine persönliche Organisation bringen kann, niemand geht verloren. Ein weiteres sehr gutes Tool auf XeeMe ist das App “Flights!” (Sozialer Engagement Manager). Dort habe ich zielorientierte Gruppen von Menschen gebildet, mit welchen ich mich aus einem bestimmten Grund engagieren möchte. Beispielsweise habe ich einen Flight! mit allen “Social-Media Strategen”, mit welchen ich mich laufend austauschen möchte.

Es gibt kein Management ohne die Resulate zu messen. XeeMe liefert mir die Anzahl der Besuche meines Profils, die Relevanz der Plattformen und die Aufmerksamkeit ich auf mich ziehen konnte.

Die Kultur der XeeMe Gemeinde
XeeMe_Brand

Für mich definiert sich die XeeMe Gemeinde durch Professionalität im Sozial-Media Präsenz-Management, wie auch der Interaktion von Menschen über den Globus und, dass es zunächst einmal keine Fremden gibt. Versteht mich nicht falsch, es ist nicht nur eine Netzwerk von Leuten, die gemeinsam nur aus Freizeitaktivität herumhängen. Es sind einige Profis aus verschiedenen Geschäftsbereichen dabei. XeePl (so nenne ich unsere Gemeinschaft von XeeMe und People) arbeiten, entwickeln und verbreiten Inhalte gemeinsam – weltweit. Wir unterstützen uns gegenseitig, indem wir unsere Inhalte teilen und jedem bei Fragen helfen.

Ich habe ein paar XeePl gefragt, wie die Kurltur von XeeMe von ihnen gesehen wird. Folgendes habe sie gesagt. Daniel Bachmann aus der Schweiz schrieb “I think the culture is diverse, open and integrated.” oder Steven Healey aus dem Vereinigten Königreich führte an  “XeeMe is an inclusive mutually supportive community with a depth of expertise rivaled by very few online networks.”

Die Beziehungen durch XeeMe
Ich habe Menschen mit den selben Interessen, wie ich sie habe gefunden – von Australien bis Zimbawe – und viele von ihnen nenne ich meine Freunde, obwohl ich sie bisher persönlich noch nie getroffen habe. Eigentlich habe ich mit dem Netzwerken begonnen, um Freunde zu finden und war dann überrascht, dass ich in kurzer Zeit auch Geschäftsbeziehungen aufbauen konnte. Einige von uns starteten eine Zusammenarbeit an einem großen Projekt, “Digital Sunrise Europe“. Die Buzz-Kampagne vom 21.06.2012 mit einer Reichweite von 100 Millionen Menschen, hatte das Projekt vor allem dem Buzz-Master, Berrie Pelser aus den Niederlanden zu verdanken. Außerdem habe ich Axel Schultze (Gründer & CEO von XeeMe), Marita Roebkes (Ko-Gründerin von XeeMe), Olaf Kracht (CEO von OK! Kommunikation) und Florian Gottschall (CEO von Sommerrecords) auf einer Messe in München persönlich getroffen.

XeeMe_ntn

Persönliche Vermarktung mit XeeMe
Viele der XeeMe Powernetworker sind massiv vernetzt, gut bekannt und nehmen großen Einfluss auf das Geschehen im weltweiten Social-Media Umfeld. Manche sind international anerkannte Social-Media Strategen und Berater. Als ich Mitglied der “XeeMe Social-Media Strategen” wurde, nahmen viele hoch quallifizierte Leute Kontakt mit mir auf. Dazu musste ich nicht viel tun, es passierte einfach – ich wurde weiter empfohlen.

XeeMe-Avatarx200Heute werde ich weltweit von Experten aus den Bereichen Marketing, Werbung, Finanzen, Social-Media und vielen anderen gefunden. Die Positionierung als Mitglied dieses großartigen Netzwerks, führte mich zu neuen Seminar- und Beratungsaufträgen für Marketing-Management und Social-Media Management.

Falls du nun an Social-Media Präsenz-Management interessiert bist und mit mir in Verbindung treten möchtest, dann klcke den Link unten und registriere dich kostenlos. Ich würde mich freuen, dich hoch engagierten Powernetworkern vorzustellen.

Verbindung zu Roger Koplenig auf XeeMe

Fragen beantworte ich sehr gerne im Kommentarbereich unterhalb dieses Artikels.

It’s time for social media to grow up

Quote

Roger Koplenig:

It’s time to get to the board room and discuss the future impacts of what we can already see today. The ecosystem has changed and we (SMEs and Corporates) haven’t adopted to it. We are still in the children’s shoes on social business.

Originally posted on VentureBeat:

This is a guest post by digital analyst Brian Solis

It’s about time that social media and social business grew up. When Charlene Li, my colleague at Altimeter Group, and I ask strategists what their social business approach looks like, we usually get the following response: “Oh yeah, we’re on Facebook.”

The conversation continues apace:

  • Twitter account: check.
  • YouTube videos: yup.
  • Strategic plan: Sure, we’ve got a content calendar for the 
next six months.
  • Metrics: Engagement of course, likes, retweets, views. 
We’re all set.

But that isn’t a strategy — it’s a series of tactics masquerading as a master plan.

Having a Facebook page or Twitter account is like having a telephone or a printer — they are tools that need a purpose. What you do within these social channels counts for everything. Not only will they help you meet customer expectations and achieve business goals, but thinking about the…

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Social Media ROI Happens behind The Scenes

VorhangThe other day I had three very interesting discussions with people of my social web network – and all were about business topics – two about my trainer engagement and one about heat pumps (which I market for Weider Heat Pumps). All of them ended up with a sold product.  I had such discussions several times in the past, but I never have talked or wrote about it.

In business it is crucial for us to get an return on investment (ROI) for our efforts.

“Management is about results in business, in case of doubt – in life.” Fredmund Malik

Several business people have asked me “Is your social media engagement really worth the effort? We can’t see hundreds of likes or shares on your pages.” I can answer that question with a clear “Yes, it is! But you can’t see it!”

“All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.”
Sun Tzu

Of course social media is also about content, amplification, and conversations on the open social networks. In social marketing you facilitate the conversations through your presence and public comments. You get people into groups and discuss brand or product related topics. But, especially in B2B, the real worth of social media happens behind the scenes.

No one can see the results. People who are really socialable and not pushing, get into conversations through personal messages, chats, hang-outs or even phone calls, which happened because of a connection on the social web. No, I’m not talking about tactics like, friend one and immediately send him an offer he can not resist. Get to know people instead  - your interest in people in general, and if you work internationally your interest in different cultures should be very high. But never get in touch with someone with a sales goal in mind – never on the social web!

I know some sales trainers would tell you something else. I’ve been told such things by them in the past 20 years, too. You have to be goal orientated, close orientated, never accept a no, and so on.

But on social media the overall strategy is, just get in touch with the right people – full stop. Engage and have fun in your new evolving relationships and maybe you get into business without pushing your sales messages.

You want to know your social media ROI? Ask your sales people!

Roger Koplenig
http://XeeMe.com/RogerKoplenig

Redirect Lightning! Social Employees are Energy!

Today I want to share with you a really great video blog post shared by my online friend, Daniel Bachmann (IBM Sales Manager Switzerland and Austria) about leveraging social media engagement of your employees.

The speaker in the video is Sandy Carter (IBM Vice President). Watch her, she is great!

Share the wealth! :)

Roger Koplenig
http://XeeMe.com/RogerKoplenig

My XeeMe Story – Social Presence Management at Its Best

XeeMe_LogoToday I want to talk to you about social presence management, and how I started utilising it myself, as well as I use it today. Back in 2010 an online friend from Finland mentioned a link to a site called XeeSM. At this site he listed all links to his profiles on all social media platforms. Great idea I thought, and I registered for my own profile site there (13th March 2010, member no. 32384), not knowing what huge benefits I would gain of it in the future. Today this free social presence management tool is known as XeeMe (pronounced See Me) and has evolved in a great way (more than 1 million members). Instead of mentioning all my other platform links on my profiles I started to promote only my Xeeme-Link, where my entire social presence was listed.

What happened then? Honestly said, not that much. XeeMe was in its Alpha phase back then and I would not come back to my profile until 8th July 2011. An email of Axel Schultze, CEO of XeeMe, informed me that XeeSM was supporting Google+ now. I started to find out more about it. One of the first educational videos I watched about XeeMe was done by XeeMe member Wayne Ulery, the second video was from Mick Say. I sticked to their advice and my great experience with social media presence management and real online networking began. My high quality network increased tremendously. I got from 100 connections on each platform way beyond 1000.

“Management transforms strategy into results. For social media management I recommend XeeMe.”  Roger Koplenig

The social management toolXeeMe_Roger_Koplenig_Dashboard
The great benefit of the tool was not only that I had one place to “store” all my network links, but managing my online contacts across all networks. After a short time I had all the links of important people in my XeeMe address book, called “Focus”. And, that provided me with the opportunity to concentrate my networking efforts on people who were important to me the one or other way. I set up categories and assigned people to it. For instance I still have a category called “Inner Circle” for people I interact with on a daily basis. My online behaviour changed from “network orientated” to “people orientated”. Every time I want to listen what they are interested in at the moment, I am able to go directly to their Facebook, Twitter, or any other profile of their platforms. The good thing about it, you can do that even with several hundred people, you never lose one. With the XeeMe app “Flights!” (Social Engagement Manager) I have built goal orientated groups of people I want to engage with. For example I have one Flight! for all social media strategists I want to be in touch on regular basis.

No management without measuring results! XeeMe provides me with the amount of visits to my profile, the network relevance as well as the social attention I get.

The culture of the XeeMe community
XeeMe_Brand
For me the culture of XeeMe is defined by professionalism in social media presence management, as well as social interaction between people around the world, and that there are no strangers at the first place at the XeeMe community. Do not get me wrong, it is not only a network of people hanging around for leisure. There are many business professionals there. The XeePl (that’s how I call our community) are co-laborative, co-creating, and co-buzzing from all over the world. We are supporting each other by recommending one another, sharing our contents and helping out with any question. I have asked a few XeePl how they see the culture of XeeMe. Here is what they said. Daniel Bachmann from Switzerland wrote “I think the culture is diverse, open and integrated.” or Steven Healey from UK mentioned “XeeMe is an inclusive mutually supportive community with a depth of expertise rivaled by very few online networks.”

The relationships at XeeMe
I have found like minded people from Australia to Zimbawe and many of them I call my XeeMe_ntnfriends, even we have not met in real life so far. As I went out with the attitude of finding friends, I was surprised that I got into business relationships after a short time period too. Some of us started to collaborate on a huge project called “Digital Sunrise Europe” and we still work on it. I met Axel Schultze (Founder & CEO of XeeMe), Marita Roebkes (Co-Founder of XeeMe), Olaf Kracht (CEO of OK! Kommunikation), and Florian Gottschall (CEO of Sommerrecords) personally at the exhibition “Internet World” in Munich/Germany. I also managed to get XeePl together with other business people from around the globe and they are currently negotiating business proposals.

Personal branding with XeeMe
Many of the XeeMe Powernetworkers are highly connected, well known and highly XeeMe-Avatarx200influential social media users. Some of them are international renowed social media strategists and consultants. As I got onboard the “XeeMe Social Media Strategists Bus”, many very skilled specialists would get in contact to me. I had not much to do, it simply happened – I got recommended. Today I get found by experts in marketing, advertising, finances, social media and many other functions from all around the globe. The positioning as member of this great network led me to new training and consulting assignments in marketing management and social media management.

If you got interested in social presence management and would also like to be connected to me, follow the link below and sign up for free. I would be happy to introduce you to highly engaged Powernetworkers there.

Connection to Roger Koplenig on XeeMe

Questions will be answered in the comments below.