Archive for the ‘Twitter’ Category



Katie Herbst Peet
Victory is Tweet!

Katie Herbst Peet is an industry veteran when it comes to insurance companies and Social. Katie started out in Social at Westfield Insurance near Akron, OH. Then she got married and relo’d to Columbus with her husband, whereupon she started helping State Auto with their Social Tech efforts.

Since I was already going to be in Columbus meeting with another prospective insurance company client, Katie graciously agreed to do a podcast from her office. The topic we tackled piggy-backs on the last, highly active, post about executives and “Abdication“:

Given that my audience is executives, I would like to focus on your experiences with best practices as you observe them at the executive level that have a positive impact on the ability for the insurance organization to become a more Social Business.

Listen in. CLICK HERE to open or download the MP3 file.

17 Key points made by Katie from my POV:

  1. “Have an understanding of Social Tech themselves. Executives are setting the direction.”
  2. Blogging and Twitter? “Start internally…more impactful in some ways…”
  3. Twitter – “Helped me expand my network…Listening is the way to start…”
  4. “Need to understand the logistics of Twitter… ‘Good #’s = happy Board.’” FIRED!
  5. Blocking YouTube? “We don’t have that blocked here.” Great use ideas.
  6. “Have conversations like that in a cross-functional way.”
  7. “Doesn’t serve anyone to brush things under the rug.”
  8. “Social is an organizational thing… completely changes things for a lot of reasons…”
  9. “Finding that common ground…”
  10. Chris Paradiso is a great example of a local agent.
  11. “It’s not about them, it’s about their customer…What do their customers want.”
  12. “Most people aren’t going to find that.”
  13. “Agents doing a tremendous job and growing their business..”
  14. Jason Cass in Centralia, IL
  15. Vaughn Insurance and Nibby Priest “This is a sustainable thing.”
  16. “The changes have so much more impact…they impact everything that we do.”
  17. “What does this mean for our employees…”

Thanks Katie. I hoped it would be good and you delivered.

What questions or comments do YOU have for Katie? Now’s the time. Ask away. She’s listening.


First, remember the folks in NY/NJ. Donate to the ARC here.

All right. I’m going to let out a big secret. Ya’ ready?


What do you see?

That’s it!

The incredible thing for a sales person, really anyone, in the era of Social Tech is that people are sharing a close-up picture of their face in their Social Profiles. Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter – they all feature a headshot. Look beyond the surface. It’s stunning, amazing, and helpful if you know what to look for.

I can’t believe I just shared one of my best secrets.

That’s all I’m gunna say.

Happy to answer questions and share more insights if prompted. Better yet: Come to one of my Boot Camps. That alone is worth the price of admission.



The more I watch, study, learn, and interact with others on the Social Web, the more convinced I am that Social Technology is a Game-Changer in business. Now I know that some of you will say, “Well, of course you do, Mike. That’s your business. You’ve got a vested interest in saying that…” Yes, that’s a true statement. I AM driving revenue for my little enterprise. But a statement like that is yet another example of very simplistic and dismissive brush-off’s that executives and business leaders at all levels are making – one that completely misses the point of emphasis. A few more:

  1. “Why would I use Twitter? What do I care what Charlie Sheen had for breakfast?!?!”
  2. “I don’t want my people using Facebook at work – it’s a waste of time.”
  3. “YouTube is nothing but a bandwidth problem on our network. We shut it down.”
  4. “I’m on Linkedin, but I’m just connecting with people. I have no idea what the value is.”

    Pick your Social Network

    Pick your Social Network

  5. “Show me the ROI of Social Media and I’ll be more than happy to use it.”
  6. “I can see using Social Media if you sell consumer products. But we’re B2B.”
  7. “I can’t keep up with email. I can’t imagine keeping up with Social networks, too!”
  8. “I just don’t have time for all that nonsense.”

Let me get right to the point of how I’m seeing Social Tech accomplish business goals. The following is a VERY brief list of 12 undeniable ways smart companies are leveraging Social Tech. Remember that, as I say in Boot Camps and Keynotes, Social Tech boils down to this statement: “The goal is to 1. build your Social Networks through which you can 2. share Social Media and thereby 3. amplify your Social Relevance and influence.” In other words, build your connections, develop and share helpful stuff, and drive your business objectives, whatever they may be. Just like you can’t mail people stuff without mailing addresses, you can’t call people without phone numbers, you can’t email without email addresses, you can’t reach people via the Social web until you make the connections. And with ALL of them you have to have a solid , meaningful, and compelling message. And the holy grail is word-of-mouth referrals and recommendations that amplify your efforts. Pretty basic stuff. Social Tech is just making it a whole lot easier – and trackable.

1. Recruiting – Linkedin is so incredibly powerful, even the novice is finding utility with it. If you know how to get up to 4th and 5th gear in the system, holy cow! And that’s just one tool, not to mention others like Twitter and hashtags, Online Reputation Management, Viral Video’s, e-Word of Mouth, and more.

Laptop or Smartphone?

Laptop or Smartphone?

2. Information Gathering and Education – Who hasn’t used Google to feed their brain on some topic? Well, the same concepts apply to Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, RSS, and a host of other tools that can be positioned to feed your brain on any topic you want – on an automated basis. In my humble opinion, this is one of the best kept secrets of Social Tech savants – and will be the key differentiating skill for employees in the years ahead.

3. Customer Service – Many, many smart companies are using Twitter and Facebook as customer service channels. Why? The vast majority of Americans are using Social Tech at some level. And they often use it to solve routine problems – as efficiently as possible. That’s a big reason why they are following their brands and business partners across the Social web. FAQ’s?? OK. But at the same time as your customer service rep sees the tweet, the crowd also sees it, and maybe has had the same question and already has the answer. And this concept will only grow.

4. Relationship Management and Nurturing – Man, once you get someone on board, don’t you want to keep them there? Of course. So how do you do that while at the same time getting more people on board – all as efficiently as possible while keeping overhead low? Create reusable, sharable content and make it easy for your fans to share it with their networks. Create useful content – stuff that answers questions, expands the utility of your gear or services – blog posts like this, video tutorials and aids, in-depth e-Books, real-time and archived Webinars, Tweet-ups, infographics that educate, inspire, and otherwise communicate. People want to business with people that help them, not just sell them.

5. Sales – The Social Web was practically MADE for sales people. Man, if you’re in sales and you don’t know how to leverage Linkedin yet for warm referrals, just like you might at an industry conference or networking event, get on Google and start feeding your brain. Social Tech can feed the pipeline, shrink sales cycles, improve close ratios and competitive advantage, and of course generate referrals to feed the pipeline. If you do it right, it’s Revenue on Demand, no matter what business you’re in.

6. Marketing – Inbound marketing to drive leads is where it’s at. I’ve got one word on that – HubSpot. Beyond that, Social Tech helps enterprise marketers with Reputation Management, Organizational Voice, Advertising, Public Relations. How many times have you Google’d an unfamiliar person, brand, or product that you needed to know more about? Every day is a common answer? So what makes you think that people aren’t doing it WITH YOU??? Don’t you think it’s thus kind of important to have a powerful presence across the various Social Channels?

A Socially-enabled Conference

A Socially-enabled Conference

7. Getting things done – Crowdsourcing is simply a huge, largely unknown and untapped opportunity in American business, especially in the insurance space. Sites like LogoTournament, PopTent, TopCoder, and Chaordix are huge opportunities to help companies increase their velocity. One insurance company I’ve mentioned before leveraged PopTent for video content – and accomplished something in a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost, and with a terrific end result. You know the dreaded IT Project Priority List? Use TopCoder for the bottom third that will likely never get done, or be too late, off-target, and hastily made. How about product innovation, creative writing, adjudication, the list goes on and on. Yet sadly, most executives are at 0 or 1 on a scale of 10 relative to Crowdsourcing. Yikes. Huge opportunity for the competition, eh?

Well, that’s all the time I have for right now. I’ll get back to this list later.

The Next Five:

8. Reputation Management

9. Environmental Influence

10. Work Spaces

11. Efficiencies

12. Cost of Doing Business

How is Social impacting your day-in-day-out activities?

What’s the next big thing?

What are your comments and questions, barriers and obstacle?

Perhaps I, or another reader, can help answer them.

What d’ya say?


First, let me just say that it’s very irritating that Linkedin has a policy on its Company Pages that you can only administer a company page if you use an email address that uses an extension of the company name – so no Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc. extensions, like me. Why? Not sure, but it’s pretty stupid considering how companies are starting to pursue different email strategies like corporate Gmail….

Promoting a company, brand or organization on Linkedin has three primary components:

I. Company activities
Employee Activities, especially leaders and stakeholders
III. Clients, Partners, and Fan Activities

I. The question becomes, “What are the specific things that can and should be done by the company to promote the company and recruit top talent?” No doubt, specific strategies will vary by company size, industry, business goals, etc.. A strategic assessment that connects the business objective with the Social Technology tool is a prudent next step. Let us therefore limit the discussion to the B2B context (assuming

Houghton College Men's Soccer

Almost a perfect shot!

that B2C is more focused on Facebook marketing and not Linkedin), and further refine to mid-market companies. Let’s further say that the actual person running the company Linkedin page is in Marketing and is following a tightly organized Content Calendar, looking to drive sales and business development opportunities.

The Company activities on Linkedin focus around the Company Page. The Company Page has many outbound promotional opportunities, most of which are under-utilized by the vast majority of companies. So if you don’t know about this stuff, don’t feel bad. Circa the Fall of 2011, the following list will likely serve as a checklist of engagement points, the tactical elements, the allowable functions. HOW to use these tools – what to say, when to say it, what to ask, how to respond, etc., etc. – this is where the art of viral marketing, crowdsourcing, rating, and many of the Social Technologies concepts come into play. I’m begging you: DON’T WING IT. Think “driving a high-end Harley with little or no motorcycle training” – good chance you’ll wind up in the hospital – or worse, right?

The Top 10 Elements:

0.   Put up your Logo!

  1. Follow us – gaining Followers on Linkedin is the door-opener to connectivity within the Linkedin ecosystem
  2. Careers Tab – every time you add a new Job, you get picked up on several Linkedin feeds, most notably your Followers
  3. Overview Tab – remember that you are serving multiple audiences here
  4. Products and/or Services Tab – outstanding place to focus your efforts. Recommendations here can be a huge opportunity and significant marketing events. See HubSpot’s Linkedin Company Page, click the Products Tab, and note the Recommendations.
  5. Share an Update – again, like Job postings, these will appear on Follower newsfeeds
  6. In the News – great widget to add richness to the profile to further leverage media mentions
  7. Recent Tweets – probably one of the most useful functions on the page, this can lead to follows on Twitter as well, potential retweets, click-throughs to your site, etc. Course you need to know how to leverage Twitter, as well.
  8. Recent Blog Posts – Absolutely! HubSpot’s Linkedin Company Page is a good example of both Twitter and Blog integration. Scroll about half-way down. Multi-channel marketing.
  9. Like and Comment on Status Updates- encourage employees and fans to engage in the company Updates (#5) so that the Updates have a chance to spread virally to the corresponding networks of Linkedin Connections and beyond.
  10. Slideshare and Video – add video to both the Career and Products/Services Tabs

Some more activities the Company can do:

Employee recognition – run an employee of the quarter contest, preferably with as much employee ownership as possible so it’s a big deal, then announce in Status Updates, have the employee list that under employee awards, figure out a way to loop-in the related clients, etc. etc. etc. Always tie recognition to the clients served.

Relay current client Recommendations that are given to employees and the company. Client engagement is the whole point. So if there are major touch points like Recommendations of Products and Services and/or employees, broadcast those very generally, right? And should we return the favor? Absolutely. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

What do you think? What else have you seen? Please Comment below. Don’t just take – ya gotta give, too.

Next week: II. Employee Activities, especially leaders and stakeholders

Following week: III. Clients, Partners, and Fan Activities

Is this helpful? Need help with a strategy for the What, When, Where, How, Who? Please comment, share, and/or reach out to WebWisedom.



Still don’t get Twitter? Reach back to me. I’d love to hook you up. Love to teach your team how to build a powerful InfoStream. It’s not about celeb’s and mindless chatter; quite the contrary if you know what you’re doing. If you click through on these, I guarantee within 15 minutes, you will get some high-value nugget.

Here’s a quick list of Follows that will immediately begin feeding your brain and raising your IQ on a variety of topics. Some of these I already had Followed, but the original list comes from here. (Tip: To save time, copy/paste the tweet, tweet it, then click on the resulting live links to Follow the people. Or find my original tweets, Follow, and/or ReTweet.)

@carolyndouglas @mashable @wedge @CommAMMO @SocialMedia411 @FrankEliason @shelholtz @AMANet @armano @HubSpot @shonali @rohitbhargava

@copyblogger @DavidBThomas @lizstrauss @mathewi @pewinternet @jowyang @marshallk @MarkRaganCEO @DougH @jeffjarvis @sharonodea @Crescenzo

Btw, “Not enough time”??? Kill your email, or at least dial it back to select times during the day. Tell you what, using Twitter has taught me the value of the five B’s of public speaking – Be Brief, Brother, Be Brief :-) So with your email, when possible and appropriate, cut back the content. It’s possible – and actually helpful quite often.

Whadyathink?!? Agreed? Disagree? Any other great Follows?

Picture of the week:

Yep, my son was Commissioned – 2nd Lieutenant, US Army, Field Artillary. Read the story here

Zach Wise, Houghton College 2011, US Army Commissioning

Archives to 2005