Tag: Social Media Marketing

Instagram Pinned Comments

Have you seen the recent feature released by Instagram were you can Pin Comments?

Game changer?

Well I do see a lot of potential with this feature.

But before I get into it… let me show you how to pin a comment 🙂

Instagram Pinned Comments - Select Post
1. Go to your Post
2. Scroll to the comment you wish to pin. Select or Tap and hold the comment (steps vary whether you are on desktop or mobile) – this will show you a set of options. One of which is a thumbtack icon. Click on the Thumbtack icon.
3. Click on Pin Comment and the comment will be pinned to the top of your comment thread

You can pin up to 3 comments.

I see some potential in this new option by highlighting insightful information shared by your followers in their comment under your post (i.e. additional info to the topic discussed), as well as highlighting testimonials about you and of your work. All based on a value adding focus.

I also see potential in monetization for those accounts that offer variations of shoutouts for accounts (post/story promotion), etc. … under this strategy, you can also offer pinning a comment so that the person has exposure (reach) and access to your community and is able to take advantage of this for brand/account awareness.

Have you used the ‘Pin Comment” feature?

Share your thoughts below!

Reminder: If you liked this post and are interested in accessing more info on how to optimize your Social Media presence – on IG and other channels – check out my other blog posts for FREE guides, tips and tricks!

Psychology of Social Media – Alignment

What role does Social Media play in Business Alignment and Brand Loyalty?

Social Media has been at the center of my career for many years now.

I have seen how people have been shaped by it.

I have seen how businesses and their marketing strategies have been shaped by it.

We can see how it has changed and grown into a channel that connects.

Connects people with other people.
Connects people with brands.
Connects people with industries.
Connects people with the realities of the world.

We have seen it grow from a novelty to a part of our lives.

What has made this journey so interesting to me is watching the different human aspects of it all.

One that has been talked a lot about, especially in recent time is the aspect of authenticity.

Being real. Being yourself.

I will be very blunt and say that I hope this doesn’t turn out to be just another “hype” and “trend” that is good and popular to talk about now and then disappears, like we have seen with many other topics.

I really don’t believe it will disappear. I believe that it is one that we will invest in and nurture.

I say that as I see that more and more people are indeed recognizing the importance of and yearning for genuine, meaningful human interactions in a digital world and a platform such as social media, that because of its “facelessness” is an easy gate for people to ‘hide’ behind.

Many people use it to portray a version of themselves instead of who they really are and what they actually stand for, creating this chasm.

A “false identity” if you will.

That is the reality. We have all experienced it from different people and in different ways.

Being yourself.

Sounds like a fairly simple and easy concept, doesn’t it?

We’ve heard it many times.

I have written about it many times.

Lately, I’ve been thinking that what is going on in social media is partly because many people are driven by expectations, by what others regard as noticeable and important determined by the followers, likes, shares, comments, etc. received. We as humans are social beings that look for that recognition and attention.

But, the truth behind it is that those seaming expectations are not built on a view of reality.

Moreover, there is also the other side of the coin, where actual authenticity resides.

People that cultivate relationships based on a true sense of self, a more genuine and relatable nature that instills trust – where all aspects come into play and are in harmony with their purpose.

This brings me to the point of Alignment.

This word has been on my mind for a while now.

Alignment is when what you think, say, feel and do are in synch and consistent with your beliefs and your purpose.

But what does alignment offer us?

Well, as John C. Maxwell points out:

“When values, thoughts, feelings, and actions are in alignment, a person becomes focused and character is strengthened.” John C. Maxwell

John C. Maxwell

If we really want to make a difference, if we really want to make an impact – we should first start with ourselves. Define who we are. Define our beliefs, principles and standards. Define our own persona.

“Alignment begins with a constituency of one. These are the individuals whose substance is real, pure and nonnegotiable. They share their vulnerabilities and fears in complement to their strengths. They are comfortable weaving all parts of their lives together in an integrated way. Our level of effectiveness, contribution and integrity of work and life are in direct correlation with our level of integration, self-actualization and total alignment of body, mind and spirit.”

Kristin S. Kaufman

Let your own “values, thoughts, feelings and actions” be your own message.

This translates in your Social Media presence when you let your persona, your profile, your message, the content you create, share and re-post, your words (comments) and your voice advocate for those factors in a consistent manner – without pushing them onto others.

That is real.
That is genuine.
That is you.

This applies to Social Media and Businesses as well.

How?

Generally speaking, businesses (all aspects and departments) need to be aligned with their business goals, vision and purpose to reach their maximum potential and desired outcome.

This includes alignment between those business goals and the company’s Social Media strategy.

“If you believe in something greater than your product and you align the behaviors and actions that reinforce that, that is worth talking about.”… “When an organization, and all the people within the organization think, do, and say the same thing, now you’ve got complete organizational alignment. And this is a marketing plan we can talk about.”

Ron Tite (Source: Bethany Johnson, “Build a Great Brand: Align What You Think, Do, and Say” CMI)
  • Align your Brand with the right Objective.
  • Align your Brand with the right Message.
  • Align your Brand with the right Target (Personas).
  • Align your Brand with the right Strategy.
  • Align your Brand with the right Content.
  • Align your Brand with the right Platforms.
  • Align your Brand with the right Influencers

All of the above have to be followed of course by a Tracking system to understand, adjust and optimize your efforts.

Social Media is basically divided in 2 sections:

Social Media Greece - Business Goals
  1. The Social side of Social Media which leads to building strong, committed Relationships with your audience/consumers. This includes engaging with your consumers, offering them value and top-level customer support.
  2. The Media side of Social Media which focuses on Sales (ROI). This includes organic and paid promotion / advertisement.
Social Media Greece - Business Alignment
BUILD AN EMOTIONAL CONNECTION WITH YOUR CONSUMERS

When you as a Brand have effectively aligned the aspects above and all its areas, you can effectively convey your vision and appeal to your audience making your brand relatable and build a bond and an emotional connection with them.

This will lead to consumers following and trusting your Brand and your products or services and ultimately directing their buying decision.

The higher the level of ‘love’ for a Brand, the stronger the consumer is set on buying from that specific Brand and the less likely to change to another one.

This alignment effectively shows what a Brand is about.

This alignment effectively shows what a Brand stands for.

This alignment closes the gap of disconnect between Brands and their Audience/Consumers.

This alignment creates the basis leading to Brand Loyalty and Brand Intimacy.

When businesses and their people are “on the same page” – with shared and aligned goals, a consistent and intact vision and core value system – and they effectively translate this to their audience and consumers via their social media strategy, they will achieve better performance and profitable results.

In conclusion, it is important that you align your Social Media approach with your Business goals as it will guide and make your social media strategy more effective and ultimately result in optimized results and growth.

… and isn’t that the ultimate goal… growth?

“Alignment is a condition in which the key elements of an organization – its people, strategy, customers, and processes – work in concert to serve its primary purpose, thereby increasing value for stakeholders”

George Labovit

Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comment section!

Good vibes only and have a great day!

With appreciation,

 Natasha

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Interview Series: Gene Petrov

Interview Series: Gene Petrov

We are back with another NPLUSG Interview series post.

One of the reasons I truly like Social Media is because it allows you to connect with people from different industries, backgrounds and cultures, and learn from their journey as well as get to see things from a new and unique perspective.

It was such a pleasure to be able to interview Gene Petrov (Petrov LMC) – Leadership and Soft Skills Coach to Marketers.

We connected with Gene a while back via Twitter where we take part in different TwitterChats (a great way to connect, share with and learn from other entrepreneurs).

What struck me the most was how welcoming, supportive and down-to-earth he is, his positive approach and his insights!

We have established and nurtured a friendship online since then and I have been lucky to learn about his journey.

This came full circle recently when I was lucky enough to have been able to meet Gene in person in San Diego at the Social Media Marketing World Conference.

The power of Social Media!

So, today I want Gene to share his story with you!

In this Q&A, Gene shares about his professional journey, the Servant Leadership philosophy, his beliefs and also opens up about aspects of his life that have played an integral role in his personal and professional development.

So let’s start!

Can you please give the readers a quick run-through of your experience and how you came to be an advocate, professional, and expert in Leadership and Marketing?

Now, I’ll put a caveat here.

It’s nice when somebody calls you an expert, or somebody says the word guru. G-U-R-U is thrown around too much, but in all humility I would just say that I don’t like to apply that title to myself, but I have had quite the journey as far as all things Leadership.

Having said that…

When I came out of the military I was fortunate […] to go back to school for a Management degree. I got a BS in Management and then went ahead and also got an MS in Management (I was blessed to be able to use that post 9/11 GI bill which covered all those expenses).

From the Marketing side of things, [the journey] has not been quite as long. It has really only been over the last couple of years as I’ve been engaged in this business and in building a brand. The concept of Personal Branding was something completely foreign to me up until a couple of years ago, but I feel like it’s definitely something that’s integral to what I do.

From the Leadership aspect, I think I do have a good handle on things [although] there is always more to learn. That’s why I [believe] you have to approach that with humility. [Continuous] learning [is something] I think happens in the trenches, working with people. I have, at this point in my life, over 20 years of Leadership in some capacity or another, whether it was through education or experience.

Even nowadays a lot of the leadership principles that I feel like I’m learning have a lot to do with psychology, parenting, and dealing with this idea of healing. Especially with my kids (my wife and I adopted triplets out of the foster care system and having to deal with a lot of their emotional, behavioral and psychological issues) we’ve had to do a lot of education in that realm.

I would say Leadership has been in my blood and in my journey for a long time.

I think that it is an incredibly important skill that can be developed […] It just takes time. It takes practice. It takes diligent, hard work.

I advocate on behalf of the idea of Leadership because I think it’s that important.

I think it’s not going away far into the future… even in this world where we see things becoming more technologically advanced (AI, Virtual Reality, etc.)

I think Leadership is still going to be one of those skills that is going to be in demand, even though it’s kind of one of those softer skills, people skills. […] I think even in an age where there’s going to be robots doing a lot of [the work] for us there’s still going to be a need for Leadership and people leading other people.

I’m an advocate for it and I’ve loved being able to be engaged in that.

Can you tell the readers a little more about Petrov LMC?

Petrov LMC is the name of my company and LMC stands for Leadership and Marketing Consulting.

[…] I wanted that little acronym to be something that helped people to identify what the business was all about.

At first it was for Leadership and Management consulting (as mentioned previously, I hold an undergraduate and graduate degree in Management).

However, I think [it is] more than just Management [as] I kind of delineate the two.

The Management side of things is basically operational efficiency and making things run smoothly at all levels. I can help people iron out inefficiencies, analyze a big data set to help figure out where money is being lost, etc. That’s something that’s a good skill to have.

I think the Leadership side of things […] is more about the people skills. It’s about inspiring people. It’s about working with people. It’s about connecting other people to each other. It’s just such a neat experience.

Leadership is all about people.

Gene Petrov

I went away from the Management side of things.

I worked for one of the two largest paint suppliers in America basically for just shy of three years. During that time I managed eight pai nt stores and each one had their own manager. They had their own employees under the manager as well.

I [have experience analyzing] numbers, balance sheets, profit and loss statements. These are all good business skills to have. If that’s something that interests people, I can always help them with that. However, as I entered into this business for myself, I thought that the more important side of things, the part that I could help people with even more, is Leadership because of the people side of things and not just looking at the money side of things, how the operations are working.

What factor(s) played a role in your connection with Leadership, Marketing and Social Media?

When I started this business almost two years ago I didn’t really have a ton of experience in Marketing and Social Media.

I don’t think I ever took a single class in college for Marketing!

I tell people all the time that Marketing had a bit of a sour taste in my mouth because I identified Marketing with people who are pushy salesmen, who only care about meeting their sales quotas.

They don’t care about actually serving their customer’s needs. They’ll push people into an option or a solution that doesn’t quite fit. That definitely happens. That’s for sure in the world. It’s an imperfect world, and it’s an imperfect Marketing world.

What I see more as being the correct way… the proper way… the more beneficial way… the more productive way… the way to actually build a real business is to have that Marketing component be about making genuine connections with people. To be incredibly helpful, really wanting and having this incredible desire to help people out and to find them exactly what they need even if, and this is the part that is hard for a lot of people… even if […] I’m not the proper person.

Can I connect you to the right person to deliver the right solution for you?

That’s hard for some people. They want to hold on so tightly to this one potential customer even if they end up servicing them poorly, and that customer leaves. They’re just looking at that small win instead of saying “Hey, I’m sorry. I don’t have quite the right thing for you, but I know this great person who has exactly what you’re looking for” and then you refer them out to that person.

With this kind of action [serving others], first of all you’re helping a friend out by sending business their way which is always great, but [you are also paving the way for] that potential customer to come back at some point in the future or even refer you to another friend of theirs that might need your services.

I firmly believe that helping other people, and doing it the right way, eventually comes back around to you (call it karma, law of attraction, golden circle, virtuous circle, the golden rule, etc.).

That’s my philosophy on Marketing.

As far as the Social Media side of things… when I started my business I knew for a fact that Social Media was going to be an integral part of how I did business, how I grew the brand, and how I grew awareness. I didn’t quite know exactly all of what that entailed.

I just kind of threw myself in there and just tried to understand how I could make Social Media something of benefit for my company and for my brand.

Even though I didn’t understand all the ins and outs, I was willing to learn about it. I was willing to say, “I don’t have a clue. I gotta find some resources.” so I read many articles, watch videos and these days I do a lot of Twitter chats.

It is very educational and helps me to “sharpen the saw”.

As I mentioned before, I didn’t know exactly what Social Media and Social Media Marketing would entail.

I only knew I had seen some people over the past several years who had used Social Media as a way to create their online business and that online lifestyle.

I wasn’t going to try to duplicate exactly what they did as I believe there can only be one, for instance, John Lee Dumas, Entrepreneur on Fire.

Side Note: I remember early on when I was getting this idea that I needed to strike out on my own I was reading a book that mentioned John Lee Dumas’ podcast, and so I listened to it. He’s done a phenomenal job. Obviously that guy is great!

I was encouraged by those people who have made their online business work for them. I was encouraged by their stories. That was something that started getting into my mind, like… Okay! there’s other people out there doing that! They did it and I think I can do it as well!

That was my mindset going into this business and growing my own brand from the ground.

I didn’t always have this solid idea [strategy] in my mind. I think probably that’s something that a lot of people say you have to have – a more solid business plan. However, in my case I’m kind of figuring it out as I go along, and that’s okay for my particular situation. For other people it might not work. They might need to probably have something set up and bringing in money right away.

At this point for me it is a couple years in and I [have managed to keep] the expenses for my business pretty low, with the exception of going to conferences such as Social Media Marketing World, for example. It costs some money to go out there (San Diego) including flight, hotel, plus the actual conference ticket, but it is a great investment […] when getting into Social Media.

I didn’t actually think I would be this big Social Media Marketing person when I first started out, but that’s the way it’s been going and that’s where I found the most traction – in the people I was connecting with, the people I just really enjoyed being around in an online presence, and then being able to take that relationship offline and meeting them in person at a conference.

I’ve actually got another conference coming up this September in Boston and it’ll be another great opportunity to meet up with these people and just further deepen that relationship… and just be able to say “This is an awesome person. I’m so glad I’ve met them, and I’m so thankful that I’ve had a chance to connect with people who are incredibly honest, genuine, authentic, just very helpful people, very unique and gifted, qualified, talented, etc.” […] – they’re also very hard workers which I can see that from their presence online as it does take some time.

You have to have a Social Media component [in your strategy] if you’re going to have a business these days. For me, it’s a no-brainer. Especially if you’re going to try to have your own small business (consultant, freelancer, etc.), you have to make connections. You have to be on Social Media. You have to be putting yourself out there.

That’s a huge factor why I’ve gotten into that.

[…] It’s so amazing when you can connect with people and collaborate, work together, put out amazing content, create… I think it’s just a phenomenal thing!

I’ve connected with people all over the world and it’s terrific!

How would you define your Leadership style? Can you share with us what this method entails?

For the most part Servant Leadership is the idea that I like to be all about and strive to inform people of as it is a great way to lead.

There are different types of Leadership.

I think about some of the old school Leadership ideas.

Peter Drucker […] was like the father of modern Leadership and Management.

I think Servant Leadership just comes down to putting the needs of your people and your teammates first. It’s quite simple to me.

I’ve adapted this from my own background.

I’m a person of faith and my Christian faith is very important to me. For me, Servant Leadership is something that comes directly out of the Bible and I pull that into my own life.

I try to be a good servant leader whether that’s at home taking care of my wife and my kids or whether that’s out in the community taking care of other people whether within my church community or the geographical community. I also try to serve people as best I can within the online realm of my Social Media presence, trying to just help them to grow their own brands, just giving them a little bit of exposure to other people.

For me, it’s really just all about finding ways to help people and sometimes it’s a sacrifice, but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

[…] This is something I mentioned in an article that I wrote for another friend of mine […] Lady Anita Bradshaw […] for her magazine called Powerhouse Global Magazine, where I focused on Leadership.

The article is called “3 Postures of Leadership from an Adoptive Dad.

It came out of the postures of Leadership that I adopted from being a leader as well as my experience as a leader for my kids and the adoption process.

In the article […] I told a little story of my time working at a paint supplier.

It was a difficult position […] as I was managing eight paint stores while having to literally work inside of one of them tinting paint which was just very arduous, physically demanding labor. In this small store it was me and just two other part time people actually manning that one store while I had seven other stores that I was responsible for.

What ended up happening was this:

I had a guy who was working for me who was a great guy and a great worker. He was coming to my store for a part time job while also going to school part time. He was driving about an hour and a half, sometimes two hours in Atlanta traffic (which is ugly, ugly traffic) […], one way, to get to the store so he could work part time.

I was just like, “Oh, man.” I really felt for him because I knew that it was a lot of hours being spent on the road where you’re not able to really accomplish anything. It takes away from your quality of life.

I warned him when he first applied for the job and said “Are you going to be okay with this long commute?” but he said he would and to his credit he did it for a year and a half, and he didn’t really complain about it.

When I saw an opportunity to transfer him to another store location that was about five minutes away from his house I jumped on that opportunity because I wanted to serve him. I wanted him to have a better quality of life, and I wanted him to reclaim those hours on the road […]. This happened a year and a half in as we didn’t have a spot for him to be working closer to his own home. However, once we did I jumped on that and I made that transfer happen because I wanted him to be able to reclaim those hours.

That was a sacrifice because that meant I had to look for and hire another brand new person for that store […] but I thought that the sacrifice was worth it to serve that particular part time employee.

Servant Leadership.

That’s what I attempt to do in my life and in my business. Personally and professionally.

I highly recommend it.

Being able to identify those ways that you can serve people takes some practice, and you need to get to know your people in order to serve them appropriately.

Getting to know people, that’s a huge thing right there!

What role has Social Media played in this?

I approach Social Media and Marketing just like anything else… based on Servant Leadership.

It’s simply helping other people first. I try to help as many people as I can in this Social Media thing. In the process, I end up helping myself. It’s as simple as that.

It’s answering questions, helping people to connect to the right person. It’s sharing resources. I’m glad to do that! I like to read Social Media Marketing blogs [such as] Social Media Examiner, Buffer, etc. all these places that have these articles to help you to grow and develop.

I think it’s so great! It gets me excited! It gets me fired up!

There are so many opportunities to learn and to grow. There are so many opportunities to be a leader… but first you gotta be a leader of yourself.

Being a leader of yourself involves educating yourself, getting better as a person, getting better intellectually, emotionally, psychologically.

I’m happy to tell people “Hey, you need to check this out!”

These resources have helped me immensely and they can help other people as well.

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

Les Brown

That’s got to be something that you do because if you want to be a leader… well, leaders are readers!

For example, you can listen to audio books, podcasts and you can get a lot of great resources online!

Some resources I suggest are:

On the leadership side:

  • Les Brown
  • Brain Buffini – one of my favorites!
  • Zig Ziglar, Entreleadership, etc. – cover the personal growth and development, leadership, people skills, etc. – I love those!

On the social media side:

  • Definitely love listening to “Communities That Convert” with Madalyn Sklar and Kami Huyse.
  • Madalyn Sklar also has the “TwitterSmarter” podcast.
  • Convince and Convert” has a podcast as well with Jay Baer.
  • Tyler Anderson who’s “Casual Fridays” has a podcast about Social Media that’s pretty good.

Social media is all about serving other people.

In your opinion, which are some of the key factors that play the most important role in Leadership for a business? Why?

Well, I think the big thing in Leadership is it has to start at the top.

They have to be the example. From the CEO all the way down to the CFO, COO, CTO, CIO, and CMO… the whole C suite!

It’s got to trickle down from the top.

You have to really be invested in the relationships and in the people.

I think what needs to happen is at most, if you’re a leader, you’ve got to be pouring into the next level down.

Mentoring is a great part of that pouring into those relationships, getting to know them, getting to know their strengths and weaknesses and figuring out how can you help them be better at their strengths and then compensate for those weaknesses (not necessarily to get better at their weaknesses).

I’m the kind of person that thinks that what needs to better happen is if you know you have a weakness, you need to find somebody else that can do a better job and engage them, connect with them.

Ask for help.

That’s a huge part of being a leader.

[…] In 100% honesty, I have a tough time sometimes asking for help too.

It’s a difficult thing for some people.

[…] I think maybe it’s partially a male thing, partially the way I was raised… a strong father figure.

He [my father] never really asked for help. He was a good dad, don’t get me wrong. I love my dad. God bless him. He’s 73 years old now, and he’s still running around doing his gardening and everything!

However, the concept that you need to be asking for help was one of these things that he didn’t really teach me as a kid.

As a leader, that’s a huge part… investing in the people, investing in the relationships, mentoring, being in the trenches with them showing them. You don’t necessarily show them exactly what to do in every situation, but you can always draw upon your experience and let them know “Here’s something that I have done in the past that’s worked. Maybe this will work for this situation, but maybe you’ll find a different option that will work even better.”

You encourage them.

You love on them.

Love and Leadership is [a huge concept that is] starting to [make its way] a little bit more I would say, but 10 or 20 years ago you would never hear anybody talking about the concept of loving the people that work for you.

Love is just so huge.

So, key factor that plays the most important role in leadership for business?

Love.

Taking care of your people, connecting with your people, developing those relationships, honoring them, cherishing them. These are some words that people […] haven’t heard before in a business sense, but that are so important. I think it’s incredibly important.

So, I would say love. Yeah, that’s a great part of that right there.

In your opinion, which are some of the key issues that businesses are being challenged with today in Leadership and need to change or invest differently in? Why?

One thing that comes to mind is […] the generational differences.

  • Millennials
  • Gen Z
  • Gen X

What it ends up coming down to is just having an awareness, a sensitivity, and trying to figure out how best to serve these people … [and] understand that there are differences in the way they view the world.

For instance, some people view working for a company for 30 years [as] a very antiquated way of looking at things (with some exceptions). I think most people [will not be] working in the same place for 30, 40 years and then retiring.

A lot of days people are job hopping because that’s the way to get the experience that they need, to get the fulfillment that they desire in their jobs. I think a lot of organizations have identified that as part of the business needs going forward – in bigger organizations especially.

We need to be serving these different generations. We need to be taking care of them in different ways.

For Millennials for instance, you might have to approach them [in business] with the mindset [that] “they might not be here for very long” and rather give them the opportunities for growth and advancement, give them freedom and work from home, etc. Remote work […] is a big hit! That kind of leadership I think is prevalent… more [in] the tech sector organizations and companies, but it’s kind of slowly coming around to some of the other industrial organizations.

Leadership needs to be the one, but in some cases you just can’t.

For example, if you’re working at a retail store, obviously you can’t really work from home on a lot of occasions. You gotta be in the store to service the customers that are coming in. But that’s a challenge that I see in a lot of organizations today. They need to invest in this mentorship idea [called] Reverse Mentorship – this idea that the younger employees are able to also teach the more mature employees some new skills, new ideas.

I think it just has to come down to being aware that there are some differences. You don’t pander to people, but just take care of people.

That’s what leadership’s all about.

Who is (are) your mentor(s) or example Leader(s)? What key characteristics set him/her (them) apart for you?

Mentorship is a huge and important thing.

I think there is mentorship in two fashions.

  • Direct mentorship.
  • Indirect mentorship.

For direct mentorship, […], I consider I’ve had mentors through the years [meaning] “[…] This is my mentor. This is the person that I go to. I seek out advice on this or that. They can help me identify blind spots and weaknesses.”

One mentor that comes to mind, coming from the spiritual side of things (through my church), really helped me to develop not only spiritually, but also intellectually and emotionally.

He and his wife mentored young, married couples.

My wife and I were just married. We were with six other couples being mentored by this more mature couple.

It was a very good thing because he specifically […] mentored the guys, did one-on-one [sessions], [we] went out for lunch, we would talk, […] go for a walk, etc.

He definitely helped me to identify this blind spot for me.

I was just not able to be… I wasn’t teachable.

That was the way he put it. I wasn’t teachable.

That’s a hard thing to hear from somebody.

You can’t just hear that from anybody… “You’re just not teachable”. That’s a hard thing to hear.

That’s kind of like saying, if you’re not teachable you’re arrogant. You know everything. That was the attitude that I had. I think that [it] doesn’t go away 100%, but I’m definitely more aware now and I try to strive to not be arrogant, or proud, or […] too proud.

There is something that is good about being confident, but then there is the over-confidence, cockiness, lack of humility that I think really causes people to fall.

That mentor really helped me out in identifying that blind spot and start getting in the process of overcoming that a bit.

I also think of my parents, and especially my dad, as being a mentor in my life.

From my dad I learned this hard work ethic, how to be a good family man, how to take care of people, provide for the family, and just love your wife.

I think that’s so important in this day and age where we have so many marriages falling apart.

My wife and I are like this.

We try to be a model of what a happy marriage could be, and is in our case.

We just passed 10 years, and we’re so in love, more in love now than we were when we first got married. It is possible. It’s possible to still have your marriage partner as your best friend […] even 10 years later.

Hot tip: Make sure you go on dates. I don’t know how often you can do it, but once or twice a month for us seems to be really key.

My dad was my mentor [and] my mom, obviously.

I was blessed to have a mom and dad. I know that that’s not the situation for everybody.

So blessed because I learned different lessons from mom versus dad.

Mom was all about love, affection, and taking care of people. She also taught a lot more about generosity too. I try to be generous in my life.

These are all kinds of things that are key to who I am as a person, who I strive to be, and how I strive to be helping other people.

Mentorship starts there.

I didn’t have a lot of athletic coaches. I played a little bit of sports when I was real young. I wasn’t very good at a lot of team sports (basketball, soccer, baseball, etc.). Later on in life the biggest thing that I did as a sport was just basically lifting weights.

However, at the younger level – and this is something that I love about having my kids being enrolled in sports – [it is good] having the coaches be there… to be another type of mentor.

For instance, my son just started playing football. Third graders playing football, you wouldn’t expect that it would be all that intense, but actually down here in Georgia (it’s the south) they love football and so the coaches, they’re very demanding but in a good way. They expect the kids to try their hardest, to work hard running back and forth, up and down the field, just learning the plays.

I think that’s something that’s really important to learn, discipline.

Discipline is something that I’ve had to learn and that I sometimes struggle with.

As a solo-preneur, a full time dad (first of all) and a full time entrepreneur it’s very hard to just discipline yourself to get that time in with the business.

I learned that [type of] discipline from my dad as well.

You could also have a mentor on the job.

Maybe it’s your boss.

Maybe they’re not a great boss, but they can teach you what not to do too.

Maybe there’s somebody that’s not in your direct chain of command who can’t fire you, but somebody who’s up and adjacent. That way they can help you out, and they can give you perspective. They can show you from their example.

I highly encourage people, if [they] can [to] be mentored or coached.

There’s [also] this idea of indirect mentorship (via sites, books, podcasts, videos, seminars, etc.).

I think that works best for me because I love to read.

I’ve just had a great love of reading for a long time. When I was a kid I used to read through so many books. I read all the time.

I think that’s helped me to develop over the years as well. I end up reading a lot and absorbing from other people’s great Leadership books.

[…] I’ve got John Wooden, Jim Collins, and a lot of these classics. I’ve even got a book from my friend Tom Reed who sent me his Leadership book that I still have to read!

There’s so many opportunities between reading, listening to books, listening to podcasts, watching videos even and I think that you have to grab onto those opportunities as best you can.

I listen to Zig Ziglar. He’s passed away. I never met him, but I feel like his voice echoes in me sometimes. It’s been a blessing and it’s been a help.

Just this general idea of optimism, positivity, and helping other people is so prevalent in his messaging, and I agree with a lot of what he has said.

What are the biggest challenges you have found when incorporating your method?

I suppose the biggest challenge with this Servant Leadership style is when to apply it appropriately and just making sure that you’re not becoming a doormat [by] letting other people take advantage of you.

What I would say is that it’s going to take some practice and some time as you’re going to have to get to know the people that you serve in order to understand when they’re trying to take advantage of you.

The best example I can give of this is one I pull straight out of parenting.

I’ve got eight year old triplets.

Parenting is tough. But parenting triplets is tough, and then add into the mix our kids having this background of trauma that they have to work through which creates some additional layers of complexity and things for us to deal with as well.

We adopted them. It’s now been two and a half years we’ll call it (They came to us three and a half years ago. They were in the foster care system for a little over a year, then we adopted them.)

Over the course of three and a half years we’ve gotten to know their personalities, and we’ve gotten to know when they’re trying to manipulate us and manipulate a situation. I definitely happens. They try to play you and just try to be all teary eyed, etc..

You just get to know.

I would say in the work place you’re going to probably get the same way. You’re going to understand when somebody’s trying to […] take advantage of you and you’re just going to have to say, “I’m sorry. I love you. I care about you. I want the best for you. Right now, this is not the best for you. I’m sorry.”

Sometimes you just have to be very direct and very blunt while still being compassionate, soft and gentle with them. That is something I have to work on for myself personally – just continuing to be gentle with my own kids in that leadership regard. I find it’s actually easier to be calm, gentle and patient with people I don’t know, who I don’t have to interact with every single day, but kids will frustrate you. They will exasperate you. They know how to push your buttons.

So, the biggest challenge I think is just finding that balance, finding the way to incorporate Servant Leadership the correct way without becoming somebody who […] just [does] complete damage to yourself and your own career.

In your opinion, are businesses open to and embracing the use of these Leadership methods?

I think so.

Part of my job is just educating people.

I think [that by] educating people who are at the higher levels of the organization, the corporation or company, they have to understand that Leadership is important and that it has to be prevalent at each layer.

You want to be developing that bench, so to speak. Develop the talent. Start letting people have opportunities for Leadership so they grow into greater positions of Leadership.

I think that there are a lot of companies that understand that Leadership is important and Servant Leadership is definitely something that they are open to embracing.

It’s just really about people who are in this business embracing that [concept], educating people and getting the message out there.

The more we get that message out there the easier it will be to help people to get to that [point] where they are incorporating Leadership, whether it’s Servant Leadership or another style.

How do you see Leadership evolving in the near future?

Seth Godin said in his book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? that:

“The new form of marketing is leadership, and leadership is about building and connecting tribes of like-minded people.”

The idea is that Leadership and Marketing really go hand in hand. Marketing is connecting people and leadership is connecting people.

It’s all wrapped up in the same thing, in my opinion.

One thing I’ve kind of grabbed a hold of [is] this concept – and I’ve put it out there for people to see.

Some people don’t see this connection, and I think that that’s probably a mistake. When we talk about Personal Branding, and Content Marketing, and all these different things that get wrapped up in all this, being a leader is going to be almost mandatory.

Be a leader in some sense, whether your business is Marketing, Auto Glass Repair or Pet Grooming. You’re going to have to be a leader of some sort in order to be successful in your Marketing, in your branding and in your growth opportunities.

If you’re, for instance, like I said a pet grooming business, you need to be out there providing leadership in that industry in order to rise above the competition.

We talked [with a fellow TwitterChat attendee] about brands and companies that are purposeful. They might be a pet grooming business […] providing leadership by also being in the community and raising awareness about pets that need to be adopted (pets that are being treated poorly). They’re engaged in that front. That could be a leadership position for a pet business.

If you’re not doing that then you just sort of become [just another] pet grooming service, I guess. There’s probably a ton of them. It just comes down to… the price?

You definitely don’t want to be somebody who competes on price!

I would rather stand out from the crowd, have a higher price point, show a leadership position and show that you’re a purposeful brand.

I’ll get that message out there too.

Leadership is mandatory for brands in the future.



Gene Petrov
is a Leadership Coach with over 21 years of experience in leadership from the military, corporate, and small business sectors. He is a US Air Force Veteran with an M.S. in Management. He is trilingual (Russian/Spanish) and loves to spend time with his wife and 9-year-old triplets. Gene is purpose-driven with a heart for kids in need (foster care & adoption).

He can be found on these social sites:

Twitter: GenePetrovLMC
Instagram: GenePetrov
LinkedIn: Gene Petrov
Website: www.petrovlmc.com

 

 


Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comment section!

Good vibes only and have a great day!
Natasha

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5 Twitter features Brands need to focus on

5 Twitter features Brands need to focus on

So lately I have been asked about Twitter and best practices, and how they can be applied for Brands.

There are a lot of articles and videos out there that will show you exactly what you need to do in order to create a Twitter account. That is all great to set you up and get you started.

I could also advise that you:

  • Select a username related to your Brand (@) that is easy to remember and will stick!
  • Have a profile pic that contains your Brand logo making the visual aspect of your profile more appealing and your Brand image identifiable to your audience.
  • Have an optimized bio that perfectly and clearly encapsulates in just a few characters your Brand’s message and purpose. Use relevant hashtag (don’t overdo it though!) and link to your site (or preferred landing page).
  • Be creative and pack your message in 280 characters that need to be accompanied with visual creatives so as to cause your reader to stop scrolling and start reading.
  • Tweet during peak traffic hours 🙂
  • Pin a Tweet you want to highlight to the top of your profile page.
  • Don’t start following just for the sake of following – and be careful of those pesky bots & automated accounts!

And many other tips…

But, what you need is more than that.

That is why today I want to touch on some “heavy duty” features you will need to focus on in order to take your Twitter marketing efforts to the next level.

Specifically, I will talk about  the use of:

Video

“Tweets with video attract 10X more engagements than Tweets without video” 

Source: Q&A article by Marissa Window (data source: Twitter Business )

It is undeniable that people are more responsive to video than plain text.

Video offers a more interactive & impactful method of content distribution leading to effective emotional responsiveness from audiences and a more powerful way of establishing lasting relationships with them.

As a Brand you should plan around data available as to the type of content, the type of video (informative, tutorial, etc.), video length, etc. that you should use and promote your Brand through.

Some data to be considered are for example, as shown in Nick Reese’s Video advertising best practices for Twitter Video Ads article that “93% of video views on Twitter take place on mobile devices”. Additionally, “Promoted Tweets with videos saved more than 50% on their cost-per-engagement, helping their ad budgets stretch further.” Moreover, “videos that were 60-90 seconds long actually had the best engagement.” (Source: Twitter Business ).

Different points play an important role in strategy for maximizing return on your video campaigns, make sure you research and apply accordingly to your strategy, target and goals. For example, Video Ads.

As explained in Nick Reese’s article “In-Stream Video Ads let you run an ad before a publisher’s video on Twitter. This ad format has been shown to increase ad recall by 70%, resulting in a 6% higher purchase intent compared to people who weren’t exposed to video ads.” (Source: Twitter Business )

Wow! Impressive, right?

Overall and as stated in Mo Al Adham’s “How In-Stream Video Ads on Twitter help marketers tell their story” article, “People come to Twitter in a discovery mindset, making them more attentive, responsive, and trusting of the video ad content they see on Twitter in comparison to competing platforms. This leads to video ads on Twitter being almost 2X as memorable when compared to the same ads on other premium sites.” (Source: Twitter Business )

Live Streaming and Audio (Podcast)

Live Streaming has been a feature on Social Media that people have been highly adopting and seeing results from. It offers an elevated form of communication with your audience centered in the immediacy it offers. Twitter Live Streaming feature is powered by Twitter’s Periscope.

The impact can be seen from the data provided by Christina Newberry in the “28 Twitter Statistics All Marketers Need to Know in 2018HootSuite article where she presents that in Q3 of 2017 “Twitter live-streamed more than 830 events, almost three-quarters of them to a global audience. Twitter also live-streamed 96 million hours of live user-generated content in Q3 via Periscope.” (Data Source: Twitter’s Q3 2017 Letter to Shareholders ).

On a different note, the new Twitter Audio Only feature offers a way to re-purpose live-streaming content as live podcasting and other audio based type of broadcasting content (news broadcasts, shows, etc.). This gives Brands a lot of possibilities and opportunities in using this feature allowing them to take advantage of the growing podcasting (and audio) industry.

Streaming or Audio, the future is in interactivity!

Twitter Chats

This is a gem.

In summary, Twitter chats are hashtag driven public conversations held on Twitter that you can join, share insights on the topic being discussed, network and meet like-minded people, etc.

Twitter chats are also an amazing way to build a community and brand awareness.

As explained by Gabriela Cardoza in her “3 easy ways to grow your Brand on Twitter” article (Source: NPLUSG ):

You can find a Twitter chat for almost any topic of interest (marketing, branding, leadership, advertising, design, etc.) and as a brand, you can utilize these conversations to network with others in your particular industry, market and field. Furthermore, it’s an opportunity for your brand to communicate its value and thus, build its image, reputation and thought leadership.”

You can check out Gabriela’s complete list of Twitter Chats here .

Twitter Lists and Moments

Twitter Lists are another great way to organize and keep tabs on specific accounts (people, competitors, brands, news, etc.) you want to follow (or not!) as well as conversations.

Simply:

  • Go to Profile and Setting (top right icon on your Twitter Account Homepage)
  • Click on Lists
Twitter Lists
  • Click on Create A List
Twitter Lists
  • Add List Name, Description and select Privacy option
  • Click on Save List
    Twitter Lists


Twitter Moments
follow a somewhat different ideology.

As stated by Camilla Dudley in her “How to use Twitter Moments to connect with customers“, Twitter Moments serve as a way for you to “create and curate a collection of your customers’ Tweet conversations, live commentary, and longer-form content to connect with your audience in a new way.” (Source: Twitter Business )

As proposed in the article, some uses for Twitter Moments you can apply are:

Showcase your customers’ feedback
Resurface your own Tweets
Promote a new product launch
Hype up an event

I’ll add that it is also used by many as a tool to offer a complete recap of a Twitter Chat (or the top replies) so as to service people that were not able to join “Live” in the chat, also as a way to highlight specific Tweets (on a specific topic) that you want to record for later access or create a ‘moments list’ with (i.e. book suggestions, AI articles) etc.

The options available are just a matter of creativity!

Customer Service

Ah, one of my favorites!

In my opinion, customer service is crucial to the success of any Brand’s social media marketing efforts and general standing.

As stated in Christina Newberry’s article 28 Twitter Statistics All Marketers Need to Know in 2018, Eighty-five percent of small and medium business Twitter users say it’s important for businesses to provide customer service using the network.” (SourceHootSuite ) which helps in building brand trust, authority (status) and establishing solid relationships with your consumers.

Twitter allows for the extension of these options through Twitter Customer Support Features (Source: Twitter Blog )

Some of the Customer Support Features as explained by Liz Alton on the ”4 tips for providing effective customer support on Twitter” article are:

Display your support hours so people know when they can expect to hear back from you.

Enable direct messages, so more complex issues or private customer details can be shared directly with you.

Turn on the “support” option so customers immediately see that your brand’s Twitter account is customer-service friendly.

Use “welcome messages” that prompt people typing a DM on what message to share.

(Source: Twitter Business )

Twitter is a Social Media platform that Businesses are tapping into more and more and making use of its features to maximize return on their Social Media Marketing efforts and to focus on closing the gap between them and their consumers by offering a more immediate, interactive and high quality experience.

As such, these 5 features will get you on the right track to establishing an effective use of Twitter for your Brand!


Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comment section!

Good vibes only and have a great day!
Natasha

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