#startup your social media

2012-12-28 23.54.10In one of my first interviews about my start-up journey, I mentioned how much I have to thank social media for. After an intense and inspiring day mentoring dotforge start-ups this week, here are my top tips for increasing your profile and serendipity on social media – whether you’re building a start-up or advancing your corporate career.

1. Social media is just another way to talk: I often hear people refer to social media as “marketing”, “something that brands use”, “irrelevant”… but at its heart, business is about relationships, and relationships are built on conversations. Conversations first became virtual via letters, then telephones and faxes, then emails. Social media is fast becoming a hygiene factor in business. Can you imagine telling an important contact that you don’t have email? Can you visualise their reaction? Many will now look at you in the same way if you don’t have a Twitter account!

2. Speak where your contacts want to listen and engage: You don’t need to be everywhere. Discover where your contacts hang out on social media and prioritise those platforms. As a social CRM and social media consultancy, some think it is unusual that we don’t have much of a Facebook presence – but many of our contacts, who are predominately from professional services firms, simply don’t want to talk about work there.

3. Think – old rules, new tools: Traditional best practices still apply, but you can reach a larger, yet more targeted, audience. Social media accelerates the know-like-trust-buy-advocate cycle. The real-time and searchable nature of social media means that you can find contacts and conversations of interest. By demonstrating your expertise and personality, you can become the host of the virtual parties that matter to you – with prospects/investors/employers approaching you, rather than you needing to find and pitch to them Smile

4. LinkedIn is your virtual shop front, Twitter the virtual cocktail party, and Facebook the virtual house party: Dress/speak appropriately! Make sure that your virtual shop front has a great address and would encourage your ideal client/employer to walk through the door. Twitter is incredibly powerful for building your profile and network because who you follow is not connected to who follows you… as with real-life networking events, you can join any conversation uninvited, as long as you have something interesting, insightful and/or amusing to add. Many of our professional services contacts demonstrate their expertise by hosting events. Twitter is a great way to build interest, conversation and engagement before an event, which in turn increases attendance, and social sharing during and after; whereas the same contacts/firms may use Facebook for charity events, summer parties, etc. once relationships have been firmly established.

5. Be social via and on social media: Social media is a wonderful research resource. I now routinely read the websites, blogs and profiles of contacts before speaking with them for the first time – whether in person, or online. Time can be saved and conversations made more relevant when you already know someone’s areas of interest and mutual connections. Relationships that might have taken years to build can now be formed in a matter of months, sometimes even weeks. Don’t join conversations and meetings without this easily available intelligence. And whenever possible, help to #jointhedots / in #joiningthedots – if you take a peek now, you’ll find all the fantastic entrepreneurs and start-ups I met this week Smile

Safely Sharing Access to Your Twitter Account

With all the excitement about our recent redesign, we haven’t had the chance to explain some of the other new features we added to CubeSocial in the latest update. Time to fix that…

Let’s say you’re a marketing manager and you want to enable other people in your team to tweet from your company Twitter account. Or perhaps you have a personal Twitter account and you’d like your assistant to be able to Tweet from your account from time to time.

Until now the only option was to share your Twitter password around your team and trust them with full access to your account.

Delegate Access to Your Twitter Account

Now when you go to your CubeSocial Networks and Services page, you can click on the Actions button to delegate access to one of your colleagues.

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Choose who you want to delegate access to and assign an access level. That’s right, not only do you no longer need to share passwords, you also can restrict access and, for instance, keep your private messages truly private.

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Add as Many Twitter Accounts as You Want

The other change you’ll see on your Networks and Services page, is the Add New button on the top-right. If you have multiple Twitter accounts for your company, just keep on adding as many as you like.

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We hope you find these new features useful. Let us know your thoughts below. Happy Tweeting!

Changes Coming to CubeSocial this Week

CubeSocial has grown organically since we launched, and of late we’d begun to notice that some of the features weren’t as easy to discover as they once were. With that in mind we set about redesigning CubeSocial’s homepage to make it more useful as the hub of all your social media activity.

We’ve added a new navigation panel on the left-hand side of the home page. In it you’ll find all the things that were previously tabs at the top of the homepage, everything that’s currently in the Engage section of the site, plus a couple of new things too:

CubeSocial Homepage layout

Our testing shows that this new layout will simplify many of the CubeSocial usage scenarios. The changes will be rolling out later in the week and we’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below or email us at support [at] cubesocial.com.

Say Hello to the Content Library

As more people in your business start using social media to connect with prospects and clients one of the challenges you’ll face is keeping all of your team on-message and primed with a steady stream of new content to share.

Today We’re delighted to announce a major new addition to CubeSocial that’ll solve this problem: Welcome to CubeSocial’s brand new Content Library!

With the Content Library you can now share pre-approved messages, links and photos with your team so that they have content to hand for any situation. You can also easily connect your blog RSS feed to the Content Library to automatically populate it with new content as you publish.

  • Keep your team on-message with company marketing campaigns
  • Provide a steady stream of new content for your team to share with their audience
  • Amplify the impact of your marketing campaigns by easily enabling branch offices, sales staff and others to make use of your social media marketing material

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We hope you’ll have fun trying out this new feature. As always, we’d love to know what you think of it. Let us know in the comments below.

CubeSocial has a Shiny New Look

You don’t need to be eagle-eyed to spot that our latest deployment has brought a bright new look to CubeSocial.

CubeSocial as a product has grown organically over time and of late, it had started to look like it was ready for a makeover.  So, we got our decorators overalls out and set about remodelling the site. Here’s what you’ll see next time you log in…

Navigation

The first thing you’ll notice is the new navigation bar is tucked away neatly at the top of the page.

CubeSocial Navigation Bar

We’ve reduced the height substantially to provide far more room for you to work with your data and reduce the amount of scrolling you need to do. We’d noticed that over 50% of our users now access CubeSocial using widescreen displays, and this layout is particularly suited for them.

Secondly the navigation bar stays right there at the top no matter how much you scroll. This makes it much easier to get to the most important commands in CubeSocial wherever you are in the site.

Page Layout

The next thing you’ll see is that we’ve applied a consistent design across right across the whole site.

CubeSocial Page Layout

Each page is clearly framed with a distinct title bar and the main content area offset against the background to help you focus on what really matters. We’ve also made it easier to spot the key actions you can take on each page. You’ll find them consistently placed on the top-right of each page and called out in green.

With the addition of the consistent styling applied to the sub-navigation on the left of each page, the result is a site that is much to find your way around.

Getting the Most out of Social Media

Finally, we have noticed that our most popular blog posts are consistently the ones where we explain social media in a business context, i.e. we explain not only what to do, but why it’s important for business.

We decided that we should bake that information right into CubeSocial. Many pages now display hints like these at the top of each page. Once you are happy (or if you are a power user) you can dismiss the hints and you won’t see them again.

CubeSocial Hints

We’re really excited about these changes, and we’d love to hear your feedback.  Tweet us or leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts.

Finding new leads on social media

CubeSocial - New Follows PageSocial Media is a great source of leads and prospects for your business. Each new follower you get on Twitter is a potential client, partner or even competitor. If you were a retailer, this is the virtual equivalent of someone walking into your store and browsing around.

The best retailers will greet their prospective customers with a smile and encourage them to have a look around.

How do you greet your virtual window shoppers? If you are like most people, you probably don’t.

We wanted to help fix that in CubeSocial so our latest update includes a new view where you can review the people that have followed you over the last 7 days, easily decide if they are relevant to you, and then engage with them.

CubeSocial - New Follower

With this view, you can easily scan down your list of recent follows, dismiss the ones you aren’t interested in, and follow-up with the ones that could be potential new leads.

Video: The ROI of Social Media

Are you still trying to persuade your boss, partners or colleagues about the business value of social media?  This could help…

Here’s a video of CubeSocial CEO Linda Cheung at a recent Ariadne Capital/Entrepreneur Country event on the topic of the ROI of social media.

CubeSocial CEO Linda Cheung on the ROI of Social Media

Linda explains the value we have gained from social media, and also shows case studies of law firms using social media to win business.

The video is well worth a few minutes of your time. To quote a few of the live tweets from the event:

Linda Cheung hits it out of the park. Interesting, insightful, helpful presentation. And not an ad in sight. #ECWorkshop

Excellent coverage & energy from @LindaCheungUK of @cubesocial about the social & economic benefits of adapting to social media. #ECWorkshop

Very clever of @LindaCheungUK to use lawyers as her Twitter case study. If they can benefit, any sector can. #ECWorkshop

Shame no room for questions after talks, sure there would be a heap for @LindaCheungUK ‘s v enjoyable presso #ECworkshop #AVGevents

If you are organising an event and would like to ask Linda to speak, please contact us.

Gmail Integration is Here!

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We’ve just rolled out the latest updates to CubeSocial, and the good news if you have been patiently waiting for our Gmail integration… wait no longer. You can now import your contacts from Gmail and go discover where all your Google contacts hang out online.  Just click Import Contacts from your Contacts page and away you go.

Working with more than one organisation?

If you’re an agency or social media consultant we’ve made it easier for you to work with your clients. Simply go to your My Organisations page to create new organisations and manage your existing ones.

Set your communication preferences

We recently added the option to have daily email alerts for social searches and a weekly summary of the activity on your account. All the email options are entirely configurable from the Communication Settings page.

And a bit of housekeeping

We’ve beefed up some of the housekeeping features of CubeSocial and made it easier to delete contacts, users and even organisations too.

Enjoy!