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Why the hell do people post their stats on Twitter?

October 15, 2015


I see people, quite a lot of them actually, that publish automatic tweets about their performance on Twitter.

It could be:

  • How I did on Twitter this week: 2 Mentions. How’d your week go?


  • Thanks to my top interactors! …..

and I don’t really see the point.

First of all, Twitter, like any other platform, is not a numbers game (that people inevitably cheat on). What really matters is who you are engaging with and the quality of the exchange.

Also, I don’t see any situation where this kind of message would make a positive impression on the reader.

When I read that my thinking goes

  • the person does really bad (if the numbers are low)
  • he/she is clearly into vanity metrics (cf, the lean startup)

and more importantly, it is a ROBOT and I don’t want to listen to a robot.

Did I miss something?

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Employee’s Advocacy: fine line between Chaos and Propaganda

August 5, 2015

smurfy-workers-1183449I often have “discussions” with Social Media Marketers regarding “Employee Advocacy”.

Employee Advocacy is clearly the buzzword of the moment (or maybe it is Content) and it looks like every company is embracing this – as social media monitoring a few years back, without much of a plan/ strategy.

Don’t take me wrong. Employee praising their companies in Social  is a great thing. However, it is naive to believe that any conversation/tweet/exchange between an employee and someone outside is a good thing, provided that the employee is positive.

Here are situations where this would actually hurt.

  • Your sales team is in a middle of a fierce negotiation with a prospect and an employee with no knowledge of the context or authority on the deal is jumping in, and engages with prospect’s employees, creating noise.
  • A junior employee engaging with a competitor CXO’s, an analyst although not qualify to comment on behalf of the company.
  • An employee soliciting people from another firm publicly.
  • An employee engaging conversation with an exclusive client who has a dedicated account manager.
  • In short, employee engaging in conversations where they don’t have the expertise/knowledge.

These are just examples.

I remember when working for HP, being quite confused when someone would ask me to fix problem with his/her printer or provide discounts to buy tablets. ( my track record with printer is VERY bad).

I always attempted to redirect them to people who could really help but this was frequently felt as an avoidance strategy.

There is no such a thing as a one size fits all “Employee Advocacy program” or “Employee Engagement Program”. Sales, Marketers, Engineers, Evangelists. Execs, Legal, … all should use Social a different way and engage with people outside that are relevant for them and (sometimes) for the company.

As Jim Fields (SAP)  –  @fieldsjj – puts it

“Look at how to enable each of our employees to become an ambassador for the company and an ambassador for the brand in a way that is true to their role in the organization and their ability to be a voice for us within their various networks and with their social constituents.” (

Employee Engagement cannot be: let everybody be on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram and talk to anyone on behalf on the company and go for it or (which is the same), let’s deploy an Advocacy solution, train the people and make sure they use it.

Going the other way round and establishing PR lead and “Official accounts” as the only voices of the company does not work either.

I see many companies, including private banks & exclusive brands !! using generic Twitter accounts to engage with dissatisfied clients and it is usually a pretty bad move. These clients are worth $100K’s and have dedicated account managers. They should be the one to jump in.

So what is the right approach?

The right approach start with strategy and mapping.

It requires structuring the engagement so that every team is lined up with its appropriate target audience/tribe and we recommend the following steps:

  1. Define roles, responsibilities, objectives and metrics
  2. Specs policies
  3. Map audiences and align audiences to roles in the company.
  4. Train employees
  5. Deploy starting with the employees who are the most Social Savvy

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 4.59.21 PM@dominiq

The difference between Social Selling & Social Network Selling

May 18, 2015

There is clearly  a major shift to “Social Selling” ( yeah we know that):

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 4.51.46 PM

at the expense of telemarketing and cold calling

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 4.53.10 PM

This is specially true in the US where people basically don’t answer the phone anymore. ( Nicely highlighted by @michaelhlock from Hearsay Social)

1- Phone is intrusive, specially for the Millemials. Younger generations rely on text as a primary means of communication and  their normal process is to use text or social to schedule a phone appointment.

2- Telemarketers have overused it. They are the only one still calling on land lines and iff they reach a smartphone, there is a high chance they will be blacklisted and blocked in a click. Here is a 2013 stat: “8 attempts to reach a prospect today with a cold call vs. 3.68 in 2007 “(source: TeleNet and Ovation Sales Group).


However when people talk about “social selling”, what they mean by that is replicating the same selling process using social network.

The process they advocate is still:

  • one to one
  • disruptive. whether it is thru a “cold text message, tweet, linkedin introduction”, or “almost cold introduction” i.e ” you just had a new baby, are you interested in a College savings plan”.

It is better ….but is still missing the point of Social NETWORK.

The point I want to make is that:  In Social Selling, Social is the important word but Network is THE critical word, albeit missing.(Tweet) @ecairn

So how do you do “Social Network Selling”:

#1 You (the sales rep) define the target as a group of connected people who share needs and know each other. Think like you will join an association, mingle with a Chamber of Commerce, target Private Schools or Alumni Group. The key is to move from the idea of selling to a LIST of people to selling to a NETWORK of people.

#2 You become expert  about the ecosystem that you target and you provide value to the ecosystem. MrX needs something that MrY can help with. Mrs A&  Ms B are both organizers of an event that you can sponsor. The goal is to be the go-to person for this subgroup.

#3 You grow your network within this natural network one connection at a time.

#4 From time to time, you sell.

The goal for a Sales Rep is to own this territory and the territory should be as small as needed so that it can be owned and as big as offering opportunity for a profitable business.

For example, there is no way that as a single sales person one can own the wealth management market in New York. But you can own the market of affluent people in NY who invest in art or wineries or who perform specific type of charity investment, or  Columbia’s alumni  or Entrepreneurs with German origin, or Sports Celebrities or Affluent working in a specific location in Manhattan.

Keep in mind that everyone suffers  over-information and is hungry for relevance and value.

The process above: strategy, targeting and focus is the only way you can achieve relevance and value and really build a network in social and sell.


Automation, Scheduling… why sales rep & relationship managers should never fake it in Social

April 23, 2015

Image courtesy of Simon Howden at

I am amazed by the number of companies coming up with solutions that enable Sales people or Relationship managers “automate social”.

– Some propose to schedule content, or even better to automate the retweet of corporate content.

– Some propose options to delegate the social identity of the sales rep to the marketing department … who will probably use an intern or an offshore team to manage it

– Some propose access to content libraries that the sales rep can use  when they have nothing to say.

The arguments behind these value propositions is that “Social Media” takes too much time,  that it need to scale and that Sales people should not divest their precious time in social platforms.

Other arguments (in the Financial sector as an example) are regulations (FINRA, SEC) and consultants and vendors frighten relationship managers of the consequences of tweeting the wrong post.

But frankly, these are just excuses not to do the job and yes selling is a tough job. The reality is that:

1- There is no better use of a Sales Rep time  than listening and engaging with prospects or clients.

2- There is no higher risk for a Sales Rep to let a machine, a marketing intern or a content library  represent him/herself in Social.

3- These is zero risk in building relations with prospective clients in social, as long as  sales rep are cautious to take the “next step (actual selling) one on one offline. It’s not different than in real life. At the moment of truth you need to say “we should meet” and take the next steps private. (btw whether the industry is regulated or not, that is how it should be done).

Let’s tackle the  risks of automation, scheduling and “pre-digested content”


Let’s face it. 99% of automation is Spam. And people don’t like Spam. So why would you spam prospects and clients?

In addition, most automation violate the T&C of Social Platforms. Twitter (as an example)  is very clear: “generally most automation is detrimental to the user experience and frequently results in blocks and suspensions.” 

Also using automation, there is a major risk of posting something irrelevant or out of context.

If you’ve been in sales for some times you know how difficult it is to even transfer a prospect to another sales rep.

Context and history of the relation are very difficult to transfer. Yet many Sales Rep are OK transferring prospects to “automated scripts”, this is crazy.

People buy from REAL people


Scheduling sounds interesting. It usually provides the option to send the same content several times, at different intervals.

But customers are smart. If they have been using social media for some time, they will be quick as spotting the same tweet from a sales rep at different time of the day. They may also have sophisticated listening capabilities.

When they realize it, the indirect message that customer receives is that they are not worth your time and that you will not be there for them when they need you. Not the best way to start a relation.

Best case they will unfriend/unfollow you. Worse, they will share their findings with other  potential clients

This is a killer for reputation and trust.

People buy from people who are there when they need them.

Content Libraries

This one is more subtle. It plays on people fear of the blank page ;-). People should post regularly, so when they have nothing really exciting to say, they should go get company canned messages and post. Right?

That’s actually a very wrong advise.There are  evidence that people don’t engage with Corporate Accounts so why the hell would a real person build a presence in social that mimics a corporation?

It is even worse when someone looks at  Company level.  What do you think a client/prospect will believe when he/she sees 10’s of sales rep/relationship managers from the same company spreading the same PR-engineered article without a personal note? …

People don’t buy from boring people.

The net is that automating social is a very wrong way to do it. Even worse for companies who are competing with robots (like wealth management / financial advisors…) where the only way to differentiate is the depth of the relation, the strength of the relations and the deep understanding of the client.

So what should sales rep do? Actually, the same thing they have always been good at.

Be themselves, engage in conversations, build their network, bring value to the community they are targeting,  solve problems, be fun and entertaining,  listen to prospects and clients and above all BE RELEVANT.

Fake it ’til you make it ? Not this time.


One thing to think about before you embark on an Employee Advocacy Program

March 30, 2015

From time time, we have marketers contacting us about Employee Advocacy programs and asking whether/how we can help.

I am usually offering them this short story.  “The Secret Life of a Standard Employee Advocacy Program”

===========    beginning of story ===========


1-  A Manager in a PR/marketing group (maybe back from SXSW) decides it is a critical program.

2- 10s,100s of employees are named ambassadors. A solution is purchased with content distribution, leader boards …

Everybody is highly energized and ready to go for it!

Early problems

3- “Ambassadors” have a job to do and they have difficulties keeping up with the amount of content and the time commitment. Some were not really using “social” in the first place. The ones that were already good at social don’t really feel like spreading marketing content to their contacts will help the company … and their personal reputation.
4- Corp Marketing pushes on training, content and rewards.

5- Since “productivity” is the issue, the centralized program automates more and more, sometimes even it takes over the social identity of the employees and tweet/engage in their names.

It can be automated so it can scale.


6- The audience of the employees who used to perform decently in social is turned off by the corporate spamming (same message every other day …) and they quit listening.


7- The problem is diagnosed as a lack of motivation from the ambassadors and the conclusion is either “social does not work”, “social does not work for us”, or “our employees can’t figure out social.”

=============    end of story ==========

If they don’t like the story, then I try to setup a meeting 6 months later.

If they do like it, then we start discussing an alternative approach to thought leadership / social selling: The grass roots one.

1) It starts by mapping the company and identifying employees who are already successful at social — usually executives and top performing sales reps.
2) The we build a “STAR” program, i.e giving “de facto” ambassadors more intelligence about the audience and better real time content. This way they can be strategic and more effective at social. They can also measure their progress and learn from their successes and failures.
3) Leveraging on the initial success, the program grows from few to more to many more.
As with many processes where change management is critical, grass roots is the way to go !

Why use eCairn for social media intelligence

March 18, 2015

Is possible many of you have stumbled into many social media marketing tools that offer to track influencers, audit your brand, do competitive research and share content among other things. Perhaps you have heard of Sysomos, Radian6, Klout and traakr.

Our key differentiation is we group people with common interests that talk and share content around an specific topic. We call them tribes. And we calculate influence within these specific ‘topic’ tribes. Because hey, one mommy blogger can influence million moms in America, but can you tell which blogger is influencing who, where and what content in more appealing to a group of listeners? Also, influence is dynamic. And when you put all mommy bloggers together you can compare apples to apples, and be confident you’re listening to the mommy rock stars at that point in time.

We have helped many American and international corporations with over 30 different use cases, enhancing monitoring their social media strategies. More typical uses involve:

* Downloading influencer lists by vertical
eCairn holds to date close to half a million influencers across 900 different tribes. Search a specific term within the tribes and download only what matters to you.

eCairn Audience insights

For instance, search for mommy bloggers and other tribes who mention “changing diapers”. Explore conversations and identity people who can contribute growing your brand’s awareness -link building .
Changing diapers convs* Content research
With eCairn you can search for specific keywords across tens of million conversations daily, and discover hot topics among a community. Is a process of discovering, adapting, learning new trends (keywords) and building your themes, and discover again.
We offer a combination of automated reports and manually annotate conversations for sentiment analysis.

eCairn reports* Spy your competition
Analyzing your competitor’s social accounts is also part of what you can do with eCairn. Add your competitors social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram) and learn about their SM strategy:
– Discover if they are offering deals, promoting hashtags, events, generating brand awareness

– Setup a theme to follow-up on competitor mentions and social mentions

– Listen to what matters on you mobile devices, subscribe to customized RSS feeds and integrate with Feedly or Zapier

– Study their SEO tactics, trace links and inbound marketing efforts

Share of Voice of social media tools sample.

Share of Voice of social media tools sample.

* Alerts
This feature can be configured to automatically post on your own social media account, email forward, or exporting data to a your Google docs. Simply configure a keywords of your interest. It can be brands, product names, twitter mentions (i.e. @ecairn, #ecairn), competitors. And the digest can be check on your laptop or mobile devices.

5 Reasons why Twitter is even better than Linkedin for Social Selling

December 5, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 11.39.30 PMI love Linkedin and use it everyday and today I stumbled on two posts (from Chris Reidd and Alice Meyeroff   ) telling how Linkedin and Social Selling is better than cold calls and I think it is time to give to Twitter what belongs to Twitter.

I get that Linkedin is way better than cold calls. However, ** when you sell to an audience who has adopted Twitter **, I would argue that Twitter ( and even better Twitter then Linkedin) is  better and here are 5 reasons why:

#1. Linkedin only gives you a person resume.

It’s good to be able to find people names in Linkedin along with their professional background (in Google searching in Linkedin where you can do crazy queries) .

It is specially good for hiring, but when it come to sales, it does not tell you much about who this person is.

Move to Twitter and you can get insights about the important things in life like: favorite food, the places he/she goes, preferred sport, political ideas, kids,  …  and also whether they could be interested in the kind of things you are selling,

Maybe they ask questions that you can answer? Maybe they express needs? Maybe they are already discussing/exchanging/following your competitors?

Linkedin was build for hiring and -so far- it works great for prospective employees or employers where you don’t really build “relations”. Do you still have ties with the people you have interviewed years ago?

But when it comes to sales, people sell to people, not to resumes.

#2 Linkedin is poor in content

In B2B Tech, where we have solid data points, thousands of CIO’s & tech executives tweet every day. And as people strive to gain leadership, this will go up.

In our target market, Social Marketing ( i.e ~5000 to 10000 people in US and Europe), more than half of the people we listen to tweet more than once per day, and many blog.

Again these are early adopter verticals and not the majority.

But one tweet per day;  you don’t get near that kind of speed on Linkedin.  Excluding the rare “linkedin influencers” – great move from Linkedin- there is no fresh content until your prospect moves to another job.

Each tweet – 10’s of them per month-  is an opportunity not-to-make a cold call. Actually to “not make a call at all” but to respond with added value to a discussion your target customer is starting. (note: I don’t recommend to catch every opportunity to engage but if you listen carefully, you’ll find good ones more often than not).

The Linkedin substitute to the “cold call” is an informed call or a referred call. It’s better than a cold call but it still a call.

If you can help a prospect or provide value answering a tweet, then you move to a different league.

#3 Linkedin is hiding the network

This one is kind of counter intuitive but yes, Linkedin is “hiding” the network and making money letting people see it piece by piece….  up to a certain limit.

I don’t know about you but for me is it so frustrating. This is like playing chess but not been allowed to think more than one move ahead or watching a football game with the camera on one player.

When you see an entire network, you can discover paths that you are not part of but could be, influencers that you need to reach in order to get to the people you want to talk to etc.

You can also measure progress. Not things like “xxxx connections YY Millions professionals in your Network” but real progress like how close and  engaged you are with prospective clients and the people influencing them.

Here is a (very partial) view of the Social Marketing Market:


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It’s clear that people like Jeremy Owyang (although he’s now working in collaborative economy), Jay Baer, Scott Monty  are influencing many Social Media decision makers in Large Enterprises that we want to talk to.

#4 Linkedin does not provide “group” listening.

You can’t  really learn learn much about a company listening in Linkedin beside “static information” such as # of employees, per function, location, “moves”. A quick look every quarter and you’re OK.

Some real smart people get significant value from this :, but real time listening? forget it.

Using twitter, you can structure real time listening of 1000’s of key employees of a potential client, or all (most) people managing Social, IT, Sustainability, HR,  …. in F1000 companies.

You can decipher the “hidden” org chart of a Corporation –  the CIO is engaging more with the VP Sales in Spain than with the CMO, and they talk about Real Madrid  – , and understand who within the account is your best entry and why you better not buy this iPhone case with a picture of Lio Messi. (There is a 49ers-Seahawk version of this but … let’s see in two weeks).

#5 Linkedin is not helpful until your target is already your contact

This is basic but that is indeed a serious issue.

What can you do on Linkedin before the person has accepted your connection is very very limited. It is a challenge to get to this point and “cold inmail” won’t do the trick.

Twitter offers many ways to initiate the relation – RT, mention, follow- lists- favorite, then direct private messages and to make progress up to a point when you can take an embryonic relation to Linkedin 😉

Don’t take me wrong. Linkedin is great. Linkedin is the ultimate solution for recruitment and Linkedin is very useful later in the sales cycle. Linkedin is also way more widespread in B2B than Twitter .. but if you are fortunate to have a significant share of your target clients in Twitter, use Twitter as the primary platform for sales and start there !

Then get from Linkedin what you can’t get from Twitter:  1) the inmail and 2) the opportunity to have long conversations when things get tangible.



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