William Toll - Marketing Pro in Boston and Berlin

My Blog About Cloud Computing and Marketing Readings From Around the Web

Tag: Social Media

Activate Your Employee Brand Ambassadors In Social Media

Last week at HostingCon – the web hosting and cloud computing industry’s largest yearly event, I presented a session on Social Media in the Sales and Marketing track.  The slides and some follow up comments can be found below.

 

I think the slides tell the story I shared in the 50 minutes I engaged with the audience.  I asked for participation and got several great questions, mainly focused on training and managing employees.  I also received some great Tweets from several leaders at organizations of all sizes.

Andi Mann

https://twitter.com/AndiMann/status/227448239547367424

Anders Trolle-Schultz

https://twitter.com/TrolleSchultz/status/227154636925194241

Jeff Barr

https://twitter.com/jeffbarr/status/227065078233579520

David Gallant

https://twitter.com/davidgallant/status/227050912676450304

I was happy that we only briefly touched on the tools- and remained focused on how to implement a program in the following steps:

  • Listen
  • Engage
  • Inspire
The companies that consistently benefit from the social media programs follow those three tenants closely.  What about your organization, are you leveraging your employes and evangelists?

 

HostingCon 2012 – Web Hosting and Cloud Services Converge #HostingCon

HostingCon 2012  is a Conference and Trade Show For the Web Hosting and Cloud Services Industry

I am looking forward to HostingCon 2012.  This will be my eighth HostingCon – I remember the very first one very well!  For the second year in a row I am advisory board member and I can attest that this year the session selection process was very well organized.  We all collaborated to ensure that the conference is full of educational sessions.

I submitted two sessions, one talk and one panel.  I am pleased that both were selected.  Plus, I live in in Boston, just 4 blocks from the convention center. Please join us for the sessions below!

Sales and Marketing Track: Monday 7/16 3pm at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts

Session Title: Energize and Incentivize Your Employee Brand Ambassadors

I am super excited about this talk, and am looking forward to sharing the slides with a broad audience.  I have been thinking about a session like this since 2009 when I was running marketing for NaviSite’s SMB business unit.  It’s been great to participate in the explosion of B2B content and social media marketing, and I truly believe that employees are the most un-leveraged assets a company has.  I also feel that many traditional Web Hosters are far behind many of the pure Cloud Providers in this aspect of their marketing programs.  Hopefully we can have a great session and learn from each other!

Abstract:

2011 proved that even the smallest companies can have a giant voice. Whether your firm has one or 3,000 employees, there are simple ways you can activate your employees to engage online and produce content. The days of posting spammy articles and having a hard-sell approach are over. Many hosters lost significant traffic and SEO rankings in 2011. The future is socially influenced search results, and your team must be active, or your message and website won’t be found. In this session, William Toll will share his methods for activating and incentivizing employees, whether they are in marketing, operations, support, or beyond, to help drive traffic, visibility and ultimately sales in 2012 and beyond.

SaaS and ISV Panel At HostingCon 2012: Tuesday 3pm ET at the Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts

Having HostingCon in Boston this year is like having all of your worlds converge.  I am fortunate to live in Boston, home to over 900 startups in the region.  We have a rich and vibrant startup community here in Boston and I am fortunate to have participated in dozens of events, meetups, conferences and more.  I have met dozens of founders and had so many business case and ptich conversations that I often feel energized from the passion of community.

Many of these startups have relationships with Cloud and Web Hosting providers and at this session it all comes together.  I reached out to several startups and asked them to come to HostingCon and meet their infrastructure provider and share their thoughts on their vendors.  It’s going to be a great opportunity for hoster’s to learn what is working and what is not for their customers in the startup space.  Participants include:

Jeff Seibert, CEO and Founder of Crashlytics (Amazon Customer, based in Cambridge, MA)

Devon Hillard, Founder of Spark::red (SoftLayer Customer, based in Boston)

Claudia Santoro, CTO, Vsnap (Rackspace customer, based in Boston)

Michael Klett, Co-Founder & Technical Lead, Chargify (Managed Hosting Customer, based in Boston)

Phil Stanhope, VP, Engineering & Operations , Yottaa  (Amazon, Other Hosting Provivers, Colocation, based in Boston)

Moderator:
William Toll, Marketing Consultant, Hosting Industry Veteran and HostingCon Advisory Board Member

From the Front-Lines: Boston Area SaaS and ISV Leaders Share Wisdom With Their Hosting Providers

Abstract

The Boston area is one of the top areas in the world for software innovation, from startups to established enterprises. The Boston area is full of companies that are building the next generation of SaaS and Cloud companies, designed, architected and built in the cloud. Every year, HostingCon brings together the world’s leading service providers of infrastructure and services that modern software and services are built on. This panel of Boston area technology leaders will share their insight into how they selected a cloud or hosting provider and what their ideal relationship is like or could be like. The panel will feature a mix of companies and cover topics such as: support and SLA agreements, security and compliance, APIs and marketing opportunities between hosting providers and their customers.

Be sure to follow the hashtag on Twitter #HostingCon  If you are at the show, be sure to say hi!  I’ll share the slide decks after the conference.

William

Accelerating Ecommerce Revenue With Social Media

I was invited to speak at a seminar for ecommerce site owners which focused on the customer being an asset.  I gave two talks, one about ecommerce and website speed, with a Yottaa focus and the other about how to leverage social media to accelerate ecommerce revenue.

My social media talk focused on a survey of ecommerce websites and their use of Social Media tools to drive referrals and engagement with buyers.  Using Amazon as a benchmark the talk reviewed several websites in Denmark.  The presentation also left attendees with a strategy and process for moving forward with social media by listening, engaging and inspiring their ecommerce website visitors.

Based on feedback during the day long seminar, I believe there is a lot of interest in harnesses the power of Social Media to drive customer engagement and revenue, however there is no doubt a lack of knowledge on how to proceed.  SaaS-IT has some great programs that can help companies in Europe move forward with a program for growth.

Your Customer Your Asset Seminar, Copenhagen Denmark

http://np.netpublicator.com/?id=n76801379

Event Website: Your Customer, Your Asset – Seminar on how to ensure that customers act as anticipated or complete the purchase when they interact with you online.

Date: November 28, 2011

Location: Copenhagen Denmark – Auditorium Edvard Thomsens Vej 10, St. 2300 Copenhagen S

Sponsor: DIBS Payment Services – the Nordics leading provider of payment services.

Organizer: SaaS-IT – An established SaaS Consultancy that helps ISVs, Service Providers and the IT channel leverage the new SaaS and Cloud ecosystem.  My good friends Anders Trolle-Shultz and Vagn Kohler are the principles of SaaS-IT and my contacts for this event.

Accelerating Ecommerce Revenue with Social Media: Slideshare

 

Photos: 

William Toll, VP, Marketing Yottaa

William Toll, VP, Marketing at Yottaa

Photo by: Flemming Eiberg http://www.linkedin.com/in/flemmingeiberg

 

Your Customer Your Asset Seminar Copenhagen Denmark Nov 28 2011

Attendees at Your Customer, Your Asset Seminar in Copenhagen Denmark Nov 28 2011

Photo by: William Toll

Google+ & Your Employees, Time to Dive In

We knew this would happen.  Google is now indexing and ranking Google+ content higher.  This makes sense, and it’s the reason Google has been on a “quality” push for months.  With the Panda update Google “took out the trash”.  With “Ripples” Google helps users understand how and why their content is shared.  The “+” button is rapidly becoming a strong signal for quality and “we” are being “trained” to use it.

The only real equivalent to what Google is doing is LinkedIN.   I see it this way – on Twitter, we socialize and freely share.  For most of us a Tweet lasts 3-5 minutes in the stream.  Twitter has a place in the community.  On LinkedIN, we share the “best” stuff, most likely to be of interest to our “business” network.  At the moment, nothing is more powerful than your content being shared on LinkedIN. I often meet people who still don’t know about one of the most powerful tools on the Web: LinkedIN’s Status Update search.  Did you know, you can easily search all mentions of your brand, your content or your keywords.  I use this tool to build a profile of the people that are sharing our content.  I can see their job titles, company name, company size, company location and much more. (Yes, you can see people outside your network!) Nothing is more helpful today to gather this insight.  Best of all it’s free and anyone can do it.  Here is a screenshot that shows you a search I did recently for Yottaa.

LinkedIN Status Update Search for Website Speed

LinkedIN Status Update Search Results for Website Speed

 

So what does a content marketer do to leverage the growing importance of Google+?  First, don’t wait for “Business Google+ Pages and Accounts.”  Waiting will only delay your success in the new era of “Fresh” Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).  Encourage your key employees to get a Google+ profile and account.  Teach them how to leverage Google+ to follow and share their passions.  Teach them how to add their other profiles and develop interesting profiles. Encourage them to start reading and sharing content from your industry’s media, thought leaders and beyond.  Help them build and share circles of industry leaders and media.  (Don’t forget to teach them best practices for sharing and using the social Web, nothing is worse than an employee shouting a sales message).  When you are ready, roll out a program to help employees share company content on Google+.  Likewise, encourage them to “+1” and comment on references to your brand, where appropriate.  One of the best tools for this in the Twitter world is GaggleAMP, if you have not checked them out you should.  I have not found a similar tool to GaggleAMP for Google+, however I am sure one is coming and GaggleAMP may well add Google+ in the future.

Finally, why go through all the effort to leverage Google+?  First, it’s about the SERPs, SEO is not dead, it’s just become social!  The SERPs are now full of content that has been successfully shared across networks, and increasingly that means Google+.  Let’s look at a SERP for the search Web Performance Optimization.  It’s important to note that in example one, I am logged into Google, so my results are highly influenced by my social network and activity.  Example two, I have a clean browser, with no cookies and history and I am not logged into Google.

Logged In Google Search Results Page Web Performance Optimization

Example One: Logged In Google Search Results Page Web Performance Optimization

Logged Out Google Search Results Page Web Performance Optimization

Example Two: Logged Out Google Search Results Page Web Performance Optimization

 

 

 

As you can see when logged into Google, my results are different, and influenced by my social network.  It’s clear to me that as Google expands its reach, gains more users of Gmail, Google Apps and Google+, there will be more “logged in” users.  SERPs that have socially influenced results will not only rank higher, but are more visually appealing.  Plus, with over 90% of buyers considering recommendations before making a purchase decision, having the validation of others in their social circle sharing or clicking a “+1” for content, will drive click-thrus and conversions.

 

What about you?  Have you rolled out a plan to help your team have fun on social networks, while providing some value back to your marketing efforts?

 

 

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