Social Media Success Requires Consistency!

Whether you are in social media or any kind of business one of the most important traits you can demonstrate is consistency!

Consistency is defined as being marked by harmony, regularity, or steady continuity and free from variation or contradiction; showing steady conformity to character, profession, belief, or custom. Doesn’t that also sound like a great rule of thumb for a social media practice?

Humans tend to be attracted to balance and consistency.  A person can only be as successful in their life’s endeavors as they are consistent in their life’s behaviors. In other words you have to “walk the talk.” This is true on the “online or offline world.”

This means that as a leader, your actions (what you say, what you do, where you spend your time, what you deem as being important, the decisions you make etc) must be consistent… day in and day out.  That way, the people who follow what you say and do – will see consistency in your actions and behaviors.

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9 characteristics of great Chief Marketing Officers

Now more than ever, all organizations are looking for the discipline of marketing, to help cure their organizational woes. With that said, excellence in marketing is more important than ever. Thus, the great CMO’s and top marketing professionals, in all types of organizations, are looked to for leadership and I believe they all share common character traits. As it is always easier to remember an odd number (in this case 9) items, you will find I have listed 9 characteristics of great CMO’s below.

  1. The highest degree of personal values, ethics and integrity. Superior ethics may not always win the marketing battle but most always win the marketing war.
  2. Continual positive outlook and enthusiastic vision. This is a key separator between great, good and poor marketers.
  3. Use of creativity to differentiate yourself from the competition. When products or services appear the same to the customer– creativity by the top marketing professional in approach and positioning makes all the difference.
  4. Reliability, consistency and dependability. These three traits separate the average marketer from the superstar marketing professional. Enough said!
  5. A sense of being “human” that builds brand loyalty. Being human and using humor makes your efforts and campaigns likable, and people like brands that make them warm and fuzzy.
  6. Unyielding belief in your organization and yourself. Real winners KNOW there are no shortcuts and that they will “win” in end by doing the little things right.
  7. Creative posturing that differentiates you in your market and makes you clearly known by all of your stakeholders. Superior positioning reduces competition– which is a great and value added bonus for doing your job well.
  8. Passion to excel and to be the best at what you do. This is a personal characteristic that is evident to others. There is no sense in striving for second best. So… don’t!
  9. Push the envelope. The marketer who appreciates the past, is dedicated to the present AND pushes the envelope with a vision for the future is the one that will achieve success.

So, remember the discipline of marketing is more important than ever in 2010 and beyond… and it is the job of the CMO, or top marketing executive, to exhibit the highest degree of excellence in all that s/he does. Have you seen such a great CMO in action? What other characteristics should we mention?

Ryan T. Sauers

In Real Life & Social Media Perception is Reality!

I have the great privilege of working with many different people inside a variety of diverse organizations. In doing such work, it has become clear to me that these organizations and the people that work there- share one thing in common. Perception is Reality.

You see… whatever their PERCEPTION of something is– IS their REALITY of something.

What does this mean? Are you lost?

Ok—here goes…

Whatever a person “perceives” to be true in the world around them (their perception) is completely true to them (their reality).

All people take in information and then make decisions about the information in different ways. So no matter how a person goes about the process of making a decision– the end result is the same! So think about it from a marketing point of view… the other person now has a “perception” of you in their mind and this perception is their reality.

So the learning lesson we must ponder as we communicate with OR market to others is this:

It is not what “we say we are all about” but it is what “others say we are about.”

Do others perceive you the way you hope that they do? This is a question we MUST all ask ourselves.

The best marketing and communications individuals are those that are able to purposefully and intentionally make the “perception they seek” closely match how they are ultimately perceived by others.

Do you ever think about how you/your organization seeks to be perceived and whether or not this is the reality of how others actually perceive it? Do you realize that the superb new tools available to all of us through Social Media—give us a great way to impact how we market ourselves and control perception and reality?

How do you perceive this post? I hope it matches the reality I was seeking to achieve.

Ryan T. Sauers

Listening- a powerful communications tool

It has become very clear to me that listening is a more powerful communication tool than that of speaking (online or offline). I guess that is why we hear the expression we have “two ears and only one mouth” for a reason.

Think about it.

All human beings have the desire and need to “truly be heard”. In addition, human beings seek to be understood, appreciated and connected to others. Many painful times in our lives have come about because we said something we did not mean OR do not say something we should have said. Such situations often cause pain to both us and others. No good!

Does this apply to new communication mediums such as Social Media? You bet it does. In such new arenas- listening is more important than ever.

Missed opportunities for communications growth occur when we fail to further develop a relationship because we do not get to know a person better. In other words, we have “talked” to them a lot but have learned little about them– as we have instead focused on our needs, wants and desires.

The people I enjoy the most, in all parts of life, are those who are the best listeners. Why?

The reason is simple– these people make me feel important. Don’t we all want to feel that way? Don’t we all, whether offline OR online, TRULY want have a meaningful conversation?

Our goal should be to consistently improve our listening skills. And, remember “hearing and listening” are two very different things. Such strong listening skills– will not only make you a better person– but also a better communicator, marketer and leader in all endeavors- online or offline.

What do you think?

Ryan Sauers

Refuse to Live in a Box!

Live outside the box! Let’s say it again. Live outside the box and dare to no longer be defined by the “confines of a box.”

Why is it that so many people today are defined by the proverbial “box” and quite frankly seem to like to stay in the comfortable confines of a box?

Think about it.

Most people sleep on a “bed/box” talk on a “phone/box”, email from a “blackberry/box”, type on a “laptop/box”, eat from a “drive thru/box lunch”, drive to work in a “car/box”, and then set their AM wake up call to be made from a “alarm” etc. No wonder people are so comfortable with box type thinking.

Organizations are no different than people– as organizations are made up of people.

I challenge everyone who seeks to be a leader to “live outside the box.” Furthermore, look at 2010 as it is, and see our organizational problems for what they are… etc instead of looking at them as worse than they are.

Lets focus on seeing things that others do not see and being a leader who is not adverse to trying new ways of doing things. Let’s work to find a better way to do things… and then work to make these things a reality.

Living outside the box, is uncomfortable to many who love their simple, black and white (no gray), four walls up… and “box oriented” world.
However, to compete now and the years ahead– the box has to go away and the four walls must come down to allow free energy, creativity, and unbridled ideas to occur.

What box do you face? Do you like the confines of your box?

Ryan Sauers

Get More Sales- Today!

In the world of sales… and we are ALL in sales… everyone wants more sales. So, there is a simple way to accomplish this goal. But before I give you the simple ways to do it– here are 7 things to consider… in regards to getting more sales.

Getting more sales is more than having a power handshake. Getting more sales is more than saying someone’s first name repeated times. Getting more sales is more than a having a cool power tie. Getting more sales is more than having a snazzy PowerPoint. Getting more sales is more than cranking out lots of phone calls a day Getting more sales is more than supplying the hot ticket to game or event. Getting more sales is more than using buzzwords and acronyms. So these are things to think about when we think about getting more sales.

Now, ready for the secret?

OK… Sales is no secret at all. Sorry I wish there was one.

Here is what sales is about. Sales is a process based on trust and the building of strong human relationships. It is an art not a science. It is about giving more than getting. It is about helping more than selling. I have never “sold anyone” on anything. It goes against the very fabric of what sales is all about. There are no sales shortcuts, no gimmicks, nor anything other than trust, value, seeking to understand how to meet others needs, building relationships and living by the highest code of ethics. Sales is about doing the right thing.

So there you have it. I hope you will Get More Sales – Today but achieving more sales today– is actually a natural byproduct of a salesperson having done the things mentioned in the paragraph above– consistently– day in and day out.

What do you value in your sales efforts?

Ryan T. Sauers

Balance between New Technology and Social Etiquette?

What is going on these days? It seems that every place I go— countless people are looking down towards the ground (i.e. their phones, IPODs, mobile devices etc). For example, I have seen couples who are out on “dates” and although they are sitting across from each other—they are not listening or engaged in the conversation to each other- but instead are focused on browsing the web or texting someone else. If we are not careful we going to have a generation of people with strained necks from spending so much time looking down at such devices.

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Social Media and its impact upon Reunions

If you take time to look around, you will see that Social Media is being discussed and/or utilized almost every place you look. So as I was thinking about all of this the other day, I began to wonder what impact Social Media will have on high school or college reunions in the coming years.

It is my thinking that the past objective and main reason for wanting to attend such reunions has been to — “catch up” with old classmates and friends and to rekindle old relationships.

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Is it Communications… or Communication?

I have studied the subject of communications for years. It is funny that many people us the words communications and communication interchangeably. You might ask yourself– what is the difference of a simple “s” at the end? Well there is a lot of difference.

To begin with, TRUE communications occur only when what is being expressed by the sender is clearly understood by the receiver. If someone says s/he is a good communicator but most people cannot follow/understand what the individual has written or said– the fact of the matter is– that person is either not a good communicator or has failed in his/her communications attempt.

An easy time to observe this is during negotiation situations– or times of hostility– when people are tense OR upset with one another. During such times, it is easy to observe the communications process OR lack thereof it quite clearly.

In these times, one party tends to think the vantage point s/he is coming from is “what is right” and that the other person/parties point of view “is wrong”.

When this begins to happen– one way and stifled COMMUNICATION is occurring instead of the flowing two way stream of communications.

One of the best skills that a great “communications person” has is solid listening skills. This skill is oftentimes overlooked but, as the old saying goes, we have “two ears and one mouth” for a reason.

So for true and successful communications to occur– all parties– the sender and receiver… must be willing to listen, willing to hear the other side out, willing to clearly explain a message that can be understood, and lastly if all else fails… be willing to “AGREE TO DISAGREE– AGREEABLY.”

What differences do you observe between communication and communications?

Social Differences in Management vs Leadership

Is there a difference between being a leader and being a manager? The answer to this question is – yes- indeed there is clearly a difference. A friend of mine once said, “you show me someone who can get a group of unpaid volunteers to work together and accomplish something great- there you will find a leader.” Let’s take a closer look at both management and leadership.

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