#CelebrateSuccess – Ask for Personally Written Recommendations for LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a terrific resource for making new network connections, finding sales prospects, getting the word out about your product, and looking for employment opportunities. A well-written profile along with endorsements can go a long way toward helping you establish credibility and reach new contacts. However, as good as they are, the general LinkedIn tools are no substitute for personally written recommendations.

First of all, let’s remember the difference between an endorsement and a recommendation. An endorsement is a one-click checkmark-type confirmation that you are good at a particular skill. It’s a good thing to have, but it’s not comprehensive, and the person endorsing you can only choose from a pre-specified list of skills. A recommendation, on the other hand, is a written statement by one a person in your connection network. You can’t request that someone give you a particular endorsement, but you can reach out and request that someone you know offer their own personal recommendation.

The value of a LinkedIn recommendation is that it offers real insight into your product or capabilities. That means it’s important that your recommendations come from people who really know you. In other words, a general phrase (John rocks) or sentence (Mary is a really hard worker) by someone who you have only a passing acquaintance with won’t help much more than an endorsement. That means you should request recommendations only from people who can offer a genuine appraisal. Someone with whom you worked closely on a product development team will have much more to say about you as a professional than a fellow member of a social group!

LinkedIn has made it easy for its users to request recommendations. Just view a connection, choose “Request a Connection.” Select individuals who have genuine knowledge about your skills, products, or services. Recommendations are valuable commodities so you should take them seriously. If you are beginning a self-promotion strategy that includes soliciting recommendations, gather them over time. Your recommendations will include a time stamp so blanket bombing your address book may not be the best way to go about it. Start with the people who know you best and work your way through your list bit by bit.

Written recommendations can go a long way in making your profile more robust and authoritative. Those who offer them are putting their name on the line for you. Be sure to say thank you! Remember, you don’t have to be asked when it comes to offering recommendations so don’t hesitate to pay it forward by offering your recommendation in return.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

#CelebrateSuccess – Celebrate Your Customers’ Wins & Successes

Talk to almost any boss, and he or she will tell you that one quality they highly value in their employees is self-motivation. We don’t disagree. That’s a pretty good trait to have—both for you and for your team. But the truth is, no matter how internally motivated, everyone needs a good pat on the back once in a while. But you probably already knew that.

So given that handing out kudos is a good thing, doesn’t it stand to reason that your customers should be on that list, too? After all, they play a pretty big part in determining whether or not you are successful; you owe it to your customers to make sure they know that.

One of the best ways you can recognize your customers and show your appreciation for all they do for you is to help them celebrate success.

One tricky element in setting up a way to celebrate customer success is determining precisely what success means. It’s really up to the customer to define it. But if you are good at what you do, you probably know your customer well enough to be able to toot their horn. In case you can’t, here are a few foolproof events that you can take advantage of to say congratulations.

Milestones

The best milestones to celebrate will depend on the type of business, but good examples are recognizing when they’ve been in business for a specific period or passed a quantitative target such as a number of users or number of units sold.

Big Wins

A big win might be landing a hard-fought contract, hiring a notable expert, getting a grant, or receiving an industry award.

Life Events

Special life events are always worthy of celebration. It might be a promotion, a marriage, or the addition of a new baby.

As for how you say “Bravo!” that’s up to you. Social media is always an excellent tool for getting the word out, and you can’t go wrong with a personal note. If you publish a newsletter, then that will work as well. The point is, you want to let your customers know that you see their awesome work and that you appreciate it.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

#CelebrateSuccess – Celebrate Your Reviews in Facebook & Google

For social marketers, there’s nothing more coveted than high-quality positive reviews. That’s because reviews help you rank in the search engines, show your best face, and assure potential customers that you are the go-to product or service provider.

The funny thing is, even when we get five stars, we don’t quite know what to do with them. Often those magic words will sit out there on Yelp or Google just collecting dust. Now’s the perfect time to put those hard-earned A+ ratings to work.

Here are five creative ways to celebrate success using your online reviews:

Say “Thank You!”

The very first thing you should do is say thank you. Whether that’s a shout out on the platform where the review was posted or by sending a note or gift, you should thank everyone who takes the time to give a thoughtful review. We like to create social graphics that include the testimonial and then do a shout out and tag the individual or company in the caption – both sharing the love and showing our appreciation at the same time!

Put Them On Your Website

There are various approaches to using testimonials on your site, but whether you choose to create a dedicated page, put them on sidebars, or sprinkle them throughout your content, you should be posting your positive reviews on your website.

Use Them In Targeted Emails

There are many ways you can take advantage of positive reviews in your email marketing. Some of the most popular are adding a positive quote as your email signature, using them to respond to triggering events such as shopping cart abandonment, and crafting a specific message around them.

Profile The Reviewer

What better way to celebrate a review than by shouting out the success of the reviewer. Introduce this angel to your community and see if you can help them succeed. If it warrants, you can turn it into a case study or white paper. Blog posts, press releases, and customer profiles are all good ways to use positive reviews.

Pay It Forward

If you are getting good reviews then you no doubt have a lot of people to thank. Celebrate the people behind the good news by highlighting the fruits of their hard work.

Of course, the above focuses on positive reviews. That doesn’t mean that you should ignore the negative ones. Take them to heart, thank the reviewer, and see what you can do to fix the problem. All reviews are an asset to your business. When they are positive, use them to tell your story and celebrate your success. When they are negative, learn from them.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

#CustomerService – Strategy Matters. Stop Throwing Spaghetti at the Wall

Do you have customers? That may sound like a silly question, but it’s an important one. If you have customers but you don’t have a customer service strategy, you may be crossing your fingers, rolling the dice and hoping that everything goes as it should. In other words, you are simply throwing spaghetti at the wall. Eventually, those noodles will fall off the wall, and you’ll have no safety net to catch them before they hit the floor. That approach could end up being very costly since it can cost you customers and money.

Exceptional customer service doesn’t just happen. It’s the result of a customer-focused culture, and it takes planning and work. The first step in developing that culture is to have a strategy.

5 Steps to Creating a Customer Service Strategy

  • Understand your customers. Unless you know what your customers want and need you’ll have a hard time figuring out what to give them. The best way to find out is to ask them. A detailed assessment of how your customers work, what they need to get their jobs done, and what kind of service they require will go a long way in helping shape your service strategy.
  • Have a mission. When your employees come in contact with your customers they need to be well informed of your mission and vision. Unless your front-line employees know what is expected of them, they may be unprepared when it comes to keeping customers happy. Be sure that your employees know and understand your mission, particularly with regards to developing customers and retaining them.
  • Set goals and establish how you’ll measure success. Be sure that both you and your employees are clear on exactly what customer service success means. Once established, you can make adjustments and improve your strategy. Whether you use a customer satisfaction survey system or another type of measurement, you need to be able to see if you are meeting your goals.
  • Provide tools and training. If you expect your employees to be ready to give your customers excellent service, then you must teach them and train them to provide just that. If you provide a clear mission and appropriate training, then you can expect accountability.
  • Reward success. Verbal praise isn’t just about positive reinforcement. It’s also about saying “Thank you” and letting the people who create your success know you truly appreciate them and how they’ve embraced your mission.

It doesn’t matter if you have five employees or 500 – you don’t want to leave your customer service to chance. With a well thought out strategy, you can be sure that your employees know what you expect when it comes to creating satisfied customers. Instead of throwing that spaghetti at the wall to see if it sticks, consider turning it into a meal that tells both your customers and employees that you appreciate what they do to make you successful.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media Training, Speaking and Strategy Consultations.