Many companies invest in using a customer relationship management tool, or CRM, such as Salesforce. But there’s a free tool at your fingertips that you need to take advantage of: LinkedIn. LinkedIn has plenty of functions like searching and tagging that allow you to keep track of and maintain your professional relationships, sometimes better than CRM tools that are already out there. After collecting boxes of business cards for many years, Neal Schaffer decided it was time to take the plunge and use LinkedIn as his CRM. In this week’s episode, he explains why you should do the same.
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welcome to maximize your social actionable 10 minute advice on how your business can maximize your social media presence. Now the host of Maximize Your Social Social Media Author, speaker, consultant, founder of Maximize Social Business, The Social Media Centre of Excellence and the Social Tool Summit. Neil Schaefer Everybody, this is Neil Schaefer. Welcome to another episode of Maximize your Social. Hey, I'm really sorry I missed your last week, Although I try to keep these podcasts to a weekly frequency boy. I think I posted on my personal Facebook, which I invite you all to become friends of me on, By the way, pay posted. I've just been really busy lately, really busy in caps and as I prepare for, obviously, the launching of the social tool someone in Boston May 12 my first conference and just reaching out and engaging and really developing relationships with speakers with sponsors with new social media tools, companies that I didn't even know existed. And just all the good things that come from that obviously really, really excited about that. You'll be hearing a lot more about that until May 12. And then, you know, March is just going to be extremely busy with me. I signed on a new client for social consulting that I hopefully we'll be able to announce soon because I think it's a very, very interesting organization that I'm working with that I'd love to introduce to you. So I'm flying back to New York for that next week. I have a Facebook for business Webinar on Wednesday, March 13th and then I'm off to Las Vegas for a Motorola Channel Solutions Workshop, where I will be talking on social selling in front of, I don't know been told. At least 400 people have registered for that, and then I'm off to Germany to speak at CeBIT, which is the world's largest I t conference. So if you're out there in Europe, I hope to see you there. They're also having a one day rock the block event for corporate blog's, which I will be the emcee and moderator for for the entire day, which really excited about as well. Hey, I come back here. I teach another class. It records University that I'm off the social media marketing world in San Diego, so I always like to mentally try to prepare for these events as far in advance as I can, and you can imagine how all the different, you know, speeches and power point presentations and the logistics that closing the plant and it's kept me busy. So let's move on to the content. I'm all about the content. And, hey, if you want to know about my personal life, follow me on Facebook or hang me. But let's move on to the topic today. Another reason why I was unable to publish a podcast last week is I go through these periods where I have this newfound love for different social networks, and I unearth new insight and new value from using them. And so last week was the week where I found this new love. It's really hard to love a platform anymore than this for LinkedIn, and that's gonna be the topic of today's podcast, and you know the reason why it takes so long as I really wanted to put a little bit more time into developing my thoughts before I record the podcast. I'm usually good at doing it in real time, in all honesty, but this one, I thought the subject was so important that I wanted a rest on a little bit, and here it is. So the title of the podcast is why Lyndon should become your new C. R. M. And I should preface this podcast by saying that I published a block postman. You could do a search on maximize social business. It was either in 2009 or 10 or 11 whereas I'd think about it. Twitter, your Twitter user name is your new email address. Because no matter where you go, that Twitter handle stays with you. For most people, they don't change it. It also just makes you easily accessible by anyone in the world. They don't even have to have email to excess you. They can just go on twitter dot com or in the Twitter, out to excess you. So it's pretty revolutionary when you think about it that way. And that's why a lot of celebrities have obviously, you know, thrived on that platform, and anyone can really thrive for that reason. So if your Twitter name is your new email address, how do we keep in touch or keep, you know, track of all the people that we meet in our life now? C. R M is customer relationship management software. In the old days, I used something in my sales job. It's called Gold Mine, which the founder of Gold Mine now created a social serum software application called Nimble. I think salesforce dot com is really the one that everybody knows about. It has the number one market share in the same way that gold mine did before we had all our information up in the cloud. So, you know, if you're already using sales force for your job, that's great. That is a C R M. But really, you know, how do you keep in touch with your professional network? And I think we can all agree that we are all creating more connections, more weaker connections over a broader geographical area because of the emergence of the Internet and technologies and social networks, which have allowed us to do so right. So in the same vein that Twitter is your new email address, linked in should be where you manage all your relationships. So, as I said, if you work for a business sales force or maybe use another enterprise, C. R M, that's great. You already have access to that But I ask you two questions number. What if you're a small business and you're not using those enterprise great tools on end? Or what about for yourself? Right now there are some tools. I use one of the social media dashboards, and I use a lot of tools, and I have such respect for the industry. It's lunch in a, you know, a social tool summit all about it. But one of my uses sprout social as a social media dashboard and sprout social has a pretty interesting functionality that allows you to also manage your personal accounts together with the corporate accounts. In other words, you know from 9 to 5 you're doing a community manager role or, you know whatever role you might be on behalf of the company. But you also want to sort of check up and see if you've gotten something important on the dinner on Twitter, what have you sprout? Socializing easily within passport switched to a personal mode, and that information then is protected, and it's not going to be, you know, hijacked by, you know, enterprise networks or what have you No, I don't use that and I don't know, a lot of I don't know about a lot of tools and have that functionality. Even if they did, I don't know if you'd use that. I still keep my personal personal my work work, and that's probably what your employer wants you to do it as well. But even if you did use it, you're still tied to your company email address, right, because you probably use your company mail addressed to log into a tool like that, whether it be a sales force or it's about social. And what happens if you change? Cos it happens a lot, right? A lot more than people realize for a lot of different reasons. And that's why you know, in the same being your Twitter email address once you connect with someone on Lincoln, that connection is golden, regardless of what happens regardless of where you go in life. So my sort of newfound over myoho moment waas I'm always trying to downsize, you know the paperless revolution happened 20 years ago, but if you looked at my office, you think meal you're 20 years behind and I try to be as efficient as possible and to really keep the paper the unnecessary paper to a minimum. Now, business cards are interesting because they really pile up. They pile up fast for someone who does a lot of speaking that events and does a lot of networking. And I have shoe boxes full of business cards, and I've tried those service is I know what you're saying, Neal. There's like service is like shoe box that you can use and you send him your business cards. This can a man and put him in an Excel spreadsheet. And yes, I've actually used a service like that before. I've actually recorded a video of the founder of the service describing it, which I have yet to upload the YouTube, which I'm gonna have to do one of these days. And I did that once, and I got my Excel spreadsheet. But at the end of the day, the Excel spreadsheet is based on scanning, and you lose a lot of the context when the data gets removed in the business card. Oftentimes you remember things from looking at the business card. Some business cards are photos or, you know, whatever it might be. So I decided that now was the time that I was going to do something with my business cards. And guess what? If you haven't invested in the C. R M before and I am a nimble user, by the way I've looked in the others. At the end of the day, if you haven't invested in something like that, you probably won't. But you're on linked in right. So I decided that linked in was going to be my CR. I'm going forward and I was going to invest in time and resource above and beyond what I've already done to go through and connect with those people that I had business cards for, or 99% of people that I'd met that I remembered where I met some of them. I had a vague memories because, literally, these business cards went back to 2008 and I know it's gonna sound crazy. But that's what I've been doing 50 business cards a day. You can do it to 50 business cards a day, one by one. Do a search for their name on LinkedIn, and you, too, can have linked into new serum. Now you're probably asking why Well spent little time really thinking and to some, it's obvious to me it was sort of obvious. If it's not obvious to you that may go through seven reasons, maybe this should be the new title. This podcast, right? Seven reasons why I think Didn't you become your serum number one? If you haven't invested in the C. R. M, you never will, Right? This goes back to that previous point. If you've looked into the technology, what have you just use linked in? You're already a member, and although you know with CR EMS, you will get additional functionality, and some of the sea are realms will attempt to integrate with linked in. But the minute that you integrate but think, Didn't you integrate with a Twitter and Facebook and your email database? You start getting multiple contacts that aren't easily integrated, and you have a whole new headache of managing things, which is why I like to sort of keep it simple. Linked them. So that's number one you probably already remember. See, you already have access to a serum to Why not use it? Number two linked in reaches 1/3 of the global professional audience. It's pretty strong staff that Lincoln makes, but I do believe it's true, especially if you live in the United States of the Netherlands, countries where there is a large population that's all linked in. And I want to ask you something, you know. So I go through the business cards right? And not everyone's on linked in now the executives and sort of the people that I want to make sure I keep in touch with better than I have been over the past eight years. For seven years, I should say our Arlington, but there are some others that aren't well, what do you do about them? So over the last seven years, I haven't had any value in the relationship in the business card. So if they're not on linked in to begin with, it just doesn't seem to have value holding on that a business card in the future. Now this is all about maintaining professional contacts. If there's like a handyman or have a broken window, can your parents those? There's a business cards a little bit different, right? I'm talking about from a professional career perspective. I don't know if you've ever heard of a influence marketing Ah, social scoring company. I should say, called Pierre Index out of the UK together with credit from People Browser in Australia slash San Francisco and the more famous clout. They also have a social score that they give to two people. And, you know, it's really big in Europe. And Brand watched the Social Listening Company, which I'm proud to say it's one of the sponsors is a social tool. Summit actually bought out Pierre Index a few months ago, and the founder and CEO appear next. Azeem really, really smart guy reached out to me and I remember having a conversation with a zem when I met him after I strategy in London when I presented in London, and I think it was May of 2012 and he had just written an article for the Harvard Business Review. And I share that because it's one of the more compelling pieces of content that I have ever read that delivers deeper insight in social media and the thesis of what he talked about. And it was about proving the our ally of social media to executives who didn't think there was our life was all about customer lifetime value or C. L V. Okay, customer lifetime value is simple. When the cable company or the phone company, When someone signed you onto a service, they predicted that Number one, you're gonna pay X dollars a month for the service number two. You're gonna stick around for X months. On average, people move around or change service is on number three. There's a chance that you are going to refer a friend to become a customer as well, Which is why a lot of companies have these refer a friend campaigns or, you know, give you $5 off for referring someone or what have you. Now the thesis of a seems argument. Waas Don't social media users have a greater customer lifetime value than those that aren't in social media because of their power to refer. Your company and others, which is exponential to people that aren't on Facebook or aren't on Twitter, aren't on Lincoln. That's not to say you need to be on social media to be influential real life, because that's not necessarily the case. Obviously, they're extremely influential people that don't need to be on social media. They yield so much influence. But if I had to choose between someone that is nowhere online and someone that has profiles with 100 200 friends, you know, chances are they might have a greater customer lifetime value than someone that's not on social. And the more active they are in Social them or riel friends. They have an influence. They have the larger potential customer lifetime value they have. So I believe that might be the same for professionals on LinkedIn versus non on Lincoln, all the benefits of being on the din of the introductions of finding information for having them find your information on the new speed. All these things come from being a member of linked him. So I'm arguing as I went through the business cards. You know, what if they're not on Lincoln, I'm just not gonna worry about it now if they're on Arlington and I got their business card, we reached out to each other before. They're probably already somewhere my Gmail or what have you. It's not anything to worry about. But, you know, if you're thinking well, what about the people that aren't? I'm thinkin I almost wouldn't worry about them because I really question how much value that they might have for you in the future. If they already have value for you. You're already well connected with him, where you don't even need. Have them in your Sierra because you're already in touch with them. Hope that makes sense. So that's why I believe that members of linked in for your professional career, your professional, that will yield greater a greater see LV than those that are not thinkin. And that's another reason why Lincoln should become your C R M. And on that note. Okay, the third reason is what I like to call the discovery ability of hidden connections. It's when you have a reason. Okay, I've spent the last few weeks going into all these tools cos that some I had been in contact with some. I hadn't been trying to find someone that could put me in touch with someone that was in charge of the events or marketing or in some cases, the CEO. And for almost every company you know, there's a secondary connection somewhere, right, and therefore, you know, you never know who that second degree connection is gonna become, because I don't know who your first degree connections are. you don't know who mine are. You may be best friends with CEO of a company I've been trying to knock on the door for years and vice versa. But when we're connected and we have an objective for doing it, events people search. We discover these hidden connections, and that is only something possible. Link then can't do that. And I know that there's There's Sierra in companies that are trying to develop the technology to do it. But Lincoln obviously has that down, and that's the big value linked in. And that's where your C R. M becomes a multi dimensional serum, not a single dimension, but you get to reach out to second and third degree connections at least have visibility right Number four Similar to a Twitter user name. When people change, don't change their link in your out right, So when their email address changes, you can't get hold of them. You can still message them through linked in. So no matter what changes they have in companies or email addresses, the contact ability of that person remains the same. And that's what a serum should be about. Right Number five Lincoln has added the contacts, functionality that had it for a while, and they've experimented with linked in iPhone, APS and connected and Card bunch. And they've got all these different things. But then that notice. If you go to linking dot com, you go to connections at the very top. It's gonna show you who's had birthdays today. In fact, sometimes they show it on the right hand side of your victim dot com screen. They show you who's had birthdays, who's howto work anniversary, who's changed jobs. And these are great ways of keeping in touch with your network. I mean, that's what a good C R M would do for you, right? We put out those reminders and, in fact, on the note of reminders, If you wanted to remind yourself to get in touch with someone after a month or three months or a year, you can add those within LinkedIn. So Lincoln has really brought in a lot of the C. R M functionality to make it easier to use as a CR. Let's talk about it some other functions, and I guess number six would be these other functions that that thinking half as I see around the ability to add tags, you know, sort of put in where you met to be able to search by organization. Okay, When you have a c r M, you're only able to search your contacts with linked in Europe to search your contacts and who they work with or used to work with. And that's another critical thing of finding or creating an extended network. Right? So these are all the additional features I think it has that you can and should be taken advantage of. You know, when was the last time you were in touch with them? Linked in will give you all that information. Where were your past messages? So a lot of what I'm talking about is already built into the sea around programs. But like I said, if you haven't invested in Sierra Room yet, you probably won't may not want to deal with a new user interface or pan additional fee, and we'll talk about paying a fee at the end of this podcast. But, you know, Lincoln just makes sense. You already on there? It's free. What have you Finally, if I was gonna throw out of seventh reason and hopefully already sold in. But you know, when you're looking for help and you want to let your professional network know that you're looking for a new job, you're looking for an introduction into a company just published the block Post. Whatever announcement you have, that stuff's not necessarily appropriate on Facebook, and a lot of people on Facebook may tune out because that's not what they're there for. Now some people can get away with it. I have a quasi personal professional profile on Facebook, but I'm not of the norm, probably. But Lincoln is a place where you can do that right So you never know what value that has until you have a need for it similar to that advanced people search, and it also gives you the ability to gain knowledge about your network and about what they're doing. And that knowledge can have a lot of real benefits for you. Just by checking out your news feed, the network updates. What have you. These are things that you can't get another sale rooms, but you can get unlinked it. Now The beautiful thing about this is free, and I want to talk this last point about pain for Lincoln subscriptions you don't need to pay to get access to any of this now linked in very recently has made it more difficult for you to do search it. So if you do linked in for sales or if you're looking for a job. But you're trying to recruit people, you tend to do Ah lot of searches. And Lincoln is counting these searches, and now they're saying, You have reached the maximum number of searches. The search limit, maybe 100 maybe 50. I haven't really counted. I think it's somewhere around there. But if I'm doing 50 business cards in a day, sometimes happening company names. I don't know the exact algorithm that Lincoln is using some of these people Marty a first degree connection with so that'll show up in the in the search. I don't even have to do a search, but for those that I don't, it added up pretty fast. And Lincoln is now saying you must pay for a subscription if you want to do that many searches each month. Now, that being said, if you're only looking for people, if you're looking for your first degree connections, it is unlimited. Arlington is very, very clear about that. You will always be your first degree connection. Show up in searches, and even when you're limited, the first few results will show up, so it's a little bit inconvenient. But if the person you're looking for doesn't show up in the first few results because they're not a first degree connection yet you can filter down by company name, location and 99. Well, I'll say 95% of the time I was able to get those results. That being said, I made the strategic decision on just two days ago. Toe. Actually, for the first time I had invested in the personal plus $99 a year program, I decided to invest in the linked in premium, $25 a month program. And the reason is I do a lot of searches, and for me, time is money. I can't deal with the inefficiency, and it's a new investment into scene and reaffirming the value that Lincoln has in my professional life, especially with the launch of Social Tool Summit, but not necessarily limited to that. Now, with that $25 a month, I have the ability to send five in males and I'm gonna use does very, very carefully because I believe Maura about getting a warm introduction rather than just sending an email. Email, as I always say, is like the hell, Mary. But you know what? If you were gonna buy a C r M, you're gonna pay 10 15 $2025 a month for it anyway, So it's not money that's lost. And you know, if I'm going to a period now where I do a lot of searches, if I want to tone it down, great back down to a free profile. But I think with Lincoln's latest move, a lot more people are going to be upgrading. And I think there's gonna be a lot less resistance because I've always told people When you have a functionality that's killer for free on a social network, you use it as much as you can't. You never know when that's gonna go away. Well, here's another one that's gone away. I hope that gave you some food for thought. I hope it was worth the two week wait for this podcast. I obviously put a lot of thought into it, and with each podcast I really wanna deliver thought provoking, compelling content for you. Otherwise, it's a waste of both of our times. So I hope you enjoyed this podcast. I already told you that crazy schedule that I'm gonna be having. Boy, I don't even know where or when. But if you're courting my next broadcast, I will try to stick to the schedule. But, hey, if there's anything that I can ever do for you, if we're not connecting a linked in police, I mean, invite requests. Let me know that you heard from the podcast. It's pretty easy to find me on LinkedIn and wherever you are in the world. And hopefully if you're on the East Coast, you're sort of surviving this tremendous snow and cold that we've had. But wherever you are in the world, make it a warm and great social day. Bye bye, everybody. Thanks for listening to maximize your social. We appreciate all of your iTunes descriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on the show or recommend content, please contact Neil Schaffer at Neil at maximize your social dot com. Please also make sure to check out Neil's new community the Social Media Centre of Excellence at social media. C o e dot com, as well as Neil's first social media event, the Social Tool Summit, which will be in Boston on May 12th. Thanks again and make it a social day.