Hint: You Might Want to Get on Twitter!

Home Decor?

My wife woke me up this morning asking if the marketing team at Menards chose the picture below on purpose.  I don’t think so (see for yourself).  

I was going to privately email or tweet it to them, but they don’t have twitter or a public email address on their “Contact Us” section of their website.

Menards, click here

I figure this is a great teachable point of view for any big companies that are ignoring social media as a way to communicate with their customers.  Menards does around $8 Billion in sales each year, so they should probably be interested in this “new technology” called Social Media.  

(Menards, if you’re listening, email me at Menards@8pmWarrior.com if you’d like some free consulting on using social media to engage, listen, and respond to situations like this one…it’s for more than just marketing. If you’re really feeling adventurous, tweet @Biebert)

Here’s what I tweeted, let’s see how long it takes for them to respond. http://twitpic.com/56c05n

If you wonder if I’m making it up, feel free to check it for yourself on Internet Explorer.  I tried it a couple times, still there:

  1. Go to Menards.com
  2. Click on the “More…” link on the grey menu (far right)
  3. The picture in question is under “Home Decor”


What’s your take?  Is it time for big companies to get on Twitter?

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Invest in Relationships!

The world is going through growing pains and it’s leaving a lot of people very confused, hurting, and unemployed.

We’re in a new world of “on demand” information and entertainment, and many traditional companies are acting like deer in the headlights.

Not moving.  Not sure.

For them, familiar methods of bringing products and services to market are floundering and they aren’t hiring or growing domestically.  Some are waiting for things to return to “normal”, but we’re living in the new normal right now.

DVRs helps people skip commercials, the internet is replacing newspapers and magazines (I love Flipboard), and only 1 out of 10 people open corporate emails on average. As Gary Vaynerchuk said at a tweetup event last night in Milwaukee, “People aren’t looking at billboards…they aren’t even looking at the ****ing road!”

The same goes for nearly all marketing communications from unfamiliar faces or brands.  Everyone is too busy texing, tweeting, and “facebooking”  to pay attention.

Times are changing and we’re not going back.

We’re now in the Attention Age, and companies are going to have to find new ways to get our attention.  It won’t be easy.  Wives may think husbands are bad at listening, but the modern world is even worse when it comes to traditional advertising.

In one ear and out the other.

Another thing Gary said got my attention.  He said that everything in his latest book “The Thank You Economy” would be irrelevant in 5 years as marketers (like me) find ways to crawl into every successful way of getting our attention.  As they actively seek our eyes and ears, marketers always find a way to ruin what’s working (email, banner ads, etc.) and they’ll ruin social media too.

So what is a safe long term investment?

Relationships.

People are usually loyal to their friends, business partners, and favorite brands.  No matter what happens in the future, if you build real relationships and take care of your clients, friends, and followers, they will take care of you.

How?  If you don’t start using social media tools now, you may not figure it in time.  These tools are valuable for creating and strengthening relationships, but you need to get on it before it is ruined by marketers and the window of opportunity closes.

Seize the day!  Engage on social media.  Invest in relationships.  Do some business.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.” – Unknown

New tools, same rules.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Hug a Social Media Curator!

(This post is the 4th part of a five part series about participation in the world of Social Media)

It’s a zoo out there!

I’ve got 45,000 unread emails, 1,750 unread notices in facebook, and countless tweets that come flying by me each day.

The Social Web is a crazy place.  Everywhere you look, “Creators” are busy creating content and “Consumers” are seeking the latest and greatest.  Who makes it all work?

The Social Media Curator.

The word Curator normally applies to a museum executive or someone who manages a collection.  Going back to when I studied Latin, it comes from the word cūrā, meaning to care for or attend to.

Social Media Curators care for and attend to the best of the Social Web.  They save us all time.  They make Web 2.0 worthwhile.

It’s time to hug a social media Curator!

When others click away from something they like and move on, the Curators among us share it, retweet it, bookmark it, list it, or forward it.  When they find people that serve niches, they follow them, list them, and introduce them to the world.

They are the only reason that my twitter stream and Flipboard app actually work. (hint, if you don’t “get” twitter, it’s because you don’t know any curators)

Without Curators, we are stuck digging through the billions of updates each month just to find something worth reading (besides family or celebrity updates).  With curators, the best of the best in our field rises to the top.

It’s time to thank the curators!

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Here are some different types of curators I’ve relied on.  Who are yours?  (Please share and I’ll check them out)

Like this article?  Check out  “Web 2.0 – Why Sharing is Caring”  or subscribe to “Thoughts from an 8pm Warrior” via email

Linkedin for Healthcare 101

Linkedin does such a great job of keeping you in contact with your professional network that I personally believe it will replace your Rolodex or address book.  It’s inevitable.

It updates itself, allows you to ask questions of your entire professional network in one shot, and keeps you in touch with your offline groups and associations.  With a new member every second, it won’t be long before nearly every one of your colleagues is on it.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIrC2ZzJToA]

The first step is to register on Linkedin.com and go through the setup process.  For help on getting started, make sure you follow each step and check out this guide for new Linkedin users.

In the Information Age, people can Google your name and find out if anyone’s complained about you online, anytime you’ve been in the local paper, or just about anything else that people write about you.  When using Linkedin, you will be able manage the information that’s publically available about you and create a search result that is positive, professional, and near the top of the search results.  This is especially important for leaders, physicians, and others who depend on their reputation for their livelihood.

You can also gain new information and insights from other professionals in private group settings.  This can come in handy if you have a simple problem/question, but don’t want to pay a consultant for the answer.  Your peer network can and will help.  I use several groups to get peer support all of the time, and I swear by it.  Guide to asking questions on Linkedin

In the coming years our industry will face severe shortages for just about every type of work.  One benefit to Linkedin will be the ability to post job openings or do networking in order to find the right candidates for openings in your department.

Just like facebook, some great communities have formed on Linkedin to provide peer support and helpful Q&A.  Here are some of my personal favorites:

I would recommend using the search box on the top right of the Linkedin screen to find other associations that you are a member of offline.

If you have any questions, feel free to post them as comments below.  I’ll try to help you out!

Social Networking for CFO's?

As the new chairman of the Electronic Communications committee at the HFMA chapter in Wisconsin, I’ve gotten a chance to observe and discuss social networking with a wide range of financial leaders.  One of the things I’ve noticed is that many CFO’s are not as active on social media as other folks in the “C Suite”. 

The article below would suggest some reasons why that might be:

http://www.cfoinnovation.com/content/social-media-should-cfos-network-online?page=0%2C1

Although it cautions financial leaders against divulging too much info, it also reminds us that companies may be making a mistake if they don’t get involved or prohibit the use of social media outlets:

“More importantly, prohibiting the use of social media can make a company uncompetitive. The survey by Russell Herder and Ethos Business Law found that 80% of U.S. executives believe that social media can enhance relationships with customers or clients, 81% think it can build brand reputation, and nearly 70% networking can be valuable in recruitment. The most popular vehicles being used include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and blogs (in that order).”

With the various staffing shortages soon to be re-emerging as a major issue, I wonder if senior leaders may be rethinking their involvement.  I’m really curious what sort of experiences others have had.  Feel free to email me at Aaron@ClearMedicalSolutions.com if you have any thoughts.

 

About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives at Clear Medical Solutions, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He enjoys teaching, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare.

The Clear Medical Network

With the rapid improvements in technology and communication, social networking is thriving and full of new potential.  Sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are known among all people, young and old.  As the dynamics of online communication are quickly becoming more important, companies are adapting to the trends.  One example is the Clear Medical Network. 

It was formed to provide an avenue for networking, discussion, and fun among all different healthcare professionals, as well as provide opportunities through consulting projects, leadership positions, and per diem work to all its members.  Members can also find supplemental health through the network.  Many people have already joined the free network and are intrigued about the opportunities that have already come their way. 

Members are also informed of any upcoming fun events in their area.  One example is a discounted 8 day cruise next year to the Mexican Riviera!  Starting at $319/person, this is not only great fun, but it’s a great value too.

Joining the network is free and takes less than a minute.  Once registered, members are informed of different forums they can join to network with other healthcare professionals within their specific profession as well as other areas of healthcare. 

If you are interested in joining, the site is www.ClearMedicalNetwork.com.  

There really is no downside, and it’s sort of fun to see the other side of things from the perspective of Doctors, Nurses, PTs, HIM Directors, or any of the other professions that are getting involved.

Questions: What do you think of the Clear Medical Network?

About the Author: Sarah Fore is a Staff Writer with the Clear Medical Solutions Communication Team.  Her work is regularly shared on the Clear Medical Agency newsletter and the ClearHIMMatters.com blog.