Thursday, June 21, 2012

Great Question!

The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions. ~ Anthony Jay

Out of the blue today I found myself in the middle of someone else's blog. Paul Hassing writes a very nice blog over on MYOB and today the topic was on interview questions. You'll find that here .

Questions are funny things. Not all questions are equal when it comes to getting down to the nuts and bolts of why you asked the question in the first place!

So what makes a good question?

The first place to go when you want a good question to ask someone else - is yourself. What purpose is there in asking the question? What is it that you really want to know? What's important about this question? What will knowing the answer give you?

Critique Your Own Questions
  • What is the purpose of the questions I will ask at this interview?
  • What precisely am I looking to understand by asking these questions?
  • Does this question align with that purpose?
  • Does this question have a trap set in it?
  • Will this question put my candidate in a position where they have to guess what I want and just tell me what I want to hear?
  • Is there a better way to ask this question?
  • Is there a different question that would be more useful?
  • I really need to know the answer to this question because... (insert answer)
  • What's my objective means of measuring the responses to the questions that I ask?
How we ask questions and the quality of our questions is just one aspect. The next hurdle is in interpreting the answers that we receive.

When you ask questions that are not concrete with measurable, quantifiable, or verifiable answers then you are out in no-man's land without a compass. You have to translate that answer into something that is meaningful for you and that can leave a wide gap between what the person meant when they responded and what you thought they meant when you heard it.

Facebook Foolish

Which brings me to another issue that is more and more a factor in hiring and that is checking Facebook and social media platforms. In the same way, the information that may surface (leaving aside legalities and ethics) is subject to interpretation. Not everything that you see online is real or true and not every situation that looks bad on social platform, tells you anything about the ability of that person to show up and perform  in an excellent manner in the specific role for which they have applied.

Indeed, the worry is that many who are vetting the sites for this information may have little or no experience of the online environment and no knowledge of how to reasonably make judgment about work suitability or competency, based on irrelevant information from a completely different non working environment.

Over time we have been reminded that 'we don't know what we don't know'. Just as tricky, is separating what we assume we know, from what we just think we know.

Ask yourself if you really have done enough to know your questions are the best ones to get you the information you want to know and that this is information that you also need to know.  Make sure you are not asking a bunch of questions that don't further your purpose while failing to ask the questions that really do matter.

Like to discuss your business? Lindy Asimus Design Business Engineering Get Help For Your Business Download your free 24 Page Action Plan Marketing Workbook! Subscribe to Actionbites Blog

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

What A Business Should Know About Social Media

"What should I know about social media marketing and Facebook and Twitter and all that?"

This is a great question! Unfortunately nobody asks it so I am putting it out there.

This is a great question because it starts at the beginning. Many times businesses have already put a website up on the web, maybe they have paddled around on Facebook and started to build their Friend list thinking that this is social marketing ... but not asked this question.

Basic Components For Getting Found Online


It comes to many as a bit of a surprise that a website is a part of social media marketing for local business. I have to say ths seems to be a secret that many "Gurus" don't know either.

The sad reality is that most websites don't work very well.
And there are many things that can be adjusted slightly to make them work
better, without the need for a new website. Indeed, I've seen businesses
replace a website that wasn't effective with a new fancy website with all
the bells and whistles ... that is still not going to be effective.

It may be pretty - and still be useless.

An attractive website is a good thing, and you want your website to be attractive and show your business in a good light. But if nobody finds it, you've done your dough.  If people find it and there is nothing there for them to see that you really know what you're on about then you've wasted that chance to convert their click to your site to a sale.

"Whatever Google Wants ... Google Gets"
Search and how websites are selected by search engines is changing all the time. One constant that you can rely on is this. Google will  always want to see

1) Fresh content
2) Quality Content that is relevant for visitors searching for that topic.

This will never go out of fashion.

Your content needs to be verified that it is yours and original and that what it says was worth saying.

What is content?
Content is articles, blogs, images with good tagging, online discussions and more.

By integrating your effective website with your social media platforms you have the best chance of being found. In search engines - and in the local chit chat that happens online when people are looking for recommendations.

Customers look online now when they want to know about something. As a business owner your job is to give your business the best chance of owning your category in your local market. That means getting your act together and making sure your business is there where it counts.

Facebook is not for every business and yet really there are few that can't benefit by having a presence on Facebook and building a local network.  I could probably think of a few but then I could probably give you a very good reason why even those businesses may find it useful. Sometimes those reasons are not obvious to the business owner.

Keep in mind Facebook's agenda is to build Facebook - not your business. You are renting a space there and paying with your time and you do not own that space. You can be evicted any time so remember to spend time on your website and keep that in good order and incorporate your social media profiles with your own property that is your website.

If Facebook goes belly-up - You don't.

Twitter can be a great platform to use and you need to understand what it is - and what it isn't. For meeting new people in your local area it can be fantastic and a great way to keep in touch in a casual and sharing way.

For those business owners who think they are too Fine for being on Facebook, Linkedin could be your place of preference. Linkedin is not for pushing out ads it is for many things and connecting to people of influence that you want to meet is just one of them. There are many ways that Linkedin can be used. First and foremost ensure that you have completed your profile and that you look like you know what you are doing. This is where you establish your professional bona fides and this is critical as the first step. While there are many things you can do with Linkedin you need to look the part first. And never, NEVER use Linkedin to spammy sales letters to people in your network!

For some the idea of blogging is just such a weird idea that it is beyond comprehension and impossible to consider doing. Well get over it, your blog is your key to keeping your website fresh and the quality content added regularly. Before you start you need to plan what kind of information and content you can use it for. You will be amazed at how much you can do with this blog and once you get into the swing of it, will wonder what you ever did before you had your business blog. This is the key to managing your business information that you want customers to know and to being able to post quality information to your social platforms. Without a blog - what are you going to post? What you had for breakfast? No seriously, nobody with any sense posts that kind of thing to social platforms.

The beauty of the blog for you is that you can package your expertise and reuse that in many different places and contexts. This is what I like to think of as Radical Laziness. Write it once - get to use it over and over. Also sometimes called Increased Productivity.

Your Traditional Marketing
Guess what? This is part of your social marketing too.
When you have a marketing strategy that works, your existing marketing will be aligned with what you are doing online and each of these will support and complement your business.

It's a wild ride but fun too.

And seeing your business become better-known in your market of choice is a great thing to know.

Develop A Strategy For Social Marketing
Check Your Website For Roadworthiness
Think Social Media Is No Use For Your Business? Think Again.
How To Get Your Local Business Noticed Online
Purpose Then Strategy - Case Study Starting Your Website
  Quick And Dirty Business Review