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- Body Language and Gestures,
- Career Development,
- Customer Service,
- Elevator Speech or Mission Statement,
- Human Behavior,
- Marketing Communications,
- Messaging and Content Development,
- Networking and Relationship Building,
- Professional Speaking,
- Sales or Outreach,
- Series - Presentation Reviews,
- Social Media,
- Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship,
Duane Bailey is a regular contributor to The Chief Storyteller® online conversation. He has helped organizations of all sizes drive growth in revenues and market share through the development and delivery of key business messages that resonate with target audiences. He holds an MBA in International Business and a BS in Marketing. He brings 28 years of experience in marketing communications and high technology sales.
I went for a run the other day. It was a warm, sunny day so I decided to run along the roads near the gym where I work out. I left my iPod in my locker because I knew it would be safer to listen for the sound of approaching cars and trucks while navigating around the traffic I was likely to encounter. Then something amazing happened.
I started listening.
I encountered a stretch of road where there was no traffic. There I was, just a single runner making his way along a quiet road surrounded by an open field on one side and an untouched forest on the other. Suddenly, it was quiet. So I started listening. I could hear the crickets chirping in the woods near the road. I could hear the birds singing. And I could hear the rhythmic sound of my running shoes hitting the pavement.
I never noticed the sound of my steps before. The steady beat became a motivational message of sorts. I enjoyed the sound so much I didn’t want it to end.
I started wondering how many other sounds and messages I had never heard before. I had been in countless meetings at work, lectures at school and conversations with others. What did I miss?
Here at The Chief Storyteller®, we focus on helping you and others like you tell your business stories. How those stories are perceived, however, often starts with how well you and your audience are listening.
When you listen to a story, what do you hear?
For more insights on listening and audience engagement, please see:
• Mobile Devices in Meetings – Rudeness or Engagement?
• How Engaged Are Your Meeting Participants?
• 10 Content Planning Questions for Getting Conference Attendees to Choose the Ballroom Over the Pool
A friend of mine was recently called out for entering something into his iPhone during a meeting. What do you think? Does using your mobile device during a meeting constitute rude behavior? Or is it a way for you to further engage the speaker?
While recognizing there are no absolutes here, I’m going to take the position that audience members who use mobile devices during presentations by others are, generally speaking, more engaged than those who do not. My experience tells me that people who use mobile devices tend to be more tech-enabled and connected than their less social-savvy counterparts.
As an example, I recently delivered a presentation on brand advocacy and personal branding to a graduate-level social media marketing class at The George Washington University here in Washington, DC. As I stood before the students, I could see a number of them were using their mobile devices – smartphones, tablets and laptops.
When I looked at Twitter afterward, I noticed a number of them were talking about the insights I had shared with them. Several more of them had decided to follow me. I spent part of my ride home on the Metro interacting with and further engaging them.
How I came to perceive students who were using their mobile devices while I was speaking – rude or engaged – is attributable to my own comfort level with Twitter. Had it not been for that, it would have been easy for me to assume they were just being rude. Having the ability to interact with my audience on Twitter allowed me to realize how fully engaged they were…and how they were helping me promote my personal brand.
According to the State of Social Media Marketing Survey conducted by Awareness, Inc. in July 2012, 462 marketers across a wide variety of industries rated the top four business objectives for social media marketing as:
• Better customer engagement (78%)
• Revenue generation (51%)
• Better customer experience (47%)
• Increased thought leadership (41%)
These same marketers also listed the top social media marketing platforms as:
• Facebook (89%)
• Twitter (84%)
• LinkedIn (77%)
• YouTube (71%)
• Blogs (61%)
If you're like me, you'll connect the dots fairly quickly. Businesses looking to engage customers, grow revenues, improve their customer experience and position themselves as thought leaders within their industries ought to have an engaging presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. An engaging presence starts with a good brand story.
What is your brand story? Are you telling it on social media?
I downloaded the new Twitter app for iPad (and iPhone) last week.
As a brand manager, one of the newest features I am most excited about is the header photo users can now add to their profile. While allowing me to keep the profile image I’ve been using to brand myself across all of my social media platforms, Twitter has expanded the branding experience by providing me with the ability to display another image that appears consistently above my Tweets on Apple devices, mobile apps and twitter.com. In a word, this is awesome!
Now, when you encounter me on Twitter, the branding experience I provide is richer, more colorful and more memorable. Everything I do, say, write and show stems from my personal brand’s elevator statement – which is my Twitter bio.
As you view my Twitter profile, I hope you will perceive me as someone who is:
• A recognized leader in marketing and sales
• On the leading edge of social media and mobile communications technology
• Fit and active
• Passionate about the outdoors and who enjoys nature
• Not afraid to make a decision, take risks and explore new things
What kind of personal branding experience does your Twitter profile offer? Have you added a header photo to your profile yet?
For more insights on branding and social media, please see:
• Why Social Media Should Be Part of Your Marketing Communications
• 5 Insights on Marketing Your Brand in Social Media
• Is Your Brand Social?
What does customer loyalty look like for your brand? If you saw it, would you recognize it?
I recently returned from the 2012 Laurel Highlands Jeep Jamboree in Pennsylvania, an event my son and I attended as guests of the Jeep brand. As some of you may know, I have been a loyal Jeep customer since October 2001.
Jeep Jamborees are off-road adventures with a tradition dating back to 1953. On thirty-one weekends throughout the year across the United States, they bring together legions of Jeep owners, their Jeep 4x4 vehicles and the outdoors for two full days of trail riding.
As I spent time interacting with other "Jeepers," trail guides and Jeep Jamboree officials during the weekend, it became obvious to me the Jamboree was more than just another weekend off-road adventure. The people who attended are easily among the most passionate and knowledgeable advocates of any brand I have ever met. In total, they comprise an image of extraordinary loyalty – to the Jeep brand and to each other. Below, some of the 121 Jeeps and 197 participants from the Laurel Highlands event await the start of their Jeep Jamboree experience.
What does customer loyalty look like for your brand?