Your Apple dictionary will be a bit outdated on the subject of networking, as it will list the following top meanings: 1. an arrangement of intersecting horizontal and vertical lines and 2. a group or system of interconnected people or things.
We all know, in fact, the true meaning of the word “networking” nowadays: Creating a group of acquaintances and associates and keeping it active through regular communication for mutual benefit, would be one meaning. Or the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business, would be another one.
Basically, networking resonates differently in our minds – as all things do – in direct relation to our experiences around the concept. Browsing the web for the subject will surface loads of articles, guru’s, trend setters, guides, tips and tricks, and, once you read enough of these, you will eventually find yourself in one of two categories of people:
1. those who resent networking
2. those who understand networking from it’s core perspective
The people who reject the word, the concept and, basically, everything related to networking are, usually, those who have received one to many introductory requests based on pure interest. Those who have been assaulted by questions like “Hi, my name is Don. You don’t know me, but could you introduce me to Donald Trump?” Those who can’t stand being used & manipulated, in a perfectly understandable attitude. Allen Gannet, for example, who recently wrote this article for The Next Web.
On the other side, there are people who consider networking from beyond the “nice-to-meet-you-let-me-take-advantage-of-you” approach and dismiss it like you would throw away a bad apple from a basket full of fruits. These are the people who understand not to use twitter for business, these are the people who understand the importance of becoming an authority figure in an industry, and these are the people who will teach to “pursue the relationship, not the sale“.
Because, at the end of the day, networking is about trust.
Networking helps sales, but it only helps sales if done properly. Of course no one wants to be used and manipulated into referring friends to acquaintances out of the blue. But I’m sure any of us living in the social revolution welcomes connecting people for mutual benefit.
And it doesn’t matter if you do it face to face, through business cards, or online, through social media platforms.
As long as you do it properly and you value common sense above everything else, it will pay off.
In case you missed it, read our Top 10 Networking Resolutions for 2012 and see how many you’ve checked so far.
Further to our previous post on using employee personal networks for recruiting, we’ve received the following tweet “good in theory, but I think too many ee’s don’t want to share their network. Separation of Work and Personal”. Well, Amy’s right.
And since all this discussion started with her story on employee referrals gone wild, we feel it’s time we explained in detail how our model of Employee Engagement in Recruiting actually works.
First of all, yes we know the idea of employee sharing their social networking and Outlook Address Book contacts in order to help HR (or Sales for that matter) is good in theory. However, we also know this: “in theory, there is no difference between theory in practice; but in practice, there is”.
And in practice, it’s true, employees wouldn’t want to share their network.
Why wouldn’t they want to share their network? Well, in developing the system, we could come up with two reasons: 1 – privacy & 2 – the obvious “what’s in it for me?”.
Recruiting is a time consuming and expensive business.
Companies have always looked at the personal networks of employees in order to find new candidates, but they haven’t quite been able to access these networks in an efficient way.
What if there was a way of gathering the overall social networking and address book contacts of all employees into one… virtual environment? Would that work better for HR departments? Our theory says yes.
If we start with the statistically demonstrated fact that each employee nowadays has, on average, 600 friends and business partners (Facebook, LinkedIn, Address Book, etc), then a company of 100 employees will have at least 50.000 contacts.
Accessing and understanding these 50.000 contacts makes the recruiting process much easier and the best thing about hiring people through these networks is that you deal with references from people within the company that you actually trust.
Check out our latest Infographic below or on visual.ly to understand better how it works.
According to latest Cisco reports, global internet traffic will quadruple from 2010 to 2015, reaching 966 Exabytes (EB) per year.
Just to keep things in perspective:
1 EB = 1 000 000 terabytes = 1 000 000 000 gigabytes.
Looking a bit backwards, according to an estimation from Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO, the total of human knowledge created from the dawn of man and digitized till 2003 totaled 5 Exabytes.
These two values are so far apart in scale, dimension and time, that the logical conclusion should be that our ability to create data completely overpasses our ability to digest it. At least, that was the general consensus on the matter. Until now.
Journalist James Bamford has confirmed in a recent Wired cover story older rumors that USA’s NSA is finalizing as we speak a massive surveillance center in Utah which will be able to store and process Yottabytes of data (the biggest data measurement unit yet). (1 million Exabytes = 1 Yottabyte).
In short, this is the big data that transpired about the Utah Data Center:
It will cost roughly $2 billion dollars and it will be finished sometime late 2013.
It will store, monitor and analyze virtually all communication channels (internet, mobile phones, etc).
It will be used to try and crack the AES encryption, the cryptographic standard considered unbreakable so far “in any amount of time relevant to mortals”.
This means you needn’t worry, the Jack Bauers of the online are hard at work in dealing with Big Data issues…
As far as business strategies go, in most cases market research is a component of the marketing budget. This organized effort to gather information about markets and customers is, of course, only as important as the company understands it to be.
However, the importance of Market Research is about to increase exponentially.
We’ve come up with a new feature for our Network CRM application which will act as a kind of an add-on to our Feedback Module. How does this work? Let’s see if I can explain it simple enough, in a hypothetical case study, in the wider scheme of all Clintelica essential things.
1. The user logs in to the app, downloads contacts, shares with other colleagues.
2. The user then adds prospects to the CRM as tasks, sets up meetings, closes the deal.
3. The user handles the client within the CRM by way of the Newsfeed feature, that pushes information on all relevant projects.
4. Upon ending a project, the user can program automated feedback forms to the client.
5. After responding to a feedback form, the satisfied client will then be able to share his satisfaction scores on social networks.
Now, this simple latest feature takes Market Research beyond it’s usual status, making it ever more important in Marketing. If we say, for example, that out of 100.000 client respondents that are satisfied, 10% share their experience on social networks, that means 10.000 people will basically advertise the respective brand by way of the most trustable experience: user generated review & recommendation. Keeping in mind that a regular user has around 634 contacts on average, that means the brand will benefit from being exposed to roughly 6.000.000 people.
And when you compare the cost of reaching 6.000.000 people through conventional channels to the simple option of being recommended by your clients through a simple click in a CRM application you already use, it’s obvious which way the balance shifts.
Cold calling is time consuming, inefficient and totally demotivating, so attending meetings where you meet new people and exchange contacts with members from different industries is certainly a much more efficient sales strategy.
We’re now taking these networks to the next level, by giving members the possibility to access information in Clintelica’s Online BizNet Environment.
Members of a group will now be able to
- browse through a huge database of contacts
- search for people by name, position or company
- save searches as Watchlists in order to constantly monitor for new clients and be alerted as soon as new prospects that fit their search patterns enter the network.
This is how it works:
… and what you can do about it.
Watch the video and come back soon for more.
Privacy is a hot topic again these days.
Twitter has acknowledged that after iPhone users opt to have the app search their contact list, the company stores names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers on its servers for 18 months.
Google made Wall Street Journal’s front page on Friday, after journalists finding out that a secret code in it’s ads tricked “Apple’s Safari web-browsing software” into allowing Google to monitor what iPhone users were doing on the internet. The search giant disabled the code after receiving a call from the WSJ.
And NYTimes.com publishes here an extensive feature on how companies learn your secrets.
Now, before panicking, let’s take five minutes to consider some facts, in order to look at the whole picture…