Phil Friedman

3 years ago · 10 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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The Sound of One Hand Clapping

The Sound of One Hand Clapping

Join the Dynamic Duo of Disagreement On a Zen Search for Social Media Enlightenment...


Preface: When Jim Murray and I first agreed to co-author this series, we saw it as a literary experiment. We thought it might be fun but didn't know for sure since our first online engagement had earlier concluded with Jim telling me to go f#%k myself.

Well, we're now in our third year and on our 31st installment. And if anything, we've developed a reputation for not pussyfooting around sensitive subjects. Indeed, "politically correct" is not to be found in our lexicon.

However, we also remain faithful to the proposition that these exchanges are not just about us, but more importantly about engagement with you, our readers. Which is why we again invite you to join the conversation.


8aa122bf.jpgPHIL: It’s been a while, Jim since you and I last met up on He Said He Said to get some kicks in at Social Media a favorite pastime of ours. The kicking, that is.

Fact is we’ve both been busy with marketing our respective small businesses. However, a lull in literary output doesn’t necessarily mean complete idleness. At my end, I’ve been conducting some personal research in a quest to discover the best (or most productive) SM platform(s) for marketing my core business, which is marine industry consulting. And I believe that, at your end, you’ve been working on getting your marketing and consulting partnership with Charlene Norman up and running.

Anyway, in my travels and reflections, I’ve been forced to come face to face with a hard reality which is that, as much as I dislike the Management at LinkedIn and as much as I disagree with many of their policies and practices, I have to conclude it is neither an accident, nor a coincidence that almost 100% of the consulting business I’ve landed as a direct result of my activity on Social Media has come by way of LI. Moreover, although my activity on LinkedIn does not account for anywhere near the majority of my incoming business, we’re nevertheless talking about a substantial dollar value.

Granted, I’ve been on LinkedIn for some eight years, Facebook and Twitter for about five, and beBee for only about two. But based on my experience on LinkedIn, I would have expected to receive, in all of this time, at least two or three serious inquiries from my exposure on the other platforms. When, in fact, there has been zip. Zilch. Nada. Bubkas.

Why this dearth of business response on these other platforms, including beBee? I am starting to entertain what may be seen by some as an heretical theory namely, that business and personal components don’t actually mix very well. And moreover, that the heavily personal components of the engagement on all these platforms other than LinkedIn works to suppress, if not actually drive away serious attention to real-world business concerns and activities.

f8471b06.jpgJIM: (This is me taking a deep breath so I can dive into the deep end). You and I have different agendas regarding social media. Personally, I have never really deluded myself into thinking that anyone would become seriously interested in working with me, despite the facts that I have a wealth of marketing experience, knowledge and insight and am an actual 3-D writer and a hell of a nice guy. I think it comes down to the kind of services people offer. Your services, although they are consultative, are very specific, mine are very general.

It’s always been my experience, and by always I mean 100% of the time, that I get business by getting in front of people and letting them bask in my wonderfulness first hand. I would submit that it’s much easier for you to engage people who are interested in all the different kinds of things you can do, including writing, regarding boats because boats is a concrete thing and the services regarding them are in a fairly compact silo.

Having said that, it then becomes a question of choice of media, how well you communicate in those media and most importantly whether you are actually in the right place at the right time with the right message.

Yesterday Charlene and I made our final bunch of decisions about how to put our business into gear. I won’t tell you what we decided because Charlene came up with most of it and likes to keep her trade secrets to herself. But I will tell you that it has nothing to do with social media or even SEO in any sort of serious way, other than as a buoy floating in the blue ocean of bubbly Internet goo, which has somehow become an indicator of your existence.

I have no delusions about social media, or business media and their relative usefulness in terms of building my own business. But I also know it all depends on the kind of business you’re talking about. If you’re a retailer or making some kind of useful widget or must have digital toy, well, go to town on Facebook. But if you are selling what could turn into a serious business relationship on a management consulting basis, you don’t do that anywhere but in somebody’s office or boardroom.

All the rest is basically just a lot of wishful and or mildly delusional thinking.

I don’t know much about Twitter, other than that I find it irritating and I’m just starting to learn more about Pinterest, but you and I, who have a fondness for beBee, have both on separate occasions, suggested that if they were to create some real moderation tools, they could attract some of the serious business groups who have grown frustrated with all the BS. But beBee ownership seems committed to the idea of the social-to-business portal, which, incidentally has never really been seriously tried before and therefore not proven, is the way to go.

Well, I wish them a lot of luck with that. But my experience, which is as long and probably as deep as yours in social media, tells me that that is not necessarily the shortest distance between the two points. Do you agree?

3120b877.jpgPHIL: Do I agree? Agree? Really? Since when is it my job to do anything other than disagree with you, Jimmy Bob?

Ya know, I just read a great article, “The Dying Art of Disagreement”, (NewYorkTime.com) in which Op-Ed writer Bret Stephens points out that, “… to say, I disagree; I refuse; you’re wrong … these are the words that define our individuality, give us freedom, enjoin of tolerance, enlarge our perspectives, seize our attention, energize our progress, make our democracies real, and give hope and courage to oppressed people everywhere. Galileo and Darwin: Mandela, Havel, and Liu Xiaobo; Rosa Parks and Natan Sharansky such are the ranks of those who disagree.”

So no, I don’t agree. Although I understand and sympathize, to a great extent, with the points you are making. And is what I’ve been told true, does your SuperSocialMedia Hero badge engender a lot of suggestive emails from the opposite sex?

But seriously, you’re correct when you say it is the type of business one is seeking to do that determines one’s choice of social media platform if any. And if I were selling widgets at the retail level, I’d look seriously at Facebook and/or Twitter.

In the main, I sell consulting services to the marine industry. And again, you’re correct that I need to close deals in the executive offices of prospects. However, in order to do that, I have first to speak to the relevant upper-level execs and other decision makers involved. And in order to do that, I have to be able to get past their gatekeepers their secretaries, purchasing agents, and other staff. Which is where I can tell you, LinkedIn beats the pants off every other platform out there. Here’s why.

If I cold-call to pitch, say, the CEO of a company, the receptionist or his secretary will usually tell me he’s not currently available and could I please leave my number. For few, if any of these execs ever answer their own phones. And the entire approach, more often than not, becomes an exercise in futility.

However, I’ve learned that a surprisingly high percentage of upper-level executives these days are on LinkedIn. So, if I initiate a contact and handle the connect invitation properly, my rate of acceptance runs about 90%. Then, voila! I have a way to at least correspond directly with the exec involved. Most of the time, I can arrange for a telephone or Skype call, sometimes even a face-to-face meeting.

The reason it works is that, notwithstanding the posers and phonies, there are also a lot of genuine business people on LinkedIn, including a fair percentage of CEOs and other upper-level executives at least in my core industry sector. And when you make an initial approach via LinkedIn, they have an immediately available way of checking you out quickly and conveniently.

But where does that leave beBee, which continues to bill itself as, in your words, “a social to business portal”? Well, I’m not sure. What I do know is that, in my experience, more personal relationships emerge from business relationships than the other way around. Mostly because people don’t want to have a personal dinner with someone and find themselves being pitched about whole life insurance over dessert.

3128b33a.jpgJIM: I think what you are describing here is the most productive use of LinkedIn. However, in the spirit of disagreement, and maybe this notion is out-moded in the new era of chaos we have been embroiled in over the past few years, wasn’t this direct approach via LinkedIn frowned up both by LinkedIn’s management and the majority of those on the receiving end of those who were using it as a modus operandi?

I distinctly remember going through a period of receiving rather nasty missives about proper LI etiquette from some of the people I thought would be would be worth talking to.

Having said that I tend to agree that, the odd interesting articles notwithstanding, access to decision makers is probably the main utility of LinkedIn for those who are not either headhunters or heads looking to be hunted. In point of fact, this may indeed be a good way forward for UberBlondie (Charlene) and myself as we build our consultancy.

In response to a rant I posted a few days back, our mutual friend, David Grinberg commented that he has never been on Facebook and challenged me to become Facebook free. My counter-move was to explain to him all the reasons I was on Facebook in the first place, and pointed out to him that I have actually gotten, over the years, more business leads and been able to develop more business relationships via Facebook than on any other social media platform.

Now, these numbers aren’t staggering…in fact, you could call them minuscule. But they do, in their own small way, counter your argument just a bit. But the great equalizer here, as always, in purpose. Why are you there? And who are you trying to reach? So I agree with part of your thesis, but mildly disagree with another part.

However, none of this, in my case at least, adds up to anything substantial if you compare it to the results I have been able to achieve with referral solicitation, face to face networking, warm calling and, up to the advent of the draconian anti-spam legislation in Canada, emailing.

But one thing we are both agreed on is that beBee, which appears to very much be on the same developmental path as Facebook, really does need to strengthen its business presence. Hopefully, the fact that Facebook is now actively involved in doing just that, might actually provide some incentive.

A lot of this argument is academic, and probably primarily concerns those in the service business who are struggling to see any results from their so-called “personal brand” building efforts. These people should know that, even for professional communicators like you and me, this is a hard row to hoe. It requires a hell of a lot of effort and at the end of the day it always needs to be balanced against ROI. Because, let’s face it, this may be called social media, but it’s really all about business.

84a3767c.jpgPHIL: To be clear, Jim, when I talk about reaching out to upper-level execs via LinkedIn, I am not talking about sending a connection invite which, if accepted, is immediately followed up with a sales pitch. Indeed, what I usually do is thank the person for accepting the connection, then explain that I wanted particularly to reach them to explain an idea I have (about X) which I believe they will find interesting. And finally, I ask if I might make an appointment for a very brief telephone or Skype call or have their permission to send them written information. And most of the time, this approach is successful in terms of generating further opportunity for contact.

As I said earlier, I believe it works in my case because I have available, at a click, an extensive LinkedIn profile which includes a photo-illustrated portfolio of prior work and more than a half-dozen detailed letters of recommendation from established industry professionals. So it is easy and convenient for the person I’m contacting to check my bona fides before saying yes to a subsequent conversation.

As to Facebook, I’ve not to date in over five years made a serious effort to establish myself there. But with the new tools available for using “Facebook for Business”, I will very likely mount just such an effort very soon.

After all, as you say, it’s a matter of numbers. Facebook reputedly now has two billion MAUs. Compare that to Twitter at 319 million (as of 2016). And to LinkedIn’s 500 million (at last company report). It’s not surprising that a fair number of business people are going to be reachable on Facebook, especially if those business people buy the idea of mixing the personal and business aspect of their lives.

Of course, a lot depends on what kind and how much algorithmic control a given platform exercises in contradistinction to allowing naturally occurring, organic networking. However, given the raw numbers, Facebook is and will remain the freakin’ 800-pound gorilla in the room who can’t be ignored.

As you well know, I too love Charlene Norman and greatly respect his professionalism as a public relations honcho. But he has taken to being a beBee Brand Ambassador with such exceptional zeal and fervency, that I personally have to view his claims on beBee's behalf with more than just a pinch of salt.

There is no question that beBee owners Javier Camara Rica and Juan Imaz have kept their promise to support 100% organic networking that is, the distribution of 100% of a writer’s posts to 100% of that writer’s self-elected followers 100% of the time. Which, in my experience, counts for a lot, when you’re trying to generate business via marketing and branding on Social Media.

Still, beBee seems to have plateaued at about 11 million MAUs (reported as at July 2016) just barely more than 2% of the user base of LinkedIn. And only about 0.55% of the Facebook user base. These differences are staggering, especially in the face of flat growth on beBee over the past year or so.

You and I were “early adopters” and boosters of beBee. In fact, carried one of, if not the earliest interviews of Javier “beBee” right here in our He Said He Said series. I know you genuinely like publishing your blog and update posts on beBee. And generally, I do, as well although lately, I’ve noticed some shifts in the mix of content that do not, to my mind, bode well for the future of the platform. But that is a topic for another time.

My point here is that beBee has been and continues to be a “congenial” platform for writers and authors and various other creative types. And there is no denying some of the work that appears on beBee is really quite good.

But what beBee has not been, and what it appears not to be becoming, is a buzzing hive of business-related activity despite its oft-stated intention to be, again in your words, a “personal-to-business” portal.

With all due respect to high-quality business-oriented writers such as you, Charlene Norman, Graham🐝 Edwards, Renée 🐝 Cormier, Renée 🐝 Cormier, Aleta Curry, Nicole Chardenet, John White, MBA, Aleta Curry, and a few others, this is how I see the situation after nearly two years: If you listen intently for the buzz of business activity on beBee, what you hear is...  the sound of one hand clapping.


Author's Notes:  If you found this interesting and would like to receive notifications of my writings on a regular basis, click the [FOLLOW] button on my beBee archive page. Better yet, you can arrange on that same page to follow my "blog" by email. As a writer-friend of mine says, you can always change your mind later.

Feel free to "like" and "share" this post and my other articles — whether on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+, provided only that you credit me (and in the case of "He Said He Said", Jim as well) properly as the author(s), and include a live link to the original post.


About me, Phil Friedman: With 30 some years background in the marine industry, I've worn numerous hats — as a yacht designer, boat builder, marine operations and business manager, marine industry consultant, marine marketing and communications specialist, yachting magazine writer and editor, yacht surveyor, and marine industry educator. I am also trained and experienced in interest-based negotiation and mediation.

In a previous life, I was formally trained as an academic philosopher and taught logic and philosophy at university.

 

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#SOCIALMEDIA #CONTENT #CONTENTISKING #CONTENTMARKETING #BEBEE #DIGITALPUBLISHING #SELFPUBLISHING #WRITING #CONTENTCREATION #BUSINESS #BUSINESSCONTENT #FACEBOOK #LINKEDIN #TWITTER #SOCIALMEDIAPLATFORMS





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Comments
Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #69

#80
Your comment, Graham\ud83d\udc1d Edwards, raises what is, to my mind, an interesting question: How many business-oriented users on beBee are actually looking for clients versus executing some longer range marketing or branding campaign? You say that anything (everything?) you do on social media is to pursue your business goals, one of which is to develop your professional brand. Of course, you also expect eventually to pursue qualified prospects and convert them into being your clients, eh? So the question becomes whether you find sufficient activity and business presence on beBee to potentially sustain your activities in these respects. Your prospects who may turn into paying clients if you and Renee find them funding are a red flag for me -- unless you're talking about charitable non-profits looking for grants. (For those who may not know, in the field of non-profits, grant writing is often done on a contingent-fee basis.) It's like talking to a self-declared entrepreneur who doesn't want to mortgage his house in order to raise start-up capital. It shows that he or she doesn't have a clue about starting a business or being an entrepreneur. I personally see a lot of that kind of thing on n beBee. I appreciate your vote of confidence with respect to when you decide to buy a yacht. But remember that a good portion of my consulting activities -- although predominantly within the yachting industry -- have to do with business operations, management, and turnaround consulting. And I am finding the pickings virtually non-existent on beBee -- in contrast to LinkedIn, where I am in contact with prospects on a pretty regular basis. Cheers!

Graham🐝 Edwards

Graham🐝 Edwards

3 years ago #68

Hi Phil Friedman, now that i have gotten some rest he's my answer to your HSHS question... no I am not finding clients on beBee, but it was never my objective with this platform at this time in its evolution — I was looking for a forum to share my thoughts, validate my domain expertise, get feedback (which is the big upside of something new with early adopters), expand my network, and cross pollinate it with my other social networks. For me clients are at least two degrees of separation from who's on beBee, and this will be compounded based on the geographical restrictions a person may have based on the type of business. For me, anything I do on social media (beBee included) is to pursue my business goals (and dare I say developing my professional brand) — I save the recreation activities for other things. If anything, this discussion has been an important reminder that it takes a lot of work and time to find potential clients and then work to turn them into clients who will give us money for our goods and/or services. As an aside, when I do look into purchasing a boat (and this is proving to be quite real because my property is close to lots of water) I will definitely reach out to you. And I will pay you for your insight (and expertise) because I don't know anything about the best sail boat to buy and considers to getting the most out of it in a northern climate. I will say I met Renée 🐝 Cormier through beBee and some of our collaborations are getting us closer to real live clients who will pay (well some of them are start ups who will pay when we help them raise money, but that is a whole new topic unto itself.) g

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #67

#78
Javier's announcement about notifications is in the comment thread on his article, Aleta. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #66

#76
I don't think, Aleta Curry, that you and I disagree here on anything substantive. I never said that one shouldn't intersperse some "personal" posts with one's business-oriented posts. What I questioned (and it was a question, not a statement) is whether, on a platform such as beBee, the outpouring of personal content tends to chase away serious business people. I don't really know the answer, except I perceive a dearth of business activity on beBee -- despite it's original mission statement that said it was a two-handed social media platform. As to why you get best response on FB to your event advertising, I suggest to you that it's in the numbers and in the ubiquitous nature of FB membership. And finally, I concur that everyone should read Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee piece on beBee vs. WordPress. But not for that comparison, which I consider of minor consequence. What is major there is Javier's announcement that within a few days beBee will kick off true organic networking with notifications of a writer's new posts going out to 100% of that writer's network. As I said on Javier's post, that is HUGE. A game changer. And a blockbuster differentiator for beBee. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #65

#72
Thank you for reading and commenting, Graham\ud83d\udc1d Edwards. I understand -- and agree with you -- when you say about beBee that "... it's a place to share more than just the trite top 13 ways to make $100,000 in 30 days or something to that effect." BeBee is without a doubt a congenial platform. And I applaud you for being willing to share important business templates and other information. If nothing else, that willingness demonstrates your understanding that if one hopes ever to reap, one has to be willing first to sow. That was one reason I created the "Sawbuck Consult". https://www.bebee.com/content/1713842/1476624 But while that is all fine and good, it does not address the main issue raised in this HSHS, which is. "Are you finding clients on beBee?" In other words is there a sufficiently large pool of potential "buyers" here? Or is this simply a spot for recreational activities?

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #64

#70
Personally, Jerry Fletcher, I believe that psychographics-based targeting will prove to be a boondoggle. And even demographics, which are reasonably reliable -- except that they are generally upset by the availability of easy credit, which enables people to live beyond their means, at least temporarily -- are far from foolproof. For B2B, I'd personally be happy with simple filtering based on various objective criteria. I have no doubt Facebook and Google are developing these would-be capabilities in anticipatory response to the rifle-vs-shotgun that smaller platforms such as beBee will eventually use. Namely, a pitch along the following lines. "Two billion MAUs, two schmillion MAUs, who cares. If you want to connect with C-suite decision-makers, we have a million and a half of them on [fill in platform name] which is actually more than are identified on Facebook, never mind the total FB user population is two billion." Done right this is David slaying Goliath. Unless Goliath responds timely with similar rifle-like targeting capabilities. Which begs the question: Are there a sufficient number of genuine business executives on beBee to make targeting efforts worthwhile? I say no, but stand to be corrected -- with documented statistics and a sufficiently large sampling to support the case. Cheers!

Graham🐝 Edwards

Graham🐝 Edwards

3 years ago #63

Gentlemen, as always a great Exchange... thank you!!! Phil Friedman. Thanks for the "high quality" recognition Phil... I'm flattered. Sorry I don't have anything more "witty or engaging" but I've been working on a "pitch" and "Business" plan and a little brain dead... if it goes well I will strip the content and pass on the template and framework for anyone to use... and maybe that is what I like about this "group" and this social platform — it's a place to share more than just the trite top 13 ways to make $100,000 in 30 days or something to that effect. As I said, I'm a little tired.

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

3 years ago #62

#61
Thank you Phil. Cheers, my friend.

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

3 years ago #61

#59
Phil, interestingly enough, the attempts at targeting being offered by both Facebook and Google are attempts to use psychographic as well as demographic focii to move digital from the shotgun to the sniper approach. That combined with remarketing can be very powerful in the B2C arena. Nothing anywhere close (to my knowledge) exists in the B2B world. But, like I always say, "Stay tuned."

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #60

#68
Perhas not. But it wasn't all bad. Think of the boost it gives to the peanut butter industry. 😂

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #59

#66
what makes you think that business people are all starched shirts and suits, Chas? In the yacht industry, wearing ties (or sox) is generally frowned upon. Most really big time entrepreneurs I've met wore jeans and sneakers. I've sold $20 million yachts to businessmen wearing cut-offs and T-shirts. And all of the transoceanic sailors I've known were looser and More open minded than a Coven member I've ever run into. (I can say that because one of my good Caribbean friends is an Obeah woman. who protects me with spells and amulets.) and BTW, I don't remember mentioning my having anything against Wizards or Witches. Now self-appointed shamen are a different matter. :-)

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #58

#64
Excellent points, Wayne Yoshida locked away most of the time. :-)

Wayne Yoshida

Wayne Yoshida

3 years ago #57

#62
Hmmm. More things to think about. It is like the Seinfeld episode in which George mixes his two worlds -- the "Relationship George" and the "Independent George" -- and the chaos that results. Seinfeld is fictional, but based on reality or nothing at all. But this same example plays out many times in real life. This hit me one day when I was running some family errands and one of my sisters was in my car. I left the ham radio on, and as I was listening to a few "radio friends" having a conversation about nothing in particular, my sister said, "You know these people?" in that tone only a younger sister can emit. Some of my good friends are - quirky - and some are quite normal, and some of them need to be kept away from some of my other friends. I think most of us knows about this. And maybe this is the **danger** or **risk** of mixing worlds. . . . .

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

3 years ago #56

#58
lol. Agreed! You have a real gift for engaging and enticing conversation. I should be so talented. Enjoy your evening, my friend. This engine has no steam tonight. 💤💤

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #55

Thank you, Wayne Yoshida, for the kind words. You say, "Can these two platforms co-exist? I think so." And if you're talking about LinkedIn and BeBee, I'd say yes as well. The real question is, as I see it, can interest in business and personal activity co-exist on the same platform? If I am correct in my perceptions, the personal hijinx tend to drive away the business faction on a platform such as beBee. Perhaps because one is often, rightly or wrongly, judged by the company one keeps. And serious business people may not want to be seen in the company of practitioners of the black arts.Not sure. Just asking. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #54

#57
Thank you, Milos Djukic, for clarifying that. I apologize for misinterpreting your statement. If I understand you correctly now, you're saying that a lot of "small" things people do on social media are for business purposes, although that might not be readily apparent. Which is probably true, but not reassuring -- at least not to me. Indeed one of the objections I've always had to the Dale Carnegie philosophy of business (and to the promotion of EI) is that it appears to me disingenuous, manipulative, and inauthentic precisely because it is not readily apparent as having business goals and motives. And I much prefer having the business and personal spheres very clearly separated and overtly defined. Nevertheless, following your admonition, I will look more carefully for business activity on the various platforms, including beBee, and will avoid judging any lack thereof so cavalierly. Cheers, my friend!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #53

#54
Jerry, you relate an interesting anecdote. Unfortunately, it is quite to the point. I've had a reasonable amount of experience in special-interest magazine publishing and niche-product marketing. Indeed, I had the good fortune of working with one of the pioneers of controlled-circulation, special-interest magazine publishing (in the yachting sector). So I am not completely off the wall when I say that the audience presented by, for example, New Yorker magazine has already been filtered cherry-picked, and is suitable for certain niche-market products. Which is why that small ad in a relatively small circ book (about 1 million subscribers) worked and continues to work so famously. I agree you don't need to assault a readership of 100 million in order to reach a few hundred potential buyers of, say, $5+ million yachts -- if you can find a way to reach out only to those who are interested in and qualified for such purchases. That's what we did with Power & Motoryacht magazine in the late 80s and early 90s. And what Filipacchi did with Showboats International magazine around the same time. We did it by identifying target consumers and offering them a traditionally expensive magazine free of charge. But when you don't know or can't ascertain the demographic nature of the audience, you have to "work the numbers". Which means that the probability of your reaching your target market is directly related (although not necessarily proportional) to the size of the undifferentiated population you are addressing. (continued ... Pt. II)

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #52

#54
-- Part II -- I used to have a running argument with a LinkedIn Senior Editor over LI's policy of favoring distribution of the posts of arbitrarily appointed "Influencers" vs those of independent writers. His position was always it doesn't matter how many people you reach; you only have to reach a few of the "right" people. I used to point out that, even assuming I understood who the "right" people were, my probability of reaching the right people is directly related to the size of the (undifferentiated) population to which my work is exposed. If we're working without pre-filters and with reader populations that are essentially undifferentiated, then personally would think it more likely that I'd reach a given target market in an undifferentiated population of 2 billion than in an undifferentiated population of 11 million. ALL OTHER FACTORS HELD CONSTANT. Of course, if the distribution to the population of 2 billion is artificially controlled, then the situation becomes distorted. And you are correct to say that we need to look at the difference between hunting with a scoped rifle and a fixed-sight unchoked shotgun. Thanks, Jerry, for joining the conversation. And Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #51

#55
I think, Ren\u00e9e \ud83d\udc1d Cormier, I'd say that flexibility enhances the potential to turn a profit, but I'd be reluctant to say anything "ensures" (guarantees) profit. Just to be clear, what I am saying is that profit is not the sole consideration in business. For instance, there may be circumstances in which one chooses to make less profit in order to gain other benefits. For example, one might feel it is better to make less money doing things one likes to do and dealing with people one likes to deal with. As opposed to making more money doing things one dislikes doing and dealing with jerks. But unless one is prepared to work for nothing, we can't say it's not about profit. Just as we don't know many people who pay their employers in order to work. Cheers!

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

3 years ago #50

#15
#46 Phil Friedman, I never said (nor do I think) that "everything one does has a "business" purpose" or ever "define every person on social media as a "business person" in one form or another" as you have assumed in comments #15 #46. For example, our relationship is just friendly and not related to a future business. Please try to avoid a provisional (and very often false) assumption and labeling based not on my writen words, but rather on your views of my writing. Thanks in advance, my friend. My original comment #8: "Thanks for writing and disscusing. Clapping .. One hand is fot the social component and the other one is for the business component. Only then clapping iis loud enough to produce long-term results. Business is personal and it is also related to the knowledge and personal respect. Social media are not only platforms for self-promoton. Our activities have cumulative effects and when it seems that they are not business-oriented, actually then they are (and the most effective)."

Wayne Yoshida

Wayne Yoshida

3 years ago #49

Another great He Said, He Said thinking piece. Thanks Phil Friedman. After reading this installment and the comments, I have to put a few cents (US) in. The sound of one hand clapping is like a golf club swinging through the air. That whoosh sound. Even more so when the club fails to strike the ball [whiff] . . . which I think is the illustration Phil and Jim want to make here. I think I see some bit of agreement here: One must post/buzz/share/interact/use the platform that addresses the intended audience / target market. Personally, I am here because it is fun and entertaining, and I learn a lot on all kinds of topics. The best posts are the ones that make me think or allows me to see a different viewpoint. So, I am not here to make money, I am here to have fun and learn something. This could change if I decide to change how I use beBee. By the same token, I am on LinkedIn for career management, and I teach workshops for those who are looking to do the same. I am now just starting to do this on a "business" side, meaning I get paid for this optimization help/work. Can these two platforms co-exist? I think so. When comparing any social platform - I think the assessment must start out with -- how come you are here or there? For what purpose? What and who is your audience? What is the goal? What's to gain? If it is for "business" - then all businesses must make a profit, otherwise it is not a business, but a "hobby."

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

3 years ago #48

#53
Yes, abdolutely. The way i see it, flexibility ensures profit.

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

3 years ago #47

#49
Phil, Media is a slippery thing. It really comes down to who your audience is. Mass numbers are not always the predictor of success. There's a funny little company out here in southern Oregon called Harry & David which ships fruit all over the country.. They were founded as a mail order company when a salesman for a magazine called The New Yorker suggested they put an ad in the magazine because it went to influential people in all the major cities, not just New York. The one sixth page ad he helped them create literally put them on the map. Today, they are part of a conglomerate and their catalogs go out across the country at least once a month. But as far as I know they still put small space direct ads in The New Yorker. If you can find a medium that gets to your preferred customers in sufficient numbers regardless of total circulation do not hesitate.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #46

#51
#51 I understand what you're saying, Ren\u00e9e \ud83d\udc1d Cormier, But I have to disagree when you say "business is just as much about flexibility as it is about making money..." Granted, to achieve success a business has to be flexible and evolve to meet the demands of the market. But business is always about profit. Not solely about profit, but always involves a significant component of the quest for profit. Otherwise, we're talking about a hobby, or an avocation, or a recreation, or a pastime -- or even, I suppose, a fantasy. All of which I concur are worthwhile endeavors, just not Business. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #45

#51
I understand what you're saying, Ren\u00e9e \ud83d\udc1d Cormier, But have to disagree when you say "business is just as much about flexibility as it is about making money..." I agree that to achieve success a business has to be flexible and evolve to meet the demands of the market. But business is always about profit. Not solely about profit, but always insignificant proportion. Otherwise, we're talking about a hobby, or a recreation, or a pastime -- or even, I suppose, a fantasy. All of which are worthwhile endeavors, just not a business. Cheers!

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

3 years ago #44

I certainly can't completely disagree with you, Phil. beBee is an evolving platform and is perhaps evolving into something it was not initially intended to be, but I don't know of many businesses that thrive by being stuck on what the CEO wants versus what the customers want. In my humble opinion, business is just as much about flexibility as it is about making money. I enjoy beBee and will continue to use it and promote it every chance I get. The experience of being here is still unlike any I have ever had on any social media platform. Enjoy the ride, my friend!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #43

#48
What "secret sauce" does Facebook need, Nicole? They already have TWO BILLION MAUs. I agree that using Facebook For Business might present a problem for some people because of the embarrassing personal stuff they've already slathered all over the platform. Part of that is solved by employing the new separate business-page format, but it is not a complete solution. And is probably why more people aren't flocking to do business on Facebook. BTW, I did find online some of those photos you refer to and they were humdingers! Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #42

#47
Yes, Jerry, we're okay. Just still clearing debris from the yards and replacing pool enclosure screens that blew out in 110 mph winds. As to beBee having a plan they would share with us, I'm not sure they owe us anything like that. BTW, when Jim and I wrote this piece, the last thing we wanted was for it to devolve into a critique of beBee. Instead, we saw it as a candid consideration of a very narrowly defined question, namely, if you're looking for business what are your best social media options? And how does the type of business you're in affect your choice of SM platform(s)? One of my points is the vast disparity in user numbers as between the "big boys" and some other platforms, including beBee. Which is something that simply cannot be ignored. Otherwise, it's like a magazine asking you in your advertising media buy to overlook the fact that the book has very little circulation. However, for good or bad, a fan-style environment has been nurtured on beBee. And every time one questions in the slightest something about beBee, some users appear to take it as a personal affront. What most seem to overlook is that in order to have a healthy "business market" on the platform, it's necessary to attract not only sellers but buyers, not only consultants but potential clients. I've personally said it before (ad nauseum), the only way to attract genuine business people is to provide the tools to create and efficiently manage business- and industry-specific groups. https://www.bebee.com/producer/@friedman-phil/hives-groups-and-froot-loops

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

3 years ago #41

#38
Thanks Phil. And so it goes. Wish beBee had a plan they were willing to share with all of us. You okay after two hurricanes in a row?

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #40

#45
And, Pam, what I am saying is I'm glad you found a congenial "home" on beBee, but that learning to re-brand yourself or managing to change your thinking, however beneficial to you personally does not constitute conducting or doing "business". Yet it is only this latter that we're talking about in this piece. Business in the sense of commerce. Buying and selling, whether goods or services. (Actually, for the most part, professional services.) And it wouldn't even come up except beBee originally billed itself as a portal for professionals and business people to connect via their personal interests, but with the ultimate goal of developing mutually beneficial "business" relationships. BeBee may have given up that positioning, but if so, I am unaware of it. What I am saying is that I am aware of real business people connecting via LinkedIn and ending up doing real business. Sorry, if you've not known any, but I have. For LinkedIn. Not for Facebook, although I suspect, given the huge member base, there are. Not for Twitter, which seems to have strong utility for promoting links elsewhere than on Twitter. I do have direct knowledge of several business-oriented users who have sampled beBee and left, feeling that there was zero potential to expand their business contacts here -- unless you define every person on social media as a "business person" in one form or another -- as Milos seems to do. I have not questioned that, as you say, "... beBee fills a definite need for many many of its users." What I question is whether that need has anything to do with the "business side" of things.Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #39

#42
Thank you, Pam, for being open about that. What I draw from that which you've said is you benefited in your personal and business life from the personal interactions you found on beBee because it helped you to clarify in your own mind what you wanted to do and perhaps how to best go about it. A good result for you and I wish you well in future. Not sure how your experience had to do with personal branding on beBee, though, unless you're saying that you fresh employment opportunities came from exposure on or by the platform. Cheers!

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

3 years ago #38

#41
Phil, I still have both hands, just like you. We have a free choice to use them somewhere. One hand here and other hands elsewhere. When I speak, I describe people and not social media. As long as our hands are free we can move them.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #37

#39
No, Mios, wth al due respect, I do not see that we have two hands clapping, unless you mean two people getting together to clap, each with one hand. Once again, it comes down to what one thinks is "business" activity. Cheers!

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

3 years ago #36

I want to pointed out that a complex appearance and the establishment of a network of online presence is the best general long term solution for both social and business purpose.

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

3 years ago #35

#16
#15 Phil Friedman, It seems like we have both hands. Perhaps the best solution is to use them alternately and evenly. That's the best way to avoid clap trap. Maybe I'm the future owner of the yacht :)

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #34

#34
Jerry, you get no argument from me about avenues of incoming business for consultants. Although I am moved to ask if your rule of thumb applies to a consultant to consultants.😁) what I finally realize is there are a number of different kinds of business people seek to do n social media. And not Eryn venue is appropriate for every business. For example, beBee is probably a great place for Life Coaches to connect with clients. (B2C) But not a good place for a higher level operations consultant to connect with the COO of a significant or even real company (B2B). One question raised here is whether ownership rn wants it to be. Finally, your assertion coincides with my experience: If you are a consultant with significant, documentable experience seeking to connect with decision-making execs, LinkedIn remains a must. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #33

#32
I agree, Pascal. Neither Jim nor I am in the least talking about what beBee SHOULD or even could be. Only about what it seems, at this point, to be and what it doesn't. I suggest the keeping it real, and not a matter of marketing delusion, is important. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #32

#30
Thank you Alan for reading and joining the conversation. You say, " I've been on beBee for about a year and seem to get good response to my "homespun wisdom" stuff, but not my business articles..." To my mind, that says a lot about the demographic of the user base. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #31

#28
Pam, you are obviously entitled to your own opinions, objectives and likes. And if beBee is what you think it should be, and provides you with what you feel you need, nobody should try to convince you otherwise. For the record, we're not trying to convince anyone of anything here, especially not about what form beBee should take. This is simply a discussion of what we see it to be as at this date. Beyond that, it's probably important to note that what you see as being of "value to ... career" is not what I think of as "business" activity. But given your background, which seems to me to border at times on fulfilling a consultive function, have you found that your presence on beBee has generated for you significant inquiries potentially leading to new "business" opportunities?

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

3 years ago #30

Gentlemen, I agree and disagree. In consulting on marketing with consultants and professionals for the last 25+ years the single most important way that new business is developed depends on the age of the practice. In the early days it comes from networking but if the service delivered is good new clients quickly come primarily from referrals based on research I've conducted for the last 20 years. B2B must maintain a presence on LinkedIn and have a powerful web site. No other social medium matters. That includes beBee. If you have a business in the B2C category it is a totally different matter. All the research I've done and reviewed indicates that in B2B marketing people will first turn to those they know for referrals, confirm those suggestions with others and only then turn to on-line resources for information. They may see if you have a profile on LinkedIn but they will definitely check out your web site before they contact you. Net, net if you want to build a B2B consulting or professional business you need to have a presence on LinkedIn and it doesn't hurt to post regularly on the blog page of your website and assure those posts are carried on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Social media may open the door to a conversation but it also gets in the way of meetings without preconceptions. Consider everything you do on social media as a way of building trust in your business skills. My rule is: If it doesn't build trust, why are you doing it?

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

3 years ago #29

Gentlemen,=p

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

3 years ago #28

#31
that's for Javier to answer this one if he wants to Alan I am a mere insect with no stake in the business model game and no appetite to speculate either about what it should/could bebee :-)

Alan Culler

Alan Culler

3 years ago #27

#23
Pascal Derrien, Javier 🐝 beBee -I've wondered how beBee will make money - I like what Phil calls the platform's "boundless positivity" -but wonder about the efficacy of connecting around poetry or bladesmithing and delivering financial benefit worthy of subscription fees and/or targeted advertising.

Alan Culler

Alan Culler

3 years ago #26

Phil Friedman Excellent discussion gentlemen As a "Late adopter" who has yet to figure out social media it was instructive. I've been on LinkedIn a very long time with some positive response to articles I started posting in 2014. I've been on beBee for about a year and seem to get good response to my "homespun wisdom" stuff, but not my business articles. I'm on nether Facebook nor Twitter and have concerns about opening myself to the much media-described misinformation on both platforms. I've come to regard social media as "a buoy floating in the blue ocean of bubbly -ugh I'm beggining to use LI as Phil described. My business in 20 years on my own out of 37 years as a consultant has come exclusively from referrals -asking people who know my work for leads, but I haven't figured it out yet -see "late adopter" bit above. Thanks again Guys

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #25

#27
I agree entirely, Don \ud83d\udc1d Kerr. It is true that in most instances a business meeting begins with personal small talk -- because people want to establish an atmosphere of relaxed personal connection. But it is always understood that after the small talk comes the business discussion. You know, "Well, let's get down to business..." it is a mistake, however, to believe you can move successfully and consistently from a genuine personal relationship to selling something to your opposite. In my experience that pisses people off. And it was only life insurance companies who counseled sales people to sell policies first to their family and friends. Cheers!

don kerr

don kerr

3 years ago #24

Phil Friedman Phil pretty much nails it with this statement "What I do know is that, in my experience, more personal relationships emerge from business relationships than the other way around. Mostly because people don’t want to have a personal dinner with someone and find themselves being pitched about whole life insurance over dessert." That is entirely reflective of my experience regardless of platform and by golly it even echoes what was commonplace before SM hit the web.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #23

#25
That, Chas, is Jim's thang, not mine. And I haven't mooned a party crowd since I got married. :-)

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #22

#23
No, Pascal Derrien, that is not just your "two cents". It's the Powerball jackpot. Despite all the basically silly talk these days about "social entrepreneurs", what we have is a "failure to communicate" -- or at least a failure to recognize that profit drives business. And I understand from whence your expectations come. However, profit motive or not, not all businesses make the best strategic decisions, and often, even if they recognize what needs to be done, can't always find a way to do it. For example -- and for what it's worth -- I personally believe that beBee remains the captive of its own almost religious belief in the power of sweetness and boundless "positivity". And I suggest that vitality, if not excellence is born from dialectic -- maybe both. Whereas sweetness and positivity -- in other words, intellectual comfort -- breed only mediocrity. Thank you for joining the conversation and for sharing your insight. Cheers!

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

3 years ago #21

MY two cents is that social media platform or not the principles for a business is to be profitable , I suspect LI is , FB is and BB is expecting to be. It is the only paramount parameter in business so I think all decisions follow a business plan which is popular or not, in my opinion all platforms have zero vocations in becoming Coffee shops for tortured artists hence we can expect shifts, changes and adjustments for all platforms including this one...

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #20

#21
What FB is up to is ruling the world of social media and generating greater opportunities for monetizing aspects of their platform. Cheers!

Jim Murray

Jim Murray

3 years ago #19

Interesting mix of response here. IMHO, I agree with Nicole. Nobody has really figured this out yet. Maybe beBee has a good chance of doing that. I have noticed that LinkedIn seems to be regressing into much m ore of a social site than it ev er has been. And because I only use Facebook for family and friends and not to have a huge ' flock', I have no idea what they are up to.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #18

#19
Well, Nicole, it is always refreshing to hear from you. I understand and agree with your point that the blending of personal and business activity on social media may yet work out... for someone, maybe beBee, maybe someone else. My point is simply that it hasn't happened yet and I have this nagging feeling that it won't. It hasn't yet on Facebook, notwithstanding the hype being pushed by the Zuckerberg Minions. And it doesn't happen on LinkedIn for sure. BTW, you make a good point about shipping logistics. Here's a secret. Amazon, which some believe is evolving along the same lines as Sears, was made possible not so much by sheer business genius as by the emergence of expedited shipping in the form of United Parcel Service and Federal Express, without which online order would not seem anywhere near as attractive. Thanks for reading and joining the conversation. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #17

#17
Chas, you are entitled to your feelings, opinion, and personal objectives. My point is that beBee was originally and continues to be billed as a two-prong (or two-handed) combo platform, with personal on the one side and business on the other. I am not saying that can't or shouldn't be changed. I am only saying that if that is still the goal, the platform is not making significant progress toward that goal. If your feelings on the subject are in the majority, then I'd say beBee ownership should re-evaluate where they want to platform to go in terms of its core character. Thank you for joining the conversation and for speaking your mind. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #16

#9
#9 Well, Milos, it's either clap, clap or clap trap. Take you pick. :-)

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #15

#8
With all due respect, Milos, not everything one does has a "business" purpose. As someone who earns a living owning and running a small business, I can attest to the fact that there are many activities on social media that are not business oriented. And anyway, if it IS all business then it is still one just one hand clapping. Thank you for reading and joining the conversation. Cheers!

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

3 years ago #14

cc. Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee.

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

3 years ago #13

#12
Very true words about Phil Friedman, my friend.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #12

#10
, you are truly a gentleman and a (public relations) scholar -- cool and composed. I admit to trying to get a rise out of you and failing. And I renew my previous recommendations to Javier that he employ youtlr considerable skills to the benefit of beBee. Indeed, POTUS could use you even more. Thank you for reading and commenting with such grace. Cheers, my friend!

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

3 years ago #11

#10
, thank you for not being judgmental. I always highly respected your kindness, kind sir and a true gentleman.

David B. Grinberg

David B. Grinberg

3 years ago #10

Many thanks for the mentions Phil and Jim Murray. I really appreciate your exemplary efforts in this substantive series on beBee, which is always a pleasure to read. A few points... 1) Jim, an important point of clarification is in order, which I hope you will make in your version of this post. You write above: "In response to a rant I posted a few days back, our mutual friend, David Grinberg commented that he has never been on Facebook..." Unfortunately, Jim, that statement is factually incorrect. Therefore, please allow me to correct the record. Specifically, I have never used FB for "personal use" -- as I wrote -- meaning I have never established a personal presence on FB via my own page. Yet I have indeed used FB for business purposes on occasion for social marketing via the FB page of my former employer. Here is the verbatim language of my comments to you: "I, for one, have never been on Facebook for personal use and I'm darn proud of it..." Comment #1 https://www.bebee.com/producer/@jim-murray/how-social-media-is-helping-turn-the-world-to-shit Again, Jim, I hope you can kindly consider correcting and/or clarifying your statement for factual accuracy. 2) Phil: I hope you are doing well my friend. I wish you all the best and much continued success in your business endeavors. I'm wondering how Hurricane Irma has affected your consulting efforts in Florida, if at all? Also, Phil, please note that I proudly wear any and all constructive criticism from you as a badge of honor. IMHO this means I must be doing something right! But, to play if safe, I'm sending you a few bags on table salt for the rare occasion that you may require "more than just a pinch of salt" (as you write above). Thank you, kind sir.

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

3 years ago #9

Clap, clap.

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

3 years ago #8

Thanks for writing and disscusing. Clapping .. One hand is fot the social component and the other one is for the business component. Only then clapping iis loud enough to produce long-term results. Business is personal and it is also related to the knowledge and personal respect. Social media are not only platforms for self-promoton. Our activities have cumulative effects and when it seems that they are not business-oriented, actually then they are (and the most effective).

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #7

#4
Well, Paul Walters, if you're right, I sincerely hope the surprises are good ones. Thanks for reading and commenting. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #6

#5
Yes, Martin, one of the big myths (lies?) propagated by social media platforms is that the users are receiving services from them "free". When in fact a good percentage of "users" contribute content that populates the platform and makes it operations viable -- while others contribute in kind by turning over their valuable personal information and data, which the platforms monetize by selling access to their accumulated data base(s). As they say, "Der ain't no free lunch..." Thank you for reading and joining the conversation.

Martin Wright

Martin Wright

3 years ago #5

I have found a lot of peiple who only joined linkedib because they were compelled to. They had no ideavof its breadth. The same applies to bebee. Peopke are told about a narrow oart of these sites and dont realise they are sites where the input from them is as important as what they get from the sites.

Paul Walters

Paul Walters

3 years ago #4

Phil Friedman probably one of the best banters to date. I'm intrigued to see exactly where beBEE takes itself in the next few months but I expect that we might see some big surprises !!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #3

FYI -- You've been mentioned in this post, Aleta Curry.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #2

FYI -- You've been mentioned in this post, Graham\ud83d\udc1d Edwards.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

3 years ago #1

Hey, Jim Murray, installment 31 of He Said He Said has been published. Will watch for your version. Best.