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Brand Conversation with Robert Lavigne

by Mohammed on October 19, 2010

Today, I spoke to Robert Lavigne, Robert is an Enterprise 2.0 Consultant and Project Management Professional (PMP). He performs extensive research and networking in the fields of Enterprise 2.0, Social Media, Social CRM, and Personal Branding. The use of modern social networking tool-sets and related mindsets fully engages business relationships and departmental convergence.  Through the application of these principles, Robert believes an organization can achieve Real Corporate Value (RCV).
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You can connect with Robert via @Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and YouTube.
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Mohammed: For new startup companies today, is it a prestige to have accounts on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.? How do you think companies should manage social media to engage clients and drive more sales?

Robert: Prestige? No.  Opportunity for discovery? Yes!
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One of the hardest things Startups face is being discovered commercially by their client base at a rate faster than their declining bank account. Social Media provides an element of discovery that traditional Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies cannot provide.
Unlike search, where you need to know what you are looking for, a discovery-based marketing strategy targets the Three Degrees of Connectivity (contact, friend, friend of friend).  By providing shareable content, you engage your primary market to relate your story and value proposition to their friends and subsequently their connections.  This provides an exponential scaling model of marketing that is unmatched by common SEO practices.
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The key to a successful Discovery Marketing Strategy is based on leveraging Social Media to tell a story worth relating beyond your existing market share. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are merely conduits for sharing content.  The context of that content must be the real value your product or service provides.
By becoming a transparent organization that engages in Social Media, your employees and clients are not only the conduit of such stories, but the storytellers themselves.
 Good stories are the ones that engage your entire market-space, are retold to previously unknown markets and as such drive sales.
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Mohammed: For Generation Y and Millennials, what are the best social media tools to manage and brand their image online? Give us a summary of the tools you use and how they should use them effectively?
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Robert: For myself, I have a multi-tiered approach to developing my social network.  I use Twitter initially to discover content, communities and individuals that I would not come across via traditional means.  I start to follow insightful content providers and eventually get followed in return by those who share my values.  Once we engage on Twitter, I invite them to join my Linkedin network.  This formalizes our relationship and opens up our business networks to our respected three degrees.  Once the relationship and trust develops further, I extend an invitation to them to join me on Facebook.  This provides them with a behind the scenes view of my value proposition and personality that Linkedin does not fully provide.  
Each layer of my social network provides an added level of credibility to the personal brand I am promoting and an opportunity for others to relate it to their own social network.
 This eventually leads to a reverse process as I get discovered by their friends and thus grow my network back down the chain.
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For Generation X and Baby Boomers, I would recommend that now is the time to build their social network, if they have not started already.  Counting on traditional networking strategies is an outdated mindset that will eventually catch them off guard to this commercial market.  Given their age, this could be prove disasterous as they approach retirement.  They must realize that they are now competing in an emerging workforce and consumer market that is already socially networked and self sufficient.
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Generation Y and Millennials tend to have the benefit of an existing Facebook community.  However, they lack the knowledge of how to leverage it commercially.  My recommendation to them, is to start learning more about the business side of their existing social network.  The best way to do that is to start syncing their Facebook network to Linkedin.  They need to start developing weak ties at the business level that will allow them to target not only their existing connections but the powerful third degree of connectivity.  Those weak ties are the ones that will allow them to fully achieve the business value of their existing social network as their own personal brand emerges.
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For all generations, however, I would highly recommend that they start engaging on Twitter as it is becoming the number one source of discovery.  The lesson for all generations is to ensure that you do not live within your existing silos. You must constantly forge trails towards new content and communities to engage, collaborate and market in.
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Mohammed: As a certified project manager professional, how do you think next generation project managers will manage their team, resources and communication? Do you believe social media will be a must have skill for PMs and CEOs?
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Robert: As an Enterprise 2.0 consultant, I spend the majority of my time researching and envisioning new forms of collaboration and engagement for the enterprise.  Project Managers have the luxury of being tied to multiple disciplines within the organization due to their cross-departmental responsibilities and interactions.  As such, it is my belief that they are amongst the primary benefactors of early adoption of Enterprise 2.0 toolsets and mindsets.
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Enterprise 2.0 is formally defined as “a system of web-based technologies that provide rapid and agile collaboration, information sharing, emergence and integration capabilities in the extended enterprise.”  At its core, is the means of using the right tools that will generate the highest level of collaboration and engagement within the organization.  Simply put however, traditional tools have done nothing more than build up silos and an unengaged workforce.
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Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube have exposed the workforce to a variety of alternative means of communication in their daily lives.  By leveraging this off-hours training and awarness to their nine to five tasks, we are now faced with an opportunity to transform how we do business.  By shifting from e-mails to activity streams, blogs and wikis, we can reduce the true costly expenses of doing business being rework and redundant processes.  By becoming transparent, we can tap into the social network of the enterprise and find talent and engagement that has otherwise been unknown and untapped.
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We have seen the power of these tools and mindsets outside of the organization, yet we choose to remain in our traditions within the enterprise.  Traditions that don’t embrace transparency and true collaboration will find themselves uncompetitive in the emerging social market.  Project Managers can truly become the change agents towards this evolutionary means of successfully delivering value and mitigating risk.
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Brand Word: Only through engaging using a Third Gear philosophy will you achieve the real value proposition that Social Media can deliver.  Whether it is within your organization using Enterprise 2.0, or outside of your organization using Social CRM, your mindset and attitude in using the tools will determine your success or failure and not the tools themselves.
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Spotlight: Robert Lavigne is currently available for hire to assist you in formulating your Enterprise 2.0 strategy and integration.  My Personal Brand Statement “Seasoned GenX Leader Capable of Leveraging the Technically Savvy GenY Knowledge Worker”
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Robert Lavigne has recently written a blog entry called “The Three Gears of Enterprise Social Media Adoption.”  I would highly recommend it to any who wish to properly leverage Social Media both within and outside of their organization.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Recruiting Animal October 20, 2010 at 7:36 AM

I enjoyed this article. If you and Rob want to come on The Recruiting Animal Show together to discuss the use of Social Media in New Business Development I’m open. But it can’t just be a rehashing of the same old stuff. If he has some concrete stories to tell that would be interesting.

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2 Mohammed October 20, 2010 at 10:46 AM

I enjoyed this article. If you and Rob want to come on The Recruiting Animal Show together to discuss the use of Social Media in New Business Development I’m open. But it can’t just be a rehashing of the same old stuff. If he has some concrete stories to tell that would be interesting.  

I enjoyed the interview too.

Thanks for the opportunity. I think Rob has what you need for your show and I would love to see it live soon.

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3 Recruiting Animal October 20, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Unfortunately when I told Rob that I’m interested in him as a guest he told me that he’s willing to help. But I’m not looking for help. If you guys think you would have fun in an aggressive well-informed environment that’s the key. No one is looking for help. The most over-used phony line in business these days is: How can I help? Usually it’s a masquerade for how can I bill you?

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4 Dan Keldsen
Twitter: dankeldsen
October 20, 2010 at 9:29 PM

Unfortunately when I told Rob that I’m interested in him as a guest he told me that he’s willing to help. But I’m not looking for help. If you guys think you would have fun in an aggressive well-informed environment that’s the key. No one is looking for help. The most over-used phony line in business these days is: How can I help? Usually it’s a masquerade for how can I bill you?

If you look at Rob’s streams, I don’t think you’ll see such a self-centered approach to the way he approaches opportunities like this.

Sometimes, for those with integrity (rare, I’ll grant you), “How can I help?” is a genuine offer.

BTW – I’d be happy to participate in your show – and I can give you some explicit examples of how social media has powered my work over 3 companies and the last 7 years. Tip #1 – get started now, better yet, have gotten started years ago, before you needed it. More later, if you want to wrangle the discussion live.
Dan Keldsen´s last blog post ..Link- Look- Learn – at Social Objects

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5 Recruiting Animal October 21, 2010 at 9:22 AM

@Dan Keldsen

Dan you’re welcome on the show as a guest if you like but you have to be able to relate your topic to recruiters and to a lesser extent career oriented professionals.

It can’t be the same old same old about social media because we’re pretty active ourselves and we know all that.

It’s an hour show. How much material do you have time wise.

It’s an aggressive show. The guest is in the hotseat. People will criticize you loudly and harshly. And there’s no crying on the @animal show – before during or after.

We like to tell you what you are going to get up front so there are no complaints about how mean everybody was.

You have to listen to some old shows before you come on.
http://www.recruitinganimalshow.com

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6 april14344 October 3, 2011 at 11:09 AM

i enjoy your reading article, sadly the video won’t work for me somehow, and i don’t know what’s going on.
april14344´s last blog post ..How to Purchase a Cheap Car Insurance in Michigan

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7 Lucy October 31, 2011 at 9:05 AM

i agree that twitter is becoming the number one source of discovery that made me make a new account a few weeks ago.
Lucy´s last blog post ..What is Black Mold?

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8 gracia19 October 31, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Yeah, what happen, the video it won’t work to me either. By the way you have a good insight here. Thank you for sharing.
gracia19´s last blog post ..Boardwalk Empire – My New Addiction

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9 Louis vuitton outlet October 14, 2012 at 4:34 AM

i enjoy your reading article, sadly the video won’t work for me somehow, and i don’t know what’s going on.

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10 michael kors October 16, 2012 at 3:15 AM

Maybe I will try what you recommend. Thank you

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11 Alin Stefan January 18, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Same problem here. The video isn’t working but the article was pretty good. Thanks for the info Mohamed!

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12 Mohammed January 18, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Same problem here. The video isn’t working but the article was pretty good. Thanks for the info Mohamed!

It is working in the US, I am not sure why it is not working elsewhere. It’s just Youtube video.

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