#tv opportunity #business show #pr #brandingsuperstaru
#pr me and Willie jolley ❤#author #business (Taken with Instagram)
#Skype with My #business partner, Ramon Williamson (Taken with instagram)
#conference #business #women #christianquotes #grateful to be part of the virtual conference (Taken with instagram)
Now 2011 will probably go down as the year of social media marketing mania! Really, even Charlie Sheen was #winning on Twitter.
But serious, businesses have shifted their advertising dollars from traditional media to social channels up to 50 percent…and it’s growing!
The power of the media is now in the audience’s hands. It’s all about INFLUENCE.
People can “be the media” and start a revolution ON Twitter….at the very least get a Tweet Chat going. What is a Tweet Chat? Well, if you don’t know, it’s how to have real-time SMS conversation with your audience with a transcript after the “show” or chat. Fast-paced, fun and highly-viral.
Read the Diverse Business blog (http://www.diversebusiness.blogspot.com) and see the video of how Tweet-Chat Queen, Melinda Emerson has made model work for her business - and garner her tons of media exposure and Twitter FAME.
Want a seminar on how to use Social Media more effectively? Visit www.PerryWilliamson.com. We can help you with online webinars and/or personal consulting.
Have you ever participated in a Twitter chat? If yes, then you already know how valuable they are. If you haven’t, then hopefully this post can provide some insights into what they offer and why you should get involved with one.
Twitter chats are one of the most underutilized, untapped resources in social media. This year saw the creation of some fantastic new chats and huge growth in others. As their popularity continues to grow, so does the value they offer to participants. Before we start talking individual chats, let’s step back and discuss a few of the awesome benefits of joining a twitter chat.
Increase Your Network
If nothing else, twitter chats are a killer way of meeting fantastic new people. Fantastic new people who share similar interests to yourself. Fantastic new people who love nothing more than to chat about being an English teacher in Asia (yes, there’s a chat for that #AsiaELT). If 2011 was the year chats took flight, 2012 will be the year individuals and businesses begin leveraging chats for sales leads and increasing conversions.
Establishing Brand Expertise
There has been A LOT of talk about personal branding over the past few years. A great way to springboard your personal brand and begin establishing yourself as a leader in your industry is by participating in twitter chats. Sharing all of your industry expertise during these chats builds brand equity and credibility. Stick with these chats for a few months and you might find yourself speaking at your industriesnext big expo.
Now that we’ve qualified a few of the benefits of twitter chats its time to get involved. Each chat has its own personality and core group of participants. I’d suggest spending a week trying a new chat each day. Think of it like buying a new car. There are going to be chats similar in theme and topic so take the time to see which feels best to you. Here are 20 chats full of value and great people.
1. Us Guys Chat - 3:00pm ET - #usguyschat - If you’re active in the social media space on twitter I have no doubt you’ve already engaged with someone in the Us Guys community. The chat is only a small part of this vibrant group. I’ve made a handful of really special friendships with the Us Guys crew.
2. Marketer Monday Chat - 8:00pm ET - #mmchat - Talented group of marketing minds. Chat typically has a featured guest.
3. Money Chat - 8:00pm ET - #moneychat - Awesome place to get financial advice. Have a question about paying off debt or which investment platform to use, check this chat out.
4. Speaker Chat - 9:00pm ET - #speakchat - Discuss everything from learning principals to creating awesome PowerPoint presentations.
5. Social Chat - 9:00pm ET - #socialchat - One of the featured social media chats. Great way to start the week off.
6. Influence Chat - 12:00pm ET - #influencechat - One of my personal favorites. This chat is Moderated by Alan Berkson and Fred McClimans (two of the smartest guys I know). Everything from disruptive technology to klout’s algorithm are discussed.
7. Leadership Chat - 8:00pm ET - #leadershipchat - Like the name suggests, this chat touches on leadership tips, tricks, best practices and so much more.
8. Small Business Chat - 8:00pm ET - #smbiz - This hashtag is used for both the small business chat on Tuesday nights and a very popular reference to all things small business.
9. LinkedIn Chat - 8:00pm ET - #linkedinchat - If you want to learn how to really leverage LinkedIn and grow your business spend an hour in this chat. You’ll learn tons of “secret” features.
10. Get Real Chat - 9:00pm ET - #getrealchat - One of the most popular chats on twitter. Led by the amazing Pam Moore, this chat attracts the likes of fortune 500 companies to participate. Word on the street is Walgreens will be the featured guest this coming week.
11. Customer Service Chat - 9:00pm ET - #custserv - Similar to the small business hashtag above, the customer service hashtag serves for both the chat and customer service mentions on twitter. You can find fantastic case studies of social media used for customer service.
12. Social Media Manners - 10:00pm ET - #smmanners - Another great chat around social media best practices, social good and the latest trends in social media.
13. Klout Chat - 11:00am ET - #kloutchat (only first Wednesday of every month) - Looking to learn more about social influence and Klout’s ever-changing business model, check this chat out.
14. Small Business Chat - 8:00pm ET - #smallbizchat - Another featured small business chat with a strong community.
15. Business Chat - 8:00pm ET - #bizchat - A good resource for finding quality business articles. The chat has had some cool featured guests in the past.
16. Harvard Business Review Chat - 1:00pm ET - #HBRChat - This chat is hosted by the editors of the HBR Magazine. Chats typically center around recent articles published on the website. Some very smart people run in this circle.
17. Empire Avenue Chat - 7:00pm ET - #eavchat - This chat was originally started by the founders of the stock exchange style social network. It has evolved into mainstream discussions around social media, influence, and more.
18. Business to Business Chat - 8:00pm ET - #b2bchat - Chat covers how social media can best be used in the business to business sector. You will find very informative and helpful posts shared by the members of this chat.
19. Pinterest Chat - 10:00pm ET - #pinchat - Pinterest, so hot right now. Pinterest.
20. Blog Chat - 9:00pm ET - #blogchat - Cream of the crop. Week over week the most popular Twitter chat. Started and moderated by Mack Collier, the chat covers all the things you and your business need in order to create a successful blog. The last Sunday of every month is “open mic night,” where the community picks that weeks topic.
Things tend to move pretty quickly during a twitter chat and it’s easy to miss handfuls of comments at a time. Tweetchat is a very cool tool that allows you to see all updates in real-time. It also “smart-pauses” while you scroll down the stream, insuring you don’t miss anything
Read more at socialmediatoday.com
20 Game-Changing Twitter Chats
Want to take your writing dream to reality? It takes work. It takes study. It takes time. It takes a “creative penn.” But it really takes knowing your audience and having a heart, passion and internet savvy. We can help you be a “thought leader” and take your message to millions - and make milions. Get free eCourse here: www.perrywilliamson.com
The internet is flooded with information. This is the information age for sure. Millions of blogs, websites, tweets, facebook pages - and then there’s email overdose.
People are really getting weary of reading - they the info fast and at a glance. And really they want to look at pictures. That’s why INFOGRAPHICS are so popular! A quick snapshot of all the facts. Here’s an example here: http://bit.ly/infographicpamperry. It’s a big business. Learn it or hire someone to do it.
We can help.
In October and November, our team will be involved in some social media teleseminars. We will go over Facebook. We will talk about Twitter. We will rave about the new Linkedin. Of course we will discuss Youtube and podcasting, But the hub of all social media marketing and “web 2.0” stuff - is the Blog.
That is our specialty. We help businesses craft their blog brand and build backlinks - which equals traffic - which equals sales. Simple. So, get your blog up and going. Need help? Want a critique? We’re here. www.socialmediaprsolutions.com
Join our group on Facebook: Social Media Swag.
Reach Out and Touch Someone with Your Company’s Blog
Read more at www.successful-blog.com
As a small business, what is your goal behind having a blog in the first place? Do you use it as an opportunity to promote your company’s products and services? Is it more of a forum for you to get things off your chest or talk to other business owners? Or is it just something you felt you had to have given your competitors have one?
Like many small businesses that sport blogs, the initiative to grow the blog is often there, but the time doesn’t seem to be. What ends up happening is the blog takes a back seat to other more important matters, the content becomes stale, and next thing you know you have a blog whose hits become less and less.
Growth is Possible
If your company’s blog is collecting dust on the Internet, there are means by which to grow it and enhance your company’s online profile.
Among the initiatives to employ are:
- Who is my audience? – If you haven’t already answered this key question, you’d better. You can spin your wheels on your blog if you don’t know the answer to this question. In order to make your company blog stand out, you need a niche, something that sets you apart from the competition;
- Determine the time factor – It is important as a business owner with a company blog to determine how much time and effort will go into it. If you have a marketing person/team in place, the blog typically falls to them. If not, and you are the one primarily responsible for the blog, set time limits each week as to how much time will go into the blog;
- Good copy is imperative – Whether you are writing your company’s blog or a staff member is it is imperative that it offers good copy. Your content needs to be interesting, useful and timely. Make sure that the blog provides both current and potential customers with information that peaks their interest, is important to their lives and is up to date. Also, keep the blog postings relatively short, given that the time demands on readers are greater than ever;
- Just as important as good copy is, your blog needs a clean look. How many blogs have you visited where the design is cluttered, hard to follow and looks like a kindergartner laid it out? If you’re not a design guru, find someone who is so that the blog looks and acts professional;
- Reach out to others – Another key is linking to other blogs and commenting on other’s posts. When you scratch someone’s back, they will hopefully do the same in return;
- Respond to comments – In the event you are getting comments on your blog, by all means respond to them. This shows the reader that you are engaged in the conversation brought by others, along with getting you noticed more throughout the blogging community;
- Know your metrics – If you’re writing a daily or weekly blog but not checking the statistics, what’s the point? Company bloggers want to know how many people are clicking on the blog, what demographics do they represent, when are they clicking on the blog etc. Find the right analysis program to track your numbers and see what your traffic reports look like.
While these are just a few of the areas you should zero in on, remember, YOU control the look and sound of your company’s blog.
Don’t expect the company blog to itself bring in a ton of revenue, but look at it more as a component of your overall strategy to reach out and touch someone, in this case, customers.
Is social media right for your business? That’s the million dollar question. If you answer it right - your business will flourish. If you are clueless, your business may suffer.
Let’s get this straight. Marketing is marketing. The first thing is to THINK about what you want to accomplish. No business runs well without thought to market (demo) they are trying to reach and information (research) ABOUT that market.
The best way to determine if you need Social Media Market is to ASK more questions. Here are some thought-starters and suggestions. The more questions you can answer, the better off you’ll be before you jump off in the ever-widening pool of social media. It’s ok if you don’t know - just know what to ASK. www.socialmediaprsolutions.com
Read more at www.drewsmarketingminute.com
There are a lot of social media “experts” out there who will tell you that every single organization on the globe should be participating in social media. They will point to the cool Facebook fan pages they’ve made or the funny videos their clients have on YouTube and say “see, you can do this too.” And they’re right. You can.
The question is: Should you?
The real answer to that question is “it depends.” It depends on whether or not it can do one of two things.
- Save you money
- Make you money
If it isn’t going to accomplish one of those two goals, then you have no business engaging in it. Why?
Participating in social media is expensive. I know everyone talks about how cheap it is…but that’s because they are not thinking like a business owner. They’re thinking like someone who knows how to open a YouTube channel account or sign you up on Twitter. It’s true, creating an account on many of the tools and networks is free. But that’s where free ends.
To integrate social media into the rest of your marketing, which is an absolute if you want to consider it a business tool, you are going to have to expend some resources. Social media requires care and feeding. It requires brand integration. And it requires a well-conceived strategy. All of those are going to cost time and money.
Don’t misunderstand. I believe in the power and reach of social media and most of our agency’s clients are using social media tools as part of their overall marketing strategy, but I am not bullish on the belief du jour that everyone must do it and it’s free. Neither is true.
Here are twenty questions to ask yourself as you consider melding social media into your existing marketing strategy.
How will it save us money?
- Will it allow us to stop doing something we’re currently doing?
- Will it allow us to extend/expand something we are currently doing?
- Will it lower our customer acquisition costs?
- Will it connect us to existing customers in an efficient way?
- Will we be able to use social media to create a community specifically for our customers?
- Will it be easier for our customers to rave about us/create positive word of mouth?
- Do we look behind the times to our customers if we aren’t there?
- Will it introduce us to new potential customers at a low lead generation cost?
- Will it make us more findable (either within the social network or on search engines)?
- Will it impact our search engine results? (so we don’t have to buy results)
How will it make us money?
- Will it shorten our sales cycle?
- Will it create credibility/trust faster among prospects?
- Can we establish ourselves as the expert?
- Will it shorten customer service response time?
- Will it create a sense of accessibility for our customers?
- Will it increase trial of our product/service?
- Will it allow us to connect with more prospects at once?
- Will it increase repeat buying?
- Will it increase up sells?
- Can we collect/use testimonials?
If the answers to those questions indicates that social media would be a smart investment for your company to make, then you should be there. But now you will enter into it knowing that there’s a return for that investment.
Now we’re talking smart marketing, not marketing hype.
At last count, I think there are around 45 billion applications available for our smartphones and tablets. The first application that everyone probably downloaded was either Facebook, Angry Birds or Pandora (Facebook was mine and I even downloaded a virtual pet, which I…
The name of the game is “SEARCH.” Businesses not only have to be savvy in what their business does - but they have to know how to position their establishment online. When potential customers are looking for what your business offers, can they find your organization. SEO, keywords, Google maps and tons of other tools make your business more competitive.
This are explains some strategies. If your business would like one of sales reps to call you, contact us, we’d be happy to assess your current online marketing. www.socialmediaPRsolutions.com
Read more at searchengineland.com
When it comes to online and mobile advertising, many local businesses are still getting their feet wet. Even for those who have dove head-first into opportunities online or via mobile, the rules and solutions are changing so fast, it’s often difficult to keep your head above water and stay ahead of the competition.
As we head into fall, let’s catch up on the latest trends and developments in local search space – and what you should consider as you start to build out your business’s advertising strategy for 2012.
Take Charge Of Social Media
Social media is playing a significant role in how consumers find and interact with businesses on a national level, and we’re increasingly seeing that trend extend to local businesses as well.
Yet while the majority of local businesses are signing up on social networks, they’re not creating a presence on enough of them. And even when they do, their level of engagement is often too low to leave a meaningful impact with current and potential customers.
These insights are derived from the results of a recent study by Palore, which found that:
- While nearly six in 10 (58%) of local businesses have a presence on either Facebook or Twitter, only 22% have pages on both Facebook and Twitter.
- The percentage of small businesses with Facebook pages is nearly double the share of those using Twitter. While Facebook dominates the social media space – and one might expect a higher number of pages – Twitter is quickly attracting a very sizable audience as well, counting approximately 13% of U.S. adults among its user base.
- Approximately 38% of Facebook pages had fewer than 100 likes, while nearly 45% of Twitter pages had fewer than 100 followers. Only a handful of small businesses’ Facebook pages had more than 1,000 likes (16%) and more than 1,000 followers (19%).
So what do these results about social media mean for your local business?
- If you haven’t launched a presence on Facebook or Twitter, the time to get on board is now. There’s no longer a doubt about whether consumers are relying on social media for local products and services. In fact, the Local Search Association’s recent Local Media Tracking Study found that 12% of consumers said they leveraged a social network within the past week to find local business information. While this is a small figure next to other major sources, the role of social media will surely grow exponentially as consumers begin to integrate it more into their daily lives.
- Make social media a integral part of your local advertising strategy by dedicating the necessary personnel and resources to ensure that your channels are successful. If you’re not social media savvy, consider hiring or dedicating one of your existing staff members who knows social media to build and manage your accounts. Integrate your sites into all of your communications and launch social media-only contests, discounts and other incentives to get people to “like” or follow your pages.
- Create dynamic content related to your business – links to insightful articles, or top-line tips based your expertise – to provide value to your followers and demonstrate that you are a thought-leader in your field. And most of all – do whatever you can to engage users by asking them for their opinions and answering any questions they may have.
Source: Bloomberg/YouGov Survey
- Always look ahead to what’s next – and right now, it’s Google+. The new Google social network launched in June, and predictions already show that the site may grow to claim 22% of online U.S. adults in a year, passing Twitter and LinkedIn to become the second-most popular social network after Facebook, according to a new Bloomberg/YouGov survey.
Already, Google+ is growing faster than MySpace and Facebook did in their early days, with more than 13% of U.S. adults signed up and another 9% projected to be added over the next year. While Google+ doesn’t have local business-related capabilities just yet, they’re sure to be coming down the line. In the meantime, make sure you or those running social media at your business get signed up fast so when the opportunity comes, you’ll have existing familiarity with the site and be ready to build a presence there.
Prep For Big Mobile Changes
And while we’re talking about Google, last week, the company made major headlines by announcing that it is purchasing Motorola Mobility, effectively rocking the mobile landscape by turning the search engine giant into a full-fledged cell phone manufacturer.
Today, various manufacturers leverage Google’s Android platform – now used by 2 out of 5 smartphone users – and despite the new deal, Google has said it will keep the platform open. That said, analysts are speculating that some manufacturers may begin looking for new partners (such as Microsoft) now that Google has effectively turned into their competitor.
In addition, Research in Motion (RIM), which makes BlackBerry and has struggled to keep up with Apple and Google in recent years, is thought by some to be next in line to be purchased.
In light of these developments, what should your local business do to ensure it’s ready for what’s next in mobile?
- First of all, recognize the importance that mobile is already playing in how consumers find local business information. According to the Local Search Association’s “State of Local Search” study, 77.1 million mobile subscribers accessed local business content as of January 2011, up an astonishing 34% from a year ago. In fact, local content users now account for one-third (33%) of all mobile subscribers, up from 25% last year. Given this, mobile should play a growing role in your local advertising strategy in order to attract new customers and keep old ones moving forward.
- We can expect ongoing changes in the popularity of different mobile platforms with consumers – now more than ever after Google’s announcement. These trends are increasingly important to local businesses given the rising popularity of mobile applications, which are now used by 56% of local content users, up 34% since last year, according to the study.
- Make sure your local business is listed on as many online and mobile directories as possible – everywhere from CitySearch to Google Places to the Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs). These days, you never know where consumers will search for you, so it’s important to cast as wide net as possible. For many sites, the signup process only takes a few minutes.
While most online business directories and local sites have applications for each of the major mobile platforms, local businesses should make sure that they’re investing in those that are the most popular.
For example, an online directory may have a popular iPhone app, but a lagging Android app – so your business should compensate by finding another directory with a stronger Android presence to supplement your existing directory. On a related note, local businesses can now purchase in-app local ads on the AT&T Interactive mobile ad network, which opens another set of doors for consumer engagement.
Widen Online Exposure
This summer alone, popular search engines and local sites including Microsoft’s Bing and Foursquare continued the trend of teaming up with IYPs to help inform and expand their online directory databases.
These sites are increasingly depending on IYPs to provide comprehensive, accurate listings of local business information. Additionally, we’ve seen strengthening advertising distribution relationships with a variety of local search companies, which is broadening the exposure that local businesses receive.
How should local businesses leverage these growing partnerships in the online local search space?
- Look for opportunities to get the most exposure for your spend by placing your advertising dollars where you’re guaranteed the widest range of consumers, combining the “eyeballs” you’ll receive with those promised by your provider through its distribution channels.
- Recognize the ongoing value that listings in established and trusted online directories, as well as other types of media, give your business by ensuring that potential and current customers are provided with your accurate contact information.
- Take advantage of opportunities to integrate your online advertising efforts with a smaller set of companies, or even with just one. Today, many online offerings provide packaged services that meet a variety of needs while simplifying and streamlining the advertising process and saving money for your business.
It’s a good thing that the Detroit Free Press prints “good” news once in a while! This was an excellent front page story about Louis Green winning the “Eleanor Josaitis Unsung Hero Award” and his commitment to increasing diverse business across the state.
“The thing I like most is we get to make a connection with talented business owners and help them make their dream a reality,” said Louis Green.
Congrats to Mr. Louis Green, President/CEO of Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council.
Louis Green, president and CEO of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council, stands in a skywalk to the Fisher Building in Detroit. Colleagues praise his ability to stay focused and flexible. / PATRICIA BECK/Detroit Free Press
See this Amp at http://amplify.com/u/a1c1dn
Louis Green was one in a group of 12 children who lived in a south-central Los Angeles neighborhood during the rise of gang violence.
“Out of them, there are seven who are dead, two sentenced to life in jail, one serving 86 years, and I don’t know where one is,” Green said.
But Green, president and CEO of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council, said the tough circumstances of his childhood allowed him to excel.
“It drives me all the time,” he said.
That drive has helped him change lives by getting corporations throughout the state and minority business leaders to work together.
It’s also one of the reasons Green was selected to receive the Eleanor Josaitis Unsung Hero Award.
Off to Ohio
Green, 50, escaped the streets of Los Angeles when he accepted a full scholarship to Oberlin College in Ohio. There, he received bachelor’s degrees in political science and communications.
Green later attended the University of Michigan, where he received a master’s degree in public policy.
From there, Green worked in the state economic development office under then-Gov. Jim Blanchard and was hired as an economic adviser for then-Gov. John Engler.
Green has been a chief deputy director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, served as a national director of supplier diversity at NBC TV and was on New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s minority business team.
Six years ago, Green joined the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council. In the past four years, it has twice won the Council of the Year award.
The privately funded nonprofit is one of 37 Minority Supplier Development affiliates in the country. The organization offers programs and services for its corporate members and minority-owned business owners, as well as networking opportunities.
Each year, the 1,500-member organization facilitates more than $16 billion in purchases from minority businesses.
“The thing I like most is we get to make a connection with talented business owners and help them make their dream a reality,” Green said.
Focused and flexible
Mable Jones, public affairs director for AAA Michigan, said she nominated Green for the award because of his ability to stay focused and flexible, come up with strategic plans and advocate for the membership.
“Mr. Green works with our program, and I got to observe his behavior and I was very impressed,” said Jones, who also nominated him last year.
Jones said Green offers encouragement and often works quietly behind the scenes. “He knows how to work cooperatively,” she said.
Green acknowledged he believes in working behind the scenes to make things happen. He said he thinks the connections in his organization happen because he and his staff try to reach out to the members and corporations.
Helen Ford, director of supplier diversity with AAA Michigan, said Green’s ability and dedication to connecting members and corporations from the eastern and western parts of the state makes him essential to building economic growth.
Last year, the council was part of a group that put on a job fair for 5,000 people. And although that’s not what the organization typically does, Green said the event helped build more connections.
“I never believe in staying in my lane,” Green said.Read more at www.freep.com
Every business need to stay current on new marketing methods - especially in this economy. We are in the digital era and it’s important to engage fully and learn the industry if you want to be competitive.
We work with companies and organizations that rely on our expertise. And we deliver. That’s because we consume tons of information and exercise the tools recommended to see if they fit our clients needs.
Dont’ take our word though - every business needs to do some of their own reading and researching. This book is a good start: THE NOW REVOLUTION.
We always ask every corporation before we begin their campaign: Why do you want to engage in social media? Is it connected to business goals? If not, we dig deeper and find a solution that fits. www.socialmediaprsolutions.com
Read more at prblog.typepad.comShared by you
“The NOW Revolution” written by Jay Baer and Amber Naslund has received reviews from the likes of DuctTape Marketing’s John Jantsch, Chris Brogan and Seth Godin. It outlines how you can retool your organization to make real-time business work for you rather than against you.
“You Say You Want a Revolution…”
I got a copy of the book at SXSW earlier this year and really enjoyed it. It covers seven shifts that will help you make your company faster, smarter, and more social. The book includes a lot of bonus material (videos, pdfs, podcasts and links) accessible through Microsoft Tags located throughout the book.
Full case studies in each of the shifts, chronicle success stories from Moosejaw, ThinkGeek,Autodesk, Sweet Leaf Tea, Taylor Guitars, Boingo and Martell Homebuilders. The book also contains examples from 50 additional companies, most of them small and medium-sized businesses.
That’s a lot of content.
As their web site notes, ”the book presents seven shifts that businesses need to make to adapt to the speed, expectations, and immediacy of the social web. It’s the operational guide to building and organizing a socially-equipped business, from people to process.”
The shifts discussed in the book include:
- Engineer a New Bedrock: Without a consistent, powerful corporate culture you can’t win in real-time. — I’ll add that regardless of how we start working with clients on social media, we usually wind up focusing on internal operations before the launch.
- Find Talent You Can Trust: Moving fast requires empowering employees to make quick, smart decisions. That impacts HR and hiring. A lot. — This also gets back to culture. If departments like IT, HR, Customer Service, Legal and Marketing can’t talk to each other readily and easily, it’s going to be a tough road to journey down.
- Organize Your Armies: How social media and social participation are organized and managed internally. — Process is critical to ease any issues folks might have in getting started.
- Answer the New Telephone: The art, methods, and pay-offs of meaningful social listening. — When passionate customers interact directly with brands for the first time, it has a big impact.
- Emphasize Response-Ability: Responding to customer inquiries on the social Web, but also moving beyond that to creating your own stories and conversations. — If a business has identified its Social Brand, it ensures content created will resonate with customers and start conversation.
- Build a Fire Extinguisher: How to find, judge, and solve a social media crisis. — As much as things change, they seem to stay the same. Companies still do not prepare proactively for communication crisis…online or offline.
- Make a Calculator: The many ways you can measure social media, and how to select and utilize the most appropriate metrics for your company. — This usually starts with the initial planning process. Instead of focusing on what (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or another social platform), focus on why. Why are you engaging in social media? Is it connected to business goals? Success metrics up front make it much easier to measure success once the program is launched.
Though social media marketing is a great tool to expand your business and reach new customers quickly and very inexpensively - not every business has the capacity to include this in their current marketing mix.
If the business is confused about who to reach with social media - don’t start. If you think “one Tweet fit all” is appropriate - stop and learn some more about TARGET markets.
All things are digital - but not all things are equal. www.socialmediaprsolutions.com
Read more at www.ecommercegeek.com
When You Don’t Need Social Media Marketing
by geek on December 14, 2010
For an ecommerce geek, talking social media marketing with senior executives can be a traumatic experience. That’s because the upper echelons of corporate America are still dominated by digital immigrants whose discourse on web 2.0 matters is often unintelligible to those in the know. Maybe the CEO just saw Mark Zuckerberg interviewed and learned that Facebook is now the most popular website online with over 500 million users. Or that Groupon just snubbed a $6 billion dollar buyout from Google. 500 million and 6 billion are huge numbers, and huge numbers have a way of tickling the pecuniary glands of C-level mucky mucks Then, the confused questions start in: “What’s our Facebook strategy?” “How are we monetizing Groupon?” “What’s our ROI on Twitter?”
As ecommerce geeks, we need to be able to answer misguided questions such as these while squelching our knee-jerk reaction to embrace all things digital. The mere fact that a new trend has taken root online doesn’t mean geeks should rubber stamp it as a budget-worthy item. There are times when an ecommerce geek should actually oppose social media marketing while superiors who don’t understand the technology want to move full steam ahead. Examples of such times include:
- Your business doesn’t have capital dollars but your competition does. During the worst recession since the Great Depression, many businesses folded, others filed for bankruptcy protection, others focused on lowering marginal costs, and others slashed headcount. However, those with cash on hand invested in their products. They did this while less cash flush competitors cut capital expenditures in order to stay in the black. As the economy recovers, those businesses that made upgrades in their products will have the upper hand on those who didn’t. But what happens when yours is the business that had to cut capex dollars while your competition made major upgrades and opened new facilities? When your product offers a patently inferior value and you know it and your customers know it, it’s the wrong time to initiate an open online conversation with customers. As long as your business isn’t suffering a salvo of negative attacks already, it makes more sense to ride out the slow recovery until you can start investing again and have a good news story to share publicly.
- Your business has slashed operating dollars but your competition hasn’t. Similar to the example above, in some times, like recent times, a business has to cut its operating budget in order to survive a dearth of cash. If your business is cutting routine expenses or even payroll while a competitor has the free cash to continue normal operations, your product or service might suffer, particularly when compared to that of your competition.This situation is difficult to explain to a customer, but once you open the Pandora’s box of social media marketing, your business must respond to negative attacks and inconvenient questions and comments. And if you have an underfunded operating budget, you’ll get a disproportionate share of these. Sure, your business could embrace a radically transparent strategy and take these challenges head on in public. I can just see the Facebook post now: “Thanks for your feedback! We realize that our website service has been spotty today, but we are having problems with our infrastructure because our load balancer is intermittently failing and we haven’t paid to renew our service agreement. We hope that our only slightly better priced product justifies our crappy site experience, and promise to fix the problem when we have more money. Do you follow us on Twitter yet?” Better to hold off on social media marketing until your business won’t be entering the fray with a bullseye on its back.
- Your business’ customers aren’t interacting in the social space. Check out MetaMucil’s (a fiber supplement company’s) or Advance America’s (a payday loan company’s) Twitter feeds… MetaMucil quit tweeting and Advance America has 360 followers and follows 1,199. And this is no shock, as a typical customer of either brand over indexes in a demographic group that participates infrequently in social media. As an ecommerce geek, you need to be able to apply what you know about your target demographic to your online strategy. Sometimes that means you should reject those initiatives, like social media marketing, which won’t have sufficient influence on your target customer.
- You don’t have the resources to interact in the social space. Setting up a Facebook fan page or Twitter page requires very little resources. It doesn’t take long to create profiles and there are cheap custom templates that are easily available. But, what happens when customers start using social sites the way that they are designed to be used: as interaction platforms? You’ll need a resource to listen, evaluate, respond, and record/report. If you don’t have the resources to sustain your social media presence, then you could wind up doing more harm than good: you create an official venue for interaction and then don’t attend to it in a timely fashion when customers try to engage you. And, your inattentiveness is now on display for other potential customers to see. Don’t put the cart before the horse – first acquire resources, preferably in-house, to manage your social media presence, and then begin marketing.
- Your social media efforts will live and die by return on spend. Marketing through social media sites would ideally reside in the marketing or ecommerce department. But, with some exceptions, social media marketing typically won’t generate the kind of measurable return on spend that your company is accustomed to seeing from other types of digital marketing, like paid search advertising, email promotions, search engine optimization, and display advertising. On the other hand, an official presence on social media sites is something that could be relevant to many different departments, including customer support and HR. In the event that social media marketing would be evaluated as traditional online advertising is, a geek might be better off having the head of a department whose purse strings aren’t as closely tied to ROI fight for social media dollars. Once senior management buys into social media marketing as a part of, for example, an overall customer support program, then ecommerce can work with customer support to incorporate consistent online marketing best practices.
It’s important to note that if a business is currently in a position which makes asserting itself in the social space an imprudent strategy, it likely won’t be in that situation forever. If any of the above situations applies to your business, there are still non-resource-intensive measures that an ecommerce geek should take to ready her business for the time it is finally in a position to do social media the right way.
- Monitor. There are several free online reputation management tools available that let you know when and how your brand is being discussed online. Trackur does the trick for monitoring single terms and is relatively inexpensive for monitoring multiple terms. It also allows users to have custom feeds parsed for relevant mentions; this feature is ideal for niche businesses that need to track discussions on particular sites. And, it’s not just your brand that you should be monitoring. Use your downtime to see how competitors are marketing through social media channels and note what works and what doesn’t.
- Preempt. When your company is in a better position to deploy a proper social media strategy, you’ll want consistently-named profiles that are relevant to your brand. But profile squatters abound, which is why you need to be creating accounts now even if you aren’t yet ready to use them. Knowem is a terrific service that acquires profiles on a company’s behalf on websites that offer vanity urls/usernames. Be sure to periodically log in to these accounts, otherwise the sites where Knowem created your profile may cancel your account, seeing that there is no activity.
- Prepare. Even when your business shouldn’t be engaging in social media marketing, be careful how you frame the case against it; otherwise, it’s going to be a tough sell when it’s time to get into the game. If you are currently eschewing social media marketing, make sure senior management understands why. Again, your business likely won’t be in its present situation forever, so frame your social media strategy as one that comprises multiple phases. Explain that the current phase of non-participation is temporary and delineate what the next phases will look like. If you are holding back because your business or a product line is underfunded, then incorporate anticipated resumption of capex or opex funding as dependencies into your plan. The goal here is to ensure that no one is surprised when you start to request a budget for social media marketing.
Ecommerce geeks eat, sleep, and breathe all things web. So, when the CEO gets a wild hair and wants to jump into social media marketing with both feet, it’s tempting for an ecommerce geek to do just that. But, just because social is all the buzz doesn’t mean that marketing on social media venues is the right move right now for every business. Knowing what time is the right time to embrace social media marketing as part of a comprehensive marketing plan is what distinguishes an ecommerce geek from her digital immigrant colleagues.
Cheryl L. Bunkley, a Lifestyle & Brand Marketing Consultant, recently had a roundtable discussion about social media PR with some Detroit professionals. I was glad to be part. Hear (or read) the discussion below. YOUR Comments welcome!
Read more at the-creative-collection-detroit-edition.onsugar.com
Social Media Roundtable Discussion
Pam Perry Melih Oztalay Dwight Zahringer Tom Nixon
Q. Based on your experience, do most clients prefer to outsource their social media services or, do they prefer to coordinate their social media needs in-house?
PP: Most clients and their staffs are super busy. That’s why they reach out to us to be their “social media pr solution.” They have one person to be our point person on staff but basically it’s up to our team to do all of their SMM services. This includes creating the strategy and publishing the content to growing their email database and keeping it current.
DZ: We are seeing a pattern, similar to a few years ago with “website maintenance” where a company wants to elect an employee to help or partake in the management of social media. While the idea is good it is almost always a failure and they take it to outsource and work with a liaison internally at the company.
MO: We find that the results are mixed and size of business does not seem to make a difference.
For businesses that are early adopters of Internet technologies and are committed to a “Internet team”, will focus on managing social media internally with only a request for consultation to review, improve or enhance their efforts.
Businesses that are not as web savvy will outsource their social media and the process requires close communications with the client to know what activities are taking place to insure the social media efforts are effective.
In either case, if a business seeks consultation or outsourcing, a professional web marketing agency can assist with social media that goes beyond Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Not only is there cross communication in social media that can include blogging and creating an industry community, but Google’s recent Google+ with the Google 1+ button will directly affect what can effectively be called “social media search”. Another way of viewing this is “Facebook for Business” in which your Google community will affect search engine rankings of websites in search results.
TN: Most businesses at this point are still exploring social media. Most read that they need to dive in head first, so they go ahead and jump. They prefer to start in-house…but over time, they realize that something’s not clicking, and they aren’t getting the results they anticipated when reading that exciting article in Time or Newsweek. Then comes fatigue. What many soon realize is that they didn’t have the in-house resources to pull off what amounts to a very significant undertaking. They lack the time and personnel to remain actively engaged on social networks (so they ask someone to wear a new hat), and they lack the experience and strategic oversight to set goals, establish metrics and monitor success relative to social. At that point, that’s when businesses look to outsource.
* * *
Q. Do you consider having a “social media presence” to be an absolute must for a company to be successful in today’s business climate?
PP: Yes and clients realize this too. The game has changed and smart business owners and corporations are changing with the times by implementing new, targeted and cost effective marketing methods via the internet. It’s all about search – and they aim to be found online. This is survival of the fittest.
DZ: It is not a “Must” but in order to be competitive you need to participate. Even more so now with the emergence of Google Plus and +1. Social activity is now a consideration in the ranking algorithm for a company, their products and services. If you are not at a minimum listening and responding when and where necessary you are missing many opportunities and not in the “norm”. Like having a working website that will harvest leads, calls and sales you need to do the same with social media. If not you’ll jump on after you hear of a great case study from your competitor.
MO: The short answer is “Yes”. I think that the problem with social media for business is that businesses do not understand how to best use it or how to use it most efficiently. Many businesses see social media as a waste of time, when in fact it allows for the most efficient communication and relationship marketing through many people very easily.
Additionally, many businesses see this as a B2C marketing tool and not so much as a B2B marketing tool. What the B2B world doesn’t necessarily realize “yet”, is that staff at other businesses are between 20 – 40 years of age and they all grew up with the Internet. Of course the first thing this B2B age range staff does is use the web to seek out other businesses, products, services and do so not only through search, but social media.
If we add the new Google+ social media tool into the mix, we will find that businesses will migrate towards Google+ much more readily as it will have an impact on their website ranking position and what others in their networked community will see. By default, businesses will be more likely to tap into social media whether they want to or not.
TN: Like any consultant’s favorite answer, is “it depends.” Again, businesses need to guard their enthusiasm when reading about the latest shiny object in the news or online—the latest shiny object being the collective “social media.” For most companies, there is an appropriate social strategy to explore, identify and define. But you shouldn’t assume it to be so. Our advice to companies is not to jump on Facebook because everyone is doing it. Do the work upfront to truly define your audiences, examine and communicate your overall business strategy, and from there define your marketing strategy, from which will flow your social strategy. If your target audience is 60+ men, it’s likely that Facebook has no place in your social, marketing or business strategies. Ditto Twitter. LinkedIn is a maybe. Think first; act later…you can’t go wrong taking that approach.