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Posts Tagged ‘Social network’

TRUST, A Social Media Missing Link!?

Having a Facebook Page WILL NOT bring instant sales.

Twitter WILL NOT triple your Web traffic overnight.

A press release WILL NOT get journalists banging down your door.

Harsh truths, I know, but ones that need to be heard. The problem with small businesses and marketing is they want instant coffee. They want to see a spike in sales or Web traffic instantly, and that simply doesn’t happen unless you’re the Old Spice guy. Freshly showered men aside, all your marketing efforts should lead to one thing:  T-R-U-S-T.

Why Trust Is Important

Is trust necessary? Not really. You could sell a thousand widgets to a thousand people and never see them again. Or you could work to build trust with these customers, and rely on them to become your brand evangelists, to let them tell others how great you are because you’re a trustworthy company. Let them blog, tweet and share their love on Facebook.

Trust keeps customers coming back. If what you sell costs a lot of money, it gives them the confidence to drop the $100, $1,000 or $10,000 on your product or service.

How to Build Trust

Every component of marketing is about trust-building, if done properly.

  • Social Media. Face it: You probably haven’t bought much from brands on Twitter just because they’re there. If a brand you’re following is having a promotion, you might click the link and buy. But that’s promotion. Not marketing. So your role in social media is to use it as a channel to build trust. Create conversations, whether they’re related to your industry or not. Share relevant links, even if they’re not from your own blog. Interact. Give people a reason to seek your brand out on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Press Releases. Sometimes trust is just about being there consistently. Putting out a press release each month can go a long way to say, “Hey! We’re still here doing awesome things.” And while journalists may not be clamoring to publish your news, searching for keywords that lead them to one press release after another from your brand certainly shows that you’re consistent. And consistency is one of the cornerstones of a healthy relationship, is it not?
  • Blogger Relations. If you’re smart enough to be working with bloggers to spread the word about your products or services, kudos. But how you work with them can have just as much impact on your brand as what they think of the product. First off, pay your bloggers. Their time is as valuable as yours. But be there for them too. Make sure they know you’re partners in the blogger outreach campaign you’re working on, and make sure to address any questions or concerns they have before they post. If you build that trust, they’ll go beyond the call of duty for the campaign and talk about your brand on all the social channels, resulting in bonus play for you.

Now WHAT!?

If I’ve put you into a tailspin, don’t worry. Keep doing what you’re doing in marketing, but shift your thinking.  Don’t focus on how many (or few) website visitors that last Facebook contest netted. Instead look at how you built the trust of hundreds of loyal fans. If they are engaged in what you’re doing, you’re successfully building that trust. Keep it up, and those relationships will come to fruition.

Mind Yo Manners on Facebook!

Alright you have joined facebook for business purposes and are wondering why you are not getting instant results. Well first thing you have to realize it will take time to build it up. Second is that there is definitely a facebook business etiquette that you should follow. Why is this you are thinking, let me explain it for you.

Facebook is a social community online and people go on there to communicate with others and build relationships. This sure is a perfect place to do business if you use the right etiquette when approaching others. No matter where you are from in the world the basics are the same.

Basic facebook business etiquette that everyone doing business on there should know.

  1. Someones personal profile or page is their own personal space. Now in real life you would not go up to someone and say ‘I’m a car sales man, buy this car. Here is my card ring me as soon as you can so we can get it all settled.’ I am sure you would not be interested one bit in what they have to offer. Facebook is the same as real life when it comes to approaching people. When you friend someone or they friend you means they are giving you the okay to form a relationship with them. If you were to go and put your business link on there wall or post about a great deal you have on there, you are not only being disrespectful to them you are invading their personal space.
  2. Sending out friend requests. When sending out friend requests it is polite to send a personal message with it. A personal message is not Hi my name is …. then a business link. This is a sure way to have your friend request ignored. You need to treat people as you would someone you meet for the first time. A hello and the reason why you are wanting the friendship is a good way to start. This does not mean Hi I want to add you so your can join my business or buy my product. You need to have something in common with the person so you have a reason to connect.
  3. Sending messages. To be in business for yourself you have to have passion, this does not mean you go spamming peoples inboxes because you believe in your product or service. People will either stop reading your mail or will delete you. Remember it is a social network with real people.
  4. Pages are for business. This is one people seem to forget regularly. Sure you want to get your business out there but to only post business on your personal profile not only is boring for those who read it but is not excepted by facebook. A personal profile is a place to share who you are and what you enjoy or have learned. A page is a place to share your business as everyone who has decided to be on your page is happy to read about your business and receive mail about it. Together we can all make facebook a great place for business and pleasure if we follow this basic facebook business etiquette. Happy facebooking to all you business owners.

Together we can all make facebook a great place for business and pleasure if we follow this basic facebook business etiquette. Happy facebooking to all you business owners.

Think You Are LinkedIn? Think Again!

It’s no secret that social networks have quickly become one of the most utilized spaces online to learn about new businesses and retrieve company information.  Many marketing experts would agree that a company’s presence on Facebook is almost as important as maintaining a website.  Networking through Facebook and Twitter gets the word out about products and services at a much faster pace than website traffic alone.  In addition, these social networks are accountable for a high percentage of traffic to start-up websites that may never see the light of day otherwise.

With a high percentage of businesses utilizing Twitter and Facebook to grow their customer-base, it may seem a bit odd that LinkedIn (the social network for business networking) has yet to develop a highly effective space for obtaining business information and reviewing companies at a broader level.  LinkedIn started rolling out new features in this department as of late 2010.  However, it seems that many companies, especially B2B products and services, are still unaware of this new marketing opportunity.  Here’s the scoop on business marketing through LinkedIn, then and now.

Then: Business Profile

1. The Face Behind The Brand: Start a personal profile on LinkedIn if you haven’t already: www.linkedin.com

2. Gain Exposure: Claim your business page and fill out the pertinent information. Be sure to use your business email since this is how LinkedIn determines administrative access to edit your page later.

3. Get Referrals: Recommend that your employees start profiles if they haven’t already.  We all love referrals.

Now: Products & Services

The products & services tab is one of the most important new features for LinkedIn Business Marketing.

  • Company Summary – Add a short summary about your company.
  • Slideshow – Add 3 large slides of photos, text, graphics
  • YouTube video – Add a video that represents your business.
  • Products/Services – Add an individual list of products and service offerings.
  • Reviews – Request reviews. LinkedIn community members now have the ability to review a businesses products and services.  Businesses are able to request a review from a customer/client who maintains a LinkedIn account.

Next: Promote

Much like any other website, it’s best to look for ways to promote your page on the outside.  This will encourage new visitors to visit your page, review your products/services and follow your company updates. Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling.

  • Add a LinkedIn button to your website/blog alongside your Twitter and Facebook buttons.
  • Send out an email to current customers and clients requesting recommendations with a link to your new page.
  • Update your personal LinkedIn status with “just redesigned our LinkedIn page, check it out: [link to your company’s LinkedIn page]”
  • Add LinkedIn’s “Recommend” button to your website.  Instructions can be found here.

Utilizing LinkedIn for Business is a no-brainer, especially for B2B companies.  Recommendations from trusted friends, family and peers is arguably the best marketing strategy out there.  LinkedIn’s new products/services review feature enables word-of-mouth communication for the masses.

 

Don’t Fool Yourself!

Almost every day, I hear a business owner talking about how they resist or refuse to have a presence on Facebook, Twitter or other popular social media platforms.

And almost everyone of them suggests that social media is just a fad that will pass.

They are in good company.

Movie producer Darryl Zanuck predicted in 1946 that people would get tired of watching a television every night. Variety magazine predicted the death of rock and roll by June, 1955. Time magazine wrote off e-commerce in 1966, decades before it existed.

If you really think social media is not an important part of basic marketing today, you are fooling yourself.

There are tons of resources that will show you how to effectively use social media marketing, no matter what industry you are in. Start learning now. Find out what works and what doesn’t. And, most of all, establish at least a presence on all the popular platforms.

If you don’t have the time to learn it yourself, hire someone to fast-track your learning or handle it for you.

One word of caution: as with anything new, there are suddenly tons of so-called “gurus” out there. Make sure you at least ask around and try to identify the real experts from the charlatans before you spend any money,

Myths About Social Media That Need To Be Put To Rest

Social media gets a lot of attention these days. A lot of people make the choice to use social media for their business thinking that it’s going to bring in a lot of views, customers, subscribers whatever it is that you may want to achieve. The only way that will happen is if you social media the right way. Unfortunately, too many people are disappointed by the results of their social media efforts because they were misled by others to believe in the myths. So once and for all I want to put to rest some of the misguided information that is out there about social media.

Here are a few myths that I think need to be put to rest:

Myth #1 It’s A Great Place To Broadcast

John Maxwell said “People don’t care what you know until they know you care.”  This quote definitely rings true in social media. Everyone wants to be heard and many people are constantly fighting to shout the loudest, but none of that matters because once again it comes back to the listening factor. How do you expect people to care about what you’re saying, if to begin with, you never cared about them? Instead of using social media as a place to broadcast your message about how great your company is and how you have the best product out there a better approach would be to have conversations with people who have the same interest as you, people who you can help and of course you must be willing to provide something of value. That is what attracts people and using this strategy will get you a lot further than trying to be the person who shouts the loudest.

Myth #2 Automation Tools Work

Using an automated tool is not the key to success with social media. Instead automated tools can actually hamper your ability to achieve your goals in social media. The best part about using a social media platform is being able to connect with real people on the other end.  If you choose to use an automated tool to automatically follow people, send them messages or send out the same generic response to everyone, many will find that as very unfavorable and as a result will choose to ignore you because obviously you are not there to listen and only care about your message. Social media is more about having real authentic communication with others and helping people without asking for their business in return.

Myth #3 It’s All About The Numbers

You don’t have to have thousands upon thousands of people following you on the social media platform you choose to have success. It’s more about the engagement that you have with those individuals that will help you reach your goals faster than trying to play the numbers game. You see a lot of people on social media who have 5,000 or 10,000 plus followers and likes, but nobody is paying attention to them. Sure at first this might seem like the way to go because it looks impressive to have that many followers or likes, but it’s more impressive to actually see the amount of people who are actually engaging with you on the social media platforms and seeing the number of people who have actually taken an interest in what you’re saying that matters the most.

Myth #4 Using Social Media When I Have Time Works

Being involved in social media takes time. It cannot be used as something you do when you have free time on your hands. Instead you need to devote time to social media every day or a certain amount of time every week. Simply put, if you do not make the effort to be on that social media platform people will not want to follow you, like you or connect with you. Consistency on the web is always a key to success.

Myth #5 It’s Easy, All I Need Is An Account

Nothing just magically happens, but for some reason a lot of people think that truly happens on the web. That simply all that is needed is to have an account and magically you’ll be rolling in the dough, but that is not so. Having an account is simply the first step. Next you need to identify the goals that you want to achieve with a timeframe in place in which you want to achieve them and identify a few tactics to help you reach those goals in the end.

Myth #6 I Have To Use One Of The Bigger Social Media Websites

No you don’t have to be on Twitter, you don’t have to be on Facebook and you don’t have to be on LinkedIn. However, this is what many people assume when they look to join a social media website. What would be better is to pick the social media website that best fits your strengths. So if you don’t buy into the whole microblogging, kind of texting platform that Twitter has you don’t have to do it. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be successful simply because you didn’t choose to use one of the bigger social medias that are out there. Maybe instead you’re more of a video person and you decide to use Vimeo or Ustream because it plays more of your strengths, than that’s where you need to be. It will benefit you more in the long run because you will be better at it since it is one of your strengths and as a result you’ll be more motivated to be involved there as well.

Stress Relief from the Social Media World!

Have you found yourself stressed out by maintaining your personal or small business Facebook or Twitter accounts? If so, you’re not alone. Many of the active social media users I know have gone through that feeling at one time.

This is actually a normal feeling. Anthropologist Amber Case talks about this during her presentation at a TedX event in Washington, DC. She compares our collective online profiles to having a “second self”:

“Whether you like it or not, you’re starting to show up online, and people are interacting with your second self when you’re not there. And so you have to be careful about leaving your front line open, which is basically your Facebook wall, so that people don’t write on it in the middle of the night — because it’s very much the equivalent. And suddenly we have to start to maintain our second self. You have to present yourself in digital life in a similar way that you would in your analog life. So, in the same way that you wake up, take a shower and get dressed, you have to learn to do that for your digital self. And the problem is that a lot of people now… have to go through two adolescencies. They have to go through their primary one, that’s already awkward, and then they go through their second self’s adolescence. And that’s even more awkward because there’s an actual history of what they’ve gone through online. And anybody coming in new to technology, is an adolescent online right now. And so it’s very awkward, and it’s very difficult for them to do those things.”

Fortunately, there are things that you can do to help you get this “second self” under control so that it causes you less anxiety:

1.       Use lists – Just like in real life, you likely have some friends in social media that you interact with more than others. Both Twitter and Facebook will allow you to create lists that will help you manage people. I have special lists for different segments of my audience, as well as for those who are close to me.

2.       Hide content – Once you have a sizeable following on Facebook, your newsfeed can get overwhelming. Many people don’t realize that you can hide games or even certain people on their Facebook wall to cut through the noise. Here’s how.

3.       Set limits – One thing that helps some people tremendously is setting specific periods of time to tend to social media interactions. Others have more luck when they set specific times to NOT interact on social media. You can try each approach to see what works best for you.

4.       Know you don’t have to do it all – Some people feel like they need to look at every status update or tweet their friends and followers post. This is unrealistic. Just as you don’t have time to hear what everyone has to say all the time in your regular life, you can’t possibly follow what everyone has to say online. Don’t feel guilty if you can’t keep up with everything,

5.       Ask for help – Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from your social media savvy friends.

Social Media Resolutions to REALLY Consider

Below are eight resolutions I developed with the help of some of my social media friends. They’re more focused on the professional than the personal. Some are things to start doing; others are things to stop doing. See if you agree.

I will be original. Plagiarism has always been a crime, but the Internet has made it much easier to commit. The ease and speed with which we can share things through social media makes it even
more tempting. If you like what other people say, give them their due for having said it first.

I will not “auto” anything. Don’t auto-follow. Don’t auto-DM. Don’t auto-tweet. Don’t do anything that shortcuts the already less-than-personal nature of social media. Give the same consideration to social media you would to a live conversation among friends and peers. Stimulating conversation occurs when people are listening and contributing to the topic of the moment. Nobody likes being on the receiving end of auto-generated messages; why would we think it’s O.K. to send them?

I will unfollow. There is a sense of “blowback” in social media, as people dial back the search for “more” and realize what we’ve known all along—that value comes from genuine relationships, and that a person in your network whom you barely know and never speak to is not a relationship. In that spirit, don’t be afraid to trim back the list of people you follow. Focus more on quality, not quantity, and concentrate on content, not numbers.

I will integrate. Stress to your clients the importance of social media as a crucial tool in an overall communications strategy. Social media constitute neither a fad nor a sidelight. In the coming year we all should look for more ways to integrate social media into our big-picture marketing plans. Many good things can come from exploring the links between offline and online media, social media included. If you respect each tool and use it appropriately in your overall marketing mix (rather than seeing it as another blunt instrument with which to bludgeon someone into a sale—see below), you’ll be a lot happier. And so will your followers.

I will not be a narcissist. Remember the feeling you got back in the day when you heard those three magic words, “You’ve got mail”? It was so exciting to think that somebody cared enough to reach out, even if it did turn out to be a perfunctory notification from your ISP. We all like getting attention, but fishing for it is never a good idea. People who post and tweet incessantly about themselves are no different than those who do so face-to-face—annoying.  Corporations can be the worst offenders in this arena, viewing social media as just another platform on which to make a pitch.  That’s as bad an idea online as it is offline (see The Cocktail Party Test for Advertising).

I will not be a boor. Peering through a computer monitor can be a bit like sitting behind a two-way mirror at a focus group, tempting you to draw conclusions and make wisecracks about people in ways that you never would face-to-face. Being a boor is never a good idea, and the network multiplies the effect of boorish behavior.  The same goes for profanity. Post and tweet only what you would say to someone’s face in polite company. If you can’t do that, zip it.

I will continue to explore. This may seem obvious to social media veterans, but we all have our limits.  You, like me, may have settled into a comfort zone with a handful of social media tools, but we all should resolve to expand. We should listen more than we tweet and connect more with those who think differently.

I will not LOL. Or ROTFL, provide TMI, or say OMG or JK. I know acronyms like these are meant to serve as shorthand to save precious character space, but a cliché is a cliché.  And in the social media world, clichés get tired fast.  Say something original.