Posts Tagged ‘social media marketing’

Worst Social Media Marketer of The Year Award

Meet Jim. He works for Badhire Pharmaceuticals.

Full disclosure upfront: Jim is a figment of my imagination. He is also a near perfect example of what not to do as a social media marketer. Perhaps you’ve met Jim. He may even be sitting a few cubicles down from you. He is your company’s Chief Social Media Ninja Guru Super Hero Rock Star.

Jim believes that he has just won an award for his stellar social media marketing prowess (you’re in on the joke) and has been asked to talk about social media best practices for the benefit of his audience —that’s you!

Here is an extract from his speech:

“The best way to deal with negative Facebook and Twitter comments is to delete the ones you catch as soon as possible. If your schedule is too busy to monitor social media feedback, just ignoring criticisms will suffice. Ignorance is bliss, so deny any mistakes your company makes. Use malicious software to access and exploit private information. Another great way to invade customer’s privacy is via non-targeted spam marketing. If a customer tries to interact with you, anger is an appropriate response. If a customer keeps nagging you, dropping the F-bomb should get your point across. The recipe for getting on the first page of Google is simple: use hidden text or links, cross-link sites to inflate its perceived value, use keyword stuffing, excessive outbound links and duplicate content. Pretend to be a customer and endorse your own products and services to effectively build brand loyalty. Some of you are numbers people, so lets talk about the best way to allocate your budget: 50% should be spent on buying Facebook fans and the remaining 50% on getting false testimonials, and remember talk is cheap, so over promise and under deliver.”

—Jim Blackhat, Chief Social Media Ninja Guru Super Hero Rock Star

Photo credit: Hubspot

Help Jim out by suggesting some additional social media marketing activities.

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Social Media Engagement Done Right

Social Media Engagement - logo

At the start of the year, the Digital Buzz blog published the results of a survey looking at social media penetration and engagement. I found the following statistics to be incredibly relevant to the average business professional…

Facebook

  • 51 percent of people who follow a brand on Facebook currently buy from that brand
  • 41 percent of Facebook users login every single day
  • 40 percent of all Facebook users follow at least one brand
  • 30 percent of Facebook users login via mobile device
  • 12 percent update their status on a daily basis

So what we see here is that less than half of Facebook users are engaging with brands at all. Perhaps the incentives to “follow” a brand need to be juicier. The average Facebook user is thinking, “Life is complicated! Why would I want to add another voice into the mix? Won’t it be like spam in my Facebook feed?” As a business owner, you need to consort with objective third party consultants to find out what holds value for current and prospective customers.

For example, YOU may think it’s “totally cool OMG!!!!!!” that your company is holding a sale on cargo shorts this weekend. On the other hand, your customers might be thinking, “So what? They have sales like that all the time.” Or you may be excited to announce that the brand has a new marketing manager. Ho hum, who cares? You need to find, not only topics that people will care about, but ways to elicit a response and show that your fan page is a lively community where people can interact with the brand. In other words: social media is a soft-sell. You can’t overdo it with self-aggrandizing or shameless promotion or people won’t want anything to do with you.

The other day, I saw a feed from the History Channel Facebook page that posted three compelling historic photos and posed the question, “Which decade had the biggest impact on American history?” Not surprisingly, this post was “liked” by over 5,000 people and solicited more than 400 comments. I was awestruck by their engagement, but when I perused the rest of the site, I could see why they had so many passionate fans. Their Facebook page was full of relevant information – not just promoting History Channel DVDs or shows, but promoting historical facts and stories. They had themed posts on “This Day In History,” “History in the Headlines,” “History Quizzes” and random historical facts with links to more information. Perhaps we can all learn something from the History Channel page about engagement.

Courtesy of guest blogger Jennfusion

Who Invented the Social Media Guru?

Do you call yourself a social media ninja, guru or rockstar? Are you looking to hire a social media… well, fill in the blank with another grandiose title or ill-suited fictional character of choice. Are self-proclaimed titles such as these professional? No. You usually don’t hear about human resource mavericks or accountant kings.

What might seem harmless enough can be fertile grounds for losing credibility in the social media scene. Listen up, professionals are mocking you. Don’t believe me. Just search for “Social Media Guru” in YouTube and you will find videos such as I’m a Social Media Guru  and The Social Media Guru.

Where does that leave you? You could call yourself a social media expert; however, I caution you to use this title sparingly. Firstly, a negative association exists with this title. The second and third points to my argument are well articulated by Christopher Penn, professor of social media marketing, by stating that what entails a social media expert is not agreed upon and social media has not been around long enough to assert such a label. Read the editorial note to access a great article about who should be considered a social media expert. Thank you Stan!!

Terms such as social media marketer and community manager have entered the stage, perhaps to legitimize the position and tone down larger than life job titles; however, these titles mean different things to different people, i.e., day-to-day tasks versus overall strategic decisions.

Many social media gurus have thrown out big words such as engagement and transparency and without sufficient experience and knowledge have left companies bitter because they were once caught up in the fairytale about a social media utopia, where zero investments could result in a flood of revenue only to wake up sober and dehydrated, left licking their wounds as they realize effective social media activities are not free and wonder what they have accomplished through their social media efforts.

Here’s my stance. Social media doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There are certain basic activities such as a company blog that all employees can participate in with a day’s worth of training and a solid policy / procedures manual. The heavy lifting in social media should be left to marketers that use traditional marketing methods where appropriate in addition to online activities or at the very least have a social media person that works in tandem with the marketing department. Social media is only one part of a fully-integrated marketing communications strategy. When this is done incorrectly, social media efforts can actually hurt your brand / company. For example, offline media and online media can result in different brand associations and confuse consumers.

An angry Mark Shaeffer wrote How to save your butt when the social media bubble bursts. Sift through the emotionally charged language to uncover a gem of an argument, that social media needs to be measured to rationalize its existence, Marketing 101. This is becoming increasingly important as companies invest more of their time and other resources towards social media activities. There are a wide range of tools that measure the effectiveness of social media efforts. For example, perhaps you are using social media to improve brand awareness. A survey can be conducted before and after the campaign to measure its level of success. You might find Social Mention useful in tracking customer sentiment and the list goes on and on.

As a side note, the world of social media is in a constant state of flux, so regardless of what people in social media call themselves, at a bare minimum they should follow Mashable, TechCrunch and Social Media Examiner to maximize the potential of their efforts.

In summary, don’t embarass yourself and hurt your credibility by calling yourself a social media rock star. Recognize that companies are disenfranchised because of unrealistic expectations and employees that do not provide value to their company through their social media efforts. So now what? Social media efforts must be measured to rationalize their existence. Social media marketing is one piece of a fully-integrated marketing communications strategy. Let marketers that have experience in the social media sphere do the heavy lifting. Regardless of what you call yourself, you need to constantly be learning and experimenting.

Editor’s note: the questions remains, how do you spot someone is credible in social media and can help your company. Stan does a  good job of it here: http://pushingsocial.com/how-to-spot-a-social-media-expert. Enjoy!

What is your option about how terms such as social media guru has come about? Who should be responsible for social media activities?

Photo credit: Agent-X-Comics

Improve Reader Engagement with Social Media

social media engagement ring

Lets dive right in, shell we? Today, the buzzword engagement has received a great deal of attention, yet many people are not sure what they need to do to achieve this. This is where TodayPulse helps company’s achieve this beneficial investment in a time-effective manner.

1. What social networking sites are most likely to create an ongoing dialogue with customers?

I think Twitter works well for ongoing dialogue because it is the one that is the most like a real conversation. It’s real-time updating allows it to function like a chat with many additional social benefits. Facebook just doesn’t encourage this in my opinion. LinkedIn is better, but tends to function more like email, which is slow and not as good at conversation.

2. What are some hard-and-fast rules or best practices that encourage followers to interact with a company’s brand?
Be as human as possible. Companies tend to talk like companies – as if everything is coming directly from the PR department. Everything online is conversation. That is why we call them social networks. Businesses are not really social by nature, and it takes some work to understand what that means. One tip is to avoid a logo’d account whenever possible. People like to talk to humans, so be human. Small businesses do this well.

Another thing is to make sure that you are constantly reaching out. You can’t wait for the conversation to come to you. You have to put yourself into the middle of it. Twitter makes this easy and provides a low barrier to entry. Start talking to those followers rather than blasting them with sales messages. It will change everything.

3. Do the same rules applying enhancing customer engagement with Facebook fans?
The same basic principles apply, but it is a different world. Above all, you need to be providing you customers with valuable content on all platforms. This is especially important on Facebook where you can’t get away with what you can on Twitter. Facebook audiences are more fickle, but can have a great payoff when leveraged right.

4. What specific tools can be used to increase online costumers engagement?
Well, I would recommend Todaypulse  of course. Todaypulse is a social media marketing inbox that was built to help businesses and marketing teams be better at conversation and engagement. Not only does it allow you to be part of the conversation, it helps you find new ones that are related to your industry. It combines several powerful engagement tools like Twitter and Facebook search, blog alerts, news alerts and can even connects businesses directly with consumer questions on Q&A sites. It was really built to help generate conversation. Todaypulse users regularly find that they are more engaged and more active in social media when using Todaypulse.

About Garrett Moon: Garrett is the lead blogger and designer at Todaymade, a web design and social marketing company. He is also the author of the free Facebook Marketing for Business course and the co-creator of Todaypulse, a social media marketing inbox for social pros and business owners. Garrett co-host’s the Better at Marketing Podcast, an interview style show for social media leaders and online marketing game changers.

Little Things Important to Social Media

Courtesy of my accomplished guest blogger Scott Spjut

Turns out, it’s all little things. Social media isn’t really about blitzes or viral marketing or big online campaigns, at least not for your average small business owner or blog. As much as we would love to have a huge marketing department to invest money and time into some elaborate, interactive social media campaign, it is not beneficial for all companies.

Instead, social media is about a consistent, dedicated approach. It’s about doing the little things, day in and day out, to provide value to your past, present, and potential customers and readers. While this approach may take a while and won’t usually bring with it huge spikes in traffic, it’s how you build a strong foundation and social loyalty.

People who see value in what you’re adding to the conversation will Like, follow, retweet, and otherwise share what you’re doing – and they are likely to do it consistently. Once they realize the contribution you’re making to their lives, they will not unlike, unfollow, or abandon you.

So with Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks, it’s important to do a little bit each and every day – and at different times each day (since you’ll hopefully have followers from around the world). It may be something related to your industry, and it may not be. It may be self-promotional and it may be about someone else. (Remember that anything too self-promotional or spammy is going to lose more people than it gains.) Regardless of what you’re presenting to your network, it should be something they can take value from.

The most popular websites on the Internet have built up a huge following by consistently providing what their readers want. The most successful online businesses have built up their brand by doing the little things each and every day. The most effective companies interact with the individual – by providing one-on-one customer service or answering each question in a timely manner – and don’t just focus on the masses.

Social media is about the little things. It may just take a few minutes each day to respond to a few posts or a few tweets, but it can make a huge difference to your followers, friends, and network.

Your goals don’t have to be small, but you need to do the little things in order to reach them.

Scott Spjut is a writer and editor who has been featured in various magazines, newspapers and websites – including Newsweek, the Washington Post, CBS News and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Scott currently works with Professional Marketing International helping people change their lives.

Photo credit: Maria Reyes-McDavis

Top 10 Things You Can Buy For $5

Image representing Fiverr as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Have you heard of a website called Fiverr? It provides a meeting place for people to buy and sell their products and services (mostly services) for – your guessed it – five bucks. You can select categories from social marketing and business to fun and bizarre. A little caveat, not all services are entirely ethical, there are however some real jems.

Allow me to entertain you with an overview of some of the more colourful, perhaps less than savoury gigs. Need to breakup with your girlfriend / boyfriend? You can have someone else do it for you for $5. Want to meet someone in prison? $5. Want to find out if your new mate is a major sleeze, porno addict or felon? Fiverr.com at your service.

Time to sift through the rift raft and get you spending the best five dollars of your life. In that spirit, the top 10 things you can get for $5 from Fiverr.com follows, but don’t just take my words for it, each of the gigs are rate based on their past performance. Drum roll please… for five dollars you get:

1. A romantic gift for your loved one. Have someone hold up a sign in Times Square in New York with a message of your choice, such as ‘I love ____’ or ‘____, will you marry me?’.

2. A professional voice over for your commercial, podcast introduction, etc. for a radio vet that has 10 years under his belt.

3. Your CSS browser issue fixed, including writing new CSS.

4. Your own customized cartoon version of you. This seller does a remarkable job of making your cartoon look realistic.

5. A customized computer font created from your handwriting.

6. Four customized logos for your business.

7. A fashion editorial about your personal style.

8. A customized 30-second song about anything you want and get it posted on YouTube.

9. A video of a funny looking puppet that sings a special song for you / greeting such as a song for your loved one for Valentine’s Day.

10. A customized design of the landing page for your Facebook page.

Have you tried any other services on Fiverr.com that you recommend? If you have, I would love to hear from you!

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Did Etsy Kill Ebay?

Courtesy of my original guest blogger: The Review Chimp

In certain circles I mingle in, having an Etsy boutique (or two or three) is as common as having a Facebook or LinkedIn page. And in many ways, the Etsy community shares a more common thread amongst its users than many of its competitors. Why? Because the Etsy culture is one of buyers and sellers who share an affinity for arts and crafts. When you deal directly with artists and artisans, you are sure to experience something more intimate than your average impersonal purchase of wares on the internet or at least that’s what one expects while perusing the pages of Etsy filled with eye-fetching images of handmade goods, from one-of-a-kind clothing and accessories, to cutting edge home décor and objects d’art, to home-baked goods, to delicate handmade papers, to fine art photography—each lovingly presented by its creator.

And while eBay, for many years, appeared to be the most perfect union of buyers and sellers in an online marketplace, since the advent of Etsy, more and more creative online venues are cropping up everyday, which not only amuse the masses, but more importantly, provide a source of revenue for artists and crafts-persons who might otherwise have no such audience or benefactors.

Threadless.com, for example, is an online t-shirt design company which hosts an ongoing open-call for tee shirt design submissions, which, if selected by the Threadless community, will be produced and sold by Threadless, and the t-shirt designer receives $2,500 in cash and gift certificates for their design.

99designs.com is another popular marketplace that’s sweeping the internet by connecting small businesses seeking quick and cutting edge design work with thousands of graphic designers worldwide who compete for the prize money of a given project by presenting their design ideas for the small business’ review and ultimate selection. According to their website, as of today there are 90, 573 designers on 99designs.com, 6,615,291 designs have been submitted, and $16,569,515 has been awarded in prize money.

With the unstable nature of economies worldwide, one can only expect that these excellent online marketplaces will continue to provide easy and efficient places of commerce, while also keeping its users connected in their respective communities around the globe.

Dear reader, what are some additional creative online marketplaces?

Photo by freshflapjax’s photostream

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