social networking marketing

Twitter icon
I’ve just been doing some research for a talk I’m giving in a couple of weeks time, and I came accross a blog post dating back to 2008 from Chris Brogan. I was surprised at how relevant it still is, so, bar a few points that I think we’ve moved on from now, I’m going to share it with you…

First Steps

  1. Build an account and immediate start using Twitter Search to listen for your name, your competitor’s names, words that relate to your space. (Listening always comes first.)
  2. Add a picture. We want to see you.
  3. Talk to people about THEIR interests, too. I know this doesn’t sell more widgets, but it shows us you’re human.
  4. Point out interesting things in your space, not just about you.
  5. Share links to neat things in your community.
  6. Don’t get stuck in the apology loop. Be helpful instead.
  7. Be wary of always pimping your stuff. Your fans will love it. Others will tune out.
  8. Promote your employees’ outside-of-work stories.
  9. Throw in a few humans to interact with.
  10. Talk about non-business too.

Ideas About WHAT to Tweet

  1. Instead of answering the question, “What are you doing?”, answer the question, “What has your attention?”
  2. Have more than one twitterer at the company. People can quit. People take vacations. It’s nice to have a variety.
  3. When promoting a blog post, ask a question or explain what’s coming next, instead of just dumping a link.
  4. Ask questions. Twitter is GREAT for getting opinions.
  5. Follow interesting people. If you find someone who tweets interesting things, see who she follows, and follow her.
  6. Tweet about other people’s stuff. Again, doesn’t directly impact your business, but makes us feel like you’re not “that guy”
  7. When you DO talk about your stuff, make it useful. Give advice, blog posts, pictures, etc.
  8. Share the human side of your company. If you’re bothering to tweet, it means you believe social media has value for human connections. Point us to pictures and other human things.
  9. Don’t toot your own horn too much.
  10. Or, if you do, try to balance it out by promoting the heck out of others, too.

Some Sanity For You

  1. You don’t have to read every tweet.
  2. You don’t have to reply to every @ tweet directed to you (try to reply to some, but don’t feel guilty).
  3. Use direct messages for 1-to-1 conversations if you feel there’s no value to Twitter at large to hear the conversation.
  4. Use services like Twitter Search to make sure you see if someone’s talking about you. Try to participate where it makes sense.
  5. 3rd party clients like Hootsuite and make it a lot easier to manage Twitter.
  6. If you tweet all day while your co-workers are busy, you’re going to hear about it.
  7. If you’re representing clients and billing hours, and tweeting all the time, you might hear about it.
  8. Use the URL shortening tool that Hootsuite offers, or one like bit.ly. It helps tidy up your tweets.
  9. If someone says you’re using twitter wrong, forget it. It’s an opt out society. They can unfollow if they don’t like how you use it.
  10. Commenting on others’ tweets, and retweeting what others have posted is a great way to build community.

The Negatives People Will Throw At You

  1. Twitter takes up time.
  2. Twitter takes you away from other productive work.
  3. Without a strategy, it’s just typing.
  4. There are other ways to do this.
  5. Twitter doesn’t replace customer service, but it can complement it.
  6. Twitter’s only a few million people. (only)
  7. Twitter doesn’t replace direct email marketing.
  8. Twitter opens the company up to more criticism and griping.

Some Positives to Throw Back

  1. Twitter works well as an opinion poll. Twitter can help direct people’s attention to good things.
  2. Twitter at events helps people build an instant “backchannel.”
  3. Twitter breaks news faster than other sources, often (especially if the news impacts online denizens).
  4. Twitter brings great minds together, and gives you daily opportunities to learn (if you look for it, and/or if you follow the right folks).
  5. Twitter gives your critics a forum, but that means you can study them.
  6. Twitter helps with business development, if your prospects are online.
  7. Twitter can augment customer service.

 

You can check out the original article here.

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I’m talking about closing the sale of course. No smut on my blog!

If you have then well done you, but I imagine on most occasions it’s taken some to-ing and fro-ing. In fact there’s a generally accepted rule in marketing that says it takes seven points of contact before someone will buy from you.

What that means is your potential customer needs to see or hear your name seven times before they’ll be comfortable doing business with you. Sounds like hard work right? Or maybe not …

  •          Start  blogging
  •          Set your company up on appropriate social networking sites, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Google+
  •          Build a targeted, relevant following
  •          Drive potential customers to your blog
  •          Make sure your blog advertises all your social media pages

Bounce potential customers from Twitter to your blog, onto Facebook, then to your website, back to your blog – you get the idea? Before you know it a handful or more of your seven points of contact are covered, so when you do speak to them, they are a much warmer lead, and may already be well on the way to having decided to do business with you.

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Happy New YearIt’s that time of year when I really feel the need to plan. Are you the same? I love making new year resolutions and I’m world class at failing to achieve most of them. But just that act of attempting them, brings you closer to your goal. What’s that saying “If you aim for the moon, even if you fail, you may land among the stars.” Well, reaching the stars would be pretty cool, so I’ll continue making new year resolutions, knowing that they’ll bring me closer to my goal, if not all the way there. So, just in case you haven’t yet made yours, I’ve planned for you too – social media style, naturally 🙂

1.  Claim your usernames. Your brand is your identity in business. Even if you don’t plan on using all of them, you may change your mind in the future. By claiming them now, you’re saving yourself a lot of potential trouble in the future.

2.  Pick two or three social media sites where you know your audience is and focus on them. There are too many social media platforms to be everywhere, so schedule some time each and every day to be effective in your chosen arenas. Once you get the hang of these, you might choose to spread your wings and try some others. By the way, I do mean “schedule” some time. It’s important, so slot it in your diary just as you do other important tasks. If you leave to to chance and plan to slot it in when you have some spare time, it just won’t happen..

3.  Commit to Blogging more. It’s often hard to find the time, or indeed the motivation to blog, but really it’s just a habit that you need to form. Create a blogging callender – jot down subjects to co-incide with special days over the year ie National Day of the “whatever”, if the start of summer means that people need to stock up on one of your products, then schedule a blog around that, would your customers be interested in how to make the perfect pancake for Shrove Tuesday? You know your business, just be creative and (apologies for the phrase!) think outside the box. When you have your “special days” completed, fill in the blanks by brainstorming with your colleagues. Callender created? Now you need to schedule blogging time in your diary.

4.  Most Facebook Fans expect special offers or discounts for “liking” a brand on Facebook. What exclusive deals can you offer your fans? Again, be creative and leave them in no doubt as to why they “like” you.

5.   I’ve left this one to last, but it’s by no means the least important. Promote your social media accounts. It takes time and effort to get them working for you, so it makes sense to do the easy stuff and allow your clients and potential clients to find you. Put your social media links on all printed and digital media, including your website, customer receipts, newsletters, email signatures, business cards, headed paper, compliment slips etc as well as putting a sign up in your reception area. Social Media isn’t supposed to be a secret, so shout it from the rooftops (metaphorically speaking, says she anticipating lawsuits for broken bones!)

There you are, five, powerful, New Year Resolutions for your business. What do you think? Can you commit to Social Media to move your business forward, or does it all sound like too much effort?

Over the years I’ve learned that in order for a goal to be achieved, you have to want it, which is significantly different to knowing you “should” do it. I think most businesses are aware that they should be embracing social media, but many haven’t yet found the motivation to make it reality.

If you’re in the “want to do it” bracket, then great – good luck and give me a shout on Facebook or Twitter if I can be of any help.

If you’re in the “should do it” bracket, then can I suggest that we have a chat. I offer a fully managed service, which means that you get the benefits without having to make time to work out what to do and how to find time in your already busy day. Just pick up the phone and dial 01462 615821, for a no obligation chat to see if we could work together on your business.

 

 

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Social Media Marketing is a very hot topic, and marketing professionals believe it’s here to stay. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and You Tube, amongst others, are utilised by hundreds of millions of people every day and numbers are growing continually, making this a potential online marketing paradise. But for many business owners, this very hot Social Media Marketing is an online marketing nightmare.

Many organizations and their owners, or marketing people, don numerous hats and they are so busy trying to keep the business running smoothly as well as profitably that they simply don’t have the time to develop an effective online marketing strategy, maintain it on a daily basis and keep up with the rapid changes that seem to keep being foisted upon us.

So, what’s the solution?

The cavalry is on its way! In order to satisfy this very real need, the age of Social Media Management was born.  At present, Social Media Marketing Managers are in extremely high demand, in the job market, with the demand far out weighing the supply of skilled Social Media Marketing Professionals. A Social Media Marketing Manager partners with individuals and organisations to develop and maintain the company’s online business presence thus enabling the overloaded business person to focus on their other daily responsibilities, safe  in the knowledge that their on-line presence is being managed in accordance with their agreed strategy.

The development of this sensible solution will allow Social Media Marketing to get significantly hotter, therefore enabling a company’s online business and marketing presence to grow unabated.

Needless to say… I’d love the opportunity to discuss how we could help take the load from your shoulders, and look after your Social Media Marketing. Call on 01462 615821 or email me

 

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LinkedIn logoFollowing on from my previous LinkedIn Blog, I wanted to add a very simple strategy for making the most of every opportunity.

I often get people requesting to add me to their network, even though I don’t know them from Adam. In the interest of building my network, I usually agree. I have to admit that, for a while, this is as far as it went until I began to realise that this was a missed opportunity.

Assuming these people weren’t randomly linking with anyone, then there had to be a reason for contacting me. It could be because several years ago I worked for a packaging company and they like packaging, but I think not. It’s more likely they’re interested in what I do now. So wouldn’t it be rude of me not to make contact and have a chat about Social Media, their needs and how we could help them? I think so!

Maybe you could adopt this strategy? I’m sure it would work for many people – how about you and your business? I’d love to know how you get on with it…

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Picture for a moment that you’re hosting a fabulous party. You’re standing in a group of friends, chatting and swapping tales. You start to share the one about your good friend Steve (who’s across the room) who fell into the sea on a boating holiday.

You have a choice to make. Do you say, privately, “See that man over there? That’s Steve, and one time when we were on a boating holiday…” or do you announce as you’re waving him over, “Steve, come here. We’re talking about your incredible boating escapade…”?

In the virtual party of social networking, you encounter this particular decision every day. When you talk about another person, do you write their username, which acts as a tag and a link, or do you simply mention them by their name? Both have their place…

If you’ve previously used Twitter, you will know how to name-tag somebody making use of the “@” symbol before his or her username. Less of us are aware that Facebook has a similar element.

On Facebook, when keying in a status or comment, enter the “@” symbol before you begin typing the person’s name and you will notice a dropdown list of matching friends and pages from which to choose. You can delete their surname by back spacing to make your post more reader friendly.

There are a few reasons why you might want to tag someone…

  •  To notify that individual/page that their name has been mentioned, in the hope that they may reply or engage with the message.
  • To draw someone’s attention to a post – like an email “cc”.
  • To make it easy for followers to click on through to that person’s profile.
  • To make it obvious to your followers whom you’re referring to.

On the flip-side, if you don’t wish the person to know that his name has been mentioned, maybe to save them from numerous email notifications, then don’t tag them, just use their name.

 On the whole, though, it’s good to remember that social networks are about interacting. You’re there to connect with people, and to connect them with each other, so I’m all for tagging people and opening up opportunities for engagement.

If you’re wondering how this relates to your business, call me on 01462 615821 or email me for more information.

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I’m a busy lady, two children, one of which isn’t in full time school yet, numerous clubs and activites to get the children to, my Social Media business and all the usual house workey things like keeping an available stock of clean clothes and cooking proper meals for the family (yes my children do eat fishfingers, but not every night!), so I struggle as much as anyone with finding time to get things done.

The trick that I’ve tried to perfect over the years is to decide what my most important jobs are and then allocate some time to them daily, or as frequently as is necessary. For example, if I have a blog post to write, I’ll give myself half an hour of focused time for it. During that time, I won’t answer the phone or check Facebook or my emails. If I’d been attempting to multi-task, I just wouldn’t get it finished in that time. I also allocate some time to each of my clients on a daily basis, and as long as I’m strict with myself, I achieve what I set out to do.

Maybe I’m just not very good at multi-tasking? For me, it often means lots of unfinished jobs around the house, or files on my computer littered with WIP, that quite often never get completed. Maybe this means I’m in touch with my “masculine side”?

So…imagine my delight when I found this nifty on-line stopwatch  the other day?  Now I don’t even have to keep an eye on my watch as a buzzer will tell me when my time is up and it’s on to the next task! Such a simple thing! If you’re struggling with too much to do in too little time, why not give my idea a try?

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I think it’s fair to say that industrial manufacturing companies haven’t yet jumped, en masse, into the social media arena. Some are using it and it’s working very nicely for them, but I think a lot of companies are still sceptical and are sitting on the side lines, watching, a bit like many did when the internet boom first started over 10 years ago.

As with the internet, it was the early adopters who had massive success, which leaves you in a unique position now. Get involved, set the standard and reap the rewards, or spend years wishing you’d got involved at the outset.

Google makes a fortune from its “pay per click” advertising, because most people who use the internet use Google to find what they want. I’m sure that’s no surprise to you. But did you know that Facebook gets more page views per month than Google, and Twitter isn’t far behind?

The role of internet marketers is to increase traffic to their client’s website. So if several of the world’s most visited websites are already allowing people to use their sites freely to guide people to specific websites, why wouldn’t you take advantage of it?

Google now recognise Tweets in their organic results – and high up, too. There are hundreds of thousands of Twitter profiles showing on page 1 of Google for valuable keyword terms. Google also allows Facebook profiles and commercial “pages” to rank as well.

In short, these social media sites are SEO friendly, they love fresh content and allow you to post virtually anything you want at any time. Social media and SEO work well together, like strawberries and cream. Either are fine on their own, but put them together and something magical happens!

I recently read a report from Global Spec entitled “Social Media Use in the Industrial Sector” which stated that industrial customers are generally passive in social media. They’re reading, but not getting into conversations, nonetheless they’re involved, and perhaps, you should be too. Click through for GLOBALSPEC’s full report

 

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People often ask me why anyone would hire a Social Media Manager, when they could do it themselves. Running a good, effective, interesting social media campaign isn’t rocket science, but there is more to it than setting up a profile and putting out the odd advertisement tweet. To do it properly takes time, imagination, research and a love of the whole social media scene. Do it half heartedly and you may as well not bother.

I believe that everyone in business has their own talents, and that’s what they should concentrate on. If you’re a really effective financial advisor, then spend your time advising people and making money for your clients and your business. If you’re a creative type, spend your time creating, because you probably hate doing your accounts!

As consumers, we’re quite used to contracting out work. Every time you pick up that takeaway coffee, you’ve outsourced some work. With every pack of pre-washed salad leaves that you buy, you’ve paid someone to do the growing, harvesting, washing, packing, distribution and a lot of other things besides…

Hiring a Social Media Manager is no different to this. A lot of large companies will have a full time social media manager strategising and implementing their social media marketing plan, and ensuring their on-line presence is positive. They recognise that they will be talked about on-line, but if they aren’t a part of this on-line social experience, they don’t have a chance to manage their reputation. Luckily for businesses who don’t want to do this in-house, there are a number of Social Media Managers that you can contract out to.

This expertise doesn’t have to cost the earth. The way I work is to find out about your business and really understand the way your company operates. Although I don’t work in your company, I need to understand in order to be your “voice” on the social media stage. I establish what your business goals are and then work out a plan in order to help you achieve them, within any budget constraints that you have.

If you want to find out more about me to see if we could work together, do have a look around my web-site and get in touch.

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I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s. When I was 14, my brother bought a hand held CB radio and I was instantly hooked! I quickly progressed to a more powerful radio and spent hours and hours chatting to my friends and making new ones. On several occasions I remember chatting to people late at night, only to wake several hours later with just a crackling radio for company – the person I’d been talking too, had given up on me long ago.

But how much better is social media? Instead of being limited to within my hometown (I think rose tinted glasses may be at play here – my signal probably didn’t reach further than a few hundred metres, despite the enormous aerial in my parents back garden!) now the world is your oyster…

We can build relationships with people on the other side of the world, find people that we lost touch with years ago, and link up with people that we don’t yet know, but who have the same interests as us. This is far removed from the random chats with random people that I had on my CB. Some business’s have embraced social media fully, and are reaping the rewards. Others have dipped a toe in and would like to do more, but don’t have the knowledge or the resources. There are of course some who still don’t even have a web-site!

As I’m writing this, it’s occurred to me that some of my old CB friends are also my facebook friends. Who would have thought that friendships forged on the CB would still be going strong some 25 years later!

I wonder what social networking will be like in another 25 years. It quite obviously has a greater mainstream longevity than CB radio. I believe we’re still in the early stages, with many companies yet to engage fully and exploit it to the maximum. The next few years are going to see massive growth, and personally, I’m ready and waiting to ride this roller coaster called Social Media.