The Tragedy In Japan & What’s Really Important

It has been one of those thankfully infrequent weeks where the world completely changes for many people.  The earthquake, tsunami and aftershocks have changed Japan for many years to come, if not forever.  The lives of the Japanese, as well as people living in Japan, and many other people around the world became entirely different in an instant.  And in this historical moment, we’ve been reminded of the true power of social media — connection. 

Google immediately created a Person Finder to help people in Japan (and those with loved ones in Japan) find their loved ones.  Within seconds of the incident, Facebook and Twitter were flooded with status updates relaying news and images, and offering reports of people’s whereabouts and well being.  The social media world became like one giant emergency broadcasting system, making all the important information available instantly and worldwide.

Social media was created for one reason — to connect people.  As it has grown and developed over the last near decade, that purpose has become diluted.  While advances in social media have their own purposes and benefits, it can be valuable to get back to basics and remember what’s really important.  It’s all about people.  That’s true in life, as well as in both business and social media marketing.  Be authentic, and remember that people are people and not numbers.  In that, you will find great success — and it’ll feel good, too.

Advertisements

The More You Know

In case you don’t know — but of course you do — we are a full-service online marketing agency.  We design and build websites, streamline our clients’ SEO, implement online ads, create email marketing campaigns, craft and manage newsletters and more — pretty much anything we can do to help grow our clients’ businesses. 

One of our many services includes getting to know our clients’ businesses well enough that we can write social media posts for them.  Not scamming-the-system, impersonal, keyword-spam-type posts.  The same kind of quality posts you’d get if you were writing them in house, with a focus on “infotainment,” our favorite buzz word of late.

There are many agencies in the country, and even the world, that offer this kind of service.  But even when you’ve hired someone to do all your social media posting, you can’t just ignore what’s happening for your brand on social media.  It’s important for you to know how to use the social medias in which your brand is involved.  Not only is it important for you to be aware of what’s happening for your business online — it’s important for you to know enough to advertise your social media efforts offline, as well as spread the word to your circles online.  There is a big pool of social media fans and followers in your current customers, and you know how to access them better than your online marketing agency.

So get in there, understand what’s going on, and support your agency’s efforts.  Together, you’ll grow your business in a way your agency couldn’t without you.

Need some online resources?  We post all the time about ways to increase your social media skills and grow your business online!

What’s your #1 social media tip?  Post it in the comments!

How Long Is This Social Media Thing Going To Take?

Otherwise entitled, “Where Are My Sales Already?  Yeesh.”

We have the amazing opportunity to work with so many incredible clients.  It’s part of what we love most about this kind of work.  Many of our clients are new to social media, and so we’re often asked some variation of the same question:  “Just how long is this social media thing going to take?”

As you already know from reading our blog regularly (wink), 2010 was the first year business as a whole completely embraced social media, spending more on digital advertising than print advertising for the first time in history.  So, there’s a lot of hype about social media right now.  The rumor is spreading like wildfire that social media is the be all and end all, easy and free marketing technique that will not only save your business in this questionable economy — it will bring you lots of customers and big bucks while you just sit back and watch it all roll in.

While we are obviously the first in line to tout the benefits of social media marketing, those are not them.  It’s just not true that the simple act of creating a Facebook page or Twitter account is like a giant “ON” switch in the Cloud, opening the flood gates of effortless financial and entrepreneurial success.  Here’s what is true:

1) Social media and online marketing are just like any other form of marketing. Would you put a bare-bones advertisement in the newspaper, then proceed to sit by your phone waiting for it to work?  Absolutely not.  This is no different.  Social media and online marketing must be an integrated part of your overall marketing strategy, and they must be engaging.

2)  Social media is only successful if you act like you’re creating a real relationship with your consumers. Because, in fact, that’s exactly what you’re doing.  There’s a reason it’s called “social” media.  In real life, would you think it reasonable to meet someone in a public place for the first time, then expect them to immediately give you all their contact information, follow you around and be loyal to you at all costs?  No way!  It’s no different on social media, but if you’re expecting immediate results with minimal effort, that’s what you’re asking from your consumers.  Connecting with your consumers on social media is just like being in a real life relationship.  There must be a reason for you to connect to begin with, then you must prove that you’re an engaging, trustworthy and worthwhile friend.  That takes both time and effort.

3)  Trial and error are the only way to find your sweet spot. Every business is different, every market is different and every consumer is different.  So, the social marketing techniques that work for one business will not necessarily work for another.  It takes time to find the perfect online marketing recipe for your business, because you are unique.  You have to try one approach, give it time, measure results, then adjust your efforts…and then rinse and repeat until you’ve achieved perfection.

So, just how long will this social media marketing thing take, anyway? As a general guideline, expect your initial social media marketing efforts to take at least 6 months before you see any kind of response from your consumers.  Obviously, this number can vary greatly, and the more you promote your social media in real life to your current and prospective customers, the better.

Have you found these things true in your business’s social media efforts?  Let us know in the comments!

This Is Your Social Media Resolution For 2011

This time of year, the internet is rife with predictions and resolutions for the new year. There are so many out there, and so many good ones, that we haven’t felt compelled to repeat much of the information, choosing instead to share them with you via our Facebook and Twitter accounts. There is one resolution, however, that is so incredibly important, we wanted to not only repeat it, but highlight it for you, so you’ll implement it into your online marketing strategies this year. What could possibly be that important, you may wonder? Well, here it is:

Tell people about your social media sites.

When we are new to the social media game, it’s tempting to setup our social media sites, then sit back and wait for people to flock to them naturally, as we inevitably expect. Unfortunately, this is one of those situations where myth wins over education for folks who are new to social media. While you will, of course, get a few followers naturally, you have to actively work to build the rest. If you’re one of our clients, we do much of this for you. But, just as social media is an addition to your marketing strategy and not the whole enchilada, building social media followers must be done offline, as well as on.

Think about it this way: when you built or commissioned your business’s first website, did you just put it up and wait for people to find it? No way! You told people about it. You put it on your invoices, letterhead, business cards, vehicle magnets, t-shirts, and absolutely any other place that came to mind. You have to treat social media the same way. To build your social media followers with quality and quantity, you absolutely must tell people about it in real life, every chance you get. That means, you put your Facebook and Twitter addresses on your invoices, letterhead, business cards, vehicle magnets, t-shirts, print newsletters and anywhere else that comes to mind. There’s no such thing as overdoing it, because the more people that see it, the more likely they are to follow you.

This resolution has an added bonus, too. When you tell people about your social media sites offline, or in real life, you will, for the most part, be telling people who are already customers and clients — people who already love you. There’s no need to sell to them; they will follow you because they already utilize your products or services. These same people will be a huge asset to you online, because they will be the ones with brand loyalty. They will be the ones most likely to share your posts and suggest you to their friends. And that, in the end, is really what the social media game is all about.

What Cloud Computing Means For Your Online Marketing Campaign

Last week, Google unveiled a revolutionary new way to use the computer – cloud computing.  In case you missed the awesome video we posted on Facebook and Twitter last week where a precocious group of 10 year olds explained the cloud, the cloud is basically the most expansive idea of the internet. It’s not only websites and email, it is also internet-based file storage, applications and much more. 

Google’s revolutionary idea is a new operating system that makes computing entirely cloud-based. That means all your files are stored online and all your programs are web applications (“apps”) used within your browser. Google has released their new cloud-based operating system on a notebook known as the Cr-48 in a pilot program, allowing users to test functionality and report back to Google.  Similar notebooks are expected to be released for sale to the general public in about 6 months, and they are projected to be more affordable than desktop-based computers.

So what does this mean for your online marketing campaign?  A move toward cloud-based computing means more people will be online all the time. It means even more people will join social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. It also means the general public will gain a better understanding of the idea of social networks and other things happening online. And that all boils down to more exposure for you and better results from your online marketing campaigns!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments!

10 Ways to Interact on Your Social Networks

Interaction is the purpose of social media, right?  It’s the thing we’re all striving to do and do well.  But how do you start?  Here are ten excellent ways to begin interacting on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Twitter-Specific

1.  Retweet interesting content often. People like it when you retweet their content, and could begin following you as a result.  In addition, you’ll show people you’re engaged in a way beyond simply posting your own content.

2.  Check out your followers and start conversations with them. Find something interesting about them — something they post, something in the bio on their profile page or something on their website — and start a conversation with them publicly.  By conversing with them via a reply (rather than a direct message), you have the added benefit of allowing other people to see you interact.

3.  Find interesting conversations on Twitter and get involved. Use Twitter’s integrated search feature to search for something interesting.  Find a conversation or post and reply to it to get yourself in on the conversation.

4.  Find someone who knows something you want to know, then publicly ask them for advice or information. Again, do this publicly (and not in a direct message) so your interaction is available for the world to see.

5.  Check out trending topics on Twitter.  Find one that relates to your expertise and join the conversation. The more you interact publicly, the better, and if you can showcase your expertise, that’s better still!

6.  Search for people who are talking about problems you can help with and talk to them about it (publicly, of course). So, if your business is anti-aging, search for and find people who are posting about feeling old, for example.  Then, tell them how you can help them — but be sure to make it sound authentic and personal, rather than like an advertisement.

*TIP* Twitter’s default method of replying to someone is to use the @ symbol before their name in your post (for example, @kaboomjohn).  When you reply this way, only people who follow both you and the person you’re talking to will be able to see your conversation.  To get around this, use @ with a . in front of it (for example, .@kaboomjohn).  This will allow everyone to see the conversation.  It’s really important to do this so that anyone who looks at your Twitter profile can see your interactions.

Twitter & Facebook

7.  Organize a contest or giveaway through your social media. Create a contest by offering to give something away for free — your product or service, or someone else’s product or service you like.  Promote your contest through posts before and during the event.  This could be a trivia contest where the first person to answer correctly wins, or a random person from a pool of correct answers wins.  It could be an action contest, where you ask your followers to do something and post a picture of it to you, and then a random person who completed the task wins.  It could also be just a random drawing, so you ask people to reply to you on Twitter or comment on your Facebook page to enter, then you pick a random winner on a published date.

8.  Take a poll. Ask your followers what they think about something.  Do try to make sure you have active and engaged followers before you do this, though, so you won’t end up with an unanswered poll!

9.  Offer customer service through your social media networks. This is both passive and proactive.  Passively, give out your social network info to customers and let them know it’s another way they can reach you for customer service and support, just like email or telephone.  Proactively, use Twitter’s search feature to look for people talking about your product or service.  Talk to them.  When you see someone complaining about or having a problem with your product or service, reply to them proactively (and publicly) and let them know how you can help them resolve it.  This has the big added advantage of helping you manage your brand’s reputation.

10.  Find your current customers and clients on your social media networks and talk to them. While social media networks are great for building your clients, they’re also fantastic for connecting with people with whom you already do business.  Connecting on social media allows customers to feel more involved, and therefore more loyal, to you and your brand.  Let your customers know how to find you on your social media networks — and if you have their email addresses, search for them and start conversations.

Have questions for us or more ideas about how to interact on your social networks?  We want to hear what you have to say!  Sound off in the comments.

Why do people follow companies or brands on Twitter?

A recent study suggests the foremost reason is to get updates on future products.  People also want to stay informed about the company’s activities, or save money through discounts or promotions the companies run.  Others follow simply to be entertained, to interact or share ideas.  Many simply follow because they believe it shows support to a company or product they like.

  • Follow Us

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.