All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

Social Media Marketing Is Just Marketing

Last night I was at the top grocery store in my area and ran into someone that was at the conference I got to present at last week. We talked a little bit about some of the programs that were put on, and then we talked about his general opinion of the event.


by Tiffa Day via Flickr

He mentioned that there was so much going on that he knew he’d be skipping some things here and there, like my presentation, because he wanted to take in as much as possible about things he didn’t know much about. He said that he talked to a lot of people who seemed confused at the end of the day, which I knew would happen because if you don’t know a lot about something going in and get inundated with lots of information there’s no way you can retain it all.

What he also said was that as he listened to a lot of the presentations he came to this conclusion; social media marketing shouldn’t be all that much different than traditional marketing, as it’s only a new platform and not a new way of marketing. His point was that the idea of marketing is to attract someone’s interest, get them to at least look at everything you have to offer, and then hopefully buy something before leaving. This takes research to figure out just what you have to offer a potential buyer and then figuring out how to make your message stand out to encourage that buyer to become a customer.

I couldn’t disagree with his general premise, yet I felt he was possibly missing the bigger picture. The reality is that social media marketing gives one the opportunity to branch out beyond their local area and reach a much larger audience in a lot shorter time. With the proper connections, I can talk about my latest project (which, by the way, is my editing a book of early newsletters from my primary business at the moment) and if I get the right audience to notice it the message can be seen by thousands is less than a day. Other than buying a commercial to show during a prime time TV event how many other ways are there to reach that many people? And the costs… forget about it!

Social media marketing also doesn’t have to be that direct to work. In the past I’ve mentioned that any major business not following their name or industry on Twitter is doing themselves a disservice because it’s not giving them the opportunity to either thank people that say nice things about them or correct something that a customer has complained about. These days it’s incumbent to address issues sooner than later because, though one can recover from bad press, it can be harder to do so. Just the other day I had someone comment on an old post of mine complaining about a particular affiliate that didn’t pay me; even when someone might think an issue is gone, online it’s never gone, especially if the company didn’t fix the issue (weasels; still never paid me).

Overall he’s correct; social media marketing is just marketing. But it’s also so much more, and anyone that doesn’t believe this will eventually run into the wall. On that day I hope they call me or someone else to help them get out of it, and then hope it’s not too late.
 

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5 Ways You’re Messing Up On LinkedIn

Back in April I wrote my first true introductory post about LinkedIn, giving tips on how to use it effectively. Well, it seems that there’s still a lot of folks out there that are using it incorrectly. How do I know? If it’s irking other people then you’re messing it up in my opinion.


by Mattias via Flickr

Frankly, when it comes to your business the last thing you really want to be doing is getting on people’s nerves. Most of these things are minor, but why get irritate people to begin with I always say. So, here are 5 things one should either stop or start doing.

1. Stop going with the default message when reaching out to new people. Goodness, this was my #1 gripe in the last post and it’s at the top again. How hard is it to write something different, even if it’s just “I think we might be able to do some work together so I’d love to connect with you on LinkedIn”, or “I figure this is a good time to connect with each other here on LinkedIn”?

2. When reaching out to people you want to connect with, don’t lie about how you know them. I cringe when I get a connection message that says “so and so says you’re friends” when I have absolutely no idea who they are.

3. Why don’t you have a picture? Unless I personally know someone I refuse to connect with anyone that doesn’t have an image on LinkedIn. My thought is that you’re either trying to hide something or you don’t have enough knowledge to know how to upload a photograph. The idea of LinkedIn is business networking; why the heck wouldn’t you put up an image?

4. Say something in a group every once in awhile. I don’t belong to a bunch of groups but every group I belong to I participate in every once in awhile, sometimes even more then once in awhile. Sure, it’s free, but what’s the point in being in something you’re never going to do anything in? I called people out in one group that has around 1,600 members yet only 10 people ever talk; that’s just a shame.

5. Make your profile more dramatic than a straight up resume. You’re not auditing for a job, you’re hoping to get some kind of business out of it. If there’s a service or product you’d like to highlight, then do it there. It’s a great opportunity to do something a little different that you might not want to do on your website.
 

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5 Things I Learned About Being A Presenter At A Large Function

On Tuesday I was one of the speakers/presenters at a local social media conference, a big deal around here. Somewhere between 300 and 400 people showed up, and overall it was a great day.


That’s not me;
forgot to get pictures

I have to admit that I went into the thing with some preconceived notions, some of which came true, some of which didn’t. The ones that didn’t were actually pretty cool, the ones that did… well, c’est la vie.

Overall this was a first for me. Every other presentation I’ve ever done, I was an exclusive in that time period. This time I was on at the same time as, I believe, 8 other people. Even with 300 people, and it seems that number went down in the afternoon since that’s when I was on, I was given a relatively small room, which indicated that the people who put it together probably felt I wouldn’t be that big a draw. And I wondered about it myself when I saw all the other topics for the day.

Anyway, I don’t want to tell much more because I might give away one or more of the 5 things I learned about Tuesday’s presentation overall. And I’m not only talking about my presentation, but those I sat in on as well. Without further ado here we go:

1. There is a major importance in outlining a presentation. Basically yesterday I sat through 5 presentations, not counting the one I gave. Four of the five were well scripted and had a nice flow. One of them didn’t, and even though overall the guy wasn’t a bad presenter, anyone who didn’t understand anything about social media going in wouldn’t have understood a single thing when it was over, and it ran long. Outlines make sure what when you’re talking about something you’ll talk about all aspects of it before moving on to the next thing. If you don’t do that you’ll lose your audience. Lucky for me I not only knew something about the topic, but I had candy. lol

2. Even if you were never a Boy Scout, remember the golden rule; Always Be Prepared. I had emailed my presentation ahead of time so I wouldn’t have to take my new laptop with me and have to drag it around all day. About 25 minutes before I started my presentation (I actually messed up and started 10 minutes early), I went to the room I was going to be in and went searching for my presentation; it wasn’t on that laptop. I asked the guy that was handling all the presentations about it and he went to get the flash drive my presentation was on. Well, at least was supposed to be on; it wasn’t there. Luckily, something told me to bring it along with me on my own flash drive, just in case. I’d also printed out the entire presentation, just in case the power went out. Thank goodness!

20141011_185147
This one is me

3. Don’t follow the crowd because it’s the crowd. The third presentation I went to only started with 5 people. The guy giving it was a lawyer, and it was on legal issues of social media. It was fabulous; the guy may not have been a great presenter but he was a lawyer, which means he knew how to get in front of people and talk. I actually learned that if you say bad things about someone online that are true, but your intention is to harm them personally rather than complain specifically about a service they’ve done, that might be considered illegal and they can sue you, especially if they haven’t personally harmed you.

The correlation that was used was the Courtney Love case from either last year or two years ago when she went on Twitter and defamed a women, telling all her past business, just because the woman, a designer, had asked her, in private, to pay for some of the items she’d been modeling. To me that was very valuable information, something more people should have been there to hear, instead of going to some things I knew were popular, but I figured many people should have already known about. Yeah, maybe a few people didn’t know about much of it, but I knew a lot of people that came and they should have known already.

4. Never underestimate the power of your topic. I ended up being scheduled for an afternoon presentation after someone else had been moved into my morning spot because he had to catch an afternoon flight. The time I got moved to had 4 presentation I’d have loved to go to myself, with some very popular local people giving them. I talked about business blogging as a social media platform, and two other people had talked about blogging in the morning, so that and the fact that I was in a very small room at the end of a side hallway made me think I’d be lucky to get at least 5 people in the room.

Six minutes before I started the presentation (remember, I started 10 minutes early; oops), there were only 2 people in the room, and I knew one of those people. When I started the room was half full, and I felt better about things. By the time the presentation was actually supposed to start, the room was almost full, and 30 minutes in, from what I was told, there were people pulling up seats from another room and sitting outside where I was giving my presentation listening. That looked and felt great; idiot that I am, I didn’t get any pictures of it. My assumption had been that the popular people would draw all the traffic and I’d only get the hardcore learners. Since I only ended up with two people who knew who I was when I began, the topic must have been stronger than I thought, and the other people must not have been as popular as I thought they were; well, they were popular to me. And I finished right on time!

5. It’s not your friend’s fault if they don’t show up for your presentation. You know, I wondered how many people I knew as friends would even think about coming to my presentation. Only one friend showed up, but by that time I didn’t mind at all, even though I wasn’t expecting too many people to show up at the time. I realized early on that I knew people giving presentations who I wasn’t going to go see, friends or not, because they were on at the same time I wanted to learn about something else. I only got to see one person I knew beforehand give a presentation, and I think he got the luck of the draw for the day, the big room and having it filled. It was also the first presentation of the day after the keynote presentation, and as far as social media goes in this area, he’s definitely well known. You always have to be ready to follow your own path, and if you’re going to do that then you have to allow others to do it as well. Based on how it turned out, I was a pretty happy guy; I even had quotes tweeted!

As I said, I had a blast during the entire day. Of course I didn’t eat much or well, which tells me once again that I need to make sure I eat my own food before trusting others to make the proper food choices. I hope I get to do something again next year, if they do it next year. By the way, on my SEOX Blog, I’ll be breaking down my talk over a few posts starting Friday if you’re interested in what I had to say on the subject.
 

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Influence Versus Wasting Time

Anyone who’s been checking out this blog for at least a year knows that I talk about the concept of influence on a fairly regular basis. I’m one of those people that believes that not only will influence allow you to have a voice in what goes on around you, but it offers you the best possibility for future financial success. You probably find influential people a happier lot as well, though I know someone’s going to pull out “I know so-and-so who’s not very happy”. Doesn’t apply to everyone but I’m betting it applies to the majority.

As this post goes live I’ll be at a live event that I briefly mentioned in this post hoping to increase my influence locally by hopefully giving a presentation that will at least put my name into the light. It’s a long and hard road to get yourself known by more than just a few people, isn’t it?

The same goes for being online. It’s really hard judging how influential you are online. Sure, there are lots of ranking services, but none of them seem to agree just how well you’re doing. One of the problems with being a social media consultant is having clients and potential clients wanting you to tell them all the things they can or should be doing to become more prominent online. I’ll say this; no matter what it is one hopes to do, it all takes time. And some of that time, in my opinion, is wasted time. What do I mean? Let’s take a look at some of these major time wasters.

I’ve talked about Klout a few times now. It’s supposedly one of the top online ranking systems to tell people just how influential you are “across the board.” I put it in quotation marks because it doesn’t look at a lot of things. One, it doesn’t look at blogs or websites at all. Two, it doesn’t follow your comments, even on sites that it checks on such as LinkedIn and Facebook. And three, if you’re engaging in conversation but with only one or two people on Twitter at a time, it doesn’t give you any bonus points for that. It pretty much follows two things; how much you’re participating in the couple of things it’s following and how much others are passing your stuff along if you happen to put stuff out there.

And no one really knows how it works; I’m not sure they do. Back in the summer when I had my post on 21 Black Social Media Influencers, my Klout ranking soared. Now, they’ve made a change and my score has dropped drastically. Not that it wasn’t slowly coming down anyway because who could keep up with the amount of activity needed to keep a Klout score high? How much time would I have to consistently waste on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, doing specific things, to get my score up? And I hear there are employers that are judging people based on this; ugh.

A couple of weeks ago I talked about Empire Avenue. At that time my score kept going up, but truthfully I had no real idea what it was all about; I still don’t. Turns out that the only real way of keeping your score up is to promote your site and have people buying “stock” in you. Sure, you earn your fake income by acts you do, but that doesn’t influence what your stock price is.

I mention Empire Avenue because in my previous post I wondered how it helps with social media, or even if it was supposed to help. On that front I’d have to say it has helped some. My Facebook business page has had a lot of folks from Empire Avenue sign up, and a few people have visited this blog and left comments; that’s pretty neat. So it hasn’t been a total waste of time, but for the amount of time one would have to put into promoting yourself, which in essence is promoting the site, I could write 3 blog posts for each blog I own.

Then there’s Technorati, Delicious (is it still going by that name?), StumbleUpon, etc… all those intermediary sites that people seem to love but I seem not to love. Like many other people, when I first started trying to get more recognition for my blogs I tried social bookmarking. And once again I found myself spending lots of time trying to get good rankings on these sites, only to learn that it not only takes a lot of time but you never know what any of those rankings mean anyway.

For instance, I just took a look at my Technorati account. This blog has an authority of 450; my business blog and finance blog have an authority of 101. I’ve never listed my other two blogs and won’t. Traffic has drastically gone up on my finance blog, but the way Technorati works, people have to “name” your blog, or at least a post, for you to get recognition. You can add a link on your own, but it still only works if others decide to tag along.

The same goes for all those other sites. I hate when I click on a link on Twitter and it takes me to StumbleUpon or any of those other sites, with those big clunky toolbars. And it’s people posting their own links; why not post the link to your blog instead of one of these other sites? Isn’t that a major waste of time? Someone please school me on this one because I’m missing it.

There are so many other ways of spreading your influence online that don’t take a lot of time wasting. And of course one can spread their influence without worrying about these rankings all that much. We all get so caught up in the numbers; I know I can from time to time. But you know what? This past Saturday I took a day and basically sat in front of the TV watching DVDs. I had my laptop, but I rarely checked it. And it felt good; the chase was over for at least one day.

If you’re going to waste time, waste it in making yourself feel better. If you want influence, don’t restrict it. Find ways that fit into your schedule that don’t become overwhelming. Get out there and have fun with it, while getting things done. This is one of those dreams/goals I’m shooting for as I retool what I hope to do in 2012.

I’m Mitch Mitchell and I approved this ad. 🙂
 

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My Favorite 5 Songs From The 60’s

Tomorrow I’ll be doing a live presentation and I’m going to be spending today rehearsing and getting ready for that. Since the last post was so long I decided it was time for a shorter and more fun post again. So, following along the lines of other musical posts I’ve done, I decided to share my top 5 favorite songs from the 60’s, which some of you have no recollection from, and the rest might have other songs to highlight instead.

Before that, though, I’d like to share some of my previous posts, in case you’re new to the blog or just missed them:

Top 5 Dylan Songs

Top 10 Favorite Operas

Top 10 Disco Favorites

Top 13 Favorite Singers

Top 19 Favorite Classical Pieces

And now, on with my list, from #5 to #1:

5. Happy Together, The Turtles – I can’t even tell you why I always liked this song. Maybe it was the relatively simple melody. Maybe it was the fairly non-threatening lilt in the way Flo & Eddie (it was 2 guys by the way) sang together. I couldn’t tell you, but it makes my top 5.

4. Daydream Believer, The Monkees – I remember this song for many reasons. One, of course it was on the TV show. Two, it helped close out 4th grade for me, and man, was that a grade that just had to end! I remember a party at school near the end of the school year where this song played a few times and, because of the show, I could sing along with it and it brought comfort to me. Yeah, I missed the love song part of it, but so what. lol

3. Soul Man, Sam & Dave – My mother bought this album when we first came back to the United States from Japan back in 1966 and for the next 20+ years it was the first song she played every single Friday night; yup, you read that correctly. It was the first song on the album, and it was a great one; always made me smile, and still does.

2. Sugar Sugar, The Archies – This was a cartoon and on the cartoon the characters had put together a band. In the 3rd season of the cartoon they released their second album, and the main single from the show was this one, which ended up going all the way to number one.

1. I Want You Back, The Jackson Five – This was the first #1 song of 1970, but it was released in 1969. I’ve told this story before, but the day my dad left for Vietnam the Jackson Five showed up on the Ed Sullivan Show for the first time and performed this song, and they and Michael Jackson himself were my favorites from that point on.


 

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