Tag Archives: social media marketing

The Concept of Social Media Marketing

The concept of social media marketing is one that’s missed by a lot of people. Some people assume it means trying to sell products online by sending out a lot of spam email. Some people believe it’s related to those late night TV gurus who tell you that they’ll have you making millions of dollars within weeks if you learn their system.

Friendlies
Mo Riza via Compfight

There are a few differences between social media marketing and internet marketing, which is what a lot of people might be thinking of.

With a lot of internet marketing, there is little attempt to actually make a connection with someone. The idea is to push products, whether they’re products created by the marketer or not. Their push is to try to get big email lists of addresses and pound the masses to earn their 1 – 3% of sales and live off that. Some internet marketers do really well with that concept, while others fail because they were too late into the marketplace to truly be effective.

Social media marketing is much different. Its purpose is to establish a long term relationship with an audience in some fashion and hope to drive those people to them. If you have a traditional business location, social media marketing can help get people to come through the doors if done properly.

It can help you reach an audience who might have never heard of you. It can give you the opportunity to show some expertise in your field that people might relate to and thus help you build sales. At the same time, since it’s mainly done over the internet, and can be much more comprehensive, being known as an expert by more people works better.

How can it do a lot of these things? What kind of purpose can it serve? I’m going to say more, but first I’m going to share some links where I talk about social media marketing in some detail. Here are 5 links to articles on social media marketing in general terms that might help you understand what it’s all about.

Using Social Media To Grow Your Influence

What Is Influence?

Social Media And SEO

SMM – Audio And Visual Options

Social Media Marketing Won’t Work If…

Here’s what I see more of unfortunately. Though things might seem slightly better than they were in 2009 when studies showed that Twitter was mainly blather, spam, aka advertising, seems to have caught up, or possibly is just slightly under. It depends on what category you want to put advertising one’s own content, blog or otherwise in. Much of the automation that’s out there is to get the word out for an individual or specific company.

Just last week someone who’s known as a big time player on Google Plus actually posted the same link 6 or 7 times an hour between 6 and 9 in the morning (unfortunately I was up; ugh…). He did share a couple of things from others but in my timeline he was kind of irritating. To me, that’s spam to the nth degree.

On the other side, there are people who retweet others all day and never share anything they do; is that less irritating? In the last month I’ve dropped people I was following who only do that, or only post pictures or only post quotes. Is that engagement? Is that social media marketing?

I’m certainly not going to say I’m perfect at it but I think I’m pretty good. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve started sharing a lot more of my present and past posts from this blog and my business blog, as well as some quotes I’ve made in blog posts over the years from my business blog that I think might be motivational. I’m also sharing some of my video links. But I share as much content from others, moreso than my own stuff, and I add a comment to at least half of that, which sometimes leads into conversation.

To me, that’s what social media marketing should be about, adding in the concept of social media engagement. If you’re not giving yourself a chance to talk to your audience then why not just stick to email campaigns? Do you really think anyone is reading your posts on Twitter or Google Plus or Facebook if they know that you’re never reading any of their stuff, or that you’ll never respond to a comment they make back to you in those spaces?

Of course, this is my opinion. I ask you now, do you agree with any of what I’ve said, do you have your own thought on it? Let me know; I’d love to hear it.
 

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Social Media Marketing Has Its Limits

This past weekend I went to a local seminar on motivation. I don’t get to things like this all that often, but every once in a while it’s a good thing to go hear someone else talk on a subject that you also talk about because, when all is said and done, even those who motivate others sometimes need a bit of motivation as well.

It wasn’t a bad turnout, but the group was very diverse, to the point that I’m not exactly sure the presenters got who they hoped to get to come. Still, it was an interesting day, and I got out of it what I think I needed to get out of it. I knew one of the presenters, and had seen enough pictures of the other presenter that I felt I knew her as well.

During the seminar, when it was my turn to speak the lady that I knew threw out a statement saying that maybe I hide behind my social media activities when it comes to doing business. I agreed with her on that, although in my mind I was thinking how I have so many more connections through social media than I do live. But she continued by saying that we should talk after the seminar and I quickly agreed.

When it was over she and I walked across the street to a park and sat down on one of the stone benches. She then told me that out of all the people that had shown up, I was the only one that had come because of social media. She had put out the event on Facebook, and out of the nine people that said they were coming, I was the only one that actually did. Everybody else who was in the room was the result of either a book signing that she did or came because of a couple presentations she had put on locally and mentioned it.

In one way I was shocked, but in another way I wasn’t. I ran into the same thing last year when I tried to promote a local four hour seminar that I was going to put on. I reached out to all of my social media contacts, and I reached out to an overwhelming majority of other people through e-mail. In the end, I had to cancel because I only had one person who had signed up for.

At the same time, there was another event last Friday I found out about that was being held at a hotel about 10 minutes away from me. The guy who worked at the hotel had put it up on Facebook, but really hadn’t invited anybody. So I went through the process of inviting a great number of people who I knew lived in the area, many of whom I knew wouldn’t be able to come but I wanted to give them the opportunity. Just by doing that at least 9 or 10 people showed up that wouldn’t have if I hadn’t reached out to them on Facebook.

Still, her point was valid. Even though social media is the fastest growing medium for people to connect with each other, there’s still something about face-to-face communications that seems to help to encourage people to interact more with you. It might be because, though social media is easy to say something to make someone feel good, just as it’s easy for people to say bad things because they’re hidden, they can say something and not have to follow through. In being truthful, I hadn’t decided I was going to the seminar until the Monday before, even though I had known about it for three weeks. I had put a “maybe”, which is mainly a noncommittal way of saying no, before changing my mind.

Social media marketing is definitely an important thing that all of us need to get used to. But at this point in the decade it’s still not strong enough to really get people juiced up to do anything. You might be able to get people to come to your website, or to read an article or blog post you’ve written, but getting them to take action is still going to be really tough to do. We all need to acknowledge that in order to figure out ways of getting people’s attention, especially if we have as an intention the hopes that we will possibly generate some kind of income from our actions.

How do you see your social media marketing initiatives going?
 

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My Twitter Strategy, Courtesy Of Adrienne

By the title, if you’re in the know you know that the inspiration for this post comes courtesy of our friend Adrienne Smith, who wrote a post that I commented on last week titled My Secret Twitter Strategy. I’m not going to reveal her specific strategy, since she took the time to create this neat little video about it, but I will say that there’s a bit of automation, if you will, taking place that helps her out.

In my case, I can’t quite say I have a lot of automation, but I have a brief bit. I do use technology, but it’s certainly not automated. Also, it takes a lot more time for what are results less than what she gets, but I think the important thing is having a strategy to begin with.

My first strategy is that every single blog post I write or have, if you will, goes to Twitter automatically. I thought about the question of whether to create separate accounts for each blog and decided my mind just can’t handle being 5 or 6 different people so it all goes out under the one name. In a way that matters because everything gets mixed together and my audience might get confused. In another way that’s what this particular blog is all about anyway, so having a lot more original content going through one name works for me right now.

The next thing I do is go through the list of local people that I’ve created using an older and better version of TweetDeck to see what’s specifically going on with them. I feel it’s important enough for me to make sure I take care of my local networking to keep my presence known by them. It’s a small group of around 45 people that I stick to because they’ll talk back to me. Others who never responded to anything I had to say I removed, figuring they could care less so why waste my time on them.

The final thing I do takes some time, and I’m not sure everyone could do it or want to do it but it’s my strategy, and it works because I have a smartphone. By using the application on my phone called TweetCaster, I can literally go through hundreds, possibly thousands, of tweets if I need to. Whereas on TweetDeck I tell it to only keep the last 250 messages, I don’t tell the phone to do any such thing.

It’s a good thing I speed read, that’s for sure. If I don’t stay on top of it I can find myself two days behind the curve on checking on tweets. The program will break it into time chunks so that you don’t have to look at everything unless you want to, but that still leaves a heck of a lot of messages.

What do I do? I do through the link of everyone that I’m following, which is just under 900 people, looking at topics that I think interest me, check the links out quickly, then retweet them. Sometimes I retweet with a comment, showing that I looked at the link, while other times I’ll save the link via Evernote so I can go back and leave a comment on it later when I’m back on the big machine and still retweet it.

This strategy does two things for me. One, people love seeing their items retweeted, and they’ll often thank me for it and might pop over to this blog, or any other blog if they notice a link to a blog post I’ve recently written. Two, by going back to their blogs later on and leaving a comment, it helps introduce me to them, or remind them that I’m around, and they’ll potentially pop over to one of my blogs to say something. Either way, it helps drive traffic to my sites.

How well does it work? Well, compared to Adriene, the direct traffic I get from Twitter is around 4% referral traffic for this blog, but it’s a whopping 20% of referral traffic for my business blog. I’m thinking that’s pretty neat. Twitter seems to be her top referrer doing it her way.

Anyway, that’s my strategy; what’s yours?
 

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Two Biggest Issues With Social Media Marketing

Since I wrote a post on the topic of social media and ROI, I’ve been thinking a lot about the problems associated with social media marketing in general. Some might have thought that I covered it with my post this past Saturday talking about the dangers of social media, but I didn’t. Matter of fact, that was geared more towards individuals; now it’s time to talk about the problems businesses have.


by Phillie Casablanca via Flickr

I believe there are two major problems with social media marketing; those are:

1) getting the message wrong

2) being ignored

For any other issue that one might come up with, these are the two biggest problems to date. I never touched upon the second one when I did the outline for my social media marketing seminar back in 2010, and barely touched upon the first one. That’s because I’m usually concentrating on educating people as to what social media is in the first place, not getting much into the details of it. I like to think I know something about social media marketing, but every once in awhile I have an epiphany and realize that I’ve just scratched the surface.

Getting The Message Wrong

Let’s get into it. We’ll start with the first premise, that being getting the message wrong. Man, is it easy to mess up. Just ask McDonald’s, which tried to have a Twitter media campaign asking people to use a certain hashtag telling the world why they love McDonald’s. The problem is that not everyone likes McDonald’s, or wants to own up to it, and thus there were a lot of negative responses that hijacked the hashtag and brought a modicum of embarrassment. A representative said the negative comments only amounted to 2% of comments overall but no one believes that. And even if it’s true, then McDonald’s still lost because the media has already spread the word; bad publicity isn’t always better than no publicity at all.


from Huffington Post

The problem sometimes comes from thinking you know your market when you don’t. I don’t hate McDonald’s, but I hear a lot of people putting down their food, although many of those same people will scarf down a box of fries if they got one; those things are tasty. Setting it up as a Twitter campaign to promote your company when you know there’s a lot of negative press about you from time to time (who hasn’t read this story nor seen the picture next to this paragraph about their chicken?) probably isn’t one of the smartest moves in the world. And they paid someone to create this campaign for them; they should have known better.

Late last year there was a campaign from the makers of Ragu (my favorite spaghetti sauce by the way) that seemed to make fun of the cooking skills of fathers and faced a major backlash about it. Truthfully, I thought it was a lot of fuss about nothing, but it was a fuss and the company ended up having to apologize to fathers for it.

This kind of thing happens all the time, and it doesn’t have to be this big. There was a woman whose book got a bad review on Amazon and she went after the person who wrote that review, only angering a constituency that hadn’t reviewed her book online because they’d thought it was horribly written and edited and just didn’t want to make a fuss, and once they mobilized and wrote all the negative reviews you can imagine the woman pretty much disappeared, with her book eventually averaging just barely over 1 star. Yes, social media can be deadly indeed.

Being Ignored

If getting the message wrong is a major problem, a problem just as bad is being ignored. Some time ago I wrote a post saying that social media marketing is just marketing. As true as that is, I didn’t expand it further at the time, mainly because I hadn’t thought about it.

When you watch your favorite programs on TV, what do you notice during the commercials? You notice that you see the same commercial over and over. During most sporting events on TV, you’ll often see the same commercial at every break. This year the big commercials seem to be from Papa John’s, who’s sponsoring the Super Bowl. The point isn’t that they’re paying millions to do that; the point is that they’re making sure their message gets across by popping it up there every 3 or 4 minutes on multiple channels to make sure we all get the message.

Let’s think about our social media marketing processes. I wrote about our reluctance to market ourselves, and it probably needs to be modified to say our reluctance to over-market ourselves. Indeed, if you read the comments on that post, you’ll see people admitting that they hate marketing themselves, instead spending a lot of time promoting others with the expectation that doing it helps to promote themselves. It does, but if one really wanted to earn a significant income, just how much marketing and self promotion via social media would we have to do?

The short answer; a lot. During my recent short period of pitching my request for a Shorty Award nomination I started retweeting that request every couple of hours. I did that for maybe 4 days before I started feeling self conscious about it; I even had it up here as a sticky post for that time period before putting it back into regular circulation.

That campaign only got me 26 overall votes, and what’s funny about it is how people said they never saw it; are you kidding me? I put it on Twitter, I put it on Facebook, I wrote about it on two other blogs. Yet that’s all I got; with a lot of people saying they never saw it, and I bet there are people right now who will say they never saw it.

The same thing happened when I was marketing my 2010 live presentation locally. I thought I was putting my message out there often, over many weeks, yet not only was the turnout not what I expected it to be, but when I mentioned it to people less than a month after it ended they said “I didn’t know you were doing that”. How often can one legitimately put their message out there?

One of the biggest complaints many of us have about some of the people we see marketing through social media is that they’re always promoting themselves over and over, to the extent that we’re sick of them and we stop following them. I’m one of those people, yet I’m starting to realize that if I ever really want to make money via social media marketing, or get better known so that I will get more consulting gigs or requests to speak at paid gigs that putting out the occasional marketing post probably isn’t going to get it done. And that doesn’t bode well for someone, whether it’s me or someone following me. People will do what people need to do to make money, and whether you or I like it or not if those people make money by those means, who are we to say they don’t have the right to make a living?

Those of us hoping for positive things out of our social media presence and social media marketing have to decide what it is we really want to do to reach our goals. I haven’t decided yet, but I’m still leaning towards not being too much of a pest. But maybe I can be slightly pesty, if that’s a word; I’m not sure. An interesting question is whether I’d do it for a client that asked for it. I’d have to answer that with an affirmative, which means we’re back to an old Redd Foxx joke, where the punch line is “we’re just arguing over the price”. One of these days, if prodded enough, I might tell the rest of that joke. 🙂

Meanwhile, think about it; what would it take for you to decide to put yourself out there more in social media, and just what would that mean?
 

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Social Media Isn’t For Everyone

Last week I was having an interesting conversation with someone who’d been sent my way to talk about social media. She was trying to learn new ways of promoting her business and she wanted to do it via social media. When I asked her why she stated “my friend said I have to be on social media to actually get any business.”


The Social Butterfly
by Ric Nagualero

Strangely enough, this isn’t the first time I’ve had someone say this to me. I keep talking to people who I could potentially be making some money from asking me to help them spread the word through social media circles. Many of them know the names of the outlets, yet have no real idea why they should be on them, let alone how to use them.

Back to the conversation the other day. I asked this person what she was already on. She said she was on all of them, but hadn’t done anything with any of them other than create an account. She hadn’t filled out any of her business information on LinkedIn; she had never sent a single tweet; she had created a Facebook page but set it up as a private site, with no one linked to it yet; and she’d had her Blogspot blog turned into a website, yet all her posts weren’t hers, thereby linking everyone away from her site.

In other words, kind of a mess of sorts, I hate to say. Yet she wanted, needed, to be in social media. I asked her why again. She said because she wanted to have an outlet where she could advertise her services, or talk about seminars and webinars she was going to put in through her company. In essence, for advertising purposes; nothing wrong with that.

I asked her what kind of time she had to devote to any of it, and she said almost none. I asked her what kind of money she was willing to spend towards it and she said very little because she was just getting her business up off the ground. She said that’s why she wanted me to help her, but to offer her ideas that wouldn’t cost her a lot of money because she had to get it done.

Here’s the thing. Social media is obviously the wave of the future, but it’s still not for everyone. Or at the very least, all of it isn’t for everyone. It’s kind of like Mitchell Allen’s post You Suck At Marketing, when he talks about people who buy all these books and programs that purport to teach them how to market online, yet either don’t put anything into practice or don’t even take the time to read them. Just knowing some big time names won’t make you a dime; putting something into action will. And not everything you read from everyone; you have to try something first, then if it doesn’t work move on. Even then, you have to be willing to give things time to develop or not without changing them too much.

Two weeks ago I wrote a post on work/life balance. Well, there also has to be a work/work balance. No one gets anything without a little effort. If you don’t have the time to devote even 5 minutes a day to a social media pursuit, it’s not for you. If you don’t have 30 minutes a week to devote to writing posts for your own blog, it’s not for you. That is, unless you can pay someone to do it all for you, and even with that, you’re still going to have to contribute in some fashion.

If it’s not for you, don’t feel left out. The fact that you at least know about it puts you ahead of a lot of people. Your time may come; don’t push it too much for now if you’re not ready for it.

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