Archive for October, 2011

The Importance of Social Media Networking

 

 

 

There is an expression “Short and Sweet”. Here’s one of those articles that is both. So true: The Importance of Social Media Networking.

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The Commandments of Tweeting

I’m working on a report about social media and how companies can evaluate how to use it, without the hype. Kicking around the internet, I found yet another great article by Brian Solis called I Think We Need Some Time Apart, It’s not Me, It’s You which got me thinking more about how business people use Twitter.  According to the article, some of the top reasons people stop following someone have to do with being inundated with Tweets or Wall Posts, content that is too self-promoting, or just plain irrelevant.

The key to staying power is to think quality versus quantity; relevance versus frequency. Try not to re-tweet things that are not theme-relevant to your brand. Communicating your brand is more important than your industry niche. So, if you’re the leader in providing personalized service in the insurance industry; tweet about the importance of personal service, ahead of something about insurance regulations. Does that make sense? It does to me. In that spirit, I’ve some up with some “Commandments” of Tweeting. To give kudos where due, there’s another good article on the subject by Scott Nesbitt, entitled To Tweet or Not to Tweet (Do’s and Dont’s of Tweeting for Your Brand). Here are the top commandments that I’m working on (If you follow me, you’ll know when I get there!):

  • Never re-tweet something you haven’t read first
  • Never tweet or re-tweet something that does not reflect your brand
  • Post some original content at least 1 x month (blog, article)
  • Every post or link shall always contain stand alone value; not window dressing
  • If you must post a pure promotional/commercial; restrict it to 1 x month
  • Recognize good contributors with shout outs (even if they are competitors)
  • Thank those who re-tweet your posts

This takes time and thought but will speak volumes about you and your business. The studies I’ve read indicate that the huge initial wave of social media hysteria is beginning to settle, and we’ll start to see the higher quality content that comes with a more discriminating audience.

What do you think? Let me know what you’d add to this list. I should also mention that I’ve also learned a lot about good Tweeting from GregAboveTheRim who conducts regular classes and has lots of great tips.

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Reality Marketing

Bear with me; long post, but I think it’s important.

I am a marketer with a degree in Psychology. I love both fields, maybe because they are so closely related to each other.

Back in the early 1990s, when I was asked to set up a marketing department from scratch, I had to learn virtually every facet of marketing from the ground-up, with very little assistance. I did go on to take courses and get certification through UCLA, but I had to get some fast results, so there was no other option than to learn, hands on, how to set up an in-house ad agency, get press releases published, and to deal with agencies and other marketers who were very protective of their ground.

The point here is that I started from where I was; a neophyte with a lot of drive and positive energy, but with no understanding of how to set up something as complex and interrelating as a central marketing department.

The better I got at marketing, the more psychology I was using. I needed it to understand our customers, and to deal with the myriad of vendors and third party resources. I even used it to get support from the sales department who knew much more than I gave them credit for.

I was using a dose of “Reality Therapy” to move things forward. Reality Therapy is a method of therapy that pushes an individual beyond all the mistakes and “baggage” from the past and focuses the patient on moving ahead today. What better modus operandi for today’s small businesses, which often have a lot of baggage and have a hard time tossing plans and campaigns that haven’t worked. In much the same way as reality therapy forces a fresh start, marketers sometimes just need to clear the table and begin anew.

What is Reality Marketing? It’s pretty basic. Start from where you are today. Don’t bemoan that you didn’t, couldn’t, should have, or would have. Here are a few simple steps you can take today to inject your marketing efforts with a little “reality”:

1)      Get your key marketing and sales people together; announce your intention to revisit the programs and initiatives you have in place. (Okay, maybe you’ve tried this before, but do it again for real.)

2)      Make it clear that you are where you are today; this is about the future, not the past. You will not tolerate phrases such as “we should have” “why didn’t you” “we never” “what a waste” “if only you had” “I told you that wouldn’t work” “I wanted to, but XXX didn’t let me”. You know the phrases that immobilize your team.

3)      Make it crystal clear that you are evaluating programs, not people!

4)      Nothing is sacred, look at all programs with fresh eyes; pay particular attention to monthly payments made for listings, memberships or any other programs that are not paying back.

5)      Create a set of measurement metrics for each program going forward.

6)      Finally, revisit the basics; your product, your value proposition, your customers and how you get in front of them in a new way.

7)      Re-cast your existing marketing plan to reflect the changes.

8)      Create a fresh action plan with responsibilities, timetables and cost for each.

You know the rest; make sure you meet regularly to evaluate your metrics, make adjustments and keep your plan fresh.  As with any program or new way of working, keep it going, do not stop. You will get results.

 

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