Email newsletters are still one of the most effective marketing tools. You’re putting your content right into the hands of your prospects, clients and fans.
Twitter is hit and miss. It’s a bit of luck to post at the moment your followers are checking their streams. Facebook is even more problematic. Only 17% of your Facebook Page posts reach your fans on average, unless you’re willing to pay to promote your posts.
I used to think acquiring your first 1,000 followers in social media was a sales process. It was a process of engaging one person at a time to achieve a critical mass with market visibility. I don’t think that way anymore.
Social media is a game. You can focus on quality over quantity and do the ‘right things,’ but that is not required to grow a substantial following. It’s how well you play the game.
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Or so the old adage goes. But that’s not quite true. Not all measures are worth managing.
Management guru and statistician, Edward Deming is often cited for the quote, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” But according to his Wikipedia bio, this famous pearl of wisdom was not his. Deming actually proclaimed, “one of the seven deadly diseases of management is running a company on visible figures alone.”
Social media is a tool. That’s it. It’s time for the so called “social media experts” to move on.
You don’t see consultants claiming to be telephone experts or email experts. Why would they? We all understand these devices, and their place in business. We use telephones to talk to people, and email to send letters digitally.
Asking a company about their social media strategy is like asking a carpenter whether he has a hammer strategy. We’re talking about tools not architectural drawings.
In every generation companies wrestle with adopting new technologies. In the 90’s email rose to prominence, and businesses had to figure it out. Now it’s social media.
LinkedIn has a problem with their groups. They have communities brimming with potential, but most are choking on spam.
It’s heartbreaking. Of all the major social networks, the LinkedIn Groups have a structure that is perfectly designed for business conversations and engagement. The structure is reminiscent of the old Internet discussion boards, but with the power of the largest business network in the world.
It’s easy to see the successes bloggers like Darren Rowse and Chris Brogan are having with social media and think, “I want that.” Darren’s ProBlogger Facebook Page has over 47,000 Likes, and Chris has over 109,000 people following him on Google+
I’m not in their league, but in less than 2 years my LinkedIn Group, Sticky Branding, grew to over 24,000 members. People see these successes, and want to replicate them for their businesses.
There is a fine line between marketing your marketing and being a litterbug.
Promoting your content is essential. If no one is reading it, it doesn’t have value. But how you approach marketing your content is equally important.
“I heard Beyoncé lip synced the National Anthem at Barack Obama’s Inauguration.”
“Did you see Jodie Foster’s speech at the Grammys?”
“What do you think of Lance Armstrong’s confession on Oprah?”
Every day office workers come together to talk and share. They’re not trying to solve world hunger, or what needs to be done on the next project. They’re coming together to chat.
Social media has been a primary focus of marketers and executives over the last two years. Companies have been setting up Facebook Pages, getting active on Twitter, implementing monitoring and analytics tools, and trying to figure out this rapidly growing new medium. Social media has been the shiny, new marketing object.
Meanwhile, email became passé. It wasn’t cool to run email newsletters and engage users through email—that was so 2005. But wait! According to the Direct Marketing Association, email outperforms social media advertising three-to-one.
Instagram created a tsunami of social media anger on Tuesday. They changed their user agreement, and the Internet screamed.
The most contentious issue was Instagram’s claim they have the right to license all public photos to any organization. Instagram’s CEO, Kevin Systrom, responded quickly to reassure users, “It is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear.”
A question I get all the time, “How do I monetize a social media community?”
It’s an inevitable question. Rarely do businesses invest in and grow online communities for the greater good. They’re looking for some kind of return on their investment, whether it’s sales leads, increased brand awareness or brand reputation.
What would you think if you looked up a company’s website, and it looked like it was designed in the 90’s? Would this instill confidence in their brand? Would you be inclined to call them? Probably not. So why is it ok to have a terrible profile photo on LinkedIn or Twitter?
I am continually shocked by the bio photos I come across in social networks. I’m not going to publicly shame anyone, but check for yourself. Look at your LinkedIn contacts, and notice how many people have cropped photos of themselves in random situations.
Social media marketing is very different from other marketing platforms. Traditionally marketing is campaign driven—a tradeshow, an ad, a promotion or an event. Each of these activities has a clear beginning, middle and end. Social media on the other hand is endless.
Social media is driven by the here-and-now. A post made on Facebook or Twitter a day ago is lost. Users’ social streams are constantly moving, and each piece of content has a very short shelf life. And in some sectors, what was said an hour ago is old news. This means companies have to keep adding and participating in social media to stay relevant and visible. They can’t stop feeding the content beast, or they’ll get lost.
The growth of the Internet has proven to be a double-edged sword for many companies. For all the positive influences the Internet, social media and mobile technologies provide companies, they also make marketing far more complicated.
I had an opportunity to share some of my thoughts on the double-edged nature of digital marketing in yesterday’s Globe & Mail. Paul Brent, the journalist, quizzed me on how sales has changed in the past decade, and what it means for companies to stand out and compete in the digital age. The topic got me thinking, and I wanted to expand about the two sides of the sword in this post.
Growing a social media group is one of the most effective ways to scale your brand and your network. Whether you choose a LinkedIn Group, a Facebook Page or another network, creating a vibrant social media community is immensely powerful. The challenge is how to get the group off the ground, and grow it into a community.
When you cruise the social media highway you will find countless groups that are floundering or abandoned. There are over 1.3 million groups on LinkedIn, but only 3% of them have 1,000 or more members, and less than 0.017% of groups break 10,000 members. Vibrant, engaged and growing social media communities are not the average.
Sales is based on relationships. Your customers won’t buy from you unless they like you, trust you and find you credible. But the challenge is relationship building is time consuming.
Until very recently relationship building was not a scalable activity. There are only so many hours in the day for lunches, phone calls and emails. But social media communities are changing that dynamic. Now it’s possible to engage, nurture and grow relationships with people all over the world.
A strange question hit me on Sunday. Are professionals dumb enough to check into strip clubs on FourSquare or Facebook?
The thought hit me while listening to Spark on CBC Radio. Nora Young was interviewing Justin Cranshaw of The Livehoods Project on how he is profiling the culture and lifestyle of cities using data from FourSquare and Instagram. Livehoods creates maps based on social check-ins to show how people actually use their environments.
Is your marketing content good enough for your customers to pay for it?
Don’t laugh. Companies are monetizing and selling their marketing content. Marketing isn’t just for lead generation and brand building anymore. It can become a revenue asset for your business.
Countless brands stunt their reach on social media, because all they do is broadcast their own content. Check their Facebook page or Twitter stream, and you’ll see their articles, their firm announcements, their promotions, their stuff. “Me, me, me.”
Pushing your own content is a way to get started in social media, but it will only take you so far. You may get a few hundred followers on Facebook or Twitter, but fairly quickly your growth will plateau.