Articles Tagged ‘Social Media’

Consumer, Consumer, Where Art Thou?

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Gone are the days when you could tell the customer what to read, think or buy. The customer has his/her ideas about everything including what and where to buy. They aren’t listening to us very much.

Case in point: many businesses are putting their newspaper ads on Facebook–you know the discount ads. When these are put on Facebook, they interrupt the customers dialog with their friends. If you want to know what to put on Facebook, look at what gets the most comments. Every time I see an advertisement I just skip over it. There seem to be so many bogus offers that I’m not into looking at any of them even if they look interesting.

The advertising channels are going through a reincarnation; it’s not that consumers don’t care what you sell, they’ve changed how they want to connect with you. The online marketing is about engagement and the traditional marketing is about ‘here we are’, look at us. The most important distinction is the customer and how they want to build their connections with businesses. Customers want to talk with each other about their lives, not about what products to buy. Are you surprised?

If they’re looking for a product they’ll ask their friends. Where I live we have an online conversation called ‘The Hudson Park List.’ People comment about local street problems, missing cats and ask for advice about contractors etc. This is the best place to look for an electrician or a plumber; it’s our own Angie’s List. It’s much better than looking through the classified sections.

Despite the fact that newspaper reading is down, magazine subscriptions are up and talk radio is is growing. I read that 40% of Americans now listen to audio on digital devices and it’s projected to double by 2015. I am one of those talk radio fans. I remember when I was very young, my parents listening to talk radio at night to fall asleep. Little did I know, that 50 years later I would be falling asleep to the same thing! With the advent of blog talk, there are more radio shows than ever. It seems that everyone has something to say and they want the world to hear it. My favorite is the repeats of Car Talk out of Boston.

It really is difficult to reach customers unless they want to be reached. In fact, the statistics are quite staggering.
◦200 million Americans have registered their phone numbers on the FTC’s “Do not call list.”
◦86% of people skip the television ads.
◦91%of email users have oversubscribed from a company email that they previously opted into. This is important for us bloggers!
◦44% of direct mail is never opened.

The number of smart phones is staggering; 46% of consumers in this country have smart phones. Mobile networks are clogging up the airways. Emergency 911 numbers have not been allowing text messages up until recently. Several states have decided that texting should be allowed. Often times an accident victim can’t speak on their phone but might be able to text. Accident victims have been posting their help messages on Twitter and 911 was asking them to not do it. It was slowing down their response time. After Twitter, 911 still had to be called.

65% of people surveyed believe that social media is better than call centers. There was one case where a person had complained to UPS and couldn’t get any satisfaction. Instead of continuing to feel ignored, the customer wrote a note on Twitter. Apparently within 2 hours the problem was resolved .

The idea is to decide who are your customers and what are you trying to achieve with your marketing? Why not bring your video camera every time you step out of the house and see if there’s anything your customer might like to see. You might find something that would be useful for your newspaper ad or your social media.

How about taking your television commercial and put it on YouTube or your Facebook page? You may want to shorten it into several minute clips instead of one 5 minute clips. When your taping your television clip, think about how you might use it on social media.

Lisbeth helps businesses build loyal relationships with their customers through customer service training and social media. She can be reached for training or speaking at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. Her book, Red Hot Customer Service can be purchased on her web site, www.lisbethcalandrino.com.

Lisbeth Calandrino
Fabulous Floors
Associate Publisher & Director of Consumer Research
lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com

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Social Media: 2013 Predictions

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Every Monday morning all across America, football fans slip into the mode of the armchair quarterback. They argue loudly over the water cooler or morning coffee about the choices their favorite coach made the day before. Of course, they have an advantage. It’s Monday morning, long after the pressure of the action is over.

The coaches they are criticizing had to make those same decisions on the fly, in the heat of the game. Some of their plans are even made two and three weeks out in anticipation of what their opponents will do on the field.

In many respects, the life of the Internet marketing professional is a lot like that of a football coach. We have to make recommendations to our clients based on our best guess of what will be hot the next week, month or year. Will Facebook grow or crash and burn? Will there be a new Pinterest emerging on the scene this year? Will LinkedIn finally take their dominant role in the business-to-business arena?

I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do have opinions about what I think will be hot or not: Social media 2013

•Facebook is NOT going to throw in the towel. Businesses are not going to leave despite the many complaints. Facebook is here to stay, at least for a few more years. They have enough money to test a variety of tactics and make rapid changes in response to recent outcry.
•Facebook will launch subscription services for business. Given the lack of response and even outright disgust for their promoted posts, Facebook will find other ways to build value for small businesses. Look for offers of enhanced service bundles at a nominal fee to reengage small business users and generate revenues.
•This will not be the year of the QR code. Although I love the promise of the technology, there are not enough people who have smart phones with code readers. And let’s face it, even those of us who do have the readers rarely think to use them. Further reducing the chances the technology will catch on is the fact that companies just don’t seem to get how these tools can be used. And as a marketer, technologies such that the QR codes are still ugly.
•YouTube will become more social. Look for additional comment and sharing functionality as the integration with Google+ increases.
•Age of Social Television. It’s already happening sporadically as shows encourage viewers to live tweet during programs and cable advertisers allow consumers to download coupons or call companies with one click from their remote. 2013 will be the year these interactions move transition from novelty to mainstream.
•Google+ will grow. We may not like it any more then than we do now, but it will be harder and harder to ignore this network as Author Rank, which is tied to your G+ profile becomes an important measure of your on line credibility.
•Marketing messaging will become even more personalized. 2012 was the year of data collection as more and more tools became popular which allowed businesses to learn more and more about their clients. In 2013, consumer-centric communications will become the cornerstone of effective marketing. Businesses who are holding on to a one size fits all approach in their marketing will be left in the dust.
•Businesses are going to hold social media accountable. Tired of nebulous conversations about fans, followers and engagement, senior managers and business owners are going to look for more direct correlation to the bottom line.

As I was working on this post, I found a number of other predictions. Some I agree with, some I don’t, but they make for interesting reading. Come back in a year and we can see who was right.

Lorraine Ball
Roundpeg
Follow @lorraineball

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29 Ways to Integrate and Reuse Your Marketing Content

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Reuse your content to save!

Sometimes, coming up with new content for your website, blog post or other marketing can be downright exhausting. As an outsourced marketing copywriter for my Indianapolis clients, I’m always trying to find ways to re-purpose existing content and marketing tactics in order to save my clients time and resources. So I put together 29 ways that you might reuse your existing marketing materials:

1.Turn an effective print ad campaign into a landing page or email blast.
2.Shorten your whitepaper into a blog post.
3.Turn a page of web content into a sales letter or brochure.
4.Use your blog posts for email marketing content.
5.Re-write customer testimonials into a longer case study or add them to your website.
6.Use social media to share your (old or new) blog posts and drive people to your website.
7.Recruit subscribers to your eNewsletter through your social media pages.
8.Recruit social media followers through your in-store display, sales letter or email.
9.Post your press release on your website or blog.
10.Send your blog post, whitepaper or case study to a publication for earned media coverage (PR).
11.Print out relevant blog posts or media coverage and send them to a prospect with a sales letter.
12.Gather your press releases, press coverage and blog posts into a media kit to post on your website or to send to reporters and editors. Use at trade shows as handouts for prospects and media.
13.Have your customer read their case study or testimonial in a video format to post on YouTube and your website.
14.Perform a customer survey and send any relevant results to your industry trade journal or to the local media.
15.Send a blog post or educational article to a local or trade media editor for inclusion as a column.
16.Print out a copy of your latest print ad campaign and use it as a flyer or handout at a trade show, golf outing or other event sponsorship.
17.Send flyers or offer letters with your billing statements to customers to remind them of additional products or services.
18.Re-run your radio advertising or customer testimonials as your on-hold message on your company’s office telephone line.
19.Post your television advertising on a company YouTube account and on your website.
20.Use social media to promote an upcoming trade show, open house, sponsorship or other event.
21.Package leftover promotional products and materials from trade shows or events and include them in prospect mailings or gift packages for clients and vendors.
22.Create a blog post about your company’s events over the past year, and document with photos and videos.
23.Write a blog post about your company’s most popular blogs or social media posts of the year.
24.License your blog content for others to use and promote on their websites or blogs (with permission and a link back to your site, of course).
25.Post a sales presentation PowerPoint slide on SlideShare and include on your social media pages.
26.Share a relevant blog post to a local or industry LinkedIn Group page.
27.Create a whitepaper or eBook out of blog content, surveys or old eNewsletter content. Offer it for downloading on your website in exchange for signing up for your newsletter or requesting information.
28.Convert a blog post into an audio or video file for your website.
29.Tape-record your speaking engagements and offer them (for sale or download) via your website.

These are just a few ideas for re-purposing content — off the top of my head. How many more could you add to this list?

Susan Young, President
AimFire Marketing
(317) 858-7669 office/fax
(317) 414-3623 cell
syoung@aimfiremarketing.com
http://www.aimfiremarketing.com

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Sharing Memories and Building a Powerful Personal Brand

Friday, November 16th, 2012

kylepic

Think about your family’s best stories. What are the stories that get told and retold during family gatherings — those stories that are passed down from generation to generation, father to son, mother to daughter. These are the stories that family legend are made of.

There is no reason you can’t have stories like that yourself, or that they need to stay only with you. That’s one of the cool things social media has let us do is to share those stories with each other.

But here’s the important thing: you have to tell these stories. You have to be willing to share those stories with people. Whether it’s writing it up as a blog post, posting it on Facebook, or letting your videos and pictures tell the story for you and putting them online for others to see and share.

If you’re not comfortable sharing certain parts of your life, don’t share them. No one said you had to tell everything you were doing, show photos of every aspect of your life, or reveal every personal detail you’d rather keep private.

“There are just some things I don’t want people to know about,” we often hear from social media resisters.

That’s fine, don’t share those things. If you don’t want people to know where you live, don’t put your house on Foursquare. If you don’t want people to know you’re on vacation, don’t post photos to Facebook while you’re out.

Choose the parts of your life you want to share with people, and make it available for people to read, watch, and enjoy. Share the parts of your life that you feel comfortable sharing, and keep the rest of the stuff private. Rather than relying on the ever-changing, always-complex Facebook privacy settings to keep your stuff hidden, just don’t put it up.

Just remember that in order to build relationships with people and get them to know and like you, you need to reveal some parts of yourself to make yourself seem more human. That’s where sharing your memories and stories, through blogging, status updates, tweets, photos, and videos, are all going to help you with this.

kyle lacy
ExactTarget
(blog) www.kylelacy.com
(join) www.smallerindiana.com
(tweet) kyleplacy

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