Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tips for intergrating between platforms and search.

The following are a combination of my ideas as well as those of Hub Spot and Jeff Bullas. I recommend checking out their blogs too. When you are looking to get the most out of all your social media it is important to sync up your information. The concept of branding is universal and one of the biggest parts of marketing. Companies pay millions and even billions to protect and promote a brand. Many brands are household names and have become so because of years of careful marketing and planning. McDonalds and Walmart are two of every marketer's favorite examples. When you hear the name McDonalds you think of several things: cheap, fast, kids, fun, and I'm sure a few others. When you think of Walmart you think of low prices. These two companies have built this reputation and live and breathe these ideas.
This relates to you because you need to have an idea of what type of brand you want to achieve for yourself or your company.
I will be discussing your blog, Facebook and some video ideas to build a brand and grow your brand.

Your Blog:
  1. The number one rule is great content. In anything you do make sure you provide great content that is relevant and compelling. People like lists because they are scan-able and easy to follow. 
  2. Part of this idea of content is a great headline that people on Twitter and Facebook would be willing to click on.
  3. Have a re-tweet button and a Facebook share button on your blog. Mine should be above the article and at the bottom of the page. Please feel free to tweet and share my page on Facebook.  
    1. I also recommend adding a Digg button and maybe a few more depending on which sites you monitor.
    2.  Linkedin groups are also a great way to share blog content. 
  4. Have an RSS feeder capability on your blog.  People use many different readers to keep track of blogs. (I prefer Google reader).
Your Facebook Page:
  1. Run a poll on your page. Facebook has great features you can use and share. I love polls because people like to express their opinion and you can capture that opinion.
  2. You can also run contests and sweepstakes. This is powerful because you can capture an e-mail address and other contact information.
  3. Link your page to Twitter so every post goes out to your Twitter account.
Your Twitter Account:
  1. Use different tools to capture information, organize accounts and search.
    1. Tweepi- Combines and manages your accounts so you know who is inactive, who is super active, and link to people's blogs.
    2. Twellow - Searches through people on Twitter. It is like the Yellow Pages for Twitter.
    3. Tweetdeck - Allows you to post tweets at different times and is just an amazing all-around tool that is simple to use. It was also just acquired by Twitter so you know it is powerful.  
    4. Hootsuite - Is the last I will mention. It allows you to monitor all your social media from one place and to put out information across your network quickly. 
  2. A huge part of Twitter is to become active within your niche. Learn who the experts are and follow them. Try and contact them. Build your network within your niche. While I agree it looks cool to follow 100,000+ people, are you really reading anything worthwhile? Build a strong network in your industry, not just to get a million followers. 

For some great advice on making viral videos check out Lilach Bullock's blog post .

Thank you and good luck going social. Feel free to connect with me.

Monday, May 23, 2011

8 Social Media Marketing Princples

I have read several blogs and wanted to add my tips along with theirs. Several of my ideas come from Jeff Bullas' blogMarketing Pilgrim and Quirks blog.

I wanted to state a couple principles of social media marketing. 
Whenever you start with working in any new area the key is to understand several basic principles:

  1. The headline has to be compelling and grabbing. This is not a new concept. Any writer knows the headline has to grab a reader or they won't read the article.  This concept just means more in the digital age when we are inundated with information and our mind has to work through hundreds of messages a day.  
  2. Everything happens in real time and needs to be immediate. If you wait 3 days to respond to a customer comment on your Facebook page they will have moved on. People expect almost immediate responses from everyone. 
  3. Use social media to entertain and educate. Too many people try to sell through social media. They figure people want to look at your product and want to buy your stuff when they "like" your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter.  People primarily follow others to get a deal (see below for more about that) or to learn.  People will also come if they are being entertained; games, contests and great videos draw people in.
  4. Give aways. People love free anything and the web is so packed full of free things that it is essential that you give something. Whether it is an actual product or just information it draws people in.
  5. This one I think is the most powerful idea out there and it is:  go niche.  This is well known in marketing. If you have a corner on the market you win. The key is to find experts in your small niche area, connect with them, and become an expert yourself.  
  6. Become a publisher. This is huge! You want to be the one sending out information and getting others to work for you by having them give you information.   
  7. Be passionate. If you don't love mountain biking don't blog and create a Facebook page about it even if you think you can make money. You are spending a lot of time in this area and insincerity can show through, even in an online world. 
  8. Listen. This is one of the most commonly talked about issues with social media. We spend all this time shoving things down other people's throats that we don't learn from our customers, followers and readers. This is what makes social media marketing so powerful: you can connect directly with customers and experts. 

Now I would like to delve a little more into number 8. Many experts have learned that you need to be monitoring many different words and ideas, not just your brand name.  In an article on Quirks blog by Joe Rydholm, he talked about how Kraft doesn't just monitor its brands; it looks for what people who are talking about grocery shopping are saying. They went as deep as to see what type of people use grocery lists and what these shoppers are saying. This wealth of information allows you to connect with others and also to understand what they are looking for. 

As promised I also wanted to bring up a little about deals, or number 4. Deals are one of the main ways to utilize social media to drive sales.  The following statistics were taken from the Marketing Pilgrim website
  • 82% of consumers said that finding a great deal on a product contributed most to the feeling of winning.
  • 60% mentioned the competitive aspect of shopping, saying that getting a better price than other people made them feel like a winner.
  • 69% of shoppers now seek more deals and coupons online.
  • 49% of shoppers use more coupons now because of the Internet.
Everyone wants to feel like a winner and most consumers "like" pages to get deals; not because they love your razor or whatever you sell (unless you're Apple or maybe Google).  

Remember to be smart in your social media marketing endeavors and to have a plan and a way to measure the results of that plan.  

    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    Interesting sites.

    I wanted to share some of the sites I use and follow for your use. My first site is one I recently came across that allows you to create free flash-based websites and it looks pretty awesome. gives pre-made flash sites  where you change the content and the pictures. They even do Facebook pages as well.

    I will also bring up Empire Avenue again because it really is a lot of fun and a great way to connect with serious social networkers.

    For those few who have not used Linkedin, it is an amazing site to connect and to keep up with your chosen field. You can join groups and connect with others in your business field and it is the social networking site for professionals.

    Also, a great resource is Seomoz website and blog. They are the leader in search engine optimization and what is going on in that part of the industry.

    I also wanted to list a couple of the marketing blogs I follow and invite you to comment and tell me what blogs and sites you follow.

    The Marketing Pilgrim-Started by Andy Beal, a top social network marketer for fortune 500 companies
    Forrester Research blog- The top market research firm in the country
    Chris Brogan's blog - An independent consultant
    Scot Monty's blog- Head of social media for Ford
    Content to Commerce blog- The blog for Big Fuel, a leading company in social media
    Social Media Pathways- A social media company

    I hope you find some of these sites interesting, and please don't forget to share some of your own.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Why Social Media

    This 2-in-1 question is frequently asked by marketing professionals: Why and how do we focus on social media?
    Well the why is because it is a powerful tool that is not going away.  It has become the way of communicating and building awareness throughout the the world.  From connecting protesters in the Middle East, to announcing product recalls, to telling me you're out walking your dog.  Social media is powerful and huge.

    It can be used by both small and large companies.  I will use my wife's Etsy business as an example for small companies (I am not ashamed to promote family here). Her business is called MS Puppet Queen. She uses the power of Facebook to help her build a community of connections of people interested in similar areas. This is a powerful way to grow awareness beyond family into the larger and broader social world.

    For larger businesses that are already a household name it helps connect with customers. The following is an example from Starbucks taken from

    "Starbucks Corporation is a social media giant when it comes to engagement, including incorporating blogs, status updates, tweets, and forums. When the trendy Seattle-based coffeehouse chain realized that its sales were stagnating and that competition was becoming fierce, it had to find ways to solidify and expand its market share. In 2009, Starbucks launched the interactive MyStarbucksIdea website and corporate blog. While some industry analysts doubted whether the site would catch on, well over 100,000 internet users had visited the site by the end of its first week online. The site allows users to submit ideas for new drinks, food items, packages, even store designs. Suggestions are voted on by Starbucks consumers with the most popular ones getting highlighted.

    But Starbucks took it a step further, adding an "Ideas in Action" blog that gives updates to users on the status of suggested changes. Starbucks doesn't just communicate news and business developments with its audience, but it also lets them know which of their suggestions the company has really taken to heart. Starbucks also has fully embraced Twitter beyond notifying consumers about bargains; @Starbucks focuses on sharing interesting events and music information or brand- and charity-related topics the company would like to address. It's not a one-way monologue. Followers are not just entertained. They are being engaged in a brand and conversations around it."

    What a way to connect with customers! The key is to be creative, consistent, and have a plan.

    Here is a video I also found very useful.

    Next I will be looking for different metrics used in social media.