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Thursday, 26 April 2012

Why bother with social media?

We've all been sucked in, one way or another, to the brave new world of social media. For most small/mid sized companies, having a social media presence is generally top of their list, as both the problem and the solution to all their woes.

Before you rush to join the huddled masses though, make sure you know what you're trying to accomplish with social media, so you can measure your success or lack of it and hone your outreach accordingly.

So what should you be monitoring/doing to make the most of your social media push?


- Wall posts
- Comments
- Likes

The more people who interact with your wall posts, the more visible and potentially viral, a post becomes. You should aim to both react to relevant posts in your business newsfeed and get your wall posts featured in other influential newsfeeds.


- Look for relevant questions about you/your company/industry
- Reply to requests for information and support about your industry
- Monitor for complaints and feedback
- Look out for competitor mentions
- Follow influencers (find who they are via Wefollow)

Where possible say thank you, retweet, save to favourites, reply and connect with your potential clients.


- Check LinkedIn Answers at least once a week
- Join relevant groups and contribute to their discussion groups

This tool is still primarily friend to those selling B2B, but everyone needs to network so don't rule it out if you're not in that space.


- Search keywords, product names etc to see what people are saying about your brand
- Ripples let you see your posts spread across Google+ who's sharing and influencing?
- Use the social analytic reports to measure +1's
- Watch out for new tools that Google+ adds around analytics

The jury is still out, but love it or hate it Google+ has a following and your potential customers are likely to be part of it.


- Use tools such as PinReach and PinPuff to view engagement and influence levels
- Use it to build a community around your brand
- Ask for repins (add a price tag to your pins and a link back to your website)
- Add your website link to pins to boost your SEO

As the newest, yet fastest growing social media site people you can benefit from showcasing the personality behind your brand.


- Track relevant blog articles
- Read the comments and jump in if you have something valuable to add
- Do any of the articles written about you link back to your website?

Blogs are here to stay and now that RSS feeders condense what people choose to read, the opportunity for pinpointing your ideal customer or target market, is huge.

As ever, knowing who your customers are and which social media tools they use will help you to build the right presence in the right place.

Happy tweeting, pinning, liking etc. etc. etc.

Monday, 16 April 2012

10 principles of great content

  1. It's not about you
  2. Pick a hot topic and stay relevant
  3. Be independent 
  4. Support your story with facts, preferably data, better still if you generated the data
  5. Use real life customer stories and reference third parties
  6. Share what doesn't/didn't work. Negatives are news
  7. Empathy and honesty with your audience at all times
  8. Write with confidence but remember that credibility matters
  9. Make it good enough to share
  10. Keep it simple.  Communicate one idea at a time

Friday, 6 April 2012

What's trending on twitter today?

Social media guru Alicia Cowan recently tweeted that twitter trends could make good blog posts. What a great idea, I thought and then I looked to see what the twitter gods might inspire me with.

In London the tweeting public care about

Kim Kardashian & Kanye West Are DATING
Simon Cole
Happy Easter
We Love Gaga's New Car
Bustin Jieber Is Our Everything
Canning Town
Jim Marshall

In Glasgow it looked more like this

Samantha Brick
National Tell A Lie Day
RIP Jim Marshall
Kurt Cobain

A few hundred miles apart but thankfully Easter and Marshall amp appreciation provides common ground.

As the farside cartoon says 'same planet, different worlds.'
Happy Easter!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Is your marketing just sales prevention?

I am a 'seasoned' (read, old) Marketer. Decades ago when you wanted to make a sale, you had to first educate potential buyers about your product/service - what it was, what it did and why you'd be mad not to buy it.  Sellers had power and a sellers marketing had significant influence, because these were the days before social media.

Today, potential buyers educate themselves. They talk about your brand, they discuss their experiences, they poll for answers to their questions, reading the blogs and reviews along the way. What the seller has to say is almost irrelevant to the sale.

For marketing time and money to be well spent, you now need to concentrate on helping the buyer make their choice - making it as easy as possible to interact.

  1. Can they find you when they search? (are you both using the same search terms?) 
  2. Does your website answer their questions? (or is it a just a product features pitch?) 
  3. Is there an easy checkout/download/try now process? (or is this 10 clicks & all your personal details required?) 
  4. Do you know what your current reputation is and are you fixing/building on this with your marketing? 
  5. Are you helping them to know that their money will be well spent i.e. do you address all they can expect post sale or is your marketing solely pre sales focused?
Without getting into the minds of your customers, your marketing is likely to be preventing rather than promoting sales.  Would you buy from you?