LinkedIn Strategies

September 20, 2017

LinkedInOne of the most under-utilized social networks, from a business and marketing perspective, is LinkedIn. Despite boasting over 396 million users, the truth is that most of the users have no idea what to do with their LinkedIn account besides collecting connections in a random fashion. It’s actually a very robust business tool that you should be using to grow your brand, your network and your social credibility.

I only have space to dig into a couple of the main ways you should be using the tool but even doing these will put you leaps and bounds ahead of most.

It’s difficult to deny the importance of having a great list these days. Most organizations are using digital communication tools to deliver some of their marketing messages. But one of your largest list sources, your LinkedIn database, is missing out on all of those communications unless you have those connections in whatever email marketing tool you are using.

On the flip side, you have many contacts that you’ve made through the years that are not part of your LinkedIn profile. The reason that’s so vital is that some of those people may well be connected to someone you’re trying to reach. If they’re not a part of your LinkedIn network, you can’t leverage those connections to your advantage.

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to easily get both done.

Import your email list into LinkedIn and send connection requests

  • Log into LinkedIn
  • Roll over the “Connections” from the LinkedIn menu and click Add Connections
  • From here, you can enter the password to your email address and LinkedIn will go into your email account and match all of your contacts up with their membership directory. LinkedIn will ask you if you want to send a connection request to all of the people who match up with their directory. The first time you follow this process, you’ll likely add hundreds of new LinkedIn connections to your profile.

Why is this important? As I said earlier, the more connections you have in your database, the better you can truly network and ask for introductions, etc. But beyond that, your ability to see leads in LinkedIn’s advanced lead builder is dependent on the number of people in your network (1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections). If you expand your network, you will increase the number of prospects you are allowed to see.

Once you have imported your email list, remember to communicate with your connections regularly. You should start sharing articles, your company’s Facebook posts, etc. on LinkedIn. Remember, the more people that you have in your network, the more people who will see and potentially share your content.

Export your LinkedIn connection list and import them into your email list

LinkedIn is the only social media platform that allows you to export the email addresses of your connections. By adding them to your database – you can better lead, score and communicate through enewsletters, etc.

  • Click on “Connections”
  • Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner of the screen
  • Click on the Export LinkedIn Connections link under the Advanced Settings option
  • Click on the blue Export button and you will be able to download a CSV file with all of your connections’ data
  • You should then upload the CSV file to your marketing automation software or email tool of choice

Neither of these action items are a once and done type of a thing. You are adding people to both databases on a regular basis so you need to repeat both the export and import strategies at least quarterly to keep both sides of the system as updated as possible.

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The reviews aren’t good

July 19, 2017

reviewsIn the “good old days” when a neighbor or work colleague told you how much they enjoyed a nearby B&B, movie or restaurant, it mattered.  Word of mouth has always been one of marketing’s most potent weapons.  Today – we have word of mouth marketing on steroids with online reviews.

Interestingly, in a wide range of surveys examining the effectiveness of online reviews, the data is pretty telling. Depending on the research, somewhere between 84-90% of us trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

Nearly 9 out of every 10 consumers has used online reviews to influence a purchase and about 40% of us use them on a regular basis as part of our buying process. Most people read between 6-10 reviews and they usually read the most recent reviews first.

Why do we give perfect strangers the same credibility score as our neighbors and friends?

  • We believe in the aggregate. One bad review suggests a fluke or someone had a grudge but when there’s a pattern, we’re willing to believe the crowd.
  • We assume that the reviewers are people like us who have no axe to grind but just want to be helpful.
  • We give more credibility to the “average Joe” than we do to marketing or corporate speak. In other words – I want to hear what other people say about you, not what you say about yourself.

Given both the number of consumers who rely on online reviews and the level of trust they put in them – it’s not something businesses can ignore.   And this isn’t just about restaurants or hotels anymore. Whether you’re a dentist, restaurant, ad agency, professor or an insurance agent – between Angie’s List and all of the specialty lists out there – everyone is being rated.

Interestingly – businesses seem to be adopting the head in the sand approach to bad reviews.  Even though almost every rating site will allow the proprietor to respond, very few do.

That is a huge missed opportunity. Every business owner, CMO etc. should be tracking where their business is being rated and monitoring those ratings.  While the ideal is that you’d respond to all the reviews (odds are there are not that many), you should at the very least react to the negative ones.

Here are some best practices for responding to negative reviews.

  • Apologize. Use the words “I am sorry” to acknowledge that they had a bad experience, even if you don’t believe it was your fault.
  • Refer to them by name if you can.
  • Identify yourself by name and title so they know who is responding to them.
  • If there really was a problem – don’t sugar coat it. Admit that you blew it and what you’re doing to make sure the next guest does not experience the same thing.
  • After your initial response, if they reply – take it offline. While you want everyone reading the reviews to see that you care, you don’t need to play out the entire conversation online.
  • If you feel like you can win them back – offer to compensate them in some way. And no, this will not encourage a bunch of people to leave bad reviews just to get a coupon or free meal from you.
  • Talk like a human, not a corporate committee. Use conversational language so they know there’s a human being behind your comments.

No matter what you do – ignoring negative reviews is not an option.  They are too influential to your prospects and when they go unanswered, they’re taken as gospel and can chase away potential business. So settle in and try to make some lemonade out of those lemons.

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Smart mobile marketing is scarce at best

May 2, 2017

Mobile MarketingAs people spend more and more time on their mobile devices (phones, tablets and phablets), it only makes sense that budgets are being shifted in that direction. But there are several challenges with mobile marketing that most advertisers still have not figured out.

  • The creative is not all that effective and is usually a banner ad that’s been re-sized for the mobile application as opposed to truly thinking about the mobile viewer and what would capture their attention
  • The ads are not action driven enough – they are more often than not, passive, brand ads
  • It’s difficult, without cookies, to track effectiveness
  • It’s tough to connect mobile ads to in-store purchases because of some of the same tracking issues
  • Targeting is a challenge – the accuracy of the existing tools are unproven

That’s why when mobile marketing is done well, it’s worth examining. Dunkin’ Donuts ran a campaign a few years ago that can teach us several lessons about how to use mobile wisely.

Their goal was to reach coffee drinkers who did not routinely visit a Dunkin’ Donuts store. They wanted to change their buying behavior and encourage them to visit a Dunkin’ Donuts rather than one of their competitors. They wanted to generate measurable behaviors so they decided to pair demographic targeting and location information, so they were speaking to the right people at the time they were likely looking for a place to buy coffee.

Dunkin’ Donuts targeted coffee drinkers using a third party’s proprietary software that builds behavior profiles based on mobile activity. Then, they geo-fenced the area around their competitors’ stores. When one of these coffee drinking/buying consumers crossed into the geo-fenced area – they were served up coupons for Dunkin’ Donuts.

This allowed them not to cannibalize their own customers because the ads were only served up near their competitors’ locations.

The ads were a call to action – a coupon. They offered coffee for $1 or $2 for a coffee/meal combo. Consumers could download the coupons for later use. More than a third of the consumers who clicked on the ad took additional actions. They either saved the coupon or they searched for the closest Dunkin’ Donuts location. But even more impressive is that 3.6% of the people who saved the coupons actually redeemed them.

As you might imagine, Dunkin’ Donuts is expanding this campaign beyond its original test locations.

What are the lessons we can take from their success?

Previous behavior is a great predictor of future behavior: The strategy surrounding your targeting is vital to a successful mobile campaign. This is not the tool for a broad branding campaign. People use their smart phones for information and to accelerate action. Your campaign should have that same focus.

Location, location, location: This is a feature of smart phones that most mobile campaigns either don’t use or use poorly. But it’s a fine line. If your ad is too specific or requires immediate action, it might freak out the consumer and feel too “big brotherish.” But you do want to offer them choices that they could either use immediately or save for later.

You can create your own measurement tools: One of the reasons this mobile marketing campaign was successful is that they plotted out multiple steps and options for the consumer to take. With each action, they could track the consumer’s responses and ultimately were able to tie it back to a variety of actions, from searching for a store location to making a purchase.

This is an area where both the opportunities and the obstacles are plentiful. We have to learn how to manage the obstacles – because we certainly don’t want to pass on the opportunity!

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Do you recycle?

April 26, 2017

recycleI admit it – I hate re-inventing the wheel. There’s nothing more debilitating to a To Do list than the belief that everything you do needs to be custom created. In this era of content creation, we all need to be brilliant recyclers.

There are several advantages of re-using copy/visuals throughout your marketing efforts. We all know that repetition is necessary when you’re trying to implant marketing messages into your audience’s consciousness. So using the exact same wording and visuals helps accelerate that process.

In addition, it allows you to focus on the strategic elements of your marketing and stop re-working the words. If you don’t like the words (or visuals) well enough to re-use them, then why are you using them at all?

Here’s the biggest misconception about recycling your marketing materials. You don’t want people to get bored or notice that you’re repeating yourself. With all due respect – you wish!

Unless you’re a marquee brand like Apple or Disney, no one is so mesmerized by your marketing efforts that they’re going to notice. Even if you recycle the content several times in a short period of time. No one is memorizing your content. But after awhile, your key points will stick. That’s the point, isn’t it?

Here are some ways to look at your existing content as a source for future content.

Your website: Oh, this is a treasure trove of content for your harvesting purposes. First, look at your website’s navigational headers. You can assume there’s a handful of blog posts, newsletter stories, direct mail letters etc. in each section of your website. Identify key messages in each section and expound on them for future content usage.

Your newsletter: Have you been producing newsletters for a while? Go back and find the evergreen articles that would still be helpful to your audience. Cherry pick the best ones and turn them into blog posts, social media status updates or emails to your best customers.

Your videos: Have you been smart enough to leverage videos in your marketing? Transcribe them (don’t have time – it’s cheap and easy to get it done) so you can re-purpose those pearls of wisdom. If they’re testimonials, those make great visual sound bytes on social media and your website. If they’re how to videos, turn the content into blog posts or FAQs for your website.

Your owner’s manual/instructions: I know it’s not sexy but hopefully it’s written to be helpful. That’s great fodder for social media posts, website content, helpful direct mail pieces to recent purchasers and potential buyers.

Your speeches: These are a very strong source. Odds are, the content is pretty unique and only used for this one purpose. If you’re a typical speaker and use PowerPoint – you’ve got built in visuals and copy. Each key point belongs on your website at the very least. They probably will make excellent blog posts/newsletter articles or an entire direct mail series.

Remember that when you recycle, it doesn’t necessarily mean using the exact same copy in the same way. It’s certainly possible but you may have to change the length, add some set up to give the content a frame, or add details to add value. On the flip side, a piece of long content may need some pruning or it might make a great series, rather than a single piece.

When you start looking at your existing content, ask yourself if you could use it to create:

  • Ebooks
  • A Slideshare deck
  • Case studies
  • Pinterest board or Instagram series
  • Blog posts
  • Infographics
  • Social media posts
  • Newsletter articles
  • Direct mail pieces
  • Podcasts

Look at your existing work as the building blocks for your future work. You’ll love the consistency, the time savings and new tools you can create when you recycle.

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Retargeting – Who Do You Have In Your Sights?

August 24, 2016

retargetingI remember the first time I noticed retargeting. I’d been online, checking the park hours before my next trip to Disney World. From that website, I did some work and then went to a CBS sports site to adjust my fantasy football team before the weekend.

As I was trying to decide which running back to play, I noticed a Disney World ad in the side bar. “How weird is that,” I thought, “I was just on the Disney site earlier today. What are the odds?”

Well today – you and I know that the odds are pretty darn high, thanks to retargeting. Only 2% of web visitors convert on their first visit. That means 98% didn’t do what you wanted them to do, be it sign up for a free online class, purchase something or download your free ebook. But thanks to retargeting, you’ll get another shot at them.

Retargeting is a cookie-based technology that uses a simple JavaScript code to anonymously follow your audience all over the Web. You just place an unobtrusive piece of code on your website (this code is sometimes referred to as a pixel). The code is unnoticeable to your site visitors and doesn’t impact your site’s performance.

Each time a new visitor comes to your site, the code drops an anonymous cookie onto their browser. Later, when your cookied visitors browse the Web, the cookie will let your retargeting provider know when to serve ads, ensuring that your ads are only shown to people who have previously visited your site.

Most people know about this kind of retargeting, called site retargeting. But there are other ways to use this technology.

Site retargeting: As I said above, this is when you place a cookie on visitors to your website. But not every visitor is of equal value to you. You can set it so they have to take a certain action or view a certain page before you place the cookie. That way, you know you’re only talking to your best prospects.

Search Retargeting: You are targeting individuals on search engines who have entered a search using key words or phrases that you’ve identified as being relevant to your business. This isn’t as precise as site retargeting so you’ll want to make sure your digital ads don’t assume more interest than there really is.

SEM/SEO retargeting: Think of this as a one-two punch. First, they have to use certain pre-determined search terms and then they have to also visit your site. This gives you a very narrow group of people, so you can be very specific in your creative that is aimed at them.

Email retargeting: This version of retargeting is based on actions that people take after they receive an email from you. Think of all the actions someone could take after they receive your e-newsletter, for example. You could create separate campaigns aimed at people who opened your email, who clicked on a certain link or who forwarded your email along to someone else.

Social retargeting: This type of retargeting gets your prospects earlier in the sales funnel. It is based on interest-based data points that allow you to create audience groups. Think of it as a “birds of a feather flock together” assumptive effort.

I’m hard pressed to think of a business that couldn’t use one or more forms of retargeting as part of their overall marketing strategy. We’re doing some variation of it for almost every one of our clients.

Not only does it allow you to talk to people who are more likely to become first-time buyers, but also it’s very cost effective when managed by professionals who know the ropes. If you haven’t experimented with this, you probably should.

 

 

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Is your Facebook page dead in the water?

June 29, 2016

facebookThe organic (natural, without paying any money) reach of your Facebook page has never been something to write home about (you’d be lucky with 13-18%) but now it’s even less.

The simplest explanation is – as more content is created (by both our friends and the brands we’ve liked) there simply isn’t enough real estate. Facebook cannot fit all of the content into our newsfeeds. And it’s estimated that the average Facebook user’s total number of pages liked increases by 50% every year.

So we are adding more friends and more pages and everyone is adding more content. There’s simply no more room.

Add to that the fact that Facebook is trying to give each user the content they care most about, based on a mix of factors like:

  • The interest level of each recipient
  • The type of post it is (status update, sharing a link, a photo etc.) and the level of interest each recipient has indicated for that type of post
  • Who the creator is and how well their past posts have been received
  • How popular this specific post is with the people who have already seen it
  • How recently the post was published
  • A whole host of other factors that Facebook has personalized to every single user

There are a few reasons for this:

  • Facebook figures that you’d rather see content in your newsfeed from the people you are closest to, based on your interactions with them
  • They also believe that you’re more interested in people than organizations
  • They’ve given you the opportunity to both like and follow a page, and if you really want to track their content, you can add it to an interest list
  • They want to make more money by selling you ads and boosted posts

So what’s a brand to do? What Facebook is saying to you is – you need to earn your spot. You need to consistently produce content that your audience cares about enough to interact with it.

On your Facebook page:

  • Be interesting enough that people not only like your page but also add it to an interest list. In other words – talk about something other than yourself
  • Think interactive when you think content. Ask a question, ask for stories or reactions, or say something that will trigger a response
  • Don’t play the “like this post for the free XYZ” game. It’s annoying and FB will penalize you for it.
  • Buy ads and pay to boost your posts

While many companies are calling foul on this trend, I think that’s a little ridiculous. Facebook is a company built to make money for its stockholders. Since they’ve given us our personal accounts for free – how did we think they were going to generate revenue?

Probably the most important adjustment you can make is to level set your expectations. Facebook pages have never been and will never be the end all and be all of free advertising and marketing. I worry about the small businesses out there who have been sold a bill of goods and believe that a few posts a week (where all they do is talk about themselves) is the golden ticket to success.

There is no magic bullet and marketing is neither free nor easy. Your Facebook page probably still has a place in your marketing mix. But how large a role or how much business you can drive from it is really dependent on whether or not your audience values what you share.

Hmm, are you sensing a theme?

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No one likes you

June 9, 2015

Facebook-logo6Like millions of businesses around the world, at some point in time, you decided to hop on the Facebook train.  You created a presence with either enthusiasm or distain (seems everyone starts at one end of the spectrum or the other) and posted your first update.

Since then, things have been a little stagnant.  The fans didn’t come pouring in the way you hoped (or expected) and as a result, your enthusiasm and activity level have waned.

Ready to fire back up?  First, let’s diagnose why your Facebook fans have been a bit lackadaisical.  Or worse.

You set up the wrong kind of presence:  Many businesses mistakenly create an account rather than a page.  An account is owned by an individual and has friends.  A page is created by an account holder and has likes.

No only is it the wrong kind of presence but if Facebook realizes you’ve given a business entity a personal account, they can force you to shut it down.  Which means you’d lose all your friends/fans and have to start over.  Be sure you have the right set up.

You infrequently and inconsistently post:  It’s a little like knowing someone who rarely speaks to you.  Or speaks to you a ton for one hour and then ignores you for the next five days.  Pretty soon, you find someone else to talk to.

You can’t expect people to pay attention if they can’t count on you.  Hopefully your plan is to use your Facebook presence to create a relationship with people who either are already fans of your work or could be. Silence is not a great relationship enhancer.

You’re all about you:  This is one of the biggest marketing mistakes that most organizations consistently make.  All they do is talk about themselves.  This usually comes from one of two places.  First, you don’t have a good idea of who you are talking to, so you aren’t sure how to talk about what they’d care about.   So you default to talking about yourself.

Or, you aren’t thinking about your Facebook presence as a relationship conduit in the same way you’d think about a face-to-face conversation.   If you were sitting across from someone, you wouldn’t be rude enough to blather on about yourself non-stop.  Don’t do it on Facebook either.

You use Facebook as a sales tool:  It’s okay to share a great deal or special pricing now and then on your Facebook page.  But, it’s not a sales flier – it’s a place to connect.  The Facebook pages that I spend time on are the ones that make me smarter, make my life easier/better, make me laugh, connect me to a memory or to a community of people with whom I share a common interest.

I never mind when they occasionally pitch me, because the rest of the time they give me so much value, I’m grateful.  Would your Facebook fans say the same thing?

You never use Facebook as a sales tool:  I know, people are fickle.  Especially if you are a retail location or sell a product, one of the reasons people are willing to like your page is because they think it will get them something special or at a discount.  Don’t disappoint them.  Just do it sparingly.

You tell and sell: One of the best and easiest ways to generate activity on your Facebook page (which will generate new likes) is to ask questions.   By getting your fans involved, you can actually have a conversation and even better, their friends will see the interaction and hopefully decide to join in as well.

Remember that like all social media, Facebook is permission based.  Your audience can disconnect from you any time they want.  So provide value every day and watch your likes spike.

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Are you social sharing to your best advantage?

October 20, 2014

Social-SharingIf your company is involved in social media, one of the elements you worry about is if you’re sharing in the best way. You want to maximize your company’s exposure but choosing the best social networks, the best way to communicate and even the best time of day.

Your blog content:

If you aren’t using your corporate blog to fuel your social media strategy, you are almost certainly not as effective and efficient as you could be.

If you are sharing great content on social networks that doesn’t exist on your blog or content hub, you are missing out on a huge SEO opportunity. If your content is on your blog, it will generate links and social indicators (likes, shares, +1s, etc.) that will benefit your website’s domain.

Blog content is permanent – social content is not. Let’s say that you posted a great tax tip on Facebook that received hundreds of Likes. When tax time comes around next year, that post will be long gone. However, if you post the tax tip on your blog, you can re-share it year after year. In addition, the tip will be indexed by the search engines and will likely drive search traffic as well.

Social sharing:

How you share content influences the your audience’s reactions. Here are some suggested copy do’s and don’ts as you compose your next update.

  • 11-15 words is the sweet spot for Twitter (about 100 characters), and you’re safe to use up to 25. Go any shorter, and your message will likely lack enough information to draw people in.  But you want to leave enough “open real estate” so you your audience can re-tweet or comment.
  • LinkedIn postings should aim for 16-25 words, but you are safe to go shorter if necessary.
  • Messages on Twitter and LinkedIn receive significantly more clicks if they use a hash tag.
  • Using a number (i.e. 4 smart ways to work with your attorney) generate  more clicks on Twitter.

Social timing:

It’s not just what you say, but when you say it.  Timing your social sharing matters.

  • Want to get some social love on LinkedIn? Be sure to share your content on Sundays, which delivers more clicks that any other day of the week.
  • Fridays yield more clicks on Twitter than any other day of the week.
  • Facebook content does well around lunchtime and later in the afternoon. This is because many people get on Facebook during lunch and towards the end of the workday.
  • Schedule tweets between 10am and 2pm. Many people check their Twitter stream after they settle into the office, but they are less likely to check it once they start wrapping up for the day.  There’s another spike of activity in the evening, when everyone checks back into their social networks.
  • Twitter and LinkedIn content are both more likely to be consumed during the top and middle of the hour. This is likely due to the reader’s need to check their feeds in between meetings.
  • Again – keep in mind that these are good rules of thumb, but your industry, audience and experiences may vary. The key is to actually look at your analytics and identify the patterns so you can be as effective as possible in your own social sharing strategy.
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Use social media to drive traffic to your business’ website

September 14, 2013

Social media is an ever-increasing facet of everyday business. Companies large (Starbucks) and small (your local car shop) are using social media to expand their exposure and reach a broad base of prospective consumers.

B2B marketers are now spending 30% of their budgets on social media programs, trying to reach, among others, the 21 million+ Twitter users  (per eMarketer). There are big audiences on social media for your company, and using some strategies are more effective than others.

Here are five strategies you can employ to promote your business website through social media.

Engage Directly with Consumers

To generate online conversations, businesses can engage customers and fans with photos, links and more from their blog or website. That conversation can lead to new product insights and customer service issues.

Maintain and Develop Visibility Among Your Consumer Base

Be visible with social media. Post links, pictures and video clips on social networks for your current and prospective customers. Your steady use of social media can help keep your business relevant and known, while gradually expanding exposure.

Target specialty audiences online with a microsite, which refers traffic to your main website. Create SEO marketing materials for direct sales through your primary domain via a website like MyHosting VPS hosting.

Generate Sales Referrals Through Social Media Platforms

Provide links to products or other pages that are likely to prompt consumers to make a purchase. The links you use, and the way you present them through your social media profiles, will have an impact on your business’ performance. Helpful tip: send tweets on your company’s various white papers, articles and case studies to encourage consumer interest in your company.

Data Collection and Analysis to Improve Operations Efficiency

When it comes to data, social media is a gold mine. Data analysis informs you of the size of your social media following, its growth rate and levels of engagement. You can also track total referrals to determine which social networks are most effective in generating new business. Look at these numbers for the percentage of referrals that lead to sales.

Use Feedback to Guide Future Efforts

As you gain insights from comments and data analysis, your internal teams should start to identify areas for improvement. Then you can implement solutions in your day-to-day operations.

By establishing a basic social media marketing approach, you can set yourself on the course to increased revenue and a much greater return on the investment into your website.

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We have to earn our audience’s attention

August 9, 2013

Listen Vs. Ignore - Toggle SwitchWe have to earn our audience’s attention.  Let’s see how you’re doing at that.

If you own or run a business, I’d like to you take this little quiz.

  1. Would you ignore your business phone 30% of the time it rings?
  2. If a customer was standing in a crowd of your best customers and complaining loudly, would you ignore them?
  3. If you had the chance to have the attention of your best customers and your best prospects for about 3 minutes uninterrupted, would you talk incessantly about yourself?

I have to believe that all of you passed this quiz by answered “good golly no!” to all three questions. After all you hustle like crazy to capture the attention of your customers and potential customers, right? Only a fool would squander the opportunity once they earned it.

And yet…that is exactly what’s happening online every day.

  • 30% of customer questions and comments on Facebook, Twitter and company blogs go unanswered.
  • 71% of complaints on Twitter are ignored.
  • 89% of corporate blogs only talk about themselves, their products, promotions and awards.

No wonder so many business people say that they can’t measure any ROI on their social media efforts. If anything, their ROI should come up as a negative number!

Too many businesses believe that social media networks are simply places they need to put a placeholder in. Like a flag that says, “Look, we exist here too” and then go to some autopilot shout into the abyss mentality. The core idea behind Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ or any of the other networks out there is connection.

Real, human connection.

It’s why people share photos, stories of their day and get fired up about politics, religion and what their kid’s school is up to. And into that very personal and very meaningful conversation – most brands just blunder in and shout that they are having a sale.

Ugh.

Businesses spend thousands (and some millions) of dollars putting on elaborate dog and pony shows, with the hopes of capturing someone’s attention for a millisecond. So the assumption would be that they would actually value the attention, once they’d earned it.

But the truth is, most businesses think of social media as the newest necessary evil. They can’t get out of their own way enough to see the potential in it or that they need to approach it with humanity for it to work.

So what would that humanity look like?

Real interactions: When someone talks to you, it’s polite to reply in a reasonable amount of time. If you can’t monitor and react to a social media stream – don’t be there. Every social media tool out there has a way for you to be notified if you’ve actually started or were mentioned in a conversation.

Conversation, not monologue: No one enjoys being talked at. Your goal should be to spark conversation, not spit out rhetoric. Conversations are started when we care about the other person and ask questions, offer helpful information and listen to what they need from us.

Consistency: Just like all of our other relationships – we grow connections partially because of frequent exposures. You can’t get to know someone very well if you only communicate once or twice a year. It’s better to be fewer places but be in the places you’ve chosen more often. Don’t spread yourself too thin.

Having a heart: If you don’t actually care – then don’t be there. If you genuinely care about your customers and what’s going on with them, then show that by asking questions, reaching out and being very human.

You can create an amazing referral source and client base with your online presence or you can alienate those who already have you on their radar screen. All it takes is a little humanity to make it work.

 

 

 

 

 

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