July 25, 2012
Day three of our Entrepreneur Playbook Video Series and we’re ready to take on Twitter.
I have a confession to make.
I was a non-believer.
Card-carrying hater, actually. But – I connected my blog and occasionally checked out some folks. Followed sports writers. You know – nothing major.
Then….I got a client. Then another. Both from Twitter. Both LOCAL.
Weird, I thought. Ah, no….that’s opportunity knocking.
So – here’s my Non-Believer’s Guide Video Post in homage to the Tweet.
June 7, 2012
Here’s one example of me following my own advice….this article is a must read:
You’re probably thinking: “Everyday, I have to blog, Tweet and LinkIn. Every day….day after day…and WHAT is it getting me?”
Well, how about a little secret that will perk you up?
Psst….everyone is overwhelmed. You are NOT alone.
A little better?
OK…maybe a few ways to keep your sanity from leaking out of your ears are in order.
1. Understand WHY you are marketing and to whom those messages are intended. (Focus) Yes, yes…..as we have often discussed, everything begins and ends with STRATEGY. Really, just a fancy word for the best (most effective) pathway to your ideal customer – how you are going to do it. If you are laser-focused on your target audience, you know EXACTLY who they are, what they need from you and what you want them to DO (do you want them to call you for more information? purchase your book on your website? Join a group?) then it will be easier to determine which social media tools will work best. Think of social media/marketing as breadcrumbs. They must lead your target to that ACTION. If you find the shortest distance to your ideal customer and make that path back to action crystal clear – touchdown!
2. Schedule Yourself – Pace Yourself. If focus is the theme – then patience is the sub-theme of this article. Do not fall victim to marketing from an emotional place or you will find yourself on a very fast treadmill. If you’re thinking you need to be Facebooking and mastering Twitter and understanding StumbleUpon all this morning, then you will quickly drown. As of this writing, there are at least 300 viable, valuable social media tools out there. I give you complete and total permission – in fact, I strongly recommend – that you take on each tool, one at a time, get comfortable, figure out it’s best use for YOUR business before you move on. Your client may not be found on Facebook so easily, but on LinkedIn, now that’s better! It’s very easy to get so swamped by all that’s coming at you – make your strategy, choose the tools that work, find your customer, insert yourself into the conversation. Rinse and repeat.
3. Tools of the Trade. There are plenty of tools out there that will help you manage all this social media marketing – for example, I am a fan of Hootsuite and Hubspot’s social media software. Some very smart people have lassoed the social media landscape into these tools to make things easier for you – don’t blow them off. Some are free – some are monthly subscription and some are more expensive. There are many more out there — and we will discuss others in the future – but for now, know there are tools out there that can help you make sure you are reaching out, engaging and making the best use of social media. As you dip your toes in, see what works – and don’t buy too much in the beginning. Just be patient with yourself and your progress.
4. Givers gain. (Now where have I heard that before…hmmmm) This is more of a reminder to you as to why social media is needed in the first place — and a motivating factor when the grind of Tweeting gets too much. When you are engaging your ideal customer, you are giving. “Engaging” is the heart and soul of social media – it’s not TELLING, is conversing. It’s now all about TWO-way conversation – which is why it’s more time consuming. Giving — your knowledge, your expertise — is only helpful if you are listening first. What does your ideal client need from you? Giving of yourself, giving of your knowledge may seem like a random act in that not EVERY SINGLE person who benefits from your largesse will purchase. However, if you are crafting your social media STRATEGY correctly, a percentage of them WILL. And some of them will buy A LOT – and recommend you to others. Right back to that 80-20 rule….just like ol’ times.
P.S. The world is changing – and business is changing and the truth is, there’s not much choice but to jump on board or be left behind. The key is: focus and pace yourself. The benefits will show themselves, sometimes in surprising ways.
April 11, 2012
Now, where have I heard THIS before…. “it’s not what you have, it’s what you do with it that counts.” Oh, true…so true.
We’re talking about SOCIAL MEDIA, people. Settle down.
By now, I think most of us understand that just putting up a Facebook page or checking Twitter once in a while is not going to bring your business any benefit. You have to know how to use it – and share with others in the sandbox – to really make social media relevant to your business.
So….how can you do that without eating up tons of time in development and execution? Here’s my top 5 tips….
1. Be relevant. First, you have to know who you want to talk to and WHY. Just knowing you have customers and clients is simply not enough anymore. You have to know something about them and why they would want to seek you out. When you figure this out, it will be a lot easier to address their concerns, offer information and share with them – and that approach will, in turn, grow loyalty and grow referrals.
2. Be consistent. Ya gotta show up. Every week, every day. Pick the days of the week you will blog – and do it the same time, the same day EVERY week. This consistency will also build trust – and people will start realizing your there to help and be a reliable source of information for them. This is very valuable to clients and customers at this stage in our consumer evolution.
3. Be giving. By giving I mean this: give of yourself, your expertise, your knowledge. Sharing some of what you know is not going to keep people from coming to you as paying clients. In fact, the opposite is true. If you give freely, this will only serve to cement you in their pantheon of “go to pros” when they are ready to spend money. Have a little patience – it will pay off big time.
4. Be transparent. Transparency = authenticity. The social media landscape is very solidly customer-driven. Transparency in all things is king. If you can be open handed about how you do business, what you recommend, how you deal with adversity and in general, with clients and colleagues, this will also rank high among those presently kicking your tires.
5. Be helpful. Answer questions. Seek out conversations on all social media outlets that may relate to your business. Don’t worry that the person may be out of your market or out of your league — if you know an answer and can provide information, do it. You never know how it will come back to you – but trust that it will.
February 22, 2012
As someone who pays attention to this whole social media explosion, the recent spike in interest about Pinterest has grabbed my attention. Naturally, I realize it’s a new social media outlet that relies on visuals to connect us all in a frenzy of “pinning,” but there has to be more to it – no?
So – I raise my hand and a flurry of information is quickly swamping my in-box. After reading and deciphering this how-to hurricane, I think I get it now. Remember the other day when I wrote about “getting found” on Google and how backlinks are key to elevating your organic search? Well, Pinterest creates links BUT – and this is a big BUT – it’s not about Google. The links you create with Pinterest are NO FOLLOW links. Instead, Pinterest is about connections, people and driving people to your content DIRECTLY. For example, you have a pic on your blog and you “pin” it to Pinterest. Voila. A link. Pinterest links have marketing value because they allow pinners to encounter your content and visit your pages in just one click. People, not Google, care.
In addition, the Pinterest site now connects with Facebook, according to a recent announcement, enabling users to automatically post new pins to their Facebook feed for others to see. This means more eyes from other channels get access to your pictures. However, remember that you still cannot connect Pinterest to your Facebook business page. Another cool thing is that when members are browsing through pins, they will also have the ability to share posts through Facebook, Twitter or email. This feature is great to boost social sharing and get your evangelists to spread the word about your brand.
These are the basics – and there’s a lot more to read in my in-box. Connection – as always – is the key to any social media, but it’s YOUR CONTENT that will ultimately do the “engaging.”
February 14, 2012
I know, I know what you’re thinking. “Really? On TWITTER?”
Yes, Twitter. I used to dismiss it as a micro-blog that only famous people used, but after I started getting one…then two….now a consistent flow of clients, I admit it: I was wrong. Dead wrong.
Twitter, as it turns out, is a very powerful tool if used correctly. Here are the steps you need to take if you want to: target your niche, find followers who will be attracted by your content, and attract new customers and clients on this powerful platform.
First, please take the time to upload a picture. Nothing says “I don’t care” more than that little egg icon. Let everyone see your face – or at the least, a pic you think represents your niche, your brand, or your quirky sensibility.
Next, fill out your bio with two and three word descriptions of you and BE REAL. Being real is the “secret sauce” of all social media….and the quickest way to showing your “realness” is to show your true colors. “Word nerd by day…. Red Sox Crime Fighter by Night” is part of my bio. These are REAL parts of me…and that is what Twitter is all about.
Third, assuming you have declared your niche to the Universe and yourself, it’s time to find your peeps. Your tribe. Find some leaders in your category and then look in their lists of followers. Assuming they are interested in the industry leader’s information, it also follows that if you are tweeting valuable info in that same category, they will be interested in you, too. A word about following too many in one short time period: Twitter frowns on that practice. I would go for quality and follow about 100 people each day. A subset of those folks will follow you back – and you’re off!
Next: start Tweeting. Ideally, you should be Tweeting 2-3 times each day. Set a schedule. 7am, 1pm and 4pm. This is when people normally break from their work or regular routine to check out the activity on social media. Once you have more followers paying attention to your content, you may see that your followers are night people – or weekend people. Whatever their schedule is, modify yours to mirror theirs. This way, your tribe will see what you have to offer more often.
More to come later on #Hashtags – the true power behind Twitter. For now, happy Tweeting!