Posts tagged: Marketing

Business Week's tips on social media

Last February Business Week debunked a list of 6 social media myths, and despite of the amount of time that’s passed since then, those same myths are still widely held. I would say that the landscape has changed a bit since then, making their responses to the myths a little dated.

For one, they suggest that a good social media campaign will cost you $50,000-$100,000. But the field has been flooded with companies doing social media strategy at various levels. And as any Econ 101 student knows, when supply increases, prices decrease. I suppose corporate giants like Coca-Cola and Chick-fil-a have use for multi-faceted campaigns that require resources like that, but for your general small to medium enterprise, a good social media marketing company (like Engage Them) can get you sorted for a fraction of that cost.

There are also a ton more ways to measure your social media impact than there were 10 months ago, and presumably will be a ton more by this February. Below is a chart that measures influence and audience on Twitter – Klout makes it relevant and user-friendly.

Klout Twitter

Is social media a fad?

If you think this is a fleeting fad, check out the stats in this video and be impressed.

Tell me a story

Hat tip to Seth Godin who posted a great article this morning on challenge of marketing. We – as marketers or business owners or political proponents – expect people to think like us.  We think we can just tell them what we think or maybe why we think it, but it’s a little more complicated than that.

The challenge lies in helping them see your idea through their lens, not yours. If you study the way religions and political movements spread, you can see that this is exactly how it works. Marketers of successful ideas rarely market the facts. Instead, they market stories that match the worldview of the people being marketed to.

This is why telling stories is more effective than standing on a soap box or spouting facts about your product or service. People relate to experiences. You’re more likely reach an audience talking about the blueberries your kid smooshed on his shirt (that you got out with your special stain remover) than you are by reporting the enzyme properties of that stain remover.

megaphone-kid-marketingThat’s what makes social media so intuitive. It gives you the platform to tell your story, and interact with other people who are telling their stories about your product or service. There’s nothing more brilliant than that.

Harnessing the power of Social Media

As blogging gradually eases its way to becoming an somewhat acceptable mode of journalism, PR agencies are taking note (finally, I might add). A great article over at AdWeek details how some of the greats of the advertising world are harnessing the power of social media. It seems that word of mouth is merging into word of QWERTY, albeit not so spontaneously.

I love the idea of going beyond banner ads into more ‘authentic’ media, but there’s a part of me that finds sponsored posts somewhat despicable. Granted, I’m one of those old-school bloggers, tied to the archaic ideas of authenticity and validity. Maybe if I were doing this for personal gain or a get rich quick scheme I’d be more receptive to someone paying me money to say they made the best widget in Widget-world. Maybe I missed the bandwagon. Am I the only one who reads a blog post giving a stellar review of an appliance, or a book, or the newfangled shiny cog in the machine and instantly recognizes it as fluff?

Sure! I love the idea of marketing peeps and advertisers jumping on the social media bandwagon. But I also think a level of authenticity is called for and sponsoring posts is the digital equivalent to infomercials or those annoying “paid advertising sections” of the magazine that look just like regular pages, only they’re poorly laid out and filled with… fluff (and small print whispering that it’s inauthentic).

Call it old school. Call it naive. But a good friend of mine once said “The truth is your best tool.” (Thanks, Jerry, from the The Change.) Jerry was right. I want agencies to clue in and ride the social media wave. But I want them to do it for real – not with astroturf but with the truth – the kind you can stand on when the rains come.

Tweeting for good

Mashable, our premier source for all things social media, posted a great article recently about the benefits of social media, specifically for corporate social responsibility.

They point to some leaders in the social media sphere, like Seventh Generation, who uses Twitter to engage their fans in lobbying against the use of harmful chemicals, and Nike, who uses social media to boost employee morale. It seems that social media helps companies remain actively engaged with their target audience, spread the good news about their initiatives and products, and boost brand loyalty.

Executives on social media

Freelancer's best friend

Hat tip to Mitch at Six Degrees of Separation for his post on Social Media as threatening to freelance writers. He rounds it out nicely, giving some tips to freelancers about how to use social media to their favor. There’s an interesting dialogue out there with more than a handful of writers out there expressing elitist claims about how blogging has given even the least savvy writers access to readership.

Between blogs, wikis, and social media groups, anyone can have their say and the average reader has to sort through it to figure out what is fact and what is fiction (which is precisely why rumors float around about Obama being a radical muslim, Senate bills making gun ownership illegal, and hoaxes about non-existent crimes).

At the same time, social media is earth shattering in three very distinct ways:

  1. Open source digital media plays into the hand of the truly knowledgeable. It sets apart the experts in the field from the fake-it-till-you-make-it crowd. In the same way the Linux and open source software leveled the playing field for the “little guy” who wouldn’t have a chance against Microsoft’s Goliath, so social media opens up the playing field for the freelancers who really do have something original to offer. Of course, that doesn’t help a whit for the guy sitting on his couch watching daytime TV thinking freelancing may save him from ever having to do ‘real’ work.
  2. Socia media opens up the world of collaboration beyond what it would traditionally be. If I want to start a microfund in Zimbabwe I can find instant connections to people on the ground. If I want to read stellar short fiction about pet owners (riveting, right?), I can do that too. If I want to learn what’s on the mind of women in Iran, that’s online too. That means I can find the information I need, but it also means I can find the inspiration I want, and gain perspective from people around the world.
  3. I can be an expert. It doesn’t matter if my expertise is in Shostakovich’s influence on Russian socialist realism in the late 1930s or the Calivistic roots of the Industrial Revolution. I can be an expert and interact with other experts. I can prove my worth to would-be employers and run with the big dogs – if I can keep up with their research. A little time, some google-savvy-ness, and a few tidbits of SEO tools can keep me (or you) at the front of the pack.

I can see why social media might be threatening to some freelancers – it separates the wheat from the chaff. But assuming I’m whole grain, social media is the best way for me to promote myself. That goes for companies too – social media is the stomping ground where we find out what’s at our core. Social media has a knack for placing entities – individuals or companies – right where they belong. So how about you? Are you whole grain? Or chaff blown away by the wind? Or have you even made your way to the threshing floor?

Image Credit: Sandman1973
Image Credit: Sandman1973

Girly pics

Thanks to Guy Kawasaki at AllTop for alerting us to this study.

It would seem that every night is ladies night on social networks. And that it’s all in the pictures!  It would seem that people like to see pictures on social networking – it’s what keeps them interested. A full 70% of applications are photo apps. And it just so happens that pictures of women get more views than anything else – everyone is looking at the ladies – even the ladies.

faces women

Tweets by EngageThem