Tag Archives: Social_Networking

Search Engine Marketing Blog: Social Networking Not for You?

Companies are still not leveraging the power of social networking and the reasons include lack of understanding, lack of awareness of the power of social networking and perhaps the fear of the unknown.  Time and time again, I ask my prospects and clients "how many sales people do you have in your organization". And time and time again they give me a number that is much smaller than their company's total number of employees.  When I point out that each and every one of their employees is a "sales person", they are a bit embarrassed and also a bit perturbed as they never thought about it like that.

Companies are afraid to embrace social networking for more reasons than one. Most claim that they need to know the return on investment (ROI). This shows that their biggest reason for not embracing social networking is that they really don't understand the benefits. Companies are also afraid of employee abuse and not being able to determine who is doing what during company time.

The benefits of getting each and every employee of yours on social networks are many. Yes, there is potential for abuse too and I won't ignore that. However when employees are empowered, policies & procedures are put in place, and monitoring tools (kind of top video monitors for babies) are deployed, employee abuse can be managed appropriately.

Each employee can become a brand ambassador for your company helping build your company's brand awareness and brand visibility. By getting every employee trained on the various nuances of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks, your company will see an increase in connections & lead generation activity. And when each one of your employees engage with customers using social networks, you can build better customer loyalty and relationship.
 
Social networks become a great way for your employees to spread good PR about your company and its offerings. It also allows them to learn what's happening in the marketplace, see what your competitors are doing, and hear what the customers are saying. The fear of the unknown comes in when companies fear "negative" feedback from their customers who may choose to share their displeasure over something, on social networks. However, this is a great way to actually hear the negative feedback, offer a solution, implement a corrective course of action for the future, and turn the customer around to make him or her your biggest proponent.

And don't feel that you have to take the "each & every" recommendation to heart. It may be difficult to "train" each and every one of your employees to be a brand ambassador. There just may be a few employees whom you want to hide from prospects & customers due to lack of communication or "customer service" skills. By all means hide them for the greater good!

I believe that companies must embrace this new way of doing business or be left behind. Are you ready?

Search Engine Marketing Blog: I Don’t Think Social Media Marketing is for My Field!

If I had a dime, or rather make that a quarter,  for every time I've heard "I don't think Social Media Marketing" makes sense in our field/business, I'd be a RICH woman!
 
Ok so first, let's look at the facts. Facebook and Twitter are two of the MOST popular social networking websites that are being used globally. Not only are these websites good for keeping in touch with family and friends, these websites are a modern day tool help promote your business or yourself.

Social networking websites are JUST ANOTHER MEDIUM for sharing, spreading and promoting news and information about you, your company, and your product or services. They are NO different than the use of newspaper advertisements, billboards, radio commercials, television commercials or attending networking events. Just like the aforementioned media, social networking websites offer companies the opportunity to reach an audience who may include their prospects.

It's that simple! Why then do companies still think that this doesn't apply "to our field"?

My question back to them when they make this statement to me in a sales call is "Are you looking for new customers". They look at me blankly and say "yes, of course".  If they are looking for customers, why don't think they social networking websites are applicable to their business? Ok, so perhaps there aren't that many people on Facebook looking for say "rubber hoses" or "fuel gages", atleast not yet. But they will soon because companies know that to reach a global audience, there is no cheaper, better, faster tool than the internet and there is NO other media that offers as global a reach and as instant a reach as social networks.

Living in "Automotive town" MetroDetroit, I realize that it's difficult to convince the benefit of social networks to tier one and tier two automotive suppliers who in the past had all their business coming from the Big Three. But the Big Three aren't buying enough anymore and it's time to diversify offerings and extend a more global arm to find new customers and prospects.

It's time to leverage social networks my friends and it doesn't matter what industry you are in, you need to showcase your company, your products, and your services on social networks so that you are visible when prospects come a-searching!

Every one of your employees' is a sales person. Every one of them needs to be not only know how to navigate social networks but also to advertise your company's offerings on it, whether they are at home on a personal computer or at work.  Blocking employees from accessing social networks is like biting your nose to spite your face. Instead, it is so much more effective to set up a corporate policy on social networks, train employees on do's and don'ts, monitor productivity and their online activity in a simple organized fashion, and leverage the power of having each one of your employees telling the world how great you and your company's offerings are. If you are still worried that not every employee can be managed or monitored or will behave appropriately online, select a handful of employees to do your networking in addition to having a dedicated team or an external supplier (like us).

But the bottom-line is this. If you aren't on social networks yet, it's not a problem yet. But if you aren't thinking of getting on social networks in the near future, it'll be a problem for sure. That's cause your competition is either already there or thinking about getting there. Don't believe me? Look around and drop me a line if you don't find ANYONE from your field somewhere online.

 

Social Media Blog: Social Networking is Social Brandcasting!

I call Social Networking, Social Brandcasting. Brandcasting means simply “casting” your brand out there in the social networks, period!

However many businesses are still not able to see the value of Brandcasting.

Brandcasting on Social Networks has the following key benefits
•    You can reach more people through popular sites like Facebook & Twitter due to the sheer volume of users each of them has

•    You can continuously promote your services and company events without spending any money on printing collateral, direct mail pieces, etc.

(Note: Although social networks are “free”, social networking is not free, but that’s a topic for another blog)

•    You can brag about yourself and your products or services and no one will think less of you.
You can do "horizontal" brandcasting which is to everyone and everywhere across the board, same message, same positioning. In horizontal brandcasting, you would use common messaging to promote generic messages about your brand or products and services.

Then you can do the "vertical" brandcasting where you position different messages on different platforms. In vertical brandcasting, you use different methodologies to reach different audiences. You may choose to reach a specific age demographic or you may target market using geographic area, etc.

The other important aspect of Brandcasting is the need to balance quantity (number of followers, fans, connections) with quality (what you say, how you say, and the persona you create of yourself or your company online, etc.). Quantity AND quality matter and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Brandcasting is a powerful strategy and social networks are the vehicle for executing that strategy to get visibility for your company or products and services. Isn’t it time you got started on your Brandcasting campaigns?

 

Social Media Blog: Why Search Engine Optimization And Social Media Marketing Go Hand-in-Hand!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means preparing your website for Search Engines. With Search Engine Optimization,a company website can be found in the "organic" or non-paid rankings of search engine results for various keywords. Not all keywords will result in your website being on the 1st or 2nd page of leading search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

I say that a website without Search Engine Optimization is like a car without gasoline. It's dead in the middle of the Internet superhighway, going nowhere, bringing no one to it, and doing nothing of much. When a website is optimized, it becomes the gasoline that allows the website to run on the world wide web.
 
Social Media Marketing on the other hand is a strategy used to share content, invite interactions, and communicate key messages about your company to get visibility. With Social Media Marketing you get a "buzz". Popular websites like Facebook and Twitter allow quick sharing of content which drives traffic and brand visibility.
 
To get succesful online, you cannot choose one or the other. When done properly, Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing can help you maximize your online investment and increase your visibility.

Businesses doing only one or not doing anything with their websites have no chance of being found.

Social Media Blog: Social Networking Finesse

Social medial marketing today represents the biggest opportunity for businesses seeking to connect with customers and prospects online. Social networks are where businesses will find people who are networking and socializing and researching; almost laying around in anticipation of buying something.

Social networks are where people are influenced by what others say more than by marketing messages and television commercials geared to attract a buyer. However, despite being easy, free and so effective, social media marketing requires expertise and a certain level of skill. You can’t just begin Tweeting self-promotional stuff and hope to make a sale.

Tips for Successful Social Networking

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you begin networking on the various social networks.

a) Monitor Your Mentions

You need to monitor your company’s name and note how it appears in the search results and google alerts. Keep an eye on conversations about you and your company. Pay special attention to find any negative comments or not-so-flattering discussions happening online about you, your company, its products and services.

b) Be Engaged in Conversations

One you get online, you must engage with others. Asking questions, answering other people’s questions, commenting on someone’s blog, retweeting information, etc. are some of the ways you’ll have to “engage” with others. If someone posts a comment on your FB status, you have to respond back to that. If someone asks you something on Twitter, you’ll have to respond back to them.

c) Assume Selfless Objectivity

Social media marketing is not just about you bragging about your company, promoting your goods and services, narrating your uniqueness and what makes you the best etc. By the 2nd week, people will begin avoiding you. To get the most from your social media marketing activity is to assume a selfless objectivity where you mention yourself and your company intermittently. Focus on sharing information, content, and participating in discussions while showcasing what you do. Try to connect and engage and be authentic.

Social media marketing isn’t much unlike face to face networking. The same rules apply. You have to connect, engage, ask questions, provide information, and build relationships. You wouldn't ask someone to buy something from you the first time you met them in person, would you??