Saying You are on Facebook Does Not a Social Strategy Make

This past week I visited a local restaurant that was preparing for the holiday season by advertising their holiday parties on a board right when you walk in.  Also on that board, were requests to “Follow us on Twitter” and “Like us on Facebook”.  So I tried to find them on Facebook, and being more knowledgeable than most with Facebook, I thought I would find them right away.  But, there are two pages for this one specific business.  It was also difficult to find them on Twitter, since they add “NY” to their name.

On their lobby sign, they don’t even tell you how to find them.  What’s their twitter name?  How are they listed in Facebook?

This is the position so many businesses find themselves in lately.  They have gone through the trouble and expense of creating a Facebook page (or two)… and then nothing.  People click “like”, they collect fans, people even write on their wall, and then … nothing.

This particular restaurant hadn’t updated their Twitter account since May, and has never actually engaged on their Facebook page(s).

Is this a social strategy?

No.

So, what makes a good social strategy?

A good social strategy has four main components:

  1.  Identify your goals
  2. Find your audience
  3. Decide on performance indicators
  4. Schedule and manage

Identify Your Goals:

Any good marketing plan, whether social or traditional, requires that you start at the beginning.  What do you want this specific marketing to accomplish?  Do you want more customers?  Do you want to establish your brand as an expert in a specific field?  Until you know what you want to accomplish you will have no way to move your plan forward.

Find Your Audience:

You will need to determine where your customers are spending their on-line time.  Are they on Facebook or Twitter?  Is LinkedIn more appropriate for your business?  This will all depend on the type of business you have and the specific client you are trying to reach.

Set Your Performance Indicators:

Social media can be measured.  You can determine how many people visit your blog, website, or Facebook page.  You can analyze what content is getting shared and retweeted and when that content is being posted.  You just need to determine which of these items are important to the campaign you are running.

Schedule and Manage:

Once you know what your goals are, where you will be concentrating your efforts, and what you are looking to monitor, it’s time to set out your schedule.  Who is tweeting on behalf of the company?  When will posts be made to Facebook, and who is responsible for responding to your customers?

These steps will help you begin to envision your social media strategy, in hopes that you can offer your clients an engaging, responsive, and embracing community.

 

Resources:

7 Steps for a Successful Social Media Strategy

The Key to Developing a Social Media Strategy

Social Media Strategy in Four Steps

 

The ABC’S of Networking Follow Up

Most of us have attended numerous networking events. We make it a point to meet and greet many people with the idea of building a relationship for potential business. So, why don’t we follow up?

How often after an event have you found yourself with a dozen or more business cards only to put them in or on your desk to collect dust. Weeks may go by before you look at them again and forget who they are or where you met them. Well, that is why, right off the bat I suggest to put your picture on your business card. It does help when people see your picture to remember who you are. That would be my first suggestion.

Next, I would suggest you ask yourself what your goals are. Are you going to these events to become a card collector? I know in some industries it’s a numbers game but then that is not really networking. Networking is about building relationships not necessarily transactions.

So many of us put so much time and effort into networking but fail to follow up. Did you know that follow up should actually begin shortly after the introduction? You should instinctively know during your conversation whether or not you would like to speak or meet with them again. (Remember don’t just look at them as a potential client but rather a potential referral source.) So, you might want to say something like “I really enjoyed speaking with you and would love to follow up with this conversation. Would you prefer I contact you via telephone or email?” At that time, they will either say:

  • Response A: “I enjoyed speaking with you as well but I am really busy right now – maybe we will run into each other again.” (meaning – they are not interested in networking with you) Keep in mind that doesn’t mean it’s over simply wait until you run into them again and let things happen naturally.
  • Response B: “The best way to reach me is via email or ….”

At this time, you may want to make some notes on the back of their business card to help remind you of some key points in the conversation for your follow up.

The only way to see the “ROI” on networking is by putting in the time. Successful people know the importance of a strong network.

According to Dr. Ivan Misner, the founder of BNI – offers 2 tips – 1 for networking and 1 for follow up meeting:

1. A one-page flyer – Have a brief overview of your business ready to pass along at all times in case you meet someone while networking who wants to quickly pass along your information to a prospective client he/she knows. You should have a hard copy to fax and an electronic copy to email.

2. Question-and-answer sheets – One of the quickest ways to learn about a person’s business as a networker, and for him or her to learn about yours, is to make the initial meeting as organized as possible. A sheet with questions that you can each ask each other can ensure you don’t forget to find out the information that could lead to a quick referral.

A great article to read, by Dr. Ivan Misner, is “Don’t make this networking mistake” He explains how to go for the “long-term relationship” and not the “short sale.”

Try to follow up from immediately to up to 72 hours while the person and conversation is still somewhat fresh in not only your mind but the other persons mind as well. Hopefully, during the initial conversation you did most of the listening this way you can offer something of interest to them based on things they have said. For example, they may have said they love golfing – so maybe you can let them know of a golf outing that is coming up or an interesting article you may have recently read about golfing. You want to look for a solution to a problem they may be having. Your follow up can include:

  • An article or a book you read
  • An expert opinion
  • A contact or introduction
  • An invitation to an upcoming networking event or target event
  • Refer to a commonality you both may have. For example:
  1. Could be You came from same town
  2. You share the same hobby
  3. You Vacationed at the same location
  4. Your both reading the same book

Just remember to be genuine and real and do not try to sell unless they showed an expressed interest in your product or service.

  • Visibility comes with being present.
  • Credibility grows during the follow ups.
  • Conversations create stronger relationships.

For a more personal follow up, which will help you stand out from the rest, send a personal handwritten note or a personalized card from sendoutcards.com.

During the course of a conversation, you may want to ask if they utilize social media. You may request to connect on facebook. If that is too personal, ask if they have a business page that you can become a fan of or try connecting on linkedin. Start building the relationship before you actually need them. Suggest a date to meet explaining how you would like to know more about their business. People like to talk about themselves so be sure to ask open ended questions.

You need to feel out the person you are following up with. Be mindful of their time. Become someone they enjoy talking to. In order for your follow up to work you need to follow through. Remember it’s not about “chasing prospects” it’s about “building relationships”

There are guidelines or campaigns for your follow ups – one is reaching out with the 8 x 12 method – meaning – you reach out to potential prospect 8 times over a 12 week period which is more for a sales follow up. Networking follow up is a much longer process to building relationship that you hope to keep for most of your career.

You may want to break down the cards into 3 catergories:

  • Prospective clients
  • People you will refer to others
  • People who will pass referrals to you

As the saying goes “The Fortune is in the Follow up” speaking of which, there is a recently published book out by Heidi Sloss called “The Fortune is in the Follow up” I have not had the pleasure of reading it yet but I may soon.

To help you stay more organized with your contacts and follow ups there is a site called jibberjobber.com – it is a personal relationship manager that can help you organize and track personal & professional relationships. It is free to set up and free to use or you can upgrade to a premium package for a low monthly cost but it is not necessary.

Don’t forget to reconnect with old business relationships, clients / customers because they too can become a good referral source.

Appropriate and sincere follow up will ultimately lead to meaningful and fruitful relationships

Here is a great guide for sales follow ups – creating a great follow up with your clients in 7 simple steps by followupsuccess.com

Statistically speaking – for sales…..

  • 48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect.
  • 25% of sales people make a second contact and stop.
  • 12% of sales people only make three contacts and stop.
  • Only, 10% of businesses make more than three contacts. This means they’re losing a small fortune.

Because…

  • 2% of sales are made on the first contact.
  • 3% of sales are made on the second contact.
  • 5% of sales are made on the third contact.
  • 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact.
  • 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact.

Back in January, 2011, I wrote about Networking 101. This article is a follow up to networking 101 on how to follow up.

Sources:

Ezines Articles: Networking 101

“Don’t make this networking mistake”

Creating Great Follow Up With Your Clients in 7 Simple Steps

Social Media Management Tools Keep Updating: So Be Informed

Social Media Saturday:Management Tools

 

Long Island Goes Local: The Kioli Business Summit 11.3.11

Alison Gilbert's DBME press pass

Alison Gilbert's press pass © DBMEi.com

As one of the original contributing authors and business supporters of Digital Brand Marketing Education, I received proof of my proudest accomplishment the other day in the mail, my PRESS PASS. I tried it out, wearing it around my apartment and even wanted to wear it to sleep on my pajamas. But reason overtook excitement. I decided to wait until this past Thursday, November 3, 2011 for its first official outing, the Kioli BUSINESS SUMMIT at the Inn at New Hyde Park on Long Island.

Kioli ID tag © Kioli.org

Kioli Exhibitor ID tag © Kioli.org

I am no newcomer to events such as this having attended tradeshows, workshops and seminars as far back as the days when the Coliseum (New York not Rome) was home to NYC tradeshows and the Jacob Javits Convention Center was merely a cruise ship sized dream for becoming the primary host to the world of vendors and buyers for many, many industries.

After four hours at the Kioli Business Summit, including my eating a delicious lunch, listening to seminars on ‘Growing Sales’, ‘Banking, Borrowing & Investing’ and ‘Social Media & Search Marketing’ as well as attending an on-going networking tradeshow, my tired feet insisted that it was time to call it a day.

The previously scheduled Happy Hour was canceled due to a wedding that took precedence over continuing our celebration of LI Business. The news of this came as a mixed blessing, relief to my tired feet but disappointment to my boundless networking energy.

What is Kioli? To quote the November 20th, 2008 edition of The Long Island Press, it “is a catchphrase. An acronym to be more exact. It is a philosophy and a movement. It stands for Keep It On Long Island, but it means many things. (Kioli has actually become a verb as well as an acronym. To kioli means,  ‘to keep it on Long Island’.

Kioli defined

Kioli defined © kioli.org

“It means keeping our money here where it cannot be manipulated by treacherous Wall Street investments. It pleads with consumers to spend money in local businesses that are owned by local residents. Businesses founded by investments made by Long Islanders that result in profits staying here and circulating through our economy. It is a movement that dreams of providing our children with affordable housing alternatives and productive skilled employment. It is a notion whose time has come and Kioli.org is where it resides.”

LI Press

LI Press Logo © LI Press on facebook

The Long Island Press, a free weekly Long Island based newspaper distributed through out the Island and dedicated to “informing, entertaining and educating the opinion leaders of Long Island”, is the founding member of KioLi.org. “In the fall of 2008 a handful of companies, both for profit and nonprofit, came together to form a movement called ‘Keep It On Long Island’ (Kioli) for the purpose of stimulating business in the local economy. In 2009, the movement found a home online at http://www.kioli.org. Today these companies are known as Kioli Founding Members . . . .”

They are Alure Home Improvements, Farmingdale State CollegeSchwartz & Company,  Sperry Credit Union, MCL Dental Lab, Cactus Salon & Spa, Men On The Move.

Since its beginning three years ago, Kioli has been busy, very busy with the business of keeping business alive and well on Long Island. This is a serious challenge due to both the cost of living to stay here and the fact that jobs are hard to find because businesses here have been compromised by the current economic crisis.

Long Island is no exception to the hit our nation has taken. But there is a palpable ‘kioli’ spirit in the air. It is my opinion that this spirit was well represented at the Kioli Business Summit. I felt the spirit present in the amount and types of businesses, nonprofit organizations and business people who define LI for me.

Photo-of-Items-from-Kioli-Summit

Photo of items from Kioli Business Summit © Phil Jacobs

As I collected dozens of promotional items, exchanged innumerable business cards, introduced myself and shook hands with my fellow business owners, I had the opportunity to experience and feel this spirit at work, in the flesh, for the first time. I realized the foresight and dedication the original founding member businesses had.

Most importantly, I came to understand how both consumers and businesses on Long Island must think and stay local in order for Long Island to survive. That is what ‘Keep It On Long Island‘ means. Everyone on Long Island has a stake in this.

Fortune 52 Event Oct 17, 2011

Fortune 52 Honoree Event Oct 17, 2011 © LI Press

Even a major national social media company, Constant Contact, that is not Long Island based has provided us with a direct, full time and in-person link to the heart of their products. Ellen DePasquale, was a Kioli Summit speaker  in the afternoon  and a Kioli participant, giving a seminar at SUNY Farmingdale (a Kioli founding member) in the morning.

Best of LI 2012

Best of LI Competition 2012 © LI Press

The Long Island Press, Kioli’s founding member, plays a huge part in ‘kioli’ daily. In addition to its weekly publication both online and on paper, it is host to and reporter of many local activities. It adds an extra spark to the mix with its ‘Best of Long Island‘ yearly competition and Beverly Fortune’sFortune 52‘ and the honoree events. Felice Cantatore, Executive VP, bears highlighting as well. When he is not representing the LI Press or boxing, he is the ‘poster man’ for Kioli. I see him at every LI Business event I attend. And I am sure he goes to many more.

With the ability to travel from one end of the Island to the other in under two hours (depending upon the traffic) and in seconds (depending upon the cooperation of the Internet, WiFi and 3G), Long Island is in the process of becoming one business community. Although it is comprised of two counties (actually four if you count Brooklyn and Queens) and countless municipalities, towns, villages and cities, those boundaries are fading and in my opinion need to continue to be replaced by a sense of one common goal, Kioli.

Nonprofits at Event

'Giving is Good Business', Nonprofit Organizations at the Kioli Event © Phil Jacobs

Common concerns and cares as well as a love for the life that we have here on Long Island are partly what glue us all together. With the extraordinary assistance of skyrocketing technology, we are becoming one. Not only does Kioli serve to ‘Keep It On LI’, but these types of gatherings and movements also strengthen that intention and further the unification of LI into one local business community. Kudos to Kioli, its founding members, its present participants and activities, as well as its energy in working towards this economic lifesaving destination.

SOURCES:
Who Cares About LI?  Kioli Business Summit Announcement

Kioli Business Summit
Keep It on Long Island
About Kioli
The Long Island Press
The Founding of Kioli.org

New Google Newsletter and Mobile Adwords Features

Google Adwords launched new features in September 2011. These new features are geared towards making site clicks and even subscriptions to site newsletters or blogs easier to accomplish. Being able to get signed up to internal site options from the external source of a Google browser could go a long way in increasing traffic for those who utilize these methods.

AdWords Subscribe Option

Adwords now provides an option to allow Google search engine users to subscribe directly from a PPC ad. The option to subscribe to newsletters or email lists can be displayed on top or side ads.

All ads are displayed with “Privacy Info” that lets the viewer know that information shared in the input boxes will be shared with the advertiser.

Mobile Landing Pages

A recent study found that 61% of mobile browsers are not likely to return to a site that does not provide a good mobile experience. In response, Google initiated a shift in their policy that will now reward mobile sites with good optimization. Users with good mobile optimization who promote their sites with Google Adwords will now receive better performance. The ads created will drive traffic at a lower cost if they directly link to your site that is optimized for mobile users.

How Will This Affect Me?

If you are a business owner, whether or not you use Google Adwords, the time to optimize your site for mobile users is now. Even without the use of Google Adwords to promote a site, knowing that over half of mobile browsers will never return to your non-optimized site should be enough to push you into sprucing up your site to accommodate users on mobile devices. Getting rid of flash heavy content is a great step towards optimizing for mobile usage.

How Do I Optimize My Site for Mobile?

Google has offered a few suggestions to help you get your site optimized for mobile usage.

  • Keep the layout and design simple
  • Prioritize your content
  • Use markedly mobile features
  • Make your site easy to convert

If you want to know how well your site functions on mobile devices, grab your device and load up your site. If it is frustrating for you to navigate, you may want to make the changes required to encourage mobile use of your web pages.

Sources:

What Makes Mobile Search Marketing Beneficial?

Mobile marketing changed its definition in the early 2000’s when the original meaning, which was marketing on the go, changed into mobile search marketing, which are in essence, marketing techniques carried out over a mobile device.

SMS marketing is an advertising technique that involves the collection of mobile phone numbers to add to a messaging platform database. These numbers are collected so that when a special promotion or offer becomes available, the number list owner can send out a mass message to what they hope will be future repeat customers. SMS marketing relies on opt-in users due to practices established by the Mobile Marketing Association to help prevent unwanted messaging, similar to the protection offered by the Federal Do Not Call registry.

The fact that SMS messages are commonly read in the first four minutes after receipt means that this form of marketing is highly convertible.

A New Digital World

If we thought SMS marketing was impressive, then came the smartphone. A new world of marketing was then opened in many new forms.

  • MMS – Multimedia message service
  • Mobile Web Marketing
  • In-Game Marketing
  • Mobile Marketing via QR Codes
  • User-Controlled Media

Ever-Changing Media

So exactly what is changing about mobile search marketing? For one, it has become infinitely more complex than the simple SMS original formats. Mobile search marketing is unique not only in its format, but also in the way that it approaches the consumer. Traditional forms of marketing can be a combination of intrusive versus elusive.

Intrusive methods include telephone marketing, television advertising, and even door-to-door sales. Although intrusive methods have shown their own positive statistics about effectiveness, many elements such as increased crime rates, new laws and regulations, or increasing costs have made the intrusive forms of marketing much less lucrative in recent years.

Elusive methods are the most effective and can include in-game marketing, user-controlled media, or mobile web marketing. This type of marketing is effective in the sense that the advertisements are usually an ‘in addition to’ or bonuses. For instance, users can play the free game on their phone, or they can purchase the nearby advertisement option to achieve ‘pro’ status on the game. Users can utilize a particular browser and that browser may support and advertise their own series of media, apps, or programs.

Although some marketers still argue that mobile queries constitute too little of an overall end-result to make the campaign effort worthwhile, it is a notable fact that Google’s mobile query share has grown over five times in the last couple of years. Mobile search continues to grow at an accelerated rate than traditional search options.

There may be no time like the immediate present to gain pioneer advantages and initiate your mobile testing and paid search campaigns right away.

 

 Sources:

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