Archive for January, 2010

One of the things I often hear when talking to other people in my industry is the lack of small business owners understanding of how to synchronize (content) in all the various forms of social media. They always feel that they should be doing one thing on Twitter, another on Facebook, and IF they have a blog at all, something entirely different there. I’d like to take some time to dispel those myths. If you work in any kind of small business your online social media presence must be consistent – though geared toward different types of readers. Follow the next steps to make sure that YOUR online presence is in alignment with the persona you are trying to project and the target you are trying to reach.

Your personal online persona is yours alone to toy with. But if your brand is involved in your personal social media presence, then these rules apply as well.

1. Create and maintain a Facebook Fan or Friend page.
Being engaged with your consumer is, in my opinion, the single greatest lead strategy. It’s how brands get my attention on the web. When it’s less about the product or service and more about ME, it becomes personal, and I become a brand ambassador for the brand itself. In addition, a Facebook page personalizes your business. In this day and age when we are all so technologically connected, it’s smart to take a piece of a high tech application, and make it REAL for your user. With the proper use of Facebook, you can connect with your readers in a way that brings you more business.

  • It gives friends/fans a better idea of what you do.
  • It increases your Google ranking, especially with back links.
  • It helps screen new customers by letting them see more about how you do business.
  • It brings you more clients/increases client retention by providing a space for real-time testimonials to your product or service.

As someone who practically lives online, I can’t imagine being able to build a business without creating a Facebook page and regularly managing it.  I would recommend posting to your Facebook page at least once a day, depending on the length and quality of the posts. If you write longer posts, you can decrease your frequency to once per week, if you’d like.

Here’s an example of a well thought out business Facebook page – one that I personally subscribe to not just because I love their cupcakes but because I love how they promote themselves:

2. Create and maintain a blog.
While Facebook is limiting in the amount of content you post at one time, and Twitter automatically uses the K.I.S.S. method of 140 characters per post, a blog is a more free-ing way to connect with your consumer. A blog is a great platform for showing your expertise in your given business. A place to showcase finished work product (and cross promote other business/clients), show your prowess in solving a consumers problem, or giving free advice, a blog makes you both professional AND accessible. And yes, you can and SHOULD be both. And again, when connected to your website (i.e. it will increase your traffic. A blog post once a week one to four times a month is best. You want to keep bringing your readers back. Consistent posting on various topics related to YOUR business means you’re the expert that they’ll come to, and the business that they will recommend.

You'll notice that their blog hasn't had a post since March 2008

3. Join Twitter. Find new customers you never knew you wanted.
Twitter, my friends, is not going to go away. With more and more consumers and companies jumping on the Twitter bandwagon, it has become more and more apparent that it’s one of the fastest ways to make OR break a customer relationship. Something that is becoming more and more prevalent on Twitter is businesses using this vehicle to promote their business specials (coupons, deals, promotions) in small bytes. This is an “easy to swallow” (pardon the pun) method to promote their expertise with industry articles and links, connection to others in their industry, and to link to their businesses website/blog/facebook page. One of the most powerful components of Twitter is that your users help you become the go-to in your industry. At the same time, Twitter can also break you, if you don’t stay engaged. For example – A customers makes a complaint about your product/service – it’s visible to the entire world. This is your opportunity to show just how well you handle the issue – and make a concerned customer (and their potential follower base) a lifetime customer. Whether you’re a success or failure on Twitter is all a matter of how engaged you are.

4. Post links to your Facebook, Twitter and Blog ON your company’s website.
I shouldn’t have to explain this one, but I will anyway. Consumers who have to search high and low to find you will give up and move on the next possible business name on their list. Don’t be the next name. Be the only name. Use the web to your advantage.

5. If you want Social Media to work for you, but you don’t want to do the work – you should hire someone to do it for you.
The reason Social Media Managers exist is because it’s their JOB to understand the ins and outs of the impact of Social Media and how to track the ROI. Like you’re an expert at what you do, they’re experts at what they do. Can you have a successful social media program without one? Yes. But how successful that campaign is depends on how much time you put into it.  You should be spending about 20 hours a week on just your own social media work. Kinda cuts into your regular business time doesn’t it? And having a social media manager working DIRECTLY for you, means that they understand the ins and outs of your business. They create plans for a successful program – setting goals like google analytics conversions, increased traffic, sales leads, optimized SEO and more.  And because they know how to do it in a very time-effective manner, they can do it in less than 20 hours a week, saving you time, money and energy and getting you great results.

Social Media really isn’t as simple is posting a YouTube video on a Facebook wall, or telling the Twitterverse that you just ate a burger. If it’s your personal stuff, that’s fine. But if you’re a business you have to engage. You have to be the expert. And if you can’t do all that yourself, it’s time to find someone who is an expert at what they do, to make you look like the online expert at what you do. Facebook, Blogs and Twitter are the foundation of a good social media campaign. Tune back in for my next post when I give you my list of some of the new up and coming ways to connect with your consumers.


Here’s a great presentation by Sally Hogshead about the seven “fascination” triggers (or “buy mechanisms”). This Slideshare precedes Sally’s book “Fascinate” due to be released next month – sure to be another hit

This is definitely worth bookmarking and checking out. Also, check out Sally’s website. Great info.

One early morning this week I stopped by my local office supply store (a store that rhymes with shtaples) to pick up a few needed items for my current to-do list.

I noticed a young-ish couple at the end of an aisle with puzzled looks on their faces, pressing the corners of a video screen mounted above what seemed to be, from a distance, a printer display. I edged closer, intrigued by their confusion. Now, I’m not one who normally enjoys office supply store voyeurism, but my interest is always piqued when I see interactive in store advertising. So of course, I had to watch.

Once they walked away bewildered (and not purchasing said product) I headed over to check out the display myself. Sure enough, it had the appearance of an interactive kiosk. However, it was NOT an interactive kiosk. Just a video display. Icons on each corner of the screen gave the impression that one could go “home”, “print”, “go forward” or “go backward”. Pressing on the “buttons” did nothing. Except make that couple very confused. And embarrassed.

See a video of the kiosk here.

What supported this assumption of interactivity? Perhaps the fact that this advertising was for HP’s new web printer – where you can print directly from the web without being connected to a computer in any way. Why wouldn’t such a high tech product be supported by an interactive kiosk? Had I not watched the couple before me be fooled by the usability (or lack thereof), I probably would have reacted the same way my first time at the kiosk.

Most customers don’t like to feel fooled, or feel LIKE fools. I know I don’t. I can guarantee I will not have a second go at any experience that leaves me feeling negative. So if you are going to create advertising that even remotely has the appearance of being interactive, you better make sure that it is. Otherwise, provide content in the form of print support so that customers know that the kiosk is a video only display. In this day and age, people have come to expect a rock solid ad campaign for high tech products (thanks a LOT, Apple) so you either need to give the customers what they want, or quit trying to fake them out.

What’s the lesson? If it’s going to look like a duck, and sound like a duck, make sure it’s a duck. Otherwise the brand just might get goosed.


Interactive kiosks are becoming more and more common these days, drawing in users with interactivity. Here’s an example of an interactive kiosk display that works well:

Prepping tonight blog post in my head. Topic: POS advertising that is designed to look interactive, but isn’t.

Don’t Stop Believing Remix

Posted: January 12, 2010 in free, inspire

Found this on YouTube & pulled the MP3 out of the file.

Don’t Stop Believing Remix


Oh, and you’re welcome.