Tag Archives: Internet Marketing

The Best Ways to Get Unfriended and Unfollowed on Facebook,Twitter and LinkedIn

join my network by Tom Fishburne

Join My Network Courtesy of Tom Fishburne

I guess it had to happen.

People heard that there were a lot of consumers using social media, and perceived that those consumers had gotten together for the sole purpose of moving forward the business agendas of anyone with a computer or smartphone. Sadly for those of us who were exploring this new frontier, a whole new raft of socially unacceptable behavior was about to be born.

Using social media for business purposes is a balancing act, trying to increase your acceptance and build trust with an online community while advancing your legitimate business purpose. Like anything worth doing, its worth doing well, but if it isn’t done well, it can boomerang and actually decrease your standing with your community or their desire to listen to any of your communications. Here are a couple of things that tend ot drive people crazy online

  1. Automated responses – When people tweet or connect with others online  they aren’t looking to connect with an automation – they are looking for a real personal connection. A response that is obviously an auto-responder causes an almost immediate disconnect – leading may people to block, unfollow or unfriend the person who thought they were acknowledging the new connection. When people take the 2nd day of the e-Pro course, at one point the tweet out to the e-Pro team. We will respond personally, because that’s what there effort was a personal effort. Its no a lot of effort for the positive responses it brings us.
  2. Thoughtless Broadcasting- I get a lot of unsolicited requests on LinkedIn, a network that I keep the closest watch on and am most protective of. For example, I rencently got a request from someone in my marketplace that said  “Find out why I use LinkedIn. Stay in touch and build your professional network.  – (Name Redacted) .”  Seriously? I don’t even know you. Why would I care what motivates you? Even in this smaller social space, we constantly get messages from people promising us things we don’t want or need, indicating they have no idea who we are or what we are interested in. These folks don’t take the time to cull their list and be sure that the message they were sending is at least potentially appropriate for the recipient. Direct mail marketers are more considerate than that – but then again they have to pay for stamps.
  3. Careless Commenting – I’ve always felt that we have two reasons and one mouth for a reason – listening is at least twice as important as speaking, and thoughtful speaking is far more important than speaking at all. People often feel the need to speak first and think later – but when they do that online, they create a permanent record of their thoughtlessness. Just as people need to wait before they send an emotion filled email, they should wait before posting an emotion filled response on Facebook or on a blog post. And if you are the target of such a response, remember that there are those online who live for the controversy. They make themselves appear larger by being the center of controversy because they have little or nothing of value to add to the conversation.

Interested in building a network online? Its very simple and can be explained in just a few words. Be Transparent, Be Genuine, Be Consistent. When people know who you are, know what you care about, and know that they can rely on you, they want  you as part of their network. Upon reflection, it seems so simple, and yet, for many its so hard. I hope that it isn’t hard for you.

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Five Tips From the Social Media Expert You Called Mom

Social media Gurus and experts seem to be crawling out from every rock. But you don’t need them. Your Mom already taught you everything you need to know about social media theory and interaction  –

  1. Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back – Mom knew that no one likes people that self-promote. Online or offline, someone who talks about themselves doesn’t make themselves important – they make themselves appear needy and pathetic. Not the public persona you want to broadcast all over the internet. You don’t believe someone who tells you how great they are – why should anyone believe you when you do it?
  2. If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all – Everyone is entitled to an opinion and to disagree with you (even if they’re wrong) without worrying about personal attacks. If you have a disagreement attack the idea, not the person!
  3. If you don’t do it NOW, then when will you do it? – Some people procrastinate so much that they even put off procrastinating. If you plan on having a social media presence, just do it. Pick your market, choose your objectives in engaging them, develop a strategy and then the technology you’re going to use to accomplish it all. Its better to do something and wait than it is to wait and do something.
  4. I don’t care what “everyone” is doing. I care what YOU are doing! Don’t be a slave to social proof. By all means observe the community and what they’re doing, but make your choices based on your needs, your skills and talents, and your schedule. Your social media engagement has to be sustainable to be effective, and that means you ‘ll want to go with your strengths, not a course of action designed to take advantage of someone else’s strengths.
  5. Now, say you’re sorry…and MEAN it! When you make a mistake, be transparent about it. Own the error and be frank about what it was, why you did it, how you recognized it as an error, and what you’re going to do to correct it. Understanding how to use the community’s love of transparency into an effective tool for rebuilding trust after you have made a mistake.

Oh yeah, and don’t forget to eat your vegetables 🙂

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A Social Media Guide for Small Businesses

Everybody loves short cuts. Most social media tools are so easy to initiate that people don’t recognize the need for adequate training to use them in an ethical and effective manner. Of course I may be prejudiced since I spend so much time providing technology and social media training, but most people seem to have difficulty achieving business goals on their own.

For most, the challenge is making a paradigm shift to inbound marketing. Their old traditional marketing programs are shoved into new marketing channels, and though the company can claim to have a presence on social media channels, they are not building community, gaining business intelligence, or driving business in these new venues. But for others, the problem is simply that they are overwhelmed. They have difficulty adopting the appropriate channels for their communication because they are confused by the overwhelming choices, and the ever changing landscape of social media.

Our good friends at ColumnFive and Flowtown have rushed to the rescue with the infographic below. Though it is not a substitute for a knowledgeable consultant, or a live course or seminar, it can be a great tool for busy people that have no clue where to start. It will at least help you begin to differentiate the trees from the forest so you can begin to determine where your business might engage most effectively, or where your existing marketing resources might do further research  about expanding your online campaign.  So bookmark this, print it out, share it with your marketing team, or just use it as a cheat sheet for your next cocktail party but most of all use this as a tool  to help you determine  which channels to get more training on so you can deploy effectively.

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“Just Do It!” Just Isn’t Enough!

Emergency "Twitter was down so I wrote my...

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In 1988 Nike introduced an ad campaign centered around iconic athletes and the phrase “Just Do It!” , exhorting people to play and  exercise – and of course use Nike products. Business people have adopted that attitude towards social media. With the growth of social media and its mainstream adoption by small businesses and prfoessionals, peopel seem more focused on “doing it” than they are in “doing it well”. And the resulting efforts may be more damaging than helpful.

It used to be that the blog was the primary victim of “ready, fire,aim” social media strategies.  People would attend a seminar or read an article and determine that blogging was the best way to reach consumers, engage them, and convert them to screaming raving fans of their business. They would run to Blogger, or WordPress.com or wordpress.org, pick a spiffy name, an attractive theme, set up their new blog ,write their first post and wait for the world to beat a path to their business. And then, while the crickets wait quietly in the weeds, the lack of immediate gratification and the need to create new content regularly slowly suffocates the blog, which waits quietly in cyberspace, gathering cyber dust.

Facebook pages become the next newest flavor of the month. As some businesses, large and small were able to engage with their existing communities or create new communities by generating interesting spaces for conversation or dissemination of information valuable to the participants, there was a huge land rush to create facebook pages. No more complicated themes. No need for scholarly posts or clever insights wrapped with attendant graphics. Now all I need to do is post a line or two once in a while and you and your customers will enter a new phase of your relationship which will catapult your business to a new level – after all, they “like” you , they really, really, “like” you!  But with less than 5% of “fans” ever returning to a page once they like it, most of these businesses were once again disappointed.

Twitter accounts? Its tough to even get started there. I can’t count the number of people I have met as I travel, speak, and teach who tell me ” I have a twitter account, I just can’t remember what my name is there…” as if they had all rehearsed that sentence. Really? You have an account and can’t remember your name ? Guess you’re not tearing up the twitter stream in your community, huh?

Online success for small business people and professionals has, at its core, the need for engagement with your desired community. And if you’re unsure exactly what engagement means in your social strategy, let’s substitute the word conversation. Dialogues, not monologues.  No matter where you are, or what venue you choose, this is the key to creating relationships with consumers that make them predisposed to trust you and the products and services you offer.  And though we could spend quite a bit of time discussing the how and why of that, let’s talk about what the unintended effects  of this lack of engagement might be.

Along with the positive impact of good social engagement online, there is a negative effect when you start and stop in different venues. If your last blog post is three years old, and there is no interaction on your Facebook page, or you have a Twitter account with only three posts, these things are part of your “permanent record, and anyone looking for you may well trip over your abandoned outposts. If you have tried to position yourself as someone who is connected with an active community online, your credibility can be damaged.

So what’s the answer? Do you avoid new things? Ignore the herd instinct that leads you to follow the paths that others have blazed online?  I don’t think you need to. What you do need to do is to assure yourself that  your online strategy is sustainable. In other words that the commitment to creating or curating relevant content for your community is something that you are not only able to do, but are willing to do. None of the channels we use, are in and of themselves, a game changer for your business. What you do with those channels may very well be a game changer for your business. 

The great part about engaging online is that there are so ways to engage. It doesn’t matter if you like to write, sing, video or take pictures. If you don’t like to create content, there are lots of great ways to curate and share content, and still be a valued source of information for the members of your online community. It really all depends on who you are, what your skills and talents are, and how much time you can devote (on a regular basis) to your online campaign. Its not about where you do things that matters. Its about what you do that matters most. I’m not suggesting you get caught in “analysis paralysis” just that you give simple consideration to four points.

So before you choose a channel, be sure that:

  1. Your community is present and active in that channel
  2. That you are capable of adding to the existing conversation
  3. That you have a plan for enhancing the conversation
  4. That you can sustain your part of the conversation as long as the community is interested.

If you can just follow those four simple points, there won’t be tumbleweeds rolling down the streets of your virtual world – there will be the vital give and take of conversation, with you as a valued participant. Because you didn’t “Just do it” you went out and took the trouble to do it well.

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Reputation Management From the Social Media Expert You Called Dad

Social media Gurus and experts seem to be peeking out from every bush and tree trying to sell you books and courses filled with social media advice. A little while ago I wrote a post called “Five Tips From the Social Media Expert You Called Mom”, because I felt that your Mom already taught you a lot about social media theory and interaction. But Mom didn’t raise you alone, so let’s give Dad a little credit for what he taught you about reputation management.

  1. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression – When you first join a new social site, you have choices to make that will impact someone’s first impression of you. Can they see your face? Did you choose to be represented by a business logo, a sports team’s mascot, a pet, or a landscape photo? Does your profile express who you are in a creative and engaging manner? If you didn’t know you, would you want to meet you face to face? If we have interests and express them in a genuine and engaging manner, other people with similar interests will want to connect with us. If we seem self-absorbed and self-interested, others will have no interest in connecting with us and learning more about who we are.
  2. You will be judged by the company you keep – If your community is made up of multilevel marketers, or people who spend their time spamming the community with their commercial messages, people will assume that their interests reflect yours. If your community is based more on size than engagement, the lack of interaction will probably not be attractive to people who are looking to connect to others with similar interests. Its better to choose a smaller group and become evangelists for each other than to assume that people are lining up to get into an online relationship as someone’s customer.
  3. Its better to think before you speak than to speak before you think – Everything you post online, in whatever venue becomes part of a permanent record. The first introduction to you that most people will have on the internet are the aggregated things you “said” yesterday, the day before, last week, and months ago. With Facebook’s new timeline feature, many of these things are placed before your public without context, leading people to form an opinion of you that may not be what you wished, if you didn’t think first. Another good thing to remember? Abraham Lincoln’s statement – “Its is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than speak out loud and remove all doubt”
  4. Answer me when I ask you a question! – We live in a society where instant gratification is the norm. You build more social capital by responding to your community members. If someone shares your link, retweets your comment or likes your post, a response will build your relationship and personalize the experience. Ignore others at your peril, for they will surely respond by ignoring you when you have a need to share. Even worse, when a consumer is stressed or needs a response to a question, your failure to answer quickly and comprehensively can destroy everything you did previously to build a relationship based on trust.
  5. I don’t care who started it, You stop it! – Arguments and disagreements can happen on line, and can make emotions run high. If you find yourself in the middle of such a situation, you need to remain objective, stick with the facts, and be willing to either “agree to disagree”. If you need to take the discussion off line to come to a resolution, but being the bigger person online will only benefit your reputation online.

That’s all for now, but remember, Dad may have taught you everything you know, but he didn’t teach you everything he knows! There just might be more to come in the future….

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