Social Media 101: Why?

Social Media 101: Why?

Social Media isn't going anywhere.

I promised I’d be better about writing for Professional Mojo, not just for our clients <smile>, so let’s start 2011 off right with a series on the fundamentals. If you check the archives, you’ll see that we’ve talked about the fundamentals before, but it sure seems like folks are conveniently forgetting.

More than ever before we see random digital strategies cropping up like weeds in abandoned fields. This is caused in large part because companies, and their leaders, are beginning to “get it”. And by “get it” I mean understand that there is value to meeting their customers, prospects, vendors and partners where they are.

Unfortunately, with the stampede to adopt, strategy takes a backseat. Ask yourself a few questions before embarking on social media and online portfolio development:

  • Do you have a marketing strategy in place for your organization and, if so, how do you see online portfolio development fitting into it?
  • Do you have hard metrics in place for your other channels? How are they performing? How do you hope social media channels will work with those efforts?
  • What about your website? Is it performing?
  • What do you want from the social media effort? Be as concrete as possible.
  • Do you understand that it is about relationships and communication, not about fast cash?
  • How much time, effort and money are you willing to invest in doing this right?
  • What’s your timeline?
  • Who are your target audiences? What platforms do they use? How do they use them? What do they expect from being part of a community?

There are hundreds of other “qualifying” questions we ask our clients because like anything worth doing, developing a meaningful online portfolio is worth doing well.  The online portfolio significantly impacts your reputation in today’s world. Take the time to determine why you really want to do this and then seek out the information, knowledge and expertise to do it right.

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Professional Mojo Marketing offers consulting, social media audits, training and full-service management for both for-profit and non-profit clients in almost every industry. Our print and websites rock, too. Contact us for more.

Social Media Entitlement Might Bite You

I logged into my personal Facebook account today (you know, the one where all of my weird high school friends and husband’s family lurk) and many of them had gone hog wild Liking every type of conceivable page: brands, products, services, events, and more. You name it and some were Liking 12-18 pages at a time.

So, I asked a few of them what was going on. Why the flurry of Likes and why were they spamming me begging me to Like the pages, too?  The answer: because they will get something for free. The following conversation ensued and was informative.

Social Media entitlement

You like us! You really, really do! (but for how long?)

Me: “How often do you expect a discount or a freebie when you Like a page?”

Jessica: “All the time. I should get something for being in the community just about every day. Honestly, that’s why I Liked them, right?”

Me: “But, what if they also gave you great news, articles, lifestyle tips and only the occasional coupon or discount?”

Jessica: “I don’t think I’d care. They promised me stuff, didn’t say anything about that. And if I don’t get something, I’ll Unlike them right away. In fact, if it’s a one-time special, after the special is over I’ll Unlike them probably so my stream doesn’t clutter up.”

Jessica wasn’t the only person I’ve talked to who says that they are solely prompted by something for nothing and will drop that page like a hot potato once the gravy-train ends.

What’s the moral of the story?

  • Luring people into Liking your page with a steady stream of contests, give-aways and freebies only feeds the need for more and bigger give-aways.
  • A community built on this type of strategy is not a community at all. Social media is about creating relationships and dialog. It’s become perverted by johnny-come-latelys who are pressured to increase numbers, not seek engagement.
  • Your metrics will be skewed because people will Unlike you at the blink of an eye as soon as their entitlement ends, yet you sure looked great while you were giving away stuff!
Look, it’s fine to run a contest, incite excitement, and we, too, manage communities where we use contests, discounts and coupons to reward members. However, these specials are only occasional and we ensure that we are engaging with them in many other ways: questions, articles, news, etc. How can you solve a problem for them today or improve their life?

So, what do they really receive for being a member of your community? If it’s only about getting something for free, then you are not creating evangelists for your brand. And you’ll be the hot potato they drop next.

In summary, focus on quality. Focus on targeted folks who really want to hear about what you do and how you do it. Focus on making their lives better. Then, surprise them once in a while with a really great reward.

 

Interested in growing communities who are suited to you and want to hear what you have to say? Contact Professional Mojo Marketing for more.

 

New SEO Developments:Local Rules

Have you noticed a change in the way your search results are shown in Google? If not, you should. Simply put – it very well may impact your organization.

The easiest way to explain it is via photos. Here is the Before pic of how Google served up local results. Note that in the past, local results (along with the map) showed at the top in groups of 7 entries. There wasn’t a lot of information along with the entries and if you didn’t care, necessarily, about local results, you zipped right past because the other results were clearly delineated below the 7 entries.

Local Google results before change

Results from a local search prior to SEO changes.

Here is an after picture using Atlanta dentist as the search string:

What does local SEO like now?

After the Google changes, the local search for Atlanta dentist looks like this.

A: The scrolling map is now to the right side, making the local results much more integrated into the main results.

B: Local results are integrated into the “regular” results – only at the top. Will prospects give these results more love than the results further down? It’s too early to tell, but our guess is yes. Why? Because they are first…and because there is additional information that provides value. See the next entry.

C: Google has more closely integrated reviews and other relevant sites right along with the local results. This may seem like more value to your prospect. The reviews have more weight than ever and you should be paying close attention.

In summary, your online portfolio has a greater impact than ever on your organization and its ability to reach the right people with the right message. SEO experts will be attempting to figure out these latest rounds of changes for some time to come.

 

Could you use some mojo? A little coaching to ensure your online portfolio and online presence is all it can be? Then give us a call or visit our communities online for more: http://www.Facebook.com/ProfessionalMojo, http://www.Twitter.com/ProfessionlMojo or http://www.ProfessionalMojo.com

Social Media: That First Date is Important

I almost hate to use the words social media on a first date with a prospect. They have a hollow ring now that the bandwagon overflows with newbies, wannabes, could-have-beens and once-weres. I don’t blame anyone for looking with suspicion on those who yap incessantly about this being their ‘sweet spot’ and having a ‘deep and thorough understanding’ of this ‘cutting edge technology’, being able to find ‘thousands and thousands’ of followers, or who ‘are native’ to the ‘digital language’.

Pfffft. That’s what I think of it. None of that means anything. Not. A. Thing.

If I were you, what would I want to ask on a first date with a prospective marketing partner? Well, surprise, the same things we’ve always wanted to know. I want to see sound planning and strategy. I want to see real results for real clients. No, no…not the ubiquitous ‘buzz’, but real results that track back to the business objectives.

Does this sound familiar? It should. Good processes, good planning and sound strategy have been the hallmarks of great marketing and advertising since the first wooly mammoth steak was marketed to the tribe. Ask your date how much she knows about your business, your industry and how your business objectives can be achieved in measurable ways using new media – in conjunction with your overall strategy and your other channels.

If you don’t get a good answer, I hope you didn’t pay for the dinner. Move on.

Marketing, Advertising and PR: Oh, my!

In the good ol’ days, public relations was public relations, marketing was marketing and advertising was advertising. But, this isn’t the good ol’ days and the times are a’changing.

As the online and offline communication channels continue to mix and mingle like a pile of spaghetti on my plate, organizations are finding that it’s the

From FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Communication and marketing roles are mingled like spaghetti on a plate. Are you ready?

communication that matters – not who does it or what department it originates from. Has your organization gotten the message yet?

A new breed of communications Zen-master is emerging (we like to consider ourselves doyens, too~) and exhibits some key characteristics:

1) A keen understanding of public relations: Good press still matters. In fact, given the prevalence of crazy, anonymous bad reviews out there, it matters maybe more than ever. You are what the Internet says you are, and a good public relations partner who understands the nature of the offline/online relationship can make a world of difference.

2) A strategic marketing gift: Living inside your company’s print or online marketing bubble is no longer an option. Every marketing channel affects the other.  Your offline objectives and online objectives should inform each other. Integrating that with a whip-smart PR plan is a no-brainer. And it takes a big brain to see the big picture.

3) A flair for advertising: Most folks don’t know the difference between advertising and marketing anyway. Advertising is a single component of a strategic marketing process. As a friend of mine said, “If marketing is the pie, then advertising is a slice in that pie.” It includes ad development, placement, and more.

Your online and offline portfolios are made up of all of these areas, and your partner should understand how they fit together to create an irresistible story for your prospects.

Professional Mojo is a full-service marketing company specializing in telling your story irresistibly and consistently across all channels. We specialize in creating compelling online portfolios. Contact us for more.

In online reputation management, you get what you pay for.

ProfessionalMojo Marketing - Trusted Partner

Choose your social media partner wisely. We can help.

While doing some research, I recently came across a company who said they were specialists in “protecting your online reputation” and “managing your Twitter, Facebook and blog assets”.  Then, they pointed the website visitor (in this case, me) to their Facebook page and Twitter account as evidence, I suppose, of the quality of their work.

Here is what waited for me on those pages:

  • Bad grammar, typos and misspellings galore: How can a company possibly represent your brand when they can’t even utilize correct grammar and use the spell check?  The type of syntax reminded me of what you find in those spammy emails from foreign countries, which made me suspicious if the “posting” was being done off shore.
  • A propaganda stream: While one of the blog posts talked about social media being a dialog, there was zero indication that they lived by what they preached. There were few retweets, few replies and a steady stream of nonsense and propaganda.  At Mojo, we pride ourselves on tight messaging and relationship-building.  Again, they didn’t know what to say on their own stream, how in the world could they represent someone else’s brand?
  • Inappropriate comments: Would you want folks to see curse words and, um, racy remarks?  Well, whoever was posting to this stream sure did.  What if that was your brand? Your B2B dialog with partners, vendors, alliances, customers would be at risk…ugh.

Look, in this economy, we are well aware that the “new normal” isn’t really normal at all. As business people we are looking for ways to maximize revenue, increase profits and decrease expenses. It’s as simple as that.  However, you should not cut corners where your brand is concerned.  Putting your online reputation, one that is potentially cached forever, into the hands of companies who don’t speak the language well, don’t understand your business and have no proven methodology is just plain craziness.

Before you decide to contract with a provider, take a hard look at what they are doing.  Unfortunately, there are quite a few companies out there like the one I mentioned above. They decided to set up shop to capitalize on social media, not to create a long-term client relationship built on real results.

Be careful and vet them thoroughly:

  • What is your methodology?
  • Who else have you done work for?
  • What were the results?
  • Will you show me your own streams and community?
  • What testimonials do you have?
  • Who is doing the work?

Your reputation is easy to mess up and hard to fix.  Just sayin’.

If you are interested in vetting Professional Mojo, we welcome it.  Our Mojo Messaging Methodology is tight, we have over 20 years of marketing experience and we know how to develop an online portfolio, website and print suite that works for your business.  Contact us for more.

Three Tips to Evaluate Your Marketing Mojo Now

Professional Mojo Marketing Mojo

Now's a good time to evaluate and calibrate.

I know the feeling.

Small businesses are consistently pressed for resources, especially in today’s economy. But, the BEST time to invest in marketing is when the economy is down. Why? Because then you are well-positioned to take advantage of the upswing.

In fact, most of the successful businesses were started during a depression, recession or economic trough.  It’s only the short-sighted business owner who cuts marketing first.

So now’s a good time for you to assess your marketing strategies, revamp your messaging, develop your portfolio, freshen your brand, and update your print and digital assets.  Here are a few tips to get you started:

1) Now’s a good time to invest in your current and past customers. You know the metrics – it costs more to get a new customer than to keep the ones you have.  Your current customers are struggling in a down economy, too, so why not reach out to them and see how you can help.  Newsletters, social media campaigns, contests and more can keep them engaged and buying.

2) Make sure your messaging is tight.  Folks have a lot of choices now and less money.  The flowery, ambiguous language you use in your print collateral and in your digital assets won’t get the job done.  We routinely rewrite copy and revise websites and print collateral to tell a more compelling story of WHY they should buy from you.

3) Evaluate the engagement with your community. Are you engaging with your community on every front? Do they hear about you via podcast? See you via video on YouTube and learn about your thought leadership and industry expertise via a blog?  Are you conveying a consistent message each time? Are you offering them relevant, value-added reasons to be a member of your Facebook page or Twitter community?  Would YOU want to be a member of your community?


Take a step back and get a fresh look at what you’re doing, what the ROI is and how much time it’s taking. Is it the highest and best use of your time? Is it working? What help do you need?
Then, contact ProfessionalMojo.com if you'd like a little mojo.

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