The First Lesson in Social Media Marketing

To have the mindset that the understanding and practice of core fundamentials will drive your business more than any system, gadget or gimmick -- your customers trust your sound business judgement and spread the word

Tweetable - Marketing Messages

Thursday February 4th
Social Media Transfer $
Ryan Cole writes about 3 steps of social media.   Much has been written about the first two, so let looks at item number 3: 
  1. Listen
  2. Engage
  3. Transfer
Tranfer explains how to converts your online community, fans, tribes, to paying customers

I have found that the No. 1 thing business owners or marketing directors are worried about isn't being in the space, but having a lack of things to say. Many times, the question of "What do I post?" arises.
Fear not. Every business has a story, a target, a market, a customer and problems they solve. The problem is that a business needs to figure out why a unique customer base on Facebook (your fans) or people that follow on Twitter are listening to what is said. What's in it for your customer? Why do I care to listen and be your fan? What's in it for me?

Social media is about as targeted as it gets. The strategy behind the interactions take thought, time and the ability at times to give up a piece of pride for the business. If a customer slams a business, not being in the space allows others to see the negativity and choose accordingly. However, if a business monitors and engages with those comments, face can be saved and customers can be won. Businesses can actually stay on top of these interactions and respond accordingly, not freak out and react.

Using social media can make a business better. It's the ability for a business to operate in the open and really create some amazing products and services for customers. This isn't an age of absolutes anymore. If customers don't like something about a business, they'll speak. If the company does nothing, people vanish. Welcome to the new age of customer service.

Wednesday February 3rd
Media for the masses is radio newspaper tv social
this graph bleow courtsey of Jordon Mccullom "it’s the biggest percentage increase for any category. Fewer people are starting at retailers’ sites or through permission email, so search engines and social media are more important than ever.
So is it more because users are recommending deals to their friends, or is it because of retailers’ presence on social networks? Likely both. Hitwise found that many users were actively seeking info on popular retailers."

Did you know : as posted by Grant Johnson
· 19% of everyone on the Internet uses Twitter to update status, median age of Twitter user is 31
· 35% of all adults online have social media profiles
· 83% of all adults 30-49 use Internet, 77% 50-64
· Median age of Facebook user is 33, up from 26 in 2008; 50% of users check-in daily
· 81% of CMOs plan to a lot at least 10% of marketing budget to Social Media
· 64% of CMOs plan to increase spending in social media this year
· The average weekday circulation at 379 U.S. newspapers fell 10.6% during the six months ending in Sept. 2009
· The number of households subscribing to magazines dropped two percentage points while subscriptions for home video and smartphone services increased
· DVR households have tripled in the last three years

It means that the media landscape is shifting and will continue to shift at unprecedented speed. It also implies that mass marketing is not limited to traditional channels and more measurement MUST accompany all media spends, regardless of media used
Marketing today, more than ever, is about relevance – that of the customer, prospect, visitor or user. The more we stray away from relevance, the less likely advertisers are to see an ROMI that is justifiable. Abuse and overuse of poorly targeted media will make all marketers jobs that much more difficult. Remember, even if the majority of ad placements are highly targeted, what matters is the user's perception and actions. Too much generic, mass advertising will dilute responses.

TuesdayFebruary 2nd
Location based social media
Remember this scenario last week by Dale Evans....
In the latest "check-in" applications, data left by prior consumers is tapped when someone "checks in." By telling you what's around, who else is nearby, or what's good here these services provide information that can inform the decisions your customers are going to make in the next 30 seconds: by accessing tips left by prior visitors when they "check in" at your store or in your part of town they can instantly access a whole new set of relevant comments.

For example, checking in at a new location may bring up information about a nearby swank lounge along with some recommendations on which cocktails others have enjoyed. That's pretty cool from both the bar owner and tippler's perspectives: without a recommendation, most people tend to order the same cocktail everywhere (for me, it's a Manhattan, straight up.) That's a lost opportunity to educate or differentiate. (Geo-based applications) It shows you who is nearby along with what's nearby based on the venues others have added. Even better, it provides recommendations about these places: "Order the molten brownie -- for two!" or "Nick makes a great Aviation." It sounds trivial, but trust me on this: when you're looking for something new or wondering which of your friends is already at the show or any other similar social questions, services like Foursquare, Gowalla, combine check-in and location with recent historical comments are the answer.  

Today, Chris Crum is giving us some  tips on how to keep tabs on tomorrows social medium...

1. Keep up with what mobile apps are popular on the most popular devices
2. Study what makes these apps and their respective users tick.
3. Determine which of these has a functionality that your business can directly take advantage of
4. Verify your business at Google's Local Business Center
5. Keep a close eye on what Google is doing in the local search space (there are frequent announcements that directly relate to this)
6. Keep a close eye on how Twitter users interact with geo features, particularly those who follow you
7. Definitely keep a close eye on Facebook announcements, looking for geo-related tidbits to drop
8. When using social media, include your business location in updates when appropriate, and promote offers (time-sensitive perhaps) that encourage nearby people to stop in (if you have a brick and mortar store) or meet for a quote at a nearby restaurant for example (be creative…without being too stalkerish)

Monday February 1st
Will Social Media increase my Sales?
According to the internet marketing comany ecentric  "The key thing that small businesses need to remember when using social media to help sell is that all social media efforts must have value. There has to be value to your content, community, and execution to get people to engage with you or your organization. Social media doesn’t sell things — people sell things. Engaging in social media marketing starts the relationship-building process". Here are 3 basic elements to consider when working within a social media environment.
  • Communication
    Marketing and branding is all about building relationships, and all strong relationships begin with two-way communication
  • Collaboration
    At no other point in history, has it been so easy for an average consumer to sing your praises or burn you at the stake to literally millions of attentive viewers
  • Entertainment
    Where your customers are going online, so should your business. Be aware though, that it’s not just businesses going online to promote themselves

Friday January 29th
Technology and the Consumer
Here are a few charts  by that amplify what problems U can solve for your your techno social media audience. Build your online community by catering to these needs......Communication, Information, Education, Saving Time,Shopping, Saving Money...You can do that!   Below are two more charts from that show the demographics of your online community and the shopping malls ( social site) they frequent.

Wednesday January 27th
Location based social media
I live in relatively small (100,000) tourist town (Temecula, California) that has 20 million people within a 90 mile radius....   location based social media may allow local small business to cater customers before they arrive in your store... much like this scenario by Dave Evans.  
In the latest "check-in" applications, data left by prior consumers is tapped when someone "checks in." By telling you what's around, who else is nearby, or what's good here these services provide information that can inform the decisions your customers are going to make in the next 30 seconds: by accessing tips left by prior visitors when they "check in" at your store or in your part of town they can instantly access a whole new set of relevant comments.
For example, checking in at a new location may bring up information about a nearby swank lounge along with some recommendations on which cocktails others have enjoyed. That's pretty cool from both the bar owner and tippler's perspectives: without a recommendation, most people tend to order the same cocktail everywhere (for me, it's a Manhattan, straight up.) That's a lost opportunity to educate or differentiate. After all, most people love trying new cocktails, but only rarely do. Way too many bartenders, when asked by a customer, "What's your favorite cocktail," respond with either "Miller Light" or "I don't have one." Neither of these is the right answer, and location-based tips left by those who actually do have a suggestion are really helpful in this context. Barkeeps, location-based services are a potential moneymaker for you!

Dodgeball co-founder Dennis Crowley's new application, Foursquare (available currently for the Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry) has a very simple, mobile interface, and a very cool game-based mode of use. Click the application open, and it instantly locates you, anywhere in the world where 2G or 3G data services are available. It shows you who is nearby along with what's nearby based on the venues others have added. Even better, it provides recommendations about these places: "Order the molten brownie -- for two!" or "Nick makes a great Aviation." It sounds trivial, but trust me on this: when you're looking for something new or wondering which of your friends is already at the show or any other similar social questions, services like Foursquare, Gowalla, and Loopt that combine check-in and location with recent historical comments are the answer.

Tuesday January 26th
5 short social media lessons
Terry Starbucker gives Small Business leaders social media 5 lessons that match 3 Tweeple-Bytes today.
@mhaworth: Social media is a means to an end - not the end itself. It is a new way of engaging in traditional marketing - a way of getting noticed
@RobRueLRFH: RT @juliealbaugh: Social Media is all about trust. If people do not trust you they will not do business with you. (via @LeesChicken)
@Digrafika: New study found 66 percent of respondents will be investing in social media marketing in 2010 - will you?  
  1. Social Media has certainly hit a state of pervasiveness, so you better do something. Don't be in denial, its happening right now!
  2. Social Media isn’t a panacea. This wont fix a bad business model- sorry!
  3. Social Media will require you to address its usage among your employees. Its addictive!
  4. Social Media has its own language protocol, and “company-speak” isn’t one of them . Just be real!
  5. Social Media demands truth, and usually gets it. The sentence can be extreme if caught lying

Monday January 25th
Social media 10 stages and 3 voices
Vanessa Dimauro  asks "..what is the most appropriate Twitter Voice for the company. There are many compelling voices on Twitter - personas, companies, experts sharers. Some focus on connecting and others serve as information channels. Most successful twitter business voices are both consistent, persistent, and useful to the audience in some way. " Consider the following 3: 
  1. Product-Centric Voice. In this strategy, the business humanizes the corporate voice by giving an identity to the channel
  2. The Voice of the CEO The Voice of the CEO often blends personal and professional information in the twitter stream.
  3. Customer Care Online Voice. Companies can often be more responsive to their users and buyers in a 24X7 environment
Now determine how you want to apply your new found persona within these 10 stages of social media as articulated by Brian Solis
  1. Observe and Report
  2. Setting the Stage + Dress Rehearsal
  3. Socializing Media
  4. Finding a Voice and a Sense of Purpose
  5. Putting Words into Action
  6. Humanizing the Brand and Defining the Experience
  7. Community
  8. Social Darwinism
  9. The Socialization of Business Processes
  10. Business Performance Metrics
The thing about new media is that it’s always new and as such, these stages represent a moment in time. They will continue to change, augment, and expand as new technologies, experiences, and innovations are introduced to those champions who can effectively integrate and learn from experimentation and assessment.
In the end, Social media is privilege and with it, we learn just one more piece of how to run a more meaningful and relevant business

Friday January 22nd
Whats Ur point of difference social media experience
Lisa Barone states that standing head and shoulders above the social media masses comes down to the experience you are creating.  Its about what "..customers will remember, want to talk about and remain loyal to." Your POD experience does propels you in two ways:  first, First, "it creates a story around your brand for your customers to share." Second, it "...helps foster a sense of community with your brand and gives customers a reason to keep coming back."

Lisa has a list on how a POD experience is created:
  1. By playing on emotion and making interactions as personal as possiblePrice
  2. By nurturing the values that YOU stand for.
  3. Being interesting. Doing the same as everyone else doesn’t create an experience, it creates a ‘me too’
  4. Knowing what’s important to your customer and finding the intersection in your brand.
  5. Finding ways to become part of their daily life
  6. Communication – communicating with them in an ongoing conversation
  7. Giving customers something to take with them, even if it’s just a smile

    Thursday January 21st
    4 P's  4 C's
    Paul Dunay reminds of the 4 P's of Traditional marketing that were "...created mainly to describe the ideal “marketing mix”. The term “marketing mix” became popularized after Neil H. Borden published his 1964 article, Concept of the Marketing Mix."
    1. Product
    2. Price
    3. Place
    4. Promotion
    With today's social media, consider the 4 C's as described by Paul...
    1. Content – the creation of a steady stream of engaging content
    2. Connection – connecting with the audience you wish to attract
    3. Communication – communicating with them in an ongoing conversation
    4. Conversion – and then converting them at the illusive moment of need

      Wednesday January 20th
      Small Business listens to Big Business
      Stephen Pritchard is talking about  the social experiences and directions (BIG business) Dell and IBM are paving for small business --- mostly because they have the money. 
      • Social media outreach today is a natural extension of the way we started to interact with the internet when we started the Dell brand,” says Manish Mehta, vice-president for social media and community at Dell
      • The first thing we set out to understand is relevance. Next is the authority and influence [of the writer]
      • the key to engaging successfully with social media – rather than antagonising its users – is to listen first and participate second
      • In 2006, we recognised the need to listen to all of the conversations happening in the blogosphere. If you now look at our reach on Twitter and Facebook, we are trying to embed social media in the fabric of how we do business
      • Your post might only have a few comments on it, but if behind you there are thousands of followers and those followers post thousands of times, the effect will be much greater
      • But often the power of the network itself does most of the work. We can highlight the deals – but often we don’t need to

      Tuesday January 19th
      Ur Twitter Marketing Style

      Jason Falls doesn't suggest a right or wrong way and I am posting this so that you have examples for whatever style fits you right now.
      • The Conversationalist
      • Have a reason to be on Twitter but prefer the daily chit-chat vs talking to a niche community
        Genuine but less direct
        Follow: @Geekmommy @AmberCadabra @shashib @unitedlinen
      • The Conversational MarketerHaving a more obvious reason for being on Twitter -- with a stated purpose or objective
        Regularly offers promotional items but will participate in daily conversation
        @delloutlet @meijer @briansolis @mcdonalds (some heavy hitter here)
      • The Salesman Using social media to promote greater than 50% of the time
        Sell First, Engage Second
        @jcpenny @phoenixsuns @chrysler @newyorker
      • The Spammer Broadcaster
        Based on self promoting streams not criticism w/o participating in conversation

        Follow: @nbc @raffbreck @tide @usweekly

      Thursday January 14th
      Small Business vs Social Media -- Game Plan
      John Seroka says "Think about the last time you attended a major sporting event, such as a professional basketball game. One connection—an interest in how the team’s players will perform that day—brought you and thousands of people together. The idea of a shared connection helps explain why social media is now a dynamic marketing force for businesses."
      • First, you need to be a starter
      • Get into the game - Now would be great!
        Practice your communication skills and stay consistent
        Remember, one day doesn't make the season! or It takes that first step to complete a 26.2 mile marathon or U tell me the metaphor / simile
      • The Game Plan Identify your purpose, know your audience - Connect, Engage, and Share
        Blogs - Provide value and build a community
        Avoid sales pitching - Just don't do it
        Know the tools available - I use hootsuite daily
      • The Arena - the differences between the twoFacebook

      Wednesday January 13th
      Small Business Twitter
      Lisa always has a great article and today she describes a typical  conversation. "A small business owner comes to us looking for help promoting his or her business. We suggest using Twitter as a way to find new leads, build relationships and as an overall way to cost effectively market their business. The small business owner then turns around, tilts their head and responds, “Twitter? What can Twitter do for me?” ."  Well let me give us some ideas...
      • Build Credibility
      • Answer common customer questions
        Tweet often to keep your brand in customer’s top of mind
        Be the one to break the news in your industry
      • Market Your Business
      • Talk about company culture and values
        Hold contests
        Let people know the events your company will be attending this year
      • Grow Ears
      • Track conversations about your brand for online reputation management
        See how your competitors are interacting with customers
        Ask people for their opinions. Listen to them
      • Grow Your Online Network
      • Use relationship building instead of cold calls and cheesy flyers
        Host weekly Twitter chats to bring your community together and meet new folks
        Use Twitter search to find relevant conversations you can jump into
      • Grow Your Offline Network
      • Hold tweetups and introduce your community members in real life
        Tweet about products just arriving or hot food coming out of the oven
        Ask Twitter followers to leave testimonials on your site
      • Have Fun
      • Use it as your office watercooler if you work from home
        Make friendships, not just professional relationships.
        Find content that inspires and motivates you

      Tuesday January 12th
      Small Business Marketing
      According to Steven Spencer the consumer is living at a time where business is providing a seemingly unlimited amount of choices. Iconic brands have tried to push a choice upon us ..."Coke gives you with/without caffeine and with/without sugar . Ford and Chevy have nearly gone out of business by trying to offer too many choices, or more correctly, dictating what the consumer should choose. Bud gives you regular or lite. McDonalds is about the burger. These companies have used massive advertising to direct the consumer choice to their pre-determined, limited set of options."  Empowering today's consumer, social media is providing options that just did not exist with traditional "OLD SCHOOL' marketing.  "the older model had a marketing organization pre-determining a consumer’s choice through some form of market research and then marketing the heck out of those choices. Now, companies give the illusion of unlimited choices, monitor and track the actual choices that are made and then capitalize on those choices and utilize more subtle earns to influence those choices. Marketing is marketing. The techniques evolve, but the goals remain the same. Buy my product or service and not the other guys."

      Monday January 11th
      Small Business Jumping Ahead of Competition
      Looking for Super and Simple Social media opportunities for Small Business?  Pete Cashmore has 4 great ideas!

      1. Get The Local Advantage
      2. Foursquare, for instance, enables venues to provide special offers to users who "check in" to your business often.
      3. Engage Your Critics-
        2009 was truly the death of screwing the consumer
      4. Co-Create
      5. Who knows more about what your business should do in 2010 than your customers, partners and suppliers? Finding ways to bring their knowledge and expertise to bear on your decisions can be a major competitive advantage ... if it's done right (...checkout "My Starbucks Idea" site.)
      6. Collaborate
      7. There's no excuse...Try Google Docs or Basecamp

      Friday January 8th
      Small Business Thinking with Our Outside Voice
      How does your perspective match with these voices? read all 75 here
      1. Katja Presnal - @katjapresnal
        “The key to Twitter success is realizing it is all about community; and by supporting and helping others in your community makes your community to grow and prosper, including your own business.”
      2. Melissa Garcia - @ConsumerQueen
        “Make sure you are using the ‘Social’ part of Twitter! Don't just advertise, Engage with your followers! Make sure you follow the same advice you tweet out. People are watching you. Give yourself a personality on twitter!”
      3. Jyl Johnson Pattee - @jylmomIF and @momitforward
        “1) Be authentic and open. Open meaning opening yourself up to the possibility of lots and lots of friends, advice, information, news, fun, and opportunities. 2) Build friendships and/or business relationships. Take it one step further by converting those online relationships into offline friendships. Nothing like meeting someone on Twitter one week and having lunch with them the following week! And more than anything, 3) Do something positive with the space to help make it a safe, fun, trusting, and amazing community: Participate or host a fundraiser, share positive comments about others, retweet, reach out to Twitter newbies, offer tips or information, etc.”
      4. Barb Likos - @chaotic_barb
        “Twitter is all about making connections. You wouldn't stand on a table in the middle of a party and keep screaming your business commercial. Don't do it on twitter either! Unless people know YOU, your tweets about your business are being ignored!”
      5. Linda Sellers - @shortpumppreppy
        “Twitter has been the best tool to connect globally, but I find as much success connecting to local people and businesses that I might not find on my own. I'm amazed at how many times a new contact says ‘saw you on Twitter’. It's a fabulous way to introduce yourself and your business...your personality shines through!”

      Thursday January 7th
      Small Business MC
      The 10 Commandments of Marketing Today.  Augustine Fou, has more details in his article, but here are his 10 Commandments:
      1. Thou shalt not target customers with messages they don't want. (No "Push" Ads)
      2. Thou shalt be truthful. (Too many voices - stop the SPIN)
      3. Thou shalt respect your customers. (Today's Customers R empowered)
      4. Thou shalt make it easy for people to find you. (Be where UR customers R)
      5. Thou shalt be useful. (Add value)
      6. Thou shalt make it easy for people to pass along. ( Use Ur social tools )
      7. Thou shalt measure and optimize. ( Yes )
      8. Thou shalt listen to customers. ( Because Ur past, present, future customers will )
      9. Thou shalt remove any organizational barriers to speedy, collaborative innovation. (speak w 1 voice )
      10. Thou shalt not do brand-ing. ( the act of telling what UR brand is... )

      Wednesday January 6th
      Social Perspective on Business
      Looking at the Social side to give Business a leg-up on the Business of Social Media. Punam Keller looks a litter deeper on the Social side of Business and has interesting information that can help small business understand the Social side!
      1. Sharing Brand Experience: Instantaneous information being share at an increasing rate of accessibility with a high level of accuracy which is not based on paid opinions seeded by the Brand.
      2. No longer do customers want to be regarded as the "Target Audience". They want to be involved in the development and experience of the Brand
      3. The Average JOE will be the new spokesperson
      4. Consumers are increasingly weighing the Social impact Brands have upon society at a global level
      5. MORE....

      Tuesday January 5th
      Social Media Budget
      Which statement best describes how social media marketing is perceived within your organization at budget time? This is the question asked by the marketingsherpa

      Small Business Work
      Social media can be simple, fun, engaging...Social media is work. Lauren Fisher goes as far to say that having your small business become social media-izd  by signing up at your favorite social sites malls is only 1% of the effort. The other 99% comes from building an active social community around your brand.   Who knows your business the best?  You! "Don’t get mis-sold with the fancy tools and designs. They’re not going to sell themselves and the real skill comes in knowing how to take these tools and convert them into actual conversations that are a benefit to your business." Connect, Engage, and Share.

      Remember, being social is a behavior not a tool. (few xtra posts giving you a chance to read)

        1. Don’t go in thinking about ROI: Start by Thinking Networking not Numbers
        2. Focus on the actions that matter: Listen Give Engage
        3. Schedule time for it: Just like anything else of Value
        4. Seek out local prospects: Its about selling awareness
        5. Look outside Twitter the box: Social Malls all accross the Web
        6. Learn from those before you: Top 150 social influencers
        7. Take it Offline: We were social off line first!

      Monday January 4th
      Small Business Strategy
      Kim States (CEO) BBB Southern Arizona says that small businesses are shifting strategy and dollars to include more engagements with social media. 70 percent of small business plan to increase social media while at the same time 79 percent of small business say they will not run traditional media advertisements. Kim offers this suggestion, "after having plunged into the social media “pool” myself about eight months ago, I have one piece of advice for small business owners: don’t plunge in." Her article offers tips on how to Connect, Engage, and Share.

      Remember, being social is a behavior not a tool.

        1. Don’t go in thinking about ROI: Start by Thinking Networking not Numbers
        2. Focus on the actions that matter: Listen Give Engage
        3. Schedule time for it: Just like anything else of Value
        4. Seek out local prospects: Its about selling awareness
        5. Look outside Twitter the box: Social Malls all accross the Web
        6. Learn from those before you: Top 150 social influencers
        7. Take it Offline: We were social off line first!

       Thursday December 31st
      Small Business Strategy
      Lets break it down to some simple actions to start the new year. I've posted Lisa's articles before and she has a good perspective on what will/won't work. So Remember, being social is a behavior not a tool.

        1. Don’t go in thinking about ROI: Start by Thinking Networking not Numbers
        2. Focus on the actions that matter: Listen Give Engage
        3. Schedule time for it: Just like anything else of Value
        4. Seek out local prospects: Its about selling awareness
        5. Look outside Twitter the box: Social Malls all accross the Web
        6. Learn from those before you: Top 150 social influencers
        7. Take it Offline: We were social off line first!

      Wednesday December 30th
      Socially Innovative Small Business
      "You're a lean, mean, fighting machine!"- Bill Murray as John Winger - Stripes. That's what John Winger would say to You - small business. Leadership and social media share common boundaries, just read this Tweeple-Byte "@shanegibson: SM Tip: Many people will quit, shun and criticize social media marketing when they realize it's actually about leadership." Here is a great article by Richard Mammone, who says "The best type of market growth comes from making the pie larger for everyone, rather than just making your slice larger within the pie... The McKinsey survey also found that most businesses do not innovate to counter a competitor's threat. Instead senior management reacts with a knee-jerk response, moving down the tree and matching a competitor's price change or imitating its new product or feature... Gathering market intelligence is the first step." (Listen)

      Socially Small Business
      It's just natural to be Social. One of today's Tweeple-Bytes describes this article in 140 characters..."#10.@SalesDuJour: Social networking is older than technology and will outlive the internet. Be social and network wherever you are. #Sales #Marketing #Tip " . John @ducttape marketing puts it this way ..."Now that hype surrounding the next new thing has settled a bit, businesses are coming around to the understanding that social media isn’t a department or separate marketing tactic. In fact, It’s not so much a tool as it is a behavior. And as such it can and should permeate the whole of the business."

      Here are ways to apply social media throughout your small business ( John has examples for each item)
      • Hiring
      • Training
      • Awareness
      • Public Relations
      • Referrals
      • Strategic Partners
      • Internal news
      • Lead Coversion
      • Customer Service
      • Research
      • Inspiration
      • SEO
      • Testing
      • Sourcing
      • Help Desk
      • Brainstorming

      Tuesday December 29th
      Small Business Branding
      What Happens when Small Business Thinks Big. David Hauser says "brand loyalists don’t just buy your product and pledge allegiance to your brand, they’ll also help you market it to others and grow your influence even when you’re not aware of it. Having an army of brand loyalists will also help you refine your product or service through customer feedback, and in turn, enhance customer satisfaction and boost brand loyalty."

      How do you build an army of brand loyalists?

        1. Add value first.
        2. Listen. Then listen some more.
        3. Make a human connection.
        4. Promote your customers.
        5. Create a culture of responsibility.

      Social Conversations
      Keep it simple and short when the conversation is the written word. I will let this article by Ari Herzog speak for itself. All I will say is...what an example! Mmmm... maybe why Twitter can be so effective?
      Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

      Monday December 28th
      Simply Small Business
      Social construction builds small business success. Although Doug Brockway doesn't talk about the KISS (Keep It Strategic and Simple) , I like the part that talks about cutting through the layers of business as a way in "...taking out intermediate steps, processes, systems and people no longer needed to get to an end point. It may be a long time, or it may be tomorrow, but social media’s success at this is likely to occur in your business and you don’t want to be the last to know. "
      three main reasons why social media is important to business. ... #1 It allows a company to build a community and engage in two-way dialogue with customers, the media, partners and other key external stakeholders, and internally with employees. #2 It allows for collaboration through what social mediaistas call “crowdsourcing,” to enhance products, gain insights, and improve customer service. And, #3 it enables a company to reach a broader market with fewer dollars.

      Small Business
      It's time to go from Listening to Leading: Jason Cormier sneaked in this article right at Christmas, on it is worth looking at today. "I'll summarize the model by saying the ultimate value of starting conversations is in building and sustaining your brand as a leader."
      Leadership, like almost everything that's enabled your company's success, must be earned. Each (maturity) level within the pyramid model is representative of where your brand may be in any given conversation about a product, service, industry, etc

      What stage of social leadership to you see your business?

      Thursday December 24rd
      Social Connect
      In 2010, no longer is the goal to find your target market but now the game is to stay connected. Whatever you call yourself....a business, consumer, prospect, advocate, the sought after commodity on social sites is your Attention. Think about what @ductape tweeted yesterday, "Social media is not so much a tool as it is a behavior. " "It is estimated that anyone living approximately 30 years ago was exposed to up to 2,000 marketing messages each day. That has more than double today with exposure to approximately 5,000 each day, and in some cases as many as 9,000 impressions in an average". Here is a great article that explains why the future is now, and today "is the critical time for Entrepreneurs to pay close attention, to learn from the behavior and interaction that defines our markets as they develop and mature. Entrepreneurs must empower themselves to engage and CONNECT with both market influencers and customers, and be a valued part of the decision making process, thereby increasing the levels of success previously seen as unattainable through more costly traditional marketing".

      Wednesday December 23rd
      Social Success
      No longer a novelty, niche, or underground movement, social media marketing (SMM) becomes serious business in 2010. For small businesses... please pay specific attention to the list below because these are the puzzle pieces that will unlock the keys to success 2010 . This article by Sienna Farris is not just a must read but a strong need to understand what is going become the new reality driven by a social economy. Think about it, customers check into a local area hotel or your clients are in town for one of our seasonal signature events and you (small business) are able to recognize who is in town, and offer special products and services tailored to their preferences. Smart phones will help create smart customers looking for small businesses that think smart.

      1. SMM will finally transition from "nice to have" to "must have"
      2. Location-based social networking is here to stay
      3. Experimental social media budgets are key
      4. The division between the virtual and the physical world will continue to blur
      5. Crowd sourcing will turn social media into a direct sales channel

      Word of Mousekill the word of mouth and gives us 3 problems facing word of mouth marketers. Word of Mouse can be preverbal snowball rolling down the hill but if you get Lazy, Talk to much or, exchange $$$ for a good word, then you may cross your loyal community. Likewise, with word of mouse marketing, you should be able to answer this question..."What will the customer, client, prospect take away". Need some help, look at the 3 scenarios at
      1. The Matchbook problem - What will the customer take away?
      2. The Chocolate problem - What if your product or service is the same as....
      3. The Shiny object problem - Hey, This new system is guaranteed to...

      Tuesday December 22nd
      Social Smarts
      A must read! Jerome Pineau has written a power packed article that reflects his trials, tribulations and success in the social media marketing arena. Note to Small Businesses: keep this article bookmarked:

      • What is "social media"? It is a set of web-based communication channels connecting a brand with existing and potential customers
      • What's "success" in social media and community management. It's not something that can be pinned down easily like an engineering project where criteria are clearly defined...Managing a brand or product via social media channels is more akin to wine making or political campaigning. It's something that takes considerable time, involves a myriad of tools and tactics, and, quite honestly, more than a little bit of luck. And it also takes a special kind of personality
      • This is an "art" - and purposely so - because to the best of my knowledge, there are no clear well-defined best-practice recipes for success in this business and most companies tend to fly this bird by the seat of their pants. Some better than others. Yes, there are numerous self-proclaimed social media experts and consultants out there

      Social Strategy
      Learning to move beyond the chatter in 2010. Laurie Burkitt from Forbes writes that more Big business will figure out how to use social media sites as active sales channels...moving beyond a place just for brand monitoring or consumer talk. Here are two great points Small Business can start preparing for:
      • Marketers should keep their eyes on search giants and their growing partnerships with social media sites. As search and social media integrate, targeted advertising and retargeting will become more advanced.
      • Geo-targeted marketing will be huge. Thanks to social networkers who check their profiles from their phones and to Google's acquisition of AdMob, marketers will be able to hone their promotions and coupons for more one-on-one targeting and addressable ads within social media.

      Monday December 21st
      Social Media Bits and Pieces -- Sometimes it takes looking at many tweets collectively in order to get the big picture.

      • @sajja: RT @ARDELLd: Social media influenced 28 percent of U.S. holiday shoppers in gift-buying decisions this year
      • @turnsocial: 91 percent of the Inc. 500 are now using at least one social media tool - (Twitter > Blogs?)
      • @HypewriterUK: Social Media: Facebook Now Consumes 5 Percent of Our Collective Internet Time: Facebook’s already the Internet’...
      • DiscoveryCG: did you know that in 2009, 66 percent of marketers used social media in some form?
      • @ninjadoug: @stevelatham 8 percent of social media users are 65+ (same as teens) #healthcare #marketing #socialmedia
      • @KloudSocial: While 14% People Trust Ads, 76% of People trust consumer recommendations. Interested in profiting from social media? Tr ...
      • @melyt: Study from U of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, 43% of the business respondents said social media is "very important" to their marketing strategy
      • @caroltroy: The impact of social media and bloggers has become incredible. The reach to targeted audiences and influencers sees 40 percent increase.

      Small Business I've seen this article posted in several spots today but not with this twist..... Do you know how much Ur competition is spending on social media in 2010? More money. Before you decide to see who has more $$$, think about this quote from Chris Brogan ..."It’s not enough to push the “buy local” mantra. It’s not enough to push “homemade” as the big push. You’ll find someone for every one of the reasons why you think they shouldn’t buy from Amazon or Walmart or whoever you consider to be the competition, but to my thinking, the real goal is to instill a powerful reason why someone should buy from you over anyone else." Here are some reasons: Trust, Expertise, Support, Specialization. Think in terms of 'Solving Problems' and you will be on the right track. Now take a look at the graph on the left and see what Ur competition is spending on social media next year.

      Friday December 18th TGIF Small Business "The Business of Being David – How to use social media to make your small business big” by Nick Bowditch will be released in March 2010 but I will tell you the 5 rules of social media marketng now! Listen Integrate Engage Promote Measure. Here are the first 2 chapters as a preview -- the 5 rules begin on page 5.
      Chapter 1: The business of being David Chapter 2: The 5 rules of Social Media Marketing Chapter 3: Small Business 2.0 Chapter 4: Brand YOU! Chapter 5: Trends in Social Media Marketing Chapter 6: “I love it when a plan comes together” – structured socal media strategy Chapter 7: Fall in with the right crowd Chapter 8: Change your mind – Don’t just adopt a social media strategy, really believe in it Chapter 9: How to use Social Media to improve your customer service Chapter 10: Make it viral Chapter 11: Social Media as public relations Chapter 12: The Pear Shaped Plan – How to recover when it all goes horribly wrong Chapter 13: Talk the talk Chapter 14: Make friends with Google Chapter 15: Tying it all together Chapter 16: Still do the old school stuff Chapter 17: “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” – The future… Chapter 18: Glossary of terms
      What do you think?

      Thursday December 17th Mindset What is the one word that can ignite Ur Community?...Passion So you say Ur passionate... then stop talking about your products features, benefits, cost, bla-bla-bla-bla . Merritt Colaizzi has an article providing 11 lessons on how U can ignite Ur community. Here is my twist on her article:
      1. Start a Passion Conversation
        Be Bold - Ask your customers what they think
      2. Inspirational Leadership
        Passion creates Influence (Social Equity)
      3. Empower Ur Community with knowledge
        Teaching Sells
      4. Ur Online Passion will drive Offline conversations
        90% of Word of Mouth (WOM) happens offline
      5. Pick a cause
        Everyone can relate to rallying behind a cause
      6. MORE in the article
      What do you think?

      Strategy Oh Yes, Ghost Towns exist online too, so Think 2x Build it 1x I have made plenty of mistakes, but one thing I am animate about is to seek the expertise, knowledge, mentorship, or coaching necessary to build and maintain a thriving business. Zephrin Lasker has a wonderful article about learning from the successful pioneers of social media. Remember, "These are still early days for social marketing. That said, there are certain best practices through which marketers can avoid building the next generation of ghost towns: "
      • Have the right users
        Just like you can't make good pizza without good dough, you can't build a good social networking group or site without the right members
      • Engage consumers at multiple touchpoints
        Communicate with your member base through multiple touchpoints -- even beyond your social networking site or group
      • Listen
        answer honestly. Building a relationship in the social networking space is not very different from a relationship in the real world. You have to be honest and transparent for the relationship to be meaningful

      Wednesday December 16th Business Mindset Don't forget most of our lives R spent offline. I picked this article By WILLA PLANK because of the quote below. From my experience engaging in online dialog with business owners from my own town (Temecula,Ca) creates a stronger sense of comrade, and a general understanding of common ground at a real grass root conversational level. Something that does not happen when I just 'pop' into a local establishment and try to pick up the conversation from the 'Last time' we talked. This is why Social Media is so powerful...yea!
      Don't forget social media is a tool to strengthen offline relationships. Many small businesses already have personal ties to customers in their communities, and these tools are designed to enhance those relationships, not replace them. For instance, you can use social-media tools such as YouTube to give customers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your company, or display more of your personality than you can through an ad. "It also allows you to show your culture," Endline says. "They're not just there to [see] a static promotion from you. They want value." And remember, a social network is "really a big room of people," author Schaffer says. Use it to "meet" potential clients or business partners, but make sure you follow up with an in-person meeting or phone conversation.
      Small Business Do you have a Social Marketing ROAD Map? “Lack of an effective social marketing strategy” is one of the most significant challenges facing marketers. Without a strategy, organizations typically approach social media by putting the cart before the horse – starting a blog, a Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter account,or other social platform – rather than first mapping a course to achievable objectives.To guide marketers through overcoming this challenge, we created the Social Marketing ROAD Map, a practical method for mapping an effective social marketing strategy. That's a quote from the 'Marketing Sherpa' executive summary witch also graphs the least (email content) to most (blogger relations) effective social marketing tactics.

      • Research - Monitor target audience dialogue about brands and competition
      • Objectives - Define objectives aligned with target audiences and social metrics
      • Actions – creating a social marketing strategy with a definitive plan of action
      • Devices – deploying social platforms based on audience, objectives and strategy
      Tuesday December 15th U Brand Real Time, Social Media and 'U'. A convergence of these 3 is in the forecast and they are headed directly for us...What are U going to do? Here is a great, short article by Mary Ellen Slayter who has an inside view on the topic of Branding.

      • Social brands. The most successful brands in 2010 are going to be the ones that evolve into social brands. This means that brands that have social voices — real people participating and talking on their behalf to customers in an engaging, conversational manner. The company must be willing to let its employees and its brand advocates become the face of the brand. Consumers demand that, and brands like Best Buy that are evolving into social brands (think Twelp Force) will be the ones that win. Every brand is going to need to become a social brand at some point.
      • Real-time brands. Companies that become dynamic and responsive in real time to their customers and their needs will be the ones that succeed. This doesn’t just mean real time customer service but real time market research, real time product development, and real time customization and personalization of products and campaigns alike. This also means that the products will need to have a digital pulse in them.
      • Identifying, nurturing and managing relationships. Customers increasingly are also influencers (expert, positional or referent), and companies will need to know who those people are and how much influence they actually have. A lot more effort is going to go into this. Along those lines, understanding how customers come together as communities and make collective decisions will be important, too

      Strategy 4 U Great article by Jennifer Laycock who is sharing some common viewpoints of the small business owner..."I'm finding that many of these companies have absolutely no idea WHY they need a social media strategy. They just feel the pressure to get involved and hope something will come from it. What it all boils down to is this; your customers are online and they are using social media to communicate. If you aren't, you're business is missing opportunities. No one says you have to master every use of social media all at once, but you're doing yourself (and your bottom line) a disservice if you don't at least give some thought toward creeping into the social media space next year to do a little listening." Here is what Socail Media Marketing can do for U and your business---Lots of examples
      • Reason #1: Social Media Gives U Unprecedented Ability to Listen to Your Customers
      • Reason #2: Social Media Gives U the Chance to Build or Introduce a Brand
      • Reason #3: Social Media Gives U a Unique Way to Gather Feedback
      • Reason #4: Social Media Gives U the Chance to Demonstrate Personality

      Monday December 14th Social Highway Engage past, present, and future customers before they walk thru your doors or even arrive in town. Temecula, the town I live in, is a favorite tourist destination for Southern Californians. If your business is serves out-of-towners....consider this statement from Julia Rosien who tells us to " Forget pocket guides that aren't so pocket-sized - not to mention out of date." For 2010, expect to see high tech travel guides and info kits that fit in our cell phone, packed with up-to-the minute recommendations.
      Have apps, will travel - better! Imagine traveling to a city you've never been before. You want to jump into the local vibe and soak up the flavor. Point your cell phone camera and watch the street before you become layered with information. Hotel and restaurant reviews, directions to tourist attractions, historical information - even the daily special at that cute jewelery store on the corner. Pulling information from a plethora of social networks, Augmented Reality (AR) pinpoints your location using your phone's internal GPS and matches it up with the compass and viewfinder. What you receive is a clickable roadmap.

      Checklist Considering limited resources,personnel and budgets... small businesses can still build more cost-effective sales stream by leveraging their on-line conversations with past, present, future customers. Hedi Cohen provides us a fantastically simple checklist that you will find very helpful in starting your social media marketing experience. Nine questions to ask when developing a Social Media Strategy
      1. Does your business tap into people's passions and/or hobbies?
      2. Can your business show off its work?
      3. Can you give prospects information they find useful?
      4. Can you extend your expertise to a broader audience?
      5. Does your business provide reasons for people to gather?
      6. Can your business disseminate fun or related information via social media?
      7. Are there targeted or niche communities where your prospects and customers naturally congregate?
      8. Do major blogs cover your business's area of expertise?
      9. Does your offering lend itself to creating a small online community and/or bulletin board?
      Seven Tips to Extend Social Media Marketing Efforts
      1. Listen before you participate
      2. Monitor what's being said about your business
      3. Integrate social media efforts offline
      4. Promote social media efforts online and offline
      5. Socialize social media marketing
      6. Create a content strategy
      7. Make content search-friendly
      Measuring Results
      1. Revenues
      2. Expenses
      3. Prospects and customers
      4. Feedback

      Friday December 11th Commerce Social media helps this online only company go from 0 ---> 1.2 billion in sales. I am talking about Zappos, a company you can read more about from Jeff Bullas's blog article . Just for the record, I want to say the Zappos is the only billion dollar company that will tweet or email me after blogging about the company. This is a company who's actions surpass their words. Here are a few of the 17 revelations of the online reatailer.
      • The Differentiator: Customer service and interaction
      • It’s not even looking for a return on that investment (ROI). “We don’t assign metrics to it,’’ Hsieh says. “It’s really just about our unwavering belief that making the customer happier is going to win in the long run.” There’s no trace a straight line from all this dialogue, digital or otherwise, to the company’s ability to sell shoes
      • Social Media Marketing Campaigns: This is built on building up the human side of Zappos, as if showing humanity and personality is totally counter-culture amongst faceless private (or public) companies. And asking only one thing of employees: “Just be yourself’’
      • Zappos 4 keys to great online retailing:
        1 Do what you say you’re going to do, promptly.
        2 Deliver the exact products ordered, on time.
        3 Take returns without a hitch.
        4 Avoid complaints and frustrated customers, with angry (and costly) messages

      TGIF ReTweet I refer back to these articles often, so I thought I would pass on the information. Dan Zarrella says think about it...."With one click, any of your readers can spread your post to hundreds or thousands of their followers." He has provided a list of the most and least words to get ReTweeted. enjoy! Debbie shares with us 5 Ways to ReTweet and it is a great format to follow.
      1. Alway include a link
      2. Don't use up all 140 Characters
      3. When ReTweeting, add something orignal
      4. Build creditability with your bio and URL
      5. Combine personal with the professional
      The Renegade Network Marketer The Renegade Network Marketer

      Thursday December 10th Real Time The city I live in (Temecula Ca) is a destination for many day trips in southern California (Casinos, Wine Tasting, historical Old Town). With the advancement of Real Time searches, I see a big potential for those businesses who are engaging in social media. Visitors naturally want current, time relevant information to make the most of their stay. Erin Harrison talks about the positive impact real time searches has on social media and Pat Romanski describes extending your reach (geographic) to bring awareness.
      It will hopefully place the onus on brands to maximize their marketing output in social media, as they stand to benefit from this activity now more than ever in terms of achieving consumer engagement and driving traffic to their Web site The appearance of social media content in search engine results will serve to enhance the reach of social media chatter, and will therefore enhance the benefit of positive conversations

      Why Being "Social" is human nature. Combine Technology, Economy (or lack of) and you have the ingredients for a Super medium that will trump Television, Newspaper and Radio combined. What you are hearing about or reading or those engaging (for the advanced) is a new medium that was not created some executive power luncheon, it is being developed, implemented and re-created daily by us..... the collective consumer, customer, owner, retailer, entrepreneur, joe public. Wrap you mind around these fact and figures by under the heading "Here are some interesting and some what disturbing facts about Social Media as a marketing and advertising vehicle"

        1. Three out of four Americans use social networks
        2. Visiting social networks is more popular than personal email or online pornography
        3. Facebook is used more than 80.000.000 hours daily
        4. Michael Jackson, Barack Obama and Vin Diesel have close to 30.000.000 fans combined on Facebook. That’s the entire population of Canada
        5. Generation Y will out number Baby Boomers in 2010.
          96% of Generation Y has joined a social network
        6. Studies show that Wikipedia is more accurate that Encyclopaedia Britannica
        7. 25 more interesting facts

      Have questions?... ask

      Wednesday December 9th Awareness Social media is about selling awareness. I can't tell you how many time residents in my own town of Temecula, California told me that they didn't know we have a vibrant, unique, historical "Old Town" packed with speciality shops and diverse dining. It usually takes a large downtown event to bring out the locals but these events doesn't happen every day or on a frequency that promotes consistent revenue for the downtown businesses. My guess is as busines owner, you already own the tools needed to promote awareness to a large geographic area. Here is a bold statment by thats declares "the fact that you are engaging in social media circles is effectively marketing enough for you. In other words, your presence is your marketing tool. By all means provide great quality information and get involved with a conversation relevant to your product or service, but never, ever direct sell something. Note that the minute you do this, you have lost all the credibility and trust that you have been working hard to build up through these social media channels." In essence social media marketing is about that kick back SOCAL attitude thats not pushy yet is recognized for it rightful value. Lawerence Perry writes in his article ,"Social media marketing is all about image-building and trust-building. You can use social media to broaden market awareness and that awareness will lead to sales." When people travel or purchase products they usually go for locations brands that they know and trust.

      social commerce We are getting our first real glimpse at the impact social media will play on commerce as we enter the next decade...quote from ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni and article by Inyoung Hwang
      • Having a social media marketing strategy makes sense for retailers in this environment because it’s cost-effective and shows an effort to get closer to one’s customers
      • The momentum continues this holiday season as companies really start to value two-way communication,” said Tom Arrix, vice president of U.S. sales at Palo Alto, California-based Facebook. “Social shopping” is the main new e-commerce trend on the site
      • Our customers are spending a lot of time connecting with each other in these online communities, and we want to be there,” said Nick Bomersbach, director of “Oftentimes they’re talking about brands, and we want to have an open avenue to have that dialogue.”

      Tuesday December 8th Neighborhood Business This is why social media marketing gives you the competitive advantage over the super warehouse stores. The quotes below are courtsey of Manish Mehta and the Huffington Post.
      The "Mom and Pop" businesses in our neighborhoods have always followed sound and pragmatic business practices, rooted in developing, maintaining and strengthening relationships with customers. The customers and the businesses valued those relationships because "Mom and Pop" offered convenience. They listened to their customers and used their suggestions to improve the business. They provided great service and found ways to thank their clientele. Social media is really nothing more than the simple application of these business practices in a digital form. As with the corner store, if your business uses social media to engage in conversations on a human level, you strengthen your business and allow your strategy -- both corporate and social media -- to evolve based on customer feedback

      Strategy Social Media Marketing Compass by BryanNewMedia : "True North" in Social Media Marketing is developing a magnetic presence that leads your community to Know, Like and Trust your brand. Bryan has very simple(good thing)definitions regarding social media strategy.While he is finalizing his graph try this dynamic social marketing funnel
      1. Listen - "First seek to understand then to be understood".
      2. Engage -"They don't care how much U know until they know how much U care"
      3. Connect "Be the perfect host, build a campfire for your community to sit around and swap stories"
      4. Share"Become a trusted source by regularly and consistently sharing market leadership content".

      Monday December 7th Think business with social media. Getting ready for 2010? Here are some great thoughts from the mindset of someone who is making social media marketing work!
      For businesses, Twitter has to reflect your culture. You should try to give your tweeter a personality and immerse yourself in it. Customers are human, they need to be able to relate – We like to keep people engaged It’s all about creating a new identity. Educating and engaging with the customers is the real business benefit of the site, it’s not about sales.”
      What woud you like to add?

      local social marketing planning. Chris Brogan is a pro and he wants you to make sure their time isn’t wasted by simply “doing social media.” Looking at the questions below, consider your unique business and your competitive differences.
      1. How can U fill your sales funnel?
      2. How can U improve engagement?
      3. How can U improve exposure?
      4. How can U empower your commuity to interact?
      5. How can U build your voice and a new channel for your ideas?
      6. How can U bridge offline and online presence?
      7. How are U extending to today's mobile environment?

      local social Advantage Small Business. Reading this quote by Linda Evans from today's article , you can begin to understand why this is the case where small is big. If you need more excitement, read what foursquare is doing for business.
      Small businesses have some huge advantages in social media over the Walmarts of the world. Businesses like this karaoke company example are nimble enough to go out, shoot video, and turn it out the next day to their YouTube channel. They also have a much easier time personally connecting with their audience because, more likely than not, they know the majority of them personally. Those personal connections make it much easier to build your communities in social media sites like Facebook and MySpace. People readily become your fan, recommend you to other local friends, and tag and submit their own photos that help promote your local business.

      Friday December 4th social e-commerce Read the notes from a CEO of a content and document management solutions company.
      Social media marketing has rapidly become one of the most powerful ways to build brands, grow customer bases and drive those potential customers to e-commerce Web sites. But what do these social media savvy customers do when they get there? What is going to drive them to follow through on the branding they’ve been exposed to and make a purchase? Social media is all about the user experience. By putting a powerful social experience around the e-commerce part of your site you can give site visitors an interactive experience that will influence and accelerate their purchase decisions

      Future Only 27 more days until 2010...what is on horizon? Start maping out your 2010 path . Here is a very short news article
      1. Handsets will become an imperative part of social media
      2. Less social will be the social media
      3. Scalability will be the mantra
      4. Email will take a backseat
      5. Social media will be more local (over and over I have seen this statement)

      Listening What is the result of active listening? You are able to provide directed, specific content of high value to a well defined group. what does that generate? Influence, Trust, Authority and continues until the your communications have reached the golden "trusted relationship" stage. John Bell's article on Radical Listening gives us 5 practical skill to learn
      1. Set up and operate live 'listening posts' online and offline
      2. Develop "messages" based upon social behavior
      3. Identify and engage new influencers, online and offline
      4. Participate in conversations, not just 'messaging'
      5. Be a champion of WOMM

      Wednesday December 2nd Influence How much social real estate does your brand own? If you consider each social site (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace), Blog and or Homesite a square on the Monopoly board then you would want to build as many hotels as possible for your tribes to congregate. Adam Wood has a great article talking about real time searches , social real estate and your brand.
      It is unrealistic to expect all pote­ntial customers to flock straight to a brand's controlled web spaces when they are search­ing for its name online. It is just as likely that the first page they will visit is a third-party site, such as a comparison engine, a blog or a forum post. This presents an even more critical reason for brands to ensure they have a voice in the social areas of the web brands are now forced to dance to social media's tune, because of its significant and growing influence on natural search results. Brands that take a healthy role in online conversations that concern them will be repaid in better natural search rankings for their sites and social-media pages; by con­trast, those that ignore them may find their search results dominated by negative comments and unanswered issues
      Think about it...If you see a brand all over town, just by volume, a strong sense of influence and authority would prevail.

      Social Sales Benjamins,C-note,clams,smackers,and greenbacks. At some point you are going to want to convert your Social Equity into some liquid funds useable in the real world. Here are some great thoughts from a new pdf titled The Art of Social Sales available from --hint the 1st step is to Listen
      The social customer expects that you will respect what they do and how they participate in forums that might relate to what you are selling. Tread lightly. Rather than jump into the forums and communities where your customers are conversing online about products like yours—a death sentence—follow the advice of marketing maven Seth Godin: “date your customer.” In the case of online communities and forums,participate as an expert and member rather than a sales pusher. Provide expertise to help solve problems. Converse with prospects or customers on relevant topics. Don’t push a pitch. Consider developing a regular podcast, an Internet based radio show, to provide some useful pontification on a subject of interest to your customers
      What are your thoughts?

      Tuesday December 1st Social Marketing is the next word -> "Social Marketing". John gives us 7 Simple Truths of Social Media Marketing with lot of great insight behind each one. What gets my attention is his simple little statement..."the fundamentals of marketing are the same, only the platforms have changed". Note: Another example of "Listening" as your launch pad to success in social media marketing . Good job john!
      1. Listening is the best way to develop strategy
      2. Nobody really wants to read another blog
      3. It's kind of a real estate game
      4. Sell awareness and the money will follow
      5. Networking hasn't really changed
      6. It makes your offline play stronger
      7. A system is the solution

      Customer Opportunities Revealed...behind the numbers. Brian's article Socialized Media: The Powerful Effects of Online Brand Interaction peals back the statistical numbers you are reading in many articles and blogs and shows us the reality of an "earned relationship" -- thanks Brian
      • Before we are marketers, we are consumers. We make decisions based on our experiences, observations and research. We also heavily rely upon recommendations of friends, peers, and influencers, and they have embraced social media as their platforms for exercising authority. It is the convergence of online and real-world dialogue that leads to action
      • The buyology of consumers spans from awareness to consideration to purchase to experience to recommendation or discouragement
      • If we are not present within the attention dashboards of our existing customers and prospects, we intentionally remove ourselves from their decision-making funnel. Consumers are among the new influencers as they now have access to the same tools and channels that reach peers and shape their impressions.

      Monday November 30th You Deserve A Break Today Serving up Social Media Mc Donald's style. The slideshow is a must read! Article by Sam Mutimer on how McDonald’s utilises Social Media to their advantage
      #13 Social Process - Listening -> Participating -> Leading #10 Strategic Vision - Ultimately, providing moments of simple easy enjoyment #26 Social Media Objectives - Build deeper relationships and trust with customers
      The slideshow is a MUST

      Listen Among all the Guru's of "How To" Listening is one of the first ingredients for a successful social media marketing mindset. 2 ears/eyes are better than 1 mouth / mouse. Read this quote by Sam Mutimer on how McDonald’s utilises Social Media to their advantage -- Oh yea, have some fun too!
      McDonald’s first steps are focusing on Acknowledging, listening and engaging with their audience, whilst being open to feedback. They also focus on making the journey fun. Social media can be an extremely fun and creative process, and they seem to be really focusing on these values
      The slideshow has outstanding content

      Friday November 27th Strategy (SBS)Sustainable Business Strategy - Great article about 3 elements of social marketing strategy What If -- We added simplicity? A (KISS) Keep it Stategic and Social leg would only beef up an already solid foundation. Here is a very simple article by ShoeStringBranding that identifies:
      Strategy Tools People

      Future R U thinking 2010? - Great article by David Siteman Garland, and I boiled it down to 3 keys for successful marketing next year.
      1. Strategy: What are the concrete goals? No, not amount of followers. Hard analytics: Increase sales, amount of business partnerships, amount of leads, % increase to email list. ROI can measured by Pre-Social Media vs. Engaging In Social Media. No, I don’t recommend using social media for direct sales, but instead forming relationships for all businesses, quality customer service, personal touch and more. If you do all that, the sales will happen if you have the right strategy. 2. Technology: Understanding the technology and using the key tools is a no- brainer. But I’m talking about REALLY understanding the functionality, how to build relationships, and what sites are correct for your company and situation. 3. Key Resources: I’ll repeat this twice. NOTHING replaces human interaction (#1). NOTHING replaces human interaction (#2). Engaging, replying, etc. is key to marketing success on social media. In fact, not doing it will cause a backlash: “Company X doesn’t “get” social media.” It is called social for a reason

      Wednesday November 25th Social Business is War? Yes, there are those who look at business that way and this article was intended for that audience -- not the social crowd. What is interesting is to see how social media practices and mindset are at play. JK Harris writes that "a better strategy is to build alliances with your competitors and let them help you become better and stronger." 7 shrewd strategies for forging alliances--and staying ahead of the pack is the title of the article but check 3 of the 7 strategies.
      Develop relationships with your competitors Be prepared to cooperate and collaborate when necessary Resist the urge to compete on price

      Sales The Magical difference - According to Bill Rice, if sales is the lifeblood of any organization then Social Selling Beats the Collector Every Time
      social sales people listen to people, talk to people, and meet people. They put faces on their contacts. They have people following them. They don’t have to have collect people–people collect them. The magical difference with a social strategy is you are a leader. You more often than not are leading people to the sale, not dragging them there.

      Strategy Holiday tip - check your favorite retailers Facebook and Twitter pages Now. Experimentation this year will bring Standardization next year. Marshal Cohen, chief retail industry analyst for the research firm NPD Group says "Last year was all about value and price reductions and deep discounts, this year, it's less about the deep discounts and more about their attempts to use social media. Next year, they may actually figure out how to use it,and whoever comes up with a good formula, they won't even wait until the holiday. They will be all over it." Retailers seek early birds through tweets and don't have to wait until Friday! Know of great deals? pass it along to us - Thanks

      Tuesday November 24th Philosophy It's the battle between Now vs Then, or It's the Reality show "where are they Now". Here is some great insight by Sherry in her article titled Social Media Shift: Marketing & Branding Grow Up At the end of article you will find some examples of Companies in the NOW with their marketing efforts. Here are a few descriptions between the two....
      • Marketing and branding were about pushing your message to consumers. You sold them what they never knew they wanted (ouch!)
      • Marketing used to be all about the product or service
      • Branding was all about the image of that product or service
      That was Then and Now....
      • Marketing and branding are responses to real-time demands and needs
      • Customers are telling you what they want
      • Branding is now about customer interaction (rather than the product offered)
      What else can you say about Then and Now?

      Mindset Out of all the Authors on my book shelves, John Maxwell, the foremost authority on the topic of Leadership, occupies the most spots. Nadira Haniff has posted an article titled The Law Of Accountability which is an outstanding match of social media qualities that are uncomplicated and powerful
      1.Character 2.Competence 3.Commitment 4.Consistency 5.Cohesion

      Philosophy A Business Necessity! I would go as far as the single most importantant piece of communication since the Plain Old Telephone. After reading this article, I immediately got that feeling we are part of the BIGGEST business - social - communication development ever! In his article, Like it or not, social media is becoming a business necessity , Mikal J. Caldwell points out that "if Facebook were a country, it would be the eighth largest in the world by population, ahead of both Japan and Russia." How about this statement from Ford thats turning to social media for marketing boost
      "We didn't break the bank. We didn't use traditional media. We tried something different, and it is working" said Connie Fontaine, Ford Brand and Content Alliances manager. Prius: Ford:

      Monday November 23rd Strategy We have known this for over 2,500 years...“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” - 500BC Chinese General Linda Evans in her article titled Marketing Tactics vs Social Media Strategy put it this way ..."Implementing social media marketing tactics for any reason without a sound strategy in place will ultimately lead to confusion, and then disappointment in your efforts in the social media space. It's a lot like throwing darts blind. You're throwing them without knowing what or where the bull's-eye is. Once in a while you might hit the dartboard, and it would be a miracle if you hit the bull's-eye." Linda askes us to consider these points.

        • Answer the "Why" - Do you know where your audience is?
        • How to Deploy - and gain respect
        • Define Goals - What is Success
        • When Re-Evaluate - This is a continuous process

      What items can you add to the list?

      Vision An Iconic brand re-sets its vision using social media. A company with its root back in the 1880's controlling almost 51% of its market and is adopting a social media strategy. For me, that speaks volumes. Here is the article but the best quote is below.
      The brand is also recognizing the power of consumer-generated content and social media. "Among Coca-Cola's most powerful differentiators are the stories only our brand can tell," said Ms. Clark. "But we're not the only ones that can tell our story. Much of our content comes from our consumers. It's the phenomenon of social media. Consumers remind us daily that Coca-Cola is actually their brand, not our brand." To that end, the company is launching Expedition 206, an ambitious global social-media push.
      Twist The Cap To Refreshness

      On-Off Remember, we were social off line first! Here are some facts, figures, and thoughts on how social media is changing our offline lives and business. RisMedia has an article just published talking about Redefining Lives Online and Offline . Online social media is allowing us to experience,"cyberdisinhibition, ...a willingness to behave differently than usual online", with 48.7 percent claiming to have met new people that would not have happened offline. What is Super exciting is the connection between the social impact of the telephone and the social media scene today ... just the thought! WOW
      • 27.6 percent of American social media users said that their offline relationships are actually benefiting from online interaction via social media
      • 48.7 percent felt that online communication was more convenient than face-to-face
      • Smart consumers are mixing and matching the tools that come available to meet their social needs. Electronic tools are making them even more socially active, just as the telephone did back in the day
      How has your offiline life / business changed?

      Friday November 20th TGIF - HO HO HO Only 35 more days until Christmas A great example of the shopping mall of tomorrow . The numbers in this article back up a great post earlier in the week titled With Social Media, Who Needs Santa . The numbers below reflect U.S. Internet users -- Get the full article here.
      1. Overall, 17% of consumers will shop social media malls like Twitter and Facebook
      2. 60% will shop social media malls for coupons and sales
      3. 53% will shop social sites for gift ideas
      4. 52% will read the wish list of friends and family
      5. 47% Retailers plan to increase their HO HO HO on social sites

        Thursday November 19th U-brand Is your Brand Iconic or just a Fad? Laura Ries says "A hot brand ends up in one of two different ways. It burns bright too fast and fizzles. Brands like this are known as fads. Or a brand burns hot then continues at a steady simmer. Brands like this are known as iconic. " If you are building your U-brand, learn from the mistakes that brought Crocs, the 850 million dollar, 20% profit margin shoe company into bankruptcy. Get the full article here.

      1. "The worst thing to do is over-produce. If you flood the market with your product, it can lose its appeal." (Don't be a spammer - bad social attitude)
      2. "The expanded line turned Crocs into just another brand..." (you can't please everyone so dont try)
      3. "Crocs went from a sports enthusiast shoe to a shoe for everyone" I( focus on your niche)

      4. Relationship Conversion Dont you want to know! When, Why, What Groups? Steve Goldner has an outstanding article describing the social marketing funnel which accounts for the trust factor. Steve adds value to the funnel diagram by including the type (group) of audience at each section of the funnel as well as their attitude at each part of the funnel. I am calling it a "Relationship Conversion" diagram because its provides insight beyond a traditional sales funnel.
        There are two very important additions to the social media marketing funnel – loyalty and advocacy. Social media has the power of making stickier (loyal) customers and turning them into your marketing engine (advocates, referrals). You can reinforce your customers’ purchase decision by engaging in appropriate social media activities. This is the power of social media – the ability to create advocates for your brand – advocates that produce the most compelling marketing of your brand.
        What your thoughts on this funnel?

        Wednesday November 18th Relationship Selling Don't You Hate Cold Calling! Here a 5 ways to 4 You and your Customers to Connect Collaborate and Commit to a Solution that will provide Value 4 all. Here is an article by Pat with 5 ways to build a relationship and a great tie to a podcast from John Jantsch talking about changes in the sales market
        1. Don't Hide behind that mouse - Dont keep us guessing tell us about you
        2. Collaborate by encouraging comments - Remember its a social environment
        3. Respond - The new marketing landscape is a 2 way street COOL!
        4. Connect - Start connecting some dots
        5. Commit - Even small acts like an 'opt-in' is a start
        What are your thoughts?

        The Consumer Connection Yes, You can build a Brand On line read slide #8 Actions Trump Advertising slide #9 Twitter, Facebook, MySpace R Oultet Malls of Tommorow slide #11 The Digital Brand Experience moves the Consumer to Action slide #12 Key Findings 2009: The Razorfish Digital Brand Experience Report

        Customer-Centric 7 Relationship points along the Customer Corridor Read starting page 4 from the Bain Retail Holiday Newsletter and you can visually see all the possible connection points and examples of activities associated. --- Good Diagram
        1. Awareness
        2. Trial / Acquisition
        3. Customer Service
        4. Product Feedback
        5. Repeat Purchases
        6. Referral
        7. Retention

        Tuesday November 17th Strategy Build Ur social equity around the customer not Ur product At the end of the day most of the globe (real and virtual ) will judge us by our growth in revenue and sales. Mike Myatt is advising us to Stop Selling and Add Value . Social media is primed for you to LISTEN, GIVE, ENGAGE as a means to grow a huge amount of social equity that can convert to $$$$. I am sure you would agree with the two quotes below -- wouldn't you?
        1. most people I know would rather talk to a knowledgeable customer service person over a sales rep any day of the week. The reason for this should be obvious…The perception is that a customer service professional is providing information and helping them meet their needs. A sales person is trying to sell them something.
        2. Engage me, communicate with me, add value to my business, solve my problems, create opportunity for me, educate me, inform me, but don’t try and sell me…it won’t work. An attempt to sell me insults my intelligence and wastes my time. Think about it…do you like to be sold?

        2for1 I get the biggest return for my business using social media when I John Jantsch asked this question last Friday and he categorized the responses . LISTEN, GIVE, ENGAGE are the three categories that seem to be a well fitting simple plan for small business and Entrepreneurs who want cut through the noise and generate some social media success. Tying this together is today's article from on how social media can help small business market more efficiently and effectively.
        1. Listen to what people are saying about your company (and your competitors.)
        2. Interact and join the conversation
        3. React to the conversation
        4. Soft selling
        Any thoughts? tell us

        Social Relationships The value of Social Equity is considered "Earned" and not "Purchased" (CPG) Consumer Package Goods are products typically you purchase off the shelf (at your grocery store) not online. Eventhough CPG companies have well established marketing channels for mass advertising, there's a want and need to create social relationships . What's great is that social media is being absorbed into the "marketing system" as a whole from the top. Just read the mindset from the CPG industry and the full article here.
        CPGs can use social media to humanize their brand and create loyalty simply by being available when consumers have a problem, question or compliment By looking at social media as a way to listen to consumers, respond to their needs and create ongoing dialogue—instead of as another way to advertise to them CPG companies can reinvigorate their marketing and create new bonds with consumers
        More examples? tell us

        Monday November 16th $$$ Customers R ready 4 U - NOW would be OK I may not be Santa but I have some presents! Start building your social equity and create a (VAR) Value Added Revenue stream today. Read the news from Stacy Straczynski in the article titled With Social Media, Who Needs Santa?
        Seventeen percent of U.S. consumers plan to leverage social media sites to assist in their holiday shopping this year. More than half of social media users reported that they will also use these sites to research potential gift ideas “Consumers are trying to find any way possible to find value and being connected via social media is a new way to find these deals and the values of the season,” “It’s all about the benefits. You must connect on a personal and emotional level to make the sale.” There’s a convenience factor in staying connected with your friends and family in terms of knowing what they’re interested in.
        Any thoughts? tell us

        Sales Sales and Marketing mix like Oil and Water- Business understands sales (easy to see the dollars) better than marketing. You may need to go beyond just knowing your product and forge a better understanding how your brand strikes an emotional cord with your customer base. By building relationships over time, you have the opportunity to connect your brand in more ways than just a "ring it up" old school transaction. In Maryjo Faith Morgan article Modern Marketing , sound marketing principles are effective in any economy
        “They don’t pay attention to marketing because they think it’s expensive and takes a long, uninterrupted time to see any real return on investment,” “Eighty-nine percent of business comes from existing clients, through referrals and additional business,”...“Why do businesses ignore existing clients? “Social media starts relationships with people but does not maintain them,” -That is up to You “It’s all about the benefits. You must connect on a personal and emotional level to make the sale.”
        How do you combine you social sales and marketing?

        Revenue At what point do you get $$ for your product or service?- I have been looking for articles that describe the process when moving from social marketing to social sales. If you have been in business for any length of time, it is hard to shake the "transaction" based mindset for judging sales success. Social Media replaces "Transactional" sales with "Relationship" based sales and the concept of Social Equity goes far in describing how social media incorporates revenue streams. In Jordan Julien's article How To Maximize Revenue Through Social Media , social commerce becomes available when
        1. You are aware of the social media scene (listening to your audience is a good start)
        2. Enage your audience (giving quality content is outstanding)
        3. You now have enough Social Equity to exchange dollars for goods and services (read the 5 different revenue streams possible from social commerce)
        What else could you add?

        Friday November 13th Strategy Reality sucks even when its Virtual -What got my attention in Sonia Simone's article The 7 Harsh Realities of Social Markeitng is the reality #4 Social Media hates selling. I am from the "affiliate" "MLM" side of the web and I have noticed a dramtic difference in sales methods and marketing strategies and I have been searching for a blog that discusses Sales and Marketing together within the social media sphere of influence. Here is a dose of reality that you need to be aware and if you know of some good thoughts on Sales & Maketing, post a comment.
        Just remember Sean d’Souza’s bikini concept. You can give 90% of it away, but there will always be people who will happily pay to see that last 10%. .....Use excellent free stuff to build authority and trust. Then you have the right to make an offer and possibly do some business. Not before.
        1. No one is reading your blog
        2. You have got to give some of your best stuff away
        3. It will take your live - if you let it
        4. Social Media hates selling
        5. What they say is more important than what you say
        6. A blog is not a marketing plan
        7. You dont get to opt out
        • Whats Your Opinion?

        Trust Trust builds traction giving brand X more stick. Found a similar topic from a trust article earler this week by Claire Rollinson , Johnathan Bailey is providing 5 tips for building trust for your blog but also explains that trust itself does land you on a pot of gold . This quote from Einstein sums Johnathans article, “Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.”
        Bottom Line Sadly, trust is no guarantor of success. There are many bloggers who are widely trusted but aren’t famous or wealthy from their blogging activities. It is also true that not every blog that is successful got there on the back of their earned trust.
        1. Be Professional
        2. Admit mistakes
        3. Disclose
        4. Have a good Bio
        5. Treat your audience with respect
        • Whats Your Opinion?
        TGIF (Twitter Google Internet Facebook)

        • The Genie is out of the bottle. Daily (by the minute) social marketers are realizing that we have been set upon the global stage. The combination our innate social mindset, technology and our free enterprise system now allows us to listen and speak from a venue that only the big boys once ruled. With a viable social media strategy , we are now capable of branding ourselves for monetary gain -$$ . I am reminded of this article by Ian Laurie titled 14 Social Media Lessons We All Can Learn as way to remind us that we are now on the big stage and we dont want to trip, so here are some smart simple lessons to keep us going in the right direction.
        • What else can you add ?

        Thursday November 12th Simple
        1. KISS Keep it Stategic and Social but it isn’t about campaigns. Bryan Howland's article Social Media - More on keeping it simple explains it this way:
          Many of our clients, and especially their marketing departments, have campaigns on the brain. This is understandable because most traditional marketing is geared around campaigns. But the problem is, unlike campaigns, social media doesn’t have a beginning or an end. It is continuous. So before
          you spend a lot of time planning for a campaign, take a second to make sure your overall social media strategy is already in place.

        1. Additional points that support his perspective:

          • Building Trust doesnt have an endpoint
          • The Mindset of Communicate, Collaborate and Coordinate doesnt change
          • Keeping your Listening skills sharp provides value that won't stop when the campaign is over

        2. Whats Your Opinion?

          • If Trust is ingrained within U and Ur soicial media strategy Then Ur ROI is Influence. Now the valued currency ‘online’ is not the dollar or the pound, but trust, reputation and influence. “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” Napoleon Hill

            • How do you gain trust?
            • Trust leads to a better online reputation
            • Trust leads to positive ROI

            The Plan

            • solutions, connections and satisfaction - it's no longer enough to blast out marketing pitches touting the virtues of your company's products and services. You need to create a marketing campaign that entertains, educates and adds value to your customers' lives. U need to market with meaning

              • Solution marketing
              • Connection marketing
              • Achievement marketing

              Wednesday November 11th U-brand
              • Simple ways to increase brand U (you) popularity

                • Have a smile ready for all -- hint more than just :-)
                • Display a genuine interest in others
                • Talk to your tribe by using their first name
                • Allow discussion to be about them not U
                • Be true to yourself online and off (reality shows -- virtual or not)

              • Convergence: decades of PUSH marketing, the economy, technology and human nature has given todays consumer has more authority in the content being broadcasted and how it is presented.

                • The economy has cause for todays consumer to place emphasis on value which spells trouble for any brand that is puffed up with no authenticity
                • Standard features are great but will soon be the "same old stuff" -- Your (Ur) Unique value will deliver the $$$
                • "Because I said So" from brand X will no longer pass. The consumer will decide if enough value, authenticity, trust and transparency exists
                  Ask for their advice. "What would you suggest we do to resolve this?" Everyone loves to be asked for advice
                • Consumers will talk/share with other consumers before, during and after talking to brand X
                • Consumer expectations are growing at the rate of the latest technology inovations and saddled by smart marketers capitalizing on unmet expectations
                • MORE...

                Tuesday November 10th Listen
                • Amplify your social listening posts by asking the right questions. "Open Ended" questions usually result in a longer response and are best for gaining information on values and feelings, discovering the real issues, fostering opinions and probing details

                  • Ask open-ended questions. Questions that can't be answered with a simple yes or no. "How could we do this?" "What do you think?" Your objective is to get them to talk as much as possible
                  • Don't ask questions that put them on the defensive. For example, "Why?" is intimidating. Don't ask "why?" Ask "how come?"
                  • Ask "What if?" What if we did it this way?
                    Ask for their advice. "What would you suggest we do to resolve this?" Everyone loves to be asked for advice
                  • Offer alternatives. "Which way would you prefer?" This demonstrates your respect for the other person
                  • Ask about their feelings. "How do you feel about this?" People love to have their feelings validated
                  • Repeat back what they said. "Let me be sure I understand what you're saying. You're saying that...?" This technique will prevent misunderstandings and convince them that you really are listening

                  • Want to get creatively social? Demonstrate Ur Ingenuity, show off Ur Uniqueness, Showcase the real U

                    • Diligence is the agency of advancement
                    • Discipline is the hallmark of ingenuity
                    • Small is the birthplace of big
                    • Emotion is the arbiter of truth
                    • One-pointedness is the grandfather of productivity

                  • U dont make $ from social media - U make $$$ from those who know, like and trust U . Try this TOP of MIND anacrynm

                    • Trust
                    • Offer Your product or Service
                    • Perceived as an expert
                    • Outstanding visibility
                    • Familiarity
                    • Makes you creditible
                    • Increase referrals
                    • New relationships
                    • Demand higher prices

                  Monday November 9th Niche
                  • What does work in marketing? Dominating a category. Nothing is as effective in marketing as dominating a category. What doesn't work is trying to stay somewhere in the mushy middle. Pick a strategy that is unique to U!

                    • Bigger is not a strategy - read about GM
                    • Copying the competiton is not a strategy - Read about Burger King

                  • Taking care of its customers is a core focus, thats why social media is so successful for Zappos. Twitter has been a great way for us to reach customers who may not ever call in. We don’t use it to drive sales, we’re really there to offer assistance and to provide another forum for customers to provide us with feedback

                    • Our best customer service, which proved to be our marketing strategy by word of mouth.
                    • Our customer interaction has been the ultimate marketing tool
                    • it’s the simple things that mean the most to everyday people, it’s about caring and listening to the customer
                    • We see social media as another way to personally connect with our customers

                  • Its just human nature, now mix in some $$$ and Technology and hold on tight! Because you want your organization to be here for the long haul as well, you need to move now. Not next week. Not next month. But now.

                    • Your smartest competition is gaining from it
                    • Its your most cost effective strategy
                    • Your "Old Style" strategy is costing more, getting less
                    • BONUS Most of your competitors R not paying attention

                  Friday November 6th Strategy
                  • "CAN DO" attitude of Social Media
                    Social Medai enables conversation....what you do with the conversation is the difference between just Talk and building Relationships.

                    • Improve Customer Service
                    • Build Stronger Relationships w/ Existing Customers
                    • Attract New Customers
                    • Generate Feedback
                    • Build Your Brand
                    • Connect w/ Industry Peers
                    • Communicate w/ Employees, Suppliers, Investors
                    • Field Research
                    • Do Good
                    • Read Article by Mark Evans

                  • Socially speaking, Trust is a powerful emotion -
                    Dale Carnegie also says “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion” and with well know that people will buy based on emotion and back it up with logic.

                    • Be Consistent
                    • Offer Advice and Information
                    • Maintain Your Reputation
                    • Interact with Your Followers
                    • Read Article by AnaRC

                  • Welcome Consumers, Customers, Clients -- Come On In

                    • Shift Happens: “Social networks are creating a monumental shift in how people communicate with each other and with brands,” said Michael Kahn, SVP of Marketing at Performics.
                    • Mobile: “The numbers are staggering. One in four respondents have four or more active social network accounts and more than one quarter access their Facebook or Twitter accounts at least once a day via their mobile phone,” notes Scott Haiges, President of ROI Research
                    • Extreme: “We knew that these sites are extremely popular for socializing, but the level of interest for branding and promotional marketing content is surprisingly large.”

                  Thursday November 5th Social Media Mindset
                  • Communicate, Collaborate and Coordinate

                    • In short, it’s not about “eyeballs” or ad buys. It’s about driving direct interaction between your employees and your customers. It’s about creating an open forum for your subject matter expertise to shine with visibility to all. This is a hard thing for many companies to embrace. But the ones that do and do so fearlessly are the ones who win
                    • Attention Business Owners: It’s time to put that early entrepreneur hat back on, get involved and reinvent. Really, it’s an opportunity to get back to your passion if you choose to embrace it that way.
                    • Social media is not a “marketing campaign” but a long-term endeavor. When it comes to getting involved, building a network, and getting your audience engaged, expecting big results the first quarter you initiate your effort is just not realistic

                  • Social means Business

                    • Social media combines technology with social interaction to create or co-create value. Creating a virtual shift in how people discover, read, and share news, information and content, this fusion of sociology and technology has literally transformed the monologue of internet communication into the instantaneous dialog of a linked community
                    • Social media has the potential of accomplishing what no other media has in the past: in numbers, message and effect. We encourage all our clients to utilize this powerful tool, not so much for advertising, but to develop trusted relationships within their public niche
                    • Social media is not a campaign, but a commitment. Businesses can, and should, use these networks in order to grow an active and interactive audience

                  Strategy - Think Social Media as that award winning ingredient in your favorite meal
                  • social media and conversation marketing are inefficient vehicles. It’s difficult to achieve economies of scale when you’re developing relationships with customers on an individualized or small group basis

                    • Social Media + Search Marketing
                    • Social Media + Email
                    • Social Media + Virtual Events
                    • Social Media + Live Events
                    • Social Medai + Market Research

                    Wednesday November 4th Small Business
                    • Find the Time and U Rule!-- In truth, I actually think small business owners are among those doing social media the best. SMB owners simply know how to talk and engage their customers in ways that big businesses have forgotten. They know how to be human and relatable better than anyone. Where their struggle comes from is in the time investment involved in that initial learning curve -- How to manage...

                      • Know Why You are There
                      • Determine Where How to Engage
                      • Useful tool to Reduce Overload
                      • Create Schedule, Set Limits

                    Spread the word
                    • Social media is good business

                      • Open up your site to comments, ratings and reviews bycustomers. Let them comment on the products you sell,as well as your customer service. Universal McCann surveyed online shoppers about what motivated them to share opinions of their shopping experiences and found six of the eight top reasons involved the shopper’s own experience—good or bad—or the experience of their friends. Importantly, good experiences outranked poor experiences two to one as reasons to
                        motivate sharing opinions on shopping experiences. Also, good experiences were the top 3 reasons to “spread the word” for shoppers. These social influences far outpaced such traditional marketing tools as advertising and celebrity endorsements

                    • a case of the tail wagging the dog - Consumers forcing majorbrands to become more honest and transparent

                      • Universal McCann, a global media consulting firm, captured this shift in a report last year titled, “When did we start trusting strangers? How the internet turned us all into influencers.”2 Thereport says: “Today the web is driven by its users’ and peoples’ thoughts . . . found across the web (from) personal blogs to reviews on price comparison sites and wish lists on Amazon . . . It is now incredibly easy to share opinions and cultivate influence, often without even trying. The result has been the democratization of influence to the masses. . . In the old days the conversations we had with our immediate peers generally stayed inside that network. Today opinions and experiences are shared worldwide . . . The result is an influenced economy that is forcing everyone in the public realm—including the owners of products and brands—to become more transparent, open, conversational, and honest. They have to rethink the way that influence is distributed and the role of marketing communications in an information landscape dictated by consumers.”

                    Tuesday November 3rd Small Business Advantage
                    • Trust + Value = Attract & Grow

                      • Trust – Companies that build trust develop
                        “brand advocates,” who help market the business online by word of
                        mouth. This is a more powerful, yet cheaper form of marketing than
                        traditional advertising...
                      • Value – one-third are brand messages, while two-thirds are interesting comments, tidbits or forwarded “reTweets”
                      • Attract - by listening
                      • Grow - Long term expectations

                    Small Business !
                    • Unlike big businesses (VPs, meetings, committees) for U its just a decision to catch it?

                      • Start – The issue of time. There is not enough time in the day. So, how many brain waves can they spend thinking about social networking services and best leveraging these opportunities
                      • Miss the wave, expect business to get tougher
                        – It will be harder to acquire new customers - and your customer base
                        will dwindle
                      • Examples - how to apply social marketing with

                    • Major diffences between a Tradional and the Internet (Social) Consumer What is safe to say is that consumers are much less willing to be decieved, and cajoled into ill-advised action and that they have the means to fact check any claims made. If mislead, they are aware of the power they have and are quite capable of using it. Internet consumers want and expect immersion, participation and involvement and are willing to pay back in loyalty and evangelizing activities. The net result is a higher quality customer purchasing higher quality goods and services over a longer period of time

                      • Passive Vs Active
                      • Greater Involvement = Longer in Memory
                      • Greater Ganularity
                      • Personalization = Increased Consumpton
                      • Unconscious Evangelizing
                      • Conscious Evangelizing
                      • Awareness of their own power and influence
                      • Decrease in attention deficit

                    Monday November 2nd 2 Values

                    • It’s all about trying to find that magical formula that will
                      help you increase your sales by making your business seem to be more

                      • Honesty – The fact is I don’t care for the most part about how you do your business. What I do care about is that you are honest with me about your products, or services, and honest with me when something goes wrong and how it will affect me and my family
                      • Respect – Show us the respect that any intelligent human being deserves because gone are the day where we take what you are saying at face value. Treat us with respect in all the way your business interacts with us and you will get that same respect back
                      • ReadArticleby Steven Hodson

                    • Like surfing any wave, You must see it, be infront of it, and
                      apply effort to catch it?

                      • The era of social context – Starting in
                        2010, social networks and sites will recognize the preferences of users, but more significantly, they will also recognize personal identities and relationships to customize the experience based on preference and behavior
                      • The era of social commerce – In 2011 – 2012, social networks will eclipse corporate Web sites and CRM systems. Forrester believes that communities will become a driving force for innovation and as such, companies will be forced to formally cater to communities, signifying the trading of power towards connected customers

                    • The Power of the Tweet

                        • Instead of a retailer thinking very product-centric, they start to think influencer-centric, and therefore customer-centric.
                        • when you have found someone who is willing to write content and share it with others, that is the new asset for tomorrow’s company
                        • Instead of a retailer thinking very product-centric, they
                          start to think influencer-centric, and therefore customer-centric

                            Friday October 30th Opportunity or Challenge
                            • Last week’s poll question: A recent survey indicated that 75 percent of small businesses are not using social media for marketing. Could you solve these problems for a Small Business Owner?

                              • How they might use social media
                              • Where to Start
                              • How to change OLD SCHOOL tendencies
                              • How to make time

                            Twitter BEER, Social Media and Beer
                            • Welcome to the "Direct to Drinker" engagement. The surge in corporate social media efforts comes after decades of so-called "push" marketing -- where consumers were viewed largely as passive sponges of
                              brand marketing.

                              • We try to boil it down to the conversation we are having with consumers
                              • With social media..."it's like the phones are ringing. But they aren't calling you because they are talking amongst themselves
                              • Modern marketing now resembles the oldest form of
                                marketing, Mr. Joel said: word of mouth (now Word of Mouse).
                                "We are actually going back to the way we used to market

                            Why Twitter - in one word
                            • I certainly would not have dreamed that only one person would say “marketing” or “branding.” Especially since at least half the people in my twitterville are in some form of marketing and PR. But maybe I shouldn't be surprised since PR and marketing are -- at its roots -- about people. (? people are not looking to buy a product or
                              service? )

                              • People
                              • Information
                              • Learning
                              • Conversation
                              • Fun
                              • Inspiration
                              • Voyeurism

                                Thursday October 29thSuccess Barometer
                                • Are You Having Fun?

                                  • You are unique. Regardless of whatever blogs, tweet, scripts,lingo, and lists are provided to you, your success is directly related to how you personalize them to reflect who you are, so remember,Success is not the key to happiness, it (Happiness)is the key to success

                                Content Strategy
                                • If you don’t understand your audience you’ll never create content which sticks. Once you do have audience comprehension, take the time to think about how you can use this knowledge to formulate a content strategy
                                  • What type of style will resonate with your audience?
                                  • How can I approach my niche in a way that larger competitors
                                    will have no defense against taking attention from their audiences?
                                  • How can you frame content in a way it will resonate?
                                  • Are you taking advantage of ideas your audience can’t resist?
                                  • How do you plan on reaching sneezers/connectors?

                                • The World According to Google (well 2015 at least)

                                  • Five years from now the internet will be dominated by
                                    Chinese-language content"We’re starting to make significant money off
                                    of YouTube", content will move towards more video
                                  • It’s because of this fundamental shift towards user-generated
                                    information that people will listen more to other people than to
                                    traditional sources. Learning how to rank that "is the great challenge
                                    of the age." Schmidt believes Google can solve that problem

                                Support Simplicity
                                • Fun - Solution Oriented - Social Media

                                  • Social media is just plain fun. Create an environment that
                                    promotes an interest instead of a product and recognize that you are
                                    creating a space where your clients will talk about you. It's your job
                                    to support their conversation, and make it happen smoothly
                                  • Users are not interested in talking about products. They are interested in talking about their lives, and products are part of those lives. Build meaningful relationships with your consumers by supporting their needs and understanding your brand's role in their lives

                                    Wednesday October 28th Strategy
                                    • Twitter - Entrpreneurship - Guy Kawasaki

                                      • Use twitter as a pureplay marketing tool. His objective is to
                                        gain as many followers as possible and then to tweet interesting
                                        stories to attract more followers. He also pointed out that much like
                                        TV where there is value to repeat ads even on twitter there is value to
                                        repeated tweets.He explained how each of his tweets are resent every 8
                                        hour i.e. the same tweet is tweeted 3 times a day but with different
                                        unique text. He supported this strategy with statistics.

                                    Influential Thoughts
                                    • The simple fact that trust is relative

                                      • Catering to those with an interest in a specific niche is important, but this alone is not a guaranteed recipe for success
                                      • Influence - is the power of someone to be a compelling force on the actions of others
                                      • Trust - is reliance on the integrity in someone (essentially confidence)
                                      • Authority - is power or right delegated, given or in the case of the web earned

                                    • Communicating with customers/ prospects is now both easier andyet more difficult!

                                      • Easier because there are more channels available to communicate with customers / prospects such as Social Media
                                      • Yet more difficult because customers or prospects have more
                                        choices from which to receive communications and more selective in who
                                        they invite to send information 2

                                    Tuesday October 27th Fun
                                    • Making $$ can be fun -- Understand ROI fundamentals

                                      • Although ROI ≠ metrics, traditional web metrics like trafficcounts, number of comments, Twitter followers, Facebook fans, etc. are an important component when calculating your ROI. The trick is to not rely solely on the numbers, but on what the numbers end up leading to
                                      • Oliver Blanchard’s Social Media ROI Presentation is a witty, fun introduction to ROI

                                      • Don’t focus on the social media tools. Focus on developing the social skills you need for your business to create a strong social presence. (The blog, article, format, content,backlinks...all a great example of article writing)

                                        • Set One Specific Social Media Objective
                                        • Find the Right Social Media Strategy for Your Business
                                        • Make Your Presence Social
                                        • Stay Focused on Your Business Strategy
                                        • Adopt Social Media One Step at a Time
                                        • Get Extra Mileage Out of Your Social Media Marketing
                                        • Avoid Social Media’s Fatal Attraction: The Shiny Bells and Whistles

                                        Monday October 26th Marketing Mantra
                                        • Simple 3 step engagment to build a bigger customer base
                                          • you have to attract / lure your prospect. You have to keep them engaged to make them a customer, and you have to learn how to bring them back. It doesn’t matter if you are working with email, direct mail, or even social media. The very same thing applies – lure – engage – retain – the magic mantra for your success.

                                        • Key Takeaways: Customers Impact Brand Search Results Using Twitter Even more amazing impact of these announcements is that for the first time, consumers will be able to directly impact web search results. Although companies spend thousands of marketing dollars controlling their search results by using Google’s advertising services, customers and competitors can quickly and cheaply impact search results using simple tools like Twitter

                                          • Develop a Listening Strategy That Starts With Roles and Process
                                          • Change The Marketing Mindset –Legacy Methods Ineffective
                                          • Develop Influence Marketing Programs

                                          • Solve Problems Make $$$

                                            • Think RELEVANCE! That’s what your prospects are reallyinterested in. What’s relevant is BUSINESS, not your products, servicesor solutions. Your offering is simply a tool that helps companies achieve their business objectives
                                            • Decision makers are always interested in ideas, insights and information that helps them eliminate problems, address issues and achieve their objectives
                                            • Plus 4 more Essential Strategies for Highly EffectiveInitial Meetings

                                            The Art of Science
                                            • Outstanding thoughts on Social Media philosophy and strategy

                                              • "Content Doesn’t Win. Optimized Content Wins” – Li Evans
                                              • “Your Customers Are Listening in Social Media - So Are Search Engines” Li Evans
                                              • “Many crummy trials beats the big thinking” – Dr. BJ Fogg
                                              • “The Art of Twitter is in the Retweet. You Must be Interesting” – Peter Shankman
                                              • “Tactics Without a Strategy is Worse Than Doing Nothing at All” – Li Evans

                                            Friday October 23rd
                                            • Recap: San Diego Social Media Symposium
                                              Live Stream of Keynote Speaker: Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s
                                              Chief Evangelist John Moore. From 1994 through 2004, John Moore designed and implemented marketing programs for both Starbucks Coffee and Whole Foods Market. He now operates the Brand Autopsy Marketing Practice, a consultancy helping businesses profit by marketing with passion and purpose. A long-time believer in word-of-mouth marketing, John is currently putting his experience to good use as the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s “Chief Evangelist.” He is also the author of TRIBAL KNOWLEDGE, a business management book, and is active in social media circles
                                              Key Tweets
                                              (use #sdsms on twitter)
                                              Social Media Success Recipe
                                              The time is now! In order to grow as an organization and w/ customers,
                                              we must Listen, Learn & Respond recipe for social media success :1 part listening + 1 part learning + 1 part responding
                                              Social Sites
                                              Smartest way to use Twitter is to respond to people. Be a resource.
                                              Social media is a great alternate channel for customer/constituent
                                              Social Media DynamicsSM helps small companies look bigger and big companies get smaller
                                              Be everywhere your customers are Take care of details in your business. Customers notice everything and it leaves an impression. Make it a good one no broken window.
                                              If you hide the truth someone will find the truth
                                              StatisticsOnline reviews are only 2nd to personal advice
                                              Speaker claims that most word of mouth conversations are 90% offline
                                              3 ways to get customers talking w/o commercials; great customer service, explaining how it works, remarkable/entertaining stuff
                                              Typical American discusses products & services 125 times per week.
                                              78% of global consumers say they trust recommendations from other consumers
                                              17 percent of our time online is spend on social networks

                                            TGIF 2 for 1 - Social Media Marketing Philosophy Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh: “I think people worry too much about bringing their personal selves into business when I think the way to succeed in today’s world is to make your business more personal.” Gordon Magee: “At the end of the day, it’s the relationship that’s being developed so that you have a genuine desire as a company to provide customer satisfaction to the customer,and the customer trusts you enough to give you some money to have you send them a product through the mail.” ReadFull Article

                                            Planning Forward 2010 - Hybryd Offline - Online Campaigns Benefits to consider: Both online andoffline campaigns have similar concepts in reaching target audience with different processes so define your desire outcome first. #1 More touch points (frequency) to reach target audience throughout the buying process #2 Lowers marketing costs by shifting more campaigns online from offline #3 Find out more about your customers via two way conversation online #4 More strategic options with online campaigns (e.g. brand awareness campaign, call-to-action) #5 Target new customer base across multiple demographic for wider reach Ideas for action: For consumer brands #1 Build and drive traffic to your own community, identify and communicate directly with your fans to help close the sales with promotions, coupons or rewards. This is a popular approach to get opt-ins and many consumers actually look for these value-added deals..MORE Read Full Article Temecula, California (951) area code and 92592,92589,92590,92591,92593 zip codes Here is a mashed up blog on the issues of Word of Mouse marketing. Andy Sernovity talks about how to Mouth
                                            not a department


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