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

Recap Week of Nov 23rd 2009

Remember, we were social offline before online existed! Here are some facts, figures, and thoughts on how social media is changing our offline lives and business. RisMedia just published an article 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 they never would have met 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.

An Iconic brand re-sets its vision using social media. A company with roots back to the 1880's controls 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.

A Business Necessity! 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 who is 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.

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. It is interesting 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 especially check out these 3 strategies:
Develop relationships with your competitors
Be prepared to cooperate and collaborate when necessary
Resist the urge to compete on price

Of all the authors represented on my book shelves, John Maxwell, one of the foremost authorities 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 with John Maxwell’s 5 C’s of accountability:
1. Character
2. Competence
3. Commitment
4. Consistency
5. Cohesion

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.” – 500 B.C. Chinese General.
Linda Evans in her article put it this way, “...Implementing social media marketing tactics for Marketing Tactics vs Social Media Strategy 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 asks us to consider these points:
o Answer the "Why" - Do you know where your audience is?
o How to Deploy - and gain respect
o Define Goals - What is Success
o When to Re-Evaluate - This is a continuous process
For more specific tips on how to implement both tactics and strategy in your business, check out the business and marketing articles at MyBizTutor.

(SBS)Sustainable Business Strategy - Great article about 3 elements of social media to include: strategy, tools, and people. What if . . . we added simplicity? A (KISS) Keep it Strategic and Social leg would only beef up an already solid foundation. Here is a very simple article by ShoeStringBranding.
Holiday tip - check your favorite retailer’s 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!

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.

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: (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. Worth repeating: NOTHING replaces human interaction.

Now What?
Maybe you’re thinking, “Well, sure, this all makes sense and sounds great, BUT how do I put it into practice??” Here’s a link to the training program that has helped me. Hope it helps you, too!

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