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 December 21st, 2009

Social Success in 2010
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 rapidly becoming 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 stay3. Experimental social media budgets are key4. The division between the virtual and the physical world will continue to blur5. Crowd sourcing will turn social media into a direct sales channel
No longer is the goal to just find your target market -- now it is to stay connected to them. Whatever you call yourself....a business, consumer, prospect, or 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 doubled with exposure to approximately 5,000 each day, and in some cases as many as 9,000 impressions on 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".
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.
Combine Social Smarts with Small Business
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: bookmark this article:

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.
Word of Mouse
Here is a mashed-up blog on the issues of Word of Mouth Mouse marketing. Andy Sernovity talks about how to kill the word of mouth and gives us 3 problems facing word of mouth marketers. Word of Mouse can be proverbial snowball rolling down the hill but if you get Lazy, Talk too 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." For specific examples, look at these 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...

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.

Tweeple Bytes
I had an idea to start collecting the sound bites (“tweeple bytes”) of individual tweets that make a specific social media declaration. Sometimes there is added perspective and clarity by looking collectively at many tweets together. The new article is called Tweeple-Bytes and your comments are appreciated.

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