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 30th 2009

Listening is one of the first ingredients for a successful social media marketing mindset. 2 ears/2 eyes are better than 1 mouth/1 mouse. Read this quote by Sam Mutimer on how McDonald’s utilizes 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

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, and authority that continues until your communications have reached the golden "trusted relationship" stage. John Bell's article on Radical Listening gives us 5 practical skills to learn.

How much social real estate does your brand own? If you consider each social site (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace), blog and/or website as a square on the Monopoly board, then you 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 pote¬ntial customers to flock straight to a brand's controlled web spaces when they are search¬ing 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 con¬trast, those that ignore them may find their search results dominated by negative comments and unanswered issues
Think about it...just seeing a brand all over town projects a strong sense of influence and authority.

Opportunities Revealed...behind the numbers. Brian Solis' 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.
Social marketing and commerce
Marketing is the next word -> "Social Marketing". John Jantsch 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!
Read the notes from a CEO of 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

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 entitled 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.

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

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