Monday, March 12th, 2012
In an ongoing effort to expose bad marketing advice, I’ve created the series “Marketing Myths.” If you’ve missed the first 2 parts of this series, you can check them out here:
Marketing Myths: Part 1—Every Customer Should Love Your Brand
Marketing Myths: Part 2—The Customer Is Always Right
In this entry, I want to talk a little bit about social media marketing. Over the past few years, we’ve seen companies using Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, and a host of other social sites to raise awareness and attract new customers.
Of course, it didn’t take long for the “social media experts” to appear and proclaim how companies should use these platforms to engage customers. I swear that a week doesn’t go by that I don’t see a post outlining some new rules for social media marketing. If you believe these “gurus” there’s a right way and a wrong way to do social media.
I don’t believe it.
In fact, this notion runs contrary to the whole point of social media. The point of social media is that it gives the user the power to do or say whatever they want. If someone wants to use their Facebook to share photos of the food they eat, that’s totally fine. If someone wants to blast links to their blog to the Twitterverse, that’s their right.
This idea that you have to use these social sites in one specific way is simply flawed. There are countless companies having success with their social media marketing, and many of them approach it in different ways.
For example, JetBlue Airways uses Twitter as a customer service tool. They interact with customers who have issues, provide updates about flight times and delays, and work to improve the overall flying experience for customers.
Undoubtedly, you’ve heard people say that you shouldn’t use Twitter strictly to advertise to customers. Well, don’t tell that to Dell. They have a Twitter account specifically setup to broadcast deals to customers. Virtually every Tweet they send out is an advertisement for one of their products. But guess what? As of the time I’m writing this, they have 1,534,842 followers. Clearly, they’ve had success by using an approach many social media marketers would tell you is wrong.
The point is there is no right or wrong way to do social media. There are things that will produce results for your company and other things that could possibly damage your brand, but every company is different. The only way to find out what works for your company is to experiment.
What do you think—Is there a right way and a wrong way to do social media?
Thursday, February 24th, 2011
Social media marketing was the buzzword of 2010 for small businesses, musicians, large corporations…you name it. Chances are, your business jumped on the social media bandwagon and has been feverishly Tweeting, posting Facebook status updates, uploading YouTube videos, connecting with clients on LinkedIn, blogging, and making your presence felt in any other social media space you can find.
But did you know there’s such a thing as too much social media marketing? There’s effective use of social media for building your brand, and then there’s overkill. And that happens when you spread yourself too thin across the social media landscape.
How can you make sure you’re not spreading yourself too thin?
- Have clearly defined goals—What do you want to get from your social media marketing campaign? More sales? More leads? Better customer loyalty? Improved brand perception? Identify your goals and make sure that everything you do is designed to help you reach them.
- Only go where your audience goes—It’s doubtful that the core of your audience maintains a strong active presence on more than a few social media sites. Identify the handful of sites where your target audience is most active and focus only on those. Everything else is a waste of your time and energy.
- Track your results—At the end of the day, the only way to determine if your social media marketing efforts are paying off is to track your results. One thing you can do is look at your website’s analytics to see where you’re getting the highest quality traffic from. You can also pay attention to which social media platforms are giving you the highest level of engagement with your audience and the most useful information. Any social media space that isn’t providing results should be dropped.
Be honest. Are you spread too thin on social media?
Wednesday, October 6th, 2010
With the social media marketing bandwagon plowing full speed ahead, I think it’s important to slow down every once in a while and put things in perspective. Too many businesses are blindly hopping on Twitter (and Facebook, their blog, etc.) with visions of grandeur, but the truth is that most of them will get little to no significant results.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I do believe Twitter can be an excellent tool for connecting with customers, improving your reputation, gaining new customers, increasing brand recognition, and much more. But at the same time, there are a lot of myths out there about Twitter marketing that need some debunking.
Myth #1: The more followers you have, the better
If you’re only focused on building up the number of people following you, you’ll end up with a bunch of low quality followers who don’t pay attention to a thing you Tweet. I’d rather have several hundred followers who are engaged, interact with me, and ReTweet my content than tens of thousands of followers who don’t do anything for me.
So, instead of measuring your social media marketing campaign’s success by the number of followers you have, focus on the actual level of engagement you’re creating. That’s what will yield results that benefit your business.
Friday, September 11th, 2009
By now, you’ve probably seen a commercial or an online ad for TGI Friday’s new social media campaign. If you haven’t, let me give you a rundown. The idea of the campaign is that Woody is TGI Friday’s #1 Fan. If he can get 500,000 fans on Facebook by the end of the month, everyone who registers to follow him gets a free burger. I think it’s a pretty good idea, and I’ll tell you why.
First, the basic idea behind this campaign has been used successfully before. Just last month, Starbucks gave away free ice cream coupons to those who joined their fan page. The campaign generated a lot of buzz, it was purely social, and it was a great way for Starbucks to begin extending its brand into ice cream.
Although the TGI Friday’s campaign is just a few days old, it’s already picking up some steam. As of the time of me writing this post, Woody has over 254,000 fans on Facebook. More importantly, a simple Twitter search for related terms (i.e. TGI Friday’s, Woody TGI Friday’s, free burger, etc.) shows that the campaign is starting to catch on. People are sending out Tweets telling their friends to fan Woody on Facebook. I wouldn’t say it’s gone viral yet, but it’s still early, and I think it has the potential to. As it gets closer to that September 30th deadline, I think the word of mouth will really start to pick up.
The other thing I like about this campaign is that if it’s successful, it will actually bring a lot of foot traffic into their business. See, too many social media campaigns suffer from not finding a way to bridge the social aspect to actual physical business. In theory, if this campaign goes according to plan, 500,000 people will be going into a TGI Friday’s to claim their free burger. Not only will many of these people probably order appetizers, desserts, drinks since the burger is free, but if they have a good experience, they could bring repeat business for years to come.
I’m interested to see how this plays out for TGI Friday’s. If all goes well, you can rest assured you’ll see even more businesses jumping on the social media bandwagon.
What do you think of TGI Friday’s social media campaign?
Friday, July 10th, 2009
While social media marketing has opened up an abundance of new ways to promote your content and your business, it’s also paved the way for some of the biggest pains in the butt since telemarketers. We’ve all come across the bothersome social media marketer, and we all hate him.
So, what can you do to avoid becoming that guy? It’s really not that hard.
Step #1—Get to know your connections
Look, it’s called “social media” for a reason. The key word here is “social.” In light of this, you should focus on actually building relationships with your connections. The more you get to know each other, the likelier it is that they’ll be willing to go the extra mile to help you push your content.
If you don’t ever take the time to get to know the people in your network, you’ll come off as a selfish pest who only messages whenever he needs a Digg. It’s like that “friend” we all have who only calls whenever he needs some cash to get him out of a tough situation. If you want to reap the benefits of having a strong network, you need to put the time into cultivating your relationships.
Step #2—Don’t just Tweet your own content
I’m all for people using Twitter however they see fit, but if you only Tweet your own content, everyone will see you for the shameless self-promoter that you are. Very quickly, they’ll begin ignoring your Tweets, and eventually, they’ll stop following you. There’s nothing wrong with Tweeting links to your own content, but for it to be effective, you need to also drop links to other useful content. Think of it as enhancing the user-experience for your followers.