Social Media Muse

Infusing Social Media with Spiritual Chocolate

Archive for the ‘your audience’ Category

“Your ears will never get you in trouble.”

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  1. Recommended: no more than 10% marketing messages on any of your social channels, the rest should be useful, fun and engaging otherwise people will simply unfollow you or your client.
  2. Why writing your obituary is useful: The way to success is to begin at the end. Reverse engineer your success.
  3. Real, raw, and relevant is what your audience is looking for.
  4. “Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.” The Cluetrain Manifesto.
  5. Monitoring the conversations about your business, product, or service is just as beneficial as word of mouth advertising.
  6. “Be a good listener. Your ears will never get you in trouble.” -Frank Tyger
  7. In most large companies, IT, marketing and sales not only do not work together, they compete with each other. Until they start collaborating as a team, you will not succeed in social media. A company that has not learned to listen to its own employees, and encourage them to collaborate internally, is not likely to succeed in integrating social media tools into its marketing mix. The whole company needs to live and believe their story.
  8. Content is King. Content is the substance of any Internet Marketing campaign. It is the information or tool that attracts potential customers to your site or your business. Social media amplifies the impact of your content. People do not want facts they want context…a story. The Patagonia brand for example has a very distinct story and symbol, their connection to the environment is what automatically spreads.


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Words of Wisdom and Magic Words

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Today I am preparing for a writing test, the only clue that I have is an article they suggested to read carefully. My first inclination–after taking a deep breath–is to Google ‘writing test’, and one of the search results brings a quote by Seth Godin to my attention.

“If you’re trying to hire someone who presents well to strangers, creates documents without typos, is good at seeking out interesting new opportunities, can think on her feet in an interview and can network with strangers in search of a goal, your current hiring system is probably perfect.

Unfortunately, those skills don’t apply to most jobs.

As a result, we end up hiring people who are good at self-marketing, not at what we need them to do.”

When I read the first sentence, I felt a surge of energy going trough my spine, “that is me!” The following two sentences got me several points to ponder about the hiring process I am currently involved in. The first one being rather obvious: “is this the right time to write a blog posting about it?”

I am very much aware of the fact that English is not my native tongue, I landed here in the US ten years ago, and the English we studied in The Netherlands is the British “version” of this fascinating language.

The next step is to go back to the job description, and ask myself for each item, “Can I do that?” and “How well can I do that?” I still feel confident–sigh, another deep breath–“What else is there to consider?” How about my writing style, does it go with their services, industry, and lingo?

I am even more grateful for attending that three-day training in Utah last year (Book Publishing 2.0), where we learned how to write for different audiences and wrote the same piece of text to the four main Myers-Briggs types, and exercise I highly recommend.

Grammar, syntax, and split infinitives are creating a word cocktail in my left hemisphere, or is it my frontal lobe? I need another Google! What part of my brain controls writing and spelling? Herschell Gordon Lewis told me–during a Copy Writing Master Class–to “delete 3 of the 4 words you write”, is it time for that?

“Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.”

(Linguist Noam Chomsky created this sentence–which is grammatically correct but incomprehensible–to demonstrate that the rules governing syntax are distinct from the meanings words convey.)

Wait…Let’s go back to Seth’s observation, the skills he describes do apply to this position, and they are skills I possess! I write for 4 blogs, I can express myself in 140, 420, and an infinite amount of characters. I read (books, blogs, news, and social media) and write every day, and I love it!

Which reminds me of a recent cartoon by Hugh McLeod showing a perpetual circle with the words: “I am good at what I do, because I love what I do, because I am good at what I do, because I love what I do.” When you love what you do, you are the best and most authentic you can be, which inspires and provides a natural attraction of quality and creativity.

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.
Mark Twain

“I am comfortable to approve myself, period.”


Very excited to update this post with this genius video!

Written by Monique DiCarlo

November 17, 2010 at 4:43 pm

7 Social Media Muses

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By Metropol 21

 

1. Some people read magazines, some prefer books and others watch TV, each person has their own way of taking in information. Social Media provides all these different platforms and by measuring the “usage”, you can adjust your information stream accordingly.

2. “Marketing by interrupting people is not cost-effective anymore. You cannot afford to seek out people and send them unwanted marketing messages, in large groups, and hope that some will send you money. Instead, the future belongs to the marketers who establish a foundation and process where interested people can market to each other. Ignite consumer networks and then get out of the way and let them talk.” Seth Godin

3. “Why are we trying measure social media like a traditional channel anyway? Social Media touches every facet of business and is more an extension of good business ethics.” Erik Qualman, from his book Socialnomics.

4. 75% of the population is S types. Individuals who prefer sensing are more likely to trust information that is in the present, tangible and concrete: that is, information that can be understood by the five senses. Writing to the 4 Myers-Briggs Type Indicators increases the attention of a broader audience.

5. Social networks all function the same way, meaning that people (consumers) are sharing their opinions and experiences about every aspect of being a consumer.

6. Deliver the experience you promised.

7. Social Media Optimization (SMO) is the process of trying to get already-established content distributed more widely across many social media platforms. These optimizations include adding links to service providers such as Digg, Reddit and Del.icio.us.

Should you make the jump into Social Media?

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Lately I have met some scepticism about Social Media. I am not surprised, that happens to most new things. I remember the same reluctance about websites. 15 years ago when I worked for an Internet Provider, almost every new client needed to be informed extensively before they could see the potential of an on-line presence.

What I tell the sceptic or the annoyed (saying it is a hype) is that it is a tool, nothing else. Actually it is a range of similar tools. Would you go to the DIY store and tell the guy in the tool department that you want all the tools they have? No, you buy the tool that you need to complete the project you have at hand.

Same with Social Media, use only the tool that you need to create your best Marketing strategy. If your audience is not a Twitter audience than don’t use it! You’re not paying for an ad in a fishing gear magazine if you are selling panties right?

I have to agree that the use of Social media in the b-t-c market (business to consumer) is working well, but the b-t-b (business to business) market is trickier and requires a much more in-depth knowledge of you market. I would advice the b-t-b marketer to keep a close eye on the competition and other b-t-b marketers.

Social Media is not a fad, it is a shift in the way we communicate and even more important: it takes place in real-time.

10 Social Media Muses

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Audience

10 Social Media Muses by Monique DiCarlo (and others)

  1. New Media is focused on being found by customers. Most companies focus on finding customers.
  2. Social Media cannot succeed without a genuine focus on your customers. Social media is about listening, engaging, and responding to your customers. If you are not truly focused on your customer, you will not succeed — period.
  3. Social media cannot be a one-off project. It is a conversation not a broadcast. A successful social media initiative is not a one-and-done deal. From a marketing perspective, you can certainly integrate a promotion to ignite participation, engage more customers, and so forth, but it does not end there. This tool is there for clients to hear their own voices, to be heard by others, and to hear what the crowd thinks.
  4. Social media cannot work without organization alignment. Even if your social media efforts are focused on marketing objectives, you are opening up your brand to the world. Anyone anywhere can say anything. The purpose and objective strategy and guidelines must be shared across disciplines to respond appropriately to the “what if?” scenario. In addition, regardless of the message platform, it is rare for some customer service issues or questions not to arise, so you need to know and have a process in place to get the information you need in a timely matter to respond appropriately. The same applies if your brand is using social media as a customer service platform or any other purpose; there needs to be an understood process for communication when “stuff” happens, as well as consistency in messaging. HR, legal, PR, marketing, and other areas in the organization must be aligned.
  5. Whatever it is that you communicate it needs to be an authentic story. When customers are making a decision that matters to them, the often rely on the truth as they receive it from the community, not the story the marketer manufactured. Control what you say and when you say it.
  6. Social media and blogs are essential inbound marketing tools. The most successful blog posts are the ones that provide some kind of hard-to-find data or breaking news. Convert your Press releases into blog posts and increase views and traffic. Businesses that blog have 192% more Twitter followers.
  7. Do not only include news about your organization but also “your industry news”. Your company is in a better position than anyone else to unearth breaking news stories about your industry. What may not seem like news to you may be news to your prospective customer.
  8. Measure your link popularity and find the roads that lead to Rome.
  9. “When I’m asked about the ROI of social media sometimes an appropriate response is… What’s the ROI of your phone?” Erik Qualman
  10. People are not buying what you have they are buying WHO you are!

Written by Monique DiCarlo

August 15, 2010 at 1:21 am

On-line Marketing is not an option

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During the early days of the Internet I heard the same kind of negative noise about on-line presence as I do now about Social Media. In 1998 I worked for an Internet provider who created and hosted some of the first businesses in town and often companies were very reluctant with creating a website, they had been in business for years without it, so why would they need it now? Believe it or not but there are still companies without a website or one that has been under construction for a while (not to mention the badly designed sites.) Maybe for some very small niche markets this is possible, but knowing that a vast amount of  people around the world are living their life on-line…

I am usually not a “numbers” person, but while doing a little research about how much time people spend on the Internet and use Social Media I came upon some interesting data. Let’s start with the most current data from facebook:

  • More than 500 million active users
  • 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • Average user has 130 friends
  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
  • There are over 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, events and community pages)
  • Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events
  • Average user creates 90 pieces of content each month
  • More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month.
  • About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States (!)

The Nielsen Company recently came out with this current Internet Time table.

New Media is focused on being found by customers. Most companies still focus on finding customers. Key in your current marketing actions is to shift to on-line marketing and the communities where “your people” spend most of their time.

Selling =OUT Communicating=IN

People know what they want, when they want it and how much they want to spend on it, so why are they selecting your product or service? When people make a decision that matters to them, they rely on the truth as they receive it from the community, not the story the marketer writes. Whatever it is that you communicate, BE AUTHENTIC and BE WHERE YOUR AUDIENCE LIKES TO BE.

“Marketing by interrupting people is not cost-effective anymore. You cannot afford to seek out people and send them unwanted marketing messages, in large groups, and hope that some will send you money. Instead, the future belongs to the marketers who set up a foundation and process where interested people can market to each other. Ignite consumer networks and then get out of the way and let them talk.” —Seth Godin

The Instant Magic of Social Media

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Seven Oaks Lavender Farm is located about 50 miles West of Washington DC, near the Shenandoah mountains. There are only a few lavender farms in Virginia and not all are open to the public. Lavender only blooms for one month and that’s when the farm is open to the public and people can visit the field and cut their own lavender.

The owner Deborah Williamson has a natural talent for PR and Seven Oaks has been featured in several publications and on TV. She has built a solid e-mail list, and used it to announce the beginning of the season and all the special events during the weekend. However this year she really wanted to generate more “real traffic” to the farm. I created a facebook page and Twitter account and within a few days the followers and friends started to gather.

Soon friends told friends and the lavender crowd was growing, our Social Media efforts started to pay off and more and more people visited the farm telling us they had seen us on facebook…As it happens Deb invited me to live at her farm for a while and one morning I watched several families gathering under an Oak tree, preparing a picnic, while their children were playing in the lavender field.

A customer pointed at this little boy sitting next to a lavender bush and within seconds I ran inside and grabbed my Flip camera and started to film him. I asked his parents for permission and moments later the movie went live on our Facebook page. The next morning, only minutes after the farm opened a family with several kids arrived, while chatting with the parents as we walked to the field they said: “Yes we saw an awesome video on your Facebook page of this cute little boy and we were looking for a child friendly place for a little field trip so we thought: This is it!”

Written by Monique DiCarlo

August 5, 2010 at 12:40 am

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