Nov 152012
 

So you’ve started posting on Facebook and Twitter. Maybe you’ve joined Google+ or Pinterest or many of the other millions of social networks out there. You’ve made some friends, got some likes but they are not buying. Sound familiar?

One of the main problems that business owners have these days is that they lack the understanding of the point of social media. It was not created or intended to be used a purely a business marketing tool. It was designed to create social engagement between people. Not between brands / businesses and people but from one person to the next.

With that in mind, you need to be real. When thinking about posting on social media, don’t just post the latest article you wrote and hope that your fans will click the link and read it. Provide a voice for your business. Engage with your customers or prospects. Ask them questions, poll them on some topic. Get to know their likes and dislikes. Learn something about each and every one of them and show them that you went through the trouble to do that. Prove to them that you care about them and they will surely show up to buy from you.

Give them stuff for free.  That’s always one easy way to win over a crowd. Do it in such a way as to make it fun for them. You could maybe make it a game. For example, for each of you who can convince 10 of your friends to like my Facebook Fan Page, I will personally send you an autographed copy of XYZ magazine featuring ABC completely free of charge a value of $97.

Don’t forget to give the value for a free give-away. Especially if it is being given away in the context of a contest or a game.

My absolute best advice to you is just have fun with it. When it starts to feel like work to you, change something up to keep it fun. The more fun you are having engaging with your customers, some of that fun will rub off on them and all of a sudden they will start having fun. Once that happens you’ve created a dedicated customer for life.

Good luck in your social media campaigns and feel free to comment below to let me know some of the cool things you have done to engage with your customers using social media.

Aug 212012
 

Social media is a powerful tool if used properly. I almost want to compare it to a second opportunity to create a real reputation like you had in high school originally. For most people, the information in this article shouldn’t apply to them but for those looking to use social media as a platform to market their business, I will write out the 5 fastest ways to absolutely destroy any reputation that you will have or could have built up using social media.

This article applies to both your personal profiles / pages on all social media platforms for which you have an account as well as any business related fan pages or profiles. It is important to realize that your customers or prospects will find you no matter if you differentiate your personal profile from your business profile.

  1. Crazy self promotion
    • One of the big mistakes that many people make is that they spend so much of their time talking about their accomplishments or how good they are at their job and / or business. As much as it’s fun to write about this kind of stuff it’s important to realize that all it is accomplishing is to play big on your ego and is not directly benefiting your customer in any way. It is important to self promote to a point but be very careful how much of it you do and how it will appear to others. Never bash another person or another company in order to promote yourself.
  2. Pouring out your problems
    • Another mistake that a lot of people tend to make is that they spend a lot of time talking about the things that they have trouble with or don’t do well. That’s not always a bad idea because social media is an amazing way where you can source the general crowd and have them help you find a solution to the most challenging of problems. The important thing to keep in mind is to not always use this as your vehicle for solving your troubles. For one thing it puts all of your problems out there in the ether for the general public’s viewing. It doesn’t look good if you are constantly needing the help of others to run your affairs.
  3. Not controling your privacy settings
    • Most people don’t even know how to control their privacy on social media. With some of the recent changes that have been happening with Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and others, it is now so much easier than ever to have fine grained control over who gets to see what. You can usually create groups of friends / contacts and only display certain posts to one group versus another. If used properly you can safely release the pictures of your drunken stupor to your friends from the night before without needing to worry about the coworkers in your office seeing them the next morning. Also, you need to watch out for who you allow to post certain types of things on your profile. One of the fastest ways to ruin your rep on social media is to just allow anyone and everyone to post pictures to your Facebook wall. Can you imagine how fast you can lose that business deal if the other party checked out your wall and see that you were just tagged in a picture passed out drunk from the night before on your friends couch?
  4. Completely automating your social media posts
    • One more mistake that a lot of companies make most of the time is just automating the release of their social media posts. There are more and more services popping up each and every day online that allow you to automate the release of material to your social media profiles and pages. This is a great advantage to busy business individuals who don’t have the luxury of the time to connect every couple of hours to update their social media. The real problem with it is that it is fake and people see through it really quickly. If you want to be effective you need to create a conversation and build a community. You can’t just post random quotes and information about your products regularly and expect to be successful.
  5. Never having a conversation
    • The last mistake that I’m going to talk about today is people who don’t create a conversation on their social media pages. The only I repeat ONLY way to be successful on social media is to engage with your friends / fans / followers etc… If you don’t engage with them and converse with them you are essentially alienating them and they won’t stay around very long. You need to talk to them , answer their questions, their concerns, ask them questions or poll them regularly. Share your concerns or thoughts on a matter, encourage them, make them laugh and so much more.

I promise that if you just avoid those five mistakes that I have outlined above, you will be so much more successful on your social media campaigns than most others. There are still many other ways where you can hurt your rep but I believe the five outlined above are the fastest ways to do it. Avoid them and get engaged or involved in your social media campaign and you are sure to succeed.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Please let me know if I might have missed anything big. I would love to read your comments about this.

Jul 102011
 

Historically, Google has failed time and time again with launching it’s social media platforms. Google Buzz is a great example of their main attempt to enter the social media circle and fail. I bet not even one in ten people that read this blog post have ever even heard about Google Buzz.

This time however, I strongly believe it’s different. Just the overall reaction a few weeks back when it soft launched shows that people are excited about this new service that Google is trying to showcase. The launch of Google+ almost immediately added $20B to Google’s market cap. Continue reading »