Stop It With the “LIKES” Already!

 

The Ubiquitous LIKES

The Ubiquitous LIKES

For years you would hear it and see it:

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!!!!!
 
Looking at those numbers, particularly if they grew big and fast, could make you feel very good about yourself, and certainly gave you the kind of strokes you wanted if you were a marketer working for a company of any size.

Then the whole conversation shifted to, “What are all of those ‘likes’ getting us?“, which led to a number of uncomfortable pauses in the report. While getting the right kinds of measurements in place years ago was much more difficult, nowadays there isn’t the thrashing about there used to be around them. You still need to have a clear goal around what you’re trying to achieve online…of course, the end is to generate sales, but following the trail, building the relationships, etc. with your customers hasn’t changed. The platforms and practices have to a large degree, when executing a digital marketing strategy (as opposed to what your company might have done 50 years ago…..), but people are still people.

So what SHOULD you be investing in?

In a recent article in the American Marketing Association Journal of Marketing Research entitled “Does “Liking” Lead to Loving? The Impact of Joining a Brand’s Social Network on Marketing Outcomes” (you may find the abstract here) I discovered a number of valuable insights to consider as a small business builds out their social / digital marketing strategy. The question that kicked the article off is this:

Does “liking” a brand on Facebook cause a person to view it more favorably? Or is “liking” simply a symptom of being fond of a brand?

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What Do Your Customers Think?

Happy Customers

Happy Customers!

Got customers?

Then you are interested in what they think of you, since that will drive not only whether they purchase your product or service, but other things, too. Like:
  • What do think of your product  / service?
  • Will they buy again?
  • How will you know what they think unless they tell you?
  • What kind of review will they give you (on-line or off-line)?
  • What kind of influence will their experience have on how others think of you?

The basic ideas behind Customer Experience (or CX as it has come to be known) have been around for awhile. Think about when you walk into an office or a store of some kind. The initial impression of location, attractiveness, and the employees’ attitude towards you all contribute to the CX. It could be all over the place as to your experience, but that was, and is, a huge part of it In Real Life (IRL, for those of you who like acronyms…).

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WARNING: You’re Losing Money By Not Using Video!

Video is EVERYWHERE!

Video is EVERYWHERE!

Unless you’re completely disconnected, you have watched a video of some kind over the internet…even if it was just a cat. More likely you not only watch them every time you’re online, but also have some kind of streaming service like Netflix or Hulu that you subscribe to so you can watch when you want. The absolute access of video on the internet to our population is staggering.

Now flip that around. As a small-to-medium business owner and entrepreneur, a big pillar of growing your business is, of course, marketing. Digital marketing (which includes social media) is a growing portion of business focus and will only get bigger. It goes without saying that any business that needs to get found by customers (is there a business that DOESN’T need to be found by customers?) has a web site. A significant subset of these businesses have a social media presence of some sort.

How well that aspect of their marketing is working becomes the question to answer…

Quality content drives much of digital marketing success, but without a strategy to reach those markets and customers that want to buy from you, the content may not even seem to exist. These subjects make up a lot of my previous articles, and comprise a large part of what I work with my clients to create and implement.

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JUNE’S BEST – LinkedIn, Trust, and Making The Most of Your Content

July - Celebrate!

July – Celebrate!

July is upon us, and we here in the States are getting ready for our annual tribute to patriotism, fireworks and barbecues!
June was a bumper crop month for quality content across the digital marketing industry, and I’m only too happy to share the top articles I’ve read:

LinkedIn Ninja Tricks!

LinkedIn Ninja Tricks!

 

 
Facebook seems to get the attention from online sources (granted, cracking the 2 billion users mark is noteworthy…), but many of the businesses I speak with are still kind of scratching their head when it comes to LinkedIn. This top list of tips and tricks from Melonie Dodaro will get you to that next level of skill in using this great professional channel.

Sincerity

Sincerity

 

 
Sincerity and Trust have been the key components for strong customer and business relationships since forever. Building them online isn’t impossible, but it is different. This article introduces some areas of consideration about communication and how you do this. The line between communication and action is pretty clear.

Credibility

Credibility

 

 
Beyond getting found, your website needs to build and maintain your professional credibility. If you’re wondering how a website can do that, then you will find this article Laura Forer of MarketingProfs very, very valuable.

My Community

My Community

 

 
When I speak about online relationships, I refer to the mental model I call VACC (Visitors / Audience / Customers / Community). In this insightful article, Irfan Ahmad digs into how a business can approach this with Facebook Groups, an underutilized resource for most businesses. If you take this on, you’re ALREADY in the lead, since chances are your competition ISN’T doing it!

Social Media Posts

Social Media Posts

 
 
So, that post from last Tuesday blew the doors off in Shares and Comments! WOO-HOO!!!!! Now, how can you leverage what was obviously a Great Piece of Content again and take advantage of it’s quality and virality? Here are 5 ways to look at….

 

Reuse That Content!

Reuse That Content!

As a follow-on to the previous article, how do you take that premier article you’ve written and reuse (or “slice & dice”…) it in such a way that you can make the most of it. Here are nine ways you could repurpose it and reach oven more of an interested audience. Remember, everyone has a preferred way of communicating, and by doing this you are making practical use of that fact!

Personas Are NOT the Audience!

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Personas

Personas

I read an exceptional article by Mitch Joel recently entitled The Audience (formerly known as the Audience). In it he writes about how perceptions and standard audience research (that leads to the creation of personas or avatars for marketing purposes…) are actually quite flawed. The challenge to fixing this or working through it, is in the ways they are flawed.

Here’s a scenario:

You are developing a new product for your client base that is aimed at stay-at-home moms. Immediately, a persona of the stay-at-home mom is put together in your mind’s eye…

  • Female
  • early 30s – early 40s
  • Spouse / Partner works out of the home, 9-5.
  • Wears casual / workout clothing for comfort and ease of care (the kids are ALWAYS spilling things…)
  • Drinks a LOT of coffee
  • Perpetually exhausted with too much to do
  • Drives a “family” vehicle (mini-van / SUV) that is full of child-related stuff
  • Gets together with friends regularly (with children) to chat and commiserate.
Do you see this stay-at-home mom persona in your mind’s eye? 

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Which is Key for Your Customers: Innovation or Influence?

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Influencer's Universe

The Influencers’ Universe

Any business follows the well-know track of building awareness -> establishing reputation -> making money. Each of these has its own challenges and opportunities for advance and missteps. Ignoring any of them isn’t an option, and you can’t really hop over any of them either, despite the burning desire to get to the “making money” bit.

I recently read an article by Valeria Maltoni entitled How to Increase an Idea’s Adoption Rate. In it she writes of how a couple of individuals became key influencers in their fields, and how one in particular approached this goal with some preconceptions (that, frankly, mirror a lot of thoughts business owners have when going into business or launching new products and services…) that fell flat.

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Doing Specifics the Right Way

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specific

Be Specific!

The challenge of being specific is that it seems impossible to scale.

What does being specific mean in your business? It’s the truth behind perception, communication, understanding, prejudice and the barriers presented by a kind of ‘telephone’ game space between people. It means that if you can connect with one person, that doesn’t mean you can connect with the next one, no matter HOW much alike they are. And that is the end point….how do you plan or strategize for this kind of connection?

Going by previous data and experience will only get you so far. And sometimes it doesn’t even work for the same person! Think about how your own thoughts and feelings have changed over the years. If the “younger me” tried to convince the “today me” of a number of things about people, places, beliefs, prejudices and things I’ve learned more about over the years, well….I would have walked away as a younger man.

So back to being specific…in business, I’ve learned that a focus on “anybody who” as a customer is actually no one. Even honing it down to “A small business owner with a company that has 5 – 100 employees and has been in business for at least 5 years” is too broad. What do they care about? What are those 2 or 3 things that are nagging, painful problems they just can’t seem to crack? While each business is unique and has its own problems, there ARE business norms and trends in the U.S. There is a certain amount of consistency.

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