Keeping up with the “fire hose” of the things I’m interested in is enough of a challenge. Add to that the, shall we say, “Dynamic” nature of my business of consulting in digital marketing, and it’s easy to see how specialization takes place. Being a generalist in any area, while of some value, limits your effectiveness with your customers….especially if your customers have wildly divergent businesses.
Granted, there’s a lot I bring to the table for them. As a rule, the business owners and entrepreneurs I work with are totally focused on their business passions and a number ore still working on become viable. They are all aware of the need for marketing, but having constrained resources (the usual 3: time, money, and personnel….many are solo-preneurs…) they try to start by doing it by themselves. A few searches on Google for resources or tips, a Facebook page, maybe a web site, and some even have a customer list they turn into an email list. By and large, they quickly realize that it’s possible to spend a LOT of resources and not seem to make much, if any, headway…
So, a couple more Google searches, maybe try to read a book on it, and, if they are part of a decent local business network, maybe asking a couple of colleagues what they are doing. They try tweaking a few things and wait a week (most of us are pretty impatient…..). Nothing seems to happen, or, maybe they get a “blip” in business….HOORAY!!!!
“So, ummmm…..what exactly did I do that caused that blip? Can I do it again, only better? How can I grow this into something that will drive my business?”
All good questions….
However, what I want to look at in this article is the work you do to “keep up” on your business. I will share with you a few things I do regularly to make sure I can be of the highest value to my existing and future clients.
Value, Story, Strategy and Facebook Ads – Best of April
Key words for your business include VALUE, STORY, and STRATEGY (and for a LOT of us, FACEBOOK, too!). This month’s Best Of collection includes some ‘must-reads’ in these areas, plus a couple of great tips articles on Instagram and little-know Facebook features.
There are probably a “whop-tillion” (the official definition is ‘a one with more zeroes behind it than you can shake a stick at….’) articles and lists on the internet with titles like “Seven Things You Must Do to Get New Customers On LinkedIn” or “The Short List to Absolute Success and Better Skin Care For Businesses on Facebook”. Much can be learned, however, from the FAIL point of view on any platform or any process, to if you are invested in Instagram as a platform, or are considering it, THIS is the article for YOU!
Facebook was always a platform in flux, and now that the issues about user data and privacy have hit the headlines, changes are coming fast and furious. As a result, it is REALLY EASY to miss some of the more subtle goodies for marketing on the platform. Fortunately, the folks at Social Media Examiner haven’t missed them and share their findings in this article. Want to leverage the things that your competitors are probably NOT taking advantage of? Read on….
From an academic point of view, it would be really easy to write an article about the components of a good social media strategy. However, in this article, Dhariana Lozano takes the approach of what makes up a SUCCESSFUL strategy….and, of course, success is what you’re going for, right?
Everyone starts at the same place when spinning up your advertising online, and Facebook is the place where an enormous number of entrepreneurs and small businesses get going. This Guide of Eight (8) chapters is a terrific short school on how to get started, how to use the tools, how to set up a campaign, creating images and messaging, how to manage and review performance….all the bits that can take your Facebook marketing to the next level.
Blogging for your Business, eh? Then you are putting a lot of quality time and work into creating solid, gold-medal content….want to learn how to leverage that great stuff over and over again? Sure you do….
A story is the shortest distance between a human being and the truth. We have been enthusiasts and consumers of stories for thousands of years, and the online experience is no different than anywhere else. So, how do you build out your story on your Facebook Business page to reach your VACC (Visitors / Audience / Customers / Community)?
As Nietzsche said, we value things that cost us. But cost and price are not the same. Cost is more like prize, as Steve Jobs alluded to in his keynote as returning Apple CEO in 1997. Something we earn through work, participation, and what we stand for, because we act on our beliefs. What is your business’ value?
Returning Customers – Elusive, Impossible, or Normal?
There’s always an emotional rush when you acquire new customers. They’re “taking a chance on you” and you have that all-important opportunity to make that first, and hopefully lasting, impression.
So THAT happens…..
So why don’t some first-time customers come back? This is a very important nut to crack for your business, especially since it’s always cheaper and more effective to nurture current customers than it is to have to always spend the resources needed to provide a steady stream of new customers instead. While there may be any number of reasons, four stand out:
Early problems sour the relationship.
You have no formal servicing system.
There is communication breakdown with the decisions makers.
It is easy for your customer to return to your competitor.
Video Success and the Right Metrics – Best of March
March is going out like something like a lamb here in the Pacific Northwest…but the turmoil online with data protection concerns, Facebook revelations, and announced data breaches (apps, sites, phones….seems to happen everywhere….) draws more and more attention. Turning from these concerns a bit, this month’s top articles put some focus back on tips and opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses in the digital marketing world.
Thankfully, a lot of companies have moved past the “vanity metrics” problem of a few years ago. Still, to move past that to the numbers that truly reflect your online goals and move the needle for you business requires some research and work with an expert. Doing so will REALLY PAY OFF, so don’t shirk this….
Listening: Attention or Intention?
In your life, how many times have you heard that phrase, either from someone else or your internal voice? Shutting out distractions like noise, devices or the torrent of thoughts and imagination that the Buddhist tradition has termed the “monkey mind” seems nearly impossible. We slap ourselves internally in some fashion, and try to refocus on the speaker. This can be just as jarring as the distractions themselves!
Mindful Listening is really not about attention. It’s about intention. Let me explain how I understand and experience the difference.
Listening is Hard
As an intelligent business owner and entrepreneur in the 21st century, you are already very aware of the importance of listening to your customers, prospects and audience (your Visitors / Audience / Customers / Community (VACC): you can read more about what this looks like here …..). “Listen” is, however, a word that is subject to as many interpretations as there are ears…
Going a bit deeper, what kinds of listening are there that you can leverage?
Definitions of types of listening are as varied as there are authors of articles, books and consultancies whose purpose is to guide you to a solution that works for you and your business….a solution that results in the kind of success you’re looking for: that loyalty-balance of relationship quality and profitability, with credibility overall. It’s kind of like a combination of “the right tool(s) for the right job” and a high-wire balancing act.
Since every conversation only has 100% of the time allotted for it, whether it’s 20 minutes or 2 hours or more, more listening requires less talking.
So what does more listening actually do for this relationship you’re trying to build?
It is the key to building trust.
Facebook Live Video and the Point – Best of February
In the face of the January announcement by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, a LOT of brain power has been focused on just what this means for business. One of the early analyses posited that live video, already a big player online, will become even MORE important. Hence the Video heavy listing with this month’s edition of the BEST!
Like any valuable effort, you need to plan and prepare. Making streaming video is no exception, especially when it can be portrayed as “point-click-talk” by casual users. Your resources are valuable, and you need to spend a BIT MORE up front to GET MORE in the return!
Facebook Live video – “Hit the Button, Buddy!”
It’s Live Video Month! This article is the second in the series in which I’m going over:
- Strategy and Planning
- Processes and How-To
- …and include a few examples.
This week is all about what happens when you push the “GO LIVE” button and what you do through to the end of your video, and what you do afterwards, too.
But first, a quick recap:
My earlier article, “Facebook Live Video – Getting Everything Ready To Go!” is all about Strategy, Planning, Content Format ideas, and the Hardware / Software you can use. If you haven’t read that yet, follow the link and it will take you through the pre-process, getting you to…..
How To Start
Actually, you start before you start, so to speak.
Facebook Live video – Getting Everything Ready To Go!
It’s Live Video Month! This article is the first of two (for now….) in which I intend to go over:
- Strategy and Planning
- Processes and How-To
- …and include a few examples.
This week is all about the Strategy and Planning, along with a little “Why do this video thing, anyway?”
Facebook Live Statistics that will convince you!
There are a ton of numbers out there that demonstrate the value of Facebook’s Live video streaming service even above that of “standard” video. Here are a few:
Get Ready to Smile – Live Video is Coming for You!
While we’re all waiting for the smoke to clear around Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement a few weeks ago regarding the BIG CHANGES taking place in the Facebook Newsfeed and how that will hit your marketing, one thing is pretty clear…
Video remains HUGE, and Live Video (Facebook Live, for this article…) is going to become something that all businesses are going to have to come up with a plan for. This ties in directly with many things that Zuckerberg mentioned in his announcement (emphasis mine):
- “…recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”
- “We started making changes in this direction last year, but it will take months for this new focus to make its way through all our products. The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups. As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.“
- “The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good. Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”
- You can read his entire post here.