Where Should I Be? – The Case for Facebook

Facebook

Facebook

OK, so you’ve done all the heavy lifting research about your market, your products and services, and your audiences.

You’ve worked closely with your marketing lead (either your own or a trust-worthy consultant…), deciding that digital marketing is a key component of your plan. Now you have arrived at the question that bedevils a LOT of small businesses:
Which social media platform (or platforms…) should I choose?

This is more than just a familiarity choice. This decision must be based upon:
  • What are your goals for your digital marketing?
  • Where are the bulk of your customers / audience?
  • How and where do you your customers / audience prefer to consume content?
  • What are the resources you have to devote to executing the plan?
There are many reasons to go with one or another platform, or more than one!

With this article I’m starting a series of articles (one platform per article over a few months…) that will give you some data, some analysis, some rationale, and a few recommendations. Each article will help you make that fateful decision:

Do I spend my limited and valuable resources on THIS platform, or not….or What?

First, the proverbial “Elephant in the Room”….

FACEBOOK

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3 More LinkedIn Tips

LinkedIn

LinkedIn

LinkedIn continues its steady march as THE PLACE online for professionals. I also have found that it is where many people and businesses go to check on the “bona fides” of an amazingly wide array of professionals and service providers. Lawyers, managers, sales associates, plumbers, contractors, chefs….you name it. People go to LinkedIn to see if you are who you say you are on your website and marketing materials.

The Internet has taught us to do research. It doesn’t matter if I’m looking for a new car, a better financial solution for my future, or the most engaging cat toy (which, frankly, is a rolled up piece of paper, but that’s another thing not covered in this article…). Anyone with access to search and reviews online (or asking for referrals on Facebook…) is likely to head over to LinkedIn and check on you.

I published an article earlier with 3 pointers for a better LinkedIn profile. I also posted a free downloadable LinkedIn Professional Profile Checklist as a good tool to get the basics online.

I want to add 3 more tips to these. The more you can not only get your profile to completeness but to EFFECTIVENESS, the more successful you can be in providing your visitors with the kind of information about you that increases your reputation and validates your expertise.

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BEST OF AUGUST – Customer Reviews, Surveys, and Top Social Media Listening Tools!

Well here we are…the unofficial End of Summer! Labor Day (in the U.S.), Back to School, and the business planning for 2018 is no longer avoidable!

There has been a lot of great information published this month, so here are the best articles I’ve read. I know you’ll find them worth the time, and packed with actionable goodies.

Social Media Listening

Social Media Listening

There are an ever growing number of social media listening tools (most also do other things, but the focus is on listening for this article) on the market. Some are free, some are “freemium” (free, but with some more functionality if you pay a bit more…), and others will cost you in a much bigger way. This article lists out 10 top tools in this category that won’t break your bank account. Be sure to assess carefully what you really need, and then add some extra headroom….you will ALWAYS end up needing them to do more than you think!

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Reviews: Don’t ignore them! It’s Your Reputation…

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How do YOU manage your reputation?

How do YOU manage your reputation?

I got the chance to speak to a large group of business leaders this week about online reviews and how to work with them. This is an area that continues to be of concern to businesses, and has gained particular focus in the past few weeks with the troubles that United Airlines has had.

First there was the eviction of a couple of young women from an airplane for wearing leggings (read more about this incident here). Without going deep into company policy regarding employee’s and their dependents using the United “pass rider” benefit, it is a bit vague and worth reviewing at the company policy level. The company took serious public relations heat for this.

Even more infamous was the recent incident where a paying passenger was forcibly evicted from a flight, apparently chosen at random, to make room for 4 United employees who needed the seats to get to an assignment elsewhere. The video that was shot by another passenger on the plane shows this person being forced by airport security, in a most physical and brutal way, from his seat and off the plane. To say that United Airlines has taken a HUGE hit to its reputation as a result is an understatement (a 5% stock drop amounting to more than $600,000,000, although by the opening bell the next day it had regained almost all the value, and news outlets and social media piling on them has been very visible). How the company communications progressed in the aftermath didn’t help their public case much either (read more about the “Apologies Timeline” in this New York Times article). United now says that certain policies have been altered and others are under review to keep this from happening again. The changes will need to demonstrable and highly visible before they can begin to rebuild the trust deficit they’ve experienced.

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How Can Responsiveness Keep You Out of Trouble?

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Facebook Business Responsiveness

Facebook Business Responsiveness

Responsiveness is critical to customer experience. If you get an email or see a post to your company Facebook page with a request or comment from a customer (or potential customer…), letting it go for awhile (or altogether…) is a recipe for TROUBLE! The speed by which you respond not only convinces that person that you’re listening, but that you actually care what they are bringing to you. However, there’s a lot more to this than speed…

How you respond and your tone prove how you treat this as an opportunity. You can not only build a better relationship with this person, but provide an online record of how professional and customer-centric your company is. I’ve written a lot about your VACC (Visitors/Audience/Customers/Community) and how your conversation with each differs and builds toward the kind of relationship that benefits all parties. Defined as “fair exchange“, this is a great relationship, as both parties derive immense value from the framework, and all work done on it only serves to strengthen it. The stronger the foundation, the easier it can be to get past the niceties of the regular communications and unveil greater authenticity and transparency. This is particularly true of bad news you need to deliver.

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Best of November: TOP POSTS – No Turkeys Here!

Can you believe it? Thanksgiving is past and we are all on the short countdown to Christmas!? Well, while you were trying to finish off the Halloween candy AND putting together the grocery list for Thanksgiving, there have been a LOT of article published that deserve your attention…..I’ve gone through them and cherry-picked the most relevant ones for you!

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Fall Reading List

Fall Reading List

One of my favorite sites to read, Conversation Agent by Valeria Maltoni, posted the seasonal reading list. I know your reading list is already pretty long, as is mine, but her recommendations always lead to revisit and lengthen mine. I’m sure this list will do the same for you!

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What’s the Best Social Media Channel for my Business?

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Which Social Media Channels?

Which Social Media Channels?

A small business owner asked me this question recently: Does it matter which social media channels my business focuses on?

This is a great question!
It does matter from a couple of angles:
  • You need to be where your customers are.
  • Focus is crucial, since each additional channel requires resources.
Let me elaborate….

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TOP POSTS for October – Crammed with Proven Treats!

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With October comes the oncoming onslaught of the Holidays! This brings into focus how to get the most out of your social media and digital marketing so your business can go seriously into the BLACK for the season. The top articles for the month cover everything from SEO to Facebook Referrals and, in the season of BUYING AND SELLING, whether caring really matters.
Optimize Video

Optimize Video

Unless you haven’t been online in the past, oh, ten years or so, you are aware of just how popular to users and critical to businesses video is now. There is much more to leveraging video for you business than a quick snippet taken from your phone or a flash report on Facebook Live. Since video is so pervasive, you need to optimize your content….and one size does NOT fit every channel!

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FOCUS: Is Your Competence “Fake It ’til You Make It”!?

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competence

Competence

What kind of reality do you live in?

This is more than a philosophical or existential question, reaching past any famous figures “Reality Distortion Field” or the stories we tell ourselves, good or bad. As regards our true competence, the role we fill in our business lives, it is more about the difference between APPEARING competent and our ACTUAL competence. Wanting to display ourselves as knowledgeable, “Fake it ’til you Make it!” can get you into big trouble.

Feltman defines competence as, “the assessment that you have the ability to do what you are doing or propose to do. In the workplace this usually means the other person believe you have the requisite capacity, skill, knowledge, resources and time to do a particular task or job.”

Sometimes we have to battle the “brightness effect.” This causes others to believe that since you are associated with competence in one area, you are also competent in another area. I experienced this a lot when I worked for Microsoft. Many I know (a LOT of family members…..) assumed that, since I worked at Microsoft, I could fix whatever was wrong with their computers. Granted, I lived in a PC-centric world for many years, but that didn’t turn me into a computer engineer any more than standing in your garage turns you into a car! An example of this in business is a high-performance individual who is promoted into a management position. As many of you know, managing others is likely a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SKILL from whatever the individual specialized in. The best you can do is be clear about what you know you can do, and what you have yet to learn. Then work with your management to get the resources to better your chances of success in your new role. Try very hard not to let them get away with “just figure it out.” Your success and the success of your team hinge on your becoming better.

 

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Top 5 Timely and Valuable Articles for July

Wow, that was fast!

There was all the hub-bub for the Fourth of July, then the flurry of political conventions, and now we’re at the end of the month and looking back at some of the really helpful articles that have been published across the web…..and there have been a LOT of them! Here are the top 5 I’ve read and know you will find useful:

Deleting your Social Media Biz Page

Throw it all away….or not?

You’ve tried every which way with Facebook and you’ve decided that the only way out is to delete the page altogether. Is this really a good idea? Are there any other options? This article by Brooke B. Sellas of B Squared Media will help you consider, and reconsider, this conundrum.

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