Category Archives: Social Marketing

The Rules of Fighting…I Mean Writing

I’m not a fiction writer and I barely remember the one time I did see Fight Club but even so, I do like the premise behind these posts: “Tyler Durden Rules for Writing in the Zone” Parts 1 and 2

Essentially the blog writer references the rules of “Fight Club” as fiction writing guidelines. But really it’s all about psyching yourself into the right mindframe for less stressful and more successful writing so I think it could just as easily apply to blog and copy-writing as it does to romance novels.

Rules include:

“No fear. No distractions. The ability to let that which does not matter truly slide.”

“I say stop being perfect, I say…Let’s evolve, let the chips fall where they may.”

“Just run with it”

I’ll admit. I am the biggest culprit of the first one.  Well, and the second one. And…well, you get the idea.

Oh and another cool thing about WordPress: I came across the above blog on the login page, where every day they display a host of newly updated blogs. Great access tool for a variety of occupationally pertinent – and sometimes just plain entertaining – information.

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Filed under marketing, Social Marketing, Writing

Where’s the Bat Signal when you need it?

“Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.”

I was hanging out with my younger sister the other day. She’s 19 and pretty much attached to her phone at all times. Watching her constantly text and Facebook (guess it’s a verb now, huh?) reminded me of a news report I read a few months back.

http://scitech.blogs.cnn.com/2009/09/08/trapped-girls-update-facebook-instead-of-calling-cops/

Above is the link but the gist of the story is this:  two young girls in Australia, ages 12 and 10, got stuck in a storm drain. Instead of using their cellphone to call emergency services, they asked for help by updating their facebook status. Only once a friend saw the update and alerted emergency services were the girls saved.

Wow.

I know that I’ve heralded the benefits of social networking on this blog. But wow. Sure these tools can have a great and important sociological, political, journalistic…and marketing… impact, but I so hope we don’t lose sight of the big picture. Common sense is still needed. There is no magic bullet, no one way to do everything. Twitter can’t sell all your products. And Facebook won’t always save your life. So let’s keep direct mail and 911 fresh in our thoughts, ok?

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Filed under Misc., Social Marketing

WordPress Props

If you are a small business interested in starting a free blog, I really have to recommend WordPress.com. Which may come across as sketchy since I’m a WordPress user. But it’s legit! Because there’s a reason I’m a  WordPress user. 

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m new to not only this medium but kinda to technology in general. Don’t get me wrong, I can surf the web and check my email. But I was that typical English major whose idea of technological savviness was putting together a Powerpoint presentation. So I’m fairly limited in my knowledge and expectation of technology. So when I think, “man, I wish I could do *insert genius idea here* in my blog,” and then I realize WordPress already has the capability and all I have to do is press a button, it’s pretty exciting to me.

We’ve been on WordPress for a couple months now and I’ve had quite a few of those moments. But I’ll admit, when I first visited the site, the format kinda threw me off. It seemed hard to navigate. So I went elsewhere and actually originally set up the blog on one of those other free sites. Yeah, that definitely didn’t work out so well. I mean, I canceled it before anyone saw it so no harm, no foul. But it was still a very frustrating experience. Sure it was simple to log into and seemed pretty cut and dry but that’s because it really had nothing to offer. The themes were horrendous, I couldn’t customize my header or adjust the margins of my page. It was impossible to track my posts and adding pictures? Easier to not. Basically, the whole thing was just, well, tacky.

I decided to revisit WordPress and after taking a few minutes to familiarize myself with the site, I decided to give it a shot. And it has been great. It’s clean, easy to use and has more amenities than I could have predicted. And all for a free service.

Not bad.

Plus they make it snow in the background in winter. How seasonal and cute.

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Filed under Social Marketing

It’s Twitter Time

It seems that I have a meeting coming up for a crash course in Twitter. Meaning I’ll be spending some time this week researching using Twitter as a small business marketing tool.

And man, there’s a ton out there. Absurd amounts really. Even with all that information, it’s hard to feel like you’re reading anything unique and it’s especially difficult to comprehend that info in relation to your own industry. But that’s my job. To take the general information I gather and morph it to my needs. And it can be done. There’s plenty to say, plenty to offer, plenty of questions to address. But I’ll admit, I’m a bit nervous about approaching those things via Twitter. I have trouble seeing how real business can infiltrate a medium so overrun with fluff, annoyance, and incomplete sentences.

But Chris Brogan is telling me it can be done, Seth Godin is telling me it can be done. About 50 million other blogs are telling me it can be done…so I’m thinking it can (and should) be done! 

There’s still a lot more to learn but as a simple observer, I think there’s one thing I’ve really noticed about the importance of Twitter. Yes it’s a quick and immediate way to connect with your clients and potential clients. It’s a fantastic means to attend to their wants, needs, etc. But one of the most beneficial things it supplies is that it not only gets your name out there, but it demonstrates your competency. Think about it. There’s A LOT of work that goes into this. And if you do it well, it legitimizes you and your company. Especially in B2B, where businesses are familiar with the struggles of social media and respect those who can pull it off. You gain automatic street cred.

But I guess it’s still a matter of being able to pull it off. Check back for some links. Since I’m already sorting through the dozens of websites, I might as well save you the trouble by posting some of my favorites!

So what experiences have you had so far using Twitter for B2B?

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Business Marketing Myths

Marketing for any business can be intimidating but it can be particularly scary for a small business. You’re sending a portion of your limited funds out the door with no guarantee that it’ll return. But it’s vital to success. It HAS be done, especially in this economic climate, and you might as well do it right.

Here’s some of my favorite advice from a list of The Top 5 Business Marketing Myths from Small Fuel Marketing:

“Myth #2: The bigger the audience, the more customers you’ll get
A bigger audience is usually a less targeted audience. A less targeted audience will get fewer conversions. In the end, a large audience means you’ll spend a lot more money for the same number of interested potential customers.”

This is a call back to the point I made in my post ” The Core of the Problem” -market to the people that you should be marketing to! Carefully analyze what your target audience is and make sure your list provider offers the SIC codes that will allow you to arrive at that perfectly targeted list.

“Myth #4: You only need to market until you build up momentum
Having momentum is a good thing, but it’s very important to keep on the ball. Markets can change quickly, and people get bored fast—so stay on top of things to make sure your business continues growing over the long haul.”

Keep and update those contacts. If you make your presence known at reasonable intervals, you’ll be remembered when the time comes to buy.

“Myth #5: A really great product will sell itself
Even great products need marketing to really succeed. Having the right message, and delivering it to the right people, will help take your great product and turn it into a great small business with great sales. The product alone isn’t likely to do that.”

Remember that amazing target market you cornered using all those selects and SIC codes?

Remember that great product you have? Sounds like a marketing match made in heaven.

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The Core of the Problem

If you’ve ever read Seth Godin’s blog, you know that it provides candid, thoughtful and fascinating insight into the musings of a seasoned media specialist. He sees social media and marketing in all of his surroundings, which I think is a major key to his success since the basis of marketing really lies in an empathetic and intense understanding of human society and behavior. So it’s always interesting to check in on what quirky experience he has witnessed and read how he sees that behavior affecting YOUR business’s marketing success.

A few days ago he had a particularly compelling post (“Fear of Apples” )about the paralysis of choice: When talking about consumer hesitancy he states that, “In our industrialized world, people are now afraid of apples. Afraid of buying the wrong kind. Afraid of making a purchasing mistake or some sort of pie mistake.

And they’re afraid of your product and your service. Whatever you sell, there are two big reasons people aren’t buying it:

1. They don’t know about it.

2. They’re afraid of it.

If you can get over those two, then you get the chance to prove that they need it and it’s a good value. But as long as people are afraid of what you sell, you’re stuck.”

Let’s be honest, most of us have been guilty of this at one time or another. And it’s not getting less confusing or intimidating. In this society, new options and opportunities present themselves at an ever increasing rate. And he’s right; no one wants to choose the wrong thing and look a fool in front of their family, friends, or that pushy sales person.

This means we have to be all the more selective in our marketing efforts, but the answer is not to limit the options for the consumer. It is to KNOW who your consumer is and offer them what they want and, even more importantly, what they need. Take the indecision out of buying. Find your target and offer them what they want. Yes, these are the basics of marketing but sometimes it’s hard to remember in a world that alters and adds as quickly as ours.

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Word Play

Just some quick little tips I stumbled upon recently:

Wordle is a program that seemingly has only one purpose – to look cool. But I think it has more potential than that.

While it is definitely a fun program to play with and an easy way to create interesting digital art, I feel it could also be very a useful marketing aid.

Basically, the more frequently you use a word, the larger it appears in the image. Uses for this are 2-fold:

1) It tells me what keywords I should be using on the tags
2) It shows me the “message” of the copy I just created. It’s a quick and easy (and pretty) way to see if my writing is emphasizing what I want it to.

Here are some examples created using our own Blog copy:

GoLeads Wordle

 

Wordle 2 

 

All in all a great tool.

Second cool tool for the day: http://namechk.com. A great way for a Small Business to check the availability of their handle(name) on the primary social sites.

Again, dual purpose:
1) Check to ensure your name is not taken, then go register them.
2) It exposed me to quite a few sites that I didn’t even know existed. A great way to open up to an extensive social media world beyond Twitter and Facebook.

Hope you guys find these as useful and fun as I do!

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Filed under GoLeads, marketing, Misc., Social Marketing