Are you Frustrated with Your Social Media Marketing?

 

Frustrated with Social Media“Frustration” – a word frequently used to describe companies new to social media and those who have been involved in social media but have yet to enjoy a return.

The problem is two-fold. First, establishing a social media presence takes time and continued effort. You have to be consistent in your involvement with the social media medium and remember that returns will not be overnight. Second, you have to make sure that you are using social media in a way that makes sense for your business.

If you are not sure, ask yourself these simple questions:

Are you using the right platform?

First, remember that there are a variety of social media platforms for you to consider – most notably Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Further, within these platforms, there exist variations on the theme. For example, in Facebook, you can have a “Page,” a “Group,” or a “Community.” Each variation has its own set of tools, purposes, and capabilities. In addition, you may decide to participate in several social media platforms at the same time.

For example, if you have a fitness center or weight loss product , you may want to use your YouTube channel to publish videos on how to perform certain exercises or tapings of classes you offer there while using Facebook to build a sense of community through candid photos, listings of hours, available classes, and upcoming events.

Have you scrapped past attempts?

However, you also need to remember that whatever you take on has to be maintained and updated regularly. This can take up valuable time and people resources. While it can certainly be worth it in the long run, remember that consistency is key. If you do not think you will be able to maintain various platforms (or you have already started and stopped using a platform) be sure to erase or delete those accounts. Otherwise, you stand the risk of eroding your brand value when a customer (current or potential) stumbles across your forgotten Bebo account. Instead, make sure that what you have is the best it can be and do away with anything that you are not actively using.

Are you providing the type of information and interaction that your audience wants?

Ask yourself what it is that your audience would want to read, not what you want to tell them. Providing discounts or having giveaways can be useful, but you have to have more substance than that. Consider posting facts about your company, the brand, or its products. Think of the tidbits of information you encounter everyday that make you stop and say, “Really?” Examples include fun facts about how long you have been in business, what happens “behind the scenes”, why your business operates as it does (e.g. why Yoga class was cancelled on Tuesdays, why you do not serve poppyseed bagels, why you buy local, why legal documents are presented in blue card stock), etc.

Are you listening to your audience?

Likewise, are you listening to your audience? When they make a post, do you respond? Do you stay on top of when your company is mentioned on other sites, blogs, social media, etc., and make relevant comments to that affect (on that site and yours)? Remember that social media has developed because of the continued interaction it affords. Its purpose is not to simply broadcast, but rather give people a voice in things they would otherwise not be privy to.

Do you allow them a voice?

Similarly, make sure that you give your audience a voice. Ask open-ended questions, run surveys and polls, include them in new product decisions, etc. – the more things like this you do, the more valued your audience will feel. Remember that interaction is a large part of a successful social media campaign. If miss out on this, you may already be out of the game.

Social Media can be a key part of growing your business and brand to attract local consumers.

Local Internet Marketing isn’t just about having a website, it includes being findable in multiple places when local consumers are looking for your product or service.   A Local Internet Marketing Consultant can help you determine the best route for your online marketing plan.

Online Expert Series Week 7 – Stephanie Chandler — From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur

Online4Offline is in the 7th week of our 12 week online marketing expert interview series. Our goal is to help you supercharge your business as we enter the last 100 days of 2008.

During this series we will introduce you to proven techniques and tools to expand your business online and offline. Our presenters will include coaches, marketing consultants, authors, software providers and other “in the trenches” entrepreneurs.

This week out guest is Stephanie Chandler. We’ll be discussing how you can use information to build you business.

Stephanie is the author of several business and marketing books including:

– From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur (John Wiley & Sons)

– The Author’s Guide to Building an Online Platform (Quill Driver)

– The Business Startup Checklist and Planning Guide (Aventine)

– Marketing Your Business Online (Stephanie Chandler Enterprises, LLC)

She is the founder of http://www.BusinessInfoGuide.com, a directory of resources for entrepreneurs and http://www.TheBusinessGrowthConnection.com, a marketing company specializing in electronic newsletters.

Join us on the call Wednesday, October 22nd at 11:00am MST / 1:00pm EST / 6:00pm BST

You can listen online: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/online4offline Or dial in (347) 945-7951

Can’t make the call? Sign up for downloads of the calls at http://www.Online4Offline.com/experts/

Dangerous Breeds of Web Designers

1. The Human Flash – This individual believes that every website should be flash. They will tell you that NOBODY uses html anymore. They will justify the website costing 5-10 times as much to do everything in flash by saying that it will look a LOT cooler.

2. The Dark Horse – Will only do black backgrounds and white text. Doesn’t really care that your target audience isn’t 18-25 year old Goths or gamers. Designs the site the way they like it.

3. The Microsoft Manipulator – Yep I’m picking on everybody – The Microsoft Manipulator will always go for Microsoft based tools without reviewing the actual customer requirements. He’ll also refuse to make sure that his web site works on Firefox or a Mac stating they SHOULD be using Internet Explorer.

4. Egomaniacial Coder – This individual feels that they need to write everything from scratch and charge you for it. – warning sign – he tells you that the e-mail programs out there are all designed wrong and that he is going to write a new one for you

5. The Widget Warrior – this individual will fill your page up with so many widgets and spinning objects that it will take a week to download on the average home PC – Famous phrase – it works fine on my machine

6. The Mac Maniac – This individual believe that Microsoft is the enemy and will tell you that at every turn. They are welcome to their opinion. But since most of the world uses Internet Explorer it REALLY IS important that it displays correctly on IE. Phrase to watch out for, Well everyone should be using a Mac…it’s better

7. The Linux Lackey – This individual is the geekier, less hip version of the Mac Monster. He also believes that Microsoft is the enemy, everything should be open source and everyone should be using Opera or Firefox for their browser.

8. The Bored B.A. — they’ve found that the only way that they can make a living with their Art degree is to do websites. Warning signs – they tell you that they have a wonderful inspiration for your web design as they pull out the watercolors or pencils….

9. Jeremy — The neighbor kid, friends’ kid etc – He’s usually named Jeremy. He had a class in html in high school and has built a one page website. The biggest issue with these kids is that they are usually a combination of several of the above without and real knowledge or direction.

10. The Cranky Copywriter – “Images are a waste of space — copy is what sells”

11. The Lazy Layout artist – Every one of their websites looks exactly alike

12. Last but not least … The Perky Perfectionist – They are ALWAYS “almost” done…kind of like this list of the top 7, I mean 10, I mean 13 Scariest Web Designers!

Do you know other dangerous breeds of web designers? Let me know in the comments section and I’ll add them to my next list.

Small Business Marketing Conference

They just had a great small business marketing conference down in Houston. The focus was on online marketing and it looks like they covered a lot of good information. Here’s the link to the site: Small Business Marketing Unleashed

This further confirms my thoughts that small businesses are just beginning to wake up to the fact that marketing has changed and the old ways just don’t work as well anymore. Businesses that understand how web marketing fits into their marketing mix will dominate their markets for years before their competition realizes what is happening.

We will see more and more conferences like this and the local marketing companies will learn that if they don’t understand how to provide a multichannel solution for their clients that they will lose them.

The days of wasting money on branding style ads for local businesses are over. Advertising costs too much and it doesn’t work as well as it once did. Less and less time is spent reading the paper, watching local TV or using the phonebook. In today’s market you have to be there when your client is looking for you and more and more they are looking online.