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So, You Want to “Do” Social Media!

I believe its a great idea for small businesses to participate in social media. Being on Facebook and a few other social media spots is expected by potential clients, and you can get more business by participating online.

Of course, “social media” is a broad category. When a potential clients asks me if I can help them, my first response is, “Yes!”  And, then my expectation setting and question asking begins.

Woman Looking at Social Media Icons

The major caution I have is that like most other things on the Internet, social media participation offers only incremental benefit to most businesses. It can help, a bit.

But, it’s unlikely that your killer Instagram photograph is going to go viral and prompt 100,000 people to call and want to buy your service.

It could happen, but it’s not likely that you’re going to be an international Internet meme. Rather, if you spend a fair amount of effort, you should expect that a few more people are going to feel like they know/trust/understand/want to engage with your business or buy its products.

Once we’ve discussed the most likely impact of social media, we need to talk about what type and how much social media the business wants to set up. These decisions themselves depend on why you decided to start a social media campaign.

A common basic motivation is business credibility. Clients expect you to be on Facebook and other platforms, and you do not want to disappoint and seem like an amateur outfit. Simply setting up accounts on a social media platform or two or three and populating them with basic information about your business could be enough. Maybe you’d even be content with claiming a stake on Facebook or another site without having a commitment to making regular (or any) updates.

More commonly, businesses want to build brand awareness. They want potential clients to discover them from their posts and because others have commented or mentioned the business in their posts. Brand awareness looks for spreading the business image by word of mouth in targeted online groups. For example, a local groomer might do a series of posts hoping that the local long hair dachshund owner’s group will mention the groomer’s services aimed at fluffier dogs.

The most intense purpose to be on social media is to obtain sales. Click here to buy/subscribe/join!

How Much Energy are You Willing to Spend?

Most businesses are focused on providing their services or products to customers. The owners didn’t going into business to do social media. So, one of the first things an owner has to do is to decide much of themselves are they willing to devote to social media/marketing.

  • What is your time commitment?
    How much time per day/week/month are you willing to give over to social media? How much of your staff’s time are you will to assign to social media?

Social Media Content Planning Chart
  • How long are you willing to sustain your initial social media push?
    Be realistic. Do you just want to get online to say you’re there, or will you commit to posting to your chosen platforms daily? weekly? monthly? how often?!

How Much Money are You Willing to Spend?

If you want more involvement on social media than you’re able or willing to do yourself, then what do you need help with and how much social media support is reasonable for you to pay for?

Be strategic… even cautious! 

The benefit from most marketing initiatives, including social media and search engine optimization for websites, provide incremental benefits. If you are a one-person or small-group organization whose product or service isn’t very social-media friendly (say manufacturing screws) and your average customer spends $50, then you may want only limited social media exposure. Keep the cost of acquiring new clients in proportion to the revenue each new client brings to your business.

Here are somethings to decide as you draw up your social media budget.

Where Do You Want Help?

Here are some questions to guide you on whether you, your regular staff, or consultants should take primary responsibility:

  • Are you managing your own posts?
    That is, are you scheduling the frequency of your posts and the topics in them?

  • Are you writing your own posts?

  • Are you taking your own photographs?
    Do you want a local consultant/photographer to take them?
    Do you want to use stock photographs?

  • Are you identifying which third-party blogs/posts/photos you want to share with your followers?

  • What social media management tools are you willing to buy?
    How about:

    • Hootsuite
    • Clearview

Where Do You Want to Be Social?

How many social media platforms do you want to participate in? Each takes some time to curate, and each has a different networking focus. Over time Ozdachs has participated in the ones below…

Here are spots I now suggest considering:

  • Facebook

  • Instagram

  • Linked-in

  • YouTube

  • Your Own Blog

  • Others
    Tumblr, Flickr, Vimeo, Snapchat, Yelp, etc., etc.!

There’s a final cautionary note for you when you consider a social media campaign. Of the dozen or so clients I have set up with social media accounts and started their campaigns, maybe one or two kept engaging for a year or more.

Even when the others acquired a reasonable number of followers and could point to clients who found them on social media, most all lost focus and stopped posting. The participation on social media stopped being fun for the owners and the incremental benefits just weren’t worth it.

Of course, even coming and going on social media does have some benefit.  Google and other search engines will continue to credit your business for what you did post. A few potential clients will stumble across your old posts online and contact you. And, for some businesses — especially those that typically make a significant amount of money from each like (like CPA’s, equipment sales people, etc.) — there is a more compelling reason to staying social.

Plus, the work you do to establish social media accounts is a one-time effort. Most social media platforms welcome you back whenever you decide you have more time to participate.

So, my bottom line suggestion is to take the plunge into social media. But, do it after you decide why you’re doing it and what resources you’re committing to the effort.

By |2019-05-10T11:51:10-07:00May 10th, 2019|Blogging, Social Media|0 Comments

Would You Read Your Own Post?

San Francisco Internet marketer knows what grabs attentionSurfing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vines, and other sites has become an exercise in speed reading.  My little finger is getting callouses from all of its hits to the  “Page Down” key.

Whether it is newsletters I have subscribed to or a Facebook wall, I am giving everything less and less time to grab my attention.  I do appreciate a well-reasoned argument on stopping nuclear proliferation.  Really.  But, I don’t often click on a link that a friend has posted as “important” in a good-for-you way.

I admit it.  I am looking for instant gratification for my intellect, wit, and aestetic sense.  I make split-second decions on whether to skip or linger.  And, if I have to think about whether I want to read your post, it’s too late.

If I, a 59-year-old sophisticate,  am giving you a second to make me want to read your stuff, see your deal, or learn about your company, how much time do you think a  20- or 30-something prospect gives you?

Fortunately, the basics of marketing are unchanged whether the medium is a high gloss magazine or an  app that shows a photo that self-destructs in 15 seconds.  People are attracted to pretty women, puppies, and cute babies.  “Women” includes “men”.  “Puppies” includes “kittens”.  And, “children” includes “toddlers”, “children”, and sometimes even “young adults”.

Right now Facebook and other top-tier sites promote users’ photos and videos more than text links.  That’s because their metrics show that users click on those type of stories more often.

So, make sure that you remember to include lots of pictures of women/puppies/babies… or similar gut-grabbing ones… in your online activity.  I am happy to help businesses develop attention-getting photos and campaigns — just give me a shout for  professional marketing help.  Of course, you may have all the ideas and photos you need on your smart phone with its pictures from the last family vacation.

 

 

By |2013-05-30T15:11:16-07:00May 30th, 2013|Facebook-social-media, Social Media|0 Comments

Sleazy Foxy Marketing Tricks to Watch For

Last week I had sleazy sales experience with a representative from a big-name media powerhouse who was trying to get my client to advertise with them.

It’s been a long time since I’ve encountered a classic, fast-talking salesman who runs though the shock and awe sales pitch with such speed and vigor that all you’re supposed to be able to do is say, “Yes, sign me up.”

But, KNEW’s male salesrep provided me with that retro, Madmen-on-steroids call last week.  The spiel went something like:

With your permission, during our post Easter station breaks your company will be mentioned as sponsoring our anti drunk-driving campaign.  Let me read you the copy…

It was a brief, good-doing, innocuous statement that I could live with. But, I had a few questions.  Like, how much for how many mentions over what period of time?  And, more importantly, who was KNEW and why hadn’t I heard of them?

KNEW logoMy attempted interruptions for those questions didn’t yield too much information.  The cost was cheap, a couple hundred dollars a day.  But for how many mentions? When during the day? These details that never surfaced before the big issue was tackled, who is KNEW?

I was told the KNEW was a news talk station in San Francisco.

Really?  I listen to the radio a lot, and wind up listening to news (KCBS) and the #1 talk station (KGO) most of the time, with a few hours a week from my local school district’s public station.  I know that KGO has a conservative talk sister station, KSFO, but KNEW?  It didn’t ring a bell.

So, I asked what KNEW programmed and got unresponsive mumbo-jumbo from Mr. Motormouth.  I persisted, and got more sales speech and no better information.

But, as Mr. Sales was going on about the goodness of anti-DUI messages, or something, I went to the keyboard and Googled KNEW.

Oh. They’re the Fox affiliate in San Francisco, and their home page showed Glen Beck smiling out on his public.

Fox!  That’s what my fast-talking monologist was trying to keep me from knowing.  He wanted to sign me up to advertise on Fox radio without ever telling me it was Fox radio.  Wow!

Now, I imagine that San Francisco is not the easiest sales market for far-right Fox radio. But, to have the station’s programming masked from a potential, questioning advertiser just is wrong.  Stand up for your product, Mr. Salesrep.  Maybe I share Fox’s views, or maybe I just want exposure to its listeners.  Find out. Maybe take your lumps, maybe make your sale.  But, don’t play coy.  Besides, do many businesses really sign up without knowing that they are supporting with their advertising dollars the super-right line up of Fox?

But, back to my conversation.  After I dug up the apparently awful truth about KNEW, I said, “Oh you’re Fox. Oh, no, no, no!”  in a surprised or horrified, not angry, tone.  In response, the ace sales rep hung up.  No goodbye, no nothing.

Apparently the Stand Up for America Fox network tries to slink in the back door of potential advertisers and runs when exposed to the light of day.  Kind of ironic. Kind of disappointing.

By |2011-03-22T08:05:16-07:00March 22nd, 2011|Marketing|0 Comments

Electronic Marketing is Marketing

I have been working with some new clients this month.  Not only are they new to me, but they’re new to using the Internet for their own business.

My task has been to reassure them that everything they thought they know about marketing and sales still applies.  The medium may be unfamiliar, but the basics of marketing are constant.

Stamps.com Home Page

"Get Postage" is the Winning Phrase


It’s been fun explaining to them that nothing fundamental is different.  Here’s a great example from Inc.com.

Stamps.com found that using the phrase “sign up” was actually a negative; customers saw it as a high-pressure sales tactic. Once the site replaced that phrase with “Get Postage,” sales increased.

When the web site was focusing on what Stamps.com wanted (a new subscriber), visitors resisted.  When the wording was rephrased to focus on delivering what the clients wanted (postage), people responded.

This is basic, brick-and-mortar, pre-Internet, pre-electricity marketing.   You focus on meeting a need of your potential client and not on the needs of the business owner. Getting the prospect to sign-up will follow naturally once you’ve addressed his or her needs.

Your prospect’s time is valuable! They want to see that you’re going to solve their problem with little or no risk to them. They want to see this quickly.

So, on the Internet, just like in print, be direct, be catchy, and don’t waste anyone’s time or space.

“Welcome to our Website” is a very common — and very stupid — sight on the Internet. It’s like buying an ad in Time magazine that shouts in big type, “Welcome to our Ad”. Instead, spend your valuable screen real estate grabbing the prospect by his needs.

Don’t “welcome” or talk about yourself. Instead, make your visitors an offer they cannot refuse. Something like:

Let your web site earn you money!
Contact Ozdachs for a FREE site analysis.

We’re at www.ozdachs.biz and 415.347.6479.
By |2010-03-16T06:48:21-07:00March 16th, 2010|Marketing|0 Comments