Is it ever wise to knock the competition?

Talking about the other team is a fine line. On the one hand by acknowledging that they exist, you acknowledge that they are a threat and you are aware of them. By not recognizing that they are in the room, you risk not respecting what they might be doing to to succeed in the same space as you. As I said, a fine line.

A healthy respect is one thing but the one thing you should never do is give the competition an advantage of any sort. Either in the press, in person or otherwise. It’s called bulletin board material. Some teams thrive on that. Some teams need it. Some ignore it and others use it as examples that they are the one’s to beat.

Take what a senior executive from one of the world’s largest computer company’s said about one of the most notable and recognizable companies in the world and a direct competitor the other day:

“They’re  great if you’ve got a lot of money and live on an island. It’s not so great if you have to exist in a diverse, open, connected enterprise; simple things become quite complex,” Their global head of marketing for large enterprises and public organizations, said to CIO Australia.

“Their product with a keyboard, a mouse and a case [means] you’ll be at $1,500 or $1,600; that’s double of what you’re paying. That’s not feasible.”

Even in business. Think it, but don’t say it to everyone “outside” the firewall.  It’s not like they needed ammo but it’s like saying, “Yea Kobe has 5 rings but he still can’t hit the 11 footer off the backboard…”

 

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The only 2 questions an SMB will ask about Social Media

I had been throwing the following around in my head after meeting with a quite a few business owners and talking with some respected thought leaders in the social media marketing space and I want to know what you think.

As an SMB you need to ask two primary questions when pitched with incorporating some aspect of social media in to your business and they are:

#1  What is in it for me and my business?

#2  What’s in it for my customer?

Simple enough right?  But we’re forgetting someone. Someone as critical to the business as the customer is. Do you know who it is? One of the beauties of social media is that there are so many layers, aspects and dynamic components that allow it to address people it all levels of an organization. Including the sometimes forgotten and under appreciated employee.

So Mr. or Mrs. SMB, what we are really saying is that, if social media is pitched or considered then, the pitcher/social media practitioner, should be focusing on 3 aspects of the business:

  • The business owner
  • The customer
  • The employee

For the business owner you will want tangible hard core proof of “If I do this, this is what I can expect for my business and my employees and If I do this, this is what the customer can expect or will do, or this will be the customers reaction. It’s that simple.

If you are a social media marketing…person,  show the SMB what the expected results will be. Give them examples of either what you have done, or… if you are in the majority and are just starting out as a social media marketing N00b, utilize the many URL’s that are starting to crop up citing examples of other companies using social media components within their organizations.

Here is a list of links that SMB’s can utilize that may help them in at least understanding more of what is going on should they be approached by a “social media marketing consultant” or are thinking about doing it on their own. At the least, you will get a better understanding of what’s in it for you, and whats in it for your customer!

Why Executives Don’t “Get” Social Media This is a good article on executive level mindsets as they wrestle with including social media into their companies.

The Ultimate Small Business Twitter List This is not only a great list but it also includes a list of Orgs. and their employees or Reps. that serve the small business market.

Here is a great link on Facebook titled, Social Media for Small Business that some of you should check out.

Why Social Media Is Worth Small Business Owners’ Time Taking advantage of all the Web has to offer is like eating your vegetables or getting exercise — most of us don’t do enough, and even those that do could always do more.

My friend, Amber Naslund, who now works at Radian 6 has 2 posts that I think are worth reading. here is the first Getting a social media foothold and The social media starter kit. Self explanatory right?

Lastly we’re going to finish with some video. I encourage all of you SMB’s out there to watch it, as well as newcomers to social media marketing. It includes a number of my friends and colleagues and thus, I would put a lot of stock in what they are saying. They are the genuine real deal:  Brian Solis, Rohit Bhargava, Tim FerrisToby Bloomberg, David Alston, Liz Strauss, and Paul Chaney,

Lastly, let me say this. IF, you are a social media marketer, wannabe, or whatever… At the end of the day, you better do a pretty damn good job of stating your case. Because no one, and I mean no one can afford to screw up right now and the last thing an SMB wants is for them to be your test case!