Elevate your game

With respect to PETA, it may seem sometimes to you like we are beating a dead horse when talking about social media. But the problem is that we get so caught up in learning new shiny ways to make money that we forgot how we made the money in the first place.

It has always been about the customer and it will continue to be about the customer. You’re in business, I’m in business and we”re in business to serve the customer. Making them happy means you live to play another day. Delivering to them the best of what you do is why you do what you do.

All social media should mean to you is that it allows for you to add tools and channels to your marketing mix that help you connect with your customers and future customers.

Quit worrying about the semantics of social media. It’s time to move on.

Beyond the above core statement, what you need to understand about social media is that it has empowered customers and it has now put you on notice. Elevate your game and get your house in order. Period. The age of the new customer is upon us.

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10 little things SMB’s might be missing when launching social media

I use SMB’s as an example here, but when reading Todd Defren’s latest blog post, apparently it is something that permeates organizations both large and small. What is it?

What are companies (SMB’s) usually missing when jumping into the social media waters?

  • They’re missing the point.
  • They’re misunderstanding the commitment
  • They think you can outsource it
  • They think it’s a switch
  • They don’t try as hard as they could
  • They don’t measure it or…
  • They measure the wrong things
  • They lack knowledge
  • They’re expectations are unrealistic
  • They don’t give it enough time

That’s it.

But you know what the great thing is about all of the above bullet points? They all can be fixed.

How?

  • Education. Education will help them get the point, but they need to know where to get that education. You can help them.
  • Understanding the hard work involved will address a lot of the unknowns. We can all relate to what happens with hard work. But there needs to be an emphasis and a complete understanding of how labor intensive social media can be.
  • You can outsource it, but it’s easier to understand when you don’t, the more you understand, perhaps the more capable you are of knowing what you can and cannot do internally.
  • It is a switch but when you treat social media as such, others can tell, they see your lack of commitment-they see the half ass effort.
  • If you don’t try, then what should you expect? I’ve always said, if you give 100%, then no-one can ever say that you didn’t try. You can take it out of the equation. But make sure you’re working smart.
  • You measure your efforts when you sell, when you advertise, when you hire, when you buy etc. etc. so this is no different. You just need the right tools to measure the right things.
  • Look up the definition of social media ROI and that will tell you what you should measure with social media.
  • Social media changes daily; the tools, the sites and the cool things, they change daily. Stay current. Pick 10 sites and dump them into a reader and read it every day.
  • Create reachable goals.  Teams and coaches create goals-you should be no different.
  • Set up your expectations tied into your goals and give it all a legitimate time frame. But know it is a long term deal.

Now go get it done!

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!