Understanding how to leverage social media is like learning to cook. No matter how sophisticated your skills become, the best way to “cook” is to stick to the simple ingredients. Keep it simple stupid aka KISS rule is the most effective advice I can give any of the late adopters just beginning to understand social media. What does it mean to stick to the simple ingredients?
10 Simple Ingredients to Utilizing Social Media
- Plan: you must have a master plan for your Social Media efforts
- Objective: identify your goals and business objectives in utilizing Social Media
- Networks: identify which network(s) you will utilize.
- Audience: where are your customers/prospects? Which social networks are they using?
- Tools: identify which tool(s), third party applications, that will help you automate and save time in executing your plan
- Measurement: how will you measure your Social Media efforts? Without measurement strategy, you will never know how effective you are or can become
- Honesty: be true to your style, your company mantra, stay within your philosophies. Don’t be something you are not
- Communication Mix: do not spam a network with hard sell messages. Ensure your communication mix is giving value 70% and serving your sales needs 30% of the time
- Avatar: use pictures of people, or you, as often as possible when branding your social network profile
- Commitment: if you are going to utilize a social network then you must be present, communicate, and engage consistently. This is not a part time endeavor!
Twitter is now acknowledged, by savvy marketers and companies, as a full fledged direct marketing channel. According to many reports, unlike traditional channels like television, radio, email, postal, direct mail, and the telephone, Twitter and it’s digital brethren will see an increase in marketing activity and money spent on marketing campaigns. In our work as marketing consultants, we utilize Twitter as a direct real-time communications tool to initiate one one one conversations with consumers and prospective consumers. The following strategy, and the reasons for it’s effectiveness, will help you connect more deeply with your customers and prospective consumers.
Twitter Communication: Always Have the Last Word
Anytime a customer or prospect tweets their appreciation, approval, or a recommendation for you or your business, you should always respond. This response can be a simple thank you but it must happen. The most important strategy is to make sure you have the last word in the string of communication.
6 Reasons Why it is Important to Have the Last Word
- Acknowledgment: by sending the last tweet you let people know that you received and understood their tweet
- Etiquette: by thanking people you show the Twitterverse you have manners and will properly recognize people for their effort
- Recognition: your tweet will provide the recognition that your customer/prospects are important to you
- ReTweet: by retweeting a customer/prospect’s tweet you are sharing it with your audience of followers
- Hashtags: by using the hashtags your customer/prospects use in their tweet to you, you are providing recognition of their importance to you as your tweet cirulates within hashtag streams they believe are important to them
- Top of Mind: by thanking everyone and having the last word, you stay top of mind with your customer/prospects
When you are out at a networking event or meeting new people how do you answer the question: “What do you do?” If you are like most people you begin to dust off your elevator pitch in an attempt to dazzle and wow the questioner. Unfortunately your efforts to impress people with your “standard” elevator pitch is often the very reason why you do not connect. Eric Tsai’s “Creating the unforgettable elevator pitch” is a fantastic strategy that will improve your ability to connect and create business relationships.
Are you a Macro or Micro?
Most people when presenting their case for others to connect with them regurgitate two types of answers to the question: “What do you do?”
Micro: a micro pitch describes a person’s daily tasks, the mechanics of their job or business
Macro: a macro pitch describes the industry a person works within
Using either the Micro or Macro pitch is a mistake because, in most cases, neither pitch provides solutions to the problem(s) the person asking you what you do really wants to hear.
How can you help people?
The way to connect with people when they ask the question “What do you do?” is to “focus in on how you help people- specifically, the problem(s) that you solve.” As Tasai states “The ugly truth is nobody really cares about what you do; it’s about how you do it.”
If you and your business provide solutions to the problems your targeted prospect is experiencing in their business, you should use your pitch to describe those solution(s). By being succinct and direct with your answer, you will begin to connect and create a curiosity in your prospective networking partner.
In what is an eye opening compilation of statistics, leading to some interesting questions, Royal Pingdom’s “Internet 2010 in Numbers” provides a look at the growth in:
- Web servers
- Domain names
- Internet users
- Social Media
- Web browsers
The most interesting insights involve email, internet users, and social media.
Email Growth 2010
- 107 trillion – The number of emails sent on the Internet in 2010.
- 294 billion – Average number of email messages per day.
- 1.88 billion – The number of email users worldwide.
- 480 million – New email users since the year before.
- 89.1% – The share of emails that were spam.
- 262 billion – The number of spam emails per day (assuming 89% are spam).
- 2.9 billion – The number of email accounts worldwide.
- 25% – Share of email accounts that are corporate.
Internet Users Growth 2010
- 1.97 billion – Internet users worldwide (June 2010).
- 14% – Increase in Internet users since the previous year.
- 825.1 million – Internet users in Asia.
- 475.1 million – Internet users in Europe.
- 266.2 million – Internet users in North America.
- 204.7 million – Internet users in Latin America / Caribbean.
- 110.9 million – Internet users in Africa.
- 63.2 million – Internet users in the Middle East.
- 21.3 million – Internet users in Oceania / Australia.
Social Media Growth 2010
- 152 million – The number of blogs on the Internet (as tracked by BlogPulse).
- 25 billion – Number of sent tweets on Twitter in 2010
- 100 million – New accounts added on Twitter in 2010
- 175 million – People on Twitter as of September 2010
- 7.7 million – People following @ladygaga (Lady Gaga, Twitter’s most followed user).
- 600 million – People on Facebook at the end of 2010.
- 250 million – New people on Facebook in 2010.
- 30 billion – Pieces of content (links, notes, photos, etc.) shared on Facebook per month.
- 70% – Share of Facebook’s user base located outside the United States.
- 20 million – The number of Facebook apps installed each day.
Although most of these statistics point to the growing use of technology in today’s world, some of the numbers just stood out for their uniqueness or surprising quality. For us the following were intriquing:
- 294 Billion email message, on average, sent every day: unfathomable!
- 89.1% of emails are spam: it feel like more than 90%.
- 266.2 million internet users in North America: North America ranks third behind Asia and Europe.
- 152 million blogs: when I began blogging in 2007 WordPress used to show the number of blogs on the site. There were fewer than 100,000 at that time.
- 70% equals the share of Facebook’s user base located outside the United States: how viable is Facebook for American businesses targeting American consumers when considering this number and the number of abandoned accounts and duplicate accounts?
When is the last time your company decided to thank customers? Normally this occurs after a sale, holiday, or conference you both attended. Do you make a practice of planning your outreach “thank you” efforts? If you do plan this type of campaign throughout the year, do you measure the results of your efforts? Do you know if your customers were “wowed” by your thank you? Without a plan or a method to measure your strategy, how can you move your business forward?
How do you thank your customers, affiliates, and peers for their support in the age of social media? If you are like me you tweet your gratitude, post thanks via a wall post or message on Facebook, or contact them on their favorite social network. The result is a nice response in return. But how memorable are these outreaches when they are so common?
Go Postal: How Do You Do That?
Do you want to make a memorable impression on your customers? One that creates the “wow” factor? Sit down and write a thank you note and send it via old fashion “snail mail” Here are a few tips to remember:
- Card Stock: buy simple, clean notes made of quality (heavy) card stock
- Content: include a story or shared experience in your thank you note
- Handwriting: write legibly
- Business Card: place your business card inside the envelope
Social Can Be Offline
We mailed 40 Thank You cards to customers, affiliates, and industry peers in December. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and warm. We have received phone calls expressing gratitude and surprise, Twitter messages with pictures of our card, and face to face handshakes and hugs. Without a doubt going “old school” is, in today’s world, considered going the extra mile.
WARNING: DO NOT watch the above video until you have read the following article:
Inner Architect’s focus is Social Direct Marketing based on the integration of social media channels with direct marketing strategies. We focus on producing positive measurable results for our wine industry clients. Do you know how to hire a consultant?
You are your winery’s GM, COO, Marketing Director, or Direct to Consumer Manager and you are in charge of creating, executing, and maintaining a social media marketing plan with Twitter as your centerpiece. You understand the following challenges in executing this task:
- Time: you do not have the time to execute and maintain your winery’s social media marketing plan
- Expertise: you do not have the expertise nor the background to leverage Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Foursquare, etc.
- Expense: you do not have the budget to hire, train, and pay benefits to a new employee to execute your marketing plan
What Are You Getting From Your Social Media Consultant?
What are you getting when you hire a social media consultant to run your company’s Twitter presence?
- Goals: have you identified your goals for Twitter? Do you want to drive traffic to the tasting room, sell wine club memberships, network with wine journalists, broadcast events, develop new leads, or create offers?
- Strategy: do you have a specific strategy that you want the consultant to execute?
- Plan of Action: did you receive a written plan of action from your consultant on how they will achieve your desired goals?
- ROI Measurement: Is your consultant explaining how he/she will measure their efforts on Twitter to provide a clear picture of the ROI for your investment in their services?
- Progress Reports: Has your consultant set up a schedule of regular reports detailing their progress?
Are You Ready to Participate?
Are you ready to provide the critical cooperation and help to your consultant to ensure success? Are you ready to authorize:
- Tasting Room: allow your consultant to brief tasting room staff on your Twitter action plan
- Measurement: require your tasting room staff probe visitors to understand which channel provided the motivation for their visit ie. Twitter, Facebook, email, postal literature, telesales, catalog
- Database Integration: are you ready to bring all your data points POS, eCommerce, telesales, email, Twitter, Facebook all together in order to create life-time value for your consumers in each marketing channel
If you are not receiving the service and planning from your consultant then it’s time to reevaluate your decision. Review and use this article as a check list for what you should expect from your marketing consultant and from your organization. And please watch the video.
Twitter hashtag events, #Winewednesday and #Followfriday, have been a mainstay in helping wineries network with their consumers and affiliates, raise awareness for their brands, and open lines of communication. The most important strategy to ensure success during these events is to understand how to write creative tweets that illustrate why you are recommending a person or brand. One such strategy is what we call a “tweet tale.”
Tweet Tale: A Short Story
What is a Tweet Tale? The object is to create a micro-story that showcases the people or brands you wish to recommend to your followers. The following example of a Tweet Tale:
This Tweet Tale is based on a question asking readers if they have visited the Bardessono Hotel a fantastic Napa Valley resort, dined at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry, enjoyed St.Supery wines, danced at Napa’s newest event facility Uptown Theater, and visited vaunted Napa art gallery Cordair Gallery.
Tell a Tale:
If you get creative your tale will take the reader through a wonderful micro story, recommend your favorites, and create goodwill for your brand.