10 Simple Ingredients to Utilizing Social Media

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


  1. Plan: you must have a master plan for your Social Media efforts
  2. Objective: identify your goals and business objectives in utilizing Social Media
  3. Networks: identify which network(s) you will utilize.
  4. Audience: where are your customers/prospects? Which social networks are they using?
  5. Tools: identify which tool(s), third party applications, that will help you automate and save time in executing your plan
  6. Measurement: how will you measure your Social Media efforts? Without measurement strategy, you will never know how effective you are or can become
  7. Honesty: be true to your style, your company mantra, stay within your philosophies. Don’t be something you are not
  8. 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
  9. Avatar: use pictures of people, or you, as often as possible when branding your social network profile
  10. 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!

Solutions: The Key to Connecting With People

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.”

Conclusion

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.

Handwritten Thank You Notes: The New Social

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.

ROI Architect: Measure Social Media Marketing’s Return on Investment

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

Conclusion

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 Strategies: Tell a “Tweet Tale” To Influence

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.