Facebook Fan Widgets & Blogs: Ignored Viral Marketing Opportunities

Viral marketing strategies on social networks are often overlooked. One such instance is the opportunity to become a fan of a prominent well read Facebook page for a company or prominent blogger. The key is to find out if the company or blogger has a Facebook fan widget box on their blog. Here is an example of this opportunity.

Become a Fan of a Prominent Facebook Page:

Many blogs with massive traffic (Mashable), have Facebook fan page widgets.  These Facebook widgets, sitting in a prime area of the blog,  display pictures of each new registered fan (or logo) as well as the link to that fan’s own blog or website.

New blog readers, who come to these blogs, can simply roll their cursor over a picture, within the Facebook widget, to find the name and link back to that person or company’s blog. This becomes a pathway to  content providing instant viral marketing possibilities.

Mashable.com: Viral Marketing Dreams Are Made

See the shot below of the Mashable Facebook widget:

Mashable Viral Join Communities

With over 60,000 Facebook fans and  an Alexa ranking of 483, Mashable.com is one of the most well read sites in the world according to the statistical sampling done by Alexa. Likewise, Dan Schawbel is one of the most prominent social media writers in the blogosphere today.

The Results

A SusanOur CEO Inner Architect’s Susan Hanshaw was displayed in the Facebook fan page widget on the Mashable page for Dan Schwabel’s article. This placement helped bring an additional 40 readers to our blog the day the article was posted.

We also found on the Mashable widget friend and associate Pat Kitano principle of Domus Consulting Group and former workshop attendee Ellen Richman.

Wine Marketing: Direct to Consumer Challenges and Opportunities

Vineyards

The acronym “DTC” aka direct to consumer is one of the most important concepts the wine industry as a whole must leverage in order to survive and thrive during our challenging economic times. Direct to consumer sales provide opportunities for  higher profit margins, increased special event sales, and to sell the ever vitally important wine club memberships. Yet with all that is riding on DTC, the awareness of the power of social media marketing as a sales channel remains under appreciated and under utilized.

Case in point, the Winebusiness.com “Direct to Consumer: 2009 Tasting Room Report.” Most interesting in this report are the hurdles or “barriers to maximizing DTC potential for all wineries. The reported challenges as well as  the opportunities to overcome the challenges may surprise you.

Common Barriers to Maximizing DTC Potential

  1. Compliance and Shipping: (39 percent) believe issues of compliance and shipping “still outweigh all other barriers
  2. Lack of Resources: (17 percent)  people, time and money
  3. Effective Technology and Systems: (13 percent)
  4. Acquiring Customers: (13 percent) aka lead generation
  5. Marketing Tools: (13 percent) believe a lack of DTC marketing tools like customer relationship marketing (CRM) and Web analytics

Opportunities to Maximizing DTC Potential

  1. Tasting Room Software: according to the report there are many online systems available to greatly reduce the challenges of shipping and compliance
  2. Lack of Resources: the three resources in question are people, time, and money. The answers should include social media marketing training to help key employees. The other solution is to hire a social media marketing agency to perform monthly marketing maintence and run your marketing program
  3. Effective Technology and Systems: nothing was specified. The obvious technologies that could improve DTC sales would be a blog and a social media marketing plan-strategy to engage with consumers on Facebook, and Twitter. Placing laptops in the tasting room so consumers can directly fan your Facebook winery page or follow your Twitter account(s) creates a bridge from real world to online world.
  4. “Acquiring Customers”: this challenge (lead generation) could be addressed with a DTC Twitter strategy in concert with a Facebook company page for customer relationship management
  5. Marketing Tools: CRM would be the role of a strategically implemented Facebook company page that engaged consumers and created “Call to Action” messaging.  Web analytic measurement tools could be implemented to measure each message delivered in specific channels including the blogosphere, Facebook, and Twitter for the messages relevance or effectiveness

Twitter vs. Blogging: 6 Most Common Excuses Not to Blog

Twitter logo

Blogging is the most powerful tool, with multiple uses, that an entrepreneur, small business, or large corporation can leverage in building their brand. Microblogging, Twitter being the best example, is a miniature version of blogging. Both tools have their push backs. Twtter strategies like blogging strategies help answer and discredit many of the most common excuses people have for not adopting blogging or microblogging. The following are the 6 most common excuses not to blog, reasons why they are myths, and how Twitter compares.

6 Most Common Excuses Not to Blog: Myths

  • Articles Must be Long: the fact is that the useability or readability of a blog article is best when it is short, 250-500 words, due to the reading habits of blog readers aka skimming. Check out the F Shape theory by Jakob Nielsen
  • Twitter: 140 character messages allow brief easy to write “posts”; the barrier to entry for writing is nil
  • Must Write Every Day: writing every day is best but it is not mandatory. It is beneficial to write 1-2 times per week
  • Twitter: again every day is best but it is possible to connect by writing 2-3 times per week
  • Fear to Write Publically: write about expertise do not write in diary format. Stay on business point
  • Twitter: the same holds true stay on business point, give value, and do not write in diary format
  • Resistance to Technology: learning the technology is about using the technology. Experience breeds confidence and efficiency
  • Twitter: far easier platform to learn, no coding, and much shorter ramp up period
  • Nothing New to Write: every subject has been covered but not by you with your expertise and skill. You must demonstrate your expertise
  • Twitter: same idea here but in far shorter messages; showcase your expertise
  • Who Will See My Blog: if you provide SEO, fresh relevant content, and network in the blogosphere your target audience will see your blog
  • Twitter: if you follow the right people, recommend them, and garner their respect through a follow back then your target audience will see your tweets

If you are interested in social media marketing strategies, please consider reading Inner Architect blog. We are a social media marketing and strategies firm based in San Rafael, California.

Top 10 Twitter Strategies for Realtors, Entrepreneurs, and Corporations

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article April 17, 2009

The Top 10 Twitter.com articles providing tips, strategies, and ideas for deansguide have garnered attention from the twitterverse, networking partners, and most notably Google. We rank #1 or #2 for the keywords “Twitter Strategies” and for the new robust Twitter search engine tool “Twazzup Strategies.” This is a guide for Realtors, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and corporate directors of any department to utilize in understanding the power of Twitter.

Top 10 Twitter Articles

Twitter Signal to Noise Ratio Strategies: Many Fail Whale Efforts

Companies showing up on twitter to take advantage of the massive growth potential are often showing up without a strategy. In a vast majority of these cases, terrible mistakes are being made that weaken and even tarnish their brand.  The biggest problem, stemming from this lack of strategy, is message tone and makeup. Simply put there is a horrific Signal to Noise ratio at the heart of the problem.

Signal to Noise Ratio

Here are some simple steps to fix the problem of tone and noise in a company’s Twitter strategy:

  • Signal: For every 10 tweets, 7 tweets should be valuable information (with links) that will help your audience & information that is not about your company
  • Noise: For every 10 tweets, 3 should be about your company, they should give value, and they should be informative in nature

abc-always-be-closing1

  • No Hard Sell: NEVER tweet the hard sell, act desperate to sell, or attempt to create (old school) urgency for your audience to buy anything
  • Mix: After repeating the formula of 7 signal to 3 noise, your next 10 tweets should be about recognition
  • Connect: In this set of 10 tweets, 5 tweets use @company-individual to recognize their work, engage, network, or ask to collaborate
  • Recognize: In this second set of 10 tweets, 5 tweets use RT (Retweet) to recognize someone’s writing, open lines of communication, and network to meet companies or individuals

Twitter’s Conversational Search: The Search Google and Facebook Seek to Emulate?

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 3- 18-09

The new buzzword in the world of search, and a concept being posited as the downfall of Google, is “conversational search.” The idea being that searching within Twitter, Linkedin, or other social media network search engines is a more robust and valuable search strategy than utilizing Google search. The thought is that the search results on Twitter could lead the searcher to conversation(s) that provide more targeted information, possibility of immediate communication, and feedback.

The following is a retrospective look at our original Twitter case study that highlighted David Murray’s successful job search utilizing Twitter.com as his main tool. Within Dave’s strategy were 5 major tips that any job seeker can use to begin the process of delivering their value to their strategically targeted audience(s). This is a fantastic case study for the value of conversational search: injecting yourself into your desired conversation resulting in an opportunity.

The case study of David Murray written by David Meerman Scott is a powerful example of how to utilize Twitter in your employment campaign. The article “How David Murray Found a New Job via Twitter” provides 5 advanced tips that are very important to consider—if you plan to utilize this free broadcasting tool:

  1. Use Twitter: This sounds easy but the first step is to recognize that if you want to stand apart, you need to begin to utilize social media tools your competitors may not be using–yet.
  2. Create Keyword List: List all of the keywords for the company, industry, people, and niche you wish to “follow” on Twitter. An example of David’s keyword list: “Social media jobs”, “Online Community Manager”, “Blogging jobs”, “Hiring social media”, and other keywords that fit his job search criteria.
  3. Twitter Search: Twitter Search is an internal search engine that you will input your keywords into to find conversations by people who are connected to the industry, jobs, companies, and niches you wish to contact.
  4. Google Reader: David then pulled the RSS feeds of his keyword conversations into Google Reader and “made it a habit to check these first thing in the morning every day.”
  5. Introduce Yourself: David found conversations related to his job interests and he “took the liberty of introducing himself via Twitter.”

The Results: David was hired as “Assistant Webmaster, Client Services for The Bivings Group.” And as David states “Many times when inquiring about the open positions, the jobs had not been officially posted” and “How cool that on Twitter you can express interest in a job opportunity that hasn’t even been announced yet?”

Twitter Transparency: Inner Architect’s Strategy

For the sake of being transparent, honest, and forthright, I feel it is necessary, as the Business Director for Inner Architect, to state our Twitter.com strategy on Twitter. Over the course of the last month I have reviewed the Twitter strategies, or lack of strategy depending upon how you utilize Twitter, of the National Association of Realtors and Wachovia bank. Let’s take a look at what we are accomplishing here on Twitter:

Two Account Strategy: deansguide

deansguide-twitter-page

My Twitter.com deansguide has the following functions:

  1. Engage: Spend time investing in my Twitter relationships, my selected communities, conversations, individuals, and companies by following nearly everyone who follows me
  2. Communicate: Direct contact with people or companies
  3. Research: Gather content ideas, valuable links, and industry information for repurposing
  4. Go-To-Source: Try to be a go-to source and resource of valuable information by providing the best tweets as often as possible
  5. Recognize: Recognize great content, ideas, attitudes, and kindness by ReTweeting or writing about any person or company that is creating and giving value on a continuous basis
  6. Network: meet and network with people in Silicon Valley (near my home) and around the country

My goal here is to contribute to the twitter community as much as possible.

Two Account Strategy: Innerarchitect:

innerarchitect-twitter-page

Our Twitter.com Innerarchitect account has the following functions:

  1. Research: Find content that matches our business goals, provides fresh perspective, and helps us build our library of value
  2. Follow: The main focus of this account is to find content, research our industry. Consequently we are less active in following. We try to follow people specific to our industry, read, and listen more on this account.
  3. Recognition: We will not follow everyone that follows us as that is not the focus of this account. What we will do is recognize people and companies that inspire us and provide value on a ongoing basis
  4. Activity: We will produce less content (Tweets) on this account because our focus will be to listen to conversations and gather information

Conclusion

If you are a company or individual concerned with ratio of followers to those you follow, then consider deansguide as the place to be on Twitter. On deansguide, I provide value and follow most everyone to build their network numbers.

If you are interested in our company mission, information, and writing consider following or checking in with Innerarchitect. We will focus on companies interested in social media and