The Most Basic and Powerful Steps to Launch Your Social Media Marketing Efforts

KnifeIf you are just beginning to invest in social media for your marketing efforts then you are in the due diligence phase of adoption. Although you may have had great reasons for not adopting earlier, the fact of the matter is your organization is playing a desperate game of catch up with the competition. Here are three tools you need to establish: a publishing platform for your marketing messages, a distribution network to spread the word, and a professional networking engine.

Blogging

The most important piece of your social media marketing plan is a publishing platform. Blogs provide the publishing mechanism that allows small, medium, and global firms to publish their story, vital statistics, and ongoing activities. The most successful companies understand that their blog provides consumers with a look inside the organization, a place to learn, and a place to communicate and interact with the firm. The benefits of search engine optimization and brand awareness are ancillary byproducts of the firm’s efforts to provide the most compelling content on their products, services, and people.

Twitter

Although there are many social networks available to individuals and companies, the most powerful distribution network that supports a firm’s ability to reach consumers on a massive scale with lightening speed is Twitter. With 200 million active users, Twitter is a ultra rich environment for many firm’s to find, listen to, and engage with their consumers and prospective customers.

Linkedin

Considered the business network for job seekers, Linkedin is an important solution for connecting. Whether your sales reps are looking for prospects, you are proving your expertise, networking, or distributing blog articles about your company’s offerings, Linkedin can play an important role in any organization.

In 2013 there are many new social networks and tools to support your organization’s marketing efforts. Before you begin, explore the new networks like Google+ and  Pinterest. Understand your goals and research what networks your customers are utilizing on a consistent basis.

Dean head shotDean Guadagni is Inner Architect’s chief communications strategist with 20+ years of business development, sales management, and national account management experience. Dean is the author of a nationally recognized self-help business guide whose articles have been published by Reuters.com, Nielsen.com, FoxBusiness.com, Ziff Davis Enterprise’s “Microsoft Watch”, Computer Shopper, and the Chicago Sun-Times. Prior to joining Inner Architect, Dean worked with management consulting firm Domus Consulting Group, whose mission was to help real estate brokerages and affiliates develop technology marketing strategies in real estate.

Dean is a frequent public speaker and workshop facilitator on social media strategies, blogging, and networking. He is a graduate of San Francisco State University with a BA degree in Speech Communications.

3 Steps To Foster Business Evangelists: Beat Your Competition Silly

Ali knockoutIt is one thing to understand the vitally important benefits of consumer evangelists for your business. It is quite another to understand how to give recognition and nourish these business assets. The biggest mistake being made by corporate America is simple: they are not listening or participating in social media. How do you recognize and nourish your consumer evangelists when you are not there (within social networks like blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.) to hear them describe their positive experiences with your product? You don’t and as a result companies nationwide are missing an opportunity to grow their businesses and survive this economy

How Do You Recognize Your Evangelists?

Step 1: Show Up

Step 2: Go Where Your Evangelists Go

  • Join Groups on Linkedin and Facebook
  • Ask and Answer Questions on Linkedin
  • Participate in #FollowFriday and other hastag discussions on Twitter
  • Become Friends or Fans of your evangelists on Facebook

Step 3: Speak to Your Evangelists

  • Thank them personally, by using their name, and publicly
  • Showcase their own business by sharing a link to your evangelist’s blog, website, or profile
  • Offer them a perk for their constant support

Step 3

3 Linkedin “Recommendation” Strategies For Realtors: Are You Doing It Right?

Linkedin Add Connections button

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 5-29-09

Like entrepreneurs, small businesses, and large corporations, Realtors are beginning to leverage the power of Linkedin.com for their business. The growth of the site’s traffic and user base coupled with opportunities to join Groups, engage in Q&A’s, and broadcast information makes Linkedin an absolute necessity to any business of any size. The following are three strategies for Realtors in their quest to leverage the power of Linkedin Recommendations.

Recommendations

  1. Don’t Blatantly Ask: The worst approach to receiving  a recommendation is to ask for one. This approach puts undue pressure on your friend, leaves them with a decision, and it can make for awkward communications and weaken your connection to that person
  2. Write Recommendations: With a top down approach to clients and collaborators (start with the most relevant or important), begin writing recommendations for people. The benefits are goodwill with your network, top of mind reminder of your work, and status updates with your name attached
  3. Request: Write a well thought out and powerful recommendation. Before sending it, attach a message asking:
  • Does the recommendation meet their expectations and is it accurate?
  • Ask them for their feedback on the recommendation
  • Close by asking them if they would consider writing a recommendation for you if they feel they have benefited from your relationship together

VistaPrint Complaints: 5 Viral Strategies to Challenge a Bully

3 Stooges pic

Courtesy of threestooges.com

VistaPrint’s No Customer Service: Consumeraffairs.com Documents Complaints” outlined my poor experience with VistaPrint and my decision to never use their products or services again. This article, as of May 8, 2009, is indexed in the #6 position page 1 of a Google search for the phrase “VistaPrint complaints.”

My Promise to VistaPrint:

As I promised in my intial article, I have become “a consumer affairs advocate fighting hard to highlight the no customer service” treatment I received. My plan was simple: write a blog post about what happened and tell all of my friends in my assorted social networks of my experience.

My Blog:

  1. Article: I wrote the article describing my experience
  2. Google Search: I performed a due diligence search on VistaPrint utilizing the keywords “VistaPrint complaints”
  3. Links: I provided a list of 5 respected media sites, consumer advocacy sites with information on a variety of complaints lodged against VistaPrint. WordPress provided me my own category

Activerain.com:

Activerain is an important social network, with 145,000 registered users, where I have many real estate friends. I wrote a second article detailing my experience and that article now sits on page 2 of a Google search for “VistaPrint complaints” “VistaPrint: How Not to Run Your Company a Cautionary Tale

Twitter.com:

This is one of my favorite social networks with an estimated 8-9 million registered users. I have over 1,300 followers on Twitter and counting

  1. Tweet: I tweeted my experience with a link to my deansguide article
  2. @VistaPrint: In my tweet I used the @VistaPrint to notify them of my article

Linkedin.com:

Because I utilize the Typepad application on my Linkedin profile, my social network content from Twitter ends up streamed to my Linkedin profile. In addition my WordPress.com application streamed my article on VistaPrint making it accessible to my 398 1st level connections and their networks as well

Friendfeed.com

Friendfeed.com aggregates all of your content that you place online. Recently it has become the hot new mover with many Twitter advocates moving to ramp up their networks on Friendfeed. My article, my tweets, and my conversations about my VistaPrint experience has streamed on my Friendfeed account

Entrepreneurs & Job Seekers’ Tip #1: Utilize Box.net Linkedin Application

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 2-18-09

The focus of every entrepreneur and job seeker should begin and end with the concept that in today’s world you must become a go-to source of information for your target audience. If you provide valuable information, provide it continuously, and provide that information without asking for anything in return you will be very successful. The first step to becoming a go to source of information? Utilize Linkedin.com to it’s fullest capabilities.

Tip #1 Utilizing Box.net Application

Box.net is a free application that you can load onto your Linkedin profile. The application allows you to upload pdf files, videos, articles, or links into one neat storage area. Your files are then made available to anyone interested in accessing them.

box-net-application-for-linkedin002

Strategy of a Go-To Source of Information

The idea is for entrepreneurs and job seekers to give valuable information while they build their network. By creating your mini resource library on Linkedin, utilizing Box.net application, you will do the following for your career:

  • Establish your networking presence online
  • Attract new networking partners due to the fresh information you provide
  • Help others with challenges in their business
  • Create a reason for people to view your profile by giving value first
  • Utilize “What are you doing now” message to alert your network of new content you will share
  • Create opportunities for exposure, stay top of mind, with Linkedin updates every time you add to your application(s)
  • Drop the url to your profile in comment sections on  blogs inviting people to download the free valuable information in your Box.net library
  • Increase traffic to your profile

These are just a handful of the benefits that the Box.net application will provide you and your network in your strategy to become a go-to source of information. Linkedin is the key vehicle to drive your message. It is up to you to find the resources of value and deliver.

Job Seeker’s List of Top 25 Social Media Networks

The Chicago Sun-Times published this deansguide article 2-10-09

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 2-10-09

In the first article in this series aimed at helping job seekers and entrepreneurs, I chronicled how not to organize your work day. I then provided a template for how to organize your day in the world of social media. The response has been overwhelming. People are demanding a list of the best social media sites aka social media networks available today.

The following is a list of the top 25 social media “networks” as ranked by traffic (visits per month) in a great retrospective article by Andy Kazeniac of Compete.com “Social Networks: Facebook Takes Over the Top Spot, Twitter Climbs.” This is a retro look at Andy’s original ranking of the Top 25 last year.  Note: Twitter came in at #22 on that list–look at them today.

Top 25 Social Media Networks:

Courtesy of Compete.com:

Analysis:

If you are a job seeker you should be concentrating your efforts on establishing a strong presence on #5 Linkedin.com and #3 Twitter.com. Although Facebook.com is #1, it has more cache for entrepreneurs looking to capture audience for a product or service.