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.

Tweetstats.com: Graph Your Twitter Statistics

Tweetstats.com is a fantastic visualization tool that allows user to graph their Twitter statistics providing a valuable visual presentation. The primary goal is to understand and measure your effectiveness on Twitter if you are a marketer. Tweetstats.com allows users to view their own stats or that of another user. Load times for your analysis depends upon your level of activity (or that of your subject) on Twitter.

Tweetstats.com Stats “Stats”

  • Graphs of your Twitter clients
  • Users you RT and speak to the most
  • How often you tweet
  • Tweets per hour
  • Tweets per month
  • Tweet timeline
  • Reply stats
  • Your tweet density
  • Your favorite times to tweet

Do You Remember These Social Media Events?

Because it is fun and often revealing to look back into history, the following is a brief look at some interesting Social Media milestones. If you have other milestones not included in this lineup, via Mashable’s “The History of Social Media (InfoGraphic)”, give us a shout.  Here are some that stood out.

The First Email

How many people know this fact? We never thought it was this early in our evolution.

The Globe

Do you remember this social network? It was definitely a precursor of things to come in the Dot.Com meltdown.

Social Matrix: Is It Really This Big?

Conclusion

Friendster the grandfather of all social networks is still alive and well? It is interesting that few bloggers challenge the registered user statistics for all social networks. Twitter, a micro-blogging site, most likely mirrors blog attrition numbers yet nobody challenges them. Of the 190M+ registered users on Twitter, how many accounts are abandoned, run by bots, or the product of single users establishing multiple accounts? The same question for Facebook could reveal a much lower number of actual users. As we continue to see growth and adoption, what is the relevance of true registered user numbers in understanding the impact of each network? Only time will tell how far we have actually evolved.

Twitter’s Impact On Web 2.0: Making The Web More Sensory Like

Tim O’Reilly, the driving force behind the concept of Web 2.0 and a genuine social media thought leader, details why Twitter is becoming the leading social network in today’s social media world. The interview is conducted by FORAtv.com President & CEO Blaise Zerega. Asked to compare social networks to human “senses” and to name the most important social network, O’Reilly nails it with these ideas:

  • Unexpected impact: “I don’t know if there is a single new thing, right now, or if we will notice it right away. People didn’t know how big Google would be in 1998.  .  . if there is anything in that category today I would say it’s Twitter.”
  • Twitter’s Impact: “The thing that has impressed me the most about Twitter is it’s brought real time to a peak on the web”
  • Trend: Twitter’s impact on how we expect  real time information is “making the web more sensory like. . . “
  • What Does it mean?: “It means you start to build systems for stimulus and response.”
  • Humans & Computers: “There is a whole part in what we’re building here, is this new hybrid human computer machine”
  • Constant Factor: We are moving toward a “Collective Intelligence” which will cause a “Revolution in Business.”

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

Social Media’s Connectivity and Evolution: Bruce Lee to The UFC

Carnac Johnny Carson

Courtesy Carnac the Magnificent Wiki

Johnny Carson’s Carnac the Magnificent could not have framed it better: “Social Media, Bruce Lee, the UFC.  .  . What’s a revolution, an institution, and a evolution.” Social Media is the revolutionary byproduct of Web 2.0 and blogging. It is a collaborative paradigm shift in communication and connectivity characterized, by Tim O’Reilly, as an “architecture of participation.” Yet what does it have in common with Mixed Martial Arts of the UFC and martial arts legend Bruce Lee? A: Connectivity and evolution.

Bruce Lee

Courtesy BruceLeeDivineWind.com

Bruce Lee and The UFC

Bruce Lee description of his fighting philosophy: “Be formless… shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle; it becomes the bottle. You put it into a teapot; it becomes the teapot. Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend…”  It was Bruce Lee’s creation of Jeet Kune Do that was the roots of Mixed Martial Arts. Jeet Kune Do relies upon multiple (mixed) styles no one more important than the other. Lee’s philosophy was that the opponent and circumstances dictated which discipline within Jeet Kune Do be used against an opponent. It is not fixed or rigidly patterned like traditional martial arts but rather it is a philosophy with guiding thoughts. Nearly 40 years later, the UFC represents the evolution of Jeet Kune Do by becoming the fastest growing sport on the planet.

Social Media and Blogging

Like Bruce Lee’s role in the creation of mixed martial arts,  blogging is the forefather or foundation on which Social Media was built. The connectivity that blogging brought to the masses is the basis for the Web 2.0 revolution that ushered in our current era where individuals have the power to create brands, mass media styled messages, and connect on a world wide basis with their targeted audience(s).

5 Things We Are Learning About Social Media

  1. Social Media was built upon blogging as a platform
  2. Social Media’s blogging platform is evolving with the explosion of micro-blogging
  3. Social Media’s evolution is based on philosophies that allow for the malleable change and growth of social networks
  4. Social Media’s evolution and continued growth relies upon adoption of social networks
  5. Social Media’s growth depends upon participation and contributions by new adopters within social networks

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

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