Tag Archives: Facebook

Remember Me? I Knew You Back In The Day!

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Does this ever happen to you? A person walks up to you and starts talking as if you know him or her. You can’t remember the person. Or even worse, you vaguely remember, but don’t recall where you met or how you know the person—was it at church, your kid’s school, the gym, a party, a conference, a BNI meeting, a sales call?

Does it ever happen that you are that guy or woman who says, “Hey, nice to see you! It’s been a while!” And the other person responds with a blank stare.

I’ve been on both sides of these encounters. I’ve flipped through that virtual Rolodex in my mind on several occasions only to find that there’s no card with the person’s info. And I’ve shared precise details of events to jar the recollections of these folks who’ve erased me from their memory banks.

When these opportunities present themselves to reconnect with those people with whom you had a passing acquaintance back in the day, jump at them and take a moment to trade updates. In today’s business world, when everyone’s job is on the line, when people are changing jobs and careers at a rapid pace, when anyone in sales is looking for new prospects, when who knows you is just as important as who you know, these people who knew you then may be good people to connect with again… now.

Typical scenarios: That stay at home mom you knew from the neighborhood pool in 1995 now runs a business that could use the software you’re selling. That banker whose kid played soccer on your daughter’s team in 2000 has just opened a restaurant and needs your social media consulting skill. That salesman you met at a church retreat in 1998 now runs a computer repair shop and yours is running slow. That woman you met at that scouting seminar in 2002 has recently inherited money and wonders if the investment product your company offers is right for her.

Once you take a moment to catch up, you may want to connect via LinkedIn or Facebook. As time permits, you may want to set up a meeting and compare notes about what’s going on in your lives and your careers now. As I have said more than once, what you’re doing now is more important than what you used to do. But people from your past can play a useful role in your future.

(This article was originally posted in March 2013.)

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So You’re Going To A Conference!

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Last week I attended a daylong marketing conference. I heard a few things I already knew but needed to be reminded about. Such as: mobile is big, video is big and LinkedIn is big. And respect for your customer is important. An impressive list of speakers shared statistics and stories in (mostly) entertaining presentations.

I picked up a few random tidbits: The FunToyzCollector channel on Youtube earned nearly $5M in 2014 with videos of toys being opened. Millennials care more about smart phones than driver’s licenses, according to research cited by one speaker. A good number of people would like to wear fleece-lined jeans, based on one analysis of Twitter posts.

I noted several suggestions: Focus on differentiation in your LinkedIn profile info. Post shorter versions of videos you share—“slice and dice,” to quote one presenter—in addition to the longer versions. If you use video in your marketing, set up a YouTube channel. And respond to comments (other than those from trolls) on your Youtube posts.

“Make your buyer the hero” was one speaker’s motto (and a good idea for any business owner). “Spend for learning” (instead of just for ROI) was one panelist’s suggestion for a portion of a marketing budget. Blog and email to your community at least weekly was another idea shared. Take advantage of the reasonably priced opportunity that Facebook offers to deliver your (paid) messages to your target.

As usual, the best part of conferences like last week’s is seeing old friends and associates and meeting new contacts. Sometimes you pick up good information or hot gossip from these conversations. Other times, it’s just good to see and be seen.

I always feel that if I can walk away from such a conference with a handful of actionable nuggets that may help me improve my efforts (along with a handful of business cards from people I might like to have a cup of coffee with), the event has been a success.

When you go to a conference, here are my suggestions:

  1. Arrive early. Get the “lay of the land.” Plan which sessions you want to attend.
  2. Sit near the front of the room for each session to hear and see better.
  3. Take notes. They will help you recall key points the speaker is making.
  4. Bring business cards and share them freely.
  5. Say thanks to the people who organize and administer these events. It can be quite a task!

 

 

 

 

 

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Don’t You Just Hate That? (Social Media Edition)

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In 2004, I picked up a funny little book called Don’t You Just Hate That by Scott Cohen. The book listed things that annoy many of us, such as “accidentally setting your alarm clock for p.m. instead of a.m.” or “finding an old to-do list, most of which remains undone.”

Below is a list of social media annoyances that I’ve experienced, inspired by Mr. Cohen’s book. Maybe you can relate to some or all.

  1. When someone with half the number of followers you have sends a tweet identical to the one you sent three days ago. And she gets 15 retweets while you just got 2.
  2. When you open Facebook to see a huge number of notifications and expect most to be responses to brilliant content you posted to your clients’ Facebook feeds. But they turn out to mostly be game invitations from tangential friends.
  3. When a person or organization whose Instagram posts are compelling unleashes 10 pics in a row. You don’t want to unfollow, but you also don’t want to get bombarded.
  4. When you miss a great play in a baseball, football, hockey, etc. game because you were tweeting about the previous play.
  5. When notification pings wake you from a sound sleep.
  6. When you post a tweet to the wrong account on your mobile Hootsuite.
  7. When you see a famous person listed as a trending topic on Twitter and you immediately presume the person died.
  8. When a foodie or a restaurant posts a pic to any social channel and, while the food looks good, you have no idea what it is.
  9. When a Tweet promises content you’re anxious to see and the link doesn’t work.
  10. When an Instagrammer posts a novel length description beneath his/her photo.
  11. When you see interesting tweets with a certain hashtag but, even after researching, can’t determine what the hashtag means.
  12. When your Facebook timeline is filled with political content. Does anyone truly believe that by posting her/his political likes and dislikes she/he will change someone’s mind? (Can’t wait till next year!)
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I Don’t Exactly Understand…

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…why organizations that promote free speech often impose serious restrictions on who can speak and what they can say within their venues.

…why certain astute social media professionals who can talk for hours about the vast differences between various social platforms… often post the same exact content on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

….why certain individuals strive to obtain a job that others would die to have, then fail to put in the effort needed to succeed in that coveted position.

…why certain users complain loudly about things they get free. (Apps, software, social media channels, etc.)

…why providers of mind-blowing technology often cannot handle the basics of human interaction with customers.

…why people who have seen few or none of the nominated films/performances care deeply about who wins at the Oscars.

…why people are not more skeptical of statistics that are freely shared and repeated but may or may not be legit.

…why, in terms of engagement, one Instagram follower is just as valuable as 22 Twitter followers. (Okay, that’s a bogus stat that I just made up. See previous line.)

…why people in a hurry in the morning will devote 10 minutes (or more) to waiting in a drive-thru lane for coffee, etc.

…why certain PR types still occasionally post articles stating that the press release is dead (or, at least, obsolete).

…why certain individuals detest the perceived biases of a respected media outlet but are quick to quote content when that outlet’s output jibes with their own beliefs.

…why I find broadcast weather reports compelling even though I already have most of that info on my phone and my laptop.

Ah, life’s mysteries.

 

 

 

 

 

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Don’t Bury Your Message

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During my media career, I have observed the full spectrum of messaging styles. I am convinced that, in almost all cases, the best way to generate a desired response is to make your call to action direct, clear and unambiguous.

Hard sell commercials on radio and TV may be annoying but they exist to sell a product or service or to motivate you to do something that is likely to lead to a purchase—such as visit a store or website, call for more info or ask a doctor to prescribe a medication.

In our new media world, much of the promotional messaging we receive is more subtle and low-key. Often, the call to action may be hidden deep within useful or entertaining content. The call to action may only be implied or vaguely suggested.

A Facebook post that shows a cute puppy may not contain verbiage that urges you to visit a certain pet supply store. But if it’s on the Petco page, you are likely to make a connection and may be more prone to shop there. When Petco mentions a 20% discount in its posts and encourages you to shop by a deadline date, you may be likely to respond (than to the simple puppy pic).

My earliest guidance on email marketing made a strong case for including useful or entertaining content (to assure a significant open rate) in each email and including a sales message almost as an afterthought. While this may work for some, I prefer to describe what is being offered, issue a call to action, then provide means for response: website, email address, phone number, etc.

In today’s environment where we are being inundated with more messages than
before from a larger number of sources, it is important to state what you’re selling, share a key selling point or two and tell how to buy your product or service. Burying your pitch deep inside your content may not produce your desired outcome.

With that thought in mind, a quick (direct, clear and unambiguous) message about my work: I help businesses tell their stories and promote their products and services via media placements, social media and email marketing (among other channels). If you or someone you know needs help with getting key messages to target customers, please call me in St. Louis at 636-346-3434.

 

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Do It Different Day

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A morning radio team I knew a few years ago in Philadelphia had their daily benchmarks that listeners could expect to hear every day at the same time. Such as: Joke of the Day at 7:15, Trivia Game at 7:45, Show Biz News at 8:15, etc.

Occasionally they would have a “Do It Different Day” with their regular bits running at different times. This served 2 purposes. It exposed regular listeners to daily content they may have missed (because it generally aired before they left home or after they got to work). And it relieved monotony for the hosts!

Could you use a “Do It Different Day”? Even if your work has new challenges every day, it’s easy to get into a rut. Even if you have a job that utilizes your creativity, the predictable patterns involved in checking off your daily list can grow stale.

By varying your daily routine, you may be able to stimulate new ideas and develop new ways to solve problems. Do it different. Drink tea instead of coffee. Make calls from somewhere other than your defined workspace. Invite someone from beyond your usual network to lunch. Stand instead of sit.

I attended the Alumni Hall of Fame induction event this weekend for Parkway School District in suburban St. Louis. (One of my clients was among the inductees.) Many of those honored thanked teachers and coaches for allowing them to think outside the box, for allowing them to make mistakes, for encouraging creativity.

When we are young (high school and college age), many of us have a natural desire to deviate from the norm. I know I always appreciated teachers who gave me a bit of latitude.

Our experiences in the workday world typically lead us to establish and maintain day-to-day structure, which is a good thing. But some days it can feel good to do it different. (Differently, to be grammatically correct.)

Wear shoes that are not in your regular rotation. Listen to comedy instead of the news in the morning. (A half hour of Jim Gaffigan on Spotify might revise your outlook.) Unless you’re doing social for clients, stay off Facebook all day. Okay, that last one might be too radical, but you get the idea. Shake it up.

(photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/21560098@N06/3836926854/, Nina Matthews Photography, http://photopin.com, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

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I Like Email Marketing

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First thing every morning: spend a few minutes scrolling through email. Delete most, skim some, actually read a few. In rare cases, click on links. Repeat several times throughout the day. This may occur before or after checking social channels for new posts.

As Facebook and other social media continue to grow and evolve, email marketing may, for some, become an afterthought. We’ve had email since the 90s (80s for some), but you probably only began to embrace social during the past decade.

I would never devalue the importance of growing your community on Facebook and other social channels, but email continues to provide an effective, efficient and inexpensive way to reach your target. Social campaigns you judge successful can be enhanced with email backup.

Yes, it’s generally a small minority of email recipients who open marketing emails. Similarly, your less-engaging Facebook posts may only be seen a tiny portion of followers. And, whereas many of your partisans who choose to receive your emails may also be Facebook fans, you can’t presume that most are.

The engagement level you note on social posts can inform your content choices for your email. If you get tons of shares, likes and comments for a photo of, say, your Pumpkin Spice Bacon Peanut Butter Soft Taco, it’s safe to presume the folks on your email list might respond warmly as well.

In mass media advertising, many successful TV campaigns are supported with radio, print and online ads. Since TV is the most effective mass advertising medium, ads on other media are likely to get less attention. Social campaigns generate tons of buzz nowadays and email is old hat. (The movie You’ve Got Mail came out 16 years ago!) But in 2014, email still deserves your attention for all it can do.

 

(photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/melenita/15444273446/, http://photopin.com, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

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