Your business is using social media, but you aren’t getting the results you want. How do you change your strategy to get your desired results? Continue reading
So, you tell me that people over 60 don’t use current mobile technologies. Only 30% (ages 47-56) of younger boomers and 28% of boomers between ages 57-67 are currently using mobile and smart phone technologies. Now, when you look at the saturation of earlier generations, you might wonder why you should develop mobile solutions for these older generations. Here are five facts that you may not know about the baby boomer generation. I hope this information changes the way you look at the baby boomer generation.
The first fact is most boomers see old age as occurring after 80. Most of these individuals feel as if they are into their middle age well into their 70’s. The oldest baby boomers are in their late 60’s. So when you talk about old people, they don’t think you’re talking to them. You’re talking about their parents, who are in their 80’s and 90’s. Most baby boomers see themselves as 10-15 years younger than their chronological age. Most boomers don’t fear technology like older people, such as their parents, do.
The second fact is over 50% of people this age exercises on a regular basis. This means they get out and do more than prior generations at similar ages. Many believe that they are in better shape today than they were ten years ago. They don’t plan to vegetate in a rocking chair watching the grass grow any time soon. They’re very open to using technology to help them get the most out of their active lifestyles, such heart monitors and pedometers.
The third fact is they tend to be more involved in their communities. In many cases, they are much more actively involved in earlier generation’s lives and health. They also respond more positively to lifestyle driven advertising. They have more time to pursue their lifetime interests and, in many cases, creating a second career doing something they love, such as photography, nonprofits, and involvement in outside sports. Not to embarrass anyone here, but many older people have told me about their increased interest in the opposite sex for both relationships and more. They are joining dating communities based own their own criteria and social groups. Boomers have no problem using technology to learn and share more about their interests and passions.
The fourth fact is 72% percent of boomers intend to keep working past the traditional retirement age of 65. For many, new vision and hearing technologies have increased their ability to keep happily engaged in their work and their careers for a much longer time. This means additional financial capabilities to buy more luxuries for themselves and other members of their extended families. The increase financial capabilities also means boomers are ready, willing, and able to buy mobile devices to stay current in the work force and that they think will help them stay in touch with their extended families.
Finally, the fifth fact is the increased activities of these individuals require an increasing use of technology to support their more active lifestyles. They value their time and are more likely to spend that time learning how technology can increase their enjoyment of their lives.
Boomers enjoy sharing new things with family and friends and are more likely to share with others using these new social technologies. Mobile technologies offer many time saving devices and programs that allow them to buy many different products quickly and in a cost effective way.
You can be the next big thing for boomers by brainstorming how to take advantage of this huge population demographic. Avoid the stereotype that everyone over the age of 35 is technophobic, and you’d be amazed at the people you can reach with your mobile marketing.
For many small and midmarket organizations, mobile can be a giant killer. So how do you leverage technology to get the results you are looking for with mobile? Since this is the first Mobile Monday, I thought it might be helpful to share with you how mobile can help you with your marketing efforts. Since every organization is unique, I will share several marketing ideas to get you started and then later this week, share a strategy framework you can use to begin leveraging technology in your overall business development strategies.
Many organizations use mobile technologies to increase market share. For your mobile marketing to work, it is critical that you have a strong business strategy. Mobile marketing is going to provide you an opportunity to become a market leader. I also believe that using mobile effectively is a matter of choice for the organization. For many smaller organizations, mobile can help them develop a stronger brand with their key customers and communities. Mobile is a powerful branding tool for many Fortune 500 organizations. I’m not going to focus on these efforts today but try to share ideas that are relevant to small to midmarket organizations. Mobile has tremendous reach potential but for many of my growing clients, it has to be scalable to be effective.
You can use mobile to increase brand awareness in you markets. Most of us don’t have the budget or the reach of a Pepsi or Coca Cola but still can impact our best customers with a well-targeted marketing campaign. As you start thinking about mobile, you must think about who your best clients and potential customers are. What do they expect form a mobile application and how does it compare to what others in your market are doing leveraging technology.
If you approach your mobile investment the way you approach any other marketing investment you will get the results you expect. Don’t be drawn in by the large numbers of smart phones being sold as an indicator there are opportunities in your markets. When thinking about mobile I might look at it as another communication channel at the beginning. It has many good qualities but may not provide the same results you get from more traditional marketing media. This isn’t because anything you are doing wrong but where your current market is. For many B2B marketers, social media has not given them the results they expected for their resources invested. In many cases, large parts of their customer base have yet to begin using a social business model. Knowing what platforms are working in your market helps you avoid wasting your money on ineffective marketing.
Taking time to understand where your market is and how it’s evolving allows you to develop the right strategy for your first efforts in mobile. One of my technology partners spends several weeks with clients to understand the client’s business strategy before ever talking about the technologies capabilities. If your market is still early in the adoption phase for mobile, we might be better off building a multi-phase approach to our mobile applications
Mobile can offer an opportunity to expand your current business by sharing new products and additional service offerings. Introducing a customer service portal allows you to build stronger connections into your current customer base. By automating ordering and a wide range of customer service functions you can help clients get what they need when they need it.
These portals allow for customer service 24/7 and just in time training for customers or new employees who are using your products or services for the first time. Automated customer service processes can contact the customer on a regular basis to make sure customers are having a good experience with their new products and services. A proactive approach to customer service assures higher levels of customer satisfaction while also insuring people who have problems get helped before the situation becomes out of control.
On Wednesday this week, we begin talking about how mobile technology can change the game for your organization by creating alignment between sales and marketing to increase sales results and market share. See you then.
Last week we talked about how you can become a market leader using some simple strategies to position you and your business as a leader of your market. I’ve worked with many early stage businesses and technologies and have discovered the earlier you begin putting this foundational element into place, the more quickly your business grows and becomes profitable. Let me share three key elements to successfully brand your organization as a thought leader or innovator in your market and what it does for your growth and long term success. I’ll share the potential problems along this path, if you choose to use this strategy.
The first key to create a market leading position is that you have a vision for your market. Every leader I’ve known has a clear vision of what role his organization plays in the overall economic environment. This critical element is not just that you have a unique view of the market but that you are able to clearly articulate your view in such a way that your clients, partners, and stakeholders see themselves in your vision. To build a small business you can have a small vision for your market. If you hope to achieve sales beyond $100 million you also have to have a larger view of the market and its impact on your customers’ businesses. The more you can share this vision, the more believable it will becomes. You must believe what you are saying or you shouldn’t say it. You can be future directed but it must meet people where they are before you move them to where you want them to go. The key lesson I learned in the military was people want to be led and they want to be led by people who understand where they are going. The clarity of the image in your own thinking helps create a clear picture for the people you’re working with.
The second key of positioning your organization is you have a different point of view. If you position your products and services as just like everyone else, you can’t hope to sustain a competitive edge in the global marketplace. When sharing your products and services you must determine what your market sees as critical not what your marketing team sees as critical. Today, buyers have many more choices in everything they buy. Creating a different point of view helps you distinguish your offering from your competitors. For many of my professional clients, we take a contrarian point of view. We take what the customer knows (or thinks they know) and shift it into something that they want to know more about. Depending on your marketplace it can go from a small difference to going out and attacking the business norms they expect. The more radical the view, the more it will need to address both the emotional and logical needs of your clients. Don’t be afraid to make waves. I have seen several clients take an opposing point of view to incredible success in their markets. As you create your point of view, consider what strengths and unique capabilities you bring to the market. If you’re the founder of the business, do not be afraid to share your creative process with your clients. For example, Dyson inventor James Dyson takes you through his product development process to help you better understand why his products were built differently than many of his leading competitors. He also goes out of his way to incorporate the design elements in his marketing campaigns. I would never have imagined people were interested in the design qualities of their vacuums. He did and has grown a highly successful business in a short time. The final thought about this is that you don’t always have to have a totally different product to succeed in the marketplace, but how you talk about it must stand out in your customers’ minds.
The third key to success in positioning your products and service is you have to make it an easy idea to share with others. We live in a social media, sound bite-driven world. Long copy sells today but not the way it once did. Consider how you plan to share your ideas with others. You are the messenger and you must develop powerful messaging if you hope to connect with your markets’ hopes, dreams, and aspirations. While we are talking about messaging, it must also fit you and your own leadership style. Today more than ever consumers have built in lie detectors and tune you out if you are not authentic in your messaging and beliefs. Make sure that you create a person that you can live with over the long haul. The more you focus on short term results the less likely you are to have long term success. Don’t try to be someone you’re not.
Next week, we will talk about how you get and maintain your market’s attention. It’s not enough to have a single success. If you’re building a successful business, you must be able to sustain your success and your reader’s interests over the long term. We will give you several great strategies to get noticed in your market. See you then.
Since marketing is changing so quickly, how do you create a brand that keeps up with the times? One that will allow you to rides the waves of change in marketing trends while helping you become the clear market leader. I recommend a single strategy that has allowed many of my best clients to become thought leaders in their markets. This single idea helps businesses during their early development but also allows more people in mature industries to grow and thrive even in the most challenging times. I help my clients develop a position as an expert in their industries. It allows them to maximize their visibility while leveraging their marketing and public relations across a number of media and technology platforms.
I also believe leaders today need to focus their efforts on both marketing and public relations. With the rise of social media and the many different platforms out there, your public relations efforts can provide your organization with significant value through your ability to communicate your ideas directly to your target market on a regular basis. But if you’re going to be the spokesperson for your market there are several key ideas that you need to know if you hope to be seen by both potential clients and partners.
The first thing you must do is create a place in your market for you. You have to be proactive in this creation process, and you must be consistent in how you present yourself to your market. With all the messages your market receives every day, you must be visible on a regular basis. You must position yourself as an expert in things that your market values.
When you consider what your market values, it must be something that they are interested in not always what you think they value. For many entrepreneurs, they are creating breakthrough products and services for their markets. Many times these breakthroughs address a long standing problem for their key markets. I’ve seen many software businesses so enamored with the wow around their products they miss they key problems they are solving for their customers. You as market leader must help people with both the tangible and intangibles of your service offering.
Actually, if you hope to build a following for your product or service you should build a following for your ideas and your personality. If you become interesting to your market people will be more likely to tune in when you have something important to say. We are now living in a personality driven world. Our celebrities have become our heroes. Many of my older clients get angry and tell me it shouldn’t be this way, but I tell them it is. I point out we’ve always had strong celebrity driven marketing, it’s just more obvious because we have so many different ways to connect with our consumers. Many of today’s exceptional marketers have become great story tellers for their brands. You have to look no further than many of the advertisers today for the Olympic Games in London to see outstanding examples of how individuals are highlighted in their marketing message, they have a strategic theme for their overall brand and they integrate the individual athlete’s story into the message to help people put themselves into the story.
The one advantage many consumer brands have that you don’t is a large marketing budget. They sell their products for premium prices and are able to invest more money into their customer acquisition process. They also sell products and services that a purchased more often. It’s a good lesson for entrepreneurs to learn on how to price their products and services. You must include in your price a margin that supports additional marketing costs. Do you know how much your average client is worth to your business? I know the consumer products companies do and it provides significant leverage when they decide how much to invest to get a customer.
Next week we will discuss how to develop a following for you and how to become more visible to your key markets. We will also provide you specific things to consider as you begin developing yourself into celebrity in your markets.
What do the numbers 5, 15, 80 have in common? Take a moment to consider what these numbers might mean to your growing organization. When I first heard this twenty plus years ago, I was amazed at the impact these numbers have. Many of you have probably heard of the 80/20 rule, but Dan Kennedy, a noted author and speaker, breaks them down even further. He uses them in terms of people who are financially successful in our society. I’d like to use them today to help you understand how these numbers might be impacting your organization.
The first number is five. This is the number that is critical to your organization’s success. They are your biggest fans. The five percent are the first to volunteer for your special events to make them successful. They’re the first to take out their checkbooks when you start a donation drive. They are the evangelists for your cause to anyone who will listen. They are your most successful members. They believe in your cause wholeheartedly and are fiercely loyal to your organization. Unless something really terrible happens, they will continue on forever.
The next number is fifteen. Now this is where it gets interesting. These are the people who are interested in your cause. They might participate in your events or fundraisers but they have to be cajoled into helping out. They would prefer to just write a check rather than get really involved. They are positively swayed toward your cause but have not yet begun to evangelize your cause in a big way. Financially they are doing well, but are seeking the silver bullet to take their lives to the next level. They may attend your events, but they’re also involved in other causes. They may not believe everything you do or say.
Now the third number is eighty. This is the largest group of people and you know who they are. This is the group that attends your events, but spends the least amount of money. They rarely donate to your cause. They have limited loyalty to you or anyone else and will be very expensive to acquire. They are not certain that they are interested in the cause you are advocating. They are slow to adopt new ideas and tend to be very cynical of whatever they come into contact with. They are struggling financially and they tend to belong to many groups but are active in none. They don’t invest in their own future and they see themselves as being victims to their environment.
Now guess which group you invest most of your time and resources on? Most organizations focus their attention and efforts on getting the 80% more involved. The 80% is the least responsive to your efforts. Spending your time and resources on the upper 20% will lead to much greater returns.
Over the next couple of blogs, I’ll share how to target your market to the first two groups. I’ll also explain why so many organizations are unsuccessful with their marketing and communications efforts, failing to reach their potential size or market share. So, stay and grow with us!
I’m working with one of my favorite clients this week. We’re trying to decide the best way to engage his members. We did some brainstorming and came up with several ideas that should help involve his members during the spring sports season. With graduation, sports championships, and prom in the near future, we want to make sure that we keep creating value for his stakeholders.
So, how do we to help him create excitement around his video blogs and leadership updates? I think creating contests for members shakes things up. Who doesn’t love a contest? Since we’re dealing with over 120 different locations, we need to create a contest to engage people no matter where they are. The contest will tie into many of the strategic themes he shares with his clients on a weekly basis. Currently the blog gets a lot of feedback, but we want to get their involvement to the next level.
First, find a topic in which everyone can participate. That means making sure the topic fits your audience’s interests. You want to generate involvement, so choose a task for the contest that they’ll want to participate in. It could be submitting an answer to a question, making a video, or sharing a story or photo. Whatever you choose, make it something your audience wants to do.
Second, make sure your rules are spelled out carefully. Include start and end dates for the contest, how prizes will be awarded and what’s a valid entry. Be sure to let them know the criteria you’ll be judging on, and don’t be afraid to disqualify contestants if they didn’t follow the rules. If you have awesome prizes, people will take the time to follow the rules, which leads to . . .
Third, have some awesome prizes lined up. Keep in mind that awesome is in the eyes of the beholder, so if your audience is teenagers, don’t get prizes thirtysomethings would want. Get high-quality prizes appropriate for your audience. Also, think in terms of having several prizes available. You may get higher participation if people know there’s more than one prize. If you have high traffic to your site, you may be able to get a sponsor to donate prizes that fit with your topic.
And last, promote your contest heavily. Only a portion of people will participate in a contest, so even if you have a lot of loyal fans, think about promoting your contest on sites with an audience similar to yours. The more you promote the contest, the more participation you’ll get.
Because my client’s audience is primarily teenagers, he needs to provide a safe place for members to interact with others. To meet this objective, we need to share the rules and ask people to stay positive with others contributions. By setting the rules up at the beginning we can insure everyone has a good time contributing content on a regular basis. We want to make this fun for everyone. Stay tuned for other ideas to generate excitement around your blog and engage your audience.
I’d like to thank Carletta Sanders for sharing some of her ideas on how to organize a contest where everyone wins. Carletta Sanders is a stay-at-home mom of four and editor of the website, Successful Homeschooling. Visit today to find information and ideas for your home school journey.
One of the most effective ways to make your marketing sizzle, and to make real connections with your customers and clients, is to add your personality. The fact is, customers prefer to do business with people whom they know and like – not nameless and faceless corporations.
Personality works. It will multiply your sales. What is personality? I think it is best described as humanizing your marketing – taking away the sterile corporate approach. Consider the all-too-common approach to many sales letters:
“It has come to our attention that your account is now blah, blah, blah.” You can imagine how fast that letter will hit the circular file! Now try this next sample on for size, and see if you just might hold the attention of the reader for a little while longer. “I was just sitting at my desk writing my next column and my secretary came running in, waving an invoice. She told me that it is highly unusual for …” Get the idea?!
If you would like to add some personality to your marketing, here are four things that you can do to help make you a better writer.
1. Read as much as you can. You should find time to read every day, even if it is for 10 minutes before turning in! Read everything from sales letters to e-zines, newsletters, books, ad copy, direct mail, etc. The more you read, the more you’ll learn different ways to express yourself in writing.
2. Write more. There is just no way to get around it – to become a better writer, you have to write – and often! As with most things, the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. You might want to consider starting a blog, which will force you to write at least two to three times a week in a way that, while important, is not as critical as a sales letter.
3. Read out loud. It’s amazing how different your own writing sounds when you read it aloud instead of reading it silently. This is a great way to find your actual “voice,” which you then can transfer to writing.
4. Mirror your favorite writers. Not only is imitation the sincerest form of flattery, it is a smart way to learn how to become a better writer. In the Glazer-Kennedy world this is known as S&D.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, personality works! I was recently hired to help write a client newsletter in which our strategy was to deliver something very different from the typical corporate brochure. We wrote the copy in the voice of an older woman who was a long-term employee of the company (which in this case was actually true!).
When the first issue was mailed, the reaction was phenomenal. The company received well over 100 e-mails praising the newsletter, saying that it was a breath of fresh air and fun to read, and that they looked forward to the next issue. Being in the newsletter business, I can tell you that that is not a typical reaction – personality sells! Even if you incorporate only a few of these tips, you should start to see a shift in your own writing. Before you know it, your personality will start shining through, and with it, you’ll start to see more clients, more sales, and more profits.
Jim Palmer, The Newsletter Guru, has been writing and designing newsletters for clients in just about every industry for nearly 30 years. If you’re ready to boost your profits by increasing your repeat and referral business, get Jim’s FREE e-course, The Awesome Power of Newsletter Marketing, at http://www.nohasslenewsletters.com
Social Media is dead. At least, it is if you want to manage your personal brand online with any certainty. Over the last year I’ve done an experiment with my personal blog. I put a blog together that had no advertising or marketing on it. I focused on putting information out there so my clients and non- profit partners could get a leadership tip every week. I had solid guest blogger content and marketed it only with social media. I shared it only within my network. In the last year, the results were over 310,000 hits and over 9100 repeat individual visitors visited the blog. Obviously content people want to read, right? Apparently, one or two people thought something I posted appeared spammy (Facebook’s term for what my blog might be).
If you’re reading this, you’re probably not currently reading it on Facebook. That’s because I’ve been blocked from Facebook. Someone marked me as spam on Facebook because of a blog I had posted. Did I use some twisted alias on Facebook to perpetrate this fraud? No, as a matter of fact it was a link to my personal blog at http://www.trippbraden.com/. Was the blog a useless waste of time, obviously spam? I don’t know. I’m sure Harvey Mackay writing about focus would be astounded to learn he was considered spam. Yes, readers, it was a reprint of a Harvey Mackay article that got me blacklisted from Facebook.
Some nameless, faceless person, for whatever reason decided what I had to say was “spam.” The thing I can’t get over is that this person had to click on the link to get to the supposed spam.
Which is why I go back to the premise that social media is dead. Using social media to further your corporate or organizational agenda is an unstable platform at best, despite what countless “Social Media Gurus” would have you believe. All you need is one or two disgruntled, unhappy, malicious customers or competitors and everything you’ve created in social media is gone.
I can hear your arguments already. Why don’t you appeal to the Facebook administrators? Well, I would, but there’s really no appeal process. If there is an appeal process, how to go about it is very well hidden on the site. I couldn’t find it. Anyone can say you’re spam and you have no recourse. The administrators of the social media sites say they don’t get in the middle of such issues. But even in a court of law you get to face your accuser. In social media, you have no idea who they are.
Others I know of have been blacklisted. Their solution? Get back on with a different user name. So, all of the branding you’ve developed is gone because you have to use another ID. That’s not a solution to me. Better marketers than me suggested this happens a lot. Not just with Facebook. Thanks to their warnings, I had people register on my site. I also made sure that my RSS feeds works and people are signed up for them.
In my opinion, social media is too unsteady to support the weight of your branding efforts. Administrators don’t want to get involved, even though they’re raking in the millions. Too many small-minded people think it’s a way they can finally get even, and you have no way to answer them, find what’s bothering them, or even salvage your good name. Until someone is willing to take responsibility, I’ll take my business elsewhere.
If you use social media you might be under the misunderstanding that you can’t really do much “business” on Facebook. That just means you haven’t been exposed to the now famous fan page.
You are correct in thinking that Facebook has rules about not selling on your main profile page, but all the rules change when we start talking about your fan page. You might also hear these pages referred to as business pages, or a few other terms, but now, they’re all typically just referred to as fan pages.
So, the big advantage of having a fan page is that you can do a lot of things you aren’t allowed to do on your profile page. First, you can actually sell your products and services on your fan page if you chose to do so and Facebook is 100% perfectly ok with you doing it. (Don’t try this on your profile page, you will get it shut down).
Another big advantage of having a fan page is that the search engines like Facebook fan pages and people may, in fact, be able to find you through a search engine, and join your fan page. Using good key words and key words phrases in your posts and in the other information you have on your fan page will also help the search engines.
You also have the ability to have an opt-in box on your fan page, so people can opt-in to your free offer and then get on your main list where you now have the ability to market to them in additional ways besides just on Facebook, or the other your other social media platforms you’re using.
Another neat thing about fan pages is that you can actually set pages other than the main info page as the “home page” of your fan page. So, instead of potential followers just ending up on your main wall page of your fan page, you can program your fan page to take them to an introduction page, or an opt-in page – which is what we recommend you do. Another good way to use this feature is if you have a special event or something going on that you’re promoting this would be a good place to do that as well.
So, how does all that translate into dollars for you?
By being able to sell directly on your fan page, that brings in money (that one was more obvious than some of the other ways). The use of opt-in boxes and the key word density issue really now comes down to the key to making money with any social media and that’s that because you have moved them from social media to your main list, you have the ability to market to them via email, direct mail, and whatever other media you might be using. And, if you integrate that marketing with your social media posts, the effects you have on your clients and prospects is expanded, increasing the chance of them spending money with you is.
As a final reminder, it’s important for you to remember that one is always the worst number in business and marketing so never use only one media in your business. Things change rapidly in today’s world and when those changes happen, you don’t want to be caught unprepared. (If you don’t think this applies to your business, think about what happened to people who only used fax or the phone as the way they sold and prospected when those rules changed).
For your complimentary copy of “How To Get Social Media Working In Your Business” go to www.SocialNetworkLeadsSystem.com or call (866) 293-0589.