Are You “Eating Your Own Dog Food”? The biggest key to succesfully leverage social media

So often we see companies that want to “leverage social media” but aren’t actively engaged in digital communities. It’s an easy mistake. you get busy. Digital relationships become less important to manage than the ones with customers who call or walk into your business.

But this transactional view of digital media is the marketing equivalent of a startup that doesn’t eat it’s own dogfood. Credibility suffers when visibility declines.

Activity in the Right Communities Produces Measureable Value

Key is understanding which communities are valuable and tracking a way to connect from digital community to realized revenue. It’s the stuff that most agencies don’t want to dig into because it requires *gasp* accountability to the metrics.

we see this as the biggest change in the digital marketing realm. we know if it’s really working. more visits are real. increased inbound calls are real, foot traffic is real, ticket sales are real, product sales are real.

If you aren’t getting these from the digital environment maybe its time to rethink your dogfood.

Big Brands Take Top level Domains To TUMBLR

We met with an old friend and Tumblr brand strategist inside Tumblr’s NYC HQ last week and talked about what’s happening with brands on TUMBLR.

We were shocked to hear that 5 global brands have already moved top level domains to Tumblr.  That’s right global brands are dumping their websites in favor of a micro blogging platform.

 

1. Coorslight.com

Coorslight.com now powered by Tumblr

2. AmstelLight.com

Amstellight.com now hosted on Tumblr

3. Skittles.com

Skittles brings the Rainbow to Tumblr (unicorns optional)

4. Ruffles.com

Ruffles moves to Tumblr with the #roughlife campaign

5. Ivory.com

Ivory Soap move there top level domain to Tumblr

Let’s look at why:

Infrastructure

Tumblr has a world class hosting infrastructureBacked By Yahoo and With a cadre of developers dedicated to improving Tumblrs awesome every day. End to end software, server and connectivity all in one house with paired software and hardware improvements) this is what makes great web properties run really well. and what most dedicated servers are supposed to be before they fall well short of the mark of excellence. How do we know Tumblr will be good at this? Remember GEOcities. Yeah so do we. In 1999 GeoCities was acquired by Yahoo!; at that time it was the third-most visited Web site on the World Wide Web. There were at least 38 million user-built pages on GeoCities before it was shut down in 2009 (Good job Yahoo). But TUMBLR has revenue, a feat Geocities was too before it’s time to get big brands into.

Baked in Virality

Every piece if content is super easy to engage with, share, and reblog. Instead of betting big on a Facebook page where you are waiting to get .1% of Facebook’s total traffic to your page and then even less to click through to your website. The whole branded web experience lives in a native environment with 199.1 visitors per month.

Built for Mobile

The Tumblr experience strips all of the fluff out of web browsing and puts as little as possible between the user and the content. Window dressing is nice but todays web user is on a mobile device, driving, Swilling a half-caf soy latte, and trying to get the 3 year old in the back seat to daycare and get to work on time. It fast. It only takes a thumb to manipulate, Youtube videos play in place, Instagram photos show in place, and stuff can be automatically shared from Tumblr to Facebook. TUMBLR is built for the dual screening multi tasking over caffeinated, ADD stricken american consumers. As a result 50% of active Tumblr users are on mobile.

Content Comes First

Conversation on Tumblr are ONLY around shared content. No content no interaction. No annoying posts like “my cat rolled over” that still keep the mass market at arms length from Twitter. Nor the deluge of auto-selected Cyberdyne curated Hal 9000 controlled content from fbook. (sorry Mr. Z.) and unlike GPlus people actually use it because it’s built for people not software.

Advertising Opportunities

Tumblr is not a DIY mass market ad platform yet ( and we hope they don’t race to the bottom to become one) Tumblr has real advertising for real scale companies. The little guys can get by on producing awesome content and leveraging virality. Tumblr’s leadership is treating the channel with some respect and making sure the brands getting first page promoted Status and mass outreach are capped with reasonable enough minimums that the users feeds aren’t overrun by advertising and promoted clickbait. They’ve even partnered with agencies to build strategies hand in hand with their advertisers.

It’s Time To Test Now!

Our visit made us rethink our relationship with the social web. Committing to go all-in on Tumblr is letting a handful of early adopting brands turn every post into an easy to find, easy to interact with and easier to share trackable nugget of content marketing gold with the full hereditary nature of Viral shares plain to see and analyze. No more digging through wonky analytics to find influencers, it’s all super transparent to you and your followers and the influencers.

We are starting to believe that If you have a consumer facing brand a custom Tumblr site and a strong Content strategy may be a bigger winner than most any other CMS on the market. Stay tuned for some tests as we look at how Tumblr performs in moving feet not just mouse clicks.

 

Top 25 Internet Roundup: Tips to Increase Facebook Fans, Avoid Hashtag Disasters, Moving 3px to the Left, Blogs for Entrepreneurs, and Turning Browsers Into Active Shoppers.

Facebook Marketing

Top 5 Tips to increase fans on Facebook Fan Page
Basics for dummies! Continue reading Top 25 Internet Roundup: Tips to Increase Facebook Fans, Avoid Hashtag Disasters, Moving 3px to the Left, Blogs for Entrepreneurs, and Turning Browsers Into Active Shoppers.

How To Stand Out in a Sea of Web Content

The Great Wave by Aurore Colson

You’ve heard it said that content is king but with the 30 billion shares per month on Facebook, 200 million tweets per day on twitter and more than 48 hours of video posted to you tube each minute. How will your content for your business actually get noticed in that massive deluge of information?

The Answer: Passion

The beauty of the web for users is the ability to find exactly what we want when we want it. And most importantly to stay connected to subjects we are passionate about. People are passionate about sports, about decorating, about cooking, about wine, about celebrity gossip, about humanitarian efforts in Japan. As marketers it is our job to find topics of passion around which business owners and customers will connect in a meaningful way.

People Don’t Care About Things. They Care About Experiences with Things.

That is what our blogs, our videos, and our social shares have to center on if we want them to be meaningful. Engage readers, viewers, friends and tweeps in experiences, conversations, and topics they care about and make the things we sell a part of that larger experience.

Sell hotdogs? Instead of blogging about hotdogs try blogging about baseball (according to the national hot dog and sausage council major league ballparks were predicted to serve almost 22 million hotdogs per season! ). Discuss the fine points of the difference between a Dodger dog, a Chicago dog or a hot dog at Fenway or Yankee stadium.

Talk to Your Customers

People become passionate because of the experiences they have had. Find real stories that connect customers to you and to each other and build communication around the topics of those stories. Being the connection point between customers with shared passion will make your brand part of the glue in their relationships with each other.

A Motorcycle event promoter redesigned all their promotional content for a Memorial Day motorcycle show around honoring fallen U.S. troops. Fans responded with social shares, comments, and huge event response because they wanted to honor those they were close to. Sure they were Bikers and they wanted to go to a bike show, but the social traction gained by connecting to that larger issue massively improved the pre and post-show sharing. Following the event the tagline “Because They Died We Still Ride” continued to circulate the web.

What Passion Points Can You Tap into with Your Customers?

What passion points are consistent between your leadership, staff, and customers? Leverage some of those things as the center of your Facebook content.

Lessons from a 5 Year Old Drummer Who Owns Youtube Marketing

5 year old Drummer Jonah Rocks has used social media to build a huge fan base, sell T-shirts, gain sponsors and share stage space with some of the biggest names in rock and roll including KISS, Bryan Adams, and more.

Check out this video to see this kids amazing talent and read below to see the key takeaways you should gain from his success.

Leverage Related Content Filters

Key to Jonah’s success was taking some of the hardest drum songs in rock and roll and playing them on camera and posting on youtube where peopel would find them by mistake. By positioning his content in a stream people were already browsing for he gets thousands of views just form youtube’s related content filter. Notice his cover of Chop Suey by System of a Down with over 600,000 youtube views!

Be Sensational With Content Titles

Every Jonah Rocks video has a title like “Rush – Tom Sawyer, 5 Year Old Drummer, Jonah Rocks” it’s super clear aout the content it says exactly why it’s out of the ordinary and any Drum aficionado knows that anything by Rush is super challenging and would love to see a 5 year old tackle a song that gives most long time pro drummers nightmares of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Build a massive Volume of Content

There are videos posted month after month of this kid for a span of two plus years and it wasn’t until he had over a years worth of content that he got an invite to a KISS concert and got to play on stage during sound check. His consistent posting built a repository of content that proves his viability to the industry and has leveraged him into opportunities that otherwise would take over a dozen years in the traditional channels.

Lead with Personality and FUN

Part of the allure is watching a 5 year old with a mo-hawk showboat playing one handed while he rocks out and headbangs away just like the big guys do. his stage presence on video is part of what makes his videos worth watching end to end. The levelof fun he is having is infectious and that is why video is so awesome of a medium for him. you need to find how to make your personality and your passion for your content infectious because that is the real secret sauce that separates one great piece of online content from the rest of the schlock out there that no one reads or comments on or share.

Good luck and don’t forget if you’re going to go at this online marketing thing GO BIG!

Top 10 Most Viewed Internet Marketing Blog Posts of 2010

I’ve scoured over the site stats to let you all know what you thought was the most important content I’ve provided this year. Here are the results. in 2010 the 10 most viewed articles I’ve written are listed below.

The content ranges from Facebook, to Foursquare, to wordpress plugins but the big buzz in 2010 you can probably guess TWITTER. If you missed some of these articles please give ’em a read your peers liked them so you might to.

Please comment and let me know if you would like to see any followups to these in 2011 or add any updated insights since some of these were published quite some time ago in internet years.

Number 10: Social Media Offers Intimacy of Classic Mom and Pop Local Businesses

Number 9: Marketers Say Email is Delivering Better than Social Networking

Number 8: How Discoverable are You on Social Media?

Number 7: Philanthopy + Social Media + Leverage = Awesome!!!

Number 6: How 1 Tweet Generated National News Coverage for a Small Company in Less Than 24 Hours

Number 5: List of Active FourSquare Badges

Number 4: Shrek Gets Social!! Shrek’s 5 Rules for Winning Big with Social Media

Number 3: 100 Facebook Marketing Techniques You Can Use Right Now

Number 2: Top 10 WordPress Plugins to Turbo Charge Your Internet Marketing Efforts

Number 1: 20 Twitter Bios that demand Attention

Marketers Say Email is Delivering Better than Social Networking

The “Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Fact Book” shows that by and large most marketing professionals say that email is outperforming social media two to one. I say of course it is because social networking should be driving people to your email lists. See the results and read more below!

 

best results from digital marketing

Key findings:

 

  • Search marketing delivers the best results (33%); search and email still constitute the core of a solid online media plan.
  • Nearly everyone uses email, and this medium is repeatedly ranked as one of the most cost-effective (and effective) forms of marketing. Elsewhere in the Factbook, almost 50% of 623 email marketers report that sending emails at midday (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) is the best time of day to do so. The start of the business day (6 a.m. to 10 a.m.) is considered second best at 31.5
  • Mobile marketing is barely on the radar; it’ll be interesting to see what happens in the next few years with mobile.

About the data: The MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Factbook, designed to be a comprehensive source of data and research for online marketers, includes chapters on email, search, and social media—with 144 pages of findings, including 110 charts and graphs from 60+ sources.

—————————————————————————————

 

OK so lets review the data, of course Email and Search are still huge! but does that mean social media is less important? That’s a big fat NO and here is why.

Social Media has the capacity to drive new contacts in realtime into your email lists. that’s it. end of discussion. social media is for relationship and trust building of course you will see higher direct revenue from email. but if you look list building via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media is far faster than any other format. (of course that’s only if you contribute content that is worth something but that’s a secondary issue.

look at the bottom line if you can drive growth for free—I repeat drive GROWTH for FREE and quickly via social media then it needs to be a key part of your strategy. Email and search are of course critical and have driven the Internet for years. you must do all of the above. Remember the process your goal in marketing is to move people into the seat of loyal customers and fans.

Social media connects you to new people who can be added to your email list and therefore the results will actually show as an email result in most cases. but I can without spending a dime gain roughly 50 to 100 new followers everyday on twitter. Then I can get about 30% of those followers to join my mailing lists via quality squeeze pages. You need to be doing the same! The results will be more sales from your email list. The social networks lead to bigger email lists. So remember to work the mix don’t depend on social media as the silver bullet strategy. Do remember that utilizing Social Networks and Social media for rapid list growth is cheap, easy, and worth pursuing!

 

SEO as you know it is Dead! NEW SEO in the Social Media Age

“if we don’t fix Web pages for google, what are we going to do?”

And that is the very crux of textbook SEO’s diminishing value.

I’ve gone on record as saying, “The Web is no longer just a collection of HTML pages linked together. It is a network of networks of people who are totally connected to each other. I believe it’s the understanding of these connections that will shape not just search, but all of marketing.”

the above text is an excerpt from web 2.0 is just so 2008 by Mike Grehan for ClickZ.com

and Mike is right

SEO as a “lets engae google because that is where peopel start their web experience” concept is rapidly diminishing.

The Web has become a component of our social culture. In our society before the web (remember pre 1995) people used to get reffferals to businesses to find the solutions they needed. and now websites like stunmbleupon, twitter, digg, buzz up, alltop etc all do the same thing.

As humans we still rpefer to do business wiht someone that somneone we know or trust already knows or trusts.

I’ve been in web marketing for 10 years and have found one truth across all sectors. Search generated traffic almost exclusively produces customers who value low prices over quality of service or quality of customer experience. And that’s becasue broad search customers are the least educated consumer in the marketplace. that’s not to say they arent valueable they are. 

A better educated consumer is more valueable, more loyal, and ultimately easier to persuade into buying.

As a business person I try to align myself with brands that are not purely price driven competitors. Becasue no one searches for exotic luxury car and prepares to buy a Bentley ‘cuz they saw one on Google.

It’s about building a real brand presence on the internet. engaging people on twitter, and facebook, and even on forums that relate to your product or service. Leverage these relationships to building a strong brand story online through multiple interconnected touch points. This is where savvy marketers are going for 2010 and beyond hurry up and get cracking.

The is the dawn of online positioning.

The next decade will bring about a time where we use multiple online media channels to build a brand position and we will see searches become much narrower. People will search more for specific products and brands rather then for broad generalizations for types of products and services.

Use the online socialmedia spehere to build a top of mind awareness with your customer so they think I need starbucks instead of I need coffee. then all of your traditiona SEO aware competitors will compete for the lowest common denominator of customer still searching for coffee, while you rake in the cash selling overpriced steamed foamy milk!

Now go do something I’m going to drink my Doppio Espresso Macchiato with Carmel!

The Cocktail Party Perspective: a simple analogy to help you be a courteous and effective social media marketer

Social Networks Are Like a Giant Cocktail Party
Social networks can be best described as a 24/7 global cocktail party. You can meet and engage people with no restrictions on time or geography and share insights, opportunities, and information to build deep relationships.

Your customers are posting genuine information about their likes, dislikes, and personal preferences, demographics, location and more. You can cross reference this data and gain customer insight without the expense or headache of focus groups or surveys.

The key is to remember this is not a commercial forum. The job of the social network is not for you to spam your prospects and customers with marketing messages. Your goal is to choose the right network or networks and provide valuable communication that leads to mutual benefit between you and your network.

The network also allows new prospective customers to see background on you based on who you are already connected to and find unbiased commentary on your business. (which exists online weather you are leveraging it or not). You should at minimum use social networks to be aware of your customer’s views of your brand.

If you view your social media use from this perspective you should generate value for both yourself and your friends, fans, customers, contacts, connections, supports and anyone else on your social media radar.

RE: On radio this morn. Twitter mght b contributing 2 a narcissistic society – did they evr consider individualistic v. collectivistic cultures?

response to Twitter  posting by Sarah Lee

Ok here’s my two cents:

Social Media like Twitter, Face Book, MySpace, et all do allow for self indulgent commenting and posting that is of zero value as individual posts. As well they foster often annoying and obnoxious self promotion.

However lets not throw the baby out with the bath water these media are designed for free information exchange and probably more than ever have created the capacity for web based posturing and body language.

Because many tweets, status updates and blog posts are fleeting and emotionally charged they give us insight into our friends, colleagues, role-models, and associates that can otherwise only be achieved via massive hours of time spent together. That’s valuable.

If we recognize the self indulgences of others as great opportunities to see where and how we can add value to those others and take the proverbial high road and use these media to reach out and provide beneficial insight, feedback and valuable input to others then we can actually use a stream of self indulgent Tweets or status postings to find how to be better friends, business associates, and citizens.

Essentially it’s a matter of perspective. If someone is truly only posting useless fluff updates and Tweets stop following them. but before you get so judgemental take a moment and look for a thread of truth in the emotion behind the Tweets, Statuses ( is that word?) then decide can I add value to this persons situation or the impact this Tweet, Status etc will have on others.

Have a bit of social responsibility with your social media use. remember the idea is to be a conversational media if you have someone you interact with that dosen’tunderstand that utilize your responses to make their fluff Tweets conversational then everybody wins.

Which Social Media is Right for My Business?

Marketing via Social Networks and Social Media is a hot topic right now but there is quite the swarm of available networks and media outlets to choose from. So how does the saavy small business owner choose the right social network for maximum ROI?

Rapleaf

Facebook Users
– 2.6 million users identified in Rapleaf study
– 63% female, 36% male
– 17% 45 yrs
– 2.9 major social networking sites used on average
– 62% are on MySpace, 5% are on LinkedIn, 9% are on Friendster, 10% are on Plaxo, 22% are on Hi5

MySpace Users
– 11.3 million users identified in Rapleaf study
– 63% female, 36% male
– 20% 45 yrs
– 2.4 major social networking sites used on average
– 15% are on Facebook, 2% are on LinkedIn, 9% are on Friendster, 6% are on Plaxo, 17% are on Hi5

LinkedIn Users
– 0.8 million users identified in Rapleaf study
– 38% female, 61% male
– 2% 45 yrs
– 3.2 major social networking sites used on average
– 16% are on Facebook, 25% are on MySpace, 12% are on Friendster, 16% are on Plaxo, 8% are on Hi5

Friendster Users
– 2.3 million users identified in Rapleaf study
– 58% female, 41% male
– 12% 45 yrs
– 3.0 major social networking sites used on average
– 10% are on Facebook, 44% are on MySpace, 5% are on LinkedIn, 5% are on Plaxo, 26% are on Hi5

Plaxo Users
– 1.3 million users identified in Rapleaf study
– 62% female, 37% male
– 16% 45 yrs
– 3.6 major social networking sites used on average
– 20% are on Facebook, 53% are on MySpace, 11% are on LinkedIn, 9% are on Friendster, 15% are on Hi5

Hi5 Users
– 4.5 million users identified in Rapleaf study
– 60% female, 39% male
– 21% 45 yrs
– 2.8 major social networking sites used on average
– 13% are on Facebook, 43% are on MySpace, 2% are on LinkedIn, 13% are on Friendster, 2% are on Plaxo

Obama Online Campaign Videos Impact on the Election

Social network video dissemination certainly wasn’t the only reason Barack Obama won the election, but his campaign’s deft use of it played a role in the senator’s success, according to digital video expert Rajeev Kadam.

Reprinted from http://www.ClickZ.com
By Fred Aun, The ClickZ Network, Nov 7, 2008
Articles | Contact Fred | Subscribe to Newsletters | RSS Feeds

Kadam, CEO of divinity Metrics, which tracks online video uploads and views for advertisers, said his company analyzed more than 200 online video platforms during more than 400 days of the presidential campaign. The firm analyzed not only the number of videos uploaded by the McCain and Obama campaigns, and by amateurs, but also the numbers of views they attracted.

According to divinity, 104,454 videos about Obama were uploaded during the campaign, and these were viewed about 889 million times. The 64,092 videos about McCain were viewed 554 million times.

“You can see just how much Barack Obama did with social video,” said Kadam. “He was very, very participatory in that field and it really did help him with younger audiences.”

Kadam said McCain’s videos attracted a “slightly older audience” than did Obama’s. Not much of a surprise there, but Kadam said he was impressed with the sheer number of video uploads and views the campaigns engendered.

Men were responsible for the overwhelming majority of campaign video viewing. This was true for both candidates, as female viewers never exceeded 25 percent of the total for either Obama or McCain.

Kadam noted both candidates were the subject of many YouTube videos, created both by their campaigns and by amateurs. He said a large number of videos were posted and later deleted. This happened mainly to amateur videos showing campaign staff mistakes, to those with distasteful content, and to those violating copyrights.

Spikes in viral views of Obama videos happened during the primary campaign in March as people sought videos related to speeches by Jeremiah Wright and Obama’s reactions. Another spike occurred at the end of May, when pastor Michael Pfleger bashed Hilary Clinton, according to divinity.

For the presidential campaign, divinity Media “measured across the entire landscape of video,” said Kadam. “YouTube is one of the biggest of the 200 platforms, but there are other sites out there.” He mentioned Dailymotion.com, Metacafe, peer-to-peer platforms like BitTorrent, and MySpaceTV.

So what can advertisers learn from the campaign video research? “The importance of identifying audiences and figuring out how to strategically engage them,” said Kadam. “The political candidates are very much like brands. They want to go out and get their messages heard. Brands are in the same position.”

WTH is Iron Shirt Ink?…..It’s All About Customer Love!

Ok here’s the deal, you as a small business want to turn your prospects into customers, turn you customers into repeat customers and your repeat customers into fans.

Fans are the key idea, the kind of fans that will wear your t-shirt, or get your logo as a tattoo (INK) and Iron because when you do this your brand is tough, and can chase other brands out of your market space by sheer customer love.

So that’s the idea use the web to make fans and the customer love supports your brand position. Simple and effective. We help you Win Prospects, Drive Repeat Customers, and Make Fans.

By the way as a shameless plug we also have our own t-shirts so If you like the idea of your customers being your fans you can wear the Iron Shirt Ink brand t-shirts too.

Now back to building customer love. It’s about relationship. Your customers have to feel like you put their best interest first. Like you are a part of the culture they love and like they can identify their independence by identifying with you.

In the online realm that means first a website that your customers want to use and second a bunch of online interaction points that your customers see regularly. Email, MySpace, FaceBook, Digg, Your Website, What Your customers say about you in their blogs, what they read about you in the news, what they hear in podcasts, on the radio and more. It’s all a part of your web presence and the better your presence the more it will lead to customer love.

That’s what we are about,, that’s what we help customers do. Win Customers.