If you are an ecommerce entrepreneur with an online dropshipping business or other internet enterprise, you may have invested time in social media marketing but failed to get the results you hoped for, and consequently are ready to throw in the towel and forget social media as a way to build your business.
Don’t be too hasty!
There are reasons why your social media strategy might not have been successful so far, and fixes for these failures/
Here are 5 reasons why some marketers are not successful with social media marketing:
1. Targeting the wrong demographic: This is a fairly common mistake made by a lot of entrepreneurs. There are quite a few popular social sites, but they are not all created equal in terms of having members who represent your ideal target market. For example, Bebo is comprised mainly of young people. If you are selling a product geared for a more mature consumer, investing time in social marketing here is a bad move.
2. Failure to use good SEO: Search Engine Optimization is crucial, and this rule applies to social media marketing as well as your ecommerce website. You should make sure to use best SEO practices on your Twitter profile, your Facebook page, LinkedIn or any other social site you are using for marketing.
3. Your content and contributions were substandard: To be successful with social media marketing, you must engage with your audience. And this requires you to be engaging with fresh, interesting content. You can’t just login and blab out any old thing just for the sake of putting in an appearance on the social site and expect to get good results. Create rich, compelling content and it will pay off for you!
4. You came across as shady and untrustworthy: If you plaster your website with ads and shady looking links, most people will hit the back button. In order to optimize your social media marketing efforts, your website should be professional looking and display trust and security symbols prominently.
5. You spread yourself too thin: This is another fairly common area of failure for social media marketers. Trying to cover too many bases and engage in marketing campaigns at too many sites is never a good idea. Basically, unless you are willing to work 20 hours a day at it, you are setting yourself up to fail. It’s better to choose one or two social sites and focus on them than to skip and hop around from one to another, not doing a good job on any of them.
If your social networking hasn’t been up to your expectations, you might be able to recognize what you’re doing wrong and fix it!
Start your own online dropship business today!
Platforms Change, Marketing is the Same
This content from: Duct Tape Marketing
The video below, staged by the Business Marketing Association (BMA) during their annual conference, should be shown to every business marketer alive. It’s an update on the classic McGraw Hill ad known widely as “Man in a Chair.”
I saw this a few months ago, but I was prompted to bring it to your attention by a tweet from Lee Odden – @leeodden: Audience Q: Where’s ROI of social media? My A: Wrong question. Social is a platform, not a tactic #pubcon
Marketing is, in my book, getting someone who has a need to know, like, and trust you – social media has become an important trust building platform, but you’ve still got to deliver the goods back at the ranch too!
Twitter and LinkedIn Finally Sync Up
This content from: Duct Tape Marketing
LinkedIn and Twitter announced an integration today that should be interesting.
Starting sometime today, LinkedIn users can automatically feed their Twitter status updates to their LinkedIn status updates. While LinkedIn’s status update feature is right there for all to use, my experience is that people don’t use it nearly as much as they should – or certainly not like Twitter. (Even though LinkedIn has more members than Twitter.) This should be a real shot in the arm to LinkedIn from an exposure standpoint, but it may shake things up a bit too as the volume of status updates skyrockets.
The partnership is significant for another reason. I think this update is a further move towards positioning Twitter as the central content distribution hub for business. Facebook Fan Pages now offer easy Twitter integration and Bing and Google have established official ties with Twitter as well.
The ability to cross post goes both ways.
You can post from LinkedIn status and have it update twitter or the other way around. On LinkedIn you will change some setting and then click the Twitter box to have a LinkedIn status update post to Twitter.
The Twitter integration works very much like the popular Selective Twitter App for Facebook, when you post on Twitter and add the hashtag #li or #in the twitter update will also post to LinkedIn.
Here’s the update announcement from the LinkedIn blog: LinkedIn works with Twitter, and vice versa
3 Sources of Grammar Inspiration
This content from: Duct Tape Marketing
About once a week I amuse the grammar troops by torturing some aspect of the language in my writing. Hey, I don’t do it on purpose and I love that I’m able to provide an otherwise cuddly group of individuals with a steady flow of chuckles.
I’ve had this post in the back of my mind for some time, but I was prompted to write it today by a LinkedIn status update I saw yesterday. (Name of victim withheld) – “Excited to attend my first titter conference today.” In the always on, say what’s on your mind, send it, but you can’t take it back world we live in, we could all take a moment from LOLing. (This is not me throwing stones, I am definitely guilty.)
It’s funny how minor mistakes can slow down and even alter the meaning of something we write.
Here’s my A team, all-world, really bad typo story. I was working on an annual report for a very large non-profit agency. In the report there was a sentence that was to refer to the organization’s work and gifts on behalf of underserved families. However, the sentence actually spoke glowingly about their work and gifts given to undeserved families. Kind of different, oops.
I would love to hear your grammar and type horror stories. Seems like a good Friday outlet. Share them in the comments.
Here’s the list of resources I turn to whenever I get the urge to keep the grammar police at bay for a day.
Image credit: Loopzilla
The first post in this series focused on the pros and cons of sponsoring a tweetchat. The second post dove deep into the details on how to start planning and preparing for your first tweetchat event. Part three is all about promotion.
At this stage, you’ve got your tweetchat set up, you have a lineup of great speakers and panelists and you’re mitigating the technical difficulties as best you can. So how do you promote the tweetchat?
Remember your objective. What was the purpose of the tweetchat? To get leads? Improve awareness? Develop relationships with bloggers? Like most other media events, focusing on the proper channels is imperative.
- Leverage other sites. Add the event to your company’s page on Facebook and any use group sites. With LinkedIn, I promoted to our customer user group and the community groups where I actively participate. I decided against blasting the information out to groups of which I am not an active member.
- Re-tweet friendly. Make your Twitter promos short, catchy and within the boundaries of the character limit for others to re-tweet.
- Use different keywords/hashtags. People are following different tags like #crowdsourcing, #startup, #web20, etc. Do a little research on your topic areas and sort out which topics are followed by the audience you’re trying to reach.
- Ask your close allies to help. I’m not suggesting you send out something that says “PLEASE RT.” Instead send the copy personally to your close friends, allies and colleagues. Ask them to re-tweet at the appropriate moment, typically the morning of the event.
- Have a non-Twitter option. Think about offering another option for participation in addition to Twitter. Another idea is to add a non-Twitter option like a conference call or video to every fourth tweetchat and tailor the content accordingly.
It’s really important to keep your target audience in mind. Sometimes it’s hard to admit that those frequenting your corporate Web site are not the best target for a Twitter-only event. For example, establishing Smartsheet as a leader in crowdsourcing meant reaching influencers and bloggers who are Twitter-savvy and that meant not posting a broad message on our Web site.
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About the Author: Maria Colacurcio is the co-founder of Smartsheet, the only collaboration tool with a built-in workforce. Prior to starting Smartsheet, Maria worked in B2B marketing for 10+ years at companies including Onyx Software, NetReality and Microsoft. Join our weekly Tweetchat on crowdsourcing by following @Crowdwork on Twitter or #crowdwork Thursdays at 9am PDT.
From Small Business Trends
New Feature Makes LinkedIn More Like a CRM Tool
This content from: Duct Tape Marketing
LinkedIn pushed an upgraded feature through today that makes it a much more powerful small business prospecting and relationship tool in my book.
When prospecting on LinkedIn in the past you could type in a keyword or specific company search and locate people you might want to reach out to. For many folks this is the greatest benefit of LinkedIn participation. The tough thing was you had to look at the details of each profile you might find and make a decision about contacting them right then as there wasn’t a convenient way to save or group your chosen profiles for future use.
Today, LinkedIn added a tool in the paid version that allows you to create searches and then save the profiles that look interesting to folders in what it’s calling your Profile Organizer. So, let’s say you are scouting out journalists at a certain publication. You can do a search, set up a folder, and save all the profiles you like in that folder for later contact. They’ve also added a “note” feature so you can jot something of interest to yourself or even something that was said when you contacted them last. I think this feature makes the paid version worth a look. Of course, they’ve also made it free for 30 days. You activate the free trial by simply using the Save a profile feature.
The Profile Organizer shows up as a workspace under the contact tab and once active you’ll see “save profile” as an option any time you are looking at an individual or group of profiles.
The thing I like most is that this allows you to work in LinkedIn any time you have 10 minutes and makes that 10 minutes much more efficient. For me researching and contacting are two very different activities and take different frames of mind when doing them. I like that fact that I can organize all the profiles as I feel like it and then come back and do laser focused reaching out when I’m in that mood. The note taking field is what makes this CRM like to me. (Note: You don’t have to be connected to someone to save and note their profile either.)
You can read more about the Profile Organizer update here on the LinkedIn blog
ACT! 2010 Gets More Social
This content from: Duct Tape Marketing
The latest release of ACT! CRM software (2010) includes a feature that I’ve been pushing for and am starting to see as standard fare in CRM – the inclusion of a contact’s social media activity stream. Now, from inside a contact record you can view that contact’s activity on Facebook, LinkedIn, or twitter. Subscribe to RSS for their blog or even custom searches for their industry or competition. In addition, you can respond to something you read right from the record.
The bottom line is that having this kind of data can help fill in the total picture when it comes to a prospect or client and make you much smarter and more efficient in your follow-up and relationship building. I contend that you should be paying attention to this kind of information anyway, so now it’s easier to do.
Social media activity for a contact displays inside the record (click to enlarge)
Another great feature is the full integration of email marketing. ACT has enjoyed a nice relationship with an email service called SwiftPage. The SwiftPage offering is now fully baked in as a paid subscription option called ACT Email Marketing. This subscription allows you to easily market to any segment or your entire database through email from within ACT! The service has some very robust campaign features (a record can be added to your database and a campaign and automatically receive a series of predefined emails.) Tracking user interaction with your emails sent is also very powerful with this tool, giving you the ability to analyze your hottest leads based on whether they read or take action in response to an email.
Overall I think I like the layout better and search throughout is much improved. You no longer have to back to the lookup screen to find a specific record.
There are many CRM tools to choose from, but for many small businesses ACT! is plenty powerful, simple and low cost. With these enhancements it’s an improved tool as well.
Disclosure: Sage Software, the maker of ACT!, is a client of Duct Tape Marketing and the Duct Tape Marketing Coach Network.
It’s becoming more and more important for small business owners to “own” their Google results. In a world where you are what Google says you are, when someone searches for your name they need to be able to find you. The real you. Not a lookalike, another company with the same name or that social profile you thought you had taken care of it. Business owners must protect their brand, and sometimes that means doing just a touch of proactive online reputation management to secure your Google 10.
Your Google 10 is the top ten results that appear when someone does a Google search for your name. How do you go about ensuring you own all ten spots? Surprisingly, it’s not that hard. Here are some of the sites and profiles you’ll want to grab and pay attention to.
Grab your .com: Chances are you already have this one and it’s naturally ranking very well for your brand. Congrats. That’s one listing. Time to go after the other nine.
Join Professional Directories: Whatever your industry, there are guaranteed to be at least a handful of directory or resource sites you can join to help customers find you, while also helping you to take advantage of the company profile pages they offer. Often these directories will require a small application fee for your profile to be reviewed, but if you’re able to choose targeted sites, you’ll get both customers and a major search ranking benefit from them. To find these directories, try doing a search for [your industry] + directory].
Get Social: Besides just being a great way to reach out to customers, social profiles are known for how well they rank in Google due to their authority and all the links being pointed at them. If you’re looking to claim some space, try creating a Facebook Fan page, Twitter account and corporate accounts on sites like LinkedIn, Crunchbase, Naymz, etc. Don’t just register the accounts, though. Actually build out the profiles and make them useful. There’s no sense ranking a profile if the information on it isn’t up to par.
Target Industry-Specific Social Sites: Thanks to the social media boom, there are social sites now geared toward virtually every industry on the planet, whether it’s finance, sports, art and design, programming, SEO, etc. Find your niche and get involved. Create accounts on these sites and engage in the community when it makes sense. Many of the smaller social sites will also allow you to link to your “mainstream” social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, etc. Take advantage of this feature. The more links you get to each account, the stronger it will become and the better it will rank. If there are any forums in your area of specialty, consider creating usernames on those as well.
Make Media: The search engines like media. In fact, they like it so much that they’re starting to replace “regular” search results with images, videos and news clippings. Because so few companies are being proactive about media content, you can often overtake competitor listings simply by creating media content and optimizing it – including the name of your company in the title, file name, description and within the tags, etc. As mentioned before, video and small businesses go really well together. Obviously, Flickr, YouTube and Vimeo are great sites to focus on for these purposes. [If you’re really adventurous, perhaps even create your own podcast!]
Guest Blog: Guest blogging is a great way to increase visibility and bring visitors to your site, but it can also be an effective way of grabbing more search real estate. Offer to provide a blogger with unique content in your site. In return you’ll often be given a brief bio box which will allow you to link out to your Web site and maybe even some other prominent profiles or content pieces. If the site owner is agreeable, you should also put your name and company name in the Title tag of that entry.
Speak At Local Events: Look for opportunities to speak or get involved with local events in your niche. These spots usually come with speaker bios that you can build out to rank very well (and very easily) for your name and company. They’re also exactly what you want to be ranking for when a potential partner or prospect goes searching for your brand. It shows that you know what you’re talking about AND that you care about your community.
If the list above looks a bit overwhelming, fear not. Chances are you won’t have to create each and every account mentioned in order to secure and protect your Google 10. However, variety is the spice of life…and Google rankings.
Just like many of you, I like to save money. That’s why I offer so many “Do-It-Yourself Public Relations” products. I’m also always on the lookout for other useful, inexpensive publicity tools.
Here’s a list of tools you can use to get publicity for $1 or less:
1. Help a Reporter: Free leads from reporters who are looking for sources for stories.
2. Contact any Celebrity: One week’s trial for a $1. Get contact information for celebrities, to get potential endorsements.
3. The Gift List: Free trial of a list of media contacts for consumer product companies. This link will also give you a 15% discount should you decide to get a subscription.
4. Contacts on Tap: Free 15-day trial of a media contacts database.
5. Chases Calendar: Free listing of a holiday you can create. This annual calendar is used by media everywhere.
6. Ezinearticles.com: Free directory of articles. Submit yours with a resource box at the bottom to drive traffic to your Web site.
7. Write a guest post or get interviewed or mentioned by a top blogger, with a link to your Web site – free.
8. Win an award – Takes time to submit the award application, but usually no money.
9. Create profiles and use free social media tools including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
10. Set up and write posts on a free WordPress blog platform. These posts often get picked up in search engines, and may be found by reporters searching for sources on specific subjects.
Use these tools and watch your publicity efforts become more successful – for not a lot of money.
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About the Author: Margie Zable Fisher is the President of Zable Fisher Public Relations, a small business public relations firm, and is the publisher of Women Business Owners Digest (www.wbodigest.com). To get free publicity opportunities in her weekly newsletter, visit www.zfpr.com.