Online Cliques

Online Cliques

Sometimes you have to forget what you learned (or were told) in high school. Back then cliques may not have been good for you – contributing to peer pressure and leaving some of the “un-cliqued” feeling left out.

But in the online world, getting into a clique can propel you forward. There are several different ways to create or insert yourself into a clique.

There are three roles that people fill in online cliques. Each of them can help you:

  1. Leader. If you are the leader of your online clique, you get to be the expert. A good way to be an online clique leader is to create a Twitter following where others can’t wait to hear what you’ll say next. This could be appropriate for a restaurant (especially a mobile one), a thought leader (innovator in your field), or a producer of original content.
  2. Connector. If you are an online clique connector, you help others find the right online clique for their needs. This means that you’re out there in the online world and know what is the right spot to suggest for someone. This might be in Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups or even connecting people to each other on LinkedIn.
  3. Participant. If you are an online clique participant, you get to meet, interact with, and “rub shoulders” with others. To be a successful participant, you have to pay attention. Identify who you should be following on Twitter and then do more than just follow – interact with them and retweet them. On Facebook, choose the groups or pages you join carefully, pay attention to the conversation(s) and contribute as appropriate. The same applies for LinkedIn as well.

In high school you usually only had one clique – perhaps two – that you could be a member of. In the online realm, you can participate in several. In fact, you are only limited by the amount of time you have to put into it.

Having said that, I don’t recommend joining every group. You’ll spread yourself too thin. Remember the power of focus. Concentrate on a select few groups or perhaps just one and get engaged. How should you choose the group? Consider industry group(s) or geographic-based groups that are in your niche.


5 Things to Measure in Social Media Marketing

Most businesses engaging in Social Media Marketing measure things like “Likes” or “Followers”. That’s not bad but Internet Marketing is more than a popularity contest. For a small business

  1. Number of Interactions on Facebook – shows they’re engaged.
    Developing a successful Facebook page where your fans or “likers” not only like a particular item but make comments. Developing a following that interacts with you on social media emboldens them to interact with you as customer.
  2. Number of click-thru’s – from Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn back to your site.
    This is easy to track. It’s also, if something you’re measuring, easier to create ways for people to do so.
  3. Increase in number of people who attend an event or call you after/during a campaign.
    Depending on your business and the appropriate call to action, you might “see” the results as click thru’s but if you hold an event that was properly publicized on social media and see an increase in attendance or participation, you can begin to make the connection.
  4. Number of hits on a landing page on your site from a campaign.
    While similar to number of click-thru’s, creating a special landing page is one way to very clearly check how much traffic you get from your campaign. It is also smart because you can have a page specifically created for that campaign, making it highly targeted.
  5. Increase in customers as a direct result of a campaign
    Ultimately, your social media marketing needs to get you more customers. For each business the method of acquisition is different but you need to measure this or you might as well not even do social media in the first place.

It isn’t a popularity contest, it’s business. It’s important to measure things that impact your bottom line. Need more help figuring out what to measure? Check out our March 15 seminar, How to Build an Internet Marketing Plan.


Lessons from Conan O’Brien

I’ve never been a fan of Conan O’Brien’s style of humor. But I am now a fan of Conan. CNN Money did a story on how Conan O’Brien turned a “failure” into a new lease on life. I highly recommend this article to anyone interested in how to use social media and in understanding how YOU or YOUR COMPANY is a brand to be nurtured and marketed in new ways.

I learned or re-learned four lessons from reading this article that pertain very specifically to social media marketing:

  1. The old media mindset doesn’t work with digital media – a given time slot (11:35 PM) is old media. Realizing that fans will interact with you whether they watch (and tweet) on TV or watch clips on Facebook or from Twitter is the digital media mindset.
  2. For the kind of content Conan provides, real life fans are eager to become Twitter followers or Facebook fans (or likers).
  3. A strong brand can sell on social media very well – Conan’s 30 city tour sold out. Their method of advertising? Sending out Tweets. Cost = $0.
  4. Failure is an option. Sometimes it is the best option. By “failing” on the Tonight Show, he was in a situation where he and his team could think differently. So they did. And now instead of the old media bosses being in charge, like at NBC, Conan and Team Coco are in charge and blazing the trail that other artists will be sure to try to follow.

I would encourage you to think about what has driven your dream or ideal forward. Does it still make sense in the year 2011? What could you try differently? Want some help thinking this through? Give me (Brian) a call at 303 268-2245 x. 4 and we’ll help you learn what you could do differently.


Cultivating Customer Relationships Online

One of the most difficult things for most of us to wrap our minds around is that the cyber world of Social Media Marketing works very much the same as the physical world of marketing. Relationships rule. Cultivating relationships online is not really all that different than cultivating relationships in the physical world.

We like to be remembered. We like to hear our name mentioned. We like the personal touch.

But because, in the cyber world, things CAN be automated, many people do so. I have left my Twitter direct message notification on (I get an email when someone direct messages me). Many of the people that I follow have an auto-responder on. Some of these can even capture my real name and send me a response. But the response is general and impersonal enough that I’m turned off by most.

What would be a good response? “Hey Brian, read your latest blog post. Interesting read.” That tells me you’re taking time on our relationship. I confess that I don’t do this often enough but it is taking time for REAL genuine interaction that engages people, lets them know you care, and leads to building a relationship that can turn into business.
How can you cultivate relationships online?

On Facebook:

  • Interact with fans / likers (FB has new ways they are rolling out where, they say, the Fan Page will be able to interact with users just like users can – making comments and liking other’s posts)
  • Accept friend requests and then browse through their friends to see if you have common acquaintances that you might not have connected with yet

On Twitter:

  • Take enough time to respond to followers – this is obviously important for potential customers – in a meaningful way. “Nice Tweet” isn’t particularly meaningful.
  • Follow those who follow you. I actually take time to click through to my followers profile to see who they are and what they tweet about. This would be a good time to retweet something good they’ve said, reply to a tweet or direct message them with a genuine message.

On LinkedIn:

  • If you have a good experience with someone, right a recommendation – everyone likes to have their praises sung to others.
  • Find a good group to join in – one where you can ask questions and learn and then contribute.
  • If there isn’t a group (look around first, there probably is) create your own group and invite connections to join you.

On Social Media:

  • Keep in mind that Social Media is two way communication
  • Keep in mind that folks might be hesitant to interact with your brand at first. Find creative ways to get them to start – ask your physical network to help get this started by making a comment or responding to a quiz.
  • Provide value. That means providing real content that you have created – not sharing someone else’s or simply copying other’s content (this is usually illegal as well).
  • Search out people you want to connect with – movers and shakers or even potential clients – and, once again, interact with them genuinely. Be honest about why you want to connect (I’ve been following your work / blog / Facebook page, etc and would like to connect directly).
  • Provide original content – I know I just said this but a lot of folks get hung up on this point. “I don’t have time.” “There’s nothing new in my industry” etc. I disagree. There is something unique about you as a company or individual that provides your unique selling proposition. Turn that into original content.

And I would be less than authentic if I didn’t tell you that EduCyber provides these kinds of services, whether it is helping you create a plan (Social Media Marketing Plan), setting up your accounts (Basic SMM setup), or actually implementing your Social Media Marketing plan, we can help. Give us a call at (303) 268-2245 ext. 4.


If the Queen can do it, so Should You

It really is time for you to get your business on to Facebook. How do I know this? The Queen of England now has her own Facebook page. Actually it is the British Monarchy but for all intents and purposes, that is the Queen.

You can do some of the many things the Queen is doing:

  • Show the world whatever you want about yourself – and being the British Monarchy, they don’t share a lot but what they do is out there for all to see.
  • Link to your Youtube account – who knew there was a Youtube account for the Queen? – and embed your videos in your Facebook page.
  • Link to your Twitter account – boy these stuffy royals sure know their Internet marketing
  • Link to your Flickr account so you can show off your pictures
  • Link to the prince’s web site. OK, so maybe there aren’t any princes associated with your business but you could link to key partners / vendors – in fact if this is done well it helps them and makes them look more kindly towards you.

If a “business” run by an 84 year old lady can get this engaged in Social Media in order to facilitate relationships and build up a public image, why shouldn’t you?


Social Media Marketing Made Easy

Everybody wants to do it quickly. “How much time does it take?” is the number one question I’m asked. It can be fast and it can be easy. But first you have to invest in a plan. That can be investing time or investing money or both. Without a plan then your “investment” is about as solid as investing in the crap tables in Vegas. With a plan you are investing in the growth of your business.

What does a social media marketing plan look like? That depends on what you want to accomplish and on what social media is doing when you create the plan. Remember that this technology or medium is very much in its infancy so what works in August of 2010 might not work come November. It really does change that quickly.

So what is the easy part of all this?

The most crucial part of your plan is to decide what action or actions you want people to take. A good starting action is getting people to LIKE you. On Facebook this means to click the like button. In the olden days (April of 2010 for example) you wanted people to become a fan but it changed, just that quickly. Now you want them to LIKE you.

So folks say liking isn’t enough. I say that depends on your plan. Once they’ve liked you, you can communicate with them more directly. If your company or purpose is based on a particular event such as a charity run, then getting them to click the like button might be enough because now you can share information with them about the event.

Other actions that could help you get what you want out of social media:

  • Fill out the form to sign up for your newsletter (now these can be put right into facebook)
  • Click through to your web site
  • Click a link to a coupon or social media only special
  • Call you directly from info on your profile
  • Make a comment on your posting
  • “LIKE” a particular post
  • Start a new conversation
  • Respond to a poll question
  • Post a picture
  • Post a video
  • And the list goes on and on . . .

Now we’re to the easy part. Once you’ve got your goals and your desired actions, engage your friends / fans / followers accordingly. It really doesn’t take much time with a plan – or if it does take a lot of time, it does so because it’s paying off for you.

But don’t forget to measure the results. If they aren’t turning out as desired, then it’s time to revisit the plan.

Want help? That’s what we do. Call 303 368-2245 ext. 4 to get started.


9 Measurable Social Media Marketing Goals

It seems like I’ve been focusing a lot of my attention lately on helping understand or plan out their goals. Whether it be goals for a new web site or social media marketing goals, it is absolutely critical to have goals and then . . . wait for it . . . actually measure them.

So if your goal is to get more business you’re going to have to refine it just a tad. Otherwise when you get one new customer you will have reached your goal. But what it a good measurable goal for social media marketing? That’s the heart of the matter for most folks. What does a goal look like?

Here are 9 measurable goals for social media that, if they don’t work for you, will hopefully spark something that will work:

  1. 200 more followers on Facebook. This is definitely measurable simply check today and at the end of the time period and see what the change is.
  2. 20 retweets a week on Twitter. This will help you figure out what really gets a lot of attention. Last week’s blog on “5 Biggest Social Media Marketing Mistakes” for example caught a lot of attention.
  3. 15% more click thru’s from Social Media sites to your main web site. This is pretty easy to see how it would translate into more business.
  4. 4. 20% increase in “fans” who “like” your posts on Facebook. Like #2, this will help you figure out what gets people’s attention.
  5. 5. 20 check-ins a week on Foursquare (this is a great site for location based businesses like restaurants, bars or coffee shops). Again, this is easily measured and if you’re getting folks checking in, it gives you a chance to interact – give them a to do while they’re there.
  6. 30 newsletter signups each month directly from Facebook. Check out FBML and learn how to add html to your page.
  7. 10 sales each week from Twitter. You need to be careful about pushing the business too hard in social media but with the right plan and the right product(s) it could work well.
  8. 4 leads each week generated through social media (best tracked if you create a separate landing page for social media). This is more marketing-focused but could really boost your business.
  9. 15% decrease in returns because of customer outreach through social media. Took a different tack on this one to help you imagine the possibilities. It’s not necessarily directly sales related. If you’re saving costs on the backend, you’ll be more profitable.

Note that all nine of these are very measurable. Note also that these are just the goals. Once you have the goal established you need to develop the tactics you will employ to achieve your goal. What are your goals?



5 Biggest Social Media Marketing Mistakes

Everyone is joining in the Social Media Marketing blitz – or so it often seems – but not everyone is doing it well. Are you?

Here are the five biggest mistakes businesses make in Social Media Marketing:

5. Not being consistent
Some really good folks come up with a plan and start implementing it and then get distracted or busy and don’t consistently implement it. Using tools like HootSuite or TweetDeck can help you manage the flow and be more consistent.

4. Being too business focused
It’s called SOCIAL media for a reason. People want to get to know you. They want to understand you from the human perspective, not just the business side. Take some time to tell people what has your interest, even if it’s watching your daughter’s hockey game.

3. Not measuring the results
I often hear “I tried Facebook and it didn’t work.” I follow up with a “How do you know?” and get blank looks or vague answers. If you’re going to engage in social media marketing, measure your results in as quantifiable ways as possible.

2. Not following the plan
It is easy to get distracted in social media. You log on to post about your next event or a special you have coming up and the next thing you know you’re chatting with your high school football buddies or “friending” your college sweetheart. Be disciplined. Tape your plan or goals to your monitor to remind you of what you’re doing. Then follow through.

1. Not having a plan
Simple as it may seem, a huge number of businesses engaging in social media MARKETING don’t have a plan for what they want to accomplish – or their plan doesn’t fit with their business goals. I met a recently laid off individual who went on to LinkedIn and established links with 1000s of people – and he only knew about 25 of them. He asked me “What do I do now?” I had no idea what to tell him because he didn’t have a plan that he could articulate.

Create a plan that fits your business. Include measurable goals in your plan.

You’ll see results.



Measuring the Success of your Company’s Social Media Marketing

I know a business owner who has complete command of his business numbers. He measures and analyzes the statistics of every aspect of his online marketing. He’s on top of making critical adjustments to his marketing plan on the basis of these numbers.

When it comes to investing in social media marketing, for him, there’s a pesky problem. Measuring the return on investment, or ROI, of such a plan isn’t pretty. The numbers don’t stand alone.

Why? First, it’s critical to understand that a business’ social media marketing is tied directly to the success of the website in one critical area — conversion. The goal of a successful social media plan in business is  to drive traffic to the company website. So, logically, if the website is optimized to convert traffic to sales, then the company can measure THAT success in business volume — or response to the call to action on the site.

Even the best social media marketing plan might be dynamically effective at driving traffic to the website, a measurable statistic, but it is a stand-alone number. Then, the number to focus on is how well the website is doing at converting traffic to sales.

Savvy business owners get this. Still, the compelling factor for investing in any marketing is always the ROI.

Here’s where the argument for using social media for marketing seems to come apart and why it can be so difficult to convince owners to invest in it. It isn’t a stand-alone measurement. And, like the owner I mentioned before, businesses  are usually making decisions about marketing dollars based on the numbers.

There are lots of numbers that help a business owner feel good about their marketing investment. And, there are plenty of companies that will throw numbers together in a convincing way that promise a return on social media marketing.

But, let’s be honest. It’s only a tool to drive traffic to the website. Social media sites are a place for people to connect with a business online through interactive dialogue. They have a chance to informally “like” you. Then, they “like” you enough to use another tool in your marketing arsenal — the website. Once folks are on the website, then you’re talking about numbers that really count in business.

Social media marketing in business isn’t talking about when you’ve brushed your teeth or what color your shoes are today. If it’s done correctly, it’s a way for businesses to generate a buzz about their passion — whether it’s culinary or construction or counseling.

It’s a tool. It works and plays well with others in the overall online marketing plan. And all together, they build a business’ online success. Collectively, the numbers matter.


Your Company Reputation and Social Media Marketing

Question 9 of 10 Essential Questions for Your Social Media Marketing Campaign is How does my company reputation fit into Social Media Marketing. If you haven’t figured it out by now, it is ALL about your reputation.

Social Media Marketing is about engaging others and building long term relationships with others.  This enhances your reputation as a company and establishes you as a player in the long term plans of your potential and existing clients.

There are specific things you can and should do to both monitor and build your reputation:

1.       Set up a Google Alert ( for your company name. You can try it with or without quotes to see what kind of results you get.

2.       While both Google and Bing have agreements to include twitter in their results, we still recommend setting up a twitter account to monitor your company name / reputation on Twitter. TweetDeck can be used to do this. can also be used to help you do this.

3.       When your company is mentioned online, engage with the mentioner, whether the mention is good or bad. If the comment is negative, see if there is some way you can reach out and change their mind or provide some kind of remedy.

4.       If your company isn’t mentioned or isn’t mentioned much, don’t quit. Engage and you will find that it will begin to be used.

5.       Set up a Facebook fan page for your company. Plan what you want to happen and make sure you implement your plan.

Why do it? Facebook has 300 million plus users. Twitter has around 60 million users.  You won’t find all of them becoming your customers but you will find a sizeable number that you can interact with to broaden your network.


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