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.

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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.
 

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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?

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36 Ways to Market Your Web Site

  1. Put your web site on business card
  2. Incorporate your domain name into your letterhead
  3. Buy an ad in other ezines or email newsletters
  4. Engage in online communities and make sure you include your domain where appropriate (like in your signature)
  5. Include a link to your web site in your email signature
  6. Build a corporate Facebook page and post interesting information that links back to your site.
  7. Include a link to your site in your Twitter profile
  8. Include a link to your site in your Facebook profile
  9. Include a link to your site in your LinkedIn profile
  10. Include links to your site in your Tweets where appropriate
  11. Exchange links with a related site
  12. Develop an affiliate network where others get paid to market your site.
  13. Create press releases for anything new: staff, location, service, product, etc. Be    sure to mention the web site as the source for more information
  14. Write on your blog regularly (if your blog isn’t on your web site, include links to your site in each blog entry)
  15. Create an informercial video about something relevant to your company. Upload it to video sites like YouTube. Make sure the video finished with a link to the site and that the site is mentioned in the description.
  16. Create a podcast on a relevant topic and don’t forget to mention your web site in the audio.
  17. Use email marketing (like iContact or Aweber) to regularly communicate with your customers. Include links back to your web site
  18. Write guest blogs for other sites with links in the bio back to your site.
  19. Buy an ad in the local newspaper with your domain name as a prominent part of the ad
  20. Create a TV commercial and buy some spots on local TV. Include your URL in the ad.
  21. Run a radio ad that mentions your URL
  22. Create an amusing video that highlights how your company solves problems and make sure the video links to your site. Upload it to Youtube.
  23. Share company videos that you’ve uploaded on Twitter.
  24. Share company videos that you’ve uploaded on Facebook.
  25. Create a PowerPoint presentation about something your company is good at. Include your URL. Upload this file to a site like SlideShare.
  26. Create a new award like “Best <your industry service or product> in <your area>”. Advertise it on your web site asking for submissions / nominations.
  27. Create a press release to go with this new award and send it out to news organizations, pointing them to your site for more information.
  28. Use an email blast to all your subscribers to announce the new award and point them to the site for details.
  29. Read other blogs. Engage in that community by leaving comments (with a link back to your site)
  30. Devote time to write a really good white paper on a hot topic in your industry. Provide this as an incentive on your web site for users to sign up for your newsletter.
  31. Advertise this white paper on social media sites.
  32. Post the white paper download info on sites you have access to – don’t neglect chambers of commerce and other business organizations. They’ll often share your info for free.
  33. Offer a free seminar on a popular or useful topic. Post the details on your site and then refer people to the site for details.
  34. Use social media to promote your seminar and direct people to your site.
  35. Engage in or start a group on LinkedIn regarding your industry (better to engage in existing groups) or area of expertise. Establish yourself as an authority and regularly link back from the group to a pertinent part of your web site.
  36. Blog about current events and tie them back into your topic.

 

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Your Web Site, Internet Marketing and this Funny Thing Called Twitter

We talk to lots of business owners who see the value in having social media accounts with Facebook and LinkedIn but who simply don’t see the value in having a Twitter account and doing goofy things like Tweeting or ReTweeting.

According to a recent eMarketer report, there are lots of reasons that businesses should embrace Twitter as a marketing tool. First they project nearly 50% growth in Twitter users this year – to a total of 26 million users and by 2012 that number is projected to be 36 million. And those are just the US Adult numbers. All total, Twitter has 106 million registered users.

In another eMarketer report, we learn that B2C (business to consumer) businesses that use Twitter get a MUCH better return on their marketing. For example with businesses of 1 to 10 employees, the number of leads Twitter users generated as compared to non-Twitter users was 100% more. A company not using Twitter would generate 5 leads. A similar company using Twitter would generate 10 leads.

Simple math suggests that if you can double your leads using Twitter, why wouldn’t you?

Other reasons to use Twitter:

  • Twitter recently signed agreements with Google and Bing to include real time tweets in their search results. So if you send a tweet with a link to your site, you’re getting more links back to your site – more opportunities for customers to find you.
  • Once you have a plan in place, sending out tweets and interacting with your followers doesn’t take a lot of time.
  • You can monitor your brand (company name, personal name) so that if you’re mentioned, you can respond.
  • You can “eavesdrop” on your competitors to see what they’re doing
  • You can network with key partners and vendors without having to make lengthy phone calls or meet in person.

So what are you waiting for? Visit www.twitter.com and get started.

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Twitter Done Right

Twitter isn’t all fun and games. There’s some serious business happening among the tweets about Tiger and Charlie and what your accountant had for lunch. Business people want to know, “How can I use Twitter to build a following and promote my business?”

Twitter Done Right! is EduCyber’s January seminar that will teach you how to harness the power of tweeting to build traffic for your business. In this fast-moving seminar, host Brian DeLaet will teach you:

  • How to create a plan for promoting your business on Twitter
  • Who to follow and why
  • How to build a following for you and your business and turn that following into customers
  • Real examples of how businesses have used Twitter to explode their sales.

In other words, you’ll learn how to do Twitter right!

Register online at https://www.educyber.com/upcoming-seminars.php

(Space is limited, so call today!)

When: January 28, 2010

Time: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Where: 4251 Kipling St., Suite 190, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
(2nd Floor Conference Room)

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Why Bother With Twitter?

I’m often asked why anyone in business would want to spend time tweeting. That question often comes from the very same people who spend lots of time in meetings and events with local business associations, chambers of commerce and other opportunities to meet new people or make connections with existing contacts.

Hmm . . . is what I think. I’m not sure why people don’t see the value of tweeting to friends, colleagues, vendors and customers (and in fact all of Twitterland). Here are the reasons I find time to tweet:

  1. I can connect with my known circle of friends and tell them about what is happening (remember, don’t tweet about what you’re doing but about what has your attention).
  2. I can read my circle’s tweets and join in the conversation, letting those folks know that I am engaged in their conversation.
  3. I can share my news – typically that I have posted a new blog article but also about things related to my company.
  4. I can meet new people who share my interests, industry, politics, religion and more.
  5. I can connect with potential employees or staff members.
  6. I can stay abreast of what is happening in the world and in my industry (I learned that Michael Jackson had died through Twitter and I learned that Facebook surpassed 350 million users via Twitter)
  7. I can do research on what my competitors are doing

Most importantly, I realize that Twitter is one more way to network but it is unique in the real-time information flow and the method of using it – I often go days without visiting twitter.com but a day very rarely passes without one tweet or interaction on Twitter.икони

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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 (www.google.com/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. Monitter.com 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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Tools to Improve Your Social Media Marketing

Question 7 from 10 Essential Questions for your Social Media Marketing Campaign: ” What tools are available to make my time in SMM more efficient?” can be answered in different ways.

There are tools and then there are tools. Every day there are thousands (yes thousands) of blog entries and tweets about all the wonderful tools available to help you leverage your Social Media Marketing time to maximum advantage.

This isn’t another one of those messages. Instead, let me tell you about two that I use and point you in the direction of finding others.

The tool that I use to tie things together is Friendfeed. Friendfeed lets you tie your various social media accounts together in such a way that you can post once to one account and the post will automatically be updated across all your accounts.  What does “all your accounts” mean? Friendfeed can talk to your blog, to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube to name a few. If you use pictures, it can talk to Flickr and to Picasa. If you are into bookmarking and news, it will talk to delicious, StumbleUpon, Digg and Google Reader. In fact, there are currently 58 different sites that can be tied together through Friendfeed.

That sounds a bit overwhelming.  It doesn’t need to though. You can start with just a couple and still save time by using Friendfeed. Then when you’re ready to add, you can do so and tie them into Friendfeed as you add them to your repertoire.

The second tool I use and like is TweetDeck. While it sounds like it is just a Twitter application, it actually ties into Facebook and MySpace as well, allowing you to post once but push it to all those accounts. I only use it with Twitter but even then it helps. I have a personal account twitter.com/edubrian and a corporate account twitter.com/educyber and I can post to either or both at the same time through TweetDeck.

The power of TweetDeck comes from being able to create groups. I follow more than 1400 people but it works its power even if you follow a handful. For example, you can create a group called “My Industry” and add the people from your industry into that group. You can create a group called “Customers” and add your customers to that group. And so on. The simplicity of that makes life easier and will likely encourage you to follow more people because the flow of Tweets becomes more manageable.

What else is there?

Here are just a few links I found:

42+ Social Media Marketing Tools

4 tools for easier social media management

35+ Social Media Tools That Make Life Easier

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Finding a Niche for Your Social Media Marketing

What niche social networking sites might be useful for my goals?

Question 6 from 10 Essential Questions for Your Social Media Marketing Campaign brings some interesting insights that you might not have contemplated. Everyone knows about the big sites:

But what about the little sites (or even not so little sites) that might be tailored to your needs?

Authors, for example, should take another look at Amazon and see how they can use their author account to generate more buzz around their book right on THE site for book selling.

Other sites that you might find useful (not as big as the ones above but still pretty well known) include:

Each of these sites has its own orientation and purpose. For example, flixter.com is designed so you can share your movie review with friends. Depending on your business and what you are trying to accomplish, this could be a great way to connect with customers or vendors and share information.

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