The fireworks started early this July 4th! First it was Ann Curry and the Today Show. Then, Tomkat: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Those break-ups were big news last week. We thought we’d heard it all here in Westchester County but then, the week ended with a break-up of two social media giants: Twitter and LinkedIn!
The split between Twitter and LinkedIn doesn’t mean that that users can’t post Tweets to LinkedIn but that they can no longer connect their Twitter account using this LinkedIn option: “Share only tweets that contain #in or #li in your status updates.” This was a way for Twitter users to carefully select which Tweets they wanted published to their professional profile without ever having to go to LinkedIn. That option is now gone and users must go directly to LinkedIn to post an update.
Wondering how this change might affect your small or medium sized business’ social media strategy? Get the details on the break-up: Twitter & LinkedIn Break Up, Disabling Automatic Posting of Tweets.
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!
The New Year is underway and resolutions and tips are being offered on how to get your small business’ social media marketing in high gear in 2012. It’s all useful information that can move your plan forward. Here’s yet another tip to throw into the mix: look at your social media plan from the perspective of the “ancient” journalistic cliché that stories should always contain answers to these six questions: What? Who? Where? When? How? Why?
For social media purposes, start with Why.
Why will you use a social media marketing plan for your small business?
What is your message? What are you selling?
Who are your customers and who are you trying to reach and communicate with through social media? Think about your existing clients and why they are using your products or services. Then visualize your ideal buyer to determine how you will market to that buyer via social media.
Where should you focus your small business’ social media? Faceboook? LinkedIn? Twitter? Foursquare? Another social media platform? The likely answer is where you can best demonstrate the value of your products or services.
When will your communications be posted? When there are product/service updates, staff updates or on a more regular basis?
How will you communicate? Through fresh content, contests and questions on Facebook, regular blogs, etc.?
Once you think about your social media plan in terms of the above six questions, you can start to build the story of your small business. Remember, social media marketing is not about the number of “likes” on Facebook or followers on LinkedIn. It’s about increasing awareness for your small business whether in Westchester or Wasilla, interacting with customers in real-time and growing your network. So here’s a new “W”:
Why wait? Get your social media marketing story in motion.
What small business has the money for postage these days? And even if you do, might there be a better use?
Today, according to much of what I have read, we Americans prefer our news right now and green. Using myself as an example…
- As a working mother, any mail that doesn’t hint “bill” rarely gets opened before it hits the recycling bin …. and last year, I opted out of receiving any unsolicited mail through the DMA.
- As a small business owner, I am slightly more likely to scan the headlines of my mail just in case there might be something that benefits my work or my clients, but in the end, most of the letters, brochures and invitations I receive still wind up in the same place – the T.R.A.S.H.
So here’s a marketing idea for small businesses…. Have you tried Digg? Started back in 2004, it’s like 21st century direct mail.
- It’s free – No postage means big savings to reach a new (and hopefully large) audience.
- It’s simple – Submit a story or article and then create a link to “Digg it”.
- It’s fast – One press of a button and your article reaches the social network of anyone who Diggs it.
- It’s fun – You can (and should) create content on issues that matter to you, light-hearted or deep, but not necessarily about your product.
- It’s environmentally friendly – No mail means no paper.
- Readers vote on each story and the favorite stories show up on top, so it’s essentially a news popularity contest. And popularity (occasionally) trumps quality.
- There is still a question mark on how much loyalty it engenders. Readers who click on the link don’t necessarily return to your site or your brand. So you may be spending time to reach many casual, but not committed, consumers.
But that said …. according to the WorldWatch Institute, more than 41.5 billion pieces of mail advertisements were produced and distributed in the U.S in 2005. Do you think those companies got a return on their investment?