Should I Be on Facebook?

One of the first things people ask me when they find out what I do is, “so, should I be on (insert any social media platform)?” Small businesses, rockstars, CEOs are all confused about the same thing…what social media platforms should they be using.

social-media-tool-boxSocial media platforms are like tools in a toolbox. They are all beneficial at different times and for different outcomes. Once you come to grips with you are (your brand) and where you are going it makes the decision a bit easier in choosing what to use.

The first step is education. Find out what each tool does. What is Facebook good at? What type of people can you reach through it? What about Instagram? Do people still use Twitter and if so, how? Now think about your target demographic…which platforms will they potentially be engaging?

The second step is being social. Remember, “SOCIAL” media platforms are supposed to be social. Don’t just have one-sided conversations with random folks who are logged in. Engage. Ask questions. Respond. LIKE what they are doing.

Third, be consistent. Not only be consistent in the time you use to engage, but be consistent to your brand…don’t try to be someone you’re not.

The last thing to remember is to not get stuck. Be open to try new platforms. When it comes to technology, what worked last year, may not be the most effective this year.

Good luck and happy engaging.

FIND ME ON: Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Yelp | Instagram | Pinterest | Foursquare

4 Common Misunderstandings About Content Marketing

Sure, you know about content marketing—but do you really know about content marketing? I found this great list at Zemanta this morning. Clients always think creating content is a no-brainer, but you need to be strategic and consider a few things.

Do you think content marketing is the same as blogging, for example? (It’s not.) Does launching a content marketing strategy seem either too easy or too hard? (It shouldn’t.) The truth is, most companies today are still a little fuzzy on what exactly content marketing means.

So to help you clarify your understanding, here’s a look at four of the most common content marketing misunderstandings!

1. Content Marketing = Blogging

2. Creating Content Is Easy—We’ll Just Throw Something Together

3. Creating Content Is Hard—We Have Nothing to Say

4. Content Marketing Means Losing Money

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE…YOU WON’T REGRET IT!

Social Media Isn’t Dead…It’s Boring

I just recently finished reading an advance copy of The Impact Equation by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. This isn’t a book about social media. It’s about how to improve your goals, have better ideas, get those spread across a platform of value, and build a human network that matters. I highly recommend it.

In a recent blog post by Chris Brogan, he made the statement, social media isn’t dead, it’s just boring. I’ve said it before, but branding and marketing is storytelling. Part of the reason social media has got boring is because there is less storytelling and more yelling. The difference between yelling at your audience by saying “buy this now” and sharing a peice of your story by telling them how excited you are and how hard you’ve worked and how innovative and life-changing the same product can be is like night and day.

Here’s a snippet from Chris’ article:

The strategies around and behind The Impact Equation boil down to 5 Cs.

COMMUNICATION

If you can’t convey your ideas in a way that stands out (Contrast), that are simple (Articulation), and that resonate with an audience (Echo), the game is over before you begin. So, The Impact Equation is a book about communication.

CONTENT

If you don’t start building a platform of value around ideas that are easy to share (Reach), those ideas won’t get around and get a lot of attention (Exposure). The Impact Equation is a book that talks about how to tell bigger stories.

COMMUNITY

Where people have the most ground to make up is in nurturing a network of people who care about what you choose to share. Without relationship-minded effort (Trust and Echo), you won’t likely get beyond capturing people’s attention for a little while. Meaning, people won’t be inclined to share. The Impact Equation is definitely a book about community.

COMMERCE

We don’t write much about how to make money in this book. Both Julien and I have been successful in our businesses, and we’ve both helped other companies succeed with a lot of the tactics and strategies covered in this book. But this is a book about business and leadership and value-generation and extraction. Make no mistake, The Impact Equation is a book about commerce.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

I believe in the principle of Service Craftsmanship, that service begins before a prospect has even become a customer. We talk a lot about how to nurture relationships (Trust) and how that sets you apart from people who don’t treat every touchpoint as a chance for service excellence (Contrast). There’s also the realization that if we treat people the way we want to be treated (Echo), we will earn more of an opportunity to serve. The Impact Equation is most definitely a book about customer service.

 

Read the rest of the article HERE.

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If Facebook is Lucky Charms…Instagram is Just the Marshmallows

If Facebook is Lucky Charms…Instagram is just the marshmallows. That’s the breakfast-themed wisdom laid down by the filmmaker, Casey Neistat in his charming and informative guide to not sucking so bad on Instagram. It’s not the pictures that really matter, it’s the documentation of life that really intrigues folks. Thanks to Mashable for sharing this video.

If you want to Innovate…

Innovation doesn’t come from doing things over and over the same way. Innovation sets you apart from the clutter. It makes a way, where there was no way. Watch the video

“If you want to INNOVATE, you’ve gotta DESIGN.” -Marty Nuemeier

Marty Nuemeier shares that traditional business thinking is based on a two-step process, Knowing and Doing. However, Design Thinking adds an extra step in the middle…Making. The designer doesn’t accept the normal limitations of “what has already existed”. It may drive traditional thinkers nuts, but it’s what makes new innovations possible. Whether you call it “thinking outside the box” or Design Thinking, the answer is the same, innovation is needed and you aren’t going to get there without thinking like a designer.

A designer is anyone who devises ways to change existing situations into preferred ones. You have to be able to close the gap between what is and what could be.

At the end of the day…the success of your brand comes down to new thinking. It comes down to making new ideas out of seemingly nothing. It comes down to connecting to the world through the mind of a designer.

One of my clients is in the Real Estate world and told me one day that she loves my perspective because I don’t get stuck with what everyone else is doing in the industry. Basically, I don’t think like a Real Estate agent. What’s great is that she feels free to no longer think like one either.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” -Albert Einstein


Marty Neumeier is a designer, writer, and business adviser whose mission is to bring the principles and processes of creativity to the industry. His recent series of “whiteboard” books includes The Designful Company, about the role of design in corporate innovation; Zag, named one of the “top hundred business books of all time” for its insights into radical differentiation; and The Brand Gap, considered by many the foundational text for modern brand-building.

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29 WAYS TO STAY CREATIVE

My favorite is “Drink Coffee”. Enjoy.

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Pinterest…yes please.

I don’t know why, but I am becoming more and more intrigued with Pinterest. Yes, I know small businesses and brands are using it to promote themselves. Yes, I know housewives and moms find it to be an stimulating world of new ideas. I think I just like it because…well, I’m very visual. I think that is why everyone else seems to like it so much. I am drawn to the colors, the ideas, the inspiring words and even the cute pictures of babies wrapped in soft blankets.

The rules to Pinterest are changing rapidly as they figure out how to tame the monster. However, the simple fact that most of us are easily hooked by pretty pictures will undoubtably make this a haven for social exchange.

Follow me on Pinterest.

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Companies Make Lousy Friends

I thought by now that companies, organizations, churches and brands would have all learned the game, but I guess I was wrong. I’ve seen an influx of non-human individuals promoting their Facebook profiles on their cards, shop windows and websites. The problem, many of them are utilizing Facebook’s Personal Profile setup as opposed to a Facebook Page. What’s the big difference you ask?

First of all, businesses (including all organizations, churches, non-profits), products or public figures are not allowed to maintain a personal profile on Facebook. What? Yes that’s right.

Secondly, while Facebook obviously is not enforcing this rule right now, they will get around to it. When they do, they will shut down those profiles and all the time and energy spent creating that community will be lost overnight. These companies may as well take the time to get it right now before their community disappears.

Third, being “friended” by a company or organization is not the norm and you are less likely to pick up followers with this approach. People have become used to Facebook Pages and interacting with organizations through them. Trust levels go down when a profile is presented to them in friend requests. Also when people search for Facebook Pages they are likely to overlook a profile that the organization has forced its name into first and last name boxes.

Fourth, another great thing about creating a Facebook Page is creating custom content tailored to your business on your page. You add videos to your Facebook Page, along with custom built content and most importantly you can add opt in boxes so you can keep in touch with your customers. The amounts of possibilities you can explore with your Facebook Page are almost endless, and you should utilize these features on a regular basis to build your business’ online presence.

Facebook allows you to have multiple Facebook Pages which can be useful if you’re a bigger company and have multiple facets in your organization that you would like to promote, or you could set up a specific page for a new product or service you are planning to launch. For the most part most companies choose to have only one fan page, because it is a lot easier to stay on top of one page rather than multiple pages. It is very important to be constantly updating your Facebook Page, and a good rule of thumb is to add new content at least every other day.

By the way, did you know your Facebook Page can be a part of your Search Engine Optimization strategy. Why is that, you ask? It’s because Facebook Pages are indexed by search engines. Profiles are not. If you’re like most business owners, you want as many people as possible to find you online. If you set up a profile in your business name, you’re not maximizing your exposure. Sure, your Facebook friends will be able to see your page, but new people won’t find you all that easily. On another note, remember Facebook Pages can have an unlimited number of fans, while Profiles can only have 5,000 friends. If you’re trying to build your business, why limit yourself?

If you know someone with a company Profile Page, please do them a favor and direct them to set up a Facebook Page. I don’t want to signal out the guilty, I just want them to be aware of the mistake and correct it before it is too late. Communities take time to build and they are nurtured on trust, getting Facebook set up correctly goes a long way to building and nurturing your community. Once they get their Facebook Page set up, invite those connected to the profile to get involved on the Facebook Page.

Create your Facebook Page NOW!

Need inspiration, here are 35 of the Best Facebook Pages

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10 Things You Must RETHINK

I love the blog, “The Relationship Economy” (relationship-economy.com). This is part of their Manifesto for the 21st Century. Albert Einstien said insanity is defined as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” It is time to rethink how we do business. It is time to rethink how we do relationships. It is time to rethink how we do marketing. Here is Jay Deragon’s list:

1. What we think is important today, becomes irrelevant tomorrow. Think about what is relevant tomorrow.

2. What is the true value you create? True value is more than the price. You can’t discover your true value unless you listen more than you speak.

3. Gathering followers isn’t the same as forming relationships. A tribe can create change faster than a crowd. Think about tribes.

4. Learning isn’t popular, but the popular influence learning. If you want to be popular, finds ways to share new knowledge.

5. Knowledge doesn’t come from reading, it comes from experience in thinking. Experience takes time. Reading the popular tweets steals time.

6. Most old market theories are being proved as wrong. Don’t act on old theories. Instead contemplate or speculate, as opposed to act and you’ll discover the innovation needed to set you apart from the crowd.

7. What can’t be done is the opportunity. What is being done is the constraint.

8. The answer to your most perplexing problems is simple. The complexity is a result of thinking inside out rather than outside in.

9. Retroactive management emphasizes the bottom line. Proactive management emphasizes improvement in process.

10. Leadership is about helping people do anything, everything and without constraints. Service comes from serving, not servants.

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5 Secrets to Building Relational Equity in Social Media