5 Steps for Guaranteed Failure at Social Marketing (aka Networking)


No beating around the bush, let’s get right to it. You go to networking events to sell your wares or talents. Game over.

So here’s the deal. Today I had the pleasure of hosting about 50 B2B professionals in a very traditional way. All come together, all give their elevator speech, all swap cards and hand germs then leave. In defense of this event it was the first one and not many people knew each other so there was a lot of sell, sell, sell …

A conversation with a young colleague later in the day brought up some valid points and lead to this short article. These are points I have addressed previously and likely will again every couple of years or so. In fact they are so deeply planted within me I often forget these are things that have to be learned. In this article,  however, I want to hit the prickly points instead of the high line. Perhaps you may recognize yourself in these and, if so, please find professional help.

These points apply to online networking as well as traditional, toe-to-toe, marketing and as always your input is invited.

Show up and immediately start pressing palms and handing out your business cards. If you were a dog this would be the equivalent of weeing on everything in sight.  Make sure you give the other person the impression what you do and why you are at the event is much more important than anything they have to say or offer. After all you’ve got to sell a bunch by lunch and be a winner by dinner so sell, sell, sell!

Show up late and leave early. After all you are a very important person and only have time to breeze in for your 60 second elevator speech and to get your name on the roster for attending the event. Seriously, milling around with the little people takes so much time and leads to so little … unless they are lauding you. Small talk is for small minds, right?

Butt in to conversations that seem to be taking too long. Don’t you just hate it when someone gets to your target first and just blabs and blabs and blabs when you have something highly important to say? For Pete’s sake they ought to know you have something vastly more interesting to say. Besides you have to get back to your private jet to fly to your private yacht to sail to your private island. That is, after all, why you’re at this business mixer – there are bills to be paid!

Make sure to help the person you are talking with finish their sentences. See you already know everything they have to say anyway and you just need them to hurry up and shut-up so you can say what really needs to be said. Besides you’ve been practicing and they are holding back your chance to give an impromptu speech loudly enough to be heard by the room.

Relate everything said back to your business. Who cares that the other guy just won a Nobel Prize, if they don’t have your hunky-dory new social super-spam device they can’t possible succeed with whatever they are working on next. Oh, and the kid who invented the self-heating socks for the elderly can’t possibly market without your sparkly paper fliers so you’ve got to make sure he buys right now – it simply cannot wait another moment!

Okay Mr. Smarty Pants, how should it be done? How about this:

Be genuinely interested in what others have to offer. After all if you refer a client to them chances are they are going to really REALLY remember you.

Lift others up. Have you used the services of someone else at the event? Use that as an opportunity to tell others about your experience. It will make you a cool person.

Listen more than you talk. Many years ago a sales trainer said to a small class I was in, “if you’re talking your selling but if they’re talking they’re buying.” Makes sense.

Don’t be in such a hurry to make a sale that you blow your career. Need I tell the story of the young and old bull? I think not.

So how does this relate to social? Simply parallel. Comment as much or more than you write. Listen as much or more than you talk. Share links, give +1s. It doesn’t matter if you think those things are hokey, it matters what the other person thinks. I recently gave a +K to someone because they really did say something about their field that impressed me. I had no idea how appreciative they would be. Try it, you’ll find that yourself.

Be graciously grateful in all things. When I was a missionary the words my mother taught me as a child stayed loud and clear in my mind, “be more gracious and grateful in your receiving than you are in your giving.” When someone gives you a kudos or a congratulations and you say, “aw, thanks man. It weren’t nuthin'”, you just cheapened their gift to you. You don’t have to paint their house in return for a thanks but don’t cheapen it either. Which reminds me … giving back is what you do when you get something you didn’t earn in the first place. “Giving back” cheapens the sacrifice others make to pour into the community or the lives of others.

Just some thoughts of mine. Now yours …


Joomla vs WordPress in Social Buzz

Online Share of Voice is often listed as a Key Performance Indicator especially for organizations operating in the social space as could be said of Joomla and WordPress. Interestingly WordPress claims tens of millions of users. In fact, as of this writing they claim more than 71,000,000 sites. While Joomla claims over 10,000,000 downloads as of 2010 (a couple of years ago) Trend.com reports in their database around 1,700,000.

Keeping those numbers in mind it would stand to reason the social gab about the two Content Management Systems should report at about a 40 to 1 ratio in favor of WordPress. Surprisingly, though, Omgili Buzz reports a much different result when clocking social mentions.

In the graph below Omgili actually reports there are times when Joomla receives more social mentions than WordPress. Why could this be? Is this really any indicator either organization should consider as a KPI of value? How does this make you consider social share of voice in your own KPI planning?


Historical Timeline of Linux

It was the summer of 1994 when I was first introduced to the lighter version of Unix called Linux. At the time I did not fully understand the future for the OS and embraced it as almost a geek’s favorite dream since I was already a Unix nerd. Since that time Linux has grown into a full-blown, robust, consumer oriented OS which easily has the speed, reliability and security to topple the two behemoths from their glass perches. The news is, as a world of Linux geeks, we really don’t want normal users coming en mass. In fact I almost wish releases like Ubuntu did not make it so dadgummed simple for the average Jane and Jack to switch.

Truth be told for your small business nothing could be better than a secure installation of Linux which cuts your annual software licensing costs to almost nil. While there are a few third-party apps with a fee you can do pretty much anything you need to get done around the average office, unless you have proprietary tools developed by 3rd class developers who only know how to use MS or Mac tools to get the job done, for next to nothing.

Linux is free as are many powerful and well supported applications. You can use a choice of robust word processing tools, just about any web browser, printers, web cams, human input devices, speakers, games, chat, web development (no duh, most real developers are Linux geeks anyway), video editing, graphics … must I continue?

While I am not in IT, I am an applications and content developer, I can tell you I have been running a small business on Linux since 2001 and have logged nearly $1 billion in sales on Linux – for free. It lets me break down my security into micro bites as well as giving me the power to modify the kernel on the fly to make the system behave the way I need it to behave when I need it done. Try that with OS or MS.

Discovering Trends in Image Posting

Actually no need to explore so there really is not any true discovery. Yahoo, for example, makes finding their trending image searches as simple as visiting Yahoo! Trending Image Searches. Not difficult at all. Now to capitalize on those, of course, is where skill and science come together so that you are still acquiring site relevant traffic without offending the person who is actually doing the search. If you are Harvey from over at TMZ no worries – everything is site relevant. If you are Nicco’s Plumbing and Dog Grooming, however, maybe not so much!

Speaking of images do you know there are at least two good ways to find if someone may be using your images without your permission? There are other ways I am certain and I know you will be happy to share them but these are the two I know and use:

TinEye – http://tineye.com very simple to use and often has a large database of images.

Google Reverse Images – http://images.google.com/ if you have Google Goggles on your mobile or Android device you have this already.

Starting Music or Audio Automatically: Don’t Do It

One of the fastest ways to lose the attention of people for a plethora of reasons is to shout at them, tug on their shirt sleeve or kick sand in their sandwich. Metaphorically speaking anyone who uses the technique of playing any sound on a web site automatically (without the visitor’s permission or interaction) is doing just this.

Imagine your visitor works in a banking environment where things are relatively quite and sounds echo. Then envision a waiting area and offices filled with visitors just as the Social Marketing Director decides to check the local MLB schedule and stats for a blog tie in and is greeted, not quietly, with a lady in a video loudly stating, “I occasionally suffer with diarrhea.” It happened … to me.

Another scenario may be a spouse using their tablet in bed trying to finish an assignment for the morning when the click on a link taking them to a page that loads with a Flash movie with thunder and sirens blasting.

Still yet the very innocent visitation to a local chinese restaurant (which failed their most recent health inspection by a horrible 58 score) site to check the menu when a Flash video loads with the sounds of rushing water and birds chirping loudly.

Cute, but stupid. If it causes me and most of my friends to immediately click that “X” or the back button you can bet it’s happening with a majority of other visitors. You can check this for yourself by checking two statistics on your log: Time on site and bounce rate. If your bounce rate is 70% or higher and your average time on site is less than 60 seconds you can be quite sure you’re killing your own business.

The argument, or statement, was made yesterday on Social Media Edge Radio by our own Mike Mueller that it makes a difference if you know you’re going to be presented with automated audio yet as I pondered that I further believe, for me, it does not matter. Even if I visit Hulu or Netflix with the intent of watching a video with audio I still do not want *any* selection to begin playing automatically with sound.

http://www.intheboxproduction.com/how-autoplay-is-hurting-your-conversion-rate/ A roommate, spouse, significant other, child, or other sleeping individual just woke up to your music BLASTING through the house or apartment. Congratulations, you just put your potential fan into a situation.

It’s hard to imagine that these sites with the auto play videos have owners who appreciate, respect, and care about their customers.

#7 Auto playing music, sounds or videos

Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Just One More Reason to Go Linux

Graphical memory allocation app for Linux.

I won’t take the time here to list all of the reasons to use Linux and in reality most Linux users prefer the wimps and cry-babies to stay away from Linux. But, since you’re neither a wimp nor a cry-baby and just have not stepped up to the operating system of real geeks and developers, here’s just another reason to try Linux now: memory management and ease of managing how much memory is used where.

The screenshot shows how well presented memory allocation and use is on Linux.  Are there apps like this for Mac and Windows? Sort of. For both Mac and Windows they look more like this. One of the beautiful aspects of the Linux world is the open source community provides amazing tools just like this one.

The Disk Usage Analyzer pictured here is included in Ubuntu distributions. If you just want to try Ubuntu, one of the easier for newbies distributions, you can create a USB drive boot and run the entire operating system and several plugins from a 16 gig thumb drive.

Running Spotify on Linux

So you’ve finally broken the chains and are ready to soar with your superior operating system. Yes, it’s a little more involved to do a few things you can expose yourself to with a click on the two behemoths but it’s worth the extra few minutes. In reality it’s usually just as simple as knowing how to use Google to find the solution – like many readers have done just now!

First let me say that you can run your business computers with Linux. Some installs are easier to use and others are more secure and powerful. For the beginner I currently recommend Ubuntu. Previously I may have recommended Mandrake or RedHat but currently (Winter 2012) I recommend Ubuntu. The current release is 11x and it’s quite simple even for the person just starting with Linux. Be smart and start with a single computer, learn a few tips and then delete your Windows and Mac OS partitions!

Now the meat: Spotify doesn’t make a big deal about their Linux version but it exists – and you can get it. Although the documentation says it is only available to Premium users (as of this date) that’s not exactly accurate. It should be told that Spotify is in a large part developed on Linux as is most of the web and many other applications the world uses every day. The Spotify version for Linux originally existed only for the developers but they continue to tweak it and now, because they finally got it to stream ads, it is available to you, too. Available to you if you know a few tips like this one from http://www.spotify.com/us/download/previews/:

So how do you get it? We’ve packaged it for Debian Squeeze/Ubuntu 10.04 package and for Fedora 13, i386 and x86_64.


# 1. Add this line to your list of repositories by  #    editing your /etc/apt/sources.list  deb http://repository.spotify.com stable non-free    # 2. If you want to verify the downloaded packages,  #    you will need to add our public key  sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 4E9CFF4E    # 3. Run apt-get update  sudo apt-get update    # 4. Install spotify!  sudo apt-get install spotify-client-qt

Old Sales vs New Buyers in Digital Marketing

Almost every day the question is asked why some old school technique doesn’t work anymore. The answer is some actually do work – they just don’t work on new buyers like they work on old buyers for the most part. Don’t throw away decades of sales psychology just take a look at the mechanism and process by which you are delivering. The buy decision is still a function of the human mind – it’s the form of engagement that has changed.

Here are just a few examples which come to mind – please add to the list in the comments. I know you have more!

OS: I speak you listen
NB: You address our concerns and acknowledge us or we’re done – and by done I mean I’ll tweet about my experience with you, Facebook about my experience with you, Yelp about my experience with you, blog about my experience with you, make a YouTube video about my experience with you …

OS: Our product tests and focus groups are all the information you need to make an informed decision
NB: I’ll Google everything you print and check some trusted blogs to see what they say about you and alternatives to you

OS: We focus on the positive and squelch the negative
NB: If your service isn’t mentioned on any ratings or feedback sites it’s a gamble – I may give that to you if I can find you on Foursquare or Yelp

OS: Order our brochure by calling our toll-free number
NB: Where’s your QR code? I want video content now on my mobile device while I’m standing in front of your product at the store

OS: We have toll-free phone support during normal business hours
NB: If you don’t have 24/7 live chat support with someone who actually speaks and understands my language and lingo you’re not the right company for me to deal with

OS: Our service contracts are designed to be flexible so that you can change your service levels during the contract period
NB: Contract? I want to walk away or change providers on the drop of a hat – I hate cell phone contracts and feel prisoner to them and we’re working to change that

How to See All Your Group Memberships (Likes) on Facebook

I had a message this morning asking how a small business owner who uses Facebook for marketing can see all of the groups to which they are a member – or have “liked”. It used to be very simple and still is but there is an even easier way if you care to know. The first thing I did was to create a bookmark. You won’t even have to do that because I am going to give it to you in just a moment. Whenever I need to see my “memberships” I simply make sure I am logged in to Facebook and click the link to show all of the groups.

Why join Facebook groups?

Facebook groups are a great way to find people who are focused on one topic or at least a smaller range of topics. If you are a hair stylist, for example, you may want to join a group that talks about everything from new hair care products, progressive ways to make more profit from your chair(s) or just vent about how customers act and do so in a private setting. Find a CLOSED group that does not offer access to the public if you want to vent! There is nothing wrong with venting but bashing in public is a no-no.

Groups give the members the opportunity to learn and teach. Find a group you fit in with and be pro-active in your membership there. If you don’t like to group it’ s simple enough to leave and you can do so from the link I’m giving you – or just click the image. Click here to see all of your Facebook groups when logged in to Facebook.

You can find a Facebook group about any topic you can think of. If you don’t find one you can create a group – which leads to another article on another day about “Why Create a Facebook Group”.

Don’t forget to listen to Social Media Edge Radio every Tuesday at Noon EST which is 9AM PST!