Blathering on Twitter or engaging your target audience?


Chances are most people in the world fit into the 99%. In this case that would be the 99% of people who are doing social marketing wrong, barely or not at all. Though the argument could be made that not at all is better than wrong since wrong does damage. Hopefully you are doing some or at least researching it. To qualify I will say I am not always right – nobody is – for every person in every case. So let me default and try a little teaching and assignment so you can figure it out for yourself.

First the assignment. Just do it.

Somewhere either on your tablet or in your notebook or a Google doc create a table with 2 columns. On the left label that column YES and on the right label that column MAYBE. Now think about what it is you are marketing, selling, representing, or otherwise putting out. Now think about WHO you need to reach to consummate your transaction. This even works if you’re just trying to get more targeted followers.

Now we’re going to complete your YES column and your MAYBE column at the same time. Begin at the top of the table as you think about the WHO and begin writing NAMES or JOB TITLES. Almost every one of you can immediately think of at least 2 or 3 individuals who are good prospects for you. Start with those.

If the people who come to mind are really good targets put them in the left column under YES. If the person who comes to mind may not directly be a target but may be able to connect you with a target put them in the MAYBE column. If the person who comes to mind would likely not be a YES or a MAYBE don’t even include them.

I am using a fictitious landscaping company in small town USA. A small landscaping company. In fact just a husband and wife team from Anytown USA. My chart looks like yours should:

Steve (real estate manager) Pastor Dave
Mary (HOA president) School janitor
61 neighbors Mary (friend, builder)
East Retirement Center Dad (city councilman)
Homes for sale

Does that give you a good idea? Great! Because now you’re going to start specifically engaging THOSE PEOPLE in your YES column with a purpose and if the opportunity presents itself the people from the MAYBE column. To tell you how to engage and what to say would make this already long post even longer especially since these are local people. They are also people you may encounter on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media outlets.

Develop a plan to make sure you connect with these people on a business level within the social media realm. Now you get to do a lot more reading and studying about how and when to engage them without spamming or alienating them in the social sphere. I suggest trusting information with intense data studies and the best I can do for you on that right now is to say you need to subscribe here and listen to Social Media Edge Radio. All the old episodes since 2008 are available on iTunes.

Quantifying success: Only you truly know when you are succeeding

Measuring success from social media marketing

Sure, we can point at someone like Donald Trump or Ted Turner and say, “here are two really successful guys.” Maybe they are, maybe they are not. How can it be said they are not?

Success is a very personal topic.

A few days ago there was a post by Yet Another Social Media Guru who was giving a formula for success via social media marketing. His list included a few “dos” and “don’ts” but it never really dealt with the heart of the matter: what are your goals?
Channel Distribution
In his short and elementary post he included a “do not” that many do and from which they enjoy a great amount of success. In his encounter with this author away from the post he did not quite admit his goal was to “get more comments and likes” but certainly alluded to that result. So this poses the question which begs to be answered: what are your goals and how do you measure them?

Quantifying success through metrics.

When advising a client, friend, reader, or listener on a social or marketing method an important first question is nearly exclusive to, “what are your goals and what is it you need to achieve to call this campaign successful?” Not one of them has said, “I need to get more comments and likes on my blog.” In fact it is widely anticipated the most common answer will be, “to make more profit”.

In order to recognize success one must first define success. That definition may be “to increase my orders by 30%”. If so the metrics are simple. Begin with the number of sales you have had on average for the same period and compare your results at the end of the campaign period. On the other hand if the definition is “to get 1000 likes during the period” there is nothing to compare to you simply use that one metric. You either garner 1000 likes or you do not.

The delineation between successful and unsuccessful needs to be clear.

When developing a more complex metric it becomes crucial to know when the tipping point has been reached. The precise moment when success is achieved must be clearly defined. When man walked on the moon that was the tipping point for the goals set forth for that mission. It may have been said, “the trip was still a success because even though the astronauts did not leave the module we experienced landing on and launching from the moon” if those were minor goals.

When thinking about how to measure success your campaign may have many goals:

  • To increase storefront traffic by X%
  • To recognize an increase in retail profits by X%
  • To add 300 people to our email list

So before one starts taking, or giving, advice about success on a sweeping horizon it is important to identify what quantifies as success. Otherwise more damage could be delivered to the reader or hearer than had one simply said nothing at all. Investigate and verify must always be a part of the strategy for winning this digital, guerrilla style attack on marketing in the new millennium.

In summary

Know what defines success. Establish a simply and accurate method for measuring results. Never be afraid to change directions especially when the campaign includes social media marketing. When receiving advice from a blogger or an article found on the internet check their credentials and verify everything said. The same goes for this blog post from this social media manager.

SoLoMo – the convergence of Social, Local and Mobile


SoLoMo - Social Local Mobile

Like every other piece of buzz, or most other buzz at least, SoLoMo is not the end all. You will still be able to market other ways but for the local business: the chiropractor, the real estate agent, the auto repair center, and other services offering services within a relatively narrow diameter – SoLoMo is now.  Much like the yellow directories of yesterday SoLoMo focuses on local market areas with a higher transactional focus.


Breaking it down

Social is the first of the trinity of flavors. For our purposes, new media/online marketing, social begins online and ends in personal space. Sites like MeetUp and the horribly abused Facebook Events make it easy to plan and coordinate live events. (Yes, I know there are others – feel free to spam your own in the comments section.)

Local is relative. For a car dealer local may mean a 50 mile radius while for a chiropractor or cafe local is a 5 mile radius. This was an early challenge to marketers online and I addressed it as best I could back in 1998 when I wrote on iCobb, “in the future many websites will use IP numbers to determine an approximate location and deliver information more relevant to the visitor”. At the time most sites would have the user input a geographic location then poll the database based on user input. Now it’s blind on most sites.

Mobile is growing and will likely be the standard for the foreseeable future. As wireless bandwidths get faster and mobile devices take the place of laptops and desktops more and more users will make their first search and connection with others online. Apps like, a currently sparsely populated application, will make geolocal engagement a natural part of life.

Putting it all together

Often the reaction from small and medium businesses alike is, “how are we supposed to keep up and master all of these marketing challenges?” It really is not that difficult. In fact in today’s online world there are many solutions to provide everything you need to get started a a reasonable cost or simply an investment of time.

Business owners, more than anything else, need protection from scammers and inadequately experienced providers who will do little more than stir the waters and leave half-done things that would have been better never started. Keep this in mind: your brand is at stake. Having a half-assed social media presence, a blog you never write on or respond to comments on, a Twitter account you never check or a Foursquare special that expires 4 months ago is almost as bad as having a “Food’s great but the service sucks” sign on the front door of your restaurant.

Want more knowledge? Subscribe to the feed or just join up to be notified when new information is published. There are some great guest bloggers on the way and you can always listen to Social Media Edge, the podcast I started in 2008, for some of the brightest minds in new media marketing.