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Archive for June, 2010

We found this recently on a newsletter we receive from our local Chamber of Commerce and we liked what it had to say …

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There are lots of “experts” explaining the rules for marketing on-line and, while there’s value in good advice, when guidelines become rules, they need to be examined.  Here are five ‘truths’ you need to question as you use Internet marketing for your business.

#1-Social Media has changed EVERYTHING.
Hardly!  Yes, consumers now give more public feedback on your products or services, but leads still need to be generated and sales need to be closed. Before there was social networking there was REAL networking; face to face, at an event or meeting.  The only difference now is people talk about events using a different media.  Instead of two people around the water-cooler, now it’s a posting or a wall update or a tweet.  Same concept – just a different medium.

#2-You need to have a LOT of Followers. Not so!  Quality beats quantity any day, and you will always achieve better results by marketing to a small group of serious fans and supporters than trying to sell a one-size-fits-all product.  Sure, the more followers you attract to your blog or the larger your network, the better the chance of reaching a customer when they’re about to make a purchasing decision.  But don’t think that just because you don’t have an on-line fan base in the thousands that on-line marketing isn’t right for you.

#3-You can’t measure Social Media ROI. Of course you can!  There are hard numbers like the traffic social media sends to your website, and the conversion rate for that traffic.  (Your contact form should ask “How did you hear about us” and options should include Twitter, FaceBook, Google etc. to give you accurate counts).  And there are soft numbers like how many people viewed your latest YouTube video, or how many comments you’re getting on your blog.   There are tools you can use to measure the ROI social media generates for you.

#4-You can’t sell on Social Media. Very False! Dell has sold millions of dollars of computers and accessories through Twitter promotions.  Coffee shops use Twitter to take orders that are then ready when you arrive.  Companies promote themselves using location-based applications like ForeSquare or Gowalla.  This doesn’t mean you should just spam everyone you can reach (it’s the quickest way to lose followers or even get banned) but when you put the right message in front of the right person at the right time, sales happen.  And on-line and social marketing outlets reach customers when they are actively searching for you.

#5-You HAVE to be on Facebook (or Twitter, or have a blog…) Wrong!  You need to focus on the sites and applications that are already being used by your target audience.  Best way to determine this?  Ask.  Then be where your customers are.  (you should still reserve your space on as many social media platforms as possible, if only to keep competitors from claiming the space and to be positioned if trends change and a particular platform turns into a popular hang out for your audience)

There is no rule that’s right for every company, but one truth about any marketing initiative you undertake is this; provide value!  Every tweet, ad, posting, Point-of-purchase sign, or status update must provide value to your customer.

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