Why You Should Ignore the “Next Big Thing” in Social Media

Why-You-Should-Ignore-Next-Big-ThingRemember QR codes? Google+? Ello?

All of these were “the next big thing in marketing” where marketers started investing their time and $$ in new social networks ahead of user adoption.

Marketers seem to believe that there is a first-mover advantage – if they get on the network first they’ll have an advantage and grow their audience bigger faster. So they jump in and invest their time and effort – even before people actually use the network.

Meet your Customers Don’t Beat Them

Unless your goal is to show innovation (which only really matters for tech or social media companies) you don’t need to beat your customers to using something. Meet them. Be where your customers are.

Wait for Some Significant User Adoption

Wait until you see that a significant number of people in your target audience is using something before you jump in and invest your time and effort. People started slapping QR codes on everything despite the fact that most people didn’t have the slightest clue how to use them.

QR codes had faster marketing adoption than user adoption and were ultimately a huge flop.

Optimize vs. Expand

You have limited time, money and resources. Use them wisely. Expanding into new and largely unproven networks takes your valuable resources. Instead of jumping in to something new, consider the results you could achieve from doing what you already do better. Evaluate the pros and cons of each.

Most New Networks Fail

Sorry to burst your bubble, but the reality is that most shiny new objects never reach mass adoption. Wait until you see real traction on a network – most of them will fail and you’ll waste lots of time.

It Takes Time to Get Big

Social networks don’t suddenly explode – they grow over time. Pinterest, which still seems like a new network was founded in 2011. It didn’t get big out of nowhere. There was a slow steady climb to reach mass adoption.

Get Over Your FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

You won’t miss anything if you aren’t the first on something new. You’ll actually save yourself time and effort by waiting until there are some established best practices and case studies. Let other people experiment and learn from them.

You don’t need to be on the next big thing in social media. You need to be strategic and be where your customers are.

Marketing Strategy: Optimization vs. More

Marketing-Strategy

 

Many businesses that I work with are looking for strategies to get more traffic, more followers, more likes.

They want to grow their footprint and reach more people.

One thing to consider is whether or not your time is better spent getting more or optimizing what you already have.

What gets you a better ROI:

  • Spending time/$$ to get 100 new website visitors or turning more of your existing website visitors into customers?
  • Getting more Facebook fans or driving engagement with current fans?
  • Reaching more people or making sure that your message actually grows your business?

The point is that we sometimes focus too much on more when we aren’t even getting results with what we already have.

As marketers it is important to weigh the investment of time/$$/other resources spent on growth vs. optimization. Figure out how to build a system that works before you spend money driving people to something. Get a conversion strategy for your site to turn visitors into leads before getting more traffic.

Carefully weigh your options – often optimization provides a better ROI than growth.

Defensiveness is Killing You

Defensiveness-is-Killing-You

 

I’ve been consulting and training companies on social media for 10 years now (time flies!!!). Companies pay me to go in and tell them what they should do to get better results. As an outsider it is really easy to see their mistakes – when you are in the weeds you don’t often see them.

My job is to tell them what to fix. They proactively reached out to me asking me to help them. They know they are making mistakes and want to improve.

One of the things I’ve noticed is that many people, when confronted with how they can improve naturally respond with excuses and reasons. They know they aren’t getting results (that is why they hired me) but they have a hard time not being defensive when shown how to improve.

I think it is a natural reaction.

It is difficult to hear that we aren’t doing something well.

I tell them that their Facebook posts aren’t getting results because the content isn’t optimized. They get defensive even though they know it isn’t working. Then we have to waste time talking about their excuses/reasons and I have to convince them to listen to the advice that they paid me for. It is a bit of a dance where I try to make sure they don’t feel attacked or offended.

The reality is that if they would just be open minded and listen they could fix things faster and move on more quickly.

Other clients have no ego, no defensiveness. They are eager for feedback, ask questions and implement quickly.

If you can be less defensive you can get better results faster.

We can all improve. I can improve 5 things about my writing style or headlines now. Getting actionable feedback encourages me to do better.

Consider your approach to feedback. Are you defensive? Are you open to it and eager for advice?

In my experience the less defensive you are about feedback, the more likely you are to change and grow.

Most Marketing is Insane.

Most Marketing is Insane blog post

The definition of insanity = doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

I look at a lot of social media plans, and one of the things that constantly surprises me is how long businesses continue to do something that doesn’t get them results.

They know it isn’t working.

Maybe they don’t have the path to success, so they continue to push along… getting no results from something that doesn’t work.

Sure, sometimes it takes time & consistency to get results (especially in social media). But if you post 5 similar status updates that get no engagement, you probably need to find a different kind of status update to post. Posting the same thing will probably produce the same result.

Don’t be insane.

Figure out what works and what doesn’t. Use the information you have to adapt your strategy.

Social Media Not Working? It is Probably Your Fault.

Social Media Not Working blog post

I evaluate tons of social media executions a year… for clients, people in our trainings or just for fun. While I don’t have all of the answers, one thing has become clear: Most businesses that don’t get results from social media don’t to it right.

Blogs are great examples. I heard a stat years ago that most corporate blogs fail. Most of the corporate blogs that I look at suck. Why?

  • The content isn’t strategic.
  • They have no strategy.
  • The headlines are mediocre.
  • They don’t post consistently.
  • The posts don’t have great visuals.
  • The posts aren’t structured well.
  • The content isn’t very interesting.
  • The audience isn’t clearly defined.

These are just a handful of reasons – most blogs suffer from many of these.

It is easy to say “we invested in a blog, wrote on it for months, but blogging just doesn’t work for us”.

No. Mediocre blogging doesn’t work for you.

The bar is higher in social media than ever before. If you don’t write great stuff, people won’t pay attention.

Do it well or don’t waste your time.

In almost every industry there are companies using every social media tool and getting great results. If you aren’t one of them you are probably doing it wrong.

It isn’t that social media doesn’t work. You aren’t doing it right.

Spend the time and effort to build a solid strategy and learn best practices.

Mediocre won’t get results and won’t cut it. You can’t afford to not be great any more.

The Secret to AMAZING Marketing Results

The Secret Amazing Results

If you do the same things the same way as your  competitors, you’ll get the same results as them.

You don’t get ahead by doing the same thing, the same way as everyone else.

How do you get ahead?

How do you get amazing results?

Do things….

  • Better
  • Faster
  • Smarter
  • Bigger
  • Smaller
  • Cheaper
  • Cleverer
  • Interestinger
  • Surprisinger

…than your competition.

If you want to get ahead, out-think, out-smart, out-execute….

For many businesses status quo is good enough. That won’t get you ahead.

How Sales Automation is Killing Your Business #MarketingTip

Is sales automation killing your business?First let me say that sales automation isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It is a bad thing when used in an annoying way.

The idea behind sales automation is that there is a set process for following up with prospects, and rather than having to remember to follow-up and customizing the follow-up, it can all be automated. Sales automation can be emails, voicemails (or robot-automated voice calls) or even regular mail.

The basic idea is that people aren’t always great at remembering to send the right message to the right person at the right time. Automating it takes the human element out, which can both be good and bad.

The good part is that it saves tons of time and effort. 80% of your sales emails are the exact same, so why not just have a standard follow-up process?

You have to be very smart about what you automate or you risk annoying most of your audience – especially those looking for something specific.

Here are a few examples of automation gone wrong (and the lesson learned):

  • When I was buying a new car 2 years ago I knew the exact car I wanted. I emailed 5 dealerships with the specifics of what I wanted, asking for a quote and stating that I was planning to buy at the end of the week. Three dealerships ended up putting me into their “Automated Sales” process, sending me random sales messages and incentives to stop in and look at their cars without ever answering what I already asked. I don’t think that a human even read the contact form I filled out. This wasted my time and was highly annoying. Plus for MONTHS and YEARS after they continued to send me automated emails. AUTOMATION IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR A HUMAN TO RESPOND.
  • I recently started getting automated recorded calls from the service station that I go to. The cheesiest recorded voice yells at me to get my service. This is HIGHLY annoying. I don’t think that good ever comes from calling people with automated messages. If it isn’t important enough for them to have a human call me, why should I waste my valuable time? Is there anyone in the world who likes these? Even if a few people respond positively, is it worth annoying the heck out of everyone else. RESPECT YOUR CUSTOMERS. IF IT WOULD ANNOY YOU IT WILL ANNOY THEM.
  • Consider how relevant and annoying your follow-up process is. I recently made a purchase from an office supply company. I ordered my supplies online and they were delivered. Success. Since my purchase, some sales rep keeps messaging me — he has both called multiple times and emailed me. WHY? To “connect”. That is all he says. He wants to schedule a call to “connect”. I don’t have time or an interest in “connecting” with a sales person who works at a company that I buy from on the internet for no purpose. IF YOU CONTACT SOMEONE CLEARLY IDENTIFY WHAT IS IN IT FOR THEM. OTHERWISE YOU ARE UNNECESSARY SPAM AND ANNOYING NOISE. CONSIDER IF YOU HAVE A REASON. PEOPLES TIME IS VALUABLE.

At Boot Camp Digital we are very cautious of our follow-up process and try not to reach out to people who don’t want to hear from us. It is a fine line, and we constantly assess and revise our process to make sure that we aren’t annoying people with unwanted messages.

Have you seen automation done right or wrong? What do you think?