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.

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.

Social Media Excellence is Like Weight Loss – THERE IS A MAGIC PILL!!!!

Excellence 07092015

No.

It doesn’t work that way.

With weight loss or social media.

There are so many supplements and products promising that you can lose weight while eating whatever you want and never exercising.

It reminds me of some social media “gurus” promising amazing results from social media with just a few secret tips. As though changing one or two things will take you from 0 to amazing in only a few days.

The reality, however, is that if you want to lose weight (and keep it off) you’ll have to actually work for it. You’ll have to watch what you eat and exercise.

Supplements and “magic pills” may help a little – but the big factor (and it isn’t a secret) is to watch what you eat and exercise. It isn’t a secret. It is a strategy that produces results over time.

The same is true of social media. If you’re looking for that magic pill that will suddenly get you amazing results, you are focusing on the wrong thing.

Like weight loss it takes work and effort over time to produce sustained results. Sure there are little tricks that can give you a boost, but in the long run, it takes a good strategy and consistent application of best practices to get real results.

Next time you see the magical secrets to getting thousands of followers or massive social media success remember that success is hard-earned. If it was that easy, everyone would be rich from all of their amazing social media marketing success.

Social Media is Easy When You Love What You Do (Seriously)

Love 07022015

I work with hundreds of businesses on their social media each year, and one of the most common questions is “How do I make time for all of this?????” Updating status multiple times a day on Facebook and Twitter, writing a blog and keeping up with LinkedIn sounds like a TON of work.

Here is the thing.

If I got up every day and said to myself “man… I need to come up with some things to post on Twitter” I would spend some time racking my brain, then I’d have to visit news sites, find some things to share and it would probably take me an hour or so to get my Twitter updates done.

I actually love what I do. I’m always thinking about it and I actually read industry news first thing (while I’m still in bed) most mornings. Since I’m already reading the news (because I love what I do) it only takes me an extra 30 seconds to post on Twitter.

When I go to an event (even a concert) I look at their marketing and use of social media and branding. This sometimes gives me even more inspiration for blog posts and social media. Because I love what I do and I’m always thinking about it, social media only takes a few minutes here and there to share my thoughts.

That is my point. If you are already deeply engaged in your business, social media should be easy. All you should have to do is incorporate it into your work processes.

If, on the other hand you aren’t already involved in your industry or company, you’ll find that you have to spend a lot of time researching and coming up with updates.

If you love what you do, and you are always thinking, social media is very easy.

Matter More, Market Less

Matter More. Market Less. Social media tipI read this quote in my Facebook newsfeed today (and apparently credit is due to Nathan Engels for sharing it).

As a marketer, it may be surprising that I would share this.

Market less. Matter more.

With social media, if you create content that matters to people they will WANT to pay attention to you.

Even after doing social media for 7+  years, so many businesses struggle with this idea. They think that the only way to sell is to directly talk about selling, or to do marketing by talking about your product or service.

Resist the urge.

Provide amazing information that matters to people.

This will establish your credibility.

This will grow your brand awareness.

This will grow your brand equity.

This will sell your product over time.

Marketing isn’t dead, but in a digital world where people don’t have a lot of time, they’ll give their attention to the things that matter to them, not the things paying to be in-front of them.

Figure out how to matter.

 

Social Media isn’t a Magic Bullet

Social media isn't a magic bulletMany of the businesses that I work with, especially small businesses and start-ups think that social media is a magic bullet that will bring them an endless stream of customers.

It doesn’t work this way. If it did everyone would be rich and successful. The reality is that social media marketing takes work. It isn’t easy and takes time and resources. Expecting to create social media assets and instantly develop a following isn’t realistic.

Social Media can create breakthrough results when used correctly and with time, money and effort, but it isn’t a magic solution.

Here are the best ways to maximize your social media efforts:

Social Media is Part of an Overall Strategy

Social media should be a part of your overall marketing strategy. It is great at building awareness, relationship building and connecting with communities. But social media isn’t the only tool that can do these things. Your marketing plan should include additional ways (yes, even offline) to achieve these objectives as well.

Social Media Works Best when Connected to Other Marketing

Linking social media to your other marketing is important. In marketing there is something called the Rule of 7 which says that it takes 7 touchpoints to make an impact. This means that you’ll have to see a business, brand or product 7 times before it really makes an impact. This means that you should connect social media to the rest of your marketing in a strategic way.

Everyone in Your Company Should be Involved

It shouldn’t be an isolated team or the job of one individual. The organization should understand social media and the strategic value that it brings. Employees can be advocates and bring more value.

5 Ways to Use Pinterest Places to Promote Your Event

Pinterest Place Pins allow you to share pins on an interactive map that can help promote your event. We recently used Pinterest Place Pins to not only provide more information to attendees but also promote the event in general on Pinterest and our website. Here are a few ways to use Pinterest Place Pins effectively to promote your upcoming event…

1. Introduce Your Speakers

Whether your speakers are coming across the country or across the city, use Place Pins to mark their home base. Not only will tagging the speaker and his/her company in your pin notify them, it will also increase the opportunity to be repinned. Invite speakers to pin on the board to increase engagement.

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 3.52.58 PM2. Share Your Venue

Destination is a focal point for many events and since Pinterest is made up of beautiful pictures, take advantage of them. By searching for a venue name to add the pin, many photos appear to choose from – it’s okay to use more than one to showcase where your event will be held. Find attractive photos of both inside and outside of the venue and the surrounding city to highlight the location.

3. Local Attractions

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 10.09.48 PMIf people are traveling in for your event, use Pinterest as a guidebook – show them the local eateries and night life they can check out while they are in town. Often times, attendees will travel to a city but aren’t sure what to do in the evenings or mornings so give them some ideas.

4. Promote Your Sponsors and Partners

Use Pinterest Place Pins to give your sponsors and partners extra exposure by pinning their company and even products on the map.

5. Embed the Board on Your Website

Embed the Pinterest Place board on your website to give potential attendees more information about the event. For example, if you’re recommending hotels, you can list it on the website but the board can give stunning pictures so your guests can get a better idea of your recommendation. Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 10.06.08 PM Using Place Pins are an easy, visual way to promote your upcoming event on Pinterest and on your website. Don’t miss out on a fun way to build excitement and your guest list – try it out today!

Announcing My Latest Book: Visual Social Marketing for Dummies

Visual Social Marketing for Dummies with Krista Neher

My newest book, Visual Social Marketing for Dummies published by Wiley is now available on shelves and online!

I’m really excited that this book is now finished – it was a long journey. Visual Social Marketing for Dummies is packed with tips, tricks and strategies to get more from visual social marketing. To be honest, I learned a lot through the process of writing this book.

I’ve become passionate about the power of visual marketing over the last few years as I’ve seen businesses break-through the clutter of social media by harnessing the power of images.

These days, Visual Social Marketing, or communicating your story visually can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your online marketing. Stunning visuals are a key part of all successful social media campaigns.

This book shows you exactly how to use the key visual social networks to get results.  It covers using images on all of the key visual social networks as well as Instagram, Pinterest, Vine and even infographics.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

The best place to get your copy is amazon – CLICK HERE.

Also, we are giving away a FREE SIGNED COPY of the book – simply leave a comment on the blog post, or share the post with #VSMM to be entered to win!

How I got the Book Deal

One of the thing that a few people have asked me about is how I got the opportunity to write a Dummies book. Believe it or not, they contacted me and asked me to write the book, based on my book Visual Social Media Marketing. This is why I’m such a big proponent of  personal branding and even created a personal branding training program – because the more you showcase your knowledge and share, the more opportunities will come your way.

 

4 Steps to Mastering your Facebook Marketing

 

Facebook 101 liveBeing a speaker and trainer of Facebook, many people ask me if their business should have a business account, and how to get noticed more on Facebook.  Today we did a training class on Facebook Marketing 101 (FYI, this training is still available online if you want to check it out) to share why Facebook is so important:

  •  Over 1 billion active users are on Facebook
  • 50% of Facebook users login everyday
  •  Facebook is the fastest growing demographic

With so many people of Facebook everyday, it can also be difficult to generate attention on Facebook and break-through the clutter. With so many businesses now on Facebook fighting for attention, it is harder than ever to get results for your business.. To help master Facebook, follow these four easy steps:

#1. Start by knowing what you want to achieve

When starting your Facebook account, know what you want to achieve first and then work your way up from there.  Start out small and work your way up.  Make a lists of your goals and what you want to achieve.

#2. Create a page

When creating your page, be sure to know the features including; your profile information, your newsfeed, and other icons like pictures and videos.  For a business profile, be sure to have at least three administrators if possible so that information can be updated and added if someone is out of the office.

#3.Create REALLY REALLY GOOD CONTENT

Be sure to keep putting posts but without being annoying and spend some time making sure that your posts are highly relevant and entertaining.  Know who your audience is and how to target them with content that they are actually interested in.  Be sure to make your posts creative but relevant to drive engagements (clicks, likes, comments, etc). Driving engagement is the key to getting your content seen on Facebook.

#4. Go back and Analyze

Treat your Facebook like your hair, “Rinse and Repeat”  Once you start to see what is working and your audience is building, DO NOT STOP!  Make a new set of goals and see what needs improvement and new ways to target more people.  Even though Facebook might change, the main objective of it will not and if your followers continue to like you then they will keep up with you.

facebook fo business
Facebook has the power to influence people more than other social media sites.  Visual aid is a huge factor in grabbing a person’s attention online while skimming through the news feed.  With everyone on Facebook, it is harder to break through but makes it that much more important that your business have a Facebook account.