Archive for February, 2011
Have you heard the buzz about Social Media Success Summit 2011—the web’s largest online social media marketing conference?
Before I tell you how this virtual summit will help your business attract great customers and prospects, gain a unique competitive advantage, and measure your social media results, let me share a story with you.
PROOF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING WORKS…
In October 2009, Michael Stelzner started Social Media Examiner, a blog for marketers and small business owners. Almost overnight, his site became one of the top business blogs in the world.
He didn’t advertise, didn’t rely on the press and almost none of his traffic came from search engines.
Slightly more than a year later, his site has more than 57,000 email subscribers, over 31,000 Facebook fans, a half-million page views a month, and has generated nearly $2 million in sales.
Everything he does focuses on delivering high-quality content coupled with intelligent social media marketing.
Michael’s story is not unique. A significant 73% of business owners and marketers plan to increase their use of social media in 2011 (2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report).
What’s the connection? Your customers (and prospects) are using social media every day. Social media is a new marketing frontier because it bypasses all the costly middlemen and allows you to engage directly with your customers and prospects! AND this presents an enormous opportunity for you.
SO WHAT’S THIS ABOUT?
Michael (and his team) have been working for months to bring the best minds in social media together in a fully online event called Social Media Success Summit 2011.
A significant 2,500 marketers and business owners from around the world attended his last Social Media Success Summit. Businesses were transformed. In fact, 96% of attendees said they’d attend again.
This summit’s focus is to empower you to implement successful social media marketing tactics, track and measure your social media ROI, and see how successful social media campaigns were executed. Twenty-two of the world’s leading social media superstars will be summit instructors.
Presenters include Jeremiah Owyang (Altimeter Group), Brian Solis (author, Engage), Frank Eliason (Citigroup), Mari Smith (co-author, Facebook Marketing), Erik Qualman (author, Socialnomics), Michael Stelzner (founder, Social Media Examiner), Dan Zarrella (author, The Social Media Marketing Book), and experts from Boeing, Intel, Verizon, Cisco and LinkedIn.
Plus join Andy Sernovitz (author, Word of Mouth Marketing), David Meerman Scott (author, Real-Time Marketing & PR), Jay Baer (co-author, The Now Revolution), Hollis Thomases (author, Twitter Marketing), Steve Garfield (author, Get Seen), and Ann Handley (MarketingProfs)–just to name a few.
Attendees at our two last summits included well-known organizations such as General Electric, American Express, Staples, General Mills, Microsoft, Harvard, San Francisco Giants, MetLife, Kraft Foods, Hyatt Hotels, Stanford, Ben & Jerry’s, IDG and Disney. But you don’t need to be a big business to benefit!
This is the world’s largest online social media event designed to empower marketers and business owners to master social media marketing. And the great news is it’s a live online conference you can attend from your home or office.
Go here now to learn more.
Here’s to your success!
P.S. Twenty-two of the most successful social media pros will show you how to use social media to market and grow your business. Remember, the experts teach the sessions live (and it’s all online). So you don’t need to leave your home or office! Go here to see how this works!
P.P.S. As a way of saying “thanks” for checking out the summit, there’s a gift just for marketers called “8 Steps to Creating a Winning Social Media Strategy” by Jay Baer (valued at $59) waiting for you. Go get it here.
Still wondering if you should start using social media for your business? Here’s a great story about how my neighbor used Facebook to promote her daughters Girl Scout Cookies sales this year.
It’s Girl Scout Cookie time again, as I’m sure you know because you’ve seen many cookie stands out if front of your local grocery store in the past few weeks. I was very pleased to see that my neighbor used social media to get the word out about her daughters fund raising efforts.
One day she posted on her personal Facebook profile the following status update:
“One week from today we will have 108 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies in our house! Please put in your orders quick before I eat all of them ”
All did was reply back with my comment, “I’ll take 2 boxes of thin mints, please!” and the sale was done.
I love that she started getting the word out 1 week in advance, and, as the pick up day approached, she had Facebook status updates:
“It’s Cookie day!!!! Come get your Girl Scout cookies starting at 4pm today ”
Then a few weeks later as the initial purchasing rush has died down another reminder:
“Just stocked up on Thin Mints, come & get them before they’re gone ”
Yuuummm! Who doesn’t love Thin Mints! And, when you know they are almost done for another year, it’s pretty easy to walk across the street and pick up a few more boxes.
Social media marketing works. If you “don’t have time” or “don’t know how” to use it for your business, I can help.
If your business has jumped on the social media bandwagon, congratulations to you! You’ve taken a big step towards marketing time well spent. But, before you launched it, did you and your company do some strategic planning to decide what your blog should be about?
If not, take a step back and get your strategic planning hat back on. In order to achieve business success through blogging, you need a plan and to determine the following:
- What is the voice of your blog
- What is the end result / goal you wish to achieve
I attended a recent webinar where SouthWest, P&G (specifically ManOfTheHouse.com) and McDonalds spoke about the effectiveness of blogging for their respective companies. There were some big takeaways every blogger and business can learn from:
- Be Authentic and True to your Brand
Every blog should mirror the company voice. SouthWest Airlines has a very fun blog called Nuts About Southwest. If you’ve ever seen a southwest commercial on TV, you can see how their online presence mirrors their brand. They state their goal on the blog itself, “Give our visitors the opportunity to take a look inside Southwest Airlines and to interact with us.” Started in 2006, their blog posts content from 30 bloggers companywide and they have won the Best Corporate Blog award 3 years in a row.
- Add Value with Your Article Content
You need to give people a reason to visit you, subscribe via RSS and comment on your content. All social media sites (Facebook, Twitter and Blogs) are communities first and foremost. What information can you bring to the community that will make them want to visit you and learn what you have to say? How do you add value?
- Reach Out for Other People’s Content
Blogging does not have to be an island in itself. Reach out for others to write content for you. Take P&G for example. ManOfTheHouse.com found great success promoting the Gillette P&G product by reaching out to 12 bloggers to create custom, personal, heartfelt content about their own personal Dad stories in their “Thank You Dad” campaign.
McDonalds actually does not blog for themselves at all. But, rather, they invest in bloggers who already have a strong online presence, like Mommy Bloggers, who are happy customers. They find that having a 3rd party voice lends credibility to their restaurant as the story is told with through a true voice who loves the products.
If you have not yet figured out what your blog is about or why you are blogging, take a look at successful corporate blogs online, think about the ideas above, and create a plan and goals for your blog today. As with any traditional marketing activity, without goals and planning in place, you will have trouble achieving the desired results.
Combining social media with traditional marketing works. Facebook is great for not only connecting with your current customers online, but also getting new leads and exposure via referral.
Here’s one way a hairdresser used social media (Facebook) for lead generation.
I discovered Rely Local from a postcard at a local shop in my neighborhood. I visited their site and “liked” them in Facebook. A few weeks later, I noticed a post entitled “click Like and be entered to win a free haircut from Hair by Chandra.” I really never expected to win, but, as a social media consultant, I know how beneficial clicking “like” can me to a business, so I was happy to click.
When I won, it was such a nice surprise and this was a really great example of how timing is everything. I had been considering finding a hair stylist in my neighborhood, instead of making the 1 hour round trip to visit the shop I’d been using for awhile. So, when I saw the post asking me to click “like”, I was at the perfect time in my “buying cycle” to pay attention to the post and find out more about WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?)
After the free service, she took my picture and uploaded it to her Facebook Business page from her Iphone. I went online to Facebook as well and added my happy comments and review of her service under my photo and also as a separate post right to her Facebook wall (which showed on my own personal Facebook wall and was viewed by all my friends.)
Because of her contest offer, both her Facebook wall and Rely Local are getting new “likes”, engagement, and the opportunity to be seen by all my local friends (and others like me) who may be interested in using her services, or learning more about Rely Local. This is the viral beauty of social media sharing and how you can build your Facebook “fans” and get more leads with social media.
What a business really needs to realize is that social media tools, like Facebook, can serve as another touchpoint (or “eyeball” if you will) to keep you top of mind to your audience. The more someone sees your posts, they will be much closer to buying from you when they are ready to purchase because of the relationship you’ve built with them in the social media community, in this case, Facebook.
I was thrilled to get a free haircut and happy to have found someone local that I liked. It was a win, win for all. Thank you social media!
The Blogging Success Summit has kicked off with full force. I always attend webinars like these to stay current on what’s happening with social media for big companies as well as learning results from other social media consultant’s client successes.
With three sessions so far, we heard from:
- Richard Jalichandra, the CEO of Technorati, with a great Keynote speech talking about best practices for brands and bloggers and the State of the Blogosphere.
- Joe Pulizzi, co-author of Get Content Get Customers, and founder of Junta42 and the Content Marketing Institute revealed twenty actionable tactics to create compelling content.
- Debbie Weil, author of The Corporate Blogging Book, talked about Leveraging Your Blog as a Social Media Hub.
Here were the big takeaways:
As Facebook and Twitter may come and go or social platforms may change over time, a blog stands as your “permanent digital footprint” – the Hub. Every article holds a unique URL which makes it easy to find share and linked to from any social platform. And, and when you wisely use your keywords in your headlines and body copy, you are improving your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) with valuable content that lives online forever.