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Should a Millennial Run Your Social Media Program?

October 16th, 2012 by | Posted in Marketing | No Comments »
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social media millennial

Who is the best person to manage your day-to-day social media content? Many small businesses turn the responsibility over to someone on the team who is young and hip, roughly between the ages of 18 to 25, also known as the Millennial or Generation Y crowd. This demographic grew up with technology and social media integrated into their lives. They take to technology and all things on the Internet quickly, so why not hand over your business’s social media content to them, right? Here’s why you may want to rethink that strategy.

 

Social media may be fun, but it’s serious business.

Yes, social media is conversational in tone, giving it a lighter air of fun. However, it is serious business. It’s a touch point of your brand. The content you post, the tone of your conversation, the frequency in which you engage your audience, all say something about who you are as a company or organization. You need someone who is organized and understands how you want your brand conveyed. Say the wrong thing on the internet and suddenly it goes viral. Don’t follow up with a customer who posts a comment and they feel left out. You need someone who has the maturity to understand that although social media content and interaction may be fun, it is all business.

Think of it this way, if you have a dream prospect that you want to land as a customer, and you have the chance to connect with them, whom would you want as your spokesperson? What would you want them to say about your business and its benefits? You need to look at your social media engagement in the same way. If you would want your best salesperson to be your spokesperson, you probably don’t have the luxury of giving them the responsibility of managing your social media profiles. Nor should you. But you need to view your social media content and strategies in the same way because if you do it right, you will be building relationships with ideal prospects and customers, and not just a random group of people.

 

Don’t forget to train them.

Once you’ve selected the right people to manage your social media content, you need to train them. While many Millennials learn their social media skills organically through their own personal use, you must have a strategy to succeed. Part of your strategy needs to include training. Social media, your market, and your business evolve. You can’t hope that someone young, who may lack business experience, will take the initiative to further their training. Here are three primary areas you need to consider.

1. Train them on the benefits, the personality, and the culture of your organization.

2. Teach them about your goals with social media and how you want certain situations handled. What rules would you like them to follow regarding content, tone, language, frequency of engagement? If a customer has an issue and addresses it in public on your Facebook wall, how should your social media person respond? If one of your followers sends a direct message via Twitter that they are interested in learning more about your products or services or they are ready to buy, who should your person direct them to?

3. Give your marketing person the opportunity to stay educated about the evolutions of social media. Not all social media platforms are the same. What works on one platform, may not work on another. For example, how you engage your audience on LinkedIn is very different than the culture on Pinterest. Hire a social media marketing company to perform training with your staff.

If you don’t have a qualified social media person in-house, you can outsource it. However, if you do, don’t assume that you can simply turn the task over to a social media firm without any interaction on your part. While a talented firm will know why social media makes a difference for your business and the best practices to accomplish your goals, they still need to get insight from you as to the top two items above. As a matter of fact, if you are interviewing companies and they don’t ask you questions about similar questions to those above, run the other way.

For more information about developing a social media program that produces results, contact me at SmallBizMedia.tv.

All the Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide

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Do You Have an Agile Online Marketing Plan?

October 14th, 2012 by | Posted in Marketing | No Comments »
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If you’ve paid any attention to the changes within the marketing world, especially online, you’ve seen ongoing stories of new and emerging social media networks and new and updated search engine algorithms. How are you adjusting your marketing strategies and tactics to take advantage of these changes?

 

Google Updates

Google continues to update its algorithms, Panda and Penguin. The Panda algorithm primarily focuses on filtering low quality content, while its cousin the Penguin algorithm focuses on reducing web spam. On September 27th, Google announced its 20th update to Panda to reduce the number of low-quality exact domain matches. What does this mean? Let’s say that you offer SEO services and your domain name was www.seoservices.com. If someone were to enter “SEO services” into Google your website should rank highly. Google looks to filter out sites that purchase domain names using keywords that have little page content matching the domain or reduce the number of other organic listing returns on URLs that don’t match the user’s search intent. Then on October 5th, Google announced its third update to Penguin having little impact on English language sites. Additionally, on October 9th, Google made changes to further impact spammy ‘top heavy’ sites. Basically, any sites that have a significant amount of ads above the fold will have their rankings penalized.

How should these updates impact your marketing?

You have to pay attention to your tactics. If you are purchasing keyword rich domains to drive people towards sites that offer little of valuable content that matches the keywords, stop. If you are loading the above-the-fold portion of your website (the section viewers see when landing on the page without having to scroll down), make some changes.

 

YouTube Updates

YouTube, the Google owned online video directory, has evolved from ranking videos by clicks to length of video viewings and engagement. While we all want viewers, there are various marketing strategies and tactics you can use to just get your views for your YouTube videos and thus improving your popularity ranking. However, ultimately, you need viewers who find value in your videos and take a predetermined action after they finishing watching.

What changes should you make to your YouTube videos based upon this update?

First, make videos with content that is of interest and value for a specific audience. Second, consider the length of time of each video. It’s best to record videos that are 5 minutes or less, with 2 minutes or less being optimal. If you have content that last longer, break up your content into a series. This will give you shorter videos that more people are likely to view until the end, plus it gives you a reason to market the other videos in the series bringing viewers back to your YouTube channel more frequently and increasing the likelihood of engagement. Third, market your video to a specific market. You can create enticing marketing to bring viewers to your videos, but if they are the wrong audience, you will increase the number of people who bounce back out of the video quickly, diminishing your rankings on YouTube.

 

Stay Focused

If you don’t have an online marketing plan, you should. And if you do, it needs to be a flexible, living plan like any business plan. There are going to be changes in the marketplace. You need addresses how your marketing team will stay abreast of these updates and how they will react to them while remaining dedicated to your goals.

If you need help developing and managing an online marketing plan, contact me at SmallBizMedia.tv.

All the Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide

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Facebook Fan Pages vs. Branding Sites

September 28th, 2012 by | Posted in Marketing, Social Media | No Comments »
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Facebook fan pages vs branding sites

The population in the virtual nation of Facebook is approaching the 1 billion mark. Even with some recent news where Facebook admitted that some of these profiles were fake there still is a sizeable population on the social network. In a recent survey posted on Hubspot, it turns out that 50% of the population prefers Facebook fan pages to the customary branding sites (a company’s or organizations primary website).

Looking at the infographic on the page provided by Lab42, let’s pull out some interesting details:

  • 87% of people like brands on Facebook
  • 75% feel more connected to brands on Facebook
  • #1 way brands could get more likes: more giveaways

Click on the infographic to enlarge the image.

Are you spending money building out your branding site and foregoing connecting with your target audience on Facebook? If so, you’re likely making a big mistake. For help to strategize, optimize, and socialize your brand on Facebook, leave your questions in the comments or contact me at SmallBizMedia.tv.

All the Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide

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