Let’s Chat & Be Social – #SocialChat

“With great power, comes great responsibility …”

Ah, the wisdom of Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben, if only we all had a mentor like Spiderman’s, especially in the world of social media marketing.

As marketers who encourage and train businesses to engage in this powerful medium, we do possess a great power, the power to reach people in a very personal way. With that power comes the responsibility to respect the community of users and their communication space.

As discussed by Jason Daley for Entrepreneur Magazine, social media has the potential to tear down barriers to communication and remake the way businesses communicate within their own corporate structures as well as how they communicate with their customers.

A common concern among many social media experts is how will business communication and marketing affect the potential of social media to connect people. Do we really want to see our Twitter streams clogged and polluted with spam?

We have come to a fork in the road, and leadership is now required. As we harness the power of social media, we must take on the responsibility to respect what social media truly is and why people have taken to it in mass.

Social media has become so popular so quickly because, at its core, it fulfills the basic universal human need to reach out and connect with other people. It fulfills our overpowering need for relationship. That is where the impact of social media derives its power, the ability to facilitate the formation of relationships.

It is the relationship factor that we need to both encourage and respect.

But as leaders, how do we do that? What kinds of marketing practices will we put into place to maintain the integrity of social media?

Those were the questions that have gotten people talking and sharing and learning. It only took one short conversation to realize that this should be an ongoing process, and that lots of people should be involved.

Welcome #SocialChat, a moderated Twitter discussion group started to explore all the latest trending topics related to social media and social networking. The official discussions are scheduled each Monday at 9:00pm EST with topics and experts voted on by those interested in taking part. Anyone can nominate an expert they would like to learn more from. Or if there is a particular topic or question that is of interest, it can be posted to the SocialChat Moderator Board. Each Friday at noon, the topic/speaker with the most votes on the SocialChat Moderator Board will be announced for the following Monday’s chat.

Beginning Monday January 24th at 9:00pm EST Alan K’necht and I will be kicking off what is sure to be a very lively discussion session. Alan, @aknecht, is an expert in his own right and has much to say on the historic roots of social media and marketing communication. What a great way start the discussion than with a look at where we’ve come from.

Take responsibility. Be a part of the discussion. Join #SocialChat.

Social Media and SEO Discussion

The first #seochat of the new year turned into a community effort.  Enjoy the summary of crowdsourced wisdom on Social Media and SEO.

Guest: Laura Fitton – the CEO/Founder of http://www.oneforty.com and co-author of Twitter for Dummies.  Twitter for Business consultancy: http://pistachioconsulting.com.  Laura (@pistachio) is the girl who fell in love with Twitter. Details: http://speakertext.com/videos/604 .

Most active contributors: @kmullett, @SEOAware, @JadedTLC, @aknecht.

SEO benefits of Social Media

  • Quality traffic interested in subject, product, service
  • Quality link building: twitter scrapers, citation via bios, name, address, phone, link etc.
  • Content discovery faster than a site map.  Twitter has VERY strong google juice. Google has a direct tie into Twitter’s firehose = search signals. Google news now sorts by shares.
  • Realtime search benefits
  • Increased and affordable visibility. Google & Bing know about URLs and reference them as a link indicator.
  • Beginning or establishment of trust

In addition, it forces the technical types to focus on building relationships. With social media, it is easier to promote link bait.  Networking with webmaster bloggers helps to obtain inbound links.

There is no seperation of SEO & social media, different facets of the same coin.  SEO today means creating a plan that integrates many facets of online & offline marketing. Bing + Facebook deal puts things your social circle is saying right in the SERPs. Blurring the line further between SEO and Social Media.

How does a small business effectively use Twitter?

  1. to keep up to date on what’s happening within their industry in a extremely timely manner.
  2. great way to network, exchange idea and lurk for tweets etc. on problems & respond when you have the solution.
  3. small business can create an environment where their clients can stay up to date on the topics of interest and communicate on their own time.

Any small business needs to be consistent in how it uses Twitter. Use search to identify target audience needs, and craft a response.  Make sure your business has authentic, personal interaction with followers. It’s useless to businesses who don’t.  Listen. Learn. Care. Serve.

People exposed to brands in SM are about 2.8x more likely to search for them http://scr.bi/dNZFrn.

Tactical guidance, tips & tools for small business: http://oneforty.com/search?query=small+business

Best ways to monitor your social media activity.

  • URL shorteners like bit.ly. Even better – your own URL shortener, like YOURLs.org.  If you host with GoDaddy, Yourls.org’s shortener is now an app they offer.
  • Get a username as soon as you know about a new SM platform. You want to be consistent so your followers know where to find you
  • Social Mention scans quite a few social media sites for keywords. Google Realtime or even Twitter search is superior because Social Mention misses a lot.
  • Watch followers who are not bots, and fans via facebook and who comments and engages with your brand.  You have to talk to them too.
  • Use your brain to make an overall decision.  Don’t depend on only Social Meida tools to monitor influence and/or success.
  • Do not limit analytics to traffic. Look also to conversions via that traffic, mentions, awareness, offline interactions.  Set a goal and monitor success.  Tag every link you use in social media to see if it generates traffic and conversions.

List of tools to monitor Social Media activity http://oneforty.com/category/group/Business-Marketing

Tools to monitor your social media activity http://bit.ly/gd90q

More Tools

  • trackur
  • PostRank
  • at the VERY least you want search columns in your twitter client or a business dashboard
  • brandseye
  • “SEO site tools” extension for Google Chrome.  It shows social data in Google Analytics.
  • Google Alerts
  • Twitter search

Mongoose Metrics was on the of Promoted Tweets pilot and posted their results http://14t.me/fd2xqz

2011 predictions about Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.

  • I predict more people and businesses will sign up for Twitter, but few will take the time to learn to use it effectively.
  • I hope someone protects consumers from @Facebook’s dangerously aggressive privacy moves
  • The Social Media Bubble will get even bigger & then implode in 2012 when they realize many of the companies make no money.

Post on predictions > 7 Online Marketing Predictions for 2011

Lyena Solomon is an internet consultant who helps businesses make money through effective websites and profitable online marketing and advertising. Lyena is a website analyst and strategist with extensive development and website usability experience. When helping companies, her main focus is on return on investment, profitability, goals, targets and visitor engagement. She has been in internet business for 15 years.
Website:
http://www.netspritner.com

Are You Using Twitter for CRM?

Almost a decade ago who would have thought there could be so much power and usefulness behind 140 characters?  During the last five years with the explosion of Twitter there has been a lot of clout in short little messages and more businesses are using “tweets” to take care of their customers on a daily basis.

If you are not using Twitter to take care of your customers you may want to seriously think about getting started.  During the last few years customer relationship management has been gravitating toward the use of social media to improve customer relations.  This is because social media provides an immediate way for customers to communicate with you and receive quick answers to their questions.

Benefits of Using Twitter for CRM

So, it is obvious why social media would be the preferred choice by your customers but what are the benefits of using it for customer relationship management?

  • Quickly Resolve Customer Complaints – By using Twitter for CRM you can stay on top of when and why your customers are dissatisfied and then quickly resolve the issue with direct messages that address the issue.  This is a lot easier than some of the older methods where you discover well after the fact that there was an issue that needed your attention.  There are also free tools you can use such as TweetDeck and Hootsuite that help you stay on top of what your customers are saying right from your PC desktop.
  • Keep Your Customers Engaged – So you do not become a statistic of “out of sight out of mind” you can use social media to actively engage with your customers by offering special promotions and discounts as well as keep them on top of the latest developments in your business.
  • Personalization – You can address customers personally if you hear they have expressed something wrong with the product they received.  For example, if you sell athletic shoes and the customer received a pair that had defective seams, you can follow up with that customer personally to take care of the issue.  Through the older methods of CRM you may never know if a customer has an issue with your product.
  • Ask for Feedback – You can involve the customer in new product decisions by using Twitter to ask for feedback. By querying your customers you will be able to target their needs when you revise a current product or introduce a new product or service.  They will also appreciate your concern for their needs.
  • Help Customers Find Products – If your customers are having trouble using your product locator or they cannot find what they are looking for, you can use Twitter to help your customer find exactly what they are looking for.  Without social media your customers may otherwise click away from your site and move on to a location where they can find what they are seeking.

Twitter as Your Customer Service Representative

Like other aspects of customer relationship management you should have a process in place for dealing with customers on Twitter and engaging them in the process of doing business with you.  Whatever type of strategy you come up with remember that consistency is key, even if it is necessary to hire workers to manage your customers on Twitter for you.


Debra Leitl is the Mentor in Residence at eMentormarketing.com you can find her on twitter @MentorMarketing. Her specialty is interactive marketing with a focus on ecommerce and online marketing strategy. She has over 15 years of professional work experience in retail business management, strategic management consulting, and new business development.

Official Tweet Button Set for Release

As reported on Mashable yesterday, Twitter is going to be rolling out an official Tweet button to compete with Facebook’s “Like” button. Until now, sharing blog posts and other content via Twitter has been mostly done via Tweetmeme, so it will be interesting to see what happens when the official Tweet button appears.

Here is a snapshot of the button that was somehow obtained by Mashable.

As with the Facebook “Like” button, using the official Tweet button will not remove readers from the site they are on when it is used. This is great news for publishers who had this concern.

There is no official release date yet, so I will update this post as we learn more.

Facebook Questions Launches Today (Limited Release)

Today at 1pm PST Facebook’s long anticipated feature Facebook Questions went live to a small number of their users. This feature allows Facebook users to ask questions and get answers from anyone in the Facebook community, which is now 500 million strong.

When announced by Facebook in this blog post, they specifically highlighted the following features:

  • All questions are made public to the entire community, not just your friends
  • Questions can be tagged with keyword(s) to associate them with specific topics
  • Anyone can browse questions by topic

So the big question that most marketers have on their minds is how can you use Facebook Questions? Well, as noted above, this is only open to a small number of users right now. If you are selected by Facebook, you will see a notification that you can now us the service. Facebook has stated that they will expand the service to more and more users until they roll it out community wide.

Facebook isn’t first to launch such a service, in fact, there are many other websites already playing in the Q&A space right now including Answers.com, LinkedIn Answers, ChaCha, Aardvark, Quora, Yahoo Answers, and Replyz. Facebook, however, has quite the advantage since it has the largest community of people who can be involved than any of the mentioned services. Another advantage they have is the fact that the community is already used to asking questions amongst their friends in the social space.

Currently, Yahoo Answers is probably the biggest success story in the Q&A space. They are generally ranked well when stats of Q&A services surface from time to time.

Twitter, although not a Q&A service is also seeing a huge amount of questions coming through their service. This is one reason why sites like Replyz tap into Twitter users and provide a way for marketers to leverage those opportunities to promote their brands, products, and services.

I am super excited to see what becomes of this since it could potentially mean that I and other online marketers can leverage this feature on Facebook to continue to grow their brands and steal market share from larger players in the search marketing space. More to come as this new feature fully develops and is rolled out to the entire community.