The Internet has changed the dynamics of the business world. For the past decades, marketers and business owners have used “outbound” marketing techniques such as trade shows and print advertising, where marketers push out a message far and wide hoping that it resonates with a few individuals. These outbound marketing methods are becoming less and less effective (not necessarily ineffective in every situation) for two reasons: 1) People are getting better at blocking out interruption-based marketing messages. 2) The average person is inundated with thousands of outbound marketing interruptions per day and is figuring out more creative ways to block them out, including caller ID, spam filtering, and on-demand TV and radio. The Internet and social media present quick and easy ways for consumers to learn and shop. Today, consumers are going to the Internet to start their purchasing process. In order to remain competitive, businesses need to utilize “inbound” marketing techniques to “get found” by the consumers searching for their products and services online.
Social media is not simply today’s trendy marketing play; it’s here to stay and has impacted every aspect of marketing and growing a business. In this course you will be guided step-by-step on the creation of your social media system. This is not an exercise in theory, it’s a plan of action created by one of the leading small business social media marketing practitioners. The end result of this course is that you are able to effectively and efficiently integrate social media into your overall lead generation and sales activities. Let’s review what we’re going to cover weeks and what you’ll be doing in between us meeting.
Creating a Social Media Strategy – Before choosing your social media tactics you need to align your activities with your objectives. One of the best ways to do this is to listen first. In this session we will design your social media listening station. Optimizing Brand Assets – Social media sites afford a great opportunity to create outposts for your content. In this session we will look a the best ways to create and optimize profiles and other social media real estate. Blogging for Business – We're going to talk about content as lead generation and really what the search engines, the relationship between content, blogging content in particular, and the search engines. And so the relationship between social media and being found really, and that is really the game of lead generation now. Maybe you have a blog, surely you’ve heard all about them. In this session we will dive deeply into why every small business should consider a blog the central hub of their social media strategy. Social Networking and Networks – We're going to dive into a couple of the more popular social networks and just the aspect of networking. Creating profiles on the major social networking sites isn’t enough. In this session we will cover the best practices for creating engagement on Facebook and Twitter.
I want to give you my definition of social media because it is one of those things that gets bantered around quite often, and in some cases people have different definitions. I will say that my definition of marketing is probably not so textbook. It is getting someone who has a need to know, like, and trust you. I feel that that is, for the typical small businesses, an extremely relevant definition of this thing called marketing. Now social media has moved its way into the realm of marketing so thoroughly that I would suggest that we could even start tweaking the definition of marketing to include this social media aspect, which then might become the use of technology to co‐create. In other words, you and the customer now or you and the prospect now are much more involved in co‐creating know, like, and trust. So that's a lot of what we're going to use as the basis for moving through this course.
10.3 BILLION searches are conducted EVERY MONTH on Google.
internet users from all age groups increased participation in social networking sites from December 2008 to May 2010: Milliennials rose from 67% to 83% Every generation 45 and older more than doubled participation Adults 74 and older quadrupled their participation (from 4% to 16%)
Year to reach 50 million users… RADIO – 38 years TV – 13 years INTERNET – 4 years iPOD – 3 year Facebook also tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S.
With more than 850 million active users worldwide and rising fast, if Facebook were a country, it would be the third most populated country behind leaders China (1.33 billion) and India (1.17 billion).
Session One in the Small Business Social Media System, &quot;Creating Your Social Media Strategy.&quot; Now before we get too far into the actual action steps of this lesson, I want to do a little bit of set up to try to help you maybe understand at least the point of view of this entire course. This statement is one that I have made frequently.
Now when it comes to building or integrating social media, the one thing that I really must emphasize is that we think in terms of a strategy. So instead of thinking in terms of the tactical things of &quot;what tools should I use, how should I do this,&quot; you really have to start with &quot;what or why would I do this?&quot; And to me it is aligning your activities. Any of these new social marketing activities that you're going to perhaps engage in, in some cases might be pulling at your time or pushing something else out of the way. So I think it's extremely important that, while you may not be able to see a one‐to‐one ratio of return on your time and some of it is a matter of taking time to build some momentum, I do think that it is extremely important to say, &quot;OK, what are we trying to accomplish with this,&quot; and to really try to align those with our objectives. For a lot of people, when they think about a strategy, that part becomes a little bit difficult because so much of this is new. So to try to understand how we would interact or what the value of maybe even a certain social network might be can be very difficult sometimes. So to me, the strategy part is formed completely by listening first. In fact, for a lot of people I would say that if you do nothing more than this lesson, I think that you will get a tremendous value out of time spent with any of the social media activity by simply creating what I call a listening station. So a listening station is simply a way for you to utilize some free or very low cost technology so that you can listen to everything that's being said.
That's certainly one of the aspects of social media that has been tremendous in some cases and obviously is some of the cause for concern in others, that customers, prospects, and users now have the [laughs] ability to really shape a brand to get a message out to interact directly with a company and with journalists. So it's extremely important partly because it's so easy to do that you're really listening to all of these mentions of your brand and what's going on. The types of alerts that you're looking for might be a customer sharing their experience or some mention of your company or your brand or your people inside of your company.
Certainly mentions of your competition and being able to easily track what people are saying about your competition can be [laughs] very useful information. Tracking whether or not things are being accurately said about your company. By setting up and listening to what those folks are doing really gives you the ability to build relationships directly around the types of stories they're writing without you having to subscribe to or hunt down all of the publications because you can have them delivered right to your inbox or to one web page. And certainly by tracking and subscribing to, for instance, many, many blogs in your industry or that might be related to your industry, it's a tremendous way for you to get some ideas, to see content, to see what's new for you to easily stay up on changes and trends. I believe that that alone can actually be one of the most valuable reasons for doing this.
In terms of the tools we're going to talk about in this particular session, RSS Feeds, Google Reader, Google Alerts and Google News are a couple of really tremendous tools obviously from Google that are all new and all free. And they really allow you to very easily set up all kinds of ways for you to collect, filter, and aggregate this content. Obviously, you've heard lots about Twitter. Well, once you start understanding the ability to filter out just the messages that are going on there that you want to hear, I think that right by itself makes Twitter a lot more useful for people.
Short for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary, this handy service is revolutionizing the way we search for content. In addition, us web searchers don't necessarily have to keep checking back to any particular site to see if it's been updated - all we need to do is subscribe to the RSS feed, much like you would subscribe to a newspaper, and then read the updates from the site, delivered via RSS feeds, in what's called a &quot;feed reader” like GoogleReader or NewsGator.
Now, a tool that I use, I've mentioned several times about the idea of having these things delivered to your email inbox. Sometimes a lot of people feel like, &quot;Oh, gosh, I've got a lot of email coming in.&quot; And so there's another tool called Google Reader, again that's from Google ‐ google.com/reader. Free to set up. And what this allows you to do is to subscribe to any site that produces an RSS feed, and there is a supplemental video in this session that I'll show you exactly how to subscribe and maybe what an RSS feed is and how to find it. But the Google Alerts from Google News that you set up actually produce an RSS feed of almost anything that's online anymore, but certainly blogs all produce RSS feeds. So one of the things that I recommend again from a listening standpoint is that we are going to in Session Three talk about blogging, but one of the first ways to get started certainly is to start reading blogs. And so I would definitely recommend that you use a tool like Google Blog Search or bloglines.com to locate blogs in your industry and then subscribe to them. As I said, there's a video that shows you how to subscribe. But what this allows you to do then is to have... In my case, I have hundreds of blogs that I subscribe to but it actually can be any RSS feed. So I could actually have the searches, say, on my name come here and what it would do is it would allow me to just scan through and see what mentions are there, or not there. And so it really makes it a very convenient way for you to bring lots of content to one place.
So the next tool then is once you create some of these searches if you want to have them delivered to you, say, on a daily basis, or an as‐it‐happens basis, there's another tool called Google Alerts and this is simply found at google.com/alerts. And once you have a Google account, and if you don't have one it is free and I highly recommend it, there's so many great tools that I use throughout this entire course that are all free, and so I certainly would recommend if you're not signed up for a Google account that you do so. But on the Google Alert screen, what it allows you to do then is to just set up those custom searches and you can have it, as you see there, delivered to your email. You can do it once a day, once a week, as it happens, you can have it search through all kinds of... The comprehensive search gives you all kinds of different search results. So certainly setting up alerts, if you're not familiar with that, a great, tremendous way to keep...one of the ways to keep track of. Google Alerts is content change detection and notification service, offered by the search engine company Google , that automatically notifies users when new content from news, web, blogs, video and/or discussion groups matches a set of search terms selected by the user and stored by the Google Alerts service. Notifications can be sent by email , as a web feed or displayed on the users iGoogle page. Google Alerts only provides content from Google's own search engine .
Let’s talk a little about Google News… Now there are supplemental videos really for the next couple tools that I'm going to introduce, and I will walk you through in screencast fashion exactly how to set these up and utilize these. But for right now, I just want to go through the overview. Google News is an automated news aggregator provided by Google Inc. The service covers news articles appearing within the past 30 days on various news websites. For this reason, links to the site will find the target article only within that 30-day window. What Google News does is you can go in and put in and search for any term. I've put in my name and it turns up what's been said most recently. It is a news as it's happening site, so depending upon what you're searching, it might be what's happened in the last 10 minutes or maybe it's what's happened in the last 10 days. But what I love about this particular tool is that it puts off an RSS feed. This search can actually be subscribed to. Now, we'll talk a little more about what that means, but what it essentially does is you can have this set up, there are other tools that you can set up all kinds of custom searches and have them delivered either to your email inbox or to another tool I'm going to introduce called Google Reader.
Now we'll talk in great detail about Twitter but there's an aspect of it that I want to reveal right now because it's very, very important through this listening aspect, and that is the idea of Twitter search. A lot of times when people just go to the Twitter home page they see everything that's coming through and it makes it very difficult to see any great worth. But if you go to search.twitter.com, you'll see a very simple search engine, or what looks like the interface of a typical search engine, and what you're able to do is put in any search term you want. And it will collect only the information that's been said from or about that search term and will bring it to you on the screen. Now, again, that's very valuable for you to have a snapshot at the moment of what's being said, maybe, but what you can also do is subscribe to that search. So if you see the little feed for this query, you're able to actually subscribe to that and so you can bring it to your Google Reader, and so now several times a day or daily you'll be able to see anything that's been said in that particular search. Recently, Twitter changed their search functionality and after the change, as we saw last week, finding the RSS feed for specific search criteria (i.e. keyword and keyphrases) got a lot harder. Since redesigning its site Twitter has been accused of killing its previously open ecosystem. The focus of the accusations comes from Twitter’s removal of RSS feeds
If you want to get the RSS feed for twitter search results, use this URL, http://search.twitter.com/search.rss?q=marketing but replace ‘marketing' at the end with whatever search word you want. Add that URL to your RSS reader, google reader, or whatever you use, and it should work.
OK, so finishing up today, your action steps are: If you do not have a Google Reader account, I suggest that you set one up and subscribe to at least five industry or related blogs. If you have competitors that have blogs, if the journalists that you're targeting have blogs, it might be a good idea to add them as well. Create a Google Alert for your name, company, competitors, if you have a journalist, key journalist in your town or industry. Those are things that I think you should go through and do the exercise in doing. Then lastly, set up some Twitter searches for some very common things, like your name, competitor's name, maybe some keyword phrases that would make some sense in your industry, and use your Google Reader, your RSS feeds in Google Reader, to actually subscribe to those Twitter searches as well. So that's all for this week. Use all the resources that are here, the supplemental videos that will show you how to do some of these things in the action steps, but most importantly, take some action. Get these steps done before next week because we're going to give you some more action steps next week too, so don't let your homework pile up and we'll talk to you next week.
1. Social Media Presented toLandwave
2. Outbound vs. Inbound Marketing* Telemarketing * Tradeshows * SEO * PPC* Direct mail * Email blasts * Social Media * Blogging* Print ads * TV/radio ads * Content * Buzz
3. Hub andSpoke
4. Social Media Sessions• Creating a Social Media Strategy• Optimizing Brand Assets• Blogging for Business• Social Networking and Networks
5. SO•CIAL ME•DI•A[soh-shuh l mee-dee-uh]Wikipedia defines socialmedia as how people discoverand share news, information,opinions, insights, experiencesand perspectives with eachother.It’s the democratizationof information, transformingpeople from content readersinto content publishersImage from www.istrat.in/blog/?tag=/facebook
6. 80% of adult Americans use the Internet .SOURCE: PEW INTERNET & AMERICAN LIFE PROJECT, FEBRUARY 2012
7. 78%of Internet users conduct product research online .SOURCE: PEW INTERNET & AMERICAN LIFE PROJECT, APRIL 2011
8. 9 out of 10Internet usersvisited a socialnetworking siteeach month in2011
9. 83% of Millenials have joined a social networkSOURCE: Pew Internet Generations 2010 report
10. YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world
11. Years to reach50 million users... Facebook added over 200 million users in less than a year
12. IF FACEBOOKWERE A COUNTRY,IT WOULD BE THE 3rdMOST POPULATED INTHE WORLD
13. 1 out of every 5 minutes online is spent on FacebookSOURCE: comScore Report: “It’s a Social World: Top 10 Need-to-Knows About Social Networking and Where It’s Headed”
14. Creating YourSocial MediaSystem
15. StrategySO•CIAL ME•DI•A[soh-shuh l mee-dee-uh] BeforeWikipedia defines social Tacticsmedia as how people discoverand share news, information, 1. Align activities with objectivesopinions, insights, experiences 2. Create a listening stationand perspectives with eachother.It’s the democratizationof information, transformingpeople and businesses fromjust content consumers into contentpublishersImage from www.istrat.in/blog/?tag=/facebook
17. • RSS Feeds• Google Reader• Google Alerts• Google News• Search.Twitter.com
19. Google Reader
20. Google Alerts
21. Google News
22. Plug in what you want to search on
23. http://search.twitter.com/search.rss?q=marketing But replace ‘marketing at the end with whatever search word you want.
24. Session One Action Steps• Read Let’s Talk: Social Media for Small Business whitepaper• Set-up Google Reader and subscribe to five industry or related blogs (www.google.com/blogsearch)• Create Google Alerts for your name, company, competitors, clients and prospects• Set-up twitter account and save searches for your name, competitor and several keywords phrases