Category Archives: Social media marketing

An Interview With David Kravets of Wired Magazine

Alas, when it comes to social media and the subject of marketing, what are they but tools and methods for communication attempting to reach out, connect and engage with an audience (and maybe get someone to buy, depending on your goals). While there are many methods for conveying information such as video and images on the Internet,much of the way we correspond on the today is through writing. Today, I interview esteemed writer Dave Kravets about the importance of writing in how we bond, relate and engage on the Web, particularly with social media. Dave writes for the infamous Wired Magazine and writes his own wildly satirical and journalistic blend of untruths and tall tales on his website, TheYellowDailyNews.

You can also follow Dave’s adventures on Twitter @dmkravets

Frankie: Dave, you’re a Senior Writer at the famous publication, Wired Magazine. Can you tell us a little bit about your history in the field of journalism? How did you ended up at Wired?

DK: I’ve been a journalist for about 25 years. I was the legal writer for The Associated Press in San Francisco, when Jerry Brown, the attorney general, hit me up to become his press secretary. I took the job. Lasted just a few months. I wasn’t cut out for politics. I then got a job at Wired.

Frankie: 25 years is a lot of writing. I remember seeing some of your AP articles in the San Francisco Chronicle. You are also the creator of TheYellowDailyNews, (www.theyellowdailynews.com) which I’m sure readers get a pretty good laugh. It seems as if you take current events and make them a play on politics, technology, media and religion. Can you tell us what that’s about?

DK: TYDN is basically my version of the Onion. It’s basically a site of commentary under the guise of fake news.

Frankie: TYDN is great! I can’t wait to see some of your new stuff. What is your take on the impact social media has on writers? Has it saturated the medium with everyone writing articles and blogging these days?

DK: Social media has had a few impacts in my view. Many of the young writers have taken it and made themselves part of the story, and have become more about “look at me” instead of “look at what I’m writing about.” That galls me. On the other side, social media has some benefits, if used in a tactful way, such as having a dialogue with your readers.

Frankie:  Right. Dialogue let’s you know you’ve connected with your readership and didn’t bore them into drooling on themselves. How did you learn to become adept at the craft of written communication? Does it matter whether someone has a formal English and writing education, or can an OK writer become a good writer with a sort of learn-as-you-go experience?

DK: I have a degree in journalism, philosophy and a MA in political science. The best writing experience is via writing. However, in my business, I view the writing aspect as less important than the actual news-gathering process.

Frankie: That is interesting. Though, not necessarily journalism, I can see how the “news-gathering process” is important for anyone who writes blogs and articles. Well-researched written guts mean the writer actually made credible strides in creating content, rather than spouting off without anything to support their writing.

It was recently reported that most mainstream media outlets use social media as a one-way a broadcast tool for people to consumer and do not engage readers. In a way, this makes sense, since journalists are tasked with reporting the news as opposed to acting as opinion columnists soliciting feedback. Yet, do you see a change in the future in how media outlets will respond to and even interact with their audience through social media? Or, will mainstream media seemingly always continue to use these platforms as sort of a glorified RSS feed?

DK: I think the mainstream media will continue to use social media as an RSS feed. That said, there’s tons of other new media out there, that are now becoming the traditional media and are engaged with their readers.

Frankie: We know that marketing with social marketing consists of various types of multimedia such as photos and video, but mostly it’s about the written word with posts, blogs and articles that communicate to audiences. For those that manage social networks for organizations, or even small businesses handling their own social presence, how important do think it is to have a grasp on the art of writing?

DK: I think the art of writing is not as important as engaging with your audience. If you have their respect and ear, they won’t care as much about any physical writing shortfalls. People love to engage on social media, that’s the whole point of it.

Frankie: With our short attention spans and gluttony of information flying by on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks, how important do you think it is for the writer to create headlines and articles/blogs that stand out?

DK: Obviously, if you don’t have anything to say, there cannot be any engagement because nobody will come to you to engage. Clearly, one must draw in people for such engagement. Depending on your business model, crafty headlines and stories are needed. The stories don’t have to be written masterfully as much as they must be interesting or entertaining to draw the reader to you, so you can engage with them.

Frankie: That’s something I wholeheartedly agree with. As you say, find an angle. Are there any authors or journalists, even other writers that inspire you or give you inspiration with their writing?

DK: Hunter S. Thompson has been my most influential writer. He’s crazy and deep down, I am too.

Frankie: HST was an amazing writer. I’m just now getting into how wildly he crafted words together in such strange ways, but allows the audience to make the connection.

Gonzo! What advice would you give to those starting a business or who are managing a client in the world of digital marketing where the written word is a major player in the success or failure of that operation?

DK: Don’t try to fool your readers or clients. They’re not dumb. Cater to their needs and engage with them. No hyperbole.

Frankie: Dave, thank you for your time. I look forward to seeing more of your articles in Wired and especially on TheYellowDailyNews.

DK: Thank you Frankie!

Brand Against the Machine

I had the opportunity to interview John Morgan, author of Brand Against the Machine: How to Build Your Brand, Cut Through the Marketing Noise, and Stand Out from the Competition (affil link) and get his candid opinion on some of the most popular questions I get asked from Social Media Managers on branding.  

A bit about John: John Morgan is known as the Chuck Norris of branding. With his popular blog (www.JohnMichaelMorgan.com) and being an in-demand public speaker and consultant, he is a globally recognized authority on branding and digital marketing.

I hope you have as much fun listening to the interview as we did recording it! That being said, we have a couple of disclaimers before you click play:

  • This video is not yet rated. If you are challenged in the sense of humor department, don’t like the term WTF or are easily offended, this may not be the video for you. Just don’t say I didn’t warn ya!
  • This video has been edited to fit your attention span. (Trust me, I like to hear myself talk. It was loooonnnng… so please excuse the rough cuts.)


STEP 1:  Buy the book

STEP 2: Email your receipt to john@johnmichaelmorgan.com to get access to all the goodies!

STEP 3: Go enter our Twitter contest by heckling someone and use the hashtag #batm (You should probably mention me in your tweet @katebuckjr so I know you were entering our heckling contest!) I’m picking a winner on Wednesday afternoon!

On ROI… a rant

Q: I’m getting a lot of pushback recently regarding ROI and the amount of time it takes to see it.  What do you normally say to that?  The client we discussed has and issue with that, too.

kbj: We’re talking about relationship building here. Has the client ever asked someone to marry them on the first date?  Their date would think that’s ridiculous! They also probably don’t appreciate people on the street passing out flyers, right? You have a split-second of meeting them and already, they are selling to you!

It’s the same thing with social media. You have be smarter and think longer term.  If the client can’t wait, then they shouldn’t be in business at all – in my opinion.

It’s about building relationships and that takes time, online or off just plain and simple…

This isn’t everything I have to say about this conversation, but it is my most immediate reaction (read: rant). There is so much more to social media than ROI, not that there shouldn’t be any… but you have to focus on the other parts FIRST to actually get the ROI.

 

What are your thoughts? What is your response to this kind of push back?

3 Marketing Tips You Can Learn From A Kindergartner

By Frankie Frederick, Guest Writer
Published April 1, 2011

Reality check! Kindergartners are better at marketing than you or I might ever be. How can that be? You’ve studied, taken the tests, got the certifications.

Never mind the pint sized cuteness and rambunctious energy that makes the Energizer Bunny look…well more like the tortoise than the hare.

Forget that a five year old can get massive amounts of attention at the mere mention of poop, walking up to the front door covered head to toe in mud, or have an entire mall looking with a simple fall on the floor tantrum.

No, if you want to truly learn how to market your brand. If you want to really find out how to create an experience, ask a kindergartner. Here’s why:

1. Wild Imagination

A five year old can tell the best stories. They don’t have to be true, but they can suck almost anyone in with vivid, wild imagination. No stone is left unturned and childlike details create an experience.

Need a superhero to represent your brand? Ask a kindergartner. They’ll have the best ones. Want to create a video about cute? Ask a kindergartner. They know cute beyond our jaded, seen it all eyes. Need to write a sequence of blogs in storyline format? Ask a kindergartner. You’re sure to get a great story idea.

See, most of us are limited in our imaginations. We are realists, logical, rational, always thinking about the perceptions of our ideas and the results of our efforts. We think to ourselves, “that won’t work”. Yet, a five year old has almost no concept of these things and thus runs wild with creative imagination.

2. Won’t Bore You

Have you every seen a boring child? I’ll bet you haven’t seen too many, if at all. Yet, I know we’ve all seen a ton of boring adults and well…boring brands.

We want to be “safe”, “informative” and “thought leaders”. (YAWN! SNORE!).

“The housing market is down and here is what you can do to get this house quick!”

Whoopee!

The five year old says, “Housing Market? I wanna slide down that bannister! I want to do flips into the pool. This is a cool house!”

The idea is, while we worry about making people laugh or cry, the five year old doesn’t care and he/she provides the great experience that isn’t well…boring.

3. Fearlessness

Children get so excited to attempt things without thought or fear of failure. Sometimes they fall down. But, often times, they get back up and try it again until they get it right.

As marketers, we on the other hand fear attempting something new or different. We fear backlash at our ideas, we fear failure.

Kids like to push boundaries. That’s how they discover what works and what doesn’t. That lack of fear leads to an amazing amount of knowledge in a short time. We, on the other hand don’t push boundaries, don’t discover as much as we could and therefore don’t get the attention and recognition our brands deserve.

Next time you’re trying to figure out how to develop your marketing campaign, go ask a kindergartner.

 

Effective Ways to Land Your First Social Media Management Client

One of the most important things that you can do to land that first client is to always be on the lookout for the next opportunity. There are countless opportunities around you. Everything from a short conversation with the diner owner that you visit for coffee each morning, to a few of your online friends can lead to a new client and a new opportunity

While it is important not to always talk like you’re trying to make the sale, keep in mind that a simple conversation can sometimes lead to great results. Keep your possibilities and your mind open.

Of course, landing a new client is not only about being in the right place at the right time, or making the opportunity happen for you. It is also about how the potential client sees you.

  • Do you present yourself as someone who is capable?
  • Do you demonstrate expertise and knowledge in your area of specialization?

By demonstrating that you are plugged into what’s happening, people are more likely to start seeing you as the go-to person for their social media needs.

With your newly acquired skills, and of course the ability to learn new ones too, all that is left is to be your natural friendly self. Be positive, be friendly, and present yourself with the confidence and professionalism that you would come to expect from those around you.

While how you present yourself and looking for opportunities is important, it is also vital to know how to accomplish those tasks. Always remember to do the necessary research. Make use of online tools such as Google Alerts or the search function on Twitter to seek out new possibilities.

One way is to start getting notifications or alerts for search words in areas that you have a special interest in. For example, let’s say that you have a special interest or knowledge in Sicilian cooking. Why not set up a Google Alert for those ideas as well as social media management? That way, when you find people searching for those terms, you’ll be able to quickly tailor what you do to fit their needs.

Also be sure to set up general searches for social media assistants or social media management as well. You never know what you’ll find on the end of the line – maybe a partner, a subcontractor, or even a client just waiting to find you!

Simple Ideas for Effective Branding

As a social media manager, your brand can truly make or break your business. So having an effective brand is essential to your success. If you’re looking into creating or even re-vamping the brand that you present, here are some surefire ways to get the job done.

One of the most effective ways to have an effective brand in social media is to be consistent. Nothing can make a business fail faster than the impression that you are not what you appear to be.

One of the easiest ways to make sure that you present a consistent image is to simply be yourself. If you have a bubbly and friendly personality, don’t come across as a take-no-prisoners-professional in your email. Conversely, if you are more comfortable keeping everything very business-like and professional, don’t start greeting everyone with a forced smile. As the saying goes, keep it real.

In today’s world, often you only get a few moments to present your brand to a potential client. Sometimes an opportunity will present itself as your walking together down the hallway, or perhaps when you are in an elevator.As a social media manager, you know that it is often necessary to get to the point quickly and effectively. You need to give them a lasting picture, a snapshot of who you are, and what you can do for them.

Thankfully, a well-made, well-practiced elevator pitch can accomplish all these things. An elevator pitch is basically a cliff notes version of your business that can be provided in under a minute. There are a number of different versions available, but they all basically have some of the same characteristics.

First, your elevator pitch should be short and to the point. Second, it is natural. Third, and perhaps the most important, it provides a way for the other person to get more information.

In order to get your elevator pitch ready to use at a moment’s notice, take your time and create the one you want, and then practice it. I know it sounds silly, but don’t be afraid to practice in the shower, in front of the mirror, and even on your friends or family. Getting critical feedback is a wonderful way to hone your elevator pitch into one of the most effective ones out there today.

How you present yourself and your company to the general public can go a long way to making sure your business venture is a successful one. Be consistent, be yourself, practice that elevator pitch and you’ll do great!

Dealing with the Negatives: How to Handle Less Than Flattering Comments and Postings in Your Social Media

There is a lot to think about and deal with as a social media manager. There are Facebook postings, business profiles, article directories, blog postings, basically a whole slew of things that you have to keep in mind.

It is important to make sure you think about something else as well – the negative comments and postings that may come from outside sources. Learning how to effectively combat these blemishes to your client’s business can mean the difference between an average social media presence and a highly effective one.

Determine Validity of the Posting or Comment

While some would argue that the best approach is to delete all negative postings or comments, I believe that not all negative comments are necessarily detrimental.

The first thing that one has to do is to see if the comment is valid. One of your client’s customers may have had bad experiences with their service. Or perhaps a product didn’t quite live up to the hype. If the complainer’s concern is a valid one, and it is not simply someone trying to put your client into a negative light for illegitimate reasons, then the best approach is to address, not delete.

By addressing the negative comment, and attempting to resolve the problem, you have accomplished two things on your client’s behalf. First, you have shown the client to be open, fair and professional when dealing with the general public.

Also, there is the potential that you could win back a lost customer for the client. A resolution doesn’t even have to come right away. A timely response of “Hi, I’m Ms. Smith from Acme Realty. I’ve read your posting, and am looking into it right now” or something to that effect can give you a bit of breathing room to get the job done.

When to Delete

Of course, there are some cases where the comment or posting might simply be spam, advertising, or just nonsense. Hyperlinks in the comments of a blog leading back to another, non affiliated website is a great example of this.

Another is blatant advertisements in a discussion group operated on behalf of the client. In these cases, the best approach is to simply delete the postings, and block the poster if deemed necessary.

In reality, negative comments or postings, whatever form they may take will always be a part of the social media presence for your client. However by removing the illegitimate comments, and addressing the ones with merit, you will help build up the positive feedback.

Effective Ways to Bring Your Next Client to You Online

Running a successful social media manager business means that building a wide and extensive client base is an integral part of the program. While making use of the referrals from your clients is a great way to get started, it can’t be the only avenue that is used. Thankfully, the World Wide Web provides a number of different ways to get your message across.

Make Use of What You Know

As a social media manager, you know about or have access to just about every one of the most popular social media sites. So why not make use of them for your business? Having an up to date and topical Facebook fan page or profile can be a great way to get your brand out into the web.

Make sure that you make use other sites such as Twitter or LinkedIn, too. There are a number of software programs available that allows you to update your various social media outlets all at once, making is very easy to keep with the online conversation.

Your Blog

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to get detailed information out to the public about your services is through a dedicated blog. In a few paragraphs you can provide more insight, and more detail into what you can do for your potential client than anywhere else.Having a description of your services, testimonies, even your expert advice on the latest and greatest in social media in one location can be a great marketing tool.

Your clients, and soon your potential clients will know that your blog is the resource for information and insight, and of course, help when they need it. So take the time to write a quality blog, and contribute to it regularly. Then, spend some time linking and promoting it throughout the Internet.

Don’t Be Afraid to Step Out and Upwards

While the world of social media and blogs are a great way to self-promote, never be afraid to get help from those around you. Local newspapers and online magazines are always looking for topical interview subjects, and with the chaotic nature of the social media world, your expertise is likely to be in prime time demand.

Watch your twitter accounts, and keep abreast of what is going on in the world. Chances are you’ll be able to find another opportunity for exposure. Take what you apply to your clients and use it to find your next one!

Offline and Online: How to Develop a Diverse Client Base

A number of brick and mortar businesses, both large and small are beginning to see the advantages of having an online presence including social media. Thankfully for your business, these companies often need guidance on how to handle the dynamic changes of the social media world.

So how should you approach these potential clients that are just now venturing into the online world of social media? There are a number of different methods, but one of the best places to start is in your local neighborhood. The local stores, restaurants, and even the local non-profit groups are great places to find your next potential client.

For example, the next time you go in to have lunch at your favorite diner, stop by and compliment the owner or manager on their service or food. When they request that you tell your friends about the place, mention that you will, on Twitter or Facebook. If they mention that they were thinking about doing something with Twitter or Facebook, you have your opening to make the connection.

Also, remember that the fine art of networking isn’t just about meeting others during marketing meetings. It’s about meeting and getting to know people on their own level, in their own comfort zone. Instead of focusing on the numerous marketing or business opportunity meetings, try attending meet-ups or social gatherings for clubs, or interest groups.

Groups such as the neighborhood gardening club, or the local historical society can also be great places to find someone that could use your services. It’s a good idea to start with groups that interest you. The natural interest and enthusiasm that you show will go a long way.

While it is important to cultivate your offline client base, it is also important to make sure that you don’t neglect your online one. The Internet is one of the most diverse places in the world, and any social media manager would be a fool not to make use of it.

A great place to start is by choosing to follow people or pages that have showed an interest in what you do. Also, don’t be afraid to make online friends with people that you could potentially come in contact with. The Facebook friend finder is a great tool for just this purpose.

These are just a few ways that you can help to diversify your client base to include both online and offline customers.

Social Branding for Dummies (Part 2) “3R’s” It’s A Honeymoon Baby

Ahh, the honeymoon. That time when you and your significant other are so blissful, not even an ultra-Grande cup of Starbucks Chocolate Double Shot Mocha with a hint of whipped cream could overcome. Hey, guess what? A honeymoon happens in business and on the social web.

I’m not talking about marrying one of your fans or followers and flying to Bora Bora. I’m talking about the 3R’s of branding.

  • Ratings
  • Recommendations
  • Reviews

The best time to attract 3R’s are in the ‘honeymoon phase’, right after you have provided such superb service, the client cannot help but promote you.

There are two key facets to this. First, do not hesitate to ask for one of the 3R’s placed on your blog or other social media tool immediately after you have a satisfied client. Next, you must be sure to provide a method for the client to do this in an area that can be seen by others. A “Like” on Facebook is a start, but doesn’t provide the clout a comment on a blog, wall post or tweet might have.

Ideally you might syndicate a rating, review or recommendation throughout your social media realm by responding with great gratitude. It also never hurts to ask for a testimonial to be placed on your own website.

The best branding you will find will come from others and the best time is during the honeymoon phase.
Get enough of those and you might well be on your way to Bora Bora.