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Know Your Customer’s Customer

customers

Attribution to Christine Jump (Flickr)

One of the basic principles of customer satisfaction is to understand and know your customer’s customer. It is something so simple, and yet sometimes, marketing professionals overlook this. Instead they create campaigns that fit the marketing person’s profile or fancy better than they do the customer or the customer’s customer.

Whether you’re selling to a company that makes and sells stuff or selling to Moms whose main customers are her three kids, you need to recognize who the customer’s customer is. If you want to create compelling programs and assess if they are on target, then knowing your customer’s customer is the most important key to successful marketing.

Clients, the ones who pay you directly, gain a new appreciation for the professionals who do their homework in this manner. It is the most generous compliment for a client to discover that you, in fact, took the time and effort to understand what they are doing and most of all, who they are doing it for: their customers.

In online marketing terms, the customer’s customer is an extension of a Buyer Persona. As social media marketing becomes more integral to the sales process, you will see this become more critical, but I wonder how many will really ‘get it’. Relating to people, even those called consumers, is not a science, but an art, backed by a strong genuine interest in helping people and truly satisfying their wishes.

As we take up the challenge of determining how to align with customers using new media, we need to reclaim the basics we learned so long ago. Learn about your customer’s customer, get to know them, spend some time talking to them or better yet, joking and laughing with them. As you build this awareness, you also build awareness of the direction your business should take to better connect with your consumer and satisfy their needs and interests for your products and/or services. Doing this well results in relationships that can last a lifetime.

10 Easy Tips for Better Blogging

Crunch time? Does it always seem like you are wondering what to write? How do you build buzz needed to pull people to your site? Here are 10 Easy Tips for Better Blogging.

Blog ideas

No doubt about it, blogging takes time and dedication. The pay-off comes when you find a good-size community that interacts with your site regularly and when you notice your website and blog are steadily gaining in the battle of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) rankings.

Here are ten tips that can help keep copy flowing smoothly.

  1. Write an article that is easy to read and over 300 words long. Find at least 2 images that fit with your topic.
  2. Pick topics that focus on things your customers often ask or are interested in. Keep a blog calendar that shows what you’ve posted and in which categories. Use it as a quick reference to keep your blog balanced
  3. Use the scheduling tool, like this wordpress example, to automate posting at consistent days and times
    blog scheduler
  4. Use an RSS feed to bring news that you can use as material for creating your blog
  5. Going to an event? Shoot a video, interview some folks, and post on your blog
  6. Interview customers for your blog
  7. Grab some company data and turn it into an interesting story
  8. Share a lesson you’ve learned
  9. Save interesting emails and use for blog fodder
  10. Use your signature line, with your blog’s link, in forums you visit to entice people to your site
  11. Use these easy tips to keep your ideas fresh and your content flowing

Still need help with your blog? Even with these tips, do you find the whole thing overwhelming? Maybe you need help getting your site up and running. Give me a call. We have affordable plans that will fit into every Social Media budget.

(updated Dec 2014)

Merry Christmas, What’s Your Social Message?

The Holidays are here! A busy time of year, full of shopping, gifting, celebrating and gathering. It is also a time of reflection. Time to ask yourself. What’s important? Am I doing the right thing? With social media impacting our lives more and more daily, it’s a good idea to dig deep to be sure you’re well grounded. To be sure that your social message is the message you can live by. A social message that you want to live with.

One of the best reads can be found by following the link below. This is a good time of year to take an accounting on your actions, including your online persona. Is it one you’re proud of? Are you doing the right things, both on and offline?

Merry Christmas, everyone. May the New Year bring peace and happiness for all. 

-Lynn

Fireplace

NADINE STAIR

An 85 year-old woman wrote this by the name of Nadine Stair. Some of you may have come across it before.

She writes:

“If I had my life to live over again, I’d dare to make more mistakes the next time.

I’d relax, I’d limber up, I’d be sillier than I had been this time, I’d take fewer things seriously, I’d take more chances and I’d take more trips.

I’d climb more mountains and I’d swim more rivers.

I’d eat more ice cream and eat less beans.

I might have more actual troubles, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.

I’m one of those people who lives sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day.

Oh, I’ve had my moments, but if I had to do over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else, just moments one after the other instead of living so many years ahead of each day.

I’m one of those people who doesn’t go anywhere without a thermometer, hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute.  If I had it to do over again, I’d travel lighter than I have.

If I had to live over, I’d start barefoot earlier in the Spring, I’d stay that way later in the Fall.  I’d go to more dances, ride more merry-go-rounds and pick more daisies.”

That’s the way it was said by Nadine Stair.

Don’t wait until you’re 85 years old.

Here’s a few more things to think/ponder about:

Trust people. Trust wasn’t put in your heart to stay, trust is only trust when you give it away.

Forget injuries, but never forget kindness.

Remember that nice guys don’t finish last. Nice guys finish best.

Practice the Golden Rule (and the Golden Rule doesn’t mean that the people that have all the money, make all the rules).

The most effective relationship with any person is an honest relationship.

‘Please’ and Thank you’ are the most powerful tools you have – you don’t have to wear a skirt to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.

Nobody ever failed by being decent – and you grow taller when you stretch to help the other guy.

Love life and use processes – don’t love processes and use life.

Don’t worry about failing. Failure is the fertilizer for success and success is really failure turned inside out. Even the best hitter in baseball fails seven times out of 10. Thomas Edison failed 12,000 times before he invented the light bulb. You learn more when you lose than when you win.

Don’t quit. You’re not finished when you lose, you’re only finished when you quit – you cannot fail without your consent.

Remember SW, (Sometimes you win, sometimes you won’t, so what!) A winning attitude is far more important than winning – winning is fleeting and fickle – but a winning attitude endures.

When you’ve done your level best, you’re a champion – and you really learn more when you lose than when you win.

Be enthusiastic, persevere, be passionate in task, bounce back and I’ll see you at the top.

Hang on to your dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that can’t fly.

And finally, love what you do and love what you are.

(Edited and reposted – Dec 2014)

Even Santa likes Social Media

It’s got to be good if Santa likes it. The phenomenon of social media continues into a Christmas-decorated living room near you. Social media are now part of celebrating Santa’s annual visit to children near and far.Santa

Mashable has just posted “9 Ways to Connect With Santa on the Web” so kids can get in touch with Old Saint Nick. Services range from Santa emails to tracking his sleigh in the skies as he delivers presents around the globe. It’s just one more instance of how Social Media pervades our private lives and provides businesses with ways of engaging their customers.

In the true spirit of Christmas giving, most of these services are free and can be found at http://www.emailSanta.com/.

And what do you give in exchange? Your gift is personal contact information and permission to market to you and your little ones.

YouTube Rewind 2010 – The Top 10 List in Links

Here’s the top watched YouTube video mashup from this year. There is no doubt about the power of video in social media… and it’s fun, too.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFnXm6cjGwU&w=640&h=390]

Could your video go viral?

Viral videos are what many business people dream of when beginning their Inbound Marketing strategy, sometimes with unrealistic expectations. Ensuring that a video of yours goes viral is impossible, but understanding their makeup, allows you to set it up for the possibility. By their nature, viral videos follow the pattern of a rapid increase of views, a couple of days with a very high number of views, and then a gentle decrease that can generate many daily views for a long period of time. Not surprisingly, the comments on these videos run pretty much the same pattern, engaging people at very high levels.

In case, you missed any of these during the year, pick a link to follow the full version now. My favorite is “This Too Shall Pass OK Go”. I love Rube Goldberg machines even more than the Old Spice guy.

Top 10  (in order, by most watched)

#1: Bed Intruder Song – http://bit.ly/hM9GKI
#2: Tik Tok Kesha Parody – http://bit.ly/gGkGDE
#3: Greyson Chance ‘Paparazzi’ – http://bit.ly/gDDvut
#4: Annoying Orange Wazzup – http://bit.ly/hBT1cm
#5: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like (Old Spice)- http://bit.ly/dDXy35
#6: Giant Double Rainbow – http://bit.ly/hpKOQo
#7: This Too Shall Pass OK Go – http://bit.ly/gdMRgr
#8: The Twilight Saga Eclipse Trailer – http://bit.ly/fEq0iG
#9: Jimmy Surprises Bieber Fan – http://bit.ly/i4QqGH
#10: Gymkhana Three, Part 2 – http://bit.ly/gnBZws

Top 10  (in order, by appearance in the mashup)

• The Man Your Man Could Smell Like (Old Spice)- http://bit.ly/dDXy35
• Giant Double Rainbow – http://bit.ly/hpKOQ
• The Twilight Saga Eclipse Trailer – http://bit.ly/fEq0iG
• Jimmy Surprises Bieber Fan – http://bit.ly/i4QqGH
• Gymkhana Three, Part 2 – http://bit.ly/gnBZws
• Annoying Orange Wazzup – http://bit.ly/hBT1cm
• Bed Intruder Song – http://bit.ly/hM9GKI
• Tik Tok Kesha Parody – http://bit.ly/gGkGDE
• Greyson Chance ‘Paparazzi’ – http://bit.ly/gDDvut
• This Too Shall Pass OK Go – http://bit.ly/gdMRgr

Do videos fit into your marketing mix? Give me a call to find out if they could.

First Steps to Successful Marketing on Facebook

Today, there are more than 500 million active users, 50% of these users log in daily. Every average user has 130 friends. People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook.

With those kinds of statistics Facebook is a natural for B2C businesses trying to build a loyal following: businesses like restaurants, hotels, sporting establishments, services and so forth.Social Media

Best of all: It’s free and easy.

Start your Facebook Personal Page

First step: you will need to establish your own personal page. The personal info you provide for this page is also your registration with Facebook for your business page, so you will only need to enter it one time. Often this is where someone worries about their privacy; don’t worry, you will (and should) adjust your privacy settings under your personal profile and restrict it so you limit who can view your personal page.  After that, you’re clear to create a business page.

Start a Facebook Business Page

Check out my free e-Book for step-by-step tips on starting your Facebook Business Page including screen examples of the Facebook personal page, business page and group page steps.

Start a Facebook Group

There is little to adjust for privacy on the business page; it’s open to all (except for age restrictions) and allows minimal control over how people interact with your page. If that lack of control bothers you, then maybe a facebook group is for you. It allows complete control of content, but is more effort for you to maintain.

Promote, promote promote!

All set up? Now, focus on promoting your business. Make frequent posts that are brief, upbeat and entice people to visit your business; or at least think about it more favorably. Understand your audience by developing your Online Persona. This helps you write posts that get attention and appeal to your fans.

Learn the power of reposting. This is one simple technique that is often overlooked. Ask a few of your most loyal customers (or friends and family) to repost your page or group on their walls by clicking the share feature. This starts a fan wave that exposes people to your business to whom  you do not have access.

Finally, use the new ‘Tell Your Fans’ feature that allows you to upload your contacts from your email or CRM program. This will allow the exposure of your site to grow.

Next issue? What would you like to hear more about?

First Steps to Successful Inbound Marketing

So, you’ve watched Socialnomics with Eric Qualman and now you ‘get it’.

Haven’t seen it yet? Here it is again.

Now, you’re ready to begin the first steps to successful Inbound Marketing. Because traditional marketing will never be the same. It will no longer get you ‘there’. If you want to move your business forward, then you will need to focus on what you’re doing online. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Own Your Own Website
There is nothing more important than owning your own website. It’s your basecamp. The place that all your social media efforts revolve around. The place where all your communications should originate from -and end up at.

Location, location, location!
Now more than ever location matters. Whether it’s a busy street corner or a hard to find hole in the wall, getting your spot on the map right is vital. My recommendation is first things, first. Can people find you? If you’re a restaurant, hotel or auto repair shop, then start by registering your address and details on Google Places. This will literally, put you on the map.

Google Places http://www.google.com/help/places/index.html

Get Found
Make it easy for others to find your website (you do have a website, right?) by adding it to these most popular search engines, as listed below. Yes, all of them. This will allow the search engines to find you without waiting for them to ‘crawl’ your site. Being proactive on this is a good thing.Socialnomics

Google – http://www.google.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl
Bing- http://www.bing.com/webmaster/SubmitSitePage.aspx
Yahoo! Local – http://listings.local.yahoo.com/
Yelp! http://www.yelp.com/business?country=US

Consider these:
__Craigslist- http://yourcity.craigslist.org/
__Here is a link where you can submit your site to MANY places:
http://www.locallytype.com/pages/submit.htm

Next steps
For all businesses, the top things that you need to do is establish a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and start a blog. For hospitality businesses, include TripAdvisor in that equation. Put it at the top of the list.
I’ll cover those in future articles. Stay tuned!

Scrooge Strikes e-Commerce Small Business

Is Network TV the Scrooge?
This Christmas season, it seems like every network TV news personality is reporting that online sales are booming. On Cyber-Monday, Becky Worley of Good Morning America said that online sales are up significantly this year. Technically, that’s true. That is, if you are Amazon, Walmart or Best Buy.

e-Commerce: Not for the Little GuyChristmas Cancelled for Small Business
Unfortunately, small to mid-size e-tailers have actually lost ground according to ComScore’s latest Cyber Monday report. Although, they reported a 12% overall increase in total consumer online spending, when you break it down the big box stores increased their sales 20%, while small-medium businesses experienced a 4% loss compared to 2009 spending.

Why do the Big Boys get the Attention?
Two reasons. One, the big boys can afford to lure shoppers with deep discounts and attention-grabbing promotions. In doing so, they grab market share from the online ‘mom & pops’, who thought the internet provided a new path to successful marketing. Two, network TV news keeps its focus on its customers: those big box stores who are their biggest advertisers this time of year.  ABC’s Becky Worley delivered her “news” report live from the floor of Amazon.com’s Phoenix distribution and shipping center.  Her story focused on Amazon’s deal of the day and other online retailers like Home Depot. If economic growth comes from small to medium-sized businesses, isn’t it time journalists paid more attention to them?

As Tiny Tim waits to see what’s in store for him this Christmas, remember small and medium-sized businesses are the ones that bring handcrafted, quality craftsmanship, made in America items to market. These are often gifts that last a lifetime.

Buy from someone ‘small’ today. There’s still time to shop!

Facebook updates for your profile and for your business

Facebook Profiles update

Facebook is implementing some changes that affect your personal profiles again. In the past, they have taken some criticism that their abrupt improvements were questionable. This time around, it seems Facebook has learned and improved on how they go about the update. They’ve added a wizard that helps and walks you through the process. In a nutshell, the changes to Facebook for personal profiles are:

  • A background summary that includes employers, education and location info.
  • New photo montage of 5 of your favorite photos just below your info summary
  • New navigation tabs in the left column
  • More details for your work experience and educational background
  • More info for your interests like music, books, and art
  • Group capabilities for your friends and more detail of your relationships

Changes for Facebook Business

Your Facebook Business Page has added a new feature also. In the last week, they added the ability to upload your contacts list from Outlook, gmail, Linked In, etc. After you have uploaded your contacts, you can invite them to ‘Like” your page.

To do this go to your page> Edit Page> Marketing> Tell your Fans>Upload a Contact File.

If you are using Facebook as a principle means of attracting clients, this can be very worthwhile.

Where are you going? …with your Inbound Marketing efforts

attracting customersInbound Marketing refers to attracting customers to your lodging property through a variety of social media and content distribution and interacting with readers, rather than the older means of buying attention through disruptive advertising and other devices. Simply put, Inbound Marketing employs a ‘pull’ strategy, rather than the ‘push’ strategy employed by traditional marketing techniques. With the sophistication of the Internet, the opportunity for distributing content and building communities make Inbound Marketing the best chance for small businesses to get noticed in this overly messaged world. Engagement and differentiation is where small businesses have the advantage. So where are you taking your business?

What are you doing now to get found?

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blog and your website are all set up. You have them cross-referenced to interact with each other. They all hold a consistent brand message. You have clients that are interacting with you online. Life is good, right? Everyone should beat a path to your door, right?

Well, not exactly.

Where the problem lies for many businesses is in getting ENOUGH people to VISIT and then TAKE ACTION. That’s where you’ll need a good plan (and maybe some help). One that includes developing a content strategy, sound social media execution and personalized, genuine follow-up. How many visitors will you need each day to convert ENOUGH people into TAKING ACTION?

Feeling overwhelmed? Make no mistake there is a huge amount of effort that goes into leveraging SEO, blogging and social media to increase website traffic. Face it, now may be the time to invest some time and money into this endeavor. A certified and experienced Inbound Marketing professional can help you with a detailed analysis of your business and the competitive landscape. And help you set and achieve your online marketing goals. To get started on your detailed plan, determine your goals, and get people to TAKE ACTION, give us a call. Don’t worry, the first visit is always free.

“Goals without plans are meaningless. Plans without deadlines and measurements are wishes.” –Unknown

Note- First published Nov 2010 and republished Dec 2014