Category Archives: Business Web Marketing

Small Businesses are Not Corporations on Facebook

stick_figure_liking_it_150_clr_9170I was told by someone, “that what you do to help small business you can do on the corporate level”.  Oh this is so not true.  There is a psychological “corporate” mentality, and there is a small business mentality especially in marketing and social media, and they work quite differently.  What I do for the solo-preneur and small businesses certainly just does not apply to a corporation or visa-versa.

Corporations have a different thought process when it comes to customers.  They do not worry about losing a customer or two or in some cases 1000’s.  If a small group of people boycott them they can live with the boycott.  Nike and Chick-Fil-A are great examples of how a boycott did not affect their business or profit.  A small business can ill afford the loss of one customer much less a thousand.  Every person is precious.  A boycott of a small business can close a business in very short time.

The Small Business Owner has Personal Influence

Creating a Picture of Social Media Influence, Klout, and Kred #Infographic


Psychology is my passion. Not to far a way is statistics and measurement.    It is true that one can use a statistic to say what you want it to say, but if one is careful they can be very useful.

One of the difficulties we have in social media is measuring just about everything we do.  Seriously, how do we know that our efforts on the different social media platforms are actually making an impact?  I am not sure we will fully know the answer to that question, but there are some tools that can help you put at least a few pieces of the puzzle together that can give you a glimpse at your influence in the social media world.  The three most prominent tools are Klout, Kred, and PeerIndex.  Understand these are not perfect, but put them together and I think you will get a decent picture.

This graphic thanks to onlinedegrees.com gives a really nice overview of what Klout, Kred and PeerIndex is all about.

Scoring Klout
Courtesy of: Online Degrees

To your success and social media influence!

Jay Izso, Internet Doctor®

Facebook Business Pages…Why They Fail?

I have been reading and hearing more and more conversations about Facebook Business Fan pages.  The most frequently asked question is, “are they really effective”?  Honestly, the reviews are mixed.  If you ask 10 people how effective their Facebook business page is, (provided they are not lying to you…oh and they will, and they do.) you will get everything from “waste of time” to “they’re great!”.

In my personal and professional research I have come to the following conclusion:  You and your business may not be able to do a Facebook Fan Page.  That’s not an excuse for you to avoid creating one, but I am convinced that there are reasons why some “Fan” pages are more successful than others.  Even if you were to do everything suggested there is no guarantee that the will be effective for your business.

Typically I focus on the “what to do to make you and your business better”.  Today I am going to focus, “how a Facebook Fanpage Fails”.  Here are a few of my observations.

Prescriptions for Failed Business Fan Pages:

  • Lack of a Plan and Strategy.
  • This is perhaps the number one reason why business pages fail on Facebook.  People will create a page and just expect it to work.  They believe in their own “Field of Dreams”, “if you build it they will come”.

Social Media for Business – SM Target Marketing

If you are business using social media or considering using social media as part of your marketing plan then make sure you are considering your audience.

Where and Who – You Can Choose Your Friends, but Not All Your Connections

The Where

One of the first considerations you should make before you do business in social media is understand where your audience came from. Not all social media platforms are the same. They each have a distinct purpose, and a distinct audience, they are not all created equal.

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For instance, in Facebook you choose your friends. Most people do not accept every friend request, and you probably shouldn’t. Typically on Facebookl we choose friends that we know or have some association with. After all they are “friends”. They can be business colleagues but we have them because we purposely chose them.

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Twitter on the other hand chooses us in the form of a follower. We have little or no control over where our audience comes from. It’s easy to get followers, just start following people. You will find that if you start following enough people about 50% of them will follow you back. It’s interesting because people will say they have 1000’s of followers, but do they really? Or do they have a group of people that pay very little attention to what they “tweet” so that they can boost their own follower numbers? Can someone really pay attention to the 100’s of people they follow much less the 1000’s they might follow. Not unless it’s the only thing they do all day. If you are in business you should consider whether you would rather have a few hundred people that follow you because of what you say, or people who follow you so they can boost their numbers?

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Then take the social network LinkedIn. Where do those connections come from? Here we have a combination of factors. They usually come from our initial attempts to invite people we know, or people who know us, whether that be friends or business colleagues. Then we start gathering connections from associations we have had, more than likely from business. From there we start connecting because we join a group, or know someone who believes we would be a good contact for someone else. However, what we start to see is that as we move from who we know to a recommended connection our knowledge of where and who connects with us becomes more distant. It can get to the point where you are not even sure who some of these connections are on your LinkedIn network.

The where is important because know where someone came from gives us clues to how they want to be talked to. If you know where a friend, follower, or connection came from, it makes it easier to know how to approach them with regard to social media marketing or if they should be approached at all. It also makes it easier to determine what message I want to send them. Consider this, do I want to send the same message to people I chose vs. people that chose me?

The Who

Knowing who your social media audience is, may be the most overlooked part of social media marketing. The more I research the so called “experts” and “gurus”, the more I find that they ignore this part of the social media for business marketing strategy. As a matter of fact they may be the biggest abusers of social media marketing!

If you are business who is using social media marketing right now I have a question for you. What do you really know about the people who you are connected with in your social media networks? If you are like most businesses you probably have not even looked at the data. You probably were not even told to consider it. You may have even been told by some social media expert to just blanket all your social networks with the same marketing message. This is not the most effective way for any business to run a social media campaign. Why? Does the term “target marketing” mean anything to you? The one thing we absolutely know is that “target marketing” works, it is the most effective means by which business tailors their product or service to the exact people that have the potential to purchase their product or service. We already know that there is a difference of where our connections come from in each social network, we are just as certain we know there is a difference in who those people are.

In addition, if you are like most people on these social networks you are probably connected to a number of people who are in the same industry as you are. So who is seeing your marketing message? People just like you who are not part of your real “target market”. True, they understand what you are trying to do, but, they are doing the same thing back. If you are sending your marketing message to people who may read your message, but will never buy from you, are you really marketing?

The concept of “target marketing” is so applicable and necessary. Do your research on your own networks. Please don’t ignore it. There are consequences for marketing to the wrong audience. In some cases you may not even know the consequences. For instance, people will start hiding your updates on Facebook, rather than removing you as a friend. Your social media marketing may have backfired and you may not even know it.

In Twitter, you may see more people unfollow you because of your marketing efforts. In LinkedIn, you may just ignored. The problem for business in most cases is not what you know, but what you don’t know. When people ignore your business, or do not comment about it, it is more damaging than when they say something negative about it. At least when they say something negative you can attempt to find solutions to fix the problem. When you get no response, or are ignored you do not know what you should fix. Knowing your social media target markets can help reduce this problem so that you are getting the right message to the right people in the right way.

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The argument to what I just said is this: “well if people “unfollow” me, “hide” me, remove me, or ignore me then all I have done is found my target audience”. My answer: Maybe. Understand that in the case of Facebook where we choose our friends there is an expectation of why I chose to be a “friend” with you. I didn’t choose you for business purposes. Most people do not. For most people, they chose you because they expect you to be a friend. The last time I talked with my friends, I talked about what friends talk about, life. I don’t walk up to my friend and say, “Hi Bob, It’s Dr. Jay the Internet Doctor, and I have my new promotion this week, and this week only, take advantage of this great deal!” Can you imagine if you had those conversations with your friends in person? If those are the type of conversations you have with your “friends”, I would hardly call them “friends”, and I would suggest that you need to learn what a “friend” is. It’s just an entirely different audience based on who they are and where they came from.

Twitter is different, but again, many of your followers probably belong to some similar organization or group. As an example, I find this especially true of real estate agents. They follow each other. They do their marketing, and I am sure somewhere in the back of their mind they hope they market to a person who is interested in their latest listing, but typically it is going to another real estate agent who probably is trying to sell their own listings. In most cases the message reaches the wrong audience and goes no where. Just a lot of time wasted on typing up something that has very little chance of reaching the targeted audience you think you are hitting.

LinkedIn, can have much of the same problems as Twitter. While marketing is far more accepted, getting yourself in front of the right target market audience still presents a challenge. Remember these people are business professionals, do they really want their emails cluttered with your self promotion or promotion of your product or service? Probably not. They would rather that you use the market section for your promotion. They probably will not delete or remove you, but you will more than likely get ignored. Unless of course you push your marketing too much and too often, then they may be waving you “bye-bye”, and that does not help you or your business.

businessprescriptionsymbolThe Prescriptions

1. Go through your social networks and start looking at who your connections are, and where they came from and put together your social networks demographics.

The best thing you can do for your business and social media for business strategy is to know as much as you can about the people who you are connected with. Don’t make assumptions! One of the biggest mistakes we make is that we are overconfident in knowing what we think we know. Start looking at people as if you never knew them and start constructing your frame work. Start with categories of gender, age, children, no children, , type of job or career, approximate income (base that on their job, you can find an average income for any job through the search engines), etc. Be creative and keep your eyes open you may see categories that you would have never thought of.

2. After you construct the demographics of your networks determine how they are different.

Look at each network separately and look for differences, no matter how subtle. For instance, if you see that you have a network that is older in age than another, they are in a different stage of life, you are going to want to approach that network differently than if they were younger. Also if you see that you have one network that is heavy with people that are in your same industry, you may want to start working on attracting people that are more suited to your potential target market.

3. Never use a “one widget fits all” that says the same thing to different social networks.

The first thing it says, is that you are personally disconnected from your social network. It’s also says, you are lazy and don’t want to take the time to talk to people on a personal level. Remember this is “social” networking, not “advertising” networking, or “promotion” networking. Note, that people can see in any social network where you sent a status update from. If you use a widget that is a “one size fits all”, we know it. From a consumer perspective they find that to be very “non-social” in their social networking.

4. Get to know the people in your social network through comments.

The most frustrating thing for people on social networks is someone who wants to be a friend, a connection, or be followed but they don’t want to engage with those people.
they just want to advertise, promote or market. If you want me to believe that you are really the best person for the job, then show me by commenting on my updates, or let me see that you are commenting on other peoples updates. Remember if you want to understand your target market, and I hope you do, then you need to learn what’s important to your potential consumer. Again, do not make the assumption that you think you already know everything about people, even the people in your networks.

5. Track your comments, posts, and status updates.

What is it that you write that people respond to most? You will find that it is some of the most mundane, innocent, unique things that you write get the most responses. Track it. You have found another clue into what your potential consumer is interested in. It also means that you are creating dialogue. If you create dialogue with another person the potential for your business is exponential. They learn that you are human. They learn that you care. They learn that you can be trusted. If they trust you, they will trust what you do. This can be a win-win for both your potential consumer and you.

To you social marketing success!

Jay Izso, Internet Doctor

Twitter: Submitting Runny Tweets? You may have “Tweeterrhea”.

Are people unfollowing you on Twitter.  Have you ever felt like you are saying things that just are not solid.  Here is a simple solution, a gentle reminder, some coating relief for those moments when you just struggle to have something of substance to say.

Twitter, is part social, part business, part nonsense.  However, the interesting thing is you can choose which way you want to use it.  What’s great is that you can change the way you use it from day to day, hour to hour etc.   The first step is to use it.  The second step is not only to write something, it also means talking to other people about what they write.  If you think for a moment that you are the guru where everyone will just come to read your “tweets” you are sadly mistaken.  Unless you really are a guru, it is going to take effort on your part to read what others “tweet” and “tweet” back in the form  of a “reply”.  Yes sir, yes ma’am Twitter is a “two-way tweet”, if you cannot accept that, then the truth is you really do have “tweeterhhea”.

People Quit Twitter? Typical.

A couple of days ago the Nielson Wire reported that people were leaving Twitter at a rate of 60% per month.  Meaning that of all the people that join Twitter in the beginning of the month, only 40% will be around by the end of the month.  Pretty tough on business if you are only have a 40% retention rate…”and now for the rest of the story”.

No one should be alarmed by this news.  It actually appears to be quite typical when you compare the retention rates of other social networks when they started.  For instance, Facebook and MySpace experience similar problems in their beginnings as well.

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Twitter Facebook MySpace Retention Comparison Graph

Currently Facebook and MySpace have nearly a 70% retention rate.  Which is nearly double when they started.

Honestly, I like Twitter’s odds.  If you are a regular user you already know the benefits of using Twitter.  I know that many people leave Twitter because they just do not understand the benefit.  Some just don’t want to take the time to learn what Twitter is all about.   Most of the time the problem is people want some immediate return.  If they don’t get business immediately they dump the idea, count it as worthless,  and try to convince themselves and others, that we are morons for using it.     Not to worry, we so called Twitter Morons are happy to do business without you.   After a while it happens.  The “naysayers”  come back around and start using the very thing they called us morons for using.  They are late adapters, they try to catch up only to stay lagging behind, while the next piece of the internet/social media puzzle comes into place.  Their skepticism continues, and they stay behind, because of their unwillingness to be adventurous or embrace new  technology.

Ultimately it’s all good.  Twitter will be around for a long time.  It’s perfect for the high ADD world we live in and get the information we are looking for without having to read some long drawn out column or BLOG like this one.

Happy Tweeting!

To Your Business Success.

Ciao,

Dr. Jay Your Internet Doctor

FREE Check and Removal Tools of Conflicker Virus.

I know that there is a virus out there, no one knows to what extent the damage will be. Here is what I know…don’t panic. I had a chat with one of my IT/Server people and they were kind enough to provide me with 3 FREE tools to help remove the “conflicker” virus should you get it, or you can use these tools to see if you have it.

http://download.eset.com/special/EConfickerRemover.exe

http://data2.kaspersky-labs.com:8080/special/KKiller_v3.4.1.zip

ftp://ftp.f-secure.com/anti-virus/tools/beta/f-downadup.zip

I want to especially thank my guys at www.rtpcomputer.com for putting the time in to find the links and allowing me to share them.

Nothing Like Free Prescriptions!

Ciao for now,

Jay

Fugitaboutit! Doing Business on Facebook? You may be in the Wrong Neighborhood.

Drip Campaigns…Good Business or Just Drippy?


As Featured On Ezine Articles

Diagnosis: Your email drip campaigns are not effective.

Symptoms: The recipients of your drip email campaigns delete them, or – worse – they ask to be removed from the campaign, causing you a loss of direct contact with your potential clients. You fear you may be losing your potential clients to the competition.

Analysis

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

When drip campaigns first came out, I, like everyone else, could see their potential value. If you provide good information, what could be the harm? As a matter of fact, I endorsed the idea.

But now, my initial excitement has dulled a bit, and I am not so sure. “Why is that?” you ask eagerly. Well, I’ll tell you.

One reason is that drip campaigns take up space. I have enough email as it is, and this is just one more thing to clutter up my In Box. So when I see these campaign emails come across my platform, I cannot hit the delete key fast enough.

Second, the information that I receive is, for the most part, uninspired, obvious, and generally less than useful.

Finally – and, I think, most important – I started to feel depersonalized. I was just another address on some auto-generated list. Simply put, drip campaigns went from something good, to something bad, and now I am real ugly about it.

Whose fault is it?

I admit that this is partially my fault. I signed up for these automated emails. I knew they were coming. But after a while I found myself deleting them without reading them, and, inevitably, I asked to be taken off mailing lists.

However, I must also blame the purveyor of these email drips. I had an expectation that the information they were sending me would actually make a difference in my business life. Unfortunately, I was being fed unoriginal ideas that provided me with no innovative insights that I could apply to my life or to my business.

The Problem with Technology

Technology is a great thing. I love it. I love the gadgets, the information, all of it. However, as we more and more frequently use technology as a means of communication, we begin to dehumanize people. One of the reasons we use email is because it allows us to avoid talking to others. Let’s face it: If I can send an email to you without you responding right away, I don’t have to immediately engage with you, which saves me time. It’s easy. It’s convenient.

However, while convenient, communicating by email is not personal. What we have created with a drip campaign is a program that sends a previously-written program to a person on the assumption that that recipient has the same agenda, the same type of mental programming. When it comes to staying in touch with your existing customers or potential clients, they don’t want some cute little email telling them you still haven’t forgotten about them. They want to feel important to you. They want to know that they are different than any other potential customer you have. That their needs are unique, and that they are unique.

The Narcissist in All of Us

I know that you have read or heard marketing gurus drill over and over that you need to understand your target market. However, I will take this one step further: you need to understand your target market without losing sight of the individual.

Humans are social beings. That is a fact. We like being with other people. We are designed to not be alone, and actually function better when we are supported by others. If you are one of those people who insist that you are better off alone, I will tell you to your face that you are in denial and you need psychological help. Please find a qualified therapist.

But despite the fact that we are social beings, we are also, for the most part, narcissistic. Each person believes he or she is special. We like it when someone recognizes us amongst others for our individuality. While on one level we don’t want to be embarrassed, we do want to others to notice that we are different.

The narcissist in each of us often drives us to success. Narcissism compels us to find ways for others to seek us out for recognition. The narcissist in each of us doesn’t want to be “just another one of the group”. We are innately intolerant of being lumped into the crowd, of being just like everyone else. We are better than that. We deserve better than that. The narcissist wants to be the best person in the group. Don’t make us feel we are just one of many cattle that you herd to the eating trough.

How did this happen?

Do you want the honest answer or do you want the politically correct answer? If you have read any of my writings in the past you know what you are going to get: honesty. So here it is.

Technology has made us lazy professionals. L-A-Z-Y. Think about it. When we didn’t have all this technology at our fingertips, our business was conducted face to face. We took time out of our lives to make sure that each customer felt that he or she was the focus of our intention and the most important person in the room. Enter technology. We hide behind our monitors. We screen our email, talk to who we want, when we want. At the same time, we still want to communicate with others.

True, the consumer has a narcissistic desire to be in control, but they don’t want to be alone. Technology theoretically gives us the ability to stay in touch with people without bothering them. The problem is that now we have crossed a line. It is much easier for us to set up an automated program that sends information to lots of people at once rather than taking the time to send a personalized email, or letter by mail, or to make a phone call. We just send out some pitiful piece of tripe that the originator has probably never fully read himself. By sending out mass emails, you are basically telling your customers “I am not going to take the time to communicate to all of you, so here is the same piece of information I send everyone else. P.S. I care about you!” Do you really expect anyone to believe that? Do you really think that we – as your customers – believe that you care about us? Hell, no! Furthermore, you can take your pre-written, simultaneously sent, skanky email, and shove it up your processor! “Please Remove.” Delete email. The only thing you have accomplished is to tell your clients that they are not important enough to get your personal attention, and that you are too lazy to pick up the phone and let them know you care.


The Prescriptions

Be part of the solution, not part of the problem: Make sure your current and potential clients have their own places at the head of the table. Find out what your clients really want, and give it to them. This may mean eliminating your email drip campaigns altogether, or you may have to come up with a customized, more personalized solution.

Do not buy an auto drip campaign: If you feel you must have an email drip campaign, then please write it yourself. Don’t outsource the writing of your campaign. If you didn’t write it, it won’t reflect your voice, and more than likely it won’t get you results.

Be more personal and less technological: We are talking about people here. We are not talking about communicating with a machine. Find out what’s important to your customers. Find out what’s going on with them. Find out what makes them tick. Then enter into their world. You will find that you have a returning customer for life. What’s more, you may even make another friend.

People are emotional, so emote: I think the reason women are the best small business owners and dominate the real estate world is because they don’t mind emoting with their clients. They don’t mind listening to them. They want to understand, they better demonstrate that they want to help, and ultimately women are better at convincing clients that they really care. Now, I know there are exceptions. I just wish there were more men who demonstrated these skills.

Take the time: There is no such thing as “making time”. You have to take the time. If these people are really important to you, than “take” the time to make them feel important.

To the Health of your Business!

Ciao!

Dr. Jay

[contact-form 1 “Contact form 1”]

Unconventional Marketing Takes Guts

Conventional – 1: formed by agreement or compact 2 a: according with, sanctioned by, or based on convention b: lacking originality or individuality : trite c (1): ordinary, commonplace – Merriam Webster Online Dictionary

As you can tell from my last BLOG, I am far from conventional. However, the point of my last article is this, challenge the conventional, make people think, question the gurus. I am not an anarchist, but I don’t want to be like everyone else. One of the most disappointing things to me is that people have a hard time not being conventional. There is some part of us that just wants to “fit in”. However, it’s hard to advance when you look like and like everyone else. There is no defining characteristics, no character, we are just the same. I guess that’s why when it comes to marketing, I want to be different, I want to be unique, I want to challenge my clients and readers, I want to be unconventional.

The Conventional tries to quell the Creative

When we or our marketing becomes conventional it becomes more difficult for us to be more creative, to think outside the box. Very few if any inventions were constructed out of conventional thinking. As a matter of fact most inventors were seen as lunatics, mentally unstable, and in some early historical cases they were forced to recant their thinking and placed under house arrest (see Galileo). Sadly today, with exception of house arrest we commonly feel forced to keep our thoughts to ourselves, and remain conventional.

Conventional Marketing Limits Creative Marketing

Marketing is a funny animal. It’s conventional to rely on what other people say, especially those who are espoused as professionals in the field. I think it is unfortunate that so many marketing professionals say and recommend you do the same things. I call it conventional marketing. Let’s face it, it is easier to put everyone in the same box, then it is to customize and be different. Honestly, it’s also far less expensive. However, as professionals in our own field we are different, we have different strengths, weaknesses, business models, etc. It does not serve in your best business interest to always remain conventional.

Unconventional Marketing is Risky

Whenever you move outside of convention you are always at risk. It can fail. However, all marketing can fail, so I am not convinced of how big of a risk it can be if your current conventional marketing is not working. Let’s be honest, who ever would have thought that 15 years ago that placing an ad on a medium where by people connect with a modem through a computer would have any value. Now try going to a website without an advertisement.

Unconventional Marketing Requires Unconventional Thinking

Most everyone wants to be liked and accepted. The easiest way to do that is agree with everyone around you. However, if your marketing is going to be unconventional you are going to make some people very unhappy. You have to decide for yourself if you can handle that. If you cannot handle negative criticism, you may not want to become unconventional. However, if you can handle the criticism than let me give you some points to consider on your way to unconventional thinking when it comes to marketing.

  1. Accept nothing as an absolute
  2. Challenge everything that is assumed to be a fact on the basis of group consensus
  3. Be outlandish in your thinking
  4. Consider every idea as a possibility
  5. There is no box

WARNING: You will tick people off!!!!!

Oh yeah, when you start doing this, being challenging to the group conventions of marketing, you really will piss people off, especially the “marketing professional”. On a personal note, I found that when I challenge conventional marketing concepts, people don’t argue about my thinking they make a personal attack on me. You know what that tells me, they do not have the intellectual competence to argue intelligibly. So it follows if you cannot argue intelligibly how good of a marketing person can you be? However, when you find those who do have the intelligence to argue intelligibly, it forces you to think, and think differently. I have also found the latter group of marketing professionals to be outstanding, and bleeding edge.

Does Unconventional Marketing and Thinking mean you are never wrong?

The idea here is that thinking outside of the box and challenging conventional marketing is never wrong. However, the results of your unconventional marketing techniques may not result in the desired results you had hoped for. In those cases you’re wrong. Then again, what’s wrong with being wrong, outside of the fact that we don’t like to be wrong. Wow! Is that existential? While I do not like being wrong, when I am wrong, I have learned from it, and found another way. Sometimes I take a step backward, but only to take 3 steps forward later.

…and in the end

Try, challenge, and don’t fear others or failure.

Ciao for now,

Dr. Jay

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