People love to buy, but they hate being sold.
Originally published on WomenCentric
Alyse Hart comes by her sales skills naturally. Her father, uncles and grandfather were all successful salesman — all without using a hard sell. In fact, Hart says of her father, “I didn’t even know he was in sales. I just thought he talked to everybody.”
She used the techniques she learned working during summers for her dad, a manufacturer’s representative for several lines of kids’ clothing, to become a million-dollar producer for a magazine group. Eventually, she started teaching women colleagues how to sell, then left the corporate world to become a coach and founded her company, Sell It Like a Woman.
Hart, however, has learned that life needs balance. She uses drumming and dancing to center herself, dissipate her nervous energy and as an alternative to meditation. The dance she does is called “conscious movement.” “You just do what feels good to you. Eventually, it becomes very genuine.” She also participates in a drum circle. There, too, she says, “You can do anything you like.” Both activities represent “total expression, uncensored.” In the drum circle she attends, “125 people are all doing their own, crazy beats — and after an hour everyone blends to one another and it becomes like a heartbeat.” The result? “I step out in the world more daring, less worried — and I improvise much better.”
Hart recently ventured into the world of social media — but she didn’t leap into it blindly. She read Clara Shih’sFacebook Era and took a four-week class through the online community In the Know Resources. She also received training from a friend’s daughter.
Hart uses social media as a stepping-stone to face-to-face interaction. “I ask people if they want to have coffee,” she says. She’s astonished by the number of people who ignore the interactive nature of social media. “There are plenty of people wanting to ‘friend’ me,” she says, “and they tell me all about them, and they don’t ask or comment about me.”
Hart also is doing what she can to make her business scalable. She went from one-on-one coaching to developing teach materials, to group calls and workshops. In June, she launched a home-study program called “Zero to Hero: A Sales Makeover Program.” It consists of 10 reports, or lessons, split into two reports each week. Next, she wants to take it global, offering foreign rights and translating it to different languages.
Her top sales tips:
- Practice, practice, practice
- Don’t listen to what they tell you.
- Throw away the notion of selling. You have to be a good explainer and educator. The greatest thing you can give anybody is to make something understandable and to be able to relate to them.
- You have to have your secret sauce. Don’t be afraid to be different.
- It’s not all about the closing. If you’re not good at opening, you have no one to close. Alec Baldwin was wrong in “Glengarry Glen Ross.“ ABC isn’t “Always Be Closing.” It’s “Always Be Connecting.”
- The reason we have a hard time with closing is that it equals finality. We hate endings. If women can look at closing as an opportunity to take their relationship deeper, it’s a big change. “Once we tie the knot with somebody, that’s when you can take your relationship deeper, because someone’s invested with you. Instead of wrapping it up, you can take it to the next level. It’s a new beginning.”
LinkedIn is the number one social media network for business, and is utilized by almost every country in the world. LinkedIn has 80 million users and it’s estimated that a new member joins every second. So that means 80 million people who might be your next client, right? Wrong – what LinkedIn doesn’t tell you, is that you are only as visible as the size of your network. So if you have a small (5 million or less) network (1st, 2nd, 3rd tier + group members) you are missing out on both your own ability to be seen by others, as well as the ability to find and target strategic clients.
To become more visible, you will need to become a “strategic open networker” (or pay for an account at $24.95 a month)
A “strategic open networker” (unlike a LION -LinkedIn Open Networker- like me) doesn’t need to have 500+ people in their first tier. But they will need to grow their whole network by inviting and accepting connections from people with large networks.
Remember – you don’t know who you don’t know – who might become your best new client. And if your network is too small, you will never know them.
4 Steps to Growing your Network:
- ONLY invite people already using LinkedIn when using LinkedIn’s connection tool. (Due to 3K limit)
- Join Groups that have a lot of members (toplinked, LinkedHR, Open Networkers) as well as industry groups and alumni groups – you can join up to 50 groups – which will grow your network, and will not cost you ANY invites.
- Go to www.toplinked.com/top50.html and invite the top linked people (who have less than 30K connections – another limit imposed by LinkedIn
- Join www.opennetworker.com (an affiliate site) and for $49 a year YOU will receive invitations – from complete strangers – but they might know someone you need to knew (And you can use this opportunity to ‘touch’ new folks who might become a client – I get about 4 warm leads a week this way)
Targeting your Ideal Client
Once you have grown a decent network, you will have access to more people, including target clients:
- Use the Advanced Search which will allow you to specifically target the “type” of person who would make an ideal client (sort by “relevance” and “expanded” view) Use a Boolean Search (AND, OR, NOT “”) Invite the strategic people you find to connect using groups if possible, or get “Introduced” through a mutual connection.
- Find and “follow” ideal clients in groups (this is not the same as connecting – but gives you many of the same benefits) – Use search within member section of a group (Boolean)
- Search “Companies” to find key people you might want to connect with (a wealth a valuable information is often over-looked here)
- Use the new “tagging” option in your LinkedIn Contacts list once you are connected (only good for 1st level)
- Download vCards of your 1st level connection and organize them using Outlook, Act, Apple Mail, etc.
Optimizing Your Profile:
- Your LinkedIn Profile is your professional identity, autobiography, brochure or ad on LinkedIn. Think of it as a website showcasing your career, your business office and the OBC industry. Like any brochure, make sure your content is grammatically correct and free of spelling errors. Use secondary applications like slideshare.com and box.net to import company literature and video.
- Use the Professional Headline on your profile to share your areas of expertise and interest. You have 200 characters to work with. This field is weighted heavily in both the LinkedIn Search and Google Search, so use your key word.
- Use the Summary section to expand upon information in your profile. This section is searchable, so include keywords that are appropriate for your industry. You can write your summary in a Word document first and then cut/paste it into LinkedIn. This will allow you to check spelling and grammar, as well as create attractive formatting with bullets and spacing. The most common symbols and bullets will transfer over. You have 2,000 characters to use.
- Change the link/url in your Profile by editing Public Profile so that it includes your name, your company name or expertise in your industry (www.linkedin.com/in/linkedinexpert) and include it in your email signatures, business card and resume.
- Put ALL your job titles in the Title Field of the “experience” section. This field is also heavily ranked in a LinkedIn Search
Originally published on Mashable
LinkedIn has announced that it has finally reached a major milestone: 100 million users and counting.
The company, founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003, reached profitability fairly soon, and its growth has been accelerating over the past few years. It took LinkedIn six years to reach 50 million users, but it only took a year and a half for the business social network to double that number. LinkedIn hit 85 million members in October 2010 and revealed that it had more than 90 million users when it filed to go public earlier this year. LinkedIn is now adding one new member per second.
To celebrate its new achievement, the LinkedIn team has released an infographic breaking down its growth and its overall membership. It comes with several interesting tidbits of information on who uses LinkedIn and even when they use it.
Here are some of the most intriguing stats from LinkedIn’s infographic:
- 56% of LinkedIn’s users are outside of the United States. LinkedIn is experiencing its fastest growth internationally.
- LinkedIn’s fastest-growing country is Brazil, with 428% growth year-over-year. Brazil is followed by Mexico, India and France.
- The height of LinkedIn activity happens during the workday, peaking at around noon. Mobile usage, on the other hand, typically peaks around 8:00 p.m.
- There are almost 1 million teachers on LinkedIn; 20% of the site’s users work in the service sector, while 9% work in finance and another 9% are in the high-tech industry.
For most of its 7-plus years of existence, LinkedIn has dominated its niche of social business users. The result is a valuation nearing $3 billion and 5.5 billion monthly pageviews. While it’s no Facebook, we bet most people would love to be in LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman’s shoes right now.
We’ve included LinkedIn’s infographic for your viewing pleasure. Click on the image for a full-sized version.
Sales goddess must engage their prospects. First, she must kind of know what a customer craves. Once she understands all the fears, concerns, hopes and dreams, and the limits she can work her magic and tempt, fix, or cure the pain, problem or what’s missing.
You need to combine investigative journalistic reporter skills, therapist abilities, doctor’s bedside manner, and archaeologist know- how. Peel away drama and words to find the “issue”. Use your psychic and observational powers and use good questions to find their hot button.
Ask questions to confirm hunches and allow the your customer sell herself as she talks aloud. Stretch and add some new question to your portfolio. Avoid “why.” Why? It makes walls come up, antagonizes and they will lie to get you off their back or so they don’t offend you. It’s a last ditch word.
12 Important Questions
1) What’s worrying you about your current situation?
2) Who is responsible for it- who else is in on the decision?
3) How long has it been going on?
4) Why is this more important now?
5) When did it begin to take a turn?
6) How have you tried to turn it around?
7) Where do see this going if no action is taken?
8) What would be the consequences?
9) What have you tried so far that’s worked?
10) What about what hasn’t worked and why do you think it didn’t?
11) How do you plan on using this?
12) What are the results you want?
Your main objective is to have open smart and candid dialog so you can really HELP them move from . Be sure not to ask more than 3 questions in a row otherwise it’s an inquisition. The goal is the free exchange of information and mitigating reluctance.
Let me know how it works or share your best question with me.
To your success!
| Soren Gordhamer is the organizer of the Wisdom 2.0 Conference, which brings together staff from Google, Facebook, Twitter and Zynga with others to explore living with awareness and wisdom in our modern age, at the end of February in Silicon Valley. He is SorenG on Twitter.
The age of social media is not just changing our personal lives, but is increasingly affecting how business is conducted. No longer satisfied with strictly top-down models that view employees as cogs in a system, businesses are quickly adapting to a new paradigm that emphasizes connection, collaboration and innovation.
When people in companies and teams feel engaged, the benefits are significant. Towers Watson (formerly Towers Perrin), the global professional services firm, interviewed 90,000 employees in 18 countries, and found “companies with high employee engagement had a 19% increase in operating income and almost a 28% growth in earnings per share. Conversely, companies with low levels of engagement saw operating income drop more than 32% and earnings per share decline over 11%.”
Companies are realizing that it is not enough to get people to show up to work; the real challenge is creating cultures that enhance creativity and innovation. Below you’ll find what leaders in the field had to say about this new age of innovation and engagement.
When I sat down with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh at the company headquarters some time back, he talked about the company’s desire to build a brand where customer service was second-to-none. However, they Zappos realized that trying to force unhappy staff to treat customers with respect and joy was a losing battle. You cannot ask staff to give what they do not receive. What is inside the company will be felt by those outside it.
The answer was to create a culture of happiness that would naturally overflow into all of the company’s communication.
Chris Sacca, venture investor, formerly Google’s head of special initiatives and strategic advisor to Twitter, emphasized the same idea, saying, “Employees will rise to the expectations placed upon them. If you treat them like children, they will act like children. But, show them respect and trust and they will respond to your expectation.”
The Old Paradigm: “Force people to do what you want.”
The New Paradigm: “Give people what you want them to offer.”
It is a little known fact that the NBA coach with the most championship wins, Phil Jackson, had his teams do a short focusing meditation before games. Why? He knew that you can have the greatest physical athletes, but if their minds were not in the game, they would play poorly.
We all know that we can sit in a meeting for hours, but if people are not in the right mindset, nothing innovative occurs, and often people leave feeling even more drained and frustrated. The mindset people bring to the meeting matters greatly. If people are stressed or unfocused, little moves forward.
Zynga co-founder Eric Schiermeyer, when asked about innovation, touched on the need to engage from a place of creativity instead of stress: “One aspect is to allow for enough time to think from a place of relaxation. This requires a series of complementary components like the right amount of sleep, exercise, social activity and a good diet to name a few key ones.”
At the conference I organized last year, Twitter CTO Greg Pass echoed this, saying that with Twitter’s new hires, “The main principle I present in my orientation is that I ask them to pay attention to what they are doing.”
Old Paradigm: “Just put your body in the room.”
New Paradigm: “Show up with a creative, open mindset.”
3. Group Wisdom
It is no accident that the most innovative companies are generally those that engage and involve their staff and users. In fact, some of the most innovative functions of Twitter, like the hashtag, were created by users. Twitter management just had to pay attention. The same is often true for businesses.
The old paradigm was that the higher up the hierarchy you went, the more wisdom you had to share. Leadership was the ability to direct, not listen.
The new approach is likely best expressed by Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior: “The one thing that over two decades of experience in the technology industry has taught me: never assume you know the answer. I find that the more I listen, the quicker I learn.” She not only does this internally, but also uses Twitter and other social media to “ensure that I’m inviting and absorbing the tacit knowledge that resides outside the boundaries of Cisco.”
Old Paradigm: “All wisdom exists at the top.”
New Paradigm: “Listen and make space for various voices.”
The people I spoke to also emphasized creating spaces that support collaboration and innovation. This includes physical space. This was likely best expressed by Eric Schiermeyer of Zynga: “If you have ever met with the same group of people in multiple rooms over time you may have noticed that the meetings feel more productive in one room over another.”
The old paradigm was to hold meetings while sitting in chairs and a desk in a conference room since, well … that is normal. In this new paradigm, the goal is not to be normal, but to be innovative, which requires finding the optimal space for a particular objective. A group walk may serve the needs much better than a conference room.
Old Paradigm: “Do what is normal.”
New Paradigm: “Approach space creatively to serve the purpose.”
A company is not likely to get much sustained passion from staff if its vision is to create yet another widget that does little to affect the world. People need a sense of purpose to drive their innovation.
Tony Hsieh likely put it best in an interview I held with him: “From a business perspective, if you have a greater vision beyond just profits or money — and that you can get employees to be happy about and believe in — and you combine that with a culture with committable core values, I think that is what will help grow businesses and brands in the long-term.”
Padmasree Warrior of Cisco emphasized the same idea: “Innovation flourishes in a culture of purposeful chaos. The operative word here is ‘purposeful.’” People need a sense that their work matters, both for the company and the society.
Old Paradigm: “Work to get a paycheck.”
New Paradigm: “Make your work about something bigger.”
While we cannot force innovation and creative thinking, we can foster these abilities, whether we work in a 20,000-person company or with one other person.
The old paradigm was individualistic and focused on thriving to be personally brilliant; the new one is much more social, and it involves creating cultures that enhance innovation in all those present. The companies and teams that can do this, that can create cultures that support innovation and engagement, will create the leading technologies and services that affect our culture.
by f www.adrianswinscoe.com o
Business networking online has exploded over the course of the last few years with Social Media sites like Facebook, Linked In, forums, blogs etc and has allowed many business owners to extend their far beyond their normal horizons. However, I think many businesses can miss an opportunity to build those relationships even further by taking their online relationships and build, extend and deepen them through offline and face to face networking, where possible.
Let me give you an example. Over the course of the last few months I have met and collaborated with a quite a few new people that I have ‘met’ through this blog and that is great. However, last Friday Christine Livingstone of A Different Kind of Work organised an event in London that was to trial a new workshop that she is developing. There were a number of great people there that I had met, collaborated and networked with online including Ben from 6Aliens.com and Eleanor from Giveabrick.com. The workshop was great (Thank you, Christine) but what I found really helpful was that it allowed me to deepen the relationships I had with those people such that new projects and support came out of the face to face discussions on the day.
Similarly, I have had the pleasure of meeting and collaborating with Stefan Topfer from Winweb and SME-blog.com online. A couple of weeks ago we arranged to meet up for coffee and are now discussing a really exciting, new project. More on that later as I can’t tell you about it now. However, all I can say is that great things can come out of extending your online relationships into the face to face (real ) world.
In a previous post, 8 Strategies That Successful Entrepreneurs Use to Solve Problems I talked about the things that entrepreneurs do on a consistent basis that helps them overcome challenges and succeed. One of the them and, probably, one of the most important ones is:
Having a robust network…
Successful entrepreneurs have strong and extensive networks that they can turn to them in times of need.
…..and, I believe, that has to include building relationships both online and offline. The key here is to recognise that we are human and that face to face contact is an important part of our social needs. It was John Donne that said it beautifully when he said that:
No man is an island….
So, my question to you today is: Who do you know that you are connected to online that you could easily hook up with face to face to give yourself a chance to develop and deepen your relationship?
If you build a Facebook Page, will fans come? This is the great hope for many businesses. However, fans do not magically appear from the Facebook mist.
People must be lured to your fan page. And there are some good and bad ways to go about doing this. In this article, I’ll share a big myth and 21 ways to drive more fans to your Facebook fan page. (Though Facebook recently changed the “Become A Fan” button to the new, omnipresent “Like” button – and a fan page is called a “Business Page” or “Facebook Page” – we can still call them fan pages and people who join are fans!)
The Big Myth
There’s a great myth that once you create a Facebook fan page for your business, the first thing you should do to get fans is invite ALL your friends from your personal profile using the “Suggest to Friends” feature.
Unfortunately, this strategy may not be that effective and can, in fact, often backfire. I have seen many industry gurus complain that when they decline a fan page request, it’s frustrating to continue to be asked again and again.
There are several reasons not to use the Suggest to Friends feature:
- Facebook users can only like up to 500 pages and may wish to be selective. (Though I have seen it’s possible to go over this limit).
- Fan page suggestions may often build up, unnoticed. (At last count, I have 593 overlooked fan page suggestions and am already a fan of 500!)
- To aggressively pursue all your friends to join your fan page – for no apparent incentive – is counterintuitive to the nature of social media.
So, the good news is there are many ways to promote your fan page and proactively increase your fan base without bugging all your current Facebook friends, and also by thinking wider than just Facebook.
Here are 21 ways to get more fans for your Facebook fan page:
#1: Embed Widgets on Your Website
Select from a number of the new Facebook Social Plugins and place them on your website and blog. The Fan Box widget is now the Like Box and it works well to display your current fan page stream and a selection of fans - see screenshot below with Whole Foods Market Facebook Like Box. I would recommend adding a title above the box encouraging visitors to your site/blog to click the “Like” button (which makes them a Facebook fan).
Whole Foods Market Facebook Like Box.
You might also consider the Live Stream widget for more advanced uses, particularly on an FBML custom tab of your fan page itself. The Live Stream widget allows Facebook users to add their comments to a live event, for example, and that activity pushes out into their stream.
#2: Invite Your Email and Ezine Subscribers
Assuming you have an opt-in email list, definitely send out an invitation to your subscribers via email (several times, over time) letting them know about your fan page and encouraging them to join. Ideally, provide them with a description of the page and an incentive to join.
Be sure to have the Facebook logo/badge appear in your HTML newsletters. Instead of the usual “Join our Fan Page,” say something creative like “Write on our Facebook wall,” or “Join our Facebook community,” or “Come add your photo to our Facebook group” (where “group” is actually your fan page). Users have to be a fan in order to interact with your fan page in this way.
#3: Add to Your Email Signature Block
Instead of promoting your Facebook personal profile (if you do), include a link to your fan page in every email you send out. If you use web-based email, check out the Wisestamp signature addon.
#4: Make a Compelling Welcome Video
Create an attractive landing tab (canvas page) with a video that explains exactly a) what your fan page is about, b) who it’s for and c) why they should become members. The result: you’ll increase your conversion rate from visitors to fans. One of my favorite fan page welcome videos is by Steve Spangler, the Science Guy! After watching his video, you can’t help but want to join!
(By the way, with the new Facebook changes, if your custom welcome tab and video talk about clicking the “Become A Fan” button, you may want to change the wording to “click the Like button” now).
#5: Use Facebook Apps
I recently tested a new live video-streaming app called Vpype. The app adds a tab to your fan page called “Shows” and when you broadcast as your fan page, everyone can view by default. (You can also broadcast as your personal profile and selectively invite friends/friend lists). I wrote up a review of this app here. By announcing via Twitter, your personal Facebook profile, your blog and your email list, you can broadcast regular live Internet TV shows from your fan page and create much buzz.
Another example of app integration is Target’s “Bullseye Gives” campaign. Target had their fans vote on which of ten charities they most wanted to see the company donate to. By voting, a post goes out onto your Facebook wall and into the News Feeds of all your friends, thus providing Target with valuable exposure. (For custom apps, see companies like Buddy Media, FanAppz, Wildfire Apps, Involver, Virtue, Context Optional.) [UPDATE: Thank you to Context Optional, the creators of Target’s “Bullseye Gives” campaign!]
#6: Integrate the Facebook Comment Feature
My favorite example of this is the t-shirt company Threadless. On their landing tab (canvas page), you can view and purchase t-shirts as well as Like and comment on any item and choose to have that comment posted to your Facebook profile, as shown in this screenshot:
(Screenshot of Threadless Facebook Fan Page landing tab)
Threadless actually has their landing tab set up so visitors don’t have to become a fan to purchase/comment/interact. Yet they have organically built well over 100,000 fans.
As users comment on items, that activity is pushed out into their stream (profile wall and their friends’ News Feeds), which creates valuable viral visibility for your fan page.
For further information on adding the comment box to your FBML page/app, see these pages.
#7: Get Fans to Tag Photos
If you host live events, be sure to take plenty of photos (or even hire a professional photographer), load the photos to your fan page and encourage fans to tag themselves. This, again, pushes out into their wall and friends’ News Feeds, providing valuable (free!) exposure. And, a picture says a thousand words – we notice the thumbnails in our feed more than text. (Props to Nick O’Neil for this tip.)
#8: Load Videos and Embed on Your Site
Facebook’s Video feature is extremely powerful. You can load video content to your Facebook fan page, then take the source code and embed on your blog/website. There is a “Become a Fan” button right in the video itself. For an excellent tutorial, see Nick O’Neil’s post: How To Get Thousands of Facebook Fans With a Single Video.
[UPDATE: Since Facebook changed the Become a Fan button to the Like button, embedded Facebook videos now display a white watermark hotlink of the Facebook name in the upper left corner of the video player - see first screenshot below. This is a clickable link that goes to the original video page on your fan page. If the visitor to your site clicks through to Facebook from your video, and they are logged into Facebook at the time, they will see a Like button at the top left corner of the video player - see second screenshot below.]
(Screenshot shows example of an embedded Facebook video on an external site)
(Screenshot shows the same video on the original page of the fan page with the Like button)
#9: Place Facebook Ads
Even with a nominal weekly/monthly budget, you should be able to boost your fan count using Facebook’s own social ad feature. It’s the most targeted traffic your money can buy. To buy an ad, scroll to the foot of any page inside Facebook and click the link at the very bottom that says “Advertising.” From there, you can walk through the wizard and get an excellent sense of how many Facebook users are in your exact target market.
Then, when you advertise your fan page, Facebook users can become a fan (click the Like button) right from the ad as shown in the screenshot below. Additionally, Facebook displays several of your friends who have already liked you, thus creating social proof.
My book with Chris Treadaway, Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day (Sybex) contains comprehensive instructions on maximizing your marketing through Facebook social ads.
#10: Run a Contest
This is somewhat of a gray area because Facebook changed their Promotional Guidelines last year. Essentially, you need prior written permission from Facebook and need to be spending a significant amount on ads per month. However, you CAN require Facebook users to become a fan of your fan page in order to enter a contest, sweepstakes, drawing or competition. See these two posts for further explanation. PLUS, good news: you CAN run contests and sweepstakes with the use of the apps created by Wildfire App.
#11: Link to Twitter
Link your Twitter account to your Facebook fan page and automatically post your Facebook content to Twitter. You can edit what gets posted, choosing from Status Updates, Photos, Links, Notes and Events.
You have 420 characters on the Facebook publisher and 140 on Twitter. In the tweet that goes out, Facebook truncates your post past a certain character count and inserts a bit.ly link back to your fan page. To track click-through stats on that link, just paste the bit.ly link that Facebook created for you in your browser’s address bar and add a “+” sign to the end. This works for any bit.ly link!
I also recommend you promote your Facebook fan page on your Twitter background and possibly in your Twitter bio/URL field too.
#12: Get Fans to Join Via SMS
Your fans can join your fan page via text message! You’ll need to get your first 25 fans and secure your username. Then, to join your fan page, Facebook users just send a text message to 32665 (FBOOK) with the words “fan yourusername” OR “like yourusername” (without the quotes).
This feature is ideal when you’re addressing a live audience, say. Have everyone pull out their mobile phones and join your fan page on the spot! This would also work well for radio or TV. (Note that this only works for Facebook users with a verified mobile device in his or her account.)
#13: Use Print Media
Look at every piece of print media you use in your business. Your Facebook fan page (as well as Twitter and any other social sites you’re active on), should be clearly displayed. Put your Facebook fan page link (and the logo) on your business cards, letterhead, brochure, print newsletter, magazine ads, products, etc.
#14: Display at Your Store/Business
If your business is run from physical premises, put a placard on the front desk letting your customers know you’re on Facebook. Ideally, you have a simple, memorable username. Incentivize customers to join right away via their mobile device and show you/your staff the confirmation for some kind of instant reward!
You might give out physical coupons promoting your fan page. For restaurants, put the Facebook logo, your username and a call to action on your menus.
I was at a hotel in San Francisco last fall and they had a placard in the elevators promoting their presence on Facebook and Twitter. The sign was very noticeable because of those ubiquitous Facebook and Twitter logos/colors!
#15. Add a Link on Your Personal Profile
If you’d like to promote your fan page to your Facebook friends, just under your photo on your personal profile there is a section to write something about yourself. I call this the “mini bio” field and strongly suggest adding a link to your fan page like so:
Be sure to format the URL with http:// otherwise it will not be clickable with just the www’s. You have a limited amount of characters, so keep it succinct and leave out the www’s. You can put in hard line breaks though to make the content easier to read.
#16: Add a Badge/Button to Your Profile
Using an app like Profile HTML or Extended Info, you can create your own custom HTML, including a Facebook badge and/or graphic embedded, as shown in the screenshot below:
#17: Use the Share Button
The Share button is all over Facebook and is a very handy feature. It only works for sharing on your personal profile. So periodically go to your fan page, scroll toward the bottom left column and click the “Share+” button. Add a compelling comment along the lines of exciting news, recent changes, special incentives, etc., happening on your fan page and invite your friends to join if they haven’t already. I find the Share button far more effective than the Suggest to Friends approach. (And, if you’d like to Share content from the web on to your fan page vs. profile, I highly recommend using the Hootlet bookmarklet tool at HootSuite.com).
#18: Use the @ Tag
As long as you’re a fan of your own fan page, you can “@ tag” it on your own personal profile wall. From time to time, you can let your friends know about something happening on your fan page by writing a personal status update that includes tagging your fan page with an @ tag. Simply start typing the “@” symbol and the first few letters of your fan page name (this works whether you have your username registered or not), and it will appear from a drop-down menu to select. This then makes it a nice, subtle hyperlink that your friends can choose to click on.
#19: Autograph Posts on Other Walls
A subtle way to gain more visibility for your fan page is to add an @ tag for your fan page when writing on your friends’ walls as a way to sign off.
I would use this one sparingly and, again, monitor the response from your friends. I have never been a fan of adding a signature block on Facebook wall posts because our name and profile picture thumbnail are always hyperlinked right back to our profile anyway. But the simple @ tag could be effective.
#20: Autograph Other Fan Pages
As with adding your fan page @ tag to posts you make on your friends’ walls, you could equally use the same technique when posting on other fan pages. This needs to be used with discretion and I would advise against doing this on any potentially competing fan page!
#21: Maybe Use “Suggest To Friends”
I won’t rule this one out completely as it does depend on how many friends you have, your relationship with your friends, how often you suggest fan pages/friends to your friends, etc (see ‘The Big Myth’ above). But I do recommend monitoring the response to this technique – perhaps simply by asking for feedback in your status update.
So, these are just 21 ways to create strategic visibility and promote your Facebook fan page.
Let’s hear from you. Which ones have you implemented with success? Plus, do feel free to add any of your own creative promotional ideas in the comments box below!
Mari Smith is a widely-recognized social media speaker and trainer and is coauthor of “Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day.” Fast Company calls Mari “the Pied Piper of the Online World.” Follow Mari on Twitter: @marismith. Other posts by Mari Smith »
Is your social media program fully integrated with your traditional marketing program, or are you just bolting on “Follow me on Twitter/Facebook” to your ads and fooling yourself?
The Integration Question
If you’re running a truly integrated program, congrats. You’re among the elite. Like the Marines, you’re part of the few, the proud, the enlightened.
But for everyone else, the question that constantly floats around boardrooms, ballrooms and conference panels is “How do I integrate all of this new social media with my traditional advertising and public relations campaigns?” Yes, social media is growing up, and in 2010, marketers don’t just want to know how to use Twitter and Facebook, marketers want to know how to integrate Twitter and Facebook into their advertising, direct marketing and public relations campaigns.
I think the problem is that most people are asking the wrong question. When you ask someone to tell you how to do something, you’re asking for a process that you can replicate. But that is just one process. Sure, it worked for them (and maybe you) this time, but is it truly replicable? Will it work tomorrow or the day after that?
Consumers are a lot like bacteria. Just as bacteria can evolve and eventually grow resistant to antibiotics, so too can consumers grow resistant to current forms of marketing, including social media marketing.
So instead of asking how to integrate all of it, maybe a better question would be to ask “how to think” about integrating social media, digital media, old media and the blending of all of it. We need to be asking for a framework, not a solution.
If someone gives you a framework for thinking, they’ve empowered you to think for yourself. If they give you a process to replicate, well, they’ve just made you reliant on them to give you a new process when the old one finally fails to be effective (because those pesky consumers, like bacteria, will grow immune).
A Social Media Framework
So what does a framework for looking at the integration of social media and traditional media look like? Let’s start with the base.
The Achilles heel of advertising is truth. A 2007 Nielsen Report showed only 55% of Americans trust advertising.
That same report found that overall, consumers trust other consumers above all else. 78% of respondents said they trusted – either completely or somewhat – the recommendation of other consumers. This is social media’s strength.
However, social media’s Achilles heel is scale. Because exposure comes one person at a time, except for the rare meme, it can take weeks, months, even years to scale an effective social media program.
Thus, a good starting point for a framework for considering how you should integrate social media with traditional media might be to think in terms of yin and yang. Social media and advertising are not mutually exclusive. In fact, it’s probably best if all marketers move away from replacement thinking, and focus instead on complementary thinking.
Under the complementary model, we look for ways that social media can leverage advertising and vice versa in order create a more impactful and effective integrated campaign. Let advertising offset social media’s scale issue and allow social media to bring believability back to an advertising campaign.
Pepsi Refresh Project home page.
A number of marketers are already experimenting with this approach. From announcements like Pepsi’s decision to forgo Super Bowl commercials in favor of its Refresh Project to smaller efforts like Tabasco’s decision to support a social media experiment to try to change the Mardi Gras brand from crazy/tawdry to more family-friendly. These marketers are using advertising or public relations efforts to drive consumers to online destinations where conversations are built to deliver long-term brand results.
Advertising Age breaks the news of Tabasco’s unique Mardi Gras partnership.
The Social Media/Advertising Integrated Planning Framework
I noted earlier that we need a framework for planning truly integrated campaigns. Over the years, I’ve developed a simple 6-question integrated marketing development framework that helps me get started. Today, I’m sharing it with you as a starting point for the development of your planning framework.
#1: What is the goal?
You’d think this is an obvious one… but you’d be surprised how often people skip this step. Another tip: start with the business goal, not the communications goal.
#2: Who is the audience?
Give yourself some depth here. Go beyond demographics and ask yourself what do they look like, sound like and whom do they hang out with when they’re using your product?
#3: Where is the audience?
This an obvious question, especially when you consider social networking platforms. But go beyond the obvious to the not-so-obvious, as in where they are in their lives. It will add a lot of depth to your analysis.
#4: How can I connect with my audience?
Don’t just define this in terms of channels. Ask yourself – from a creative, offer or conversation perspective – how can you best connect with your audience?
#5: How do I extend the conversation?
This is where that yin and yang thing really comes into play. Once you’ve made that initial contact and gained permission to have an ongoing conversation, what do you plan to do next?
#6: How can I get my audience to introduce me to others?
When was the last time you saw this section in a marketing plan overview? Don’t let that be a reason to leave it out of your plan. If you’re going to do something truly integrated, you have to think beyond the conversation to the recommendation. Recommendation is where the real money lies, so think about how you can get your customer to give you one.
The Value of Integrated Thinking
Which do you think would be more effective today – simply pushing the same message in all channels or customizing the role of each channel (and the message) to fully leverage the power and limit the weakness of each channel? And if the answer is obvious to you, why do you think more companies and brands aren’t doing it?
Originally published on Squidoo.comby Launch Marketing
Five Key Components
Successful marketing starts with a successful marketing plan. By developing and following a marketing plan that integrates all of a company's marketing efforts, many companies increase revenue by 15-20% compared to when they execute marketing campaigns in a more ad hoc fashion.
An integrated marketing plan outlines the marketing activities that will deliver the greatest impact on the target audience and produce the maximum return on the marketing investment. An integrated plan blends research, marketing and communication strategies together to ensure that every aspect of marketing your business is executed in a cohesive fashion. This article outlines five key components to defining and driving a successful integrated marketing plan.
Contents at a Glance
- 1. Define Your Destination.
- 2. Analyze the Map.
- 3. Chart the Course.
- 4. Drive Your Message.
- 5. Track Your Mileage.
- Pave the Road, Then Drive.
Contents at a Glance
- 1. Define Your Destination.
- 2. Analyze the Map.
- 3. Chart the Course.
- 4. Drive Your Message.
- 5. Track Your Mileage.
- Pave the Road, Then Drive.
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1. Define Your Destination.
You must first identify where you want to go before you can strategize on how to get there.
All good plans need a clear vision. Take the time to focus on both long-term and short term goals. Identify key business drivers and defining elements to your company's success. Think about ways that your marketing efforts can aid critical corporate growth. Think big picture.
2. Analyze the Map.
Know your target and know how to get there.
Marketing is about getting as close to the target audience as possible, truly understanding their needs and providing a product or service that meets those needs. A successful marketing plan is based on knowing how to reach and communicate with your target. Arm yourself with knowledge. Think about tactics you have used in the past, what worked and what didn't. Brainstorm new and innovative ways to reach your destination. The world of marketing is constantly evolving. Stay on top of trends. Take advantage of available resources, reach out to experts. Understand your target and identify ways that you can reach out to them. Make sure that you are headed in the right direction.
3. Chart the Course.
What is the best path to get from point A to point B?
Now that you have set your goals and know your target, it is time to get started on your integrated marketing plan. When building your plan, you will first need to determine the vehicle(s) used to deliver the product or service to customers including direct sales, online sales or selling through a sales channel. Next, you will need to identify and select the methods used for getting the word out about the products or services, such as advertising, PR, online marketing, telemarketing, direct mail, events and more. The key to building an integrated plan is finding the right mix of marketing activities to most efficiently reach your target and deliver your message.
4. Drive Your Message.
Drive until you have successfully reached your target.
Each marketing campaign should be highly distinguishable and should be implemented similarly across all mediums alike. It is key that your campaign resonates with your target, and there is no better way to aid this than to have a consistent message and brand. This is important because if a prospective customer receives the same message and visual clues in multiple places, they are much more likely to comprehend and retain the marketing message. This practice is critical to building brand awareness and ensuring that your product or service remains top of mind with your target.
5. Track Your Mileage.
Are we there yet?
Once executed, continually tracking and measuring the success of campaigns within an integrated marketing plan is a critical step that will help to plan future programs with more accuracy. The more quantifiable the objectives are in the beginning, the more tangible the results.
It is very important to keep the momentum of the marketing plan going by:
- Continually monitoring your plan so you can make needed adjustments
- Gathering data along the way to help predict the performance success
- Revisiting your objectives and strategy at the end to determine what went well, what you would do differently next time, etc.
Pave the Road, Then Drive.
Generating an integrated marketing plan is a key driver for successful marketing. To ensure that you get the most return on your marketing dollars, you must be prepared to do your homework first. With careful planning and evaluation, companies can maximize the effectiveness of their marketing programs.
Don't jump into ad hoc marketing activities that have not been mapped back to your big picture corporate goals. Map out your destination, pave the road and then drive your marketing success.