...with this blog and other social media, you can respond immediately. That fact alone makes it more likely that someone will respond. Read the rest of this entry »
Facebook Members Now Exceed US Population Did you know there are more users on Facebook than there are citizens in the United States? Well, you know it now.

The Social Media Revolution shows no sign of stopping. This is the greatest paradigm shift since the industrial revolution. It may be even greater.

Internet Marketing Changes

Internet marketing started off as a one way communication. Marketing has been that way for generations. With the advent of social media and Web 2.0 Internet marketing has become a two way flow of information. Customers now tell businesses what they want. Businesses that know what their customers want have a great advantage over those that don’t.

As with any paradigm shift, major changes are taking place in business and industry due to social media. Businesses that have reacted quickly to the changes are gaining market share. Those that are not participating will probably not be around much longer.

Take A Look at The Socialnomics Video

Ask and Listen

Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and other Web 2.0 tools enable you to ask your customers what they want. And when you ask, they will tell. What they tell you can be used in the direction you grow your company. Businesses now focus on listening and learning from their target markets.

What have you learned from your customers lately?

Contact us if you need help incorporating social media into your marketing.

The success of most companies is dependent on their reputation in the market place. So who should control the “company name”?

Company Control

Years ago “the good name of the company” was under the control of the higher up corporate individuals. Radio, television, print and other advertising promoted their products. The marketing information flow was primarily in one direction, from the company to the consumer. Whoever controlled the outflow of information, controlled the image of the company, or the “Company Name.”

Consumer Control

As communication technology has improved, consumers have become better able to communicate with each other about the brands they buy and the companies they buy from. The more they communicate, the more they learn from each other. This has shifted control of the “company name” into the hands of the consumer. This loss of control has presented a problem for the company that does not have happy customers.

Two Way Communication

Today, with social media, consumers are better able then ever before to share experiences, good and bad, about the products and services they buy. But the company can use this two way communication to it’s advantage. Through social media the company is better able to monitor and participate in these communications. The key information a company needs is knowledge of what it’s customer wants. And who better to get that from than the customer.

Learn What The Customer Wants

Blogs, Facebook and other social media allow companies to find out what their customers want. Tools are available that tell you when your company’s name has been mentioned. Programs like TweetDeck allow me to see when and where someone mentions my name or my company name.

As companies respond to customer needs, they make changes to the items they provide. As their goods and services change, so changes their company and their company name, and all for the better.

A. G. Lafley, CEO of Proctor and Gamble in a keynote address at an advertising industry conference stated:

…consumers are beginning in a very real sense to own our brands and participate in their creation. We need to learn to begin to let go.

Consumer control of the company name, if managed properly, is a good thing! The keys to gaining this control is to find out what the customer wants and then to provide the customer more than is expected.

Remember your first economics classes? Those were the ones that explained how systematically the price and production level of a product are set at that precise point where supply meets demand. Once students gain an understanding of that theory early in their economic studies, they spend the rest of their economics education learning the flaws and fallacies that keep the theory from working. I know. I majored in economics at Florida Southern College.

Knowledge in the Market Place

There are many factors that keep that theory from becoming reality. The primary fallacy in economic theory is the assumption that consumers have perfect knowledge in the market place.

Many of us have walked into a store and purchased a soft drink, then left the store, arrived at another location and found the same soft drink available for a lower price. And nearly everyone has purchased a product that they were incredibly disappointed with it once they used it. If they had known before the purchase what they knew after the purchase, they would have never made the purchase!

These mistakes are made constantly on a grander scale throughout the business world. We make these mistakes because of things we don’t know.

Social Media = Knowledge

Social media is moving us closer to having that “perfect knowledge”. It’s not hard to go to a search engine and type in the name of a product you are interested in and find some opinions written on it. Today, people set up blogs focused on venting their frustrations about products or companies they are unhappy with. And others are quick to post their praises for products they are very happy with. For a good example of both sides just go to Facebook, search “Walmart” and see the array of pages that are available.

Businesses Must Satisfy Their Customers

In the past businesses focused on how their products were perceived prior to purchase. Customers made the purchases based on what they expected to receive. Today businesses must focus on how their products are perceived after the purchase. If the customer isn’t happy then the customer will tell the world about it in great detail.

We still have a long way to go to reach that point of perfect knowledge in the market place. And I doubt we will ever get there. But, thanks to social media, we are able to avoid many of the mistakes we have made in the past. Customers know what they can expect. And businesses that use social media know what their customers want. Those that don’t, well, they will lag behind their competitors who do and some of them won’t be around much longer.

How has social media impacted your business decisions?

Small Companies Using Social Media Every Day

Huck HuckabeeDaryl Willcox Publishing found that 35% of small companies post updates on websites like Twitter and Facebook every day. This should tell you something. It is working for them!

Also in the survey, one third of the respondents do not have time to use social media. And close to that percentage said their customers do not use it. So if my math is right that’s 35% are using it, 33% don’t have time, leaving 32% claiming their customers don’t use the medium. Also of those questioned 25% said they don’t understand the medium. Something tells me that of the 32% claiming their customers don’t use the medium, a large portion of those respondents are just using that as an excuse not to get started in it.

Let Me Teach You Social Media

If you don’t have time to learn to use social media, but think you need to learn it, then contact me. I will set up a blog for you. I will help you set up a Facebook and Twitter account. And I will link your blog to post your entries on your Facebook and Twitter pages. And I can train someone on your staff to post information and monitor what is being said about you on the Internet. And I will do it all at a very reasonable price. This will save you a lot of time and I will be available to advise you in the future.

Give me a call at 704-438-2910

Huck HuckabeeSocial News Is Finding Us

We have moved from finding the news on traditional media to having it find us through social media. It is estimated that 75% of the news consumed online is shared through social networking sites or e-mail.

Readers can now actively search for the news sources they want, customize what they want to receive from them  and then have it delivered to them on the Internet through social media sources like Facebook news feeds and Twitter streams.

Facebook As Your News Source

National Public Radio has over 1 million Facebook fans. They asked them: Do people really use their social network to get news? From the over 40,000 responses received 74.6% said that Facebook was a major news source to them.

New Tools For Getting News

There is a new tool for iPad called “Flipboard“. It connects your social media accounts and puts the information coming from them in a digital magazine form. This and other tools like it will be some cool things to keep an eye on in the near future.

Can You Trust These Sources?

Sometimes the information you are receiving from your social media contacts is one sided. And often your are receiving that particular view because a “friend” wants to influence your opinion. It will be interesting to see how we determine the credibility of our sources in the future.

How do you get your news today?

CEO’s Don’t Have Time For Social Media

Well, that’s what many of them think. But, that philosophy can be costly. This might light a fire underneath some of them. Search for the CEO’s of your competitors in the Social Media sites. Are they doing anything? If they are, then enough said. If not, the questions becomes “When will they start?” In that case you have the opportunity to be the leader in your market.

Manage Your Time

For the effective CEO time is money, BIG money. And, like anyone, the head honcho can get caught up in Facebook, Twitter and blog responses. But like everything else in management, the CEO’s job is to get other people to do the work! While the CEO needs to create the general content of the Social Media messages, the rest can be done by employees. Editing the content and posting the message can be done by qualified personnel.

Show Your Expertise

There are two key reasons the CEO needs to participate in Social Media. First, to show a level of knowledge and expertise in the industry. Second, to bring the corporate image to a human level.

To get to the top company position in the first place, odds are the CEO knows a good bit about the industry his, or her, company is in. Customers, stockholders, and the public in general are naturally interested in advice and viewpoints offered by the CEO. Posts can entail a wide range of topics. Topics such as market changes, new products, research projects, and personnel management can all show that expertise.

Bringing the corporate image to the human level is paramount in today’s market place. One of the most classic blunders in corporate marketing was pulled off by First Union Corporation under Ed Crutchfield in the 1990’s. Their marketing campaign placed the “Big Bank” above all others. The image put such distance between them and their customers that it damaged their reputation. So much so that they dropped the company name when they merged with Wachovia.

Today’s CEO needs to appear to interact with the company’s clientele. And what better way than Social Media? A simple question asking advice from customers can go a long way. And it may even lead to a new idea.

Respond To Responses

The key component of Social Media is it’s two way communication. That doesn’t mean the CEO needs to respond to every message back. But someone needs to monitor those messages and determine what requires response and where it should come from.

Now, go get your CEO and show them this post!

Businesses are using social media to communicate more directly with people who need their product. Companies are spreading word of their goods and services to specific market segments through blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools.

Dr. Vinton G. Cerf, “The Father Of The Internet” and VP, Chief Internet Evangelist for Google shares with OgilvyOne Singapore on how brands can tap into the social media phenomenon:

Contact us at Business And Social Media and we will help you implement social media in your business.

Mainstream media is in the position it is in because it dropped the ball on reporting the news. Read the rest of this entry »