Throughout our lives, we are faced with tough decisions. Last month, I announced that I was no longer offering social media services after working in the industry full-time since January 2010. Unfortunately, very few people saw that announcement. Since then, several people have contacted me, mostly people I’ve known online for years, asking what happened.
After all, the direction of the blog has changed to being about tech in general instead of social media, and I’m now labeled as a “Writer” instead of “Social Media Specialist”. So, I decided to fire up the trusty webcam and lay everything out to dry. There are a few f-bombs, so you’ve been warned.
“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” Steven Pressfield
Google announced that Reader will shut down July 1 and many who use the service religiously, did a pretty good job freaking out. For many of us in the tech industry and others who just want to follow all the blogs they read, RSS readers offer a nice solution. It almost seems that Reader was the only service in existence to offer such a solution, but alternatives like Feedly exist (and is even better).
While it is sad to see Reader go by the wayside, there is some good news. In fact, it’s a good wake up call for blog owners who’ve relied off of the RSS subscription model for years and years. Listen to the short audio below to learn why the death of Google Reader is actually a good thing…
Networking is one of many important tasks as a business owner. As they say, it’s not just what you know, but who you know. Offline events like SXSW get major attention not because of talks taking place there, but the huge opportunity for networking.
Getting away from the computer and meeting people face to face is great, but you can also network online. If you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or a number of other social networks, you’re already doing it.
Be Present Where It Matters
Each of us work in different fields. Maybe you’re the CEO of a construction company or run a local bakery. Whatever it may be, people in your industry or those you sell to, are on multiple social networks. Utilizing tools such as Graph Search or Twitter Search can help you see just who is out there to connect with.
Be Helpful, Not Salesy
One of the big problems with networking is the tendency to try and sell without first building a relationship. You don’t go to a party and immediately try and close with a cute girl. People do business with those they know, like, and trust. If you’re being Mr. or Mrs. McPitchFace, people will be turned off. Instead, be helpful and bring value to a conversation. Stop throwing out business cards like tic tacs at a halitosis convention.
Be A Connector
Everyone wants to get business for themselves and focusing too much on that can distract you from the people around you who can be helped. Connecting others with relevant people you know, instantly ups your value and burns you into people’s mind’s. The next time that person comes across someone who needs products or services that you provide, who do you think they’ll refer? Bingo. What other networking tips would you add?
It seems everybody wants to go viral nowadays. Technology and platforms such as YouTube have made it easier than ever to share your creation and get major attention in almost no time at all. The problem is, less than 0.1 percent ever do.
Getting viral attention is a science that very few neglect to understand. Overall, there are five reasons your content isn’t going viral…
#1: You’re wanting to go viral.
#2: You’re wanting to go viral.
#3: You’re wanting to go viral.
#4: You’re wanting to go viral.
#5: Take a wild guess.
Going viral is not something you can plan or create. Going viral is dictated by forces and people outside of your control. It’s sad seeing so many businesses and people wanting to “go viral” online whether they’re a Fortune 100 company or just some Joe Schmo who simply wants attention.
The word “viral” is almost like a mythical unicorn or never-before-seen-in-person sasquatch. It has a power attached that conjures up memories of grandeur and massive success. I hate to break it to you, but going viral will not significantly improve your life or business.
As with anything online whether it’s a video or blog post, there comes a time when people stop visiting/watching in hoards. What do you have to show for it then? If you’re a business, maybe some new sales or at least subscribers?
Going viral is nothing more than an online lottery ticket: Everybody wants to win, but the odds are severely against you. Instead of focusing on trying to go viral, focus on creating the absolute best content you possibly can and interacting with people that actually matter to you and/or your business.
Sure, you may still be able to gain massive attention with a video or outstanding blog post. However, the content that goes viral typically wasn’t thought of as such and was just to put something awesome out there into the world, a world which is the ultimate decider.
Our social media profiles are an extension of who we are. Unfortunately, they can get cluttered really badly really fast. Since there are 80 gazillion other things you have to do, keeping things nice and tidy often go down the drain (no pun intended).
It goes without saying that there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of people or businesses that you’re connected with, yet never interact with. All it takes is a few hours tops on a weekend to clean up your social media accounts and experience the two big benefits in the video below.
When it comes to speeding up the process, ManageFlitter works well for Twitter and Uncircle Inactives+ is a great Chrome extension for bulk uncircling, well, inactive people. For Facebook, you’ll just have to go the old fashioned route.
Life can be full of excuses. They allow us to justify not doing something and focus our efforts elsewhere such as watching more Harlem Shake videos. With the explosion of social media, it’s become something that is pretty difficult to ignore.
While many businesses have jumped into the deep end to go on to do well, many have also got lost, bored, and dissatisfied. Here are some excuses that might ring a bell…
“I Don’t Have Time For Social Media”
Lack of time seems to be the biggest excuse among just about anything. And frankly, it’s complete BS. Any business or individual has time for social media. In fact, I bet you could clear up an hour or more per day just by knocking out meaningless activities.
“Social Media Just Isn’t For Me”
Neither was the cell phone or computer, but you’re using both of them, right? While it may be bold to compare social media to such major technological breakthroughs, the statistics don’t lie.
Many who say using social networks isn’t for them or their business tend to not have actually done the research.
Unless you’re a taxidermist who exclusively stuffs people’s dead pets, chances are you can build an audience and connect with customers.
“I Didn’t Get Any Results From It”
What effort did you put in? What was your strategy? How long till you gave up? There are many different variables that determine the failure or success. Unfortunately, many look at social media as a sprint when it’s actually a marathon. You can’t just plug away for a few months and expect amazing results.
Also, you’ve gotta have the right tactics and strategies put in place. It’s easy to say something doesn’t work when you have potentially taken the wrong approach.
“It’s All Too Confusing”
Your Great Grandparents probably said the same thing when first introduced to the concept of an automobile, but they figured it out. In today’s connected world, lack of knowledge is no excuse to getting things done. You can always hire someone to help you or browse hundreds, even thousands of blogs on a specific subject. The only thing holding you back from learning is you yourself.
What are some other excuses that you would add to this?
Online influence is talked about in the same way that Apple rumor blogs talk about the upcoming iPad. It’s synonymous with using social networks because the more influential you are, the more people will “Like” you, follow you, buy from you, and so on.
Platforms such as Klout and Kred have convinced many marketers and businesses that measuring or monitoring your online influence is an important task. They’ve appealed to the part of our psyche that is all about numbers, the bigger the better.
We live in a number based world, dictated by how much money you make, how much you paid for that latest gadget, and how much money you saved.
You know what number really matters though? How many customers love doing business with you. You see, your customers don’t care about your online influence.
They don’t care about your Klout score and they sure as hell don’t care how many likes you have on Facebook. The only thing they care about is how you’re helping them and the value that you bring to the table.
Influence may be important, but monitoring and measuring it isn’t crucial to your success on social media. If you absolutely insist on being influential online, here’s how you do it: Stop reading about how to be influential. Start helping people.
“Show me a person or business active in social media that doesn’t have more than one account and I’ll show you a liar.” George Taft Kennedy III
You’re checking the stream whether it be on Facebook or Twitter and all of a sudden see someone post about this new social network. It looks interesting (maybe), you create an account, use it and then possibly forget about it.
Fast forward many months later and if you have been using it, what are the results? If you haven’t been using it, there’s likely case study upon case study on people who’ve done very well and generated XYZ result or business directly from it.
Do you go all in? Do you take time away from other resources? Do you continue using it if you have invested the time? I answer that in the quick clip below.
Go to your local book store or head on over to Amazon and search for “Social Media Marketing”. The result? Likely more books than you can count on your fingers and toes. Social media has grown immensely over the years and with it, books to get you acquainted.
One such book I recently got my hands on was Social Media Marketing All-In-One For Dummies by Deborah Ng and Jan Zimmerman. If you’re looking for a quick read, this isn’t your book. However, if you’re looking for a book chock full of how-to, actionable information, this is your book.
At over 700 pages long, it can be pretty daunting. Everything is split into sections and categorized very nicely though so the chances of you getting lost are very low.
Here are the different sections:
- The Social Media Mix
- Cybersocial Tools
- Blogs, Podcasts, And Video
- Other Social Media Marketing Sites
- Measuring Results; Building On Success
Deborah and Jan do a great job of breaking everything down in Social Media Marketing All-In-One For Dummies. There are lots of bold and bullet points so you can easily get down to business and see the main takeaways. I liked that there was an entire section devoted to platforms such as Google+ and Pinterest.
Heck, even with there being 135 million active users on Google+ as of December of 2012, it still gets treated like the redheaded step child. Unfortunately, a problem with a lot of social media driven books is that there isn’t very definitive content on actually figuring out ROI. Sorry Mr. Expert Ninja, but Facebook Insights alone isn’t going to cut it.
Not only does Social Media Marketing All-In-One For Dummies talk about everything else from A-to-Z, there is an entire section devoted to actually measuring results and figuring out your ROI. In an industry where common advice is “just interact and engage with your target audience”, this book brings no-nonsense advice on how to get shit done.
You can pick up Social Media Marketing All-In-One For Dummies at just about any book store and major online book stores. Here is a link to it on Amazon (affiliate) and if you spend just a few bucks more on something else, you can get free shipping. Now if only I could just send this book to clients, not do any work, and still get paid the same amount…