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Tag: "marketing"

Fashionably Late… or Better Late Than Never?

Further adventures in Social Media world

Twitter gets ever more popular, is it too late for businesses to join in?

Twitter gets ever more popular, is it too late for businesses to join in?

A pal of mine announced this week on Facebook that the House DJ consortium KOTG (Keep Off The Grass) he heads up had ‘just discovered Twitter’.

I was stunned.

Not because I thought they shouldn’t, quite the opposite, but because he seems to be into all things online and fairly marketing savvy. He uses Facebook a lot, especially for promoting the KOTG events, so to confess to having ‘only just discovered Twitter’ seemed amazing
especially considering I joined it in 2006, a few months after it launched, and have been known to *ehem* bang on about it a fair bit.

So I asked him – like you do – what had taken him so long? His reply? “The cool kids are always late”, to which I have to confess I laughed out loud, which perhaps wasn’t kind, but while being late might equal cool in the music world (I’m still not convinced, actually), it’s completely untrue when applied to media and technology, which is why over the last decade all the geeks and techno bods have become the coolest kids in the world, let alone town!

In fact, in light of the current social media privacy uproars, that’s actually like claiming that you are being ‘fashionably late’ to a party, when you in truth you spent ages pretending you didn’t really want to go, got lost en route and only manage to turn up when the bouncers have been sent in to straighten the place out and some of the peeps are thinking about calling a taxi.

On the plus side it did get me thinking.

While there is no arguing with the fact that sites go in and out of fashion – just look at ecademy, which was the place to network online in the early noughties and is now somewhere the savviest online networkers and most brilliant techies and businesspeople I know can’t mention without shuddering – at what point in business terms does being ‘fashionable late’ (lol…sorry, still making me chuckle) become ‘don’t even bother’.

Forresters’ report of B2B marketing last year highlighted the way corporations and businesses are using social media in all areas of business from making purchasing decisions, keeping tabs on trends and competitors to promoting their brand and recruiting staff.

And they concluded that if you were B2B business and you weren’t in social media already in 2009 then, as they put it so succinctly, “You’re Late!”

B2B is a way behind B2C social media marketing, and KOTG is definitely B2C, albeit on a small but perfectly formed scale, so where does that leave them in the grand scheme of things? Wasting their time or is it just simply a case of better late than never? We are all aware of how much the sheer ‘noise’ level has increased on Twitter, especially over the last 18 months, and as a digital strategist who uses Twitter as part of marketing cycles for my clients I know it can be an uphill struggle at times, depending on the product and brand. And obviously changes are in the air, as already noted about the privacy uproar.

However, despite everything that’s written about it and all the wailing and gnashing of teeth, and yes the snotty attitudes from some of the ‘latecomers’ and dismissal by others, it can be extremely effective as a marketing tool as long as it is used properly, with proper analysis, reporting and monitoring…

And fun and addictive if it isn’t 🙂

As a girl who has been early in to just about every digital trend there’s ever been, with daughters who use it all as naturally as breathing, I definitely think it’s not going away any time soon and here are my top 5 reasons why I think so:

  1. People’s lifestyles are more fragmented and busier than they have ever been and they can end up feeling disconnected – social media makes it easier to keep up with friends and family and trends, plus it makes it easier to make decisions (what’s everyone else doing?), and makes them feel connected to the wider community. Don’t ever underestimate the power of feeling ‘one of the gang’.
  2. People are used to looking at screens and getting information at the press of a button. It is in our nature to find the short cuts and to want it NOW, so this is our perfect medium, so it really isn’t going to stop any time soon.
  3. The digital revolution has driven a whole new way of working, especially for parents, and in their turn they are raising a generation for whom it is normal for parents to work from home, even if only part time, using a computer, and a huge number do it as a career, marketing themselves, networking online and running their businesses, all using the internet and while they still often ending up looking like something out of The Matrix. It’s becoming the norm, not distinctly odd as it was when I started way back in 1995!
  4. The computers that run the web love anything that is frequently updated and fresh and if that isn’t social media I don’t know what is! Social media = SEO = being visible online = comment/purchases/sales/influence/decisions…etc etc
  5. It’s fun. We are a species who likes to play. We learn when we play and we play as often as we can wherever we can. This is just the latest way we do it and until we get bored it’s here to stay.

So… glad you decided to join Twitter, @ KOTG_DJs, welcome to the party, look forward to reading your tweets! 🙂

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Social Media Marketing Book to be Published

Well, here’s some excellent news. 🙂

A few weeks ago I wrote a ‘lil eBook to help businesses understand what social media can do to help them market themselves and increase their traffic. It was a product for our digital and social media marketing and PR agency, where we help clients plan and execute their digital media marketing and PR and intergrate it in a holistic way to raise brand profile and increase traffic and sales leads.

It’s a challenge to create interesting, remarkable and fresh regular blogs and content, and twit, FB, linkit, flickr, dig, stumble and delicious it every day, let alone create products such as white papers, eBooks, webinars, podcasts, video, and then link it back into the traditional and online PR and marketing campaigns, that most companies are quailing – and often failing, which is worse than not trying at all. Nothing like an empty company blog to proclaim that you can’t be bothered. Which is where we step in.

The eBook, called ‘WTF Can Social Media do for your Business’ has already proved a great hit with our visitors and their networks and…cue trumpet fanfare!… I have just been signed up by Bookshaker (Lean Marketing Press) to write a full-length version for publication in eBook, Kindle and paperback. Nice.

Watch this space! 🙂

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Marketing Demystified

Marketing is not mysterious, but the way of getting people ready and wanting to buy what you are selling

Marketing is not mysterious, but the way of getting people ready and wanting to buy what you are selling

Promoting, selling, marketing the product, even if, or maybe, especially if, it is just YOU and what you do, may be daunting. However, neglecting it does not lead to security, only to a lack of clients! And in a recession, if you are the only voice making that effort, then yours will be the only one your potential clients will hear – or buy from!

If you are selling online, then your website, your profile, your pitch, your brand is the first time people meet you. The first time you get a chance to say hello – or in the case of most websites, goodbye. The average time a visitor stays on an unfamiliar web page is 20 seconds or so, and that brief skim is maybe the only chance you will get to say or sell anything to that potential client.

Why?
Well, forget corporate and ad-land speak for a moment, and remember that people are people and companies are families of people.

Your brand and website are your business’s face. In raw terms that means your brand is your smile, your hand shake, the way you walk, your tone of voice, and the way you present yourself. In business terms, that means it’s the way you do business, your promise, and the fulfillment of that promise.

And since the decision about whether you like someone or not is made in the first micro-seconds of the first meeting (back to that 20 second average), it’s obvious that getting your company’s brand, the ‘virtual’ you, right the very first time is essential. And every first time after that.

Wanna be in my gang?
Because if you like someone, you want to play with them, don’t you? You want to talk to them and spend time with them, have some fun, share some good times, have a laugh. And if not, you just won’t, right? Just like at school.

Let’s relate that to business, then, because however grown up we feel, we aren’t really that grown up, especially in the way we interact with each other, so just like when choosing who to play with, people prefer to buy from people they like. People they know and trust, people they judge are ‘like them’ ie people who are in their gang. And if you are to have a successful business, paying attention to your niche, that is, the people you are trying to sell to, and working out how to communicate with them effectively means they are more likely to choose YOU rather than anyone else.

And that’s the essence of good marketing, which means that marketing as a concept is really pretty basic and can be broken down into a simple list (I was going to say formula, but that sounded scientific and scary! We’ll stick with list…).

1. Know your niche – who are they, where do they gather, who are their friends, what do they like and dislike, what is their particular pain (so you can solve it).

2. Service that niche – give them what they want in the way they want to receive it. Do not assume!

3. Pay attention to your brand – more precisely, how it is perceived by your niche because no one else really matters so ignore them

4. Join it all together – ie create a plan that most effectively spreads the word, idea and concept of your brand to the people who would benefit from it ie your niche.

5. Wash and repeat.

Pretty simple, yes, but also time consuming, hard work and challenging at times, However, it’s ultimately very rewarding because if you get it right then that’s the first step to gaining more clients and so increasing the chance of making more sales. And that really is the key to ultimate success.

© Claire Burdett. Please only reproduce this article with permission, in its entirety and with a hyperlink to www.claireburdett.com. Thank you.

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