Please Don’t Blurt!: Social Media Marketing Playbook for Small Businesses

If  you run a small business, you may have accounts on Twitter, Facebook,  LinkedIn, and other social networks. If you haven’t, you’ve probably been  told many times that you should have.

 

Why?  I bet you’ve been told that, with millions of people in these networks,  it’s a good place to market your business. It is, but maybe not in the  way you’ve been led to expect.

When these social networks started, people joined to network socially.  Then people who spotted the opportunity joined just to market their businesses, but nobody—NOBODY—has ever joined a social network to be sold to.

What  this means is that there are thousands of small business owners on  Twitter lurking anonymously behind their logo and business name and  struggling to get results—because why would anyone follow a business  account when nobody wants to be sold to?

There  are people auto-posting their own blog links in multiple LinkedIn  Groups under the disguise of discussions and displaying desperation by “liking” their own submissions—with the result that members are flagging  them as inappropriate because nobody wants to be sold to.

The Unsightly Landscape of Dashed Hopes

Facebook  is littered with unloved and unseen business pages as (even if they’ve  liked them out of politeness) the posts are invisible because nobody wants to be sold to.

The  problem is that everyone is using the term “social media marketing”  without fully understanding what it means. Social media marketing is an art and a science  used to great effect by big brands and specialist agencies that use  complex tools and algorithms to decide where to place adverts and do  their marketing on social networks. It is not something that small  businesses can dip into on their own.

Just Be Social

This begs the question: If you run a small business; can you use social networks for marketing? The  answer is an emphatic “Yes,” but you need to adopt different  strategies.  Instead of social media marketing, concentrate on becoming  an expert social networker. I’m guessing that as a small business owner  you are already pretty good at face-to-face networking so you already  know the basics.

The Tragic Faux Pas of Social Networking

You  wouldn’t turn up at a networking meeting with a bag on your head with a  business card stuck to it, so don’t do that in social networks.

You  wouldn’t burst into a room and blurt out a sales pitch—or worse, send  a recording of your sales pitch—to be broadcast at scheduled intervals  at several meetings at once. Don’t do that in social networks.

You  wouldn’t ignore people in the room who spoke to you until you found  time to reply to them a couple of days later, so don’t do that in social  networks.

What You Should Do

Imagine  visiting a prospect in their office. You’d see what books they read,  pictures of their family, certificates they have on their wall. Imagine  taking them out for lunch. You’d get to know their likes and dislikes  and maybe their hopes, dreams, disappointments and achievements.  Connecting with them in social networks can be just as revealing if you  take time to get to know people and make them the most important part of the conversation. As Dale Carnegie said in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People: “You  can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other  people than you can in two years by trying to get other people  interested in you.”

Grab Your Tools and Get Networking!

Speaking  as someone whose business has tripled since I started using social  networking, there are some excellent tools that make it easy for us to  hear what are our prospects are talking about, know when we’re being  talked about, make it easy to respond and generally allow us to do  everything online that we can do in a room full of people. My advice is  to forget social media marketing and use the tools that make it easy to  be great at social networking. Talk about the things that let people get  to know you as a person and when they get to know you and like you,  then they’ll be interested in what you do.

Thanks to Ann @ Nimble Original Post

Nimble Case Study : Skyline Boston – Nurturing Customers with Nimble

SL-SB

“Using social media as a customer relationship channel is no longer a luxury, it’s a must-do. I knew Nimble would really help us in this regard – we’d finally be able to grow, nurture and track our social communities through our CRM.”

Brian Butler

Account Executive, Skyline Boston

Industry: Marketing and Advertising

DownLoadCaseStudy

Looking Forward: Alyson Stone Joins Nimble as Content Marketing Strategist

Today,  I’m writing my first blog post for Nimble—the first of what I hope will  be many as I start my new position as Nimble’s content strategist and  newest member of the marketing team, bringing our customers, prospects  and enthusiasts practical, educational and entertaining information as  we explore the evolution and emergence of social businesses.

 

I’ve  spent the past few years with two small startups and one big company. I  think I was one of the first ten employees at Assistly (a SaaS customer  service startup that was acquired by Salesforce and renamed Desk.com)  and the second on the marketing team. I got busy right away—launching  our social media presence, editing our service-focused blog, and  branching out to develop our product marketing process. Whatever I  accomplished at Assistly—and subsequently at Salesforce—I learned much  more than I contributed, working with a great team.

Assistly  was actually the second startup where I wore many hats. The first was  1000 Markets, a clever online artisan marketplace, with a very dynamic  community of creative people selling their original work in online  shops. It was an inspiring experience to create and curate the best  advice to help them run what we dubbed their “very small businesses.”   At 1000 Markets I got the yen for connecting, celebrating community,  and helping people get the information they needed to succeed.

I  took to calling the artisans “my tribe,” and I miss them to this day.  My favorite market was called “The Village.” The Village was a “real”  virtual place where the members had a map with virtual storefronts, a  gathering place where we met daily for coffee, and a village green where  we held sales and events to engage customers. Such good times.

Over  these past five years, I’ve witnessed truly significant changes, both  in the world and in the world of business. But doesn’t it seem as if  change is coming ever more rapidly? Advice and hot news from a few  months ago is already out of date, and new technologies move into our  lives as if beaming right out of a Star Trek episode. Case in point (see  the photo above) it seems only a minute ago that I was 5 years old,  standing at the head of the line to try out the fire hose, and now I  frequently say I’m drinking from that hose!

Since  I met Nimble’s CEO, Jon Ferrara, I’ve been impressed by his contagious  passion about helping business professionals nurture deeper customer  relationships and turn them into company growth.  His latest venture,  Nimble, and the philosophy it represents—helping business teams turn  social conversations into customers via the strength of meaningful  mutually beneficial connections—is the latest venture after his previous  success with GoldMine, an early pioneering CRM platform.  As always  throughout history, people today are hungry to converse and connect, and  there are more ways than ever to do that. More channels. More noise.  More need for extraordinary tools like Nimble to help make sure those  relationships remain vibrant.

I  was honored that Jon liked what we were doing at Desk.com—providing  thought leadership about the importance of customer focus—and honored  that he wanted me to join his team. He’s asked me to bring a similar  commitment to Nimble—to bring our audience the very best information  about all the topics the term “social business” encompasses. I’m excited  to take that on, with expertise from the many professionals who  recognize and value the promise of Nimble.

I’ll  be counting on our audience for help. What blogs and websites do you  find most helpful? If you’re a thought leader or expert blogger with  knowledge you’d like to share with our readers, let me know so we can  add your voice. We’re also working to assemble a world-class editorial  advisory board (announcement coming soon!) to ensure that we are your  “go-to” resource—the blog you start your day with.

While  I am sad to say goodbye to old friends, I am so looking forward to  what’s ahead and can’t help but follow the lure of the unexpected around  the next bend. So buckle up…the future awaits, and it’s going to be  fiercely exciting.

Let’s learn together.

Thanks to Alyson @ Nimble Original Post

3 Digital #Marketing Strategies you Should Not Ignore

Untitledhttp://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/10/16/3-digital-marketing-strategies-you-should-not-ignore/

The worlds Most Valuable Global Brands: Coca-Cola, Apple, and IBM

http://socialbusinesssandy.com/2012/10/16/most-valuable-global-brands-coca-cola-apple-and-ibm-ibm-interbrand-ls12-ibmsocialbiz/

Nimble Case Study : Sizzling With Social Media Marketing

 

“Nimble allows us to increase transparency and also greatly helps document & facilitate our internal communications”SL-CS

Daniel Pesis

Co-founder , SocialLink Media

Industry: Information Technology and Services

DownLoadCaseStudy

 

 

Amplification & the changing role of media

As more sources of news start to go direct by posting their thoughts to their blogs, Twitter and Facebook pages, a journalist’s role becomes more about deciding what to amplify and what to ignore.

 

http://gigaom.com/2012/10/13/amplification-the-changing-role-of-media/Man with megaphone; shouting into megaphone

5 Steps To Evaluate Your Company’s Digital Marketing Strategy – Forbes

The thing about digital marketing strategies is that every company has one, even if you’re not the one actively controlling it.

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2012/10/13/5-steps-to-evaluate-your-companys-digital-marketing-strategy/

How Will Salesforce Adapt To The Next Platform Shift: Mobile Computing?

Editor’s note: Bruce Cleveland is a General Partner with InterWest Partners focused on software and services sector investments with an emphasis on cloud computing, mobile and analytical applications. Follow him on Twitter.

Most of us are familiar with the adage by George Santayana, who, in his biography said, ”Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” You may recognize it as, “Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it.” Either way, I agree.

 

 

http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/12/how-will-salesforce-adapt-to-the-next-platform-shift-mobile-computing/BruceCleveland_headshot

80% of 3400 executives polled believe social media is key to building customer relationships yet few have any strategy

How social media is changing brand management

 

http://blogs.deloitte.co.uk/customer/2012/10/how-social-media-is-changing-brand-management.htmlMicrophone