ilivetodayav

The High Deserts Social Network Blog…

How Objections to Social Media Are Killing Your Business

Came Across this fantastic article on OpenForum.com (from American Express) read it, I’m sure it is bound to spark some questions!

How Objections to Social Media Are Killing Your Business

by Ivana Taylor Marketing Strategist, DIY Marketers

March 18, 2011

One of the most common objections to social media is that it’s a fad; here today gone tomorrow. There is truth in that the social media sites we have today grew out of other sites: LinkedIn (2003) evolved from SixDegrees (1997) and Friendster (2002), then MySpace (2006) gave way to Facebook (2004) when it opened itself up beyond college students in 2006. And this is not the end of the list by any stretch.

As long as human beings have the need to reach out and communicate, they will discover and push technologies to achieve that. I am still waiting for the technology that makes Star Trek’s transporter replace airplanes! In the meantime, the best way to do business globally is to pull together a social media strategy. Yet, a lot of business owners haven’t done so because of their objections to social media. However, these objections may be killing your ability to generate leads and new customers and ultimately, be killing your business.

1.  There’s no return on investment in social media. What is the ROI for your phone?  If you don’t have a phone or a website or a social media profile, you do not exist on the business landscape of your customer. That doesn’t mean that you just throw money at social media and hope it delivers results. Use sound business principles. Set business goals and start comparing the investment you currently have in getting and keeping customers with new social media tools.

2.  We don’t have the money or the time to waste on this new thing. This is another ROI question. If you currently make cold calls, send sales reps into the field, go to networking events, travel to trade shows, gather business cards, make sales calls, make appointments, drive to appointments and make more appointment to generate a new sale, then you might actually be saving time and money by using social media tools. I still have face-to-face meetings, but these often come AFTER a lengthy relationship building series over LinkedIn, Facebook and even Skype. I’ve just calculated my mileage for taxes and have seen a 50 percent decrease in travel miles over the last three years. The same is true for my “meals” category!

3.  We can’t control our message. Yes. Tony Hayward from BP had this same objection and we see how much good it did him. The way you control your message with social media is by putting it out there in the form of blog articles, guest articles, Twitter posts, Facebook updates, LinkedIn updates, answering questions and simply being present online. Think of Google as your homepage. When people search on your name or your company name—the content that you created should overwhelm the page. On a personal note, when I searched my name back in 2005, there was a soap opera star ahead of me and (of all things) a blow up doll!  I certainly didn’t want my customers to see THAT!  Now when I search on my name—it’s only my content.

4.  We’ll lose privacy and expose ourselves to the competition. You will lose as much privacy as you would by sharing information at a networking event or a customer presentation. In fact, social media is a sales and marketing tool—the last thing you want is privacy! Worrying about privacy is like sending your sales rep to a trade show and saying, “Don’t tell anyone we’re there.” You wouldn’t do that at a trade show, why do it online?  Maybe you’re stuck on the Twitter idea that people share what they’re having for breakfast.  That might have been true in the early days, but overwhelmingly Twitter is a place where conversations happen about brand.  There are marketing research tools out there designed to pull and analyze what products and services people are talking about.  They wouldn’t do that if it wasn’t there and important.

5.  We’ll open ourselves up for legal problems. This is a valid concern, especially for companies that are in heavily regulated industries like financial services. Instead of saying that it’s too difficult, get legal advice on what is acceptable in your industry. In 2009, the Federal Trade Commission issued general guidelines for social media that will help you start thinking about what the best way is for you to address your social media strategy. I recommend coming up with objectives and plans for your social media marketing strategy and THEN consult your legal team. This way you will get them to think of ways for you to achieve your objective instead of focusing on what you cannot do.  Finally, create a social media policy that clearly states what’s acceptable and what’s not for your organization.  Create social media identities for those employees who are eager to promote your brand online and be clear about how they are to represent your brand.

Don’t let uncertainty or doubt overcome the need for your business to gain new leads, prospects and customers.  Instead of approaching the world of social media with an immediate “no” and then finding excuses as to why it’s not for you, start with “yes” and see what benefits suddenly open up for you.

Need help setting up your Social Media Marketing Strategy?

At ilivetoday.com we have the tools and resources to help you succeed. Give us a call to help you with your Socialnomic Soultions!

About Ben Andrews

People call me a Young Punk Social Media Whiz Kid, But really I just Love Teaching People to Make Social Media Work… oh yeah and I’m Production MGR. of ilivetodayav 661.948.8442 


Advertisements

May 23, 2011 Posted by | social media, SOCIAL MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY USE, social networking, social networking for business, Socialnomics solutions | , , , , | 1 Comment

The social media strategy series: Guidelines and Training


 

ilivetodayav

Antelope Valley’s Premier Social Network…Cloud Computing

 

The social media strategy series: Guidelines and Training

by Gemma Went

This is the penultimate post in our social media strategy series and it’s been a long time coming. This also means that the series ebook will be out in a couple of weeks for those of you that have signed up for it. If you haven’t already, pop your details here and we’ll send you a copy when its done.

 

The series has so far covered:

So next up, guidelines and training. An essential ingredient. Once you’ve figured out which social activities you’re going to engage in and who will be working on them, you need the right guidelines and training that allows your team to do a good job. Now, don’t think this needs to be a big nasty rule book. Your goal here is to provide the tools and knowledge they need to be able to achieve your social media strategy.

Guidelines

Your guidelines should cover:

  • Your objectives. Be clear why you’re using social and how it will be measured so the team understand what they need to achieve and what their KPI’s will be. The training can cover the full strategy, but I find it useful to add the objectives in the guidelines as a reminder.
  • Who the social media team is. Now, as social impacts many areas of the business, this should also include those behind the scenes as well as those on the frontline, like IT, Legal, HR etc.
  • Which social activity you’ve defined in the plan, how it will be used and how much time is acceptable to spend on it.
  • Who owns the profiles, if your team are Tweeting from their own accounts, for example, do they own those accounts or does the company? Be clear with this from the start as things could get tricky if they leave.
  • And on the subject, have a plan for what happens to the profiles once people leave.
  • What content should be shared through social media. Be descriptive here as this is important. Make it clear what content is confidential and what isn’t. Also be clear what language is acceptable. If you have brand/messaging guidelines it would be a good idea to share these so that the team fully understand your positioning.
  • If the members of your social team have different roles, be clear what they are and what’s expected of them.
  • What to do if things go wrong. List ALL possible risk scenarios and how they should be handled to make it clear (and of course make sure you have the process in place to deal with these if they happen).

Make the guidelines concise, easy to read and accessible. Here are some great examples to guide you.

Training

Once the guidelines are done, you’re ready to train the team. If you feel confident doing this yourself great, if not get someone in to help you. The training is key as it gives your team the knowledge they need and empowers them to use social media confidently. The training should cover:

  • The social media strategy. Make sure everyone involved understands your objectives, how they will be measured, who your target audiences are what content you will be sharing and everything else in-between. You’re after understanding and full buy in here so ensure it’s easy to grasp and free of jargon. Also include how the team will be reviewed and how often.
  • Your guidelines. Again, you want full understanding and buy in from the team.
  • If their experience of social media is limited, help them by including an introduction to ensure they understand what it is and how it works.
  • Training on each activity and how it will be run. Include everything here, from profile set up and bio writing to how to use each tool in your plan. Make sure you include all the tips and tricks to make it easier to manage and if you’ve chosen tools like Cotweet, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck etc, include a full explanation.
  • Spend a little time on the content as this is often a sticking point. Show them how to find the right content to share, how to produce content, even how to write if need be.
  • How they should engage through the various channels and deal with things like negative blog comments.
  • Who is there to help them if they get stuck. This is important, your team should feel fully supported should things go wrong. You could provide ongoing coaching if that’s a requirement.

If you feel it’s necessary, arrange a few sessions over a period of time to give them the chance to feedback and discuss their findings.

Have you implemented guidelines or training for your business? If so, I’d love to hear about how it worked for you.

The final post in this series will look at Ongoing Management and Beyond.

 

WHO WRITES THIS STUFF?

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 14, 2010 Posted by | antelope valley social media, social networking, socialnomics, Socialnomics solutions | , , , | 2 Comments

This is your call to Action … Become a member of ilivetodayav

Welcome to ilivetodayav Antelope Valley’s Premier Social Network…Cloud Computing. Promoting Antelope Valley through Friends, Business and Events. Highlighted with videos in a magazine format.

 

Three ways to use ilivetodayav for your advantage:

 

Individuals: Make friends with community members and meet other members with similar interests and hobbies in a safe and friendly environment.

 

Events: Stay up to date with what’s going on in the Antelope Valley and promote your own cultural or community events.

 

Businesses: Turn Social Networking Into Socialnomics. (Call 661.948.8442 Ask for Jim or Ben)

 

Best of all it’s free to join!
All you need is an email address and a password to create your own page. Your page can act as your website or as a web-driver to bring traffic to your website or through your front door.

 

 

November 10, 2010 Posted by | antelope valley, friends, local events, social media, Socialnomics solutions | , , , , | Leave a comment

Did You Know King Photo Supply & BLVD Today Cafe 661.948.8442 Now Has Flowers

King Photo Supply & BLVD Today Cafe 661.948.8442 now has BLVD Flowers! Now we have fresh flowers available on The BLVD. Any day you can come in and get a fresh bouquet of flowers right on The BLVD. The price point starts @ only $6.00 including a vase! You can make someone’s day for only $6.00, anytime. Quick and easy. No hassles, convenient location, and you can get gourmet coffee for only $1.00 @the same stop. Fantastic!

October 28, 2010 Posted by | flowers, free wi-fi, Lancaster blvd, photo equipment, Socialnomics solutions | , , , , | Leave a comment

Law of the Garbage Truck / King Photo Supply & The BLVD Today Cafe 661.948.8442

King Photo Supply
&
The BLVD Today Cafe
661.948.8442
From my friend Doug Edwards:
Law of the Garbage Truck 

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when
suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of
us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed
the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car
whipped his head around and started yelling at
us.

 


My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly. So I asked, ‘Why did you just do
that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the
hospital!’

This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, ‘The Law of the Garbage Truck.’ 

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of
frustration, full of anger, and full of
disappointment.

 


As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they’ll dump it on you. Don’t take it personally. Just
smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don’t take their
garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the
streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.

Life’s too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so … Love the people who treat you right. Pray for those who
don’t. 

Life is ten percent what you make it; and ninety percent how you take it!

Have a garbage-free day!

 

October 26, 2010 Posted by | free wi-fi, Lancaster blvd, photo equipment, prints, Socialnomics solutions | , , , , | Leave a comment

Important PLS READ / H. Kennedy & Consults meet w/King Photo Supply & BLVD Today Cafe 661.948.8442

Had an interesting meeting today w/ Heather Kennedy and Lani & Keith from a business consulting firm.They asked about the past, present and future of our business, and also gave some recommendations.
What I want to know is who else they met with, did they make an appointment, have meaningful recommendations, etc………
Please respond.
Thank you,Stokely

King Photo Supply & BLVD Today Cafe 661.948.8442

October 19, 2010 Posted by | free wi-fi, Lancaster blvd, photo equipment, prints, Socialnomics solutions | , , , , | Leave a comment

This is your call to Action … Become a member of ilivetodayav

Welcome to ilivetodayav Antelope Valley’s Premier Social Network…Cloud Computing. Promoting Antelope Valley through Friends, Business and Events. Highlighted with videos in a magazine format.
Three ways to use ilivetodayav for your advantage:
Individuals: Make friends with community members and meet other members with similar interests and hobbies in a safe and friendly environment.
Events: Stay up to date with what’s going on in the Antelope Valley and promote your own cultural or community events.
Businesses: Turn Social Networking Into Socialnomics. (Call 661.948.8442 Ask for Jim or Ben)
Best of all it’s free to join!
All you need is an email address and a password to create your own page. Your page can act as your website or as a web-driver to bring traffic to your website or through your front door.

October 14, 2010 Posted by | antelope valley, friends, local events, social media, Socialnomics solutions | , , , , | Leave a comment

Wall Street Journal – The Internet Might Save Lancaster Blvd.

The Internet Might Save Main Street (Lancaster BLVD)

The web is killing mega stores, but it might make room for the Shop Around the Corner. (King Photo Supply/Blvd Today Cafe)

If Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan ever decide to make a sequel to their 1998 charmer “You’ve Got Mail,” the story line might go like this:

Happily married and still living in Manhattan, the couple has dropped AOL and now communicates exclusively by text, tweet and Skype. But as the film begins, the Fox & Sons mega-bookstore chain is in trouble. Kathleen Kelly-Fox, now executive vice president, tweets: “Sales down 63%. Internet taking best customers. Ebooks killing us.”

Joe Fox, meanwhile, has given up quoting “The Godfather” and now speaks almost exclusively in lines from “Avatar.” Standing in the deserted lobby of his giant store, he quips, “Everything is backwards now, like out there is the true world, and in here is the dream.” A few days later, Fox & Sons files Chapter 11 and is shuttered.

But in the end the Foxes sell Joe’s yacht and use the money to reopen The Shop Around the Corner, which now has a coffee bar and free Wi-Fi. Profits are modest, but the couple lives happily ever after because sales, while too small to sustain the big-box store, are just right for the needs of a hard-working, book-loving, Internet-addicted couple.

And the moral of the story is one few would have guessed: The Internet might save Main Street.

OK, maybe “save” is overstating it. But there is evidence that in some categories—books, and perhaps also video, electronics and toys—when giant chain stores go under, the door is reopened for the very locally operated independents they knocked out a decade or two ago.

The book business provides a particularly vivid example, because the big players like Borders and Barnes & Noble are being clobbered by Internet sales, via companies such as Amazon, as well as by online delivery of e-books. But few observers—even the most aggressive supporters of the digital frontier—are prepared to write off the segment of book buyers who will, for the foreseeable future, prefer to purchase books printed on paper in a retail setting that is more likely located on Main Street than at the mall.

New York Magazine recently reported on the success of 13 small, independent bookstores, noting that five just recently opened, boosted by “the local-is-better ethos, which has bled over from the culinary and fashion worlds.”

And there’s plenty of supporting anecdotal evidence in other fields as well. For example, the closing of Circuit City’s stores has led to the rebirth of local, hands-on electronics shops. The bankruptcy of K.B. Toys has allowed some local toy merchants to sneak back in. The fast-fading fortunes of Hollywood Video and Blockbuster have been blessings for neighborhood video stores like the one owned by Tom Tavares in Fall River, Mass. “We just concentrate on making people happy,” he told the Herald News newspaper. “We’re not looking to get rich.”

That’s probably a healthy perspective, because as video and books go increasingly digital and more shoppers go online, the crumbs left behind are not much to build on and won’t last forever. But it’s fascinating to watch the pendulum swing.

In the music industry, for instance, where digital sales now account for over 40% of the U.S. business, sales of LPs and vinyl albums grew by a surprising 33% last year—with much of the traffic in small, neighborhood shops.

So, if you’re thinking of opening a store on Main Street, what’s your best bet? The fastest growing online categories include: consumer electronics; sports and fitness; jewelry and watches; computers; home and garden; music and movies. It’s a good bet that those are fields in which superstores will founder, allowing mom and pop to get back in business.

In the movie sequel, as the credits roll, Kathleen might text Joe: “Sold two books this morning to a sweet older gentleman from the Upper West Side. Said he’s never seen a Kindle and hopes he never does. I think he’ll be a regular customer :)”

Mr. Funt is a writer and public speaker. He may be reached at www.candidcamera.com

October 3, 2010 Posted by | free wi-fi, Lancaster blvd, photo equipment, prints, Socialnomics solutions | , , , , | Leave a comment