My friend Tim (who introduced me to Twitter 2 years ago) jokingly commented that my last posting on my social media competition was way more than 140 characters and thus it was entirely too long for our overworked minds to read.
“Great link, but now you’re making me read more than 140 characters… grrrr.”
I decided to try to see if I could shorten the post enough to still be able to prove my point, but just in a shorter format.
Should you trust Social Media “Experts” who has only been on FB/TW for a few months? No! (88 characters)
Social Media is about adapting quickly, being honest and most importantly – about COMMITMENT and PASSION. Newbies may not know this yet. (137 characters)
Social Media is a tool that takes time, so why trust those jumping on the Social Media Marketing bandwagon & claiming to be “experts” (135 characters)
I just stumbled upon a great social media white paper. The 26 page pdf SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING INDUSTRY REPORT: How Marketers Are Using Social Media to Grow is written by Michael A. Stelzer of Writing White Papers. The report surveyed over 700 social media marketers, asking them open ended questions about the industry. If you don’t want to read the entire thing, go here to watch a video that explains some of the highlights. After reading all 26 pages, I do have to say that I am concerned.
I have been told time and time again that the niche service I provide is a much needed one in Sonoma County (and the marketing industry as a whole) and that I need to help bring the Wine Country into the Web 2.0 world. With so many “Social Media Consultants, Guru’s and Marketers” that follow me online, I figured that maybe some of them might actually have some experience with the subject matter that they claim to be an expert on. According to the report, I may be wrong.
The report justified my own personal commitment to social media and gave me a better understanding of what I should expect (or not expect) from my competition (aka those social media marketers that claim to know it all). I have been using social media for years and my time spent on my iphone or on my laptop is almost embarrassingly high. Honestly, ask my friends and they all will tell you I need to have my iphone within an arm’s length at all time. A debate on if this is healthy or not is another subject. Apparently (a positive and a negative for me), my competition isn’t as dedicated and knowledgeable on the subject as I am. Here, I do want to state, that I know not all new social media people can be put into this stereotype and I am sure their are many respectable social media newbies out there. Right now it seems like social media marketing is the hottest trend and everyone is trying to jump on the bandwagon.
Some highlights of the report include:
“When asked to rate their experience using social media marketing for their businesses, a significant 72% of marketers have either just started or have been using social media for only a few months. ” What?? I know the industry is relatively new, but a few months, come on!
“There is a direct relationship between how long marketers have been using social media and their weekly time commitment. For people just beginning with social media, the median weekly time commitment was two hours per week. However, for folks who have been doing this for a few months, the median jumped to 10 hours a week. And for people who have been doing this for years, their median is 20+ hours each week.” The longer you have been involved with social media, the more you understand that it does take a lot of time… You also know it pays off.
“The longer you invest, the greater return you are gonna get”
– Michael Stelzer
So, to conclude, I will never claim to know all the answers. That isn’t what social media is about. It is about trial and error…. It is about being able to adapt and react quickly, it is about being honest with your consumers and most important it is about COMMITMENT and PASSION . I am happy to report that I can proudly say I am capable of all of this…. Can a social media guru who just started truly say that?
Thursday, April 2nd is Wine 2.0‘s latest San Fransisco event held at the Crushpad. After months of hearing amazing tweets about happenings at this venue, I finally get to go! If you haven’t heard about Wine 2.0, it is a wine social network/event planning company that is looking to bring the wine world into the 2.0 world….
In an interview done by Winterviews, Cornelius Geary, Wine 2.0’s CEO sums up what many of us wine bloggers already know:
“That direct connection with the consumer and the potential sale it holds, I believe, is the number one priority for wine brands in the U.S.”
This article from Media Post News says it all:
Earlier this month, Denny’s gave away more than 2 million Grand Slam Breakfasts in one day with the help of a Super Bowl commercial and online chatter.
This week, Quiznos gave away a million subs in three days after using only banner ads, Facebook and Twitter presence and some free local radio exposure.
Denny’s may have been investing in brand awareness, but as the Quiznos promotion demonstrated, with consumers looking to save every penny they can, you probably don’t need the Super Bowl part to drive a freebie.
Another current example of using a giveaway and online chatter to drive restaurant traffic: International House of Pancakes just completed its third annual National Pancake Day on Tuesday, in which it gives away a small stack of pancakes and in return asks customers to consider donating to the Children’s Miracle Network or a local charity.
IHOP, which has raised nearly $2 million for charities since starting the day in 2006, relied on a dedicated Web site with a “tell a friend” pass-along application, its normal presence on key social networks and some PR to drive awareness and traffic.
The result? IHOP has not finished tallying, but the chain was shooting for $1 million and believes that this year was its best in terms of awareness, traffic and donations, according to spokesperson Patrick Lenow. “The word-of-mouth generated through social networks was just incredible,” he says.
And that’s just this month’s roster of freebie-based promotions designed to draw in new diners, get existing customers to visit more frequently and pick up some revenue from the beverages and other purchases that usually accompany the freebie.
“Social networking and restaurants are a logical match,” says Reggie Bradford, CEO of social media marketing consultancy Vitrue. “Food is naturally social,” he points out. “Where do you want to eat? Do you want to grab something here? This is translating to online conversations around restaurant brands. We’ve seen tremendous adoption of social media strategies among QSRs and fast-casual restaurants.”
Combine social media with freebies, and you’ve got marketing dynamite. “Giving away food in these uncertain economic times obviously resonates strongly with consumers,” Bradford says. “Huge gains are being made by brands who are reaching out to consumers with something tangible. IHOP deserves kudos for taking it important steps further by giving back to the community and forging loyalty along the way.”
The lift in online buzz has been significant for all of these promotions, based on Vitrue’s Social Media Index, which measures online conversations about a brand in social networks, blogs and Twitter.
Denny’s SMI score more than doubled (from 22 to 45.6) after its commercial and meal giveaway. Quiznos’ jumped from 12.4 on the first day of the promotion to 16.1 three days later, or by 30%. IHOP’s score was 36.9 on Jan. 1 and 73.9 on Feb. 25, the day after Pancake Day–a 99% gain.
IHOP and other brands could benefit from more compelling Facebook pages, perhaps incorporating surveys, polling and a restaurant locator, Bradford says. Providing franchisees with the tools to tap their online social circles to market local events is another opportunity, as is capturing event RSVPs to go back to individuals with coupons and other loyalty-building offers, he adds.
March 2, 2009 | Categories: "customer service", "Sonoma County", Internet Marketing, Social Networking, Websites | Tags: "Sonoma County", Internet Marketing, online strategy, Restaurant, Social Media | Leave a comment
Some great quotes from the one person I can truly call a Marketing Guru, Seth Godin.
“Social Networking that matters is helping people archive their goals. Doing it reliably and repeatability so that over time people have an interest in helping you achieve your goals” (You can do it both online and office).
“What I don’t like online is the superficial networking. It doesn’t count for anything” (I can say the same thing for real world networking, sitting in a room of people who are just waiting for their turn to speak without really listening or caring what you have to say).
February 24, 2009 | Categories: "Sonoma County", Internet Marketing, Social Networking, Video, Viral | Tags: goals, quotes, Real world Marketing, seth godin, Social Marketing, Social Media, web 2.0 | Leave a comment
Do: listen, be transparent about your intentions, “Give to Get” and have a plan.
Don’t: Be fake, interruptive and focus only on short term sales.
More great tips on Social Media on Online Marketing Blog.
I was just recently asked by a winemaker friend of mine if I have any marketing agency recommendations for him. After he told me he was looking for an agency to create a print ad, my first question to him was why he wanted an agency to do this for him when it would be much cheaper and faster to hire a freelance graphic artist to create an amazing print ad for him.
His reaction to my question was that he hadn’t thought about that and he wasn’t sure how to go about finding the right person to help him out.
This comment got me thinking about local photographer/creative director/social elite Todd Brilliant’s new project the Creative Job Agency and the large number of freelance creative people I know around the area.
The CREATIVE JOB AGENCY will position itself as “LinkedIn for Creatives,” only with a real-world social element that will help form and cement critical professional relationships.
What is great about this “agency” is that it allows like-minded creative people to network, online and offline to discuss work opportunities and possible collaborations. It is a great opportunity to meet freelancers and build up your list of recommended graphic artists, website developers, pr people, etc. What it doesn’t do is get the word out to other, non-creative businesses and people who might be looking for our services. That is up to us.
My current side business (still in initial start up phase) is social media and public relations focused, which is not a discipline that local businesses usually think to use when budgeting their marketing dollars. This means it is up to me to get out into the community to let them know that I am available to help them cheaply market their brands online. I currently am doing this by networking with business owners and other creative people, linking businesses that might not need my services with other freelance people that can currently help them.
Other reasons a freelance PR/Marketing/Website person might be the best answer for you*
- Price – Freelancers do not have the same overhead as agencies, which means it costs less for them to create
- Attention – More personal attention because they have less clients
- Localized services – Help keep freelancers in business and they will continue to live in Sonoma County and help out the economy instead of moving away to work at agencies in the big cities
- Talent -The lack of work in agencies means that talented people (like me) are doing more side work
So before you go looking for a Sonoma County agency, ask yourself if you know anyone who might know a freelancer that could help you out.
*Sorry to agencies I have previously had worked for or will work for in the future. I am not discounting the work that any Agency does, but during economic hardships, I think that freelance work is the better choice, especially for smaller businesses.
February 20, 2009 | Categories: "Sonoma County", Branding, me, Social Networking, Viral | Tags: "Santa Rosa", "Sonoma County", Creative Job Agency, Freelance, Internet Marketing, Shana Ray, Social Media | Leave a comment