Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Anatomy Of A Social Marketing Campaign: 5 Steps To Success By Scott Lake

With so many social media platforms, it’s easy to get bogged down in the details. Keep a clear head by following these five steps.

A social marketing campaign is a pretty simple concept:

Use social media to promote an offer and encourage people to perform a certain action. Yet while simple in concept, it’s easy for marketers to get mired in the details and lose track of what matters as they jump from Pinterest to Facebook to SlideShare and Twitter.

At its core, any social marketing campaign boils down to five key elements. Follow these steps to tackle your next social marketing campaign with more confidence and success.

1. Set your goals

Any successful campaign begins with a goal. Before you even think about diving in, focus on what you’re trying to achieve. Do you want to increase sales, generate sales leads, or get feedback on a new product? Understanding the goals for your campaign will help you make the right offers, capture useful metrics, and determine how your campaign performed.

It helps a lot if the goal has a quantifiable business objective that you can track. Number of generated qualified leads is a great metric because they can later be tied to sales.

 

2. Develop a valuable offer

Most people don’t like to give up their email addresses or “Like” a brand of Facebook without good reason. That means for any campaign to be successful, you’ll need to provide real incentive. Your offer doesn’t always have to be free, but it does need to useful, valuable, engaging, and/or entertaining. Some common offers include:

•Information about something your audience is interested in

•Sneak peak at a new product or product video

•Exclusive discounts

•Social media contest

 

A key to developing worthwhile offers is having a tieback to your product or service, either directly or indirectly. You might get a lot of social love for providing a link to a free movie pass, but if it’s not related to the software product you sell then what’s the point? In and of itself, the movie pass does nothing for brand loyalty or generating targeted sales leads.

 

Make the offer valuable to people who would also be interested in your products or services. For example, if you sell social marketing software, consider offering a downloadable guide to social marketing. The people who will convert will be much higher qualified leads.

 

3. Create a landing page

A landing page, where people arrive after clicking on a campaign link, is arguably one of the most important, and frequently neglected, parts of a social marketing campaign. A landing page is where you encourage people to sign up, register, download, or make a purchase. The landing page lets you capture a visitor’s information, while the visitor downloads your campaign offer (downloads coupon, free trial, etc.). A social marketing campaign can drive traffic to your landing page, but it’s up to the landing page to convert those visitors into qualified leads for your business.

There are two common options for creating a landing page: Make it yourself on the web or use Facebook. Creating a web-based landing page offers more control over the page and its analytics–making it easier to test page variations and optimize the content.

Whatever method you choose, your landing page needs to have a clear call to action, a form to collect information to qualify a lead, and an explanation about what someone will receive after submitting their information. Before launching a landing page, you may want to create at least two versions with different headlines, graphics, or text. This lets you run A/B or multivariate tests to determine which one converts the best.

You may also want to create specific landing pages for each of the social communities that you are marketing. For example, a landing page that converts well for Twitter may not be optimal for your Facebook or blog audiences. The point is that you should always be sure to optimize the landing page for the highest number of conversions.

 

4. Launch the campaign

With a nice looking landing page (or two) created and an offer tied to your campaign goals, your social marketing campaign is ready to be launched. Decide how the campaign will be promoted. Just because it’s designed for social media, doesn’t mean it can’t be promoted using other channels such as email lists or offline. Work the hype machine.

Often, social marketing campaigns will be spread across several networks. In most cases, it’ll be Facebook and Twitter, but there are dozens of other social networks that can be embraced. For example, use Foursquare for location-based offers (i.e., coupon for a restaurant chain), or LinkedIn to promote an enterprise white paper.

If you run your campaign on multiple networks, repackage the message for each network to avoid being annoying or repetitive. Mix it up, and test out different posting styles and times. By creating more variations, you can get insight into what worked and what didn’t.

Don’t forget to use your email lists to promote your social media marketing campaigns. Many companies have nice email lists but only want to use them to put out a boring newsletter. Try to remember that email is one of the most useful social networks you’ll ever use. Don’t believe me? Put a shortened link to your website in your signature and see how much traffic it drives. You’ll be surprised.

5. Use shortened links

Since links are what send visitors to your campaign landing page, they can give you essential information on how various elements of your campaign are performing. Shortened links should be able to tell you what campaign the person interacted with, and which social property was used to promote the link. This info is usually hidden in the form of a browser cookie, which is activated when the link is clicked on. Once the cookie is in place, tracking code on the landing page will tell you if someone took advantage of your offer.

Use generated shortened links that let you track activity in real time and make changes on the fly. For example:

•Scheduling posts: Which post times drove the most conversions?

•Message creation: What combination of words and graphics attracted the most attention?

•The Medium: Which social networks are converting? Is anyone coming to the campaign from your non-social promotions?

Shortened links also solve the problem of “first touch” versus “last touch” attribution. Since social marketing offers often get cross-posted onto different social properties, the cookie generated in the shortened link will always be able to tell you what the true origin of your leads are and from which campaign and on which social properties they have responded to.

Next steps

After your social marketing campaign is a success, the obvious question is: What do all these signups really mean? Now that you’ve brought leads to the door, you have to offer more value, in addition to what attracted prospects in the first place. Don’t just carpet-bomb them with information. These leads are the most valuable data your brand will encounter: You need to treat them with the utmost respect and strategically lead them through your sales cycle.

To get more savvy about social media, sign up for Fast Company’s daily newsletters.

Peace and Love to Scott Lake.

He is the founder and CEO of Source Metrics, a social marketing optimization platform focused on ROI. He is the cofounder and former CEO of Shopify. You can find him on Twitter.

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7 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid by Todd Pillars

This is an updated post from 2009 which started me on a path of discovery that took my business from a 1-trick pony to the national stage in 2 short years!

Funny how it’s STILL all about relationships – and it ALWAYS will be.

Read on…

Today’s business is all about relationships. Social Media is here to stay; you have to be seen on Facebook, you must tweet and retweet on Twitter, your LinkedIn profile has to be top-notch, and now we have Google+, however the more we connect in the virtual world to more we have to tend our roots on Terra Firma. Routinely overlooked, the original social networking – face-to-face, is a crucial high-touch strategy to build critical local business relationships that are crucial to your success.

In my observations coaching business owners, entrepreneurs, and sales professionals, and attending numerous networking events over the years, I have recognized consistent networking mistakes that can kill anyone’s chances of developing any new business contacts. Avoid these seven deadly mistakes and you should quickly build your referral business in any economic conditions.

Mistake #1 – No plan, no goals… no results

Without a networking plan, you waste valuable resources; time, energy and money. You should know, before you enter an event, what you want to accomplish. Practice Bob Burg’s 10 Feel-Good Questions and The One “Key” Question That Will Set You Apart From Everyone Else so you are prepared to chose three or four to engage others that you meet at the event. These questions will show your new contact that you truly care about them. Do set time limits on what you discuss – don’t go through all 10 – or you may appear nosy. Just as you would role-play and practice these questions, picture positive results in your mind even as you enter the room.

The BIGGEST edit: Mistake #2 – Bad (or worse, no) elevator pitch

The first seven words that you speak when meeting a potential client, a.k.a. a prospect, may be the only chance you have with that person. An elevator pitch or 30-second commercial is meant to cause the prospect to say “tell me more”. Many networking novices try to cram as much company information as possible into their pitch. Keep it simple and you’ll strike more interest.

Mistake #2 – Ditch the (elevator) pitch

This is more of do than a don’t but it’s vitally important that you leave the commercial in the car. You see, elevator pitches gained popularity during the Internet Boom of the late 90′s – early 2000′s as a way to “pitch”, or spark the interest of, venture capital investors in the time it took for them to ride up on an elevator to the gilded top floor office. (Makes for a compelling visual reason to do it, doesn’t it?) Well, if the first seven words that you speak when meeting a potential client, a.k.a. a prospect, are only about what you want you’ll probably get the door slammed in your face during what may be the only chance you have with that person. There is a time and place for a 30-second commercial – and it’s not during a networking event.

Try something like the anti-mercial; You know how (whatever pain your prospects may have)? Well, what I do is (how you solve that challenge for your clients). Simple, concise, and easy on the ears. The goal here is get your new contact to say “How do you do that?”. If they do the door is now open for a deeper conversation about your solution, preferably at a later time. Don’t be afraid to set an appointment then and there.

Mistake #3 – TMI or Too busy telling

As an old mentor said “If you’re too busy telling, you ain’t selling.” The primary goal of the networking event is to make a connection – start a conversation – not to make a sale. Ask questions (see #1 above) and don’t “throw up” all over the place, regardless of how wonderful your product or service is. If it really is that good it will keep until you can sit down one-to-one. If you make a friend you can present your solution later, however, if you get the deer in the headlight look then you’ve lost the chance.

Mistake #4 – Talking to “Knowns”

Probably the most common mistake. Networking events present an opportunity to meet new people in a relatively receptive environment. Generally new sales people and business owners are challenged by meeting new people, they tend to end up talking to “known” friends instead of seeking “unknowns”. Make it a point to limit polite conversation with current referral partners to less than a minute. Better yet, adopt this new do; become an unofficial greeter. Scan the room for the people that look lost and ask them if you can help them find someone and see what happens.

Mistake #5 – Poor etiquette

Understanding how or when to join a group of individuals talking with each other is very important. Probably the biggest networking faux pas is barging in on a conversation. An introduction from a well respected business person is always the surest way. Sans that, look for groups of three or more that are standing in semi-circle – never a closed circle – and approach them in an up-beat manner and making eye contact. Always shake hands firmly, speak confidently when you introduce yourself, and practice your table manners when seated for lunch or dinner. If you are polite, respectful, and ask engaging questions – and then intently listening to the answers – you’ll be one of the most remembered people from the event.

Mistake #6 – Not being present

Be interested instead of trying to be interesting. I’ve been guilty of this more than once myself. Most times networking attendees believe the goal, at best, is to get your message into the ears of as many people as possible. At worst, to hand out as many business cards as possible. In their haste to meet that next prospect, they are not present with their current contact. Instead of thinking of what witty or sage thing you’re going to say next, listen for the subtle meanings in the answers to question you just asked. The timing of your next question will always come from listening to the full answer and being engaged and you will look like a pro.

Mistake #7 – Lack of (correct) follow-up

Attending networking event after event without correctly following up with your new contacts is literally worthless. And follow up, just like networking, is not a one-time event. The point of following up is to stand out in the prospect’s memory forever. Again, it’s not a moment of selling but of reminding them that you’re interested in them and care about their success. If you want to stand head and shoulders above your competition don’t resort to the ubiquitous email. Cement your place in your new found business contact by sending them a sincere handwritten “Nice to meet you” or “Thank you” greeting card telling them how much you appreciate them for taking the time to talk about their business. Then keep in regular personal touch with them by sending them cards on a consistent basis. Turn the most missed opportunity in networking into a way to differentiate you from your competition.

Conspicuously absent is the iconic Business Card. My opinion is that the only reason to have your Business Card is to have something to exchange for their Business Card. If your main purpose is to attend Networking Events with the intention of passing out cards and saying “Call me and I’ll give you a great deal” then you need more of an intervention than this blog post can provide.

Put others interests first, practice appreciation, and avoid these seven deadly business networking mistakes like the plague.

Peace and Love to Todd |Excellent Advice!

I recommend trying www.sendoutcards.com/loryfabian and start today cementing your business relationships today!

 

50 Ways to Show Gratitude for the People in Your Life / by Lori Deschene

 

 

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” –William Arthur Ward

 

The holiday season generally brings us closer to people. Sometimes that closeness reminds us how much we love each other. Sometimes it reminds us that we drive each other crazy, as family often does.

 

At the heart of it, Thanksgiving in particular calls us to see people with the deepest appreciation for the gifts they’ve given us. Some gifts are more immediately obvious than others—the type that come with praise, affection, and genuine esteem.

 

Others push us, stretch us, test us, and make us wonder if there’s anything to be grateful for at all.

 

There’s no denying certain relationships are more challenging than others, but through each we have an opportunity to grow and help others do the same. Every relationship teaches us something about loving, trusting, forgiving, setting boundaries, taking care of ourselves, and taking care of each other.

 

From the people who love you, to the people who challenge you, to the people who support you at work, here’s how to show your gratitude:

 

Show Gratitude to People Who Love You

 

1. Share a specific example of something they did for you and how it made a difference in your life.

 

2. Do something little but thoughtful for them—like clean up after Thanksgiving dinner!

 

3. Give a long, intimate hug; or if you know they don’t like hugs, stick out your hand for a handshake to cater to their preferences and make them smile.

 

4. Tell them you’re there if they have anything they want to talk about—and let them know they have your full attention.

 

5. Give them something of yours that you think they would enjoy, and let them know specifically why you want them to have it.

 

6. Invite them to do something you know they’ve always wanted to do.

 

7. Encourage them to try something you know they want to try, but haven’t yet because they’re scared.

 

8. Offer to do something you know they don’t enjoy doing, like organizing their closet or mowing their lawn.

 

9. Compliment them on a talent, skill, or strength that you admire.

 

10. Look them straight in the eyes and say, “You make the world a better place.”

 

Show Gratitude to People Who Challenge You

 

11. Fully listen to what they have to say, instead of forming your rebuttal in your head and waiting to speak.

 

12. Thank them for introducing you to a new way to look at things, even if you still don’t agree.

 

13. Pinpoint something you admire about their commitment to their beliefs—even if you don’t hold them, as well.

 

14. Resist the urge to tell them they’re wrong.

 

15. Challenge them right back to be the best they can be, with love and positive intentions.

 

16. If they inspired you to push outside your comfort zone, thank them for inspiring you to take a risk, and let them know how it paid off.

 

17. Write a blog post about how they helped you see things differently and dedicate it to them.

 

18. Use the lesson this person teaches you through your interactions, whether it’s patience, compassion, or courage.

 

19. Introduce them to someone who may challenge them and help them grow, as they’ve done for you.

 

20. Let them know how you appreciate when they challenge you in a loving, non-confrontational way—and if they don’t do that, be calm and kind when you ask them to do that going forward.

 

Show Gratitude to People Who Serve You

 

21. Give a larger tip than usual.

 

22. If they have a tip jar, include a thoughtful note of appreciation along with your coins or bills.

 

23. Smile when you order or enlist their assistance. Smiles are contagious, so give one away!

 

24. If they serve you regularly, acknowledge something they always do well—like work efficiently or stay calm under pressure.

 

25. Exhibit patience, even if you’re in a hurry.

 

26. Let their superior know they do an outstanding job.

 

27. Keep their workplace clean—for example, at a coffee shop, clean up after yourself at the sugar stand.

 

28. Offer to get a coffee for them, if it’s someone working in or outside your home.

 

29. If you have their contact information, send an email of appreciation—and let them know you just wanted to express your gratitude, so they don’t need to write back.

 

30. Praise them in a review on Yelp and/or recommend them to people you know.

 

Show Gratitude to People Who Work with You

 

31. Write a hand-written thank you note, acknowledging things you value about them and their work.

 

32. Offer to lighten their workload in some way if you are able.

 

33. Bring back lunch for them if you know they’re working hard and likely haven’t had a chance to grab something.

 

34. If you’re running a meeting, keep it short to show them you appreciate and respect their time.

 

35. Ask them about their lives instead of always being all business. This doesn’t mean you need to pry into personal matters; it just means showing an interest in who they are as people.

 

36. Be the calm, light voice in a stressful situation.

 

37. Give them flowers to brighten their desk.

 

38. Let their boss know how they’re doing a great job and contributing to the company.

 

39. Listen fully if they’re having a difficult day, and recognize if they need space to figure things out on their own, not advice or help.

 

40. Remember the little things can make a big difference!

 

Show Gratitude for Yourself

 

41. Make a list of ways you’ve impressed yourself lately.

 

42. Treat yourself to something you enjoy, like a pedicure or a massage.

 

43. If someone compliments you, thank them and let them know you’re proud of that skill, talent, or accomplishment.

 

44. Compliment yourself—say it while looking in the mirror, write it in a journal, or jot it on a sticky note and put it on your refrigerator.

 

45. Give yourself time to enjoy a passion you’re sometimes too busy to fit in.

 

46. Take an inventory of all the good things you’ve done for other people and the world.

 

47. Write yourself a love letter. Seriously, start with “Dear Lori” (but insert your own name) and describe all the things you admire about yourself.

 

48. Let go of any conditions you have for being kind to yourself—meaning you appreciate even if you didn’t accomplish or do anything specific.

 

49. Schedule a date with yourself—an afternoon or evening that’s all about you.

 

50. Share the beauty that is you with the people around you, knowing they’re fortunate to have you in their lives.

 

I am fortunate to have you in mine. You make the world a better place!

Peace and Love to TinyBuddha.com

11 Simple Actions to Dramatically Improve Your Day by Mary Kutheis (kooth-ice)

Breathe – And by breathe I don’t mean life-sustaining, autonomic, shallow breathing, I mean belly-filling, brain-cleansing breathing. With each breath take in enough air to expand your belly and with each exhale, expel as much breath as you can, pulling in your belly to extract every bit. Breathe in to a count of five and out to a count of five and do it five times. You’ll feel the difference.

Stretch – So much of the workday can be spent immobilized staring at a computer screen. In addition, if you have a stressful job (who doesn’t — a show of hands, please), tension can creep in on little cat paws. You don’t see it coming but at some point you realize you’re holding tension in your neck or shoulders or back. Raise and lower shoulders, do some head rolls, bend forward while sitting or standing, raise your arms over your head, do some side stretches. Take a moment to notice where you are feeling tight and focus on that area. Don’t push too hard, it’s not a contest to see how flexible you can make yourself, just stretch enough to release the tension.

Walk – Doesn’t matter where you work you can take five minutes and walk. Inside your building, around your parking lot, down the street in your neighborhood. Short breaks are uplifting and good for the body and mind. A walk will get your blood flowing and make your brain function better.

Say “No” – Getting comfortable saying no is a skill that pays off in many ways. Pick situations when you truly have a choice (it’s more often than you may think) and practice saying “thank you for thinking of me, but no, that’s not something I can do right now.” If you need to compromise somehow, you can always add, “But here’s what I CAN do.”

Be grateful – Write down three things for which you are grateful. These don’t have to be big things and frankly it’s better if they aren’t. If we can be grateful for a comfortable desk chair and a really delicious cup of coffee, we’re going to be grateful a much greater percentage of the time than if we are grateful for a fabulous vacation.

Volunteer – Volunteering takes our mind off of ourselves – which is a good thing. You can volunteer at a local organization that matters to you or even volunteer to help a colleague who could use a hand. Volunteering in any capacity is good for your spirit and has a way of spreading. A kindness done for others leads to more kindness being passed along.

Be mindful – Whatever you are doing, be fully aware and focused in that moment. Taking your first sip of coffee? Enjoy the warmth of the cup and the aroma, as well as the taste. Composing an email? Tune out everything else and focus on just that one task. Speaking with a colleague? Give that person your full attention.

Notice nature – This can be purposeful or on the fly. Driving to work or walking by a window pay attention to whatever nature you see. Having lunch, pick a seat where you can see outside, or better yet, sit outside. Listen to the sounds, smell the scents. Put a live plant or fresh flowers on your desk. Even for a few seconds, take in whatever nature falls into your line of sight.

Listen to music – Pick some music to suit your mood – or perhaps to change it. Listen to soothing music to reduce tension, upbeat music to re-energize you, or your current favorite song to lift your spirits.

Go on a media fast – Turn off the television and the radio. Stay away from newspapers and avoid online news sources just for a day. The news will keep happening without you and in fact will still be available to you later. This isn’t putting your head in the sand regarding current events as a lifestyle; it’s for a short while. Give your brain a break from all the sensational bad news stories out there.

Declutter – Take a few minutes and clear off a corner of your desk that’s been piling up or a drawer that over-accumulated stuff. Getting rid of stuff feels good. Completing even a small project can have residual positive mental effects for days.

Love & Peace to Mary Kutheis

5 Crucial Tips for Editing Your Own Writing by Ali Luke

Measure the effectiveness of your writing

Are your blog posts, mailouts, sales pages and ebooks as successful as they should be?

If you always end up dashing them off in a hurry (or if you fret over every comma but never make any structural changes) then you’re falling down at the editing stage of writing.

No writer, however good, produces a perfect first draft – but every writer, however inexperienced, can hugely improve their work through editing.

Here are five crucial tips that you need to follow:

#1: Allow Plenty of Time for Editing

Maybe you’re always hitting “publish” right on deadline, or every Tuesday is a mad scramble to get your newsletter out.

If you never have time to edit properly, then write fewer pieces of content. Most readers are overwhelmed with blog posts and emails, and they’d rather have one great post each week instead of five mediocre ones.

#2: Write Then Edit

Do you find yourself editing the start of every sentence before you get as far as the period?

If you edit while writing, you’re going to make slow progress. You might never finish a piece because you get bogged down part way, or because you keep changing your mind. It’s much more efficient to get the whole thing written first and then turn your hand to editing.

#3: Let Your Work Rest Before You Edit

Perhaps you already edit your work, by changing around a few words around as soon as you finish each piece.

Instead, let each piece of content rest – for a few hours, or a few days – before you start editing. That way, you’ll see it with fresh eyes. Yes, sometimes you’ll need to edit immediately – but that should be a rare exception, not a habit.

#4: Fix Big-Picture Problems First

When you begin to edit, do you start fixing typos and fiddling with punctuation?

The first stage of editing is to get the focus, structure and flow of your post right. That might mean cutting, adding or rearranging paragraphs (or whole chapters, in an ebook) or altering the tone or style. There’s no point perfecting every sentence in a chapter that you later cut completely.

#5: Edit for Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar Last

If you’ve ever had a reader point out an embarrassing spelling mistake – one that’s been on your site for weeks or months – then you’ll know why getting the details right is so important.

Once you’re happy with the overall shape of your post, you can fix typos, spelling and grammar mistakes, and punctuation errors. That means reading through carefully, paying attention to anything that your spell-checker flags up – but also watching out for commonly confused words, like “its” and “it’s”.

Editing might not seem very exciting or creative … but it’s a crucial part of the writing process. By developing strong editing skills, you can make sure that your message comes across loud and clear. If you’ve got any questions, or any tips of your own to share, just pop a comment below.

 

Love & Peace to Ali who is a writer and writing coach based in the UK.

Turn Failure into Success: 10 Ways

The first step to becoming more successful is changing the way you think about failure.

Failure is painful, right?

Not for successful people. The most successful people in every field don’t consider failure to be a particularly painful experience–because they think about it differently.

Successful people transcend failure because their self-esteem, rather than depending on whether they win or lose, is based upon their own sense of value.

Rather than taking failure seriously, they develop beliefs that allow them to capitalize upon negative feedback and turn it to their advantage.

Rules to Live By

Therefore, if you’re really committed to being successful, you’ll mothball that “failure=pain” nonsense. Instead, instead adopt some (or all) of the following beliefs:

1. Failure renews my humility, sharpens my objectivity, and makes me more resilient.

2. I take the challenge seriously, but I do not take myself too seriously.

3. If the more I fail, the more I succeed, then failure is a part of the process of achieving my objectives.

4. Failure is temporary when I use it as an opportunity to try new ideas.

5. I learn more from failure than success.

6. Negative feedback is information that helps me correct my course so that I stay on target.

7. I am paid for the number of times I fail.

8. My self-esteem is not based on the reactions of others, but by my own sense of virtue.

9. The unkindness of others reminds me that I need to be kind to myself.

10. It takes courage to fail–because nobody ever got ahead without taking risks.

The above is adapted from a conversation with Art Mortell, a wonderful motivational and keynote speaker and the author of the excellent book The Courage to Fail.

Love and Peace to Art Mortell.