Stroking the SuperMe: Targeting Brand and Product from a Social Perspective

Aug 03
2010

Stroking the SuperMe

Stroking the SuperMe

Are we creating a Online virtual “SuperMe” personality? I’d sway we are and it’s Ok. You always put your best foot forward and when you meet someone for the first time you usually send your ambassador, the polite, non offending, intelligent you. Your online personality should reflect that same feeling but to a greater depth.

You must be truthful, but accentuating the positive and leaving out the negative is what we all do daily anyway. So why would your social Profile be any different.

Georgina Laidlaw explains this very well in her article on Webworkerdaily.com Stroking the SuperMe: Targeting Brand and Product from a Social Perspective and takes it a step further into the corporate environment. Which hearkens back to what good old advertising was anyway. A message with words and images meant to persuade. Social Media isn’t as far away from advertising as we like to think. With Corporations getting into the game it’s just being repackaged.

The Social Aspect allows it to be commented on and will hopefully keep the message honest. See how many corporate sites you can find on Facebook that are genuinely different than their advertising!

Facebook for FaceLifts & Other Vanity Services!

Jun 17
2010
People aren't afraid to strut their work!

Photoshop your Face...Sort of!

During a vigorous day connecting on social media a few months ago I met Elaine Greenberg owner of Ageless Remedies. She asked me what I thought about a Facebook FanPage  for her Medical Spa Business.  Her concerns arose from people not wanting to admit they had “Work Done”.

Most businesses have a two groups of clients.  It’s the 80/20 Rule: 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your clients, the other 20% of revenue will come from the remaining 80%.  The trick is to convert customers to loyal repeat customers.  There are many ways to do this with loyalty programs, punch cards, referral programs, weekly specials, and on and on.

As most of you have learned by now, true social mediates are very loyal and very talkative.  So it’s a natural for them to promote your product or service and this is where it matters to Elaine and her company.   Ageless Remedies caters primarily to women who have procedures performed they generally don’t want anyone to know about. I rarely see a posting about the wonderful chemical peel or the removal of facial veins in any-one’s daily update.

However,  women do share places that they’ve “heard of” that are good.  This is where a Facebook FanPage is an ideal platform for any company that has plenty of positive content to post. Many personal services can benefit; Spas, Plastic Surgery, Hair Restoration, Weight Loss, Smoking Cessation or any number of companies that help people improve their self image. Association with these type FanPages used to be thought of as a negative, however if your page is rich with content, then it is just a trusted information source.  And sure, some people will say “I thought she had some work done” but don’t we all notice that and just secretly wish we could change a few things about our selves?  My position on this is that it does more to promote your business than hurt it.  And for those who are hesitant – they will simply not friend (or like or share or what ever FB is calling it this week) your page — no harm done.

And the proofAgeless Remedies Facebook Fanpage has 236 fans and rising.  They provide excellent content, get lots of followers posts, are able to show store hours, specials, and Facebook Only FanPage specials to encourage and track new customers.  The content is informative, exciting and trendy.  I recommend checking it out not only for it’s style and promotion, but they are a very good Spa and Elaine has posted her before and after pictures which truly show there miraculous capabilities.  ( Err…..Elaine, not sure if I owe you an apology or not) but she looks marvelous.

The word of mouth advertising that is generated through Social Media especially for products/services is so much more compelling than any paid advertising medium.  She has done a very fine job promoting her business and in these hard times is having one of her best years ever!

A little about Elaine:
I took to Elaine instantly because witty and charming New Yorker personality and her entrepreneurial spirit –  that binds all entrepreneurs together.   Charlotte is funny that way,  it attracts some of the best and brightest people from all over, but the New Yorkers stand out because of how they embrace the southern hospitality.  They seem to acclimate instantly.  She had great ideas and wasn’t afraid to try them.  Some failed and some worked, but it was her tenacity and resilience that shown so brightly.

We talked about all sorts of promotion ideas and  eventually settled on social media.  This is  my  “Shameless Plug” portion, but she commended me on my broad background in traditional media and quality of national accounts that I had worked on and saw the natural progression into social media.  Many professionals in social Media today have a very limited background.  What they see as powerful and important is simply advertising 101 to those with almost 30 years experience in the field.  And I’d have to agree with her, because communications meant to persuade are basically the same in any media.

So don’t be afraid to open up your business to Social Media and s FanPage is a great way to generate a loyal following even if you feel that it may be a touchy subject.  Face book even has 313 Fans on the Erectile Dysfunction page.  I guess things are looking up!

Create Fancy Facebook Pages That Sell!

Jun 10
2010

Facebook is the big player and creating awesome fan pages is going to be big. Here’s a glimpse of what you can do.

[slideshare id=2608372&doc=fancyfacebookfanpages-astepbystepguide-091129135837-phpapp02]

“Twitter – I’m just not getting it!”

Jun 10
2010

Birds Poop every 15 minutesI’ve had three people in the last week tell me that they just don’t “get twitter”.

And honestly, I didn’t either for about the first year. I was following my friends, and watched their antics, but somehow felt empty. Like why do I hear all sorts of buzzing about this?

Well it wasn’t until someone showed me a few use full tools and strategies that I “Got it”! Now I use Twitter for many things.

First lets define what it is. Twitter is micro blogging. Just 140 characters at a time, which has cause me to compress ideas very carefully so that I get the complete message in there with out someone just reading that one post and having no idea what I’m saying.

First off, I never go to my twitter page. Since I set it up and created a background, I’ve hardly been there. That’s because it just shows the last 15 or so people I’ve followed and not much else. it’s a snapshot of the last-minute.

So I found TweetDeck. with this nifty app that works on both PC & mac (&iPhone) you can sort out exactly what you are looking for. You have your Favorites, Direct Messages, Mentions and as many search terms as you want.

Now you say, “Gee Curt that is some really cool stuff — but I’m still not getting it.” Well suppose you are in the Direct Marketing business. You’re a consultant and you help companies put together their advertising campaigns. Here is another useful online tool called search.twitter.com.

You start by doing a little prospecting. Enter some key words until you start to find something that looks interesting. I searched Direct Marketing and found several pages of people around the world with a mention of Direct Marketing.

So I got to the advanced feature and look up the same words “Direct Marketing” but this time I give it a location (Charlotte, NC) and a 50 mile radius. I also add in a time frame to include the last week.. In addition I’m able to choose an attitude, Positive, negative or asking a question. I chose the later 2.

I find “TaraMonique” who is a Business Mentor, cellphone junkie and avid internet marketer. I notice she has 1,934 followers and she is following 1,509. So I decide to follow her, and then I can see the folks who are following her.

Now you have a platform to go on. Personally I look for faces, not logos, I then read their short profile and dismiss those who do not fit my target. But I do within 30 minutes find 8 people who look notable. and I add them to a “Watch” list in tweet deck, just to make sure that they are active and have relevant things to say.

After you find someone of interest, then Google them, see if they show up in other places. Yes if feels like stalking, but you are trying to find out as much as you can. And if they have a linked in account, then you have hit pay-dirt, because running down the side of their profile is a list of people who viewed not only his profile, but others. and that is where you can expand that search.

There are many ways to use twitter and that is only one. I’ll be writing more about some of the useful tools. and there are plenty.

21 Marketing/Advertising Tips for Small Business!

Jun 10
2010

All Dresed Up and No Place to Go!

I’ve heard from small & large clients for the past year, “I can’t afford to advertise” or

“I don’t need to advertise” or even worse, “my customers aren’t swayed by advertising”.

Here’s how it works plain and simple. You go to the Dentist when your Teeth hurt. You call a plumber when you got a leak. And you contact a marketing professional when you need to get your products moving. I have to tell my clients all the time, I won’t write your magazine if you don’t write my ads – Deal?

Because each of us are somewhat good at everything, but when it comes down to counting pennies, it pays to hire a professional. I did my own Taxes for years, and got money back. Then I went to a Tax account and he charged me $1,300. He also increased my Refund over 10,000 from the year before and nothing dramatic had changed. He was able to take deductions that I had never thought of. And to make it better, if there was ever an audit I don’t even have to go. He does. He sits in front of the auditor and explains everything in accounting language so I don’t make a costly mistake.

It’s the same with marketing/advertising and I was once a newspaper Adv. Sales Rep at Gannett. We had almost a year of sales training learing how to overcome almost every objection (from a newspaper point of view). I would guarantee you that the TV, Radio and Magazine reps had the same tools in their arsenal.

Point is, listening to the Sales rep will generally give you a one-sided opinion. And there is sanity in Dominating a media, or was when the media was Radio, TV, NP,Mag and Billboard. But now, there are hundreds of ways to spread your $$’s and targeting your customers is the only way to do that.

So how to you target a customer.

1. A Customer is Someone who comes back for the 3rd time
2. Treat Everyone that walks through the door or calls Like a Customer.
3. That includes Suppliers, Reps, Vendors & Competition.
4. Divide your Customers into Categories and define the Heavy Users
5. These are the ones who make up “Most” of your Sales.
6. Find out everything you can about this group, Make a list!
7. Look for patterns, Income, Geographic, Age, Psychographic, Attitude,
Religious, Political, Kids or not, Pets. (what ever makes them unique)
8. Now you may have an idea of how to reach them, and it’s ALWAYS with a Mix of efforts
9. And Remember, Loyal Customers are rare, so treat them special, and ask them to recommend you.
10. Reward them when they do! They are your best advertising!
11. If your Customers are Local do things for the Community when you get a chance.
12. If not then Join Professional organizations and become an active member.\
13. Make sure you and your Employees Always carry enough Business Cards with you .
14. No Advertising or Marketing plan will help if your Product/Service is flawed
15. Call in a professional to help you, and tell him everything, Profit, Loss, Debt, Everything.
16. Follow their plan (if it is sound) without making changes. Cakes are made, they don’t just appear!
17. Find one that is “Right Size” You do not need a Huge Agency to do a small task. Many small even
one person shops can handle a great deal of work because they spend less time in meetings and
work very efficiently.
18. Ask for Explanations of the Rational and Strategy. If they use “Industry Speak” tell them to “Dumb it down”.
19. Pay them on time. As with any Vendor, they do it for a living – It’s Their Job.
20. Tell them the True Results. Then Everyone Learns. Adv/Mkt are Learning processes. Like fishing
you have to test lures. That’s why they sell Tackle Boxes!
21. Be Nice! You never get GREAT WORK from someone you aggravate!

And that just defines your audience and gives you the idea that there is someone whose job it is to spread your word. And you are probably not it. But you can do your part, by trying to be objective about your business and never see things in Black & White. Nothing is black & white, there is always an exception and one small creative break through is all it takes to make you a success.

For instance, while working as a newspaper ad salesman in Portchester, NY for the Westchester/Rockland Gannett Newspaper Group, I was selling a Joint promotion page for Portchester’s Fashion Retailers. A Full page ad with a Big Banner on top and 9 Square ads on the page. Imagine a Tic-Tac-Toe board. Well conveniently there were just 8 Fashion Retailers in Portchester, from Athletic Shoes to Fine Lingerie. And having a good relationship with them I was able to get all 8 on the page. Which left a hole dead center. A 2 column by 5 inch Hole., which my Ad Manager suggested we do a House ad for our newspaper. Not wanting to look out done and fearing the comments I’d get from my advertisers who would obviously know what the situation was, I chose to fill that hole some how some way.

At 4:30pm on Thursday, I was sitting in Portchester on a bench with my mockup of the page in my lap and was trying to calculate how much $4 I would lose if I simply bought it my self and thanked the community for their support. Just when I had figured it would put me about $20 in the hole I stood up to go back to the office. I was thinking about the $20 and wondering how I would explain that o my wife because she had made plans for us to go out on Friday night and I’d have to let her know that it wasn’t going to be a real exciting evening.

And then it hit me — Straight in front of me was a Travel Agency. I took one long deep breath and walked in and asked for the Manager. He was available, but hadn’t done much advertising with our paper. I told him that I had an idea, and I was grinning ear to ear. He’d never been that welcoming and wasn’t this time, but I guess my timing must have been right. He sat behind his desk, and I couldn’t sit down. I Held the sample page away from him and said, “I’ve a Portchester Fashion promotion Page coming out this Sunday..” and he cut me off,”I’m not in the Fashion Business, I’m in the Travel Business!” and stood up to walk us both out. As he Came around his desk, I was so excited I couldn’t wait to unleash my idea. He stopped and looked at me. As I turned the Page around to show him that I’d signed up all 8 of the Advertisers in town and that I had one hole in the middle, he still was shaking his head. And then I looked him straight in the eye and let it out nice and slowly with a wave of my hand like I was presenting an Oscar to the man. “Imagine This Headline!” I said. “All Dressed Up And No Place to Go?” in a questioning but promotional voice.

He began to grin and it seemed to get just bigger and bigger. He turned around Opened his top drawer and pulled out a Leather Ledger. Sat down, opened it towards the middle and Said with the same grin, “How Much” as he was writing out “Gannett Westc….” on the top of the check. — SOLD

He then said that no sales rep of any kind had ever taken the time to give him something of value. And when the ad ran, he booked almost 3 times the volume of what he did last year. And the best thing, Not only did he become a loyal Advertiser, but he was the talk of the town because of his brilliance. And I never said a word to any of the other advertisers. I let him live in his glory.

The Charlotte American Marketing Association is Very Active

Jun 10
2010

Charlotte American Marketing Association

Better know as CAMA , this is Charlotte’s local chapter of the American Marketing Association. I went to an Orientation meeting held at LGA advertising in Charlotte on Feb 3rd and led by the Christine Eubanks who is the VP of Membership of CAMA and she is also the VP of Management Supervision at LGA, and ran a well-organized professional presentation and had a truly warm personality. I was also greeted by Sheila Neisler (@catalystshelia – Twitter) the VP of Programing who is the owner of Catalyst Consulting who took the time to ask what I did, and explained how that integrates in various areas of the organization, which was very helpful.

The first thing that struck me was that they would have an Orientation for new members or those that had lapsed, to talk about their plans, introduce the officers and explain the many ways in which you can get involved. But, the get involved wasn’t so much doing the groups work, or fold ing paper…the usual thing you think of when you join a group. NO, It was about programs, forums and Sigs, which are small groups within the organization that meet to discuss real topics and share information. Things like Analytics, CRM, Branding, Facebook, Apple, Event Marketing…all relevant stuff.

I’ve been in Professional Groups and Associations, but honestly they did little more than have Happy Hours together, and monthly or bi monthly panel discussions, which were just social gatherings with something to look at.

This group is different! They had plans! They have an agenda! I found No Vendors there. Not one! Just real professionals looking to expand their network and learn something. The Officers were very knowledgeable about the group, it’s purpose and each wanted to expand on some aspect. In essence it’s a growing active organization that is so unlike the others I’ve been in I joined Immediately. So for the $260 for a Corporate membership yearly a I get access to tons of data on the AMA site and also get rosters of members, and chances to partner which is what everyone is doing these days.

Most of all, I felt immediately “accepted” when I walked in the room. Not like a “hi my name is…” accepted, but like I was with my own people. I could hear the background chatter (CRM, ROI, Client Retention, Budget Analysis, Social Media Trends) and it made me feel at home. Ok, not at home, because when I’m home and speak to my wife or kids about a new promotion I’ve worked on or created and What the benefit to the client is and why it’s better than their previous effort, I would just get that age-old look “Yes we have to look interested or he won’t make us a frozen Pizza” Look.

So at the CAMA I could spit out all the jargon and strategy and computer software talk I had, and they actually listened, answered back and I learned “NEW” things. And I was so impressed I volunteered to the Group Membership Sales Manager! I’ll be responsible for contacting Corporations that have group memberships and offering discounts for varying levels of members from their company, showing them the new online tools from the AMA that can help train & inform new employees and offer education on new technology & trends.

What a great opportunity. And I’ll be expanding my network as well. I began thinking that since I was spending so much energy developing my Social Media exposure on-line and realized that I should be doing that in Charlotte with real people. Social Networking means using All the tools, not just hiding behind a monitor and keyboard pretending to be brilliant. It really helps to get out there and actually “Meet” people and share ideas.

What the Take-away here? Well, Get involved! On many Levels! Give your Time & Service! Promote yourself “Live & Virtual”! Most of all there are lots of Organizations out there that are full of great caring people and shop around and don’t stop till you find one that meets or exceeds your expectations.

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