Meshwork Consulting

Two Free, Easy Ways To Use Social Monitoring For Your Business

Listen
If you’re like me, you don’t have a whole lot of time to search for what people are saying about you or your business (or, for me, it’s getting distracted by social media, but that’s another story).

Why Is Social Monitoring/Social Listening Important?

Your brand, reputation and quite possibly, your business, is at stake. You don’t want to be a laggard and miss responding sooner, like United Airlines. Following are two quick and free tips to set up your own social monitoring/social listening.

Google Alerts

Start with a broad approach and monitor/listen to the Web. Create a Google Alert and get email notifications any time Google finds new results on a topic that interests you. For example, you could get updates about a product you like, find out when people post something about you on the web, or keep up with news stories. In this case, get alerts about your personal or business name.

Twitter Lists

These are lists are curated groups of Twitter accounts. You can use Twitter’s list feature to create your own lists, or to subscribe to lists created by others. Each list contains segments that are relevant to you. Viewing a list timeline will show you a stream of Tweets from only the accounts on that list.

SMBs: Get Mobile-Friendly or Get Left Behind

strategy_980x314Earlier this year, the Local Search Association reported that 47.3% of U.S. small and midsize businesses websites are not mobile-friendly. Other sources report a higher figure. Why is this important for SMBs?

  • Google reports that more than 50% of new web traffic comes from smartphones and mobile devices. That figure’s expected to grow.
  • As of February 2015, Google’s mobile-friendly ranking algorithm boosts mobile-friendly sites (and leaves the rest behind).
  • B2B and B2C buyers have embraced mobile search and apps as primary tools to find local business information.
  • Because more B2B and B2C buyers are looking for local business information, you may not be showing up in search results.
  • Bottom line: If your site’s not mobile-friendly, it’s not working for you and you could be missing out on new business leads.

What To Do?

  • Run a test on your site with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
  • Get your site updated. Call a professional and get it done right. And take are of those other site enhancements that you’ve been putting off for the last few years.
  • If you’re starting out and need a new website, call a professional and, again, get it done right.
  • If you’re the DIY type, there are affordable DIY website-builder tools out there with tons of mobile-friendly and SEO features built in.

Data Sources: LSA Insider, “Mobile:Ready or Not.

 

 

If You’re In Marketing or Sales You Could Win a $50 Visa Gift Card Taking Our 10-Minute Survey By 11:59 p.m. PST Wed., May 4

Meshwork Consulting is conducting this survey in an effort to better understand what marketing and sales strategies/tactics you’re using today would appreciate your input.

As our way of thanking you for your time, all survey participants will be entered to win one of three $50 Visa gift cards. The deadline to complete the survey is 11:59 a.m. PST Wed., May 4, 2016. This survey contains 30 questions and should take 10 minutes to complete.

To begin the survey, please click the link below:

http://goo.gl/forms/fyItjcQ1DC

Thank you in advance for your time and participation in our survey.

Sincerely,

The Meshwork Consulting Team

P.S. Your responses will remain confidential and will not be shared. Identifying information (name, company name, mailing address, emails, etc.) will be omitted from the published summary report. Only the aggregated results of survey responses will be compiled into the final summary.

In Tough Times, Market Smarter, Not Harder

Rock Climber

Not the actual climbing tower.

Last week, my 12-year-old-daughter gave a talk to 250 people about strategies for overcoming fear. Her example was the time she attended her first sleep-away summer camp and discovered the camp’s 50′-tall climbing tower.

She’s no fan of heights. But she was determined to tackle the tower and earn bragging rights that she made it to the top. Like a rock climber faces their problem or route, she put her fears aside and focused on a plan to test different routes. It took her multiple attempts before reaching the top. Listening to her talk, I was reminded of two great marketing quotes when it comes to facing tough/challenging times:

  • “Marketing is not an event, but a process … It has a beginning, a middle, but never an end, for it is a process. You improve it, perfect it, change it, even pause it. But you never stop it completely,” wrote Jay Conrad Levinson, author of Guerrilla Marketing.
  • “Successful companies do not abandon their marketing strategies in a recession; they adapt them,” said John Quelch in Readings in Modern Marketing.

How do you respond to tough/challenging times?

Caveman Marketing and Attracting New Customers

Caveman Marketing

The marketing funnel is one concept that companies pursue to convert the prospect into a new customer. To me, it’s caveman marketing. It works like this: the prospective customer visits a website and surrenders their email in exchange for an online demo or free eBook. The caveman marketer then breaks out the club and attempts to beat the prospect into a purchase with a series of followup emails, phone calls, offers for more free eBooks and more. When was the last time you were conked over the head to make a purchase?

The Soft Approach

Before buying into the funnel, get to know your existing customers. Commit to delivering a great product and great customer service. Wooing your customers, instead of beating them over the head, will result in customers who will rave about your brand to their friends (just ask Zappos). Like the Faberge Shampoo ad, they’ll tell two friends and so on. What do you do to woo your customers?

Deliver On Your Brand’s Promise

I go out of my way to support a great product or service, especially if it lives up to its promise. For example, if you live in Boise, Idaho’s Treasure Valley, there’s a delicious salsa called Steph’s Seriously Good Salsa. It’s fresh. The recipe’s simple. And if you like it spicy, try the hot and blow your tastebuds off (it hurts so good!). While the salsa costs a little more than its competitors, it stands in a class of its own and delivers on its promise–seriously good salsa. Stephanie’s business is growing–last year she moved out of a rented commercial kitchen and opened her own. Contrary to Stephanie’s success, there are myriad examples of when brands fail consumers. I’ll share two–one big, one small.

You Call That Tangerine?

SUPERVALU produces a signature brand called Equaline. It promises is to be an affordable choice that mirrors national brand quality. Fighting a cold, I purchased their version of Emergen-C to save $5. I regret the purchase. It’s as if SUPERVALU’s product development folks asked for a product that matched the competitor’s ingredients, but along the way they failed to taste the product to see if it was close to any competitor’s flavor profile (it’s not even on the same planet and I’ve never tasted a tangerine that awful). I’m returning the box and throwing down the extra cash for an even bigger box of Emergen-C.

Tropical Wine?

I recently read about the closing of a local family-run wine shop that was open for about two years–the Pacific Rim Wine Stop. I never stopped in. Each time I drove past, I asked myself the same question (even aloud to the annoyance of my family), “What does the Pacific Rim have to do with wine?” Sure, 50% of the countries that surround the Pacific Rim produce wine, but for me, the term doesn’t evoke visions of vineyards, casks and tasting rooms. I think of the vast Pacific Ocean, tropical sunsets, islands, sake, investments, martial arts and more. In fact, the company’s logo promises the ocean and tropical sunsets.

I Still Didn’t Get It

To get it, I had to look up the Pacific Rim Wine Stop’s website and read the back story, which is way too much to ask for the consumer’s limited attention span. Turns out that that name refers to a ’90s era family restaurant that was open in Boise’s North End. Maybe the name evoked nostalgia among a few legacy locals, but the area’s population and real-estate boom in the early 2000s transformed the North End from decaying homes to a revitalized, go-to neighborhood. Their brand alone didn’t contribute to the business’s demise, but it certainly didn’t offer me a promise I couldn’t resist.

What’s Your Brand’s Promise?

Is your brand delivering on its promise? If not, what are you doing about it? If you’re unsure of where to start, I recommend the classic, Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind.

Low-cost Ways to Effectively and Efficiently Reach Prospects–Part 7 of 7

As a small business, marketing can be overwhelming, time-consuming and expensive. By understanding some of the free and low-cost lead-generation tools and tactics, you can start to effectively and efficiently reach prospects.

Social Networks

Among the social networking tools for businesses today, the big three are LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Yes, there’s Google+, but I’m not sold yet–the network effect isn’t there (not enough of my colleagues/friends are pressuring me be there and conversations are falling on deaf ears compared to the three social networks noted above). The benefit of these tools is to broaden your reach by leveraging your customers’ networks. Keep in mind your primary goal–generating prospective customers.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great lead-generation tool for salespeople. You can connect with colleagues and get introductions to others through your network, as well as conduct a little competitive and industry research. Grow your network by joining and interacting with your college alumni and industry groups. Act like you’re in a virtual leads group; be genuine and sincere, and avoid a cluster of outreach all at once. It may come across as spamming.

Twitter

Twitter is a great way to engage business prospects since it allows you to send brief text-based posts of up to 140 characters and images. You can build up your base of Twitter followers by seeking out the influencers in your community and following them. In most cases, your savvy Twitter influencers will reciprocate by following your business if they find your messages (or tweets) interesting. Your tweets can link back to specific pages on your website or anywhere else that has a link. You can engage readers with photos, events, business tips and more.

Facebook

Facebook lets you create a business page where you can list your business contact information and engage your customers with special offers, photos, events, polls, product launches, customer questions and business tips. Businesses advertise to target customers on a cost-per-click or cost-per-impression basis. But avoid creating a business page with the personal profile tool because Facebook will shut it down.

Finally, be sure to link to your social networks through your email signature, website, business cards, print materials, email marketing, invoices and other customer touch points. And as with all marketing activities associated with reaching prospects, be sure to maintain a consistent brand throughout, from the way you treat your company’s logo and color themes, to the voice of your communications.

Low-cost Ways to Effectively and Efficiently Reach Prospects–Part 6 of 7

As a small business, marketing can be overwhelming, time-consuming and expensive. By understanding some of the free and low-cost lead-generation tools and tactics, you can start to effectively and efficiently reach prospects.

Market Development Funds (MDF)

If you’re a technology reseller, do you resell a high volume of product from a manufacturer like HP or Xerox? You can leverage their MDF to gain access to quick, easy and affordable co-branded marketing resources. Many manufacturers host their own in-house programs, where you can create new campaigns to target and reach new customers with list purchases, emails and more. Be sure the manufacturer’s message is consistent with yours.

Tune In To Social Media Yak On KIDO 580 AM

Whether or not you’re an AM radio listener in Boise and the surrounding Treasure Valley, tune in for the premiere of Social Media Yak, on KIDO AM 580, Sat., Feb. 18 at 7:30 a.m. I’m honored to be Martin Johncox’s guest for the Social Media Yack’s first episode. We’ll talk about my work with businesses around the nation and how I help them get the most out of social media tools, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and others. And for the Facebook Agitation Report segment, I’ll provide some advice on Facebook’s new Timeline feature.

Social Media Yak premieres at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb 18 on KIDO AM 580, which broadcasts to Boise and the surrounding Treasure Valley. Read more. Or follow Social Media Yak on Facebook and Twitter.

Low-cost Ways to Effectively and Efficiently Reach Prospects–Part 5 of 7

As a small business, marketing can be overwhelming, time-consuming and expensive. By understanding some of the free and low-cost lead-generation tools and tactics, you can start to effectively and efficiently reach prospects.

QR Codes

Quick Response (QR) codes are gaining in popularity as mobile marketing gains momentum. According to the results of a February 2011 MGH survey, QR codes are mostly used to get coupons/deals, access additional information, enter a sweepstakes, sign up to receive more information, access video, make a purchase and interact with social networks.

To get your own set of QR codes, subscribe to a fee service like ScanLife to access dynamic codes and manage the destination of each code, even after you’ve printed it on a poster or product. If you don’t have a budget and aren’t looking for dynamic QR codes, head to Google’s URL shortener, plug in your destination URL and click on Shorten. Click on Details and you’ll see your new QR code, as well as some basic analytics.

Low-cost Ways to Effectively and Efficiently Reach Prospects–Part 4 of 7

As a small business, marketing can be overwhelming, time-consuming and expensive. By understanding some of the free and low-cost lead-generation tools and tactics, you can start to effectively and efficiently reach prospects.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way to keep your business top of mind with your current customers and prospective customers. When your readers forward information to one of their contacts, it further expands your prospect list. You can send customers monthly or quarterly emails focused on IT-, industry- or business-related topics, company news, customer-only offers, surveys, referral incentives and open houses. There’s a range of free and affordable email distribution tools, so you can choose the service based on your needs.

Low-cost Ways to Effectively and Efficiently Reach Prospects–Part 3 of 7

As a small business, marketing can be overwhelming, time-consuming and expensive. By understanding some of the free and low-cost lead-generation tools and tactics, you can start to effectively and efficiently reach prospects.

Partnering

The power of partnership goes beyond referrals. It’s about focusing on what you do best and outsourcing the rest … to your partners. For example, a digital signage reseller focuses on designing, integrating and installing the solution. To help his clients with the content delivery, he partnered with a local ad agency to create and upload graphics. He wins because the agency has another sales team out there talking about their work with a digital signage reseller. And the agency wins because he’s sending work their way and introducing them to new customers.

Low-cost Ways to Effectively and Efficiently Reach Prospects–Part 2 of 7

As a small business, marketing can be overwhelming, time-consuming and expensive. By understanding some of the free and low-cost lead-generation tools and tactics, you can start to effectively and efficiently reach prospects.

Open Houses

If you provide a tangible product or service that customers can touch or feel, consider inviting local businesses in your area to an open house. Begin by focusing on your target customers within a one-mile radius of your office (Google Maps is a good place to start.). To get new customers, one networking reseller hosted a BBQ for their open house. Their sales team called on prospective clients and personally handed each an invitation tied to a small bottle of BBQ sauce. Today, their open house is an annual and much-anticipated event.

Low-cost Ways to Effectively and Efficiently Reach Prospects–Part 1 of 7

As a small business, marketing can be overwhelming, time-consuming and expensive. By understanding some of the free and low-cost lead-generation tools and tactics, you can start to effectively and efficiently reach prospects. This, and the following articles to come over the next two months, touch on subjects such as starting with a strategy, lead generation and leveraging social networks. In writing these, I found that I had much more to say than I expected. However, your time’s valuable, so I’ve kept topics brief. Feel free to comment or ask for other topics that I didn’t cover.

Start With a Strategy

Before jumping into the tools that I’ll cover in the coming months, develop a strategy that complements your company’s goals with the following five-step approach:
  1. Identify your target prospects (e.g., decision makers in the healthcare, legal, collections or other market).
  2. Define your value proposition. Think about what sets you apart from the competition to get your prospect’s attention and solves their pain (e.g. time, quality, cost).
  3. Match your marketing strategy with the goals of your business (e.g., acquiring new customers, recognizing incremental revenue growth with existing customers).
  4. Set out realistic, measurable goals to keep you focused (e.g., sign $100K in new projects each quarter).
  5. Consider one or more of the following tools and tactics to determine how you’ll maximize your efforts. Be sure to keep your message consistent with your goals and brand.

5 Rules for Creating Powerful Calls to Action

The most crucial, business-building item on your website–the call to action, or CTA–is only a few words long, so make every word count. Customers come to your site because they are trying to solve a problem–your call-to-action needs to offer a clear and immediate solution.

By the end of this MarketingProfs Take 10, hosted by Doug Metzgar, you’ll be able to create a call to action that captures attention, makes the most of the few seconds that visitors take to scan the page, and, most importantly, gets them to do what you want them to do—whether you’re asking readers to fill out a survey, get more information, or cash in on daily deals. Learn more.

Customer Feedback Done Right at Walmart

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts on customer feedback, companies like Delaware North have good intentions, but their internal processes betray them. Yet, a megacorp like Walmart does it right.

I wanted Martinelli’s sparkling cider, and the nearest store was Walmart. Our Boise superstore is not your quickie mart for some drive-by, last-minute shopping action. It turned out that they didn’t carry Martinelli’s and I had to go elsewhere. I later took the issue up with the store by going online and completing their feedback form.

Two weeks later, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a call from the Boise Walmart assistant manager, Cheryl, who explained that while they no longer carry Martinelli’s, they had a box or two in back and to stop by if I wanted to pick it up. Now that folks, is customer feedback done right, pure and simple.

Feedback Forms: A Lesson in Futility

As marketers and PR pros, we all know why all businesses should have a feedback mechanism in place, from an email address on a receipt to a toll-free telephone number. However, I wonder if businesses are sincere in their efforts.

For example, I was on a homeward bound flight with the family over spring break, from Ft. Lauderdale to Boise. While dashing through the airport, I grabbed a few salads from Pasha’s, a Delaware North hospitality franchise. An hour into the flight, I crack open the plastic container to find that my bulgur wheat salad was nothing more than mint and parsley leaves with dressing. For $7, I felt ripped off.

When I got back to Boise, I pulled out the receipt and sent an email detailing my experience while thanking them for offering healthy alternatives in the airport. A month went by. No response. So, I took to Twitter and they heard me! But here’s how the conversation went:

dougmetzgar: I love giving restaurant feedback? By why ask for it and then not respond/acknowledge? @delawarenorth #customerservice #800lbgorilla

delawarenorth: @dougmetzgar We do love to hear feedback & appreciate your comments! Have you tried emailing us? I can direct message you contact info?

dougmetzgar: @delawarenorth Thx for the mention. Grt to to hear ur listening! Referring to Pasha’s to-go loc. in Ft. Lauderdale International airport.

dougmetzgar: @delawarenorth I did send an email on 4/2. Want me to DM the email address I used?

delawarenorth: @dougmetzgar Yes please! (at this point I can’t DM since @delawarenorth isn’t following me, so I broadcast the email address all over the Twitterverse).

delawarenorth: @dougmetzgar Great. You can also go on our website & leave a comment. http://delawarenorth.com/contactus.aspx.

Now, this comment form is for some broad categories, especially after you realize that this company is a $2 billion operation with hundreds of businesses throughout the world. Happily, I filled out the form. That was a month ago. Call me crazy. I’m still waiting for a response acknowledging receipt.

Have you experienced a situation like mine? If so, please share.

My Secret Weapon Featured on MarketingProfs Take10

If you’ve scanned my blog, you’ve likely come across my post on listening techniques. What’s listening? It’s a great (and free) way to learn more about what people are saying online about you or your clients’ company, brand, product or key executives.

I recently produced a slidecast for a MarketingProfs Take10, which will launch next week on Tuesday, March 29, 2011. Check it out and let me know what you think, or if you think that there are other topics that should be addressed.

Social Media At The Center Of The Marketing World?

Agencies like Big Fuel are shifting focus as they continue to evolve with an ever-growing array of social media tools. Clients still need their branding expertise. But the days of pitching print ads is fading. Social media tools deliver benefits like:

  • Immediacy
  • Measureability
  • Authenticity
  • Affordability
  • Reach
  • Connectivity

If you work at an agency, is social media now the center of your marketing world? Does social media account for more than 50% of your gross revenues? Be sure to check out this Advertising Age article on Big Fuel and how they’re managing the growth in social media. Next step — get myself a cool headshot (and name) like Jon Bond.

Stalking The Competition

Did you know that you can use social media to keep tabs on your competition? This article digs into tools around Twitter, but you can add more to your arsenal. My recommendations:

  • Set up a Google Alert with your competitor’s name, or variations of it.
  • Tap into RSS feeds with Google Reader — a great way to consolidate any feed from Twitter, blogs and more.

There are more ways to stalk your competition. What online tools/techniques do you you use?

Searching for the Keyword

Let’s talk about keyword searches for a second. As I’ve stated in my previous posts, it’s about content repetition and freshness. There are other keyword tools, but let’s focus on content.

Let’s say that you’re a running shoe retailer, have an existing site and want to optimize it so people and prospective customers find you faster. Start by thinking like your customers. Ask yourself what kinds of keywords your customers would use to find you online: running shoes boise, running experts, trail running, etc. If you’re not sure how you might be found, talk to your customers. You might be surprised at the feedback.

And bounce your ideas off of the Google AdWords keyword tool. It’ll provide some interesting results on your keywords and how relevant they are in global and U.S. searches.

What other ways do you determine keywords?

Top Five Social Media Mistakes

Listening to others — it’s critical to our daily lives at home and work. Are you listening in social media? If not, you’re missing out on one critical element to the success of your social media efforts. Here are four more social media mistakes:

  • “Down-sourcing” to Interns or Junior Staff (better yet — family members)
  • Fast Beats Perfect
  • Faking It
  • Having an “Off” Switch

Thank you to Mike Proulx on his great article that explains these mistakes in more detail. What other mistakes have you seen?

Social Media’s Not Free

I’m sure this won’t be the last post on ROI. A few weeks back I commented on an article about the ROI Leprechaun. A couple of points to consider regarding ROI and social media:

  • Social media’s NOT free
  • Establish a baseline
  • Create activity timelines (back to defining your strategy and tactics)
  • Look beyond digital figures

For more information, check out this great article that recapped a presentation given by Olivier Blanchard.

What’s Your Social Media Road Map?

You know that your company needs to engage in social media. You’ve set up accounts in Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and charged right in. After a couple of months you find that the novelty’s worn off and slow down on those updates. Finally, you begin to wonder, “Is this social media stuff worth it?”

That’s when you need to go back to your strategy. Don’t have one? Don’t have time to figure it out? That’s what Meshwork Marketing is for. To help you get the wheels turning and get back on track, check out this article on a 12-point social media road map.

I love point No. 2 on looking out for “experts.” There’s a big difference between social media as a hobby and career. Can you recommend any other points to the road map?

Can We Catch The “ROI Leprechaun”?

I’m finally back into blogging. In May, after two years, I finally completed my MBA. Needless to say, I neglected my duties here with end-of-term projects, consulting and more. Now, on to the good stuff.

Fortunately, I work with clients who get the need for social media to manage their brands and get the word out. But during my two years of biz school, I thought about what ROI means to social media. I’ve developed several methods and reports, but I always ask my clients what meaningful to them — it also allows me to define expectations and the realities around social media.

This article is a great read on ROI and social media. It’s simple:

  1. Don’t fall into the follower trap
  2. Don’t obsess about your brand’s buzz
  3. Don’t forget social media’s hidden benefits
  4. Don’t expect instant returns

This sounds like SEO and ROI. A few years back I launched a web site for a client and the next day they asked why their site wasn’t at the top of their Google search.

And be sure to check the article’s comments, which reflect one of social media’s best benefits — dialogue. What are your expectations for ROI and social media?

A Future with Google-powered Elections

Last week, I listened to NPR’s Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal on a future with Google-powered elections. For any internet strategist, it appears obvious (to me, at least) that Google AdWords would be a critical part of a candidate’s election campaign checklist. And I was happily surprised to hear that Google has a division dedicated to the task: Elections & Issue Advocacy.

Awareness, Cash and Bias
But there’s a rub — awareness, cash and perceived bias. On a state and national level, AdWords awareness and cash are high on the list. But for the local candidate seeking a city council seat, they may stick to the same routine for a lack of awareness and cash. Back to the checklist: Candidate. Check. Candidate position. Check. Web site. Check. Facebook page. Check. Google AdWords. Umm, what’s our budget?

Lastly, there are perceived bias issues, which are explored in more detail on Alfred Yen’s blog. Google could tweak the information in a candidate they favor; become a political powerbroker, or account holder personal information. While these are valid points, I’m not as concerned.

Here’s the NPR story. What are your thoughts?

Building Customer Confidence the Express Scripts Way

Talk about irony and timing. Earlier this week I posted a Tweet, denouncing my health insurance carrier’s former prescription partner, Express Scripts, owned by an Andy Mayer.

I won’t bore you with the details, but Express Scripts claims not to have any technology in their offices (like faxes, e-mail, copiers or people to sign a USPS delivery confirmation) and ask you to resubmit your claims for any reason, like including a pink paperclip. You then repeat the process, until the term of appeals expires.

So, I looked them up on Twitter, followed them, then Tweeted that they sucked, hoping to elicit a response. Yesterday, a colleague popped me a note saying that the account is no longer in use. Coincidence? Psychic phenomenon?

Did Andy Mayer set up the account and was then asked to shut it down? Was he laid off because he didn’t deny enough claims? Is this their way of closing off more channels for customer feedback? Or was it corporate ignorance where some aging executive said, “Why do we have this Tweeter on the interwebs? I don’t want to hear from customers. Shut it down!” I’m not saying that any of these scenarios are true, but this is what I perceive as a rejected former customer.

If I was a current customer, I’d be worried about this company. You?

5 Questions to Help Maintain a Positive Social-Media Persona

This is right on target. This is a bit long, but it’s what I always remind my clients. Social media is all about authenticity and meaningful engagement that best represents your brand. Your wait staff is your customer’s connection with your brand. And they’re a reflection of your company’s culture.
For example, we have a contemporary dance troupe in town called the Trey McIntyre Project that’s critically acclaimed. Each dancer has a Facebook profile and they’re ecouraged to engage the community at large, including Trey. Despite Idaho’s characteristically conservative nature (Boise’s more the exception) the group has built loyalty, crediblity and support among the community rather quickly compared to more traditional marketing techniques. An idea for the Rib Company?
On the tool side, I agree that we’ll see these to continue converging. Most are differentiated by function (e.g., photos, video, personal relationships, professional relationships, music, etc.). But we’re witnessing a merging of tools – like Twitter updates and YouTube videos on Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs. And there’s a new tool (I’ll have to look up the name) that offers social networking for college students who don’t yet have lots of job experience (a sort of LinkedIn meets the early version of Facebook for universities).
Lastly, whether we like it or not, these tools are expanding and blurring our personal and professional digital footprints. Like real life, they reflect who we are.
Your thoughts?

Doug

A couple of weeks back, a client forwarded this article to me. I thought it was right on target and worth passing along.

Key takeaways:

  • Social media is all about meaningful engagement. For example, a contemporary dance troupe in town, Trey McIntyre Project, which is critically acclaimed is very active in social network. Most dancers have a Facebook profile and they’re ecouraged to engage the community at large, including Trey. The group has built loyalty, crediblity and support among the community rather quickly compared to more traditional marketing techniques. An idea for your business?
  • On the tool side, I agree that we’ll see these to continue converging. Most are differentiated by function (e.g., photos, video, personal relationships, professional relationships, music, etc.). But we’re witnessing a merging of tools – like Twitter updates and YouTube videos on Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs.
  • Lastly, whether we like it or not, these tools are expanding and blurring our personal and professional digital footprints. Like real life, they reflect who we are.

Your thoughts?

16 Tips for Gaining More Fans on Facebook

I spent some time today reading a great article from Greg Elwell on how to gain more fans on Facebook. It’s a common-sense approach to engaging your fans and pushing your results up on the News Feed feature. I especially appreciate his No. 1 item focused on engagement. The bottom line: if you’re not on your fans News Feed you’re nowhere.

Lessons Learned From Being Ignored

I’m fickle. I’m particular. Or maybe,  I’m just smart. At least I thought I was.

Four weeks ago, I came across three, long-term opportunities. Some had elements that were out of my area of expertise. I needed a partner. The opportunities weren’t huge, but I wanted to test the waters with a new partner before bringing him bigger projects. I had several choices at my disposal and decided to go local and support one of Boise’s best. We met, talked and I was assured that I’d get a proposal in three days. Excited, I wrote a follow-up note to thank him for his time. Three days passed and the proposal didn’t show. I sent an e-mail inquiry — maybe he was running behind. Nothing. The following Monday I called and was sent to voicemail. I left a message. No response. Where did I go wrong? Was I getting the blowoff? Or is he too busy to respond (impossible since he’s posting Tweets and updating his Facebook)?

I’ve learned three lessons here and I’m smarter for it — partnering requires trust; hire hard to manage easy; and never ignore your customers. As for trust, my failed partner-to-be clearly demonstrated how he’d treat my valued clients in the future. Partnering’s a lot like hiring — interview hard to manage easy. My new partner is getting more questions than he expected. And no matter how successful you are, you do not ignore new or existing customers. You never know how those relationships will blossom into something great for all.

How would you have handle a situation like this?

Managing Your Social Life

No, this isn’t Meshwork Marketing getting into the life coach field. This is about managing your social media life. Depending on your goals, you may need to set boundaries between your professional and personal lives.

Let’s talk work. As working professionals, most of us may use LinkedIn for our professional activities (B2B lead generation, job search and more). We use the tools here to learn more about other companies, tweak our resume or search for job candidates. Naturally, we have to keep a professional face on all activities here.

Now, let’s get personal. We then segregate our personal social network activity to tools like FacebookMySpace and Twitter. To state the obvious, whether you’re trying to make new friends, connect with old friends, or are looking for a job, discretion is a priority. You can have fun, but be sensible because your digital footprint can come back to haunt you.

Thank you to Emile Loza, founding attorney of the Technology Law Group for the inspiration for this post.

Triple-play Efforts Supporting Local Non-profits

Are you looking for a new ways to reach new customers with immediate ROI? Forget the Yellow Pages or the newspaper. Look around your community. Do your services support community groups like families? If so, tie your advertising efforts and personal energies into triple-play revenues by supporting non-profit groups dedicated to supporting at-risk teens, families or education. Don’t think of your efforts in terms of profits, but enjoying the reputation of being socially responsible and contributing to the well-being of your community.

Consider this example. One client is an auto repair business. They’re a family-owned affair with kids in a local school. When their kids’ school seeks contributions for their annual fundraiser, they jump at the opportunity. By offering attractive automotive service bundles (like an annual maintenance package), the school wins with the deal going to the highest bidder; the kids win with funds going to supplies, continuing teacher education and services; and the business wins by turning a fellow parent into a new customer (and getting a tax deduction). But their success doesn’t stop there. Once other parents discovered that this business regularly contributes its services to help their childrens’ education, they, too, become new customers.

Lastly, consider donating your time and expertise to community-dedicated non-profits. While this isn’t a direct line to profits, it is one way to contribute to building a strong community. For example, in Boise, Micron Technology engineers donate their time to helping high school students compete in robotics competitions. I dedicate my community marketing expertise to Life’s Kitchen, helping them get the word out about their efforts to help at-risk teens with life-skills training, in and out of a professional kitchen setting.

In what other ways can businesspeople support their communities while spreading the word about their business?

WinCo Foods – Now Is Not the Time To Suck

Dear WinCo Foods,

In today’s tough economic times, now is your time to capture market share.

Sure, your competition offers fancy, well-lit displays; clear aisles; most name brands I like to consume; cheerful employees who offer to help me out to my car (OK, I’m not that old); and someone to bag my stuff. But I pay dearly for it.

I exchange convenience/experience for savings at WinCo — the supermarket low-price leader. I accept the fact that your idea of offering low-priced goods means that I get to suffer with grumpy employees who treat me like I’m inconveniencing them; unboxed goods in the aisle; bagging my own groceries; random inventory levels and product selection; and, in general, very little service. In exchange, I get to brag that I saved $50-100.

Studies show that consumers like to patronize less-expensive stores in tough times — and companies profit. Witness Wal-Mart’s growing profitability over the last year, compared to Target’s. Can you believe that Wal-Mart’s taking share away from Target? I’m thinking that you’re doing pretty well for yourselves right now. But your short-term gain is going to be your long-term loss.

Now is the time for you to make some cheap tweaks — engage your customers to find out what you could do to improve their experience and keep saving them money. Clear up those aisles and urge your employees to be more customer-friendly. Do it now. Once the economy begins to recover, you could have more fans and customers than at the start of these tough economic times.

For now, I’ll continue to shop at your store; smile at all of the grumps; wish for a better grocery world; and after paying for my groceries, text my wife to have that Session Lager cold and ready for my frazzled nerves when I get back.

PS — the ESOP link at the bottom of your home page does not work.

Getting Facebook into the Marketing Mix

Check out some of these simple-to-execute tips for adding your company’s Facebook profile into the marketing mix from Go-To-Market Strategies. What other strategies do you use with Facebook?

Getting Facebook into the Marketing Mix

SEO Is Not Really That Complicated

Ahh, a great read on dispelling the myths of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The name is intimidating and there are lots of us who are reluctant to chase the SEO rabbit hole and get really technical. And if you pay someone to nail your SEO, who do you trust? I’ve talked about SEO tips on my blog, but here’s a quick read from Duct Tape Marketing, a small-business blogger, and his article “SEO Is Not Really That Complicated.”

The Power of Twitter and Customer Service

Yesterday I talked with a friend about her experience with Twitter. She was in a minor traffic accident and was frustrated the other person’s insurance company. While she has been trying to do the right thing, the company’s representatives were less than friendly.

She has a small Twitter following (40) and decided to share her experience. She looked up the company’s Twitter ID and posted a Tweet about the their lack of customer care and common courtesy. Two days later, a company representative called her to apologize and asked how he could help.

That’s the power of corporate listening. A smart move on their part, and hopefully a tool they use to instill change internally.

Do you have an example of how social media’s worked for you in a situation like this?

Analyzing Twitter With Excel, Part 1

Last month I shared a good article on several ways you can start listening. This article takes Twitter analytics one step further. Good stuff. Read on at Analyzing Twitter with Excel, Part 1 – Network World.

Passionographics

When I talk with clients and colleagues about gaining a deeper understanding of their customers, demographics alone have real shortcomings. I talked to one startup that claimed it was targeting 1% of Facebook users. I asked about which 1% they were after. They didn’t have an answer, so they went into marketing mode by listing product features, etc. I asked about customer pain points. I repeated the question five times before someone heard me. I then asked if they spent time talking with any target users. No. Painful? Yes. Did we get somewhere? Yes, eventually.

So, like fostering innovative ideas, you need to sit down with your potential customer and find their pain points and passions. Learn more about what they want to solve, how, and what turns them on. It’s the only way to connect and deliver a solution that works for them.

Here’s more from Ron Amok on Passionographics. What ways have you connected with your customers?

Grow Bigger Ears in 10 Minutes

Looking for a quick way to get updates anytime your name or brand appears in blogs and Twitter? Check out this great article called Grow Bigger Ears in 10 Minutes. I’ve been doing this for some time now, with some variations. But it’s a great to get feed updates on any mentions. If you’re watching your company, though, be prepared to do something about it by engaging in the conversation.

What other listening tools do you use?

Successful Twitterers, Bloggers and Small Business Owners are just Extroverted Over-Achievers.

Ahh, the realities of Twitter, blogging and running your own small business settle in quickly after the honeymoon. It’s like reading a self-help book, jotting down your goals and then blowing them off a week or two later.

Some may consider these social media tools work. Like tending a garden, there’s an inherent value in these tools. I like to share my knowledge with others, so having a repository like a blog is a quick and easy way to get it out there. And it’s much easier for me to say, “Check out my blog at meshworkmarketing.com” instead of searching for a bookmark and e-mailing it out later.

Read Tac Anderson’s comments in his article on Successful Twitterers, Bloggers and Small Business Owners are just Extroverted Over-Achievers. Would you cast me as an extroverted overachiever?

United Airlines Breaks Guitars

I picked this up from David Meerman Scott’s blog, which sets up the story. As a musician, I can relate to the fear of having your instrument damaged by careless baggage handlers. Even my suitcases lose a piece here or there in the course of a trip.

For an airline to not accept responsibility for damaging precious cargo like a guitar (did the handlers on the tarmac think it was a clever suitcase full of clothes?), we’re well beyond customer abuse. Check out the video:

6 Reasons NOT to Launch a Corporate Social Network

Oh, how I love this article. Six Reasons NOT to Launch a Corporate Social Network ties strongly to my philosophy about strategy. Sure, you can save money and leverage free sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to help you build a corporate social network — BUT, before doing so, consider the six points in Amber Rae Lambke’s article. 

Also think of your social network as a garden. First, think about what you want to grow with a clear strategy. And second, it takes time to nurture, grow and reap the rewards of a strong social network. Don’t have the strategy, resources or time? I’m glad to show you how I can help. Shoot me a Tweet (@dougmetzgar) using hashtag #socialnetwork.

Social Media Marketing for Restaurants: 10 Tips

I like patronizing restaurants that are engaged in the social media conversation. But just having a Facebook or Twitter account, friending/following a zillion people and then posting specials isn’t enough. It’s social media vomit.

Listen, strategize and engage. How? Here’s a good list that contains 10 social media tips for restaurants and institutions. Do you have any tips or examples of restaurants doing this well?

Social Media For Non-profits

I’ve been doing some research lately on social media and how it can be used to help non-profits. This is one area in which I have a lot of interest since I’ve recently joined the board of a local group called Life’s Kitchen, which helps at-risk young adults. Unfortunately for my waistline, they make a mean bisque.

Some great links to check out:

Social Media for Social Causes Study: The Results
5 Events That Have Used Social Media for a Good Cause
DIGITAL CHARITY TOOLBOX: 50+ Ways to Get Your “Give” On

Do you have any other examples of how non-profits can use social media?

Rebranding Me

I have an admission to make. I was wrong. But I’ve learned a valuable lesson from it. Branding me is hard.

For the last two years I’ve been working under the business name of Lion’s Tooth Marketing. I chose the name in a hurry and didn’t expect it to get far, figuring that inspiration would strike and, voila, I’d have a new name. Not so. Over time, I established myself with new clients as a channel and community expert under the Lion’s Tooth brand. It has a good story, which relates to social media, but it isn’t one that doesn’t translate well in an elevator pitch.

I prefer a brand to mean something, to my clients, myself and my colleagues. Like a surgeon attempting to operate on himself, there’s nothing harder than coming up with your own brand identity. 

After brainstorming, bouncing ideas off of respected colleagues and really working on something that was meaningful, I renamed the business Meshwork Marketing. I’m excited to announce that my official identity and site will go live in June 2009. I’ll keep this blog here, but once the new site’s live, I’ll roll the content over and grow it from there. I hope you’ll join me.

PS — the new site will rely on my favorite blogging platform, WordPress.

Your Web Site Isn’t Enough

Your web site is your calling card on the internet. It’s out there among millions of other sites. Today, a web site isn’t enough. How do you draw more customers, make it stand out among the rest and increase its rank in search engine results? Part of the answer lies in using social media. Before diving into social media, develop a strategy

Ask Yourself

  • What problem(s) am I trying to solve?
  • Do I want to increase my sales?
  • To how many audiences am I communicating (e.g. B2B, B2C, product segments, etc.)?
  • Do I possess specialized knowledge that I can share, without giving away the farm, that positions me as a knowledge expert in my field/region/business?
  • What do I want to achieve through social media? 
  • Can I afford 1-2 hours a week focused on my social media efforts?
  • What tools will I use to measure the success of my social media efforts?

Together, these questions should lead up to a strategy, regardless of whether social media is part of your efforts or not.

 Social Media Strategy

Your social media strategy should revolve around your web site. Your strategy could include the following tools to direct traffic back to your site:

  • LinkedIn (a tool for business contacts or B2B prospecting)
  • Facebook, MySpace, Ning, Tumblr (tools for building a community around your product or brand)
  • Twitter (a microblogging tool limited to 140 characters)
  • Blogs (used for knowledge sharing, announcements, podcasting and more)

Read more about some of the tools we recommend to Meshwork Marketing customers. Remember, social media is no silver bullet, but it will engage you in the conversation around your product/brand/specialty. And social media will position you as the subject-matter expert in your field; generate fresh content for your site; and play a strong role in boosting your site’s page rank in search engines.

Do You Have A Social Media Strategy?

I’m oftentimes asked how businesses can market their products on MyFace or SpaceBook (kidding). They want to use Twitter to announce a new product or tell the world how cool they are. They get obsessed with collecting hundreds, if not thousands, of Twitter followers (this is not necessarily good). Or their competitors are doing it so they must get into it.

Before jumping in, ask yourself “Why do I think social media is my solution?” After digging deeper, you’ll likely find that social media is part of the solution, not the solution.

On the other hand, if you think you have a solid reason for getting into social media, answer these questions:

  • Have you defined your target audience?
  • Do you have a social media strategy that’s consistent with your brand?
  • Do you fully understand how each of the social media tools work (e.g., Twitter, blogs, Facebook, MySpace, Ning, LinkedIn, Orkut, etc.)?
  • Do you know which tools will work for your needs?
  • Can you consistently dedicate two or more hours a week to your social media effort?
  • Do you have metrics in place to measure the success of your efforts?

If you answered no to more than one of these, get some professional social media help. Before getting wowed by a potential social media partnership,  their presentation, charm, shiny offices, etc., ask a few key questions:

  • Do they have a measurable approach to establishing your social media strategy?
  • Will you receive reporting against your defined metrics?

If you get solid information to those questions, you should be in good hands. Interview more than one agency or social media expert. If you’re not sure what you’re getting into, give Meshwork Marketing a call.

Finally, here’s a quick read from Seth Godin on The Pillars of Social Media Site Success.

Customer Service — Pure Satisfaction

Last year I received a call that still leaves me smiling. It’s a simple story of customer service gone good. 

I’m helping my sister’s business with their marketing plan. They needed a domain name and hosting. I’d researched domain name registrars and settled on GoDaddy. My decision was based on some personal and business recommendations; GoDaddy’s competitive pricing plans; and some added (free) privacy protection with my registration.

I created an account and purchased the domains for Reserve Cigar and Wine Bar. Everything went smoothly, and after purchasing some hosting from Lunarpages, I made the server changes on GoDaddy and we were in business. Bottom line — it was a smooth process. 

The following day I got a call from a GoDaddy customer service rep. I thought “Oh no, I must have clicked the wrong button when I made the server changes, and now they’re going to pitch me on their own hosting services….argh!” Instead, the rep thanked me for choosing them for my business; confirmed that the server changes were correct; asked if I had any questions; and let me know that I could call 24 hours a day. He also asked me what made me choose their service.

This is a great example of customer service, sales and marketing working together. The benefits are a satisfied customer who will return again and again for more business; an open channel of communication and feedback that allows GoDaddy to improve their service offering; and marketing intelligence that helps GoDaddy confirm that they’re on target with their unique selling proposition. 

Do you have any examples of good customer service?

Blogging and Your Business

I’m a huge fan of blogging. In fact, I manage four blogs. That might be a little excessive for most, but I enjoy getting readers involved. Most people thing about MySpace when they think about blogging. Blogs are great for social networking and they can be a very productive tool that complements your marketing efforts, as well as enhances the “stickiness” of your web site in relation to search engines. Now, before you head off and create a blog filled with ads and copies of your press releases with the expectation that you’ll get to the first page of a Google search, you have to consider a few things.
Blogs generate interest if you’re sincere about your industry or market. Readers are turned off to viewing blogs full of PR spin. It’s a total buzz kill. Think about your customers — would they spend more time reading a collection of your ads or press releases, or reading about how your expertise can help them succeed in their efforts? I’m not talking about giving away the farm in terms of your knowledge, expertise or services. I’m talking about giving your customers a sense of community in which they can interact and comment on your productive opinions in your industry.
For example, one client of mine is a wine and cigar bar. We’re integrating a blog into their web site. A great use of their blog is to use it as a forum for reporting on wines and cigars that they’ve recently tasted or smoked. If I were a customer, or prospective customer, I’d enjoy reading about the latest tastings and arming myself with the knowledge to make a good buy — hopefully in the blogger’s establishment. The blog would build credibility and authenticity with the wine and cigar bar’s patrons. And they can be active participants in the bar’s “community” by discussing the bloggers experiences — fostering evangelists for their business.
In my following posts, I’ll write about content as it relates to optimizing your site for search engines. Later, I’ll share more about making your blog your primary customer communication vehicle, as well as some quick (and free) ways to get the word out about your blog.
In the meantime, let me know your thoughts about blogging and customer communications tools.I’m a huge fan of blogging. In fact, I manage four blogs. That might be a little excessive for most, but I enjoy getting readers involved. Most people thing about MySpace when they think about blogging. Blogs are great for social networking and they can be a very productive tool that complements your marketing efforts, as well as enhances the “stickiness” of your web site in relation to search engines. Now, before you head off and create a blog filled with ads and copies of your press releases with the expectation that you’ll get to the first page of a Google search, you have to consider a few things.
Blogs generate interest if you’re sincere about your industry or market. Readers are turned off to viewing blogs full of PR spin. It’s a total buzz kill. Think about your customers — would they spend more time reading a collection of your ads or press releases, or reading about how your expertise can help them succeed in their efforts? I’m not talking about giving away the farm in terms of your knowledge, expertise or services. I’m talking about giving your customers a sense of community in which they can interact and comment on your productive opinions in your industry.
For example, one client of mine is a wine and cigar bar. We’re integrating a blog into their web site. A great use of their blog is to use it as a forum for reporting on wines and cigars that they’ve recently tasted or smoked. If I were a customer, or prospective customer, I’d enjoy reading about the latest tastings and arming myself with the knowledge to make a good buy — hopefully in the blogger’s establishment. The blog would build credibility and authenticity with the wine and cigar bar’s patrons. And they can be active participants in the bar’s “community” by discussing the bloggers experiences — fostering evangelists for their business.
In my following posts, I’ll write about content as it relates to optimizing your site for search engines. Later, I’ll share more about making your blog your primary customer communication vehicle, as well as some quick (and free) ways to get the word out about your blog.
In the meantime, let me know your thoughts about blogging and customer communications tools.

I’m a huge fan of blogging. In fact, I manage four blogs but will reduce that to two. That might be a little excessive for most, but I enjoy getting readers involved. Blogs are great for social networking and they can be a very productive tool that complements your marketing efforts, as well as enhances the “stickiness” of your web site in relation to search engines. Now, before you head off and create a blog filled with ads and copies of your press releases with the expectation that you’ll get to the first page of a Google search, you have to consider a few things.

Blogs generate interest if you’re sincere about your industry or market. Readers are turned off to viewing blogs full of PR spin. It’s a total buzz kill. Think about your customers — would they spend more time reading a collection of your ads or press releases, or reading about how your expertise can help them succeed in their efforts? I’m not talking about giving away the farm in terms of your knowledge, expertise or services. I’m talking about giving your customers a sense of community in which they can interact and comment on your productive opinions in your industry.

For example, one client of mine owns a wine and cigar bar. We’re integrating a blog into their web site. A great use of their blog is to use it as a forum for reporting on wines and cigars that they’ve recently tasted or smoked. If I were a customer, or prospective customer, I’d enjoy reading about the latest tastings and arming myself with the knowledge to make a good buy — hopefully in the blogger’s establishment. The blog would build credibility and authenticity with the wine and cigar bar’s patrons. And they can be active participants in the bar’s “community” by discussing the bloggers experiences — fostering evangelists for their business.

In my following posts, I’ll write about content as it relates to optimizing your site for search engines. Later, I’ll share more about making your blog your primary customer communication vehicle, as well as some quick (and free) ways to get the word out about your blog.

In the meantime, let me know your thoughts about blogging and customer communications tools.

Marketing For Real Estate Agents (and Lawyers, too)

Let me share a real life story with you (the names have been changed to protect the innocent who should be reading this). Two months ago, we were looking for a real estate agent to sell our home. After a nightmare selling our last house, we took the time to interview a bunch of prospective agents to represent out property (contact me if you’d like a copy of our questionnaire).

We whittled our choice down to two agents. Our top choice was solid, but choice No. 2 had a compelling selling story. She was an agent for a local firm, but her business card noted that she was from Sell Your Home For A Lot Properties. We first went to the firm’s site and searched all forms of her name to no avail. We then Googled her name, her company name, etc. and found nothing. Due to the lack of information, we selected our first group.

The lesson here: if you’re working for a big company, and have your own company as an agent for that big company, have your business information together online. That means that if you are marketing yourself as SuperAgent@SellYourPropertiesForALot.com, make sure you have a domain presence that brands yourself correctly. In other words, make sure people can find you quickly. 

My other peeve, is that agents oftentimes don’t want to use their big company domain as their regular e-mail address. Instead, they use their home e-mail address. Who are you marketing — yourself or msn.com, yahoo.com, cableone.com, etc.? Be professional. If you don’t know how, ask me. Again, I can help you look great. 

Bottom line: You look more professional, you brand yourself or your company, and you’re easily searchable by anyone in or outside of your area that’s looking for a home marketing pro in your area.

Have you seen something like this in other professions?

Let me share a real life story with you (the names have been changed to protect the innocent but should be reading this). Two months ago, we were looking for a real estate agent to sell our home. After a nightmare experiencing the sale of our last house, we took the time to interview a bunch of prospective agents to represent out property (e-mail me if you’d like a copy of our questionnaire). We whittled our choice down to two following our meetings with them. Our top choice was solid, but choice No. 2 had a compelling story. She was an agent for a local firm, but her business card noted that she was from Sell Your Home For A Lot Properties. We first went to the firm’s site and searched all forms of her name to no avail. We then went to SellYourPropertiesForALot.com and couldn’t find the site. We then Googled her name, her company name, etc. and found nothing. Due to the lack of information, we selected our first group.
The lesson here: if you’re working for a big company, and have your own company as an agent for that first company, have your business information together online. That means that if you are marketing yourself as SuperAgent@SellYourPropertiesForALot.com, make sure you have a domain presence that brands yourself correctly. In other words, make sure people can find you quickly. I can help you, affordably.
My other peeve, is that agents oftentimes don’t want to use their big company domain as their regular e-mail address. Instead, they use their home e-mail address. Who are you marketing — yourself, msn.com, yahoo.com, cableone.com, etc.? Be professional. If you don’t know how, ask me. Again, I can help you look great. 
You look more professional, you brand yourself or your company, and you’re easily searchable by anyone in or outside of your area that’s looking for a home marketing pro in your area.

Why You Need A Social Media Calendar

Calendar*

Save Time and Money

We lead busy lives, so saving time through some quick social media hacks is certainly attractive to the small and midsize business marketer. More importantly, a social media calendar helps you get and stay organized, ensure that your marketing efforts are aligned with your strategic objectives, and save time (and money).

What You Need

Your social media calendar should be simply organized and include the following:

  • Title or description of the content
  • Links to supporting documents, like content briefs, slide decks or other resources
  • Author or writer
  • Deadline
  • Channels you’ll promote it on

Implement Or Delegate

Once your calendar’s complete, you can use it to get buy-in from your clients, boss, manager, etc. Then you can either delegate the task to a coworker or, if you’re a solo shop, use it to start creating and scheduling your posts.

Learn More

  • Grab your own social media calendar template from Hootsuite.
  • Learn more about Hootsuite.

Doug Metzgar on Wright Stuff Radio

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Last month, I had the pleasure of being a guest on Brandon Wright’s Wright Stuff Radio show, which aired on KIDO Radio (which is, interestingly enough, Idaho’s oldest radio station). You can also catch the episode here.  And here’s the story on which I based my talk.