Posts Tagged ‘Business’
Before working with a anyone who claims to be a social media consultant, you may want to ask yourself a few questions.
Please Ask yourself The Following before choosing to work with a social media person:
10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Working with a Social Business Consultant:
1. Do I have the time to learn all this social media stuff and stay up to date on my own?
2. Do I want to be a thought leader online in my industry?
3. Do I have a willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed?
4. Do I see the value in having an on-going and ACTIVE social media presence for my business and brand?
5. How are my competitors activities on social media comparing to my business?
6. Do I have the time to dedicate to marketing my company on-line or do I want a social business TEAM of consultants to do it for me?
7. How much is NOT having a strong on-line presence costing my business?
8. Am I still trying traditional marketing approaches or expensive pay per click that are producing diminishing returns?
9. Am I currently having success in my business from doing social networking & social media?
10. Will someone at my company or will I be the one working with the social media consultant on an ongoing basis?
First- ask yourself a question:
Which of the 3 website goals am I trying to achieve?
Websites typically focus on these 3 objectives:
Increase website traffic
Increase sales (Or what we help do- increase conversion)
Second- ask yourself what is my cost per lead? Cost per customer? Remember: LTV of a customer (Or life time value)
Third: Understand Quantitative VS. Qualitative measurements
Now for the 21 KPI’s your business or social media agency should be measuring:
1. # of unique website visitors per month
2. # of Twitter followers & # of Twitter lists
3. # of mentions of your brand, product or service on twitter (see the tool www.tweetreach.com )
4. # of Facebook friends/ Fans
5. # of clicks on bit.ly links (find patterns in the time of day) this is FREE PPC! HUGE cost savings I’ve personally saved companies over 20,000$ easy that they would of spent on PPC (who says social media is free??)
6. # of you tube subscribers
7. # of you tube channel views/ videos views
8. # of newsletter subscribers (or blog subscribers)
9. Know which traffic sources are sending you the most traffic (Google Analytics)
10. # of quality inbound links (SEO)
11. # of blog comments
12. # of opt ins to your list
13. # of linked in group members
14. Avg. time spent on site (social media increases this) More time is better
15. Bounce rate (you want this % as low as possible) Lower is better
16. # of leads, sales, and conversions (Percentage) This is the MOST IMPORTANT
17. # of customers you retain from social media (staying engaged and on top of mind)
18. % of revenue increase from social media marketing
These are just some additional supplemental benefits of social media:
19. How much a PR campaign or traditional campaign would of cost without using social media (Cisco saved 250,000$ that they would have had to spend) see video here: http://justinrfrench.posterous.com/social-media-saves-businesses-like-cisco-2500
They reached 90X the audience at 1/6th the cost with social channels.
20. Social Media produces much higher QUALITY of leads than paid advertising
21. Social media produces better conversion rates than email, PPC, CPA, CPM, etc.
Last Point: Social Media is just simple communications Duh!
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After being connected 3+ years to one of my favorite thought leaders in the social media space, Brian Solis and I finally had the opportunity to meet in Orange County at the Linked-OC event. We shared some laughs, he answered my questions, and I even got my copy of “End Of Business As Usual” signed that I had picked up at a local Barnes and Noble the first week it was out! Yes- I am a true Brian Solis fan but who wouldn’t be. Brian has been a huge inspiration to me and many others throughout their social media consulting journey and I did not miss this amazing opportunity to finally meet him in person. I wanted to thank him personally for all the valuable knowledge and insight he continues to share with the business community. His insights are always ahead of the curve.
Here are the Top 5 takeaways from Brian Solis at the Linked OC Social Media Event:
1. Meet in real life- Even though you may have connected with someone on-line, always take an opportunity to meet off-line as this will help strengthen the context of the relationship and create a deeper impact and emotional connection which can help reap huge benefits in your professional career. It’s sociology 101 people.
2. We are forever students- As Brian so rightfully mentioned in his presentation; these current times are trans-formative. Things are changing so quickly. I feel change is occurring in people not only personally but professionally. Embrace change. You must be constantly learning to stay relevant and current in today’s digital age OR risk being left behind. Life is a marathon so enjoy the music and March to the beat of your own drum.
3. Social Media is disruptive- just like Entrepreneurs. To get ahead in life, you MUST take an un-conventional approach. Conventional wisdom does NOT work anymore. You must think out-side the box, especially with your marketing. Just going to school, graduating, getting a job, and getting retirement after being with a company for 30 years is a RARE occurrence. This is now an exception to the rule, NOT the rule. The rule is to work your butt off doing something you love and make sure building a sustainable lifestyle you can be happy with at the end of the day saying you gave it your all each day before you go to bed.
4. Ask yourself and your clients- what defines success? How are you staying relevant to your connections on-line? How are you continually adding value? If you can’t answer these questions in your own life, you might have a hard time helping your clients see the social media success factors in their business. Think of yourself as a doctor. Ask questions. Really find out what impacts their business and help them to improve. Social Media Consultants have a rough job- convincing upper management, showing short term success even though it could take months to deliver ROI. If you are a social media manger or a social media specialist, you had better love what you do otherwise do something else and leave it to the professionals who are in the social media trenches every day. They eat, sleep, and breathe this stuff.
5. Big data is only valuable to you if you can translate it into decision making processes. Word of mouth online generally is positive or negative. This sentiment can be measured. But data overload still exists in today’s business climate. The REAL question is how are you using this data to help make better decisions on product development, risk mitigation, client retention, etc. This word of mouth online trend is becoming more and more appealing to big brands and we will continue to see this space develop more and more over the coming years.
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Have an amazing week-
Justin Results” French
Your Small Business and the Need to be Social.
If one of your regrets as a small business leader in 2011 was not being social enough with current and potential customers, is this the year you improve that issue?
As more and more businesses are discovering, being anti-social when it comes to social media is not only the wrong thing to do, it can also very directly lead to a loss on one’s return on investment (ROI).
Among the many pros of having a social media influence on the Internet is that it can be done at relatively low cost to your company, mostly consisting of time and effort.
Deemed by some to be a fad that will come and go, social media has helped many businesses reach out to customers in real-time, allowing them to offer products and services, deal with customer issues and questions, and promote items essentially 24/7/365.
Some Business Owners Just Don’t Get It
That being said, some surveys still show the reluctance by business heads to engage in this medium
According to a recent report from SocialStrategy1 and OfficeArrow, more than two-thirds of business owners (more than 300 executives were polled) indicated they would not be investing time and money in social media this year. While a large number of such owners say they understand just how social media can have a direct impact on their bottom-line, they are nonetheless not going to invest in it.
For those who are using social media, nearly 50 percent said they do in order to improve brand awareness, 33 percent look to increase their leads output, 32 percent are seeking to better their customer service, and 17 percent have been looking to enhance both ratings and reviews.
It appears one of the biggest hurdles for businesses in using social media is many of them question whether or not they are getting a good ROI in return because they don’t measure such numbers. The survey points out that an overwhelming majority of those polled indicated they do not have an accurate understanding of how their present SM efforts were performing.
In the event your company’s social media results have not been very social to date, here are some things to do to improve upon those efforts:
• Fresh content. If your content is not frequently updated, don’t be surprised when both present and potential customers don’t return to the site. Posting on a daily or several times a week basis is crucial in order to get return visitors;
• Promote the content. Make sure you retweet important industry news and events when on Twitter and share similar items on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and more. By doing so, you open the door to having others pass your message along, in essence, being free advertisers of your brand;
• Record the metrics. Make sure you spend the time and invest the necessary resources in recording and analyzing data. If you don’t know who is coming to your site, where they are coming from, when they are coming, etc. you are essentially taking a stab in the dark with your SM efforts;
• Have a game plan. Last but not least, make sure you know who is in charge when it comes to your social media campaigns. Some companies opt for their marketing or PR departments to handle SM campaigns. If your company is too small for such departments, then make sure the individual/s in charge of social media have some experience in this area. You may also look to spend the money and have your social media efforts outsourced to a company that does such work for a living.
If you haven’t already, take the time to invest the necessary resources into your social media campaign today.
Besides, you don’t want your company being known as one who is anti-social, do you?
Dave Thomas, who covers among other items small business loans, writes extensively for Business.com, an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.
In case you did not get a chance to watch 60 minutes this evening, you can watch the interview of CEO Andrew Mason (31 same age as myself) below. It was quite a good broadcast, and thought I’d share some takeaways from tonight.
1. High tech start-up CEO’s are becoming younger, more transparent, authentic, and open compared to traditional CEO’s.
2. The explosive growth of Groupon is great- the question will be can they sustain and become profitable long-term.
3. For high tech start-ups in today’s low barrier to entry climate, competition and knock-offs such as Living Social and others make it easy for competition to enter the market. The real question is how will your start-up and Groupon create more complex barrier to entries and long term sustainable competitive advantage?
4. The key to marketing for Groupon and other high-tech start-ups will always be proper communication and relevant communication to the appropriate audience.
5. Whether your Groupon or any other high-tech start-up, you need to always be able to identify the cost per acquisition per customer.
6. BONUS- Be careful of accounting tricks that look good on paper but can cause back-lash especially when you have investors or IPO.
I have a great deal of respect for Andrew Mason among all the constant criticism to continue moving forward and expanding the company to further heights. Hope you enjoyed my synoposis. Until we meet again..
Justin Results French
p.s. sharing is caring
- 60 Minutes To Profile Groupon CEO Andrew Mason (forbes.com)
Since I began advising businesses on social media marketing in 2009, things have continued to change much more quickly than I can keep up with. But I do my best to continue to learn strategies, techniques, and tools all for measuring continued success for businesses using this new extremely cost effective communication medium.
Before advising business on social media, hundreds of companies in Southern California trusted myself and my team with keeping them up and running with various Information Technology needs.
It was much easier to sell solving computer problems than trying to sell social media services, but we deal with much larger marketing budgets now which has it’s rewards. Besides- our efforts have resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue on some projects.
When people’s computers are down, they can be fanatic! I had one customer that was loosing hundreds of thousands of dollars per day when they were down. So we worked the weekend to get them up by Monday morning. Weekend emergency rate applied of course
When selling social media services, we sell an improved business, cost savings, long term sustainability, competitive advantage, and many other benefits. In fact, we do a lot less selling and more educating. This is now the 21st century sales approach in case you haven’t noticed.
Social media consultants have a tough job. They must prove ROI, demonstrate results in a short amount of time, and show an increase in revenue otherwise they may be going back to the drawing board; or worse out of a client or a job.
From inside the social media trenches and business school, here are some things I learned that apply everyday to life in a social business setting. I have the privilege to lead companies into these murky waters where sometimes the outcomes can be serendipitous among saving companies thousands of dollars while acquiring new customers and driving bottom line revenue.
Here are those applied theories in action for social business:
1. Red ocean vs. Blue ocean strategy using social media
2. Swot analysis (google it)
3. Quantitative vs. Qualitative data (link to mashable article)
4. Self awareness ENTJ and how to listen more (especially with Social Media)
5. Work on projects with great people. In business school, When you do projects you either choose your own team or the professor assigns them. Just like in the real world, when you work on a project be sure you are aligning with the right people. (this is a critical success factor)
Hope the above principles are helpful for you. Feel free to connect with me on twitter or Google+ plus.justinrfrench.com
I’m continuing to decrease my Facebook usage
Do you have anything to add? I would love to hear about some of your experiences in the social business trenches.
P.s. If you found this post valuable feel free to share it with other business owners, entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses, business professionals, or other social media consultants. Sharing is caring