We are in contest and award season – all over the place you see people trying to get their friends to vote for them in an effort to win fame, fortune or simply recognition.
Sometimes we become so wrapped up in Social Media strategy, how to beat Edgerank, how to get our message across and the ROI of Social Media, that we forget what makes Social Media work: The connection between people. Those people could really care less about the fact that you just used the latest statistics to determine at what time they are online or even if your website is number 1 on Google. As much as I love building beautiful websites and Facebook pages for you – in the end it depends on your ability to convince the connected consumer that you offer the best value.
So why are we spending all that time building that perfect Social Media presence?
Three events came together that made me reflect on the way most of us approach Social Media
- A you might know I am nominated for an award for “Best Online Marketer“. As a result I thought a lot about the change Social Media brings to marketing and my own place in this revolution
- I was very fortunate to discuss my thoughts with a friend Nick Kellet recently and he had some very helpful insights for me. He wrote an interesting blog post that is related to this conversation: Do the Work. Social Media is Work.
- I found a blog post today that reports that Social Media had virtually no impact on Black Friday sales: The Social Media Marketing Honeymoon Is Over(Social Media Examiner)
Yes, we need to pay the bills and we need to pay our employees and Social Media managers for the time they spend promoting our business. But do our customers really care about your shiny new website or the cool tool you are using for your newest Facebook contest?
The answer is: NO
As a customer I am much more interested in what deal you can give me, and how your staff and you treat me when I deal with you.
The shiny LinkedIn Profile you just crafted might make me find you easier (if that’s where I’m going to look for you) but in order to really decide if I want to work with you I will ask my trusted network and will want to have a personal connection with you.
I love to build really nice websites for my clients, customized and state of the art. But the fact that I put a store and a blog on your new site doesn’t make it sell your products. It takes your effort to engage interested visitors and it takes your work to create content that serves those who need it!
Don’t get me wrong! Your Social Media presence is increasingly important to stay relevant or even present in your customers’ eyes but Social Media Marketing is secondary to your Social Media persona!
It’s not Social Media that makes money, it’s you connecting through the tools.
The Primary function of Social Media tools is to give your audience a chance to talk to you!
In a discussion about the merit of Facebook Pages messaging I realized that I repeat the following in every single one of my seminars:
“[tweet_dis]Not answering on Social Media is like ignoring a message I left on your answering machine[/tweet_dis]”
The mantra of “Social Media Marketing Experts” to focus on reach, exposure and return on investment has taken our focus away from serving our audience.
So Now What?
I don’t mean to discourage your efforts to master this ever changing beast we call “Social Media.”
The Social Media revolution keeps changing how we gather, share and interpret information. (Purchasing) decisions continue to be influenced by our Social Networks. Ignoring this power will be fatal for any business. But we have to focus on new paradigms:
- Business is only a guest in Social Networks
“Social Media is not about Business to Business or Business to Consumer, it’s about People to People” ~ Brian Solis
- Today’s digital tools break down barriers of distance and isolation but they amplify the need for personal attention
- Social Media is a two way street – keep both lanes open!
[tweet_dis]Social Media is not about YOU making money – it’s your chance to stay relevant[/tweet_dis]
I’m glad I waited with writing a post about Facebook’s Edgerank – the longer we live with this algorithm the more I see the way its introduction will change the way we use Facebook Pages and ultimately Social Media tools.
Let’s start with some basics though:
Every year we see men of all ages sprouting mustaches with more or less success. It’s called Movember and we do this to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues like cancer and depression.
This international movement intrigues me because it’s largely Social Media driven. While every Mobro sports a visible reminder that serves as a conversation starter pictures and stories are shared on every conceivable Social Media channel.
I put the statistics that surprised me most into this Infographic (click on the image to enlarge)
2012 marks the third time I’m taking part in Movember and this time I added a little twist. Each day I travel to a different part of the world and if you donate $5 or more to my fundraising campaign you can determine where I go.
Have a look where I went so far – you can vote on the picture you like best and tell me what place you have visited. Please don’t forget to Donate
#Movember #MoTour Around the World and Beyond
This year I'm raising funds and awareness for men's health issues by traveling around the world and beyond. You can decide where I go by making a donation at: http://mobro.co/frith
#MoTour Promo Video
Thank you Michele rule for donating and sending me to Narnia
Movember 14 Bali
Thanks Michelle for donating to my MoTour and sending me to Bali
Tell me where to go next by donating at: http://mobro.co/frith
Thank you Kendra for sending me to Italy with your donation!
#Movember 17 Sonehenge
#Movember 18 Sydney, Australia
#Movember 19, Great Barrier Reef
#Movember 20 The Shire, Middleearth
#Movember 21, China
#Movember 22 Plymouth Rock
#Movember 23 Pandora
#Movember 24 Lubeck, Germany
Thanks for sending me to Germany Marlies!
When I travel, I like to check out the historic sites along my way. Whether it is a Baroque church in Europe or a historic barn in the Canadian interior, I am curious to learn more about the building and the people that used to live in it. If I’m lucky I can find a plaque somewhere that tells me a little bit about the building or the year it was built. But often the bits of information don’t really satisfy my curiosity. I’m sure you have experienced this too!
At the same time I carry my smartphone with me everywhere and I like to scan QR (Quick Response) codes. So when I heard that a historic site in our city had a 120th anniversary coming up I saw my chance to create Kelowna’s first ever interactive plaque. And voila,
I donated a brand new plaque featuring important information about the building’s history and a photo from 1910. In addition to this traditional content I also added a QR code and a short URL to the sign. If you scan the code you are led to a landing page that is optimized for mobile devices.
With no need to download a dedicated app everyone with a smartphone or tablet can now get fresh multimedia content about the site. I produced Youtube videos about the inside of the building and added links to get in touch with the Heritage Society with the touch of a finger.
You may ask “What does a sign for a historic building have to do with Social Media?” The Heritage Marker Project turns static signage into a launch pad for interaction and engagement:
- The visitor can reach the related Facebook, Twitter and/or YouTube pages with one click
- It is much easier to share the location with your friends
- The visitor can easily send an email or phone the office
- A map button leads to further Heritage Markers sites in the area
- When planning your trip you can discover the site from your computer and send directions to your friends
- The possibilities are endless!
The project was very well received by all that came to the unveiling, including BC’s Minister for Heritage. I just came back from a conference of Heritage BC where the idea was also met with great enthusiasm. I am looking forward to many more Heritage Marker Projects in the near future. Let me know if you have a connection to a historic site that would benefit from a Heritage Marker!
Thank you all for your questions about those “Endorsements” on LinkedIn that have popped up in the last little while.
A while ago LinkedIn started to ask us to add skills to our profiles. At first I figured that this was to highlight keywords I want to be found by. While this is still one of the main functions you will have noticed that we can now endorse our contacts by skill.
I called up my friend Colin Parker from Red Giraffe Strategic Sales and Marketing to get his expert opinion on this. Continue reading “LinkedIn Endorsements Are The New Mini-Recommendations”
You all read the blog post I wrote about Amanda Todd and the problem of Social Media bullying. Since then a lot has happened and I had some really interesting reactions both on the post, on Facebook, Twitter and Google +. We now know that cyber-bullying was only one of the problems involved in this case but it has shed a spotlight on the challenges our children face and how we, as parents, need to help them.
This reaction made me do some research:
— African Geek Goddess (@RonellSharee) October 13, 2012
On Wednesday Amanda Todd from Coquitlam BC committed suicide after being bullied. (Read more about this story in the Huffington Post)
Amanda posted a video of her plight on Youtube 5 weeks ago – the best way available to her to cry out. Unfortunately help came too late for her.
Because the bullying against Amanda happened on-line, now many are quick to blame to blame the tools. Continue reading “Stop (Social Media) Bullying NOW and Don’t Blame The Tools!”
Traditionally the stereotypical Social Media user is a teenager that is addicted to his/her mobile device and lives on Facebook. While I keep telling you that this is changing dramatically I thought you might be interested in this Infographic by bestcolleges.com.
Obviously Social Media tools are highly effective for reaching students and alumni. How did you find your College or University?
With permission from: BestCollegesOnline.com
Every once in a while one of my local “Tweeps” a.k.a. Twitter friends calls for a #tweetup.
Here is a definition of the word from urbandictionary :
An organized or impromptu gathering of people that use Twitter. (A meet up of people that ‘tweet’ using Twitter.) ~ @stephenpc
— Frithjof (@frith64) September 16, 2012
So, on the surface a #tweetup is really just a meeting arranged on Twitter but there is more to it!
Twitter is a great way to discover people and even for intense discussions but just like in the other real life we want to take the relationship further. 140 character snipits become rather cumbersome sometimes. At some point in the networking – (or sales) process I like to suggest a conversation on Skype or the phone. If time and geography allows a personal meeting often follows.
Tweetups are a great tool to make the relationships formed in Social Media into friendships.
For a larger group this personal meeting can take the shape of a networking event … arranged with the help of Twitter it becomes a #tweetup
You guessed it already – there are no rules or limits about the size of these meetings. Some Conferences or Events have huge #tweetups with thousands of participants. In our smaller city we often end up with 3 to 10 people.
Have you ever been to a #tweetup? Please let me know how it was!