Social Media Doesn’t Work!

We have clients who come to our courses every month saying that “Social Media doesn’t work for our company” but if we look a little closer it seems to be working very well for their competition, so they have to ask themselves – why is this?

 

The problem isn’t that Social Media doesn’t work, we all know it does, it’s what they post on their pages. When considering what content to post you need to ask yourself, is it relevant? Is it engaging? Will people read what you post, or are you just wasting your time on it?

 

Like many of our clients, they use social media as a platform to JUST SELL a product. This is the last thing that you should be doing. If you constantly see “BUY THIS PRODUCT” on every social platform are you really going to buy the product? Probably not! By promoting your product everywhere, not only are your engagement levels going down, but you aren’t making any business. Having content which is focused primarily on the promotion of products is known as interruption media and will cause the consumer to dislike/unfollow\unsubscribe!

 

You have to see your online media as a shopping store. Imagine if you walked in to a shop and someone ran over waving a product in your face saying “you should buy this!!” would you buy it? Or, would you leave that store and tell people how bad the customer service was? Having excellent customer service is about building a rapport, by taking the time to know the customer and learning about their needs and providing relevant information, they are more likely to buy from you.

 

Education is key! Most of the videos being shared on Facebook are Educational videos on “how to” how to get more followers, how to remove a stain, how to become your own boss. All of these things get shared and the more its shared, the wider your audience becomes.

 

Let’s take LinkedIn for example the average user has 400+ followers if only 2 people share your video you are reaching 800 new people that you have never reached. As your educational video is shared to more people, more people will follow you and connect with you and when they need your service who will be the first person that comes to mind? You! Their educator!

 

A great example of this was a local flower company posting weekly videos on how to make a bouquet of flowers like he does. You may be thinking “but won’t people just do it themselves?” yes, they might! But most won’t and each video is getting 3,000+ views each time he posts, that’s 3000 more people seeing him who have never been in his shop. Now when people need flowers for any reason they contact him directly via his Facebook and buy his flowers online. His sales are up 350% since he started posting the videos. Read that again 350%!! This is a huge amount of sales all from just posting how to arrange flowers.

 

If you want to grow your business, then you need to provide value to your customers. You need to give them something to share, you need to be the person they go to when they need the service you provide. If you keep all the information to yourself and don’t share it why would they purchase your service?

social-media-resultsMost businesses are now using Social Media in some shape or form. And it’s the shape and form that matters. To put it in context there are an estimated 50 Million businesses using Facebook. Why?. To generate business.

It’s simple. Social Media is about conversation and engagement. Plus it’s about creating content which ignites the spark – to start the conversation and enhance the engagement. So if it’s that simple Wayne, why do some many businesses still struggle with Social Media?

Well not to put too fine a point on it. Their content sucks.

Yup I said it. Poorly planned, last minute, always in sell mode, poor quality..the list goes on. And guess? It’s got little to no hope of sparking any conversation – let alone engagement.

Now before you go all OMG on me, thinking I’m really harsh on hard working businesses, I want to offer a silver lining – some Top Tips for all those businesses and other organisations who are finding their social media a chore.

Plan. And StickToIT.

Before you do anything you need to get a plan.

So step away from your Smartphone or Laptop, grab an old fashioned pen and paper and start to develop a plan. Questions like

‘Where are we now with our social media?’ (Assessment of current platforms/campaigns)

‘Where would we like to be?’ (Examples of admired bus/orgs)

‘How are are we going to get there?’

..are all good starting points.

Remember the journey is a long term game.

Many make the mistake of thinking of social media as some sort of silver bullet, which will get the phone ringing overnight and the enquiries coming in. That, my friend, takes time.   

Research 

If you were to rewind – say to even 10 years, you’d know how difficult it would be to carry out research, not to mention how much it would cost. We live in a time where research has become a whole lot easier in relation to identifying and accessing your potential audience locally, nationally or even internationally.

I’m a big fan of ‘Keeping it (really) Simple’. Two things you need to do:

Go to the Google Keyword Planner tool (which is free to use). This can shed a whole lot of light on a potential audience for a business. Best of all it will give you a real good indication of the types of things people are searching for locally and globally which relate to your business. If you see a trend and people are searching for particular words, guess what? You start to create content.

Keywords research is very important. In a nutshell, it’s the process for identifying keywords or phrases which are generating search volume from users each month. The process helps you pinpoint suggested keywords that can help generate traffic to your website or blog. Simply put it will help you target traffic which will be more niche and potentially ‘your market’ .

Facebook Ad Tool

Using the Facebook Ads tool also helps give you a pretty good indication of your potential audience and reach.

Facebook for the most part for businesses is ‘Pay to Play’. While I recommend you do a mixture of paid and non paid activity, if you’re just starting out it’s a great tool for getting an idea to your potential customer base. It is a tool I use regularly to check the potential audience base for my content ideas.

Write Better Headlines

Spend the time coming up with effective headlines for your content. It’s important. If you have a copywriter to hand – use them. If not take your time on this. Think of how fast social media moves. You have just a small window to capture the attention of your audience. A great little tool I suggest small businesses take a look at is Co Schedule Headline Analyzer. This is your headline assistant. It scores your suggested headlines eg for your blog posts and gives some great suggestions on how to best improve your headline for Maximum Impact. #BOOM 

Promote your Content 

It’s a wasted exercise creating great content for your business or brand, investing time, energy and money into it if you don’t promote it.

When it comes to promotion most businesses go straight to Facebook and Twitter to get their content in front of people. While these may work there are a number of other ways to try getting in front of digital eyeballs.

Content distribution

Outbrain is a content discovery platform that partners with publishers across 55 countries. It offers another way to get content sitting on websites and blogs in front of people. Normally via news websites in a ‘you may also like’ way. You are charged on a cost per click basis as opposed to a impression basis.

When it comes to content via Social Media and your businesses website it helps to educate, inspire and inform.  Visitors then turn into customers – it helps conversion. Spend time creating content, with great Headers, about topics your targeted audience wants and promoting it wisely. You’ll see results.

If you’d like to get more hands on with Social Media and improve how it’s working for your Business – Join Wayne on the next ISM Social Media Marketing Workshop to book a place email: [email protected]

There have been low level, techie-driven grumblings about QR Codes for several months now. Predominantly based around the fact they will soon be replaced by another type of scanning technology: Mobile Visual Search. So is it time for your Dubai advertising team to ditch your QR Code campaign?

Not quite. It’s taken over two years for QR Codes to gain the broad public awareness to become the viable marketing tool it is today. But it will help your marketing team enormously to get a heads up on Mobile Visual Search.

MVS is a slow burning technology that allows mobile phone users to scan their environment and get information pushed to their phone. For example, point your camera at the Burj al Arab and an app on your phone will send you the information on this iconic building.

However the apps for this technology haven’t reached the saturation of QR Code apps, and there are only a handful of MVS developers in the world, who use an even smaller number of companies for the image recognition technology behind the apps.

It is a very niche idea at the moment. Google has invested in their own MVS app, Google Goggles, and the potential is very alluring – point your mobile’s camera at anything, instantly finding out about it. No messing with intermediary codes.

 

QR code

Would you like a present from ISM ?

But, for advertisers the QR Code still has traction. You can put one anywhere, on anything. When Calvin Klein wanted to seduce trendy young people in New York with a risqué ad, it was done through using a QR Code. There was no need to put a picture up on the billboard, similar to the ones that have got the company in hot water in the past. The QR Code is like a present, you are not sure what you are going to get before you open it.

With Mobile Visual Search, this element of surprise is gone. You point your camera at a product, building, painting or some foreign words and the information is delivered to your phone. It just isn’t as exciting as receiving a present, it’s more like opening a guide book.

Advertising and marketing companies are going to have to get very creative with this new technology if they want it to work on the scale that QR Codes currently do. One of the objections to QR Codes is they are ugly and interfere with advertising real estate. But they don’t have to be ugly and can direct customers towards specific pages of content, videos, or purchase points.

And this is where MVS falls down currently. You can make sure anyone accessing your logo through MVS technology goes to your corporate website, but how do create a journey for them? How do you take them to the latest video, how do you give them a present?

One article on the web has stirred up a lot of the current controversy surrounding the possible death of the QR Code, and has spawned other blog posts on the subject. On Mashable, the owner of a company that develops MVS said he didn’t think 14 million people accessing a QR Code was impressive. However, these codes can only be accessed by smartphones and there are 1.5bn worldwide mobile web users (i.e. smartphone users). Suddenly 14 million in one country is starting look at lot more impressive.

Mobile Visual Search is advancing, but just like video didn’t kill radio; QR Codes will develop and adapt to counter the new tech on the block. So don’t stop your QR Code advertising campaign in Dubai just yet. Dubai is one of the most advanced countries in the world when it comes to QR Code usage. It’s not wise to let such a savvy audience down, but enhancing your offering with new technology is always a good move.

References

Comscore

2d.code.

Econsultancy

Gizmodo

Mobile Marketer

International Telecommunication Union

Mashable

From its inception in 2005 when Lapitsky and Kim uploaded the first video ”Me at the Zoo”, You Tube has become the world’s most popular online video community with over 3 billion videos viewed each day.

It is a hub for communities and individuals to distribute original content to connect, enlighten and stimulate a global audience. It has a more diverse demographic than you might think with 20% of its viewers over the age of 55, it really is reaching out across all age groups.

It is proving to be a fertile ground for advertisers with producers of online videos making money as You Tube partners or individuals.  The largest advertising companies in the world are running campaigns on You Tube and display ads have increased 10 fold or more in the last year.

Whether you want to entertain, inform or persuade is a decision that will affect how much popular appeal your video has but your decision should be weighted by what your target audience wants or needs to know and appreciate how they prefer to find their information.

Susan Boyle

Viral marketing sensation!

For viral marketing you only have to look at the “Susan Boyle” effect. The UK advert Channel posted a video of her singing on ‘Britain’s got Talent’ which to date has had 75,681,181 views not accounting for  the myriads of video placements found associated with Susan Boyle, other performances, comments and interviews. What was incredible about this from a marketing perspective was the speed at which the video sharing occurred. Were you one of this millions that viewed or shared the video? I know I did.

So how should you approach You Tube as a company wishing to promote itself and what are the benefits of using it?

Approach

  • Identify your viewers and what they want, make it helpful and informative. Aim to become a trusted expert in your field.
  • Consider becoming a You Tube partner. This will help you become featured on their homepage.
  • Create your own channel and grow your viewer base which you can use to email about events or promotions.
  • Consider product placement in You Tube videos.
  • Be consistent with your message and publish engaging content on a frequent basis that has relevance for your audience.
  • Use YouTube tags so users can easily find you.Recognise that this is part of an overall marketing strategy , plan accordingly.
  • Realise that it is an opportunity to reach consumers who are searching for information about a brand or related products and services. This is even more relevant now given that Google owns YouTube.

Benefits

  • It can help increase your site visibility since videos can leap to the head of Google’s search engine.
  • It is a powerful direct marketing tool, when considered as part of the marketing mix.
  • YouTube tags help users easily find you.
  • You Tube now makes it easy to share video socially.
  • More than 500 tweets per minute contain a You Tube link. There are vibrant communities and specialist groups communicating and sharing.
  • Helps humanise your brand. Home Depot and Wholefoods are two examples.
  • It’s a bandwidth saver option for your website’s streaming content though your website links should highlight its availability if you choose this option.

Above all, what all You Tube business users need to realise is that it is a discriminating intelligent community .Whatever your meme or interest, open access content is providing us all with insight, entertainment or breaking news whether it be the recipe for the perfect Mayonnaise, watching Maradona attack an Al Wasl fan or learning how to use WordPress Blog. With Kuwait, Saudi and the UAE amongst the top global You Tube users video marketing cannot be neglected as part of the marketing mix.

If you want to learn more about how your company can leverage Social Media Marketing as part of their marketing mix, ISM are running their Social Media Marketing course in October.

This is my favourite Summer video,let’s hope Wii gave them some free goodies..

The way we visualize our physical environment could be about to change thanks to progress made in applying augmented reality to our spaces. Augmented Reality allows information about your real environment to connect to a display interface (mobiles and eventually glasses) allowing added information (the augmented bit), multimedia, interaction and on-demand information to enhance your sensory experience of the world around you.  These enhanced AR systems can track and adjust to the users movements within their environment. It has already been around since the 90’s being used  in industries like the military, engineering, film and robotics but could it become the widespread and familiar experience to all of us?

Augmented raybans

Do you think my augmented Ray bans look OK?

Some of you may already be using geo-located AR through your mobiles overlaying information on your location to help you navigate your way around unfamiliar cities and choosing where to eat, gaming or watching sportscasts with an AR overlay but what are the prospects?

Ultimately it is envisaged that it  will change our cognitive experiences of space engaging us into it, helping  understand community, present and historical contexts allowing for greater interaction.There are some great examples of use and possible use e.g. Hoppola and Superimpose created a sensitive AR layer in Berlin bringing history back to life by recreating the Berlin Wall; the Oxford Natural History museum is working on their AR exploration of exhibits and an app may be soon available for i Phone to allow you to watch scenes from movies shot where you are located. Mass consumerism of this is not too far in the future and once a portable system has been developed combining display, tracking and hardware without any of the current issues there could be widespread application of AR. Current barriers include  getting the virtual world to map precisely with the real world (tracking) and merging seamlessly with user movements as well as creating a portable interface for the consumer that will be secure and universally operational .

So has AR arrived in Dubai yet and is there a market opportunity? I have been struggling to find examples but some Dubai residents and visitors may have seen the digital Memac Ogilvy’s Fanta Chase in Downtown Dubai earlier in 2011. Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has a new i Phone application for visitors to promote tourism, do you know anyone using it? The recent release of Augmented Reality (AR) Platform for Android smart phones from Qualcomm will allow Dubai businesses, advertising agencies, gamers and educators to build applications based on their platform. What’s clear is that  Dubai marketeers will be using AR marketing more in the future.

Here are a few well known examples of innovative AR applications from around the world.

Heineken ( Taiwan)

Lego

Rayban Virtual Mirror Webcam

Intriguing question posed by Nick Bennett in Social Media today. Dubai, never shy about new ideas is not lagging behind in its use of social media. Recent insights from Dubai School of Government reported that half of the UAE Emirati population uses Facebook and the UAE (accounting for its small size) is amongst the top ten worldwide users of Facebook. Facebook usage in the UAE stands at 2. 4 million users, 29% of the total population. Twitter penetration is not as high yet but has grown 50% in the first quarter of 2011. Active users in this same period tweeted approx. 23 million tweets. Social media usage has spiked considerably during recent and ongoing conflicts in the Middle East region. A spike was seen on twitter when President Mubarak left office on Feb 11, 2011.
Social Media marketing is definitely shaping the future in many sectors. Is your organisation connecting and listening to customers? Is your marketing strategy flexible enough to include their insights?
A good example is from Lego though it should come with a parental advisory sticker.

Connecting with clients