Archive for 'power'

I (Roger) have been involved with social media for awhile now in various forms (MySpace, Facebook, blogging, LinkedIn, etc.), but I didn’t get consistently involved with Twitter until a month ago or so. Now I’d consider myself a Twitter-holic.

Rough Beginnings

At first, I just didn’t get Twitter. 140 characters to tell people “what I’m doing right now?” My first reaction was “who cares?” which gave way to “stalkers ought to love this thing!” that finally gave way to “open your mind Roger, and give it a legitimate try; there has to be a way to leverage this thing as a business tool.” So that became my self imposed initiative.

Opening My Mind

I attended my first Louisville Social Media Club event and noticed how everybody referenced their Twitter ID on the sign-in sheet. So, armed with that information I set out on my second Twitter voyage (the first one failed because I had no followers, and I wasn’t following anyone) by adding a lot of the SMC Louisville attendees to my “following.” I also added some of the people they were following to my list (the social networking aspect in play here), and a lot of those folks reciprocated which began to open my eyes on how powerful the service could be. I have since grown my list to over 100 followers and am following 175 or so on there now. Anyway, the point of this post is to show how Twitter is generating quite a bit of traffic to our blog, and that would have been impossible without sharing my “following” so the background info is relevant.

Expanding Reach

Earlier this week, I attended the Cincinnati Social Media Breakfast and met more wonderful people to add to my Twitter list. I reviewed the event and have been amazed at how much traffic that one post has generated. Other sites have referenced the review, and that was all made possible through Twitter. Nobody would have even known who I was if it weren’t for the service, and nobody would have known I wrote a review of the social media events I have attended if it weren’t for Twitter. In the “old days,” I would have had to send each attendee an e-mail with a link to the blog post then hoped they visited the site and took it upon themselves to link to it somewhere.

Traffic Results

Roughly 30% of our blog traffic has been Twitter based. In looking at the web analytics just now, the other sites that have directed traffic to our blog are a direct result of “tweets” on Twitter letting others know about the various blog posts that they now reference on their blogs. They took the “tweet” to the next level, and it’s possible to trace 75% of our existing blog traffic back to Twitter. It’s the real-time information share that makes Twitter so powerful, and it makes it so much easier for those connected to cross promote one another in multiple media. The service provides tremendous benefit if viewed from that perspective.

Bottom Line

Twitter is something to seriously consider if your business is looking for additional web traffic sources. It can provide a tremendous benefit to your business if the people you put in place to utilize Twitter handle it properly. It’s like anything else in the social media or SEO universe–time and consistency are keys to success. It’s not a light switch technology that will pay immediate dividends so keep that in mind before embarking on a Twitter journey.

Share Your Story

Got a Twitter business success story of your own? Please share it with us.

Want More Information?

Here are some interesting posts to read that touch upon the concept of Twitter as a traffic generation tool:

Social Media Club Louisville: Meeting 3 Review

The SMC of Louisville met last evening (April 15, 2008) at The Fox & Hound. It was a very large group, and everyone seemingly had an excellent time although the actual presentation was hampered a bit by the loud music in the adjoining rooms. That’s no-one’s fault, and it didn’t negatively impact my experience one iota. Then again, bars are more of my element anyway. 😉

General Overview

Jason Falls played the role of “MC” for the event, and he started the evening with an excellent point–there is a lot of Social Media and Internet talent right here in Louisville, KY. The ‘Ville sometimes gets a bad rep from other locales as being backwards, country, redneck, hillbilly, etc., but there is a LOT of Internet talent in the River City, and a lot of people are stepping out and really leveraging social media in a big way. I couldn’t agree more with Jason’s opening statements. Next time you’re chatting with someone “in the know,” ask them to list the best people they’ve come across for doing something online, and chances are you might hear of someone from Louisville mentioned in the top 10.

Joining Jason on the “panel” for the evening were: Rob May of BusinessPundit fame, Chris Pearson, and Michelle Jones. All are very influential in their space and extremely talented. Each person shared their experience of how they came to blog and join the social media landscape along with some keys to success from their perspective.

Rob’s main takeaway for the evening could be summed up with Jim Rome’s radio show tagline for callers–“Have a Take and Don’t Suck!” Rob encouraged everyone attending to get involved online by being different. He said the key is to share personal experiences, controversy and/or strong opinions, or something that provides value to the reader. There are far too many “me, too” blogs and websites out there, and standing out requires being unique while contributing value. I concur with Rob’s core message for the evening.

Chris Pearson spoke next about getting people involved and engaging with you. If no one is contributing to your efforts with comments, links, or reviews, you’re essentially yelling into the wind where no one is listening. When you write or create online content, Chris contends, make it engaging and encourage participation through feedback or SOMETHING. Again, an excellent point.

No offense to Michelle, but it was most difficult for me to hear her (I was in the back of the room) so my notes are rather hazy. I did gather that she’s very passionate about Louisville, and that’s what propelled her to do something online in the first place. I believe one of her keys was to seek out something you’re passionate about and run with it because the passion will guide you in the right direction. (Michelle, I welcome your correction if I mis-heard you). She also encouraged the audience to give comments and feedback to get it. Another great point–a lot of bloggers or content creators think that if they create a great piece of content that floods of traffic will come flying in, and it doesn’t quite work that way. Believe me, I’ve learned this the hard way on several occasions, and I’m still wrestling with it.

Keys to Success

Jason then added more informative nuggets including:

  • Network regularly with someone that has a large following; eventually their followings’ curiosity will get the best of them, and they’ll check you out.
  • Try to network with your on-line contacts off-line, too. This can be extremely powerful!
  • Spread others’ messages to your following–“sneeze” their takes and opinions; this is in-line with the give to get philosophy; if you find something worth sharing, share it!
  • Have realistic expectations when you attempt to leverage social media for your business; don’t expect to enter the social media universe with the unrealistic expectation of generating a flood of business in short order–it takes time to build relationships off-line, and on-line is no different. This was one of my favorite points of the night because I’ve had similar conversations with potential clients, and they look at me like I have three heads when I say “your social media initiative ROI likely won’t be very good for awhile, but it could really pack a punch down the road.” Those aren’t popular words with executives, but they’re realistic if nothing else. Glad to hear Jason reiterate the point to the group although I’m guessing this particular audience already “gets it.” It’s their bosses that may not understand yet, and they need to hear this if they have aspirations of on-line/social media success.

Monetizing Social Media

The panel went on to discuss ways to make money with social media which was very interesting. Rob suggested building a valuable site (high PageRank, lots of visitors, a mini-community, etc.) before trying to leverage it as a profit center.

Some other takeaways:

  • Run your social media (blogging in particular) initiatives like a business–you have to invest resources just as you would a new division of your company. This is no different. I concur wholeheartedly, and I believe this is where a lot of companies miss the boat. They believe in the field of dreams approach and don’t understand that a consistent effort is what it’ll take to become successful online within the social media world.
  • Overall, there was a repeated theme amongst the panel of find those with a following and work to appeal to them. Do your homework and make sure it’s relevant. Also, make sure your style and overall approach meshes with the people you’re trying to appeal to. For example, it makes little sense to pitch PC related products to passionate Apple users.
  • Give to get was another popular theme amongst the panel, and that’s a great approach regardless of the business endeavor.
  • Be consistent with your frequency, tonality, and general message.
  • Be transparent and genuine–don’t hide behind anonymous handles or names or try to pretend to be something you’re not. People on-line can sniff out a fake rapidly, and the repercussions could be very damaging and costly. Word travels at light speed on-line, and you don’t want to draw the wrath of an upset and motivated community.

Off-line Socialization

Among the people I met for the first time:

  • Sarah Sapora of corecubed who moved here from Las Vegas and is excited to be involved with core and Louisville in general. Sarah was making her maiden voyage into the SMC so please welcome Sarah!
  • Stephen Harmon of HarmonWeddings.com–Stephen is a wedding photographer that also does business related photography.
  • Susan Gosselin of Gosselin Communications–Susan is involved in Public Relations and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with potential and existing clients.
  • Ed Bennett who is a freelance copywriter and used to work for the Courier Journal for several years. Ed and I had several great conversations about social media, the apparent direction of the CJ compared with the days of old, events from Louisville’s past including the tornadoes of 1974 (I was only 3 years old yet remember the day vividly believe it or not), and we freely admitted to each other that neither of us is comfortable in front of a camera so writing is a much better outlet for us.

Personal Experience & Summary

Overall, this was a great evening and event. I had a lot of fun, met some very neat “new” people (they’re technically not new just new to me), and learned something. The beer was very good and the staff at Fox & Hound was attentive, friendly and attractive which never hurts.If you didn’t get a chance to attend, I hope you make it to the next meeting. This is a growing community that is taking on a personality of its own. If you were there, I encourage you to share your thoughts on anything you’ve read here or anything I may have missed.

Social Media Power

Over the past 24 hours I’ve been reminded (again) how powerful Social Media has become in our daily life.  For instance, Gary Vaynerchuk has a daily video blog, and he was asking everyone to make today (April 3, 2008) “Good People Day.” I have never met Gary in person, but I feel as if I know him through his videos and his blog posts.  Gary is Gary–that’s what’s great about him.  I don’t think he’d be any different in person than he is in his videos and blog posts–therefore I consider Gary a friend even though we’ve never had face to face encounters.  I really like the guy, but I’m sure there are those that may not “get him.”  He’s not hiding from that though–he’s embracing it so I’m trying to do my part to help out a friend.  On my Facebook page, I’ve added three new friends and sent out a lot of “good karma” to several of my friends on there as a result of Gary’s initiative.

All of this got me to thinking, “how does a movement take form so quickly?”  Imagine something like this 15 years ago–it would have taken a metric ton of press coverage to spread as quickly as it has, but it’s reached little old Louisville, KY just as quickly as Gary posted his daily video blog entry last evening.  I noticed Todd Earwood Twittering about “Good People Day” just a moment ago and realized something like this can spread like wildfire in little to no time in just a day, and the power of that shouldn’t be underestimated.  So how would someone new to the social media landscape tap into something like this?

  1. Social media is not a whole lot different from developing relationships offline.  It takes time to develop relationships, and it takes even longer to develop deep relationships so don’t expect to go online and generate a massive following in a couple of weeks that will promote your “cause.”
  2. Be genuine.  The social media world can sense a fake so always be yourself.  That’s the person you’re best at playing anyway so don’t try to deviate from that in an effort to compromise others’ trust.
  3. Participate without being a stalker or attention hog.  Observe for a bit then chime in (in kind) when something interests you, but don’t hog the conversation or spotlight.  It’s not all about you with social media.
  4. Remember: it’s inclusion vs. exclusion.  “Old media” was all about keeping people out and controlling the message at all times.  New media is all about networks of people with varying interests connecting with one another and socializing in a way that fits them.  They’re free to spread whatever message they want via whatever medium they feel most comfortable.

So why do you think “old media” feels so threatened by new media?  They can’t control the message anymore, and all of the rules of reporting JUST the facts have vanished.  People’s opinions actually matter now.  Water cooler conversation is just as important as an article you see in the newspaper if not more so today.

In the “old days,” a person was rarely called out by name in print unless they had consented or they had done something wrong to which they gave up the right to consent.  In today’s social media world, it’s not uncommon to see someone blog about someone in a positive manner and name them by name while linking back to them to help include more people in the mix and help them get to know more of the writer’s circle of friends.  That’s the “social” in social media.

So the takeaway I got out of all of this is you’re either embracing social media as a legitimate outlet or you’re battling it.  I’m obviously embracing it, but what do you think of it?  Are you comfortable that someone can find you online very easily and/or connect with you with little effort while having a potentially powerful network of connections they can influence to boot?  What do you think of social media and its impact? Please share your thoughts on this as I’m curious about the social climate as it pertains to business today.

Andy Beal Joins Me Today

Andy Beal of Marketing Pilgrim fame joins me today on The Bauer Pauer Hauer where we’ll discuss online reputation management. You don’t want to miss this episode especially if you’re concerned about your online profile.

Here are some of the topics Andy and I will discuss:

  • How businesses can monitor what is being said about them online and which tools are available.
  • The things companies and individuals should monitor.
  • The steps to take when you discover your brand is coming under attack.
  • When you Google my name, something negative shows up, how can I push it out?
  • I’ve screwed up and need to repair my reputation–HELP!!!

Pretty good discussion topics wouldn’t you say? Join us live at 2 PM ET for another power packed marketing radio show.

Maximizing Success–Day 1 Report

Thanks to Debbie Allen‘s “shameless promotion” on my radio show last Thursday, I’ve had the privilege to attend her “Maximizing Success” seminar in Sedona, Arizona this weekend. The seminar runs three days (Friday-Sunday, November 9-11), but I’m leaving after Saturday’s session to return home to attend to some loose business ends.

First off, Arizona, as a whole, is beautiful! I had a trip out here slated to happen next year, but I guess the law of attraction is working its magic already. Those that know me fairly well know that I intend to live out here someday down the road. That or have a winter home in Scottsdale.

Anyway, here’s a recap of the first day of the seminar and some of the topics covered.

The seminar kicked off Friday morning with Dave Dee talking about “how to keep your phone ringing off the hook with hot leads.” The main crux of his story centered on a client (beautiful single mother named Alexis) that made $117k on one teleseminar call and how those in attendance could do the same. He talked about marrying offline and online marketing and how many of the top online marketers are also doing a lot offline even though they don’t tend to talk too much about that aspect. E-mail marketing is still effective although not as effective as it used to be–the key is to inject some of your own personality into the message.

Next up in the seminar was Joel Christopher who talked about “how to triple your online list and increase your profits in 99 days or less.” Joel is a super nice guy, and you could pick this up immediately during his presentation. A lot of SEO was touched upon throughout his presentation, and that made me feel validated that what we’re doing at SMB Consulting is high quality. Most of the recognized “gurus” preach many of the same things we’re doing.

My rhetorical question to myself after Joel and Dave’s presentations was “why am I not up there telling people how to do many of these same things?” So look for some of that in upcoming weeks–it’s time to get out there and kick some knowledge around.

Next up was Bill Walsh, not the deceased former football coach, and he really had a high quality presentation. Bill is a genuinely good guy who ended up buying us dinner later in the evening, but I digress. He imparted that we must have belief in our vision when nobody else does–how true! He also talked about the importance of having high quality materials for marketing (including suggesting visiting http://pkgraphics.com). “Always map out tomorrow, today” was one of Bill’s quotes and part of what he deems the “daily method of operation” or your DMO. Some other things Bill talked about (and I’m purposely being as brief as possible) included social networking, SEO, media relations, marketing plans, magazine ads (visit http://mediabids.com), and ask for the REM slots when trying to find low budget television and radio advertising spots.

Bill also talked about investing in your mind with daily positive content; starting a mastermind group (something I’m planning to do upon returning from Sedona); read books; attend workshops (if for no other reason, like minded people will be there). Also–surround yourself with successful people; always strive to provide 10X the value; perception is projection; auto-pay your favorite charity.

To wrap up the day, 14 time (something crazy like that) bestselling author Barbara DeAngelis spoke to the group. This was one of the most powerful speeches of the day, and it really seemed to move a lot of people within the group including me.

Admitted pigheaded stance pre-speech: I had to remind myself to open my mind because I was prejudging Barbara based on her “Men Are from Mars, Women are from Venus” work with Dr. Gray because their relationship didn’t workout so it always seemed rather hypocritical even though that’s a dumb and narrow view on things. The advice and how to apply it matters more than the source, and I got over my stupidity very quickly into her talk.

Barbara is a dynamic speaker that has a message that will truly impact you if your mind is open and in the right place. She talked about how “the time is now,” and we’re seizing it. Many of the group has been experiencing what she calls “divine discomfort” where you know you’re supposed to be doing more, but you’re not quite sure what it is. Or maybe you have internally realized what it is you’re supposed to be doing, but breaking free to accomplish it is messing with you. We need to surrender control and let go–we’ll figure it out as we go. “You’re being prepared for greatness” Barbara told the group, and I’ve felt like this has been happening to me personally for about six-eight months now. Something internally is going on that I cannot explain, but I feel as though my life finally has purpose and I’m on a path to something tremendous. Barbara also said something I’ve found myself saying lately in that sometimes “we need to get out of our own way.” Amen!

This has been one very interesting day in beautiful Sedona. I am not sure what will come of me upon returning home, but I don’t believe I’ll be 100% the same. This has already been an incredibly enlightening experience. I can’t wait to see what Day 2 brings!

 Page 4 of 13  « First  ... « 2  3  4  5  6 » ...  Last »