So, lately, my business partner in CM2 Marketing, Valerie, and I have been getting involved in social networking using MeetUp.  If you haven’t done any MeetUp networking, you are missing out.  There is a group for every interest and Interest Graphing is the most effective way to market your business, according to Simon Salt, digital marketing guru at Incslinger.

One of my passions is social media, so I joined DFW Social Media Marketing Group on MeetUp.  Tonight was my first time to join the group. We met at the Canyon Creek Country Club (which is newly refurbished and a great venue, by the way) to listen to Simon Salt speak about “Social Media & the Small Business.”

Salt started with a basic marketing tenet – know your audience.  Today’s social consumers are savvy.  They know the value they bring by marketing your brand and they want something in return. They want something tangible – they want your brand to fulfill their social needs.  They share at scale and their sharing is valuable.

Review and rating sites are very important – they allow customers a voice and a platform with which to share that voice. Salt warns against using a 5-star system if you implement a rating system for your business because you get a lot of 3-star ratings, which are really meaningless.  It just means you are doing “okay” and what do you do with “okay?” He believes Facebook’s system is ingenious – you either “Like” something or you don’t and that’s about as simple as it gets. If you implement a review/rating system for your business, Salt recommends a yes/no format.  Did we do a good job?

There are basically three types of social media consumers:

  1. The Rock Star – people who like to be heard and are great at sharing the things they like and don’t like.
  2. The Gossip Monger – people who like to get information other people don’t have and pass that information along.
  3. The Angry Guy – people who love to complain, loudly and often.

Salt made a great point about followers and connections.  Just because you have 600+ “likes” for your business page, 600+ followers on your Twitter page and/or 600+ connections on your LinkedIn page, doesn’t mean your message reaches all those people.  He shared some statistics to back that up.  For example, only 10% of your Twitter followers actually receive any given message. So, out of 10,000 followers, only about 100 are seeing any given message.

Too many companies try to be everywhere for everyone and it’s just not possible.  That formula = FAIL.  You have to move from mass marketing to niche marketing to be effective.  Your posts need to contain targeted, relevant information to be effective.

Social graphs are those that use who you know to form connections.  Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are based on social graphs. Interest graphs are based on shared interests. and Pinterest are examples of sites based on shared interests.   Salt made the point that you can find more people you share a basis of connection with if you base it on common interests rather than common connections, Six Degrees of Bacon aside. 🙂 And, if you’re marketing based on shared interest, your efforts are going to be more targeted, meaning your message reaches the right audience.  And, it is much more effective to reach a handful of the RIGHT people as opposed to reaching a mass audience where so many simply disregard your irrelevant message.

By using interest-focused marketing, you have a smaller audience but you gain higher engagement rates and deeper connections.

When connecting with your audience, create social, sharable moments. The three elements of a successful social media campaign are that your posts are fun/useful, sharable and repeatable.  For example, Salt advised one client, a group of dentists, to find something unusual at a vintage store that had nothing to do with dentistry.  The group found a giant eyeball and placed it in their waiting room. Patients started taking pictures with the eyeball and posting it.  That had a few benefits.  It relaxed the patients, gave them something to ask their dentist about that had nothing to do with their exam/procedure and provided some fun exposure for the practice in the social media sphere.

Many people monitor their company name using Google Alerts or other monitoring tools.  These are some of the things that companies monitor:

Negative Comments
Positive Comments
Share of Voice
Brand Recognition

The important thing to remember is that all this data is information and information is actionable.  You should only collect information on which you’re going to act.

Important metrics to track are page views, visitors, CTR, time on page and comments.  These metrics should be tracked and linked to revenue.  Take the time to convert and track your conversions.  Time spent on these efforts is time well spent.

Did you know that 70% of brands do not respond to Tweets? You can instantly jump ahead of your competitors by responding to EVERYTHING!

There are typically three types of comments:

1.)    Praise
2.)    Questions
3.)    Complaints

Don’t ever let comments go unnoticed, especially praise comments. ALWAYS respond to praise with a “Thank you.” Questions should be answered if they are within your realm or routed to the appropriate person if outside of your area.  When routing questions, respond to the poster letting them know to whom the question has been routed and when they can expect a response.  Complaints ALWAYS need to receive an apology.  For example, “I’m really sorry you had a problem.  How can we make it better?”  Most of the time, the complainant just wanted the opportunity to vent and will be happy with the apology.  When you offer a benefit, such as a 10% off coupon for their next visit, you often have a convert.  Your customers know you aren’t perfect and many will share their great customer service experience with their network.

Salt offered one last tip – get rid of your plain “Like us on Facebook” link on your website.  Make your “Like” page relevant to your clients/customers.  For example, “Like us on Facebook to receive instant ABC Services/Company information.”

To recap, Salt advises you to:

1.)    Know your audience
2.)    Focus on the niche
3.)    Create sharing opportunities
4.)    Measure what’s important
5.)    Track to revenue

For more information about Simon Salt, see Now get out there and find your eyeball! (Unless you’re an ophthalmologist; if so, you should find something else – perhaps a giant tooth. :o)

Author: lisawhitleycoleman