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Monday, January 25, 2010

SALES AND MARKETING: Social Marketing -- Online or Face-to-Face?

Sales and Marketing with Bill Doerr

15 Second Executive Speed Read:

The underlying paradigm of today’s marketing is shifting. From a ‘push’ or promote approach that was common in the past to a ‘pull’ or attract approach that is becoming increasingly popular and effective. Social Media is a hot topic among business owners who are seeking to market their products and services. At a recent seminar on the topic of "Social Media Marketing" I learned as much from the conversation after the seminar as I did from the seminar itself.

The Social Media Seminar
I recently attended a local seminar on ‘Social Media Marketing’. This topic is all the rage and, as expected, it attracted a good number of business people who are hungry for insight into this growing area of marketing.

Unfortunately, there are more alleged gurus on this topic than bona fide experts. Fortunately, in this seminar, there was a lot of good, solid and very practical information. I was glad I attended.

“How Do I Get Business Using Social Media?”
This was THE #1 question the attendees brought with them to this seminar. Afterall, these were small business owners who are responsible for generating revenues for their firms.

Marketing with Social Media really involves so much more than just getting your profile up on LinkedIn, becoming friends on Facebook, or tweeting on Twitter.

Social Media = TLC
TLC stands for the main outcomes Social Media offers you and your business:

It’s what you want to generate more of right? Social media can do this very well.

List Building
You want to grow your audience of people who want to hear from you. Giving you their permission means they’re giving you their attention. In marketing that is tremendously valuable.

It’s what you must do or all else is for naught.

The Five KEY Concepts

1. Learn To Listen
There are a number of ways to listen in on what’s being discussed in the social media. The CIA does it all the time. Literally! It’s called setting up a ‘Listening Post’. This means gathering intelligence about what people are saying about you, your company, your products and services. It also means learning what people are saying about your competitors. And, what your competitors are saying about themselves, too. Armed with all this insight, it makes it much easier to position your business in a competitive manner. It also makes ‘joining the conversation’ that’s already underway with your target market that much easier. Check out Filtrbox as an easy way to do this!

2. Gain Visibility For Your Brand
There’s a game that’s the asian counterpart to Chess. It’s called ‘Go’. It’s a game of strategy. The idea is to surround your opponent to capture him and avoid having your opponent do that to you, first! That’s how Social Media works. You want to establish as many points-of-contact on the ‘board’ (Internet) as possible. Of course, that means using not only the obvious social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. but also sites like Flickr, Stumbleupon, Delicious, etc. Each contact point is another opportunity to connect with a huge number of people and ‘invite them back’ to your place – your website. (Drinks are optional!)

3. Establish Your Credibility and Voice
The #1 medium for doing this is your blog or blogsite. Blogging is effective because it creates fresh and relevant content and positions you as an expert on the topic you write about. Also the SEO built into Wordpress blogsites makes it easy to build your points-of-contact easily, effectively and efficiently.

4. Develop Your Presence on Social Networking Sites
You know about sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. There are hundreds more. But if you don’t complete your profile on each one, it will be difficult for people interested in the topics that you’re an expert in to find you. There are numerous applications and plug-ins to help you make the most of your profiles on social networks. Use them!

5. Control the Beast
There’s a lot of information that will be generated as you become more active with social media. That’s good. And, bad. It’s bad if you don’t manage to distill the ‘river of relevant’ information from the ‘sea of sewage’ – all the data that you can find but can’t use to generate that TLC mentioned earlier. Here’s the secret. Set up an online ‘dashboard’ to monitor, in one place, all the relevant information you need to stay on top of your marketing and use it to build relationships, opportunities and revenues for your business. Check out Netvibes for a good example of an online dashboard.

The Importance of 'Know, Like and Trust'
I stayed around after the seminar talking with several attendees. Listening to what they said, I learned a lot. They still had many questions. More than answers. But the conversation focused on a simple truth . . . all the miracles of modern marketing using social media notwithstanding, there’s still no substitute for building a relationship as the best foundation for building revenues.

Any marketing media that helps you develop the ‘know / like / trust’ factor, is a good thing. Social media may the latest and greatest media but if you lose sight of the significance of building a valued relationship that helps differentiate you from your competitors, you’ve missed the concept of why we do marketing in the first place.

Bill Doerr
is CCO of SellMore Marketing. He helps professionals and other service providers to market their problem-solving expertise simply, effectively and affordably.You can reach him at, or by phone at 860-798-6964.

For more information, please visit Bill's TNNW Bio.


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