Why Social Media Doesn’t Make Sense for Your Business

social media strategies
Does 500 million users = automatic success for your biz?

Here’s the point I’m going to try to make in this post: don’t allocate your precious resources to scoring new business on social media until you’ve perfected the art of converting relevant traffic on your own website.

Bear with me while I step into the time machine to get things started…

Remember 1o-15 years ago when companies starting including their domain on TV commercials and magazine ads? The “Information Superhighway” was so new that addresses included “http://www” at the beginning and some instruction like, “type this into your browser. Blah. Blah.”

In the last 18 months or so we’re starting to see a similar trend happening. Brands are including a Facebook and/or a Twitter logo in their ads to tell consumers they can be found on the world’s most popular social media sites.  I’ve even seen some Foursquare references as well.

I’m here to say the following: Resist the urge! Don’t blindly follow the trend!

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Three Keys to Being a Subject Matter Expert on Twitter

not a perfect tweet
Status updates don't equal quality for SMEs

I’ve talked about my take on Twitter before. My biggest complaint/knock is that there are millions of people Tweeting but far less people listening. Bottom line: too much noise and not enough value compared to other ways to invest time and money in Internet Marketing.

That being said, I’m not totally against Twitter. I’ll agree that there are some ways to put Twitter to use effectively (more on this in a second), but just a very small percentage of Twitterers use the tool effectively.

Up to this point in time, one of the best uses of Twitter is to establish or enhance a brand’s perception by playing the role of a subject matter expert (SME). For example, a real estate broker in a crowded marketplace could differentiate him or herself by avoiding the temptation of tweeting endlessly about their own listings and instead offering helpful content to homebuyers and sellers. Twitter users in that marketplace who subscribe to the broker develop a sense of trust about the broker, making them more likely to be clients. That should result in more business for the broker (a nice ROI).

The benefits of being an SME depend on the specifics of the industry, but the universal benefit is differentiation. And differentiation usually equals more business. For example, it could mean more leads or the ability to charge a higher hourly rate for consulting, speaking, or training.

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How My Home Office Gets In The Way Of Being Mayor

home officeI’m 50-plus checkins deep into my Foursquare career and I’ve realized my future as a mayor in the geo-location app is limited. Even though I’m relatively brand new to the game, it’s clear already that there’s only so many mayoral crowns that are within my reach.

The reason? My home office.

Yep. My choice to run a lean internet marketing consulting operation and work at home stifles my ability to become a prolific Foursquare mayor. No Super Mayor badge for me. Bummer.

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MLB Shows Why You Should Consider Crowdsourcing

It’s probably because I’m a sports fan, but I’ve always been fascinated with the way pro sports leagues here in America package their content to fans. I love watching to see how the leagues adapt (or fail to adapt) to web and social media trends to make it easier for fans to follow their favorite players and teams. League websites have evolved over the years from team, roster, and schedule listings to, in some cases, a better alternative to watching the game on your TV.

What’s really interesting to me is that in today’s world where content is king, the leagues have the opposite problem of most brands. They actually have too much content. Instead of wracking their brain for new ideas of content to create, they have to instead figure out how to take the content being created with every game and package it in a way that fans want and want repeatedly.  They have to do it for a wide variety of fans. Diehards, casual fans, fantasy players, and people new to the sport. And, the leagues have to do it across all mediums – the web, TV, games, and mobile.

social media adviceOf the four major sports leagues, MLB (via MLB.com) has always been the best at the content game. I’m not going to list every reason why because that’s a topic for another day, but I wanted to point out something I noticed on their site recently. In my opinion it’s a great example of an established brand (MLB is over 120 years old) effectively integrating social media.

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