I received an email the other day, which caused me some significant concern. It was a request, which came out of the blue, asking me to consider to be paid for featuring certain content on my personal blog.
For me, this is a very unwanted and somewhat scandalous approach and I sincerely hope other bloggers feel the same way. If you think about it, it is a very seedy means to encourage independent people who take the time to blog about subjects they care about, to succumb to the incentive of money.
Typically, the hardest thing about a "habit" is to try and stop it... it takes 21 days at the least, apparently. Habits are viewed as negative; the word is usually being associated with vices and things that are bad for you.
Well, have you ever thought about how to start a habit? One that is good for you and your business?
Having worked with a number of organisations to help them integrate the social web into their existing customer communications strategy I've learnt that the hardest thing isn't the ideas, the approach or the social medium to use; the hardest and biggest challenge is "change". There is a definite requirement for businesses to adopt and adapt; they need to own and be responsible for managing the social media engagement and not to treat it as separate channel. Some great ideas have crashed and burned because of this, so here are a few ideas to help organisations thinking about; or those who are struggling with their whole social media engagement approach.
Ever started a round of applause? if you have, you'll understand that weird sense of satisfaction you get by doing so. In fact, I've sometimes felt the need to tell people about it. How sad is that!
A much better game is to see if you can actually achieve the last clap of a round of applause; my six year old daughter wins that game every time.
Anyway, can a single Tweet have a similar contagious effect? Is there something that can be done to enhance its attractiveness. make it retweetable and build up a crescendo of intense internet noise?
Successful social media engagement for online businesses requires a lot of creative thinking, time and effort. Initially, the balance is tipped in favour of hard graft, dedication and eureka ideas and then you start to see some results. Better results and more followers means more time required to interact effectively with them.
A slippery slope or a stairway to heaven? Should we be spending all this time in the social web? Or is it time to take a step back and put the social media hype into perspective?
We've all done it. In our decision making process to purchase something of fairly high value such as a holiday or fancy gadget; or when we think about a purchase that requires a long term commitment such as a mobile contract or gym membership; we ask trusted friends for their opinions and experiences.
It's human nature. We're doing our best to eliminate any risk, whether this be associated with cost or contract catches, anything really. We're after value for money and want to hear about any experiences, warts 'n' all. Based upon the information we gather from these trusted sources, we make what we feel is the best decision for ourselves.
It's still happening! Brands are doing their best to manufacture social communities using the social web with varying degrees of success. The majority of 'forced' online communities would appear to be made up of family, friends and those willing to give support...but not really going anywhere.
How many such company-originated Facebook groups have you seen that are genuinely thriving and active? Most don't really go anywhere, but on the rare occasion some really do take off.
I've tried to analyse why and I think there may be a need to go back to basics; your feedback is most welcome on these thoughts.
Do you need to take your brand to a psychologist? I would guess we all know someone, maybe a couple of people, who behave noticeably differently dependent upon the environment they find themselves in. Are brands guilty of this too?
Do brands have a different and inconsistent face for every marketing/engagement channel they use? Are they diving into the world of social media and confusing people further?
This post would argue that some brands are doing just this, but also outlines some ideas on how this can be avoided. It is time to get back to basics...
Prepare yourself for a very loose football analogy... apologies in advance. If natural search (SEO) were a football player, I bet it would be the guy who hangs around the 6 yard box tapping in the goals.
The goal hanger may not be contributing much to the build up play, yet is happy to take all the plaudits for scoring; happy to receive the player of the month awards and can be seen regularly signing autographs.
Why am I saying this? It's no fault of the player. In fact, without him the team would not achieve the same results and he is absolutely instrumental to achieving the overall success. But what about all the craft and skill of the build up play? The hard tackling and running off the ball to help win back possession? A lot of this usually goes unnoticed.
Or is it just me? Measuring the effectiveness of brand consumer engagement via social media isn't easy. Add integrating this social media engagement into the overall marketing strategy and the task becomes even more of a challenge. We're looking at each other for answers, and Twitter is full of people posting helpful links; anyone keeping up with them all?
I'm certainly not. Some individuals are stepping up to the plate to offer their advice, which is great and all credit to them, just so long as they are talking about real life cases, as opposed to the theory of it all. I hope this post offers some valuable real life analysis thoughts and tips.
Last week I posted some
tips for brands
wishing to engage with their customers via social media. It would appear to have been well received and I hope it helped provoke some thought around this subject.
One tip which received a lot of attention was "Forget ROI" and because this appeared to be a hot topic of interest, I thought I'd offer a little more detail and context around this and provide some further thought of how a return (in some shape or size) could be measured and then used to build a business case. I hope it helps.