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Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

More Recovery Stories

In Trends on October 16, 2009 at 1:22 pm

Google is adding to the voice of promise. Today’s paper says marketers have begun spending again with Google AdWords. Now if we could only get the interface to make sense!

“While there’s obviously a lot of uncertainty about the pace of economic recovery, we believe the worst of the recession is behind us and we’re seeing lots of signs of that in all of the industries that we pay attention to,” said Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, speaking on a conference call Thursday.

An Introduction

In REACH News on October 6, 2009 at 12:39 am

Here’s a replay of a conversation I have at least twice a week, except not with a hot British chick…

Screen shot 2009-10-05 at 7.37.19 PM

Social Media for Sale

In Trends on October 5, 2009 at 3:10 pm

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Two weeks ago, when I spoke to a lunch crowd from the Irving Chamber of Commerce, I mentioned that there are no rules yet in Social Media. No best practices or industry standards. Last week, this article in the Wall Street Journal proved my point. There’s no standard approach to these things yet. Every respectable business in America knows how to approach a web site. You hire an agency or at least a freelancer. You don’t try to do it yourself. But you do guide the process, provide content, explain your requirements and expectations. When the Internet was new, these steps were not taken for granted like they are now. No one knew how web development was going to evolve. Was this something only for “the big guys”? Was there more we could do online? More community-driven interaction? And did every web site have to have those little, spinning, animated GIFs?

Likewise, there are still questions about Social Media and its evolution. Will it become the domain of communications experts or will it insist on being so personal that it can’t be outsourced? Will it learn to funnel and track conversions and revenue or will it stay in the realm of its intended uses with no better corporate goals than “raising awareness” and “creating a following”? And where will the price point land? The article below cites firms paying $400 per month and $20,000 per month. The disparity in quality of service is not that wide. The chaos in the marketplace is.

At this stage, there are a few key points to keep in mind:

  1. We’re not there yet. We don’t know how this is going to shake out, but we do know that it will continue to evolve. Savvy agencies will stay ahead of the curve – testing, reading, pushing the edges of the Social Media model. Agencies that take the “wake us when this makes money” approach will soon find themselves behind.
  2. The trajectory of Social Media for business depends in large part on agencies. If we stumble into this realm without thinking any farther than, “Hey, I can tweet for you,” we’ll do ourselves a disservice in the long run. We have to think critically and strategically about Social Media and its effects – good and bad – on our clients’ images and marketing budgets. We will be the ones who decide if Social Media become a standard component of corporate marketing plans or a fringe medium sharing time with Fax Blasts and the Yellow Pages.
  3. This doesn’t fit our current models. Agencies and corporate users of Social Media have to stop trying to pigeonhole these services in current categories. This is not advertising in the sense that we broadcast our message for others to hear. This is participatory and our customers have a voice. This isn’t PR earned with 3 martini lunches, charitable donations and clever press releases. It’s more powerful than that. Imagine a media placement with a “click here to respond” feature. It’s huge! And it’s not direct marketing in the sense that it’s only there to sell something. Social Media doesn’t fit our molds. We have to be careful not to force it.

So enough opining. One more thing before you read Sarah E. Needleman’s work: I found it interesting that Back of the House USA LLC is paying between $5,000 and $15,000 per month on Social Media but I can’t find them in a Google search. As enticing as Twitter is, maybe there should be some standard practices about getting our SEO down pat before we start tweeting about this week’s coupons.

Firms Get a Hand With Twitter, Facebook

Entrepreneurs Hire Consultants to Promote Business on Social-Media Sites, but the Extra Cost Is Big Question

Sylvester Chisom began paying a consultant last summer to blog on Twitter, post status updates on Facebook and run marketing campaigns on both sites for his auto-detailing business.
He thinks the service, which costs $450 a month, is worth it. “It’s just better having somebody else dedicated to thinking of stuff to put up,” says Mr. Chisom, co-owner of Showroom Shine Express Detailing LLC in St. Louis.

Some small-business owners, overwhelmed by the time commitment required of marketing their products and services via social media, are hiring consultants to lend a hand. But the price of such support can vary widely based on the extent of work involved, and many entrepreneurs with already meager resources for marketing and advertising may need to think carefully before taking on the extra cost.