Multi-Dimensional Social Media

Imagine a world where people only talked at you. No questions. No engagement. No opportunity to respond. One dimensional communication only. Everyone walking around spewing out monologues, not having a care in the world what anyone else has to say.

Unfortunately, I frequently come across this phenomena in the world of Social Media. I am often called upon to assist small businesses with their Social Media strategy and upon my initial review, I typically discover a one-dimensional approach. It’s honestly the most obvious way to use Social Media. Talk about your business, your products, your pricing, your sales, your service etc. This approach will only get you so far, however. The number of people who follow you will likely plateau quickly.

When I discover this with a client I am thrilled! I am thrilled because it is such an easy fix. I simply tell them they are one-dimensional and to not always talk about the same topic (their business). I don’t know how many dimensions exist beyond the one, but here are a few dimensions you can add to your Social Media strategy:

The Second Dimension:

The Second Dimension exists just outside the “walls” of your business. It’s the community your business serves. It’s your customers or clients, your vendors and suppliers, neighbors and neighborhood events. Talk about them. Promote them. “Like” them.

The Third Dimension:

The Third Dimension is created by your advanced engagement in Social Media. Go to other business pages and participate in their conversations. Write recommendations. Include them in your posts, tag them in your photos, share their blogs or links to their websites.

The Fourth Dimension:

The Fourth Dimension involves merging your Social Media contacts into the physical world. Pick up the phone and call a company you’ve had strong engagement with online. Talk to their marketing person and brainstorm ways you can help each other. Discuss Social Media with your Chamber of Commerce members and devise a collaborative strategy to promote each other.

There are of course, many more dimensions that you can uncover as you go. Ultimately, if you really want to execute a successful Social Media strategy, the best thing you can do is talk less about your own business and start engaging in some of the ideas shared above.

Social Media Impacts the Value of Your Business

I recently reached out to a former colleague who has a solid business doing training and marketing for apartment communities. We talked for a while about how the business was doing and the value of it if it were to be for sale. I’ve always been interested in buying the business until our most recent conversation. There is basically zero social media being done and it became a major turn off for me, but at the same time I viewed it as an opportunity. There is definitely room for growth which makes it attractive for purchase at the right price. I would offer less today than I would have a year ago simply because of the lack of social media. It’s an outdated business model. Again, this makes it attractive as social media is such an easy solution and could be ramped up quickly. The bottom line is I can confidently say that any company lacking in social media is negatively impacting the value of their business.

What Do Tim Tebow, Sticky Notes and the Slinky Have In Common?

Tim Tebow, Sticky Notes and the Slinky are all “experiments” that had surprisingly brilliant and unexpected results. The Slinky was originally designed to be a spring used to stabilize sensitive instruments aboard ships in rough seas. It is now in the Toy Hall of Fame and over 300 million have been sold. The adhesive on Sticky Notes was discovered in the search for a strong bonding adhesive. Obviously, the scientist failed in that venture but his failure became a tremendous success. Find an office in the United States that doesn’t have a sticky note and well… you won’t. Tim Tebow is a number one draft pick quarterback who’s biggest weakness is throwing a football. As a starting quarterback he is 6-1 and has his team tied for first place. Tebow still has to prove himself to remain in this discussion, but hey, I’m sure adding him to this blog won’t hurt.

We recently ran a promotion for a customer that had surprisingly brilliant and unexpected results as well. The promotion was a “slot machine” game on Facebook where if the fan of the page got 5 logos to appear across the top of their page, they won a prize.

It took about ten days for people to figure out how to make it happen, which was what we wanted. We didn’t want the promotion to only last a day. The unexpected result, however was that the people who ended up winning the contest ended up promoting our client on their own personal Facebook pages. The winners of our contest had over 1,200 friends combined. Each of those friends had the opportunity to be introduced to our client on Facebook in a way we never anticipated.

Tebow’s results aren’t in and neither are ours at this point, but by experimenting and not being afraid to try new things, we discovered a great new way to promote our clients without spending hard dollars on advertising. The only true failure of an experiment is not realizing and appreciating the unexpected results.

Facebook “Likes”: Quantity vs Quality

Many of my customers are interested in learning more about establishing a great Facebook page for their business. There are a lot of companies out there promising to get more “Likes”, but is that what you really want or need? Of course you need more “Likes” when you first get started, you don’t have any at all. At what point are you paying for “Likes” that you just don’t need? The answer comes down to your business and how you naturally get customers.

Coca~Cola has nearly 34 Million people that like their page on Facebook. Is that enough? For a consumer product like Coca~Cola, they would probably like to and benefit from having even more followers. The fact that they are a consumer product, the quality of their Fans is very high. All 34 Million of their fans have probably purchased a Coke in the last few months and will probably purchase a Coke within the next few months. This sets up the quality factor.

What good would it be for your business to have 34 Million Fans? Do you even want 34 Million Fans? For some of you the answer will be yes. I’m pretty sure if I had 34 Million Fans I would have to hire a team of people simply to manage my presence on Facebook. This would be counter productive, however, because I couldn’t possibly provide services that generate revenue for 34 Million customers.

So what’s the point? The point is, many businesses need to focus more on the quality of their Facebook Fans. Every now and then scan your list of Fans and look at their profiles. Where do they live? If you own a hardware store in Sioux City, Iowa the majority of your Fans should be from Sioux City, Iowa. If you are a realtor in Charleston, SC the majority of your fans should be from there as well. These are broad examples and you need to determine your own guidelines for quality control based on your business, product or service, especially if you’re paying a third-party to manage and promote your Facebook page.

Can Your Marketing Team Sell Patagonian Toothfish?

Take a look at this fish:

It is hideous. Would you eat it? I sure as hell wouldn’t. If I were to catch this fish I wouldn’t even bring it into my boat. I would cut the line for sure.  I wouldn’t even want to touch the thing.  However, the truth is, I have eaten it…. and if you’re a fish eater, you probably have too. 

Chilean Sea Bass, originally known as the Patagonian toothfish, is one of the most popular menu items in fine dining restaurants today. The made up name, Chilean Sea Bass, was a marketing gimmick to make it sound more appealing to restaurant patrons. (Would you order the Patagonian Toothfish off a menu?) 

There are dozens of examples of marketing gimmicks like this that have taken something that sounds ugly and unappealing to something that appeals to the masses. All it takes is a simple change, a new name, a new package, a new logo. Are you currently marketing your Chilean Sea Bass as Patagonian Toothfish? If your product or service isn’t working the way you want it, then maybe you are.  

What can you do differently to change your Patagonian Toothfish into this?

Great Food, Great Advice

I’m was recently in Aspen, Colorado visiting friends and ran into a remarkable entrepreneur at dinner.  We were at Elevation Restaurant and Bar and I had the privilege of meeting the owner, Mr. Tommy Tollesson.  Tommy’s restaurant has been a success in Aspen for over ten years.  This is remarkable because the clientele in Aspen is f-i-c-k-l-e!

I pulled Tommy aside later in the evening and asked him if he would share with me his philosophy for success.  He started to rattle off a list of ideas like he had been asked this question a thousand times.  I think the reality of it was that he was just speaking his truth and it came easy.

First, he said, “You have to have a vision.  You have to know what you are going to create, be consistent and stick with it.”  You can’t flip flop.  You can change and adjust to new trends and introduce new items to your “menu” but you still need to be consistent.

Second, he said you can’t be stubborn.  You have to be willing to take constructive criticism and adjust accordingly.  There is a simple humility that Tommy has and I believe he really meant you need to be humble in order to be open to criticism.  Tommy isn’t flashy and if you were new to his restaurant you would think he was the manager, not the owner.  I mean this to be a compliment.

Lastly, Tommy said, you need to know your clientele.  “Aspen isn’t Las Vegas”, he said.  “We can’t cater to 25 year olds.  We have to cater to a more mature audience in order to be successful for ten years.”  Aspen is fickle as I spelled out earlier.  Restaurants come and go.  Those that last as long as Elevation build a loyal base of patrons and it’s because they know what to expect when they make a reservation.

If you ever get a chance to visit Aspen, be sure to visit Tommy at Elevation Bar and Grill.  I think you’ll see for yourself why he’s a success.

Recap of Tommy’s 3 Keys To Success

1.  Have a vision

2.  Don’t be stubborn

3.  Know your clientele

Do Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation Matter in Social Media?

Yes.  Especially if it’s a business page.