uninteNtiOnal brAnDing

Social media, the ultimate free push platformMany businesses view Social Media as a free advertising tool, when what they really need (and have at their literal fingertips) is a branding tool. Advertising is not the same thing as branding. Of course, it can be – but won’t you be surprised to find you have an unintentional branding campaign going on?

You may just be sending unintended messages like:

  • “All we care about is telling you how to spend more money with us”
    or
  • “We just want everyone to know we think our product is the best”
    or
  • “We are self centered”
    or – more often …
  • “We don’t really know who we are or why we do what we do”
The conversation goes something like this one I had on my way to the office today.  “I hear you want to participate in our art show!  That’s great!  We really hope it brings us more business because these are tough times.  We have been advertising in lots of places, but people just aren’t see us as an everyday restaurant / bar. Word has gotten out that we are just an ‘event’ location.” (branding) She continued to tell me about the new equipment shipments coming in in a very practical sort of way – probably more in reference to the money they were spending during tough times. (branding)
Without asking, I was confided in.  Listening is a good thing! (branding)
I had some ideas and was already presented with lots of material.  But I waited. (branding)
So after discussing the details of the art show, I offered to take a look at their Facebook fan page and make my recommendations free of charge.  (branding)
Whatever you do and say. How you act and react all send a branding message.  You brand without meaning to. You telecast to anyone paying attention what you’re about. This happens when we let fear rule.  When we forget to let our passions direct us. When we don’t take the time to let others in on our purpose or convictions. When we fail to focus on the “why” of what we do.
I hope I get to hear ‘why’ this restaurant exists.  Why it looks the way it does. Why history is so important to its owners. Why it is they do what they do.

QR Code Awesomeness

I recently read this post by   . It’s about how to use QR codes in Sports Marketing.  But the principles apply to all marketing with QR codes.

Make sure your QR code links to something worth while! But also make sure you know how your stuff will display (or how it might not)

I use a QR code on the back of my business card:

QR code linking to my bio page

Scan this using your QR reader on your smart phone

But here’s the thing about QR readers – they differ in how they display and make your content accessible. Here’s what I mean:

I scanned the code above using 2 different QR readers on my iPhone.

1. QRReader

QRReader

...not very useful to me.

…and we are done with this one. sad face.

2. QRazy

better, but...

I like this, I can scroll down and add to my contacts, but as is, I can’t click on the link.

BUT… when I scroll down and choose “view as text” I get this:

View as text allows me to click!

I can click to either call or view the URL like so:

click to browse to my RemoteLink bio page

ahhhh...

All that being said.. I do want a T-shirt with my QR code on the back.  I don’t think I am ready for the bikini bottom option…

(btw, I used http://www.qrstuff.com/ It worked well and they were responsive and helpful. Not too expensive either.)

Your response rate…

I recently posted this on twitter:

What is your response rate? Not people responding to you, but you to them. Sociability is crucial. #socialmedia#fb

It’s so easy to get caught up in (read: stuck) output messaging.  We feel that we are communicating, ‘being social’ if we say something – anything – in a social setting.  But you are really on part way there (not even half way!)

Here’s how I like to think about it:

1 push messaging– get the word out, who are you? what makes you tick? what excites you? what do you want others to do for, with or in spite of you? You do have to communicate.

2 provide value – don’t just tell, show. Provide a link, an image, a video to punctuate your message

3 provide EXTRA value – the entire world is ADHD (or so it would seem) with attention spans getting shorter and shorter and the need for distractions bigger and bigger. For me, added value is the thing that makes you quirky, funny, …interesting. It’s the non work, non selling, you-just-might-find-this-interesting post.

4 engage – having a conversation with someone without letting them talk, or asking them about their day, or responding when spoken to is kinda rude and keeps people from wanting to be around you (in case you didn’t know). The Social Media equivalent of this is not engaging in conversations (tweets) around your areas of interest or expertise.  Or not responding to @messages. Or not thanking people for following you.

You can NEVER do it all.  Or do it all ‘right’. Or be everything to everyone – or anyone.  So these are more like guidelines than actual rules.

Unfollow (not not me, not now..read the post)

So, the other day I was “house cleaning”, you know, making lists, checking them twice. Making sure that people who felt like “noise” in my twitter stream were not distracting me.  I know I can use lists – and I do, but in order to ‘listen better’ I like to unfollow people who are mostly promoting things in areas I am not particularly interested. I don’t know if this is the best practice.  But it’s mine.

If there is anything I am adamant about where Social Media is concerned it’s being “you.” With the limitations and foibles and general awesomeness we all posses.

But there are people who disagree with me (I am still deciding what I think about THAT!) …and as I mentioned in my last post he CALLED ME OUT on twitter with a post that went something like “@username Wow. I see you unfollowed me. Looking forward to you coming back.” I do see the formula. <emote comment. state topic. future looking/positive statement> But here’s the deal.  What good did that post do either of us?

I was slightly perturbed / embarrassed by it.  Which I assume was the intent. yuck.  But also note that he didn’t really care why I was leaving, just that I was leaving.  I assumed the best of him and let him know (also publicly) why I was leaving “I can only follow so many people in a meaningful way.” And to his credit (I think) he did suggest I try using lists.  But still, no real desire to hear how he could be a better provider of content.  Of course, he has LOTS of followers, so he really doesn’t need to care about my opinion.  But if he isn’t going to care…. why say anything to begin with – except for the sheer embarrassment factor.

This is the text on “http://who.unfollowed.me&#8221;

  • manually check for unfollowers every 15 minutes.
  • callout your unfollowers for unfollowing you.
  • view people you are following that are not following you back.
  • view a 7 day unfollower history.
Here’s what I DO like about this site.  I can also see who doesn’t follow me back  in an easy to understand fashion (pictures!) This is valuable because it tells me something about my value to these people and how reciprocal our twitter relationship is or isn’t.  It also tells me not to waste my time DMing them.  Again – it doesn’t really have to matter – some people I follow because I like what they have to say, whether or not they find what I have to say of any value.
people who don't follow me back
So, it’s not all good.  But it’s also not all bad.
Thanks for creating stuff people need, even if we don’t all like all of it!

Twit Cleaner

People pleaser that I am, I just loathe ‘unfollowing’ someone on Twitter.  But I LOVED the way Twit Cleaner presented valuable data about people I follow. Seeing trends like: “doesn’t interact with any of their followers”, “Hasn’t tweeted in 602 days” of people I am following was really useful!

Like any tool (especially a newish one) Twit Cleaner has it’s pro’s and con’s.  Just because a person hasn’t tweeted in a while is not necessarily a reason I would stop following them. (Friends, family, people who only have something to say rarely – but it’s good when it hits!… you know)

BUT the data was interesting “13% of the people you follow are potentially garbage” … and I DID decide to unfollow a couple people who had not posted in over 2 years!  (I felt safe there)

twit cleaner

Check it out here: http://thetwitcleaner.com/

Side note.. you know those programs that tell you who unfollows you?  I got called out* publicly for unfollowing someone recently (who had LOTS of followers – surely enough that MY little account could not have made a dent in…). I just wanted to say, if you are concerned that I unfollowed you, perhaps you might ask why?  Just a thought.

*As a ‘Lite’ user you can… (twitter unfollow)

  • manually check for unfollowers every 15 minutes.
  • callout your unfollowers for unfollowing you.
  • view people you are following that are not following you back.
  • view a 7 day unfollower history.
more on that in another post…

Who uses Twitter?

Check this out:
Who uses Twitter

Living in a rural community I find that tools like Foursquare and Twitter don’t seem to be maximized (read: used at all).  …I think that those are especially the places they SHOULD be used.  It takes longer to get places. How do you know where to go or why it’s a good place? The need to build synergy and create local commerce energy make these the right tools, right now.  LET’S GO RURAL USA!

Unhiding friends or posts on facebook

Recently one of my friends decided to post everything she owned for sale on a facebook “garage sale” page. It kinda made me crazy!  I didn’t want to buy any of her baby clothes or toys, etc… SO I hid her posts. I also messaged her that I did and that, when she was done selling stuff, let me know…because I really DID like keeping up with her via facebook.
(I was really glad she understood!)
She said this:” oh i understand i was just asking last night how i could get this from not showing up in everyone news feeds. its annoying!! but i am making some much needed money right now. i will letcha know miss ya!! xo
She changed her privacy settings on her posts. And let me know.  I had to then figure out how to “unhide” her!
Here’s what I found:
  • From “Most Recent” News Feed view,
  • Click “Most Recent” to expand a drop-down menu.
  • Select “Edit Options.”
  • A list of people, Pages and apps you’ve hidden will appear in a pop-up box.
  • Click “x” next to each one you’d like to remove from this list.
  • Removing a profile from your “Hidden” list means posts from that person or Page can appear in your News Feed again.
  • You can also choose the all setting from the drop down.
  • Click “Save.”
unhide on fb

Know your audience

I thought about posting fancy charts that look all ‘marketingish’ but decided to go straight for it.

Your market is people. What if, instead of making up carefully crafted fancy sentences to ‘guide’ people to where we want them to be, we just talked to them? You know, like telling your friend about your new car or dress?

Or what you like about what you do?

Go ahead and be funny, structure your sentences, mind your double negatives … But where social media is concerned – above all – be real. Human. You.

Vocabulary lesson #1

Please read the following in regards to “Social” media.
so·cial   [soh-shuhl] –adjective
1. pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations: a social club.
2. seeking or enjoying the companionship of others; friendly; sociable; gregarious.
3. of, pertaining to, connected with, or suited to polite or fashionable society: a social event.
Yeah. That.
NOT….
1. one way communication that you hope will help you gain money, popularity, or other arbitrary metric.
2. something to manipulate others by formulizing communication (I know that is not a word) as in: ‘post x times per week, only 1 selling statement per x, etc…
3. selfish pushing of one’s own agenda ad nauseum.
Be real. Talk to each other. Don’t spam.
yes, I am a purist.