Observations and Insights

If you’re not engaged in Social Media, you’re business won’t be around in 5 years!

Chuck Bankoff - Monday, October 01, 2012

By Robert Saunders

That’s a pretty audacious statement. So if I’m going to be so bold, I better be able to back it up, right? So here goes.  

We’re social animals. We like to know about the people we engage with, whether it’s on a casual level or if for business. We want to establish a level of trust for people and businesses before we invite them into our lives, or perhaps even our homes.  

Before the evolution (or revolution) of online social tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest, our social engagement was defined by our neighbors and circle of friends. If we needed a doctor or dentist, we would ask around and listen to what a few people had to say. If we needed a plumber, painter, or other service provider that we might allow into our homes, perhaps even while we we’re away, we would ask our social circle for their valued opinions and reviews.

Before social media, our “social realm” was pretty small. It consisted of those family and friends that were immediately around us. And our word-of-mouth requests were usually limited to just a few people. Consequently, the weight that we gave to the recommendations from friends and neighbors was considerable.

So what has changed with the advent of social media?  

In a simplified view, social media has dramatically expanded our reach beyond just a few people in our immediate circle. Before social media, our word-of-mouth reach consisted of our friends and neighbors. Today, word-of-mouth reviews and comments about your business can literally reach millions. People are listening to what others say, and providing their opinions and experiences more than ever. Whether you are engaged in social media or not, your potential customers are. And most likely they are talking about your business

So imagine this scenario. You are a homeowner looking for a reliable painting company. You do a Google search for painting contractors in your area. From the first page search result, you get a list of local companies to choose from. From that list you might narrow the choices to a few; let's say three.

  • Of the three companies, one is not engaged in social media. There are no comments or reviews; they are practically invisible.
  • The second company has many reviews published across the web, and comments posted on the social sites. Unfortunately, they are mostly negative and the companies’ owners choose to ignore what is being said. They are in a state of denial.

  • The third company is engaged. They routinely publish information about their services, including how-to tips and guides for DIY'ers. Many people comment on the company, almost all of which are positive and appreciative of the value they receive. And the company routinely joins in the conversation.

So the question is this. Which one of these companies are you going to hire, and which will be out of business in 5 years? You decide.

To learn more about the impact of social media, we recommend reading Socialnomics by Eric Qualman.

Robert Saunders is a Digital Marketing consultant serving Oklahoma City and beyond.

Marketing on the Radio: The Benefits of Going Viral

Chuck Bankoff - Monday, February 27, 2012
Continually being in more places and offering more content to people is what Web Presence Optimization is all about. In the past, consumers only had a few media choices to get their news from. Today, these media outlets have multiplied a thousand times over and are spending less time on more of those choices. The idea is to get your content in front of those people in many of the "right" places possible.

Here is a noteworthy approach:

Start an Internet based radio show. You can interview many affluential and knowledgeable people and have them send links out to their influential friends.

This sounds like an absurd idea, right? But it really is becoming a type of trend that seems to be working. Recently, I was interviewed here in Orange County by two separate radio programs.

Most recently I was asked to be on a live drive-time radio show called "Pilgrim on the 405" hosted by Will Crist. It is a radio show that caters to commuters who travel through Orange County on the 405. To listen to Will's interview; Pilgrim Talks: Chuck Bankoff and Mark Friedman to get a better idea of the format I am talking about.

The first radio show I was asked to be on was only a few day prior with veteran journalist Tony Demaio who is with Big Media USA. We discussed the truth about Search Engine Optimization. Additionally, Tony is helping me work on a radio show of my own coming soon.

Do you think the idea works? I mean after the interview was completed I posted this article on a number of social networks, including Facebook and Twitter and a few blogs and here you are reading about it!

5 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Strategy

Chuck Bankoff - Wednesday, October 05, 2011

For some, “Social Media Optimization” is a buzz phrase with no definition. You know that you have to “do” Facebook, or that you have to Blog, but face it; you don’t really have a plan do you? The fact is that everyone is migrating to social media, whether they know it or not. Whenever you go online to see what other people are doing or what they recommend, you are leveraging Social Media whether you know it or not. If you use Social Media for business, why not take full advantage of a population of users that exceeds most major counties?

1. Focus On What Is Important

One of the most important things you can do is listen to what your customers are saying on their social media posts. This will help you gain a better understanding for their needs. Connect with them; see what they are up to. This will help you have a better understanding of what you can do to help them.

2. Personalities and Style Make a BIG Difference

When using social media tools like Facebook or Twitter, the two most dynamic ingredients for success are personality and style. This is often what makes the difference between a post and a viral post. It can also give you more credibility when it comes to being a trusted source in your industry.

3. Implement Good Habits In Your Strategies

Making sure your policies, guidelines and structure matches your company’s size. What may work for a smaller company won’t necessarily work with a large company. You will need to adjust these to fit your needs as your company grows. You will want your team to exhibit qualities that enhance your relationship with customers. Customers value quick, consistent and well-spoken responses and posts.

4. Rules and Regulations?

You will find that having a few rules and guidelines regarding your social media strategies will seem more and more necessary as your company grows. Keep in mind that every situation is different and that your may have to bend the rules when necessary. Trust your team’s intuition; don’t blindly lead wit a book of rules and regulations.

5. Utilize Metrics

In order to effectively manage you social media strategies, you should pay attention to metrics and tie in the social media aspect to you overall business goals. When starting up a brand new project, you should determine what metrics and goals you should set before getting started.

Wondering where to start with Social Media for your business? Let us offer you a Social Media readiness evaluation. We examine your company goals along with your existing assets to determine what is the best media and the best strategy for you.

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