Start By Listening… Prepare to be Amazed

People typically think of social media as a talking tool. Indeed, the word media implies creating content. However, it doesn’t have to be our content. What about their content – our customers and prospects, our employees and partners? In business, we can listen to and learn from what they’re saying using social media.

Google Alerts

My favorite listening tool is Google Alerts. I first touched on this service in Chapter 4. Remember that Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Most of are well practiced at searching Google for what we need.

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Staying On Top While Avoiding Information Overload

We live in a world of accelerating change. Ray Kurzweil, the respected futurist, predicts that by 2045, we’ll experience a 1,000,000,000-fold increase in what he calls “human-machine knowledge” relative to 2010. That’s hard to conceptualize but looked at another way, the amount of information we’re dealing with today represents barely 0.0000001% of what we’ll have to handle in that future. What a quaint, simple world we inhabit today!

Even so, I’m often asked, “Dave, what’s your secret to keeping up in market segments changing as fast as social media and mobile technology?” Actually, isn’t this a challenge in virtually every industry,

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#Tags… They’re It!

There’s a powerful, new way to organize the information in your professional and personal life. It called tagging. It’s a radical departure from using hierarchical folders… within folders… within folders… whether in electronic (on your computer) or physical (in your filing cabinet) form.

Have you noticed that when you save a Word doc, an Excel file, or a PowerPoint presentation, that you can now add tags? It’s on the same screen as the file name field when you “Save As”. It’s that important… or even more so.

Tags are also available in Yammer and Chatter (group texting services),

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Snapchat – Warn Your Kids

There’s a hot, new service that the younger crowd is using now that they’ve spurned Facebook. It’s called Snapchat. Facebook reportedly tried to buy Snapchat last fall for something like $3 billion. No deal.

By the way, in case you’re not familiar with Facebook, you might be interested to know that it’s “a tool for connecting with old people.” As such, millions of the millennials are leaving Facebook.

Why use Snapchat instead? It seems that the younger generation is finally becoming aware of the downside of over-sharing, at least when done publicly where a parent,

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Borrowing Your Competitors’ Web Strategies Best Parts

Half of all Internet traffic starts with a search. Are you curious what words and phrases (a.k.a. keywords) are generating traffic for your competitors? Do you wonder whether they’re using Google pay per click advertising, and if so, for what keywords? How many web visitors are they getting? How much are they spending?

Amazingly, you can get answers to each of these questions for free! The tool is called SEM means search engine marketing, and the information you’ll discover is definitely a rush.

At SEMrush, enter each competitor’s name and click the “Overview” tab.

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Converting Your Followers to Customers

I see many business people who engage in social media programs simply because others do. Further, they make no attempt to quantify the value of such initiatives and therefore tend to underinvest. In turn, social marketing brings few new customers to the company and in a self-fulfilling prophecy, it’s not worth investing more.

I maintain that measuring the costs and benefits of your social media programs (and more broadly, all of your digital marketing initiatives) is critical. With a calculation of the actual value, you’ll have a basis for deciding which initiatives merit increased or decreased investment going forward.

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Chasing the Hot New Service?

Every year, if not every week, it seems like another hot new social service hits the scene. After Facebook, it was Pinterest, and then Instagram, and now Vine. How do you decide which service(s) to use?

Remember that in business, and even more in social, it’s better to do one thing well rather than three things poorly. The goal is not to be everywhere. It’s to be fully engaged in the places that you choose to participate.

As such, there’s no need to chase after every hot new service,

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Social Media Template: 10 Steps to a Winning Plan

It’s not atypical for a company to decide to launch a Facebook page or begin Tweeting because they’ve seen others be successful in such campaigns. However, selecting your “tool” should actually be the sixth step in your process, not the first.

If you sell B2B (business to business), just look at your B2B competitors and their misguided efforts to employ Facebook and Twitter. Someone in their Marketing department may have heard that these services are hot (and indeed, both are among the top 10 most trafficked websites on the planet, but dominated by business-to-consumer (B2C), media/press, and personal applications) and followed like lemmings.

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A New Tool for Professional Speakers

I usually write my posts for business people. This piece is targeted more narrowly at just professional speakers, or anyone in front of an audience who wants to easily capture the names and email addresses of attendees (on a consensual basis, of course).

The tool is called Go there now, ideally using your smartphone (for the typical experience) and enter my keyword “social” (without quotes).

You’ll be prompted for your name (optional) and email address (mandatory). Once you provide this information, you’ll get a screen to download my social media for business handout and/or watch any of my 23 social media for business video segments… for free.

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Customer Intimacy and Business Success via Live Podcasting

Few business leaders would argue with the dictum that the better you know your customers, the better that you can serve them, and the more successful your business is likely to be. When I dropped in on the front lines of customer service at my company TalkShoe, answering phone calls or handling the toughest queries, it helped me really understand my customers’ perspective.

But there was something else that was far more valuable I did every other week starting on August 17, 2006, and continuing until April 2009 (when I moved on to pursue my next start-up).

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