The Reality of Social Media

Have you ever seen the cartoon that might best be titled “What the customer needed?” After much Googling, as far as I can tell it first appeared here (a site now defunct). I’d really like to use this image with official permission (if it’s copyrighted), so if you’re the owner/creator, please let me know and we’ll talk terms. That stipulated, here’s the cartoon:

As you might guess, I’m the “business consultant” portrayed in the fifth panel of this cartoon. If you’ve been reading for years, you know that my blog has described some of the biggest successes,

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Connecting With the 1%?

A few years ago, a friend gave me a satirical poster that said, “Blogging: Never have so many… said so much… to so few.”

In fact, companies that blog get an average of 55% more web traffic than those that don’t. Here’s why.

Most people use Google as their search engine. In 2011, Google shifted its algorithms to favor newer content over older. Since half of all Internet traffic starts with a search, and a blog is continuously updated, it’s easy to see how blogging can generate more inbound traffic.

If you have a relatively static website,

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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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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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Social Networking: Quantity vs. Quality

Recently, I discovered a social media measurement service called That’s as in: “Who’s got clout?” My question is, do you have clout? Do you need it? How do you get it?

Greatly simplifying, Klout measures a person’s influence based on how many friends they have on Facebook and how many followers they have on Twitter. I’m not saying that those are bad measures of influence. In fact, if in business I’m deciding whom to influence, I want to influence the influencers. Klout is a valuable tool.

Still, as a social media professional,

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Yelp, I Need Somebody…

As featured in TEQ Magazine:

If you run a business in this social media world, you ignore the social conversation at your peril. What our peers tell us is five times more convincing than what you tell us. (Who measures this stuff?)

I don’t know if anyone knows who coined the term “word of mouth” but we’ve always understood its power. In this social media revolution, author Erik Qualman says we’re now in a “world of mouth”.

Last night, when my wife and I arrived at the Hilton in downtown Miami,

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ESP for Business (Using Twitter)

As featured in TEQ Magazine:

When I was young, the one super power I deeply desired was extra sensory perception — ESP. I wanted to know what people were thinking. Now, thanks to Twitter and other social media services, I’ve acquired an ability that very closely approximates it.

It took the Twitter team three years to figure out that this version of ESP is the most interesting thing they created. As a result, they’ve redesigned their home page to focus on it. When you go to site without signing in, there it is: The most popular topic this minute… this day… this week.

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Increasing Revenues By Building Rapport (Using Social Media)

As featured in TEQ Magazine:

Nobody wants to be sold to. Instead, they want to buy from us if we solve their problems. In order to truly understand a prospective customer’s problems, we’ve got to talk to them. Well, not talk “to” them, but talk “with” them… openly.

Side note: One of my favorite sales rules: “Remember, you have two ears and one mouth; spend twice as much time listening as talking.” (Frankly, 10-to-1 would be even better but how much of this behavior can you really expect from extroverts?)

The goal of the conversation is to discover your prospect’s “pain”.

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iPads and Airplanes: Turn ‘Em Off on Takeoff!

As featured in TEQ Magazine:

I’m writing this post for the first time directly on my iPad. I’m using this device in places I’ve never used a computer before: On my sofa reading The Wall Street Journal, in my bed streaming NetFlix movies, and presently propped comfortably on my Southwest Airlines tray table flying from the ‘Burgh to the windy city (an allusion to Chicago politicians more than the weather, although tonight 65,000-foot cumulonimbus clouds delayed us for hours).

You don’t have to be a social media expert to know that Southwest is an entertaining airline.

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TEQ Magazine: Getting Found Using Keywords

As featured in TEQ Magazine:

In today’s crazy, noisy, hyper-accelerated social media world, your choice is to be known for one thing… or none. Social media is fabulous in that, in contrast to your email blasts, newsletters, and direct mail, Google sees your blog posts, Tweets, and Yelps. That helps your business get found at the very moment when someone goes searching for exactly what you offer.

But if you’re Yammering about something different every time you check-in, thousands of other businesses will appear higher

in the Google results than you do.

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