6 Ways to Say Thank You in Social Media

Thank you!Marketing Sherpa’s B2B Marketing  Benchmark Report 2009-10, describes social media as being more “time intensive than capital intensive.” While I find that a big chunk of time is spent on planning and executing social media programs, it’s also as if we’ve been asked to learn a whole new language; social media, a lexicon of the past five plus years, a marketer’s rhetoric.

The time investment requires intensive “following” of blog posts, facebook, twitter, linkedin, youtube, flickr and more. While you can get very caught up in practicing for fluency, every now and then you should come up for air, and take a moment to say thank you.

Thank you’s in “Social Media-ese” can take the form of:

1. Commenting on blog posts you’ve enjoyed
2. Retweeting Twitter Messages
3. Writing on your blog about good posts you’ve read and passing along the link
4. Writing about a new book on social media or marketing report you’ve read and learned from
5. Saving a link to delicious
6. Perhaps the pièce de résistance is the one which often gets neglected—becoming a facebook page fan. Of the five other ways to say thank you, becoming a fan takes the least amount of time, but goes a long way. Check to see if the company has a facebook page, and give them your thumbs-up.

Are there other ways you say thank you in social media?

Interview with Clara Shih, Author of The Facebook Era

facebook era book coverClara Shih’s recent release, The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Build Better Products, Reach New Audiences, and Sell More Stuff, is about now; this moment in time when Social Media is transforming the way we do business.

If you’ve been waiting for a manifesto to help you get your arms around Social Media, this book is for you.

We’re honored to feature Clara on Impressions through Media in a Q &A.  Welcome, Clara!

DH: Based on discussions I’ve had with small to mid-size business people, I often hear one of the reasons for their resistance to creating a Facebook Business page, is that their business isn’t being “talked about” in the way larger companies are ( such as the ones you describe so aptly, e.g. Victoria Secret, Starbucks, Sanrio.).  In other words, why would a customer want to come to their Facebook page?

CS: Businesses need to be where their customers are and communicate through the channels preferred by customers. Increasingly, customers are on Facebook and relying on Facebook as a source of information. The Facebook Page is an online presence representing your company, just like a website is. There are two main advantages to having one. First, loyal customers have an opportunity to publicly endorse your product or service by becoming a “fan.” When they do so, this fact gets broadcast out to their entire network of friends, which generates some free word-of-mouth marketing for your business. Second, prospective customers seeking to learn more about your product may seek out your company on Facebook and see which of their friends is a fan before deciding to visit your website.

DH: What would be the single most important piece of advice you would you give to the small business owner and mid-size company, for facilitating discussion on their Facebook business page?

CS: Start with your business goals. Is your top priority to attract new customers, upsell existing customers, or improve customer satisfaction? Based on your priorities, seed your page with good content, including video, news, and interactive polls to drive the desired call to action. Rather than recreate the wheel, reuse assets developed for your website. Chapter 9 – Establish Your Presence offers a step-by-step guide to building a successful Facebook Page.

DH: The idea that social networking tools can help product managers transform customers into “participant-partners” is a very compelling reason to use social networking.  What tips do you have for businesses to help them create optimal partnerships?

CS: Customer participation can be a highly effective way of achieving real business results while reducing costs. Prior to social media, it was often too costly,  too difficult, or just not possible to provide opportunities for all but a handful of customers to participate at any given time. In the Facebook Era, giving customers a voice and inviting participation are not only possible but now expected. In my book, I talk about three ways where customer participation have yielded really great results for businesses large and small, while making customer participants feel like important and valued members of the community:
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SOS to the World: Message in a Bottle, Open with Care

message in a bottleA typewritten note from July 21, 1926 was found encased in brick and plaster at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston on June 4th, by Rick Brendemuehl, a laborer working on construction of the new American Wing. The note was written by Thomas F. Crowley who built the wall which Brendemuehl was taking down.  [As reported in the Boston Globe , 6/24/09]

The note contained information about the museum construction in 1926, the 95 degree day when he and his crew were making between 74 cents and $1.50 an hour; and other observations of the times.  Crowley’s note is a historian’s dream come true. A snapshot of day’s long gone, with questions remaining about the man, and what possessed him to slip an envelope into a wall, with handwritten instructions, “Open with Care.”

I’ve always been fascinated by messages, the kinds which wash up on a shore in a bottle, with the account of history, a personal voyage. And if I were to write a similar message today, what would I say?

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Magical Mystery Avatar Starring as Tech Support

have-a-nice-dayIt’s any time of the day. You’re sitting at your computer, staring into your monitor. An error message appears. Something has gone wrong. Terribly, terribly awry.  There’s no company help desk. No tech support person who makes house calls.  There hasn’t been for years.

Now, you search mercilessly on the page for the word “Help” or look for “Contact Us.” You fill out a form, add your name, password, date of birth. A box enters front and center, and orders you to agree by the terms on the page. You know you should read it, but who has time? So, you click, YES I AGREE, and post your problem. Moments later, an email arrives in your inbox.

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Social Media Strategy: Level Two and Climbing

elevatorOver the last few months, we have been fulfilling our clients requests for blogs, Facebook pages, YouTube channels and Twitter accounts. While, on first blush, it seems that these tools are easily set up, there are many behind-the-scenes tools and tactics that make them really work for your company. Then, diligence and commitment is required to gain real benefit from them over time. We emphasize the importance of developing a strategy up front, getting buy-in from key contributors, and training staff. In some cases, we provide ongoing support where a company is short on internal resources.

From monitoring what’s out there, to actively finding opportunities to contribute thought leadership, there is a lot to consider. Many of these activities are hard to measure, like the activities that make up a PR campaign.  In the end, though, the impact is as important as getting good press vs. getting no press.  Companies know they need to play, that they can’t sit the game out.

Once a company gets their feet wet, it doesn’t take long for them to get comfortable with these new tools, and they are ready to refine and improve on them. That is why we help to automate as much as possible, so the human resources are spent on critical thinking, like how to respond to a blog post on a top industry blog, what to write in their own blog or what the company’s policy should be for their employees’ online activities.

Tomorrow, I present some of these ideas and client case studies for staff at KGA, who are using social media, but want to improve on their already impressive programs. We will explore getting the most out of thought leadership across all mediums, streamlining social media tools to support each other, and developing corporate social media policy that supports the brand and empowers employees.

Repurposing the Written Word: Getting the Most Bang from Your Content

wordsI think it was David Meerman Scott who first inspired me to think about the power of ebooks, from his experiences in 2006, when he created “New Rules of PR,” an ebook he offered on his blog. Scott says, “I expected just a few people to read it…and a few thousand people read it the very first day, 50,000 in the first month.  Anne Holland of Marketing Sherpa says it is the one of the most read business white papers in history.   The ebook was later published as a print book as well, The New Rules of Marketing and PR.

In the past few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about content, the material which comes in all shapes and sizes which so many of us write for our work; and the countless hours we spend reading, researching, writing, editing, and last but not least, formatting. Put all the hours together and it quickly adds up.

When I came across Lee Odden’s recent post, “Green Online Marketing: 5 Ways to Repurpose  Content”, I thought yes, this is exactly the mind-set we need to take: think of content as multi-purposed, and envision all the ways it can be used.  Odden says, “Content can be repurposed or customized from one format to another or be updated to deliver value to a different distribution channel.”

5 Ways Businesses Can Repurpose content for marketing

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Note to Self: Add Mobile Computing and Mobile Marketing Strategies to List

mobile communicationI admit, like a certain segment of the world, I was tuned in yesterday to Apple’s Annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco.  As a recent convert, back to the Apple world (my last Mac a boxy SE30), I noticed the day more than I have other years. My focus, primarily on the new iPhone.

Yesterday, I sat on the other side of the country attempting to pick-up wifi wherever I could. Sure, I wanted to know if there would be a new design, and if the rumors about new features would be true. As a blogger, and someone who believes social media and networking have been and will continue to be transformative to our work and personal lives, my degree of interest was on the future of mobile computing.

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Blogging for Business: 8 Tips for Writing Blog Posts

publishLet’s begin here, with this question—can blogging for business be taught? Keep in mind, I’m not talking about the software, I’m talking about the nuts and bolts of writing, the 500, plus or minus, word post.

A little earlier today I read, “Show or Tell: Should creative writing be taught?” by Louis Menand, in The New Yorker.  It’s a fascinating piece which references a new book by Mark McGurl, entitled “The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing.” The article discusses the differences in opinion, which have gone on for decades about whether a person can be “taught” to write or “encouraged.”

I’ve had some conversations recently with people who are considering whether or not to start a blog for their company. While I know some are concerned about the time commitment and whether or not there’s a return on investment, I think most of their unease has to do with the fundamental question: Can blogging for business be taught?

I say, “Yes.”  Yes, it can be taught. Yes, it can be learned. It’s a skill which can be cultivated.  Bloggers are purveyors of content. We read and synthesize information, offer our opinions and insights, and present our findings.

8 Tips for Writing Blog Posts:

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Examples as a Way to Teach Social Media 


people-talking-in-conversationsIt happened again.  It was Saturday late afternoon. I was minding my own business, slurping an iced latte in a local Starbucks, reading a magazine. The glass door of Starbucks swung open, and in walked an acquaintance whom I hadn’t seen in almost six months.

He spotted me across the room.  Waved.  After the Barista served up his iced drink, he joined me at the long pine table, the one that makes you feel like you’re at a library; an often coveted seat with the outlet for laptops.

We went through all the perfunctory, how’s this, how’s that.  And then, onto work. “What are you up to these days?” he asked.

I admit, the espresso and freeze from the ice cubes had just settled nicely across my forehead. Ah, I thought.  How am I going to explain this?  He’s a scientist after all. 
He squinted his eyes. It was either the sunlight through the window, or he was truly perplexed. But I began my rather long-winded Social Media explanation, how blogging and micro-blogging are not so dissimilar from posting content on a website, and how its published more frequently. You can write on a variety of topics suited to your audience. You can encourage conversation. Have two way dialogue. Surely he must relate to a website, I thought.

He shook his head back and forth a few times. “Yeah, but what does all this—Social Media—mean exactly?”

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