Tag Archives: Social Media

Small Business Marketing 100 – Premiums Outperform Discounts

58% of US Facebook users EXPECT to gain access to exclusive content, events, sales, discounts or promotions for no better reason than clicking a “Like” button.

Talk about an over-weaning sense of entitlement.

These results from an Exact Target study are nothing new to us. But it is a little surprising that we haven’t been paying attention to what it means for the sort of customer we’re getting from social media.

Let’s face it, the customers we’re getting from social media are bargain hunters. They’re only coming for a deal, and their loyalty doesn’t last past the cash register. So why are we settling for such crappy results?

Probably, likely (in my opinion definitely) because today’s social media gurus are stuffed full of old-fashioned – even mainstream – “throw-mud-against-the-wall-to-see-what-sticks” marketing concepts. They’re the sort of person who thinks ads on Facebook are social media marketing.

Every marketing test done show that discounts bring in low quality customers. They also show that premiums consistently outperform discounts in terms of response rate, customer quality, and how long the customer stays with you. That’s because there’s a fundamental difference in attitude between the bargain hunter and the rewards shopper.

That’s why credit card companies and airlines (and most other successful companies) have rewards programs rather than discount programs.

The obvious question at this point is what kind of premium can we use to tap into the other 42% of US Facebook users who might be of higher quality and deeper loyalty?

The answer lies in remembering that social media is also called Relationship Marketing. This week on SocialMediaCheapAndEasy.com we devote the entire show to exploring this topic.

The premium is the relationship, the conversation and the social interaction inherent to social media. It’s also the key to the small business marketing goldmine: word of mouth advertising.

Listen to this week’s episode on SocialMediaCheapAndEasy.com to discover four examples of conversations that are happening right now – and why they’re happening. We also look at a small business that is connecting business owners with the conversations that are happening in social media.

And those conversations are not all happening on the “big” social media sites.

Many of them – and most of the conversations among buyers – are happening in a place that most of us have stopped thinking about.

Can Social Media Ever Be Profitable For Small Business?

It feels good to see research coming out that social media marketers believe a social media presence is more important than social media ads. It’s good because I’ve been saying that ever since Facebook introduced ads and called it social media marketing.

This week we look at that research, and more research that shows just what kind of customer small business is most likely to attract through what has quickly become the standard approach to social media.

Tune in to Social Media: Cheap and Easy to hear the details

To show the most effective means of using – and profiting – with social media, our second story looks at current examples of how everyday people are using social media. These are practical examples that show you what your customers want in their social media experience. If your small business is going to use social media profitably, you have a definite need to listen to what your customers want.

To see what works in action, our last story looks at an event that’s happening in Chicago. More importantly, we look at a small business that’s connecting business owners with consumers so they get meaning, and increased sales, from the relationship.

That’s really the theme of this week’s show – relationships. Hear it all at SocialMediaCheapAndEasy.com.

The market was fat for a long time. Long enough for small business owners to get the idea that all they have to do is “get their message out there” to pull in customers and profits. We also got the idea that customers were disposable. That’s a big part of why we now experience such atrocious customer service on a regular basis.

It’s also why small business owners are failing to engage or profit with social media. They’re so accustomed to easy sales that in this tougher economy they are unprepared for relationship marketing. That’s what social media is really all about. You’ll see that during the second story when we look at how it is that Sims Social, Occupy Wall Street, UAW contract talks and even Steve Jobs’ passing have become such popular topics.

Listen to the show today at SocialMediaCheapAndEasy.com, and leave a comment here so spark conversation.

Groupon IPO Is In Trouble

Turns out there’s something to be said for being capitalist, and a rather large downside to being a profiteer. Unfortunately, Groupon is just finding this out.

The Groupon IPO is in trouble after the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) informed them their revenue reporting is out of whack.

Apparently, Groupon has been reporting the full value of a Groupon sale as revenue – in spite of having to give at least half that value back to the store owner. The result is that they’ve had to change their revenue claims from $1.52 billion for the first six months of 2011 all the way down to $688 million.

That has to be the world’s quickest way to lose a billion dollars!

If you’ve been listening to the show over the last few weeks (SocialMediaCheapAndEasy.com), you know I’ve been driving home the difference between Profiteering and Capitalism. One of the targets of this point has been ALL the daily deal sites.

It’s common to hear marketing and internet gurus talk about having the “tollbooth position.” This is where you control access to the traffic – just like a tollbooth controls access to a roadway. People have to go to you if they want access to a particular audience.

The daily deal sites have taken this idea and exploited it to Continue reading

Facebook Killing Music Sharing

Is Facebook killing music sharing because they’re profiteers or just ignorant?

Facebook is talking about bringing music sharing services such as Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, MOG and Deezer onto their site. The idea is to make your profile an entertainment hub. But how much of a hub will it be if it drives these businesses out of business?

Very few online music services are profitable, and they have a model that causes them to lose money every time a free subscriber joins. After all, even “free” music requires a royalty paid to the record companies.

Pandora, which had a successful IPO, has yet to make a profit. Martin Scott from Analysys Mason estimates Spotify had a $6 or $7 million dollar profit in 2010, and Rhapsody’s president Continue reading

Is Groupon Worth 75% Of A Sale?

Welcome to our new 243 community members. Thank you for joining us.

This week’s episode of Social Media: Cheap and Easy brings up several points that need more discussion. But since I promised to keep each post to one topic…let’s focus on Groupon and your small business advertising.

FYI – the other topics are:

  1. YouTube – how to use it, and video in your marketing
  2. Social Media TV – we’re ready to launch the TV show (video in action)
  3. Integrated Marketing – this one episode covers e-mail, video, coupons and lead generation

I’ll know you’re interested in these other topics based on how you comment on this one.

Now on to Groupon…

They’re in the news this week because they’re Continue reading

Local Business Marketing Case Study

Applying Business Sense to Fundraising & Social Media

We just finished an interview for Social Media: Cheap and Easy with Bill Garlough.

I know, you’ve never heard of Bill Garlough. That’s okay. We’ll be meeting a lot of business owners we’ve never heard of. That’s because it’s important for all of us to see examples of people – people just like us – being successful. Then we know we can do it, too.

Here’s the success:

Bill and Karen Garlough founded Soup’s On – a fundraiser – 3 years ago. In 3 years, they went from 750 attendees to 1,200 in the first 90 minutes. And they’ve skyrocketed to raising more than $110,000 with a 5 hour event.

Not bad, right?

Their success is definitely impressive. But the best thing about the whole event is that they’ve followed good business practice in developing it. In fact, what Bill and Karen have done is nearly textbook perfect. So much so that Soup’s On is going to be one of the case studies in the 2011 version of the Business Owner’s Guide to Social Media.

Now let’s look at how they applied good business sense to this fundraiser. Continue reading

Hubspot’s Mike Volpe Agrees with Me

Mike is hosting a Hubspot webinar tomorrow titled “Social Media is B.S.”

Imagine that.

Here’s the first paragraph from the sign-up page:

In this webinar Mike discusses how much the marketing power of social media is exaggerated.  Social media is not magic, and fundamental marketing strategies shouldn’t be thrown out the window and replaced by new social media techniques.

So go sign up now.

Because anyone who has listened to me speak, or read Friends, Followers and Customer Evangelists, knows I’ve been saying the same thing since August 2009. They’ve even paraphrased my exclamation that social media is not a magic wand.

And check out Mike at his site – MikeVolpe.com

Social media can’t fix what’s broken, but it can sure take up time, scatter your focus, and make you feel real good by keeping you busy.

You can imagine how good I feel to be joined by the folks at Hubspot.

Just as I’ve cleared the air around social media – and you know the cow-patty gurus have been smelling the place up – I have always recommended Hubspot as a solid source for information and learning. They’re recommended repeated in FFCE, and I use their grading tools all the time. For myself, and for clients.

So seriously, go sign up for their webinar tomorrow. Even if you can’t attend, they’ll have it available as a recording. Hubspot is huge on doing everything they can to deliver reliable, relevant content.

And if you like what he has to say (I’m sure you will). Send him a note asking him to do a segment on Social Media: Cheap and Easy. He’d be a great guest for the radio show.

Splitting the 2010 Social Media Guide

We’re in the “thrashing” period for revising The Business Owner’s Guide to Social Media.

There’s even a possible title change. What do you think of “Facebook Sucks…And Other Social Media Truths.”

A big change we’re looking at is splitting the guide into 2 parts. A basics section and one that’s more advanced. The section with the basics gets delivered completely online.

This is the part with all the information about creating profiles, the illustrations and graphics, and even the lists of sites. It’s almost half of the current guide, and there is more information we want to add. The idea is to make it a resource for anyone getting started with social media, and who needs to incorporate it with an existing local business marketing strategy.

The fun part about this piece is that it is Continue reading

Non-Profits are Membership Sites and Local Businesses

People in the non-profit sector have a tendency to freak out when you tell them they’re running a business. It’s like you’re swearing at them.

To become a not-for-profit business, first you have to incorporate. Then you apply for non-profit status. And if you want to be a charity, you have even more rules and guidelines to follow. Plus they all have to file income tax returns – just like any business.

So why do they get so freaked out when you tell Boards of Directors and Executive Directors that they have to behave like a business?

According to Convio, Edge Research and Sea Change Strategies, charitable giving is a $118.2 Billion dollar market for 2010 in the United States. That’s the marketplace in just one country. (Have a look at their paper on giving.)

Here’s my point: A Not-For-Profit Business is a business that must provide a high value experience while delivering an intangible product.

When I invest $100 to purchase a footprint on the Bruce Trail, or $55 to puchase one square foot in a Habitat for Humanity House, I’m investing in Conservation and Community. There’s no UPS package rate for either.

The paper from Convio has a lot of good information in it. It’s called “The Next Generation of American Giving” and it looks at Continue reading

Linchpin by Seth Godin

This started out being a hard read, but now that I’m over halfway through I’m liking it.

The concept is simple. Imagine there are 3 circles around you. Inside the first circle are your friends and family. The second circle holds clients, and the third circle is everyone who likes what you do. Seth doesn’t talk about it, but obviously there is also a group outside the third circle.

The folks on the outside are those who don’t know about you, aren’t particularly interested, or who maybe want to throw stones. They are a pool of potential admirers and customers as well as a source of learning and growth. (I’ll come back to this.)

Seth’s proposition is that you grow the second circle – paying customers – by being generous to the first and third circles. Now, that’s the proposition. That’s different from the idea he’s Continue reading