All posts in Social Media Marketing

You Can’t Control Customer Behavior Online

American Genius published an article, “Corner Bakery Cafe forbids photography inside their restaurants, ‘it’s policy.’” It is another cautionary tale about bad decisions with regard to customer engagement and misguided social media policy. The Corner Bakery Cafe forbids photography inside their restaurants. As author Marti Trewe says in the article, and I agree,“Unfortunate and misguided.”

MARKETING REACH

It  has never been easier to spread your reputation and garner attention, especially for a business like a restaurant. In fact, social communication is partly responsible for the meteoric rise of the gourmet food truck sector from 2011 until now. There are tons of success stories, especially in the restaurant industry, of getting referral and repeat customers as a result of shared stuff online. After all the heart and soul of “social media,” is user-generated content.

BUSINESS DOESN’T CHOOSE

Your business is online and in social channels. Whether you choose to actively participate in the conversation or not is your choice. Never expect to control the conversation. Any attempt to dictate customer behavior can be damaging to your brand.

If our company were to do an analysis of Corner Bakery Cafe then trying to prevent customers from sharing anything online would be a significant weakness. Chain stores of this size (170+ locations in at least 17 states) are beyond this phase of maturity. Many are now figuring out how to train and engage their employees to safely take part in social channels. If you’re still considering public engagement then you are behind competitively in most markets.

IDEAS TO SHARE

  1. You should not attempt to control customer behavior (because…see #2 below)
  1. You cannot control customer behavior
  1. We are in the age of the empowered customer. You must find a way to weave the experience you create into the customer’s journey.
  1. Digital interaction is part of our lives now. We share information in the moment. You can choose whether or not you embrace it personally. However, as a business, organization, team or nation, your choice SHOULD BE dictated by your audience.

Note: Corner Bakery Cafe has an active presence online with popular, carefully managed profiles on most public platforms.

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Sharing Content – It’s the Little Things

When we sent our Happy Thanksgiving email using Mailchimp it was shared on Facebook. After all, why should our email of gratitude and holiday wishes only be limited to our mailing list? The pesky auto-post-from-one-online-service-to-another. It posted with Mailchimp’s logo from the email.

Mailchimp_Facebook_post_image

Perhaps you’ve done something similar. In fact, you may have abandoned some tools in their early releases because they transfered your well engineered blog post to a lousy text-only-link  on Facebook or elsewhere.  It sounds finicky, persnickety or some other thing that ends in “y,” that means workflow on social tools that just works like my toaster.

There is a bunch of little stuff and getting it right takes time.

Social media managers, community managers and many more are fiddling around with getting all of the details right that can contribute to making things work in concert.  And they break. And they change. The mistakes are public and need to be acceptable.

These days, the learning happens live. Right there in front of you. Hopefully it’s something small and annoying like this and not a contribution to the book of digital cautionary tales.

Of course, after seeing the post appear as it did to the right, this help, How can I choose the image thumbnail that shows up on Facebook was easy to find (Mailchimp has great support ). So, we can do it right the next time.

We’re still grateful. Have any of your own tips or mistakes to share?

 

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Mix it Up – Combine Digital and In-Person Networking

Last night, countless groups assembled in hotels, offices, restaurants, bars and coffee shops for fun and business reasons.  They called or emailed each other to get together after work to discuss business growth, plan a business project or just “hang-out”.  Some may have considered it as part of a membership obligation. Others were sales prospect hunting. They met, had a great time, exchanged business cards and went home.  Two groups in the Sacramento area had “Socials,” last night that view connecting in a whole different way.

It was once thought that our digital lives would keep us within the confines of our homes and cubicles. The age of food delivery, on-demand entertainment and digital networking and communication tools would decrease our desire and ability to connect IRL (In Real Life). The opposite has proven true. Networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter allow us to connect with like-minded people and know more in advance about who we want to be sure to shake hands with at the Tweetup or Mixer. They allow us to continue the conversation online that started in the room. In fact, more people are getting together and connecting in more meaningful ways as a result of social technology.

Social Media Club Sacramento hosted #TheSocial at LowBrau in downtown Sacramento and Windfarm Marketing and Razorsharp Public Relations organized the Placer Business Tweetup at the Dono dal Cielo Winery in Newcastle.  Both of these groups invited their guests to join online through an online event management program, encouraged others to participate via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and email and still picked up the phone to encourage less “digital” friends to join them.  Just in the invitation process alone, their opportunities to meet new people was exponentially extended.  Attendees checked-in on Foursquare and uploaded photos to Instagram and Facebook.  Today, post-event, Facebook and Twitter are where the conversation continues.

There is tremendous (and FREE!) opportunity to intentionally grow your network by combining your interests, social networking online and getting yourself out the door.  You and your business are missing out if you don’t combine your digital and analog activity.

Are you in Sacramento? Check out the Sacramento Social Media Club Sacramento, Sacramento Tweetup, Placer Business Tweetup and Folsom Tweetup Calendars!  If you’re not in Sacramento, let Google introduce you to groups in your area.

Combine digital and in-person networking for more intentional connections.

Do you have a networking success story? Please share it with us!

 

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B2B Social Media – Become a Marketing Superstar

B2B Social Media Webinar Jeffrey Cohen Kipp BondarAs a business marketing to other businesses, you already know that it’s critical to embrace and optimize your social media efforts for all the ways it can extend your reach. But how do you turn social interactions into actionable leads, and more important, revenue? Can you really measure ROI, and if so, how? How do you learn and leverage best practices in a perpetually changing environment?

Next week we’re offering an opportunity to virtually meet Jeffrey Cohen, Social Strategist at Radian6 and Kipp Bodnar, Indound Marketing Manager at Hubspot during our webcast:  B2B Social Media – Become a Marketing Superstar. Jeffrey and Kipp are co-authors of The B2B Social Media Book: Become a Marketing Superstar by Generating Leads with Blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Email, and More, and the co-founders of SocialMediaB2B.com. These established thought leaders will share their insights on B2B social media, offer case studies and answer questions relevant to your business.

B2B Social Media – Become a Marketing Superstar
Wednesday, April 25, 10 to 11am PT
Free
Register today

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Moving the Needle. Using Social Media to Advance Your Business by Jason Falls

Did you get to participate in the live session of Moving the Needle. Using Social Media to Advance Your Business by Jason Falls? We’ve uploaded the video and the slide deck and opened the comments for discussion.

In this webcast you will learn about:

  • Developing a strategic plan for social media
  • Case studies of businesses using social media for business purposes
  • Tying the “conversation” with the “conversion” (more…)
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5 Reasons Not to Miss A Webcast Featuring Jason Falls

Act now button to register for Jason Falls webcast brought to you by C7groupHave you heard Jason speak or seen him online?  Social Media Marketing is talked about a lot – not often with this kind of value, fun or authentic, candid style.  Lets just say he’s our kind of guy, but we’re a biased bunch and have no shame when it comes to kissing up to our favorite Forbes Magazines’ Top 50 Power Influencers in Social Media.

Our apologies to respected friends and thought leaders we love who also made the list like, Scott Monty, Amber Naslund, Pam MooreLori Ruff, Jeff BullasSteve Farnsworth and Ann Handley*

Register for tomorrow’s webcast, February 7, 2012 10 a.m. PST, featuring Jason Falls, founder of socialmediaexplorer.com and author, No Bullshit Social Media. 
Five reasons that you need to be on Jason’s Falls’ webcast, Moving the Needle: Using Social Media to Advance Your Business,” tomorrow:

1. You will learn how to move from “conversation,” to “conversion.”

2. You will learn how to protect your reputation.

3. You will learn how to build community. 

4. You will learn how to enhance your brand and build awareness.

5. It’s free and will be way more fun and educational than whatever you had planned.

 

Register for this webcast now or get some more information here.

*More kissing up

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Become A Business Change Agent: Thought Leadership Webcast Series

Image: hand deposits coin in piggy bank on grass outside with cloud backgroundSocial business requires change in more than your marketing department, are you ready?

There is a fundamental change in how we do business. Driven by the networked communication tools flourishing on the web, tools like YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn, how we communicate with those who benefit from our services and how we organize ourselves productively are changing.

Being aware of these technologies is a very different thing from understanding them, actually using them, and knowing how to get the best out of them. This is before we even begin to touch on the subject of how to use them in a business context and how to “manage them”.

There is a genie that has been let out of the bottle and, just as with the invent of the wheel, the printing press or eight-Printing Press transition to social technology and social business workflow and culturetrack tape, there is little doubt that things will ever be the same again.

So given that this change is happening, and is almost certainly already beginning to happen inside and around your organization, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to revert to “business as usual” and continue to run your business in a conventional command and control way and talk to those you serve as passive consumers? Or are you going to embrace this new networked world, learn the ropes, and get ahead of your competition by getting those conversations with your staff and your customers started as soon as you can?

C7group is proud to present the 2012 Business Thought Leadership Webcast Series featuring foremost experts with leading perspectives about the social tools, technology and changing workflow in business today.

Registration is FREE.

2012 Business Thought Leadership Webcast Series featured presenters (As of Jan 20, 2012):

Jason Falls, Founder, Social Media Explorer
February 7, 2012 – 10:00 a.m. PST
Moving the Needle:  Using Social Media to Advance Your Business
Jason Falls will discuss developing a strategic plan for social media, case studies of companies using social media for business purposes and tying the “conversation” with the “conversion”.

Euan Semple, Director, Voice and euansemple.com
Thursday, February 23 – 3:00 p.m. PST
The New “Business as Usual”
Euan Semple will talk about about driving business by leveraging social media to change culture, re-design workflow and grow profit.

Halelly Azulay, CEO, TalentGrow
Tuesday, March 6 – 9:00 a.m. PST
Social Learning and Employee Development
Halelly Azulay will discuss the realities of employee development, leveraging social networking and media for learner-driven, learner-generated learning

Jon Ferrara, CEO, Nimble
Wednesday, March 21 – 10:00 a.m. PST
Social Media and Sales Relationships
Jon Ferrara will offer tips about how to work as an effective team by tracking and managing contacts, prospects, and activities. Specifically, how to maximize marketing impact, make more revenue in less time and the benefits of unified communication.

You can Register Here. or Learn more about C7group Services.

Do you have thoughts on questions you’d like a featured presenters to answer? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

You can also email learn@c7group.com if you have a request or recommendation for thought leaders that should be a part of the 2012 Business Thought Leadership Webcast Series .

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Social Media for Business Podcast Interview: Kat Maudru and Jeff Marmins

It always helps when an interview turns fun and entertaining. When our CEO, Jeff Marmins was interviewed by Sacramento radio legend, Kat Maudru, listeners got some great value and tips along with their laughs.

Social Media Business Interview podcast Kat Maudru Jeff Marmins

Social Media for Business: Kat and Jeff yuck it up

Kat and Jeff had a lively discussion at Entercom Sacramento Radio about social media for business. The program originally aired on November 28, 2011.

The conversation serves as an introduction to social media in business, including the importance of the communications channels available through the internet, what tools to use and how to use these tools to improve workflow process and drive sales.

C7group is transforming the services marketplace by helping organizations realize the potential of their business from a “customers and people first” perspective. We integrate strategy with social business technology and workflow practices to provide you with a complete, integrated custom business solution.

Please listen to or download the podcast of the interview below.

Is your business using social technology in a unique way? Tell us how!

 

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Sacramento Social Media and the end of SEO

It’s our opinion that the practice of SEO continues to evolve just as it has since attempting to gain high search results for keyphrases in the 1990’s on sites such as Alta Vista, Excite and Lycos. Unfortunately for SEO practitioners, especially those in small to mid sized markets like Sacramento, SEO is becoming SEM or Search Engine Marketing.  This means that getting a high serch return on your keyword or phrase will have to be based on content of relevance and value to the subject matter.  It’s already happened to some degree with, for example, the change in Google’s search algorithm in 2009 to not use the keywords meta tag  in web ranking.

Organic search results are becoming more driven by relevant content, sharing, social media interaction and the credibility and influence of the author.
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