Social Media First Impressions and Beyond

February 11, 2013

by Jeanine Vecchiarelli                  return to JayVee Media Link LLC

A primary rule of social media marketing is to carefully mind the first impressions we create.  It doesn’t matter how good we are at what we do.  The fact is we don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

girl whispering surprising news into another girl's earWe may be at the top of our fields. Our focus is always customer satisfaction; our products/services are the best on the market. But somehow as we meet a prospective new client, an issue may arise. Maybe a word is misspoken. Or a stipulation is misunderstood. Perhaps we leave unanswered a question or concern. It may be something very minor…at least to us. And suddenly we find that our reputations have taken a hit. In spite of our diligent efforts to clear the issue up, the fact that there was a lapse at all leaves a lingering doubt. And if those misgivings are shared, a small misunderstanding can escalate to a full blown crisis. It can seem impossible to scrub the bad impression from our clients’ minds.

It is not my intention to scare. I just mean to emphasize the importance of carefully guarding that good name we have all worked so hard to earn. From first meetings onward, it is our responsibility to make our clients feel they are our top priorities:

–Always show courtesy and respect.

–Make sure each point discussed is completely understood.

–Follow up after those first meetings!

–Address questions and concerns quickly and efficiently.

–Fulfill promises, ideally above and beyond expectations.

–Always let them know we appreciate their business.

–And if, in spite of our best efforts, something goes awry, work to correct the issue as quickly and diligently as possible.

What other ways can we ensure our impeccable reputations remain intact right from our first meetings with prospective clients? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

business people giving thumbs up sign

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Social Media Platform Ads: Research and Use Them with Care

December 17, 2012

by Jeanine Vecchiarelli                                return to JayVee Media Link LLC 

LinkedIn ads pageSocial media marketers are happily making use of the various paid ad formats offered by each of the major social platforms.  Any opportunity to increase the reach of our advertising messages is a boon to our efforts.  However, we must remember that these formats aren’t interchangeable, and they won’t necessarily work in all situations.  As with our organic efforts, the key is to research:

1. our target prospects;

2. which platform(s) might best appeal to them;

3. their possible reactions to the various ad formats;

3. the situations under which each format may or may not work optimally.

Online investigation via social media profiles and targeting tools yields more information about the personalities and preferences of our prospects than we ever were privy to before.  (Of course, we need to use the wealth of personal information we find there judiciously and respectfully.)  As we see behavioral and preference patterns emerge we will be better able to formulate more effective advertising spots.  We should also get a better feel for which specific type of paid ad will work best for these targeted prospects.

Facebook sponsored  story sampleIronically, the ads that potentially reach the largest audiences are also the ones many social platform users dislike: those that are placed directly into their newsfeeds/streams.  A company named Mediabrix recently did some interesting research.  Among other things, its findings indicate that we need to be especially careful when crafting these ads. They may invoke ire when they masquerade as friends’ stories, because our unsuspecting prospects feel duped into reading them.  Mediabrix found that 72% of Facebook users and 62% of Twitter users formed negative opinions of brands that intruded on their news feeds in this manner.  The lesson:  this type of ad should not mimic content from our prospects’ friends.  These folks also don’t appreciate having their newsfeeds/streams spammed; this is another thing about which to be mindful.

Twitter promoted tweet sampleAds are a helpful way to get the word out about our products and services.  But while researching and planning our strategies it is critical that we stay focused on the most desired effects of properly executed social media marketing.  The real benefits come from engaging, building trust and confidence, and immersing our prospects in the experience of our brands.  All the advertising in the world won’t lead to success on social media platforms unless we invest the proper time and energy into maintaining meaningful presences on those sites.

Which ad offerings have you used for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc?  Are you happy with the results you have achieved?  Please share your findings in the comments section below!

See also:

“Are Social Media Marketers Running Ahead of Consumers?” by Marketing Pilgrim’s Frank Reed

LinkedIn Ads information

“A Simple Breakdown of All Your Facebook Advertising Options” by HubSpot’s Amanda Sibley

“How to Use Paid Advertising on Twitter to Promote Your Business” by Examiner.com’s Christina Thompson

Social Media and Marketing

December 10, 2012

by Jeanine Vecchiarelli                               return to JayVee Media Link LLC 

These days a number of people inaccurately believe that social media marketing is an all or nothing deal; you either “market” or you “social media market.”  In truth, the two are interrelated, and both are so necessary they cannot be mutually exclusive.

Social media marketing is actually a component of marketing.  It occupies a very important spot in a merchant’s toolbox.  As with its fellow tools, its ultimate aim is producing satisfied customers.  What sets it apart from the others is its philosophy, which creates a different approach to that common end.

bullhorn for push marketingTraditional marketing involves channels that “push” our messages out to the masses.  We pay for ads, promotional materials, public relations campaigns and other mechanisms to alert consumers to our products/services.  These are important strategies for calling attention to our offerings.  Generally, we expect and receive more immediate feedback from these traditional marketing approaches.  We place our ads, and if they are effective, consumers respond.

magnet for pull marketingSocial media marketing, on the other hand, encompasses strategies that “pull” potential customers to us.  We do advertise, but in the grand scheme of successful strategies this activity comprises not more than 20% of our postings.  Social media is about sharing value.  It encompasses freely sharing useful information; sincerely looking to help; allowing our prospects to get to know us as the people behind our brands; fostering and nurturing relationships with them.  Social media marketing builds trust via ongoing engagement, crowd sourcing activities such as requesting input for certain marketing decisions, and quick servicing of needs.   In this manner, potential clients who friend/follow/fan us become not only satisfied customers but enthusiastic advocates for our businesses.  This method of marketing necessitates a considerable time commitment and does not deliver the instant results found in traditional promotional channels.  The trade off, however, is exponentially beneficial: it creates stronger bonds of loyalty, meaning good repeat business, and more reliable referrals for our companies.

Merchants who wish to see the best results in their marketing efforts need to incorporate strategies on both the push and the pull sides of the advertising equation.  Both can work together, as when we publish our online contact information and social site URLs on our print media, or when an online promotion points to a print media coupon.  Any way we combine them, the benefits and the time frames in which these two strategies yield effective responses complement each other.  The two pronged approach to marketing ensures steady visibility and growing consumer confidence in our businesses. That’s a winning combination all around!

How do you mix your push/pull strategies in your marketing?  Please share your ideas in the comments section below!

Marketing Success push pull pic with watermark for blog post   450 x 106 px  12 10 2012