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 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

Effective Social Media Marketing: Quality versus Quantity

                                                                                                       by Jeanine Vecchiarelli

In social media marketing today, I see so much emphasis on quantity.  How many Twitter followers?  Facebook fans?  Social media profiles?  And so on.  And then I find myself returning to the very sage advice of some of the biggest social media gurus, who caution against spreading yourself too thinly, and expound on the pitfalls of amassing huge numbers of essentially empty followers/fans.  I can’t help but see the sense in their very astute wisdom.

Just as a multitasking computer works a little less effectively overall with each new task that is introduced, so it goes with the human brain.  Each profile a person has requires a considerable time commitment to keep it current and active, especially if it is being used as an outlet for social media marketing.  As I’ve pointed out in previous posts, the WORST thing a prospective client can see when visiting a merchant’s social media profiles is a neglected post.  While it makes sense to maintain a variety of said profiles, the operative word is MAINTAIN.  Don’t go overboard, for yourself or with your clients if you are in the social media management business.  The more you try to juggle, the less effective each profile will ultimately be, unless you have a large enough staff under you to diligently tend to all the tasks necessary for proper profile maintenance.  Better to concentrate on a smaller number of profiles, specifically targeted to best suit your or your clients’ needs, and to maintain those profiles successfully.

The same holds true for followers and “likes.” Twitter is a great example.  So many automated programs exist these days:  programs to auto follow; auto followback; auto post; auto verify that you yourself are not a bot; etc.  I’ve seen social media managers strive to follow the maximum number of profiles they can daily for their clients – a feat that can really only be accomplished using automated programs which can’t truly screen potential clients effectively regardless of the search parameters that are typed in.  Not to mention the fact that messages they send must of necessity be generic in nature, so recipients can clearly see they are being funneled into a one-size-fits-all situation.  So what good is following 500 people a day when that big number includes potentially many spam accounts, accounts of people who are poor fits as potential clients, accounts where there will never be the necessary interaction, and hence no relationship building, to convert a follower into a customer?

With the permeation of this “whatever it takes to build bigger, faster” attitude in social media marketing, I guess it’s no coincidence that I came upon this excellent blog from Robert M. Caruso, founder/CEO of Bundlepost, one of the most respected social media authorities in existence, as I was collecting my thoughts to create my own.  Robert most eloquently defends his position against the use of the latest automatic tool to cause us all big headaches, True Twit, both from the make-sense side of understanding how a personal touch is necessary to build online relationships with potential clients, and from the perspective of someone who is continually losing time having to prove to this auto-program that he himself is not a bot:   Bundlepost: Reasons Why I Am About Done With True Twit  And yet, while Robert targets True Twit in his blog, much of his reasoning holds true in my opinion for most if not all of the rest of these automated programs.

Best bet?  Take the time to screen profiles AND followers for the proper potential fit for your or your clients’ services.  Better to build a following more slowly and increase chances of conversion than have to ultimately sift through hundreds of unproductive associations just to show a large number of followers.  Not to mention potentially estranging them in a first impression by requiring them to jump through hoops to prove they really are people.

Well, that’s MY take, based on my own observations.  I realize lots of you may well disagree with me.  I welcome your comments, as well as explanations of your own viewpoints.

Social Media Partnerships

Social media marketing is a huge undertaking. There’s no doubt about it. For any business that desires social marketing, the task is equivalent to taking on another full time job. The ever growing number of social media businesses like JayVee Media Link underscores the fact that I preach to the choir when I make this claim.

The people I want to reach out to here are the growing number of social media managers who are in the trenches doing their clients’ business marketing day to day. While relieving their clients of the burden of that “second full time job,” the fact that it is SO time consuming, and all-encompassing, can easily overwhelm even the best social media managers. So I offer a word to the wise: DON’T TRY TO DO IT ALL ALONE! Stick to what you do best, and partner up with others whose strengths differ from yours. The common tendency, especially at first, is to keep whatever money you make all for yourself. But you are one person, and there are SO MANY facets to social media marketing….and only so many hours in a day. Trying to do it all will most certainly lead to under-delivering for your clients, and burnout for you.

Do you want your social media business to be successful and long lived? Then do the Partner-Up Two Step! 🙂

How do YOU share the workload to stay successful in YOUR social media company?