Over the years, the “big opportunity teams” I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of – those driven by vision, brand overhauls & complete business model makeovers – have been the hardest work, best experiences and the most fun. At the end of the day, we rallied around the passion for the goal, not the goal itself.
Briefly, here is the idea: a Big Opportunity articulates in language that is analytically accurate and emotionally compelling an opportunity that will move an organization forward in a substantial way. It is that exciting possibility which, if you can capitalize on it, will place you into a prosperous, winning future. It is related to vision and strategy in a very straightforward way: a strategy shows you what you need to get to a vision; a vision shows you what you will be doing if you get to, and are able to capitalize on, a big opportunity. ~Dr. John P. Kotter
Wondering what the latest social stats are? You’ll appreciate this compelling Slideshare 13 Killer Social Media Statistics from 2013 …and to show just how dramatic the growth is, check out the 2011 presentation created by former colleague (and super smart social media enthusiast) Diane Rayfield.
Compelled to answer this question on LinkedIn, I thought it would probably be pretty helpful to other too, so if you’re in marketing and you’re pitching social to new clients or up the ladder internally, I hope this outline helps!
You may have heard that social marketing is cheap or free. I have bad news. While the accounts and many of the tools are cheap or free, marketing via social will cost you time and it may cost you money!
Introduce “Myths/Realities of social media” – organic growth is actually pretty hard in social (Facebook wants you to pay so likes don’t come easy, Twitter growth comes through engagement, Social accounts actually come with an obligation to pay attention to them, etc.)
Finding Success in Social Media
Forget about “social media” … it’s not about being social, it’s about generating leads, managing customer relations, providing customer service, generating buzz or a slew of other strategies. It’s the strategy that’s important, not the social channel – “social” is a tool not a strategy.
Introduce Targeting Ideal Customers
Introduce Content Development
Provide a simple case study. Consider customer service or channel growth strategies because these tend to show direct correlations between actions and understandable metrics. Examples: Company A uses LinkedIn to reach out to prospects and sees an increase in leads and conversions. Company B solves customer service issues in their channels and customers post testimonial’s thanking them.
If you don’t have case studies of your own, you might find a partner who can bring this experience or look to Hubspot or other Inbound Marketing folks for published case studies, usually posted to their blog or in a White Paper.
Questions (the most important part):
Give ample question time. Try to wrap it up in 30 minutes, if you only have 45 minutes or an hour. This way the audience is sure to get what they came for and, probably more importantly, it’ll allow you to demonstrate your expertise and give you the opportunity to offer individual follow up conversations.
Wrap up questions 5 minutes before your out time to give your closing statement!
-You don’t need a Social Strategy, you need a digital strategy!
-Jump in, but listen before you start chatting up the channels. Walk, crawl, run.
-Get help! A Social Strategist can get help walk you through the process, saving saving you time and headache by identifying results driven opportunities for your business online, optimizing your social sites, training you on the tools that will integrate social use into your (or your staff’s) day and help you set measurable benchmark’s so you’ll know if you’re on the right track.
-Social can help you generate leads, connect you with customers & help you grow your business.
Let us know if you found this useful, I’d love to get your feedback, suggestions and tips on presenting social. Given a presentation you love or found one you want to share? Leave a link!
If you’re just sitting down to write one – good luck!
Creating web videos? A lot of folks seem to think “if you build it, they will come” but that’s far from true – in fact, making the thing is just the beginning. Now you need to promote it (or them) and here are 5 tips to get you started…
Post your videos to your blog and (this is the important part) include a bullet pointed outline in text for folks watching your videos – this will help your search rankings on Google and give folks who can’t watch your video reasons to save your video for later!
No blog? Email your vendors, for example, and ask them to use your video as a “guest post” on their blog or share it in their company email!
Create a slideshow version of your video – include a link to the video in the slideshow.
Submit your videos to YouTube, Vimeo and other social and bookmarking sites – using relevant keywords in your title, description and tags is extremely important!
Come up with a marketing plan for your video – You may not feel like you have time for brainstorming and planning, but mapping out even a loose video strategy around each video will save you a lot of time & headache down the road. In fact, this is so important it’s the one area where I even recommend hiring a marketer to help if you really can’t make the time. Here are a few bonus tips for video planning:
Focus your efforts on 1 target audience.
Look for tie-in opportunities, such as holidays, product launches, local/national news or events, etc.
Embed your video in an email & send it out to your list – make sure you clearly ask for “likes,” ratings and shares!
Since YouTube is the big kid on campus, and you’ll probably spend a lot of time there researching, it’s important to note that the “view” number may seriously skewed by mentions on traditional media, links to popular websites, the age of the video or other “campaigns” implemented to boost the count. A site or video that is promoted to the front page of social news site Digg.com, for example, can get pummeled with a million hits, but the traffic is best described as “non-converting.” Users come for the content in droves, but they don’t don’t buy or even click around! If you’re Coke or Pepsi, this might be fine. You’ll add it to the “branding” line in your budget and call it a day, but we’re talking about driving clicks that count!
3 ways to using viral videos to drive quality traffic at a low cost.
Benefit Driven Videos: Providing specific value to current & potential customers through “How to videos” or Podcasts is a great way to gain traction with your ideal customer! If you really know your customers, this one’s almost a no-brainer!
User Generated Content: This is usually done with contesting of some type, perhaps with a product or other motivating factor can energize users and compel them to upload their own videos per your request. If the prize is interesting enough, this could create quite a bit of buzz for your brand!
Loud Cheap Different: Look very closely at all of your current videos, your competitors videos as well as everything you can find related to your category on YouTube and everywhere else. Then run the other way! Create something totally insanely different! Ensure that it stands out! Totally focus on creating a video geared solely toward making an impact on your target customer and, to ensure that this video “gets traction,” plan on promoting it using a keyword buys! Prepare to be loud & brash or prepare for disappointment!
As in any Word of Mouth Marketing campaign, the key to a successful viral video is in the impact it makes on customers. Viral videos need to drive emotion or offer significant value in order to be spread from person to person, but they do not need to be expensive to produce! There are great low cost / high impact examples in Cheap & Easy Web Videos You can do Too
Oh, btw, if you create a video and it “goes viral” with a million hits and it gets everyone talking… let’s call it a bonus!
The same reasons that make Twitter so popular are those that make describing twitter problematic.
While that might not makes sense at first glance, once you realize that Twitter has no real product direction or single “primary use” you may begin to realize just how difficult it is to describe (and figure out) Twitter’s relevance as a businesses tool.
Here’s a parallel challenge:
Come up with one blanket statement that clearly describes what our existing land line phone systom does.
Why is that a challenge? Well, in your description you will have had to include all uses of consumer land line phones such as fax transmission, internet connections, VOIP phone line connections, 911 ermergency services, automated home alarm warning services, etc. So, that being said, please consider the technology of Twitter just as complex.
That’s all great, but WTF is Twitter?
The direct answer: Twitter is whatever you can make of it.
That’s probably disappointing, but its absolutely the reason people say things like “I’m still figuring Twitter out” or “trying to get used to Twitter” or “I don’t get it.” The unfortunate fact is, once you create your account you are stuck trying figure out what to do with little to no direction and that takes time most people don’t have. Fortunately there are a lot of folks, like myself, willing to spend way too much time writing stuff like this and trying to help out:-)
10 things you can do with Twitter (for free):
Connect with fans using Twitter by offering relevant information.
Provide updates on your product for active Twitter users (millions & growing).
Improve your website by posting updated information to your site via Twitter (RSS) fed widget.
Offer scheduled information to anyone interested. May included daily, weekly or random information to customers which could include specials, coupons,
Follow experts in many industries for fresh information as it happens.
Post last minute deals, specials, emergency information, etc. to customers or other interested parties (because users choose to follow you we can assume they are “interested”).
Update any RSS capable reader or product connected to the internet.
Get found in real-time keyword searches. *Google, Bing and other search engines are adding Twitter search results to their own first page results and further integration is ongoing.
Have your “tweet” reposted in the streams of organizations followed by tens, hundreds, thousands or even millions of passionate people.
Publicly comment on anything.
So why use Twitter?
First and foremost, because the simple act of posting information on Twitter significantly increases the chances of being found in search engines and because using Twitter as one of your marketing channels makes for a great introduction to using Twitter.
What did I miss? Got more ways to use Twitter? Do you disagree? Please add your thoughts and ideas in the comments.
If you like this explanation, please link to it in your blog posts > Twitter
Spring is a very busy season for our Small Business Programs. We hope you can join us for one of our great contests or events including The Small Business Plan Contest, The “One-Hour-Mentor” Program and Small Business Expo. Happy Spring!
2010 Business Plan Contest to End Soon
Just a reminder that the deadline to enter your 2-page business plan template into consideration for the 2010 Business Plan Competition has been extended to Friday, April 9th. Enter for you chance to share in $10,000 in prizes.
Congratulations to our 2010 Elevator Pitch Winner “Second Act” Thank you to all of our outstanding contestants. Please consider entering our Business Plan Competition (see box above)
Small Business Expo
The 2010 Small Business Expo will be held on Friday, July 16th at the U.I.C. Forum. Join us for one of the best networking days in Chicago with over 130 exhibitors, 30 FREE Small Business Workshops, and 2,000 attendees. Sponsors, Exhibitors, and attendeess can find more information at FREE SMALL BUSINESS EXPO.
The “One- Hour- Mentor” Program for Chicago Small Business Chicago business leaders come together 4 times a year to help Chicago small business owners to brainstorm and problem solve. Workshops fill fast – NEXT One Hour Mentor May 26th at 10am.
There are less than 10 days to enter the City Treasurer’s 2010 Business Plan Competition. Submit your two page executive summary by April 5th, for your chance to share in $10,000 in prizes and be featured in the media. Visit www.chicagocitytreasurer.com BUSINESSCONTEST.
Winners will be announced at the Small Business Expo, July 16th at the UIC Forum.
City Treasurer’s FREE Annual Small Business Expo is set for Friday, July 16th at the UIC Forum from 8:30am-3:30pm. Network with over 2,000 fellow small business owners, 120 highly selected exhibitors and a full day of free expert workshops designed to grow your business. Learn more at http://www.chicagocitytreasurer.com
ORDER SOCIAL MEDIA BIZ CARDS! Click an image below
If you’re shooting & posting web videos on your site you’re probably thinking life is pretty good out there on the cutting edge! You might be right but, chances are, you’re also missing out on a ton of Web Best Practices you can only get with text on that page!
No script for your video? No problem! Use a traditional Outline format with bold headlines and brief descriptions. Outlines are easy to skim and a well developed outline can add an air of credibility to almost any post!
Here are 5 ways to get the Google juice your video content deserves and make your Videos or Video Blog Posts even better!
Bolded (or html) headers: if they’re keyword focused you will improve your SEO dramatically!
Bullet Points: Open up your content to those who are not able to immediately watch a video. They might be at work, on a mobile device or whatever, but if you show them there’s good content in that video, chances are, they’ll bookmark it, share it or come back to watch!
Pull out Quotes & Key Phrases: Because I’ve been disappointed by so many videos with big promises and no payoff, it’s rare if I stop to watch a video. Show me you have an expert making a good point or two and I’ll click play!
Highlight Controversy: If you’re out to get comments or go viral, “controversial” is where it’s at! Pull out the most heated arguments, bold them and throw them right up under your video!
Add Brief Descriptions: Make your content more attractive, not just to search engines but to folks looking for something to quote. Include short, punchy, “retweet” friendly sentences to encourage sharing! Keep them under 130 characters, with spaces, so shortened URLs may be included.
Bonus Video Blog Tip: DON’T include “video” in your title unless it’s a post about video. DO include “video” in your category & tags! Why not in your title? Folks who are not in a position to watch a video won’t click it. They’ll assume there’s no content other than the video and in most cases they’ll be right – but since you’ve added key points in text to yours, they won’t be left empty handed!
I absolutely love commercials that are so clever they stand out from the crowd, so these spots from Dos XX rate pretty high on my list. As I read a question posted on BrightFuse this morning regarding the effectiveness of “visual CVs” it got me thinking about “The most interesting man in the world.”
His mom has a tattoo that says “son.”
Now, of course you don’t need “The most interesting brand in the world,” but you do need to stand out in a crowd! Are you interesting and different? The rest of the beer brands seem to be shouting about how they are refreshing and light or how their container changes color when it’s cold but, still, they are not the most interesting beers in the world!
So, whether you’re a business owner or job seeker reread your resume & marketing materials with the goal of injecting them with personal success stories no one else can own. If, by chance, you too have a personality so magnetic you are unable to carry credit cards …embrace it!
The Most Interesting Man in the World Quotes
Police often question him, just because they find him interesting.
His beard alone has experienced more than a lesser man’s body.
His blood smells like cologne.
He has amassed an amazingly large DVD collection, and has never once alphabetized it.
If he were to mail a letter without postage, it would still get there.
The pheromones he secretes effect people miles away… in a slight, but measurable way.
He once punched a magician. That’s right, you heard me.
His hands feel like rich, brown suede.
He lived in the hills of the Serengeti for a summer after being gifted a wife by a local tribes men.
He owns 4 sports cars, and rents 5.
He taught a horse to read his email for him.
He almost broke the land speed record in 1977, popular opinion among his team was that is beard caused to much wind resistance. He would have shaved it… No, no he wouldn’t have.
He was the featured man at a bachelorette auction he brought in over 13 million euro, under the table.
His personality is so magnetic, he is unable to carry credit cards.
Even his enemy’s list him as there emergency contact.
He never says anything taste like chicken… Not even chicken.
He speaks fluent French, in Russian.
His charm is so contagious, vaccines were created for it.
Years ago, he created a city out of blocks. Today over 600,000 people live and work there.
He is the only person to ever ace a Rorschach Test.
Every time he goes for a swim, dolphins appear.
Alien abductors have asked him to probe them.
If he we’re to give you directions… You would never get lost. And you’d arrive at least 5 minutes early.
His legend precedes him, the way lightning precedes thunder.
His reputation is expanding, faster then the universe.
He once had an awkward moment just to see how it feels.
He lives vicariously through himself.
He’s been known to cure narcolepsy just by walking into a room.
He’s a lover… Not a fighter, but he’s also a fighter, so don’t get any ideas.
His organ donation card, also lists his beard.
When it is raining, it is because he is sad.
Even his parents’ advice is insightful.
If there were an interesting gland, his would be larger than most men’s entire lower intestines.
His shirts never wrinkle.
He is left-handed. And right-handed.
He once knew a call was a wrong number, even though the person on the other end wouldn’t admit it.
You can see his charisma from space.
When he orders a salad, he gets the dressing right there on top of the salad, where it belongs…where there is no turning back.
If a monument was built in his honor, Mt. Rushmore would close, due to poor attendance.
On every continent in the world, there is a sandwich named after him.
He doesn’t believe in using oven mitts, nor potholders.
His cereal never gets soggy. It sits there, staying crispy, just for him.
His pillow talk is years ahead of it’s time.
Respected archaeologists fight over his discarded apple cores.
It is said the sun comes up later on the 6th of May, in case his Cinco parties run long.
The Mayans prophecized his birth.
Even lucha libres remove their masks in his presence.
He once taught a German Shepherd to bark in Spanish.
He serves sizzling fajita platters barehanded.
Bulls flat-out refuse to fight him.
He once buried a time capsule full of things that haven’t happened yet.
He has been pronounced dead 7 times…make that 8.
His bear hugs are actually hugs he gives to bears.
He can’t be bought, but his beard clippings have been know to show up on auction.
He has never lost a sock.
If he disagrees with you, it is because you are wrong.
Most songs about love are written for him, about him, or by him.
He’d never initiate a conversation about the weather, even in a typhoon.
He’s against cruelty to animals, but isn’t afraid to issue a stern warning.
Whatever side of the tracks he’s currently on is the right side. If he crossed them, he would still be the right side.
He won the same lifetime achievement award twice.
Signs that say “This is not an exit” do not apply to him.
If he rides with you in your car, its resale value will instantly increase.
If he passed you on the street you would still feel stopped and said hello and asked you about your day.
He likes the word “fog”.
If you were trapped with him in an elevator, you wouldn’t want to be saved.
His business card just says, “I’ll call you.”
The Aztec calendar has his birthday chiseled in.
The front of his house looks like it was built by the Mayans…because it was.
His tacos refuse to fall from the shell.
If you were to see him walking Chihuahua, it would still look masculine.
Dicing onions doesn’t make him cry…it only makes him stronger.
*updated 6/15/10 scroll all the way down for bonus links to infographics including 40 fantastic infographics!
Ok, you’re excited! You’ve done the research to turn up sales figures that will turn heads but what the heck are you going to do with a list of arbitrary numbers on a spreadsheet?!? How do you turn a dry static stat riddled excel sheet into a sea of emotional sizzle??? Well, if you haven’t met already, let me introduce you to the “Infographic” and it’s video partner.
Below you’ll find examples of entertaining, fascinating and powerful visuals that were surely, at one point, completely boring piles of facts & figures!
The INFOGRAPHIC VIDEO: This is a great example of how to shape research into a series of powerful examples everyone can relate.
The INFOGRAPHIC: Without a doubt the combination of rapid growth & the “measurement factor” of online advertising is driving the buzz surrounding social networking but, even still, there are few LESS interesting things than web stats! Here’s a great way to showcase figures that would be otherwise eye glazing. Click for a larger view.
Perhaps this will help inspire you to create one! Mother’s Day is around the corner and I’ve run across some very creative tie-ins from Twitter contests to blog posts! Now, it may be too late (or not) for you to jump on the Mom’s Day bandwagon, but I thought I’d share in hopes of seeing some creative promotions for June which, by the way, is National Safety Month, Adopt a Cat month, National Iced Tea month, Turkey Lovers Month and a bunch of other holidays!
Of course these easily carry over to Facebook and other social networks as well! Please share if you have, or have seen, any great social media strategies that are “calendar” or promotion based in the comments and feel free to comment on these too!