Advertising in a Social Media World

The last few posts talked about advertising in a world where social media is growing  leaps and bounds. The traditional marketing way is still here, but it may not be the best form of marketing for you or you may need to combine the traditional with the social. We need to remember that we are working with two different mediums. What works on one – even if it's your strongest ad – may not work on the other. It's important also to match the ad with the right social network. My husband whose career is in sales says that the best salesperson has mastered the real secret of selling: Don’t appear to sell. Instead, “help” the customer figure out what she needs – and provide it. Social networking is ideal for this friendly, conversational approach. However you choose to advertise – traditional media, social media or a healthy mixture of both – do make sure that you fit it in as part of your long term marketing...

Sales Pitches Out: Social Advertising In

Are you considering just putting one of your existing banner ads on a social site such as Facebook? Don't. At least… not yet… It's important to remember you are dealing with two different mediums. What works on one – even if it's your strongest ad – may not work on the other. There are a number of mistakes I've seen marketers make, when creating their own social ads, and impersonal headlines beginning with anything even remotely close to: “The Untold Truth About…” – ones that sound like a sales pitch – will turn people off faster than a slap of ice water. It's important also to match the ad with the right social network.  There are now so many in play that it seems as if there's a social network for every market – and they're not all created equal.  Besides a difference in sales tracking metrics and flexibility, you also have to consider the demographic that uses each particular one the most. For example, Scribd‘s population leans more heavily towards young male professionals, with college education, whereas MySpace‘s demographic is the 17-21 year old age group (usually non-spenders, except on electronic items such as iPhones, music and gaming systems). But no matter what platform you finally pick, you won't get anywhere with the sort of sales pitches that sound like the beginning of a TV commercial: The sort that wake you up at night, while their presenters enthusiastically shout about the latest gadget. Remember that social advertising is just that… social. Nobody's really got the ultimate handle on it yet… but when it comes to social advertising for...

Social Media Advertising goes Mainstream

One way you can tell if social media advertising is really something you should be considering for your business:  The amount of top-drawer ad agencies that have sprung up or changed focus, shifting their attention from traditional advertising to zero in on social media. Even social media platforms themselves hire these agencies, to create ads for their clients. For example, New York-based Lotame, whose clients include Flixster and Bebo. Then there are Sometrics, Siteheart and SocialMedia.com… SocialMedia is geared specifically to social ad platforms, offering to render ads containing Twitter messages, comments from web communities and data from your site. Lotame boasts it “goes beyond industry norms by applying a social data layer to audience segmentation”. They call this a “zero waste” advertising solution – and their clients include Flixster and Bebo. In fact, visiting their website can give the do-it-yourself social ad creator some good clues as to what to focus on, when creating your message.  Just take note of phrases such as “interactivity over clicks”, “meaningful audience engagement”…  “The medium is the message and social ads are the solution”…  Their recent new hires include John Thomas, PhD, formerly with Crimson Hexagon, specializing in social media analytics. In short, there's some major money and brain power going into monetizing social media. Further proof is provided in a Knowledge Networks May 2009 press release, which gives statistics for: “Proportion of Social Media Users Who Turn to Social Media When Making Purchase Decisions“, giving the lie to nay-sayers who insist people aren't haunting social networks to buy.  (They aren't – but they do!)  This particular PDF press release lists the...

Why Go Social when you’re Not?

Do you feel stressed or discouraged at the thought of having to add social media to your business advertising mix?  If you do, then chances are you are one of the secret minority who have vowed never to join Twitter, and you're sick of hearing about Facebook (that thing your teenager haunts). Relax.  Social media doesn't have to mean huge learning curves and wasted hours, all in the name of networking. Once you realize that business networking isn't wasting time at all, it might make a whole lot more sense. Mind you, you might have to work a little at that shift in mindset… but you can do a few things to cut down on your social media climbing without losing valuable opportunities for free advertising. Start Small… You can't get much faster than Twitter for social media networking. Compare the three hours you spent writing that article; then the frustratingly glitchy load time, uploading it to your marketing directory… and waiting 4 or 5 days for it to be approved… Now write out a sentence like this (in less than 140 characters): “10 ways to French-braid your hair”. Add to it a shortened link to your blog post. Voila. You're done. The best way to shorten that link?  There's 2 schools of thought… Some say it's better if you used an optimized post title leading directly to your blog, like so: “http://www.just-an-example.com/brainstorming.html“.  Keyword-wise… yes, it is. But most people shorten their posts with bit.ly, because it allows you to add a button to your browser bar, and check your click-throughs instantly. (And remember, social networking is driven by...

Free Advertising Using 5 Social Media Sites

You've been realizing lately that you really need to spread the word about your business, website, event or product. But you don't have the largest budget on the planet. If you're looking for ways to advertise for free, you might want to consider making full use of social media. Most social media platforms offer paid advertising – and if you have the budget, it's always better to cover all the bases. But there are some free methods and techniques utilizing social media that can really increase your exposure (and even your personal brand). Here are suggestions that have worked well for many internet marketers and entrepreneurs on these 5 social media sites… It's not enough just spread the word by blogging: You have to also promote your blog. Do it by using Delicious or Digg. Link to your blog from your Facebook news feed. Send people to your blog by tweeting on Twitter about your latest post; shorten the URL with bit.ly – and then check your stats on the number of clicks. Upload a video to YouTube, and make sure links to your business are placed in the first and last frame of your video (appearing long enough for people to quickly make a note of the link). Have the same URL in as many places on your YouTube channel page as you can manage.   Make sure it either (a) is extremely helpful about one tricky subject for the niche you're targeting or (b) contains all the elements of a viral video:  Memorable, entertaining, personal, unique – if appropriate, perhaps even funny.  (A Singing Parrot is far...

Prioritizing your Mobile Website Information

Image via CrunchBase Just as Twitter is a micro-blog version of regular blogs, allowing only “posts” of 140 characters, stripped down to the bare minimum, so mobile websites are stripped down versions of “main” websites, showing only the most important information. What constitutes “the most important information”?  In a nutshell, stuff the user needs to know. Photos are gone. Graphics are gone. Ads are gone (though that is about to change, thanks to mobile advertising companies such as AdMob). Everything is strictly “need to know”. What graphics should you “keep”, when creating a mobile version of your website? Well, human beings thrive on consistency and love repetition, so by all means, keep the same colors as your main PC site (even though the layout will have to be different). If you have a “branded” business with a logo, it's a good idea to include a small version of your logo on your home page. And pay particular attention to navigation. (Remember, people are going to be accessing your information on tiny browsers – often while multi-tasking (a polite way of saying “driving”.)  Which we hope not. One of the most important items to include? Reassurances about security, if your mobile website visitors are going to be doing any e-trade. One other thing to remember about many mobile devices:  They don't like JavaScript, so your standard Google Analytics won't work. You can try out a commercial service, but this is where AdMob Analytics really comes into its own. (It's free, too – as is www.motally.com!) And if the thought of learning Tiny XHTML (the latest mobile website coding language) turns...