Social Media Time! (A Very Special Gremln Survey)

Posted by Clayton Smith on September 22, 2011

When it comes to social media marketing, timing is everything. After all, 2am might not be the best time for Olive Garden to share its lunch specials, but it's probably a great time to market some Lunesta. Your social media strategies are going to be most successful if they're hitting your target audience at the perfect time, and unless you've just installed a flux capacitor in your DeLorean, there's not a whole lot of margin for error.

What if you knew when the biggest portion of your target audience would be focusing its attention on Facebook? What if you could schedule your tweets to go out every day at exactly the right time to reach the most potential customers? What if you could predict the future behavior of your target market?

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Topics: business, facebook, Foursquare, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, Gremln News, linkedin, Marketing, ROI, social media, survey, twitter

Beating Back the Boredom: How your social media marketing campaign can outlast your fans’ short attention spans

Posted by Clayton Smith on September 7, 2011

Bad news: Social media is killing your attention span. In fact, you’ve probably stopped reading this post already. If you’re still going, I applaud your strength and perseverance. You are truly an inspiration to us all.

How often do you log on to Facebook? Once every day? Once every hour? Once every seven seconds? I admit, I’m closer to the latter, and a lot of you probably are too. I check in on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ like a hyperactive six year old switches between Saturday morning cartoons, and when I do, I expect to see something new and exciting happening. Every single time.

That may be a little unreasonable (and it puts a heck of a lot of pressure on my friends), but it’s what social media has trained us to expect. It’s true for me, it’s probably true for you, and I can almost guarantee it’s true for your customer base. With the ever-shrinking attention span of the social media public, I can’t help but wonder—what’s the reasonable lifespan of a social media marketing strategy?

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Topics: Business, business, education, facebook, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, ROI, social media, strategy, twitter

Social Discounts - 5 great ways to discount using social media

Posted by Clayton Smith on August 31, 2011

When it comes to selling your product, “discount” can be a tricky word. On one hand, discounts can be great for luring new customers or bringing back old ones, and they can also help move old inventory. But on the other hand, discounts often attract customers who are more price sensitive and less brand loyal. Discount purchasers are less likely to come back for more.

The reason is simple. Although you are giving buyers a reason to purchase (my wife would gladly trade my left arm for 40% off a yoga mat), you’re not giving them any reason to be charmed. There’s no interaction, no engagement, no reason for someone to think, “Wow, this company really is something.”

But all is not lost! There’s still room for the discount in our highly connected, prove-that-you-deserve-my-loyalty-or-I’ll-go-online-and-find-someone-who-is world. Enter the social discount.

Part traditional discount, part social networking, the social discount allows you to attract price sensitive customers and strengthen your company’s brand. The next time you feel the urge to blanket the town with 10% off coupons, consider using one of these social discounting methods instead.

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Topics: Business, business, discount, facebook, gremlin, gremln, Groupon, Marketing, money, ROI, SCVNGR, social media, tips, twitter

Digital Disappointment: Four reasons businesses flop on social media

Posted by Clayton Smith on August 4, 2011

A landscaper once told me that he found social media to be a useless marketing tool. His attempts to expand his customer base by way of social networking consistently fell flat, and his time investment gave him little, if any, return. He wanted to know why he should spend so much time cultivating his Facebook page if it wasn’t going to help his business.

It's a question that a lot of business owners have. There’s a never-ending stream of buzz lauding the terrific marketing powers of social media, but let’s face it. It’s not working for everyone. The aforementioned landscaper’s Facebook page currently has about 20 fans, despite being created more than three months ago. He’s right, social media clearly isn’t working for him. So what gives?

The simple fact is, he was promised too much. All too often, small business owners buy wholeheartedly into a few fallacies of social media marketing that are showered down upon them by their friends, family, and news media, only to find that social networking doesn’t live up to their expectations. When this happens, it’s easy to become disillusioned with the idea of social media marketing in an extremely short period of time.

In order to help curb such negative experiences, here’s a look at a few of those misconceptions and the corresponding truths about social media marketing.

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Topics: Business, business, facebook, Foursquare, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, Marketing, ROI, social media, twitter

Opening the Floodgates: How like-gating impacts the social media marketing dynamic

Posted by Clayton Smith on August 1, 2011

Last week, for our Social Media 101 series, I wrote on the topic of like-gating. Today, we’ll look a little more closely at the concept and its impact on the business-consumer relationship.

A quick refresher: Like-gating is when a company requires a Facebook user to like its Facebook page before accessing exclusive content. The benefit of this strategy for the company is easy to see. People want exclusive content, so they like the page on Facebook, thus increasing the overall number of page fans and expanding the company’s digital audience.

Every time a person likes a company on Facebook, the company’s posts flow through the person’s Facebook news feed. The more people who see the post, the more the marketing message spreads, and the higher the company’s potential ROI on its social media marketing becomes. Because of this, likes have become a serious social currency. Like-gating is one way to leverage the phenomenon—but what impact is like-gating having on the business-consumer relationship?

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Topics: Business, business, facebook, gremlin, gremln, like, like-gate, Marketing, ROI, social media, tips

Social Media 101: Like-gating

Posted by Clayton Smith on July 28, 2011

“Social Media 101” is a series for social media beginners where we discuss the basics of social media marketing. Today, we define the term “like-gating.”

Like-gating is when a company requires Facebook users to “like” its Facebook page before allowing them to access exclusive content. This is usually done by way of a welcome tab that a visitor sees upon his first visit to the Facebook page, but the like-gate can be any tab on the page and is not limited to just the welcome tab.

The term comes from the fact that the “like” button acts as a gateway to the exclusive content, hence a like-gate. However, this “like” button barrier is sometimes also referred to as a “fangate” because clicking the “like” button makes you a “fan” of the Facebook page.

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Topics: 101, business, facebook, gremlin, like, like-gate, like-gating, Marketing, ROI, social media, Social Media Education

Embracing the Next Social Network (or “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Google+”)

Posted by Clayton Smith on July 25, 2011

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there's this new social network called Google+.

I know, I know, that’s a bit of an understatement. Currently, the social network has more than 20 million users. That’s twice as many users as Foursquare has, and Foursquare has been around for two years. Google+ blew past them in two weeks.

Google+ may still be quite a way off from Facebook’s impressive 800 million-ish users, but here’s something else to keep in mind: Google+ is still invite-only. It’s obliterating records as the fastest growing online social network in history, and it isn’t even open to the public yet.

Generally speaking, the instant success of Google’s latest project has elicited one of two responses from my own social circles; either “Yes, finally, an alternative to Facebook!” or, more often than not, the much less enthusiastic, “Ugh. Another social network?”

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Topics: business, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, media, network, ROI, social, social media, Social Media Education

5 Lessons Social Media Marketers Can Learn From Angry Birds

Posted by Clayton Smith on July 21, 2011

If you’re reading this, it probably means you’re taking a break from playing the multi-platform breakout hit game Angry Birds. (I’ll try to keep this short so you can get back to beating Mine and Dine.)

Angry Birds, which was created by Rovio Mobile, was initially released for the iPhone in December 2009. Now, a year and a half later, Angry Birds is everywhere; iPads, iPods, android devices, PC browsers, Google Chrome, and even the PlayStation Portable. Wherever you are, there, too, are the birds. The game has been downloaded more than 250 million times.

There are several lessons social media marketers can learn from Angry Birds’ seemingly boundless success. Here are the five biggest:

1. Your campaign doesn’t have to be complex to be successful

Angry Birds is a simple concept. Launch the bird, hit the pigs. It’s an easy game to play, which means it’s an easy game to learn. Virtually anyone can pick it up and start playing in a matter of seconds, which makes it broadly appealing. When designing a far-reaching marketing strategy, keep in mind that simpler is often better.

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Topics: angry birds, Business, business, facebook, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, media, network, ROI, social, social media, tips, twitter

The Daily Deal - Are coupon sites a help or hindrance for social media marketers?

Posted by Clayton Smith on June 24, 2011

In the interest of proving that we’re genuinely interested in providing social media education even if it doesn’t involve Gremln, I thought I’d spend some time addressing something that has absolutely swarmed the social media space over the last couple of years, the phenomenon of The Daily Deal. Led with considerable force by Groupon, the daily deal business model is now being used by literally hundreds of companies, including LivingSocial, Google, The New York Times, and Amazon. And why not? It’s a relatively cheap model to implement, the deal sites’ profit margins are high, and consumers love it. But is the daily discount a boon or a bane for your business?

We all know the basic idea behind daily deal sites: A company leverages a deal site’s popularity and reach to offer a coupon for a huge discount on its products or services for one day, and the deal site takes a percentage of the revenue made on the purchase of that coupon.

The group discount wagon may be ripe for the jumping, if it works with your business model. In an endeavor to help you decide if The Daily Deal is right for you, here are some pros and cons to consider:

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Topics: Business, business, discount, gremlin, gremln, Groupon, Marketing, ROI, social media

Social Media - The Cost of Free

Posted by Clayton Smith on June 16, 2011

Okay, this may not exactly be news, but you know what? Social media is great. Social programs are easy to access, profiles are simple to set up, and these digital darlings can be used for social communication, professional networking, marketing, searching, news, popular culture studies…the list goes on and on.  The benefits of using social media are impressive, to say the least.  And hey. Did you know that they’re free? No kidding. For the grand total of zero dollars, every company in America can have its own Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Myspace, Xanga, and Flickr accounts. Marketing directors should be jumping in the streets.

Right?

Well, no, not exactly. Despite the low (read: nonexistent) financial cost of entry, social media do come with cost baggage, and as we all know, nothing is ever truly free. Unless you have the best internship program in the world, you’re likely to expend quite a few resources when it comes to social media strategizing, content production and editing, strategy execution, impact analysis, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Social media may be free, but they aren’t publishing themselves.

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Topics: Business, business, gremlin, gremln, money, ROI, social media

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