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

Background Check – Making the most of your company’s Twitter background

Posted by Clayton Smith on August 17, 2011

When’s the last time you checked out another business’s Twitter page? I don’t mean when’s the last time you saw one of their tweets. I mean, when’s the last time you clicked through to view that company’s full Twitter profile and saw its Twitter background design? I’m betting it’s been a while. For most of us, any Twitter profile other than our own is out of sight and definitely out of mind.

But sooner or later, we all find ourselves exploring someone else’s Twitter profile. It usually happens when we’re searching around for new tweeters to follow. Sometimes it happens because we want to scroll back through all the person’s recent tweets. Every once in a while it happens because we’re just bored out of our gourds and have nothing better to do than surf through random Twitter usernames. (You thought you were the only one who did that, didn’t you?)

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Topics: Business, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, media, ROI, social, social media, 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

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

Insights and Impressions - What are your social media analytics telling you?

Posted by Clayton Smith on July 18, 2011

You’re brilliant. You know you’re brilliant. You have a fantastic new Facebook marketing campaign for your product, and it’s the most brilliant thing you’ve ever come up with. It just shines with brilliance. So you launch the campaign, and you wait for the rampant success that should always come with this high level of brilliance.

But how will you know if the public thinks it’s brilliant? How will you know if your campaign really is destined to become that rampant success? Ideally, of course, you should see an increase in sales. After all, what is your hard work for if not to increase your company’s bottom line? But it can take time for your marketing message to translate into a customer purchase, and before that money starts flowing, it’s helpful to know how many people are actually seeing your message. Enter Facebook impressions.

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Topics: analytics, Business, facebook, gremlin, gremln, klout, linkedin, Marketing, media, ROI, social, social media, twitter

Social Media 101: The Tweetup

Posted by Clayton Smith on July 13, 2011

Gremln's “Social Media 101” is a series for social media beginners where we discuss the basics of social media marketing. Today, we define the tweetup.

A tweetup is a social gathering of Twitter users that is organized mainly or exclusively through the social network. The name is a mash-up of “tweet” and “meetup,” or “meet-up.” Tweetups usually focus on a common cause or theme. For this reason, tweetups often serve as networking events whereby attendees meet new people with similar interests.

A tweetup isn’t always restricted to a gathering of Twitter users. Although this was initially the case, over time the word “tweetup” has become ubiquitous across all social media platforms. Today’s tweetups are often composed of people who learned about the event through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, email, etc.

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Topics: Business, gremlin, gremln, ROI, social media, tweetup, twitter, twitter business, twitter marketing

The Missing Link -- Can LinkedIn be a viable social media marketing tool?

Posted by Clayton Smith on July 5, 2011

LinkedIn. It’s the king of digital business-to-business connections. Unlike other popular social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is more about networking than socializing. It tends to be seen as a networking tool for the businessman rather than the everyman. Does this white-collar stigma leave any room for business owners to use LinkedIn to connect with potential customers?

Marketing vs. CRM
From a business standpoint, it’s easy to think of Facebook and Twitter as marketing tools. That’s because as a consumer, all I need to receive Nike’s marketing message is an internet connection, a Facebook account, and the ability to click “Like.” That’s it.

But LinkedIn isn’t so easy. Sure, I can follow Nike on LinkedIn, but that basically sends me links to their blogs, tweets, and other non-LinkedIn information that I’ve already found on my own anyway. If I want to use LinkedIn to its full potential, as a peer-to-peer communications tool to really connect with the company, I need to know someone on the inside. I need to be a colleague of, or have done business with, or have gone to school with, or be a friend of, or have the email address of a Nike employee.

But I don’t know anyone at Nike.  I’m just a potential customer interested in their products.

This poses a bit of a puzzle for Nike (and every company on LinkedIn). How are they going to market to me if I can’t connect directly with them? LinkedIn is booming in popularity, thanks in part to its recent IPO, and it currently boasts more than 100 million users. That’s a large pool of potential for any company that can successfully tap into it. But doing so means finding a way to break the connection barrier.

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Topics: Business, crm, facebook, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, Marketing, ROI, social media, social media marketing, twitter

Get Crowded - Using social media to crowdsource your marketing

Posted by Clayton Smith on June 29, 2011

It was bound to happen. I mean, all the conditions were right. The economy fell like a sack of flour, forcing everyone to start doing a lot more with a lot less. We were suddenly faced with a large and talented unemployment pool. Meanwhile, social media took off like a rocket. Given these conditions, it’s no wonder crowdsourcing really exploded.

Crowdsourcing is a relatively new take on an old idea. The word “crowdsource” is a combination of the words “crowd” and “outsource.” Outsourcing has been around forever—the IT and sales industries are infamous for putting inexpensive call centers halfway around the world. Crowdsourcing is the same concept, except instead of hiring a specialized company to do the work in question, companies open up the job to the public at large. Anyone looking for a little extra work can take a shot at the project.

Leverage the power of the public

A good example of this is LG’s 2010 “Design the Future” competition. Using the popular crowdsourcing platform crowdSPRING, LG offered cash prizes (up to $20,000) to the person who submitted the best design for what the phone of the future might look like.

But wait. Doesn’t a company like LG have a Research and Development department for things like that? Sure, probably. But crowdsourcing is cheaper, and it allowed the company to tap into entirely new resources by way of Joe Public.

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Topics: Business, crowdsource, facebook, gremlin, linkedin, Marketing, media, network, ROI, social, twitter

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