Social Media Marketing – No One Way Streets

There are no one way streets in a successful social marketing campaign. Remember that.

Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of businesses trying to harness the power of social media. They register their Twitter accounts, start fan pages on Facebook and maybe even create their very own blog. That’s definitely a step in the right direction. However, that’s only the beginning.

Many businesses think this is enough and simply start blasting away with ads and bulls%@$, as they did “back in the day” through more traditional channels. A TV commercial is a one way street, as are most radio ads or billboards. Marketing via social media is not.

All one has to do is look at the phrase “social media,” social being the keyword here. It’s all about interacting with your customers. Not by simply posting events, alerts and ads (dare I say spam) on social media sites, but by seeking out and responding to customer feedback. Empower the customer, give them a sense of belonging and they will love you.

If a user comments on your Facebook fan page, respond to it. If someone new begins following you on Twitter, acknowledge and thank them. It can be that simple.

For anyone that still can’t grasp the idea of social media marketing, here it is in a nutshell: Interaction with customers, or perhaps we should now call them fans or friends, on a two way street, where communication flows back and forth.

That’s it! Now go forth and start building a fan base.

-Mike Mulhall

Social Media Marketing – Visuals Are Key

It’s like they always said in business school when giving presentations, visuals are key. Today’s ritalin popping culture is growing more and more dependent on visuals and short excerpts rather than essays and articles. And the more businesses try to reach their customers over the internet, the more engaging content they must create.

The saying a picture is worth a thousand words could not be truer in today’s market. And if a picture is worth a thousand, then a video (well put together) is worth a hundred thousand.  For bloggers, this means posting more photos in their articles and more videos of themselves. For companies, it may mean more videos of end-users interacting with their products or perhaps photos or videos of company events.

The costs of electronics has taken a nose dive the past few years. Good digital camerasand HD flipcamsare very affordable at around $150. Sites such as Youtube and Vimeo are free services that allow users to upload and broadcast their videos. Flickr is another free site that allows users to upload large amounts of photos for online use and sharing. Clearly, the costs of production and broadcasting are no longer to expensive for small businesses or individuals.

Examples: Check out MoreThanMary.com to see great examples of how a successful blogger does it. Mary has mastered the art of using visuals online and I myself have learned tons from her. Another great site to check out is ShopWatchBuy.com. I just recently discovered this and love its creativity. This site has taken the visual concept to the next level by allowing users to sell their products using their own videos.

So bloggers…stop being camera shy (I totally am, but that’s going to change). As for businesses, start getting creative with advertising via multimedia, and start engaging with your customers.

This is a whole new type of branding, where creativity is more important than the budget. No more giant billboards. No more million dollar Super Bowl commercials. They’re being replaced with amateur videos that cost squat and can reach the hearts of millions.

The Perfect Business Card

Mike Mulhall Business Card Business Card Back

Making the perfect business card is tough. But here are a few tips that may help:

  1. Don’t skimp on cards! – Business cards are important. They’re great marketing tools and they’re the usually the first visual item that people see representing your business. So forget the perforated business cards from Office Depot everybody. You need to find a real printer.
  2. Use quality stock – The thicker and sturdier the card the better. Flimsy cards don’t say anything good about you or your business…trust me on this one.
  3. Use the back – Depending on the industry you’re in, why not try to fit as much marketing material on your card as possible. As you can see from my card above, I put a map that even points out parking locations for customers.
  4. Don’t forget the vital info – For god’s sake, don’t forget any vital contact info. If you’re an internet company, don’t forget your website or email. If you’re a lawyer, a fax number would probably be important.
  5. Be different. Be original. But don’t go crazy – Your card should represent your brand and your ideas. Too plain of a card and it’s just boring. Too much and it’s just annoying. This really depends on the type of business your in. Try not to clutter the card. Sometimes less is more or more is just more…it really depends.
  6. If all else fails, hire a designer. If you don’t feel confident in your design abilities, there are plenty of services that can create a card for you. I use a service called Logoworks for all of my designing needs. As for printing, I use a company called Printplace.com. They can do everything, from business cards to brochures to stickers and they have the best prices I’ve ever seen. I just ordered 5000 full color double sided business cards for $50! Eat your heart out Kinkos…