Archives for June 2013

Update Your Way To A Successful Psychological Social Marketing Strategy

 

A successful social marketing strategy comes with a lot of extensions.  One part of this is in the social updates, you know, the time when you publish your blog posts to different social media accounts and pray to God it goes viral.

However, a successful social marketing plan can come with you actually being prepared in your updating! Just like engaging, interacting, and getting people to follow you, the social update is it’s own strategy in itself and can determine whether or not people will see your update when the time comes.Social Marketing Strategy

I’m reminded of something one of my friends said, “Lick it, throw it against the wall, and hope it sticks!” (I can’t remember what he was referring too, probably something dirty, but this example will suffice for now).

This example works because as I browse through people’s updates, it looks as though this is exactly what people are doing. They are throwing up any old text and attaching their blog link to it and hope that it works!

Have you ever done that before?

Sure you have, we all have at one point or another! But there is a strategy when it comes to this “arm” of social marketing that you can do to improve your results in social media.

Using Psychology in Social Marketing

If you’ve been reading my blog at all, then you will know that I have been deeply researching the psychology of social media marketing as of late and have uncovered some explosive results that have catapulted my experiences, and my clients, 100-fold.

Think about it. When people that are involved in business log on to social media they usually scroll through the updates until to they get to either someone they know, or something that catches their attention. I find myself doing it all the time. Subconsciously, you are unaware of everything around you due to a thing called reticular formation.

This is a thing located at the base of the brain, and it’s main function is to discriminate against irrelevant background stimuli. For example, someone could be living next to a set of train tracks and said train could come blasting through in the middle of the night and that person, since they were accustomed to the noise, never noticed it and didn’t wake up. On the other hand, that same person could be jerked awake in the middle of a sound sleep when an unfamiliar noise comes from the living room.

Reticular formation is important in social media.

These people are missing your updates because you haven’t said or done anything that will “jolt” them out of thinking that you are irrelevant.

What can jolt them out? Colors in updates and knowing what cognitive recognition is in social marketing too can really help to drive them to your site.

Have you ever really sat down and scrutinized what you’re writing in your updates? It makes a difference! Certain words are more catching to the eye than others. This is something that I discuss in my ebook Psychological Success in Social Media.

A Few Words That Don’t Work:

  • Check this out
  • Re-typing the title
  • Adjectives such as “Interesting” and “Amazing”– Let me explain this one: when you say that something is amazing, then you’re taking away that person’s ability to judge for themselves and therefore causing an emotional wall to go up in their heads and deem the post irrelevant.

Let me re-iterate, while these may work with your fans and followers, the point is getting people that don’t know you to act on your update, engage it, share, and visit your blog!

Emotion & Social Marketing

Emotion is another psychological tool that you can use that will drive traffic to your site. Whether you know it or not, you are creating some sort of emotion in your update with a reader…even if it’s boredom, they are feeling something so it’s important to take a close look at how you’re displaying your writing along with your blog post.

One emotion that never fails is the Hope For Gain/Fear of Loss emotion in social marketing. Have you ever seen those squeeze pages that promise tons of money, telling you a sad story of how they used to be “just like you” with no money until they started doing such and such?

Sure you have! And just like me, you’ve probably spent more money than you care to admit on pages like this because you were drawn in through your emotions. You didn’t know the person, but for some reason you trusted them and you spent money.

For a split second you experienced the “Hope for Gain/Fear of Loss” emotion that most internet marketers use in squeeze pages. You had a hope that this would work for you. Even though you knew deep down that it was probably a scam, there was a small hope inside of you that this person was telling the truth so you went for it!

These types of emotions are harder to pull out of a person in a social marketing update. Simply because your update is better when it’s shorter. However, there is still ways to create this emotion with a few words.

People hate to be left out. They also want to know everything there is to know about whatever it is they’re doing. Tell them they’re doing it wrong and you know how to fix it is one way to create a fear of loss emotion. Telling people that something is almost gone will also bring them in as well. For example, I’m doing a contest that’s almost over at my blog for a free Twitter marketing tool. Even though the contest had 20-some days left in it, I mentioned that the contest was “almost over” and they came flocking in droves for fear of being left out.

Look at your social marketing update

From now on, don’t just throw any old thing up there and “hope it sticks”! Create a strategy that will improve your interactions and engagements in your social updates and you will start seeing a more positive reaction from people you’ve never heard of before!

The social marketing strategy doesn’t stop at building fans and followers. It doesn’t stop at all! Keep it going by demonstrating the perfect update that will keep people sharing and visiting long after you’ve posted it!

 

Wade is an internet marketer and a professional social media marketer. Wade loves helping people make money with their blogs and he is the founder and creator of BloggersMakeMoney. Check out Wade’s new ebook, The “WOW” Factor: Psychological Success in Social Media on how you produce an emotion from the reader every time you update.

How to Conduct a 4-Step Audit of Your Marketing Materials

 

Most small businesses cannot afford to consult a marketing professional at every turn. Still, conducting a periodic audit of your marketing materials is a great way to ensure your brand has a memorable presence in the marketplace. This simple four-step process will allow you to ensure your materials measure up to the task.

Before you begin, review your business objectives. Consider your mission and vision, and review long- and short-term goals. Have these at hand for easy reference as you conduct your audit. Ultimately, it’s these objectives your marketing materials are intended to support. Also have in front of you your marketing plan and any information about how and when the materials are used. Be clear about all of this going into the audit.

Check for Consistency

Read through all the materials once to get a fresh overview of how they work together. Consistency is key. Look for consistency in two different ways: a) are the materials consistent among themselves; and b) are all materials consistent with the brand? Starting with the first question, review the materials to make sure that the design, style, language and images all tell a consistent story. For example, the color scheme should be consistent from your website to your business cards to any flyers you distribute.

If you are reviewing multiple campaigns, do they connect to each other, and what do they have in common? What they should have in common is a consistent representation of the brand. And by brand, we don’t just mean the design and logo. This brings us to the second point. Your brand includes not only the logo and design, but also the content. The content should be consistent with the brand identity and clearly convey the brand promise.

Keep Materials Current

Keeping your target audience in mind, ask yourself if the colors and messaging feels current or outdated. Today’s customers are savvy and culturally literate. They know outdated when they see it. As in the fashion world, trends dominate the marketing landscape. Keep up with them. Ideally, your company should be on the leading edge, setting trends instead of following them. No matter what you decide, having an understanding of current marketing trends will keep you from appearing passé or just plain tired. Just imagine how the burgundy and navy design combinations favored by the corporations of the 1990s would play with audiences today.

Make Your Messages Memorable

Your materials need to have an impact that lasts. Any American who was a child in the ‘80s is sure to remember Wendy’s famous “Where’s The Beef?” campaign—it’s unforgettable. So, too, is the new Häagen-Dazs Marketing Campaign for their limoncello Gelato. At once unbelievably irritating and completely unforgettable, this campaign is the epitome of “sticky” campaigns.

As Häagen Dazs demonstrates, a campaign needn’t be enjoyable to wedge itself into the collective memory. Just be sure it’s consistent with your brand and doesn’t turn off your target audience.

Inspire Action

Your brand must touch the customer personally, or they won’t buy. Your marketing materials are your opportunity to make contact with your customers. Brain research tells us that motor imagery (the visualization of taking an action) has a measurable impact on actual behavior, improving practice and increasing motivation. It stands to reason that if you can get customers to imagine using your product or service, you’re one step closer to a sale.

Irritating or not, the Gelato campaign achieves this goal by presenting the viewer with a host of attractive mouths repeating the product’s name in an overtly sexy tone. It’s likely many people who watch the video even end up repeating the name of the ice cream themselves. And once the viewer’s imagination is primed, the tagline “even the name tastes good” reinforces the association between the product’s name and deliciousness.

Of course, companies don’t just rely on catchy slogans or brilliant marketing ideas. If you want to know whether your materials inspire action, keep statistics on their effectiveness. Testing your materials by tracking their effectiveness (via sales data and social media response) may or may not give you a perfectly accurate picture of what customers will do in response to future efforts, but it will provide invaluable information you can use to target your content more effectively. As you go through your materials, be sure look at your sales compared with the date and scope of release for each piece of marketing. Check social media responses to the piece; are reactions positive? Negative? Non-existent? Being proactive about data collection and management is likely to give you a much better grasp of your materials’ impact.

Conducting your audit will not guarantee success. Often you will be left, at best, with an educated guess about what will capture the attention of your target audience and motivate them to buy. Being thorough in your analysis will allow you to be as educated as you can.

Whatever you do, don’t take your foot off the pedal. Once your materials are released, be vigilant about tracking their effectiveness in every location and medium, and be ready to shift course if the situation calls for it. With these measures, and a little luck, your marketing materials will translate to better and bigger sales.

Janis Bookout is a freelance writer and branding facilitator from Austin, Texas, with experience in social media. She has written manuals, curricula, web content, and blogs. Janis has more than ten years of experience in the field of personal and professional development, training others in accountability, team management, leadership and brand implementation. She is also a professional artist and co-founder of a teaching software company, and is a regular contributor to ChamberofCommerce.com.

Social Networking for…Everything?

 

It’s no secret that social networks have quite literally taken over the world. With networks such as Facebook and Twitter boasting billions of users, social networking has become front and center for just about everything we do in life. So much so, that most people don’t ever unplug.  People are constantly on social networks primarily for personal endeavors, like posting pictures, videos, updates on everyday life, and talking with friends. Is there social networking for everything? New networks are popping up every day, many with specific purposes. In addition to dedicated social networks, many existing sites are also adding a social aspect as well.

Here are some industries that have recently been infiltrated by social media:

Real Estate

It only makes sense that renting or buying/selling a home or apartment would go social. In the past, if a person had a house to rent, they had to rely on a sign in the yard and word of mouth to let people know that the space was available. Now, there are several social networks dedicated to helping people find places to live. A few examples:

  • Trulia, which invites response from real estate agents
  • Crashpad, which can help you find an apartment as well as a roommate

Travel

Travel sites are nothing new; booking travel online has become a way of life for many people. But the social aspect of booking travel online is a relatively new scene. Sites like Trip Advisor and Home Away not only offer hotel and airline reservations, but they also have reviews of popular attractions and local businesses. Another idea that is new to the travel scene is home swapping. Website pair up people who are interested in travelling and they arrange to stay in each other’s homes, eliminating some travel costs. If this isn’t social, then I don’t know what is.

Restaurants

Social reviews of restaurants has probably been around the longest. Sites like Urbanspoon and Yelp have offered people the ability to rate and review restaurants (and with Yelp, other businesses as well) for several years now. I have to admit that Urbanspoon is one of my favorite sites to visit. It’s fun to read about other people’s experiences at restaurants. These sites can give you an idea of what to expect from the perspective of other patrons, not just food critics or the restaurant itself.

As always, it’s important to exercise caution when using any of these networks. Beware of how much personal information that you broadcast, the internet is an endless archive and once you put that information out there, it’s going to be there forever. And remember, just because a restaurant has great reviews on Urbanspoon doesn’t mean that it’s really all that great!

(Photo Source)

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.