We are seeing more and more business entering the euphorically messy space known as Social Media. The first order of business seems to be to put up a facebook page and start a company blog. The problem here is this; NO ONE IS PARTICIPATING IN A CONVERSATION. If there are no comments on you blog and nothing on your facebook wall except from posts from you, You have an ELECTRONIC BILLBOARD, Which is NOT Social Media.


A STROKE OF LUCK, THE AGENCY FIRED ME
I am not always the easiest cat in town to deal with, and have gotten fired as a client more than once. Not really so proud of that, but it is what it is. When it happened with the marketing studio that was doing our marketing and PR work I was taken aback. The timing was really bad, or at least it seemed as such. We were getting ready to launch a marketing campaign for the biggest deal I had ever attempted to develop. I had a lot of risk and exposure with the development. I have though, irrespective of the climate pressures never, ever been afraid to question things, which is the point here, and neither should you, even at the risk of being fired.

If you have an have an Electronic Billboard as a facebook page or blog, and you are doing it yourself, it isn't a big deal and can be corrected quickly, at least you have started. If you have an Electric Billboard as a facebook page or blog and you are using a marketing studio or agency, Fire Them Quickly. They are spending your money irresponsibly.

Another quick check, Google your business name. If nothing comes back, you have another reason to fire your agency. Plug your business name into Searchme.com  Again, if you have lackluster results, your advertising revenue is not working.

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE CONVERSTAION
As we continue our trek to Practice Social Media in our own Small Business, we have learned a lot, both from what works, but more from what didn't work. When we first launched our blog, we had very few followers and hardly any comments. Today, the blog following is growing at an exponential rate and we average six to ten comments per blog post. We have had a couple of controversial posts that exceeded seventy five comments.

Similarly, when we launched our facebook and myspace pages, we had some 'friends" but mostly they were folks from the apartment industry that were interested in what we were doing. Today, we have an excellent resident penetration, and lots of wall to wall comments. It has become our most effective place to communicate with our residents, followed closely by our Ning site.

The shift was pretty simple, we started and work at Participating in the Conversation. That's it, while it sounds pretty simple, and it is, it seems to be pretty hard for some businesses, otherwise they would be doing it.

We encourage you to Engage in a Conversation with Your Customers today, Enhance the Customers Experience!  


February 22, 2009





Eric Brown has (30) years in the Multi-Family Apartment Business having built and developed over 17,000 apartment units, both market rate, luxury and tax credit apartments. Having started Urbane Apartments in 2003 after leaving a lengthy stint as a Senior Vice President at Village Green Companies, a national apartment developer, Eric decided he wanted to create wealth, and set out from Corporate America on his own and created Urbane Apartments in Royal Oak, MI.






Comments(7)

I think it's dangerous to recommend that companies use their own name as a metric for the performance of a campaign - 99% of the time, this should be a baseline, not a performance metric. Too many unscrupulous "SEO" companies out there get a client to rank for their own name, and call it a day.. ignoring optimization on the terms that the client actually needs to be ranking for.

The conversation is a great point - until you actually engage customers, you're not making use of social media. Aggregating your blog feed doesn't count!

The conversation thing is great. I know participating and communicating is a great strategy to succeed at social media marketing. and this participating requires time. You really have to put some effort and spend some time. In doing so you may achieve success marketing your business through social media.

For many just launching a few profiles is a good step. Many companies still think it is a waste of time. The conversation part is tricky. It requires a tremendous amount of proactive efforts to get web traffic reciprocate.

Lyal, Good Morning and thanks for stopping by.

It is my belief that if you create something Remarkable, something worth "Talking About", then folks should be taking about you. If I am paying X dollars to the marketing agency and I google my name, then I would expect to see lots of articles, press releases, web pages, etc.

I agree with you to a certain extent. I think the trick is knowing how long you need to build up engaged interaction. The other issue is that the vast majority of blog readers only lurk.

Getting participation is extremely difficult. I've watched my recent (3 week) entry into social media for business start to gain traction with viewership, re-tweets, RSS subscribers, and bookmarking. However, here's the interesting thing. Commenting isn't happening. Or, at least not the way I'd expect. I get comments through the blog email vs. on the actual post. I'm calling them "stealth" fans. I've yet to determine why this happens. Any ideas?

Hello!, I agree with you... The real thing is that there are a lot of agencies out there that convince their clients that they are doing something with social media because they just created a Facebook profile or are posting daily on a blog that nobody sees or that is commented only by the same guys at the agency... The challenging part for an agency to answer is how to generate a conversation, and what kind of strategy their clients should use on social media. Building profiles or blogs is something that nowadays anybody can do, but I believe that not everybody have the answers for the other questions...

Alejandro, Good Morning, Thanks for stopping
You pose an even larger question, Is it even appropriate for the agency to engage in a conversation with your customers.

In defense of any agency, how could they even know what to say, and doesn't your customer want to talk to you, and not an agency?

I think that these fundamental questions and issues are why most successful Social media campigns are done In House

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