A small, local festival had a small problem … or a big one, depending on how you look at it. Someone had set up a Facebook page about the festival—which was fine, except they’d used the festival logo as the profile picture, giving the impression that they were the “official” page. The webmaster had even received emails saying, “but it says on your Facebook page …”
If you’re wondering why I’ve inserted the # symbol before ‘Newbie’ in the title, fear not, you’ve come to the right place. Because I write about web marketing, it’s tempting to want to appear the expert on all things web. Which is why (until recently) I’ve avoided topics like marketing your business on Twitter.
I considered waiting until I learned enough to at least appear as if I knew what I was talking about. Instead, I decided to write about it as I stumbled along. That way, someone besides me would learn from my mistakes.
I must admit, of all social media, Twitter is the one I “get” the least. Don’t believe me? Check out my whopping 59 Twitter followers. (Oops, make that 60!) So if you want talk about RTs and #hashtags, this won’t be the read for you.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for something more basic, like “How can I market my business with Twitter?” then read on!
Whenever I’m asked about Twitter, it’s usually from people with the pre-conceived notion that everyone there is a self-absorbed narcissist tweeting about what they ate for breakfast. And while Twitter does attract more than its share of self-centeredness, it’s also much, much more.
Twitter often defies explanation, but my niece has one of the best I’ve heard:
Walking to the corner market with my best friend to buy a packet of that little pink bubble gum wrapped in a comic strip was one of the highlights of my nine-year-old existence. Sure, there were other bubble gum brands on the shelf, but none of them had the latest adventures of Bazooka Joe inside. I was too young and blissfully ignorant to realize that my purchase decision was being influenced by a well-used, little-known marketing strategy, called Content Marketing.
Michael Hyatt, Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, says that when we think there’s a singular solution to our woes, we’re guilty of “silver bullet thinking.” It’s precisely this type of thinking that’s led to the debate over whether inbound or outbound marketing is “best.” Proponents of inbound marketing claim that, in new era of social media, outbound marketing is no longer effective. Yet, many companies continue to use outbound marketing with great success. Let’s take a look at each.
There are two different types of prospecting, and which you choose depends on how hungry you are.
When hunting, you eat what you kill. Hunter prospecting methods involve doing things that get you business immediately. The downside is, you’ll soon be hungry again and need to spend time hunting down new clients. As any jungle predator can tell you, your success rate will vary and there are times you may go hungry for a spell.
As some point in our pre-history, early Man figured out that planting crops to grow food was less dangerous than taking forays into the forest. Plus, having food around when you’re hungry is a nice perk. But farming takes time—crops don’t just spring up overnight.
In a recent article I wrote for SitePoint, I pointed out the tendency for consultative sales types, particularly web designers, to hide behind a proposal instead of directly asking for the sale … something of which I was equally guilty:
But the fact of the matter is, I would do anything to avoid directly asking for the sale—especially if it meant I had to quote a price. Instead, I took the softer, gentler approach and buried the cost somewhere on page nine of my 10-page proposal. But after a few years, I began to grow weary of the “prepare a proposal and hope” strategy. After some struggle, I emerged with a method more effective than letting the proposal do the selling for me.
The following was a guest post at TMR’s Direct Mail and Marketing Blog.
In their book, Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing, Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg say that …
…customers want to enter into dialogs with businesses, to establish relationships, participate in the conversations, and be more in control of the exchange. They expect a level of personal communication tailored to their needs and wants—relevance and context are their top priorities. (p 41)
That sums up the philosophy behind inbound marketing in a nutshell. Customers are in control. They TiVo past commercials, subscribe to commercial-free satellite radio, circumvent pop-up ads with pop-up blockers, opt out of receiving phone books, and use caller ID or the “do not call” registry to avoid telemarketers.
In my latest SitePoint article, I talked about inbound vs. outbound marketing. In case the difference isn’t clear to you, here’s a quick definition of inbound marketing:
A marketing strategy that focuses on getting found by customers, where the customers find you through various search engine marketing efforts, social media, or word-of-mouth referrals.
Outbound or traditional marketing would be things like print advertising, direct mail, cold-calling, and television and radio advertising—essentially, anything a company does to find customers, as opposed to “being found.”
It’s become quite vogue to characterize outbound marketing as “old school.” But is traditional marketing really as dead or ineffective as inbound marketers claim?
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Thanks for visiting. I’m a Marketing Evangelist, Blogger and Sales Trainer.
I get excited about geek stuff. But I’m also passionate about helping people and companies reach their fullest potential and becoming wildly successful.
That’s why I love helping businesses figure out how to market (especially web marketing) and why I train sales people to be the best they can be at what they do.