Success Secrets of the Social Media Marketing Superstars by Mitch Meyerson by Mitch Meyerson - Read Online

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Success Secrets of the Social Media Marketing Superstars - Mitch Meyerson

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AMERICA

PREFACE

THE TIMES ARE A CHANGING

• In less than nine months, Facebook added 100 million users. If it were a country, it would be the third largest in the world.

• In 2010, Gen Xers will outnumber the Baby Boomers, and 96 percent of them have joined social networks.

• One in six higher education students is enrolled in online curriculum.

• Last year, one in every eight couples met through a social media site.

• Currently, 80 percent of companies use LinkedIn to find employees.

• YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.

• Wikipedia has over 13 million articles.

• There are over 200 million internet blogs, and that number is rapidly increasing.

• Among 18- to 34-year-olds, 70 percent have watched TV on the web.

Statistics complied at socialnomics.net.

In 2005 I wrote a book on internet marketing called Success Secrets of the Online Marketing Superstars. It contained nuggets of wisdom collected from 24 of the world’s top experts in online business development.

Chapter by chapter, Success Secrets provided a blueprint for the successful development of online businesses. But there was one chapter missing, one aspect of online business Success Secrets didn’t cover.

There was no chapter on social media; it was barely mentioned anywhere in the book because in 2005 social media simply didn’t exist.

Two years later in 2007, I cowrote two other books: Mastering Online Marketing and Guerrilla Marketing on the Internet. Each one contained a single chapter on social media. Social media was an emerging wave, but it was not something we were paying much attention to. Only in the last three years has there been an avalanche of new websites, technologies, and strategies all centered around social interaction.

Social media has revolutionized how we receive the news. Once only the domain of newspaper reporters and broadcasters, today anyone can be the reporter and the broadcaster. Print media has transitioned from offline to online (to survive) and has integrated social media into its programming and interaction with its audiences—and both have benefitted. Social media has also, just as profoundly, changed the way we promote or market our products or services.

The online marketing landscape has changed because the emergence of social media is literally changing the way we communicate and live. Times are changing and quickly.

In this collection many of the top social media revolution leaders share their success secrets as it relates to the new media. Here is just some of what you will learn:

• Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone, will tell you why relationship strategies are more important than Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn strategies.

• Chris Brogan, author of Trust Agents, shares how to build an online community that keeps people engaged and connected.

• Gary Vaynerchuk, social media guru, shares how he has built a mega following and massive media attention through social media.

• Mari Smith, the Pied Piper of Facebook, and Deb Micek, author of The Twitter Revolution, share their success secrets for effectively using these widely popular sites.

And that’s just for starters.

If you want to leverage the amazing power of social media, learn from the world’s most successful online marketers. Listen and learn from the superstars of social media.

—MITCH MEYERSON, FOUNDER OF GUERRILLA MARKETING COACHING

AND AUTHOR OF MASTERING ONLINE MARKETING AND EIGHT OTHER

PERSONAL GROWTH AND BUSINESS BUILDING BOOKS.

MITCHMEYERSON.COM

To get your free

Mastering Online Marketing Toolkit

visit: MasteringOnlineMarketing.com.

SECTION I

STRATEGIES AND PRINCIPLES

CHAPTER 1

BUILDING YOUR RELATIONSHIP STRATEGY

KEITH FERRAZZI AND TAHL RAZ

Keith Ferrazzi is the author of the bestselling books Never Eat Alone, with Tahl Raz, and Who’s Got Your Back? Both Forbes and Inc. have called Ferrazzi one of the world’s most connected individuals. As founder and CEO of the business consulting firm Ferrazzi Greenlight, he counsels the world’s top enterprises, dramatically accelerating the development of business relationships to drive sales, spark innovation, and create team cohesion. Tahl Raz is the publisher of KeithFerrazzi.com, where you can find more information and free resources.

Chapter Highlights

• Why it is critical to have a relationship strategy

• What generosity means

• The importance of vulnerability to establishing trust

• How candor creates believability and real-ness

• Why accountability is a must

In today’s virtual world, you don’t need a Twitter strategy or a Facebook strategy or even a Google strategy. You need a relationship strategy that leverages all aspects of social media.

We’re in the midst of a power shift, one of the most exciting and profound shifts in recent economic history. It’s a transformation so deep that we’re only now beginning to understand what it means for the future of business.

As I criss-cross the nation coaching CEOs and training sales teams, addressing the needs of companies big and small in every industry, it is clear that the winners in this emerging world, those primed for financial prosperity and market leadership, are the ones who take what I call a relationship-centric approach to every aspect of their business.

WELCOME TO THE SOCIAL BUSINESS REVOLUTION

Relationships are the ultimate source of advantage, the new heavyweight champion of the marketing ring. Social media, however, is the champ’s head trainer. There’s never been a better tool for relationship building. Social media allows for two-way conversations with an entire market, a reality that would have made the innovative Madison Avenue ad men in the 1950s fall off their Eames sofas.

But you shouldn’t try approaching social media without a deep understanding of the relationship-centric reality of Web 2.0, the reality of the ever-increasing importance of foundational mindsets like generosity, transparency, and candor. If you rush or go in without information, what you’ll get is an all-too-common experience nicely captured by Google’s Analytics Evangelist, Avinash Kaushik: Social media [can be] like teen sex. Everyone wants to do it. Nobody knows how. When it’s finally done, there is surprise it’s not better.

Luckily, through knowledge, practice, and commitment, social media can be exciting, engaging, pleasurable, and successful for any business.

Smart innovators are learning that the model is no longer CRM (Customer Relationship Management) but rather CMR (Customer Managed Relationships).

The sales and marketing funnel isn’t linear, and it’s not a funnel. It’s more like concentric circles of awareness, interaction, engagement, participation, conversation, affinity, awareness, community, and trust. A funnel would imply passive consumption, but that’s no longer how things work. Today’s consumer behavior has changed to active participation. I post a question to my Facebook page, asking what people think about the Kindle, then double check it against comments on Amazon, and follow those comments to someone’s Twitter account . . . and on and on.

Social media can be like teen sex. Everyone wants to do it. Nobody knows how. When it’s finally done, there is surprise it’s not better.

Secrets • Secrets • Secrets • Secrets

A brand is no longer what the company says it is. It’s what their customers say it is. Companies still need to influence their brand, though. How do you do that? Not by interrupting your customers with brand-making promises, delivered as advertisements. You influence a brand by encouraging people associated with that brand—forging direct relationships, relationships built on action and experience and . . . CARING. That’s right, your next sales seminar is likely to be more like Oprah than your traditional hardcharging Joe Salesguy.

To be meaningful or memorable, these relationships must engage, enable, and empower. Memorable is an action, specifically a one-to-one action, and so really it is an interaction. Which brings us back to the beginning: Today’s consumer influence is built on a platform of one-to-one relationships.

So, what does all this mean for you, the individual looking to increase your influence and your business online?

In today’s economy, the guy with the most relationships of the highest quality wins. Even the likes of IBM are turning to this soft side of business and recently published findings quantifying the value of one’s network. IBM’s research analysts found that each additional person in a consultant’s e-mail address book boiled down to $948 in additional annual revenue. That gives new heft to the idea that your network is your net worth!

Today’s most successful entrepreneurs, the Gary Vaynerchuks (who has close to a million followers on Twitter) and the Tony Hsiehs (who built Zappos from nothing to $1 billion in nine years) of the world, use social media to build relationships that turn customers into fans—and more profitable customers. They do it in entertaining, authentic, and sometimes provocative ways. You can, too. In fact, if you’re not out there in the social media space, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to build those relationships. You’re missing a golden opportunity to introduce yourself and your business much more personally to more of the world than you were able to do before.

After a few missteps, I learned that Twitter provided what I had previously considered a sort of unattainable Holy Grail: a space where I could interact with fans much more authentically and spontaneously than ever before—asking questions, answering them, sharing insights, and even organizing impromptu meet-ups.

Now, I didn’t launch myself heavily in the social media space until my book tour for Who’s Got Your Back? in the summer of ’09. After taking in a truckload of advice—some good, some bad—I finally went out on the road with Tweetdeck on my Blackberry.

Once I finally got active in the medium, I was kicking myself for not starting long before. Social media allows me to open up the front of my relationship pipeline. I’m able to connect with more people of a similar mindset. It also allows me to ping the 25 people closest to me virtually every day; there’s no better way to stay on someone’s mental radar, which is not only how you build a relationship but also how you ensure that you’re the person people call when they need something.

Social media is expanding our relationship horizons. I can develop relationships on a scale beyond anything I even dreamed of back when I wrote Never Eat Alone. Still, the essential truth I expressed in that book remains unchanged in the online space: Networking means nothing if the connections you create are just names in your database. What makes for a happy life and white-hot success are mutual, meaningful two-way relationships marked by generosity and care. And for the most part, those are the kinds of relationships you need to be building online as you amass followers and friends.

Of course, social media isn’t just Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And the gurus in this book will be giving you a thousand and one incredible tips, tools, and strategies for launching Brand You online. What I’d like to offer you upfront, however, are some ground rules to focus you on relationship building before you get caught up in the tactics and technology of social media.

Fortunately, I’ve found that the rules for building relationships online aren’t that different than the rules for building relationships elsewhere. The only real difference is that online communication magnifies your ability to do damage, just as it magnifies your ability to succeed. But don’t let that scare you. Read on.

The most overused but apt metaphor for social media is that it’s a giant cocktail party. Indeed, if you want to take something meaningful away in terms of building relationships, the rules are exactly the same: get involved, listen empathetically, and look to give more than you get. The returns are really the same as well: lasting, loyal relationships that can make a difference to your business and your happiness.

Before you take to Twitter et al, you’d better be a pro at what I call relationship mastery.

Ground yourself and your interaction with others in Four Mindsets: Generosity, Vulnerability, Candor, and Accountability. I teach a system that I’m calling Accelerated Relationship Development, which helps people build on that foundation with a rich skill set, and ultimately teaches them how to make their outreach purposeful by building a Relationship Action Plan—an alignment of your goals and dreams with the people you intend to help, and who can help you. All that stuff is important, incredibly important, but if I could only teach people one thing to create more meaningful relationships, it would be the Four Mindsets.

GENEROSITY

Generosity is the base from which all the other mindsets arise. It indicates a commitment to support that begins with the willingness to share your deepest insights and ideas with the world. It’s also the promise to help others succeed by whatever means you can muster. Nothing is more important if you want to build the kind of relationships that will build your business, online and off.

In a business setting, where people are distracted and in a hurry, leading with generosity is a great way to get someone’s attention. The more generous you are to other people in offering first your humanity and then your knowledge, advice, and talents, the more willing they’ll be to share their concerns.

At some point, your relationship will grow strong enough that you’ll be able to take even greater risks with each other. You’ll be able to tell them what you think they need!

Likewise, when someonmeets you or your business online, the first impression made should be one of generosity—your goal is to provide an abundance of content and links to help make customers’ lives easier. Social media people talk about the 70-20-10 rule for producing content. The idea is that 70 percent of what you’re sharing is helpful, pertinent referrals; the great blog you read, product you bought, or restaurant you ate at. Twenty percent is original content that you produce. (Hopefully it is content that helps people solve problems). And 10 percent is just you being you, letting your audience get a peek at your day-to-day triumphs and tribulations.

One online publisher told me that new customers have to be touched by five pieces of free content, on average, before they’re willing to buy. Offering your online customer ways to save money, time, and hassle are other, more traditional, forms of generosity. Eat‘n Park restaurant in Pittsburgh quickly put up 20 percent discounts on Facebook and Twitter as soon as the Penguins made it into the seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals. Sales shot up 60 percent that day.

Bottom line: To build a new relationship you need to be serving, not selling.

Getting to know your customer is important here, too. What some find compelling others might find annoying, pandering, or even creepy. Listening is a prerequisite to giving: Find out who your customers are and what they think about you and the product or service you offer (or type of service, if you personally aren’t yet known to them). Google Alerts is a great way to do that. You can set up an entire roster of keywords so that you get an e-mail every time someone says something about your sphere of interest online. And of course, you should be digging deep into the blogosphere and Twitter with the help of the search tools they provide.

VULNERABILITY

Vulnerability means letting down your guard to help facilitate mutual understanding. It’s about having the courage to be yourself, being present and personal, whether in the real world or online. You need to be prepared to own up to mistakes.

Vulnerability is also about having the courage to let your customers in on your creative process. One managing director at a national food company with whom I spoke recently invited consumers to create YouTube videos about the company’s new frozen snack product. Some videos were really entertaining, he said, "and some . . . we would have cringed and said, ‘Boy I would have never created thatexperience.

The old PR adage still applies to damage control online: Tell it all and tell it fast!

If your brand is not about an experience anymore, it really is not going to resonate with consumers . . . . In some ways, it’s a scary step, because we have all been trained to think, ‘We tell you what to think about our brand and this is how we want you to do it.’ The winning YouTube video got close to 400,000 hits in four days and became the top-rated comedy video on YouTube for the week. We sent it to all our blogs and to our online network of 200,000 moms.

If you’re an entrepreneur, sharing at that scale may feel out of reach. In fact, it may not be. Clever ideas travel, whether they’re backed by $1 million advertising budgets or not. In any case, the lesson for small businesses and large is the same: Invest people in your product and in your success. You immediately deepen the relationship through increased engagement. To do that, you’ve got to be willing to be vulnerable.

CANDOR

Candor is the freedom to be totally honest and engage in healthy, caring, purposeful criticism as part of a two-way conversation with customers. It lets you constructively interpret and respond to feedback.

Above all, candor breeds customer loyalty because it keeps brands relevant and trustworthy. It can even help you develop higher-quality solutions because customers have an open channel to share their experience of your product. Think about open-source software, which gets better and better over time as many talented people from different organizations fix program bugs, add features, and fill holes.

Candor is actually easier in the virtual world because it can be offered immediately, casually, and publicly to consumers and clients. But don’t tweet if you aren’t ready to truly engage. Don’t friend someone who isn’t your friend. Phoniness and insincerity are obvious and abhorred in the virtual world.

To be fully candid, forget the jargon and at all times be transparent. Post comments with your real name and your corporate connection. Provide meaningful feedback, not empty messages or comments. Actively encourage feedback. Consider blogging as a less formal, more personal, and more interactive adjunct to your existing promotional website. As Sun Microsystems CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, once said while urging other executives to blog, If you’re not part of the conversation, others will speak on your behalf.

Candor is the greatest gift you can give if it comes from a place of caring about the other person enough to want her to get better.

ACCOUNTABILITY

Accountability means being able to explain and take responsibility for your actions. In many ways, it’s difficult not to be accountable in the virtual world because transparency will be forced upon you. One customer can post his bad experience on Consumerist.com, and the whole world has access to it. This isn’t bad news, quite the opposite. Accountability can be a powerful tool to push you, your business, and your relationships from good to great. Use it to your advantage.

When you or your company does something dumb, there’s no need to spend time putting together a staid press conference where uncomfortable corporate executives apologize. With Web 2.0, you can go online as soon as the news breaks, express regret, offer to make amends, and move on.

Accountability doesn’t just build better relationships. It’s what pushes us to try our best and give 110 percent, every time.

The advice for entrepreneurs is simple: Don’t lie or fail to live up to a promise, and if you do, immediately make amends. Remember, you risk leaving a permanent online record of your failures. Stand by your commitments and ask your audience to help you! If you change a strategy, explain why.

As you learn from each of the social media gurus in this book and follow them online, you’ll see these mindsets—generosity, vulnerability, candor, accountability—present themselves again and again. You’ll see that each of these "cewebrities" let their personality shine through, warts and all—vulnerable, candid, and authentic. And they all expect to be held accountable by their fans and consumers, thus developing incredibly adaptive online behaviors.

I’m going to close this with the same advice I give to jaded executives who tell me they can’t go to one more cocktail party. I tell them this: It’s your job to make a choice to care. Walk into that room convinced There’s somebody here I can care about, I just need to find them. This simple mental shift can transform an evening.

That’s precisely the approach you should take with social media: Make it your choice to care. This is an incredible opportunity to connect with the world and with your customers in the most human way possible—to build real relationships with lasting meaning. See social media through that lens, and I guarantee your experience and your business will be transformed.

CHAPTER 2

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

BRIAN CLARK

Brian Clark is the founder of Copyblogger, a free site that is teaching over 100,000 subscribers how to use content and copywriting techniques to succeed online. Brian is a new media writer/producer, entrepreneur, and recovering attorney. He built three successful offline businesses using online marketing techniques before switching to a producer model that involves building, monetizing, and occasionally selling online media properties. Find out more at Copyblogger.com.

Chapter Highlights

• Social media mental shortcuts

• The power of reciprocity

• Why social proof is essential

• Why the perception of authority matters most

Social media is a strange, mystifying, and oftecounterintuitive space. But that’s only because social media is all about people, and people are often mystifying. Understanding social media is about understanding what makes people tick, as individuals and, more importantly, in virtual groups.

Social media is all about human psychology. If you want your message to successfully spread in the powerful social media space, you’re going to have to brush up on the fundamentals of influence.

Let’s take a look at a seemingly perplexing story to start.

CLICK, WHIRR, BUY

The proprietor of a Native American jewelry store in Arizona was having trouble selling her inventory of certain turquoise pieces. Despite the fact that the jewelry was of high quality and it was the peak of the tourist season, the stuff wouldn’t sell.

She had priced the jewelry reasonably. She had placed it in a central display location. She’d even asked her staff to point it out to browsers.

Nothing worked.

Finally, the owner gave up. She was going to unload the pieces, even if it meant taking a loss. On her way out of town for a business trip, she dashed off a note to a member of her sales staff, Everything in this display case times ½.

So it was no surprise when the owner arrived back at her shop to find that all the turquoise jewelry had sold. What puzzled and pleased the proprietor was the fact that her staff person had misread her hastily scrawled note (deciphering the ½ as a 2), and doubled the price of each piece rather than cutting it in half.

This story kicks off Robert B. Cialdini’s Influence: Science and Practice. Cialdini, a Regents Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University, uses everything from the maternal instincts of turkeys to the willingness of students to administer strong electric shocks to fellow human beings to demonstrate the amazing power of influence. Cialdini refers to our tendency of mechanically reacting to one piece of information in a situation (rather than doing a thorough analysis) as click, whirr responding.

So what was going on with those Arizona tourists? Well, most people aren’t really qualified to evaluate jewelry (especially of the turquoise variety), and these well-to-do travelers were simply relying on a mental shortcut that had served them well throughout their lives—expensive equals good. This kind of shortcut is termed a judgmental heuristic, and we all depend on them to navigate through life each day without suffering from analysis paralysis.

SOCIAL MEDIA MENTAL SHORTCUTS (PLUS GREAT VALUE)

Derived from our experiences, most of the time these shortcuts serve us well. Occasionally, they lead to mistakes (in the preceding case, the tourists paid twice the reasonable value of the turquoise baubles). And it’s no different with social media. In fact, one might argue that we rely on the subconscious shortcuts more than ever in the often ambiguous online environment.

Dr. Cialdini identified six powerful elements of influence:

1. Reciprocity

2. Social proof

3. Liking

4. Authority

5. Scarcity

6. Commitment and consistency

While all six of these persuasive psychological forces come into play with social media marketing, I’d like to focus on the first four. These elements present an almost step-by-step guide to the backbone of successful social media marketing, regardless of your ultimate goal or business model.

Understanding and catering to psychological triggers, while following through with great value, is the key to good business.

But don’t forget to deliver that exceptional value. If what you deliver isn’t what’s promised, the negative backlash will spread via social media much faster than your influence ever will.

Let’s kick things off with the power of reciprocity.

MUCH OBLIGED: THE POWER OF RECIPROCITY

What do you think would happen if you sent out a large batch of Christmas cards early in the month of December—to complete strangers? Nothing? Maybe a few confused phone calls or letters?

Nope. Most likely you’d receive an avalanche of Christmas cards in return, from people who don’t even know you.

A university professor actually performed this experiment, and the results were published in Social Science Research back in 1976. Although the professor predicted he would get some responses, he was actually amazed by the number of return cards he received.

THE GIVE AND TAKE

The Christmas card experiment demonstrates the powerful cultural force known as reciprocity. Sociologists maintain that all human societies subscribe to the principle that we are