I have really been bad in not posting much lately… Too busy with clients is not an excuse I let my clients get away with, so I am getting back on track, even if I have to get up an hour earlier!
The delay was also due to extra work in preparation for today’s Constant Contact Online Marketing Event where I was one of the presenters as a new ALE – Authorized Local Expert. It was a great success and worth the extra work I had to put in, but still no excuse for keeping up with my blog.
At any rate, let me fill you all in on today’s input from the Small Business Owners and Non-Profit leaders that attended today’s event. It gave me a lot to think about and I’d like to hear from you, too!
The event started off with the Constant Contact Regional Development Director, Lanelle Henderson, presenting an overall picture of online marketing. Then each of us – her ALE (Authorized Local Experts) – presented on a different Social Media Platform. I was given the option to do any of them, but Twitter is the most misunderstood of the top platforms, so that’s what I chose to present. (I have added the presentation below)
What I learned from those who attended is that the most common issue regarding Twitter is understanding how it can be as valuable a marketing tool as Facebook – if not more, depending on the type of business you have. I also learned that many SMBs are on many levels of experience using Twitter – if at all!
Granted, every business should take a clear look at whether Twitter, or any other social media platform, is right for their business. As the Pinterest presenter mentioned, not many accountants can portray their business visually! However, they can still use it on a personal level and use one board to talk about their business.
But back to Twitter…
First, there is the Twitter vernacular. The language. The shortcuts. The hashtags, RTs, quoting, searching, etc. I didn’t cover these aspects today because in the past, many attendees were already savvy to that and complained that they wanted more meat – more understanding of the medium.
So that’s what I gave them today. And sure enough, I got complaints that there weren’t enough basics! Understood and to be expected. But that is the issue with every SHORT presentation and each of us only had 30 minutes.
Not knowing is OK!
But as Twitter grows, it has adapted. And as a result, you don’t really have to know the language and symbols. Your keywords will still come up in a search without a hashtag (#). But… that said, apps like HashTracking.com only respond to hashed items (#), so as you get more Twitter savvy, do use them. But the fears expressed today over not knowing the Twitter language could be unfounded.
Social Media training by nature is not normal…
The toughest part about training a group in Social Media is that the “students” are on too many levels. Some have never ventured onto Twitter, some simply had started accounts but are terrified to tweet until they completely understand it, and others knew how to use it but wanted strategy.
I was not surprised.
But what still surprises me is how Social Media is not considered REAL marketing by these folks, yet they want REAL marketing results from it. I think it’s that word “social” that throws everyone off.
Let’s get real here. Back in the old days (boomers, pay attention), did you know how to do a Yellow Pages ad the first time you tried? Was it easy to make a newspaper ad? Radio? TV?
Seriously… just because it’s SOCIAL media, doesn’t mean it takes less work than Traditional Marketing. That’s the hardest part to convey and the most misunderstood aspect of Social Media Marketing…
Please feel free to post your questions in comments here or on my Facebook or Twitter page. I WILL answer.
Enjoy the slideshare… (best to click on full screen, bottom right corner icon)