Are You On Facebook and Twitter Because You Thought Your Business Needed To Be ‘Social’?

A favorite business read and feed is BNET…the CBS Interactive Business Network. It has some great content for any stage of business across a variety of functional disciplines. Plus it’s a lot more practical than many of the other e-columns and newsletters that are out there. One of the recent posts was about being overly complicated in the flow of running a business, and among areas mentioned was the following reference about social media marketing:

Media – It’s so easy and so deliciously tempting. Your company can have a Facebook page, blog, Twitter page, YouTube channel, smartphone app, streaming video content, and all these cool icons on your Web site. But as I often say, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. If you have a solid, well-executed online/media plan and a clear vision of how every element serves your business, go for it. But if you are like many companies, you’re doing a lot of stuff just because others are… because it seems like you should. If you are dedicating resources to keeping up with the digital Joneses, is it doing anything for your business? Are you doing more than you need to? What has your Bebo page done for you lately?

Guess what? The author, Michael Hess, is right on. There are thousands of social media outlets, many of which can be used effectively to support specific business goals and drivers. But without knowing what and how you want to leverage those outlets to your specific business needs, you’re simply spinning your wheels and adding work that has no identifiable return. Even if you’ve already made the dive into social media marketing, now is the time to step back and evaluate what/when/why/where/how are you going to make your efforts tie directly to your company in the form of sales, market-share, customer service, product development, marketing, PR and/or human resources…to name a few. This takes serious consideration, not just a quick launching of a Facebook Page and claiming to be ‘social’.

We’ve been advocates of social media marketing for business by developing tools and resources that organizations can use to go through a methodical approach to determining whether social marketing is a fit, and what strategies and tactics are best suited to individual company needs. Forget what ‘the other guy’ is doing. Figure out what you need and how social media marketing can support your goals. Without going through that process you’ll be unlikely to see the benefit but will no doubt feel the pain of having to maintain a social presence without purpose.

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Black Friday Indicates Consumer Business Is Improving

So far it looks like Black Friday 2010 was a success and a good indicator that folks are beginning to spend on things outside of necessity. They are still looking for bargains and value, but are opening up their wallets for luxuries like jewelry, clothing ‘wants’ instead of ‘needs’ and other splurges. This is a great sign for businesses who rely on consumerism to drive business. Question is … did you maintain a steady marketing presence to these folks, or did you cut back and lose your share of voice?

Those companies who market through recessions tend to come out ahead once the recession cycles out. If you did cut back considerably, now is the time to relaunch your efforts and get back in the game. The recession is far from over and recovery will not be quick. But it will be even harder to recover your business if you gave up all of the marketing gains you had once achieved. Keeping a steady or pulsed presence in the minds of your customers is essential to long-term success in and through a recession.

Need some help? A good resource for traditional marketing and media is Inside Track Marketing & Media. And of course Social Media Marketing is a must. Visit us @ and we’re happy to help.

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Track Business Trends Using Social Media

I recently read a great whitepaper by about the tricks to spotting trends. With today’s rapid pace of change how can you tell what is a trend versus just a fad? If the success of your business is about staying ahead of the curve and developing products that fit trend demands, then this is a very important question. You certainly would not want to put a bunch of R&D into a new product only to find that it was just a fad and unsustainable as a revenue driver. Here’s something you’ll be glad to know … identifying trends is yet another benefit of utilizing social media!

At we’re always keeping our eyes out for the many benefits of a well run social media marketing plan. So its no surprise to us that suggests social media as a tool for researching markets, conversations and, yes, trending patterns in business and consumer segments. Here’s a quote from their whitepaper on 15 Tips to Tracking Trends:

…Other ways to let information come to you are of course Google
Alerts and Twitter. Enter search phrases or track hashtags like
‘consumer trends’ or ‘world’s first’ or a specific trend name. There’s
now a wealth of tools that are designed to take the global
pulse, highlighting trending topics from a range of online sources.
Starting with the obvious, see a snapshot of search queries with
Google Trends, then explore tweetmeme, monitter, Trendsmap,
Trendistic, Yahoo! Buzz, and Bing Social.

You can view a full copy of their report at

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What Is Social CRM? I

What Is Social CRM? It’s the foundation to the tools and solutions!

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The World Series Of Business And Social Media

Call me crazy but I think the Rangers and Giants have it made.  Established rules – Impartial umpires – Clear standards for determining the winner – Equal opportunity to play the game.  Even multiple chances to play their best.   Sounds a lot like the business world.  Right?  Okay, maybe not, but there are some comparisons between competing in baseball and competing in business.  Read on to see if this analogy might just hit home.

Do you remember what it felt like to hit a home run, a double or claim the RBI that won the game.   Maybe just getting a solid hit and easy on base?   Now, think back for a minute to the important steps you had to take in order for those great moments to be realized … practice, focus, taking a swing, running full speed, taking calculated risks and knowing where you had to get to make it count . At Social Outsource we think this sounds a lot like Social Media. Here’s why:

Social Media Marketing offers a home run opportunity for small to midsize companies. It levels the playing field between large companies with lots of resources and smaller, more dynamic companies.  It can build revenue, improve customer relationships, increase loyalty, reach new customers where they converse and convene, give you a share of voice unaffordable in traditional media and help you differentiate from the pack.  But, it takes some guts and a willingness to adapt on the fly.

The key is to get in the game using a solution that leverages social media for your company without sacrificing the players who cover other important bases for your organization.  And to work from a clear strategy for how to leverage the power of social media to drive home growth.

Questions on how to position your company on the field? Drop us a line @

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Should Social Media Be Judged Differently?

Social Media Marketing (SMM) continues to dominate business discussions in companies of all sizes. Below are just of the few of the very valid questions being asked:

How does it fit our company?
How do we measure and manage?
Is there too much risk?
Where should we start?

Here’s what’s surprising … these same questions are not often asked in relation to existing marketing efforts. For example, what’s the return on your collateral expenses (those dusty brochures in the corner) and how do you track that? What about newspaper, radio and television campaigns? What about that display booth and expenses in graphics, setup and manpower? Can you track that billboard? Or the investment in salary and benefits to have a human voice answer the phone?

One thing my extensive background in sales, management, marketing and media has taught me is that most companies simply do not have a good handle on the measurable performance of their current marketing mix. Yet companies are holding a flame to good solutions like SMM. So here’s what I propose as the fix to this scenario:

First scrutinize every dollar you’re currently putting into marketing.

Does it really do what you want it to?
What’s missing?
Do customers respond?
Can you track it to measurable sales, customer service, loyalty?
Does your current mix really fit today’s marketing environment?
Are your tactics relevant to your customer?
Are you up with technology or stuck in a rut?
Are you investing enough in marketing, or bare minimum?

Once you have answers to questions like these you’ll be in a better position to objectively consider the fit of social media marketing. I suspect you’ll find that social media offers a low-cost way to update your marketing approach and actually fuel the performance of the marketing solutions you’ve relied on to date.

It’s true that SMM is not a perfect fit to every company. It’s also true that companies who do SMM well do so after asking themselves a battery of relevant questions and then work from an established plan, not from the hip. And, believe it or not, SMM is much more measurable than most of what you are doing right now.

The key is to work with a trusted resource who can guide your company through the maze of options to design a custom solution that is sustainable for your company. And someone who can teach you how to scrutinize your existing marketing mix and enhance it with things like social media…all under an umbrella of driving measurable business.

At SocialOutsource we’re committed to social media marketing as a logical part of a marketing mix, not a stand alone or must have. Please reach out if we can advise you on your current marketing strategies and how adding social media may increase your ROI.

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The Real ROI of Social Media http://ow.l

The Real ROI of Social Media

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