I often run into examples of poorly executed social media "programs". Generally this comes from a highly undervalued view of social media, poor planning and an under-estimation of the complexity of the channels.
Quite often this will lead to an inconsistent and off-topic communication plan when it comes to talking to your fans or brand advocates through social media channels. Here are a few things I see happen all the time:
I know social media marketing is a hot topic these days and there are a lot of companies attempting to get their foot in the door with social networks. The appeal of these networks is incredible, mainly for the viral and exponential nature of the system.
My network is a connected graph with exponential growth possibilities. My 400+ friends all have approximately 350 friends (on average and informally) if any company can get their foot into the door and illicit a response from my friends and their friends then the brand spread and effectiveness of that “sharing” can be astounding.
In addition to that it’s much more than the one way conversation that Television, Radio and even a Landing Page can provide. I get feedback, I gain key influencers, brand advocates and it’s the consumers doing the marketing for me. This dynamic is much more than a shift, it’s a paradigm shift in the way we consumer, promote and self market to each other.
So what does this mean for the average company and internet marketer?
Well to be quite honest it means that you’re not likely doing anything with your social media presence. The fact is that the vast majority of companies out there are not effectively utilizing their Facebook presence.
Having said that I have informally seen a great deal of excellent brand identities on Facebook. I’m also going to ignore some of the more popular examples here like Ford, Starbucks and Heinz.
I’m looking at smaller operations that have actionable changes you can make that will help you make more of your page, presence and ROI. Some of my personal favorites are:
Looking at these three, and yes all of them come from my casual usage of Facebook rather than any in depth digging. These are quite simply excellent pages that keep me interested, returning, visiting and interacting. This is isn’t a massive empirical case study, this is me looking at things that just “work”.
Let’s break it down what do these people do that most people do not do on Facebook?
That a pretty basic actionable breakdown of things you can work into your social media marketing strategy without breaking the bank or hiring a team of 10 people to manage. This stuff is easy, so get on out there and start optimizing your own Facebook presence, these actions have a huge ROI and lead to many many good things.
I've been in the eGaming industry on a number of levels and in a number of capacities for 7.5 years now, a lifetime in that sector. Over the past couple of years specifically it has become increasingly clear that the industry is completely stagnant from a product perspective. I were to specifically look at the following major channels: Sports, Casino, and Poker you can see some innovation there.
Sports: the introduction of live betting and interacting with customers through social media (not spamming them) has grown the industry somewhat. Personally I enjoy "In Game" Betting.
Poker: arguably this is the most social and progressive of the channels. Since poker is community based there a a number of interesting innovations that have taken place but as for pur "innovation" it's still Texas Holdem without a ton of innovative build outs to that strategy and product development.
Casino: this is the stagnant sector. The traditional "money sucking machine" of the industry the competitive landscape is filled with less than reputable (trust me) offshore operators who hold their concepts of slow payouts, shady tactics and questionable marketing very near and dear to their hearts.
There are a number of reasons that this sector has not innovated from lack of regulations (promoting owners with criminal histories to maintain a fairly decent operation) to software providers who do not innovate their products or services which will always impact the marketing (if you haven't got anything but another Casino Bonus to promote then what are you *really* selling?)
Well I ran into Absolute Casino today and was very impressed. The actual site on registration is clearly in a testing phase but the concept is fantastic (it's actually exciting - which is new for me especially in the past couple of years). A social network aware multiplayer casino with Facebook integration.
This is brilliance and something I personally have pitched to previous consulting clients. The problem they have is paralysis, everything is so comfortable for them at the moment that innovation has gone out the window. There is also a level of arrogance, simply put - many operators are completely unwilling to invest the money and the resources into innovative products.
But if you look at Facebook, have a peek at the Poker, Casino and Gaming apps. There are hundreds of thousands of people playing on a regular basis. Mainly because Facebook makes it social, I'm not downloading some software client and clicking on a video slot machine. The interaction is the thing that makes this extremely unique.
I look forward to checking out the final product in a month or two. It should be very cool and could potential be a disruptive force in the world of eGaming. I hope so. The industry simply is no longer interesting and it is clearly being left behind, with it's head stuck in the sand.
But it's nice to know I am not alone in this point of view. Hussein Chahine who is the founder of Advanced Gaming Labs (and Absolute Casino) has it dead to rights:
“I have been a technology provider to the gaming and betting industry for the past five years and it became clear to me that the industry has stopped innovating. The technology suppliers are too removed from the consumer, while the operators are falling short of understanding and building a business that embraces today’s social-networked internet world. This has presented a unique opportunity for us to enter the market as a new gaming company, where millions of concurrent players are empowered to connect [and] compete.”
This should be of particular interest to any affiliates out there who are making money from the traditional model. The days for these sites are numbered unless there is innovation, have a look at the next generation of gaming providers and set yourself up for shifts in the industry. Being left behind is the worst danger.Continue reading
Now I am thinking one thing here. Since I have years of online gambling marketing and sportsbook internet marketing experience I could focus on that here and then do a more general podcast on Honeypot Marketing. I'm actually thinking of leaving it up to you all out there.
Anyone have any thoughts on this? Basically it comes down to a niche podcast versus a generic podcast. I'm thinking out loud and need some input.
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?Continue reading
So here it is: Twitter. It’s everywhere being hyped as the next great thing, but what can it do for your business?
Like any emerging technology the uses are somewhat open ended and there are still many questions.
A few things are absolutely certain:
I’ve put this guide together to get you started on your Twitter campaign and strategy. It is our hope that you find this guide useful. Please forward this to your friends, colleagues and relatives!
Also I'm looking forward to your comments, additions, thoughts, and general input on any of this.
50 TWITTER TIPS FOR CONVERSION
Link Building is always a topic of conversation for anyone in the world of Internet Marketing. People who push only organic SEO tend to be quite focused on the overall process of building masses of links with target anchor text on sites which may pass link juice.
Personally that's a narrow minded point of view that really limits your overall link building goals. The reality of the situation is that links drive traffic, reputation, new visitors and potentially new customers. A well thought out online promotional program will assist you in your organic SEO link building efforts. But you need to have a holistic view of link building.
We build links to achieve a number of goals:
I just finished watching Rand Fishkin's Whiteboard Friday on the same subject. I strongly suggest you check it out:
What other link building tactics do you use now? Let me know what you think of my take on link building awesomeness. Have a great Friday the 13th!
Social Network Marketing is currently a hot topic in the world of Internet Marketing. Many people want to integrate a social media and social networking component to their marketing mix. The most common problem I see is Social Media Marketing thrown together in an ad hoc fashion and poorly executed.
The key risk from a marketing perspective is this: poorly executed SEO will result in no rankings, poorly executed PPC results in wasted budgets, poorly executed Social Media Marketing can result in a bad reputation, negative buzz and angry users.
You need to be very cautious when executing a Social Media Marketing campaign - do not just throw something together and start talking to an online community, the ramifications could be not only worse than you expected they could be difficult to undo.
Planning, education and execution are critical to a successful social media program. I would suggest that you consider the following points before launching a social media marketing program:
Although I've gone off on a tangent slightly, I am laying the ground work for this screencast and discussing one of my favorite sites: StumbleUpon. I'm not going to introduce Stumbleupon in this article, I do that in the screencast below. You can also learn about StumbleUpon right here.
So enjoy the screencast and I'm sure I've missed something in my overview so let me know by leaving a comment. Click Play and watch my screencast on Stumbleupon, you might find it useful!