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Posts Tagged ‘social marketing’

With all the talk of social marketing in the news today and utilizing it as a tool to market your business in a unique way, I got to thinking “when did it all begin?” Did this just appear in the last few years or has it morphed from traditional marketing?

Marketing experts agree that social marketing first emerged in the healthcare field in the 70’s. It was first used to communicate health issues related to contraception, heart disease, drug abuse and organ donation. According to Nedra Weinreich of Weinriech Communications:

Social marketing was “born” as a discipline in the 1970s, when Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman realized that the same marketing principles that were being used to sell products to consumers could be used to “sell” ideas, attitudes and behaviors. Kotler and Andreasen define social marketing as “differing from other areas of marketing only with respect to the objectives of the marketer and his or her organization. Social marketing seeks to influence social behaviors not to benefit the marketer, but to benefit the target audience and the general society.” Like commercial marketing, the primary focus is on the consumer–on learning what people want and need rather than trying to persuade them to buy what we happen to be producing. Marketing talks to the consumer, not about the product.

Why is social marketing so appealing to businesses and to consumers? Because, as everyone knows, we are much more likely to do business with someone we know and trust. Social marketing addresses that issue and allows both to develop those relationships that benefit not only the business, but ultimately the consumer. Instead of dehumanizing the business relationship, it brings back personalization and reminds me of the old “mom and pop” business model we loved in the 50’s and 60’s.

Click here to read the entire article: What is Social Marketing?

Do you use social marketing in your business? What have you found to be the most difficult to learn: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube? What is your favorite social marketing tool?

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I was speaking on the phone today with @galtime and @juliegoodale (that’s how you know you’re addicted to Twitter–you use Twitter names) about GALTIME and the  new website launch. In the course of the conversation, the topic of Twitter came up (since that’s where we all met) and how addicting it can become. My husband is constantly belittling my Twitter fascination and my Twitter friends. In his defense, he simply does not understand the benefits. Besides, we all know we can’t go a day without a good rationalization and mine today is: Twitter is good for business, therefore it’s a positive addiction. Moving on…

I forsee in the future counselor specific articles helping people cure addictions to social marketing. It’s easy to fall into the trap of living on the computer 24/7, so much so it affects your personal life and your work life. I just read an article by @paulwilson about tweets that can get you fired–comical with an underlying warning of truth. I can envision people who are so attached to their Facebook page that they rarely venture out of their home. The reality is that social websites can replace real-life relationships if you’re not careful. But, on the other hand they can foster real-life relationships if used properly.

Here’s how I look at it. In any area of our lives, we need to maintain a balance. Addictions are possible when you cross that line from balance to obsession. But I guarantee you that there will be social marketing addicts abounding in the near future. I’m just not one of them (as I’m heading back to Twitter to tweet about this article).

What about you? Have social websites replaced your real-life relationships? Are you trapped online by your “addiction”? Or do you have it all under control?

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T-Shirts. We all own them. We pick them up on trips to our favorite vacation destination as souvenirs. We grab the freebies at trade shows with company logos and slogans on them. We create our own for family reunions with pictures on them. We don them when we want to make a statement about a cause or support a candidate. They have become human billboards for free advertising and social consciousness.

Teenagers wear t-shirts as relics of the vinyl age. They are worn years after the music first appeared. I realized this one day in a Starbucks when I was wearing a vintage Barry Manilow shirt. A young employee asked me where I bought the shirt. She wanted to get one for herself. I asked her if she knew anything about his music. She confessed she did not. But she liked the vintage look of the shirt.

As you slip into your favorite T-shirt, consider how much its logo or slogan explains about your age, sex, cultural and political preferences. You are dressing yourself in history and opening yourself up to interpretation. It’s not just a piece of clothing, it’s a statement of who you are, what you believe and how you respond to others.

blogging-tshirtHere’s a shirt I found recently that says much about the trend toward social marketing. If you drop by CafePress and type in Blogging, Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace you’ll be amazed at the amount of designs dedicated to this recent upsurge in social connections online. Grab one of these and spread the word that you’re moving in the circles that are re-inventing traditonal methods of marketing.

Express Yourself…and…Happy T-Shirting!!

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If you’re like me, keeping track of all the demographic labels, let alone what they mean, can be daunting: Baby Boomers, Generation X, and most recently Generation Y. But the simple fact is that in order to market to these groups you need to know who they are, how they perceive marketing, and how they react to the marketing messages directed toward them.

In a recent study by The Participatory Marketing Network (PMN) and Pace University’s Linden School of Business’ Interactive and Direct Marketing Lab, Generation Y was examined. Who are the Generation Yers? There is no consensus over the exact birth dates that define Gen Y, also known by some as echo boomers and millennials. But the broadest definition generally includes the more than 70 million Americans born 1977 to 2002. Generation X was born roughly 1965 to 1976. Narrower definitions put Gen Yers as those ages 16 to 29.

Here’s how one Generation Yer describes herself:

“We are willing and not afraid to challenge the status quo,” she says. “An environment where creativity and independent thinking are looked upon as a positive is appealing to people my age. We’re very independent and tech savvy.”

According to the study Generation Y continues to be a question mark when it comes to social marketing. Researchers with the study found that while Generation Y visits branded or fan pages on social networks less than half actually join those sites. While visits are good, many marketers are banking on these consumers joining in – and buying more products later. They found that 62% of Gen Y consumers have visited a branded or fan page within a social network but only about 48% actually join the sites.

And there is one more mixed message from these consumers: while more than 80% notice social network ads 74% reporting ‘infrequent’ clicks and 36% report not clicking on ads at all.

Although these percentages are not horrible, it is an indicator that Generation Y is still not being engaged in the social marketplace. All is not lost, however. Researchers found that those who are joining these branded sites are doing so for product updates (67%), to view promotions (64% and to view or download content (41%).

There is one more encouraging find: Generation Y consumers do report a willingness to join a separate social network in order to manage brand interactions (51%).

What does this mean for your service or product?

How could you change your marketing tactics to accommodate this demographic?

Credit: BizReport.com by Kristina Knight “Study: Gen Y visits, doesn’t join branded networks” 03/04/2009

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blog101I’ve done some thinking, some research and had some sleepless nights about what to write on this blog and how to make it entertaining and worth the visit. Last night I dreamed the Twitter bird was chasing me, trying to peck my eyes out. Since childhood, when my great aunt’s parakeet attacked me, I’ve been anxious of any bird activity within close proximity. You can imagine how terrified I was when the Hitchcock movie, The Birds came out and my ill-conceived fears seemed to find some validity. So it stands to reason that my frustration over the Twitter learning curve and my bird paranoia would collide.

However, thanks to ProBlogger.net I have come up with a plan for this blog and hopefully will return to my not so sleepless nights, only disturbed by the usual insomnia that plagues all of us from time to time. Following one of his suggestions, I have decided to set themed posts for each day of the week. This should bring consistency and regularity to my posts, while providing my readers with value and oftentimes, entertainment.

Here’s a breakdown of the scheduled topics:

Monday

In The News

I’ll be briefly discussing the most interesting news articles related to three subjects: social marketing, home-based business and staying afloat during the troubled economy.

Tuesday

Twitter Tuesday

I’ll be posting the latest news, trivia, and software recommendations for this social marketing tool.

Wednesday

7 Tips to Jump Start your Creativity

These tips will be from personal experience and from others who experience creativity shutdown.

Thursday

Blog Spotlight

Each week I’ll take one of my favorite blogs and discuss why I like it and why I can’t live without it.

Friday

Energize Your Business

On Friday I’ll be offering ideas to energize, market and shoot some new life into your business using social marketing, email marketing and yes, even direct mail marketing.

Saturday

T-Shirt Trivia

Just for fun I’ll feature a favorite design each week and talk about how it’s politically, socially, or historically influenced.

Sunday

Words of Inspiration

On Sunday I’ll be writing about some of my favorite quotes and how they inspire me personally and professionally.

I look forward to sharing some insight, some opinions, some experience and some humor each week; and as always, look forward to your comments.

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Having a home-based business certainly presents it’s challenges. The self-discipline required to go to your desk and work is daunting at times. There are always distractions to take you away from the daily tasks. Since you work at home, it’s easy to glance at that load of laundry that needs to be done or the pile of dishes you saved because you were too tired to tackle them the night before.

I have to also admit that even at my desk there are numerous distractions that await my attention. Lately, it’s been Twitter and TweetDeck. I’ve developed a fascination for this social arena, and if I’m not careful I could spend all day reading tweets and clicking on links, following those links to other links. Before I know it the entire morning has flown by and I’ve accomplished very little actual “work”.

As previously mentioned, I’m reading a book on Social Media Marketing in One Hour a Day and I admit that it’s helping me to focus my time and effort in this new arena, while leaving me time in the day for my other important work-related tasks. Not that marketing isn’t important. But all things, especially in the home-based business world, require balance. ProBlogger.com addressed this time dilemma in a post last year.

Before Twitter came along, I found myself distracted with internet links from Google alerts and those pesky business emails that always led me on a wild goose chase to enhance the operation of  my business: free business cards, email marketing, merchant accounts and the like. Distractions will rule as long as you don’t stay focused on your passion–building your business and establishing your brand.

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I confess. I’m not a member of the “tech” generation nor do I claim to be. In a short span of time (the last 30 years) my world has changed dramatically. It’s hard to keep pace with emerging technology when your brain doesn’t work quite as well as it used to and everything you were taught in school is obsolete.

When I was a kid…

…I walked 5 miles in the snow to get to school. Not really. But…

I learned to type on an IBM selectric typewriter. They actually called the class “Typing” and not “Keyboarding” as they do today. In math class, we learned to add in our heads when we memorized the math tables. Calculators were for the scientists and not the student. In Chemistry we were taught to use a slide rule (which I never quite mastered) to find square roots and other scientific solutions. In Bookkeeping we used an actual paper journal with columns for debits and credits and an adding machine to calculate the totals. Teachers used overhead projectors with slides and grease pencils. They would write on the slides and project it onto a screen in the classroom for everyone to see.

We wrote checks to pay for things at the supermarket and kept a paper checkbook in which we entered the checks we had written. This kept us from being overdrawn. If we needed cash we went to the bank and wrote a check to “cash” to receive the funds.

If we wanted to see a movie, we went to the movie theater or the drive in. The only movies we watched at home were the ones filmed by our parents on their Super 8 movie cameras. We could view prepackaged slide shows with a little gadget that you loaded the circular slides into and clicked a lever to advance to the next one.

We listened to music on transistor radios and played our LPs and 45s on home stereos with headphones larger than our heads themselves. We had reel to reel tapes and amplifiers that improved the listening quality and experience.

If you wanted to travel, you contacted a travel agent who would book your flight through the airlines and hand you a carbon copy ticket with all of your flight information. You checked in at the airport the day of your flight and the ticket agent tore off the ticket and left you with the carbon for a boarding pass.

Writers wrote novels using typewriters and paper. If they made a mistake they used correction fluid, correction tape, or removed the paper and started over, tossing the first draft into the trash.

Every household had a telephone. Pay phones abounded. If you wanted to call someone while you were out you put a nickel in the pay phone and dialed the number. When you left home, no one could reach you unless you called to check in. If you got lost, you took out the trusty road atlas, found your street on the index and followed the map to get you to your destination.

Typesetters set the type for publications and for advertising materials. Their machines took up an entire room and the number of typestyles they had was based on the size of their business and the ability to purchase type (font) families. Small publications would justify the type by counting and adding spaces in each line of type, thus making the lines end at the same point. Press on and rub on lettering and design were necessary tools for any publication. Printing presses used ink and images on metal plates that were burned on by a platemaker.

The graphic artist used pens, pencils and charcoal to create art and the photographer took pictures on 35mm film for future developing. Proofs came with negatives and slides were used to view the pictures through a slide projector on a large screen. Presentations were made with flip charts and artist’s renderings, along with the verbal description of the person presenting.

And believe it or not, this was a mere 30 years ago.

When I started my desktop publishing business 15 years ago I purchased a personal computer, color scanner and laser printer. The total cost for all three was $5000. My scanner alone cost $1500 and my laser printer was $1200. I had 500MB of hard drive memory and a 5 ½ inch floppy disk drive to save and archive files. The internet was completely foreign to me and electronic email was just emerging as a business communication tool.

Today, our world has advanced beyond even my parent’s wildest expectations: personal computers, ATM machines, design and presentation software, scientific calculators, Blu-ray discs, Ipods, cellphones, PDA’s, the internet, home theaters, GPS devices and WiFi. In the last 30 years we have traveled light years in our technology.

And this baby boomer has managed, on most levels, to keep up with it all. The latest craze, social marketing, has tested my mind with a vengeance. And while I’m learning to adapt to Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and the world of bloggers, it can at times be a bit daunting. I long for the days of phone conversations, personal one on one meetings, and handwritten letters. Call me old fashioned; or better yet, call me a baby boomer!

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