A simple social media recipe for every business

It’s lunchtime, and I can smell the beautiful aroma of home made soup brewing in the kitchen, next to my office. The beauty of this smell is that I recognize it from last week’s menu. It’s ham and lentil, made from homegrown vegetables, marinated with ham on the bone – My favourite.

There is something special when the cook uses ham on the bone, as apposed to something pre-packed, and mass produced. I believe the traditional ham hock adds a substance of value, flavour, and sustainability to the soup recipe that makes a meal well worth buying.

Taking the key elements of this story, I wonder what you would find to be at the core of your social media strategy as you think about the key ingredients you have chosen to bind it together.

Here are three essential questions to consider when evaluating your marketing plan:

  1. Are you adding value to the end consumer?
  2. Do you bring a distinct flavour that sets you apart from the crowd?
  3. Are you sustainable within your market?

There is plenty of exposure, and press on the importance of social media, but what sets a Tesco value meal apart from Tesco’s finest, is substance and quality.

We need more than a social media presence to stand the test of time. We need a sustainable strategy that doesn’t just look to be outsourced (mass produced), but one that puts social at the core.

If you would like to find out more on how we can help you, or attend one of our Social Media Workshops, get in touch today.

Our next workshop, will be brought to you by Tailor Made Social, and Vital PA. Subscribe, and stay tuned for more info coming soon!!

Dear Google…

I  love your new Ad for Google Drive…

Thank you for the opportunity, but I would kindly like to reject your offer to join Google Drive right away, as I do not wish to surrender ownership of my files to yo at this present time. You may well want to sell them on to other companies, in an innocent fashion, but I’d rather hold on to the small slice of ownership I have left, concerning the net.

Despite my lack of excitement to sign over another portion of my own personal business. I would like to commend you for the good work you are doing on the matter of SEO – as you “take another step to reward high-quality sites“, by changing your algorithm… again. At least it’s for a good cause; and you’re a tad better at communicating changes than Facebook – Who are also making important changes to their fan pages, again.

Yours faithfully,

Google User

The Power Of An Idea

I love those lightbulb moments when all of a sudden, the penny drops. An idea has found its way into reality.

Ideas are a powerful tool, and when you find someone who can produce great ideas, you really should hold on to them with dear life. When your faced with unemployment rates as high as they are, and several economies hanging on the balance of survival, not to mention competition in an expansive market – You better take action, and take stock of what you have in your hand. There is no magic to survive in the current climate, except wisdom, ability to execute, and a heap of hard work that is required to build any business in 2012.

Three ideas to improve your current position:

1. Collaborate – The cost of hiring staff in today’s world is not cheap, and if you want to ensure maximum return on your investment, then either tighten up your interview process, or collaborate with people on a consultant/freelance basis. Why? When someone chooses to work as a freelancer they understand, and take more responsibility for getting the job done, and in the time that they agreed to.

2. Brainstorm – This is really an extension of my first point. You may have heard the expression before that two minds are better than one. Well, it’s true. In fact, I’d say get four, five, or even six together in one place, for a blocked out time, with no distractions; and get creative.

3. Step out, and be bold – I talked about being bold in a previous post, which you can find here.

If you would like to find out more on how I cut your costs dramatically, and increase the  influence your business has on the global market, then get in touch today! Drop me an email at thebrandadvocate@gmail.com.

The ROI of Stamina

“The true measure of success is failing to give up even when the going gets tough.”

Regardless to what one’s opinion would be on Frank Bruno, the boxer. I have to say that I found his story on Piers Morgan tonight, most encouraging.

Against all odds, (including himself) Frank had the courage to pursue his dream of winning the World Champion title; which took him almost 14 years of training and fighting, before he was able to achieve that reality.

Now that is true perseverance.


Be bold, be specific

I passed a hairdresser’s shop today, in Glasgow’s West End, with two bold posters slapped across their window reading, follow us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter.

Not the most presentable looking sign, or shop in my opinion, but after a second glance I had to wonder…. Were they actually onto something? They may not be the most presentable brand in the world, but they did catch my attention whilst driving.

Perhaps it was the angle of my car when passing the shop, but either way I noticed them; and for that I commend them. They clearly understood the importance of building a community online, and the advantage their shop, which was situated on once of Glasgow’s busiest streets.

If there is one thing I am learning through my own building process, is that we must be specific, and we must be bold.

What could you be bold, and specific about today in your business, or indeed in your life? I find in the context of business there are far too many small businesses still too scared, or oblivious to the world of social media marketing, and I reckon it’s about time we took a step of faith, and jumped right in.

If you want to find out how I can help your business, get in touch via a temporary email thebrandadvocate@gmail.com or come chat to me on my Twitter feed, here. First half hour consultation is free.

The Billion Dollar Question?

To many, Facebook’s takeover of Instagram will be last week’s news, but today I’m using this story to highlight an after thought from this story that will hopefully add value to your business.

To give you some context to my inspired moment, I must take you to Facebook where my friend (distant from the world of marketing) innocently asked; “So all this chat about Instagram being bought by Facebook for wan billion or however much…What does this actually mean? What changes?” – That’s when I had my moment of inspiration, right there, and then.

It suddenly dawned on me how easy it is to work in marketing, and business and still miss communicating our point to the consumer. My friend caught wind of the billion dollar sale, but he failed to understand the impact this sale would have on him – as the end-user. Should he bare the responsibility for this, or should we – the marketer, writer, and communicator take responsibility and communicate our news in a way that is effective, and relevant to those that matter.

The answer is, none right now. Mark Zuckerberg released a statement highlighting the reasons behind the decision, and their intent is to ‘try’ to continue building and growing Instagram independently.

The fact of the matter is that this sale came at a very interesting time. Facebook are positioning themselves to launch into the stock market next month, and Instagram has just broken record to be one of the biggest app releases on the Google play platform, in its history.

In March, the app hit 1 million users in less than 24 hours of its Android Launch.

Selling at this moment in time may seem perfect for many, but disconcerting to many of its users.

Perhaps, if we keep this in mind when we write our tech savvy articles, content, and informational material we wouldn’t cause so much of a scare to users who aren’t always interested in how much your company sold for, but instead more interested in how your sale will change the user experience?

The bottom line is that there is a danger to many media sharing, information platforms, and businesses that we are still so consumed with the structural changes happening in our culture and effecting every inch of our business that we are failing to have some form of clear communication with our end users – who are not tech savvy, but a faithful and dedicated user of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Don’t believe me then just take Facebook’s shift to Timeline. I lost count of the number of people lost and confused on the subject matter of Timeline. Questions like, what is it? How do I change it back? – Came flooding in their droves. As I continued to explain there was no going back, and the implications that Timeline could have on their profile privacy. Most users were shocked, and certainly unaware of the implications caused by the face-lift.

Of course Facebook informed marketers of the changes, but this didn’t filter through enough to the end-user, and that’s my point today. How well are we filtering information through to the end-user?

As effective as I believe social media marketing can be. It is meaningless if we don’t have well-informed users on the other side of each tool. We’d all do well to keep this in mind.

The irrefutable demands of time

There is no getting away from the fact that time itself has become a restraint on many businesses; and I wouldn’t say this is specific to small businesses, these days, either.

With the internet being one of the few economies actually growing, and everyone scrambling to understand it – It makes complete sense. However; it also makes no sense that there is still a huge gap, and slow to action spirit that leaves many businesses far behind their potential.

So how do we combat this? We combat it, by assessing what we can, and cannot do; and delegate the load through collaboration.

I think some businesses need to assess what their priorities are, and get a second opinion. With the greatest respect, a mother is always going to love her baby regardless, and this is in no way different to a CEO of his, or her own company, or even the head a particular department. As our roles within business, marketing, and indeed life continue to unravel, we must get smarter at assessing the necessities of our day, and be brave enough to take a step of faith at times when conversion rate looks low to begin with…