Monday, March 26, 2012

Oprah's Surprise Visit To St. Louis & Sweetie Pie's {VIDEO}



Oprah came to St. Louis (my new hometown) yesterday and today to film a version of Oprah's Life Class. While there, of course she had to help Miss Robbie out. If you don't know who Miss Robbie is, then you are not hip to Sweetie Pie's--the restaurant that St. Louisians love with all their heart. Sweetie Pie's seen each week on the OWN Network, Oprah Winfrey's network and has the highest ratings of any television program on the OWN Network. I love Sweetie Pie's, haven't been to the Mangrove location yet, but the food is awesome, as I'm sure the weight gain will be too!

Miss Robbie was a background singer for the Ike & Tina Turner Revue---and when she became faced with health challenges, she quit singing professionally and opened a restaurant in her hometown St. Louis. The food is so good there, that on any given day, lines can been seen down the street and around the block, of hungry patrons waiting to get in to taste some of that fried catfish and peach cobbler. The portions are great, and the service is even better. Sweetie Pie's will debut its season opener on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 9pm EST.






Plan on visiting soon?

Here is the location information for the newest Sweetie Pie's restaurant:

SWEETIE PIES AT THE MANGROVE
314.371.0304
ADDRESS
4270 Manchester
St. Louis, MO 63110

Monday-Friday
8am-6pm
Saturday-Sunday
8am-10pm
DELIVERY
Tuesday-Saturday
11:30am-7:00pm
delivery only phone: 314-371-4307

YouTube Video Of Week: Easy To Use Animated Presentation Software




This post marks a return to featuring the YouTube Video of the week. These videos are all about social media marketing, some may just be what's popular. It's an effort to showcase the coolest, most informative, cutting edge videos my subscribers share with me. I'm on YouTube, you can subscribe to my channel at TeasasTips. This week we have a video from Isaac Wardell, "Prezi - Easy To Use Animated Presentation Software"

Learn about this cool presentation software that allows your presentations to zoom, animate, and do much more than PowerPoint ever allowed you to do. Then try it for free at http://Prezi.com

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Why Your Facebook Timeline Cover Photo Matters {Infographic}



In seven days, Facebook will make the mandatory shift for all businesses to utilize the Facebook Timeline. There have probably been as many groans and moans as there have been shouts for joy. Mainly because no one likes to change, it's comfortable to remain where you are. However, the Facebook Timeline has more functionality than the old Business Page design. As a business trying to strengthen a brand, marketers can use the Facebook Timeline to feature crucial business announcements like upcoming events, grand openings, etc. using the 'pin' feature. Facebook Timeline allows you to 'pin' an announcement on the top left of the wall up to seven days.


To prepare your business for the Facebook Timeline, work on getting a photo that fits and sets the tone of your page. Your cover photo should measure 851x351 pixels in order to display your business concept adequately. The photo you choose should be landscape oriented, keeping in mind that this photo will give visitors a visual idea of your business. Your Facebook Timeline cover photo will be like making that all too important first impression, make it count, it may be your one and only chance.

Below is an Infographic detailing the important features of the Facebook Timeline for your business. These are good tips, take a look at them.

The Guide to Facebook Timeline for Businesses Infographic by Marketo

Monday, March 19, 2012

Who Uses Social Networking More? Men or Women?




61% Of ONLINE ADULTS access their emails on a typical day (Source: Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project surveys: February 2005, August 2006, May 2008, April 2009, May 2010, and May 2011.) These same online adults use social networking 43% of the time. Only search engine usage is higher with online adults according to Pew Research--59% of the time.
“Search and email still top the list of most popular online activities,” available at:
http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Search-and-email.aspx

Yet the core, influential users of social networking sites are women 18-29 with 89% of them using social networking sites an average of 69% of the time each day. It doesn't matter if those users live in rural, suburban or urban areas, the usage level is the same. This level of social networking is not defined by race, ethnicity, household income nor education level, the common denominator is access to the internet, being a woman of age 18-29.



Since 2009 women have outnumbered men in their use of social networking sites. As of May 2011, 7 out of 10 women use social networking sites compared to 6 in 10 men. This data mirrors original marketing data that shows women are the decision makers in purchasing behavior in the household. Armed with this knowledge, how does a brand market a product successfully using social networking?


The demo most likely to be impacted is going to be the 18-29 female, and knowing what she needs and wants to enhance her life is the marketing driver. Typically, this demo likes going to clubs and parties on the weekends, attends music concerts, is concerned about outward appearance, having a sustainable income, and doesn’t feel committed to any particular job. They know there are other options, so they are not upset with corporate change. This demo will quickly share their experiences in social media outlets rating products and services. They ‘check-in’ with photo uploads from their mobile devices sharing where they are and whether the food or service is good. Their opinions matter.


For more on this report and others, visit the Pew Internet Research site, they have good information there. www.pewinternet.org

Sunday, March 18, 2012

When Children Attack In The Workplace: A Tribal Social Media Study




I started thinking about ethical behavior in the workplace when I read the article: “Ethics and Social Media in the Workplace: Where Should You Draw The Line?” posted on the American Express OpenForum submitted by Mashable.


Ethics is directly related to one’s own perception. What is right to me, may be wrong to you, and in between is the truth. So ethics in the workplace has grown from the little white lie that lives in the gray area, to being exposed as a cankerous sore in reality. Our surroundings, the people we associate with shape our ethical behavior. The crowd mentality is alive and living in the workplace just waiting for more members to join. On any given day in my office there are cliques of ethical tribes, some exist in a transparent bubble, practicing ethical behavior for all to see. Others exist in the gray area that says, “it depends on the situation” whether or not my behavior is ethical; because ethics in the gray area are based upon the perception of the tribe. If the tribal influence shifts, then individual ethical behavior will shift according to the direction of the tribal movement.


For example, recently a friend expressed displeasure at the company performing an at-will behavior that impacted many employees negatively. The company, my friend states, did not inform employees in an official communication their hours would be cut, which my friend states left her feeling “like she didn’t matter” to the company. At that point, I observed my friend consulting with various members of the tribe in the workplace, on the telephone and by text message, asking for their opinions. Each one of the tribe members shared the same perspective relating to the issue, that it was “wrong” for the company to behave in this manner. My assumption to all of this ‘asking’ was that each person my asked shared the same opinion as she did; no one differed offering an alternative perception. All the tribe members agreed that the ‘company’ just doesn’t care about their employees because if they did, the ‘company’ would at least send an email or memo about the abrupt change. According to my friend, this abrupt change impacted hourly employees’ bi-weekly paycheck and no management employees were impacted.


The gathering of the tribe, asking one another if they were affected, begins to resemble an angry mob. Albeit, a mob that understands in this crunched economy, that even though hours were cut, and paychecks affected, the tribe is afraid to express their feelings to management out of fear of retaliation in the form of harassment and intimidation or more extreme, job loss. So the tribe begins to do a little less, performing at less than optimal levels, because of the simmering anger that exists beneath the surface of employee behavior. Outwardly, the tribe looks happy, however, if the company were to engage in any sort of feedback session with tribe members, it would be discovered looks can be deceiving.


Because the tribe members feel powerless at work, social media outlets give tribe members power. Here they can say what they want, at all hours of the day or night, and be heard by great numbers of people. You’ve heard the old saying, ‘good news travels fast, but bad news travels faster.’ Tribe members using social media outlets can share their thoughts and feelings about this situation and similar behaviors by the company that the tribe perceives unethical behavior. The company ignores tribal behavior in the beginning because the company may not feel they owe employees an explanation to saving money. That is, until the next quarterly report reveals less revenue earned year to date over last year’s. The company will then behave like the angry parent when the child disobeys, using discipline in the form of micro-managing employees who perform less than stellar job duties. Like children, the tribe feels wronged and will respond, because one action deserves a reaction. Without warning, the tribe feels attacked, and begins to internalize the behavior of the company toward the tribe. Tribal members’ absenteeism rates increase, mistakes are made by the tribe on critical tasks. The beginning behavior by the company resembles the pebble thrown in the water having a ripple effect that threatens to impact annual revenues and earnings.


This is a real story, going on now at a Fortune 500 company, is a story of ethics. My belief is that ethics begins at the head and travels to the foot. If employees are treated with respect, job performance will increase because the employees are happy and more willing to support the company, even defend the company in any ethical battle. However, when employees are unhappy, feel unappreciated, and have no outlet for their anger, then the tribe mentality takes over, and in an era of multiple social media outlets, the company may become vulnerable to competitors.
Jay Shepherd, author of the book Firing at Will: A Manager’s Guide, sums up unethical behavior with a sentence.“It’s like pornography: You know it when you see it. It’s as simple as knowing the right thing to do, then doing the wrong thing.”


Both sides, the company and employees are doing the wrong thing. However, in this case, the company (the leader, the head) began the unethical behavior, employees are simply acting out using social media to share their pain and hurt with all that will read it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

42 Social Media Do's & Don't's



Social Media Advertising Strategy: 9 Dos of a Social Media Ad Campaign
This tutorial on social media advertising strategy goes over the dos and donts of Facebook and Twitter ad campaigns. This social media advertising presentation was filmed at AdTech New York.

Marketers cannot live on an earned media strategy alone. While social word of mouth is powerful, it'll increasingly be coupled with paid social media to realize the true potential. In fact, social media ad spending should grow 55% this year alone to $3 billion. Where is that money going to? How are those ads working in concert with other marketing formats? And where, when and how should your brand include paid social media in an ad buy? We'll analyze the best social media buying strategies and also share case studies on how to mingle paid social media with earned social media for top-notch results.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Steps To Increasing Brand Awareness




"Even before the social media revolution we knew that increased engagement with a brand will increase customer loyalty, value and advocacy."



How do you increase engagement? Get people talking about the brand; get people to share the brand;


How do you get people to talk about the brand? Get important people to talk about the brand. Get important people to share the brand.

ViralNetworks


How do you get to important people? Find out who is influencing the most. Go to klout and make friends with them. Then become loyal to them. Share their content; discuss their content in the form of comments; ride their coattails cut don’t be conspicuous or shallow. Be sincere. They will notice. It’s human nature to observe who likes you, and who has your best at heart.
How do you increase customer loyalty? Lay the groundwork by connecting with influencers. This may take some time. It is not an overnight sensation. Let’s see, choose an influencer. Follow his work. Ask questions about the things they are most passionate about, see if there is a connection. If so, have discussions about those passions, remember it is all about the influencers and not about you.

Make them the star, so you can get some of their star power. Once the influencer trusts you, they will begin to slowly retweet you, and or show up on your page and leave comments. This is a step by step process. First trust must be established, once trust is established, the influencer will lurk in the background without leaving comments. The influencer will not even share your work yet because he isn’t all in yet. It’s an exclusive club that the influencer belongs to, you’re an outsider trying to get in along with all the other outsiders. Similar to getting to the inner circle of an A-Lister in Hollywood, the steps to getting in the inner circle are: trust, patience, wait some more, then the influence will act. Again, this may take weeks, or even months, depending on how busy the influencer is. To expedite the process, find out what the influencer likes, and tweet about it, or more specifically, talk about it on their page.



Read what Bill Kalma,vice president of technical services at Model Metrics, writing at Mashable, had to say about the relationship consumers expect from brands: "Consumers have high expectations for the products they use. It is no longer enough for systems and applications to be functional; they must also be intuitive, self-serving, and even fun to use — no matter the task."
--Bill Kalma, vice president of technical services at Model Metrics, writing at Mashable






In a way, you are using the influencer to gain power and respect for your brand. The influencer will bring the customers because they listen to what the influencer has to say. Influencers are used to expedite reach and growth. It is a non-economical investment other than time. Similar to commenting on five relevant blogs per day, this is the SEO of social media marketing.


Right now, executives are looking for a scale to measure the reach and growth of social media metrics. But this does not exist in social media marketing. The commerce is influence, the method is using influencers to impact reach and growth. Only through the use of influence can a brand be positively or negatively impacted. Beauticians have known long ago that word of mouth is more powerful than any $1000 advertising. If a beautician does good work, people will see that person’s hairdo and ask who does their hair? That, is reach and growth at its best.

Beauticians use influencers everyday, it’s their customers. When a customer walks out of that salon with a fly hair style, everyone pays attention. People notice the woman who has a sharp hair style, they compliment her, and want to know who does her hair. I know, people always complimented me when I would leave my hair stylist, they wanted to know if she was taking anymore clients, where she was located, etc. They were excited to find out the information that I had. I was an influencer, unwittingly.


Social media marketing is the same way. It is measured by the depth of influencers who are involved with the promotion of your products and services. One word from a Wayne Sutton, Guy Kawasaki, etc. will bring tons of people, all because they said it was so. The problem is, these guys are not paid spokesmen and they may have a problem being approached as such. That’s why you engage the influencer in a back door method, so as to get their buy-in about you personally, before any products are introduced.


This is an actionable business intelligence model that works. Social media gurus such as Dan Zarella has been saying that this is the way to do business in the social media world. It’s about the customer, the people and sharing the things and providing the things that hold value and benefit in their lives. It’s about how will this product improve my life, save me money, make my job easier, how can it help me. WIIFM is more alive than ever before with social media marketing.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Social Media Behavioral Data Really Is Rocket Science




Less Talk + More Actions = Better Results



That should be every social media marketers’ mantra. Getting it in, is not just a saying the hip-hop element uses. Getting it in refers to using your behavioral data from social media marketing to your advantage. It’s really a fallacy to believe that social media marketing is data measure resistant. Not so, say the lovers of Google Ripples which graphically illustrates connections and shares of content you, the marketer create. You can link social media metrics to tangible business results, and here are a few ideas to make it happen.

With 750 million active users on Facebook, 140 million unique visitors to the site each month, 200 million registered Twitter users, and more than 100 million professionals on LinkedIn, your target audience is somewhere among these numbers. You just have to send out a smoke signal and find them. Once you find your audience, open shop, let them know you’re there, and give them a reason to visit you. Create relevant content, coupons, discounts, whatever it takes to get your audience to your social networking door. I have a Wine Lovers page on Facebook, and my over 700 members love talking about wine. Thanks to Facebook Insights, if you’re a Page Administrator, you have access to some valuable marketing information. Using that information will open the door to behavioral marketing strategies that will grow your audience. Take a look at these recent demographics from Wine Lovers on Facebook.



I like these ready-made demographics because it shows the number of members who are represented by each country, city and the language spoken. In addition, take a look at the break down between males and females. Female members outweigh male members by almost 2:1. The largest age demo represented is 35-44 at 21% female and 8.5% male in this age segment. Ages 45-54 has a 16% share for females and 6.2% share for males. Baby boomer females are more likely to be a member of this page than their male counterparts. Pre-boomers make up the largest chunk of the Wine Lovers audience (35-44) at 21%. But, look at this piece of data below. It shows the reach or the ‘ripple’ effect of the actual social sharing—content that was posted on the page shared by members to their friends.





There were 791 Likes during this time period of Feb. 7 – Feb. 28, up 3.67% over last month; Friends of Fans is the number of unique people who were friends of fans who liked the Wine Lovers page, this increase of 1.98% is on the upswing and gives weight to the 791 fans who like the page. Those 791 fans were responsible for reaching 474,265 other people on Facebook who might be interested in Wine Lovers. These are people who I couldn’t find on my own, I just wouldn’t have the time to literally go knocking on the Facebook door of people, finding out what they like, and then sending out a friend invite. Facebook might think I was spamming and close my account! However, lots of outbound marketing can be done using this data.

Still most marketers are not convinced how social media marketing can drive revenue results. With all this data, the problem is not that data exists, it is how to interpret the data and turn those interpretations into dollars. Evolving from dormant numbers to monetary results in social media requires businesses to
Target these three audience to business behaviors:

LISTEN—When fans of Wine Lovers talk, I listen. Subscribing to SMS updates on my smartphone, I am always online and able to respond quickly to comments and conversations around content
IMPACT—No matter how relevant the conversation, I try to respond to each fan engagement when possible. People need to know you’re real, and if you’re able to communicate in a way that brings life to your words, then you’re bound to get the audience you’re seeking.
JUST DO IT!—Get in there, don’t stand on the sidelines with your fans. Update your page status frequently with usable, relevant content. People love graphics, pictures and videos. Incorporate those things onto your page, they are more likely to get shared.


Finally, social media marketing is like traditional marketing, you’ve got to know what you want to get out of it before you get started with it. Don’t go in blindly, setting up Facebook pages, Google Plus business pages, etc. without having a plan. What is your motivation for setting these networking tools in action? Is it create brand awareness, generate sales, promote a new product? Whatever the reason, let the ‘R’ in ROI define your purpose for any social media marketing objective. Define your point of satisfaction. Meaning, if sales were $67 per customer in 2011, would $97 per customer satisfy your executive level management team? Set reachable, realistic goals so as not to g into any meeting afraid that your lack of production will cost your job. This is not a good economy to get fired in. It’s important to go where the fish are because you can’t bring home dinner if the fish aren’t biting.

What are your thoughts, have you jumped the social media marketing behavioral data hurdle? How? Share with us please, we’d love to know.