Tag Inbound marketing

Content Marketing: The Value of Reruns

The holiday season is fast approaching. With it brings holiday parades, Christmas shopping and gatherings with family and friends.

However, even though there are many additional things that demand your attention, the work still needs to get done.

In fact, chances are that your business has year-end goals that need to be met. This could very well mean many long days (and nights) at the office.

When you combine the daily work responsibilities with the increased activity in your employees’ personal lives, something will have to give.

It is very possible that your business’s content marketing efforts might be the first thing to get pushed aside because it does take time and the return on investment is not always immediately noticeable.

However, while the impact on your business’s bottom line might not be immediately noticeable or even trackable, most experts agree, content marketing often works.

And, now is definitely not the time to let up, particularly if your business can benefit from consumers’ holiday gift-giving traditions. Furthermore, if your business is a B-to-B, now might be the time of year that your customers are making plans for the next fiscal year, particularly if it coincides with the calendar year.

It Pays to Plan Ahead

If your business had the foresight to plan ahead, you might have created a few extra blog posts, white papers or informational videos when your employees had a little extra time on their hands. If so, now would be a great time to add them to your editorial calendar.

However, even if you didn’t think ahead, it doesn’t mean that all is lost.

There is still time to pull in a guest blogger to create some non-branded content that your customers might find useful this time of year. You might even be able to ask employees who aren’t normally involved in your content marketing efforts to submit a blog post. You never know, you might find out that some of your employees have hidden talents that you were unaware of.

Content Marketing Reruns

Another thing to remember is that most people don’t have the time to consume everything that you produce throughout the year.

Therefore, just as television shows air reruns from time-to-time, posting old blog posts or other content on social networking sites might be a great way to keep your customers engaged and informed, with little or no extra effort required. (This is particularly useful if the content isn’t time-sensitive and therefore has a longer shelf life.)

Also keep in mind, people love lists. Therefore, now might be a great time to write a few best-of blog posts that highlight some of your best posts from the past.

Final Thoughts

There are some things that your business can do to keep your customers engaged and informed online, while still accomplishing all the other things that need to get done this time of year.

With the right planning, you won’t have to play role of Ebenezer Scrooge and require employees to work so much that they don’t have time to enjoy the holidays.

This can include posting content that was created ahead of time or pulling in a guest blogger to create non-branded content that your customers might find useful.

Also, keep in mind, just because you posted something a few months ago, doesn’t mean that the information isn’t still valuable to your customers. In fact, your customers probably didn’t see all the content that you created throughout the year.

Therefore, now might be a great time to repost some of your old blog posts on social networking sites or create a few best-of blog posts.

As television shows have demonstrated for years, content that is created might be just as valuable to consumers the second time around.

Photo credit: J.Elliott on Flickr.

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: chadjthiele@gmail.com.

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Only Half the Story: Instagram Now Has More Daily Active Users on Mobile Than Twitter

You may have read the Mashable article that reported that Instagram now has more daily active users on mobile than Twitter.

Yes, it’s true, according to comScore Instagram had 7.3 million daily mobile users in August, compared to 6.9 million for Twitter.

However, Twitter enthusiasts need not worry at all. After all, the numbers that were reported by comScore are only based on mobile users and many of Twitter’s users access the site via its website on their PC.

In fact, according to eBizMBA Inc., as of September 2012, Twitter is the 9th most popular website.

Furthermore, I think it’s misleading to compare Twitter and Instagram, because they are two very different types of social networking sites. In fact, even though Facebook now owns Instagram, Instagram and Twitter currently have a very symbiotic relationship. That is, many Instagram users use Twitter to share their photos with other people in their network—particularly those who aren’t using Instagram. This benefits both Twitter, as its users can share additional content, and Instagram, as its users can have their photos reach a larger audience.

Therefore, the fact that Instagram has more daily active users on mobile than Twitter is only half the story.

In fact, I don’t think that it’s a story at all.

In the end, Twitter is still a great place to for advertisers to focus when trying to generate buzz about their products or services. As I plan to point out in the next post, this is particularly true when used in conjunction with some other event or as a part of a larger marketing or public relations campaign.

Photo credit: eldh on Flickr.

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: chadjthiele@gmail.com.

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Smartphones Are Changing the Way We Shop

One of the biggest challenges that retailers face once they get consumers into their stores is finding ways to get customers to see the products that they have for sale.

For this reason, many store owners go to great lengths to make sure that the design and layout of their store is optimized for the way that consumers shop and that the merchandise is properly displayed.

However, even with the use of endcaps and optimized sightlines, the fact that humans need to look ahead when they walk through a store makes it difficult for some products to get noticed.

In his book, “Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping—Updated and Revised for the Internet, the Global Consumer, and Beyond,” (affiliate link) Paco Underhill mentioned a study that he did to see how much of what is on display at supermarkets is actually seen by customers–the so-called capture rate.

According to Underhill, “About one fifth of all shoppers actually see the average product on a supermarket shelf.”

Smartphones Can Help Consumers Find Products

Mobile phones have given consumers the ability to research and purchase products from their mobile phones.

Smart retailers have taken note and are making an effort to make sure that their store is front and center when these consumers use their mobile phones to search for product information.

But, the power of mobile phones doesn’t need to end there.

Many retailers are partnering with apps like shopkick not only to get consumers into their stores, but also to interact with specific products.

I wouldn’t be surprised if in the near future some major retailer partners with a tech startup to use the sound technology similar to what shopkick uses for walk-in rewards to notify consumers about product specials or discounts as they walk down the grocery store aisle. This would help solve some of the issues that I talked about earlier. (However, I would hope that this technology would be opt-in and used very sparingly, as it could get annoying really fast.)

Other technologies that retailers could use to let consumers know about specific products or services include geofencing, near field communications (NFC), RFID, QR codes, augmented reality, and location-based apps similar to Foursquare.

Furthermore, as Ivy Chang pointed out in a blog post last year, retailers can bring their stores to the consumer by using technology to create remote store-fronts at subway stations (or any other location for that matter) that allow people to scan QR codes with their smartphones and have the products delivered right to their homes.

Final Thoughts

Technology is constantly changing the way that we live our lives.

Smartphones are one example of this, as they are giving retailers additional ways to connect their customers to the products and services that they have for sale.

While store design and merchandising are always going to be important factors in increasing sales, smartphones are going to play an increasing role in helping make consumers aware of discounts or specials and connecting them with additional product information that will help them make purchase decisions.

With this in mind, retailers and the brands that make the products and services that they sell need to be forward thinking and find ways to use smartphones to connect with customers before the competition does.

Photo credit: jeremydeades on Flickr.

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: chadjthiele@gmail.com.

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Every Interaction With a Consumer Is Marketing

Others have said it before, but I will say it again. Marketing is not handled by just the people in a company’s marketing department. Marketing is everyone’s responsibility.

I was reminded of this yesterday, when I was at the post office.

I arrived only 15 minutes before the post office closed with enough items to ship that it required two trips to the customer service counter.

The lady who was in front of me during my first trip to the customer service counter was clearly angry. However, she wasn’t angry at the people working behind the counter.

She was actually angry at the company that she had purchased an item from.

I didn’t hear all of the conversation that she had with the postal worker, but what I did hear her say was that she was having a hard time trying to return the item, and that only after she talked to someone in the company’s marketing department did they give her permission to send the item back.

My guess is that the person in the marketing department who gave her the permission to send the item back was worried about the brand’s reputation and the effect that this transaction could have if she let others know about the bad customer service that she had received from other parts of the company.

In the age of social media, every time a person has a bad experience with a company creates an opportunity for a public relations disaster.

At a minimum, if an angry customer lets others in his or her network know about the bad customer service that he or she received, there is a chance that the people hearing about the incident will think twice before using that company the next time they are looking for a similar product or service.

If enough people have bad experiences and let others know about it on Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, or any other site where people can voice their opinions online, there is no doubt that it is going to be noticed in the future when potential customers are doing product research online.

And, if the person receiving the bad customer service is a celebrity, it can really create a headache for the brand’s marketing and public relations teams. Just ask United.

Today, word of mouth has a greater significance thanks to social networking sites, review sites, and search engines like Google or Bing. Therefore, providing great customer service is more important than ever.

As the tagline of my blog states, “Every interaction with a consumer IS marketing.”

On a side note, because I got to the post office so late, I just got my second set of boxes to the counter as they were closing. The postal worker stayed a little late on a Friday night in order to get my boxes delivered on time without any grumbling or complaining at all. For that, I thank them.

This, by the way, is the upside of word of mouth. That is, when you provide great customer service, many of your customers will let their friends and family know about that, too.

Photo credit: truds09 on Flickr.

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: chadjthiele@gmail.com.

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Is Twitter Destined to Fail or Did It Find a Creneau?

People are always trying to assess the future of various social networking sites.

For businesses, this type of assessment is needed from time to time, because businesses don’t want to invest heavily in a particular social networking site only to see it close its doors.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that HubSpot is holding a debate about the future of Twitter on Friday, June 22, 2012, at 12 P.M. EST.

The debate will feature Kipp Bodnar, Inbound Marketing Manager at HubSpot and co-author of “The B2B Social Media Book” (affiliate link) and Laura Fitton, Inbound Marketing Evangelist at HubSpot and lead author of “Twitter for Dummies.” (affiliate link)

Mr. Bodnar predicts that “Twitter is slowly coming to an end.” On the other hand, Ms. Fitton “couldn’t disagree more.”

Personally, I agree with Ms. Fitton, but it will be interesting to hear what they both have to say during the debate.

Finding a Creneau

I’m currently reading, “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind,” (affiliate link) by Al Ries and Jack Trout.

In the book, the authors point out that the French have a rather useful marketing expression, “Cherchez le creneau.” The English translation: “Look for the hole.”

The authors suggest that it is difficult (if not impossible) for a brand with a small share of the market to take on the established leader by competing head-to-head.

Instead, they suggest, “Cherchez le creneau and then fill it.”

Facebook Vs. Twitter

In the social media world, with over 900 million monthly active users, Facebook is clearly the established leader.

Using the logic put forth by Ries and Trout in their book, it doesn’t make sense for another social network to try to take on Facebook by offering a similar product. However, in my opinion, that is exactly what Google+ is trying to do.

Twitter, on the other hand, with its approximately 100 million users, offers users a social network that is very different from Facebook. Instead of using a complicated formula similar to Facebook’s EdgeRank to determine who sees a post, pages and a timeline that are filled with a lot of other distractions, and a plethora of other features, Twitter focuses on speed, simplicity, and brevity.

In fact, what makes Twitter unique is brevity. That is, given the fact that posts can only be 140 characters long, it forces the person who posts the message to get to the point.

Furthermore, Twitter is great for skimming through a lot of posts quickly to see if there is something that you might want to learn more about by clicking on the link, if there is one. This is not as easy to do with Facebook.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that according to a MarketingVox study, 40% of active Twitter users don’t actually tweet. They are using Twitter as a resource for information.

And, as Tom Webster points out in his blog post, titled “Why Twitter Is Bigger Than You Think,” the way that Twitter is set up makes it easy for traditional media outlets to use the site as a source for their news stories.

Bigger Is Not Always Better

The HubSpot blog post that introduces Friday’s debate points out that while Twitter came out only two years after Facebook, it hasn’t grown as fast.

I’d argue that this might not be a bad thing.

Often when a site gets so big that everyone is using it, it loses its appeal to a certain subset of the population. Twitter offers people an alternative to Facebook.

Furthermore, while users might use Facebook to connect with certain people, they might choose to also use Twitter to connect with a different subset of their network. This allows them to post things without sharing everything with everyone in their network. (I know that you can accomplish this by changing the post settings in Facebook, but sometimes it’s just easier to post to another network and not have to worry about it.)

Twitter for Business

Twitter is not going to be useful for every business.

As with all social networking sites, Twitter is going to be the most beneficial to your business if your customers and prospects are using it. Therefore, the future of Twitter might not matter to you if your customers and prospects don’t use the site.

Keep in mind, however, what you tweet does have a chance of showing up when your customers and prospects do a search on Google or any other search engine. This is just something to think about.

Final Thoughts

It is important for businesses that use social media for marketing purposes to keep up with trends and assess the health of each social networking site that they use to connect with customers and prospects.

Therefore, it might helpful to watch the debate that is being held by HubSpot on Friday.

Going into the debate, my feeling is that Twitter will be around for a long time, even if it only serves a small subset of the population.

Social networking sites can’t be everything to everyone.

As I pointed out in this post, I think that the fact that not everyone is using Twitter can actually work to its advantage.

In other words, I definitely think that Twitter has found a creneau and filled it.

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: chadjthiele@gmail.com.

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Social Networking Sites Should Not Replace Your Website or Blog

On Friday, picplz announced that on July 3, 2012, it will shut down permanently.

This is not surprising, given the fact that Instagram recently released an Android version of the Instagram app. Prior to the release of Instagram’s Android app, picplz was one of the best alternatives available to people with Android phones.

What is more noteworthy is that all the photos picplz users have posted on the service will be deleted.

This is a good reminder that many of the services that we use could do the same thing, and all the time and effort that we spent posting photos and other content and building human connections could be for naught.

Home Bases, Passports, and Outposts

Chris Brogan, Darren Rowse, and others have been blogging about the concept of home bases, passports, and outposts for years.

One of the key points from their posts that I want to focus on is the fact that while social networking sites (passports and outposts) are great for connecting to your customers and prospects, they should not replace your blog or website (home base).

To build on that further, if your blog or website is being used for your business, you should spend the money and find a web hosting service for your blog or website. After all, while Tumblr or even WordPress.com might be around for a long time, they could choose to shut down at any time. If that happened, all the posts and relationships that you spent time and effort creating would be gone… forever.

Futhermore, while social networking sites should be a part of your online marketing strategy, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you only post on one social networking site, you are completely at the mercy of that site. For a business, that is not really a good position to be in.

Final Thoughts

Even with all the free social networking sites that are available, you should still invest in a self-hosted blog or website. This will give you complete control over the design, layout and content that you make available to your customers and prospects. And, the site will never go away, unless you want it to.

Don’t get me wrong, you definitely should be using social networking sites to connect to your customers and prospects. The point is, social networking sites (yep, that even includes Facebook) should not replace you website or blog. They should be used in addition to your blog or website. And, whenever possible, you should be using these social networking sites to drive customers and prospects to your blog or website.

Finally, if you have the resources, you should be connecting to customers and prospects on more than one social networking site for two reasons. First, people are fickle (i.e., they might choose to start using another social networking site more frequently.) And second, because social networking sites are run by third parties, there is always the possibility that they could decide to shut the site down.

When a social networking site does choose to shut down, all the content and connections that you spent precious time and effort creating will be lost, unless you find a way to bring your customers and prospects to your website or blog, where you are in control of what they see and how they connect to your business.

With that said, I have to go download a few photos…

Photo credit: odysseygate on Flickr.

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: chadjthiele@gmail.com.

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Don’t Worry, They’re Just Words: Part II

In my last post, I pointed out that the words that we choose to use can influence the way that people interpret what we are trying to say.

At times, the ideas that we are trying to convey to others might not be properly communicated because the intended recipients don’t understand the meanings of the words that we use. (In some cases, the words that we use might actually have different meanings among people with different cultural backgrounds.)

In other words, what we are trying to say might get lost in translation even if the people who we are trying to reach speak the same language.

Furthermore, even when the ideas that we are trying to communicate to others are properly received, there might be a more succinct or influential way of wording what we are trying to say.

A Real-World Example of the Power of Words

Not long after I posted the blog post, the point that I was making was illustrated perfectly in an article that was published by the Huffington Post.

However, in this case, it wasn’t an incorrect choice of words that caused the problem; it was the omission of the word “acquisition” that created the confusion.

According to a tweet by Peter Shankman, when the Huffington Post first published their article, it said, “Facebook has said it expects the Instagram to close sometime this year.” (Or, something similar to that—I didn’t see the actual post before the change was made. I am relying on Mr. Shankman as a trusted source.)

This led him to post this tweet with a link to the article:

However, the mistake was spotted and the article was updated. Fortunately, Mr. Shankman found out about it and tweeted this:

However, Mr. Shankman’s original tweet was still out there and not everyone saw his tweet about the typo. Therefore, misinformation continued to spread on Twitter the next day.

For example, his tweet was retweeted by Britton Edwards, and it looks like that is how Emily Binder found out about it. This led her to tweet:

This is how I found out about the post and the typo.

Now, as you can see, the omission of the word “acquision” changed the meaning of the sentence in the article and rumors of Instagram closing started to spread on Twitter. In fact, they continued to spread even after the article was fixed and Mr. Shankman tweeted about the correction.

I’m guessing that a lot of people had the same reaction that Mr. Shankman and Ms. Binder did. Just think about how many other people tweeted this.

Final Thoughts

The example that I gave in this post illustrates the fact that one word can make a huge difference in how people interpret what you are trying to say. (It also illustrates how rumors can easily be started by an innocent mistake.)

Therefore, it makes sense to not only pay attention to what you say, but also how you say it.

This is true when you are writing traditional advertisements and when you are writing blog posts as part of your content marketing efforts.

If you are interested in reading about this further, I’d check out Peter Shankman’s blog in the next few days, as it sounds like he might have a thing or two to say about it. (I will update this post with a link if he does write a post about this in the near future.)

Furthermore, you also might want to check out Emily Binder’s lastest post. She doesn’t address the typo, but she does give her opinion about Instagram and the Facebook Camera app.

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: chadjthiele@gmail.com.

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Don’t Worry, They’re Just Words

Words have power.

We use words to communicate ideas to other people when we talk, sing songs, write articles, or even send messages on social networking sites.

However, we often don’t think about the words that we are using. Furthermore, other people don’t always interpret what we are trying to say in the way that we intend them to interpret it.

Business Implications

Keep in mind, I haven’t studied linguistics, but having spent a decade conducting survey research, this is something that I have thought a lot about.

The way that you word a question on a questionnaire could have a huge impact on the survey results. In fact, where the question is placed relative to other questions could also influence the way that respondents answer the question.

In other areas of marketing, the words that you choose to use can be even more important.

Changing just one word in an advertisement could possibly make a huge difference in how effective the advertisement is.

In his book, titled “Ogilvy on Advertising,” (affiliate link) David Ogilvy gives some suggestions about how to write effective body copy for print advertisements. He states, “It pays to write short sentences and short paragraphs, and to avoid difficult words. I once wrote that Dove made soap ‘obsolete,’ only to discover that the majority of housewives did not know what the word meant. I had to change it to ‘old-fashioned.’ When I used the word ineffable in copy for Hathaway, a reporter telephoned to ask me what it meant. I hadn’t the faintest idea.”

In the online marketing world, the words that you choose to use are equally important. Changing even just one word could have a huge impact on click-through rates. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you create multiple versions of your ad copy and test to see which version works the best.

To complicate things further, the words that we use can have different meanings in other cultures. This can cause problems for businesses that are trying to sell products to people who have different cultural backgrounds.

Final Thoughts

We use words to share ideas each and every day. Without words, it would be nearly impossible to live our lives the way that we do.

The problem is, sometimes the words that we choose to use have a different meaning (or no meaning at all) among the people who we are trying to communicate with.

In the business world, this can impact the efficacy of your marketing campaigns.

Therefore, it is highly suggested that you test your marketing messages to make sure that consumers are getting the message that you are trying to send.

Furthermore, even if consumers do understand the message that you are trying to send, you should also test other ad copy to see if it is even more effective.

Finally, make sure that the words that you use don’t have a negative meaning in other cultures, particularly if consumers with these cultural backgrounds are in your target market.

In the end, the words that you choose to use could make or break your marketing campaign.

Indeed, words have power.

Photo credit: Horia Varlan on Flickr.

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: chadjthiele@gmail.com.

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How Businesses Can Get More Followers or “Likes” on Social Networking Sites*

Do you want to know what the secret is to quickly gaining a lot of followers or “likes” on social networking sites?

Well, here it is: Create a brand that is loved by people all over the world or become famous in some other area of your life.

I say that somewhat tongue in cheek, but the reality is that this statement is actually pretty accurate.

If you look at the top 100 accounts on Twitter, you find that most of them are owned by celebrities. Furthermore, most of the top 100 Facebook pages are owned by major brands, celebrities and a few movies and television shows.

Ways for Small Businesses to Gain Followers and “Likes”

Although major brands and celebrities top the lists of accounts with the most “likes” on Facebook and followers on Twitter, that doesn’t mean that small businesses or businesses that are still trying to make a name for themselves should write off social media as a way to acquire new customers or retain existing ones. In fact, social media is perfect for small businesses. It just takes more time and effort.

Most experts suggest that businesses should post great content and interact with fans and followers to increase the number of followers and “likes” that the business has on social networking sites. For additional suggestions, you might want to check out this article that was posted on the HubSpot blog, titled “8 Guaranteed Ways to Increase Social Media Reach.”

More “Likes” or Followers Isn’t Necessarily Better

Having a lot of followers or “likes” on social networking sites doesn’t always translate into increased sales.

For example, say you own a business in Honolulu, Hawaii, and have a lot of “likes” on your Facebook page from people who visited your establishment when they were on vacation, but not a lot of locals connected to your business on Facebook. If you have a product that can be mailed to customers when they get back to the mainland, having the out-of-town customers connected to your business on Facebook or any other social networking site could be a good thing. However, if your product or service can only be enjoyed when your customers are in town (e.g., if you own a bar, surfboard rental shop, etc.) then these connections will only lead to increased sales if these customers visit Hawaii on a regular basis or recommend your business to people in their network who might be planning to visit your city in the near future.

In this scenario, if you use your Facebook page to push out messages to your customers and potential customers, it’s not going to do a lot of good for your business, unless you can build connections to locals who might be able to use your services more often.

Furthermore, as JD Rucker points out in a post on socialmediatoday.com, titled “Why Local Businesses Should Stop Focusing On Their Facebook Page,” just because a lot of people “like” your Facebook page or follow you on any other social networking site, doesn’t guarantee that these people will see your posts. And, if they do, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be motivated to use your products or services.

What you are really going to want to do to get the most out of your social media marketing efforts is to get your customers and potential customers talking about your business online. In the post, Rucker offers some suggestions about how you might get these conversations started.

Final thoughts

Although it’s clearly easier for a well-known brand or celebrity to get users to connect to them on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networking site, social media can still be a valuable marketing tool for small businesses. It just takes more work.

There are steps that businesses can take to increase the number of users who “like” or follow their business on any of the many social networking sites out there.

Posting great content and interacting with the people who have connected to the business on these social networking sites should be a part of the business’s social media marketing strategy.

However, the real magic happens when a business can get its customers talking about and recommending the business to their friends, family and other people in their social graph.

* Note: There is an asterisk in the title of this post, because after reading this you should now realize that getting more “likes” or followers shouldn’t be your only goal. In fact, the most important goal should be to do things that make your customers happy and then encourage them to share their love of your business with their friends and family online.

Photo credit: warrenski on Flickr.

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: chadjthiele@gmail.com.

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Pinterest: Tumblr for Grown-ups

Last month, I wrote a blog post that listed my top 10 social networking sites for 2011.

On Sunday, I signed up for a social networking site that I predict will be included on the 2012 version of that list. In fact, by the end of the year, I think that Pinterest will be on almost everyone’s radar.

A Brief Demographic Comparison of Pinterest and Tumblr Users

Tumblr was the last social networking site that I got this excited about.

These two sites are very similar in that both enable users to easily share visually appealing content with their network.

However, they currently appeal to different demographics.

For example, Pinterest users tend to be a little older than Tumblr users.

According to a post on brandwarepr.com, only 3% of Pinterest users are under the age of 18 and about 35% are age 18 to 34. Furthermore, 32% are age 35 to 44 and another 21% are age 45 to 54.

In contrast, quantcast.com reports that 18% of Tumblr users in the U.S. are younger than 18 years old and another 45% are age 18 to 34. (Note: The Quantcast numbers are based on the time period between December 16, 2011 and January 16, 2012.)

It’s also interesting to note that over 8 in 10 Pinterest users are female.

Note: It is unclear whether the data from brandwarepr.com is based on users in the U.S. or worldwide.

Reasons to Keep an Eye on Pinterest  

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Pinterest, including how it is helping businesses like Land’s End and Etsy drive traffic to their websites.

It should also be noted that, similar to Tumblr, Pinterest is a very sticky site.

In fact, comScore reported that worldwide users spent an average of 72.1 minutes on the site in October of 2011.

Final Thoughts

I plan to write another blog post about Pinterest after I get more familiar with what people share on the site.

Until then, if you are looking for suggestions about how your business can use Pinterest, you might want to check out a recent post on the 360i Digital Connections blog. It has some interesting observations about the site.

If you are on Pinterest, please feel free to connect with me.

If you are not currently using Pinterest, you might want to give it a try.

Also, if you have any tips about who to follow or ways that you can use the site, please let me know.

Chad Thiele

Marketing analyst and strategist, content curator, applied sociologist, proud UW-Madison alumnus, and an Auburn-trained mobile marketer. My goal is to help businesses identify trends that will help them achieve their marketing objectives and business goals. I'm currently looking for my next career challenge. Please feel free to contact me anytime at: chadjthiele@gmail.com.

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