One thing I learnt in my 4 years at Art School is the importance of the process and not the end product. This holds true for Social Media as well. In fact there is no end product for a SOCIAL businesses unless you think of it as the sale--- but all great sales people know that it is when the sale is made that the work begins as one now needs to communicate with the client in order to maintain the account and secure future business. Clearly Social media is the way to go when it comes to this process.
"It’s amazing how many decision makers are still, to this day, frighteningly naive when it comes to technology, particularly in the ramifications of low-balling their business. But cheap is cheap. So, the client dumped the agency, hired the nephew, and went ahead and got their website. Ninety-nine times out of one hundred that website stank to high heaven, and the client saw no traffic, let alone new business".
How well I can identify with this having sold websites for a real design and development company back in the early late 1980's. Often it is almost a case of dejas vs when it comes to educating clients on Social Media - with one notable exception --- which is that social media is evolving into social business which means that you better know something about business ---i.e. the relationship between sales and marketing and how to produce financial returns from them if you even hope to compete in the dog eat dog....race to the bottom on price" environment that the quote from the link above suggests as being the current state of the market.
As a seasoned sales and marketing professional who learnt her skills in the trenches of Toronto during the 1990's I can say that the myth that people buy on price alone is false --entire books have been written on the "Millionaire mind" and it is one that places quality of service, and products over the manufacturing mind set of cheap obsolecence. However, it takes real sales skills to sell "intangibles" and one must do as real technology sales greats do -- which is to figure out the problem and find a solution, educate the client and create a relationship that is win-win!
Just the other day I met with a potential new client who was "trying to wrap their head around social media" and who immedately introduced me to their "design" guy. O.K. I thought he must be the web designer. Nope. The graphics guy? Nope. Turns out the does CAD drawings. Needless to say, I launched in on the "hidden ground" of social media from whence it arises in order to have them start thinking about the risks and opportunities. Soon his eyes glazed over and he left for another meeting
I was also introduced to the niece who was doing some work on the WP tempate website for the owners. I was glad their site was a Word Press Blog-- it is good that it was in the hands of someone who knew how to do updates -- because it meant I could at least recommend a widget that would "socialize" their website and create a bridge between the site and their social media --- should I be asked to set up and or manage their social media.
When I quoted them a fee it was compared to the SEO guy in the US somewhere who is doing their SEO. My fee was 5X his fee---(am am not even going there on SEO undercutting....and the fact that I had already explained that SEO is less effective than Social Media..)
Experience has taught me that the niece might be their first choice ---after all someone who knows about a WP blog outta have Social Media all figured out. Right? My guess is that even if she has a twitter account she will be hard pressed to figure out how to make twitter work in a business situation with the intent to drive sales-- as I am pretty sure that she does not know how to sell ---i.e. build professional relationships online with the intent to eventually move the goal post little by little to a final close....or a hand off to another who can do the same.
Finally the business owner said that they were considering hiring a Admin gal who could do all the extra stuff and their social media. Yikes. All businesses lives and die by sales and Social media success depends on having it managed by someone who at least knows how to sell creatively or else it could be along and winding road that may or may not lead to a client to your door...
"Prospects are attracted to your voice – Whether you have a golden voice made for radio or just the opposite, prospects are attracted to your voice. Because what I mean by "your voice" is the unique way you approach problems. Prospects come on the internet searching for solutions to their problems. When they hear your voice – how you approach and solve problems – they will be drawn to you like magnet."
Funny picture of Canada "tech titan"....eh? Shot for Canada Business Magazine no less... click through for more..
Enriched By Code 's insight:
IN Light of all that has transpired over the last 45 days with the Idle No More movement of First Nations people...this image being created now by Canadian Business Magazine leaves some of us scratching our heads...
"The evolution of the Internet and social media has, no doubt, disrupted traditional public relations and marketing."
You can say that again - Globe and Mail. The old guard doesn't know what hit them. Social media is about 5 years old, yes,that's only five fingers on one hand old, and it has, as a communication channel, for the people by the people already transformed the world. While technology businesses have been active in the creation of this new medium for communications, businesses, for the most part, have remained smug - guided no doubt, by the "naysayers" of old media Marketing in thinking that it is some sort of "fad" that will soon pass...
Ironically, the word "advertising" is not included in the first two paragraphs of this blog by the Globe and Mail. Advertising for the most part is dead - with the exception of Google and FB ads. Most Canadian businesses have yet to realize the significance of social media and the impact that it is having on how you find, qualify and build relationships online and ultimately ensure that your business remains sustainable over the next decade.
It is kinda funny to see an article in the mainstream media, the Globe and Mail, attempting to explaining the difference between old media and new....as this is exactly what I have been trying to clarify to my potential clients for the past 5 years. Thank God I studied McLuhan, Canada's master of media theory and was able to recognize the effects of this new media on our business culture in advance. Now I know how to lead an array of bewildered clients through the maze of confusion and misconception about social media. I am grateful for all that I have learnt and would love to share it with you if you are struggling to figure it out. I know the Hidden Ground of Media like the back of my hand!
II have always advocated careful curating as I come from a sales background where the process of finding and qualifiying leads has not changed much - if you want to be a successful sales person you must do this so you are not wasting your time by doing random sales calls....
It's hard to believe that while I continue to educate Alberta Business on adopting social media as their prime marketing focus....the elephant in the room is mobile which is growing at a furious pace as made clear in this blog. Frankly -- most business sites in AB date back at least a decade and are not even social ----little lone mobile! Clearly, I have my work cut out for me...Happy Canada Day!
"The necessary and sufficient conditions for this evolution are now in place — broadband, real names and tablets are the three horsemen of this New New Web. As consumers, entrepreneurs and investors, we should get used to the fact that the online economy is increasingly blurring with the offline economy, and in the limit, that distinction will disappear." This is so true even from the persepctive of the small retail business who still has a cost structure based in Sales and Marketing in order to reach its target demographic - try as you might old media just does not cut it anymore....who reads papers, watches TV and listenes to the radio like they used to? Most folks can't wait to get online and network and if a business can be found on the major networks they have a chance of interacting PROVIDED they know how to add value to the conversation!
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