Some more questions from the Vocus Self Promotion Webinar

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Here are some more questions and answers from the Vocus Self Promotion Webinar that we didn’t have the time to get to on Wednesday:

1) What’s the best way to ASK your audience where they are – especially if you’re trying to reach a specific audience like young Asian Americans (12-40 years old) – so you don’t just fall on deaf ears.

1A) Simply ask them. Got a Facebook Fan Page? Pose the question there and check out the responses. Ask for a hundred people to give you a sampling (and send them something in return for their time.)

2) I work for Eden Day Spa, a day spa in San Anselmo, CA. The owner loves marketing and is now into social media networks but she is computer challenged. So, I’m doing this for her on her behalf. So I pick her brain and then I put things on her facebook, for example.

2A) If the owner runs a Day Spa, chances are, she works out. Go buy her this voice recorder for under $100, and have her record her interesting thoughts when she’s out working out or on a bike ride or in the spa. Boom – Instant blog post, just transcribe and post. Easiest way to get people involved, as they listen to the CEO’s thoughts.

3) I work for a 50,000 member Credit Union as the Social Media coordinator. There are no social efforts in our state from competing credit unions. We’re cutting edge. My question is – We’re starting on Facebook, twitter and microsite blogging. Is there anything else we can do to really reach Gen Y with our product?

3A) I remember when VISA (I think it was VISA, I could be wrong) launched a massive “here’s why you should save when you’re young” campaign aimed at college kids and early 20-somethings. Everyone thought they were insane – after all, when kids are in college, that’s when to give them credit cards and get them into debt, right? Or was that just me? No, I doubt that was just me. Anyway, what wound up happening, was that tons of kids looked to the VISA site for not only getting new cards, but for advice on how to stay out of total-debt – and sure ’nuff, the loyalty stayed after college, and VISA became their credit card of choice when they finally had a credit rating worthy of a credit card. Wells Fargo does a similar thing, with a website showcasing their latest tools, iphone apps, and toys.

4) Where do you draw the line between damage control, and elevating the opposing people on social media

4A) Be honest, be true, but don’t ever feel you have to promote the haters on your own site. Answer questions from haters the same way you’d answer at a press conference. You wouldn’t say “Well, Dave Johnson of Channel 4 Pittsburgh with your website here and your email here and your Twitter page here,” you’d just answer the question. Be honest, answer the questions, but there’s no need to promote anyone who’s doing the asking.

5) I just ”hid” a friend/ self-proclaimed social media guru on my facebook. He was tweeting 20 times a day, annoying. But it did make me wonder, how many social media outlets do we need? How many posts/tweets or whatever is enough or too much? I don’t want to be the next annoying guy.

5A) You hit upon the answer in your question – “self-proclaimed.” I’ve never, ever called myself an expert. I just know that I know where my audience is, and I reach them in the locations they like to be reached. As to how often I reach them, that’s totally dependent on them – If I start to see people unfollowing, or not replying, I know to back off. I believe that in social media, you always want to UNDER-push than OVER-push.

6) What would you suggest that a company do when the number of Twitter followers it has becomes stagnant ?

6A) Start posting more interesting stuff. Seriously. If you’re stagnant, it’s because people aren’t retweeting you or recommending you because they don’t find you interesting anymore. Find new topics that are still on point, but are actually helpful, or contain information people can USE, not just about you or your company.

7) Peter, do you/Haro/Vocus have a Haro-like offering in Australia?

7A) All things in time. Ever since I visited Australia earlier this year, I’ve been itching to go back. It’s only a matter of time before we hit several countries, all across the globe. That was one of my big reasons for wanting to go forward with this deal. HARO now has the infrastructure to do this!

8 ) How do you ”ask your customer where they’re getting information”? Can you believe marketing studies or is there something more that one can do to get specifically relevant intelligence?

8A) If they’re you’re customers, you have some way of contacting them, right? Be it email, or the old-fashioned telephone – Use it. Call/email/whatever them – one-on-one if you have to (or an assistant has to) and ASK them. It really works!

9) When you say we should ”talk” to people in your network, do you mean that we should actually CALL them and speak to them? Do you think that social media gives us an excuse NOT to actually speak to them, but to ”chat” with them over social media?

9A) Talk to them whichever way feels comfortable! If you have them on Facebook, reach out there first. If they’re on your mailing list, email them and invite them to ask any questions or tell you any thoughts they might have on how to improve your business. While a major movie studio head did it in the 70s by calling people, it’s most likely because a) he was a major movie studio head, and b) because it was the 70s. He probably also did it with a very, very wide tie. Whatever works for you, and more importantly, for your customers, network, or audience – That’s what to do. I guarantee that if I started calling people in my FB network on the phone, it’d freak a ton of them out – chances are, we’ve met once. But, a simple email, or a wall post, or even a comment on their status (if it’s a real comment, it means you care) is a great way to “break the ice” and get them into the conversation.

10) I work for a state agency and am having a difficult time engaging my Facebook fans and Twitter followers with my messages. Help!!

10A) Tough question without more information – If you’re the one who asked this, feel free to email me personally and give me some more details.

11) Can you repeat the key word for the pedigree commercial – Youtube has a ton of pedigree commercials.

11A) I can do better – Here’s the link.

12) How can you continue to find interesting bits of info when your scope/brand is so narrow?

12A) Technically, my “scope” was PR. I’ve enlarged it as time has passed – You probably can, too – On the off chance you can’t, always remember that people like to laugh. If you really have nothing to say in your specific focus, link to a funny cartoon, or if worse comes to worst, a picture of a surprised cat walking, or a funny pie chart.

13) There are so many people responding to haro queries now…it’s difficult to get in touch with those reporters, I follow the guidlines for the best way to respond, but still having trouble getting bites. any advice?

13A) Remember those signs from about ten years ago from the government trying to get us to slow down on open highways that were just begging us to speed? “SPEED KILLS. SLOW DOWN.” Well, the opposite is true on HARO. SPEED WINS. SPEED UP. An unofficial survey of east coast HARO users told us that close to 40% of them use the AM HARO as their alarm clock – they set a specific ring tone on their email to the email@haro.helpareporter.com address, and use it to wake them up. They then scan the HARO from bed, and if something applies, jump up and answer it from their laptop, then go back to sleep. (Most of them tell me they get up and go to the gym, but I think they’re lying.) Anyhow, it’s all about SPEED, and BREVITY. Be quick. A first reply isn’t the time for a monologue that’s six pages long. It’s time for the “Here’s who we are, here’s what we do, here’s why we’re perfect for your article, and here’s how to contact us for more info.” One paragraph, at the MOST, click send, and go back to bed to the gym. Same thing applies to the Afternoon and Evening HARO.

14) Do you work with startups who are pre-funding? And if so how can we reach out to you? I just want to help people plan painless group trips.

14A) Click the “Contact” link to the upper right of this post. Barring that, peter at shankman dot com works really well, as well. I answer all my own email.

Hope this helps! Something I missed? Email me at the contact link above, @skydiver on Twitter, or Facebook me. I’m happy to help.

Blue skies!

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