Is Facebook Bad for Business?

"Find us on Facebook" graphic with "or .. maybe not" in scriptFacebook: Business and Sales Lead Generation …

Ahh, Facebook. The main topic of talk, when it comes to social networking. Still bigger than Twitter. MySpace slayer. A significant threat to Google for future advertising revenues, if this article is to be believed.

Two headlines this week revolved around FB and its apparent woes. One may seem like bad news on the surface, but may actually be good news for business looking to acquire leads and prospects. The other is decent in a “kinda, sorta” way for smaller businesses, and not so good for larger companies and brands.

[Read more...]

My Site Looks Great, but Doesn’t Work!

Website Relaunches and DesignWebsite Relaunches, Design and Content …

When I’m out and about doing business networking, I’ve heard all kinds of variations on the following complaint:

My Website doesn’t work, and I don’t know why! I’ve invested all kinds of money in it, but something’s still wrong with it.

At that point, the person in question will go on to tell me that the site has been redesigned a dozen times in the past couple of years by great designers … but nothing happens. The business owner or marketing manager with whom I’m speaking is seeing zero return-on-investment (ROI) from the site, and they’re frustrated.

The problem behind a Website not “working” generally doesn’t have much to do with the design or with the actual operation of the site. A site is generally viewed as being “broken” because of one of three items, or a combination of them … which you’ll discover immediately after the jump.

[Read more...]

Hand to Mouse Networking Launches in Beta

Hand to Mouse Networking - Business NetworkingHand to Mouse Networking, a new Website dedicated to helping those who are involved with business networking—online and offline—has launched in a beta version.

The concept was created by Bob Woods, chief executive officer of CruxBridge Media, after years of experience using business networking to meet fellow business professionals and work toward mutually beneficial relationships.

“When you’re at a business function or online on a networking site, it’s very easy to forget that you’re there for a purpose: to meet like-minded businesspeople who can help you, while you assist them,” Woods said. “Both the Hand to Mouse Networking concept and its associated Website puts a real strategy to your networking, as well as gives you tips on both online and offline networking, and especially how to connect the two.”

The Website’s introductory message spells out both Woods’ overall concept, and the largest goals of the site:

[Read more...]

Why Facebook Pages Will Not Replace Websites

Graphic of Facebook logo and business WebsitesBack in the FBML days of Facebook—just a couple of months back, come to think of it—the social-networking service’s Pages feature was not the easiest vehicle to use in driving brand awareness. With recent moves to incorporate iFrames and other business-friendly tools into Pages, marketing on FB is now much easier for all sizes and types of businesses and organizations.

In the wake of the changes, though, some social-media “gurus” have predictably started discussing if Facebook Pages will replace Websites. Don’t believe it? Just Google the phrase facebook pages replace websites; you’ll get 53.3 million returned results.

What’s the answer? Simple: Facebook Pages should not replace Websites. The reason behind the answer lies in the sticky little matter of control.

[Read more...]

The State of Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing graphicThe concept behind inbound marketing isn’t really new. Most businesses and organizations want to get the most out of their Websites and other Internet-related marketing efforts, to generate qualified leads. What inbound marketing does is put a name and philosophy to the disparate processes and methods used to acquire these leads.

A recent report from the company that provides us (and our clients) with a centralized inbound-marketing platform contains a lot of great information on how this method is not only working, but how it kicks the pants off of traditional “outbound marketing” (advertising, direct mail, cold calling, etc.).

In fact, inbound marketing is quite “presidential” … here’s why.

[Read more...]

Social Media and Being a DJ

photo of deejayI used to deejay in college, mainly for the campus radio stations. Believe me when I say that deejaying is about much, much more than just slapping a record on the turntable and playing it.

You had to plan out sets, especially if you had themes going (slow, hard-rock, etc.); make the transitions between songs sound good and make sense; ensure that commercials would play when they were supposed to; and play the jingle that announced your station’s call letters and city of license at the top of the hour.

You also had to make sure that “Stairway to Heaven” was lying around somewhere, in case you needed to use the facilities … but that’s another story.

Most important, though: You had to play what your audience wanted to hear. The Eagles notwithstanding, you can’t play a country tune on a rock station. Listeners would flee your smooth jazz station if you played gangsta rap. And so on …

Whenever I’m using one of the many tools I have to “program” the social media channels for which I am responsible, I’m reminded of my old college DJ days, because the two duties aren’t all that different. Here’s how my experiences at being a deejay can help you with your social-media strategy and content.

[Read more...]

Your Online Persona

Masks and Online PersonasOnline personas are like masks. Except for when they aren’t.

Sound confusing? Let me explain.

As businesspeople, we all wear masks to some extent. For some, we put on a “sales” or “marketing” mask before a meeting. Others may put on a “Mr./Ms. Personality” mask just before entering a networking event or a trade show/conference.

An social-media online persona is like a mask, except you wear it for your company or yourself as you develop an audience to further whatever business purpose you might have. How does it work?

[Read more...]

Facebook: A Higher Bar?

Facebook Raise the Bar in Your MarketingI recently walked into a Starbucks that’s close to my home, for a cup of joe and some kind of bread-based treat. In other words, I needed caffeine and carbs.

I know some people who live and/or work in the area in which I found myself, so I decided to let people know I was there, via the newer Places feature from Facebook. I figured someone could stop and say “hi” if they were able; otherwise, no big deal.

Imagine my surprise when I got the following reply from that simple post:

ok. so. you were at Starbucks. does this warrant a message. tell me you argued with a barrista over a double thin mocha latte’ something or other. otherwise….so?

(The above was verbatim; keep in mind, we are talking about Facebook.)

The entire conversation, and how you can take advantage of my learning experience, after the jump.

[Read more...]

Social Media “Experts” – Hah!

About a year ago, I wrote this Status Update at Facebook:

Bob Woods says there’s a lot of backlash out there right now about “social media experts.” Social media changes so fast, we can only be students, not experts.

When I wrote that a year back, the whole “social-media expert” phenomenon was just beginning. Nowadays, you can’t roll a bowling ball down a street without hitting at least 5 self-proclaimed social-media “experts.”

[Read more...]

Dilbert and Social Media [WIN]

Ahhh, Dilbert. One of my favorite comic strips. When it comes to various topics and issues in the corporate world, Scott Adams always hits the nail on the head so squarely that all other nails in the universe quake in pain.

In the past couple of days, he’s taken on corporate policies toward social media. Licensing fees and a fear of getting sued (mainly the “getting sued” part) prevent me from posting any panel of the strip. Hit the jump for more.

[Read more...]