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    Our grandparents are better prepared to win at social media marketing than we are [ VIDEO by @garyvee ]

    Last updated 5 years ago

    I'm a fan of Gary Vaynerchuk's no B.S. approach to social media marketing. As he says on this interview with Piers Morgan on CNN, the path to getting ROI from social media marketing is not about pushing out as much content as possible [broadcasting] in the attempt to drive a quick sale.  Rather, it's about listening to consumer conversations and engaging them at a personal level.  In other words it's about building lasting personal relationships, which is what our grandparents used to do in their shops and businesses.  

    They understood the value of caring about their customers. Like the baker who made your favorite cake on your birthday or the florist who called to ask how your sick mother was feeling. Grandparents knew that personal relationships and personal service mattered to people.  And by treating everyone like a friend they differentiated themselves from mass merchants and developed a loyal repeat base of customers who spread the word with their friends.  That's exactly the strategy that marketers need to follow today in order to drive ROI from social media. Take the time to listen and engage and the ROI will follow.

    This video is particularly good for local business owners who are just getting started with social media marketing and comparing it to other things like search engine advertising or email marketing.  Social media marketing can't match those tactics in terms of driving immediate return, but it is the absolute best way to build relationships and clearly differentiate from "one night stand" businesses and build a loyal following that powers word-of-mouth referrals.  And aren't those things that every business owner would love to have?

    30+ things killed by technology - sadly I've used them all

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Ever wonder how Google Search works? Watch this video by the geeks who built it. #google

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Google search is a tool we use many many times per day without even thinking about it. If you're a geek like me who likes to understand how things are developed then watch this short explanation of how Google search has evolved and improved over the years. I'm impressed wtih how incredibly focused Google is on always innovating around user needs and wants.  

    Fact checking my gut - online reviews have lower value than word-of-mouth via friends [infographic by @WOMMA]

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Great facts and stats about how word-of-mouth impacts the consumer buying journey. Originally posted on the WOMMA blog.

    How many stars do you give this post?

    Last updated 5 years ago

    "We've started replacing actual experiences with someone else's already digested knowledge.  We're forgetting the pleasures of not knowing."

    This is one of several statements that resonated with me when I read "Rate this article" by Chris Colin in Wired.  

    I guess I'm one of the few who think that all the reviews of everything add little to no value.  Honestly I hardly ever take into account the reviews by faceless strangers on Google Places, Yelp and all the rest. I have favorite restaurants like Whiskey Cake, but if I paid attention to some of the reviews on Yelp I might not have ever tried it.  In the article Colin calls this the problem of "contamination" -- "when the voices of hundreds of strangers, or even just three shrill ones, enter our heads."  

    For me, reviews are just a directional resource where I look at the ratio of good to bad. Most of the time the reviews skew postive (4 stars or more) in which case they are of no help in comparison shopping. But in the rare case that the bad reviews equal or outweigh the good, I reconsider my choice and do more research.  

    I really feel for local business owners who are at the mercy of a few very vocal critics, especially the annoymous ones who may not be authentic and don't represent the majority of customers.  Now business owners need to spend a lot of time and effort asking customers for positive reviews in order to offset the bad ones. And in the end, that just accelerates the contamination effect. So while I'm the definition of a digital consumer, in this case I've gone back to the analog approach of just asking my close friends whose recommendations I trust. 

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