Thursday, October 22, 2009

You Should Take This Style Advice From A Nerd

Thursday, October 22, 2009
Trust Is The New Black
Excerpted from OnlineSpin article by Dave Morgan

Trust is the new black. I wish that I could claim credit for coining that phrase, but it was Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist. Earlier this week, Craig penned an opinion piece in The Huffington Post titled " A Nerd's Take on the Future of News Media."

Craig makes the point that news media has lost its way, having squandered the trust of its consumers and having done a poor job "curating" news. With respect to trust, here is what he said and how he used his new phrase: "Trust is the new black, as I like to say. The great opportunity for news organizations is to constructively demonstrate trustworthy reporting, and to visibly do so."

With the rise of social media, the possibilities for more relationships are growing fast and exponentially. This phenomenon is turning marketers' and advertisers' worlds absolutely upside-down.

When consumers have so many different kinds of relationships with so many different people and companies and products and services and ideas, how can any, or many, of them stand out? There is only one answer now: trust.

Trust is the new black. It is too hard for most people to truly distinguish the complex and too-subtle differences of so many tangible and intangible products and services. Consumers need something else. That something else is trust. Trust is finite. Trust is generally based on experience and time. Trust is quite personal. (emphasis mine) A person's trust is something that he or she controls. While it can be won and lost, it cannot be forced or taken or imposed by recipients.

Craig might call himself an amateur when it comes to news media punditry (he does), but he's certainly not. He's right. Trust is the new black.

My Take

"Word of mouth" is all about trust. Period. That's why it's always been the ultimate form of advertising.

Social media can cut through ad clutter by harnessing this trust. As consumers adopt social media based networks to find trusted businesses, other forms of media will rapidly become obsolete.

Small & Medium Sized Businesses Begin to Harness Social Media for Advertising

BIA/Kelsey Study Reports SMBs Turn to Social Media for Advertising

Excerpted from Rajani Baburajan's TMCnet article

A recent study by BIA/ Kelsey analyzes the influence of various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace in the marketing activities of SMBs today.

BIA/Kelsey found that there is growing interest among SMBs to leverage the power of social media to improve the business. About 32 percent of SMBs surveyed in the study indicated they plan to include social media in their marketing mix in the next 12 months by using a page on a social site such asFacebook, LinkedIn or MySpace.

Steve Marshall, director of research and consulting, BIA/Kelsey, said, that as local consumers increasingly gravitate to social networks, local businesses understand they need to be part of the conversation. “This opens up a market opportunity for local media companies that offer products and services that enable local advertisers to easily integrate social media into their marketing efforts,” Marshall said.

As the popularity of social media escalates among businesses as well as end users, service providers are looking towards exploiting the opportunity by offering innovative services.

My Take

This is an early, measurable appearance of the wave which will permanently alter the ad mix. As they adopt web-based social media, small businesses will be able to harness the marketing power of their social matrix. They'll be able to increasingly and economically reach customers "where they're at".
  • Effectively - based on referrals from trusted relationships
  • Instantly - communicate and transact in real time with prospective customers; &
  • Measurably - know their advertising ROI
This is "good stuff!"

Friday, October 16, 2009

Your Reputation Has Preceded You

Your reputation has preceded you. That’s right. We’ve been talking about you.

(Published at Working From The Basement - )

And it’s not just us at WorkingFromTheBasement (WFTB). Heck – your customers, your neighbors, your fellow business owners – they’re all talking about you. As scary as this is, it can be a secret to your success.

For good or bad, word-of-mouth is unstoppable and the most powerful form of advertising. Small businesses tell us that 80% of their new clients result from referrals. And these clients are more profitable since they take less time and effort to close. They’re also more likely to result in future referral business.

Here are some hard-learned reputation marketing tips from successful CT business owners:

1. Current customers are a good place to start. Let them know you welcome referral business.

a. Ask them for referrals early and often.

- Make it a habit.

- Bring it up in conversation and during your follow-up contacts.

b. Reach out to your past customers as well as neighbors, friends. The 20% of them that give you 80% of your new clients are like gold. (See Pareto Principle, also known as the “80/20 Rule”.) You should continually stay in close touch.

- Use phone, mail, email and face-to-face

- Consider a structured rewards/loyalty program.

2. Chambers and networking groups are great. So hit the road.

a. Meet with other owners face to face at networking groups.

b. Put yourself out there – get beyond the shallow networking chat.

c. Be a hub – invite other owners to attend. Be a friend to your fellow networkers.

- You’ll be happier.

- Work will be more fun.

- And, by the way, you’ll probably have more of it.

3. Capture the buzz. Networking is great, but limiting since you can only be in one network meeting at a time.

Remember that while you’re chatting over coffee or adult beverages, your customers and neighbors are “out there” talking about you. And they’re doing this more and more on social media sites.

So multiply your efforts by connecting with your customers and your network on a social site

a. spend 15 minutes a day. Start slowly – it will get easier

b. Facebook is the most widely used social site

c. You might prefer Twitter – it compliments Facebook and makes it easy to find and follow more people you may want to connect with

d. Social media guidance is available

These steps cannot make your reputation. Your skills, enthusiasm and attention to your clients’ needs do that. But by employing these tactics you can allow your reputation to spread, increase word-of-mouth referrals and generate profitable new sales.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

We need your Sidewiki feedback

Our site serves the greater-Hartford, CT market. We want YouGottaCall to help charities raise funds through the word-of-mouth referrals of their local supporters.

Your suggestions and feedback is needed in order for us to improve and grow to other cities.

Thank you,

- - Tim (founder)

(P.S. Check out our blog at )

in reference to: - Welcome (view on Google Sidewiki)