The Case Against Having An Agency Manage Your Social Media

Nobody knows your small business like you do. Nobody knows your customers like you do. Unless you’ve got deep pockets to hire the best talent it’s almost impossible to get a surrogate to speak on your behalf with your knowledge, passion, and insight into your small business and your customers.

Sure you can use an agency to take the grunt work out of your social media. Need an infographic done? Collect the data and farm it out. Need a video edited, your website tweaked, or a banner created for you Facebook page? Farm out the work. Need someone to help you with your strategy, editorial calendar and get you set up with the tools you need to do the job efficiently – hire someone!

Need to respond to a customer or patient who had a bad experience at your practice or small business – you need to do that yourself. You’d be pissed at being put on the long finger by some faceless agency woman, so why would you expect any different of your most valuable assets – your customers?

Want to tell your story as authentically as possible? YOU need to tell your story, engage your customers, and be on the front lines of your social media accounts so that you can listen to what your customers are telling you and seize those opportunities.

Managing social media isn’t like war. Sitting back 200 miles behind the front lines sipping chardonnay and only reading reports while the agency troops do the interacting means that you will be unplugged from vital information about what your competitors are doing and what your customers really want. In a small business, you can’t be the social media General that only sees the big picture as reported to you – the key to social media is in the details. The key is in getting dirty, hearing first hand what your customers want and spotting the trends before they occur – an ability that only comes from being in the trenches.

Put in the work. Do your 6 hours a week (minimum) and you will see the payoff.

Messaging Inside The YouTube App Will Be Huge!

Video on the internet is huge! Messaging is huge too (and bots inside messaging platforms). It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that messaging and native sharing within the YouTube app is only going to mean more video views for those investing in the platform.

The sharing model within the YouTube app is broken. The only options to share a YouTube video from my Nexus 6P are outside of the YouTube experience (yes Google Plus is outside of the YouTube experience) and into other platforms. That’s great for exposure on other platforms, but when you want to keep people inside your platform consuming content, it doesn’t make great sense.

If your target audience is anybody in the 16- 44 age range and your content is actually worth sharing then this is great news.

The Asterisk – The Enemy Of Honesty

Asterisk - The Enemy of HonestySpare a thought for the humble asterisk (*). It has so many uses, yet none as reviled as its use in marketing. Every time you see one you know that there are special terms and conditions that apply, and that things just aren’t what the seem

Unlimited* is never the same as truly unlimited. Free* is never truly free. If the asterisk is making an appearance on your marketing material then customers will never trust what they read.

Even though it’s universally accepted in marketing, the asterisk is a small little star that casts a huge shadow on our integrity. We use the asterisk to cover our blatant lies and it makes us all feel a little dirty.

Let’s remove the asterisk from marketing and allow our clients and customers to start trusting their eyes and out word.

Let’s make reaching for your spectacles and the magnifying glass to wade through the fine print a thing of the past.

Let’s return the asterisk to the domains of mathematics, linguistics, computer programming and cricket – places where it’s uses are myriad, useful and not deceptive.

And while we’re at it, let’s kill the 30 seconds of high-speed gibberish that explains how the advert was lying at the end of every other radio advert….

Save Money – Use An Address Scrubbing Service With Your Direct Mail Campaigns

Direct Mail - Use Address Scrubbing

If you’re not using an address scrubbing service when you send direct mail campaigns then you are probably costing yourself a lot of money.

If you look at the banner image on this post you’ll see the 12 pieces of mail that came to my office today. They all came from a single campaign direct mail campaign and 11 out of the 12 were a waste simply because they didn’t do following two things:

Manually check the data for unusable addresses – This may seem like a lot of work, but once you have the data in Excel, sorting and quickly scanning the data can instantly highlight incomplete and nonsensical addresses or names. I recently did this for a clients address list, removing over 6000 entries from a list in excess of 17,000. The process took just over an hour.

Use a scrubbing / validation service to drop invalid / update addresses for recipients.

Address scrubbing is quite affordable – a quick search turns up services that will do it for as little as $80 per 10,000 addresses – potentially saving you hundreds in wasted printing and postage fees.

It’s The Holiday Season But Nobody Needs To Know Your Opening Hours

It goes without saying that the holidays are one of, if not the most profitable times for retailers, but they are especially important those with physical stores.

It follows that those businesses such as malls, that make their money from renting space to retailers would do everything in their power to properly notify the public of their opening hours and not fall foul of stupid shit like this:

Holiday bours fail

Already daunted by the idea of the mindless zombie shopping horde large crowds of shoppers and long checkout lines, having your holiday opening hours posted as an image that is practically illegible on mobile devices (and on a dedicated mobile site that doesn’t support pinch to zoom) is a great way to convince shoppers to enjoy the convenience of home delivery and ordering online.

We are days away from 2016, this kind of faux pas is simply unacceptable.

Missed Opportunity When Building Referral Networks – Drive-By Marketing

Building your referral network is central to the success of medical practices and many small businesses. In this podcast I discuss how not following and capturing referral data is one of the biggest missed opportunities and the simple solution to fixing this problem so that you can build the best referral network you can and maximize the impact it has on your business.

Save Time With Social Media Management Tools – Drive-By Marketing

Social Media Management tools are a great way to organize all of your networks under one roof and post content to multiple places without getting overwhelmed. In this podcast I talk briefly about two of my favorite time-saving tools, some of the core differences between them and why I prefer Hootsuite over Buffer.