Facebook’s Future for Marketing Your Business

Facebook’s Future for Marketing Your Business

Going through my Flipbook this morning I saw a lot of noise about the future of Facebook. An article by Mashable today says that 34% of Facebook users spend less time on the site. It also says that only 1 in 5 people surveyed have ever been influenced by an ad on the site. The survey and other articles, like the one predicting that Facebook will disappear by 2020 much the way Yahoo has become a non-player in the social world, raises questions for marketers. How much time should you spend on Facebook for your business? Are ad campaigns effective? How can mobile and Facebook work for you? Let me start by saying that speculation of Facebooks imminent collapse are bullsh*t. A lot of what we are seeing are Wall Street driven anxiety over the short term profitability and overvaluation of Facebook. Ever since it went public with an IPO everyone wants to know where the money is. But let me make a clear distinction here: the profits of Facebook have very little to do with its viability as a marketing and community building tool for business. The strength of Facebook lies in its ability to connect people. If you are a business looking for a quick fix to do the same old world advertising that worked in Don Draper’s day well let me be the first to wake you up from that pipe dream. You should be using Facebook to find, understand and connect with your audience. After you do that you will be in a better position to provide them value and maybe make a sale. With...
Building Customer Communities in the “Thank You Economy”

Building Customer Communities in the “Thank You Economy”

“Join the conversation.” It’s about as appealing as asking someone to step onto an empty dance floor at a lame party and start busting a move. So why does this call to action serve as the mantra for the communities that I see so many corporations set up for their customers? It’s because online branded communities usually have it half right. I say “half right,” because offering your customers the option to have a party on your community is not the same as throwing a rager and being a kick a** host. Too many online branded communities are started for the wrong reasons and wind up being ghost towns. Sure people join, but they seem to move out as soon as they sign up. So why do these communities fail? Communities Are Not a Customer Retention Tool The first mistake most online branded community owners make is viewing their community as a customer retention tool. By doing this the community becomes about the company rather than about the customer. Even worse it usually means the community has a very short trial period to show overwhelming and unreasonable performance before someone in upper management starts thinking about pulling the plug. Communities are a customer attention tool. Customers should feel that by joining a community they are now on the inside, the way you feel when you go to your favorite restaurant where everybody knows your name or show up at the local clubhouse. Each member of the community, whether they are the quiet type who is just there to browse and collect or the extrovert who wants to start posting...

How to Know What to Sell: Are Your Customers Happy?

It was my son Gilad’s second birthday, and the daycare wanted to throw him a party like they do for all the kids. Usually these parties are a complete success, the kids are happy, and a good time is had by all (my daughter Shoshana had her 3rd birthday party at the same daycare and loved it).  So how were we to know that selling Gilad on a birthday party was going to be a very delicate matter? From the start, things seemed a disaster. He didn’t want to sit in his special chair or wear his crown.  He didn’t want to play a game parading around and singing. He didn’t ever want sugary treats, which were served early to see if it would calm him down.  It looked like the party was doomed. Then everything changed with one simple offer. The teacher pulled out a box of pompoms for the kids to wave around, while she sang a song for them.  Suddenly, Gilad’s face lit up like a birthday cake, as he started smiling, laughing, and got totally into the party. I watched him change from throwing a complete tantrum to having a ball in a manner of seconds.  As all the kids ran outside to play, with Gilad leading the pack, I realized something: customers are a lot like toddlers. As business owners we can think we know what they want.  We look for signs from them to see if we are making them happy or not like do they click on our product descriptions, what is their bounce rate on our site, and ultimately do they...

Customer Loyalty: It’s Not Always About Price

I live in the desert in Israel.  Our small town is about 20 minutes outside of Jerusalem, but can feel really isolated because we are surrounded by beautiful rolling desert hills and a gorgeous view of the Dead Sea.  The closest shopping is at least a five to ten minute drive away. This morning I had to get gas.  The needle was below empty, and with a nine-month pregnant wife ready to go any day now, you really need to keep some in the tank.  There are two gas stations along the main highway: one is only five minutes from my house and the other is about eight minutes.  As I drove past the first gas station, on my way to see “my guy” who I always go to, I wondered why I take the extra three minutes and drive the extra kilometers to go to the second gas station. Customer loyalty is an asset for any business.  You build it by giving your customers great buying experiences and making them feel they can count on you.  Even though the first gas station is closer to my house (convenience) I take the extra time to go to the second one because the attendants are friendlier (trust).  Notice that I didn’t say the attendants at the first gas station were not friendly, it’s just that I’ve had a buying experience at the second gas station that I remembered: the attendants seem to smile more, wish people a good day, and rush to take care of my needs (in this case, getting gas and going quickly). Whether your business is online...

Turn Regular Customers Into Raving Fans

In the last post we talked about the changing nature of today’s customers, how they move at warp speed, yet still crave meaningful interactions.  Today, we’ll talk about the ideal customer relationship you have both on and offline. Regulars When I was in college I started working at a little restaurant in Montclair NJ called Mexicali Rose.  Among all the fancy bistros in this upper class town, our place stood out as something different.  Nothing on the menu was more than $13.95, we made our money on turnover, and won “Best Mexican Restaurant” from NJ Magazine for 6 straight years.  It was one big party and people LOVED it.  The reason? My old boss, Dominick Restaino was a master at making you feel welcome and important.  He created an experience for the customers from the moment they walked through the door, greeting them with a smile, handshake, and a promise to get them a table (on Friday and Saturday nights we were so packed, people waited up to an hour or more to sit down). Part of the experience was getting a glimpse of the life Dominick put out on display.  The wall of the waiting area was plastered with old photos of both his and his wife’s family.  She was Costa Rican and he was 100% Italian, but putting those pictures out made you feel like you were stepping into an authentic Mexican family place .   Put that together with the loud music playing, Mexican chachkas everywhere, and a wait staff that was having as much (if not more) than the customers, and you can imagine why...