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In the Land of Social Media, Do Facebook Likes and Twitter Followers Really Matter?

Posted by Bill Sluben on January 14, 2011

What Do All the Social Media Numbers Really Mean?

This data can be diced and sliced in a variety of ways, but we can infer alot just from the basic data.

  1. First and foremost, the number of Facebook likes and Twitter followers does not equal success.
  2. Real social media success is more about engagement and less about the popularity contest.
  3. If you don’t provide content in your social media efforts, you’re going to struggle providing value.  If someone visits a Facebook page that looks exactly like it did five months ago, the chances are they won’t come back and they won’t look further at you or your brand.
  4. Look beyond the numbers within your actual social media account. Look at tangible conversions to new leads, new clients, and repeat customer purchases or interactions.
  5. Before you engage in a social media campaign or with an internet marketing consultant, know what equates success. Don’t go by their promise to increase your followers of fans, because it means little if no one engages with your brand.
  6. Use tools like Google Analytics to provide tangible metrics on website referrals, duration or depth of visit, goals, and conversions to see if your social media activity is making a difference and providing value.
  7. Keep/use your own financials to see if social media is helping or hurting your bottom line.
  8. Don’t listen to or accept promises that seem to good to be true. They probably are much better in theory than in real life. I can increase your Facebook likes by 1,000 by giving someone on $5. This won’t mean anything unless it converts to something tangible for your brand.
  9. Don’t just focus on the short-term high of a promotion, event, or download.  I believe the B2C sector does this in many cases.  The B2C sector needs to take notice of their B2B counterparts who pay more attention to getting the audience back to their website to provide more value than just the one snippet in their status update or tweet.
  10. Social media is an upward battle that doesn’t just materialize into ultimate success overnight. An audience capable of delivering ROI will take time to build.

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It’s past the graceful exit time…it’s just time for Brett to go

Posted by Bill Sluben on January 7, 2011

Favre had his time in the sun.  Now, his legacy is tarred, his stay is way overextended and it is time for him to slink into the sunset.

Allegations (that have been largely ignored from the NFL) paint a damning portrait of a superstar jock who thought he was above the law.  He isn’t.  In the court of public opinion, he has been found guilty of all charges.  In the court of NFL folly, he was free to finish out his illustrious career and was hit with a whopping $50,000 (about 1/300th of his annual salary) as a stiff penalty…pardon the pun.

We are a forgiving society.  If Brett stepped forward and admitted the texts, admitted the inappropriate sexting then we’d lambaste for awhile…and then the story fades away.  But too often these pro athletes believe they are above the law and they deny the story, hoping it will just go away.  It never does.

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Qatar – politics and payouts?

Posted by Bill Sluben on December 9, 2010

There aren’t many on this side of the Atlantic Ocean who were pleased to hear Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup. Count former Revolution forward Taylor Twellman in that bunch.

“I watched the whole thing and when I saw [U.S. Soccer President] Sunil Gulati’s face it made me sick to my stomach because it looked like he was going to throw up,” Twellman said. “My concern is that if FIFA is going to spread the game and give it to Australia, then I’ll raise my hand and say, ‘Hey, they gave it to us in ’94.’ But I don’t know how it ends up there of all places and now there is talk that the World Cup may be in January or February?

“I’m struggling with the whole concept that a country smaller than Connecticut wants to build eight stadiums and then knock them down after. I’m just very curious about how it all happened.”

Even days after the decision, the news still stings and Twellman said he doesn’t think this is the end of the controversy with reports of people being paid for votes.

“… I think the truth is going to come out in the next four to five years. I think you’re going to hear some horror stories,” Twellman said.

“… I don’t know what happened. It wasn’t a close vote either. The best way to describe it is, watch the tape when they get it. They’re not even celebrating. … I’m disappointed I would have liked to have had it here for our sport. I think for MLS it would have been huge.”

Twellman was at an event this afternoon to promote Liberty Bay Credit Union in Braintree. Twellman, Patriots receiver Wes Welker and Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis are all members of the bank and shared their experiences with the bank with members of the community.

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Breaking down the Uber Wealthy purchasing power

Posted by Bill Sluben on October 15, 2010

So Bill Gates is worth an estimated $54 billion.  That’s 54 followed by 000,000,000.  That’s BILLION with a huge capital B.

But what does that matter to us mere mortals.  How can we even equate that ridiculous wealth with our real world.

Well, consider the things that Bill Gates can buy with his wealth:

– Buy everyone in metro Nashville a new Chevy Volt and charge everyone of them for a full year

– Buy 149,000 houses just like mine (talk about knowing your neighbor!)

– Have A-Rod wear the pinstripes for 2,160 years

– Pay for fully one third of the cost at ending World Hunger.  Forever.

– Buy 13.5 billion Happy Meals…enough for everyone on this earth to eat for 2 days

– Buy 90 million laptop computers – enough for nearly every elementary, middle school and high school kid in America

– Could pay off 1/52nd of the current US debt (that is alot of zeros!)

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Small Business owners (like us!) need to be careful using Social Media

Posted by Bill Sluben on September 17, 2010

The statistics from a recent study from Panda Security are frightening:

A survey from cloud security specialist Panda Security of 315 small to medium-size businesses with up to 1,000 employees revealed 33 percent of these companies had experienced a malware or virus infection from social networks, with 23 percent citing employee privacy violations resulting in the loss of sensitive data. In addition, 35 percent of survey respondents that were infected by malware from social networking sites suffered a financial loss, with more than a third of those companies reporting losses in excess of $5,000.

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Loyalty exists

Posted by Bill Sluben on September 7, 2010

One only needs to spend a few days at the recently completed Dragon*Con to truly appreciate the passion and loyalty that the fans and attendees alike have for this unique event.  Some 35,000 people shoehorned into five host hotels in downtown Atlanta for the annual four day event.  And what an event it was! 

Every genre, every generation and every imagination was represented.  Fans and folks who have been to all 24 Dragoncon’s and their fellow attendees who are years away from 24 birthdays came together to celebrate sci fi, anime, comics, etc…

In speaking with attendees we heard a echoed passion for the event.  Nearly 70% were from out of town and make it an annual pilgrimage to downtown Atlanta every Labor Day (what other event can deliver in downtown Atlanta in the heat of the summer during a severe recession?)

Called freaks by some, geeks by others Dragon*Con attendees know how to party, are comfortable in their own skin (or as Darth Vader/Superman/etc…) and deliver an economic wallop to the sponsors who support and the city that hosts.

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If only our government ran our government like a business

Posted by Bill Sluben on September 6, 2010

Unemployment checked in at a distressing 9.6% this past week. Not exactly the kind of news that makes for a happy recent labor day. With so many out of work and have exited the workforce altogether, what’s a nation to do?

Stimulate small business, ease credit restrictions and offer tax breaks to encourage them to add workers, up production and boldly step forward (because they are all floundering or at best sitting on the sidelines). Our current administrations fix in washington is to offer marginal tax credits to small businesses that hire employees. The engine and economic generation is only realized when an across-the-board tax reduction is enacted…not piecemeal tax credits that don’t amount to much.

Lead by example and be fiscally responsible. If we as business owners borrowed as heavily as the federal government, we’d be out of business and in bankruptcy. It is unsustainable. It is a cost that is ultimately borne by business owners in the form of higher taxes or increased premiums for mandatory healthcare. These costs have to be absorbed somewhere…and that’s either passed along to consumers (who demonstrate an unwillingness to pay, or by reducing staff). In either case, growth is truncated.

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I SPY…Dragon*Con!

Posted by Bill Sluben on August 30, 2010

Dragon*Con returns this weekend in downtown Atlanta.  This year five host hotels are providing the venue and entertainment to an estimated 30,000 attendees and fans of the event.

XFINITY will be on-site on Friday, Saturday and Sunday offering fans/attendees of Dragon*Con the chance to win great prizes from the SyFy channel, HBO True Blood and XFINITY.  All for playing I SPY…

I Spy, the game that you played as a kid with a novel twist, will offer 23 chances for prizes (prizes awarded every hour, on the hour).  Here’s how it works:

– XFINITY I Spy will offer exciting prizes and premiums to DragonCon attendees for simply doing what they love to do best:  take photos of the most unique and creative costumer characters
– XFINITY event team will roam the DragonCon events and common areas looking for specific characters
– XFINITY event team will upload the images to the Comcast Get Local FB site and the laptop stations at the XFINITY display
– XFINITY event team will encourage attendees to come over to the display, checkin with us and see who the current character is to seek, find and capture with camera
– Once attendees find the costumed character, they will come back to the Comcast display and upload their photos to the FB site (add comments, tweet about it,etc…
– Attendees will need to “like” “follow” or “checkin” on  FB, Twitter and FourSquare to be eligible to receive prizes (base requirement)
– XFINITY event team will monitor the social media channels to verify photo uploads, status (whether they added Comcast)
– A tiered prize awarding process will be followed – if you upload photos of the unique costumed characters that we are seeking, AND you like, follow, checkin, etc… you will receive the most sought after prize (like SyFy prize packs valued at $200 and Comcast XFINITY prizes).  If you just bring us the photo on your i-phone and only checkin on 4square, you receive the lowest tier prize…and then there can be basic premiums for all.
So come down and witness the spectacle that is Dragon*Con and walk away with some really cool prizes.

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Mahindra is attempting to drop Global Vehicles…

Posted by Bill Sluben on August 27, 2010

…just as they get a key US government approval.  Ummh…you just can’t do that in the U.S.  Little thing called “contract law” here.  Not the signals and action you take as you attempt to enter a very competitive and cluttered market in the U.S.  They really need friends with deep pockets and wide distribution and Global Vehicles are the partner.  Here is the link:

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Noteworthy Social Media Campaigns with Automotive Manufacturers

Posted by Bill Sluben on August 25, 2010

This from Buick and it’s campaign to rollout the newly redesigned Regal:

General Motors launched a new social-media advertising campaign, including a new Web site, to promote the 2011 Buick Regal.

“We are inviting consumers to find out on their own that Regal is a true performance sedan and worthy of their consideration,” said Craig Bierley, Buick advertising director. “We are making it easy for the consumer to get unbiased opinions in one online location.”

The automaker announced the new Web site, “Buick’s Moment of Truth,” last month. Buck hopes the Web site well help it rebrand the classic model and entice a younger generation of customers.

The new campaign will also include YouTube videos, photos on Flickr, comments from Buick’s Regal Facebook page, tweets from Twitter, as well as automotive reviews and consumer blogs.

And this from Hyundai:

Hyundai’s “Uncensored” campaign for the 2011 Sonata, which started July 5 and continues through August, began with TV spots and concludes with driving events in 10 major markets. But the bulk of the campaign is social media, with YouTube and Facebook being used to provide opportunities for consumers to comment on the Sonata and competitive cars in an effort to drive sales.

Uncensored is a testimonial campaign, but the testimonials don’t come from satisfied customers; they come from prospective buyers who drive the Sonata and compare it with other cars on hidden camera. TV spots feature clips of those comments, and on YouTube extended videos and outtakes are also available.

hyundaiUntil last Friday, a tab on Hyundai’s Facebook page accepted applications for a test-drive program that starts this week. Fifty drivers were selected from more than 7,500 entries to drive a Sonata for 30 days and post regular comments on the Facebook page. “They can put positive and negative comments up there; it’s direct from the voice of the consumer,” said Monique Kumpis, Hyundai’s experiential marketing manager. The drivers will be given flip cams so they can shoot their own videos and post them on Facebook.

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