owen at owengreaves dot com

Social Media Marketing

Do You Like To Learn Or Teach?

Have you noticed how many courses, webinars, and online workshops there are, that claim to teach you the secret to XYZ? I’ve often wondered about those who teach these programs, did they start out as teacher’s, or were they student’s first. There is a saying, the teacher appears when the student is ready. I have been student most of my life, why…because I like to learn. I also love to teach, but it’s not a natural gift for me, I have to work hard at it! Learning is harder for me because I’m so abstract, visionary, and I tend to fly at 50,000 feet, and most of the time, people don’t get me. That may be a communication issue.

I’m in my mid to late 50’s now, so I’ve been doing the details and leading teams to do details for many years. I’m a teacher, and a learner, but I had to learn long before I could teach. Plus, I had to have some life experience before I could teach intelligently. So, what are you, or where are you in this journey of becoming a teacher? Are you trying to be a teacher too soon, maybe you haven’t learned enough yet, haven’t experienced enough, or does it matter?

I guess I’m just curious about where all these Expert’s and Guru’s come from, and where did they learn to do what they teach. Are they accredited, who are they, what do we know about them, ya my heads exploding with all the questions. The old adage, the old rule applies here as it does in any transaction, buyer beware, you may be getting sold down the river by these expert’s and gurus.

But if you ask yourself, what do I like to do, learn or teach, I think you’ll find one can’t go without the other. Be careful what you call yourself when you the student is ready to become a teacher, your experience will become obvious.

Olivier Blanchard’s New Book – Social Media ROI

It finally arrived, Olivier Blanchard’s book called Social Media ROI, Managing and Measuring Social Media Efforts in Your Organization. I am truly humbled and honored, I was not expecting to find my name in the book, thank you with all the appreciation I can muster.

I have never met Olivier, but I have had an online relationship with him for over 3 years, and I can tell you he knows what he is talking about. He is firm in his stand and he has always taken the time to try and explain why he takes the stand he does, a man on a mission, a man with Integrity, which you will read in his book.

Now, for some reason the world has missed a simple observation, Social Media (conversations)is not new, its just gone digital. What has been overlooked, is how to accurately translate these conversations into revenue, how these conversations become conversions, how they actually bring about a result worth measuring. No Olivier is not the only one to see that conversations can have a Return On Investment (ROI), he is however, the only one to date that can articulate it with clarity and passion. And now with this book, he is working with you side-by-side.

What caught my eye upon cracking the cover, is how Olivier walks you from beginning to end, from what a Social Media Program IS, what you need to think about, to what it should look like,and what you should get from such a program. It’s the first Social Media University TextBook in my humble opinion.

Right from the beginning you’ll read how to create a social company, all the way to analysis and reporting of your social media program.

This book is easy to read and yet it is serious heavy lifting at times, but if you take the time and follow Olivier’s thinking, the confusion simply goes away. If you do the work, you will have a solid foundation of how to not only leverage Social Media networks, you’ll know how to participate in them, how to plug Social Media into your business, how to listen, how to monitor. and as he says, ” Listening Before Talking”. You learn more from this book than sitting at your computer trying to figure it out. Olivier is your Social Media ROI Mentor, all for the price of a book.

One of my favorite chapters is, The Eleven Key Best Practices for Social Media Program Management.

I highly recommend reading this book many times, not just once, it is packed with so much, one reading would merely set you up to fail. You have in your hands a text book if you study it, you will increase your odds of success in all social networks. A MUST have on your book shelf. This book will protect you from those who consider themselves Social Media GURU’s, the so called Social Media Expert.

This book will play a huge role in my work, how I see the future of business, how this fits an open and free business model, and how an ROI can be achieved. I look forward to implementing many of the steps in this book, and you will too, it’s the best investment you’ll make for the future of your business.

Make sure you connect with Olivier on his blog and follow him on Twitter: @thebrandbuilder

The Future Of Business – Real Estate Has A Problem

I wrote a blog post in October 2009 called, Are Real Estate Agents Obsolete? I ruffled feathers, I’m probably going to do the same in this post : ) My point at the time was, times are changing and they (in general) are not! I consult many agents on the topic of how their business is perfect for Social Media Networks, they are a service oriented business, a relationship business, perfect! So what’s the problem?

The tools aren’t the problem, the Internet isn’t the problem, people are not the problem, so what is it? It’s the way Real Estate Agents think. I’m generalizing so don’t get your listings in a knot.

I’m not trying to embarrass any one individual here, I’m speaking in general terms, don’t you realize what you have on your hands? The Internet is only 15 or 16 years old, what you did before the Internet came along worked great, offline, but those tactics don’t translate to digital very well do they?

Today, you can do open houses LIVE with a digital camera connected to the Internet, what a great way to find out if a home shows well. There are very few people willing to buy a home without actually going on site, so what are you worried about? The Internet has one real strong purpose for Real Estate Agents, and for the most part, they don’t know what that is.

Look, much of what Real Estate Agents do is now hyper-sensitive here online, why? People don’t want to be bombarded with sales pitches, and they don’t have to either. The “service” agents provide is just that, a service, you are not a classified ad. So why do you act like one?

Think about that for a moment, Social Media Networks are not more places to do outbound marketing or yelling. Well, you could use them that way, but you’ll fail miserably. There I said it. Social Networks are opposite to Radio, TV, and Newspapers (outbound), they are inbound. You need to be drawing attention through building relationships, being helpful, not constantly selling your stuff.

Imagine having a Rolodex the size of the Internet, you do! Who would need one that big right? Well, everybody knows someone, and that someone might be moving to your area, but you would never know if you don’t build relationships first. Go figure, Twitter as a Rolodex. This is the new CRM (Customer Relations Management), build relationships, build a huge network online, just like you would offline except you’re not selling. You are, building friendships first, then data mining, and through these relationships you will find business otherwise not found. Notice the order of things.

Be social, be mobile, and be the kind of person I and all of us would want to do business with, we want to know you, we want to know if you can help us when the time comes, but we will never know if you only cram your listings down our throats. This constant yelling and broadcasting is the disconnect with those you would consider clients in social networks, that way of thinking shows me that you only care about sales. I bet that statement makes you mad if you an agent, if so, then do something about it. Perception is everything, and once it starts, BAM! you are now stereo-typed.

A good friend Ron Karr wrote an interesting book on sales, I recommend it, it’s called, “Lead, Sell, or get out of the way” By Ron Karr, he can teach you a few traditional things, but most of all, he talks about how you think. Here’s my review. And that’s what I’m talking about here, the old methods got you to where you are today, and some of those methods may still work for now, but most likely won’t on Social Networks.

Scott Stratten coined the phrase in his book UN-Marketing, ” Stop Marketing. Start Engaging.”, these words should be your new mantra, they speak to the heart of every selling profession. My review of his book.

So build your Rolodex here online through building relationships first, where else can you save so much time & money, and reach so many in so little amount of time. Amazing isn’t it, most people don’t care what you know until they know you care. Gary Vaynerchuk is about to release a new book called, “ The Thank You Economy“, people want to know you care, and saying thank you goes along way to fulfilling that need.

The Future of Business in terms of Real Estate Agents, it will be entirely up to them. The business as a whole needs to pay attention, learn how to be social and mobile, both are critical to they’re success. More importantly, they need to unlearn a great deal of what they think they know about sales, specifically online.

I think in the next 5 – 10 years, Real Estate Agents will become fewer, because the current red tape and gate keepers will eventually be removed. It could happen sooner, you can by-pass agents already, but thats not the real issue. The mechanism of control is, and it will be harder to control the consumers of the future, so something has to give. For many agents, they don’t have the luxury of time, they must make sales to put food on the table. It’s that kind of pressure that makes you make mistakes, in social networks, the tolerance level for selling all the time, posting your listings, is much lower.

So, relationship first, don’t sell, provide information of value, teach me something, and tell me what you can do for me when I need someone just like you. Be an educator, be someone who cares about people, all people, because they are potential clients. Get to know me before you ever try to sell me something, that’s the mode of operation in social networks. And that takes time, but imagine the huge Rolodex you will have because you cared.

Forgive me if you are one of the very few actually paying attention to what’s going on, I am however talking to those who are not. I know brokers and real estate systems try teach you, but they too are stuck in old methods, it’s time to look around, the world is changing and it’s going to whether you do or not.

There is so much more that can be said, I am scratching the surface on this topic, I would love to here your thoughts.

Domino's Pizza goes to the People

This is yet another example of how companies should go after new money, using traditional media tools and Social Media as the primary tools. Not every business can afford to do this but you can scale it to fit your budget if you get creative enough. Getting new customers is what it’s all about, I’m willing to venture that Dominos won new customers because they went out and made Dominos fun.

Watch the video at  PizzaHoldouts.com and then think of ways you could generate new money from your existing product or service. While you’re there, be sure to follow them on Twitter & FaceBook, you can even order a Pizza!

Advertising on Social Media Networks Like Twitter

It was and is only a matter of time before advertising hits Social Media Networks as a way of life, building a following or a Social Media Community means eyeballs to big business. Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace and so on have built huge communities, within these communities individuals have built large followings. Large followings is taking on new definition every day as more and more people join all these Social Media Networks, the larger the following the higher the return for advertisers.

I decided to experiment with a new service called Ad.ly, you’ll see the banner ad to the right, they are holding a promotion right now to encourage you to try them out. I’m referring you!

The promotion is:

Make Money and Win a Macbook for Referring Friends…

leaderboard

If you want more information just click on the 1st Banner ad to the right and decide for yourself if it’s something for you. They assign an advertiser to your account and then you will be promoting that advertisers products or service. Most Bloggers are always looking for ways to make money online, if they say they aren’t, I would suggest if they suddenly got 1,000 bux a month because of it they wouldn’t turn it down.

Now the jury is still out on this advertising program on Twitter but at some point there will a saturation point because literally thousands will start companies to do the same thing. It’s SPAM at a nother level really, we all will be deluged with millions of Tweets and Updates pushing a product or service. It’s just a matter of time.

As I mentioned, I’m not sure how I feel about it but in order for me to speak intelligently about it I have say I actually tried it. So, stay tuned as I go down this trail, I will continue to write about the experience. Personally, I think you should find out for yourself rather than take someone else’s word for it.

Let me know what you think, is this a good thing, are you ok with these types of programs?