Category Archives: Social Media

Introducing the NEW Facebook Timeline

Courtesy of SOCIAL MEDIA TODAY.

You may have heard that Facebook will be rolling out their new profiles and features, including “Facebook Timeline”. As developers for Facebook, the team at MarketMeSuite got early access to it.  This post explains the new lay out and features. The big change is actually on your own page, not so much on your news feed/homepage. The layout is completely new and different.

1- Cover Photo

The big change is the photo across the entire top of your page, the “Cover Photo”:

As Facebook themselves say, it will now be the first thing anyone visiting your page see. It packs a punch and the visual impact is something not seen o Facebook before. You have complete control over the photo, much like a profile photo and it can be changed and updated as often as you like so you don’t have to worry about it being set once it’s in place. However, it is not something you an opt out of and remove so be sure to pick images you like!

Do note though, that Facebook has banned using this space as a banner for advertising, commercialization or infringement of others.

2- Data Storage

New Facebook will be storing your data is a newfangled manner. All in one place! Whether it’s you photos, videos, your friends list, apps or anything else, they will all be located in the same place. This is not to say it will all be a jumbled mess on your page but rather set in a clear and precise row where you can select the topics of your choice:

It’s definitely much easier to see what you are looking for and access it easily. When things are set out clearly, time and patience are saved, this is something that may make Facebook much more stream lined and efficient.

3- The Activity Timeline

Here is one of the key new features, where the idea of the “Timeline” really comes into its own. The activity timeline shows all of your updates, friend making, photo uploads etc that you have ever done. From the very first day you started using Facebook. It is also where you will be controlling your privacy settings for all posts, past, present and future.

This data can not be seen by any of your friends or other Facebook users so you can rest assure that your information will be secure and private so you can be as selective in your publishing and topics as you like! Be aware, this is not your notification prompts, they remain the same in the top bar.

4- The Real Timeline

The timeline, of everything you do on Facebook and in your day to day life. Whether you log your events in updates or fill in the blanks, add photos or videos, talk to friends, it is all logged here from day 1 to now! Whether you want to scroll back manually or select a date form the side side bar, you can see every single piece of data you wish.

This is great if you wish to locate a certain update, photo, status update or “Liked” data. Knowing you can find it easily but date or just scroll through means you have all your data at your fingertips ready to share with others or keep for yourself.

For Better Or Worse?

This new Facebook has been an eagerly anticipated event. Even though it had not been released to even developers until last week, it’s a popular topic of conversation or many social media fans. And it’s caused a ripple and divide in opinion. Some consider it a masterpiece in social networking future technique. After all you have every single piece of data you would ever need, you have control over it and it gives you far greater control over your social media and online sharing and interaction.  However, others consider that it may be invading too much into ones personal life, as they will be asked to add D.O.B, key events, memories, personal events and feelings that happens outside of the social  network. Does Facebook really need to know this? Is it all just advertising and an act of power at showing how influential they are? But saying that, people have the option to opt out of adding that data and keeping it as limited as possible so do Facebook really hold any sway over its users? People also argue that Facebook make far too many changes and it’s hard for users to keep up with them and be constantly learning new ways of how it works.

Key Take Away

When this new Facebook is pushed out to everyone, the only person whose opinion matters will be yours. You get to pick what you add, which data to share with Facebook. It’s an objective view and it will be a change which will have provoke various outlooks and opinions, sure to be heard through many a blog and article and even among friends. One thing is for sure, it’s a change that you will have to get used to, love it or hate it.

Who Wrote This Article?

I’m Nikki and I work at MarketMeSuite, the social media marketing dashboard. We have some Great news! We are now free! Please check it out and be sure to let me know what you think!

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Why the QR code is Failing (and How To Fix It)

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Courtesy of Sean X. Cummings and iMediaConnection.

They have become the standard violator appearing on advertising; in the corner of print ads, across billboards, on buses, or in pieces of direct mail — even peppered throughout this article. You’ve seen them; that little block of even littler squares. Unfortunately the technology behind QR codes was not invented for advertising and marketing; we are just co-opting its usage, and it shows.

From the relative lack of public understanding of what they even are, to the dearth of creativity in their usage, the QR code is destined to become just the little box that geek built. But if it does go the way of CueCat, only we are to blame. Here’s why.

The current use of QR codes in advertising is…
I could finish that statement with “stupid,” “useless,” “uncreative,” or “uninspiring.” Surprisingly, that is not news to anyone at advertising agencies or brands. QR codes seem to be a last ditch effort; an ignored piece of “Hey, throw a QR code on there that leads to our website.” But why bother? The general public seems largely oblivious to what they are used for, and why they are on all those ads. In my informal “on the street” survey of 300 people last month, I held up a sign with a QR code on it and the phrase: “Free gift if you can tell me what this is.”

I was not asking them to decipher it, just tell me what it actually was. Here are the results:

  • 11 percent correctly answered QR code or quick response code
  • 29 percent responded with “Some barcode thingy”
  • Seven percent guessed some variant of “Those things you stare at that get 3D when you cross your eyes. What picture is it? I can’t seem to get it”
  • The remaining 53 percent tried everything from a secret military code, Korean (uh really?), to an aerial street map of San Francisco

My survey was conducted in San Francisco, the veritable Mecca of the planet for tech, so it only goes downhill from here. When I asked those who knew it was some type of “barcode” how they could decipher it, 35 percent answered “with their phone.” When I asked them to actually “read” it with their phone? Only 45 percent of those were able to do it, and it took an average of 47 seconds for them to take out their phone and find the application to read the QR code — not exactly a “quick response.” Remember that agencies are putting these on moving buses and highway billboards.

To read the rest of the article, CLICK HERE.

5 Businesses That Will Live (or Die) by Social Media

Courtesy of  Christopher Elliott, BNET

If you work in the retail business, you probably already know how important social media is to your company. But a new survey suggests several other industries are at a tipping point between interacting with their customers online and offline.

The study, conducted by the customer experience analytics company ClickFox, found five industry groups in which people have sought customer service in high numbers, which I define as more than 30 percent.

ClickFox concludes that social media such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – once unheard of as a customer service channel – has now proven to be both an effective and cost-effective alterative to traditional customer service channels.

But as I review these numbers, I see a more ominous sign. If you’re in one of these industries, it means social media isn’t just a nice option for customers; it may, in many cases, be the first place clients turn when they want to contact you. In other words, you have to be there.

Here are the industries and their percentages, according to the survey.

1. Retail (45 percent)
Sure, the next time you buy a pair of jeans at Target, you expect the company to be listening to your feedback on Twitter (@Target) or its Facebook account.  Interestingly, the survey suggests customers of smaller companies in the retail sector are treated in a similar way. That, by default, many clients will go online and look for a social media solution.

2.  Telephone (35 percent)
There’s an obvious reason why people turn to social media for phone problems. When your line isn’t working, but you have a ready Internet connection, getting satisfaction is a lot easier by tweeting AT&T (@att). There’s also a less obvious reason: Phone companies are notorious for making you spend a long time on “hold” and sending your through elaborate phone-tree mazes before you can talk to a real person.

3.  Travel and hospitality (34 percent)
People normally think “airlines” when you mention travel, but the truth is, most Americans get to where they’re going by car. Of course, airlines get some of the lowest customer-service scores America, so passengers will try to reach them any which way. But this is more about hotels and restaurants – two key components of the hospitality industry. They’ve quietly made some progress in opening social media channels to their customers.

4. Cable (33 percent)
Next to airlines, cable is one of the lowest-rated industries, when it comes to customer service. So, again, customers are reaching out to Twitter accounts like @comcastcares and Time Warner Cable’s Facebook page for help. This seems more an act of desperation than convenience, if the numbers are to be believed.

5. Banks (31 percent)
Here’s another underperforming sector, thanks to the recent wave of defaults and ill-conceived mergers. But also, banks provide notoriously bad phone service, sending their customers through endless prompts, forcing them to verify their identities multiple times, and leaving them on “hold” for half an eternity. It’s almost as if they don’t want you to use the phone. Now they are getting their wish.

With the possible exception of retail and hospitality, it may not even be a question of living by social media, but dying by it. The social media channel is so attractive because it bypasses the phone, which for an increasing number of customers just doesn’t work anymore. Their next step may be to take their business elsewhere.

A few weeks ago, I asked if your business really needs a Twitter account. Here’s your answer. If you’re in the retail, phone, travel, cable or bank industry, you probably do.

Related:

Christopher Elliott is a consumer advocate, syndicated columnist and curator of the On Your Side wiki. He’s the author of the upcoming book Scammed: How to Save Your Money and Find Better Service in a World of Schemes, Swindles, and Shady Deals, which critics have called it “eye-opening” and “inspiring.” You can follow Elliott on Twitter, Facebook or his personal blog, Elliott.org or email him directly.

3 Ways to Supercharge Social Media with Google Analytics

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Courtesy of Chris Wiebesick and SOCIAL MEDIA TODAY.

If your business is participating in social media, dig into Google Analytics to uncover actionable insights that will immediately improve your social efforts. We’ve identified three ways Google Analytics can supercharge your social media initiatives.

#1. Optimize Social Traffic

Create an advanced custom segment to look at the percentage of traffic that came to your website from social media versus other places and what that social traffic did once they got to your site. Then compare them against a control group of people that had not interacted with social media. Go further than just looking at whether Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn is driving the most traffic. Look for how social media compares in areas like lead conversion rates, website bounce rates and time spent on your site.

#2. Find New Customers on Twitter

Google Analytics can help you identify which Twitter conversations you should be listening for. Analyze your search engine traffic to see what keywords people are using most often to arrive at your site. Then, create an automated search feed for these keywords on Twitter to identify conversations people are having using these keywords. These people may be prospects. Tweet with them.

#3. Drive More Blog Traffic

Use your most popular search phrases throughout your blog – in posts, titles, and tags – to generate more blog traffic. Also, if you haven’t already, set up Google Analytics to record people’s internal search queries from your website’s search box. Use these search phrases, too, in your blog.

Google Analytics is a powerful tool. Most businesses really only get limited use out of it, though, because they feel overwhelmed with all the data, struggle to make informed business decisions, or are measuring the wrong things. A Google Analytics Certified Professional may be the answer for you. A Certified Professional can install Google Analytics, determine goals for your website, and monitor the effectiveness of your site and social marketing campaigns. They will also use their expertise to give you actionable insights so you can confidently make informed business decisions.

10 Tips for Facebook and Twitter Success

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Courtesy of Julie Glassman and IMediaConnection.

There’s no denying the importance of social media. You get it. Your team gets it. The question is, do your customers care to get it, or are they tired of being asked to “like” everyone and everything they meet? The big problem nowadays, with endless tweets, friends, pages, profiles, and tags — is how to engage desired audiences in such a way that your brand is perceived as relevant.

In a world defined largely by social media — from business reviews to cultural revolutions — you cannot simply be where your customers are for the sake of being there. You must be there for a reason, and that reason must not be entirely, if at all, self-serving. Social interactions with customers must be authentic and transparent, and must also offer something real in exchange for eyeballs, consideration, and loyalty. Every “like” must be viewed as currency, and audiences must be rewarded for their willingness to accept you with something they deem valuable.

What steps must you take to be perceived as genuine? It’s simple really… You actually need to be genuine. Forgotten how? Here are 10 simple things to keep in mind.

The old, new truism: Know your audience. But for real this time.
Ever thought about your customers in a way that has nothing to do with your business? Ever wonder who they are when they are not buying your products or services? Do you know what matters to them intrinsically, from saving whales to raising children? If not, it’s high time you found out. Connecting is not simply about getting on Facebook or Twitter, but interacting with your customers, in authentic ways that resonate with them — deeply. How? In a move that may seem antithetical to traditional marketing wisdom, when it comes to social media, it’s better to be reactive than proactive. Instead of planning your next big social media stunt, spend some quiet time observing your customers’ social behavior online. Kick back, hang out, listen, learn — and then interact. The simple act of getting to know your audience means knowing what works for them… and, more importantly, what doesn’t. This will likely save you much time, money, and embarrassment in the future.

Choose your friends wisely
You’re only as good as the company you keep, so choose wisely. With all the groups and influencers available to you via social media, make sure to align yourself with those befitting of “who” you are and how you want to be perceived. Befriend appropriate influencers and communities, in real and meaningful ways, and their followers will ultimately extend their trust to your brand. In social media, not all press is good press. What matters most today is not just word-of-mouth, but the right words out of the right mouths.

Look at yourself through rose-colored glasses
So what if you sell shoes. You can also sell something far more important. Emotion. Ever wonder how Zappos created such a loyal following? By thinking about employees and customers with heart. In other words, Zappos deems itself not a retailer, but a customer service organization that, oh, by the way, sells stuff. How does this translate to social media? Zappos, a living, breathing, feeling organization, engages customers via prolific, company-wide Twitter use, providing a transparent, unedited glimpse, at the caring, fun, emotive employees (CEO included), behind the curtain. They also actively solicit customer feedback, via Facebook, so that users always feel heard — and, better yet, listened to and understood. The rewards for keeping it real. Bet you’ve bought something from Zappos in recent months, if not weeks or days?

What can we learn from this? No matter the offering, the important element is to identify one or two things that matter most to desired audiences. Whether it’s emotion, social conscience, giving back, or something as simple as savings, get it out there, to the right people in authentic, fun, simple, and social ways.

In the words of Sally Field, “You like me.” Well, no… actually they don’t.
According to a March 2011 Forrester Research report on the “digital behavior of young consumers,” people simply do not want to be friends with brands. So how do you earn the trust and endorsement of customers? Give them a reason to like you. Forget about what you are selling and focus your time and energy on your winning personality and character instead. You know how the hot girl always ends up with the smart, funny guy? Well, social media typically takes off when it entertains, endears, and ingratiates. More often than not, connecting legitimately comes down to exposing your weaknesses, taking yourself less seriously, making someone laugh, and just palling around.

Think about it: Would you want to be friends with your corporate persona?

Ask not what your customers can do for you, but what you can do for your customers Social media is not just about acting sincere; it’s about being sincere. It’s not enough to simply say you care about something, but rather to demonstrate that you actually care. Identify what customers want or need from you and make it happen. Create opportunities for meaningful, two-way conversations. Solicit feedback, ask questions, get audiences involved in decision-making, or partner with someone or something that matters. Make sure, however, that your connections and queries are relevant and congruous to your existing brand, business, and practices and always, always follow through. If you ask what customers want or need, you must be prepared to change. Fake it and audiences will call BS on you faster than they can “unlike” you.

Conversely, just because customers say it’s so, doesn’t always mean they’re right. Use your head. You’re in charge for a reason. Consider audience feedback and needs in aggregate and through a seasoned marketing, sales and business lens. Just because one or two cyber bullies make a lot of noise doesn’t mean you can’t simply cover your ears. Case in point, Starbucks new logo is just fine people.

You care about me because I care
Brands need to stand up and take notice of things outside of themselves — with authenticity and humility. You can’t simply choose the cause of the day — “Hey look, we’re green” — but rather, pick something because it fits seamlessly with who you are and what you, and your audience, actually care about. Corporate social responsibility, awareness and action, must be congruent with the brand. Then, and only then, will it be perceived as real, engaging, inclusive, thoughtful, long-term and social.

When the going gets tough, go online
The web can be a dangerous place for brands these days. Ratings, reviews, rumors, pictures, video — consumers are more in control than ever before, and managing public opinion and perception can be next to impossible. That’s why being a legitimate, accepted participant in the online lives of key customers and influencers is mission critical. In other words, when things go wrong, you can turn to your “friends.” Social media puts you back in the driver’s seat, in real time, as you react (carefully) to the events, press, reviews, snafus, changes, and developments that affect consumer opinion and confidence. Haste, transparency, honesty, humility, and reverence can keep a potentially harmful story from going viral.

Change is good
Online, loyalty is not dependable. In fact, it means very little. What’s here today is most certainly gone tomorrow. Brands must keep their eyes on the ball, tracking trends, watching for audience fluctuations and never feeling too safe, too smug, or too comfortable. The truth is, you can never nail social media. One success can be followed by a major failure. The good news is that the web allows you to change anything and everything on the fly, and updates to your social media interactions and strategies needn’t be expensive nor ground breaking. Be careful not to be all over the map. Remember who you are and why audiences like you in the first place, and then focus on being relevant, fresh, inventive, and always one step ahead.

One cannot survive on social media alone
Don’t forget that real life matters. Social media does not exist in a vacuum and does not a successful company make. Everything you do online requires support; reinforcement and follow-through at other available customer touchpoints. Don’t expect users to know about, or understand, your social media initiatives without proper support elsewhere. The appropriate mix of promotional vehicles and campaigns is always a good idea. What’s more, even the best social networking cannot save you from a failed product, customer service interaction or business snafu. People will talk, so mind your Ps and Qs, socially and otherwise.

It’s social media, not brain surgery
In the end, perhaps we’re over-thinking things a bit. Do we plan this much before we go to a dinner party or a BBQ? Do we think about what we’re going to say when we meet a friend for coffee or a beer? Not really. So, what’s the most important lesson to be learned here? Get to know your audience, interact, engage, be real, and have fun doing so. It’s social media folks! Get the best version of yourself out there and simply be social.

Julie Glassman is the founder and partner of BRAND Consulting.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

Internet Talk Radio:The Newest Social Medium

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“Social media is not an ad. People don’t see your post, tweet or LinkedIn profile and buy. The purpose (and promise) of all social mediums is simply to start a conversation with someone you’d like to meet.”

I belong to a group called CRITICAL MASS FOR BUSINESS. It’s a facilitated CEO PEER GROUP that meets once a month for 4 hours. The group is limited to 12 members, all of whom own similarly sized businesses in non-competeing industries.

Our typical agenda starts with a recap of what happened to all of us over the prior month including reports on whatever we did (or didn’t do) to implement the suggestions, ideas and “action plans” from our last meeting. For many of us (me included) this “accountability to someone other than yourself” may be one of the most important features of this group. We’re all entrepreneurs, not used to reporting to anyone but ourselves. The problem with that approach (however) is that it’s far too easy to make excuses or put off painful decisions when there is no one looking over your shoulder, prodding you to improve and move forward. “I’ll do it tomorrow” too often means it never gets done.

Then comes the truly transformative part of the meeting: the “round table discussions”. Here is where the rubber meets the road and people really get to the heart of their issues. Using a strictly controlled “question and answer process” (guided by our professional facilitators) we probe, distill and digest whatever issues each member wishes to bring forward. It’s not always a pleasant experience to be on “the hot seat” but it’s always informative and often illuminating. This is the only true “no spin zone” I know. You’re in a confidential setting with 11 other struggling entrepreneurs, many of whom are wrestling with the same issues and obstacles you are. And it s the only place I know where you get really honest, no bs feed back. Who else is gonna tell you such truth? Your friends and family (who don’t want to hurt your feelings?) Your employees (who don’t want to lose their jobs?) Or some consultant (who really wants to please you and keep getting paid and whose narrow expertise may not allow them to see the whole picture?)

This is the magical “mastermind” part of the meeting: 12 individual minds coming together as one urging, adding to and otherwise improving upon each previous thought. Organized brainstorming, proving once again that the sum is greater than the individual parts. How can this help? Well, it’s hard to describe unless you’ve experienced it. But let me say that (in my own case) it gave birth to a whole new business.

I was a long time PR person whose core clients (billiards, hot tubs and other home improvement products) had seen a dramatic decline during the recent “Great Recession”. Hot tub sales alone fell by over 70%. So, one by one, my clients were either going out of business or cutting back dramatically on their overall marketing services (including me). I entered the group to find a way to revitalize my business. Instead, the group opened my eyes to a whole new business opportunity.

As I recanted my problems to the group and discussed how foolishly I’d put all my “eggs in one basket” (by narrowly focusing on just one niche), how “fat and happy” and complacent I’d become in the process and how I’d generally stopped learning, growing and aggressively marketing my services to others, it became clear that I needed a new fire or passion to prod me in a new direction and a distinctive service to offer. Then, after casually mentioning that PR companies were being asked (more and more) to take on the role and responsibilities of “social media strategist” for their clients (since ad agencies-used to making ads–and marketing people-used to collecting and analyzing data–neither knew how nor wanted to explore this new aspect of marketing), the group started prodding me to explore this subject and educate myself on this opportunity. That led to long discussions about “what is social media”, “how is it different than traditional advertising, PR and marketing” and what is its fundamental purpose?

That, in turn, led me to some remarkble insights such as “social media isn’t an ad on the Internet”. People don’t just read your blog or “tweets” and buy. Instead, its something we’ve never seen before. The purpose (and promise) of social media is that it allows you to start a conversation with anyone you want to meet, from which you can learn, explain, explore and otherwise engage them in a meaningful dialog in which (hopefully) both sides receive some benefit. That means you can’t just “ask for the order” anymore. You have to be willing to offer some ideas and information for free, upfront, before you start the sales process. Information that your audience (hopefully) will find so interesting and informative that they pass it onto others in their network and community (creating “brand advocates” or “viral marketing” for your goods or services in the process). Then you have to respond to their questions and comments and keep them coming back for more. In other words, you have to have something interesting to say and then keep saying it regularly and often.

That’s why most social media programs fail. Most companies aren’t prepared to become their own media production companies. They run of out meaningful things to say and they don’t regularly keep at it, primarly because it takes time and discipline and it may not show immediate ROI. And quite often, no one in the company is prepared to take on the additional role of “social media spokesman”, which is why it defaults to the traditional PR people (who are used to regularly speaking for their clients).

And that’s when it occurred to me. This is what I should be doing, particularly since I originally started off in radio broadcasting and communication right after college (as a traditional DJ on WMYK, “K94”, in Norfolk,Virginia). Then came the even bigger insight that “I think I know a simpler and more powerful way to do this!” For if the purpose of social media is simply to start a conversation with someone you want to meet, then what could be easier than simply calling them up, interviewing them over the phone and then streaming that conversation live to the world? You could even record, archive and store it on some server, making it available 24/7 as a download for others to listen to and enjoy later as a “podcast” on ITunes and elsewhere.

Wouldn’t that be much easier to produce than trying to research and write a new blog or mini-article each week? And (ultimately) wouldn’t it be much easier for your audience on the Internet to consume (given the fact that most people would rather watch or listen to something on the Internet than read it?) And wouldn’t these weekly live conversations be more interesting and stimulating than just talking to yourself ? (a problem that plagues most other social mediums like blogs, tweets and traditional podcasts) And wouldn’t a live, weekly broadcast, at a regular time and place, be more likely to engage your audience, particularly if they could call-in their questions (just like any traditional talk show) or log-on, in real time, and tweet their comments ? And wouldn’t your guests immediately tell all their friends, customers and clients to listen? And wouldn’t they put a link to that recorded interview up on their site after the fact (which would help drive traffic and links to your site, thereby raising your search engine rankings and giving you a free ad on their website forever?) The answer to all this was “yes”.

Thus was born a new “social medium” and the business to go with it: OC TALK RADIO, Orange County’s only community radio station giving local businesses a voice on the Internet. For more information, check us out at http://www.OCTalkRadio.net.

Host Your Own Radio Show

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Every business we talk to today asks the same question, “Is there any Social Medium that has real and immediate return on investment”?  Every business executive and owner has a blog, Twitter and Facebook account and few of them see the benefit to any of them.  “Total waste of time”, is what I too often hear.

Well here’s one social medium that works:  hosting your own Internet Radio show.  For just a couple hundred dollars per month (depending upon the service you use) you can:

1.  Instantly brand yourself as “the expert on some subject”.  Who else hosts a weekly radio show on this subject? The fact that you do instantly suggests you must be an authority on the subject.

2.  Instantly differentiate yourself from all your competitors.  “Hey, remember me?  I’m the one with the radio show on this subject”.  The novelty alone will make people remember you.  And if they check out your website, they can listen to all your past shows, archived as Mp3 files (or “podcasts” as they are popularly called).  What better way to get to know someone than to listen to a sample of WHAT they know and WHO they know.

On the Internet Highway, no one wants to stop and read the billboards anymore.  They either want to watch something (like a video) or listen to it instead.  And live or downloadable audio files have the added benefit of being something you can listen to while doing something else.  You can’t multi-task watching a You Tube video, but you can listen to a show while working out or working on something else.

3.  Start conversations with anyone you want to meet. “Hey, can I take you to lunch and tell you about my professional service?” CLICK….I’d love to invite you to my free seminar…FORGET IT.  But try cold calling any business owner or executive and asking them “I’d love to interview you on my local radio show” and watch their eyes light up.  “Sure!  When would you like to do it?”

Who wouldn’t want to talk about their company to your audience or network?  It’s flattering and it’s free publicity.  And with so many newspapers going out of business or downsizing down to nothing, there simply aren’t many (or any!) other outlets to tell their business story.  And if you’re smart, you won’t just talk to them on air.  You’ll set up a meeting at their office first (as a pre-interview to learn more about them so you can ask better questions).

Suddenly, you’re in the door and talking one-on-one to the main owner or executive (whom you couldn’t otherwise meet in a million years).  And what’s more, he or she isn’t looking at their watch and asking “why are you here again?” and “how long is this going to take?”  They’re much more likely to tell their secretary “hold all my calls…the guy from the radio show is here to talk to me!” as they walk you enthusiastically throughout their business and tell you everything you ever wanted to know.   Unparalleled access and information, just because you host your own radio show.

Then, after the show airs, send your guest a link to where the archived copy resides (or links to where it can be heard, like ITunes and other places) and suggest that the guest put it on his or her site as well. And you’ve not only got an introduction to a new prospect or networking partner, but a free ad on their website forever.  Viral marketing at its best.

That’ s why we tell all our clients “hosting your own internet radio show” may be the most powerful and effective “social medium” yet imagined.  For if the purpose of social media in general is to get people to start a conversation with you, what easier or more effective way could there be to accomplish this goal then just getting them on the phone, streaming that live to the world and then recording and archiving that conversation for everyone in your network (and theirs) to reference and enjoy.

For more information check out the few Internet Talk Radio stations in business across the country such as http://www.voiceamerica.com, http://www.wsradio.com or our own http://www.OCTalkRadio.net.