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Who would have thought that a blog titled "Why married women are more successful" would receive 54,256 views in less than 24 hours, 555 likes, 634 comments, 702 Facebook likes, 2,632 shares on LinkedIn and 79 retweets on Twitter? I did. And that's exactly why I wrote it.

I am a new author on LinkedIn and I know a thing or two about blogging and going viral. If I just write about marketing, at most, I will get between 1,000 and 10,000 views over a week. If I write about something personal - more. But if I write about something that people have strong opinions on or that hits a raw nerve - the sky is literally the limit.

It also depends on the forum. The very same post "Why married women are more successful" was posted on this blog last week, with less than 1,000 unique views. The reason for this, as I explained to my team, was because people who read my blog are highly educated, entrepreneurs or CEO's, who 'get the value of a good blog'. They wouldn't respond because just by reading "kiss as many boys as they like" they realize that it is very "Sex in the City" rather than an article that is going to be backed up with a statistical line up.
Visual social media - the new phenomenon

It feels like the birth of the sweeping social media phenomenon occurred just five seconds ago, with Pinterest’s viral growth to dizzying heights, Facebook’s takeover of Instagram and Twitter launching the new network, Vine.

The new medium is continuing to grow and evolve, spawning a new phenomenon of its own: visual social media.

Like moths to a flame, humans are innately drawn to visual elements including images, photographs and sensational design. As more of us are increasingly mobile and engaging with social media on smartphones, viewing an image is far less tedious than squinting to read a few lines of tiny text on a moving train.
How to make people remember your Facebook posts

Let’s start this blog with a simple exercise. Go to your Facebook page and look at the last 10 statuses you posted. What are they mostly about? You may want to think before posting if most of your statuses revolve around work complaints, drunken weekend antics or overstate political opinions.

A study by University of Scranton and UC San Diego researchers found that Facebook status updates stick in the minds of readers for longer than you think – one status alone is 1.5 times more memorable than sentences from books, and 2.5 times more memorable than faces of strangers, representing a remarkable difference in memory performance.
bradpitt
 
The vast majority of business owners eat, breathe and sleep work.  You know your product.  You know your industry.  You have great relationships with your clients; even prospective business; BUT business isn’t as boom-boom-boom as it could be.  
Insert question marks here…  Sometimes even the odd exclamation mark for frustration’s sake.

You spend all your time on your business, client relationships, communications.  You’re investing a lot in your marketing to spread awareness and build a reputation.  Where’s the conversion?  Where’s the new business?  Where’s the Twitter following?  Where are the likes on Facebook?

Know.  Like.  Trust.

No matter how big and experienced you may be, a lot of people don’t know about the X-Factor of communication - that recent Chanel ad featuring Brad Pitt is a great example (making it to the ‘Business Insider’s 10 Worst Ads of 2012’ list).  Before you sell anything, you need to get known, you need to be liked and you need to be trusted.

How?
Daily I receive updates on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin from people that have received publicity whether it is through an online blog or in the media sprouting how successful they are. The first couple of "pushes" of publicity, I applaud and genuinely think "good on that person". Then when it keeps coming in what can sometimes be "D-grade" versions of media that perhaps only a few people ever get to read, I start to think "oh, this person is looking for attention or needs people to think they are successful".

Which, might I add, may not be the case at all, but it is just my immediate perception if I don't know any better about the person.
Finding time to spend on social media networks is getting more difficult. There are so many to choose from, that at times, small businesses don't know where to start.

From time to time, re-evaluating which social media networks work best for your company and re-defining your strategy according to changes in features and functionality, can either leverage your business to new heights or create havoc with your sales cycle.

As a firm believer that "you cannot be everything to everyone", it makes perfect sense to spend time looking at the various analytics relating to social media, the demographics of each platform and how it applies to your target audience, brand authenticity and collaborations with clients and partners.

When it comes to b2b marketing, the decision on what social media networks to use and invest in becomes significantly easier.
1 Billion Users. Now that is a really big number. HUGE!

If you think about the fact that there are only 7 billion people reportedly on the planet, Facebook has a staggering 14% as friends.

In July 2010, they had half that. 500 million registered users to be precise. So, how in 26 months have they increased to double that size excluding China, because its banned there?
A company has a problem. They don't like their accountant. Their financial planner just got hit by a bus. The business just got a lot bigger and now they need some HR advice. They don't have a marketing person per se and the owner knows that they are not going anywhere without someone focusing on the company's brand and lead generation campaigns to support their sales team.

The problem has been identified. It now needs a solution. So, what's next? They look for one.

How?

First, they think about who they know. It use to be a case of people they have met or friends of friends, but now there is a not so new revolution to add to the equation. Social media.

Social Media

In the past two weeks we have made almost $200,000 from our social media accounts. It's because companies that we may not have met face to face, but know us through social media and in particular, twitter, linkedin and the company blog, have a problem and the first person they have made contact with is the person they "know" online. You know the one. The person that continually reinforces their expertise in a particular field through showcasing their knowledge, case studies, influence and opinions.

Social media is likened to the old-fashion term "farming" because it takes time, but the investment is worth it in the end if you do all the right things. Farming makes it easier for clients to find you and relate to you and your business. Social media has provided a short-cut in the farming process  but be assured that "farming" is not "prospecting". It is relationship building and you have to be willing to give more than you get.

So, remember next time you go to write on your twitter account that you went out and got totally trashed, but the next day want to be the consumate professional accountant who is looking for new business opportunities that your lifestyle choices may not be what your clients are looking for in a service provider.
It's old news now, but it has me thinking... how realistic is it for the average small business owner to aspire to such great heights?

You would have to have been sleeping under a rock to not know that Facebook has just finalised an acquisition of the 12-man band, Instagram, for a cool price of $1 billion, give or take a few dollars, in shares and cash.

Firstly, congratulations Instagram! 12 people, 1 billion dollars, 18 months of sleepless nights. I am in! I am up for it! How can I join your club? I am prepared to wash dishes, empty your bins and learn to cook the most delicious lunches you can ever imagine for a decent share of the proceeds. Photosharing never looked so appealing.

Billion dollar deals are few and far between. They tend to go with over hyped market analysis and valuations of the hottest trend of the moment. Remember the dot com boom? Did anyone really survive? Did the big deals ever really get a decent ROI for investors? Maybe for those smart enough to get in and out of the deal very fast, but what about the mere morals. The Mum's and Dad's who put their superannuation into investments that newspapers told them where 'hot'? What about these people? Do you really think that they are laughing all the way to the bank or are they in fact just making these young millionaires richer by the second and the more they publicise the fact, the more the Mum's and Dad's who often don't have a clue about such things, invest more and more cash that they don't have or were saving for retirement.

Do I think Instagram is worth $1 billion? Hell No! Seriously, that is more than $33 per email address. Are they serious that this is going to get them a decent ROI? Are we all falling prey to the hype and ridiculousness of the social media era?

Sure, social media will be here forever - or at least until something else replaces it, but are these valuations giving false hope to small business owners hoping to crack the jackpot?

I have not used Instagram and probably never will. Being a narcissist and promoting the fact isn't really my cup of tea. I don't need to showcase what I ate for breakfast, that I met a celebrity for 2 seconds in the street and begged them for a photo, or that I am supposedly having a great time even if it was me who had to set up the tripod to take my own photo just so others thought that my life was fantastic and something that everyone around me should be jealous of.

And... where are the boundaries. Yes, my nieces and nephews know what Instagram is and have been sharing photos for ages. Some have children as little as 3 or 4 years of age, parading in their cute little bikini's. Well, I think this is ridiculous. Great spot for Pedophiles to hang out and get their jolly's.

There is not enough policing of social media and everything has a place. These valuations on companies that have made no profit are not realistic and does have little or no reflection on what companies are really worth. What it says is that an eccentric billionaire, had a good idea that Instagram would be a great add-on (which it probably is) and wanted to showcase his power by buying it at whatever cost. Not bad really, since it isn't really his money to buy it with. It's Mum's and Dad's at home who have given their money to super funds and fund managers, that love nothing more than to do a deal. After all, isn't that how they make their fees.



Facebook is meant to be for friends. Right?

It disturbs me how many people trawl through facebook and request 'friendships' with people they have never met or have met for 20 minutes in a bar (and are married or in a relationship). Is Facebook a platform for people to become sleeze bags and try and pick up women/men or is it a platform for friendship. Sure, some people don't have a life and spend every waking hour checking if someone has made a comment on their facebook pages in hope that it will make them feel better than they did the minute before.

According to Psychologytoday.com, so many people spend time on facebook because;
1. They are bored at work
2. They are unhappy with their lovelife
3.  There are a narcissist (and/or voyeur)
4.  They desire to 'get along' with people
5.  Their motive is to 'get ahead'

I think facebook has a place and it is to keep in touch with friends and relatives and to touch base with that person who was your best friend in year 7, but a friend is not someone who you don't invite to your house for dinner or pick up the phone to. A friend is someone you really know, not someone that is a distant acquaintance.

In business there certainly is a place for facebook particularly for consumer based marketing where facebook is fantastic or even for events - but that is NOT on your personal facebook account. It is on a business facebook page that clearly communicates what the objective is for the use of this platform.

More than 100 million users access facebook through their cell phones and those who do, access it double the amount of times as someone who accesses it through a computer. There is a real addiction going on to facebook and without doubt there is and always will be social repercussions.

I personally prefer someone to pick up the phone and call me rather than facebook me a message and face-to-face beats everything hands down for those who I care about.
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