Tag: strategy

Twitter management tips – what you can learn from an Australian actor

dmp
Image via twitter.com/DanMacPherson

Look at the top celebrities on Twitter and take note of what makes them great to follow. They tweet frequently, talk about their personal lives as well as their work, and even chat with fans. You don’t need to be an ‘A’ list Hollywood celebrity to be popular on social media; you just need to follow a set of basic rules.

A homegrown example of top notch Twitter practices comes from Channel 7’s Dancing with the Stars host Daniel MacPherson (@DanMacPherson). The former Neighbours actor has been popular on television for a number of years, and is now popular on Twitter too, with nearly 65,000 followers.

Twitter success is not just for actors and musicians; it’s available to industry leaders, professionals, athletes, and more. Twitter offers individuals and businesses alike the opportunity to chat about numerous topics, interact with followers and promote themselves.

What makes Daniel a Twitter pro?

Frequent tweets: Daniel tweets as Dancing with the Stars airs to get maximum interaction with fans and stay topical. He also tweets frequently in general, which creates and conveys excitement and liveliness, that what he’s doing is interesting and you should be interested.

Takeaway:  It’s common for people to use social media while watching television, so tweeting about a show or news story is a way to relate with fans through common interests. Tweeting frequently will give followers much more information on a subject and give them more to read, more reason to be interested, and thus more reason to follow.

dmp1
Image via twitter.com/DanMacPherson

Use hashtags and @mentions: Being connected with a program or community has its benefits – as Daniel regularly uses the @DancingAu and #DancingAu identifiers in his tweets.

Takeaway: Using @ and # works in two ways – @mentions let others know you are talking about them (greater chance of a retweet), and hashtags add your tweet to a topic feed to be seen by others, eg. #DancingAU. There will always be relevant hashtags for you to use, no matter what industry you are in.

dmp2
Image via twitter.com/DanMacPherson

Retweet and reply: Daniel regularly retweets content related to his work and hobbies, to show support to other twitter users and keep followers up to date with his activities and interests. He replies very often to follower tweets, which keeps fans happy and shows that he is a genuine, down to earth guy.

Takeaway: always reply to follower questions and comments in an appropriate manner. By replying, you let people know that you are happy to interact with them and shows respect to your followers. Similarly, retweeting someone else’s content will give them a warm, fuzzy feeling, and you might get an RT in return.

Show what makes you interesting: Daniel has a large following because he is on a popular TV show, but he also uses Twitter to showcase his travels in Australia and the USA, as well as his passion for Triathlon.

Takeaway: By tweeting about a broad range of topics, you give more fans a way to relate to you. In this way you can promote your other interests or activities, as well as your work. When fans can connect with you on a number of topics, it makes it easier to grow a following of engaged fans who will keep an interest in you as your life and career changes.

dmp3
Image via twitter.com/DanMacPherson

Get visual: Daniel uploads interesting images from online, behind the scenes at Dancing with the Stars, his Instagram account, as well as links to videos he enjoys on YouTube.

Takeaway: The latest Twitter update means users will now see Twitter photos and Vine videos in the news feed without having to expand them. Pictures uploaded through Twitter and Twitpic are more likely to be retweeted (94% and 64% respectively). Capture your followers’ attention with pictures and videos that tell them what’s happening in your world.

Practicing these good Twitter habits will help you to get the most out of the platform and make yourself worth following. Using Twitter doesn’t take a lot of time out of your day, but if you feel like you are struggling or don’t know where to start, a social media consultant can help you to become a Twitter pro. Ask us about how we can help you be successful on social media, and stay tuned for our next post on Facebook strategy.

Risk vs reward of owning a new gTLD

Image courtesy of Anusorn P nachol at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Anusorn P nachol at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Risk vs Reward

During ICANN47 in Durban I spoke with a cross section of applicants involved in the new gTLD process. I asked one question “Will your gTLDs be successful?”

The general feeling amongst all the applicants was yes, and why wouldn’t they say that, when they had spent at least $185,000 for their applications. One of the main reasons for their confidence was based on a risk versus reward analysis of what the break even cost was to run a gTLD successfully vs. the number of minimum registrations needed at an attractive price.

It’s estimated that you would need about $50,000 a year to cover your costs of running a new gTLD. So as long as the applicants felt that they could cover those costs with a minimum number of registrations based on their business plan, they felt that the upside was well worth the risk.

Here’s the logic

The thinking in many cases was based on a worst case scenario that if you sold 10,000 second level domains for $5.00 each you reach your $50,000 to cover your costs. Any registrations above that would be considered profit.  Considering that one of the slower performing TLDs on the market place like dot.aero currently has nearly 10,000 registrations, getting to 10,000 would be considered realistic and the risk reasonable.  Also through the largely untapped emerging BRIC markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China, the demand for registrations in the coming years is thought to continue to grow strongly. Sounds like a pretty straight forward plan right?

Possible errors in gTLD applicants thinking

Although SLAM Strategy is very much an advocate for the new TLDs program as a whole, we do have our doubts about the viability of some of these new strings. Not because they can’t be successful but because of three main and very real issues.

  1. Domain Supply vs demand concerns – There will be approximately 1,000 new domains available to the public in a very short time frame and although there will be considerable demand the supply is going to vastly outstrip demand with a flood of string options. Owners need to see this as a long term strategy that could take 5-10 years before they reach their breakeven points.
  2. $1 for a dozen domains for sale – Further to that, owners need to consider the fact that ICANN has mentioned subsequent rounds and the price for entry to own a domain likely to drop. This could further put pressure on existing owners trying to reach their break even points and extend or even make it impossible for some TLDs to ever reach their minimal requirements. A glut of registration options could lead to some offering a dozen domains for a $1 just to move stock.
  3. Risk of extinction – Anything with a small population is at risk of being wiped out if it is unable to adapt quickly enough to survive a changing environment. This is something that is a serious issue for the new gTLD owners as they are relying on a small pool of long established, existing Internet advertising and marketing companies to help them. In an environment where innovation, creativity and new thinking are paramount, the new top level domain name community is dangerously “short of options”, increasing the likelihood of catastrophic failures if they pick the wrong company to partner with.
    To some degree, a cookie cutter approach is inevitably going to be used by many of these companies who know no better, resulting in fewer registrations than anticipated and more importantly possible failure of the entire gTLD business model. All new gTLD applicants need to be wary of this and think outside the square. To understand this in detail you only need to look to the industry’s past and you will see that until the approved release of these new generic top level domains in 2011, the industry was tiny with only 22 top level domains and 250 country code top level domains which were drip fed into the system and snapped up by an almost inexhaustible demand for domain names. A fledgling and largely administrative driven industry was able to be serviced by a small number of Internet and Advertising providers who performed what would now be considered to be basic functions.
    The industry is now set to suddenly and massively expand into a very different and almost hostile digital landscape of dog eat dog and over supply. However, the number of new and external Internet Advertising and Marketing experts available that understand the gTLD industry but are not from the industry hasn’t really grown at all, and could almost be counted on one hand. Many of the people working in these companies have either worked at a registry, a registrar or at ICANN itself at some time in the recent past. While these companies and their specialists really are very, very talented with many years of industry experience, their greatest strength is also possibly their greatest weakness. Many of the current internet advertising and marketing companies providing support to the gTLD industry are providing advice based on their prior experiences from within the industry itself, as that is all they know. As a result, a lot of the same, repetitive and conventional industry thinking is likely to be offered, limiting any real competitive advantage that the gTLD owner may think they have. There’s no doubt these existing companies are extremely talented with amazing insight of the old gTLDs industry. However, the industry is rapidly changing and morphing into something very different from its past, requiring a more diverse approach to create real wow factor and excitement in the mainstream world of the average consumer.

How to make your new gTLD an Internet success story with fresh ideas

Yes this is a plug for SLAM Strategy but only because the new gTLD industry is a perfect synergy of business in the real world and the virtual world and creating ROI strategies in this space is where we see the future of online. We are an Internet Strategy company that could see instantly the potential of the new gTLDs on the global stage from a business strategy point of view. With over 23 years of experience in retailing, advertising and marketing and Internet strategy, the CEO of SLAM Strategy, Shaun Le Cornu saw an opportunity to give businesses an edge on the new Internet frontier that was clearly missing. Fresh thought is needed with a new approach by an Internet marketing company from outside the industry. There is a different game to be played that has not been played before and the current players could be lacking in vital real world experience.

The 5 Principles for Social Media Success

Shaun and I sat down to chat about the 5 principles of social media success and a range of solutions for implementing these principles. This video and presentation are a follow-on from our previous blog post and companion to an upcoming seminar we will be running.

Tell us what you think, and as always, let us know if you need advice or further information.

[slideshare id=22689137&doc=the5principlesforsocialmediasuccess1-130609045350-phpapp01]

5 types of social media strategy you need to be using.

One of the most common questions that business owners have when it comes to social media, is,

“How do I make money from it?”

You can increase your sales and grow your business using social media, but it won’t happen overnight. Building a loyal customer base takes time, and you will need to use social media to grow and nurture your community of current and potential customers.

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, you need to start by knowing what it is you want to achieve from using social media. If sales are your primary focus, you need to remember to keep your online communication broad and forget the hard sell.

Increasing sales from your social media efforts should be approached in a similar way to how you would attempt to increase sales offline; with superior customer service, occasional discounts and special offers, product demonstration and information and brand development. Think about what sells in-store and apply it to your online activities – happy and rewarded customers are more likely to be loyal and repeat customers.

When creating social media networks, keep in mind what elements of your business you want to build, what weaknesses you can strengthen and what strengths you can promote.

Below are five types of social media strategy you should be using. It’s up to you to decided whether you focus on one strategy, combine a few or go for the whole hog!

  1. Brand maintenance – monitor mentions of your brand, respond to comments, queries and complaints. Post updates.
  2. Community building – build relationships with internal advocates, and external brand ambassadors or groups of similar interest. Join groups to share your business and exchange advice. Nurture your community, be engaging and social.
  3. Influencer outreach – identify and engage influential people around your passion points or industry. Consider collaborating with like-minded people.
  4. Reputation management and development – repair a damaged reputation, develop thought leadership. Add recommendations and positive testimonials.
  5. The big splash – big creative campaigns, which garner a lot of short-term attention, such as competitions, discounts and offers. These campaigns don’t have to cost much, and are great for brand exposure and tapping in to the best part of social media: virality.

Think about your calendar of events, upcoming products, etc.  as to how you can combine these strategies to promote your business.

Remember; don’t get discouraged when results aren’t happening quickly. Most people dedicate about 20% of their Facebook use to interacting with brands to learn about products, offers and discounts. Be social, be engaging and find creative ways to keep your fans interested (not just on Facebook).

Social Media (Facebook) vs Search (Google)

Social media is great, there is no doubt about that, I got my business off the ground using it. It is a great cost effective medium for start up businesses to use to get brand recognition because anyone can do it and you can do it for free.
However for that exact reason your messages can be lost in the ocean of messages that people see and the big question therefore is, “How do you stand out?” It takes a long time to build brand recognition and to generate a following of people to “like”, “tweet”, “share” your brand. So many people I talk to about online promotion think that if they build it they will come, when in reality it is far from that. Being a social platform, social media requires you to be social but more than that you need to follow the rules of that platform in order to get your message to more people. Facebook call this reach, reach is how many people saw your message. The more news feeds your message appears in the more likely someone is to see it and therefore the further your brand’s reach will be. Sounds simple, hey? Well the reality is that even if you know that, you’re still a long way from reality. If you want your business to appear in the news feeds of your fan’s friend’s pages then you need to talk to a company like SLAM Strategy, who understand how the platforms work.
So while people are busy looking at how Facebook can be their next big thing to help them with the growth of their business, many are choosing to ignore the realities of online and that is that 90% of all online searches are done using Google.
If your business isn’t coming up in search results for the words that relate to your businesses products or services then you are invisible to anyone searching for you. This can be the difference between your business thriving or failing; it’s as simple as that.
If you have the budget, you should firstly be looking at creating a sound and profitable Internet strategy around generating sales through Google. There are many businesses out there that can perform your Adwords or your Search Engine Optimisation. The reality is that what makes an online strategy successful has very little to do with the Adwords or optimisation work itself, but more to do with making sure you are implementing the right strategy for your business and that it takes you to where the real money is made.