#1 Rule for Social Media Marketing Success…

social media marketingLet me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity” ~ Louis Pasteur

#1 Rule for Social Media Marketing Success has got to be TENACITY.   Without a doubt, tenacity ( the ability to persevere or stick with a task) is probably the most important ingredient in social media marketing success.

See, social media marketing is not a “set it and forget it” proposition.

For those of you who are actively PARTICIPATING in social media, you’re responding with a great big Homer Simpson style, “Doh!”

Anyone with an established healthy blog knows that social media “magic” doesn’t happen in 6 days – 6 weeks or even 6 months.  They will also attest that it takes a serious investment of time and effort to participate in social media – but most will also tell you that the investment is well worth it.

In the post, When Fantasy Meets Reality – Social Media Marketing Reality Check, I share what I think are the 4 “essential” ingredients for social media marketing success:

  • understand your customers GDP (Goals, Desires, Problems)
  • be able to express how your business  helps customers to achieve goals, satisfy desires and solve problems
  • be naturally social
  • be technically savvy

Yet – even if you are able to bring together all of those elements – you must apply a HEALTHY dose of tenacity to the mix.  Bringing these 4 essential elements together and expecting overnight success is  – well, it’s like mixing the ingredients to bake a cake but failing to place the mixture into a preheated oven.

Denise Zimmerman in the article 4 signs you’re a social media failure illustrates the importance of tenacity in social media marketing as she chronicles two weight loss industry heavy weights (pun intended) epic failures in the world of social media marketing.  Both Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers are committing “marketing sins” commonly plaguing much smaller companies and are acting as if social media marketing is a “set it and forget it” proposition.

Denise writes:

Weight Watchers’ Twitter page contains all of three tweets, all posted Feb. 22. It has been silent ever since, although it has 1,167 followers. Rather than interact with these existing followers and build its following, it directs folks to its Facebook page.

Contrast this “set it and forget it” social media marketing strategy strategy with how Dell Computers is using Twitter.  Dell is often held up as shining example of social media marketing success. Dell is serious about using social media marketing to promote and build their business.  This is from Dell’s dedicated Twitter page –

Perhaps you already use Twitter to communicate with your friends, find out about breaking news, and keep up with technology and social media (or even political) leaders.

Now you can also get great deals from Dell, stay current with what’s happening at Dell, and connect with other Dell fans and employees through Twitter!

If you go to the Dell Twitter page, you’ll find over 30 different Twitter feeds as options.  If you live in Ireland and are interested in the latest news about refurbished Dell computers  – there’s a Dell Twitter feed for you.

Perhaps you’re digital nomad – “For individuals that travel their world, their country, their city, their neighborhood, their office, their campus with their laptop and other electronic device,” there’s a Dell Twitter feed just for you.

Maybe you’re an online video aficionado – there’s a Dell Twitter feed dedicated to letting you know when Dell uploads new videos so you can learn more and most importantly, share those cutting edge videos with your family, friends and colleagues.

Go ahead – click on a feed – any Dell Twitter feed.   I’ll bet you won’t find a single one with only 3 tweets from last February.

Do you know what happens when you expect your social media marketing to operate on autopilot?


I once worked with a client who, when he learned all the effort he would have to put into a social media marketing campaign decided that he would rather use television advertising to communicate with prospective customers.

I don’t fault him in the slightest.  As a matter of fact, it was one of the wisest business decisions ever made IMHO.  He weighed the value of his time and decided that paying for production of a television commercial PLUS air time was a better investment for his business than the investment of time needed to make social media marketing work for him.

Even though social media marketing is still a relatively new concept, the internet landscape is already littered with the tattered remains of inactive communities, stagnant Facebook pages and unused blogs.

The good news is that with a little time and effort, most of these inactive social media marketing tools can be revived and put to good use.

The bad news is that social media marketing will NEVER be a “set it and forget it” proposition – but maybe that’s not really bad news at all.  Maybe that’s the way that eventually we’ll use to separate the good from the bad.

Strategic Marketing Is Like Planning a Vacation

Strategic marketing is like planning a vacation and begins by creating a marketing strategy.   This may sound simple, but like most things creating a marketing strategy is easier said than done!

Chasing marketing tactics without a marketing strategy in place is a waste of time and effort!  Part of Focus to Plan Your Business is creating a marketing strategy.

There’s a huge difference between a marketing strategy and a marketing tactic!

Creating a marketing strategy is as simple as setting a marketing goal and determining how you’re going to achieve it.  Knowing what you’re selling and who you’re selling it to is a great place to start!

Once you know what it is you’re selling, the next step is to define who wants or needs what you’re selling.  The act of marketing is really just about letting people know about the products and services you offer.  The way you let others know about what you’ve got to offer are  the marketing tactics you’ll use to achieve your marketing strategy!

Here’s a word picture to help you “wrap your brain” around the whole marketing strategy vs marketing tactic discussion.

Let’s say you’re living in New York City.  It’s October, and the weather is getting cold and you start thinking, “You know – I could use some sun and fun.  I want to go to Miami!”

The first step of creating your marketing strategy is deciding where you are and where you want to ultimately be.   In this case, its as simple as you’re in NYC and you want to get to Miami.

Creating a marketing strategy CAN be just that easy.  However, creating a marketing strategy gets VERY difficult if you don’t know where you are (NYC) or where you want to go (Miami).

Notice how more more difficult planning your vacation becomes when you change the scenario above to read, “I live where it’s cold and I want to go somewhere that’s warm!”

A critical element to crafting a marketing strategy involves defining the SPECIFICS!!!!  “I’m cold and I wanna get warm” can mean you live in Alaska and want to travel to Africa as easily as it can mean you live in NYC and I wanna go to Miami.

Once you know where you are and where you want to be,  you then need to decide HOW you’re going to get there.

So the first step to creating a marketing strategy is to define where you are and where you want to go.   This is the essential first step and it’s the biggest obstacle you may have to overcome to find business success.

In my work with clients, this is the place where most people get bogged down in trying to market and promote their business.

Stay tuned – there’s a LOT more to be said about creating a marketing strategy!

Strategic Marketing: Using Deadlines and Discounts

Strategic marketing means promoting your products and services with a clear cut plan. Like most small business marketing consultants, I do a MUCH better job of doing this with my clients than I do in applying strategic marketing practices to my own stuff.

If you didn’t know it before, you should learn this now; it’s HUMAN NATURE to procrastinate! It’s why coupons have expiration dates, it’s why businesses have limited time SALES. There’s not better way to motivate buyers to ACT NOW than to impose a deadline! Putting a deadline on a discount is essential.

A discount without a deadline is simply a price cut.

Creating a deadline is a good marketing strategy. So, when I offered my Fast Track to Blogging Success for free, I put a deadline on that discount. The deadline has now passed – and the 100% discount is now over.

However, as I went in to remove the code, I remembered how I HATED it when I wasn’t able to get Naomi’s report when I missed the boat.

It was time to “enforce” my own deadline – and I was faced with a dilemma. If I didn’t remove the 100% discount, I’m a liar. If I remove it, then someone’s going to try to use the discount because they got here late and it won’t work. Then, forever more, if they ever think about “Virtual Impax,” it will cause “bad vibes”.

Talk about a “no win” situation!

So, instead of REMOVING the discount, I just reduced it. The discount code “CathRocks” now takes $10 off the $24.95 price.

Add to Cart

If you got it for free – then you still got a bargain, however if you’re late to the party – you can still pick it up at a discount.

However, in order for this discount to be “motivating” it still needs a deadline. Otherwise, it’s simply a thinly veiled attempt at a price cut. So the deadline is now moved to November 1 for the “CathRocks” discount code which was originally offered to readers of Cath Lawson’s OUTSTANDING blog.

If you haven’t checked out her blog, you should.  She definitely offers business advice from the “been there, done that, bought the T-shirt AND the factory which produces the T-shirts”  point of view.    Cath is a serial entrepreneur – and honestly, I don’t think there’s any other kind of entrepreneur.  She shares her wisdom with a healthy dose of wit via her blog on a regular basis.    In other words, she’s the’s the real deal and it shows!

Viral Marketing and Your Business

For those who don’t know, viral marketing is when you create a marketing piece which recipients naturally want to “pass on” to others.

For example, when an employee of an Indianapolis, IN suburb flower shop put out a sign with a serious spelling error, it became an viral marketing piece. (See the photo here at Funny Marketing Blunders: Flower of the Month)

This example shows one of the key elements for “viral marketing”…it includes a powerful image.  The example of the above situation is a “you aren’t going to believe this unless you see it with your own eyes” type of marketing blunder.

It also illustrates another “viral marketing truth”…. use humor.  If it’s funny, people will be prone to pass it along.  (Fortunately, the flower shop wasn’t selling tutoring services!)

Funny is hard to pull off for most of us… but there are other tools which can be put to use in the creation of the “viral marketing” campaign.  Viral marketing campaigns tend to live on the edge… in the land of the extreme if you will.

Another viral image that found its way to me is this one:

viral marketing image

The only difference between this “viral” picture and a “viral marketing campaign” is that this picture isn’t “selling” anything.

That’s the biggest problem with most viral marketing campaigns, it’s hard to sell and be “viral” at the same time.

Viral requires extremes and most businesses aren’t comfortable venturing into the land of extremes.

Both Digg and Stumbleupon are both sites blogs and businesses use to try to ignite various viral marketing campaigns.  Caroline Middlebrook offers a great example of creating viral marketing campaigns for StumbleUpon in her post Stumble Bait – Harnessing the Viral Power of StumbleUpon.

Her advice is good no matter WHAT type of viral marketing campaign you want to create.

Shining Example: Monk at Work

Monk at Work by Adam Kayce is truly a SHINING EXAMPLE of a blog that does an EXCEPTIONAL job of “connecting” with readers.

There’s a nice little box in the sidebar that expresses quite eloquently Adam’s services:

  • Unclear on your purpose?
  • Not working at your potential?
  • Trouble expressing yourself?
  • Personal issues getting in the way of your work?

However, you don’t need to read the box to “get” what it is Adam is offering.

Adam has brilliantly branded himself and extends that branding through his blog’s name (Monk at work) to his offerings (White Papers are called Monkifestos”… CUTE!!!)

However, what makes this truly a shining example is, even without the “branding elements” in place, his brand comes through quite clearly through his writing. So even if you were presented with his content in a plain text ASCII file, you’d still “see” his brand.

Adam has done a LOT of work on this blog and it shows. It’s truly a shining example of how a blog can act as a powerful marketing tool.