Tag Archives: marketing

Are You a Good Social Listener?

Most of you understand the importance of marketing your business on social media sites, but have you stopped to consider if you’re a good social listener?  Are you watching what people say on your Facebook page? Do you ever read conversations on other Facebook pages … specifically the pages of businesses in your industry? Have you ever taken time to conduct a Twitter search on a topic relevant to your business? Do you ever look to see what topics are trending on Google+ and other social sites? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you’re on your way to becoming a good social listener.

You might think it’s more important to market your business than to listen to social conversations, so let me give you a couple examples how social listening can benefit you.

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Awhile ago I was curious how many people were talking about rainwater harvesting on Twitter. Specifically, I wanted to learn if rain barrels were a relevant and trending topic in regards to water conservation. In Twitter’s search box I typed the words “rain barrel” and found quite a few individuals were talking about it. One particular person stood out from the crowd … an editor for Hort magazine tweeted a request for a rain barrel product to include in the magazine. I immediately emailed a couple photos and a product description of Aquascape’s RainXchange® rain barrel to the editor and she included it in their publication.

Another example of effective social listening pertains to Hometalk, the up-and-coming home-related site for contractors and the DIY crowd. I looked through the site and then hopped over to their Facebook page. That’s where I noticed a pond photo they had shared was getting a lot of positive feedback. The photo was from a project that a homeowner posted on their website and people were lovin’ it … giving it a lot of Likes and Comments on Facebook. I also noticed that the pond was a preformed pond with plastic waterfalls. Not very natural looking. I realized that if people loved that water feature, they would love Aquascape’s water features even more (not meaning to be egotistical, but Aquascape does pride itself on creating very natural-looking water features).

After listening to all the conversation surrounding that preformed pond, I posted several pond photos on Hometalk’s site and was rewarded with immense social activity. Hometalk shared several of our pond photos on their Facebook page, which greatly increased our exposure on both Facebook and Hometalk. I’m happy to say that our website received more referrals from Hometalk than it did from either Twitter or Facebook for the next 2 months! I’m confident this trend will continue.

Social listening is critical to your success on social sites. You don’t want to be viewed as merely a broadcaster. Listen to what your customers are saying and answer their questions. Also take note of what potential customers are saying on other sites and then optimize your presence on those sites to gain additional exposure. You’ll find it’s time well spent!

Social Media is More about the Social and Less about the Media

“I hate the term social media. The word media makes it sound like it’s adverting. And it’s not”
~ Gary Vaynerchuk, best-selling author of “Crush It!” and “The Thank You Economy”

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I couldn’t have said it better! Gary Vaynerchuk was one of the presenters at The Art of Marketing seminar I attended last week in Chicago. This guy was on fire! On fire for the customer. On fire for being the best marketer you can be. On fire for sharing his experience with the audience.

One golden nugget that I walked away with from Gary’s presentation (and believe me, there were several) is that if you want to be successful today and tomorrow, you have to care about the end-user.

On your Facebook page, are you constantly (and only) talking about yourself and your company? Do you broadcast your promotions and products incessantly? Social media is more about conversation than it is about broadcasting. And part of conversation is listening! Which are you doing?

Sure, you’re going to tap into Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to promote your business. But spend less time promoting your products and services, and more time opening a window to reveal who you are as a business owner, marketer, employee, human being.

Social media is your opportunity to show your customers important traits like integrity, honesty, character. Think old-fashioned values that grandma taught you when you were just knee-high in britches.

Why is this so important? Because there’s so much competition for business in the world today … and social media just made it easier for everyone to get online and promote their products and services.

When customers are comparing services and products online, what’s going to make you stand out? What’s going to make them choose you over Joe’s Mow and Blow down the street? Old-fashioned values like honesty, trust, and integrity.

Interact with your customers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Don’t just broadcast. Have a conversation! This means checking your Facebook page every day to listen and respond to questions and comments. This means if someone complains about your product on Facebook, you respond with respect and patience.

Let me close by sharing a story about Gary. He had a potential customer that he really wanted to bring on board. Gary watched what the guy was talking about on Facebook. They guy was a huge Chicago Bears fan and loved Jay Cutler. “Jay Cutler this. Jay Cutler that.” Talked about him all the time. After some time passed, Gary sent him an autographed Jay Cutler Jersey. He spent valuable time getting to know his future customer via social media. Are you taking time becoming acquainted with yours?

Welcome to Social Splash!

Welcome to Aquascape’s social media blog where you’ll find plenty of information to help you navigate the waters of online social networking. Although this blog is directed primarily toward contractors, retailers, and distributors of Aquascape water gardening products … others will find it useful, too.

Some of you Aquascapers attended my social media class during Pondemonium®, where I promised to start this blog in order to help you navigate the social media seas. But if you didn’t attend the class on August 5th, this blog is still a good starting point for you.

Some of you are just beginning to dip your toes into social media, while others have taken the full plunge, establishing yourselves on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and more! No matter where you currently find yourself on this engaging journey, I’m sure you’ll find something useful in this blog.

So hop on board and ride the growing wave of social media! Oh … and if you’re not sure why you should even bother to get involved with social media, check out the energetic video below from Socialnomics . It pretty much says it all!