Paris 2024 blocked tweet

When the Olympics can’t use good English

I love the Olympics – it’s been my “thing” since Sydney and I have travelled to watch most of the Games since that time.

And I follow a lot of sport on social media as well – so when I saw Paris 2024 had a Twitter account, I started to follow them too. It’s two years out from the Games now and I love the gradual build up of excitement, plus the news about how the preparations are going.

But Paris 2024 has got really irritating.

Tweeting to your audience

I do know that you should speak to your audience where they are hanging out. And so Twitter is a good choice for Olympic fans like me.

For an international sporting event, held in France, I’m going to guess that English will probably be the second most used language for fans – possibly the first if a lot of folks travel from outside France to watch. And so why, oh why does @Paris2024 not have a native English speaker on their team to do the translations?

In following their tweets they were mostly in French – I speak passable schoolgirl French and so could understand much of what was being said. But then English language tweets started coming out on the account. When one announced a “club” where I could register for advanced ticket information, I was quick to act.

The experience fell flat.

Customer transparency

Naturally I clicked through to register for the Club – but the landing page was beautifully designed (love the font) but lacking in two aspects of English communication

  • The “anticipatory” introduction text above the registration form was poorly written
  • The privacy opt in notices were unclear

Being a bit keen, I rewrote the introduction text and tweeted it back to @Paris2024 to illustrate how it could be improved. They blocked me. FFS that’s just childish and frankly, from a super fan like me, going to really put my back up.

I’ve reproduced the tweets lower down just so you can see whether I did a good job of improving the copy.

Secondly the privacy notices which are probably ore important from a marketing communications point of view were unclear.

I signed up for the “club” and so hope to get information about buying tickets. But what do all these acronyms mean? What if I do not tick either box? Will I get any emails about how to buy tickets? What marketing messages am I missing if I don’t check the box? And who are these partner organisations?

If I’d been copywriting this page I would have written out the names of the organisations in full IOC – International Olympic Committee –  and used similar language in both check box messages so it’s clearer to the user what they get or do not get when selecting each one.  I am guessing the second statement is for the Paralympics. Can you see the inconsistency in messaging?

Paris Olympics, fan communications,

Ambiguous email opt in statement from Olympics Paris 2024

Sport Fan Engagement Strategies

Sports fans are a committed bunch – it takes a lot to put us off your brand. And engagement with fans makes community building in public spaces a great way to sell tickets.

Paris 2024 missed a trick here.

If I was in charge of social media for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games I would do 3 things

  1. Build a fans list on each social media platform and seek to get email engagement with them too.
  2. Segment the list by country, sports of interest and start newsletter messaging for them
  3. Create separate profiles for different languages – Spanish, English, German, French for starters…. It can be confusing to get multi-language updates on one profile.

And they should also get some hashtags going… and when tweeting about Rowing in Great Britain, tag the team (@BritishRowing), write in English as well as French, and choose a photo to illustrate the tweet which actually has a British athlete in it.

Paris 2024, Olympics,

The first tweet announcing the club for receiving email updates 

Paris 2024 Olympics, Poor copywriting,

Others agreed that the English could be improved 

Copywriting, Paris 2024

My improved copy for Paris 2024 landing page 

Paris 2024 blocked tweet

And I got blocked for my troubles. 

British Rowing, Paris 2024, Twitter best practice

I love rowing and this thread about the history ended with a photo which didn’t include any British athletes. Nor did they tag @BritishRowing

instagram, real estate agent marketing

Real Estate and Instagram

Do real estate agents get good marketing returns (listings and sales) from Instagram?

Great question – and one worth answering before you decide to go all in on social media marketing.

You first have to find out

  • is your target audience on Instagram?
  • Do they think about real estate while using the platform?
  • Will they interact and follow you?

I’m dubious about Instagram as a way to sell real estate or get listing instructions.

Second stage research

Find out if other real estate agents are just growing a following or are actually getting listings from their social media.

Below are articles about how to get followers…. but before you invest a lot of time and effort into this work, figure out whether people who will hire you to sell their homes are using Instagram as a way to find a real estate agent. Do this by asking the people who DON’T list with you, do this by asking your friends and neighbours, do this by asking other agents in your business and competitors. Form a rounded view from all their information. Remember some will lie to you or exaggerate. Who you pick in your sample will affect the answers – if you only speak to cynics you’ll get answers slanted towards the negative.

And it could be that your type of clients are very different from other agents’ clients – this could be geography or age or ethnicity driven.  So assess your answers carefully.

Get social media followers

Here’s how to get followers on Instagram for yourself by copying successful practitioners

  • Search instagram for NZ real estate agents
  • Follow them and read all their posts
  • Also check out their other social media sites (FB/LI/Snapchat (unlikely)/TikTok/Twitter)
  • Work out which ones are getting likes, comments, follows, shares
  • Work out what TYPE of posts are getting the most likes, comments and shares
  • Adapt and copy what they do for your own account
  • See if you gain followers

Above all, beware of buying followers. Just don’t do it.

But you should consider buying social sharing software e.g. Buffer or Hootsuite because they can save you a lot of time especially with scheduling posts (which isn’t allowed on the native Instagram site).

Learn how to do Instagram right

For these links. Read them. Then subscribe to their newsletter, follow them on social (Neil Patel has a great youtube channel too).

And you should research AdFenix – they specialise in guiding your marketing practice for real estate professionals.
Expensive but probably worthwhile. They are a whole-marketing service not just social media.

 

Now it’s down to persistence and regular hard work. Give yourself 3 months before you decide to quit.

solopreneur, business at home, work from home, marketing home business

Moving from word of mouth to digital marketing

A reader sent me this question

I am about to “Go Live” with my website and Facebook pages. I am a sole trader, working with teams to challenge the way they operate / lead. In the past, my business was gained by reputation and word of mouth. Now that I am on my own, I believe it is time to have more of an online presence as some of my market will be completing online courses. What is your recommendation for the frequency of writing blogs and posting to Facebook or LinkedIn? Also, should that be to market or to educate my followers?

Word of Mouth marketing

There are many, many businesses whose main marketing activity is recommendation and referral.

This is done with no prompting from the business – it’s passive and costs nothing (expect having a good reputation).

But this is a really limiting marketing method. Any WOM marketing should be proactive and driven by the business – the unprompted referral is the “cherry” on top – an added bonus not a core tactic for a marketer. It’s a vulnerable marketing tool because it’s not within the control of the business.

Digital marketing 101

Starting to move to online marketing is challenging and the questioner is on the right lines with a website and some social media presence. BUT that is not sufficient to ensure success.

Key to digital marketing success requires you first to think carefully about strategy with regard to your audience.

  • How can you serve them?
  • What will they buy from you (now and in the future)
  • How can you create a personal, scalable business that doesn’t just trade hours for dollars?

A couple of specific bits of advice while you plan your content strategy.

  1. Understand the needs of your customer
  2. Don’t give everything away for free
  3. Productise your services so they can be sold en masse [build up to this over time]
  4. Add on support products / services which serve the industry and underpin your area of expertise

This may sound complex – but it’s important to have a long term strategy of where you want to go with your freelance business before you get down into the detail of what to publish on Facebook this week.

Understand solopreneur marketing

I recommend you sign up to Unemployable.

Their podcast is called 7 Figure Small. This podcast and advisory course (paid) is built for people like you. Solo entrepreneurs who want to build a profitable business while remaining a small enterprise sold mainly online.

This episode published recently, “The Rise of the Personal Enterprise”.

It defines what a personal enterprise is, outlines the forces converging to make now the right time to get started, and describes what your revenue and audience building mindsets should be to get you started off in a way that can you support you now and scale later.

 

Clubhouse room

Is voice the new marketing medium?

Voice – the oldest marketing and sales medium in the world and said to be “the second oldest profession” has now become the newest most exciting social media.

This week I have been doing a telephone survey and the freshness of insight I gained from speaking to real people whose job depends on having a good working relationship with my client was pure gold. I found them a chance to win back a big lapsed client; we understood their ethical leadership position in the industry; I was able to differentiate two core customer groups and develop golden questions to identify these tendencies in others.

As a marketing campaign it has delivered huge ROI already – and that was just the pilot.

Clubhouse rolls out

The launch of a digital chat room where you can speak (but not write or emoji) to other people who are gathering because they want to discuss the same topic as you has become the latest “wow” of the online social media world.

I see this as the digital opposite of my phone survey.

The excitement from pundits is real. Somehow having an app which allows users to schedule events with catchy titles like

  • 10x List Building Secrets
  • Shark Tank winners: how to be a founder and keep your sanity!
  • Beauty industry DISRUPTION [yes, their capitalisation, not mine]
  • How to talk to racists

is making marketing and tech folk around the world go mad with enthusiasm. [See screenshots at the bottom of the page.]

Some of these topics are frankly of no interest to me at all. And others have been nice chats with smart, well-meaning people. There’s a good UK marketing room which does “breakfast” every morning – they theme each weekday and sustainability was Wednesday and Tuesday was packaging. Both were well moderated and the topics included examples and case studies as well as discussion about challenges (Hello Fresh’s high plastic use; How to enable kids to unpack their toys and reuse cardboard as a play resource).

And copycats are already coming along – Fireside is a rival service already being talked about.

Same old same old?

Is Clubhouse just a symptom of the pandemic or has a truly new marketing medium launched?

The nicest part of a voice only platform has been the civility. Attendees don’t seem ready to yell and abuse each other and there hasn’t yet been a “Jackie Weaver” incident made public. A kinder version of the internet would certainly be welcomed.

I was also introduced to Frames this week – a virtual reality version of Zoom which is in private Alpha. It looks like any VR room but allows you to speak to other avatars; to live stream; put “pictures” and video onto the walls of rooms and design the virtual environment. The best part is a little blue line across the floor where your conversation can only be heard by others inside the line.

Yet is this really worthwhile?

  • From a brand marketing point of view, not yet. Mass adoption hasn’t begun.
  • From a direct marketing point of view – not at all, there’s no way of finding and contacting people except by hoping they’ll show up to your next room event.
  • From a personal branding and ‘influencer’ content creation point of view – yes some people are punting their expertise – but are they finding the right followers? Who knows.

I do not like marketing that depends mainly on winning a personal popularity contest. It is not replicable or repeatable.

Marketing done well

The best marketing is done direct to people who have the possibility of becoming customers. Going niche not going broad involves finding the right audience not the largest audience, sharing resonant messages not undifferentiated spray-and-pray, where customers appreciate that helpful insights and advice gives a better return on investment.

For now, I’m not recommending you spend too much time on Clubhouse – but I do suggest getting on the blower – you never know what you’ll find out with some open questioning of your clients and prospects.

Clubhouse room

Get notified of the room going live & follow the moderators

 

As ever, marketers are early into the new gig and some set some pretty onerous conditions for joining. And the coders have set up some simple ‘gamification’ tools to enable the fame game of popularity to grow your group.

Clubhouse join a group screenshot Clubhouse room rules

The Clubhouse app is still in development – it’s not yet available for Android users (70% of all smartphones) and there are clear missing tools like the ability to search for a group or a user using key words or the ability to “produce” content, record or stream media into the group. It’s early days.

Ask me if you’d like an invitation… I’ve got six.

Digital marketing 2021

The Bigger Picture of Digital Marketing in 2021

I have a good website and products.  My social media marketing is not resulting in sales.  Do I need a media expert?

Analyse past sales patterns

My view is that whether your social media drives sales or not depends on your industry and your target audience.

For the vast majority of businesses, social media does not result in direct sales. This is because customers are not in “buying mode” when browsing social sites.

And so here’s a quick check which you can do – share it here as well if you want more feedback.

  1. List all the sales you made in the past month(s)
  2. Rank them by value highest $ down to lowest
  3. For the top 20% by value, write down against each one how the customer came to buy from you
  4. Is there a pattern?

So for example in (3) above – you might say they came from your mailing list, they might be a previous customer, word of mouth recommendation, or walked into your shop or know a staff member.

It may pay to do some follow up calls if you can – or to ask every January 2021 customer how they found out about you and see if the pattern develops in the same way.

Know your customers

From this, you will begin to learn more about your existing customer base. What their patterns of behaviour are and how your business gets its sales.

Now, if you think this type of customer ALSO uses social and might be persuaded to buy from you via that channel, this is the time to review your marketing strategy and see if social media could bring you sales.

The Bigger Picture of Digital Marketing in 2021

Three things for you to check first

The vast majority of social “sales” come from paid advertising or retail shop listings on social sites. So you need to review your margins and your advertising budget for 2021 in your marketing strategy before deciding to launch into social media marketing in a big way. Can you afford to both hire a social media marketing expert and buy advertising on social? Or would your money be better spent on the channels you already have which bring in customers from your analysis in the steps 1-4 above.

Content marketing is more than just “social media”. The things you are posting on your social channels could also be put to use in newsletters, website blogs and in-store. So don’t only talk about social media – go broader to review whether content marketing is right for your business.

Consult experts to get yourself quickly up the learning curve. BUT be cautious about hiring people who have worked in big enterprise firms – a client of mine got badly burned using an expert who just spent a lot of money with only $800 return for their multi-month investment in their services. Yes they did take up references – and you should too. Become an expert in how to brief a marketing agency first – this will clarify what they do and set expectations. Below are links to articles which you should read first.

https://creativeagencysecrets.com/tag/how-to-brief-a-freelancer/

Trollishly bad practice viral campaign

How much work does going viral take?

I like being flattered as much as the next social media expert. [I’m not a guru by the way].

And responding promptly to media enquiries is best practice.

Here’s an example of a social media agency running a project which wasn’t quite what I expected. Learn from my mistakes.

Anatomy of a viral social campaign

When Claire Divas approached me the request was nicely written.

I suspect English is not her first language –  copywriting for sales success is a course she could usefully complete. That apostrophe is a killer giveaway as is the word eager – which is commonly used in Indian English. And it turns out it is not “her” site, it’s an agency business.

I’m doing an Expert’s Roundup interview on my site and I believe social media enthusiasts 
and specialists would be eager to know your answer to this question:
What Are The Effective Tips For Online Business To Get Viral On Social Media?

It looked good. On topic and the right audience of enthusiasts. Going viral with a post about going viral seemed like a nice proposition.

Turns out I’m one in 130+ people quoted

Does it betray trust to find you are hard to pick out in a crowd? Who will actually read one hundred and thirty different so-called experts advice?

So how did the campaign plan look

  1. Write to a lot of people with a simple request
  2. Set up a form to collect their answers
  3. Curate images and biography information
  4. Send chasing emails.
  5. Write a summary article with a catchy title.
  6. Tell everyone what you’ve done

So far so good. You can copy this campaign structure.

Put the reader first

The scope of the campaign structure is good – best practice.

The selection of experts is diverse. And this is where the problems start.

Think about the reader – I think that she will find it hard to get value from what’s written here. It’s too diverse, too broad and you have to trawl through a lot of content to find that one snippet of “gold” that will answer your question.

Self-evidently Trollishly [hideous name btw] want a lot of people to promote and link to their content [that’s a no-follow link].

And that will give them a ton of good SEO and incoming links and publicity as people quoted amplify their message to their audiences.

What I got wrong

What irritates me is that I didn’t ask the right questions of Trollishly and of myself at the start of the project.

  1. How many experts will be quoted?
  2. How many people in your audience are B2B
  3. Will the links be do-follow back to my website and social profiles?
  4. Will this audience become businesses prospects for me?
  5. What is the ROI on my time?
Rebecca expertise on social media

Rebecca’s advice on the shared expert post

I fell for their pitch. I didn’t qualify the opportunity well enough.

And look at what they published – the pink circled website and social media details of my business are an image – not hyperlinked at all. So going viral is not what they actually delivered for me.

I feel exploited….

P.S. I could have found much of this out with a little research. The menu items on their website include “Buy Instagram likes”. Tells me everything I need to know about the quality of their business.

education electric tariff differences

Effective social media tips for B2B

Business to Business marketing is my specialism. The key to robust B2B social media marketing return on investment is persistence, diligence and flashes of genius!

Having said that, you need more that just posting regularly to enable social media ROI. Allow me to explain.

Your customer pipeline

Building authority and demonstrating empathy are the messaging goals that will start prospects moving up the sales pipeline.

LinkedIn updates need to have a balance of product/service information combined with industry discussions.

I set up Google Alerts for key words which are triggers for my client’s industry. One is “Tax” and so we can track that against mainstream news. Here in New Zealand we just had an election and so adding “Tax + election” we can either start discussion threads about this OR answer other people’s questions.

Another is “Health & Safety” and we can look at newsworthy situations where failures happened and start a discussion about lessons and learnings.

Following hashtags can also be beneficial for niche industries.

What B2B marketers get wrong on social

The key for businesses who sell advice is not to give advice on social media.

They should ONLY demonstrate expertise.

The key for businesses who sell products is not to push their products – only to demonstrate the key features of good products (which of course they supply).

The inference is that you are experts and prospective customers should seek you out if they see relevance in what you write and it aligns with their immediate area of interest.

Is this a selling opportunity? Case Study

I posed a question on LinkedIn and garnered a lot of views and comments.

electric car electric tariff

Electricity tariffs for electric cars in NZ

Is this a selling opportunity? Yes for sure.

I got responses in public from Mercury, Meridian Energy and Our Energy Limited and in private I messaged Electric Kiwi, Power Compare and ChargeNet. So about one sixth of the local retail electricity supply industry brands.

The discussion was really interesting and a mix of industry insiders and consumer remarks, including this gem from the CEO of Our Energy Ltd – a disruptor startup in the energy supply industry.

education electric tariff differences

Comparing tariffs is only one part of the EV power story

So electricity companies are all watching, tracking and listening to customer conversations.

And you should be too.

Social selling is not a silver bullet

Many advisers will counsel using “social selling” an irritating phrase meaning sell your services on social media. This is such a problematic term for B2B because when on social, most people do not want to be sold to. They aren’t in “buying” mode on social.

Creating negative brand perceptions is to be avoided.

Having a robust, well-rounded tactical marketing and brand building programme will give you ample opportunity to sell. But only after you have built brand credibility and trust. Therefore multi-touch and multi-channel campaigns are the best route forward for B2B brands. Use with care, is my advise. Oh, yes and do ask an expert what they think about “social selling” BEFORE you hire them.

Slideshare got sold

Today’s discovery. Slideshare got sold.

scribd and slideshare

Slideshare header about Scribd

I was a very early Scribd user…. now I find they’ve bought Slideshare from LinkedIn.

This will change things for many of us who love Slideshare.

  • What happens to my slide decks shared into LinkedIn? [they stay]
  • Who still uses Slideshare [me and my clients]
  • Why is Scribd such a great platform? [sharing document images – especially long ones.]

Why I loved Slideshare

It was the first and most easy way to share decks – create embeddable and downloadable links and also do lead generation from a single place. For folks in professional services this was great if you were using education as a B2B marketing tool. I frequently recommended this strategy for my clients and it remains very effective.

What changes now?

Well, tools come and go all the time. I spend a lot of time cataloguing new marketing software and services which could be useful for me or my clients,  That’s one of the reasons why I’m often such an early adopter of these services [checkout when I joined Twitter for example].

Slides featured on my LinkedIn Profile

The functionality for slide embeds will continue to rest with Slideshare for the time being. But its utility is now altered.

Where and how expertise is shared is not the same and will continue to evolve.  And so, for now, I’m going to be looking closely at Scribd and its functionality.

And don’t forget LinkedIn – what will happen to future slide decks? Will there be alternative software for uploading them? What are the Slideshare alternatives and do they work on the LinkedIn platform?

What does Scribd do for me?

Scribd now also has functionality for reading magazines and books and audiobooks as well as slide decks.  It’s a competitor to Audible, Google Books, Kindle, Flip, Isuue and news or magazine aggregators.

All Slideshare users are automatically given a Scribd login.  Sadly they are only offering 2 months free use to Slideshare customers.

This makes me suspect that the acquisition was just to buy a user base. Sharing your slides isn’t exactly the same use case as using Scribd.

What do you think about this acquisition? Useful? Waste of Time? Who does slides today anyway?

facebook groups, facebook marketing,

FB Group tips – invite a friend

facebook groups, facebook marketing,

Invited by option for group memberships

I am a Facebook for Business group administrator and I’m delighted that they just added back an old feature.

When FB introduced the new interface for Group Admins about 9 months ago, the “Invited by….” feature was missing.

I sent my feedback that this is really useful and I wanted it…. Today it reappeared.

Why is this helpful? We have screening questions for the group and if you don’t answer them, we don’t let you in. BUT if introduced by an existing group member, that allows the applicant to bypass this step and still get accepted. Without knowing if they’d been invited or not, I couldn’t work out who to refuse or accept.

Now I wish they’d allow me to filter group applicants by “have they been invited”.