Tag Archives: Social Media

Social Media Fail: Commit Only Half Way

Many companies only commit 20% of the resources to social media that they need to succeed. Jump in all the way or don’t waste your time.

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Social Media Maturity for Businesses in 5 Levels

Many businesses have started using social media, few are using it well. Here are 5 levels to serve as a road map to mature your usage and presence on social media channels.

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 Video Transcript

Hello. I’m going to lay out a road map for how to get your business to
mature in a social media space. So a lot of businesses have gotten into
social media, but they don’t really know where to go from there. We’re
going to lay out a road map of kind of what your next steps should be if
you’re a business that is getting involved with social media. Stay tuned.

Hi, my name is Mike Roberts. I am an online marketing specialist. You can
find all my marketing materials on my website at

Now I’m going to talk about five steps that your business can use as a road
map if you’re involved in social media, and this will be five steps to
mature your business in a social media space. So, the first step is really
simple. It’s launch. The adoption rate for social media is incredible. The
vast majority of businesses have Facebook pages. They have Twitter pages. A
lot of them don’t see returns, and they don’t see justification for being
in the space because they’re not really involved with it yet. They kind of
put up the sites and send out a few tweets, a few Facebook posts, and they
don’t really get it. What’s the point? What they need to do is to get
involved quite a bit more to build a community, and there are a lot of
other goals you can set up to reap from social media.

The second stage is the formation stage. One of the uses for social media
is for PR and for crisis management and for connecting with the customers,
and this is where this stage is really important. The formation stage is
where you see corporate governance or social media governance and social
media policies come into play. That’s where you’re actually putting some
thought into what is going to happen when crises come up. So you’ve got a
crisis response plan responding to customers. You have processes for who
does what in your organization in regards to social media, and you have a
workflow, approvals. You have put some thought into your presence on social

The third stage is to formalize. So this is the point where you have a
center of excellence. This is not just, “We have people that are governing
or restricting or making sure that there isn’t any risk with social media,”
but you actually have champions in your organization that are striving to
learn best practices and learning to apply those and what that looks like
in your specific business, in your specific industry. These are people that
are really teaching others and leading the charge. Most times it’s the
marketing department, and the problem is that the rest of the organization
usually lags behind and they’re not really involved. So if you’re going to
respond to customers, a lot of times it’s really slow because you need to
consult or you need to get buy-in from other people in other parts of the
organization in order to have a unified approach, and that’s where we
really get into enablement.

So enablement is when, it’s best explained when you have like a hub and
spoke model. So this is going to be the stage where you’re really going to
be able to scale your social media efforts. The mom-and-pop shop on the
corner, the way they do social media is going to be drastically different
than if you’re Hewlett Packard or you’re Whole Foods or you’re some sort of
a chain nationwide restaurant where you have a corporation headquarters and
then you have regions that are all trying to do social media.

On one end of the scale you have all of the regions taking charge and the
corporate headquarters is really not involved. So the regions are doing
their own thing, and the problem, at that point, is that the regions don’t
talk to each other. They don’t know what the other regions are doing.
There’s also not much enforcement or unification. So that’s obviously a

The other end of the scale is a problem when you have, like we just talked
about, you have a center of excellence, the people in the headquarters that
are champions for doing social media, but it doesn’t scale very well
because you can’t have them do all the stuff for the regions. They’re too
detached. It’s not relevant enough. You need the people on the front lines
involved with the customers to be the ones on the social media channels.

So what the winning combination in this enablement stage is where you have
a center of excellence, and they’re able to set the policies and set the
standards and set the best practices for the organization and how it’s
going to be applied and all those things. They govern it, but then it’s all
of the regions that separately are actually on the front lines carrying out
the social media on the channels, responding to customers, putting out
posts. It’s store-specific. It’s location-specific, region-specific. So you
can have a much more customized, tailored experience with your customers.
So that’s kind of the enablement stage, and that’s really far beyond many

The last stage is enlightenment. This is really the goal for all of you
involved in social media is to get to a point where you’re able to respond
to customers in real-time and you have a very connected organization that
is all on board. Every department is on board. Every region and the
corporate headquarters are all on board, ready to respond to the customers.
So if it’s a customer issue concern or if it’s a manufacturing problem or
whatever the issue is, the entire organization has decided what the
policies will be, how to implement them, how to carry them out. So you’re
able to respond in real-time, solving the customer’s problem, and
eventually you start to be able to predict what the problems will be and be
able to solve it before the customer has a problem. So that’s the goal.

So I thought I’d lay that out. Five steps, you have launch, formation,
formalize, enablement, and enlightenment. So use that as a little road map
and as a little bit of direction if you feel a little aimless in the social
media implementation in your business.

Content is not King, Web Design Trumps it

Great content is king, but there is more to the story. Bad web design can discredit content and cause people to bounce away from your site before reading any of that great content.

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Video Transcript:

Hi. My name is Mike Roberts. I am an online marketing specialist. You can
find all of my marketing materials on my website at

Everyone has heard the phrase content is king. All of the internet
marketers out there anyway have, and it’s very valid advice. However, it
needs to be qualified.

Content is how someone gets to your website. Content is what keeps readers
coming back. Content is what gets shared. Having good content is what gets
shared on social media, and that’s all very true. However, when you have
someone that comes to your website, maybe for the first time, and you have
a terrible web design, they immediately start to form a first impression
and they start to immediately distrust what you have to say.

There have been some studies that have been done that show as many as 94%
of people distrust a website because of the web design. The reasons could
point to the font is too small. The aesthetics is just poor. They have bad
graphics. They have too many ads. The user experience is bad. The
navigation is terrible. They can’t find what they’re looking for. The fonts
or the colors are odd. It’s hard to read.

All of these things need to be paid attention to when you have a blog or a
website, and it needs to show that you actually put some thought and time
into how you are going to present and package your content. It really is a
big difference between good and bad sites, and it makes or breaks because
you have a split second to catch people’s attention to say hey, stay a
little longer and start reading my content.

A lot of times people come to a site and get an immediate first glance at
it, and they’ll bounce back. They’ll hit the back button. They’ll bounce
back to another site. They’ll click over to somewhere else because the
design is bad.

So I would encourage to put some effort, put some time into how are you
going to present your content and the overall website design or blog design
that you’re working with.

Facebook’s Auto Sharing: The Future of it

Soon, it will be common for people’s personal information to be updated on Social Media channels of all kinds. Here we talk about some of those implications of Facebook introducing auto sharing.

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Check out an earlier article about everything your business needs to know about Facebook’s changes to learn more.
Video Transcription:
Facebook introduced the idea of automatic sharing on social networks and
that exists today. The question now is how far will it go? What will the
next steps be? And really, how many aspects of your life will be
automatically updated to your entire social network in the near future?

Hi, my name is Mike Roberts. I am an online marketing specialist. You can
find all my marketing materials on my website at

Because these tools don’t actually exist today, we have to look at our
society’s trends, essentially, where we’ve come from and where we’re headed
in the future. And if you look back, maybe 40, 50 years ago, people were
much more conservative with the amount of information they gave to complete
strangers. And progressively, we have seen people become much more
comfortable giving away personal information, and now we have a generation,
Generation Y, who has grown up in a world with Facebook and does not know a
world without it. And so, they’re used to sharing photos and friends having
everything be very public about what they’re doing, what their relationship
status is, and where they live, and all of these details that were never
given to strangers before.

So, we have a shift, that I don’t think will slow, I don’t think will stop.
I think social media has picked up the pace pretty drastically. I see that
we now have come to point where Facebook is taking a huge step in that
direction, even more so. So, automatic sharing is an example, where now I
can listen to a song on Spotify, and all of my songs can now be updated
automatically to all of my friends and so they can all hear what I’m
listening to. That’s a pretty safe example, but expand that to all areas of
my life, and now all of my friends in my social network can find out all of
the details automatically.

I wonder about Foursquare or other location-based services. Will those also
be included sometime? Maybe right now, people aren’t comfortable with that.
There’s a backlash against Facebook saying, “We don’t want this. It’s too
much. It’s too transparent. We need some privacy still.” But what about in
five years or so? People will gradually become more and more comfortable
sharing more and more information as the trend continues to evolve. And
now, every time I stop by a Starbucks, everyone knows because it
automatically checks me in. I don’t even have to pull out my phone. I can
see this is how it could be happening in the future. This is where we could
be going, and I think that there will be people that will drag their feet,
screaming privacy, that they want more privacy. But there’s also going to
be people that find it very cool and a way to express themselves.

So, I expect the trend to continue. I’d be very interested in hearing what
your thoughts are. These are just my thoughts and my musings, and I thought
I’d throw out the question to you. Do you think this is where we’re going
with social media in our society, with Facebook and Google+ and Foursquare
and things? Or do you think that there’s going to be a pendulum backslash
to things like Facebook?

If you have a burning marketing question that you want answered or you need
some help with, go ahead and make a comment below or send me a tweet on
Twitter, and I’d be happy to do the best I can to answer that in a
following video post. Keep an eye out for my next post about Google+, how
businesses can actually use it effectively and how to get followers, how to
get people to actually care about what you’re doing there. So stay tuned.

Again, my name is Mike Roberts. If you want more digital marketing insights
or advice or questions or anything like that, go ahead and follow me on
Google+ or on Twitter as mrobertsonline or subscribe to my Youtube channel.
Thanks for watching.


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How to use Foursquare for Business 101

I put this together for my boss to help him understand how Foursquare can be used to promote local business objectives.

What is it?

Foursquare is a social media platform that allows users to tell their friends where they are geographically. Their location is announced by telling the name of a business or point of interest such as ‘Starbucks’ or ‘Balboa Park’. 

How does it work?

When a user visits Starbucks, they are able to pull up the corresponding Foursquare mobile application and ‘Check In’. When they do that it is announced to their foursquare friends where they are similar to a Facebook status update. Users are able to identify in real time who is currently at any given location and can use it as a medium to find and meet up with their friends. These ‘Check Ins’ can also be pushed to a variety of other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and dramatically expand the reach of these updates.

How to use it to promote a local business?

1. ‘Check Ins’ are Advertisements

 ‘Check Ins’ become advertisements to all of their friends and keeps your business top of mind. This dramatically increases when they’re posted to Facebook and Twitter. Sometimes good deals offered to Foursquare customers can incentivize telling their friends like this. Other times having a brand or business that would add to someone’s image is enough. For example, I might check into a fine dining restaurant and want to show off to all my friends that I’m eating there.

2. ‘Check Ins’ Bring Their Friends

‘Check Ins’ incentivize their friends to join them at that location. For example, if I check into a coffee shop and my friends that are a few blocks away notice and end up visiting the coffee shop to see me when they would have not done that otherwise.

3. Steal Customers

Deals found by being in a surrounding area can cause people to stop by your business when they otherwise would not have. This can drive foot traffic. For example, if I visit the mall and check into the mall itself, but then notice that Macy’s is offering a special deal* if I check in there. I might stop by Macy’s now to take advantage of that when I had never intended to visit there on my visit. If so, Macy’s may have just stolen my business from the store I actually went to the mall to go to. This can be really powerful because it is targeting people in a very close geographical range to your store and likely looking to spend money. It is a very effective and cheap way to increase foot traffic.

4. Increase Traffic

There can be competition in the Foursquare community over becoming the ‘Mayor’ or the most frequent user to ‘Check In’ and businesses can take advantage of that. Users often turn becoming and staying the ‘Mayor’ into a game that causes them to go out of their way at times to ‘Check In’ at a venue. This increases their personal social credibility stats but this is fueled even more when businesses offer a special deal only for the Mayor. For example, Hot dog on a stick offers a  free lemonade* only to the mayor. Now customers will visit your business to try to get the deal.

5. Another Traffic Frequency Boost

Another, less exclusive way to offer an incentive is to give it to any customer who visits your business after a certain number of check ins. For example, a restaurant in downtown San Diego called ‘Currant’ offers a glass of Sangria or well cocktail for only $0.10 (ten cents) on your 3rd Check in. This is a way to reward and incentivize frequent customers and thus capitalize on the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule that states most businesses will get 80% of their business from 20% of their customers. This feature helps keep that 20% happy and coming back for more.

Let me know if you see the plausibility of using Foursquare as a business or a customer. Also let me know if you don’t and why.

*These deals were current as of the publication of this article.

Facebook Fans Vs. Twitter Followers:

Facebook Fans Vs. Twitter Followers: Which Are More Valuable? http://ow.ly/3DBzC

Students Turn Page on E-Mail Communication

Students Turn Page on E-Mail Communication

Students are moving away from e-mail communication and are more inclined to send text or instant messages. As this migration continues, look for campuses to also pull away from e-mail accounts. With Facebook, Twitter, texting, and instant messaging constantly evolving, there really is no way to predict the most common form of communication in the next five years.

Read full article: “How Will Students Communicate?”
(Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 6, 2011; NACS.org)