Tag Archives: Twitter

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.


Interactive Video Resume; Mike Roberts; Part 1 – Intro This is an Interactive Video Resume for Mike Roberts. Mike Roberts is actively pursuing new career opportunities. To view his resume and learn more about his job search, please visit his … Continue reading

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)

Customers pay by swiping smartphones, not credit cards

Customers pay by swiping smartphones, not credit cards

It’s the latest payment technology and it’s taking off in California. People are blinging all over Palo Alto, CA. Blinging—making a payment through a third party such as PayPal—allows customers to swipe a mobile phone with a special Bling chip added over a point-of-sale scanner and the transaction is complete.

Smartphone: Droid 2; Android operating system; by Verizon

Smartphone: Droid 2; Android operating system; by Verizon

It’s a pretty safe bet many of the larger retail stores will be blinging in no time, especially considering the convenience it could offer. This is building on the easily seen trend of convergence. Most of the products we buy are converging into multifunction devices that will perform the same functions that we used to need multiple devices for.

Our cell phones are a great example. They used to just call people, and we had seperate devices that we would play music and surf the web on. We’ve been able to perform all of those functions on one device for a couple of years now, but this is the next step. Our wallets and credit cards are converging with our cell phones.

Watch the video: How Bling’s pay-by-smartphone system works

Read the full article here: “Customers pay by swiping smartphones, not credit cards”
(USA Today, Dec. 1, 2010; NACS.org)

The Twitter Monster can consume you


Here the iconic Twitter bird has grown to symbolically consume the time, energy and life of a faithful tweeter.

Do you ever feel like Twitter and other social media is consuming your life? Do you spend more time, energy, and effort connecting with people through a computer than you do in person?

Or do you love Twitter and social media so much that even when you realize it has consumed you, you’re proud of it?


E-MAIL IS SO LAST YEAR. Twenty percent of workers will use social networks as their primary vehicle for business communications by 2014, according to research company Gartner. E-mail could go the way of office memos as more workers with social … Continue reading


Target is counting on Facebook and Twitter for its Black Friday advertising push this holiday season. The retailer is running a sponsored ad on Facebook that includes a 27-second video featuring the return of Target’s TV ad character from 2009, … Continue reading