Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What New Facebook & Twitter Rules mean to Business.

"There is no spoon" - The Matrix

Recently, several enforced rules by Facebook and new rules from Twitter are causing Heart-ache and pain for Social Network Marketing companies and customers alike.  Facebook recently banned a company from "paying" people to refer fans & customers to companies using Facebook.  Twitter announced new rules to prohibit "paid" advertising in peoples twitter feeds.   What does this mean to marketing companies and service providers like Karmaback and Tweetup?  What does this mean to the millions of companies, just trying to get their word out?  My answers below:

Companies that "use" Twitter and Facebook:

For companies that use Twitter and Facebook, this should be a wake-up call.  You have to stop thinking of Twitter and Facebook as "advertising", and start thinking it as a "company public forum".  This means making a place on Facebook and Twitter that is rewarding and engaging for users.
Here are 5 ways to make Facebook & Twitter more rewarding & engaging:

  1. Consider a sweepstakes/giveaway!  -  This reward people for following you and is fun as well!
  2. Provide content that creates discussion between members.  - Posts that ask questions, invite discussion, and generally are not 'just advertisements'.
  3. Use the feedback you get, and let people know you used it.
  4. Share relevant stuff in your industry that people might not know about (and how it will effect them).
  5. Reward positive comments and feedback with Karma points!

Something else to consider:

Twitter and Facebook want to MAKE MONEY off of you.  Period.  They also don't want OTHER companies to make any money off of you (if it is something they could get from you instead).  So, remember this when thinking about the rules & regulations of Twitter & Facebook.

Marketing Service Providers:

First, remember that Twitter & Facebook DO NOT want you to compete with them.  If you do (such as providing advertising services/etc.), then you are likely to get into trouble.

Second, do stuff that Facebook & Twitter don't do.. to ENHANCE the experience (not copy it).

Finally, be transparent.  Karmaback is crystal clear (or we try to be)... we provide Sweepstakes services (something Facebook doesn't do)... and a simple Karma points reward system (again something that Facebook doesn't do).  Stay transparent, and stay competitive.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Seth Godin's Austin Linchpin meetup.

Are you a Linchpin?  A linchpin is someone who makes a difference... who starts a trend... who gets it.

My favorite Blogger Seth Godin is arranging a worldwide Linchpin meetup on Flag day June 14, 2010

Austin's meetup is being organized here:

Come, join us at 6:30-8:00pm at 360 Primo Cafe in the Arboretum!

9828 Great Hills Trl
AustinTX 78759
Neighborhood: Great Hills
(512) 795-9292

And check out Seth's Blog....  if nothing else, it will give you courage to change.  And being willing to change makes you a POTENTIAL Linchpin.  Now do it!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Why Small Business is Turning to Social Network Marketing

This recent article from got me to wondering why would small business be turning to social network marketing?  The answer is obvious if you stop to think about it: its the only kind of marketing that has ever "really" worked for small business, since the invention of "barter" some 15,000+ years ago.  After all, if your neighbors know that you're the guy who makes the best chairs, they'll barter with you when they need one.

Consider: what is social network marketing supposed to do?
  1. Build a community of folks who like you. (Fan you, follow you, or whatever).
  2. Develop a place where people who like you, can engage with you.  (a virtual storefront, that is interactive with the store owners).
  3. Attract and inform new people that you make the best X.  (x=chairs, or whatever).  Encourage your community to say you make the best X.
So, is this any different than what small business do in a community?
  1. A small business historically belonged to its community by physical location.
  2. Small business have almost always been more interactive... usually you get to speak with the owner directly.
  3. Real life communities have always been social networks... spreading the news and letting people know that you make the best X, and especially letting OTHER people say you make the best X has always been the best form of marketing: Word of Mouth.

In this kind of climate, Small business has an opportunity to WIN BIG.

They do have to make the best X though!  (or at least convince some folks you do)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Arrogance of Mankind

First, we think we can own each other.  Then, we think we own the planet.  Next, we think we know how the universe was created.  And finally, the coup-de-grace, we think we know how mankind was created.  Seriously, are we that arrogant?  Ironically, Conservatives & Bible altruists are often the worst kind of arrogant.  They think they know what God means!  (seriously?)  Yep.

The most liberal magazine I read is Scientific American.  WOW, do they hate creationism.  They also believe very strongly in global warming, anti-gun law, and science in general.  That's all fine and good, but what frustrates me is their arrogance.  They deny the possibility that they don't know the answer.  They treat hypothesis and thesis as fact.  They present data as though it proves any point.  This magazine is the perfect example of "scientific arrogance"... prove what you can prove, not what you believe.

Worse than the liberals are the conservatives.  It stupefies me that conservatives actually think they know what God means when he says 7 days.  They discount certain scientific facts for "their interpretation" of what they've read in the Bible.  The idea that God could wield his power in such a way as to make a day 1Trillion years is somehow incomprehensible?  That God's creation of mankind might have been done "through" animals (which also came from dust) unfounded?  Even if you take every word of the Bible as fact, there is so much left UNSAID BY GOD and so much BEYOND OUR UNDERSTANDING that there is PLENTY of room for science.

So, what does this have to do with business?  Nothing and Everything.

When thinking about "context" of the world in which we live, we have to realize that people are "POLARIZED".  Most people flock to Creationism or un-yield in their belief of Evolution-ism.  It is rare for the person to accept both into their belief system.

In business, make products that "Polarize"... and don't be afraid of it.  Realize that you can't please everybody (most people aren't wired that way!).

You'll have a "hit" when you please one group, and make the other group hate you.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Abundance Principle

Abundance is the principle that there is enough of everything for everyone.  Some people have this principle, most do not.  It is rare to find people who hold this principle dear, but when you do, hold on to them.  My friend Chris recently reminded me of this principle when he said: "hey I just want you guys to be successful".  What an inspirational sentence.  He's not overblown by his own success.  He's not grasping at a "piece" of a pie.  He wants the pie to grow.  He wants to share the pie... He believes there is plenty of pie for everyone.

My idol, Benjamin Franklin said: "HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates."  What is more Jesus-like than sharing 2 fish and 5 loaves?   You can't do that without belief.  Believing there is enough for everyone.  That's principle my friends... and I'd do just about anything for my friend Chris as a result.

Here's a quiz to see how much belief in abundance you have... it does take humility, and we are sorely lacking it in this generation of cynicism and narcissism.
  1. If you have unexpected visitors to your home, would you feed them anything you have in your cupboard?  +1
  2. If you have a bag of apples and you see a beggar on the street, will you try give him one? (side-note, they probably won't accept it) +1
  3. If you have a tasty treat (your favorite), do you always offer to share it? +1
  4. At work, do you share credit for everything good that happens (even when you did most of the work)? +2
  5. At work, do you think of competition as "the enemy"? -2
  6. At work, are you happy when the competition comes out with a "hit"? +2
  7. At work, do you feel good when your peers get promoted or rewarded? +2
  8. Do you believe there is NOT enough food in the world to feed everyone? -5
Think about it...  if you scored less than 7, you may need to get over yourself.

Enjoy Apple's rise to power.

Enjoy the dominance of Mac.

Radiate in the success of others.

There IS enough food for the world... if only we'd get over ourselves and stop hoarding.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Finding motivation when things go wrong.

Sometimes things go wrong.  It is inevitable.  Sales tank, launch fails, something breaks, something does not happen that you hoped it would...  The problems REALLY compound when we let it "de-motivate" us and send us into a tailspin.  How then do you keep your head up when the chips are down?  I have an answer, and it may surprise you: Give up.

Or rather, consider giving up.

This idea is based on Principle AND Logic, here is how it works:

  1. Construct a NET PRESENT VALUE of the current opportunity.  (NPV = the time weighted value of future cash flows... in essence, how good is the opportunity from today->on)?
  2. Imagine giving up on the current opportunity, and what you COULD be doing instead.... then calculate the NPV of that.
  3. Be sure to weight NPV according to risk.
  4. Compare the NPV of Giving up, with the NPV of Continuing.
  5. Which is higher?
  6. Now, Give up, or don't....  if you decide NOT to give up, you'll have a good reason why!
Is this harsh?  Maybe, but did you notice something?  We DID NOT COUNT THE PAST!  Past investment, past success, past failures, and past pain/time/etc... all IRRELEVANT.  That recent screw-up/failure should have NOTHING to do with the NPV of the future.  Seperate it.  Evaluate.  Take action.

Sometimes, Giving up is harder to do than continuing.  Sometimes, it is entirely the RIGHT thing to do.

Remember, the World Needs you, so spend your time on that which can generate the most Value... as you see value... according to your principles.

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