Posts Tagged ‘strategizing’

Yesterday I asked the Wednesday Question; a simple question really. The question was, “Why?”
One word with a question mark.
One word that should be asked many times in a variety of situations.
One word that doesn’t always have an answer.
One word that coupled with other words leads to many answers and reactions that are either good or bad.

But why ask “Why?” on the blog? The question was seeking comments from readers without any explanation of the nature of the question. Not to get all Freudian on you and into your psyche because the fact is, I wasn’t sure what kind of responses I would get. Now I haven’t let much time pass and maybe people are still pondering the question. [See comments on previous post]

The same response can also be expected from Social media. People everywhere are asking “Why?” in relation to social media. Truth be told the answers are coming in droves from the “experts” as to what we should all be doing with social media. Are they all correct answers? NO. The correct answer for you may be different than it is for someone else.

It is not always easy to calculate what may or may not be effective. That is truly why social media is so intriguing and the new frontier for all of us. As time passes there is some predictability for what we can expect from a variety of tools and strategies. In time we will undoubtedly have conclusive numbers & research studies to review which will back-up the claims as to “why Social Media?”

As can be expected each person draws their own conclusions and interprets whatever they see and hear on the internet in their own way good, bad or indifferent. The conclusions people draw do not always utilize logic or common sense. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that when it comes to social media in one respect but you must take this fact into consideration when planning a social media strategy. Sometimes logic goes right out the window and those are the programs that can work best. Is it possible planning has nothing to do with it?

Know your audience or learn more about your audience and take some calculated risks but keep asking the question “Why?” and the answers will come. Now that you know “Why?” the question was asked. Do you have more questions? Go ahead and ask.

Have a suggestion for a future question? Email me at EHultman@UberBlueDM.com

Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., specializing in Social Media Solutions and Social Media Staffing Solutions for businesses to build their social media success.

If you’re not completely satisfied with your Social Media program or solution it’s time for a change! Give us a call! But don’t just make a change for the sake of change. Understand why it makes sense first. Questions? Send me a note at ehultman@uberbluedm.com or call me at (847) 498-5494. Thank you for referring us to a friend.

Advertisements

Today and on future Wednesday’s I will be asking you, as business owners, questions that are designed to encourage conversation. The idea is to share with each other helpful suggestions and possibly answers to the things we all face with our businesses. First, the question, and then I will provide details about why I am asking.

As a small business owner what happens to your business if something happens to you?

More details. . .

A little over two years ago I started a group on LinkedIn called the North Shore Entrepreneurial Network (NSEN). The original purpose of the group was to get a small group of my friends out to network, drink coffee and help each other with our respective businesses. Today we have 479 members. We meet once a month on the second Tuesday, network and have three speakers that present in a speed format.

A reoccurring discussion amongst our members is “what happens to my business if something happens to me?” Many of us are small business owners with very few employees (or we operate independently). If something would happen that takes us away from the office for an extended period of time (vacation, health problems, etc.) who would be the person able to assume the responsibility of running the company? Would one of our employees be able to handle the business in our absence? Could a friend or business colleague take over? Would my spouse know what my business does, how it operates, how to contact clients, how to handle everything related to my business?

We often avoid the question because we don’t want to consider the fact that we actually might not be immortal or superhuman. So I will ask the question again, this time in a slightly different way. . .What have you done to safeguard your business if you can’t be the person running it?

Time for your answers. . .Share your wisdom here and we will all be better prepared for our future!

Have a suggestion for a future question? Email me at EHultman@UberBlueDM.com

Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., specializing in Social Media Solutions and Social Media Staffing Solutions for businesses to build their social media success.

If you’re not completely satisfied with your Social Media program or solution it’s time for a change! Give us a call! But don’t just make a change for the sake of change. Understand why it makes sense first. Questions? Send me a note at ehultman@uberbluedm.com or call me at (847) 498-5494. Thank you for referring us to a friend.

How many times have you heard this comment? “You’re listening to me, but you’re not hearing what I’m saying”. It’s one thing if you hear this line from your spouse, significant other, friend or colleague. Typically this is not a positive statement. The real question I have for you is this: how are you listening to your clients? What are your current and future clients talking about and asking about? What are they looking for on the web as it relates to your business? How and where can you actually “hear” what they are saying?

Listening when it comes to social media is something that is often overlooked. When is the right time to start listening in the chronological timeline of social media? The answer is…Right from the very beginning! Most business owners are so eager to get the Facebook fan page and Tweets going that they miss the point.

Start by listening first, to your current clients and potential clients. What are they talking about, interested in or having problems with? How can you help them? Given your expertise and your products, how can you be part of their solution? When you understand your target audience and where they hang out on the web you will be able to effectively implement the best tools. Ultimately these tools will make the most sense for everyone, giving everyone their sought-after results.

Hear is cutting edge information on one of the greatest inventions ever made.

In the beginning as part of your social media process “listening to the web” means researching and finding individuals, groups, communities, bloggers, fans and other related people and products who can dramatically impact your business. We often hear, “I don’t have time for that.” But finding time can mean the difference between success and failure of your social media strategy. When working with our clients we always recommend and ongoing commitment to taking time for research and listening. Part of this process also falls into the reputation management aspect of the solutions. The fact is that whether you do it or we do it…don’t wait, do it now.

Even if you have already implemented the aforementioned tools (Facebook and Twitter) it’s never too late to start listening. There are plenty of tools that you can harness and find your clients so that you can listen to them. If you are unsure what these tools are (many of the tools are free) give us a call. We can help suggest ways to listen that are relevant for you and for your business.

Perhaps you are already practicing good listening habits. If so, keep it up! The web is constantly changing and is never static.

How are you listening to your customers on the web? How are you finding success by listening? Share here. . .We all want to Listen and Hear what you are saying.

Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., specializing in Social Media Solutions and Social Media Staffing Solutions for businesses to build their social media success.


Yin Yang is a Chinese Tao symbol representing universal harmony and the positive balance that comes from the unity between complimentary forces.

When our lives are in balance between complementary forces like work and family, we are happy, healthy and productive. When our balance is out of whack, we are often miserable, frustrated and unproductive.

The same is true when promoting a brand, product or service. In this case, the Yin Yang or balance comes from the two complimentary forces of “Social Media” and “Traditional Marketing.”

Social media is a powerful, new force that includes Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, websites, blogs, viral massaging, behavior targeting, rich media and digital ads. When used correctly, these strategies and tactics can get your message out and increase its range exponentially. They can make your brand a national or international phenomenon. And they can provide a potent communication tool to ensure continuous dialogue with your customers, introduce geo-targeted promotions and quickly address customer service issues.

However, a sizable chuck of the population won’t know about your online presence unless they read about it in a print ad or piece of direct mail, hear your message on radio, see it on TV or maybe read an article featuring your product in a favorite magazine. This is where “Traditional Marketing” comes in. It is the “Yang” to your social media “Yin.”

Together, traditional marketing and social media techniques combine to form a perfect balance of marketing methods to make certain your company’s message is heard, accepted and acted upon. And this means more customers and profits for you. So, when creating your marketing plans, be sure to stay in balance.

A few words about the author. . .
Our ÜberBlueBlogger today is Mark Grant. Mark is Vice President of Marketing and Communications at ÜberBlueDM. Mark loves working with companies to help them find the marketing messaging, strategies and tactics they need to successfully sell their products and services. In fact, for over twenty-five years, Mark has worked with organizations in the design and implementation of powerful national, local and multicultural marketing and sales campaigns that have covered all direct marketing techniques. And, along the way, Mark’s promotions have won several awards and often broken sales records for his clients. His background includes working in several industries including Cable/Broadcasting, Financial, Education and Training.

Mark lives with his wife, son, horses and dogs. When not helping companies grow, he is a writer. His latest project is a collection of short stories titled, “Fictional Diversions.”

ÜberBlueDM is looking for individuals, groups, companies that have created or are getting ready to launch new tools for social media. Stuff that we like to call ÜberBlueÜbercool! Have you started a new community, developed a cutting edge app, gadget or new technology? Let us know what you have and we may feature it on our blog, website, fan page, tweet and all the interesting places we can share with others. If it’s NEW (or almost new) we would love to hear from you! Send us a note at info@UberBluedm.com or call us at (847) 498-5494. Please share this. . .Thanks!

Change isn’t always easy. Change can be good. Change can be difficult. Change for the sake of change is not always a great strategy. The number one reason people resist change is FEAR (or it’s just a good excuse to not do something/anything).

All of the statements above may apply to you or to someone you know or to your business. Peter Brady in the Brady Bunch found out change was very difficult but necessary.

After watching Peter belt it out I was wondering how many songs are actually out there which include the word “change”. I found many songs. The one worth mentioning is a Taylor Swift tune which tops the iTunes chart of songs with the word “Change” in it. Ironically her song is entitled “Change” and is on her album “Fearless.” Considering my observation above, Swift is offering up solid advice. We must do our best to be fearless, when it comes to change.

But how does “Change” apply to social media? I advise my clients to remember that change with social media is a daily occurrence. We talk about the fact that with the constantly changing tools, the ever evolving ideas and the fact that businesses are still doing their best to understand what works and what doesn’t work, change is good.

Remember this: when you and your business/solutions provider are working together on a strategy, change is a natural part of the plan. It isn’t necessary to dig your heals into a concept that isn’t working. Be prepared to change if something isn’t working. I won’t get into all the things that work or don’t work here. But know that experimenting with new concepts is a good thing. When you find the right formula that doesn’t mean it will last forever. You have to be thinking constantly and consistently about the next big thing for you and your business. The nice thing about social media is that in large part, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You can accomplish a lot on a small budget. Don’t get sucked in to conversations that demand a fortune. Affordability is something that can be a part of your social media plan.

In keeping with the music theme, remember what REO Speedwagon says in Roll with the Changes, “So if you’re tired of the same old story, turn some pages. I will be here when you are ready to roll with the changes”

Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., that specializes Social Media Solutions and provides Social Media Staffing and Temps for businesses to build their social media success.

Wanted. . .
ÜberBlueDM is looking for individuals, groups, companies that have created or are getting ready to launch new tools for social media. Stuff that we like to call ÜberBlueÜbercool! Have you started a new community, developed a cutting edge app, gadget or new technology? Let us know what you have and we may feature it on our blog, website, fan page, tweet and all the interesting places we can share with others. If it’s NEW (or almost new) we would love to hear from you! Send us a note at info@UberBluedm.com or call us at (847) 498-5494. Please share this. . .Thanks!

I recently connected with Mark Ferdman, Co-Founder and President of Pushkart. “Pushkart is a free marketing and advertising service that enables you to get exclusive Deals, share them with your social networks, and hook up friends!” The company started on the East coast (Primarily the New York/New Jersey area). But they are spreading to the Midwest (Chicago Area).

Pushkart has a daunting task and is up against fierce competition from those companies that are searching for the magic bullet for success in this increasingly crowded space. I will say that my first impression of Pushkart was positive and I quickly noticed that they are harnessing several tools and services together in their offering.

Ferdman said Pushkart utilizes geolocation, group buying, social media and couponing. When a merchant uses the service, the customers that visit their location can take advantage of the deal that is being offered. The deal may be in the form of a product or service, discount or other offer from the merchant. If a purchase is involved the customer buys what is being offered from the merchant. There is a flat fee based on the size of your business.

Pushkart for Business

I must tell you that the day I interviewed Ferdman was the day that Facebook announced “Deals for Facebook Places” where users can find special offers from businesses. In a follow-up comment Mark stated that Facebook’s announcement, “certainly validates what we’re doing!” Whether we are talking about this type of tool or other tools, the competition fuels the need for everyone to strive to be the best. Needless to say we would still only have one brand of automobile if everyone back in the day said, “Well, Ford already has one”.

Another way Pushkart is differentiating itself from the competition is what they call, “Social Networth”.

“Social Networth, is an index we invented for Pushkart members and businesses. Our proprietary algorithm determines the interest levels in consumer categories amongst your connections, the size of your social networks, and how often you use Pushkart. Keep in mind, Social Networth is relative to the business that’s offering you a Deal. Your Social Networth might look great to one business but not so great to another.” They go on to explain, “With the advent of social media, you have literally become a broadcast channel. You have an audience with a specific reach and demographic. Businesses can use your Social Networth index to determine your value to them.”

Pushkart for Consumers

We will see how Pushkart continues to move forward with their new service. Yes we have seen big companies do their best to dominate the markets and push small businesses aside. What we have also seen is that it doesn’t always resonate with everyone. People love to see “David slaying Goliath”. Ferdman is clearly passionate about the company and has great expectations for success.

A note from ÜberBlueDM

We are looking for individuals, groups, companies that have created or are getting ready to launch new tools for social media. Stuff that we like to call ÜberBlueÜbercool! Have you started a new community, developed a cutting edge app, gadget or new technology? Let us know what you have and we may feature it on our blog, website, fan page, tweet and all the interesting places we can share with others. If it’s NEW (or almost new) we would love to hear from you! Send us a note at info@UberBluedm.com or call us at (847) 498-5494. Please share this. . .Thanks!

Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., specializing in educating, empowering, strategizing, implementing, managing, reporting and Social Media Staffing and Temps for businesses to build their social media success.

Boo! Yes Halloween is near and lots of creepy crawlies will be appearing in the shadows. Fear is everywhere. Never knowing what to expect is the mantra! But what else is out there that can be equally as scary for some people? I’m not talking about all the costumes and haunted houses. The fact is that many people are definitely fearful of the unknown when it comes to social media.

Remember the 1979 thriller, “When a Stranger Calls”

The babysitter says, “Please can’t you help me, I’m all alone here!” Unfortunately a lot of people feel that way when they start thinking about social media. Social and alone? Something is definitely wrong here. Case in point: I’ve had people show me their Twitter pages and they are completely locked down so no one can see their tweets. Why are their pages locked down? Most often, they tell me they are afraid to say anything to their audience, for FEAR of doing it wrong. I can also apply the same mentality/types of statements to other forms of social media they are using.

The common theme is…THE FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN!!!

Good News! The fear of social media can be completely eliminated or diminished significantly, with a solid education. While you can find social media tips on the web and you can ask others who use social media for advice, you and your company will benefit in the long run by using social media experts.

I will speak as to how we work with our clients. Each one or our client’s is unique and so are the people that work there. Everyone’s knowledge is at a different level. We get to know everyone and their business and then we spend time determining the best fit for their individual social media program. The plan they need is not a “one-size fits all” extracted from internet tips. We know each one of them cares about their business and want to show it off proudly to the world. Make education a priority and your first goal. It will save you time, money and lead to a strong and successful social media presence.

Keep in mind that not all social media solutions make sense for your business. So don’t be tricked into something that won’t work or doesn’t make sense. Treat yourself to learning more about social media. A word to the wise to be leary of any “social media expert” that doesn’t ask you a lot of questions in order to get to know you and your business. Be advised that setting up your Facebook Fan page or Twitter account does not make someone an expert.

Remember the lesson at the very end of the movie “The Good The Bad and The Ugly”? Patience is something that will pay dividends. So be patient. Don’t feel like you have to jump in with both feet or learn everything in a day. Start slow, don’t rush things and keep learning.

Spoiler alert…this is the finale for the movie

What are some of the Good the Bad and the Ugly lessons you have learned about social media so far?

Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., specializing in educating, empowering, strategizing, implementing, managing, reporting and Social Media Staffing and Temps for businesses to build their social media success.

So, there is an ongoing debate in my house about the rules of engagement on Facebook. Rules for parents, that is…when friends of your children request to be your friend.

To friend or not to friend…that is the question?

According to our kids there is a “rule” that applies to us parents that we are “stalking” if we comment on our kids friend’s walls or we message any of their friends. Having trouble following all the rules? It seems like our children are giving us more rules than we give them these days.

Here’s how I see it. If one of your kids friends decides you are cool enough to be on their inner Facebook friends circle, I say, friend them back. Now some may say that is “weird” or “hey man, you aren’t a teenager anymore, stop living your teen life vicariously through your kids”. My response to them is this, “Listen man, just because you aren’t cool enough to have your kids friends friend you then you should work on being cooler.”

But seriously, the whole “friending” thing isn’t because we (parents) are creepy or stalking. At least I hope that isn’t why you’re on Facebook! Under no circumstances is that acceptable.

Here’s the deal, the rules changed when Facebook opened the community up from the college setting to everyone, everywhere! The fact that parents can stay engaged with their kids, in a community, is a good thing. Of course there are privacy settings and some kids are purposely limiting what they want their parents to see even if they are both friends. Respect goes both ways and you can definitely use this as an opportunity to connect with your kids and their friends.

The Onion News Network has a great take on the whole Parents on Facebook debate! (PG Rating)

So what do you think…To Friend or not Friend- your kids Friends? Let me know.

May be Will Smith said it best “Parents Just Don’t Understand”?

Here is another BIG opportunity for you as a parent…definitely talk with your kids about the rules of social media. Do NOT assume that they know the rules. If you don’t know the rules, feel free to give me a call and I will tell you. In general, the whole world is potentially watching what is being said, by anyone. Know the limits of the uses for the Facebook community.…and know that there are consequences for your actions. This lesson applies to everyone.

“What consequences could there be,” you ask? Just to share a few: You might not get that job you applied for based on something conflicting on your FB page. Or you may not get into your college of choice based on something seen on your FB page. Or you some kids have been suspended based on pictures seen on their FB pages…and the list goes on.

Here ends my lesson on Parenting.

Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is founder of ÜberBluerDM, Inc., specializing in educating, empowering, strategizing, implementing, managing, reporting and social media staffing and temps for businesses to build their social media success.

When I talk to our clients I ask them to look at their hands. As we know each finger serves a purpose and yes…so does the very important big thumb. This reminds me of the movie Stripes when Bill Murray offers to be the BIG Toe (kind of like a big Thumb)(Platoon Leader) if anything happens to Sgt. Hulka.

Hold up your hand and consider each finger one of the reasons for your business to be successful.

1. Advertising
2. Marketing
3. Sales
4. Public Relations
5. You (The BIG Thumb…The Sgt. Hulka…or Bill Murray…you choose).

Each one of these “fingers” of your business cannot operate independently of the others. Each “finger” of your business needs to work in harmony with the others or the handshake (the deal maker) will be limp, weak and more like a deal breaker. We will not get in to the “how to have a handshake” conversation here. Actually, yes we will. . . This very interesting “how to” video on a proper handshake sums it all up. If you are model that is. . .

I will have to pay attention next time I shake the hand of a model. I think I will know whether or not they have seen this video. And most importantly…”Don’t pump it”, no one likes that? Seriously this nice lady was way ahead of the Shake Weight.

Now that we are back on track and know how to shake hands, what is the one thing you may be missing? What is the extra finger you would grow if it were possible? The #1 new thing you need that you can use to tie them all together? You already know the answer. YOU NEED SOCIAL MEDIA.

But you’ll have to keep them all on the same hand because “one hand doesn’t always know what the other hand is doing”!

So if I may point this out one more time. It isn’t possible to grow an extra finger. But it is possible to include SOCIAL MEDIA in your business mix

What questions do you have about growing that 6th finger of SOCIAL MEDIA?

Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is founder of ÜberBlueDM, LLC., specializing in educating, empowering, strategizing, implementing, managing and reporting for businesses to build their social media success.

Today there is word that a virus is going around in the form of an email to you from LinkedIn. Hopefully you haven’t received such an email. Which reminded me of a recent post I recently contributed to my LinkedIn Group.

Here is what I said. . .

If you haven’t exported your LinkedIn Connections yet you should. What if for some reason all of your connections would suddenly disappear on Linkedin? Would you remember the 100, 200, 500++ connections? Chances are the answer is no. So take a minute to export your contacts.

Here are the very simple steps to export your connections. . .

First Click Contacts: A list of your contacts will populate.

Second: Look down in the lower left hand side of the contacts for “Export Connections” and click on it.

Next: Select how you want to export the file. For example Microsoft Outlook or Yahoo Mail or Mac OS X Address Book. Select one and click export.

Finally: Open the downloaded file and a spreadsheet will appear with your contacts.

There are also directions on how to import the newly exported files on page where you select how to export them.

Please let me know if this was helpful…and please share this with others.

Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder/Servant Leader of ÜberBlueDM, LLC., specializing in educating, empowering, strategizing, implementing, managing and reporting for businesses to build their social media success.