Tomato Fish Marketing Blog

Archive for February, 2010

Social Media is NOT the answer for all Small Businesses

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Weekly, if not daily, I read something or hear someone talking about Social Media and how it’s the be-all-end-all for small businesses. Let me assure you that it is NOT.

Being a small business does not equate to “social media marketing is perfect for us”. And it’s unfortunate that there are so many companies and individuals out there pushing that if you are a small business you MUST add social media into your marketing plans or better yet – you must make social media your sole marketing strategy. Because it’s “free” and quick to set up.

First, social media is not free. The time it takes to manage and leverage your social media accounts alone is huge. And as business owners you know that “time = money”.

Secondly, what we fail to see amidst all the social media hype is that not all social media represents your target market. Some social media platforms might not reach your target audience at all.

So, what are we to do as Small Businesses? Research, research, and more research. You know your target market, so dive in and find out which social media platforms, if any, fit your requirements. And if you find one, talk with social media experts and get some quotes on what it will cost to implement. Be ready to increase that small business marketing budget of yours because, in most cases, social media requires on-going management.

Lastly, social media should be looked at as a tactic to your overall marketing strategy rather than the strategy itself.

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Social Apps as CRM Tools?

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Recently, my good friend and client, Jon Speer of Creo Quality, sent me a post from the Marketing Tech Blog called “Using Social Networks for CRM“. Here’s a recap of the article:

Ways to use the “big three” networks for CRM:

1. Facebook – categorize your contacts into lists of friends, segment, and create privacy settings (Free).

2. Twitter – categorize those you follow with the unlimited lists feature that was recently added to Twitter (Free).

3. LinkedIn – categorize contacts into folders, add notes and contact information with the Profile Organizer ($24.95/mo)

It’s an interesting read and if you are an avid Facebooker, Tweeter, or LinkedIn user the tips given in this article could be fun to use and free as long as you don’t use LinkedIn.

The problem is that a strong CRM tool should not only be fun and easy to use, but allow you to leverage your CRM data to track sales and lead opportunities. At this point I have not seen this capability in Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

If you are looking for a good CRM tool that is inexpensive and not cumbersome there are plenty out there outside of social media. Drop us a line and we’ll point you in the right direction.

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5 Tips and 5 Tools to Getting Things Done

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Thank you to everyone who joined our Whiteboard Session last week. For those of you who could not make it, here are a few key ideas from the group.

TIPS
– Write Daily
– Read “43 Folders” –> suggestions on organizing your daily life
– Rewrite your biz plan often — become reconvicted as to your WHY
– Master workflow –> collect, process, and organize (and Review Daily & Weekly)
– Block Scheduling –> block out your time for the next month or more

TOOLS

– Mind Mapping –> MindManager software (from MindJet)
– Evernote –> enter notes and tag them (Free or $50/yr for unlimited data transfer)
– GMail for searching and categorizing, etc.
– Tungle meeting software –> good for getting meetings set up without a lot of admin
– Hipster PDA (aka “the Poor Man’s Moleskin”)

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February 2010 Whiteboard Session – REMINDER

Monday, February 8th, 2010

REMINDER: Friday, February 12th is our monthly free Whiteboard Strategy Session.

TOPIC: “5 Tips and 5 Tools to Getting Things Done”.

DATE:  February 12, 2010

TIME: 10A – 11:30A

LOCATION: 6055 N. College Avenue #201, Indy 46220

Please RSVP before Friday if you plan on attending.

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Facebook a Good Strategy for Biz Growth?

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

The other day I listened to an archived video from Duct Tape Marketing called “Facebook for Small Business”. There were 4 panelists and consensus was that every small business needs to be on Facebook marketing their product/service or company in general. I must admit that I only watched the first 20 minutes or so of the 58:55 minute video, but here is what I heard:

1. Facebook is now the top relationship site
2. Facebook has over 350M users = huge captive audience
3. Easy way to reach out to your target market

Now, let me preface what I’m about to say next… I am a fan of Duct Tape Marketing.

However, I disagree that every small business needs to be on Facebook:

Yes, FB is one of the top relationship sites, but the majority of it’s users are on the young end of GenY. And yes, Facebook does have a large audience, but it’s filled mostly with women. Neither of these demographics fit every small business target market.

Lastly, FB can be a more simplified way to reach your audience (not to mention it is cost-effective – for now), but when does it become a monetizable strategy? Aside from their advertising model, which is mediocre at best, how do you know if you are reaching your audience and is your product or service something that the FB market is interested in purchasing?

On a positive note, Facebook users age 35+ is growing and could surpass the GenY group, but before you put all of your stock into Facebook as your 2010 marketing strategy, know your audience and do your research.

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