Tomato Fish Marketing Blog

Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Social Media is About Making Emotional Connections

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Too many companies these days are jumping on the newest, greatest band wagon in marketing — especially Social Media.

But, Social Media is more than just checking your number of followers and trying to get as much information out to the mass as often as possible.

Just last week friend of mine, Jon Speer of Creo Quality, decided to take down his Facebook page and subsequently remove his personal page from the FB world altogether. When I asked him why (via texting) he said, “Why no fb? Time waster. No value. I believe others are starting to see same thing.”

I’m not sure I agree with him based on the industry he is in (Life Sciences), but he has assessed the return on investment and has made a choice not to be a Facebook user any longer. Not to worry, Creo Quality still has a LinkedIn profile, an active Twitter account, and a fairly extensive library of YouTube videos.

Moral of the story, evaluate your social media strategy and make sure it is working for you. If not, then you can improve or get rid of it.

Successful social media:

  1. emotionally connects your audience to you;
  2. is consistent; and
  3. is a part of a larger marketing strategy

the “New Normal” for non-profits from Branding Bytes

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Interesting Q&A regarding the “New Normal” for non-profits from the Winter 2011 Issue of Branding Bytes (a FREE quarterly e-newsletter courtesy of Larry Checco of Checco Communications).

How dependent are we on government funding?
For decades, countless nonprofits have relied largely or exclusively on local, state and federal funding, or a combination of all three, to achieve their missions.  If yours is one of them, and you haven’t already experienced a decrease in your funding, brace yourself.   Given the state of most government budgets, it’s just a matter of time.

The Age of the New Normal demands that you start seeking alternate sources of funding.  Despite these hard economic times, there is money to tap into.

Do we still believe that marketing and branding would make us look too much like the for-profit sector?
If so, get over it. A lot of the available non-government money that’s out there is in the hands of people who made their fortunes in the private sector.   Many are seeking to support good causes. But only organizations that can effectively and clearly make their case by successfully explaining to these potential funders who they are, what they do, how they do it—and most important, why it matters—will be on the receiving end. In other words, marketing and branding should be integral parts of your business strategy.

Are we still trying to raise money under the rubric of being a “charity that makes a difference”?
If so, you’ve got a tough row to hoe. Under the New Normal, funders are seeking ever greater accountability, transparency, responsibility– and demonstrated outcomes. To simply say you make a difference will no longer cut the mustard.  You need to show how you make that difference. And the more data you have to support your claims, the better.

How well do we collect and leverage our data?
A lot of nonprofits don’t even bother to collect data, and those that do often don’t use it in a way to help promote their organization’s narrative or story. The New Normal says it’s not enough to tell prospective funders how many people walked through your doors last year.  The New Normal wants to know, among other things, how your services improved the lives of these people, what are these people doing now and what impact does your work have on the community, at large.

What about our use of technology?
Yikes!  Given the pace of technological change, the Age of the New Normal is a rapidly  moving target. At the very minimum, your organization should have a website that’s easy to navigate, is updated regularly, and allows people to donate to your organization online.  If you haven’t already, you should be looking into how best to use new social media, such as FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn as potential fundraising tools, yes, but more importantly to help build a community knowledgeable about and loyal to your organization.

FINAL THOUGHT: If a Millennial comes to you with an idea about technology, or anything else for that matter, do not respond by saying, “But that’s not the way we’ve done it in the past.”

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Don’t Rush Your Seeds of Vision

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010


The shortest known gestation period is 12 days for an Opossum, and the longest is over 700 days for an Elephant. Your countless ideas, visions and dreams gestate for anything from 12 to 700 days.

So, don’t rush, but be prepared to let the world know about your ideas and know what to expect in those first few weeks. Say to yourself: “I am the parent of incredible dreams. I release them in the world like children, to grow and become mature plans.” Then, start to create a business plan that is more general to start but becomes more detailed as your idea matures.

When you are ready to release this idea be prepared to begin branding and marketing it. Here are a few basic questions to think about when creating your business plan:

  • 1. What is the purpose of this idea – mission and values?
  • 2. What is my value proposition?
  • 3. Who is my target market?
  • 4. Where is my target market located?
  • 5. How can I best reach this target market?

Then, contact a really good marketing or communications firm to help you build a strong marketing foundation in which to grow your idea into a successful business!

Hey, I think I know people who can help, just drop us a line.

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Social Media – NOPE.

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Social media is not necessarily the right marketing tactic for your business. Having a plan is key, but don’t assume that your business automatically will be successful with social media. Don’t believe me? Take it from Josh Miles:

Should our firm be using Social Media?”

Josh says, “Nope.”

Read the full article here.

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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.

– 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


– 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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Trying to Keep Up

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Every month Jon Speer (Creo Quality) and I host a Whiteboard Strategy Session in my office and ultimately the discussion moves into Social Media and all that it entails. Most of the time we have at least one person who is Social Media adverse and is pained by trying to keep up with everything that is going on in the Social Media world.

This morning Harvard Business Publishing had a great post on this very topic – check it out…

Social media trends happen fast. Just when you’ve got your Facebook account set up, everyone’s tweeting instead. When embarking on using social media at your organization, don’t get hung up on trying to keep up. Even technology gurus have a hard time keeping track of all of the emerging tools and technologies. Instead, focus on what matters most to you, your team, and your organization. Only a few technologies will truly be helpful in achieving your goals and those are the only ones you need. By shutting off the noise of trying to keep up, you free yourself to make the most of the tools that will support you in what truly matters.

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Adaptation on Social Media from Harvard Business and David Armano

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

This blog post was copied from the “Welcome to Management Tip of the Day”, a free daily alert from This is a great excerpt from David Armano’s “Debunking Social Media Myths” post.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Social Media is Fast, Cheap, and Easy. Well, Not Quite.

The allure of social media is that it is easy to set up, costs nothing, and grows exponentially. Yet, many companies are discovering exactly the opposite. When considering your company’s foray into social media, remember that it requires time and effort. Invest upfront to grow your social ecosystem and regularly feed it new ideas, insights, and content. Whether it’s an internal wiki, a Twitter account, or a blog, all social media initiatives require careful monitoring and management to capture
value. Social media that isn’t well-tended risks lack of adoption and participation, and becomes anything but social.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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reBlog from September 11, 2009 – FREE Whiteboard Strategy Session

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

I found this fascinating quote today:

In a few of weeks, we will be offering another Free Whiteboard Strategy Session. The topic for next month’s event — 7 Tips to Market Your Business on the Web. Please come join us with any business development or marketing questions you’d like, September 11, 2009 – FREE Whiteboard Strategy Session, Aug 2009

You should read the whole article.