Tag Archive | "Chris Tompkins"

Interview with Social Media Citizen: Chris Tompkins


Chris TompkinsChrist Tompkins is the founder of Go! Media International, an online marketing company, who’s team focuses on building successful social media marketing strategies for its clients. Chris has spoken at many national and international events recently sharing the dais with heads of Google and YouTube. You can follow Chris on Twitter or Facebook

G: Describe yourself in five words?

C: Me in five words? I would say energetic, focused, creative, honest and driven.

G: What’s your favourite hobby?

C: My favourite thing to do when not online is to be cooking gourmet meals in my kitchen. It is a bit of an addiction and I tend to have a least two dinner parties per month for groups of twenty. When I am not doing that, I am reading and learning everything I can about techniques. I am so passionate about it that I brought both of my passions (cooking and social media marketing) together on my blog. You can check it out here: http://www.servedfreshmedia.com – social media tips and recipes combined!

G: How and why did you get into social media business?

C: I have been doing social media for quite a few years, actually starting with Myspace promotions when I worked as the Marketing Director for a private music college in London, UK. From that point, the social media world intrigued me and I began to learn how to harness the power of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and all the rest. As for the why? I have always had an intense love for the art of marketing as well as a great love of people and culture. The social media sphere is a perfect fit for my passions and talent. Also, by finding out the best way to market using social media, I was able to create and launch my own social media marketing firm, Go! Media International – and since then I have helped my clients reach their full potential online. It is amazingly rewarding.

Read the full story

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Paying for Twitter? Would You?


Here is a good question: If you had to pay to use Twitter, would you still participate?

Jeffrey I. Cole, the Annenberg School’s director of the Center for the Digital Future, explains,

“Consumers really want free content without advertising, but ultimately they understand that content has to be paid for one way or another.” However, Cole continues, “Such an extreme finding that produced a zero response underscores the difficulty of getting Internet users to pay for anything that they already receive for free.”

This is unsettling news for social app startups that rely on subscription fees to generate revenue.

Additionally, the study reveals, 70% of respondents feel online advertising is “annoying”. 50% never click on online ads. Yet, 55% would rather put up with display advertising than pay fees to access the content they want, minus the ads. Online news and paywalls requiring paid subscriptions to access premium news and articles are faring no better. Both Newsday and The Times have seen dramatic decreases in traffic after implementing the paid subscription models. When consumers can find the same news elsewhere for free, it’s tough to justify paying for the content.

So how does this explain the popularity of pay sites like Flickr and Vimeo?

These sites offer “split freemium” models, meaning fans can pay to gain access to premium features or gain greater on-site storage. These varying levels of site access weren’t free to begin with, so consumers don’t feel cheated when it comes to parting with their subscription fees.
Ecommerce sites are not affected by these findings. 65% of adult Americans have so far purchased, on average, 35 items online in 2010, from electronics and books to clothing and travel.

Would you pay to access Twitter or Facebook? Are you willing to pay for upgraded memberships on sites like Flickr or LinkedIn?

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10 Suggestions to Making a Killer Facebook Page


So…do you need Facebook pages?  Here are some reasons why:
*Branding:  These pages are a wonderful way to develop your professional brand on Facebook without taking away from your own PERSONAL profile.  This allows you to have the best of both worlds without hurting your brand positioning.
*Target Market Communications:  You are able to connect and speak directly with your target consumers right on your page!
*Feedback:  It is a wonderful place to post items that you want to receive feedback on, survey or just have your audience kick around an idea to see if it would work.
*Newsfeed Visibility:  Again, this is a main reason why these are powerful.  Anyone who connects to (or “likes”) your page, when they log into Facebook on the main screen they will see your updates.  This is very powerful!
*Professional Promotions Hub:  This creates a main hub where you can direct people that are interested in your product/service.  It is also great to put on your email signature, email blast, suggest to friends and much more.

And that is just the beginning!  But instead of persuading you to jump in….how about I just give you some ideas of how to do it yourself.
Here is my list of the 10 things that you can do to launch your page effectively:
1.  When you are asked for a picture, make sure to use your logo or you logo incorporated with your product or service.  Make sure that your web address is visible!
2. Have videos?  Upload them and promote them DIRECTLY on your page.
3. Fill out the “Info” tab to the full extent, packing it with information, keywords and website links.
4. If you have a range of products, in the “Photo” tab, create photo albums around your product ranges and in the caption portion give links to click and purchase.
5. Make sure that your blog feed is connected to your page so that all new entries will be automatically sent there.  If you don’t want to automate that, everytime you update your blog, post a link on your Facebook Page wall.
6. Do not link it with Twitter!  Not all of your “tweets” will be suitable for your Facebook Page wall, and sometimes you will forget they are linked.  I suggest staying away from this.  Also, it can look lazy.
7. When you are posting to the page, don’t constantly “sell” or “push” things are your audience.  Make sure your posts contain something that is either educational, engaging or entertaining.
8. When you are happy with how the page looks (and all of the information is COMPLETELY filled out) suggest it to ALL of your Facebook connections.  Even ask your friends to suggest it to their network.
9. Consistently monitor and update the page.  A good solid page should have at least one update per day and all comments responded to.
10. Use the “Discussions” tab to create questions that you want your target consumer to answer.  This is good for customer feedback, development of new products and much more.
But remember…this is just the beginning.  There are lots of wonderful applications, custom Facebook Pages (created using FBML) and much more! Hopefully this will help you get started on your way to being a Facebook Page success story!
To see how I have used Facebook to brand my firm, “Like” our page here.

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Navigating Facebook: The Difference Between Profile, Page and Group


If you’ve ever tooled around Facebook chances are you’ve asked yourself this question. You are not alone in your confusion.

Though at first glance these different incarnations may appear to be the same, there are very clear distinctions. To achieve even mild Facebook success, this is information you must know.

Facebook Profile (Home)

The Profile is your mandatory starting point. This personal account (think of it as your FB home) is required before you can move up to pages and groups and is limited to “one per person.”  Setting up a second account may violate Facebook’s Terms of Service, which could cause all your profiles to be removed.

The Facebook profile is about you, the individual. Though you can build beneficial business relationships here, it’s intended to be more personal. You can, however, mix business and personal. By using the Friends List feature, you can send out status updates, photos and notes.  This takes a bit more presence of mind but can be an extremely useful tool for both targeted marketing and reputation management.

The FB Profile limits you to 5000 friends (the average personal user has about 120 contacts).

Facebook Page (Workplace)

Designed for self-promotion, your FB Page is a sort of mini-storefront. As such, use a friendly, casual, but professional demeanor. Provide useful information, links to articles and blog posts, images and video — anything that creates perceived value. Because all status updates appear in your fans’ news feeds (making it visible to all their friends), FB Pages can help attract new fans (customers) through existing clients.

Analytics tools are provided and customization is available, allowing you to monitor your progress and bring your pages to life. With unlimited fans and multiple administrators possible, Pages becomes the best choice for businesses.

Facebook Groups (Club)

Find like-minded individuals through the FB Group (or Club). People like to do business with those they trust and feel most comfortable with. A group can be organized around your business or product, creating a community – but be sure to provide something of value to your members. This is not the place to market aggressively; instead it is a forum where customers can get advice or to learn to use the products you sell.

FB Groups can be Open (anyone), Closed (group admin approves members) and Secret (Only members and those invited know about the group).

Are you using your Profile to its best advantage, as a stepping stone to creating your Page and Groups?

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10 Ways to Tweet Locally


So you’re tweeting away on Twitter about your latest blog…posting links to industry related articles…engaging with people, and so forth. You’ve followed some of your favorite folks, tweeted about your favorite place to eat sushi, and others are now following you. Like the dentist in Calgary and the life coach in Scotland.

What about the users in your own backyard? How do you find geographically closer prospects who may be interested in your offer?

Top Ten Local Tweeting’ Tips:

1. Twitter Search. Type in your city’s name to access a list of Twitter users in your region. The advanced search feature finds peeps up to a 15 mile radius.

2. Do a simple Twitter search for people tweeting about your area using the # (hashtag). Simply type– #your city name– or abbreviation in the search box.

3. Twellow – (Twitter + yellow pages) is exactly what it sounds like — a listing of Twitter users. Access your region by clicking on Twellowhood, then your location on the map…or type in your city and state.

4. Follow Twitter trending topics. On the right side of your Twitter page, choose the closest city to yours, then watch for topics of interest to follow.

5. NearbyTweets and GeoFollow offer constant listings of your local Twitter pals and their tweets. GeoFollow lets you bulk follow.

6. Why not Tweetup? A meet-up (offline) of nearby Twitter friends arranged – you guessed it –via Twitter. How to find these elusive group blind dates? Try Meetup (an event site with a special section for Tweetups), Twtvite (a site like Evite but for Twitter) and by searching tweetup geographically, on Twitter Search.

7. Localtweeps – started as a localizing site utilizing the hashtag, this one allows you to register and allows others to follow you or click on your website. You can search by zip code as well.

8. Look for apps- there are tons out there and more fresh apps are created every day to help you to find people in your area. TwitterLocal, Twinkle and more.

9. Twitaholic (formerly Twitterholic) –Not affiliated with Twitter, but the top twitter users in the country are listed here…and so are those hot shot Tweeters in your town. Just type in your Twitter ID under “your Twitaholic ranking.” Once it comes back, click on the name of your city, next to your stats.

10. Search the lists of your local followers and those that you follow in town. This search is bound to yield some like-minded locals.

Do you have other Twitter search tips to share?

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What Are You Doing Wrong on LinkedIn?


So you’re ready to get started networking on LinkedIn and converting those contacts to leads and partnerships. But what’s the best way to go about it?

Think of LinkedIn as your online resume. It’s a spot for potential employers/clients to find out more about you. Make sure to completely fill out your profile (including an appropriate photo) and keep it updated. (The more complete the better – LinkedIn profiles adds to your overall SEO power.) Don’t forget to ‘tag’ your profile with the appropriate keywords, as it will help others find you.

Get the custom URL by clicking the “Public Profile” link in your edit tab.

Add LinkedIn to your email signature. This encourages everyone you come in contact with to link to your profile.

Import your existing contacts.  This couldn’t be easier. Just let LinkedIn import your contacts. Once it does, you can customize a list of connections.

Get connected with anyone you meet professionally. This is a cornerstone of relationship building. That company might not look like a client today, but could be a perfect fit tomorrow. And they have lots of connections you don’t.

Use the LinkedIn Browser or Outlook toolbars. These toolbars make it easy to see LinkedIn summaries of other members and allows you to invite new connections straight from your Outlook or Gmail.

Don’t invite people you don’t know or have never met or corresponded with. LinkedIn keeps an eye on how many people mark you as “don’t know” after a request. Remember, by connecting you are associating yourself with this person and their reputation – be sure you want to. (Same goes for accepting folks on your page.)

Some final thoughts:

Reciprocate recommendations. If someone takes the time to write one for you, do the same for them. It’s just plain smart and good etiquette.

Request introductions. Don’t hesitate to ask a connection to introduce you to a new connection. All they can say is no. And they hardly ever do.

What else would you add?

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Converting Your LinkedIn Connections to Customers


Last time you checked your LinkedIn stats, you had a good number of connections, and it seems to be growing every day. But what does it all mean? How can you take those numbers and turn your connections into business?

Here are a few tips to get you started.

Create a strong profile

Don’t even think of beginning a growth campaign without a strong profile. It’s the first place people go to learn more about you! Make sure your profile is not only complete, but thorough and engaging.

Give and request recommendations

Ask colleagues, former employers, clients and subordinates to rate your work by writing a recommendation. Reciprocate by recommending others as well. Those who visit your profile definitely read these recommendations, and they can be a strong motivator in getting prospects to contact you.

Join or create groups

Look for groups that fit your target or industry, those with lively discussions and invested members. Do you see a niche that needs to be filled? Create your own group. Either way, you have to add value by joining in or initiating discussions that showcase your expertise. LinkedIn groups are all about sharing your experiences, advice and tips to make a connection. This is valuable to group members because it provides a forum to be heard, an environment of camaraderie, and insights into new tools and advances. But don’t just join groups serving your own industry! Think globally- join groups that may serve your future clients.

Take the time to answer questions and help others solve their most pressing problems. Once you’ve established yourself as knowledgeable and willing to contribute, people will look to you for help.

Be careful about selling

LI is about sharing, not selling. Some LI members break this rule, but you shouldn’t. This will only alienate the very people you hope to attract. Once you’ve established a relationship with another member, it’s ok to talk about your services.

Now what is your story?  How has LinkedIn worked for you?

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5 LinkedIn “Must Haves”


With everyone going on about the wonders of Facebook and Twitter, our poor friend LinkedIn sometimes gets left out in the cold.  While not one of the most visible sites, it is definitely one of the most powerful.  With millions of people from all over the globe taking part in the conversation on LinkedIn, it is definitely a place online where your audience thrives.

What I usually hear when I speak to prospective clients about LinkedIn is that “I’m not B2B, I’m B2C.  LinkedIn will never work for me.”  Aside from that statement oddly rhyming, that statement can’t be more false.  Whether you are B2B or B2C, you can carve out your own audience on LinkedIn.  I’ve said this quite a bit, and lately people have been asking me to put my money where my mouth is asking “Can you prove that there is ROI in LinkedIn?”  My answer, “Absolutely!”

About 60% of my business comes from LinkedIn.  True.

While my firm may be unique, we handle accounts for a wide array of clientele that get results on LinkedIn.  Not only sales and referrals, but speaking engagements, sharing of content to a wide audience, hits to their website, media appointments and much more.  I’m not saying that 60% of your business WILL come from LinkedIn, but it is definitely a spot where you need to be.

But my purpose here isn’t to sell you on the wonders of LinkedIn.  It is targeted to those of you out there who are registered with LinkedIn (for a week, a year, 10 years, whatever) and don’t have your completed and are just waiting for the magic to happen.  Generally those like this complain that they don’t see any results from LinkedIn.  Here’s why: you’re not doing anything.

So let’s get moving and create some stellar results!  Here are my 5 LinkedIn “Must Haves” when you are trying to market yourself using this massively useful site:

1.  You MUST Fill Out Your Profile:  A name and title is not enough.  LinkedIn gives you ample opportunity to showcase yourself and your brand.  Instead of leaving half of the profile blank (the percentage of which LinkedIn will show you on the right hand side of your profile), why not take an hour or two and really fill it in properly.  Want people to call you?  Add a phone number.  Want people to look at your website?  Mention it with hyperlink at the drop of a hat.  Don’t skimp here…this is where people are going to find you credible or not credible.  Oh, and one final thing.  Have a professional profile picture, nothing wild and off brand.  No picture = no credibility in my book. Read the full story

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6 Social Media Mistakes….and How to Avoid Them


With all of the information out there about social media, it is tough to know what to pay attention to and what to take with a grain of salt.  Yet even with all of this information, we all still make our fair share of mistakes when executing our social media marketing campaigns.
As an owner of a social media marketing firm, everyday I speak with people who are trying to make the most out of their Facebook and LinkedIn profile, or making their “tweets” count on Twitter.  The following are a few of the most common mistakes that I have seen companies make on social media and what we can do to combat them in the future.
Mistake #1: Lack of Research on the Platform

This is a very important one.  With all of the hype around social media (and also due to the fact that creating accounts is free and easy), many of us are eager to just jump in head first.  Keep in mind that social media is a branding and visibilty platform and thus needs to carry the right messaging and voice.  Before you go full speed ahead, first see what you are getting yourself into.

I suggest creating a sparse profile and taking the time to look through each site.  Where is your target market?  What is your competition doing right (which can really help you come up with a strategy)?  What applications can be useful?  How are people communicating?  What tools to I have to communicate with my market?  While Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can work to everyone’s advantage, if you only have time to manage one or two presences, it is best to be able to pinpoint the right ones and save yourself time and effort.

Top tip: a great way of seeing what sites suit your business is by asking your existing audience via polling.

Mistake #2: Lack of Focus

When you execute an advertising campaign, you know who you are targeting.  When you do a public relations campaign, you know what market you are trying to reach out to.  When you do an email marketing campaign….well, you get the point.  Social media is no different.

Social media allows us to target with laser focus, you just need to identify who you are trying to reach.  Once identified, the key is to connect with “meaningful people” not just random people to get “the numbers.”  Come on, why connect with 10,000 people who don’t care about you?  What good does that do?  Find connect and engage with people that matter.  Focus!

Mistake #3: Lack of Consistency

If you are going to do social media, make sure to do it on a consistent basis – not whenever you can grab a free second.  By consistent I mean daily, weekly, bi-weekly…on some sort of schedule.  Since you are growing your audience, you need to be in front of them gaining that visibility and credibility consistently.  My tip?  Create a schedule of when you will be executing social media and what messages you will be highlighting.  It takes a few minutes, but can save hours of weekly work.

No time to even make a plan?  Outsource!  It’s not a dirty word anymore.

Mistake #4: Using a 100% Push Marketing Approach

Push marketing is used all of the time in traditional marketing.  While it is a perfect fit in many instances, it is not the foundation of an engaging social media strategy.  Push marketing literally “pushes” what you want from your audience directly on top of them, while “pull” marketing using social media is about starting a conversation, engaging, enchanting and much more.  My suggestion is to use a 90% pull and a 10% push marketing equation.  This is something that I have used and it works a treat.  This way you can grow your audience and create value before offering up a special discount.  If they believe you to be credible through your pull approach, when you incorporate the push elements you will have higher levels of success.

Mistake #5: Wrong Goals

Truly look at what you are trying to achieve, and “more sales” is not enough.  Social media has many outcomes, so it is smart to have a broader scope.  Think in terms of hits to your website, newsletter signups, ebook/book sales/downloads….this is the way to go!

Mistake #6: Lack of Planning

Again, I am going back to the importance of a  plan:  without a plan, you plan to fail.  Although we know this cliche all too well, there is definitely truth to it.  Why?  Because a strategic plan saves you time and money – two things that we all can use, right?

Sit down and figure out your marketing strategy and then layer your social media strategy on-top.  Social media can support and enhance everything you do, you just have to keep the two connected.  Without the connection, you are wasting the power of cross marketing and branding.  Flying blindly in a new marketing medium could not only be risky for your reputation, but also cause you more trouble than you can handle.

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I hope that these mistakes are ones that you have not made and if you have, you will no longer make.  It is important for us to all to take a close look at our plans and strategies in order to see how strong and effective they can be.  Without strategy or planning, a social media marketing campaign takes a lot more time and a lot more effort to execute.

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