Some of the best marketing advice author Jeff Rohrs ever received was from legendary rock musician Bruce Springsteen: “Audience is not brought to you or given to you; it’s something that you fight for.”

Jeff elaborates on this idea in his book, “AUDIENCE.” He believes that Facebook fans, Twitter followers and e-mail subscribers are among the most important assets a company can have. Marketing just isn’t effective without an engaged customer base.

In his presentation at SocialMedia.org’s Brands-Only Summit, Jeff discusses the importance of investing time and resources into audience development.

Here are three key takeaways:

  • No audience is owned. In social media, people can unfollow, unlike and unsubscribe any time. Jeff says it’s the company’s job to keep customers invested.
  • Grow the right kind of audience. Everybody likes a big crowd. But marketing is about more than just numbers. While purchasing fake fans and followers makes a brand seem popular, it won’t actually create any meaningful engagement.
  • (read more…)

You wrote an article. It’s probably awesome, full of insights and experience readers can’t get anywhere else.

On that first day you published you probably got a hundred readers or so, 16 social shares, two retweets and maybe an e-mail subscriber.

On the second day you probably got 57 readers, 7 social shares, 1 retweet and a quarter of an e-mail subscriber (I’m going off the stats here).

On the third day you published another article and the first one disappeared into the black, tar-like mire of the Internet, only venturing a finger into the light of day when someone happens to go to the fourth page of Google’s search results in search of the 30th article on “Online Marketing Best Practices You Need to Hear!”

This article will give you the four most important steps you can take to fight tooth, nail and literally any sharp implement you can find to ensure you get the most out of each and every article you write. (read more…)

There’s a lot being written today about advocacy and the value of word of mouth. The increased interest makes sense. After all, who doesn’t want more of a commodity that’s:

  • Seemingly free
  • Accorded high credibility
  • The most trusted form of “advertising”. (Nielsen reports that 92% of people “somewhat or completely trust” recommendations from people they know. Compare this to just 47% similarly trusting TV and print, and only 36% trusting online video ads.)

But, in reality, there’s nothing free about advocacy and positive word of mouth. Effective word of mouth only comes with sound strategic planning and substantial effort. Effective word of mouth requires that marketers:

  1. Provide a high enough level of service to incent word of mouth;
  2. Operate “above and beyond expectations”to truly delight customers;
  3. Generate sharable content that is relevant, compelling and self-serving;
  4. Provide training and conduct programs to cultivate a positive corporate culture;
  5. Develop ample conversation catalysts to help facilitate customer-to-customer conversations.
  6. (read more…)

I spent the majority of my time at events, or on the road to the next event, traveling to industry conferences to talk about social media and how technology can simplify the life of event professionals. Today mobile technology can help with every aspect of an event, from organizing a session to selecting the right venue and drinks. Here are three of my favorite apps I that I use when speaking at an event for Goombal.

CrowdMics is the first audio system that turns your smartphone into a wireless microphone for live events. Because one thing is for sure: When it’s time to choose microphone runners for the Q&A portion of a live speaking session, very few hands go up to volunteer.

Who wants to stand around waiting for someone to raise their hand, then try to run to them before they start speaking in a huge room full of people where nobody can hear them, and by the time you reach them, they’ve already finished their question and then you hand them the microphone and they have to start over? (read more…)

Are you struggling with being a social business? Social media has enabled unprecedented two-way connection opportunities between organizations, their customers and prospects. Today everyone wants to be a social business.

However, the pace of growth, engagement and development on social media often leads to a sense of being overwhelmed.

The challenges with being social:

  • Interacting with customers — responding to customer queries in almost real-time
  • The volume of conversations spread across an increasing number of blogs, forums and social media sites
  • Creating content — daily posts on social networks, blog posts, guest articles
  • Responding to customer queries

Despite the above-mentioned challenges, there are some companies that excel at being a social business, and they have a secret ingredient: an army of their supportive customers, or brand advocates, who are enabling them to be social.

What exactly is a brand advocate?

They are your most passionate and often most vocal customers who promote and support your brand. (read more…)