An hour on Periscope of Jeff having cocktails and talking social media with some really smart, funny, insightful people. Join them live on Periscope or catch up later at http://thesocialhappyhour.com/
Periscope vs Meerkat Bake Off
It is not often that you get to do a truly side-by-side comparison of two new tools, but Tracey Welson-Rossman (@twelsonrossman) and I (@gloriabell) got the perfect opportunity to do just that with Meerkat and Periscope at the Philly Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise Conference (#PhillyETE).
We used both apps at various times throughout the conference, but at the Day 2 Keynote, we did an actual side-by-side comparison.
The reason we wanted to try live streaming at the conference is a no brainer, this has the potential to be a great marketing tool . The ability to reach more people with good content, is really exciting when you run a lot of events like we do.
Here are the pros and cons of each with our “Bake-off” winner (and the reasons why) below.
Pros: Easy to set up an account
Easy to give the stream a name / title
Ability to tweet comments in the stream
Can schedule a stream
Ability to save broadcast
Can target smaller, more direct audience because no auto link to Twitter
Cons: Cannot zoom in or increase volume
Need a built-in audience to gain viewers
Lack of direct connection to tweet the stream makes it harder to gain audience
Hard to manage the chat and hold the phone
Need a good cellular or Wi-fi connection to make it work
Hard to understand the metrics for viewership during the broadcast and post
Lack of documentation on how to use it
Really need a tripod for a good recording
No post-viewing metrics
Pros: Setting up the account was easy
Ability to save the broadcast
Connecting to and broadcasting via Twitter was easy
Ability to tweet comments and likes in the stream, but can’t easily add other Twitter names in the tweet
Easy to “title” – just like a tweet
Direct link to Twitter makes for a larger audience but also more possibility for spam comments
Cons: Can’t switch between Twitter accounts
Can only have one account associated with the app
Need a good cellular or Wi-fi connection to make it work
Hard to manage the chat and hold the phone
Lack of documentation on how to use it
Few metrics – post view metrics much easier to see on an iPad
Really need a tripod for a good recording
There are a lot of limitations with both apps and we are hopeful there are more features coming that will address the issues we outlined above. Both seem to be good, fairly easy-to-use tools for live-streaming, especially at events. For right now we give Periscope the edge due to its seamless integration with Twitter. This feature alone will make it an easier-to-use social marketing tool.
It is a slight edge, though. Even with the limitations, we see these apps as a great tool for events and smaller conferences with small budgets. The video and audio quality will not be great, but these apps will allow for broader distribution of events.
Check out our next experiment at the Chariot Solutions’ talk on Angular JS on April 22nd.
There are a lot of self-help books that tell you the best way to get what you want is to put the request out to the universe/whatever deity you believe in/your inner child…whatever you choose to believe in at that time. In researching this line of thinking, several years ago I came across four “simple” steps to getting what you want.
4) Be Grateful
Good simple advice for approaching most things in the life.
Interestingly, a direct correlation can be drawn between these steps for getting what we want from life and effectively using social media for marketing. Sadly some social media campaigns, as also happens in life, forget one or more of these steps or take them out of order. Add all four of these, in this order, to creative content that educates, informs or entertains your audience and you have taken the first big steps to a successful social media campaign. Note, I said FIRST big steps, no solid campaign will succeed on these alone, but it is very likely to fail without them.
1) Ask – What is it you want your audience / customer / potential customer to do? You have to ask them. They are not mind-readers. Your calls to action (your “asks”) have to be clear and compelling.
- Do you want them to become aware of you and your product or service?
- Do you want them to sign up for something like an email list, a coupon or a contest?
- Do you want them to buy something?
2) Believe –
- In yourself and what you have to provide or sell and it has to show in how you talk about or display your product or service.
- That they are interested in what you are offering
This is where really knowing your customer or potential customer comes in. You have to know enough about who they are and what they really need. You have to not just believe, but you have to know that you are offering them a solution to a problem.
3) Receive – Do you have a clear, easy to navigate process in place for someone who is interested in your product or service to actually contact you, get more information or buy from you? We have all been in a situation, especially in the digital world, where we were interested in something but the process to get to it was too vague or overwhelming and we just abandon our efforts.
When was the last time you looked at your analytics and bounce rates? They can give you a good insight into whether or not you are making your instructions and process clear and easy enough. Be ready to receive from your customers by making sure it is easy for them.
4) Be Grateful – Yes this is Grateful with a capital “G” because it is that important. Something as simple as a Thank You goes a long way. If you do not show your customers you are grateful for their interest and their business, they will find someone who appreciates them.
What are some other steps you use to get what you want?
I wrote a little guest post over on Bannerview.com on the 5 reasons not to hire a social media “expert”. Click on over there and take a look at my 5 top reasons.
What would you add?
The really observant of you may have noticed that there is a new section over there on the left side bar titled Hiring Gloria.
Yes – I am “back on the market”. Now that the family obligations that have kept me so busy the last year are winding down, I am looking to take on more speaking/training engagements and consulting projects. Know of a job that would challenge me and allows me to use my full skill set to make a real impact on a company’s bottom line and growth? Let’s talk about it.
Take a moment when you are done reading this and wander over to take a look at my bio in the About Gloria Bell section and the information about hiring me for speaking, training or consulting in the Hiring Gloria section to learn more.
So why would you want to work with me?
It is pretty simple – I am about building bottom lines. Every action we take and every element of strategy I recommend is tied directly to the business objectives that You have identified as most important.
I believe in holistic digital marketing. My speciality may be social media, but I am going to work with you to make sure your entire digital presence is working together. My mission is to help you and your business get the attention you need to grow and to make sure that you understand the social media landscape and can navigate it effectively while avoiding as many pitfalls as possible.
The best social media strategy, email marketing strategy or website will only get you so far if it does not all work together. I help you fit the puzzle pieces of your digital presence, your offline marketing, your customer service and your business development and sales together to build an integrated marketing strategy that achieves your business goals. Together we evaluate your entire digital footprint and your business processes to figure out what works, what needs tweaked and what needs to be added. Rather than just turning over a pretty strategy document and walking away, I work with you to develop and implement the most effective strategy to maximize your online presence and make sure it and your internal operations are working like a well-oiled machine delivering the best results possible.
I don’t consider myself just a digital marketer or a social media strategist or a business process specialist. I strive to be a business builder.
My newest passion and current consulting focus is on assisting companies to truly maximize the effectiveness of their digital presence by analyzing and evaluating business processes to ensure that no gaps exist that would hinder meeting the goals and objectives their social media presence seeks to fulfill. Yeah, even saying it is a mouthful, can you imagine tackling it without the experience and expertise of someone who knows both the social media and the business operations worlds? Most business owners are great at one or the other but there are not many who can manage both which is why I am so excited to be concentrating in this area. Watch for more blog posts talking about the necessity of this focus coming soon.
Have a speaking engagement, project or job that you think I am fit for? Let’s chat!
Just want to know more? Email me at email@example.com
UPDATE 3-17-2015: The email exchange below occurred 2 months ago. As of this morning, my email has been opened 537 times, from 18 devices in 14 locations. (Thanks Yesware for the awesome tracking!). It is not possible to know if the email was just opened or was actually read, but, as of this morning, I have had no response of any kind from Web.com.
Thank you everyone who read, shared and commented on my post yesterday – We All Have To Work To Stop The Snake Oil Salesmen
Since I was contacted by the “Executive Escalation” team at Web.com, I felt it was only fair to keep everyone up to date on what was happening. Rather then possibly mis-quoting or allowing for mis-interpretation of our correspondence, I have copied in both their email to me and my response in their entirety (see below). We’ll see where it goes from here. I may end up being the lucky recipient of a cease and desist or a libel and slander suit, but we’ll see. Hopefully the good folks (and I am sure there are a lot of really great ones there!) at Web.com will realize that 1) these are not only my concerns but the concerns of multiple people in the industry and they really need to look at what they are doing and 2) they will get someone in (Heck, they could even hire me!) to fix their social media program and the social media services they offer to clients.
Fingers crossed and I’ll be sure to keep you all informed if anything else develops.
FYI, I did leave off the name of the person from Executive Escalations intentionally. I don’t want to beat up on an single individual who, I am sure, is just trying to do their job the best they know how.
FROM EXECUTIVE ESCALATIONS at Web.com
I work for the Executive Escalations office, monitoring our social media communication channels from within. I wanted to reach out to you to address what appears to be an unpleasant experience you had yesterday via our Twitter channel.
My sincerest apologies for any sort of frustrations, disappointments, or overall aggravations you experienced yesterday with our company, both on and off-line. We never want our customers, be they already established or potential, to feel as if they’ve been overlooked, mishandled, or challenged in any sort of way. Our goal when monitoring SM channels is to maintain an open, non-combative lines of communication, offering to help facilitate assistance however we can. We also value any and all feedback, be it negative or positive, as we report results on a weekly basis and implement changes to our policy and training as needed.
If there is anything I can do to further assist to ensure you leave this experience with a lighter, more positive outlook on our company, I’d be more than happy to accommodate. Thank you so very much for your time, and again, my sincerest apologies for any and all frustrations.
Nice note and all… but as you can see by my response, I’m not really buying it –
Warning: I am taking the gloves off and calling out a company for making the social media and web development industry look bad. It is companies and practices like the ones described below that make the entire industry look like we are trying to sell snake oil by making promises that are deceiving and can not be delivered on in the way they are being advertised.
I know this practice is nothing new. It has been going on since the dawn of time, continues today and will continue in the future. But until we in the industry stand up and call out the people and companies who promote and sell this BS, all of us in the industry will continue to be looked at, especially by small businesses, as snake oil salesmen.
I do not call this company, or any others, out lightly. As someone who helps companies build their brand and reputations, going after someone else’s is not something I like to see and even less what I like to do. It was only after I tweeted them (see the Twitter conversation below), hoping that they would open a dialogue and show me how how I was wrong about them, that I felt the need to go further. Follow the story and see how it ended up as this blog post on not only false advertising about social, but a case study in how not to handle criticism on social.
Last night, I was hanging out with my Dad watching Shark Tank reruns on CNBC. We both love the show and hold a running commentary on what we think about the pitches and the deals that are made. My viewing fun last night was ruined by a TV commercial from a company promising to help small businesses make money by setting them up a “professional Facebook page”. They made a ton of promises about the businesses growing their brand awareness and getting new customers just by having a professionally created Facebook page. They will even create the content for you!
My Dad sat by listening amusedly as I ranted and raved about the fact that it is impossible for Web.com, given Facebook’s algorithms and terms of service, to deliver on the promises they made in that commercial. The commercial was at minimum misleading and at most, blatant false advertising. It infuriated me because they are targeting small businesses and small business owners who have little time, money, knowledge or experience in this particular area.
Having been the owner of multiple small businesses, I know what a God-send it can seem like to have someone offer you an easier way to do something, especially grow your business. You are not only going to help me grow my business but you were going to do my marketing for me by creating the content (whether you know anything about my business or industry or not?!)? People are going to come flocking to my business because they saw me on Facebook? I don’t have to spend time marketing because you are creating my content for me? And all for this for a “reasonable” price? Oh and once you have me signed as a client, you’ll build me a website and take care of all my digital marketing needs too? Sign me up!
If only it worked that way!
Those of us in social media and digital marketing know that the promise of Facebook reach and an immediate growth in your business is hooey, especially now. Maybe, if you have a big budget and can do a large Facebook ad spend you might see some quick results – Maybe! But this commercial made it sound like it was the easiest thing in the world. Just let us build you a professional looking Facebook page and you will instantly grow your business!
Excuse my language but BULLSHIT!
It nagged at me all night and all morning. I went to the company’s website and checked out their other offerings. Website design and development, social media marketing… the list goes on and on – if it is digital related, they do it. Maybe they it do it well, but based on the commercial I saw last night, I had my doubts.
So after pondering it and tweeting about it without mentioning their name, I decided to call them out. As you can see from the following thread, it went downhill from there. They replied with obviously SOP canned messages. They offered to assist me. With what? Did they not bother to look at my profile and see that I am a social media professional? Apparently not. No opening to discuss my complaint. No interest in hearing what I had to say. They then stopped responding at all. If there was ever a textbook case on how NOT to handle criticism or complaints on social, this is it. From a company who sells digital and social services to small businesses – Shameful!
Several headlines/links float through my Twitter stream every second. Most of them I glance at, maybe favorite to read later or if they are really compelling, I’ll click through and take a look now. 90+% I just let float by. Same with TV commercials or print ads or even songs on the radio, just about anything type of media I consume. Most of it floats in “one ear and out the other” metaphorically speaking.
It is not that they are bad headlines. It is not that the articles are not meaningful. It is not that the commercials are not entertaining. It is just a matter of timing. My brain, like those of every human, has been conditioned to be drawn to the thing that we most need IN THAT MOMENT.
How often do you stop and think about what the customer you are trying to attract needs IN THAT MOMENT. When I think about a business’ failure to give a customer what they need or most want IN THAT MOMENT, an image that constantly comes to mind is the store changeover at the end of a holiday.
I walked into a major drug store chain on December 26th and the previous holiday items were already gone and they were on to Valentine’s Day. They were rushing me into THEIR schedule. Never paying attention to what I needed IN THAT MOMENT (which, coincidentally, happened to be a New Year card) They were forcing me to jump immediately into the next thing because it was what was on their schedule… not mine.
Digitally we see it all the time. Another great example – I saw my first “year end wrap-up/year in review/lessons we learned in the past year” posts before the end of October! In this industry staying current and knowing what worked and didn’t in social media in the past year is important stuff, but I don’t need a year end wrap-up in October. I need it at the end of December because at the speed digital moves, what you wrote in October is unlikely to be accurate or relevant by the end of December. We do such a disservice to our current, future and potential customers when we fail to pay attention to what they need IN THAT MOMENT.
Our failing to give our customers what they need IN THAT MOMENT is rooted in our general failure to pay attention to what they need and our insistence on giving them what we think they should need. The sad reality about all business today is we are so busy trying to be/do/say/deliver the next big thing and make a buck that we rarely really ask ourselves – Is this…
- something that our customers really want or need
- is it something they need now
So what is it that your current or potential customers need? Are you giving them access to it when they need it or when you think they should need it? Are your messages relevant to them IN THAT MOMENT or are they memorable enough that they will remember them when they need your product or service? Have you learned to walk that fine line between inundating (and probably annoying) them with messages they don’t need IN THAT MOMENT and making sure you are top of mind when they do what you have to sell?
All tough questions that can be fairly easily answered by talking to your customers and asking them. When was the last time you actually did that?
Note: This was originally posted on an old site of mine in December 2008 and is one of my most popular posts. I have been seeing a lot of questions lately from people about how to end client or partner or vendor relationships, so I figured it was time to recycle this one.
You just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don’t need to be coy, Roy
Just get yourself free
(50 Ways to Leave Your Lover – Paul Simon)
Every once in a while we come across that situation with a client (or partner or vendor – for the sake of continuity, we’ll just go with client throughout this one, but the principals are the same) that we know we just can not make work. Whether it is an unreasonable client, changed expectations or just personality differences that are preventing us from doing our best work, the reality is that sometimes we just do need to fire our clients. For our reputations, for our pocketbooks and most often for our own sanity or the collective sanity of our teams, we just need to walk away.
Unfortunately, like any relationship, we have usually gone into these business relationships with high hopes of this being “the one”. The long term client that we enjoy working for, doing work that intrigues and inspires us and making a decent buck doing it. Now, like a bad boy/girlfriend, we have to figure out how to disentangle ourselves from this client. Just like you would in a romantic relationship, do a truly honest evaluation for yourself. Is this an irretrievably broken situation? Are there changes that could be made on either side to alter the situation and make it reasonable to continue the work? If you have done that and still feel that you must fire the client, then the sooner the better.
It is always a tricky situation. The first thing you must do is look at the “out” (cancellation, exit or termination) clause in any agreement or contract you have with this client. What are the terms that allow either of you to exit the relationship and what actions have to be taken before you are released from your contractual obligations? Don’t have an out clause in your contracts/agreements? Get one. Now! Consider it your prenup – we never want to think about getting divorced, but if we aren’t protected before the rings go on, we can lose it all. Make sure you understand the contract cancellation terms and that you fulfill them to the letter. Do you not leave yourself open to claims of breach of contract because your agreement required something as simple as delivery of written notice to a specific address and instead you sent an email to your contact at the company.
Second, you must make sure that you have performed all of the work that you have already been paid for. Either that or be prepared to issue a reimbursement to the client for any prepaid, uncompleted portion. You never want to leave them in the position to say that you were paid for work that you did not do. Have all the financial details worked out before you communicate to the client that you are ending the relationship. Know exactly how much has been paid, for what specific work and be able to clearly and accurately communicate that to your client. Also be able to articulate how much may still be due to the client (or in some cases to you), what it is due for and when you expect to issue the reimbursement to them (or expect payment to be issued to you). Also, be prepared, per the terms of your agreement, to turn over any and all documentation or work product belonging to the client or that is a result of the work done for the client.
Third, if there is uncompleted work, have a contingency plan ready to give the client. Be the kind of contractor that you want working for you. Don’t leave them completely in the lurch (unless they have never paid you, then maybe they deserve it). Lay out what additional work may need to be done. It does not have to be a detailed plan for them, that is their responsibility, but at least be able to say, “I was retained to do X,Y & Z and only X & Y have been completed, you will need to make alternative arrangements if you still wish to proceed with Z”. Simple but courteous. Often clients have hired us because they don’t know what to do, at least if they have a direction, they can take the steps necessary to replace you. And you take less of a risk of the client badmouthing you to anyone who will listen.
Now to the tricky part, telling them. The best way to accomplish this is to be short and sweet. Don’t get into pointing fingers or accepting blame. Don’t go into any deep details, only those that are necessary to conclude any outstanding business. Just advise the client that you no longer feel that you are in a mutually beneficial relationship. Always stress that you regret taking this action, but you feel it would be in both of your best interests to dissolve the relationship. If you have someone else that you can refer the client to, that is always a nice way to end the communication. If the client comes back and wants to know why, then be prepared to be tactful, but honest. You are probably doing them a favor by telling them the truth. Be sure to have examples ready if they question you. Also be prepared to stop discussing it. Like most difficult breakups, some clients will keep trying to get you to go round and round, basically trying to wear you down. Before you get into the conversation, know your stopping point so you do not get frustrated or angry and leave the conversation on a bad tone.
Try to do the “break-up” in the manner in which you had most of your communications with the client – ie. by phone, email, face to face. It is only respectful. If you feel it will be accepted better in writing, then do so. If you end the relationship face to face or via telephone, I also recommend following up with a letter or an email just reiterating what you said, confirming that any prepaid work has been completed, any final details that have to be resolved (payment, document or work transfer, etc…) and wishing them the best.
This is never an easy or pleasant situation to be in. it is however necessary to know how to handle the situation in the most professional, mature manner possible. Your reputation depends on it. The client will probably not be happy, but if you can walk away on civil terms with no one screaming lawsuit or breach of contract, it’s probably a win-win.
We hear this, or some version of it, all the time…
Surround yourself with people who make you a better person
But how often do we stop and really think about what it means? What is it in someone who makes us a better person? How are we defining “a better person”?
If we can’t be clear on the “better person” we are trying to be, how can we be sure that who we are surrounding ourselves with can help us move towards that goal?
Like all goals, it is comes down to a honest assessment of ourselves – what we are good at, what we need to improve and how do we get there?
So, when was the last time you really did an honest thorough assessment of yourself? I know I wasn’t doing it often enough. Yet, it clearly is something we should be doing regularly. This does not mean long days locked away in a cabin (or beach or wherever makes you happy and calm) somewhere to “get in touch with ourselves”. Although those are nice and occasionally necessary, there are simpler ways to figure out whether we are surrounding ourselves with people who make us better.
It requires taking a good look at yourself and your interactions on a regular basis. Because it is so hard and time seems to fly by so fast, recently I started putting this on my calendar as a regular event every two weeks. I schedule myself a half hour of time to just review the last two weeks.
I ask myself these questions –
- What did I accomplish? What did I not get done?
- Who did I interact with?
- What prompted those interactions?
- How did I feel about the people I interacted with in the last two weeks?
- Who did I want to interact with that I did not get to?
- What lessons have I learned?
- How productive have my interactions been?
- What expectations, of myself and others, did I have that were or were not fulfilled?
This quick review, of a manageable time period, allows me to really focus and get clarity on what I am trying to achieve and whether I have moved closer to those goals. It also allows me to look at the people I have in my life or that I have interacted with and whether they have done one of five things to help me move some aspect of myself to the “better person” I hope to be.
- Did they teach me a lesson? It doesn’t matter what kind of lesson. Personal or professional, something about myself, something the word around me, a professional insight, whatever the lesson might be, just did I learn something from them passing through my life?
- Did they “touch” me? Meaning, was there something about this interaction that touched me emotionally, intellectually, professionally or spiritually.
- Was there something about interacting with them that changed, enhanced or diminished my perception about myself or the world around me?
- Did they inspire me? More importantly, did they inspire me to act?
- Did they just plain make me feel good? Did they make me smile? Did they make me laugh? Did they make me see the joy and light in life?
The pattern that emerges from my responses allows me to not only decide if this is a person, or type of person, that I want more or less of in my life, it also allows me to see the “better person” I strive to be. How I react to and interact with the people that have passed through my world steers me towards the person I want to be, the goals I want to achieve, the impact I want to leave on the world. I see a pattern emerge, based on what I thought or felt about interacting with someone, of what is important or moving to to me.