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?
This post was inspired by a question that appeared on one of my email lists this morning. I have retained the content of the conversation but the names have been removed to protect the innocent.
Innocent #1: does anyone know where to buy pre-written tweets organized around specific topics? For example, say I want to buy 100 tweets about beer, or autos, or whatever, that I can download and then schedule through <insert twitter client here>. Thanks.
Me: Why would you want to do that? It defeats the whole purpose of social media which is to be social and hold a conversation. As a social media consultant, I can tell you that anyone who would sell you that type of list or service is a snake oil salesman.
Innocent #1: Gloria, you’re right, social media is about holding a conversation. I’m looking for something to get the conversation started. Simple tweets that are relevant to my business and that my followers would find interesting.
Me: If your purpose is to get the conversation started about your business, then those tweets need to come from you and your business, not some generic service. People respond to people. People do business with people they like and trust. You need to be the one developing your company’s social media voice, not someone who knows nothing about you or your business. If you need assistance with that, it is fine to hire someone to help you find that voice and figure out how to use the tools, but not for someone to be that voice for you.
I’m sorry if I sound like i am preaching or on a soap box, but it is a subject that myself and most of the leaders in the social media community are very passionate about. There are people who are using the medium solely as a way to make money without keeping the spirit of the medium and the best interests of their clients at heart.
Innocent #2: God forbid someone actually make money on “_______” list.
Me: Not my point at all. I am all for all of us making money, but there is an ethical way to do it. That way means providing a good product or service, being honest and keeping our clients or customers best interests at the forefront of our minds. When you misrepresent yourself or your company, which is what “ghost tweeting” or “ghost blogging” does, then you are not being honest with your clients, customers or audience.
So my question to you is Who is your voice? Am I wrong to feel that the voice should come from the person or persons who know the business the best? What are your thoughts on buying a list of pre-written tweets?