Gary Vaynerchuk on “Getting in the Game”

For those who are unfamiliar with Gary Vaynerchuk, I suggest watching this video three times—once to take in the size of his personality, a second time to really listen to what he is saying, and a third to really, really listen to what he is saying.

To make it easier, here are some key points he hits upon about the social media game. For those just getting out of the gate, I’ve added some clarifying points and suggestions…

Follow Trends. Pay attention to blogs that talk about Social Media. This means getting your hands into Blog Rolls and exploring the Social Media Blogger community. (Gary Vaynerchuk’s site is a great place to start. See my blog roll, at right, for more.)

Don’t Wait. This is one of Gary’s most insistent points here and elsewhere. While you stall, your competition is getting in the game and learning about new ways to attract eyeballs.

Anticipate Trial & Error. This might seem like common sense, but unless you’re hiring devoted social media staff or engaging a social media agency (like Chris Brogan’s New Media Labs), it is almost certain you will have to experiment before you find the right social media approach for your business.

Build a Presence. Make yourself visible. You can’t perform at the open-mic if you’re not on the list! Show up early, secure your place, then you can play. This is what Gary means when he talks about “growing into it” and
“getting involved.”

Listen In. When Gary and other social media experts talk about “getting into” the conversation, what they’re really saying is: listen up! This takes us back to the first bullet. But it’s also important to learn how others in your industry are competing in the social media arena. You’re bound to discover approaches you like and those you don’t. The idea then: build and strategize accordingly.

Messina Marketing Group





Facebook Advertising and the Future of Organic Search

ElisCheesecakeLogoI was uncertain what to expect when I showed up for the Facebook marketing presentation at Eli’s Cheesecake Cafe in Chicago earlier this month. About a hundred savvy marketers and networkers chatted on Eli’s patio while tasting slices of different cheesecakes. We were soon to be dazzled by an hour-long presentation with one of Facebook’s very own, a rare treat, yet we all did a good job concealing our anticipation.

It turns out that Eli Schulman himself, founder of Eli’s Cheesecake Company, was an avid social networker. Eli kept track of customers’ visits to his restaurant by writing down dates on check stubs. If he saw someone hadn’t stopped in lately, he’d make sure to call and personally invite them back. Eli would be proud to know that today his company forges ahead with an ambitious online marketing strategy, currently exceeding 1200 fans on their Facebook Fan Page and 1800 followers on Twitter.

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As the Facebook presentation began, no one really knew what direction it would take. However, its main intent was soon revealed: to inform area professionals of the great benefits in purchasing ad space on Facebook.

The excitement in the eyes of Brad Keown, Midwest Director of Sales at Facebook, bore testimony to the popular social network’s increasingly aggressive pursuit of advertising dollars. What is happening, as you will see, is nothing less than an online ad-space takeover.

Brad outlined some of the key benefits behind “social graphs” and “self-service advertising,” which allow advertisers to include or exclude potential customers based on information extracted from Facebook users’ profile information. Put in plain terms, Facebook deploys crawlers which pull information from your private profile for the express purpose of target marketing. In other words, anything you include in your profile information—basic information, personal interests, etc.—is fair game for advertisers.

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The term “organic search” is used to describe how the process works. No individual is browsing through your information. It’s the FB web crawlers that do this. That’s how you get “targeted” ads on the right column of your FB page—essentially ads organically selected by FB robots.

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So what’s the big deal? The big deal is that the need to search for products and services online diminishes with the increase in organic search advertising. You no longer need to look for things to buy. Today, products and services find you. The ultimate benefit to businesses has yet to be seen. However, the ease and relatively low cost (at least right now) of deploying “self-service,” custom targeted ads on Facebook is an exciting opportunity for many. The incredible speed at which Facebook has advanced on the social media scene is enough for anyone with a fair amount of common sense to jump on the bandwagon.

Of course, advertising can only get you so far. Without an effective brand image and strong online presence, many companies will fail to attract new customers. The real growth will be achieved by those savvy enough not only to utilize new social media platforms, but by those who understand the importance of successful branding and powerful messaging. It’s a brave new online world, and consumers today are more informed than ever. Develop an authentic brand. Build your presence. Then get in the stream.

Messina Marketing Group