Category Archives: networking

MySpace Should Not Be Your Main Website

MySpace, like other social networking sites, is a great way to meet new people, add to your network and become a part of online conversations. As a part of your online marketing it can be a useful tool.

 

However, it’s just that – one tool. It should not be your only online presence.

 

Here are a few reasons why:

 

  • Many corporations block it. Imagine the problems you’ll have trying to get sponsors, advertisers, etc. if the company representative can’t open your site.
  • It still has the stigma of being a site for teenagers. This will most certainly affect people taking your product/service seriously.
  • The platform is limiting in the amount of information that you include. For instance, you can’t have a multiple-page site.
  • You lose the free marketing of having a “yourname@yoursite.com” email address. Without a corporate site you’re stuck promoting yahoo, gmail or another free email service.
  • Do you really want to send the CEO of ABC, Corp. to your MySpace page for more information on your company?

Towanda Long aka mscafe

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Fairy Godmother of Marketing

For the past few weeks I have been playing a “Fairy Godmother of Marketing”. There are so many small business owners that are good at what they do, but their branding and marketing efforts do not reflect their talent (see previous post for examples).

 

So, with no ulterior motive (okay, maybe I was in the holiday spirit…) I began offering free advice. This has sparked my newest project.

 

Beginning January 1, 2009 I’ll be launching a new challenge, My Marketing Needs Help. It’ll be for small businesses that need assistance with their marketing – online, print, media, etc.

 

People will be able to nominate themselves and/or other businesses that can use some help. I’ll be choosing three winners for a complete marketing makeover.

 

Also, cafe30.com will be devoting the next 6 weeks to basic marketing tips. So, even if you’re not a winner you can get some guidance.

 

Towanda Long aka mscafe

Reasons People Like You

  • You remind them of themselves. It’s that whole “birds of a feather” thing…
  • You’re knowledgeable (but not a know-it-all).
  • You add value to their life/project/business.
  • You have qualities they find inspiring.
  • You make them feel comfortable.
  • You have a sense of humor.
  • You’re honest.
  • You’re reliable.
  • You make them smile.

 

Just a quick reminder that being likable is a great personality trait.

 

Towanda Long aka mscafe

Emails I Read Daily

Vital Juice This is a well-designed email that offers nuggets of health information. It’s not overwhelming, takes a couple of minutes to read, and serves as a daily reminder to live healthy.

 

Ad Age The online version of Advertising Age, this is a compilation of news and opinions. I get a dose of daily news and links to some of my favorite bloggers (check out The Big Tent) in the same email.

 

Daily Candy We all need a little sweetness in our life. Whether it’s an announcement about a new spa opening, a great event coming up or a new product hitting the market, Daily Candy is a great source for “in the know” information. It gives me a break from the “serious” things that try to take over my day and it constantly adds things to my “I WANT THAT” list.

 

HARO (Help A Reporter Out)  I think of HARO as the media matchmaker. Journalists post their source requests and they get responses that are on target! The bonus is that members of the email list are from a variety of industries and backgrounds, not just the traditional media machine.

 

Which are your favorite and why?

 

Towanda Long aka mscafe

The Addiction to Twitter

After a few weeks as a Twitterite I will admit, I’m addicted. And for once (okay, maybe twice, because I actually don’t mind the shopping thing…), I am okay with it.

 

My Twitter experience started with my inherent need to be knowledgeable about all things marketing. Articles kept popping up, people I respect sang its praises and so I thought, “Why not?”.

 

Well, now I get it. Twitter is great for many reasons, but here’s my top five:

 

  1. It’s like an AP Wire for those of us not in a newsroom. I follow ABC, NPR & ESPN, to name a few. So, when something happens I know right away. And the news is given to me in 140 characters or less! (Once you join Twitter you can decide whom you want to follow. The updates of these Twitterites then show up on your homepage.).
  2. It feeds my need to be knowledgeable about all things marketing. Twitterites are a diverse group. Many tweet links to very interesting articles, etc. that I would probably not find on my own. It’s not just, “I had a salad for dinner and now I’m going to bed” tweets.
  3. I can tweet about what I’m doing, offer food for thought (i.e. Great marketing does not supersede poor customer service.), or forward links to things I think are interesting.  
  4. The 140 character limit forces me to write succinctly.
  5. It’s kinda cool to see what other people do all day.

Yes, this is my list, but let me know your thoughts. I’m sure I’m not by myself…

 

Towanda Long aka mscafe

(my name on Twitter in case you want to follow me)

 

 

What Does Your Follow-Up Say?

A few weeks ago I worked a tradeshow exhibit booth at a convention. While taking my afternoon stroll around the exhibit area (mostly to check out the competition and to find inspiring ideas) I chatted with a possible vendor that was also exhibiting.

 

Her business was a great fit for one of my future marketing projects. I was excited at the possibilities and gave her my contact information. She was to follow-up with me after the show to schedule a meeting.

 

When I hadn’t heard from her in two weeks I figured she must have forgotten about me. I considered calling her, but never got around to it. Over four weeks later she contacted me, but my excitement was gone.

 

Why? Because a call within a week says, “I am on top of my business and I look forward to working with you.” A call within two weeks says, “I am an efficient business person, but not overbearing.”

 

But four weeks? That makes me ask questions. Can I trust her to respond in a timely manner? Will she value my business? Will my products arrive on time? Will she call me with updates? Is she on top of her business details?

 

I’ll still consider a meeting, but my enthusiasm to work with her is gone. Her follow-up has shown me some unflattering things, and she has to overcome that.

 

What does your follow-up say about you?

 

Towanda Long aka The Café Lady

Word Association

Brandtags is a really cool word association game. It shows you a brand and you’re supposed to answer with the first word that comes to your mind.

 

You may be surprised at some of your answers. For instance, Motorola made me think of pagers, then StarTac (Yes, I realize I’m dating myself…).

 

This is definitely an exercise worth the time. Not because of the initial thought you have, but it allows you to think about the many experiences you have had with the brand and how those experiences collectively affected your immediate response.

 

And you’ll think about the consistency of your own brand. Do your clients/colleagues get the same message no matter how they interact with you? Are you always responsive, friendly, efficient (feel free to enter your word here). And if not, what can you do about it?

 

Towanda Long aka The Café Lady