Profitable vs. Popular

Would you rather be rich or famous?  Happy or popular?  Healthy or beautiful?  Every one is a trick question – why can’t we have both (or all) of the options?  While outwardly we may pick the answer that is more accepted by the public – rich, happy and healthy – most times people crave famous, popular, and beautiful.

Now take a step back and think of your business.  Would you rather have your business be profitable or popular?  Much of what companies do in social media is aimed at becoming popular.  If your Facebook page has more ‘likes’ and fans, you can be popular.  If more people follow you on Twitter or YouTube, you can be popular.  If you have more subscribers and comments on your blog, you can be popular.

We know it’s exciting to be popular, especially in social media and networking platforms.  You have a bigger megaphone and a higher soapbox.  ‘Internet famous‘ people mention you or add you to their very small list of connections.  Maybe you are even invited to conferences to speak.  Chris Brogan, C.C. Chapman and Brian Solis like you, they really really LIKE you…

But are these things making you profitable?  Sometimes they do.  Most times they don’t.  After the initial quick hit of ‘friending’ you have to provide constant quality content in order to keep the attention of those you’ve wooed.  It takes a considerable amount of time to develop trust and relationships that lead to profits.  Being popular on social media networks has hardly ever lead to profits without a plan.

Instead of worrying about the easy things like the numbers of fans, followers, friends, hits, and click-throughs you get, think about attracting the right audience in the first place.  Operating in a frantic mode to acquire higher numbers for the sake of more numbers produces short-term success.  Why not focus on producing the very best content to attract and keep the types of people that will best lead to profits for your company?  With focus your job gets easier, you become more efficient, and your efforts will produce more results.  The climb may seem a bit slower, but it will be build on a solid foundation of people that are genuinely interested in what you have to say and offer.  With that comes profits.

Profits don’t always have to tie directly back to money, but can translate to other measurable items like downloads of a whitepaper, signups for a webinar, opt-ins for a email newsletter, and yes, even a new customer.  Of course you need to know what you want out of the system before you start on the journey and keep focused on the long term.

Now of course if your company enjoys popularity on social media outlets, you need to figure out how to convert that into profits before your audience moves on to the next hot thing – or your competition.  Have you figured out a way to pull out those people that can turn into customers while still keeping the general public feed, cared for, and entertained?  It is a difficult task without a plan.

The lesson here?  Being popular sure is nice, but without profits to back it up, your 15 minutes of Internet fame are almost up.

Going Analog!

A question on LinkedIn spurred a bit of topic here.  What happens when a company is currently & successfully engaged in social media marketing?  What’s next?

Here’s a great idea.  GO OFFLINE. Analog. Old school. Yes, really.

All those people that you have been talking to online and that act as purple cows (affiliate link) for your products and services? MEET THEM. Host and sponsor blogger events, Tweetups, sponsor industry events/conferences and cross-promote your online involvement – take your relationship to the next level and do something offline.

Don’t loose site of the fact that your goal is to sell. Retailers want people to walk though their front door.  E-tailers want people to click “order.”  B2B’s want their phones to ring.  Just because you can talk to customers online doesn’t mean the relationship should stay there.

Old Spice vs. OhDoctah

As brilliant as I think the new Old Spice Man is it was professional content produced by an agency. Now, some amazing ‘user generated content’ appears that may just dethrone the viral Old Spice spots.

OhDoctah (video link) & Alyssa Milano (video link) **both videos “Not Safe For Work”** have both come out with rebuttals to Old Spice Man that are taking Twitter by storm.  Personally I love OhDoctah’s video, I’ve met Owen in person and he is very very funny and charming.  He knows a thing or two about the social space online and obviously knows how to make an impression!

What’s your take on the whole thing? Personally I love how the public finally has a chance to ‘talk back’ to the television and add their $0.02. What I’m most curious about is if Dove (referenced in OhDoctah’s video) will love it or hate it since it’s not sanctioned by the company.

How Google Works

While it’s impossible to know the inner-workings of Google search, outsiders can take an educated guess. What exactly happens when you click Search? This infographic from PPCBlog helps visualize the process – that takes just ONE SECOND to complete.
How Does Google Work?
Infographic by PPC Blog

iPad (Image from Flickr: ArabCrunch)

The Year of the Tablet

For years, we have been hearing that it’s the “year of the mobile,” but I think what is really happening is a conversion to tablet devices (not to be confused with a tablet PC – they run a stripped down version of desktop operating system software).  The iPad took even Apple by surprise by selling 3 million units in 80 days and competition is quickly heating up.  Cicso introduced an Android OS (‘Google operating system’) tablet last week and now the LG Android Tablet is next to join the race.  Personally I’m a fan of LG products and would love to get my hands on one to compare it head-to-head to my iPad.

Both the Apple and Android platforms have very valid personal/entertainment uses (raise your hand if you’ve ever loaded a Disney movie on a phone/iPad to keep your kids amused in a restaurant…) – but finding solid business uses for these devices may prove difficult.  Some of the major factors with mainstream business use of tablet devices resides with Internet connectivity, desktop/application compatibility, multi-tasking, and quality of applications on the market – not to mention the ability to administer the devices remotely from the IT department.

It makes sense that the tablet arena would be heating up between Apple and Andriod, as the smartphone market is experiencing the same battle.  Currently I have a two year old RIM Blackberry Tour that has reached the end of it’s contract in August, and I’m looking to replace that with a Sprint EVO Android phone.  Do I expect my new EVO to take the place of my primary computer (MacBook Pro) or tablet (iPad)? No.  As sexy as the display is on the iPad or other Android tablet device, the fact is that it’s hard to consume information and multimedia on such a small screen.

What’s your take on tablet computing for business use?