Is Your Professional Services Firm Playing to Win—or Just Playing Head Games?

Professional Services

Player One, get ready – it’s time for Head Games!

The first level will reveal profound disconnects between your professional services firm and its target audiences. Be prepared to leap over gaps in perception, swing wildly at low hanging fruit, and miss opportunities (because they’re invisible at this level).

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Criminals Use Social Media Too

Criminal

The Internet has transformed crime. Many criminals today use the Internet to commit crimes such as cyber stalking and identity theft. Many people post a lot of personal information on their Twitter and Facebook accounts. Privacy is often not respected when people surf online.

Now, criminals can hack into Facebook and Twitter accounts and retrieve personal information about people. More than 80% of crimes that are committed online involve the usage of social media websites. Privacy concerns have been aired for several years regarding this issue but people still post personal photos, birth dates, email addresses and other information on their profile and news pages. This information can be used against people very easily.

Young children who use social media sites can become victims of sex crimes. This is why people need to protect themselves online. For example, people should never post that they will e going on vacation. If people know that a house will be unoccupied for a period of time then burglars could learn this through social media and commit a crime.

Statistics have shown that 20% of people have been a victim of online crime. This figure could increase as time goes by. More than one million people each day become victims so it is crucial for people to keep their online profiles private and only share basic information with their friends and followers. The world has changes a great deal since the personal computer was invented. People have to change their mind sets so that they do not become a victim.

Criminal Social Media Infographic

Infographic provided by instantcheckmate.com

Just the Facts… About Internet Marketing

Marketing Facts

Statistics can be a wonderful thing. They can show us information that can guide our decisions and bring us to see things in better focus. They can distract us, taking us down an incorrect path based upon lack of understanding. They can entertain us.

This infographic from Yoda London can likely do any of the three. As with any set of numbers, if you torture them long enough, you can make them say anything. For example, seeing that 93% of online experiences begin with search engines can be useful in that it highlights the importance of SEO. It could also be detrimental if misunderstood as “online experiences” could mean just about anything. It entertains (if you’re a search geek like me, at least).

Check out the graphic:

Digital Marketing Facts Infographic

How to Handle Complaints on Social Media

Social Media Complaints

There’s a rule when it comes to handling complaints and bad reviews on social media. The same rule applies for compliments and good reviews, but those are easy. Handling the complaints can be challenging and you may not want to do it, but as a rule you must reply to everyone who is talking to you publicly whether it’s good or bad.

This is an absolute rule. There are a couple of extreme situations when you don’t reply, but they are so rare that I hesitate to mention them for fear that it could downplay the message that you should reply to everyone.

There’s another rule that is unfortunately getting broken just about every day by many social media and reputation management companies. Canned responses should never be used. Every response should be personal, written by an actual human and not repeated. It’s better to make a short, sincere response than anything that came out of an automated system. People can tell. You will never appear more insincere as a company than when you reply to someone talking to you on social media with a form letter.

In this infographic by Pardot, we have a chance to take a look at five of the most prominent “complainer types” on social media. If you can identify the category that a complainer falls into, you’ll have a better opportunity to handle it appropriated. One does not have to be a psychologist to understand personality types. You just have to open your eyes and ears before opening your mouth.

Social Media Complaints Infographic

5 Types of Infographics

Eye for Infographics

In the ever-changing world of online marketing, one of the tools that has stayed relatively consistent in its results over the past few years is the infographic. I remember first getting started with building and marketing infographics back in 2008. Things haven’t changed a whole lot since then.

Two things that have definitely changed are the saturation and the search value. The industry is so saturated today that it’s nearly impossible to get the same type of exposure now that we once saw a few years ago. It was once possible to get a great infographic in front of millions of people by having it published on major blogs and websites. Today, the saturation has made it to where getting one posted to Mashable or the NY Times is extremely challenging.

The search value has changed as well. Google is very well aware of the use of infographics for inbound links and they’ve taken measures to make sure that this ultimate form of “link baiting” is not overpowered. That’s not to say that there’s no search value. It’s still there and is very strong. The days of “build an infographic and rank higher instantly” are behind us.

Here is a breakdown (in infographic form, of course) of five of the most common forms of infographics. Click to enlarge.

Types of Infographics

5 Quick Social Media Stats

5 Quick Social Media Stats Infographic

I’m really not crazy about mini-infographics that are intended to drive some quick links to the source and this is definitely one of those. They even focus on their own branding rather in the center of the graphic rather than at the bottom as is normally the custom. However, the stats are good and so is my mood.

We learn two things from these five facts. First, we learn that social is important to marketers, something that we’ve known for a while but that could always use some reiteration. The second thing we learn is that half of the marketers out there using social media don’t really know how to track it. This is a problem as we recently discussed.

Hat tip to Nuance.

Social Media Fears, Tips, and Strategies for Small Businesses

Social Media Anxiety

I admit that I’m not the biggest fan of the Huffington Post. It’s not that I don’t like some of the content. I don’t like what they’ve done to content as a whole and how they’ve really dismantled the concept of fair search and social marketing for blogs. Then again, you have to admire the results.

With that said, the infographic that they had built below is rather exceptional. It’s not the most visually stunning piece of work ever, but the information is top notch. The anxiety-causing issues surround social media for small businesses are spot on. The tips that they offer are pretty darn good. Their strategies aren’t bad for those new to the game. In a world where poor social media infographics get posted around the internet on a daily basis, it’s a breath of fresh air to find one that actually works.

And yes, it’s from HuffPo. Still posting it. Quality over source. Information over bias. Begrudgingly, here it is:

Social Media Anxiety Infographic

The #History of the #Hashtag: An #Infographic

Hashtags

Before a hashtag was what it means today to just about every major social network, it was a pound button. It was a number sign. It was a tic-tac-toe box. It was anything other than what it is today, one of the most useful and important tools used by social media marketing firms and general social media fans across the internet.

I was there, believe it or not. I saw the first hashtag ever used. It was funny because at the time I thought it was a pretty silly idea, but obviously it grew on me and hundreds of millions of others. Now, I often find myself wondering why hashtags aren’t used more often. Go figure.

Here’s an infographic from Offerpop that breaks down the long (in internet years at least) history of the four little lines.

History of Hashtags Infographic

A Premature but Useful Recap of Social Media in 2013

2013 in Review

Just as Christmas lights are already going up with a month and three weeks to go, so too will the onslaught of “best of 2013″ and “2013 year in review” posts start finding their way into your feeds. It’s natural. First isn’t always best, but at least it’s first, right? Unless it’s second…

Anyway, this particular infographic about 2013 has some useful facts, particularly for those who are still stuck trying to convince others that social media is more than a fad. For example, 36% of marketers have found a customer via Twitter this year. It’s not a high number but it goes to show that the notion that “people don’t buy things through Twitter” might be false. Now, if you’re selling $1.99 trinkets, getting a customer through Twitter might not be a big deal, but if you’re selling cars or houses, well…

On stat that I would love to see the data on (mostly because I don’t know if I believe it) is the concept that 35-44 and 45-54 are the two most dominant social networking age groups. Perhaps I’m being cynical. Perhaps I’m giving kids these days too much credit. Still, I see a lot more conversations about Miley Cyrus on social media than anyone in the older brackets. That’s not very good circumstantial evidence, but hey…

Here’s the infographic from Social Divas. Take from it what you can, dismiss the rest, and enjoy your day. Now, to end one more paragraph with dot dot dot…

2013 Social Media Facts Infographic

The 30 Minute Social Media Management Schedule

30 Minutes

In an ideal world, you’re the social media and content manager for your company. You spend eight hours a day harnessing the power of sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ while developing content for your blog and YouTube channels. It’s tough, but you’re making it happen.

In the real world, you’re probably responsible for a ton of different things and social media was tossed onto your pile of work. How can you cope? Is it possible to have a strong social media presence without devoting a ton of time to it? Yes and no. Yes, you can have a pretty decent one, but 30-minutes as detailed below is the bare minimum to be considered truly active. I’ve seen people do it in about 2 hours a day and have a super strong presence.

For those of you who are having to hold it together until help (or more time) arrives, here’s a great infographic that can work as a daily checklist of activities that you need to accomplish to maintain the minimum level of social media power, courtesy of Pardot.

30 Minute Social Media Infographic