Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Hyper marketing

One of the reasons I wanted to start my own business was so I could steer by my own moral compass.

I believe in offering what's required to a customer in preference to selling them a service they don't need, but would make me more money. Lately my belief in that position has been sorely tested.

I've seen companies charging huge fees for hours and hours of training on sites such as Twitter. It seems popular, assuming that the courses are full and run every time they are advertised to do so!

Having spent many years in education, I know that the end benefits for the customers are less than if they had attended a series of shorter, less expensive 1-2-1 tutorials.

Don't get me wrong. Many group training sessions are very well run and provide an excellent introduction to Social Media. It's the ones that test the boundaries of credibility as well as the customers' finances that I'm talking about here. (think 4 figure fees!)

So - why are the overly expensive, extremely extended, group training courses preferable to a lot of customers over bespoke 1-2-1 sessions? Here lies my dilemma. I perceive the difference to be hyped up marketing.

Is this something I really want to try?

I'd love more business so let's see what it might sound like:
"Maximise your client engagement using Ariadne's proven 6 steps to credible interaction and improved product uptake. The three days that will change how you do business forever! Now only £1500!"

Would you buy that? Because I'm not at all sure that I want to sell it!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Hacked and Phished are different!

Short post about a pet peeve of mine.

Many folks on Twitter have recently posted "Sorry - was hacked - all ok now" or similar.

Truth is this - they were NOT hacked.

They gave their details away, voluntarily, to a phishing scam. This is quite different to having someone hack your ID and password unaided - or indeed deliberately breach the security of the hosting service.

When you give your details away, however inadvertantly, you have been phished.

If you click on a link within Twitter that then requires your ID and password to "log in" again the chances are high that it's a dodgy link. Think before you type.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Spontaneous reputation combustion

It's been said in many Social Media blogs - including this one - that even the most solidly built and carefully crafted virtual presence can be demolished by an ill advised blog or tweet.

I witnessed one such spontaneous combustion a few days ago. One of my followers (don't bother looking they're not there now!) uses Twitter, predominantly, for social interaction. Like a lot of people they have links to their business on their profile and mention it occasionally in their feed.

On the day in question this person engaged in a rather contentious, but short, exchange with another Twitter user. This is not, in itself, likely to cause mass umbrage. Twitter is a great place to engage in constructive debate - if you remember two things:

1. Your tweets are not exclusive to the person you are in debate with (unless you use the Direct Message function)

2. Other people can - and will - join in

By the time the individual had been retweeted, and had topical hashtags added to their comments, they were in way over their heads. They had been caught up in a Twitter tidal wave.

Their followers started to drop away. People they had been talking to for months blocked them. There was talk of not using their business as a supplier from local tweeps. Days later, they are still getting tweets from disgruntled people.

So, how many tweets does it take to damage your business? In this case 6.

Be careful out there...