The Head of lettuce Blog

Social Media Audit

Posted in Strategy,The Head of Lettuce by headoflettuce on November 3, 2010

Working on a social media audit for one of our customers here at Head of Lettuce, and it brings to mind how few companies know the answers to such important questions like: What percentage of the company is on Twitter? What percentage is on Facebook? How many have fanned the company page? These questions are necessary for any organization to know the answers to, and how to deal with the numbers no matter the mix.

What if you have a significant number of employees on social media, how do you monitor them? How do you protect your brand name? How do you prevent inadvertent slips? These are all important parts of a successful social media strategy. It is often said in management that you can not move forward without a true understanding of where you are, well you better figure that out.

I’ve noticed that once the executive team of an organization begins to understand the risk as well as the benefits of social media they embraces it and want to understand as much as they can. It is up to social media companies to help businesses realize this.

Social media is a disruptive innovation that is changing the way we do business and communicate with consumers. Much like e-mail made it easier and cheaper for an organization to maintain a large mailing list, Social Media is now creating relationships sought out by the consumer.

Consumers want to interact with businesses as they often feel like they are on the same team as the business. We saw a great example this week, where an overzealous fan of one of the companies we are working with, is using the company logo on their FB profile, making it look like they work for the company. This is a great problem, because this individual is that big of a fan of the company. Obviously a company can’t have this because of the inherent risks, but the intent of the customer is truly one we should all hope that all of our customers look to duplicate.

A good social media audit will uncover all kinds of “challenges”, but that’s the goal. Issues like the one I described going unchecked could result in a much more expensive result for the organization. Have a business that you are concerned about your social media interactions and employees involvement, contact us to discuss how we can help you.

We are not an Advertising agency

Posted in Strategy,The Head of Lettuce,Twitter by headoflettuce on October 27, 2010

I know I know, I went and thought I would increase my number of blog posts, and here it has been almost a month since my last post #fail. What can I say, the doctors kids are usually the last to see the doctor:)

All I can say is what a busy month it has been. The Head of Lettuce has been shot out of a cannon and is accelerating to light speed, we are working on some amazing business alliances, products and services.

This month a common theme kept coming up in conversations and that is, We are not an advertising agency and we are not a PR firm, nor are they a Social Media company. Advertising agencies are specialist in broadcast messaging, one way messaging like tv, print and radio. PR agencies help you develop the message you would like out there. Social Media companies like us, well we help you enter the conversation about your brand, the key word being conversation.

Social Media companies, at least the good ones like us :), work the different mediums and understand that there is a two-way conversation going on. They understand the etiquette and will translate it into understandable bite size pieces so that you will too. Weather or not you have time to do what is necessary is another issue, and that is where we come in. We have the experts who can do it for you, and if you have special needs outside of our staffs ability, we bring in the expert right for your needs.

One of my biggest pet peeves are the people entering into social media, representing themselves as an “expert” or even a practitioner, and yet they publicly make mistake after mistake. I’ve seen companies and individuals claim to help people with social media, and all they do is broadcast, broadcast and broadcast some more. How can you spot these impostors? simple, try to engage them, mention them, tweet them, see if they answer, see how long it takes. Have them explain social media to you, and trust your gut.

We offer free sit downs with any business considering out help, and more importantly offer no pressure, if we are right for you, you will know. One of my favorite sayings is “If you have a product worth selling, it will sell itself”.

Note about my Twitter Accounts

Posted in The Head of Lettuce by headoflettuce on September 21, 2010

I had a friend ask me a good question about my @HOLMedia account & my @Antony511 account, are they going to be redundant, and at that moment I was not sure my answer on that, but I think I have figured it our.

@Antony511 is me, good, bad and the ugly. It is where I talk about everything and anything, which also includes my business, social media.

@HOLMedia is my company account that I expect to be more focused on social and new media conversation.

So the question is, is there a benefit to following both, and the answer is no, at least not now, as most of the stuff that @HOLMedia tweets will also be shared by @Antony511, but not everything I do in my personal account will be shared on the company site. So if you are a friend, stick with @Antony511, it is who I am. If you are only looking for what I share about social media, then you really only want to follow @HOLMedia.

Does this make sense?

A Story about the value of “Brand Management” in social media

Posted in Cute Tech Stories,The Head of Lettuce,Training by headoflettuce on August 27, 2010

So many businesses ask why they need to get involved in Social Media, and I usually am able to explain it simply for them, well now I have a great story to make the point clearer.

My wife has an 2004 Acura TL, and we recently took it to a local Honda dealership which cost me over $400 after the warranty did not cover some of the items involved in the air conditioner, and the dealerships techs broke a part taking it off (#Craptacular), so I did what so many customers do in that situation, I vented on Twitter. Well the local Acura dealership’s twitter account chimed in, “Bring it here next time”. Well what they did not know was that I have been waiting for over 6 months to hear back from them, Acura, about the dash literally splitting at the seams where the airbag is. I responded to their tweet telling them this, and they never said boo back, which really disappointed me, because the guys in the service area usually bend over backwards to make your experience pleasant. When I went by there today for them to photograph the dash, I mentioned this story to them, thinking to myself, there is a conversation going on about your brand right now, do you have someone competent representing you? Do you know when your brand in mentioned? They dictate how the conversation goes based on their ability to meet customer needs.

This is a great lesson for so many businesses; be involved in the conversation about your brand; acknowledging customers is only part of the equation, you need to continue the conversation when they engage you, otherwise you’re ignoring them, and no one likes to be ignored; you can’t control what they say but you can re-frame it and address it. The fact is you can’t please everyone, but like a customer service rep who remains pleasant and apologetic with a line of people behind the person complaining, people realize when as a company, you are doing everything you can.

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Story behind the Name “Head of Lettuce” media

Posted in Cute Tech Stories,The Head of Lettuce by headoflettuce on August 25, 2010

Ok kiddo’s, recently I have been getting out more and more talking to people about how Head of Lettuce media can help them in their social media needs, and one question seems to keep coming up, so I thought I would share for everyone who wanted to know, but never got a chance to ask, and that is where did I get the name Head of Lettuce.

As I have mentioned before, I use to be the National Speaker for, and I did talks all over the country in every state but 5, well, when speaking I would tell the story of when I use to sell real estate in the early 90’s. I was doing color brochures (for those of you that don’t remember the 90’s, there were no color printers like there are today, and color photocopies were new and expensive) on all my houses and I was paying about $4 per copy for color photocopied brochures, which did look awesome by the way:) . Well, all the other agents were using black and white photocopies, some on stroke inducing neon paper. I would walk in to discuss selling a house and I would throw down the two brochures and ask “how do you want your house sold?”, they would always point to my color brochures and say, “we want that”. My response was always “Good news, I’m the only one doing those”. I would then turn to the agents in the audience, that I was telling the story to, and say even a Head of Lettuce could tell the difference between what I was doing and what my competition was doing.

The fact of the matter is that when it comes to all the elements of “Social Media” there are way to many facets for most people to understand or follow it all as studying social media is a full time study, but even a Head of Lettuce can tell you it is important, and you need to be involved in the conversation. Hence the “Head of Lettuce” was born, now go tell your friends 🙂

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New to Twitter?

Posted in The Head of Lettuce,Training,Twitter by headoflettuce on August 17, 2010

Last week when working with a new client that I am coaching in social media integration, we focused on Twitter, and I was reminded of my first home buying experience. I was in real estate for a few years, but always worked on the seller side, and never went to a closing (in NY the attorneys handle the closing details). Everyone involved seemed to forget it was my first time buying a house, and going through the buyer side to closing, as a result assumptions were made and I was frustrated and made uncomfortable. I realized the need for a buyer training program that assumed they knew nothing and that held their hand through the process and created one that was very popular…flash forward.

This week I read three good twitter articles (see below) that made me want to share my experiance.

Many of us who use Twitter regularly have a hard time remembering  what it was like to not have an idea. People new to twitter don’t know what we know, and we need to assume they know even less then we did, or they would have jumped in sooner. With that in mind I wanted to share a few things we discussed after setting up the initial account. First, Do fill in your profile, as more experienced tweeters will not follow you if they can’t tell what you are about.  Now mind you newbies who might be reading this, this is not an all inclusive, but instead, the tip of the iceberg of things to consider.

You need to figure out who you want to follow, and you should keep in mind why you want to follow them, and why they might want to follow you back. Check and see who you might already know on Twitter; Twitter makes this easy as it will search your Gmail, Yahoo, Linkedin and AOL accounts to see who you might already know using twitter.

You can also search by interests on Twitter or search by names. After adding the easy to find, your friends, now it is time to look to other resources.  TweepML is a great tool to look for lists that might already have groups assembled that you might wish to follow, I was introduced to this by @WhoisGregg back when we were working on the first Foursquare day and it was new to me, I did learn that when you sign in at the bottom of a list the app will automatically follow everyone who is checked on the list, so read carefully before you accidentally follow a list of several hundred. In addition to the importance of a profile filled in,  it is helpful to announce yourself, and let people know you are new, seasoned tweeters are much more forgiving of blunders when you are new, and will even offer advice when asked…ok sometimes when not asked also:)

Search on Twitter Search for keywords that will guide you to people tweeting on topics that you like. I also like to use Twellow as it gives you the ability to search for businesses and individuals that you might wish to develop a relationship with by categories or area. Last week we were searching for doctors in Florida, and guess what, we found them. Keep in mind most people will look at you following them and wonder why, answer that in your initial tweets and in your profile. i.e. I focus on new technologies and social media, so it should not be rocket science to individuals who study social media why I am following them. The bonus is that hopefully they will follow you back. Do create lists within Twitter to help you better manage the people you follow. I recommend: Friends, People I’ve met, prospects (might want to make this or other lists private) and what ever other groups you might need. You can add people to a list without following them, you might choose to demote those with thousands of followers who don’t follow you back to a list, I have a Media list of people I don’t expect to follow me back. BTW you can follow other people’s public lists, so look and see what lists your friends have.

When you start out, if people see you following a bunch of people and only a few following you back, not to mention very few tweets, they are going to look at you a little skeptical as this could easily look like a spam account, so try to be active showing your real, and discuss being new and wanting to learn from others in the medium the proper etiquette as well as what to do and not do.

When someone follows you, follow them back, you could dm (direct message) if you wish, but it is not a big deal if you don’t. Just make sure if you do, it looks authentic from you to them, and DO NOT PLUG your business. If people think you are only their to sell them, they will un-follow you fast. My favorite is when real estate agents ask if the can help me with my housing needs on their first DM, Unfollow.

Make sure you look at these articles; The Lemonade Stand Approach…Twitter for Home Based Business50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business, and Treat Your Social Media Contacts Like You Would A Third Date.

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Businesses get ready and get onboard Foursquare

Posted in Foursquare,The Head of Lettuce by headoflettuce on April 10, 2010

So you’ve decided to get your business involved in 4SqDay and or Foursquare, now it’s time to tell everyone. You don’t open a new business without a grand opening, nor should you enter the exciting new media world without saying Hey Social Media fans, you rock and we know it, in fact we are going to reward you, because you rock. Get the message out! Post it on your website, your Facebook Fan page, tell your customers on your recipts, add it to your menus, place a sign on the wall “Did you check in on Foursquare while you were here? We reward Foursquare players, (Put your offer here)”
Use Foursquare day for your coming out party, keep your expectations low ( we really have no idea what you should expect), but keep your energy and excitement high as this is not just about the day, this is your entry in a new medium for advertising that will yield greater results for $ spent then any other. Leading up to 4SqDay, and all day long, ask your customers “Did you check in on Foursquare? Do you know what that is? We offer discounts to people on Foursquare and it costs you nothing to access those discounts”.
Your goal should be to get as many of your customers on this fun medium as possible, because it gives you an easy way to engage with those customers and reward your best customers. Think of it as a partnership between you and this new medium.
Lastly find out if there is a “Swarm” party going on that day (4/16), if so ask how you can contribute giveaways for those participating, it can be one big gift for a special Winner, maybe anyone who checked in at your location for the day, or maybe a 15% off discount card for all in attendance (or the first 10 that check in), you decide. Make it a true value and you will be rewarded with business and “chatter” on the internet talking about how cool you are resulting in a better image and ultimately more traffic.
Head of Lettuce media helps businesses develop social/new media strategies to capture attention organically contact us to see how we can help you. Advice on #4sqday activities is free.

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