Monthly Archive for April, 2011

A prediction becomes reality

Last week I compared the evolution of websites to that of social media adoption. I proposed that two things were likely in the future for small businesses: 1) They may be more likely to have a social media strategy than have a website; 2) More and more would employ both a website and social media to cross-collateralize content and e-commerce capability.

This line of thinking got me wondering how you’re using these two customer-connecting tools right now. So in our poll question last week we made this request: “Please choose one of these four options for how you connect with customers online.” Frankly, the answers surprised me.

Almost one-in-five respondents said, “We have a website for our business.” Of course, this would be way too low for this answer, except that we also offered this choice, “We do both - website and social media.” Those who chose this one represented more than 70%.

A very small percentage of our sample said they used social media as the sole method of connecting with customers online. In time, I believe this will change. And thankfully, those who admitted that they didn’t connect with customers online at all were also a small number of our respondents.

The good news I’m taking away from our responses this week is that my #2 prediction in the first paragraph is coming to pass sooner than I thought. Small businesses increasingly understand that in order to be relevant in the 2nd decade of the 21st century, you have to be prepared to use all methods of connecting with customers, the traditional and the new.

Recently on my radio show, The Small Business Advocate, I talked more about the connections between social media and websites, now and in the future. Take a few minutes to listen and tell us how you use social media in your efforts to connect with customers.

Comparing the evolution of websites and social media

What is the relationship between social media and websites?

Websites and social media will work together in the future

Maintain Your Sense of Humor

There are many reasons why we would do well to study the life of Abraham Lincoln. But today, let’s focus on his love for laughter.

In one of my favorite books, The Words Lincoln Live By, author and friend, Gene Griessman, reports that Lincoln once said, “It was a common notion that those who laughed heartily and often never amounted to much, never made great men. If this be the case, farewell to all my glory.”

The great 20th century American poet and Lincoln biographer, Carl Sandburg, noted that Lincoln was considered the ” … first authentic humorist to occupy the Executive Mansion in Washington. His gift of laughter and flair for the funny being taken as a national belonging.”

The more you know about Lincoln’s many hardships and setbacks in his personal life, professional career and his presidency, the more impressed you become at how, in the face of everything, he still maintained his sense of humor.

If I could sigh one personal thing for all of us today, I think it would be more laughter. I would encourage us all to take as many opportunities as we can to laugh, including - especially including - at ourselves. With all of the challenges we vace each day in the pursuit of our entrepreneurial dreams, we must still find a way to laugh.

Let’s make sure we look for opportunities to nourish our spirits with laughter. After all, it is, as Mr. Lincoln said, ” … the joyous, beautiful, and universal evergreen of life.”

A while back on The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked with Lois Geller, founder and president of Lois Geller Marketing Group, about using injecting humor in your marketing strategy to create memorable messages. Please take a few minutes to listen to our conversation, laugh along with us, and let us know how you incorporate fun either inside your business or in your marketing.

Injecting humor into your marketing strategy with Lois Geller

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