Social Media – Keeping Your Ear to the Groundswell

Every single entrepreneur that Robert and I have spoken to is grappling with ‘social media’.  Entrepreneurs just like you — across all industries — are asking the fundamental questions, such as:

  • Should I use social media tools?
  • What social media tools should I use?
  • How should I use social media to get the most out of them?
  • When should I be using these tools?
  • How much time/money/effort should I invest in social media tools?
  • How will I know that I’m using social media tools effectively?

Don’t be put off if you don’t have the answers. Because, in fact, many entrepreneurs just like you are still asking: “What are social media tools anyway?” Over the next few months, Robert and I are taking this fascinating and fast-moving topic head-on.

1) To get underway, in BusinessCast #101, we’ve just interviewed Charlene Li. Charlene is the engaging co-author of Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies — considered to be one of the landmark books on social media. And, no wonder. The resource accomplishes something that few other social media books, articles or websites do: it provides practical and actionable advice, clearly and concisely. The ‘heart’ of the book is a way to view your current/targeted markets based on how they actually use technology.  And, then once you’ve got a handle on how your audience interacts with technology, Groundswell provides guidelines for how to reach them. Equally as practical is the overall Groundswell approach which recommends that you should focus on the type of relationship you want with your markets — rather than focusing on the social media tools (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Digg, YouTube, Flickr, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, etc. etc.) themselves.

2) We’re also attending a fascinating and highly-recommended series of social media webinars made available through Marketwire — which is one of the World leaders for press release distribution, public relations and investor relations. We will be bringing you updates on each of the monthly webinars. However, we recommend that if you want to remain on the leading-edge of this topic, sign-up for them now so that you can get a jump on your competitors by building a social media roadmap.

3) Whenever we see a resource that is particularly useful for entrepreneurs, we cherry-pick some of the most relevant social media news and insights. So, here are two BusinessCast blogposts that can help you quickly get up-and-running on social media:

4) You’re probably asking yourself how popular is social media? Here’s a resource that provides some social media usage stats.

5) Finally, when you’ve had a chance to review the above resources, check out Charlene Li’s blog where she tackles the future of social media.

Don’t forget to enter the contest to win a Blackberry Bold!

Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

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Win a Blackberry Bold — Contest for Entrepreneurs

****Update June 8, 2009:  The “Entrepreneur Be Bold” Contest has a winner: the intrepid entrepreneur “Soccer Girl”. Listen to the brief BusinessCast Podcast episode #109b where we announce the exciting news.****

A few months ago, we were fortunate enough to interview Michael Younder, Senior Product Manager at Research in Motion for two episodes of the BusinessCast — episode 75 where Michael discussed mobile marketing trends and episode 83 where he talked about Blackberry hardware and business applications for entrepreneurs.

Since then, Research in Motion has generously provided us with a Blackberry Bold!

So, we’re running a very simple CONTEST that should appeal to every entrepreneur.

Here are the rules:

1) Tell us in 100 words or less how your business would benefit from a Blackberry Bold smartphone.

2) Send this description/story to us via email to Robert@BennettGold.ca.

3) A winner will be chosen based on how compelling their reason for needing a Blackberry Bold smartphone. Winners can also choose to be highlighted in an upcoming episode of the BusinessCast podcast where over 30,000 listeners will hear about your business per month!

4) Finally, the contest is open to any business owner/manager — regardless of industry, geographic region (i.e. Country/State/Province), age, size or revenues.

You should know that we will contact the winner before announcing it on this blog or in the BusinessCast podcast. Furthermore, we will not share your email address with anyone.

Good luck!!

Mobile Marketing – The Ultimate Starter Kit

Mobile Marketing — it’s not only the “next big thing” that every entrepreneur needs to take advantage of to optimize their business, it is the “next big thing” NOW! That’s why in BusinessCast Podcast episode #91 – Mobile Marketing for Entrepreneurs — The Ultimate Starter Kit we interviewed MobileMarketer.com’s Editor-in-Chief, Mickey Alam Khan.

Mickey, who is an intrepid entrepreneur himself, answers the key questions that all entrepreneurs ask themselves when confronting an exciting new marketing channel like mobile marketing:

  • When should I invest in mobile marketing?
  • How do I start in mobile marketing?
  • What are the challenges that I will face?
  • What are the key trends that I need to be aware of?

In Mobile Marketing for Entrepreneurs — The Ultimate Starter Kit we also highlight our Entrepreneurs Be Bold Contest — where you can win a Blackberry Bold (courtesy of Research in Motion).

Finally, here are a handful of resources that, along with Mickey’s insights, can help your mobile marketing efforts be successful:

1) Mobile Marketer — The World’s largest/most popular mobile marketing publication. The site includes real-life case studies and guides to mobile commerce and mobile advertising. At the same time, the online journal provides timely, succinct articles and sector-by-sector insights.

2) An Introduction to Mobile Marketing — This BusinessCast blog post includes key resources to help you quickly become familiar with the key players, common myths and terminology associated with mobile marketing.

3) Common Short-Codes Registries — When you get underway with your mobile marketing, one of your first steps involves registering for a common short code (CSC). Here’s where you need to register these short codes:

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

How and When to Mobil-ize Your Business

A few weeks ago we interviewed Michael Younder, senior product marketer at Research in Motion — the home of the ever popular Blackberry. At that time, Michael shared with us valuable insights for entrepreneurs about mobile marketing.

Well, Michael is back. And, this time he’s sharing with us why the Blackberry is such a critical tool for entrepreneurs’ day-to-day success! Listen to Business Cast Podcast #83 Mobil-izing Your Business where we review some exceptional Blackberry business applications for entrepreneurs and Michael talks about the newest Blackberry devices including the Blackberry Bold, Blackberry Flip and the Blackberry Storm.

***Later this month, we’re launching a contest where YOU CAN WIN A BLACKBERRY BOLD! So come back and check out the BusinessCast blog and listen to the BusinessCast podcasts to get details.***

Finally, whether you’re a ‘telephone junkie’ or not, there are several developments that you need to know about this technology in order to build your business. So, here are some useful related resources that you can tap into easily:

Mobile Marketing (an Introduction) – A blog post with a focused selection of useful tools that will help you decide if/how mobile marketing is right for your business.

Research in Motion – Interview #1 – Our first podcast interview with Research in Motion’s senior product marketer, Michael Younder.

Cold Call Warm-Up – A podcast designed to help entrepreneur get the most out of their cold calls – who ever is at the other end of the phone.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Come in From Out of the Cold-Call Chill – Part 1

A few weeks ago, we were bombarded with requests and comments when we interviewed one of Research in Motion’s Senior Product Marketers.

Blackberry’s Michael Younder shared insights about mobile marketing, product development and branding relevant for all entrepreneurs.

Well, we’re continuing our efforts to help entrepreneurs use traditional and evolving telephone technology with a series of practical tools and tips for cold-calling.

In BusinessCast #79 – A Cold Call Warm-Up– Robert and I begin with some key do’s and don’ts to help you/your business’ cold calls be as cost-effective as possible.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Mobile Marketing for Entrepreneurs: Part 1

Mobile marketing – it’s more than those ‘short codes’ you punch in your phone to vote for your favourite Canadian Idol. Mobile search, mobile advertising, mobile payment, mobile browsing….well, you get the point.

In fact, if you have any of the newest generations of ‘smart phones’, you have in the palm of your hand a communications/business tool that will very soon dramatically change the way you market to your customers.

But how do you take full advantage of this mobile technology and all of the new marketing opportunities that it creates? To get a handle on the current/upcoming opportunities, take two simple steps:

1) Review Mobile Marketing – Part 1 – a blog post that includes a handful of very focused resources to get you comfortable with mobile marketing fundamentals;

and

2) Listen to the BusinessCast Podcast Episode #75 – Don’t Hang Up: Mobile Marketing for Entrepreneurs.

Our very special podcast guest is Michael Younder — one of the senior product marketers at Research In Motion (R.I.M.) — home of the ubiquitous Blackberry!

Michael shares entertaining stories, insights and trends about mobile marketing, product development and branding. At the same time, Michael — along with Robert and I — highlight those lessons relevant for every business entrepreneur.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Mobile Marketing For Entrepreneurs: Pick Up! Opportunity is Calling!

Have you ever wondered how you were going to leverage the ‘next big thing‘?

Well, it’s here and it’s time! It’s mobile marketing!

Mobile marketing is quickly becoming one of those rare phenomenon in business where a number of technologies and markets converge so powerfully that thousands of new and exciting opportunities emerge for entrepreneurs– semingly overnight.

So, to get a handle on the current/upcoming opportunities, take two simple steps:

1) Review Mobile Marketing – Part 1 – a blog post that includes a handful of very focused resources to get you comfortable with mobile marketing fundamentals;

and

2) Listen to the BusinessCast Podcast (Episode #75 – Don’t Hang Up: Mobile Marketing for Entrepreneurs) which will be posted on the BusinessCast Archives on Sunday, September 21, 2008.

Our very special podcast guest is Michael Younder — one of the many ‘movers and shakers’ at Research In Motion (R.I.M.) — home of the ubiquitous Blackberry!

Michael shares entertaining stories, insights and trends about mobile marketing, product development and branding. At the same time, Michael — along with Robert and I — highlight those lessons relevant for every business entrepreneur.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes