Posts

5 Steps for Building Your Holiday Marketing Strategy

As hard as it is to believe, the holiday season is upon us. Christmas trees and other decorations are already gracing homes, stores and places of business. Though a busy time of year, it holds excitement as well as opportunity, if businesses embrace it. The following steps should help your business effectively take advantage of the holiday season this year.

1) Develop a Strategy

In order to take advantage of this opportunity, businesses, first of all, need to develop a campaign strategy. While some strategies will carry over from year to year, each season offers new ideas and trends. It’s also important to think about how your holiday campaign will tie into your overall marketing strategy. In other words, even if you come up with a really creative idea, you don’t want consumers to know you only for your Christmas campaign. For this reason, it’s very important to look at the big picture.

What do you want to accomplish this holiday season? Are you going to target one specific holiday or the season in general? Although the focus is typically on December 25th, businesses could actually utilize Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, New Year’s Day, as well as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Are the ideas flowing yet? These questions and thoughts should get you thinking about what your needs and goals are, and this is the perfect starting point for creating a strategy.

2) Create a Theme & Stick with It

After you’ve developed your strategy, you’ll need to choose a theme. For instance, if you send out marketing materials and other promotional items, they should contain a common theme. The content you create, and we strongly encourage an aggressive content marketing approach, should also share this theme. It’s understood that most consumers are looking for coupons and discounts during the holiday season. But, if you can create content around why a particular product or service is exclusive, priced a certain way, or is something that provides value, you have the opportunity to stand out.

Also, as you select a theme, it’s important to understand what your target audience is paying attention to. How are they engaging with your brand? Are they gravitating toward images, video, etc.? These answers will play a vital role in theming your campaign.

3) Utilize Social Media

Just as with your other marketing strategies, social media is a must. Remember the genius OfficeMax Elf Yourself campaign? This came out several years ago but continues to receive incredible responses each year. So often, marketers get caught up in the “all about business” mode. The holiday season is the perfect opportunity to break free from this and incorporate some creativity and holiday spirit.

What social channels is your audience using the most? If it’s Pinterest, for example, then look at what they’re pinning and tailor content to match it. Whatever channel that you use, provide meaningful content that your audience will want to engage with.

In addition, with social media, it’s important to stay “in the know.” By doing this, you have the opportunity to jump on the latest trends and even boost them for your own benefit. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to launch a Snapchat campaign, but it does mean you should pay attention to the trends your audience is embracing and adapt your strategy accordingly.

4) Don’t Forget to Be Accessible

As you roll out your campaign, remember that, in the digital age, you have to comply with where your audience may be interacting with you. Is it social media? Is it through a traditional advertising channel such as television? It may even be on a mobile device.

As you plan your strategy, create content that you can distribute across multiple platforms and channels to ensure simple accessibility. This step again allows you to embrace your creative juices. For instance, if your audience mostly connects on social media but your message is long, write a blog post with all the details but tease the content on social media in the form of an image or video. Even if your audience is active on social, no one has time for a long message.

In summary, be accessible by practicing smart marketing.

5) Share Holiday Cheer Too!

In all the hustle and bustle that is the noise around the holidays, it seems that the little things mean the most. When you go the extra mile by sending a card, offering candy at your brick and mortar, and other thoughtful shout-outs and merry treats, the impact is felt.

Online, brands can extend this cheer too by offering coupons, opening up and sharing an inward view of holiday traditions like a holiday luncheon, as well as many other tactics to showcase your brand’s personality. All these little acts of kindness reinforce that there are humans behind your brand. It strengthens relationships too, which in turn, often results in building influencers and brand advocates.

If you want to go beyond these steps, Marketing Land has a preparation guide outlining 28 helpful tips that could be very beneficial to your holiday efforts.

Regardless of what your holiday campaign involves, remember that it is the holiday season. I say this because, just as people often neglect the social side of social media, the fun and cheery part of the holidays is often an afterthought. This, however, is what makes the holidays exciting, even for marketers. So, take advantage and enjoy! 🙂

 

Social Media Misconceptions: Setting the Record Straight

With a society consumed with social media, one would think it would be relatively understood. Unfortunately, it isn’t. Many people and businesses are still struggling to not only digest what social media can do, but also to develop an effective strategy that adapts to continuous changes on each platform.

Social media is powerful and can be used as a primary marketing tool, which means it should be understood. To avoid falling for misinterpretations and some outright untruths, watch out for the following misconceptions.

Using ALL social media channels will make my business better – you can’t go wrong with more, right?

False. Time and time again, businesses jump on the social media bandwagon and embrace blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Foursquare, online review sites, Quora, Vine, Instagram, and any other new platform that comes along. First of all, before you embrace the “tools,” you need to develop a social media strategy that outlines what they will do. For instance, you shouldn’t use Snapchat just because it’s new and exciting. You create a strategy based on market research around where your audience is, then you determine which tools will help you connect further with them.

Secondly, if you create a strategy that involves all the channels listed, you also need to have the team to support it. You have to be realistic in creating your strategy and know what you are capable of taking on. If you embrace too much at once and aren’t able to enforce it, your business will suffer as your audience won’t know what to expect.

So, I can just play on Facebook and Pinterest all day, huh?

Once again, the answer is a strong “No.” Let’s think for a minute – if it really were this easy, don’t you think a lot more businesses would be doing it and doing it well? Being effective on any social platform requires a strategy and an action plan. This action plan involves daily implementation on a variety of levels. Furthermore, all this implementation needs to connect back to the strategy which defines why you’re doing it. This allows you to be able to measure what is working and what is not.

Push out continuous content so no one will be able to miss us

This is a big negative, yet countless people and businesses continue to misuse it. The main problem with this is that businesses could be viewed as spammers for continuous content pushing. News publications have even had this issue due to pushing out their own articles repeatedly. Apart from the spam issue, people may stop following you. Audiences follow brands for particular reasons, but if you post too much, consumers will turn a blind eye to it.

Each brand varies in terms of how often it should post content, but again, if you have a solid strategy that you’re following, the plan will be clearly outlined.

Social media only benefits marketing

Really? Are you kidding me? While social media provides an incredibly valuable tool for marketing efforts, the benefits far exceed the marketing department. As we know from an individual perspective, social media touches almost every area of our lives. The same is true for a business. Social media impacts customer service, recruiting, human resources, internal relations, public relations, as well as many other areas.

Social media truly influences the business as a whole, just as other marketing elements do as well.

Also, in talking about roles, social media does NOT replace traditional marketing. Since social media is perceived as being “free, easy and fun,” it is often thought that other marketing methods are irrelevant. But, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Social media offers another tool to add to the marketing mix, but it is not a standalone toolbox. It is most effective when it is used in conjunction with other marketing tools.

High numbers mean success

Not necessarily. There are some brands that the numbers do speak to the strategy and work they’ve put into it, but this isn’t always the case. Think about Twitter, for example. If you have a 1,000 “egg heads” following you, it doesn’t exactly indicate your social media strategy is paying off. In this case, it would be better to have 500 people from your target market as they are where the real value lies in terms of interactions.

Because people do look at numbers, it is often important that businesses invest some money into building up their following periodically. Numbers can impact credibility, but they don’t guarantee success.

These are just a few of many misconceptions about social media out there. To protect yourself and your business, consider your own goals before falling prey to the latest misconception floating around.

 

4 Ways to Keep People Coming Back to Your Website

Every business naturally wants more traffic to their website as traffic essentially translates to increased sales. What’s the secret for getting people there? And, how do you get them to stay? Like poker, while there may be a bit of luck attached to it, attracting and keeping people on your site is a skill.

It’s all in the headline

When you meet someone that you’re trying to impress, most people will take extra precautions with their appearance. The same should be true online. Catchy titles are beyond valuable since they draw people in. Multiple tactics work including humor, statistics, bold facts, and more, but please be careful to not sensationalize the title. Sometimes it’s tempting, but if readers feel tricked or misled, the super catchy headline serves no purpose.

The best advice in regards to headlines comes from Copyblogger in 10 Sure-Fire Formulas That Work. These tactics provide variety as well as meat that assist in SEO initiatives.

Content matters… a lot

If you read any content from SugarSpun, you should know that we place a tremendous amount of emphasis on content marketing. The reason is simple – it’s vitally important for business success. If a headline gets people there, the content keeps them and causes them to return. Your content has to deliver on what the title promised.

There is a lot of content across the Web, and much of it is good. To make your content stand out, you need to, first of all, be well-written. If you have misspellings or really poor grammar and punctuation, readers could be impacted negatively. You may have breaking news or a breakthrough on a new strategy, but if the reader can’t follow the story due to errors, you have a problem.

Focus on being informative, innovative, and helpful, among other tactics that make people feel like they need your content. From there, you can throw in some humor and other flavor to spice it up, but you must lay a strong foundation first.

Use multimedia and other outreach opportunities to your advantage

If you have a really enticing title and solid content that people can use, you’re setting high expectations. In other words, these visitors aren’t going to be satisfied with just text. The new media era has almost forced us to depend on visuals. This means images, charts, infographics, and videos. People like variety. They also like supplemental material. You can always do this through linking, as you should, but readers will also appreciate if you embed a YouTube video or an infographic directly into your content.

Statistics on Infographics
Courtesy of: Social Strand Media

It’s great if you produce this content yourself, but it’s also very beneficial to utilize content that’s already created. By giving other’s credit, it also helps to present you in a positive light in the industry. And who knows, they might even push your content out, which broadens your reach and creates new opportunities.

Be part of the community

Getting people to your site is not just a matter of writing an article or having a good website, it’s also about your overall presence in your industry. This means you need to participate in conversations that are already happening. Join groups on LinkedIn, answer questions on Quora, become influencers on relevant forums – these are just a few of the ways that you can be involved.

However, as you do this, you must really contribute. Don’t come across as if you’re trying to make a sale – be real and human. Play off of your content by being catchy and informative, but then let them know where they can get further information.

Another aspect of being part of the community involves your social media strategy. Don’t just constantly push out your content – that’s the easy part. Instead, find conversations to be part of and add updates to previous posts.

Above all, be present. People like communication and good, valuable content. If you fulfill this desire, you’ll get increased traffic to your site and long-term, repeat readers.

5 Steps for Staying Motivated

 

What motivates you? Motivation comes in many shapes and sizes. For some, it drives people to provide for their families. For others, it encourages change. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, motivation is defined as:

“The act or process of giving someone a reason for doing something : the act or process of motivating someone; the condition of being eager to act or work : the condition of being motivated; a force or influence that causes someone to do something.”

But, what creates this drive especially when the going gets tough?

Motivation

Some people use visuals for motivation. Others are inspired by words. However, in a day and age of continuous media with countless motivational speakers and messages floating around, these visuals and words can quickly lose their effectiveness. In business, motivation is key to success, so how can it maintained?

For starters, motivation begins by having a goal. Make this goal real. Visualize it, dream about it, and live it. The goal is the light at the end of the tunnel, and motivation is what gets you there. This goal could be a sales precedent, it could be opening a business, it could be expanding a business, or any number of things. Still, it drives people toward reaching this goal.

Secondly, to give you little boosts along the way, set micro-goals. Sometimes goals can be lofty. While there is nothing wrong with dreaming big and setting high expectations, micro-goals help provide extra encouragement to show you that you are on the right path toward meeting your ultimate goal. Micro-goals are like stepping stones. With every micro-goal you meet, it puts you one step closer to the prize.

Even with a goal and plan, sometimes the path veers off course. This can definitely throw a kink in your motivation, but you shouldn’t let it destroy it. Mistakes happen, but this doesn’t mean failure.

Forget Mistakes..

Mistakes are a natural part of growth. Kids disobey and make mistakes, but this doesn’t mean they are failures. Mistakes are part of the course and should not discourage motivation to move forward. Simply learn from them and move on.

Fourthly, to stay motivated, you must surround yourself with positive people and help. Unfortunately, we aren’t invincible. We can’t do everything on our own. Whether it’s employees, colleagues, or mentors, business owners and leaders do need others to encourage them. When surrounded by others, there is less room for discouragement. What’s more, tasks can be delegated, so that no one person is overwhelmed helping to keep everyone motivated to stay on course.

Lastly, turn off distractions. As we talked about last week, distractions have a way about them that reduce productivity. And in the current media blitz, distractions can be hard to avoid. However, it’s up to you to keep your eyes on the prize and meet your goals. Unfortunately, this takes repeated commitment and dedication. But, remember that you’re in control. You have the power and the capability to stop negativity and succeed. However, it all starts with motivation.

motivational quote

Content Marketing: Strategy & Content Aren’t the Same

Content HighlightedContent marketing, like we’ve discussed before, is one of the most talked about concepts in marketing circles today. The reasoning for its popularity is legitimate because content marketing does, in fact, work IF done correctly. There is a ton of information available about content marketing, but unfortunately, not all of it is good advice.

One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding content marketing is the difference between a good content marketing strategy and actually having good content. In other words, you can have an excellent content marketing strategy, but in order for it to deliver, it has to be executed with great content. The same is true on the flip side – you may have great content but not have a strategy that really makes it work for you.

It’s possible to have both, but it’s obviously much more time-consuming. Content marketing is very similar to social media in that people, businesses, and yes, marketers often neglect the first part of the catch phrase. It’s a shame really, since the first part is what makes it work. Also, similar to social media, marketers also want to “jump the gun” with content marketing. We marketers are always so eager, aren’t we?

However, again, an effective content marketing strategy must come first. While many brands are still struggling with this, there are some that get it. Coca-Cola, for example, tries to understand the experience its customers have with the brand. After taking action toward this goal, Coke realized that this experience often happened through a vending machine and decided to give customers more than just one of their sodas. The company gave customers cakes, flowers, and many other prizes that resulted in millions of YouTube hits. What’s more, Coke ended up with some really great content to accompany its already great strategy.

Coca-Cola is so committed to content marketing that it even launched a “Content 2020” initiative that goes beyond developing social and crowd-sourced content. Through this endeavor, Coke wants to “earn a disproportionate share of popular culture” by telling compelling stories with artists, actors and musicians. It wants to tell stories that provide true value to its customers while also meeting its own business objectives.

Coke launched this initiative in 2012 and has maintained its commitment thus far, showing that it understands how all its marketing efforts rests on its content marketing strategy. Brynn Bardacke, Coca-Cola’s global group creative director, spoke with iMedia Connection about its initiative and the results already obtained.

Just as Coca-Cola has done, content marketing goes hand-in-hand with your overall marketing strategy. It’s a starting point that leads and dictates your other actions. Your content marketing strategy isn’t just your blog or your Facebook and Twitter posts – it encompasses everything.

A recent study from Demand Metric shows that only 13 percent of content marketers think their efforts are “very successful.” This is staggering. The survey consisted of more than 500 responders and only 13 percent really believe what they’re doing is working.

Demand Metric Chart

The above chart shows the objectives that these content marketers have. These are great objectives to have, and clearly, most of them directly impact the bottom line. So, where does the problem lie?

For many, it’s the process that’s wrong. Here again, it’s the whole jumping the gun thing once more. There’s much more to content marketing than setting an objective and projecting an outcome. The middle part – the micro goals, tactics, etc. – is how you get to actionable results. To throw a party, you don’t just have an idea for a party and then expect people to just show up. You plan, you send out invitations, you prepare food and decorations and more. It’s a process.

The same is true with content marketing. You set goals, you set micro goals, you define tactics and match them to your micro goals, and more all BEFORE you start doing. This will also help to give you check points to define whether or not you are succeeding to avoid falling into the 13 percent of struggling content marketers.

With so much emphasis on publishing today from Google’s increased efforts to deliver quality content to smarter consumers not falling for “marketing speak,” content marketing has a good reason to be top of mind for marketers. But, before jumping on the bandwagon, marketers need to have a solid strategy outlining goals and the process as well as a content plan in order to really make their efforts worthwhile.

Incidentally, SugarSpun will be hosting a free social media webinar on content marketing showing attendees how to develop and succeed through content marketing. Jennifer Evans Cario, SugarSpun Marketing’s president, will walk attendees through the process of creating a home base for content efforts and also how to produce quality and targeted content through developing audience personas. The training will take place Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 8 PM EDT/5 PM PDT. Register here.


Music courtesy of Audionautix.com

 

4 Reasons to Build a Social Media Strategy

As a small business social media strategist, I’m very happy to see so many companies finally beginning to recognize the need to invest some of the marketing dollars into social media. I’m ever more happy to see how many of them are willing and able to dedicate some internal staff to the matter. On the other hand, I’m finding that many of these companies have absolutely no idea WHY they need a social media strategy. They just feel the pressure to get involved and hope something will come from it.

Unfortunately, that’s no way to build a strategy. What good does it do to invest time and money into a blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or any other number of social media outlets if you have no goals, no measurement and quite frankly, no idea why you’re there.

What companies need to do is embrace the benefits of social media while very carefully thinking through the goals of their outreach efforts. Different goals will require different strategies. Taking a shotgun approach of simply trying to “get out there” will rarely result in a solid payoff. It’s far better to sit down and carefully consider what your company’s goals are and to build backward to create a strategy that’s most likely to meet those goals.

2009 is coming to a close and most companies are already deep in planning with their 2010 marketing budgets. With that in mind, here are four key reasons why your company needs to consider planning and launching a social media campaign next year.

Reason #1: Social Media Gives You Unprecedented Ability to Listen to Your Customers

tin cans on a stringFor companies that don’t already have some type of social media strategy in place, this is usually the best place to start. While it takes a little bit of common sense and guidance to create an active and vocal outreach plan that will deliver results, pretty much anyone is capable of listening to the existing conversation.

The goal here is threefold.

  1. Find out where your customers are: The first thing you’ll need to do is find out where your customers and potential customers are spending their time. You can run a search for groups or fan pages on Facebook, search for keywords related to your business on Twitter Search, set up Technorati and Google Alerts or using a free service like Social Mention. You can (and should) also check your log files to see what types of social sites (blogs, forums, Twitter, etc…) are sending traffic to your site.
  2. Find out what your customers think of you and your competitors: Once you’ve figured out where to look (or as part of that process) it’s a great idea to run searches for your company (and products) and for your competitors and their products. This lets you know what your customers like and don’t like which gives you an excellent starting point for making changes, playing to your strengths and otherwise building offerings that will appeal to your audience.
  3. Find out what your customers’ passion points are: This becomes one of the keys of a social media listening strategy and it’s one that’s often overlooked. Social media listening isn’t just about hearing people praise or complain you, it’s about identifying subsets of potential customers and learning about the things that drive them to conversation. Finding out what makes them tick and finding the hot button topics that get them focused.

Basically, companies need to view social media as a sort of endless focus group they can tap at any point in time. For companies that invest in listening and really sit down to consider how this information impacts them, there’s amazingly valuable information available. Using this information to impact all forms of marketing can make this specific strategy perfect for companies who don’t have time to invest in a social media voice, but who want to reap some of the benefits.

Reason #2: Social Media Gives You the Chance to Build or Introduce a Brand

Sometimes, the entire goal of a social media strategy is to create awareness about a new product, a service or a brand. Consumers are heading online in droves to have conversations and thanks to the explosion of interest in microblogging, social networks and blogs, they’re talking about more topics and reaching more people than ever before.

Getting a customer to talk about your product used to mean they mentioned it to a handful of friends or co-workers. These days getting them to talk about it might mean they share it with hundreds of friends on Facebook, thousands of contacts on Twitter or even tens or hundreds of thousands of readers on a blog. That’s a massive amount of potential exposure.

my company name isLet’s take a look at three different ways of approaching this one:

  1. Use social media to introduce a brand new company to the world: This is one of the most popular ways of using social media. New companies are springing up all the time, often in very competitive markets. Finding (or paying for) brand evangelists to go out, build relationships and educate communities about these companies can be very effective. The key here is to come at things from the relationship and educational side of things. Plugging or pushing products on social media rarely works, gently creating opportunities for exposure by becoming part of the community can get the job done very effectively.
  2. Use social media to introduce an existing brand to a larger audience: For companies that simply haven’t gotten into the social media space yet, there’s tons of opportunity to grow beyond their current reach. These are the types of companies that benefit most from looking at their analytics and talking to existing customers to find out what communities they’re part of online. From there, it’s a matter of branching out into new and similar communities (i.e. if you get great traffic from parenting forums, seek out new parenting forums) or finding creative ways to equip your current customers with the desire to evangelize you to their friends.
  3. Use social media to introduce a new product or service from an existing company: This tactic is very similar to introducing an existing brand to a larger audience. These companies generally have the head start of an existing base of loyal customers from which to build. This means they can approach existing customers who have active voices in social media and offer them the chance to test and experience the new products or services.

Reason #3: Social Media Gives You a Unique Way to Gather Feedback

Another excellent reason to turn to social media is the ability to gather feedback from your target audience. While this may sound similar to the concept of listening to the conversation, there’s a strong difference in the two goals. Listening is focused purely on listening to the existing conversation without trying to influence it’s direction. Using social media as a feedback channel is all about actively soliciting input, ideas and even complaints about your products or services.

The thing to remember with this type of social media strategy is that it takes some serious investment. You can’t just show up on a popular social media channel and ask people to tell you what they think. You have make a heavy investment into building relationships first.

There are several different ways to do this:

  1. Use your blog to run ideas past loyal readers before you launch them: The great thing about building up a reputation as a company who listens is it gives people reason to talk. Southwest is one of the best examples online of a company who has established a strong feedback channel with their loyal customers via a blog. If you regularly take ideas to your readers and demonstrate that you not only listen to, but act on their advice, you can open amazing doors of opportunity. Listen to your customers. Talk to your customers. Use social media to find out what they want and then deliver it. You won’t be sorry.
  2. Use social media to recruit a team of beta testers: Sometimes you have ideas or products you need feedback on, but are not yet ready for public consumption. While social media seems to be the very essence of “public consumption,” it can still be a very valuable outlet for beta testing. Why? Because you can use social media to establish the types of relationships needed to put together a small group of beta testers. You can reach out into the community to find influencers, build relationships with them, and offer them exclusive and early access in exchange for their feedback and ideas.
  3. Use social media to ask direct questions: Sometimes using social media is as simple as asking a direct question to a larger audience. Twitter, Facebook, Blogs and even YouTube can be immensely valuable in terms of getting your question out to a group of people you already know share an interest in your topic or your product. The ability to ask your customer base what they want so you can find a way to deliver it is one carries a lot of value.

Reason #4: Social Media Gives You the Chance to Demonstrate Personality

One of the single greatest advantages the Internet and social media has given small business owners is the ability to once again go head to head with their big box counterparts. A decade ago, this was because web sites gave no indication of business size. The small mom and pop shop could have a site that looked just as good, was priced just as good and carried just as much inventory as a company like Sears or Walmart. These days, smart small businesses are using social media not only as an equalizer, but as a competitive advantage.

You don’t have to look far to find a story of a consumer who feels unappreciated or ignored by a larger brand who has made them unhappy. No one likes to sit on hold for 2 hours trying to lodge a complaint or have a product replaced. Smaller brands who sell the same product at the same price but actually answer the telephone have the chance to differentiate themselves and bring in loads of new customers. Beyond that, small companies who establish a voice via their blog or social media outlets have the chance to build credibility by building relationships directly with consumers.

Here are a handful of ways to use social media to do just that:

  1. Demonstrate your unique personality by communicating as a person and not as the company: Companies are faceless, people are not. Using social media to tie your business brand to a personality can go a long way toward making even the largest company feel small and approachable. Whether it’s answering questions on Twitter or sharing anecdotes or stories on your blog, letting some of your personality shine through goes a long way toward helping consumers feel connected to your brand.
  2. Use various social media outlets to make yourself both available and helpful: This may be the single biggest way companies are using social media to establish personality right now. Whether it’s the president of Zappos making lunch plans with a complete stranger while he’s in town on business or someone from Comcast responding to customer frustration with a solution…big brands are using social media to communicate openly and helpfully with consumers and it’s paying off.
  3. Use social media to communicate in the way that’s most natural to you: Back in the early days of social media it was all about blogs. The problem with this is not everyone is a good writer. These days, a lack of natural writing ability won’t keep your personality from shining through. Whether it’s shooting video, recording a podcast or simply sharing unique finds and quick insight on Twitter, social media has opened up a ton of ways (other than writing) for people to communicate. This lets everyone play to their strengths and gives you a chance to be “you” in the best and most comfortable way you know how.

To be honest, there are dozens…maybe even hundreds of reasons to get involved with social media next year. These are just some of the strongest. What it all boils down to is this; your customers are online and they are using social media to communicate. If you aren’t, you’re business is missing opportunities. No one says you have to master every use of social media all at once, but you’re doing yourself (and your bottom line) a disservice if you don’t at least give some thought toward creeping into the social media space next year to do a little listening.