What a busy year it has been. Time at last for a bit of a break. Finding some relaxation in the year-end business ‘wind-down’ usually leads to some good family time, couch time and with any luck, a couple of good naps. Year-end is also a good chance to depressurize and de-couple from the marketing world – if only for a little while. But, even while watching the holiday shows and movies, it is all too easy to drift back into the marketing world.
While cozying up with the fam around the fireplace and with that holiday classic “Christmas Vacation” on the wide screen, it suddenly dawned that holiday films have a great deal of advice and guidance for those of us in the social media and marketing world. Maybe it was the eggnog, but by thinking through some of the Christmas and holiday favorites, some deep philosophical musings and lessons can be pulled from the themes of the top Christmas and holiday programming.
Christmas Vacation– “Drum Roll, Please.”
Sometimes, your best efforts produce unparalleled disaster. If it does, own up to it and keep trying. You might burn down the house, but you’ll never hit the grand slam if you never step into the batter’s box. In the end, you’ve got to set your sights high if you are ever going to achieve great results. (Sorry for the metaphor-slew.)
Scrooged – “The b____h hit me with a toaster!”
Watch your social media content and be mindful of the reputation you are creating over the long term. The Ghost of Posts Past are never too far away and seem to come back from the dead to smack you with a kitchen appliance when you least expect it. Posts live forever.
Elf – “I know him!”
Endearing message delivery can attract attention – even if the message is unremarkable.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Always be positive. If “you’re a mean one,” there is always someone around who will remember and will be a pain forever. Be positive at all times and you’ll have a lot less work to do.
Merry Christmas Charlie Brown – “You need involvement”
We all need to be involved in our communities for support and inspiration. Without involvement, it is terribly difficult to grow and prosper. Rely on your friends and relationships in the social world. Even if you screw up entirely, continued effort and honesty will prevail.
Miracle on 54th Street – “Every time a bell rings,” a post goes viral.
Never underestimate your value. Everyone has a unique contribution but might need the courage to put thoughts and ideas out into the world. Take a shot…someone somewhere will appreciate it – even if they rarely mention it. And occasionally, you’ll hit a message that really resonates. Just keep trying.
Hallmark Channel – No quote here! Too much material!
These guys have been running Christmas films since Halloween. Steady effort, consistent content and outreach builds a solid reputation. Need something positive? Just dial up the Hallmark network.
Christmas Marathons – “It wouldn’t be Christmas without the James Bond Marathon.”
Weird associations can work. Even though 007 has little to do with the holiday season, creating a tradition associated with a certain time of year can build recognition and establish expectations for future years.
Home Alone – “Kevin!”
You’ll always forget things – even important things through the year. Stand in there when things get tough. Even if it feels that you are all alone, take on problems one at a time and eventually, support will arrive.
The Holiday – “Anything can happen.”
Before embarking on a new social media strategy that others have used successfully, make sure it works for you. Individuality is an asset. Trading places with another can mean acquiring her/his problems along with it. Still, it never hurts to explore new opportunities.
Competition is tough! All manner of businesses are forced to compete with one another for the attention and good placement on the internet search engines. When prominent placement is achieved, revenue frequently follows. The intensity of local competition though has caused some businesses to take chances with so called “Black Hat” schemes to get them this good search engine placement. At the core of this scheme seems to be a campaign for online reviews. Online reviews are validations for the goods and services that a company provides. The more positive reviews, the better the placement for the company on the search engines when users seek information about a particular product or service.
Getting positive reviews for one’s business can be difficult though. Not only does the consumer have to be satisfied with the service or product, he/she has to write a review on the right social media platform. Enter Google+… Google+ and Google local provide a powerful platform where positive reviews impact the way a local result is displayed. Get good reviews here and your search engine results should improve.
A Denver roofing company was recently featured in a local CBS news station story about how Google+ pages were apparently set up under the names of customers for the purpose of providing positive reviews. Positive reviews for the company did appear under the names of these customers. Interestingly though, the customers that supposedly provided the reviews may have never actually created the accounts or written the reviews. The customers were apparently all satisfied with the work performed, but the Google+ pages that bore their names didn’t seem to belong to at least some of them.
Investigating who created these accounts in the names of customers is an ongoing process extending up to the Colorado Attorney General’s office. Whether this tactic constitutes a form of identity theft or false advertising is a central question. According to the Colorado Attorney General, the practice may also be a violation of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act. In the end, whoever created these accounts may wind up in much more trouble than they wanted. In any case, this type of “Black-Hat” SEO or internet marketing tactic will surely place the business and the marketer in a very negative light.
Vince Lombardi – famed Green Bay Packers Head Football Coach – was once reported to state that “winning isn’t everything – it is the only thing.” Winning in the SEO and internet marketing area does have some common sense rules and those that stretch the guidelines are likely to get themselves into trouble and significantly damage their and their client’s reputation. Stay tuned to this story!
Matthew Stone is an accomplished SEO expert, digital marketer and is experienced in Social Media Management. Since 2008, Matthew has helped clients attract build online relationships, expand sales and increase revenues. He also works in Denver Public Relations with GroundFloor Media.
You can find him on Google+