Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Sad Story of Supplier Tweets

Promotional Products suppliers stink at Twitter. 

It's a shame, as suppliers are missing an opportunity to feed promotional distributors great content to feed to buyers.  Instead, it's a random special or product of the day or worse, begging for votes on the latest award (yes, I got more than 20 tweets last week from a certain large CA supplier begging for votes.  I stopped following, they don't understand social media).

Just check out the clever infographic with meaningless statistics that I made up to prove a point (Hey, you don't question where other's numbers come from so don't question mine). (AND MORE OF MY RANT AFTER THE GRAPHIC)

I started a new twitter account to focus on industry news, @GeigerCIO, and I have yet to find a supplier who knows how to use twitter well.  I've found several distributors (@motivatorsPP, @rightsleeve, among others) that "get it" but I have not found a supplier who provides interesting tweets.   Some staff members at suppliers are doing some interesting things such as Dana Zezzo (I'm glad he has moved from hotel pictures to showing his products in use).

Some suppliers started tweeting and stopped over a year ago.  This is bad for their brand as anyone who looks at the account sees a "dead" account.  Spend 10 minutes a week posting something interesting or delete the account.

Suppliers need to do the following on social networks and stop wasting time (and the time of anyone who follows).  
  1. Write some original content at least once per week.
  2. Ensure the content can be tweeted/re-posted by distributors to their followers.
  3. Provide some truly special offers that are exclusive to your followers (and for best response, limit the response time).
  4. Have an interesting and useful pintrest page.
  5. Don't feel the need to tweet/post every day unless you have something worthwhile to say (but don't go too long without posting either).
  6. Engage your followers by retweeting them and talking to them on twitter.  
I know I'm one of the few industry people on twitter but all the more reason suppliers should either bail out of twitter altogether or do it right.  The people on twitter know better than to follow suppliers that blatantly sell with every tweet.

And last but not least, you should not care about the # of followers or Likes you have.  To quote the brilliant Mark Graham (@heymarkgraham): "Your Internet strategy should focus as much on engagement as on Ecommerce". So stop selling and start engaging.

Follow me on twitter @GeigerCIO and tell me which suppliers are tweeting something interesting.  Thanks for listening to this rant.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Me AND (in) My Speedo (Warning, Picture Included)

Although I don’t approve of Jean shorts, I am a sucker for a Speedo.  Yes, I sport my  Speedo every chance I can.    My  Speedo is more than clothing to me, it is protection.  Yes, my  Speedo is a swim shirt and protects my pale skin from skin damage (and protects everyone else from seeing a 40+ year old father of 4 who could spend a little more time doing P90x!).

Enjoying the Jamaican Sunset In My Speedo
Hopefully you use sun protection as well but it doesn’t have to be a  Speedo or any sort of swim shirt, it might be sunscreen or just avoiding the sun such as anyone who lives in Seattle does.    Here are  few tips to keep you protected from things where the sun doesn’t shine.
  1. Stop paying for anti-virus software
    • You need anti-virus but Microsoft has a great free solution for personal computers called Microsoft Security Essentials.  It works great and doesn't slow your computer down.  Get it now and save yourself $40 or more per year (feel free to send me $10 each year so I can buy a new Speedo).
  2. Stop using the same password everywhere
    • Create 3 complex passwords that you can remember.  Try your parents or best friends address (ie, 123HickoryDr) but avoid your address, birthdays, kids names, etc.  And don’t think using @ for “A” is a good idea, the hackers have built that and other common tricks like ! for “1” into their schemes.
    • Use the simplest of the 3 for all your logins that don’t keep any sensitive information (things like newsletters, etc.).
    • Use the 2nd most complicated for things that have your personal or credit card information on file and your email logins.
    • Use the most complicated for your banking passwords.  Even if you have 5 banking logins, as long as you use a very complicated one you are probably ok.  Sure it is best to have 5 different ones, but 90% of people use the same bank password as other logins.
Another even better option is to use a secure password manager which allows you to have a master password that is (hopefully) very complex and then can generate and remember your passwords for every site.  Leave a comment on this blog and I’ll let you know which the best to use is and how to use it safely.