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Likeable Is Not a Department

Marketing podcast with Dave Kerpen

photo credit: br1dotcom via photopin cc

Dave Kerpen had the foresight a few years ago to lock up the term Likeable. It’s the name of his business, Likeable Media, the name of his mega selling book Likeable Social Media and it’s been applied to his latest work, Likeable Business.

But as Kerpen quickly points out, being likeable in business isn’t about social media or even the marketing department, it’s about a profitable way of doing business.

Applied to the business globally it extends to behaviors as much as tactics. It applies to how you listen and respond, how you tell stories, how authentic and transparent every aspect of your business is, how you change and adapt, how surprise and delight, how you partner, how you do business in general and even how you say thank you.

In many ways we no longer have a choice about being transparent and authentic – we either are or we aren’t and it’s pretty much on view for the world to see, consider, write about and share.

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, Kerpen talks about businesses that are getting this right and how any business can naturally become more likeable.

It’s time to understand that this isn’t something nice to consider when you’ve got a moment or two, this is a highly practical way of doing business that is fast becoming an expectation in every market segment.

What Most Small Businesses Are Doing Wrong on Social Media (And 5 Tips For Success)

I’m taking some vacation time this week and I’m actually going to stand waist deep in the Columbia River in Oregon and cast for Trout. (Don’t worry I won’t hurt any I’m strictly a catch and release kind of guy.)  While I am away, I have a great lineup of guest bloggers filling my shoes.  This post is brought to you from Dave Kerpen.

Dave Kerpen is the CEO of Likeable, a social media agency that has worked with more than 200 leading brands, including Verizon and Neutrogena. He is author of The New York Times best seller Likeable Social Media. Dave recently launched Likeable Community College and Likeable Local.

Over 900 million people in the world are on Facebook, including over 180 million Americans, or 1 in 2 adults. Twitter recently surpassed 300 million accounts. Small business owners are trying to take advantage of these trends, but few are fully reaping the rewards. 

For most business owners, the temptation is to use social networks to promote themselves and broadcast their messages. But if you stop thinking like a marketer and start thinking like a customer, you’ll understand that the secret to social media is being human – being the sort of person at a cocktail party who listens attentively, tells great stories, shows interest in others, and is authentic and honest.  The secret is to simply be likeable.

Here are 5 tips for small business owners to be more likeable and ensure greater success using social media:

  1. Listen first. Before your first tweet, search Twitter for people talking about your business and your competitors. Search using words that your prospective customers would say as well. For example, if you’re an accountant, use Twitter to search for people tweeting the words “need an accountant” in your town. You’ll be surprised how many people are already looking for you.
  2. Don’t tell your customers to like you and follow you, tell them why and how they should. Everywhere you turn, you see “Like us on Facebook” and “Follow us on Twitter.” Huh? Why? How? Give your customers a reason to connect with you on social networks, answering the question, “What’s in it for me?” and then make it incredibly easy to do so. Note the difference between these two calls to action: “Like my book’s page on Facebook” and “Get answers to all your social media questions at http://FB.com/LikeableBook.
  3. Ask questions. Wondering why nobody’s responding to your posts on Facebook? It’s probably because you’re not asking questions. Social media is about engagement and having a conversation, not about self-promotion. If a pizza place posts on Facebook, “Come on by, 2 pizzas for just $12,” nobody will comment, and nobody will show up. If that same pizza place posts, “What’s your favorite topping?” people will comment online– and then be more likely to show up.
  4. Share pictures and videos. People love photos. The biggest reason Facebook has gone from 0 to 900 million users in 7 years is photos. Photos and videos tell stories about you in ways that text alone cannot. You don’t need a production budget, either. Use your smartphone to take pictures and short videos of customers, staff, and cool things at your business, and then upload them directly to Facebook and Twitter. A picture really is worth a thousand words – and a video is worth a thousand pictures.
  5. Spend at least 30 minutes a day on social media. If you bought a newspaper ad or radio ad, you wouldn’t spend 5 minutes on it or relegate it to interns. Plus, there’s a lot to learn, and every week, new tools and opportunities across social networks emerge. Spend real time each day reading and learning, listening and responding, and truly joining the conversation. The more time and effort you put in to social media, the more benefits your business will receive.

Above all else, follow the golden rule:  Would you yourself click the “Like” button, the Follow button, or Retweet button if you saw your business on Facebook and Twitter? Would you want to be friends with your business at a cocktail party? Just how likeable is your business?

Image credit: owenwbrown

Is Facebook Still Likeable?

Marketing podcast with Dave Kerpen (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

The title to today’s post is a thought that’s making the rounds these days as Google announced that their new social network, Google Plus, added 10 million users in the first two weeks of limited beta launch.

A great deal of the conversation is decidedly skewed as much of the buzz is coming from hard core social media users and those predisposed to move away from Facebook, but none the less, this is a valid question.

I asked my Facebook followers if Google Plus had impacted their time on Facebook and over 50% claimed they were not yet Google Plus users. At the root of the question, however, is the issue of time. No matter what happens we only have so much budget for business building activities such as social networking and something is going to have to give. It’s like a family budget, if you buy a new car you might not go on vacation – it doesn’t mean the auto industry has targeted the travel industry, but they’ve impacted them anyway.

I think the same is true as people consider their available social time budget – something’s gotta give – it’s yet to be seen clearly what that something is, but it may not be as obvious as another social network such at Facebook.

For some perspective I turned to a guy that’s still very bullish on Facebook. Dave Kerpen, author of LikeableHow to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (& Other Social Networks) .

In this interview, Kerpen addresses the obvious success of Google Plus, but is quick to point out that Facebook’s place is still firmly rooted in the hundreds of millions of users that spend hours on the network every day. Kerpen’s take is that people don’t want to create yet another network on another social platform.

Kerpen also points to the killer targeting aspects of Facebook’s platform as reason enough to still engage and use the network. Kerpen emphatically states, “You know what’s cooler than 750 million people on Facebook? Being able to target the 750 that are your perfect prospects.” He goes on to tell a story about how he targeted a birthday wish ad that only his wife could see.

My take is that we have some interesting times ahead and we may very likely see a shift in audiences coming.

So, what’s your take?

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Facebook Webinar Recording and Resources

Quick note to let you know that we recorded yesterday’s Facebook for Business webinar with Mari Smith, Dave Kerpen and Jesse Stay.

You can view the archive and list of resources mentioned on during the session here – Facebook for Business

Join me Feb 18th for Getting Started with Mobile Marketing


GoToWebinar is the presenting sponsor of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast.

Free Live Training Facebook for Small Business

Seems like Twitter did a great deal of the headline grabbing last year, while Facebook steadily pushed on to become one of the most visited sites in the world – surpassing Yahoo and even eclipsing Google on day in day out traffic some days.

Everyone knows Facebook has become a powerful business tool, right? Well, maybe, but what I find now is that most small businesses want to know how to tap the power of this new platform with practical methods that get results. I’ve rounded up three Facebook and social media experts and put together a free live Facebook training session just to help small businesses that are new to Facebook or those that want to find ways to make Facebook pay for business and take it to the next level

Join me January 21st at Noon CST as I host a panel discussion and training with Dave Kerpen, Mari Smith, and Nick O’Neill in a live webinar discussion.

Listen to the archive recording from the event here. (All participants will also receive a free Facebook for Business Greatest Hits, a pdf ebook featuring articles from each of the panel participants.)

Panelists include:

Dave Kerpen

Dave Kerpen is the CEO of theKbuzz, a social media and word of mouth marketing firm. Dave is one of the leading experts on social media and Facebook marketing. Dave and his work have been featured on CNBC’s “On the Money”, ABC World News Tonight, the CBS Early Show, and the New York Times, and countless blogs. In 2009, Dave spoke at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Conference, Print Services and Distribution Association (PSDA) Conference, Yale Club of New York, and Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Summit, just to name a few. .

Mari Smith

Mari Smith is President of the International Social Media Association and has been dubbed the Pied Piper of the Online World by FastCompany.com. She is most known for her Facebook marketing expertise and her emphasis on relationships first, business second. Mari has been a passionate leader in the social media world since 2007 and is an in-demand Social Media Keynote Speaker; she travels the United States and internationally to provide keynotes and in-depth training for her clients and students.

Jesse Stay

Jesse Stay, the self-proclaimed “Social” Geek, is a speaker, author, blogger, and entrepreneur, who writes and consults on the topics of social media and new media, bridging the gap between “technical” and “social” for both marketers and developers. Jesse wrote two books, his first book, “I’m on Facebook–Now What???“, discusses the possibilities of improving your career, family, business, and life through Facebook

Register here for Jan 21 Facebook Event

GoToWebinar LogoThis webinar is presented by GoToWebinar as part one of a three part series