Three Marketing Shortcuts that End up Costing you Dearly

By now, social media is a core component of your marketing plan. You have surely realized by now that using platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram can amplify your story more effectively than any tool we have ever known.

The issue arises when you misunderstand these platforms and use them as a sales tool, as opposed to what they were intended to be, platforms to listen, engage, and build relationships. I see people make that mistake constantly, and it hurts me every time.

With that in mind, I’d like to save you the trouble of going down a dark path. Here are three very painful examples of mistakes you or someone on your team might be making on social media:

1. Please stop mass tagging.

This one is one of my biggest pet peeves, especially on Twitter. Imagine the following scenario. I have my iPhone configured so that I get a ping every time someone mentions me on Twitter. You are starting to use Twitter to promote your brand and decide it is a good idea to share your new blog post and tag me, along with 10 other people in the tweet. 

You do this because you want us all to read the post. You want to get on our radar. Let me tell you what happens next. I get pinged about a blog post I didn’t express any interest in reading, and then, if you get your way, every one of the people you tagged begins to reply to the tweet, which by default–thanks, Twitter–is set to reply all. 

The notifications begin to pour in, one by one. Let me tell you how much of that “get on their radar” goal you have accomplished: All of it. You are on my radar. I will now be blocking you on Twitter and not engaging with you or your brand any time in the near future. Congrats.

Stop mass tagging people on Twitter or any other platform. Engage. Be personal. Be authentic. You know, like you are offline when talking to people.

2. Opting people into your messages never works.

I have been asking this question for many years and no one has offered a sane response as of yet: What was Facebook thinking to let someone add me to a group without my consent?

Just because you can add me to a group without my consent does not mean you should. In other words, you want me to join your group, follow you on Twitter, engage with your content? Give me a reason to. Don’t force it on me.

As I once heard from the guy who invented the Like button on Facebook, he wanted to give people a way to show their appreciation for good content. Instead, marketers ruined it and started to beg for likes.

Let people opt in because they recognize your value. By forcing me to opt in, you are essentially forcing me to opt out.

3. Cold pitching is something you should avoid at all costs.

Cold pitching on social media doesn’t work. People can just ignore your messages.

Instead, reach out to a journalist, engage with their content, build some trust. No, I don’t mean trick them into thinking you care and then going in and pitching them. I mean, really care.

Build relationships with relevant people in your industry not when you need them for something, but do it much before. Listen to what they have to say, hear their needs, learn their interests. Care.

This is the way we behave offline. Somehow, online, we think it’s acceptable to sell non-stop, force people to listen when they are not interested, and spam random folks in the hopes of getting a few likes or retweets.

You have Twitter. It’s free. Use it. The same goes for other platforms — start using them to listen and learn.

As someone smart once said: “You have two ears and one mouth. Use them in that ratio.”

How These Entrepreneurs Are Making Rebuilding California’s Fire-Ravaged Communities Their Business

“Any business here in L.A. is impacted to some degree,” says Sean Kelly, co-founder and CEO of Snack Nation, a Culver City, California-based company that delivers curated boxes of healthy snacks to businesses. At least five of his 170 employees have been forced to evacuate their homes. The company is coordinating product donations to firefighters. “It’s not just the community members, it’s also the firefighters and the people who are really responsible of containing the flames, who we could argue are in need of more help and support than anything.” 

Motorola One, First Take: Affordable, with regular Android updates

The Motorola G6 and G6 Plus are only a few months old, and were widely lauded as key handsets in the budget realm, coming in at £219 and £269 (inc. VAT) respectively at launch. I certainly felt that the Motorola G6 Plus was a smartphone to be reckoned with.

Now here we are not with a G7, but a new line altogether — the Motorola One, whose £269 launch price matches the higher-end Moto G6 Plus.

The Motorola One costs £269 (inc. VAT) — the same as the Moto G6 Plus.

Image: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

Arguably the key feature here is Android One, the version of Android that’s guaranteed to be updated over time. For those who want the very latest Android tweaks, and feel hampered by phones that don’t get immediate updates, this will be important. Google has guaranteed that Android One users will get regular security updates, and Android software updates through to Android 10.

If you don’t like lots of extras on your handsets, you should be happy as there’s little here by way of extras on top of Android. What you do get is the ability to have notifications that fade in and out when the screen is off, and Moto Actions — gesture-based extras such as twisting the handset to open the camera and doing a double shake, or what Motorola rather aggressively calls ‘karate chop motions’, to activate the torch. (Don’t try this with winter-cold hands unless you’re sure you won’t propel your handset with some force towards the ground.)

Among the few software extras on the Motorola One is Moto Actions.

Image: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

Motorola has equipped the Motorola One with a decent-sized 3,000mAh battery, which the online spec sheet says can deliver a ‘full day’ of uptime. The Geekbench battery test saw the battery last for 9 hours 37 minutes with screen dimming off and adaptive brightness on. The handset supports fast charging at 15W, giving up to 8 hours of power in 20 minutes of charging according to Motorola.

Budget handset makers don’t tend to major on camera functionality, but the Motorola One has a two-camera setup at the back with 13MP and 2MP sensors and f/2.0 and f.2,4 lenses respectively. These take a passable photo and there are some interesting features: I like spot colour, which washes everything except the selected colour out to black and white, for example, but there’s nothing startlingly new here. The 8MP front camera has an LED flash which doubles up as a front-facing torch. Google Lens is preinstalled.

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If Motorola has pushed the boat out a little with the battery capacity, it has compromised slightly on the screen. It’s large enough at 5.9 inches, although some will find the front camera notch rather wide. On the left side there’s only room for the time and one icon, while there are four icons on the right. Still, it does look bang on-trend.

Colour settings on the Motorola One.

Image: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

However, screen resolution leaves a bit to be desired at just 720 by 1,520 pixels. The notch means the aspect ratio is 19:9, but with just 287 pixels per inch (ppi) I did find text a bit fuzzy to read. The Motorola G6 and G6 Plus managed 1,080 by 2,160 pixels in a 5.7-inch (424ppi) and 5.9-inch (409 ppi) screen respectively, delivering a far superior viewing experience in both cases. There is a Night Light mode that can be configured to come on at a set time and reduces blue light; users can also select between two different colour modes, standard and vibrant, with the latter creating a bit more colour ‘pop’.

It’s good to see that two SIMs and a MicroSD card can all be in place at the same time. The latter will come in handy to boost the 64GB internal storage. Out of the box, 12.41GB was used, leaving just 51.59GB free. The Snapdragon 625 chipset and 4GB of RAM coped well enough with what I asked the handset to do.

The 5.9-inch, 162g Motorola One is comfortable to hold, even if you have relatively small hands.

Image: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

With dimensions of 72mm by 150mm by 7.97mm and weighing 162g, the Motorola One is comfortable to hold, and the reasonably tall bottom bezel, complete with Motorola logo, isn’t surprising at this budget end of the market. There is a fingerprint sensor at the back, sitting inside a reflective glass backplate that tends to pick up fingerprints. It’s slippery too, and the handset slid off my chair a couple of times during the review period until I fitted the provided plastic bumper. This deals with the slipperiness problem but also reduces the allure of the glass back.

Motorola says the phone is splash-resistant thanks to a coating, but it isn’t fully IP rated. Fans of 3.5mm headsets will be pleased to see a connector here, along the top edge, with USB-C charging on the bottom edge.

So, here’s the thing. A straight point-for-point comparison with the Motorola G6 or G6 Plus puts the older phones slightly ahead of the newer one. The key feature that inclines me to the older phones is their superior screens. If you’re looking for the Android One guarantee, you might be swayed; otherwise you may want to look elsewhere for a bargain.


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