Debbie Mayo Smith, International Motivational Speaker
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Archive for the ‘social media’ Category

Why You Must Be Social

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

I was lucky to be invited by Kathy Cunningham Executive Director of PR for Ogilvy to a reception for Joi Gordon, the World CEO of the charity Dress for Success. As you would, I looked Joi up on Google and found her listed on the Dress for Success Website as well as on Linkedin and Twitter. Naturally I went to her Twitter site to get a feel for her personally. Joi was brand new to Twitter as her first Tweet (short communication under 147 characters) was only a few days old from the Los Angeles airport when Joi was enroute to New Zealand.

At the reception when I was introduced to Joi, I mentioned her Twitter page. She replied “My board told me I had to start tweeting”.

Many like Joi (over the age of 30) have largely ignored social media use for business. The consensus being they feel it’s strictly social (look at the name), not relevant for their business or conversely overwhelmed by the alternatives, time investment and hype surrounding it.

The problem is – you personally might not be interested, but if your market has a large demographic component of youth – you cannot afford not to take notice. Those customers are all there and ignoring social media means you lose a free highly used communication channel with them.

My advice is to start now to learn, read, watch then emulate what is right for you. A top website you can watch and learn from is Better yet join on as a fan to their Facebook page or join in on the Tweets of the CEO Peter Cashmore

Motivational speaker Debbie Mayo-Smith improving business performance

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Searching For New Business

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Are you feeling challenged finding new business and opportunities in this economic climate? Ive got two ideas you might like. 


First try this great website, It tracks the Internet for your topics/searches and sends you a daily (or weekly) update of them by email. The beauty of this is you never have to go back and troll through material you’ve read online before which is mixed in with the new. Please don’t think “what’s the big deal.”

Put this free service to work for you. Here are several ideas to get you started.


New business
Do you respond to RFP’s? Do you look for business activity that you can fit into, such as what construction is occurring? Have Googlealert send the search to you, then decide if you want to investigate.

Help your clients
In this economy great customer service will shine brightly. Don’t you agree? Let Googlealert help you to help your clients. If you know their interests, their industry problems, what their roles and responsibilities are, you can sift through the alerts for relevant material and then via email send the information to them.


One of my very clever clients, Leisa Donlan the CEO of the Rotational Moulders Association Australasia has been doing this for years. In her words “Our customers (members) operate in a constantly changing market. Information is vital.  We use Google Alerts for daily updates on new articles on the internet relative to our customers’ interests.  That’s great on its own, but often not all is pertinent. 


We personally sort out the stories that are specifically relevant to our members interest (Eg Water Tanks) and then send a weekly “Media Update” tailored to suit them, which includes just a few sentences on the story and the hyperlink to the rest.  If they want to continue reading, it’s just a click. Our members love it!”


Check Your Competition
Why not keep an eye on what your competition is doing? Set an alert with an individuals name, the company name or a product as the search term. You might want to hone it to exclude their website to ascertain what is happening outside of their company.

Second, consider setting up a profile and connecting with others on the social networking sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook. LinkedIn is skewed towards business, jobs, opportunities, networking. Facebook has a different complexion than LinkedIn, it’s more aligned with building relationships, friendships. Don’t dismiss Facebook entirely for business though.


Christina Force Managing Director of The Collective Force (marketing agent for New Zealand photographers) primary recommendation is to know exactly what you want to use the social networking sites for before you begin.


‘I buckled under pressure and signed up for a Facebook page early this year. All my clients in Asia are on it, and I’ve managed to track down and rebuild relationships with clients who have become highly successful decision makers in countries with much bigger accounts such as USA and Europe. It’s been brilliant.


I purposely refuse access to any family members and friends unless they’re in the right industry or have the right attitude to be exposed to all my clients. I have of course explained to my family that it is a work tool only. I hide my list of ‘friends’ (which on Facebook is exposed to all and sundry unless you block it) until they have been accepted as a friend on my page. This keeps my client list away from competitors prying eyes. I refuse access to any photographers other than those I represent for the same reason- even if they’re really good friends.


I use the picture gallery to display my photographers work such as exhibitions and specific series’ of work not on our website. I also have a link to the website.


When I travel overseas to meet clients I put general travel announcements on Facebook so my clients know I’m in town. Many of my clients freelance so they respond very positively to these postings as otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to reach them.


Facebook is set as my homepage so I can easily update it daily. When on holiday, I post notes of where I am, even though not working my clients are still exposed to my news.


Every day I’m amazed at the amount of clients and old clients who ask to be on my page. This is also because they want to know what other creative’s in their industry are doing- potential networking for them too!”


I am sure you’ll agree that when you consider that both these Internet tools are free; GoogleAlert brings you opportunities from outside your sphere of influence and the Social networking sites work from within, you shouldn’t go past trying them to your advantage.

Social Networking? Show Me The Money!

Friday, February 6th, 2009

As a marketing columnist, my finger is supposed to be firmly pressed on the pulse of what is new on the Internet. With so much happening in the arena of social networking, it’s hard to make complete sense of it all. Facebook, Bebo, LinkedIn, Stumble Upon, MySpace, Flickr, Friend Feed, Youtube, Digg, Slideshare. Then there’s blogs, podcasts, videos.

My last column highlighted Belizean tour operator Jimmy, successfully competing against the Goliaths of the cruise industry. One of his strategies was promoting and utilising favourable user-generated comments from travel sites. Anyone can understand the positive or negative impact on business from this type of social networking.  However, though I’m a marketer, a huge advocate of the Internet and constantly bombarded by gotta be there hype, I’ve been pretty skeptical about the business value of social networking sites in relation to personal time put in.

Through late 2008 I viewed the arena as easy to make personal websites for the exceedingly ego-centric. It’s the place where people that have time on their hands go to post pictures about themselves, tell the world what they’re up to, write about themselves or ramble through their stream of consciousness. If you read blogs, you’ll find the good, meaty educational ones are so rare. So let me put it this way. Who has the time? Who the heck cares?

I subscribe to the philosophy of spending your time and energy on activity that provides the most profitable return on your investment. Remember the famous Jerry McGuire line “show me the money”?

If your market is the same as mine – mature business decision makers with money – they are not spending their time on social media sites – at least not for business. They don’t have the time!!!! If there, it’s primarily to stay in touch, view photos and connect with children.

This bias of mine was borne out by a 19 January 2009 study by Pew and American International on the percentage of Internet users in the USA that have a profile on a social networking site by age. You can read the study here.

The study found most adults use the sites for personal rather than professional use and about half were on MySpace., under a fourth on Facebook and only 6% on Linkedin:

  • 89% to keep up with friends
  • 57% to make plans with friends
  • 49% to make new friends

Of all the social sites, the one I considered the most useless waste of time was Twitter. You send short messages (called a tweet) from the site to announce to your audience what you’re doing at that moment. It’s like a txt message – short, maximum 140 characters. One can download little programs like Twitterific or Twinkle so you get the tweets as txt messages on your cellphone, or through a window on your computer.

Your audience comprises friends and admirers whom you have persuaded to subscribe. Can you see why anyone with a family, mortgage, or busy job would consider this an unbelievable waste of time? Who cares who’s waiting for the handyman to arrive? Who has the time to continually tweet and read those of hundreds of others?

This was my argument during breakfast the other week in Manhattan. Over coffee and two inch thick crunchy French toast on 7th Ave and 57th, David Berkowitz and I were discussing Twitter. David is Director of Emerging Media and Client Strategy at 360i. With clients like NBC, MTV, American Express and Office Depot, I valued his point of view and was ready to listen.

“Debbie, where did you go for news about the plane that crashed on the Hudson River yesterday”? ” I was on Canal Street shopping and saw it on a TV, but I suppose I would go to the TV, or on the Internet a newspaper website or Google it.” I replied.

“I went to There were thousands of tweets, people sharing what was happening. Because the best links and information gets re-tweeted, it comes out higher in the rankings. I was able to immediately know and see exactly what was happening before the media sites”.

He also had a rebuttal for me about the handyman tweet. “Comcast (a cable tv company) wanted to improve their customer service reputation. So they would search through Twitter to find what their customers were saying about them. If they saw someone that said the Comcast cable repairman was one hour late, they would reply to the Tweet asking for an email address, then they’d get in contact with the individual to try to sort it out. This activity would work a double benefit of generating good word of mouth”.

Point taken. Twitter is good for real time information, research and monitoring what is being said about you or your company. I joined Linkedin in early December, started a blog and will now start putting up three years of one minute videos I produced on my YouTube account. I’ll keep you posted.

Busted By Social Media

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

As any parent can attest, cursed is this darned social media!!!!! It helps our kids to lead such secretive lives.

Well here’s at least one side effect.  I’ m on vacation in the US right now with my twins, Samantha and Daniel.  Both missed going to a 10 day summer camp because we are away. Samantha was going through some of her friends Bebo pages when she saw a camp photo with her younger sister Elizabeth in it, wearing one of Samantha’s dresses! Then to make matters worse, Samantha next looked at a Facebook site with Rowing Regatta pictures on it (another event she and Daniel missed). What did she see? This time Elizabeth with one of Samantha’s shirts on.

We telephoned Elizabeth (on our SKYPE phone naturally) to say DOUBLY BUSTED!!!!



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