7 Worst Social Media Mistakes

7 Worst Social Media Mistakes

Are your tweets saturated with hashtags and @ mentions? Have you ever purchased from someone that was pushing their product unabashedly with grammatical errors and typos on Facebook? These are just a couple examples of the worst social media mistakes that startups make.

I don’t have to sell you on the importance of social media marketing in our day and age,  where startups and brick-and-mortar businesses are getting between 10-33% of their referral traffic from social media outlets. While some founders handle their channel management with expertise, others unknowingly stifling their brand loyalty with unrefined marketing practices. Here are some of the most common mistakes.

  1. Publicising Political Views – Boasting political views to your followers will only help alienate half or more of them. Leave the platforming to politicians and let people vote for your company with their dollars, not their ballots.
  2. Poor Update Composition – Would you rather share “RT @bizybear1: RT exmovrempath: RT crshdummy9:  #heptacSweepstakes.com Haptic touchscreen and…” or would you share “A New Way to Look at Competitors | Steve Blank #startup http://growthhackers.com/arti..” Those were actual tweets and it’s a clear choice. An overwhelming amount of research shows that users are more likely to share and engage with your update when it’s easy to read and free from grammatical errors or nefarious looking domains. Next time you put out content on Facebook or Twitter, make sure it’s to the point and not riddled with a forest of hashtags.
  3. Irregular Posting –  One of the worst thing you can do is post twice a month on random days and across different channels. Pick two social media platforms that are best suited towards your audience and post to them during each platform’s highest traffic hour. For example, Instagram and Pinterest have a different schedule than Twitter or Linkedin. Find the optimal post times by utilizing link shorteners like bit.ly for analytics and refine your approach over time.
  4. No Continuity in Branding – Don’t haphazardly slap together each social media outlet page; engineer it. Use the same pictures, content, and exact color codes as your website and newsletter. Don’t make your potential customers think twice about whether the Twitter account they’re looking at is actually affiliated with your company.
  5. Aimless Content – Create, share, and like content that is wholly within your targeted audience’s interest. You’re only watering down your brand loyalty when you share content outside the scope of your industry. If a financial services company mostly posted about laundry detergent, optimizing your website, and how to stay fit this Valentine’s Day, I wouldn’t take them seriously. Stay laser focused and interesting. If you’re having trouble finding your follower’s trending content to share, try Twurly. Twurly aggregates the most popular links from your followers and emails a list to you. This will help you cut through the noise on Twitter.
  6. Self Serving Posts – How often do you pay attention to Linkedin or Facebook updates that are only about the product that the publisher is trying to sell? If you visit a company’s Facebook page and you only see a wall of posts about their services, they’re most likely not receiving a lot of engagement. It’s similar to meeting a person that is only interested in talking about themselves and what they’re doing, rather than discussing interesting topics or asking you questions. It’s ok to post every so often about your own services, but make sure it’s not every update.
  7. Annoying Auto DMs – One of the latest annoying fads on Twitter are pointless automated direct messages. Once you follow someone, their automated service sends you a message saying “Thanks for the follow” or “Hey there! My name is Steve. Checkout my LinkedIn page.” This personally leaves me with an overflowing inbox of messages I don’t read. Some users will opt for TrueTwit and block your spam completely. If you’re going to use an auto DM service, use it with a purpose and a point. Start off by giving your follower a discount code, a free digital asset, or some piece of advice and encourage them to sign up for your company newsletter.

These are just a handful of the mistakes startups are making. Finding an experienced social media manager or dedicating someone to the job will drastically increase the level of quality engagement you’ll receive. Remember that your social media strategy is a means to an end. If you spend countless hours on it each week, but you don’t have a sales funnel to guide them back to your website somehow, you’re letting all those leads fly into the wind.

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4L .COMs

One of the biggest question that I’ve been asked by blog readers over the past month is, “will 4L .COMs drop in value over the next year?” Two months ago 4L .COM sales were going through the roof, then in January at NamesCon I heard people say the word “bubble” over and over, and I can’t tell you how many people I spoke with said they thought the 4L .COM market would soften over the coming year.

What do I think? I don’t think there’s a bubble, I do think that short .COMs are becoming more than brandable domains, I think they are turning into a real asset class. The focus used to be completely on keyword domains but now the concept of a Chinese premium (no vowels, and no v) shed light on a new way investors to the East were valuing domains.

I think 4L .COMs will be more valuable a year from now than they are today. But who cares what I think? I have no more data than the rest of you. So what do you think? Comment and let your voice be heard!

Photo Credit: Leo Reynolds via Compfight cc

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One in seven people on the planet use WhatsApp

Planet Earth

If you live in the United States you likely use Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, maybe even something like Voxer but it’s unlikely that you use WhatsApp. Yes, WhatsApp, the company that Facebook acquired for a whopping $19B now has over one billion monthly active users (Source – Forbes). This is even more than Facebook’s own messenger service which boasts 800 million monthly active users.

whats-app-billion-users

(Sources – Forbes, Statista)

So where is WhatsApp so popular? In India, Mexico, and Brazil you don’t text someone, and you don’t Snapchat with them, you WhatsApp them. Smartphone have become much more accessible in countries like India and the adoption rates are growing exponentially:

“More than 1 billion smartphones shipped last year. In India, 26 million of them — 58 percent of the market — cost less than $150, according to research firm IDC.” (Source – Wired)

It can be easy to think that you’re on the pulse of what’s happening in the world, but in reality many of us are mostly aware of what’s happening here at home. It’s incredible to see a small, well-executed startup (WhatsApp only has 50 engineers (Source – Wired)) achieving such amazing growth.

In the battle of the messaging apps it looks like Facebook might just own the market, for now.

Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via Compfight cc

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Morgan's Flippa Five

Hello, happy Friday and welcome to Morgan’s Flippa Five. Each week we handpick five domains from Flippa’s massive inventory. Today features a bit of a departure from past weeks as a two-word .COM and .IO name made the list this week. In general we are still the most bullish on one-word .COMs but there were some other great choices this week that we feel deserve to make the cut.

RestaurantGuide.com – this is not a buy and flip kind of domain, but it is a great one for someone with some dev and affiliate marketing chops. Easy to spell, easy to remember, and a huge market.

Burb.com – only 16 hours left in this auction, 18 year-old one word .COM, solid name.

Tech.io – one of the best .IO names out there, currently at $6,850 – the reserve has been met so it’s going to sell.

HTRN.com – 15 year-old 4L .COM, now vowels, and no v, these have been selling well over the last few months but some fear the market is softening so don’t expect to flip it for a fortune.

SBNM.com – this has a low enough BIN that I’m guessing the reserve could be low enough to leave some wiggle room for a meaningful return. Still, like I said above, there are some concerns of the 4L .COM market softening, but we still like them!

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – change is coming to the domain industry. Call it a fad, call it a bubble, but I think the reality is new gTLDs will be taking a bigger and bigger chunk of the domain sales board. I’m fairly certain this is the first week in history that a .XYZ and .HOSTING domain made the top ten with 88.xyz ringing in at #5 for the week at $70,000 (source – DNJournal).

88-xyz

Web.hosting which is without a doubt one of the best .hosting names out there sold for $52,500. Considering that Web.tv sold for $45,000 this is a pretty impressive sale and I think shows that we’re still just seeing the early signs of what’s to come.

Now just to be clear because whenever I talk about good things happening in the new gTLD space people always ask me if I’m telling them to abandon .COM and head for the hills. Don’t do that. I still think .COM is where most investors should be putting their money, period, and I don’t see that changing in the near-future. That being said, I do think that new gTLDs have a bright future and making some investments in this space, while definitely risky, makes sense to me.

Whether you put 5% of your portfolio or 25% of your portfolio into new gTLDs is up to you, I’d error on the conservative side. Still, I think if 0% of your portfolio is invested in new gTLDs you’ll likely look back ten years from now at the boat you watched sail away.

Today history was made, and this is just the beginning.

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Check your phone – Uber has a new logo

You might wonder what that strange looking app is on your iPhone homescreen, it’s in a prime location but you don’t remember putting it there. Yes, it’s the new Uber logo (which is no longer a prominent “u”) and it’s now a…well…it looks like a circle with a square in it, and there’s a little sliver cut out of it.

new-uber-logo

While it might seem arbitrary to you, there’s a lot that goes into branding a company like Uber and they shared some great insights in a press release earlier today announcing the new look-and-feel:

The first thing you’ll notice is that our logotype is at once more grounded and elevated. Some might say it’s less fussy (in part because we have cut the curls, our 1990s hairstyle). This will help you see Uber from afar, and when it’s in small places. It also reflects a more substantial look as we too have matured as a company. (Source – Uber)

Uber also hinted at the fact that while they now tend to drive people, foods, and some goods, there’s more to come:

One of the big changes over the years is that Uber no longer moves just people; we’re now moving food, goods, and soon maybe much more. (Source – Uber)

These are exciting times and there’s now doubt that the Uber we once knew is turning into something much bigger, and I think this is the beginning of more change that is yet to come. I know how much time and energy goes into branding, however I can’t even imagine how it’s done with a brand at this scale covering so many different corners of the earch.

You can read more about Uber’s new logo and refreshed branding in their press release from earlier today.

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Startup Board Meetings

Jon Callaghan, a VC with True Ventures in Palo Alto wrote one of the best articles I’ve ever read about how to make board meetings more effective. Let’s be honest, done right board meetings can be incredibly helpful and valuable for both founders and investors. Done wrong and founders can spend hours reading slides with little interactions from both sides. The reality is a board meeting can be massively helpful, if structured properly, and Jon literally wrote the blueprint in an article that just hit Techcrunch about fifteen minutes ago.

Jon Callaghan - True Ventures

“A great board meeting is a working meeting. For some people, the real work of a board can feel messy. This is because a good board meeting in a startup is not one that sticks to a carefully manicured agenda. Startups are too dynamic for this, so let go of the agenda as needed so your board can “work.” I approach every board meeting as Go time. It’s not “dress rehearsal,” and I expect everyone in the room to bring their 100 percent.” (Source – TechCrunch)

Whether you’re a first-time foundering trying to figure-out how to best structure their board meetings, or if you’ve held your fair share of board meetings but know they could be more effective, this is a must-read. Thanks to Jon for sharing and for those of you who think board meetings are a waste of time, read this now.

Photo Credit: Jim Larrison via Compfight cc

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Last week the .CO team announced a major milestone, they now have over 2 million domain names under management. The incredible thing about this number is that they did this all in the span of less than six years. I can still remember sitting with Juan and Lori in 2010 in Las Vegas, we were at a Japanese restaurant at the Hard Rock Hotel. They told me about their grand plans for .CO and even though it sounded impossible, I could see it in their eyes, they were going to make it happen.

DotCo

I can also remember what most people said when they first launched? “That will never work! Everyone is so used to typing .COM they’re going to accidentally add an “M” to the end of every .CO domain they type-in and send a majority of the traffic to the .COM”

That never happened. From what I’ve heard anecdotally, the bleed from .CO to .COM is actually under 5%, definitely not over 50% like so many people were expecting. Of course this was out of .CO’s control, what was in their control is getting awareness for a domain extension that literally had not been on the map for the first 15 years of the Internet.

So what was the secret? Yes, I know there answer, here’s how they did it.

.CO built a dream team

Juan, Lori, Crystal, and the whole team at .CO aren’t just normal people, they are extraordinary people and together they really can do anything. I learned this over the years seeing them in action and watching .CO become a global brand. Now I use companies build on .CO like Angel.co, Vine.co and many others every single day. I see a lot of the same magic in the team behind .CLUB, Donuts, XYZ, Rightside, and many of the other gTLD operators.

Sure, there’s a lot to be said for a great marketing strategy but I think too often people miss the fact that it’s really the people behind-the-scenes that really make it special. The same is true for extensions that won’t take off – you can take a great TLD and put a mediocre team behind it and it’s won’t become a global brand, it will fall flat, we’ve seen it happen before and we’ll see it happen a whole lot more with all the new gTLDs hitting the market.

So hats off to .CO, 2 million domains under management isn’t just a big deal, it’s proof that if you put a great team together you really can achieve what most people think is impossible. I’ll always remember that dinner back in 2010, back then they were dreamers shooting for the moon, now I think it’s safe to say the sky really isn’t the limit.

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Morgan's Flippa Five

Hello, happy Friday, and welcome to Morgan’s Flippa Five. Lately I’ve been laser-focused on very short .COMs but today I thought I would throw a couple of two-word .COMs that I like into the mix. Enjoy!

DVA.com – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I absolutely love three character .COMs, when it comes to investment-grade domains that will stand the test of time, 3L’s are a great choice. I’m not crazy about the “V” and the “A” but I still like this name.

PFPD.com – textbook 4L .COM, no vowels, easy to remember, I really like this one.

AspenColorado.com – while I’m not investing in many two-word .COMs now, this is the type of name I like. Aspen is one of the top ski vacation destinations on the planet and for those with the development itch there is a ton of potential with this name.

YogaPants.com – this is a huge market and only getting bigger, heck I wear yoga pants around the house because they are so darn comfortable. I think I paid $100 for my Lululemon’s and they were worth every penny. Solid two-word .COM with some flip potential and plenty of development potential.

VBD.com – another beautiful three character .COM, enough said!

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Hilarious domain offer from PremiumDomains.net

I got an absolutely hilarious domain offer from a company called PremiumDomains.net, they made an offer on a 4L .COM that I own, NGMT.com. Here’s the email they sent me which was just too funny not to share with the rest of you:

Hello, According to current market prices at domain auction websites, your domain which is classified as a 4-letter .com domain are currently going for $300 for the domains beginning with letter N. I can pay $300 and i’ll also cover any fees so that you’ll receive $300 net.

You also would not be losing the 15% – 20% commission that the domain auction websites take.

Please let me know if you want to move forward with this sale.

Sincerely,

PremiumDomains.net

I love their logic here, four letter .COMs that start with the letter “N” are going for $300 according to current market prices at domain auction websites. I wonder how many people they’ve been able to fool with this lie?

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