Unlike Netflix Check Social Media First When Creating Business Name

When creating a business name, it is smart to check Social Media first.

Case in Point: Qwikster the new company that was formed when Netflix split its home delivery and streaming video services.

The argument that Netflix is charging more for less service with this split is the subject of a different post.

Let’s just focus on the business name.

Businesses seek names that are unique, easy to remember, memorable, and often, but not always, are meaningful.

Qwikster meets none of those criteria–in addition it does nothing to capitalize on the brand millions of people associate with the successful video business: Netflix.

Not only is Qwikster not unique–it is alarmingly similarly to names that could be offensive to many of it’s customers.  Read Qwikster: Not to be Confused with Quistar, QuickStar, Kwikster, Quickster, Kwik Star, Quick-Star, or Kickstar for more on similarly named companies.

When hearing about the company by word-of-mouth, still the best free advertising there is, one wonders just how is it spelled?

People of a certain age are apt to type in the “most correct” spelling as a first effort, which would be q-u-i-c-k-s-t-e-r.

According to UrbanDictionary.com a “quickster” is someone who can get girls “in the sack quick”

A Quickster is also a type of sports net…and lots of other items.

BTW, “The Quickster” was a superhero that appeared in a single SpongeBob SquarePants episode. OK, maybe that’s not a problem for Netflix, but it does make you wonder about Sponge Bob…buy maybe that is why the character is retired.

Now the customer or potential customer is left to wonder if there are hyphens in the name or what “sounds like” spelling was chosen. And why?

Googling is a challenge when people don’t know how to spell your name...and there are so many variations. Today people want instant results–even people who want their videos mailed to them.

By Googling Netflix you discover the spelling is Qwikster. Ok, we can handle that, right. Well, the execs at Netflix must have been smoking dope, because they didn’t check Twitter for the availability of their new moniker. Nope. @Qwikster is already taken by a guy who mostly tweets about smoking dope and chasing girls. Not exactly the image the video giant will want to many of their clientele.

The lesson in all this? (Ok, there are LOTS)

Social Media is imperative to your business. If you already HAVE a business, check to see if your name is available on on the Social Media sites that your customers frequent–especially Twitter and Facebook. If it isn’t, get as close as possible, use abbreviations, whatever, but CLAIM YOUR SPACE.

If you are just starting your business, or considering a name change, check out the Social Media spaces where your customers hang out, including, but not limited to Twitter and Facebook. If the name is already taken there, TRY SOMETHING ELSE. Especially if it is claimed by a dope-smoking young quickster. Unless that’s your target market, of course.

Social Media Marketing is Fresh, Relevant Content

Effective Social Media Marketing is not merely putting up profiles on  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and every other social site you can think of!

In fact, your social media efforts may be more effective marketing tools in your internet advertising toolbox if you only choose one venue–as long as you are choosing the RIGHT one for your market AND you are updating it often with fresh, unique, relevant content.

If you are doing all this yourself, you can easily spread yourself too thin and become overwhelmed with all the different media, learning what goes where and how to utilize it all effectively. Especially if you are doing this for yourself, it is far better to start slow…begin with one social site if you don’t already have a social media plan in place. Become comfortable with that platform and use it appropriately. Then as you become comfortable with it you can branch out to other platforms. But even when you hire a Social Media Manager, it doesn’t mean that you should be on every social site there is.

Choosing the right site(s) is an important part of effectively using social media for business.

Whatever you do, do not merely put up a profile page and a couple of posts and expect to see dramatic results. These things take time. You are building a relationship with readers and potential customers. You must add value to their lives in order for them to friend/follow/connect with you. By providing good content that is relevant to your industry on a regular basis you position yourself as an expert–a person they can go to to learn more, someone they can rely on!

Bottom line is people want to do business with people whom the know, like and trust–I know you have heard that before, but it is still true. So let people get to know you. Don’t be afraid to let your personality come through. Will everyone love you? Of course not…but they won’t in real life either, so why should cyber-space be any different?

I’m not suggesting you must create “controversy” as a strategy to gain followers. There are people who have done that effectively, but if you are not controversial by nature, if you don’t enjoy debating with others then this is not a strategy for you. I am saying to be yourself, and that may include having some controversial points of view at time.

Let your personality, style and knowledge come through. This will allow potential clients to learn why they should follow/learn from/buy from/listen to you as opposed to someone else in your market. You may have fewer numbers, but the followers you do have will be much more loyal to you. And after all, it isn’t about quantity, it is about quality!

By effectively using Social Media as part of your marketing efforts you can boost your website rankings with the search engines and increase your sales:

  • Post Regularly
  • Let People Get to Know YOU
  • Provide Good and Unique Content.

Social Media Marketing: Outsource or In-House

If you are already participating in Social Media Marketing then you are on the right track for business today. The question then becomes should you keep it in-house or should you outsource it to a Social Media Manager?

From Mashable, a fantastic resource for business and marketing, there are four questions to consider when making that decision.

  1. Can effective social media drive your business growth?
  2. How well is your social media working today?
  3. Could outsourcing free up your time to focus on business operations?
  4. How do you measure ROI?

By answering these questions for yourself you can readily make the determination if it is worth your time to do your social media marketing yourself, or if you have an employee, their time, or if you are better off outsourcing that work so you can focus on other activities.

I would also add, do you enjoy it? Enjoyment isn’t the only factor of course. If you enjoy it but are not effective at it, then you still may want to outsource it. On the other hand, if you enjoy it but are not effective at it you may opt to receive some training on how to be more efficient and effective at it so you can continue to do it.

My philosophy is, do the income producing activities that you enjoy and focus on those–and outsource as much of the rest as possible!

Read the entire article for the details

eMail Safety Tips for Local Businesses and Their Customers

Anyone with an email account, local businesses and your customers, is subject to a variety of email nuisances.

We’re all familiar with SPAM, those unwanted emails that arrive in your inbox and can take up your valuable time.

Other people seem to get their kicks out of spreading viruses and they can do this through attachments that when opened infect your computer.

Even worse than that are those nefarious folks who are goin’ Phishing.

Phishing is when someone sends an email that asks for personal information like financial or account information or personal details like birthdate or social security number. What makes Phishing so bad is that often these people are posing as reputable companies or even friends, which often leads people to think it is safe to respond.

If you get a request via email for any vital information, including passwords, account numbers or security questions do not respond and certainly do not provide private information. Anyone who actually SHOULD have that information will have it.

Sometimes the Phishing expedition is even more sly than that and they will actually not request information but include a link to their store or corporate website. If you click on that link you would then be redirected to a site where they can capture your keystrokes or gather information without your even realizing it.

Recently Facebook users were finding their accounts hacked and their photos placed on X-rated sites. The users had responded to a “friend” either on Facebook or via email who asked for private information.

If you receive an email that seems odd from a friend, family member or business that you frequent contact that person/business. If they have been hacked they will appreciate the heads up. But do not contact them by clicking “reply” instead give them a call or contact them through their official website, Facebook page or Twitter account–some alternate method you have to reach them.

Suspicious emails may be reported to the local Better Business Bureau (BBB) or www.ic3.gov

This can happen to anyone--a recent breach in the Epsilon database has affected customer records for numerous financial institutions and shopping sites including:  BJ’s, Barclays Bank of Delaware, Best Buy, Brookstone, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Disney Destinations, Home Shopping Network, JPMorgan Chase, Kroger (that’s King Soopers here in Colorado), LL Bean, Marriott Rewards, McKinsey & Co., New York & Co, Ritz-Carton Rewards, The College Board, TiVo, US Bank, Walgreens.

Defense Strategies:

Update your spyware, virus protection and spam filters and keep them current. This will help prevent these emails from getting through.

Back up your computer regularly. This is great protection for a lot of reasons, but one of them is that if you are the unfortunate victim of a computer hack you are better able to get your system back up and running quickly–an important point for businesses and home users.

Social Media Managers can clean up your email inbox to help keep your email safe. Not only will the SMM will get rid of SPAM for you, he/she will also be sure the most urgent emails are flagged for your attention. You can work with the SMM to set up procedures on how some emails are handled so you may be able to offload some correspondence and customer service issues to your SMM saving you a lot of time.

Summary of Best eMail Safety Tips:

  • Don’t click on links in emaileven if it appears to be coming from a reputable company. Instead use your search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc) and contact the company that way.
  • Never provide passwords, social security numbers, account details or birthdates to people via email.
  • Don’t open attachments in email unless you are sure the email is real. If a friend never sends attachments be wary if you get one!
  • Report suspicious emails.
  • Keep spyware, virus protection and spam filters up to date
  • Back up your systems regularly.

Social Media Management, Not!

A lot of people are interested in Social Media for their personal use as well as for business. And we know, it can be a lot of fun…

But if you’ve ever been caught in the dreading loop as illustrated below, then you know it can also suck you down a rabbit hole, leading you to ignore other priorities…like flesh and blood people in your presence, and your business.


This comic is funny because it can be so accurate! It clearly demonstrates one of the pitfalls in using Social Media…it is addictive!

Whether you are loop from Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr or any of the thousands of other Social Media networks out there, stop the Social Media Mismanagement and learn how to really take advantage of the tremendous power Social Media can have for your business. Invest some time, energy and money in learning what you need in order to harness this potential tool. Or if  it is just not something that interests you, you can hire a Social Media Manager to help you, or even do it all for you.

If your business isn’t using Social Media Marketing then you owe it to yourself to learn how you can leverage your brand and get your name in front of the millions of people who are using this hot medium every day!

Word-of-Mouth Advertising, Referrals & Social Media

Word-of-mouth advertising has always been a favorite way to advertise business for many reasons. First it is basically free. Second it has an inherent credibility factor because someone you know is providing the info, not an advertising agency.

Getting referrals from happy customers and clients is another type of word-of-mouth advertising that has long been popular and inexpensive way to get leads.

Social Media Marketing is the latest in this long-standing trend. Sites like Twitter and Facebook are great ways for people to spread the word about how awesome (or how awful) their last meal was, how much they love (or hate) their dentist or hairdresser and so on and so on. In fact, these sites take the “tell 2 friends” model out exponentially. People today spend more time connecting via social networks then they do on talking on their smartphones.

The good news is that happy customers may tweet about your business while in these spaces. The bad news is unhappy clients definitely will.

That’s where Social Media Managers come in. Not only will they help you set up in the appropriate social sites for your business, they will also help you with getting more good tweets and Likes and help you manage the bad.

Social media is a powerful tool that, like any tool can be used correctly or not.

Done right, social media can pump up your business and lead to more customers and more profits.

Done wrong, social media will drain your business and eat up your precious time.

Get the help of a professional Social Media Manager, connect with people where they are and take advantage of today’s online world of word-of-mouth advertising.