Don’t build your house on rented land


Do you dream of building a big following on one or more of the major social media channels? Don’t bother – it’s a waste of your time and it’s important you understand why.

It wasn’t always that way. During the last decade, the bigger your social networks were, the more people you could reach. Many of your posts to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social channels got a decent number of likes and shares. As the volume of messages on these networks has grown exponentially, that’s no longer the case.

The social networks are changing. In order to support these massive numbers of users, the major social media networks have turned their attention to growing their revenues. In many cases, they’re reducing the number of followers who can see your free updates. If you want to be seen by your target audience, you must now pay for that privilege.

Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Medium and other channels now decide how much your content is visible to the world. Lately, those numbers have been going down:

  • Posts to your Facebook company page are now shown to only 2-3% of your followers. That’s abysmal!
  • Twitter and LinkedIn, have been modifying their search algorithms to de-emphasize organic (free) content so they can serve more paid advertising in your streams.

Don’t build your house on rented land

In today’s online world, there’s a real danger to “building your house on rented land.”

In other words, by publishing your content on platforms and channels you don’t own or control, you run the risk of them unexpectedly changing the rules and compromising your brand’s visibility. This is happening more frequently today. Imagine, for example, the Fortune 100 consumer products company that invested hundreds of thousands of dollars building a million-person audience on Facebook – only to discover that only a fraction of this massive audience can see its updates. That big investment is now practically worthless!

A common-sense approach to social media

In this constantly shifting environment, your best bet is to focus your content on platforms and channels that you DO own. Your website is the first and most obvious place to do that. What does this mean from a tactical standpoint?

  • Your website should serve as the hub of your online presence. Think of your social media accounts as spokes joined to it. Your posts on these channels should always lead visitors to your website – for example, to download a new report, read a blog post or learn more about a new product.
  • Because your free posts aren’t likely to reach as big of an audience as before, you should consider selectively using paid promotion to ensure that other potential customers can see your most important updates.
  • Your ultimate goal should be to provide these visitors with such great value that they will subscribe to your enewsletter. As you may have already guessed, a list of confirmed email subscribers is another asset you own and control. You can communicate with them whenever you want, within reason.

Subscribers versus sales leads

One final note: You may believe you already have a list of subscribers because your website is generating sales leads. But they are not the same. A sales lead is an inquiry about a specific product, service or need that a prospect has. It doesn’t explicitly give you permission to communicate with them on an ongoing basis – any more than meeting someone once at a cocktail party means you can call them every week. A subscription, on the other hand, gives you explicit permission to communicate with them over time.

Now that you better understand what’s at stake, it’s time to make some adjustments in your content distribution strategy. Focus on building your house on solid ground – the web properties and assets you own and control. Good luck!


Cultivate Celebrates Social Media Day — and Milwaukee!

Did you try a new app, join LinkedIn, or come up with a new digital marketing idea on Social Media Day?

Equipped with social mediathemed treats and giveaways, a decked-out photo-booth van, and a talented Cultivate crew, we hit the streets of Milwaukee’s Third Ward to celebrate Social Media Day 2014! Using the hashtag #SMDayMKE, we celebrated all that is Milwaukee and social.

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To find YOUR photo — or to look for anyone you may recognize — check out the rest of our photos from Social Media Day on our Facebook page!

Are you truly leveraging the power of social media for YOUR business? Check out these articles for tips from getting started to how industry giants are creating one-of-a-kind experiences for those who opt-in to their social media campaigns:

Did you try a new app, join LinkedIn, or come up with a new digital marketing idea on Social Media Day? Let us — and the WORLD — know about it.

Now, that’s using the power of social media!

Help Us Celebrate Social Media Day! #SMDayMKE

Monday, June 30, is Social Media Day!

Initiated by Mashable in 2010, Social Media Day is intended to “recognize the digital revolution happening right before our eyes.” Events are taking place all around the country — but how is our awesome city, Milwaukee, celebrating Social Media Day 2014?

Cultivate Communications, has BIG plans to celebrate Social Media Day.

Using the hashtag #SMDayMKE, we will rejoice in all that is Milwaukee and social. From personalized hashtag t-shirts to displaying #SMDayMKE on our van and driving around Milwaukee to take photos with locals, our staff is excited to take part in this national celebration. And did we mention social media themed food? Our mouths are watering already!

Social Media Day 2014 Milwaukee

Here are a few ways to celebrate Social Media Day in 2014:

  1. Tweet with the hashtags. The national hashtag for the day is #SMDay — and be sure to include #SMDayMKE.
  2. Find a local #SMDay event. There are a number of Mashable communities in the area; check them out and join an event!
  3. Take a photo with the Cultivate Van. If you’ll be in downtown Milwaukee, find the van to take a fun, social-themed photo, grab some free goodies, and enter to win an awesome prize.

You can find the Cultivate Communications Van in downtown Milwaukee at the following times:

11:30 am to 12:15 pm – Cathedral Square on Jefferson St., between Kilbourn Ave. and E. Wells St.

12:30 pm to 1:15 pm – The Third Ward on Broadway St., between St. Paul Ave. and Buffalo St

You can be our lucky winner! In additional to all the free swag and goodies we will be giving away this Monday, you can also enter to win this awesome prize pack!

Social Media Day 2014

Follow us on social media and don’t miss out on any of the Social Media Day celebrations!



The Power of LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Pro Tip

LinkedIn is the most powerful social media platform for B2B business – but if you’re new to social media you may need a little help getting started.

These additional resources will help you in every stage of your LinkedIn journey:

Connect with us on LinkedIn or check out our company Facebook page or Twitter feed to never miss out on future Pro Tips and industry advice!



A CEO’s Guide to Posting on Social Media

A CEO's Guide to Posting on Social Media  *great marketing tipsAre you a CEO or company leader who’s afraid to hit the ‘Share’ button? You’re not alone.

Leadpostaphobia™ [lead·post·a·pho·bi·a]
a persistent fear of posting on social media platforms while in a leadership role (see: CEO and C-Suite Executives)

Social media has become one of the most influential technologies in the history of marketing and advertising. It has made companies, celebrities, and thought leaders amazingly accessible to the general public.

So what does that mean for companies trying to make their mark on the social world? One simple answer: Your CEO needs to play along.

Today’s consumers dig deep into the companies they’re buying from. They want to know exactly WHO they’re supporting. Shoppers are following companies on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn — anywhere they can get information on who these companies and people really are.

But when it comes to the C-Suite, the biggest problem is that many CEOs don’t know IF they should post to social networks. Even more, they don’t know WHAT they should post, or often WHERE to even start.

A CEO’s 10-Step Guide to Posting on Social Media

This simple 10-step guide will be your prescription to living a socially fulfilling life while avoiding a case of Leadpostabphobia.

  1. Have your social media specialist hold a training session for your C-Suite. Become familiar with each platform and which benefits (like joining Groups) each has to offer.
  2. Create your own profile. It should should be separate from your general company page.
  3. Share content from your company page — have pride in what you’ve built!
  4. Share photos or videos of events you attend and present at.
  5. Post about your company’s events. Don’t forget to add links and photos.
  6. Have conversations with others in your industry. Social media is a great networking tool — especially LinkedIn.
  7. ENGAGE, ENGAGE, ENGAGE! People are following you for a reason. They want to hear what you have to say and engage with you. Don’t ignore them or they may start ignoring YOU.
  8. Show some humility. Don’t be afraid to share your favorite quotes or the team you’re rooting for in the Super Bowl this year.
  9. Don’t be intimidated. Use your social media specialists, HR department, and other industry leaders as reliable resources.
  10. Realize that times are changing and this is just another outlet to expand your business and growth — embrace it and enjoy it!

Additional Resources

Check out these other resources I found on the web to make this social leap an easy one!

Get the scoop on how 3 industry giants — Dove, Melissa & Doug, and Harley-Davidson — connected with their customers to reap big rewards in the FREE eBook “Side Door Thinking.”

Now’s the time to get started. Every day you wait is another day you’re letting your customers slip away to brush up on and follow your competitor’s business instead of YOURS.

Connect with us on LinkedIn or check out our company Facebook page or Twitter feed to see how our CEO and staff members are leveraging social media to engage with the public. It’s not as daunting as you might think… In fact, it can be downright FUN!