70 Percent of Local Business Owners Market on Facebook – Not!

On March 1, 2011, a popular public relations website posted an article based on previously published research, claiming “70 percent of local-business owners market on Facebook.” The headline was shocking, the content equally bold, and the dialog that followed typical of the hype surrounding social media.

Readers began commenting almost immediately. One visitor challenged the assertion, suggesting it should not have been cited without investigation, and the site’s publisher quickly defended the post with a series of anecdotes about an 80-year-old t-shirt merchant, a few local bars and a family diner. From a neighboring state, the CEO of a marketing firm saw the publisher’s tweet and countered with his disbelief. Many of his followers echoed his skepticism.

Within days, this relatively obscure article had been “tweeted” 99 times, “liked” 35 times and “inShared” 117 times, as social media devotees echoed the good news: Facebook is king. Meanwhile, skeptics retaliated with posts of their own. Such is the power of social media. But one has to wonder how many of the people who shared, responded to, or blindly retweeted this post took the time to read the original press release on which it was based, or followed the author’s embedded links to the survey data, posted two weeks earlier. I suspect if they had, there would have been less activity, as a careful review of the data reveals a very different picture.

It all comes down to sample bias – a term used to describe the use of a skewed or non-random group as representative of the larger universe. In the case of this study, researchers confined the sample space to members of “the largest social network of local business owners in the U.S.” The key word, here, is “social network.”

Local business owners who choose to join (and remain active in) social networks would obviously be a subset of the larger universe of local business owners, and a survey of that subset would not likely be representative of the universe. The sampling was further skewed by the method chosen to distribute the survey invitations: email. So, those who participated in the survey would have had to be members of the subset of the social network (subset) who are loyal enough to open and act on emails from the organization. It’s not hard to see why these social networkers might be more likely to practice social media marketing than would local business owners who don’t even belong to social networks, much less participate in their surveys.

Using statistics drawn from a biased subset of local business owners to represent all local business owners is no more justifiable than drawing conclusions on the national rate of alcohol consumption from a survey of bar patrons.

The practice is, however, entertaining. And the results lend themselves well to viral distribution by social media enthusiasts.

In the social media world, mistakes like this are self-perpetuating, simply because they feed the buzz. But who pays the price for feeding the buzz? Perhaps those at greatest risk are the “followers” who view reposts as endorsements. So, next time you come across a startling discovery – particularly one that just doesn’t make sense – consider doing your friends and followers a favor, with the delete key.

Echo Weed Eaters – Why They Are the Best Weed Eaters?

Weed eaters are important tools for landscaping. They are instruments designed for trimming hidden areas like corner fences, posts or around trees where mowers are unable to reach. They also help in pruning plants, bushes and grass. There are various weed eaters available in the market. But Echo weed eaters are reputed for their presence in the market for over thirty years. Echo produces the best commercial eaters. The equipment is lightweight, ergonomically sound and has a super strong motor.

The functioning of eaters is same for all but they differ in power sources. Gas or oil, batteries or electricity either powers them. They come in different power ranges, prices and sizes. People who do not have too much of weeding activity ideally goes in for electric eaters. They work best for small green patches. There is not much maintenance needed and they are easy on ears compared to gas eaters.

Battery eaters are less noisy and with improvement in technology their battery life has improved a lot. Though they depend on electricity for charging the batteries, there is not much air pollution they cause compared to the gas weed eaters. The best part is that they are cordless and so easier to use. You have flexibility of using them in small areas and they are very lightweight.

There are various models of eaters by Echo. You can go in for the one that suits your lawn the best. Here are the various models:

GT-200i: This model has a curved shaft trimmer that is very easy to start.

SRM-210: The shaft trimmer is straight and perfect for average commercial consumption.

GT-200R: This has a curved shaft trimmer and is lightweight. It is characterized by i-30 start technology. This is a gas powered weed eater and is great in edging and trimming. It works well even with tough weeds and tall grass.

SRM-210SB: The split boom design is capable of accommodating all Pro Attachment Series attachments.

SRM-230: Super powerful, durable and great functioning

SRM-230S: It has a steel drive shaft that makes it ideal for commercial usage.

GT-251: Best performance and powerful model with a modern profile and advanced technology.

SRM-210i: It has a super easy-to-use trimmer with i-75 and Rapid-Loader head.

If you wish to start up your own lawn maintenance business, you must definitely look to investing in eaters by Echo. Even if you plan to buy weed eater for your lawn, you must consider going for Echo. They are superb quality products and their customers are happy customers. They have excellent performance records and there are no problems faced by people who are using these eaters.

Echo weed eaters have earned two thumbs up from users all over. They are pretty long lasting and customers refuse to switch to any other brand. The proof of this is there for you to see on the Internet. The various customer reviews and feedback have proved that they are the best performing eaters. There is hardly any maintenance needed to keep them. The weed eaters are basically lawn trimmers and the ones manufactured by Echo attack the toughest weeds. Hence, if you are planning on one, do check out all the models of Echo weed eaters.

Step Out of the Marketing Echo Chamber

This article is a call to put more intention into the way we market our products and services – because our actions inform how we perceive ourselves, which affects how we think and act subsequently.

It started with a conversation with a seasoned entrepreneur who had built several businesses, including coaching/consulting and technology.

We talked about the fatigue and skepticism that’s growing around all the marketing and promotional tactics flooding our space right now.

The blueprints and formulas that make everybody sound the same.

The hype that lures newcomers in the door with big promises of rainbows, unicorns and magic bullets; The churn and burn to make room for the next wave of new prospects.

I’m on the list of several “big wigs” in the “coaching” space (just to keep my ears on the ground) and I noticed how they’re pumping out the same cycles of content year in year out launching the same programs – some of them twice or three times a year!

This churn and burn fatigue is getting worse. The cycles are getting shorter. Some marketers don’t even bother to build relationship with their audience.

They may pay lip service to providing value… but we can smell clone-drone marketing from miles away. Might as well just go straight in for the kill.

The intention back in the beginning is threadbare – the collection of motions we’re going through has been stripped of its meaning. It’s hurting all of us.

The “rinse and repeat” makes not-giving-a-crap OK and encourages intellectual laziness rather than evolution and innovation.

I don’t care how sparkly the sales pages are. I care about what comes up at the other end. That’s what I see and hear – from the trenches, boots on the ground:

People get dumped out of the hamster wheel – dizzy, dazed, frazzled; feeling like a loser who takes 4 steps forward and 3 steps back, and not knowing what to do with themselves.

This is not right. We can’t expect to get the whole “running a businesses” thing in just a year or two. (By that I mean really get it, not regurgitating jargons or reciting feel-good fluff.)

Yet this is the “life-cycle” of getting sucked into the machine, got churned and burned then spat out with a scattered bunch of tactics without the experience or perspective to tie them into a cohesive whole.

Leaving those with big ideas and good intention disillusioned, deflated and often out of funds.

We’re done with those 4-video launches, 5-email sequences, 6-figure sound bytes and funnels with a dozen up-sell, cross-sell and down-sell permutations.

I’ve tried them. Sacrificing my voice and seeing the same thing happening to others made me sad.

I wish I had a “solution.” I’m in as much of a pickle as everyone else.

If not more. Because somewhere along the way I’ve fallen in love with clarity, discernment and words…

Not only to do everything with utmost intentionality, but also to express the intention undiluted and unapologetically.

We’ve been around the block a few times. We’re done with the cookie-cutter BS and ready to do something differently – with clear intention to create meaning.

We’re in the gap where the old is wearing out and the new hasn’t fully emerged.

We’re stuck with the same “formats” we’ve grown to be skeptical about.

So much so that sometimes I resist taking action because I feel like I’m just going through the motion.

I don’t want to be pessimistic. I don’t want to throw in the towel.

Yet sometimes, it feels like there’s nothing new under the sun and cutting through the clutter has become a futile exercise in fighting with myself.

I’ve spent a good part of the year “detoxing” from the “how things are supposed to be done.” Maybe the questioning and self-scrutiny only made life harder.

Of course the format of delivery shouldn’t be the hurdle. I want to believe that intention and messaging are what matter.

Alas, amidst all the noise and distraction, we’ve built mental shortcuts to survive. We’re conditioned to tune out.

While we may still have to work with the same mode of expression for the time being, I believe we can get behind on what’s emerging:

Less information, more conversation…

… for how we communicate, and how we’re being communicated to.

Lead with our action, vote with our response.

Wake up, be discerning (no 60-minute webinar can give you the magic bullet to get all the clients you want while sipping cocktails by the pool) and don’t insult your audience’s intelligence.

Don’t spoon-feed your audience stuff that some blueprint or formula say you have to say. If you don’t buy it, why should your peeps?

I started out in the “coaching world” but I never take to those cookie cutter promotional tactics.

The fake scarcity. The “you have to invest a boatload in yourself or you’re a loser.” The “you’re not serious about succeeding if you don’t pull our your credit card now.”

Making people feel like crap, inadequate, wrong – using guilt to talk them into buying more stuff.

Hiding behind the disguise of “being of service” while pulling the fears and scarcity trigger mercilessly.

Most of us are swimming in this same stew, reading the same stuff and letting the same emails eat at us.

What if we step outside of the box and ask better questions?

Break out of the echo chamber. Step back for a broader perspective.

Go back to asking – what matters?