Archive for category Internet Tactics

HootSuite Extends Google+ Pages to All Users


This is a big deal for anyone that manages multiple pages across several social media platforms.  Up until now, adding content to your client’s Google Plus pages was an large extra step.  You couldn’t schedule them, so you had to use your calendar to remind you to update a campaign post.  Well that all changes now!

HootSuite Extends Google+ Pages to All Users

gplus header 600x300

HootSuite is pleased to announce that Google+ Pages is now available to nearly 5 million users worldwide!

Whether you’re on a Free, a Pro or an Enterprise plan, you’ll be able to efficiently manage Google+ Pages alongside other social channels, providing brands a better way to capitalize on the social power of this rapidly expanding social network.

To add Google+ Pages: Access your Profile from the side menu, then select + Add a Social Networkunder My Social Networks.

I know the HootSuite Pro account had this already, but it’s a nice add for the smaller companies still using the Free version of the tool.    Good Job HootSuite!

Good Hunting!

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HootSuite Adds More Awesome to Hootlet with AutoSchedule – HootSuite Social Media Management


HootSuite / Hootlet has become one of my favorite tools to manage twitter accounts and my Facebook account and Facebook pages for myself and my clients.  I’ve tried many but this web based service seems to have the best of both words and I have come to expect it on all the machines I work on.

HootSuite Adds More Awesome to Hootlet with AutoSchedule

Post is in the News & Events Parent Category July 17, 2012 by Andy Au0

HootSuite adds more awesome to Hootlet with new features including AutoSchedule – a powerful new link share tool that determines the optimal time to schedule social media messaging. Now you can automatically queue messages throughout the day to maintain a consistent social media presence.

via HootSuite Adds More Awesome to Hootlet with AutoSchedule – HootSuite Social Media Management.

Hootlet – Time Saver

This Chrome extension is one of the first I add to any machine I work on.  It has saved me countless hours.  One of the new time savers is Auto-schedule feature.    When I’m pushing content to my to biggest twitter accounts try and space it out.  So you can imaging when you are pushing 20 updates the time management can get a bit tricky.  Now this is taken care of.   I have used it today and like it thus far.

Schedule Still Works

Now, if I’m managing a campaign for a client, I still manage the schedule manually.  I can release the updates to Twitter and Facebook based on the campaign we have designed.  This still remains so you don’t lose anything there.

Possible Improvements

Here are some ideas I would love to see in this new capability:

  • Load Balancing – As you put more updates in, they auto-adjust to spread out over time, maybe a range you give them.  9 to 5 or 7 to 7, don’t know.
  • More Automation – Since HootSuite is already watching, they should build in auto-responder capability.  That would be awesome.
  • 7 Drip Logic – Have a singe post/update  set for distribution X number of times.  The logic here is that a message doesn’t really sink in until it’s heard 7 times by the consumer.

So what do you think of the tool?  What other suggestions would you recommend to HootSuite.

Good Hunting!

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Google+ Local: Taking over Places?


English: Google+ wordmark

Mobile + Social Saturation

Here are some key things to remember when thinking about this topic.  The saturation level for smart phones is on the rise is all areas of the world.  In many parts of the word, people own more smart phones then PC’s in their households.  Phone books are becoming museum pieces (and catalogs are not far to follow).  I believe there is a big push in the industry to move consumers to tablet computing, making the desktop and laptop less dominant is the purchasing process.  Now with all that said, let’s look at the new shifts that are right in front of us.

Leverage Equals Change

Companies are working hard to get their data in the hands of mobile users.  Google consolidation or leveraging of applications and data into the Google+ platform is no different.  Right now Google+ is also providing mobile apps to access this information.  In my opinion, Google+ has been doing a better job then Facebook in this area.  It is yet to be seen if this latest change can be classified as an improvement, but Google’s actions are consistent with their past performance in removing older apps in place of newer ones.  For instance, we are seeing similar work being done to fold the Orkut users (still a large user base in Latin American countries)  into the Google+ platform so another app could be retired.

Lessons Learned

So what can we learn from this turmoil and churn in the social media and mobile space?  Below I have some thoughts for you to consider.  They all focus on the fact that life cycle of applications and the data of those applications are extremely volatile and need to treated as such.

Stay Flexible

Let’s face the facts, we are not talking about Yellow Page ads were we talk to a sales rep once a year and then mark in our calendars to review the purchase plan 11 months out.  We have to take a Guerrilla Marketing approach to this area of our marketing plans.  Be willing to invest in something, and leave it alone and move on if the situation changes.  Never holding on to something more then is absolutely necessarily.  Always attacking the mind of the consumer where ever it is found, and when gone, move on.  There is a reason why we are talking about Facebook and Google+ right now, and not MySpace, AOL, or Prodigy.

Be Vigilant

Stay on top of the trends.  Notice where your battle field (the mind of the consumer) is.  If the consumer moves to a new area, be aware of the change.  Stay on top of your stats.  If you start seeing a drop, find out why.  Never stop reading about what is happening in the mobile space.  Pay attention to the mobile app scene.  If this seems to much, then hire someone to do it for you.  Find an agency that will keep you in the right place so you can keep attacking the mind of the consumer.

Act Quickly

Back to the Guerrilla Marketing theme,  move into the space quickly.  Move out just as quickly.  Take over the areas you can master as fast as you can so you reap the rewards of being first, when the benefits begin to lose to the increasing costs, evaluate your position and consider making changes quickly.  Are you sensing the quick theme here.

The enemy advances, we retreat.  The enemy camps, we harass.  The enemy tires, we attack.  The enemy retreats, we pursue. – Mao Tse-Tung

Wrap Up

So for right now, you should be using both Google Places and Google+ Local (i.e. Pages) to drive people to your business or service.  Google is using both in search engine results, and I have evidence they are giving preferential scoring to them.

Would love to read your thoughts on this.  Please leave a comment.

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Social Media Busyness Doesn’t Equal Business Value


Infographic on how Social Media are being used...

Image via Wikipedia

Lately, I  have been pounded with a theme of challenges around the question “Why take part in Social Media if it takes up so much time and has such poor tangible results?”  And my general response is, it should take as much time as needed to accomplish your business objectives which have been created to help you reach your goals.

I also have to explain that social media, executed poorly, is far more expensive then doing nothing at all.  The below article caught my:

Top Five Social Media Marketing Mistakes?

You know about all the wonderful things the blogosphere can do for your business. But how can you prevent the not-so-wonderful stuff?

Social media initiatives have become standard components of companiesmarketing and communications strategies. Large or small—from the local bakery to General Motors (GM)—businesses see the value of engaging in online conversations already taking place about their brands. While social media best practices have emerged, brands still struggle with how best to engage with their consumers. Here are five common mistakes:

1. Not (or Barely) Monitoring:

2. “Down-sourcing” to Interns or Junior Staff:

3. Fast Beats Perfect:

4. Faking It:

5. Having an “Off” Switch:

At the end of the day, brands must earn their “social currency.” There are no shortcuts or substitutes to authentic engagement in the realm of social media.

via Top Five Social Media Marketing Mistakes – BusinessWeek.

Busy-ness vs Business

Unfortunately, I see many small or medium sized companies try their luck with social media and treat it like some shiny new toy that consumes all their attention, as they forget about all the other things they could be doing.  I find they over tweet, over post, and over blog themselves to the point that they justify leaving the scene altogether because it’s not worth the effort for the little results they see.

This is where I come in.  I sit down with them and ask some simple questions.  What activities, events, promotions, or other marketing objectives are coming up in the near future?  After I have that list, I can then sit down with them and explain the role of each of the social media tools and how they can fit into the marketing plan for the upcoming several months.  We also start by setting up measurements so that they understand where their leads are coming from.  As a simple example, this may include a unique 800 number for each channel (print, tv, radio, and each site they are using – it’s not that expensive really)   I explain how their phone bill or on-line phone records can then be used to measure campaign success, if inbound calls are one of the means by which we will measure the campaign success.

Social media can be a valuable tool for small and medium sized companies.  It can level the playing field quickly for a company that is dealing with a regional or national player, especially if these companies have their marketing and advertising plans controlled by corporate.  Often these larger companies are incapable of adjusting to local pressure applied by small companies and their ideas.

I’d love to hear of examples in which small companies attack the larger companies by using social media.  Please share them in the comments.

Good Hunting.

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Flickr improves sharing options


In my weekly review of feeds concerning Web 2.0 and Web 3.0  I ran across the news that Flickr has improved their ability to share content with other sites.  As I continue to collect material for my “WEB 2.0 for Students” class that I’ll be teaching at our local college, this one hit home.  I use Flickr for my photo repository.  So it is nice to see new feature showing up in this service since I haven’t seen to many in the last year.

Flickr adds to sharing options, now easier to share photos across the Web

by Erez Zukerman on March 31, 2011 at 03:30 AM

It sure is nice to see some new developer action over at Flickr. The relatively slow-moving photo-sharing service has just announced a new sharing update, which consists of several new and easy ways to embed or link to your photos:

via Flickr adds to sharing options, now easier to share photos across the Web.

So the thought came to me that this is nice but what could be implemented to improve the experience:

  1. Photo comments made on Flickr would also be shown on the shared item in Facebook.
  2. Post comments made on the shared item would also be available on Flickr.
  3. Multiple authors – One pool.  One of the biggest problems I have with my clients.  Many photographers, one common pool to associate them with.

Either way, Flickr is a great tool to use to keep all your photos.  It’s worth a good look at if your in the market to implement such a capability.

Good Hunting.

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Motrin, Social Media, and the Brand Manager’s Bad Day


Brand Managers have a new world to live in. No longer can they sit back and decide such things as when, to whom, where, and what information they will deliver to the world. They must now worry about how quickly they may need to respond if something goes terribly bad. Social media has reduced the feedback cycle time to seconds, not weeks or months. Reaction time is so short that any misstep will cause brand value to plummet faster then the price the rare spiders at an arachnophobia convention.

Blog Social Media Buzz

I ran across a marketing blog post (Motrin Babywearing Ad/PR Debacle) and it referenced Motrin ad and baby carriers. I was curious. Normally I would not go hunting down this type of discussion but for some reason this caught my eye. I viewed the YouTube ad and posted a comment on the blog.

TweetDeck Global Search

Continuing my curiosity, I used my TweetDeck (Twitter Interface) to set up some global searches for hashtags and phrases I thought relevant, and wow, did I get flooded with feedback. I specifically searched “#motrin OR #babycarrier OR #motrinmoms” for the hashtags. I also searched for “motrin OR babycarrier OR motrinmoms” thinking I would also capture all the people not using hashtags.

Firestorm an Understatement

My TweetDeck makes a sound each time it updates the deck, in this case my two searches. Those two columns of information have not stopped updating all day. There are some very angry moms out there and they are using Twitter to express their rage. There are also a bunch of folks that are very apathetic to this ad that can’t seem to understand why everyone is so upset.

Either way, there is a brand manager out there that is eating Motrin like candy right now …. wishing this firestorm would pass.

Good Hunting,

Post Post Update

Since I originoally put out this post there have been some interesting videos that have surfaced that I thought would be of interest.

Motrin Ad Parody: The entire Motrin Mom (motrinmom) episode could have been avoided if this ad would have been released because the negative and positive responses would have done nothing but improve the brand standing ….. and make a bunch of people laugh themselves wet.

Mad Motrin Mom Tweet Video: Here is a 9 minute YouTube video showing some of the responses posted by #motrinmoms moms on Twitter!

Outraged Baby-Wearing Mama: First of all, if this is outrage, then I don’t want people showing up and my house because I’m afraid how they’d label me! This is actually one of the best responses I saw given the firestorm on Twtiter.

Noise To Signal Cartoon

Found this great cartoon about the brand manager’s bad day!

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Holiday On-Line Shopping Best Practices


We know the Holidays are just around the corner when Direct Marketing magazines start their year end tradition of telling the retailers how to improve their sites for the up-coming on-line shopping season. (Forget the fact that Christmas displays are going up, retailers need the magazines to tell them) I recently read a great article by Ken Burke in Target Marketing. He provides a great example (knowing or unknowingly I don’t know) of how the Direct Marketing crowds look at web sites versus how Internet Marketing Specialists look at web sites.

All kidding aside for the moment, this is a critical question or concern for many starting out in the ecommerce realm. It seems that every year we are asked by smaller companies venturing into on-line shopping what do do to capitalize on the opportunity. In the past we wrote about this in Favorable News in On-Line Spending and Be Proactive – React Now!

Five Best Practices for the Holidays

All of Mr Burke’s recommendations are dead on. I think he writes a compelling reason for each and provides language that matches his audience. Below are the five key points of his article. You can read the entire article at TargetMarketingMag.com

  1. Improve Internal Site Search Performances
  2. Improve Product Page Conversion
  3. Reduce “One-and-Outs”
  4. For the Holidays, Give Shipping and Delivery Center Stage
  5. Promote Worry-Free Shopping

As I stated above, Mr Burke has sound advice. I like the Target Marketing magazine. It’s one of the few magazines I refuse to let me wife throw away before I get a chance to read it. (The USPS has a special truck just for magazine deliveries to my home office …. just kidding)

Think TAX Day (US April 15)

Now let’s assume I’m your tax accountant. Every small business in the US files quarterly, and the really lucky ones get to file monthly! (Sarcasm intended) Two months before our nation’s citizens begin to spend billions of dollars on tax services for that fateful day, I send you an email stating it’s time to start thinking about your taxes. I layout a well thought out plan of attack on what you need to do in the next two months to capitalize on the tax credits and new filling regulations for the April 15th deadline. So how long would I be your tax accountant?

Enhanced Advice

OK, let’s say we were to follow Mr. Burke’s advice ALL YEAR LONG! (Which is what I’m recommending you do!) Your organization could focus it attention on the true benefit of all your hard work ….. increase reach. With the knowledge you have a very well designed web site and a web site with great conversion potential, this is the time of year you should be kicking up the Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. You would be finding email newsletters and purchasing ad space. Increase your spending in tower and banner ads. These items would increase the holiday profits for more.

Oh, and for those of you who find yourself in November and are beginning to ask these questions, do the best you can for this holiday season but really start thinking about 2009.

Good Hunting!

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Digital Media from the Internet


Catching up on my reading. I got tired of reading on the screen so I switch to print for a while. I get some of my best ‘what-if’ ideas reviewing the metrics posted in periodicals or polls. This number caught my eye:

Percentage of Online Adults Who Download Digital Media

43% Download digital media

57% Do not download digital media

Business Opportunity

This tells me there is an opportunity to flank a lot of business with an untapped user base. Not only would a company have the position of introducing something new to a large audience, they would have them as a captive audience for a little while.

Source: Metrics (2008, November). EContent, 8

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What is Social Media?


An interesting post by David at Marketing Integrity about “What is Social Media?” This got me thinking about how I would answer this question in a short and to-the-point answer:

Social Media is:

  • Personalized Publishing
  • a portion of the internet lifestyle
  • technological ties to networks of information and opinions
  • mobile and fluid
  • constantly timeless and irreverent to traditional media standards
  • accessible any hour of the day
  • limited only by a dull imagination or apathy

Thanks Dave for sharing your post with me.

Right / Wrong? What should be added?

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Cuil — the world’s biggest search engine?


Fist of all, I wish this cuil.com crew nothing but the best. I’m a big fan of competition, and want to see advances in this field of search engines and search marketing. I think it will only happen when pressure is applied by these types of companies, so I support them as best I can. Now, that said ….

Biggest?

OK, bravado is nice. I like the attitude, but biggest?

I did some very basic searches, mostly my name to my company name along with some of the phrases I’m monitoring for my clients and the results were light compared to the legacy search engines. There is no comparison really at this time. Cuil is definitely collecting info from blogs, but even that was light. I’m sure it will continue to grow and I will check on it periodically.

Features

Some of the features they are supporting at this time:

  • Drill Down
  • Roll-Over Definitions
  • Tabs
  • Navigation Suggestions

Somewhere I saw a Firefox add on for Cuil, if I find that I’ll add it as well and see if that works as well. (Oddly, I did a search for it on Cuil and couldn’t find anything about it.)

Good Hunting.

(Strange, I’m getting a lot of hits on this page based on the misspelled name Culi also, but not sure why?)

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