Archive for category blog marketing

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

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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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5 Ways You Should Be Using Your Smartphone to Create Fresh Content


Excellent Post Above! I like the image of the speaker stopping to allow live blogging / tweeting. I would go so far as to put up a QR Code which would hold a pithy quote, recommended hashtag,  and a link to your hosted content on that specific topic of your presentation (including call to actions)  for them to link to from their live-blogging event post.

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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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Marketing Lesson: Smartphones Outsell PCs


According to IDC, smartphone manufacturers shipped 100.9 million devices in the fourth quarter of 2010, while PC manufacturers shipped 92.1 million units worldwide. Or, more simply put, smartphones just outsold PCs for the first time ever.

via Smartphones Outsell PCs.

The above quote should not come as a surprise.  Change happens.  The real question becomes, “How are we preparing our clients, or shaping our projects/campaigns for this shift in the marketing landscape?”

Nostalgic Deja Vu

I was just telling one of my classes yesterday that even though the assignments are focusing on 8×11 documents they need to keep in the back of their mind the fact that their message might be seen on a small screen so always plan ahead.

This problem seems to be resurfacing constantly in the technology sector.  I can remember, in my brief stint in development, which now seems like three lifetimes ago, the revelation that the developers I worked with all had power user machines: top of the line CPU’s, memory maxed to capacity, every bay in the tower loaded with the largest hard drives that could be purchased, the biggest fasted monitor and video board that was sold at the time.  Not a real problem unless you consider the average ‘consumer’ of these developers were running on machines three generations behind, and were loaded with the least possible equipment to save costs for the company purchasing the hardware.

At least we were lucky to have a great software development manager, my brother-in-law, who demanded no code go into production unless it passed a speed test on a machine comparable to what the user base was currently using.  So we always kept a box in the corner of the office with the current configuration our clients had.  This created some awkward moments when the entire development team would watch as one of the developers would run the cpu/memory/video gauntlet with a piece of code that ran like greased lighting on his box.

Some Possible Action Items

Here are some things you should do right now:

  • Test your existing site: get a smartphone, get several with different size screens, and test what you currently have out there being viewed by visitors to your site.
  • Update Project Requirements: only accept work that can be used on a smartphone screen.  It will cost more, but if your site works and your competitor’s doesn’t, well that’s just priceless.
  • Update Your Marketing Plan: Think mobile.  What items in your plan can change now as this wave begins to form, rather waiting until is past you and you are playing catchup.

Let me know if you’ve encountered feedback from your visitors about your site not working on smartphones and what you did to fix the problem.

Good Hunting.

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2010 in review [ROI HUNTERS BLOG]


No sooner did I post a comment about the shortcomings of WordPress.com stats then I found this in my email in-basket from the ‘stats helper monkeys’ of WordPress.com.    You can see by some of this analysis how it might be difficult to perform the following analysis:

  • Geo specific information – to help identify where geo targeted PPC advertising might be most effective.
  • Path Analysis – I want to understand if they stay for more then one page then where are they going.
  • Entry / Exit Stats – which pages are the stickiest, which exit pages do I need to work on.
  • Time Spent Stats – I love to understand what’s working and what’s not.  Outliers are the most fun!
  • Time of Day Stats – When is  my site being visited the most, this might affect my PPC spending habits.

Stats Monkey Helper Info

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,300 times in 2010. That’s about 8 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 12 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 80 posts. There were 5 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 42kb.

The busiest day of the year was October 15th with 37 views. The most popular post that day was Google Groups: Team Collaboration Tool.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were ifreestores.com, bigextracash.com, en.search.wordpress.com, theappleblog.com, and bigblenderoftech.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for or current resident, current resident, great customer service examples, brand manager, and customer service excellence examples.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Google Groups: Team Collaboration Tool September 2008
3 comments

2

Customer Service Excellence Examples August 2008
10 comments

3

Or Current Resident? May 2008
2 comments

4

Marketing Warfare: The iPad Battle April 2010
19 comments

5

Motrin, Social Media, and the Brand Manager’s Bad Day November 2008

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No Top 3 Country Visitor Stats for this Blog


Sorry, with WordPress.com at this time it can’t be done.

WordPress.com Is Great

Firstly let me say that I love WordPress.com.  It is now my platform of choice for introducing web sites with web content capabilities to small companies.  Many of my clients are Mom & Pop shops, small non-profits, or small for-profits with less then 50 employees and no IT staff to speak of.  They might already have a site, but haven’t updated it in years.  They don’t have the discipline in place to update their own sites on a regular basis, let alone a web development package to update their legacy site.

WordPress.com becomes a great inexpensive proof of concept tool.  I can show the staff how a web site should be updated, by the staff, as frequently as needed.  I can remain an admin to their site so I can fix any minor problems that occur or answer any questions on capabilities or limitations.  If the client sees results that prove valuable, I can then walk them through the analysis of moving to a hosted WordPress.org site or a custom built site from scratch.  (You can guess which one usually wins.)

I like WordPress so much I’m in discussions with the college I teach at to use WordPress.com and a WordPress.org installation for a CSS and Advance CSS class I want to teach.

Marketing Shortcoming – Stats

If there is one area that vexes me while I am navigating my clients through the proof of concept is the lack of decent stats.  WordPress.com provides the basics: Page Views, Referrers, Top Posts & Pages, Search Engine Terms, Clicks.

Items I would love to see:

  • Geo specific information – to help identify where geo targeted PPC advertising might be most effective.
  • Path Analysis – I want to understand if they stay for more then one page then where are they going.
  • Entry / Exit Stats – which pages are the stickiest, which exit pages do I need to work on.
  • Time Spent Stats – I love to understand what’s working and what’s not.  Outliers are the most fun!
  • Time of Day Stats – When is  my site being visited the most, this might affect my PPC spending habits.

Possible Statistic Solutions

I’m sure WordPress staff have heard all this before but I want to add my two cents.  For anyone that uses some of the different log analyzing tools out there this is nothing new.  The following seem reasonable to me:

  • Upgrade Existing Default Package – maybe there is a add-on which could be implemented for WordPress.com that would bring it up to modern marketing times
  • Google Analytic Tool – possibly some hitch in ‘Tools’ or ‘Settings’ that allow someone to put their unique site id in a field and WordPress would fill in the blanks behind the scenes.
  • Log Export Utility – either on demand or on a timed event the site logs would be sent to the admins so they can manually run the logs against their own log analyzer (webalizer, etc.)

Even with the stats shortcoming I still would use WordPress.com as a starter web site for smaller clients.  The ease of use and the fast indexing of content by Google make it a very strong tool to begin the processing of understanding exactly what your company needs.

Good Hunting.

PS.  I’ve gone round and round on changing the title of this post to be more gracious to WordPress.com but I got the idea from the DailyPost.WordPress.com so I wanted to keep the “List three countries you’d like to visit, and why you want to go.” question theme alive in my post by focusing on the 3 top countries that visit my blog.  Since I could not answer that question, this post was created.

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WordPress 2011 Blog Challenge


As of 2011, I’ve decided I want to blog more.  I’m starting right now.  I will be posting on this blog once a week for all of 2011.  My commitment is to this blog but I also post on 8 other blogs so it will be interesting to see how this desire to discipline my time and writing will all work out.

My biggest problem has been making this a priority in 2010 to set aside the time to choose a topic and create a stream of thought that is a benefit to anyone who may stumble upon my site.  Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments (comments really do make the effort seem worthwhile) and likes, and good will along the way.

Good Hunting

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5 Reasons Why Online Marketing Rules


One of the blog authors I read frequently is Matt Hames at his blog “People like to share“.  Recently he threw out a blog post that seemed to challenge my chosen profession of Internet Marketing.  The post was “5 reason why online marketing sucks“.  Now besides the title catching my eyes, some of the content was equally abrasive.  Now let me say this, if you come from the print world, his thoughts might be exactly what your are thinking and seem normal.  For someone like me that has come up the ranks in the internet only path I found his items lacking.

So rather then attack Matt’s prejudiced and bias post towards those of us in the internet space I thought I would spend some time explaining why I love the online marketing realm and why I think it is the future of our industry called marketing.

Reason 1: Speed of Feedback = Reaction Speed

I love the fact that I can put out an internet ad on Google or Yahoo and within a day I can start making adjustments.  I can test titles, graphics, copy, landing pages.  I know based on impression rates how many eyes have seen the ad.  Once they land on my ad landing page I can track what they do and where they went on my site by telling a story and adding action items at different points of the story, thus giving me valuable information about what engages the visitor.  I know how many people have clicked on the ad.  I know what phrases they used to search the internet that introduced them to my ad and land on my page for that ad.  I love the speed of feedback.  I can make changes to my world while my print counterparts are still wondering how bad their campaign was with some 0.000000000000003 conversion rate.

Reason 2: Pay Per Click

Most of my clients are small and thus are trying to compete in the world of the big boys, mostly national or regional players.  Yes, 75% of my time is building guerrilla marketing campaigns for these small businesses using internet advertising that the larger competitors don’t see as relevant or worth much to them.  I have very little buying power when it comes to the print world for my clients to compete against the larger companies.  The pay-per-click (PPC) tools provided by Google, Yahoo, and the likes, provide a low cost to entry model that when coupled with geo-targeting allows for many local and small companies to gain market share in their realm of influence.

Reason 3: Measurements mean Change

I laugh at some of the dollars spent in the print world as well as the deadlines they must meet to get in a publication’s print run.  In the non-online marketing world you have to spend a lot of money up front to generate your campaigns for print, TV, radio, billboard, wrap-around vehicle ads, etc.  Because these contracts are written for multi-year commitments you can have a real campaign STINKER like McDonald’s “I’m Love’n it” last much longer then it ever should.  You would have to find a large number of bad web sites on the internet ether floating around to compare to just that one example of a complete embarrassment of a marketing campaign built around a bad tag line.

In the online marketing space, owners of web sites can change agencies quickly and adjust at speeds the non-online marketers fear with all their souls.  Is it any wonder you see the attacks on the on-line marketing world coming from those that would love to see the status quo remain the same?

Reason 4:  Multiple Tools in the Toolbox

I can agree with Matt that certain online tools are used for the wrong reasons.  I for one don’ t use email marketing for prospecting new leads.  I use email marketing for retention marketing and increasing the “share of wallet”.  I explain to my clients that all the different things you can do on the internet are but tools in the toolbox.  We listen to the desires of the client, build the measurement expectations, then implement the plan based on the best tools for the job.

I often explain that a client demanding a web site as the solution to all their problem is the same as demanding that your home builder only use a hammer to build your entire home.  No tape measures, no ladders, no saws, no plumb lines.  Just a hammer.  They quickly realize that they would never demand this limitation on their builder and often then come to the conclusion that they should allow me to quote the job based on the tools I think I’ll need to complete their request.

Reason 5: Competition for Customers drive Innovation

Matt brings up a great ‘one click away’ discussion but online marketers tend to look at it differently.  We understand that we only have a few seconds (most will say 3 seconds) to engage with a prospect or client or they are ‘one click away’ from going to a competitor site.  This often drives more ‘creative’ tactics to come to the marketplace at faster rates then some would like.  It does tend to cause us to look at impulse and emotions more then someone who has the time to tell a story. We assume our web site landing pages will continue the interaction and tell the story.  It does also allow for some poor choices to be made but go back to Reason 1 to understand why I don’t care.  If I’m not making the numbers I expect within the first 48 hours of a new text or banner ad, I’m already working on an A/B test to see what I can do differently.  The next 48 hours will be better then the first 48 hours, I guarantee.    Let’s see … how long does it take to change a billboard, magazine ad, TV commercial, etc?

In conclusion

With all the advancements on the internet, I’m surprised the print marketing world is even around.  As more and more people drop their magazine, newspaper, and newsletter subscriptions and reduce their TV consumption, they begin to use their electronic readers  and on-demand viewing devices.   I would think that the print and TV world would be worried about their business models ….. oh, wait, THEY ARE!

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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  • Reading Goal

    2012 Reading Challenge

    2012 Reading Challenge
    Tim has read 7 books toward his goal of 24 books.
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