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The Pareto Rule is an awesome tool and can be used in many situations. Here Paul Coles shares his insights with how companies focus on the wrong side of the equation at times.

Paul Coles's Blog

When I left university I joined the British retailing institution that is Marks and Spencer, and of the many things that I learned about business, the most precious of all was that you set your business up for the 99% not the other 1%.

I know you are thinking what the hell is this guy talking about? So I will explain. Back in those heady days of the mid ’80s I queried why we were merchandising some of the most expensive product that was prone to shop lifting right next to the doorway. The answer was simple, 99% of our customers don’t steal, so make it easy for them to buy what they want, and don’t ever lose sight of this, setting yourself up for the 1% you will be destined  to fail. This lesson is beautifully illustrated in a great book “Sway: The irresistible pull of irrational behaviour” by…

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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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Look up!


I ran across this post at “Damn I Wish I Would Have Thought of That!” and thought it was worth sharing.  Sometimes the act of finding a new client is as simple as seeing there is an opportunity to help someone with their situation.

Look up!

May 15, 2011

Our neighbor had their gutters replaced yesterday.

Our gutters are (shamefully) falling off the house.

Why didn’t their gutter guy call us?

Your next customer is closer than you think — if you’re paying attention.

via Look up!.

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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Facebook expands @ mention tagging to comments


A while back, Facebook introduced Twitter-esque @ tagging, allowing users to mention specific people in posts and status messages. Now Facebook has expanded that same functionality to include comments. The update also provides users with a notification when someone tags them, the same way Facebook notifies you about — well, about nearly everything.

via Facebook expands @ mention tagging to comments.

The use of “@ mention tagging” is one of the tactics I teach my clients to use.  It is one of the fastest ways to get your status post to show up on someone’s wall, and by that I mean their fiend list.  Now with the instruction of @ mentions on comments we can even push this further then before.  This comes in very handy since the share button is no longer visible on our page updates.  I think I need to get my clients on a conference call and retrain them on this new capability.

Usage Recommendation

This exercise is about Marketing Reach.    And this introduction of comment @ mention’s now opens up any status update to increase your brand awareness.  Also let me say, this is not about spam either, remember your comments can be deleted by the status author and they can remove you from their list as well.

Here are some ideas, and remember you need to switch to the ‘fan page author’ so your fan page get’s the credit for the comment:

  • Affinities – If you know that one of your fans has in interesting or passion in something you have run across, you make a comment with and @ mention to that fan and your fan page is then showing up on their wall and to their friends.
  • Awareness – something new that you find and want to share it with specific fans, especially very active fans,  you make a comment with and @ mention to that fan and your fan page is then showing up on their wall and to their friends.
  • Praise – share the love so you make a comment with and @ mention to that fan and your fan page is then showing up on their wall and to their friends.

I’m sure there are other applications.  Please share with me your ideas on how your are using this new capability.

Good Hunting.

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Marketing Success – Jackie Chan Style


In “Success” magazine (Success.com February 2011) I found a great article on Jacky Chan. In this articles they list Jacky Chan’s 7 Traits for Success.  I found his thoughts fit nicely into internet marketing as well.  So I’m going to take his traits but add my own thoughts to each of his traits.

1) A willingness to crash and burn

I can’t stress enough that each internet marketer should try to fail, often, and big.  Two phrases come to mind “Go Big, or Go Home!” and “Failure is an event, not a title!”  Your embrace of risk might be the deciding factor that helps you find your niche.

2) A discipline for fitness

The key word being discipline.  Fitness is needed for everyone, but in marketing, we need focus, intentional creative disruption.  We often try many tactics for our clients.  We need to perform our duties in such a way that our measurements tell us which tactic produced the results and then build on them.

3) A disdain for wasted time

As Zig Ziglar wrote in his “See You at the Top” recording your activities and understanding what it takes to create positive results in critical.  Equally important is understanding what is not helping you create success.  Avoiding time wasters are equally important then improving skills.

4) A need for alternative opinions

It’s important we seek out and study other disciplines and build on the lessons of those.  Reading materials from other continents, or cultures.   Subscribe to blogs from other marketers on other countries.  Spend time discussing ideas on twitter or in blog comments.  It will improve your ability to communicate your positions to clients and prospects.

5) A set of high expectations

Never be afraid to say “That’s not good enough” and demand more of the outcomes of your tasks and tactics.  With internet marketing it often a series of “shoot, ready, aim” moments, but that doesn’t mean we can expect some impressive marksmanship!

6) An accurate moral compass

A marketer with no moral compass is simply a politician.  Enough said.

7) A relentless sense of humor

By all means, have some fun.  If you can’t laugh and laugh hard at your work, you will often find yourself  ‘chasing rabbits’.  I know we call it work, but push the limits, always create a version of your latest project that is an exaggeration of the client requirements.  By creating this outlier, you will find your other ideas less risky and at the same time take some risks.

So which one of these traits caught your eye?  Which of these traits are you doing well at?  Which one of these traits do you need to work on?  I’d love to get your feedback.

Enjoy!  Good Hunting!

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YOU 2.0 – The Storymaker


For the last several weeks I’ve been thinking about the concepts of influence, purpose, drive, and accomplishment.  As it turns out the topic naturally surfaced while reading books, reading blogs, posting my comments on blogs,  the podcasts that happen to be next on my iPod nano, and even the keynote speech at the ‘Opening Days’ event at the college I teach at.   I simply couldn’t escape the topic so I started documenting my thoughts and this post is the outcome.

Storymaker vs. Storyteller

“Chance favors the prepared” – Louis Pasteur

The term “Storymaker” surfaced in a Duct Tape Marketing podcast in which the authors of the book Content Rules were being interviewed.  The podcast itself was not about this topic solely but rather the concept of preemptive content creation planning and activity  out before it happens and making a story out of it.  The premise was that ‘content rules’ and the best content comes from a planned approach to the situation at hand.

Around the same time, the Manager’s Tools podcast had a topic on “assumptive goal setting” which immediately had me thinking about the Storymaker concept.  In this case they were talking about managing projects and staffs but it easily fit into the thought of managing situations you are in.  Before we begin a set of tasks, let’s say talking to  Southwest Bell on a problem, we would make certain assumptions of what we want to accomplish and how we will do it and of course how much we are willing to spend in time, energy, and resources.

As you can imagine, I listen to podcasts when I’m on the move (much to the disgust of my wife who thinks I’m being very rude!).  But at the same time I ran across the above two podcasts, I also was reading Zig Ziglar’s “See You at the Top”, and as it happens, I was in the section on Goals.  This is a great book to get if you still can find it.  I know it’s dated but well worth the search and addition to your library.  Oh, and i have to throw in a little inspirations from “Clue Train Manifesto” as well.

Here are some of the characteristics of a Storymaker:

  • Intend to Make a Story –
  • Build your Assumptions
  • “That’s Not Good Enough” is a phrase spoken often
  • Finds meaning and purpose in everything
  • Believe every next event can be a work of art

Important: You are the SAME

You are a brand.  Your brand hasn’t changed.  I don’t want anyone thinking they have to change who they are.  (I fully expect you will change something when you think ahead before doing something though.) I’m not asking you to reinvent yourself, simply understand how your role impacts others in your story.  You now have the ability to influence others more then they have in any other time in history.  Technology has opened the door to allow a common person (small brand) to interact with large company (large brand) and shape the outcome by using tools like social media.  We have moved from the time of Word of Mouth to Word of Keyboard to Word of Friend List / Followers / Subscribers / Contacts.

If you Make a Story that is sharable, compelling, and inspiring, you have a stronger likelihood of having your social network share that story then if you are simply passing along a story.  If your social network passes it on, your influence is now exponential rather then the old linear word of mouth.

It is a matter of INFLUENCE.  It is a matter of improving your influence.  Chris Brogan had a great post on “Improving Your Influence“.    It’s also good to understand that technology now has the ability to help you understand how you are doing with your reach by using simple reports.

Thought Provoking Quotes

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose” – Viktor Frankl

“Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“With definite goals you release your own power, and things start happening” – Zig Ziglar

“No matter what your job is, no matter where you work, there’s a way to create a project (on your own, on weekends if necessary), where the excitement is palpable, where something that might make a difference is right around the corner. Hurry, go do that.” – Godin (emphasis added)

Application

Ok, so what do we do with this?  How can you take the Storymaker concept and apply it to YOU 2.0, the brand?  Can we take everyday life and transform our navigation through it from a passive, powerless, storytelling existence to a assumptive, empowered, storymaking role?

Here are some thought:

  • Work – in the next week, month, year – plan out what story you would want to tell, not only that, but what story someone starting in your field would be motivated by and willing to embrace as an example of how they want to be seen. Analyst, Assistant, President, Janitor – makes no difference – Make A Story!
  • Sports – Plan out your story, game by game, season by season.  Create a story that someone starting in your sport would be motivated by and willing to embrace as an example of how they want to be seen in the future.
  • Society – create a story for your community.  Write a story that motivates your fellow citizen to get off the sideline and become a positive player in their world.
  • Self – Your next chapter begins today.  Decide now what you want written about your life.  Become a motivation to your next generation.  Be something that others would be willing to emulate.  Create a story that others would want to share.

I would love to know your thoughts on this post.  Let me know what stories you are now planning to create.  Become the Storymaker, leave behind the storyteller.

Good Hunting.

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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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