All posts in November 2011

  • Does Your Klout Score Actually Mean Anything?

    Hey guys, what’s a Klout score? Klout measures your online influence on a scale from 1 to 100. The average Klout score hovers somewhere around 20. Justin Bieber has a perfect Klout score of 100. Klout itself has a Klout score in the 80s, meaning the site is apparently less influential than a 17-year-old pop star (but then again, I guess we’re all at least slightly less influential than The Bieber). What do you mean by online influence? Well. You can link various social sites to Klout, but it only measures your activity and friends/followers on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Foursquare. Additionally, Klout measures: 1. True reach: The number of people you influence, which is different from your number of followers. Klout claims to filter out spam and only focus on those people who interact with and respond to your posts. 2. Amplification: How many people are sharing your content and how often they’re doing it. 3. Network Impact: A measure of people in your True Reach with a high Amplification (i.e. how important your friends are). So how exactly do I use Klout, then? One potentially useful aspect of Klout is the list of topics that you appear…

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  • Ask Shama: Do I Need Multiple Twitter Accounts?

    If you have more than one business, do you need Twitter accounts to match? Our marketing expert Shama Kabani has the answer. Editor’s note: The marriage of technology and communication has been a boon to savvy entrepreneurs. But it’s also a huge challenge for those who aren’t sure how to navigate social networks. To help, Dallas-based entrepreneur and tech expert Shama Kabani is answering your questions. Email her at shama@marketingzen.com, or check out more of her advice at her online marketing company or on video. Dear Shama, I’m a serial entrepreneur. I have businesses and websites in a variety of areas that are nonrelated (i.e., gravestones, retirement planning and asset management, online retail coupons, etc). The thing that I’m confused about is Twitter. If I use my personal Twitter account for a few different business, won’t that be confusing to my followers? If one follower knows me as “the gravestone guy,” and another one knows me as “the retirement planning guy,” and a third one knows me as “the coupon guy,” wont that be confusing for my followers? I’m of the opinion that if the Twitter world sees me doing five different things that I will probably lose credibility. What…

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  • Ask Shama: How to Market a Nonprofit on Social Media

    Does your nonprofit need help boosting its social-media presence? Our resident marketing expert Shama Kabani has some advice. Editor’s note: The marriage of technology and communication has been a boon to savvy entrepreneurs. But it’s also a huge challenge for those who aren’t sure how to navigate social networks. To help, Dallas-based entrepreneur and tech expert Shama Kabani is answering your questions. Email her at shama@marketingzen.com, or check out more of her advice at her online marketing company or on video. Dear Shama, My organization is a nonprofit, and we are in the midst of fundraising season. We desperately need help with marketing and raising money. We have a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, but very few followers. How much time should be spent on these sites? I also read your book and learned that to do well online you have to attract (get people to notice you), convert (get them to take action), and transform (use past success to attract new people). What are the best techniques for attracting, converting, and transforming donors for our cause? —Mona, founder of a nonprofit in California To read more about Ask Shama: How to Market a Nonprofit on Social Media, check out the article on Portfolio.com….

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  • Social Media Marketing Tips for the Ho-Ho-Holidays

    The holiday season is all about friends and family connecting and reconnecting with one another. As a brand on social media, you want – even need – to be a part of people’s holiday traditions and memories. We’ve compiled some tips to help effectively transition your company’s year-round message to one of good tidings, sugarplums, mistletoe, and…you get the picture. Have a contest or giveaway Photo contests are easy for participants and allow for more interaction with your brand than simply liking your Facebook page or filling out a form for entry. A fun, creative example of a holiday photo contest is last year’s 12 Days of LUV Twitter campaign launched by Southwest Airlines. Each of the 12 days had a different photo challenge, and the best photo of the day won the entrant a $1000 gift card. Other ideas: ugliest holiday sweater, best gingerbread house, pet with the most holiday spirit, or best/worst gift received. Sponsor a charity drive If you’re a business with a storefront, set up a canned food or Toys for Tots drop-off site and promote it on your social media accounts. You can also pledge to donate a certain amount of money for every new…

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  • How (and Why) to Integrate SEO and Google+

    Why should you apply SEO to Google+? Google tends to rank its own properties (YouTube, Google Places, etc) higher in search results than all the other websites on the internet. Since the introduction of Google+, Google has been learning toward offering Google+ pages and posts high in the search results – often on the first page. It makes sense to place some optimized links and keywords on your page or profile to improve your search engine rankings on Google. But how? SEO for your Google+ profile This is your SEO headline and meta description. The title is your name, which is already optimized since Google makes you use your real name. If you’re a business or a blog with a personal profile, Google+ will come and get you (and make you get a business page instead…not the end of the world, but you’ll still have to start over from scratch). Your headline is the equivalent of a regular website’s meta description. Make this section count: what’s most marketable about you? Shama is a CEO and an author. Whatever you think is most compelling about you goes here. Your intro is the place to insert relevant keywords. Notice how Shama has…

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  • Social Media Marketing: Beyond Facebook and Twitter

    Although you’ve probably heard a lot about the benefits of Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and potentially even Google+ to your marketing efforts, they’re not the only sites and options out there. When it comes to online marketing, there are many other sites that could be worth exploring. Here are a few that we think could be potentially valuable. 1. Tumblr Tumblr is a quick and easy to set up blogging platform. An upside of Tumblr is that you can post content on it more frequently than you can on Facebook. The downside of Tumblr is that you can’t host your blog, and Tumblr’s servers aren’t the most reliable. When they go down, so does your content. Photos tend to perform better than other types of content on the site, which makes it a natural choice for those in the media or fashion industries. 2. Pinterest Pinterest is a social photo sharing website, based on the theme of a “virtual pinboard”. Users choose photos and “pin” (bookmark) them to theme-based “boards”. Pinterest was named one of the “50 Best Sites of 2011” by Time magazine. You might not think photo sharing sites work for your business or industry, but with a little…

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  • Five Things You Need to Know About Google+ Brand Pages

    The moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived: Google+ finally launched brand pages. Since these pages are so new, we thought we’d compile a list of five major points you should know about them. 1. Pages have direct connect with Google search This is the feature that really sets Google+ pages apart from Facebook pages: the search integration. A major difficulty with using Facebook for social media marketing is that people aren’t there to buy things. An advantage of a Google+ page is its integration with Google’s web search function, and the ability to “direct connect”. What does that mean? It means if a consumer wants to find a brand’s Google+ page, all they have to do is type “+brandname” into Google to be taken directly to that page. Some steps you can take to help Google set up direct connect: add your business URL to your Google+ page, add a Google+ badge to your website, or incorporate this piece of code into your site. 2. Pages cannot switch or assign multiple administrators (yet) If you’re thinking of setting up a Google+ page for your brand, make sure the person who sets it up is the person you…

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  • Five Tips for Successful Foursquare Marketing

    If you have a physical location: 1. Claim your venue. Even if you’re not actively participating in Foursquare as a form of social media marketing yet, chances are users are already checking in to your business. If your business isn’t already there, that’s actually kind of a bad sign – any user can create a new venue, so why hasn’t somebody created yours yet? It’s not the end of the world, though, because it also means you can put yourself on Foursquare. There are varying instructions if you’re a chain with 10+ (or 100+) locations. In any case, Foursquare will verify your ownership by phone or mail and then…well, what does being verified mean? Claiming your venue not only allows you to use Foursquare’s built-in analytics, but it also lets you: 2. Create a Foursquare special. Verified business owners get free access to Foursquare’s merchant platform, which includes the ability to create a variety of different types of specials and discounts specifically for Foursquare users, which they can “unlock” when they check in to your location. Specials can target new customers (newbie special: get a discount or free item on the first check-in) or existing, loyal customers (loyalty special: a…

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  • Ask Shama: Should You Invest in a Professional-Looking Email Address?

    Gmail or AOL emails are easy to use, but should you use them for business? Our marketing expert Shama Kabani has the answer. Editor’s note: The marriage of technology and communication has been a boon to savvy entrepreneurs. But it’s also a huge challenge for those who aren’t sure how to navigate social networks. To help, Dallas-based entrepreneur and tech expert Shama Kabani is answering your questions. Email her at shama@marketingzen.com or check out more of her advice at her online marketing company or on video. Dear Shama, I am a consultant and love using an AOL email address. I’ve had this for a very long time. It is easy to operate, always seems to know what is spam and what isn’t, and the simplicity helps me stay organized. Yet, many say it makes me appear unprofessional. My work doesn’t require a website, so I do not have a customized situation. What say you? Would Hotmail or Gmail make me more professional? Or, can I stick to my current email account? Could it possibly be costing me opportunities? —Penny, Consultant in Philadelphia To read more about Ask Shama: Should You Invest in a Professional-Looking Email Address?, check out the article…

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