All posts in January 2013

  • Drawing the Line Online: Business or Personal Social Media?

    The new Facebook Graph Search (a search feature being rolled out slowly to Facebook users that lets you draw connections between people, their profile information and their interests on Facebook) has again raised the question of separating personal and professional usage of social media. For some entrepreneurs, like Marketing Zen CEO Shama Kabani, a strong personal brand (268,342 Facebook subscribers, 30,000 Twitter followers, 500+ 1st degree LinkedIn connections) predates the development of a strong professional and business brand. In her best-selling book, The Zen of Social Media Marketing, Kabani writes that each social media user has to make a choice about how much separation (if any) they want between their personal and professional lives online. She says, “I resisted creating an official Facebook page for The Marketing Zen Group for a long time.  As the CEO, I wanted people to be able to connect with me personally. However, people start­ed “liking” The Marketing Zen Group without us even setting up a page for it. After 50 likes, it was obvious that the people had spoken. They wanted us to have a presence on Facebook. So we ‘claimed’ the company, and now have an official com­pany fan page as well.” But…

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  • Tips for Getting Better – Or Getting Started – With Twitter

    In her best-selling book, The Zen of Social Media Marketing, Marketing Zen Group founder & CEO Shama Kabani calls Twitter “The Grand Bazaar of Social Networking Sites” because it really does have something for everyone.  If your business is already using Twitter, we’ve got some tips that will help you maximize your results this year.  And if you’re not already using Twitter, the question is, “Why not?” Why Bother with Twitter? In a nutshell, the reason your business should bother with Twitter is because it delivers results.  Twitter users fall into every demographic category, and it’s the fastest way to get your message into the hands of a truly huge, global audience. Twitter has over a half-billion users, and continues to be one of the fastest growing social networking sites. Just after midnight on New Year’s Day – January 1, 2013 – Twitter reached a new record volume with 6,939 tweets per second. How do you make your 140-character (or less) message stand out in that flood of information?  The same way you cut through the clutter of messages in any other medium: by delivering interesting, valuable content that people want to see. The Basics: Start With a Great Profile…

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  • What Facebook’s Graph Search Means for You and Your Facebook Page

    (1/14/13 – 10:30 am PST) Breaking News: Facebook just announced a new feature they are rolling out called Graph Search (currently in beta.) What is Graph Search? A way to search within your network. Facebook is calling it the 3rd pillar. The 1st being the news feed (what are your friends doing) and the 2nd being your timeline (what have you been doing.) Adding search means you can now search within your network for what’s relevant to you. Examples: who else lives in Dallas? what restaurants have my friends tried in LA? who likes Game of Thrones? Show photos before 1980. Why does Graph Search matter? It makes it easier for you to learn and engage more within your network. For example, lets say you have an extra ticket to an upcoming concert for Dido but you don’t know which of your friends would be interested. You can now do a search. Or, let’s say you are visiting London and want to know which of your friends has visited so you can ask for recommendations. What does Graph Search mean for businesses? It means every business serious about being found should now have a Facebook page. And, keeping your page…

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  • How SoLoMo Is Revolutionizing Digital Marketing

    Have you heard the term “SoLoMo” yet?  If you’re a marketer who hasn’t, you soon will, because SoLoMo – Social, Local, Mobile – is fundamentally changing the way marketing, public relations, and social media work. It’s not that social media, local targeting, or mobile communications are brand new, of course. But when you put all three together, it’s a combination that’s revolutionizing digital marketing. For the first time, you can target and communicate with your target audience in new ways because technology has caught up with the way people behave when they’re ready to make buying decisions. Marketers have always known that the proverbial Holy Grail of small and mid-size business marketing was to identify consumers who are (a) close to the business, (b) in a narrowly defined demographic group most likely to buy from the business, and (c) ready to make a buying decision. For generations, that meant direct mail – by zip code – targeted at expectant moms, parents of teenagers, or other broad, poorly defined groups. There were other ways to market to people of course, but it wasn’t easy. Until now. Like it or not, the smartphone is becoming a kind of digital database that constantly…

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  • The Great Social Customer Service Race – 14 Top Brands Tested on Social Support Savvy

    Guest post by Ashley Furness. Ashley is a market analyst with Software Advice, a lead generation and research advisory firm that offers software reviews and comparisons.  Today, consumers tend to base their purchase decisions on reviews, social media and referrals from friends. They are interested in marketing, but only if it matches their expectations about the brand. If anyone had a handle on social customer service, I assumed 14 of the nation’s top brands – such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi – would be among them. But recently I completed a research project that tested this theory, and I came up with some surprising results. The five-week project, dubbed “The Great Social Customer Service Race,” assessed the how quickly and often the companies responded on Twitter. Four Software Advice employees used their personal Twitter accounts to send messages to the brands, sometimes with the @ symbol and sometimes without the @. When the @ symbol is used, the account holder is notified that they’ve been mentioned in a tweet. It’s not feasible to expect these brands – some receiving thousands of messages per day – to reply to everything. But we designed questions that should have received some kind of response based on social customer…

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  • Starting the New Year Off Right: 5 New Strategies for 2013

    Happy New Year!  Now that the holidays are mostly behind us, it’s time to take a close look at what’s new on the social media horizon for 2013. Make Your Website Easy to Browse on Any Device It all starts with the basic social media marketing tool that every business must have: a well converting website.  We’ve been talking about it for some time, but 2013 is the year that it finally happens – web browsing from mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) is poised to overtake PC-based browsing. It’s already happened in some parts of the world, and North America is about to catch up. So a mobile-friendly website is essential for 2013.  For some companies who rely on web-based ordering and sales, this means launching a separate mobile website via a dedicated mobile app – think eBay Mobile.  For most companies, however, it means making the company website mobile friendly. What’s a mobile friendly website?  Mobile searchers want a super fast load time, mobile-friendly content and images, and easy “thumb navigation”. The key is making it easy for them to find your site, and once they’re on it, to find what they’re looking for – quickly, with as few…

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