Marketing

  • 2011: Social Media Marketing Consultants on the Decline and Other Predictions

    In 2010, we were all enamored by social media marketing. Stories about folks getting fired because of their tweets or getting caught cheating thanks to Facebook were all the rage at parties. Okay…well…at least they were at the social gatherings I was attending. Now, we see a greater concern for privacy emerge and more people suffering from information overload.  Here are 3  trends I see emerging this year  – Every Tweet Counts – In 2010, tweeting became a phenomenon. We saw hordes of people sign up, tweet about their lunch plans, and then promptly stop using the service after pronouncing it absolutely useless.  In 2011, we will see more people thinking before tweeting. We’ve passed the experimental stage. It is no longer cool to just tweet. What you say actually matters. (Imagine that!)  And, it goes beyond twitter. Businesses trying to reach audiences will have to give content (and content marketing) much more thought. It will no longer be enough to just have content. But, compelling content becomes more important than ever. Social Media Marketing Consultants Decrease – In 2010, we also saw an increase in the social media marketing consultant population. Many in the industry complained that hacks and…

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  • 7 Steps to Marketing a Mobile Application

    2011 will be the year of the mobile application. Early adopters will roll their eyes at that sentence, but Joe Doe from suburbia, who just got the iPad for Christmas is nodding his head. This year, widespread adoption will take mobile applications from a buzz phrase at SXSW to an everyday term (like microwave or blender…). And, more and more  companies will lunge at creating mobile applications. But, creating an application and getting people to actually use it are two different things entirely. We’ve helped a few companies create and market their mobile applications, and here are 7 steps for marketing a mobile application. 1) Start by creating a good application that people actually will use on a regular basis. This may sound like good business sense 101, but I cannot begin to tell you how many applications I see that people would flat out not use. Or, applications that are built badly. Put the basics first. Research the needs of your consumer, analyze their needs, and then look at the marketplace. Then, create an application that does two things – 1) fulfills a need (even if the need is for humorous relief or just fun), 2) that a person…

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  • Google Buys Groupon: 3 Lessons We Can Learn

    It’s the hottest news of the season. $6 billion dollars for a company that isn’t quite three years old, and wait for it…has no actual product? Well, it did make $500 million in revenue with its 3,000 employees last year, and Google is betting on it! The business is no other than Groupon.com. While many copycats have come to the market, this daily deal giant has been the leader in the field. So, what can we learn from Google’s decision to vie for Groupon’s attention? 1) Connecting people is a powerful business. As media and technology split our attention in a million directions, gathering multiple people at one water hole continues to be a challenge. And, for those like GroupOn who can conquer that challenge, it means money. Advertisers would kill for the 1950s again when TV and billboards did the trick. Want 80 percent of the market share? Spend money on ads. Today, “eyeballs” are much harder to find. Groupon has been successful because, much like Facebook, it is attracts people to one destination. 2) Local businesses are desperate for a way to reach audiences, especially online. Google has long been trying to crack the local business angle code….

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  • 2010 Online Marketing Grader

    Let’s face it, 2010 was not the best year economically speaking. People lost jobs, families lost homes, and businesses tanked. But, in the midst of it all, we got creative. New companies blossomed, innovative marketing techniques came into play, and businesses across the board embraced social media as an efficient way to reach out to consumers. Our own web marketing firm grew 400% this year. Clients we worked with saw huge spikes in traffic, sales, and brand awareness. All in all, this was a good year. Now, it’s time to measure your 2010 efforts! How did this year stack up? And what are your goals for 2011? Here are some key metrics you can use. Feel free to print this post and work through it like a worksheet. Revenue – The most important number to measure. Are your sales going up? Number of Customers – If you sell products, this number should steadily be increasing. But, if you sell services, quality clients trump quantity. Number of Qualified Leads – Prospects who were a good fit. They may or may not have purchased anything, but did contact you for more information. Website Visitors – Check your Google Analytics. If you don’t…

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  • How to Earn Some Good Karma Points

    Today is Blog Action Day. Every October 15th, bloggers of the world unite to hone in on one message. This year’s message is WATER! That’s right. The one thing that we take for granted. How to conserve it, help others get access to it, and overall – make the world a better place. Charity: Water helps bring safe and clean drinking water to those who need it most in developing nations. So, here is how you can help. 1) Go buy a copy of Age of Conversation 3: It’s Time to Get Busy! on Amazon. All profits are donated to charity. 2) Tell your friends about it on Facebook and Twitter and the office. Handy links up top to the left. 3) Collect invisible but very real good Karma points. That stuff comes in handy just when you need it most. Oh, and the book is written by 300 VERY smart people. You are sure to get something out of it, no matter which walk of life you come from. Please make it a good Friday. Thank you.

  • Same Bully, Different Platform. Why We Must Help Stop Online Bullying.

    Each of us at some point has experienced some form of bullying. Most of us experienced it during our school days, and then many worked hard to put it all behind them. Today’s bullying isn’t happening just on the school grounds though. You can’t just come home, play with your dog, and try to put it all behind you. The bullying continues on Facebook, Twitter, forums, chat rooms – and it lives forever. It isn’t about “Hey! Give me your lunch money!” It is much meaner and pervasive. And, it isn’t limited to school age children. But, wait a second? Why is Shama talking about cyber bullying? Doesn’t she usually stick to marketing, technology, and business type issues?  Yes. I usually do stick to guiding people around the digital world. I love technology. I love the world we live in today that affords us so much power, but as I’ve pointed out before, with such power comes responsibility. And, I feel as a society we are currently shirking this responsibility. Cyber Bullying Affects Us ALL The recent story of the 18 year old college student who committed suicide has really stuck with me. Why did he feel so compelled to…

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  • We are Hiring! Looking for an Awesome Online Project Manager

    ***Update – This position has been filled. Thank you for your interest! *** Online Project Manager This is not your usual “project manager” position. We don’t require a certification. We are looking for the right person who can manage a diverse online staff (we are a virtual company) and on-going deadlines. If you love to work, want to work from home, and are looking to learn more about online marketing – this is for you. This is not your average 9-5 job. Responsibilities: – Serve as the primary medium between Account Manager and the technical staff (developers, designers, etc.) – Keep projects on track through clear task lists, issue tracking, status reports, and meeting notes – Check work for quality assurance – Must be able to present deliverables and manage expectations – Manage and resolve management and project related issues – Keep up team morale Minimum Qualifications: – DFW Area Resident – MUST be Tech-Savvy – Experience managing projects and people – Experience managing multiple deadlines – Excellent communication skills and problem solving skills – Work well under pressure – Excellent organizational skills – Want to work in a start-up like environment (lots of passion and you care more about…

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  • Why Google Instant is a Bad Idea

    Most people know that I studied social media in graduate school. But, most don’t know that I also studied how people experience Time. Time with a capital T can actually be broken down into various dimensions. Some of these dimensions are: urgency, precision, scheduling, and pace. We all have 24 hours in a day but how we experience those hours is vastly different, even when our tasks are similar. While I applaud the fact that Google wants to save us a few milliseconds a search, I am not convinced that trying to guess my thoughts is the way to go. Why Predictive Technology is a BAD IDEA Google recently introduced Google Instant. Long gone are the days where you had to WAIT a few seconds for Google to deliver your results. Now, Google will deliver them as you TYPE. That’s right. Before you even finish a thought, Google will provide you with helpful suggestions. Can you imagine Google Instant as a date? Me: I love dog.. Google Instants: Dogs? Dogging? Dog toys? Dogs for sale? Me: Just dogs… (Check Please!) What can I say? I don’t like the idea of my friends or my search engines trying to guess my…

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  • How Older Users are Utilizing Social Media

    When I first started speaking about social media marketing in 2008, I’d survey the group to see how many people used social media sites. The majority of baby boomers in the room would NOT raise their hands. Fast forward to 2010, and there is rarely a soul in the room who isn’t using Facebook or LinkedIn. The PEW Internet Research Center just released a report on how older users are using social media. I wanted to share some of the key statistics here and my thoughts. Social networking use among internet users ages 50 and older nearly doubled—from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May 2010. During the same period, use among those ages 65 and older grew 100%–from 13% to 26%. By comparison, social networking use among users ages 18-29 grew by 13%—from 76% to 86%. 1 in 10  internet users ages 50 and older now say they use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves or see updates about others. My thoughts: 1) As social media infiltrates every aspect of our lives – online and offline – we are forced to learn and adapt. Imagine that you are a 60 year old HR executive. At…

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  • The Tech Titan Award Speech I Should Have Given

    There are events in life that you prepare for: your wedding, the annual Thanksgiving dinner, graduation, the birth of your child. Then, there are events which you almost miss because you drank too much Pepsi and needed a bathroom break. Last night was such an event. When the Alliance of Women in Technology nominated me for the Tech Titan Emerging Company CEO award, I was grateful. I felt honored that they would deem me worthy of their nomination. When I made one of four finalists I was thrilled. I thought “wow! the Judges really wanted to encourage a young entrepreneur.” And, that’s where I stopped. I didn’t dare dream that I would actually WIN the award. My fellow finalists were top notch CEOs and had accomplished more in their careers than most people accomplish in multiple life-times. I was truly excited about the Gala. Mostly about dressing up, going out with my husband,  and eating good food! What can I say? I live for the simple pleasures.When someone asked me if I thought I was going to win, I just shook my head vehemently. “Who? Me? No way! Have you seem the other finalists? I am just going for the…

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  • Think Before You Post – an Open Letter to All Consumers

    Dear Consumer, “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt. This is one of my favorite quotes – perhaps because I consider myself a constant creator and editor at heart. I was speaking with a reporter from MSNBC today, and we started talking about business ethics. As we explored what it means for businesses to be ethical, it made me think about the flip side of the coin – consumer ethics. We as Consumers Have NEVER Had This Much Power It is 1972 – you are watching a Television ad for a product you know sucks. What do you do? It ranges from nothing to telling your next door neighbor to perhaps yelling at the TV. Good luck. Today, you can call a toll-free number, post on Facebook or Twitter, write a blog post, leave a review on Amazon, and a million other things. We as consumers have never had it SO GOOD. We insist on businesses being ethical, as they should, but…

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