Category Archives: Marketing

Optimize Bing Search and Get Optimized for Facebook Too!

If you are wondering why the recent Microsoft and Facebook agreements are so relevant, consider a couple things.  Facebook membership and usage grows at leaps and bounds.  Facebook is becoming one of the primary places for people to go on the internet, and while they are there, they search for things and people.  More people and groups right now than anything else, but that might change soon.

Bing web search is now integrated into Facebook search.  Perform a search in Facebook and if there is no direct search result within Facebook itself, you will see the top 3 results from the web powered by Bing, Microsoft’s search engine.

Recently I completed a web site roll out for a client of mine via Softduit Media.  Its a graphic design site in Iowa called Design 26 (http://graphicdesign26.com ).  The site is relatively new, but rapidly moving up the search results in its niche, including the search results within Bing.

One of the bi-products of that foundational search engine optimization of the site we set up is that the site is now also on the front page results in Facebook for ‘urbandale graphic design’.

Facebook Search results for keywords urbandale graphic design

If you expand those results, they are also listed a second time in position 6.

From a cultural perspective people are not using Facebook as a search engine, very much.  However, the cultural shift that turned YouTube into one of the largest search engines on the internet behind Google, could also work in another social network like Facebook, but this time the search is powered by Microsoft.  Optimizing for Bing may have never before been so important, but it will be now.

Southwest Engages in Smart Facebook Ad Strategy

While browsing around on Facebook today, I spotted a great ad campaign executed by Southwest Airlines the darling of the airline industry.  Its simple, ‘Fan Us’ and we’ll enter you in a contest for free airline tickets roundtrip.

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Its simple, easy, will help them build up a large fan following on Facebook, which will enable them to engage in more direct marketing via Facebook techniques in the future, and it conveys an overall perception that Southwest is nice.

No stupid forms to fill out

No silly off facebook websites to visit

No difficult buy in

Does generate a large Facebook fan base, which will show a level of communal good will towards this company for months and years to come

And it simply costs them a few free seats

Brilliant!

New Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 Preferred Coupon Codes for Black Friday Weekend

Note: Cross posted from Maven Mapper’s Information.

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Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 is available for 30% off through Nuance starting Today and lasting until 11/30.

You can get the Preferred Version or the Standard version (if you are a blogger the Standard version is likely what you are looking for, if you happen to be a podcaster you might get more out of the Preferred version. If you are a business user, I’d recommend Standard.

Here’s How you can get 30% off Dragon Naturally Speaking with the Coupon Codes Below

30% off Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Preferred

Start Date:11/26/2009 – End Date:11/30/2009

Dragon Coupon Code:giahh897e

Copy your link code below.

30% off Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Preferred

30% off Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Standard

Start Date:11/26/2009 – End Date:11/30/2009

Dragon Coupon Code: 2r22fbz7z

Copy your link code below.

30% off Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Standard

Note: Cross posted from Maven Mapper’s Information.

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Best of Pub Con & Matt Cutts Provides helpful tool for Targeting WordPress hacker spammers

Didn’t attend PubCon 2009?  Get the best Insights gathered up from the conference at Managing Greatness.  Even though on the surface this looks like a cliff notes version of Pub Con it is more of a linear mind map or outline of some of the key items.  (frankly I’m impressed there’s some useful stuff in here) like the reference to the Matt Cutt’s interview by GeekCast.fm. 

here’s a screen shot of the article just to give you an idea of how deep this review actually is!

:)

Summary of Pub Con 2009 by Managing Greatness

The Affiliate Summit Ultimate Follow Friday List

Over 60 People You Should Follow at Affiliate Summit

Here’s a list of over 60 key people presenting or involved with Affiliate Summit starting this weekend.  If you want to know what’s going on this weekend or in the Affiliate world in general, you should follow this group.

UPDATED! This manual follow friday list has now been converted to a new Twitter List to make it easy to follow the Affiliate Industry Insiders in 1 Click!

http://twitter.com/brettbum/affiliateindustryinsiders

Tip! Get the Linky Add-on for firefox.  Open this article up in a separate page by clicking on the title, then right click in your browser after installing the add on, pick Linky and in the drop down select open all links in tabs, excluding the handfull of other links from the site footer and header that get pulled in.  Then you can go tab to tab following people, without having to click on each link below.

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If you know a better way to follow a large group of people, leave me a comment and I’ll add you to the twitter list!

Here’s the ASE09 Follow List

  1. @JayBerkowitz
  2. @JamieEBirch
  3. @chiefmartec
  4. @chrisbrogan
  5. @mikebuecheleless
  6. @loxly
  7. @brentcsutoras
  8. @dalka
  9. @trishalyn
  10. @oilman
  11. @karengarcia
  12. @GabGoldenbergless
  13. @pepperjamceo
  14. @internetlawcent
  15. @GaryKibel_law
  16. @bethkirsch
  17. @jimkukral
  18. @ericlanderless
  19. @JGoode
  20. @graywolf
  21. @jeffgreenbaum
  22. @tyrona
  23. @sugarrae
  24. @brettbum
  25. @mikeyjake
  26. @moneyreignless
  27. @cashbaq
  28. @StephARC
  29. @Brianlittleton
  30. @grahammacrobie
  31. @stuntdubl
  32. @acnatta
  33. @wordcampbham
  34. @melaniemitchell
  35. @katemorris
  36. @vinnyohare
  37. @americancliche
  38. @BLAIRAffiliates
  39. @neilpatel
  40. @lisap
  41. @scottpolk
  42. @eprussakov
  43. @DushR
  44. @wilreynolds
  45. @lisariolo
  46. @turnhere
  47. @SteveSchaffer
  48. @turnhere
  49. @SteveSchaffer
  50. @shoemoney
  51. @alexschultz
  52. @mellies
  53. @skydiver
  54. @cshel
  55. @sloanzone
  56. @briansolis
  57. @digijoe
  58. @streko
  59. @michaelvorel
  60. @experienceads
  61. @KarenWhite_LV
  62. @chriswinfield
  63. @dennisyu
  64. @affiliatesummit
  65. @feedfront
  66. @geekcast
  67. @affiliatetip
  68. @missyward

If I’ve missed your twitter address please leave a comment with your twitter link.

If you are attending Affiliate Summit, please also add your twitter link, I’m putting together a separate attendees list for a future article.

Heather Shares 5 Tips for Writing a Great Sponsored Tweet

Heather from the blog Beautiful British Columbia shared 5 great tips for writing a sponsored tweet that I’d like to share with everyone.  As this is a relatively brand new monetization and communication medium, I think it is safe to say that the verdict is still out on best practices.

That said, Heather has captured some of the essentials that will likely make the list.  Here’s a couple that seemed extra insightful to me:

    • Pictures are worth more than words.
      • I often include a picture in my sponsored tweets to make a point. If you see a picture of my adorable doggy with his new toy, I think you are more likely to click on the link to see where I bought it.
    • Keep it short ‘n sweet and easy to retweet.
      • By keeping your tweet less than 140 characters and by using common abbreviations you are more likely to be ‘retweeted’, thereby reaching an exponential number of Twitter users.

Writing a Great Sponsored Tweet

Something else to consider is that the 5 quick tips Heather offers up are relevant even if you are not sending a sponsored tweet, just a tweet.

Personally, whenever someone follows me that has recent tweets that are all quick headlines followed by a link (maybe from their blog or maybe just passing on information from other sites), I click away and don’t follow them back.

I’m not a follow snob, I just don’t need my twitter stream full of tweets with recent headlines from every blog or news source under the sun, especially when those start to get redundant.  I’m not like every one but I only use twitter to talk with people or see what people are talking about.  I don’t go to twitter to receive a ‘NarrowCast’ (as opposed to a broadcast) of a bunch of nice to know blog titles and articles. 

Note – If you read this article based on a twitter title automatically created from this new blog entry, you might think me a hypocrite.  That’s OK, I AM a hypocrite!  :)

But I also typically talk to people on twitter and just happen to include links from my blog articles in an automated fashion when they show up.  You will never see my twitter stream looking like a long long list of either my own or someone else’s headlines.

Only Fools Rely Solely on Cloud Storage for Personal/Business Information

As I’ve read about people potentially losing their personal data during the Microsoft/T-Mobile/Danger/Sidekick fiasco, I thought to my self, well that’s the price you pay when you rely on the cloud to keep you safe.  But the same thing could happen to me now that I’m using a Palm Pre.  It relies heavily (far too heavily) on Google Contacts (an awful system, definitely not up to par with Google’s normal standard) and Facebook.

Fortunately there are extra services ($$ Missing Sync) that can enable you to make offline copies of important information, like emails, phone numbers, addresses, calendars etc.  Sure there is a good argument to be made that Google is a nice big company and should be safe. 

If Google’s servers aren’t safe, whose are?

The answer to that question, is who cares.  Back up your data yourself and have another level of redundancy.  It is 2009, going on 2010 as I write this and if there is anything we’ve learned in recent decades is that you can NOT trust big companies to protect you, and espeically you can’t trust big companies to protect any of your data!

Got it?  Yeah, I know its a no brainer, now go find a way to back up your information!

Letting Data Die A Natural Death – washingtonpost.com

The Black Hole of Marketing – aka No Response

I was just spending a little time catching up with Joseph Jaffe @jaffejuice and caught this great video he put together called The Black Hole of Marketing

Joseph talks about the importance of responding to people in this video but there’s more to his words than I can summarize.  Let me say that this video is very important for companies and brands that hope to some day engage in a positive manner in social media, but also for firms and consultants that engage in social media marketing.

What is the Black Hole of Marketing?

image It is essentially the process of sending a request for proposal, or the actual proposal or even just a message to a business client, business customer, or even a partner that never receives a reply. 

The message is lost in a black hole.

 

Bad Economy, Bad Communications, Bad Manners, Long Memories

One of the things that makes this situation worse is that many companies need help.  They are working with reduced staffs and reduce budgets.  They need to get 5 times as much done to right the financial ship of their company with 1/5th the staff, and don’t even get me started with the lowered budgets.

But when they reach out for that help through traditional channels, the prices typically have changed much.  When they then reach out through social media looking for the ‘bargain’ that must be there in those new fangled social networks, they might receive a proposal back that is more affordable but still not within their lowered budget constraints. 

So what happens?

Nothing happens, they don’t respond.  They can’t pull the trigger because the trigger is too expensive to pull.  But they often make the mistake of not sending the message back that now is not the right time.  Instead it gets added to the pile on a desk, it gets added to the open emails on their desktop, or it gets added to a task list that might not ever be cleared.

The person or firm that sent the proposal may never ever hear back.  That creates a negative sentiment that might be associated with that firm and especially that person in the firm for many moths if not years to come.

Sometime in the future, if that company or firm needs help again, they might find that there is less goodwill the next time they seek a proposal or request.  Sure it might not come across in a verbal tone on the phone or in an email, but it could very well come across in the extra effort that might not be there, it could come manifest in a number of ways.  Yes that may be unprofessional, but it does happen.  When a relationship is damaged, it is damaged.  The person that creates the damage, needs to do something to repair it.

But that damage and the need to repair it could be completely avoided.

All year long I have seen this play out over and over again.  A large number of companies I have worked with this year suffer from the symptoms that create this black hole of marketing.

But it happens on the other side of the fence too.  In fact I am as guilty of it myself as many other consultants, contractors and social media workers.

When you are working everyday to maintain connections on facebook, twitter, several blogs, email, phone, voice mail, text messages and more, and you are trying to create and foster new business opportunities on multiple fronts in a difficult economy, all those pans in the fire create a level of diffusion that triggers some emails to be missed, some voice mails to be returned late, some tweets, @ replies or Retweets to go without a timely response, maybe even a birthday or two on Facebook even.

The Solution – Follow up Late is Better than Never

Sure it can be a little embarassing to reach out to someone that you are late getting back to.  Yes, some damage to the relationship may have occurred, but any response is better than none, even if it is simply to apologize for the late response.  Truthfully, excuses or situational reasons are optional.  We all have the reasons.  There’s nothing abnormal about people failing to follow up when situations get out of their control.  There IS only so much time in a day.

But do try to follow up even after the fact.

For me the hardest thing to follow up on is email.  I’m not talking about all email, I’m talking about those complicated emails that you open up in your desktop 8 at a time in the morning as you are identifying the fires of the day.

As you proceed to leap into the first fire and work through them one at a time all day, the last couple might not be put out before EOB.  They then stay open and tomorrow, 8 new fires creep in.  By the end of the week, you have 10 fires that have been accumulating all week long.

If you are like most members of the new economy, you work all weekend, so there is no rest, not even a day to catch up, because new fires roll in on Saturday and Sunday too!

The Email Crash

For myself, it inevitably happens.  At some point, I accumulate 15-20 open emails that haven’t been dealt with and then a terrible thing happens.  My email or computer crashes and all those emails are closed prematurely!

Where did my fires go? 

I know I have them.  They are in my inbox somewhere, but they date back over 2 weeks! 

This is the problem that I still have not found a good solution to resolve it.  Sure I can find some of them, but I can’t remember all of them.  I get 300 emails per day.  I’m not saying that is a lot, but to search back through 300 x 14 days = 4200 emails over 2 weeks and find the 15-20 emails that are still the fires I need to fix is not easy.

I do use some tools to mark my emails as I open them, but none are as easy nor as fast as they should be.  Plus, Outlook doesn’t have a recover and reopen recent emails feature.

So that means some of my emails that were, Hell they ARE! fires don’t get put out.

The only solution for this is that my contacts whether they are partners, clients, customers, potential customers, etc need to follow up with me.

“Hey what about that email I sent you last week?”

That’s all I need.  Something quick to remind me to open that email back up and deal with it (not add it to the new list of open emails but deal with it!)

That is also what I HAVE to do and every other worker in social media has to do as well.  Don’t worry about being perceived as a pest, as needy (of work) just be polite, professional and persistent, and send a follow up one more time. 

Today, I closed 2 deals with partners/clients that I have been trying to close for almost 9 months.  It wasn’t easy, but my persistence paid off, even when I went months at a time without a reply.  Psychologically, it was not easy, but on a personal note, I realize that we are all in the same boat.

:)

What do you get when you cross Buckaroo Bonzai with the Blogosphere?

Buckaroo Bonzai Preparing to Kick some ass

SPONZAI!!!!!

That was the image and crazy thought that went through my head when I heard about the new Sponzai program from Izea.  This particular offering is something that I was looking for pretty heavily last year during a large marketing campaign with Dragon Naturally Speaking, and now that particular advertising strategy that I utilize has been standardized.

Want to know what it was or what this is?

sponzai

Check back soon!