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Social, Web And Search: It’s All About The Data, Big, Small Or Otherwise

Social, Web And Search: It’s All About The Data, Big, Small Or Otherwise

Social, Web And Search: It’s All About The Data, Big, Small Or Otherwise

 

Social, Web And Search: It’s All About The Data, Big, Small Or Otherwise

 

There’s a lot of dialogue about social media, blogging, content marketing and more, used as a means to market a business or brand. The discussion is continuous because marketing has changed so much that businesses are scrambling to keep up. The ultimate goal for organizations is to have the continued ability to promote and market their company, and the changes are making this a challenge to say the least.

 

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing

According to Adobe, the marketing industry has changed more in the past 2 years than it has in the last 50. THAT is huge! So, there are many companies that are playing catch-up in a very real and frantic sort of way. The thing about playing catch-up is, that at some point you expect to catch up and that usually happens. However, when things are moving as fast as the marketing industry is, while you are playing catch-up the pace continues to accelerate. This makes it so much tougher to catch up, but it is something that has to be done if one would like their business to survive this technology boom.

 

The acceleration toward digital marketing and progression away from traditional print media created an avenue for social media to take a foothold in the consciousness of everyone and this includes businesses. Social Media was just taking off a few years ago and it has now established itself as a huge part of the every day lives of individuals and businesses alike.

 

There are some businesses that recognized the importance of social media immediately, embraced it and is now thriving in that space. However, as with anything there are still organizations that have yet to see the importance of this media and are now lagging behind terribly. The companies that opted to task their major marketing efforts within the social media space to an intern or their neighbors teenager without bothering to embrace it and get to know more about the space are the organizations that will find themselves that much farther behind. As for the companies that were quick to embrace social, those are the organizations that will continue to move ahead in the space.

 

The companies that immediately recognized the importance of social media are diving head first into this evolving digital marketing space with a vengeance. These companies are the companies that have recognized that the social media honeymoon is over. Further, they’ve realized that it’s time to take social media to the next level. That next level is focused upon content, data and its relevancy to their organization.

 

DataData, big, small or otherwise is the driving force behind having the ability to dominate the digital space or falling even father behind in this ever-transforming space. If you think about it, data is really not that new because traditional marketing utilized data to a certain degree for print campaigns and other non-digital media. The difference with data in the digital marketing space however is a bit different because it’s on a much larger scale due to the sheer volume.

 

Historically, those involved with traditional marketing have experienced challenges in areas of measurement of ROI. Data, big, small or otherwise provides the necessary information in which to bridge this gap. Data provides an avenue in which to measure the results of any marketing campaign and companies that have been more progressive in the digital marketing space are recognizing the importance of data in their digital marketing campaigns.

 

Data and companies focus on it will push one dimensional social media “experts” to step up their game in this digital marketing space, as more and more emphasis is placed on providing ROI for campaigns.   Hence, we are moving away from social media that is not measurable to an area in which campaigns are calling for experts with the ability to go beyond just sharing and engaging, to analyzing the results of campaigns.

 

Measurable content is a huge component of the continued growth of social, search, web and visual content. It is actually one of the driving forces behind the growth in the digital marketing space.

 

The need for content that is measurable will continue to rise as the digital marketing space expands. So it is advisable that you brush up on your data and analytics because the maturation of social media just evolved into providing measurable content and analytics. So data and the ability to measure it will become more and more important as the digital marketing space evolves.

 

As organizations gain control over their big data and create the ability to effectively utilize smaller concentrations of data effectively they will start to realize the importance it will play in analysis and the measurement of ROI. Essentially data, big, small and otherwise is very important and will gain more importance as organizations realize that data is the key to dominating the digital marketing space.

 

Big Data

Big Data

Data will continue to create a quandary for organizations and marketers as it continues to grow. Digital marketers that realize the importance of data and have recognized the shift in the digital marketing space to utilizing data will be the segment of marketers that will thrive in this ever-evolving space.

 

As organizations recognize that their power to make more informed operational decisions due to analyzing data, the demand for digital marketers with this ability will increase exponentially. So, goodbye social media gurus, it’s been fun but social media playtime is officially over, because it’s time to analyze some data.

 

As usual, I welcome comment, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. So you can follow and circle me on Google+, Facebook and or Twitter.

 

Source:

Adobe Digital Survey Report 

 

 

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4 Things That Innovative Companies Are Doing In 2014 To Avoid The #DigitalApocalypse

4 Things That Innovative Companies Are Doing In 2014 To Avoid The #DigitalApocalypse

4 Things That Innovative Companies Are Doing In 2014 To Avoid The #DigitalApocalypse

4 Things That Innovative Companies Are Doing In 2014 To Avoid The #DigitalApocalypse

There will always be companies that are innovators, adapters and sadly those that are incapable of seeing the future of industry. This is the business equivalent to natural selection, unfortunately.

America was once driven by the production of goods and as we transitioned to a more service oriented country, there was an evolution of sorts.  There were companies that adapted and some that didn’t do so well.  Those companies went the route of the steel mills in Allentown, Pa. The decline of a primarily production oriented world to a more service oriented world took a while to totally decline, but the transition of traditional to digital, that we are living through now is moving at a much faster pace toward its demise.

Two examples of the extreme change and fast transition from a traditional to digital world is the release of the Beyonce album, or I should call it the Beyonce Digital Project because that’s what it was. Some are saying, what’s the big deal and who really cares. WELL, we all must take notice because the release of the Beyonce Digital Project was a game changer in the music industry. This album release will change how marketing is done moving forward and this change will not be limited to just the music industry. At one time artists had to go through a series of procedures and promotions to push a new project. Beyonce’s release flipped the script on the entire industry in a mind-blowing move that totally blind sighted the industry. She used the brand that she built by way of social media, to be her own team of brand ambassadors willing to plop down their hard earned money to grab that digital release. In this bold move, Beyonce went directly to the consumer, cutting out any and everyone in the process by releasing her music directly to iTunes to be downloaded digitally. THIS was HUGE and changed the game more that we could ever imagine.

The second instance that displayed a step in a digital direction was Paramount dealing the deathblow to film, as we once knew it.  Paramount will be the first movie studio to go all-digital with the distribution of their films. THIS IS HUGE! At one time, Paramount would release films in 35 mm format, which costs around $2,000.  Now, due to going digital with the future releases of film, they can release films in digital format at around the $100.00 price point. The kicker here is that although this format is cheaper for the movie distributor, the smaller movie houses will incur the brunt of this move at least initially. These smaller and probably mostly independent movie houses will have to shell out upwards of $70,000 to become digital ready. This again, is a huge demonstration of the “adapt or die” philosophy, which will impact some business in an adverse way.

Both of above examples are an indication that we are at the beginning of a full blow digital revolution.  Organizations should take notice of the changes that are happening before their eyes, some will but many won’t. I’ve actually noticed that some organizations are not embracing digital at all but in fact, they are moving back to their toasty non-digital comfort zone.  All indications point toward a mostly digital world so it’s advantageous to embrace the change sooner rather than later. Progress is never comfortable but is inevitable, ready or not.

Although the changes that are happening within organizations are not as extreme as the two examples that I spoke of previously, companies still must adapt to a world that is moving closer to all digital. Below are four relatively simple things that can save your organization from the #DigitalApocalypse.

Concentrating on Content:

Concentrate On Content

Concentrate On Content

There is an ongoing debate about content; it’s effects on SEO, if it should be called Content Marketing and more.  Who cares about all of the back and forth and the correct phrasing, WHATEVER!  What matters is that without content, moving into 2014, you will most definitely be screwed.

The importance of content is irrefutable, you must have it and it must be GREAT. Content will effect your entire digital marketing plan, your social media strategy, your SEO and more. Content creation has become a $118.4 billion industry. Those numbers alone are an indication of the importance of great content. So prepare to become a publisher, outsource your content marketing or essentially become invisible online.

If you think about the importance of content creation it is very logical, if you produce more quality content it increases the amount of content that is available to be indexed by Google. This is especially important after the Hummingbird changes with Google, which was a game changer for websites, indexing and SEO.

NOW, it is just not enough to grab your local black hat SEO dude that promised to get you to the top of Google and have him buy some back links for you. In fact if you do that, you may not need content for quite a while, because Google may penalize your website or your website could even be banned.

At one time the black hat SEO route, to increase search rank was a method that could get results, if only for a short while.  Even if the results were temporary it would allow your neighborhood black hat SEO dude to run out his 3-month contract while looking like the magical SEO guru. NOW that is not enough, so black hat SEO dude may have to step his game up.  The folks over at Google are pretty darn smart and are hip to those tactics. The days of black hat SEO are seriously numbered if not extinct.

Leaving black hat SEO methods behind in favor of content creation is a great route to go and it’s an above board method of increasing rank with Google without the risk of being penalized. Content creation will allow companies, small and large to compete on a level playing field, for moving up in search ranking with Google. No matter the size of the company, if they produce great content and if they push that content by way of their social media channels THEY will reign supreme in the relevance game with Google.

Content is truly KING for a variety of reasons:

  • Great content allows you to present your company as an authority in your industry, increasing your rank on Google.
  • Content will increase the likelihood that people will link to your website, this solves your back link issue. Hence, increasing your rank with Google.
  • Great content shared on social media was not thought of as important a few years ago, but those days are over. Social Media is extremely important and sharing great content on social media channels allows you to appear “likeable” and this will increase your rank with Google.
  • Great content with effective keywords increases your on page optimization and guess what? It will [let’s say it all together now] increase your rank with Google.

The takeaway about content:

There is NO easy button, no guru to bail you out and no work around. YOU must start to produce great content if you want to become relevant enough with Google to increase your ranking. Google is a business, just in case that has slipped the minds of folks. As a business it is their job to produce the best results for search queries because this allows them to generate ad revenue and to STAY in business. Gaming the system is not the best route to take at this time with Google. So guess what, either make a decision to dedicate yourself to the work needed to create great content that is worthy of being pushed higher in search ranking or your competitors will.  It’s very simple.

Focusing on Mobile

Focusing on Mobile

Focusing on Mobile

Mobile is not going away, primarily because we have evolved beyond talking on the phone that is attached to the wall. Beyond just the telephone aspect of your mobile device, it has essentially become a pocket-sized computer that forward thinking organizations are using for targeting a previously untapped demographic.

At one time it was just enough for organizations to have a website that displayed the brand, company name and address. Then we progressed to having a Facebook page with a company brand and relevant content. NOW it is not optional but imperative that organizations have a mobile presence as well.

With the decline of desktop and laptop sales the increase in buying trends for mobile and tablets are hard to miss. I actually had a conversation with a Director of Marketing at one of the largest organizations in my area that said, “We do not need a mobile presence.” My mind slammed shut with a final, “Conversation Over” as she was obviously living through a #DigitalApocalypse.

The takeaway about mobile:

It doesn’t matter if you decide to go with a responsive design or traditional mobile design. It is, however imperative that your company’s online presence be viewable by mobile and tablet, this is no longer an option.

#DigitalApocalypse is the disastrous phenomenon in which individuals; organizations and entities have selected NOT to embrace our new digital world.

Analytics

Analytics

Analytics

I will be the first person to tell you that I am not really a numbers person, but what I should say is that I am not a numbers person when those numbers have no relevance to my interests.

I took a web Analytics class in grad school, I absolutely loved it and I was immediately HOOKED. This was a tough class for some but for me, the concepts immediately clicked.  I think this is because I saw how beneficial these concepts would be moving forward. When I saw the heat maps and demographics I fell in love, in fact it was love at first sight. Oops I’m so sorry, I’ve digressed terribly.

One thing that I immediately loved about analytics then and what I still love about it now is that it shows the data. You know where your visitors are coming from, you know how long they’ve stayed, you know which pages and content they’ve focused upon.

I can never express the importance of analytics enough; because analytics display your success and bring attention to areas that you may need to focus upon more, in graphic details. If your brain rejects the word analytics think of it in terms of measuring your results, because that’s exactly what analytics are. Analytics measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, your efforts, and your time. They allow you to see what’s happening, what you are doing successfully and what you need to improve upon.

The takeaway about analytics:

You can have the most beautiful, fancy website with all of the bell and whistles imaginable, but if you have no data to analyze the successfulness of your web campaigns, your website is essentially worthless. This applies to traditional websites and mobile websites alike.

Increasing Your Google+ Usage

Increasing Your Google+ Usage

Increasing Your Google+ Usage

There is so much back and forth about Google+, it always has been and probably always will be.  I was a part of the original beta team on Google+, as were most of my digital marketer friends, so of course I have always been a huge advocate of the platform.

Google+ has been improved upon since its original debut!  The layout has improved substantially, Google integration has greatly improved and it has grown its user base.

Although the improvements to the look and feel of Google+ have been spectacular what is more impressive is that content posted on Google+ show up in search results.  This is why I don’t understand the push back about this platform. Why would we NOT want our content to show up in search results, after all that is WHY we are there right, why we are online, why we work so hard to increase our exposure, right? Increased exposure means more business and more sales, which is after all what most web presences are all about.

The takeaway about Google+

If you want more exposure on Google start using Google+, it’s just that simple.

Wrapping up:

Digital Marketing is a game changer on a worldwide level but organizations must have the ability to recognize the change and adapt in mid-stride sometimes, due to the quick nature of the changes. We are living through an exciting time for those involved with digital marketing and those that are willing to embrace the change. Lets all embrace the many changes that I anticipate are ahead and enjoy our brave new digital world.

As usual, I welcome any comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. I can be found on Google+, Facebook or Twitter, so please circle and follow.

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10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014

10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014

10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014

10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014

2013 is coming to an end, therefore it’s time to analyze, evaluate and make changes going into the New Year.  We all make resolutions about, health, wealth and happiness so why not include changing our employment situation. This is especially the case if you are one of the 71% that hate their jobs.

When I wrote the article, 71% of people hate their job; I was astounded by the response to the article.  I was more surprised that there were so many people that were unhappy with their employment situation.

Sometimes people can feel stuck in a situation due to a variety of reasons and they become very reluctant to make a move, so they just grin and bear it.  It seems that there are up to 71% of the population that are willing to grin and bear it.

Guess what people, we are moving into a new year so NOW is the perfect time to make changes in your life.  More people need to be a part of the 29% that LOVE their job instead of the 71% that hate it.

We are now living in a very digital world, so now we need to look at new ways in which we can gain the edge in competing for jobs. If you are a Digital Marketer, you may find yourself consulting, working for an organization or both.  Sometimes as digital marketers, we do not effectively market OURSELVES as a BRAND and that is very important.

If you are in a more traditional industry, chances are you are NOT marketing yourself as a BRAND either.  In this increasingly digital world, all people that are looking for new opportunities should start to see themselves as brands so that they can compete in this tough job market. Most people are using some type of social media recreationally. So, if you are involved with social media even socially, these ten tips will be perfect for your 2014 strategy for grabbing your dream job.

Whether you are a digital marketer or just someone looking for a new career path, it is imperative that you see beyond your present situation and come up with a creative way to change your career path.  The first step is visualizing yourself, not as JUST a person trying to get a job, but as a brand. It is very important that you think of yourself as a BRAND and you should market yourself accordingly.

A huge part of viewing and marketing yourself as a brand, is maintaining a very visual digital marketing footprint separate from the brands that you work with, if you are a digital marketer.  It is GREAT to work in this ever-growing digital marketing industry but as digital marketers we must maintain our own digital marketing persona totally separate from the organizations that employ us or that we consult with.  So, it is very important that we continue to develop and grow our own individual personal brand and digital footprint.

If you are NOT a digital marketer you should start to incorporate some branding content into your personal profiles. It is very important that all people see themselves as marketers, if only to market oneself to the world in seeking a new or better career path.  It is more important than ever to utilize social channels for career advancement in addition to traditional résumés and this is primarily due to the growing importance of our digital footprint.

I’ve read on numerous occasions that traditional resumes are very close to becoming irrelevant because our entire digital presence is available online for all to see.  More and more recruiters are utilizing the digital presence of employment candidates to get a better feel for potential employees before they even read resumes.  This is one of the reasons that we must make sure that we have a positive and flattering digital footprint and that we continue to develop our own personal brand.

Use Social Media To Improve Your Job Search
Use Social Media To Improve Your Job Search  produced by Gumtree

There are pluses and minuses to having your entire online persona for all to see. The biggest plus is that you are always visible; the biggest minus is that you’re always visible. LOL. This is the primary reason that we must be aware, more than ever about the types of content that we display on our digital marketing channels. So it is imperative that we have a strong personal brand and a positive digital footprint. Take a look at the ten steps below, to help develop your personal brand:

Anise Smith logo

Anise Smith logo

1.  Logo: Create a logo for your brand. My brand is Anise Smith, so the first thing I did when I started to develop my brand almost five years ago was to have my name created in logo form.  If you are creating a new logo make sure you have it created in 3 different formats.  Have your logo created in EPS format, which allows it to be duplicated for print and web, PNG for use when you need a transparent background AND jpg for general use.

2.  Uniform Branded Look: You should have a consistent branded look across all of your social media channels.  So create your Facebook cover, Twitter layout and other digital collateral with the same branded look.

Create A Uniform Branded Look On Social Media

Create A Uniform Branded Look On Social Media

3.  Facebook: CLEAN up your Facebook profile! I have seen some things in my daily virtual travels that would definitely be viewed as negative. If you want to promote a positive personal brand YOU MUST start with presenting a positive Facebook image.

I am connected to my father, teenage son and many family members on Facebook, so I only share information that I would share with them offline.  This is a great way to mentally keep your content clean and shareable. Don’t post information that you wouldn’t share with your grandparents, parents or children. If you wouldn’t yell it across the dinner table during a family meal, DON’T post it on Facebook. PERIOD!

Before you hit the POST button, think about how an employer would view your post. If there’s even a question of how your post would be viewed by employers or just followers in general, DON’T hit POST.  Better yet, picture your grandma peering over your shoulder while you’re writing your post. If grandma wouldn’t approve, don’t post.

Facebook is a huge part of branding yourself and you should use it wisely. Assume that ALL potential employers will check your Facebook profile, because they probably will. So it is best that you put your best foot forward starting here.  After you clean up your profile, showcase yourself. This may involve loosening some of your privacy settings to showcase certain areas of your profile.

  • Make a cover photo that showcases your talent. Facebook covers are 851 × 316.
  • Add your employment history, in the work and education section.
  • If you attended college, utilize the education section to add information about your school.
  • Use the project area to add the projects that you’ve worked.
  • Facebook just added a section for professional skills; add your skills in this section.
  • Don’t forget to use the contact us section to add your website, blogs and social media channels.

Facebook can be utilized almost as a resume if you add the right content and if you are a little creative.

Branding Yourself Using Facebook

Branding Yourself Using Facebook

4.  Twitter:  This is a great avenue to showcase your knowledge and to present yourself as an expert in your area, which is very important in creating a brand for yourself. Having a great Twitter profile allows you to make amazing connections while building followers organically, both of which are crucial to your personal brand.  So make sure you are utilizing this channel and showcasing your capabilities to your followers and potential followers.  If you are unfamiliar with Twitter start practicing keeping your verbiage short, because you only have 140 characters to make your point. So, you must use them wisely. To get started check out these easy steps:

  • Create a header for your Twitter layout, it should be no larger than 1252 × 626.
  • Create a Twitter background with your contact information. Twitter backgrounds are 1920 × 1200.
  • Display a presentable image of yourself.
  • Add a descriptive; yet brief bio using 140 characters.

The importance of Twitter cannot be overlooked in the process of branding yourself. Studies have shown that recruiters from the top employers in the country, are using Twitter as a way to recruit top talent. YOU want to be considered the top talent and you want to be noticed by these recruiters.  So Twitter is essential!

5.  Google+: There has always been some controversy about the importance of this platform. I’m not exactly sure why, since it is a GOOGLE platform. Most know that Google is pretty darn awesome.  So, needless to say I’ve been a fan since the Beta release! Another reason to get acclimated to Google +, Facebook has been losing a bit of steam recently so it is very important that you create a profile on Google+. Additionally content shared on Google+ shows up in search results. Enough said!

*Note* You can schedule your posts for Google+ and other social channels.  I’ve used a few but I find that, Buffer is the best scheduling platform available.

6.  Blog: I am really partial to WordPress but the most important thing is that you have a blog, which you contribute to regularly. So, select the platform that you are most comfortable with. [Wordpress, WordPress, WordPress, hmm, did I suggest WordPress?] A blog allows you to present yourself as an expert in your field utilizing your own content AND it allows you to provide this content to your social media channels.

Additionally you can create a page on your blog for your online resume. A web version of your resume allows you the convenience of sending a link quickly from pc, tablet OR mobile device directly to anyone that is interested.

Also, make sure that your blog is viewable by way of mobile device. So many people are mobile that it’s almost mandatory that your blog be viewable by mobile device.  This also offers you the unique opportunity to respond to emails from recruiters and send a resume link right from your mobile device, within seconds. WINNING!

7.  Triberr: If you have a blog YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST be a part of Triberr. If you are not familiar with Triberr, you need to become familiar quickly.  Triberr is THE BEST platform to utilize if you want to get exposure for your blog. This platform is second to none!

So, Triberr in a nutshell: It’s a platform that allows exposure of your blog through mutual sharing of content.  As a part of Triberr you would join tribes of interest. After joining the tribe(s) you would then connect the RSS feed of your blog to the Tribe. This allows your tribe mates to share your blog content to their Twitter followers.  Additionally all of your tribemates will have their blog RSS feed attached so that you can share their blog content with your Twitter followers.

The Triberr platform allows you to multiply the reach of your blog through the mutual sharing of content. This platform is Google Juice for blogs and if you have a blog you need to be a part of Triberr, period. Check out Welcome to Triberr and the Guide To Getting Started With Triberr.

8.  LinkedIn: Is probably the most important step you can take to meet contacts, extend your network and place yourself in the faces of recruiters searching for your expertise! Make sure you have a presence on Linkedin, make the proper connections, get endorsements, join groups and totally embrace this platform.

MOST companies in search of top talent will be actively involved with LinkenIn, so make sure you have a GREAT profile and keep it updated.

  • Use keywords in your headline and through out your profile.
  • Use an appropriate profile photo.
  • Complete your entire profile.
  • Add slideshows, links and blog posts to display your skills.
  • Share professional content that is relevant to careers or your industry.
  • Monitor your profile because you can see who has been checking you out. If you have a visit from a person of interest, visit their profile. They will now know that you have visited their profile and this may allow you to spark up a conversation.
  • Follow companies that you have an interest in because you may be able to connect with people of interest at that company.

Linkedin is one of your most valuable resources you can utilize, if you want to change your employment situation.

9.  YouTube: Videos are a GREAT way to showcase your talents. So create a 2 Minute video to showcase your capabilities.

  • Add keywords to any and all videos that you create because this will help Google to index your videos.
  • Add your video to your website or blog.
  • Share your video on your social media channels.
  • Add your video to your LinkedIn profile.

10.  BrandYourself.com: Allows you to monitor your digital footprint as it displays on Google.  You will get a report if any of your digital marketing channels have gone up or have fallen down in ranking.   This service is GREAT because it allows you to see how your brand is displayed on Google according to rank and it is FREE!

BrandYourself.com

BrandYourself.com

Are you currently utilizing any of these platforms to brand yourself? Are you using different channels? Let me know!  As usual, I welcome any comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. I can be found on Google+, Facebook and Twitter, circle me and/or follow me.

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Social Media, Education and Social Good

Social Media, Education and Social Good

Social Media, Education and Social Good

Social Media, Education and Social Good

 

I have been working within the marketing industry for quite a while and I’ve witnessed many changes, all of them very exciting. The transition from marketing by way of traditional means, have evolved into a new digital phenomenon that rivals, if not surpasses the Internet boom.

 

Social Media has allowed us to reach out to many beyond our borders, and this is huge for business but also great for those with an interest in doing good.  Social Media has demonstrated that it can be a vehicle to drive social good more than any channel that I’ve seen in the past. This is exciting because it brings together those that want to be a part of social good projects with those that are in need of help.  This is win -win for all involved, the creator of the project and the recipient of the project.

 

As much as I love social media I feel 100 times more passionate about education. So, a short while ago I realized that there was no reason that these two worlds should NOT collide. What better way to make that happen, than by creating a new project that allows me to merge the two things that I love most?

 

I founded Urban Freshman a short while ago, it is a new organization geared toward providing valuable resources for parents and teens to help prepare them for higher education. I felt compelled to create this resource for a variety of reasons. As a mom to a new high school student I feel as if the American public school system is lacking, education has not moved into the age of technological advancement to the degree that is needed to compete and budget cuts to some inner cities will adversely affect our young people for many years. ALL of these reasons and more, factor into why this resource is needed and why I created Urban Freshman.

 

The digital world is growing, people are more plugged in than ever and this includes kids and parents. In spite of this our current public school systems are not fully preparing our kids for the future.  [Take a quick peak at the slide show below]

 

I know that I cannot change education on a global level but I can provide the information needed for kids and parents to make informed decisions about higher education by way of Urban Freshman.

 

Although I called this a social good project and I guess technically it is, but for me I feel like I MUST do this! I feel a need to do something beyond complaining on social media about education and how it needs to improve.  Additionally I feel as if every work experience that I’ve had, has led me to do something beyond the 9-5 and to contribute to something that has the capacity to help so many.

 

In closing, we should all try to use the wonderful and global world of social media to make a difference in some way, because now due to social media, we have an opportunity to make a difference on a unparalleled level.  Also, if you know a parent or teen that would benefit from Urban Freshman, please share.

 

As usual, I welcome all comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. I can be found on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ , Follow me!

 

 

 

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5 Career Solutions For The 71% of People That Hate Their Jobs

5 Career Solutions For The 71% of People That Hate Their Jobs!

5 Career Solutions For The 71% of People That Hate Their Jobs!

5 Career Solutions For The 71% of People That Hate Their Jobs!

 

I wrote a post titled, 71% of People Hate Their Jobs and I started a bit of a dialogue about how people really feel about their workplace.  It was really astounding, that so many people were unhappy in their jobs.  If I had been asked to guess at that statistic, I would have though maybe about 45% – 55% at the most, were unhappy with their current employment situation.  I would have never guessed the number to be so high, at 71%.

 

This means that in our daily travels most people will encounter one or more of these 71% and their unhappiness with their employment situation could affect our lives. The chances of encountering one of these unhappy people, if we must deal with customer service oriented industries is probably relatively high. This explains a lot!  I am thinking about experiences that I’ve had with customer service professionals, workers at supermarkets, fast food restaurants and it explains a lot.  So, I felt a need to provide some tips that may help those in the 71% feel better about their bad employment situation.

 

The easiest and lamest advice I can offer is to quit your job if you hate it. However,  we all know that in the real world, that is just not an option.  Since this is not an option, an alternate means of coping is the only choice until a better more permanent solution is available.

 

One of the hardest things about being in an unbearable position is the helplessness that the situation creates.  This is the case with a lot of situations not just a job.  The helplessness of living with a job that you hate, is that it is tied to the money that you make, the ability to provide for your family AND the ability to LIVE. We all know that without income supplied by said hated job, life could be so much worse.  So, we can just take the “Take this job and shove it…” option off the table for now and lean more toward solutions that will be beneficial in the short term and long term.

 

A few solutions:

 

Think about WHY you hate your current job, this is the key to making changes. Sometimes, people find themselves in careers that were selected when they were 17 or 18 when they originally chose their college path. WE are so different than we were at 17 or 18 , and with growing up we may find that the choice we made at this age may not be a fit when we are 30 or 40.  So self-evaluation is a great start!

 

Get involved with a cause that you find near and dear to your heart. It can really add a very fulfilling aspect to your life that may be lacking. It will also allow you to distract yourself from your current situation until your situation changes and most importantly, you will feel connected to something that matters to you.

 

Update your job skills, this is always a GREAT thing to do whether you love your job or not. It allows you to stay abreast of what’s going on in your industry and will help with future opportunities. Also,  it looks great on your resume!

 

Return to School is also a great way to expand your knowledge and formally brush up on your skills. Take some time to reevaluate your career choice if you find that your unhappiness is a result of a poor career choice or consider learning more about your present field if you are in the industry of your choice. Either way, learning more can only improve your chances of changing your employment situation.

 

Start a business because it is a perfect time to start and grow a business WHILE you have permanent income. This could prepare you for unexpected and unplanned changes in your employment situation.  It could also prepare you to move away from the 71% that hate their jobs to the 21% that love what they do.

 

In closing:

 

Find what you love and do it! If you are not doing what you love now, continue to pursue your dreams until you are doing what you love!  As usual, I welcome your opinion, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and or Google+.

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The What, When, Why and How of Content Creation

The What, When, Why and How of Content Creation

The What, When, Why and How of Content Creation

The What, When, Why and How of Content Creation

 

We have moved full force into a world where marketing has become education based, NOT sales driven as it was in the past and this calls for a different route to be taken with marketing based initiatives.

 

Content creation is rapidly moving toward being a huge driving force behind what once was traditional advertising, marketing and sales.  This changes how we think about marketing in general and will require organizations to re-evaluate their marketing strategies.  Based on these changes, the ability to create original, thought provoking and shareable content is not optional anymore it is mandatory.

 

According to Ad Age’s survey, 55% of marketers have increased their content-marketing budgets this year and is expected to do so in 2014 as well. The companies that are forward thinking enough will be a part of this trend, those that are still old school will not and fall that much father behind in creating the digital footprint needed to present themselves as authorities in their field.

 

At one time there were sales collateral produced by companies that were used to promote that company as an authority in their field. Traditional print pieces, brochures and magazine articles were once used to promote organizations but with so many people living in a plugged in world these channels are no longer as effective as they were during the print era. This is the dilemma, so what’s a company to do?

 

It’s time for companies to take the shift in consumable media serious and open their eyes and minds to change. People are just not consuming media utilizing the channels such as print as much as in the past. Media or content is consumed on social media channels and blogs by way of tablets and mobile devices. So it is imperatives that business who want to be viewed as authorities start to take content creation very serious. Businesses MUST start creating content AND publishing that content to the channels that people are utilizing!

 

So let’s take a look at the what, when, why and how of getting started.

 

What

This is the easiest question you can address because the WHAT of content creation is promoting WHAT it is your organization does. Every office has one or two people that are informed about EVERYTHING about the company. These are also usually the people that have been with the company since the company started. This person is a valuable source of information to a content creator! They are your brand ambassadors and they have the ability to provide the WHAT of content creation for your content creator.

 

When

You should create as much content as you or your company can physically manage and post it as much as possible.  If you get a content creator that is on their game they will be able to stretch out a small amount of content into multiple pieces of creative and engaging posts on a blog.  This content can then be posted over a period of time. It would be a great idea to create a publishing calendar so that you can have an organized and consistent flow of content moving through your digital channels at all times.

 

Why

By providing an abundance of content this allows you or your company to become authorities within your industry. If you become an authority in your industry you can increase your exposure, improve Google placement and potentially increase sales. This is just a no-brainer.

At one time the company with the biggest marketing budget was the company that had the most exposure and sales. The same thing applies here except we are dealing with online content, which has essentially replaced a lot of traditional marketing channels as a way to consume media.

 

How

There are so many ways to create content and so many types of content that you can create, written, visual, video or a combination of all. The most important thing is to provide a variety of types of content and use analytics/insights to gauge the effectiveness of the content that you are providing. Some say that visual content does best, some say video but every audience is different. This is why using the data from analytics is imperative because it will allow you to see what kind of content your readers like. This allows you to create and share more of the content that is in demand and less of the content that is less than favorable.

 

To get a better idea of the importance of creating content for your brand, take a look at the infographic below.

 

Content Marketing

Content Marketing

Infographic via wishpond 

 

As marketing changes so MUST the willingness of companies to keep up with the trends that will keep them ahead of their competitors and content marketing is one of those trends. We no longer have such a high demand for print, brochures but an increasing demand for blogs, newsletters, website articles, white papers, and special reports. Content creators are key to providing this type of content and it is essential that that content be original, engaging and shareable.

 

So stop reading and get started with creating great content for your brand!

 

As usual, I welcome any and all comments good, bad, ugly or indifferent. I can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, find me, follow me and let’s strike up a conversation about content creation!

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71% Of People HATE Their Jobs

71% Of People HATE Their Jobs

71% Of People HATE Their Jobs

71% Of People HATE Their Jobs

 

I recently read that 71% of people hate their jobs and I though what a terribly high number.  Has it always been this high and we just haven’t noticed? Has social media and the willingness to have open discussion shined the light on the 71 of every 100 people that despise, at least 8 hours of their day?

 

According to Forbes, Jobs Suckso should those that are a part of the 71%, just SUCK it up and forge ahead. Should they grab the weekly paycheck and keep it moving?  OR should individuals TRY to change the dynamic, Fight The Man so to speak?

 

Should those 71% that have “Checked Out” at the work place not expect more? Are work expectations too high?

 

Less Engaged Workers

Less Engaged Workers [via Gallup]

Take a look at the video below that may help shed some light on WHY there are so many people that are dissatisfied with their employment situation and some possible remedies.

 

 

I think that expectations from the workplace have grown due to Generation X and Y.  This generation has expectations beyond their parent’s expectations and requirements in the workplace.  Also the growth in technology offers options beyond the commuting and cube life, of getting to work and clocking in to the cube.

 

What do you think? Should people just put in their 8+ hours, grab their paycheck every Friday and say what the hell? Or should there be a higher expectation?  Take a look at the top 10 reasons people are reported to hate their jobs:

 

10. They think the grass is greener someplace else.

9. Their values don’t align with the company.

8. They don’t feel valued.

7. Job insecurity.

6. There’s no room for advancement.

5. They’re unhappy with their pay.

4. There’s too much red tape.

3. They’re not being challenged.

2. The passion’s gone.

1. Their boss sucks.

 

What do you think? Are you a part of the 29% or the 71%?  I would really love to know your thoughts, good, bad, ugly or indifferent?  I can be found on most social media channels, follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ let me know what you think?

 

Source:

Top 10 list via Linkedin 

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#GooglePlus, #SocialSearch And Why You’re SCREWED If You’re Not Taking It Seriously

Google Plus IS Social Search

 

I was a HUGE fan of Google Plus from its initial introduction and I was one of the many people within my social circle that jumped on board immediately.  We were all a part of the original beta testers and were immediately impressed with this platform.  In the earlier stages of Google plus, there were many that were of the “either or” mentality about social media, either they leave Facebook or try Google Plus. Even with so many doubting the importance of Google plus, there were many within my social circles that knew that Google was on to something.  Many, like myself are still of that mindset.

 

I had a discussion over a year ago, with a recreational Facebook user that argued how irrelevant Google Plus was and how it would remain so because HE felt as if Facebook would always rule. As a recreational social media user that shared pictures on Facebook two or three times and would log on every 3 months or so, how could he recognize the importance of a platform beyond his own minimal recreational use.  I won’t even go into why anyone NOT living under a rock in Narnia with centaurs would ever minimize a Google platform. With the exception of a few platforms, Google has been known to turn dust into gold.

English: Google+ wordmark

Although I have always been excited about the possibilities of Google Plus I never thought of it as a platform for casual users. I always thought of Google plus and its extraordinary capabilities for business owners and digital marketers. Honestly I never pictured a person like Mr. Recreational user pounding away and connecting on Google plus. However I did think of digital marketers like myself and other likeminded marketers in my social circles utilizing this as a huge platform to boost their exposure and their clients’ exposure in ways that we have never seen before, even with Facebook.

I am not comparing it to Facebook beyond placing in into the category of Social Media platform.  I’m not minimizing Facebook in anyway, because who could ever minimize a platform that really was a pioneer in the sharing and oversharing world that we live in today. Facebook literally changed HOW we communicate, how much we communicate and even extended into the workplace changing the marketing and advertising fabric of practically EVERY organization in business.  Facebook could NEVER be minimized because they really changed the world and our views of communication and sharing information.

Although Facebook boasts over one billion active users Google plus has the power of the biggest search engine in the world behind it, Google. This is what separates Google plus, as a social media platform, from Facebook. Google is so darn huge that we don’t even use the phrase search engine anymore.  I don’t search, I FREAKIN’ Google. I haven’t searched something since back in the 90’s when those now obscure search engines like; Looksmart, Infoseek and AskJeeves were around. WE ALL FREAKIN’ GOOGLE NOW, we DO NOT search.

Google in all of it’s greatness has been “on to something” since the introduction of Google Plus and they have, in their own Google Greatness kind of way molded this platform into a platform that shouldn’t be ignored.  There have been many subtle changes to Google and Google plus since they pushed the social search platform out to the masses.

Initially Google plus wasn’t much to look at with its small narrow banner and boring look, but the layout has been tweaked a few times to create a much better-looking page. The last few tweaks consisted of the banner change and a full layout change.

There were outward changes to the Google plus platform but most of the changes were behind the scenes with Google and very gradual. These are the changes that will benefit businesses most.

  • The integration of all Google Services
  • Uniform sign on
  • Personalized search results
  • Google places merging into Google Local
  • Blogger ability to be shared easily on Google+ Pages
  • Blogger becoming a much more relevant blogging platform
  • Google+ and team up with Zagat
  • Finally, the push toward social search


In essence there has almost been a full integration of all Google Services with Google Plus at most and at the very least these services greatly compliment Google plus.  Any way you look at it, the integration of these services with Google plus creates an avenue in which shared information meets search. SOCIAL SEARCH.

Social Search is something that Wajam tried but never was able to move forward as successfully as Google will. Also Facebook tried to play the social search game with Bing. We all know how that worked out. Besides there really cool TV commercials, no one really gives a poop about Bing because they are really kinda’ sorta’ irrelevant in the search game. Or I should say in the Google Domination Game.

Google plus is the platform, now that it is merging all of the Google services, will be a pioneer and will dominate Social Search. An avenue where social results will play a role in search results. Oh wait, that’s happening now.

Take a look at the graphic below of an image that I posted to Google plus that displayed in Google search results, for a company that I represent in the digital marketing space.

 

THIS is Social Search, THIS is Google plus

THIS is Social Search, THIS is Google plus

 

THIS is Social Search, THIS is Google plus and THIS is why you are seriously cheating yourself if you do not have your company page on Google Plus.

If you have any comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent you can reach me on Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook. Circle Me and Follow me!

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That guy just posted some stuff to #Facebook, He’s obviously an EXPERT. I’ll hire him said no company ever!

DigitalMarketingManager

I often have conversations about Digital Marketing and how things have changed. We have gone from focusing on Social Media and toward focusing on Digital Marketing all within a year. Although there has been a transition in dialogue and definitely a shift in consciousness, one thing that has not shifted is the degree of people claiming to be experts.

I’ve had a number of people say, “ I am a F-ing Expert.” Oh, I’m sorry seriously? I wonder if these people realize that I’ve been following them on a variety of social media channels AND I have a permanent echo in my mind of some of the dumbazz questions that I’ve seen in their feed. So, um yeah you post some stuff to your Facebook page but a Digital Marketer, that does not make you.

We have really reached the age in technology that companies are searching for more than a person that can post a few cute animal photos to their Facebook feed. I have always said that Digital Marketing is about way more than just posting content to Facebook. The social media aspect of digital marketing is about posting content that reaches out to touch readers/views and engages them enough for them to respond and share. This is of course all WITHOUT tagging 200 friends with the highest Klout score.

Not only do the peers of the so called experts KNOW that these people are no such thing, so do employers looking for talent in the Digital Marketing space. It’s NOT enough to post some stuff to Facebook, you must be on your game now that capabilities in this space is high. The first indication that a person is NOT on their game is those that claim the loudest about their expertise in an industry are usually the ones that aren’t. How can you be an expert in a field that is growing at super quick speed? The people that are dominating this space are those that quietly go about their way doing their thing while continuing to learn their craft.

It is not even a question about companies diving into this space; it is a must if they want to stay in business. Guess what, if you really think that claiming that you are an expert is going to be enough, good luck with that.

I read a statistic that said 90% of content consumed occurs in front of a screen. This means that most of the content that is being read, which has to be created by someone will probably be created by someone in the Digital Marketing space.

A huge part of being a Digital Marketer is creating engaging, relevant shareable content NOT just posting some crap on Facebook. Although the creation of this content is very important, there are so many more things that define what digital marketing is all about. Those that GET THIS, will be the ones that will be in demand in this space.

Right now we are at a pivotal moment in history and in the growth of this industry and it’s the ultimate Shit Got Real moment. NOW is a time when the Marketers that are so in demand move to the top of the pack and the chest beating, “Im a F-ing expert” Gurus fade to black.

If you want to compete in this space it’s time to start doing and stop yapping. Some of the in-demand skills are any combination of the following:

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Social Media Optimization
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Content Management Systems
  • Web Analytics
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Web Usability
  • Mobile Web
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Direct Response Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Content Optimization
  • Product Marketing
  • Branding
  • Marketing Agency Experience
  • Project Management
  • Video Editing/Creation
  • Video Marketing
  • Social Media Analytics and more

This list includes just some of the expectations of a Digital Marketer that I’ve read about. So needless to say you MUST be on your A Game, beyond just posting stuff on Facebook and boasting about your perception of your own expertise.

Hiring within this Digital Marketing Space is at an all time high and I expect that it will be continuing it’s upward growth. This growth is primarily due to the opinion that traditional marketing is failing in the area of producing tangible results. There was a huge report conducted by The Harvard Business Review, which states that CEO ‘s are tired of traditional marketing that lack results. This opinion is probably a huge factor in the growth of the Digital Marketing Industry. Take a look at the graphic below to display the growth in this field.

[Source: WANTED Analytics] Digital Marketing Employment Growth

[Source: WANTED Analytics] Digital Marketing Employment Growth

Although traditional marketing may be struggling according to this study it doesn’t minimize the need for businesses to market their companies capabilities. This is one of the things that are fueling the growth of Digital Marketers. It allows companies that are hiring to merge services already in use with new technologies to cover an area that is growing exponentially.

So if you are on your game in this digital marketing space, you are holding a winning hand right now. Take a look at the areas in which companies expect to place organizational focus in the graphic below.

Digital Growth Areas 2013

Digital Growth Areas 2013

If you are NOT holding a winning hand in some of these area, brush up on your skills, stop bragging and get on your game. Because really no one wants to hear about what a rock star, guru, maven what-ever-the-hell you are calling yourself this week, especially if your game AIN’T TIGHT.

As usual, I welcome comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. I can be reached by Facebook, Google+ or Twitter. I’m pretty sure the GURU’s will be the first to comment.

5 Platforms That Will Help With Time Management And Balancing Your Workflow in 2013

Time Management

As platforms are introduced to the digital marketing space we continue to be spread thin in trying to embrace them all. At a certain point, as Digital Marketers we must really look at the amount of time we are spending on platforms. Then we should decide which ones we need to keep, make priority and decide which ones we might need to reevaluate.

It’s not as if we are discarding platforms but more like be realistic and making a conscious choice to stop spreading ourselves thin. This is exactly what can happen if we continue try to embrace every new platform that presents itself in this ever-increasing digital marketing space.

I wrote a blog post about the 13 Digital Marketing Platforms That We Must Embrace in 2013 and I am a firm believer in embracing those 13 platforms successfully and minimizing my interaction with some others.  I am not going to eliminate them just reevaluate how much time I need to spend on them and utilize platforms which help to manage time more effectively.

A few really essential platforms that help me to manage my time more effectively is as follows:

FACEBOOK SCHEDULED POSTS: 

This option is by far one of the BEST things that Facebook accomplished in all of 2012.  Not only was it a great addition, but it also allowed people to explore a FREE option of scheduling posts.  This allows me to exercise my life’s philosophy of “If It’s FREE, it’s For Me!” I love Facebook schedule posts, I utilize this often because I manage more than a dozen Facebook pages and this is a GREAT time saver!

BUFFER:

This continues to be a GREAT option for scheduling social media posts!  Buffer has continued to improve by adding analytics and additional social media channels that can be utilize through this platform. One of the things that I really love about buffer are that the toolbar and WordPress sharing plugin that allows you to add posts to your Buffer schedule at any point in your online travels. So this continues to be a GREAT platform whether you go with free posting or expand into the extended options offered if you decide to upgrade.  If you go with the upgraded options you will have the ability to add unlimited posts and share to up to 12 social media platforms. Whichever option you chose Buffer should be a part of your digital marketing time management strategy.

LATERBRO:

I have been using Laterbro for quite a while and I cannot say enough about this platform. Although not as popular as some of the other scheduling tools, Laterbro is still a winner. It is FREE and allows you to schedule content to Facebook and multiple Twitter accounts. If you have not had a chance to give Laterbro a run, you should make a point to do so.

TRIBERR:

I am a HUGE fan of Triberr and I can never say enough about this amazing platform. Triberr is a platform that allows you to team up with other people in tribes to share content through Twitter and other social media channels. One of the things that I really LOVE about Triberr is that it allows you to determine how you’d like the schedule sharing the posts of your tribemates. You can share in15-minute increments or up to 24-hour increments.  Although not officially a scheduling platform, Triberr allows you to schedule information of your tribemates with your content to create a very nice flow of content through your Twitter feed.

TWEET OLD POSTS:

If you are using a self-hosted WordPress platform for your blog take a look at the plugin Tweet Old Post. This allows you to share some of your WordPress blog posts through your Twitter feed automatically using this plugin.

So, lets start 2013 off right with the right social media platforms,  making 2013 a happier year, saving more money in 2013, and NOW effective time management !  Lets get excited about 2013!!!

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