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Anise Smith Marketing

Social Media Professor | Digital Marketing Technologist | Mobile Web | Digital Webinar Developer | Analytics

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2012: How New Media Works, THE 12 Social Media Platforms Explained

2012
I was having a discussion with Michael Q Todd about Social Media and platforms that are really rocking. It was a very informal, laid back but very informative discussion but these 12 platforms that have been rockin’ for me. After working to get my social media strategy where I want it, this is what i’ve come up with.

12 Platforms you should check out for 2012:  

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

Facebook 

There are a lot of people that have issues with Facebook for whatever reason. STOP TRIPPIN’ people! Yeah I said it. Facebook, love it or hate it but they have around 800 million users and they are still growing. This is HUGE for your ability to build your brand. It’s not really about love or hate, frankly it’s about business, brand exposure and Cha-ching!

Facebook has now created an option to Subscribe. This is HUGE for people that use their personal Facebook page for networking, like me. This allows people that follow you on other channels to follow you on your Facebook personal page without becoming your friend. Remember if you opt to allow people to subscribe to your updates, remember to provide some information that would appeal to them and use the public option to post.

Facebook is a driving force behind social media and if you are smart you will take advantage of this to propel your brand. The new revamped Facebook Timeline with ability to offer people the opportunity to subscribe to your updates is HUGE for your brand. Add the power of the Facebook Business Page and that makes a power combination.

When you scoff at Facebook, think about which comparable platforms offer you the ability to reach up to 800 million people.  So if you have jumped off the Facebook bandwagon, I suggest jumping back on. 800 million people, there’s nothing to think about, just do it.
Twitter  

Twitter offers a HUGE opportunity to reach out to an unlimited amount of people, with 140 characters.  Things to keep in mind, don’t spam, don’t shove your marketing message and or sales pitch down the throats of your followers. They don’t care what your selling. REALLY. Twitter is about sharing content that is of value to your followers, NOT about you, your message and what you’re selling. The plus is that providing great content and valuable information will put you in a position to be viewed as an authority within your subject area. This will increase your chances of turning followers into potential clients, clients and or people to collaborate with.  Twitter is HUGE, use it.

Google +

Is the new kid on the block and is really being minimized by many. This is a platform that should be taken serious if nothing more than realizing that Google RAWKS. The Internet would NOT be the same if Google wasn’t a huge player. Google+ is not just a social media platform but a Game changer.  Google + will change the Internet as we know it like they did with the introduction of Google and the domination of the Internet since then. Google will take every platform that they own or that they plan to own and add it to Google+ to make it ROCK. BELIEVE IT! Google+ is the Game changer because it is the beginning of Social Search. Grab a Google+ Page for your business as well. Pay attention peeps.

Scoop.it

Curation is a huge part of the future of the Internet, primarily because there is an abundance or over abundance of information floating about on the millions of social media channels. People are quite literally overwhelmed by the amount of information that is being chucked at them. Curationallows the curator to compile topics of interest by weeding through the information, finding what’s of relevance to their demographic of followers and supply that information to their followers. This is what Scoop.it is all about and you need to check it out.

Image representing Tumblr as depicted in Crunc...

Tumblr

Is an extremely social media oriented blogging platform that is easy to share, easy to follow and extremely popular. I use my Tumblr account everyday. Tumblr is great for supplying small segments of information, pictures and quotes to people that are interested in grabbing quick information.

WordPress

Is one of the most powerful blogging platforms available now. I am a reformed WordPress basher that really didn’t get the big hoopla about WordPress until I used it myself. I was using Posterous as my primary blog platform of choice, they changed their format and IMHO Jumped the Shark. So, I was almost forced to look at the only blogging platform that I hadn’t tried  and that was WordPress.  I like the functionality of the free platform and I really REALLY love the self hosted WordPress.org option.  Since WordPress added the option to subscribe for most of the blogs, they are now the best in my book.  I use the Free format for everyday, uncomplicated blogging and the self hosted format for my more involved blogging needs.

StumbleUpon

Image representing StumbleUpon as depicted in ...

Is one of the most underutilized and underused formats in the social media game. Stumbleupon will give some serious juice to your content. I have included it as a sharing option on my blogs, I’ve added it to my Chrome Plugin and I Stumble every blog that I +1 and share. Use it!

Commun.it

Is one of the BEST Twitter management tools that I’ve ever used. I am usually not one for Twitter management tools;  However, I really LOVE Commun.it.  This platforms helps you to focus on people that are your most engaged members, supporters and influences. That’s huge because it allows you to know who is really in touch with your brand so you can actively engage with them. This is “For The Win” for creating an active and engaged Twitter following.  Commun.it also gives you an indication of those that have unfollowed you and those that you should consider unfollowing based on lack of engagement. This is a must in your arsenal for 2012. It is still in Beta and by invite only so if you want, grab INVITES

Empire Avenue

Is first and foremost a great way to meet some really AMAZING people, not just any people but the Social Media Elite ( my opinion) There are so many people in technology and social media related fields playing this social media stock market game.

What’s good about Empire Avenue is that it numerically rates your social media activity by  platform and assigns a dividend (div) amount based on how engaging your content is. The dividend is payed out daily to people that buy your shares, sort of like dividends in real stock market.

You can register as an individual or as a company. After you register, connect your social media channels and watch your share price and divs go up. There is a big drive to buy n00bs, because players have an opportunity to buy shares at a low price.

This game is not for the faint of heart. If you content sucks, your divs will suck and people unload your shares. The good thing is that share price and divs can give you an indication of things in your social media strategy that you may need to work on.  What’s more important than the gaming aspect, is that Empire Avenue offers players the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the most amazing, tech savvy people that they will ever meet.   Join, then chase down the Facebook Groups, Social Empire, Team Zen,  XBar and Eav Winners. Join the groups, learn the game and meet the amazing people behind the game.

Twyla

I am still learning a lot about Twyla but this is one of the platforms that I will be using more. One of the HUGE things about Twyla that I like is the POWER TWEET. It allows you to create the most powerful tweet ever.  Twylah is still in Beta so you have to ask for invites.

Pinterest

Is Image driven Google juice. It is the “New” Hot Social Media Platform, although I hear it’s been around for a while. Either way everyone is jumping on it, primarily because people really love pics and that is the driving force behind Pinterest. It allows you to grab pics from online sources, Flickr, Urls and uploaded images and add to your boards. People can then share those images by repinning them. You can also embed the images, which is really cool. I just started using this and I really like it.

Triberr 

Is the ultimate source of Blog Juice! One of the things about blogging is the ability to get your content out there, shared, Tweeted etc. You can have the greatest blog out in the world with the most wonderful content but if no one reads it,  the content is almost irrelevant. Triberr is the key  to getting readers for your blog content.

Triberr allows a user to create a Tribe and add members to their tribe. All tribe members can add an RSS of their blog which then gives the tribe members an opportunity to share  this content with their Twitter followers.  This is huge for brand awareness, blog traffic, subscribers and potentially for meeting clients and collaborators.

When a person is invited to a Tribe they can then create a new Tribe of their own and invite members. Triberr is still in beta so you will need an invite, which are not really spread around like other Beta platforms. This is primarily because to offer an invite to Triberr is inviting that person into your Tribe.

The key to being successful with Triberr is being very selective about who you invite to your Tribe and careful about Tribes that you join. I find that it is best to have similar and or complementary content as the people in your Tribe.  Also, make sure any Tribe that you join have members that are willing to share your content with their Twitter followers as you are willing to share with yours. I’ve learned these things the hard way so I am very selective about Tribes that I join.  If you join a Tribe that does not meet your expectations there, just bounce. I would, I have and would do so again.

OK, those are my 12 things for 2012. Rock on!

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2012 Beginners Internet Marketing Guide

Internet Marketing 2012

 

During the holidays and through out the year I’ve encountered many companies that have amazing products to offer but are totally stuck in a time warp, as in how they really need to be marketing their amazing products and services. A company can have the most amazing, life altering product and or service to offer but if NO ONE knows about these services and products it’s irrelevant.

Technology has surpassed the time when a business could advertise a company in a small local free digest, take orders by telephone at your location or office. As a tech savvy society it is imperative that our companies grow with technology and not continue to hold on to old ways, now matter how comfortable.   We have also moved past the times when it was OK, to just have a website.  Needless to say, if you don’t even have a website, there is quite a bit of catching up to do.

I know that getting started if you are not on board with technology can seem like a daunting task.   So  a few steps that you can take to get on board with Internet Marketing in 2012.

  • Blog: A blog can be used in instead of a website or it can use do compliment a traditional website.  The most amazing thing about a blog is that it is serious GOOGLE JUICE, which means the format of blog can act to get pretty good exposure and increase Google ranking.  Blogs, as opposed to websites offer the ability to provide an ongoing flow of new content. That is of course depending on how much you post new content to a blog. The continuous posting of new and fresh content is one of the things that Google Bots search for on any web presence. So if you don’t have a blog, what are you waiting for start blogging.   I have have used practically every blogging format available, so I say go straight for the best and that’s WordPress. It is a great format and Google LOVES WordPress.  WordPress.com is hosted by WordPress and is really pretty easy to get started. Then there is the full blow content management system of WordPress.org, which would be hosted by you.   Take a look at the Tutorial below, it will give you some tips on WordPress.  It is a recorded webinar so it is a little long but it will give you everything needed to get started.
  • Facebook Personal Page: I started my personal Facebook page as a way to connect with friends and family but it really has become a huge tool for networking. So now I use it 85% for networking 15% for connecting for friends and family. Facebook personal pages are for personal /networking use and there are Facebook Business Pages used to set up your business presence.  You need a Facebook personal page before you can set up a page for your business.
  • Facebook Business Page: Is a HUGE part of any Internet Marketing Strategy.  A Facebook Business Page is a GREAT compliment to your Blog. The page allows you an avenue to share your blog posts and additional information  with people that follow your page.  Also, people tend to search out Facebook Business pages sometimes in lieu of a traditional website, to find out more information about your company. So by NOT having a Facebook Business Page for your company you could potentially miss out on an opportunity to share information about your companies products and services. So if you don’t have a Facebook Business Page its very important to your company to capitalize on this FREE platform to promote your company. Remember, potential customers could be searching for your company on Facebook, so you want to make sure they are able to find you! So Create your Facebook Page today!
  • Twitter:  Is an often overlooked resource in creating a new social media strategy. Twitter is a great way to gain company exposure, increase brand awareness and potentially sales leads for your company.  You can also share blog posts by way of Twitter. Keep in mind that Twitter is NOT an avenue to shove your message at followers but more of an avenue to engage and share information that is of value to your followers. Twitter rocks and you should definitely get started with utilizing this powerful platform .
  • Google+ Profile:  Is a new social media platform to share content and interact with people.  Although it’s still new, the potential is huge as is any Google product or service.  As an early adopter of social media platforms I strongly encourage getting acclimated to this platform by setting up a profile.
  • Google+ Pages:  Pages are also really new but the potential is huge as I’m sure Google has huge plans for this new platform that is gaining popularity. One of the things that is really powerful about Google+ is that it’s a Google product and Google is known to really have exceptional service. Google+ is now starting to integrate posts from personal and pages in search results. So Google+ will have a huge effect on SEO.
As usual, I welcome any and all comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent.
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Blog Traffic, Think Tribe ..Go #Triberr

BlogJuice

 

When I originally started blogging it was almost a forced effort on my part. I had just finished Grad School in one year and the thought of writing anything longer than my name was really like WTH. However I knew that blogging would have to play a huge role in my marketing strategy.  As I started writing, I soon realized that not only was this a part of my strategy but,  I really LOVED blogging.

I got started with Blogger, then ventured to Posterous and then grabbed a Tumblr. So I’ve pretty much had a trial run on every popular blogging platform. A few months ago Posterous, which was my primary blogging format after trying the others, jumped the shark. Ok, maybe Posterous did not jump the shark but they no longer fulfilled my blogging needs due to a format change. So with the encouragement from my friend Tami at AriesGDIM,  I moved everything to WordPress. Since I was a bit of a WordPress basher initially, this was a big move for me and I am so happy that I made the move.   I have been very happy with my transition to WordPress and I am using WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

Well, now here I am happy to blogging, excited about my new format but I lost most of my followers due to the transition from Posterous to WordPress. What to do, what to do?  Well along comes Michael Q Todd with an invite to Triberr. What the heck is a Triberr, was my immediate thought.  I did a bit of investigating, then jumped right in because it was exactly what I needed for my new WordPress blogs.

I had an opportunity to join a few other Tribes on Triberr but some of those did not work out so well.  One of the most important things about going with a tribe is to make sure the content is a good fit for your marketing strategy and Twitter followers.  

So, what is Triberr you ask? Triberr is quite simply Blog Juice because the platform allows you to get an amazing amount of blog traffic due to joining a Tribe of bloggers that share your content with their Twitter followers.  You also share their blog content with your Twitter followers. This can be an amazing boost for your blog, as well as allowing you to connect with amazing bloggers. Ultimately it can really be a win – win for everyone in a Tribe if  the right content is flowing through the Tribe.

I am a member of two wonderful Tribes, I love the content that flows through the Tribes and I am happy with the traffic that my blog has received.

A few things that you should consider when selecting a Tribe is:

  • Make sure the content that you share is similar to your content
  • Make sure the content is complementary to your style
  • Make sure the content would be of interest to your Twitter followers

Also if you join a Tribe and the content is not to your satisfaction,  you can always leave that Tribe. It’s NOT The Fugitive, you will NOT blow up. Just write the person that invited you a short note explaining why you left and then bounce. 🙂

In a parting note, remember that once you join Triberr you can create a Tribe of your own, to extend your Blog Juice even farther.  Happy Blogging!

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YOUR Marketing Department is Obsolete and You are a Fossil

ObsoleteMarkting

Marketing as it once was is totally obsolete, which means the way in which you are pushing your message is NOT effective at worse and not as effective as it once was at the very best. Either way it is really time to reevaluate how you are marketing your business. YES I went there!

I know that there are some things that can’t be altered and or changed but there has to be a system wide organizational adaption to New Media Marketing Technologies or your company will indeed go the route of the Steel Mills in Allentown. I am Singing, Living Here in Allentown by Billy Joel.

I would say that Times are-a-changing but we are beyond that now. We have totally transcending what traditional marketing and media once was to where we are now. We are living in a much more social world, and honestly I can’t see it moving backward to embrace what once was.  So ultimately, no one cares about your marketing chain of command, how you use to market your organization or your pre-packaged message from the “POWERS THAT BE” of your organization. It is quite frankly time to adapt or die.

We are so much beyond traditional marketing that even your companies traditional static web presence has gone the route of tyrannosaurus rex. People, consumers, clients and potential clients want to know what your company is about, they need to hear news, they want to see your pictures, they want to see the company picnic videos ect., NOT  the prepackage message that the stodgy old board members worked on creating for the last 8 weeks.

Companies that still don’t have a blog, Twitter presence, Facebook presence, Flickr presence, Google+ Brand Page and YouTube video channel are screwed until thet opt to get with the program.  This is primarily because technology is continuing to grow by leaps and bounds. People that are totally engrossed in technology and its advancements still feel like n00bs because things are growing so fast.

We are now in the later stages of Web 2.0 which is social and engaging technological platforms and moving toward Web 3.0 which is Semantic & Immersive Web Technologies, Augmented Reality, 3D and 4D Technologies and more. So it’s really time to catch up and catch up fast.  Some of the things that you need to do NOW:

  • Create a Corporate Blog: Talk about your company, what you do, your staff and company events. Share your videos and pics in your blog posts. People love pics and videos it allows them to see what your company is about beyond the corporate image.
  • Make a Facebook Business Page: Talk to your followers, share information that is of value to them. Share videos, and pics.
  • Start a Twitter presence: Share information and engage, DO NOT push your prepackaged message down the throats of your follower.
  • Create a YouTube Channel: Create videos about your company, events, charity events and more. Share your videos within your social media channels.
  • Create a Google+ Brand Page: Share your blog, events, pics from Flickr, videos from Youtube, talk and engage with your followers. Get to know your peeps, dude.
  • Add Flickr to your mix: Take pics of your office,  your employees, events, parties and charity events. Share your pics in your blogs and in your social media mix.

Technology growth is not going to stop for you and your company to catch up. The speed in which technology is growing is faster than even the tech focused can keep up with sometimes. It is beyond imperative that you implement some new marketing strategies into your old school marketing mix at the least. At best I say, scrap  a huge portion of your lame outdated traditional marketing mix, go Web 3.0 and go with a full speed ahead new marketing technology mix. Some things that you can do add a little new media marketing to your mix:

  • Consult with some new fresh blood if you have an old school marketing department
  • Add some QR codes to your Print Ads
  • Look at Augmented Reality a way to spice up your campaigns
  • Add a blog to your static website so you can provide fresh content often
  • Add a mobile website & add an automatic redirect for your web/blog . This allows your website/blog visitors to automatically be routed to your mobile site when they are on their mobile device.
  • Created QR Code Campaigns and steer them toward your mobile site.
  • Optimize all of your Social Media Platforms
Ok, get to work! Let me know what you implement and how you make out. Seriously.  Get Social or Die!
As usual, I welcome comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. So feel free to leave a message here, catch me on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.
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#Twitter: Doing it in 140 Characters

Twitter

I’ve talked to so many people that are transitioning from traditional marketing strategies to new media marketing technologies that have not started to use Twitter yet.  When I ask why, I got the same response that I had for  people before I started using Twitter more effectively, “What the heck can I say within 140 characters that would be relevant.” That was of course before, I became a HUGE  fan of Twitter.

We have to look beyond the ability of the 140 character limit and really see the huge potential of Twitter. This is especially true for businesses that are just starting to really move into the social space.  The first appeal of Twitter is building your brand identity, which is HUGE for smaller businesses that have minimal online presence.  Creation of a free Twitter account allows you to immediately start your journey in building your brand recognition in your business area of focus.

The second appeal of Twitter is that is can be used as a vehicle to expose more people to your brand, message, products and promotions if you have a sales focused business.  Twitter is not so much about pushing the ” buy this..I’m selling this…blah…blah..blah” ,  that is more of a traditional sales pitch. Twitter is more about sharing your knowledge on a subject, interacting with people and providing content that is useful to followers.  So Twitter is really NOT about your message push but more about building a relationship with your friend and followers.

Building quality followers, this, I would say is an essential focus of having an effective Twitter presence.  Once you decide to dive into the Twitter space it is essential that you build a following of quality people.  I’ve found that building this organically has worked for me, which means the “I can get you 250,000 Twitter followers in 3 minutes” is super lame, especially when most people that are pushing that don’t even have 250,000 followers themselves.  That is, however another blog post for a different time. 🙂 Back on topic,  I simply follow people that I have an interest in, that are involved with my industry and/or that may be interested in the content that I provide.

Finally, one of the most important thing about building an engaging following is providing content that is of value to the people that follow you. Again, this is SO not about you and pushing your sales pitch. This is about providing content that is of value, that answers questions and / or that provides insight on a subject.  Initially you may not be sure what content is of value to your followers but as you get to know your followers, you will gain insight about what kind of content is appreciated and what kind is not.  If you get responses, thank yous’ and retweets the content is good, but if you get WTH, unfollows and tweets with ???, not so much. LOL . Its all trial and error.  So, stop reading and start Tweeting.

As usual, I welcome comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. So feel free to leave me a comment here, catch me on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.

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Social Media And Time Management

SocialMediaTimeManagement

As we acquire more Social Media Channels the workload related to maintaing these channels tend to grow until you notice that a good portion of your day is dominated by maintaining your social media channels. Don’t get me wrong if you are in any business there MUST be a certain degree of time that must be dedicated to social media. If you are in a social media driven industry you it is not even optional, you must have your game tight because your social media footprint is a resume of sorts.  So as you display your capabilities by way of your social media presence, the amount of hours sucked away by doing this can add up and become overwhelming unless you get a handle on it.

I was very resistant to using a lot of the tools that are available to help effectively manage an online presence, foolishly so I admit. I am the first to acknowledge and rectify any mistakes that I make. After that I write about them 🙂 I hear a lot of opinions on scheduling and/or automating, I think we all reach a point when it’s not even optional anymore. We are physically only able to do as much as time allows, so at some point, some portion of social media will just HAVE to be scheduled and/or automated.

So, I recently have started using a few really amazing applications to schedule my post, which have  substantially assisted in time management in regard to social media and marketing of my online presence. I tend to want to dive into any and all new platforms so I end up spending so much time using these that it becomes very time consuming.  Well I am using the following:

LaterBro is a free application that allow me to set up my tweets. So far so good and I am loving this because it allows me to take just a bit of time to schedule everything.  This has decrease the huge push of content at one time, spread my content based tweets out in increments and increased my ReTweets. I love that I am now allowed to send more content without being chained to my computers. Since setting this up I am now able to engage more with friends and followers. Set it and forget it!

Buffer is amazing as well, I just started using this application also.  I use the FREE version of Buffer and I only use it to schedule my Facebook Page posts. Buffer is a very powerful tool because after you start to use it you notice Buffer as an option for Twitter and this allows you to add posts that you’ve viewed. You can then add that content to your Buffer to be posted later.  There is also, a Chrome Extension that offers the same capabilities. AWESOME SAUCE!

WordPress Tweet Old Posts allows you to tweet some of the old posts that you’ve created that some people may have missed. This is amazing because it allows me to supply friends and followers with content from my QR Code blog that may have been missed in previously postings.  This, too is huge because it allows a lot of great content to be read and shared.

Due to the implementation of these tools I have been able to keep my promise to my father & son that I would get more sleep and manage my time better. As usual, I welcome any dialogue so feel free to leave a comment here, catch me on Twitter or post directly on my Facebook or Google+ Page.

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Internet Marketing C.O.D.E. #SocialMedia Marketing Beyond Status Updates and 140 Characters

Social Media is quickly taking the place of traditional media, so shouldn’t there be a conscious effort to step up the INTERNET MARKETING game beyond just a Facebook post and 140 characters and link by way of Twitter.  There are so many other channels that need to be tackled if marketers are NOT to be viewed as people just playing on Facebook and Twitter.

One of the benefits of obtaining advanced training, certifications and or Terminal Degrees in Internet Marketing is having the tools and strategic ability to  provide services beyond the page update and tweet.  Social Media can be a very powerful tool if used properly to promote a brand, increase awareness and engage current / potential customers. If your Internet Marketer has more of a strategic background, they will have the ability to uphold and rock the Internet Marketing CODE:

Content: One of the first things that must be planned when creating a marketing strategy is planning the kind of content that will be provided to a particular social media channel. One thing that must be a given, the content must be GREAT. No matter what Content is still King.

  • Original Content: Creation of original blog content is a great way to provide relevant and useful information to followers. It allows a way to put a spin on a topic while providing information of value.
  • Shared Links: There are so many blogs, websites and new sources online that supplying relevant and useful content is easy to do by sharing links to friends, followers and customers by way of social media channels.
  • Curated Content: This is one of the fastest growing segments of social media and it is really growing in popularity due to the ability to supply an abundance of relevant information to followers. Additionally content curation allows the ability to share a variety of opinions by sharing different content from an abundance of sources.

Optimization: There is an abundance of different social media channels, so much so that it is almost overwhelming. When creating an Internet Marketing Strategy it is highly recommended that a selection of different social media channels are selected and the content is then optimized. This involves merging traditional SEO/SEM strategies into the social media marketing plan.

Delivery: After creating great content, then optimizing that content for social media channels the next step is creating an effective way to deliver that content to your followers.  Facebook, Twitter and Stumble Upon is a great vehicle to deliver your content.  These channels should not, by any means be the extent of your Internet Marketing Strategy.

Evolution: One of the most important thing in any Internet Marketing Strategy is to continue to evolve, grow and add more services to your company capabilities. Evolving beyond social media, status updates and 140 characters is something that we all must aspire to.

Internet Marketing CODE: Content, Optimization, Delivery and Evolution is a MUST!

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Your #SocialMedia Sucks Because Your Intern Would Rather Play #BeerPong

Social Media Intern

Woot, woot, you just hired yourself an Intern for nothing and you saved a bunch of money.  This is the first indication that you really don’t GET Social Media. I am not going to spout off my status of  guru, maven or whatever the hell the so called experts are calling themselves these days, because I really don’t consider myself that at all.  Anyone that takes themselves even remotely serious would never consider themselves as such either.  However, my point here is that your perception of the importance of social media is non-existent if you hired a, pimply 20 year old to market your company from his/her fancy computer.  Remember when you were a young pimply 20 year old college kid, as a guy it was beer pong, chicks and being cool. As a girl its beer pong,  guys and being beautiful. Oh yeah and on a side note “I need a few dollars, so let go spam some crap on Twitter and Facebook for this old guys business so I can buy some more beer for, oh yeah..more beer pong tonight…”   My point is, as a business owner you should understand that the value you place on your business and marketing strategies will not be the same as your friendly neighborhood pimply intern  would place on your business. Its really a no brainer.

So ultimately either a person really does not care about their business or they do not really understand the importance of social media/Internet Marketing, the importance that it will play to their business in the present and very very near future.   Social Media will replace at worse and evolve  at best what you currently utilize as your marketing strategy.  YES I said it.  Think about what traditional marketing involved ( yes past tense ) and think about how many of those duties you or others participate in now.  Marketing by way of print has evolved, flyers are not as effective, magazines are going online, yellow pages are scrambling to keep up and what the hell is a newspaper anymore.  Websites are still somewhat relevant, but have been  mostly replaced by blogs. So now that you KNOW your marketing options has, at best changed a tad ( major exaggeration ) you STILL think wow, let me grab pimply intern to rock my marketing world. Ummm FAIL.

It is time to really think about the importance of social media as it pertains to your business, how to create a strategy as you did with your played out traditional marketing campaign and act accordingly.  I know personally, there is not a beer pong playing pimply college intern that I would trust with the future of my business, you shouldn’t either. I really REALLY wonder why anyone would.

So the future of your business could depend on how hung over your intern is when he pushes the spammy tweets while chucking Jello shots. Keep in mind that pimply intern may not be exactly focused on your brand, your company focus or your company message.  How about this for a novel idea, how about you start to get real with social media marketing strategy. First gain an understanding of social media, figure out your goals and implement a plan that doesn’t include, beer pong, jello shots and pushing spammy tweets, by previously referenced pimply intern.

In parting I am going to leave you with a video and quote that made an amazing impact on my view of social media. The video is below and the quote is as follows:

We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it

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#SocialMedia Tools #Oprah Style Favorite Things: Prepare To Scream Like a Girl

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Social Media is evolving every day, or maybe even every minute of every day.  It seems that new platforms are popping up all the time, so much so that it can actually be a tad overwhelming to say the least.  I find that I am constantly tweaking the platforms that I use and honestly it has been an ongoing process.  However I am so excited to say that I have found an amazing cocktail of social media tools recently that has really been working wonderfully for me.

Traditional Social Media allows an amazing avenue to share content. I consider it the vehicle to drive the content and can be a powerful thing if used properly. These channels are used to drive content based on particular demographics and I use each channel differently. The cocktail that I have compiled of traditional social media and the following channels has created the ultimate rocking social media tool kit for me!

Content  Sharing

  • Facebook Personal: The new Timeline layout allow me to share different content with different segments of followers/friends.  I use my lists to allow different content to circulate to different demographics. The subscribe option allows me to share information that I find of value to people that have selected to subscribe to my updates and that are not on my friends list. I supply a wide range of content to subscribers and friends using a combination of lists and the underrated subscribe function.
  • Facebook Pages: Allows me to share information that is business related  to people following my business page. I am very in tuned to this page and constantly monitoring my insights to make sure I provide information that is of value to all friends and followers. I discovered early on that I have a HUGE foodie demographic on my Facebook Page so I also provide Recipes with QR codes which is a very popular segment.
  • Google+ Profile: Offers an new but amazingly engaging platform to share your content.
  • Google+ Pages:  Is a growing avenue to share content and I’m sure will become as important to social media as Google is to Search. It has the makings of a very powerful social media tool.
  • Stumble Upon: One of the most powerful, yet overlook social media tools available. I just started stumbling more although I’ve had an account for quite a while.  UTILIZE this Tool!
Blogging Formats
  • WordPress: At one time I was a bit of a WordPress basher but I am a total convert and I am embracing this very power format. I utilize WordPress.com and WordPress.org. I have 2 additional blogs with specific QR Code content, which I utilize WordPress, these two blogs allow me to focus on providing great content on QR Codes and Using QR Codes for Food. Gotta love anything that merges technology and food. For the Win for sure.
  • Tumblr: I absolutely LOVE, LOVE Tumblr and I use it often. Tumblr is a great format to use for providing anything from little bits of information to full blown blog posts. I use my Tumblr blogs to push my curated content by way of Tech Blog and curated Food blog. Yes I love food, don’t judge me people.
Content Curation
  • Scoop.it:  I am very familiar with a few different tools used to curate content and I have used practically ALL of them, until recently. After the trial run of all of the curating tools that I’ve used I have really found that Scoop.it has every possible feature that I need in a Curation tool. Scoop.it allows you to create a variety of topics, the platform pulls data from all over the net based on your topic and compiles it in one area for your use. When you log in to your account, you find many many articles and posts for you to Scoop, by adding it to your Scoopit topic.  You can share this content on Tumblr (which I do often) Twitter, WordPress, Linkedin and Facebook. After you Scoop the article a website of your topics is created based on these articles. Can you say AWESOME!  The team at Scoop.it are constantly upgrading the site , they’ve recently added G+, the ability to re-scoop and the option to upgrade to Business Level which has analytics and additional powerful tools.  I have divorced similar curation tools once I started using the bookmarklet which allows me to add even more content . Have you started screaming “Oprah Audience” style yet?
  • Percolate:  This is also a platform that is curation based but very different than Scoop.it. Percolate compiles a “Brew” of topics that are hot on the net from people that you are following, provides links that you can share on Twitter.  Percolate is in Beta but I have invites, grab, grab , grab because I only have a few left. Invites are by email only, I have a few left so if you want in, contact me. I promise not to spam your inbox.
Leads & Professional Reputation Management
  • ProSkore: After my  amicable parting with Empire Avenue and nasty break up with Klout, I was honestly quite put off by any platform that assigned a numerical rating to anything I did online. Especially when it spit out a random Klout calculated arbitrary numbers that minimized my work ethic and business strategy. I’m not bitter. LOL. Anywayzzz, That was until I found ProSkore. What I really like about ProSkore is that it presents an opportunity to connect with Leads. Which means more business, which means more Cha-Ching. Did I make you scream yet?
Twitter Management & Lead Generation
  • Commune.it: I will tell you, this platform is AWESOME Sauce! I am a bit against anything managing my Tweets but this is not really a tweet management platform.  It is, however a very powerful tool that allows you to connect with the people that are most in tuned to you and your brand. Say WHAT?  Oh yeah, that’s exactly what I said. Commun.it provides you a list of your most engaged members, supporters, influencers, and starred members to help you build better relationships with those people.  Additionally it points out your new followers, who unfollowed you and who you should unfollow based on lack of engagement with you.   The Commun.it team is on the move with improvements constantly. They just added an avenue to discover leads. Commun.it is still in Beta but I have invites, so get them while they’re hot.
One More….I just found this one yesterday as I was planning this blog post. 
  • Zemanta: I am Loving it so far because  is one of the most rocking tools I’ve ever found to help you rock your blog. Zemanta is a Chrome Plug in ( they have other browser plugins as well) that is used to make it easier to write that blog post, which can sometimes be a struggle. I am using it now, I’ve spread the word but I needed a bigger platform in which to spread the word, hence the inclusion in this favorite social media things blog.  Zemanta adds a content recommendations plugin to your blogging platform that is used to help you easily add images, in-text links and related articles to your blog. What’s awesome about this is that you can use YOUR OWN CONTENT for the add ins. After you set up your preferences, the plugins will display your content from previous blog posts, Flickr and additional sources that you select.  Zemanta literally just ROCKED THIS DAMN BLOG!!!
These are my Favorite Social Media Things!!
If you are NOT screaming like a girl on the Oprah Favorite Things Giveaway Show,  I am doing it for you right this moment!! Don’t lie, I know you’re screaming 🙂 
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