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Anise Smith Marketing

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

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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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It’s A Brand New World, It’s Mobile And Is Your Organization Ready?

Mobile
Just a few years ago people were feeling a sense of urgency to get a very basic web presence up and running. Now companies that panicked in creating that very basic website now have bigger issues if they have not moved beyond updating that website.

 

Organizations not only have to keep up with all of the changes with web creation vs content management systems, they now have to integrate mobile into the mix. With the integration of mobile platforms, organizations must be able to adapt marketing strategies for mobile while keeping up with the many changes that go along with those platforms.

 

It is a brand new world, that world is fast moving, powerful and can literally fit in your pocket. We are living in a world driven by mobile technology and users that need to have an ongoing source of information all the time and at their fingertips drive this. This is GREAT for people like me that are driven by technology, that have embraced this super quick moving technology but for businesses it can be tough keeping up. Especially if your organization is NOT technology focused.

 

So, not only do organizations have to adapt to mobile technology they MUST see that the dynamic that pushed the change are the people that are utilizing these technologies. PEOPLE are the driving force behind the change, they consume information differently, and they NEED to have information at their fingertips. So since organization MUST adapt their business strategy to incorporate mobile technology they must also understand that people have also changed. This understanding will help in visualizing the future sales and marketing strategies of their organizations.

 

At one time people were fine with consuming content by way of traditional sources such as newspapers,  radio, television and other printed materials. NOW there’s a wave of people that have limited interest in those forms of media. These are the people that are driving the super quick change and this is a huge demographic that organizations must adapt their content for and recognize that these people are the population that are driving the change.

 

Mobile technologies are growing at a quicker rate than any technology in history. Take a look at the infographic below to give you the what, when, how and why of this growth and what you need to do to adapt your organizational structure to capitalize from this growth.

 

 

Infographic Source:  InternetService.net Infographic Source:  InternetService.net  

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Digital Marketing: Targeting Your Audience [Infographic]

Digital Marketing

 

Digital Marketing will be used to some degree for practically every marketing campaign moving forward. Whether we go with a campaign that includes video, slides or social media channels, digital marketing now is a huge aspect of marketing now.  One of the most important things we can do when deciding which digital marketing channel that we utilize is deciding which platform(s) may target our audience best. This is becoming increasingly more important with so many digital marketing channels available now.

 

If we want to be successful in our Digital Market campaigns it is very important to stay abreast of all of the channels but also to be aware that all channels do not fit the needs of all audiences. For instance Pinterest is primary geared toward a female demographic so if we are marketing services that are geared mostly toward men, this may not be the ideal platform to use.

 

Take a look at the Infographic below to give you an idea of HOW to target the proper digital marketing channel for your target audience.

Digital Marketing: Targeting Your Audience
Digital Marketing: Targeting Your Audience

Please Include Attribution to InternetServiceProviders.org With This Graphic

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Technology And Education, Let The Evolution BEGIN [Infographic]

Technology And Education, Let The Evolution BEGIN

As a person that has taught in a technology forum,  I have a love for education and the integration of technology in this field.  Additionally as a parent, I feel as if education MUST change if we want to compete in this technology focused world, and change has to happen at the early childhood level NOT just the college level.  This is imperative if we want to prepare our children for the real world.  As a nation we must refocus our attention on schools, adding technology and addressing all areas that are lacking in regard to creating a more technology focused educational system for the coming generations.

It is really not optional, it is something that must be done and it must start at the Pre-school level if we want our children to be prepared to co-exist with technology in a world that is becoming more technology focused every day.  Actually technology is moving so fast that is not growing at a daily pace but more of a minute by minute pace. This is one of the reasons that embracing technology at the preschool level is imperative.

Although technology has grown,  the way in which we teach our children especially in the public school systems has not changed as much as it needs to, if we want to set our children up for success.  When I was in elementary school, there wasn’t a need to change education to include technology as we were NOT in a technology focused world. However, that is not the case now, changes need to happen at the preschool level and onward to prepare our kids for college which has embraced technology.  Not doing so is creating a divide that we may not have the ability to be bridge if it is allowed to go without being addressed much longer.

Take a quick look at the video below which will give you an idea of our lack of evolution in regard to education and how we seriously need to change how we view education as a whole.

As stated earlier, I grew up during a time when there was a lack of technology in schools, but it was during a different era. Times were very different, and technology was not a primary focus of anything, let alone EVERYTHING as it is now.  However when I ventured into a technology field at the second phase of my career I was immediately hooked and realized the importance of technology and the role that it could play in our lives,  the lives of our children and in our entire future.  This is one of the reasons that I returned to school. Also,  I just needed to be a part of the historical growth of all things related to technology.

When I decided to return to school for Internet Marketing 3 years ago, technology was no where near as advanced as it is now and that was just 3 years ago.  The super quick growth of mobile devices and tables have really pushed the growth of technology at a exponential rate of speed. It is quite astounding! I do not anticipate the rate of growth slowing down anytime soon.

There has been tremendous growth of technology usage at the higher education level which is amazing but I would love to see MORE education initiatives to prepare younger children which could bridge the gap between preschool and the higher education level.  For a person that is heavily involved and vested in the growth of technology I see any growth as  phenomenal thing and I am looking forward to seeing what will come in the not so near future, especially in the area of Pre-K to 12th grade education.

Take a look at the Infographic below to display just how far we’ve come in the usage of technology in the field of education.

Please include attribution to OnlineColleges.net with this graphic.

Major Ed-Tech Trends for 2013

As usual, I welcome any thought, comments or questions; good, bad, ugly or indifferent. You can catch up with me on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

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Social Search is Here and So Is Social Search Optimization: ARE YOU READY?

Social Search Optimization
I had a discussion a short while ago about the importance of social media to a business person in this era. My specific conversation revolved around the importance of Facebook for new and established businesses. I cannot stress enough that traditional marketing as we once knew it is over. O-V-E-R. I’m not saying that traditional marketing as it once was does not play a role in our daily lives, only that it has changed.  Think about the last time you picked up a traditional TV guide or magazine. Makes you say wow, right? It is imperative that your marketing plan surpass what was the norm years ago and embrace what is happening NOW.

Social Media has really taken business by storm and grown beyond that even. Social Media Campaigns have totally gone beyond posting/updating your Facebook page and Tweeting your deal of the day. As businesses we must be more strategic than that, we must engage our audience, focus on the social media channels that are good for our brand and monitor our insights to see if the content we are sharing is on target. So, social media campaigns are just that, campaigns and really go beyond just playing on Facebook.

One of the biggest game changers in the creation of effective social media strategies are  the merging of social media and search, I’ve talked about this for a few years now. This really involves utilizing social media channels in search results to increase search rank with Google. A huge player in this game will be Google+ although the naysayers would reject this theory. I have personally noticed an increase of my social media channels integrated in my search results and this has increased my organic search presence.

As an Internet Marketing company I visualize Social Search Optimization as a natural progression to utilizing social media, search and optimizing those channels for the most effective  social media campaigns ever.  It is truly time to take it to the next level, embrace the extreme change of marketing, rock your business and learn more about strategies that give your business an opportunity to compete with and maybe surpass its competitors. A company that is totally rocking this Social Search Optimization space is ThinkBigSites, appropriate name don’t ya’ think?

Are you ready to take your social media strategy to the next level?

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No Facebook Profile? Are You a Psychopath? Get a Page, Set Up Your Privacy Settings in 3 Steps w [Video]

Privacy and oversharing
Just a short while ago it was considered taboo for people to be frolicking about socializing, chatting, engaging, liking and poking the many people on their  Facebook pages. Employers were caught off guard and people were unprepared and not equipped to handle the growing Facebook/Social Media phenomenon.

Employers are rebounding, implementing social media usage and policies into their organizational structure and realizing that social media can be a huge part of their digital marketing strategy. Employers are not shying away from social media as they were in the initial phases of the social media revolution.

Employers are now realizing the benefits of having the ability to check out their future employers by way of social  media channels before they invest any time in them as a potential candidates.  They are starting to realize that Facebook with over 900 million users is the norm for communication for so many. It is also now recognize that socializing by way of social media is such the norm that not to do so could even be considered abnormal.  Some are going so far as saying that the people that have an absence of Facebook profile could be psychopaths. I think that is a rather strong statement because I know a few perfectly normal people that chose not to be a part of the Facebook revoloution due to their need to have a private life and not share every detail of their lives. That is totally understandable.  Maybe we should all question why we WANT to share so much. LOL However that is another post all together, which may come under the Social Media people are narcissistic  category.

The philosophy that there is something abnormal about people that are NOT involved with social media is being applied not only in the workplace and employers but to personal relationships as well.  Some even suggest that if a person choses not have a Facebook page we should be wary about dating that person because they are suspicious and could have something to hide. Again, I am not so sure about that and I find that sometimes it’s just not that black and white.

Employers are now taking a new found respect for social media and using it not only to find applicants in a recruiting sence but also using it as a way to red flag people that could potentially NOT be such a great fit for an organization. This is an amazing use of social media and could prove to be very beneficial to many organizations. We have come a long way baby, is all I have to say!

So, since this is now the NORM it is beyond time to make sure you are on point with your online presence.  Yes, time to clean up that Facebook page.  The key to starting with this project is to really allocate some time to getting this done properly. I was a strong advocate of setting and fully utilizing privacy settings as soon as I started my social media Facebook journey. I actually wrote and ebook about it but due to so many of the revision to Facebook the ebook is a bit obsolete although the basic principles remain the same.

The first step is to set up Facebook Lists, this will allow you to share all of your status updates with who you want to, and exclude others. For instance if you are friends with people at work, they may not want to see a picture of your crazy Uncle Buck playing Beer Pong in his boxers, however your family may love it. So if you create a list for Family members that think Uncle Buck is a laugh riot you would be able to share that JUST with them and not everyone on your friends list.

Second step is to share some information that is funny or positive to the public. This allows this content to be viewed by your public or people that have subscribed to your public updates. This is great information that you could use  to give people a view of who you are. So remember to share great content, things that make people laugh or that touches their heart. You can do this by creating a status and posting it only to the Public list using the drop down menu at the status area where you will be posting.

Third Step is to remember to share the information with the appropriate audience when you post a status update.  It is very easy to forget when you are posting to your status to allocate the right list. The good thing is that if you forget to post to a particular list or if you are unsure you can always go back to that post and change it.

Take a look at the short video below that will give you a visual of how to get this done quickly!


Ok, stop reading and viewing the video and get to work.

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@Commun_it IS #Twitter Management Awesome Sauce, Why You NEED IT, @SharelOmer

TwitterCommunIt

 

At one time I was not a fan of any management tools, in retrospect I believe that was primarily due to the lack of need for them.   If you are working with a small amount of accounts or in the beginning stages of your social media usage the need for management tools are minimal.  However, as your business grows, the accounts you manage expand and your social optimization plan evolves you WILL need any and every management tool you can find. So,  needless to say the philosophy that I could manage multiple social media accounts without any tools went out the window.

 

I tried a few tools that had me manage accounts by way of some  form of dashboard. Although these tools seem to work for many, I honestly found the buzzing, movement and noise of the dashboard to be a bit much. I am not by any stretch minimizing any of these platforms but sometimes a platform is just not for you or your brand.  I am a huge advocated of trying any and everything that seems of interest but I will only stick with them if they fit my branding, marketing and or digital marketing needs.

 

At this point in the social media game we realize the importance of Twitter for marketing a business. It is quite frankly my number one social media platform to reach business leads.  Although I do love some of the others, I find that Twitter has worked very well for allowing me to build an amazing network of friends, followers, clients and potential clients.   So if you use Twitter as much as I do and you find it to be an essential part of your digital marketing strategy, it is imperative to find a great platform or tool that helps to manage your Twitter profiles, especially if you manage more than one brand.

 

After trying a lot of Twitter Management tools and platforms I found out about Commun.it.  Well the search for a Twitter Management Tool was OVER because this one fit like a glove.  If you’ve ever read this blog, i’m sure you’ve read a post or two about how Commun.it makes my Digital Marketing Life Complete! They are my Digital Marketing soul mates, the Yin to my Yang, the peanut butter to my jelly, you get it right?  In a nutshell they have it figured out and they continue to one up themselves with the upgrades which meet needs that a person didn’t even know they had. The Commun.it Team Rocks on Ice as well!

 

Commun.it offers the ability to totally manage ALL of your Twitter presences from one platform . In one of the many amazing upgrades, they now offer the ability to manage more than one Twitter profile. This is HUGE especially if, like me you are manager of more than one brand. I am currently managing four of my largest brands using Commun.it and it has really allowed me to maximize my Workflow.

  • Build Relationships: This is the area that allows you to see a list of people that are more in touch with your brand. This section is separated by Most Engaged Members, Supporters, Influencers and Starred Members.  This list changes according to engagement level but most importantly it allows you to interact more with the people that are in touch with your brand so that you can build a better relationship.
  • Manage:  This section allows you to analyze your New Followers, New Unfollowers, Consider to Follow and Consider to Unfollow. This is a great guide in allowing you to monitor your Twitter account in a very strategic way.
  • Discover Leads: The most powerful sections of this platform or any platform that allows you to connect with Leads. This is an essential element to any sales driven industry.  You have to spend a few minutes setting up key words and or phrases which allow Commun.it to compile this data for you, but after that you are golden.

Commun.it recently added more awesome sauce if you can image that!  Using this very powerful platform we now have the ability to import Twitter lists and use the above functions, Build Relationships, Manage and Discover leads.   These three functions are essential elements to any social media platform. I love the, discover leads options because as business owners and Entrepreneurs one has to be the marketing, graphics, account, sales departments and more. So one must have the ability to connect with and discover leads and Commun.it allows you to do so using Twitter which is one of the most amazing social media platforms for connecting with potential clients.

Why it’s Important
Social Media has removed barriers in creating new business relationships, and Twitter makes it easier than ever to connect with anyone. But the chaotic and disruptive nature of Twitter creates a huge challenge for businesses to leverage its potential and put all of the relationships in a business context. This is why for businesses that grow and rely on building & maintaining relationships with their customers, prospects, and partners, relationship management has become more important than ever. While traditionally businesses maintained various silos of relationship management activities (lead generation, CRM, support channels, sales funnel…), social media & online channels are creating a sea change in this area: there is a convergence in the mediums that are used to engage with potential customers, new leads, support cases and more – and the differentiation in these categories becomes blurred as well.

Commun.it is the first solution that fuses community management, CRM and lead generation in a way that enables business-focused relationship management on Twitter.

How Relationship Management Works in Commun.it
Commun.it dashboard is intutive and easy to use. See how you manage relationships in 3 steps:

  • Step 1: Incoming engagements are prioritized – easily focus on your high-value members – top influencers that drive awareness, top supporters that spread your word, most engaged members, potential leads
  • Step 2: Relationship context in a glance – quickly scan through members in each list and see your relationship status, total # of engagements you made, # of times he mentioned items you monitor
  • Step 3: Full relationship history with a member –  drill down to a member reveals full relationship history – all mutual engagements ever made (including all mentions, replies, retweets and dms you ever made), since when you are following each other

 

One of the things that allows Commun.it to surpass the minimal competition that they do have is that they offer amazing features with the user in mind.  Take a look at the video series that I created below to give you a demo of some of the features that are listed above.

 

I am using The Pro Version of Commun.it and I am really loving it. If interested in the functionality of this platform, check out the Commun.it Pro Tier .  I would love to to know what you think of Commun.it!  Feel free to catch me on Facebook, G+ or Twitter of course. 🙂

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Stop Sending That LAME Automated Generic Twitter DM When You’re Followed

Twitter

Ok, I’ve followed you on Twitter and you may have followed me back. I love that, this is social media after all and its all about following the content of people that you like.  You like them because they have amazing content, you have something in common, you may want to do business with them or any number of reasons that you select to follow a person.

Do you hear a BUT coming?  Well I won’t disappoint. I’m sure that I really love the content of the person that I just followed and that just followed me.  I’m pretty sure that I am totally interested in reading the tweets and I could very well be interested in following that person outside of just Twitter.

What I DON’T really like is the automated Twitter DM that I receive exactly 30 seconds after I follow…. ” Thank you For Following my Tweets, I LOVE your content, YOU Are great, I want to breath your air, I want to name my first born after you, I want to wallow in your essence, I want to tattoo your name on my face Mike Tyson style and I want to absorb your aura. Did You know that my dogs name is Anise??  I love that name.  Do you love me too??…Can you follow me on Facebook..Download my ebook, Scan my QR code maybe.”  Doh! Homer Simpson look. I’m sorry but this is super LAME!  I’m sure I speak for the masses.

Everyone loves your tweets or they wouldn’t be following you. So, stop the lame automated blathering Twitter DM’s, really.

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How Much Of Your Time Is Spent On #Facebook? And #Pinterest? [Infographic]

SocialMediaTime
We all know that Social Media is huge for individuals to connect with friends, family and loved ones and for businesses to engage, connect and network with customers.  Facebook, in particular has had a huge effect on our lives and our time. Facebook has allowed people to connect with new friends and long lost friends of past. I have been able to connect with some people that I went to elementary school with and trust me that was quite a while ago.  Even with being able to connect with so many people for person reasons, the greatest impact has been in extending my business network.

The ability to connect on a business level with social media is HUGE!  Take a look at the Infographic below to give you an idea of the impact that social media has played in our lives and why we must have a business presence on these channels.  Also, you may need to add Pinterest to your mix if you haven’t already.

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