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Anise Smith Marketing

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

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As Technology Advances Will Your IT Department Be Destined For The #Cloud

CloudComputing

 

This week, I’ve had an opportunity to have quite a few conversations with people in the technology industry that have very opposing viewpoints than I.  Most of the people that are in my circles are very tech focused and on top of the industry and its variety of changes. Further, they all really see the technology industry as a way to benefit the masses and to be used as a tool for social good. Basically in a way to spread knowledge and resources throughout the world for the better good of the masses. This is not at all a self serving way to view technology but more of a way to assist many in a variety of ways through education, engaging and interaction. This is in fact the way I view it as well so it is great that I have the opportunity to interact with those that feel the same.

 

I am very unfamiliar with technology and social media used primarily in a self serving way. I am not a pollyanna by any stretch but I DO view technology and social media as an opportunity to reach the masses in order to invoke positive change.  So imagine my surprise when during a conversation points were brought up that were very self serving about minimizing technological grow to insure ones own agenda. Say What? I think.

 

A huge part of this conversation was how technology could soon be going to The Cloud and the reprecussions to IT departments. Ok, I do get that transition can be hard although for myself as an early adopter of new technologies I tend to throw myself in to technology changes not resist. So to me Cloud Computing is an awesome thing, it will open avenues in technology that had been closed and on a huge scale. Cloud computing to me is a natural transition to the growth of mobile and the demands to be a more global and mobile world.

 

To me the thought or resistiing something as essential to our technological growth as Cloud computing in efforts to self preserve is not only ludicris but not to intelligent. Wouldn’t it be simpler to expand your horizons, go with the flow, embrace and learn this technology if you are in fear of losing a position due to the growth of Cloud Computing.  As an early adopter, I would  be jumping into learning as much about Cloud Computing, especially if I were in an IT field.

 

I do so hope that it is the exception and not the norm to resist new technologies as I do not see the growth slowing down anytime soon.  I see Cloud Computing as a great opportunity for businesses and employees. What do you think? Do you think Cloud Computing will effect IT departments in a negative way?

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Three Steps To Finding Your Blogging Voice

FindingYourBlogVoice

 

I honestly never thought I would be a blogger and I think this was due to a bit of writer burn out after completing an accelerated Masters Degree in Internet Marketing in one year.  Since the degree program was totally online, so fast pace and very writing intense I never thought I would want to write again after completing the program.   However I’ve found that it has not been the case and that it is one of the things that I enjoy most about being an Internet Marketer. There are so many things to love about being a part of this changing Internet Marketing industry and blogging has moved to one of the top spots on the list of things to love, especially after finding my blogging voice so to speak.

 

I have been blogging now for about two years, but I have just recently found my blogging voice. I think an important part of enjoying the blog process is the ability to find your voice because once you do, you then are able to build a great audience and take so much more pleasure from writing.  The process for me has been mentally moving beyond what I think people want to hear to a combination of what I want to say and what needs to be said.  This allows me to bring the very “keep it real” philosophy that I have in my off line life, to my blog.

 

I am not an extremely talkative person offline, although I do speak my mind and talk when I have something to say of importance.  So, when I decided to incorporate more of my own personality into my writing style it has really helped with the ability to continue the flow of conversation going, by way of blog post.  Ultimately it has allowed me to have an ongoing source of topics that I use for blog posts.

 

So, the take away when developing a blogging strategy keep these three things in mind when trying to find your blogging voice:

  • Be Yourself
  • Be inspired by situations that happen in your daily life
  • Be playful and have fun!

 

Cheers!

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Has Social Media Replaced Traditional Media For Breaking Relevant News?

For Breaking News its Social Media All The Way

Social Media has really become such an important part of our lives that it is very natural when something happens we check Facebook or Twitter first. At one time people would turn on the radio or their television sets to hear any breaking news, that is no longer the case due to social media.  What is so weird is that I don’t even think about consulting TV or radio when I hear news, I go immediatly to Twitter or to my Facebook wall.

 

A prime example of this is breaking news about Whitney Houston. I found out by way of my son who reported that there were people talking about her death on his Facebook page. Still I didn’t chose to check in by turning on my TV or radio but I went immediatly to my Facebook page, then Googled Whitney Houston to find our more information.  It seems that Twitter broke the news of Whitney Houston’s death almost 30 minutes before traditional press channels.

 

This is a prime example of how important social media has become in our lives and in the lives of those around us. This is a very sad demonstration of the importance of social media but it does make a person think and recognize how important social media has become to our lives.

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#SocialMedia Gurus, Building Trust and #Connect.me Trust Anchors

Trust

I am a bit hard on the Social Media Gurus, I admit it. However if you select to call yourself a Guru of any kind,  you sort of deserve what you get. That was not a very good apology was it? LOL Well, it wasn’t really an apology but more like an explanation.

Well one of the things that really rubs me the wrong way is people that promote themselves as Social Media Gurus, yet really are like WTH in the knowledge department. There are people that know a helluva lot that may call themselves gurus, in which case I hope that they cease and desist with the bad titles.

Since social media is still in its infancy and there are so many Gurus running lose there needs to be a bit of guidance and trust development in the social media industry. I would say, a bit of a way to determine who is in fact trustworthy and who is not. In essence to separate the knowledgable, trustworthy people from the Gurus of the snake oil variety sort, that are going with the flow because of the demand.

One of the platforms that allows you to get an idea of the trustworthiness of someone in the Social Media Industry is The Trust Anchor platform used by Connect.me. It allows experts to be judged and deemed Trustyworthy by ones peers within the industry. This is HUGE because in essence it allows the people that are on their game to shine and the gurus to ..um well..you know, ok bygones.  🙂

The Trust Anchor designation is being rolled out to those that use Connect.me and is based on some of the following principals:

I think that moving forward Trust Anchors will be a designation that is valued, appreciated and revered within the Social Media Industry because it will allow companies that select to do business with someone in this industry a way to validate that persons trustworthiness in a sense.  Due to the growing popularity of social media I think that it is something that is sorely needed.

Take a look at the video below and then Check out Connect.me when you have an opportunity.  They are doing some great things for the Social Media Industry and will be huge for the allowing people to determine the Trustworthiness of true experts in this ever growing industry.

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

Picture 3

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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