Well I Never, Five Tech Developments We Didn’t See Coming

touchscreenThe world of modern technology moves so very quickly. It is difficult to keep abreast from week to week as scientists, computer experts and programmers come up with so many new and exciting developments.

Some innovations – such as the useful and fun Google Goggles – have come right out of nowhere in so far as the consciousness of the majority of the public is concerned.

Even mobile telephones with MMS capability, camera integration and web access are something which the public could never have imagined 15 years ago but which have become a necessity now. Other advances such as digital photo frames, mobile phone payments which work with scanners and online gaming with voice chat were hard to predict yet seemed likely with the way in which technology was headed for so long.

Here are just five of the most interesting developments in technology so far – we definitely didn’t see these ones coming!

iPod: The iPod is one of the iconic gadgets of our modern generation. Considering that the predecessor was the personal stereo CD player then this compact little machine really did amaze the general public. The gadget has come a very long way since the original came out and now boasts a touch screen, internet access, video capability, and an incredible amount of storage for games, music and apps.

Reverse image search: The reverse image search sites were a real innovation in themselves. To think that one could upload a photo and that software would find that item and all its relevant details on the internet was incredible.

Google Goggles has taken this technology mobile and through taking a simple photograph with a mobile phone you can find all manner of results on your chosen subject.

Cloud: Cloud computing is something which many in the know could have predicted. However, the way in which it has changed how we work forever is remarkable. By storing information and software on the internet, we now have access to our data in a way like never before.

Touch screens: We now take mobile phones with touch screens for granted and these can be purchased for a reasonable amount of money. However, when these first were introduced they were an incredible innovation.

Google Glass: Google Glass takes us into the realms of science fiction with its “augmented reality”. These streamlined glasses with a small screen above the right eye will give you information on your next appointment, the weather up ahead – and potentially so much more. This is one innovation which – if it caught on – would change the face of the world as we know it.

 

Sarah Paige is a writer with a keen interest in telecommunications. Sarah currently has her eye on cloud computing companies such as the Macquarie Telecom Group (ASX:MAQ). Follow her on twitter @sarahleepaige.

About Guest Blogger

This article is a guest post provided by a third party, its content was added to Digital Ethos to help provide additional information for our readers and followers. While the Guest Blogger posts do not undergo the same scrutiny as Authors and lack sources, the content was reviewed and approved as valuable to our mission.

Top 10 Stories on Digital Ethos for 2012

Top 10 ListThis is it.  The last Saturday of 2012.  I’m not really sure where the year has gone, and I’m sure many of you feel the same way.  As I sit here and reflect on the year gone by, I realize there have been some great moments, as well as some real major disasters within the social media world.  And, there are plenty of lists categorizing these throughout the “interwebs”.  For those interested, I’ve included links to those lists in the resources, below.

But what about this site?  With a large day-to-day increase in visitors and subscribers to Digital Ethos, there may be things that have appeared throughout the year that you have missed, so I thought we would be remiss in not offering you a list of our top stories from the previous year.  So, without further ado, here are our top 10:

1.  Nine Steps to Becoming a Twitter Chat Pro – Have you heard of twitter chats?  Have you been “bitten” by them?  Then check out these 9 steps to becoming a pro.

2.  Beneficial Twitter Strategies — There are actually a few different strategies that seem to be working for businesses using Twitter as a marketing tool. A perfect running strategy can also be custom tailored to your own small business needs by combining a bit of knowledge on social media engagement with a handy tool or two.

3.  A Day at Google New York & Seth Godin – This is a great recap of a day spent at Google through their Google Engage for Agencies program, and a great opportunity to learn from Seth Godin.

4.  Social Media and Hurricane Sandy –  Everyone on the east coast will remember Hurricane Sandy, and the way it changed many of our lives.  Here is a great article on how social media played a part.

5.  More on Logo Design & Branding – This comment to blog post regarding company logos is a great history and discussion on logos and branding.

6.  Consistency is Key in Your Integrated Marketing Strategy –  So, you are “on” social media, but now what?  How do you succeed?  Consistency is the key.

7.  What Digital & Social Media Marketers Can Learn from Business Consultants –  Before even engaging in marketing and social media, you need to know your goals, and you need to find a consultant who believes your goals are important.

8.  Why You Should Be Using Twitter and 7 Random Benefits –  Twitter seems to be a hot topic this year, and this article is no different.  Why should you be on Twitter and what benefits will it bring?

9.  How Important is Response Time to Your Customers on Twitter and Facebook? – Businesses that claim to be active on social media also need to be responsive to posts by clients and potential clients.  But how important is that, and how quickly must you respond?

10.  Top 10 On-Line Social Media Resources (plus one more) – What list is complete without another top 10 list.  Check out these other great resources for social medial know-how.  You won’t be sorry!

So, there you have it.  The top 10 articles that have appeared on Digital Ethos throughout 2012.  Did you have a favorite that isn’t on the list?  Was there one article that really changed your thinking, tactics or plan?  Make sure to let us know!

And my wish for all of you, in 2013, is health, happiness, prosperity, and a very social new year!

Thank you for visiting in 2012!

 

Resources:

Top 10 Media Stories of 2012

Top 12 Social Media Stories of 2012

Top 12 Social Media Stories of 2012 – CIO

The Top 10 Social Media Stories that Shaped 2012

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

Justin Handley on Digital Business Hour

Justin Handley

Justin Handley founded the Narasopa Media in 2000, and has steadily built it over the last 12 years. The first five years were spent experimenting and learning, doing everything from web design to ghost writing books on marketing. Working behind the scenes for some of the world’s top marketers Justin gained a solid foundation in the essentials of online marketing and project management, and was a project manager on things as varied as Virtual Family Kingdom, a virtual world that went to 200,000 users in 30 days, Cisco’s AS3 reseller management application, the online multi-player version of Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

In the last five years just has completely built four online businesses from the ground up.  Every one has hit 1 million dollars in less than 12 months.

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

E-Mail Marketing – The First Social Network

Email -- The First Social NetworkE-mail has been around since before the dawn of the internet.  That’s right, in the early 1970’s, the Federal Government was sending messages through the United States Department of Defense network, which handled over 30 million messages per month.

As we began to move more onto the information super-highway, services like Compuserve, Prodigy, and America On-Line began to proliferate, making it incredibly easy for everyone to have an e-mail address.  In fact, at the height of AOL’s dominance, they had over 30 million members worldwide (they only serve about 2.9 million subscribers, as of October 2012).  In contrast, Facebook has over 1 billion members, as of September 2012.

What made e-mail so “social” was the ease at which your messages could be forwarded to your entire address book.  If you wanted to share with friends and family, all you had to do was hit the “forward” button, and they were all able to participate in the discussion.

Fast forward to today, and most businesses are marketing through e-mail, but that doesn’t mean that they are “doing it right.”  Just using this “social network” isn’t enough.  We need to ensure that our e-mail marketing is accomplishing its goals of increased business, increased lead generation, and increased market share.  The big question, then, is what are some best practices in e-mail marketing?

Best Practices

1. Write compelling Subject Lines

  • Keep it short and simple and incorporate the benefit of opening the e-mail.

2. Set your objective and then choose the appropriate frequency

  • Are you trying to promote, inform, or relate to your audience?

3. Call your audience to action

  • You are sending the e-mail for a reason.  Make sure they know it.

4. Make sure they recognize the “From” address

  • They may know your company name, but not yours.  Make sure the email comes from someone they “know.”

5. Keep your main message and call to action “above the fold”

  • This is “news speak” for making sure that the important information is seen without scrolling the message.

6. Be mindful of mobile devices

  • Statistics say that 38% of email is opened on a mobile device and only 33% is opened on a desktop, so make sure the fonts and images will look good on your recipients mobile devices.

7.  Make sure to use alt-text for your logo and pictures

  • This is text that describes the pictures and logos should images be turned-off on your web browser, smart phone or e-mail client.  That way your recipient knows what should be in the image’s place.

In addition to the tips above, always make sure that you are abiding by the “Can-Spam Act”, which requires the following:

  1. Don’t use false or misleading header information;
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines;
  3. Tell recipients where you are located;
  4. Honor opt-out requests;
  5. There needs to be a relationship between the sender and receiver.

If you follow these best practices and requirements, then your e-mail marketing is on the right track to continuing the social nature of e-mail marketing.

What subject lines to you find work the best? The worst?  Do you feel that you get too much e-mail?  Sound off in the comments below.

 

Resources:

Wikipedia – Email

Wikipedia – AOL

Constant Contact – The Value of E-Mail Marketing Video

9 Email Marketing Best Practices to generate More Leads

CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business

Constant Contact

AWeber

MailChimp

Mobile email usage statistics

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

Did Digital & Social Media kill the economy? [OPINION]

While the internet is full of success stories for Digital & Social Media, and we all know I have covered a few, like Facebook Success Stories (Social Media), Google Places for Your Service Industry (SEO), New Google Newsletter and Mobile Adwords Features (SEM) etc. However, I was recently left wondering about the bigger picture…

Did we fail to learn in web 1.0?

Websites were all anyone could talk about in the late 90′s and everyone was trying to get on the web. The issue with web 1.0? Business owners created a website just to have a website, which resulted in a business move that in most cases was a poor investment. The websites had no business plan, no systematic function and in some cases reflected poorly on a business rather than positively. The complete lack of strategy wasted time and money which also left the business owners in disbelief about the value of such a venture.

Less than a decade later here comes the Social Media Revolution, with the promise of opportunities to reach and touch people on a global scale at rates, that overnight, make TV and Print look like the dinosaurs. In 2008 the Social Media rush is on and you can’t help but get a sense that web 2.0 looks a lot like web 1.0. Social Media sites are flooded with businesses that again have no business plan, no systematic function and in some cases reflected poorly on brand. Overnight Social Media Marketing becomes a keyword that tens of thousands flock to. This brand new communication tool in the digital space is barely in industry use and gurus and experts pop up everywhere and overnight the guy next store has started an agency.

When the iPhone was launched in 2007 and forever changed the music industry, mobile for business doesn’t pick up steam till 2010, when it starts to become a part of mainstream marketing. With the announcement in early 2011 that Smartphones have surpassed PC sales the industry prepares for the next technology rush. In that same year reports indicate that Mobile Advertising is Expected to Reach 5B in 2015. This brand new communication tool in the digital space is now front and center and the young child of social media tries to pivot and tie mobile and social together, not an easy lesson as Social Media giant Facebook is learning in 2012. A prediction everyone sees coming but Facebook and the greedy analysts, and a point I tried to make days before the IPO in my aritlce “Why the Facebook IPO looks like a Bad Investment. Just like websites and social media, the industry rushes to mobile, creating apps, mobile sites and forever changing their advertising all without any thought to a strategy or branding.

Was there a bigger problem?

  • For the first time anyone who wanted to launch a website could.
  • The masses can be reached through Social Media sites that are free.
  • Everyone has a mobile device envisioned as if we all lived in the era of Star Trek .

What is it about the “basement business effect” that caused irrefutable damage to the digital economy?

The basement business effect

With the entry level barriers of owning and operating a business practically vanishing overnight and with the pool of talented employees vanishing, the best corporations are left competing against the best talent, who despite the lack of traditional resources can do the same job for a fraction of the cost and in some cases better!

Here enters our problem, the entry barrier is so low that anyone can show up at your door with a fancy website, flashy business cards, a MBA from the internet and the promise of gold. Fool’s gold that is. The market tumbles overnight because the shift happened so fast no analyst can predict the effect the American ego has on the pretty bubbles floating in front of them.

It’s not just digital, but it’s hard to argue that digital hasn’t played a crucial role in the economies demise. Banks offer checking accounts for free, the technology and promise of low overhead and the thought that you don’t need a traditional infrastructure make it seem possible. The overflow of students in education that already had swelled the ranks were overtaken by the fact that you don’t ever have to come to school to earn the same degree as the people before you did.

As if the degree from Walden, Phoenix, Capella or any other distance program could even compare to the brick and mortar programs. Can you truly believe that the distance learner has any of the abilities that a traditional student was forced to learn through socialization and real life interactions? I have done them both and I don’t think so…

Digital and FREE

FREE, its killing our economy and the digital revolution is what caused it. The best technology still requires two things:

  1. Education (Invest to Expect)
  2. People (Humanity)

While the industry would have you believe that there is an automated solution for everything, there is not and the truth is humanity can’t stand automation. Take IVR, the phone system that would replace a call center employee, for example.  The research shows that people can’t stand it and those that offer a “real” human interaction have seen their sales climb! However, this will not stop someone from selling it and some unaware business from buying it.

FREE is the biggest thing plaguing business and the economy. Despite the common phrase “you get what you pay for”, business owners continue to pursue FREE at their own demise. The pursuit of FREE, whether by the seller or the consumer, leads to complete chaos and is quickly ruining our economy.

Make a decision, it doesn’t matter whether you’re buying or selling. Invest in what will work and you’ll get the ROI your looking for.

If you’re a consultant selling digital services, STOP doing FREE consulting or proposals. The second you start to look over a company’s assets, be it the business model, the website or the social media site, you are WORKING! Do you want to work for FREE? How do you see that in the long run?  This is why you are running around working 80 hours a week and only getting paid for 10!

If you’re the business owner stop taking or looking for FREE! When you get something for free you don’t respect it, and if you don’t respect it, it’s useless. Second, you’re not that smart. When you assume you can listen to someone explaining a business or marketing strategy and then you just go do it yourself, you are, quite literally, entering into idiotic behavior. Now you’ll spend time doing a job that you don’t quite understand, are not equipped to supervise, and might never have the skill set to correct or evolve as needed. Worse, you are spending time working on something that won’t provide the promised ROI (based upon the professional’s history), and you will end up spending more than necessary, and possibly stunting your businesses growth!

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

Social Media Profile Photos – Why You Need One

Putting your best face forward: Your profile picture

In the media relations world we are always working with clients to enhance their images and grow their brands.  Today over a billion people are online using social media, blogs and websites.  All of these sites allow users to publish images of themselves and others.  Image is everything and it starts with the photos of yourself that you use online.  A recent Wall Street Journal article citing LinkedIn research showed that LinkedIn profiles are seven times more likely to be viewed if they have a photo than those that do not have one.

It is clear that profile photos get attention.  A Pixable analysis of 500,000 Facebook profile pics showed that the average shot receives 3 likes and 2 comments.  In addition, EyeTrackShop, a startup that runs eye-tracking studies for advertisers, conducted a study of popular social networks that recorded participant’s eye movements to see what they looked at on each page and in what order.  The study found that profile photos attracted the most attention on Klout, Facebook and StumbleUpon.

For many people being online is an integral part of their social lives as well as their professional lives.  Image matters in both of these worlds.  Your profile picture should project a positive image of you.  When promoting any brand or product a quality photo is important.  Brand recognition is achieved when images and logos are used repeatedly in different context.

Your profile photo is used to project who you are.  This image is one of the most important building blocks of any social media profile or online personal branding effort.  The profile picture is frequently the first image people see when they look at your profile or search for you online.  Your photo is an integral part of the first impression you make to people in the cyber world.  Your online photo is your identity it allows people to recognize you (cyber world and later in the real world), and fortunately or unfortunately provides people with their first opportunity to make judgments about who your are and your professionalism or lack thereof.  Image and appearance matter now more than ever.

On the most basic level, you must have a profile photo on each of your accounts.  Without a picture you have no identity.  From a business relationship-building perspective not having a photo limits the ability to build trust between parties online.

Social media experts, marketers and recruiters agree that not having a profile picture is self-defeating.  People are less likely to connect to you if you do not have a photo because they: (1) are not sure if you are the right person (who they may know in the real world); (2) think you are a newbie and not ready or worthy to connect to; (3) question your commitment, (an incomplete profile may mean that you will not or do not check your social media accounts often); and (4) are not sure if they can trust you. Additional reasons why you should have a photo on LinkedIn are included in this article from Executive Career Brand.  Lack of having a photo on LinkedIn prevents the user from reaching 100 percent of their profile. This is detrimental when it comes to searches of profiles.

Image recommendations if you use social media for business or personal branding

  1. Use your own photo – Don’t use photos of celebrities or others in your place.
  2. Use a quality image (not overly “photo shopped” or enhanced).
  3. Crop the image to allow people to see your head and part of your neck and shoulders.  Anything more than your “headshot” makes the profile image appear small and hard to see.  Use other images of yourself in photo galleries or other places on your sites.
  4. Use an updated photo (within the past few years).  It’s ok to change your photo.  When images are changed it shows up in your stream or wall.  The advantage to this is people may want to see your new image and visit your page. The disadvantage is that people will not recognize your new image.
  5. No sunglasses – People are less likely to trust you if they can’t see your eyes.
  6. Funny image – A humorous image can be used, but remember you have to live with this image and the possibility of it being reused or shared by others.
  7. If you use a cartoon or other image it should be recognizable and part of your overall branding and marketing.

From a business perspective your online profile image should help you improve your networking.  People should be able to recognize you in person from the image that they see online.  How great is it when people you have never met know who you are because of the social networking you have done?   This alone makes having the right image online exceedingly valuable.

Sources:

Executive Career Brand: Does My LinkedIn profile really need a photo?

Wall Street Journal article citing LinkedIn research

Pixable analysis of 500,000 Facebook profile pics

EyeTrackShop

About Bill Corbett Jr.

This article is provided by Bill Corbett, Jr., President of Corbett Public Relations, Inc., a leading media relations, social media and personal branding consulting firm. For more information, go to corbettpr.com or to his blog corbettprblog.com. He can be reached at wjcorbett@corbettpr.com or @wjcorbett.

Business Success: Attitude is everything

Looking for business success? May I suggest you first invest in a mirror?

Your attitude – how you feel and treat others – plays a VERY big role in how you are perceived by clients, business partners and vendors. Don’t be like this young lady and lock yourself in the bathroom.

What is the right attitude? It’s pure unadulterated joy and self-confidence. It’s believing in yourself while at the same time being selfless. It’s about living a life of servicing others. It’s about waking up every morning raring to face the day.

One book that should be on everyone’s reading list is Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki.  You can read my review at My Review of the book Enchantment.

This book covers every aspect of human to human interaction. It’s a roadmap for dealing with people every day. Frankly, it is a very important book.

Case in point – to become likeable you need to create crow’s feet – the tiny lines that appear when you smile very broadly. And to be trust-worthy, you have to first trust others. Default to “Yes” – always say that whenever you can.

Interestingly, I once asked at a meeting how to create more Linkedin recommendations. They said “Ask for them.” Unfortunately, that’s the wrong answer. The way to get Linkedin recommendations is to GIVE Linkedin recommendations.  The concept is “Give to Get.”

The best way to learn the concepts in Enchantment is to review this wonderful infographic.

What do you think? We love comments and those who share.

Sources:

Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki

Ogden’s Review of Enchantment

Image provided by istockphoto.com

About Author:

Jeff Ogden is the Founder and President of Find New Customers – as a business owner, he lives this advice. He’s also the host of Mad Marketing TV, sponsored by Act-On Software.

About Jeff Ogden

Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is the President of the B2B lead generation consultancyFind New Customers. Find New Customers helps companies dramatically improve revenue results by transforming the way they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customers by calling (516) 495-9350 or sending an email to sales at findnewcustomers.com.

Stop Using Social Media Now…If you don’t have a plan

Your Social Media Plan: Why you need one and first steps

Over the years I have conducted workshops and sat on panels discussing social media and marketing.  From these interactions it has become clear that many businesses and individuals struggle with understanding and using social media to market effectively.  However, social media is an important marketing tool for every business and an element that needs to be incorporated into every marketing plan.  According to an August 2011 survey Marketing in the Digital World conducted by Zoomerang.com, nearly half of the small businesses surveyed are utilizing social media to market to customers.  This survey noted that the most effective tactics for businesses to reach customers through social media is with wall posts and direct messages.  The survey stated that the most important reasons small businesses use social media are to connect with customers, enhance visibility and self-promote.

Social media strategies need to be tied together with a comprehensive marketing plan.  Without a plan, social media marketing can be a colossal waste of time. However, with the right approach it can reap tremendous branding and marketing rewards.  A social media marketing plan outlines the proper use of time, effort and money.  Unfortunately most small business owners are not marketing professionals and do not approach social media with a marketing perspective.   

It is impossible to outline a complete plan in this blog, but I will discuss the first important steps needed to get started.  A successful plan does not have to be complex and it can be created and implemented quickly. 

To successfully harness the power of social media for marketing, users need to understand it, understand how their customers and contacts are using it and how they are going to use it.  I purposely did not mention sales because one of the greatest misconceptions is that social media is a sales tool.  Social media is a branding and marketing tool used to build relationships and brand awareness, which can lead to referrals and sales.  

The first step in the process of creating a plan is education.  Individuals and businesses must learn how their target audiences use social media and what sites they use.  It is essential to find out as much as possible about the behavior of clients and prospects.  Collecting and reviewing this information is an important part of the process.  For example, LinkedIn can be an ideal site for your business if you want to connect with other active business networkers.  According to a Lab42 survey of 500 Americans who were registered with LinkedIn, 35 percent check the site daily and 42 percent update their profiles regularly.  From this we can see that a large number of LinkedIn users are active on the site. These users are interested in keeping their profiles up-to-date for others to view.  Therefore LinkedIn’s business-focused online community is an ideal social media platform that should be included in a business’ social media marketing plan.

The research and information gathering phase will allow you to understand target audiences and choose the right social communities and sites to use. 

Ask questions such as:

  • Where do clients, potential clients or referral sources interact online?
  • Where are my clients and prospects gathering, posting and commenting? 
  • Who are the leaders in my sector and where can I find and listen to them online?
  • Where can I listen and participate in conversations online to grow my personal or business brand? 

With this information in hand, strategies can be implemented and goals can be set directing where, how often and what messages should be posted.

Based on the research and information gathered about current and potential followers and customers, set up or expand your social media accounts.  This may mean creating a Facebook business page and/or group, a LinkedIn company page or group, a YouTube channel or a Flickr account for photos.  Twitter, Google+, Stumbleupon, Tumblr and other accounts may be part of this initial effort as well.   Each site has its advantages, and each has strategies for its use.  Currently, Facebook remains dominant in many categories including time spent on any U.S. website according to the NM Incite – Neilson State of Social Media: The Social Media Report Q3 2011.  The numbers are truly staggering to look at.  Facebook visitors spent over 53.5 billion total minutes on their site in 2010 according to the Neilson, Netview, Home and Work (May 2011) study of the Top 10 Web Brands.

Successful plans set realistic goals.  Goals should include consideration of ROI (return on investment), but must also consider the amount of time and effort put forth, what I call ROE (return on effort).  Social media marketing ROI is difficult to measure in terms of direct sales, but can be achieved when time and budgets are set.  At the beginning of a social media marketing campaign or program it may be difficult to judge how much time should be spent.  Start slow and allocate a specific number of hours necessary to achieve desired results.  Only add time when warranted.  Social media is not a waste of time, but it can be a tremendous time-waster.  You limit your exposure and potential losses by managing time wisely.

The investment of time and resources is worth it.  According to information published by CrowdSpring, 51 percent of Facebook friends and 64 percent of Twitter followers are more likely to buy the brands they follow or are a fan of.

This outlines the first steps in the process of creating and implementing a social media marketing plan.  Stay tuned for additional posts in which I will cover topics such as creating social media campaigns and marketing messages, personal branding, strategies for monitoring success, enhancing the power of media coverage with social media, online reputation management and protection, crisis management, business development strategies using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Youtube and others. 

Don’t stop using social media – start using it now with a plan and goals.

Sources:

CrowdSpring
Lab42
Marketing in the Digital World
Neilson State of Social Media: The Social Media Report Q3 2011

 

Authors Note:

This is my first blog post for Digital Brand Marketing Education and I would like to thank Basil Puglisi for the opportunity to contribute.  Basil and I have had some thought-provoking discussions and it is great to be a part of a forum where ideas and strategies are openly exchanged.  My goal is to draw upon my 22 years of media relations and marketing experience to provide readers with valuable insights and strategies, and to have some fun along the way. One of the activities I enjoy most is sharing information and examples that help individuals and businesses grow their brands, market effectively and build their businesses. 

About the Author:

Bill Corbett, Jr., President, Corbett Public Relations, Inc. and Creator of Grow Your Personal Brand. Corbett Public Relations, Inc., a leading media relations, social media and personal branding consulting firm.  For more information go to corbettpr.com or email wjcorbett@corbettpr.com.

About Bill Corbett Jr.

This article is provided by Bill Corbett, Jr., President of Corbett Public Relations, Inc., a leading media relations, social media and personal branding consulting firm. For more information, go to corbettpr.com or to his blog corbettprblog.com. He can be reached at wjcorbett@corbettpr.com or @wjcorbett.

Social Media is Work

Conversation Prism Brian SolisIt’s true.  Anything worth doing is worth doing well. And social media is no different.  If you want to be successful in social media, you need to work at it.  You can’t just create a Facebook page, Twitter account, and LinkedIn profile, add very little content, and expect people to show up.

Because, unfortunately, people won’t show up.  It’s the same with any retail business.  You can’t hang up a sign, open our doors, and expect people to show up.  It just won’t work.  You need to put in the effort.

My last cliche’ — You get out of social media what you put into it.

So, what do you need to do to be successful in social?  For me, it is a 2 step process:

1.  Find and post great content

2.  Engage with your customers

 

How to Find Great Content

In order to really find content that your audience is interested in, you should watch and listen.  See what they are talking about.  Ask questions.  Even use Polls within Facebook or your e-mail newsletters to find out what they want to learn about.

Once you have an idea what they are interested in, check out sites like StumbleUpon, Alltop, Digg, and Diigo for articles that fit into the categories you’ve decided you’re going to share.

And then share.  And don’t forget to ask that your clients comment and share the articles that are of interest to them.  If you don’t ask, they won’t share.  It’s that simple.

 

Engage With Your Customers

So, you’ve been posting and asking that the articles be shared.  But that is only half the social media battle.  You also need to be engaging with them.

What, exactly, does that mean?  It means replying to their comments, thanking them for sharing, asking questions, and offering help.

Don’t just post articles, pictures, and stories and walk away.  Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn aren’t meant to be stagnant bulletin boards, where you post a flyer and never look at it again.

This all takes time.  There is no question about it.  But with tools such as Hootsuite, and Tweetdeck, you can spend some time each week scheduling posts, so all that is left is engagement.

Always remember, that if you want people to engage with you, you must do the same.

So, how are you engaging your customers?  What have you found to provide the highest level of engagement?  Which network do you engage with the most?  Sound off in the comments!

 

Resources:

Is Keeping Up Social Media Hard Work? 

5 Tips:  Making Social Media Seem Less Like a Chore and More Like an Investment

Hard Work in Social Media Marketing Does Pay Off

6 Ways Social Media is Like Ironman

Why is Social Media so Hard? 5 Ways to Relieve the Stress 

Image courtesy of:  Brian Solis, The Conversation Prism

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

IGNITION: Future of Media Conference

This two day conference is coming to New York City November 30th through December 1st, 2011. Exploring the future of media business, IGNITION brings together executives and key stakeholders to discuss what is happening in the here-and-now.

We all understand that the definition of media has begun to expand to include games, local, social, and real-time communications that include sharing and other forms of data exchange. However, this also means that the lines between advice, business, and entertainment, has begun to blur.

Business Insider’s founder and CEO, Henry Blodget, will host IGNITION. One of the goals of IGNITION is to discuss how what is happening now, will affect your business. For this reason, a long list of top-notch speakers covering many media industries will be attending.

  • Glenn Beck – Founder and CEO, Mercury Radio Arts
  • Deep Nishar – SVP of Products and User Experience, LinkedIn
  • Sheryl Sandberg – COO, Facebook
  • Eliot Spitzer – Former Governor, New York
  • Sarah Bernard – Director of Online Engagement, White House
  • Adam Bain – CRO, Twitter

Business Insider designs their conferences the same way they design their media: intriguing and straight to the topic at hand. Discussions are kept short and each moderator or speaker will quickly get to the point. The fast-paced schedule will keep all attendees connecting while learning. IGNITION is expecting an impressive list of 400 to 500 entrepreneurs and executives from all facets of media including print, TV, digital, music, radio, and entertainment.

Attendees should arrive ready to strategize and create new business.

Adam Bain – CRO Twitter

Before he was CRO of Twitter, Adam Bain was the president of Fox Audience Network, or FAN, where he administrated strategies that would help to monetize Fox’s digital properties. He got behind Fox’s largest acquisitions of IGN, Scout Media, Photobucket, and Myspace. Before he held that position, he was the EVP for Product and Technology for Fox Interactive Media.

Bain began at Twitter just as they were gearing up to launch new monetization efforts. Although Twitter has executed minor experiments with advertising, they now want to increase their revenue significantly. With Bain’s proven abilities in that exact area, it seems to be an incredibly good choice for Twitter and for all who use it.

Get Ready for IGNITION: Future of Media

If you plan to attend IGNITION, register now and make sure to input dbmei15 for 15% off the price of admission as a DBMEi subscriber! This IGNITION Discount Code has been created exclusively for dbmei.com readers.

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

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