Key Advice Blog

Archive for the ‘E Marketing’ Category

Everybody is doing it – blogging, tweeting, Facebook posting, LinkedIn updates – but not everyone is doing it well. Here are some great tips on top social media behaviour that will help you get top results.

The Japanese crises – earthquake, tsunami and nuclear problems – have attracted global attention. Some businesses sincerely want to use social media to show support, other efforts are thinly veiled attempts at self-promotion. Always remember social media users are knowledgeable – for the most pat – not gullible. ClickZ provides some clear guidelines for brands on ‘helping Japan’.

After having to fight with fans more interested in yelling into their mobile phone than cheering for their team recently, I am wondering if the result is going to be a please switch off your phone campaign. But, it’s not just individuals, many organisations are not using mobile technology in the best – and most strategic – way. Adobe Scene 7’s Mobile Best Practices white paper on ClickZ looks at how industry leaders are making the most of mobile technology – with excellent results. The focus is on targeting your strategy – not throwing everything in one pot.

But, if you really want to stand out from the crowd, and keep your fans happy, it’s all about ‘content’. Many organisations are more concerned about showing off, while their sophisticated social media clients are more interested in substance. Fresh, interesting content is what keeps some brands well out front. More Visibility has some great tips on how to create social media content that people will ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’. Even if you are well established, a quick refresher on the basics never hurts.

 

 If you are investing time in the social media platforms you have integrated into your marketing strategy, you may be short on time to keep up on social media trends. Here are 3 ways to keep up.

Social Media All Top

This is like a social media ‘Google Reader’. All Top’s home page is panels of headlines from the top social media platforms – all in one location. Mashable, Techcrunch, ReadWriteWeb and others are all there for an easy read. Pick what’s of interest, and enjoy this one-stop shop.

Mashable’s First to Know Series

 Mashable is just too good to be true. With columns like First to Know Series, you can easily and quickly become not only informed – but educated too. It’s not just the news, but their analysis of social media and web developments that can help you make intelligent decisions about social media strategies.

Social Media Today

Social media is a fast moving stream. If you want to floating along and not paddling against the current, Social Media Today can help. It tends to touch the surface of key new directions in the field. But, this leaves you free to search their site or the Web for deeper details.

Information management has gone to the next level. Have you?

Google Instant is the next development in intuitive search – saving time and completing your search results before you finish keying in your search string. But is faster always better? Let’s see what people are saying.

Google’s View

The search engine promotes Google Instant benefits as being fast, saving 2-5 seconds per search, prediction support, it guesses what you are looking for offering options for the undecided, and instant results.  However, if you go to the Advertisers FAQ you will see this quick answer may raise some questions amongst advertisers who can win or lose on the system.

eConsultancy Round-up

eConsultancy searched around the minds of SEO consultants and web developers to get their verdict. It ranged from recommending a look at Bing to concern over PPC.

Instant and Desktop Together

Tony Bradley at ITbusiness.ca thinks Google should go to the next level and combine Instant and Desktop to give users a total search experience.

Blogger Wonders about death of SEO

Blogger Adam Tinworth wrote a piece Google Goes Instant. Death of SEO predicted (again). He may be a sceptic, but there are threads of truth in his article.

If you use PPC, it is worth doing some investigative work, tracking changes and making up your own mind.

Which is better? It’s a question many clients ask. It is like asking should I bungee jump or zip wire? It depends on those basic 5 Ws. Who are you making contact with? Why? When? What do you want to do and achieve? Where are the people you want to connect with? Here are what some of the experts are saying about Facebook vs Twitter.

The Social Media Examiner looks at ‘3 Reasons Why Facebook Trumps Twitter for Business’, highlighting ways to effectively manage your Facebook page, fans and friends so you can target your messages and build networks (lists). This information was perfect for me, because like Michael I had stalled out on Facebook.

Mashable tackles the topic head on asking ‘When Do You Use Twitter vs Facebook?’ They point out that while many social media platforms look the same, it is their users who should determine which one you choose to use to publicise an event, research a product, track feedback.

The Marketers on Twitter LinkedIn group Twitter survey results showed majority of people using social media run their posts through more than one platform – Twitter to LinkedIn for example. This can increase brand awareness, site traffic and exposure. But measuring ROI techniques varied. Research like this can help you make informed decisions.

We are getting to the stage of social media use where we need to stand back, analyse how it is working, what benefits we are achieving, and where we can make improvements. Integrated into your marketing strategy, social media activities need to be monitored, managed and manipulated the same as your other components.

Invest a little time, and you will reap the rewards.

Summer is networking season. Yes, many people are on holidays, but not everyone. Marketing is something that needs to happen everyday when you are in business. So how do you get the most of your networking in the season of sun (for some) and sea?

Social media sites play a big role in today’s marketing mix. They are a great way to connect – can be done from anywhere, anytime. So don’t abandon them just because it’s summer time.

Go back to Mashable’s 2010 kick off article 7 Lessons for Better Networking to re-focus and refresh your networking activities.

Be  original. Twitchhiker just travelled around the world on his Twitter connections – getting support from so many people in so many ways. Boredom and a desire to travel inspired him to use Twitter and tweeters backed him up. Watch for his book about his global travel experience. This story has it all: social networking, global angle and nice people. As ‘Twitchhiker’ himself says – it’s newsworthy because it’s the news news agencies don’t cover traditionally.

But, nothing replaces face-to-face networking. As more people become self-employed, social co-working, or ‘Jelly’ meet-ups, are taking networking to the next level. Entrepreneurs plan a Jelly, meeting up for a day of work related activities at one location. It puts ‘soul mates’ into being a sole proprietor. It gives home workers an office for a day. I just participated in my first e_nation Twitter live web Water Cooler Moment. It was a fun way to meet new people and network.  The support of like-minded entrepreneurs can be so valuable. If there isn’t one in your area, why not start one?

Look for business groups in your area – and think outside the box. With online support like Ning, it’s worth checking out who’s networking online in your area.

But, don’t forget the ‘social’ aspect. Be a community correspondent for your local newspaper. Join a class or volunteer. No matter what tool you use, it’s still people telling other people about you that opens doors. Let me know if you have an interesting social networking example.

Blogging for charity is a clever idea – and this is a clever site. Art graduate and freelancer Chris Watchorn has chosen WordPress as his blog platform for a charity-art fundraiser The 1 of 1 Project – a great way to use your skills, help your community and get noticed.

The 1 of 1 Project is an auction of unique (1 of 1) artist’s designed shoes. The artists have volunteered their time and the shoe companies their shoes and Chris his time. The funds raised are going to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Winnipeg charity. And the Children’s Hospital Young Artists have done their own designer pair of shoes. So has Chris’ Mom Mary.

And of course, there is a video to support the project. This muscle medium is a must for interactivity, involvement and creating interest.

From Chris’s blog:

‘The 1 of 1 Project had two goals in mind. The first was to bring together artists who work in a range of mediums and industries including graphic design, fashion design and illustration. It was an opportunity to bring together some of Winnipeg’s up and coming artists with a blend of established North American talents. The 30 partaking artists span North America including New York, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Orlando and Portland.

The second goal was to use the donated talents to create unique art pieces that could be used to raise funds for local charity. All proceeds from the event will go towards The Children’s Hospital Foundation of Winnipeg.’

Ok, I have to confess, Chris is my nephew. But, the idea is a clever marketing tool for all involved – the charity, the artists, the shoe company, the platforms, and of course Chris. A lot of hard work, a little technology and hopefully a fantastic result for The Children’s Hospital Foundation. Good luck.

Many of today’s newly unemployed are choosing to start-up their own businesses. Their biggest fear isn’t failure, it’s working at home alone. After just leaving university, or being made redundant from a job, they are now faced with being at home – alone. But, there is no need to be afraid or alone; there are many ways to have a virtual office environment. Here are three great ones.

Jelly – This brilliant idea is happening on a semi-weekly basis in a space near you. Jelly promotes casual working events. So a Jelly host sets up a place and time – could even be their home – and entrepreneurs get together to work for the day. Ideas are shared. It’s all casual, fun and motivating. Watch their video. Follow them on Twitter.

Enterprise Nation – This fantastic, free service for helping home business owners, is led by Emma Jones, author of Working 5 – 9. My favourite service is their Twitter (@e_nation) #watercoolermoment. It happens daily at 11 am and people tweet together, usually about a specific topic. It’s a nice virtual, online coffee break. And, if you really want to go virtual, try their Friday video watercooler live chat! Brilliant.

If face-to-face is important, ask people to Skype with you. It saves on time, travel and gives you a great connected feeling.  And, it’s free.

With video becoming the next best way of promoting yourself online, using these three options will help you boost your confidence and stay connected to real people whilst you work away in your home office! See you online.