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Santa’s Three Tips for Business Building on Facebook

Santa’s Three Tips for Business Building on Facebook

By Leilani Haywood

Steve Dailey in Lee’s Summit MO is a drug tester for a private investigation firm and a Santa from November through December. He has a fan page on Facebook with over 10,000 “likes” from all over the world. I set up Santa’s fan page last November when he asked me how could he increase his bookings. “I don’t have a lot of money but I need to get the word out fast about my Santa business,” he told me in late October 2009. I recommended social media as the answer to quickly raise awareness of his Santa business.

When I set up his fan page at that time, I didn’t realize that he was the only Santa on Facebook. We both suggested the page to our friends and within 2 weeks we attracted over 1,000 fans. I was happy about the results and sent out a news release to local media about the Facebook Santa taking gift requests from his home in Lee’s Summit. The Kansas City Star, Lee’s Summit Journal, Lee’s Summit Tribune and Fox 4 News publicized Santa’s Facebook page.

The fan count ramped up to 3,000 within a week of news coverage. Even a reporter from the Los Angeles Times called Steve to interview him for a news story about the Santa business. For those who want to know how to build up your fan counts, here are a few tips from Santa.

#1 Use traditional public relations for your Facebook page. If you have an unusual service or business, send out a news release to promote your page. Of course you should have a reason for someone to visit your page. An example is you were taking donations for a non-profit organization, you could ask potential donors to visit your Facebook page to view photos of or register for an event. This is one of the best ways to build up your “like” base quickly.

#2 Connect your Facebook page with a related cause or brand. Santa partnered with City Union Mission, an outreach to the homeless in Kansas City. We created an “Operation Santa” toy drive to collect gifts for homeless kids and teenagers served by City Union Mission. The Operation Santa drive sparked a second wave of media attention and thousands of more fans. We used Facebook to publicize the drive and sent an update to fans with a link to donate to City Union Mission.

#3 Give and it shall be given unto you. Santa made a surprise visit to the 10 marketing directors at the top hotels and shopping destinations in the metro Kansas City area. The marketing director of the upscale Hyatt Regency hotel came out of an meeting because he had to see Santa. “You made my day,” he said. Santa gave a holiday cardholder that included his business card. That gift yielded a booking at the Great Wolf Lodge Resort and a promise to give him a call for corporate parties.

As you can see, Santa’s Facebook fan page is a key part of his offline outreach. Every day during the holiday season, his posts are folksy stories about the reindeer, elves and creating gifts. But the rest of the year his posts are reminders to keep the holiday spirit of care and giving alive everyday.

By the way, what do you want for Christmas? Tell Santa here!

October 19, 2010 By : Category : Blog Featured News Guest Blogger Tags:,

The Social Media Shameless Blogpost For August 2010

The Social Media Shameless Blogpost For August 2010

So, yes I have been lagging with the blog posts and this is what I come up with? Yes, I know – weak. I have several things I want to share and one nice big fat blog post is the best way to do it.

I will do this in date order and in list form. This is because people like lists!

  1. On September 11, 2010 I will be speaking at the West Coast Songwriters Conference in Los Altos, California.  Founded in 1979, the WCS has grown into one of the most active music associations in the USA. Whether your goal is personal expression or to make a living in the music industry, knowing how to write, or recognize a well crafted song is key to your success.
  2. September 16, 2010 I will be speaking at the Social Media Strategies Summit in San Francisco. I will be speaking on “Creating a Solid, User – Friendly Blog to Increase Business”.
  3. March 2011 I hope to be speaking at SXSW!! I need your help though! If you would be so kind please vote on my panels to be picked!  Yes,  I know its pain. I will be very grateful. The panels are

K.I.S.S And Your Brand with Barry Moltz

Kicking Community Ass: Building Better Influence with Sudha Jamthe, PayPal

My Kindergartner Markets Better Than You with Kriselle Laran, Bullfrog Media

Thanks so much!

August 21, 2010 By : Category : Featured News Shameless Plugs Speaking Engagements Tags:, ,

What The Heck Do I Do?

What The Heck Do I Do?

Yes, I get this question, well a lot.  Not only from my family and friends but my online communities.

What is my job? What do I do?

I am the Social Media Strategist for Meshin a Xerox-funded project incubated at Palo Alto Research Center aka PARC.

Yes, that Palo Alto Research Center,(PARC), A Xerox company (a wholly owned subsidiary), a place of innovation including laser printing, the personal workstation, natural language processing and yes that is what Meshin is based on.  It is technology with the brains to understand your information.

It is my job to use Social Media tools to bring brand awareness to Meshin. I need to let people know what we are doing here at Meshin,  like what the team is creating, answer questions,  give demos, invite people in who want to know more and a lot of other things. I think you get the point.

So, what is Meshin. First ever semantic Outlook sidebar helping you find, discover and organize information across your communication streams starting with email.

What? You want me to try explaining it again?  I think you will do better if you download and install it. It is one of those things you need to try.

If you want, you can signup for the beta and request an invite to check it out. If you leave a comment that you signed up, I will see if I can work some magic and get you the beta asap. Move you to the front of the line We currently only have so many right now. So just click here, request and let me know via comment below.

August 18, 2010 By : Category : Featured News meshin Tags:, ,

Sears..A Mix Of New And Old Customer Service

Sears..A Mix Of New And Old Customer Service

Shopping online, in the scheme of things, it is a pretty new experience.   Most people prefer to go to the store, walk the aisles and find what they are looking for. They want to be able to touch, feel and play with what they are about to buy. Not me, I am happy to just go to my computer and find what I am looking for using my web browser.

This week my family needed a new dishwasher and my wife and I could not find time to make it out to get one.  So, we decided to do the whole thing online with Sears. I have to say, Sears could not have made it any easier. They seem to have the perfect mix of traditional and online interactions.  Let me share with you some of the “High Points & Low Points” of dealing with Sears. I will do it in list form, as people like lists!

- When placing the order online with Sears I was able to pay a percent with Paypal, Gift Cards, a coupon and debit card. Yes I paid in one transaction with 4 different payments combined!

- I had a question, I clicked on the “Live Chat” and had someone answer a question about the item.

- There was a rebate available for the dishwasher. Their systems flagged it for me. Then after the purchase they sent me an email that had a hyperlink to it. I was able to complete the form, print and mail it all within minutes.

-I never got a confirmation call about when the dishwasher was going to be delivered. I decided to stay home to wait. Being the calm cool person I am I tweeted:

Sears quickly replied:

Then I posted:

I must say.. I was impressed. They responded to my tweet within 10 minutes and I got a calls in the same amount of time! Amazing, great save! They did great!

- The dishwasher was installed last night and it does not fit. Story of my life.  I called Sears this morning and alerted them to the issue.  An employee named Chris stayed on the phone with my wife and I for about 20 minutes and helped us find one that fit. He was great. After placing the order I got another call from Edwin. He stated his goal was to make sure everything is handled properly. He will be the single point of contact for the removal of the first dishwasher and the replacement of second dishwasher! He gave me his direct line, his hours, etc.

-Then I go a direct message via Twitter from @MySears…it said:

..hmmmm an automated DM.. not good.

As of this post, I am waiting for the second  dishwasher, Ill let you know how the rest of it goes.

Overall, I have to say my experience with Sears has been really good.  I really like the fact they have found a good mix of using tools like Paypal, Twitter, emails and  traditional live person customer service.


May 18, 2010 By : Category : Social Media Tags:, , , ,