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Browsing Tag Social Media Marketing

What Are The Steps Companies Need to Take To Get Involved With Social Media?

What Are The Steps Companies  Need to Take To Get Involved With Social Media?

social media steps

I’m lagging.  Lagging in putting up blog posts. It has been a crazy few weeks and I am headed to SXSW tomorrow, which proud to be part of.  I hope to see many of you in Austin! Yet, before I did that, I wanted to get a quick blog post up before I left.

So one of the things I have been busy with these past few weeks is talking to people and clients about how they can get involved with Social Media.  The question I get a lot is

” What are the steps we need to take to get involved with Social Media?”

So, I went to my community to see what they thought. Here are some of the great responses I got:

Erica Friedman Publisher at ALC Publishing, President of Yuricon:

1) What is the goal of getting into social media?
2) What ROI are you looking for?
3) What message are you sending?

“Social media” is no more a golden ticket to success than having a website was in 1996. ‘If you build it, they will come” does NOT apply to social media. You need to find the audience where they already are and address them in those spaces. If you’re throwing up a MySpace page, when your audience lives on Slashdot, you’ve just wasted gobs of money and time. Don’t assume that “audience” translates to “market.” 13000 followers on Twitter might not mean a single extra sale. You need to know what you’re doing and why otherwise, it’s just more empty promotion-speak.

Adam Ralph, Student:

1. Watch and Listen. Use Google Alerts – determine what the online community is saying about your brand. Try to understand the space before taking the plunge.
2. Consider how these communities operate and how your brand can join the conversation. Determine how joining the conversation fits within the overall brand marketing strategy and brand personality to ensure appropriateness of fit.
3. Join and participate – slowly. Start by responding to relevant posts about your brand. Gauge user response to your involvement. Always stay true to your brand – recognize that your customers, partners and boss WILL see the post.

Think JetBlue (http://twurl.nl/v5jtnj) not Ryanair (http://twurl.nl/z0nt5v).  Also, check out this post on Sponsored Conversations: http://twurl.nl/y2suiq

Ellen Friendland, President & Producer at Voices & Visions:

1. Request employees to set up pages on LinkedIn and set up a company page on LinkedIn.
2. Request employees to set up pages on Facebook and set up a group or cause page on Facebook.
3. Assign as the responsibility of a marketing/sales employee to be on top of newly emerging, relevant social media sites and to craft little status messages he/she can give the employees to include on their pages (eg, Person X is watching the Y Corporation video about the company’s new product…)

Michael Rosenfeld, VP of New Business at Mediasmith:

There are a number of reasons for participating in Social Media.
I have highlighted a couple quick gut check questions for you.
Answer the following:
1) Will participating in Social Media move your corporate agenda forward?
i.e. Will it sell more inventory, will it communicate your message in a relevant manner, will it create positive awareness of your product/service offering?

2) Is your target audience participating in Social Media in a way that you feel you can participate?
Are they sharing intel on Yelp, Twitter, participating in LinkedIn, FB and the like, are they active readers in community environments that you think you can message to?

3) If YES to the above:
Do you have the resources to support a SM practice internally or must you outsource? Do you have the time, effort, intestinal fortitude to create a twitter profile and then maintain it, upload videos on content distribution sites and tag and monitor replies, create a FB or MySpace group, profile, fan page and maintain it with relevant information that is compelling and again engaging. Can you do this in a manner that doesn’t derail your current marketing efforts?

The new frontier in digital media that enables customer response and interaction is not for the weak of heart, especially if you don’t have a plan or reason for existence. If you feel you need to have your company voice in Social Media have a strategy for success or at least milestones to check your performance. Any good campaign starts with a plan, “who do you want to talk to?” and “what do you want to say?” From there everything from creative ideas and communication platforms can be determined. There’s room for everyone and there’s plenty of opportunities to be successful you just have to do your homework and be prepared.

Alexandra Samuel, Social Media Strategist

1. Listen.

No matter what industry you’re in or how sensitive your organization, you need to be doing social media monitoring. At a minimum, set up an iGoogle page and add feeds from Technorati (to search for blog posts about your organization), Twitter search (for tweets) and delicious (to see what people think is worth bookmarking on your site or news coverage). Track the reputation of your company, brands/products, key leadership and industry, and discover where your strengths and weaknesses lie online. (Hint: no news isn’t necessarily good news!)

2. Think.

As a number of other respondents suggest, you need to think before acting. What are your key goals for social media, and how do they align with your other marketing, communications or business goals? What audiences are you trying to reach, what message do you want them to get, and where are they likely to receive it? What strengths do you have as an organization, and how could these strengths be leveraged or developed in new ways online?

Develop a coherent (if not complete and exhaustive) strategy, if only to establish the parameters under which you will or won’t comment on blog posts and other online discussions of your company or brand. Better yet, identify the key opportunities — the one or two social networks to focus on, the blog or online community you want to launch yourself — and develop a creative approach that delivers real value to your customers in those specific contexts.

This is also the moment to ask yourself: do you even want or need to engage with social media? Yes, everyone should be monitoring — but there are organizations that are not ready to speak for themselves in the rough-and-tumble of blogs and social networks. If you work in a sensitive field (e.g. law enforcement) or a highly risk averse organization, less may in fact be more (at least for now.)

3. Engage!

Once you’re clear about your fundamental strategy and key opportunities, it’s time to get your feet wet…without getting up to your neck in criticism and conflict. Whether engagement looks like commenting on the occasional blog post, or launching your own full-scale social media presence, be sure to plan for a variety of eventualities: from public criticism to (far more common!!) apathetic uptake.

Start your social media engagement in a form that will be robust in the face of limited success: launch a blog that works great even with few comments; leave encouraging comments for those customers who take the time to say nice things about you online. Build your level of engagement over time as your confidence and experience grows, and make sure you leave yourself the resources (dollars, staff, attention) to not just hope for success, but ensure it!

There you go! Some great responses from some great folks!

What do you think the steps companies need to take to get involved with Social Media?

March 12, 2009 By : Category : Blog Tags:, , , ,
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I Was A 26 Year Old Blond Bombshell..On The Internet Part 1

I Was A 26 Year Old Blond Bombshell..On The Internet Part 1

(This is the crazy story on how I got involved in Social Media. It is too long to tell in great detail, but here are the key points to the history. If you are totally confused, check out the video below.)

It is true. Are you done laughing? Yes, I a 38 year old married father of 5, used to pretend to be a 26 year old bombshell on the ‘net. Want to  know the best part? It worked really well for networking and building my brand. Yep.  I would do my social networking under the name: Britney Mason. Here meet Britney-

Britney Mason

Britney Mason

Yep, she.. I mean I was a female avatar.

So at this point your totally confused, I know. Let me just tell you the story from the beginning, as I can best recall it.

In August 2005, I was up with my new born twins around 1:00 a.m. Doing my part so my beautiful wife could catch a few winks. I was reading TIME magazine learning about this new virtual world called, Second Life. (I’m not going to get into all the details of SL in this post, you can read more about it here.)

The first thing I was asked to do was pick a last name from a list and create my own first name.  As I looked down the list, the only semi-normal last name I could find was, Mason. As for a a first name, I had US magazine next to me with Britney Spears on the cover.  At that moment it all came together for me, Im going to pretend to be a girl in SL.

(Weird? Yep! Odd? For sure! Do you want to make all kinds of jokes at my expense right now? Yes, you do.  Done? Great)

Now I spent about 3 months in SL trying to figure out what the point was, what I needed to do to have fun, etc, etc. In the end, I got bored. I found really nothing interesting to do there.

Fast Forward to early 2006, I had been listening to Adam Curry’s Daily Source Code podcast since 2005. On one show Adam had mentioned his discovery of Second Life and how he was so excited about this new way to meet and interact with people. He went so far as to invite people to meet him in world, giving out his Avatar name of  “Adam Neumann”.

currycastle

I thought to myself, why not log in and meet Adam Curry. Well that is exactly what I did.  Adam quickly responded to me, going so far as to invite me to his home. Over the next few days I would meet Adam “In World” and help him build out his avatar, Curry Castle and share tips and tricks. Now, Adam asked me point blank if I was really a woman.  I immediately  replied “Yes, of course!”

At the time Adam’s podcast was truly daily, so everyday he would mention something about SL, what we were up doing, who else was in SL.  As, we spent more time in SL and he updated listeners on his podcast, something interesting started to happen.  A community started to form around us.  I would get Instant Messages from people looking for Adam, or just wanting to chat. It was really exciting.

Then Adam approached me about a Second Life deal. What if we partnered up for a “Virtual Business”? A 50-50 deal.  He would fund it and I would run it. SL was just starting to grow by leaps and bounds, Real Life companies were starting to come in like Home Depot, Sears, IBM, and others. I was all in!

Now, a few other things were happening at this time. All sorts of Podcasters and also joined SL. They all would hang out at Curry Castle or maybe at a piece of virtual land they purchased nearby. There was Cali Lewis, Anji Bee, The Rumor Girls,  among many, many others. They in turn would go and talk about their experiences on their  respective podcasts.  The number of people joining the community just grew and grew because of this.

Seeing that we needed something more organized, I spoke to Adam, who agreed, it was time to purchase our own virtual island, PodShow Island. Podshow was Adam’s company which would later be called Mevio.

PodShow Island, in my opinion was a success when it launched. The sim was nothing but hustle and bustle.  Eventually many of us lost interest and moved on to Twitter. The island closed in March 2008

Yes, I have missed a lot of the details. Think of this as the cliff notes version if you will. So, please do not nit pick.   I wanted to give you this history so I can refrence it in future blog posts, when I discuss communities, networking and online branding. Oh, its also fun to go reminisce of where it all started for me!

Oh, so for those of you who are totally confused and wondering what is the point, check out the video below.

I think this video I did for CNBC somes it up really well.  Questions? Feel free to ask!

February 10, 2009 By : Category : Uncategorized Tags:, , , , , , ,
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5 Ways To Market Your Brand Online.. Other Then Facebook & Twitter

5 Ways To Market Your Brand Online.. Other Then Facebook & Twitter

Today I received an email from a co-worker that read:

Dave,

Can you please send me your ideas for getting this client promoted through social media?

Thanks,

Co-Worker

This, of course got the hamster wheels in my head turning.  What are some social media tools that a brand can use to market their goods? Let us see, we have Twitter, Facebook… Then it hit me. There is a lot of ways to market your brand online, OTHER than Facebook and Twitter.  So let us look at some ways a company can market their selves online.  I think a good way to answer this would be in list form, as people like lists.

logo-eons

-Social Networking Sites: Do not just think Facebook & Myspace!   Is that where your potential clients are? Maybe. Yet, there a lot more! Are you looking for Baby Boomers specifically? There is Eons, Boomj, Teebeedee and many more.   There are social networking sites done by other companies that you can partner with. Heck the WWE even has a site. There is probably a niche social networking site for almost any target demographic you can think of.

avril-lavigne

-Virtual Worlds: As I posted last week, there is $600 million being dropped into virtual worlds. Creating a virtual version of your product seems like a great move. Find a virtual world, there are  hundreds (this is list is far from complete or current, but it is a start!) and make your brand something special there! Why not allow an avatar drink a virtual coke? Let an avatar wear designer jeans?

nuts-about-sw-header

-Create a Blog: This blog could be about things that “support” the product you want to sell.  Let us say you sell diamond rings. Create a blog that shares information about different quality, shape, type, ratings about diamond rings. Best time to buy, events to buy, fun ways to surprise people with them.  This blog can help support the goal of sales and give potential clients great reasons to purchase the diamond rings.  You can also do something fun like SouthWest Airlines.

-YouTube Channel: Same Idea as the blog, just done with video. A great example is the New York Times channel. The great thing about this it has links to channels for the reports and links back to the New York Times site. In a way it feels like your actually on the New York Times site itself.

nike-logo-Mobile Application: This is hot, I mean red hot. The mobile application business is booming. Why not create an application that supports your brand in some way? Look at what Nike did!  My advice, make it fun and simple. Let people take your brand with them.  Oh and if you are an application developer, there is some serious money to be made as Newsweek points out.

These are just 5 ideas. There a lot more out there!

January 27, 2009 By : Category : Blog Social Media Tags:, , , , , , ,
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People Are Talking…Are You Listening?

People Are Talking…Are You Listening?

listening

Today a friend reached out to me.  She works for a very big, well know company. She asked me a simple question.

“How do we monitor our brand online?”

My response was “You guys get it!”. She responded with a very puzzled tone (as my wife does to me a lot) : “We do?”

“Yes, you do” Your company is taking the first step of looking into what people are saying about your brand online and learning how to deal with brand monitoring”

Okay, so enough of my little cut scene from a conversation. Let me give you some links to tools and resources that help companies monitor what people are saying online about them. We will do it in list form, as people like lists:

-Twitter Search which use to be called Summize before Twitter bought it. You simply type in keywords and you can see people who have used that word in a tweet.

-Social Mention searchs Google blog search, Delicious, FriendFeed, Digg, Twitter, Youtube and such and puts it into a nice package for you.

-Google Alerts An amazing tool by the folks at well, Google. Put in keywords and it will send you alerts when people use those words. This searches Google so we are talking about anywhere on the web that Google indexes, which is well, almost everywhere.

-Backtype allows you to search blog comments.  Users need to register and it will monitor the url you put in the chat. Then pulls all the comments back to one place for you to search.

-Yacktrack monitors lots of different social networking sites and allows you to see which sites your brand is being mentioned on vs another.

These are just some of the several tools that are out there. If there are some I have missed, please post them in the comments so I can add them to an updated list.

I used the term brand and keyword when writing this post. What is it you should be monitoring when following your brand? I think you should look at:

-Company Name

-Your Product

- Competition

-Your Company Executives (and your competitions)

- Clients

All right now, get out there and see what people are saying about you!

December 30, 2008 By : Category : Blog New Media Tags:, , , , , , , , ,
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How Do I build A Brand Online?

How Do I build A Brand Online?

Have you heard the term ” Online Branding” and wonder what the heck it means? Let’s start with what  a brand  can be. It can be:

-a symbol

-a name

-a term

-a sign

-a design

- or any combination of those

So you have figured out what the base of your brand will be. Now you need to build it up online. Get the word how so to speak.

When your try to build or create a brand online you want to take certain steps to help make this happen. What are those steps? I will share with you some of what I consider the basic building blocks.  Let’s see, how should I share these with you? I know let’s do it in list form, people like lists..

-You should have a website that  follows  K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid). It should be clear and to the point. Let visitors know who you are, what you’re about, what you do and why it should matter to them.(my father in laws favorite point) Oh and the website should look good. Remember it reflects your brand. It is the first thing people see when they are learning about you.

-Something that drives me nuts, companies who try to push their brand online via twitter with a company logo. Come on.. a company does not blog, share, or do things. It is the people behind the company that do it. I want to know them. So put a picture of a real life person up on the page. I want to see who I am talking to. It helps people well, bond.

-Leave comments, post to forums and message boards.  If you are trying to sell soda, go to a soda forum and join the conversation. Now when your there don’t just push your product. You need to help others and give good information. Maybe post links where people can find the info they are looking for. Join the conversation.

-Pictures, people like pictures. Show people what you are doing. Where you are located. Give them a picture to associate with. Like this:

-Either create a  fan page on Facebook or a newsletter. Heck do both. Let people join in and feel like they are part of something. Make it a community.

-When you are blogging, tweeting, updating your status, plurking, etc.. talk to your users. Do not lecture them. Do not post just about your product.  Make it a two way conversation. It is about building relationships.

Remember your message about your brand should be consistent.  Oh and  you need to understand the likes and dislikes of your target demographic.  This I learned from  Harvard Business Review on Marketing which Chris Brogan told me read.

How would you build a brand online?

December 11, 2008 By : Category : Blog Tags:, , ,
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Viral Marketing vs Social Media Marketing.. Are They The Same Thing?

Viral Marketing vs Social Media Marketing.. Are They The Same Thing?

…”In this corner we  have the defending self replicating champ Viral Marketing. In the other corner we have the word of mouth up and coming challenger Social Media Marketing”….

Viral Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing, whats there to fight about? They are the same thing right?

Wrong! (ding ding ding)

Well, to be fair they seem like the same thing and find themselves in that  “grey area” of marketing. I am just saying it really easy to get the two of them confused, I can easily see how it can happen. So what is the difference between the two? Lets break it down in list form, people like lists.

Viral Marketing

-Simply relies on the audience to distribute the objective

-Uses social networks like Facebook, MySpace,  Linkedin, Twitter to help achieve an objective…i.e sales, brand awareness, etc

- This objective is obtained by a “Viral Action”. This action is people passing  on the content such as video, picture, an application, banner, heck even just word of mouth.

-Sometimes people don’t even realize they are passing on a viral marketing message. I did it earlier this year with this video, I did not know it was from Gatorade. I totally fell for it did you?   Here lies the big difference between Viral and Social Media Marketing,  Viral is sneaky and sometimes you don’t even know your passing on a marketing message.

Bottom Line:Viral relies on the audience to spread the message with little or no interaction. Its a one time interaction.

Social Media Marketing

- SM Marketing relies on the audience to distribute and engage in the dialogue and sometimes the creation of additional content.

-Its about engaging,communicating via a dialogue and interacting with people. More so customers.

-Increasing traffic to a site by links, brand awareness and well attention.

-You pay attention to what your customer/user wants and needs! You do this by listening, interacting, chatting.

- One does this by having a presence on social networking sites and channels. We are talking about Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Blogs, Podcasts, Digg and others.  The brand interacts and engages with the community, customer or even potential customer.

Bottom Line: SM Marketing uses good content to start a conversation with the goal of the relationship to grow, get deeper and keep it going

Both Viral Marketing and Social Media Marketing have the same goal, getting the word out about a brand. Yes, we are talking Word Of Mouth Marketing, which is passing information on.

Thanks to John Avilla for letting me bounce ideas of him for this post and helping me break it down.

October 22, 2008 By : Category : Blog Tags:, , , ,
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