Archive for August, 2011

Web Crossroads: Quantity vs Quality

Posted on August 31, 2011. Filed under: Business Strategy, Communications, Human Business, Marketing Strategy, Small Business, Social Media | Tags: , , , , |

Is Social Media at a Crossroad?

Is Social Media at a Quantity vs Quality Crossroad?

For the past couple of months you may have been noticing some posts here complaining about  social media etiquette – lack of it, actually – over-commercialization and inattention to community that was the original hallmark of social media.

These days, so much activity seems to be related to numbers over substance. Get as many followers as possible. Maybe they’ll help you monetize your blog. Maybe you can sell them something right away and get your revenues up. It’s all about me, not about you. Relationship building is going by the wayside.

The counter measure to this phenomenon seems to be happening on Google+. People – mostly online-early-adopter types – are building different kinds of connections. They’re savoring the non-reciprocal nature of the place and experimenting, including communicating interests and passions other than what they share on their existing business and social networks.

Why is this happening? I say that it’s out of a dissatisfaction – and perhaps a fast-cycling nostalgia — for the hopes they saw in social media. Instead of companies getting on board for the journey, their inevitable push for results and ROI is grating against the notion of building trusting relationships that will lead to longer term rewards.

Among other recent blogs I’ve read  expressing this thought, a couple of days ago social media consultant and author Jay Baer wrote a post on his well-regarded blog railing against the expectation that’s been developing that online marketing should be easy and yield instant results. I felt compelled to comment on his post having written with a similar sentiment recently.

Although it’s a young marketing approach, it seems to me that online marketing is at a Quantity vs Quality crossroads. Are you experiencing any evidence of this. This is an important conversation to have and hope you’ll join in.

The image is by Soundlessfall under Creative Commons license.

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Tuesday Tweets for August 30, 2011

Posted on August 30, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Business Strategy, Communications, Content, Marketing, Small Business, Social Media, Twitter, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Twitter Tweet Reviews

Reviews of Tweets from My Twitter Timeline

Welcome to Tuesday Tweets for August 30, 2011 — where we take a look at tweets from my Twitter feed for do’s, don’ts, best practices – and sometimes just for fun. Keep in mind that what we examine here is in no way personal. We’re all learning about building audiences online. In that spirit, if you disagree with my assessments, let me have it! I’m learning, too!

This week we’re adding an extra special treat – a musical accompaniment to your read. Be sure to hit the play button if you’d like to smile.

The most frequent comment I hear when I broach the topic of adding Twitter to the social media mix is, “We have an account, but have no idea what to do with it.” So I decided that it might be useful to use this week’s Tuesday Tweets to show how a number of businesses and organizations are using Twitter to move toward their objectives.

@NewsTimes It should read $15,000. Good catch! #correction RT @JackBouffard @NewsTimes $1,500 or $15,000?

Here’s a daily newspaper using Twitter to interact with a reader to flag and quickly correct an error in its reporting. This is the kind of nimble use of social media that might help traditional media evolve and survive.

@TheArtsCenterNY  Red Cross is here until 5:30PM accepting blood donations! By taking a short time to donate blood, you can save lives.

This arts center is using Twitter for real time promotion of a Red Cross blood drive – a nonprofit boosting another nonprofit’s mission, helping its community and boosting its own engagement and value at the same time

@dancommator Social Media Check-In Promos Reward Frequent Branch Visits http://t.co/EJ… via @FinancialBrand #financialservices #banking #sociallmedia

Can you believe that a few banks are reversing the trend of pushing customers from bank branches to online banking, and are using social media check-ins to encourage branch visits – and human contact! This retweet could be a harbinger of a new era of bank service. One can hope!

@ScottMonty RT @ThePeoplesFleet : Help @abetterla win $5K by simply watching a video! Check it out here: http://t.co/Ic… #tpfla

Another smart nonprofit is using Twitter to boost its chances to win a $5000 grant from Ford by asking folks on Twitter to vote for them. Using the hashtag gets them beyond their own followers.

@AMAnet New programs added to the AMA’s upcoming events calendar — Webcasts are FREE! —http://t.co/6t…

The American Management Association is using Twitter to get the word out about a new free Webinar series, a great way to develop its membership.

@1day1brand  Are you ready for a bold new brand? Complete our assessment below, and we’ll email you the results right away – http://ow.ly/6…

@1Day1Brand used this Tweet to recruit participants to take a survey that was designed to subtly (sort of) educate about its brand building seminars and generate leads. A bit obvious, but not bad.

@MichelleDamico Change supply parents into demand parents. I tell principals: parents yelling at u are engaging. #CPS #Brizzard #chicagoPublicSchools

Thanks to live tweeting, an address by the Chicago Public Schools Superintendent gets wider attention. You can get similar visibility and leverage for your organization’s spokesperson and amplify public speaking engagements.

@HourWestport Connecticut Humane Society is having an emergency Cat Adoption Event. Locally try theWestport location:455 Post Road East, 203-227-4137

Another local newspaper is using its Twitter bully pulpit to get out community news that it probably doesn’t have room for in the print edition.

@SierraSez  It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a bus? More details coming soon…you won’t want to miss out on this.

An enterprising tweet creates anticipation for one that’s yet to come. I’ll put up a Twitter search for @SierraSez so that I’m sure not to miss whatever it is. Curiosity is a powerful motivator! ;-}

@MagicSauceMedia Looking 4 SRProduct & Co Evangelist 4start-up in search,aggregation,content & semantic search space. Loc: San Fran or NYC.Email me w/leads

And we’ll end with a highly practical – and hopeful – tweet. Here’s a company using its Twitter updates to seek and hire a new employee.

It would be great if you’d share the creative ways your business or organization is using Twitter.

The Tuesday Tweets graphic is from Freshalex Online under Creative Commons license.

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Web DIY: Why You Must Take Control of Your Site – And How to Do It

Posted on August 29, 2011. Filed under: Business Strategy, Inbound Marketing, Jazz, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Online Marketing, SEO, Small Business, Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

DIY Web Take Control of your Website

To Succeed in Online Marketing You Must Take Control of Your Website

I was in the mood for some music today. This post is about embracing new systems for managing your own website. Listen to the upbeat, funky instrumental Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda by The Crusaders with Joe Sample on keyboards. Hope that’s not us!

Today the way to reach customers, prospects and other key audiences is to connect with them where they are – Online. And to do that you must have the right web-based marketing tools. The days of calling the IT department or your webmaster to update your website are over. Marketing has changed forever. It’s moved online, too, and now has lots of moving parts that need to be integrated to be as effective as possible.  

For that reason, it’s absolutely essential that you have control of your website. You need to be able to update it frequently, publish new content constantly, optimize your pages and content for search engines, add pages whenever you need to, create landing pages as destinations for respondents to email campaigns or social media site links.

For that matter, you need to be able to implement email campaigns from your site – and if you’re selling products and/or services you need to incorporate ecommerce, too. And don’t forget capturing the contact info for those who download your white papers, or subscribe to your blog.

Once you have those contacts engaging with you on your site, you need to be able to keep track of how they’re interacting with you over time so that you can keep offering content of value, convert them to customers, retain them and have them as brand advocates. You need integrated analytics so that you can track all of this – beginning with where traffic is coming from to begin with and which of your offers convert best.

So many companies are still trying to handle their online marketing piecemeal – and they’re losing opportunities – and precious time. If you don’t make online marketing efficient, it can be a voracious productivity gobbler.

I’ve written about this before, til I’m almost bored hearing myself say it. But we’re in an evolving process (I’ll say that again, too) and change – especially in times of change and innovation — never comes without repeatedly educating oneself and one’s audiences. So thanks for indulging my repetitions.

For those who are in marketing denial or just plain overwhelmed/confused, hopefully you’ll find some answers and a way forward in one of the online marketing systems that follow. 

HubSpot

The good news is that there are more and more tools available all the time for online/inbound marketing education. Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I use HubSpot to manage and integrate my own inbound marketing efforts and that I am a HubSpot VAR.

HubSpot has received some fanfare lately as it launched its App Marketplace. There is a great deal of independent plug-in development going on at the present time to make HubSpot an even more robust option.

Adobe Business Catalyst

There are also other platforms. Of note is Adobe Business Catalyst, a hosted service available through professional website developers with modules for content management, email, ecommerce, CRM, blogging and a host of other online marketing activities – all connected to integrated analytics.

WordPress

WordPress offers a free hosted, templated blogging platform with limited plug-ins and customization at WordPress.com. Or you can download the far more customizable version at WordPress.org and host it with your own service provider. There are probably thousands of WordPress plug-ins and widgets that you can add to make a full-function website – or ecommerce site – using what was began as open platform blogging software.

Drupal and Joomla

These templated content management systems allow for some customization and also have numerous functionalities available via plug-ins. These are probably best for website DIY’ers who are a bit more tech-savvy than your average user.

Bottom line: If you’ve done nothing to update your website in the past two to three years, you’re undoubtedly not in control and in danger of falling seriously behind your competitors. If you take control now, you can get ahead!!

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Tuesday Tweets for 8-23-11

Posted on August 23, 2011. Filed under: Content, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Twitter Tweet Reviews

Reviews of Tweets from My Twitter Timeline

Welcome to Tuesday Tweets for August 23, 2011 — where we take a look at tweets from my Twitter feed for do’s, don’ts, best practices – and sometimes just for fun. Keep in mind that what we examine here is in no way personal. We’re all learning about building audiences online. In that spirit, if you disagree with my assessments, let me have it! I’m learning, too!

@Georg_Grey Georg Grey Please follow ===> @7shines @AyaMones @haceeb @karine_frigon @BrensView @Vernon_J_ @ProNetworkBuild @reneedobbs @bigmoneywebs @RDavidMacNeil

This is a typical booster tweet – similar to #followfriday (#FF) but for any day — to promote people whose tweets we find of interest an with whom we’d like to build stronger relationships. Even though it seems like a time saver to string a bunch of Twitter handles together as in the above example, it’s actually more useful and powerful to do one at a time and include something about why we should follow that person, who they are, what they do, what they share. If you have two people who have similar reasons to recommend them you can send them both. But let people know why.

Since the 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck the east coast of theU.S.an hour or so ago, my Twitter timeline is full of earthquake tweets. So I’m going to give in and dedicate the rest of Tuesday Tweets to the best of the earthquake tweets that are coming in. Hope you didn’t get too shook up. The windows rattled here and the building shook a bit, but fortunately it looks like there were no serious consequences.

@Chase_TheHour Chase Wright by TheHourNews

Did you feel the earthquake? Tell us about it @TheHourNews

My local daily paper seeking citizen journalists to help them report on the earthquake.

@alexashrugged alexashrugged by richmac  Co-worker “We didn’t have earthquakes like that when Bush was president” #earthquake

Yup. A D.C. earthquake would be sure to stimulate political commentary! ;-}

@muz4now stan stewart The D.C. area quake was powerful enough (5.8) to rattle my chair in the Poconos at 2PM Eastern. Wow. Haven’t felt that sinceOakland.

This poor guy thought he’d escaped earthquakes when he moved east.

@paulhelmick Paul Helmick West Virginia Shaken Not Stirred #earthquake

Good one. Hope it’s also dry. Anyone have other Martini references?

@typeamom Kelby Carr Did the CNN anchor seriously just suggest the quake could have possibly been terrorists? Oh my.

Why am I not surprised?

@petershankman Peter Shankman So bummed I don’t have any pressing deadlines I can miss by blaming the #earthquake.

I felt the same way. Though I was sorry it cut into Dan Zarella’s HubSpot webinar at 2.

@benjaminstrong benjaminstrong  Did you feel the earth move? “That’s what she said!” #DCearthquake #earthquake

Love an old saw brought out at the perfect moment!

@shashib Shashi Bellamkonda DCRestaurants : Good day for a earthquake Happy Hour Special

Shashi is Network Solution’s social media guru down in DC and a great guy. He’s always thinking of opportunities for 4square promotions! ;-D

And today I’ll end with my own contribution to the #earthquake discussion, which was the number one trending topic on Twitter this afternoon.

@elliebpr Ellie Becker Nothing like an #earthquake in CT on a sunny day. At first I thought it was the impact of my latest blog post. ;-}

The recently adopted Tuesday Tweets graphic is from Freshalex Online under Creative Commons license.

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Biz Lessons from Jazz: The Power of Listening, Nonverbal Cues, Storytelling and Respect!

Posted on August 22, 2011. Filed under: Business Strategy, Communications, Marketing Strategy, Small Business | Tags: , , , , , , , |

George Cables

George Cables, Jazz Pianist and Musical Story Teller

On Saturday evening, Jeff and I went into NY City to hear a classic jazz trio – piano, bass and drums — of the highest caliber at the intimate jazz room in the Kitano Hotel. The trio was led by George Cables on piano, who has played with everyone from Art Blakey to Sarah Vaughan to Sonny Rollins. He was joined by the best rhythm section in the business, Peter Washington on stand-up bass and Lewis Nash on drums.

That evening’s performance reminded me again why I love jazz. It is the single most intelligent and creative art form I’ve ever experienced – and when it’s melodic, rhythmic and it swings, it’s heaven on earth. At the highest levels, it demonstrates improvisational qualities that we can all seek to emulate and bring into our work lives. If we’re able to do that, we will surely elevate our business games.

Let me explain. I’ve heard many hundreds of live jazz sets over the years. Every once in awhile, one stands out as spectacular — beyond special. That happened on Saturday. The jazz musicians we heard this weekend have their skills honed and fine tuned to the max – as many of us do in our chosen fields. When they play their solos, their virtuosity is unmistakable. That’s job one for all of us: get our chops up.

It’s what they do in the ensemble environment that provides awesome lessons for business – and, in this political season, for government, too.

Listening

Jazz bassist Peter Washington

Peter Washington - Listening Enhances Playing

We observed the epitome of active listening. There was an intensity to it – although it seemed effortless. You could see – and hear the result of — the three listening to one another. It enabled them to pick up on a musical phrase played by one and allowed the others to echo it or bend it or transform it.

Do you think this level of listening could boost the results of corporate teams, small businesses and the US Congress? It’s not about what power I can gain by pushing my idea, but what we can all achieve together by listening to each other’s ideas to synthesize new and exciting solutions.

Non-Verbal Cues

There were also non-verbal cues: a nod, a gesture, fingers held up in a silent count. The trio picked them all up and used them to create a polished performance that has never before or will ever again be created. It was seamless and precise. It sounded like they were reading from a score, but they weren’t. They were playing from a basic set of chords and improvising on the fly.

It reminded me of a moment a while back at a meeting with a prospective client, the owner of a business. He had invited key staff members to join us and provide their input. When they got too far from his vision and tolerances, I saw his expression change.

I chose that moment to make eye contact with him to express that I was happy to engage with his staff, but that I recognized that ultimately he was the client and decision maker. In that brief instant, he and I communicated how we would proceed together.

Story Telling

In an hour of music, there was also a lesson in story telling. Several of the tunes were George Cable compositions. Original works by jazz musicians fill the jazz repertoire.

Young players feel compelled to follow in this tradition but don’t really understand what makes a great tune. They think that if they write a theme — a few notes — and improvise on those notes seemingly endlessly, they’ve composed a song worthy of recording. Not!

There is only a handful of musicians who are also great composers; whose songs, in my opinion, are worth recording. Dave Brubeck is one and George Cables is another. The reason they stand out is that they know how to tell a musical story.

Their stories are about something that we can relate to. They have a beginning, a middle and an end. Go to www.georgecables.com. You’ll spontaneously hear part of one of his compositions called Song for Helen. He wrote it for his life partner, a woman whose love saw him through a liver and kidney transplant. You’ve probably never heard it before. But you’ll want to hear it again. You’ll get what their relationship is about. We who create content need to keep story telling top of mind.

Respect

Jazz Drummer Lewis Nash

Lewis Nash and Other Great Jazz Players Have Respect for the Talents of Those They Play With and Their Own

The final business lesson from jazz in this post is that none of the above could happen without respect. It all started with musicians who respect one another’s talents and skills. Without that they could not have listened without ego, subjugating their own needs to what they could create as a group. Nor could they have trusted their nonverbal cues to be understood and acted upon.

The story telling part comes from self respect, which allows us to honestly communication our life experiences. I hope you enjoyed this story of a Saturday night out that led to some thoughts that could propel me into a more effective Monday.

What are your passions that give you lessons for your work life? And thanks for sharing one or two.

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Tuesday Tweets

Posted on August 16, 2011. Filed under: Blogs, Content, Inbound Marketing, Small Business, Twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Twitter Tweet Reviews

Reviews of Tweets from My Twitter Timeline

Welcome to Tuesday Tweets for August 16, 2011 — where we take a look at tweets from my Twitter timeline for do’s, don’ts, best practices – and sometimes just for fun. Keep in mind that what we examine here is in no way personal. We’re all learning about building audiences online. In that spirit, if you disagree with my assessments, let me have it! I’m learning, too!

@TechCrunch TechCrunch  DIY Device Mutes Your TV When Someone You Don’t Like Is Mentioned http://t.co/TkphmcD by @johnbiggs

If you want to stay on top of what’s going on in technology, following TechCrunch is a must. This tweet is the big one from TechCrunch, though; the one I’ve been waiting for. Finally someone’s invented a way that I the tube will mute itself when I’m lunching in front of the screen and a pharma ad comes on, complete with a long list of nauseating potential side effects. I’m already compiling my list of keywords to trigger the blessed silence.

@ItsCoachNick N Jones Budget Friendly Fashion Blogs http://t.co/0TFSZp6

This chick-friendly tweet from Nick Jones got me seeing visions of shopping bags dancing in my head. When I clicked the link it got me to a page with the right headline and a video that said, “The video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated.” How disappointing. L But then I saw a link that said, “read the rest of the story…” so I clicked. It did get me to a blog post with links to a few bargain fashion sites, but it seemed as though – even though the post date was today — the content was recycled on this news aggregator site as the post referenced Spring clothing in the stores andHollywoodawards show glam season. It was a bit confusing. Nice idea, but it’s a good reminder to check out what’s at the end of links before we tweet them.

@dragonblogger Justin Germino Challenge me in the Random Twitter Poetry game. Send me 1 word to use in today’s poem.

A few weeks ago in Tuesday Tweets I referenced @dragonblogger’s interesting idea of twitter-sourcing a poem – and stated at the time that it was unique and looked like it would be fun to play. Well yesterday I did. I sent the word ‘vision’. Here are the subsequent tweets and the results.

dragonblogger Justin Germino  @elliebpr thanks for playing today’s poetry game.

dragonblogger Justin Germino Twitter poem finished today >> http://t.co/qjggJBq read and share @elliebpr @rajanbalana @opinionatedant

The Climb is a poem about climbing the corporate ladder but doing so any way possible even at the expense of integrity or honor.  This poem was inspired by the 10 random submissions (in bold) provided by the following Twitter players:
@ptaylor98 (enthusiastic), @eileencan (peck), @techwork_dk (Monday), @laraca44 (softly), @sweetnote (fiducia), @alanhbush (cacophony), @elliebpr (vision), @rajanbalana (crystal), @opinionatedant (quest), @wordzeal (salacious)

Word Definitions:
Fiducia means trust, faith

The Climb

Monday‘s crystal vision
salacious quest of life
you softly peck your way
silently over the cacophony

Enthusiastic measures pay off
corporate ladder with sawed rungs
caring not for loss of fiducia
as long as you reach the top

Poem by Justin Germino

@elliebpr recommends you follow @dragonblogger who does this out of his passion for poetry. I was pleased to join the others to contribute to his creative ‘vision.’ No corporate ladders at all cost for me!!

Come on and send me some of your favorite tweets!!

 

The recently adopted Tuesday Tweets graphic is from Freshalex Online under Creative Commons license.

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Have Fun with Content: No Telling Where It Will Go

Posted on August 15, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Communications, Content, Inbound Marketing, Small Business, Twitter | Tags: , , , , , |

Content Creation Offers Big Possibilities

Creating Great Content Opens Endless Possibilities

I’ve written before about the sense of possibility I feel every time I tweet a link or hit ‘publish’ on my blog. Get that content out on the Internet and no telling where it will go, who will read it, who will connect with us as a result.

The reason I’m writing about this again is to drum up deserved enthusiasm for the content creation that’s a required element of today’s marketing. We tend to do what’s pleasurable and I want to convince you that creating content and getting it out into the world can provide you with surprising results that feel very good.

Why am I sitting here writing this post before having dinner? It’s because I’ll feel so good tomorrow when it drives new eyeballs to my blog, website, Twitter timeline, LinkedIn profile, and when it leads new and old friends to interact with me online.

Here’s what motivated me to write this. I don’t always check my @mentions on Twitter, but I did today. This shows me who has mentioned me on Twitter. I found that three times last week, a blog post I’d written was incorporated in followers’ paper.li.

What’s that? If you’re unfamiliar, paper.li is a Twitter curation software. Register on paper.li and in a minute or two you can create a newspaper format piece of content that pulls from the links tweeted each day by the people you follow on Twitter. You can focus your paper’s content by indicating a topic, hashtag or Twitter list as the source of your paper’s content. The content is culled from your Twitter timeline via an algorithm + content you refer specifically – a recent improvement.

Paper.li papers can be shared with anyone. And the creator’s followers can subscribe to them. It all adds up to expanded reach for your content. All you have to do is publicize it on Twitter. Use hashtags to help assure your content will come up for paper.li keywords.

All you have to do to take advantage of this extended distribution is to create interesting and useful content. Let me tell you that I got a kick out of discovering that my content was useful enough to be featured beyond my blog. All of this happened without anything but  my initial effort to produce the content and publicize it on Twitter.

Paper.li is only one of many ways that your content can proliferate around the Internet. Make it as good as you can and open the door to opportunity.

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Ticked Off on Twitter: How Not to Thank Me for Following

Posted on August 14, 2011. Filed under: Business Strategy, Communications, Content, Human Business, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Small Business, Social Media, Twitter | Tags: , , , , , |

Get 4100 Twitter Followers

Need I Say More?

People use Twitter in different ways. Some go for volume. Get as many followers as possible. This is often part of a monetization strategy and utilizes some automation program or builds from following others’ lists, which is fine.

I’ve made the decision to build a smaller community on Twitter based on mutual interests and the ability to gain and add value. My community is focused on two groups: other marketing professionals and small-to-mid-sized businesses (SMBs), the kind of companies that my business serves.

Perusing my Twitter stream gives me access to information about my profession and my target audiences that I might not ever connect with otherwise. It’s a great listening station. It also affords me the opportunity to give back information and experience-based knowledge, as well as to engage with people who may be able to refer business or to hire me directly. The way I approach Twitter and other social media is in exactly that order.

Before I follow someone, I check their profile to be sure they meet the above criteria. When someone follows me, I also check their profile before following back. Before I thank someone for following me, I check their profile so that I can reference something specific about them that I’m interested in knowing more about or that we share in common.

That’s one of the benefits of cultivating a smaller group of followers. You can get to know them over time. I recognize almost everyone in my Twitter stream and have a good idea of the kinds of information they’ll share or be interested in.

So what ticks me off? Automated ‘Thanks for following’ direct messages. They’re cold and impersonal to me. I feel this way: Why bother thanking me at all? You don’t really care about who I am or what I can share with you. You just connected with me based on some keyword to build your followers. It’s about you…not us. If you are going to thank me, at least make it for the right thing.

I especially hate it when the auto DM contains a further ask: Thanks for following. Now connect with us on Facebook, too, or visit our website, or check out how we can make you a million online with our great software. It reminds me of how annoyed I used to get when I’d drive two hours to visit my dear, departed grandmother and the first thing she’d say to me when I got out of the car wasn’t, “Hello, darling,” but, “So when are you going to come again?”

Call me old fashioned, but I like the idea of community and getting acquainted first. Let me know why you’re looking forward to following each other and I can better deliver on my end of the bargain!

How do you use Twitter? How do you feel about auto DMs that say thank you and sell you more at the same time?

Image ‘Get 4100 Twitter Followers for $12.95″ is from redplasticmonkey under Creative Commons license.

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Smaller Companies: Keep Marketing Through Adversity

Posted on August 11, 2011. Filed under: Business Management, Business Strategy, Communications, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Small Business, Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

 

Keep Your Marketing Engines Running

Keep Your Marketing Engines Running!

 

Every time we hit a moment when the stock market crashes – or worse, fluctuates wildly – it’s predictable that smaller businesses will instantly turn off their marketing engines.

This is just as short sighted as selling off stocks the day of the crash and similarly forfeits the upside. The smartest investors and financial advisors, like my networking partner Pat Morrow, who runs a private wealth management practice at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, are exploring the current landscape for opportunities for their clients. And they’re finding them, too.

On the marketing side, I’m similarly engaged. In this environment, it makes sense that if our competitors panic and stop promoting their businesses, we stand to pick up market share.

The reason that I like Inbound Marketing is that it’s possible to create great efficiencies. Does it take time and money resources? Of course. But if cash flow becomes a problem, or if business slows down a bit, it gives you time to take on some of the marketing tasks that you might otherwise outsource. Pay only for what you can’t do yourself.

Even though I sell marketing services to businesses like yours, I can empathize with you. I’m in the same small business boat. Limited time. Limited resources. But today I took some time to build an email marketing campaign to my opt-in list giving them some reasons to consider Inbound Marketing and my services in an uncertain economy.

My Hubspot content management system allowed me to do this without any assistance. As far as I’m concerned it was a cost effective use of my time. When I got back from some meetings late this afternoon, I sat down and wrote this blog post, which will bring traffic to my site and help me engage with my audiences.

I have no intention of cutting back my marketing efforts. I’m happy to invest  to get my company in front of opportunities that will help me build through these uncertain economic times. And I don’t mind putting in some sweat equity.

What can you contribute to your own marketing efforts? Farm out less. But don’t stop marketing.

Image by Nathan E Photography Under Creative Commons License

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Tuesday Tweets

Posted on August 9, 2011. Filed under: Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Small Business, Social Media, Twitter | Tags: , , , , |

Twitter Tweet Reviews

Reviews of Tweets from My Twitter Stream

Welcome to Tuesday Tweets for August 9, 2011 — where we take a look at tweets from my Twitter feed for do’s, don’ts, best practices – and sometimes just for fun. Keep in mind that what we examine here is in no way personal. We’re all learning about building audiences online. In that spirit, if you disagree with my assessments, let me have it! I’m learning, too!

@randfish Rand Fishkin  Really like this “quotes of the week” format: http://t.co/TVmOk5W Others should steal this idea; it’s great content + builds relationships.

This is from Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz. The link is to a blog post comprised of notable quotes from content the author has read during the week – including some back and forth dueling quotes. I wonder what Rand would think about Tuesday Tweets. It’s definitely helped me build relationships with some of the Twitterati I’ve reviewed.

Next…Tuesday Tweet Quiz: See if you can figure out the nature of the following Twitter Chat based on the tweets excerpted from it.

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Thanks everyone for joining in #nuts today #GroupHug

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Q10. Green is the color of the US dollar. Given an unlimited amount of money, what do you do? #nuts

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Q9. Favorite movie/book with the word ‘green’ in the title ? #nuts

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Q8. You’re given the job of ‘energy sheriff’ for the entire planet. What ONE thing do you change to save energy? #nuts

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Q7. My favorite green item of clothing is #nuts

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Q6. You’re given a green thumb & your very own garden. What do you grow? ….. #nuts

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Q5. Favorite ‘no-fuel’ alternative to driving #nuts

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Q4. You’re given a green crayon & a sheet of paper. What do you draw? (Be imaginative) #nuts

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Q3.Favorite ‘green’ hotel or restaurant #nuts

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Q2. Bust idea/place for a totally ‘green” getaway #nuts

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Q1. What’s your favorite green food/drink #nuts

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Please excuse the unusual nature of my tweets for the next hour, I’ll be in therapy #NUTS

@dazglo36 Darren Glover

They’re now having a “planking” comp in Mecca. Here’s @dianeglory28 ‘s attempt! #nuts http://t.co/vuCiFeJ

@RickGriffin RickGriffin  Tuesday is the best day on Twitter! #NUTS #cruisechat #TravelTuesday #TTOT & #FriFotos theme announcement!

@sheffieldmick Mick Berry “@OliverKayTimes:Just been sent this. Amazon reporting 5,000% increase in sales of baseball bats over past 24 hrs http://t.co/mi3pvC7#nuts

@CalebRamblexxx Caleb Ramble

@MagicMichaelXXX: Anyone else travel with #nuts in their bag??? http://t.co/gDk5MTn” yuk!

@WriterChick47 Vicky Akins Voted FUNNIEST chat on Twitter #nuts #MadeThatUp

@KatrinaMauro Katrina Mauro hoping I can participate…busy day at work today! @eatsleeplaugh: don’t forget about #NUTS !

@JeanetteJoy Jeanette Joy Fisher Me too! RT @rickgriffin: Please excuse the unusual nature of my tweets for the next hour, I’ll be in therapy #NUTS http://bit.ly/lhoIlE

Figure it out yet? No? Follow the link in the last tweet above to solve the mystery. Sounds like fun. I might even join in next week!

What don’t you understand about Twitter? I’ll look for tweets that answer your questions and discuss in a future Tuesday Tweets.

The recently adopted Tuesday Tweets graphic is from Freshalex Online under Creative Commons license.

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