ID=21

Additional Revenue Model for Hotels

Catalin calls this hotel strategy The Catwalk Concept. It is fundamentally an additional revenue model for hotels that uses the concept of sponsoring brands that may be used within the hotel.Catwalk

Excerpt from Catalin at Cain:

“A branded hotel can take three specific steps to capitalise on this opportunity:

  • First, conduct research to identify specific brands of other products and services that appeal to their guests, for example, one such brand could be a particular type of flat-screen television whose design and price tag has been targeted to a specific type of customer.
  • Second, explain to the companies identified the benefits of gaining access to their guests; the hotel could build guest market profiles to support the claims that its guests fit the profile of the flat-screen television’s target audience.
  • Third, find inconspicuous ways to grant these companies access to the guests, for example, the hotel could agree to display the flat-screen televisions in its rooms so that the guests interact freely with the product, without ever feeling part of a marketing campaign.”

Just like pro-fisherman and Nascar racers, who rely heavily on sponsorships, hotels are in the position to heighten the visibility of certain branded products that they use. Presenting an even better opportunity, is the ability to actually put that brand in a potential customer’s hands. Need a new mattress? Try it out at a sponsored hotel. Love the sheets? Buy them directly from the hotel.

Some of the larger hotel chains, like Hampton Inns, have been selling their bedding for a while now. How could this work for small to medium-sized hotels? Is anyone doing this now?

Here’s a shout out to brands that supply hotels -is this an attractive proposition for you? What would a hotel need to do to begin this partnership? I’m thinking that for a brand there is great potential here for some very valuable social media interaction.

Find the full article at Cain, a Strategy and Innovation Agency located in the United Arab Emirates.

5 Stages of Choosing Travel

The travel outlook is positive, and with the rise of mobile, social and video behaviors, we are now seeing seeing travelers move through five key stages of travel. Here are some insights within each stage:
  • Dreaming: 68% of business travelers watch travel-related online videos. Among them, 68% are thinking about a trip.
  • Planning: The average traveler visits ~22 travel related sites during 9.5 research sessions prior to booking.
  • Booking: 37% of leisure travelers report that the internet prompted them to book, up from 28% two years ago.
  • Experiencing: 70% of business travelers check into their flights/hotel with their mobile device. Almost 1 in 4 hotel queries come from a mobile phone.
  • Sharing: About 1 in 3 business travelers have posted reviews online of places they’ve been.

Interest in Pinterest

Are women leading the growth of the next big Internet thing? The answer is an enthusiastic ‘yes’.  Pinterest is catching on fast among women. And why not? Haven’t women always been the ones to cut recipes out of magazines, save pictures for wedding planning, and pass on their favorite sayings? Internet sensations all have one thing in common. They take advantage of long-standing habits and interests of things that people do offline and find a way to automate it online -in a very appealing, often addictive way. With a good setup and a lot of luck, it turns viral. Facebook used this simple formula, now Pinterest has, too.Pinterest Pinning Image

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is self-described as a virtual pin-up board. While surfing the Internet, users can ‘pin’ images that catch their attention and save them to their personal boards. It’s a great way of keeping track of the flooding impressions made every time one searches the net. How many times, while looking for something specific, do you come across an image or an idea that answers a different question you were wondering about? Pinterest makes it easy to keep track; just ‘pin it’ for later examination.Kissing Couple on framed wall

By virtue of its design, Pinterest piggybacks on Facebook. You need to have, and be logged in, to a Facebook account, then you enter Pinterest. Joining this way brings along all your Facebook friends, who see that you’re on Pinterest, and then of course they join, too. This social networking engine creates opportunities for sharing at a more intimate level than Facebook, which tends to be a bit more broadcasting-like. Pinterest is like inviting someone into your home. See the difference?

Is Pinterest Only for Women?

Will Pinterest interest men? So far, men have been slow at adapting, but I think that’s because the current content appeals mostly to women. To see my point, search on Pinterest for ‘fish’ or ‘trophy deer’. You’ll see that it’s not exactly ‘Man land’. Maybe that’s ok. But as men begin to use Pinterest, if they do, and ‘pin’ their interests, we’ll see more pics of trophy deer, monster fish and skimpy bikinis. Pinterest has lots of potential of becoming a classic man’s bragging wall, complete with pics of themselves with their latest kill or catch.

Pinterest for Travel

Watch for travel to become a hot topic on Pinterest. The largest buying demographic for travel is women. Imagery and social networking aspects have proven to be the strongest driver of travel purchases. It all adds up to a new powerful promotion tool for hotels and leisure-focused businesses. I’ve started pinning images from travel sites I’ve created, Posada Yum Kin and RelaxWisconsin.com on my board (full-disclosure). They are getting attention thanks to Pinterest.

Invitation Only

Like Google+, Pinterest new users need to be ‘invited’.  So, how do you get an invitiation? Leave a comment on this post and I will send you an invite. For a great ‘How to’ on signing up for Pinterest, check out Megan Tietz’ blog on Sorta Crunchy.

Pinner Beware

I’m not sure anyone really cares, but it’s good to know that Pinterest has been receiving a little heat for “non-transparent advertising methods”- gasp. Hey, everyone needs to make money, but it’s becoming more and more important that users know when ‘their content’ is being commercialized. How does that happen? After a user pins an image, Pinterest tags the images with links to marketing affiliates like eBay, Amazon and so on. If someone clicks on the image (which now in effect has become an ‘ad’), then they will be sent to the linking site. Pinterest makes money when people click and/or buy product. Read more on that at LLSocial.com.

This has been Social Energizer’s Saturday Morning Post, a less business oriented, more personally related edition than our blog that is offered during the week. Social Energizer’s purpose is to help companies develop lasting relationships with their customers and increase their visibility online.

In addition to building dynamic and affordable websites, we integrate inbound marketing techniques into each business’ current marketing plan and utilize digital channels and strategies like Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Search Engine Optimization, and Web-integrated Email Campaigns.

We invite you to comment and rate each blog, so we can ever improve our offerings to you. Are you venturing into online marketing? Give us a call!

Social Energizer’s Top 5 Saturday Morning’s Post

I have a busy weekend planned with the girls, so I needed to be a lazy blogger for today’s Saturday Morning’s Post. What does a blogger do when they want to provide great content to their community, but do it quickly? How about the top 5 posts from the past year in this category, Saturday Morning’s Post? This is our category that’s just for fun. It’s a great opportunity for us to share some of the great things online that we come across on a day-to-day basis.

Here they are, let me know what you think. Are they your favorites, too?

1. Google+ for Everyone!

2. The Social Media Grade for the Packer Concert for NFL Season Opener

3. TedTalks. Better Than Redbox

4. How Shrimp Tacos Moved Our Social Media World

5. The Wealth of the Web Runs Deep

It seems like the more personal, the better the score. Not really a surprise is it? Are you measuring your visits and your comments? How is your blog doing?

This has been Social Energizer’s Saturday Morning Post, a less business oriented, more personally related edition than our blog that is offered during the week. Social Energizer’s purpose is to help companies develop lasting relationships with their customers and increase their visibility online.

In addition to building dynamic and affordable websites, we integrate inbound marketing techniques into each business’ current marketing plan and utilize digital channels and strategies like Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Search Engine Optimization, and Web-integrated Email Campaigns.

We invite you to comment and rate each blog, so we can ever improve our offerings to you. Are you venturing into online marketing? Give us a call!

20 Entrepreneurial Insights for Success

Running a small business can be a lonely thing and getting good advice is key. Sometimes just knowing what’s worth pursuing or not is all you need. Sometimes it’s just getting started.

Here’s a list of short and simple advice for entrepreneurs given by entrepreneurs.

  1. Establish a strong network –whether it’s friends or people you pay –or beter yet, a mix of the both. It’s impossible to be ‘all things’ to your business. Have great ‘go to’ people for information, advice and feedback.
  2. Execute your ideas
  3. Finding funding and becoming popular do not make a business. Profit makes a business. Make money.

    Eat your young

    Glen Lipka, http://commadot.com

  4. Learn to eat your young. If your plan isn’t working, get a new one. It doesn’t matter if it’s your baby. If something better comes along, eat the old and embrace the new.
  5. If you launch without feeling slightly embarrassed, you’re probably too late.
  6. Equity is like manure, if you pile it up it just smells bad. But if you spread it around, lots of wonderful things grow.
  7. Only consider advice and guidance from people who have started businesses – either successful or failed, doesn’t matter.
  8. You are not a business until the customer pays you. Until then it’s a hobby.
  9. It is easier to sell medicine than it is to sell vitamins.
  10. Learn public speaking.
  11. Hire people who are smarter than you are.
  12. Never be afraid to ask for help or advice, and heed it.
  13. A goose that lays golden eggs is worthless if you have to feed it diamonds.Goose laying golden egg
  14. Stop romanticizing the idea of a startup. Put a game plan together and just do it.
  15. Just because you trust someone, doesn’t mean you can depend on them as well. Trust and delivery can be two different things.
  16. What’s your unfair advantage?
  17. When the road ahead seems too long, look back to see how far you’ve come.
  18. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.
  19. You can’t make money and excuses at the same time!
  20. Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless. -Thomas A. Edison
  21. Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t. -Anonymous

Source: Quora

Social Energizer’s purpose is to help companies develop lasting relationships with their customers and increase their visibility online.

In addition to building dynamic and affordable websites, we integrate inbound marketing techniques into each business’ current marketing plan and utilize digital channels and strategies like Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Search Engine Optimization, and Web-integrated Email Campaigns.

Give us a call today!

Thumbs Up If You Like Creative Design

Look at these ads created by AT&T. This clearly shows that they are attuned to creating ads that have the ability to go viral. This one was sent by a friend in my social network via email. The email was titiled “Very, Very Cleverly Done”. I think so, too. Not only was the fabulous art done well and cleverly, but also the bigger idea. That of an ad campaign that is embraced by its audience. It strongly supports the brand of AT&T and is an innovative way of getting across their message. The only thing I think they could have done better was to have a link to their Facebook page or maybe another network.

Take a look at these great posters. Using just hands and a phone, an American phone company advertised worldwide by painting hands in the colours of different countries.  It’s just brilliant.

As social media goes, I’d say this is great stuff.

India

India AT&T creative ad

Bahamas

Bahamas AT&T creative ad

Australia

Australia AT&T creative ad

Brazil

Brazil AT&T creative ad

Canada

Canada AT&T creative ad

China

China AT&T creative ad

Eqypt

Eqypt AT&T creative ad

Costa Rica

Costa Rica AT&T creative ad

China

China AT&T creative ad -2nd version

England

England AT&T creative ad

Italy

Italy AT&T creative ad

France

France AT&T creative ad

Japan

Japan AT&T creative ad

Mexico

Mexico AT&T creative ad

Morocco

Morocco AT&T creative ad

Mexico

Mexico AT&T creative ad

Netherlands

Netherlands AT&T creative ad

Norway

Norway AT&T creative ad

Paraguay

Paraguay AT&T creative ad

South Africa

South Africa AT&T creative ad

United Kingdom

United Kingdom AT&T creative ad

Japan

Japan AT&T creative ad

Russia

Russia AT&T creative ad

Social Energizer’s purpose is to help companies develop lasting relationships with their customers and increase their visibility online.

In addition to building dynamic and affordable websites, we integrate inbound marketing techniques into each business’ current marketing plan and utilize digital channels and strategies like Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Search Engine Optimization, and Web-integrated Email Campaigns.

We invite you to comment and rate each blog, so we can ever improve our offerings to you. Are you venturing into online marketing? Give us a call!

Word-Of-Mouth Marketing Online –Equals Healthy Sales

Small and medium-sized business owners, you know how vital it is to the health of your business that you make a great impression with all of your customers, who then, of course, tell their friends. Plain and simple that’s word-of-mouth advertising. Undeniably, it’s the best way of introducing your business to potential new customers and bringing in new sales. Customers as advocates, what could be better than that? Maybe multiplying that advantage? Take your word-of-mouth techniques online and you can do just that. Quite simply, you will then have created the essence of inbound marketing and social media dynamics. Big words, simple idea –word-of-mouth –brought online. Online, we call it building a community.

Taking aspects of your word-of-mouth marketing online can be relatively easy and can be gained steadily over time, just like your brick and mortar-earned client base.

'Word of Mouth' photo (c) 2007, Paull Young - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/The same rules prevail.

  1. Pay attention to what your customer is telling you,
  2. Know what they will tell others, and
  3. Always- appreciate their comments and their business.

Keep these guidelines in mind when putting your business… out there. Need some help sorting this all out?

Here are 5 easy tips to help you get started online.

Do your online networks work together and support each other?

You’ve chosen the online networks you want your business to network with: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and others. You’ve created a website –set it up to become your basecamp. Now, are they integrated? Is the “Like” button on your web page? Is your web address on your Facebook page? There is usually simple code to insert, or a plug-in to be added.

Can people find you? Remember- Location, location, location!

Where does your page rank? If you have a physical location, when people search for you, do Google maps appear? At the top of the page? And is the location correct? These are all things you can adjust yourself by going into Google maps, Yahoo maps, etc.

Time-management

Don’t let this defeat you! There is a lot of information to track.  BUT, there are some great little ‘helpers’ for social media management, tools like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, and Ping.fm. These are free services that pride themselves on ease of use and allow you to track and update all your networks at once. Looking for something more robust? Depending on what you need, I have some ideas on that. Drop me an email.

Inbound marketing does not work best in a vacuum

Macy's QR Code imageAdd a little Outbound Marketing to your online mix. Integrating your brick and mortar word-of-mouth techniques with your online presence can be as easy as holding a drawing with business cards for a free meal or service. If you are sending postcards, have an offer on the card that pulls clients into your website for something like a contest, free reward or valuable info. Add these to your database for opt-in email marketing, find them on Facebook, or run a text campaign to their cell phones. Cutting edge promotions, most recently, have integrated QR codes into promotions, effectively making use of smartphone technology.

SEO, keywords and Links = Results

Keywords and link building are essential to building an online presence. One of the first things to do is to be sure you have the relevant keywords listed in your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Do you have a business that you partner with? Ask them to link to your site and in return you should link to theirs. It’s powerful stuff for getting better search results and getting the Big Boys to notice (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) your site.

There is a much more to bringing your successful word-of-mouth strategies online, but give me a call and we’ll chat about things you can do right away to advance your word-of-mouth presence and ensure healthy sales.

Social Energizer’s purpose is to help companies develop lasting relationships with their customers and increase their visibility online.

In addition to building dynamic and affordable websites, we integrate inbound marketing techniques into each business’ current marketing plan and utilize digital channels and strategies like Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Search Engine Optimization, and Web-integrated Email Campaigns.

Wisconsin’s Herb Kohl on Monopoly-Busting Google

This just in…
Herb Kohl’s office released this press release yesterday. Below are excerpts from his Opening Statement Of U.S. Senator Herb Kohl For The Of Hearing, “The Power Of Google: Serving Consumers Or Threatening Competition?”

Herb Kohls Senate Webpage image

“The basic premise of Google at its founding was that it would build an unbiased search engine — that consumers would see the most relevant search result first, and that the search results would not be influenced by the web page’s commercial relationship with Google. Its goal was to get the user off Google’s home page and on to the websites it lists as soon as possible. As Google’s co-founder and current CEO Larry Page said in 2004, “We want you to come to Google and quickly find what you want. Then we’re happy to send you to the other sites. In fact, that’s the point.”

However, as Internet search has become a major channel of e-commerce, Google has grown ever more dominant and powerful, and it appears its mission may have changed. For the last five years or so, Google has been on an acquisition binge, acquiring dozens of Internet-related businesses, culminating most recently with its proposed acquisitions of Motorola Mobility and Zagats. It now owns numerous Internet businesses, including in health, finance, travel, and product comparison. This has transformed Google from a mere search engine into a major Internet conglomerate. And these acquisitions raise a very fundamental question — is it possible for Google to be both an unbiased search engine and at the same time own a vast portfolio of web-based products and services? Does Google’s transformation create an inherent conflict of interest which threatens to stifle competition?

In the last few years, Internet businesses that compete with Google’s new products and services have complained that Google is now behaving in a way contrary to free and fair competition. They allege that Google is trying to leverage its dominance in Internet search into key areas of Internet commerce where it stands to capture from its competitors billions of dollars in advertising revenue. Rather than fairly presenting search results, these critics claim that Google has begun to subtlety bias its search results in favor of its own services. This conduct has the potential to substantially harm competition for commerce on the Internet, and retard innovation by companies that fear the market power of Google.

Antitrust scrutiny is not about picking winners and losers, but is about fostering a fully competitive environment so that consumers can fairly pick winners and losers. As more and more of our commerce moves to the Internet, it should be the highest priority of antitrust policymakers that the Internet remains a bastion of open and free competition as it has been since its founding. We need to protect the ability of the next Google to emerge, the next great website or application being developed in a garage in Silicon Valley or Madison, Wisconsin.”

I’m glad our legislators are looking into this subject. I’ve long thought that Google is the ‘new Walmart’, but I’ve been hesistant to say anything. (Google controls my SEO). As you know, I’m always on the side of small and medium-sized businesses. I think Mr. Kohl, once again, has taken the lead on a difficult, but timely subject. What do you think?

I Plus-one’d That Story, The New Verb

I’m predicting ‘plus one’ will become 2011’s new noun-to-verb crossover.  A few years ago, it was ‘I googled it’. Today, it’s +1 –as a verb. Pretty soon you’ll be hearing, “I read that and ‘plus one’d’ it.”

What is the new Google +1?

It is sort of like the Facebook ‘Like’ button, but with a few little Googly quirks. Instead of ‘Liking’ a page while you are browsing on that page, Google +1 allows you to tag it right from your browser window. It’s the old location, location, location again. Google seems to have just one-upped Facebook.Google Plus SocialEnergizer.com

Here is what a browser window looks like after you’ve joined Google+. It shows an enticing little ‘+1’ icon.

What will this mean? Will it be better?

Is your Google Plus One following you?

Besides being Google Plus’ new best friend, +1 is Google’s next step in perfecting their search algorithms. They’ve switched it up by having users direct the search engine in an interactive way. When a person is searching on a given set of search terms and chooses, say, the fifth page link instead of one on the first page, Google will ‘learn’ that someone thinks that the link on that page is more relevant. The long-term result will be that the Google search engine gets ever smarter, becoming more attuned to the person searching, and learning each individual’s nuances.

Here is a short video overview:

Plus one – your new business assistant

+1 is a cross between a bookmarking service and a search engine tuned to everything you’ve ever looked at –or ‘plus one’d’. Social media networking and closer interactions will come into play, as users find sites and information that their friends recommend. As +1 subtly permeates into everything you do and integrates with all your tools, plus one will become much more important than the “Like” button possibly ever could.

As Google fine-tunes their search engines to interconnect much like an assistant to the humanmind, you can see where they are going with that. Google has begun to dub experts in certain areas as having better search leverage or what is known as online klout. For example, a professional skater’s +1 would rank higher than a person that merely watches the sport.

And finally, Google, of course, is likely to favor Google. What does that mean? It’s an attempt by Google of essentially bringing SEO in-house. Instead of letting webmasters and SEO professionals stuff their sites with Google-friendly terms Google will now have a closer, more direct relationship with each searcher. This may effectively cut SEO professionals out and become far less important to rankings. It’s been reported, that +1 ranked sites are receiving remarkably better SEO rankings. This, in turn, has caused a stir of adaptation in the online business world.

Has this article been helpful? Let me know in the comment section below, or better yet. Plus one my post below!

Just can’t get enough? Here are a few more links:

Google Plus One – How will it impact SEO? – Affilorama discusses some of the reasons SEO strategies are changing.

How To Get A Google+ Vanity Url – Google+ profiles come with lengthy, numeric urls. Using this tool makes it possible to create a shortcut.

50 Random Thoughts On Google+ — Chris Brogan writes up 50 random thoughts on the new social platform.

Social Energizer’s purpose is to help companies develop lasting relationships with their customers and increase their visibility online.

In addition to building dynamic and affordable websites, we integrate inbound marketing techniques into each business’ current marketing plan and utilize digital channels and strategies like Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Search Engine Optimization, and Web-integrated Email Campaigns.

Give us a call today!

The Wealth of the Web Runs Deep, A Sequel

The original article, The Wealth of the Web Runs Deep, posted as a Saturday Morning’s Post in March received some of our best response ever. So, as a blogger, what do you do with that information?  You find out what’s hot and repeat it.

Using web analytics, a.k.a. stats, you’re able to find out so many things. For instance, you find what your audience likes or doesn’t, you find what days and times get the most response, and find what your average response is to each blog. Careful web analysis is worthwhile and critical to success.

Enough with the shop talk, Saturdays here at Social Energizer are for fun. With that in mind, a sequel to The Wealth of the Web Runs Deep is in order. Here are five websites that will help build your ‘web wealth’. Today, we have two time-lapse videos by Mindrelic, an interactive sunrise and new cool canoe. I want it.

Mindrelic 1 – Manhatten in motion -time lapse

If the video doesn’t load, click here.

Mindrelic 2 – Summer to Fall

If the video doesn’t load, click here.

Interactive Sunriseinteractive sunrise

This interactive sunrise, allows the viewer to spin it 360 degrees and look up and down. Very cool affects. rom Deviant Art, an artist community. Check out some of their work here.

Get Closer to Nature

You’ve heard of glass-bottom boats. How about a glass-bottom canoe or better yet the whole canoe in glass! This one let’s you really commune with nature. Yes, I do want.glass-bottom canoe

This has been Social Energizer’s Saturday Morning Post, a less business oriented, more personally related edition than our blog that is offered during the week. Social Energizer’s purpose is to help companies develop lasting relationships with their customers and increase their visibility online.

In addition to building dynamic and affordable websites, we integrate inbound marketing techniques into each business’ current marketing plan and utilize digital channels and strategies like Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Search Engine Optimization, and Web-integrated Email Campaigns.

We invite you to comment and rate each blog, so we can ever improve our offerings to you. Are you venturing into online marketing? Give us a call!