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TGIF Friday Freebie The iPhone iPad Touch and more

Hello everyone, I usually don’t post on Fridays, but I came across this cute story and I couldn’t resist. It doesn’t exactly fit into the Social Energizer social media plan, so I decided to make another category – TGIF Friday Freebies. A place for the real light stuff. Everyone needs ‘light’ by Friday.

I’m not able to cite the author on this, so let’s just say it’s from ‘Author Unknown’. It’s probably better that way.

It all began with an iPhone…

 

March was when my son celebrated his 15th birthday and I got him an iPhone.

Apple iPod

He just loved it. Who wouldn’t?

 

I celebrated my birthday in July and my wife made me

very happy when she bought me an iPad.

Apple iPad

 

My daughter’s birthday was in August so I got her an iPod Touch.

Apple iPod Touch

 

September came by so for my wife’s birthday I bought her an iRon.

iRon

 

It was around then that the fight started . . .

 

What my wife failed to recognize is that the iRon can be integrated into the home network with the iWash, iCook and iClean. This unfortunately activated the iNag app.

 

Which led me to the iHospital and iGet out Fr iDay.

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This article has been brought to you by SocialEnergizer.com

INBOUND MARKETING & MARKETING TECHNOLOGY OPTIMIZATION

Social Energizer’s purpose is to help companies develop lasting relationships with their customers and increase their conversion rates by adding proven online marketing techniques to their marketing mix.

We do this by integrating inbound marketing techniques into each businesses’ current marketing plan and by utilizing digital channels and strategies like Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Search Engine Optimization, and Web-integrated Email Campaigns.

Please sign up to automatically receive our blog using the subscribe button. We invite you to comment and rate each blog, so we can ever improve our offerings to you.

Thanks for visiting! – Lynn

Online FREE, the new Tchochtke

Dog vs Man Danceoff

To view video, click on link below

Henry Ford once said, “The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed.” In today’s inbound marketing terms, this could be the new Holy Grail. Business owners successful at providing the right balance of online FREE content and services are most likely to entice and solidify their customers. This strategy is called a pull strategy and means you are pulling customers, not pushing them to buy your product or service.

Yes, I said FREE content and services. Free, as in no cost. Zip, Zilch, Nada, No dinaro. You all know where I’m going with this, don’t you? Here’s my short list:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linked In
  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • YouTube
  • WordPress.com
  • Yelp
  • Webinars
  • e-books
  • surveys
  • data charts
  • content (blogs)
  • Farmville
  • Mafia Wars

You get the idea. In 2011 terms, they’re the new tchotchke.

We spend countless hours online; checking this, reading that, playing those favorite free games and watching dog-vs-man-danceoff.htm.

It’s easy to understand why WE do this, but why are THEY, a.k.a. businesses, doing it? Why is this happening? Why would businesses give it all away for free?

It’s all in the Pull Strategy

As businesses move from Old School marketing methods like advertising to Inbound Marketing there is a change from push to pull. Instead of pushing a message, social media can pull customers to your business. The heart of this new successful strategy focuses on understanding the behaviors of today’s consumer. The online world is being developed as a “warm and fuzzy” place where businesses offer free advice, content, services, and games; and come together in a sense of community. It is where people go first for consumer information, and increasingly where they make a purchase, and begin to advocate for a product, service, business, or brand they like.

This pull strategy proves to be much more effective than the traditional push approach. Why? Because who doesn’t like free stuff?

How about you? You can continue to receive this blog FREE by clicking on ‘By Email’ in the top right corner of this page and subscribing to the Social Energizer blog. Feedburner will have you decode a scrambled word and then click on a link they send to your email. That’s all there is to it.

10 Easy Tips for Better Blogging

Crunch time? Does it always seem like you are wondering what to write? How do you build buzz needed to pull people to your site? Here are 10 Easy Tips for Better Blogging.

Blog ideas

No doubt about it, blogging takes time and dedication. The pay-off comes when you find a good-size community that interacts with your site regularly and when you notice your website and blog are steadily gaining in the battle of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) rankings.

Here are ten tips that can help keep copy flowing smoothly.

  1. Write an article that is easy to read and over 300 words long. Find at least 2 images that fit with your topic.
  2. Pick topics that focus on things your customers often ask or are interested in. Keep a blog calendar that shows what you’ve posted and in which categories. Use it as a quick reference to keep your blog balanced
  3. Use the scheduling tool, like this wordpress example, to automate posting at consistent days and times
    blog scheduler
  4. Use an RSS feed to bring news that you can use as material for creating your blog
  5. Going to an event? Shoot a video, interview some folks, and post on your blog
  6. Interview customers for your blog
  7. Grab some company data and turn it into an interesting story
  8. Share a lesson you’ve learned
  9. Save interesting emails and use for blog fodder
  10. Use your signature line, with your blog’s link, in forums you visit to entice people to your site
  11. Use these easy tips to keep your ideas fresh and your content flowing

Still need help with your blog? Even with these tips, do you find the whole thing overwhelming? Maybe you need help getting your site up and running. Give me a call. We have affordable plans that will fit into every Social Media budget.

(updated Dec 2014)

Even Santa likes Social Media

It’s got to be good if Santa likes it. The phenomenon of social media continues into a Christmas-decorated living room near you. Social media are now part of celebrating Santa’s annual visit to children near and far.Santa

Mashable has just posted “9 Ways to Connect With Santa on the Web” so kids can get in touch with Old Saint Nick. Services range from Santa emails to tracking his sleigh in the skies as he delivers presents around the globe. It’s just one more instance of how Social Media pervades our private lives and provides businesses with ways of engaging their customers.

In the true spirit of Christmas giving, most of these services are free and can be found at http://www.emailSanta.com/.

And what do you give in exchange? Your gift is personal contact information and permission to market to you and your little ones.

YouTube Rewind 2010 – The Top 10 List in Links

Here’s the top watched YouTube video mashup from this year. There is no doubt about the power of video in social media… and it’s fun, too.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFnXm6cjGwU&w=640&h=390]

Could your video go viral?

Viral videos are what many business people dream of when beginning their Inbound Marketing strategy, sometimes with unrealistic expectations. Ensuring that a video of yours goes viral is impossible, but understanding their makeup, allows you to set it up for the possibility. By their nature, viral videos follow the pattern of a rapid increase of views, a couple of days with a very high number of views, and then a gentle decrease that can generate many daily views for a long period of time. Not surprisingly, the comments on these videos run pretty much the same pattern, engaging people at very high levels.

In case, you missed any of these during the year, pick a link to follow the full version now. My favorite is “This Too Shall Pass OK Go”. I love Rube Goldberg machines even more than the Old Spice guy.

Top 10  (in order, by most watched)

#1: Bed Intruder Song – http://bit.ly/hM9GKI
#2: Tik Tok Kesha Parody – http://bit.ly/gGkGDE
#3: Greyson Chance ‘Paparazzi’ – http://bit.ly/gDDvut
#4: Annoying Orange Wazzup – http://bit.ly/hBT1cm
#5: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like (Old Spice)- http://bit.ly/dDXy35
#6: Giant Double Rainbow – http://bit.ly/hpKOQo
#7: This Too Shall Pass OK Go – http://bit.ly/gdMRgr
#8: The Twilight Saga Eclipse Trailer – http://bit.ly/fEq0iG
#9: Jimmy Surprises Bieber Fan – http://bit.ly/i4QqGH
#10: Gymkhana Three, Part 2 – http://bit.ly/gnBZws

Top 10  (in order, by appearance in the mashup)

• The Man Your Man Could Smell Like (Old Spice)- http://bit.ly/dDXy35
• Giant Double Rainbow – http://bit.ly/hpKOQ
• The Twilight Saga Eclipse Trailer – http://bit.ly/fEq0iG
• Jimmy Surprises Bieber Fan – http://bit.ly/i4QqGH
• Gymkhana Three, Part 2 – http://bit.ly/gnBZws
• Annoying Orange Wazzup – http://bit.ly/hBT1cm
• Bed Intruder Song – http://bit.ly/hM9GKI
• Tik Tok Kesha Parody – http://bit.ly/gGkGDE
• Greyson Chance ‘Paparazzi’ – http://bit.ly/gDDvut
• This Too Shall Pass OK Go – http://bit.ly/gdMRgr

Do videos fit into your marketing mix? Give me a call to find out if they could.

What is RSS and How it is Addictive

The typical definition for the initials RSS is “Really Simple Syndication”. This is simRss Feed Iconply a method of broadcasting your blog or other frequently updated content across the internet or, by subscribing, following multiple sites with one easy tool.

By supplying an RSS feed, readers of your blog can quickly and easily access your blog in an RSS reader, like Google Reader, without the need to navigate to your blog whenever they want to see a new posting. The importance of this is it makes it easy for readers who are interested in your blog to know when it is updated and read the new content without actually visiting your blog.

Refer to this Wikipedia article for a more in-depth description of RSS feeds.

How is it addictive? Right now, I’m following about 20 blogs daily. No more click, search, scan, click search scan. Just sit back, scan the headlines, and choose whichever ones strike my fancy and blog away. That is addictive stuff for bloggers and business people like me.

Do you need an RSS feed? Who would you subscribe to? Your favorite blogger, a prospective client, your competition?

First Steps to Successful Inbound Marketing

So, you’ve watched Socialnomics with Eric Qualman and now you ‘get it’.

Haven’t seen it yet? Here it is again.

Now, you’re ready to begin the first steps to successful Inbound Marketing. Because traditional marketing will never be the same. It will no longer get you ‘there’. If you want to move your business forward, then you will need to focus on what you’re doing online. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Own Your Own Website
There is nothing more important than owning your own website. It’s your basecamp. The place that all your social media efforts revolve around. The place where all your communications should originate from -and end up at.

Location, location, location!
Now more than ever location matters. Whether it’s a busy street corner or a hard to find hole in the wall, getting your spot on the map right is vital. My recommendation is first things, first. Can people find you? If you’re a restaurant, hotel or auto repair shop, then start by registering your address and details on Google Places. This will literally, put you on the map.

Google Places http://www.google.com/help/places/index.html

Get Found
Make it easy for others to find your website (you do have a website, right?) by adding it to these most popular search engines, as listed below. Yes, all of them. This will allow the search engines to find you without waiting for them to ‘crawl’ your site. Being proactive on this is a good thing.Socialnomics

Google – http://www.google.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl
Bing- http://www.bing.com/webmaster/SubmitSitePage.aspx
Yahoo! Local – http://listings.local.yahoo.com/
Yelp! http://www.yelp.com/business?country=US

Consider these:
__Craigslist- http://yourcity.craigslist.org/
__Here is a link where you can submit your site to MANY places:
http://www.locallytype.com/pages/submit.htm

Next steps
For all businesses, the top things that you need to do is establish a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and start a blog. For hospitality businesses, include TripAdvisor in that equation. Put it at the top of the list.
I’ll cover those in future articles. Stay tuned!

Strategy Problems? Six ways to know if your business is failing.

Surrounded by dumb asses? This is a great article explaining the “dumb ass syndrome” otherwise stated as ‘not understanding why you’re successful or unsuccessful’ by Dave Logan of BNet.Warning!

A summary of the steps are:

1. Recognize how common the dumb ass syndrome is in the world of business.

2. Ask yourself the question: “Do you know-really know-why you are getting the results you’re getting?”

3. Do the opposite of what comes natural.

4. Look for many causes.

5. Run low-risk experiments to test your explanations.

6. Allow for the fact that most people are victims of the dumb ass syndrome.

Was this useful? What type of articles help you most?

Cleaning before the Holidays? Think freecycle.org

I was doing some of my pre-Thanksgiving cleaning this weekend and realized that I routinely use what may be one of the most powerful, but underrated examples of Social Networking. It’s freecycle (www.freecycle.org), a social networking site that allows people to post their unwanted items and pick up needed things –all for free! The posting is free and the stuff is also free. It was established to keep stuff out of landfills.

Social networking and Inbound Marketing

Social networking, the backbone of Inbound Marketing, creates groups of like-minded people, now commonly called online communities, tribes and movements. Just looking at the effectiveness of freecycle.org illustrates how successful it can be.

Freecycle does more than just keeping stuff out of landfills. One of its strongest benefits may be an unknown and unplanned one: critical giving for those less wealthy, dare I say, poor. My husband and I found giving on freecycle.org is, well, priceless.

Why freecycle is priceless

A while back, we decided to buy two new mattresses. The old ones had to go and we posted them on freecycle.org.  A young couple called to pick up our son’s old mattress. When they arrived the young wife was verging on tears. She explained that their washer had broken on Monday, Tuesday the refrigerator broke, and that very morning, Thursday, her son had woken up and said “Mommy, my bed is biting me”. A spring had broken through the top and was literally sticking him.  After they left, my husband and I felt a warm feeling that we had not experienced in years.

The giving of the second mattress produced similar results. We posted it online and a lady called us saying that she would like to pick up the mattress for a friend. When she arrived, she told us that her friend was actually a young pregnant woman with a six-year old son. She was so happy to get the bed for them because they had been sleeping on the floor! The young mother was 6 months pregnant and the mattress was coming to her at a perfect time.

We learned that the reason mattresses are in such high demand is that places like St. Joes and Goodwill cannot take them due to health laws. Seems someone overlooked something with this law.

Anyway, we have found “just the right way” to get rid all of our unwanted “things” is on freecycle.org, a social networking site. They will allow pretty much anything to be given away -not just mattresses. Check freecycle.org out and make someone happy.

Where are you going? …with your Inbound Marketing efforts

attracting customersInbound Marketing refers to attracting customers to your lodging property through a variety of social media and content distribution and interacting with readers, rather than the older means of buying attention through disruptive advertising and other devices. Simply put, Inbound Marketing employs a ‘pull’ strategy, rather than the ‘push’ strategy employed by traditional marketing techniques. With the sophistication of the Internet, the opportunity for distributing content and building communities make Inbound Marketing the best chance for small businesses to get noticed in this overly messaged world. Engagement and differentiation is where small businesses have the advantage. So where are you taking your business?

What are you doing now to get found?

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blog and your website are all set up. You have them cross-referenced to interact with each other. They all hold a consistent brand message. You have clients that are interacting with you online. Life is good, right? Everyone should beat a path to your door, right?

Well, not exactly.

Where the problem lies for many businesses is in getting ENOUGH people to VISIT and then TAKE ACTION. That’s where you’ll need a good plan (and maybe some help). One that includes developing a content strategy, sound social media execution and personalized, genuine follow-up. How many visitors will you need each day to convert ENOUGH people into TAKING ACTION?

Feeling overwhelmed? Make no mistake there is a huge amount of effort that goes into leveraging SEO, blogging and social media to increase website traffic. Face it, now may be the time to invest some time and money into this endeavor. A certified and experienced Inbound Marketing professional can help you with a detailed analysis of your business and the competitive landscape. And help you set and achieve your online marketing goals. To get started on your detailed plan, determine your goals, and get people to TAKE ACTION, give us a call. Don’t worry, the first visit is always free.

“Goals without plans are meaningless. Plans without deadlines and measurements are wishes.” –Unknown

Note- First published Nov 2010 and republished Dec 2014