Thursday, April 28, 2011

"Google Offers" Beta Launches Adding to an Already Crowded "Deal of the Day" Space

Pretty much the same time that Facebook launched its "Groupon Clone" they are calling "Facebook Deals", Google is launching "Google Offers" in 4 cities (New York City, Oakland, Portland Oregon, and San Francisco). Will all of these "Deal of the Day" websites end up cannibalizing each other, or will they all live in harmony? My all-time favorite has been which was the first site that I saw with a one deal only for today type of concept. To a lesser extent I have always enjoyed various coupon websites which help to enhance my ecommerce experience on websites I am making my purchases on (I usually search for coupons before finalizing an online purchase).

For Google as well as Facebook, they have a clear advantage over any of the other deal sites because they can integrate their other properties (Adsense, Google Maps, etc.) into this new program.

Adapting Your Persona Is Good Business

Marketing is a way to reach people and sell them on either your service or your product. Social marketing is more of selling yourself, and then your service or product. So creating an attractive, in-touch persona, and adapting it as time goes on seems very logical.

Social marketing has created a whole new world where people/customers can review and rate products and services literally in the blink of an eye. Not only that but they can also get an impression of you and your business much faster than before. With platforms like Facebook and Twitter you are representing yourself in a much more three dimensional manner than in the past. Creating a persona that positively represents you and your grasp on your professions here and now will help you attract potential customers.

In today's business world being forthright is becoming more and more important. Staying tuned in to your surroundings is critical. Representing yourself as a company that people can relate to will help you gain trust right off.

"Being comfortable with the familiar persona you see in the mirror is not the same as having an appearance that helps you reach your goals."
-Seth Godin

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dispatch: A Band for the Web

A few weeks ago I was at a friend's house for homemade pizza night and stumbled upon the band - Dispatch. Heard of 'em? Well, neither had I. As it turns out, we were enjoying their Madison Square Garden show on the flat screen while we created our personal pizza masterpieces. "Who is this?" I asked. "Oh! This is Dispatch. I have been dying to go to a show. This one sold out in 30 minutes on MySpace. They're great!" my friend smiled.

I had never heard of this band but the fact that they sold out Madison Square Gardens via MySpace was impressive to me, plus I really liked the music. I did a little online research and I am now officially a fan. I am not only impressed that they were able to sell out the show online. I am impressed by the band itself. I don't believe that all you need is a strong marketing program to create a viable online business. Their accessibility isn't the ONLY ingredient that makes Dispatch so good... or so successful. It's the incredible content. The musicianship. The songs. And the whole band itself. Add in the charitable giving and you have a recipe for some authentic fan building. Start with a good product. Period.

Here are just some of the things I found interesting about the way the band communicates with their rabid fan base.

1) Gained exposure without a label back when Limewire and and Napster were going strong (Although I hear Napster's founders are launching a video chat service). People loved the music and wanted to share. Good content is king...still.
2) Their farewell concert in 2004 was the largest independent music event ever. Over 100,000 people showed up to see the Last Dispatch. It started as a free event and they expected about 20-30,000 people.

3) In 2007, they performed a benefit concert in Madison Square Garden called Dispatch: Zimbabwe and sold tickets exclusively via MySpace. Show sold out in 30 minutes. They added a second show which sold out in less than 24 hours. They then scheduled a third show and sold tickets on Ticketmaster which also sold out.
4) Sold performance footage on MySpace and SNOCAP.
5) Video streamed the concert for a week on MySpace
6) In 2009, they played an acoustic show at the Kennedy Center and sold out within 10 minutes.

Lately the band has been considering a comeback. How do we know? An icon on their website "Dispatch 2011" followed by a tweet in November 2010 containing a QR code to a Google Places location at Red Rocks Amplitheater in Colorado. Then a QR code a week pointing to more Google Places map locations in Chicago, Atlanta and other US cities. Then at midnight Jan 1, 2011 the band confirmed a reunion tour this June in all the cities previously tweeted. All that plus a video on YouTube to promote the tour.

Ah, it's probably too late for me to get tickets but what an incredible story!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Facebook vs. Groupon vs. LivingSocial

Today, in five test markets, Facebook will be launching, Facebook Deals, the same concept as Groupon with up to 50% off eateries, products, services and more. Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego and San Francisco will be the first to try this. The company kills in comparison with over 500 million people, to Groupon’s 70 million people and 28 million for LivingSocial.

"We're building a product that is social from the ground up," says Emily White, director of local for Facebook. "All of these deals are things you want to do with friends, so no teeth whitening, but yes to river rafting."

When a user signs on, clicking on the offers will bring up a list of the available offers. On Facebook, users will be able to do more with it though. They can purchase the deal, “like” the offer or recommend it to other friends all through a private message. It also has a great chance to become viral as when the person purchases a deal it will show up in their news feed.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Facebook Releases New Send Button Feature

Today Facebook launched yet another value-added feature, the Send Button. The Facebook Developers website explains, “The Send Button allows your users to easily send your content to their friends. People will have the option to send your URL in an inbox message to their Facebook friends, to the group wall of any Facebook group they are a member of, and as an email to any email address. While the Like Button allows users to share your content with all of their friends, the Send Button allows them to send a private message to just a few friends. The message will include a link to the URL specified in the send button, along with a title, image, and short description of the link.”

The Send Button is intended to focus on private more so than public sharing. Designed as the Like Button companion, this new feature will also support the strides Facebook has been making to improve the Facebook Groups feature.

With over 500 million active Facebook users, will this feature eliminate the need for the near archaic, “Email to a Friend” button? Is this the end of “Email to a Friend” as we know it? Based on the momentum Facebook has shown, I’m thinking yes is a safe bet. There really is no benefit to “Email to a Friend” now when you can share a piece of content with your group of friends within a social platform. What does this mean for businesses? Now you have even more incentive to produce really amazing content that people naturally want to share. Presents Building Your Personal Brand Using the Web and TV

Join Randy Alvarez, CEO and Founder of THE WELLNESS HOUR INC, as he presents, “Building Your Personal Brand Using the Web and TV”. This renowned speaker will explain the best practices for effectively building your personal brand with leading marketing techniques.

This presentation will cover the following topics:

• Proven methods for using professional video to build your personal brand on your website, with social media and on local television
• How to cash in on your passion using video blogs
• Cutting-Edge trends in Social Media Marketing

In 1998, Randy Alvarez launched the effort that would become The Wellness Hour. Since then, more than 900 episodes have been produced and have featured some of the nation’s leading medical and dental specialists.

As an accomplished speaker, Alvarez has shared his message with leading industry groups such as the Nobel Biocare, American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery, The North American Society of Periodontics, The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, Seattle Study Club, The Schwarzbein Principle Certification Training for Physicians, and Loma Linda University Dental School.

Alvarez recently launched his new project,, to help health practitioners stay abreast with new marketing trends. His video blog is known as America’s weekly advertising, marketing and personal branding report.

This free webinar will take place Wednesday, April 27, 2011 12:30pmEDT – 1:30pmEDT. To register and for more information please visit: Building Your Personal Brand Using the Web and TV

Friday, April 22, 2011

We’ve Got New Facebook Ad Types

Facebook has done it again. They’re adding new features so fast it’s starting to become difficult to keep up. What is the latest and greatest from Facebook you ask? Get ready because the two new ad types they rolled out, simply put are - “bad ass”. Each time Facebook updates its advertising they make Google advertising look plain old boring and less effective.

When you log into Facebook advertising, right away you will notice a couple of changes. Now you have an option to choose the type of ad you want. Your choices are “Sponsored Stories” and “Facebook Ads”. The first option “Sponsored Stories” is new. “Facebook Ads”, the second option, is the original ad choice.

“Sponsored Stories” compared to your typical “Facebook Ads” will give you distribution for the News Feed stories published about your Page, Place or App, as well as fans who like your page. You can choose from two different types of Sponsored Stories.

The first type is called “Page Like Story”. When people Like your Page, their friends see a story about it. This is an effective tactic to promote fan building. The below highlight of the ad shows my friends that I Liked the page; there is nothing better than getting a recommendation from a friend.

The second type of ad is called “Page Post Story”. When you post an update to your Page, your fans see a story about it. This is a great way to advertise a new product or promotion. The average Facebook user has almost 200 friends and this does not even count all the pages they “Like”. If you are a brand posting a new advertisement on your wall, it’s very likely to be missed on your fans’ walls. There simply is too much information being posted on their walls.

For an example, I created a status update that reads, “This is a status update to show the new ad type,” to illustrate how it would appear on this type of ad. The only drawback is when you make the next status update it will change the ad as you cannot specify one status update to always be shown.

Have fun using the new ad types in your campaigns. Let me know how successful they are for you. I will be doing a follow-up post once I have some measurable data of how successful the campaigns are. In the meantime, hold on because I have a feeling Facebook will be releasing many new advertising features in the very near future.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Time 100 of 2011: Most Influential Technologists

The Time 100 of 2011 was released today which includes a mix of the most influential people in the world. This list consists of artists, activists, reformers, researchers, heads of state, captains of industry and technologists.

Some of the featured technologists include:

1. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Founder
2. Larry Page, Google CEO
3. Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO
4. Peter Vesterbacka, Angry Birds Game Developer
5. Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post Co-Founder
6. Charles Chao, Sina Weibo CEO (China’s Twitter)

I’m sure a few of these names do not come as a surprise (i.e. Mark Zuckerberg). But with the technology industry growing in leaps and bounds, there has to be a few key influencers missing from the list. One name that comes to mind for me is Pete Cashmore, Mashable Founder and CEO. He didn’t make it on this year’s list although he was included in 2010’s.

Who has significantly propelled the technology field that you feel is missing from the list? Or do you feel the list is accurately portrayed?

Image credit: brisbanefalling

It's A Small Marketing World After All

The marketing world is changing. It's changing in a way that is creating quite a buzz around the industry.

It used to be that companies, especially large ones, could throw some money into advertising and make a pretty good Return On Investment. It didn't seem to matter if the product was actually any good, as long as you got the word out, you would get plenty back. Those days seem to be fading away thanks in part to social media and other small marketing mediums.

Today's marketing strategies seem to be holding products and services, and the companies that provide them, more accountable. Small media, which includes platforms like Facebook Pages, blogs, pay-per-click advertising, and other types of online marketing is giving the power back to the people. Seth Godin points out on his blog post that there are four types of media, and the smallest one is starting to carry the biggest pull.

Now more than ever people can get other's opinions on pretty much anything within minutes. If someone likes a product, they can jump on their computer and tell the whole world how they feel about it. For companies offering products or services that are honest and good, they can get a buzz going without having to drop even a dime on marketing. For those who are just trying to make a quick buck, they're marketing efforts will just get harder and harder.

WalMart Vying For Better Ecomm Experience

Walmart has purchased Kosmix, a start up social media company that is focused on e-commerce for an undisclosed sum of money. The founders of Kosmix are no strangers to being bought out. Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman started Junglee, another online shopping venture which was sold for $250 million in 1998. “We are at an inflection point in the development of e-commerce,” Mr. Rajaraman wrote on Monday in a blog post. “The first generation of e-commerce was about bringing the store to the Web. The next generation will be about building integrated experiences that leverage the store, the Web and mobile, with social identity being the glue that binds the experience.”

What are you doing to improve your shopping experience? What are you doing to help your customer?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Royal "Online" Wedding

The royal family has been accused of being fairly out of touch with modern day society but it seems this new generation of monarchs is catching on. For the first time ever, a royal wedding is utilizing a number of online channels to give "the people" full-access to the ceremony. Check out a few ways you can get a glimpse from the comfort of your laptop:

YouTube Live Stream
Over 2 billion people worldwide are expected to watch Prince William marry his college sweetheart Kate Middleton at The feed will come from the BBC minus the broadcaster commentary but with a new social media twist - a live blogging stream via Twitter. YouTube will even offer a video "Wedding Book" where you can upload your own video well wishes for the happy couple.

Twitter Feed
For the first time ever, YouTube will offer a live Twitter feed alongside their video stream.
Staff at Clarence House and St James's Palace will provide live commentary with historical information, interesting links, additional photographs and video footage. Follow them @ClarenceHouse and use the hashtag #rw2011 to send your personalized wedding wishes.


Related wedding photos to be uploaded to the social sharing site as the day progresses. Watch the photo stream at

Become a fan at where you can even sign up to say "I'm Attending" this virtual extravaganza!

Web Announcements
Official updates to be posted at throughout the day.

And as if that isn't enough, I haven't even BEGUN to tell you about the video spoofs...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 Presents How to Write, Publish and Promote Your Book

Join our Expert Panel for this week’s premiere Wednesday Webinar, “How to Write, Publish and Promote Your Book.” The’s Special Guests will explain everything you need to know from crafting the perfect title to effectively promoting your book and getting it in people’s hands.

Our Expert Panel includes:

Roger C. Parker: author of 38 books including New York Times Bestseller, “Looking Good in Print" and "#Book Title Tweet" ideas & tips for choosing nonfiction book titles
Jessica Kizorek: author of 5 books including the revolutionary, “Badass Business Women: The Manifesto
Warren Whitlock: #1 Best Selling Author of, “Twitter Revolution: How Social Media and Mobile Marketing is Changing the Way We Do Business & Market Online
Jay Berkowitz: International Keynote Speaker and Author of, “Ten Golden Rules of Online Marketing Workbook

This presentation will cover the following topics:

• How to manage your time while writing your book
• Tips for selecting a winning book title
• Understanding how to self-publish: What does it take?
• Best Practices for selecting a book publisher
• Leveraging your book as a glorified business card
• Proven methods for successful book promotion

This webinar provides an opportunity to submit your questions for a live Q&A session with our Experts.

This free webinar will take place Wednesday, April 20, 2011 12:30pmEDT – 1:30pmEDT. To register and for more information please visit: How to Write, Publish and Promote Your Book

Yahoo Buzz Going the Way of the Dodo

On Thursday, April 21, Yahoo announced they will be discontinuing "Yahoo Buzz". This follows a growing list of 1.0 social bookmarking sites which are now stopping operations ( - RIP 12/2010 and - RIP 09/2010 to name a few).

Why is this happening? To quote a comment from the article from DailyBlogTips, "I think Facebook and Twitter are better than all others." I believe they are right. Amazon, in 1998, introduced 1-click buying and subsequently increased revenues because all purchasing barriers had been removed. In comparison, all I have to do on Facebook is "Like" a link (effectively giving it a personal testimonial).

Out with the old and in with the new.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Useful Google Video Series - Teach Parents Tech

Whether young or old, probably most of you reading this blog post have been asked by parents to explain some "technology" you find quite simple. After all, this is every day stuff for most of us.

Well, Google has provided the perfect way for you to get out of having to ever answer those pesky questions. Just tell them to visit "Teach Parents Tech" - a playlist in Google's YouTube channel featuring simple instructional videos on topics like "How to check the weather", "How to get movie times", and even "How to copy and paste". There are endless other options, all of them very fundamental - but probably things we do every day without even thinking. One of my favorites is "How to know if an email is real".

So, next time you get asked for "tech support" for some trivial thing, instead of rolling your eyes, send them to Google. You may want to consider checking it out yourself. Who knows - you might even learn something.

The Intersection of Search and Social Media

Last night I attended the South Florida Interactive Marketing Association's monthly meeting event. The speaker was Brett Tabke who is the founder and CEO of Webmaster World and Chairman of PubCon. What a wonderful opportunity to hear first-hand commentary from one of the web's most well-respected contributors. Here are just a few snippets I found interesting:

Google Places: With the resurgence of small to medium sized business investing in online marketing, a Google Places listing is carrying more weight in SEO. Location data is important to Google.

Sentiment: Positive sentiment has meaning. Earlier this year Google purchased sentiment analysis start-up fflick and we're seeing the results on the SERP. Popular sites with positive sentiment are reaping the rewards.

Purchase Data: 90% of all purchases are made within a 90-mile radius of the consumer's home. This means only 10% of all purchases are made online. If we're researching online and buying in brick and mortar stores then as online marketers, we've only scratched the surface with a 10% market penetration.

Google Factoid: The search engine knows A LOT about you. Consider that over 70% of business are using Google Analytics and you know the Google data collection is incredible. How incredible? Google can even detect your level of education just by the typing speed of your search query says Tabke.

Social Graph: We've seen the launch of Google+1 and we know Klout scores have an impact. Targeting your results to your personal social graph is smart since 78% of us trust recommendations from friends vs advertisers.

Tablet Boom: 1 in 3 people use a tablet more than they watch TV. No wonder Time-Warner is launching an app to make it easier to watch TV on your iPad. Tabke reports that 28% of people say their tablet is their primary computer. They are so easy to use they are making huge strides in the senior market. The power of tablets lies in the apps. Tabke's prediction? Look for tablet apps to encroach on web use and users to search for information within the walls of an app. How does that impact YOUR search strategy?

This is only a small sample of Tabke's presentation. I think I just may need to attend Pubcon this year.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Little Fun with Top 404 Error Pages

I’m sure we can all agree just how frustrating a user experience can be when encountering the dreaded, 404 Error Page. Unfortunately, these pages tend to be useless and plain old boring. Although a “Fail Whale” may not fit your Company’s image, when possible, spruce up your 404 Error Page a bit and make it more engaging and entertaining. The very thought of encountering a 404 Error Page is disappointing as it is for users, so why not try to give them a laugh to calm the situation?

Mashable previously featured a handful of fun examples of 404 Error Pages. Below are my top 10 (in no particular order):

1. Center’d
2. Itchy Robot!
3. Urban Outfitters
4. Apparent Etch
5. Adham Dannaway
6. iContact
7. iWearYourShirt
8. SLBJ Women's Conference
9. Zappos

I hope you had a laugh or two with the above list. Do you have any fun 404 Error Pages to add to the list?

Good News For Honest Email Marketing

Google has caused quite a disturbance with their new algorithm modifications. Sites that were once at the top of the lists have been lowered to almost non-existence. Obviously the idea was to clear out the clutter being slammed into the search engines and mail boxes by less than original, fraudulent and non-relevant information providers.

The way it appears to work is they are having individuals manually sift through content looking for spam issues. Once they have identified certain situations they pass that along to the engineers so that they can modify the algorithm to instantly identify other examples. When they do identify these issues they are not being kind. To top that other individual companies appear to be following suite and implementing similar standards. Which means this is a growing trend that will give content providers more reason to be honest, fresh, and relevant.

This means for anyone providing content on a regular basis, like email marketing specialists, they better make their content useful to their targets, or else. Email spammers have been working hard since the beginning, and this action by Google seems to be a direct reaction to their dishonesty. Statistics show that email marketing is going to grow almost 50% in 2011. So if you are a relevant email marketer the future seems very bright and the big boys are on your side.

Go Viral With Facebook Questions

Many of us have tried to make something go viral on the web. I for one have attempted to do this with articles, images, Facebook pages, and YouTube videos without much success. I take that back, I did have some success with one of my Facebook pages that I created, “Hey BP Oil, Thanks For The Oil Spill Aholes ”. Facebook recently added a new feature called “Facebook Questions” and in my opinion, created the single easiest way to make something go viral.

I came across a question on Facebook the other day and a light bulb went off in my head. The question wasn’t asked by a brand or a company but by an individual who was simply asking a question. In a little over two weeks, 2,227,424 votes had been cast and over 66,927 people were following the question. Can you imagine if your company or brand would have asked this question? The question went viral almost instantly.

I understand the question, “Do you remember where you were at 8:46am September 11, 2001?”, would be a no brainer for a ton of votes. But just think about this, there are thousands of other questions that could be asked which could produce similar results. By following breaking news and current events and then introducing the questions into Facebook, you have an incredible chance for your questions to go viral. What are you waiting for? Start asking questions today…

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What the #1 key to success with affiliate marketing?

In my opinion, rule number one is to have a strategy... and stick to it.  I also happen to trade stocks on my days off, and I can tell you for certain that only fools approach the stock market without a strategy in mind.  When people aren't earning any, or enough, money online (or in the stock market), they want to know, "What am I doing wrong?"  And they want someone to tell them what they're doing wrong.

I know.  I've BEEN there.

The very first thing to remember is what you're doing right.  Just the mere act of getting into Internet marketing is a smart move.  Online business has only been around for about 15 years, and so we're really only at the beginning.  The fact that you've taken some action is something to be proud of and build upon!  It means you're in the game.  Still... you must have a strategy (i.e. a grand plan) and commit to it.   When I first started out online (and it wasn't that long ago!), I didn't know what I was doing.  And it didn't take long to become overwhelmed and frustrated by all of the things that I felt like I 'had to be doing' every day.  Though I thought I did, I didn't really have an online business.  All I had was a mountain of busy work that I thought that somehow, some way, would eventually start earning me money.  Down here in Texas, we say, "You're doin' a lot of choppin', but no chips are flyin'."

This is where most people will burn out, throw up their hands and quit - especially if there's been a lot of money spent in the process.  What I realized is that I needed some kind of organized plan or system for recruiting and retention (rentention actually being more important).  That's when I created a team-build promotion system for the TrafficWave affiliate plan.  It's still working today and has spun off numerous 'sub-teams' that are creating their own plans and systems.  The organized plan of Team OceanSwell is what finally created success for me online.  Suddenly, all of the things that I had been trying so hard to do - i.e. list-building, branding, advertising in TE's, etc. - suddently started working.  It was like night and day!

My point is simply this:  You'll never earn any kind of significant full or part-time income online unless you have a unique strategy and stay with it.  If you are a Team OceanSwell member for the purpose of promoting affiliate links for TrafficWave (and now Global NPN), that's excellent.  It's the strategy that I developed and many are using.  But guess what?  You need your own.  I have found that real success online comes from new ideas.  In fact, all you really need is ONE fresh idea, and an organized plan that's based upon it.  That requires creative thinking.  If you need help with creative thinking, then seek it out and make a study of it.

The book below is one that I've read recently, and recommend as a means to stir the creative juices (but there are many others like it).  If you've read this far, please think carefully about what I've said.  Because I've just given you the key to the success that I've had online...

Monday, April 11, 2011 Presents The Top 7 AdWords Mistakes & How to Fix Them

Join Brad Geddes, Founder of Certified Knowledge, as he presents, “The Top 7 AdWords Mistakes & How to Fix Them.”

Everybody makes mistakes. The small ones just cost you some time. However, the big ones, especially in AdWords will cost you both time and money.

There are 7 top mistakes that many advertisers make when creating and managing a Google AdWords campaign. Most of these mistakes are easily correctable - if you know what they are.

We did a poll of a few hundred advertisers and more than 90% were making just one of the mistakes on our list. More than 95% were making at least one mistake on our list.

In this webinar, we will show you the top mistakes that advertisers make so that you don't make the same ones.

We will also reserve time for Q&A so that if you have any questions, you can ask them live and receive feedback.

Brad Geddes is the founder of Certified Knowledge an online paid search training and toolset provider. He is the author of Advanced Google AdWords, the most advanced book ever written about Google's advertising program. Brad is one of the first Google Advertising Professionals and Microsoft adExcellence members. He is the first advanced AdWords Seminar Leader and works directly with Google to train companies on Google AdWords. He has written extensively about internet marketing for more than a decade, and has been involved in paid search since 1998.

This free webinar will take place Wednesday, April 13, 2011 12:30pmEDT – 1:30pmEDT. To register and for more information please visit: The Top 7 AdWords Mistakes & How to Fix Them

How Important Is Usability Testing?

Here at TGR, we stress the fact that clients must test their websites and then have potential customers test their websites to really ensure usability friendliness and maximum conversions. Mashable has posted the top 5 mistakes that web designers make, which will hopefully be flagged before a new site goes live, or will be brought to light if you already have a live site.

The top 5 according to Mashable are; Navigation, not having a clear call to action, the color and contrast of the website, providing the content in a presentable fashion, not just necessary jargon, and lastly, cluttering up the pages of a website.

We highly recommend reading a great book by Steven Krug, “Don’t Make Me Think,” which really helps dumb down web design and will help prevent many problems websites face.

You will be amazed at how every user is different, and the way they navigate through your website is nothing like you expected. This will only help you make your site better, the user happier and most important, sales!

Friday, April 8, 2011

10 Status Updates for Your Facebook Business Page

The key to creating a flourishing Facebook community is fan interaction. The more interactions your fans have with your Facebook page the more your page is exposed to your fans’ friends. There are many ways to get interactions from sharing a link to using the new “Facebook Questions” feature. Personally, I prefer using the status update to engage my fans. Here’s a list of 10 status updates that are sure to create interactions on your Facebook page:
  1. The weekend is almost here! How are you planning to relax this weekend?
  2. Pop Quiz (blank)+(blank) = (blank)
  3. Can you guess which U.S. city has the highest number of Facebook fans for (Facebook Page)?
  4. We’re just 50 fans away us reach 20,000 fans today
  5. Big thanks to you, the fans, for...
  6. If you could ask (Facebook Page) fans anything, what would it be? Let us know, and we might just post it!
  7. Hit 'LIKE' if you want us to (blank).
  8. Fill in the (blank): "My favorite thing about (blank) is ____!"
  9. On this Friday, take time to say a thank you. (Facebook Page) would like say thank you…to (blank).
  10. In honor of National (blank) Day...ask a question
You’ll have to get creative and fill in the blanks, I cannot do it all for you : ).

An example of a status update for my pretend Facebook page: Can you guess which U.S. city has the highest number of Facebook fans for the StuartSmithFanPage? I know, I’m a legend in my own mind…

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Department of Homeland Security Now Adding Twitter and Facebook Notifications to Terror Alerts

The Associated Press just published a "draft security plan" from the Department of Homeland Security that will now utilize Facebook and Twitter to publish terror alerts in addition to what they have already been using to announce them. This is a little bit of a change from an announcement in November 2010 they made about discontinuing the program altogether since the threat level always remained "elevated" and was simply ignored by the public.

If the government has learned anything from the current events in the middle east is that Twitter and Facebook work in getting a message distributed to the public in a very fast manner. It's wonderful how social media is changing the way we communicate almost on a daily basis.

Post Wisely

Facebook is a tremendous resource for businesses looking to engage their consumers and increase branding. A recent study from BuddyMedia revealed several interesting findings regarding Facebook posts that businesses cannot afford to ignore. For example, most companies post during office hours, but this may in fact be a less effective time to post. According to the research, engagement rates of posts outside of business hours were 20% greater than those posted during office hours. It seems that in general, the peak time for Facebook interaction is during the early morning, after work, and late night hours.

The days of the week also appear to have an impact on how the effectiveness of a company's post. The highest interaction occurs on Thursday and Friday, with Sunday coming in a close third. Keep in mind, the nature of the business does impact the most effective days and times to post.

Another thought-provoking finding was that posts with 80 characters or less received 27% more success with users than posts over 80 characters. Keep it simple and short is a good rule of thumb.

Of course, every company is different so it's important to keep in mind that peak times, days of the week, and message length will vary according to the industry. This study is most useful, however, because it demonstrates that, even on Facebook, timing is everything.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Preview into the New Twitter Homepage

In support of Twitter’s refocus on “interests” versus “top tweets or trending topics”, Twitter has revealed their new homepage design. The sign-up form, login and search box have been repositioned, along with a cleaner and “less busy” design. Perhaps it’s just me, but I think the redesign looks very similar to Facebook. Looking specifically at the positioning of the sign-up form and the login area in relation to Facebook – hmm, coincidence?

As you can see, the new homepage’s language is more focused on following your interests. With this new focus, it will enable users to find what they are looking for easier. For example, if you are looking for “bloggers”, previously your search resulted in Twitter handles including the word “bloggers”. Now, a search for “bloggers” will result in people established as bloggers who don’t necessarily have the word within their handle.

Twitter has been putting forth a lot of effort to improve their web interface. Do you find yourself using the website more often as opposed to using a Twitter client? Go ahead and leave your comment below.

Team Building With Ten Golden Rules

Last month the Ten Golden Rules team got a special treat. Of course, our team gets a special treat twice a month when we get an amazing 15 minute chair massage but this was a special night out. We got tickets to the Florida Panther's game! A few team members wore their NHL Panther sweaters....that's right, sweaters. According to our resident Canadian, die-hard hockey afficionado and fearless leader, a hockey sweater is the original name for a jersey. Why? Jerseys were originally made of wool. We even had some cool shamrock necklaces to celebrate St Patty's Day.

We had great seats, awesome food and got to spend some time together cheering on the Panthers who had a great game against the Toronto Maple Leafs winning 4-0. There were even a few fights to keep the crowd entertained. Looking forward to next season!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Keeping Up With Mobile Business

It's no surprise that the accessibility and convenience of technology has changed the shopping experience. Amazon and E-bay are perfect examples. However, businesses are only beginning to realize the importance of mobile phone technology for increasing sales revenue as well as customer satisfaction. A recent study from Brand Anywhere and Luth shows that over 50 percent of shoppers are more likely to purchase from companies with mobile-specific websites.
Apparently retailers have not caught on to the trend however, as the study also found that mere 4.8 percent of retailers have one. If these companies were to provide a mobile-specific website, researchers of the study state that their consumer interaction would increase by 85 percent.
Consumers aren't just using their mobile phones to purchase products either. Shoppers now utilize apps and mobile websites to comparison shop and find store hours and locations. Another study conducted by Accenture found that 73 percent of individuals with mobile phones prefer using the phone to complete simple in-store tasks and only 15 percent prefer actual interaction with an employee. Mobile technology is indeed changing the shopping experience. More and more, mobile technology is not a trend that businesses can afford to ignore.