Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Get Paid for Hacking Facebook

For almost a month now, Facebook has been running a “hacking initiative” to uncover bugs within their system. Facebook is inviting individuals to send in any details of vulnerabilities within the platform. If the reported defects check out, Facebook will pay the individual a minimum of $500, and even more for extraordinary bugs.

Don’t worry – Facebook assures they will not take legal action against anyone who engages in less-than-legal methods for discovering the bugs.

For those of you who have these skills, hack on!

Image credit: tamasrepus

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 Presents The Ultimate Formula to Improve Conversions

It's a small formula. But it will have a big impact on your conversion rates, if you follow each of the elements of the equation in a systematic, methodical way.

Conversion = (Content + Usability + Motivation + Incentive) - (Friction + Anxiety)

Byron White, CEO of ideaLaunch, will walk you through this simple but powerful conversion-rate improvement formula that they put to work every day across the web and for multiple channels.

In this webinar, you'll learn:

• Conversion: How to make your conversion rates even better.

• Content: How to produce targeted content for different readers.

• Usability: Learn how to get out of your own way and get buyers to the right place.

• Motivation: How to motivate customers to take action and feel great about it!

• Incentive: How to push customers over the edge in simple and positive ways.

• Friction: How to find friction and reduce it to maximize conversions.

• Anxiety: How to reduce both your own anxiety and your customers'.

This free webinar will take place Wednesday, August 31, 2011 from 12:30pm EDT – 1:30pm EDT. To register and for more information please visit: The Ultimate Formula to Improve Conversions

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Simple Tip for Monitoring Your Online Reputation

Are you looking for a simple and cost effective way to monitor your online reputation? There are a few quality online reputation management (paid) tools in the market, but if you are looking for a solution that you can implement right now, the answer is – Google Alerts.

You can set up Google Alerts to deliver via email or RSS feed. Nowadays, I receive more emails than I can keep up with, so the RSS feature is perfect.

How do you set up Google Alerts?

1. Go to

2. Select the type of alert you want to be notified about

3. Select how often you want to be notified

4. Select the volume for the alerts

5. For the “Deliver To” field, select the email address you would like the alerts sent to OR “Feed” for the RSS option

You must be signed into your Google Account for the RSS integration to automatically occur. The RSS option will then automatically link the Google Alert to your Google Reader account.

Now how simple was that? :)

Basics of SEO

Search Engine Optimization is hands down the most important part of business online. When designing a website, SEO should be the first discussion topic and nothing else should be done until you are decisive in which direction you are headed. Content is king of SEO, so a good marketer will build a strong court.

Research to find the keyword phrases that best describe your product or service. This will give you your initial starting point. Taking those phrases and working them into each page that they most efficiently describe will break your layout down considerably. Working the phrase or phrases into the title and description of the page is important to tell the engines what the page is about. Make it as laser focused and relevant as humanly possible.

Having social plug-ins is the second major part of SEO in today's market. The search engines, especially Google, want online business's that their clients (searchers) can trust and get what they came looking for. Having full social sharing ability, including the ever forgotten e-mail plug-in on any and every site is crucial. This way if others are willing to take the time to praise you, Google will praise you with good search positions.

By focusing on these points when doing business and marketing online you will have the best chance of ranking well and beating out the competition. Never stop researching and developing your SEO practices. Even though most will say that SEO is technical, and the foundation is, overall adaptive management of site SEO is key to the big returns.

Think Twitter Isn’t Worth Monitoring?

Peter Shankman, a well-known social media speaker, NASA enthusiast and carnivore, was recently traveling home from a business trip from Tampa when he sent out a tweet that showed customer service at its finest.

Simply put:

After his flight landed on time (a rarity which anyone who has flown in or out of EWR would know):

First, WOW, @Mortens now delivers and takes orders off Twitter!! Just kidding, but what this does show, is that they are paying attention. Whether they know Mr. Shankman is a frequent dinner or that they monitor Twitter and wanted to pull one of the best customer service stunts in the history of social media (so far). Maybe they got lucky and picked the right person who has over 100,000 followers and is a media mogul. For whatever the reason, the company showed how all companies should be utilizing social media and not too bad of a publicity stunt!

No matter your business size, what are you doing to improve your customer service to make them go and tell their friends? With Google Panda updates social is playing a bigger role in how your customers can find you. There is no budget constraint, no specific entry point, just jump in and LISTEN to your customers!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 Presents Increasing Your Productivity & Profits Through Outsourcing

Join us for this week’s Wednesday Webinar as we present, “Increasing Your Productivity & Profits Through Outsourcing,” with John Jonas ( and Gonzalo Paternoster (Founder of Pay For Results Coaching).

Topics this presentation will cover include:

• Why hire full-time people in the Philippines for your business?

• Cultural differences that make outsourcing work

• Understanding how much to pay for outsourced work

• How to find virtual assistants in the Philippines

• Tips on hiring for tasks that VAs (Virtual Assistants) cannot usually do well

This free webinar will take place Wednesday, August 24, 2011 from 12:30pm EDT – 1:30pm EDT. To register and for more information please visit: Increasing Your Productivity & Profits Through Outsourcing

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Be Careful Where You Tweet!

While eating dinner at the Down House in Houston, Allison Matsu was thrown out for using Twitter. Her tweet was calling a bartender a “twerp” and used #jerkoff. Manager, Forrest DeSpain, who runs the Twitter account for the restaurant saw the tweet and took action against Matsu. This story has made national news, and caused Twitter to explode with reactions. Something interesting and true to the saying of, “there is no such thing as bad press,” I found this from @petetmayo – “The whole Twitter fiasco actually made me and my gf go check out @DownHouseHTX. Great place! Be back soon...with friends!” @jess_lw posted, “Honestly, all this craziness about @DownHouseHTX just reminded me how I've been meaning to check it out!”

Have you ever visited a place because it was in the news or trending is social media to see what they hype was about?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Content Sharing Strategy

I recently read a great blog post by John Jantsch on his Duct Tape Marketing blog. I subscribe to more than my fair share of blogs via Google Reader. If you don't have Google Reader, I highly recommend you consider it for organizing your RSS feeds. I love that I can read my feeds on my phone now. But I digress....

What do you do after you post blog content?

1) Nothing. I sit back and wait

2) Post it to all my social networks at the same time

3) Implement a sharing strategy based on what I know about my audience

Now you know the right answer here but take a moment to read Mr Jantsch strategy. It's a great mix of Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and Delicious. And be sure to read the comments, too.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Google Related – The New Google Toy

Google explains the new Google Related feature as a tool that can show you helpful and interesting content while browsing the web. This includes maps, reviews, videos and more, which are all accessible while viewing a website.

The Google Related results display in a thin bar at the bottom of your browser screen.

The results from the toolbar will not display until you hover over the individual sections. Alternatively, you can hide the toolbar for specific pages and/or sites through the options menu.

This new feature is currently only available for Internet Explorer and Chrome browsers.

I recently installed Google Related so I haven’t had a lot of time to test it out yet. However, I do see potential benefits for users. For instance, it can save the time of having to search around for additional sources of information in multiple browsing sessions.

Below I’m watching a video while still on the website:

One question that initially popped in my head - how will Google Related results be reflected, if at all, within Google Analytics?

You can learn more about this new feature by watching the following video:

Monday, August 15, 2011 Presents Live Website Analysis: How To Improve the Overall User Experience

Join Margie Schneider, VP Operations of, as she presents, “Live Website Analysis: How To Improve the Overall User Experience.” This Wednesday Webinar provides you with the opportunity to submit your website for a live website analysis.

This presentation will explain the following topics:

• Best practices for adhering to web convention standards

• Recommendations for improving the overall user experience

• How to effectively optimize your website for the search engines

• Understanding the standards for overall website usability

Want us to review how your website measures up to web standards? Submit your website for a live website analysis! To submit your website, please post your website submission in the following forum thread:

This free webinar will take place Wednesday, August 17, 2011 from 12:30pm EDT – 1:30pm EDT. To register and for more information please visit: Live Website Analysis: How To Improve the Overall User Experience

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Facebook Killer: Why Google+ Could Take The Lead

I don't know about you but over the last two days, my Facebook feed has been clogged with updates like this.

It seems our friends at Facebook have been at it again. This time pulling data from your phone book to sync the mobile numbers of your friends and display them in your Contacts. Their "auto-opt-in" strategy may be just the thing that drives away their 700 million user community into the arms of Google+. The social network giant is already collecting every bit of personal information they can about you under the guise of a more personalized experience. For instance, that's how that one person you can't stand keeps coming up in your "People You May Know" feature.

It might be time to rethink that strategy as users begin to fully understand the pitfalls of just how much data Facebook owns and how they use it. This is not the first time Facebook has published data that some would consider private. Remember when many a birthday was ruined because your dear friend Facebook published your shopping purchase? If these types of releases continues it could be the Tipping Point for Google+. With 25 million users in the just a few short weeks, Google+ is on track to give Facebook a run for the money. If Facebook makes enough of their users angry, they will start looking for options like Google+. It's boils down to trust.

What do you think?

Want to control your data online? Here are some articles to get you started:

A guide to controlling privacy info on Google+ via MSNBC

Facebook Privacy Tips: 9 Settings To Check Now via Huffington Post (Note: Does not include today's updates)

LinkedIn Privacy: What You Need To Know via PCWorld

How To Implement Google Authorship

A little over a month ago, I explained how Google released an enhancement to Google’s SERP called “Authorship.” Here is some additional information on this feature based on a video Google recently released:

Below are essential tips I also extracted from the Google Authorship Help Article:

Create a rich Google Profile

• Update your Google Profile with links to any of your other author pages around the web.

• Your profile picture must be a photograph of yourself and of high quality (to be eligible for a thumbnail to display in search results).

• To easily link to your Google Profile, add the Profile button to your site.

Single-author blogs and sites

Once you’ve linked to your Google Profile from your blog, add your blog URL to the Links section of your Google Profile.

Multiple-author blogs and sites

In confirming authorship, Google looks for two things:

• Links from the content page to the author page (if the path of links continues to a Google Profile, they can also show Profile information in search results).

• A path of links back from your Google Profile to your content.

These reciprocal links are important: without them, anyone could attribute content to you, or you could take credit for any content on the web.

Example of an inclusion of rel=“author” from a article:

Don’t forget the last step!

After you’ve followed the instructions on the Google Authorship Help Article, fill out the form at the bottom of the article. This will allow Google to inform you of any implementation issues (although they do not guarantee they can get back to everyone individually).

Tuesday, August 9, 2011 Presents Marketing Basics with Christopher S. Penn

Join Christopher S. Penn for a look at social media marketing strategy and what's missing from yours - the basics! You'll see and learn about topics that should have been included in your social media manual, but never were, such as Porter's 5 Forces, SWOT analysis, and much more.

Christopher S. Penn has been featured as a recognized authority in many books, publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, BusinessWeek and US News & World Report, and television networks such as PBS, CNN, CNBC, Fox News, and ABC News for his leadership in new media and marketing.

Mr. Penn is Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at Blue Sky Factory, an email marketing company based in Baltimore, as well as co-founder of the groundbreaking PodCamp New Media Community Conference, and co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee marketing podcast. He is an adjunct professor of Internet marketing and the lead subject matter expert and professor of Advanced Social Media at the University of San Francisco. He’s also the author of Marketing White Belt: Basics for the Digital Marketer.

This free webinar will take place Wednesday, August 10, 2011 12:30pmEDT – 1:30pmEDT. To register and for more information please visit: Marketing Basics with Christopher S. Penn

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Google+’s Business Profiles & The Influence of Social Video

So the question still remains – when will Google allow business profiles on Google+?

Jolie O’Dell (Venture Beat) reports Google will be unveiling specially tweaked profiles with analytics and more sophisticated sharing options, all coming during (or shortly after) Q3 2011.

In the meantime, have you thought about how your business will take advantage of the rich social video opportunities Google+ offers? Google+ opens up a new world for video usage. From Hangouts to sharing features, brands will soon be able to get more exposure.

Below are 5 ways Google+ will drive social video growth as explained in a post from

1. More focused sharing via Circles
2. Co-viewing experiences with Hangouts
3. Mobile reach
4. Better data and reporting
5. SEO opportunities (between the +1 button, Google+, and Google Search)

Google+ Business Profiles & Reporting

A Google spokesperson said, “You can expect to see a level of analytics and measurement that you’d typically find in Google products as well as a nuanced approach to how things are shared. It encourages and enhances conversation; it doesn’t just put things in the stream.”

With the new social data insights and reporting that Google will offer, social video will be an important component as well as your use of YouTube campaigns. I would imagine Google will provide a really intuitive solution for integration between the two.

Although I’m not suggesting putting all of your marketing focus solely on Google+, I do encourage you to continue to explore this platform.

I still wonder why Google didn’t include business profiles in its beta launch…

Monday, August 1, 2011 Presents Making Great Online Banners and Creative

Join Jay Berkowitz, Founder of the, as he presents, “Making Great Online Banners and Creative.”

This presentation will cover:

• Where Internet banner advertising occurs
• The role of images and how to effectively use them
• Proven strategies for the use of words
• Understanding the critical CTA
• How to use banners in social media
• The newest uses for banners

This free webinar will take place Wednesday, August 3, 2011 12:30pmEDT – 1:30pmEDT. To register and for more information please visit: Making Great Online Banners and Creative