Monday, July 30, 2012 Presents: Mobile Search Ranking Factors

Bryson Meunier is a mobile marketing expert at Chicago-based Resolution Media. There seems to be some discrepancy among search engine experts regarding common mobile SEO practices. Well, you're in luck, because Bryson's presentation, Mobile Search Ranking Factors, details all of the factors you need to know for mobile optimization. You'll learn much more about mobile validation and what it takes to succeed in a completely mobile dominant world. 

Click here to learn more and register:

About Bryson Meunier:

Bryson Meunier is an Associate Director of SEO at Resolution Media and the primary architect of their natural search product. He writes regularly on advanced SEO topics at his Natural Search and Mobile SEO Blog. 

Click here to learn more and register:

Friday, July 27, 2012

What to say about Chick-fil-A?

This is one of the worst PR disasters I've seen in a while. Since the CEO admitted that Chick-fil-A  is against gay marriage, the fast food chain that is known for being closed on Sundays for religious observance has been slaughtered (no pun intended) in social media and other outlets. Jim Henson Co., which was supplying Jim Henson Creature Shop Puppets for Chick-fil-A Kids Meal toys, announced it would not partner with the restaurant chain anymore and two cities, Chicago and Boston, have banned Chick-fil-A from their gay-friendly cities.
Stock photo used for "fake" account
In a move to try to ameliorate some of the harsh criticism they were receiving online, Chick-fil-A apparently created a fake Facebook profile and, posing as a teenage girl, tried to defend the fast food company. What they got is even more backlash when they were called out as the account was recognized as having been created just 8 hours prior and the photo was unveiled as a stock photo. The account has since been removed from Facebook.
Regardless of your stance on this issue, Chick-fil-A broke one of the cardinal sins of social media: thou shalt not fool the people. While this tactic may have worked a few years ago, people have become savvy in social media and take deep offense to companies that think they can outsmart the average American. Now, the fight is being taken offline and right into Chick-fil-A stores. Protests have been called, and are being promoted via social media, by both sides. The religious conservatives are planning to have an “eat-in” on August 1st and pro-gay groups are calling for a “National Same-Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A” on August 3rd.
One important lesson to learn from all this is to have an offline and online crisis management plan in place before the… chicken… hits the fan. Even though Chick-fil-A officially denies creating the fake account, had the company been a little more social savvy itself, it might have avoided this out-of-control spiral down the proverbial social media staircase to hell. It’s possible that the chain actually has enough supporters on this issue to weather the storm, but its reputation – both in the real and virtual worlds – will surely never be the same.
How do you think Chick-fil-A should have handled this crisis online? Give us your thoughts in the comments section.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Intercept Bad Reviews Before Broadcasted Online

Have you ever had an experience at a business establishment where you wished you could voice your concerns to the manager but not in a confrontational kind of way?

TalkToTheManager might just have the answer!

While listening to The Social Hour podcast, TalkToTheManager was featured as an interesting service to check out. It is described as a way for customers to give anonymous feedback/comments to business owners/managers via text message. The business owners then have the ability to respond in order to address customer service, product, and facility issues before a bad experience becomes a bad online review.

Benefits for the businesses include:

• Managers’ personal cell phone numbers stay private
• Discover issues you didn’t know existed
• Turn off messages temporarily whenever you like
• Comments and responses can go to multiple managers

This service is intended to intercept a bad review before it is broadcasted online. I think this concept could actually work too. People want to be heard and this may provide the instant acknowledgement and response that is desired by customers. The goal is, if handled appropriately, the review that is eventually posted online turns out to be portrayed in a more positive light.

For me, it doesn’t have to be just about bad service either. I am more than happy to share a positive experience with a manager as well.

How could your business make use of this service?

Like this post? Connect with Erika Barbosa on Google+.

Image credit: Johan Larsson

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 Presents: Monitoring Social Media with Listening Channels

Angela Davis, current Organic Search Manager at Catalyst Online, has much experience with social marketing, SEO and the design that comes with branding. In this installment of the Wednesday Webinar series, Angela presents her popular slides "Monitoring Social Media with Listening Channels," so stay tuned for more information, as this webinar is sure to help align your social marketing strategies along the path to success.
Click here to register:

About Angela Davis:

"I specialize in Online Marketing, SEO, and Social Media Marketing, and have a background in Graphic Design.

In my free time, I enjoy creating brand identities and marketing collateral for small business as well as helping companies optimize their web presence and leverage the web to get more business. (I'm a busy lady!)

I'm always looking to learn new things. I'd like to network with people on LinkedIn who have expertise in fields I want to learn more about and people that offer products and services my clients could benefit from. I also enjoy sharing my knowledge with people who'd like to benefit from my expertise.

Find me on Twitter @AmazingAngelaD"

Click here to register:

Creating Killer Email Marketing

Every company sends out emails, from contacting customers about a purchase order to sending monthly newsletters to sending out discounts. If you want your customers to open the email and read it, you're going to have to come up with some creative ways to get their attention. Here are some ideas:

  1. Be personal. Don't be dry, add a real person's voice to the email and talk directly to the persona reading it. Make jokes and references and include analogies to make your customers feel more like they're getting something a little bit special.
  2. Try focusing on one idea. Sometimes keeping it short, sweet, and visually interesting is the most effective strategy you can use (as long as you're not creating a newsletter).
  3. Tell a story. Your newsletters (and other emails) should all contribute to the image of your brand. Free tips and relevant, interesting anecdotes can keep consumers engaged.

Remember, keeping your consumers engaged and happy is all part of a successful email campaign. So always remember to get permission before you begin sending emails and to always allow customers the option to opt out of the emails to prevent irritation.

Happy mailing!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Marissa Mayer Takes the Helm as CEO of Yahoo

The big surprise in the tech industry this week is the appointment of former Google executive Marissa Mayer as CEO of Yahoo. The announcement was met with mostly positive reactions, even after Mayer revealed she is giving birth to her first child in October and will not be taking maternity leave.
Marissa Mayer is the new CEO of Yahoo
Yahoo is like the elderly statesman of the Internet. It’s been around from the beginning, but in recent years has been overshadowed by newer, younger companies like Google and Facebook, as well as its “CEO Curse,” having gone through five CEOs in as many years. The question is will Mayer be able to turn things around for the company that was once the top site for web search? The answer may depend on which direction she decides to take the company.
These days, most people use Yahoo for email services and as a web portal for news and entertainment. Search is dominated by Google with Microsoft’s Bing breathing down its neck, and Facebook has made it difficult to crack social media, effectively shutting out Google + so far. Yahoo owns the photo sharing site Flckr and some are hoping that Mayer will salvage it, which would mean going head to head with Instagram, the photo sharing app recently purchased by Facebook for $1 billion. Also, taking into consideration that Mayer’s last position at Google was as VP in charge of local, maps and location services, she could try to dominate the local/mobile market, an open niche that has no clear leader at the moment.
Do you think Mayer can save Yahoo? What do you think her strategy should be?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Quick Tip: Granting Access to Your Google Webmaster Tools Account

Google Webmaster Tools is an essential resource for all websites. It’s probably the closest you will get to a direct connection to speak to Google. It allows you to gain insights on how Google views your website, diagnose website problems, discover your link and query traffic and share information about your website (i.e. pages, URLs etc.) with Google. You can almost think of it as important as a hammer in a toolbox.

In addition to having the ability to grant “full” permissions to users, you now have the ability to grant “restricted” access to your account as well. Although this didn’t just launch, it seemed worth resurrecting for those of you who may have missed the update. Now you can grant this level of access to those who work with you on your account, keeping you in control.

For more information on how to access these settings, check out this post about safely sharing your Webmaster Tools account.

Like this post? Connect with Erika Barbosa on Google+.

Image credit: RLHyde

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Google: The Next Crime-fighting Superhero?

As the latest Batman movie launches into theaters, Google's launching some crime-fighting plans of its own. Google's think tank, Google Ideas, recently announced plans for Google to use its internet superpowers to fight illegal trafficking on the web. The idea is for Google to use "technology to expose, map and disrupt illicit networks of drug smugglers, arms dealers and human traffickers,"according to Mashable. While Google didn't get specific about what technology it will use and how it will go about "disrupting" these illegal activities, we should be able to expect further details on it at Google's next conference.

This Google endeavor shows a privatization of crime-fighting and vigilantism that are nothing new in the comic book world, but not common to American corporations. Do you think that Google should keep its nose out of police activities, or do you applaud this search engine giant for taking a stand against a global issue?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 Presents: Social Media for DMOs

Wednesday Webinar: Social Media for DMOs

With shrinking budgets, 21st century destination marketing organisations can no longer afford 20th century marketing. Martin Hatchuel, writer and tourism consultant at Barefoot Clients, is a specialist in travel marketing. If you're looking for a dazzling new presentation or approach to your tourism advertising, then this webinar is perfect for you. 

Click here to register:

About Martin Hatchuel:

Writing and marketing are only but words to describe Cape Town, South Africa native Martin Hatchuel. He's become a bit of an expert with tourism marketing, and his feature articles, newsletters, advertising copy and even fiction writings have been influenced by his travels.

Click here to register:

Friday, July 13, 2012

Social Media and the Summer Olympics

Social media is set to play a big role in the 2012 Summer Olympicsthis year, with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube leading the charge. During the last Summer Olympics in 2008, the most popular social media sites of today were just getting their feet wet, and the number of Internet users has increased from 23% to about one-third of the world’s total population, according to Mashable.
Olympic rings on display in Cardiff, Wales
A recent Mashable article made an interesting comparison of the status of each of the three top sites in 2008 to where they currently are in terms of users, functionality and growth. Some of the other top social media networks like Google + and Pinterest were not even around during the last Olympics. And while many people will surely be sharing tweets and videos throughout the summer games, some fraudsters will also be trying to get in on the action.
Phishing and ticketing scams have already been reported and social media users are urged not to click on any links in alerts that seemingly come from these sites. Instead, go directly to the site by typing the URL into your browser, and those lucky enough to score tickets to the Olympics can visit the “Ticket Checker” on the official website to verify their authenticity.
How do you plan to use social media during the 2012 Summer Olympics? What events are you most looking forward to watching?
Image credit: rovingsheep

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Will Facebook Be A LinkedIn Contender?

Although not confirmed, it is speculated that sometime in the latter part of the summer, Facebook will launch a searchable job board. The job board would function as an aggregate of job postings from various third parties.

There are still a lot of questions about this – but the concept is already circulating through the media. Is this in an effort to get a piece of the estimated $4.3 billion global online job-recruitment industry? It just might be…

Details have not been released as to how the job postings will appear for the 900 million plus user base (i.e. within the News Feed). Regardless, this could make for an interesting battle between LinkedIn and Facebook.

Many people would probably agree that they do not prefer to have their personal and professional online presences comingled. However, many employers may prefer to see a potential employee’s “real life” – and the intersection of your Facebook presence and their job postings may be the answer to that.

What benefits do you see in Facebook’s potential job board?

Like this post? Connect with Erika Barbosa on Google+.

Image credit: arazaphotography

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 presents: Presentation Revolution!

Presentation Revolution: How to Build, Design and Deliver an Epic Presentation

If you think you've mastered the art of presentation, you may want to think again. Even if you're comfortable speaking to a large crowd with a lengthy timeslot, what about the design of your slides? Scott Schwertly, CEO of Nashville-based Ethos3, is here to help. Scott dives into the building, design and execution of an epic presentation. If your webinars, meetings and other presentations look like a high school introduction to PowerPoint, this webinar is perfect for you!

Click here to register (7/11/12 at 12:30PM)

About Scott Schwertly: 

Scott Schwertly is the author of How to Be a Presentation God and CEO of Ethos3, a Nashville, TN-based presentation boutique providing professional presentation design and training for national and international clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to branded individuals like Guy Kawasaki. 

If Scott is not working with his team building presentations, you will find him in the pool, on the bike, or on a long run. Scott lives in Nashville, TN with his wife and three dogs. He has a B.A. and M.B.A. from Harding University.

Click here to register (7/11/12 at 12:30PM)

Getting the Most Out of Twitter

While most businesses know that they need to create a Twitter account as part of their standard social media campaign, there are some companies that aren't getting the most they can out of their accounts. Tweeting boosts brand engagement and brand recognition, so it's important to make it a part of your daily social media activities, but you also shouldn't forget to strategize when tweeting. Tweeting during the weekend can often get you more attention than tweeting during the week, and companies should keep their tweets under 100 characters to encourage easy retweeting. Try to use no more than 2 hashtags per tweet, as too many hashtags can decrease engagement, and don't be too afraid to ask for retweets occasionally on more important tweets.

As for SEO, it's important that when linking to your twitter account that you link to the correct URL. Twitter creates duplicate content, so it's best to refer to this helpful SEOmoz blog post when deciding which twitter URL to link to.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Flexible Reach Targeting on the Google Display Network

Have you noticed the new Flexible reach targeting option in your Display Network campaign?

This new option allows you to select your settings based on the ad group level rather than campaign level. Google provides details explaining, “Flexible reach allows you to select any combination of multiple targeting selections at the ad group level, plus the control to combine different methods for targeting and bidding at the ad group level. It also provides transparency into how your targeting selections are affecting the reach and impression volume of your campaigns. The Flexible reach campaign setting will appear as an optional setting in AdWords accounts in June and will eventually replace the Broad and Specific reach options later this year.”

Although this option will at some point be the default – please be cautious before proceeding. Once you’ve decided to select the Flexible reach option, you will no longer be allowed to use Broad or Specific reach. So, be sure you are absolutely ready before making the switch.

What do I think about this change? Having the opportunity for more relevancy is a “win” for everyone (both advertisers and consumers), so I’m all for it.

Like this post? Connect with Erika Barbosa on Google+.

Image credit: stuartpilbrow

Thursday, July 5, 2012

5 SEO Tips for Your Business

You can only get the most out of your site if you boost your web presence through SEO. Here are some helpful tips for getting started:

  1. Research top keywords for your industry and your site and get some statistics to help you decide which ones would be best for your optimization process. This helpful free Google tool is a great place to get started.
  2. Include meta tags on each page for your site. You're going to want to make sure that you have a meta description, meta title, and meta keywords in the code for each page to help the search engines better index you. Having an H1and H2 with keywords in the title is also helpful.
  3. Optimize your on-page copy by using keywords you have selected for your meta tags on each page. Be sure not to put too many keywords on one page - this keyword stuffing could get you in trouble with the search engines.
  4. Build links to trusted websites and blogs. If you have partners who have websites, ask them to provide a link to your site. Offer to guest post on popular blogs to gain more backlinks as well.
  5. Provide blog content on your own site and add more pages when you can so that there are more pages indexed by search engines. The more new, fresh content you can provide, the better. It's also a great opportunity to ask for guest posts on your blog from others in exchange for a guest post on their blog.
If you're itching for more tips, just check out this Soshable article.