Tag Archives: Marketing

The Elite 8: Top Tips to Get Retweeted

By: Dallas J. Short

The game’s on, but there’s work to do. The struggle is that a lot of America has been going through the past week or so. So much of our office talks involve sports and social media. I was recently reading Krista Bunskoek’s article for Wishpond “52 Methods: How to Get Your Tweets Retweeted,” but caught up in the spirit of March Madness, I figured I’d narrow it down to my Elite 8 and share them with you.

• Keep the content about you and your products to a minimum – Yes, you’re on Twitter for business purposes, and you want to market yourself. But, truth be told, your Followers don’t really care that much about you and your products. Make your Twitter content about related stuff, and cleverly add in your company content.
• Focus on engaging your customer – As above, you are tweeting to connect with your market, not talk about you. Tweet like you actually want to get to know your customers better – engage with those who Follow you.
• Create interesting, witty content – Try to tweet out interesting stuff, and if you have the skills, make it witty and likeable. If people like your Tweet, they’re going to share it.
• Think about your audience – Don’t blindly tweet stuff. Be intentional about actually wanting to interact with your followers, and other twitter users.
• Tweet with your personality – Add character to your tweets. People want to connect with people online. Include a bit of realness in your tweets by mentioning something quirky or specific you like to do.
• Use quotes – Quotes are a great way to connect with your market, and get retweeted. Include a few quotes in your weekly schedule. Use stuff that inspires, makes you happy, or makes you think.
• Keep your tweets cool – Don’t beg for a retweet, or send out spammy messages. This is huge turn off, and you won’t accomplish your goals. Like this example, of a tweeter jumping on the Oreo Royal Baby wave by begging for more followers. Ok, it might be kind of cute, but a little too obvious and spammy for most.
• Be real, and have fun!

Being retweeted is a great way to be acknowledged by others, make sure you acknowledge others as well. With the lifespan of a tweet being 18mins to 48hrs (depending on who you ask), retweets help you stay active and “alive” longer on Twitter and, ultimately, it (retweets) connects more people to each other.

I’m a big believer in personality, voice and fun (if appropriate) when it comes to engagement with social media, which is how I narrowed down the tip tourney to my Elite 8, hopefully leaving no one upset.

You can read the entire Wishpond article, full of amazing and effective tips, here: http://blog.wishpond.com/post/56542607344/52-methods-how-to-get-your-tweets-retweeted
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Free Agency & NFL Trades

By: Dallas J. Short

In case you forgot, the NFL proved this week (more so than usual), that it is indeed a business first. Veterans, starting QBs, Super Bowl Champions, no one was safe and job security was thrown out the window.

Here are a few of the dealings that caught my attention this week:

The New England Patriots decided not to pick up the $20 million second year option on cornerback Darrelle Revis, he then went and cashed in by reuniting with the New York Jets for 5 years, $70 million, with $39 million guaranteed. Revis said he was following his heart, not the money. He obviously has a heart of gold. After a bad few years, Gang Green has a reason to smile again, while Patriots Nation stick to believing in Brady and Belichick.

The Patriots’ running back Shane Vereen is out of Foxboro as well and now with the New York Giants. Vereen said joining the Giants is a “step up”, not sure how going from winning the Super Bowl to a team that did not make the playoffs is a good thing. I’m sure his new fans loved hearing it, but it just sounds ridiculous.

New Orleans Saints let Pro Bowler, tight end Jimmy Graham go and he ended up with the Seattle Seahawks. The Saints had just given him a $40 million contract a year ago. The Seahawks were already a solid team and with him now, they have got to be the favorite to head back to the Super Bowl. While some players during free agency are going to downgraded teams, this is a big win win for Jimmy and Seattle.

Two stars who have shined time and time again, but I guess once you get to that 30 club, that shines diminishes in how your team judges your worth. The San Francisco 49’ers running back Frank Gore and Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson were also released from the teams they have taken to the playoffs. This worked out well, with both former Miami Hurricanes ended up together on the Indianapolis Colts, where they are online trying to recruit other Miami Hurricanes players to come to Indy. (Currently defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, who the Patriots also let go after 11 seasons, but the Pats might pick him back up.

The St. Louis Rams Sam Bradford and the Philadelphia Eagles Nick Foles swapped cities, sort of how Michael Vick and Mark Sanchez did before (Philadelphia and New York), but this seemed more intentional. It could possibly be the most pointless trade, as I predict they will both end up as third stringers, behind a draft pick QB from this year.

There were a lot of things that happened (Suh to Miami, the other Eagles moves, etc.), and they will be a lot more going on before the season starts. It has been fun watching Twitter explode (announcements and reactions from players and fans), Facebook meltdown with related memes, and Adam Schefter is putting in a crazy amount of overtime to break as many stories as possible.
I stopped buying players jerseys and almost think it could be a jinx. If you like a player too much, he’ll be gone. Loyalty lies with the fans and it is a job for the players and owners, sometimes it would be nice though if NFL teams could act like it cared a little bit more and not just know no matter who they give you or take away, you’re stuck with supporting them and spending money anyway.

Were there any deals made you that liked? How did your team make out? Is your favorite player still allowed to be your favorite player?

As always, if you like what you read be social and share.

Getting Traffic to Your Website

By: MJ Pedone

How to get traffic to your website depends in part on your demographic, your niche and how you plan to monetize. But the main components for earning online traffic are pretty similar across the board and should include:

1. Growing a newsletter

This is, by far, the best thing you can do for your site. When you have email addresses, you can go right to the source instead of you waiting for them to find you. If you can email your readers, you will be able to encourage them to visit your site continually, building a loyal following over time. So building your newsletter list should be your number one priority. Display your sign-up form prominently on every page of your site. Offer a freebie for anyone who signs up. Collect emails like it’s your job because it should be your priority and share your amazing content with those readers on a regular basis.

2. Becoming active on social media

Don’t sign up for every social media platform out there. Instead, choose two or three channels and maximize them. Be strategic about which ones you choose; work the channels that make the most sense for your demographic.
In addition to sharing your own content, share others as well. Be generous, and use Twitter’s @mention or whatever the equivalent tag is on the channel you use so influencers notice you.
If you choose to use Facebook, expect to put some money behind your updates if you want to gain any traction as Facebook has lowered the reach on page posts in order to capitalize on advertising dollars.

3. Optimizing your content for search

The best thing you can do is optimize your headlines. Use Google’s Keyword Planner and Google Trends to figure out what terms people are searching for that relate to what you’re writing about and use them in your headlines. Don’t write for SEO; instead, write your content and then go back and tweak it so Google will feature you high in search results. If you do this consistently, you will see your organic search traffic increase. As that increases, more people will share your posts, more readers will sign up for your newsletter and you’ll see a high volume effect on traffic.

4. Getting back-links to your site

Building back links is an SEO tactic, but it requires its own strategy. When other websites link to your site, Google looks favorably on you and ranks you higher in search results. The bigger the publication that links to you, the more Google love you get. As an added bonus, when publications link to you, some of their visitors will hop over to your site, too.
How do you get back-links? Here are a few options:
• Write guest posts. Write them for free as long as you get a link back to the site in your bio.
• Get press. Convince other outlets to feature your story. One smart way to make this happen is by responding to HARO requests.
• Encourage organic link-backs. If you offer dynamic content and help people notice it through all the avenues written about, bloggers and publications will link to your content without you asking them. One way to encourage this is by writing a list post that features the best bloggers or resources in your niche. Because when you put someone on your list, it makes him or her look good and they will share it with the world, which will likely include a link on their blog.

When it comes to generating traffic there is a lot more you can do but if you find yourself strapped for time and money, these are great first steps to cover. Of course this all assumes you’re creating unique content that’s valuable to your readers and information people want to share with their friends. Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that if you create great work, people will find it. The truth is, you have to help them find it.
If you don’t push yourself to spend time on promotion, your blog will probably rarely get read. If you do, your site will gain traction, traffic and influence over time, which will lead to all sorts of opportunities for your creative endeavors.

What have you been doing thus far to gain traffic to your website? Have you implemented any of the strategies listed above? As always, if you like what you read, be social and share.

Quick and Dirty Tips to Improve Media Outreach

By: Gina Mason

In honor of the release of Forbes’ annual billionaire list, I thought it would be appropriate to quote the world’s wealthiest man. “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.” – Bill Gates

Mr. Gates knows the value in public relations and acknowledges that media attention is still one of the best tactics to get your brand/company/product out there to the masses. Yes, advertising and social media are extremely useful, but there is no better way to get your brand and message out there than receiving (free) attention in a newspaper, magazine or TV show. However, media outreach and attention can be very difficult to obtain if you don’t have an established PR pro utilizing their media relationships to get that next big media hit.

For those of you DIYers who don’t use a PR firm, here are 12 of my favorite tips from media guru, Jeff Bullas that you can employ to “establish, improve, and solidify your outreach capabilities.” (Caution: for best results leave the media outreach to the PR pros)

1. Be different. If you’re not different, there’s no reason for editors and publications to cover you.
2. Identify quirky components of your company (logo), CEO (hobby), or company culture (You don’t work on Fridays).
3. Find reporters on Twitter and use AllMyTweets to identify topics they like, dislike, etc.
4. Create Twitter lists of editors and reporters and stay informed of their interests regarding developing news and stories.
5. Set Google Alerts for key terms, so you can stay informed about stories the reporters think are important.
6. Set Alerts for names of editors and reporters too to see what they’re writing about (Share their work too!)
7. Read reporters’ articles, blogs, and tweets. Mention their work and create a greater sense of context and logic regarding the reason for initial contact.
8. You’re supplying information but editors are well aware of the benefit of news coverage. Thank them for their time and for (even) considering your input.
9. Provide multiple opportunities for contact – include work email, cell phone, business phone, Skype, Twitter handle, etc.
10. Maintain an excel sheet of sites pitched and reporter contact information. Keep notes and dates (so you don’t re-pitch!)
11. When used for a story or article, become a marketer for them. Help spread the news!
12. Send a follow-up thanks.

To read the rest of Jeff’s article “50 Surprising Tips for Getting Attention in Mass Media” and see more of his great tips, visit:
http://www.jeffbullas.com/2014/08/07/50-surprising-tips-for-getting-attention-in-mass-media/#pzFHefGpuLEUKWxR.99

As always, if you like what you read be social and share.

Twitter Takes Steps to Stop Bullying

By: Dallas J. Short

After complaints from the media and users, Twitter announced in December that they would be creating updates to protect the safety of their users. Twitter recognized they were not handling cyber bullying properly on their platform, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo even said the company “sucks at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years.”
Well, it looks like those updates are on the way to us all. In a brief memo from Tina Bhatnagar (@tinab), VP, User Services, she informed:
“We streamlined the process of reporting harassment on Twitter recently; now we’re making similar improvements around reporting other content issues including impersonation, self-harm and the sharing of private and confidential information. These changes will begin rolling out today and should reach all users in the coming weeks.”

So, it will now be easier to report if someone’s bothering you and if you see someone bothering someone else online. Twitter has also increased their staff so they have more people handling these reports of harassment.

“Over the last six months, in addition to the product changes, we have overhauled how we review user reports about abuse. As an example, allowing bystanders to report abuse – which can now be done for reports of private information and impersonation as well – involved not only an update to our in-product reporting process, but significant changes to our tools, processes and staffing behind the scenes. Overall, we now review five times as many user reports as we did previously, and we have tripled the size of the support team focused on handling abuse reports.”

Twitter realizes that online bullying is on the rise and are believe these new steps they are taking will allow them handle the complaints more efficiently.
“These investments in tools and people allow us to handle more reports of abuse with greater efficiency. So while we review many more reports than ever before, we’ve been able to significantly reduce the average response time to a fraction of what it was, and we see this number continuing to drop.”

Twitter is all for kicking off bullies and people who harass others. They might have let a lot of things slide for too long, but they are committed to changing that stance.
“We are also beginning to add several new enforcement actions for use against accounts that violate our rules. These new actions will not be visible to the vast majority of rule-abiding Twitter users – but they give us new options for acting against the accounts that don’t follow the rules and serve to discourage behavior that goes against our policies.”

Twitter is fun, I use it a lot. Most of the sports and entertainment world (that I care about) seems active on it. It’s more of an immediate thought conversation than other platforms. Even though their actions could have been more proactive than reactive, it is great that they are doing something and showing commitment to their users’ safety and enjoyment.

As always, I welcome all comments and if you like what you read be social and share.
(Source: Twitter)

3 Tips for Effective Networking: Stop. Stop. Stop.

By: Dallas J. Short
What do you do? Here’s what I do. Oh, that’s your card? Here’s my card. Let’s immediately be successful together. Boom. Championship.

Wait, you mean, that’s not how it works? Nope, not even a little bit. However, this is the format or mind state of expectations that a lot of people have going into networking events.
John C. Maxwell said “your network is your net worth,” and it has remained one of my favorite quotes, in both personal and professional settings. The people you surround and connect yourself with are extremely integral to the representation and determinant of who you are and where you are going in life.

So, before you go, stop.

STOP thinking of networking as merely a required chore that comes along with business. “Showing up is 80% of life,” might have worked for Woody Allen in 1977, but that’s not going to fly these days. You need to place value into relationships. Be genuine. People do not do business with a business card, people do business with people. You do not need to meet everyone in the room and then struggle trying to remember who they are later. Focus on finding people you actually mesh with and people you could just as easily see yourself across from them in a game of billiards as you could across from them in a boardroom.

STOP just attending networking events that seem right for business. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” wrote James Howell. Have an outside interest. Positive energy is contagious, as is negative energy. No one likes the idea of working 8-10hrs and then going to a networking event where everyone is expected to talk about work for another 2-3hrs. Find something you are passionate about and meet people through that, the professional talk will inevitably ooze its way into the conversation, but after you have already established a more natural relationship. You are going to trust someone more in business that you can also trust outside of business. Diversified connections open up doors to opportunities that you might have never knew existed.

STOP expecting an immediate return on investment from business and networking contacts. “If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time,” words from the wise Steve Jobs. No one wants to feel used. This is not a jungle attack, where you are spotting, luring, attacking prey and moving on for the next meal. Make a solid and legit connection with someone, if there is no way for you to currently combine forces, don’t force or pressure it. Maybe that time will come down the road. Maybe it turns out you know someone they could work with or vice versa. Plug in your connections, expand the network, and do not resist paying it forward. Avoid being the guy constantly with your hand out or always running to the proverbial well until it’s dry. That’s not who people want around, ever. Eventually, things will fall into place and make sense for everyone.

“Nothing personal, it’s just business.” Wrong. Maybe that’s how Otto Berman his cohorts handled things then, but business now is more personal than ever and needs to be treated and respected as such.
As always, I welcome all comments and if you like what you read be social and share.

Dove Attempting to Wash Away Negative Online Comments

By: Gina Mason

Award season is the best time of year for stargazing and I’m not referring to looking up at the sky. At each elegant affair, Hollywood’s best and brightest shine on the red carpet and show off the latest styles and trends. If you are like me than that means you are glued to the TV taking mental notes of what and who all the celebrities are wearing.

Despite all of the fabulous gowns and beautiful jewelry on the red carpet, many viewers at home during these award shows tend to share some very ugly comments about the celebrities and even make degrading comments about them online. (i.e. “What is [insert celebrity’s name] wearing?!?” “Wow! She put on some weight!” “She looks awful!” “She is looks so old!”

In attempt to wash away this negative issue during the Oscars, Dove and Twitter have teamed up to create a powerful campaign that promotes positivity and self-esteem. Earlier this week as a part of their new #SpeakBeautiful campaign, Dove released a new ad to show how negative and degrading comments online have a domino effect on us all. This powerful ad will run during the red carpet coverage of the Oscars to remind us all about how such negativity impacts us and how positivity can change that. To check out the video, click the link below:

In addition to the ad, “Dove will be making use of a Twitter tool on Oscar night that identifies certain key words — in this case, it will keep an eye out for those that mention, appearance and body image. The tool will flag negative tweets and Dove’s Twitter account — which will be manned by self-esteem experts — will tweet positive responses” according to Mashable.

A Dove spokesperson said, “Twitter is a powerful platform for building momentum around social issues, and we think it’s a good way to leverage the unique parts of the site to support things that matter. We want to help shift the conversation toward positivity.”

This campaign was in response to some staggering data that Twitter collected when it comes to social media and self-esteem:
• 8 out of 10 women encounter negative comments on social media that critique women’s looks.
• Women are 50 percent more likely to say something negative about themselves than positive on social media.
• 82 percent of women surveyed feel the beauty standards set by social media are unrealistic.
• 4 out of every 5 negative tweets Twitter identified about beauty and body image are women talking about themselves.”

I love this idea and I think it is the perfect platform to launch this type of campaign. What better way to promote this positive message than during one of the most watched shows of the year? I applaud Dove for trying to make a positive change in the world and promote the beauty in all of us. I think we have all been guilty of unfairly and negatively critiquing celebrities and more importantly, ourselves and it is a great reminder how we need to change the way we think about ourselves. We all have our own beauty and one small positive change can make a big difference.

What do you think of this campaign? Do you think it will be successful in stopping some the negativity that goes on during award shows? If it is successful, do you think this will translate into other live events?
As always, if you like what you read, be social and share.