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Publications See Pinterest as Key Ally

NY Times

Autumn is not yet upon us, but Jill Waage, a top editor at Better Homes and Gardens, has already predicted some of the biggest trends of the coming holidays. Painted pumpkins are about to replace carved pumpkins. Snowman cookies with jiggly eyes will overtake traditional gingerbread men. And decorative ribbons on Christmas presents are going to get much more creative.

But instead of spotting these trends by consulting colleagues or outside experts, Ms. Waage has tapped Pinterest, the social media site that lets its members pin, or post, images of their favorite foods, hairstyles and clothes. Pinterest has forged close relationships with magazines, especially those focused on women, who make up 71 percent of Pinterest users. It is a leading driver of traffic to certain magazines, and in some cases — like Self — it serves as a bigger source of reader referrals than either Facebook or Twitter.

“That’s one more piece of brain food that editors have,” Ms. Waage, the editorial director for home content at Better Homes, said of Pinterest. “It’s just a subconscious part of their lives now.”

And Pinterest is redoubling its focus on working with publishers. On Monday, Robert Macdonald will join the company to manage media relationships for the site, a job he previously held at Google, and it plans to hire more people in the coming months to work with digital and print magazines.

Joanne Bradford, a Pinterest executive who runs all of its partnerships, noted that because the majority of the content on Pinterest comes from what she described as “professional content creators” like magazines, it’s crucial to educate these titles on how best to use the service.

“We don’t think we’ve invested enough yet to totally capture the opportunity and to help these publishers,” Ms. Bradford said. “We think that they make a lot of quality content that pinners are very passionate about.”

Continue reading…

 

You Might Not “Like” This, But You Should

MediaPost

Boy, it’s been a hard year for the Facebook “like” — because, well, no one likes it anymore.

First came the news that a simple “like” was useless —  to advertisers anyway –because it has long ago stopped meaning that consumers who “like” advertiser pages will actually see the content that is then stuffed into their News Feed

And then, this week, came this news: Facebook is now disallowing most incentivized “liking,” of the “’Like’-our-page-if-you-want-to-enter-the-sweepstakes” variety. From a post on a Facebook developer blog: “You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page.”

Now, this is a sad day. If you can’t trick people into liking your Facebook page, why even get up in the morning?

Or is it such a sad day?

I think not. It’s actually a much-needed reset of what used to be advertisers’ baseline Facebook currency, a measurement of their worth. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an advertiser boast about its number of “likes,”  at least publicly, for three reasons:

1.     A lot of these “likes” were just the sort of ill-begotten, meaningless clicks that came out of this silly incentivizing meme.

2.     Given the death of organic reach, it’s become less and less clear what those “likes” actually mean, anyway.

3.     Lastly, marketers who don’t do social media for a living stopped pointing to their “likes” because their social specialists told them to. “Shut up about the number of ‘likes’ we have, already! You’re embarrassing yourself!”

Continue reading…

9 Inexpensive Ways to Get Your Business Noticed Online

IDG News Service

Congratulations on launching your startup business. The only problem is, no one knows about it. So how do you get the word out online, without having to spend thousands of dollars on advertising or PR, or buying Facebook or Twitter followers?

Dozens of small business owners and social media, SEO and marketing experts share their nine top tips for how new businesses can get noticed online, without having to spend a lot of money.

1. Establish profiles on the major social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest). Before launching any social campaigns, take time to figure out which social media site or sites your target customers frequent. Then set up pages or profiles on those sites — and post content regularly, at least once a week. To centrally manage your social media posting, consider using a service such as Hootsuite.

2. Create fresh, shareable content. “Business blogs are the most cost effective way to boost your organic traffic,” says Lisa Chu, owner, Black N Bianco Children’s Formal Wear. “Google loves original and valuable content. By [creating] informative articles, not only will Google reward your site, but people will organically start sharing your blog posts. [Just] remember: Write for your target audience not for Google.”

“Create interesting videos [and graphics with your target audience in mind] and share them across all of your social media profiles,” suggests Hannah Diamond, marketing coordinator, UrbanGirl Office Supply. “Offer something fresh and unique [that speaks] to your company,” without it coming across as an ad.

Finally, “make it easy for your followers to share your content,” says Melissa Johnson, content editor for Affilorama, an affiliate marketing training portal. “Make sure that people can follow you on Facebook or Twitter [or Pinterest] directly from your site [by including hot-linked buttons to your social media pages], and add buttons so that they can share your content and products on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, StumbleUpon, [Reddit] and other networks.” The easier it is to share content, the more people will share it.

3. Ask friends, family members and employees to get the word out — and reward referrals. Even if you don’t have many (or any) followers on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram, chances are some of your friends or family members or your employees do. Ask them to follow you/your new business on social media sites and spread the word. Better yet, reward people for sharing links to your site or products by offering them referral discounts, say 10 percent off their first or next purchase, or a freebie.

4. Offer influencers/bloggers free product(s) in exchange for mentions and/or reviews. “When you first start your business, it can be difficult to direct traffic to your site,” notes Chu. “A simple way to start a buzz around your product and website is to send out free samples to influential bloggers. Most bloggers will be happy to take your free sample and review it on their blog,” she says. “Once the review goes up, there will be a link directly to your site. That link will give you a nice SEO boost on search engines” and will drive traffic to your site.

“If a company has not yet been in business long enough to grow a substantial customer base, they can gain visibility online by conducting a product sampling campaign, [where you offer] consumers free products in return for accurate, unbiased, and insightful reviews (which can include text, photos, and videos),” says Matt Krebsbach, director, Global Public & Analyst Relations, Bazaarvoice, a platform for consumer ratings and reviews.

“A product sampling campaign helps generate accelerated word of mouth and increased sales for a product launch,” Krebsbach says. Moreover, “each sample can result in a review that influences tens, hundreds or thousands of prospective customers for each free product. And Bazaarvoice’s research shows that, depending on the product category, increases in both the number of reviews and the average rating for a product can increase orders 10 to 50 percent.”

5. Co-market with an established business/brand. “Pair with an on-brand company that already has a loyal following to offer something unique and sharable,” suggests Zoë Scharf, cofounder & creative director, greetabl. “When greetabl wanted to increase awareness, they paired with Strange Donuts, a popular donut shop, to celebrate National Donut Day,” she explains.

Continue reading

A LinkedIn Executive Shares The #1 Tip For Using The Professional Social Network

Business Insider

Steve Johnson, LinkedIn’s VP of user experience, is the guy in charge of designing the site’s look, feel, and function.

Naturally, he’s a LinkedIn whiz, and in a recent interview he shared his favorite tip for members: Don’t be afraid to show your personality.

“LinkedIn profiles aren’t like the printed resumes of old,” he says, “You can bring your professional story to life. We are giving you the opportunity to share your career aspirations, showcase your unique character and what you bring to the culture of your company.”

You can give your profile some extra flair by adding professional photos from events or conferences, writing about your experience more in-depth with LinkedIn’s publishing platform, seeking out recommendations from past colleagues that highlight more than just your day-to-day duties, listing volunteer experiences, or uploading a presentation that you’re proud of.

Johnson also explained that he’s personally driven by the idea of helping people achieve their aspirations through empowerment.

“As a child, I grew up with practically nothing so I understand what it’s like to feel that your dreams are out of reach,” he says. “I want the LinkedIn experience to make our members feel that they are taking a step closer to their goals and aspirations. When they are building something like their LinkedIn profile, I want people to feel proud of what they’ve created and empowered to make their dreams a reality.”

Read the rest of the interview here

So Many Social Users, So Little Trust

eMarketer

The US social network audience is big—172.6 million people in 2014, or 54% of the population and 68.6% of internet users, eMarketer estimates. Based on June 2014 research by Harris Interactive for WP Engine, many of those users are likely worried about privacy on such platforms.

177602 So Many Social Users, So Little Trust

Among the US adult internet users polled, 66% said they were concerned about their privacy on social networks such as Facebook—the top response. That’s not even the entire social picture. The study broke out platforms that many consider social networks into their own categories. More than one-third of respondents were worried about privacy on social photo-sharing platforms such as Instagram. Around one-quarter were concerned about security on microblogging sites like Twitter, and a similar percentage said the same about disappearing photo-sharing apps such as Snapchat.

A May 2014 study by Rad CampaignLincoln Park Strategies, and craigconnects’ Craig Newmark found similar results. Among the US adult internet users polled, 57% had little or no trust at all in social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. Meanwhile, 22% of respondents had some trust in social platforms, while 7% trusted social a lot.

177620 So Many Social Users, So Little Trust

One-third of internet users ages 55 to 64 said they didn’t trust social media sites, while just 1% did, with a similar trend among the 65-and-older group. Meanwhile, 24% of 35- to 54-year-olds didn’t trust social networks, compared with 6% who said the opposite. The under-35 bracket was the only one where those who trusted social media outnumbered those who didn’t—but by a small gap of 4 points (16% vs. 12%).