Category Archives: Advertising

So much more than a To Do List!

As a new media consultant the occasion arises when I need to hire sub contractors. When I do I assign tasks with HiTask. It is a to do list, organizer and project management software in one. It features a mobile application for my iPad and iPhone and allows me to send assignments, set deadlines and track the progress of jobs for minimal cost. It’s only 5 bucks a month or 42 dollars a year, the longer you use it the cheaper it is. They also offer a high security business version. HiTask is also a great business solution for companies that are no longer investing in high cost assignment systems. Photo assignment editors at newspapers around the world, this is so much better than a database and email system. I only wish I had found this when I was still running a photo department. Enough listening to me go download your trial, you won’t be sorry.

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Social Media simplified for the niche business

I recently helped a small business client take the plunge into the Social Media pool. As a retiree who serves a niche market, he wanted a presence but didn’t want to commit too much time.  Stop reading now if you are a purist!

I suggested a simple automation program that would send tweets and Facebook posts on his behalf. Buffer is a social media automation tool that offers a basic service for free for two accounts and ten posts in queue at a time. It also allows you to add more than two accounts and more than ten updated for a small fee.  The best feature is that there is a firefox plug-in for Buffer. It allows him to load posts, shorten the URL’s and places them in the post, with the push of a button. All he needed to do was click on the page of the item he wanted to feature on his website and once that page loaded, hit the Buffer button at the bottom of the page.

For my client this meant he would only need to take ten minutes every three to five days to fill his buffer. The program did the rest. For me I can look at his analytics and see which products are generating the most traffic from the links in his posts and tweets remotely and give him periodic feedback as to whether or not he was reaching his target markets. Posts can be tailored with hashtags used by the trade magazines. His tweets are also visible on tradeshow feeds when he travels to show his merchandise without him needing to stop during the busy show to tweet. Buffer made it a simple for a small player in a substantial niche to compete with the big boys.

The ever-elusive Alpha Mom

A lot of time is spent in conference rooms trying to figure out how to capture our attention. We are usually college educated yet family minded. We work in and out of the home and always get things done in spectacular fashion. Trendsetters yes! leaders of the mom pack, yes and no. The truth is we lead in our element. So how do you engage us? Well I can tell you it is not easy. Our time is precious and almost every minute is accounted for with work, home, school schedules and extracurricular activities. Did I also mention we have our own interest book clubs, professional associations and online groups? It’s a full day and week, so how do we manage it? We cut out the BS! Pardon my French but we have no time to be pitched or wooed. All that we want are the quick solutions to our problems and we usually rely on the advice of a trusted few moms who know us, know what we like and the kind of lives we strive to make for our families.

So how do you get our attention? Make our lives easier. We don’t want to keep up with the Jones’ we are the Jones’. As with all things, there is more than one type of Alpha Mom. I am the techy Alpha Mom. I wanted an iPhone because I saw how it simplified my gadget life. I went from five devices to one. No longer did I need a cell phone, iPod, calendar, laptop and address book all in my purse. I have everything I needed in one device that allows me to schedule the family, keep up with work, workout at the gym and send Christmas cards. I can even keep up with my stepchildren with text messaging while scheduling their flights to visit us. This brilliant invention even amuses my children in the waiting room at the pediatricians.

Looking for how your product will take the pain out of all the things that we need to get done in a day is only part of it, but it’s a great beginning. Keeping it simple and get it into the hands of the technology mom, or the baking mom, or the crafty mom, or the fashion chic mom is another key component. It’s like finding the right apps for your device. As the techy Alpha Mom, I am able to explain to another Alpha Mom why your product is great just by using it. When another mom sees my child calmed by the pain of a shot while watching Dora the Explorer, she’s sold. If my app buzz’s and I send my husband a text to pick up his prescriptions all while watching the 4 year-olds practice their dance to “rubber ducky,” she’s all but put it on her Christmas list. When I snap a little video while they practice, upload and share with family, if she can she’s stopping at the AT&T store on the way home.

So I probably, haven’t told you anything you don’t know already. We are not that hard to understand, but we know each other best and the real way to get our attention is to understand the roles of Alpha Moms. That’s why the crafty Alpha mom, who I know is laughing as she reads this, calls me to set up her 13 year old’s Facebook account. We don’t do it all ourselves, in our world “There’s a Mom for that!”

Gym membership or skills?

 

Skills, abs, skills, abs oh let’s get real you want the abs, you need the skills. One of the best things you can add to your repertoire, especially if you want a job in social media marketing, is to get training in an area where you are weak. Since most business schools teach you marketing, and even digital marketing, as in my case, they don’t have a lot to offer in social media marketing yet. Employers looking to add people with these skills will appreciate the get up and go of candidates who have taken the initiative to teach themselves.  So like the crazy woman I am, I went to Mediabistro.com. Mediabistro offers a host of valuable courses for about the same price as that gym membership. So make a New Year’s resolution you know you can keep. You know you want skills too!

Kicking it New School!

New School Marketing is not just a cliché. It is a well-researched approach to how marketers can put their best foot forward in a changing arena. It is no longer acceptable for seasoned veterans to acquiesce to ignorance. Yes. I said it! Get your head out of the hole and get with the program! I don’t mean just hiring a techy to tweet on the companies behalf, but understanding how each component of a new school media campaign work together. The more you know, the better you can calculate the risks of taking your marketing department into this new frontier. So let’s start with the basics.

Responsys Interact offers a wealth of white paper and data on New School Marketing. This is a good place to start learning the basics. If you like what they have to say they offer services that can help your business launch a full-scale campaign and track metrics all from the same CMS. Download their informational white papers and read them over the holiday break. This may give you some new ideas on where to lead your company and marketing department in 2012.

Google+ a great opportunity.

This is a great article for those wanting to navigate the Google+ waters.
How to Build an Effective Google+ Brand Strategy: http://bit.ly/uUoCrW

Become an e-publican with InDesign!

So you know InDesign but you don’t write code? No problem.  Well if you’ve got an hour and you want to learn a great marketing tool. Adobe.tv has a very useful tutorial that has only had 800 page views. This is sacrilege! Check it out here. This Adobe Evangelist, Rufus Deuchler, is funny, engaging and smart! He will teach you to animate your pdf documents and format to tablet and mobile devices. So go forth and create great e-publications, no tuition required!

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/max-2011-design/publishing-to-digital-devices-with-indesign-cs55/

Is your business Gmail socializing?

Mine is now! It only took me ten minutes to use an awesome new service and choose a customizable template that I can attach to a business e-mail. Brandmymail.com  is my favorite new tool of the day. I get high quality branded e-mail that incorporates my blog, my twitter feed and other social media. It also looks great on mobile platforms. You know I had to check it out on my iPad and iPhone before I shared it with you! The template does not have to be sent automatically, just on the e-mails you choose. Brand My Mail has separate buttons for sending and previewing your e-mail. Now when you get referrals from friends they can pass on all of your social media and info just by forwarding the e-mail.

This is great for small business owners who want to jazz up their e-newsletter or just have a professional look to a local e-mail campaign. The features work with Gmail now, but they are writing code for more e-mail platforms rapidly. It works from pc’s running the Chrome or Firefox browser (both are free to download.) The email’s that are sent can be viewed properly by anyone on any platform. Best of all Brandmymail.com is free. Check out my new socializing Gmail here.  In addition, check out what Forbes has to say about it.

Caution: Do not go crazy with all the plug-ins you can use, you do want space to type your e-mail!

Multicultural marketing in a social media world!

Multicultural marketing in social media is an area that is often left unattended. Let’s face it while some larger U.S companies, such as Proctor and Gamble and Target, have poured resources into their marketing budgets for multicultural marketing, very few of those dollars are aimed at social media and multimedia projects for online audiences. There are several reasons to site; lack of available resources, limited expertise and inability to measure the effectiveness of such specifically targeted social media campaigns. South American company, SocialMetrix, has cornered the market on measuring multicultural social media engagement. Its software, Echo, monitors sites using complex language algorithms that are well versed in Spanish, English and Portuguese colloquialisms. This allows the software to give accurate feedback from consumers who interact with brands in any of the three languages even sarcastically.  You don’t need me to tell you this is huge! Now you can gauge how people feel about your product and company when they are in a space where they may use the comfort of a first language to interact with their friends.

Multicultural activity in social media online is a dominating force in social media networks. CapturaGroup  published a study in 2009 discussing the growing health and activity in social media by ethnic populations. The SocialMetrix Echo software could be a game changer in your company’s multicultural social media marketing.

When opportunity knocks….buy it!

One mans falter is another’s opportunity. Russell Simmons saw this opportunity. I believe all businesses can benefit from the faux pas of those that go before them. Social media wise, this is key. Russell Simmons took the opportunity to endear himself to the lost audience of Lowes by buying up the vacated ad space when Lowes pulled out of TLC reality show, All-American Muslim. He then publicly and socially admonished them on twitter and newsites. This is significant because Simmons, @uncleRUSH, has over a million followers. That’s some pretty far reach in the multicultural online community. I’m sure it will pay off royally for him with continued brand loyalty and revenue to his many ventures. ROI like this is how moguls are made and sustained. The multicultural dollar is strong, and Simmons is living proof.