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Adding Group SMS text messages to your marketing or communications plans

 Finding ways to leverage SMS or Text marketing is always a challenge on how to do carefully selected text messages to targeted audiences.  Messages like getting a key message out to your sales force or you need to change a location or time for an event and to grow customer engagement. Broadcasting text alerts to your subscribers and have it also push to your Twitter, Facebook and website visitors in one stroke is a valuable tool to consider. Mashable recently covered this subject.

” Christina Warren  from Mashable blog has done a very good outline of a way to easily do this.

This post is part of Mashable’s Spark of Genius series, which highlights a unique feature of startups. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here. The series is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark.
 

Name: TextMarks

 Quick Pitch: TextMarks group text messaging services turn any mobile phone into a powerful marketing tool.

 Genius Idea: TextMarks makes it easy to create SMS marketing campaigns by letting users send a text message with a custom keyword of your choice to 41411. You can also use TextMarks auto-post service to send out SMS messages to subscribers and also update Facebook() and Twitter().

As the Red Cross’s efforts in raising money for Haiti proved, text messages can be a powerful way to engage others and to spread information. It’s not just about joke-of-the-day subscriptions or other nonsense that you see at 2AM on TV — real money and real causes can be publicized through text.

 

TextMarks is a service that makes it really easy to set-up a mobile campaign to broadcast messages or updates to users that opt-in to your service by first texting a keyword. 

What we like about TextMarks is that the service is easy to set-up and affordable. You can try out the service for free and send unlimited ad-supported messages each month, and ad-free plans start at $9.95 a month. For small businesses or small groups like churches or clubs, that’s a really nice option. 

We also like that you can update Twitter and Facebook with the same messages you send out to other users. That way, if you’re using messages to keep people updated with scheduling information or other time-sensitive info, the message can go out across all of your social channels.”

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Bing has issued best practices guidelines for SEO, SEM

Search Engine Optimization Journal is an SEO Blog that discusses Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Ranking and Positioning for the new and advanced reader and has a very interesting article on Bing and branding your website. I found this article very interesting, since SEO and SEM have become such a part of our lives in marketing. Bing  is recommending that you take an approach that utilizes a robust social marketing element into your daily routine.  They also talk about focus on link building as a key to the success of your website.  I also was interested in the term going “unnatural” in the search engines which manipulates the system in order to achieve higher rankings. Having Bing talk about link building and other best practices will make it clearer as to your next steps with you agency or team.   Good read.

Bing Gets Serious About Link Building

Writing by Nick Stamoulis on Friday, February 26, 2010

I think one of the best things I have ever heard a webmaster blog from a major search engine say is to build your website like a brand. Bing’s exact words state: “Develop your site as a business brand and be consistent about that branding in your content”

Too many people out there get all antsy to have their internet marketing look like a recipe. If it looks like a recipe it is a recipe for disaster. Bing’s official webmaster blog states that it is very important and vital to treat your website like a brand. How would a brand build its image? If you take that step you will build your business the right way rather than just go after rankings. Rankings are important but they are not the only and final goal you should be worried about for your internet marketing campaign. Building business is the most important aspect to your SEO campaign. Bing also recommends taking an approach that really utilizes a robust social marketing element into your daily routine. Link building is very vital to the success of a website but unfortunately it is important to do it in a way that allows your business to grow and not just your rankings. Bing also refers to going “unnatural” in the search engines which states that an unnatural approach is one that blatantly attempts to manipulate the system in order to achieve higher rankings.

Bing’s exact words go as follows:
” So what does it mean to go unnatural? It means you’re trying to fake out the search engines, to try to earn a higher ranking that the quality of your site’s content dictates as natural through manipulation of search engine ranking algorithms.”

Bing hasn’t been the first search engine to come out with this type of best practice’s guide. Google has been doing it for years now just not many people want to follow it. When the top two search engines in the world layout a best practices guide on how you should conduct your search engine optimization efforts it is time to listen.

Please take a look at the Bing Webmaster Post that talks about link building and SEM, it is a great read:

http://www.bing.com/community/blogs/webmaster/archive/2009/11/20/link-building-for-smart-webmasters-no-dummies-here-sem-101.aspx

Do free promotion offers work? Follow the line to Dennys

Here is a photo that I took of the Denny’s Free breakfast crowd from the road as I was leaving today.

By the looks of things at my local Denny’s the Free Breakfast  promotion announced during the Superbowl was a sell out.  I drove into the parking lot to go to another business and could not find a place to park in three parking lots!  The crowds were pouring out of their cars, like they were going to the state fair.  The line was out the door and around the building.

 So give them credit for gaining trial.  Customer Engagement at it’s finest.  Customers using texts, blogs and emails all about the promotion is a social media strategists dream.   What about retention, I am not so sure.  Quality service, is in the hands of the wait staff and cooks.  Will people stand in line for free food? Yes… they will.  Will they come back and pay?… Denny’s will need to report of that.  ROI… priceless…

List of key links to social media tools at your fingertips.

Looking for a social media links and tools at your finger tips. Here is my list of key links and tools to social media  at your fingertips. 

This blog is called  CMOguidetosocialmedia.wordpress.com  and now I have listed all my top links that I use all the time to the right.  It is a place for me to have them all in one place, so it is also a benefit for you, since there are far to many for me to remember.

None of these are endorsements, these are just links I like to sites that put my social media tools be at my fingertips.  Some of these links I use all the time, some are just bookmarks because I like the concept and want to be able to remember them or use them at a future date.

Ad agency pay per tweet programs

I had an interesting  question come to the blog.   How should you pay a PR or ad agency for doing your companies tweeting?  Some have suggested a flat fee per day others are floating the idea of doing an “Ad agency pay per tweet programs.”

Both raise some interesting changes in the way social media will be used and how to monitize the actions involved with keeping it ongoing. The bigger question is how much should you as a CMO decide to keep in house and how much should you outsource?  How much control do you want or how much over site due to privacy policies or regulation do you need?   What about the tweeting across the company, should marketing be the control valve or is it really a legal, customer service or operation function?

 I look forward to your comments as to how you are compensating your agencies for tweeting.

TweetSaver is a way to manage your Twitter tweets for search, tag and bookmarking

What to do with Twitter as a CMO?   Are you thinking how do I monetize ROI, manage and utilize our Social Media efforts with Twitter in a way that will allow me to optimize and manage our tweets more effectively? 

 Take a look at Tweetsaver- it costs $10.00 to $20.00 annually, and may be a good solution for finding a way with your Twitter program to do a central back up, allow a bookmark of your tweets and tag the tweets for organic search.  This will start to monetize your efforts on Twitter as content and SEO.  TweetSaver gives you a way to archive, search, tag and share all of the content that you are creating on twitter.

They say “One year of backups, searching, tagging, etc AND Save 50% for spreading the word about TweetSaver! When you sign up, we’ll send the following tweet on your behalf: I’m backing up, searching, and tagging all my tweets with http://tweetsaver.com, shouldn’t you?”

Here is the link to check it out:  http://tweetsaver.com/

Google Caffeine will change your search ranking for key terms.

Update from Mashable: that it seems that comparegoogle.com has stopped working, but you can also check out a similar service called www.comparecaffeine.com.
I had heard all about upgrading to Google Chrome to increase the speed of my search as a consumer searching on Google.  What  I am now hearing about is Google Caffeine and this is a much bigger alert item for CMO’s-need to know list. 
The big watch list item for me is called Google Caffeine.  This change will change the way your web pages are being presenting in organic search.  Thus that big SEO project you completed last year is about to need a facelift and fast.
I was trying to find some good info for myself and to recommend to you and the best I found was from Webupd8.  They have a good write up on the subject and I tested the tool they recommended on a couple of my URLs and found  that I will need to do some changes to improve my SEO to get back some ranking and in cases some it will gain me a much better ranking  then I had before for key terms and I am thrilled.
Webupd8 blogs says:
“Google is in the process of implementing some very major changes to their search algorithms and this can therefore alter the existing rankings of your web pages in Google Search results of the future.

For instance, if one of your web pages is currently ranked in Google at #3 for the phrase “wallpapers”, it’s quite possible that the position may shift either way after the new version of Google goes live.

Google has created a preview site (Caffeine)where you can play around with the upcoming changes before these get pushed to the main google.com website. And that itself is expected to happen in the next few weeks.

google search side-by-side caffeine
 
 
 If you like to compare the existing Google ranks of your web pages with that of the future, check out Compare Google – this tools places the top 20 results from the old and new search engine side by side so you can easily figure out how your site will perform in the future.

Another Google comparison tool is located at Cartercole.comwhich, unlike Compare Google, displays Google search results in their original form – this is perfect for queries that trigger Google Universal Searchso you can know what images and video clips results will get displayed in Google Caffeine for your queries.”