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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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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…

CMOguidetosocialmedia.com blog is now live.

CMO guide to social media blog has grown rapidly over the past 6 months. It is growing in ways I never imagined. Many of you have asked in there a faster or shorter way to get to the CMO Guide to Social Media blog, as of today there is.  The blog now has its own URL, cmoguidetosocialmedia.com , so now you can come to the blog on social media the old way:  www.cmoguidetosocialmedia.wordress.com or you can go direct to the blog at www.cmoguidetosocialmedia.com. Remember, you can also sign up to have new blog posts sent to you by email by signing up on the blog site form, or sign up for the RRS feed on the blog.

This CMO social media blog is a social media guide that covers many areas and trends of social media, showcases tools for marketers that you need to know, information for marketing plans and trends that include social media, hot new trends, direct response TV and social media and mobile apps,  just to name a few.

“The CMOguidetosocialmedia blog read by Chief Marketing Officers, Vice Presidents of Marketing and Marketing Directors from all across the US and is actually read in Asia and Europe to my surprise.  All wanting to learn social media from a former CMO who is an expert in social media, blogging, lead generation and customer engagement.”

Karen Kallet founded the CMOguidetosocialmedia blog due to a need to help out her other CMO’s in a share group she was in, who wanted her insight about what she was doing in social media.  Karen is an avid blogger and expert in social media,web content and lead generation.  She has been a CMO  Chief Marketing Officer, as well as prior VP of Online for a 6000 page original content website with  e-commerce and uses leading edge social media tools.  She  had also been a VP of Advertising, Online and lead generation for a major education training school group.  

“I learned that many other CMOs admit  privately they do not have not a clue when it really comes to social media and really need help with the process and the adaptation.  Having worked hands on in the world of  e-commerce, lead generation, PPC, SEO, SEM, UI and have been on the leading edge of integrating social media, I have the ability to make  the social media world effective and meaningful for both ROI and consumer interaction.  Plus I can explain it in a way that makes sense and is actionable to other c- level marketers. ” 

If you have a subject for the blog and want to be considered for a guest blogger spot  you can contact her with your topic, via email at  Karen.Kallet@gmail.com, and you can view her website at www.KalletCommunications.com

Will altering your website change search?

Will altering your website change search.  This question was searched on my blog and I thought it was very important to reply.

 Yes Yes  and YES

Change meta tags and it will change search, add title tags or keywords and it will improve or hurt search.

Change and add anchor tags and it will change search.

Add more relevant copy and it will change search,

Add Metas to each page, it will add relevance to each page

Add an XML site map, makes is easy for Google to search,

Get rid of drop downs and make it easier to have Google search,

Get rid of an all flash, non Flash 4, and make it more of a searchable website and it will improve your SEO score.

Be sure if it is flash you have an HTML version of your site for search

Title tag every photo will improve search

Add videos , and it will improve

So yes altering your website will change search, if done right for the better.

Create more relevant pages and it will improve your PPC score.

Meta Tag basics

Meta tags is one of the basic areas that CMOs overlook or do not know about.  You can look  at the Meta Tags of your website from the back-end of the code, this can also be done to look at your competitor websites meta tags for this important information. You should also do this for all pages, not just your home page.

Here is where to look to see your meta tags:

1: Open the website page you want to see the meta tags for.

2: Go to the outlook tool bar and click on View,

2: Then click on Source.  This will bring up the back-end HTML code for that page of the website.

3: Now look towards to the top of the code for the words:  Title: read what it says, since this is what Google is seeing. Be sure to use all of this valuable marketing area.

4: Next look for Meta name Description, Read those words,does it match the message you want for your company to be found under.

5: Read the Meta Keywords.  This will give you what keyword terms the search engines would be searching under. 

Over the past few years, Google is relying less and less on Meta tags due to keyword stuffing, but it still should be in place for each page.  Many times I find this basic meta missing for websites, or only done for the home page.  Designers can design a nice flash website, but may not understanding that Google cannot search older versions of art done in flash, if it is not Flash 4, and they also did not know enough to at least put in the basic meta tags per page.

Here is the rule of thumb as to what to do for Meta tags.:

Title tags: No more that 65 to 70 characters ( letters) Place your main keyword first.
Description tags: Up to 160 characters or 24 words max.
Key word tags: Choose your top 25 to more than 50 per page per particular page.

Remember you cannot use the same term ie photography,over and over again with a different key term, like product photography, still life photography.  So you will have to get creative of how to say the same thing in different ways.

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.

Adding video to your social media efforts.

Yes, you should be adding video to all of your social media efforts.  You need to have your various teams from marketing, corporate communications, sales, training and operations be gathering up all those old videos and b roll and repurposing them for the digital age. Thus creating a digital dam of video from which to repurpose.

If you do not have the inhouse expertise,  there are many video companies who do that very economically.  I like Mantis Media for my video shoots and edit repurposing.  I also like Burst Marketing for podcasting.  There are hundreds of companies doing this work, so just ask your team who they use. If they tell you it is going to be expensive, then call my guys and get a bid.  The cost is very affordable, so don’t let your teams lack of excitement about harvesting the old stuff give way to the rush of doing all new stuff, but be sure that either way it includes digital use rights.  Review your talent/model release forms and your video contracts to be sure that you have the rights on past work and even more important that it is included for any new shoots.

Buy a HD flip camera for fast video capture which is under $200. It has a USB plug in and is so easy to use and capture…store openings, customer testimonials.  You can also record YouTube style videos with a web cam.  If it does not come on your lap top, for under $100 you can get a HD web cam with a USB.

This should not wait to be part of the 2010 plans, this needs to be done now!… so get video shot, edited and most important uploaded to website, blogs, twitters, Facebook and other sites that will take your video like Flickr, Vimeo, Vodpod and others.