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Facebook and MySpace added to Google and Bing real-time search.

There has been a debate within the CMO community discussing why they should approve a Facebook page and a MySpace Page for their company and or employees.  Mashable did a very valuable update on where this all stands.  Based on this update, the debate is over.  Get your company pages up on Facebook and MySpace to gain real-time organic content search.  More important, be sure to tell your team and family to clean up their pages on each or to close the access to their page if it is currently public, unless they want to be searched real-time.

 Google Adds Facebook Pages to Real-time Search
Posted: 24 Feb 2010 04:26 PM PST
 Google has announced that it has added a new content source to its real-time search feature: Facebook Pages.
Google launched real-time search in December, providing a real-time feed of information from Yahoo Answers, Twitter, blogs, news websites, and other sources for hot or trending search results.
Two integrations have lagged though: MySpace and Facebook. Eight days ago, Google added MySpace updates to its stream. And now Google has added Facebook Pages to the mix.
Still, Google’s stream doesn’t include public Facebook profiles, something only rival search engine Bing can access. This limits the usefulness of today’s update, but we still welcome the addition

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LinkedIn Strategy for how you connect. Lion, Turtle, HoundDog or Alley Cat.

Have you ever wondered why some people put [LION] after their name on LinkedIn?  Most CMOs are still trying to avoid LinkedIn except for people they know or want to know.  For others, there are strategies to how, what and why.  For myself, found out  I am more of an Alley Cat.  I like to connect, do it often, but want and need a connection as to why I have the contact. I do turn people down that I do not know.   So let’s try an experiment,  here is my linked in http://www.linkedin.com/in/karenkallet.  If you tell me that you came via this CMO Guide to Social Media blog, I will accept you.  However, tell me why you want the connection.  That is the Alley Cat in me.

 This blog from Community Marketing Blog lays out the why and what.  You need to decide which one are you and know if you see a tag on their name this is what it is meaning.

 Are You a LION, Turtle, HoundDog, or Alley Cat? What’s Your LinkedIn Strategy?

LI in Oz2
 LinkedIn is a fairly harmonious place.  People tend to act professional and when there are opposing opinions they typically become a case where people “agree to disagree”.  Things change though when you began discussing LIONS.  Suddenly the conversation isn’t so rosy.  

LION’s, for those who don’t know are open networkers.  They connect to just about anyone.  They see opportunity increasing as the number of connections increases.  Those who disagree see LIONS as simply driving their ego’s by counting the connections, as if the purpose of LinkedIn is to proudly claim to have 1,000’s of connections.

For the record I don’t consider myself a LION, yet I’m an open networker.  When writing my first LinkedIn book I identified three LinkedIn connection strategies.  This year I added a fourth to define how I now connect.

How you choose to connect will impact how you use LinkedIn and in the end your chances of finding success.

Before we look at the four connection strategies I want to make one point.  How you choose to connect on LinkedIn should be of no concern to anyone else.  It’s your network and your strategy.  As long as it works for you thats all that matters.

The Four LinkedIn Connection Strategies:

The LION
As stated above LIONS are completely open connectors.  They seek to increase their connections through actively sending out and accepting connection invitations.  While I’m sure there are a few who take pride in touting the specific number, the majority simply believe that large networks lead to more opportunity.

Steve Burda is a LION with over 30,000 connections.  I don’t know Steve but I’ve seen countless references to his taking time to help others.  So yes he has a large network, but no its not about the number.  Its about having the opportunity to help a significant number of people.  If this leads to new business for him, more power to him.

The Turtle
Turtles are the opposite of LIONS.  Turtles primarily only connect to those they know well.  They see value in having a tight network made up of individuals that they completely trust.  Their networks tend to be highly selective and can be counted on to pass on introductions, much like a private networking group.

I don’t know many Turtles but the ones I do know are like Steve interested in being a productive resource for those they choose to connect to.  LinkedIn is a way to enhance their offline networking making their existing relationships a little more connected.

The Hound Dog
When I first joined LinkedIn I was only aware of LIONS.  I knew right away that LinkedIn added an additional layer of connectivity to those I knew.  I also realized that it could help me meet other local business professionals that I did not know.

At each Chamber meeting they would pass out copies of everyone’s business cards.  After each meeting I would see who was on LinkedIn and then invite them to connect.  At the next Chamber meeting the connection provided a great ice breaker.  It also established connections with those people who only attended a single meeting.

I also used LinkedIn to seek out people I would like to connect with.  Doing this allowed me to establish connections with other business professionals who might help my clients, become a referral partner, and some who were prospects.  This ability to hunt for specific people led me to define the strategy as a Hound Dog.

A Hound Dog is someone who uses LinkedIn to connect to those they know, to connect to those they would like to know, and accepts invitations from those that would be beneficial to be connected to.  

For the first year that I was serious about using LinkedIn I followed this strategy.  Then one day I had a thought, “How do I know whether or not a connection I know could benefit from a connection that I didn’t know?”   The answer was that I didn’t know.

It was that at this point that I changed my strategy for connecting on LinkedIn. 

The Alley Cat
I still only send invitations to people I know or people that I have a specific reason for connecting to.  What changed is that I now accept invitations from just about anyone.  There is value in knowing your connections but there are also unexpected opportunities that develop from establishing new connections, known and unknown.

This connection strategy supports my overall LinkedIn strategy which is this:  I seek to provide value to and help as many people as possible.  Much of that value is provided through the Social Media Sonar blog, sharing tips and strategies with others on how to more effectively utilize LinkedIn and social media/networking.  Sometimes its through being the hub to connect two people.  At other times its through conducting workshops, writing LinkedIn books and guides, etc.  The more people I am connected to the more people that I can share with.

I believe that to create opportunity you have to first be willing to help others.  Then, by consistently sharing value over time, you allow people to move through the Process of Familiarity.  A process that has to happen before someone will choose to do business with you.

What I call the Process of Familiarity likely has been called many things by other people.   The three components are:

  • People need to Know You or at a Minimum Know Of You:  Often connecting or engaging in conversations will accomplish this.
  • People Must Like You or Have a Positive Opinion:  How you interact with others and the value of the content you share will help here.  If people like your content they will like you.
  • People Must Trust You:  Building trust is dependent upon engaging on conversations or sharing value consistently over time.  As people see you on an ongoing basis and are exposed to the value you share the “Like” will grow into “Trust”.

Through this process here’s what I’ve seen happen.  Each week I write one or two blog posts that show people how to utilize LinkedIn.  I then use the tools LinkedIn provides to communicate that there is a new blog post.  People visit the blog for the first time or as a repeat visitor.  At some point they check out my profile and learn what it is that I do and see how I can help them.  

If they like the content they begin to have a positive impression of me and this eventually moves to a sense of trust.  At this point if they ever have a need for my services I am top of mind and they will contact me.

Something else happens as well.  People like to share content on other Social Media sites so at some point they become my social media amplification system.  This introduces my blog to people outside of the communities I’ve built.

Wrap Up
The connection strategy you choose will depend upon how you want to use LinkedIn.  There is no right or wrong choice as long as your connection strategy supports the goals you have determined.  For me the change to an Alley Cat has helped generate 3 to 5 contacts per week about my services.

Which strategy are you using and why?  If you agree or disagree with the post please leave a comment.  Your perspective is as important as mine, so share it with everyone.

Sean Nelson is the author of the Social Media Sonar blog and has written three LinkedIn eBooks including one of the first books detailing how to strategically use LinkedIn to grow your business. “LinkedIn Marketing Secret Formula”.  He is a Partner in SONARconnects.”

Trend Watch: Channels – SlideShare adds Content Channels.

SlideShare is adding Content Channels and is a trend to get on board with now.  SlideShare is an online Powerpoint /slide show program that you can use for presentations, conference calls, feed to your blogs, to LinkedIn or is available for organic search from the search engines.   This is sort of pod casting made easy for static presentations.  SlideShare is also a great place to do research on a subject, since many speakers put their presentations on Slide share and you are allowed to download them.

Here is the info on thier new launch and an explaination of how some are using it from their newsletter.

“Today we added Channels – the newest kid on the SlideShare block. Channels are branded spaces on SlideShare for companies and brands. They provide an extra bit of oomph for companies with great content. 

  • If you are looking for interesting content, then go to the Channels section to find interesting channels to browse. We will feature those with the most interesting content. Some of the early channels are
    Microsoft Office has setup a channel focused on parenting topic (project done in collaboration with our partners, Federated Media)
    Ogilvy has setup a concept channel for Pharma
    Razorfish Marketing uploads about interactive marketing & technology
  • Pew Internet has shared a lot of their research reports about the internet & internet usage
  • Whitehouse is sharing almost 1000 presentations and documents
    We’re also rolling out topical Channels that are curated by our content team. For example, channels on Cloud Computing and Social Media. You’ll more of them in the coming months as we roll out new topics.

If your company or organization is interested in channels, then get in touch by going here.

The FREE Tools list for social media on the web.

Guest blogger: Serena Carpenter agreed that I may share some  info from her social media classes that she teaches at Arizona State. She used this hand out for an American Marketing Association meeting that she was a panelist on.  I found her to be a breath of fresh air, really gets the space and is teaching students leading edge info, as it is happening.

She has so much great info that she uses with her students and is giving us access via her blog, which also has some other great info that you can read and learn from.

 FREE Tools by Serena Carpenter /Arizona State University, – used with her permission.

MONITOR YOUR REACH (Twitter Tools Featured Lower)

  • YouTube “Insight” (Video)
  • View detailed statistics about uploaded videos including views, popularity peaks, demographics
  • SiteMeter (Traffic analyzer)
  • Tracks location, key words used, referrals, site visit length average, average visits per day, etc. for your Web site.
  • Google Analytics (Traffic Analyzer)
  • Tracks how people get to your site, the content clicked on, average pages per visit, etc. for your Web site.
  • Google Feedburner (Subscribers)
  • Tracks the number of people who subscribe to your RSS feeds.  Submit your site also to Feed-Squirrel and OctoFinder Web sites.
  • Google Alerts (Monitor Brand and Conversations)
  • Provides email message when someone writes about you.
  • Site Valuation and Other Stats Sites
  • Website Outlook (http://www.websiteoutlook.com/www.problogger.net)
  • Enter your URL to determine how much your site is worth.  It includes other stats.  Other similar sites include QuarkBase, urlfan, StatBrain, CubeStat, WebTrafficAgents, and AboutTheDomain.
  • Social Media Monitoring Sites
  • SM2 http://sm2.techrigy.com/main/ offers tools to help businesses to find out what people are talking about.  You can measure your page’s popularity using Social Meter http://www.socialmeter.com/
  • Analytics Toolbox from Mashable – 50 ways to monitor site traffic
  • http://mashable.com/2009/01/12/track-online-traffic/

SHARING

  • YouTube (Video)
  • Share your video postings on Facebook, Twitter or Google Reader.
  • Vimeo Widget (Video)
  • Embed a visual montage of your latest videos widget to your site.  You can cross-post video to YouTube and Vimeo.
  • Slideshare (Presentations)
  • Add the Blog Sidebar Widget to highlight your latest presentations.
  • FriendFeed (Share numerous social media sites) use Socialthing or OpenID
  • Share all of your social media activity with your Facebook friends or embed a widget for your site.
  • Delicious (bookmarking site)
  • Share your linkroll or a badge on other sites by embedding code.
  • MediaWiki (http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki)
  • Create a wiki for your FAQ or Customer Service knowledge base.  Let your consumers enter the problems they’ve had via a public forum (the wiki), and provide your responses publicly as well.

GET YOUR SITE INDEXED ON SEARCH ENGINES

  • Add blog to community portals and search engines
  • Try adding your site to BlogCatalog, Blogged, Technorati, BlogPulse, Google Blogs, or NetworkedBlogs(Facebook).
  • Update different search engines that your blog has updated
  • Sign up for http://pingomatic.com/ and http://blogsearch.google.com/ping.
  • Squidoo
  • Community website that allows people to create pages (called “lenses”) on various topics.  Creating a topic related to your blog and include your feed in that page would help your blog get indexed.

 TWITTER TOOLS

  1. TweetStats.  Provides the average per day (http://tweetstats.com)
  2. WeFollow.  Add yourself to the Twitter search http://wefollow.com/
  3. Favstarhttp://favstar.fm/.  Favstar shows you who favorites your tweets.
  4. Twinfluence ranking.  Expect it to be low.  http://twinfluence.com/
    1. If you have a grade of 75%, it means that you have a higher reach than 75% of the other twitterers analyzed.
    2. If your rank is #400, that means there are 399 other twitterers in the system who have higher reach scores.
  5. TwitterGrader http://twitter.grader.com/

Both sites grade you on the number of followers you have and your influence on these followers.  Grader also measures the pace of your updates, while Influence measures the informational value of your followers.

6.      Twitalyzer http://www.twitalyzer.com/twitalyzer/index.asp.  Measures your impact and success in social media

7.      Retweet http://www.retweetist.com/ lets you know what posts have been RTed.

8.      Twazzup http://www.twazzup.com/ and inView

http://myinview.com/login.php tracks mentions of you on Twitter

9.      Link shorteners capture traffic to twitter feed.  For example, use trim and bit.ly to shorten urls, then later add a + to see how many people clicked!  Example: http://bit.ly/JTkk+

10.  Search Twitter  http://search.twitter.com/

270 Tools for Running Business Online  http://mashable.com/2008/09/21/270-online-business-tools/

FixYa Social Tech Support  http://www.fixya.com

Top 5 Business Blogging Mistakes and How to Fix Them  http://mashable.com/2009/09/21/business-blogging-mistakes/

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.

5 Reasons to invest in better packaging for consumer products.

Guest blogger: Joe Ray from Estudio Ray.

On occasion, I invite guest bloggers to share a subject they have expertise in.  Joe Ray is a brilliant designer and packaging guy and I value  his insight and expertise.  We spoke about the shift away from good packaging design focus and here is his blog on the subject to help the CMO’s and Marketing Directors across the country who read this blog improve in this area.

5 REASONS TO INVEST IN BETTER PACKAGING FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS. By  Joe Ray

Go to a grocery store, major supermarket or any other mass market retailer and stand in the aisle. Look around. For the most part, things have a tendency to visually run together. We tend to focus on the particular product category that we’re looking for. What grabs your eye? Can you tell one brand from another? Let’s face it, a lot of advertising is lost on consumers, so the packaging may be the only opportunity you have to speak and sell to them.

 Here are 5 points as to why to invest in better packaging:

1. With the number of products competing for consumers’ eyeballs and dollars, it’s difficult to grab and maintain their attention. Packaging might be your first and only opportunity to connect with consumers. New products continue to grow and with increasing competition, this creates additional challenges. How do you plan to stand out?

 2. Grab the consumer’s attention in 2 or 3 seconds. In the aisle and on the shelves, when consumers come across the package; it’s your opportunity to make a first impression or to get them to say, “Hey, I know you” or “Okay, let’s talk.” Stand out from your competitors’ products.

3. Create an emotional connection with the consumer. “Emotion activates the brain 3,000 times faster than regular thought. As a result, shoppers are willing to pay up to 200% more when their decision is based on emotion rather than reason.” A great quote by Lucas Conley from his book Branding Disorder. The package’s visual cues should prompt them to pick up the product and purchase it.

4. Don’t be like everyone else. You don’t have to play follow the leader. Just because everyone uses blue, doesn’t mean you have to. Do you want to be like them or do you want to sell? Look for niche markets and appeal to them. You want consumers to like you, to develop an affinity for your product and to spread the good word.

5. Packaging can and should become iconic and firmly rooted in consumers’ minds. A brand that demands a unique positioning in the consumer’s mind, should be uniquely packaged.

Whether it’s a new brand being launched or a heritage brand, shouldn’t it demand mindshare? Act accordingly. Develop trust. Also, the same principles apply to packaging beyond the shelves (B2B, online, etc.). Your marketing has a coherent consistency to it. Your packaging should apply this same discipline and be effective. If your product gets lost in the blur, you’ve got some very big challenges on your hands. Play it smart.

If you want more information or to contact Joe Ray he is President/Creative Director of Estudio Ray
http://www.estudioray.com. His phone number is 602/840/1580 or by email at: joe@estudioray.com
Estudio Ray is A Visual Branding Agency.

Visit his blog at:  http://blog.estudioray.com/

Google Wave, now that I have it, what do I do with it?

Google Wave, now that I have, it what do I do with it?

Ok,  I signed up and waited, and begged for an invite and nothing for months and then last night a non descript email from a person I did not know came inviting me to the Google Wave Beta!!!  Thrilled yes, legit, I did not know.  Ok, was this a spam email or real?  My husband said not to link to it, it must be phishing, I still took the leap of faith that they were not trying to rip off my email log ins and went for it.  It was real and it does work.  I was welcomed to the world of Google Wave.

So now that it did work and I am locked and loaded with the Wave,  here is what I have learned so far.  You have to download Google Chrome, if you want to play with Google Wave.  I kept avoiding that, then I needed an upgrade in my Adobe,.  It then lets you in once you agree to all the terms and tells you to view a loooong video.  Over an hour…….. then it brings you into the Google wave screen.

The first thing I noticed was none of your old emails come into the wave, and only the 10 friends in my address book, who also have Google wave showed up in the address book.  You can’t play until you get the wave.

There is a 2 min video that gives you less than the basics and tells you not to touch anything, since it will make the video go away.  I did find that I was given a new  googlwave email address, in addition to my gmail address.  I was not expecting that.  I assumed a smooth transition of my gmail address and emails into Wave.  Not the case.  It starts again new.   If this is the case, and I now have a new email address, then do I need to add this address to my blackberry feeds or forward it to one I look at?  So many questions, so few answers. 

Ok, so now that I have it, what do I do with it?  I did the only thing that seem to work for me, I pinged two on the list.  No answer, do you have to be on at the same time?  I had to get out of  the wave to check my real email, so who will use this beta form?  Don’t know, but it is like blogging, at first I did not get it and now I can’t live without it. 

 Google Wave… I think I will love you someday, just today you are a stranger dropped on my doorstep.  I don’t know what to do with you?   Should I spend the time to feed you and shelter you or pack your bags.  Time will tell.  So this the hot ticket in town turns out to be a blind date….. how interesting.