Tag Archives: social media marketing

What Message Are You Trying To Project?

A strange thing happened to my wife and I last Saturday.

Some Saturday mornings, we decide to go to what’s known as the Regional Market of Central New York. People from all over central New York sell all sorts of things there like fruits and vegetables, candies and cakes, candles and perfumes, fish, clothes, foods, etc. My wife goes almost every Saturday. I’m kind of a part time guy; I invariably have a good time (when it’s warm weather), but you have to go early if you want to be close to everything, otherwise you could have a long walk coming.

This Saturday was going along like any other. I was saying hello to babies, being my naturally friendly self, while my wife was looking at produce that she and a friend were going to share later. This particular week there happened to be a Christian group booth in the middle of one of the display areas, and as we got there I got distracted by some honey roasted cashews on a table to my right. I’m not sure what my wife was doing, as she was slightly behind me, but I heard the man ask her if she would take a flyer he wanted to give her. She politely said no, and his response was “are you ready to die?”

Because I knew she wasn’t in danger I didn’t turn around, but kind of out loud I said “I’m thinking that’s not the best sales pitch I’ve ever heard.” The women in front of me heard it and laughed, and one of them turned around and gave me a high five. I accepted it, but I was thinking “what the heck was that all about?”

In the next display area we came to, a man was smiling and holding out his flyers. This time I said no thanks and walked on, but my wife decided to take his flyer. On the front was what you see in the image: Muslims for Peace. Later on, while sitting in the car while my wife went into a new hair salon to ask some questions, I pulled the flyer out and read through it, and found it somewhat illuminating.

No, I’m not about to go out and become a Muslim. However, I have to say that the two messages my wife and I got literally within minutes of each other were drastically striking and contrary. If my only experience ever with both Christianity and Islam had been these two men, you know which way my support would have gone. The way information was presented was way different, and even though I understand the message the Christian man wanted to convey to my wife, in a public forum with lots of other people around and one chance to make a good impression, he uttered a statement that could have been taken as a threat, but was definitely taken as one of strange intolerance for someone else’s position, all from deciding she didn’t want a flyer.

Lately here I’ve been talking about influence and social media marketing, but in the past on my other blog I’ve talked about consequences and perception. Giving people a reason to dislike you more because you said something wrong rather than stating an opinion someone else may or may not like is almost never worth it if you really care about getting business, making friends, etc. I’ve talked a lot about how social media can be your friend, but sometimes it can also hurt your online and offline business if your timing is bad and your words not quite correct. Of course, as I’ve always said, if you’re ready to deal with the consequences you can say anything you want.

Of course, I have no religion or faith, so I’m not going to be changing to anything any time soon. Still, if I were at Hogwarts I’d probably have given 50 points to some house and taken 50 points away from another. I wonder who ended up scoring better on the day once my wife and I left last Saturday.

Love Couture Love Peace Sequin Tunic






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Do I Know Social Media Marketing?

You know, often we think we know something but we’re never really sure. I did that workshop on social media marketing in July, and I have another one in 9 days. Still, I acknowledge that I have a shortcoming or two.


photo by birgerking

Actually, my main shortcoming is that I don’t know about all the technologies that are out there. For instance, there’s probably 50 different applications that can access Twitter, yet I found one that I liked and I’ve stuck with that one. There are many websites that one can sign up for that can access all your social media accounts, but that type of thing isn’t quite my style so I haven’t kept up with them. In other words, some of my technological knowledge is lacking.

Last Tuesday I found myself at a business meeting with an organization that I’m putting together a website for. Actually, it wasn’t quite confirmed that I was doing it, but I went to the meeting thinking that we were going to be talking about something else. Instead, the website and I turned out to be the topic of the entire meeting, especially talking about social media marketing. For 90 minutes I held court, giving advice and answering every question that came my way, and finally the guy who’d invited me told everyone there that they had just gotten a large amount of free advice that I could probably have charged big bucks for. One other guy there said that I had given him more information in 90 minutes than he’d been able to learn in 3 years. I also got some other platitudes later on; I just wish businesses realized that not everyone drinks coffee, so I need to remember to bring my own drinks.

So what did I tell them? Wouldn’t you like to know? lol I’ll give away a couple of things. One, I told them that trying to do a social media marketing plan takes time, no matter what type of plan they go for, and as a consortium of independent business people, they were going to have to agree on a plan and who would be doing what.

I talked to them about blogging and how it’s kind of a community, but that there are many ways to build your community. In their model, they’ll be sending out a once a month newsletter and a once a week email, so they can put links to blog posts there. I also told them how they could post their own article via the “pages” option within the blog, and that I would take that link and add it to their articles page. The blog will be put into a subdomain on their website. I recommended at least one post a week, and when asked what would happen if all of them wrote articles on the same day, not only did I say I didn’t see it happening, but that when they went to write actual blog posts that they’d see the previous blog articles with date and time, and could postdate articles so they’d post at another time.

And of course we talked about LinkedIn, Twitter, webinars, forums, etc. I don’t see them doing much of any of these things, but one never knows. Meanwhile, I felt good about myself as I left; it seems that I do know some of this stuff, and I’m happy about that.

Office Star Air Grid Back Leather Chair with Platinum Finish Metal Base - 3680

Office Star Air Grid Back Leather Chair with Platinum Finish Metal Base






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Social Media And SEO

At the workshop I put on last week with my friend Renée, one of the interesting questions that came up was how social media marketing impacted a business website’s search engine optimization. I thought I’d answer that here as I did last week because if I was asked there, then someone else might want to know that answer as well.

One of the things you often hear about what helps you rank higher on Google, and I’m not talking page rank here, is getting one directional (I’m debating as to whether it’s “directional” or “direction”; have to think about that more) inbound links. By that, it means you’re getting a free link from someone without necessarily giving one back. Supposedly, search engines love that, because it shows that outside people are giving you love without your asking for it. By the way, that’s also why they hate paid links, even if you use the “rel=nofollow” attribute, because they think those advertisers are trying to game the system, if you will.

So, let’s look at a few of the social media sites where you might do some marketing to see how it all works. If you use Twitter, you have to create a profile, and if you’re smart you’ll put your business link in there. Mine has my business link instead of the link to this blog. Now, the only link I have back to Twitter is to my name on Twitter so people can follow me. I have nothing on my business site that goes to Twitter except for the same thing. Now, every blog post I make pops up on Twitter, which means all of my blogs get immediate link love. If someone clicks on the links, they’ll go to my sites. Even if they don’t, I still get link love, and I get more if someone decides to retweet it. Not a bad deal for a quick post.

LinkedIn and Facebook work in a similar way. When you create your profile, if you pop in a link to your business website, you’ll get the benefit of an inbound link. Both of those websites are pretty prominent, so that benefits your site. But then you go further. On both sites, posts from my business blog show up like they do on Twitter. This means I’m generating one directional links to my blog, which is attached to my website, and thus I’m helping to increase my SEO. Even with my creating a business page on Twitter and linking it to my blogs, like you see there to the right, my SEO is intact because every time I write something on that page, or anyone else does, it gets shared with everyone who’s decided they “like” my page, and if they’re commenting on a link I left, that gets spread around as well. By the way, on Facebook I’ve included links to all of my sites, whereas on LinkedIn I’ve only added links to my two main business sites and my blog.

The concept pretty much works with all the social media marketing areas you might try. If you create a YouTube account and set it up properly, you’ll get an inbound link. Every email you send where you have a link in your profile you get a little bit of that, but you get more if it goes to a place where someone has to log in online to see their email. If you participate in forums, you should make sure you have a signature file with your link in it.

Now, I have to say this one thing, and it’s important. Just getting links means nothing. If your website isn’t optimized correctly, those links aren’t going to help you one bit. If you don’t have any real content, the search engines still won’t know what you do, and neither will people who eventually might come to your site. So, you have to have a well rounded SEO program going for any of this to help your site and your business.

KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera / Aqua

KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera






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SMM Countdown – Audio And Visual Options

Tomorrow I’ll be doing my workshop on social media marketing locally with my friend Renée Scherer of Presentations Plus. Once again, instead of talking about it, I’m going to link to yesterday’s post on LinkedIn, which will link to the previous day’s post, and I’m also going to link to my post from last week talking about the third phase of my social media marketing methods for this workshop, since something that’s there is something I’m going to talk about here.


A Heap of Televisions
by Morgan Howarth

Something that’s generally easier to do today is to create a social media marketing strategy using audio and visual media options to help get your message across. Just six years ago visual media didn’t really exist for the masses, and even when it went live in February 2005, I doubt anyone expected that YouTube could be used for the types of things it’s used for now. Back in 2004 we could create MP3 files as sound files that we could then somehow get to other people, but they were large files and we didn’t have the download speeds we do today, so it took awhile before people could listen to your media.

These days, getting a video online takes creating an account on YouTube or Vimeo or one of the other sites, uploading the video from your computer or flash drive, which will only take a few minutes depending on the speed of your connection, and not only are you set with your video being online but it creates both a link to the video and code for your video that can be embedded into yours or anyone else’s site that takes a liking to it. That’s what I did last week with the above link to Phase III, where I posted a video of Renée talking about both our event and the place it was being held. It literally took her a couple of hours to film the video (multiple takes), get it to someone who cleaned it up in a couple of hours, then get it to me and have me take about 20 minutes to create the account and get the video uploaded. Then the next day it took me a minute to embed the video into the post; just amazing stuff.

With audio, there are many options, free and paid. Free options include popping an MP3 file online, which I’ve done with the numerous times I’ve been interviewed on both this blog and my business blog. Because download speeds are faster now and MP3 files are more compressed, this isn’t as bad a deal as it was in the past. There are also ways to create podcasts, such as hooking up with a site like Blog Talk Radio or a podcasting service that lets you record a file and convert it to something where people can listen to it easily enough without worrying about the time or having to deal with large files. A great example of that is my friend Tim Dodge’s site where he uploads podcasts of books he’s written one chapter at a time, since he’s also reading them. You should check out one of his books, Acts of Desperation, which I actually got to read and critique before he recorded it. If you look at the page, you’ll see multiple ways you can listen to it. Start at the bottom then move up, then go to the first page to listen to the rest of it.

No matter which way you go, it’s good to know that there are these social media marketing options, whether you decide to create them yourself or have someone else do it for you. One of these days, I’m going to finally purchase a camera, and then watch me go!

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Social Media Marketing Strategy, Phase III

If you’ve been following along, you know that I’m going to be doing this social media marketing workshop on July 22nd locally, which is next Thursday. My friend Renée Scherer of Presentations Plus! and I have been working this thing both online and offline, although she’s much better offline than I am either online or offline. I initially brought up this subject in a post talking about my social media marketing goal, which was to put bodies in the seats at Hope Lake Lodge in Cortland, and wrote a follow up post on how I was applying the social media strategy early on. I’d like to progress from that point to tell you where things are now as far as the marketing efforts.

Hope Lake Lodge

You might want to know why I’m talking about it. Whether it’s a great success or not, when I do the workshop next week, I’d like to talk about the online strategy I undertook in trying to promote this event. My goal, of course, is to put bodies in seats. My other goal, however, is to make sure that there’s not a single local person who I’m in contact with online who can say that they didn’t know I was doing this thing. If people can’t come, that’s one thing; after all, it’s summer, vacations and the like. It’s another if someone who would have wanted to come said “You were doing that; man, I’d have loved to come to that.”

How have we progressed since the last post on the subject? First, I finally went down to see the place, and I have to admit that I was amazed. You know, you get impressions about places, and knowing that it’s originally a ski lodge, and I don’t ski, my imagination was running wild. It’s an amazing facility overall, and it’s much bigger and more spread out than I’d known it would be. The lodge is pretty big also and they’ve laid it out so that you can get either basic accommodations, which are fairly nice, or really soup it up and go luxury, which will include kitchens, multiple bathrooms, fireplaces… the works! The indoor water park wasn’t what I was expecting either, and it’s neat because the outdoor pool actually works like a hot tub when it’s cold, and a regular pool when it’s warm, as it’s always 84 degrees. Just an amazing place overall.

That visit ended up prompting this video that Renée shot, though she shot it up this way in front of the sign highlighting the Greater Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, which we’re both members of, since they’re helping us promote by sending an email blast in support of our putting this thing on. Here’s the video:

Not bad, eh? Anyway, this allowed us to add the link to the video in the latest email blast, and of course to pop the video link on both Twitter and Facebook. I’m going to pop it on LinkedIn as well, and in my last email blast I’ll make sure it goes out. This was actually pretty important because I now know how to help people set up a YouTube account, although for whatever reason it wouldn’t let us upload an image last night; these things can be hinky sometimes.

Of course email blasts are important for us to do, and Renée has been using Constant Contact to sign up for your Free trial, which is offering a free trial, to send her email out. She’s going to be teaching that portion of the workshop, as it’s something I still haven’t tried out, but I really need to one of these days.

indoor water park

Meanwhile, you’ve probably seen the sticky post, and for others who come into the blog they’ll see it as well. I’m going to be leaving it up after next week, but changing the date to August 19th, as that’s the date of our second presentation. I also finally wrote about it on my other two blogs, so that made it a 3-pronged attack on Twitter, since every blog post shows up there.

The rest? I’m making sure I post the link to the registration page at least once a day on Twitter. I’m probably going to step that up over this last week, since I seem to always be up, to make sure I hit both the morning crowd and the evening crowd. I have a lot of local folks following me, so I’m taking no chances. One more email from me and that’ll be that. And get this; we were able to get the people at Hope Lake Lodge to send an email blast to their mailing list, which was around 20,000 people; neat! Renée can talk people into doing some very interesting things, I must say.

Also, I realized that I needed to create an event on my Facebook business page. I was under the initial assumption that creating an event the normal way would move over to my business page since I was the guy creating it, but it doesn’t work that way. So I created the event and popped it onto my business page there, and I helped Renée pop a link on her Facebook page as well. I didn’t have her create a new event because it would have read the same way as mine, and I figured that since we have many of the same people on both of our pages that would be a bit redundant.

Right now, I can say that we have enough bodies so that we can do this thing, and that was the initial goal. Of course we want more bodies, so it’s time for the final push. How will it all end up? Stay tuned!

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