Tuesday, December 31, 2013

PTAT "People Talking About This" is the most important measure of Social Media success, who has the most engaged fans in 2013?

Many people focus on how many 'Fans' "Followers' or "Subscribers" they have in social media. We like to look at engagement as one of the most valuable measures of Social Media performance.

PTAT - People talking about this is a calculation of the number of fans and the number of likes, shares, comments and other actions they take on your Facebook Fan Page.

For example, Miley Cyrus has over 37 million very engaged fans with over 2,700,000 'talking about her' on Facebook.
Here is blog post with a full breakdown of the most popular social media sites and actions of 2013.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Wednesday Webinar: Social Media Summary and Outlook for 2014

Wednesday Webinar: Social Media Summary and Outlook for 2014



This year has brought a lot more revelations to light in the world of Internet marketing. Social media platforms have changed the way we do business, but keeping up with all of the changes and updates can be a job in itself. IMC Host, web developer and copywriter Matt Wooddy rounds out 2013 with this helpful webinar, summarizing everything we've learned and explored in 2013. In this webinar, you'll learn:

- How to strategize your Facebook campaign
- How to better use Instagram for your local audience
- How Twitter can help your small business turn into a global marketing powerhouse
- How Google+ can increase your website's awareness

Click here to register for free (01-01-14 at 12:30pm EST):
http://bit.ly/1eRkQfd

About Matt Wooddy

Matt Wooddy's background, formally, is in industrial design. He studied at Auburn University where he worked with top hardware companies Brother and HP. Since then, Matt has become an industry expert in design and how it influences marketing. He uses his social wizardry to completely turn around the online presence of over 200 brands, many of whom use his copywriting and web design skills to better brand their images. Understanding that social media is more than just a place to promote your business, he uses personal interaction and entertaining messages to improve the branding and interest of any given company. He is also a lead editor, photographer and writer for alternative lifestyle print magazines.

Click here to register for free (01-01-14 at 12:30pm EST):
http://bit.ly/1eRkQfd

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Real-World Tactics for Reducing Stress

Make regular appointments with yourself and keep your employees happy

It’s no secret that we live in a hyper-caffeinated, always-connected world. Work/life balance is a pipedream for most professional people these days, even more out of kilter during the Holidays.

Fortunately, there’s hope. And you don’t have to go on retreat to India or Nepal to find a solution. One of our clients, CEG Worldwide, does a lot of coaching and research for elite financial advisors. In a recent study, CEG found that six out of ten high-income advisors were very satisfied with their current success despite the constant stress and anxiety that comes with managing millions--sometimes billions of dollars of other people’s money. As many of you know, year-end is often a time of wits-end.

Uncertainty about politics, the economy and the markets means many advisors have to reassure their clients continuously and they have to do a lot more hand-holding than they used to. CEG managing principal John Powell said a lot of advisors simply don’t take time for themselves and work too many hours, even though many times the long hour are sincerely in the interest of serving their clients better.

Face your stress head on

Here are three stress-reducing techniques that Powell recommends:

1. Trim your mix of clients. Examine your existing client base carefully to see if you are serving too many non-ideal clients. Sometimes it’s just better to let them go than to bend over backwards trying to save a relationship that isn’t meant to be.

2. Time block. Smart advisors block out time on their schedules for client meetings, during which they won’t accept phone calls or other interruptions. But they rarely do the same for other important tasks—from business planning to family time to exercise. Make regular appointments with yourself; block out that time on your calendar and treat that time it as sacredly as you do the time you reserve for your clients, Powell recommends.

3. Step away from the desk. CEG reports that some of its coaching clients significantly increased their earnings once they started taking more time off. Vacations forced them to be more efficient at the office. Also, when they were away, their creative juices start flowing again because they were away from the distractions of their normal environment.

Keep your people happy

Another good way to reduce stress around the office is to keep your employees happy. Jen Agustin senior director of marketing at a marketing technology company, Bizo, wrote recently that there are three keys to keeping your staff happy: (1) Top management sets the right tone; (2) Employees feel trusted; (3) You hire people with the right culture fit, not necessarily all the qualifications you seek.

1. Set the right tone at the top. No matter what size the company, Agustin said the “tone” ultimately gets set at the very top and trickles down to every employee. That tone can be positive in the form of fun, honesty and transparency, or in unfortunate cases, it can convey feelings of intimidation and mistrust. Which type of organization would you want to work in?

2. Show employees you trust them. At Bizo, you can work from home whenever you need to, but Agustin said 20 percent of its employees work from remote offices located across the globe, from Abu Dhabi to Omaha and Honolulu to Seattle. But it doesn’t stop there. According to Agustin, the only vacation policy Bizo has is, “take it when you need it.” When it comes to expenses, the rule of “treat the company’s money as if it was your own.” HR, are you listening!?

3. Make prospective employees feel like part of the team—during the interview process.  Instead of the usual interrogation or ambush style interviews, take candidates out to lunch or happy hour, or invite them to non-confidential meetings and ask them to participate as they would if they were already part of the team. “Past work experience is certainly important, but there’s no substitute for hiring someone whose positive, helpful attitude will ultimately trump any missed checkboxes on an interview questionnaire,” related Agustin.

We couldn’t agree more.

Conclusion

Stress is unavoidable, especially in the professions most of us have chosen. The good news: You have control over how you react to it, who you work with, who you surround yourself with and how you get yourself back to the right work-life balance.


Tags: Jonathan Powell, CEG Worldwide, reducing holiday stress, Jen Agustin, Bizo, keeping employees happy

VCRGD6XDXT3T

Friday, December 13, 2013

Don’t Try Too Hard to Have Fun During the Holidays

If it’s not coming naturally at your office, forcing the festivities only makes morale worse
As we mentioned last week, office parties and Holiday mirth are in full swing this time of year. Go ahead and enjoy yourself and make sure your staff, colleagues, vendors and strategic partners do too. Just be sincere about creating a jolly atmosphere. Nobody likes to have fun forced on them--especially if you’re in a miserable environment the other 11 months of the year. 

I once worked for a high-pressure, Israeli software start-up that coerced every employee (and their families) to attend every company social event on the calendar—or else. The food, music and venues were always top-notch, but how much fun do you think was had when 70 percent of the faces from the prior-year’s Xmas party photo were not there the following year? Dogs and casual dress were allowed. But even with foosball, how much fun do you think the engineers and developers were having when every other cubicle had a poster of an Egyptian pyramid-building team with the caption: “The floggings will continue until morale improves”?

Maybe that’s why 66 percent of American workers change companies or job functions every year, according to the
Sales and Marketing Institute.

Now is not the time to avoid making decisions

Also remember to keep your eye on the ball because if you let the next three weeks slip by you without making any real decisions, the empty chill of January will be on you faster than the piles of dead Christmas trees by the curbside.

As Oliver Burkeman noted in the New York Times this week, “fungineering” is in full swing right now. “Despite the sobering economic shocks of recent years, the Fun at Work movement seems irrepressible. Major companies boast of employing Chief Fun Officers or Happiness Engineers; corporations call upon a burgeoning industry of happiness consultants, who’ll construct a Gross Happiness Index for your workplace, then advise you on ways to boost it.” 

Sorry to be a buzzkill right now, but, as Burkeman explains, “fungineering might have precisely the opposite effect, making people miserable and thus reaffirming one of the oldest observations about happiness: When you try too hard to obtain it, you’re almost guaranteed to fail.”

You might as well tell people: “If you don’t start having fun, you’re fired!”

Still not convinced? A study by management experts at Penn State and other universities, published last month, found that while “fun” activities imposed by bosses might slow employee turnover, they can diminish productivity. Another study concluded that “gamification”—a NextGen invention that turns work tasks into contests, with scores and prizes — reduced the productivity and job satisfaction of those workers who didn’t go along with it. In a 2011 study of workers at an Australian call center, where bosses championed the “3 Fs” (focus, fun and fulfillment), researchers found that many experienced the party atmosphere as a burden, not a boon.

Wrote Burkeman: “Instead of striving to make work fun, managers should concentrate on creating the conditions in which a variety of personality types, from the excitable to the naturally downbeat, can flourish. That means giving employees as much autonomy as possible, and ensuring that people are treated evenhandedly.”
A recent Danish study found that lack of fairness is a strong driver of depression at work. On the flip side, if bosses are fair and workers feel appreciated for their efforts, then even heavy workloads won’t bring people down.

Conclusion

Don’t forget to get an early start on those New Year’s resolutions we talked about last week. Have fun with your friends, family and co-workers—but remember those tough decisions you’re avoiding now will be waiting for you—like that bulging envelope from your credit card company—come January. The longer you avoid dealing with it, the worse it’s going to get—like forgetting to throw out that egg nog at the back of the fridge.

Tags: Oliver Burkeman, Sales & Marketing Institute, Forcing fun for the Holidays, fungineering

VCRGD6XDXT3T




Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Make sure you register for today's @TenGoldenRules Wed Webinar with @BrysonMeunier: Mobile Search Marketing Advantage

...

Mobile Search Marketing Advantage

Worldwide, business professionals and consumers are increasingly mobile first. Guaranteed, mobile marketing is more important than ever. No matter how much you want to ignore it, you can't—it's ubiquitous. It's time to jump in headfirst, to take your mobile strategy from zero to hero (and meh to amazing). Bryson Meunier is back with another helpful webinar to help you better align your mobile search campaigns.


In this presentation, you will learn why mobile search should be a priority for your organization, as well as basic and advanced strategies in mobile SEO.

Click here to register for FREE (12/11/13 at 12:30pm)
http://bit.ly/IMCmobilesearch


About Bryson Meunier:

Bryson Meunier is the Director of SEO Strategy at Resolution Media, an Omnicom Media Group Company, and a primary architect of Resolution Media’s natural search product and Clear Target Digital Behavior Analysis. He currently works with the Resolution Media content team to help drive SEO strategy and execution for Resolution Media clients, and to serve as an evangelist for Resolution Media’s organic search efforts throughout the industry. Bryson’s career at Resolution Media has given him the opportunity to help some of the world’s top brands achieve success in mobile and SEO, including Lowe’s, LeapFrog, Briggs & Stratton, Apple, FedEx, Groupon and others.


Bryson is a pioneer in understanding how mobility changes search engine optimization and is a recognized expert in mobile SEO.
Bryson has been a featured speaker at SMX Advanced, SMX Local & Mobile, SMX Social Media Marketing, SMX West, SMX East, Search Engine Strategies Chicago, SES Toronto, Digiday Mobile, Mobile Web and Apps World Forum, a moderator for Mobile Monday NY and SES Toronto, and a published author of articles for publications like Search Engine Land, DM News, Search Marketing Standard, Visibility Magazine, and others. He currently writes a monthly column in Search Engine Land as part of their Mobile Monday series, and the monthly Pro Search column on SEO for .Net magazine—the best-selling publication for designers and developers worldwide. He is also writing a book on Mobile SEO.


Click here to register for FREE (12/11/13 at 12:30pm)
http://bit.ly/IMCmobilesearch

Friday, December 6, 2013

Start Your New Year’s Resolutions Now


Use this month to work the bugs out and test your will power.

Holiday parties are starting. Fruitcakes, cookies and chocolates are piling up in the office kitchen faster than the incomplete budget forecasts and year-end statements on your desk. Your nieces, nephews and grandchildren are texting you constant revisions to their Holiday gift lists.

Ah, the Holidays! Just get me through the next month, you say to yourself, and you’ll start hitting the gym again, lose 10 pounds, get your desk and hard-drive cleaned up and back on track for 2014.

WRONG!

You have to start NOW on those New Year’s resolutions and find a way to stick to them. Not to be a scrooge about December, but now’s the best time to test out your resolutions and work the bugs out so you can hit the ground running in January. You need to be brutally honest with yourself about your willpower, your stamina and how reasonable your goals are.

If you’re a couch potato, which resolution are you more likely to stick to—running a marathon in six months or walking/jogging for 20 minutes three times per week? Trust us, this works. You’ll feel better about yourself and probably look better, too the next time we see you.

Why resolutions don’t stick

While most of us sincerely intend to follow our New Year’s resolutions, most of the time we break them. According to researcher Richard Wiseman, half of all Americans set themselves a New Year’s resolution. Unfortunately, about seven out of eight of those resolutions (88%) fail. Those ain’t great odds. As Wiseman once quipped, that’s about 156 million failed resolutions and disappointed minds each and every year!

The reasons for this high failure rate are many, but some of the leading causes are that we set goals that are too high or too audacious. We also tend to be impatient, sprinting out of the gate in search of immediate “returns” rather than taking “baby steps” that will take some time before they move the needle. We also have to make ourselves more accountable to our stated goals. If you tell some of your friends and family about the new tiny habit you’ve created, you are more likely to stick to it. What’s more, writing your goals down not only makes you more likely to stick to them, but the process increases your happiness and sense of empowerment.

Beating the odds

Trying to get your clients to modify their financial behavior in the new year can be quite challenging, too. But it can be highly rewarding if true changes result, said Dr. Glenn Freed of Los Angeles based Vericimetry Advisors LLC, who we’ve been working with for several years. “And you’ll further cement your status as a client’s most trusted advisor,” said Freed.
“Framing a legal, charitable or financial planning discussion around New Year’s resolutions can be quite effective for communicating with clients,” added Freed. “You can have discussions in person or through a client newsletter. The key is to use these resolutions as a way to check in with clients throughout the year. Here are some of Freed’s favorites:

1. Personal Resolution: Get in shape.
Financial Planning Resolution: Keep in financial shape by sticking to your financial plan; keep your portfolio in shape by staying disciplined and rebalancing.

2. Personal Resolution:
Quit smoking / give up bad habits.
Financial Planning Resolution: Quit chasing the “smoking hot” returns; avoid trying to “keep up with the Joneses.” Today’s hot trend is all too often tomorrow’s toxic asset. Ultimately, bad habits are frequently destructive to your wealth (and your health).

3. Personal Resolution:
Learn something new.
Financial Planning Resolution: Be open to new investment approaches; consider new investment methodologies and asset classes; do not be satisfied with the status quo. Radical change is not required, but evolution can often be beneficial.
Glenn’s got plenty more he’d be happy to share with you at

Conclusion
Advisors help their clients follow up on resolutions not only in January, but throughout the year. Framing the financial planning discussion in this way at the start of the year and then following up consistently can be an effective way to help clients stay on the path to financial resolution success. Make 2014 a great year no matter what the markets, the economy and geopolitical factors throw at us.

But you’ve got to start NOW—not after the Holidays.

Our blog has more as well as the FREE Resources page of our website.


Tags: New Year’s Resolutions, Dr. Glenn Freed, Vericimetry Advisors LLC, financial planning resolutions

VCRGD6XDXT3T

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Today's @TenGoldenRules Webinar with E-Commerce Systems' Shirley Tan:

Current Business Optimization vs Entrepreneurs

Shirley Tan is an expert in regards to business e-commerce practices and integration. This webinar will explore the metrics and measurements side of e-commerce, the comparisons between the two and how important adopting these systems can transform your business. In result, your business will stop wasting time, money and energy and if managed correctly, increased profitability and revenue will become apparent. Fulfilling your business obligations is also very important, so tune into this week's webinar to learn how to efficiently approach your e-commerce optimization.

Click here to register for free (12-4-13 at 12:30pm EST)
http://bit.ly/IqhFwo

About Shirley Tan:

I’ve worked for my family business and in numerous banks. I’ve started my own business in 1985, opening a retail/wholesale business in San Francisco. I started AmericanBridal.com initially as a mail order catalog in 1994. That didn’t work out too well, so thank goodness the Internet came about and we officially opened our Yahoo! store in 1997.

By no means was success achieved overnight—there was much more sweat equity that in went into the business than monetary capital investment, which was good, because there was definitely a shortage of that.

The turning point was in 2004, when I sold my retail business to my business partner and focused solely on my ecommerce store. In 2007, we were awarded the U.S. Department of Commerce MBDA Regional Retail Firm of the Year Award. And by mid-2009, we grew our business 12-times our initial sales revenue from 2004 and had 30 full-time employees. I sold American Bridal in 2009 to the largest wedding portal on the Internet, The Knot.

I now consult with ecommerce merchants on improving the operational aspects of their businesses, via Ecommerce Systems, my consulting firm. shirley@ecommercesystems.com


Click here to register for free (12-4-13 at 12:30pm EST)
http://bit.ly/IqhFwo

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Keep your saw sharp during the Holidays

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving, and safe travels if you’re flying or driving in this crazy weather east of the Mississippi. We tend to live, work and socialize among some of the world’s most fortunate people. Keep that in mind as the so-called “stress” of the Holidays raises your blood pressure around the office or at family gatherings. We leave and breathe deadlines every day, but I know that’s something we all need to do better here at HB.

Don’t take your eye off the blade and sharpen the saw

Also, with year-end budgets, reports, forecasts and contracts bearing down on us, it seems there’s precious little time to get our “Day Jobs” done. But, you have to find a way to do so or you’ll be sorry come January. Management guru Stephen Covey once quipped, too many managers complain "they don't have time to sharpen the saw, because they’re too busy sawing!"

But you’ve got to keep the saw sharp. You’re going to have unexpected delays, breakdowns and snafus this time of year. The key is to adjust and set reasonable expectations, not to point fingers at yourself, your managers or your staff who didn’t bring their “A Games” on a particular day.

Be exuberant, but not irrationally so

Yesterday, the NASDAQ closed above 4,000 for the first time in 13 years. Venture capital investment’s up 17 percent over this time a year ago, according to the National Venture Capital Association. There’s a renewed boom in subprime lending, according to today’s New York Times. And despite higher mortgage rates, single family home prices posted big gains in September and home construction permits rose to their highest level in five-and-a-half years, according to October government data.  

It’s easy to get complacent this time of year since macro-economic factors look pretty rosy and we know many of you have enjoyed an uptick in business this year. Remember, part of this uptick is several years’ worth of pent-up demand and doesn’t necessarily mean you can forecast it again next year. Figure out how much is sustainable and how much is ad hoc. If you’ve had a good year, make sure you know why you’ve been successful (and not just lucky). Make sure you can duplicate that success and you have invested prudently in technology and staffing to meet that demand—but not over-invested.

Our blog has more as well as the FREE Resources page of our website.

Tags: National Venture Capital Association, Thanksgiving, Stephen Covey, sub-prime lending, NASDAQ 4,000

VCRGD6XDXT3T

Friday, November 22, 2013

No Time for Social Media? Make Time for LinkedIn


As we’ve said many times before on the topic of social media, each platform has its merits—if you have the time and energy to master them. But, if you only have time to devote to one social platform—we know even that’s a stretch for many of you--then LinkedIn will probably give you the biggest bang for your effort.

LinkedIn for referrals


First, look at the user base. About 40 percent of LinkedIn members are Managers, Directors, Owners, VPs or C-Suite officers. Do you want likes, winks and friends? Or do you want new clients and trusted referrals sources? We thought so.

Second, obsess about accumulating the most connections. No one’s keeping score. Definitely reach out to your inner circle and to valuable contacts that you just made at a conference or professional event. Definitely follow interesting people so that articles (or online discussions) that are relevant to your work show up daily in your inbox. But, having 50 deep connections with the movers and shakers in your industry or profession is far better than having 500+ connections composed mostly of people you barely know beyond a quick business card exchange.

John Powell, a principal at one of our longstanding clients, CEG Worldwide, noted recently that LinkedIn can help you position yourself as an expert to members of your target market. To make LinkedIn work for you, your profile must spell out the specific value that you bring to your clients’ financial lives—for example, by including your mission statement and elevator speech. Also spell out how you do great work for your clients and the biggest benefits that investors gain by working with you, he said. When you ask clients for introductions to other people—don’t be afraid to do this often-- you can mention specific people by name and increase your chances of gaining an introduction to them. The key, said Powell, is not to ask for a referral per se, but to offer a “second opinion” in which you conduct a free review for a clients’ friend and associate

Social media to identify new prospects

When used correctly, social media networks can be excellent for identifying centers of influence (COIs)—the key players and most important people in your target niche market. The idea is to meet the COI to learn more about your niche’s issues and how you can address those issues. For example, you can do advanced searches in LinkedIn to find connections among your clients who might be good to speak with. You also might then ask your client to make the introduction the next time you meet. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

LinkedIn showcases your expertise and stimulates referrals

LinkedIn introduced “showcase pages” this week that allow companies or firms to highlight specific products or services by creating dedicated sites for them on the professional network. With a Showcase Page, you can segment content to distinct audiences who are interested in different aspects of your business or practice. As some of you might have guessed, this strategy is part of LinkedIn’s broader goal to be content marketing hub for companies—not just a career networking destination for professional folks.

How to start a LinkedIn Showcase

Showcase pages can be set up by company page administrators by going to the “Edit” dropdown menu on their dashboards and selecting “Create a Showcase Page.” Businesses, which can operate up to 10 showcase pages, will be able to track page performance through existing analytics tools.

Conclusion

LinkedIn and other popular social networking platforms are powerful tools for disseminating information to the masses. These tools are fast, inexpensive and easy to use, but if you’re not careful, they can be a tremendous drain of your firm’s time, energy and resources. Figure out which one or two platforms you and your firm can really get behind and find an in-house champion or outside expert to help you. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Just make sure reach out on a consistent, reasonable basis and for goodness sake, make sure your profile is updated regularly make sure you have something relevant to share whenever you tweet, post, Link, like connect or pin.

More tips can be found on the FREE Resources page of our website.

Tags: LinkedIn, centers of influence, John Powell, CEG Worldwide


VCRGD6XDXT3T

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Wednesday Webinar with @TenGoldenRules and @JayBerkowitz: The Google Zoo

We're excited to bring you another Wednesday Webinar, and this week we focus on the Google Zoo: Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird.

For an effective online marketing campaign, your website must be aligned with the search engines who report its behavior to users. Jay Berkowitz, CEO and Founder of Ten Golden Rules and the Internet Marketing Club, sets out to find out the advantages and disadvantages of using search engine updates for your online marketing strategies. This webinar will educate you about the latest trends, news and techniques from the Google Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird updates.


Click here to register for FREE (11-20-13 at 12:30pm EST)
http://bit.ly/GoogleZoo

About Jay Berkowitz:

Jay Berkowitz is an author, an educator, an International keynote speaker and an award-winning thought leader. A senior online marketing professional with over twenty years of marketing experience, Mr. Berkowitz has managed marketing departments for Fortune 500 brands: Coca-Cola, Sprint and McDonald's Restaurants, and he has developed online and offline strategies for AT&T and leading health and fitness website eDiets.com.

Mr. Berkowitz is the author of The Ten Golden Rules of Online Marketing Workbook, the Founder and CEO of www.TenGoldenRules.com, a strategic online marketing consulting business based in Boca Raton, Florida. He is the host of the Ten Golden Rules of Internet Marketing Podcast, an Adjunct Professor with the University of San Francisco Internet Marketing Course and he has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, The Business Journals and he was interviewed on FOX Business TV.

Click here to register for FREE (11-20-13 at 12:30pm EST)
http://bit.ly/GoogleZoo

If you enjoyed this and several other of our blog posts here, stay active with the Ten Golden Rules team and become a member of the Internet Marketing Club. We host a weekly webinar series every Wednesday, and you can view hundreds of expert videos in our archive section now! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Today's Webinar with @TenGoldenRules: Blogs Are Dead, Or Are They?

Make sure you register for our live webinar today with Kat Simpson! If you're looking for new ways to bring life back to your blogs, Kat has the knowledge and experience to really supercharge your strategies. Below you'll find the link, and we encourage you to share with your friends and coworkers who might enjoy this presentation!

If you are unable to make today's webinar, you will find the recording is archived in the next few weeks, just like all of the webinar presentations we feature. Act now, because we're offering exclusive access to all of our webinar recordings, MP3 Audio downloads, slides and text transcriptions for just $1! Find out more by visiting our signup page. 

Are blogs still really a valuable tool for your online marketing strategies? According to eCommerce speaker and marketing entrepreneur Kat Simpson, you still need a home base to send your enthusiasts. Regularly updated information is great for search engines, and blogs just help small business owners and major corporations alike. In this webinar, you'll learn to:

- Revitalize your old blog and start anew
- Capture an audience with powerful copy relevant to 2013
- Strategize through better search engine tactics that conform to new optimization rules
- Improve the reach of your blog traffic through carefully planned updates

Click here to register for FREE (11-13-13 at 12:30pm EST)
http://bit.ly/16iXYyX

About Kat Simpson

Kat Simpson is a respected eCommerce Speaker, educator, and entrepreneur, with over 10 years experience as an eCommerce merchant. Kat is the owner of Kat’s boutique, and successfully sells cross channel on several online platforms. She has co-hosted several eCommerce podcasts, such as eBay and Beyond, and The River, The Ranch and the Bay. Learn more about Kat at www.thatkat.com.

Click here to register for FREE (11-13-13 at 12:30pm EST)
http://bit.ly/16iXYyX

Friday, November 8, 2013

Do You Know Who Your “Affluencers” Are?

Hope you don’t mind if we correspond via good old fashioned email. Much as we’d like to be tweeting you, we just can’t get this weekly rant off our chests in only 140 characters. Likewise, we love it when you respond (pro or con)--take all the space you need to share your thoughts.

Have you hear about this new demographic group called the Affluent Influencers (a.k.a. “Affluencers”)? We hadn’t either until iProspect’s latest research came across our radar this week. Affluencers have the financial means to make all manner of serious buying decisions for their personal and business lives. But, they also have wide followings, so when they green-light something, they influence many others and deliver “an exponentially larger total reach both in traditional, offline word-of-mouth, and in online/social space,” according to researchers.

For more on this topic, see last week’s post about knowing your WoMi (word of mouth score).

So who are Affluencers exactly? They’re about evenly split between Boomers, Gen Xers and Millenials and slightly more male than female. The common thread is that they have household incomes of $100K+, they’re well educated and they have the ability to affect the purchase decisions of others.

There’s a pretty good chance you have Affluencers on staff. Many of your clients and prospects fall into this group as well. You might want to look carefully at how you’re communicating with them. Here’s why:

  • Millennials like to author and create content, while Baby Boomers like to listen and watch the Gen Xers prefer curating content and commenting in the social space
  • Millennials are the most likely to engage via social media daily (57%), followed by Gen Xers (45%), and Baby Boomers (37%)
  • Millennials are willing to pay for online news access, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers aren’t
The research looked at Affluencer values, preferences, and behaviors across the three generations of Millennials, GenXers, and Boomers. Though they share many commonalities, each generation also has unique needs, says the report.
  • Millennial Affluencers are more likely to respond well to messages with social benefits (fitting in, being admired, etc.) while Boomer Affluencers are more focused on personal benefits.
  • A substantial percentage of Millennial and Gen X Affluencers access the web regularly via their smartphones (69% and 58%, respectively), or their tablets (45% and 34%, respectively).
  • A notable percentage of Affluencers regularly read print magazines (YES they read print) and are substantially more likely than their affluent but non-influential counterparts to read publications in the buying guide, cars/automotive, technology, and classified advertisements categories.
Researchers say Affluencers are respected “experts” because they are well informed and eat up buying guides, Q&A pages, advice columns:
  • 90% of Affluencers research products and services online.
  • iProspect research showed that 78% of Millennial and 66% of Gen X Affluencers use their mobile devices like a computer, checking e-mails and performing web searches.
The iProspect report suggests that marketers use research findings and company data to create highly targeted customer profiles. The study shows that:
  • 50% to 65% of Affluencers (depending on generation) are always the first among their friends to try new products and services, making the concept of “NEW” an appealing message.
  • 56% to 65% of Affluencers (depending on generation) are willing to spend money to save time, making efficiency a valuable benefit.
  • Millennial Affluencers are more than four times more likely than Boomer Affluencers to create online content, making them much more likely to engage in participatory brand activities.
Macro View

Despite all the doom and gloom expected as a result of the partial government shutdown last month, sales and hiring actually accelerated in the service sector last month. U.S. payrolls advanced by 204,000 jobs last month,
the Labor Department said today—almost double what economists were forecasting. It’s really not even worth tracking the official unemployment rate anymore since the feds claim it actually increased to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent last month. More on that disconnect next week.
More good news, The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said Tuesday that its service-sector index rose a full point to 55.4 last month—any reading above 50 is considered an expansion. The ISM index covers about 90 percent of the U.S. workforce, with heavy representation in financial services, healthcare, construction and retail. What’s more, the annual growth rates estimated for the U.S. recently came in at 2.8 percent in Q3—the fastest quarterly increase in output so far in 2013.

Conclusion

When it comes to reaching your target market, it’s not just connect with a single person, department or household; it’s about connecting with everyone who’s influenced by the decisions made by that person, department or household. As we discussed last week, good new travels fast, but bad news even faster. Choose you messaging carefully in this age of viral, exponential communication touch points.
More tips can be found on the FREE Resources page of our website.

VCRGD6XDXT3T

Tags: iProspect, affluent influencers, Affluencers, Institute of Supply Management, jobs report, Twitter 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wednesday Webinar with @TenGoldenRules: Blogs Are Dead, or Are They?

Blogs have been a popular way for business professionals and everyday consumers to share their  input and reviews of products, ideas and events. No matter what the subject, everybody has an online voice these days, but it takes real work and determination to create a brand aligned blog to
generate interest. 

So we must ask: Are blogs still really a valuable tool for your online marketing strategies? According to eCommerce speaker and marketing entrepreneur Kat Simpson, you still need a home base to send your enthusiasts. Regularly updated information is great for search engines, and blogs just help small business owners and major corporations alike. In this webinar, you'll learn to:

- Revitalize your old blog and start anew
- Capture an audience with powerful copy relevant to 2013
- Strategize through better search engine tactics that conform to new optimization rules
- Improve the reach of your blog traffic through carefully planned updates

Click here to register for FREE (11-13-13 at 12:30pm EST)
http://bit.ly/16iXYyX

About Kat Simpson

Kat Simpson is a respected eCommerce Speaker, educator, and entrepreneur, with over 10 years experience as an eCommerce merchant. Kat is the owner of Kat’s boutique, and successfully sells cross channel on several online platforms. She has co-hosted several eCommerce podcasts, such as eBay and Beyond, and The River, The Ranch and the Bay. Learn more about Kat at www.thatkat.com.

Click here to register for FREE (11-13-13 at 12:30pm EST)
http://bit.ly/16iXYyX

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Do you know your WoMI score?

Better get a handle on your word-of-mouth referrals (both the good and the bad)

As the saying goes, bad news travels faster than good news, and we're not just trying to spook you here.

As many of you now, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) has been the gold standard used by businesses, professional service firms and trade associations to measure customer recommendations and loyalty.
According to Temkin Groupresearch, five out of six companies (83%) asked their customers the Net Promoter question: “How likely is it that you would recommend (this product/service/brand) to a friend or colleague?”

But, according to new research from ForeSee, a more equitable method of deleting “detractors” from the measurement equation provides, a better, more real-world gauge of the word-of-mouth recommendation quotient. ForeSee has collected more than 2 million survey responses over the last two years to research and develop a more accurate and precise way to measure both word-of-mouth promoters and detractors.
Enter ForeSee’s new Word of Mouth Index (WoMI) for the next generation.

WoMI measures both likelihood to recommend and likelihood to detractfrom a specific brand by adding a second question: “How likely are you to discourage others from doing business with this company?” By measuring both positive and negative word of mouth, business leaders gain a next-generation metric that, when viewed within the context of the customer experience ecosystem of metrics, provides actionable insights that can help leaders improve key business outcomes, including word of mouth, says the report.


The report suggests that a system that significantly advances the measurement of the customer’s experience with primary benefits for businesses operating in today’s high-speed, word-of-mouth-driven culture would include:

  • Any measurement with one simple value that can be used to rally stakeholders (executives, employees, Wall Street, board members, etc.) around their customers’ experience and across an organization
  • An understanding of the difference between True Detractors and True Promoters to eliminate the risk of alienating customers who aren’t legitimate detractors
  • Adding a second question to understand what drives negative word of mouth as well as positive word of mouth to allow companies to take proactive measures to fix issues
Review the complete Foresee report in PDF format.

Macro View

While the two-week government shutdown earlier this month caused a short-term dip in consumer confidence and housing prices, just keep the long-term view in mind. The major market indices remain at or near their all-time highs; and with the Fed’s continued stimulus program expected to keep interest rates near historical lows for the time being, the forecast for equities and overall household wealth should be robust. Remember, housing prices are still up about 13 percent over this time a year ago. As the Fed said in a statement yesterday, the economy continues to grow “"at a moderate pace" and exhibits growing underlying strength.”

On the business front, more than two-thirds of S&P 500 companies (68.7%) are beating analysts’ earnings estimates, according to Thomson Reuters data, which is comfortably above the historical average of 63 percent. Only about half of companies are beating topline revenue forecasts, Thomson Reuters reports, but to us, this just means companies are being more productive with the capital and talent they have at their disposal. Another positive indicator, the Commerce Department announced Tuesday that businesses increased their inventories by almost half a percent in the latest reporting period (August), a sign that they expect stronger demand for their products.

Conclusion

While testimonials, endorsements and “likes” are great, nothing beats a word-of-mouth referrals from a satisfied client or customer. On the flip side, nothing’s more dangerous in this viral communication age than a negative review shared by electronic, phone or face-to-face interaction. Make sure you not only have a great handle on your core competencies—but your core incompetencies as well.

More tips can be found on the FREE Resources page of our website.

VCRGD6XDXT3T

Tags: Net Promoter Score, Word of Mouth Index, WoMI, Foresee, Temkin Group

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Twitter Tweaks Its Desktop API...For The Worse?



Since its inception in 2006, Twitter has constantly made changes to its desktop API and related mobile applications to better adapt to consumer trends and relevant needs. Earlier yesterday, Twitter made a drastic change to how users viewed their timelines though, and it's not something that can be particularly ignored. For investors and marketing experts using Twitter to promote their businesses and clients' work, this could be a very strategic and powerful move on Twitter's part. For users so accustomed to using the old, basic text-based timeline, this could mean problems.

Before Twitter made their changes yesterday, users had to click on individual links, whether using an in-house Twitter service or related photo service (although Instagram lost its ability to integrate with Twitter sometime last year). Now photos and videos automatically appear on a user's timeline, somewhat similar to the way Facebook has been doing things for quite some time now. It puts multimedia right in the face of users, and some people just don't seem to like the change.

Of course, all good changes don't come without a few troubling criticisms at first. This change could ultimately be in Twitter's -- and marketers' -- best interest. Selling ads now has a much more rewarding benefit: users see those pictures and videos without having to click on links. Robert Peck, an Internet analyst with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, said that the adjustment to Twitter’s look addressed a concern he had heard from potential buyers of Twitter’s stock. “It was all text, for the most part. There was no multimedia,” he said. “People thought Twitter was behind.”

Everything else with Twitter's timeline remains the same. A few tweaks to the user's control panel (changes to the DM button) have been added as well, but users will still see normal tweets in real time. The only thing that will change, however, is the automatic preview of photos and 6-second Vine videos will start to play. If users cling to this change as something good, this could mean something big for Twitter advertisers -- as well as spelling dangers for Facebook.

“Starting today, timelines on Twitter will be more visual and engaging: previews of Twitter photos and videos from Vine will be front and center in tweets,” Michael Sippey, Twitter’s vice president for product, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. “To see more of the photo or play the video, just tap.” 

Although users are a bit more active this quarter and in 2013 than they were last year on Twitter, those same numbers are not quite as obvious as they were when Facebook was the same size. The one-billion-user platform has undergone many changes since it was Twitter's size, but Facebook capitalized early on using multimedia to spearhead its usefulness to consumers. Where Twitter decides to go from here is entirely up to the company.


________________________________________________________________________

If you enjoyed this and several other of our blog posts here, stay active with the Ten Golden Rules team and become a member of the Internet Marketing Club. We host a weekly webinar series every Wednesday, and you can view hundreds of expert videos in our archive section now!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wednesday Webinar: Rise of the Human Beings - Marketing Made By People For People

For those of you who have taken a natural and more personal approach to marketing, you already understand the results of real human interaction with your fans and followers. For those of you taking a less organic approach, you may want to tune into tomorrow's webinar with Hubspot eCommerce expert Sam Mallikarjunan.

Hubspot eCommerce marketing head Sam Mallikarjunan knows the human experience, and he's applied it rather intuitively to this week's Wednesday Webinar guestspot. Rather than drone your visitors and fans to the doldrums of marketing strategies and product details, why not invite them into your business the same way you would a friend? Sam highlights both the formulas and the human interaction that makes personal marketing such a meaningful process for businesses, and this webinar helps you get from point A to point B with your own campaigns.

Click here to register for FREE (10-30-13 at 12:30pm EST)
http://bit.ly/16IK4n5

About Sam Mallikarjunan:

I grew up in Rockledge, FL (Near Cocoa Beach). In 2007, a health insurance brokerage in Florida, American Health, offered me a position as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). In October of 2009 I took a position as CMO at an e-commerce company in Brandon, FL, CheapHumidors.com. This position made me the youngest C-Level executive of a multi-million dollar corporation in the country.

In April of 2010, I became the co-host of the CigaRobbie Radio Network, a nationally syndicated talk show on Saturday's from 3PM-5PM Eastern. When the host of that show left in December 2010, I took over and re-launched it as the Stogie Show. Although I'm no longer the host, you can listen live every Saturday on this website or on the local TanTalk AM/FM affiliate station near you.

In October of 2010, I left CheapHumidors to start my own consulting firm, offering marketing and web development support powered by the greatest team of web developers in the country at my namesake company, MalliMedia.

In May of 2011, I decided to apply to work at the top internet marketing software company in the country - HubSpot. Since they get hundreds of applications a month and I knew that their hiring process was vigorous and difficult, I decided to skip all of that and launch HireMeHubSpot.com. If you'd like to know more about me, there you can find reference videos from past clients and employers as well as co-workers, employees, and friends. You can also find writing samples and a link to the last episode of my radio show.

Click here to register for FREE (10-30-13 at 12:30pm EST)
http://bit.ly/16IK4n5

Thursday, October 24, 2013

LinkedIn Drives the Most Traffic to Corporate Websites

As busy professionals who’ve been around the block a few times, we’re guessing you’re more comfortable with LinkedIn than you are with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other popular social media platforms. Don’t let your younger staffers (or kids) give you a hard time about that. Chances are your peers feel the same way about LinkedIn--and it’s your peers who are the primary decision influencers at their organizations.

Let’s face it. Most of us don’t have time to put the energy we’d like to into mastering social media and social networking. But, if you’re interested in driving qualified prospects to your website and to your other online resources, concentrate your energies on LinkedIn. We’re not advising you to ignore the other social media channels since each has its merits. But, there are only so many hours in the day and LinkedIn will probably give you the best bang for your social buck.

Still not convinced? Well, the new Investis IQ Audience Insight Report tracked visitors to corporate websites from social media platforms. Guess what? LinkedIn drives significantly more traffic to corporate websites than all the other social platforms combined. And you thought LinkedIn was just a respectable place to keep your professional bio and contacts up to date!

According to the survey, LinkedIn accounts for nearly two thirds (64%), of all visits to corporate websites from social media sites—and that percentage is growing, researchers say. Twitter is a distant second, although it’s gaining traction, up from 4 percent in 2011 to 14 percent today. Researchers attribute that growth to the increase in the number of companies adopting Twitter for corporate communications. Ny contrast, Facebook’s sharehas decreased by nearly half in the past two years, to 17 percent from 30 percent. The findings may indicate that Facebook is a declining platform for B2B corporate marketing.

Get mobile ready


Researchers believe the Big Three--LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter--account for 95 percent of visits to corporate websites from social media sites. No surprise there, but the report also found that 20 percent of all traffic to corporate websites came from mobile devices (primarily of the “i” variety). However, less than a one in four companies (23%) provides either a dedicated mobile site or a “responsive” website. There is clearly a lot more for corporate websites to do.

Improving your LinkedIn Profile (and your firm’s)

There are many quick and easy ways to improve your LinkedIn presence, just make sure you think each step through carefully before you post. We’re talking about your professional reputation here. These are just a few:
·       
 
Make sure you have a company page, not just a personal one—and share content that adds value. The company page enables you to do display your slide presentations, video clips, press mentions, articles, recent awards and anything else that makes you a “thought influencer.”
·       
 
Join a group (the right way). Participate in discussions that your clients and prospects are likely to be following. Again, there’s that “thought influencer” angle. Just don’t post comments for the sake of getting your name out there. If you’re not really adding value to the thread, sit that particular discussion out and just follow along. Wait till the next topic comes around. Sooner or later, there will be one that’s right in your wheelhouse and you can post and opine with 100 percent confidence. You (and the group) will be glad you waited for your turn at bat.
·       
 
Start your own group. Look closely at the types of questions for which your clients or customers are frequently asking your advice. Chances are thousands of other people whom you’ve never met are wrestling with the same issue. Find the common thread within those questions—say risk management, tax mitigation or portfolio insurance—and form a niche group around those topics. Once again, you’re positioning yourself as a though leader and it’s a great way to draw new prospects into your nurturing funnel.

Just a word of caution. It’s easy to start groups—it’s harder to maintain them. Be consistent. Be proactive and be honest with yourself about how frequently you (and your team) can post and moderate. 
     
Conclusion
     
Social and mobile is not going to go away, but you can’t possibly keep up with all the new technologies, applications and uses of it. It’s better to master one or two and seek help for the rest. There are plenty of talented, reasonably priced contractors out there to help you—but you may also find a few folks right under your own roof with a real passion and interest for a particular mobile/social channel. As my old Israeli army boss used to say, “You don’t get if you don’t ask.”

More tips can be found on the FREE Resources page of our website.

VCRGD6XDXT3T

Tags: LinkedIn traffic driver, LinkedIn for business professionals, LinkedIn over Facebook Twitter, Social Media Marketing, Investis IQ Audience Report

Monday, October 21, 2013

This Wednesday's @TenGoldenRules Webinar: YouTube: A Social Storyteller

By now, we all know how powerful of a platform YouTube is for business, pleasure and everything in between. It's now the second largest search engine, right behind Google. How exactly can you harness the power of YouTube for your business and grow your brand through powerful video searches?


Video has become a perfect lead generation and client conversion tool. YouTube has made it so easy to use that everyone is jumping onto the bandwagon. Good news for you, most videos are horrible! By learning and applying some basic tips, you can rise above your competition. Pat Ferdinandi, Video Strategist for Viditude will share tips you can use to improve your videos on YouTube. Pat Ferdinandi has a unique combination of skills are available to help you succeed. Her
experience as a public speaker, trainer, screenwriter, published author, and business management consultant are brought together for this webinar.



Click here to register for FREE (10-23-13 at 12:30pm EST)
http://bit.ly/17ExIwp


About Pat Ferdinandi:

Pat Ferdinandi is a social media strategist and video branding expert. She owns and operates Viditude, a video specialist service that offers brands and individuals the opportunities to reach a broader audience with their message.

From her website Viditude:

I call myself a Chief Thought Translator because I help convert YOUR ideas into something to help YOU make more revenue. My enthusiasm and creative mind add a touch of levity to make every interaction a friendly and productive one. The ideas and suggestions I share are always focused on helping YOU to succeed. After all, it’s not a transaction but a relationship! Allow me the opportunity to help YOU succeed telling YOUR visual story with Video Marketing!

Click here to register for FREE (10-23-13 at 12:30pm EST)
http://bit.ly/17ExIwp

O/T: What People Did For Fun Before the Internet via @mashables

 I've wondered this too just last night....
 

1914mashablethumb

Feed-twFeed-fb

It's a sad truth, but the Internet consumes our lives. A day without Netflix, a moment without email or a second without Google is beyond imagination

But there once was a time — many, many years ago (but not really that long) — when humans had to find a non-web-based form of entertainment

In this Sunday comic, Nitrozac and Snaggy of The Joy of Tech imagine how our prehistoric ancestors wasted time without the luxury of social media

JoT_beforeInternet_comic

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

BONUS: 14 Signs You Spend Too Much Time on the Internet Read more...

More about Comic, Comics, Internet, Humor, and Joy Of Tech


View article...


 
 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Today's @TenGoldenRules webinar: How To Infuse Video Into Your Marketing

Last spring, GoToWebinar introduced a significant enhancement to their platform that allowed a live video feed for webinar instructors. Internet Market Club charter member, Coleman Report, has embraced the feature. Feedback shows their customers have also embraced the concept and enjoy the video presentation much more than an audio presentation. The move from an audio conference webinar model to a video conference model has increased their webinar income by 25%.

Additionally, Coleman Report has experienced greater SEO results and email subscriber retention with the use of video in its blog. Join us on Wednesday as Bob and Joseph Coleman share you their trial-and-error secrets for quickly creating great video marketing and blog content on a guerilla marketing budget.

In this Internet Marketing Club video webinar, you will learn:

• The 10 best uses of GoToWebinar and GoToMeeting’s video platform

• How the Coleman Report uses GoToMeeting to create marketing videos that work

• How the Coleman Report uses GoToMeeting to create original blog content

• The new model of Coleman Report’s video webinars

• What equipment and software you need that costs less than $100

• How to transition your “talent” from audio webinar instructors to video webinar instructors

• The producer’s role, and how to find a producer

Click here to register for FREE (10-16-13 at 12:30pm EST)
http://bit.ly/19fyOk1

About Bob Coleman:

Bob Coleman is the Author of “Money Money Everywhere and Not a Drop for Main Street“. Coleman is the Editor of the Coleman Report, a trade newsletter for small business bankers. He is the nationally recognized expert on small business financing. He has appeared on Fox Business News and CNN and has been quoted by all major financial media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Bloomberg. He has spoken at numerous small business banking events across the United States, including international engagements in the U.K. and Germany. Coleman has a B.A. in Medieval History from the University of California Santa Barbara and a M.B.A. in Real Estate Finance from the University of Southern California.

Click here to register for FREE (10-16-13 at 12:30pm EST)
http://bit.ly/19fyOk1