In need of some online marketing inspiration? I’ve found these online marketing lists to be a great place to start for new ideas, research, and resources on hot topics.
1. 50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business
Twitter for business? Yes, I know it all sounds so strange. You can become totally Twittertastic, but you’ll need ideas and a plan. Chris Brogan’s post can get you started on both.
2. Top 150 Social Media Marketing Blogs
Social Media is every where, there’s no escape. Use eCairn’s list of the top 150 blogs about social media as the ultimate resource.
3. 5 Tools for Keyword Brainstorming
I struggle with the keyword generation process in search engine marketing. If you need help too, Ann Smarty’s post offers great resources as starting point for keyword brainstorming. Also valuable for other types of concepting and brainstorming.
4. 101 Link Building Tips to Market Your Website
Awesome list of link building strategies for SEO from Aaron Wall. Advice on “30 Bad Ways to Build Links” is funny and demonstrates how not to implement these great ideas. While 101 actionable tips can be a little daunting, for you unorganized people I’d recommend:
- identify the tactics that apply most closely to your website (save the rest for later)
- organize into “quick wins” and “more difficult” buckets (for example, directory submissions will not take as long as writing an article or setting up RSS feeds)
- create a timeline, including “one time” tasks and “ongoing”
Ok, there’s one more…
5. Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization Books
Books are not dead! And you really could use a break from your computer. Greg Jarboe offers 10 smart recommendations.
If you just can’t get enough, I previously posted another list of resources that will also keep you busy: Best Online Marketing Lists
My email inbox is officially out-of-control. I can’t find anything and it’s over the storage limit almost everyday. This is the reason I’ve been trying out Yammer. Have you heard of it?
Yammer, a “Twitter for business”, was launched in September of this year and also won the top prize at TechCrunch50. (TechCrunch50 is a showcase for startups to present their idea to venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and the press.)
Yammer allows co-workers to make quick status updates on what they’re working on. They require a corporate email address to sign-up which ensures privacy.
Once in Yammer, you access a feed of messages limited to folks working for the same company. You can create private groups to limit communications to a select team or project. Users can also have threaded discussions, “follow” co-workers, attach files, and create a professional profile.
Mobile nuts can use their phone to send and receive messages via SMS through either iPhone or Blackberry apps.
A co-worker and I have been testing Yammer for three weeks now. Our everyday use is mostly asking quick questions and posting updates when stuff is done. I’ve been using the desktop AIR app for PCs for posting. The app is convenient and has a pop-up window when there is a new message. With just two of us in the trail, I like the pop-up. I can imagine this would start to get annoying with a larger group.
So far, the overall technology has been dependable and user-friendly. We’ve found it reduces the volume of emails for short updates which was sorta the point from the beginning. My main concern is less tech savvy employees may resist using this. I can easily see someone intending to post in the “private group” and instead posting in the public group. That would be awkward…
Since the base product is free, you can give it shout without any investment at this point. Or you can just use it to chat with co-workers– nice.
We all know who won the election, but both Barack Obama and John McCain relied on online media and social networking more than in any past election. Who formed the best connections and communities online? Did this really have an impact on the outcome?
Consider the following:
According to Pewinternet.org, a record-breaking 46% of Americans have used the Internet, email or cell phone text messaging to get news about the campaign, share their views, and mobilize others.
Democrats are more active online than Republicans and are more likely to participate in online communities. They say they’re more heavily influenced in their voting decisions by information they find online, according to data released by Rubicon Consulting.
Perhaps the most interesting /disturbing of all to me is Google endorses Barack Obama.
Some Fun Numbers from the Internet
Google Searches: Obama-related search terms were used almost twice as much as McCain in the last 30 days, according to data from Google Insights for Search. Google has also has created a special 2008 US Election Trends page.
Website Traffic: According to compete.com, Obama’s website had twice as many visitors in the past year as McCain.
Link Power: Obama’s website has many more external links pointing to it than McCain’s website, according to Yahoo Site Explorer.
- www.barackobama.com: 2 million links to the website
- www.johnmccain.com: 900,000 links to the website
YouTube: Both candidates have YouTube Channels, but Obama’s channel has significantly more views:
Facebook: With more than 110 million active users, Obama had more supporters from this community.
- Obama: 2.2 million supporters
- McCain: 192,000 supporters
Even with this small snapshot of numbers from around the Internet, it’s clear to see the Web presence of Obama’s campaign has been significant and pivotal in the way it has rallied supporters and formed communities around the now president-elect.
And now, your moment of Zen:
I just recently found out that my boss isn’t as square as I thought. He’s been using the Internet to find things and research people. Maybe he is reading this right now…
There are a million reasons to care about what you say and what is said about you online. Savvy marketers have known this for a long time and have used online sources to establish credibility and pimp their businesses.
1. Potential employers can search for you online. You don’t want them to read your blog rants or see that awesome photo of you on MySpace with a giant beer while playing drinking Jenga.
2. Competitors. There’s only one first place. Personal business or trade secrets posted online can be easily found, leveraged, used against you. So please don’t brag about your new secret product in your “working on” status on Linkedin. Many people Twitter about who they meet with, what they talk about, and how cool it is. It’s easy to monitor the competition when they hand it over to you in your RSS feed.
3. Distant relatives once found my resume on Google and proceeded to send me “hilarious” email forwards. There was no way out. Since I opted-out of their BBQs, I was eventually phased off the list, but don’t let this happen to you!
4. General embarrassments and wacky misunderstandings often occur when you put it all out there. Remember, I can see what you write, we’re “friends”.
And remember your boss reads your blog. Don’t call him a square.
Last night at MIMA (Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association), a panel of local social media experts assembled to discuss how big businesses approach social media. It was a lively and very interesting discussion.
Big names like General Mills, Best Buy, Fingerhut, and Target tackled questions and shared their individual philosophies on what it means to participate in social media and why they think it’s important.
I gave myself two post-it notes (hey…where was 3M?!) to jot down a few take-aways for the online marketer thirsty for knowledge in social media.
- All the panelists agreed that the value of social media to businesses is the opportunity to listen to customers. This ability to listen to consumers and glean information from them has never been so easy and cheap. Once you have stopped talking and start listening, act on that information. Provide social applications with a real, genuine use and value.
- Try. Try something new quickly to get out there rather than spend too much time on costly large social marketing initiatives. From these small initiatives, learn from the failures and try again.
- Successful social media programs the panel discussed were tightly aligned with building communities where the communities live. For example, Target’s back to college program engages students on Facebook with an application boasting over 33,000 users. Makes sense, considering 41% of users are aged 18 to 24 (During Jan 2008, according to Hitwise ). Best Buy too, created an internal social platform for employees eyes only called Blue Shirt Nation. It’s gotta be better than working…
– How do we consider different age groups in social media? Considering the fastest growing social network is Webkinz (7 – 12 yr olds) and visits from the 55 and older crowd represent the largest increase over the past 2 years (Hitwise), won’t we be missing the boat if we don’t plan for this opportunity now? Are college kids really the biggest consumers on the planet?
- ROI. Panelists did not have clear direction on showing ROI for social media. They suggested that social media costs be put in product research or other buckets. They suggested that “relationships” can not be measured in dollars or cents. Shouldn’t we be more accountable? This is why I’m glad I work in search, most of my stuff is measurable. If I’m getting you crappy results, you should fire me. I deserve it.
Wanting More Social Media
They are the most brilliant social marketers! I left feeling motivated, social, and engaged. They left me wanting more. More answers. More testing with social marketing tactics.
I started right away and signed up for twitter. I intend to use the powers of social media (twitter, Facebook) to follow these social media mavens and learn all the secrets not left behind…
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