The Most Basic and Powerful Steps to Launch Your Social Media Marketing Efforts

KnifeIf you are just beginning to invest in social media for your marketing efforts then you are in the due diligence phase of adoption. Although you may have had great reasons for not adopting earlier, the fact of the matter is your organization is playing a desperate game of catch up with the competition. Here are three tools you need to establish: a publishing platform for your marketing messages, a distribution network to spread the word, and a professional networking engine.

Blogging

The most important piece of your social media marketing plan is a publishing platform. Blogs provide the publishing mechanism that allows small, medium, and global firms to publish their story, vital statistics, and ongoing activities. The most successful companies understand that their blog provides consumers with a look inside the organization, a place to learn, and a place to communicate and interact with the firm. The benefits of search engine optimization and brand awareness are ancillary byproducts of the firm’s efforts to provide the most compelling content on their products, services, and people.

Twitter

Although there are many social networks available to individuals and companies, the most powerful distribution network that supports a firm’s ability to reach consumers on a massive scale with lightening speed is Twitter. With 200 million active users, Twitter is a ultra rich environment for many firm’s to find, listen to, and engage with their consumers and prospective customers.

Linkedin

Considered the business network for job seekers, Linkedin is an important solution for connecting. Whether your sales reps are looking for prospects, you are proving your expertise, networking, or distributing blog articles about your company’s offerings, Linkedin can play an important role in any organization.

In 2013 there are many new social networks and tools to support your organization’s marketing efforts. Before you begin, explore the new networks like Google+ and  Pinterest. Understand your goals and research what networks your customers are utilizing on a consistent basis.

Dean head shotDean Guadagni is Inner Architect’s chief communications strategist with 20+ years of business development, sales management, and national account management experience. Dean is the author of a nationally recognized self-help business guide whose articles have been published by Reuters.com, Nielsen.com, FoxBusiness.com, Ziff Davis Enterprise’s “Microsoft Watch”, Computer Shopper, and the Chicago Sun-Times. Prior to joining Inner Architect, Dean worked with management consulting firm Domus Consulting Group, whose mission was to help real estate brokerages and affiliates develop technology marketing strategies in real estate.

Dean is a frequent public speaker and workshop facilitator on social media strategies, blogging, and networking. He is a graduate of San Francisco State University with a BA degree in Speech Communications.

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Unshorten.It: Open Unidentifed Links with Confidence

This guest post from Innerarchitect.com, digital marketing agency based in San Francisco, takes a look at content curation security. Opening links in today’s world is often a dangerous activity.

Safety in today’s Web world is often threatened by a wide array of malware, hackers, and unscrupulous cookies designed to steal your information. Marketers are often faced with security issues when curating content in their everyday duties. With the now industry standard link shortening services, marketers are faced with opening links that have no identifying attributes. What lurks behind a shortened link can be nothing but a great article or something that could cause real problems- until now.

Unshorten.It

Unshorten.It is a tool designed to take the fear out of opening unidentifiable shortened links. According to Unshorten.It “Unshorten.It takes any bullets for you, analyzing the website for safety and letting you see it before you decide whether to proceed.”   Unshorten.It provides:

  • Identifies the URL the link points to
  • Title and description tags of the target web page
  • Screenshot of the target website
  • Safety ratings as provided by Web of Trust 
  • Alerts you if the website is found in the HPHosts blacklist

Unshorten.It Results

Unshorten.It for each shortened link input returns a post title, destination URL, description, and safety ratings:

And the final output a screenshot:

Leverage Twitter “Favorites” Like Brian Solis

Are you strategically utilizing Twitter? Would you like to identify, understand, and successfully utilize the same strategy that thought leader and social expert Brian Solis uses? If your answer is yes, then the following post will help you take the first step. This post was complimented by Brian and received 173 retweets, 75 Facebook likes, 71 Linkedin shares, and 17 Google+ +1s. Consider the following post a road map into how Brian has successfully taken one feature on Twitter and made it his own recommendation channel.

Twitter’s most underutilized, outside of lists, and most valuable opportunity is the “Favorites” feature.You all know how it works but do you understand how to strategically utilize favorites? Do you use Favorites for anything other than to “bookmark” important tweets for research and future reading?

Brian Solis is a formidable thought leader in the digital space, author, and genuinely willing participant who engages with many who seek his help. Brian’s use of the Favorites feature is the reason for this post- it’s simple and simply brilliant.

How Does Brian Solis Utilize the Twitter Favorites Feature?

Granted, the vast majority of us, me included, do not have the name recognition, authority, and influence of a Brian Solis in the digital marketing space. But that doesn’t mean we can not utilize Brian’s strategy. Brian’s strategy is to Favorite the wide array of compliments, positive references to his work, and referrals he receives on Twitter. Like many websites that provide customer referrals, in quotes, Brian is leveraging his deserved popularity with people on Twitter.

References to Brian Solis’s Expertise

An example of people’s perception of Brian’s expertise:

Referrals to Brian Solis’s Work

An example of people’s referrals to Brian’s work, books, speaking engagements

People Quote Brian Solis

In what has to be the most flattering and effective use of Favorites is the collection of people quoting you, your book, or your speaking engagements. Here are some examples of people’s reaction to Brian Solis:

3 Ideas How You Can Utilize Twitter Favorites

  1. Showcase Retweets: every time you receive a RT that is about your work, favorite (save) that tweet. People who thank you for your work including writing, speaking engagements, or opinions sought should also be Favorited. This stream will provide prospective followers with reasons to follow you
  2. Tweet Your Favorites: as you begin to build your Favorites “bank” of goodwill, start tweeting the link to this section. Promote what people are saying about you
  3. Tweet Other Users Favorites: help recognize people’s work by tweeting the link to their Favorites section as I did above with Brian Solis. This will also place you on the map as a person willing to share content and help other users. In addition, you might catch the eye of a user by promoting their work