Introspectr: Finding Your Social Footprint

A personal search engine that keeps track of your social footprint for future reference? It’s here in Introspectr.com. Introspectr’s motto: “Stop searching, start finding. Introspectr makes it easy to find messages, documents, and links from every part of your online life.”

Introspectr Basics

  • Provide Introspectr access to your Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail accounts
  • Introspectr indexes your Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail messages along with links and attachments
  • Search with any term and the results returned are your past Twitter tweets, Facebook messages, and or emails related to your search term(s)

Copyblogger’s Brian Clark: How to Create Compelling Content That Ranks Well In Search Engines

Brian Clark the man behind Copyblogger.com one of the most compelling and successful blogs in the blogosphere is at it again. Brian is giving away a very compelling 28 page report “How to Create Compelling Content That Ranks Well In Search Engines.”  This is a comprehensive report that is a fantastic how to first step in writing online content that will get indexed and ranked high in Google.

As Brian so succinctly states: “Put simply: If your content isn’t good enough to attract good, natural links, it doesn’t matter how “optimized” that content is. Here is your link and first step to copy “optimization.”

How to Create Compelling Content That Ranks Well In Search Engines

Twitter Strategies: Beware of What You Save in Your Favorites

Twitter’s Favorites section is a fantastic repository for you to save valuable research links, commentary from people you follow, proof that your efforts are working, or as a space to hold all relevant testimonials for your product or service. With all of this value that the Favorites section has to offer there is a dark side– a very dark side.

Beware of these Favorites Problems

  • Favorites can not be hidden or locked
  • Favorites can be accessed by the public like your tweets
  • Favorites can be mined and scrutinized by your competitors
  • Favorites can, if you favorite the “right” information, give your competition hints to your future plans
  • Favorites can showcase your prospects or current customers
  • Favorites can reveal the types of research you are examining

Conclusion

Until Twitter provides privacy or a locking option for your Favorites section, beware that what you place there can be used to evaluate your efforts.

MLK: A Man Never To Be Forgotten

Malcolm X and Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King, a doctor, a pastor, a leader, a man of passionate idealism and faith. Where ever you are in the world today, try to remember what once was- a man bridging the gap of social injustice while setting an example of non violent resistance. If words are the pillars to our actions, then Dr. King built a castle to freedom.

Remember What Made Him Great

5 Blog Writing Tips To Engage Online Readers

ComputerShopper published this deansguide article 11-13-09

Blog writing is vastly different from “long” writing seen in newspapers and magazines. The idea behind blog writing is to capture a reader’s attention immediately, create succinct articles, and keep the word count under 500 words when possible.

5 Tips to Engage Online Readers

1. F Shape Theory: Jakob Nielsen, Time magazine’s King of Usability, formulated a theory describing online reading habits. Online readers, according to Nielsen, read the title first, then scan down the left side bar looking for keywords important to them. If the reader finds a keyword they scan left to right into the body of the text. If the reader does not find a keyword they scan down the left side bar and leave. The F Shape Theory

2. Bold: Utilize the Bold feature to help text stand out, pull the human readers eye to keywords and subheadings, and more readable for Google ‘bots

3. Bullets and Numbers: Online readers love bullet and numbered lists. Use these list articles as often as possible

4. Images: Pictures attract the eye and help hold the reader’s interest. Utilizing screenshots is a very effective method of teaching your readers when producing any how-to articles. Example below:

bitly002

5. Video: This adds a higher level of engagement for the reader. Youtube.com is also a very prominent social network that can drive traffic to your site. Warning: videos should be succinct like written content. Any video over 3 minutes is usually too long unless it is a training vehicle for your audience. Example of lawyer Gary Gwilliam’s compelling video about his fight to conquer alcoholism and addiction:

Facebook Fan Widgets & Blogs: Ignored Viral Marketing Opportunities

Viral marketing strategies on social networks are often overlooked. One such instance is the opportunity to become a fan of a prominent well read Facebook page for a company or prominent blogger. The key is to find out if the company or blogger has a Facebook fan widget box on their blog. Here is an example of this opportunity.

Become a Fan of a Prominent Facebook Page:

Many blogs with massive traffic (Mashable), have Facebook fan page widgets.  These Facebook widgets, sitting in a prime area of the blog,  display pictures of each new registered fan (or logo) as well as the link to that fan’s own blog or website.

New blog readers, who come to these blogs, can simply roll their cursor over a picture, within the Facebook widget, to find the name and link back to that person or company’s blog. This becomes a pathway to  content providing instant viral marketing possibilities.

Mashable.com: Viral Marketing Dreams Are Made

See the shot below of the Mashable Facebook widget:

Mashable Viral Join Communities

With over 60,000 Facebook fans and  an Alexa ranking of 483, Mashable.com is one of the most well read sites in the world according to the statistical sampling done by Alexa. Likewise, Dan Schawbel is one of the most prominent social media writers in the blogosphere today.

The Results

A SusanOur CEO Inner Architect’s Susan Hanshaw was displayed in the Facebook fan page widget on the Mashable page for Dan Schwabel’s article. This placement helped bring an additional 40 readers to our blog the day the article was posted.

We also found on the Mashable widget friend and associate Pat Kitano principle of Domus Consulting Group and former workshop attendee Ellen Richman.

Wine Marketing: Direct to Consumer Challenges and Opportunities

Vineyards

The acronym “DTC” aka direct to consumer is one of the most important concepts the wine industry as a whole must leverage in order to survive and thrive during our challenging economic times. Direct to consumer sales provide opportunities for  higher profit margins, increased special event sales, and to sell the ever vitally important wine club memberships. Yet with all that is riding on DTC, the awareness of the power of social media marketing as a sales channel remains under appreciated and under utilized.

Case in point, the Winebusiness.com “Direct to Consumer: 2009 Tasting Room Report.” Most interesting in this report are the hurdles or “barriers to maximizing DTC potential for all wineries. The reported challenges as well as  the opportunities to overcome the challenges may surprise you.

Common Barriers to Maximizing DTC Potential

  1. Compliance and Shipping: (39 percent) believe issues of compliance and shipping “still outweigh all other barriers
  2. Lack of Resources: (17 percent)  people, time and money
  3. Effective Technology and Systems: (13 percent)
  4. Acquiring Customers: (13 percent) aka lead generation
  5. Marketing Tools: (13 percent) believe a lack of DTC marketing tools like customer relationship marketing (CRM) and Web analytics

Opportunities to Maximizing DTC Potential

  1. Tasting Room Software: according to the report there are many online systems available to greatly reduce the challenges of shipping and compliance
  2. Lack of Resources: the three resources in question are people, time, and money. The answers should include social media marketing training to help key employees. The other solution is to hire a social media marketing agency to perform monthly marketing maintence and run your marketing program
  3. Effective Technology and Systems: nothing was specified. The obvious technologies that could improve DTC sales would be a blog and a social media marketing plan-strategy to engage with consumers on Facebook, and Twitter. Placing laptops in the tasting room so consumers can directly fan your Facebook winery page or follow your Twitter account(s) creates a bridge from real world to online world.
  4. “Acquiring Customers”: this challenge (lead generation) could be addressed with a DTC Twitter strategy in concert with a Facebook company page for customer relationship management
  5. Marketing Tools: CRM would be the role of a strategically implemented Facebook company page that engaged consumers and created “Call to Action” messaging.  Web analytic measurement tools could be implemented to measure each message delivered in specific channels including the blogosphere, Facebook, and Twitter for the messages relevance or effectiveness

Twitter vs. Blogging: 6 Most Common Excuses Not to Blog

Twitter logo

Blogging is the most powerful tool, with multiple uses, that an entrepreneur, small business, or large corporation can leverage in building their brand. Microblogging, Twitter being the best example, is a miniature version of blogging. Both tools have their push backs. Twtter strategies like blogging strategies help answer and discredit many of the most common excuses people have for not adopting blogging or microblogging. The following are the 6 most common excuses not to blog, reasons why they are myths, and how Twitter compares.

6 Most Common Excuses Not to Blog: Myths

  • Articles Must be Long: the fact is that the useability or readability of a blog article is best when it is short, 250-500 words, due to the reading habits of blog readers aka skimming. Check out the F Shape theory by Jakob Nielsen
  • Twitter: 140 character messages allow brief easy to write “posts”; the barrier to entry for writing is nil
  • Must Write Every Day: writing every day is best but it is not mandatory. It is beneficial to write 1-2 times per week
  • Twitter: again every day is best but it is possible to connect by writing 2-3 times per week
  • Fear to Write Publically: write about expertise do not write in diary format. Stay on business point
  • Twitter: the same holds true stay on business point, give value, and do not write in diary format
  • Resistance to Technology: learning the technology is about using the technology. Experience breeds confidence and efficiency
  • Twitter: far easier platform to learn, no coding, and much shorter ramp up period
  • Nothing New to Write: every subject has been covered but not by you with your expertise and skill. You must demonstrate your expertise
  • Twitter: same idea here but in far shorter messages; showcase your expertise
  • Who Will See My Blog: if you provide SEO, fresh relevant content, and network in the blogosphere your target audience will see your blog
  • Twitter: if you follow the right people, recommend them, and garner their respect through a follow back then your target audience will see your tweets

If you are interested in social media marketing strategies, please consider reading Inner Architect blog. We are a social media marketing and strategies firm based in San Rafael, California.