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.”
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)
Brian Clark the man behindCopyblogger.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.”
The best example of customer service and support, utilizing social networking in their efforts, is Comcast. More precisely it is the Digital Care team run by Frank Eliason that shines the brightest light on how American corporations could and should be engaging their consumers on a daily basis. The following are excerpts of the interview Frank gave to Mashable.com for the article “How to Use Twitter to Support Customers.”
Mashable: Exactly how do you use Twitter? Frank E: We use Twitter to help customers. We simply search for “Comcast” and a few variations and respond by offering help. Mashable: What Twitter tools do you use? Frank E: If you are thinking of listening, you can easily start with Google Blogsearch, Twitter Search, and Facebook Search. For analysis we use Radian 6 and Nielsen Online, but for day-to-day work we do use many free tools Mashable: How many cases do you deal with every day? Frank E: We review about 6,000 blog posts each day with most not having anything to do with Comcast. Twitter has about 1,500 – 2,000 tweets a day or more. . . We reach out to 600 – 1,000 people, and we have conversations with about 200 – 300 a day. Mashable: Do you use ghosts or staff or is it pure Frank? Frank E: Every tweet from @ComcastCares is me, but I am not out there as much as I used to be. When we started on Twitter I was out there all hours of the day and night, usually seven days a week. Today we have ten different Twitter ID’s. Different than many companies, I believe that each ID should represent a person. I relate this to calls. You would never answer a phone, “XYZ company. What do you want?” so we have team members with ID’s like @Comcastbill and @Comcastbonnie responding to our customers
Comcast’s Differentiating Factor: Come Out From Behind The Logo
In our opinion, the very simple strategy of naming each Twitter account, coming out from behind the logo to create a human experience, is the very essence of what has made Frank’s program so successful. It is Comcast’s differentiating factor and a strategy very few American corporations are willing to try.
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
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.
One of the newest “practices” surfacing on Twitter is designed to make sure you follow a person or company that has followed you. Since this tactic does not have a name we are dubbing it the Follow-Unfollow-Follow tactic
Follow-Unfollow-Follow: How It Works
Follow: a twitterer that you are uninterested in following follows you
You Ignore: you do not follow this useless Twitterer and ignore them
Unfollow: the twitterer waits for 24-48 hours and once they realize you are not following them, they unfollow you
ReFollow: within the next 24 hours after their initial “unfollow” the twitterer will refollow you
What Is the Follow-Unfollow-ReFollow Strategy?
Everyone Follows: this tactic’s goal or strategy is to ensureevery single person that a twitterer follows will follow
Top of List: by refollowing a second time, the twitterer’s logo or face is at the top of your follower’s list
Pest: being a pest, the twitterer hopes to ware you down so that you follow them back just to get rid of them
Multiple DMs: each time the twitterer follows you he/she can direct message you, it will surely be spam, a sales pitch for whatever they want you to do for them
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.
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:
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:
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.
See the shot below of the Mashable Facebook widget:
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.
Our 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.
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
Compliance and Shipping: (39 percent) believe issues of compliance and shipping “still outweigh all other barriers“
Lack of Resources: (17 percent) people, time and money
Effective Technology and Systems: (13 percent)
Acquiring Customers: (13 percent) aka lead generation
Marketing Tools: (13 percent) believe a lack of DTC marketing tools like customer relationship marketing (CRM) and Web analytics
Opportunities to Maximizing DTC Potential
Tasting Room Software: according to the report there are many online systems available to greatly reduce the challenges of shipping and compliance
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
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.
“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
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
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.