OMS Long Beach ’10 Overview

Yesterday, half of the Emarketed team got up bright and early for OMS Long Beach. It was a day filled of learning and we attended 8 back-to-back seminars in all! There was a different mix of attendees: traditional marketers, internet marketers, specialists and others just looking for some more information about the latest in online marketing.

So many speakers, but who was the most memorable? Jeff Hayzlett, former CMO of Kodak , was definitely the most entertaining. He was even available to sign some copies of his new book. Then, there were the many facts that the presenters threw at us. I was surprised by this one from Chris Anthony of Exact Target: regular coupons have a redemption rate of 1% while mobile coupons hover around 5-10%!

Now, on to the different topics. I focused on attending the SEO seminars, so here are some new takeaways that I got from the speakers:

Link Building and SEO Takeaways

Don’t worry, these aren’t lame tips like “write creative content” or “add entertaining pictures”. I hope you learn something new from these takeaways!

  • Catfish of Business Online offered a unique idea: Offer free WordPress themes or embeddable widgets for users with a link back to your site.
  • Use a bulk 404 checker for pages and links you might have lost after undergoing a website redesign.
  • Arnie Kuenn of Vertical Measures stresses the importance of getting as many different links from many different websites as you possibly can. Some easy ones: 123people, flavors.me, LinkedIn, BusinessWeek and even asking friends and family.
  • You can re-purpose old content to make it new again. If you write a lot about a certain topic, you can target different people and write it for their perspective. Example: If you write about social media, tailor it if you write for social media for non profits.

Overall, it was a very educational field trip but we forgot to take a group picture, once again! Next time for sure…
If you’re looking to attend a local social media event of your own this summer, make sure to check out Mashable’s list of upcoming events.

The Can and Can’ts of Social Media

There is much more to social media than just building up Twitter hype. Nowadays, businesses may be excited to implement a new social media marketing plan, but have unrealistic expectations of what it can really do. Like anything else, you can’t expect it to help bring you success if you don’t put in enough time and effort. Here’s a look at what social media can and can’t do for your business:

What It Can Do

  • Target your audience: If you’re looking into running ads on Facebook or MySpace, these two sites allow you to target specific demographics of your audience. This will be helpful in identifying your goals, as you can reach users by age, location, interests etc.
  • Improve customer interaction: On the surface, the point of social media profiles is to be social. You’ll want these connections to translate into something deeper but you can’t unless you can improve customer involvement. Social media allows you to do so by consistently involving the audience via blog posts, Tweets, and status updates.
  • Keep customers informed: Awhile ago, Bausch + Lomb recalled their contact solution because it was linked to eye infections. As a recipient of their newsletter, I got an email about the recall and a coupon for a new (untainted) product. Luckily, no eye infection for me! Social media can help with damage control just as well as it’s used to announce local events or new products.

What It Can’t Do

  • Have a short-term mindset: Your marketing plan consists of ongoing efforts, so why wouldn’t your social media campaign? Many people make the mistake by neglecting their social media profiles over time. Social media requires the three C’s: consistence, commitment, and creativity.
  • Replace your entire marketing plan: Although it’s successful for very few companies, a marketing plan solely based on social media is not realistic. Instead of looking at social media to replace your marketing plan, think of it as an additional tool you can use to complement your more traditional strategies.
  • Guarantee success: You may be popular on Twitter, but what does it really mean? You can’t guarantee success on any social media site if you don’t tie it back to your goals – this may be increased visits, clicks, purchases etc. Being popular doesn’t mean that you’re successful, but it can help!

How To Connect on Twitter

Your Plan for Victory
When it comes to your online marketing plan, there is no one route that will guarantee your success. The hard part comes with analyzing your brand and how you want to portray yourself to your audience. Luckily, Twitter and social media internet marketing allows you to have better control of your online reputation. One of the hardest obstacles a business faces is getting new customers and Twitter can help you get started.

A Better Way to Circulate

Don’t underestimate the power of a coupon! Direct mailing and printouts can be costly nowadays, but there are alternatives. In this example, a local chain restaurant more than doubled their foot traffic by advertising a $3 burrito on Twitter. Whereas they usually get 350 customers come in with the coupon, they got an influx of 900 customers when they turned to Twitter.

Find Relevant Followers

If you’re a local business with a physical location, you’ll want followers who are from your surrounding areas. Have more followers is great, but you’ll gain more from customers that are more likely to frequent your business. You can use tools like Mr.Tweet to join relevant communities and connect with others. Whether you’re into psychology or politics, there’s a place for that. Don’t be afraid to use Twitter’s trending topics and to participate in conversation. You can also search hashtags (#) to look at what others are saying about a particular topic. If you like something someone is saying, check out their profile. Once you follow them, you can initiate conversation and they may do the same to you.

Get the Right Attention
We’ve all heard about Kevin Smith’s recent fat fiasco. Not all of us will face a situation of this capacity, but it’s interesting to see how things played out. Twitter is good for damage control, but you can get the right attention too. If you’re an expert in your field, why not start some Q&A? Maybe you do taxes or know some good cooking tips. Your knowledge will benefit your followers and they’ll trust you. Or maybe, you’re looking for new employees. Twitter is a great way to give a shout out to open positions and find people in your relevant field.

It’s Not Just Twitter
If Twitter doesn’t work out for you, don’t fret. There are other social platforms that you can try. Facebook, WordPress and even MySpace works wonders. My hairdresser gets great business from their MySpace and Yelp page. She goes on to share that they continue to get more customers each month! If you haven’t gotten started yet, what’s there to lose? As the old saying goes, “You`ll never know unless you try”.

Are You Developing Your Social Media Strategy?

Another rainy Friday morning in Los Angeles! We began this one with the first out of a series of implementation courses by The Art of Online Marketing and Rachel Perlmutter.

Equipping Your Marketing Tool Belt
From the beginning, a very important point was made and that is: social media is just another marketing channel. Think about social media tactics as another marketing tool. Like other traditional channels, this means that you need to set a strategy in order to realize your goals. A big mistake many make is that they get too caught up in social media without realizing any success. Friends and fans mean nothing if they can’t be translated into real life.

Your Virtual Reputation
Next, when you’re present on social media sites, how do you portray yourself? Do you have a professional picture? Are you comfortable with this picture and profile representing your brand? An easy way to think about this is to think about how you behave at an actual networking event. You want to be friendly and make small talk before pushing your business cards into other people’s faces. At the same time, be wary of the people you meet and see if they are actually interested in providing you with value.

Don’t Waste Your Time

Many may get caught up in the social media marketing hype because it’s “free”. But remember, your time is certainly not free! Self and time management will help make your time spent on social media sites more effective and efficient. Rachel suggests taking an hour or so out of the day dedicated to your social media activities. Who really spends hours on end on Twitter? Except for the Twitterholics, most people will want to break up their time spent into 10 minute blocks. Sounds like great advice for those who don’t want to waste their time.

Just Attended: Social Media Club

Last night, we braved the rain and made it to join, “Social Media: Getting it Right in 2010”, with the Social Media Club of San Gabriel Valley. Moderated by Sally Falkow, the panelists included: Dana Chinn, James Macpherson. and Jessica Gottlieb. With good people and good fudge, what more could we ask for?

In about 2 hours, a wide array of topics were covered. It started out with what’s changed in the media. Nowadays, you small businesses can take advantage of bloggers to monitor your brand and listen to what customers want. No doubt, the theme of the night was to measure your efforts and adjust accordingly. Just because we’re talking about social media marketing, doesn’t mean that you should throw the basics of marketing out the window!

Useful Tips and Takeaways
- When it comes to social media, you don’t necessarily need to be everywhere. Utilize the right platforms that will work with your overall goals.
– Make use of location-based review sites: Foursquare and Yelp. Listen and be nice to your customers!
– Don’t forget to be engaging. Leave comments and interact with your fans and friends frequently.
– Communicate your passion. Chances are, there are many readers out there who share your enthusiasm for certain topics. Even if they don’t, your excitement is a great way to bring them in.

All in all, it was a fun and informative night. Looking forward to more of them in the future!

Blogging Basics

Blogs have reached a new level of popularity in the past several years. Many websites and companies have started one or more consistent blogs in order to add quality content to their sites, which helps to increase their ranking.  According to the numbers provided by New Media Lab in Austin, blogging grew by 68 percent in 2008; 356 million people worldwide read blogs; and 77 percent of active Web users read blogs. New Media Lab provided these statistics regarding who is blogging in the United States:

* 51 percent male
* Age 35+ (58 percent)
* Age 18-34 (42 percent)
* College educated (74 percent)

What is blogging?

Blogging is a social networking tool that can be used for personal and/or professional reasons. A blog is like an online journal that allows you to write about whatever you want. Individuals often use blogs to share personal information and personal opinion with family and friends whereas organizations or companies often use blogs to advertise their services and provide helpful information to clients and potential clients. Setting up and maintaining a blog is simple and usually free of cost, making it an exceptionally useful tool for companies when it comes to educating the public on their business, their products or their services.

Blogs are an easy way for people and businesses to publish their ideas and their opinions. Commenting is allowed on most blogs, making it a kind of conversation. Blogs allow readers to actively participate in the blog by responding to posts and thereby sharing their opinion as well.

Setting up a blog

The first step to setting up your blog is deciding on a unique name. Once you have a name, you should lock in a domain name for your blog. Next, you need to pick your content management system, which will provide you with the tools needed to manage your blog. The two most popular platforms are Blogger and WordPress. Blogger is free, but is somewhat limited in comparison. Next you must design your page. Several tools can help you customize your blog design, including WordPress Themes, Template Monster, and Unique Blog Designs. Also, remember to turn on the comment option. Comments are a good way to get feedback and make your blog appear popular.

Adding Social Media and Links

Add links onto your blog to any of your other social media profile pages, such as Twitter and Facebook. It is also smart to add links to any other personal or corporate pages you have. After you have done this, add links onto these other social media profile pages back to your blog. Many social bookmarking plug-ins can help promote your blog, including:

* Digg
* Sphinn
* Twitter
* Delicious
* StumbleUpon

Adding Facebook advertising to your search marketing campaign?

I just stumbled across this ebook on Facebook advertising by Matt Dickman. I’d suggest checking it out to get a better idea of how Facebook advertising works and to learn more about social media marketing. As Facebook and social networking sites continue to grow this will become more important. It’s literally changing the search marketing industry! The days of running search engine optimization and paid search campaigns alone to drive traffic to your site is becoming outdated. Reaching a broader audience through Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social sites is imperative to your search marketing campaign.

emarketed now offers this as a stand alone service or as an addon to current search engine optimization and paid search customers. Stay tuned for more social media updates as this emerging method of advertising expands. You can also follow us on twitter for short updates.