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Friday, May 24, 2013

The Most Magical Moments From the Arrested Development Launch Campaign

by Ginny Soskey

                                                         May 24, 2013

arrested developmenIf you had to market a final season premiere of a TV cult classic that wouldn't appear on television, how would you do it? With billboards, print ads, and primetime slots on TV? Probably not. You’d have to buckle down and get creative to reach such a niche, digital audience.

How to Host a Facebook Chat

by Anum Hussain

                             May 24, 2013                            

facebook-chatWhen Facebook rolled out the ability to reply to comments on Facebook, my immediate reaction was ... indifferent. Actually, I thought it was more likely it would complicate conversations and give spammers additional ways to pollute comment sections.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Instagram Adds Feature to Allow Users to Tag Brands, and Other Marketing Stories of the Week

by Desmond Wong

                                                         May 5, 2013 at 9:00 AM


relax_on_beachThis has been a very interesting week with all the changes in the world of digital media and marketing. We've seen new social media product features roll out, social and mobile data offerings leak, and internet companies trump tried-and-true ways of advertising ... all within seven days! 

Are People Stealing Your Content? How (and When) to Fight Back [SlideShare]

by Ginny Soskey

                                                    May 21, 2013 at 9:00 AM

computer_hackerIf you're drinking the inbound marketing Kool-Aid and regularly publishing content online, there's a good chance you may have experienced content theft at one point or another. Many of us are all too familiar with the feelings that follow the discovery of content thievery: your stomach drops, quickly followed by thoughts of "Why me?" Then the anger sets in.

Only Marketing to the Top of Your Fundraising Pyramid Is Hurting Your Nonprofit’s Future

by Taylor Corrado

                                                         May 21, 2013 at 12:30 PM

hubspot-fundraising-pyramidThe top of your fundraising pyramid is just that -- a small, concentrated piece of your whole universe, made up of older, rich donors who, though important, won't be able to add to the strong foundation of your future fundraising efforts. While they’re reliable for contributing large sums of money to help you reach your yearly goal, they are high risk, high reward from an investment of time and resources perspective.

Monday, May 20, 2013

خدمة Evernote تخترق وتطالب مستخدميها بتغيير كلمات المرور
ا 03/03/2013 -
  




 :

أعلنت الشركة المطورة لتطبيق Evernote الخاص بتسجيل الملاحظات عن تعرضها لمحاولة اختراق منسّقة ومدروسة، تمكنت من خلالها الجهة التي قامت بالاختراق من الوصول إلى مناطق آمنة وحساسة بالخدمة، إلا أنها لم تؤثر بشكل فعلي على حسابات المستخدمين.

وأشارت الشركة إلى أنها قررت تنفيذ خطوة إعادة تعيين كلمات المرور لمستخدميها كإجراء وقائي لتجنب أي ضرر ممكن لحسابات المستخدمين ومعلوماتهم.

وقد أظهر التحقيق الذي أجرته الشركة أن المخترقين تمكنوا من الوصول إلى معلومات المستخدمين بما في ذلك الأسماء وعناوين البريد الإلكتروني وكلمات المرور بصيغتها المشفّرة.

وأوضحت الشركة أن الأساليب المتّبعة عندها في تشفير كلمات المرور قوية، إلا أنها فضلت أن تتخذ خطوة إعادة تعيين كلمات المرور لضمان أمن بيانات المستخدم الشخصية.

وقد طالبت الشركة جميع مستخدميها بإعادة تعيين كلمات المرور الخاصة بهم، وذلك عن طريق اختيار كلمة جديدة صعبة، وعدم استخدام كلمات متماثلة مع مواقع وخدمات أخرى، وكذلك حذّرت من النقر على روابط إعادة تعيين كلمة المرور التي تصل عبر البريد الإلكتروني، وإنما الذهاب بشكل مباشر إلى رابط الخدمة وتسجيل الدخول واختيار كلمة جديد من هناك (evernote.com).

هذا وقد توجّهت الشركة بالاعتذار من المستخدمين لهذا الخلل والتسبب بتغيير كلمات المرور لهم، إلا أنها بررت ذلك بأن هذه الخطوة ستؤدي إلى تجربة أكثر أماناً للخدمة.

المصدر: وكالات

مستخدمو خدمة "ترجمة جوجل" يصلون إلى 200 مليون يومياً
الأحد 19/05/2013 - 
    




 :

كشفت "جوجل" عن وصول عدد مستخدمي خدمة "ترجمة جوجل" إلى 200 مليون مستخدم يومياً، كما تتجاوز النصوص التي تتم ترجمتها في اليوم الواحد ما يعادل محتويات مليون كتاب، وهو ما يزيد عن ما يستطيع المترجمون المحترفون إنجازه خلال عام بأكمله.
وينتمي 92% من مستخدمي "ترجمة جوجل" إلى خارج الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، وربما يُفسَّر ذلك بغلبة اللغة الانجليزية على محتوى الإنترنت مع النمو المطرد في المحتوى المنشور باللغات الأخرى، بسبب المتصفحات التي تدعم النصوص المكتوبة من اليمين إلى اليسار، وكذلك إتاحة كتابة عناوين المواقع بغير الأبجدية الرومانية.
كشف جون استل، الذي يعمل ضمن فريق "ترجمة جوجل" منذ سبع سنوات، بعض الأرقام حول خدمة جوجل للترجمة، والتحسينات التي تنوي إضافتها خلال الفترة المقبلة. وذلك خلال إحدى جلسات مؤتمر جوجل للمطورين Google IO 2013 في مدينة سان فرانسيسكو، والذي انتهى في الـ17 من مايو الجاري.
وأشار استل إلى عزم "جوجل" إتاحة ترجمة المحادثات في الوقت الحقيقي لتتيح التواصل متعدد اللغات بين أشخاص مختلفين.
كما تُخطط لإضافة المزيد من اللغات. وتتيح خدمة "ترجمة جوجل" حالياً 71 لغة، حيث أضافت مطلع الشهر الحالي خمس لغات جديدة يتحدث بها نحو 182 مليون شخص. وقال استل إن "إتاحة لغة جديدة يتوقف على توافر بيانات كافية عنها".
وبخصوص تحسين جودة النصوص المترجمة، قال استل: "نعتقد أن خدمة الترجمة لدينا صالحة للاستخدام، لكنها ليست مثالية". وأضاف أنها ليست جيدة بما يكفي لتسهيل استخدام موقع إنترنت متعدد اللغات.
وأطلقت "جوجل" خدمتها للترجمة في عام 2001 بهدف تنظيم المعلومات حول العالم، وجعلها في متناول يد الجميع، وعملت فيما بعد على تضمينها في خدماتها الأخرى مثل خدمة البريد الإلكتروني "جيميل"، ونتائج البحث، وترجمة متصفح "جوجل كروم". بالإضافة إلى تطوير تطبيق الترجمة للهواتف المحمولة، حيث أتاحت ترجمة النصوص ضمن الصور التي يتم التقاطها بالكاميرا، وتخزين الكلمات لإعادة استخدامها في غياب الاتصال بالإنترنت.
وتعتمد "ترجمة جوجل" على مقارنة كلمات النصوص المطلوب ترجمتها بنصوص مكتوبة بأكثر من لغة، وخصوصاً وثائق الأمم المتحدة والاتحاد الأوروبي، والتي تُكتب منها عدة نسخ بلغات مختلفة. وفي بداية عملها أتاحت فقط الترجمة الثنائية من لغة إلى أخرى، ثم أضافت في عام 2008 إمكانية الترجمة من أية لغة إلى أخرى عبر لغة وسيطة.

Friday, May 17, 2013

8 Data-Based Tips for Optimizing Your Content on Pinterest and Instagram

by Dan Zarrella

Date May 17, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Instagram_PinterestEven though the two most popular social networks to emerge in the past few years (Instagram and Pinterest) revolve around visual content, there isn't much data about what content performs best on these platforms. Because Instagram and Pinterest revolve around visual (not textual) content and their APIs are difficult to access, it can be challenging to research these networks.
But just because something is challenging doesn't mean it's impossible. After diving into the data, I found eight actionable data points to help you use Instagram and Pinterest to their maximum in your inbound marketing efforts.
If you want to see more exclusive data about visual content on social media, join me and special guest Sarah Evans (@PRsarahEvans) today at 2:00 p.m. ET for this week's #SciChat webinar and Twitter Chat. You can sign up here.
Without any further ado, let's get to the data.

1) On Pinterest, experiment with tall, infographic-style pieces to get more engagement.

On the web in general, tall images are easier to read than wide ones because it's much easier to scroll vertically than horizontally. The same concept applies on Pinterest: Taller images -- those containing more "content" -- tend to get more repins than shorter images.
pinterest_height

2) Try to keep your descriptions between 100 and 200 characters.

Both Instagram and Pinterest allow creators to provide textual content such as descriptions or captions alongside their visual content. Including text is helpful for both search engines and humans by giving context for what's in the image.
On Pinterest, the optimum description length is between 100 and 200 characters, around the same character count as a Tweet. Even though people use Pinterest to browse pictures, short captions and descriptions help increase engagement.
pinterest_desc

3) Use hashtags when posting on Instagram.

On Instagram, a key non-visual feature is the ability to use hashtags in the text accompanying a photo. In fact, when I analyzed data from the site, I found that posts that included hashtags had a far higher like-to-follower ratio than posts that did not use hashtags.
instgram__with_hashtags

4) Find a clever way to relate top-performing hashtags to your content.

The list of most powerful hashtags on Instagram is led by reciprocal-behavior indicators: hashtags like “#FollowForFollow,” “#LikeForLike,” “#F4F,” and “#L4L.” These represent a symptom of the social aspect of the site, though it's not clear whether they lead to high quality followers.
The rest of the list of most liked hashtags show us that nature, and in particular sky-based nature photography does very well on the site, as evidenced by “#Sky,” #Clouds,” “#Sunset,” and “#Sun.”
instgram_mosthashtags

5) Post images that appeal to everyone, strangers and friends alike.  

On the flip side of the hashtags coin, I also examined the least-liked hashtags on Instagram. This list is full of tags that indicate that a photo is relevant only to the person who took it and his or her close friends: “#BestFriends,” “#LoveHer,” and “#Drunk.” Imagine viewing an image taken by a stranger tagged with something like this -- chances are, it’s not going to be very interesting to you. On the other hand, a pretty sunset or interesting cloud can be attractive to anyone.
instagram_leasthashtags

6) Experiment with making images showing something people can aspire to do, be, or create. 

When we turn our attention back to Pinterest and look at the most pinned words, we find words like “love,” “favorite,” and “like” that indicate a positive emotional attachment from the poster to the image posted. The rest of the list is full of words that indicate aspirational imagery, such as “home,” “DIY,” “inspiration,” and “recipes.” These words signify something that the poster wants to buy, do, emulate or create.
pinterest_pinnable_words

7) Think about the DIY activities that your audience may be interested in. 

The last list of words was the words that were pinned the most, but this list is the words that, once pinned, tend to get repinned by others most often. This list is dominated by cooking and food related words: “recipe,” “chicken,” “bake,” and “bottle.”
pinterest_repinnable_words
If your goal is to produce viral visual content, experiment not only with food related images, but also with images that show and explain how to create things. For example, you could show visual instructions to make a recipe -- cooking is a DIY activity that almost everyone can (or does) do.

8) When creating visual content, think about which action you’d rather stimulate: discussion or sharing.

When I compared like-rates to repin-rates, I found a strong, positive correlation. That means there is a powerful relationship between the “like” action and the repin action -- people are more likely to repin content they like.
On the other hand, when I compared comments and repins, I found a much less powerful relationship. There isn’t as strong a correlation between the kinds of content people want to comment on and the kind of content they want to share with their friends. Controversial or disagreeable content makes me want to comment on it, but I’d likely hesitate before sharing it with my friends.
pinterest_comments
Did any of this data surprise you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Image credit: Jason A. Howie

Thursday, May 16, 2013


3 Keys to Successful Content Marketing on Wikipedia

by David King on May 15, 2013
Wikipedia marketingWikipedia marketing is hard.
Offering content to Wikipedia’s editorial community is different than traditional content marketing.
The content is rule-bound. The editors are thorough. And these editors have to produce neutral content about the company, rather than a thought-leadership subject.
Some companies have such strong opinions about themselves and certain controversies they are involved in, it can be an emotional process to write neutrally on it.
Recently I’ve seen many public relations professionals following the best practices established by Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Jimmy Wales, and PR associations around the globe to offer content and other suggestions on the Talk page and allow impartial volunteer Wikipedians that serve the reader’s best interest actually make editorial decisions.
This is how it should work.
This is also probably what is legal for us (marketers) to do, after a court found that editing Wikipedia anonymously was an illegal form of astroturfing.
But the success of these projects are mild at best, so I thought it would be helpful to write on the three components that best establish whether a company will be successful on Wikipedia or not.

1. Aligned outcomes

To be successful on Wikipedia, your organization needs to want the same thing Wikipedia does – a neutral article. Most neutral articles include some things stakeholders within the company may not like or may have strong opinions about.
The software is glitchy, the organization was engaged in a lawsuit, or they had layoffs years ago. We pursue product reviews even knowing they will be fair and balanced, but it is more difficult for us to be fair and balanced for ourselves – to write our own product reviews and have the company see value in it.
First, consider if a neutral article will make stakeholders happy.
It is common for public relations professionals to add promotional content to Wikipedia, only to attract volunteers that balance the page with less flattering content.
Sometimes the marketing team is best off just leaving Wikipedia well-enough alone. In fact, EthicalWiki turns down more than half of the business inquiries that come our way, because the prospect’s objectives are just too far out-of-step with Wikipedia’s, leaving us no ethical path to achieve what they want.
Ask yourself: Can I offer something Wikipedia wants? That is useful and valuable to the community and their readers?

2. Wiki Know-how

You need to know (or be willing to learn) how to edit Wikipedia in the general sense. Most of our new editors do not do well and new editors acting in a PR role do even worse.
According to one editor I talked to “it is almost impossible for a ‘social media expert’ to just come along here and immediately write anything worth keeping.”
The Wikipedia community is constantly urging public relations professionals to edit Wikipedia in a general way before attempting to improve articles where they have a conflict of interest, but most struggle to justify the time to learn if Wikipedia does not provide enough billable hours to justify investing in the expertise.
Besides using a vendor like us, PR agencies and large companies can assign one person in their marketing team to become an expert who is willing to devote the time to learn.

3. An advocate for ethics

For most companies that want to do content marketing on Wikipedia, there will come a time in the process that will challenge your ethics. Questions will be raised like, “will Wikipedians notice XYZ is missing?” or “would we get away with positioning it this way?”
There needs to be a voice in the process to persuade the team to be fair and honest and this usually comes out to the organization’s best interest.
Screen Shot 2012-09-26 at 4.24.20 PM

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Twitter Opens Advertising to All: Here's How it Works

by Amanda Sibley 

twitter-bird-mosaicReady to get your hands dirty with some Twitter advertising? Now's your chance! On April 30th,Twitter announced that advertising would finally be available to all users through the launch of its new, self-service ad platform. Previously, advertisers had to be invited to use Twitter ads -- and spend a minimum amount of money per quarter -- through the full-service platform.
With those stipulations no longer in place, now even small mom and pop shops and businesses with smaller marketing budgets can leverage Twitter's advertising platform using Twitter's self-service platform to give their organic Twitter presence a boost. All you have to do is go to your Twitter settings, and you, too can start setting up a Twitter ad campaign.
Some paid promotion can be a great complement to your organic inbound marketing efforts, so if you're new to Twitter ads, we're going to give you a primer on just how they work. We also encourage you to sign up now for our free workshop on May 21 -- co-hosted by an expert from Twitter -- to learn more about how to optimize your Twitter presence for business. 

How Twitter's Self-Service Ads Work

Step 1: Click the Settings Gear, Then Click 'Twitter Ads'

twitter_1

Step 2: Read Through Twitter's Introduction to Twitter Ads

Once you click into Twitter's advertising page, Twitter will walk you through the steps you need to take to get started. In fact, this is one of the few times the “introduction” phase of any software product has proven to be extremely helpful to me. Not only does Twitter walk you through what you need to do and explain each step, but you're also able to easily set up your first campaign using Twitter's helpful tips.
Screen_Shot_2013-05-02_at_3.25.04_PM

Step 3: Review Your Campaign

Once your first campaign is set up, you'll be directed to the summary page, which includes a review of all the information you added in for targeting, tweets you are promoting, and bidding.

twitter_2_

What Can I Promote With Twitter Ads?

With Twitter's simple user interface (UI), you have two options for what you can promote: 1) your individual tweets, or 2) your full Twitter account (e.g. @HubSpot).

Promoted Tweets

Keep in mind that there is no difference between where your individual Promoted Tweets get displayed and where your organic tweets get displayed. Promoting a tweet will simply help you get more visibility for an important tweet promoting something you want to share, such as a blog post, an event you're hosting/attending, or perhaps a landing page for a marketing offer. Within the ads platform, all you need to do to promote a tweet is select the tweet you want to promote under 'Promoted Tweets,' and then select a budget and bid for the campaign. 
promoted-tweet

Promoted Accounts

Promoted Accounts, on the other hand, will help you increase your following by promoting your @username to the left of your targeted audiences’ Twitter timelines. 
promoted-accounts

Setting up Targeting

Targeting in Twitter's self-service ad platform offers the same options as Twitter's full-service ad platform, which is great because targeting any advertising campaign is critical to making the most out of the money you're spending. Twitter Advertising allows you to target accounts and tweets in one of two ways:
  1. road interest categories
  2. People like the followers of @usernames
In other words, you can select either interests or users/accounts your audience is likely to be following. For instance, if I sold fashion jewelry, I would be sure to select @usernames of popular fashion bloggers and celebrities that endorse certain types of fashion. This way, the people who are seeing my Promoted Tweets and/or Promoted Account are more likely to be interested in what I have to offer, and as a result, will be more likely to follow me on Twitter or click on my tweets. As you input more interests or @usernames, your estimated audience will automatically calculate and appear on the right. While it may be enticing to target a larger audience, keep in mind that if your audience is extremely large, you may end up blowing through your budget very quickly. I recommended targeting an audience of at least 10,000 users.
twitter_3_
Keep in mind that the targeting you select is used on all ad campaigns you set up, whether Promoted Tweets or a Promoted Account. While this overall targeting can be changed at any time, just be mindful that you cannot set up different targeting criteria for individual tweets -- or different criteria for a Promoted Account compared to Promoted Tweets -- if you're using theself-service ad platform

Specifying Your Bidding

Now that your campaign is set up, lets talk money. Twitter will never spend more than your maximum bid, but if possible, they will spend less. Depending on the competition from other advertisers bidding on the same @usernames or interests, your likelihood of appearing for certain criteria will vary. To see how much of your targeted audience you will reach depending on your bid, adjust your bid and see what the estimated reach on the right says.
twitter_4
As you can see, as you increase your bid, your estimated reach also increases. This can be changed at any time by going back into the ads platform. Twitter also recommends bids based on the size of your target audience, so you can use those for reference if you're not sure what you should spend starting off. Then you can adjust over time depending on your results.

Tracking Your Results

Within the advertising platform, you are able to make changes to your ads, pause them, and track their results. Simply click on 'View Statistics,' and you will be shown follower growths for both unpaid and paid promotion:
twitter_5

Or the engagement on your Promoted Tweet:
twitter_6

Now, you're ready to start using Twitter for advertising! Before spending any money, make sure you set up goals for your advertising campaigns -- such as new leads (which you can track in aclosed-loop marketing tool like HubSpot) -- so you can determine if the money you're spending is worth your while,
Interested in learning more about how to use Twitter for business? Find out more about how to get an effective Twitter ad campaign started by joining us for a webinar -- co-hosted by Twitter -- on May 21st. 

Monday, May 6, 2013


The Marketer's Guide to Proper Social Media Etiquette

by Maggie Hibma


social media etiquetteAs a savvy inbound marketer, you're already sold on the value of using social media. But good social media marketing is about more than engagement, lead generation, and wider reach ... you gotta have some etiquette, man.
Etiquette? Really? Like pinkies-up-at-tea-time stuff?
While social media etiquette might sound like a stuffy practice, this is really just about having good social manners online. How you conduct yourself on your social channels, thinking about how your behavior affects your fans and followers, that kind of thing. Below are the top etiquette tips for you to keep in mind on your favorite social media marketing networks so you can stay proper while building your brand.

Twitter Etiquette

Don’t automatically direct message people that follow you.

Your followers are smart and already interested in you enough to follow you on Twitter, right? So when they see that auto DM in their inbox, they’re going to assume you aren’t interested in them. Your followers recognize auto DMs for the beast that they are: spam.
Tip: If you want to connect with people that follow you, do so by sending them a relevant, engaging tweet to start off a real conversation.

Don’t over-hashtag your tweet.

According to a report by Salesforcetweets with one or two hashtags receive 21% higher engagement than those with three or more hashtags. Why? Because with #tons #of #unnecessary #hashtags, tweets aren’t aesthetically-pleasing or easy to read.
Tip: Use hashtags to help your followers join in a larger discussion or allow potential followers to find content they would enjoy. If a hashtag is relevant and trending, take advantage of it. If not, stick to one or two that best showcase your brand.

Don’t hijack another company's hashtag.

Marketers just like you are coming up with hashtags to create campaigns and expose their brand. When you see companies create well-performing hashtags, don’t hop on their hashtag train to promote irrelevant content -- it devalues their hashtag and, as a result, your brand.
Tip: Use your creativity to come up with your own original hashtags that support your brand and message. If you do want to engage with another company's hashtag because it's relevant to your business, be sure to add value rather than send spam tweets.

Don’t use tricks or bots to get more followers.

Not only is this a fantastic way to get banned from Twitter, but it's also a surefire way to let others know that you're only in the Twitter game for the vanity metrics. Besides straight up buying followers, one of the worst ways to get more followers is by using the follow/unfollow trick. You've probably had it happen to you before -- you get a new follower notification and go to return the favor. Not soon after, you find that the person or company has unfollowed you. Pulling tricks like this are a total turn-off for new followers and can negate the rest of your awesome work on Twitter.
Tip: Instead of manipulating people, crank up your compelling content and be proud that those that follow you have voluntarily chosen to do so. Twitter followers who will take action on your content are much more valuable to your business's bottom line.

Don’t only spew your own stuff.

When your content creation machine is churning, it’s easy to spit it all out on Twitter to help you drive traffic and leads. The more content the better, right? Wrong. Too much self-promotion overwhelms potential followers when they check out your timeline and see no mentions, retweets, or interactions with others. 
Tip: Retweet and share content created by your followers and thought leaders, and interact with followers who engage with you.

Don’t stuff your tweets with keywords.

Don’t get me wrong -- it’s important to make your top keywords more social to influence your SEO. But if your tweets sound like a SEO-robot wrote them instead of a human, it’s time to find a better keyword to non-keyword balance.
Tip: It's okay to use some keywords when tweeting -- you're trying to promote certain concepts and topics that align with your brand, after all -- but always be sure you sound human.

Facebook Etiquette

Don’t Like your own post.

If you’ve posted something on your company Facebook page, you probably like it. But don’t start the engine on the engagement train by liking your own post. It’s implied that you already enjoy the content you share, so liking your own brand post looks like you’re just desperate for more likes. 
Tip: If you keep the content on your page valuable, relevant, and interesting for your audience, the Likes will come. Patience, grasshopper.

Don’t ignore legitimate questions and comments.

Your company is doing big things and generating some seriously awesome content. But when you don’t respond to the engagement that stems from your content, it can be taken as ignoring your fans. Even when you get tough questions, it's important to respond. No one likes to be ignored.
Tip: Talk back and take note of what your fans are saying. They’ll provide you with invaluable insight -- for free.

Don’t post or tag photos of fans, customers, or employees without permission.

Before you post or tag a fan on your company page, consider the following: Is the person an employee? Did she contribute to the post or photo in some way? Would he or she appreciate the public recognition? Do you even know this person? If the answer is “no," step away from the keyboard.
Tip: Better to be safe than sorry. A quick ask for permission -- and an explanation of why -- will go a long way.

Don’t ask for Likes for no reason.

When your posts aren’t getting the Likes you’d like to see, don’t get desperate and start asking for them every single time you post. Though Facebook posts that include the word "like" get more Likes and comments than those that don't, constantly asking for people to Like your content appears desperate.
Tip: Beyond asking for Likes, you can grow your posts' engagement by always asking yourself, “What about this will encourage my fans to engage?” Identifying which elements of the post drive engagement and then replicating your efforts is key to growing your Facebook presence.

LinkedIn Etiquette

Don’t join groups and immediately start selling yourself.

With over 1.5 million groups on LinkedIn, there’s plenty of opportunity to show off your brand and spread your message if you are adding real value to the conversation. But beware of sales-y posts -- they can turn members off to what you have to say and could ultimately cost you potential brand advocates. 
Tip: Sprinkle in some conversation, add in a dash of relevant content, and you’ve got a recipe for success.

Don’t ignore the more professional tone of the network.

According to Bull Horn ReachLinkedIn drives nine times as many applications for employment as Facebook and three times as many as Twitter. So the same content that you’re using on Facebook or Twitter might come off as irrelevant on LinkedIn.
Tip: Stick to posts on your business page about product updates, industry-specific news and thought leadership discussions -- no need to publish photos from your latest company party.

Don’t pester for recommendations.

Recommendations give companies that warm and fuzzy feeling. That kind of feeling that is authentic, and can’t be bought. Bugging people who have just engaged with your company to give you a recommendation might come off as a tit-for-tat situation.
Tip: If you want recommendations, start with customers or professional peers who have used and know your company. This will keep your authenticity intact while still allowing you to bask in the love. 

Pinterest Etiquette

Don’t pin content with broken or incorrect links.

Pinterest is a great medium to engage your audience -- and, it drives more referrals than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined. But when you pin with bad links, the only thing that looks bad is you. It’s frustrating for your audience members when there’s a roadblock to getting what they want.
Tip: Check, check, and check one last time that what you pin leads your audience to where you want them (and they want) to be. Also remember that Pinterest doesn't allow shortened links to be pinned -- always be sure that you are using the full URL.

Don’t spam your followers with too many pins at once.

So you’re armed with tons of great visuals for Pinterest. Kudos to you! But a poorly timed pin overload can clog up the feeds of your followers and leave little to be desired.
Tip: Spread out your pins so your audience remembers you’re there -- and is actually ready to consume something from you again.

Don’t pin just your own material.

If you haven’t read our guide to mastering Pinterest for business, here’s an excerpt: Repinning what your followers are pinning shows you're listening, which is arguably the most important activity a company needs to do on social media.
Tip: Repin material from your followers that resonate with your brand and messaging -- it’ll create “stickiness” with your audience on this channel.

Don’t neglect to provide good descriptions for your pins.

Have you ever looked at a photo and said, “What the heck am I looking at here?” You’re not alone. Not providing a description of your pin can leave your followers confused, and they may ultimately just ignore it.
Tip: In the caption of the pin, add a succinct explanation of what users are looking at and how it’s relevant to them.

Don’t plagiarize when repinning.

As a marketer, you know that content creation takes hard work, research, and, most importantly, time. For that reason, you should treat others’ content like you would want your own to be treated.
Tip: Pinterest etiquette gives you two rules of thumb: Give credit where credit’s due, or nicely let a pinner know when pins aren’t correctly credited. You can read their rules on content sharing in more detail in the Etiquette section of their site.

Friday, May 3, 2013


Social Media in Government: The Dawn of Two-Way Public Discussion

“The Dawn of Two-Way Public Discussion” is the first in a series of articles about how governments are embracing social media. Want to learn more? Read the white paper, or watch the on-demand webinar featuring Beverly Macy.
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How Social Media is Changing Public Discourse

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Governments all over the world are discovering and taking advantage of social media in new and interesting ways. Social media, with its widespread adoption and network effect, is enabling real-time, two way communications between the government and the public. For the first time in history, a one-to-one relationship can be established between people and their local, regional and national governments using innovative social media methods.
Those governments who are the most innovative, have analyzed understood the main considerations a social media strategy should include, and with a solid foundation in place, we see tremendous leaps forward in governmental transparency, communication and effectiveness.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Traditional media has always had its limitations; it was a broadcast technology – a one to many dissemination of information. Print, radio, film and television (in that order) have been used by governments to distribute a message. Did you know that before televisions were in every home, people got their visual news and information in movie theaters? Newsreels, often created by governments, were shown before the movie.
Up until recently, if one wanted to communicate with any government body, they would have a few options: Show up in person, telephone or mail (of the snail variety). And there was never a guarantee that your voice would be heard, or if you’d get a response. Email made it easier, but the same limitations applied, only in electronic form.
Social media has given everyone a voice and now governments around the world are leveraging this new medium. In the beginning, they were in “listen only” mode. Quietly sitting in front of computer monitors, listening to what people were saying about (fill in the blank). Now, many have evolved from listen-only modes to actually engaging with the public. Some are further along than others, but it’s only a matter of time.

Citizen Communication – Now a Two-Way (Public) Street

Responding to snail-mail or answering the phone to communicate is very resource intensive and not to mention expensive. However, responding to a Tweet or a post on a variety of social media sites is considerably easier and less expensive. There’s also an added benefit: by responding to one person in a public setting, you’re now reaching a wider audience beyond the person asking the question. Most likely, others have the same question, but never asked or didn’t know whom to ask.
More and more, people are shifting from traditional media (print, radio, television) to social media technologies to get their information. People use mobile devices all over the world to get news and information. They’re not tied to print, which can be days old, or radio and television that require them to be at the right place at the right time. People can now use their phones to get the latest news on any topic, from any news source worldwide. This means that not only can you get the latest information from the news sources in your area, but you can access the same “stories” from international media as well, enabling you to be more informed by information from a number of sources.
Individuals that are well connected and respected authorities on certain topics can have a dramatic effect on the reach of a message. By engaging influencers, governments can amplify their message quickly; reaching individuals they could never have reached otherwise.
White Paper Featured 150Want to learn more about how governments can start to leverage the power of social media for public communications? Download our white paper and watch the webinar: “Social Media in Government: 5 Key Considerations.” Complete the form and you’ll be given access to both the webinar and the white paper.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

20 Data-Backed Ways to Upgrade Your Social Media Marketing [SlideShare]

by Dan Zarrella  2-5-2013

iStock_000016169777SmallAs a professional social media scientist and part time unicorn hunter, I spend a lot of time chasing down and busting social media unicorns-and-rainbows myths and superstitions -- advice that has no basis in facts -- with real data and science. I've conducted quite a bit of research about social media marketing, and as a result, I've gotten quite a lot of insight into the tactics that do and don't work.
So I decided to compile a SlideShare highlighting 20 of my favorite data-backed ways to make your inbound marketing efforts in social media more successful. Check it out, and share your favorites using the tweet links below!

20 Data-Backed Ways to Improve Your Social Media Marketing 

1) Tell Us Why We Should Follow You

Twitter accounts that used words like "founder," "speaker," "expert," "guru," and "author" in their bios had more followers than the average account. Tweet This

2) Use Contra-Competitive Timing

Posts made to Facebook timelines on Saturdays and Sundays tend to get more Likes than posts made during the business week. Tweet This

3) Use Tall Images on Pinterest

As image height in pixels increased for images posted to Pinterest, so did the average number of times they were repinned. Tweet This

4) Put Links 25% of the Way Through Tweets

Links placed just before the halfway point (in characters) of tweets tended to have higher clickthrough rates than links placed elsewhere. Tweet This

5) Use Questions on Facebook

Simple yes/no questions like "should" and "would," as well as multiple choice questions like "which" tend to get more comments than average Facebook posts. Tweet This

6) Use Links to Get Retweets

While fewer than 25% of all tweets contain a link, more than half of retweets contain a URL.Tweet This

7) Stop Talking About Yourself

As the amount of self-referential content posted by Twitter accounts increases, follower numbers decrease. Tweet This

8) Say Something New

Retweeted tweets tend to contain fewer commonly used words than a random selection of non-retweeted tweets. Tweet This

9) Stay Positive

As the amount of negativity posted by Twitter accounts increases, follower numbers decrease. Tweet This

10) Use Calls-to-Action on Facebook

Facebook posts that included the word "like" tended to get more Likes than the average post.Tweet This

11) Stay Away From Buzzwords

Facebook Pages that used industry buzzwords tended to have fewer Likes than pages that did not. Tweet This

12) Share Links to Interesting Content

Accounts in which between 60% and 80% of tweets contain links tend to get more retweets than accounts that tweet fewer links. Tweet This

13) Use Photos on Facebook

Facebook posts that use photos tend to get more Likes than text, video, or link-based posts.Tweet This

14) Use Hashtags on Instagram

Photos that included hashtags in their descriptions on Instagram tend to get more Likes than photos that do not. Tweet This

15) Talk About Food on Facebook

Facebook Pages that mention food tend to have more Likes than the average Facebook Page.Tweet This

16) Tweet Around 4 p.m.

Tweets posted around 4 p.m. Eastern time tend to get more retweets than those posted at other times. Tweet This

17) Don't Be Neutral on Facebook

Posts with positive sentiment get more Likes than posts with negative sentiment, but both positive and negative perform better than neutral. Tweet This

18) Write Longer Tweets for More Clicks

Clickthrough rate of links in tweets increases as the overall length of those tweets also increases. Tweet This

19) Go Short or Long on Facebook

Posts that either contained very little text (such as photos) or upwards of 700 characters tend to get the most Likes. Tweet This

20) Ask for the Retweet

Tweets that contain the call-to-action (CTA) "please retweet" are four times more likely to get retweeted at least once, compared to those that do not include the CTA. Tweet This
Have you tried any of these social media marketing tactics? Does your own data support their effectiveness?