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Social Media, The 500 lb Gorilla In The Room

Social Media is the 500 lb gorilla in the room that nobody knows what to do with. Ignore it,  feed it, befriend it,  fear it, or understand it. Ultimately they will embrace it and accept it, and not worry about the ROI. Business is about connecting with people and people drive business and referrals. – Web Success Team

Source: Inc. 500

Inc. 500 CEOs Use Social Media for Business

By Tamara Schweitzer

A new study shows that the use of social media is particularly prevalent among Inc. 500 companies and provides new insight on the role social media plays in running a business.

For the third consecutive year, the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, has conducted a study on social media usage among Inc. 500 companies. The 2009 results confirm the upward trend of social media adoption rates among some of the fastest growing private companies, and provide a useful comparison of social media trends from 2007 on.

This year’s study, which was conducted by researchers Nora Ganim Barnes and Eric Mattson, included 148 of the 2009 Inc. 500 companies. As with the past two years, respondents were asked about their usage and familiarity with six types of social media tools, including blogging, podcasting, online video, social networking, message boards, and wikis. In the past year, social media usage by the Inc. 500 has grown, with 91 percent of companies reporting that they use at least one social media tool, compared to 77 percent in the 2008 survey. And, of the six social media categories, the one that continues to be the most familiar to Inc. 500 companies is social networking, with 75 percent saying that they are “very familiar with it.” Read more

Filed under: Business Networking, Drive Traffic, Online Advertising and Marketing, Online Business, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Profiling, Web Success, , , , , ,

Beware of Coming On Too Strong On LinkedIn

People are people not objects. Social media is about relationship building and trust in whose delivering the information. Be sincere and helpful, be active and participate, give more than you get and you will develop a following and be in a better position to benefit from others needs. – Web Success Team

How NOT to network in LinkedIn

By Doron Gez

We wrote here about LinkedIn’s groups, and how to network through them. An associate of mine told me that it didn’t work for him. When I asked him why, I understood his that he came in too strong by putting a link immediately after joining. This was considered spamming, and he paid the price. Here’s a lesson for all of us.

Joining a LinkedIn group gives you the opportunity to communicate with other members of the group and also to post your content there. My associate was thrilled to find another place to put links to his site.

While this can indeed be a nice platform for receiving quality traffic, from a well targeted group of professionals, this approach doesn’t always satisfy the group administrators. Read more

Source: Social Media Today

Filed under: Business Networking, Social Marketing, Social Media, , , , , ,

Adweek Article: Who’s in Charge of Social Media?

There is confusion between traditional advertising agency and PR models as to who should handle social media (the new medias). They both bring different skill sets to the table. This should not deter clients or agencies from the bigger picture: social media can compliment your existing ad campaign.

The problem is that we are allowing all this new technology to complicate matters even when it is really quite simple in my opinion.

Branding and advertising will always be necessary whether you use either a Facebook fan page, a blog or simply rely on traditional medias to enhance your brand.

An advertising agency should have no problem embracing new medias as another tool or an enhancement to what is already in existence.

Aren’t marketing and advertising all about reach and frequency anyway? So the answer to the question “Who is in charge of social media?” is… whoever can use it more effectively. – Janette Speyer –WST. Read more

Who’s in Charge of Social Media?

Marketing’s latest ‘must-have’ mixes up traditional matches between shops and clients

That’s led some agencies to reorient the type of accounts they pursue. Deep Focus, a digital shop, was primarily an online promotions agency that worked heavily in the entertainment industry. Its social media chops is leading it in a different direction, according to Schafer, as about eight clients are using it as an “engagement agency.” It recently was put on Microsoft’s roster, for instance, to serve as social media agency for Bing.

“Clients are waking up to the fact that either their lead traditional agency doesn’t get social media or gets [it] enough to be dangerous, but not enough to be effective,” said Schafer. “They know it’s important, but that’s not where they’ll make their money.”

That’s led Deep Focus into competition with upstart social media consulting firms. “There’s a hodgepodge of firms who can deliver elements, but … most are really new, young and underdeveloped,” he said.

EVB finds its competitive set shifting as it uses social media to provide the “pixie dust” that gets people talking about a brand. What often happens, said CEO Daniel Stein, is clients know they want to do something in social media, but aren’t sure what. That puts the shop in a different position in pitches like the one for VSP. “The client doesn’t even know who to call with some of this stuff,” he said. “You used to know what the [competition] would bring in. Now you have no idea.”

Source: ADWEEK

Filed under: Online Advertising and Marketing, Online Branding, Online Business, Online Marketing, SEO, SEM, Keywords, Direct Response W, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Profiling, , , , , , ,

Join Us to #BeatCancer with Social Media

Please help Beat Cancer by Tweeting, Blogging or Posting on Facebook with the hashtag: #beatcancer.  eBay/Paypal and MillerCoors are donating a cent per hashtag. The campaign is aiming for a Guinness World Record “for the distribution of the largest mass message through social media” in one day.

So please RT and post away! – Web Success Team. Read more

All About #BeatCancer

In a 24-hour period of time starting Friday, October 16th at 9 am (PDT) and lasting until Saturday, October 17th at 9am (PDT) people all over the internet stratosphere will be asked to send tweets and Facebook status updates and to blog using #BeatCancer in their posts. Ebay/Paypal and MillerCoors Brewing Company will donate a penny ($0.01)* for every Twitter message, Facebook update or blog post that includes the phrase #BeatCancer. All money will be donated to non-profit cancer organizations including SU2C (Stand Up to Cancer), Alex’s Lemonade, Bright Pink, and Spirit Jump. All of the non-profits are 501 (c)(3) organizations and accredited by The American Cancer Society. A listing of all organizations and a live stream of postings can be found at www.beatcancereverywhere.com.

Join Us to #BeatCancer with Social Media: About

Filed under: Blogging, Business Networking, Facebook, , ,

PPC vs Article Marketing

PPC vs Article Marketing. Web Success Team usually recommends the latter to our clients. We feel that Articles have staying power and help with search engine organic rankings. However I would not underestimate the power of PPC. A well crafted PPC campaign can compliment your blog and your website promotion. A good combination of both is optimum. The attached article explains the pros and the cons of PPC vs Article Marketing. Please read more. – WST

The Last Word in PPC vs. Article Marketing

SiteProNews

There is always a big discussion when it comes to comparing two of the best ways to advertise online: PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising and article marketing, otherwise known as “organic” or “natural” search engine optimization. There is no denying that both methods can be effective. However, which method is better? Which gives you a bigger bang for your buck?

You may get varying statistics on this issue, depending on which website you visit for information. Oh yes, this matters, because you have to consider the source of the statistics and who is sponsoring the article. For example, two sources of information (respectively, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and ComScore) recently produced studies indicating that PPC advertising was more cost-effective on average. However, did the fact that Yahoo/Overture and Google were sponsoring this major study play any role in determining the final outcome? Of course it did – those are the two biggest PPC companies on the net!

In figuring out which of the two is better, you have to consider cost-effectiveness as well as click-through-rates and direct conversion from visiting user to paying customer. We are going to review some statistics a little bit later on. For now, let’s consider some logical points that illustrate how PPC and article marketing differ. Read more

Filed under: Direct Response Marketing, Online Advertising and Marketing, Online Business, Online Marketing, SEO, SEM, Keywords, Direct Response W, Organic Search Results, Search Engine Optimization, Web Design, , , , ,

Differentiation and Relevance

Nice thought provoking article about being different and “Relevant.” Again, this all ties into branding, marketing and selling. We all strive to be different and unique and in many ways we are. WebSuccessTeam

The Key to Differentiation Is Relevance

Posted by Bart Cleveland for Adage

Differentiation is something that every agency preaches to its clients. Yet most ad agencies are a commodity. Very few have a distinct personality. I have no greater fear than my agency being without a mantra — having no reason for being other than a paycheck. I realize it is a business that must make a profit, but if my agency has no personality, it is average. And to me, whether you’re flipping hamburgers or making ads, being average is worse than not being at all. Being average in our industry means your agency is a commodity that fights for clients in a price war. Sound familiar?

My partners and I continually discuss what makes us different. This is a good thing. We understand the importance of agreeing on our reason for being. But there is a more critical thing we’ve learned from these discussions. Before we can answer how our agency is different, we must know what truly constitutes being different. Read more.

Source: Adage

Filed under: Online Advertising and Marketing, Online Business, Web Success, , , , , , ,

Women Bloggers and Their Influence on Online Marketing

Mommy Blogger

Mommy Blogger

There was once a time when women were somewhat marginalized in a society that was heavily slanted towards men’s needs and concerns. While incidences of discrimination against women remain fairly commonplace, there have been a few strides made in the quest to have women more heavily involved in various aspects of society. This is particularly noticeable in the online world, where the democratization of the collective online experience has given women a more prominent role than they have previously enjoyed otherwise.

Blogging is one specific area wherein women are finally able to stand toe-to-toe with men. There are literally thousands of blogs online at any given moment, and they are comprised of countless thousands of potential customers. As prevalent an Internet phenomenon as blogging is, it is made even richer by the greater involvement of women.

Source; Web Success Team Blog

SPECIAL: Solopreneur Package – Jump Start Your Business
The Web Success Team’s Solopreneur Package includes a 5-page custom direct response website fully branded and optimized for Search Engines with 6-months of online marketing, social networking, blogging, article marketing and much more. Lock in your special pricing now before the rate goes up! Contact the Web Success Team at 818-222-5643 or email bob@websuccessteam.com. To your web success!

Filed under: Blogging, Business Networking, , , ,

Marketing Tips to Help Legal Professionals Build Their Brands

All too often we get comfortable in our jobs or companies doing what we do best. But periodically these good habits need to be re-examined. In recessionary times you need to constantly reinvent yourself and try new avenues to increase your market share or profitability.

Times are a-changing. The Internet is a dynamic environment and you need to become more active in social media, online networking groups, and good old fashion hand pressing. It’s also a good idea to reassess your website by freshening it up with new content, promotions and calls to action.

Another excellent way to reach out is to actively maintain a blog and blog at least once a week on topical issues of interest for your potential customers. – Bob Speyer, Web Success Team.

Strategic Branding Firm Provides Advice on Effective Legal Marketing Tactics

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 /PRNewswire/ — Following a trying period with little-to-no-growth and industry layoffs and pay cuts, legal professionals are turning to proven business development efforts to freshen their brands and generate business.

Working with law firms to help them dig out of this smoking crater, Moire Marketing Partners, a strategic branding and communications agency specializing in professional services firms, is offering some tips on how firms can position themselves for growth in the post-recession economy:

  1. Incorporate social media into your business development efforts. Your clients, prospects and their suppliers are using it; you should strategically use it too. Leverage tools including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to connect with prospective clients and other professionals to build your network and demonstrate your expertise.
  2. Be a brand ambassador. Remember, you are the face of your company’s brand. Use your interactions to communicate your firm’s brand promise and support that continuously in your efforts.
  3. Network. Relationships matter. Social media is a great way to start a conversation with a client or prospect – but don’t let it stop there. Offer to meet new and old colleagues at an upcoming industry or bar association meeting, civic event, non-profit activity or social mixer – or host your own hospitality function at your firm.
  4. Seize the podium. Apply to be a speaker at upcoming events. If you aren’t accepted, attend anyway to get a better handle on what topics are creating buzz.
  5. Learn from other professionals. Invest in consultants to sharpen your brand. An outside perspective can help you assess the effectiveness of your business development efforts and offer insight into what strategies would work best for your personality type.
  6. Be active in your home and business communities. Dust off those memberships in the local chamber of commerce and non-profit organization. Get involved in industry related activities and slowly increase your profile. Read more

Source: PR NewsWire

Filed under: Business Networking, Facebook, Online Advertising and Marketing, Online Branding, Online Business, Online Marketing, SEO, SEM, Keywords, Direct Response W, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Profiling, , , , , , , , ,

An Open Letter to Online Ad Networks

This article raises consumer awareness of how easily we as John Q. Public can be manipulated into thinking blogged articles are gospel and bloggers do not have hidden agendas. Bloggers do get paid and this could taint their opinions. So disclosure of financial incentives is good to be reported, but the industry should be self regulated. The government should not be involved. Ad networks can regulate itself as some industries already do. One example is a comparison shopping engine that let consumers post comments or rate a service or product like Ebay. In the end of the day, pay by credit card so you have recourse for a refund and always remember, “caveat emptor” — buyer beware! – WST

An Open Letter to Online Ad Networks

by Jonah Stein and Jonathan Hochman

The FTC recently announced guidelines for bloggers that requires that they disclose financial interests, freebies and paid reviews.  This decision is seen as a shot across the bow of pay per post networks and bloggers who are monetizing through affiliate programs.  The FTC has decided that compensation is the reason bloggers choose to write about a particular topic and that readers deserve to be informed about the financial relationship.    The FTC logic is simple, “As much as those bloggers who receive these gifts would like to claim this isn’t the case, freebies like free laptops, trips, or gift cards are likely to influence a writer’s opinion of a product.”

On its face, the policy is defensible. As crusaders against Virtual Blight, we applaud the intent of this decision.  Anything that raises the barrier to online scams, fraud and abuse even a little bit is a good thing. The FTC provides guidelines for responsible bloggers and theoretically eliminates a couple of the perks for bloggers, but it does virtually nothing to protect against fraud.

Going after bloggers’ compensation to fight online fraud is reminiscent of the RIAA attacks on individual file sharers and is just as likely to succeed. The absurdity of the power and inertia of a government bureaucracy combating individual bloggers is only matched by the ludicrous assumption the government could ever move fast enough to keep up with professional scammers who jump from domain to domain, host to host and country to country with a few mouse clicks.  Prosecution could only be effective against mainstream bloggers with an established brand that are stationary targets, but these bloggers are not the right target. Read more.

Source: http://www.seobook.com

The Web Success TeanSPECIAL: Solopreneur Package – Jump Start Your Business
The Web Success Team’s Solopreneur Package includes a 5-page custom direct response website fully branded and optimized for Search Engines with 6-months of online marketing, social networking, blogging, article marketing and much more. Lock in your special pricing now before the rate goes up! Contact the Web Success Team at 818-222-5643 or email bob@websuccessteam.com. To your web success!

Filed under: Blogging, Web Success, , , , , , , , , , ,

Advertising Will Change Forever

“I believe that digital advertising is just another tool in the general media world. The economic downturn and slashed budgets have increased the need to think out of the box. One the benefits of digital media is that you can measure analytics in real time.
I also believe that advertising will become more personalized as we delve into Social Media. But as the Internet world becomes saturated with constant messages, we will have to go back to the basics: Good creative!” – WST

Advertising Will Change Forever

By Josh Bernoff

Here’s one of the things we do at Forrester Research: we interview as many marketers as we can about their plans, identify trends and project future likely conditions, and then we put together some numbers to make a projection. If you’ve ever seen a Forrester projection, it comes from a process like this.

This means that inside every projection is an idea or ten about the future. Those ideas can be powerful, and they come from research with marketers and consumers.

My colleague at Forrester, Shar Van Boskirk, just published our five-year interactive marketing forecast. The idea inside it is the real kicker.

In this recession, marketers have learned that interactive marketing is more effective, and advertising less effective, per dollar spent. While budgets for online have decreased, they decreased less than other budgets. Six out of ten marketers we surveyed agreed with the statement “we will increase budget for interactive by shifting money away from traditional marketing.” Only 7% said “we have no plans to increase our marketing budget.”

Unlike the last recession, digital marketing is no longer experimental. Now it looks more like advertising is inefficient, relative to digital. More than half of the marketers we surveyed said that effectiveness of direct mail, TV, magazines, outdoor, newspapers, and radio would stay the same or decrease within three years. In contrast, well over 70% expected the effectiveness of channels like created social media, online video, and mobile marketing to increase. Read More.

Source: Advertising Will Change Forever

Filed under: Blogging, Facebook, Google, Online Advertising and Marketing, Online Branding, Online Marketing, SEO, SEM, Keywords, Direct Response W, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Profiling, Twitter, Video, Video Marketing, Web Analytics, Web Success, , , , , , , , , ,

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