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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

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

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, , , , , , ,

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, , , , , , , , ,

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, , , , , , , , , ,

Women & Our Online Behavior and Social Media Habits

Women have always been known to be community-oriented, which is why it’s no surprise that women more frequently use social networks. This study details how women use social media and what they look at and are looking for. Read on to find out how you can tune your marketing strategy to appeal to this niche. – WST

By: Julie Kent

SheSpeaks.com conducted a great survey of women’s online and computer habits, and published the results in a comprehensive 65-page document. It’s a fascinating study that looks mainly at women’s social habits online, and most definitely has implications for online marketing. Looking at the results of this study can help you tailor your marketing campaigns to effectively, rather than ineffectively, reach out to women.

Shopping & Social

Not surprisingly, the top activity for women online is shopping. The third most popular activity is social networking, which is also not a surprise given the stereotype that women just love to talk. The fact that both of these activities are very popular with women means that there is also some cross-over issues to consider. If women like to shop online, they’re likely to talk about that online and there are probably certain kinds of marketing tactics that will work better with them.

One of the first very obvious things that this study shows is that women of all ages are very active in social networks. Younger women are more active and have more contacts than older women, but a sizeable number of 40+ are taking advantage of social networking, and in some cases are more engaged than their younger peers.

Making up half the world’s population, “women” is a pretty large group. Within that group, then, you’d expect some different patterns of behavior to emerge. The biggest differences can be seen in different age groups – under 30’s and 40-somethings on up. With most 30 and unders having grown up with computers, it’s not surprising.

Key Findings of the Study

Here are some of the key findings for the two groups:

Younger women:

* Are more likely to say “connect with others” as top online activity (73%), compared to 40+ women (31%).
* Are more likey to look at consumer generated content (28%) than 40+ (10%).
* Are more likely to have profiles. 86% of 30 & under have profiles.
* Facebook and MySpace are most popular (78% and 79%)
* LinkedIn is more popular with high earners (41% for HHI $120K+ vs. 17% overall)

Older women are:

* 45% of 40+ have profiles.
* More active than younger women on Classmates (42% vs 19% for <30s).
* Facebook and MySpace are most popular (65% and 63%)
* LinkedIn is more popular with high earners (41% for HHI $120K+ vs. 17% overall)

None of those findings are really all that earth-shattering. Perhaps most surprising, however, is the high numbers of older women (40+) that are using social networks. It appears that while a majority of women join these networks to “connect” or “reconnect” (61% and 66%), there are also other factors at play. Younger women are most likely to join connect, reconnect, and share photos. A high proportion of older women, on the otherhand, join to keep an eye on their kids’ online activites, especially those with children ages 13 to 17.

Women aren’t just signing up and forgetting about their profiles and connections either. Half of all women log into social networks everyday. Two-thirds of under 30’s log-in daily, and 41% of 40+ log-in daily.

So what do Women do on Social Networks?

When you get a bunch of women together, who most enjoy shopping online and talking, what exactly do they talk about? 62% of all women talk about products, and 71% of those with children ages 13 to 17 talk about products. What kind of products do they talk about? The most talked about category of products on social networks by women is beauty products. After that food/restaurants and movies/entertainment were also popular, especially amongst younger women.

How do women feel about ads?

Women generally do not have good feelings about ads. 26% said they actively ignore ads, and another 20% said they are annoyed by ads. A few notice interesting ads once in awhile, but only about 2% ever actually click on an ad.

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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: Facebook, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Profiling, Twitter, Web Success, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Facebook or Just Face-Look? Are People 55 And Older Really Using Social Networking Websites?

It’s true, older generations are logging on to Facebook and signing up. Although, the 55 and over group isn’t  as active as the younger groups, they are starting to recognize the value of social media and marketing. When I first started online marketing, I was the old guy. Now I see my generation recognizing the value of the Internet and how effective it can be for driving traffic and sales to businesses. It starts with social media. – WST

By: Glenn Gabe

Facebook is estimated to have 70.2 million unique visitors per month in the United States according to comScore.  Social networking is booming, everyone is friending, following, tweeting, tagging, and grandma and grandpa are getting involved too.  Wait a minute, did I just say grandma and grandpa?  That’s what some recent Facebook research has shown.  It seems the fastest growing demographic on the social networking giant is women 55 and older.  That segment grew by 175% in February 2009, while men 55 and older grew by 137%.

I was definitely excited to see the data.  I’m a big believer in social networking and love to see people in that age group join a site like Facebook.  That said, reality set in a few days later.  I ended up speaking with someone 66 years old who needed my assistance with their email account.  Like many of you reading this post, I usually end up being the point person for technology-related questions for friends and family.  I had an interesting few minutes on a phone call with her.  Here’s a quick transcript:

Her: I can’t seem to find some emails I’ve written.
Me: Did you check your sent items?
Her: I’m in my email already. Where are my sent items?
Me: It’s the folder labeled “Sent Items” in Microsoft Outlook.
Her: I don’t think I’m using Outlook…
Me: What are you using to check your email?
Her: The e with a circle around it (AKA: Internet Explorer)
Me: OK, so it’s web-based mail.
Her: No, it’s on my computer.
Me: Yes, but you are accessing your email on the web.  I can help you.  What’s your email address so I can send you some instructions?
Her: I’m not sure, hold on.
Me: Jumping off roof now. 🙂

That conversation reminded me that not everyone is tech savvy.  We come with computer chips built into our brains.  Our kids instinctively know how to text and have built in wi-fi.  But, we also grew up using computers on a regular basis.  People that are 55 and older didn’t…  We were typically the ones introducing computers and explaining how to use them. Needless to say, there’s a big difference between the various age groups and how they utilize new technology.

My 3 Degrees of 55 and Older

After the phone call, I started thinking about people 55 and older and the data I saw about Facebook.  I’ll be honest, I started having doubts that many people 55 and older are jamming on Facebook, tagging photos, using apps, providing status updates, and grabbing their vanity URL’s.  So, why was I skeptical?  My parents are in that age group, and all of their friends.  My in-laws are in that age group, and all of their friends.  In addition, all of my friends’ parents are in that age group, so on and so forth.  So, I like to think I have a pretty good feel for that demographic, based on interactions I’ve had with them over the past few years.

They Are Signing Up, But Not Coming Back…

The initial data I read showed that people 55 and older was a fast growing segment for Facebook (with women over 55 being the fastest growing).  But, recent data revealed that although they were signing up, they were not returning to Facebook.  Unfortunately, that did make a lot of sense to me.  I can only imagine someone 65 years old hearing about Facebook from their children or grandchildren, signing up, and looking at their blank profile thinking, “What the heck is this??”

Getting My Own Data

Although reading all of this data about people 55 and older was great, it wasn’t sufficient for me.  I wanted to know more. So I decided to collect some of my own data!  I reached out to my network of friends and family with a quick Facebook questionnaire.  I came up with five simple questions to try and understand how people 55 and older were using Facebook.  I sent an email to my network and waited patiently for the data to come in.  It didn’t take long to start receiving responses.  Some of the emails cracked me up, others surprised me, and most reinforced what I thought.  Here are the five questions I sent out:

1. Are you currently on Facebook?
2. If yes, what do you use it for?
3. How often do you visit Facebook per day, week, and month?
4. Do you enjoy Facebook? Why or why not?
5. Do you plan to join other social networks like Facebook in the near future (over the next 6 months to year?)

I ended up receiving 57 responses from people 55 and older.

A quick disclaimer before I reveal the data. This is obviously not a scientific study, nor was it meant to be.  I just wanted to receive feedback from a trusted group of people that were 55 and older to see if and how they use Facebook.  Let’s see what they had to say.

Lots of No’s, But There is Hope

As I started receiving responses, I saw a quick trend.  NO.  That’s the overwhelming response I received to question one (Are you currently on Facebook?)  It ends up that 80% of the respondents were not on Facebook.  When someone did choose to elaborate, I received some funny responses.  For example, I found out about one man who isn’t on Facebook and also refuses to upgrade to broadband.  I think the exact quote was, “Dial-up is fast enough!”  I laughed out loud and couldn’t help but think that his response was something right out of an episode of Seinfeld. 🙂  Another comment that cracked me up was, “I think I was there once.”  Wow, Facebook made such a big impression on her that she didn’t even know if she was on the site!  Although I was hoping to see more people from this group on Facebook, I had a feeling this would be the case.  Then I opened a few emails that gave me hope…

Wait, Facebook Can Be Helpful!

Sprinkled in with the no’s were some great responses supporting Facebook.  These enthusiastic responses made me think there is hope.  The first one that struck me was from a friend’s mother-in-law.  Her enthusiasm about Facebook jumped off the page. Literally, if she could friend me, tag my photo, challenge me to a trivia game, and become a fan of my Facebook page, I think she would.   She explained how much she loves Facebook, how she keeps up with her children and grandchildren, and loves seeing everyone’s status updates, photos, video, etc.  She logs in a few times per day.  Yes, she was the exception, but she got it (big time).

After reading her story, I received a few more no’s and then another great response came in.  This time from a friend’s father, who logs in a few times per week to see what his kids are doing, he searches for people he went to college with, connected with some of them online and offline, etc.  It was another great example of someone using Facebook in smart ways.  He seemed to really like it.

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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: Business Networking, Facebook, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Profiling, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Clickset and Your Online Identity.

Clickset is a new tool that helps you keep your online identity in one convenient place. Once you sign-up you can connect with your pre-existing accounts like Google and Yahoo.

For more reading and information, here is an article from mashable.com

Cliqset Wants to Unify Your Social Identities

March 10th, 2009 | by Jennifer Van Grove

Previously hidden away behind closed doors, Cliqset, a social identity platform, is drawing back their curtains today and opening up their beta site to the public. Similar in purpose to the private beta site Chi.mp, Cliqset’s ultimate goal is to help users connect their online identities in one place so they can then safely share that online social identity with Cliqset-aware applications.

Cliqset even claims to be the last social identity you will ever need. After signing up, new Cliqset members can connect their Cliqset identity with their pre-existing Google, Plaxo, and Yahoo accounts, which means those contacts can be pulled into Cliqset and grouped into relationships. Read more.

TeamWork Builds Web Success
The Web Success Team specializes in building and marketing direct response websites that take full advantage of the latest developments on the Internet. The Team has an arsenal of effective web strategies, online tools and proven techniques to promote your products and services. And we’ll show you ways to increase the amount of qualified traffic to your site through the expanding “social web” and how to convert visitors into buyers at a high rate of return.

Contact the Team today for a complimentary consultation at Contact Us or email Bob Speyer at bob@websuccessteam.com. To your web success!

Filed under: Google, Online Branding, Online Business, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Profiling, Web Success, , , , , , , ,

Friends and Foes in the Twitter Universe

I have now been an active Twitterer for over 2 years with over 850 followers that is growing daily. Twitter has been a very interesting social and business experience. I find myself using Twitter for everything from casual conversation, business contacts, researching links, posting jobs and fielding questions. As I explore micro-blogging, I have discovered a few likes and dislikes that I want to share with my readers. Here are some of my comments about “TweetFriends” and TweetFoes. Read more.

Source: Web Success Team Marketing Info

Posted using ShareThis

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

Selling Skeptics on the Benefits of Social Media Marketing: A Personal Experience.

More and more companies are turning to Social Media Strategies. In spite of all this attention there is still an element of weariness at the though of putting a profile on Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn. After 4 years of eating and breathing Social Media I thought I would put a few notes together to help others take the plunge.

The hooks: The why and where.
Way back in 2004, my daughter, still in high school, soon to be a graduate and off to college, announced that now she could finally get herself a Facebook profile. At the time it was open only to college students. Needless to mention I was intrigued. I already had a MySpace profile for the company and could not see it being of much use. Once Facebook opened its doors to the general audience I was the first to get an account.

To my surprise I found that I was networking with my peers and I discovered that not only I could post information but I got lots of good resources in exchange. I joined every group, downloaded every app and made tons of friends. I was now officially part of a community that could benefit my business. I was now hooked!

The arguments: Building a business with no time to spare
The more I shared our information, the more traffic came to our website. For very little cost I was able to create massive brand awareness. I saw a steady increase from month to month and a steady increase in lead generation. I devised a system that enabled me to do my actual work and make some time for networking. 20 minutes 3 times a day. For example: the phone call to a client became a personal wall post on Facebook and I began fielding inquiries through LinkedIn.

Introductory programs: Business benefits
As I progressed I discovered other Social Marketing Sites. There are many very good ones out there but I only have room for a few key ones:

  • Facebook has a “fan page” feature and a “groups page” here you can promote your products and services to your network of friends and colleagues. You can also create vertical groups for your “niche” pages.
  • LinkedIn is the choice for the corporate set and is strictly networking. One of the features is an answers box, here you can share expertise in your field.
  • MerchantCircle allows you to market your business in the neighborhood, it is a “business in a box” concept with all the tools you need to promote your services online.
  • Twitter is a micro-blog that allows you to post 140 characters. Here you can share relevant links, talk to your fans and follow relevant posts. The more followers you get the more visible you become.
  • YouTube speaks for itself. Needless to mention it exemplifies the power of viral marketing.

For those still wondering, I recommend that you work closely with your online marketing agency to establish a social media time allotment, which profiles make sense and what the ROI could be. And of course watch the metrics.

TeamWork Builds Web Success
The Web Success Team specializes in building and marketing direct response websites that take full advantage of the latest developments on the Internet. The Team has an arsenal of effective web strategies, online tools and proven techniques to promote your products and services. And we’ll show you ways to increase the amount of qualified traffic to your site through the expanding “social web” and how to convert visitors into buyers at a high rate of return.

Your website can become an effective marketing hub for your business. To learn more about the power of Direct Response Web Marketing, log on to Why Direct Response.

Contact the Team today for a complimentary consultation at Contact Us or email Bob Speyer at bob@websuccessteam.com. To your web success!

Source: Web Success Team Marketing Info

Filed under: Direct Response Marketing, Facebook, Online Advertising and Marketing, Online Business, Online Marketing, SEO, SEM, Keywords, Direct Response W, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Profiling, Twitter, Video, Video Marketing, Video Optimization, , , , , , , , ,

Build Brand Identity on Twitter

If you are seeking the most effective way to build your brand identity on Twitter to increase traffic to your site, then The Web Success Team recommends this great article.

25 Power Tips To Build Brand Identity on Twitter

Posted by Web Strategist ShriNagesh November 15, 2008

By The results of your social media networking depends on what you want to achieve with the time you invest on social media. If you have specific objectives, chalk out a plan before you get started.

read more

Filed under: Drive Traffic, Online Branding, Social Media, Social Profiling, Twitter, Web Success, Web Traffic, , , , , , ,

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