New Year, New Vision. (my newest venture)

Magnetic Digital Marketing

For over almost two years now I have been collaborating with David Horne. It started when he hired me to design and develop a website. Next I hired him to write some copy for a client. Since then we’ve continuously worked together on at least one project at any given time. David’s perspective and expertise on digital marketing, and content strategy have proven to be invaluable to my clients. His skills are a good compliment for my web design and development, web marketing,  social and search strategy.
As we began to seriously consider a partnership, we talked about what exactly that would look like. One of the first steps was agreeing on a company name, and it proved to be a real challenge as we began to see just how different our perspectives were on many things.
At first I was concerned at this seeming lack of continuity, but soon came to realize that this was not a problem, but an asset! David and I have the ability to look at an issue and come up with two distinct and valuable perspectives. We share a mutual respect for each others opinions and use these opportunities to learn from each other. With all of that behind us there was nothing to do except to formalize our partnership!

Magnetic Ideas LogoWith David and I coming from different perspectives and different backgrounds we thought that the dynamic interplay of the magnetic poles was a good way to describe and visualize our partnership. So our new company is called Magnetic Ideas, a full-service, digital marketing firm.
Magnetism is an unseen force that compels and propels, much like the forces that are used to market products and services.
Our core services are web, content, search and social. We are excited about the expanded services we can offer through Magnetic. I know that both David’s and my existing clients will benefit from this new arrangement. Visit our Website for more information. Thanks and Happy New Year!

 

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Keeping up with Facebook Pages

world of facebook

In the past few years most businesses have created Facebook brand page. In the recent past, one popular way to use these pages was to create a landing page as a way to force new visitors through a “fan gate”, which provided an opportunity to display some branding, messaging and get them to “like” the page. That tactic worked great for a while, but as many of you know, Facebook is always changing. With he rollout of timeline Facebook discontinued our ability to send traffic directly to these “cool” landing pages. All visitiors are now sent directly to the timeline. This resulted in a 53% decline in visits to tabs. That’s right, those tabs that you spent time and resources creating are less than half as effective as they were last year!

Facebook is Constently Changing
Timeline isn’t the only thing Facebook has changed. They are always adjusting, iterating and trying to improve user experience, and of course find ways for Facebook to make more money. We’ll go over a few major changes and things to pay attention to here:

Focus on the Content
The one thing that hasn’t really changed much is the importance of keeping your page updated with good quality content. Creating regular posts that inform, entertain and engage your fans remains the number one activity that you should focus on with Facebook. After all, on the web content is still king.
What Facebook has changed is how they displays these updates.

Fighting against Edgerank
Facebook uses an algorithm called edgerank to score your updates. The more likes, comments and shares your posts get on a regular basis, the higher edgerank score you have, and the more people will see them. For example, if I am following a brand’s page and like or comment on their posts frequently, their posts will be rated higher in my news feed. The higher your edgerank, the higher reach your posts will have. Conversely, if you are getting very few likes & comments your posts will have a low edgerank score, and will be stuck way down in people’s news feeds, where thay probably won’t see it.

A way around EdgeRank?
In the past if you wanted to increase exposure to your facebook page, you would buy facebook ads. These ads are sold on a pay per click (PPC) basis and would be delivered using highly targeted demographics from facebook’s users. This system worked pretty well (and still does).

Sponsored Stories
The newest way that’s becoming a “go-to” tactic for promoting your page is using Facebook’s sponsored stories feature. Instead of being banished to the side of the page like ads, stories are in the news feed. Another key difference is that sponsored stories come from friends who have somehow engaged with a page. Maybe it’s because the messages are integrated into our friends updates, but whatever the reason, data shows that sponsored stories work!

Try these tactics on your Facebook page and let us know how they worked, but don’t wait too long, who knows how long it will be before Facebook changes things once again!

Marketing Panel- Marketing Made Clear

If you’ve been paying attention over the past few years you’ve noticed that the world of marketing has undergone a huge shift. New technology, including mobile and social networks have created new opportunities to reach your target market in new and exciting ways. It’s not just the technology that has changed though, consumers have changed too. Customers are smarter than ever and they have more of a voice then ever.

If you are in the Triad area and if you have questions about marketing, Marketing Made Clear is a great event for you. Find out how you should leverage new media to promote your business, and get exposed to some great ideas as four local marketers (including myself) discuss the different types of marketing that is working, and not working today.

Here are the details:

Marketing Made Clear

Defining the Levels of Marketing Providers

Thursday, June 23, 2011 from 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

NewBridge Bank

1501 Highwoods Blvd., Suite 400
GreensboroNC 27410

Networking 8:00am | Program begins 8:30am

Panelists:

Denny Kelly, President & CEO, Bouvier Kelly, Inc.

Jeff SanGeorge, Owner, Connect Marketing and Design

Malinda Pengelly, President, BEM Interactive

John Chafatelli, Director of Marketing, PIP Printing and Marketing Services

 

Click the link to register today: http://bit.ly/GSO-MKTG-Panel

 

Sponsored by : The Greensboro Chamber of Commerce and

Sandler Sales and Training | PIP Burlington | The Decal Source

LinkedIn Updates to Some Familiar looking Features

When I logged into LinkedIn’s group section today I was greeted with a message announcing that LinkedIn groups have been updated.
When I clicked on on the prompt I was greeted with the following screen:

One thing that I’ve noticed lately is that the more social media sites evolve, the more they look the same!
For example, the Like button (via Facebook) is one of the features LinkedIn has included in their upgrade. This is a quick and easy way for people to show that they read and agree with a post without having to write a comment.

Comments, likes, shares
; these are the of currency social media.  Social media sites like Linkedin are always trying to make user interfaces easier as well as making “the hurdle” to give approval to “things” (discussions, posts, etc..) lower, thereby encouraging more interactions or engagements. That is the same reason why Facebook changed becoming a “fan” of a page to “likes” a page. It’s much easier thing to say you like a brand  than it is to say that you are a fan of the same brand- lower hurdle, and less commitment.

The next notable thing about LinkedIn’s changes is under “Member info and Activity”. (see snapshot above) This is a feature that lets you find out more about a person by hovering over their profile. This neat little pop-up style box was first seen in WordPress blogs where you could hover over hyperlinks and get a glimpse of the linked site. Twitter implemented this feature a few months ago, allowing you to follow (or mention, or block) people without leaving your current page.
Most recently, Facebook rolled out the pop-up/hover feature just two days ago. If you hover over people’s names it will allow you to request to be a friend, or comment. Similarly hovering over brands and organizations will allow you to “like” them along with showing you who among your friends likes it as well. 

Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook, as well as numerous other sites are consistently looking for ways to make the user experience better. After all, they want you to join and continue coming back day after day. They have all tried several  improvements that didn’t work, so when one network sees a feature or protocol that works on another, it’s not long until they claim it for their own. Over time these features become “best practices” and industry standards, allowing users of one site to become familiar with the interface on others sites. In the end this makes the overall user experience better and more comfortable for all!

For more information on the new group features on Linkedin try this link: http://learn.linkedin.com/groups/

Where Are You Now? Thoughts on Foursquare and Marketing

Foursquare now has roughly one million users.  If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a location-based social network, software for mobile devices, and a game rolled into one. Users “check-in” at specific venues (i.e. restaurants, coffee shops, or other retail locations) using text messages or apps on smart phones. People are awarded points and badges. Whomever has checked in the most at a specific location becomes the “mayor”.

I’ve been using foursquare for several months now. I’m impressed more with its potential than with the actual functionality. I’ve got to admit that it fun to “check in” places, get points, badges, and become mayor. The game aspect of Foursquare stirs my competitive nature. It’s fun, but I see this as a bit of a novelty. I’ve already seen a steep drop-off of check-ins from the early adopters of foursquare whose check-ins would show up incessantly in my twitter feed just a few months ago. The network was adopted readily at first. Earlier this year I would receive 5 or more invitations to foursquare daily, now I receive one or two a week. In order to retain its users, foursquare will have to add functionality and new ways to interact.

Built into foursquare is the ability for businesses to offer discounts and specials for people based on the number of check-ins (the discount and the number of check-ins can be adjusted), but this is just the tip of the iceberg of marketing potential for this network. I still think there is a huge un-tapped potential here for marketers and I’m looking forward to the creativity that can be unleashed on foursquare and other location-based social networks. Like most things in the U.S., New York City is leading the way in marketing innovation with foursquare. The following post gives some good examples for successes: How NYC businesses are using FourSquare to drive more customers

I’d love to hear any ideas or examples of success with foursquare, (or other location-based networks) that you could share….

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