I cut out this article from the annual Show Me Missouri HR magazine – I hope it is helpful for anyone looking for tips on becoming an excellent leader.
26 Aug 2011
26 Aug 2011
If your typical day is anything like mine, you typically search Google several times a day looking for information that helps you with your work load. This article I read has some excellent quick tips on how you can improve your search results, i.e. locate the most relevant information efficiently.
Some of this was news to me, like the ~ symbol (yes, I had to search my keyboard for it) would mean synonym in a Google search. Plus I had no idea that Google can work as a calculator – by simply typing in a formula. Interesting stuff and I hope you find this useful!
- Explicit Phrase:
Lets say you are looking for content about internet marketing. Instead of just typing internet marketing into the Google search box, you will likely be better off searching explicitly for the phrase. To do this, simply enclose the search phrase within double quotes.
Example: “internet marketing”
- Exclude Words:
Lets say you want to search for content about internet marketing, but you want to exclude any results that contain the term advertising. To do this, simply use the “-” sign in front of the word you want to exclude.
Example Search: internet marketing -advertising
- Site Specific Search:
Often, you want to search a specific website for content that matches a certain phrase. Even if the site doesn’t support a built-in search feature, you can use Google to search the site for your term. Simply use the “site:somesite.com” modifier.
Example: “internet marketing” site:www.smallbusinesshub.com
- Similar Words and Synonyms:
Let’s say you are want to include a word in your search, but want to include results that contain similar words or synonyms. To do this, use the “~” in front of the word.
Example: “internet marketing” ~professional
- Specific Document Types:
If you’re looking to find results that are of a specific type, you can use the modifier “filetype:”. For example, you might want to find only PowerPoint presentations related to internet marketing.
Example: “internet marketing” filetype:ppt
- This OR That:
By default, when you do a search, Google will include all the terms specified in the search. If you are looking for any one of one or more terms to match, then you can use the OR operator. (Note: The OR has to be capitalized).
Example: internet marketing OR advertising
- Phone Listing:
Let’s say someone calls you on your mobile number and you don’t know how it is. If all you have is a phone number, you can look it up on Google using the phonebook feature.
Example: phonebook:617-555-1212 (note: the provided number does not work – you’ll have to use a real number to get any results).
- Area Code Lookup:
If all you need to do is to look-up the area code for a phone number, just enter the 3-digit area code and Google will tell you where it’s from.
- Numeric Ranges:
This is a rarely used, but highly useful tip. Let’s say you want to find results that contain any of a range of numbers. You can do this by using the X..Y modifier (in case this is hard to read, what’s between the X and Y are two periods. This type of search is useful for years (as shown below), prices or anywhere where you want to provide a series of numbers.
Example: president 1940..1950
- Stock (Ticker Symbol):
Just enter a valid ticker symbol as your search term and Google will give you the current financials and a quick thumb-nail chart for the stock.
The next time you need to do a quick calculation, instead of bringing up the Calculator applet, you can just type your expression in to Google.
Example: 48512 * 1.02
- Word Definitions:
If you need to quickly look up the definition of a word or phrase, simply use the “define:” command.
- Explicit Phrase:
24 Aug 2011
PALO ALTO – Facebook said Tuesday it would roll out new controls for sharing personal information on the social network later this week, giving its more than 750 million users new tools to manage who can see information about them.
On Thursday, the company plans to move a number of privacy controls — which previously required navigating to a separate settings page — to users’ homes pages and profile pages, next to where they view and post content.
Facebook and other social networks have at times been criticized for designs that lead users to inadvertently share information with a wider audience than they intended. Many Facebook users have hundreds or thousands of friends, and some have urged the company to make it easier to target smaller groups when posting information.
Google did just that with its competing Google+ offering, which was introduced in June and had amassed 29 million worldwide unique visitors in July, according to research firm comScore Inc. Google+ allows users to build so-called “circles” of audiences for their content, and promises to let users “share just the right things with just the right people.”
Chris Cox, Facebook’s vice president for products, said his company had been working on the changes for the last six months based on longstanding user requests. “It is all about making it easier to share with exactly who you want and never be surprised about who sees something,” he said. Users should “never be surprised about who sees something.”
Cox said making privacy controls easier is “absolutely critical” to Facebook’s future success, but added the changes were not made in response to Google. “We are launching this now because it is ready,” he said.
A Google spokeswoman said in a statement, “We welcome Facebook’s efforts to give users more control over their privacy because it helps to improve the overall web experience. With Google+ we’re creating a new and different approach to make sharing on the Web more like sharing in the real world.”
18 Aug 2011
I just read this article on Ad Age about the four biggest mistakes marketers make on Facebook. Aside from being interesting, I thought it provided some good suggested introspection of our own Facebook marketing strategy and the strategy we use for our clients.
Share you thoughts about how we can better utilize Facebook to market ourselves and our clients in the comments below.
The following article is by Michael Scissons:
Last month I challenged my data team at Syncapse to dig deep into Facebook data and paint a picture of the future, given today’s marketing practices on Facebook. After hundreds of hours, several cases of energy drinks and an in-depth review of the 300 top brand pages on Facebook, the picture was clear. If marketers don’t get better, they will fail to capture the value of social media marketing.
Engagement on the Facebook walls of leading brands is down 22%. Brands aren’t playing for the long term. Engagement is the crown jewel of a community marketer. It’s always talked about and drives the relevance and power of the platform. We reviewed public engagement data for 300 of the top brands on Facebook over a one-year period starting in July 2010. The results show a clear decline in average engagement.
Many are likely to blame Facebook, but it’s more likely that marketers themselves have led to this decline. Dissing audiences with bad content, coupons, polls, contests, and boring filler is the way to blow off engagement in the long run, even if it makes a few campaign results shine in the short term.
Not all 300 brands saw a decline. Some brands were rock stars and beat the Street. The winners included brands like Deutsch, Renault, Hermes, Lowe’s, and Chanel. These brands didn’t have the most fans, but day in and day out, they are performing magic in keeping their fan base engaged.
Local pages drive 36% better results. Global results are built one region at a time. A few words to the wise from our data wizards:
Bigger is not always better and, regional programs perform significantly better than global ones.
This should come as no surprise; relevant local content has always performed better. For a whole host of reasons, including the perceived complexities involved with managing social globally, or the desire to maintain brand consistency, many global marketers have developed models that isolate regional marketing teams, ignore local marketing programs. This is usually “accomplished” by pushing out corporate content to a global audience from the MarCom mothership.
However, the data shows that local Facebook pages perform 36% better than global ones. Success is driven by great organizational empowerment at the local level, relevant local content, local media support and presentation in a tone of voice relevant to the targeted local market.
These results parallel many things seen in the crazy world of Web 1.0. Global websites often performed worse than targeted local ones. Local marketers often showed little support for global programs, and CRM databases performed worse as they grew bigger and lost focus.
Talk to your fans six to seven times a week at relevant times. Don’t be distant or annoying. When talking to your fans, more talk is not better. Many brands drone on 10, 15, even 20 times a week. As the chart below shows clearly, this nets a steep decline in engagement. Speak to your fans six to seven times per week on average. Speak with purpose and ensure the content is relevant. If you have nothing interesting to say, don’t say anything.
Understanding the value of a Facebook fan is straightforward. Stop trying to overcomplicate this. The value of Facebook fans is simply the value of an audience to a company. This includes the amount of money fans spend, their propensity to recommend, and the reach, frequency, and impact of their social influence.
Value of fans should be measured and presented in ways your CFO already understands. This means an emphasis on results that go beyond vague terms like “sentiment”. Teach your organization to cherish their fans and embrace the power they have on your company’s bottom line. Track your progress and understand how the value and the perception of your brand is shifting.
So, what’s a global marketer to do? Build a structure for scaling social marketing across your enterprise. This is a business exercise, not a marketing one. The key here is understanding your organization’s objectives, processes and structure and then empowering the right people with the right objectives, resources, responsibilities and metrics.
Run your brand’s community management in-house and hire someone to do it right. Outsourcing your brand “voice” is not a viable long-term option. Stop pretending you don’t have the budget for headcount — you likely spend millions on media. You can spare some to maintain relationships with your best and most influential customers.
Task your agency to develop original creative content. Engaging videos, flash experiences work best. Stop being so tactical, and quit treating Facebook like a promotional wastebasket.
Most importantly, know and understand your data. Build a dashboard of KPI’s you care about. Assign goals and track your progress against industry benchmarks.
05 Aug 2011
So yesterday I broke down and finally purchased a new cell phone. It’s one of those new, cool phones that has endless capabilities and I will likely only be aware of the mere basics of what this device can actually do. (I tell myself it is not a sign of my age.) As I was making small talk with the Gen Y sales rep as my phone information was transferring from the old phone to the new, he shared with me 1 Super Cool capability that all of you sports fans would LOVE to know…
Turns out my phone has an HDMI plug, next to the USB plug charger. I merely thought hey I can plug my phone directly into my TV and view my photos/videos, etc. Well Gen Y sales guy told me you can do more than that. So there’s a website: http://www.firstrowsports.eu/ that provides live streams of all things sports. You can pull up this site on your phone, then connect it to your TV with an HDMI cable and wa-la…you can cancel that NFL cable sports package you have and stream any game you want directly from your phone to TV for free. Apparently Gen Y sales guy does this to his big screen TV and has all of his other Gen Y friends over for the games. So while the thought of me purchasing a cable sports package has never crossed my mind, I knew just about everyone of my friends’ husbands would love to know this little nugget.
* Also, something else I learned…apparently Verizon did something illegal in their phone contracts, etc. and as a result, any Verizon customer can break their contract with NO penalties or fees right now. This is only good for 60-days which started sometime in July.
** And, if you go to Sprint and talk with a nice Gen Y sales guy, he can get you a “company discount” of 10% – even though Summit is not in their database of companies that get the discount.
After yesterday, I have a new found respect for Gen Y.
28 Jul 2011
Facebook is trying to make it easier for businesses to market themselves. Facebook For Business breaks down the tremendous marketing opportunities that are available within the site.
Since Summit Marketing just launched our Facebook page, I thought this news might be of interest to you (especially if you’re on the social media committee). Check it out!
27 Jul 2011
Knowing all of us are on the verge of melting in this summertime heat, this was too cute, not to share.
This is is an un-posed* picture of Elliot, a British Bulldog, (*trust me, you couldn’t actually make Elliot do anything) after his owners had emptied their cooler in the driveway in St. Louis, MO.
26 Jul 2011
That’s right, Summiteers – we now have our own facebook page where we’ll be posting content on a regular basis. And you can, too. To find it, simply click on this link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Summit-Marketing/200917533285942?ref=ts
Once you’re there, check out the content. Invite your friends (at least those you think might be interested.) Invite your clients. (consider including the link in your email signature) If your particular office is doing something fun or charitable or you recently learned some new technique or application or winning strategy or whatever – post it on the Summit Marketing facebook page. Photos and videos are welcome. So are interesting articles or excerpts you run across that are relevant to the work we do and the world we live in.
And please remember your social media policy guidelines – because anything said in the social media world has a very long shelf life. So be smart about it and keep in mind that we have several conservative, religious clients who may be perusing our posts. (We will be monitoring the site on a daily basis and we have moderators who have the power to remove posts if necessary.) But we doubt that will hardly ever be necessary. So visit. And visit often!
Soon, we’ll also have the facebook link on the Summit Marketing website, which, if you haven’t visited in the last few months, has been completely re-done. Even if you have seen the new site, make sure you check out the freshly added people section in the About Us category. You may learn a thing or two about some of your fellow Summiteers. Check it out. www.summitmarketing.com
26 Jul 2011
At first I wasn’t too keen on Google+. I didn’t want to learn another social network. Twitter and Facebook are my besties and I had no interest in playing with the new kid. I was a brat.
Alas, I can’t deny it any longer. Google+
iswill be better than Facebook. There it is, I said it.
It is ONE social network that can be used professionally and personally — very personally, as there are some things I wish only to share with my family — so it eliminates the need for LinkedIn and Facebook. It means that not only can I filter who can and cannot read the content I post, but I can filter content I read. If I only want to see what my friends from college have to say today, I can. Or, if I only want to see what Summiteers are posting, I can. Cool, huh?
The only issue is that not everyone is on Google+. Yet. It will no doubt take some time for Facebook fiends to make the switch. But I really think they will. So many people already use Google for email, photos, YouTube, search, Google Reader … the list goes on and on. It just makes sense to aggregate even more of your life on Google.
Yes, perhaps Google is taking over the world. Even more so than McDonald’s. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, we can’t live without ‘em.
As for our clients, Google+ is still in its early stages and it’s difficult to say what its value will be for businesses. I think Google is waiting to see how people use this new platform before creating special services for businesses — which is smart. Like Facebook, I’m sure Google+ will evolve organically.
If you don’t know much about Google+, here’s a good, short video that describes the difference between Google+ and Facebook:
Enjoy! And if you’re on Google+, look me up!
22 Jul 2011
Last night I read a fun article on FastCompany.com about Rube Goldberg’s machines. The article had some great ads, viral videos and music videos inspired by Rube. Enjoy!
My personal favorite example of a Goldberg inspired scene can be found in one of the greatest movies ever made.
Find the complete article and more videos here (Happy Friday!):