Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Social Media Marketing IS proven to be an Effective Branding Strategy

This report from eMarketer is eye-opening and serves as proof that a solid social media strategy can be successful for corporations, if you understand its use. The data comes from MarketingSherpa's study conducted in April 2009 (see their website for methodology for the study conducted with a sample size of over 1,800).

Of the 7 components of branding strategy, the top four VERY effective strategies are:
1. Influence brand reputation
2. increase brand awareness
3. Improve search engine rankings
4. Increase website traffic.

The next noted as SOMEWHAT effective is:
5. Generate leads

6. Improve internal communications is NOT considered to be effective and the one that might be most shocking to businesses who are really hoping to cash in on social media is

7. Increase online sales.

I am a strong believer in the use of social media marketing to improve your communications with your audience. Engaging them in conversation is key, as well as truly listening about their needs and wants is KEY. They WILL tell you - the tools are free. Better yet, they will tell their friends for you.

So, grab onto social media with these best practices, that take a look at social media STRATEGY, and listen to the other businesses who have already made the commendable effort to jump on board. We can all learn from each other, especially with these great marketing research tools given to us!

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

linkedin1.jpg (JPEG Image, 218x257 pixels)

Today was my first conference call presentation, in which I shared tips on how to use LinkedIn for your job search, and really tap into social media. It rocked! I really enjoyed the questions the job search team asked and I was interested to hear what they had to say. For example, one woman was calling in on her lunch break, so did not have access to the slides. That meant it definitely had to be an off-the-cuff presentation, not following along with bullet points. I made sure the presentation was like a cheat sheet, so that everyone could apply all the tips, especially the slide on researching companies. When someone asked if IBM was on LinkedIn, I knew this was a very valuable addition to the presentation for the call. And then breaking it down further to see just who you know at the company was more revealing. That could make all the difference - I could tell it was enlightening for some, and I was really happy to empower them.

Including Guy Kawasaki’s Extreme Profile Makeover I think was the icing on the cake. I look forward to sharing more tips, while on my own job search for a spot in social media (wouldn’t that be perfect??)

Won’t YOU check out the presentation? Let me know what you think!

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Unleash The Power Of LinkedIn for Your Job Search - Tap into social media!

Here is a presentation for today's job search team conference call, for which I am on the leadership team, adding my social media marketing advice to the pot.

It was real easy to use the blogger widget on the slideshare page. Next, I'll be posting it to twitter, which feeds to facebook. See? You can be a social media rockstar, too - just know where the tools are!

Hope it helps someone out there!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Radian6 and Social Media Metrics - How does This Social Media Rockstar Do It?

I checked out Radian6 today, as I was invited to a free webinar to introduce their services. It was a small group, with only about 4 others on the call, with the ability to pipe in and ask questions without the need to put myself on mute, or to click on “raise hand” and hope the moderator would see me. I enjoyed the discussion and having questions answered right away, as I was eager to learn about the metrics and the new tools available to companies wanting to get their social media in gear.

One new thing I learned was how valuable a “conversation cloud” is. On the dashboard, you have various widgets to choose from, and this one seemed to be one of the most intriguing to us. The technology takes a look at the “river of news” back 30 days (or maybe you or your client need further back - you can speak to them about the deets), and it will give you a read out of the top 50 keywords associated with that word. So, say you were searching for a brand and want to know what else is in people’s minds when they have the conversation, how valuable is it to know what else they’re talking about social media with your brand?

One other fascinating metric was taking a look at the “influencers.” Being able to drill down to the influencers, and however you define what’s important to YOU, such as total comment count, total unique comments, etc, I think that’s pretty valuable.

There are sites out there for the masses, where you can do things like an RSS search on Digg, but for corporate use, it looks like a pretty powerful tool to be able to digest social media into manageable chunks, in a user-friendly platform.

I haven’t actually tried out the program yet, but I thought I’d give this innovative timely much-needed tool a well-deserved chance. And I thank Radian6 for giving me this experience, and letting me backstage on my journey to becoming a Social Media Rockstar, too. :)

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

User-Friendly Social Media Monitoring, Measurement and Engagement

Delving more deeply into the metrics tools that corporations are using for their social media efforts, I found Radian6 to be a very engaging platform, complete with customizable dashboard capabilities, accessible through web access, vor a completely virtual experience. I am including this video that WOWed me. Check the short clip out.

Then be sure to check out the blog (, complete with podcasts from innovators and thought leaders in the industry, in the area of social media. I loved listening to Brad Dancer of the National Geographic Channel and his thoughts on not just engaging his audience with social media, but also using the platform in other ways, such as searching for consumer generated content.

It is an eye-opening look at the way consumers are going to continue tip the buying power scale by using the tools that democratize the system. I highly recommend you take a peek into a "Long Tail" company, existing because of the consumer pull for these technologies. Fascinating.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Social Media Marketing at its Best: Amazon Steps into Zappos’ Shoes + top 10 leaders

This is a great article from eMarketer, all things digital intelligence, that primarily focuses on Zappos success, and how its success led it to be swallowed by media giant Amazon (that's a pretty major accomplishment!).

But how can you leverage social media and turn it into ROI? Especially when social media is only part of the marketing mix, and its analytics compared to other traditional methods, are only starting to emerge.

I am a true believer that there should always be an effort to eliminate duplication, especially when others have already done it successfully. I don't mean COPY, but use it as a tool to include in your own social media efforts and ADAPT and MODIFY them.

So I share with you this article, which also lists the top 10 companies who have done it successfully.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Beyond Social Media: You've Got the Interview - NOW WHAT?

So, I’ve used the social media tools I’ve been sharing with you through my job search experience. It’s great to use the tools to get to know the people on the inside, and now it’s time to learn more about the outside, and about the big picture. Let’s face it, you will be working with these people, but unless you do your homework about the company and the industry environment, how much value can you add over another candidate? And when the tools to do it are FREE, you’ve got NO excuse! So here are five tips for you (my other tips must have worked, right? I interview Thursday!):

1. Library Internet Resources.

I don’t know if your library has free home internet access available, but my local Wayne Public Library, has loads of free online databases, where you can look up company information, and maybe a little bit more about who works there. If you want to be in the game, don’t you want to know who else is on the team? I think the most helpful tool that came up for me was a SWOT analysis (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats) of the company, so I could learn more about issues they are facing on a larger scale.

2. Industry resources.

Another FREE tool is given to you by our U.S. government’s Census Bureau. You can pull up information on an industry, and there’s a search on the upper right that can get you started.

3. Your company in the news.

Ok, so you’ve probably googled the company and maybe came up with their website first (if they’ve got a good ranking, that is!), and then some news items further down the list. But have you clicked on the “News” tab? See what comes up…but if it’s not good news, I really wouldn’t share it in any communications, especially on an interview! Keep it in your back pocket if you need to, if at all. Or if it’s too shady for your comfort zone, then maybe it’s best you found out before your interview so you can decide if this is the right company for YOU.

There HAS to be some industry-specific trade publication for your organization. See if your librarian can help you find it when you’re getting your library card to use tool #1 in this post, or maybe it’s online. Search for the company’s industry + publication, and see what comes up. Or maybe you already pulled it up in google on your first search. Learn what issues the company is facing. Is their business cyclical?

5. LinkedIn Groups

Do you know any of the people in the organization? You could look them up, but not just stop there, and look at the places they might have worked, but what about the groups they belong to? What better way to use social media than join the conversation where you know you have a better chance of being heard?

So, I’ve got an interview lined up on Thursday with a company I very much want to work for. When I’m up at bat, I know I’ve gotta aim to hit it out of the park (nothing but “lot” if you’re a ball fan), and you can, too. I don’t think any MLB player gets where they are because they’re the #1 team fan, right?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Free marketing research tool on LinkedIn

Today I found another yet FREE and valuable social media tool. Only this one isn't just to help with a job search marketing campaign, but it's to track the ROI of your social media efforts on LinkedIn.
Wow - did you know you can track who visited your LinkedIn profile by going to the Profile views on the right side of your home page?
I saw that 7 people had visited my profile yesterday, and three of them were from companies I applied to for open positions. The others were in the career coaching area so I guess my social media efforts in helping others is getting notice, too.
So make use of the page view tool on LinkedIn and either do more of the same or kick it in high gear.
You can shout all you want, but if you fall in the forest, will anybody hear you?
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Optimize your job search with SEO and Social Media

Take advantage of all the FREE tools we have access to with social media when looking for a job. Not sure how? Here's 5 tips to get you started:
1. SEO - Ess ee WHO? Search engine optimization CAN be good for the faint of heart - all you have to do is make sure the types of jobs you want to attract are in the text of your profile.
2. LinkedIn
What? You mean you don't update your profile on a daily basis? If you get linkedin status updates, you might see every time I scratch my nose- well maybe not THAT extreme - but take advantage of it all - look at all the things you can do. it's FREE! What could be better?
3. Do you blog?
Blogging is a great way for you to establish yourself in this sea of job up a FREE account on blogger and put in on your linkedin profile! Yep, still free.
4. Tweet tweet.
It's not so scary once you have a plan! Use SEO (remember those keywords?) to customize your search but ALSO to include in your tweets, because recruiters or at least people searching for those same words can now find you! Free. Hmm one more tip:
5. Facebook
 Yes, the giant continues to grow, so take advantage as everyone moves over!! And you can install an app to pull in your tweets in status updates. Free, yes and just keep active! - we'll complete this job search just yet!
If you throw out more hooks, don't you think you're chances are better at catching a fish? :)
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Social Media Marketing is on the rise!

Advertisers are having a tough time now - well, at least with traditional methods.
Having been involved in traditional marketing/advertising, I was captured by this social media marketing article:
The chart shows the finding of a Forrester Research study on spending marketing $ and it clearly shows an almost 50% increase in social media, with a close trail by e-mail marketing. Both showed only a slight decrease compared with traditional methods.

From my own experience, having been involved in my own career in more traditional methods, I definitely saw these areas take a hit - most recently in my position in radio advertising. Advertisers wanted to go more on the internet, with web banner ads - which are helpful, but with a more wholistic well-rounded view, with as many touchpoints for your audience as your budget will allow.

That's why I am FASCINATED with social media, and all the ways that people can have a conversation, and develop business. I think it makes business more of an exchange between friends than just putting down your money on the table and getting something in return.

As least that's what businesses that are reaping the rewards of social media are finding - and spending more in these areas.
If the formula works, just do more of the same! And we'll keep listening - we're ALL consumers, right?

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

5 Tips on The YOU Elevator Pitch, and Marketing YOU

Getting ready for my Speed Networking Event tomorrow, I’d like to share 5 tips on preparing your elevator pitch. Here’s mine in a nutshell (for THIS event):
“I'm a freelance marketing consultant and certified Project Management Professional I LOVE to help my clients get their audience's attention through marketing research, solid communications and social media marketing. As a former jazz vocalist, I “get” audience. When the curtain goes up, you get one chance to make ‘em say WOW!”

1. Make ‘em say “WOW.”
Strike a chord - not saying you have to break out in an Irish jig, but pack some punch! For me, every time I told someone I used to be a jazz vocalist, that was the chord. My personal training, well, unless someone really likes exercise…but everyone likes music of some kind or at least wishes they were on stage.
2. What makes you “YOU”?
If you got in an elevator with someone, unless you’re in a skyscraper with 100+ floors, think BRIEF. This isn’t the place to tell someone everything - just intrigue them and make them want MORE.
Keep It Simple, Stanley (or Stupid, whichever you prefer) You want to go one step further? Try writing a Twitch (a Twitter Elevator pitch!) - that will help.
4. Say it LOUD!
Ever see Taxicab with Robert DeNiro? See my earlier post, “You Talkin To Me?” He practices his line over and over in the mirror. Try it out! Then try it again. Here’s your chance to make it ring!
5. Curtains Up!
Now you’re backstage, but when you get to try it out live, there’s no second chance to make a first impression. So, use the opportunity to make it second nature and practice practice practice! Keep me posted on your progress - communications isn’t easy!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Your Job Search - My 5 Tips on Social Media Marketing YOU

How can you take advantage of social media and market yourself effectively for a potential employer? Well hopefully you'll have lots of interesting activity going on online - and that means being proactively involved. Here are five tips that have been working successfully for me, and I want to share them with YOU:

1. SEO

Make sure your profile on LinkedIn is peppered with the keywords that are relevant to what you are looking for in a job - Do you want a job in marketing, like myself? How about terms like social media marketing, or CRM if you've got experience? This way when someone searches, voila - you're a superstar. Btw, SEO is the hot term for search engine optimization. Let's optimize you!

2. Speak UP!

Can't hear you if you're not in the room, or facing a different direction. Do a Google search for a keyword+blog. Did you find mine searching for social media marketing+blog? Post your comments so others will learn who u are and connect you with the term. Better yet, a potential employer!

3. Got twitter?

Twitter is great for sending out quick snippets of useful info (or mindless blather, but that's not how I use it). Check out @jobangels, @jobshouts-there really ARE people out there who want to help!
4. Go where the people are.
Join a group on LinkedIn or Yahoo of people who want to know who you are! Who's that? Well now that you've read this far, I know you're proactive to want to be part of the conversation! And if you're on LinkedIn, let's connect so you can take a peek at the groups I belong to, the status updates, etc.

5. Don't duplicate, automate!
Look like you're everywhere! Secret - I'm writing this on my blackberry, sending an email to with my account set up FREE (some people like, it posts to my twitter acct @Vickie_Smith, which posts to my Facebook as a status update! Let's make the job search fun while we're in this together, right? Let's think of makin some really good lemonade...
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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