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2010/11/16 in Design, Internet Marketing, Social Marketing, Social Media, The Future of the Internet | Tags: Internet Marketing, Mike Girardin, Pondstone, Pondstone Communications, Pondstone.ca, Social Marketing, Social Media, web design, web development, website | Leave a comment
[Reposted from http://www.mike-g.ca/mgxc/growing-your-business-online/]
How do I make use of the Internet to take my business to the next level and start generating revenue?
Just the fact that you may be asking the question, tells me that you’re on the right track. More often than not, folks jump right into building a website, starting a blog, and sending out Tweets without ever thinking about what specifically they are trying to accomplish in doing so.
“That’s simple, I’m trying to grow my business. I need to be on all the social media because my competitors are, and that generates them business.”
Yeah, but how? Did it really help them, or is that just your assumption? And if it did indeed build them up, what were they doing right? What’s your game plan?
Too many business out there are trying to jump in on the latest trends, and think that just simply having a Facebook fan page, LinkedIn profile, and Twitter feed are going to generate them a whole lot more business. Sorry to say, it doesn’t work like that. If you don’t have clear goals (and the right benchmarks to measure those goals against) in place, you’re wasting time and resources.
There is a lot to know, and it’s important to avoid the pitfalls along the way. From website design, to properly implementing and executing a social media strategy, I will be creating posts that are designed to help answer your questions and guide you down the right path so that your business can grow effectively online from the perspective of someone who has been in the game for over 15 years.
Every week, I will be posting a new article on properly planning your strategy, designing your site, and marketing your business through the Internet. I always welcome your comments and questions, and hope that you all find this helpful.
Social media earned a mention in the annual White House Correspondents Dinner tonight, with President Obama quipping, ‘But even though the mainstream press gives me a hard time, I hear that I’m still pretty big on Twitter, Facebook … or as Sarah Palin calls it, the socialized media.’ [1:25 in the second clip]
As in previous years, the decline of the newspaper at the hands of free online alternatives formed part of the narrative in the humorous 20-minute monologue. Obama said of the news industry’s transition, ‘People say to me, “Mr President, you helped revive the banking industry. You’ve saved GM and Chrysler — what about the news business? I have to explain, hey, I’m just the President. I’m not a miracle worker here.”‘
The President’s closing remarks were ultimately optimistic about the state of news, online and off: ‘For all the changes and challenges facing your industry, this country absolutely needs a healthy, vibrant media. Probably needs it more than ever now. Today’s technology has made it possible for us to get our news and information from a growing range of sources; we can pick and choose not only our preferred type of media but also our preferred perspective. And while that exposes us to an unprecedented array of opinions, analysis and points of view, it also makes it that much more important that we’re all operating on a common baseline of facts … every single reporter in this room believes deeply in the enterprise of journalism.”
A new clothing-themed charitable campaign from the guys behind lucrative social media marketing exercise I Wear Your Shirt is looking to get unwanted T-shirts out of your closet and onto the backs of a million people across Kenya, Uganda, DRC, Ghana, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sudan, Swaziland and South Africa.
The 1MillionShirts project, launched this month, is asking for used (but decent) T-shirts to be sent in with a one dollar bill to help with container costs. The shirts will then be shipped to Africa to help clothe folks in need.
As you’d expect, Jason and Evan are using social media to help promote the campaign with a Facebook pagethat is already racking up Likes, a Flickr tag to gather all relevant pics and the #1millionshirts Twitter hashtagto spread the word via Twitter.
While the project is thus far U.S.-centric, it’s starting to generate some momentum across the pond too. The team is currently looking for a company that can help store and/or ship the T-shirts in the U.K. If you or anyone you know is interested in helping out, please contact project ambassador Alex Hardie.
“We understand that t-shirts aren’t the first thing you think of when you hear people are in need,” says the team, “but we also know what it takes to ask people to donate money.”
How social media is creating green forums for sustainable, green engagement.
Environment activism, like social media, is an interactive activity requiring on- and offline engagement. Given how powerful a tool the internet has become in creating and sustaining broad-based networks, it works to the advantage of environmentally-conscious activists to engage the medium to create a ripple-effect of awareness. These forums allow the opportunity to connect online with like-minded people for a variety of purposes, from business growth to political or environmental activism.
The problem, of course, arises in the transition from vibrant online communities to real, in person results. Yet, in the words of WebEcoist, the “dedicated and curious greenie can glean a lot from participation in niche environmental forums. And voting and sharing on green social news sites is a terrific way to fill out your green social web experience.” And as engagement and education are always the first steps of any movement, the abundance of these online forums make the sometimes daunting task of environmental stewardship slightly less cumbersome.
Architecture fans and geeks alike will not want to miss this seriously smart forum for true buffs and industry experts. Featuring “news and resources for sustainable design in architecture, development and construction,” this site also also shares great op-eds from thought leaders and top builders and designers.
The brand-new ecourls.com (still in beta) was created by top green bloggers and social media contributers to promote exceptionally high quality green news and information. You can visit the site and sign up to meet other green bloggers, social media users and find some excellent content. Though just starting, so far the site looks very promising, with an emphasis on content over flashy design or cluttered features.
Change.org is a clear, simple activist forum with an interesting format: you type the change you want to see in the world and the site guides you to a relevant project, organization or issue. Or choose from the most common changes on the main page. The coolest part about Change is that you can create your own organization (they’re called “Changes”) and get others in the community involved. A great place to connect with people and nonprofits that care about the future of the world and its inhabitants.
If competition gets your blood pumping, this is the place for you. Rather than supporting and connecting with other green minded people, you compete with them. It’s a fun, original concept and though it’s new seems to have a good base of users participating. Compete on teams with those in your real-world community or online pals against other teams on the site. Will you join the Royal Acorns? Looks like they’re the underdogs.
5.) Rate It Green
It’s pretty straightforward: you join, you rate. This is a well-crafted and easy to use green forum for environmentally-friendly building product ratings; like Consumer Reports for green building. Whether you are starting from scratch or retro-fitting your current pad this is a good resource.
6.) Green Options
Home to many of the best green blogs online, this green network also has forums. Not as populous or deep as Treehugger but definitely worth participation, particularly if you feel overwhelmed by the bigger forums. Connect with others and discuss all kinds of green issues at Green Options.
This Ning thing is thriving. Ning – basically a community platform for creating your own social network – is a hit and grows daily. If you read blogs like Triple Pundit, work in green business, or simply care about the future bottom line, then Responsible World Citizen’s “sustainable conscious business community” is for you.
8. Planet Green
Planet Green, brought to you by Discovery and tightly partnered with Treehugger, has launched new forums. They aren’t very active yet but the content on Planet Green is high-quality and the membership so far at the forums is a good crowd. Try it out.
Purely green discussions ranging from tech to energy to politics to health can be found at this thoughtful and calm forum. Sincere members weigh in from all over the world on a number of environmental topics. A recent thread asks: “Can you be a capitalist and environmentalist at the same time?”
The Arch design community features over a dozen well-populated and active architecture and design forums, including green. A must-stop for anyone into technical design, engineering, green architecture and more.
If your business or organization wants to know more about using social media for a specific purpose, drop us a line at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Facebook, Twitter and Google join the outreach following the devastating earthquake in Chile
For critics who cast the use of new media and social communication networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as useless or merely a waste of time, the recent devastation in Chile is a great example of using web-based resources for the good.
Twitter been used as a platform for an outpouring of international support for affected Chileans; Google has launched Person Finder to aid Chileans and those abroad located loved ones and nearly every relief agency is connected to the public through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. These resources make information about the devastation readily accessible providing an essential resource both in the ravaged country and for a concerned international community.
- Twitter List: As it did during the Haiti earthquake, The New York Times has collected some Twitter accounts with information about what is going on in Chile.
- Ben Casnocha: The entrepreneur and author has been tweeting details about the earthquake and its aftermath
- Twitpic: People have been uploading images of the devastation in and around Concepcion, some of which have been collected by The Huffington Post.
- Ushahidi: A site designed to act as a central clearinghouse for information about disasters such as the Chilean earthquake.
- Livestream: A live video feed from Chilean TV via the Livestream service.
- Person Finder: A Chilean version of a tool that Google originally created to help during the Haiti earthquake.
- Map Maker: Google has also opened up the use of its mapping database for use by aid organizations, and people can help via the Chile Update Page. Google has a page set up with other resources, including the ability to click and donate to Unicef and other charities from the page.
If you have other suggestions, please feel free to contribute on the original post or email Matthew Ingram (as per the original post, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.)
– Jessie W.
PR firm Burson-Marsteller studied the 100 largest companies in the Fortune 500 list and found that 79% of them use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or corporate blogs to communicate with customers and other stakeholders. The firm broke its findings down by region (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America) and network.
Twitter is the most popular platform that the companies use; two-thirds of the Fortune 100 have at least one Twitter account. Actually, they have an average of 4.2 Twitter accounts. Fifty-four percent have at least one Facebook fan page, 50% have at least one YouTube channel, and 33% have at least one corporate blog. Twenty percent of the companies use all four social media platforms.
Social networks like Twitter and Facebook are mostly West-oriented; Asia-Pacific companies don’t use them as much, instead preferring corporate blogs. When they do use Twitter or Facebook, it’s usually to engage consumers in Europe and North America.
There are a many other interesting stats in the study — including proof that consumers actually do like to engage with companies via social media, making all those channels worthwhile.
For the complete Burson-Marsteller’s presentation, click here. For a great example of a complete and effective social media platform, check out Pondstone client Jim Watson and his mayoral campaign on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
So, I propose, should time allow, have a breeze through both and let me know what you think.
The first article is an interesting piece about baby boomers getting onboard with social media -” Living longer and richer lives, they go online to stay in touch”
The Second article, sent to me by a colleague and owner of a fantastic boutique broadcast media company, Mick Gzowski is from the publication Scientific American, and asks if all this time on social networks that we tend to spend is good for our mental health. You can find the article here.
I will post my thoughts later in the day, but I am curious to hears yours first. Feel free to leave as many comments as you would like.
A website has been set up to harness the power of social media during natural disasters. The creators say that Emicus.com it will be used to prevent “the horrors of hurricane Katrina from happening again”.
The website sates that Emicus.com will work by “gathering information from a variety of sources – government agencies, news media, voluntary organizations, social networking sites and people in the impacted areas and present it in a real-time interactive geospatial interface. This interface serves a wide variety of purposes from the location of available goods and services to a communication tool that can be used by first response and communication personnel”.
The site will be put to the test this week with three tropical storms expected. Hurricane Bill, headed for Florida could be especially dangerous. Emicus.com hopes that its users will be able to spread valuable information to others during the storm using social media sites like twitter.
Businesses should use social networking websites such as Facebook to increase awareness of their brand identity, an advertising provider has claimed.
According to Alvenda, internet users are often reluctant to visit other sites once they have logged on their social networking profile.
Shopping om Facebook would includes functions such as gift lists, events sharing, group gifting and of course enabling the transaction wherever the customer happens to be,” he continued.
According to the research, one in every 11 minutes online globally is spent on social network and blogging sites.
The Cybraphon is a handmade musical robot contained in an antique wardrobe made up of instruments, antique machinery, and found objects, all of which are operated by over 60 robotic components.
The Cybraphon differs from run-of-the mill musical robots in its relentless obsession with its own online popularity. It uses a MacBook Pro to search the web for references to itself, in addition to keeping track of Facebook and Myspace friends and its number of followers on Twitter. The Cybraphon’s “mood” is determined by how much online attention it gets. Since Internet popularity is a fleeting thing, the Cybraphon emotions are always fluctuating.
It also delivers music reflective of how it’s feeling. When showered with page hits and friends, it delivers a happy melody. When ignored, it takes things into more melancholy territory. Cybraphon was designed by Edinburgh-based band.