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- Please be certain to use the business address where you receive mail.
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- Due to the fact my three local newspapers didn’t have as many reporters and/or photographers to send out to events I personally felt were newsworthy
- Since certain local activities weren’t considered news worthy since the papers had covered them so often
- And/or since these papers’ online versions weren’t updated until the print version came out to avoid losing advertising value — I posted my stories online ahead of their print media which in certain cases only came out once a week and thus was able to scoop them repeatedly.
Are you ready to put social media to work and successfully integrate it into your organization? Join over 900 forward-thinking professionals and business owners who are rolling up their sleeves to get social media working for them. Over 34 hands-on, in-depth workshops will be taught by Top National Social Media Experts like Brian Solis, Mack Collier, Jason Falls, Joy Kennelly, and many more. Walk away with all the critical, new Internet marketing and communication skills and strategies necessary to apply the power of social media to your business immediately!
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You’re aware of (and probably use) many of the new media opportunities out there to promote your message and brand; but did you know that there are literally hundreds more platforms out there that could be highly effective for your particular business and promotional efforts? Imagine how much more effective your marketing could be just by using a few more of the opportunities out there; then envision the entirely new dimensions of success you could achieve by leveraging them together toward an exponentially supercharged result! Attend this session and dramatically expand your awareness and knowledge of the online promotional opportunities available today and what they can do for you!
You’ll learn: how to search engine optimize your press releases to make them appear higher in Google rankings; how to promote your efforts using over 100 online calendars and other great online marketing channels; how to coordinate and leverage your efforts across multiple platforms (including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Meetup, etc.) and gain the biggest possible promotional push and more!
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What I’ve learned over the years working in technology is you will never learn everything, but you can tap into a wealth of information to move forward if you seek out the right people. I’ve done this by sharing ideas and information with business colleagues online and offline, reading voraciously, and by attending conferences and networking groups. Here’s some of the results of what I’ve learned.
NETWORKING IN PERSON
I most recently attended the newly formed LA Tweet and in spite of it’s small attendance being a first time event, I was very happy with the quality of information exchanged among members. I look forward to attending their next event. They are very different than Digital LA‘s huge networking events which sometimes have more of a club feel where you’re competing with loud music, a bar atmosphere and mingling singles, whereas LA Tweet seems to focus more on holding real conversations about issues facing professionals working in social media today.
As part of Ryze and Digital Eve LA back in the Tech Hey Day, I’ve been building communities and promoting events for years and as a result, know a lot of people in this field. All this to say, when I hear people only promoting their offline events only on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin I realize to them, social media really is only about those avenues.
It makes sense on one level because your Twitter account can feed both your Facebook and Linkedin accounts if you set them up to do so, but if you haven’t developed your online community to a large enough platform or audience, your info really won’t have a very far reach.
RECENT CASE STUDY
Recently I was assisting a small non-profit with their social media strategy and publicized their activities quite extensively through my Twitter and Facebook accounts where I have over 1,500 “friends.” Now all the principals of this non-profit have less than 250 people in their own personal networks and couldn’t understand why all of a sudden their non-profit was developing a following above and beyond those they knew.
As I explained, they were tapping into my wealth of contacts and benefiting from my strategic public relations and social media marketing. I encouraged them to continually upload new and relevant information, but they only wanted to post information all their regulars received via email on a very sporadic, limited basis.
When you only have head knowledge and not experiential strategy that has been successful over many, many years to draw upon, it’s easy for novices to shoot themselves in the foot unintentionally which is what ultimately happened in this case. Last I heard they might be working with an associate of mine, but he doesn’t have much hands-on strategic experience either and it will be interesting to watch what happens.
OTHER SOCIAL NETWORKING OUTLETS
Due to my experience promoting numerous festivals and clients over the years I’ve had to look beyond the typical social media outreach to other online avenues to promote numerous events.
Here’s three quick regional suggestions for Los Angeles and my brief analysis to help you expand your promotional reach:
1. Yelp – I’ve been promoting events on here since 2008 and if you click the link you can see my profile. I received a random invitation to an event they were hosting when they were first getting started and was hooked. It is a great group of people and very social. Everyone is super opinionated, young and fun. It leans rather Asian in their demographic make-up, but it’s open to all nationalities.
Up until recently it was exploding, but now that many business owners have cried foul over the company’s deleting good comments and pushing bad comments to the forefront and making them buy ads to counteract this negative, damaging internal practice, they’re facing a huge class-action suit.
I’m not sure I will invest much time there in the future, but since I’ve built a “promoter” reputation and they offer great SEO results, I will still promote events there like I just did for the Women Like Us Afternoon Tea and Speaker Series.
2. Experience LA – This is a great site to reach out to culturally minded Los Angelenos. You have to apply for permission to promote to their audience and it may take a few days for your events to upload, but it’s well worth the time.
One of my previous art clients received front page coverage on here and it shot her career to the top in a very short amount of time. Another actor client was stopped by complete strangers asking about his upcoming play after reading about it on this site. I highly recommend utilizing this social media avenue if you are promoting anything remotely cultural and more sophisticated in nature.
3. Going – This site is actually owned by AOL and has become more popular over the years. If you click on the link you can see my profile on there. I never really put much time or effort into building an audience within that arena because it provided so many options to link to other communities I had built, like MySpace back in its hey day, Facebook, and other outlets I liked better.
This is more of a young, hip, professional community, although I don’t know how popular it is now having not promoted any events on there lately.
As with anything on the web, over time, social networks that were once hot (MySpace being a prime example) peak and then something else takes over. Right now with the privacy issues surrounding Facebook, it doesn’t bode well for them to continue maintaining their popularity, but with over 50 million users I doubt they really care.
If you really want to know where people are going to find information or develop communities, follow the arts because generally people with smaller budgets will tap into social circles they find hip and it will grow as a result of their involvement. Similar to artists moving into a depressed area while prices are low only to be forced out later by higher rents once everyone moves into the neighborhood.
I have over 100 social networking sites I tap into for clients and businesses on a very targeted, strategic basis due to the time consuming nature of such outreach. However, as a result of so much online real estate it’s very easy to dominate the top ten searches of Google in a very organic manner.
May you find success in all your online endeavors too with what I’ve briefly shared.
What it is
Posterous is a micro blog where you email in your posts to your account and simultaneously have them delivered to multiple social media sites at once. I have mine linked to my Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and personal blog, but all the major social media sites are also offered as distribution avenues.
I plan to expand to the others once I feel comfortable and understand how Posterous is distributing my blog posts on Twitter and Facebook first. Currently it is double posting to both of my Twitter accounts which I’m still working on eliminating.
Why I like it
Posterous is perfect for me because I love taking pictures of sunsets and things that make me laugh on my Blackberry and sharing them instantly. Their customer service is very personal and quick too which I like.
I use my posterous account primarily for personal use, but have on occasion used it to write a professional blog and post it immediately.
For example, my blog posts on the recent Hermosa Beach City Council meeting determining the transfer of a liquor license from Il Boccaccio to Sharkeez and the review of the second IWOSC seminar I attended on employing social media to books.
“Typing” on my Blackberry isn’t conducive to writing much copy which is why I still use my personal blog to write longer posts. I also find it very difficult to physically see what I’ve written and edit when I’m writing on my Blackberry which is another reason I use my Posterous account for more simple visuals rather than copy like my personal blog.
But for instant gratification and a sense of accomplishment, it’s perfect. It also keeps my personal blog current which is something that I wasn’t doing as regularly before.
That said, I’m still analyzing whether or not to continue this type push since I post very frequently to Posterous and it may be too much for my regular blog readers. It’s also difficult to develop readers on Posterous since it’s such a new tool, but as far as being a push platform, right now I am enjoying the instantaneous posting.
What it is & Why I like it
Brizzly, on the other hand, is a tool designed to manage all your Twitter and Facebook accounts in one place. Once you sign up, when you sign in you see all your social media accounts at once and can decide which one to track very easily.
Compared to HootSuite
I need to compare this to HootSuite which is similar, but also includes LinkedIn, wordpress, and ping.fm and marketing analysis and tools not offered on Brizzly.
Apparently a lot of corporations use HootSuite and it is definitely recommended by other marketers since it also allows you to schedule tweets. For now, I’m going to utilize Brizzly, but will keep you posted when I apply HootSuite to my tool box.
I would be very interested in hearing others opinions on these tools too. Please leave a comment!
As a professional marketing person myself, I always enjoy hearing others in my field speak to gain perspective on how much I know and don’t know among my peers. Also, what new tools I should apply to my current online marketing efforts.
I also enjoy learning from a variety of experts because I find you will learn something you can apply to whatever it is you’re working on regardless of the specific industry.
CEO, Author Marketing Experts, Penny C. Sansevieri‘s recent IWOSC seminar on websites and blogging for authors is a perfect example of this. I feel very confident in my blogging skills, but one of my goals in life is to publish a best seller and have it turned into a film which is why her track record of nine NY Times bestsellers was intriguing to me.
Plus, for the cost of the seminar, even if I didn’t learn anything new it was worth attending because I’ve known the IWOSC leaders for years and enjoy networking with other writers.
Turns out, hearing Penny speak was priceless. Everything I expected and more.
Now for those who missed her recent seminar, you too can gain her wisdom and knowledge simply for the cost of her book, Red Hot Internet Publicity, available at bookstores everywhere, or simply by clicking the link above.
The previous sales pitch is not one of her techniques. I’m just making fun at all the other “sign up now and listen to my webinar for free” hard sell marketers you find in the online world.
In stark contrast, Penny’s advice is relational, practical, easily applied tools with step-by-step instructions in certain instances, with numerous references she provides by other online marketing experts in the field she employs and/or knows personally.
I read a lot of books and this is the first one where I’ve turned down the corner of so many pages and underlined so many concepts to remember later. What I found especially helpful are all the links she provides liberally throughout the book.
Here’s one tip from the book to help you increase your search engine ranking and gauge your competitors as an example:
“Getting links to your site is one of the best things you can do for your search engine ranking, and the best place to get them is to find out who’s linking to your competition and then go after them as well. If you’re imagining countless hours spent sifting through Web sites and linkbacks, here’s a neat little trick that will save you a lot of time. Go to your favorite search engine and type in link:www.competitor.com – replacing the word competitor with the URL of the competitor you’re targeting. The search will pop back all the sites that link to them, it’s that easy!”
She offers many more Web site resources which is why I like owning the book vs. getting it from the library since I will definitely be using this as reference for any other websites I create. Just note, many links change with time and may not always work.
What I also really liked about Penny’s book is it starts at the very beginning of creating and marketing a website and walks you through every step involved. For example, creating goals of what you’re trying to accomplish with your website, researching your competition, branding your site, hiring a web designer AND a programmer to work together because one has skills the other doesn’t and vice versa, and much more.
What is in it for the person coming to your site and what are you trying to accomplish? How will you entice them to return? Is it easy to navigate? Is your site searchable by search engines?
And on and on.
Penny even explains the influence of color and its meaning and how people’s eyes scan websites to help you design your site better. When she spoke she used her old website as an example and then compared it to her current revised one she had built based on all the research she had done.
I know there are definitely things I’m going to work on in my current blogs and future web sites as a result of what she taught and had re-inforced by reading her book, Red Hot Internet Publicity.
Another tip I appreciated hearing and reading again was how important it is to “capture” reader’s emails to allow you to continue communicating with them even after they leave your site.
As many of you may know, a newsletter is an excellent tool to that end, but I also learned some additional suggestions which I hadn’t thought of before. However, you’re going to have to buy the book to learn them yourself.
I was especially interested in reading how she handles her media room for her clients since I’d heard another PR expert speak on this concept using Target’s media room as his example and wanted to compare since I’ve always encouraged clients to build one into their web sites.
Penny’s news room is much more comprehensive and easy to understand than my former UCLA teacher’s example of Target. It also validated my personal conviction that more than the media read what you offer in a media room to learn about the latest on your company or product.
Click the book link to review her media room for her client, The Go Giver, to see what we’re talking about.
Coming from the world of PR, I know this area is extremely important for journalists since many times when they’re writing a story they don’t have the time to wait on you to supply something they need.
If you don’t provide it in a timely fashion, they move on with a replacement and you lose the story coverage. Having this elaborate a media room is an excellent resource and almost guarantees your information will be used by the media.
(I wish I had her book when I was repping clients because the whole concept was a little beyond their comprehension and Red Hot Internet Publicity has such solid examples it would have made it easier for them buy into the concept. Target’s pressroom as an example just wasn’t within their reach.)
All of Penny’s online marketing tips apply to much more than just making a book a best seller which is why I believe this book, Red Hot Internet Publicity, is invaluable to anyone selling a product, service or themselves professionally on the Internet.
Granted, there are parts that only apply to authors, but in general I found it very global in it’s overall coverage of online marketing concepts and strategies. It’s also a quick and enjoyable read.
As a result, for those just entering the online marketing space, or those wanting to improve, or compare their current online marketing strategy and online presence, I would recommend reading this book. I’ve only touched on a few highlights and it’s packed with much more great information than I have time to go into here.
I’m planning to hear Penny Sansevieri speak again at another IWOSC seminar on January 25, 2010 when she will join a panel of author’s who are successfully incorporating social media and online marketing into their book’s PR & marketing campaigns.
I’ll let you know what I learn then too if you’re interested. Or feel free to join me since the public is welcome. Just tell ‘em Joy sent you.
In the meantime, happy reading and learning.
There’s all this talk about journalists losing their jobs and the “real” news media shrinking which could be seen as a disadvantage since there’s now more online competition supposedly.
I have found it to be quite the opposite in my local area for a number of reasons:
Oftentimes, I was the only one covering the event too which made my story an exclusive for readers. As a result, my stats went through the roof during the recent Hermosa Beach City Council Election.
I have been covering local issues and events in Hermosa Beach for over two years and found by re-posting information readily available on the city’s web-site and linking back to it, it created an instant draw for Google.
The City of Hermosa Beach‘s current web site is very difficult to navigate for those not familiar with its structure which also made the information I was re-posting buried and unavailable to the average person looking on their site which is another reason I believe my blog was so popular during that time – ease of access.
I also covered the Hermosa Beach City Council debates which at first very few local media were doing. However, once they caught on that people were interested, they began sending reporters. I skipped attending, instead choosing to link to their stories and video coverage to mix things up.
I also provided links to other local sites I trade links with who were also covering the local election/debate issues which increased all of our standings in Google and drove traffic since we are considered opinion makers in our area.
Aggregating content on local politics was a very successful way to increase traffic because then readers had one-stop shopping for information they were seeking and my blog was connected to numerous other sites increasing my SEO value.
My biggest coup of the last Hermosa Beach political race was publishing the results of the election ahead of the final tally with the caveat that it might change once all the votes were in. (If you click on the above Hermosa Beach link you can see what I wrote – Google it too and you’ll see what I mean about standing.)
I beat the local daily paper’s online coverage by four hours. Needless to say, I was top of the search results for Hermosa Beach Election Results for days.
So, to wrap up, here’s some tips on how to increase traffic based on my recent personal experience blogging about local politics:
- Aggregate content related to a particular hot topic (in my case it was politics, but anything is fine. Choose topics you’re interested in because then they’ll be the most interesting to your readers too since they will feel your passion for the subject.)
- Re-post information with links back to the original content, but only excerpts to avoid infringing on a copyright. (I got in trouble once by publishing an entire newspaper article and heard from the editor of the paper with a cease and desist order. Never did that again!) When quoting a news article now, I like to post the reporter, the news outlet and the first couple paragraphs of the article to give readers an idea of what the story is about. Then I post a “Click here to read the article in its entirety” to abide by their copyright.
- Going back to my earlier suggestion to write about your passion, in addition to aggregating content, I found it very beneficial to also write from my personal perspective on each candidate which readers found interesting and wanted to read more. Especially in politics when it’s so confusing on what a candidate is really all about and personal opinions are needed to decipher who’s a valid candidate and who is a loser. This relates to other topics as well. Your opinion will always be invaluable because it enhances the aggregated content you’re posting and makes your site uniquely you.
- Another way to draw readers is attend events you know local media won’t cover, yet residents would find of interest. I drew readers into my political coverage by photographing the events I attended and putting my own spin on what went on at the various political functions I hit. It created an added value to my blog and to the overall story of the entire election which oftentimes wasn’t even covered in the papers because they didn’t have the interest, the space, nor the man-power to cover seemingly small (but important) events.
- Always link to a high ranking site regarding your topic currently receiving a lot of Google hits because then you’re drawing your own site up with theirs. Sometimes people don’t like it and they’ll break the link, but until they do, I think it’s fine because it’s mutually beneficial in the long run.
- Make sure to put key words in your title (even if it’s boring.) I can’t begin to tell you how many times I had to write “Hermosa Beach City Council” in creative ways, but it worked. Even now when you Google the topic my blog is in the top ten searches, and maybe even number one and two. Localized content is invaluable to residents and others who care about what’s going on in your community. Never underestimate the power of an insider’s viewpoint when blogging about your local area.
- Lastly, and most of you probably already know and do this, make sure to give yourself credit on your own blog and link to whatever you’re trying to promote. (I use my Linkedin site and drive traffic there with my byline.)
This basically kills two birds with one stone. Raising your own personal standing in the search engines, and of the site you’re promoting.
I wish you all happy blogging.