I Just Joined Twitter! Follow Me!

After commenting slightly multiple times on how Twitter can be a great marketing tool, I’ve finally taken the plunge and signed up to try it out. I’ve always been a little bit skeptical of exactly how useful it can be in the marketing sense, so now I’ll finally get to try it out myself!

Since I’m involved in so many other types of social media, it will be interesting to find how relevant it will be to me- and how often I’ll end up using it.

If you’re at all interested in eMarketing and the different types of new media, or if you’re interested in knowing what I’m doing from time to time, follow me on Twitter to stay updated!

I’ll be sure to keep you informed on the success rates I achieve with Twitter, and how it compares to the types of social media I’ve used before.

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How to Twitter Market and Socially Advertise

Erica DeWolf\'s Facebook ProfileMy first involvement in social media came my Sophomore year of college when I finally joined Facebook, although I was skeptical the year before, calling the network “stalker net.” It was around this time that Facebook was growing rapidly, becoming an extremely effective way for college students to meet eachother while at university, and keep in touch upon graduation.

That was in 2005. Facebook has come a long way since then- becoming a vital social marketing tool for many companies, along with many other social media mediums. I’ve put together a list of some social media tools and how they can be used for marketing purposes. Enjoy!

Facebook:

Where it all started (for me). Start your own group and begin building members. Create your own company and begin gaining fans to notify of your new products or services. Create an application that is fun, functional, and advertises your brand. Or, if you are your own brand, create your own profile and begin adding your friends, and networking with potential clients.

For more information on Facebook Marketing, be sure to check out “I’m on Facebook– Now What,” a book that’s on my reading list, written by Jason Alba and Jesse Stay. This book explains the different parts of Facebook and how to get the most out of Facebook. It helps you learn how to use Facebook to further your career, business, or job.

Blogging:

There are endless marketing possibilities in blogging, so long as you play by the rules. Blogging is essentially your own publication- you are free to market yourself as often as you would like. The key is to maintain a balance between relevant quality content for your visitors and marketing yourself. Remember that the content you provide will help to add to your reputation and build you up as a thought leader and expert in your field. Blogs also give you the forum necessary to address and clear up any controversy or attacks on your company.

Podcasting or Videocasting:

Provide your viewers / listeners with some useful information and content, once again building yourself or your company as the expert in your field. You can also feature some new or popular products either as a podcasting series (if it’s interesting enough), or as a feature in each episode.

RSS Feeds:

Get creative! Some think that RSS feeds can only be applied to your blog- updating your regular readers when there is a new post. RSS feeds can reach much further than that- think of adding a feed to your product page to notify customers of new products or services being offered. Or use RSS feeds to deliver your email newsletters to those that wish to receive the content in a reader. Offering a choice will greatly increase the perceived value of you and your brand.

Twitter:

Several companies have began to use Twitter’s 140 available characters in each ‘tweet’ to market their brands and companies, as well as reach their customers on a more personal level. Twitter can be used to inform “fans” or followers of upcoming products, special events or promotions, addressing controversy or bad publicity, and any other company announcements. For more information on how to use Twitter to better market yourself, visit the PandemicBlog post Twitter Marketing by Bernardo Sosa.

So, how do you use social media to market your company, its products, or yourself? Please share with us!

This post was written as an entry in An Island Life‘s first ever group writing project.

Matt Cutts of Google Talks about Spammers

Web 2.0 ExpoI came across some very interesting resources while going through my RSS feed reader this week. At the 2008 Web 2.0 Expo, held in April in San Francisco, California, Matt Cutts delivered an excellent presentation entitled, “What GoogleLearn to fight spammers Knows About Spam.” Matt Cutts discusses how individuals are attempting to use spam to trick the search engines and increase their rankings, as well as what Google is doing to prevent it, and how YOU, as a blogger, can prevent it.

I suggest you visit Matt Cutt’s website and view his post entitled “What Google Knows About Spam,” on which he posted both a video of his ten minute presentation, along with the slides used in the presentation.

Don’t miss out! Take ten minutes out of your day, grab a cup of coffee and learn how you can fight the spammers!

How Exactly Do I Get One of these Blogs?

Maybe you’ve been reading mine and other blogs recently. You’ve conquered the concept of RSS feeds, read the specifics on why you should be using a blog to help promote and market you, your company, and your products.

You even read about how you can make money simply by writing about stuff you love to write about using PayPerPost, Amazon and other affiliate programs, and Google’s Adsense advertising. You’re ready to tackle the feat and try your hand at exceeding Shoemoney’s record Google Adsense revenue of $132,994.97.

So, where do you start?

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My First Time with Squidoo

SquidooAfter coming across several “getting started” with Squidoo articles and blog posts, and continuously telling myself that I was going to sign up and check it out, I finally created my first Squidoo lens. The whole experience took me about fifteen to twenty minutes, including writing my lens content.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Squidoo, it is a site that allows members of the its community to create lenses, or easy-to-build, single web page that can link out to blogs, favorite links, RSS feeds, Flickr photos, Google maps, eBay auctions, and more! Lenses usually contain educational material such as how to guides and handy tips and tricks on every topic you can think of, from Raising Seahorses at Home to Everything You Wanted to Know About Fraggle Rock (oh how I miss that show).

The sign up process of Squidoo was quite harmless, not asking for too much information, but simply collecting the basics so I could do what I went to the site to do: create my first lens!

Step 1: What is your lens about? After deciding what you would like to make your lens about, come up with a title for it.

2Step 2: What do you want to do with your lens? Here, you indicate how you plan on utilizing your lens. Is it a way to get the word out about a topic, make money by promoting related products, create a list, or something else? In my experience, it seems that this option simply changes which modules are included in the initial lens. We’ll talk about modules in a little bit.

3Step 3: Title and URL: Here, you come up with the title of the article and the custom URL (www.squidoo.com/your-lens-names), as well as a category and a rating for your lens- is it R rated, or is it a more kid friendly G version?

4Step 4: Help People Find Your Lens: choose tags for your lens so people will be able to more easily find your site.

5Step 5: Modify and Customize Your Page: At this point, your page has been created. Add content by editing the different modules that have already been added. Those that have been added depend on the type of lens you said you were making in Step 2. Modules are simply chunks of content that make up your whole site.

I was quite pleased with my first experience with Squidoo, and plan to create some more lens soon. I plan on experimenting some more with the best ways to monetize Squidoo, and I’ll be sure to share my findings.

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8 Reasons Why YOU Need an Email Marketing Service Provider


EmailEmail marketing has been around for over ten years now, so I wouldn’t consider it a relatively “new medium” for marketing. However, with all the technology available in today’s Web 2.0 online world, there are many new techniques and strategies you can apply to email in order to achieve an even higher ROI and conversion rate than was attainable in the past. In my opinion, one of the most important things you can do for your email marketing campaign is to invest in an ESP, or email marketing service provider, also known as an email marketing campaign management tool. At the basic level:

Email Marketing Service Providers (ESPs): are services providing users with tools and facilities forEmail Marketing Gets Results distributing high volumes of email and managing a list of email addresses. Examples include Constant Contact, SubscriberMail, Listrak, and emailbrain.

All email marketers should be using an ESP to handle their campaigns, even if their list is small, initially. This way, when the list grows to a few hundred or more recipients, you have the technology already in place to automatically handle subscribes, unsubscribes, bounces, and deliverability issues.

Bounces: Email returned to the server that originally sent the email.

  • Hard bounce: a bounce indicating a permanent failure due to a non-existent address or a blocking condition by the receiver.
  • Soft bounce: a bounce indicating that there is a temporary failure due to a full mailbox or unavailable server. Soft bounces should be sent a second time.

Deliverability: the degree to which emails successfully reach the recipients’ inboxes, or the number of valid email addresses that accepted the complete message.

I could come up with one hundred reasons why you should use an ESP instead of your Outlook or Eudora email client. Instead, I’ll highlight and explain what I feel are eight important reasons to use an ESP.

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Why I may hate SMS Marketing

phoneAs an e-marketing strategist, I can’t help but recognize the up and coming SMS (short message system) marketing as a potentially effective marketing medium. I recently came across a white paper, presented by mobileStorm, explaining the history and nature of SMS marketing, entitled SMS or Die. This document provided me with a general overview of the history, current uses, and possibilities of the SMS technology in regards to marketing.

SMS or Die

As a self-taught expert in email marketing, I saw many similarities between email and SMS marketing. It seems SMS is simply the “second generation” of email marketing, in the sense that their very similar in regards to their beginnings. However, SMS compared to email marketing today differ drastically.

It can be argued (by others, not me) that email marketing is ineffective today, because of sites such as Mailonator, which offer disposable email addresses to those who do not wish to give their “real” information. However, if the email marketer is promoting relevant, interesting content, the subscriber will WANT to give the marketer their real information because they will want to get the information or value that the marketer is providing.
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