Greg Magnus

AIM Custom Media Websites Blogs Glen Allen, VA 23059

Category: Social Networks (page 1 of 3)

Social Networks, Social Networking | Experts comment and inspire

Opportunities Abound During Tough Economic Times

Contrarian view? Absolutely not. The best time to strike is when your competitors are off guard. While they gather in their conference rooms to complain about the economy, use this golden opportunity to reach out to your existing customers and find new prospects.

Far too many business owners absolutely take the wrong approach. They hunker down, cut marketing budgets and pull back. The end result is "unattended customers" and less competition for you. Businesses that cut marketing budgets also demotivate their best salespeople, which start spending more time thinking about getting a new job than a new customer.

Economic downturns are an excellent time to strengthen your relationships with both your existing customers and your competitors' customers. Odds are, they are not as busy. Are they willing to spend a little more time with you? Very possible so get in touch with them and consider the following:

  • Collect testimonials: Asking for a testimonial is a contact with your customer that's not a sales call. Tell them you would like to promote the testimonial and link it to their website, which will promote them as well. Use the opportunity to show your customers you value their opinion, your business relationship, and their business (i.e., dynamic websites, blogs, Scribd, PR news, etc.);
  • Survey your customers: Create an opportunity to collect feedback and discuss services and/or products you offer that they may not be fully aware of or completely understand (i.e., email marketing, custom website landing pages, etc.);
  • Network: Introduce your customers to people in your network that they consider prospects and ask to meet their business colleagues and associates – an excellent source of referrals (i.e., LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook, etc.), and
  • Use your "consulting" skills: Help your customers and prospects save time and money by providing pertinent industry news and educational materials that will help them compete during these difficult times (i.e., email newsletters, white papers and custom publications all have high ROIs).

But don't be fooled. There is also new competition for you – competition from << Continued on digital AIM >>

[Please note we have updated our marketing news website. To receive future updates including our 2009 Marketing Plan series, add your info here | digital AIM – Email.]

Luxury Brands Now on MySpace, Social Networks

You might not expect a luxury brand that is a global symbol of cosmopolitan fashion to choose MySpace to target their market. But the market is there and so is Cartier; the French brand known for their exclusive $10,000 watches, clocks and diamonds. 

The Cartier ad campaign includes a link to a Cartier mini-site where you can download free music by Lou Reed, Phoenix, Marion Cotillard, and others. Mercedes-Benz USA has used the free music download marketing strategy for several years now at their corporate site. The latest from MBUSA (excerpt of their email marketing I rec'd on June 26, 2008):

Mixed Tape 21 and Mixed Tape Music Magzine # 5 – now online
Enjoy the fifth edition of Mixed Tape Music Magazine on mercedes-benz.tv. Also online: Mixed Tape 21 with a selection of brand new tracks.

Every eight weeks, Mercedes-Benz not only presents ten handpicked tracks by international newcomers for you to check out and explore as a free download compilation at www.mercedes-benz.com/mixedtape. For added visual delights, visit Mixed Tape Music Magazine, an innovative monthly online TV show featuring audio-visual highlights from around the world, now in its fifth edition.

This month’s theme is ‘Up North’ with artists hailing from the globe’s upper reaches – think Norway, Sweden or Canada. Their music, on the other hand, is decidedly international and at home between Hip-Hop, Folk, Pop and R&B. From Sweden, we have Kocky and his singer Rosanna, Joel Alme and MC Chords – the self-proclaimed luckiest man alive – while Chris Lee represents Norway’s cutting-edge music scene. On the other side of the Atlantic, MC Moka Only and Alanis Morissette shake it up for Canada.

Enjoy the mix!

Your Mercedes-Benz Team
www.mercedes-benz.tv/mixedtape
 

Why MySpace?

MySpace is an online social gathering place for teens right? Think again. Abbey Klaassen of Advertising Age has published an article with more details. Here's an excerpt:

"There's this misperception in the market about MySpace being a youth site, a site for teens," said Travis Katz, managing director-international operations for MySpace. "But 85% of our audience in the U.S. is over 18, and 40% of all moms in U.S. are on MySpace." He claims that MySpace reaches more people making $100,000-plus than other social-network competitors, such as Facebook and Yahoo 360. Real the full Adversiting Age article here.

More info: Cartier's MySpace profile.

Publishers Seek Online Networks For New Releases

You wrap up the final pages of your manuscript and within three-weeks you are on the "Hot New Releases" list. Sound too good to be true? It's not and publishers are using online social networks successfully to promote their books, white papers and business services. For instance, we found this release on PRWEB (one of the better press release sites FYI):

(PRWEB) June 6, 2008 — A new book, "I Met a Greek Goddess in Nashville", self published by Kalpanik S., a previously unknown author made it to the "Hot New Releases" list on Amazon.com's Kindle Book store on June 5th, within three weeks of its publication.

"We are very pleased to see 'I Met a Greek Goddess in Nashville' achieve "Hottest New Release" within a few weeks of its publication. . . . This proves the power of the use of the New Media formats and platforms such as Kindle, Facebook, MySpace, Amapedia, YouTube and Google/ Yahoo groups." [These sites were used exclusively for publicizing the book.]

"I am a busy executive so I did not have time or energy to follow the time consuming publishing or publicizing methods" said Kalpanik S., the author . . . In place of spending my time contacting publishers and agents or sending copies of the books for book reviews, I decided to use the New Media formats, platforms and forums such as Kindle, facebook, Amapedia, MySpace and YouTube for publishing and publicizing my book. These have been instrumental in the success . . ." 

More and more people are realizing the potential associated with marketing directly to the end user online. This strategy is working because things have changed for PR; and how things have changed.

Until recently, media “press releases” were considered dead. First of all, the traditional press release has rapidly evolved with technology. We now focus on “Marketing PR,” which bypasses traditional media outlets and reaches target market directly. How so?

By preparing and sending press releases frequently via wire services, blogs, email newsletters and social networks, you can zero in on business prospects who use search engines – just about everyone in the business world. Shockingly, whether a journalist actually sees your PR or responds to it is secondary in importance.

PR is once again essential because it is cost-effective and properly managed PR campaigns are generating high ROIs.

Seriously consider incorporating PR into your annual marketing plan. More of your existing clients and prospects get to know you – you build stronger relationships and increase your referral rates, which translates to a better bottom line.  

Blogging Tips, AIM Custom Media Weekly Update

Those that invest years of their time gaining experience in a particular field review a vast amount of information. Translating the information into knowledge requires the skills of organization, prioritization, and collaboration. From those with both the experience and the skills, you can acquire wisdom.

Blogging Tips
After blogging for several years now, I find the greatest value, and wisdom, comes from bloggers that express their point of view based on their personal knowledge and experience; before they send readers off to another website via a link. When you post a link on your blog, tell your readers why you recommend the link and add your own unique content. The end result creates value for your readers as you foster a relationship with them.

Did you ever wonder where the term “weblog” came from? A guy named Jorn Barger coined the term in December 1997. And yes, he has many years of experience on the web. Barger is a philosophical guy and his advice can be somewhat esoteric but he does share his wisdom. Here are a few of his blogging tips that I like from a brief article published at Wired.com:

1. Re-post your favorite links from time to time for people who missed them the first time. Here are a few of my favorites: Continue reading

Why Companies Are Moving Marketing Online The Emerging Trends

The amount of research supporting the effectiveness of online marketing is staggering yet many business owners are still unconvinced or just inadequately informed. If you are seriously looking for reasons to justify spending marketing dollars online, here are a few facts and trends to ponder:

Although most marketers allocate minuscule amounts of their budgets to their email efforts, the channel continues to deliver substantial returns on every dollar spent. According to the Direct Marketing Association, marketers spent $500 million on email in 2007 to capture an astronomical $23 billion in sales – yes, $23 billion in sales; that's not a typo.

The DMA forecasts:

  • During 2008 marketers will spend $600 million on email to drive $27 billion in sales; and
  • Email delivered $48.56 in sales for every dollar spent in 2007. A substantial return is also predicted for 2008; $45.65 for every dollar spent. More from the DMA is available here.)

The results are in. The success of online marketing is supported by reliable research reports and marketing pros have taken notice. In McKinsey's July 2007 global survey of marketers, more respondents used email than any other form of digital advertising. Some people still don't understand the value but those that do are moving online across the spectrum of marketing activities, from building awareness to after-sales service. They see online tools as an important and effective component of their marketing strategies

McKinsey survey of marketing executives reports that: Continue reading

Reaching Target Markets Through Online Communities

You don't need me to tell you online communities and social networks are powerful interactive marketing tools. What you may need to know is why you shouldn't wait any longer before you get involved. I'll get to that but first let's consider just a few of your options:

  • blogs,
  • chat rooms,
  • forums,
  • business networks,
  • product review sites,
  • email discussion groups,
  • photo sites,
  • video sites and the list goes on and on.

It all comes down to this, hundreds of millions of people now participate in online social networks. Some just hang around reading the content while others actively participate in lengthly discussions. They build strong relationships with others in their communities. Your target market? They make recommendations and provide referrals day in and day out. And yes, many small businesses are no longer "small" as a result.

This is not just my opinion, large corporations such as Sony, Chrysler and Dell are in tune to this marketing channel in a big way because of one main reason – it works and they are benefiting.  What about you? How do you "reach out" and capture new business online? Continue reading

New Friend Features From Wink

Wink is a great place to track your "places on the web" for sharing with your friends. Here is an update from the folks at Wink that I rec'd today:

New Friend Features from Wink!
A fun way to keep in touch…

We here at Wink have added some cool new features to help you keep in touch with your friends online… no matter where they are.

New stuff at Wink!

1. Claim a Wink Profile.  Search for yourself on Wink and claim the profile that comes up if it's you.  If not, create a new profile and fill in with a photo, location, interests, whatever you like.
2. Add Places.  Add in some of the places you hang out on-line. Social networks, blogs, feeds, etc.  Your page now contains a feed of things you post or do at these places.
3. Add Friends. See which of your friends are on Wink by checking your address book.  Invite any friends that aren't already on Wink. Add people you find on Wink, regardless of what social network they use.
4. Keep Track of your Friends.  Wink shows you a feed of what all  your friends are doing or posting.  Blog posts, Twitters, Diggs, etc. If anyone is too prolific for your tastes, you can remove any of their places from the feed.

My Wink page is here: http://wink.com/profile/eoecho

One Stop Searching of Social Networks – The New Wink

Social networks have grown exponentially within the last year and somewhere among the maze of profiles are your friends, acquaintances and business colleagues. To help you find them, Wink.com now offers a tool that searches more than 150 million online profiles worldwide.

Here is an excerpt from their email they sent to me yesterday:

Welcome to the New Wink!
The Biggest People Search Engine

Who Do you Want To Find Today?
Now you can find your friends, and search for other interesting people online with Wink, the most comprehensive People Search Engine in the world!

Wink searches over 150 million online profiles worldwide. Wink searches people across the major social networks and communities, and we’re adding more all the time….

How to get the most out of Wink:
Fill in your Wink profile and take control of your online life.
With a Wink profile you can manage and organize what others see about you on-line. It’s also easier for your friends to find you – what’s the fun of posting things on-line if people can’t find it?

TOP 10 Picks for 2007 – Emerging Technologies

Desktop software that allows musicians to play in sync over the internet – as if they are in the same studio – is one of many emerging technologies demonstrated at DEMO 2007 this year. Head on over to Read/Write Web's post for their TOP 10 Picks From DEMO 2007. You won't be disappointed.

Fried SPAM Cooks Up on Google, Yahoo, Ask and MSN

After reading a post on the developments of search technology at Read/Write web, I decided it was time to share a phrase I created with you, "Fried SPAM." It just seems appropriate to call websites Fried SPAM when they:

  1. Contain nothing but imported content (like the product SPAM itself), and
  2. They are saturated with fat ("in your face" Google and other network ads). 

Fried SPAM is cooked up far too frequently on Google, Yahoo, Ask, and MSN search results. Services such as digg.com and Wink.com will grow in popularity as social networking continues to evolve from "here I am" to "here's what I think."

Here's a bit of the Read/Write web post on searching Web 2.0, stop by their site and read the full post:

Search 2.0 – What's Next?

Written by Emre Sokullu and edited by Richard MacManus

You may feel relatively satisfied with the current search offerings of Google, Yahoo, Ask and MSN. Search today is undoubtedly much better than what it was in the second half of the 1990's. But Internet search is still in its infancy and there's much room for improvement. Moreover, the super high valuation of Google on NASDAQ pushes investors and researchers to find better search solutions – to be The Next Big Thing. And these wannabes are not only working on discovering better indexing techniques, they're exploring new horizons like vertical engines, meaning-based search, intent-driven search, new clustering methods, and much more. In this post, we look into latest trends in the search industry….

Approach Enhancements (Vertical Search)
Vertical search is a relatively new discipline in search. Basically, vertical engines look up a very limited subset of the internet – so they are more efficient than generic search engines. Because their search area is not so broad, they can adapt themselves for the specific needs and common points of their area of focus…..

Maybe someone should start a database of Fried SPAM sites, then offer a plugin for search engines that eliminates the URLs from the search results. Raise a few million and go for it!

 

Groupware Primer

Groupware has changed the manner in which we communicate with family, friends, and colleagues. Our friends at Read/Write Web have an excellent primer for those interested. Here's an excerpt:

The term groupware refers to applications that facilitate real-time communication, coordination and collaboration amongst groups of people. A number of startups are working hard to develop the nascent groupware market, so in this post we identify some of those startups and provide an overview of where the market is heading.

[tags] groupware, real-time communication, collaboration, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

State of the Web Survey Results

What web technologies will be used in 2007? What resources do web developers use to stay current with industry developments?

This past summer, Ektron and SitePoint completed a survey of 5,000 web developers. The survey results were released in a report entitled The State of Web Development 2006/2007. A free 25-page preview report is available from Sitepoint.com.

There are several informative charts in the report. One that caught my eye provided the results to this question, “What resource(s) do you use to keep your skills sharp
and your knowledge timely?”

Sitepoint Survey Graph

Although articles and books ranked highest, social networking tools such as blogs and forums out ranked magazines. As more and more people turn to the web for information the acceptance of social networks as reliable resources will continue to outpace traditional media channels. Marketing managers are wise to take note of this trend and include Web 2.0 channels in their 2007 marketing plans.

For additional information, visit ReadWriteWeb.com for their post that discusses the Sitepoint.com report with respect to web development trends and the use of Ajax and Flash.

[tags] web trends, sitepoint.com, web 2.0 trends, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

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