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Thesis vs Genesis – Comparing Premium WordPress Themes


Over the Labor Day weekend, I had the pleasure of working on my first website using the Genesis Framework from StudioPress. I say pleasure because it happened to be my husband’s new photography site, and it was the first theme he’s chosen that didn’t lead me to using a string of obscenities that might actually shock people who regularly watch HBO. Thesis vs Genesis. Enjoy! 87. $164.

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7 Reasons Why Business Websites Are Still Important


With all the hype around Facebook, blogs and Twitter, I often get asked whether a business still needs a website. seriously) Having a good website for your business is even more important now that technologies like Twitter and Facebook make it easier for more people to find you. People search through search engines like Google or Bing, not via Facebook for fan pages. What do you think?

6 Ways to Increase Word of Mouth Referrals with Social Media


Many small businesses rely almost entirely on word of mouth referrals for new business. People are much more likely to trust a colleague, friend or relative over what a business has to say about their products or services. Social media, when used properly and consistently, can help small businesses increase referrals. Here are some ways social media can help increase word of mouth referrals.

5 Strategies for Managing the Twitter Firehose


Twitter can be very difficult to use, especially for new users. A lot of the difficulty comes in trying to manage the fire hose worth of incoming information. Just following a small number of people, even 5 or 10 can lead to a lot of tweets (depending on their frequency). So how do you use Twitter effectively and still keep a handle on all the information that’s bombarding you?

Lead Generation Checklist

You spend a lot of time, energy, and money doing lead generation to capture leads but it's how you manage them that makes the difference between success and failure.

How Social Media Overtook Legacy Media


How Social Media Overtook Legacy Media. On September 3rd, 1786, a man from Peter’s Creek, Pennsylvania wrote to his local newspaper, commenting that “I see by your last paper that you have not been crammed with news.&# The Pittsburgh Gazette had been printing the news since July 29th of that same year, but Gilbert Gichen was the first to have his comments on the newspaper published for other readers to see. In the New Media era (social media, blogging, online journalism), Gilbert Gichen’s contribution seems somewhat trivial. How the Switch to New Media Impacted Business.

15 Sources of New Content for Your Social Media Strategy


Producing content on a consistent basis seems to be one of the biggest holdups for many businesses attempting to use social media. Coming up with new ideas for content doesn’t have to be difficult, though. Influencer Blogs – Most industries have acknowledged and respected experts. What topics are they covered and how can you add your opinion or take? Disclosure is required by the FTC ).

State of the Social Web from Dave Linabury #smcd


Social Media Club Detroit had the honor of having Dave Linabury give his take on the current state of the social web and up and coming trends. Dave is Executive Vice President, Director of Social Media at Campbell-Ewald in Detroit (connect with him on Twitter ). Here are my notes from his awesome presentation last night: Biggest trend for 2011 is the blurring of offline and online. If you add.qr

Sazcast Episode 34 – Mobile Websites with Dave Peckens


Mobile websites and applications with co-host Dave Peckens. Everything you wanted to know about whether you should have a mobile website or mobile application for your business. Show notes. Here are the links we discussed in the podcast: ComScore: Mobile Social Networking App Audience Grows 126% In Past Year (ReadWriteWeb). Half of adult cell phone owners have apps on their phones (Pew Internet).

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

25 B2B marketing thought leaders answer the question "What do you expect to B2B marketers to be doing more of or differently in 2016?" The results are amazing insights around content marketing, achieving business results, alignment, employee advocacy, new technologies, customer experience and more.

Social Commerce – What is it, Who’s Doing it, How can You?


Another one of the buzzwords that gets thrown around quite a bit is “social commerce.&# Like most of these buzzwords, the practice itself isn’t necessarily new. People have been using socializing to sell things since they first started trading. But new tools have allowed companies to extend socializing to bring much more value to their customers (and their bottom line).

What Makes #ungeeked So Special


You could say it’s the speaker lineup and that they lead discussions instead of giving presentations. You could say it was the variety and depth of topics — or that the price for a 3 day conference was very reasonable. You could even say it was the quality of attendees and the small room so you met them all. Friendly & Open. Helpful & Giving. Interesting & Valuable.

6 Steps for Measuring Social Media


Jay Baer presented this 6 Step Process for Measuring Social Media as part of the Social Media Examiner Social Media Success Summit. I generally like the steps and agree with them.a I would add steps for figuring out your business goal or objectives and your strategy and tactics before you start using social. The 6 step process for measuring social media. View more presentations from Jay Baer.

An Easy Method for Content Curation


Curating content for your network is one great way to provide useful information. Everyone is super busy and it’s nice to have someone else read through all the news and find the really important stuff. For that very reason, content curation is pretty valuable, but can also take a bit of time to do properly. To do this, I am subscribed to over 200 websites and blogs. Thoughts?

How to Leverage Content Marketing to Power Your B2B Marketing Automation Funnel

Generate more leads. Better leads. Engage customers, increase upsells, boost revenue and save precious time -- these are the benefits of marketing automation. And content fuels it all.

How to Master the Art of Storytelling to Increase Social Sharing


Marketing is about telling good stories. Social media marketing is about getting your customers to tell them for you. The value and freshness of your content and how well you tap the connections that tie users and businesses together via social networks directly impacts the effectiveness of your social marketing campaigns. Connections are the key to making social business, well, social. But it’s good stories that fuel conversations, allow businesses to be a trusted source, and underpin the success of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. News & Notes

Caution! What value message are you sending with Groupon?


Social discounting sites like GroupOn , Living Social , Facebook deals, etc. are all the rage. Consumers love a great deal and businesses get more traffic. Win win, right? Maybe. Have you thought about how more traffic might affect your current customers? What about the costs of the extra traffic? And what message are you sending to your customers about the value of your products? Reduced Service.

Conversation, The Missing Piece of Most Social Media Marketing


Most companies are pretty decent at self-promotion. Using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. to get their message out is a no brainer. Some companies are even good at content creation. Most are also decent at content curation. Finding “stuff&# to post that’s interesting is relatively easy. Stopping to have conversations with people seems to be super difficult. Probably not.

Sazcast Episode 33 — Google Services with Dave Peckens


Google Services with co-host Dave Peckens. Show notes. Here are the links we discussed in the podcast: Google’s What Do You Love? Google Sketchup. Google Trends. Picassa. Flickr. Google Sites. Google Wallet. List of Google Services & Apps. Subscribe to the Sazcast podcast: Subscribe in iTunes. Subscribe to the feed. To see all the Sazcast episodes, click here. Sazcast

The B2B Demand Gen Marketing Playbook

To build integrated, data-driven programs, demand gen marketers need diverse, compelling content at every stage of the buyer's journey.

7 Ways to Build Your Facebook Fan Base


Wondering how to get more fans (and keep them) to your Facebook page? You could just run some Facebook ads with a give away incentive, but that may just temporarily increase the number of fans, but not help increase engagement on your page. Creating an engaged and interested fan base takes a bit of work and planning. 360i Report: 7 Ways to Fuel Fandom. View more presentations from 360i.

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Google AdWords Auctions Explained


Thanks to our friends over at WordStream, we have this great infographic which explains the whole Google AdWords auction process. By they way, WordStream has some great AdWords tools , some of which are free. 2011 WordStream – a certified AdWords partner. Internet Advertising News & Notes SEO

Digging in the Cache – O RLY?


Just like anything on the Internets, the response “O RLY?” ” has it’s roots in hardcore geek culture. The photo of a surprised looking owl with the words “O RLY?” ” added was originally used in the Something Awful forums as a response to anything that may have been found boring, doubtful or unimpressive. The correct response to “O RLY?”

An Example of Using Social Media to Improve Customer Service and Increase Brand Loyalty & Reputation


Many businesses really miss the boat when it comes to providing content and value that their customers want. Here is an example of a salesperson providing great customer service using Twitter by providing personalized offers that his customers actually want. Anyway, I forget all about @NordstromDave. One strikes my fancy. Now this is customer service. What do you think? News & Notes

A Content Formula for Complex B2B Organizations

Content Marketing is essential for anyone who wants continued success and growth.

The Dangerous Allure of Speed in Social Media


I’m not exactly sure where companies got the idea that social media is a quick fix. Pay for a bunch of followers and BAM! you’re rich! Sure, there are ways to shortcut social media by basically paying for numbers (followers, fans, traffic). There is a dangerous allure in the empty promise of speed in social media. Talk about a total waste of money. But people (customers) are not stupid.

3 Methods for Connecting Marketing & Sales


Having problems getting sales and marketing to work together? After yesterday’s post, Missing the Boat by Not Connecting Sales to Marketing , Ben Slayter asked for some help with methods to integrate marketing and sales. What will work for your organization depends on a lot of issues, including personnel, politics, organizational structure, and executive management, just to name a few.

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Social Media in 15 Minutes Per Day


Social media really is most effective when you put together a strategy, have a plan for implementation and can devote at least an hour per day to engagement and content production. The reality is, most small businesses just can’t find an hour per day (sometimes even per week). While it may not be the most effective way to use social media, just 15 minutes per day can gain you some benefits.

Finding Keywords for Social Media Content & Monitoring


As I mentioned yesterday, in 7 Social Media Monitoring Essentials , fortunately or unfortunately, keywords are a part of life on social media (and the Internet). Keywords are how search engines provide results and keywords are how we find what we’re looking for. So how do you go about finding the right keywords for your content (and to monitor)? First, find your target audience online.

Six Key Steps to Successful Marketing Automation Adoption

Selecting a Marketing Automation platform can be a daunting task. With so many options out there, your success with Marketing Automation depends on selecting the platform that best fits your needs.

Innovative Uses of iPad in Business


Tablet PCs have been around for quite awhile, but none have been as elegant as the iPad. The device is so easy to use, that many businesses are looking at ways they can improve their processes using the device. Here’s some of the more innovative examples: Innovative Uses of iPad In Business. View more presentations from Enterprise Social Technology (Book). News & Notes Tech

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Content Can Make or Break a Social Media Strategy


While many businesses have decided that social media is important, sometimes they don’t give it any more thought than to setup a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Unlike more traditional marketing channels (print, tv, radio), it’s relatively easy to get started with social media. Broadcast vs. Participation. Audience Needs vs. Your Needs. People are very selfish.

Sales May Come From Unexpected Places


It’s always interesting to me where I get business referrals from. Sometimes they come from the most unexpected places: like the casual conversation I had with someone while waiting in line for a cup of coffee, or someone who I played a game of beach volleyball with at a friends house. Business referrals can come from even stranger places: like someone who used to play an online game with me.

The Increasing Value in Being Local


I don’t know if it’s just a Detroit thing, but there seems to be an increasing value in being a local company serving local customers. This is not to say that there isn’t value in having national or international customers. And maybe it’s more obvious here as the community bonds and works together to try to rebuild Detroit and the state economy. Meaning in Community.

8 Ways to Create More Effective Lead Generation Programs

Explore key areas you should focus on with your content syndication strategy in order to help you get the attention of your target audience and build trust.

2 Examples of Great B2B Engagement on Facebook


As I said yesterday, social media is NOT one size fits all , especially sites like Facebook, which can be very difficult to get engagement from people more interested in chatting with friends or playing games. Having conversations and engaging with customers is one of the most difficult aspects of social media for many companies (who are used to just promoting and advertising).

19 Reasons to Use Google Analytics for Your Business


This is a guest post by David Murton, whose company, a small orange, provides personal and business hosting services. Let’s get down to business! Easily Export to Excel Virtually any report you create in Google Analytics can be exported as a CSV file. You can open this file and manipulate it in Excel, eliminating the need for time-wasting copying and pasting.

How Your Products Influence Your Brand


Other than advertising and marketing, products and services are how people experience your brand. It doesn’t matter how awesome your marketing and advertising is, if your products can’t live up to the hype, your brand is going to suffer. People Talk Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re aware that people talk about what they buy and the service they receive.

Find Out What’s Trending by Demographic on YouTube with YouTube Trends Dashboard


Wondering what’s hot on YouTube? Need to know what the latest video craze is for a certain demographic or geographic segment? YouTube provides this information with their YouTube Trends Dashboard and lets you compare one segment to another (both by most shared and most viewed). Hopefully, they’ll also add the ability to segment on topic. Analytics Content Social Media Social Networks

Why B2B Content Strategies Are Paramount for Generating Quality Leads

Generating demand and ensuring the consistent flow of high-quality, actionable leads is what makes B2B marketers successful.