Pinterest More Popular Form of Sharing than Email

Technology—cell phones, computers, the Internet—is an ever-growing, ever-changing industry.  Just over a decade ago many users still had dial-up and the Internet, as we know it today, was just taking off.  Email, electronic mail sent through cyberspace and arriving in a matter of minutes rather than days, was the newest craze.  Through all the changes and progress that has been made email has remained a constant tool of communication between friends, family, and co-workers; however, new data suggests that amid the countless forms of sharing and social media sites email is in decline.

Social media, the most popular being Facebook and Twitter, has become a key element in the lives of individuals and businesses.  Users can easily connect with family and friends from around the world while businesses can reach out to a multitude of potential customers with just a few clicks.  While these sites continue to rise in popularity a more recently developed site has grabbed the attention of users across the country—Pinterest.

pinterestPinterest, used overwhelmingly by women, is the ultimate idea site.  Users can browse through countless pages of home décor, cooking, fashion, DIY, kids projects, and so much more.  When they see something they like it can be pinned to their own self-named pages, or boards, so that they can be easily located.  Pages can be shared among friends and, based on individual security settings, users can view each other’s boards.

Data shows that in the past year Pinterest grew 58%; passing Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Email, on the other hand, dropped 11%.

Being able to quickly share messages, documents, pictures and ideas is not going away; in fact it is a trend that is growing.  The method, however, is changing.  Sites like Facebook allow friends and family to connect and share anytime, anywhere.  LinkedIn connects professionals to others in their industry for increased networking opportunities.  Pinterest is the supreme idea book to be shared among friends.  It’s not that the function of email has become irrelevant but rather it is, perhaps not so slowly, being replaced by more effective tools.

Case Study Warns of the Dark Side of Online Reputation Management

the dark side Companies and individuals with solid online reputations are not safe from attack by unscrupulous competitors or vengeful individuals. Elixir Interactive has published a case study documenting a systematic and malicious smear campaign waged against the company’s brands since early 2010. The goal of the study is to reveal the tactics that can be used to intentionally damage a brand as well as provide an example of how to defend against them.

“Brands Under Attack” documents months of investigation and analysis of the methods employed against Elixir as well as information about the current threats against brand reputations. Elixir CEO Fionn Downhill warns “No one’s reputation is safe online.” She also cautions that when a reputation management company with a solid brand can be persistently harassed, it is easy to extrapolate the damage that can be done to an unsuspecting company or individual.

The anonymity of complaint and social media sites makes creating false reports and fake accounts to support those reports practically effortless. The current state of digital law is so far behind the realities of the internet, that even outright slander is free from prosecution. Anyone with an axe to grind, or a competitive edge to gain, can easily attack individuals, companies, or even entire industries. In fact, the attack against Elixir was part of a larger campaign against multiple online reputation management companies.

Elixir, as an experienced ORM company, already had considerable defenses in place when the first complaints were filed. In the months since, the company has taken steps to reinforce those digital assets and create new ones in order to bolster their brand results and guard against the continuous filing of false complaints. The case study documents these steps, which can be utilized by any company or individual to safeguard against such an attack or to respond once an attack is underway.  Be prepared to visit a law office as part of the process.

Manage Your Online Identity

identityWhen it comes to using the Internet and the latest in digital technology, there has never been a generation more plugged in than the current one. Connections are easily obtained through smart phones or the local coffee shop and the number of social media accounts is well into the billions. With so much accessibility, it is more important than ever to take an active role in managing your online identity.

Social media is one of the largest mediums for sharing pictures, making friends, and networking with professionals in your field. For many it is simply a way to share and connect with friends and family; however, social media is becoming increasingly important to employers. It is not unusual for employers to check the Facebook or Linkedin profile of potential employees to get an idea of their character and personality, so it’s important to keep them clean and free of unsavory pictures and comments.

On the flip side, social media can be a great tool for enhancing your online identity. Creating a business profile can be a great way to get your name out there and establish business connections. With a unique identity and a variety of social media accounts you can establish yourself in your industry and stand out to potential employers.

Blogging has opened doors for those that enjoy writing and sharing their knowledge with others. It can be a great way to generate some extra revenue and set yourself apart. Visiting other blogs and leaving insightful comments with a link to your website can also help expand your online identity.

With so much visible online, security and protecting against identity theft should be taken into consideration. Especially if you have several accounts with the same username, it’s a good idea to change the password frequently and check the sites often for any unauthorized use.

Living in the digital age has provided many opportunities for new business experts and the expansion of personal development. With a smart, professional approach to managing your online identity you can reach new audiences with your ideas and rise to new levels in your field.

For more tips about owning your social media identity, check out this video:

How Your Business Can Use Twitter

laptopTwitter baffles most people. It is often asked: why would anyone care about what you are doing? This goes even more so for companies. Most people who aren’t on twitter already think of it as being something that you add on there things like “I just finished another piece of paperwork for the new clients.” It isn’t like that for most companies though. When you have someone with enthusiasm tweeting about the company, it is contagious and other people will want to share your enthusiasm. This gets the company noticed, and more people move on to the website to learn more.

The goal for your company should be to build the company brand and let people know that you are out there and what you can help them with. Each of the short messages should convey this. This means that instead of answering the question, “What are you doing?” try answering the question “What did I find that is interesting?” Don’t be afraid to add links back to your own sites, don’t be afraid to add links to things that relate to your company, but aren’t competitors. Talk with your competitors and your loyal customers. Let Twitter be one big conversation, and it will take your company far.

There are a few things you will want to think about as you are setting up a Twitter account. Make sure there is more than one person tweeting at the company. They can all use the same account, but people leave or go to the gym, go on vacation, and it can be nice to have a little variety. Imagine tweeting when you are on the treadmill!  Make each tweet useful to your followers. If you do post a link, add a question or a comment with it. Also remember that this is a good place to ask questions of the people who are interested in your company. Twitter is great for getting opinions.

Social Media Metrics for Marketers

Social Media Metrics for Marketers

Metrics are necessary for measuring the return on investment and success of various marketing campaigns. They are especially important for online social media campaigns, which can be difficult to assess without the proper tracking networking

The worthiness of a social media campaign will depend on many factors. Sales conversion is a critical indicator, but any online interaction is a positive sign. The number of “Likes”, “Shares”, and “Comments” on a Facebook status are all different metrics of how well it was received. Users who click on a link to an order form are ideal, but any engagement should be measured to determine the overall effectiveness of a campaign.

Here are the most significant metrics used by social media marketers:

  1. Conversion Rate is the most used method for measuring the success of any type of marketing campaign. Marketers need to include a clear and compelling call-to-action somewhere within their posts to encourage followers to become customers. A high conversion rate is the most recognizable sign that you are on the right track. On the other hand, a campaign will need serious adjustments if it is failing to convert traffic into sales.


  1. Growth of Followers is another metric used to determine the impact of a social media campaign. The number of new followers that a post generates is a clearly indicator of how well it was received. These people can all become customers in the future.


  1. Tracking Traffic is used to determine which social media site is directing the most traffic to your main website. Your success on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest will depend on your specific target audience and the industry you are in. By evaluating which social site is driving the most traffic, marketers will be able to determine exactly where they need to focus their energy.


  1. Amplification Rate is a term used to describe how often your content is shared on other networks. When your followers share your information on their own social pages, it will expose the information to a brand new audience. This metric assesses the number of times the “Share” button is used and the number of times your tweet is re-tweeted.


  1. Bounce Rate is a way of measuring whether a site provides what a user wants once they land there. It measures how visitors react to your website after they have been directed there from a social media link. If a social media campaign is relevant to your product or service, it should have a low bounce rate. This means visitors sent there from Facebook or Twitter are truly interested in the content it provides.


All of these metrics will help measure the effectiveness of social media marketing campaigns so they can be modified and enhanced to get the optimal response. Social media is a powerful tool that can increase your company’s exposure and drive significant business to your website, especially when campaigns are being assessed and improved on.


Video Sharing for Business

If you’re a business owner or company manager you will already be aware of the enormous importance placed on marketing and public image. What progressive managers of agencies of all types, whether governmental, non-profit or for profit, have known for years is the tremendous benefit of video sharing. There are some web hosting sites that are specifically developed to support videos and video sharing is one of the fastest growing means of communication in most industries. Videos can be used for in-house only information sharing and are also great for marketing and public relations.

video cameraAs your business grows, expands, or even simply survives in a difficult market, it’s important to stay on top of technological advancements. Since these options are changing faster than ever before, they offer more benefits for companies than ever before. Major corporations are finding videos to be an excellent means of connecting across city, state and even national borders and the speed and efficiency at which information, presentations, and other forms strategic planning are shared makes virtual communication as effective as face-to-face meetings. One great idea is to create a company video channel to consolidate all videos into one place for regular posting and updates.

In addition to the in-house effectiveness of video sharing for businesses, the practice also offers a great new means of marketing and communication with consumers. Most video sharing sites offer visitors the opportunity to provide direct feedback through a comment section attached to individual videos as well as on the company profile page. Companies can use these sites as a great way of establishing and maintaining their reputation. The new generation of consumers, which has been raised on the Internet, trusts the opinions they find in feedback posts as much as information brochures and consumer advocacy  findings.

Businesses have long known that, in order to survive, they must stay with the times. The Internet has revolutionized how we shop, for everything, and also where we look for information. Companies, from individual consultants to small firms to large corporations, need to be directing the flow of information and leading potential customers to their products and services. Video sharing, in addition to providing entertainment, is one of the most effective ways to do this

Gabriel Buck is the  CEO and Online Marketing Manager for a lead management and CRM software product

Social Networking for Business

You don’t have to be on the cusp of the latest technological trend to realize the popularity of social networking. Tens of millions of individuals in the United States alone are connected to at least one social networking site such as Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. Although many people have personal accounts, social networking is also a vital tool for running a successful, modern business.

In the past advertising consisted primarily of print ads and television commercials or radio spots. Today social networking has opened the doors for businesses to take marketing to a level previously unimagined. With a series of social networking accounts businesses are able to reach larger audiences and gain new customers in less time. Customers are also able to help spread the word about their favorite businesses through likes and tweets, sharing and rating social pages and content. With strategic use of Slideshare, Twitter YouTube, Flickr and Facebook, page administrators can keep their businesses at the forefront of customers minds.

Social networking is an ideal platform for promoting specials and other business news. Businesses can post special deals and coupons which can help retain existing customers and attract new ones. If the business is going to be making changes, social networking is a good way to keep clients up to date and informed. It’s also a great way to build anticipation and interest in new products or services by sharing development and promotional materials through special “friends only” content or via video on YouTube.

A growing trend among businesses is using social networking for recruitment and hiring purposes. Most employers now look at potential employees social networking pages before deciding who to hire. They also search through professional social media sites, such as LinkedIn, to find candidates for specific posts. Social networking also offers companies numerous ways to connect with others in their industry to understand hiring trends and find out who is considering a career change.

Business, regardless of the specific industry, is constantly growing and changing. And companies need to remain flexible and willing to try new things if they want to stay competitive. While social networking has in some ways increased competition between businesses it has also provided opportunities for them to utilize their own strengths and creativity to grow.

Social Media and Racing

Social media sites are great if you want to keep up with friends, relatives, or your favorite brands or bands, but what, exactly, does social media do for motorsports?  Well, for one, it helps teams, drivers, and everyone involved stay in touch with fans, you know, figure out what the former likes and wants to see more of.  Also, social media is really handy for delivering race news, photos, and race videos as they happen, rather than the day after an event.

2003 raceWebsites like Twitter are really handy for all sports personalities and teams, but for auto racing in particular.  Both teams and racers have pages that offer often up to the minute updates on what’s what in their world, and updates on what’s happening on the track.  Not only is this a fantastic look behind the scenes, but it’s a way for teams to see exactly how popular they really are.

Twitter teams up really well with Youtube and Flickr, which host videos and photos respectively.  Twitter itself doesn’t handle images very well, but they do let you link to the two arguably most popular media sharing social media sites around.  Teams like to use Youtube to host promo and introduction videos, like BMW RLL’s intro video for their brand new Z4, racing in ALMS this year.  Meanwhile, Flickr is a great avenue to share photos of the car and the people that helped build it on the racer account.

Myspace and Facebook are also handy tools that teams and drivers use to get in touch with their fans.  Unlike Twitter, Myspace and Facebook are more long-form, as in, you can write a lot more and post more media to them.  Both are handy for posting race results and garage photos, both of which are always awesome, but they also are handy for another thing: plugs.  A lot of corporate, or at least business-affiliated Facebook pages periodically post deals on various products.  A good example would be a team posting a discount code for buying tickets to an event online.  Even if it is just 10%, that is still $10 in your pocket if you were planning to go to Sebring or Long Beach, or whatever event is your pleasure.

Any conversation about social media is incomplete without a mention of Linkedin.  As a professional social site, it has exploded in popularity, and if you don’t have an account and care about your professional career, then you’re already behind the curve.  Racing teams and series usually have profiles, but they aren’t as active as their other social media accounts because they are designed for one thing: getting more talent.  Teams don’t post their job openings on Craigslist, but they do recruit through Linkedin.  If you’re looking for an in, or want to see if you know anyone that knows anyone that works in motorsports, then Linkedin is the ticket.

Social media is a huge thing right now, and for good reason.  Teams, racers, and series sanctioning bodies are all on the bandwagon because they can get in touch directly with their fans, to show them behind the scenes goods, to share news and upcoming events, and to recruit the most talented of the bunch.

How to Use Social Media

With all of the advances and new innovations in the realm of computers and technology, social media is one trend that isn’t slowing down. LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Facebook are just a few of the social media sites that are adding hundreds, if not thousands or millions, of new users daily. Regardless of your reasons for joining–personal or business –it won’t be effective, and could be detrimental, if you don’t know how to use social media to your advantage.

Many people first join a social media site in order to connect with friends and expand their social network. It’s an easy way to communicate with family, keep in touch with current friends as well as a way to reconnect with old ones. Posting an event or sharing a common cause can be done in a matter of moments. There are many social benefits to this type of use; however, the possibilities inherent in social media sites are so much greater than this.

In the past when a company was looking to hire it would post an ad in the newspaper. Shops would hang a “Help Wanted” sign in the window. And to apply a person would go and talk to the manager or supervisor in person and perhaps even give them a copy of their resume .

Many companies have moved beyond those days. Social media is one of the most powerful tools that employers use when looking for new hires. Whether they are looking over the Facebook pages of applicants, searching Linkedin profiles for those with the proper credentials and qualifications, or checking twitter for those who are looking for work, rest assured companies large and small are using social media as an employment tool. So the question then becomes, how do I use social media as a positive tool for myself?

Whether you are currently employed or looking for work, it is important that your social media profiles reflect the type of person that you want your employer, or potential employer, to see. And that is true across the board. Having a clean, professional-looking profile on LinkedIn will be marred by unsavory images and/or comments on Facebook or angry or insulting tweets associated with your name. It is important that you project a positive, consistent image across all social media platforms and that you carefully restrict and control intensely personal content from being seen by the general public or from professional associates.

Your profile pages are also a great place to do a little bit of self promotion . Be sure that you — in a tactful way — describe what you do, your accomplishments, and what you contribute to your current position and industry. Your page is likely to be the first impression that most people, including employers, will get so you want it to look and sound good.

What better way do you have to connect with business associates and industry leaders than through social media? Visiting their pages, liking their content, and making worthwhile contributions to their discussions can be a great way to get connected. Perhaps after sharing online for a while you can try and connect in person. This is also a great way to stay informed about events and start establishing yourself in your industry. building a professional network is done more and more online and social media sites are a great way to expand your connections.

Social media has revolutionized the way we live and even more so how we work. Now it’s up to us to use it in a positive way to achieve our dreams and reach our goals.

Why Social Media?

Since the invention of the Internet in the 1960’s as a shining idea that really took hold in the 1990s with the creation of th worldwide web, the functionality and accessibility of the ‘Net for the average user has increased. This is especially true with the creation of social media. Social media has opened doors for countless individuals and groups to make their voices heard and has empowered them to reach new audiences in a way that they never would have imagined before.

Many see social media as a tool for increasing their social life and circle of friends; however it has so much more to offer. Through social media you can expand your business network to include contacts from across the country and around the world. Individuals are able to create and join groups to support causes and inspire change. It’s a great way to connect with one another to offer support or share common interests. With so much information available on the web, social media is also an important tool for protecting your reputation online .

The benefits of social media for individuals are virtually limitless and they also apply to businesses. Social media is key for expanding your business and helping it thrive, especially during difficult economic times. With tens of millions of social media users logging in on a daily basis in the US alone, creating accounts for your business on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can help increase the visibility of your company and help it reach new audiences. A strong online presence will help improve your business’ credibility and provide the opportunity for new customers.

Social media is more than just a bunch of sites for teens or fad that will run its course in a few months and then be taken over by the next big thing. Social media gives individuals a chance to make a difference in the lives of people they may not ever meet in person, to join a group or cause hoping to encourage change in their community or country, and to voice their thoughts, feelings, and emotions — allowing their voices to be heard in a much larger circle. The opportunity and sense of empowerment that people and businesses receive from social media is limited only by their willingness to utilize these sites and it’s a tool that most would be unwilling to relinquish.