Thursday, October 30, 2014

PLEASE STOP CALLING YOUR KID A TATTLE TALE

Sheryl Sandberg created a campaign to ban the word Bossy from our vocabulary, citing that it's really only used towards girls, and deters them from exhibiting or feeling comfortable exhibiting "executive leadership" traits. Or, well, being a boss.

She's gotten a lot of backlash on the campaign, but I think that the underlying, take-home message should be that we all aught to be careful about the rhetoric we use with our kids.

And this is coming from a woman who's committed nearly all of the cardinal mommy-sins.
I have a Bachelor's Degree in Communications, and I still find it hard knowing exactly the right thing to say or merely express towards my children.

Every once in a while I hear a parent tell their kids to stop "tattling" on their siblings or not to be a "tattle tale." And I'm sure that they all want to communicate the same thing: "You haven't tried to work this problem out on your own, so at this point all it looks like all you're doing is trying to get your brother in trouble."

But instead, you're calling your child a name.

That's it. You're telling your child that "I know you're coming to me with a problem, I know that someone's making you feel uncomfortable, and my answer is to insult you. And not to help you solve your problem."

My kids are still pretty little. But I feel fairly confident in saying that if I don't listen to my kids' relatively small problems now, they won't want to tell me about the 'big stuff' later on. Cause to them, it's always been big stuff.

So the next time your son or daughter is being hurt or feels uncomfortable, try not to pass it of, and please don't discourage their open communication. If kids think that their words don't matter, they may stop using them - opting for physical responses or even worse, using hurtful names and demeaning rhetoric that has more force than they will ever truly realize.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2 WAYS, 8 TIPS FOR BUILDING AN E-MAIL MARKETING DATABASE

As Per the Blog Request by my Internet Marketing Channels Professor
Image courtesy: http://uproxx.files.wordpress.com



Don’t Purchase a List

1 There are no Opt-Ins
If you purchase even qualified e-mail contacts, every one of those contacts has no idea that you, specifically, are going to be sending them an e-mail. At all. They may have some crazy idea that their e-mail address is up for sale in some obscure database, but generally they’re banking on their spam filter to filter you out. Which it might do.

2 Rely on your Company’s Magnitude
Allow potential customers to find YOU. Place an e-mail/newsletter sign-up field on your company website. A lot of e-mail marketing tools like Constant Contact have widgets/apps that can be applied to Facebook Company pages for easy opt-in sign ups.

3 Rely on your own Mining efforts
You know where your clients are, right? For instance, if you’re a B2B software company, you might sponsor tradeshows and have the option of gathering leads from registerants / event attendees.

4 Card collecting
I represent my company everywhere I go. Given me your card? You’ll be hearing from me.



Purchase a List

5 Get References
So you think you’ve found a few contenders for list purchases? Which one has the best references? Like, real references. Someone who’s willing to put their real name on the line for recommending services. Someone with actual data as to how their List Purchase experience went.

6 Verify bounce rate, accuracy and resell
Generally, a hard bounce rate of 15% or lower should be guaranteed. List providers need to provide a contract which outlines that contacts will be replaced if a hard bounce is above an agreed upon percentage. Aim for the highest accuracy guarantee possible (>85%) and an understanding of how many times each contact is sold in a given year. (This based on my own personal experience purchasing lists)

7 Have an idea of ROI
The margins are thin. Do you know how much an average sale will bring you? Do you know the lead conversion rate of your industry? These are all important things to hunt down before making the list purchase leap.

8 Onboard and Segment like a Boss
Once you have an insane e-mail marketing campaign lined out, know how to onboard your list to your e-mail marketing platform. Are you e-mailing to several different regions? Are you e-mailing across verticals? These all need to be captured and tagged as best as you can - making e-mail campaigns are relevant and as personal as possible is the only way to go.

Monday, May 19, 2014

DISGRUNTLED Ex-EMPLOYEE DOESN’T EVEN COME CLOSE TO SHOOTING UP FORMER OFFICE



Credit: Service Dimensions Group


BOSTON, MA --- After being let go from his sales position at RJ Toys N’ Stuff, Martin Mulligan, tells sources that he was “wrongfully terminated,” that his “boss was a dick” but wanted to make it clear that he “would rather spend 100 years unemployed than 90-life behind bars.”


Toys N’ Stuff CEO Beau Nermann declined to comment on Mulligan’s termination, but one current employee (who wished to remain anonymous) explained that Nermann constantly talks down to employees, and seemed to take joy in each one’s termination. “It’s sick. But I guess it’d be sicker to respond with violence, I mean I guess..”


Mulligan agrees “Sure, I’m now unemployed, can no longer adequately care for my family, but this ‘going-postal’ stuff is nowhere near a proportionate response.” Mulligan even admits that he’s “owned a gun or two” in his life, yet still insists that he’s “not a crazy person. Like, at all.”


Mulligan also recognizes that newsworthy violence in the workplace would surely hurt his chances for future employment elsewhere. “I understand how much this guy [Nermann] may deserve such a fate, but there’s no way that another establishment would care as much [as I do].”


Clinical Pathologist, Olga Schoolthought, PhD., insists that other employees dealing with equally disparaging employment situations should “close their eyes and count to ten” if and when they are ever considering “something so brash.”

But Mulligan disagrees with this counting method, saying “fuck that shit.” And adds “no amount of counting is going to fix that kind of lunacy. I’d say a better response would be to get on medication; that or use your anger-energy to find the kind of job that allows you to buy out your former company. Fire your boss. It's better than firing at him."



Sunday, March 30, 2014

3 CHANGES THAT MAY IMPACT YOUR BUSINESS

Social Media Strategy: Future Implications

Social Media is changing almost faster than anyone can keep up. Now, I’m not claiming to own a crystal ball or anything, but there are at least a few signs-of-the-times that can help us monitor where SMM is headed and how it might affect YOUR business.

1 Algorithms Changing Your Visibility

It’s not just Google crawlers that are getting smarter, Facebook’s recent algorithm changes aim to limit the potentially irrelevant content that reaches Facebook users. But is it irrelevant? Any reach is better than no reach, and if you’re not organically reaching users, you’re paying to. In a March 27, 2014 article, Viral Nova publically admitted that Facebook’s new algorithm changes caused their organic reach to “suffer.” Facebook initially called the algorithm changes “EdgeRank,” but I would’ve gone with something more like “OrganiKiller,” or “Number Dumber” or “Steve.”


2 Emerging Content Management Tools

Most Social Media Marketers are familiar with tools like Hootsuite, TweetDeck, Sprout Social, Bitly, Owly, Goo.gl -- the list goes on. Many applications, like Buffer are relative toddlers at only 2, yet have garnered over a million registered users. Businesses are only producing MORE data as time goes on, and the tools to deliver it, monitor it and analyze it are becoming ever popular and more competitive (this should be good news for your wallet, as the principles of capitalism still apply.)

3 Our Obsession with “Top 10” Lists

Or Top 11, or 30, or 27, or hell, if they’re pithy, Top 98. I’m convinced that short-attention-span America was behind the making of Buzzfeed, Best Week Ever, and animated .gifs. Time is precious, and becoming more-so as we collectively discover that there is never going to be enough time to learn everything that could possibly interest us (thank you, Information Age.) If your company can blog a reasonably numbered “top” list of ANYTHING, you’re more likely to get a nibble -- and if it’s a good list, sit tight to see it shared.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

5 TRAITS OF A VIRUS

Viral Marketing Initiatives



If it’s gone viral, you know it’s contagious.
Whether-you-like-it-or-not, if you come within an inch of a virus, you know you’re gonna experience the whole damn thing. This is what we know to be medically and marketingly true. And yes, I said marketingly.

Whether you’re witnessing a natural disaster or Miley Cyrus (a lateral move) it’s hard to look away sometimes -- it’s like-nothing-else-we’ve-ever-seen. We also may feel the need to unload our virus onto others. This is why I’ve grabbed five noteworthy traits of a virus: in case you were unaware that it was happening to you.

1.
Timely Material
The same as different illnesses have different incubation periods, so too does sharable or contagious marketing content. For instance, Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” were released some time in the past, and still make a relevant impact on women today. This marketing campaign showed that women are much harder on themselves than other people are on them -- and as we all give a collective “duh,” this was beautifully and emotionally portrayed. Meanwhile, there are some great and highly share-worthy Superbowl Ads that may make an impact on Monday, but no-body thinks youre cool for sharing them in March. (It’s probably assumed you’ve been in a coma for two months anyhow.)





2.
Compelling Content
You know it when you see it… You see the pointer on your screen creep closer and closer to that conveniently located little “share” button.. Before you know it, you’ve let the rest of the world know “I’ve just found something interesting..you might too.” Compelling content comes in many, many, many forms… And this is where it is different things to different people. The same as many people have different immune systems that help fight a virus, well that’s what this is about. Notice how you have 500+ friends on Facebook, and only 15 of them thought this was worth a like? That’s because 105 of them are more immune to this type of content, and the other 370+ have fallen prey to Facebook’s most recent algorithm for seeing stuff. Essentially, they weren’t even in the room.



3.
The Stars Align
There was a scholarly article in Paris, France Published by Kapal and Haenlein in 1996 that spoke of “giving the right message to the right messengers in the right environment.” This is another all-encompassing, all-perfect, broad-sweeping sort of statement. Vague, but true. Know your people, know you place, and know your message. Doctors Without Borders can’t just post a message about Syrian conflict and death on any given Sunday. While every American human can empathize with wanting to feel protected by their Government, they need to hear this sort of message immediately after some sort of an attack on humanity. Absolute relevance must not be underestimated!




4. Interactivity
Marketers must, must, must, must give their viewers an opportunity to engage. There must be an option to EASILY share content to their chosen circle of friends. This may seem obvious, but don’t just create a rockin commercial about a relevant turn of events that totally rocks their world. You need to post it online. On Facebook, on Twitter, Upload it to YouTube, sell your soul to UpWorthy -- whatever it takes! Just make sure your viewers don’t say “WOW. That’s effing phenomenal… My friends have never seen anything like it.. ...but my computer’s way over there. Where my popcorn at? Oh. The Show’s back on.”
Get your content on Social Media channels and make sure it’s seen.




5. Leave it Be
Yea, you did a great job, uber marketing guy. But you can’t keep tootin’ your own horn if you want this to be an authentic viral marketing piece. Sure, popularity is wonderful, I mean, obviously the hashtag is the official symbol of Attention Seekers International (and feel free to use it.) But don’t base the success of your campaign on impressions collected by your fellow twitter followers. An impression isn’t enough -- you need to see that those who have viewed your content have passed it onto their friends and relations. If your story isn’t getting a nudge, all the paid advertisement in the world isn’t going to make this content go viral. #ColdHardTruth.


Sunday, February 2, 2014

10 REASONS BUZZFEED IS THE WORST

1. You swore you wouldn't open another person's link marked "OMG this was soo true!"
But you noticed that it was from BUZZFEED and worried a little that you might be the only person that didn't read a topical one.



2. Ok, you'll only read 3 of the 37 signs you're no longer in high school.
But those three were really good.



3. Fine then, I'll stick to ONLY the text in bold.
..
...
GODDAMMIT!



4. Math
Aka countdowns, aka numbers, aka little snooty symbols of importance. How did we all become so hooked on a site that so often requires counting?



5. Making bathroom breaks less productive than they should be.
I mean, I know it always required your phone anyhow... but Jesus Christ, this break is now running into your lunch hour.



4. Math.
Aka countdowns,  aka numbers -- Math makes everything worse.



7.  An infinite (mobile) homepage.
How is anyone supposed to be satisfied with this website? If the act of "scrolling down" has no end? My laptop, phone, tablet.. how will I ever know if I've missed something. If I remember what happen in the News three years ago, I'm gonna need to know 12 reasons it was all a lie.



8. Quizzes.
Want to know if you have too much free time on your hands? Take Buzzfeed's 67 question quiz and find out. (And you will.)



9. Their Mobile App
Wait, Buzzfeed has a Mobile App? I'll look into it once I get to the end of this homepage.




10. Repetitive Lists
I know the 59 reasons My Life didn't turn out like Boy Meets World....but I have yet to find out the 51 reasons I'll never be Cory & Topanga.



Sunday, January 19, 2014

DIFFERENTIATION

- in Social Media.

It's that time again, folks! Another Social Media Marketing class is in full swing! So stick around, grab a cold one (or, a hot one in my case -- a classic Hot Toddy to sooth my ailing throat). Let the hashtag talk and follower fodder begin!

Credit: http://rantsofasassystew.com/


I love HelloGiggles--mostly I love Zooey Deschanel: a delicate exterior with a rough-and-tough, take no prisoners, hell hath no fury, devil may care kind of comedic genius. I’m 26, and that’s what I look for in a Lifestyles website when I’m in the mood to tickle my brain with a good editorial or two.

I’m visiting HelloGiggles to report about their Social Media efforts, and I’m seriously unable to keep myself from being distracted. But it’s not just a website for reading content, it’s hub designed for connecting fellow women in a constructive manner. It exists to share content, and learning from one another. When a company’s core value is to be constructively social, their methods, platforms and processes need to be considered very closely.

While they technically deem their website “for women of all ages” (ages 13 - 35) content-wise, HelloGiggles seems to cater to modern professionals (20-30 year old women). Running the gamut of social platforms --  Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr -- HelloGiggles strikes me as attempting to garner viewership from every age. Highly social, frequent internet and app using teenagers are likely to interact on several different platforms (at once), as opposed to sticking to the more straightforward microblogs and Facebook. The true methodology behind this multi-platform approach seems to simply the site’s foundational heart: being social.

Credit: http://static.tumblr.com/


RookieMag has a similarly modern appeal. It’s a no-nonsense, nitty-gritty honest voice for young girls. While it has an “I’ll help you through this horrible part of life” vibe that’s strictly teen-aged, who can’t relate once in a while to craving some painfully honest content? RookieMag considers itself an online Magazine, and while it doesn't share the same extensive and reaching social core of HelloGiggles, it has some pretty mature contributions and contributors.

RookieMag uses only Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. Could they branch out and use more? Probably. Rookie’s Twitter account has a slightly disappointing roughly 57k followers, verses HelloGiggles 136k followers -- rather notably, these companies are of similar age. RookieMag could stand to do a bit more extensive social media efforts -- a true-blue campaign could do wonders. RookieMag's interaction isn't dismal, just different. Rookie deals with topics that may be embarrassing for younger readers to be open about sharing. That said, I do think increased visibility should be on their to-do list -- possibly a campaign aimed at "social anonymity" encouraging viewers to contribute through exclusively anonymous channels?

One final thought on room-to-grow, RookieMag was founded by a teenage fashion blogger, while the co-founders of HelloGiggles were high powered producer Sophia Rossi, writer Molly McAleer, and of course actress Zooey Deschanel. It's important to remember that names have following power, even without social strategy.


Monday, January 6, 2014

ONLY ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE CONSIDERED ‘MISSING,’ ACCORDING TO ALL MEDIA OUTLETS





CNN, MSNBC and Fox News all able to confirm that the only missing people on the planet are in fact aesthetically appealing individuals. “It’s not that we aren’t reporting on the uglier folks,” attests Fox News contributor Vorgretta Boutet, “it’s simply a matter of them never being kidnapped. And who would even kidnap them anyway?”


Millions of Facebook users able to verify that they’ve “never seen a hideous lookin’ mug, claimin’ to be ‘missing’” come scrolling down their newsfeeds “so, there’s your proof.”

US Federal Agents searched their records too and were able to release the statement “well, statistically speaking, there must be an ugly loser out there that never showed up at home, and could very well be missing…” But when pressed about why they are never actively searched for said despondents, Agents responded “I mean, with no one in their life to care or notice, really, why should we?”