Saturday, January 31, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
"Klaehn and Ryan offered the following six guidelines for engaging in social networking.
1. Be authentic.
2. Strengthen your current audience and engage new ones.
3. Connect. Give your audience a reason to engage with you.
4. Be remarkable. Give people things on which to remark.
5. Participate in other discussions, not just your own.
6. Embrace organic planning. Have a plan, but be ready to adjust."
If you remember another article I shared some time ago regarding forum marketing, you would notice that some principles are emphasized again. Be authentic, be who you are (who you stand for); Participate in other discussions, not just your own = spend some time lurking & make valuable contributions to the community. So, it is true. To run an online community, to utilize social media, the core issue that you should deal with is still the very essential one: the belief and curiosity in people, the unintentional willingness to interact with others. The DO NOTs are also quite simple: DO NOT just try to sell; DO NOT expect immediate feedback and achievements.
Enjoy the article!
Advertising? Not So Much
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Want to know which is becoming the world's default social network? Hint: It's not MySpace. ComScore data is out and on a global basis Facebook is pulling away.
Facebook and MySpace were the same size in terms of unique users in June, but since then Facebook has exploded, growing at more than 10% a month while MySpace has remained stagnant. As of November, Facebook had more than 200 million unique users, about twice the size of MySpace's 100 million. TechCrunch charted the last 12 months, and for MySpace it's not a pretty picture.
This is due largely to users overseas, where Facebook is growing fast. In the U.S., MySpace is still the bigger social network, but not by much and probably not for long. The difference, as MySpace execs point out, is that the News Corp-owned social network sells quite a bit of advertising, and Facebook, well, not so much.
In a statement, MySpace said: "We are laser focused on building a sustainable global business which we measure by profits and revenue -- not just eyeballs. In a tough economic climate, our international revenue is up 30% year over year and we continue to focus on those markets with the strong monetization opportunities.
"Additionally, MySpace continues to dominate the U.S. market -- where the bulk of online advertising revenues reside -- both in terms of monetization and user engagement with more than 76 million unique users and a 40% spike in engagement year over year."
Unlike MySpace, Facebook has been run to maximize new users, not to maximize revenue. The joke around Facebook is that the private company is run like a nonprofit.
Just how big has Facebook become? According to ComScore, the internet passed a billion global users for the first time. That means one-in-five internet users (22% to be exact) are on Facebook, a figure made more impressive by the fact that much of the growth is occurring in China, where almost no one uses Facebook.
China, by the way, passed the U.S. in internet users last year and now has 179 million unique users, compared with 163 million in the U.S.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
How to market your business using online forums
By Gregory Go, About.com
Forum marketing is a great way to make your online business stand out from the crowd. Forum users are generally net savvy and open to making online purchases. Many forum users are also respected experts and bloggers in the specific topics covered by the forum.
Forum marketing is a high ROI strategy because making a good impression in front of this savvy and influential audience can help your marketing message spread far and wide.
Follow this step-by-step guide to effectively use forum marketing as a part of your overall online marketing strategy.
1. Find the right forums
Not all forums are worth your time. Successful forum marketing means finding the right community for your business.
Look for popular forums that cover your niche topic. Start by asking your employees, suppliers, and customers which online communities they hang out in. Also try searching forum hub sites such as Board Reader, Big Boards, and Board Tracker using niche-specific keywords.
Narrow your list to 5-10 forums that will be worth your time using the following criteria:
- Look for forums that have at least 1,000 members and 10,000 posts.
- Make sure the forum gets at least ten to fifteen new posts on a daily basis.
- Ignore forums that are overrun by spam.
- Avoid forums hosted by your direct competitors.
2. Create an account as soon as possible
Seniority is important in forum communities. Users with older registration dates are given more deference than newer users. Some forums even prevent new users from posting for the first few days after their initial registration. Given the tremendous advantage of early registration, you should create your forum accounts as soon as possible.
Effective forum marketing means that it is part of your long-term strategy. Think of forums as a permanent marketing channel for your business, instead of just one of many targets to blast your hot new advertising campaign.
3. Check the user agreement and posting guidelines
During the registration process you will be asked to agree to the forum's user agreement and posting guidelines. Read these rules and guidelines carefully. There is a lot of boilerplate legal language in these documents, so it is tempting to just skip over them and click yes without reading. However, many forums have unique guidelines that you need to pay attention to. Some of the most important issues to look for include:
- Are users allowed to place links in their posts?
- Are users allowed to promote their own businesses?
- Are users allowed to post commercial messages in their signatures?
- Are users allowed to contact other members for commercial purposes?
- What restrictions are placed on new users?
- What special privileges are given to veteran users?
4. Pick a good user name and avatar
Your user name and avatar are the first things other users will notice about you. Pick a user name that is easy to remember and pronounce. Using your real name might be appropriate, especially if your name is closely identified with your brand. Stay away from bizarre number combination or weird misspellings. Do not pick user names that only have meaning for you but would otherwise be nonsensical to everyone else (e.g. your favorite grade school teacher's initials).
Avatars are small pictures attached to all your posts. A good head shot of yourself or cute pictures of your kids or pets make the best avatars. Avoid using any pictures that might be considered offensive or controversial.
5. Create a compelling profile
A good profile can help you establish credibility on the forum. Provide a solid description of your expertise and experience. Feel free to add in a couple of personal tidbits to humanize your profile. Information like your hometown, your pet's name, or your favorite sports team are good ways to break the ice. Stay away from sharing potentially polarizing information such as political or religious affiliation.
Provide contact information so other users can get in touch with you if they are interested in learning more about your business. A lot of spammers and identity thieves search through forums for personal information. Therefore, you should only share information you wouldn't mind being made public, such as a throwaway webmail address.
6. Introduce yourself
Many forums encourage new users to introduce themselves to the community by making an introductory post. This is usually done in threads especially designated for welcoming new members. These threads are usually called some variation of "Say Hi Here," "How Did You Find Us," or " New Members Check In Here."
Your introductory post should include a brief description of your expertise and an explanation of why you joined the forum. Let the other users know that your main goal is to contribute to and learn from the community. Do not make any marketing pitches in your first post. If you try to sell anything in your first post you will very likely get banned.
7. Spend some time lurking
Resist the urge to start posting right away. Forums are tight-knit communities that tend to shun and haze newcomers. Spend some time reading the forum to get a sense of the community's special quirks and cultural norms. Figure out who the influential users are and note which topics are perennial favorites. Learning this information will help you fit in more quickly.
8. Make valuable contributions to the community
This is the key to successful forum marketing. Whenever anyone asks a question related to your products or services, dazzle them with incredibly useful answers. These situations are opportunities to demonstrate your expertise and to generate good will. Backup your advice with links to trusted sources, and respond to follow up questions quickly.
Leave out your sales pitch in the beginning. Any hint of bias in your initial posts will erase all your hard work. By keeping your answers objective, the entire community will start thinking of you as a trusted expert. They will soon start asking you for your recommendations. When you get direct inquiries for recommendations you may then safely mention your business without appearing biased.
9. Put your website's address in your signature
Forum signatures are blocks of text or graphic that are attached to the end of all your posts. Most people use signatures to display their favorite quotes or links to their favorite websites. Some forums also allow users to use signatures to promote their own websites. If you are in a forum that allows self-promotional signatures, make sure you take full advantage of this opportunity.
Do not abuse this opportunity by putting flashy images or long advertising messages in your signature. An accurate, short description of your business and a link to your website is the best way to go.
10. Stay away from drama
Do not get drawn into heated arguments. It would be a shame to get banned just because you started arguing whether Han shot first with some 14-year-old kid from Scranton. Here's how you can avoid the drama:
- Constantly remind yourself that your mission here is to build good will for your business.
- Stay away from charged topics like politics or religion.
- Resist the urge to respond to criticism. If you have to answer, at least give yourself a couple of hours to cool off before responding.
- Use emoticons to indicate when you are being facetious.
- End discussions the moment you sense that it is getting contentious. Just say you agree to disagree and that you want to move on to other more pleasant topics.
11. Create win-win marketing campaigns
Once you have the respect of the users you can start more aggressive marketing campaigns. Focus on marketing techniques that provide a benefit for the forum community. For example, offer the forum members special discounts, free samples, or fun contests. Be sure to get the permission of the forum's moderators before you start these campaigns.
12. Be careful how you outsource forum marketing
Many marketing firms use bots or low-skilled foreign workers to spam forums. This is not the type of marketing you want. Forum spam may bring in a little temporary traffic to your website, but in the long run these campaigns can seriously damage your reputation. When you hire a marketing firm, make sure they understand that you will only accept ethical marketing practices that will enhance your image.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Advertising goes everywhere. Print, TV, radio, online, and the latest and might be most "attractive"- Out of Home. See some numbers from a research about its effectiveness. Think about if it will help your business.
The OOH (out-of-home) advertising includes digital output in taxis, malls, transit systems, gas stations, hotels, and other venues. Despite the current economic climate and declining traditional advertising spending, the U.S. digital out-of home media industry is on pace to grow 11.2% to $2.43 billion in 2008, according to research released by PQ Media (www.pqmedia.com), a provider of media econometrics. PQ Media also forecasts digital OOH spending in the U.S. to grow at a compound annual rate of 12.9% from 2007 to 2012.Posted using ShareThis
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
In case we are involved in an accident or had a heart attack and the people attending us get hold of our mobile phone but don't know which number to call to inform our family members. Yes, there are many numbers stored but which one is the contact person in case of an emergency?
For this reason, we must have one or more telephone numbers stored under the name ICE (In case of Emergency) in our mobile phones.
Recently, the concept of 'ICE' is catching up quickly. It is simple, an important method of contact during emergency situations. As cell phones are carried by majority of the population, just store the number of a contact person or person who should be contacted at during emergency as ICE' (meaning In Case of Emergency).
The idea was thought up by a paramedic who found that when they went to the scenes of accidents, there were always mobile phones with patients, but they didn't know which number to call.
He therefore thought that it would be a good idea if there was a nationally recognized name for this purpose.
Following a disaster in London , the East Anglican Ambulance Service has launched a national 'In case of Emergency (ICE)' campaign. In an emergency situation,Emergency Service personnel and hospital staff would then be able to quickly contact your next of kin, by simply dialing the number stored as 'ICE'.
Please forward this. It won't take too many 'forwards' before every body will know about this.It really could save your life, or put a loved one's mind at rest. For more than one contact name simply enter ICE1, ICE2 and ICE3 etc. A great idea that will make a difference!
Let's spread the concept of ICE by storing an ICE number in our mobile phones today! Please forward to your all nearest and dearest. Thanks!
基於這個理由，我們必須要有以 ICE (In case of Emergency 假如發生緊急狀況)為名的一個或更多的電話號碼儲存在我們的手機中。在台灣應該可以用「緊急聯絡人」、「緊急狀況」當代號， 比較好辨識！
最近"ICE"的概念正快速地蔓延形成。在緊急狀況時，它是一種簡單又重要的聯絡方式。既然大多數人都攜帶手機，就把緊急聯絡人的電話號碼用 "ICE" 為代號儲存起來。
倫敦的一件災難後，東英救護部門便發起一個全國性的 "假如發生緊急狀況 (ICE)" 活動。在緊急狀況下，緊急部門人員及醫院員工只要撥打以"ICE" 為名儲存的電話號碼，將可以很快速地聯絡上你的至親。
請將這個訊息轉寄出去讓更多人知道，它或許真的可以救你 (妳)的命。如果有超過一個以上的緊急聯絡人，只要輸入 ICE1, ICE2 和 ICE3... 等即可。一個好主意，讓一切將會有所不同！
今日，藉由儲存在我們手機中的一個ICE號碼，讓我們把 ICE 概念傳出去!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
- 美國運通會員計劃(American Express Members Project)：結合生命價值與持卡會員互動，善用會員的人道意識長期推廣社會反饋活動
- 凱迪拉克CTS汽車：結合影集「實習醫生(Grey's Anatomy)」置入性行銷
- Dunkin Donuts咖啡：電視、平面廣告、公關活動、產品包裝、店內展示 (Dunkin Donuts的咖啡真的比他的donuts好賣....XD)
- 卡尼爾Garnier Nutritionist：電視及平面廣告強打產品獨特點，吸引消費者
- 蘋果iPhone 3G：改版強調App Store，使用者可自行創造小應用程式交流使用
- Jim Beam金賓威士忌：抗議者行銷方式(brand as activist approach)
- Taco Bell塔可鐘：超值附加餐點提升平均消費金額 (我家公司幹得好啊！)
- Kroger超級市場：會員卡計劃(royalty card program) (完全IMC.....)
- Secret Clinical Strength止汗體香劑：了解使用者需求、擅用廣告策略訴求吸引購買