Use Mobile to Promote Your Bricks & Mortar Business

The Tsunami of mobile device adoption offers a world of opportunity to promote your bricks & mortar business. And it begins with making your website mobile-friendly. Searches are increasingly coming from mobile devices and Google wants the results to deliver satisfactory experiences for users. Forget page one if you’re not mobile-friendly. Now, some ideas to promote with mobile: SHARED SHORT CODE (SMS MESSAGING) short code messaging sells burgersIf you’ve ever seen an invitation, on your smartphone or a sidewalk sign, for example, to “text insert a word to 33145 to get your discount coupon” or some other goodie, you’ve seen short code at work. Even a sole-location burger bar can afford to put together a short code campaign. Short code numbers are rented out and assigned to campaigns for periods of time. Big companies often buy a number but most of us take advantage of the “shared” option, where one number can be used by multiple campaigns, each separating itself from the others by the choice of the word you’re asked to text. For a full explanation, with examples and video read my blog post. TWITTER OPTIONS twitter feed in WordPress site Put your twitter feed on your website. Now that you’re mobile-friendly, inserting your feed will display properly and give you double coverage, to both your Twitter and website audience. look over to the right hand column (or scroll down if you're on your phone) to see one of the widget solutions in WordPress. Learn how here. If your site doesn't use it, there are other methods.
Twitter Cards are a means of promoting in your feed by creating a card intended either to drive website traffic or encourage downloading an app. For most SMBs the obvious choice is site traffic. Cards, once created, are tweeted, for free to just your followers or to a larger audience with demographics you select, for a fee. Start with free cards to get a feel for the approach. Read my blog post to learn how.
Just as you can boost a post in Facebook you can Quick Promote a Tweet. Read more...
OTHER OPTIONS Build a Facebook Audience from Website visitors All online activity leaves footprints and Facebook offers businesses a method for building an audience from visitors to their (your) website. It's called a "tracking pixel", a snippet of code that, when properly pasted into your posts and pages adds any visitor to an invisible list. You may run ads to that audience (very inexpensively) and a look-alike audience can be created by shared characteristics because Facebook knows so much about its users. With a few clicks, you can double the audience for your boosted posts and other ad options. Read our WordPress "how-to"...
  Live stream video from your premises using Periscope, an app owned by Twitter. Whether you’re putting on an event or just having a busy Saturday, positioning a Smartphone camera on the action makes live streaming video available to your followers and anyone they share with. You can schedule your stream in advance to build a larger audience. Viewers can like and comment so be prepared to engage with them. Live streaming is a two-way street. To get a feeling for live streaming from a mobile device, download Periscope (and Meerkat if you like) and view some of the available programming. You may choose to save your stream with Periscope for twenty-four hours, time to use your Facebook page and your email list to invite viewers who missed the live event. Your first broadcast won’t likely challenge the one restaurant chain Applebee’s pulled off from Times Square but you’ll be ahead of the competition. More...
The underappreciated QR (Quick Response) code remains a useful tool for engaging visitors, providing expanded product knowledge or just a means to save contact and website information. Unlike the product bar codes  on packaging, QR codes are two-dimensional, containing data across and down, which makes them capable of communicating more information than their one-dimensional sibling. Consumers do morepre-purchase research than ever and many would prefer to begin the buying path without a salesperson. QR code campaigns are also simple to design and implement – and they’re trackable.

Mobile can build your business, is doing it for others every day.

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Video Promotion – Yes, You Can

Do you want to add video to your online presence – video on your site and social networks? Does making it happen seem so involved that you don’t know how or where to begin? Well, congratulations. You already have, just by being here at this moment.

use of video in the coming year. Are they thinking about video in the same way that you do? It’s clear that SMB owners and operators don’t have the budget for highly polished film company productions. Nor do they need them. Video is a storytelling medium and every company has stories to tell.
In as little as two minutes or less you can profile your business, product, process or service and make the result appear on the website, in a blog, on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest. That’s a lot of mileage for a few hundred dollars.

Business profile video tells your story in minutes Let’s say you want to answer a few questions most often asked by prospects, customers, clients or patients. If you were interviewed on a local cable show you’d have a good piece of content. But you can create an equally effective video without the studio set, lighting and audio by standing in a hallway or behind a desk with a videographer who knows how to drop the questions in via text or slides in the edit. Again, a few hundred dollars.

Q&A with titles, no interviewer needed.

Many stories work very engagingly without video. Accept the challenge and try not to watch the video linked here. There is something about the words and images being drawn in real time before your eyes that is hypnotic. And that’s key because many online videos are viewed only part way through. The longer the viewer stays the more she remembers and the more likely you are to see new revenue. (Go ahead and view full screen.)

Social media is changing the way people interact with bricks and mortar operations. Perhaps you are inviting people to check in on their Smartphones when they visit your place of business. Facebook Checkin Signs

Video during an event captures these interactions, people who know they’re going to be on your site in a day or two will share that video with friends. This example, created during a store owner’s Birthday Sale, shows off the store, the goods, the personality of the man and the strength of relationships with customers – shot on a small High Definition camera, professionally edited with a script and voiceover and background music. And yes, we’re still talking a few hundred dollars.

To explore opportunities and costs, or just to chat or ask a question, LetsTalk and thanks for your time.

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Engage Prospects with Animated Video Storytelling

Telling the story of your business, product or service in a whiteboard animation has proven to outperform talking head formats, largely because it's hard not to watch and easy to recall. It is also surprisingly affordable. Take two minutes to watch our demo. If you agree that animated video storytelling is unusually engaging, let's talk about telling your story. Go ahead and play it full-screen. When you're done you will find some useful detail under the player screen:

The majority of our custom whiteboard animated video projects are made from a few standard ingredients:
  • Script
  • Sound file of narrated script
  • Background music and sound effects (ours, and both optional)
  • Client-supplied logos, images and copy - i.e. address, website, email, etc.
Pricing is largely the product of time invested. If we write the script that adds time. If we record the script versus having you send an audio file, that adds time. That said, a typical two-minute piece, similar to the one you just watched, will seldom exceed $300-$350. (And yes, it is possible to pay as little as $200.) That's a lot of performance for the price. Everything is accomplished with email, the web, a Dropbox account (ours) with a link sent to you (to download your finished video file) and occasionally a WebEx meeting or Skype session. We use WebEx and send you an invitation to join a meeting, if and when necessary - which is a rare occurance. What Do You Do With the Finished Piece?
  1. Something called embed code is provided for you to paste into blog  posts (as above), into web pages, and elsewhere. We'll talk more about that when we talk.
  2. A file in MP4 format which you may upload to your Facebook page, to YouTube. Again we can discuss further options.
To start a conversation, use the comments area below or email For more coverage of Inbound and Social Media Marketing visit our Twitter and Facebook sites and sign up for the Friday Digest of breaking news on all things social, mobile and video. For a sample Digest, click here.

Tom’s 59th Birthday Sale

Online Photo Editing – No Registration, No Cost

There are many ways to manipulate photos today, programs and apps and websites with tools to add text, effects, frames and on and on. For those who don't often want or need a deeply featured tool, might be the handy answer. We're running a simple Facebook promo, asking fans to upload a picture of themselves and optionally, include birthday wishes over top. A good solution involves an online photo editing tool. We're linking to for those who want to get artsy and the image that follows is a simple set of directions for getting a simple result. Beyond what we describe, there are font and point size choices, picture and frame effects, enough fun stuff to keep a newbie playing about for a good while. ipiccy_how-to The tool gives you the choice of saving to your computer or posting direct to Facebook. It is possible to provide a path for fans to post directly to a Facebook page photo album but unless you're a developer you'll need to hire one to make that happen. For more coverage of Inbound and Social Media Marketing visit our Twitter and Facebook sites and sign up for the Friday Digest of breaking news on all things social, mobile and video. For a sample Digest, click here.

Analytics Helpers for Google & Twitter

Do you wish for a simpler path to pulling the essentials from your Google analytics? Would you like to make Twitter more productive in your business? I am going to introduce you to three analytics helpers for Google & Twitter to consider bringing on board, all of them free at the entry level.
  1. QuillEngage (beta),  available here, links directly into any Google Analytics account you can access, offering data in actual paragraphs of text, supported by graphs and charts.
QuillEngage Data is available for week or month and while date range is not selectable, the app archives all reports and makes them available on request. Data is available on trending in sessions, pages/session, time on site, traffic sources, devices, referrers and more.  Here's an example from a weekly report: QuillEngage You may request that reports are emailed, enter more than one address if you have a team involved, and you may download reports in Word format. If you manage client sites, being able to email reports for discussion is far easier than multiple real-time logging into Analytics for a telephone review. The app is currently offering no paid option. This may change when it comes out of beta but for now there is no reason not to take it for a test drive.
2. QuillConnect, available here, begins with an analysis of your place in the "Twitterverse". How long you've used the platform, how often you tweet on average, versus your followers, then looks at your activity for the most recent week, what interests you share, and don't share, with your followers, what hashtags your followers are using, even advice on how you might increase your follower count. QuillConnect I haven't used QuillConnect for long enough to know if it updates automatically every week, but that seems likely. Not surprisingly, you're invited to tweet your report to your followers. That's called marketing. 🙂
3. Meshfire, available here, begins by having you select a goal from a limited choice, explaining that more, and more complex goals will become available as you progress. So you might select adding 25 followers in the next 14 days, or attracting 25 mentions, retweets and favourites in that same period. Meshfire for Twitter You can connect accounts like and Buffer for use within Meshfire along with several others useful in team management. For example, if you connect Buffer, when you have tweets scheduled in the app, they will appear in the "Outbox" area of Meshfire. If you have team members contributing Twitter content, their contributions will appear in the "Pending" column to the right of your "Scheduled" (Buffer) tweets, awaiting your moderation. Meshfire and and Buffer Like Saturn's rings, Twitter and Google Analytics are surrounded with apps to assist us in assessing the result of our efforts, in presentations we can take in with minimal effort. If you find any of these useful I hope you will leave a comment. Meanwhile, thanks for visiting. For more coverage of Inbound and Social Media Marketing visit our Twitter and Facebook sites and sign up for the Friday Digest of breaking news on all things social, mobile and video. For a sample Digest, click here.

Musk Explains the Tesla Powerwall

Elon Musk doesn't run stuff up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes. When he announces a new product he knows exactly how it will perform and what it will accomplish. In an 18-minute presentation, he lays out a path to literally saving the planet from where the hydrocarbon curve is going. The product line starts with a $3,500 battery you hang on the wall and progresses to infinitely scalable installations capable of powering cities.
Thanks to what he calls the "handy fusion reactor in the sky" and today's solar panel and battery technology he makes the case for the real possibility of replacing all fossil fuel energy generation with batteries storing sunlight. Musk isn't known for his social skills but in this presentation he appears as himself, casual, relaxed, bantering with the audience. But what he presents has been carefully crafted to deflect common criticisms before they get started, to simplify gigantic numbers and then to demonstrate that he's not talking about a concept, rather a reality proven by the fact that the entire presentation space is running on his batteries. For more coverage of Inbound and Social Media Marketing visit our Twitter and Facebook sites and sign up for the Friday Digest of breaking news on all things social, mobile and video. For a sample Digest, click here.

Tool Tips for Online Marketing

I consider myself a fairly normal participant in social media marketing. In part that means spending a large chunk of my time reading other marketer's content, searching for tools, tips and tricks to increase my worth and improve my results. Today I will take time off of taking and give back, with a short list of apps and tools that make my work easier and my time more productive - tool tips for online marketing.
  1. Buffer - this app's key strength is its ability to schedule your tweets and posts. Using the free version you must choose a single network, and Twitter works best for me. If I write a tweet at 6:30 in the morning I know it's not prime time for sending it into the world. Buffer allows me to select a time, to the minute, and the date. Given the speed of the Twitter feed, posting the same content more than once makes good sense. Make a slight change in the subsequent versions and schedule them over the following few days. Using Twitter's analytics you'll discover in time what works best for you.
Desctop screenshot 2.  Awesome Screen Shot - is the tool I often use to create images like the one above. Like Buffer I reach it via a button in the Chrome browser, and I should make clear that you need to add these apps to your browser before the buttons of which I speak appear. Some install in multiple browsers. Some have favourites. awesome_screen_shotI've chosen Chrome for all of my app button installations. The image at left is the drop down that appears when I click the Awesome Screen Shot button. I get most use of the "capture selected area" but as you can see there are a number of other options. When you've made your selection by drawing a rectangle around the chosen material, you are offered the choice of cancelling or capturing. When you choose capture a new tab opens and your selection appears with a tool bar above giving you access to text, arrows, underscores etc. When you're "Done", a new tab opens with options that include "save" to your hard drive. I don't think I've used any others. Here is an example of a capture, marked up with some of the tools available. ASS_Demo_image 3. Bitlink - is a very useful tool if you frequently add links to content. Yes, it shortens any URL, which in itself is often useful, (think 140 characters) but it also makes the resulting trackable so by accessing your account you can view the number of times your link was clicked. The idea is to select bitlink when you're on a page you want to link to in a tweet, post, blog or pin, to name a few. Here is what appears when you click your bitlink button: bitlink Select "Copy Bitlink" and paste away. Note that you can try to create a custom link by adding your choice of descriptor. My attempts have all returned the response that the choice already exists. Here you'll find the directions to easily install the bitlink to your Chrome toolbar. If you don't use Chrome there's a second choice, to simply drag a button to your browser toolbar. Tools I hope you find these apps as useful as I do every day. If you'd like to know about the tools I can't live without let me know in the comments section. If you have anything to say or ask about this post, why not join the conversation on my Twitter or Facebook site. For more coverage of Inbound and Social Media Marketing visit our Twitter and Facebook sites and sign up for the Friday Digest of breaking news on all things social, mobile and video. For a sample Digest, click here.

Short Code Text Messaging – What’s in it for Your Business?

When Ted Cruz announced for President he invited his audience to text “Constitution” or “imagine” to a Short Code. Cruz’s organization collects mobile phone numbers in this manner and can broadcast to the “list”, offering information and asking for volunteers and donations. More recently he did it again during an address at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). He asked the audience to text “GROWTH” to 33733. According to Tatango, which powered the SMS (Short Message Service) program, there were 16,000 opt-ins during the speech. On the Tatango website one of the case studies describes an online cosmetics company using Short Code text messaging to create a database of mobile phone numbers that reached 5,000, from zero, in 24 hours. Interestingly, the number to which they were asked to text "JULEP", the company name, was the same 33733 that the Cruz camp used last month. And here, my friends, is where it gets interesting. Large companies often choose to own a shortcode and will pay thousands of dollars a year for that privilege. But if your business can't afford that rent, take heart. You can buy a share of a Short Code. Many users may share one simply by selecting a keyword no one else is using. So "text DriveNBuy to 33733" is separated from the campaign saying "text GROWTH to 33733".
If you don't have three minutes (and that would be sad) know that a shared Short Code could cost you $50 a month versus $500, plus far less costly message fees since hundreds or thousands of users sharing a Short Code makes for huge volumes of messages - and the greater the volume the lower the cost. Dedicated Short Code vs Shared Short Code So, what can you do with a Short Code? In London, drivers may purchase a ticket to bring a car into downtown by texting to a shortcode and saving the response to demonstrate that they’ve paid the fare. restuarant3But you’re just as likely to see a Short Code on a sidewalk sign outside a burger joint, inviting you to text for a coupon and bring it in.  If you're wondering if this isn't a lot like invitations to sign up or register with an email address you're not wrong. This is an additional channel, not an exclusive one, and
 either direct mail or social media. And how likely is that percentage to increase? Nearly everyone has a mobile phone and entering a simple keyword trumps entering a name and email address on a tiny keyboard. This chart from Tatango sets out survey results:
Email-Marketing-vs-Text-Marketing-Statistics   In Canada, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) manages the assignment of Short Codes, leasing them at $500 per month to eligible applicants. Their site offers a FAQ that answers many questions a potential user might have. They also suggest that marketers use the term text message versus Short Code, because the former is broadly familiar. If you are interested in support in exploring the use of Short Code/text messaging in your marketing please get in touch.
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A Facebook Ad Audience from Site Visitors – How To with WordPress

Facebook makes it possible to create a list of visitors to your website so that you may:
  • Build a Facebook ad audience to which you can advertise, and
  • Create a "lookalike" audience based on the nature of your visitor pool, to extend the target audience for your ads.
in a site, using a recommended plugin to make short work of the job. Naturally, sites not built on WordPress can also take advantage of the program and we will address that in a separate post. The image below is a capture from the website home of the plugin. Step one - download the plugin .zip file. Then, in your WordPress dashboard, select "Plugins">"Add New". There are two ways to install a plugin. One uses the search bar to find and install. The other uses the Add Plugins selection "Add Plugins". This is the right choice when you have downloaded a plugin zip file to your computer. You will be asked to browse to that file and install it. In seconds you will be asked to activate it. FBConvPxl_plugin Once activated the plugin will appear in the dashboard sidebar on the left and it's here that you will determine where to install the conversion pixel. Click the plugin name to open your options. I chose to add it to both pages and posts so that any visitor viewing any of that content will be captured to my audience list. inSettings The process works when the conversion pixel code is pasted into posts and pages, either as you create them, or by opening existing content in the editor and adding the code where the plugin has created a place at the bottom of the page. Once you've pasted it, don't forget to update the post or page. If you don't the code won't be added: FBconvPxl_plugin_paste_code As I have found with other code samples that will be used time after time (like the Twitter follow button),  saving code to a text file, from which you can copy and paste repeatedly, saves time and grief as you use it over and over. But hang on, where do we get the conversion pixel code? ConversionTracking Facebook walks you through the steps here. You may choose from a number of conversion categories, each of them explained if you click on the name, such as the one underlined in red. If you follow the steps outlined you'll end up creating the conversion pixel you need to copy and paste into your site content. Then it's a matter of allowing time to pass while your audience numbers build. When you're ready, return to Ads Manager and select "Conversion Tracking" where you're invited to create your ad: Conversion_Tracking Feel free to use the comment box below to ask a question or rate the value of this post, and thanks for visiting. For more coverage of Inbound and Social Media Marketing visit our Twitter and Facebook sites and sign up for the Friday Digest of breaking news on all things social, mobile and video. For a sample Digest, click here.

Twitter Feed In WordPress

A client recently asked about adding a Twitter feed to a website. I know he chose a WordPress theme when the newest site was built and many millions of other sites are built on it too. So, not surprisingly, there are a number of solutions, some using code, some using Plugins or Widgets, some free, some with premium options and so on. For the purpose of this post I selected a simple plugin-widget that was as simple as install, configure settings and save. The result is visible in the right hand margin, above my post collection. I made my selection and in the WordPress dashboard selected "Plugins", "Add New". Enter the exact name of the plugin in the search box and hit enter. TwitterInWP In seconds I was invited to activate the plugin. Then, because this particular solution is a widget, I clicked on "Appearance", "Widgets". The display that results shows my installed widgets in alphabetical order on the left, and the locations in which I might choose to display the Twitter feed on the right. In this image you see both the widget named on the left and the location I selected, in the Primary Sidebar between my share buttons and my post list. InstallWidget FeedSettings There are a few settings you can tweak to choose a colour or add a border, yes/no to a scrollbar and of course the Twitter handle for the feed you want to appear. I chose "netvideomaker" to display my tweets, leaving off the @ sign. the image at left is a partial view of the selections available.  I mentioned at the top that this particular solution requires no API or code but clearly there is a "Twitter Widget ID". Since I didn't insert it I have to assume it comes with the plugin installation. For the moment I'm satisfied with this straightforward  approach to displaying my feed in the sidebar of my posts and pages. But I said it isn't the only solution. Elegant Themes has a post on the subject that presents a number of alternatives, with illustrations.

Pinterest for Business

In only five years, Pinterest users have created one billion boards. More than 14 million articles are pinned every day, 80% of visitors are on a mobile device and two-thirds of all the content people Pin is from a business website. Rumours persist that they are developing a "buy" button. If you sell anything that should make your hair stand on end. Yikes. In the video below, Kevin Knight from the partnerships department talks about how to make “beautiful” pins, create thoughtful descriptions, and help pinners take action. In this video he talks about the art of making boards and what he says reminds me of the advice generally given to businesses learning social media marketing. Remember that you arent' advertising, you are sharing a persona and hoping to attract a following of folks who share your interests and values. 
For more solid information and additional content links, read Chris Crumm's article on WebProNews. For more coverage of Inbound and Social Media Marketing visit our Twitter and Facebook sites and sign up for the Friday Digest of breaking news on all things social, mobile and video. For a sample Digest, click here.
Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged

A Video Game-Changer – Whiteboard Animated Video

This is video's year online according to the research. One of the emerging game-changers is something called whiteboard animated video, visual elements drawn before your eyes, with music, narration, images and titles flying in and out in ways almost impossible not to watch. But their appeal, particularly to marketers, doesn't stop there. Compared to talking head video these animated presentations are
  • 15% better remembered by all age groups,
  •  three times more likely to be shared,
  • receive more than twice the recommendations and are
  • more than twice as likely to make a sale.
Add remarkable affordability and you have a fast track to new business. No location shooting, no site meetings, everything done in the digital realm, including your online preview when the project nears its final cut. Watch our latest production and see if you don't agree that the level of engagement is what every business is looking for. Take the full screen option for the best impression: For more coverage of Inbound and Social Media Marketing visit our Twitter and Facebook sites and sign up for the Friday Digest of breaking news on all things social, mobile and video. For a sample Digest, click here.

Live Streaming Video – Me Reporting from Here

Meerkat was first but Periscope offers replay. If you aren't caught up, allow me to explain. Meerkat (for iPhone for a while yet) is an app that makes live streaming video possible from your phone to a wide audience. It's getting huge buzz, and another 14 million in backing recently, but the knock is that so many streams are dead and done by the time you get a notice. Periscope (a Twitter buy for about $100 million, and also iPhone-only for now) archives streams so they can be viewed after the live aspect is history. What both of them mean at the top level is that anyone can be a broadcast journalist, covering breaking news, or an infant's first steps, or you name it. And you can be dead certain that live porn and live cat videos will be everywhere. twoLiveStreamers   It wasn't many months ago that social media blogs and research reports were touting 2015 as the year of online video. This pretty much guarantees it. Everything we've been able to do with still images can now be done with video. "Here I am making the amazing dish I'm going to upload to Instagram." "Here I am at the gourmet grocery where I buy the ingredients for the amazing dish I'm going...". You know? Read more... For more coverage of Inbound and Social Media Marketing visit our Twitter and Facebook sites and sign up for the Friday Digest of breaking news on all things social, mobile and video. For a sample Digest, click here.

Mobile-friendly websites to get ranking boost

Whether you provide, pay for or DIY SEO, April could be the cruellest month. Toward month end, Google will roll out a mobile-friendly ranking system for search. Given the explosive growth of search on mobile, not being mobile-friendly could cost you most of your investment in SEO. We Canadians lead the world in searches per capita and the 82% of Canadian business sites that are not yet mobile-friendly are making life awfully easy for the 18% that are. Social media marketing aims to create new revenue, ultimately, by using multiple means to deliver increased website traffic. This graph, from Google's "trend" site, demonstrates just how big a deal SMM has become in less than a decade: You can get a pretty good idea of the state of your site just by visiting on a mobile device. Google's top suggestion is to, you might have guessed it, Google your site on a mobile device. A while back they introduced what they call a mobile-friendly label, which either appears or does not in your search listing. Look for the words "Mobile-friendly" under the url. mo-friendly_label You may also choose to use Google's tool. There's nothing complicated about it. You are either "awesome" or you aren't. If you flunk the test and use WordPress, Google offers a link to support for getting yourself fixed. notMobileFriendly250If you don't use WordPress and fail the test Google provides a few questions, each linked to supportive content. Regardless of how your site was built, if it matters to your business you need to find and implement a solution. Google suggests the following are key to getting the mobile-friendly label:
  • Avoid software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
  • Use text that is readable without zooming
  • Size content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  • Place links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped
Should you be among the startlingly high number of SMBs that DON'T HAVE A WEBSITE (!!!) consider beginning with a WordPress or other responsive theme. We use Genesis in WordPress and as we've pointed out, we got "Awesome" on the test.


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How to Promote Your Post

I find it difficult to imagine finding more good information on promoting a post than is included in this infographic and the supporting content.
Courtesy of: RazorSocial
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44 Pro-recommended Social Media Tools

It isn't often that I find so much useful in a single post. This is a rare exception and it's no surprise that it comes from the SocialMediaExaminer. is an app that installs in your browser. When you find content you want to share you can use it to create a link to the content AND create a personalized call to action to accompany it in your share to whatever common platforms you've given Sniply permission to connect to. My first effort, visible across the bottom of the screen capture links a post on this site to the blue button. 44SocialMediay600   When I tweeted the sniply, a link was automatically inserted to deliver a visitor to the blog post. Here's what the tweet looked like: sniplyTwitter600 Clicking the link brings up both the SME content and my sniply call to action, as the first image above describes. The red arrow in that image and the red oval above were both added in a second recent find, namely AwesomeScreenshot, available for Firefox, Chrome and Safari, lets you capture what you're viewing and mark it up, then save it. To view the SME content visit my Twitter feed - @netvideomaker. For more coverage of Inbound and Social Media Marketing visit our Twitter and Facebook sites and sign up for the Friday Digest of breaking news on all things social, mobile and video. For a sample Digest, click here.

Goals in Google Analytics

I am no longer surprised when a new client or prospect admits to not having opened their site analytics in, well, maybe never. That doesn't discourage most from tweaking the site and hoping for the best. The environment of the web provides the best opportunity ever for measuring the results of our actions and any professional marketer will tell you that analysis and measurement are essential. So, lets talk about setting goals in Google Analytics. You open analytics and you want to see what your visitors look at, how often, how many pages, visit duration, and bounce rate. You manage to find "users flow" under the "Audience" selection in the left hand column. You get a lovely, quite artistic image that I find virtually useless. Here's an example: userFlow600 You can export this to PDF among other choices but I find it frustrating no matter where I look at it. Fortunately, there is a simple solution for anyone with administrative access. You can create a goal and once done view the data in an entirely different presentation: firstGoal600This format presents columns of data from number of sessions through new visitors, number of pages viewed and so on and each column can be sorted, so if you want to see what pages have the highest bounce rate, sort it from high to low.  There are many goals available pre-made and ready to import. This is one. It's called the "content analysis dashboard". Notice that across the top I've blown up the word "Admin" to show you where to go to access goals. The screen you see has three columns. This image is of the third, furthest right, and in the list of selections I've underscored "Goals". goalSelect Selecting "Goals" brings up another screen: goalAssortmentYou can spend a while here, selecting categories and looking at the various goals available to import. When you make a selection and press "Import" you will shortly see the word "Success" appear top centre of your screen. Return to "Reporting" (seen at the top of the next image) and under "Dashboard", select "Private". Any goals you've imported with appear and be accessible. In this case it's the "Content Analysis Dashboard" we selected from the screen above, where it is the first goal described. privateDashboard When you select that goal what you see next is a series of columns providing different segments of the data from the "Users flow" screen. I selected the top right offer and was presented with what you see in the second image in this post, with page visits and related data in an easily digestible, sortable format. Now you have access to hard information about how your site is used and can make informed decisions about what content is working for you and what isn't. Like anything else you've worked at learning, spending time in Analytics is its own reward. For more coverage of Inbound and Social Media Marketing visit our Twitter and Facebook sites and sign up for the Friday Digest of breaking news on all things social, mobile and video. For a sample Digest, click here.

Embed Audio in Your Post

I suspect that most folks who write a blog know how to embed video, often using the embed code provided by YouTube and other similar sites. You may be one of those folks, but do you know how to embed audio in a blog post? I recently discovered a music site that offers both links and embed code, just as the aforementioned YouTube does and I couldn't resist giving it a try here. So, for your listening pleasure a pretty cool tune from Usher. For more coverage of Inbound and Social Media Marketing visit our Twitter and Facebook sites and sign up for the Friday Digest of breaking news on all things social, mobile and video. For a sample Digest, click here.

Secure Password Storage and Access

LastPass Like the cards in our wallets and purses, most of us have too many passwords and user names involved in our navigating the online world. Enter LastPass, a tool designed for secure password storage and access. Once you decide to download the free version you're asked to choose Windows or Mac, then select a browser version. Provide a Master Password for access to LastPass when required. You CANNOT forget this password without undesirable consequences. LastPass will also fill out forms for you if you elect to provide the usual required information to it. You agree to allow the app to find and list all of the sites on your computer where log in is required. Once the list is populated you may choose to view the password data. You're asked if you're sure, I was, and was knocked out by how many sites and passwords are tucked away on this PC. I gave permission for the app to record them and then was asked a scary question - did I want to erase them all from my computer. I balked at that, was advised that my life was insecure if I turned down the suggestion, so I took a deep breath and deep sixed them all. Now, when I navigate to a site where I used to log in I select the LastPass button from the top of Firefox, and slide the cursor down to "Sites". A long list appears from which I can select the site I want and in seconds I'm logged in without a keystroke. LastPassatWork I actually feel lighter having done this. Or maybe I'm just overdue for lunch. Check it out for yourself.
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