Get Your Facebook “Friendly” URL

Facbook allows you to have “Friendly” URLs that allow for a nicer way for your URLs to be displayed. This also provides an easy way to remember your pages. For example, you can now view my Facebook page as http://www.facebook.com/davidzielski, instead of something like http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=[some huge number].This is a great thing for people who use Facebook and put their Facebook links on their business cards. Log in to Facebook and you should have a link to choose your username in the upper left-hand corner — or just go to http://www.facebook.com/username/ and attempt to select your username there. You may feel that Facebook is not that important to your online presence — but if you change your mind in the future, it might be too late to claim the username you want. But remember, once you pick this address, it cannot be...

Internet Users by Language – Top 10 Languages

Thinking about the global nature of the web and your web presence? I came across this information that shows the top 10 Internet Users by Language. It is very interesting to see the Spanish are ranked third in number of users. This Internet Users by Language information my be very helpful when designing your site for a global presence. The rest of the worlds internet users are increasing and is you do business globally, you may want to capitalize on these users. For more information and to read the entire article, click...

What are the keys to building a successful startup business?

Startup legends – Marc Andreessen of Netscape, Kevin Ryan of DoubleClick and Gilt Groupe, Thomas Gensemer of Blue State Digital (the company that developed Obama’s online campaign and fundraising efforts), and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg – reveal their strategies for innovation and give tips on how to build a successful...

Link Your Facebook Fan Pages to Twitter the easy way

There is an easy application offered by Facebook to link to a Twitter account. It allows for seamless updates when you post to the Facebook Fan Page to appear in the Twitter stream. The requirements are that you are the administrator of a Facebook Fan page and a Twitter account. After logging into your Facebook account, use this link: http://www.facebook.com/twitter/ This should bring up a screen that shows the Pages you administer. It should bring up the following screen: Now all you have to do is enter your Twitter account information and you will be all set. Now, whenever you post anything to your Facebook Fan Page, it will automatically update Twitter. Hope this...

Book Promotion with Social Media

Well, you finally got your book published after years of work. Today is the day. You get your blog going, a twitter account up and running and a Facebook fan page going and wallah!!!! – nothing happens (Click for audio of crickets in the background…) Below is a clip of Chris Brogan, a very great social marketing expert, talking about how authors can use social media to promote their books. You need to wait for the right opportunity to introduce your book to people in social media just like in real life. You cannot just come out and say “I am the author of this great book!” Its like walking into a Starbucks and walking up to a table of three people you don’t know and without saying hi or anything else, you say “I am the author of this great book!” ummmmm – Security! Take time to be in conversations, build relationships and trust. Then when your new contacts are interested in you, they will then ask, “Hey, what do you do?” – “Well, I am the author of this great book!” – “Oh yeah, tell me more….” – now doesn’t that seem like it will work a little...

How effective is word of mouth marketing to your product or brand?

Do you think social media is a waste of time when it comes to marketing your product? Most large companies are jumping on the social media bandwagon as they are seeing the benefits for their products or brands. A recent Burson-Marsteller study found that 79 percent of the largest 100 companies in the Fortune Global 500 index are using at least one of the most popular social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or corporate blogs. But, interestingly enough, only 20 percent of the major international companies are utilizing all four platforms to engage with stakeholders. Here are some statistics that got my attention on the power of word of mouth marketing and social media marketing: In a study conducted by social networking site myYearbook, 81 percent of respondents said they’d received advice from friends and followers relating to a product purchase through a social site; 74 percent of those who received such advice found it to be influential in their decision. (Click Z, January 2010) 90% of consumers online trust recommendations from people they know; 70% trust opinions of unknown users. (Econsultancy, July 2009) Consumers say that word of mouth is still the number one influence in their electronics (43.7%) and apparel (33.6%) purchases. (Retail Advertising and Marketing Association/BIGresearch Study, December 2009) Recommendations from family and friends trump all other consumer touch points when it comes to influencing purchases, according to ZenithOptimedia. (AdAge, April, 2008) 61% of people rely on user reviews for product information or research before a buying decision is made. (Razorfish, 2008) “Person like me” still most trusted source for information about a company and, therefore,...

Social Media Network Strategy by Darren Rouse

I have been noticing that lately I have been spending a majority of my free time on my facebook page and my twitter account and not writing too much on my blog here. While it is important to expand your reach into new and existing networks, you also do not want to let you home base, in this case my blog go stale (actually, InnoGage has a great product called InnoBlogs that wont allow for blogs to go stale, a MUST for business blogging!) I saw this video by Darren Rouse of ProBlogger and he talks about exactly what was happening to me. I was not spending time in my core or my blog, as he puts it, but was spending a lot of time in my outposts. While it is important to connect in these outposts, it is also a good idea to build your core business blog or web site as well. He gives a great overview of how this works, as well as some other tips for building your own social media networking strategy. He gives a real example of a business he created and building relationships with similar sites. If you are looking to build a successful social media networking strategy, I suggest you take a look at this video. Darren Rouse is the master of...

Five Levels of Brand Recognition

Some people believe that branding is marketing. Branding is not marketing. It is, however, an integral part of your marketing strategy. It is a crucial function of how your product, service or business interacts with clients, prospects, vendors, employees, and anyone else with whom your product, service or business comes in contact with. Branding creates an image. And, proper branding will create consumer loyalty. For example, what beer do you drink? What clothing store do you prefer? What’s your favorite brand of automobile? Take this exercise a step further. What image comes to mind when you think of the Yahoo? Macy’s? Wal-Mart? Chances are that, unless you’ve had a bad experience at one of these stores, your perception is a result of branding strategy. There are said to be 5 levels of brand recognition: Brand Rejection If someone associates your brand with something negative, they will purposely avoid your product. Have you ever experienced bad service somewhere and swore you’d never return to that chain? Have any of your customers said that about your business? Create a logo and slogan that is filled with great benefits to your customer and put that on everything. If public opinion is turning against you or your product, launch a campaign to alter it. Brand Non-recognition This is where your customers simply don’t recognize your brand… probably because it is not clearly differentiated from competitors. Boldly state your product or service’s benefits. Always include the full trademark name whenever you refer to your product. Be willing to create brand names for your products or services, just like you’ve done for your own business....

What is your brand communicating to your customers?

I was recently writing a business plan for a client and was in the business model section. They have a killer brand, and some great products such as merchandise and products. They are building great brand equity and are doing very good. Then I asked them “What does your brand communicate?” This question got me thinking about a company I owned. We made the best, according to my customers, all natural cleaning products. And that’s what we wanted the brand Seaside Naturals to convey to our customers; we have the best all natural products out there. So now I have a chance to sit back and think, what as a business owner did I do to support this brand communication? For instance, if your brand conveys high quality, you should be constantly testing your products against other products on the market to make sure yours are the best. You also should put your money where your mouth is and give a guarantee – if they are the best no one should take you up on this guarantee, and if they do, well, you need to find out why. So I ask you, what does your brand communicate to your customer; low cost, better selection, high quality? And if so, what are you doing in your business to make sure what you are communicating is the...

Google Wave for collaborative communications

Recently a friend of mine sent me a really neat video about Google Wave. It shows what it is, the purpose of it, how it is better and why I need it. My marketing hat goes off to EpipheoStudios.com for doing an excellent job of explaining the benefits of Google Wave. It really started me thinking about all the email threads I have been a part of in my many years as a programmer or business developer. This intertwined threading nightmare rally comes to light if you have to go back and attempt to reconstruct a thought process of a threaded email from over a year ago. Recently someone asked me to the reason why we did something. I quickly found the email, but it took about 45 minutes to follow what was being said, buy whome and why the decision was made. Had we been using Google Wave, we could have played it back and watched the email conversation take place over a year later. Pretty cool. I am going to start to use Google Wave in the next several months and will comment when I find some cool things. Thanks Simone for showing me this...