Archive - November, 2011

4 Social Elements and the Talk-nology Empowering the Web

The Social Web is not so much about technology, but rather talknology. And four of the basic elements of talknology have been around since . . . well, since chalk on a rock.

  1. Discover
  2. Consume
  3. Share
  4. Produce

These four elements (and the emotions that they evoke) are some of what powers what we do online and offline.

Listen and watch the conversations around you as you go holiday shopping this season. You’ll find people talking about where they found a great deal, or how this could be used for that.

Watch how links are passed around on Twitter (and the speed at which news spreads). Or how Quora and LinkedIn communities thrive because of the “expertise” offered.

Maybe this simultaneous process is so intertwined, a couple of them exchange places. Maybe “share” comes before “consume” now (not that it should).

A new tool comes out, the early discovery leads to sharing (a boost of “standing” within the community for sharing so early?), then we try out the tool and produce content or results the use. Or judgments are shared about something prior to using it.

Discover – Consume – Share – Produce

Are you enabling and empowering this to happen in your own production? Do you reward discovery or sharing of your product/service/content? Do you applaud those who use it and test it? Are you ready for all types of feedback (good and bad?)

Let your consumers discover, make things simple to share, reward these elements as you notice them.

Photo on Flickr by polandeze

 

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We’re on Google+ (Plus Badge): How to Get Yours

Have you put your Google Plus badge on your site? It’s really quite easy (and important!)

Plus Badge for ConverStations

Once you’ve setup your Google Plus Page (even if it’s a Launch & Pause), you can get your “plus badge” and ready your site for +Direct Connect and better findability.

After you’ve placed the code generated on the ‘get your “plus badge” page just before the </head> tag on your site, you can then place the sidebar code where you want your badge to show, you can then link from your Google+ page to your site. Test the validity from the Rich Snippets tool.

Tip: When pasting your Google+ page ID into the “get your ‘plus badge‘ tool, just use the numbers in your profile (see URL in address bar when you are on your G+ page), not the “/u/0″ portion.

Plus Badge for Dialing 8

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Quirco iPhone Icon Generator [Cool Tool]

Wanting something different for a site map / navigation on Dialing 8, I found the Quirco iPhone Icon Generator to be a handy tool.

Completely web-based, it allows you to preview your icons as they would look on a device.

Whether it be a mobile device or browsers, we’re seeing more an more navigation with this style. Fad or just getting started?

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Special Small Business Saturday: Dialing 8 Membership Free Trial

About this time a few years ago, on a drive to a client appointment in Centerville, IA (about 2 hours south of Des Moines) I was driving through the tiny town of Albia, IA. I noticed that most of the stores had already closed, and the drug store and furniture store were going out of business. It’s the holiday season, and they are closing up shop?

Since then, I’ve worked around the Midwest with Shingle Pages, building affordable web pages for the rural business, many of whom have zero to less web presences. Hard to believe, but 35% of small or independent business still don’t have a website. A website!

That’s one of the reasons for The Dialing 8 Project: helping small businesses grow with social media that counts.

And to celebrate those behind the counter and on the phone, beating the streets and working to make things meet, we’re offering to small, rural, or independent business owners. A 30-day free trial to Dialing 8. Offer is good through Small Business Saturday.

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Content Marketing Examples from Home Depot

Like anything, there’s probably some gray area about what is and isn’t “content marketing” – though if you read Joe Pulizzi or attend the Content Marketing Institute via RSS (I do both), then the picture is a little more clear.

There are still a lot of business folks who think since “content is king” – it’s all about pushing their (the company’s) content to everybody, everywhere. This practice is closer to spam than content marketing.

You’ve heard it from me (and hopefully others) for years: Content is King, Community is the Kingdom it serves.

Home Depot gets this in a big way, and we’ll use some of their examples of content marketing (notice it’s not all online and not all of it is overt pitching of products):

Online Community: Home Depot Forums allow customers to ask questions about projects and repairs. By being accessible and by answering the questions in a helpful manner gains loyal customers (and sometimes, the customers are answering the question!)

YouTube Videos: These DIY helps and hints are valuable and seasonal. The content is produced and released in advance of when the customer may begin to think about it (this Hanging Your Lights came out mid-October).

Twitter: They share their own stuff, but also other valuable links on DIY too, and they talk a lot of football (catering to their intended audience).

Books: They have a line of books (like the one pictured above) on various repairs that come in handy at the right time. From wiring to plumbing – this is a must have for any DIYer.

Workshops:  Free Home Improvement Workshops are offered on weekends. In my view, this (and the books) are one of the best examples of  ”content marketing” – building the relationship with your customer and your products/services before, during, AND after the sale by helping them use the content (product, service, consumables).

I’m sure there are a lot of other things Home Depot does right with Content Marketing, but these should give you ideas about how you can helping your customers and prospects – from the ZMOT to the after-they-bought.

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Thanksgiving Stuffing for Your Blog Readers

Big weekend coming up. Football. Shopping. Food. Family.  And more of the same.

Along about Saturday afternoon, a lot of folks turn their attention elsewhere – and it’s a perfect time to lay out some goodies for your readers and new visitors.

I’ve been suggesting for years that weekends might have a lower number of visitors, but the depth of each visit grows. Don’t forget the weekends, especially the long ones.

Holiday Weekend: Schedule your Posts

Most blogging platforms (or blogware) allow you to schedule posts. BufferApp and Hootsuite are two tools you can use to schedule postings for Twitter or Facebook.

Thanksgiving Gratitude

Maybe this is the weekend to thank a dozen or so folks that you’ve found to add value to your information consumption. Something like Folks I Follow.

A Family-Sized List Post

How about an enormous helping of list posts that will get tweeted around and give ample time for leftover reads throughout the weekend. What would your list be? Here’s mine: 64 Different Types of Blog Posts

Picture or Poetry

Maybe you’ve had a yearning, or a stretch of the mind – to write up a post of the poetry kind

With Gratitude

And as for you my reading friend? After you’re done writing, I hope you enjoy a bit of time with family or shopping or football with delicious food.

And if along comes Saturday and you want to peruse the conversphere – walk the stacks over at Alltop or feast upon the eye-pleasing Pinterest and decorate your own board. There’s tons of stuff for every interest at either place.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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3 Plans for Dialing 8 Membership

Budget-Minded Testing the Waters Committed to Success

 

The Dialing 8 Project is designed to be a professional learning community, focusing on the profitable and simplified use of social media and social networks as an augmentation to your core business.

We build our learning around the Dial of 8 social media model, so that business owners can integrate social media into their business plan (and not have social media take over their business).

Members get full access to:

  • Core Content
  • Screen Cast tutorials
  • Membership Forums and Directory
  • Video Conference Workshops (twice each week)
  • Live Co-Working using Google Hangouts
  • eBooks & eLearning Modules
  • Templates & Organizers

The site is intended for small businesses, rural business, independent contractors, and solopreneurs. Join Dialing 8 Today – stay strong, last long. And at $271 year, you can’t go wrong.

Simplify the process
Amplify your voice
Monetize your efforts

Become a member of Dialing 8 today 

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Do You Really Want Comments on Your Blog?

There are lots of platforms for conversation these days, so many endless streams of information, so many places to see and be seen.

Yet many still gauge their success on how many comments they get on their blog.

It seems there are three stages of of thought around comments on a business’ blog:

  1. Fear of negative comments
  2. Worry that no one will ever comment
  3. Replying to all the comments becomes a chore

Some never get to the third stage – heck, some never overcome the first stage and therefore don’t blog – but those are trails for another stroll.

Would you rather have comments on your blog or have others comment about your blog elsewhere?

I’ve long held to the practice and teaching that long comments should become blog posts. And while I’m a big believer in conversation, it’s as much about our behavior as the give-and-take.

While there is value to people commenting on your site,  isn’t that mostly an ego-massage more than a relationship builder and revenue generator?

And frankly, don’t you get a bit more excited when someone shares your link out to their audience than the excitement of a comment coming in? Outward vs Inward.

It is, after all, a world wide web we weave, hmm?

 

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5 Things About Your Intended Audience

5 Things to Know About Your Intended AudiencePop Quiz:

  • What does your Core Customer think about most?
  • What is your Target Market talking about?
  • What does your Readership share most?
  • How does your Audience feel about _____?
  • What are the pain points and complaints they have?

Knowing the answers to these questions will put you in a position to recognize your customer and allow them to recognize – and engage more readily – with you.

Understanding these five things about your “intended audience” will help you stay on track to writing, producing, serving, and attracting readers, followers, and most importantly – customers.

Remember there’s a difference between your intended audience and an attending audience. We all have two crowds.

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Toe-Tapping Into Music and Google Plus for Business

Amidst the off-tune, oft-covered wales and tails of how Google+ is not good for business, along comes another plus to the party. And it may just be something for your use of Google+ Pages.

If you’ve been around here for some time, you know I like finding ways to use new tools to touch multiple senses, maybe punctuating posts with sound bytes from movies or asking how chocolate chip cookies sound.

As Google announced the new Google Music, I wondered how it might be used for business or better,how could we use Google+ plus Music together. So I posted this:

Cool, right? Hey, who threw that tomato from the bleachers, this is just the birth of the news . . .

So here’s a line of thought: Occasionally on your Google+ Business posts (especially the long ones), go find a song that fits and share the preview. Your readers will be able to hear the soundtrack of your posting.

It won’t (yet) work when you’re attaching a link, video, or photo – only one attachment at a time for now – but it can add a flavor to your thoughts.

Will it work? You know my song n dance: I Dunno, Let’s Find Out

Give it a shot, and let me know how it goes.

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