You have your website up, your imagery is looking sharp, your videos are hosted on YouTube ready to be viewed by millions of information-hungry internet goers, and you have nothing but time and commerce to engage in. So how do you get eyes from your external content to your page?
Being a small business or non-profit, your resources are eclipsed by larger firms and websites, whose traffic can come in via Google Ad-buys and large-scale social media campaigns like Facebook page purchases, and Twitter promoted topics. For a lot of people, this can be discouraging, but hope is not even remotely lost.
As a property, your website comes with an inherent ability to attract webcrawlers and search indexes just as much as any six-figure site is capable of. The effectiveness can be likened to making diamonds from coal; all you need is time and pressure.
The pressure will come in the form of content, yes, but within that content lays the foundations that will draw attention from Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc: The words you and your firm collaborate on that consumers would most likely attribute your brand to. This list of keywords will reside in every post, blog, update and description that goes out online.
As a part of any website promotion package, Repthebrand.com will sit down and map out these keywords, discussing tiers of importance, pairing, and competitive prospects, in order to achieve views, traffic, and website goals. Before approaching this initial sit down, it’s always good to ask yourself a few questions like:
Is my business or organization local?
Who are the most likely individuals that will be searching for it?
Is this a unique service, or one that exists in an extremely competitive field?
Looking at the answers will give you the initial shape of your keyword cloud, and Represent Media will be on hand to flesh it out, and begin to move your URL into a position that any large business would be envious of.
Twitter continues to enjoy an unprecedented amount of growth in it’s 5th year of 140 characterizing. As a result, developers and marketers alike have not become lax in seeking out new ways to draw attention to themselves and offer services that help streamline the Twitter experience.
As Mashable.com reported this morning, the latest in tweet-genuity is a tool called twtrland.com, a website designed to pull in your tweets and display them in an easy-to-analyze environment. The majority of information displayed is nothing services like Klout.com don’t offer, but what the website promises to accomplish in the coming days is to generate a read-out of your followers that would be most worthy to warrant a follow-back.
The biggest question that occurred to us was, is this a valuable asset to users? Would I as a Twitter user benefit from seeing which of my followers I should have a vested interest in, or is doing it manually as I have been really detracting from the experience?
Twtrland doesn’t seem like a tool meant for the user with the small following. Even in the 0-5,000k range, new followers are easily managed, and you can review who is retweeting and talking about you via the search function. The two creators of this services are most assuredly creating a platform for those with followings that are complex and far more difficult to manage, but even so, if you were, say, Coca-Cola, and have a following and popularity of that size regardless, where’s the need to follow people back at all?
October 11th, 2011
Social Activist group launches “Worldwide Visionaries” program to support youth projects and positive ideas.
Los Angeles, CA – Up the River Endeavors, a consortium of organizations and individuals, has announced the launch of worldwidevisionaries.org, an online resource for young people or groups to explore and exchange positive ideas on addressing pressing social and environmental problems. The website offers a social media community for individuals to promote and present their educational and activist-oriented projects, collaborate with others, obtain additional volunteers and relevant grants, and gain visibility for their projects. Users can directly engage with the project creators, offer advice, and get more information through project and user profile pages. Users can also work with Worldwide Visionary members to craft their own ideas into projects.
“The goal of this program is to empower young people to communicate their vision of a better world to the vast potential audience that is available on the Internet,” says Carina Koury-Jones, Program Director for Worldwide Visionaries. “We hope their voices will be heard and that their projects will inspire others to get involved and join us in this exciting new endeavor.”
Although oriented toward youth, schools, and organizations, Worldwide Visionaries is available to anyone. Users can submit their ideas and projects and find support for those projects through exposure to various web resources, grant opportunities through the blog and on-staff grant-writer, information regarding corporate sponsorships and gifts, and one-one-one guidance from on staff project managers and professionals. Some of the projects include topics from “Going Green…Repairing the World: Student Art Exhibit” an art exhibit geared towards promoting awareness of environmental issues by University of Southern California student Jen Guyton, to “She Shall Go Free”, a project to raise awareness and advocacy in the fight against sexual slavery and human trafficking.
“Worldwide Visionaries is intended as a collection of resources to help young people get their emerging projects off the ground, as well as create an inspiring environment to encourage like-minded individuals,” says Joanna Arlukiewicz, Project Manager for Worldwide Visionaries. “Our broad goals were to effectively use online technology to help affect widespread, meaningful change offline, in both our local and global communities. We aim to support and connect visionaries around the world who are actively turning their good intentions into positive actions.”
The site launched with over one hundred submitted ideas…projects that started with classroom work from college students at the University of Southern California, supervised by Dr. Amy Parish in the Department of Anthropology. Further development by Dr. Parish and URE associates are in progress to create an expanded curriculum that will be available to schools and institutions early next year while additional enhancements to the website will provide project resources for online users and project submitters hoping to make a positive change.
Up the River Endeavors (URE) is group of organizations and individuals brought together by an innovative philanthropist, Kenneth Malcolm Jones, whose personal goal is to address the fundamental question of how human beings can reconcile with nature so that we can ensure our own survival and that of other living things that share our planet. There are nine consortium member organizations and a growing number of associate members (specialists who are invited to participate in annual meetings) involved in URE. Seventy-five percent of
participants are women and are decision-makers in their organization. Each URE member individually addresses important issues such as gender relations, global warming, world peace and social justice. URE is collectively organized around the perspective that the various problems addressed by each member organization have in common one or more root causes. The consortium endeavors to identify and address those root causes and has initiated Worldwide Visionaries, as their most recent collaborative project, to help others join in the effort to
create a word that is more balanced, peaceful and sustainable.
Press contact: Bryon Taylor Represent PR
600 W. County Line Rd. Suite 23201
Littleton, Colorado 80129
Ok, we know everyone is making the Google+ lists right now…and, well that’s it, really. Everyone has an opinion on the new social network, and we felt it only right that we offer our own perspective as well. Here’s a quintet of reasons that may or may not have come up in the wide ocean of social media observation.
Represent Media presents: 5 Reasons Facebook needs to watch out for Google+:
5. Integration. Google has it, Facebook doesn’t. Google+ has the distinct advantage of being not only a social media hub, but a function that exists within Gmail, already lauded for its useability, memory, and direct link with YouTube. Gmail has a better email system, more customizable options, more comprehensive chat, and video communication. According to Wikipedia, Gmail as of November 2010 boasted 193.3 million users monthly, so the decision to add + as a function within was no doubt intrinsic.
4. No adds, no pop-ups. As we discussed in our previous Social Blogs, the inclusion of ads and suggested sources in websites is a slippery slope, the fall from which some URL’s never recover. Facebook has overlooked this truth, and has gradually not only allowed, but endorses paid advertising, correlated links, and invites to unwanted applications and games. Google+ looks to be following suit with its premier applications, and as it has no requirement for advertisement-based revenue, will offer users a safe environment in which to interact.
3. Non-branding. This seemingly innocuous tidbit is in fact an important factor in what will add to Google +’s appeal. To be sure, Google+ will in multiple ways be it’s own brand, it will no doubt have increasingly developed logos, and already has it’s own stylized “Like” button, but what it doesn’t have is an external identity. As it lives inside Gmail, it will never be considered a tangible or worded association in the mind of the consumer. Indeed, the link accessing Google + within Gmail is not branded, but simply features the user’s first name, plus. (Ex: David+). This allows Plus to exist as simply a social service, an extra, a perk, instead of a place, a site, a wholly separate environment, which indeed seems to be a master stroke of planning on Google’s part.
2. All Circles, no Jerks. All joking aside, unless you go into your settings and start tinkering with who sees what, any update you post can and will be seen by a myriad of people. This means your heavy night of drinking can be seen by work people, your technical work posts can be seen by your friends, and your controversial articles can be seen by your easily-agitated family members. Circles will allow us to deviate the information we share into specified groups. Clique-ish, yes, but a necessary development and the logical next step in interactive media.
1. To the guest list go the spoils. To their credit, Google understands the human psyche very well. By launching Plus as an invite only campaign, they created an air of limited accessibility in the minds of users. It’s similar to the Studio 54 effect: Let 10% in, let the 10% invite 10%, and leave the other 80% dying to know what they are missing. According to TechTree.com, this tactic has indeed delivered, as Plus has brought in an unheard of 20 million activations in 31 days, making it “The fastest growing social network.”
That being said, Google+ still has a long way to go, and Facebook would have to falter in the coming year for the two to drift to comparable traffic levels, but something has occurred to me as we’ve watched the website begin its rise: So many people are lauding Plus and investing themselves in its success up against Facebook, because they want something that provides them with new services. The biggest reason Google+ is looking to be so promising isn’t just that it has done so many things right, it’s that people are ready for an alternative to Facebook. BizJournals noted that Facebook users rank it a 66 out of 100 as far as likability (Pun intended), compared to Wikipedia, YouTube, and “All others”. With that elephant in the room, it’s possible the biggest reason Facebook needs to watch out for Google+ has nothing to do with Circles, and more to do with how they are proceeding into the next year.
Are you on Tumblr? If you aren’t, or are just becoming aware of it, it’s quite surprisingly taken the role of the hot community for image sharing and micro blogging. The concept is simple enough, sign up for a free profile, create your own custom HTML template or use one of the thousands they have free or priced, and start posting on a quick-click User Interface. Content can then be either liked, or more importantly, reblogged, and posted on your feed for all your followers to see.
Sounds basic right? Apparently not. Compete data shows a steady rise in unique visits, with traffic actually doubling since June of 2010:
So how has it achieved such success in such a short period of time? The answer lies not with the website itself, but more with the market need it fulfills. Hop in the internet archive machine and go back 3 years. One social networking site held dominion over all others, that in hindsight seems almost comical. The now un-nameable website is of course Myspace, which would of course experience a gradual migration of users to Facebook as a result of, not lack of usability, but lack of cohesive sharing and an excess of irrelevant information.
Fast forward to today. Where Facebook leaves off, and what Tumblr realized, is that Myspace actually had a lot going for it, in terms of appeal. Users could create a personalized website with all the bells and whistles they want, post blogs and pictures in a easy, organized fashion, and update each other when content went up, without it being so blatantly visible. In essence, they took Facebook’s dynamic and active update API structure, and made it appealing to look at. Artists, musicians, poets, and creative types have as a result flocked to it, and they, being the tastemakers, have attracted a wide fanbase.
It’s important to note that Facebook is drifting into dark territories as far as what information takes up their pages. Instead of the simple and personal website it started out as, there are adbuys, suggestions of pages to “Like”, and confusing and even dangerous setting defaults.
The bottom line is that the reason Myspace failed was that it was no longer a social media site, it became a suggested media site. Placing ads and popups on people’s pages based on keyworded interests is not only obnoxious to the user, it can actually be insulting. At its core, and the biggest point people don’t understand about social media, is that what is interesting to people can’t be forced, it has to be found or shared.
We’re looking forward to seeing what happens in the next 12 months. It seems Facebook has become self aware and rather than try for a long-term foundation, is anticipating its own demise, and is including more advertising initiatives as a result. Tumblr, on the other hand, remains free to use and free thinking. Only time will tell which one captures the market in 2012.
There is something to be said for niche markets. Where before a specialized industry would have struggled to evolve and grow as a small business, the increasing reach of Social Media has allowed for companies with otherwise esoteric product offerings to thrive and multiply, without having to stretch themselves too thin. Even as a content creation/digital content firm, Represent falls into this category. We as a business model are catering to very specific needs in the realms of online, print media, and grant writing. Indeed, we can expect this trend to not only stay consistent, but actually grow in the next few years, as consumers become more aware of online companies that are built less as a general model, and more of one that can cater to a specific product offering or marketing strategy. This is of course an essential keynote in the realm of brand voicing. For example, a start-up business looking to talk to a specific demographic, not only in age or gender, but in culture and interest, would find it a grave error to hire a firm built around general media.
The ideal partnership would develop from the understanding of the core principles of both consumers and tastemakers alike. This isn’t to say you can’t get a message across using traditional media, you can, but to a niche consumer, you must not only impart the information, it has to do so authentically. This is where most agencies find themselves hardest pressed. Keep in mind that consumers want to be communicated to in a manner they find appealing, not just informative, and make sure to have an extensive discussion with your online brand ambassadors about the perspective they see from, and the position your brand needs to take to maximize effectiveness.
Like any child of the internet-turned social media lifestylist (Yes I made up that word), I follow a lot of blogs. One could argue a near-unhealthy amount. My bookmark tab scrolls endlessly downwards with everything from sites I visit multiple times a day, to the ever present “Impulse add” pages. I can go from looking at Modern Japanese Architecture to Gadget Blogs to “Who would win in a fight between two B-Actors in 1980′s movies” blogs all in under 60 seconds. People in the industry will continuously tweet and rely on the old adage “Content is king”, but with time and experience, that has slowly revealed itself to be merely a half-truth.
Now, to be clear, I’m not going on record here to dispute the three most powerful words in Social Media. Content is and will always be what separates an active healthy blog from a poorly maintained one, but it’s the depth of the content is often (and repeatedly) overlooked. It’s important to remember that most of the best blogs are not/were not started with any marketing initiatives behind them. This is an important distinction when laying out the plan for your businesses/product/lifestyle promotion.
When creating a blog with business promotion in mind, the game changes a bit. Not only do your posts have to be relevant to your services, they have to be compelling enough to elicit an approving mentality from your potential readers. This means you can’t simply talk about your product all day, you have to develop your writing to propose real and compelling information that a consumer can absorb and ultimately share. Essentially, you need to provide competent posts about your product that read like entertainment. This is where you have to ask yourself to what level your blog is going to update, and who will best be qualified to maintain it.
Getting some initial ideas about how to sell powertools in a witty and amusing manner? Excellent! Of course, what you discuss will weigh heavily on the nature of what you are offering, but the right spin can merge practical with lively in 250 words or less. Keeping your demographic in mind, you’ll want to break your blog down into what can be accomplished based on time, resources, and equipment. The result will typically fall into one of the following categories:
High Quantity – Daily updates, short on content. Blogs of this style are typically image-based, and the successful ones rely heavily on user-generated content. Captioning, submitting, and voting are commonplace on the quantity blogs, and the information shared tends to have an overall theme that generates more random responses. Visits tend to be high, but time on site tends to be brief, as the viewer is merely scanning through a whipped layer of content, never getting anything of actual depth or usefulness.
High Quality – Weekly to bi weekly updates, heavy on content. You will see a lot of travel or food blogs following this format. Large recountings of events or experiences draw the reader into a mini story that can be enjoyed with a cup of coffee or perhaps a pen and paper to take notes. Tends to impress functionality upon readers the most, as the information provided has had time to be correlated and presented. Since the content comes through with grace periods between, users are more likely to pose a return visit sporadically, returning when the recollection of it pops into their heads or their RSS feeds update them.
High Quantity + High Quality – Bi to tri weekly updates, heavy on content. It’s rare to see a blog like this maintained by a single person, though they do exist. Typically these are either news sites able to pay a staff on-hand, or a blogger collective with featured writers, continuously offering opinion pieces. This represents the upper eschelon of content creation, and on a business side, would benefit less from a product standpoint, and more from story aggregation.
In summation, taking into account your available assets, both in staff, monetary resources, concept, and information availability will determine to what level your blog will function. It may be that the output you wish to achieve is out of your reach initially, but it is commonplace to see a blog develop from one category to another as consumers start to take an active interest in your news. Above all, if you are floundering or having trouble maintaining your updates, don’t be afraid to ask other bloggers or professionals for assistance or input.
So Last night an old friend of mine invited me to a ‘FaceBook Party’ called Getting Drunk. Now, just to frame this up, the old friend I mention is one that I met in an online social party fifteen years ago. Back then most BBS chat rooms had not been taken over by the ‘yahoo effect’ that has stopped me from ever joining another chat room since unless it had to do with a code question or something specific. There would be about ten or so people on whatever BBS we used at the time, though I think at this particular time period in Phoenix Arizona 1994 it happened to be a high school BBS that no one in the chat room ever seemed to have gone to, or even knew where it was for that matter. Along with other BBS’s like Zephyr, The Eye, The Edge, TUBBS, Exchange, etc. Communities would start forming and eventually “GT’s” (Get Togethers) would start popping up. The GT’s could be pretty fun, though prone to a bit of drama as one could imagine when getting the early 90’s young tech generation who’s primary form of communication was already through a modem.
So, having not seen this old friend but through a couple of FaceBook posts and random emails over the years, it was pretty nostalgic to meet back up with her along with others of which the last time I saw was at an online social forum fifteen years ago. I ‘hung out’ at the party for about four hours, Met new friends, had a few whiskey’s, then went back to work. It was the most fun I’d had at a party in a while, and I’ve been to some crazy parties.
Let’s talk about the benefits. A Party is simply a group with a shared connection in acquaintance at some level. To me, one of the key differences between an online an terrestrial party is that online it is easier to jump into any conversation without fear of being a drunken tool interrupting a hookup attempt. I didn’t have to worry about how I was going to get home, whether or not the people I pissed off were going to try and fight me, and whether or not it would be awkward to call back that friend that you drunkenly exchanged numbers with while declaring new platonic association with since FaceBook would force the issue. Being married my scoring is already guaranteed so I could talk to new people both female and male without the pressures associated with the social scene and without worrying about whether or not people will think I am hitting on them if I am just innocently conversing.
Online, the conversations are done through thread. Real-time and within small sub-conversations. There were group pictures, karaoke singing, new friend requests, reminiscent conversation, sharing of music, videos, and other content relevant to the tone of the ‘party’. In a social forum we could share videos without feeling like we were imposing on what was already playing either audio or video. It became easier to find out which type of person you were compatible with from a friend perspective by viewing their profile and seeing if there were shared interest. This also allowed you to find common-ground with just about anybody at the party better than a name tag or cheesy party game could. It presented a real way with which people could initiate conversation and interpersonal connection through known shared interest, an interesting benefit to parties on a social platform.
There are multiple downsides to this form of social interaction as well. Since the forum was FaceBook, all our offensive misunderstandings, social mis-steps, drunken cheers, and Karaoke’s become data in our public record throughout the cached annals of Internet history. It won’t go away. Like a real party, one must still be guarded in terms of what they say, though the rumors of your actions don’t need to be spread through gossip. FaceBook will make sure that your behavior is immediately communicated to everyone you know without fail.
The privacy issues are downsides of using FaceBook as the platform or ‘venue’ for the party. There are private forums and communities with ways for people to socially gather that are protected to an extent, though none would already have your friends pre-gathered the way in which FaceBook makes possible. It delivers the party directly to the user. We’re all there already. Just like real world parties, the venue sets the tone. Facebook will communicate, document, and record your interactions so in a way it would be like going to a party on a reality TV show. Everything you say can be watched again and again, and will be recorded for history.
In the end it 54 attended with another 74 invited. Not bad for a party. Multiple conversations happening, many new friends made, and though I made a couple social errors like any party, I had a great time and met some good new people. So cheers everyone, I am fairly confident we will be seeing many more interactions like this popping up from varied people organizing it as these sorts of interactions continue to gain support through these online channels.
Click image to enlarge This social media data visualization was recently posted amidst a “65 terrific Social Media Graphs” blog, and quite frankly, I’m perplexed as to why. The chart in and of itself is simple enough in its message: A negative sentiment from a early adopter will manifest itself into a larger response than a positive, but the imagery itself is baffling and could mean one of any number of things. Let’s pursue a possible scenario.. Promoters (AKA spokespeople, ambassadors, champions): Phase 1: College Guy (Hereafter known as “CG”) tells curiously matching-attired dorm mate about something he loves online. Phase 2: Dorm Mate then champions it to his father, who doesn’t care, and his girlfriend, who tells all her friends about said loved item. This results in a large group of positive impressions, but none that make it to the “American Gladiator Elite” of promoters on the right. Phase 3: Luckily, Dorm Mate knows a Punk Kid whom he beats up, and forces him to tell a slew of friends. Phase 4: Of these friends, two tell four people that don’t care, an older gentleman becomes very upset and tells his uninterested daughter and son about it at family chutes-and-ladders night, and Punk Kid’s girlfriend and Punk Kid #2 finally pull out iphones to get their point across. Final tally: 6 (12 if you could Punk Kid #2’s group, but they also didn’t make it to the winner’s circle on the right).
Passives (AKA middle-roaders, impartials, indifferents): Phases 1-3: CG tells his dad who tells his sister. Final tally: Dinner is still at 6, and your mother is making meat loaf.
Detractors (AKA naysayers, negative Nancies, haters. Spanish for “The Tractors”): Phase 1: CG gives the finger to Punk Kid Phase 2: Punk Kid gives the finger to no less than 4 people Phase 3: CG #2 tells Punk Kid #2 about the finger Punk Kid #1 gave him. Punk Kid #2 considers this totally hilarious and tells his girlfriend about how awesome it was that a punk gave a college guy the finger. Both make out listening to the Smiths. Meanwhile, Punk Kid #3 didn’t find it funny for whatever reason, and tells 3 seemingly random people, while Red Shirt Girl tells 6 people that “This finger is for you.” Phase 4: Older gentleman is wildly offended and gives the finger two thumbs down. His CG son doesn’t care, while his black sheep Punk Kid son breaks down and goes on a naked middle finger spree across the neighborhood, offending every person he sees who contagiously go berserk and do the same, ending in a huge melange of public disturbance that results in several dozen arrests and a 44 second segment on the evening news. Final tally: 72 people processed, 68 of which made bail.
For those of you that found this graph informative, I commend your tactful sense of perception. For the rest of you that scrunched up your nose in bewilderment, I hope I was able to shed some light on the true nature of the word-of-mouth process.
We will help build your network of relevant media and blog contacts. We start with a contact strategy to introduce your services, seed product and services to bloggers for mention, and begin to build you a customized contact list of professional among these various channels. Then we help establish and maintain these relationships, allowing you to focus your time on your business.
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