Category Archives: Social Media & SEO

OG Lollipops Were a Hit at Hy-Vee and an Olympian’s Favorite Flavor

Original Gourmet Lollipops at HyVee Show

Look for Original Gourmet Lollipops at Hy-Vee locations throughout the Midwest.  Plus, a chance encounter with a lollipop-loving Olympian!

 

Original Gourmet Lollipops were a hit at the Hy-Vee Show in Des Moines, IA.  A few phrases we repeatedly overheard throughout the day:

  • “These are the best lollipops!”
  • “I love these things!”
  • “There isn’t another product that’s even close in comparison.”

Responses like these are a constant reminder that we have an awesome product at Original Gourmet.  I even received a brand new Metrokane Rabbit wine aerator in exchange for a cotton candy lollipop – my blockbuster trade of the day!

Kansas City Stadiums

After a quick ride to Kansas City for an appointment, we were homeward bound.  I had the pleasure of sitting next to Canadian Olympic softball pitcher Danielle Lawrie.  She’s a fan of Original Gourmet Lollipops and said she loves them when she’s traveling.  Danielle leaves this week to join her team in Japan for the next 9 months, so I had to hook her up with a stash of her favorite flavors for the trip (Cotton Candy & Blue Raspberry).  The only downside — she was so humble and awesome that I can’t heckle her brother at the next Blue Jays/Red Sox game I attend.  Keep it poppin’ in Japan Danielle!

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Filed under Branding, Marketing, Professional, Social Media & SEO

When You Don’t Have Time For Social Networking

Don’t be fooled by the the limited activity you see on this blog.  If you’ve been paying attention then you know that a social footprint goes well beyond a blog and there are several strategies to maintain a social presence with little or no additional effort at all.

social media iconsWe’ve already outlined a simple, effective strategy to develop an online presence and I taught you why your online presence is more important than street cred, but what do you do when your time is limited?  Social networking “groupies” are easy to spot because they are the first people to fall off the grid when life gets busy and time is limited.  Groupies only care about their social presence when they have nothing better to do.  If you want to be a Groupie then I suggest you go creep around with other groupie/stalker types, but if your prerogative (see inevitable footnote) is to maintain your social presence with a limited time commitment then I’ll make the next 45-seconds of your precious time worthwhile.  

Forget meaningful blogging when time is limited.  It requires too much time.  You can quickly post memes, quotes, and relevant content to a Tumblr blog to stay top of mind and continue contributing content.  Twitter is the best use of your time.  Retweet a few items that peaked your curiosity and auto-schedule posts using the content from your regular reading material or blog roll.  Bookmark a portion of this content on Delicious.  Leave a post on LinkedIn each day (and don’t forget to re-post on Twitter/Facebook when you do).  Google is your friend.  +1 everything you read and make a few of these posts public on your Google+ page.  Check-in on Fourquare at all meetings, events, and/or when you’re traveling (don’t forget to share these check-ins on Twitter/Facebook too).  

You just incorporated at least 7 social networks into your daily activities with little or no additional effort.  Best of all, your social presence is stronger as ever.  Time is limited so move along and implement your own abbreviated approach!

Need proof it works?  Follow my activity over the past few weeks:

Over the past three weeks my Klout score went up nearly 3 points.  I’ve managed to stay relevant event when I’m barely present!

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Filed under Branding, Personal, Professional, Social Media & SEO

Top 10 Websites You Know You Should Be Using but You Don’t!

Internet toolsEveryone wants to offer advice, uncover little-known resources and introduce websites that require more of your valuable time.  Many professionals overlook important and productive activities because they are too busy trying testing the next tool or website that claims to save time, maintain organization or improve productivity.

 

These are the 10 sites you are overlooking because you are too busy wasting time elsewhere and don’t realize what you are missing.  My favorite thing about the list is that it is “time-neutral”.  I’ll explain afterwards, but if you follow and execute the list it should become obvious.  I even threw in some bonus tools for good measure.  Start with the first 10, then move on to the bonus resources:

  1. Evernote – it’s not just for project management!  Download the app to your phone and use it to quickly save reminders, links, or content you want to share.
  2. IFTTT – don’t waste time posting and re-posting your content to multiple social networks.  Set up recipes using IFTTT to share content across several platforms with a single click.
  3. Quora – it’s LinkedIn Discussions on steroids.
  4. Google Plus – your profiles syncs with a Google account.  Strengthen your brand and social influence.  90 million+ members is no joke!
  5. Academia.edu – an academic approach to developing your brand.Crazy clock
  6. Yelp – establish yourself as a trusted source of feedback.  You offer your opinion through conversation anyways so you may as well reap the benefits of social influence.
  7. Foursquare – the easiest way to get on the mobile marketing bandwagon.  It’s a growing trend you can’t ignore.
  8. Google Voice – create a free account and use your Google Voice number to track response rates from specific advertising campaigns.
  9. About.me – build a customized landing page for you or your business in less than 30-minutes.
  10. Cloud Storage Services – I wrote about how I use cloud storage services.  Whether you use Dropbox, Drive or Box, all of your files should be backed-up properly and accessible from anywhere with internet access.

Before you continue to the bonus resources, read through the first list again.  Evernote, IFTTT, Google Voice and cloud storage are all tools that should save you time.  These tools help offset the little extra time required to execute the rest of your list.  Now that you are on a path to success, check out some of the bonus resources:

Checklist accomplishedBonus Resources:

  • Hootsuite
  • Mailexpire.com – avoid inbox clutter with temporarily email addresses that expire when you want
  • GifSoup.com
  • Ted Talks
  • StumbleUpon

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Filed under Branding, Marketing, Productivity, Professional, Social Media & SEO

Establish Your Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday Social Media Command Center

Small Business SaturdayBlack Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are coming.  Even if you’ve never logged-on to Twitter or check-in on Foursquare, you can position business to capitalize on these shopping holidays with a strategic approach to social media.

 

Perhaps you created a simple social media strategy and took a wrong turn along the way.  It’s time to emerge from your turkey coma and social media black hole!  Planning and management are the keys to an effective social media campaign for the holidays.  Proper planning requires a theme, budget, promoting the event, and a variety of activities leading up to the event.  Once the leg-work is completed, don’t let your event fall flat on its face due to poor management.  Here are some basic steps to help you plan and execute a successful event:

 

  • Set up your management system before you do anything else:
    • Use Hootsuite to monitor, schedule, and track interaction across your social networks
    • Create an event #hashtag to help follow the event on Twitter and Google+
    • Educate employees about the promotion, what to expect, and encourage them to participate
  • Create an exclusive theme, promotion, or giveaway:
    • Keep Facebook fans engaged with an extra 10% off purchases coupon or code they can apply to their purchase
    • Reserve popular items for an exclusive giveaway to Twitter followers
    • Encourage loyal customers to share pictures of their favorite product for a chance to win a prize
  • Promote, promote, promote – the excitement should keep people up at night!
    • Post signs inside your business that promote the event, encourage shoppers to check-in on Facebook, Foursquare, or Yelp
    • Use teasers on Twitter and other social networks to increase excitement
    • Tell everyone you see about the event – your hairdresser, the bank teller, the cashier at the grocery store!
  • Use the event to exceed expectations and create future opportunities:
    • Keep your online audience updated throughout the event
    • Give away more than customers expect to keep people talking & increase loyalty
    • Thank new followers on Twitter, Facebook, and everyone who participated

social network bubblesAfter a successful event it is imperative that you continue engaging your audience.  Evaluate analytics to understand what aspects of the promotion were effective and areas for improvement.  Encourage people to share feedback on reviews sites like Google Local, Yelp, and Angie’s List.  Use this information to make your next promotion an even greater success!

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12 Ways to Keep Tweets Under 140 Characters

Tweet 140 Characters or lessIt is a constant challenge for Twitters users to live in a 140-character world.  The elements of a successful tweet are a clear message, audience engagement, and influence expansion.  All this must be accomplished in 140-characters or less.

 

Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Content is the cornerstone of Twitter.  With a solid foundation is in place, you can focus on perfecting your delivery.  Next, you must master how to communicate effectively using 140-characters or less.  Use these 12 steps, each 140-characters or less, to conquer the art of short-form content delivery:

  1. Avoid the word “and”.  Replacing “and” with “&” or “+” is an easy way to save two characters.
  2. Use numbers over words.  Use digits (ex: 23, instead of twenty-three) instead of their respective longhand word form.
  3. Embrace contractions.  Although frowned upon in professional prose, it’s perfectly acceptable on Twitter.
  4. URL shorteners are your friend.  I use Bit.ly, but Ow.ly, and TinyURL are other popular options.
  5. Remove prepositions.  Readers on Twitter understand.
  6. Use synonyms.  Same meaning, fewer characters.  What’s not to love?
  7. Adopt 125 or less.  Leave room for retweets and make sharing convenient.  It’s Twitter etiquette.
  8. Be vague.  Better to raise curiosity than show your cards.
  9. Punctuation optional.  When in doubt, cut it out.  Only include items pertinent to understanding the message.
  10. Cut yourself off. Write “normally” but end tweets with “such as”, “including”, “like”,  etc. TwitLonger is a great tool for this approach.
  11. Limit Local.  Avoid including location info (ex: Foursquare, check-ins, etc).  Save the space for when it matters.
  12. A.C.E. content.  Acronyms Create Engaging content, command attention, and leave a lasting impression.

Here’s another acronym: K.I.S.S.  Keep It Simple, Stupid.  You may find that it’s easier to say more with less.  Or in abbreviated Twitter-prose: Say more with less.

Follow Dan Leavitt Twitter

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