Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Yes... Social Media is for Small Businesses

Social media is an essential part of any great marketing plan. It's not just for large corporations but also small businesses. By using social media tools small businesses can demonstrate expertise, knowledge and passion. People enjoy being able to find information quickly and easily. The better you utilize social media tools the more likely clients are able to find and access information to your company. Building trust with consumers is essential and social media tools are becoming the prime way to build trust in the community.

Consider this, in order to build your social media audience it's pertinent to give first, get later. Make sure that you have something interesting and worthy to contribute in order to gain followers in the beginning. It will take some time to build an online social media presence, it certainly won't happen overnight. But stay dedicated and you'll start seeing positive results for your small business!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bing... is it the new thing?

The new search engine Bing was introduced by Microsoft earlier this year and it's already making a big stir in the search engine world. "According to comScore, Bing nabbed 10.3% of the total U.S. search market in November, up from 8% in May. During that time, Yahoo's search share fell to 17.5% in November from 20.1% in May. Google, of course, continued to show strong numbers, clocking in a 65.5% share in November up from 65% in May". (DailyFinance)

Yahoo! is slowly losing it's share of the search engine audience. However, Google is remaining steady. So why is this?

Bing is being marketed as a new type of search engine, it is being marketed as a "Decision Engine", if you will. According to Bing.com, four and a half websites are created every second. That is great and all, but it creates a lot of unwanted and irrelevant material for the search engines to pick up. So Bing is using search tools that are intuitive, the search engine suggests additional search items based on your original query.

It looks like Bing is going to have a harder time converting Google users; Yahoo users are jumping on the bandwagon much quicker. Google got it right a long time ago and people are comfortable using the search engine. Granted that Bing is offering additional tools to make your search experience easier, people tend to stick with what they know. Super users, (i.e. SEM, SEO, social media experts etc.) will have to be market leaders in order for Bing to grab a large market share from Google. It will be a slow transition but it looks possible.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Karma

I truly believe that you get what you give. Specifically, people that are mean, vindictive and deceptive eventually get exactly what they deserve. It just makes me sad that they hurt so many good people around them without giving it a second thought. Since Life Success I have learned that these people are so mean because they hate themselves and they reflect that to the outside world. I will not let the negativity of others affect my happiness.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Today

"If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

These are my words to live by. I'm tired of being afraid and scared. I'm tired of not living up to my potential. It's very hard to be committed to personal growth, it's hard to make new habits. But it's so incredibly worth it. The past week has been up and down, a struggle not to fall back into normal habits. Last night, I had a follow up visit at Life Success and it was very much needed! Yesterday I was falling back into old habits and getting extremely frustrated. But my friends at life success grounded me again! Thank you to everyone in my life who have shown me unconditional love and support! And especially my mom, who encouraged me to find myself again and paid for me to go to Life Success. It was an amazing feeling when I finally came home after that long weekend and heard my mom say "I'm glad to have my old Kristina back!"....

I found myself again. I am fun, confident, caring, happy and free.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Life is Good

When I hear somebody sigh, "Life is hard," I am always tempted to ask, "Compared to what?"

- Sydney J. Harris

No one ever said life was fair, so why are we so surprised when it isn't? Sometimes I feel sad for people who pity themselves so much, because life is so unfair for them. Life is what you make of it, good and bad. Life is not about what happens to you, it's about how you react! Remember that everyone you meet has a story... EVERYONE. I always try to keep this in mind when meeting new people.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Brands in Public

I just read an article on AdAge that deserves some response. In the crazy world of advertising and brand management the new Brands in Public has struck some nerves. In perspective it was inevitable to happen eventually. You can know visit http://www.squidoo.com/brandsinpublic/hq and find top brands and all the social networking conversation about that brand.

Understandably some brands are not too excited about it... mainly the cost. $400 a month to "curate" your page. According to Seth Godin's blog the pages will collects "tweets, blog posts, news stories, images, videos and comments about a brand." By paying that $400 you can add your own brand speak to the left hand side of the page.

So is it a good thing? or a bad thing? AdAge refered to it as "brandjacking"... but to be completely honest what's to say that this is any different than consumers mentioning brands on social networks. Squidoo is essentially just aggregating the conversation. I think if you are actively participating in the social media marketing then you have nothing to worry about because this is free positive advertising for your brand. Now if your not, it may be reason to worry.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Boondock Saints: All Saints Day



Can't wait for the sequel coming out this Halloween. It's been over a decade! Check out the the trailer here...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

“Food-For-Fans”

The new "Food-For-Fans" marketing approach is getting bigger and bigger. As I continue to talk about social media marketing and food products I stumbled upon another article. Texas Pete is giving out Free hot sauce. With a goal not quite as lofty as TGI Friday's it's very plausible for them, Texas Pete is looking to get 100,000 fans before November 15th.

Initially (a few weeks ago) Texas Pete began offering product samples and coupons to facebook fans and hoped to give out 10,000 samples over a four week time period, but hit that number of requests in just 6 days!! So now they are looking to go even further. Once Texas Pete hits 100,000 fans, (at that time and only if they reach 100,000 before November 15th) a coupon will appear to fans on their Facebook page.

The big difference between this campaign and Woody, is the integrated marketing. Texas Pete is strictly using viral marketing for their Facebook campaign.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Domino's Tracker

So I ordered a pizza the other day and was absolutely amazed. It's the little things that make me happy (and the fact that I'm a complete nerd obsessed with social media marketing helps too).
On the final page of our order you have the option to post the "Domino Tracker" on your Facebook page.
<-- The tracker shows you on a timeline where your order is in the process. From being prepped to
baked and ready for pick-up. In real time you can see what's happening with your pizza. Next time you order pizza consider Domino's and order online. Great marketing and great pizza! Yum.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Woody is my hero

I have noticed that more and more companies are giving away free samples for their products via Facebook. The best example I've seen so far of integrated marketing techniques (using social media) is TGI Fridays. The Woody campaign is great! The campaign started September 4th, just 12 days ago. I just checked Woody's page and he's over 690,000 fans. The idea is that if 500,000 people became a fan of Woody before September 30th, then you get a free Jack Daniels burger or chicken sandwich. He is well over half a million, so Friday's has virally released a new challenge, 1 million fans.

The buzz created around this campaign has been phenomenal. Just check out the Woody fan page. Remember that a big part of social media is creating and guiding that conversation and that is exactly what Friday's is doing.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Trust and Social Media

Have you noticed that the older generations tend to steer clear of social media (and the internet in general) much more so than the younger generation? A lot of it is because my generation was raised with the internet and perhaps we don't feel vulnerable putting our lives out there for others to see. My parents however struggle with this concept, understandibly. But more and more of our parents (and sometimes grandparents) are begining to join the club. Have you noticed? Have you also noticed to which social media network the older generation is participating? It's Facebook. Facebook has given the user much more ability to keep things private; account settings allow the user to hide nearly all page information. Maybe this is why the Fastest Growing Demographic on Facebook is women Over 55.

Companies used to look at social media dempographics and think it was just the kiddies, it's time to rethink that.

The 10 most trusted companies in America... Facebook for the first time is among top 10...
Read Article Here

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ahhhhh

It's been awhile since I've wrote, I would like to say it's because I've been busy. In truth, I've mostly been busy trying to keep myself occupied. Still trying to figure out what my life has become. A lot has happened over the past few years. Some good, some bad, but now here I am trying to make sense of it all. Anyways, getting away this weekend to Indy, should be a good time. When I come back I intend to get back to a schedule... my plan has gone by the wayside and that needs to change.

9-11-01 * Never Forget!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Finally Moved

It's been a really long few days. Finally got everything moved out of the apartment and into the house. It's so frustrating when you finally try to get settled into a new place however and you can't find the things you need. I misplaced my toothpaste so I had to get Kenzie go buy me a whole new one! Such a pain!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Piece of Advice/ Social Media Ettiquette

This may be a little rant but it is also useful information. While using Twitter for business purposes it's important to understand what you are doing. Especially if you consider yourself a Social Media Expert, Search Engine Expert or Search Engine Marketing Expert. Just a piece of advice these types of Tweets will not optimize your page nor are they entertaining, to be completely honest they are boring and annoying.

"It's a busy day here at the office!"
"Need help optimizing your site? Visit www.blahblahblah.com!"
"Lunch was yummy, now back to work"
"Here's an article www.blahblahblah.com"
"Preparing notes for a presentation tomorrow!"
"Wrapping up a busy week, can't wait for the weekend"

In the world of social networking, we are all busy. If your Tweets, posts and blogs etc. aren't interesting or relevant you are wasting my time. DELETE! Ok, every once in awhile if you throw one of these in it's ok. But seriously, if you don't have something interesting to say don't say anything at all, that's just my two cents... take it or leave it. Also, if you are going to post articles, give some interesting details. I don't have time to be clicking random links. Personally, I like to find a juicy part of the article and put that in my Tweet along with the link. Just an idea...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Are you considering search terms?

One thing that drives me nuts about "so-called" social media optimization experts is there lack of understanding of search terms. It makes me want to scream and pull my hair. Ok, so that aside, do you understand why and how?

Twitter is the easiest and simplest, thus if you are going to hire an SMO expert see if they know how to utilize Twitter first! This is completely hypothetical. Let's say for example you are a plumber and you work in Cincinnati. Your goal is fit keywords and search terms into your conversation (e.g. Cincinnati plumbing, toilet clog in Cincinnati, plumbing help Cincinnati, etc). So this isn't exactly as easy as it sounds because you still need to consider advertising while participating in a conversation all the while making it sound conversational. Takes time and work but it can been done!

The more keywords you have on your Twitter feed the better optimized your page is BUT don't stuff your page to where it seems like your advertising. You will then lose your credibility and personality and you will look too much like a business trying to sell, sell, sell.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A coward he will be, never to change

Under the guise of friendship, trust and ethics I was betrayed by a coward non-the-less. His aggression has not ceased... I've been through enough; why won't you just let me be? I truly believe that some people find bliss in causing misery to others. Is it the sheer fact that you believe you have the "power" to do so, is that the underlying reason? You like to have power over people? I just don't share this mentality, never have and never will. To me, it's a joke. If that's how you make yourself feel better then I pity you. What a pathetic existence.

People trust people not companies

Think about your consumer. A really great thing about social networking (at least I think so) is the fact that it's much more personal, more friendly. Think about the last time you made a purchase or say the last 10 times you bought something new. Did you ask someone, perhaps a friend for a reference or advice? I bet you did. It's the same online.

By becoming reputable online, you befriend your consumer. Now they see you as someone who they can come to for a reference. Do you (aka your company) sell nail guns? I don't know the first thing about nail guns, but I know that you do. So who do you think I'm going to ask?

When you participate in online conversations your company becomes more personified. Your audience sees you and the characteristics conveyed by your site. The really great thing about social networking is it allows you to get to (what seems like) a one on one level with your customer. As humans we prefer that special attention and we are more apt to act on it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Social Media Optimization, who cares right? Wrong!



Social Media Optimization is just as new as social networking but if you want to stay on top you better start understanding what it is. Social Media Optimization (also known as SMO) is a set of methods used for generating publicity through social media, online communities and community websites as defined by Wikipedia. In order to stay ahead of the competition you want to be "first in mind", we all know that. I like to compare SMO to WOM (Word of Mouth) advertising. By integrating SMO techniques you are essentially creating WOM online in different internet communities.

The first step before you waste valuable time is find your audience. In the world of online advertising I can't reinforce this enough, you will save so much time and energy!


The Forrester online participation ladder (above) can help you start. Where do you think you will find your consumer? Not sure, do an online survey using your social networking page.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Freeing up traditional media budget

After you figure out how to correctly utilize social media, it's a great way to free up some money in your traditional media budget. That does not mean stop spending those marketing dollars, it means reallocate! Put some money into internet marketing. Just because you have an online presence doesn't mean people will find you, that's what marketing is all about.

Just like traditional media, you want to cross platforms. Not all internet marketing is free, but as you know, to make money you have to spend money. Become an expert on free social networking sites then start looking into paid search, optimization, mobile search, etc. My best advice is to establish your internet presence first before trying to drive traffic with paid advertising. If you jump in too quickly you may drown but one thing that I am learning in today's marketing world... move too slow and you will be left behind. Find a happy medium. Good Luck!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Is social media really free and easy?

Too many businesses assume that social media is simple, free and easy... not so. This approach will surely lead in misdirection. Yes, many social media sites are free in the monetary sense but perhaps the biggest cost of social media is your time. It takes time to create a substantial understanding of each social-networking environment. It takes time to develop a credible reputation worth listening to; So if your time is free, then yes you can still consider social media totally free.

The good news is that perhaps social media can be very worthwhile when done right. The best and my favorite part of social networking is measurable ROI. Unfortuanatley with traditional media (i.e. print, television, radio) it's extremely difficult to get a solid measure. With Facebook and Twitter you can track who responds to your posts and invites instantly.

If you have already allocated traditional marketing dollars into internet marketing you're on the right track. Next, take time to understand exactly why you are jumping into social media. Understand how it benefits your consumer and learn how you can provide something to your consumer using this internet networking.

As advertisers using traditional media we use a certain advertising language, this won't fly in the social media world. Would you go into a large crowed room and yell "Shall we dance in the kitchen?" Of course not! In this print piece it makes sense but it won't work in social media. Think of social networking like a large party; You are participating in a conversation, marketing is no longer just one sided.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday Funday

So excited today; Kenzie and I are going to Findlay Market then heading to Jungle Jim's. I love Findlay Market. I know it's a bit late and we may not get too much but it's a fun experience. I finished up a lot of painting yesterday. Got most of the trim done and all three walls, I have to get another small can of paint to finish the last wall. I can't believe that I will be moving out of here in less than 2 weeks. I am going to miss Covington!

Things are going well for the time being, trying to figure out what to do next. I may take some time off and just finish school. I have been trying to finish for what seems like forever now! Only about a year left. Done rambling, getting in the shower and off to the market!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Busy, busy, busy

It's been a great few days, staying busy and having lots of fun. Went to the Stone Temple Pilots concert last week; it was amazing! Had an absolute blast. Then spent this past weekend with my little brother. We celebrated his 21st birthday. Spent lots of money... but had a ton of fun! Now it's back to work, kinda. Working on getting stuff packed up so I can move out of this apartment. Heading to Lawrenceburg very shortly to get some more cleaning done. Hopefully if I get enough done I will be able to start painting today!

Friday, July 3, 2009

I've come to realize

I thought about a lot today. Actually I think I made a lot of progress over a short period of time. I'm ready to move on, not because I should. Not because of anything but me. I really want to and I know that I am ready. Today after all the tears, I started to think about the present. I realized that I'm done living in the past. It's so very hard to explain. I had an epiphany... Over the past year and especially the past few months I have been slowly moving on... baby steps if you will. But I think in the back of my mind, I never intended to really let go. Today I want to let go. I truly believe that was my defining moment today, never before have I wanted to let go. I wanted to hold on. Maybe because it was comfortable. Maybe it was because I could use it to protect myself, to justify myself. I was still so very attached. It was all still so ingrained in my everyday life. I'm ready to leave it behind. Of course, I won't forget.

What is "it"? So hard to explain. I'm starting over today. I'm being just me. I don't want to be the girl who lost the boy. For the last year I defined myself as that and so has everyone else. Not anymore. And that makes me smile.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July 1st

Finally got some good news today, it's about time. I'll be able to pay my rent and car payment. Also, I finally sold my Neon. I will miss my little car but I needed to let it go. I have had a lot of memories in that car, it's been through a LOT with me. Anyways, things are looking up for the moment. The next few days however will be extremely difficult. This was the last day that Jason and I spent together. It was one year ago on July 2nd that the accident happened. I am considering going to Buffalo Ridge and visiting his cross tomorrow. I don't know if I should, I've only been once, it was incredibly hard last time. Almost unbearable... but I do have a Bengals ribbon that I have been wanting to put up.

I guess it's best to get all the bad stuff out of the way all at the same time. Sarah and I are going to visit Tiffany's grave today. I haven't been since she got her headstone. It was put up a few months ago. I miss them both so much. Summer will never be the same for me as long as I live. I lost my two closet friends almost 2 weeks apart.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Good News

It's nice to know people. I've noticed throughout my career that networking has got me a long way. Found out today that I may be able to line up some freelance work doing digital media and social networking. I rather enjoy social media marketing, it would be nice to get some freelance gigs lined up doing that.

I think that Internet marketing and social networking is so new that many people underestimate its power; especially when it's done incorrectly. Spam regardless of where it is coming from is still spam. You can overload your clients by using social media as another platform for spam, this does not help build a solid following/fanbase. In addition I think that too many companies don't understand which networking venues to use. Just because Facebook is hot now doesn't necessarily make it the right place to communicate with your client base. The social media universe is very diverse as is each community of users on those respective sites. It's important to utilize the right social marketing venue, not just any.

Monday, June 22, 2009

It's a Monday

I had an interview with Zipscene on Friday, it went well. Hopefully things will work out. It's still a start up company but it looks like their is a lot of potential in the company. It's been growing immensely over the past few years. I also got a call about doing some freelance work. Basically web design, flash, html etc. It would be nice to pick up some freelance jobs to keep me busy while I'm looking for full time work. It would also be nice to help me build my portfolio. Unfortunately I haven't been keeping to many of my projects so I don't have a full portfolio.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Live, Laugh, Love

“It hurts to love someone and not be loved in return, but what is the most painful is to love someone and never find the courage to let the person know how you feel.”

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday

It's been a slow day.... but fun day. Had a phone interview this afternoon. I think they are looking for someone with more account management experience. It sounds like a great position and a really good company. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that I get a follow up interview but I think they need someone with different qualifications.

So I got a surprise visit from Kenzie this afternoon. We went Krogering and watched some CSI. I always enjoy my day when Kenzie visits. He keeps me entertained.... He also helps me stay sane! Best of all he helps me appreciate the small things in life.

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Falling

Life is complex and vexatious at times. I truly enjoy the moments of clarity that make you realize that life really is amazing. In a world of so many people it's a wonder how a single person can help bring you back to that realization.... if you will let them. It's hard to find people that are understanding; it's even harder to find someone that is willing to accept you and all your faults.

As I sit here waiting to go to sleep I wonder what is in store for my life? I have so many aspirations and some days they seem inconceivable. Today, however, I can see my dreams turning into reality. I just needed a little nudge, a little moral support and reassurance. I found someone who has done that for me and I am grateful. It's such a great feeling.

~Life is for the living.

Friday, June 12, 2009

3 years ago today

I can't believe that it has been 3 years. It was 3 years ago that my life changed forever, it was the first in a long line of horrible events that has brought to me where I am today. Tiffany and I were best friends that could be apart for 6 months and the minute we were back together it was like no time had passed. She was the first person to ever really understand me and accept me for who I was. She was the person I could always call and I knew she would be there for me. So many things I miss about her... Going to the bar and ordering shots; a cherry bomb for me and a Jagger bomb for her. I miss spending time talking about random stuff... so many times Berger and Jason would be pounding on the door cause we would disappear for hours! It was on this day 3 years ago that Tiffany died in a car accident. She was on her way back to school at Ball State. She was almost done, she was about to graduate. Tiffany and I had so much in common. We didn't grow up rich and we were not handed things in life. We both worked very hard to make the most of everything we had. She had so much potential... It makes me sad that she is not here to live out her life to the fullest. Her life was cut short and to this day I still do not understand. All I know is that I miss my friend. I miss her everyday... I still can't believe it's been 3 years. I will never forget her.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Twitter Account

Finally got a response back today from Twitter. I lost access to my account after someone hacked into my account and changed both the user email and password associated with the account. I had very strong suspicions that it was my previous employer... as I made the huge mistake of using the same password for virtually all my accounts including my work account which he had access to. The day I was let go, I made a post on Twitter and LinkedIn asking for assistance looking for a new marketing job. The next day both my passwords were changed! I was able to gain access to my LinkedIn account and reset the password. However, Twitter has been a different story. Someone apparently logged in and changed the email and password to my account and then deleted all the people I was following! Well, my suspicions have been proven right. I received an email today from Twitter telling me the last successful log in IP address, and it's not mine! I went back through old emails and found my previous employers IP address and low and behold they match! I can not believe his audacity, he works in the Internet industry. Did he really think that he could get away with something like this? He knows full well that IP addresses can be traced. Perhaps he thinks that he is too good to get caught.

Good news though. I got a response from a Chicago based Search Engine Marketing company for a phone interview. Hopefully I will be getting out of Cincinnati soon, it's definitely time for a change!

Interesting Day

Went to court this morning for a juvenile transfer hearing, it was a very somber experience. The entire morning was spent talking about how the 17 year old boy that robbed my friend was not intelligent enough to be tried as an adult. Basically he dropped out of school in 9th grade. His parents both did the same. He has the reading ability of a 2nd grader. I watched his mom testify and I actually felt sorry for him. This kid never had a chance. But that does not justify his actions. I truly do not believe that his lack of reasoning ability has anything to do with his ability to tell right from wrong. Yes, I would like to see him rehabilitated but the statistics are not in that favor. I do not envy the judge in this situation. I honestly don't know what I would do. It's such a tough issue.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's a new day

Everyday that passes I realize that I need to make a change. Some days it's hard to be greatful when so much is going wrong around you. I do realize that my career is not my life but it's such a big part of who I am. I know what I want in life and I want a successful career. I'm going to vow to focus on the positive and stop letting my career setbacks negatively effect my entire life. Just because my career is not going in the right diretion does not mean that I should be completely miserable. So a new day is begining.