• Russ Fradin
    Russ Fradin on July 29, 2014

    Why Employee Advocacy Matters

    Employee advocacy is an emerging new marketing strategy where companies empower their influential employees to authentically distribute brand approved content, create original content, and in turn earn recognition and rewards for their activity and participation.
  • alexmoffit
    Alex Moffit on September 4, 2014

    John Doerr on OKRs and Goal Setting at Google and Intel [VIDEO]

    “Ideas are precious, but they’re relatively easy. It’s execution that’s everything,” says John Doerr, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and the man who introduced Objective & Key Results (OKRs) to Google. Google widely credits OKRs for helping the company grow from 40 to 40,000 employees. Other businesses including LinkedIn and Twitter have also embraced OKRs.
  • Greg Gerik
    Greg Gerik on September 16, 2014

    Shaking Up Social: Attending the Social Shake-Up in Atlanta

    Last year, the Social Shake-Up was one of the best social conferences to attend and this year promises to be even better. Here are a few of the hottest topics and sessions at the Shake-Up this year that are sure to deliver and drive this industry forward.
  • LPope
    Leah Pope on September 23, 2014

    Using Social Intelligence to Build the Sales Pipeline

    The social web has opened new channels for consumers to discuss products and brands, share opinions and ask for recommendations. Brands today must take a more responsive approach focused around interests relevant to the individual consumer. With the right tools in place, brands can uncover these opportunities, engage strategically and directly contribute to trackable lead generation.
  • An article about my experience at The Social Shake-Up this year, and how future attendees can network effectively at the event to help their long-term career growth.

    The Social Shake-Up is a social media event that takes you to the new world of social business, visualizes keynote speeches, and has the “right-time” conversations to drive our imaginations.  Attendees travel from all over the world to Atlanta to find help for their problems, connect with influencers, and involve one another in authentic conversations. If you have a desire to sharpen your skills with the world’s best thinkers on social media, you need to be here.

    Whether you’re starting your own business, trying to innovate, or transitioning in your career after living in Viveiro, España — networking here can be your life support.  It can propel you to the next level professionally, while enhancing different aspects of your personal life.  Treat networking as if you were launching your new career.  We need to incorporate a select set of ingredients that will give us that “special sauce” factor.

    You want your "shaking up" to leave an impression—for all the right reasons.  In networking to develop lasting relationships at The Social Shakeup, it’s important to be genuine in all actions.  Many of the people I met at The Social Shakeup were generous and eager to help.  You must listen, be patient, and understand the needs of the shakers in the space— while also understanding your own needs too. 

    Here are the 10 Steps I tweeted out during the event to leave a mark for how future attendees can leverage the event to build their career:

    Knowing the speakers is probably the most important thing you will do.  Having a list can help you learn what their interests are and set the foundation for you beginning to get social with them.  Shake, shake, shake it up!  After you’ve made a list, reach out to Social Media Today to pitch your idea for a creative article about the experience.  Ameilia Smith of Social Media Today is more than happy to help. 

    One thing that caught the eye of Doug Busk at Coca-Cola was my Instagram business card picture.  By taking a picture of your business card to tweet out you can create a great visual and connect with people before the event even starts!  During the event, be sure to offer your card to those whom you have made a connection with.  This leads to a higher chance in following-up successfully after the event because you leave them with something tangible they can touch and feel about your personal brand.

    The hard part is narrowing down your choices of networking events to go to at The Social Shake-Up.  Focus on going to the panels that interest you most, but also being a balanced FrankenMarketer by touching all categories. They post the guest list of those attending their functions ahead of time too, so you can try to connect with people beforehand.  I added these people to my Social Shake-Up list as well.

    Figure out who you want to meet.  Make a mental note of 3-5 persons who you definitely may want to speak to. Sales is always a numbers game, but focus on quality instead of quantity of people you meet.  Keep an open mind to changing panel selections based on what’s important to attendees that year.

    In networking, you should take the time to listen as much as you speak. Dig for knowledge of your listener’s needs, wants, and passions like a sales representative. Be who you are and don’t feel small.  It’s okay to ask for something, but don’t make that your first intention.  Just be yourself and transparent to confidently share who you are.

    I met many generous people that helped me at The Social Shake-Up.  Adam Wexler at Insightpool helped me get a discount on my ticket to the event and encouraged me to connect with the executives at the event to help in my job search.  Jamie Turner of 60 Second Communications taught me lessons on how I could monetize my blog and sent me a free copy of his book.  Todd Smith of National Women Business Directory sent me a picture of Jamie and I together and explained how we can better help women in business.  Melinda Byerley of Vendorsi gave a shout out to me on Twitter as a bright millennial you should follow.  I can’t even measure the amount of new information I shook my tail feather to.  I’m planning on writing articles from all the panels I attented over the next month and sending those articles to the panelists.  Helping is caring.

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    Seize the moment by doing your research during the event on new things you learn and people you connect with. Prepare to ask a question to a panelist related to their background.  Stand tall, introduce yourself and company and ask your question.  Be memorable.  There were about 600 people at The Social Shake-Up. The first thing they will see is your passion.  You want to display a professional look, but you need to show some personality to stand out.

    You need to be interacting with people on social media using the #socialshakeup hashtag, panels you attend, parties you play at, and the list you created.  The Social Shake-Up attracts a wide breadth of brands and industries to see.  I had great conversations with Mayson Thornoton of Coca-Cola, Eric Brodsky of Universal Studios, Brian Rudolph of Social Media Club Atlanta, Doug Bewsher of Leadspace, Maria Oliveira of Prime Research, and David Gardarian of Dassault Systemes by staying for lunch.  Don’t forget about the host either.  The few moments I had with Robin Carey of Social Media Today were at the closing reception.  I wanted the interaction to be meaningful.  I said, “Thanks, Robin, for putting on such a great event!  I feel so lucky to have been part of it after being abroad in Spain for a year.  I really enjoyed it and hope you will continue to keep bringing it back to Atlanta as the innovation hub.” Finally, follow up with all your connections after the event.  Make your mark.

    Writing an article helps Social Media Today, creates brand awareness about The Social Shake-up, gives positive publicity to people and brands at the event, and inspires us to be social media change agents.  Take your notes, business cards, people you met, #socialshakeup tweets, imagination, and spread out everything on a table.  Publish the article within a week to stay relevant.  Ask yourself: Why you are writing this article? Remember you want to help people and create a story that moves them.

    The last step is to share the article on social of course with as many people as possible!  You may pick up on similarities by inviting people to the party, which may lead to a great conversation or debate.  It starts with just one conversation to lead to a valued business relationship.  You want to feel energized and inspired after leaving The Social Shake-Up.  I know I did.   

    We need to create stronger relationships with the people we meet in person at The Social Shake-Up to see the true benefits of a collaborative economy.  In a world with people behind computers, face-to-face communication is more important than ever. Social Media Change agents have to be humorous, empathetic, classy, helpful, and transparent offline too to sustain long-term career growth.  It’s about the human to human connection, not the social business.  You only live once as a social media change agent in life with certain opportunities.  Shake it until you make it.

    Memes are trending a lot these days. In fact, they are the hottest trend now. So, it is a nice idea to come up with a website that allows users to create memes.

    Memes are trending a lot these days. In fact, they are the hottest trend now. Take a look at your Facebook newsfeed, log into your Twitter account or browse your WhatsApp messages, memes are what you will see hovering everywhere. A meme is what comes to mind when one wants to be funny, witty, sarcastic or humorous on a social networking site. Sometimes it makes you smile and sometimes it makes you laugh. The ultimate goal behind making and posting a meme is to have everyone in splits. So, when everyone is interested in making funny memes, it is a nice idea to come up with a website that allows users to create memes.

    You can build a great meme maker website with WordPress. In that case, you must be eager to know about a good meme generator WordPress plugin with the help of which you can change a WordPress site into a meme maker website.

    What is Meme Generator?

    Meme Generator is a popular WordPress plugin. With this plugin, one can turn a WordPress website into an entertaining blog featuring user-generated content. The advantage of uploading user-generated content is that you can pull a lot of website traffic and high website traffic gives way to big profits.

    Taking advantage of the Meme Generator WordPress Plugin, users can download the particular meme or memes they have created and upload them to the website. Uploading does not mean they will appear on the website. They will be published once they get approval of the admin who possesses the right to disapprove any content that are meant to humiliate anyone. This is to ensure that a site does not get spammed.

    What are the features?

    This plugin is equipped with all the features that are common in all meme generator websites. It can offer a user with much more features than other sites. It comes with a number of pictures that can be selected for making memes. Each of the images is approved by the admin so, users need not worry about any copyright issues related to a particular image. In case the collection of pictures does not suffice, users can consider a picture or pictures of their own choice to create funny memes.

    A meme is not a meme if it does not contain apt words in sync with the image. A user can add text and set the font style and size of their own choice on a meme maker site with WordPress.

    The plugin is easy-to-use for both the user and the owner of a WordPress website. The code it provides is easy to install and upload on any WordPress website.

    Hence, in a nutshell, the features of the plugin are as follows.

    ·         Users can upload images and insert text easily to make a meme. There are options to change font and text size.

    ·         Once a meme has been created, users can download and for that they have to click the ‘Download’ button.

    ·         After a user has submitted a meme, the admin will approve it and then, the meme will be published on the website.

    ·         The Meme Generator WordPress Plugin caters to any WordPress theme.

    These are the striking features ofMeme Generator WordPress Plugin. If you are interested to know more about it, you may click here.

    A few considerations when creating a meme maker website

    While many people are aware of the fact that a meme is not a weapon for disgracing an individual or a way to express feelings of resentment, there are some people who do not think this way. That is why often, there are cases where some memes have been the reason of hatred and enmity. As an owner of a meme maker website, you will certainly not want to see any meme as the cause of hostility between two individuals. It is important to create guidelines for the group of users who have an inclination towards using memes to create animosity and rivalry. This is to make sure that they create memes that are amusing, entertaining and are not intended to hurt a particular person’s emotions.

    When you are building a meme maker website with WordPress, you can create a separate section that consists of the following guidelines for the users.

    ·         It is absolutely fine to express how much funny, witty and humorous one can bethrough memes. But, it is vital make sure none of the memes hurt somebody's feelings. No onehas the right to demean any one on popular platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

    ·         One should never use anyone’s real photographs while creating a meme. It is much better, smarter and wiser move to use cartoon images in the place of real images.

    ·         If one has any personal grudge against a particular person, it is advisable to never convey that through a meme.

    ·         The one and only aim behind memes is spreading fun. A meme should be in good jest. Using derogatory terms is strictly prohibited so that one does not end up making anyone feel bad. One shouldcreate memes that entertain and evoke laughter.

    These are the few points you should highlight on your meme generator website. Place this section in your site in a way that it is visible.

    Therefore, from the above discussion, you may have acquired some helpful suggestions regarding how to build a meme maker website with WordPress. As you can see that with the help of Meme Generator WordPress Plugin, it is much easier to create such a site. You can offer some themes as well; although users are free to bring into play any theme of their choice. Aruna, Hoarder, Me Gusta, I Love It and Ipin Pro can be cited as examples in this respect. Learn about them well and then, add the themes to your site. 

    So, be confident and develop an interesting meme maker website with WordPress.

    Along with IBM, we hosted a "fireside chat" with the brilliant and entertaining social business evangelist Sandy Carter on the second day of The Social Shake-Up. Here's a Storify of the takeaways.

    Along with IBM, we hosted a "fireside chat" with social business evangelist Sandy Carter on the second day of The Social Shake-Up. She walked a packed room through six lessons gleaned from her love of the mobile game Candy Crush Saga. There were so many takeaways that we nearly ran out of time, but Sandy left us with many wise words about the value of using social to reveal and cultivate company culture, as well as a reminder to stay playful and creative as a social business. All things considered, Sandy Carter is an innovator to be reckoned with (and we wouldn't bet against her in a Candy Crush game, either).

    Here's a Storify of the takeaways:


    Learn the four key strategies to create a stellar social media brand that no one wants to miss out on. Don't we all feel a little fear of missing out (FOMO)?
    As a brand it your job not to just sell to your customers, but connect and engage with them. You want to show your voice, what you stand for and that you are credible in your field--all the while building dynamic relationships with your fan base. So how do you keep them coming back for more each time? You create brand FOMO or the fear of missing out. Here are four strategies that will help you cultivate a stellar social media presence that people won't want to miss out on.
    1. Make your fans feel important. Don’t wait days or weeks to respond to a fan or follower. Reply as immediately as you can—these are your customers or potential customers and if they feel heard, respected and surprised by a quick response—they will, without a doubt, be back for more.
    2. Make your content so amazing they won’t want to miss a post. We’ve all had that friend or been the person, who can’t stand seeing photos or posts of their friends having a great time without them--as a brand this is your daily goal. What will people miss out on if they don’t stop by your Facebook page or Instagram account? If you only post stellar content, it will be much harder for people to pull themselves away from it. 
    3. Offer exclusive benefits to your fan base. Host a contest or giveaway to the people who interact most with you on a specific social media channel. Or promise a special prize to the first comment or RT on a post coming up that week. The key is to be broad enough that your fans will check it regularly, but specific enough that they know the time period that that contest or prize will be given out. 
    4. Be innovative. Don’t repeat the same type of content every day. Provide a fresh perspective. Who can you connect with that will help build your brand and expand your influence? What marketing techniques can you capitalize on that you aren’t already using? What new campaigns can you start? The moment you let your social media grow stale, your fan base will too. Keep evolving and thinking of new ideas to keep your audience engage and coming back for more. 
    Don’t settle for an average brand presence. If you’re already implementing social media into your marketing then create a brand people care about and can’t go a day without updates. Brand FOMO is the ultimate key to social media success.
    Ever wondered what you really need to measure in order to gauge your success on social networks? Here are the key performance indicators (KPI) I typically focus on with my clients.

    Ever wondered what you really need to measure in order to gauge your success on social networks? The social conundrum is that we often find it hard to report on the success of given initiatives, while at moments we get overwhelmed with a stream of stats and indicators, struggling to make sense of it all. Too much data, or not enough? Here are the key performance indicators (KPI) I typically focus on with my clients, so I hope you find this useful!

    NOTE: These are metrics that ought to be followed by social media managers, in order to report progress and performance of given accounts on these social networks. It’s assumed these metrics must be aligned with business metrics, i.e. sales growth, increase awareness, generating leads, etc. but it isn’t the focus of this post.

    Facebook Metrics

    There are a variety of metrics that can be measured through Facebook’s native analytics module, so it is up to you to determine which ones help your case and align with business objectives. While the data can be sliced and diced per day, per week or as per the past 28 days, I tend to prefer the more aggregated view (28 days) in order to compare on a month per month basis. Here are some key metrics to consider:

    • Page Likes (new likes, unlikes, growth vs previous month and YoY)
    • Total Reach (organic, paid)
    • Total Impressions (organic, paid)
    • Engaged Users (page level)
    • Engaged Users (post level)
    • PTAT – people talking about this (folks who engaged with your content, basically)
    • EdgeRank

    Extracting a report from a Facebook Page

    Most of these metrics are provided when you extract a report, either at page level or post level, for a Facebook Page. But in order to get your EdgeRank, or how your Page scores as per Facebook’ complex newsfeed algorithm, I recommend using a third party application such as EdgeRankChecker.

    How to calculate a Facebook Page's engagement rateOne of my favorite metrics, not provided by Facebook reports per se, is the engagement rate of a page. You can find this number by dividing a page’s PTAT by its number of followers. For example, Tourism Australia had an engagement rate of 3.2% when I checked it last. NOTE: This rate evolves daily, along with your PTAT and number of followers.

    Looking away from Facebook analytics module, you will also want to monitor KPIs that address other key marketing goals and business objectives, such as:

    • Customer service related issued (quantity, resolved)
    • Traffic generated to your website
    • Sales and/or Offers redeemed
    • Questions answered or comments passed on (product improvement)
    • Human Resources (potential candidates, and other queries)

    Useful read: Download this free guide by Simply Measured: Beyond Reach: The Critical Facebook Metrics You Should Measure

    Twitter Metrics

    Example of engagement rate, as reported by Twitter

    Example of engagement rate, as reported by Twitter

    Twitter recently made its own analytics module available to all, but there have always been numerous ways to gather knowledge about an account and tweets performance, i.e. Hootsuite reports. Brands should thus focus on understanding and monitoring at least the following indicators:

    • Followers (growth)
    • Follower segmentation: interests, location, gender, etc.
    • Total Impressions (organic, paid)
    • Engagement rate
    • Tweet activity: retweet, favorites

    In a very similar fashion to Facebook, we ought to monitor KPIs that are perhaps not captured within the Twitter analytics module but that remain nevertheless very important. For example:

    • Customer service related issued (quantity, resolved)
    • Traffic generated to your website
    • Competitive analysis (hashtags, lists)
    • Questions answered or comments passed on (product improvement)
    • Queries dealt through direct messages

    In my experience, these have been metrics useful to monitor within a weekly or monthly dashboard, depending on your business. In the travel industry, we follow these indicators typically on a monthly basis.

    YouTube Metrics

    When producing a video then sharing it over the web, we typically focus on one number: views! While views are important, it’s also easy to buy “views” from link farms and other scam sites. Thus, it’s important to have a few more indicators to monitor in order to see how successful we are on YouTube.

    • Subscribers
    • Views (organic, paid)
    • Likes & Dislikes
    • Comments
    • Sharing
    • Source of playback (mobile, embedded, etc.)
    • EMW: Estimated Minutes Watched

    From a relationship marketing perspective, I tend to emphasize getting more subscribers, since this is the equivalent of gathering emails and building a database of people with whom we can communicate regularly, for example when a new video comes out. And while views give us an indication of success, I tend to take a closer look at the EMW stat: did people watch 5% of our video? 50%? 95%? It’s up to you to define what is considered “successful”, depending on length of videos, when the call-to-action shows up, etc.

    Performance of a 30-second ad on YouTube

    Performance of a 30-second ad on YouTube

    While referral traffic to your website is usually an important metric to consider, it may less be the case with videos, as calls-to-action may lead to different channels, i.e. subscribe to channel or newsletter, call for more details, download whitepaper, etc.

    Recommended reading: YouTube Analytics: 10 Ways To Track Video Performance

    Instagram Metrics

    Instagram may not (yet) have its own analytics module, but it did recently announce this was going to change shortly, in particular for business accounts interested in spending on advertising on the popular mobile application. In the meantime, you can access interesting insights through Iconosquare (formerly known as Statigr.am). KPIs to measure on Instagram:

    • Followers (new, lost, growth)
    • Total Media (new media over the past month, photo vs. video)
    • Likes (new, total)
    • Total Reach (organic, paid)
    • Impressions (organic, paid)
    • Engagement rate (love, talk, spread)
    Engagement rate on Instagram

    Source: Iconosquare

    Because of its visual, mobile-native nature, Instagram won’t necessarily generate traffic to your website. It will however generate content that you can repost, feature on your website, newsletter, Facebook page and various other networks. Brands who build contest and monitor closely a given hashtag, or numerous ones, can therefore track the reach and engagement levels created by these media, whether photo or video.

    Google+ Metrics

    One of the best free tools around to get a better understanding of your personal or brand performance on Google+ is without a doubt Circle Count. Ranking both individual and brand (or celebrities) profiles per country and globally, it’s a neat tool to discover influential people on Google+, and see how these folks perform, what they share, and so on.

    For Google+, here are the basic indicators to keep track of:

    • Followers
    • Views
    • Posts
    • “+1”
    • Comments
    • Mentions
    • Re-shares
    • Reach
    • Impression
    • ProfilesRank
    • Referral Traffic

    Sample report from Circle Count

    The ProfilesRank is simply how you or your organization ranks against other G+ users, so the lower the number, the better it is. In fact, we all strive to be number one, right? As for referral traffic, even though Google has recently axed its authorship program, Google+ remains a potential traffic referrer to your website, in particular if you host a dynamic blog, or if you guest blog on recognized platforms.

    Pinterest Metrics

    Last but not least, Pinterest has come up with its own modified and enhanced analytics module in recent weeks, beefing it up so that potential advertisers will be interested in spending dollars on the platform, among other things. NOTE: In order to access analytics on Pinterest, you must have a business account, a website linked to your account, and it must be verified. Click here to learn more on this

    Above and beyond traffic sent to your site from Pinterest, here are other important metrics to monitor:

    • Pins
    • Pinners
    • Repins
    • Impressions
    • Clicks
    • Engagement rate
    Example of Pinterest Analytics report

    Example of Pinterest Analytics report

    If you can at least monitor the above indicators on each platform during a period of 6-12 months, it will allow you to get a better view of how engagement is evolving, if it’s generating leads, sales or traffic to your site, making it more tangible to report and to justify resources, financial or human, to maintain your efforts.

    Read also: The New Pinterest Analytics Tool: How To Use it for Business

    Of course, these are but a sample of the possibilities and the above KPIs may or may not fit your reality. The most important thing is to align key indicators with business objectives, not just marketing goals, as social media plays a much broader role within organizations than simply drive sales!