• 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. Hear Doerr explain how the OKR process gets teams pulling together by surfacing what matters most, and how a powerful goal system from BetterWorks is leading organizations to operating excellence.
  • Greg Gerik
    Greg Gerik on September 15, 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.
  • You should know that Reddit hates marketers, unless they give real value and are an active part of the community who give real value. With that being said, you shouldn’t leave it out of your next digital campaign.

    Marketing on Reddit has been a big challenge for me to comprehend. Everyone kept telling me: if you’re doing content marketing and still haven’t tapped into the power of Reddit, then you are truly missing out. So I kept going. I would like to share with you 3 tricks that are currently working for me that I haven’t seen any marketers using.

    According to their 2013 stats report, you can easily see why marketers love Reddit. It gains a lot of traffic, active users who share stories and click on articles, and is basically a juggernaut for posting content and luring visitors to your articles.

    Reddit is a social bookmarks platform, that anyone can post content to and up or downvote content. E.G., if you already have the proper content, it can go popular without working too hard on it.

    Instead of writing a long intro about what Reddit is, this video says it all.

    You should know that Reddit hates marketers, unless they give real value and are an active part of the community who give real value.  With that being said, you shouldn’t leave it out of your next digital campaign. This post doesn’t intend to cover the basics, so if you want to learn the basics for Reddit marketing you can check Blue Mountain Media’s quite extensive Reddit marketing guide, or this shorter and more basic Mashable guide, or the Social Media Examiner’s guide.

    To get a lot of traffic through Reddit you will need to have a mixture of great content, gain initial exposure and publish to the right sub-Reddit.

    In this post I want to share with you 3 hacks that will make it easier for you to publish content and go big on Reddit with the best ROI for your marketing time and resources.

    3 Ways to go big on Reddit:

    1) The AMA hack:

    In the past few months, Reddit’s AMA (Ask Me Anything) sub-Reddit got pretty huge. As mentioned by Ryan Holiday, a good Reddit’s AMA session “can generate hundreds of thousands of impressions and drive fans into frenzy. It can reinvigorate an established persona or hoist a completely obscure or unusual person into the Internet spotlight”.

    What is an AMA? Holiday explains: “It’s a thread of questions within Reddit, hosted by an interesting person. The Reddit community responds with the type of honest, earnest and provoking questions that would rarely show up in your typical media interview. Anyone can participate, from the host to the casual Reddit user to the fans who simply upvote questions.

    ” While the AMA has become famous for its celebrity hosts, it works pretty well for the regular marketers looking to generate awareness, leads and traffic – if they’re willing to answer questions and be really helpful.

    Lior Frenkel, Co-founder of The NuSchool, an initiative that helps designers become better freelancers, submitted his own AMA a few days ago and got some amazing results.

    While submitting the offer to ask him anything in an off time hour, he got almost instantly dozens of questions and comments for other Redditers, without even promoting the AMA at all.

    Here are some takeaways on how you can conduct your own AMA to generate traffic, impression and reach “superstardom”:

    1.  Go to: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/
    2. Write an informative eye catching description of who you are in the title. For example: “I’m Roy Povarchik, a growth hacker who helps startups get their first 1M users. Ask me anything”.If you have a strong social proof such as: “I’m Kevin Systrome, CEO and founder of Instagram. Ask me anything”, it will also play to your advantage. Make it very clear why should anyone care about you, how you can benefit them and who can benefit from you experience.
    3. Write a short and to the point bio.
    4. Provide a proof that you are who you say you are, having real expertise and value. You can put in a link to a photo of you in a conference next to your name tag or to your personal blog, or startup’s site. It needs to be very clear that you are who you say you are. Lior’s proof wasn’t sufficient at the beginning and Reddit took off his AMA thread until he fixed it. So it is super important.


    Screen Shot 2014 09 14 at 5.36.33 PM 3 little known hacks to get more leads using Reddit

    The AMA hack

    When’s the best time to conduct an iAMA?

    When it comes to live interaction online, timing is everything. You don’t want to start your AMA when there’s nobody there to interact with, right? Luckily, there’s a tool for that.

    RedditLater is a free service that lets you schedule a link to be posted to Reddit at a later time. It also has highly useful features that track the most active times by sub-Reddit.

    For example, if you look for the iAMA sub-Reddit, you will notice that Thursday noontime is when best to post your AMA thread.

    See what times work the best for you, go to Reddit, fill the details for your AMA and start engaging.  

    2) The trending sub-Reddits hack:

    We already established that timing is a very important element for Reddit marketing success.

    Timing is not only to know what the hour is, but also to recognize when to post to trending relevant sub-Reddits.

    When a sub-Reddit is trending, it means that it will probably get more traffic than an optimized time on a non-trending sub-Reddit.

    Hence, you shouldn’t look only for the best times to post a certain category, but also track which categories are the best ones to post, based on their trending status.

    RedditMetrics offer you a list of trending sub-Reddits which you can also filter by assuring their relevance to your niche. Simply go to RedditMetrics, see which sub-Reddits are trending, and check if they are relevant to your article. If they are, post them there, and if not, you can also go to the search field at the top-right to analyze and track other sub-Reddits you know will work for you.

    This is where the next trick comes in handy.   

    Screen Shot 2014 09 14 at 5.39.33 PM 3 little known hacks to get more leads using Reddit

    Meet Redditmetrics


    3) The Domain hack:

    As a Reddit marketer, you should already know that the most important part of posting content to the website, beside its sheer value, is choosing the right sub-Reddit for your content.

    Posting your content to the wrong sub-Reddit means you can forget about meaningful engagement and traffic.

    So what is the best way to choose the right sub-Reddit when posting new content?

    Most marketers will tell you to search through the different sub-Reddits to find one that is relevant which engages a lot of material. The concept itself isn’t bad, and yet, it counts as an educated guess.

    About two weeks ago, while speaking at a Google campus event, I heard Takipi’s Iris Shoor share a great trick on how to find what sub-Reddits work well for websites that shared similar content.

    Here’s the way to do so:

    Step 1:  Choose a blog/domain that talks about similar topics and shares the same target audience you intend to reach.

    Step 2: In the URL line, type reddit.com/domain/the domain you want to check. For example, if I’d want to know what sub-Reddit work well for Kissmetrics, I’ll type in this link: http://www.reddit.com/domain/blog.kissmetrics.com

    Step 3: Look for posts that are relevant to your topic which preformed well, and check what sub-Reddit they were submitted to. Pretty simple, isn’t it? Just remember, every topic has a different sub-Reddit that will work well for it. Be careful to choose an article similar to yours and not just whatever sub-Reddit that ranked high.

    Screen Shot 2014 09 14 at 5.43.42 PM 3 little known hacks to get more leads using Reddit

    Choose the right Sub-Reddit


    Bringing it all together

    Reddit can be a golden unicorn for your content, but it can also function as its bottomless pit. Make sure you apply to Reddit’s marketing rules, and you’ll be fine.

    1. Submit quality content.
    2. Post to the right sub-Reddit.
    3.  Know your timing.

    Do you have any insights from your Reddit’s marketing? Share it in the comments.

    If you did something wrong, say so. Instead of trying to figure out where the blame lies, turn upset fans into loyal customers by taking responsibility for your actions. Own up to the issue instead of deleting customer comments about it, because deleting negative messages instead of addressing them will only add fuel to the social media fire.

    How in the world could this have happened?!

    It’s the middle of the night where you are but it’s early afternoon someplace else, where a group of angry customers is mounting an offensive against your brand. Negative videos have gone viral and a barrage of inflammatory tweets and Facebook posts are being hurled in your direction. Rage spills over to other social networks and influential bloggers are decimating your reputation. The social media crisis is quickly spreading, but you are silent.

    The damage is widespread by the time you get to the office. Furious calls are pouring in from everywhere, including company executives demanding an explanation and an action plan. But you have no idea what triggered all the negativity, when it started, or how much it has escalated. Should you call the legal department? Should you stop publishing content? Should you reach out to your fans and followers for help? OMG!!

    Social media can be a useful tool to build your company brand or a nail in its coffin.

    Consider what happened to DiGiorno Pizza on Twitter. After the debacle surrounding Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice’s behavior, the hashtag #WhyIStayed began trending on the platform because survivors of abuse leveraged it when they shared their personal stories. DiGiorno picked on on the hashtag without knowing what it meant and co-opted it for marketing purposes. It ended badly, as you may have heard:

    digiorno whyistayed hashtag fail

    [This is why you do your research before you tweet.]

    While it’s possible to counter a social media crisis after the fact, it make far more sense to be prepared in advance and have a predetermined plan of attack. You must take this quote to heart:

    It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.

    - Warren Buffet

    8 things your brand can do to manage a social media crisis

    1. Have a plan

    Every brand should have a social media policy and a community management plan. There must be a clear understanding of the steps that need to be taken should a PR crisis arise. Your plan should include having easy access your Terms of Service, so you can reference them if needed. You should also compile a list of people within your company who must be notified.

    2. Pay attention

    The most important thing you need to do is pay attention to what people are saying. Wading blindly into a crisis without having your arms around all the moving parts is not a good practice and can exacerbate an already-horrible situation.

    3. Know what the crisis is

    It’s very important to understand what the social media crisis really is, how it originated, how the fans or customers have been affected, and why others are rallying behind the issue. Use social media listening tools to monitor conversations both inside and outside your brand — this will help you shape an insightful and compassionate brand response.

    4. Acknowledge it as quickly as you can

    Speed matters in today’s fast-paced digital conversations. Your initial response should let the public know that you are acknowledging the issue, because ignoring it just makes everything worse. Being as transparent as possible — as quickly as possible — is the way to go.

    5. Let people vent

    When you respond to a social media crisis, it’s best to do so on a page you administer, such as your Twitter or Facebook profile. This will help you control the conversation.

    6. Keep your cool

    Never get into a public argument with users by posting something negative or argumentative in response to their comments. Doing so will only make matters worse. It’s important to take a step back and put yourself in their position so you can empathize with what they’re experiencing.

    7. Create an area to house information

    Develop an area on your website or blog that contains all of the information about the crisis and what your company is doing about it. When you respond to users and fans, you can send them there directly to help streamline communication.

    8. Turn a negative into a positive

    If you did something wrong, say so. Instead of trying to figure out where the blame lies, turn upset fans into loyal customers by taking responsibility for your actions. Own up to the issue instead of deleting customer comments about it, because deleting negative messages instead of addressing them will only add fuel to the social media fire.

    Social networks are part of modern life, and becoming a common aspect of organizational life. There has been considerable discussion around the value of such networks, particularly when it comes to forming opinions.
    Social networks are undoubtedly a major part of modern life, and an increasingly common aspect of organizational life.  There has been considerable discussion around the value of such networks however, particularly when it comes to forming opinions.  There have been a few studies recently that suggest that social networks do little to promote divergent thinking and ideas, thus often resulting in a kind of sanitized group think.  All of which isn’t so great for companies trying to be a bit more innovative.

    It’s interesting to read, therefore, a new study that explores just how opinions tend to evolve on our social networks.  The researchers created a computational model to test their hypothesis around the kind of conditions that promote a consensus forming across our social networks.

    “We wanted to provide a new method for studying the exchange of opinions and evidence in networks,” the researchers said. “The new model helps us understand the collective behavior of adaptive agents—people, sensors, data bases or abstract entities—by analyzing communication patterns that are characteristic of social networks.”

    The researchers believe that their model will address some of the uncertainties associated with soft data, such as the opinions of people, in addition to that of harder data such as statistics and facts.  This will hopefully allow them to model both how opinions form and when a consensus is reached.

    “Human-generated opinions are more nuanced than physical data and require rich models to capture them,” they say. “Our study takes into account the difficulties associated with the unstructured nature of the network,” they add. “By using a new ‘belief updating mechanism,’ our work establishes the conditions under which agents can reach a consensus, even in the presence of these difficulties.”

    The model sees nodes in the network exchanging and revising their beliefs via interaction with other nodes.  The interaction is usually local in context, with nodes exchanging information with neighbouring nodes.

    Previous attempts at modelling consensus forming suggest that the key is on the processes nodes use to update their beliefs.  Different methods of updating ones information results in different consensus states.  The researchers hope that their own system is both more rational and meaningful.

    “In our work, the consensus is consistent with a reliable estimate of the ground truth, if it is available,” they say. “This consistency is very important, because it allows us to estimate how credible each agent is.”

    So, the model suggests that consensus tends to form when the consensus opinion is close to that of a credible node in the network.

    “The fact that the same strategy can be used even in the absence of a ground truth is of immense importance because, in practice, we often have to determine if an agent is credible or not when we don’t have knowledge of the ground truth,” they say.

    In the future, the researchers would like to expand their model to include the formation of opinion clusters, where each cluster of nodes share similar opinions. Clustering can be seen in the emergence of extremism, minority opinion spreading, the appearance of political affiliations, or affinity for a particular product, for example.

    Photo Credit: Social Consensus/shutterstock

    If there is a new emerging paradigm for business, it is SMAC. Social, Mobile, Analytic, and Cloud based business models are becoming a hotter trend in digital marketing networks.

    If there is a new emerging paradigm for business, it is SMAC. Social, Mobile, Analytic, and Cloud (SMAC) based business models are becoming a hotter trend in digital marketing networks. Intuitive business owners are embracing the SMAC as a convergent force that could drive their business thrusts towards productivity. SMAC-based enterprises are able to develop an enticing customer engagement process and it consequently unfolds vast revenue opportunities for business.

    The internet has created a door for the proliferation of technology applications such as open source platforms that can be used for various business strategies. With this door of opportunity open, innovative business solutions became available. Integrating various platforms for business applications, the SMAC business model emerged.

    Image credit: exuberantsolutions.com

    What is SMAC for business solution?

    The SMAC uses four drivers of digital marketing innovative channels, namely social, mobile, analytic and cloud. Combining these four drivers for business productivity gives you a holistic solution in transforming your organization as a highly functional and productive entity with the capability of managing future business challenges.

    Social sharing enhances your business popularity in the social networks through the rapid sharing of your business products and services. Social marketing also enhances the collaborative knowledge for your business where your brand interacts with potential customers, giving them the opportunity to share feedback and insights on how to improve your products and services. From these activities, you can harness valuable data coming from your customers that can help you build better marketing strategies for your business.

    Mobile technology reinforces your business ability to connect with your customers. With about 60 to 80 percent of consumers using their mobile devices for shopping and looking for services online, you can boost your potential revenues by embracing mobile marketing as part of your business marketing strategy. Using mobile devices, the consumer enters the mobile marketplace where shopping can be done with ease.

    Using analytics to your business can enhance your supply chain and reinforces your ability to improve customer experience to your business. Using big data, you can extract valuable information that can enhance customer engagement with your brand, products or services. You can use data as business values to work on using analytics to acquire significant guide in marketing decisions.

    Cloud computing is another valuable driving force that offers businesses a cost effective way of building flexibility and enterprise agility for better productive outcomes for business. The cloud technology helps create a more cost effective IT ecology and infrastructure for organizations with the ability of businesses to cut down the costs for maintaining a physical server.

    Creating your SMAC business model


    Image credit: http://www.collaborative.com/

    Creating your own SMAC business model can be quite a challenge. For most organizations, the process is overwhelming. Indeed, building a SMAC business model can be daunting owing to the complex processes involved, more significantly because of the constantly evolving web based business environment. Every digital marketer needs to take a more systematic approach when designing their own SMAC business model, taking into consideration the following:

    1. Consider your business objectives and resources.
    2. Implement a more realistic initiatives to drive your business marketing strategies
    3. Discover your business capability in using SMAC and explore every aspect of benefits that can be derived from each.
    4. Link with technology partners that can help you manage your SMAC based marketing campaigns in a constantly changing SMAC environment.

    Every business has different marketing goals. You can implement yours by using the following techniques when creating your SMAC based business model.

    Build your business as a platform

    Most businesses create a pipeline where they launch their business with products and services to offer to their customers. In a SMAC based business model, you need to create your business not in the pipeline model, but more on the platform model where instead of offering your products and services for others to use, you make a reverse effect where you make people come to you in order to use your product or services. For instance, television channels are built on a pipe business model where it offers various television shows for people to watch. However, YouTube operates in a platform model where people seek its services to upload their own videos. In this regard, your business in a SMAC based environment will never falter to earn revenues because social, mobile, analytics and cloud channels remain relevant to your business.

    Transition from transaction to interaction

    Current business models are focused on transactions. However, a SMAC based business will likely stand longer by transitioning their business approach from transaction to interaction. SMAC applications are more relevant to customer engagement. As a matter of fact, it is about how your business connects with people, understanding what they think and how they feel about your business. This makes your business more customers centric where you get to build more personal relationship and connection with your customers instead of a mere formal transaction with them. After all, interacting with people is the essence of modern business applications these days such as social media apps, web logs and usage data.

    Customizing customer engagement

    Customization of your business according to your customers’ needs may be an expensive marketing approach. However, by using SMAC based business models, you take a more cost effective direction in integrating personalized customer engagement to your business. By using data analytics, you are enabling your business to gather vital information about your customers that will help you obtain better insights about them. Using the analytics report, you can create a marketing model that will tend to specifically address your customers’ needs and preference using a SMAC based business solutions.

    If you need assistance in growing your digital marketing strategies in a highly competitive web based environment, our digital marketing solutions can help you. Digital Warriors can provide the following services to help grow small businesses: marketing analytics, social media marketing, search engine optimization, IT consulting and web design and development. Talk to us now!

    Photo Credit: Business Models/shutterstock

    There were an estimated 3.9 billion email accounts in 2013. The majority of email comes from business correspondence, accounting for over 100 billion sent and received each day.

    There were an estimated 3.9 billion email accounts worldwide in 2013. The majority of daily email comes from business correspondence, accounting for over 100 billion emails sent and received each day. As the predominant form of communication in the business world, it's important to know how to use it effectively. This infographic from whoishostingthis takes a closer look at how to write better emails.

    Here are a few tips:

    Re-read before sending. Twice: This will help you catch typos and make sure you've addressed everything.

    Write with a respectful tone: Don't use emoticons, unless you know the person very well, and know you can use a relaxed style.

    Be mindful of Reply All, CC, and BCC: Make sure you're sending the message only to people you intended to receive it.

    • Use Reply-All when: Trying to set up a meeting with a few people and everyone needs to know everyone else's availability.
    • Use CC when you need to say FYI: When you CC someone, you don't expect action on their part. You're just letting them know what's going on.
    • Use BCC when: Sending out a bulk email and you do not want everyone's email addresses to be visible in the To or CC line.

    There' more in the full visual. Take a peek:

    A Beginner's Guide to Writing Perfect Emails #Infographic #marketing

    Article hat tip: entrepreneur.