Posts Tagged ‘internet presence’

Cooks Source Exposes the Power of Social Networks

Are you having trouble convincing your managers, executives, or staff of the importance of social marketing strategies? An event ripped from the headlines might help you win arguments.

Free Publicity

Blogger Monica Gaudio explained in her blog on livejournal.com that she had been published in a print magazine. Thing of it is, the magazine had published one of Gaudio’s blog posts without asking permission. This is flat out theft according to copyright law.

Gaudio contacted the magazine and received a kind of “in your face” reply. The magazine’s editor suggested Gaudio’s article needed heavy editing and Gaudio should, perhaps, pay for the service. The editor also asserted that all content on the Internet is in the public domain!

Because Gaudio shared this story on her blog, there was a near instantaneous groundswell of reaction from… well, bloggers. Pretty much anyone who publishes content on the Internet knows that unless they state the contrary in print, they own the copyright on their material. But Gaudio’s blog post had gone a step further: the blog page had included a clear statement of copyright.

So, Cooks Source Magazine had flat out stolen Gaudio’s work, and bloggers became angry. The anger went viral: people tweeted links to Gaudio’s report, they posted blog entries and tweeted links to them, they left comments on Facebook pages and tweeted links to them, and they laid siege to Cooks Source’s Facebook page, inundating it with highly critical comments. The information traveled quickly; just two days after the news broke there was a hash tag on Twitter –  #buthonestlymonica – that has been very lively (tweets under that hash tag led me to both the video and the spreadsheet I’ve linked to in this blog post). If that’s not enough, there are already several videos addressing the issue on YouTube. This one uses a popular YouTube device to illustrate the main issues, thought it’s more entertaining if you’re familiar with details of the fiasco:

Who became famous overnight? Yes, Gaudio became famous. Also, Cooks Source Magazine and its editor became infamous.

Good Social Marketing Strategies

Stealing people’s property and then writing snarky emails about it are not good social marketing strategies… unless you want a lot of people to focus on what a jerk you are. But that’s not the lesson here. The lesson is that when you touch the right nerve of a social network, the reaction can be explosive. A person or a company can go from obscurity to world-wide notoriety in hours.

One of your social marketing strategies should be to participate in networks that are interested in your message. As your network grows, learn from it and produce material that excites the network. If your blog post, tweet, Facebook status update, video, or podcast touches some nerve just so, it may go viral and create intense interest just as quickly as Monica Gaudio’s blog post managed to. Even if you can’t find something to trigger such a dramatic viral response, you’re likely to interest a few people who participate in your network. These will amplify your message across their own networks and could translate into a surge in inquiries, new sales, or at least in people joining your social circle.

Need More Better Arguments?

Could this example hurt the case you’re trying to make? What business would open itself to the intense scrutiny and criticism it might suffer from such a powerful entity? The answer is an oldie but a goody: If you participate in the social network, you’re likely to see the first whisper of trouble brewing, and you can intercede. Of course, you’ll need to do better than fire off condescending or smarmy notices that dig your company into a deeper hole. On the other hand, if you don’t even know it’s out there, a viral message against your company can do irreparable damage in just a few days.

Footnote: The social network is producing a spreadsheet on Google Docs to track works stolen by and published in Cooks Source magazine. It’s an impressive list, and it’s more impressive that the magazine had not been outed earlier than this past week.

 

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Web Social Marketing Strategies for Writers Week 1

On Wednesday, October 6, a group of writers in central Pennsylvania met at Zelda’s, a coffee shop in Lewisburg. Our purpose is to learn social marketing strategies to promote our writing. We’ll meet weekly for an indefinite period as all participants build Internet presences. Our goal is for each participant to find an audience.

The techniques and tools we’ll apply represent classic and cutting edge SEO and social media marketing. For the forseable future, this blog will chronicle activities of our group. Here’s the upshot of the October 6th meeting:

Overview of Social Marketing Strategies

We covered a lot of material very quickly addressing the following main questions:

  • Why develop an Internet presence?
  • Where do you start to achieve the best-possible Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
  • What are the components of an Internet presence?
  • How do you get traffic to your web site?

This meeting provided a sky-high overview of what we’ll be doing in the next many weeks, so we weren’t as “hands-on” as we typically will be.

Build Savvy to Establish Internet Presence

We looked at one potentially useful tool: Google Reader. To understand Google Reader, we learned what an RSS feed is and established that a blog must have an RSS feed to which visitors can subscribe. Then, we looked at Google Reader in action and we subscribed to an RSS feed. With regards to Google Reader, I ask that everyone sign up for a Google account, go to the Google Reader page, and use it to subscribe to several RSS feeds relative to their areas of interest.

To find blogs that you might subscribe to, simply search in Google using keywords you imagine people would use to find you. If your area of expertise is Young Adult Fiction, what words do you think people use in a Google search to find Young Adult Fiction pages? Keep track of the key phrases you think of… especially phrases that bring up articles you’ll eventually produce. Remember: the point of reading other blogs (and so, the point of subscribing to them), is to learn what’s going on in your niche… in a sense, to learn about your competition (though there’s nothing devious about this).

A Tool to Build Internet Presence

After Google Reader, we looked at a vital service that everyone must learn: Twitter. Twitter will be our gateway drug to social media. As silly as Twitter seems when you first learn about it, it forges an enormous number of emotional and business relationships very smoothly. We (unfortunately briefly) looked at how to search within Twitter for tweets about your areas of interest. Then, how to click through to someone’s Twitter stream and “follow” them.

Most people will follow you back if you follow them, but it’s important to understand that there are a lot of “robots” or automated responders that aren’t worth following. So, when someone follows you, I encourage you to review their Twitter profile, read their most recent 20 – 40 tweets, and click through the link that shows at the top of their Twitter page. If they are legitimately interested in the things that matter to you—and not merely a commercial entity—then by all means follow them back. But don’t be in a hurry to get all chatty. I recommend that you lurk for a while and see how conversations develop on Twitter before you insert yourself into them.

The second assignment for participants is to sign up on Twitter, follow me http://www.twitter.com/cityslipper, tweet hello, and find some folks specifically in your area of interest to follow. Make sure you complete your profile on Twitter, and upload an image as your avatar or profile photo. We are all going to become accomplished tweeps, so please get started on Twitter immediately and at least tweet with me. If I can identify you as a member of our group, I can point you to each other as well, so we’ll all be following each other.

More Social Marketing Strategies for Writers

We agreed to continue meeting at Zelda’s on Wednesdays at 12:30. I’m sorry we couldn’t come up with a time to accommodate everyone interested; this meeting time seems to work for the most people. Also: Zelda’s seems very enthusiastic about having us there.

Next Wednesday, the 13th, we’ll start by reviewing each others’ progress with Google Reader, and explore whether people actually find the tool useful. Then we’ll spend a bit more time with Twitter to see how it’s working for you. We’ll learn a few more tricks about finding good tweeps to follow and we’ll explore using Twitter and other tools to identify the key phrases that will be most useful in building your own Internet presence.

The menu item, Web Social Marketing Links, at the top of this page, leads to links that will become useful in the next many weeks. Please don’t rush to follow all the links there; we’ll talk about them as they become important in building our Internet presences.

I’m sad that I haven’t yet received tweets from everyone in the group… so please get cracking! I look forward to next Wednesday’s gathering. Bring your wi-fi-enabled laptops; I’ll bring an extension cord and a power strip!

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