March 10, 2014

Cruiseable: Cruise vacation planning reimagined

cruiseable-trio
From left, Nancy Cole, JD Lasica and Giacomo Balli of Cruiseable (taken with JD’s iPhone).

Target audience: Entrepreneurs, startup teams, angel investors, venture capitalists, cruise industry representatives, travel bloggers and podcasters, tourism boards and organizations, marketing professionals, brand managers, journalists, trend watchers.

JD LasicaIjust landed in Miami for the biggest cruise conference of the year, Cruise Shipping Miami, now in its 30th year (otherwise I would have been at South by Southwest Interactive in Austin).

The reason? We’re preparing for the launch this summer of Cruiseable, the startup that CTO/mobile app wiz Giacomo Balli and I are co-founding, with massive input from cruise and travel journalist Carrie Finley.

While other startups typically go stealth before launch, we decided to go social instead. (I gave a talk at a startup conference last June about The Social Startup.) The reasons are twofold:

• We’d like to hear from potential business partners, angel investors and team members. We already have three angels on board, including a partner in Google Ventures, so drop me a line if you’d like to see our business deck or to discuss a business collaboration. (Early seats at a great valuation are going fast!)

• We’re not afraid of other startups jumping into the fray. Lord knows, the cruise industry can use more mobile and social innovation from any and all up and comers! Continue reading

March 5, 2014

The Law of Large Numbers is the digital marketer’s friend

large-numbers

Target audience: Digital marketers, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers.

Chris AbrahamHere’s the most poorly kept secret in the marketing, PR, sales, and religion world: Conversion is a numbers game. Whether it’s getting into the New York Times or going viral on YouTube, getting retweeted by @katyperry, or appearing on the 4th hour with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford, numbers matter.

We depend not only on the generosity of strangers to keep the lights on, we also depend on the law of large numbers to make sure we reach enough people in general through our ads, our mentions, and reviews to make our end-of-month, quarter, and yearly numbers so that we secure that sweet bonus and the pool we promised the family. Eyeballs, viewers, readership, ratings — it’s all about getting in front of as many of the right people as humanly possible. Right? Continue reading

March 3, 2014

Google Tag Manager: What it is, how to use it and how it helps

Google-Tag-Manager

How to take the tedium out of tag management

Target audience: Brand managers, digital marketers, SEO specialists, PR pros, business executives, entrepreneurs, educators, Web publishers.

Guest post by Rohan Ayyar
E2M Solutions

rohanUnderstanding user behavior on the Web is the key to success in digital marketing. However, managing that information isn’t as easy as it might seem.

There’s no shortage of information available — customers, data, insights, it’s all within reach. There was a time when all this information was buried deep within web logs, as we used to call it. Details about site traffic and visitor tracking fell under the purview of webmasters and “site admins.” Along came Google Analytics, which democratized and demystified all of this information for site owners. However, it still required the work of developers to insert code into the site and do magic with it. Continue reading

March 3, 2014

Calendar of social media, tech & marketing events: March 2014

sxswSloane Berrent, Shira Lazar, Heather Meeker, Heather Schlegel and others at SXSW 2009 (Photo by JD Lasica).

Guide to the month’s best conferences & events

JD LasicaConference season is picking up! Among notable events on tap: South by Southwest, of course, but also TED, Search Marketing Expo – SMX West, eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, Social Media World Forum, the Dent conference, Social Media Marketing World and Macworld Expo. I’ll be speaking at Social Media & Mobile Strategies for Travel in San Francisco in two weeks.

If you can’t attend an event in person, find out the hashtag and follow the goings-on on Twitter.

For the full year, see our full Calendar of 2014 social media, tech and marketing conferences. Let us know if we’ve missed anything in the comments. And drop me a line if you’ll be in the neighborhood! Continue reading

February 27, 2014

Add these 6 tools to improve your social workflow

twentyfeet
TwentyFeet is like Google Analytics for social media.

TwentyFeet, Gmail Inbox Checker, WhoTweetedMe & 3 more!

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Post by Andrew Lisa

Andrew-LisaFor corporation founders like Bob Parsons of GoDaddy, managing social media workflow is paramount to staying in touch with customers and maintaining an existing client base. GoDaddy manages a social media account on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, YouTube, and Pinterest (and, likely, some that I’ve missed). However, if you’re a solopreneur or small business owner, social workflow is just as important as it is to the big leaguers.

I’m not part of a social media marketing agency or huge corporation, but just handling social marketing for my own individual blog requires me to use tools to improve workflow. Keeping up with the daunting aspects of social marketing makes it almost impossible to do anything else. The right apps, extensions, and software, however, have helped me do the work of many by helping me become organized and efficient. Continue reading

February 24, 2014

Google unmasks the anonymous with Google Authorship

anonymous
Photo by Paul Williams on Flickr

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Chris AbrahamGoogle has a goal in mind and it has more to do with visitor identification as it relates to targeted advertising than it has to do with improving the quality, speed, or usefulness of searching or finding. This demands drawing out as many anonymous visitors as possible. This includes members with false names, stage names, brand names, noms de plume, and noms de guerre.

Google wants to triangulate real name with as much online behavior as possible. Google’s apps, products, phones, OSes, and services are just elaborate strategies to lure Internet denizens out of the cold and into the system. The greater the number of points of reference connecting that user with online behavior the better. And it’s all for market data. It all comes down to revenue generation: AdWords, ad networks, and back-office partnerships and deals with other ad networks and revenue-generating schemes. Continue reading