September 17, 2013

How Google’s new tabs on Gmail changed email marketing forever

gmail

Are e-newsletters becoming an obsolete marketing tactic?

Ayelet Noff Ilove the new Gmail tabs. Why? Because they filter out so much of the “less important” email that I used to get in my main inbox without requiring any action by me, so that I can focus on the truly important emails that require my attention.

Now, when I say “less important” email, I don’t mean spam – I mean all those promotional mails and newsletters from businesses and brands that may have interested me some time in the past or may still interest me somewhat now, but are really not important enough to carry my attention away from the emails that really matter. For example, knowing that my favorite clothing store has a special for the next week and all clothes are 50% off is perhaps something I would be interested to know, however, with this promotional email now being directly transferred to a separate tab in my inbox, I no longer even give it the little attention span that I would have given it before Gmail came out with its new tabs system. Continue reading

May 13, 2013

20 tools to grow your business & get more productive

Triberr

Boomerang, TimeBridge, AwayFind & much more

Shonali BurkeA couple of years ago, I wrote a post on the five productivity tools I found myself using frequently. Since times change, and apps/platforms come and go, I thought I’d take a fresh look at how my daily toolkit has changed, and share that with you.

Note that I use Gmail almost exclusively, so if that’s you, you’re in luck. If not, well, you’ll have to see if they work for your particular set-up. Here, then, are 20 tools to help you grow your business, by keeping you efficient, productive and in the know.

Email, contacts and calendar/scheduling tools

1Boomerang for Gmail: I still use and love it. Boomerang is a great way to schedule emails ahead of time so that you can clear your backlog, or take care of responses, but not look like a crazy person who is up all hours of the day and night (even if you are, there’s no need to show it). It works as a Firefox and Chrome plug-in and there’s also a version for Outlook. See the video above for the inside scoop. Continue reading

April 11, 2013

Mailbox: Manage your Gmail inbox with ease

mailbox

Mobile app is a productivity game changer

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SchlemmingerThe appMailbox

Cost: Free (reservations currently taken, with real-time countdown to when you get yours)

Use cases: Manage your Gmail inbox with markedly more ease! The snooze button alone is a reason to try this because it gives you quick options for when the note can be presented back to you. That’s a lifesaver for those on frequent deadlines who are beholden to their inbox, but would like to avoid the distraction of dealing with unread messages right away. Mailbox uses the swipe motion to manage a handful of key actions including: archive, delete, snooze (aka handle later), and add to list. Continue reading

February 7, 2013

Streak: The best CRM system for small business?

crm

CRM, public relations and small business unite

Shonali BurkeRemember when someone would say “CRM” and your eyes would glaze over?

While it’s now a huge industry, good CRM (customer relationship management) is a practice that many of those who are forward-looking-and-thinking marketing and public relations pros are meticulous about.

When it comes to those of us who are business owners as well … well, we have to know how to manage relationships with not just the media, bloggers, and our community, we also have to keep track of our business relationships that make a good CRM system for small business a necessity. Continue reading

June 30, 2011

How to become a super-node in the attention era

To turn up in organic search, you need to play three-dimensional chess

Chris AbrahamI try to read through my RSS feeds every day. Today I stumbled upon an article by my friend Christopher S Penn, entitled Social media now directly influences search rankings.

It shows that Google is playing Tri-D chess in a world where most companies are mastering checkers:

If you’re marketing something, there’s now a direct incentive to build your network as large as possible among your prospective customers. Size matters.

Long story short: every search you make on Google returns results that are weighted heavily to favor people in your social network, especially those people and brands to have a lot of friends, likes, and followers.

In other words, you can access top organic search engine results for your company, brand, products and services by really diving into social media marketing and eveloping connections, followers, likes, and lists–getting people to like your brand on Facebook or follow your brand on Twitter hasn’t ever just been about brand awareness, it has also become an essential secret weapon for search engine ranking.

You should read Chris’ article for sure, but I have my own example to show how personally-tailored Google search has become

A few days ago a journalist friend of mine popped me a note to ask me if I knew the Rosetta Stone CEO.  I didn’t, however, he thought I must because my name came up twice when he searched for ‘Rosetta Stone” on Google.

See, I blogged for Rosetta Stone for a while and have used their products for years. When I did the same search, I didn’t show on the first page at all. Online, my friend’s world is heavily colored by me.

I showed up because he and I are connected via LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Talk, Gmail, Twitter, and who knows where else.

His search reality isn’t objective at all.  It is being heavily adjusted by the connections he has and will make to other people and brands online. In real time, immediately, to order, based on dozens of tacit connections.

Google isn’t stupid. I won’t show up in all of his web searches–only those that are relevant to what he wants. However, if I have ever written and published anything online that is, in fact, relevant, there’s an excellent chance I will turn up on page one, possibly even if he’s logged out of Gmail.

With the multitude of social network profiles that I possess and maintain, the nearly five-thousand friends I have on Facebook (including the high-caste of many of my friends), the 38,000 followers I have on Twitter, and my 12-year-old blog, my 2,200 contacts on LinkedIn, 3,400 folks on FourSquare, subscribers on FeedBurner, all my content on YouTube, and others, means that Google generally tries to include me in other people’s searches of the Internet, gaming serendipity to the point that I come up as a few of the search results on such a competed-for search term like Rosetta Stone in the Manhattan offices of one of the top global newspapers.

I chose to use this example because I have invested myself so heavily towards building these connections shamelessly. People wonder why I would engage in promiscuous “follow back” on Twitter and maintain the maximum friends on Facebook? Surely I am not special. I, like anyone else, cannot maintain close friendships in excess of Dunbar’s Number of 150 friends.

I have been doing this for myself, for my company, and for my clients, using myself as the most shameless example to prove the concept that having the “right” friends online, following the few “right” people and brands is not only wrong but dangerous.

Shoot for quantity plus quality followers

The more people you touch via social media and social network connections, the greater the chance that you will turn up as a top result in search results.

Yes, get the right followers, but also get as many followers as possible. In a world where people get their search results based on who their friends are and what they’re looking at or doing, you’re going to want to become connected to as many as humanly possible, possibly indiscriminately but certainly promiscuously. The more people you touch via social media and social network connections, the greater the chance that you will always be a top result whenever they do a search in your general direction.

Sure, my level of social media populism is not for everyone because it does take a lot of work, and pursuing the Cluetrain long tail of everyone can surely scare away some of your elite contacts and friends, which it has done, personally, because I do create a lot of content and “noise” to someone who only has 150 friends on LinkedIn, on MySpace, Friendster, and Twitter. I have surely driven them away and hear, “I had to unfollow you because you were the only person I ever saw on my
Facebook wall.” Fair enough. No worries.

While this example is personal, all of these map across to brand beautifully. I am co-founder and president of Abraham Harrison and Google knows that. It is on my Google Profile (you really need to look at this and set this up and try to get all your employees to set their profiles up as well). Google met me halfway when it came to the profile, too, as it was mostly already sorted out for me when I arrived. I just made sure they didn’t miss anything.

This might all seem like Mickey Mouse child’s play but the net effect is that the experience of daily search for tens of thousands of people online tends towards returning content that I have liked, dugg, retweeted, blogged, stumbled upon, thumbed up, shared, starred, emailed, and recommended, including a mainstream media highest-caste global newspaper journalist, and others. Their search reality is strangely influenced by my Internet behavior. That’s powerful. In the attention data game, I am considered a super-node.

In terms of an SEO strategy, this means–and has meant for a while–that simply nailing your site’s information architecture, naming convention, keyword-rich URLs and titles, content, keywords, ALT tags, and link strategy is not nearly enough.

The new secret weapon for Search Engine Optimization is digital Public Relations and Social Media Marketing.

Even more info on this strategy over on Steve Rubel and SEOmoz. Via Mike Moran’s Biznology blog.

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