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Tell Your Story By Telling Stories I really enjoyed this section of the 5 steps for social media successes by Jeff Bullas about telling your story by telling stories: Stories resonate and help us relate to others. We remember vivid details...

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Are you giving reporters what they want? Ragan Comunications had an interesting post highlighting a recent survey providing some numbers to back up the feeling that reporters want more than just a press release when being pitched a story by your...

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Using Images in Email Marketing Images have the power to tell a story that words cannot begin to convey. ClickZ has begun a series examining consumer email behavior and in this installment, they look at utilizing images in your email...

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Becoming Trusted and Credible Through Blogging In 2005, I helped found BlueJersey.com, a progressive political blog covering New Jersey politics. Frankly, my family supported me but didn't really understand what I was doing or why I was blogging.  They...

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Taking Social Media From Talk To Action The Harvard Business Review is out with a report called "The New Conversation: Taking Social Media From Talk To Action" that is worth a read talking about the growth of social media usage among companies: The...

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Using Images in Email Marketing

Category : Email, marketing

Images have the power to tell a story that words cannot begin to convey. ClickZ has begun a series examining consumer email behavior and in this installment, they look at utilizing images in your email marketing. They offer this analysis with statistics:

Since most email clients turn images off by default, I’m often asked about the use of images in email messages. Because we live in such a visual world, where images and videos are seemingly everywhere, consumers are expecting to see images in your email creative. Moreover, with the popularity of reading email on mobile devices that are fully equipped to render HYML, the audience who requires text-only emails is shrinking.

It’s important to have a properly formatted email creative with a compelling template, as this will assist in driving audience engagement and potentially advocacy. Given that images are turned off, my firm set out to measure how many consumers actually turn them back on. We found that:

  • Fifty-five percent of consumers stated that they turn on the images in the emails that they receive, which rivals the 57 percent of consumers that state they check their primary personal email account on their mobile devices.
  • Far fewer consumers add sender addresses to their address book, which in most email clients will enable image rendering by default. Sixteen percent of consumers stated that they added an email marketer’s email address to their address book.

It’s good to know that some people don’t block the wonderful visuals you are trying to provide, but you should also be prepared for those that do. The article goes on to discuss some best practices for including images in your email marketing campaign further. This will ensure that the people you are trying to communicate with actually see what you are trying to convey.

Becoming Trusted and Credible Through Blogging

Category : Facebook, Social Media, Twitter, blogs

In 2005, I helped found BlueJersey.com, a progressive political blog covering New Jersey politics. Frankly, my family supported me but didn’t really understand what I was doing or why I was blogging.  They thought I was giving away my writing and ideas for free. I always explained how I believed it would demonstrate my knowledge, help legitimize me and ultimately be beneficial. With the rise of Twitter and Facebook, I began to help publicize my writing to larger audiences and still my family questioned. They didn’t doubt me, but still couldn’t see the method to my madness.

Slowly, they began to see the light as I began speaking about social media, appearing in and on traditional media because of my work with new media, was hired for jobs because of my new media knowledge and then was named by the Washington Post’s Chris Cilizza as one of the best NJ political tweeters. I had been a paid political operative for years, however it was writing for free by blogging that truly raised my profile to the point where I became the communications director for the New Jersey Democratic State Committee.

Along the same lines of my story, Jeff Bullas looked at how blogging can make you credible and offered this assessment:

Blogging doesn’t make you an expert but just through the sheer committment, research involved and the passion required to write often and regularly, that the expert label perceived or real starts to  shine through. It is said that to become an expert it takes 10,00o hours of practice to be at the top of your game, whether you be a musician or surgeon.   Blogging gets you noticed  and positions you as a thought leader and consequently as potential customers read your blog posts and observe your committment and passion they brand you as an expert. The next logical step is that they trust you and want to buy from you.

I only wish I could have explained it that well when my family questioned. Blogging got me noticed and because I earned people’s trust, I was considered credible. Trust is essential to communicating because lack of trust leads to immediate questions of credibility and accuracy. I utilized my blogging to gain this trust and credibility, making contacts with traditional media to improve the work I was able to do. I never claimed to be a reporter, in fact constantly credited reporters and talked about how I wouldn’t be able to blog well without them. But I did manage to make myself a credible source of information about news and politics in New Jersey by simply composing my thoughts in the form of blog posts and then distributing them on social media platforms. Anybody can do it, you just have to take the time and make the investment.

Taking Social Media From Talk To Action

Category : Facebook, Social Media, Twitter, advertising, business, marketing

The Harvard Business Review is out with a report called “The New Conversation: Taking Social Media From Talk To Action” that is worth a read talking about the growth of social media usage among companies:

The exponential growth of social media, from blogs, Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn and YouTube, offers organizations the chance to join a conversation with millions of customers around the globe every day.
This promise is why nearly two-thirds of the 2,100 companies who participated in a recent survey by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services said they are either currently using social media channels or have social media plans in the works. But many still say social media is an experiment, as they try to understand how to best use the different channels, gauge their effectiveness, and integrate social media into their strategy.
But when they say experimenting, it really sounds like feeling around blindly hoping to find something according to some of the results:
  • Three-quarters (75%) of the companies in the survey said they did not  know where their most valuable customers were talking about them.
  • Nearly one-third (31%) do not measure effectiveness of social media.
  • Less than one-quarter (23%) are using social media analytic tools.
  • A fraction (7%) of participating companies are able to integrate social media into their marketing activities.

These should all be huge red flags in any experiment as they represent numerous missed opportunities to capitalize on their efforts in the future.  Follow me below the fold for more. Contunue Reading