December 03, 2008

Online Marketing Tips Video: Engaging Your Audience

By Li Evans

I know it'd Wednesday, but still working on fixing the kinks with my software.  Let me tell you, Adobe CS4 Premiere Pro is a memory hog!  More so than CS3 - big difference.  I wrestled with things till very late last night and decided to finish it up today. 

This week we've got 3 tips on how to Engage Your Audience.  Whether its your blog, your community or even MySpace or Facebook, these 3 tips if put into a social media strategy can help you interact, and engage the members of your audience and maybe even turn them into evangelists!

Full "Engaging Your Audience" Video Transcript After The Jump...

Continue reading "Online Marketing Tips Video: Engaging Your Audience" »

November 13, 2008

My Pubcon 2008 Highlights - Social Media Panels on a Short & Brief Trip

By Li Evans

Chris_winfield_and_david_wallace Pubcon 2008 was much like Pubcon 2007 for me, a brief whirlwind of networking, presenting and dinners.  Due to a pretty big workload, and wanting to make sure we keep our clients happy, Pubcon was a 1 1/2 day visit for me.  Pretty much a 36 hour on the ground trip.

I got to sit in for a session and present on Social Media & Search - a Love or War Story.

Of course I think it's a Love Story. :)

My other fellow panelists - David Wallace of Search Rank, Chris Winfield of 10e20 and Bill Hartzer of VizionInteractive , pretty much all agreed that it's a love story too.  David's presentation brough up the fact that many companies are quite there yet in believing in the Love Story of Social Media.  Chris highlighted the Love Story of Google and Digg, how there can be value if you have a good strategy in Digg, and you understand the workings of it.  Bill highlighted how feeds play a big role in Social Media and search, if anyone knows the ins and outs there, it's certainly Bill.  I highlighted that companies need a strategy, that you need to know who your audience is and where they are before you start.  I also said that in the future, search engines are going to be relying a lot more on social media sites for their signals of what's relevant, rather than so much emphasis on links.

The session before ours on Tuesday, was about Social Media:  The Big Sexy Buzz.  This panel had Warren Whitlock on it, who is a huge Twitter advocate and wrote the book Twitter Revolution, he brought up some great points about utilizing twitter, many this audience has heard and espoused themselves.  Guillaume Bouchard had some great data on Digg and how its changed since it did some major overhauling to its algorithm.  Kent Schoen from Facebook spoke about how businesses can utilize Facebook and Brian_carter_pony_pink_purse Brian Carter spoke about the "trifecta" of blogging + twitter + bookmarking.  Brian even gave out a free pony during his presentation, one in a cute pink purse.

Overall it was a great "quick trip".  I had plenty of hanging out time with Shashi Bellamkonda, who is the Social Media guru from Network Solutions.  Any time you have a chance to chat with Shashi at length take it!  He always gives me new perspectives on how to look at introducing social media as another channel of marketing to clients.

Also congrats to Geoff Livingston (who spoke on the session after mine and is a fellow Phillies fan) on his one year anniversary of the launch of his very successful book Now is Gone.  If you haven't read this book, go out and buy it now!  Geoff's another very insightful Social Media mind in the industry.

Since my trip was rather brief, I'm going to leave the rest of the highlight up to Chris Phillips, SMG's newest writer.  He's out there now probably partying it up at the Webmaster Radio Bash (the one thing I REALLY miss not being at!)

November 05, 2008

Barack Obama The First Social Media President?

By Li Evans After the Presidential WinYesterday was probably one of the most exciting days of this year, if not the past 4 when it comes to the possibilities of emerging media being pushed to the forefront and actually being a factor in something very important in not just our nation's history but quite possibly world history.  Yes, the United States elected its first African American president, but it also elected its first president to utilize technologies beyond email or a cell phone to office to just raise campaign donations.

Barack Obama is the first "Social Media President" in history.  He's the first one to understand and harness the power of sharing and communicating through social media platforms to not only get out his message, but to energize a group of Americans into action.  Of course it wasn't just Barack alone, it was his campaign team that focused in and realized the power and reach utilizing different aspects of web technologies could bring them.  It wasn't just one social media site used either, it was everything working in conjunction with one another, complementing each other and promoting the same singular message of the Change that can happen if people on these sites helped to elect Barack Obama president of the United States of America. 

One of my sources on the inside told me that it was some of the people who were on Dean's 2004 campaign team that came in and built upon what they knew, and that doesn't surprise me in the least.  Not only did they learn the power of the infamous "Dean Scream" hitting YouTube, but they learned the power of fundraising and brought that to the Obama campaign, improved on it and turned it into a finely tuned machine.  So much so that the majority of Obama's donations came from donors giving $200 and under.

So what kind of technology did Obama use? Let's take a quick, deep look at what was implemented.

Continue reading "Barack Obama The First Social Media President?" »

October 26, 2008

Twitter As a Terrorist Tool?

By Li Evans

Terrorism Cartoon by I was doing my normal reading of the main stream media sites - CNN, MSNBC and FoxNews and my eyes got a glimpse of a headline that contained the word "Twitter" in it, so of course, curiously I clicked on it. 

"U.S. Army Says Blogging Site 'Twitter' Could Become Terrorist Tool"

*blink*  ..... *crickets* ..... *blink*

Wow, really?!  A terrorist tool?  Now I don't know about you folks, but I tend to give terrorist a little more credit in the secret and brains department.  Ideally these folks don't want ANYONE knowing what they are up to right?  I mean seriously, a terrorist tool?

According a a report by the Agence France-Presse news agency, the 304th Military Intelligence Battalion contains a chapter entitled “Potential for Terrorist Use of Twitter,” which expresses concern over the increasing use of Twitter by political and religious groups.

Am I wrong, are we not in America?  Seriously, isn't this they way that grassroots efforts are suppose to work?  They use tools to communicate a like minded message and join together for a common cause.

I think what the government is missing, very clearly here, is the way social communities police themselves.  If there's a crazy person in the group, or on the channel or in the forum, or espousing crap from their blogs, people either do two things 1) Ignore Them or 2) Look at their blog for the next crazy thing they are saying and laugh.

Twitter is already used by some members to post and/or support extremist ideologies and perspectives,” the Army report said.

Most normal human beings can spot a whack job a mile a way.  At least the type of whack jobs this report is describing.  These whack jobs can say whatever they want on twitter, it's just like they can print whatever they want, too.  It's just like those people with the weird hairdos and clothese at the airport that are selling flowers, or those Scientology members passing out fliers on Market St. in San Francisco.  Unless you want to listen to the music or read the message, you trash the communication device or ignore it altogether - you just don't listen to it.

Hugh_macleod_cool_sheep_cartoon The article goes on ..... "The blogging service and social networking site has previously sent out messages known as “Tweets” faster than news organizations during such major news events as the July Los Angeles earthquake and the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis."

I guess they forget to give credit to Scoble for getting a tweet about the earthquakes in China.  I guess they also missed that Beth Kanter raised over $2,500 dollars for Cambodian Children, in an hour live from Gnomedex.  I guess they missed the thousands of other great things Twitter's been used for and to spread the word about in an instance? 

Maybe Joe the Plumber should tweet his questions to the candidates, and then maybe it'll be worth the candidates mentioning how great Twitter is, instead of our government labeling it a terrorist tool?

What say you?

October 24, 2008

emetrics: Web 2.0 Measurements in Today's B2B World

By Li Evans

Emetrics_web2.0_b2b_1 The last session in the Social Media track on the 3rd day of the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit was presented by Joshua Siler of Babcock & Jenkins.  Then session focused on Web 2.0 and how B2B business can utilize and measure the success.

Joshua starts of the session with a slide that says 75% of Fortune 1000 companies with websites will have some kind of online social networking initiative for marketing or customer relations purposes, 50% of those campaigns will be classified as failures.

Continue reading "emetrics: Web 2.0 Measurements in Today's B2B World" »

August 28, 2008

Online Marketing Tips Video: Utilizing Video in Online Marketing Strategies

By Li Evans

Tuesday's Tips in Online Marketing for this week is a few days late, due to some technical difficulties, but we do have one!

This week's video on online marketing tips features tips on utilizing video in your online marketing strategies.  These tips can help you get the most out of your videos that you are uploading to the video sharing sites.


Full video transcript after the jump...

Continue reading "Online Marketing Tips Video: Utilizing Video in Online Marketing Strategies" »

July 09, 2008

YouTube Backsteps - May Go With Pre-Roll Ads

By Li Evans

Youtube_logo Apparently YouTube is in a crunch, a big money crunch that is.

YouTube took the stance not to add pre-roll or post-roll advertising to its videos that users upload, play and share, when it first came into existence and then subsequently became the online video sharing powerhouse on the internet.  When Google bought them, questions began to surface about monetization.  Of course Google in its usual fashion slapped its Adsense network on there, and claimed that as it's monetization.  It's all about the eyeballs right? 

Trouble is, apparently not as many people are clicking on those ads, otherwise, why would Google go to such a dreaded format?  Even after their own research showed that 70% of users hated the pre-roll or post-roll formats.

Advertisers though, apparently love it.  I guess, for as much as Google claims its all about the users, in the end it's about the dollar.  If advertisers are willing to pay for it, apparently Google's going to rethink its stance.

My only question is, will the users go elsewhere when they are forced to watch pre-roll on their own videos they've uploaded on YouTube?  Will sites like Revver, Metacafe, Vimeo and DailyMotion be able to capitalize on the fact they don't have pre-roll ads if and when YouTube implements them?  I have a feeling who ever takes advantage in a way that appeals to YouTube users who hate the pre-roll ads, will end up being the big winner in all of this, not YouTube.  Sorry Google!

June 30, 2008

Plurk Is Slowly Winning Me Over - How About You?

By Li Evans

At the end of the week last week, I asked the question to my Plurk audience, "Do you consider yourself a plurk convert? If you do, I'd love to hear why?" which then led to "What would you like to see plurk add to make it better??"  I am finding Plurk, more and more attractive to hold conversations and communicate despite the way I feel about the interface.

Harpooned Twitter Fail WhaleTwitter, has issues.  Major issues.  The more that it is broken, features are disabled and doesn't update or respond to its audience, the more it's driving people to Plurk, not Friendfeed, but Plurk. (Sorry A-Listers, ya missed the boat on this one!)

Plurk's A-Team is learning from Twitter's very public mis-steps and issues.  The team at Plurk is fast to respond, and fast to implement new ideas (that are feasible) suggested by its users.  It keeps its audience up to date with what's going on.  Granted, the user base is not that of Twitter, and growing pains are likely going to ensue once the exodus from those tired of seeing that dumb whale (or now the bird & dragonfly), hits Plurk.

Plurk is not Twitter, not by any stretch of the imagination.  Twitter is a broadcasting mechanism and an easy way to disseminate a message to a captive audience that wants to hear what you have to say.  You can hold conversations between yourself and someone else, but when you compare it to Plurk, you can see the big difference.

Continue reading "Plurk Is Slowly Winning Me Over - How About You?" »

June 17, 2008

Online Marketing Tips Video: Flickr Optimization

By Li Evans

It's Tuesday and it's time for our Online Marketing Tips Video of the week.  This week I'm discussing Flickr and optimization of pictures as well as the 90 second video clips that Flickr allows it's pro account users to upload.  In this video we look at optimizing titles, descriptions and tagging as well as joining groups and using Flickr Badges.  Check out the transcript to for some links to things on Flickr.


Full video transcript after the jump...

Continue reading "Online Marketing Tips Video: Flickr Optimization" »

June 14, 2008

Blog Potomac - Meeting Social Media Rock Stars You've Admired from Afar

By Li Evans

Yesterday I got the opportunity at Blog Potomac to not only meet two people I've admired from afar, but I even got a few minutes of their time to interview them. 

The first was Debbie Weil, author of the fabulous book, The Corporate Blogging Book and the blog Blog Write for CEOs.  I first read Debbie's book 2 years ago, and I still believe it holds solid, foundational information for any CEO or senior corporate executive thinking about entering the blogosphere.  I wrote a review of The Corporate Blogging Book right after I read it, silly me though, I left my copy of the book at home (I wanted her to autograph it for me).  Meeting Debbie was a great experience, her photo does not do her justice.  She's pretty and so nice, and very very passionate about blogging.  She wasn't the least afraid of my "fangirl" presence either.

Liana 'Li' Evans of Search Marketing Gurus & Lionel Menchaca of Direct2DellThe second person I got to not only meet, but interview was Lionel Menchaca.  For those unfamiliar with the social media world (beyond just searching for links), Lionel is probably "The Rock Star" of this industry.  Lionel started Dell's Direct2Dell blog and basically kick started Dell's whole foray into the social media space.  Lionel was very accommodating and we sat and talked for an hour or so about what Dell's done and where Dell's going.  Lionel not only understands the pure meaning and use of social media, he lives, breathes and works with it every day at Dell.

Now you may be wondering about these interviews I mentioned.  Well, my video guy, Shannon Hall (better know to a lot of you as "my friend Beau") and I headed down to Blog Potomac to get some video interviews with the speakers at Blog Potomac.  We also took small interviews from the attendees asking them "Why Do You Love Blogging?" which we're putting into a few montages (and no Simon, take down notices aren't allowed!).  We have interviews with Debbie and Lionel.  We also got some other interviews I'm really excited about too, ones with Kami Watson-Huyse, Rohit Bhargava and the other co-chair of the event Geoff Livingston.

Beau's working the editing of course, so it'll be midweek when we bring those interviews to you.  All of these people have such wonderful advice and great things to say.  Each interview was great, and I'll be transcribing them as well for members of the audience that have let us know they really like the transcription of our videos.

Of course you didn't think I went to this event without my camera, now did you?  Well, I've got over 70 photos from the event (Beau saved me, I forgot my battery, luckily we have the same camera).  So check out the Blog Potomac Photos in my Flickr set.

Kudos to Geoff & Debbie, as well as Josh Hallett for putting on a great event!

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