Just Ask Betsy....The Be Visible Blog Where there’s no such thing as a stupid question… about the Web! http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/RSS feeds for 60http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/146449/Why-Your-Business-Needs-a-Mobile-Website#Comments0Why Your Business Needs a Mobile Websitehttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/146449/Why-Your-Business-Needs-a-Mobile-Website<p>Have you looked at your company’s website on a smartphone or tablet lately? Chances are you may find that the experience is, well, not very good. You’d be hard pressed to find a business these days that doesn’t have some kind of website (unlike 5 years ago when I started in this industry), but invariably that website was designed to be viewed on a computer (desktop or laptop).</p> <p>The reality is, more and more consumers are accessing the web by using a smartphone. By 2013, over half of all mobile phones will be smartphones and by 2016 nearly three in five consumers will be using a smartphone. As a matter of fact, the smartphone market is larger than the PC market right now!</p> <p>Even the most well-designed website often is less than well-designed for the small screen. Smartphone screens of course are much, much smaller than computer screens, but also are often in a different configuration (your computer’s screen is horizontal, but your iPhone, for example, has a vertical screen). Moreover, the intent of the user can also be different on mobile. People searching for information on their mobile devices can be less patient about finding what they want. If you’ve walked down the street in NYC lately you may have noticed that probably 30% of the people you pass are looking at their phones while they’re on the go.</p> <p>So, you have a great business website: you spent a year working with the designer, making sure your message was clear, that your site was well-optimized, and it offered an excellent user experience. Now you find out that more and more people are accessing your site on their mobile devices and it’s less than usable that way, and in some cases, not useable at all!</p> <p>Good News! You don’t have to invest in an entirely new website. There is a way to convert your site into an easy-to-use mobile version that will not only put the right information in front of your mobile using customers, but is affordable, and takes very little effort to create.</p> <p><img id="img-1340830136249" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Screen Shot 2012-06-27 at 4.32.40 PM.jpg" border="0" alt="Mobile Websites" class="alignCenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>Be Visible is excited to be able to offer this service to our clients. Give us a shout and we’ll tell you all about it.</p> <p> </p> <p>Sources for mobile statistics: <a href="http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/smartphones-account-for-half-of-all-mobile-phones-dominate-new-phone-purchases-in-the-us" title="Nielsen" target="_blank">Nielsen</a>, <a href="http://www.gridleyco.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/POS-Goes-Digital-Evolution-of-the-In-Store-Shopping-Experience1.pdf?utm_source=POS+Goes+Digital+Press+Release&utm_campaign=POS+Goes+Digital" title="Goldman Sachs" target="_blank">Goldman Sachs</a>, <a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/d96e3bd8-33ca-11e0-b1ed-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1DQNdT4kR" title="IDC" target="_blank">IDC</a>. </p>Kevin HagemanWed, 27 Jun 2012 21:51:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:146449http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/143401/From-BeHere-to-Be-Visible#Comments0From #BeHere to Be Visiblehttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/143401/From-BeHere-to-Be-Visible<p>I’ve been employed at Be Visible Associates as a digital media strategist since March 1<sup>st</sup> of this year. This post is about how I came from small-town Delaware and with the advent of Social Media was able to help grow businesses.</p> <p>Go back in time a little bit to a conversation with my father who runs the Business Improvement District (BID) in Wilmington, Delaware about how the BID was using its Social Media presence to get people who worked in the city (but who didn’t necessarily live there) to stay in the city after work. It wasn’t quite successful. After presenting some of my ideas of how to do it more effectively, he introduced me to the Director of Economic Restructuring in Wilmington. Together he, I, and members of the local start-up and co-working community conceived a project that we called: #BeHere.<br /><br /><img id="img-1339524940279" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/BeHere2.JPG" border="0" alt="Geo-social networks" width="408" height="125" class="alignCenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>There was a preconceived notion that that there was nothing to do and nowhere to shop in Wilmington. That wasn’t true, but the people living and working there literally did not know what businesses were right around the corner from them! Moreover, people weren’t walking down the street to find those businesses either; they were using Google and/or their mobile devices to look for them.</p> <p>A BID’s mission is to help local businesses thrive, and their research indicated that only 12% of the businesses in the area had claimed their Google Places Pages – or any other online directory for that matter (let alone Facebook or Twitter). Using Facebook Business Pages, Twitter (with the handle @BeHereWilmo and hashtag #BeHere), and email marketing, we organized a grass-roots effort/”tweet-up” of 75 people who virtually mapped all of Wilmington’s downtown (some 500 businesses) onto the top geo-social networks – Google Places, Facebook Places, Foursquare, and Gowalla.</p> <p>It doesn’t matter if you own a restaurant, are a retailer, publish a poetry magazine, or how great your product or service offering is – if your potential customers can’t find you, then how can you sell anything to them?</p> <p>While I cannot provide you statistics on the exact revenues the businesses recorded from the local search efforts of #BeHere; I can tell you the results of the project:</p> <ul> <li>The hashtag #BeHere is still used to promote events in Wilmington’s downtown, creating a committed community of individuals connected by Social Media.</li> <li>Local business owners’ heightened awareness of the collaborative powers of Social Media led to the creation of the Social Media Club of Delaware.</li> <li>#BeHere has since evolved into a mobile app directory to help residents and visitors alike to connect with downtown businesses.</li> <li>The BID now acts as an agency setting up Social Media profiles for downtown businesses and connects those businesses with local marketing companies.</li> <li>The community has perceived the very real value of Social Media and embraced it. The result is economic growth, not for one business, but many. </li> </ul> <div style="text-align: center;"><img id="img-1339525287993" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/mobileapp2.JPG" border="0" alt="mobile app directory" width="124" height="240" class="alignCenter" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></div> <p><em>Be Visible </em>is the perfect transition from #BeHere. Utilizing the great tools that are available today – from SEO and local search, to <a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/141084/Pinterest-for-Business-Building-Your-Community" title="Pinterest" target="_blank">Pinterest</a> and Instagram and everything in between – we serve to help businesses grow using online tools, even if they don’t have the staff or time to do so themselves. (What more can you ask, they’re already running a successful business!) It’s a matter of visibility, of discoverability, of being there at the right time and the right place for the right customer. We help businesses occupy the online spaces their customers already inhabit – successfully connecting the two. </p> <p>I have observed the ROI of Social Media in multiple spheres and various industries in just a few short years, and it can happen quickly. I’m certain; this is only the beginning – but the first step is entering the online conversation about your brand or business.<br /><br />-Kevin Hageman <br /><br /><br />To learn more about project #BeHere, click <a href="http://downtownvisions.org/be-here/numbehere-geo-project" title="here" target="_blank">here</a>.  </p> If you have questions about social media marketing for your business, please feel free to “Just Ask”!Kevin HagemanTue, 12 Jun 2012 20:52:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:143401http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/141515/Social-Media-Tools-Review-Bit-ly-Facebook-Pages-App-Google-Alerts#Comments0Social Media Tools Review – Bit.ly, Facebook Pages App, Google Alertshttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/141515/Social-Media-Tools-Review-Bit-ly-Facebook-Pages-App-Google-Alerts<div style="text-align: -webkit-auto;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;"></span></span> <p><span style="color: #ff0000;">Toolkit Tuesday May 29, 2012</span></p> <p><img id="img-1338325538724" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Toolkit2.jpg" border="0" alt="Toolkit2" width="300" height="144" style="height: 144px; width: 300px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" />It seems every week there are new tools promising to invigorate your business’ marketing strategy – but figuring out which of these new tools will work for you takes more than just time and effort. At Be Visible we pride ourselves on constantly trying and testing new tools – so you don’t have to.</p> <span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;"></span></span> <p>Here are three Social Media tools to help streamline your business’ marketing efforts:</p> <span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;"></span></span> <h4><strong>Bit.ly</strong></h4> <span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;"></span></span> <p><a href="https://bitly.com/" title="Bit.ly" target="_blank">Bit.ly</a> is a free service for shortening and tracking URLs. If you’ve ever wondered who’s clicking on the links you have shared in a Facebook status update, email marketing campaign, or in a tweet - Bit.ly is the place to do so. This service began when people started really using Twitter to share content such as blog posts and articles. They quickly realized that with Twitter’s 140 character limit there was not enough room for a comment – let alone adding a URL of 20+ characters in length.</p> <span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;"></span></span> <p>How To Use Bit.ly: Sign up with your email address, Facebook login, or Twitter login. Once you log in, enter the link URL (the one you want to monitor for clicks) into the provided box and bit.ly will create a new shorter link for you, which you then use in place of the longer URL. You can even customize your shortened URL (such as bit.ly/bitlyreview). </p> <p><img id="img-1338326011651" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Screen shot 2012-05-29 at 5.12.04 PM.jpg" border="0" alt="Screen shot 2012 05 29 at 5.12.04 PM" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>Within the bit.ly dashboard you will then be able to track the number of clicks your link receives as well as where the person who clicked your link came from – whether it be Twitter, an email, Facebook, etc. This is what your bit.ly report looks like: </p> <span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;"></span></span> <p><img id="img-1338326110914" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Screen shot 2012-05-29 at 5.13.49 PM.jpg" border="0" alt="Screen shot 2012 05 29 at 5.13.49 PM" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>The Takeaway: For a free service, Bit.ly provides a solid measurement as to how many people are engaging with (clicking on) the content that you have used their shortened URLs’s for and where they found your link. Not to mention shortening URLs for your Twitter posts, emails, and Facebook Status Updates is aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly.</p> <span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;"></span></span> <h4><strong>Facebook Pages Manager App for iPhone </strong></h4> <p>Facebook has had a mobile app for quite some time, but for those people who manage Facebook Business Pages (like we do) their app was simply not up to snuff. The reason being that page administrators (Admins) responding to fan comments appeared as their personal Facebook account and not the Page; Admins did not have access to Page insights, and did not receive notifications for new Page activity.</p> <span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;"></span></span> <p>Shortly after the IPO a week or so ago, Facebook released a new mobile app for the iPhone called “<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/facebook-pages-manager/id514643583?mt=8" title="Facebook Pages Manager" target="_blank">Facebook Pages Manager</a>.”  Here is a screenshot from the new application:</p> <span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;"></span></span> <p><img id="img-1338326278146" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Screen shot 2012-05-29 at 5.16.39 PM.jpg" border="0" alt="Screen shot 2012 05 29 at 5.16.39 PM" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>As opposed to the previous Facebook mobile application, Page Admins can now write status updates, share photos, and respond to fan comments as the Page itself, all while “on the go”. (Anyone using the old app knows how much of a pain, if not an outright impossibility this was.)</p> <span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;"></span></span> <p>In addition to being able to update your Facebook Page on the fly and responding to fans in real-time, Admins can also check Page insights for the latest 2 weeks of activity: </p> <span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;"></span></span> <p><img id="img-1338326397313" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Screen shot 2012-05-29 at 5.18.41 PM.jpg" border="0" alt="Screen shot 2012 05 29 at 5.18.41 PM" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /> The Takeaway: It’s a way to keep on top of your Facebook Business Page(s) without having to be in front of a computer. Notifications come straight to your smartphone instantaneously so you can respond to any fan comments, complaints, or questions in real-time wherever you are. It’s a wonder Facebook didn’t create this app sooner.</p> <span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;"></span></span> <p>However, the app is still limited as there are yet to be real-time insights on posts; and you cannot access private messages sent to your Facebook Business Page. Also, this app is currently not available for Android devices. </p> <h4>Google Alerts</h4> <p><a href="http://www.google.com/alerts" title="Google Alerts" target="_blank">Google Alerts</a> is a free service provided by Google that sends you an email alert for specific search terms you want to monitor. You can receive an email notification aggregating new articles, blogs, or news stories indexed by Google that match your provided search terms, enabling you to stay on top of your business, brand, and/or industry without constantly searching the Web. And you can choose the frequency and types of alerts you want to receive.</p> <span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;"></span></span> <p>For instance, if you are a dentist, you may want to receive Google Alerts every day for the term “toothache” to see relevant news topics or industry blogs about “toothaches.” Here’s what a Google Alert for “toothache” looks like in an email inbox: </p> <p><img id="img-1338326546128" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Screen shot 2012-05-29 at 5.20.50 PM.jpg" border="0" alt="Screen shot 2012 05 29 at 5.20.50 PM" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;"></span></span> <p>You can also keep an eye on your competitors by using the name of their business as the search term you provide to Google Alerts.</p> <span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;"></span></span> <p>The Takeaway:  Google Alerts is an effective way to stay on top of mentions of your brand, competitors, selected search terms, relevant news, and stories pertinent to your industry without you having to take the time to scour the Internet. Talk about a time saver! </p> <span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;"></span></span> <p> </p> <p>Have a question about any of the above tools or social media marketing in general? We’re here to help. Leave a comment or subscribe below. Thanks!</p> </div> <br />Betsy KentTue, 29 May 2012 23:58:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:141515http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/141084/Pinterest-for-Business-Building-Your-Community#Comments0Pinterest for Business: Building Your Communityhttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/141084/Pinterest-for-Business-Building-Your-Community<p style="text-align: center;"><img id="img-1337945835897" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Screen Shot 2012-05-25 at 7.36.39 AM-resized-600.png" border="0" alt="Build Community Pinterest" width="230" height="108" /></p> <p>By now, you’ve probably heard about the visual pinboard social networking site <a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/135007/What-is-Pinterest-and-Why-Should-You-Care" title="Pinterest" target="_blank">Pinterest</a> and how it’s changing the way brands interact with and market to their online communities. If you’re employing Google Analytics you may even have noticed that Pinterest is starting to garner your business decent referral traffic. But how can your brand take advantage of this latest social network?</p> <p>(If you haven't yet created a Pinterest account for your business, here's a handy <a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/137041/How-to-Create-a-Pinterest-Account-for-Your-Business" title="step-by-step guide" target="_blank">step-by-step guide</a> for you.)</p> <p>If you’re going to get serious about incorporating Pinterest into your overall social media marketing strategy we recommend linking your Twitter account and website to your Pinterest account. (For now Pinterest does not allow you to link your Facebook Business Page but this will probably change in the near future.) You may also want to add the Pinterest <a href="http://pinterest.com/about/goodies/" title=""Follow Me Button"" target="_blank">"Follow Me Button"</a> to your website and the <a href="http://pinterest.com/about/goodies/" title=""Pin It Button"" target="_blank">"Pin It Button"</a> to images on your blog or website to invite your readers to share your work on Pinterest.</p> <p>So, you have a business Pinterest account, but now what?</p> <h4><b>Do Some Quick Pinterest Research</b></h4> <p>If you have noticed an uptick in referral traffic to your website from Pinterest, here’s a handy tip on how to dig a little deeper: Go to http://pinterest.com/source/yourURL, and you will be able to see any and all pins that originated from your website. The benefit here is you can see what your fans consider your valuable content, products, and/or services even before you being pinning! You may want to take this at step further and follow the people or who pinned images from your website (or their individual boards which could be relevant to your brand or industry) as they could become brand advocates – an integral role in starting your Pinterest community.<br /> <br /> Here are two examples of pins originating from our website. We discovered them by going to: http://pinterest.com/source/bevisibleassoc.com:</p> <p> <img id="img-1337891120500" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/screen shot 2012-05-24 at 4.07.52 pm.png" border="0" alt="Be Visible Associates Pinterest" width="288" height="190" /></p> <p>Next, find people who are pinning content related to your industry or area of expertise. To do so, search for relevant keywords (or even #hashtags like Twitter) in Pinterest search. Filter these results by the “People” option to find specific Pinterest users who are pinning content related to your industry. Each of these profiles is a potential lead – you may or may not want to follow them based on your business’ needs – but you can find valuable content to re-pin.</p> <p><img id="img-1337945250222" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Screen Shot 2012-05-25 at 7.26.51 AM-resized-600.png" border="0" alt="Be Visible Associates Pinterest" width="312" height="174" /></p> <p>To really add some oomph to the above strategy you may want to employ a Pinterest tool called <a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/138556/Social-Media-Tools-PinReach-Tweepi-and-SocialMention" title="PinReach" target="_blank">PinReach</a> that helps to identify the influential pinners who follow your business (as well as which of your pins and boards are performing well or under-performing.)</p> <h4><b>Engagement is Key with Pinterest</b></h4> <p>What to Pin: Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board that is satisfyingly visual – make sure any images you use are large, easy to see, high-resolution, and appealing. Stock photos are simply not up to muster on Pinterest. There are a lot of great tools scattered across the Web to add a little pizzazz to your images, one of our favorites is <a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/139493/Social-Media-Tools-DiggDigg-PicMonkey-and-TweetChat" title="PicMonkey" target="_blank">PicMonkey</a> – basically a free online Photoshop with an easy to understand and intuitive interface. <br /> <br /> Besides pinning your brand’s visual content and re-pinning content from other Pinterest users, Pinterest allows you to pin content from anywhere across the Web. (To do so, install the <a href="http://pinterest.com/about/goodies/" title="“Pin It bookmarklet”" target="_blank">“Pin It bookmarklet”</a>). Some great places to get started pinning are visually-driven websites like Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Google+, or other industry-related blogs you already subscribe to.</p> <h4><b>Use Pinterest Features to Maximize Engagement</b></h4> <p>Engagement on Pinterest can be everything from re-pinning, to writing comments, to liking pins, to gaining followers, to thanking people for pinning your content.</p> <p><img id="img-1337946165568" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Screen Shot 2012-05-25 at 7.40.30 AM.png" border="0" alt="5th Avenue Digital " /></p> <p>Stay aware of which Pinterest users are pinning and re-pinning your content. If the user regularly contributes pins to your industry and niche, go ahead and follow them. Pinterest is a very reciprocal network and lots of users tend to follow back based on shared tastes in content and similar interests.</p> <p>Sometimes, Pinterest users will re-pin one of your pins, but won’t take the extra step of following your business or your individual boards. To keep users like this engaged; try commenting on the pin in question. For example try asking why they liked the image, or how you could help them with this type of product or service. The user will be notified via email and this is a great way to start a conversation and begin building a relationship with that user – chances are they’ll start following you. <br /> <br /> Take note of the “Like” button on Pinterest. By liking pins on Pinterest, brands and businesses alike can reach out to users without (re)pinning images. </p> <p><img src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Screen Shot 2012-05-25 at 7.41.19 AM.png" border="0" alt="Screen Shot 2012 05 25 at 7.41.19 AM" /></p> <p>Like Twitter, Pinterest users often employ @Mentions and #Hashtags. A mention is the Pinterest equivalent of a reply on Twitter or leaving a comment on a Facebook post. Adding mentions to a comment helps to foster brand communication and interaction. Hashtags, while aiding engagement, are useful in two other major areas. First, hashtags play a vital role in making your pins appear in Pinterest search. Secondly, on Pinterest you have the ability to directly tweet any pin. If you choose to send a pin to Twitter, hashtags are Twitter lingo and you can engage with multiple online communities from a single platform. <br />  </p> <p><br /> We are really excited about Pinterest and the potential it offers to our clients, businesses, and brands. We are Pinterest experts…ask us a question. We’re here to help. </p>Betsy KentFri, 25 May 2012 11:17:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:141084http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/140734/Social-Media-Tools-Review-Hootsuite-WiseStamp-Shortstack#Comments3Social Media Tools Review – Hootsuite, WiseStamp, & Shortstackhttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/140734/Social-Media-Tools-Review-Hootsuite-WiseStamp-Shortstack<p><span style="color: #ff0000;">Social Media Toolkit Tuesday - 5/22/12</span></p> <p>It is easy to become overwhelmed by the seemingly limitless choices of social media tools available to you. Assuming your schedule is as busy as mine (if not more so), who has the time to learn yet another tool? At Be Visible we try and test new tools all the time. <br /> <br /> Here are three social media tools to help de-clutter your business’ online life: </p> <h4>1) <span style="color: #ff0000;"><a href="http://hootsuite.com/" title="Hootsuite" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Hootsuite</span></a> </span></h4> <p>Hootsuite is a single interface that allows you to manage multiple social media accounts from the same place. For example, you can add your personal Facebook account, business Facebook Page, any and all Twitter accounts, and your LinkedIn account to name a few. Within the Hootsuite dashboard you will be able to see all incoming Facebook updates, tweets, messages, etc. from the various networks you have provided. You can respond, reply, or re-tweet these messages from within the Hootsuite dashboard.</p> <p><img id="img-1337739183110" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Screen Shot 2012-05-22 at 10.07.34 PM-resized-600.png" border="0" alt="Screen Shot 2012 05 22 at 10.07.34 PM resized 600" /></p> <p>Perhaps the most convenient feature of Hootsuite is the ability to schedule messages. You can pre-compose tweets, including any links or photos, and designate them to the appropriate social media account. You then choose a date and time, and the message will appear on a social media editorial calendar. You can plan as far into the future as you like. For business owners who don’t have an in-house staff, or time to tweet during normal working hours, this is a great way to utilize the time you don’t have. <br /> <br /> <em>The Takeaway: </em>Hootsuite combines all of your business or brand’s social networks into a unified interface, allowing you to track notifications on each of your social profiles while also enabling you to schedule brand communication in the future. Paid accounts even allow you to add additional team members (admins) to your social media profiles and access better analytics and reporting functions.</p> <h4><b>2) <span style="color: #ff0000;"><a href="http://www.wisestamp.com/" title="WiseStamp" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">WiseStamp</span></a></span></b> </h4> <p>Wisestamp is an extension for Google Chrome that adds your social media profiles to your email signature. After downloading the extension you can choose from about 40 leading social networks to add to your signature, everything from Pinterest to Facebook and everything in between. What’s more is you have the ability to add “email apps” such as live updates of your blog or even your most recent tweet.</p> <p>Here’s the WiseStamp signature that appears at the bottom of my emails:</p> <p><img src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/wisestamp.jpg" border="0" alt="wisestamp" /> </p> <p><em>The Takeaway: </em>WiseStamp is a great way to remove inordinately long links from your email signature, connect with email contacts across your social channels, and promote the social aspects of your business – and it’s free!</p> <h4><b>3) <span style="color: #ff0000;"><a href="http://www.shortstack.com/" title="Shortstack" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Shortstack</span></a> </span></b></h4> <p>Shortstack is a tool that enables you to build Facebook applications for your Facebook Business Page. For standard and custom apps you do not need to understand code or write in HTML.</p> <p>With Shortstack you can choose from an array of templates, ranging from fan photo contests, to coupons and giveaways, to your blog RSS, or even your most recent tweets or latest pins from Pinterest. Here’s a screenshot of Be Visible’s Pinterest application on our Facebook Business Page: </p> <p>Anyone who visits our Facebook Business Page can view our Pinterest boards or directly follow our Pinterest business account (if you haven’t set your Pinterest account up yet, here’s an <a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/137041/How-to-Create-a-Pinterest-Account-for-Your-Business" title="easy guide" target="_blank">easy guide</a>). The Shortstack interface has step-by-step directions and is very intuitive.  Any problem we’ve encountered, the support staff has quickly remedied.</p> <p><img id="img-1337738501863" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Screen Shot 2012-05-22 at 9.58.01 PM.png" border="0" alt="Screen Shot 2012 05 22 at 9.58.01 PM" width="319" height="457" /><br /> <br /> <em>The Takeaway: </em>For a free service (free for up to 2,000 Facebook “likes”) Shortstack is incredibly handy for creating Facebook applications without requiring you to have the prowess of a seasoned web developer. <br /> <br /> If you’d like to learn more about Social Media tools and services, or social media marketing in general – contact us!</p> <p>To read past Toolkit Tuesday posts, click <a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/139493/Social-Media-Tools-DiggDigg-PicMonkey-and-TweetChat" title="here" target="_self">here</a>: </p> <p>Or Just Ask Betsy: subscribe or leave a comment below: </p>Betsy KentWed, 23 May 2012 02:12:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:140734http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/139493/Social-Media-Tools-DiggDigg-PicMonkey-and-TweetChat#Comments0Social Media Tools: DiggDigg, PicMonkey, and TweetChathttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/139493/Social-Media-Tools-DiggDigg-PicMonkey-and-TweetChat<p><span style="color: #ff0000;"><strong>Toolkit Tuesday - 5/15/12</strong>  </span></p> <p>It seems every time you turn around these days there’s a new Social Media tool that promises to make your content more compelling, your online community more inspiring, and your on-and-off-line life easier. Keeping up with Joneses when it comes to Social Media proves not only to be time-intensive but downright exhausting. What tools are actually worth your time and will help improve your ROI and what tools should be relegated to the sidelines? </p> <p>In our weekly <a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/138556/Social-Media-Tools-PinReach-Tweepi-and-SocialMention" title="blog" target="_blank">blog</a> “Social Media Toolkit Tuesday” we do the legwork for you. We’re here to help you sift through the crowded Social Media landscape and the tools that we use to make our lives a little easier.<span style="text-decoration: line-through;"><br /> </span><br /> Here are this week’s Social Media Tools:</p> <p><strong>1) <span style="color: #ff0000;"><a href="http://bufferapp.com/diggdigg" title="DiggDigg " target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">DiggDigg </span></a></span></strong></p> <p><img id="img-1337090767082" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/DiggDigg3.JPG" border="0" alt="DiggDigg3" width="500" height="350" style="height: 350px; width: 500px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p><em><a href="http://bufferapp.com/diggdigg" title="DiggDigg" target="_blank">DiggDigg</a> </em>is a plugin for Wordpress blogs and websites that allows you to put a social sharing bar alongside your latest post. It enables your readers to easily share your content to over 20 leading social media networks. You can choose Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, and more. The share bar with buttons appears at the top or on the side of your page content depending upon your design needs. It also can be static or floating (meaning it stays in the frame as people scroll down through the content.)</p> <p><strong>The Takeaway:</strong> For a free tool, <em>DiggDigg </em>is incredibly useful, making it easy for readers to share your content easily and helping you to keep your pages looking good.  </p> <p><strong>2) <span style="color: #ff0000;"><a href="http://www.picmonkey.com/" title="PicMonkey" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">PicMonkey</span></a></span></strong> </p> <p><img id="img-1337090972528" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/picmonkey1.JPG" border="0" alt="picmonkey1" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /><br /> <br /> We originally stumbled onto<em> PicMonkey</em> when we were researching handy tools for our blog about <a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/135007/What-is-Pinterest-and-Why-Should-You-Care" title="Pinterest" target="_blank">Pinterest</a>.</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.picmonkey.com/" title="PicMonkey" target="_blank">PicMonkey</a></em> allows you to crop, edit, rotate, and re-size your photos as well as add color, remove color, sharpen, or change the exposure. Like Instagram, you can also change the filter of your photo to “Black & White,” “Daguerreotype,” “Warhol” and everything in between.</p> <p>But that’s not all! You can add text, borders, and even make teeth whiter in your photos with the <em>PicMonkey</em> interface. <em>PicMonkey </em>is a free tool and does not require registration to join.</p> <p><strong>The Takeaway:</strong> <em>PicMonkey</em> need not be limited only to Pinterest – you can use it anywhere you share photos as content: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even your blog or website.</p> <p>This is a sample photograph <em>PicMonkey</em> provides to try their tool:</p> <p><img id="img-1337091339566" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/picmonkey2.JPG" border="0" alt="picmonkey2" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /> </p> <p>We are able to change it in less than 2 minutes to this:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img id="img-1337091470994" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/picmonkey3.JPG" border="0" alt="picmonkey3" /></p> <p><strong>3) <span style="color: #ff0000;"><a href="http://tweetchat.com/" title="TweetChat" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">TweetChat</span></a> </span></strong></p> <p><img id="img-1337091639114" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/tweetchat2.JPG" border="0" alt="tweetchat2" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p><em><a href="http://tweetchat.com/" title="TweetChat" target="_blank">TweetChat</a> </em>is a free Twitter tool which allows you to communicate with users around specific hashtags in one easy stream. It’s very simple to use, you just sign in with your Twitter login, and enter the hashtag you want to follow.</p> <p>You will then see all the tweets that are being sent using that hashtag. This is particularly useful when you are watching an event live-stream, when you want to keep track of a news story, or when you are in a tweet chat.</p> <p><strong>The Takeaway:</strong> <em>TweetChat</em> helps you get the most out of Twitter and be a part of conversations where you want to have a voice. It’s also a great way to build your community with like-minded people.</p> <p>Here is<em> TweetChat</em> in Action with the #smallbiz Hashtag: </p> <p><img id="img-1337091858605" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/TweetChat3-resized-600.JPG" border="0" alt="TweetChat3 resized 600" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /> </p> <p>If you have questions about DiggDigg, PicMonkey, and/or TweetChat: Just Ask Betsy! Email us, subscribe, or leave a comment below: </p>Betsy KentTue, 15 May 2012 15:29:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:139493http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/138556/Social-Media-Tools-PinReach-Tweepi-and-SocialMention#Comments1Social Media Tools: PinReach, Tweepi, and SocialMentionhttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/138556/Social-Media-Tools-PinReach-Tweepi-and-SocialMention<p><b>Toolkit Tuesday - 5/8/12</b></p> <p>It seems as if every day a new Social Media tool is introduced that promises to make your life a lot easier, your community-building a lot more effective, and your analytics more precise. There are a lot of great tools out there but it could prove to be a full time job to keep on top of all of them and figure out which ones to test and which ones to forget about.</p> <p>As a marketing consulting firm we use a number of Social Media tools every day and are constantly testing new ones. To help you select the best and most helpful ones we are introducing a new weekly blog entitiled “Social Media Toolkit Tuesday.” Every week we’ll introduce a few tools that we have tested and that we like (or dislike!). Some are brand new discoveries, others we’ve been using for awhile. But we’ve done the testing, so you don’t have to!</p> <p>Here are this week’s featured Social Media Tools:</p> <p><b>1) <a href="http://www.pinreach.com/" title="PinReach" target="_blank">PinReach</a></b></p> <p><b><a href="http://www.pinreach.com/" title="PinReach" target="_blank"><img id="img-1336513850100" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/pinreach1.JPG" border="0" alt="pinreach1" width="300" height="195" style="height: 195px; width: 300px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></a></b></p> <p><em>PinReach</em> is a brand new tool designed to bring analytics and reporting to businesses on Pinterest.</p> <p><em>PinReach</em> assigns each Pinterest profile a score (from 1 to 100) based on influence. This number reflects a number of metrics: amount of pins, re-pins, likes, comments, and followers. The data is categorized by which of your pins and boards are the most popular and who are the most influential pinners who follow you. </p> <p><em>PinReach </em>lets you see which of your pins and/or boards are getting engagement, compare that to your goals, and adjust. The takeaway here is: keep pinning more of what’s working and re-think the boards and pins that are not performing well.</p> <p><b>2) <a href="http://www.tweepi.com/" title="Tweepi" target="_blank">Tweepi</a></b></p> <p><b><a href="http://www.tweepi.com/" title="Tweepi" target="_blank"></a> <img id="img-1336513956597" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Tweepi2.JPG" border="0" alt="Tweepi2" width="310" height="224" style="height: 224px; width: 310px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></b></p> <p><em>Tweepi</em> is a great tool that helps you efficiently build a Twitter community. Its features enable you to find like-minded people based upon who they follow and who follows them. In addition, you can sort Tweeters according to their location, when they last tweeted, their ratio of followers to following, and more. It also allows you to easily see who you have followed who has not followed you back (you can then choose to “flush” those folks!), and even reciprocate and follow people who you haven’t followed back. The take away: a legitimate, un-spammy way to build a community fast and efficiently.</p> <p><b>3) <a href="http://www.socialmention.com/" title="SocialMention" target="_blank">SocialMention</a></b></p> <p><b><a href="http://www.socialmention.com/" title="SocialMention" target="_blank"></a> <img id="img-1336514237914" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/socialmention3.JPG" border="0" alt="socialmention3" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></b></p> <p><em>SocialMention</em> is an analytics tool that helps you to find out what people are saying about your brand on Social Media, in real time. <em>SocialMention</em> aggregates phrases that include your brand or business name in Twitter, Facebook, and blogs, then compiles those mentions into several categories: </p> <p><em>SocialMention </em>also attempts to measure sentiment, which is an important element that is very difficult to measure. We don’t really use this metric from them, but we do find that their other features, such as Top Keywords, Top Users, and Top Hashtags can be very illuminating.</p> <p>The Take Away: <em>SocialMention </em>is a good way to dig a little deeper into your company’s Social Media footprint. For a free tool, it is useful.</p> <p> </p> <p>If you have questions about PinReach, Tweepi, and/or SocialMention: Just Ask Betsy! Email us, subscribe to our blog, or comment below: </p>Betsy KentWed, 09 May 2012 02:44:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:138556http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/137041/How-to-Create-a-Pinterest-Account-for-Your-Business#Comments4How to Create a Pinterest Account for Your Businesshttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/137041/How-to-Create-a-Pinterest-Account-for-Your-Business<p>In my last blog <a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/135007/What-is-Pinterest-and-Why-Should-You-Care">“What is Pinterest and Why Should You Care”</a> I explained why Pinterest is so popular for users and for businesses. Now, let’s go through a step-by-step process to set up your Pinterest business account. <b></b></p> <p><b>Create a Pinterest Account for Your Business or Brand<br /></b><b><br />STEP 1: Go to </b><a href="http://pinterest.com/"><b>Pinterest</b></a><b>.<br /></b> <img id="img-1336141608853" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Pinterest.png" border="0" alt="describe the image" width="199" height="108" class="alignCenter" style="height: 108px; width: 200px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>(Note: Since this post was originally written, you no longer need to request an invite!) You will notice that you need to request an invitation to set up your account. Don’t let this dissuade you. I have set up Pinterest accounts for numerous clients and it usually only takes a few hours to receive an email from Pinterest allowing you to create an account.</p> <p> <img id="img-1335812733301" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Pinterest4.JPG" border="0" alt="Pinterest4" width="587" height="138" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>Once you do receive your invite from Pinterest, you’ll notice you can log in with either your Email address or your Twitter account. For business, I suggest you login with your email account. It is not recommended that you login with Facebook as Pinterest will link to your personal Facebook account - currently Pinterest does not integrate Facebook Business Pages. <span style="text-decoration: line-through;"><br /> </span></p> <p><img id="img-1335812799174" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Pinterest5.JPG" border="0" alt="Pinterest5" width="423" height="376" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /> </p> <p><b>STEP 2: Fill in your Pinterest profile</b></p> <ul> <li>Add your profile picture. Most businesses use the same image that is on their Facebook and Twitter profiles. Make sure you upload a picture to Pinterest that is 160 pixels by 160 pixels.</li> <li>Add a business description. Explain 1) your brand and message 2) what the content of your pins will be about so users visiting your Pinterest account know what to expect.  (Pinterest provides 160 characters [about 20 words] for you to do so: make sure you are specific and concise.)</li> <li>Link your twitter account. After you’ve added your profile picture and description, you’ll notice 4 icons appear below your description. The icons correspond to Facebook, Twitter, Your Website, and your location. Although it looks like you need to click + to add them, it actually only works this way:</li> </ul> <p>       Go to the “settings” portion of your account, in the drop down menu under your page<br />       name, like this:</p> <p> <img id="img-1335813094135" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Pinterest12.JPG" border="0" alt="Pinterest12" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>     Once in “settings” you’ll see a similar version of the following:</p> <p> <img id="img-1335813151256" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Pinterest9.JPG" border="0" alt="Pinterest9" width="600" height="293" style="height: 293px; width: 600px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /><img id="img-1335814189287" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Pinterest20.JPG" border="0" alt="Pinterest20" width="600" height="322" style="height: 322px; width: 600px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>Pinterest has not yet allowed Facebook Business Pages to link, but it will be coming <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>soon. For now just ignore the Facebook button. </p> <p>Note: You must have your Twitter account open in another window in order to add it to <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>your Pinterest account.  </p> <p>You’ll also notice the last option “Hide your Pinterest profile from search engines.” While the wording is a bit misleading, under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you hide your <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Pinterest account from the search engines. One of the advantages of using Pinterest for <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>business is to drive traffic to your website. </p> <p><b>STEP 3: Creating your Boards</b></p> <ul> <li>How many boards and pins should you start with? In order to make sure your Pinterest Page looks professional and complete, you’ll want to create a minimum of five boards, each with a minimum of five pins.</li> <li>How to pin: There is a section on Pinterest called “Pin It Button” where you will find a tool that enables you to pin images right from your website, your blog, and anywhere else on the web. <br /> <br /> <img id="img-1335813324549" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Pinterest14.JPG" border="0" alt="Pinterest14" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /><br /> <br /> The “Pin It” Button allows you to take any image from anywhere on the Web and pin it directly onto your Pinterest boards. For your blog, pin the image you used in your post, and when someone double clicks on it, they will be lead to the blog post. It doesn’t stop there – YouTube and Vimeo videos are pin-able as well.</li> </ul> <ul> <li> Here’s how to install the super handy “Pin It” button on your browser (note: I<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>use Chrome, but the Pin It Button is available for Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox.)Pinterest will tailor the instructions to the Web browser you are using, and they also provide a video if these directions are still unclear.</li> </ul> <p><img id="img-1335813548403" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Pinterest15.JPG" border="0" alt="Pinterest15" width="600" height="380" style="height: 380px; width: 600px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>        Once installed you’ll have this handy tool on your browser bar, here is mine on Chrome:</p> <p><b> <img id="img-1335813865470" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/PinterestScreenShot.png" border="0" alt="PinterestScreenShot" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></b></p> <p><b> </b></p> <ul> <li>How to pin without the pin it button. Go into the “Add” section on the top right. <br /><img id="img-1335813907405" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Pinterest16.JPG" border="0" alt="Pinterest16" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /><br /> <br /> When you click “Add” you will see the following screen: <br /> <br /> <img id="img-1335813936746" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Pinterest17.JPG" border="0" alt="Pinterest17" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /> <br /> When you click “Add a Pin” you are prompted to provide Pinterest a specific URL. Pinterest will gather the photos from the provided URL and you will be able to pin those images. <br /> <br /> “Upload a Pin” will allow you to upload any image stored on your computer’s desktop directly onto your pin boards.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Pin from other peoples’ boards. You can re-pin images from other people’s boards as well. Hover your mouse above the image to see the “Repin” button.</li> </ul> <p><img id="img-1335813974588" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Pinterest18.JPG" border="0" alt="Pinterest18" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <ul> <li>Add a description to each image. Try to utilize keywords to the best of your ability so that people can find your boards when they are searching for what you do. Equally as important is adding a category to your pins. You want to make sure what you are pinning appears in the right place so anyone searching for pins are able to find your pins and hopefully, re-pin them.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Add a category and description to each board. The description is very, very important so that your pins will appear in search and will help people find your boards by category. Also, indicate whether your followers can pin on your boards, or if only you can.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>My recommendation is to <em>not allow</em> other people to pin to your boards (unless you are<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>running a fan contest or promotion). You may, however, want to add another “pinner”<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>(Pinterest user) to your board if you have multiple people managing your business account. When you click “Edit” directly underneath your board you’ll be met with the following screen:</li> </ul> <p><img id="img-1335814133919" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Pinterest13.JPG" border="0" alt="Pinterest13" width="600" height="357" style="height: 357px; width: 600px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p><b>STEP 4: Add Pinterest Buttons to Your Website</b></p> <p>There are two Pinterest buttons for websites:</p> <ul> <li>The “Follow Button”</li> </ul> <p> <img id="img-1335814241482" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Pitnerest16.JPG" border="0" alt="Pitnerest16" width="600" height="449" style="height: 449px; width: 600px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>        The Follow Button will allow someone visiting your Website to follow your Pinterest<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>                account, just like a “Like Us on Facebook” or “Follow Me on Twitter” button works. </p> <ul> <li>Website “Pin It button”.<b> </b>On your blog, you may want to add a “Pin It button.” Like the other social sharing buttons your Website may already contain; the Pinterest button allows users to pin and share your website or blog content on Pinterest.</li> </ul> <p><img id="img-1335814306853" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Pinterest19.JPG" border="0" alt="Pinterest19" width="600" height="577" style="height: 577px; width: 600px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>My next blog will discuss pinning tips and techniques and a few of my favorite Pinterest tools.</p> <p>More questions about setting up your Business Pinterest Account?  Just Ask Betsy! Subscribe, or leave a comment below: </p>Betsy KentMon, 30 Apr 2012 20:09:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:137041http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/135007/What-is-Pinterest-and-Why-Should-You-Care#Comments2What is Pinterest and Why Should You Care?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/135007/What-is-Pinterest-and-Why-Should-You-Care<p> </p> <p><img id="img-1334840072906" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Screen shot 2012-04-19 at 8.52.57 AM.png" border="0" alt="Screen shot 2012 04 19 at 8.52.57 AM" width="539" height="227" class="alignLeft" style="height: 227px; width: 539px; float: left;" /></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> Recently I’ve been getting a lot of these kinds of questions from my clients:</p> <ul> <li>“What is Pinterest?”</li> <li>“Who’s using it?”</li> <li>“Should my business be there?”</li> <li>And the most frequent one: “Another Social Network to worry about…really?”</li> </ul> <p>What is Pinterest? An easy way to understand Pinterest is to think about it in a “real world” way, perhaps like this:</p> <p>Imagine your business or brand is a store. In addition to the merchandise you sell, you have a wall where you have placed corkboards. (In this scenario, the bulletin board wall is your Pinterest Account). These corkboards tell your customers more about your company than just the merchandise hanging on the racks does.</p> <p>For instance, you have one board where you have pinned photos of your products being used by real customers, another board shows your customers some of the places you get your inspiration from, such as tear sheets from magazines. You have a board with photos of your "back room" employees so customers can see who is behind your business; you have a board full of testimonials from your customers, etc.</p> <p>Every time something good happens, such as when you receive a great testimonial, you print it out and pin it to your testimonials board. When you add a new service or product, you add a photo of it and how to use it, when you find something that inspires you; it gets pinned on your “inspiration” board. And so on.</p> <p>So, Pinterest allows you to do a better job of conveying your story to your potential customers. But what is the real value of Pinterest for business? Why should you care?</p> <p>Who's Hanging Out on Pinterest: A very important target market for thousands of businesses</p> <ul> <li>Approximately 70% of users on Pinterest are female</li> <li>50% of all users are between 25 and 44</li> <li>50% of users have children</li> <li>28% of users have a household income of  $100,000+</li> </ul> <p>Is Pinterest Popular? It's the fastest growing website on the Web</p> <ul> <li>On average, users are spending more time on Pinterest than on Facebook</li> <li>104 million total visits in March; putting Pinterest behind only Facebook and Twitter in terms of activity</li> <li>Pinterest has 2.2 Million daily active users and 12 million monthly active users – and growing daily</li> </ul> <p>Can it Help My Business? Early adopters are getting great ROI</p> <ul> <li>Website owners are seeing a huge uptick in referral traffic from Pinterest which is great for SEO on your site</li> <li>Good for overall online visibility because it's indexed by the Search Engines</li> <li>It's free to set up a business account</li> <li>Right now there is no advertising, so it's a lot less noisy than Facebook</li> <li>In terms of e-commerce, Pinterest is generating up to four times the revenue per click as Twitter and 27% more than Facebook</li> <li>Also in terms of e-commerce, visitors from Pinterest are spending 70% more than visitors referred from other sites.</li> </ul> <p>For average folks, Pinterest is just really fun to use, it's simple, and it's intuitive. (I've spent many an evening pinning my boards while watching TV).</p> <p>If you feel your business would benefit from testing Pinterest, stay tuned. MY next blog help you set up your account, get started on Pinterest, and much more!</p> <p>The data on Pinterest came from the following sources: <a href="http://mashable.com/2012/02/25/pinterest-user-demographics/" title="Mashable">Mashable</a>, <a href="http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/pinterest-social-comparison_b19477" title="comScore">comScore</a>, <a href="http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/pinterest-twitter-traffic_b19333" title="Shareaholic">Shareaholic</a>, <a href="http://www.convertro.com/" title="Convertro">Convertro</a>, and <a href="http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/32362/35-Statistics-That-Fuel-the-Battle-Between-Pinterest-and-Google.aspx" title="Hubspot">Hubspot</a>.</p> <p>Have more questions? Just Ask Betsy! Subscribe or leave a comment below: </p> <p> </p>Betsy KentThu, 19 Apr 2012 12:35:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:135007http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/130714/The-Basics-of-Facebook-Interest-Lists#Comments0The Basics of Facebook Interest Listshttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/130714/The-Basics-of-Facebook-Interest-Lists<p><b>What is a Facebook Interest List? </b><b><br /> </b></p> <p>Facebook continues to roll out new features (the big one is <a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/129852/The-Anatomy-of-a-Facebook-Timeline" title="Facebook Timeline" target="_blank">Facebook Timeline</a>) and Interest Lists are one of the latest. Interest Lists are Facebook’s way of de-cluttering your newsfeed. You will now be able to categorize the Pages and people you “like”, “follow”, and “subscribe to” into different groups. <br /> <br /> For instance you may put a friend who is a chef, <em>Ben and Jerry’s</em>, and <em>Starbuck’s</em> into one Interest List called “Food.” If you select that Interest List, you will see all the updates from those Pages or people you have put on those lists. Your newsfeed, in turn, will become the news you most <em>want</em> as opposed to irrelevant or unwanted status updates. <br /> <br /> Facebook’s Interest Lists should already appeal to Twitter users who use Twitter lists and are used to segmenting the news they receive. Many people would rather stick with Facebook (even with the changes) than move to another social network. News aggregators for the iPad, iPhone, and Android such as <a href="http://flipboard.com/">Flipboard</a> and <a href="http://www.news.me/">News.me</a> are also on the rise and you can see why Facebook would like to keep you on Facebook even for your news.  (Facebook calls Interest Lists, “your personal newspaper.”)</p> <p><b>How do I find/create a Facebook Interest List?</b></p> <p>After logging into Facebook, you will see “Add Interests” (“Interests” if you’ve already created a list) on the bottom left-hand side of Facebook’s homepage.</p> <p><img id="img-1332269464340" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/interests.jpg" border="0" alt="interests" width="531" height="302" /></p> <p>If you do not see this option immediately, click the “More” option.</p> <p>When creating new lists, a wizard helps you pick from your Liked Pages, subscriptions, friends, and members of categories such as Art, Entertainment, Games, etc.</p> <p><img id="img-1332269525306" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/intrest2 .jpg" border="0" alt="intrest2 " width="523" height="246" /></p> <p>If you have liked a business or organization's Page on Facebook you can add that Page to an Interest List directly.</p> <p><img id="img-1332341962845" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/bevisinterest1.jpg" border="0" alt="bevisinterest1" width="607" height="328" /></p> <p>The top news or “stories” from each “Interest” you subscribe to occasionally appear in your primary newsfeed without clicking directly on the list. </p> <p>To create your own Interest List, simply click + Create List. <br /> <br /><img id="img-1332272457062" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/interests 4.jpg" border="0" alt="interests 4" /></p> <p>You can choose from Liked Pages, Subscriptions (people who you’ve subscribed to already), Friends, and basic categories that Facebook provides for you. <br /> <br /> After you’ve chosen who or what will be on your Interest List, you can select your privacy settings (if that makes sense).<span style="text-decoration: line-through;"> </span></p> <p>First, create a name for your Interest List, and then decide whether your list is available to the “Public”, “Friends”, or “Only You.”<br /> <br /><img id="img-1332269950178" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/bevisprivate.jpg" border="0" alt="bevisprivate" width="525" height="382" /><br /> <br /> If you want other Facebook users to see your list and even subscribe to it, make it “Public”. <br /> <br /> Your Interest List will now appear on the left side of the screen when you log into Facebook. If you would like to add to your list, click the list and you can add. Facebook will also suggest relevant people or pages you can add to your Interest List. <br /> <br /> Interest Lists are still brand new, so we’re yet to see if they are a Facebook main-stay. In the meantime, Interest Lists are a great way to focus on the people and Pages you love without all the other distraction that can clutter up your newsfeed. <br /> <br />(Second and Third Image Courtesy of <a href="http://newsroom.fb.com/Announcements/Introducing-Interest-Lists-109.aspx">Facebook Newsroom</a>.)<br /> <br /> Still confused? Just Ask Betsy! Subscribe or leave a comment below: </p>Betsy KentWed, 21 Mar 2012 21:42:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:130714http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/129852/The-Anatomy-of-a-Facebook-Timeline#Comments0The Anatomy of a Facebook Timelinehttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/129852/The-Anatomy-of-a-Facebook-Timeline<b>The Anatomy of a Facebook Timeline</b> <br /> <br /> Facebook is replacing Business Pages with Facebook Timeline for Business. In order to help with this transition to Facebook’s latest change I’ve broken Timeline for Business into a few simple steps. <br /> <br /> Your Facebook Timeline will be the first page the public will see (fans and non-fans) so you’ll want to make sure it’s visually striking and conveys your business’s or brand’s story. <br /> <br /> This is an example of what Facebook Timeline looks like: <br /><br /><img id="img-1331931297081" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/facebook-page-timeline-local.jpg" border="0" alt="Facebook Timeline American Museum of Natural History" /><br />To see this Timeline live click <a href="http://www.facebook.com/naturalhistory">here</a>.<br /> <b>____________________________________________________________________________</b><br /><b>NOW, FOR <em>YOUR</em> BUSINESS’ FACEBOOK TIMELINE!</b><br /><b>THE ANATOMY OF A FACEBOOK TIMELINE:</b><br /><b><img id="img-1331907546055" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/coverphotoanatomy2.jpg" border="0" alt="CoverPhotoAnatomy2" width="573" height="246" /><br /></b> <br /><b>1)   </b><b>Cover Photo<br /></b>Think about an image that tells your brand story. It’s a very large horizontal photo (850 x 320 pixels). Do you have a photo or a group of photos that you love? If you don’t here’s an article on 19 great resources for <a href="http://ebiznet2u.com/19-best-facebook-timeline-profile-cover-creators-3714/">timeline creators</a>. You can get really creative with this: to add neat effects try <a href="http://www.trickedouttimeline.com/">TrickedOutTimelines</a>.   <br /><br /><b>2) Profile Picture<br /></b>This is the place for your logo or an image that conveys your brand. Keep in mind width is now 180 pixels, height 180 pixels and Facebook will auto-adjust this to 125 pixels wide by 125 pixels high.<br /><br /><b>3) Views and Apps<br /></b>Facebook “Tabs” are now called “Views and Apps”. You can have up to 12 of them, but only 4 are visible without clicking and now you have an image to represent each of them 111 x 74 pixels)<br />Of these 4 “Photos” are static but the remaining three tabs are interchangeable (the other 8 tabs are hidden but users can access them by hitting the expand option).<br />Here are some examples of Views and Apps that businesses are using on their Timelines: <ul> <li>Blog</li> <li>Coupons                                      </li> <li>Contact Us</li> <li>Countdowns                                  </li> <li>E-Commerce                                  </li> <li>Events                                          </li> <li>FAQ</li> <li>Contests                                      </li> <li>Twitter</li> <li>Foursquare</li> <li>Galleries</li> <li>Google+</li> <li>Job</li> <li>Maps</li> <li>Newsletter</li> <li>Offers</li> <li>LinkedIn</li> <li>PayPal</li> <li>Pinterest                                      </li> <li>Polls</li> <li>Email Capture                                </li> <li>Share Button</li> <li>Testimonials</li> <li>YouTube</li> <li>Chat</li> </ul> <p>To make your own custom apps or re-size the apps you already have on your Facebook page, try <a href="http://tabsite.com/">Tabsite.com</a> – they have an easy and great free version for just getting started! <br /><br /><b>4) About Section <br /></b>If you are a local business, company, organization, or institution you’ll ned to provide           Facebook the following:</p> <ul> <li>Name of your Facebook Business Page</li> <li>Your Business Address(es)</li> <li>Telephone Number(s)</li> <li>Hours of Operation (optional) <br />    </li> </ul> If you are a brand or product:<br />What would you like Facebook Timeline to say about your business or brand? Only the first 150 characters (approximately 15 words) will display directly on the Timeline Cover Page. Think of this as your business or brand’s core value statement. Don’t worry: Facebook users will have the ability to expand the about section to view more of your business’s or brand’s description, if you want to say more.<br /><b> </b><br /><b>5) Milestones (appear as updates in your newsfeed, by date)</b><br />Timeline has created a new feature called Milestones allowing you to fill in the gaps from       when your business or brand was founded and when you joined Facebook. This is where we can go back in time and add images with captions to indicate significant events in the history of your business, such as:<br /> Milestone Ideas:  <ul> <li>When your business launched<b></b></li> <li>Your first partnership<b></b></li> <li>Your first sale</li> <li>Expanding or opening a second location</li> <li>Your first hire</li> <li>Forming a new division</li> <li>TV or magazine appearance</li> <li>Important press</li> </ul> <br /> All of these events in your business’ history create your Brand Story. <br /> <br /> Start with the year your business was founded and the location where this occurred. Provide a story (optional). Think about what you want to say about the concept or inspiration for your brand or business’s inception. Keep in mind the first 255 characters (approx 25-30 words) will be visible. Facebook users can expand to read a further description. Last, but not least, provide a photo, video, or link of this important milestone in your history!<br /><br />You can add as few or as many milestones as you like, and you can change them later on, too. Try to really tell your brand story so Facebook users can interact with your entire history. <br /><br />You can also go back and delete any posts that you don't want to appear (ones that didn't get good engagement, for example).<br /><br /> Still confused? Try <a href="http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=279680818764230">Facebook Help</a> for more assistance or give Be Visible Associates a call.  <b></b><br /><br />Kevin HagemanFri, 16 Mar 2012 20:53:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:129852http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/126935/Facebook-s-Timeline-What-it-Means-for-Your-Brand#Comments0Facebook’s Timeline & What it Means for Your Brandhttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/126935/Facebook-s-Timeline-What-it-Means-for-Your-Brand<p>This article, written by Karen Lewis of <em>Simply Amusing Designs</em>, appeared on March 1, 2012. It's a simple overview on the big changes that will affect Facebook Pages on March 30. Karen is a great designer and a really smart cookie and I think you will find this explanation very easy to understand. You can link to the original post <a href="http://www.simplyamusingdesigns.com/2012/03/facebooks-timeline-what-it-means-for-your-brand/" title="here" target="_blank">here</a>  </p> <p><img src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/coke-600x188.jpg" border="0" alt="coke 600x188" /></p> <p><em>The much-anticipated release of Timeline for Brands was rolled out today by Facebook and there are a few things you need to know if you are a Brand manager or Business owner.</em></p> <p>The newest feature has rolled out for preview across the network, and if you don’t upgrade before March 30, your page will be automatically converted to the new style. Similar to personal profiles, Timeline for Brands has design beauty potential. Facebook has added features to Brands that personal profiles don’t have – such as public storylines and new admin capabilities, which I’ll discuss in a moment.</p> <p><b>About those Custom Landing Pages & Tabs</b></p> <p>Possibly the biggest news is that you can no longer send your Facebook visitors to a default landing page (aka welcome tab, or fan-gate). Those applications will still remain available, but your fans will only get to them if they click on the app on your page. If you have a custom application that has been created for your Page, it will still work, you will just no longer be able to send certain traffic (like non-fans) to a particular page inside Facebook, unless you pay for Facebook ads.</p> <p><b>Other Important Changes To Pages</b></p> <p><b>1. Cover Images</b> – The new look for Brands includes a large 850px-wide image (similar to personal aprofiles) at the top of the page, with the page itself separated into two columns by a “timeline”. This affords companies a beautiful visual way to share and engage with their visitors, even more so than before. The one caveat to your brand’s cover image? <em>Facebook’s rules stipulate you may not promote your products or services there.</em> Yep…you are reading that correctly – <em>no pricing information, no discount or percent off information, no web address, no contact information, no encouraging people to like your page,</em> etc.</p> <p><b>2. Reduced Tab Visibility</b> – Where as before you could have as many tabs as you wanted in the sidebar, now you’ll be forced to choose the top three you want to show under the cover image. Choose carefully and wisely – as there are only three tabs visible at any given time. The one tab you cannot change is the “Photo” tab, to see more than the first four, users will have to expand the tab panel by clicking on a drop-down menu.</p> <p><b>3. Feature Posts </b>- You will now be able to feature posts for 7 days by “pinning” them to the top of your Timeline (akin to posting a ‘sticky’ post in a forum or on a blog). If you have a promotion or special offers, this is an opportunity for it to shine on the page and not get lost in the daily shuffle. This is also where you will want to focus your marketing strategy to point visitors to contests, promotions, other tabs, etc. It will be interesting to see how marketers use this particular feature.</p> <p><b>4. Private Messages</b> – With the new update, users will be able to leave private messages for brands and brands can interact with them outside of the Timeline. It will be easy to clutter up the Timeline with customer inquiries and notes, so the addition of messaging is going to be really beneficial for page admins.</p> <p><b>What We Recommend to Our Clients:</b></p> <p><b>Don’t convert yet.</b> The most important “next step” is for you to prepare your Timeline Cover Photo and decide what apps/tabs are going to be visible on the home page. You can see a preview of your Timeline by going to your page and walking through the tutorial. Do not publish the changes – play around with it, but make sure that before you publish, you have a nice cover photo, and have cleaned up your timeline. In addition, there are bound to be a few bugs to be worked out, let Facebook handle those while you are getting used to the new highly visual format of your page.</p> <p> I'll be posting more Timeline info throughout the month, but in the meantime please reach out with your comments and questions.</p> <p>-B </p>Betsy KentThu, 01 Mar 2012 17:51:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:126935http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/106631/What-Facebook-Can-Tell-Us-about-Our-Country#Comments0What Facebook Can Tell Us about Our Countryhttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/106631/What-Facebook-Can-Tell-Us-about-Our-Country<p>I manage many different Facebook Pages for my clients. For one client in particular (a consumer packaged goods company) every now and then a status update generates comments that really touch my heart. I want to share some them with you:</p> <p><br /><img src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Screen shot 2011-12-04 at 9.52.32 AM.png" border="0" alt="Screen shot 2011 12 04 at 9.52.32 AM" /><br /><br /><em>“Fill in the blank: All I want for Christmas is ___________________________.”</em></p> <ul> <li>Peace of mind and a good woman who is truly ready to settle down with one man!!!</li> <li>World Peace!!!!!</li> <li>For my kids to have Christmas. Can’t afford it this year. : (</li> <li>A job.</li> <li>My parents back.</li> <li>A girlfriend.</li> <li>A job. Not working sucks.</li> <li>Happiness for all for one day, even if impossible, still want that most. </li> <li>To have my dad back on earth again. To tell him I love him again.</li> <li>My health so I could spend and enjoy my grandkids and kids.</li> <li>Just for everything to be OK.</li> <li>For my kids to be happy.</li> <li>All my family together with all differences set aside.</li> <li>For my son to get his cochlear implants and be able to hear me say “I love you.”</li> </ul> <p>We received many more comments similar to the ones above, too many to list. These comments are a little snapshot of what is going on in people’s minds right now in this country.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p>Betsy KentSun, 04 Dec 2011 14:43:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:106631http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/101886/The-New-Google-Analytics#Comments0The New Google Analyticshttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/101886/The-New-Google-Analytics<p>Anyone who works with me knows that I love analytics. Messing around on Google Analytics is what I think is fun. But up until now the data from Google Analytics left a lot of stones unturned.</p> <p>Google announced today that they are unrolling a new Google Analytics platform that promises to be really effective at getting under the hood and find out what’s really happening on your website.</p> <p>One of the aspects of this new platform is “Real Time” results. As you can see from the screenshot below, website owners will be able to see what’s happening right now on your site:</p> <p><img id="img-1321561381805" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Untitled socail.png" border="0" alt="New Google Analytics Screen Shot" width="600" height="323" style="height: 323px; width: 600px;" /> </p> <p>How we are going to use this data, and what can be derived from it remains to be seen. But I believe that for many site owners, this insight will help them understand not just how people behave on the site, but when they behave on the site as well.</p> <p>Applications for this kind of data could inform the best time to launch a promotion, for example. </p> <p>Another “Real Time” reporting tool will help website owners see in more depth and detail where their visitors are coming from:</p> <p><img id="img-1321561401894" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Untitled.png" border="0" alt="New Google Analytics screen shot" width="600" height="377" style="height: 377px; width: 600px;" /></p> <p>This will make it much easier for companies that use Social Media to drive traffic to their websites to see how their efforts are paying off as they are happening. The possibilities of how website owners can use this data is endless. For example, imagine being able to see how a Tweet affects your website traffic and being able to build on that momentum in real time.</p> <p>Lots of other cool features will be part of the new Google Analytics (such as Flow Visualization). I, for one, can’t wait!!</p>Betsy KentThu, 17 Nov 2011 20:15:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:101886http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/96684/The-Social-Media-Dilemma-for-Businesses#Comments0The Social Media Dilemma for Businesseshttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/96684/The-Social-Media-Dilemma-for-Businesses<p><img id="img-1320768403927" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Business woman outside thinking small1.jpg" border="0" alt="Social Media Dilemma for Businesses" /></p> <p> </p> <p style="text-align: left;">Every week I speak to business people who are facing the same dilemma. They keep hearing that they <em>should</em> be using Social Media* for Business, but they have no idea WHAT that really means. Facebook? Twitter? YouTube? Blogging? And even if they did know HOW, they don’t know WHEN they’d have the time for it.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">And even if they knew <em>when</em>, the biggest question of all is <strong>WHY?</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">There are as many answers to How and What as there are different kinds of businesses. But the answer to WHY? is always the same**:</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>To Increase Revenue</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">This is the first in a series of posts that address just this issue. I will attempt to answer the question WHY? for different types of businesses.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"> </p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>BUSINESS TYPE #1</strong>: BUSINESS DEPENDS UPON REFERRALS, NOT MARKETING</p> <p style="text-align: left;">“Our business depends on referrals for all of our new clients. We never market or advertise. Our stellar reputation is why people choose us. WHY should we use Social Media?”</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Imagine this Scenario:</p> <p style="text-align: left;">One of your current happy clients tells a colleague how your company has  done a fantastic   job for her. The colleague writes down your name (or your company name). Remember, your best clients aren’t walking around with a stack of your businesses cards, as much as you wish they would!</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The colleague (this person could be your dream client!) has no other choice but to do a Google search for your company in order to find your contact info. What will she see? Get into the head of that potential client and perform that same Google search for yourself. What appears on your screen is pretty much what she sees.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Is your website the only listing on the page? Does it tell your company’s story in a way that the potential client will see value in hiring you? Is there anything else appearing on the screen that conveys the message that you want this client to see? </p> <p style="text-align: left;">If your answer is NO, then you have a wonderful opportunity: Social Media (I use the term loosely) is the way to increase your business profile on the web and moreover, make sure that your story is told in the way that will make a potential client sit up and say “This is exactly what I am looking for!”</p> <p style="text-align: left;"> </p> <p style="text-align: left;">Research shows that people use search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing) more often than <em>any other research tool</em> as the #1 source of information gathering in preparation for a purchasing decision (even when they have been referred!).</p> <p style="text-align: left;">And it’s only natural. Everyone wants to get a little bit more information about a company before they pick up the phone and call, and the Internet has made it possible to research quickly and easily.  I’m sure you’ve done it yourself.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">What we don’t know is how many potential clients have searched for your company after having been referred and DID NOT CHOOSE YOU because your Internet presence did not convey that your company provides exactly what they need.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"> </p> <p style="text-align: left;">WHY? Because Lost Opportunity results in Lost Revenue! That’s Why! Now…HOW, WHAT and WHEN are easy! Let’s talk.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"> </p> <p style="text-align: left;"> </p> <p style="text-align: left;">*I use Social Media as a catchall term for content marketing, blogging, and using Facebook, Twitter, etc.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">**Disclosure: every now and then I do work with a client that does not have a revenue producing agenda, but instead is looking for pure visibility in her or his field.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"> </p> <p style="text-align: left;"> </p> <p style="text-align: left;"> </p> <p style="text-align: left;"> </p> <p style="text-align: left;"> </p> <p style="text-align: left;"> </p> <p style="text-align: left;"> </p>Betsy KentTue, 08 Nov 2011 16:15:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:96684http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76200/Facebook-Changes-Why-the-Anger#Comments2Facebook Changes: Why the Anger?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76200/Facebook-Changes-Why-the-Anger<p><img src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/facebook-full-logo.png" border="0" alt="Facebook" /></p> <p>Facebook rolled (some say “steamrolled”) out major platform changes this week, in case you haven’t noticed! Those of us in the industry knew they were coming, although most of us didn’t know exactly what all the changes would be.</p> <p>Facebook has the right to make changes on their platform. Some industry folks see all the new features as being Facebook’s direct reaction to the threat of Google+. Some see the changes (as I do) as not only a reaction to the features that make Google+ so easy to use, but also Facebook’s need and desire to keep users on the site for the majority of their Internet usage, therefore reducing the need for them to leave to search for music, to buy products, to chat with friends, to see real-time news, and more.</p> <p>When I work with clients I often use this analogy to illustrate how users feel about Facebook: Facebook is a house. People like to hang out in their house with their family and friends. The more they can do without having to leave their “house” the more comfortable they feel.</p> <h4>Where the Problem Lies</h4> <p>Imagine you are renting the house (basically users are “renting” space on Facebook’s platform, albeit for free) and while you are at work, your landlord comes into the house, moves most of your stuff around, hides other stuff, and piles a lot of new stuff that you never asked for in places you don’t expect. The landlord leaves you a note saying, “I think you will like the house better this way”.</p> <p>How would you feel? Invaded? Disrespected? Really Angry?</p> <p>That’s how many Facebook users feel right now. If you check the Twitter hashtag #newfacebook you’ll see thousands (probably hundreds of thousands) of complaints and in many cases, anger.</p> <p>I believe that Facebook users will get used to the new changes, and most will find them really useful, as I do.  The new features make Facebook better for users and  better it is for markers.</p> <p>The <em>way</em> in which Facebook changes were made is the reason that users are angry. Anger is not what any business wants their customers (or tenants) to feel.</p> <h4>I’m looking forward to hearing how this all plays out. Would love to hear your comments.</h4>Betsy KentFri, 23 Sep 2011 12:07:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76200http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76199/Personal-Branding-1940-s-Style#Comments0Personal Branding, 1940′s Stylehttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76199/Personal-Branding-1940-s-Style<p><a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Jack-Kent-Hakoah-club-new-years-eve1.jpg" target="_blank"><img id="img-1316881588308" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Jack-Kent-Hakoah-club-new-years-eve1.jpg" border="0" alt="Jack Kent Hakoah club new years eve" width="300" height="174" /></a></p> <p>The Jack Kent Quartet (dad is second fr left)</p> <p>There is a lot written about Personal Branding these days. Some people think it’s a new concept; made possible by the opportunities we have on the web with social media platforms. In reality, from PT Barnum, to the Kardashians, personal branding has been with us since we’ve had media.</p> <p>Back in the 1930’s & 40’s when my father wasn’t working in the family menswear store, he was the alto sax-playing leader of his own jazz band that gigged at various nightclubs around his hometown of Akron, Ohio. Not only was he the second youngest member of the local musician’s union (his best friend, the brilliant pianist Pat Pace, was the youngest), he wasn’t even old enough be in those clubs when he first started.</p> <p>My dad was a very cool cat. But he had a personal branding problem.</p> <p>Cool cats back then (and probably even today) didn’t get high ratings on the coolness scale when they had a last name like “Kantrovitz”. So instead of calling his band “The Jack Kantrovitz Quartet” my dad came up with the name, “The Jack Kent Quartet”.</p> <p>After a while, this created another problem: half of his friends and acquaintances knew him as Jack Kantrovitz, and the other half knew him as Jack Kent. He even had two listings in the phone book (if you’re under 30 and don’t know what a phone book is, email me and I’ll explain it.)</p> <p>Finally in about 1954, my father decided to eliminate the confusion and had his last name legally changed from Kantrovitz to Kent. Soon after, his brother took the same route, and that was the demise of the Kantrovitz name.</p> <p>My father created his “personal brand” to market his jazz band more effectively.  They had a pretty successful run, until he decided to quit gigging and devote himself to the family business and to raising a family. I think he was ahead of his time and growing up with that kind of mindset in the house gave me a head start in marketing.</p> <p>Having such a “generic” last name has definitely been an asset for my brother, my cousins, and me, too. Our name doesn’t get mispronounced or misspelled very often, which, among other benefits, has made life a little easier for us.</p> <p>Thanks, Dad.</p>Betsy KentSat, 03 Sep 2011 15:40:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76199http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76197/What-is-a-QR-Code#Comments0What is a QR Code?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76197/What-is-a-QR-Code<p><img id="img-1316881432935" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Screen-shot-QR-Code.png" border="0" alt="QR Code" /></p> <p><strong>You have probably noticed these little white squares with black patterns </strong>on them appearing on bus kiosk ads, in magazines, and even on billboards. And there’s a good chance that you don’t know what they are and if you are supposed to do something with them. You may have even wondered if they are secret communication devices designed just for nerds and geeks.</p> <p><strong>They are QR Codes</strong>, and I’m going to tell you:</p> <p>• What they are</p> <p>• Why they are there</p> <p>• What you can do with them</p> <h4>What is a QR Code?</h4> <p>The QR code is a pattern that can be read by a scanner, just the same way a bar code is read in the supermarket. QR is short for “Quick Response” and they were invented in Japan in 1994. QR Codes have been ubiquitous in Japan for years, and in Europe for a long time. The U.S. has been very slow to adopt them, mostly because of idiosyncrasies the cell phone technology here.</p> <h4>Why are QR Codes Appearing Everywhere?</h4> <p>As of the end of 2010, there were 302,859,67 wireless subscriptions in the U.S. (data from CTIA Wireless Assoc.). This astoundingly massive usage of wireless technology is enabling organizations of all kinds to connect with people in new and very innovative ways. This is what’s cool about QR Codes: the camera on your Smartphone can read them! Which means that businesses and institutions can use them to deliver more information to you, the consumer, than is possible in an ad.</p> <p>When scanned, the code will make something happen on your phone, such as:</p> <p>• A website may open in your browser</p> <p>• You may get a text</p> <p>• A photo may appear</p> <p>• A video may appear</p> <h4>Why would you want to scan a QR Code?</h4> <p>Let’s say you’re standing at a bus stop in your neighborhood. You notice that there is an ad on the shelter for a nearby restaurant that you’ve wondered about. Scan the QR code on the ad, and your phone will take you to a mini website designed specifically for your phone (meaning the images fit perfectly on your screen). You can look at the restaurant’s menu, see images of the interior, and very often, find a special coupon that when shown at the restaurant, will give you a discount or something special, like a free glass of wine.</p> <p>Local businesses and large brands are using QR Codes for all kinds of things. From allowing you to access a recipes when purchasing a packaged good in the supermarket, to enabling you to view a movie preview by scanning a code on a movie poster, QR Codes give you a richer experience to help you make buying decisions.</p> <h4>Can any phone scan a QR Code?</h4> <p>Only Smartphones or camera phones equipped with a QR “reader” application can scan the image of the QR code. Check this list to see if your phone is QR capable, and determine which application to use.</p> <h4>How do you use them?</h4> <p>Once you’ve determined that you have a QR reader on your phone, you will use your phone’s camera to scan the code. Again, you need a reader application to do this. Depending on what information is stored on the QR code, a browser window may open; you may receive a text or a download. You should receive the content in less than a minute.</p> <h4>If you have a business</h4> <p>QR codes can be a great tool for business. The important thing to remember is to clearly explain to the user what is going to happen when they scan your code and what the benefits will be to them to take that action.</p> <p>Here are some examples of uses of QR codes:</p> <p>Postcard:</p> <p><img id="img-1316881117825" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/mainscape1.jpg" border="0" alt="mainscape" width="446" height="336" /></p> <p>Business Card:</p> <p><img id="img-1316881157556" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Business Card.jpg" border="0" alt="Business Card" /></p> <p>Campaign:</p> <p><a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Scan-here.png" target="_blank"><img id="img-1316881188528" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Scan-here.png" border="0" alt="Campaign" width="297" height="300" /></a></p> <p>To find out what application you need for your Smartphone or camera phone, click here: <a href="http://www.qrstuff.com/qr_phone_software.html" target="_blank">http://www.qrstuff.com/qr_phone_software.html</a></p> <p>Do you have any great ideas for using QR codes? Comment below:</p> <p>(If you found this information helpful, please consider subscribing. Thank you!)</p>Betsy KentWed, 24 Aug 2011 12:34:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76197http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76194/My-Business-Blog-What-Should-I-Write-About#Comments0My Business Blog: What Should I Write About?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76194/My-Business-Blog-What-Should-I-Write-About<p><img id="img-1316880941551" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/question-mark.jpg" border="0" alt="A frequent question" width="135" height="135" class="alignLeft" style="float: left;" />A frequent question that I get from many of my clients (with a lot of trepidation) after they have decided that they do want to have a business blog, is this:</p> <p>“What in the world should I write about?”</p> <p>Regardless of what your goal is for having a blog, my advice is, don’t try to come up with ideas out of clear air, especially if you are just getting started. Here are some great tips for getting blog ideas:</p> <p><strong>Answer Your Most Frequently Asked Questions</strong></p> <p>Think about your clients and customers. What questions do you hear over and over again? These questions are fantastic ideas for blog posts!</p> <ul> <li>For larger brands: Talk to customer service and your salespeople. They are the ones that are interfacing with your customers, and believe me; they know what your customers want to know. Social Media is also a great resource as well, and becoming more important all the time. See what your customers are tweeting about and asking you on Facebook.</li> <li>For smaller businesses: It’s very likely that you interface with your clients and customers every day. Listen carefully and you’ll probably hear the same questions over and over again.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Ask Google!</strong></p> <p>Ask Google the questions your customers are asking you. Google is an incredible tool for research.  For example: Let’s say you have a business selling Oriental rugs, and customers frequently ask you this question: “How do I tell if an Oriental rug is authentic?”</p> <p>Type that into Google and see what comes up.</p> <p>I bet you’ll find tons of blogs and articles addressing that very question, some even written by your competitors. Is the information out there correct? Would you agree or disagree? Remember, what you see on Google is what your potential customers see on Google. Make<em> your</em> blog post the most concise, easy to understand, and truthful answer to the question. All the years of honing your skills and developing your expertise will enable you to share your knowledge just enough to make people understand that not only do you know what you’re talking about, but that you talk about it in terms that they can understand.</p> <p><strong>Set up Google Alerts and Twitter Searches for the topics that are important to you and to your customers and clients. </strong></p> <p>Read what is circulating around the Internet about your industry, your  competitors, and your customers. You will discover gobs of content that you  will agree with, disagree with, and that is sharable. (If you share content, be sure to attribute it to the original author). You’ll also probably see a lot of forums pop up. They are best for finding out what questions people ask a lot. Use Forums for ideas.</p> <p><strong>But how can you be helpful without feeling like you are giving your assets away for free?</strong></p> <ul> <li>For larger brands: Share how people can use your product or service to get the best results, address issues that come up a lot. Even unhappy customers respond positively when they know a company actually cares about their experience.</li> <li>For smaller businesses: Answer your “frequently asked questions” in a fashion that that gives value to the reader without being a “How-To”. Here are some examples: <ul> <li>Interior designer: Why Home Staging Helps Houses Sell Faster</li> <li>Hair Salon: What is the Right Cut for your Face Shape?</li> <li>Event Producer: What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Live Tweeting at an Event?</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p>Blogging is not nearly as scary when you understand that you don’t have to create your content in a vacuum. Listen to your customers, read what your competitors are writing, and in a very short time, you’ll find that your mental idea engine will start running on it’s own.</p> <p>More tips to come including using Keywords effectively and how to get your blog posts noticed. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!</p>Betsy KentSun, 31 Jul 2011 19:46:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76194http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76191/Why-Do-I-Need-a-Business-Blog#Comments0Why Do I Need a Business Blog?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76191/Why-Do-I-Need-a-Business-Blog<p><img id="img-1316880802281" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Business Blog.jpg" border="0" alt="Business Blog" width="120" height="120" class="alignLeft" style="float: left;" />“Why Do I Need a Business Blog?” It’s a question I hear over and over again from new clients, and I don’t blame them for asking! What’s a “blog” anyway? Some people hear the word “blog” and immediately think of <em>The Huffington Post</em> or <em>Perez Hilton.com</em>. With that in mind, it’s easy for me to understand why many businesses find it hard to understand why they should blog. If you fit into this category, read on:</p> <p>3 Steps to Decide if your Business should be Blogging:</p> <p>1. Start Here: The first place to start is Google, the largest Search Engine. Perform a Google search for your company name. What do you see on the first page of results? A few listings for your website? Some local directory listings you never signed up for? Anything else? Anything on the second page?</p> <p>2. Now Do This: Perform a Google search for each your top 2-3 competitors. What do you see on the first page of results? On the second? On the third?</p> <p>3. Next, Think About This Scenario: A coveted potential client has been referred to your company and has also been referred to two of your competitors. You have no idea this client is in buying mode (in spite of the fact that you have reached out numerous times). The client immediately goes to Google to research <em>your</em> company and <em>each of your competitors</em>. He or she is going to see pretty much exactly what <em>you</em> just saw in your Google search.</p> <p>Does that make you happy?</p> <p>Today’s business-to-business buyers have the ability to find out a lot about your company <em>before you even know that they are looking!</em> Their first stop might very well be your website (and your website must do a great job of conveying your company’s value proposition within 7 seconds, but more about that later). But what is most important is that they are going to be looking for more than just your website to help them decide if you are the right choice.</p> <p>A blog will help your company convey value to potential clients in a way that you control. Moreover, you can easily achieve a much more impressive presence on the Web than you have right now. And, when combined with other Social Media efforts, you have a very powerful mix – one that your competitors may already be stirring!</p> <p>So, how do you figure out what to blog about?</p> <p>Stay tuned!</p>Betsy KentTue, 05 Jul 2011 22:36:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76191http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76190/Facebook-Privacy-Settings-How-to-Change-Them#Comments0Facebook Privacy Settings, How to Change Themhttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76190/Facebook-Privacy-Settings-How-to-Change-Them<p>Many of you have asked me how to adjust the privacy settings for your Facebook personal profiles. Facebook tends to make changes to this feature a lot, so it’s good to go in every now and then and make sure your are set the way you want them.</p> <p>Here’s a Step-By-Step guide to customizing your privacy settings:</p> <p>Click the Account tab in upper right corner of your page, and select “Privacy Settings.”</p> <p><img id="img-1316880589677" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/BV-Privacy-Blog-SS-1.jpg" border="0" alt="BV Privacy Blog SS 1" /></p> <p>Under the Connect on Facebook header, click “View Settings” to view and change what people see when they search for you on Facebook.</p> <p>Anyone can search for your Facebook page, so it is important you only display appropriate content—your potential employers don’t need to hear about your hangover or see pictures from that weekend in Vegas. And, as Facebook becomes a more prominent tool for business networking, it is a good idea to keep it professional.</p> <p><img id="img-1316880613976" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/BV-Privacy-Blog-SS-2.jpg" border="0" alt="BV Privacy Blog SS 2" /></p> <p>Go through each setting and select “Everyone,” “Friends of Friends,” “Friends Only” or “Customize.” The “Customize” option will allow you to adjust your settings to specifically show or hide your activity from certain friends.</p> <p>To control the settings on <em>what you share</em> on Facebook, click “Back to Privacy” in the upper left corner.</p> <p><img id="img-1316880631337" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/BV-Privacy-Blog-SS-3.jpg" border="0" alt="BV Privacy Blog SS 3" /></p> <p>Under the “Things I Share” heading, you can customize who sees what you post on Facebook. This includes photos, videos, status updates and information about your likes, connections and relationships.</p> <p><img id="img-1316880646215" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/BV-Privacy-Blog-SS-4.jpg" border="0" alt="BV Privacy Blog SS 4" /></p> <p>“Things Others Share” is where you control who views what friends post and share on <em>your</em> profile—wall posts, pictures and comments.</p> <p>Lastly, it is also very important that you adjust the Privacy Settings for your “Contact Information.” For example, it is a good idea to make your address and phone number visible to “Friends Only.”</p> <p><img id="img-1316880661658" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/BV-Privacy-Blog-SS-5.jpg" border="0" alt="BV Privacy Blog SS 5" /></p> <p>At the bottom of the “Things I Share” section, there is a link that will allow you to change the privacy settings on your existing videos and photo albums.</p> <p><img id="img-1316880677500" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/BV-Privacy-Blog-SS-61.jpg" border="0" alt="BV Privacy Blog SS 61" /></p> <p>I suggest keeping your profile picture visible to make it easier for friends and family to find you. The privacy of other albums you share is up to you, but again, remember to keep it professional!</p> <p><img id="img-1316880690850" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/BV-Privacy-Blog-SS-71.jpg" border="0" alt="BV Privacy Blog SS 71" /></p> <p>If you have any problems with your privacy settings or have any other questions about Facebook…Just Ask Betsy!</p>Betsy KentTue, 21 Jun 2011 19:02:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76190http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76189/Do-You-Hate-Social-Media#Comments0Do You Hate Social Media?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76189/Do-You-Hate-Social-Media<p><img id="img-1316880410977" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Do You Hate Social Media.jpg" border="0" alt="Infuriated businesswoman" class="alignLeft" style="float: left;" />As a Social Media expert I am frequently referred to businesses that need my help. I work with large companies, online retailers, and marketing agencies. But I have many clients that fall into the “small but successful”, category, too. And, the majority of these “small but successful” businesses are owned by really smart, really fearless, and really dynamic people.</p> <p>These really smart, fearless, and dynamic people seem to have one thing in common: They “hate” Social Media!</p> <p>How do I know they hate Social Media? Because invariably when I first sit down to work with them, they start our conversation in one of these ways:</p> <ul> <li>“I know we should be “doing” Social Media, but I don’t know why.”</li> <li>“I’m really stupid about these things.”</li> <li>“I hate Facebook and I hate that my kids spend so much time on it.”</li> <li>“My competitors aren’t doing it; why should I?”</li> <li>“I am totally confused about Social Media and I don’t like it.”</li> <li>“How much does this stuff cost?”</li> </ul> <p>First of all, I want to say that I completely understand why successful business owners in their 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s would hate Social Media. After all, they built their businesses without Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. And, if they use Social Media at all, they may use Facebook as a personal tool for keeping up with those people from high school that they hadn’t planned to keep up with in the first place!</p> <p>However, the reality is that Social Media is in our world, it affects all aspects of our lives, and it has a huge impact on our businesses. We can’t live without it. But instead of approaching it as a drain on resources (time and money), I encourage clients to look at Social Media as a wonderful opportunity.</p> <p>The opportunity is this: for the first time, you can have a big impact on how your business appears to the public by using Social Media. When you Google the name of your company you should see 1-3 pages full of links to content that conveys your business’ unique value and expertise. Why?</p> <p>Because research has shown that Search Engine searches are used more often than any other research tool as the <strong>primary source of information gathering in preparation for a purchasing decision</strong>. And this is true for B2B as well as for B2C.</p> <p>Social Media activities increase the links to your business on Search Engines and enable you to control what your prospective clients and customers see. That is particularly important if you depend on word-of-mouth to grow your business.</p> <p>So, if you don’t like what get when you Google your company’s name, give me a call. I’ll teach you how to love Social Media (or maybe just “Like” it.).</p>Betsy KentThu, 16 Jun 2011 00:24:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76189http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76187/How-to-Change-the-Order-of-Facebook-Page-Tabs#Comments0How to Change the Order of Facebook Page Tabshttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76187/How-to-Change-the-Order-of-Facebook-Page-Tabs<p>The new Facebook Business Pages layouts are now the only layout available. If you had not upgraded your Page until now, you may be dismayed to wake up this morning and find that it was updated for you!</p> <p>So, there are a lot of places on the web where you can get help and information about all the new changes, including the new Photo Strip (I wrote a blog about how to deal with it here), updates visibility, and more.</p> <p>Thanks to a lot of really smart people out there blogging and posting, I have been able to configure most of the Pages I manage pretty easily. But I just couldn’t figure out how to change the order of the tabs, which are now listed on the left hand side of the page.</p> <p>All the information I gleaned from Facebook’s help sections, blogs and forums kept saying that all I needed to do is to drag and drop the tab titles while logged in as an admin. But it didn’t work!</p> <p>So, then I discovered that you can only rearrange tabs if you have 7 tabs or more. So, for one of my accounts, I had 7:</p> <p>1. Wall</p> <p>2. Info</p> <p>3. Photos</p> <p>4. Coupon</p> <p>5. Sweeps</p> <p>6. Like Us!</p> <p>7. Recipe</p> <p>But I still couldn’t move them around!</p> <p>Then, the light bulb went off! You need 7 tabs IN ADDITION to “Wall” and “Info” (which you can’t move).</p> <p>Solution:</p> <p>I added ‘Discussions” and “Video” (two tabs I’m not using right now) and voila! I can now drag and drop the tabs! The ones that I’m not currently using are hidden unless someone clicks “More”.</p> <p>Here’s what it looks like now:</p> <p><img id="img-1316880232122" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/facebook-pane.png" border="0" alt="facebook pane" /></p> <p>So all I have to do is click “More” then “Edit” and I can move them around.</p> <p><img id="img-1316880268951" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/facebook-pane2.png" border="0" alt="facebook options" /></p> <p>Note: only tabs created with iFrames can have little favicons, so we are rebuilding all our FBML pages so our list can look really great.</p> <p>If you have questions or comments, please feel free to write!</p>Betsy KentThu, 10 Mar 2011 14:14:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76187http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76186/How-to-Control-the-New-Facebook-Pages-Photo-Strip#Comments0How to Control the New Facebook Pages Photo Striphttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76186/How-to-Control-the-New-Facebook-Pages-Photo-Strip<p><img id="img-1316880050452" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/New Facebook Pages Photo Strip.jpg" border="0" alt="New Facebook Pages Photo Strip" width="269" height="70" /></p> <p>Many of you have upgraded your Facebook Business Page prior to the automatic update on March 10. So now you are wondering what to do with that funny Photo Strip at the top of the page.</p> <p>First thing to understand: Facebook will display the most recent photo upload in the Photo Strip, whether you added just a new photo to an album, created a new album, or published a photo in a Status Update.</p> <p>You may have noticed that the photos are automatically cropped to fit into the small thumbnail-sized spaces.</p> <p>So how can you control the Photo Strip? It’s easy!</p> <p>1. Select the five photos that you want to appear on your Page all the time.</p> <p>2. Create a special album for the Photo Strip Photos</p> <p>3. Re-size all your photos as close as you can get to 97×68 pixels.</p> <p>4. Upload the photos to the new album (select them all at once instead of one at a time).</p> <p>5. Do not click “Publish” unless you want your 5 new photos to be published to your fans’ newsfeed. Just click “Skip”</p> <p>6. Voila, your Photo Strip should look pretty good. You can change the order of the photos in the album, but not on the Page.</p> <p>7. Now, if you want only the photos in your Photo Strip album to appear all the time, you must hide any new photos that you publish right after you publish them. It takes a bit more time, but it’s worth it.</p> <p>Remember, with an estimated 132.5 million US web users on Facebook this year; almost 57% of all Internet users are members. So, your Facebook Page is very important. Although most fans won’t go back to your page after they “Like” your page unless you direct them there, Facebook Pages are public and are just as important to your company’s branding as your Website has always been.</p> <p>To see how the Be Visible page looks now that we’ve worked on the Photo Strip, click here: <a href="http://www.facebook.com/BeVisibleAssociates" target="_blank">http://www.facebook.com/BeVisibleAssociates</a></p> <p>I’ll be publishing more tips on the new Facebook Business Pages. Stay tuned!</p>Betsy KentMon, 28 Feb 2011 14:38:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76186http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76185/Getting-Email-Pitches-from-Internet-Marketers-What-to-do#Comments0Getting Email Pitches from Internet Marketers? What to do!http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76185/Getting-Email-Pitches-from-Internet-Marketers-What-to-do<p>The number of companies that provide Internet marketing services is growing in leaps and bounds and many of them are using email to reach out to their target market: your business! Every day businesses receive unsolicited emails from Internet marketers promising to make your website appear on the first page of Search Engine results for your business category. Even Be Visible gets those emails!</p> <p>I can’t blame any company for trying to reach new clients by cold emailing. After all, that’s how I got Be Visible started (and I still have most of the first clients I contacted that way!) But, the web is still too new and complicated for a “formula” email sales pitch to be successful.</p> <p>Here’s an example:</p> <p>One of my clients owns a commercial cleaning company that specializes in green cleaning solutions. They don’t do homes or apartments, and they have a very specific type of clients such as office buildings, private schools and restaurants. We’ve been running an adwords campaign on Google and working with them on their SEO. It’s tricky because we have to make sure that we are using their budget to reach only the correct decision makers, and that involves consistent analysis of their program, adjusting budgets, making irrelevant keywords negative, and much more. We have worked for two years to lower their cost per click and to get them the best ROI.</p> <p>My client recently received an email from a company promising to get them better results.</p> <p>Here’s an excerpt from the email:</p> <p>“Hi,</p> <p>My name is <span style="color: #808080;"><em>xxxxx</em></span> and I’m with <span style="color: #808080;"><em>xxxxxxxx</em></span>.org. I was just searching for Office Cleaning, Green Cleaning and School Cleaning in New York and it turns out that <em>your company </em>is missing some relevant keywords compared to similar businesses. I thought you might want to see this.</p> <p>You can see <em>your full list of recommended keywords here</em> and explore options for improving your position on search engines.”</p> <p>So, we clicked on the link and here is their list of recommended keywords and my client’s page rankings:</p> <p><img id="img-1316879598642" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/page-rankings-list.jpg" border="0" alt="Page ranking" /></p> <p>Here’s what is wrong:</p> <ul> <li>My client doesn’t work in New Jersey, and we don’t display their ads there.</li> <li>My client doesn’t fit into ecological or environmental services (no one looking for office cleaning would search that way),</li> <li>My client doesn’t do window washing</li> <li>They aren’t a dry cleaner or a commercial laundry</li> </ul> <p>So, what the keyword report really shows that my client’s link is on the first page for their most important services:  commercial cleaning, office cleaning, etc. and that’s a result of two years of refining their program to target their most lucrative market.</p> <p>So, I commend my competitor in reaching out to offer solutions to businesses, but it’s obvious that they didn’t put in any time to understand the business, which would have taken 2 seconds by going to the website. My competitor is selling the way the Yellow Pages always did: “If you throw enough sxxx at the wall, something will stick!” And we all know how much customer loyalty the Yellow Pages achieved!</p> <p>So, if you get any unsolicited emails making great promises to help your business achieve visibility on the web, please feel free to forward them to me. I promise, I’ll give you an honest assessment. After all, there are other companies besides Be Visible who can find the right combination of all the Internet marketing options available for your business. But, I assure you, there are not too many that work as hard as we do to understand your business’ needs, goals and market.</p> <p>Happy Holidays!</p>Betsy KentThu, 16 Dec 2010 16:43:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76185http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76182/Don-t-Forget-About-LinkedIn-3-Steps-to-Get-your-Profile-Up-to-Date#Comments0Don’t Forget About LinkedIn – 3 Steps to Get your Profile Up to Datehttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76182/Don-t-Forget-About-LinkedIn-3-Steps-to-Get-your-Profile-Up-to-Date<p><img id="img-1316879337306" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/linkedin-icon.jpg" border="0" alt="LinkedIn" width="117" height="117" class="alignLeft" style="float: left;" />It’s so easy these days to get jazzed about all the new social networking platforms there are out there.</p> <p>From Facebook to Google, changes are being made that enable companies and brands to reach their market in new and awesome ways.</p> <p>However, when it comes to your business profile, there is nothing more effective than<a href="http://www.linkedin.com/home?trk=hb_home" target="_blank"> LinkedIn</a>. LinkedIn is still the ultimate virtual business networking platform. It’s a lot less sexy than “Social Networking” sites, but LinkedIn has implemented some pretty cool features lately that make it a lot more fun.</p> <p>So, don’t neglect your LinkedIn profile…it’s as valuable, or even more valuable, than anything else if you are a businessperson and especially if you own or run a company.</p> <p>Step 1: Complete or review your profile.</p> <p>LinkedIn makes it easy by telling you what’s missing. You may opt to not include some info (like your education or past positions), but you have missed something you do want to appear. Why is it important to review your profile?</p> <p>• You will appear established and professional.</p> <p>• People make decisions whether to connect with contact you based upon the information in your profile.</p> <p>• A complete profile will increase your visibility and help you get found.</p> <p>• A profile with old or not relevant information hurts your reputation.</p> <p>Step 2: Get recommended</p> <p>Users with recommendations are 3 times as likely to get inquiries through LinkedIn searches. And users who make recommendations are more likely to get recommendations. It’s very easy to ask for recommendations, and you will find that a good percentage of the people you ask will be happy to do so, especially if you reciprocate. Tip: Reviews and Recommendations are the juice that is powering a lot of Search results these days.</p> <p>Step 3: Become a thought leader in your field</p> <p>Join groups, be a part of discussions and answer questions. No matter what kind of work you do, you have a level of expertise and sharing your experience makes you a more visible and valuable member of the business community. Don’t be afraid of “giving away” your secrets. There are few secrets in our digital age, anyway.</p> <p>More:</p> <p>• If you or your company has a blog, set up an automatic feed into your profile. The more content that you display, the better it is for your profile.</p> <p>• You can now “Follow” a company the same way you can do so on Twitter and Facebook. Make sure your company has a profile.</p> <p>• Think about keywords when you are completing your profile. For instance, if you are an expert in LEED green technology, use those phrases in your profile. Remember, Google and Bing index LinkedIn and use the results for searches.</p> <p>If you’re not convinced that spending some time on LinkedIn is valuable, do a Google search for yourself or your company. Look at the results from the point of view of someone who is making a decision whether to contact you for business. Then decide.</p> <p>Have questions about LinkedIn? Just Ask Betsy!</p>Betsy KentMon, 08 Nov 2010 16:03:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76182http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76180/Word-of-Mouth-Marketing-for-Local-Businesses#Comments0Word of Mouth Marketing for Local Businesseshttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76180/Word-of-Mouth-Marketing-for-Local-Businesses<p><img id="img-1316879039500" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Sinkin-Daily-News-150x150.jpg" border="0" alt="Word of Mouth Marketing for Local Businesses" width="110" height="110" class="alignLeft" style="float: left;" />It's very exciting that Be Visible Associates' client Dr. Michael Sinkin was featured in print and web in the New York Daily News yesterday.</p> <p>The article is about how small businesses are seeing success by using Social Media marketing. Dr. Sinkin has increased his practice by using Facebook, Twitter and Blogging. Don't think a sole medical practitioner can use Social Media effectively? Think again!</p> <p>Read the article:</p> <p><em><strong><a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2010/11/01/2010-11-01_word_of_mouth_scores_of_businesses_are_joining_the_conversation_with_twitter_fac.html#ixzz149WWJEYW" target="_blank">Word of mouth: Scores of businesses are joining the conversation with Twitter, Facebook</a></strong></em></p> <h6>Photo: NY Daily News</h6>Betsy KentTue, 02 Nov 2010 19:10:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76180http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76177/Twitter-Crushes-Love-in-140-Characters#Comments0Twitter Crushes…Love in 140 Charactershttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76177/Twitter-Crushes-Love-in-140-Characters<p><img id="img-1316878118395" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/heart.jpg" border="0" alt="A Heart with Copy Space" class="alignLeft" style="float: left;" />I have a client whose Twitter account I manage. For this account, I need to pretend that I’m a man. That has led to two interesting issues: for one thing, I’ve discovered that guys tweet differently than women, and for another thing, it turns out that I make a very charming guy!</p> <p>At the start, I attempted to convince my client (a national brand) that if I they wanted me to tweet <em>for</em> them, then the Twitter persona should be a woman, because I <em>am </em>a woman, and because the majority of the target market are female and would relate better to a woman.</p> <p>But the company has a great mascot that’s male, (let’s call him “Mike”) and the company’s marketing department was very adamant about making Mike” the “tweeter.” So, I went on to develop “Mike’s” Twitter personality.</p> <p>First problem: As I anticipated, I really have to think very carefully about how I phrase things on Twitter. Women and men tweet differently in general, but I didn’t realize how much until I started tweeting for this client. For example, instead of saying: “Thank you so, so much for the RT. Welcome to our warm and loving community” I will say “Thank you for the RT. Welcome to our gang!”</p> <p>I could be way off in thinking that I need to “masculinize” my tweets to be effective as a guy tweeter, but it has been working like a charm. Women are engaging with the brand and don’t suspect that it’s a woman who is tweeting as “Mike”.</p> <p>But that leads me to my second problem:</p> <p>I have been so charming as “Mike” that some lady followers of the brand have developed crushes on me! At least four of them consistently DM me wanting to know if I have a personal Twitter account and how they can get in touch with me in private. One even said, “I’d like to have a piece of you!” (That’s sexual, right??).</p> <p>So far, I’ve chosen just to ignore their advances, but I am a little worried about it.</p> <p>Your thoughts?</p>Betsy KentSat, 11 Sep 2010 21:54:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76177http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76176/Simply-Put-How-to-Really-Use-Facebook-Page-Insights#Comments0Simply Put: How to Really Use Facebook Page Insightshttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76176/Simply-Put-How-to-Really-Use-Facebook-Page-Insights<p><img id="img-1316877897589" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/facebook-pages.jpg" border="0" alt="Facebook Business Pages" width="85" height="104" class="alignLeft" style="float: left;" />With <a href="http://www.facebook.com/FacebookPages" target="_blank">Facebook Business Pages</a>, unless you are running ads, you don’t get a ton of data to work with. However, Facebook is starting to deliver more analytics (called Insights) on status updates for Page owners. Here are some tips on how to use them:</p> <p><strong>Create an Editorial Calendar:</strong> Since I recommend that brands and businesses shouldn’t post Facebook updates more than once per day, it’s pretty easy to create a calendar.I usually plan updates 1-2 weeks in advance. That gives me something to post every day without having to create updates on the fly, but it’s a short enough time to be able to react to something in the news, great content I may find, or changes in the business.</p> <p><strong>Expand the Editorial Calendar into a spreadsheet.</strong> Your spreadsheet should contain these columns:</p> <ul> <li>Date</li> <li>Update (the content you will post)</li> <li>Post Time (i.e. 1:00pm)</li> <li>Impressions</li> <li>Likes</li> <li>Comments</li> <li>Total Feedback (what percentage of people who saw your post, actually engaged with it)</li> </ul> <p>After about 24 hours, you will see analytics of each post such as Impressions, number of “Likes”, number of Comments, and total feedback. Then just plug those numbers into your spreadsheet.</p> <p><strong>Impressions: </strong>Of course, you are looking for the greatest number of impressions (meaning how many people see your update) and after a while you are going to see some patterns in what time each day you are reaching the most people. Compare weekends to weekdays and mornings to afternoons and evenings.</p> <p>If some of your posts have links to your website or blog, you should add a column for those and get the data from your Google Analytics.</p> <p>Make sure you take note what will affect your numbers, such as time of year, for example. If your goal is to reach teens, during the summer they’ll be on Facebook more during the day, whereas during the school year on weekdays, they’ll be on Facebook more at night. So, plan your posts accordingly. The analytics will tell you if you’ve guessed correctly.</p> <p><strong>“Likes” and Comments: </strong>Why is it important that your updates get lots of “Likes” and Comments? The obvious reason is: engagement with your brand or business. But there’s another really important reason! Stay tuned and I’ll explain in my next post!</p> <p>Related: <a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76174/Simply-Put-Why-Businesses-Should-Love-Facebook" target="_blank">Why Businesses (Should) Love Facebook</a></p>Betsy KentMon, 16 Aug 2010 15:59:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76176http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76174/Simply-Put-Why-Businesses-Should-Love-Facebook#Comments0Simply Put: Why Businesses (Should) Love Facebookhttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76174/Simply-Put-Why-Businesses-Should-Love-Facebook<p>Businesses and brands should love <a href="http://www.facebook.com/BeVisibleAssociates" target="_blank">Facebook</a>. Why? Because Facebook enables companies to talk to the people who are actually interested in what they have to say.</p> <p><img id="img-1316877712518" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/FaceBook-Logo2-150x150.jpg" border="0" alt="facebook" width="105" height="105" /></p> <p>The old school of advertising was this: Blast out a message to an audience defined by geography and media consumption habits and pray you reach the right people at the right time and enough times, enough times that they consider a purchase in your category.</p> <p>But with Facebook, it’s not simply age, geography and media consumption habits that define an audience; it is interests that define an audience.</p> <p>On Facebook, when members complete their profile info, they enter their likes and interests such as:</p> <p>• Activities</p> <p>• Music</p> <p>• Books</p> <p>• Movies</p> <p>• TV Shows</p> <p>And, members add brands to their profile, too, when they “Like” Facebook ads that appear on their page or through updates shared by their friends,</p> <p>So, for brands, on Facebook it’s as easy as pie to find the people who would be most interested in your message and reach them through Facebook Ads. And even for smaller businesses, with Facebook Ads, the playing field can be leveled.</p> <p>For example:</p> <p>• If you sell pizza, you can reach people who “Like” Dominos Pizza and Pizza Hut.</p> <p>• If you sell children’s clothes, you can reach people who “Like” The Children’s Place, Pottery Barn Kids, and Toys R Us.</p> <p>• If you sell beauty products, you can reach people who “Like” Sephora and Avon.</p> <p>Your brand becomes part of the community of people who<em> want</em> to see your messages.</p> <p>What’s even better, you can quickly and inexpensively learn by trial and error what your fans respond to by testing different kinds of updates and keeping detailed records of how many “Likes” and how many comments (and what kinds of comments) your posts receive. And, Facebook is providing more and more robust tracking information to help you analyze the engagement.</p> <p>So, what do you do with that info? Stay tuned!</p> <p>Related: <a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76171/Simply-Put-Why-People-Love-Facebook" target="_blank">Simply Put: Why People Love Facebook</a></p>Betsy KentThu, 12 Aug 2010 19:48:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76174http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76173/Social-Media-Marketing-The-Cool-Brand-Factor#Comments0Social Media Marketing: The Cool Brand Factorhttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76173/Social-Media-Marketing-The-Cool-Brand-Factor<p><img id="img-1316877547331" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Mustafa.jpg" border="0" alt="Mustafa" width="105" height="105" class="alignLeft" style="float: left;" />How brands and businesses use Social Media has everything to do with how the decision makers use Social Media themselves. People in business who have grown up using Facebook, for example, understand that the Social Media is not just a useful tool, but it’s the way people define themselves in front of their peers. And people want to be associated with Cool, including Cool Brands.</p> <p>Although Facebook has just reached the <a href="http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=409753352130" target="_blank">500 million-members</a> marker, it has just begun to define itself in terms of business. So, it’s up to each company and brand to figure out how to use it effectively. When I consult with a client, I often ask them to spend time on these 3 questions:</p> <p>1. Who is my target market?</p> <p>2. Where do they hang out on the Web?</p> <p>3. What would make them want to identify with <strong>my</strong> brand in front of their audience?</p> <p>In other words, what can I do to make my brand “Cool”?</p> <p>Old Spice is the perfect example of how an “uncool” brand found it’s “Cool Factor”. The aging brand has been around since the 1930s, a dinosaur in the men’s grooming and cologne market. But they decided to use Social Media as Generation Y does:both as a conversational tool and as a way to define a new public image. Actor Isaiah Mustafa created a dashing spokesman character-wearing only a towel-who responded to users comments through a series of witty short videos, each taking less than seven minutes to shoot.</p> <p>The series not only created a bond between users and the brand, but also suggests that the Old Spice customer is similarly funny and cool. On Twitter, Isaiah Mustafa’s Old Spice character is acting just as any young person would: posting random musings rather than Old Spice info: “I can’t stop thinking about axes and mountains and wolves and football. And old steam tractors.” Rather than set up a conversation between the customer and the brand, the Social Media team at Old Spice mimicked the Social Media voice of their ideal customer. Check out <a href="http://www.facebook.com/OldSpice" target="_blank">Old Spice</a> on Facebook to see what they are doing.</p> <p>If you are in the position to make marketing decisions for a company or brand venturing into Social Media, spend some time identifying your “Cool Factor” before you get started. Even if you don’t have the budget of an Old Spice, taking this one preliminary step with make the rest a lot easier.</p>Betsy KentMon, 09 Aug 2010 14:23:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76173http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76171/Simply-Put-Why-People-Love-Facebook#Comments0Simply Put: Why People Love Facebookhttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76171/Simply-Put-Why-People-Love-Facebook<p>We love <a href="http://www.facebook.com/betsy.kent1" target="_blank">Facebook</a> because it makes it easier to share information with more people at the same time than any other tool we have. Why is that so revolutionary?</p> <p>Because a family photo, an event you’re attending, an accomplishment you’re proud of, something that drives you crazy, your latest purchase, the song you’re listening to, the meal you’ve cooked, the photo you’ve taken, the news story you find interesting, the cause you’re involved in, the day you’ve had…now can be shared with everyone you’re connected to, <em>instantaneously</em>.</p> <p>Nowhere else is that possible. Not by email, not by text, not by chat. Nowhere.</p> <p><img id="img-1316877418475" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/facebook-icon.jpg" border="0" alt="facebook icon" width="84" height="84" /></p> <p>And, this is the key: after a while, it feels weird to do <em>anything </em>without sharing it with your audience of family, friends, co-workers, classmates, friends of friends, etc.</p> <p>That’s what makes Facebook so powerful. 500-million-people powerful. What the founders have tapped into, albeit accidentally is: humans are natural performers….we crave attention from the minute we’re born.</p> <p>So, if you are wondering why Facebook is such a hot topic, now you know. But you already knew that, right? (Please <em>share</em> this article!)</p> <p>Next: Why Businesses Love Facebook</p>Betsy KentThu, 29 Jul 2010 13:21:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76171http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76167/YouTube-Stars-How-Social-Media-is-Letting-the-Public-Choose#Comments0YouTube Stars: How Social Media is Letting the Public Choosehttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76167/YouTube-Stars-How-Social-Media-is-Letting-the-Public-Choose<p><img id="img-1316877295292" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/lonelygirl15big-150x150.jpg" border="0" alt="LonelyGirl15" width="130" height="130" class="alignLeft" style="float: left;" />When the now-infamous LonelyGirl15 began sharing her video diaries to the world, she became an unlikely YouTube star—until it was      discovered that the seemingly-average girl-next-door was actually an actress hoping to get noticed by site’s millions of users.</p> <p>LonelyGirl15 has since disappeared off the pop culture radar but more and more budding young artists are getting noticed on the Internet, first by the public, and then by entertainment execs.</p> <p>With nearly 90 million channel views at the time of this writing, the Fred Channel is one of YouTube’s biggest stars among younger audiences. The channel is the creation of Lucas Cruikshank, a Nebraska teenager and is videos are centered on Fred Figglehorn, a fictional 6-year-old with a dysfunctional home life and “anger management issues.”</p> <p>MTV Network’s subsidiary Nickelodeon picked up on the hype, and created a movie featuring Fred that will air later this year; they have already committed to a sequel that they expect to be part of a larger franchise.</p> <p>The 16-year-old singing sensation Justin Beiber also began as a YouTube star. Hip-hop manager and marketing exec Scott Braun discovered the young Canadian’s singing by accidentally clicking on one of his YouTube videos, which Beiber’s mother posted for family and friends.</p> <p>Braun arranged a meeting for R&B singer Usher, who helped Beiber sign with Island Records. Beiber’s first album went platinum in the US and Canada, coming in at #1 on the US Billboard Hot 200; he was the youngest artist to do so since Stevie Wonder.</p> <p>In 2003, after graduating from college, Justin Halpern moved to Hollywood to work as a screenwriter, without much luck. He was forced to move back home. He decided to keep a record of his dad’s quick one-liners, and began posting them on Twitter under the handle Sh*t My Dad Says.</p> <p>The Twitterverse embraced him and after only a few weeks, his account had over 100,000 followers. Result: a bestselling book and a television series starring William Shatner airing in the fall.</p> <p>This is what is so cool: Today the possibility of success is more accessible to artist, regardless of whether they are in Hollywood, NYC, or in a basement in Nebraska.</p> <p>Before the Internet, how could a talented kid like Lucas (Fred) ever get noticed? Well, first he’d have to graduate from High School, move to California, invest money in expensive headshots and agents, and wait on tables while hoping to get in front of the tiny handful of heavy hitters who control the entertainment industry.</p> <p>Justin Beiber may have spent years trying to get noticed, and Justin Halpern may have ended up living at home for the rest of his life.</p> <p>Today, the measure of success is talent and mass appeal, rather than who you know or what you can pay.</p> <p>I wonder how big stars of the past would have been judged by the commenters on YouTube, or which talented people would have made it if they had the ability to be in front of the public instead of just a few casting directors.</p> <p>Ultimately, opening the entertainment industry up to social media’s influence makes for a more transparent entertainment industry, where the public becomes the arbiters of taste, rather than a few studio execs in a closed room.</p> <p>As Justin Halpern knows, even when the executives take a pass, they’ll think again when the masses disagree.</p> <p>It’s a win for performers, it’s a win for the public, and I believe it’s a win for the entertainment industry.</p>Betsy KentMon, 19 Jul 2010 15:21:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76167http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76166/Zipcar-Does-Social-Media-Right-My-Experience#Comments0Zipcar Does Social Media Right – My Experiencehttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76166/Zipcar-Does-Social-Media-Right-My-Experience<p><img src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Zipcar.jpg" border="0" alt="Zipcar" /></p> <p>The other day I tweeted this about the fact that I had waited too long to book a Zipcar for the Memorial Day weekend:</p> <p>@BeVisible no cars left for mem day at Zipcar <img id="img-1316877030906" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/icon_sad.gif" border="0" alt="icon sad" /></p> <p>Well, guess what? I got a call from Todd Lieberman, the fleet manager for Zipcar in NYC. He said that he understood that I wasn’t able to get a car for Memorial Day and he would like going try find one for me if I was still interested.</p> <p>I was floored! I didn’t even remember sending that Tweet! Kudos for Zipcar!</p> <p>This is a perfect example of how Social Media works so well for business.</p> <p>1. Customer Care: Todd made me feel like the most important customer Zipcar has. And I don’t even use the service much these days!</p> <p>2. Reputation: It showed that Zipcar really cares about their company’s reputation.</p> <p>3. Authenticity: Now Todd personifies Zipcar in my mind. I have his phone number and email address if I need help later on.</p> <p>4. Graciousness: When I couldn’t get a Zipcar. I reserved a car from a traditional rental company for the weekend. In spite of that, Todd still found a car for me, and gave me the option to take it or leave it. He even placed it in my reservations for me!</p> <p>What does this do for Zipcar’s bottom line? What’s the ROI? Well, I am tweeting and writing about how great they are! I have 6,000 Twitter followers. You figure out what the ROI is on the one phone call from Todd.</p> <p>So, Zipcar, keep up the great work and I’ll continue to be a brand ambassador for ya!</p>Betsy KentSun, 23 May 2010 20:39:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76166http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76162/Do-our-Tweets-Reflect-our-Culture#Comments0Do our Tweets Reflect our Culture?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76162/Do-our-Tweets-Reflect-our-Culture<p style="text-align: center;"><img id="img-1316876043162" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/Slide1.jpg" border="0" alt="Tweets" width="120" height="120" /></p> <p>When I was in college, I studied Anthropology. I guess you could say that the study of human nature is my first love. All these years later, I find that I am still interested in how human beings create communities and behave inside them. And I have discovered that Twitter is an incredible snapshot into American culture.</p> <p>I spend a lot of time searching on Twitter for people who are mentioning my clients, their competitors, their type of products or the services they provide. In the course of this research,  I have discovered that Twitter users (who are not marketers, but just regular people) Americans tend to fit into 4 categories:</p> <ul> <li>The Always Cheery: This tweeter is always optimistic and doesn’t tweet anything if its not nice. Many moms fit into this category (and people who say they are religious).</li> <li>The Complainer: This tweeter is always complaining, especially about having to go to work, to the doctor, and anything that doesn’t involve eating or sleeping. Tends to be high school and college students.</li> <li>The Curser: This tweeter uses the “F word” in nearly every tweet. And this tweeter is very active on Twitter. And has a lot of followers that are equally enamored with the F word. Is the F-word innocuous in some communities?</li> <li>The Always Cross: The angry tweeter. Every tweet is negative, brusque and annoyed. This tweeter is often a Curser, too, but a Curser is not always Cross!</li> </ul> <p>Never before have we been able to easily glimpse inside the minds of total strangers. Questions come up: How does someone’s tweets reflect their true personality? How much of human personality is defined by local culture? What image do people have in their minds of their audience?</p> <p>Do most tweeters understand that Twitter is a totally public platform? If so, then how do we interpret the fact that most people have no issue telling the entire world who they are, where they live, and what they are doing at any given moment? Will this new transparency that is taking over our culture neutralize the dangers of being so publicly exposed? How much lasting influence will Twitter and other public forums have on the English language? How much can one ascertain about American values from Twitter? Do people tweet the way they speak?</p> <p>What do you think?</p>Betsy KentWed, 17 Mar 2010 13:53:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76162http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76161/Twitter-is-the-New-News#Comments0Twitter is the New Newshttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76161/Twitter-is-the-New-News<p><img src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/The Ultimate Engagement Bridal Event in Manhattan.jpg" border="0" alt="The Ultimate Engagement Bridal Event in Manhattan" class="alignLeft" style="float: left;" />I spent the day yesterday helping my good friend Elizabeth Beskin at <a href="http://www.ultimate-engagement.com/" target="_blank">The Ultimate Engagement</a> Bridal Event in Manhattan. Besides being one of the best friends a girl could have, Elizabeth is also a brilliant and inspiring business owner. She runs two flourishing photography-related companies, <a href="http://5thavenuedigital.com/" target="_blank">Fifth Avenue Digital</a> and <a href="http://www.albumboutique.com/" target="_blank">The Album Boutique</a>, yet somehow, she also found time to plan, coordinate and launch (with Maya Kalman of <a href="http://www.swankproductions.com/" target="_blank">Swank Productions</a>) The Ultimate Engagement, too</p> <p>My job was to tweet for <a href="http://twitter.com/UltimateEngage" target="_blank">@UltimateEngage</a>, cover <a href="http://twitter.com/ElizBeskin" target="_blank">@ElizBeskin</a> while she ran around doing her thing, and live blog for The Album Boutique. So, I got a little taste of what Elizabeth does every day: multi-tasking big time! But what really struck me is how real time online communication is changing the event world.</p> <p>In the  recent past, the only way people could find out what was happening at an event they didn’t  couldn’t attend was by coverage through traditional media. Yesterday, by using Twitter and live blogging, I was able to communicate what was going on at The Ultimate Engagement in real time!</p> <p>So, this morning, as I look through the Twitter hashtag feed (#UltimateEngage), I see that lots of people were following along. This one event on a rainy Sunday in NYC was actually being “attended” by hundreds, if not thousands, of people around the world!</p> <p>I don’t think we have even brushed the surface of what real time communication technology can do. I am so excited to see how people use it once it becomes totally mainstream.</p>Betsy KentMon, 15 Mar 2010 13:52:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76161http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76159/I-Hate-Writing-Blog-Posts#Comments0I Hate Writing Blog Posts!http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76159/I-Hate-Writing-Blog-Posts<p><img src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/friday.jpg" border="0" alt="friday" class="alignLeft" style="float: left;" />Today is Friday March 5 and this is the first blog post I have written since December. You may be wondering, “why the long hiatus?” Is it because I’m really busy? Well, I am busy, but that’s not it. Is it because I have nothing to say? Nope! Got plenty to say.</p> <p>The reason I haven’t written a blog since December is because I really hate writing blogs! I love working on marketing campaigns.. Love, love, love working on website usability, social media programs and seeing results. But I hate writing blogs.</p> <p>So, instead of beating myself up about my lack of creativity and momentum, I decided just to write about what I am feeling right now. And what I’m feeling right now is: I am so grateful to have found an industry where I can use my skills and talents and where every day I get better at what I do. And that is going to translate into being good at writing blogs, too!</p> <p>And…thank goodness it’s Friday! Have a Great Weekend.</p> <p>Betsy</p>Betsy KentFri, 05 Mar 2010 14:30:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76159http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76157/Social-Media-is-Sexy#Comments0Social Media is Sexyhttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76157/Social-Media-is-Sexy<p>Social Media is Sexy</p> <p>By “sexy” I mean alluring and enticing. And Social Media is <em>just that</em> for marketers.</p> <ul> <li>It’s immediately accessible.</li> <li>It can give you instant feedback.</li> <li>It enables you to touch your customers individually.</li> <li>Public usage is growing like wildfire.</li> <li>It’s fun!</li> </ul> <p>In the past year I have attended countless workshops, seminars, and programs to educate myself on how I can help my clients use Social Media effectively to reach their goals. I have set-up profiles and pages, developed campaigns, and coached my clients on blogging, using Facebook Fan Pages, LinkedIn and Twitter. And we are seeing good results (even my <a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76156/Social-Media-Helps-NYC-Dentist-get-New-Patients" target="_blank">dentist</a> is getting new patients from his Social Media effort!).</p> <p>But…last week one of my clients told me that he was encouraged by a friend in marketing to discontinue his Paid ads on the Search Engines (which have been responsible for a huge increase in his revenues) in favor of Social Media marketing. Hang on a minute there!</p> <p>Paid Search is still the only <em>guaranteed</em> way for many types of businesses to be in front of their target market on Search Engines. Yes, Social Media can increase your company’s Internet footprint, but it can’t substitute for Paid Search for:</p> <ul> <li>Having control over <em>where </em>your message appears.</li> <li>Having control over <em>when</em> your message appears.</li> <li>Being where your competitors are (remember, your brand can be used as a search term).</li> <li>Reaching the most targeted ready-to-buy customers.</li> </ul> <p>Social Media IS sexy. So, my advice is: <strong>incorporate</strong> Social Media into your marketing plans, but take a deep breath and think about what’s working now before you throw away the baby with the bathwater.</p> <p>Your thoughts?</p>Betsy KentMon, 14 Dec 2009 15:18:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76157http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76156/Social-Media-Helps-NYC-Dentist-get-New-Patients#Comments0Social Media Helps NYC Dentist get New Patientshttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76156/Social-Media-Helps-NYC-Dentist-get-New-Patients<p><img id="img-1316875419397" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/NYC_Dentist.jpg" border="0" alt="NYC Dentist" width="111" height="111" class="alignLeft" style="float: left;" />How can Social Media help my business grow? This is a question I get asked a lot. And I can quote lots of examples of how businesses are successfully using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But use Social Media to grow a medical practice? That may seem a little far-fetched, right?</p> <p>I have a client who is a dentist. Not only is he a great dentist, he’s also a lot of fun. His personality combined with is skill is the reason why his patients (myself included) love (and don’t dread) going to the dentist.</p> <p>I helped him develop a website, and now create a blog. For many months, he asked me over and over, “I don’t understand what blogging is going to do for me”. I really felt, and so did his friends, that my dentist’s natural love of conversation and pontificating on any subject is the perfect combination of traits to make a great blogger!</p> <p>So, finally, armed with a laptop, the doctor began to blog, usually on train on his way home. In the meantime, I set up a Facebook Fan Page for him and invited all his personal friends to become his fans (of course, his children were his first fans!).</p> <p>The first blog was posted last week and simultaneously appeared on the doc’s Facebook Fan Page. Lo and behold! On her wall, some of his daughter’s Facebook friends saw the post and said “Hey! I didn’t know your dad is a dentist! I need a new dentist!” Guess what? New patients!</p> <p>So, what’s the moral of this story?</p> <p>• Blogging increases the visibility of your business, even if you are a medical professional.</p> <p>• Your friends’ friends are a great source of new customers (patients).</p> <p>• Social Media works!</p> <p>Do you have any similar experiences you can share?</p>Betsy KentThu, 03 Dec 2009 16:36:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76156http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76155/Your-Brand-is-what-Your-Customers-Say-It-Is#Comments0Your Brand is what Your Customers Say It Ishttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76155/Your-Brand-is-what-Your-Customers-Say-It-Is<p>More Insights from The Gravity Summit in NYC</p> <p><img id="img-1316875240119" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/great-idea.jpg" border="0" alt="Your Brand is what Your Customers Say It Is" width="66" height="75" /></p> <p>“The key to WOM (word-of-mouth marketing) is NOT to make the brand look good – it’s making someone look good to their social network while they are talking about your brand.” explained Mike Lundgren from VML at last week’s Gravity Summit in New York. “Consumers trust other consumers more than they trust us” and your customers can make your brand look “more hip, socially responsible, smart, caring, in-the-know, funny…” etc.</p> <p>“Consumers influencing consumers “(word of mouth” marketing) is playing a larger and larger role in brand marketing than ever before. That’s because Social Media makes it possible for companies to “listen-in” on real conversations as people engage with their brands and with each other. Your brand is not what YOU say it is, it’s what YOUR CUSTOMERS say it is. This was a common thread as the speakers at Gravity Summit shared their insights from their own experiences with Social Media marketing.</p> <p>So how do small to medium sized companies make customers look good when they are talking about their brand? Here are some examples:</p> <ul> <li>Ramon De Leon, whose winning personality and innovative ideas has won him a huge following, owns numerous Domino’s Pizza franchises in Chicago. He’s a master at promoting his brand by promoting his customers. Ramon became a media superstar when he handled a mistake on an order with a <a href="http://www.viddler.com/explore/dpzramon/videos/19/" target="_blank">“Videoapology” </a>which became an immediate “cyber sensation”. Ramon prints his tweets on his pizza boxes. He runs online contests. He makes videos starring his customers. In turn, his customers promote his pizza.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Kyra Reed and Nic Adler saved Nic’s family’s Roxy Theater on the Sunset Strip by collaborating with other clubs on the strip (who in the past never even talked to each other) to create an online community that enabled them to rally their fans and revitalize a dying area. And, after 20 years of banning the use of cameras in the club, they now encourage audiences to take photos during performances and post them on Flickr and Twitter, thereby promoting The Roxy to all their friends and followers.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Brian Morrissey from Adweek encourages smaller brands to employ Social Media by attaching themselves to something larger, such as a charity, an event, a community, etc. The key is to align your brand to something relevant that people already feel good about in a way that everyone benefits. Making a donation when a customer makes a purchase and posting that on your website, blog, Facebook page, and if the customer agrees, thanking them by name, promotes your brand, your cause and your customers.</li> </ul> <p>So, even if your company is not a well-known national brand, you can use Social Media to listen to what customers and potential customers are talking about in the online communities where they hang out (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.). Instead of simply marketing your brand to them, figure out ways to engage them and make them the stars of your brand.</p> <p>Want to learn more?</p> <p>Follow these folks on Twitter:</p> <p>On Twitter: @mglundgren, @Ramon_DeLeon @nicadler @kyrareed @theroxy @bmorrissey</p> <p>Check out the <a href="http://www.gravitysummit.com/" target="_blank">Gravity Summit</a></p> <p>And here’s a great blog with great tips for attaching your brand to a cause:<a href="http://causemarketing.biz/" target="_blank"> http://causemarketing.biz/</a></p>Betsy KentSun, 22 Nov 2009 20:31:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76155http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76154/Is-Twitter-Here-to-Stay#Comments0Is Twitter Here to Stay?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76154/Is-Twitter-Here-to-Stay<p><img src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/frontpage-bird.png" border="0" alt="frontpage bird" /></p> <p>Insights from <a href="http://www.gravitysummit.com/" target="_blank">The Gravity Summit</a> in NYC</p> <p>I hear this all the time: “If Twitter doesn’t start making money soon, it won’t be around for very long.” Yes, Twitter is a great tool. I spend hours upon hours using it for my own company and for clients. But I don’t really care if Twitter is here to stay.</p> <p>What is important is that Twitter represents the most significant shift in the way we communicate since the telephone was introduced. Twitter is short, real-time messaging and is changing the way we will get and share information in the future.</p> <p>Twitter isn’t for just geeks; it’s being used by businesses to market, by fire departments to get to emergencies faster, and by charities to reach donors. Twitter is a breaking news channel. It’s the Yellow Pages on steroids. It’s a social networking site. It’s a research tool. In fact, it’s so content-rich that Google and Bing are now including Tweets in their search results. But, if Twitter disappeared tomorrow, not much would change.</p> <p>There are hundreds of other platforms (some just as good, some even better) that are ready to replace Twitter in the blink of an eye.</p> <p>So if you have been standing on the sidelines hoping Twitter will just “go away” it’s time to dip your toe in. Twitter may not be around forever, but this new form of communication will. Get started!</p>Betsy KentTue, 17 Nov 2009 13:13:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76154http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76153/Chris-Brogan-Small-Talk-and-Me#Comments0Chris Brogan, Small Talk, and Mehttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76153/Chris-Brogan-Small-Talk-and-Me<h4><img id="img-1316874790515" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/conversation.jpg" border="0" alt="conversation" width="135" height="152" class="alignLeft" style="float: left;" />Today Chris Brogan, one of my favorite people, posted a short video called “Small Talk is Big.”</h4> <p>It’s about the rewards that you get from showing interest in the people you meet every day. I totally agree with him. I’ve met Chris and he’s a natural. His genuine interest in people shows through in everything he does; from his best selling book, “Trust Agents” to the way he engages people in social situations. For me, learning the art of Small Talk was not easy. Unlike Chris, I wasn’t a “natural” so it was hard work for me to get there. But I can say without reservation that it is the most valuable skill I have ever learned for business and for my personal life.</p> <p>So, if you are like I used to be, here are some tips to help you come out of your shell:</p> <h4>Pretend you are Oprah.</h4> <p>Really! Watch some talk shows. Talk show hosts are masters at making people feel comfortable and open up by asking them the right questions at the right times. And they do it without losing themselves in the process. Try it. Next time you are in a social situation (business too) pretend it’s your job to interview people for a living. You’ll be really surprised at what happens.</p> <h4>Be inquisitive in a nice way.</h4> <p>There’s a good possibility that the people you meet are just as uncomfortable with Small Talk as you are. It’s easy to make people feel comfortable by showing an interest in something about them (people love to talk about their jobs, their families, etc.). You will find out that you have a lot more in common than you ever guessed and by focusing on them; you will not be focusing on your own anxiety.</p> <h4>Leave your “salesman shoes” at home.</h4> <p>There is a fine line between showing genuine interest and simply looking for “sales signals,” and believe me, people can perceive the difference. Understand that developing relationships is a process. Don’t only work to get to “Yes”.</p> <h4>Don’t be scared to share.</h4> <p>Don’t be afraid to share a bit of yourself even with strangers. A personal story or anecdote opens up a whole world of possibilities of great exchanges and conversation whether you are talking to a clerk in a store or to your biggest client.</p> <p>Developing the art of “Small Talk” has enabled me to become fast friends with many people who at first meeting seemed to have nothing in common with me. These relationships have helped me grow my business and have expanded my circle of friends exponentially…most of all have enriched my life. And, what’s more, our Social Media activites are the digital version of in-person Small Talk. So learn, enjoy, and share with me your experiences.</p> <p>Click <a href="http://www.chrisbrogan.com/small-talk-is-big-overnight-success/?success" target="_blank">here</a> to watch Chris Brogan’s “Small Talk” video (it’s really short).</p>Betsy KentSun, 08 Nov 2009 16:57:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76153http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76151/Twitter-Beyond-Business#Comments0Twitter Beyond Businesshttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76151/Twitter-Beyond-Business<p>I was very fortunate last week to attend <a href="http://www.cooltwitterconferences.com/" target="_blank">The Cool Twitter Conference</a> in Brooklyn at The<a href="http://www.mocada.org/" target="_blank"> MoCADA (Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts).</a></p> <p>I have attended a lot of Social Media Conferences lately, and at this one I spoke about how Social Media is changing the way businesses do business with each other. This conference really stood out as being something uniquely special.</p> <p>Instead of the attendees being mostly from the business sector as is usually the case, there were people there using Twitter and Social Media in many inventive ways beyond business. Here are some of the speakers and what they are using Twitter for (follow them!):</p> <p><a href="http://twitter.com/FourthFiction" target="_blank">@fourthfiction</a> (Constantine Markides) Fourth Fiction is a blog-based literary reality show in which 12 contestants, writing pseudonymously, compete to complete a novella. What a brilliant idea! Follow him and see what happens.</p> <p><a href="http://twitter.com/Lifes_Dash" target="_blank">@lifes_dash </a>(Michele Mattia) Life, Career & Business Strategist. Writer. Lecturer. Guest Speaker. Motivator. Professional Observer. Michelle is a successful businessperson who is now teaching people how to use Social Media to create their personal brand. Michelle has more energy than ten people combined and creates a daily email that always inspires me.</p> <p><a href="http://twitter.com/BrooklynDA" target="_blank">@brooklynda </a>(Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes & staff) The Brooklyn D.A. sent nine people to the Cool Twitter Conference including Mary Hughes, Confidential Assistant to the District Attorney who spent many sleepless nights learning how to master Twitter. The office has embraced Social Media in revolutionary ways from tweeting about domestic violence prevention and ways to prevent identity theft, to helping to keep kids out of gangs. Crime Prevention rather than strictly enforcement is their goal and they are doing it in new and innovative ways.</p> <p><a href="http://twitter.com/akilaworksongs" target="_blank">@akilaworksongs</a> (April Silver) April is a PR and Communications professional, but she is so much more. In addition to using Social Media to promote her many clients in music and the arts, she also uses it as a platform from which to share and discuss “good news about colored folk” (and the discussions often get very heated indeed!)</p> <p>Think about how you can use Social Media in creative ways. Got any great non-business Tweeters to add to the list? Send them my way!</p>Betsy KentTue, 27 Oct 2009 12:49:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76151http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76150/How-Your-Customers-can-be-your-Best-Salespeople#Comments0How Your Customers can be your Best Salespeoplehttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76150/How-Your-Customers-can-be-your-Best-Salespeople<p>All the marketing data we have points to the reality that most people buy what their friends or acquaintances recommend. That’s why online stores find it so helpful to have consumers write reviews on their products and why sites like Yelp are so popular. The same concept applies for B2B companies, too.</p> <p>Case in point: today I decided to research some of the companies that provide detailed Social Media Measurement services for companies who are running campaigns using Twitter, Facebook and other Social Media platforms. I did a Google search, and discovered that there aren’t a lot of players out there. I knew that if I inquired directly to any of them, I would get a salesperson who needed to make a sale. I respect that, but I need to know that I am getting the best choice for my clients.</p> <p>So, after I signed up for a demo with one company, I decided to find out how actual businesses were liking the services they offered. I did what any self respecting Social Media professional does…I tweeted about it! I asked if anyone is using a Social Media Measurement service and if so, how did they like it?</p> <p>Guess what? I got a lot of responses. I asked a lot of questions, and I was able to identify the one service that seems right for me. Only one of the responses was from a salesperson, the rest were clients. The company’s clients were actually doing the selling for them.</p> <p>How can you make this happen for your company?</p> <ul> <li>Treat your customers better than you want to be treated.</li> <li>Under-promise and over-deliver.</li> <li>Monitor what people are saying about your company.</li> <li>Engage your customers whenever you can (this doesn’t mean sending them an email blast every day!)</li> <li>Never assume their business, always earn it.</li> </ul> <p>This is a lesson learned…there are conversations going on about your company that you don’t ever know about. Do your best to make sure they are positive!</p>Betsy KentTue, 20 Oct 2009 02:14:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76150http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76148/How-can-I-Keep-Porn-out-of-my-Twitter-Following#Comments1How can I Keep Porn out of my Twitter Following?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76148/How-can-I-Keep-Porn-out-of-my-Twitter-Following<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/killbyte/5325071/" target="_blank"><img id="img-1316874310253" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/porn-sign.jpg" border="0" alt="porn sign" width="123" height="61" class="alignLeft" style="float: left;" /></a> <p>If you are anything like me, you use Twitter as a tool for your business. It’s handy for communicating with people you know, invaluable for meeting people you never would have met otherwise, fantastic for learning and sharing, and much more.</p> <p>Every Tweeter has a different strategy to build their following. Some people follow everyone they can, and end up with followers/following in the 10′s of thousands. For me, I am most interested in following people who are interesting, funny, intelligent, creative and in general, make my life richer. So, when I am looking for followers, I generally take a moment to see who they are following.</p> <p>So when I land on a Twitter profile and see porn it’s a real turn-off. Not because I am a prude, but because it is a signal to me of one of the following:</p> <ul> <li>The Twitter member is using an auto-follow application and doesn’t really care who he/she follows, as long as the numbers are high.</li> <li>The Twitter member is not actively engaged and hasn’t been monitoring his/her profile.</li> </ul> <p>Either way, it’s a red flag for me NOT to follow that person.</p> <p>I have discovered that a Twitter tool called <a href="https://www.socialoomph.com/" target="_blank">“Social Oomph”</a> has a feature that lets me ignore anyone (person or robot) that includes certain words in their Tweet. Since I have set up this tool, I have seen a 90% reduction in porn spam.</p> <p><img id="img-1316874364464" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/porn-spam.jpg" border="0" alt="porn spam" width="467" height="79" /></p> <p>Now, it could just be a coincidence, but from what I read, Twitter is getting a lot better at filtering porn out of the system as well.</p> <p>What are your thoughts on Twitter porn? How do you handle it?</p>Betsy KentSun, 11 Oct 2009 22:06:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76148http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76212/Technorati#Comments0Technoratihttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76212/Technorati<p>5zb2svq3fm</p>Betsy KentSun, 11 Oct 2009 16:04:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76212http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76147/The-Sales-Process-begins-at-Hello#Comments0The Sales Process begins at “Hello”http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76147/The-Sales-Process-begins-at-Hello<p><img id="img-1316873867404" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/desk-chair.jpg" border="0" alt="desk chair" width="110" height="110" class="alignLeft" style="float: left;" /></p> <p>Who answers the phone when someone calls your business? Do you have an automated attendant or do you have a “live” person handing calls? If yours is like most businesses these days, you probably use an  automated attendant. An auto attendant can certainly save money on payroll, but do you know how it’s affecting your bottom line?</p> <p>I have always paid a lot of attention to how my service clients’ incoming calls are handled. After all, if I have set up an advertising campaign for them I want to be sure that every lead that is generated from that campaign are accounted for. I’m lucky because I when I set up Pay Per Click campaigns, I include with a free service that enables my clients to see what incoming leads are generated and listen to a recording of each call.</p> <p>Recently, I performed a very unscientific experiment to see I could discern a connection between how incoming calls are handled and overall conversions. I discovered that auto attendants get significantly more hang-ups than when a live person picks up the phone. In addition, I discovered that most auto attendant systems seem to have at least one, if not all, of the following issues:</p> <ul> <li>Too many rings before extension pick up (the most hang-ups here)</li> <li>Long delays connecting to extensions (leads to customer frustration)</li> <li>Confusing employee directories (totally frustrating)</li> <li>Outdated information in the recording (such as services provided)</li> <li>The sales department is the last option in the extension list (should be the first!)</li> </ul> <p>Try phoning your own company as if you are a first time caller. What’s your experience? If it’s less than stellar, do something about it fast. Now’s not the time to let any incoming leads go.</p> <p>Remember, the sales process begins at “Hello” and it’s the first step in to getting to “Yes!”</p>Betsy KentTue, 06 Oct 2009 15:02:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76147http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76146/Google-Page-Rank-What-is-it-Is-it-Important#Comments0Google Page Rank: What is it? Is it Important?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76146/Google-Page-Rank-What-is-it-Is-it-Important<h4>Question: What is Google PageRank?</h4> <p>Google PageRank (PR) is a number that represents the importance of an individual web page in the eyes of Google. Generally it is believed that when one web page links to another, it is actually casting a vote of confidence. That means good stuff to Google because their ultimate goal is to always deliver the most relevant, quality content to all of their users. So, when lots of sites (people, really) link to a specific web page, it shows Google that the page is popular.</p> <p>In other words, if a page has a PR of 9 or 10 (10 being the highest), the page has won a popularity contest!</p> <h4>Is Google PageRank Important?</h4> <p>Well, that’s a great question. There is a lot of speculation as to whether a high PageRank benefits a website’s ranking in organic listings (SEO). However, it is ALWAYS good to have as many quality inbound links as possible directing people to your web pages.</p> <p>If you have the Google toolbar installed in your browser, you can see the PageRank of each page as you browse the web. Don’t know if you have the Google toolbar, or want to install it? Let me know and I’ll be happy to help!</p>Betsy KentMon, 28 Sep 2009 13:39:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76146http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76144/Blogging-Should-You-Co-Write-it-with-a-Colleague#Comments0Blogging: Should You Co-Write it with a Colleague?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76144/Blogging-Should-You-Co-Write-it-with-a-Colleague<h4><span style="color: #ff0000;">Question:</span> I am an interior designer and I have a friend and colleague who is a real estate agent. We each would like to start a blog. Would it be effective for us to do a blog together since our two areas are related?</h4> <p>One of the first things to ask yourself when conceiving your blog is: “Who is my audience?” “Who is going to get benefit from the information I can share?” In this case, a combined interior design and real estate bIog may not be a very good idea. Are the people who are interested in interior design the same people as those who are interested in real estate? Not necessarily.</p> <p>For instance, if your friend the real estate agent posts a blog about, say, the perils of buying a home in foreclosure, the person who is interested in buying vintage furniture for their living room will probably think “this blog doesn’t give me the info I’m looking for” and not come back.</p> <p>However, that doesn’t mean that you should never co-write a blog. Many bloggers invite guest authors to post on their blogs if the content is valuable to the audience. For instance, I recently co-wrote a blog with Elizabeth Beskin of Fifth Avenue Digital. We attended the O’Reilly Twitter Boot Camp together and wrote “10 Things I Learned at Twitter Boot Camp” and posted it on our blogs.</p> <p>I recommend “31 Days to Build a Better Blog” which is a terrific e-Book published by ProBlogger.net. It will really help you identify what you bring to the table in Social Media and get you on track.</p>Betsy KentMon, 28 Sep 2009 13:36:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76144http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76143/How-can-Twitter-Help-my-Local-Business#Comments0How can Twitter Help my Local Business?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76143/How-can-Twitter-Help-my-Local-Business<p>I spend a lot of time these days talking to local businesses about Social Media and brainstorming about how they can use Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other channels to increase their customer base. And it can be challenging, because in many cases (in spite of the fact that they may be using one or two social channels for their personal use people have a hard time seeing the connection between online social activities and their own businesses.</p> <p>I came across this article in the New York Times that I think successfully illustrates the opportunities for local business using Twitter. Take a look and let me know your thoughts!</p> <p>Mom-and-Pop Operators Turn to Social Media</p> <p><a href="http://preview.tinyurl.com/lcjpow" target="_blank"><strong>http://preview.tinyurl.com/lcjpow</strong></a></p>Betsy KentMon, 28 Sep 2009 13:36:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76143http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76141/Four-Twitter-Tips-I-Learned-by-Trial-Error#Comments0Four Twitter Tips I Learned by Trial & Errorhttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76141/Four-Twitter-Tips-I-Learned-by-Trial-Error<p>I’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter lately. The more I use it, the more I discover about it. The more I use it, the more I learn how to use it more effectively. I have recently figured out a few little tricks that make Twitter a more productive tool for me, so I’d like to share them with you!<strong><br /> </strong></p> <p>My particular goal on Twitter is to learn everything I can about Internet Marketing and Social Media and then share what I learn with my followers. I am always really concerned that my followers (and my potential followers) can easily understand what I am tweeting about.</p> <p>So, if you have the same or similar goals, here are 4 tips that just may make your Twitter activity more productive.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Leave Enough Space for the Link: </strong>When you RT (the ultimate form of flattery) a post that has a URL in it, leave enough space so you don’t run out of characters and wind up losing part of your tweet. Add-up the character count, i.e. RT @bevisible (that’s 12 chars right there) and even a shortened URL is at least 8 chars. If you run out of space, go back and find places for abbreviations or symbols in the original tweet to open up space.</li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>Same Goes for your “Native” Tweet:</strong> If you want people to re-tweet your tweets, try to follow the same rule (I break this one all the time :0( ). Try to keep your tweet as short as possible so when someone RT’s your tweet, they don’t have to worry about character counts.</li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>Don’t Get Too Personal:</strong> I am particular about who I follow. I use Twitter as a tool to be a better consultant, so I follow a lot of people who are in the Internet Marketing and Social Media arena. So, when someone follows me, I take a look at his or her profile before I follow back. If all I see in their tweets are snippets of conversations that mean nothing to me, I will most likely not follow them. So, take a look at your own profile from the point of view of a prospective follower every now and then. If you are engaging in a lot of one-to-one conversations with no reference points for an outsider, consider sending direct messages to them instead of clogging up your profile with tweets that only you can understand.</li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>Complete the Thought:</strong> When you are messaging back and forth with one of your followers about a link or an idea, repeat the link or idea in your tweets. For example, I will use this: “It was great to meet you at the Gravity Social Media Summit, www.gravitysummit.com” instead of “It was great to meet you.” Make sense? This way your followers know what you are talking about, and potential followers will be able to decide if what you are saying has value to them.</li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>Explain Why you Tweeted It: </strong>If something is interesting enough for you to tweet about, sometimes it’s great for your followers to know why. For example, if you read a blog post that you think is brilliant, when you tweet about it, tell your followers that. For example: “Just Blogging Isn’t Enough – You Have to Blog with Purpose, http://bit.ly/18EAYP,  really good stuff here<em>.”</em></li> </ul> <p><strong>Got some tips of your own? Would love to hear them.</strong></p> <p>If you found this post helpful, please consider subscribing. I blog about once a week, so I promise I won’t clog up your email box.</p>Betsy KentFri, 11 Sep 2009 03:04:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76141http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76140/My-Three-Favorite-Twitter-Tools#Comments0My Three Favorite Twitter Toolshttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76140/My-Three-Favorite-Twitter-Tools<p><img id="img-1316873075141" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/tools.jpg" border="0" alt="Twitter Tools" width="172" height="118" /></p> <p>OK, you created an account on Twitter, you (hopefully) completed your profile, added a short but interesting bio, entered your website URL, and are now ready to start Tweeting. But you are still confused about how to use it.</p> <p>If that describes you, then you’re not alone. The most common question I get from friends and clients when I talk about Twitter, is “How do I manage this constant stream of information?”</p> <p>Well, we are so lucky that there are many, many tools that have been developed to help us use Twitter better, faster and more efficiently. Every day I discover more and I try to test most of them, but here’s a list of my three favorites. (and they are all FREE).</p> <p><strong>Mashable TweetDeck</strong> (<a href="http://mashable.com/mashdeck/" target="_blank">http://mashable.com/mashdeck/</a>)</p> <p>I have found that by using this tool, Twitter is a lot easier and more fun. It allows you to sort the people you follow by any kind of criteria. For example, I set-up a column for “personal friends,” my “A-List” of social media experts to learn from, and people who I follow who find NYC as interesting as I do.  It’s a no-brainer to set-up and for you IPhone users, there’s even an “App for that!”</p> <p><strong>Twollo</strong> (<a href="http://www.twollo.com/" target="_blank">http://www.twollo.com/</a>)</p> <p>This Twitter tool enables you to automatically follow people who are talking about things that you are interested in. For example, I have set it to follow people who are talking about Social Media (duh), Blogging (duh, again) and other topics that affect my business (remember, I use Twitter to learn & share what I learn). And, since I am interested in NYC architecture, and NYC life in general, I automatically follow people who are talking about those topics, too.</p> <p><strong>SocialOomph</strong> (<a href="http://www.socialoomph.com/" target="_blank">http://www.socialoomph.com/</a>)</p> <p>SocialOomph (formerly called “TweetLater”) has a bunch of terrific tools that really help me to  control my Twitter. Since one of the biggest concerns that “newbies” to Twitter have is how in the world can they keep on top of it all. TweetLater helps me a lot here.</p> <ul> <li>I can use it to post tweets at different times during the day, because sometimes I am tweeting late at night or really early in the a.m. when most of my followers aren’t online.</li> <li>I can vet all my new followers so that I make sure my followers list doesn’t consist of spam or porn (which is a real bummer).</li> <li>Some people use TweetLater to automatically message their new followers, although there are a lot of people who will un-follow you if they suspect you are using this feature. Use at your discretion.</li> </ul> <p>There you are: my three favorite Twitter tools. Hope this list helps you navigate the world of Twitter. More to come, I test new ones all the time.</p> <p>If you like this post, please consider subscribing. Thanks!</p>Betsy KentMon, 31 Aug 2009 15:14:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76140http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76139/15-Great-Take-Aways-from-the-Cool-Twitter-Conference-NYC#Comments015 Great “Take Aways” from the Cool Twitter Conference NYChttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76139/15-Great-Take-Aways-from-the-Cool-Twitter-Conference-NYC<p>I attended the Cool Twitter Conference in NYC today. It was a really great group of people in a small venue that allowed a lot of sharing of ideas and getting to know each other. The speakers included a writer, a music exec, a mobile cupcake shop entrepreneur, the social media director of a popcorn manufacturer, and more (see link below for list of speakers). Each one of the speakers had a great story about how Twitter is an integral part of their growth.</p> <p>Here are 15 “take-aways” that I think are worth sharing especially for any of you “newbies” who are just getting started.</p> <ul> <li>Social Media is all about providing great content in order to promote your biz, because nobody likes to be “pitched.”</li> <li>Being genuine and providing value is of utmost importance in all Social Media avenues.</li> <li>Because a reciprocal relationship already exists on Twitter, you can get immediate feedback about your brand.</li> <li>Social media drives conversions through brand awareness.</li> <li>Social Media is the convergence of PR, customer service, and marketing.</li> <li>Figure out what value you can offer your followers that no one is giving them now.</li> <li>Social media is not a one-night stand…it’s a long-term commitment.</li> <li>Make a list of your strengths and then figure out how to use them in your tweets.</li> <li>How can you develop relationships on Twitter? Educate, Engage, and Entertain.</li> <li>How does Social Media help business? People like working with people they trust and admire…you can gain trust & admiration through Social Media.</li> <li>Use Twitter to find other businesses to collaborate with in related fields.</li> <li>Twitter is the bridge; it’s all about the human connection.</li> <li>There are visionaries and there are executors. Twitter is the bridge that links them.</li> <li>Think about incorporating images into your Twitter streams, and video, too.</li> <li>Fun is a critical component of Social Media!</li> </ul> <p>The speakers at today’s conference were: (follow them!)</p> <p>Lev Ekster<br /> CEO The Cupcake Stop @Cupcake Stop</p> <p>Alecia Dantico<br /> Social Media Marketer @GarrettPopcorn</p> <p>Cathy Scott<br /> True Crime Author & Journalist @CathyScott</p> <p>Stacy Cromidas<br /> Scholar, Lawyer, Investor, Director, Volunteer, Facilitator<br /> Supreme Court Network        @stacy_92037</p> <p>Tamar Weinberg<br /> Founder<br /> Techipedia & Author of The New Community Rules (O’Reilly, July 2009) @tamar</p> <p>Michele Mattia<br /> Founder & Life Design Coach @lifes_dash</p> <p>Scott Lackey<br /> Co-Founder & Strategic Director<br /> Jugular: A Communications & Content Creation Company @scottlackey</p> <p>Elizabeth Beskin<br /> Owner 5th Avenue Digital @photobiz</p> <p>Michael Admani<br /> President of A&R<br /> A&R Mike Admani LLC @michaeladmani</p> <p>Kevin Swanepoel<br /> President The One Club @oneshow</p> <p>I highly recommend Cool Twitter Conferences for anyone who is using Twitter or who is trying to figure it out. Check out the schedule at: <a href="http://www.cooltwitterconferences.com/" target="_blank">http://www.cooltwitterconferences.com/</a></p>Betsy KentFri, 28 Aug 2009 03:35:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76139http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76138/What-is-Twitter-Again#Comments0What is Twitter (Again)?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76138/What-is-Twitter-Again<p>As promised, here are more definitions of Twitter supplied by my friends, my network, and my followers. It seems as if the fastest growing social media phenomenon of our day is incredibly hard for people to describe. Possibly because Twitter serves so many different kinds of purposes to so many different people.</p> <p>What surprised me most about this survey is that I received some really negative definitions of Twitter…from marketing people! I didn’t reprint them fearing that out of context it would seem as if they came from me (plus there were some four letter words in many of them!) I certainly can understand people who, because they don’t understand Twitter, are skeptical about it. But marketing people…get real!</p> <p>That being said, I would love to hear YOUR definition. Here are some more definitions that people sent to me. Any of them ring true to you?</p> <h4>What is Twitter (Again)?</h4> <ul> <li>An extremely powerful Internet marketing tool when you have an effective Twitter strategy consistent with your overall brand.</li> <li>A filtered real-time human thought custom RSS feed.</li> <li>Both a megaphone and microscope. Just don’t put an avatar with a beautiful bikini model, don’t sell Amway and don’t talk about yourself all damn day.</li> <li>A micro-blogging platform primarily used to provide status updates as to our whereabouts and activities of interest</li> <li>The laziest method of blogging possible.</li> <li>Centralized live news feed, offering followers snippets of information of current information, news, trends, topics, etc.</li> <li>A short-form messaging platform that allows you to publish messages in less than 140 characters through different mediums like desktop applications, cell-phones, and the web.</li> <li>A broadcast medium that is like reading and writing headlines. It is a great way to get to know people and people get to know you – as in all the social communities. I like how fast paced Twitter is and it works with my attention span – getting snippets of news and choosing what you would like to read into more as many people give you links to more detailed information.</li> <li>A  micro-blog that has enabled the formation of a new breed of online communities to grow and exchange information at a faster than ever pace, approaching real time.</li> <li>Twitter transmits twaddle.</li> <li>Broadcasting to the world.</li> <li>The vain of our existence.</li> <li>Electronic stalking for the hyperactive individual.</li> <li>The question should be, how do you, personally, use Twitter?</li> <li>A great line of communication between companies & clients.</li> <li>A way to learn what’s happening and who’s talking right now worldwide. It’s a way to search for and join conversations.</li> <li>A little green ego machine.</li> </ul>Betsy KentFri, 21 Aug 2009 02:29:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76138http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76136/What-is-Social-Media#Comments0What is Social Media?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76136/What-is-Social-Media<p>I was honored to be part of a panel discussion about Social Media for the event planning industry yesterday at the Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel. So many people want to know more about how to use Blogs, LinkedIn, and Twitter for business. My close friend Elizabeth Beskin and I were the presenters. Here are slides from the presentation. Video will also be available soon!</p> <p><a href="http://www.slideshare.net/betsykent/oak-room-soc-med-lunch-8-12-09-1852643" target="_blank">Oak Room Soc Med Lunch 8 12 09</a></p> <p><object style="margin: 0px;" width="425" height="355" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="http://static.slidesharecdn.com/swf/ssplayer2.swf?doc=oakroomsocmedlunch8-12-09-090812222853-phpapp01&rel=0&stripped_title=oak-room-soc-med-lunch-8-12-09-1852643" /><param name="wmode" value="opaque" /><embed style="margin: 0px;" width="425" height="355" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://static.slidesharecdn.com/swf/ssplayer2.swf?doc=oakroomsocmedlunch8-12-09-090812222853-phpapp01&rel=0&stripped_title=oak-room-soc-med-lunch-8-12-09-1852643" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" wmode="opaque" /></object></p> View more <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/" target="_blank">documents</a> from <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/betsykent" target="_blank">Be Visible Associates</a>.Betsy KentThu, 13 Aug 2009 12:19:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76136http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76135/What-is-Twitter-10-Ways-to-Define-It#Comments0What is Twitter? 10 Ways to Define Ithttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76135/What-is-Twitter-10-Ways-to-Define-It<p>The funniest thing about Twitter is that so many people have a hard time describing it. Last week, in preparation for a talk I am doing today on Social Media, I used Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and asked my connections: What is Twitter?</p> <p>I got a ton of responses, which range from humorous to downright angry. I will be posting them as they come through…but here’s a few of my fav’s:</p> <p><span style="color: #ff0000;">1.</span> Letting your network know information important to you in 140 characters in a real time</p> <p><span style="color: #ff0000;">2.</span> A powerful outlet for instantaneous communication that is very relevant for all businesses</p> <p><span style="color: #ff0000;">3.</span> A way to share information or learn about a subject from people who are experts or who are talking about what I’m interested in around the world</p> <p><span style="color: #ff0000;">4.</span> World’s Biggest Chatroom</p> <p><span style="color: #ff0000;">5.</span> Both a megaphone and microscope</p> <p><span style="color: #ff0000;">6.</span> Twitter: Fast facts, opinions and news feed if you follow the right people. Be picky.</p> <p><span style="color: #ff0000;">7.</span> A readily reliable revolution reporter (Iran)</p> <p><span style="color: #ff0000;">8.</span> The pursuit of the unmeetable by the ’140-max’ Tweetable.“</p> <p><span style="color: #ff0000;">9.</span> Potential thumb wrecker</p> <p><span style="color: #ff0000;">10.</span> Twitter hits the nail on the head… a bunch of birds on a powerline, twittering away.  Are others listening?  Sometimes!  But we’re all on the line together – Ric Dragon</p>Betsy KentWed, 12 Aug 2009 12:11:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76135http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76132/Is-This-Twitter-Spam#Comments0Is This Twitter Spam?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76132/Is-This-Twitter-Spam<p>I performed a Twitter search this morning for “SEO.”</p> <p>Here is the list of results I got:</p> <p><a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/weird-list1.jpg" target="_blank"><img id="img-1316871774650" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/weird-list1-300x292.jpg" border="0" alt="Twitter Weird List" /></a></p> <p>I clicked on this one:</p> <p><a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/marryz.jpg" target="_blank"><img id="img-1316871815074" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/marryz-300x96.jpg" border="0" alt="marryz" /></a></p> <p>Clicked on the URL, and got this:</p> <p><a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/social-media-clicks.jpg" target="_blank"><img id="img-1316871855203" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/social-media-clicks-300x152.jpg" border="0" alt="social media clicks" /></a></p> <p>So, being of a suspicious nature, I clicked on “about” and got this:</p> <p><a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/congratulations.jpg" target="_blank"><img id="img-1316871890859" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/congratulations-300x157.jpg" border="0" alt="Congratulations" /></a></p> <p>Of course, that’s where I bailed out…but if I hadn’t, who knows? Perhaps I would just be helping an Internet Marketing person drive traffic to their site, but in reality, I suspect there could be more to it (virus, twitter hi-jacking, etc.)</p> <p>Then I went back to the list and realized that most of the Tweets were from members with</p> <p>1.     a female name</p> <p>2.     a photo of a young woman</p> <p>3.     no bio</p> <p>4.     very few followers</p> <p>5.     a following list of 0</p> <p>and when I investigated further, I kept getting the same “Congratulations!” page.</p> <p>How lame! Using Twitter to spread your message the way it was intended is so easy: create a profile, search for people of “like mind”, start sharing info, learn and grow your following. Spammers spend a whole lot of time trying to figure out how to beat the system, but the system is set-up for success already! What a waste of time and energy!</p> <p>How to report Twitter spam? Click here: <a href="http://tinyurl.com/ljacz5" target="_blank"><strong>http://tinyurl.com/ljacz5</strong></a><--></p>Betsy KentSun, 02 Aug 2009 15:26:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76132http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76130/If-I-Copy-Paste-Text-from-Another-Website-onto-my-Own-will-I-Hurt-my-Search-Engine-Rankings#Comments0If I Copy & Paste Text from Another Website onto my Own, will I Hurt my Search Engine Rankings?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76130/If-I-Copy-Paste-Text-from-Another-Website-onto-my-Own-will-I-Hurt-my-Search-Engine-Rankings<h4><span style="color: #ff0000;">Question:</span> I am building an eCommerce site where I will be selling products that appear on other sites, including manufacturers’ sites. If I cut and paste descriptions from one of those sites onto my own, will I hurt my Search Engine rankings? Jonathan Rosen, <a href="http://www.give.bz/" target="_blank">Give.bz</a></h4> <p>My instincts are to say “Yes, it would hurt your rankings.” In SEO (Search Engine Optimization), duplicating content from one site to another is never recommended under any circumstances. However, if you are adding lots and lots of items onto your eCommerce site, it sure would make it a lot faster and easier to copy and paste rather than having to create a unique description for every single product.</p> <p>I’ve done some research, and my instincts were right. It<em> is</em> a bad idea to duplicate content from one website to another, especially when you don’t own both sites. But to make your life easier, go ahead, copy and paste; then tweak the text and make it your own. This will serve to:</p> <p><strong>1.   Protect your hard-won search engine rankings.</strong></p> <p><strong>2.   Your site will have a consistent “voice” throughout.</strong></p> <p><strong>3.   You can make your descriptions more compelling than the original.</strong></p> <p><strong>4.   You will have total control over all the content on your site</strong></p> <p>For more interesting tips on SEO and eCommerce, click here:</p> <p><a href="http://www.business.com/guides/optimize-your-ecommerce-site-for-search-engines-2946" target="_blank">Guide to Optimize your eCommerce Site for Search Engines</a></p>Betsy KentSat, 01 Aug 2009 16:31:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76130http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76129/Something-New-Really-Cool-in-Gmail#Comments0Something New & Really Cool in Gmail!http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76129/Something-New-Really-Cool-in-Gmail<p>As many of my friends and colleagues know, I really love Gmail. I use my Gmail address most of the time for lot of reasons:</p> <p>1.     very little spam</p> <p>2.     easy to find old emails</p> <p>3.     simple, user friendly design</p> <p>4.     it’s fast</p> <p>And, as many of my friends and colleagues also know, I have a terrible habit of sending emails that are supposed to contain attachments….without the attachments! Now I try remember to attach, write and send, in that order, but I think my brain is just not wired that way.</p> <p>Gmail to the rescue! Today I had to send an email with an attachment, and again, I forgot the attachment. Guess what? Gmail detected the phrase “attached please see…” and before my email was sent, they gave me a little reminder:</p> <p><img id="img-1316871351316" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/good-one.jpg" border="0" alt="good one" /></p> <p>Isn’t that cool? OK, so Google is now reading my emails before I even send them, and to some peple, that’s a little too “Big Brother-ish.” But for me, it works.</p> <p>No more apologizing for forgotten attachments! Gmail, you rock!</p> <h6>If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to receive future articles delivered to your feed reader or by email.</h6>Betsy KentThu, 30 Jul 2009 22:31:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76129http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76127/Can-Twitter-Help-my-Local-Business#Comments0Can Twitter Help my Local Business?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76127/Can-Twitter-Help-my-Local-Business<p><img id="img-1316870975771" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/twitter-snapshot.jpg" border="0" alt="twitter bird" width="58" height="41" /></p> <p>I spend a lot of time these days talking to local businesses about Social Media and discussing how they can use Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other channels. And that can be challenging because in many cases people have a hard time seeing the connection between online social activities and their businesses. Sometimes even in spite of the fact that they are familiar with one or more social channels already for their personal use.</p> <p>I have discovered that telling stories about how other businesses are using Social Media to be the best way to get to that “AHA!” moment where the possiblities are suddenly staring them right in the face.</p> <p>I came across this article in the New York Times that I think successfully illustrates the opportunities for local business to successfully use Twitter. Take a look and let me know your thoughts!</p> <p>Click here:</p> <p><a href="http://tinyurl.com/mhdxmr" target="_blank">Mom-and-Pop Operators Turn to Social Media, The New York Times </a></p>Betsy KentThu, 23 Jul 2009 15:10:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76127http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76126/Should-I-Start-a-Blog#Comments0Should I Start a Blog?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76126/Should-I-Start-a-Blog<h4><span style="color: #ff0000;">Question:</span> A patient of mine who is pretty web-savvy has been repeatedly telling me I should start a blog. Should I? What would it consist of, given my profession as psychotherapist and marriage and family therapist and trauma specialist? Dr. Barbara Nadel, D.C.S.W., Ph.D. <a href="http://www.drbarbaranadel.com" target="_blank"><em>www.drbarbaranadel.com</em></a></h4> <p>Your patient may be right. She could be urging you to start a blog because she believes that you have something to say that would be valuable to people. I can imagine that you could help a lot of people by sharing what you learn in your practice.</p> <p>Your blog can be your place to voice opinions, give advice, answer questions, post videos, and anything else you can think of. But blogging is mostly sharing information.</p> <p>Don’t know if you have anything to share? Then ask yourself a couple of questions:</p> <p>1. Who is your audience? Is it your current patients, your colleagues, your friends, all of the above?</p> <p>2. What are the benefits of having a blog?</p> <p>There can be a lot of benefits to writing a blog, and many of them are incidental. Here are just a few:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Credibility: </strong>your blog gives you a platform from which to set yourself apart from others in your field.</li> <li><strong>Visibility: </strong>your blog can help you become more visible when people are looking for you online because search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing) love fresh content and look for websites that are regularly updated.</li> <li><strong>Supports Word of Mouth:</strong> For me, this is a biggie. Let’s say someone refers you to a new patient. Your blog, more than even your website, allows that prospective new patient to find out who you are before he or she calls.</li> <li><strong>Fun: </strong>Your blog gives you the opportunity to share your successes and tell stories that are meaningful to you. And, that’s a lot of fun! (see my post about co-writing a blog <a href="http://tinyurl.com/mdv7lr" target="_blank"><strong>http://tinyurl.com/mdv7lr)</strong></a></li> </ul> <p>Once you identify who your audience is and what the purpose of your blog will be, it will be a lot easier to figure out what the content should be. Get your inspiration from reading other blogs (this is a list of blogs about psychology for you to peruse: “40 Superb Psychology Blogs” <a href="http://tinyurl.com/kmgp8u" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/kmgp8u</a>)</p> <p><a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/starting-a-blog-questions_large.jpg" target="_blank"><img id="img-1316870781138" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/starting-a-blog-questions_small.jpg" border="0" alt="Should I Start a Blog?" /></a></p> <p>Plus, I recommend that you write some blog posts even before your blog is setup. Just to get a feel of it and see if blogging is something that you want to do. Then when your blog is ready (or when you are ready to publish) you will already have some content to upload. I recommend this wonderful eBook: 31 Days to a Better Blog to help you find your “blog voice”. <a href="http://www.problogger.net/31dbbb-workbook/" target="_blank">http://www.problogger.net/31dbbb-workbook/</a></p> <p>In Social Media, a blog is often where everything else revolves: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and many other social network channels can be set-up so that your blog posts are automatically fed into them and that people who are your followers, friends and fans, can see what you are saying.</p> <p>Want to know more about blogging? <a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/contact-us/" style="color: #ff0000;" target="_blank">Just ask me a Question!</a></p>Betsy KentTue, 21 Jul 2009 18:46:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76126http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76124/Can-I-Prevent-People-from-Posting-my-Photo-on-Facebook#Comments0Can I Prevent People from Posting my Photo on Facebook?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76124/Can-I-Prevent-People-from-Posting-my-Photo-on-Facebook<h5><strong>This Question was asked by Joanna Cohlan of <a href="http://www.fresheyesforyourhome.com" target="_blank"><em>Fresh Eyes For Your Home</em></a></strong></h5> <p><strong>After experiencing some embarrassing moments myself, I have wondered the same thing. </strong>This is an issue that so many people are concerned about that Paul Boutin who writes <em>Gadgetwise</em>, a technology blog for <em>The New York Times</em>, recently devoted at least one blog post to this topic.</p> <p><strong>Bottom line, you can’t stop anyone from posting a picture of you on Facebook.</strong> That’s a nightmare for those of us who are not real keen on how we look on film. However, there are a few things you can do to reduce the visibility of those pesky pictures where you are tagged:</p> <p>If a photo of you has already been posted and tagged on Facebook:</p> <p>1. Find the photo. Underneath it you will see <span style="color: #282fd6;"><strong>In this photo</strong></span></p> <p><img id="img-1316869628354" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/dana-and-me-3.jpg" border="0" alt="Find the photo - Remove Tag - Facebook" /></p> <p>2. Your name will have a link next to it, click <span style="color: #282fd6;"><strong>remove tag</strong></span></p> <p>3. <strong>Voila</strong>! The tag is gone.</p> <p><span style="color: #ff0000;"><strong>What if you want to keep the whole world from finding pictures of you on other people’s profile pages?</strong></span></p> <p><a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/setting-with-line1.jpg" target="_blank"><img id="img-1316869659115" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/setting-with-line1-300x114.jpg" border="0" alt="Settings Facebook" /></a></p> <p>1. Go to <span style="color: #282fd6;"><strong>Settings </strong></span>on the upper right hand corner of your Profile page, you’ll see a drop-down menu, click on <strong><span style="color: #282fd6;">Privacy Settings</span>.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/privacy-with-line.jpg" target="_blank"><img id="img-1316869684094" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/privacy-with-line-300x75.jpg" border="0" alt="Privacy Settings Facebook" /></a></p> <p>2. Click on <span style="color: #282fd6;"><strong>Profile</strong></span></p> <p>3. In the list, you’ll see <span style="color: #282fd6;"><strong>Photos Tagged of You, </strong></span>Click on <span style="color: #282fd6;"><strong>Custom</strong></span></p> <p><a href="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/only-me-with-line1.jpg" target="_blank"><img id="img-1316869704905" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/only-me-with-line1-300x186.jpg" border="0" alt="Photos Tagged of You Facebook" /></a></p> <p>4.  Where you see <span style="color: #282fd6;"><strong>Who Can See This? </strong></span>Click on<span style="color: #282fd6;"><strong> Only Me</strong></span></p> <p>This will prevent people from searching for you in photos and keep them from seeing other photos where you are tagged.</p> <p>If this is all too complicated, you could ask your teenaged son or daughter do it for you (although they probably wouldn’t understand why you would want to do it in the first place!)</p> <p>To read more go to:  <a href="http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/05/how-to-block-facebook-photos-of-yourself/" onclick="pageTracker._trackPageview('../../../../../blog/page/5/');" target="_blank">http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/05/how-to-block-facebook-photos-of-yourself/</a></p>Betsy KentFri, 10 Jul 2009 17:18:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76124http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76121/Your-Blog-Is-it-a-Good-Idea-to-Co-Publish-it-with-a-Colleague#Comments0Your Blog: Is it a Good Idea to Co-Publish it with a Colleague?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76121/Your-Blog-Is-it-a-Good-Idea-to-Co-Publish-it-with-a-Colleague<p><strong><span style="color: #ff0000;">Question:</span> I am an interior designer and I have a friend and colleague who is a real estate agent. We each would like to start a blog. Would it be effective for us to do a blog together since our two areas are related?</strong></p> <p>One of the first things to ask yourself when conceiving your blog is: “Who is my audience?” “Who is going to get benefit from the information I can share?” In this case, a combined interior design and real estate bIog may not be a very good idea. Are the people who are interested in interior design the same people as those who are interested in real estate? Not necessarily.</p> <p>For instance, if your friend the real estate agent posts a blog about, say, the perils of buying a home in foreclosure, the person who is interested in buying vintage furniture for their living room will probably think “this blog doesn’t give me the info I’m looking for” and not come back.</p> <p>However, that doesn’t mean that you should never co-write a blog. Many bloggers invite guest authors to post on their blogs if the content is valuable to the audience. For instance, I recently co-wrote a blog with Elizabeth Beskin of Fifth Avenue Digital. We attended the O’Reilly Twitter Boot Camp together and wrote “10 Things I Learned at Twitter Boot Camp” (see blog from June 18th) and posted it on our blogs. The subscribers to both of our blogs found the information very useful.</p> <p>I recommend<a href="http://www.problogger.net/31-days-to-build-a-better-blog-join-9100-other-bloggers-today/" target="_blank"> “<em>31 Days to Build a Better Blog</em>” </a>which is a terrific e-Book published by ProBlogger.net. It will really help you identify what you bring to the table in Social Media and get you on track.</p>Betsy KentFri, 26 Jun 2009 16:55:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76121http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76119/Google-PageRank-What-is-it-Is-it-Important-for-SEO#Comments0Google PageRank: What is it? Is it Important for SEO?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76119/Google-PageRank-What-is-it-Is-it-Important-for-SEO<p><img id="img-1316868691896" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/pagerank-jpg.jpg" border="0" alt="Google PageRank" /></p> <p><strong><span style="color: #ff0000;">Question #1:</span> What is Google PageRank?</strong></p> <p>Google PageRank (PR) is a number that represents the importance of an individual web page in the eyes of Google. So, when lots of web pages link to a specific web page, it shows Google that the page is popular. That means good stuff to Google because their ultimate goal is to always deliver the most relevant, quality content to their users.In other words, if a page has a PR of 9 or 10 (10 being the highest), that page has won a popularity contest!</p> <p><span style="color: #ff0000;"><strong>Question #2: </strong></span><strong>Is Google PageRank Important for SEO?</strong></p> <p>Well, that’s a really good question. There was and still is a lot of speculation as to whether a high PageRank benefits a web page’s ranking in organic listings (SEO). However, it is ALWAYS good to have as many quality inbound links a possible directing people to your web pages.</p> <p>If you have the Google Toolbar installed in your browser, you can see the PageRank of each page as you browse the web. Don’t know if you have the Google toolbar, or want to install it? Let me know and I’ll be happy to help!</p>Betsy KentThu, 25 Jun 2009 20:37:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76119http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76117/10-Things-I-Learned-at-Twitter-Boot-Camp#Comments010 Things I Learned at Twitter Boot Camphttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76117/10-Things-I-Learned-at-Twitter-Boot-Camp<p>On Monday I had the pleasure of being able to spend the entire day at Tim O’Reilly’s <a href="http://training.oreilly.com/twitterbootcamp/" target="_blank"><strong>Twitter Boot Camp</strong></a> at the New World Stages in Manhattan. There were wonderful speakers and wonderful advice on the use of Twitter for your brand. Here are a few pearls of wisdom I took away about this exciting new communication tool.</p> <p><strong>1. <span style="color: #ff0000;">R.O.I.</span></strong> With Twitter (and most Social Media strategies) R.O.I. doesn’t mean <em>Return On Investment</em>, it means <strong><em>Return On</em></strong><em> <strong>Influence</strong>. </em>Twitter helps you build <em>influence</em> in a particular community and this influence can in turn lead to more business. But it doesn’t happen overnight – Social Media is a long term relationship, not a one night stand!</p> <p>It is very difficult to calculate what the traditional Return on Investment can be from Twitter (some tools, such as <a href="http://www.twitalyzer.com/twitalyzer/index.asp" target="_blank">Twitalyzer</a>, are getting close). But, if you are building influence by having conversations with new people, leading people to your blog, and sending visitors to your web site who may even buying your products or services – then something significant is indeed happening.</p> <p><strong>2. <span style="color: #ff0000;">Indentify a Community</span></strong> Sometimes it’s hard for a business to identify the perfect community of people to engage on Twitter. But, if you find a community that’s <em>compatible </em>with your business you can really tap into it. For example, RubbermaidTM is tweeting about “organizing” and engaging people with their brand that way. They assume that talking about plastic containers isn’t going to get too many people excited, but by engaging people who are interested in staying organized, they have found a compatible community for their brand. Use Twitter as a way to connect with customers people, not just as customers.</p> <p><strong>3.</strong><span style="color: #ff0000;"><strong> Twitter is Not like a Billboard!</strong></span> Twitter is not a billboard for your brand. A billboard doesn’t talk to people, people do! Twitter is a two-way conversation.</p> <p><strong>4. <span style="color: #ff0000;">Create More Value than you Take Away</span></strong> It’s important on Twitter to <em>create </em>more value then you get. A good ratio for success:, Listen, share your knowledge, offer information, and answer questions 80% of the time. And tweet about yourself or your brand 20% of the time. The most successful users tweet 10 to 15 times per day.</p> <p><strong>5. <span style="color: #ff0000;">Have a Plan</span></strong> Businesses should have a social media plan that includes Twitter and an integral part of this is deciding if your brand will be doing the talking or if a person who happens to represent the brand will be doing the talking. Either way, make sure your message is always consistent and be transparent about who you are. Twitter users sense lack of authenticity a mile away!</p> <p><strong>6. <span style="color: #ff0000;">Tweet Important Messages More than Once</span></strong> Very few of your followers will be on Twitter from morning to night but you don’t want any of them to miss your tweets, especially if you have something very important to say or want to direct them to your latest blog post. So, it’s OK to tweet the same message more than once in the same day, as long as you vary the tweet slightly. Twitter users can get annoyed if they see the same tweet over and over again.</p> <p><strong>7. <span style="color: #ff0000;">Think Before you Tweet</span></strong> Remember, tweets are forever! See Jeff Pulver’s insightful blog post: <a href="http://pulverblog.pulver.com/archives/008913.html" target="_blank">twitter: For Legacy and Family.</a></p> <p><strong>8. <span style="color: #ff0000;">Speak the Language of your Community</span></strong> When re-tweeting or mentioning someone, it’s a good idea to include your own explanation that will speak to your community of followers in the language that they understand. If you are retweeting something that has already been retweeted, than give credit to the original tweet by using the term “via” (example: RT @bevisible….and end with via @photobiz).</p> <p><strong>9. <span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter Killers?</span></strong> Most Twitter aficionados agree that the only thing that could kill Twitter is aggressive marketing and spam.</p> <p><strong>10. <span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter is Fun!</span></strong> Twitter is awesome fun and there are a lot of really smart people in the “Twittersphere” to meet and learn from. Watch and learn about how some of the big brands are using Twitter. WholeFoods (@wholefoods), Zappos (@zappos), and Dunkin Donuts (@dunkindonuts) are three companies who have embraced Twitter and are using successfully and with full disclosure. I love what Marla Erwin from WholeFoods is doing and Tony Hsieh, Zappos’ CEO, wants his company to be loved for its customer service, not just for their shoes and he uses Twitter to facilitate that goal.</p> <p>So, join Twitter and follow me (@bevisible) and learn how you can use this incredible tool to market <em>your </em>brand.</p> <p>Co-Written with Elizabeth Beskin of <a href="http://www.fifthavenuedigital.com/" target="_blank">Fifth Avenue Digital </a>(@photobiz).</p>Betsy KentFri, 19 Jun 2009 01:45:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76117http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76115/Yes-Domain-Names-are-Important#Comments0Yes, Domain Names are Importanthttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76115/Yes-Domain-Names-are-Important<p>There have always been differing views on how important your domain name is to the success of your business online. For a large company whose brand it’s really crucial. Over the years numerous large corporations have spent millions of dollars to secure their preferred domain name. (Fund.com was bought for $9.99 million; see <em>The 10 Most Expensive Domain Names </em><a href="http://tinyurl.com/bpdua9" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/bpdua9</a>).</p> <p>In my experience working with local businesses, however, I’ve discovered that a domain name ranks very low on the list of what makes successful web marketing.  The bottom line is: if your company provides a service and you are properly visible on the web when a searcher needs your service, your domain name isn’t that important. It certainly isn’t as important as good website design and content. And for SEO, as far as I can tell, a domain name is not very important to the search engines either. Certainly not as important as incoming links, good content, etc. (See <a href="http://tinyurl.com/c4germ" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/c4germ</a>).</p> <p>But, it’s very important to <em>protect </em>your domain name. Case in point: clients of mine (a service business) have owned 2-3 versions of their company name + .com for a number of years. One of the few versions they hadn’t bought was recently registered by an e-tailer who began using it to sell products online. Since this seller did not have a  phone number on their site, when unhappy customers (and there were a lot of them) tried to contact them, they couldn’t. So, they performed a search, found <em>my clients’ website </em>and called their office instead. Up to 30 calls from angry customers were coming in every day! This caused havoc in my client’s office as well as making it impossible for us to clearly analyze their web analytics, not to mention jeopardizing their company reputation. At the end, my client was forced to buy the domain name from the e-talier for a lot more than it would have cost to register it at the beginning (raking up some thousands of dollars in legal fees, as well).</p> <p>Registering a domain name is relatively inexpensive. Whether you use Go Daddy, Register.com, Network Solutions, or another company, my suggestion is to go on today and buy as many iterations of your domain name as you can afford. I just discovered that www.BeVisibleAssociates.com is available, but it wasn’t when I started my business. I bought it and some other variations, plus BetsyKent.com, as well, just to be safe (don’t stick to .com, either, as extensions will probably not mean much in the future).</p> <p>So, is your domain name important? Yes!</p>Betsy KentThu, 07 May 2009 12:12:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76115http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76113/Managing-your-Social-Media-Time-Six-Hours-per-Week#Comments0Managing your Social Media Time: Six Hours per Weekhttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76113/Managing-your-Social-Media-Time-Six-Hours-per-Week<p>Lately I have been speaking to groups of entrepreneurs about Social Media. Once I finish explaining the benefits of using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Blogging, I take questions. In every case, my audiences’ biggest concern is that Social Media will become a huge “time drain” for them. And, I can totally understand their worry.</p> <p>However, an article published today in <a href="http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=104386" target="_blank">MediaPost</a>, states “81% of all marketers indicate that their social media efforts have generated exposure for their businesses. At least two in three participants found that increased traffic occurred with as little as 6 hours a week invested in social media marketing.”</p> <p>So, if you devote as little as 6 hours a week to Social Media, your business will benefit. If I were to limit myself to 6 hours a week, I think I would do it this way:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Blog for 2 hours: </strong>write one blog post per week and make sure your blog is set-up so that your posts are will appear on LinkedIn and Facebook.</li> <li><strong>Twitter for 2 hours: </strong>choose the people who interest you the most, and see what they are talking about (I get cell updates from the people I want to learn from the most, and there are only about ten of those). Read what they are talking about only when it relates to your business. If there is an article or blog that they particularly like, bookmark it to go back to later, read on your handheld, or print it out to read when you can (it’s OK to skim).</li> <li><strong>Explore for 1 1/2 hours:</strong> give yourself some time to just float around, discover new sites, find new people to follow, etc.</li> <li><strong>Update for 1/2 hour:</strong> check your profiles to make sure they are up to date.</li> </ul> <p>6 hours is hardly a “time drain” and can have an impact on your business.</p> <p>Need help getting started? <em>Be Visible Associates</em> now offers “Instant Social Media Packages” where we set up all your profiles, integrate them, and train you on how to use them.</p>Betsy KentWed, 22 Apr 2009 16:46:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76113http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76112/Getting-Back-to-Basics-Blogging-Tweeting-etc#Comments0Getting Back to Basics: Blogging, Tweeting, etc.http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76112/Getting-Back-to-Basics-Blogging-Tweeting-etc<p>If you Blog, if you use Twitter, if you use Facebook and LinkedIn, you know how easy it is to lose your direction in the maze of information coming in. And, what to say, how to add to the conversation, what’s the best way to be a part of it? If you are anything like me, you could use a few extra hours every day just to keep up!</p> <p>Sometimes, we just need a reality check. I got my reality check this morning when Chris Brogan led me to an article he wrote WAY BACK in November!<a href="http://www.chrisbrogan.com/if-i-started-today/" title="If I Started Today by Chris Brogan" target="_blank"> If I Started Today</a> by Chris Brogan. Thank you, Chris!</p>Betsy KentTue, 14 Apr 2009 12:21:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76112http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76111/Instant-Social-Media-Packages-Now-Available#Comments0Instant Social Media Packages Now Available!http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76111/Instant-Social-Media-Packages-Now-Available<p>Be Visible Associates is proud to announce the introduction of our newest service:</p> <p><strong>The Instant Social Media Package</strong></p> <p>Get your business on:</p> <p><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span><br /><span style="color: #ff0000;"> Twitter</span><br /><span style="color: #ff0000;"> LinkedIn</span><br /><span style="color: #ff0000;"> Your Own Blog</span></p> <p>and have it all work together for you!</p> <p>Training included.</p> <p>Call us today!</p>Betsy KentFri, 03 Apr 2009 10:53:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76111http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76110/What-is-Be-Visible-Associates-doing-New-Websites-E-Commerce-SEO-and-more#Comments0What is Be Visible Associates doing? New Websites, E-Commerce, SEO, and more!http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76110/What-is-Be-Visible-Associates-doing-New-Websites-E-Commerce-SEO-and-more<p><strong>In spite of the economy we began quite a few new projects in March:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>New website: Upscale furniture store</strong></li> <li><strong>Internet marketing program: High end invitation company</strong></li> <li><strong>E-Commerce site: Children’s coat manufacturer</strong></li> <li><strong>SEO content pages: National frozen seafood producer</strong></li> <li><strong>Internet visibility program: NYC construction consultant</strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>Because Internet marketing is relatively low cost and is highly trackable. </strong></p> <p><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong>Jump in…the water is very buoyant here!</strong> <strong>You won’t sink, you will swim…</strong> <strong>…and we’ll be right beside you!</strong></span></p>Betsy KentWed, 01 Apr 2009 22:45:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76110http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76109/Twart-Tweeting#Comments0Twart Tweeting!http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76109/Twart-Tweeting<p>If you are a business person and you use the Web, you are probably</p> <p><span style="color: #ff0000;">1.</span> using Twitter<br /> <span style="color: #ff0000;">2.</span> wondering about Twitter<br /> <span style="color: #ff0000;">3.</span> trying to ignore Twitter<br /> <span style="color: #ff0000;">4.</span> scared of Twitter</p> <p>This week I’ve had the privilege of talking to groups of business people about Twitter and its value to their businesses. Everyone seemed to fit into categories 2 through 4. So, my challenge has been how to de-mystify it for them. One of the best ways that I have found to explain Twitter is this:</p> <p>“Think of Twitter as a way to send a text message to a whole lot of people at one time…most of whom you don’t know, but most of whom share your interests. And, people who are interested in what you are interested in will send you text messages, too.”</p> <p>If you keep this in mind when you use Twitter, you’ll get a lot out of it.</p> <p>Example: about an hour ago this blog was announced by someone I am following on Twitter. It is on the Marketing Pilgrim website. It talks about Twitter being a “search engine” and how it may become a real challenge to the mammoth Google. <a href="http://tiny.cc/iow9T" title="The Search Engine Known as Twitter">http://tiny.cc/iow9T</a></p> <p>As a business tool, Twitter enables me to get up to the minute information like this about my industry that I can then share with my clients to keep them on the cutting edge of what is going on in online marketing.</p> <p>So, if you are in business, and if you really want up to date information about your industry…<span style="color: #ff0000;">twart tweeting right now!</span></p>Betsy KentFri, 06 Mar 2009 00:29:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76109http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76107/What-is-Twitter-Good-for#Comments0What is Twitter Good for?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76107/What-is-Twitter-Good-for<p>If you are a business person, you are either using Twitter, thinking about using Twitter, wondering about Twitter, or are scared to death of Twitter! So, what’s it really good for?  Here’s my list…I welcome additions!</p> <ul> <li>Lets you promotes article, blogs, videos, papers, and anything else you have published.</li> <li>Tells the world that you are an expert in whatever it is you are an expert in.</li> <li>Helps you identify trends in your industry.</li> <li>Allows you to find great resources to help you in your business.</li> <li>Makes it easy for you to talk about your own events and speaking engagements.</li> <li>Lets you promote interesting events you plan to attend or have attended.</li> <li>Broadcasts news about your business such as landing a new client, adding a new service, etc.</li> <li>Lets you connect and with others in your industry who you can learn from (either publicly or privately).</li> <li>Gives you a platform upon which you can voice your opinions, ask for help, learn more.</li> <li>Makes it possible to get information about your profession instantaneously.</li> <li>Allows you to share what you have learned with others in your field.</li> <li>Lets you react quickly to developments in your industry.</li> <li>It’s fun!</li> </ul>Betsy KentWed, 04 Mar 2009 01:57:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76107http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76105/What-s-the-intrinsic-value-of-what-you-are-selling#Comments0What’s the intrinsic value of what you are selling?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76105/What-s-the-intrinsic-value-of-what-you-are-selling<p>I was listening to Lynda Resnick this morning on WNYC (she’s a pro marketer and the owner of POM Wonderful amongst other things). She had some intriguing things to say about how businesses, large and small, can survive the economic crises. She said that businesses can stay ahead of the curve by tailoring their message, their prices and their products to what their customers need now.</p> <p>In other words, if you run a business, understand that your customers today are different than they were six months ago.<br /> Make sure that you recognize the intrinsic value of what you are selling and then tell people about it.</p> <p>Any comments? (By the way, I bought her book “Rubies in the Orchard: How to Uncover the Hidden Gems in Your Business”.</p>Betsy KentThu, 19 Feb 2009 22:15:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76105http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76103/Don-t-Give-Up#Comments0Don’t Give Up!http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76103/Don-t-Give-Up<p>We are living in strange times. Turn one direction and the recession stares you in the face (I’m noticing more and more empty stores in Soho). Turn the other direction, and you ask yourself “What recession?” (I stood in line at CVS for 15 mins the other day).</p> <p>BIG Research did a <a href="http://www.stores.org/Current_Issue/2009/02/cover/index.asp" title="What Consumers Won't Give Up" target="_blank">study</a> for Stores Magazine this month to find out what Americans will absolutely NOT give up…and guess what topped the list? Internet service! Yes, of all the things that we can do without, we are not giving up our Internet.</p> <p>Even though times are strange, there are still people using the web. If 1,000 people per month were searching for your services last year at this time, there may be only 500 people per month searching for your services now. But don’t ya wanna be there when they are ready to buy?</p> <p>So, give up other things…but…don’t give up on the Internet!</p>Betsy KentFri, 13 Feb 2009 21:32:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76103http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76102/Test-Analyze-and-Act#Comments0Test, Analyze and Act!http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76102/Test-Analyze-and-Act<p>If you’re a business owner, it’s likely that you want the world to know that you are the best at what you do. You know that your competitors are using Google to market their services, but would it work for you?</p> <p>The answer is: maybe. The secret is: you can test it very quickly and economically.</p> <p>Using Google to test your online market is something that businesspeople are doing all the time. A test program can give you the data you need to decide if its worth a larger investment.</p> <p>For example:<br /> Do you want to know if your target market actually uses the Web to find your services? Run a test program for 2-3 months…and then analyze the results. Even if you want to reach the entire country, identifying two or three local test markets will give you the information you need to make future decisions. How many visitors did your site get? Did they turn into customers? What’s the return on investment?</p> <p>Whether you have a small business or work for a large corporation, the concept is the same. Test, analyze and then act based upon what is working. Now you are in control of how you spend your advertising dollars!</p>Betsy KentTue, 10 Feb 2009 14:48:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76102http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76101/Internet-Marketing-helps-businesses-survive-economic-crisis#Comments0Internet Marketing helps businesses survive economic crisishttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76101/Internet-Marketing-helps-businesses-survive-economic-crisis<p>It’s hard to ignore all the bad news out there. But two recent articles tell me that not only am I in the right place but that my clients are, too.</p> <p>From the New York Times:<br /> Most retailers, online and offline, appear to be feeling the pain from the rotten economy. But, of course, even in bad times, some businesses manage to do well. Take Raymond Galeotti, the owner and president of Evesaddiction.com, a five-year-old online seller of sterling silver jewelry. Mr. Galeotti said his business, whose annual sales are approximately $10 million, is up about 25 percent this holiday season. <a href="http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/24/online-ads-to-thrive-in-a-lousy-economy/" target="_blank"> http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/24/online-ads-to-thrive-in-a-lousy-economy/</a></p> <p>From Businessweek:<br /> Why Online Ads Are Weathering the Recession<br /> In most media, 2009 will bring unkind cuts, and Madison Avenue will never be the same. But Internet advertising seems to be holding up.   <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/dec2008/tc20081224_411499.htm" target="_blank">http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/dec2008/tc20081224_411499.htm</a><--></p>Betsy KentMon, 26 Jan 2009 22:13:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76101http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76099/How-and-Why-to-use-Twitter#Comments0How and Why to use Twitterhttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76099/How-and-Why-to-use-Twitter<h3><span style="color: #43847c;"><strong><br />Lots of people ask me why they should be using Twitter.</strong></span></h3> <p><img id="img-1316866629380" src="http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/Portals/130730/images/twitter.jpg" border="0" alt="twitter" width="155" height="49" /></p> <p><a href="http://shiftingcareers.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/07/how-twitter-can-help-at-work/?excamp=OVSBhowtousetwitter&WT.srch=1&WT.mc_ev=click&WT.mc_id=SB-S-E-YH-NA-NA-how_to_use_twitter" target="_blank">The New York Times</a> published a great blog about using Twitter for your small business.</p> <p>And here is a terrific video called <a href="http://www.commoncraft.com/Twitter" target="_blank">Twitter in Plain English</a>. Twitter seems to be a great way to communicate…and I want my clients to do more of that. But, keeping Twitter, Facebook and all the social media going is very time consuming. That’s why I am going to be offering Social Media Marketing services to my clients starting right now. I am helping businesses create buzz by using these new social media tools. Whether for branding or just driving relevant traffic to a website, it’s an easy, fun and free way to market.</p>Betsy KentTue, 16 Dec 2008 23:38:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76099http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76097/Google-SearchWiki-Debuts#Comments0Google SearchWiki Debutshttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76097/Google-SearchWiki-Debuts<p>The long anticipated Google SearchWiki has launched. Google calls it “a way for you to customize search by re-ranking, deleting, adding, and commenting on search results.” Now you can move pages that you like to the top of the page, or even add a new site. You can add your own notes and delete results that you don’t feel are relevant. This is only available if you have a Google account and are signed-in.</p> <p>What is really interesting is that the changes you make are stored in your Google account so that your preference info is visible to Google. And, you can see what others have said about search results as well.</p> <p>Personalized search is the next step in the dynamic and exciting world of search. How does this affect website owners? It is more important than ever to make sure that your site is well optimized and managed all the time. Titles and meta tags are once again important. And…everything needs to be kept up to date.</p> <p>I would love to hear comments: will you use it? what effect if any will it have on you as a user? as a business owner?</p>Betsy KentWed, 26 Nov 2008 20:27:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76097http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76095/Just-Breathe#Comments0Just Breathehttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76095/Just-Breathe<p>If you pay attention (or even if you are not paying attention) images of soup kitchens and men in suits and top coats selling pencils on the sidewalk dance around in your head (instead of sugar plums this year). And, as a business person, you may be tempted to hold your breath and hyperventilate your way into 2009.</p> <p>However, my clients and colleagues seem to be really positive about their businesses in spite of all the doom and gloom. I would like to think it’s because Web marketing is such a cost effective way to advertise and that’s what we talk about. Flexibility and “trackibility” allow us to breathe and know that we can make changes and adjustments in our advertising programs to weather the ups and downs of the market.</p> <p>So, don’t hold your breath…keep on top of your web marketing and always remember that you can react to whatever is going on out there. Just Breathe.</p>Betsy KentWed, 26 Nov 2008 13:51:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76095http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76093/Congrats-to-Dragon-Search-Marketing#Comments0Congrats to Dragon Search Marketinghttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76093/Congrats-to-Dragon-Search-Marketing<p>Our good friends and colleagues at Dragon Search Marketing are moving into new offices. Congrats on their new digs!</p>Betsy KentWed, 26 Nov 2008 00:43:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76093http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76091/The-Power-of-Being-There#Comments0The Power of “Being There”http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76091/The-Power-of-Being-There<p>The beauty of paid search is that it can be adjusted so fast and so easily that I can help my clients respond to whatever is happening in their business. Here is an example of why it is so important to “Be There” when people are looking for your business’s services on the web.</p> <p>I received an email from one of my clients two weeks ago asking to shut off his paid search campaign for a while. He said that  his company was looking to cut-back on some of their expenses and felt that they had more business than they could handle for the time being. (A classic example of my having done my job too well!) After some discussion, we agreed that it wasn’t a good idea to shut his program off completely, so we lowered the budget by 1/2 and eliminated some business categories.</p> <p>Yesterday, I received an email from him with the subject line: “Help!”. Turns out that his call volume has gone down significantly. We agreed to move the budget back up to the original level and re-launch in the ad groups we had eliminated.</p> <p>My client has discovered that “Being There” is important, even when business is booming. His intelligently run and managed paid search program enables me to keep him there and keeps his phone ringing.</p>Betsy KentTue, 18 Nov 2008 13:58:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76091http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76090/4-simple-easy-free-and-fun-things-you-need-to-do-for-your-business-right-now#Comments04 simple, easy, free and fun things you need to do for your business right now!http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76090/4-simple-easy-free-and-fun-things-you-need-to-do-for-your-business-right-now<p>I am helping my friend and colleage Elizabeth Beskin of Fifth Avenue Digital get ready for the annual BizBash Event StyleExpo on Wednesday here in NYC. She is gong to be speaking to a group of event planning professionals about how they can use Social Networking to help build website traffic and credibility with Search Engines.</p> <p>Here’s what we came up with:</p> <p>1. Join LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com Why? This business networking site has more than 30 million members and is a great tool for reaching out to colleagues, clients and business associates.</p> <p>2. Set up your Facebook business page at www.facebook.com/business Why? Your business page helps build connections between your brand and the people you know, as well as the people you want to know.</p> <p>3. Create a MySpace page at www.myspace.com Why? Gain ties with other business owners and promote your services to prospective customers.</p> <p>4. Join Twitter at www.twitter.com Why? Communicate and stay connected to colleagues through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to the question “What are you doing?”</p>Betsy KentThu, 30 Oct 2008 13:37:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76090http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76089/The-Importance-of-Security-in-E-Commerce#Comments0The Importance of Security in E-Commercehttp://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76089/The-Importance-of-Security-in-E-Commerce<p>Recently I was given the opportunity to collaborate on an interactive marketing program for a small garment manufacturer that just launched their first e-commerce site. The client wants to start selling their products direct to the consumer immediately, rather than continuing to depend upon the retail stores who are their traditional customers, and who are not doing a very good job online.</p> <p>Although the site is very pretty, I uncovered many issues that will definitely impact sales once the site is up. First of all, what should require the user to click once or twice requires four or five clicks. To drill down to the individual item she wants to buy, the user has to navigate a very complicated and confusing route.</p> <p>OK, so let’s say the user is so motivated that she is willing to get click through to the point of sale. The biggest problem I see is the lack of security on the site. The pages that require entry of personal information are http not https, and moreover, there is no security symbol from VeriSign or any other site security company.</p> <p>The public is becoming more and more knowledgeable about credit card fraud and identity theft. It is crucially important that online store owners understand that. Before I am willing to spend my client’s money on marketing, I am insisting that they deal with this security issue.</p> <p>After all, if you lead a horse to water, you better be sure it’s safe to drink!</p>Betsy KentSun, 21 Sep 2008 13:34:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76089http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76084/Who-Needs-a-Search-Engine-Marketing-Consulting-Firm#Comments0Who Needs a Search Engine Marketing Consulting Firm?http://www.bevisibleassoc.com/blog/bid/76084/Who-Needs-a-Search-Engine-Marketing-Consulting-Firm<p>If you have a small business (a small business is generally defined as having under 100 employees, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_business), you may not think you would need to hire a search engine marketing consulting firm. However, the fact that more and more businesses every day are marketing their products and services online, most small businesses are finding that a search engine marketing consulting firm gives them a competitive edge.</p> <p><strong>No IT department?</strong></p> <p>A search engine marketing consulting firm can fulfill a very important role in your organization, especially if you don’t have a full-time IT department. The best firms will take a good look at your overall Internet strategy (if you have one) and make suggestions as how it can be improved using solutions that it has had previous success with. More likely your company doesn’t have a formal Internet strategy and that’s where a search engine marketing consulting firm can really help out. It can put together a course of action that not only meets your needs and your timing, but also meets your budget.</p> <p><strong>Are you doing-it-yourself?</strong></p> <p>Let’s say you have been managing a Google AdWords program for the past couple of years. If it is going well, you have probably been devoting a lot of your time to it. In order to be competitive, you must be on top of your bids, your keywords, and your ad verbiage. As your category becomes more competitive the cost to maintain your leading edge is going up, lowering your ROI. So you need to devote more and more of your valuable time to managing the campaign. A search engine marketing consulting firm can lighten your load right away. Many consultants have either have developed, or work with a company that has developed, software that can automate your Pay-Per-Click campaigns. No longer will you have to slog through analytics that don’t make sense or worry about being out-bid. All of that is handled for you. Best of all, many search engine marketing consulting firms report how many visitors your site is receiving plus how many people called you from your paid search program and even who those people are.</p> <p><strong>Don’t know how to start?</strong></p> <p>If you haven’t yet dabbled in paid search, even better. Because of it’s experience and expertise in setting-up and managing campaigns, a search engine marketing consulting firm will save you a ton of time and money by doing it right the first time.</p> <p><strong>What does Optimization mean?</strong></p> <p>In addition to paid search, a search engine marketing consulting firm will explain the benefits of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is a strategy for improving the amount and the quality of visitors to a website from the center of a search engine results page (what is commonly referred to as the organic listings). What could be better than being on the first page of results in your category without having to “pay per click”? Unfortunately, there are many, many unscrupulous SEO companies out that who target small businesses, and if you choose the wrong company, you could waste a lot of your precious advertising dollars, or worse, be knocked off Google for an indefinite length of time. Your search engine marketing consulting firm will be able to recommend an SEO company who they have vetted that has delivered top quality work in the past, thereby protecting your website, your interests, and getting you better rankings as well.</p> <p><strong>Do you hate your website?</strong></p> <p>If you don’t have a website, or if your site needs an update or even a complete re-do, a search engine marketing consulting firm can be a life-saver. Relationships with numerous website designers will ensure that you can choose the one that is best suited for your project. And, in order to make sure that your beautiful website actually improves and increases your bottom line, your search engine marketing consulting firm will help with concept and copy.</p> <p><strong>What’s “Social Networking”?</strong></p> <p>In addition, your search engine marketing consulting firm can help you set-up and manage blogs, newsletters, email campaigns, videos and more.</p> <p>For a small business, it makes sense to consider meeting with a search engine marketing consulting firm. Free consultations are often available and since the firm has an array of Internet products and services to recommend, you’ll end up with solutions that are right for your business. Worried about costs? Many search engine marketing consulting firms don’t charge ongoing consulting fees but work with their clients on a project-by-project basis.</p> <p><strong>So, who needs a search engine marketing consulting firm? You do! </strong></p>Betsy KentTue, 01 Apr 2008 11:23:00 GMTf1397696-738c-4295-afcd-943feb885714:76084