Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Web Secret#195: Nobody Knows You're a Dog

Raise your hand if you've ever heard the saying "On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog."

This adage began life as the caption of a cartoon published by The New Yorker in 1993. It features two dogs: one sitting on a chair in front of a computer, speaking to a second dog sitting on the floor. As of 2000, the panel was the most reproduced cartoon from "The New Yorker."

Now raise your hand if you knew what the Internet was in 1993...

Initially, some argued that the cartoon marked a critical moment in Internet history, when it moved from being the exclusive domain of geeks and academics, to being a topic of general interest.

To others, the cartoon symbolizes an understanding of Internet privacy that stresses the ability of users to anonymously send and receive messages.

But what does this concept mean for you, a professional?

Simply put, on the Internet, nobody will know whether you are a two or a two hundred person operation, nor an expert with one or twenty years of experience - unless your online presentation is unprofessional.

If you have a professional looking website, use Twitter, Facebook and other social media appropriately, upload professional photos instead of candid snapshots, users will think that you are smart, current, honest and dependable.

If you are going to put yourself out there, whatever you do, it better be sharp, and classy.

Otherwise, users will assume you are a dog.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Web Secret #194: The 10 Commandments of Social Media Content Marketing

There's a reason I have been reading Jeff Bulla's blog since 2008.

He writes fabulous posts on social media marketing. The 10 Commandments of Social Media Content Marketing is a case in point.

Jeff quotes Eric Schmidt, (then CEO of Google,) who stated in 2010: “Every two days, we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003”.
  • 48 hours of videos uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • YouTube receives 3 billion views per day
  • 250 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day
  • Twitter – 200 million tweets per day
  • more than 300 billion emails a day
  • Text Messages in 2011 – more than 7 trillion
What about your marketing message? How does it get heard?

1. Get Focused
Who are you speaking to? Provide content that communicates with your customers and prospects in a language they understand.

2. Create Goals for your Content
What are you trying to achieve? Capture emails, provide leads, nurture prospects or improve your visibility to search engines?

3. Become a Publisher
You no longer have to wait for your local printer to print off 10,000 marketing brochures and then mail them out. Now you can write a blog post, email it to your subscribers, tweet the link to your Twitter followers, and promote it on Facebook.

4. Solve Problems
Write content that shows people how to fix a problem in a way that is relevant to your industry and market.

5. Include Calls to Action

Don’t forget to include calls to action with your content. It could be to "subscribe", "buy", "make an appointment" or "register".

6. Talk like a Human
Being “Authentic” is the new black.

7. Show What Works
Case studies that “show” how your product/services are used are much more effective than “telling“.

8. Have some Fun

Not always, but sometimes, it helps enormously to present yourself as having a sense of humor.

9. Publish Everywhere
Make your content ubiquitous – place it everywhere from your blog or website to the outposts on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc., where your customers hangout.

10. Create Multi-Media
If relevant to your clients, publish your content in several different formats and media types. This may includes videos, podcasts, photos, whitepapers, info-graphics and eBooks.

That's it. That's all you have to do.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Web Secret #193: Every 60 Seconds

Incredible things happen every 60 seconds on the Internet.

100+ new Linkedin accounts are created.

600+ new videos are posted on YouTube.

1,500 blog posts are uploaded.

12,000+ ads are posted on craigslist.

13,000 iPhone applications are downloaded.

98,000+ tweets are tweeted.

694,445 searches are googled.

695,000 status are updated on Facebook.

11 million conversations are conducted on instant messenger services.

168 million e-mails are sent.

Mind boggling, isn't it?

Thank you!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Web Secret #192: 100 Years of IBM

How would you celebrate your 100th birthday?

IBM made a 13 minute film that features one hundred people, each of whom presents the IBM achievement recorded in the year they were born.

The film chronology flows from the oldest person to the youngest
, offering a whirlwind history of the company and culminating with its prospects for the future.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Web Secret #191: 99% Invisible

"What is essential is invisible to the eye." St. Exupery wrote these lines in the Little Prince.

Almost 70 years later, I found a website that is dedicated to that proposition, the aptly named 99% Invisible.

99% describes itself as "a tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world." The show is the brainchild of broadcaster Roman Mars.

99%'s episodes, (available as podcasts), are quite simply, beautiful, as well as startlingly thought provoking.

Take episode 15: "Sounds of the Artificial World" which comes in at under 5 minutes:

"Sounds" explains that our electronic gear, from your smart phone to your laptop, is actually completely soundless. But sound is added so that we get some audio feedback when we turn on a device or press a button.

There is actually a company that does just that - make sounds for devices.