Persuasive Picks for the week of 05/24/10

Facebook_privacy_380pxEvery Facebook Privacy Feature Revealed and Explained
With upwards of 56 different options to play with, Facebook’s privacy settings can be dizzying to say the least. This MacLife post breaks down the options to a more digestible level – at least until Facebook changes things up again!

Planning a New Content Marketing Initiative? Consider These 4 Tips
Michele Linn from the Content Marketing Institute shares several content marketing tips in this entertaining post that compares the challenges of building a proper and maintainable content marketing program to her personal experience of planting a new garden.

How To Use Google Wave for Live Blogging
I’ve recently had a renewed interest in Google Wave now that its switch over to “invite free” public beta has made it more accessible to my social graph. This great post by Frederic Lardinois shows how Wave can be used as a convenient  live-blogging tool.

Facebook to Roll Out Q&A Feature
Mashable’s Jolie O’Dell gives the low-down on Facebook’s new Q&A feature that is sure to challenge the likes of Yahoo Answers and Linked-In Answers.

Is The White Paper Dead for B2B Marketing?
This post from Paul Dunay suggests that the white paper is dead and offers several content options that are much better alternatives.

Jumpin’ on the Sex and the City 2 ‘Brand’ Wagon

Unless you live under a rock, I am sure that by now you are very, or depending on who’s reading this, painfully, aware that Sex and the City 2 hits theaters nation-wide today.

It’s virtually impossible not to know that this movie is out in theaters as you’ve probably seen the overly-hyped movie trailer, one too many “SJP” interviews or read a barrage of articles on “How to get Carrie’s six-digit look for less.” Marketing and promotional campaigns tied to movies aren’t new they just continue to get bigger and broader with the impact of product placements and social media. With its fashion-forward audience it’s not at all surprising that the SATC2 marketing engine is in overdrive – but what is surprising is how many different types of consumer brands are capitalizing on what one LA Times reporter has described as “not just a movie…(but)… a lifestyle,…”

I can’t think of another franchise that has sparked as many give-aways, makeovers, and vacation sweepstakes. It feels like every time I turn around, another, and, in some instances, unexpected industry is jumping on the SATC2 ‘brand’ wagon.

Of course the obvious players, retail brands like Macys and high-end fashion publications like Vogue, would be missing the boat if they didn’t create buzz around such a fashion-forward experience. It’s also understandable to see the hospitality industry getting in on a piece of the action by offering high-end New York City SATC2 weekend getaway packages . It fits with the movie’s backdrop and isn’t that much of a stretch. But when brands like HP, hype their “2010 Spring Collection” with their SATC2 Sweepstakes and Lipton Ice Tea promotes a “Manhattan Makeover” I think it only further reinforces, what many already know, that women ages 30-45 have some serious buying power, or as my husband says we are “a marketers dream.” After seeing the brand campaigns launched over these last couple of weeks I wouldn’t be surprised if Black & Decker were to launch a SATC2 sweepstakes featuring its 12-Volt Variable Speed Cordless Drill, I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t at least check out the prize package. Are you paying attention Black & Decker??

What do you think about unexpected brands coming up with creative ways to get in front of this powerful demographic? Talk amongst yourselves, while I get back to completing all my SATC2 sweepstake forms!

Constant Contact Acquires NutshellMail; Social Media Marketing Made Easy for SMBs

By now, you’ve likely heard the big news on our client front today – Constant Contact has added social media marketing to their arsenal of tools for small businesses and organizations, through the acquisition of NutshellMail. Now, while I may be biased, I can honestly say that NutshellMail does exactly what the name implies – captures your social media networking in a nutshell so you can easily keep up and not miss a beat. I’ve been using the tool for a while now and am happy to be able to spread the word –  I find it invaluable for keeping up with all of the great conversations that I don’t want to miss.

In about five minutes time, you can be set up on NutshellMail and choose how often you receive an aggregated e-mail delivery of your most important messages across networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. Why is this important? Because one of the biggest frustrations or roadblocks we hear about from businesses who want to include social media into their marketing mix is lack of time. It’s time consuming to log into each network and keep up with not only your replies, but the topics that are of interest to you and your business. NutshellMail makes it easy – you see all your network activity in one snapshot. And I love that I can reply across networks directly from the email. Other options let you see who your new followers are – or who stopped following you – which can be helpful in analyzing what content is compelling and what isn’t.

I’d love to hear what you think. It’s free and easy – so if you try it, please share your thoughts. And stay tuned to Constant Contact – as you know, they also offer Email Marketing, Online Survey and Event Marketing – as they plan to add more social media marketing tools that will help small businesses and organizations easily execute the most effective and successful marketing programs possible.

For more information, check out the video below or details on Slideshare.

Social Media Marketing Made Simple for Small Businesses – VideoTechnorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

Persuasive Picks for the week of 05/17/10

selling_sm PR Responsibilities | Selling Social Media
Ashley Wirthlin and Frank Strong offer up Part one of a multi-part series on PR responsibilities. This first post dives into the challenges PR firms face when adding social media to their roster of client services.

10 Ways to Improve Your Work-Life Balance shares 10 tips for web-workers that come straight from many CEOs who have mastered the balance of work and play.

Lessons of Hope: How a Blog Can Change Lives
Veronica Jarski from MPDailyFix shares this inspiring story of a blogger who transformed her simple blog into a thriving and active global community that helps enrich the lives of others.

Facebook’s new functions (and how to leverage them)
This iMediaConnection guest post from Doug Akin provides an nice overview of many of the new functions that are available to help leverage Facebook for your company and brand.

Google TV and the Re-Structuring of the Web
Kristen Nicole gives an overview of Google’s upcoming GoogleTV offering and what it means for both consumers and companies alike in this guest post on the EverythingPR blog.

Social Media is a Fad … Like Websites Don’t Matter

Today I heard at least three different people comment that social media is a fad. Although they were positioning it in jest, there was also a bit of questioning in their tone. So let me ask you this:

– Do you use email?
– How often do you IM?
– Do you have a website? What about a blog?
– Are online ads still around?
– Do you Google?
– Have you tried Bing?

Social media isn’t any more of a fad than these very technologies that you and I and millions of others use every day. “It’s just a fad” – unless you’re talking about fashion and style – tends to come from resistant-to-change-and-scared-of-being-left-behind people. I remember when instant messaging was first used in the office of my PR agency back in the early 90s. A lot of people complained about it and said they’d never use it, what was the point when you could just pick up the phone, etc. Personally, I think they were just terrified of IM’ing messages to the wrong person (which was always an enlightening event usually resulting in insults), but eventually they came around to understanding that IM offered a different kind of value than the phone. And one that they wanted.

Similarly, we used to represent a provider of ad blocking software. This was hot stuff in the mid- to late 90s, as many people hate online ads and even more predicted the demise of the online ad market altogether. Yeah, I think we know how that worked out (if I had a dime for every start up business plan I’ve read where advertising is the revenue model….).

Social media isn’t going anywhere. It’s not a fad. Sure the hype will die down – but that’s a good thing. Once the novelty wears off and growth steadies, the market will shake out, the less useful technologies will fade away, the user demographics will be easier to plan around, and we’ll all have a clearer picture of what value it all brings to business.

What do you think?