Happy Earth Day 2013! This year, we pulled together a video showcasing our top tips for helping the environment. Have any to share? Please comment below!
Every now and then, I come across a product or service that makes me ask, “Why didn’t I think of that?” MavenSay—a new social networking app– is no exception.
With this app you’re able to share your lifestyle with a trusted community of enthusiasts and local taste makers. What pair of running sneakers do you love? Where do you get the best coffee heath bar ice cream? Where should I get my eyebrows waxed? What’s a new song I should download?
At its heart MavenSay is about knowing what’s good by sharing the latest trends — fashion, food, music, shopping — through reliable and trusted recommendations. With a soft launch in October, the six month old app is making huge strides in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco. More than a location based guide, MavenSay wants to be the community for lifestyle curation.
So how does it all work? Well, one of the best things about MavenSay is how easy it is to use. Simply, find you friends through Facebook and Twitter to see their recommendations. You can also visit the weekly “Discover” section to find a curated collection recommended by MavenSay. or use the nearby map feature to view favored local finds.
And with a spokesbear named Fred the Honey Maven ¬and creative video ads like this one¬ http://vimeo.com/58834365 — it’s hard not to appreciate this bright company’s creativity to attract Mavens.
It will be interesting to see if MavenSay will stick. Are you a Maven? What are some of your favorite features? What could MavenSay do to enhance their app? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Our latest “Influencers Who Inspire” interview is with Marcus Sheridan, President of The Sales Lion – one of the premier inbound and content marketing companies in the world, training businesses large and small how to leverage content to build their digital brand and increase sales drastically. He is also Partner of River Pools and Spas, which is currently the most trafficked swimming pool company on the web and one of the largest fiberglass pool installers in the country. Marcus gives insight on inbound marketing and how it transformed his pool company into a leader in the industry.
If you were not in the field you are in, what career path do you think you would have chosen?
No question, I’d be coaching college football somewhere. I’ve always loved teaching, coaching, and competition, and if I thought football coaching would have allowed me enough time at home with the family, I likely would have gone that route.
But instead, I turned into a “pool guy” for about 10 years – and over the last two, have transformed again into a “marketing guy.”
The nice thing is, though, that I’m teaching and coaching businesses with this profession, and there’s some competition as well.
Can you explain inbound marketing to our audience?
I think this answer is often too wordy and it confuses people. My simple answer would be this:
The process of great digital teaching and communication to attract audiences (potential customers) to YOU versus throwing yourself at them.
How did you start your Pool and Spa business and how did inbound marketing help grow your company?
We started in 2001 out of the back of a pickup truck. We grew steadily until 2008, and then, almost what seemed like overnight, the banks crashed, real-estate values plummeted, and no one wanted to buy pools. Nor could many even afford them.
We had no money for traditional advertising so we had to choose a different route to take, which is when we learned about the power of inbound marketing and embraced the “teacher’s mentality” by answering every question we’d ever received from a customer on our company website and blog. Within about 6 months, the site’s traffic exploded, as did leads and ultimately, sales.
Inbound marketing literally saved our business and today we’re the most trafficked swimming pool website in the world.
Can you tell us a bit about your experience as a missionary in Chile? How did that experience help shape you as an individual?
Easily, that was the best experience of my life. It taught me how to teach groups of people in a way so that they could understand unfamiliar principles. Chile was also the place I learned to speak and present to large audiences. Before that time, I was deathly afraid of public speaking. But being forced to do it helped me realize it’s actually one of the great talents God has given me, and I work hard to use it for good.
What do you envision as being the biggest development in marketing in 2013?
This may not sound terribly romantic, but I think the concept of proper content marketing will go mainstream for many businesses in this coming year. Instead of continuing to ignore it, they are now going to be dealing with the inevitable, just as they swallowed the “I have to have a website pill” about 5 years ago.
What is next for you in 2013?
Personally, my biggest quest right now is to come up with many amazing stories of successful inbound and content marketing from businesses in all walks of life. Currently, I’m targeting specific industries and can’t wait to show the world how the principles of great digital teaching and communication are applicable to any industry, regardless of what they do, sell, or think they are.
I’ll also be speaking all over the place because, well, that’s what I’m supposed to do.
This week’s “Influencer Who Inspires” is Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer. We admire Jason for his honest approach to social media and we are avid readers of his very popular site, Social Media Explorer. Jason, who resides in Louisville, KY, is an author, keynote speaker and CEO of Social Media Explorer. He continues to be a name that surfaces at or near the top of conversations and lists of thought leaders and top thinkers in the emerging world of social media marketing.
How would you describe what you do for a living?
I do one primary thing in about three different ways. SME Digital, my agency, helps companies develop digital and social marketing strategies, execute them and measure/optimize results to drive business (unit sales, revenue or costs). My information products add the other two components: Explore Events helps anyone who wants to attend a two-day, intensive digital marketing strategy event and The Conversation Report analyzes online conversations and reports insights around specific industries (or clients for custom reports) to help businesses make smarter decisions about their social marketing. In a nutshell, – Agency – Events – Research – is what I do.
You recently tweeted to PR folks about how they approach you and that you are “one of them” – what prompted that and how do you handle being on both sides of the PR equation?
It was likely prompted by me being critical of public relations professionals, then having them attack me for it. Those that are easily put on the defensive about the PR craft tend to point fingers at me and infer that I don’t know PR, that I’m just a “social media consultant.” But I spent 20 years as a PR and journalism professional before social media marketing ever happened. So I was probably saying, “I am one. Thus, I’m qualified to point the finger a bit.” The way I handle it is by just trying to coach and teach and perhaps lead by example. ‘Lots of public relations professionals still assume that “spray and pray” and spamming people works best. I only hope to educate them that there might be a better way to approach outreach. Quality outreach is far better than quantity, and you can sleep at night knowing you’re not a spammer.
What’s next in PR now that social media is a given?
I think PR is the new journalism. With all the noise out there in the media world and declining numbers in usage and revenues in traditional mediums, public relations professionals (and current journalists who will become them) have the opportunity to become the media. Those that do so in compelling ways will have better public relations programs because they’ll become a direct conduit to their publics.
What’s the best social media campaign you’ve seen (besides your own) in 2012?
H&R Block’s Stache Act is by far the most compelling. To have a stoic, conservative brand like H&R Block get behind a silly tax incentive for mustached Americans and stage a Million Mustache March on Washington, etc., just gave the brand personality and showed that they could reach beyond the tried and true “Let us do your taxes” messaging, in order to reach a new audience.
That, and Charmin‘s Twitter account. Holy cripes, they’re funny.
How did you initially get your “feet wet” in social media?
I spent 8-10 years blogging and exploring social networks and forums for personal entertainment. My old humor blog actually gained a bit of traction when I moved it to MySpace in about 2003. I learned how to build an audience, promote my content and connect influencers to what I was doing. Then in 2006, I started from scratch with an arsenal of experience in the business segment rather than the one focused on telling dirty jokes and made up tales of drunken debauchery. Heh.
Can you tell us a bit about your book “No Bullshit Social Media” and why someone would want to purchase it?
Aside from the crafty title, the book’s real appeal is that it’s a blueprint for social media strategy. We walk you through the seven reasons (goals) your business might implement social media tactics and coach you through the process of developing a sound, strategic approach to using social that will drive measurable results.
As the Founder and CEO of Social Media Explorer, your approach with SME Digital involves Full Frontal ROI methodolgy, can you explain how this is unique to the industry?
The Full Frontal ROI methodology, which was developed by my partner, Nichole Kelly, essentially places social media marketing squarely in the crosshairs of business strategy. Everything we do is focused on real business metrics — unit sales, revenues and costs — rather than soft metrics. Sure, we can help you drive more fans and followers, but we know we’re ultimately judged on your bottom line and how social media and digital marketing contribute to it. So that’s what we focus on. It’s unique to the industry because most other social media agencies or digital marketing shops focus on the fluff metrics and Kumbaya of social media. We know it’s about business or it’s a hobby. And how many business owners out there consider what they spend time and money on to be a hobby?
What is next for you for the remainder of the year heading into 2013?
Two more Explore events (Orange County, Calif., this week; Portland (Ore.) in November), another The Conversation Report, this one on the restaurant industry, and continuing to help our clients kick ass. And I fully expect 2013 will be much of the same. That’s what we do.
New PR Tips Collection to be Featured Weekly; Ultimately Producing a PR “Bible”
Remember collecting baseball cards as a child – trading and sharing and trying to obtain them all? We wanted to create some similar fun – while also sharing some best PR practices – by showcasing our own “trading card collection” of PR Tips, by way of trading cards that you can trade, share or just keep handy. You can even print each trading card off and stick in the spokes of your bicycle if you like. ;) We’ll be featuring two trading cards each week with our top PR and marketing tips.
In addition to sharing and trading them, we’d love for you to submit your own PR tips – we’ll design the best tips into a trading card to be featured in the collection. A fan-contributed PR Tip trading card will be featured each Friday on our Pinterest and Facebook pages and included in an upcoming “PR Bible” as well. This “PR Bible” will include the first 50 PR tips submitted, along with your name as the contributor.
To add to the fun, if you collect and share 10 tips or more, you can win a PerkettPR coffee mug. So be sure to like, follow, plus, view or read us and let us know that you’ve been sharing!
Are you ready for some fun? Head on over to our Pinterest and Facebook pages and check them out! To contribute a PR tip, please email your idea to firstname.lastname@example.org.