A Top 100 Small Business Influencer Champion? Wow, Thanks!

cp_2013_smb_influencer_champion[4]Over the last 20 years, I’ve been blessed to not only run my own small business, but to work with hundreds of other small business owners, managers and startup founders. I’m fanatical about helping entrepreneurs to reach their career goals by starting, running and growing successful small businesses. Sometimes they grow into very large businesses – and that’s fun, too! But the crux of my career has been focused on helping to establish and promote companies in the early stages of their lifecycles, and I really enjoy those challenges.

That’s why I was so happy to be honored last week when I was named a Small Business Influencer Top 100 Champion and Expert in the 2013 Small Business Influencer Awards – produced by Small Business Trends, an award-winning online publication, serving over 6,000,000 small business owners, stakeholders and entrepreneurs annually, and SmallBizTechnology.com, a media company that produces online content and live events educating small and mid-sized companies on how to strategically use technology as a tool to grow their businesses. The awards honor those who are influential to small businesses in North America, through the products, services, knowledge, information or support they provide to the small business market.

I’m flattered to be in this list with some former clients (Brainshark, Constant Contact), companies I admire and use daily (Dropbox, American Express OPENForum, Evernote, Etsy, FedEx, Hootsuite, Hubspot, Plantronics, Vistaprint) and industry folks that I admire such as John Jantsch, Laurie McCabe, Dave Kerpen, Larry Kim and Aliza Sherman. Congratulations to all the other winners and honorable mentions, as well as the nominees. I fully support and cheerlead anyone who works in, and strives to help, small business. You can read about all the champions, here.

I simply wanted to say thank you to those who voted for me, the judges and most certainly my team at PerkettPR. They are not only a huge part of making our national clients successful through smart digital marketing and PR, but they are also an inspiration to me every day to keep my own small business innovative, fun and alive.

You can read additional details here, visit the award site or follow along on Twittter by searching #SMBInfluencer.

 

 

 

Is Chris Brogan Wrong?

Recently, Chris Brogan – a respected industry colleague and someone we’ve worked with on occasion, wrote “50 Power Twitter Tips,” a nice little post that’s been viewed about 10,000 times or so. It was also put into video form by one of his fans, as you can see here:

One of those 50 tips seems pretty straightforward: “Follow anyone who follows you (and unfollow spammers/jerks).” Now, I realize that this may not be everyone’s style on Twitter but with nearly 150,000 of his own followers (on just one of his accounts), I tend to think Chris’ advice is probably pretty solid if you’re looking to build influence. But lately I’ve noticed a lot of folks doing the opposite – or, more specifically, I’ve noticed a lot of long-time Twitter friends who have reached large follower numbers suddenly unfollowing massive amounts of their followers. It seems to be a trend – they reach 18,000, 20,000 followers and suddenly they trim their following list to 500, 200 or less. What’s with the new trend?

I asked a few folks and some feedback has been genuine “I’ve decided to only follow people I’ve met personally or who add value to my life,” and some has been esoteric, like “Just cleaning up.” Personally, I think it comes across as a bit narcissistic (of course, lately I’m feeling this way about a lot of social media) and disingenuous. It seems like these folks are building up to large numbers and then unfollowing to make themselves seem more interesting, popular or influential. It seems like they’re banking on the fact that most Twitter users don’t spend a lot of time managing their network and therefore won’t realize they’re no longer mutually connected.

Anyone else notice this trend? Any insights into why folks are doing this? Is social media becoming a burden and therefore people are changing their strategies? Personally, I’ve decided I like Chris’ advice. The reason I like it is that yes, following a large group of people could be cumbersome – if you didn’t know how to use tools to manage your lists and find what you want when you want it. But I use technology like Nutshell from Constant Contact (a client), TweetDeck, Tweepl and many more awesome tools to do just that. So I can always find what I need and track key words, trends, followers and more in a timely fashion. But I like to follow most of those who connect with me because in doing so, I sometimes find nuggets of information that I wouldn’t have been looking for – the more people I follow, the more interesting information comes my way. So for me, I’ll keep following my new followers … unless of course, they’re “spammers or jerks.”

What about you? What’s your Twitter following strategy?

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 08/04/08

Lego Time TrackerAre Social Media Jobs Here to Stay?
Ben Parr from Mashable.com touches upon the future of social media oriented jobs. Are they a flash in the pan or here to stay?

An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube
Be sure to set aside an hour to watch this one. Its well worth it and gives a very detailed and interesting look at the birth and success of the YouTube phenomena.

Marketing 103: Jeff Pulver’s e-mail Marketing Tips
Jeff Pulver shares a plethora of practical e-mail marketing tips based on 13 years of personal experience as a parallel/serial entrepreneur. Extend your e-mail marketing knowledge with additional tips directly from Constant Contact (PerkettPR client).

Twitter Brand Index
A tremendous number of brands are finding their way onto Twitter and there are a wide variety of opinions on how brand activity on Twitter should be approached. While the topic will continue to be up for debate, Jonathan Kash shares his extensive list of brands that are currently on Twitter. By the way, PerkettPR is one of those brands. How are we doing?

Track Your Time with LEGO Bricks
I’ll finish up this week’s picks with something a little light and somewhat humorous. Gina Trapani from LifeHacker.com shares one developer’s take on keeping track of the time spent of various project using Legos instead of more traditional time tracking methods!

Join us August 4 to Kick Off Boston Restaurant Week

Join us and our client Constant Contact as we gear up for Boston’s Restaurant Week. On August 4, Constant Contact joins in the festivities by hosting a free seminar to educate Boston-area restaurant owners on the power of email marketing. Various Boston restaurants will share their email marketing success stories, including FinaleRialto, Masa and more.

Also open to the public – and useful for any small business owner who desires to learn more about email marketing – the workshop will demonstrate how easy it is to design and execute email campaigns to drive customer loyalty and interaction, increase sales and build long lasting, positive reputations. Participants will learn best practices for  building a quality list, increasing email open rates, encouraging readers to take action, and analyzing click-behavior to improve results.

Boston’s Restaurant Week features 3-course lunches and dinners for $20.08 and $33.08 respectively, at more  than 200 restaurants in and around Boston.  Bring your appetites August 10 through August 15, 2008  & August 17 through August 22, 2008.

Visit the unofficial guide to restaurant week for more details.

The  Power of Email Marketing: Restaurant Edition
Boston  Public Library
700 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts
August  4, 2008, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Click here to register