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Goldenfire Productions Blog

Tracking Social Media

Did you know there are 3 aspects to tracking social media as it pertains to your business? 3 doesn’t sound like a lot, but there are 2 types of metrics we need to track for each which gives us 6 metrics to track. Does that mean a social media report is 6 key facts? well, it’s not that easy.

The 3 measurable social media engagement aspects.

  • Activity – The metrics we are interested are in the number and frequency of actions one’s organization is taking on social media including but not limited to; blogging, tweeting, posting, promoting, etc. The focus is on the outbound share of information from the company.
  • Interaction – Here is where we listen to the audience. the metics here report on how the audience is engaged with your social media. Metrics include; followers, comments, sharing, user created content, sharing, etc.
  • Success metrics – measuring the buzz or amount of content out there doesn’t do much until you start to measure against the activities taken due to your social media efforts. Revenue creation, lead development, other finical metrics.

Now we have our three categories of metrics we are interested in. Our next step to get to six is to break these aspects into quantitative and qualitative measurements.

Activity – The things your social media campaign initiates / posts

  • Quantitative: Measurements of the number of posts, Update frequency, types of posts, etc.
  • Qualitative: Measure and review comments left on posts

Interactivity – Responses from the audience and audience created content

  • Quantitative: Reports here include: # of followers, # comments, # views, amount and frequency of user created content.
  • Qualitative: Here is where we track the “Buzz”, both positive and negative by reporting on customer sentiment, Content of posts and comments.

Success metrics – Here’s where we look for the rewards to our social media efforts.

  • Quantitative: Measure the number of leads, the number of sales, other metrics such as the reduction of support calls, etc.
  • Qualitative: Success stories, learnings, other activities that build a repeat customer.

Social media reporting is a necessary step in protecting one’s brand while maintaining a strong customer base that is happy about your products and services. If your social media plan is one way, just posting to the social media networks, you will quickly find that you may not be helping yourself as the community will start looking for you to listen. If you are not listening and responding, the community can switch from loyal customers to vocal negative reviewers who get their message in front of your potential customers before you had a chance to sway the sale.

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Finding the right Web Conferencing Software for you and your organization.

When we are asked to coordinate with a live event, screen casting, or any live web remote web conference; we are asked, “Which web conferencing solution is the best?”
It’s understandable that people want the best solution possible, especially when presenting to a large audience, but the answer isn’t as simple as listing a vendor name and getting that software in-house.

Before we dive into a review of any particular we need to discuss what is a web conferencing client and what features does it need for the job at hand. Then we can evaluate the client’s current request and future needs to start determining which software best fits the organizations needs.

Let’s take a quick look and discuss features that all web conferencing software packages should have.

  • Presentation Sharing: This would be the key element of any web conferencing software. You need to share information to others who are not in the same room with you.  Typically your presenter will normally speak to Microsoft PowerPoint presentations or Apple Keynote presentations. Your presentation software should be able to present these files without the presenter needing to run the parent application on their computer.
  • Application / Desktop Sharing: Another key feature is the ability to show the presenters desktop or current application. Screen sharing is useful for demonstrating software, collaborating on presentations, and making changes to documents as the group meets.
  • Text Chat: This feature is not used enough by presenters but is key feature allowing  attendees to type questions, problems or anything as they need  during the presentation, to be viewed by the presenter or a moderator. Moderators can handle any chat requests behind the scenes allowing the presentor to continue with the presentation to the larger group.
  • Record and play back: Digitally recording presentations has become a more key feature now days as presentations are saved for later sharing & training sessions are recorded for later review.
  • White board (shared): This feature allows users to make notes or draw diagrams on a whiteboard like window.  Sometimes an idea needs to be drawn where a verbal or text description is not enough to convey a point. The white board is key to collaboration.
  • Live Video / VOIP: We group these together but the ability to hook a live camera (web cam or other) to the presentation to share video, and the ability to stream audio via voice over IP, not only cuts down on the use of a phone system, but keeps your voice and group audio recorded with your presentation.

The list above reviews the basics of any web conferencing software, and you will find almost all vendors have these features.  Lets look at some advance features or other “nice to have” features that will help separate the vendors apart.

  • Polling: Polling provides instant feedback and polling of your audience. We have used it in the past to gauge a level of expertise in the audience at the beginning of a presentation to tailor our presentation to the audience. We have also used it in the end of a presentation to find out which attendees we should touch back with. Polling is not the same as surveying, but that is a different topic.
  • Remote desktop or application sharing: If you have 2 presenters, or need to be able to see someone else’s desktop, you will need remote application sharing to allow presentation control to switch. Application sharing is key in collaboration for internal meetings when working on document revisions or showing what the other participant is speaking to.
  • File deliverability: Presenters can upload files for participants to download during the presentation. Helpful for passing out materials to those that attend without gathering email addresses and sending afterwards.
  • Customization features: Looking to brand your web conferencing portal or create your own help system for your presentations? Authoring tools or customization options will need to be enabled for your account.
  • Customer support: As we are using a vendor’s software for web conferencing, we need live support for when participants can’t connect, or have trouble with the software.
  • Elearning: These are modules built into the software that allow for structured distance learning with proper tests taking modules and student monitoring.

List of vendors to research for your web conferencing software solutions.

Adobe Systems: www.adobe.com
AT&T: www.att.com
Alcatel-Lucent: www.alcatel-lucent.com
Cisco: www.ciscowebex.com
Citrix Systems: www.citrix.com
Dialcom Networks: www.dialcom.com
Dimdim Inc.: www.dimdim.com
Elluminate Inc.: www.elluminate.com
IBM: www.ibm.com
iLinc Communications: www.ilinc.com
InterCall: www.intercall.com
Microsoft: www.microsoft.com
Saba Software: www.saba.com
WebEx Communications Inc: www.webex.com
WiredRed Software: www.wiredred.com/web-conferencing
Yugma Inc.: www.yugma.com
Zoho: www.meeting.zoho.com
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Enter in the circular visualization chart

Working with one of our larger clients, we have been asked to start thinking about the media mix for next their 2011 campaign. While this exercise would normally happen in September, or in some companies, January of next year, Goldenfire Productions was asked to start lining up the assets the campaign would need for a new media campaign launch for 2011.

Part of the project was to develop a plan that can be presented to senior management to acquire the needed funds.  We struggled for a bit to show how each tactic of the campaign would drive traffic and leads to the site as data trees and wireframes were to complex for a PowerPoint slide.

We settled on a circular visualization, showing how each campaign tactic drives traffic directly to the web site or other tactics which ultimately drives website traffic.

View the larger visualization

The chart can get more and more complex. This visualization technique is used to map cancer and the human genome, but can easily be used to map out connections in a campaign or even more. We are looking to use this visualization technique to map visitor behavior on websites, search traffic to campaign goals, even leads to sales.

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4 Reasons Paid SEM should be a part of your marketing campaign

Search engine marketing isn’t new but is one of the most cost effective way to find new visitors and customers to your site.  Below are 4 reasons why you should look at running a paid search campaign for your web site.

The Web is User Driven

Internet users are proactively seeking products and services on the web at a time when they are closer to a purchase. Will your company appear in their search results when they search on anything other than your business name? Search engine marketing is an easy and effective way to reach your customers at the time they are searching your businesses products or services before they make a purchase decision with your competitor.

Paid Search is Measurable

It would be hard to find a more measurable marketing effort out there today. Paid search marketing allows you to directly correlate your cost per click to sales. As every showing of your ad and click provides valuable answers to your performance questions you will gain immense insight into your customers and their buying cycle. Find out What keywords lead users to your Website? What ads interest potential customers? How many visitors from those clicks become sales leads?

Paid Search is Cost Effective

Paid search works differently from most advertising models where you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Your business will still show in results and gain branding, but you only pay when a search visitors clicks on your advertisements. There is no minimum, and you can control your monthly costs.

Messaging

Due to the measurable results of search engine marketing, keywords and ad messages can constantly be tested and improved. The most successful words and messages can be included in your other marketing tools and programs such as marketing materials, your Website and direct marketing. Not sure which message will work better for a new ad campaign, paid search give almost instant A:B Message testing.

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Linking Guidelines

 

Most recently I was reviewing a design concept along with a site wire frame and came up against one of the top mistakes made by companies and agencies trying to be different  on the web. Changing the link cue information. 

Normally when you think of links on a web site, they consist of some text, in a different color, with an underline under the linked text. this has been the standard design for hyperlinks on thee internet forever. 

It is designers and clever programers who take this standard practice and change it to fit their designs, which then make their site less accessible for the viewing world. 

In the site design concepts I was recently reviewing, the hyper links on this sites homepage were a separate color from the base text color, but not underlined. The weight was similar as well as the font size.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Change what Google says about you

Ever Google yourself? How about someone else? Well now you can control what Google might say about you. As for the rest of the web, you will have to hope for good karma. 

Starting today if you type “me” into the google search bar, you will find a link to create your own profile on Google. 

safari0011

Once you get into the process you will fill in some semi personal information about your self. Places you lived, worked, attended school, along with other personal traits which people looking for you might know are asked. You then are allowed to ad in some links to your picassa album, linkedin profile, personal homepage, blog, whatever. 

Here is what my google profile looks like to users: http://www.google.com/profiles/jaystein

    

Google Profile for Jaystein

Google Profile for Jaystein

One is left to ask, “does Google need this information, and what about one’s privacy and security?” 

As with anything on the web, post at your own risk, but having another way to get your website, business, or blog indexed by Google may not be a bad idea.

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Regulations may be coming for paid social media advertising from the FTC

gavel-1Last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration wagged its finger at more than a dozen pharmaceutical companies over their use of paid search advertising. In one day, the agency sent an unheard-of 14 warning letters to pharmaceutical companies regarding their use of search ads on behalf of more than 40 drugs. The list of brands mentioned included such top sellers as Lexapro (an antidepressant) and Plavix (a blood thinner). GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Aventis, Merck, and Eli Lilly were among those to receive letters.  While these warning letters were more an attempt for the FDA to reign control of marketers, the FDA stopped short of providing any guidance.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is planning to regulate online social marketing. Yes, that includes blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social networking.

In short the FTC proposes that bloggers and sit owners may be held liable for any false claims made about products or services.  While the FTC may focus on 3rd party endorsements, it will benefit all marketers to make sure any claims fit the typical results your users and customers will find. 

The common trend we will see is that the online marketing space will be enforced by the same standards for print media.

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Webby nominees announced

It’s that time of year, and the long list of nominees for a 2009 Webby Award has been released. NYTimes.com (13) and NBC.com (12) come out with the most nominations.

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Myspace wants you back

It has not been a secret that Facebook has taken the social media spot light and is currently sharing it with Twitter.  Myspace with a host of other early social media sites are searching to re-gain their former users to keep the investment money coming in.  With slumping ad revenues and large bills to run these companies, on can only wonder how some of these social media platforms can make it out of this recession. 

Myspace has launched a Welcome Back campaign recently to get users to increase usage. It seems emails are being sent to users who have recently logged in to Myspace, after not logging in for a period of time myspace has deemed too long. 

The email (Screenshot below) is a simple 3 action email promoting some of the new features to the service. 

1. Promote the streaming music services

2. Find and add friends via your webmail address books

3. Friend finder (similar to linkedin or facebooks people you may know)

myspace welcome back email

myspace welcome back email

Will this increase usage or will people leave myspace for the same reasons they did before?

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Google’s Rankings Algorithm Over Time

 

Rand Fishkin at SEOmoz.org has come up with the following chart to show how the Google’s ranking system has changed over the years. 

 

google-rankings-over-time

Read the full post at: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/how-googles-rankings-algorithm-has-changed-over-time-

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