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Friday, December 24, 2010

Wishing You The Best For the Holidays!

From my family to yours, I wish you

Simply Marvelous Holidays 


A Prosperous, Healthy, Happy and Grounded 2011!

Thank you so much for subscribing, reading, commenting and offering me your encouragement.



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Google for Visibility: TalkFloor Social Media Marketing Series

Google for Visibility: TalkFloor Social Media Marketing Series
Dave Foster from and I connected recently to continue our conversation about social media marketing.  This time we discussed Google for Visibility.

He described the three-part interview on Google for visibility as follows:

Christine Whittemore, Simple Marketing Now, on the Opportunities Available on Google

Christine Whittemore, Simple Marketing Now, in an ongoing series on social networking looks at the opportunities available on Google looking to enhance a company’s visibility, looking at various tools on Google including Google Alerts, Google Profiles and Google Places along with the benefits of website optimization.

As usual, we had a blast and even managed to touch on geolocation / location based marketing tools!

You can access the three interview segments by clicking on this link to Christine Whittemore on the Opportunities Available on Google. Each segment is approximately 12 minutes long.

My show notes for Google for Visibility.

My theory is – if you can’t be found online, you don’t exist. Extreme, but increasingly true when 97% of local consumers use online media to research businesses in their community** BIA/Kelsey research. People start at a search engine to start any kind of research. Majority of the time, that search engine is Google.

Being found can be an issue for people working at the same organization for a long time, for businesses used to doing business in person. That means it’s important for all of us to be paying attention to our digital visibility – for ourselves individually and for our companies.

Step 1: Google yourself

Check out your “google juice”. What do you see? Do you show up? Is it positive? Negative? Irrelevant?  You want to pay attention to the results on the first 3 pages; ideally, the majority of those 30 entries are about you and positive.

This is your opportunity to start managing your social reputation.

Step 2: Set up Google alerts

Everyone should set up Google alerts. Set them up for your name in quotes, for your company name, for your company URL, for products terms, even competitors.

I still meet people who don’t take advantage of Google alerts. They are free. You can set them up so you receive email notifications; you can even have them flow into Google reader where you can further organize them into relevant folders.

Google alerts allow you to monitor any new entries about you. For example, if someone writes about you in a blog or reviews your company. You’ll know about it and can say thanks.

Note: you’ll need to set up a gmail account for yourself.

Google alerts search tips: [not included in the interview recording]

+ You can create an alert with up to 32 words
+ Add a “+” sign in front of your alert term to force Google to search for exactly the word you want [blocks stemming]
+ Add a “~” sign in front of your alert term to generate synonyms for your search terms
+ Use quotes for exact searches
+ Exclude words using the minus sign in front of your alert term.
+ Add OR uppercase to search for any words in a list
+ Use AND uppercase to search for all terms
+ Wildcard: * [e.g., favorite * store]

Experiment with these in a search window and fine tune your query based on how relevant your results are. Check out this marvelous Google Guide for Selecting Search Terms which includes lots more details!

Step 3: Become more visible

If, when you Google yourself, you don’t find much that’s relevant to you, you need to take some steps to become more visible. More specifically:

+ Create and complete your LinkedIn profile and create one for your company [See How Do I Make the Most of LinkedIn]
+ Create a Twitter profile [See How Do I Do Twitter]
+ Create a Google profile
+ Claim your business listing on Google Places – particularly valuable for a retailer

Google Profiles: Allows you to gather all of your digital presences in one place: LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, websites, SlideShare presentations, Flickr photos… You can add specific photos to your profile. You have unlimited space for telling your story. It complements your LinkedIn profile. A great example is Glenn Raines []. Mine is

Google Places: A Places page is the listing that shows up when you search for a business geographically and you notice several options to choose from from a map. Google allows you to claim such a listing for your business. Every business should do so, especially ones with physical locations. You can add coupons and special offers, visitors can rate and review you [which means you should be encouraging your customers to add reviews so you build up a positive track record consistently online rather than have to panic and react when you get your first negative review.]

Good reason to pay attention to Places is that Google has just released Google Hotpot, a location-based recommendation engine for places. It has a social element and integrates with mobile smartphones.

Note: you had better be paying attention to mobile for all of these digital tools.

BTW, also be aware that Yahoo offers local listings. A basic free listing lets you include phone/address/website, store hours, products.

Step 4: Optimizing your website to maximize your visibility

With this topic, we are getting into SEO or search engine optimization. Since we’re talking Google, it’s important to be aware of what Google pays attention to for digital visibility particularly as it relates to your business website.

I wrote a post titled SEO Primer: Nurturing Your Online Digital Visibility in which I list a few tips:

1. Review each page of your website paying attention to the META data – e.g, Page title, description, keywords

2. Review the content on each of your website pages making sure it is unique

3. Pay attention to your keywords

4. Static vs. dynamic content or websites vs. blogs.

Google has issued a Search Engine Optimization Starter guide that I recommend you read.

That SEO Primer post started with another article I wrote titled 10 tips for being found online:
  • Beware of Flash
  • Focus on Content
  • Consistent Keywords
  • Post frequently, consistently, relevantly on a blog
  • Create unique content
  • Listen. Listen more
  • Banish the Hard Sell!
  • What do your physical & digital retail experiences communicate? Are they fresh?
  • Promote your digital presence offline & your physical presence online
  • Invite visitors to opt-in for memorable email communications

Summary and Assignment:

  • Set up Google alerts.
  • Complete your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles. Participate in those networks.
  • Create a Google profile.
  • Claim your Google places listing
  • Read the Google SEO Starter Guide.

Next: Google the Search Engine

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How Do I : Twitter Chat?

How Do I?

How Do I Do a Twitter Chat?

Have you heard yet about Twitter Chats? They take place on Twitter, on a recurring basis - e.g., often weekly although there are a few exceptions, on the same day and time of the week and address a set subject area.  Although the theme will vary from chat to chat, if you are participating in a travel-related chat [e.g., #TNI - travelers night in], participants will have some connection to travel; if it's a horse chat [#horsechat], it will have something equine to it.

Each Twitter Chat is identified by a hashtag [e.g., #] and the name of the chat.  When you participate in a chat, you create a search [via or with a new search column in Tweetdeck] on the specific hashtag that identifies the Twitter Chat you want to participate in. As a result, you filter for Tweets related to that event. When the chat is over, you close the search.

Other tools are available, too, for keeping track of Twitter Chats. You'll find some listed in the Additional Twitter Chat Resources listed below. I've tried a few and keep coming back to my Tweetdeck search column. It's simpler...

This week, I participated in a MarketingProfs sponsored chat about location-based marketing identified as #Profschat. Many more take place every week. As of 12/16/10, this Twitter Chat spreadsheet lists 263 chats on a multitude of subjects. I guarantee you will find one relevant to you; once you do, simply 'show up' on Twitter on the specified date and time and prepared to track the relevant hashtag.

What I love most about Twitter Chats is that you automatically share a common interest with those participating - otherwise you wouldn't be taking part in the chat. As a result, you encounter people whom you will want to follow on Twitter. And vice versa. You also discover unexpected benefits as Beth Kantor describes in this post Twitter Chat as Pre-Survey for a Training.

Twitter Chats can be wild!  Mack Collier's Sunday night #blogchat sets new records every chat for number of participants and tweets issued. Here is Mack's description of #blogchat with details.  Others may be more structured with questions asked at regular intervals.

In terms of participation, you may decide to simply watch and learn the first time. Or, you may just dive in and ask questions. Each chat has its own personality. This post from Lisa Barone titled How to Participate in a Twitter Chat? offers good advice.

Sharon Mostyn from Motherhood, Marketing, and Medical Mayhem moderates #SMChat on Wednesdays from 1-2pm EST. She has also hosted #TNI [mentioned above - see Twitter Chats - Fantastic for Insights and Visibility]. Sharon knows the ins and outs of Twitter Chats.  I caught up with her in May 2010 at the MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2010 in Boston and asked her about Twitter Chat best practices.

Here is what she detailed for me:
  • Create a 'framing' post where you explain the purpose of the Twitter Chat and list the questions to be discussed. Sharon suggests 4 to 5 questions per topic.
  • During the Twitter Chat, be prepared to ask one question approximately every 10 minutes. Mix open questions with agree/disagree questions.
  • Start with introductions: ask everyone participating to introduce him/herself and state why each is taking part in the Twitter Chat.
  • At the end of the chat, wrap up, say thanks. Be sure to thank all those who retweet during the Twitter Chat.
  • Last step: post a recap with transcript of all the Tweets [using Wthashtag].

Thank you, Sharon!

I recommend that you try a Twitter Chat out. I think you'll be surprised at how vibrant the experience is and how much you learn.

Please, let me know how it goes and what you would add to this post to make it more helpful.

Additional Resources on Twitter Chats:

10 Steps to Creating a Successful Twitter Chat from Mack Collier
Twitter Marketing Tips: Twitter Chats and 8  Marketing & PR Chats To Follow from Lee Odden
4 Steps to Launching a Successful Twitter Chat from Steve Woodruff
13 Twitter chats every PR pro should follow from Petya Georgieva
Twitter tweet chats on the examining table: #HCSM [Healthcare Communications Social Media]
3 Reasons To Join a Tweet-chat from Patrick Barbanes - added 12/19/10

Wordle "How Do I" by C.B. Whittemore

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Practical Simple Marketing In The News - 12/14/10

Practical Simple Marketing In the News
Here are links and resources shared on Twitter and tagged #practicalmktr grouped together in Practical Simple Marketing In The News for December 14, 2010.

I'm particularly pleased with these resources: lots of interesting brand examples, how to resources and good references.

If you are interesting in the retail experience, I've been doing something similar on Flooring The Consumer with Retail Experience links #retailexp and the response has been encouraging.

Here goes...

Simple & Practical Marketing Data & Resources

Practical Marketing Advice

General Observations:

Simple Marketing Inspiration

Brands Being Practical With Social Media

Here's a link to previous editions of Practical Simple Marketing In the News.
Thank you for reading!


Image credit: “#PracticalMktr” Wordle by CB Whittemore

Friday, December 10, 2010

13 Inspiring Content Marketing Examples

13 Inspiring Content Marketing Examples
This last post in the recent Content Marketing Institute series about making the case for content marketing in your organization captures 13 Inspiring Content Marketing Examples.  The post is titled Content Marketing in Action: 13 Examples To Get Your Inspired.

The previous posts I've shared with you in this series include:

The Value of Content Marketing: How Do You Explain It?
Getting Started in Content Marketing
Measuring & Presenting Effectiveness of Content Marketing
Finding Internal Content Marketing Allies

As Michele Linn writes: “Sometimes the best way to understand the power of content marketing is to see it in action. To help someone see the value of this discipline, share an example of a company who is using content marketing effectively. What are they doing, and how do they know it is working?

Wait 'til you read through the 13 marvelous examples that the following content marketers have identified! You will definitely enjoy the range of organizations and approaches to content marketing.

These are my fellow content marketers:

Heidi Cohen (@heidicohen)
Russ Henneberry (@russhenneberry)
Doug Kessler (@dougkessler)
Ahava Leibtag (@ahaval)
Katie McCaskey (@KatieMcCaskey)
Tom Pisello (@tpisello)
Lisa Petrilli (@LisaPetrilli)
Nate Riggs (@nateriggs)
Stephanie Tilton (@stephanietilton)
CB Whittemore (@cbwhittemore)
Debbie Williams (@sproutcontent)

Here is my contribution:
My favorite example of effective content marketing comes from a UK company that sells worms… and other organic items called Wiggly Wigglers. Have you heard of them? I met Heather Gorringe, company founder in 2008 and wrote about her in BlogHer Business 2008: Hats Off To Wiggly Wigglers.
I particularly admire that Heather uses a variety of content forms to create community around her products and the lifestyle that she and everyone at Wiggly Wigglers enables. In addition to the weekly Wiggly Podcast which recreates a fully sensory experience reminiscent of old-time radio broadcasts, the Wiggly Blog, a robust content-rich website, and a vibrant Facebook group, you can now watch The Wiggly Cinema.
Success? Wiggly Wigglers is listed as one of the top five best international brand campaigns with Zappos.   Better yet, Wiggly Wigglers has successfully reinvented organic farming.
Which examples do you like most? What others have you come across that use content marketing in a way that effectively connects with potential customers and engages them?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Making Your LinkedIn Profile Pop: CBSAC/NY Social Media Event

On December 6, 2010, Ruben Quinones, director of new media at Path Interactive shared insights on Making your LinkedIn Profile Pop during the Columbia Business School Alumni Club of New York social media event which took place at the Samsung Experience at Columbus Circle.

The event consisted of networking, formal presentation and hands-on, one-on-one consulting for those interested in getting more nitty gritty with LinkedIn.

Here's the event description:


Learn how to build your profile and create connections to make the most out of LinkedIn, the world's #1 business networking site.

Discover how to propel yourself to the next level by using LinkedIn, the most searched professional website. Over 15 million business professionals log on every day to look for jobs, search for potential clients, get recommendations, reconnect with former coworkers, and build their reputation as an industry or subject expert. LinkedIn now has over 70 million users, including over one million company profiles.

This event is for business professionals who have wondered how to get started on LinkedIn or have started a profile, but then wondered what to do with it beyond filling in the form basics.

We will start with an introductory presentation and Q & A by Ruben Quinones, Sales and Social Media, Path Interactive. In a short amount of time, Ruben has caught the attention of the online marketing community as an enthusiast, teacher, speaker and personal brander. Ruben consults with brands on their SEO, SEM, and social campaign strategy, and is an Adjunct Professor at New York University teaching SEO and Social Media. He is also Speaker, Lecturer for Digital/Social/New Media at Path Interactive as well as their Director of Sales and Social Media Marketing.

Ruben will talk through how to:
  • Sign up on LinkedIn
  • Develop a profile that encourages connections
  • Generate and research sales and development leads
  • Start or participate in LinkedIn Groups
  • Work the recommendations section
  • Ask AND answer business questions to LinkedIn Answers
After the presentation, several hands-on social media advisors from the Club will be available to walk you through the LinkedIn site and answer questions, using the computer terminals at Samsung.


Ben Bloom, Digital Strategist, Wunderman
Cecilia Pineda Feret, Digital Marketing Strategist
Brad Jobling, Social Media Manager, Columbia University Department of Surgery
Mo Krochmal, Journalist, Educator and Social Median
Catherine Ventura, Social Media Content Strategist, Venn Diagram
Amy Vernon, Director of Viral Marketing Strategies, BlueGlass Interactive Inc.
Christine B. Whittemore, Chief Simplifier, Simple Marketing Now

Our thanks to Cecilia Pineda Feret ‘92 and Mary Reilly ‘93 for organizing this event. Thank you to Samsung and Sobel Media for sponsoring our event and hosting us at their wonderful showroom space, which offers several Samsung computer terminals for our hands-on instruction.

Here are my notes on Making Your LinkedIn Profile Pop

Google controls your message/reputation online: Dec to Jan 2009, Ruben got 44 visits from LinkedIn. That caught his attention and he started experimenting to determine which factors affected the LinkedIn search algorithm.

LinkedIn is an 80 million business network with a Wall Street Journal type audience. You want to develop a profile that encourages connections:
  • Use conversational wording
  • Use keywords
  • Post a photo
  • Describe yourself in an interesting way

Your positioning in LinkedIn is influenced by your connections and the keywords in your profile. If you want to come up higher in search results, it helps to connect with others.

Add keywords to your professional headline and your current & past position titles.  Ruben's professional headline reads: "NYC Online Marketing, SEO, PPC, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Online Branding, Speaker, Blogger, NYU Adj."  He recommends adding NYC. Notice that the headline is about selling solutions rather than listing a position title that only makes sense to you.

The summary has no bearing on the LinkedIn search algorithm. However, that's where you tell your story.

Specialties matter, as do Interests. That's where you should jam keywords in!

Add applications to make your profile pop: feed from your blog, presentations you've done. Ruben has added video using Google presentation.

Consider status updates an opportunity for conversation with your network. Make the information you post beneficial to your audience.

Try to get one recommendation per position. Recommendations factor into your overall positioning for search results.

Be sure to use LinkedIn as a research tool, to connect and converse with contacts within industries.

Groups and Answers represent ways for demonstrating knowledge. Google indexes answers; they help your Google-ability [a.k.a., Google Juice].

Additional LinkedIn Considerations:

Explore using LinkedIn search; see what kinds of professional headlines come up when you enter your search terms. Who ranks first? Where do those search terms appear in those results? Think like Google.

Mention your key words many times throughout your profile to improve your ranking. Note how Ruben has broken his current position into three separate positions to highlight specific keywords.

STATS? If you have premium account on LinkedIn.

You can name your weblinks in such a way as to highlight keywords or calls to action. Ruben uses “Need a Speaker?” “My take on Social Media, . . . .”

Preferably do status updates from the LinkedIn application itself versus using #in from Twitter so you can include pix or video and - more importantly - customize the message for your audience.

LinkedIn References

Ruben Quinones suggests checking out his LinkedIn Tips.
Mo Krochmal points us to Leveraging LinkedIn.
I recommend How Do I Make the Most of LinkedIn [to which I will be adding a link to this post].

Final Thoughts

I had a blast being part of the Hands On Social Media Advisory Group for the Making Your LinkedIn Profile Pop event and really enjoyed the questions that came up. So much so that Cecilia had to chase me out of Samsung Experience!

If you're in NYC for the next CBSAC/NY Social Media event, I recommend that you come. You're guaranteed good conversation!

Check out the first event in the Social Media for Business series: Social Media for Business & Entrepreneurship - CBSAC/NY Panel Discussion which took place in June 2010.

Image Credit: Thanks, Mo Krochmal!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Finding Internal Content Marketing Allies

Finding Internal Content Marketing Allies
This week's Content Marketing Institute series question addresses How to Find Internal Allies for Content Marketing.

More specifically, it addresses: “What other areas of the organization can help build loyalty/buy-in to the content marketing program? Who will be your allies outside the marketing department?”

Joining me, in providing perspective, are the following content marketers:

Rick Allen (@epublishmedia)
Heidi Cohen (@heidicohen)
Russ Henneberry(@russhenneberry)
Doug Kessler (@dougkessler)
Ahava Leibtag (@ahaval)
Katie McCaskey (@KatieMcCaskey)
Sarah Mitchell (@globalcopywrite)
Tom Pisello (@tpisello)
Elise Redlin-Cook (@redlincook)
Nate Riggs (@nateriggs)
Stephanie Tilton (@stephanietilton)
CB Whittemore (@cbwhittemore)

Here is my contribution:
I believe that all areas of the organization – and particularly customer facing roles – can help build loyalty and buy-in to content marketing programs. Here’s what’s so wonderful about involving those other departments: they have perspectives on the customer experience with your product or service that often go ignored. But, if you pay attention to what they’ve observed, you may come across invaluable insights. At the same time, you develop internal advocates who see direct benefit from the content they help create to address customer issues.

In my previous life as a corporate marketer, I brought our warranty claims manager into my content creation process. I created an ongoing blog series for her on The Carpetology Blog called Annette’s Carpet Corner to address common consumer concerns with carpet care. Together we developed new consumer reference sheets to help facilitate and guide the carpet purchase process as well as the warranty process. We even created a video on the proper technique for removing carpet stains that I recommend to everyone!
What is your take on the question? How do you go about finding internal content marketing allies?  I'd love to hear!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Modenus Writes About New Friend CB Whittemore

Modenus Writes About New Friend CB Whittemore
What timing! Practically on the heels of posting about the wonderful Tweetup at Coverings 2010 when I met Veronika Miller from Modenus, she publishes this lovely post titled New friends – watercolors, Vivaldi and German beer – marketing maven CB Whittemore.

I particularly appreciate that Veronika has reserved for me a delicious watercolor as reminder of and inspiration for some of the creative activities that I've put on hold...

Meanwhile, I recommend that you go spend some time on the Modenus site, a social network and resource for design professionals, where you will find Before & After design solutions, fantastic on location design inspiration [the High Point images make me feel as if I were there!], and amazing ideas and resources.

I can't wait to see how Modenus grows as a social network and look forward to meeting Veronika again in person to hear about her successes and new Modenus developments.  Or, maybe we should just schedule another Skype session!

Thank you, Veronika!
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