Ellen DeGeneres Oscar Selfie Most Retweeted Tweet, Beats Obama

Ellen DeGeneres Oscars by ABC/Andrew Eccles
Ellen DeGeneres – ABC/Andrew Eccles

Ellen DeGeneres Oscars by ABC/Andrew Eccles A big congrats goes out to Ellen DeGeneres for her Oscar Selfie retweet efforts on Twitter. She smashed the previous record held by Barak Obama.

Ellen quickly passed 778,508 retweets. It took about 30 minutes for her to reach the 810,000 retweet mark. There was a brief moment where Twitter appeared to be having some issues handling the volume. But Twitter’s services were quickly restored.

Barak Obama held the pervious retweet record with this tweet announcing that he had won his second term as President of the United States.

 

Twitter is a microblogging social network that enables its users to send, read and reshare “tweets” and are limited to 140 characters. People and business alike use Twitter for so many reasons including sharing a thought, a location, or an experience, in addition to help those that seek answers. Twitter is a publicly traded company and can be found on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TWTR.

Social Media Books that Social Media Experts Must Read

There are a lot of people that claim to be a “Social Media Expert.” Some are bold enough to put it in their title on LinkedIn. When you meet these people, proceed with caution. You’re the only one that can determine if they are an “expert” on the topic of Social Media. Becoming an expert takes a lot of time and experience. It’s not a self appointing title but rather a distinction given to you by your peers.

Here’s a list of books that every “Social Media Expert” should read. These books are written by experts in their field and have received critical recognition for their work and contributions to their profession. If you’re interested in adding your recommendation to this list, you can do so by becoming a member of List.ly, a social list curation network.

How Video Email Marketing Will Go Mainstream

Is this the right approach to video email marketing?

Sorry I missed your call. Leave a video email message and I'll get back to you.

Recently, I’ve become more curious about the video email marketing landscape. I know there are services out there that offer video email marketing but why am I not receiving email with video? I’m subscribed to about 100 different email newsletters from various retailers and thought leaders. I can’t remember the last email I got that included a video. As I look deeper into this, I began to understand why. These challenges will have to be overcome before video email marketing become mainstream.

Email marketing has been around for a several decades now. This marketing channel is one of the most profitable digital channels available. In 2011 the Digital Marketing Association (DMA) reported that email marketing produced  an average ROI of $40.46 for every dollar spent. Understand that this is an average. In ecommerce, the ROI is a lot higher, especially when you have an experienced email marketer that understands retail on staff.

The first challenge marketers will have to overcome is production. The video creation process framework is similar to that of most projects but in this case you are dealing with more people which requires more management of resources. Yes, production costs like software, cameras and other various equipment have significantly come down in cost, it still takes experience and skill to properly produce a video. However, give the rapid growth of online video, more and more marketing teams are hiring people with video production backgrounds. In addition, Adobe Creative Cloud is available as a monthly subscription that makes access to world-class software like After Effects CS6 and Premier CS6 attainable for the self-taught and the budget conscience marketing VP.

The second challenge is hosting and distribution. Most email marketers want that video to play in the email. Unfortunately, we aren’t there yet. HTML5 is being adopted but most email clients like Yahoo and Gmail don’t play HTML5 video within the email. Email marketers still have to approach this the old fashion way by capturing a screenshot, placing it in the email and linking it to the page where it’s embedded. Some companies, like Wistia, make it easy to embed video in an email without having to do a screenshot. By using a service like Wistia, Vimeo, YouTube, and others, they will process your video into a number of different formats so it play on a number of different devices.

The third challenge is maybe we aren’t using the right approach to video email marketing. Over the last few years social media has pushed marketers beyond traditional marketing. Today, we are creating campaigns that target people based on interests they have publicly shared. And we already know that the best marketing delivered via word of mouth. So why are we trying to put video in an email? Don’t get me wrong, email is a great protocol, but it’s ment to sent notifications and long text messages. Video email marketing needs a platform for itself.

So, how will video email marketing go mainstream? When there’s a video email platform that makes it easy to send and receive video and email messages. I’m not talking about chat. What I am envisioning is a platform that allows you to send and receive video messages like you were sending an email. You see, most chat platforms do support video but only a handfull actually allow you to leave a message. ooVoo and Skype support leaving messages but it’s impossible to “market” to these users because they are chat platforms with strick permissions controls. Gmail and Google+ Hangouts are great but there’s no way to leave a message when a call is missed. So, this leaves the door open for someone to create a platform addressing this need.

Do you see video email marketing differently? Share your perspective with me in the comments section below or connect with me on your social network of choice to discuss. I welcome it!

Image Credit: https://i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/5125517312/h303457EE/ 

Why Today’s Social Networks Will Not Kill Email

If today’s social networks won’t kill email, what will?

How many times have you heard someone say social networks will eventually replace email as a communications tool and marketing channel? When I hear this I think to myself, “How in the world will email be replaced by Facebook, Twitter or Google+? It’s not realistic!” Until recently, I couldn’t put my finger on it but something in my gut was saying that will never happen if social networks stay in their current form.

There have been a number of articles written about how Facebook will replace the need for an email address and become they way you access online applications and niche networks like Klout, Instagram, Spotify, etc. There are even some companies that are no longer using email to communicate internally. Instead they use business social networks like Yammer and Chatter to communicate. But when you consider what’s common with these examples, email is the gateway to access platforms.

In business, email marketing is the most digitally direct way to reach someone and one of the most important revenue generating tools for many business types, even for social networks. Let’s consider Twitter. About a year ago, Twitter acquired Summify, a social news aggregator. I was a user of Summify right through the acquisition. I loved getting emails that showed what were the most popular articles shared by the people I follow and who shared them. Twitter has integrated Summify into their product and today sends you daily summaries about what tweets were popular and who is similar to those you follow, by email. Because of email, Twitter has seen increased utilization of their platform.

As you read on, ask yourself this: Can you talk to your Google+ friends via Facebook? Can you tweet a friend on Google+ via Twitter? Can you add a Facebook connection to a circle on Google+? If you have a Gmail email address can you email someone with a Yahoo address?

Here are a few reasons why social networks, as they are today, will never kill email:
Centralized (Social Networks), Decentralized (the internet and email) and Distributed (torent) Networks

Social networks, in their current form, are platforms. Email is defined by specific protocols.

Social networks are platforms that exist with in a centralized network of servers. This means that social networks are stuck within the boundaries of their own environment. Unless they have special permission, they cannot communicate with other social networks. There are rules that exist within the platform that all users to communicate but once you step outside the platform special tools like “API’s” (translators) must be used in order to communicate. This differs from email. When you send an email to another email account, the server delivers the message because of set protocols. Simply put, email servers can talk to other email servers.

Social networks, in their current form, are define by a corporation. Email protocols developed by a consortium.

This is easy to understand. Facebook, for example, is a social network platform that is owned and managed by Facebook, Inc. If Facebook, Inc. was to cease operations, so would Facebook.com, unless it’s assets were purchased by another corporation. Think, MySpace. With regards to email, a consortium of engineers from universities and corporations come together to discuss changes to protocols and even new ones. The most recent protocol for email was IMAP, which allows email clients to access email on a remote email server.

Social networks, in their current form, are centralized. Email is decentralized.

Social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+, have applications that support all of the core activity you do within their platform. Messaging, picture processing, status updates, managing connections are all done within the confines of the platform. It’s centralized. Email, on the other hand, can talk to different servers all over the world. Email server ownership is not centralized, meaning, one company does not own all the email servers in the world. Email providers can develop their own applications and create a unique experience for users. For example, Gmail and Yahoo mail users can communicate but have different ways of managing their email.

Another very important point about email being decentralized is that you can take your address book with you to another provider. When it comes to social networks, you can’t take you connections with you.

So, what will kill email?

Social as a protocol

The only way email will ever die is if social networks were a protocol. Imagine a social networking experience where you can change service providers without losing your connections. Imagine if you decided to change providers because another one has better apps, while keeping your username (think porting your phone number) as well as your connections. Imagine a decentralized social networking ecosystem. This protocol must be open and agreed upon by people just like those that developed the protocols for email. It’s in the works. Check out Tent.io.

What does this mean for marketers?

In the grand internet of things, marketing will never stop changing. As a marketer in the 21st century, it’s up to you to stay on the bleeding edge of the latest marketing technologies. Those that choose to market behind the curve will stay behind the curve struggling to stay in the race.

If social were to evolve into a protocol, this will open up the ability for marketers to develop an infinite number of ways to attract new prospects. This would give marketers the ability to create highly relevant and attractive experiences that tell the business’s story. In social’s current form we are limited by the platform we market on. Eventually, marketers will ask for the ability to create highly unique experiences on social platforms. Social platforms will struggle to respond and fail.

LinkedIn is Killing “Answers”

LinkedIn Points Users to Groups, Polls and Influencers for Answers

LinkedIn to Retire Answers

On the heels of the removal of LinkedIn 3rd party applications like SlideShare, WordPress, BlogLink, TripIt and others, LinkedIn, a professional social network with over 200 million users worldwide, is retiring their “Answers” product on January 31, 2013. Answers has been a staple of LinkedIn ever since I became a member in October of 2007. It was how I discovered new people with similar interests and as well as thought leaders. I have used Answers a number of times to discover solutions and gain perspective on important issues. Others have used it to locates resources for their business or professional career. I have met a number of very interesting people through LinkedIn Answers. In my opinion, it’s where every new user should begin to build additional branches to their existing network.

In an email I received from LinkedIn, they encouraged further use of their Groups, Polls and Influencers products. These three products are not a replacement for Answers and this will only limit the perceived value of the answers you receive. How many times has it been said that we need to have an outsider’s perspective on a question? Asking a question using LinkedIn Answers was a way to reach people outside of your network. It was a reliable product people could turn to. LinkedIn users know that when they ask question in a group, especially a large group, their question could be buried by the obscene amount of articles or other discussions that look more like promotions.

I’m interested to see which direction LinkedIn is going. If they are heading down the human capital route, which includes the migration of professionals from job to job, then they risk alienating all those members that are small business owners that have no use for LinkedIn’s recruiting tools and no way to quickly find answers to important issues that face them every day.

Update: In an interview by Charlie Rose, Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, was asked to define LinkedIn. Hoffman said, “LinkedIn is a tool for solving professional task.” Is LinkedIn straying from this?

Connect Your Customers with LinkedIn – A B2B Strategy

Are you the kind of company that lets your customers to talk with other customers or do is it the kind that keeps customers in the dark so they don’t know who you do business with? If your answer is the latter, consider making a change and overcome your fears of allowing them to talk. Believe it or not, it may be holding your company back.

Connecting your customers can generate conversations that can show how your products or services are used in the customer environment. By networking your customers, they may discover new or more efficient ways that result in better results and increased customer loyalty. You may also discover pain points that have not been addressed and can be worked out by simply having a conversation among customers.

LinkedIn Logo on a wallThink beyond your company’s self interests. It’s likely that your company will be able to connect customers together resulting in your customer’s successful business growth. What’s wrong with that? It seems like a win-win for everyone but some lawyer or someone in middle management will say “there is a certain level of liability we are not interested in assuming by facilitating those relationships.” Poppycock, I say!

Here’s a simple and very cost effective way for you to begin to connect your customers by creating a group on LinkedIn. You will need to plan what the “Why” of the group is and who will be responsible for managing it. Part of your planning will need to include looking for a common bond that you have with your customers by thinking in three’s. For example, if you manufacture blank t-shirts and you sell primarily to garment printers create a group that connects you to garment printers and them to designers. Designers need garment printers, garment printers need blank tees and you need garment printers. Ah the power of three!

After you have define the mission of your group and determined who should participate in it, you should pick a name. I can’t tell you what you should name it but I can tell you what you shouldn’t. Do NOT name the group after your company! There are a couple reasons for this. First, LinkedIn puts the most weight on the name of the group when it comes to searching on LinkedIn. Second, this group is not about your company. It’s about the community you serve and the people and businesses you want to attract to it. So, going back to the example above, you may want to name this group something as simple as “Apparel Manufactures, Garment Printers and Designers.”

Don’t be too concerned about the competition. You can prevent them from becoming members of your group by prescreening the requests to join by LinkedIn members. Also, you can keep the group private and pre-screen discussions before they go live to the group. As an admin you have the tools to control the conversation in the group.

Feel free to comment below with questions or thoughts regarding this strategy. I’d love to hear your opinion and your ideas.

3 Things to do Before You Start Email Marketing for Business

Email Marketing Email marketing is one of the most effective and inexpensive digital marketing techniques available to businesses today. It has one of the highest returns on investment (ROI) in the marketing arsenal. According to the Direct Marketing Association in 2010, email marketing returned and average of $42 for every dollar spent. (Keep in mind that this is an average generated from a survey of top rated corporate marketing departments. )

Before you get going with email marketing you should do at least three things. Even before you select an email marketing service provider. These tasks should be done as part of your initial research. From these tasks you should be put on the right path to begin email marketing.

1. Review and understand the Federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. This Federal law sets the minimal requirements you must abide by when sending email. A couple items in this law that you should be aware of are (A) your email’s subject line must be relevant to the content within the email you are sending. For example, you cannot send an email with a subject line that reads “You’ve won $1,000,000!” and the body of the email is about the latest under water basket weaving techniques. (B) You must provide a method or mechanism to remove a subscriber from your email marketing list. Most email marketing service providers provide this service as part of their fees and will put a link to unsubscribe at the bottom of the sent email. Otherwise, you must remove the subscriber within 10 days or face Federal fines upwards of $16,000 per occurrence. Be aware of the terms and conditions of your email marketing provider as they may have additional requirements you must agree to in order to use their software.

2. Brainstorm ways to acquire email addresses with permission. You need to keep your list growing by adding new subscribers as other’s unsubscribe. There are a number of ways you can ask for permission. (A) On your website you should have an email sign-up form. Most email marketing service providers provide forms that you can put on your website and add those submissions are then added to your list. Develop a plan to offer an incentive to subscribe whether it be a free download or coupon. (B) When you attend networking events or trade shows be sure you are mentioning that you send out newsletters or promotions via email. Ask for permission to subscribe them and let them know they can unsubscribe anytime with no hard feelings!

3. Develop an email marketing schedule that fits your current workload and marketing plan. Too many times business owners bit off more than they can chew causing them to lose interest. Email marketing is a gradual-growth marketing activity. You should start small and scale as it helps your business grow. Start by sending monthly, then twice per month, then weekly. If you do not see better results by sending weekly, scale back to bi-weekly. Don’t try to beat your list to death and don’t leave it out to dry either. You cannot take a month off an expect your list to be happy to hear from you again when you start sending again. Planning is key so make it part of your monthly marketing plan.

These three items above are just a few tasks you need to look into so you can gain a better understanding of what will make your email marketing successful. Keep in mind that the CAN-SPAM Act sets the minimum requirements of email marketing. The terms and conditions of your email marketing service provider are what you must follow to use their software.  Don’t be afraid to brainstorm unique ways to grow your list with permission. Don’t be tempted to buy a list as it will kill your business. Finally, don’t bite off more than you can chew with email marketing. Scale up and level out your email marketing schedule.

14 Top Marketing Authors to Follow on Google+

Have a favorite author? You may find them on Google Plus. Below is a list of authors that have written books related to marketing in today’s digital economy. As you visit their profiles, take a look at what they have shared. If you like what you see, add them to one of your Google+ circles. Chances are, these authors will have more to share that goes beyond the book they have written.

 Seth Godin Seth Godin: https://plus.google.com/106497949182730964838/

Seth has written over a dozen books including “Tribes“, “Lynchpin” and his latest “Poke the Box.” Seth is not currently posting on Google+ but I’d still circle him just in case he does start.
Robert Scoble
Robert has been a very vocal member of Google+. His usage has helped the Google+ Team strengthen the activity stream options. Robert co-authored the 2006 book “Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers.” He also is an avid blogger.
 Jeff Jarvis
Jeff is the author of “What Would Google Do” and “Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way we Work and Live.” He is a professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and a regular guest on the “This Week in Google” netcast with Leo Laporte of TWiT.tv.
Chris Brogan Chris Brogan: https://plus.google.com/118320665823821681206
Chris has authored two books; “Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust” and “Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online.” He is also a professional blogger and entrepreneur. Chris has been an influence for many new media marketers.
John Jantsch John Jantsch: https://plus.google.com/103952215474318614668
John authored “Duct Tape Marketing” and his latest, “The Referral Engine.” His books are great guides for small business owners that take on their own marketing.
Joel Comm Joel Comm: https://plus.google.com/102298718421596692551
Joel is the king of affiliate marketing. He has taken his own personal experience and put into several books including “The AdSense Code” and “KaChing.” He has also authored a number of ebooks and a book for those looking to master Twitter, “Twitter Power 2.0.”
Guy Kawasaki Guy Kawasaki: https://plus.google.com/112374836634096795698
Guy is probably best known for his relationship to Apple. You can learn more about this in his book “The Apply Way.” Most recently he has written several books such as “Creating Customer Evangelists,” “How to Drive your Competition Crazy” and his latest, “Enchantment.
Brian Solis Brian Solishttps://plus.google.com/107896527414017792767
Brian is a thought leader of PR in a digital world. He first wrote “Putting the Public back into Public Relations” and followed it up with “Engage – A Complete Guide for Brand and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success on the New Web.” Later in 2011, Bryan will be releasing his latest project “The End of Business as Usual.
Gary Vaynerchuk Gary Vaynerchukhttps://plus.google.com/111310990991240556038
Gary is a huge success story. His example of taking a small business into the digital marketing 2.0 world and never giving up on what you are passionate about is one to follow. To help you know the story he has written “Crush It” and “The Thank You Economy.” Don’t forget to check out his wine books and YouTube channel to see his approach applied.
Ann Handley Ann Handleyhttps://plus.google.com/115918125306643310533/
Ann co-wrote “Content Rules – How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business (New Rules Social Media Series)” with C.C. Chapman and David Meerman Scott. Currently, Ann is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs.
C.C. Chapman C.C. Chapmanhttps://plus.google.com/106434073353360803681
C.C co-wrote “Content Rules – How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business (New Rules Social Media Series)” with Ann Handley and David Meerman Scott. C.C. is also a speaker and an entrepreneur having started a marketing firm which was later acquired.
David Meerman Scott David Meerman Scotthttps://plus.google.com/112026058728255591897
David has written a number of PR and Marketing books including “The New Rules of Marketing and PR,” “Real-Time Marketing and PR“, “Marketing Lessons of the Greatful Dead“, and “World Wide Rave.” David is also a marketing and leadership speaker and speaks at a number of conferences across the country.
Charlene Li Charlene Lihttps://plus.google.com/107222163924838615114/
Charlene is the founder of the Altimeter Group, a research-based advisory firm. She authored the popular book “Groundswell – Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies” as well as “Marketing in a Groundswell” and her latest “Open Leasership – How Social Technology Can Transform the Way you Lead.”
Tara Hunt Tara Hunthttps://plus.google.com/107519026002586025827/
Tara wrote “The Whuffie Factor Using the Power of Social Networks to Grow your Business” and it’s follow up, “The Power of Social Networking – Using the Whuffie Factor to Build your Business.”  Tara defines Whuffie as a social currency, a form of “money” that you earn but establishing connections and helping others build their business.

Be Careful Who You Follow on Google+

Google Plus LogoGoogle+ is a new social networking “layer” from Google. I say layer because it’s a augmented Google experience. Google put some great thought into it and has actively and publicly made efforts to improve the bugs that can only become visible when people are invited to use it. They have done this by being publicly available in Google+ and have allowed users to add them to their circles.

If you know me, you know that I enjoy exploring new platforms and checking out how they can be used to make new connections with interesting people and build upon one’s digital reputation. Google+ makes this very easy but you should be aware of a few things before you jump in and start adding people to your circles. Here are three tips to help you as you get started with Google+.

1. Understand and set your privacy settings. Google+ has some very good privacy controls.You can assign “Circles” to your privacy settings. For example, you can open up your profile details to your friends in your “Friends” circle but close your profile to those that are not in a circle you have created. You can check out you privacy settings by clicking here or on your name at the top of the page and to the right when you are logged into Google

2. Do not add everyone Google suggests to your “Following” circle. You are going to tick one or a few of them off. Google created the “Following” circle for you to place people in that you may not know but find what they share interesting. Avoid grabbing all the tags of people Google suggests and placing them in to your “Following” circle. Google will send each of them one or two emails, based on their settings, notifying them this action. If they don’t know you, they could deem this action as “spammy” and do nasty things to you, in a digital sense. (I have first hand experience with this and it sucks.)

3. Understand the difference between “Hide”, “Block” and “Mute.” Google+ will make a number of suggestions to you as to who you should add to your Circles. They are getting this information primarily from your Gmail contacts. There could be a lot of people there that you do not know. If that’s the case, and you are sick of looking at them use the “Hide” button. In the top corner of the contact card is an “X.” Click it and they will go away and Google will likely never show them to you again.

A lot of people will re-share the same thing in Google+ rather than make comments on the original post. If you are sick of seeing these posts, on the right there is a “Mute” button to the right.

The “Block” button is found on the profile page of the person you are viewing. If you click on this handy button, the person’s profile will be added to your “Blocked” circle. They will never see your content or other information in your profile. In addition, their activity will not show in your activity stream. Have you placed your boss or ex-spouse in this circle yet?

In conclusion, remember that Google+ is a social network. It’s not yet a replacement for Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn. I recommend taking it slow and figuring out how you will use this to keep your network up to date and visa versa.

 

Jimmy Fallon Shows His Social Media Savvy Using a QR Code Dancer

Jimmy Fallon of the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show on NBC is a pretty social media savvy guy. In one of his latest episodes, Steven Colbert was brought on to sing the song “Friday” with the show’s band, The Roots. The song was entertaining to say the least but what I found most interesting was the guy in the back towards the end of the clip holding up a QR code.

Watch the video:

What is a QR Code?

A QR Code, short for Quick Response, is a two-dimensional matrix bar code designed to contain a larger amount of data than a traditional UPC bar code typically found on products you buy at the store. QR codes can contain information like a URL, vCard information, phone numbers, etc. These codes can be read by most mobile smart phones too. On Android based phones search the Google Market from your phone for QR Droid. For iPhone users there are a number you can search for in your app store. These apps will use your phone’s camera to scan the QR Code and show you the data in the code. If it shows a URL then you can head out to that URL with out having to type it in your phone. If it shows contact information you should be able to add it to your contact book. Some events and trade shows use QR Codes to help attendees with checking in and letting their networks know what they are up to.

 

QR Code Dancer

Jimmy Fallon QR Code Dancer

Above is a screen shot taken of the QR code that the dancer is holding up at 4:29. Translated, the QR code goes to  http://www.latenightwithjimmyfallon.com/blogs/2011/04/fallon-colbert-project-bonus-video-thank-you/. In the post, Jimmy includes a video congratulating you for using catching the QR code on the show. This is a great way to show your favorite talents how engaged you are with their content and also how geeky you can be.