Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How social media ‘engagement’ translates into new business

(The business of blogging)
 From ZD Net: How social media ‘engagement’ translates into new business

Summary: Constant Contact CEO Gail Goodman explains how visibility on Facebook, Twitter and other social media can translate into ‘implied endorsement’ for small businesses.
Constant Contact, used by more than 500,000 small businesses, has expanded well beyond its roots as a cloud-based email marketing platform into technologies that aid its customer base with social media activities.

In mid-June, for example, the service provider disclosed plans to pay $65 million for SinglePlatform, a service that helps ensure local businesses show up better in mobile and Internet searches. It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, to hear Constant Contact CEO Gail Goodman has just published a book about how SMBs can use social media tools to help grow beyond their old standby for new business, referrals, through “engagement marketing.” I interviewed Goodman about this philosophy several weeks ago.
What is engagement marketing?
Gail Goodman: Engagement marketing is a very simple idea. When you connect with the people you already know, your customers and clients, you stay connected to them and you engage them. You send them content that inspires participation, whether that is on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or via email. When you get them to engage with you, that creates social visibility. It puts you in front of the best qualified prospect pools that you can ever imagine, the social networks of your current customers. … If you can get that customer engaging with you and talking about you, actually, talking with you, you will get visibility into their network. That is visibility with implied endorsement.
Why is this different from the historical concept of marketing?
I think it’s different because it focuses on participation from your customers and clients, rather than talking at or to your customers and clients. So, when you think about marketing, you typically think about call to action. In most cases, that call to action is ‘buy from me’, ‘call to get a quote’. In engagement marketing, the call to action is participation: ‘tell us what you think’, ‘like this post and share your thoughts.’ It’s about getting a conversation going, but it’s also about getting the kind of likes, comments and shares that drive social visibility. The objective is different. In the end, the objective is the same, you want to get in front of new people and get new business.
Most small businesses use referrals to drive new business. How does this philosophy put that idea on steroids?What this really does is take that word-of-mouth referral that use to happen over the back fence, at your kid’s soccer game, and makes it publicly visible. It allows other people to eavesdrop in on the conversation.
Who should be involved in this strategy of engagement?
Really everybody. Engagement starts with the first moment you make contact with somebody. That’s when they’re walking into your reception area or when they’re coming into your store or your restaurant or boutique. It’s about knowing that your job is to engage them and ultimately that your job is to entice them to join you. Everybody who has a customer touchpoint needs to understand why someone should bother to like you on Facebook or get early announcements about new products or special sales only available to Facebook fans. What’s the engagement? What’s the enticement?
Resources are a perpetual challenge for small businesses. Where should they start?
I cannot deny that this is one more thing that you have to be doing, but maybe it is one more thing you can do instead of some other things. Particularly if you are spending time on marketing that is not effective, maybe you can replace that with this.
What we suggest is that people really focus on spending a short amount of time doing social engagement but doing it on a regular basis. Ten minutes, three times a week, should get you started well. … There is a little learning curve, but once you are down that learning curve using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or even an email newsletter shouldn’t be taking you too much time. The good news is that content should be small. The days of the three-page-long newsletter or page-long blog post have been replaced with one idea, two paragraphs, 140 characters, a picture with a comment underneath it.
How can small businesses measure whether their engagement strategy is working?
It definitely starts with the basic engagement metrics: likes, comments and the almighty share, which is the most valuable thing a small business can get. One of the things that we are saying in the book and that we emphasize over and over again to small business is that this is a small numbers game in a world with lots of leverage. If the average Facebook participant has over 200 friends, if you got two shares, you just got in front of 400 people. Small is big in social.
Many people think of marketing in terms of lead generation. How do you measure that?
You start with engagement and then move to the call to action, that is either a lead capture form or an actual purchase. I do think there are ways to measure that, particularly when you use tools that give you the ability to build a form into Facebook to measure response. You have to start with building a following and focusing on engagement before you start asking for the order. I do think people move to asking for the order too quickly.
Why is a multichannel approach critical for engagement marketing?
You need email plus at least one social platform at least. Why email plus a social platform? Because they reinforce each other beautifully. Let’s say that social platform is Facebook. You aren’t guaranteeing on Facebook that your audience is going to see your message.
Facebook estimates that 16 percent of Facebook business page posts are delivered to their followers. 16 percent? We get 97 percent of our email in our inbox. I’ll take 97 percent over 16 percent any time.
The click-through on email remains strong, so we often recommend email channels to get Facebook engagement. Of course you should post it on Facebook, but you should also tell people on your email list that you want them to share their thoughts or comments on your Facebook page and pull them there. You can substitute Twitter or LinkedIn here, as well. I think multichannel is important because the world keeps shifting and what may be perfect today may not be perfect tomorrow. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you start losing touch with prospects and clients.



Monday, June 25, 2012

The 42 Bus (Washington, DC Travel)





BLOG DESCRIPTION: Weekly updates and humorous posts on retail and restaurants openings, reviews, local news, and events listings along Metro's 42 bus route in Washington DC. Neighborhoods include Mount Pleasant, Adams Morgan, Dupont, Chinatown and Penn Quarter.

MY REVIEW: This is an informative blog well written about the goings on in this neighborhood in DC. The writer does a good job capturing the essence of the area. You feel like you are walking down the street or on the bus with him as he comments about the change of the name of long time business or gives you the information about a new yoga program.

The author is thorough and goes beyond just commentary, he adds details including the location, dates, times, links - all the local information you need to participate in the goings on. You learn that the local library is being temporarily relocated, where and why. A lot of work goes into keeping this current and getting these details and adding humor to it. A great blog, the area should be appreciative that someone cares. He posts almost every day.

- Real world restaurant
- Free yoga at Adams Morgan Studio
- Bestway becoming Bestworld(?)
- Parker Posey movie marathon at Asylum

Ann Currie writes two blogs of her own:
My Life a Bit South of Normal
Silver Pieces: The Strange and Peculiar

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Retro REview: Voices for Reason


MY RECOMMENDATION: YES, with reservations

AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: Voices for Reason, the Ayn Rand Institute


BLOG DESCRIPTION: Voices for Reason is the blog of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, a division of the Ayn Rand Institute. The Center’s mission is to advance individual rights (the rights of each person to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness) as the moral basis for a fully free, laissez-faire capitalist society. On a daily basis, Voices for Reason analyzes and comments on current events from the perspective of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of reason, individualism, and capitalism

MY REVIEW: As an Objectivist, I enjoy this blog, and it is very important reading.

On the Kindle, however, I'm not sure that I can recommend it. On my Kindle, the feed seems hosed up, and it ends up freezing my Kindle. I have to restart it (shove the sleep lever over to the right until the screen goes blank. After a minute or so it reboots.) Since I am running an operating system one behind the current one, I wonder if this is the problem. On the other hand, it hasn't happened to me in any other blog...

So, try this via the Kindle. If it freezes your system, don't panic. Reboot as I explain above. And de-subscribe and just check it out on the web.

Sample post
We are told that Earth Day is about enjoying nature, anticipating exciting green technologies, and promoting human health. It isn’t. It is about guilt for the very thing that makes enjoyment, technology, and health possible–our industrial, capitalist way of life. When environmentalists tell us to be “green” on Earth Day by turning out our lights, hand-washing our clothes, and not using our cars, they are saying that what we do every other day of the year is wrong–that it is destructive and “unsustainable.”

At the Ayn Rand Center, we believe that industrial life is something to be proud of and something billions around the globe desperately need to emulate. We condemn the 40 years of apocalyptic, pseudo-scientific environmentalist predictions–such as environmentalist hero Paul Ehrlich’s prediction that hundreds of millions of people would starve by 1980. We recognize the ability of free minds and free markets to make human life better and better, no matter what nature throws at us.

For a unique perspective on the history, science, economics, and philosophy behind Earth Day, we invite you to explore the following resources.

Readings (Links)
The Real Meaning of Earth Hour By Keith Lockitch
No More Green Guilt By Keith Lockitch
The environmentalist goal . . . is to protect nature,
not for man, but from man.
—Peter Schwartz
Climate Vulnerability and The Indispensable Value Of Industrial Capitalism [pdf] by Keith Lockitch
Man vs. Nature By Peter Schwartz.
The Green Energy Fantasy By Keith Lockitch
The Danger of Environmentalism By Michael S. Berliner
Rachel Carson’s Genocide By Keith Lockitch
Who Will Defend Industry From Eco-Terrorism By Onkar Ghate
Environmentalism’s Dangerous Campaign for “Safety” By Alex Epstein
Let’s Celebrate Oil’s 150th Birthday and the Value It Adds To Our Lives by Alex Epstein

-The freedom to speak (to yourself)
-Cancel Earth Day, Stop Green Guilt
-Doctors ask: “Is this what I have to look forward to?”
-Doctors ask: “Is this what I have to look forward to?”
-So much for the “will of the people”

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Retro Review: Not PC





BLOG DESCRIPTION: Objectivism, Libertarianism, Architecture, Art, Politics, New Zealand, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ayn Rand, Music

MY REVIEW: The author of this blog is in New Zealand... so presumably one can purchase this blog and any other blog and read it in New Zealand. It does cost $1.99 to subscribe.

It's an interesting blog. The author would seem to be an Objectivist, yet supports illegal immigration (and apparently doesn't even understand what the definition of "illegal" is, or why having millions of uneducated people pouring into a bankrupt state in an almost bankrupt country, and granted the rights of citizens immediately, including welfare money, is a bad thing. (As is kicking citizens out of their jobs and giving them to immigrants willing to work for less money, as is the case in Europe).

Nevertheless, an interesting blog and an interesting insight into New Zealand.

--Tobacco taxes + disarmed shop-owners = an invitation to violence
--Just a bigoted state [update 3]
--Bill vs Oz vs reality
--Walls Closing In for “Hide the Decline” Mann [updated]
--QUOTE OF THE DAY: On children
--The blue-stocking Nanny [updated]

Ms. Cairo writes three blogs of her own:
Topical Murder and Dated Death
Winged Victory: Women in Aviation
Volcano Seven: Treasure and Treasure Hunters

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fine Wine Magazine

REVIEWED BY: Marguerite Zelle




BLOG DESCRIPTION: A platform for the best writing on wine: highly practical advice, features and tasting notes.

Fine Wine Magazine is an actual magazine on the web, which you can only read if you're subscribed to it.

It's a fascinating look not only at wine but also at wine culture and travel.

If you're in to "the grape" check it out.

--Take 2: Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 2008 Grand cru classé and Château Pichon-Longueville au Baron de Pichon-Longueville 2008 cru classé en 1855, Pauillac
--Architecture as metaphor: the winery at Château Cheval Blanc
--The cost of a bottle of wine
--Cycling Bordeaux wine country

Reviews published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Check out my kindle BOOKS!:
Whose Body, by Dorothy Sayers (the Annotated Edition)
The Coldest Equations (science fiction)
Volcano Seven: Treasure and Treasure Hunters
The Lady and the Tiger...Moth

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Retro Review: Piece of My Heart

REVIEWED BY: Marguerite Zelle


AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: Peace of my Heart, by Kim Eckels


BLOG DESCRIPTION: One mom's journey from burying a piece of her heart with her infant daughter to finding the true peace of her heart with her Savior.

MY REVIEW: This blog hasn't been updated since March 8, 2011. However, the author has never updated this blog very much - averaging 35 posts a year. So she may continue on with it.

The blog deals with grief and the loss of a child, from a Christian perspective. If you're a Christian, it's worth checking out, either on the web or subscribing for the 2 week free subscription to read it before unsubscribing!

Sample post
A delicate balance Posted by Kim @ Peace of my Heart on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 |

There is just so much sorrow in the missing. It's the missing that makes my heart ache. I miss her tiny voice, her wiggles, her legs that always seemed to be in motion, her sweet smile (with an occasional hint of an ornery grin). I miss her fuzzy little head, that beautiful baby scent, the feel of her snuggled into my arms. I miss her eyes, those amazing eyes. I just miss her. The sad irony is that I not only miss all of these things that were wrapped up into three months, I miss the things I didn't get to experience with Kristen. Perhaps even more than I miss what I had, I ache for what will never be.

As much sadness as there is in the missing, however, there is even more hope in the knowing! What sustains me is the knowing that none of what happened to our family is a surprise to God. He is God and I'm not. He knows what He's doing! I take comfort in the knowing that Kristen left our arms for the eternal safety of His. She's perfect and in His presence! There is hope in the knowing that our heavenly Father will make all of this right one glorious day!

In the here and now, the missing tends to get in the way of remembering the knowing. The waves that wash over me sometimes crash so loudly against the shore that I can barely hear His voice. I know, however, that it's there. He's there. The knowing is never gone. I suppose the missing and the knowing, like the sorrow and the joy, will always be part of a delicate balancing act. For the times when I lose that balance, I am so thankful for the Almighty who is always there to catch me.

--A delicate balance
--God met me in Tennessee
--Dying to self
--Tightly in His grasp
--Through another's eyes

Reviews published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Check out the following blogs:
Seaborn: Oceanography Blog
Star Trek Report: Space Sciences
Volcano Seven: Treasure and Treasure Hunters
Rush Limbaugh Report

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Retro REview: The Terry Pratchett Reader

REVIEWED BY: Marguerite Zelle




BLOG DESCRIPTION: Terry Pratchett is the creator of the Discworld - a world that rests on the back of four turtles, which stand on the back of Great A'Tuin, the Star Turtle. The Discworld has witches, wizards, trolls, dwarfs, an orangatang and Death, to name only a few. In this blog, updated every other day, I annotate each of the Discworld novels (there are over 20 of them), share my thoughts on some of Pratchett's powerful imagery, and share news and reviews of Terry Pratchett, his other writings, as well as movie, tv and radio adaptions of his Discworld ouvre.

MY REVIEW: This is a new blog that studies the Discworld ourvre. As a Terry Pratchett fan I find it of interest. Pratchett's works are so popular that there are many small websites and a couple of larger ones devoted to his work. Pratchett's work is sophisticated and he satirizes and homages many other books, movies and TV shows - some evident to an American audience, some not so evident. So for an American audience, this blog should be a lot of fun.

-- The Color of Magic: The Wizard's Quarter
-- The Color of Magic: Krull
-- Colour of Magic covers
Reviews published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Check out my kindle BOOKS!:
Whose Body, by Dorothy Sayers (the Annotated Edition)
The Coldest Equations (science fiction)
The Lady and the Tiger...Moth

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Space Station-Shuttle

REVIEWED BY: Marguerite Zelle




BLOG DESCRIPTION: A blog telling the story of the space station

Sample post

A Texas region containing four of the world's largest wind farms showed an increase in land surface temperature over nine years that researchers have connected to local meteorological effects of the turbines.

The land surface temperature around the west-central Texas wind farms warmed at a rate of .72 degrees Celsius per decade during the study period relative to nearby regions without wind farms, an effect most likely caused by the turbulence in turbine wakes acting like fans to pull down warmer air from higher altitudes at night, said lead author Liming Zhou at the University of Albany, State University of New York.

The results were published in the April 29 issue of Nature Climate Change. Zhou and colleagues studied land surface temperature data ranging from 2003 to 2011, from the MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) instruments on NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites.

Land surface temperature measures the temperature of the Earth’s surface itself, as opposed to the air temperature readings used in daily weather reports. Across a broad landscape, land surface temperature depends closely on the land cover type and nature of the surface. In specific locations, land surface temperature varies widely from day to night while air temperature varies within a smaller range.

The warming observed by MODIS mostly occurred at night. In the Texas region studied, the land surface temperature after sunset typically cools faster than the air temperature. But as the wind turbines continued to turn, the movement brought warmer air to the surface and thus created a warming effect compared to non-wind farm regions. The researchers expected to see the reverse during the day – a slight cooling effect – but the data instead showed a small warming or negligible effect in daytime.

The warming estimate applies specifically to this particular region, and covers a time when wind farms were expanding rapidly, Zhou said. The estimate should not be considered directly applicable for other regions and landscapes, nor should it be extrapolated over a longer period of time, as the warming would likely plateau rather than continue to increase if no new wind turbines are added. The warming is also considered a local effect, not one that would contribute to a larger global trend.

"This is a first step in exploring the potential of satellite data to quantify the possible impacts of big wind farms on weather and climate," said Chris Thorncroft, a coauthor of the study and chair of the Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences department at University at Albany, State University of New York. "We are now expanding this approach to other wind farms and building models to understand the physical processes and mechanisms driving the interactions of wind turbines and the atmospheric boundary layer near the surface."

The U.S. wind industry has installed a total of 46,919 megawatts of capacity through the end of 2011 – representing more than 20 percent of the world’s installed wind power and about 2.9 percent of all U.S. electric power – and has added more than 35 percent of all new U.S. generating capacity in the past four years, according to the American Wind Energy Association and the Department of Energy. This added capacity during that timeframe is second only to natural gas, and more than nuclear and coal combined.

For more information visit

MY REVIEW: This is a fascinating blog. The author is sloughing off..most other years, each year was 200 posts. We'll be lucky if there are about 100 posts this year. Nevertheless, what's there is cherce!

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