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How marketing through Groupon can guarantee you new customers

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Groupon logo


Let's say that you're a restaurant in Arizona, such as the  Guadalajara Grill in Tucson, or maybe a cool hotel that just changed names like the Theodore hotel in Scottsdale, and you want to attract more customers to your happy hour on a Wednesday night. Groupon is a new way to guarantee that a load of people will come to your business all at once, while reaching a customer base that is active, young and connected.

Here's how the site works: Groupon features a daily offer for a deal in your city. If enough people buy, the deal is on. Through social networking, customers can tell their friends and advertise for you. In a single day, Groupon will attract hundreds - if not thousands - of new customers for you.

When you sign up to promote your business, a Groupon representative helps you design an offer so that you control the deal. GroupOn clients say that the site is 86 percent more effective than print, 94 percent more effective than broadcast, and 90 percent more effective than online advertising.

Groupon's subscriber base: 68 percent are 18-34 years old, and 80% have either a Bachelor's or Graduate degree.

Think that subscribers in your area aren't interested enough? Think again. On April 20, the Tucson Botanical Gardens offered a 50% discount to a butterfly exhibit if 10 people bought tickets, and 109 people bought in. The tipping point was reached before 9 a.m., and the botanical gardens reached 10 times the amount of people needed for the deal.

Here is what marketing genius Chris Brogan has to say about Groupon. Or read this post from web analytics company Compete.

To integrate Groupon with your website or blog, use these badges. Then, contact Groupon to schedule your deal.

Reader Challenge: Leave your experience with Groupon in the comments section of this post to let us know about your success.

Tucson Marketers, Beware of Social Media Snake Oil

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Snake Oil
Snake Oil / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Tucson Marketers, when it comes to Social Media, one size does NOT fit all. There is a little more to it than setting up a Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin account, and beginning to blog. Read on.

“For business, the rising popularity of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media Web sites presents a tantalizing opportunity. As millions of people flock to these online services to chat, flirt, swap photos, and network, companies have the chance to tune in to billions of digital conversations. They can pitch a product, listen to customer feedback, or ask for ideas. If they work it right, customers might even produce companies’ advertising for them and trade the ads with friends for free. Starbucks (SBUX), Dell (DELL), and Ford Motor (F) have all testified to the magic social media can create.

But the same tools carry risks. Employees encouraged to tap social networking sites can fritter away hours, or worse. They can spill company secrets or harm corporate relationships by denigrating partners. What’s more, with one misstep, one clumsy entrée, companies can quickly find themselves victims of the forces they were trying to master. Thousands of bloggers attacked Motrin last year because of an advertisement from the Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) brand they found demeaning to mothers.

Over the past five years, an entire industry of consultants has arisen to help companies navigate the world of social networks, blogs, and wikis. The self-proclaimed experts range from legions of wannabes, many of them refugees from the real estate bust, to industry superstars such as Chris Brogan and Gary Vaynerchuk. They produce best-selling books and dole out advice or lead workshops at companies for thousands of dollars a day. The consultants evangelize the transformative power of social media and often cast themselves as triumphant case studies of successful networking and self-branding.

The problem, according to a growing chorus of critics, is that many would-be guides are leading clients astray. Consultants often use buzz as their dominant currency, and success is defined more often by numbers of Twitter followers, blog mentions, or YouTube (GOOG) hits than by traditional measures, such as return on investment. This approach could sour companies on social media and the rich opportunities it represents. “It’s a bit of a Wild West scenario,” blogs David Armano, a consultant with the Dachis Group of Austin, Tex. Without naming names, he compares some consultants to “snake oil salesmen.”

Critics complain that many of the new experts have adopted an orthodoxy that provides little flexibility for differing situations—or outcomes. Their pronouncements follow a rigid gospel: Be transparent, engage with your customers, break down silos. Yet these strictures don’t always make business sense. Adam Kmiec, director of interactive marketing at Marc USA in Pittsburgh, tells of a company he met with that got much of its revenue from the Defense Dept. and had allocated $4 million for social media. “What do you hope to get?” he asked them. Ultimately, the client decided the privacy-obsessed Pentagon may not be thrilled with a supplier publicizing itself through Twitter.

Scrutiny of the hype merchants is picking up. Rob Spencer, senior research fellow for idea management at drug giant Pfizer (PFE), mingles frequently with social media vendors and consultants as he looks for ways to amplify the company’s brainpower. He urges caution. “You have to tread your way carefully and have your B.S. sensors up,” he says. “I call them innovation hippies. ‘Here’s my book for free. Won’t you hire me for $500 to run some workshops?’”

Social media consultants’ own promotions can collide, on occasion, with those of their customers. Take the case of James Andrews, who was working early this year at the PR firm Ketchum (OMC). As a consultant, he helped companies such as Newell Rubbermaid (NWL), Monster Worldwide (MWW), and FedEx (FDX) work out their strategies for blogs and the microblogging service Twitter. On landing in Memphis for FedEx meetings, he says he had an ugly run-in with a racist at the airport and twittered that he would “die if he had to live” in the city. The tweet produced an outpouring of blogged fury from FedEx employees and a fast apology from an embarrassed Ketchum. But for Andrews, the tweet generated buzz and may even have boosted his brand. “It helps me today,” he says. “I use it as a case study. It creates authenticity.” In June, Andrews left Ketchum to launch a boutique consultancy, Everywhere. He helps Macy’s (M), CNN (TWX), and Jane Fonda promote their brands and monitor their audiences on Facebook, blogs, and Twitter.

Skeptics can draw from plenty of examples of social media experiments run amok. Consider Saatchi & Saatchi’s ill-fated promotion for the Toyota (TM) Matrix. Targeting young men, a demographic known to resist traditional advertising, Saatchi’s social media team last year created a campaign based on the pranks of the popular MTV (VIA.B) show Punk’d. According to the plan, a prospective buyer of a Matrix would single out a friend to be the target of a prank. The promise: a bit of fear, a lot of laughs, and perhaps a groundswell of free marketing across Facebook, MySpace (NWS), and Twitter.

Amber Duick, one of the targets in the short-lived campaign, says she received a series of e-mails from a fictitious British soccer hooligan named Sebastian Bowler. He said he was coming to visit her and bringing along his pit bull. He had a MySpace page where he bragged about “drinking alcohol to excess” and participating in riots. One e-mail Duick received was a fake bill for damage to a hotel room wrecked by Bowler. He had left her e-mail address, the message explained, as his contact info. Duick filed a $10 million lawsuit in October and says that to protect herself from the oncoming Bowler, she slept with a machete by her bed. “She was terrified,” says her lawyer, Nicholas Tepper.

In a statement, Saatchi and Toyota wrote that they would “vigorously defend against the claim,” which is “entirely without merit.” They said the plaintiff had granted “her permission to receive campaign e-mails and other communications from Toyota.”

James Cooper, Saatchi’s digital creative director, says social media, by their nature, are unpredictable, which makes them an easy target for critics. “Anyone who says ‘This is going to work’ is either lying or deranged,” he says. He compares the risk model with venture capital, where one bet out of 10 might pay off richly, while the others struggle or even bomb. And he stresses the difficulty of measuring results. “If something’s got 20 million hits on YouTube, that’s a good thing,” he says. “But what if half the comments are negative? I don’t think anyone’s got a long-term case study yet.”

While the marketing consultants focus on buzz and engagement, their in-house colleagues are trying to use social media to change how companies operate. The goal of Enterprise 2.0, a descendant of the “knowledge management” movement in the ’90s, is to reroute the information traveling through corporations, undermining rigid hierarchies. Tools from Microsoft’s (MSFT) SharePoint, IBM’s (IBM) Lotus Notes, along with packages from newer companies such as Jive Software and Socialtext enable vast networks to share documents and work together on projects.

Yet the buzz around social media has led many companies to buy these systems before they’re ready to put them to work. Jennifer Okimoto, associate partner at IBM Global Business Services, says many corporations took the plunge into social media and now are sitting on loads of uninstalled software. “I’m working with a company that has made huge investments” in social software, she says on a phone call from Switzerland. Yet only a small number of employees at the company use it. A Forrester Research (FORR) study shows that despite buzz around Enterprise 2.0, less than 15% of the knowledge workforce makes use of internal blogs, wikis, and other collaborative tools. “E-mail is still dominant,” says Ted Schadler, author of the report.

The economic situation is heightening the focus on accountability. “Companies no longer have fluff money” to experiment with, says Mark Turrell, chief executive of Imaginatik (IMGKF), a vendor of corporate knowledge management tools. “A lot of programs you launch and get good buzz. But now it’s all about outcomes.”

The debates over buzz are leading to confrontations among consultants. In late October, Marc USA’s Kmiec, a little-known figure in the industry, launched a blog attack against Chris Brogan, one of the towering chieftains of social media. President of consultancy New Marketing Labs, Brogan is an object of considerable envy: He boasts 110,379 followers on Twitter, has co-authored a new social media best-seller, Trust Agents, and commands top dollar on the speaking circuit.

Kmiec wrote of Brogan: “He speaks well. He presents well. Does that make him talented? Yes. Does it make him smart? Yes. Does it make him an expert? No.” Kmiec asked Brogan for client case studies and metrics to prove his social media success. Responding on Kmiec’s blog, Brogan dismissed the questions about his clients and social media metrics: “Is it an exacting marketing science? Not at all. Partly because it’s so damned new that we’re inventing the case studies while we’re experimenting with what comes out of it. Are companies asking for more and more experiences with me to see if it’ll work for them? Hell, yes.”

Many argue that a fixation on hard numbers could lead companies to ignore the harder-to-quantify dividends of social media, such as trust and commitment. A Twittering employee, for example, might develop trust or goodwill among customers but have trouble putting a number on it. “There is this default assumption that return on investment is the correct measure for everything,” says Susan Etlinger, senior vice-president at Horn Group, a San Francisco consultancy. “Everything needs to monetize within 12 weeks, so we can understand that we’re successful. But frequently the thing they’re measuring is misleading.”

This can lead to confusion. The risk is that a backlash against the consultants’ easy promises could reduce social media investments just as the industry takes off. Think back to the dot-com boom a decade ago. Soaring valuations were based initially on promise and hype. In early 2000, when investors started focusing on scarce profits, the market collapsed. But many companies drew the wrong conclusions. Believing the fall of a hyped market was a sign of the failed promise of the Internet, they drew back on Internet investments. This happened just as the technology was on the verge of living up to much of its promise, dominating global communications, transforming entire industries—and spawning social media.

The best way to avoid a similar backlash today is for social media’s practitioners, including thousands of consultants, to shift the focus from promises to results. It may be the only way to convert the skeptics—and flush out the snake oil.

Are You Clued In?
The Cluetrain Manifesto of 1999, by authors Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger, set out the guiding principles of social media years before Facebook and Twitter existed. Thanks to the book’s popularity among Web consultants, some of the declarations now sound clichéd, such as “Markets are conversations.” But others still offer surprising insights.

Baker is a senior writer for BusinessWeek in New York.
For highlights from the book, go to

The complete original article can be found at:


Dear Tucson E-mailers: The Engagement Train is Coming Straight at You

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Listen up Tucson E-mail marketers: the days of one-size-fits-all E-mail blasts may be coming to an end. Have your E-mail based customer newsletters, or promotional updates, been sent out regularly to the same list of subscribers every however often?

Spammers have been getting smarter at gaming the system by using fake E-mail addresses to receive their own spam, and declare that it is not spam, to drive down their percentage of spam and make themselves look more wholesome with the ISPs. So, ISPs are beginning to take steps to raise the bar on deliverability to include measures of customer engagement with the E-mail. This post describes the moves AOL is making…….

This post came from Ken Magill of Direct Magazine, originally posted on Dec 1, 2009

“AOL made an announcement last week about its enhanced whitelist—an internal list of low-spam-complaint mailers whose messages get delivered with graphics and links intact—that, in and of itself, has little effect on most marketers who use e-mail.

The note has vast implications, however, on where ISPs’ spam-filtering techniques are headed and what marketers had better start doing if they want their e-mail lists to continue to perform.

“Historically, any IP on our regular whitelist that fell below a certain [spam] complaint threshold was added to the EWL. This meant that IPs with excellent mail statistics were not included in the EWL if they had not applied for the whitelist,” said the post. “Similarly, some IPs were on the EWL due to low complaints, even though the IP didn’t have the best IP reputation,” it added.

“Taking this into consideration, we have modified our EWL process to benefit IPs with our highest internal reputation score,” the post continued. “This means that IPs being added to the EWL have consistently maintained a low complaint level as well as high user engagement.”

The most important phrase in that post is “high user engagemenet.”

According to deliverability expert Laura Atkins, one reason AOL may be making this move is because spammers have gamed the spam-complaint-rate metric—the percentage of recipients who hit the “report spam button—rendering it less useful as a factor in determining whether incoming mail is unsolicited or not.

Historically, a sender’s spam complaint rate has been one of the main metrics ISPs use to determine whether its mail is wanted or not.

According to Atkins, some spammers have set up thousands of dummy e-mail accounts, sent e-mail to them, and then hit the “this is not spam” button to artificially drive their complaint percentages down.

“The spammers really destroyed the metric,” she said.

Atkins added that complaint rates can also be kept low simply by keeping older non-responsive addresses on a list, a practice inbox providers would like senders to avoid.

As a result, according to multiple sources, some e-mail inbox providers are increasingly looking at how engaged recipients are with a mailer’s messages when determining if the sender is a spammer or not.

Put another way, some inbox providers are reportedly increasingly looking at how individuals interact with a sender’s messages when deciding how to handle incoming mail.

How do they determine engagement? Hard to tell. But common sense says they’ll look at such factors as open and click rates, how many people dig through their spam folders to move the mailer’s messages into their inboxes, how many forward the mailer’s messages, how many reply to the messages—where applicable—and how many add the mailer to their address books.

Moreover, inbox providers are also increasingly monitoring for when recipients don’t interact with a mailer’s messages, according to Deirdre Baird, president of e-mail deliverability and optimization consultancy Pivotal Veracity.

At AOL and Yahoo, for example, if someone signs up for an e-mail list and then never opens the messages, at some point the mailer’s messages will start being shunted off to the recipient’s spam folder, even though the messages are permission based.

As a result, where a mailer’s reputation traditionally was gauged by—among other things—the number of people who took the effort to hit the “report spam” button, now a mailer’s reputation can be damaged by people who do nothing.

“People who don’t interact are becoming as dangerous as those who explicitly, negatively interact,” said Baird.

Added Atkins: “Keeping lists fresh and getting rid of folks who haven’t done anything with your mail in 12 or 18 months is something marketers cringe at, but those dead addresses are hurting reputations these days.”

It is important to note that currently, this trend does not affect business-to-business mailers who send to large enterprise domains as significantly as it does consumer mailers.

In any case, the days of sending the same message to everyone on a list appear to be numbered.

See the original post at Direct Magazine

Social Media Essential for Tucson Health Care Providers

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health care

Whether you are a physician in a large independent practice group, or an executive leading a major health care organization, social media has already changed the world you live in. And these changes are here stay. Concerns about patient privacy arising from HIPPA are well-founded; but patients may elect to share their own stories via social media at no risk to you.

Patients want to tell their stories – it can be therapeutic. Their story is important, and not just to them. Their story is also important to someone else who’s facing the same challenge – the decisions, the fears, the discoveries, the questions, the frustrations. Each story can make a profound difference to someone else. You may never know what will they say about their experience with your organization. But you should.

No matter how rare or how common a patient’s conditions or circumstances, they can find a community of other patients and families online who are telling their stories. They may even become friends and form a support system for one and another. The social media tools are already there to enable them to do this. Countless social media platforms and services have sprung up that are specifically designed for the healthcare industry. These go far beyond Facebook.

Patient stories are important because they describe experiences, satisfaction and dissatisfaction with the medical care and the business processes and services your organization provides. Patients are telling their stories using social media. Are you listening? Have you and your organization told your own story? Does your practice or organization encourage its employees to become effective users of social media, and to educate patients on the many relevant and healthcare focused social media options available to them? Are you guiding your own destiny online?

What’s in it for you?

• Engaging in SEO (search engine optimization) will increase the likelihood of your organization being found on search engines when potential new patients are researching healthcare choices. Called Inbound Marketing, these methods offer the highest ROI.
• Employing “long-tail keywords” to lead local search in practice areas that are profitable and / or underutilized. Aligning keyword strategy with your business strategy.
• Positioning your organization as a leader in social media in Tucson healthcare market shows patients you care.
• Educating yourself and key employees on how the use of social media can support your patients and benefit your business.
• Preparing your staff to inform patients of the healthcare specific social media choices available to them (including and et al) where they can share their stories, and find support through connect with others.
• Encouraging patients transparently to offer reviews and testimonials, which could serve to generate referrals, or identify areas of service needing improvement.
• Monitoring your organization’s presence on social media sites in order to engage them learn directly about areas where your medical care and revenue cycle processes succeeded or failed in meeting their expectations.
• Improving further your local search rankings, as Google and Bing race to search social media, by preparing for real-time searches of Twitter and Facebook posts.
• Staff and patients communicating favorably about your organization on social media reinforces your marketing and branding, increasing capacity utilization and revenue.
• Capitalizing upon revenue cycle initiatives by bringing more (and more attractive) patients through your improved registration, billing, payment and collection processes.

What do you think? / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Social Media Technology Impacts Every Customer Touchpoint

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Jeremiah Owyang’s recent post on this blog Web-Strategist is an incredible useful and concise summary of the many different types of social technology, their respective uses, and their level of advancement along the learning curve. This one is definitely worth book-marking and saving!

Here is the original post


SEO Tips: How To Build And Plan A Keyword List

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AIM enjoys reading the blog by Toma at, and recommends it to our readers.

“Choosing what keywords to target in your content and deciding on how to use it can pose some problems. This is why I decided to create this article and talk about the process of deciding what to choose and how to use it. First of all I want to clarify a small detail: many people say that they’re targeting a keyword without knowing if that’s really a keyword. Here is what I mean by that.

A group of words can be called a keyword only if there is someone searching the Internet for that particular group of words. That is why be careful when paying for SEO service: don’t optimize and rank number 1 for group of words that either no one is looking for or there are only 10 searches/month. The only situation when you could try and target this kind of keywords with very low search volume is if the competition is really weak and your website has only few pages.

Despite what many people say that quality is the only thing that matters I think that only one extraordinary article won’t help you that much. I’ll offer you my suggestion on the relation between quality and quantity bellow in the list of things that you may want to consider when building a keyword list.

How to choose what keywords to target
There are 3 main factors that will influence your decision to target or not a certain keyword:

Relevancy. This is the first thing to check: is this keyword relevant to my website? Many people tend to think first at the services/products they provide. This is not wrong but you have to keep in mind that it is possible that many of your potential clients might not know what kind of service they need. Usually a client encounters a problem and he/she is searching the web for a solution. That is why I think any service provider should think of keywords that are directly related to problems his services address. This also implies a good knowledge of your company: know what you really sell. As a conclusion, stop thinking as a service provider and start developing keywords as a problem solver.
Monthly Search Volume. After you know a keyword is relevant to your website go and find more about it. The main list of keywords should contain your most competitive keywords: this means groups of two words. These keywords not only have very high search volume each month but also have great competition. The secondary lists are for long tail keywords that have lower competition, lower monthly search volume but higher conversion and easier to rank for. You can build a secondary list for any keyword from your main list. In fact I recommend you to do that in order to be able to dominate the main keyword.

Competition. Here you’ll have to check different statistics that can help you decide what keywords to start target first. Basically this step helps you with assigning priorities.

General Competition. See how many results are displayed by the search engine. If your website is new then you should try and find out keywords that have about 1 million competition. Less it’s better, higher will be harder to dominate. You don’t have to try and rush things because you may end up with no ranking and lost time – if you try to rank well for a keyword with high competition, from the start
Title Competition. This is very useful. There are many keywords that have few million websites competition when doing a general search but when you check to see how many pages target those keywords in their titles the competition is dramatically reduced. Now you’ll have to check and see if the first page for the general search and the title search is the same. If not, go on the general search results and see what other factors might help those websites to rank well: it could be the back links

Anchor Competition. This tells you how many links with your keywords as actual text are out there, on the web. A higher number can tell you that it can be easier to get back links for a specific keyword.
How to make a plan of using the keywords

Once you have your keyword lists built it’s time to decide in which order you’ll start using it and how you’ll develop content that will help your rankings. My opinion is to start with the keywords that have lower competition. This decision factor is also connected to the monthly searched volume: work hard only if the keyword has a decent amount of searches each month. Realize that only a percentage of the people that searched for those keywords will actually visit your website.

Once you decided on some main keywords to target you’re ready to start building content around it. You’ll build articles in a pyramid structure. The main keyword is on top and its long tail keywords are at the bottom. Create a link architecture that will help push relevancy to the page that target the main keyword.

Quality is very important but without quantity it will be very hard to rank well for competitive keywords. Having more articles in a pyramid and a logical link architecture between them will also help the user find what he/she is looking for by providing complete information on a subject. Covering every angle of a story can mean to create an important number of articles but in the end the results will be in your favor.

Free tools to look for keywords
I recommend these tools because it will work no matter what country or language are you interested in. There are other suggestion tools on the market but almost all of them work just for some countries and main languages.

Google Keyword External Tool –
Google Search Based Tool –
Google Insights for Search –
Google Trends –
Now, let me know what you think and if you have something to add to all this. Maybe you know some other good free tools or share us how you choose your keywords.”

Visit the original post at:

Google Marketing: Google Page Rank depends on site load times

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Google has been making a lot of news over the past while about how it wants to help speed up the web; and as nice as that might be it has gotten more than a few people wondering why.

AIM can guide you through social media

This last week saw the announcement that the company was working on a new protocol that would sit on top of the standard HTTP protocol. The idea behind SPDY is to help reduce latency and make the overall page surfing experience a little faster.

Not long after that Google’s Matt Cutts has an interview with Mike McDonald from WebProNews were Matt lets the world know that Google is seriously looking at making the page load time a part of the algorithm used to calculate a web site’s PageRank. The idea being that the faster your site loads the better that will affect your overall score as calculated by Google and the better placement you’ll have in search results.

Interesting idea – except why is there this sudden concern with how fast pages load? Tucson web marketing pros should pay attention to site load time and the many elements that affect it.

Granted we all have heard about how fanatical Google can be about page load times since the faster their pages load the more searches they can deliver. On the flip side however there is the time that it takes for the Google crawlers to index, and update, all that data out there. In this aspect of the search game they are often at the mercies of the designers of websites.

So if Google can get everyone to do everything they can to make their pages load faster it means that Google’s crawlers can do their job in the fraction of the time thus saving Google an incredible amount of money. Of course it benefits site owners as well to do what they can to increase page load speed but is Google’s rewarding faster loading sites with a better rank the right way to do this?

Douglas Karr from Marketing Tech Blog doesn’t think so and he goes as far as to suggest that this is leaning to being evil.

So, as one of the wealthiest companies in the world, Google is beginning to drop the hint… hard. Make your sites faster and we’ll reward you with better ranking. This is fantastic for companies with the infrastructure, capacity and resources… but what happens to the little guy? How does a small personal blog hosted on GoDaddy for a few dollars compete with a company hosted on a platform that costs thousands of dollars with loadsharing, caching, web acceleration or cloud technologies?

In my humble opinion, I think it leans the evil side. Let’s break it down:

The web is becoming more complex.
This requires Google to advance its technologies.
That costs Google more money.
The alternative is penalizing sites that perform slowly, requiring them to spend more and speed up their sites, reducing Google’s costs.
That doesn’t make good PR, though.
Instead, Google does it in under the auspices of enhancing the web experience.
It’s not about you and me. It’s about Google’s bottom line.

Personally I think Douglas makes a valid point and one well worth thinking about.

Posted: 14 Nov 2009 06:52 PM PST. See the original post on here:

Using Twitter Lists is Useful for Business

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Twitter made an important announcement last week: the introduction of a new feature called Lists.

As the name implies, this feature will allow you to arrange your Twitter contacts into groups that best serve your personal or professional needs. Creating groups make it easier to read streams of tweets from people in that group, and it is also possible to follow an entire group of people without adding them one-by-one to the list of those who you are following.

Lists can also have an additional and valuable use for businesses, because it will allow you to group your followers into one or several areas of interest within your company. This allows customers to follow what’s happening in different areas of your company, while allowing you to better target messages that are useful and relevant to them, rather than having everyone following you all lumped into one massive group.

Creating a List in Twitter is easy. Start by logging in to Twitter, then look for the Lists tool near the search box on the right panel of your Twitter page. Click “New List” to begin. By selecting “Private List” you are able to generate a List of people to follow that only you can see. A “Public List,” on the other hand, allows you to create a new group that others can subscribe to and follow themselves.

Something that is new and different and worth noting is that you can add a person to your newly created Lists whether or not you are following them from your Twitter account.

If you create a Public List, others will be able to access it by visiting your Twitter page, or by going to the appropriate address, such as for example:

Twitter just got a lot more useful for multi-product and multi-channel marketers, and all those seeking to send a more differentiated message, or follow a more segment group of Tweeters.

Marketing Spending Pays Off for Small Biz

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NOVEMBER 9, 2009

Spending money to make money
Marketers have seen budgets slashed in the recession, but that can create a dilemma: More marketing spending in a downturn can help a company come out ahead when the economy picks up again. According to the “Small Business Marketing Health Check” report from Hurwitz & Associates, there is a correlation between small businesses that are doing well and greater marketing spending.

Almost two-thirds of small businesses that expected increased revenues had raised or planned to raise marketing spending, compared with just 32% to 36% of businesses with flat or declining revenues.

Less than one-half of small businesses studied (46%) were expecting higher revenues in 2009, while 22% anticipated flat revenues and nearly one-third foresaw a decline.

The survey showed small businesses shifting marketing initiatives toward cheaper digital media and away from traditional channels. The top three marketing tools used were social media, e-mail newsletters and search.

Use of e-mail marketing in particular correlated with expected revenue growth.

“The survey clearly reveals that the use of low-cost Web-based marketing tools is playing a strategic role in helping businesses succeed,” said Laurie McCabe, partner, Hurwitz & Associates, in a statement. “Making a few changes to incorporate more online tools into the marketing mix seems to be a key ingredient to small business success.”

Read the complete original article here:

Small Businesses No Exception to Market Spend Shift to Online

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On October 29, 2009 published this account of recent studies that have shown that small businesses are also participating in the shift towards online marketing spend. Of note, small businesses that believed their business would grow in 2010 were far more likely to have made online and e-mail marketing a part of their plans.

Here is the post:

Like larger businesses, small businesses are shifting more of their marketing initiatives from traditional media to web-based tools such as social media — including blogs, social networking, and online communities and forums — and email marketing.

This was a key finding from a recent Campaigner survey released earlier this month. The survey is the first of two reports investigating how North American small businesses with 20 employees or less are succeeding today, and how they’re adapting their marketing plans and budgets to compete more effectively. Data was gathered from 259 respondents.

When asked which marketing vehicles they use most, the top four categories respondents cited were social media, email newsletters, search engine marketing and webinars/podcasts. They were followed by traditional marketing vehicles, including direct mail, trade shows and local newspaper advertising.

The survey also revealed that small businesses expecting to grow this year are more likely to be using or planning to use email marketing. In fact, 82 percent of small businesses that use or plan to use email marketing expect revenue growth, while only 18 percent of small businesses that don’t use, or have no plans to use, email marketing expect growth.

Small businesses relying more on web-based marketing tools cited attracting and retaining customers (50 percent), growing revenue (15 percent), improving cash flow (9 percent), and maintaining profitability (8 percent) as their top business challenges.

The survey also found that many small business owners are seeing the beginnings of a turnaround, and are positioning themselves for stronger growth in 2010 by relying more heavily on web-based marketing tools.

Campaigner, an email marketing solutions provider, sponsored the online survey conducted in July by research and consulting firm Hurwitz

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