Blogging on blogs

Writing a blog has inspired me to read a lot of blogs, and I wanted to share a few that I’ve found particularly interesting.

1. The Social Media Marketing Blog

Scott Monty leads social media at Ford Motor Company and blogs about using social media to market large brands.

2. HubSpot Blog

This Inbound Internet Marketing Blog covers social media, blogging, landing pages, email marketing, lead generation and many other topics.

3. Seth’s Blog

Seth Godin is a marketing genius with brief blog posts full of useful information.

4. Groundswell

This part of the Forrester Research blog collection is a continuation of the book “Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies.”

5. Soshable

This fun social media blog is written in  a very casual style and comes across much like a friendly conversation.

6. Mashable

Is Mashable a blog? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, it provides great information on social media issues in short, engaging articles.

What other blogs inspire you? Share some of your favorites.


March 7, 2011 at 1:04 am Leave a comment

Awesome Facebook pages

With more than 500 million users, Facebook is a great place for businesses to interact with customers and engage fans. Which companies are making the most of this social media phenomenon? Here are a few corporate Facebook pages that go the extra mile.

1. Red Bull

With its interactive games, extreme sports videos and very “likable” landing page, Red Bull has one of my favorite Facebook fan pages. Its Twitter integration, which displays tweets from Red Bull-sponsored athletes, is another nice touch.

2. TOMS Shoes

TOMS does no wrong in my eyes, and the company’s Facebook page does not disappoint. The landing page makes the mission its focus, the giving report provides detailed information about the company’s work and the photos section contains images from real fans.

3. Skittles

The humor in this page never gets old. “Friend the rainbow” is a genius call to action, and the polar bear in a speedo makes me laugh. It’s also fun that fans can submit their own photos to be named the “Rainbro of the Week.”

4. Jones Soda

Jones Soda’s Facebook page has a very unique look with engaging, interactive features. Submit photos to be used on bottles, watch videos or check out the company’s live Twitter feed. Foursquare and YouTube are also integrated, making the Facebook page a social media hub.

5. Burt’s Bees

“We like you. Do you like us?” Who could turn that down? Not to mention there’s a $2 coupon in the background, making the “Like” button look even more attractive. You can also go shopping for Burt’s Bees products on the Facebook page, which really sets it apart.

Those are just a few of my favorites. Are there any corporate Facebook pages that have caught your eye?

February 27, 2011 at 12:17 am Leave a comment

5 Surprising facts about email marketing

Social media researcher and author Dan Zarrella recently revealed some interesting data after perusing Mailchimp’s database of 9.5 million emails and conducting focus groups and surveys.

1. The best day to send is… Saturday? Emails sent on Saturdays and Sundays tend to have much higher clickthrough rates than those sent during the business week.

Also interesting: Unsubscription rates peak on Tuesdays and are lowest on Thursdays. From an unsubscription perspective, Saturdays are good.

2. Get at it early Emails sent between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. garner the highest click throughs, no matter the day of the week.

3. Less is more Nearly 81% of people now read their email on their smartphones! Mobile phones are being used for email on a larger scale every day, and MarketingSherpa’s 2010 report says 67% of peoples’ email systems do not display images by default. Graphics and images should be downsized or scrapped for shorter copy.

4. Subject lines can land you in the spam filter If your subject line includes spam-triggering words, your email may never reach its intended target. Some Email Service Providers help you identify such words and phrases with features like Content Detective, SpamAssassin and ContentChecker. Do some research and find out what could be keeping you out of a potential customer’s inbox.

Fun fact: Emails whose subject lines contain these words are most often clicked through: posts, jobs, survey, week’s, e-newsletter, issue, digest, bulleting and editions.

5. Frequency is good If a reader is going to unsubscribe, they will likely do it early. Once they’ve become accustomed to receiving emails, the number or frequency don’t seem to matter. In fact, infrequent emails result in more unsubs.

Have you read about or discovered any other interesting facts about email marketing? Tell us what works or doesn’t work for you.

February 20, 2011 at 8:58 pm Leave a comment

Do Super Bowl commercials affect social media?

So, in this new world of social media and not-so-top-secret Super Bowl ads, how can companies determine if their big-game spots were worth the money? Ymarketing developed a Super Bowl Social Brand Scoreboard Report to measure the impact of game-time commercials on social media, brand awareness and web traffic. The report chronicles the following for companies that spent money on Super Bowl ads:

  • Facebook likes/fans
  • Twitter followers
  • LinkedIn followers
  • Total social bookmarks
  • YouTube subscribers, video views and channel views
  • Monthly website traffic
  • Tweet volume
  • Twitter mentions
  • Google results for videos, news, blogs and discussions
  • Social Mention in relation to strength, sentiment, passion and reach

Ymarketing benchmarked these statistics the Friday before the game and then reviewed them Sunday night to determine the change during Super Bowl weekend.

Which companies ads were the most successful?

Within 36 hours of its television debut (don’t forget it was available online prior to the game), Volkswagen’s “Little Darth Vader”  ad had generated more than 20 million views on YouTube, an increase of about 7 million. In addition to views, it had more than 18,000 comments and nearly 100,000 ratings.

When it comes to Facebook “likes,” Pepsi-Max was the big winner. Check out this graphic that illustrates the percentage of “likes” generated during Super Bowl weekend.

Nearly a 50% increase?! That’s amazing. As a fairly new product, Pepsi-Max really upped its fan base through its two Super Bowl ads. Here’s my favorite.

Doritos was a big winner on Twitter. Just two days before the game, Doritos had zero Twitter mentions. Right after the game, Doritos had been mentioned in more than 19,000 tweets! Chrysler’s Twitter mentions immediately following the game were at more than 18,000 and Pepsi-Max mentions were at nearly 6,000. Looks like those ads got people talking.

E*Trade and GoDaddy also saw results on Twitter. The number of followers of the E*Trade babies increased by nearly 151% after the Super Bowl, and the number of GoDaddy followers increased by more than 73%. GroupOn, Bridgestone and Audi also saw double-digit increases in their number of followers.

Controversial ads also had an impact on social media. GroupOn’s ad that seemed to make light of the political situation in Tibet generated a lot of interest and increased the brand’s YouTube views by 141%. Similarly, HomeAway, which produced an ad that featured a baby being thrown against a window in what was supposed to be a humorous light, increased the brand’s YouTube views by 167%.

Do commercials ever motivate you to “like” someone on Facebook or become a Twitter follower? Share your personal experience on the impact of television commercials on social media.

February 15, 2011 at 2:05 am Leave a comment

Not-so super Super Bowl ads

After paying up to $100,000 per second for ads during what turned out to be the most-watched television event of all time, I’m a little disappointed in the commercials produced by big-spending marketers.  There were no “Where’s the beef?”-like ads with lasting quality or over-the-top spots like the ever-famous Budweiser frogs, but a few commercials seem to have gotten some extra attention.

Two of the most popular ads featured dogs – a Doritos commercial in which a guy paid dearly for teasing a hungry pug and a Bud Light commercial featuring dogs that would do “whatever” the dog-sitter asked, including acting as waiters at a party.

One of my favorite ads was a Volkswagon commercial that featured a kid in a Darth Vader costume who thought he started his family’s Passat by “the Force.”  

Other popular ads included a Best Buy commercial featuring Justin Beiber and Ozzy Osbourne, a Pepsi Max commercial that revealed what men and women really think about and my personal favorite, a Doritos commercial in which the chips are used to bring a man’s dead grandfather back to life.

The aspect of this year’s advertising that I found particularly interesting was the exposure the commercials received online prior to the game. The Doritos and Pepsi ads were created by consumers and posted online for voting. Viewers could watch the commercials on Facebook and vote for their favorites, which were chosen to air during the game.

Volkswagen also posted its ads online, and the Darth Vader spot generated more than 13 million views on YouTube before kickoff. In fact, the VW ads reached more than 1 million views in just the first day.

Other brands including Audi, Best Buy, Budweiser, CareerBuilder, Chevrolet, Coca-Cola, E*Trade, GoDaddy, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Snickers, Teleflora and 20th Century Fox used Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to offer sneak peeks of their Super Bowl ads or reveal the commercials prior the game.

Some marketers say revealing the ads before they air gives them the most bang for their buck – it builds buzz and creates a stir, so viewers pay close attention when the ads appear on television. Knowing the ads are online also gives viewers a chance to watch them numerous times before, during and after the game. Gone are the days of top-secret marketing schemes that aren’t revealed until game day. What an interesting turn of events.

So, did posting the ads online make a difference, or, do Super Bowl ads impact a brand’s social media presence? Check back in a few days for more info.

Until then, let us know which Super Bowl commercials caught your attention this year. What was your favorite? Were there any that you absolutely hated?

February 10, 2011 at 4:18 pm Leave a comment

5 Digital Media trends you should know about

Firefox blocking behavioral ads

Mozilla recently announced the advent of a “Do Not Track” HTTP header that would allow Firefox users to opt-out of behavioral ads. Personalized ads would be blocked, and standard ads would instead appear. This new feature follows the U.S. Department of Commerce’s recommendation for the creation of an online privacy bill of rights and an enforceable code of conduct for handling consumer data and tracking users. This may be the first step in a new wave of online privacy features.

Hyper Alerts

Managers of Facebook Fan pages can now monitor their notifications without refreshing their browsers all day.  They can also interact with followers and monitor the pages of competitors via email. Why didn’t someone think of this sooner?  


The way we search is evolving, and Qwiki is one site to watch. Formed by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim, Qwiki opened its alpha site to the public on Jan. 24. Visit the search engine, type in a topic and watch the magic happen. The site talks to you, explaining the topic for which you searched and displaying images and information in a very visual way. Qwiki runs on the web and as an app on mobile devices, and I have a feeling it will be everywhere in the year to come.


Founded less than a year ago, Jumo is a 501(c)3 organization focused on helping others change the world through the power of social media. Individuals and organizations interested in various causes are able to find, follow and support those working toward solutions both locally and globally.


Tumblr is calling itself “The easiest way to blog.” With just a click, users can post text, photos, quotes, links, music and videos from their browsers, phones, desktops, email accounts and other forms of communication. The average Tumblr user creates 14 original posts each month and reblogs (shares) 3. Half of the posts are photos, and the others are a mix of text, links, music and videos. Since August 2010, Tumblr’s user base has grown from 1.7 billion to nearly 4.5 billion.

There are plenty more digital media trends taking shape for 2011. What are some things you think we should watch for?

Read more about emerging media on the following blogs:

February 4, 2011 at 3:57 pm Leave a comment

As a marketer and a football fan, I love this

With a potential lockout looming, the NFL Players Association has taken to social media to gain the support of fans. The union has produced a 60-second commercial titled “Let us play,” which features NFL players and fans simply repeating the phrase or saying “Let them play” among images of empty stadiums.

Players and owners are at odds over the League’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, which will expire March 4. The owners have threatened to lock the players out unless they can come to an agreement on an equitable form of income distribution, a rookie wage scale, and 18-game season and other topics of contention. If a new CBA is not reached in a timely manner, the 2011 NFL season could be delayed or even canceled.

Earlier this month, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to fans and season-ticket holders that outlined the League’s stance on unresolved issues. “Let us play” is thought to be the union’s response to Goodell’s letter. Interestingly, “Let us play” was produced by New Media Strategies, a social-media-centric ad agency.

The NFLPA had planned to air the ad on television just one time during the NFLPA All-Star game on February 5, the day before the Super Bowl. Just today, the union announced that CBS rejected the ad, refusing to air the spot.

One reason the union has chosen social media rather than television to spread its message is because it believes broadcast networks are sympathetic to the owners’ cause. The NFL has an agreement with four major networks (FOX, NBC, CBS and ESPN) that states that each entity will continue to pay the League $4 billion in rights fees even if the 2011 season is canceled. The union actually filed suit against the League, claiming the TV deal was “lockout insurance.”

Although “Let us play” will not get any TV time, it is available on and the NFLPA’s Youtube channel. NFL Players are also using the #LETUSPLAY hashtag on their tweets and using Twitter as a forum to update fans on the labor negotiations.

Just last week NFLPA Executive Director Demaurice Smith used Twitter to respond to a comment from Commissioner Goodell. After Goodell was quoted as saying he would take a salary cut to $1 if there is a lockout, Smith tweeted, “NFL executives reducing salaries in the event of a lockout? If we have a deal by Super Bowl, I’ll go down to 68 cents.”

Social media has not just become an outlet for athletes to express their opinions, but sports organizations are using them to spread the word about labor negotiations and generate fan support.

Read more about emerging media on the following blogs:


January 31, 2011 at 11:14 am Leave a comment

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