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3 Steps To An Online Marketing Makeover

112987077Marketing expert John Jantsch, author of the popular blog Duct Tape Marketing, recently shared with Entrepreneur his insights on how to create a comprehensive and compelling web presence. In a webinar hosted by Laura Lorber, Entrepreneur.com's executive online editor, Jantsch voiced his thoughts on the seven stages of a web presence: search engine optimization, e-mail marketing, social media, online advertising, mobile and analytics.

Here are three of the key strategies he discussed.

1. Think about your content carefully.
Plan ahead and approach content creation in a purposeful way. Choose eight to 10 topics that you believe will most engage your readers and tailor your content to them. Then, create an editorial calendar with a list of upcoming topics, and be faithful to it.

Jantsch recommends using WordPress as a content management system; he says that not only is it intuitive and comes with an entire community of developers and designers constantly improving it, WordPress pages are also more SEO-friendly than static websites. Jantsch recommends using the following WordPress plugins to boost SEO appeal.

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Make Sure Your Emails Get Delivered this Holiday Season

112987077With the holidays fast approaching, brands across the board will send email offer upon email offer to their customer bases. How can you assure that your brand's emails are among the messages that actually land in customers' inboxes and not in their spam folders?

In today's ecommerce market, positive customer interaction makes all the difference when it comes to deliverability. To make the inbox, merchants need to execute their email communications carefully and effectively, in ways that appeal to customers and help them form positive impressions of brands. There are some key practices to put in place to better assure your messages meet the eyes of the customers and potential customers you seek to retain. Here are three tips to maximizing your deliverability potential:

1) Create great content. ISPs are increasingly looking at user engagement as a means of gauging the legitimacy of emails and their senders. Open rates, click rates, response rates and user-generated spam flags all matter, and to drive strong metrics in these areas you need to present highly relevant content with each communication. To draw customers' interest, the content must tailor to their needs and desires. Ask yourself: Does this message fit my audience's demographics, behavioral patterns and personal preferences? To find out, test your messages before you disseminate them to assess the impact of your send frequency, subject lines and other personalization tactics.

The bottom line on content is that it must spark customer engagement. If customers find that emails from your brand contain useful and desirable information, they will keep opening your messages.

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Please Stop Using These 15 Words in Your LinkedIn Profile IMMEDIATELY

112987077LinkedIn has scoured the profiles of its 187 million members and come up with a new list of overused, useless buzzwords.

These are the words that can be an instant turnoff to a recruiter who sees them over and over again because they show that you aren't "dynamic" with great "communication skills," but the opposite.

"You wouldn't mention how disorganized or irresponsible you are, and their antonyms (organized, trustworthy, etc) are wasted words too," explains LinkedIn's Nicole Williams.

So, if you are using any of these 2012 buzzwords, fire up your LinkedIn profile right now and scrub them out. Here they are, in order of how overused they are:

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The Top 5 Reasons Your Newsletter Should Be The Center of Your Social Media Strategy!

The Top 5 Reasons Your Newsletter Should Be The Center of Your Social Media StrategyYou may not have thought about it, but newsletters are the oldest and most effective social media tool around! Are you taking it for granted? Here are the top 5 reasons that you should put newsletter at the center of your social media strategy:

1. Leverage Your Content from Blogs, Whitepapers and Social Media Posts
If you are like most companies, you are continuously blogging, posting to social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, writing whitepapers, creating customer success stories and Web content. Why not get the most from your content development? Your newsletter can be the place where you can bring all that content together. Most of the content can be easily "cut and pasted" into your newsletter with links to either the full article or the blog or social media outlet.

2. Demonstrate Your Commitment to Your Customer and Partner Relationships
For existing customers and partners, the newsletter allows you to communicate to your most valuable assets – customers and partners on a regular basis. Although a newsletter is a wonderful sales tool, it can also let you demonstrate your interest and commitment to your customers and partners by offering industry whitepapers, training, webinars and product advice that can help grow their businesses (and revenues to you!)

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Somebody on Social Media May Be Talking Trash About Your Company

Somebody on Social Media May Be Talking Trash About Your CompanyThere is no lack of Social Media to participate in and worry about: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Foursquare, Blogs, just to name a few. Here is my question for this discussion: How Are You Managing Your Social Media Brand Reputation?

The most important aspects of Social Media include increasing awareness for your brand and improving your relationship with your customers. In order to effectively use these Social Media outlets, you must make a significant commitment of resources and attention (sometimes by top executives). You may be walking the walk by dedicating resources to participating in Social Media but how are you tracking, managing and responding to Social Media posts about your brand?

There are some very good tools for managing your brand reputation and what people are saying about you on Social Media. Most of these tools allow you to set-up the Social Media you want to track and they scan postings and report on discussions related to your brand. Some of the tools even rank your reputation and provide a "report card" on your ranking. Using a brand reputation monitoring tool can also allow you to identify customer service issues that need to be resolved. Here is an example of how these tools work from my own experience:

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