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Bridging a Social Media Marketing Generation Gap

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Social media best practices is often the topic of my column which is syndicated by several news services and tweeted to millions of readers. I've written two eBooks on social media best practices, and companies large and small hire me to create complex social media strategies and execute their plans. My newest client - the 19-year-old founder of Campus Thrift, (www.campusthrift.com) a new, online thrift store where only college students can buy and sell used goods - isn't much impressed with any of this experience. 

Then again, she also happens to be my daughter...

Like it or not, there is a generational gap that exists in the social media world, and it only seems to be widening. You're always going to to roll your eyes at the generation before you who did not grow up with that new technology - bet it the horseless carriage or SnapChat.  According to a social media demographic study last year in Business Insider, the demographics of who's on what social network are s…

Post Disaster Guilt: Does Worrying How it Will Affect Your Business Make You a Bad Person?

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If you've lived in South Florida for any given time, you've endured flooded streets, downed palms, broken roof tiles, and power outages for hours. But this week was gravely different. For many, Hurricanes Irma and Harvey lived up to their devastating hype. Towns were decimated and lives tragically lost. And now, oppressive Florida heat continue to claim victims. Facebook provides a helpful "mark yourself safe" feature for those in affected disaster areas to let loved ones know they're OK with just one click. But what about  businesses?

Many of the South Florida and Houston-area companies who endured the recent hurricanes and came out virtually unscathed, have been oddly silent. And not because they're without power. Many corporations are trained to highlight only positive news, and bury the negative in fear of losing business.

Human life is irreplaceable; so no comparisons are being made or even vaguely implied here. But after we've been assured that th…

How Ted Cruz's Misstep Just Saved Your Company a PR Nightmare

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Let's all give Senator Ted Cruz a collective "thank you" for what happened on his Twitter account today.

Reportedly, someone was signed into the senator’s official Twitter account and clicked the heart symbol below an adult video creating a "@tedcruz liked this." It was taken down less than an hour later. “It was a staffing issue and it was inadvertent,” the senator said. “It was a mistake.”

But Cruz's mistake hopefully got your attention and perhaps may just save your company from experiencing a similar public relations nightmare. Apparently, multiple staff members have access to the account and post on his behalf. Redundancy is not a bad thing when it comes to social media access. But who has access and where they access from is. And that lesson is an invaluable one.

When you're in technology marketing, you tend to be on the forefront of new media. Being an early adopter goes with the territory, and social media was no different. I qu…

Most Undervalued Company Benefit? Benefit of the Doubt.

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It's not always easy to trust someone; trust, like respect, is often earned. In business that trust often comes with great responsibility and at a price. When you assign a task to a subordinate, you expect it to get done. If it doesn't, there will likely be consequences. But what about when it's a co-worker or your superior? Be honest: are you just as confident it will get done?

Some companies like to tout their benefits package as reason to join them, but its often the intangibles that attract the best people. A healthy working environment, one that fosters communication, encourages input from all employees, is much more inviting than discount park tickets and casual Fridays.

I've found that the best companies tend to trust their employees. Not blindly of course, but give them the benefit of the doubt that they can and will do their job to the best of their abilities. I'm not talking about those first jobs you had as a teenager busing tables, stocking…

Inside Predictive Analytics: Or How I Knew You Were Going to Read This.

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Web Retailers would love to somehow tell buyers from shoppers. With predictive analytics, they can.Depending upon the site and the products and services offered, some website visitors will purchase a product, fill out a form for more info, or schedule a demo. Most however, will take no action. 
Conventional website analytics can tell you where those visitors are coming from, what browser they’re using and other well, useless information for a digital marketer. Other software will tell you which Calls To Actions (CTAs) performed best, while some others (like heat maps) will tell you where their eyes focus when they peruse your site. All valuable information but still no way of telling buyers from the window shoppers.
Leave your tarot cards and crystal ball at home, predictive analytics uses data mining, statistics, modeling, machine learning, and/or artificial intelligence to analyze historical data to make calculated predictions about the future. It’s been around for years of course. …

Top Spot on Google: Tougher than an Olympic Gold Medal?

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Winning an Olympic medal is an amazing achievement by athletes who have dedicated years to win the highest honor in their chosen sport. For businesses, the Top spot on a Google search in their product or service is now viewed as their digital Gold Medal. With talent, proper training, great coaching, and perseverance over time, finishing in the gold for an Olympic athlete is possible. Getting to the top of a common Google search may not be tougher, but it certainly isn't as straightforward.

Longevity weighs heavy in Google algorithms for search engine results page (SERP) placement. If you have been established selling your product on the web longer than anyone, that bodes well for you.

The main factor is of course relevance.  In addition to your website's age is it's relative content.  Then add in the basics of the desired keyword in your domain name, several other meta data factors, and the relevant companies and organizations that link, but that's just the bas…

Social Media: Avoid Bad Tweets and Recover When You Don't

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In Alfred Hitchcock's classic horror film The Birds, a town is paralyzed when birds viciously attack unsuspecting citizens. A remake of sorts is being done online and it's called The Tweets. Designed to give the common man a voice to be heard, Twitter has now become a loaded gun for politicians and celebrities with which to shoot their feet. Everyday, bad tweets seem be pecking their way into the media creating more havoc and ill-will than promotion.

Certainly some are bigger offenders than others, but it's not just the orange-crested loons making bad tweets. It's companies too. So what's a bad tweet and how do you rebound from them?

Think of Twitter as a ticker tape to the world. It's a great way to quickly communicate with customers, vendors, fans, etc. Recently a well known marketing automation company released a tweet with "four-letter" words. It was trying to stand out with a catchy play on words, maybe appeal to a younger crowd I suppose, (As …

Use Your Cell Phone As a Phone? You're Old.

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Watch a millennial's face when their cell phone rings. First, it takes them a second to realize what that sound is. Then you may witness a range of emotions, anywhere from confusion to annoyance to complete panic. One thing's for sure though. They won't answer.
Actually fewer and fewer people do use their mobile phones to talk.  That's why phone carriers give you unlimited minutes now. (And you thought it was because you were a loyal customer.)  Oh sure, that annoying business guy with the double non-fat, two Splenda upside down latte, who likes to broadcast his "win/win, no-brainer" deal to you and everyone else in earshot at the coffee shop still yaks on the phone but it's just part of the image he's brandishing.  But "live audio messaging" as it is better described now is passe.
"So who are you listening to these days?," they ask as I walk on by with my earbuds on."Uhm...another person. You know, the one who I&#…