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Social Media Etiquette Best Practices

I’ve seen several Tweets and blog entries on Twitter auto-posting recently and it seems to be something that is being tested and possibly even becoming a social media best practice.

In case you’re not sure what I mean by auto-posting, in this example it is scheduling a social media interaction on Twitter in advance of the actual Tweet being posted. IMO (in my opinion), auto-anything takes the social out of social media, but maybe you can change my mind and explain how it can be considered a best practice. I un-followed Guy Kawasaki of Alltop because of his repetitive auto-Tweeting and I’ll do the same to anyone else I suspect of regular, non-personal social media interactions.

Social Media Etiquette Best Practices will be the topic for the #SMchat Twitter chat on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 1PM ET with the following questions:

1) What are some social media etiquette best practices? How do you make sure to fit them into your social media marketing plan?

2) Does auto-posting violate the best practices of social media? Does it matter if you are online when the auto-post?

3) What advantages or disadvantages of auto-posting? Does auto-posting make social media interactions less personal / authentic?

4) Do you feel you “know” the people you interact with on social media? Why or why not?

5) Other than the “usual” – who (companies or individuals) is a good example of using social media best practices?

Please feel free to leave examples (good and bad) of social media etiquette best practices, including auto-posting if you think that’s a best practice, in the comments below. I will be happy to discuss them with you on Weds, 1/19/11 at 1P ET on the #SMchat Twitter chat hashtag – see you then!

2010 Blog Post Recap and Looking Forward to 2011

Mistletoe=Dung on a Twig. Eeuuuwwww!
Mistletoe=Dung on a Twig. Eeuuuwwww!

In January, 2010, I posted about how I was lucky at Affiliate Summit West 2010, and I’m ending the year with some lucky affiliate news from buy.at – I won their final Christmas quiz! I was able to determine the literal meaning of the word mistletoe is “Dung on a twig.” Can I just state for the record: YUCK!!! I now have an entirely new mental picture whenever someone talks about kissing under the mistletoe…

It seems affiliates were lucky for me in 2010, and maybe not so surprisingly my most popular blog post mentions no less than EIGHT affiliate marketers mentioned in it! Listed below are my top ten 2010 blog posts, ranked via pageviews according to my Google Analytics account. Count them down with me as we count down the last few hours of 2010:

10. Affiliate Summit West 2011 and Social Media Marketing 2011

9. 5 Questions About Building Brands Via Social Media

8. Talking SEO for our 1st Blog Birthday-Anniversary-Blogiversaryday

7. Testing, Testing, One, Two, Three…

6. How Do You Know Who To Interact With On Social Media?

5. Why Didn’t I Ask “How Did You Hear About Us?” I Already Know.

4. Twitter Chats – Fantastic for Insights and Visibility

3. Putting The Social Back In Social Media

2. Top 12 Twitter Chats by Day – What are your Favorites?

1. 2010 Internet Marketing Olympics Dream Team

Happy New Year – 2011! My wish is that the new year is happy, healthy, and prosperous for us all!

If you look at the topics of the blog posts above, there is a wide mix of marketing topics including social media, Twitter chats, brand building, SEO, and even some web analytics and email testing. What would you like to see more of in 2011? Please leave a comment below and let me know!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Mostyns!
Merry Christmas from the Mostyns!

Right now, I should be getting my presentations together for Affiliate Summit West 2011 (hey, look, it’s an affiliate link!) and MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Forum 2011 (sadly, no affiliate link for this one), but I wanted to take a few moments (or sentences) to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2011 to us all!

Now that the kids are teens, we got to “sleep in” until about 9A this morning. As is our tradition, we got up and found out what was in our Christmas stockings and then proceeded to open presents and spend the day together and finished up by joining the whole Mostyn family for dinner.

The holidays are a time for reflections and I have so much to be thankful for this year. I hope that you have had a wonderful year and that 2011 is even better!

Affiliate Summit West 2011 and Social Media Marketing 2011


Previously, I told you about Affiliate Summit (hey, look, it’s an affiliate link!) and what a wonderful conference it is. One of the amazing people I met there is Heather in BC. I was put on Heather’s team for the Strike Out Breast Cancer Midnight Bowling Fundraiser during Affiliate Summit West 2010 and our team won the “Low Score Award” – starting at midnight, we were all so tired there might have been some confusion whether we were bowling or golfing, LOL!

To keep up to date with what she’s doing, I read Heather’s blog posts, and we keep in touch via Facebook and Twiiter. I was reading her Tweets last week and she posted that she would be busy the day after Affiliate Summit and asked her followers to join her at Social Media Marketing 2011 Las Vegas. Since I’ll already be in Las Vegas speaking at ASW11 from January 9-11, 2011, and Social Media is a big part of my new job at 1st Mariner Bank, it seemed a natural fit for me to attend. I asked Heather for more information and she talked to Murray Newlands and the next thing you know I’ve got a press pass!

The Social Media Marketing 2011 Las Vegas conference is being held at the Flamingo Las Vegas on January 12, 2011 – the day after Affiliate Summit West 2011. I’m interested in learning more about monetizing social media from Raymond Lyle of Viglink and all of the other speakers.

Can’t make it to Las Vegas in January? Be sure to add #ASW11 and #SMLASVEGAS to your Twitter hashtag lists to see what people are talking about. Have a specific question – please leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to get the answer for you![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Top 5 Reasons I’m Thankful

#1 Reason I'm Thankful = Family
#1 Reason I’m Thankful = Family

When I started writing this post, I was 11 minutes late for work. Which normally would completely make me nuts. I HATE to be late! But today I’m not bothered all – because I don’t have a job. At least until Monday. And I’m thankful for that. It gives me time to catch up on blog posts that I’ve been wanting to write, prepare for events in the next few weeks, and spend some time with my family. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the U.S. and I’m thankful for these things and so much more.

Here are the “Top 5” reasons I’m thankful:

1. Family – they are the most important people in my life and I’m thankful for every day I can share with them.

2. Friends (online and in real life) – running a close second are my friends who are there for me no matter what and challenge me to be even better than I thought I could be.

3. Health (well, as healthy as Mostyn Medical Mayhem can be) – although it’s a holiday and we know how special occasions have a tendency to turn out around our house…

4.”Me Time” (see above) – plus some time for spending with family and friends and hopefully getting in a few hours reading a great book or two.

5. Work – in this economy I’m grateful to have a job and looking forward to helping propel my new employer from a quality regional bank to total world domination through amazing ecommerce marketing! 😉

I know this hasn’t been my usual type of post, but I wanted to let my friends/fans/followers/readers know how much I appreciate you and how thankful I am for all the good things going on in my life right now, so I hope you’ll forgive me this indulgence. I’d love to hear what you’re thankful for this holiday season, please leave me a comment below and if you’ve got any great “Me Time” light reading book suggestions, feel free to leave those, too!

Conferences, Chats, Mentions, and a New Job, too!

Affiliate Summit 2011 Speaker
Affiliate Summit 2011 Speaker

I’ve been VERY busy since my Blogiversaryday – here’s what I’ve been up to:

Conferences

Blue Sky Factory User Conference – Blue Sky Factory COO and Managing Partner, Doug Broujos, and I presented a session on Getting People to Open Your Email. We spoke about Subject Lines, “From” Names, Pre-Header, and other factors that impact people receiving and opening email. I’ll add a link to the recording/slides once it’s posted. I was thrilled by the audience interaction and the thoughtful questions they asked. I am convinced that Blue Sky Factory hires some of the best and brightest people in email marketing – let me know if you need a referral and you and I can both get 3 months of landing page services for free!

Affiliate Summit West 2011 – Did I mention I was speaking at #ASW11? You can find more info about my speaking engagements on the About page of my site! See more about my top 15 speaking status in the Mentions section below.

Chats

#ProfsChat Guest of Honor – I was just coming off the high of speaking at an email marketing conference when I got an email from Megan Leap at MarketingProfs asking if I would be the special guest on #ProfsChat so of course I said YES! Our topic was email marketing and social media – two of my favorite topics! You can find the complete transcript, including some great links, here: #ProfsChat email marketing and social media transcript.

#SMchat moderator – although I missed my usual “2nd Wednesday of the month” Marketing moderator slot on #SMchat because I was speaking at the Blue Sky Factory User Conference, I was able to view the transcript of the great job done by Guest Moderator Joe Ruiz (better known as @SMSJoe on Twitter). I look forward to moderating today’s #SMchat – once again we’re discussing email marketing and social media, but this time specifically as it relates to Facebook’s venture into email marketing, formerly know as Facebook’s “Project Titan” and now officially released as Facebook Messages. There are no scripted questions this week, but the conversation should be lively on this hot topic! Don’t have Facebook Messages yet? You can request an invite here: http://www.facebook.com/about/messages/

Mentions

Mention in Chris Penn’s Newsletter – I love the way Chris emphasizes the action items in his email – especially subscribe and unsubscribe – and breaks the content into easy-to-digest sections. As an extra-added bonus, I got a mention in this month’s newsletter for sharing last month’s newsletter with my social media network – how’s that for an incentive to SWYN/FTAF?

Mention in Geno Prussakov’s blog – You can see from my Tweet how excited I am:
I’m #14!!! RT @eprussakov Most Influential Affiliate Summit West 2011 Speakers – Top 40 http://bit.ly/bFMnRi

New Job

With a fond farewell, I announced my resignation from MEDEX Global Solutions although I’ll continue to be an affiliate and will never leave the country without MEDEX international travel medical insurance after all of the scary travel stories I’ve heard while working there.

I start my new job as Assistant Vice President, Ecommerce at 1st Mariner Bank after Thanksgiving! As you can see from the image, 1st Mariner is just as excited as I am. Wish me luck!

1st Mariner Announcement
1st Mariner Announcement
Please note: These are affiliate links to MEDEX and Affiliate Summit, but I’d link to them even without an affiliate relationship because I’ve become a true believer in travel medical insurance and I’m thankful that Affiliate Summit has asked me to speak at their event.

Talking SEO for our 1st Blog Birthday-Anniversary-Blogiversaryday

No Matter What Holiday, Flowers Always Work
No Matter What The Holiday Is, Flowers Always Work

One year ago today, I wrote my first post on Motherhood, Marketing, and Medical Mayhem. I was inspired by the marketing insights gained at MarketingProfs Digital Mixer. I was especially excited because I won the conference pass and I couldn’t wait to share what I learned with the world. Now, a year later, I don’t know whether to consider this my blog’s birthday, anniversary, or what? Blogiversaryday?

No matter what you call it, I’ve learned a lot — and shared a lot — over the past year, not only on my blog, but via Twitter, guest posts, and comments on the blogs of others. All of the above are great ways to increase your search engine ranking. Generally, the more links you have coming in to your website from other reputable sites, the higher your natural search ranking. This is also known as off-page SEO (search engine optimization) or link building techniques. According to SEOMOZ, the quantity and quality of external links is the #2 top search engine ranking factor barely beaten out by keyword focused anchor text from external links.

As you might be able to guess, the flip side of off-page SEO is on-page SEO. On-page SEO includes things like keyword-rich URLs, installing 301 permanent redirects, ensuring unique URLs for specific webpages, and keyword optimization. With the exception of keyword content optimization, the other on-page SEO topics are fairly technical in nature but are explained nicely by Rand Fishkin in his post on Perfecting Keyword Targeting & On-Page Optimization.

As noted above, the final, and perhaps most important part of search engine optimization is keywords. Keywords are what a website wants the search engines to associate with their site. The idea is to find the most popular keywords for your audience with the least competition. To help you find keywords and traffic estimates you can use the Google keyword tool. Keywords are used both on-page in content, URLs, alt text, and meta descriptions, and off-page in anchor text.

In reading the details behind the SEOMOZ rankings, I found it interesting that Conferences, Events, and In-Person Networking was the 7th most effective link building tactic for SEO since that’s why I started my blog a year ago. So what do you think – is it a blog birthday, anniversary, blogiversary, or something else? Please leave a comment below or send some “Congratulations” flowers from my affiliate link to let me know!

5 Questions About Building Brands Via Social Media

Social Media for Brand Building?
Social Media for Brand Building?

At the suggestion of Chris Jones, aka @SourcePOV, I’ve been reading a lot recently on how brands are using social media. Here are some links I’ve come up with – examples from around the globe on how companies like Starbucks, Microsoft, Coca Cola, Dell, Kenya Airways, Cadbury, Vodafone, Volkswagen, and K-SWISS are using social media to increase brand recognition and positive brand interactions:
Building Brands Through Twitter
Starbucks’ Schultz: Social Media Is Key to Building Brand Trust
Building Brands via Social Media
Building European Brands Through Social Media
Digital Media Law: Building Brands In a Digital World

For the October 13, 2010 #SMchat, we will be discussing the following 5 questions:

  1. Is social media the best way to build a brand online? Why or why not?
  2. Do B2B and B2C brands need different social media brand-building strategies?
  3. Which social media channel is the best for brand building and why?
  4. Is there a best channel for brand engagement? Does it depend on the product?
  5. What about brand loyalty? Is one channel better than another?

Did I miss any good branding and social media articles? Please feel free to post links in the comments below and don’t forget to join us for #SMchat on Wednesday, 10/13/10, at 1PM ET! We look forward to chatting with you.

Every Child Wants A Pony, Does Every Marketer Want A Pony Movie?

Sharon Riding Secretariat? Nope, That's Pepperoni Pizza!
Is Sharon riding Secretariat? No, that horse is Pepperoni Pizza!

The film Secretariat opens up around the country this weekend. I have always loved horses and I remember when Secretariat won the Triple Crown of horse racing. Although I didn’t own my own pony when I was younger, I was fortunate enough at the time to be able to ride Peperoni Pizza, aka Pete, several times a week. I was even lucky enough to be the barn manager for a highly-ranked team at the Ochlockonee River Pony Club event where the photo on the left was taken  (several years ago).

Online and Offline Movie Marketing

Secretariat, like all movies, is an opportunity waiting to happen for all kinds of media. Traditionally, film publicity included newspaper and magazine ads; billboards; bus and subway ads; in-theater trailers and previews; TV and radio ads; and other offline campaigns. The addition of online media into the movie marketing mix adds another dimension of audience engagement. It allows people to “like” the movie on Facebook and share info and trailers with their friends via social media. On the movie’s website audiences can watch film clips and download pictures from the movie to view on their computer or even post as their avatar on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media forums. Some movies even have games based on the movie that people can play and share. Film marketers do an amazing job of encouraging online influencers to share their love of a movie’s brand among their connections.

Brand Advocacy Via Social Media

This “brand advocacy” or implied endorsement of a movie’s brand by sharing among a person’s friends and followers is even easier to do when the movie’s subject is connected to something they are passionate about. Like the small child who desperately wanted a pony being more likely to write a blog post about the movie Secretariat than any other movie when it comes time to write about a different form of marketing. (Hmmm…sound familiar? LOL) I eventually got the horse – at one point we had two ponies and a horse between my daughter and I – and although I was never tiny enough to be a Triple-Crown-winning jockey, there IS a perpetual trophy awarded by the Harford Horse Show Association with my name on it.

Affiliate Movie Tie-Ins

Smart affiliate marketers are taking new cinematic releases like Secretariat and creating banner ads and product offers that emphasize the movie tie-in. An example of a merchant who is capotalizing on the movie by emphasizing the horse-themed items in their banner creative is Leanin’ Tree:

Some marketers are even modifying their product lines to add horse-related items. An great example is how Andrea Levine Designs added horse charms to their dog and cat jewelry can be found here:
Pet Jewelry by Andrea Levine Designs

Wild Horses Couldn’t Keep Me From Seeing Secretariat!

Mary Schmich, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, once wrote, “You can map your life through your favorite movies, and no two people’s maps will be the same.” Between the combination of horses and a strong-willed working mom, I believe Secretariat will be a movie that will be included in the map of my life. What are you favorite movies and how do they map your life? Please leave me a comment below to let me know.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

An Exciting Week for Conferences and Webinars

Great Conference Conversation at Affiliate Summit
Great Conference Conversation at Affiliate Summit East 2010

In an earlier post, I told you about my fascination with webinars and some tips for making them better. Last week I had an opportunity to participate in a webinar from the other side of the microphone. I was asked to be part of a panel for Social Media in Action: The Marketer’s Perspective, a webinar from WhatTheyThink – the printing and publishing industry’s leading media organization. It was a great experience and one I hope to repeat soon.

I was pleased by the adept way that Cary Sherburne moderated the panel, although my recent experience with a live panel moderator, Jen Goode, set a standard so high I wasn’t sure anyone could match it. Jen moderated an Ask The Experts roundtable at Affiliate Summit East 2010 and the discussion at her roundtable was informative and lively (and not just because of the brownies she brought for attendees). I learned so much at past Affiliate Summits I have attended that I was inspired to put in my own proposal to speak at Affiliate Summit West 2011. If you have any interest in using web analytics and online marketing best practices to assist in website redesign, please vote for my session: WEB REDESIGN BY THE NUMBERS. You have until Friday, October 8, 2010 to help select sessions for Affiliate Summit West 2011.

I was lucky enough to attend the last Affiliate Summit West on a free pass, and last week I was surprised with a free ticket to attend another conference! Eloqua is a marketing automation company that I spent nearly a year working with in order to supplement email automation and segmentation processes. I attended the Eloqua Experience in 2008 and took copious notes on lead scoring and lead nurturing in order to implement best practices and procedures for a former employer. Eloqua’s combination of automating targeting, measurement and sales intelligence impressed me enough to make a complimentary comment in a Twitter chat more than a month ago. Impressively, Eloqua not only responded to my Tweet to thank me, but they remembered what an Eloqua fan I was when they surprised me with the conference ticket in a blog post. Unfortunately, the combination of lack of a corporate travel budget combined with last-minute timing made attending a conference on the other side of the country virtually impossible, but I’m hoping the invitation will be extended for next year’s conference!

What conferences are you looking forward to attending next year? Please let me know in the comments section below! I’m working on putting together a list of interesting marketing conferences and webinars for 2011 and I’ll be happy to give you credit for finding the best marketing conference ever if you post a comment about it below!

Photo courtesy of Shawn Collins and Affiliate Summit.