Friday, July 24, 2009

How Twitter can help your business

Twitter launched a special how-to guide to educate businesses on how to effectively use the social networking service: Twitter 101 for Business.
Every day, millions of people use Twitter to create, discover and share ideas with others. Now, people are turning to Twitter as an effective way to reach out to businesses, too. From local stores to big brands, and from brick-and-mortar to internet-based or service sector, people are finding great value in the connections they make with businesses on Twitter.

If you want to learn what this social networking site can do for your business consider that Twitter is a communications platform that connects businesses and their customers. Now, your business can use the service to quickly share information with people interested in your company, gather real-time market intelligence and feedback, and build relationships with customers, partners and other people who care about your company according to the guide. Individual users can use Twitter to tell a company (or anyone else) that they've had a great--or disappointing--experience with a certain company. Consumers can also offer product ideas, and learn about great offers, deals and coupons.

The guide also offers case studies. Here is a Twitter 101 Case Study from @DellOutlet.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

It's never too late to hire an SEO expert

Finally, your web site is complete. It looks great, the content is appealing, but web traffic is not where you want it to be. There may be a problem that you have not considered: search engine optimization a.k.a. SEO.

What is SEO?
Search engine optimization is the process of driving traffic to a website by weighting algorithmic search results in a site's favor. Typically, the earlier a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, and industry-specific vertical search engines. This gives a web site web presence.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. Optimizing a website primarily involves editing its content and HTML coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines.

Hire an SEO expert
If you haven’t completely exhausted your online budget on the web build or online media and can carve a bit more room in the budget for assistance with SEO, by all means do so. It is not nor is it ever too late to hire an agency, consultant or in-house expert to assist you with getting your website up to par and ready for indexing with the search engines. In fact, there are certain barriers that your newly designed website may have that can be overcome swiftly with a bit of hired help. In the long run, this can be worth the additional investment for your website.

Consider the following when deciding whether or not to hire yet another vendor or outside consultant to assist you with the next phase of your website’s development as recommended from

-If your website is very large and complex and contains deep content and variables in the URLs, then an SEO or programmer who is knowledgeable in URL rewriting can help you overcome this barrier quickly and effectively.

-If your primary navigation and/or site structure is in Flash, hidden behind frames or composed mainly of images, a seasoned SEO can work with you and your programmer to optimize the site as much as possible and assist you with major overhauls, if necessary.

-If you do not have much actual content on the site (e.g., product numbers but not descriptions), then an SEO copywriter can work with you to create relevant keyword-rich content that ensures people will find your site for your targeted keywords.

-If you are overwhelmed by the laundry list of SEO tasks that must now be implemented, you may want to hire an SEO for a few hours of consulting to help guide you. Remember, you do not need to be the expert here. You are already an expert in your chosen industry. A professional SEO can provide you with a game plan based on their own expertise in the field, which will save you time and money in the long run.

Just because you did not plan for SEO in the first phase of your website’s development does not mean it cannot be effectively implemented after your site has been made live. Always keep in mind that SEO is an ongoing process and can be incorporated into your annual online marketing budget along with things like regular website updates, newsletter mailings to site subscribers and online and offline media planning.

It can be overwhelming to discover that your work is not done once your website is live, but learning about SEO at the end of the project curve, rather than the beginning, is not as much of a setback as it seems. Most website owners already have the tools in place for good SEO and with some relatively simple tweaks to code and copy for the short term, and a comprehensive SEO strategy for the long term, you’ll do just fine.

For more information on how I can help your website or blog with SEO, contact me at 816-267-0678 or by email at EllaBee PR

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Outsource social media to increase online sales

Here is a great article from the New York Times that shows how even musicians are no longer trying to sign major record deals to sell records. Instead, they are looking to create a marketing strategy with an online presence. Artists are reaching out to their audience through online selling platforms like iTunes because the old business model is no longer working. I hope this article inspires you to look into outsourcing your public relations efforts to someone who specializes in social media. Don't underestimate the power of online sales.

According to the article, much of the success of artists rising to the top without signing to a record label has to do with the rise of the Internet as a means of promoting and distributing music. Physical album sales fell 20 percent, to 362.6 million last year, according to Nielsen, while sales of individual digital tracks rose 27 percent, to 1.07 billion, failing to compensate for the drop. Mindful of these changes, in the last few years marquee musicians like Trent Reznor, the Beastie Boys and Barenaked Ladies have created their own artist-run labels and reaped significant rewards by keeping a larger share of their revenue.

Under the Polyphonic model, bands that receive investments from the firm will operate like start-up companies, recording their own music and choosing outside contractors to handle their publicity, merchandise and touring.

Instead of receiving an advance and then possibly reaping royalties later if they have a hit, musicians will share in all the profits from their music and touring. In another departure from tradition in the music business, they will also maintain ownership of their own copyrights and master recordings — meaning they and their heirs can keep earning money from their music.

“We are all witnessing major labels starting to shed artists that are hitting only 80,000 or 100,000 unit sales,” said Adam Driscoll, another Polyphonic founder and chief executive of the British media company MAMA Group. “Do a quick calculation on those sales, with an artist who can tour in multiple cities, and that is a good business. You can take that as a foundation and build on it.”

Friday, July 17, 2009

Is that social media expert, really an expert?

Here is a great article by Peter Shankman of Help a Reporter Out.

There’s a new phenomena of people declaring themselves social media experts. We’ve actually heard from firms who pushed someone to become their resident social media expert because the person was on Facebook. There is no endorsement or accreditation to set apart legitimate industry leaders from bandwagon opportunists.

Social media is a hot topic. We get it. And we don’t want to see people getting scammed by self-touting experts ready to make a quick buck.
There are very few people who could, or should in all honesty, be called social media experts. We’re sharing this list with our networks, including those not yet involved in the social media world to give them a helpful guide.

25 Ways to tell your Social Media “Expert” Might Not Be An “Expert” After All

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Social media can teach you any and everything

By Lila Brown,

A new social media platform teaches anyone how to do anything through brief instructional videos. The how-to idea is basic, but the lessons offered provide expert advice to someone who is looking to learn everything or simply looking to learn something new. Watch here:

Founded by veterans of Google and YouTube, shows consumers engaging, useful how-to videos and guides wherever, whenever they need to learn how.

Howcast brings together the personality of user-generated content with the quality of a professional video studio to create engaging, informative, and free how-to videos for consumers. It also offers emerging filmmakers an opportunity to gain experience, exposure, and income.

Howcast partners with leading video sites and experiences across web, mobile, and emerging platforms to show consumers useful how-to videos wherever and whenever they need to learn how to do just about anything.

For the full article.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Public Relations Does Not = Sales

I don't usually share other content on my blog, but as I am growing as a freelance public relations specialist with a focus on social media, it is crucial to articulate to current and prospective clients that PR IS NOT SALES. It can help guide consumers, but it is up to your sales team to close the deal. This in from PR Squared:

What PR Cannot Do for Clients

I recently heard a client describe Public Relations as “the softening of the beachhead” for his Sales effort. That struck me as an apt analogy.

Public Relations is not Sales. PR can absolutely help guide the prospect toward a purchase decision, in a measurable way. PR can surround the prospect with thoughtful, candid, compelling conversations and content and references until they think, “Wow, okay, I’ve got to check these guys out.”

But when the prospect gets to the website or picks up the phone or shoots over an email: PR’s work is done.

If the website features a glitchy 1990–style template; if the telesales agent is unintelligible; if the sale rep takes too long to respond to the inquiry — if the sale is lost — that’s not a “quantity/quality of leads” problem; that’s not a PR problem — that’s a Sales problem.

Similarly, the PR team is not the official spokesperson. If the PR agency has set up a slate of dreamy editorial meetings, their “pitches” have worked. It’s now up to the official spokesperson to swing for the home-run articles. If the spokesperson doesn’t bring the customer references they promised, or the product demo flatlines; if they turn green from nerves; if they ignore the PR pro’s advice on how-to improve — if the article is lost — that’s not a PR problem — that’s a problem that the client brought to the field.

PR can set you up for success. It cannot make you a success.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New Blog on Media and Money

While watching CNBC and learning about the annual media summit in Sun Valley, Idaho, I was inspired to take a deeper look into the business of media so I created a new blog titled: Media and Money.

Media and Money brings together the latest information about the business side of media. I want this blog to become the go-to source for everything about media from social media to traditional print. Media and Money will show the winners and losers, who is making strides and who needs to step aside.