Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More Genius Social Media Insight from Charles Heflin

(Well, after the third try, I'm having to import from a text file to quote from a blog - Blogger doesn't like the copy/paste from Chrome.)

Here's real genius on how to deal with the flux of data from the Internet:

How do you create a social media marketing campaign?

Here’s how I do it…

  1. Publish a new blog post.
  2. Syndicate the post to 2 or 3 social news sites with large market share (many eyeballs).
  3. Increase the visibility of the syndications by garnering comments, votes and shares on each network where I syndicate my blog post. (I use a tool called Synnd for this function)

As content gains votes and comments it becomes more visible to a larger and larger audience.

It matches a post I did today on genius, Free Will and the Universe as a data aggregator.

The point is the punchline to this old joke:

"Q: How to you get down from an elephant?

"A: You don't, you get down from a goose?"

Social media is designed to network, not produce results. Marketing has ROI as it's base, since you are working to gain return on your investments. Social media isn't remunerative in it's base - you add value to your commercial offerings by including the community your business is supporting. Warts, in-laws and all.

(and no, the quote function on Blogger is currently broken. Sheesh.)

Auto blogs don't work - but twitter does

I've been working with various "pipes" situations, rigging aggregators and whatnot in order to acquire and utilize data. 

A few notes on this:

Google Alerts piped to Blogger eventually get shut down. Usually the Google Alerts just disappears. Once I got a notice that Blogger thought one of my blogs was a "spam blog" and so I shut it down myself.   Apparently content that is only built through Google Alerts can be considered a "spam blog" but one which has human-edited content originally isn't.

Google Alerts piped through an imaginary friend on Friendfeed to Twitter is a success - as well as mixing it in with other news RSS feeds. I've got an imaginary "http://twitter.com/joethunk" which was developed simply to give me news feeds and an alert which is all the "how to's, learn to's, and ways to" which show up on the web. This has over 466 followers as of today. I imagine if I put a babe as an icon, it would get even more. Just the way life works. But its right now the content which is valuable to people.

Using Alerts to pipe to Friendfeed and then using that RSS back to a blog (probably a WordPress plugin) would be the next approach. A direct Google Alerts to Blogger using a mail-to approach leaves the header in, so is easily worked out. When those alerts go through Friendfeed, that header disappears. Posting it on a Wordpress blog would be a workable auto-blog. While Google could lower it's rankings, it couldn't stop it as it does with Blogger.

Now, if you could do that with a video feed, you'd be really popular, depending on how you themed it...

All for now, a couple more posts to do elsewhere. 

Oh - remote blogs do work, you just have to watch your subdomain names and not directly "take over" trademarks.  Research shows that adding "blows" or "sucks" after a tradename is legal.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Marketing Insight: Watch your trademarks and linklove mojo

(If you go to that link, you'll find the entire story of how this trademark dog, Nipper, came into being.)

If you read up on Robert Kiyosaki's books and lectures, he infrequently tells of creating a line of "surfer wallets" made up of nylon - and building a factory in Hawaii to get them made, only to see his product be undercut by foreign manufacturers with knock-offs. Lost the factory as he couldn't compete in price. He hadn't trademarked his products and so could actually have blocked those imports into this country if he had.

Lesson here: make sure you trademark along with your keyword strategies.

The advantage of trademarks is that they don't expire, like copyrights or patents. You can keep renewing them indefinitely - which, for Burrough's Tarzan, was a nice little inheritance for his descendants.

- - - -

I remember someone got a lot of traffic during the last presidential election with isobamamuslim.com and had a simple one-word site: "No". But that person went further and also grabbed the variation, isobamamuslin.com - and the answer was: "No. Muslin is a fabric."

If the guy were really smart, he would have set up t-shirts with just his domain name on the front and the answer on the back. And link to Cafepress where people could buy his product.

Monetize, always.

So watch your defenses closely. Most big (and smart) corporations will actually tie up all the domain variations of their brand names. And if they are really smart, they'll hire someone to build some static mini sites which link to their main site.

When you are working to develop your linklove mojo, you build it by sharing.

But you have to think entirely outside the box regularly - or hire people that do. And if you do have a person like this, give them rein and don't just load them up with work to solve. Let them try things out - give them a small budget to try experiments, plus a percentage of those profits to expand their experiment-budget when they are successful. That will fine-tune their genius. And your profits will grow exponentially.

The point in "Marketing Warfare" is never to take on the competition directly, but take them on by developing a very narrow front - one torpedo in the right spot may not sink a ship, but it can stop it dead in the water while you keep steaming right along and get to that port ahead of them to sell your product.

A final point. Competitions are never won by going head-to-head. The more creative person wins. Period. Don't buy how you were trained in school, with equally-matched teams on two sides in different-colored uniforms. Doesn't work that way. Ask Microsoft. Or Apple.