Create Audio Slideshows with Goldmail

June 25, 2010 at 1:25 pm (blogging, Constant Contact, GoldMail, marketing)

Constant Contact recently partnered with GoldMail to provide users with the ability to add audio slideshow messaging to your email marketing.  And me thinks this enhanced multimedia functionality is pretty damn cool.    Check out this GoldMail announcement

How about I turn this particular blog post into a multimedia exposition? (I am aware that my voice is not nearly as cool as the Brit’s in the GoldMail video.)

Include Audio Slideshows with Goldmail

Note: I could not embed the GoldMail player into my blog because wordpress.com limits the things we can embed due to security.  Click on the image to access the slideshow, or click here.

What do you think?

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Who has time to blog?

June 16, 2010 at 11:53 am (blogging, social networking)

Blogging is the foundation of a good Social Media Strategy.  Here’s a secret: a Blog is essentially the same thing as an article, whitepaper, or thought-leadership library.  

Call it what you like, but original content is a great resource to drive traffic to your website, and to generate leads, that lead to appointments, that lead to proposals, that lead to new business!

Your company and its leaders are regarded as experts in your functional service area and this expertise could be further demonstrated and leveraged if you could more effectively develop and distribute thought leadership.

The challenge is that you need to allocate time to write articles, and the time needs to coincide with your instances of creativity.

One solution would be to engage a ghost writer who specializes in your service area who will draft complete articles from beginning to end.  You can generally secure a more competitive rate by purchasing in bulk (i.e. request 26 articles per year, and commit to publishing your blog semi-weekly).  Ghost writers are skilled at writing and research, but get paid a premium to let you put your name on their work.

Or, you can hire a copywriter / copy editor who will sit with you to pull these thoughts out of your head.  Most good marketers have this skill and can help you brainstorm to find a cache of relevant topics. They can serve as a sort of stenographer, and then take the information and massage it into a digestible format.  This process is helpful because the marketing copywriter can ask you: why is this pertinent to the reader.  (We think in that vein!)  Then, once the piece is structured, you can edit and elaborate. 

Publishing your blog should not be daunting.  It’s should be an exciting way to drive new business.  Feed your blog.  It’s hungry.

You should first start by first building a file (Hopper) of potential topics.

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Facebook Fan Page Notifications

June 7, 2010 at 12:51 pm (Facebook, LinkedIn, marketing, Nutshell Mail, social networking, twitter)

I serve as the administrator and provide support for several Facebook Fan Pages, and a major complaint is that we DO NOT receive notifications when there’s a post to our Fan Page. 

 It’s a problem when we’re missing stuff!   We risk appearing unresponsive to our Fans. 

There are several user-generated discussions regarding the topic in the Facebook Forums.  See:  Facebook Page Notifications, and How do I get Notifications… , but no response from Facebook as of yet.

There have been some workarounds offered by users.  Check out this suggestion from Robert Holland, who recommends that you “Like” all your posts, and enable your personal setting so that you receive notifications from posts that you “Like.”  This works well, but it doesn’t alert you (the administrator) to new, original posts from Page visitors. 

I recently came across NutshellMail,  acquired last month (May 2010) by Constant Contact, which provides a great solution.  You can connect your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, (and MySpace), and NutshellMail brings a summary of your updates to your email inbox.  Nutshell offers other services, including Ning integrations and email newsletters (thanks to Constant Contact).

It’s important to mention that you can modify your settings at any time.  Such as:

  • Decide which Messaging Accounts to include: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace;
  • Decide when to receive your messages from Nutshell (I have a client who wants to respond within the hour to fan posts, so he’s opted to receive NutshellMail hourly during business hours.);
  • You can customize the settings for each individual Messaging Account. NutshellMail will show you all your new activity from your Messaging Accounts, and allows you to select which items you want to see in your email updates; and
  • You can Suspend or Cancel your account at any time.

NutshellMail Delivery Times

When I created my NutshellMail account, I was initially a bit overwhelmed, because I was receiving my email summary several times daily, and it included EVERYTHING, both personal, and the Fan Page Posts that I was seeking.  Social Media is my job, but even I know that there is a Time-Suck risk, so I try to only open the applications when I need them.  These initial NutshellMail summaries were distracting. 

I changed my settings so that I only receive updates from the Fan Pages that I administer.  I receiving notifications from Fans who respond to my posts, who comment on other posts, or who posts original content to my Fan Pages. 

It can be embarrassing when you’re not aware that a Fan posted a positive or negative review on your Fan Page, or when a Fan walks in and says: “you didn’t answer my question that I posted a couple of weeks ago.”

It’s a dialogue, not a monologue, and I hope this solution helps you too.

Contact me for help with your Social Media Strategy.  joannestarks@gmail.com | @joannestarks

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