Levi’s Creates “Friends Store” using Facebook Like

I’m impressed by the turn around with this considering Facebook only announced it’s “like” feature that webmasters can imbed on their sites…what, like a week ago?

But here you go. You can shop online with your friends and see what jeans they like.

How to Get Over 1 Million Visitors a Month Presentation

I had a great time speaking yesterday at PRSA’s Association and Non-Profit Day in Washington, DC about how to get over 1 Million visitors to your website using an integrated digital strategy using SEO, PPC, traditional press, social media and blogger outreach.

Here’s the How to Get 1 Million Visitors to your Website a Month presentation.

Guides to Sharing Content via Social Networks

I’ve been working on putting together a training session for our in house bloggers on how to share their blog posts on various social networking sites as a way to create a process for regularly sharing our content.

Our blogs already have ShareThis embedded on each post, and in putting the training together, I found a bunch of well written guides to some of the major social sites that I wanted to share. Here they are:

Enjoy!

Social Networks and Blogging More Popular than Email

For all of you still trying to convince your bosses that social networking is something you should be involved in, feel free to reference the latest research from Neilsen Online which shows that people are now spending more time checking social networking sites and blogs than reading email.

Award Winning Social Media Strategies

I wanted to share the: 2008 Forrester Groundswell Awards Winners

If you’re in social media, need to create a strategy for social media, or just want to wrap your head around what social media is, you should read the Groundswell book.  In particular you should check out the Brooklyn Museum’s social media efforts:

Cool Flash Videos That Explain Social Media

Thought these Flash videos about social media were neat. They cover how HP used bloggers in their marketing plan, how Facebook Connect works, how to use Twitter as  a Tool, and how to create your own social network.

Salvation Army’s Online Marketing Efforts – Innovative, but not strategic

So I’m impressed by the creativity of the Salvation Army of Chicago’s marketing efforts. You can see their YouTube vide where they have Chicagoans helping them play a Christmas carol using the SA bells, and their online donation kettle.

They get a gold star for innovation, but no stars for effectiveness. Why? They did not develop a promotional plan for either effort, and in the crowded social media scape, there’s a good chance that no one will see these efforts.

Here’s where they can improve:

1. Their YouTube video should be on a channel that is branded with their colors and they should apply for nonprofit status through YouTube so that they can have a donate now button on their page. Even better, they should create their “red kettle” icon as a gif and upload it to their page. You’ll notice that no one has commented on their video. This is because (as far as I can tell) they have not promoted it to their list or social media sites. Neither their description nor the title of their video have the keywords “Salvation Army Chicago” in them, so traffic from search is limited. I don’t believe they’ve done any keyword research. If they did, they would use the worlds “holiday volunteering”, “Chicago at the holidays” are terms people are currently using in search. (You can see for yourself by using SEOBook.com’s free keyword tool).

2. Their online holiday kettle page does not allow sharing to any social media site (like Facebook). In fact, their set up process is 4 steps long. This has clearly not been tested by users. They should create shorter sign up process (user name and password with an email asking for more info later) and a link to the code that you can then embed into your blog, myspace, facebook, would be much more effective. I abandoned the process at step 3 when I was suddenly asked to fill out 15 fields. That’s too much info for helping SA by installing a simple widget onto my social media profile, blog or website. In fact, if you visit their Facebook page (with 4,000 + fans) they don’t mention either of these tools. And this is the type of community where (if you make it easy for them) they will spread your message to their friends.

I wonder what kind of adoption they will have with both endeavors. My guess is very little due to the fact that the widget was build without the user in mind and without any usability testing, both items where set up without any strategic thought to selecting keywords on the pages that would capture natural traffic, and (as far as I can tell) neither were launched with a promotional plan encouraging those they know to use and spread the tools.

So close and yet so far….

Upcoming Social Media Training

I’m excited to announce that I will be providing a training about how local non-profits can register on Local Search and use social media to promote their missions and get volunteers.

The training is being organized by the Alexandria Volunteer Bureau and will be held at the Northern Virginia Community College on November 5th. You can register for the training by sending contacting Jennifer Styles at jstyles@alexandriavolunteerbureau.org or 703-836-2176.

And here’s some great feedback from one of my previous training sessions focused on how to use online marketing to enhance your nonprofit’s fundraising program.

A bit of fun – Social Media Campaigns for Boring Products

Just in case you were convinced that a product has to be cool to succeed in social media, here are a few examples of how social media campaigns can even help boring products or services.

Obama is Winning the Online Marketing Race

From a Business Week report:

Democrats have been focused on recruiting supporters online while McCain has been spending campaign donors on TV. The difference is striking:

Obama now boasts 1.5 million friends on Facebook and MySpace, and 43,026 Twitter followers, not to mention 850,000 fans on MyBarackObama.com, his personal social network. In contrast, McCain has 203,343 supporters across MySpace and Facebook.

To compensate for missed connections, McCain’s campaign launched McCainSpace in February, a social network where users can create McCain-centric personal profiles. Commentator Michael Goldfarb was also hired to blog for McCain’s website.

This month the Republicans also launched MeetBarackObama.com, a social media site that highlights Barack’s weaknesses.

I’m not sure if McCain will be able to catch up, and I still don’t think he’s using social networks in an authentic way that will seem “real” online.

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