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Website Design, Social Media & Digital Marketing in Doral by Aday Interactive

Social Media Marketing: How to create your Google+ Business Page

November 13, 2011 by Brandon Aday | 0 comments

Google PlusLast week Google finally released company branded Google+ pages to the public (see the previous post on Google+ for building online community)! As soon as Google+ business pages launched, many companies and organizations  jumped at the opportunity to create a Google+ business page, and Aday Interactive was definitely on that bandwagon. This tutorial will show you how to create a Google+ business profile page, based on our experience setting up our own. So what is a Google+ (Plus) business page you ask? A Google+ business page is similar to a Facebook fan page, as it is a profile set up for a company, organization or brand. Your profile will be available to users on the Google+ social networking site, where they can add you to their "Circles" to receive updates you post, similar to the Facebook wall post and Twitter tweet stream. Google+ business profiles include information about the company, photos, videos and the standard stream for message posts.

Until the launch of the Google+ business page, it was still questionable as to whether you should jump into the Google+ circle, but with this final piece of the Google+ puzzle in place. Before the launch only individuals were allowed to create a Google+ page. For a long time before that you could only create an individual page with your Gmail account, until Google finally opened the social network up to Google Apps for Business users (see the post on enabling Google+ for Google Apps for Business) a few weeks ago.  Most would agree at this point that you set up your new page, and use it as a part of your overall social media marketing strategy along with LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook!

Steps to Create Your Google+ Business Page

To start creating your Google+ business page, you will of course have to be a member already. If you have a Gmail account, you can easily join the social network.  Assuming you already have a Google+ account, you will first have to log in and go to https://plus.google.com/pages/create

Create a Google Plus Page

You will have several choices of how to set up your page. You should consider the type of page, since you won't be able to change it later. Note that if you already have a Google Places account set up, you can actually find your account using your telephone number and connect it to your Google+ business page. It will extract your information and give you the ability to customize who can see the information and what category you page should be placed under.

Create Google Plus Page from Google Places.

If you do not have a Google Places page, you can choose one of the other options, which include Product or Brand; Company, Institution or Organization; Arts, Entertainment or Sports; or Other. Note that the options  you have for your Google Local Business or Place are different compared to the other 4 listing types. The key difference between the Places based version and the others is that they include a map of the business location, feature the address, phone number and hours behavior. Below is an example of setting it up as a Company, Institution or Organization, in case you don't yet have a Google Places account set up.

Next, you will be logged into Google+ as your organization, similar to Facebook. Notice that the user name will be changed to the name of your page (i.e. Aday Interactive, Inc. in my case) and anything you post, or add to your Circles will be attributed to your Google+ page. When first logged in you will be prompted to edit your Tagline and add a profile photo.

Updating the Google Plus Page tagline and upload profile photo

After this very basic set up, you are able to promote your new page to your Circles. However, I don't recommend doing this until after you have done some more tweaking to the page.

Prepare For Your Google Plus Page

I would recommend you start off by filling in additional information and adding profile photos to your page. You can also start a conversation by posting to your own feed. A welcome message may be useful that explains what you will be doing on Google+ and where visitors can find you on other social media networks. You should also consider integrating the Google+ icon onto your website, similar to how people currently have Facebook and Twitter pages.

Integrate Google Plus page into your website.

Adding a Google+ icon to your website will also be useful in pushing traffic to your page. When you first log in, you will be presented with information on how to "Get the badge"  that will point to your new Google+ business profile page. The URL is not pretty, but you can always use a shortener for it. In my case, I am mapping this page to my Google+ profile until another pretty URL is enabled. Click on the link and capture the code that will be needed to add to your website. You may need to send this code over to your website developer or in-house techie to put on your page. 

Link To Your Google Plus Page

Now you should be all set with your new Google+ business profile page. The final step will be to view your page and share it with the world! Below is the Aday Interactive page, which you can add to your "Circles" by clicking here. If you add me to your circle, I will be sure to add our company page to yours!

Aday Interactive Brand Page on GooglePlus

Still not sure about what to do with your new Google+ Business page? Check out some of these resources for more information: Google+ Pages: connect with all the things you care about (from the Official Google Blog),  Google+ Help and 10 Tips and Tricks for Better Google+ Brand Pages from our friends at Mashable.com. Here are several books you can pick up as well: Google+ for Business: How Google's Social Network Changes EverythingGoogle+ For Dummies, or Sams Teach Yourself Google+ in 10 Minutes (Sams Teach Yourself -- Minutes). Need additional help setting up your Google+ business page, or developing your overall social media marketing strategy? Feel free to contact us with questions or call 305-918-2329 to schedule your free 30 minute Social Media Marketing consultation!

 

Social Media Marketing: How to Enable Google+ on Google Apps!

October 27, 2011 by Brandon Aday | 0 comments

Google Plus CirclesFor those of you who use Google Apps for Business, you may have wondered when you could  use your Google Apps email account with Google+ (see previous post on  Google+ to build your online community). Well today is the day you have been waiting for! You can now connect your Google Apps account to Google+ so you do not have to have two seperate accounts (or to different browsers open) to connect with your circles! According to this blog posted earlier today from the Google Enterprise team, you can now enable your Google Apps account to join Google+! I admit that I was very excited when I first joined Google+, but a big issue for me was that I am never signed into my Gmail account. I always used my Google Apps for Business (the professional version of Gmail), which until today did not have access to Google+, so it is an exciting day for many who use Google Apps!

How to Enable Google+ for Google Apps
Even though you can enable Google+  it is not as simple as just going over to plus.google.com with your Apps account and joining, since you need to have it enabled for your domain. This post will show you how to enable Google+ on your Google Apps domain. Keep in mind that you will need to have adminstrative access to do this, or request that you can enable this to your adminstrator. So let''s get started! Assuming you are the domain administrator, log into your Google Apps account and click on Manage Domain. Once you you are logged in, click on Organization & users -->  Services.

Next scroll down to review your services. Between Google Webmaster Tools and iGoogle, you will find the option to turn on Google+ for your Google Apps domain.

After you turn on Google+ on your Google Apps domain, you will receive a prompt that provides all of the legal ramifications of doing so. You definitely want to read these, as enabling Google+ for your domain may have some unwanted ramifications. You can read the legal considerations of enabling Google+ for Google Apps here: http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?answer=1689647

Google+ Agreement

How to Migrate Gmail Google+ to Google Apps Google+ Account
For those of you who were early adoptors of Google+, you may be wondering, "How do I migrate my personal Google+ account to my new Google Apps Google+ account???" Well as of today, there does not seem to be a solution to this problem.  According to the good people at Mashable, Google is working on a way to migrate your personal Google+ Circles and information, but it may just be a one-way street. This means you may not be able to transfer the data back to your Gmail based Google+ account, but that is still to be seen.

So what do you do if you leave your job, and no longer have access to your Google Apps Google+ account? If this happens, you should be able to export your data  including their profile, circles, streams, contacts, and photos, using  Google Takeout. You can access this function by signing into Google+, going to Account Settings -->Data Liberation -->Download Your Data. Employers may want to keep this in mind, since your users can do this even if you disable their account! For this reason, you also have the ability to choose which users have access to Google+, instead of giving access to EVERYONE in your organization.

Google Take Out  Google+ Data Liberation
Google+ and Google Apps Conflicts
Another issue is that if you have a personal account, and enable it in Google Apps, you can end up with Conflicting Accounts! This happens when a user has a personal Gmail account, that uses their company e-mail. If this happens, they will need to change the name of their PERSONAL account when they next log in, to resolve the issue. When this happens, Google will remove the business email from the personal account, so you may want to keep this in mind! You can go here for more information on resolving these issues: http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?answer=185172

Should You Enable Google+ for Google Apps?
So is it worth enabling Google+ for your Google Apps account? Well, you no longer will need to have two profiles, and frankly, you may end up using Google+ more than previously. However, you may want to be selective with who you give access to Google+ in your organization. Perhaps only officers or high level executives should have access. On the other hand, if you are an empolyee, you may want to stick to the Gmail version, since you will "own" that profile. Either way, Google+ may start getting more exciting again  (for me at least), so I ask that you add my new Google Apps based Google+ account to your circle  by clicking here: Brandon Aday is on Google+ (again)! Who knows, I may actually start posting some thing :D

Google+ Resources
Not sure how to use Google+ to help build your online community? Check out some of these resources for more information: Google+ for Business: How Google's Social Network Changes EverythingGoogle+ For Dummies, or Sams Teach Yourself Google+ in 10 Minutes (Sams Teach Yourself -- Minutes).

 

Social Media Marketing: Look What I Stumbled Upon!

September 30, 2011 by Brandon Aday | 0 comments

Social Media Marketing: Look What I Stumbled Upon! Stumbling may not be fun after a wild night out on the town, but it is a geat way to share interesting web content with friends! For those of you who are unfamiliar with StumbleUpon, it is a social bookmarking website, that acts as a web content discovery engine, promoting "the best of the web" via user recommendations. The site has gained much visibility over the past year, since it surpassed Facebook as the leader in traffic generation for websites ( See StumbleUpon Drives More Than 50% of Social Media Traffic [STATS]). Since that proclamation, the site has consistently increased the amount of traffic it is sending to websites, making it a must use site for anyone who wants to find the latest cool website (See Facebook is Good, But StumbleUpon Rules through “Freshness”). StumbleUpon also has a mobile app which set a record during the last Super Bowl for sending mobile traffic (see StumbleUpon Sets Record for Mobile Use During Super Bowl). So clearly it is a player in the burgeoning mobile market as well.

For content producers (i.e. people with websites and blogs), StumbleUpon is a great way to get discovered by many people who are interested in your topic. Stumbling all of your posts is a great way to get a kick start on traffic generation. In the short time I have been a "stumbler", I have even seen that StumbleUpon is already the second highest traffic generator for my site after Facebook (which I have been on for much longer).  So I am already seeing a benefit for being a stumbler, and there is no doubt in my mind that StumbleUpon is a site you should join. Not only can you start driving more traffic to your website, but you will also discover new socially curated, recommended content.

So now that we know you should be a member, let's discuss what you actually do when  you stumble...According to the book The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web, "... you can start surfing with StumbleUpon to find brand new sites that are related to your interests as suggested by other users on the service. The more active you are on StumbleUpon, the more opportunity there is for you to grow your network and expose your own content to more and more StumbleUpon users." To sign up, you either create a new account with the service, or simply log-in using your Facebook account. This is very convenient, as you won't have to register, and  it already shows which Facebook friends are also stumbling content. You can follow their stumbles, and they can follow yours, giving you a quick way to start building your online community on the site.

After you sign up to StumbleUpon, you have the ability to install a toolbar on your browser that automatically "stumbles" you across different random websites, based on preferences you added for hobbies and interests. Stumbleupon will take you to a new site which you can "like" or "dislike" it, using the Thumbs Up or Down symbols. It also gives you the ability to share on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, as well as leave and read comments other users have left. This peer-sourcing model is what has the ability to rate content and direct you to it, based on social proof. What is great about the system is that every time you rate an item, the system improves its ability to recommend more relevant content to your user profile.

Stumble Upon Bar for Aday Interactive

Like other social sites, you have friends and followers which will see your "Favorite" pages and recommendations. You can add sites with reviews of pages you are interested in. You can add your own blog posts every time you post. For example, when I publish a blog post, I like to "stumble" it to my followers. There is a button I have installed on each blog post page that allows others to "stumble" the page to the network as well. This adds it to the system and allows others with similar interests to see the page as well. The StumbleUpon button is on this blog post as well, so if you could please stumble this post, by clicking on the button that looks like this at the bottom of the page, it would be much appreciated :)

Share Aday Interactive on StumbleUpon

Another great reason to use StumbleUpon is to see what others who have similar interests recommend. The web has so much garbage on it, it is nice to have peers review the content and give their stamp of approval, before reading it yourself. This social proof can help influence decision making process, when choosing what to read and what to ignore online. Additionally, you can select a certain category and it will only give you results from that category until deselected once again. Of course, if you find people who have very similar interests as you do, you can follow them and start building actual online friendships with them, based on your shared interests (it is social media after all!)

Aday Interactive StumbleUpon Profile

So what if you don't want to wait for your pages to become popular overtime? Like other social sites, StumbleUpon also has a paid/sponsorship option. This will increase your pages visibility, and the likelihood of being seen. The system, known as "Paid Discovery for Advertisers" allows you to focus on people in your target market, and provides impressions of the content. In other words, your content will be shown directly to people who have a specific interest, however, the targeting is not as granular as LinkedIn or Facebook Ads. On the bright side, people do not have to click on your ad before they are served the content. If your content is relevant, it will likely receive the approval of other stumblers, as they hopefully give it a thumbs up (not a thumbs down).

Paid Discovery for Advertisers

Overall, whether you are looking for new and interesting content to read, or looking to promote what you have written, I would highly recommend you join StumbleUpon. In fact, if you click here I can be your first friend on the site! Not only is the service useful for generating traffic to your website, but you can learn about new content your friends are reading, and it can definitely assist you in your backlinking strategy to increase your SEO as well. If you have any questions regarding that topic, please feel free to schedule a consultation to discuss your social media and digital marketing strategy, or call 305-918-ADAY (2329). In the next few posts we will review other similar social booking marking websites, and how you can use them to help promote your business and website!

 

Social Media Marketing: To Tumblr or Not to Tumblr!

September 16, 2011 by Brandon Aday | 0 comments

TumblrFacebook, Twitter and LinkedIn may be the holy trinity of social media at the moment, but don't tell that to Tumblr! In fact, in the past year, the service has grown 10x's, from 1 billion posts to over 10 billion! On average, the 29 million+ blogs publish over 15 posts a month, and also "reblog" content from other blogs (which is similar to "retweeting"). This is a great feature in itself, as it lets content spread virally very quickly. So what exactly is Tumblr? It is a platform where you can set up what is known as a "tumble blog", which is optimized for quick, on the fly content sharing. If Twitter and WordPress had a baby, it would look something like Tumblr.

According to the Tumblr about page, "Tumblr lets you effortlessly share anything. Post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos, from your browser, phone, desktop, email, or wherever you happen to be. You can customize everything, from colors, to your theme's HTML."  Tumblr as a network is similar to WordPress.com or Google's Blogger platform, in that you can set up a blog quickly for free, and customize it with built in templates and layouts. So what does this tool have that the others do not? In a word, simplicity: it is simple to use and publish content on Tumblr, and for that reason it is growing rapidly!

So let's take a look at this great social tool! First thing you notice when you log into the system, is a feed of the latest posts from other Tumblr blogs. Just like on Twitter, you can follow other users, and explore what other content is available on the site. This is great as it allows you to see what others are publishing, and can give you an idea of what to write on your Tumblr blog. You may also want to just “reblog” someone else’s content, and add a comment, to dip your toe in the content publishing world.

Aday Interactive Tumblr Site

You will also be presented with very large icons that give you the ability to quickly post text, photos, quotes, links, audio and video files. The nice thing is the number of file formats and types of media that are easily uploaded and posted onto your Tumblr blog. Those last two features are of most interest to me, since this can be a quick and inexpensive solution to create your podcast or video blog feed!

Tumblr Nav Bar

If you know how to play with HTML and CSS, you are able to customize the look and feel of the blog. The site comes with many free and premium Themes you can apply to your blog. There is also the ability to edit the HTML and CSS in the page directly, to give a more customized design. Creating additional pages (aside from posts) is also simple in the system, and it gives you the ability to add the new page link automatically to the blogs navigation without programming knowledge. For this reason, you could potentially use Tumblr as a full CMS.

Tumblr Edit CSS and HTML

Tumblr plays nice with other social networking sites, and integrates with both Facebook and Twitter. You can add your Twitter feed into the account so that it displays on the side of your blog. You can also configure it so that your posts show up automatically in your Twitter feed or Facebook wall posts. Similar to other blogs and social tools such as Hootsuite, you can schedule your posts out ahead of time, so that you don't have to post everyday to keep a steady flow of content on your site. You can plan it all ahead of time and it will post for you. You can also post directly from your smart phone, as well as share photos and videos quickly using the Tumblr mobile app, which is great for on the fly posting of text, audio or even video!

Tumblr Social Media Integration

If you don't have a blog yet, or don't want to dive into full blown blogging just yet, Tumblr is a perfectly viable solution to get your feet wet. However, there are a few drawbacks. First, there is a lack of integration with tools like Google Analytics, so it is not easy to track your visitors or post views in the same way you can track other social tools. The best way around that however is by connecting your RSS feed to Feedburner to track analytics; however there still may be some missing information that is valuable to knowing if your blog is a success.

You also can not add additional functionality using Widgets or Plug-in’s, like what are used in the WordPress platform. This makes it a difficult choice for a core blogging solution, since you won't be able to modify or extend your Tumblr blog to meet all of your blogging needs. Finally, unless your customers are already familiar with Tumblr, it may be difficult to start building your online community on the site. Since it is not as popular with the general population (like Google+) it may take some time for your family, friends or customers are even aware of what Tumblr is! Therefore, it is less likely potential customers will just stumble upon your Tumblr blog while leisurely browsing around!

The bottom line is this: Tumblr is growing in popularity, and should be a social network to consider when fleshing out your social strategy. However, it should only be considered after staking a claim on the major 3 social sites  (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) and building your core company blog on a more capable platform like WordPress. My suggestion is to use Tumblr to compliment what you are already publishing on your other networks, but not have it as your core social media offering. It is quick and simple to post content, and the posts are not expected to be that long (unlike my postings), so it may be a great fit for daily blogging activities to react quickly to news and events. This is what Aday Interactive will use Tumblr for moving forward at this location: Aday Interactive: Tumbling Along Blog. I would also recommend using Tumblr for publishing your podcast, due to the ease of uploading and publishing of audio or video content. This is no doubt in the near future for Aday Interactive as well...That ability alone makes Tumblr a worthwhile online destination to help grow your online community!

 

Word of Mouth…The Original Social Marketing!

September 12, 2011 by Brandon Aday | 0 comments

Word of Mouth MarketingIt is hard to determine when Word of Mouth (or WOM) marketing began, but one could imagine it has been used since humankind has been able to speak! Picture an early human seeing someone pick berries from a certain tree, eating them and dying...you can be sure that person suggested that the people closest to them NOT eat from that tree. Likewise, the first time an early human successfully ate a boiled lobster, was likely a triumph in culinary history, especially after they ate those first set of claws. I bet they also told everyone in their family that they needed to try it, becoming the worlds first food critic. So social "marketing" has been with us since the dawn of mankind, and is probably the reason we have survived as long as we have!

So why is  Word Of Mouth Marketing so powerful?

Word of Mouth marketing is all about TRUST...do you trust the person giving you a recommendation or not. If you trust them and believe they are a credible source of information, then you are more likely to do what they suggest. If you don't know the person, and are not sure of their motives, you probably won't do anything they say. This is where the core of influencer marketing lies. If you believe someone has more knowledge about a particular subject than you do, you are more likely to listen to their recommendation. It is actually as simple as that...and yet...not so simple to execute!

Think of the last time you wanted to go to a nice restaurant...did you ask people you trusted for suggestions? Perhaps you asked people you know who had similar taste and opinions as yourself. Or someone who you feel knows more about a type of food than you do. How about when you enter a restaurant you have never been too, do you look at the people there and consider them in your decision making process? I personally love Chinese food, and  when I enter a Chinese restaurant and it is full of people from China chowing down on Dim Sum and Sticky buns, I know the food is probably pretty authentic. The opposite is also true. I have been to Italian restaurants that were supposed to be authentic, but there was not one Italian to be seen in the kitchen or eating their. Sure enough, horrible pasta!

Seeking word of mouth advice is a great way to delegate your decision making process to those you feel are more able to make the correct choice. By getting information from presumeably unbiased sources, one may be able to obtain a more objective opinion of a product or service, speeding up the decision to purchase. Word of Mouth Marketing encourages people to share this type of information, ideally with a positive perspective. It can  also help create awareness and educate people about your products and services, as well as identify people who are the most likely to share their opinions about your organization. Social media takes this natural human activity and multiplies it by the network each of these raving fans have online. With a strong word of mouth marketing strategy, you may be able to encourage your most loyal customers to assist potential customers to move down the path from awareness to trusting you as a service provider!

How do you encourage "raving fans" and "customer evangelists" to recommend you?

Well you can begin by giving them something positive to talk about! Do you provide a service? Well then you need to add something above and beyond what one would expect for the service so that you differentiate your business. Have a product? Make sure there are features in the product that are not seen elsewhere. If there is no difference, than make the price something to write home about.  The bottom line is, give people something  to discuss with others!

What else can you do? Well think about how your target audience views your products or services, and what would prevent them from purchasing from you? Put your self in their shoes, and create a persona that would describe your typical client. What is their job function? What do they worry about? Who can influence their decision? After creating this generic customer profile, try to address their wants, needs and fears with specific content, client testimonials and case studies. Once you have generated content on your website that addresses these issues, make sure you put it in front of those potential clients, as well as those who may influence them. This way, if influencers of your customers  have the right information, they can provide to those potential customers, and in the process lower the barrier between you and that potential client!

Providing information to the influencers of your target audience is not enough however. You must also motivate them and give them a good reason to share that positive  information with others by providing incentives. This may include being part of a special insiders club (VIP or MVP club), having early access to upcoming products, and building relationships with company employees online. These types of perks for these customer influencers can help create the environment to encourage them to share with your target audiences. Remember though, this does not mean they WILL talk about your company. You have to create the conditions and relationships with these key influencers to enable and encourage them to talk about what you do!

What does Word of Mouth Marketing have to do with Social Media Marketing?

Word of mouth marketing is at the core of Social Media Marketing! Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+blogging , and podcasting...all of these channels allow people to transfer ideas and information, similar to how word of mouth works organically. However, instead of one-to-one reach, you can spread the word from one-to-many people with the click of a mouse, or push of the send button! By engaging with your online community, you are able to create conditions of trust and good will, with your potential raving fans. Building positive relationships with with potential customer evangelists, will help you build a volunteer marketing force that will promote your products and services for free!

Where can I find Word of Mouth Marketing resources?

Want to learn more about Word of Mouth Marketing? A great place to start is with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (http://womma.org/), where you can check out many free resources on the subject, from the top level WOM marketers in the world. Some books you can check out include The Secrets of Word-of-Mouth Marketing: How to Trigger Exponential Sales Through Runaway Word of Mouth, Word-Of-Mouth Marketing, and The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited: Real-life lessons in Word-of-Mouth Marketing. Finally, here a few articles on the subject you may want to read:  Word of Mouth Marketing, Word of Mouth Marketing, and Word-of-Mouth Marketing Evolution.

As always, feel free to contact us for more information regarding WOM Marketing, or schedule a free consultation to discuss how Aday Interactive can help you and your digital marketing strategy!

 

Social Media Marketing: Podcasting to Build Your Online Community (Part 2 of 2): Marketing Your Podcast

August 30, 2011 by Brandon Aday | 0 comments

Marketing Your Podcast with Social MediaIn the previous posting (Social Media Marketing: Podcasting to Build Your Online Community) we discussed how to create a podcast and how you can use it for developing your online community of raving fans! In this posting we will discuss how you can market that podcast, so you can start growing your audience. Without an audience, you won't have much of a reach to spread your message!

The most obvious place to start is the most popular directory for podcasts in the world, iTunes! iTunes is the first place you should list your podcast, in order to take advantage of the massive number of potential subscribers who sync their iPods to it every day! The first step you should take to add your podcast to the list is to link your podcast RSS feed to Feedburner.com. When you sign up to Feedburner, you will receive a custom link (such as http://feeds.feedburner.com/AdayInteractiveInc). Feedburner allows you to track subscribers, statistics, optimize your feed, and monetization via Google adSense. After you have your RSS feed setup on Feedburner, you can redistribute your content (text, audio or video) in a format that can be used in iTunes and the Zune Marketplace.

Once you have your Feedburner link set up, you can submit it into iTunes. First you will need to create an iTunes account, and download the iTunes software. You can go to Apples support site where they provide detailed instructions on how to publish a podcast on the iTunes Store. Remember that the iTunes team does review every podcast submission, so it may take a day or two before you finally get it approved. After you have submitted your podcast and get it approved, you will receive a special iTunes web address that you can share on your site for people to subscribe to.

Submit a Podcast to Zune

Along with iTunes, the next place you should submit your podcast is the Zune Marketplace, which is the Microsoft version of iTunes. People who own a Zune audio player, or a Windows 7 Phone use this to download podcasts, music and other content. Similar to iTunes, you will need to create an account and download the software in order to submit your podcast to their Podcast Marketplace. Once you download the software, you can go to "Marketplace>Podcasts", scroll down to the center and "Submit a Podcast". This is where you will fill in the same RSS feed as you submitted to iTunes.

In addition to these two directories, there are many other websites where you can submit your Podcast feed to publicize. These include Podcast Alley, Zen Cast and Yahoo Audio. There are many other directories you can check out as well. Just look up "podcast directory" in Google and see what you find. Remember the more directories you can post your podcast in, the more exposure you will get for your podcast!

Once you have submitted your podcast to at least iTunes and the Zune Marketplace, you should start promoting it on your blog. When posting to your blog, you should include your title, description and link to the podcast. You should also include show notes, which you can reference when recording your actual blog (i.e. see the notes for more information). This is not only great for a listener who wants to learn more about the topic of your podcast, but it is also great for search engine optimization (SEO), as it adds additional content for Google and other search engines to index.

Marketing Your PodcastAfter your blog, you should promote your podcast on social media networks, starting with your your Facebook fan page. I would suggest you create a fan page specifically for your podcast, but you can also add a custom tab for it on your current fan page as well.This tab can be branded with your podcast icon and logo, include an archive of past podcasts and you may even be able to embed your podcast directly into your page. You can also post each podcast onto your "Wall" and ask your "fans" to share that post on their walls, to get exposure to their Facebook friends. If you are more advanced using Facebook fan pages, you can also import your RSS feed using a custom add-on application, like "RSS Feed" from Involver, or some other RSS feed connector. If you have your Twitter account connected to Facebook, when you post the podcast to your wall, it should also post to Twitter automatically, to promote to your followers on that network. Finally, if you have that Twitter feed automatically updating your LinkedIn profile, it will Update your personal profile as well, exposing it to your LinkedIn connections! Finally, if you have done all of that, and are on Google+, you should also share across your various Circles, and ask them to share with their circles.

After publishing on your blog, and promoting on social networking sites, you should start promoting your podcast via email. This includes your e-mail subscriber list (if you have one), your e-mail signature, and any email auto responders you have set up for people who e-mail specific accounts or fill out forms on your site and have opted to receive e-mailed updates. You can send special one off e-mail blasts specifically to let subscribers know that you have published a new podcast, or you can include it in any current newsletter campaigns you are running. The newsletter can also be used to hype your future podcasts, especially if you have special episodes with expert guests who are well known in your target audience’s community. In each case, you should try to include the title, topic and a short description, with teaser copy on what your podcast is about. You should also include a link to your podcast archive or RSS feed, for people to download older podcasts, or to subscribe to the RSS feed to receive them automatically.

Now hopefully after some time, you will have grown an audience and increased your reach, if you are executing the above tactics well. If you have achieved some level of recognition for your podcast, you will likely gain fans who are enthusiastic about what you are doing. You should build relationships with these audience members so you can nurture them further, with the goal of turning them into raving fans of your podcast. These extremely happy listeners can help market your podcast for you (or any other service for that matter), extending the reach of your potential audience members. Don't be shy to ask your audience members to invite their friends, or to encourage them with contests, promos or some other exchange of value that will motivate them to share your message with others. This also goes for partners and guests on the show. Make sure they are promoting the episodes they are participating in to their own social media networks, email lists and on their blog. This will not only maximize their own exposure, but also promote your podcast to a whole another network of people.

For more information on promoting your podcast, check great podcast on marketing your podcast by the Podcast Answer Man. You can also read up on the subject with these books: Podcast Academy: The Business Podcasting Book: Launching, Marketing, and Measuring Your Podcast, Promoting Your Podcast: The Ultimate Guide to Building an Audience of Raving Fans and Podcast Church. Of course, feel free to call or email with any questions you may have about this topic: blogcomments@adayinteractive.com.

In conclusion, promoting your podcast will not only help spread your message, but it will also help you build an image of being an expert in your field. Don't be shy about promoting your hard work, and don't forget the great tools available today to share your message. Utilize social media, email newsletters, your blog and word of mouth marketing to reach the largest possible audience, at the lowest possible price!

Next post, we will discuss the ORIGINAL social marketing: Word of Mouth Marketing!

 

Social Media Marketing: Podcasting to Build Your Online Community (Part 1 of 2)

August 22, 2011 by Brandon Aday | 0 comments

Podcasting to Build Your Online Community – Part 1Compared to other forms of social media, podcasting has been around for quite a long time. This posting will be the first in a two part mini-series that will give an overview of podcasting, and how you can use it to develop your online business community. Podcasting first became popular in the mid-2000's, with the introduction of Apple's iPod, and other personal audio listening devices. The name combines both the "pod" from iPOD and "cast" from broadcast. However, it is not only consumed via iPOD's, and it is in no way a broadcast in the traditional sense of the word. Instead, podcasting combines the use of MP3 audio files, with the syndication and distribution capabilities of RSS feeds. This combination of technologies allows podcasters to create audio files that are automatically pushed to subscribers. Listeners subscribe to your feed by clicking on the RSS icon, which pulls up a feedpage where you can subscribe. They are downloaded either manually, or by using special "podcatcher" software, such as iTunesZune or even a generic RSS reader. When you sync your audio device with that software, it will automatically transfer the files to your device to listen to (depending on your settings of course).

Podcasting is a great way to connect with your target market in a familiar delivery medium, due to its similarity to radio talk shows. However, podcasts are “on demand” and can be consumed on their schedule using any device that plays an MP3, including iPOD'sZunesTablets, and PC's.  It can also be a powerful marketing tool if executed on a consistent basis, especially if your podcast provides valuable information to listeners. Publishing a podcast on a periodic basis will allow you to create a connection with potential customers, and they will feel they are getting to know you and your philosophy on business and industry. Building this trust with your target market is crucial for building your online community!  People will be more likely to want to work with you, or recommend you to others, if you sound like you know what you are talking about. So how do you get started podcasting to grow your online community?

As with any marketing endeavor, it is important for you to plan out your podcasting efforts to ensure you make a positive impact with your customers. Your first step should be to connect your podcasting strategy, with your overall digital marketing strategy. This will allow you to determine what you want to communicate and who you want to communicate with. Do you want to share your expertise, discuss industry news, or have interviews with knowledgeable people on topics related to your business?

Once you determine your target audience and theme, you will want to consider what format you will use for your podcast. Some podcasts are short, with online the principle person speaking about topics of interest to their target market. Other formats may include interviews with industry leaders, tutorials, advice or even an online talk show format. By determining the format of your podcast, you will also be able to determine how long you want to have each episode be, as well as how often you will publish. Some of my favorite podcasts are short, 15 minute monologues with only one person speaking about a focused topic, while others I listen to are more like radio talk shows, where there are 1 or 2 hosts, who interview people for 30 to 45 minutes.

Obviously, it may be easier to publish a 5-10 minute monologue, as opposed to an interview based podcast, so you must keep this in mind when developing your plan. Of course, if you are producing an hour long interview show every week, this will be more difficult to complete than a shorter one on a daily basis. Before you decide, you may want to listen to other podcasts, and see how they approach their content and format. To get an idea of what other podcasters are doing, you can check out Blogtalkradio, which is a Podcast and social networking site that offers the ability to broadcast your own online radio show. Other similar podcast sites you can check out to see what others are doing includes PodBean.com, PodOmatic, and Libsyn.com.

After you have made some initial decisions on target audience, content, style and format, you should start considering the types of equipment you will need to start your new podcasting initiative. Often, you can obtain the software for little money, if not for free. This includes audio capturing software (which you most likely have on your computer), and some form of recording device, such as a microphone. If you have an iPhone or Android based phone, there are applications you can download to capture audio, and send to your PC for editing. Finally, if you are doing a long distance interview,  you may want to use a tool like Skype to record your conversation, so you can both communicate and record digitally at the same time. The main point is to ensure that you can create files that are easily transferred to your computer to edit, if not already recorded to your hard drive. Once you get your audio files onto your computer, you can use a program like Audacity, which is a free and open source software program for editing audio on both MAC and Windows/PC based computers. There are many tutorials on how to use Audacity, so I suggest you check those out as well.

Of course if you want to take your podcasting to a higher level, you will need to obtain some higher end equipment and podcasting gear. A great option for the beginner podcaster is the Behringer PodcasStudio USB, which is a low cost "out of the box" solution, that comes with podcasting software, mics and a mixer, along with guides and tutorials. Another similar product is the Technical Pro PM-22 Podcast System (Silver), which also comes with software and hardware components. For information on this, you should check out the Podcast Answer Man website. For more information on podcast tools, you can check out the Podcasting Toolbox from Mashable, which has a list of 70+ tools for podcasting. You can see a more in-depth video on Podcasting on Common Craft, a website that has many great video tutorials. You may also want to read Podcasting for Dummies, Podcasting Bible , or Podcast Solutions: The Complete Guide to Audio and Video Podcasting for step-by-step guides on creating your podcast. Or you can contact Aday Interactive for assistance on developing your podcasting strategy.

In the next posting we will talk about publishing your podcast on iTunes and Zune Marketplace, and how you can promote it via your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn!

 

Social Media Marketing: LinkedIn for Online Community Development

August 18, 2011 by Brandon Aday | 0 comments

If you are a professional in any industry, and someone asks if you are on LinkedIn, your answer better be a resounding YES! Not only is it important to have a profile filled 100%, but it is also important to promote your profile whenever possible.  The barrier to connect with those you don't yet have a professional relationship is much  lower, compared to Facebook, which is for more personal relationships. Unlike with Twitter, you can be more selective with who you connect with.  However, the key benefit to using LinkedIn, is that you know what people are on the network for... to connect on a professional level!

Now this post won't focus on the individual LinkedIn profile page in particular, or how to use it for networking, as that has been covered in many articles, blog posts and books (see The Power Formula for Linkedin Success: Kick-start Your Business, Brand, and Job Search ). I will however go over some of the basics. For example, you should have your profile 100% filled out, and should configure your custom vanity URL (i.e. http://www.linkedin.com/in/brandonaday). You should also make sure your profile is publicly available and can be found in Google and other search engines. In fact, when I type in Brandon Aday, this is the first result that pops up.

Once you have your profile filled out, and are making connections, be sure to ask for recommendations, and to recommend others whom you have worked with in the past. Once you get comfortable with LinkedIn, you can start joining groups that are related to your field, and even start answering questions in LinkedIn Answers (and sharing links back to your website, profile or other valuable content). Finally, you should also make sure that you optimize your Job Title, to be as descriptive as possible, as it will be viewed in search results. For example, my job title is set to "Digital Marketing Strategist", instead of President/CEO of Aday Interactive, Inc.

Now with that out of the way, let's look at a feature sometimes overlooked about the network: the company profile! The company profile is similar to the Facebook Fan Page, although not as feature rich. The LinkedIn company profile page can provide an overview of your organization, as well as pages for products and services. It is allows your connections to keep up with your company news, without them having to follow you in a space that is considered to be more for family in friends.

So now let's take a quick overview of what the profile looks like. You can find profiles under the "Companies" menu item at the top of the page. You will notice there are not many options for customization, so each page is fairly similar. Below are some screenshots of the Aday Interactive, Inc. company profile on LinkedIn which was recently launched. You will notice the pages allows for an overview of your company and services.

 

If you click "More" under the overview, you will also see keywords that indicate your organizations specialities. In this case they are Digital Marketing, Web Development, Social Media, and E-Commerce.

Under the Services tab, you can include product or service listings, as well as descriptions and social links to share your page with others. As you can see below, you can customize the page with banner images, as well as place promotions on the right column of the page. In this case, the page is showing a raffle I am promoting on they Aday Interactive Facebook Fan Page, that will provide a $100 Voucher for Google AdWords to a lucky subscriber to the Aday Interactive, Inc. Newsletter each month until the end of 2011! You can place different promotions on each service page, and each can lead back to a specific landing page on your website. In addition, you can also have current customers "Recommend" your products and services, so you can spread them vitally to their network connections.

Similar to the Fan Page, you can also link your company profile to your Twitter account so that it can constantly stream your tweets. You can also import your RSS feed so that visitors can see your latest posts in your blog.

Once you have created your company profile, and have added all of the relevant content, you can share it with your connections on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, and ask them to "follow" your page. If you have multiple employees on the site, you should also have them all place "current employer" to match your company profile. This will update the employee listings automatically on the company profile, and can help expose your page to their own networks as well. You should also encourage current clients, website visitors and others who are interested in your services to follow your page. This will allow them to receive updates, just like in the Facebook News Feed.

LinkedIn is a great site with many different options and services that are not often taken advantage of. With a little exploration, you can create a nice professional profile for your site on LinkedIn, which can help enhance awareness of your organization, as well as increase off-page SEO to your website. Though it is no where close to Facebook in regards to size, it is the largest social network of professionals on the Internet, which everyone should tap into to help grow their online community building efforts! If you have any questions on how to set up your company profile feel free to contact us for more information or schedule a coaching session today!

 

Social Media Marketing: Blogging for Online Community Development

August 2, 2011 by Brandon Aday | 0 comments

In this fifth posting in a series on building community using social media, we are going to talk about blogging. Sure this may not be the sexiest topic, since businesses have been using blogs for many years now, however, a blog is a necessary tool for driving traffic to your site, as well as building your online reputation and expertise in a particular topic or area of expertise.  Of course, if you haven't incorporated a blog into your marketing mix, this should be a least third on your list (after getting yourself on Twitter and a creating your Facebook Fan Page). Blogging not only supports developing your company’s brand, but also helps increase your site traffic and rank in Google, which hopefully converts to qualified leads and actual customers!

So where do you start? First decide who you are writing for (i.e. your customers), and position yourself in a manner that shows how your expertise can help them achieve their goals and improve their business. Once you define who your target is, and how you will position yourself, you can then define the kind of content you will write about. For example, this blog focuses mainly on social media, and how to use digital marketing to promote your company or organization. Ideally, assuming your blog is for your business (not personal) you will have someone working on content to share with your customers and potential customers, in your particular industry.

Now that you have your audience defined, and know generally the theme of your blog, you will need to start drafting your blog posts. I would suggest you generate between 5 and 10 posts ahead of your official blog launch. This will give you a buffer of content to post, since you never know what can come up during your busy work week! Ideally, you will be able to publish at least one blog post a week, so you can keep customers coming back to you r site, and can encourage viral sharing of your content. Of course you are probably thinking, “How am I going to write all of these posts, when I don't even know what to write about for my first post?". Well I am sure there are many subjects you can choose from, but here are 7 ideas to get you started on your first 7 blog posts:

  1. Introductory/Press Release blog post (See "How to Create a Compelling Social Media Press Release")
  2. Explain your service methodology, philosophy on customer service and what separates you from competitors
  3. Highlight a recent client case (with clients permission) and describe how you solved their business problems
  4. Create a tutorial post that that could help a reader perform a common but useful task
  5. Interview a customer (via e-mail) and publish on the blog with link back to customers website (if applicable)
  6. Write a wrap up of your industry's news and current events
  7. Create a post asking for feedback on your blog content, and crowd-source new topics

Now that you have that entire back log of content ready to go, you need your blogging platform to publish it to the world. Luckily there are many options for creating a blog. This particular blog was created using WordPress, which is the most popular blogging engine around today. You can set up a free account on WordPress.com, and join their blogger community. To help you get started, you can check other blogs, or you can buy a books on blogging, such as Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business or  The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly. Of course, if you want to have a custom built WordPress site built, you can contact Aday Interactive for a free consultation!

So by this point, you should have created your content, you are building a following on your social media channels and have started to engage with key influencers in your community or business space. You can take the first blog post, which is in a Press Release style, and submit it to a service such as Pitch Engine, which helps you to easily share your "Pitch"/Press Release post with your friends and followers through your social networks, email and other methods. The service also shares your post with all of the major search engines, in order to maximize publicity, while helping your blog get indexed by search engines. It is also recommended you use a tool like Feedburner, so that you can track subscribers and other statistics, to compliment your web analytics. From this point, it is just a matter of continuing to create and publish engaging content that your target audience wants to read! See it is that simple :)

 

Social Media Marketing: Facebook Fan Page for Online Community Development

July 25, 2011 by Brandon Aday | 0 comments

It is hard to believe there is anyone around who does not know what Facebook is today. With 750 million users, not only does your grandmother have an account, but so does her pet. So I won't waste your time with an overview of what it is. What I will go into more depth on is the Facebook Fan Page, which is the most important channel of activity, next to your own business or organizational blog.

Facebook FanPages are great for many reasons. First you can use it as a hub for all of your social media activity. You can connect it to your Twitter account, so that whatever you post to your wall automatically posts to your Twitter Feed (see our blog post on Twitter). Likewise, you can install a plug-in from a company like Involver, that allow you to see the Twitter feed in a special tab on your fan page. If you already have a blog, you can import its RSS feed, so that you can automatically feed that page with new content as you publish it. This will allow you syndicate content to share with all of your Facebook "Likes/Fans", who may not otherwise read your blog.

So what is the best way to get your company exposure using your Fan Page? Well one of the most powerful techniques is to create a custom landing page, which becomes the default page for all users who have not yet "Liked" your page. You can have one message for those who already "Like" it and another for those who have not, which would encourage them to click "Like". Once they do like the page, they can see special promotional content, that can be accessed via a custom tab on the right side of the Fan Page. These custom pages are actually located on a 3rd party web server, and integrated by your web developer into the FanPage using an HTML iFrame (click here to find out more about our solutions). This allows you to create a full website experience accessible within the framework of the Facebook website. Companies can use these pages to show their sevices, embed contact forms, and even allow full e-commerce (or f-commerce as some call it)!

Building a fully customized FanPage is a great way to give a taste of what a potential customer or client would experience, within their comfort zone of already being in a familiar website portal environment like Facebook. However it is not always easy to set up. First you need to create you pages, and develop them with the dimensions mandated by Facebook (which is 520 pixels wide). Once you create your pages on your own server, you need to go to the Facebook developer website to register for an account. Once this is created, you need to create a new Facebook app, and integrate you page into that app. Assuming you are an admin for the Fan Page, you must then add the App to your page, as well as the specific tab for the page to reside. If desired, you can make the new page the default landing page so that all new page viewers who have not "liked" your page yet. Now this will not create a reveal page or fan-gate, but it is a great way to customize your customers Facebook experience.

Creating a nice customized Facebook Fan Page is not an impossible task. With a little help from plug-ins and Facebook apps that are readily available, you can create a nice experience for your target customers. The process just takes a little patience and time to complete. For more tips and information on using Facebook for marketing, you can check out Mashable.com and AllFacebook.com for up to the minute information. You can also check out books like Facebook For Dummies,  The Complete Idiot's Guide to Facebook, or  Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day. Of course if you don't have the time, or inclination, feel free to contact Aday Interactive  for more information on how we can help you tap into those 750 million people who call Facebook their virtual home! Next blog post, we will look at blogging (which as you can tell I am a fan of) and how you need a blog to expand your online community!

Need help building your social media strategy? Click here to schedule a free 30 minute social media marketing consultation with Aday Interactive today!

 
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