Why Isn't Every Day Cyber Monday?

Posted by Clayton Smith on November 28, 2011

Ah, Cyber Monday. The Black Friday of the less motivated. We've arrived once again at what is typically the biggest online shopping day of the year. Retailers are touting great deals all over the Web, banking on the ubiquitous nature of the Internet to bring in some much-needed revenue during this persistent recession. According to the L.A. Times, today's sales could total a record breaking $1.2 billion. That's a lot of digital dollars. Given the fact that so many people (myself included) seem so willing to spend money online when the price is right, and given the continued growth of Internet culture, I can't help but wonder...why isn't every day Cyber Monday?

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Topics: Business, business, cyber monday, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, retail, ROI, social media

The Path to Glory: How to channel your social media fans through to your website

Posted by Clayton Smith on November 21, 2011

Why do you work so hard to increase your social media following? Have you ever really thought about it? I mean, really, really thought about it? When it comes down to brass tacks, what’s the actual benefit of having half a million Facebook fans? Sure, it means more potential eyes on your marketing message, but what’s the point of that? Your social media strategies aren’t living up to their full potential if your fans are just watching your social media accounts and aren’t making purchases.

Many companies don’t have the capability to sell their products directly through Facebook like Delta Airlines does, and even for those that do, there’s a drawback: Offering product sales through third-party sites necessarily results in a loss of control. While social media networks are wonderful as marketing channels, you still need to move your fans to your website to really close the deal, whether you sell your product online or not.

Your website is perhaps your greatest marketing tool. In the digital universe, your website is the sun, and your social media networks are the orbiting planets. Some people have predicted the imminent demise of the website because of social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but I’m not buying it, at least not yet. Not only is a website a space where many companies make their sales (or, in the case of services, a space where would-be customers can find direct communications channels and submit requests for proposals), but it is completely under control of the company that owns it. Having a Facebook page is important, but it’s also limiting. Facebook offers a pretty rigid structure from which it’s difficult to deviate. If you have the money to burn, you can hire a firm to create a Facebook tab for you that sort of resembles a real website, but no matter what you do to spruce up your page, it’s still going to take second billing to the Facebook brand.

That's why your social media isn’t working to its full potential if it’s not driving traffic to your website. Here are a few ways to help your fans and followers make that digital journey.

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Topics: Business, business, education, facebook, Foursquare, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, ROI, social media, Social Media for Small Business, twitter

Traditional or Digital Advertising: Where Should You Put Your Marketing Dollars?

Posted by Clayton Smith on November 10, 2011

According to a recent report from Forrester, “By 2016, advertisers will spend $77 billion on interactive marketing – as much as they do on television today.” That means in just five short years interactive marketing—including “search marketing, display advertising, email marketing, mobile marketing, and social media”—will be as big of an industry as television marketing is today. This represents a massive shift in marketing mentality from one-way marketing message promotion to interactive marketing communication.

It’s no secret that digital media are becoming serious players in the marketing game. The ubiquitous nature of Internet-connected devices, including computers, smartphones, televisions, e-readers, and more, has made digital marketing communications a lucrative business. But when we step back from our computers and set down our smartphones, we’re still confronted on all sides by traditional medium marketing campaigns. Television, print, and radio advertisements are still the dominant players in the advertising industry. But how much longer will that be the case? Digital media is gaining an incredible amount of traction in the marketing world.

And why not? Making the move to interactive marketing makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons. Here are a few that stand out:

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Topics: Business, business, cost, digital, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, media, ROI, strategy, traditional media

Social Media 101: Klout

Posted by Clayton Smith on November 1, 2011

“Social Media 101” is a series for social media beginners where we discuss the basics of social media marketing. Today, we explore the social media influence measurement tool Klout.

Klout is a program that analyzes and scores a person’s online influence through social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Klout uses a secret algorithm in order to determine the strength of each person’s sphere of influence on a scale of 0-100. A low Klout score means a lower level of influence; a higher score means a higher influential impact. Klout arrives at its score by measuring True Reach (how many people you influence), Amplification (how much you influence those people), and Network Impact (the influence of your network). The more active and responsive you are on social networks, the higher your Klout score is likely to climb.

Klout is currently able to draw social media influence variables from 12 networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, and YouTube. The more networks a person links to his personal Klout page, the more accurate the Klout score becomes.

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Topics: 101, facebook, Foursquare, google+, google plus, gremln, klout, linkedin, Marketing, ROI, social media, Social Media Education, twitter

Social Snafu -- Recovering from a social media marketing faux pas

Posted by Clayton Smith on October 25, 2011

It’s every social media manager’s nightmare. One tweet taken out of context. One Facebook post with a catastrophic grammatical error. One good-natured joke that offends legions of social media users. One accidental check-in at the strip club down the street on your company’s Foursquare account instead of your own. Before you know it, without any malicious intent, you’ve managed to spearhead the biggest PR disaster in your company’s history, in 140 characters or less.

The social media screw-up has become pretty legendary. The news seems to be flooded with examples of people making poor social media choices and putting their brands’ reputations at risk. From Gilbert Gottfried to Anthony Weiner, social media snafus are everywhere, and they can mean serious harm to your company and your career.

First, let's face facts: The social media faux pas happens. Hopefully it won't happen to you, but it might. In case it ever does, here are a few tips for dealing with it.

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Topics: Anthony Weiner, Business, business, education, embarrass, facebook, faux pas, Gilbert Gottfried, Marketing, Nivea, offensive, ROI, social media, strategy, twitter

This Week in Social Media - 10.21.11

Posted by Clayton Smith on October 21, 2011

It's been an exciting week here at Gremln, as we've officially launched our first round of beta test accounts! That's the big news here on our end--here are some more social media highlights you might have missed this week.

(Google) Buzz Off
Google's first real foray into social networking, Google Buzz, was officially laid to rest this week. This may come as little surprise, given Google's much more popular Google+, but it marks an interesting milestone for Google's social networking goals. Bon voyage, Google Buzz. Enjoy your retirement with Google Wave.

Google kills off Buzz, its ill-fated social network

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Topics: google+, google plus, gremln, Marketing, news, social media, Social Media News

Beta Testing: What it is, why we do it, and how you can get in on the action!

Posted by Clayton Smith on October 10, 2011

Things are really ramping up here at Gremln, and the word of the day is “beta.” We’re in the process of opening up our Gremln software for a limited, private beta test. Now, the term “beta test” is one that’s tossed around pretty regularly in the tech world, but Gremln is a tool designed for every business, not just tech companies. So for those of you staring warily at the screen and thinking, “What exactly do you mean by this ‘beta test’ or whatever it’s called?” – this blog’s for you.

A beta test is a step in the cycle of a software product release. The name comes from the Greek alphabet (not the fish—sorry, ichthyophiles, but that's "betta fish"), of which “beta” is the second letter, right after “alpha.” Why do we use Greek letters instead of the more popular English alphabet? Probably because “beta testing” sounds cooler than “b testing.” More to the point, though, the Greek language holds special significance in mathematics, and mathematical language is the basis for software development.

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Topics: beta, business, gremln, Gremln News, launch, Marketing, ROI, sneak peek, social media

The Week in Social Media - 10.7.11

Posted by Clayton Smith on October 7, 2011

"The Week in Social Media" is a new Friday series on the Gremln Blog where we highlight some of the important social media news stories from the past week.

Much of the world's tech news was put on hold this week as we lost one of the greatest innovators of our time, Steve Jobs. He will be sorely missed, and though it's not a story you're likely to have missed, we wanted to start off this week's recap with CNN's 5 memorable quotes from Steve Jobs.

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Topics: education, facebook, linkedin, Marketing, news, social media, Social Media News, twitter

What Would a Business Page Look Like on the New Facebook Timeline? We Want to Hear From You!

Posted by Clayton Smith on October 6, 2011

By now, it's pretty much common knowledge that Facebook is releasing a fancy new profile style called Timeline. While its full-scale launch has been pushed back due in part to a legal skirmish, some users have been given early access to the Timeline. (You can check out my recap of the changes at "The Gremln Guide to Facebook's New Timeline.") It should be rolling out to all users soon.

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Topics: branding, Business, facebook, gremln, Marketing, ROI, social media, Timeline

The Gremln Guide to Facebook's New Timeline

Posted by Clayton Smith on September 27, 2011

It may not exactly be a surprise to hear that Facebook is preparing to make some more changes to its seemingly ever-shifting profile pages. But unlike Facebook tweaks of the past, the recently announced Timeline update is a complete overhaul for the popular social network. As Facebook faces more and more competition from strengthening social networks like Twitter and Google+, it’s looking to reinvent itself in order to become “stickier.” In other words, Facebook wants its users to stick around Facebook for longer periods of time. The Timeline redesign is one effort to get people to do just that.

I was able to get a sneak peek at how the new Facebook profile pages will look when Timeline is released to the public later this month. All in all, I find the new design to be pretty slick. The profile page has moved to an overall more vertical design, opting for one wide column instead of the current three columns.

The top of the page now features a large “cover” photo that spans the entire width of the profile page. The typical profile photo that we’re used to is now a square in the bottom left corner of the cover photo. As one of our Twitter followers pointed out, this part of the redesign gives the profile page the feel of a blog; a large graphic masthead centered over the content below.

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Topics: business, education, facebook, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, ROI, social media, Social Media Education, Social Media for Small Business, Social Media Updates, Timeline, twitter, update

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