Cool NEWS of the Day – Google Wave

So, a common thread I have throughout my many discussions on Social Networking and the "conversations" that ensue is out segemented everything is, and how difficult it is to keep it all together. I mean, wouldn't it be nice to be able to view your emails, IMs, and all your social networking activity, all from one friendly interface? Well, Digsby gets the job done (see previous post), but it isn't nearly inclusive enough to handle all the niche communities popping up all over the web.

Well, Google has put something together to address that very issue of segmented conversations across the Web. It's called Google Wave and quite frankly, it looks very intriguing. First of all, Google Wave is an open source development. That means you can customize it to pull in the conversations that matter most to you (and your business).

Watch the Google Wave video to find out more.

Today's NEW Web Tool / Website – Topsy – a ReTweet Search Engine

Move over Google…well not quite. But Topsy, a new search engine that pulls in Tweets (from Twitter of course), parses out irrelevant minutia (I'm so hungry, I'm driving to the beach, etc) and hands out results based on relevancy of search term AND the reliability/popularity of the Twitter.

What's this mean? Well, it means if and when Topsy becomes relevant to the masses, those who have built an authorative presence on Twitter (ahem) will come up in the SERPs of Topsy. And…for those of you who see the big picture. IF Topsy becomes relevant enough, Google will copy or gobble it up, making a Twitter presence EVEN more significant. So…how's that for a quick answer to your clients question…Why Social Media?

Be on the look out for more Internet Marketing and Social Media insights from InterCoastal Net Designs, a Web Development, Design, and Marketing company based between Myrtle Beach, SC, and Wilmington, NC.

Why Social Media? How? What? And for the love of toast…WHO?

Okay – people keep telling you, the news keeps telling you, marketers (not really people) keep telling you that social media is the next big thing. And your first well advised response is (or should be) WHY?

I just got out of a client meeting about this very issue, and I feel it's very pertinent to bring up this subject. For them, for me…for YOU. Here goes.

There aren't many businesses (or marketing companies for that matter) out there that are really doing it right, and if they are – they're only intuitively tracking its success (i.e. I started 'it' and now I get more visits, traffic, sales, whatever). So there isn't a hard and fast ROI percentage that can be handed down (For every hour spent you will receive a 5% return over cost of…well you get the idea). But that doesn't mean there shouldn't be some kind of metric to follow.

Obviously, the quick answer is to use a pretty comprehensive tracking system that can follow a user through multiple (correctly tagged) web sites. From your Twitter page, to your Blog, to your Website, and back again. With an open session that is measured in days not hours. This will help you keep an eye on all your touchpoints. Like watching lightning bugs in a jar, some will shine, some will flicker, some will die out. But you wouldn't REALLY know unless you track it properly. Links is the easiest way (seemingly). Exit surveys might help tie some things up as well.

I'm not saying even I (yes, even I…I said it) have the answer(s) to the Why? and How? questions because chasing social media from a marketing perspective is something akin to herding cats (and riding lightning) or both. You get the idea.

Right now, many businesses have to resolve to one simple logic. There's a HUGE mass of people out there, telling you what they like, what they do, where they all, how many kids they have, what their kids like, where they shop, what car they drive….everything down to what they had for breakfast. How couldn't that information be helpful? Think of it this way, many businesses saw and continue to see success in email marketing, and many purchased email lists are simply bought on the simplist segments – state, zip, income – and blast off.

And this doesn't even address the Who? So you embark on social media as a marketing tool, but WHO do you give it to? Whose responsibility should it be to respond to negative reviews, or questions, or interest?

It's not unlikely that in the near future, marketing departments will have Social Media divisions, with directors and specialists, focusing on Twitter or Facebook or Ning or  YouTube.  Some already may. Just like search engine optimization started leeching into interactive departments. Sometimes, the idea of having a department so segmented makes me want to pull my hair out, so I can sympathize if you want to do the same. If you attempt 'it' yourself, understaff and ill prepared, you'll be like Sysophys pushing that rock up the hill. Don't be like Sysophys. Ask for help from a professional social media marketing company.

Stay tuned as the conversation continues. After all …it is social.

Social Media Tool / Website of the Day

Today's social media highlight is Technorati.

What they say:

Technorati was founded to help bloggers to succeed by collecting, highlighting, and distributing the online global conversation. As the leading blog search engine and most comprehensive source of information on the blogosphere, we index more than 1.5 million new blog posts in real time and introduce millions of readers to blog and social media content.

Technorati Media extends our service and value by matching bloggers and social media creators with marketers who want to join the conversation.

What we say:

Technorati is a blogfeed and blog search portal, where you can create a profile, monitor your blog(s) – both personal and professional – and keep up with your favorite and not so favorite blogs. Technorati is one of the best blogsphere search portals, better than Google's own blog search. If you're looking to use Social  Media as a Online Reputation Management tool, or as a customer aquisition tool or both, than Technorati has got the "blog" slice of the Social Media pie covered.

Here's an example of claiming your blog with Technorati: swap claim code

Technorati Profile

A Discussion on Social Media Marketing

Since Social Media (or social networking) is about engagement [at least I think it is. You can say otherwise in our Facebook Discussion linked below]. So, you won't really ever get it right unless you do just that.

In the true spirit of using social networking as an effective marketing tool, InterCoastal Net Designs has created a Discussion on the very topic. Please join the convesation on Facebook. Let's us know what you think on the subject. Have you used it? Does it work? Why? Or if you simply have a million questions that need answered…join the crowd.

Cool Web Tool of the Day!

Today's cool web tool of the day is Digsby.  Five Stars. Two Thumbs Up.

What they say:

IM + Email + Social Networking = Digsby.

What we say:

In a nutshell, Digsby is Outlook for your IM accounts (and email, and social network accounts). It's great! Keep up with your personal and professional accounts and contacts in one easy place. It will notify you when your friends on Facebook and Linked in leave you messages or update their wall or profile. Digsby hasn't been integrated with Twitter yet, which is strange. But be on the look out for it.

Visit Digsby to download this very useful web tool.

Looking to create a custom web application or web tool to enhance your business's marketing reach, or simply to better the world at large. InterCoastal Net Designs is a professional web development company that can create the web app, desktop app, browser based application, or web tool that you need, within your specifications and within your budget.

Social Media Marketing is about ORGANIZATION

Defining social media as hot today is so yesterday…but it still hasn't lost its relevancy. And won't. Sure, there's a lot of clutter and hype (Twitter loses 6 out of ever 10 users every month – giving it's 1400% quarterly growth a bit of a petina) but knowing how to use and harnass Social Media (and other Web 2.0 technologies) is a must do if you really want to get the word out about your business.

Though most of the Social Media outlets are FREE, they are still very time consuming. And there in lies the rub of the issue. Most businesses mistakenly believe they can simply set up accounts and send out there deals, and wahlah, instant sales. Not so. You have to find your audience, grow your friends and follows, become an authority and a trusted source on your business, market, services, products, and/or industry. You have to be where web users are looking – which is EVERY WHERE.

The headache is that interactive marketing has become so segmented. Fragmented across multiple touchpoints. Don't just rely on the Google search index. People go to user review sites to find out which hotels are the best, web users ask their friends for advice, enter forums for product info and troubleshooting, or look for how to articles when they want to do it themselves.

The great thing about Social Media is that provides you with access to the EVERY WHERE – but you have to make the decision as a business that you want to walk through the door.

Managing Social Media is a juggling act at best – but it can be done when you put things in order. Your website and/or blog should be the foundation of your social media campaign; the place where you drive all the traffic – from your postings, articles, press releases, reviews, what ever.

Start with one or just a few of the top outlets – Facebook and Twitter – and get a good handle on them before you bite off more than you can chew. Once you feel comfortable with these tools, then move on to a new outlet. And schedule everything accordingly. With every new social outlet you need anywhere from one hour a day to at least 5 hours a month. Again, social media is all about engagement. If you don't stay infront of your market and customers (past, present and future) there's no point of doing it.

If you're balking at the idea of spending that much time – then scale back your networking reach.

Or – for a not so shameless plug – hire the services of a professional Internet marketing company to handle a lot of the heavy lifting. The setup and implementation, the monitoring, and campaign building.

Read this great article on Who Should Manage Your Social Media Marketing campaign.

Be on the look out for more "How to Organize your Social Media Marketing" advise. Or just email me directly.

SEO and Internet Marketing

No matter what size your website or company is, SEO and Internet Marketing must be performed on an ongoing basis in order to achieve the best results. Every month there will be more competitors seeking to move in on your position and bump you down, and it is up to you and your SEO team to raise the bar on your competitors and maximize your rank and visibility in the search engines, and continually increase the flow of valuable customers through your doors.

Colocation Hosting – Server Colocation

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Call 1-866-249-6095 or contact us for a quote today!

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