Sharing the Father’s Day Love

Father’s Day is just around the corner and it’s no surprise to see more dad related ads.

I just saw a Wendy’s commercial for Father’s Day and Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. It not only promoted their Frosty but also the founder’s organization, which seeks to help foster children find a caring home. This is no doubt a great cause and this short ad highlights the viral effect that Wendy’s hopes to accomplish. It even encourages users to pass the message along via Facebook, Twitter and Facebook to raise more funds.

Do you have any other good ads that you’d like to share? If not, we hope that you have a great Father’s Day weekend anyways!

Online Viral Marketing Catches Sports Fever in 2010

Doodle Jump and the World Cup
I’m not a huge sports fan, so I never got the fervor that fans feel during the finals, championships, etc… until this year! I’ve also been paying more attention to online viral marketing and internet memes that come from these events. Soccer is the most watched sport in the entire world and Doodle Jump is one of the most popular iPhone apps, so it’s no wonder that these would go hand in hand for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This addicting game features creatures that represent team Italy, Norway, Japan and more. Instead of shooting regular balls, our beloved Doodle shoots out a fountain of soccer balls.

Death to the Vuvuzela

If you tuned into the World Cup, you’ll notice a distinctly annoying horn noise in the background. Half-sheep baaa and half-bee swarming, the vuvuzela is a South African stadium horn. Fans like to use it to show their enthusiasm, distract the opposing team, or just to make A LOT of noise. Sports officials have even made attempts to ban the instrument as they are so loud it can even lead to hearing loss. Check out Mashable’s wrap up on the vuvuzela. Someone has created a Twitter account with updates that mimic the instrument’s sound while another vuvuzela-hater has even uploaded an Ewok remix.

Social Media Stats: Lakers vs. Celtics
With the LA Lakers and Boston Celtics tied at 3-3, it’s winner take all at Game 7 of the NBA Finals tomorrow. While the Celtics have home court advantage, Laker fans are sure to riot whether the team wins or loses. Let’s take a look at these long-time rivals and how their social media stats compare:

  • Facebook – Celtics: 827,550 fans | Lakers: 1,272,429 fans
  • Twitter – Celtics: 57,447 followers | Lakers: 1,559,464 followers
  • Twitter mentions via TweetVolume – Celtics: 1,620,000 times | Lakers: 4,130,000 times
  • Google search results – Celtics: 18,800,000 results | Lakers 26,600,000 results

With that in mind, we’ll see who the true winners are after tomorrow night … go Lakers!

Photo credit: Doodle Jump in the App Store

Guest Post: How to Create Relationships on Facebook

We all know how popular Facebook is in today’s Internet era, but if you own your business, did you know that you can create some great relationships on there? Whether you want to find more customers, or maybe you want to connect with other owners in your industry, there are a lot of things that you can do in order to find the people that share the same interests as you.

Use the friend suggestions: On the left hand side of your screen, you have probably seen the “people you may know” tool. You will want to take advantage of this. Even if you don’t really know that person, check out their profile, and send them a message. What’s the worst thing that they are going to say?

Join the groups: Yes, Facebook has groups. What you can do is find groups that you’re interested in. Let’s say that you want to find people that are into pets. Find groups that relate to pets. The key here is to make sure that you’re active.

Create a fan page: If you have a business, make sure you start up a fan page. It’s free and it’s a great way to communicate with your customers. Put your fan page on your business cards, your website, and if you have some cash, advertise it on Facebook.

Use other websites: Other social sites such as LinkedIn or Twitter are another great way to meet people. On these sites, you can input your Facebook URL as well. This is a great way to connect outside of the social platform. LinkedIn is designed more for professionals, while Twitter is for those looking to connect with just about anybody.

Facebook is a little bit like real life. If you’re going to hide in the corner and not talk to anybody, how do you plan on forming a relationship? You want to be active, communicate with others, and set out to find others that may relate to you. There’s no need to spam, as relationships take time to grow!

This is a guest post written by Elizabeth Cutten. Elizabeth helps run FindBizCards, a business credit card portal, as well as a small business blog helping entrepreneurs on a daily basis.

What Social Media Challenges Do You Face?

Feeling Lost
Many companies who take the big dive into social media can be left feeling a little lost. This is understandable as it can be confusing to organize what to do and who to listen to. If you’re feeling confused, it’s time to do something about it! Many companies and social media resources offer free webinars or white papers for educational use. For example, SEOmoz has resources ranked by difficulty so you don’t have to feel overwhelmed if you’re a beginner. Once you have a better understanding of what you want to accomplish, you can begin looking into social media tactics that can help you pursue this plan. Remember, social media is just another channel where you can extend your reach in the areas of marketing, customer service, partnerships, leads and even hiring.

Spending Too Much/Little Time?

Do you feel like social media helps your brand or hinders it? It depends on how you look at it of course. If you don’t have a plan, things can get messy and you can find yourself spending way too much time on Twitter. Depending on your schedule, you may want to assign yourself a couple minutes (I like 5-10 minute bursts) of time to check your social media profiles. If it gets too overwhelming, ask for help. A big mistake you can make is trying to manage everything on your own, especially if you don’t have the time or understanding. Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a Twitter whiz or Facebook specialist.If you don’t know where to look, an internet marketing firm is a great place to start.

Problems with Consistency
Many companies need help and motivation in keeping consistent with participation on social media sites. Think of this task like a project for a client or a personal goal. You need to establish time lines and can start realistically. It might be a long shot to aim to write 10 blogs a week, so why not start with every third day? You can always build yourself up without any pressure. Just like all the good things in life, social media success doesn’t come without hard work and dedication. The misconception is that people get frustrated with their progress because the services are “free”. But remember, you get out what you put in, so plan accordingly. Set aside some time to set targets for your blog, tweets, Facebook Page updates and you’ll be glad you did!

iCampaigns Helps Track Political Campaigns

It’s Election Day, have you voted yet? Whether it’s turning in your vote by mail ballot or taking some time in between your lunch break, it’s important to get your vote out there!
Anyways, have you ever thought about how much it takes to organize and oversee a political campaign? iCampaigns is a new iPhone application that helps political campaign managers do just that. With this dynamic pair of applications, candidates and consultants will stay up to date about what opponents are up to.

Let’s take a look at the two components:

iCampaigns Manager

The manager app allows managers to access insight straight from the field as reported by volunteers. This means that if an opponent is bent on a campaign to attack your client, you’ll be able to find out about the attacks whether they come in the form of a campaign mailer, yard sign, or TV spot. Volunteers will capture this information through their iPhone and send it straight to you. Managers will have the opportunity to connect with verified volunteers through an access code so the information can be securely shared. This is extremely helpful if you have multiple campaigns to run and various candidates to track.

iCampaigns Tracker


The free tracker app is perfect for grassroots campaign enthusiasts. As a volunteer, you have the option to share your demographic and contact information with a manager. This way, you can stay connected and get up to date information about your favorite political candidate. As you spot damaging ads from opponents, you can capture the info and send it straight to a political manager. This will help with damage control and your politician will be able to launch a quick response to the attack. The most important part about being an active volunteer is knowing that your efforts can help your favorite candidate win the election!

If you’re interested in mobile web design or developing an iPhone application, we can help! There is a growing market for phone apps and it’s time to take advantage of this opportunity. Our talented developers will help you design, test and perfect your application.
Contact us for more information!

Also, don’t forget to stay connected with iCampaigns on Twitter and Facebook.

Guest Post: Twitter Tools For Business and Building Links

Happy Monday! Hope you all enjoy this guest blog post by Tom Shivers of Capture Commerce:

Feast on some tools, apps and ideas to help you get in the Twitter game and build quality traffic and links to your site.

TweetBeep.com – Manage your online Twitter reputation. Alerts will be emailed to you whenever a Twitter user Tweets about your business, name, or domain. You select the alert criteria and what to watch for. This is great for a business that is concerned about branding, online identity and quickly responding to customers.

Twollo.com allows you to find and follow Twitterers with similar interests automatically. When you create an account there, you will see an empty box with “Twitterers talking about:” above it. I’m interested in Twitterers talking about organic search engine rank, so I submit that interest and Twollo then finds people interested in SEO and follows them for me through my Twitter account. Many of these people see we have similar interests and follow me as well.

SocialOomph.com (formerly Tweetlater) is a Twitter post scheduler among other things. It is easy to use, allows you to Tweet ahead, and lets you select a posting schedule by day and time. You can also setup several interesting features/tools:

* Automatically send a welcome message to new followers.
* Automatically follow people (new followers) who follow me from this point forward.
* Auto unfollow those who unfollow you.

Bit.ly allows you to shorten, share and track your links to save space when you tweet them. The tracking feature displays the number of clicks on each shortened URL you have setup.

How do I get links to my website? First, I must clarify that tweeting a link to your website is not the same thing as link building, it simply allows your followers to click through to your site. Some day Google may modify it’s algo to account for these tweet links but for now, there’s no evidence that Google does.

You often see blog posts with a “Tweet This Post” link on the page, asking people to pass this on to others. This is easy to add to any good content on your site: videos, reports, product comparisons, research, articles, etc. Use this tool to build relationships.

Twitter directories categorize users according to interest/topic and some list users from most followers to least. You can register for free and follow some of the most popular Twitterers. Within your account, you can show your recent tweets and there’s a place for a link to your website. Most profile pages are indexed by Google:

* Twellow.com
* Tweetfind.com
* Twitr.org

In some businesses it can make sense to have several Twitter accounts – one for the business and one for each executive.

Everything I’ve mentioned here actually contributes to building good quality links to your website and the most important one is honing your target audience or followers so they benefit first. If your followers benefit from your Tweets, they will pay you back with retweets, more followers, and links. You also want to “listen to” the issues and questions in your marketplace, so you can provide appropriate answers. Sometimes Twitter is the first place you get wind of what’s coming.

Twitter is another avenue to build real relationships with other professionals. These relationships then can be a source of info, business leads, web traffic and links to your site.

By the way, you can follow me on Twitter too, http://twitter.com/capturecommerce

Successful Social Media Advertising Provides Value

Most people can agree that the most effective social media advertising campaigns are the ones that provide real value. With this in mind, more companies are creating resources that solely exist to provide customers with information and help solve their problems. I came across this link on Twitter and thought that the Visual Economics site is a great example.

You’ve probably seen these infographics passed around on social media sites but did you know that it’s owned by Credit Loan?


From using ice cream to explain certificate of deposits to visual maps such as this, Visual Economics is an informative site whose sole purpose is to inform. It’s not until I went to check out their Twitter and Facebook Page that I noticed the affiliation. This is a great example of shareable content but it obviously takes a lot of time and effort to compile a whole different site for consumers.

What are some other sites that you’ve found helpful and who are they affiliated with?

New Viral Marketing Campaigns Spread Excitement

I always like to hear about the latest viral marketing campaigns and see how big brands are trying to outdo each other.

Papa John’s Pizza Mania

First off, p-i-z-z-a! Papa John’s unveiled an online contest this week asking fans to share their special recipe. The contest, dubbed “Papa’s Specialty Pizza Challenges”, encourages pizza aficionados to submit their special recipe along with a short blurb about why their pizza is so special. Ten semi-finalists will get a chance to have their recipe tested at Papa John’s HQ. From there, three finalists will have their recipe featured on the Papa John’s menu in August. But the excitement doesn’t stop there! Of the final three, Papa John’s will hand out a $1000 budget for marketing.
The recipe with the most sales will get a permanent spot on the menu! The grand prize also includes free pizza for life and an appearance in a Papa John’s TV ad. Go to Papa John’s Facebook and take a look for yourself. I never thought that people could be so excited about pizza but as fan Diane writes on the Page’s Wall, “I don’t care for American Idol. But, a pizza right now sure sounds good.”

Honeymooning with Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn also launched a campaign this week targeting newlyweds who are looking for a good deal for their honeymoon. Appealing to members of their rewards program on Twitter, Holiday Inn’s month long “Honeymoon on Us” contest will give out free prizes. With wedding season around the corner, this is the right time for the InterContinental Hotels Group to focus their efforts on vacationing couples. The grand prize is pretty great too – a complete wedding registry!

Papa John’s and Holiday Inn are just two examples of how big brands are using social media to the fullest extent. Nike also just set a record with their new viral ad. Do you have any other examples you’d like to share? It doesn’t have to be a promotion that’s currently running.

Does the New Facebook Make You Miss the Old MySpace?

Privacy Concerns
Facebook’s privacy shuffle is not quite done as founder Mark Zuckerberg reveals that new settings will be coming very soon. Great, just what we need!
Facebook’s integrity may be unraveling as many users are angered by privacy violations, profile bugs, and Zuckerberg’s pompous behavior. A recent source reveals that Zuckerberg called users “dumb f****” when a friend asked why users would trust a stranger with their information.

Profiles Lacking Personality

Privacy is not the only thing that Facebook user profiles are lacking – what about the personality? Remember when you could make your interests “unique”? Maybe you enjoy ‘music to sleep to’ or some other obscure band or activity. Thanks to the site’s new feature, you can’t even add something you’re interested in to your profile unless it already has a presence on Facebook (via Group, Page, Community etc.) On top of that, adding an interest to your profile instantly connects you to other users who like the same thing, whether you like it or not.

Now everyone is stuck with a boring, generic profile layout and you can’t even add an interest that Facebook doesn’t like. Remember when you could add your favorite song to your MySpace profile or change your background layout to match your mood? No, we aren’t talking about the obnoxious animated gifs. What if you just wanted to simply change the background color and font? Not possible with Facebook. Although my MySpace account has been laid to rest many years ago, the new Facebook makes me miss it sometimes. Facebook’s features seem to be getting more problematic and restricting. That’s not to say that MySpace didn’t have privacy issues of their own… but still.

What’s Next?

Thousands have already pleaded to commit social suicide and quit Facebook by May 31st, will you join? I’m also looking forward to Diaspora, an alternative to Facebook, which is set to launch September of 2010.

So, a Little Bird Told You About Content Marketing…

Webinar Overview
So, I got to hear Joe Pulizzi of Vertical Measures speak today in a Search Marketing Now webcast. Content marketing and link building can be confusing to people as there are certain things to keep in mind:

  • Keep your customers in mind. As Joe put it, don’t just talk about yourself. After all, people aren’t searching for a marketing pitch! They want answers.
  • Marketers are becoming publishers but many are doing a bad job. Their main problem is they have a difficult time separating self-promotion with their ability to provide useful content.
  • The secret to success is not really a secret at all. Most marketers will tell you the key to success is to be an expert in your niche and to dedicate content to customers.

These tips are a lot easier said than done – especially with the third point. So, what are some ways you can be more innovative with your content marketing? Joe provides a list of ideas to “steal”!

Steal These Ideas

  1. Create as much content as possible relating to your niche
  2. Incorporate a helpful video series
  3. Use Twitter as a channel for providing tips
  4. Develop a web or mobile application that is educational and helps solve problems
  5. Share a series on SlideShare

The Big Idea About Link Building

Don’t mix link building with lead generation!

Here’s a good starting point: find a handful of top blogs in your industry. Read them, stay up to date and comment to build a presence. Like I said before, these things aren’t really secrets. The real secret is how to keep consistent and measure your progress.