NEW “Wonderful Web” ENews: “New is New Again”

The new edition of our “It’s a Wonderful Web” enewsletter is out. It includes the follow short stories:

  • It’s All About YOU (including Paul Simon quote)
  • New Marketing in Another New Era
  • Whipping Up Lower Cost Websites (fresh offer)
  • Make Your Marketing More Effective
  • New Custom-Designed Client WordPress Websites
  • Is Your WordPress Website Safe? (new services)
  • New News About NewMarU (update on our educational site)
  • Luscious Links: More Useful Info, Just a Click Away (valuable!)
  • Quick Hits: About the New Enews Format

If you’re not already a subscriber, you can read it online by clicking this link.

Last Call for Special Savings on LIVE SF Workshop: Mastering the Social Media Marketing Mix!

Here’s the deal…
SPECIAL SAVINGS: REGISTER BEFORE APRIL 9th FOR ONLY $59!!

(after April 9th: $99.00)

This is my “signature” Internet marketing workshop, “Mastering the Social Media Marketing Mix.” On this occasion I’m custom designing to help creative people, performing artists, solo-preneurs & small biz owners to expand their audiences/client base.

In addition to the mission critical ideas that I’ll be covering in my new ebook, “Internet Marketing: 8 Key Concepts that Every Business MUST Know,” here are some of the main things you will learn:

  • Why Content Marketing has become a valuable strategy for virtually every organization
  • The Best Practices of Creating Sustainable & Active Facebook Pages
  • Why “Lead Nurturing” is the Next Generation of Email Marketing
  • The Secrets of “SEO 2.0″ and Social Media Optimization
  • How Authentic Voice is the “Heart” of New Marketing
  • How to Use YouTube Videos as Lead Capture Magnets
  • How Blogging is Best Utilized as the Hub of your Social Media eco-system
  • Best Practices to Leverage LinkedIn as Your Business-to-Business social media channel
  • Why Twitter is most valuable for listening to your customers and market research

This workshop is being offered live in San Francisco at Ft. Mason on April 24th, 2012 at 6:30PM.
Please Click Here to Register or for More Details on the Live SF Event

Also, FYI, this workshop is going to be offered starting in mid-May as a Four-Week Online Course via our sister website, NewMarU.com:
Please click here for more details on the Online Course

Social Media Goes Visual: Why Pinterest is More Than You Think

NextGen Social Media

Pinterest is much more than the latest and greatest “hot” new social network. Because of it’s visual nature, I believe that this upstart social network reflects the next generation of socially networked communication. In the current and coming stages of the evolution of the Web’s social revolution, the written word is no longer sufficient.

In case you haven’t tried it yet, Pinterest is essentially an online vision board. It lets people “pin” images that they find inspiring, useful or beautiful and then share their collections of images—called “Boards”—with others. When people “re-pin” the images, they are essentially “retweeting” or sharing visual communications in a state-of-the-art social media style.

This naturally compliments the ways that video and photo sharing have become majorly important. In fact, the array of visual communication innovation that we are seeing right now is indicative of the dawn of a new age. The web has quickly become a more dynamic visual medium. Text and hyperlinks were a foundation, but only a beginning. And we are still in the early stages.

Let’s Get Visual!

This trend isn’t new, but it does make a big difference. For example, Facebook power users know that when you share pictures, not just text updates, it fuels increased engagement in a big way. In other words, you get more “Likes” and comments when there’s a visual component to what you post.

Elsewhere, Tumblr has extended the Twitter-powered popularity of micro-blogging in a much more visual direction, and the popularity of using Instagram to share and talk about photographs is also surging (and is poised for major new expansion when the Android version of the Instagram app is released soon). ReadWriteWeb even reminds us that it is this mobile-phone-powered digital photography trend that slew the former photo corporate dragon: Death by Smartphone: How Mobile Photography Helped Kill Kodak.”

And then there’s YouTube which recently announced that 24 hours of video is uploaded to their site every twenty-four seconds. The video visual media explosion is so dramatic that YouTube itself produced this quick little 45-second video in an attempt to make its mind-boggling growth comprehendible:

If doesn’t clarify this explosion for you, Time Magazine recently ran an article, The Beast with a Billion Eyes, which characterizes YouTube as “the most rapidly growing force in human history.”

Blogger/consultant/author Jay Baer  says: 

“This is the year that photos challenge writing as the lingua franca of the social webIf you’re not taking and posting pictures to dedicated photo networks and cross-posting (when appropriate) to Twitter and Facebook, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to grow your network and see the world through the eyes (or cell phone cameras) of thousands of new friends.”

The fact that the verb “pinning” has been showing up in conversations that aren’t even specific to Pinterest is a huge testament to the fact that people are captivated. If you think about how many times a day the verb to “google” is used to mean “search,” you can see that we’re on to something.

Why Is This Important for Business?

According to the Wall Street Journal, traffic to the Pinterest website has grown tenfold over the past six months. In January, the number of visitors on Pinterest was already almost a third of that on Twitter.

But Pinterest’s impact of web traffic may be even greater than Twitter’s. Based on a recent study conducted by Sharaholic, Pinterest drove more referral traffic to sites in January than Google+ (with 100 million users!), Reddit, YouTube, LinkedIn and MySpace all combined. Those are big-time numbers for the new kid on the block.

But, is there really room for another player in the social media VIP room? New York Times technology columnist David Pogue in his review, A Scrapbook on the Web Catches Fire, gives three good reasons why there definitely is:

  1. It’s clean. No ads, no pop ups, no blinking anything. It’s a pure and relatively simple rest for the eyes.
  2. It’s personal. Broadcasting isn’t the focus, rather your own interests take center stage in an authentic way.
  3. It’s humble. Pinterest Boards are about beauty, inspiration, information, passion, not self-absorbtion. It’s not, “Look at how great I am!” It’s, “Isn’t this GREAT!”

The blogger Beth Hayden sums it up well when she says Pinterest can  “…start making your social media strategy more beautiful, one little pin at a time.” When you add to this the fact that the early research seems to show that it will also make your social media marketing more engaging; and, when done appropriately, it will also help connect you to your constituencies at a deeper level: What’s not to like?

——

Our Other Pinterest Post:

Luscious Links to Unlock Pinterest: Free Resources Show How to Pin Your Marketing

Your Social Media Future: It’s Time to Say YES.

I continue to be amazed by how many professional people still resist social media marketing. In fact, this seems to be one of the main reasons that participants find so much value in my workshop, “Mastering the Social Media Marketing Mix.”

The US “premiere” of this workshop will be in San Francisco, next Wednesday, October 12th. The producer, Linda Kosut just sent out an email announcement to her list with the headline, “Social Media IS Our Future” including a commentary about how she personally resisted this idea for a long time.

social media marketing workshop in Auckland, NZ

"Social Media Marketing Mix" workshop in NZ

When I was in New Zealand, Mark Lowndes of the law firm Lowndes Associates described his experience this way:

“A year ago I was certain social media had no relevance to our commercial law firm.  Today I am convinced I was wrong. Social media will be an increasingly important part of our interaction with our clients and the business community at large. As with many businesses, I now believe there is no option but to learn how to engage effectively using social media.”
— Mark Lowndes, Lowndes Associates

When I speak about how important I think it is for companies and professionals of every variety to engage in social media marketing, I compare it to the ’80’s when I used to tell business audiences that email was as important as their toll free phone line. (Yes, amazing but true, not everyone recognized email at that point as an important customer service and/or sales communications channel.) I told these business people that they have to respond to their customers, and your customers have the right to communicate via any communication “channel” they want to use.

Now, your customers are “calling” you via social media. Of course, I think you should be pro-active in this new arena. But, for openers, if your toll free phone line was ringing, or you were getting email from a prospective customer, you would answer, wouldn’t you? Of course you would. Well, if you’re not engaged in social media marketing yet, please consider this your social media marketing “call.”

And, here’s a real invitation: If you are in the SF Bay Area, please do not miss the chance to experience the whole 3-hour presentation of “Mastering the Social Media Marketing Mix” at Ft. Mason, Wednesday, October 12th, 6:30 to 9:30pm. Frankly, the $99 registration fee is a remarkable value. My four-week online version of this workshop which will be announced shortly is expected to cost $397.

So this San Francisco live presentation, to a small interactive group offers great value. It will also deliver great inspiration that will motivate real productivity. And there will be tons of great information. I promise all of this, and I hope to see you there. Please click here to register and/or for more information. Thanks!

My 2nd 2011 Social Media Speaking, Workshop Tour of New Zealand Will Energize With Authenticity

I can hardly believe that I’m taking off (“leaving on a jet plane”) this weekend for my second 2011 “tour” speaking and leading workshops throughout New Zealand.

I am amazed and delighted that my April, 2011 NZ speaking tour has led to a new batch of “return engagements.” Truthfully, I relish the opportunity to “turn on” business audiences to the remarkable communication opportunities of social media and Internet marketing, while also encouraging them to be proactive Net citizens who use the medium well through authenticity and leading with value in order to create meaningful relationships.

On this trip, in addition to at least three “In-House Workshops” and an academic presentation for Otago University, I will lead the public events linked below. Kiwi friends, I hope to see you there!

To get an idea of my MediaSense keynote event please check out this great 90-second promo video shot when I was in NZ last April. We will be doing an expanded version of MediaSense in Auckland on the 25th of August:

AUGUST 2011 NEW ZEALAND — PUBLIC EVENTS

Thursday, August 25th — Auckland
Breakfast panel for the Lowndes Associates Business Intelligence Series (now sold out!),
as well as a keynote speech & moderator for two panels at
MediaSense: Make Social Media Marketing Work for You
(click for more info about the impressive line up of speakers & registration details)

Friday, August 26th — Hawkes Bay
Exclusive Half-Day “Social Media Mix” Workshop
(click for online description document)

Tuesday, August 30th — Wellington
Half-Day “Social Media Mix” Workshop sponsored by SmartNet
(click for description and registration)

Please “stay tuned” by subscribing above. I hope to post more from the road. Or use the Twitter or Facebook links above to get updates. Thanks!

Meaningful Social Media Marketing and More, in the August Edition of “It’s a Wonderful Web”

Whoah! I’m proud of the new “Super” edition of ComBridges “It’s a Wonderful Web” E-Newsletter that includes links to our latest blog post, announcement of our new “In-House Workshop” offering, details of new Oct 12th SF event (just announced), upcoming New Zealand tour details with a neat MediaSense NZ video, and more.

Please check it out, share your feedback, and share/tweet/like if you see fit.
Click here to view the latest “It’s a Wonderful Web” now.

Social Media Makes the Old New Again: “If You Don’t Have Something Good to Say…”

A recent viewing of a Yahoo! video of Seth Godin reminded me that the social media “sea change” is much more than an incremental shift. It is literally a game changer. (FYI, this was also the subject of my latest TheTVNews.tv video commentary.)

It’s no wonder that so many people are either being diverted by “get rich quick” scam artists or trying to stuff social media strategies into some kind of  “same-ole-media box.”

In order to make sure that your social media marketing time is well spent, here are some provocative questions inspired by some respectable authorities that I hope will help you approach your social media marketing in a meaningful, satisfying and successful manner. After all, A Billion Dollars Isn’t Cool. You Know What’s Cool? Basic Human Decency :

  1. What’s the Difference between the Engagement Game and Actually Being Engaging?
    The Difference Between Engaged and Engaging” — a blog post by Danny Brown
  2. Why are Facebook “Fans” and YouTube Video Views a Meaningless Statistic?
    AdAge: “Sorry, but Counting Facebook ‘Fans’ or Video Views Won’t Help Your Brand
  3. What’s Wrong with Us? Are We Lazy or What?
    Social Media Fatique” — a blog post by Chris Brogan

Creating meaningful social media means moving beyond this “Social Media Fatigue.” And, it’s not going to happen unless we, as Brogan says, take the opportunity “to make something interesting and worthwhile, to be helpful, to empower others, to encourage and inspire others.” (In an earlier blog post, I called this “Leading with Value.”)

As our grandmothers used to say, “If you don’t have something GOOD to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Bottom line, real relationship building—which is what social media marketing is (or should be) all about—comes down to communicating your “basic human decency.” Now that’s “really cool.”

Luscious Links – Catching Up with the Goodness

I come across so much useful information in any given week that I’ve taken to these “Luscious Links” blog posts to try to share with you some of the best of the best that I find. Does this format work for you? Please let me know.

Google’s Focus on Quality and the PostRank Acquisition
This is an excellent & useful post from SitePoint clarifies the changing state of SEO & social media marketing. My take aways: 1. quality content rules 2. social media really does matter. 3. It’s the conversations, connections & relationships that matter most. Are you listening?

Why is Authenticity a Crucial Component of Internet Marketing?
As I’m re-grouping for the “next generation” re-invention of NewMarU.com, I was discussing with a friend, this ten-minute edited video conversation (linked above) with Robert Rabbin that came out of NewMarU’s first “guest” webinar. I LOVE what we said here and would really like more people to hear it. I sincerely believe that this is important information/perspective re marketing in the age of social media.

3 Smart Strategies for Book Promotion
Here are just a few smart ways that authors can promote their books with social media and PR. Practical steps any author can use for book marketing via SlideShare.

The “Talk Radio” Approach to Effective Email Marketing
I like the way that this CopyBlogger article underscores my core value that “it’s got to be fun.” Yes! In content marketing et al, FUN makes all the difference. Don’t you agree?

12 Awesome Facebook Stats, Charts & Graphs
Are you taking Facebook seriously as a marketing channel? If not, maybe you should check out these 12 stats via a nifty little Hubspot SlideShare presentation…

Learn How Your Website Can Be The Center Of Social Network Attention
My recent video comments on TheTVNews re social media marketing and a new solution that lets more active brands aggregate various social media conversations onto their website so it’s more of a “home base.”

How to Combine SEO and Social Media for Maximum Impact with Lee Odden
This is a good overview video interview that covers something I’ve been talking about a lot lately. It’s very important to understand the relationship between social media, SEO and content creation in order to produce effective marketing in today’s online environment. This is a valuable 5 minutes, IMHO.

Your feedback is encouraged. I’d love to hear any comments you may have.

Luscious Links: Online Video & Blogging Tips for Small Business Success

I thoroughly enjoy mining the Web for useful articles that I hope provide you with insights that can help you build your business success. The most immediate way for me to refer you to these articles is my Twitter account and our ComBridges Facebook page. Please “Follow” and/or “Like” respectively if you’d like more of this kind of stuff more quickly. These “Luscious Links” blog posts are another way for me to share these tips and insights with you. If you are so moved, please let me know which you find the most useful and share some of your favorites in the comments.

6 Steps to Uploading Pro Quality Videos to the Web
As a long time video pro, I get lots of how-to questions about best practices for producing video clips for marketing. This post has a concise list of key must-do steps. A well done post.

At YouTube Boot Camp, Future Stars Polish Their Acts
And, yes, there is a business “there” there. As this NYTimes article illuminates, even YouTube itself is offering bootcamps to help small businesses succeed.

For Some, Blogs Also Pay the Bills
A passion and sustainable focus are key components of a successful online business. OK, they are a critical component of ANY business. Without a significant time commitment and determination—let’s tell the truth—you are doomed. This is another insightful NYTimes article that includes some modest (and some not so modest) success stories.

Five minutes with Steven Pressfield, author of ‘The War of Art’, ‘Do The Work’ and ‘Gates of Fire’
And, speaking of a sustainable commitment, Steven Pressfield is one of my absolutely favorite authors because of the clarity of his inspiration. His latest book, “Do the Work” is a must read, in my opinion. Amazon affiliate link is below. Enjoy!

 

Entry Level WordPress Website, Another Web Design Success Story

It’s obviously a good thing that ComBridges is known for high quality web design. But sometimes it can get in our way because people think that they can’t afford us.

However, we do have a streamlined “Entry Level” WordPress website design package. And, it was this offering that has led to our latest web design client success story, Six Palms Media, Inc. Within the scope of this package, we did a quickie logo design that took their first draft logo to a whole new level; and we used a customized version of a WordPress theme to give Six Palms a solid, professional look that they are proud of.

Better than anything else we can say, I think Six Palms Media’s president, Peter Goodman tells his website saga best:

“Jon Leland at ComBridges is my Internet hero. After two web designers who either couldn’t deliver what they promised or went bankrupt halfway through building my site, I found ComBridges. Right away I knew I was dealing with a seasoned professional who not only understood my needs from a design standpoint, but is a web marketing guru as well. Jon built me a great site in no time and is using cutting edge marketing tools to make sure it’s seen. It’s so nice to deal with a grown up in an industry plagued by hacks, incompetence and do-it-yourself debacles. Bravo for a job well done. I look forward to benefiting from your expertise in the future.”

If you’d like to learn more about our Entry Level websites or any of our other offerings, we’d love to talk!  Please contact us here.

We just love happy clients 😉