It’s Been a A While – and 13 Trends for 2013

Ok – I know. I don’t play by my own rules… and haven’t posted a blog post in months! I apologize. That whole work thing keeps getting in my way 🙂 I’m sorry…

So here I am again, and its time to share new stuff.  I just participated in 2 days of training with some of my colleagues at Dominion Enterprises (home of the brands Homes.com, ForRent, CycleTrader, and of course the marine businesses that I work for: boats.com, Boat Trader and YachtWorld). We have a heap of marketing talent in our company, so we gather every year to share experiences, ideas and best practices.

Presenting Personas at Dominion Enterprises

Presenting ‘Personas’

I was able to present on Humanizing Data – creating and leveraging personas. This was a fun one for me as I’ve been using personas in marketing for years. I’ll load up my presentation to Slideshare shortly. But the point is to identify your audience segments using a bunch of data, and create personas to help guide design, product development, etc. Fun stuff.

I also happen to be a fan of Ted Leonsis (formerly AOL, current co-CEO of Groupon, owner of the Washington Wizards, and board member at American Express.) Smart guy. Anyway, he just posted a top 13 Trends list that I happen to agree with!

Ted Leonsis

Ted Leonsis

Highlights:

#2     Mobile Fuels Conversion to a Cashless Economy. Over the next two years, the mobile payment market will reach $670 billion.

#3     Consumerization of IT leads to New Security Concerns, with Resulting Business Opportunities. (Good thing the husband is in the IT security sector!)

#6     Convergence Finally Becomes a Reality. Your computer, phone and TV are now all just screens.

#9     Home Automation. We will be able to control energy, security, video, communications, electronics through wireless technologies.

#13 Vertical Sprouts = Consumers and Money. First came the major “horizontal” companies, like Amazon in ecommerce and Facebook in social. Next up: vertical companies in spaces like women, teens, sports, and seniors.

This last one is big… looking forward to reading more on this.

Click here for the full list.

Would love to hear your thoughts – do you agree/disagree , maybe add something else? Please leave comments below!
P.S. Thanks for visiting!

I guess I don’t “Cut the Mustard” … thanks Grey Poupon

I guess I’m not good enough to eat certain brands of mustard 😦  As an avid eater of Grey Poupon mustard, I was interested to read that they had launched a campaign today on Facebook, that requires one to apply to become a ‘member’ of their Facebook page. Instead of simply ‘liking’ the page, you have to submit an application that screens your Facebook profile, to determine if your up to snuff to be granted access to their Facebook page. (If you ‘like’ their page, they will cancel that like – somehow).

At first it seemed ingenious! I mean, how better to create a loyal and engaged following than by being selective about who you interact with.  But what happens if they’re selection filter isn’t working properly, and once loyal eaters are denied access? Well – they lose customers, and they create negative feelings towards their brand.

Ok – maybe I’m just a sore loser. But if I’m a lifelong eater of your product, and am not living on the streets, enjoy food, travel internationally, and am a reasonably well established business woman, how do I not fit in :/

 

I’ll be keeping an eye on their campaign to see how they’re doing. I like innovative and creative marketing ideas. And love this concept, in theory. Not sure their selection criteria or filters work well enough to test the loyalty of their users. Here is a small sample of the Facebook page posts:

Pinterest and Copyright – I Was Wrong

I was presenting to a group of Yacht Brokers today in Houston. My “Brand Yourself” presentation included a section on Pinterest, with the recommendation that they start participating in that marketing medium. I mean boats = great pics = great Pinterest content / boards.

One of the brokers posed the question about copyright. There has been a lot of press about that topic recently. My response was that the originating site was responsible for checking the copyright, making the ‘pinner’ not responsible. However – I am wrong. It does happen occassionaly 😉 My humblest apologies to the broker with whom I’m supposed to debate this topic at lunchtime!

Upon checking, it is more than apparent that the pinner is responsible for obtaining the copyright, or making sure that they are able to share the image. Some sites block their images from being ‘pinned’, by adding ‘nopin’ code to their website.

So what does this mean for individuals? Chances are the worst that will happen is that you will receive a stern letter from the copyright holder demanding the image be removed. My personal opinion is that the risk is low, and it is still worth using Pinterest. In fact, most pinned images include a link back to the original image, improving the original site’s search engine ranking. And could also increase leads and conversions to that site. If I owned the site, I wouldn’t be complaining.

However, as a business using Pinterest, enter with more caution. Copyright owners are less forgiving for businesses using their images for commercial use.

So – my recommendation for business is to tread carefully. Make sure you either own the images, or make sure you get permission from copyright owners before using their content.

One more comment – in my personal opinion, any business that decided to sue a business or individual over copyright infringement on Pinterest is crazy! They should be grateful for the free exposure, and take advantage of the leads it may generate.  Any company that decided to sue a business or individual for copyright infringement on Pinterest would be facing a PR nightmare…(great article on that here).

So – enter at your own risk. I am! 😀

Read more here:

http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/250700/what_you_should_know_about_pinterest_and_copyright.html

Aside

Oops – I’m back!

Image

Gosh – it has been forever since I’ve posted on my blog. As much as I teach others how to setup, manage and maintain successful blogs, I’m the worst at practicing what I preach!

I have an excuse – I’ve been kind of busy. I was offered a new position back in March, to move to another division within Dominion Enterprises. Dominion Marine Media is the boating division within Dominion Enterprises and run the sites YachtWorldBoat Trader and Boats.com. I was brought in due to my social media experience, and my consumer marketing knowledge, to reinvent Boats.com. My role has evolved a little over time, and a few additional duties have been added, but I’m thrilled to be on the team, and to be working on such an important and exciting project!

I hope to be able to get back to blogging again. I’ve started speaking to the marine industry about social media and marketing, and can’t really be preaching, without practicing. So here we go – back on the bandwagon. If you have any suggestions, or would like me to focus on a topic you might have questions about, let me know. Happy to see how I can be of help.

~Sonya

 

$1000 Giveaway!

$1000 Giveaway

HELP NEEDED:  My company is giving us a chance of winning $1000, and I want to win it so I can give it away to people who deserve a little help this Holiday Season!
 
All I need to do is have as many people as possibleclick on my personal link to view the new Homes.com home value feature. This cool new feature lets you see what your home (or neighbors home) might be valued at!
 
There is no registration needed, and you don’t need to give up anything. Just click on the link. 🙂 If I win, I will be giving the $1000 to people who deserve a little helping hand these holidays.
 
Thanks in advance everyone!

Got Klout?

UPDATE: Klout just released this great infograph that I thought helpful to those who have read this post on Klout. Enjoy!

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Klout score and analysis

Do you have Klout?

When I first started noodling through social media land, back in the day (July 10, 2007 according to Facebook), I knew I was an early adopter, but wasn’t really too concerned about my Klout. What is Klout? According to Wikipedia: the company, Klout, “uses social media analytics to measure a user’s influence across their social network. The analysis is done on data taken from sites such as Twitter and Facebook and measures the size of a person’s network, the content created, and how other people interact with that content.”

So what is the benefit of having Klout? Ever wanted to be ‘famous’? Klout may help you get there. Want free stuff? Want to be an early user of cool stuff?  All this ‘apparently’ comes with having Klout. On the Klout website, there is a “Perks” tab, that shows you different rewards you ‘might’ be eligible for, IF you have KLOUT!

Klout Perks

Now, I have what is considered to be a fairly decent Klout score of 61. Some of the people I think are BIG social influencers have scores only slightly higher than me. But I never seem to receive decent Perk offers. Aren’t there companies out there that would like a socially savvy, 40+ female marketing executive to try out some of your cool stuff? Each “Perk” has eligibility requirements, and the good perks go really quickly. So either I’m not eligible (see image below where ‘location’ makes me ineligible) or I’m too late.

Klout Perks Eligibility

I hope smart businesses take note of Klout and leverage social influencers. Maybe one day I’ll get to try that shiny new product before anyone else does… 😀

Drawing the Line: Using a National Tragedy for SEO Gain?

drawing-the-line

Something really bugged me tonight – I read a blog post on the blog site for a local company (who shall remain unnamed) focused on the recent tragedy that affected the Navy Seals. Their post’s primary focus was on the tragedy, highlighting the fact that many of the victims were from our area. They included links to a non-profit that supported the families of victims.

My first thought was that it seemed unnecessary to write such a post. And my next thought was that it seemed like they had written the article (using strong keywords that have recent worldwide usage), with the intent to boost their SEO juice. Maybe I’m thinking this as the company that wrote the article is an SEO company.

I’m not making an accusation but when a story is written that is irrelevant to your business, other than the fact that your city was the home for the victims, what is the purpose?  I don’t doubt that they are upset about the tragedy, but the story didn’t mention anything about a direct connection with any of the victims.

Thoughts?