Tag Archives: Authority Domains

We Are Each A Brand – Twitter Best Practices For Anyone!

twitterbrandI was flipping through ESPN the magazine last night when I was reminded of a disturbing trend. Aaron Curry of the Seattle Seahawks has a Twitter handle of @SeaHawk59. What is worse is Stephen Curry, a soon to be drafted NBA player, has a handle of @classof2027.  My question to both would be, how are people supposed to find you if they actually wanted to follow you? How is Google supposed to attach your Twitter feed to your search rankings? As it stands now, when you Google “Stephen Curry” his Twitter address does not appear within the first 50 search results. I gave up after 5 clicks on the next tab. Not good, and certainly not good for his Twitter presence. A SEO nightmare by his own creation!

This got me thinking about how companies can  utilize Twitter more efficiently. Really the same way athletes should, but don’t!  An athlete’s name is not their brand due to free agency. Sales is nothing more than real world free agency. With that in mind-I have compiled a list of Twitter best practices with an eye on maximizing your companies brand on Twitter, and ultimately driving brand awareness and affinity:

  1. Twitter users are 37% more likely to be followed when they spell out their full name instead of attaching their brand to their username. With that data in hand, I suggest that your company have one corporate username and all other employees make their user name an extension of the company’s brand. This will allow your company to be able to speak to all business avenues -instead of being pigeon-holed based on his/her username.
  2. Every piece of content created in blogs, Youtube, Flickr, deep discussions, new events- need to be shared on Twitter. We suggest connecting Friendfeed to the corporate Twitter account.
  3. I suggest your company share tidbits of knowledge daily. At least 10 twitter posts per day using keywords from a yet to be established keyword list. 60% should be of the thought leadership variety, while 40% of the posts should talk about the Twitter personality’s life. The corporate account should be purely talking about company  happenings and posting links for “link juice”, while responding to mentions. Always post an opinion on industry specific news.
  4. I suggest creating a template thank you note for every new follower. This template will link to the company’s website and be accompanied by a  thank you with a clear call to action.
  5. I suggest your company closely monitors the Twitter members that are talking about the organization on http://www.search.twitter.com. Track the results by simply copying the RSS feed of the results and placing it in an RSS reader.
  6. Your organization should comment on other posts of interest as much as time allows. This opens up free flowing conversations. The organization can track these conversations by keyword and put the RSS feeds into a Netvibes to follow effectively.

Summary:

  1. One Corporate Account (example @authoritydomain)- At least 10 Tweets a day (60% business/40% casual & fun- be a human) Attach a trending term: Example #authoritydomains. If you are a Mets fan: #Mets
  2. Numerous Individual Twitter accounts–For example put http://www.authoritydomains.com in the BIO, spell out full name (example: @derekshowerman). Shot for 10 Tweets a day, 60% business/40% casual & fun- be a human!
  3. Follow other Twitter folks who mention your business on http://search.twitter.com
  4. Thank every follower and have a clear call to action.

Suggestion:

Please be sure to engage social media with an eye on fulfilling real business objectives and a roadmap to see real ROI. Please let me know if you have any questions.


What WordPress Plugin Should Authority Domains Build?

One question: What WordPress plugin needs to be built but hasn’t been created yet?

I wanted to ask all of my blog readers the same question. The following are the best responses we have received through wordpress-pluginLinkedIn:

    Adam Killam

Something I would like to see that is not necessarily Social Media realated is plugin that would create a contact form that integrates with Salesforce.com’s web to lead capture functionality.

As you likely know, Salesforce has several social media tie ins (Aka Apps) but you need to get the contact information into SF in the first place in order to take advantage of these apps. A lead capture / contact form plugin would be great. Even better if it worked with Salesforce.com for Google Adwords.


    Burke Ingraffia

Musician, Web Designer, Internet Consultant

A complete digital download payment system for musicians who blog. This would include a hidden file storage folder as well as immediate download upon purchase.


    Gideon For Mukwai

Preparedness Facilitator at XtraMile Emergency Solutions

I would like to see a plugin used in uploading a logo photo on a theme that otherwise does not have a spot for that.
Gideon F. For-mukwai,CEM
http://www.1xtramile.com


    Andre Natta, CMSM

Urban Conversationalist

I would love to see a plugin that finally provides a complete solution to the issue of creating an events calendar on the site that can be presented in chronological order. There are calendar plugins currently, but it would be great to provide some additional tools.


    Hank Shrier

Founder of Global Business Networking and author of The Natural Networker

You are very wise to solicit feedback. Can you build a plug in that will tap into the brain, write the, blog, post the blog, and generate award winning content every time? 🙂 Hey a person can dream. Some asked about payment processing. Integrating to payment processing is very straight forward and does not require a plug in. It does require a merchant account to get the best value for the merchant. You can also get a gift and rewards card that can be virtual or physical. Anyone interested can contact me off line. You will then get the entire Clint Eastwood version of the payment processing industry. The movie? The God, The Bad and the Ugly.

Thanks again for starting a useful and beneficial discussion

Sincerely,

Hank Shrier


Christine Haskell, PMP

Lead Business Intelligence Product Manager, Online Services

something that allows people to import more professional looking templates (like those from woo themes) into the “free” wordpress environment. people shouldn’t have to go out and get an FYP account and deal with 16 folders of js files in order to update their look.


    Sarmishta Venkatesh

Web 2.0 Solution Consultant, Digital Marketer, KM Consultant, Researcher, Team builder

well, i encountered this problem a while ago: a plugin that converts a JPEG image into a WordPress recognizable CSS theme – enabling novice users to upload images and use them as their themes…


    Sourena Parham

Visual Artist, Translator, Middle East Independent Researcher at Freelance

These are a few ideas:

Related Links From the Same Category
http://wordpress.org/extend/ideas/topic.php?id=2593

“Advanced” Setting for Images
http://wordpress.org/extend/ideas/topic.php?id=2573

Other Contributors
http://wordpress.org/extend/ideas/topic.php?id=2528

Comments’ Language Plugin
http://wordpress.org/extend/ideas/topic.php?id=2614

“New” Sign:
http://wordpress.org/extend/ideas/topic.php?id=36


    Jamie Oastler

Owner at Idealien Studios

Check out http://weblogtoolscollection.com/archives/2009/05/05/wordpress-plugin-competition-2009-started/ for some ideas and a great way to contribute and have a chance at cold hard cash!


    Jon Eland

Digital Communications Manager at Words&Pictures

I’d love someone to build a decent plug-in to allow ‘issues’ of magazines to be produced and delivered through wordpress – imagine releasing content in editions, each with their own homepage… it can’t be that hard!


    Sourena Parham

Visual Artist, Translator, Middle East Independent Researcher at Freelance

— Uploader
I am looking for a plugin that makes it possible for the visitors to upload images, sounds, or movies to a website I am working on. I could not find any uploader for WP. All I could find were a few uploaders made to be used by the admin not by the users.


    Jason King

Nonprofit Techie Chap at Infoxchange Australia

I agree with Jon. I recently helped someone to put a magazine online using WordPress and we struggled to find a way to create distinct editions/issues.

So thanks Sourena for the suggestion, I’ll take a look.


    Rita Ashley

Job Search Coaching for $100,000+ Job Seekers. My clients get hired.

Easy answer…ability to show and sell images and/or prints. Needs a shopping cart, security and ability to sell images or prints through some affiliate.

I just started using work.com for posting articles. The feature that allows me to send a message to a mailing list I created for each article with the article attached is powerful. The traffic was good and no one complained…Would be great if my blog had that same feature.


Thank you so much to everyone who has partcipated thus far. From here we wantto hear from you on your ideas and then we will pick the top 5 and do a poll to decide which plugin Authority Domains will build. Don;t be shy, comment, share and voice your opinion. We want to bring as much value to WordPress as possible!


How “WE” did it! A Case Study Of Social Media Success

Because Social Media is so new, seeing true Return On Investment around Social Media efforts has been difficult to document. There are some solid case studies out there, but we thought we would add in how we at Authority Domains have been able use Social Media to:

  • Innovate
  • Build brand recognition & trust
  • Drive new sales
  • Create new business partnerships

Here is how we did it:

eBook-Communicate Better With Social Media Marketing

communicatebetterwithsocialmediamarketing2Our eBook was created as the byproduct of the entire company collaborating and writing parts of it. We would then go over each other’s work with a second and third set of eyes. The end result was a collaboratively written eBook with a strategy that was created based on real life demographics that would match our hypothetical coffee company.

The book has received some solid reviews thus far. Although I don’t agree with the strategy as a whole, I do agree that the demographics of the tools fit the demographics of a coffee drinker. The eBook also effectively gives newbies to Social Media the education they need to strategically think about how to launch their presence.

Results: Since we launched the eBook two days ago I have seen a fantastic spike in interest in our Social Media Consulting services and new sales as a direct result. Additionally, the book has put our brand on the map for folks who would otherwise not have known about us. Because we put the effort in to create the book, it has helped create a sense of trust in our organization.

Download the eBook for FREE here.

Facebook, LinkedIn & Blogging

We started the following presences:

Authority Domains Facebook Fanpage
Authority Domains Social Media & SEO Consulting
Authority Domains Blog

Our goal was simple. Dangle carrots of lessons learned, best practices or share links to content that we found to be relevant, effective and helpful.

Results: The results have been organic business opportunities, brand awareness, enhanced brand affinity, and yes new sales. Give a little to get a little is the name of the game. The more you knowledge you bestow-the more trust, respect and ultimately business you will get back!

Website

A couple of weeks ago I asked my respected peers to offer feedback on the existing Authority Domains website. The result was some well thought out feedback that has resulted in what our new website will look like in the not too distant future. Have a looksie at the comp:

As always, if you have feedback we take your comments VERY seriously.

Results: We applied the feedback from our friends, prospectus customers and respected thought leaders and applied as much as possible to our Version2. The absolute net result is innovation and evolution based on the feedback of our customers. We have no doubt the new website will serve not only us well-but all of our constituents well. How can it not? They and you created it!

socialmedia2

Partnership

Because of the actions above we have been able to forge very strong ties and Partnerships with companies, resulting in the Social Media Services Group. Thank you to Jeremiah Owyang for the call out and for taking the time to listen to our story.

social-media-services-logo2

Results: A solid partnership with great companies and even better people. We also have a compelling solution to help both service providers and singular organizations achieve true Social Media success with a cost effective-white label solutions.

Summary

I hope that this blog helps organizations, new to Social Media, think about how it can dramatically affect their business, while fulfilling true business objectives. Please feel free to share this case study as you see fit.


Assorted Musings: Twitter, Jeremiah & Mzinga, Facebook, ITunes Contest, Baseball Predictions

There are many thoughts swirling in my bean on this rainy spring morning! So I decided to unleash some random musings starting with how the Apple stores are now selling iPhone 3G without a contract. Who has a the money in this economy to afford it? Is now the right time?

Twitter– There were as many spam follows from Twitter in my Inbox this AM, as there were birds chirping outside my window.failspam What is Twitter going to do about this? They claim they are taking steps to remedy the issue, but are they really? I had a self proclaimed “porn star” follow me yesterday morning. I don’t think it is working! Just a point, when people have a username spelled out it makes them more accountable. Twitter should encourage people to not create aliases and use their name as their business brand.

Jeremiah Owyang & Mzinga – I am still waiting for the official post from Jeremiah in regard to his meeting with Mzinga this past Monday. Hmm…..

Am I the only person that likes the new Facebook structure? I could care less about changing it back? Although it is important for all Social Networking companies to listen to their users, I feel like this is a case of people getting comfortable. The bottom line is the new structure makes the fan pages far more sticky and I have found myself spending less time, but doing more on my personal page. That is a good thing! This is my request to Facebook to keep on…keepin on!itunesgift1

Authority Domains Contest – I am working with the rest of the design team at Authority Domains to rework the website. So far so good! However, the beauty of Social Media is to ask your peers what they would like to see. Use the wisdom of the masses to craft your vision is simply smart! Have a gander and comment here on what improvements you would suggest. The best idea will net a $20.00 ITunes gift card!mlb

Baseball PredictionsWith baseball starting soon, here is my 2009 predictions:

American League Division Winners:

Red Sox

Twins

Angels

Wild Card: Yankees

National League Division Winners:

Phillies

Reds (yes I said the Reds)

Dodgers

Wild Card: Mets

We will have a classic Dodgers/Red Sox Worlds Series. I think the Dodgers & Red Sox have a great blend of youth and veterans. I think the Mets will be good, but are one stud starting pitcher short. Oh, Manny will have revenge on the Sox in 7 games. I almost forget that very important prediction.


Tweetizen Makes Any Social Media Presence Sticky

About six months ago I made the recommendation to my previous employer (Mzinga) to create a widget that would embed a grouptweetizen-logo of Twitter posts into any community or website. The posts would be organized by either keywords or opt-in by the Twitter user. The value is exposure for Mzinga and a huge value add to the Social Media industry. My idea was met with crickets from the then head of Social Media platform development.

I received a Tweet today from a peer who was in the know of my suggestion. That person also attached a link to this article: Tweetizen: Create Instant Twitter Community on Your Website. I feel vindicated!

Tweetizen is a fantastic tool that I would recommend anyone with a niche website. If your web presence encompasses a wide spectrum of subjects, the Tweetizen tool might be a bit cumbersome to draw in all the keywords. But if you can think of three keywords that encompass your web presence, then here is the value.

  • The widget makes your business community or website sticky with real time content
  • Tweetizen helps you target new members for your community-or business targets based on Twitter keyword
  • It helps you keep a strong pulse of the industry you are passionate about.

I created a group for Authority Domains here. My only complaint is where is the search functionality to search the existing groups?

Sit tight, the embedded/widget version is about a week away. For now I would suggest getting your feet wet and playing with the tool so you can plug it in when it goes live. I will update this blog when that functionality is live!


Authority Domains- The Who, What, How & Why!

ad-high-logo1I would like to apologize in advance for my inexcusable tardiness! The last few weeks have been a whirlwind between flying out to California and back twice in 12 days. Then the settling on a new gig! Ok! No excuses! Here I am and I promise moving forward I will be a good doobie and blog at least 3 times a week. I however cannot commit to being as insane as Aaron Strout and Chris Brogan. But a three a week benchmark is doable.

So how did I end up at Authority Domains? Well let me start with how I got here. The following are the items I feel are most valuable at finding a job in the new world:

  1. Twitter– Simply put – reach out to the folks you respect and value. Chances are your instincts are never wrong and having feelings of respect and trust are usually backed by integrity. Reach out and don’t hesitate to ask for guidance or feedback. Also, http://www.search.twitter.com is your friend-use it till it breaks!
  2. Say hello often– Saying hello to past business partners, friends and targeting companies you would like to be employed by on LinkedIn works well. As Mark Wallace told me, opening with my LinkedIn recommendations in PDF form is a better alternative to the traditional cover letter. He was right! It is non-traditional and that is the point. It sets you apart from the others that play the job finding charade like it is 1998.
  3. RSS Feeds– I subscribed to the RSS feeds of blogs that have jobs posted on them. Although this is not how I settled on my new gig, it always kicked my day off with activity and loaded my mind with possibilities. I met some fine folks this way.
  4. BLOG– I should have been blogging more when I was at Mzinga. I will never, not blog, again! Sharing what you know, and doing it passionately is better than a resume.
  5. Don’t ever close a door – Even if one company does not have an opportunity at a given moment, be transparent with them about what you would like to do with them and what you are looking for in your next gig. That is how I ended up with Authority Domains. The CEO of a Nattergalen referred me to AJ Ghergich (@authoritydomain) and the rest is history. I was clear with them what I was looking to do and low and behold- a referral that fit!

These are just a few items that worked. Hit me up if you would like to bounce ideas off me and I can share some other tips.

Why Authority Domains?

When I was working with clients at Mzinga I would get asked incessantly “what about SEO?” Soon to be followed by; “can you help me with link building?” Authority Domains fills a SEO and Link Building need for small to mid-level business. So tying together Social Media Consulting in with the before mentioned solutions made too much sense to me. AJ agreed!

But what about the Enterprise level customer? They too need to navigate the Social Media waters. We both agreed that we would package together a cost effective solution for them as well. This solution will take into account the selection process of choosing a enterprise vendor. We also decided to keep the SEO, Link Building and Consulting offerings separate- but will be able to work with any company to fill their need with an a la carte menu. Once again, it just makes sense!

Authority Domains has a virtual office. As the economy continues to spiral (the DOW went below 7K yesterday) Authority Domains is in a position to keep the cost of their solutions low because their operating costs are not abhorrent. Sleek in today’s economy is smart!

I once had a co worker reprimand me for not thinking big when it came to what kind of customers we wanted to sell too. My response was “large or small, every customer matters!” Maybe it is my Vermont upbringing or maybe I am naïve! But doing right by ad-corp-retreateveryone, including small customers seems like the right thing to do. I don’t think that is naïve! In the end your customer are spending money with you for a reason- so you best do right by them. So one of my goals was to work for an organization that would treat Grandma’s Jam the same way they would treat say-Walmart! Once again AJ and I were nodding in furious agreement. I was sold! I quickly realized that integrity meant a great deal more to me then I thought.

I cannot tell you how excited I am to be in the position I am in. The business space is still very much in its infant stages when it comes to Social Media and Authority Domains is in a prime position to assist any business with Social ambitions. Filling a Social Media need at a minimal cost just makes sense! Especially today!

I look forward to working with all of you. Stay tuned for the completed Authority Domains Social Media Consulting packages as well as my first podcast on Whitehouse.gov. Here a video of the Authority Domains corporate retreat!


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