Thursday, July 30, 2009

Facebook: Who you know; Twitter: What you know

Are you utlizing videos on your website or blog? Then here's an interesting stat for you from the folks at Social Media Today.

Videos promoted with links from Twitter are viewed much longer than from Facebook and Digg. Social Media Today says, "Users clicking onto videos links sent via Twitter spend significantly longer watching those videos than those arriving from Digg or Facebook, according to a new study by video stats site TubeMogul.

"The methodology (below) seems fairly robust, so it may offer a real insight into current Twitter usage: On Twitter you can follow interesting people, not just your friends."
Check out the full article and the study details here: Facebook: Who you know; Twitter: What you know
Facebook: Who you know; Twitter: What you knowSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Facebook's billion dollar revenue forecast; it's THE media, social or not

As we see advertising revenues dwindle in traditional media, particularly magazines and newspapers, we'll be soon seeing an opposite shift in the form of a tipping point happening in new media, particularly the social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. In this story from Reuters on July 6th, Silicon Valley entrepreneur and Facebook board member, Mark Andreessen, tells Reuters that while Facebook's revenue is at $500+ million this year, it is forecast for several billion in the next five years. "Privately held Facebook...has never disclosed its revenue except to say it expects 70 percent growth this year," the article quotes.

And did you know the high profile Web start-up, Twitter, while not making any money at the moment and instead establishing the user experience first (unlike mySpace), was asked by the U.S. State Department to reschedule planned maintenance during the Iran election crisis, because it "considered Twitter a vital communications channel for protesters?"

We're all beginning to understand more fully that Facebook and Twitter are destined to not just be social media channels used by some, but to become mainstream media channels used by most. The New Media isn't so new these days and media properties like Facebook and Twitter are becoming viable ways in which we receive our news in our beloved sound bytes and at a rate of speed that our minds crave. They are this generation's version of USA Today, bringing news to us where we connect with family, chat with friends and engage with those our businesses serve. Even the word "news" is being redefined because on the social networks, we get to choose and even create our own channels.

Engagement is such a key premise to understand more fully as people use the social networks because it's not about shouting messages from the rooftops, or treating the social media like more traditional media in one-way communication. To be successful in engaging others, one must first engage IN others. The old saying of WIIFM has never been more important than now -- your message must be about your audience, about each one in particular. One-to-one communications lives on, here and now in every moment. Remember those books we all read from Rogers & Peppers?

And the only question is how many moments can you catch with authentic relevancy? There are several definitions of engagement and my favorites for social media application are to interlock, mesh, involve, engross, pledge oneself and to deal with someone especially at length. The social media are long-term engagement tools not advertising tools, and the sooner we change our thinking, the better. Brands, whether your personal or company, will be built on engagement, authentic relevancy and thoughtfulness of others.

If you have questions about how to best to utlize the social media or how to consume or create content, please contact Sally Witzky for consultation.
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Thursday, July 9, 2009

A quick view of the stats: Facebook, Twitter and mySpace

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

This graphic came from Joel Comm's twitpic account. It shows the growth relationship of Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. It may be difficult to read in this graphic (although you can click through to his twitpic and view much larger). But the green line is Facebook and you can see the incredible volume there. Twitter is the orange line at the bottom -- while the numbers aren't as big, the % growth is huge. And MySpace, as you know, is declining but still has moderate volume.

A quick recap:

Facebook: 122+ M unique visitors, 8.5% growth last mo, and 250% annual growth.
Twitter: 23 M unique visitors, 16.5% growth last mo, and 1,164% annual growth!
MySpace: 61 M unique visitors, 7% growth last mo but 5.6% annual decline.

When building a personal or business brand utilizing the social networks, you have to be where the people are, where the eyeballs are congregating. Kind of difficult to pass up 122+ million unique visitors on Facebook. So it's extremely important to have both a personal brand and business brand strategy for Facebook and Twitter, and I would add LinkedIn because of the demographics. And if you're in the music field, particularly an artist, MySpace is still a must.

If you have any questions about growth of social media or you feel you're not using them to the best of your advantage, shoot me an email and I'll be happy to answer you.

A quick view of the stats: Facebook, Twitter and mySpaceSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Every moment of every day, choose.

I ran across this wonderful reminder this morning that was printed in one of Stephen R. Covey's "portable" books entitled "Choice: Choosing the Proactive Life You Want to Live" and thought it was well worth sharing. A reminder that our lives are a series of choices we make every day in each moment. What are you choosing, right now?

Choose to do the right thing, the tough thing -- not the familiar easy thing. Choose the way of the warrior or the way of the coward. Make your choice out of love instead of fear. Choose from the heart. Choose to live fully, not to sleepwalk through your life. Choose to respond with the way you really feel, not the way you're supposed to feel. Choose the mineral water over the soda; choose the lemon juice and olive oil over the blue cheese; choose the walk in the park over the ride to the mall. Choose simplicity over extravagance. Choose conversation over the television. Choose to talk things out rather than stew in your anger overnight. Choose compassion and generosity. Choose to smile instead of frown. Make your own choices in your own time and choose to stick with them.

~ Rachel Snyder
Every moment of every day, choose.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Is your Google Profile Up to Date? - Internet Marketing Tips from Denise Wakeman

This is an excellent article sent to me by Mari Smith about updating your Google Profile and a great reminder for us all to take ownership of our online brand and reputation, as well as to increase search engine results.

Click on the link above for more information and to see the NY Times article on "how to manage your online reputation." Excellent read.

Don't forget to use the Tell-A-Friend button below.
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The FASTForward Blog » The Return On Investment in Interaction (ROII)

The FASTForward Blog » The Return On Investment in Interaction (ROII) - Using Twitter for Purposeful Contextual Social Search in Social Medical Networks: Enterprise 2.0 Blog: News, Coverage, and Commentary

One of the most interesting and thought-provoking articles I've read in a while about the use of Twitter and Social Media Networks, particularly Social Medical Networks for Enterprise 2.0.

Take a read and let me know what you think. I get asked all the time about how to monetize social media but few understand the power behind the social networks and social interaction that are often difficult to measure but perhaps more valuable than a company, large or small, may realize.

If you own a small business or have started utilizing social media but not sure how to maximize the opportunity, please email me to have a discussion about how to create a ROII for your business.

Here's to your success,

Sally Witzky
The FASTForward Blog » The Return On Investment in Interaction (ROII)SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, April 12, 2009

FastCo Blog: Dan Schawbel on Personal Branding

I've been keeping up with Dan Schawbel on Twitter but hadn't had a moment to grab his book -- so it was great to run across a quick summary of Me 2.0 on Fast Company blog.

Whether it's GenY or Boomers, personal branding is becoming so critical these days -- especially with people losing their jobs and having to start their own consulting or freelancing businesses, as I've witnessed so much lately. So many are in a bit of a desperate mode they jump on the social networks fast and get started quickly without any regard to what is that going to look like? Or what is my personal branding strategy?

I occasionally recommend that a client spend some time with a business or life coach before getting to me for social branding, as often the person isn't clear on how to maximize their strengths. I might recommend they see a coach like Carroll King Schuller of Organic Blueprints to help them get on track first. It is only then that I can help them take that direction and build a brand out of it creatively and authentically.

I agree with Dan when he talks about the job boards. If that is all someone is doing to look for a job, they'll be out of work for a long time. People are much more assertive, even aggressive in their job search -- and competition for many of the very good jobs is fierce. If one doesn't have the perfect blend of education, experience and zeal needed for that particular job, then there's often someone else who does. Using the social networks and keeping your name and your strengths in front of your connections will go a long way toward not only getting a job but in starting your own business as well.

I've seen many people spend months -- two, three, even 6 months -- looking for a job only to become depressed and frustrated with the so-called system. If they were to put that same energy into building a business or partnering with someone else who is looking for work, they could be building an income stream very quickly. Again, thanks to Fast Company for providing Dan's perspective.

I'll be glad to answer any questions you may have about developing or marketing your own personal brand. Just shoot me an email anytime.
FastCo Blog: Dan Schawbel on Personal BrandingSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Twitter: Building Businesses Tweet by Tweet - BusinessWeek

"Entrepreneurs are finding the fast-rising microblogging site to be a useful tool for reaching out to customers" ~ Business Week Small Biz Tech

As a marketing strategist and personal branding director for both small businesses and speakers/authors, I've found Twitter to be invaluable to my clients. Not by itself, but in conjunction with other social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook, along with fresh content on their site and especially their blog(s).

If used correctly as part of a business owner's overall marketing strategy, Twitter can quickly and easily create awareness and consideration from those both outside and inside their target market with no media cost. There is still a cost, of course, in either time or paying someone like me to manage their social networks but it would be similar to paying for an ad to be created without paying for the media cost to run the ad on TV, radio or in print.

Twitter can be used (carefully) to drive qualified traffic to websites and blogs - and even make the phone ring. I've heard some pretty cool first-day stories. And it can support current online marketing efforts such as SEO, Google Adwords or banner ads in significant ways. If you're already committing marketing funds to those efforts as well as writing blog content, then Twitter with the social networks can put those efforts on steriods. You know, make the flywheel turn faster. Or get to the tipping point quicker.

Best of all, it helps businesses build relationships with current and prospective customers, as long as the business adds value along the way. The more value the company brings to the game, the higher the reward.
The businesses I work with who are using these tools effectively are quickly setting themselves apart from the competition and creating both their current and future success through relationships and referrals. Twitter is the new CRM tool and more. Business owners are getting attention and receiving opportunities they didn’t get before, because they are finding a way to let people know they are the go-to expert in their particular field by helping others in a very present, moment-to-moment world.

There are plenty of people who are getting on the social networking or twittering opportunity, making money from how-to seminars and getting everyone all hyped up, but very few who understand it from a branding and direct response perspective. Few who understand that the social network platforms (and there are many too numerous to mention) are simply new and inexpensive tools for customer acquisition, retention, lead generation, cross-sell, CRM and viral/WOM marketing.

If your "teacher" doesn't fully understand or can't speak deeply about those business and marketing strategies that have always been a staple to a company's success, then they're not the person who will help you build your brand and your business over multiple touch-points for the long-haul. Anyone can write a tweet but few who know how to write tweets and content that will pull customers in through the purchase sequence and keep them engaged for the long haul.

If you have any questions about Twitter or how to develop an effective social network strategy, call or email Sally Witzky, or find me twittering at In the meantime, the Business Week article provided some interesting perspective on Twitter itself as a social networking/micro-blogging medium and the effect it has had for business.
Twitter: Building Businesses Tweet by Tweet - BusinessWeekSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New My Faves Blog

In case you haven't seen it yet, I have a new blog that is designed to record my recommendations and favorites of products, services, resources, affiliates and, well, anything else I think is cool.

Check out MyFavesList blog! Enjoy.
New My Faves BlogSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, March 16, 2009

If they can build it, you can too.

Inc. Magazine published a slide show today entitled "How two friends built a $100 million company." The two guys are childhood friends Adam Lowry (left) and Eric Ryan (photo credit Inc. Magazine and Emily Nathan).

The photo story is about the rise of Method Home, a company they started in 2000, and their four points of advice for anyone else with entreprenuerial spirit. That same spirit is what people are tapping into these days instead of spending so much time looking for a job in this down economy.

Their simple advice is:

  1. Differentiate yourself
  2. Persistence pays, even in a recession
  3. Branding isn't just for big companies
  4. Stay nimble

More times than not, keeping a business simple is the secret to success. Wouldn't you agree?

If they can build it, you can too.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Testimonials & Referrals: The Power behind your Business

One must provide a great product or service to get referred and overdeliver on value add. And one must ASK for the referral which many biz owners haven't incorporated into their daily communications or routine and I think one has to remind people that you want to grow your customer base and/or take your business to the next level. Real estate professionals are awesome at asking.

For those people in a professional service business, you know that there are always those clients who love you so much that, as much as they want to see your business grow, they also don't want anything to take you away from servicing their account! So some of your best clients can be hesitant about giving referrals even though if they were asked for a testimonial would say unbelievable things about you. Besides that, giving a referral is just not top of mind for them -- they're usually busy running a business for themselves for which you're often one small part.

So it's important to ask those satisfied clients for a testimonial that you can use on an ongoing basis rather than expecting them to think about telling others about you whenever there is an opportunity to do so. Whether it is a recommendation they write for your LinkedIn page or a testimonial letter that you show to your prospective clients. Or take those same LinkedIn testimonials and place them on a page on your website (ask for permission) and direct traffic there. A testimonial page can be the most often-visited page on a website. Satisfied clients may be better utilized as testimonials and references than direct referral sources. BTW, you may have to offer to write the testimonial for them if they just don't have the time and that's ok too if you know them well enough.

Often referrals come from people who are not or not yet clients. In fact, most of my referrals right now are coming from people who just seem to be a raving fan from a previous business or working relationship, or even as a result of a conversation. Yesterday, I received a referral from someone I've never met who gets networking on LI and has the "givers gain" mentality. So you never know where referrals come from. Most of my referrals are as a result of my being active on the social networks (LI, FB, Twitter & Plaxo) and even though I work from home and have not attended many networking events, the phone is ringing. The point is that in order for people to refer you to others, they have to know who you are. If you are sitting back waiting for the phone to ring and your name is not in front of them on a consistent basis, they will think of others instead of you when they or someone they know has a need for your product or service.

One more thought. If you want more quality referrals, be the first to give quality referrals. I've provided some thoughts above, but this would be my #1 referral tip for empowering satisfied clients or raving fans.

Note: This content was written earlier today in response to a question on LinkedIn posed by Trina Willard of Transformation Systems Inc. - Leadership in Motion.
Testimonials & Referrals: The Power behind your BusinessSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Your Twitter bio. Your brand in 160 characters.

Believe it or not, a 160-character bio can say a lot about you and your personal brand. Not only that, but it can either encourage or discourage people to follow you in a split second, which may mean that someone you want to follow you won't. And second chances don't come easily.

There are thousands of aspects of Twitter that I could write about but it seems people are not aware of how much impact this little bio can have. So I thought I'd share a few "Do's" and "Don't's" based on what I've observed.

How to create a great bio:

  • Do take the time to draft your bio and not rush when filling out your profile. Suggest you write it in Word and use the word count (all characters) to make it fit. I believe it was T.S Eliot who said "If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter." It takes some time to write pithy. Be pithy.
  • Do share with people what you do and/or what you like. Let them know who you are. People want to follow those for whom they share an affinity or find interesting. And you want people to follow you for a reason, not just because you happen to be on Twitter.
  • Do be sure that you use the space. You can use all 160 characters although you don't have to. Keep in mind that if all you say is "I like turtles" then many people won't follow. Substance is always important, whether in the copy for your bio or tweets.
  • Do take the time to edit, ensuring there are no typos and that no words are cut off at the end. I've had trouble with the length measurement when I thought the copy fit originally but later found the last word was cut off. So please check the copy a day or so later just to give it a good review with fresh eyes.

And here are some things to watch out for:

  • Don't leave the bio space blank. People will often not follow the person who hasn't taken the time to write a few words about their own personal brand. Decisions about following get made very quickly and people often don't even go to your Twitter page to make their choice -- they just look at your photo and bio and either click "follow" or pass you by.
  • Don't use the space to put in another URL; comes across too promotional. There's a separate field for the URL of either your main web site or blog and people will click there if they want to get to know you better or read your material.
  • Don't use the space to write a "thank you for following me" message; that's what Replies or Direct Messages (DMs) are for.
  • Don't try to sell within your bio. One basic rule of direct marketing is to sell the next step. The next step here is the initial step and there's a lot of relationship building that has to happen before you can start promoting your wares. It's way too early to sell in your bio. It's a turn off and all you're trying to achieve in your bio is establish a follower connection by quickly communicating your brand.

If you have any questions about how best to create your brand on the social networks, please add a comment here on this blog or tweet me at

Your Twitter bio. Your brand in 160 characters.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Learnings from Richard Branson's Leadership Style

I was intrigued by an article in the November 2008 issue of Entrepreneur magazine about Richard Branson and his views on business – and life. Certainly, no one could say that he isn’t a risk taker. In talking about cheating death in some of his personal stunts, he says “…just like in business, I have to stay completely focused. I haven’t got the time or the energy to spend getting scared.” His commitment to take on challenges, live life to its fullest, push himself to the limits, take action rather than merely talk about it, and not waste precious resources are all driven by his passion and vision to make a difference in this world.

Isn’t this a great testament to effective leadership that we can apply to our lives and our business? To not let anything stop us? I’m reminded of self-help author Susan Jeffers’ book entitled, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway. It’s not that we don’t experience fear. It’s not that Branson isn’t scared at times. It’s what we do with that fear that matters. Do we push through it or allow it to hold us back? A certain amount of fear is what keeps us focused on our vision. That focus, commitment and determination is what has allowed Branson a “net worth valued at $5 billion.” That’s not so bad, eh?

Branson’s newest book, Business Stripped Bare, was just released in September.
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