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digital marketing search and social influence

Digital Marketing: The Search and Social Influence

Last week I had the pleasure of attending Eastern Michigan University, Center for Digital Engagement’s Search Marketing Workshop. The theme of this year’s event was, “The Fusion of Everything”. While Digital has shifted from web only to many things: web, mobile, car, home entertainment system, etc;. search and social media remain the constant in this fusion. As a result, digital marketing is becoming more and more personal.

With digital, you can be marketed to at any time and messaging is tailored to your preferences.Click To Tweet

I’d like to share some of my favorite highlights, tips, quotes and “snackable chunks” from the workshop.

The day started with a Morning Keynote from Jon Beebe, Director of Digital Advertising and Analytics at General Motors discussing “Advanced Audience Marketing: Using Big Data to Understand, Recognize and Engage Customers.”  Big Data for Marketing has big opportunities. Every engagement as the opportunity to create different sets and types of data. Here are some highlights:

  • Throughout all interactions, customers move from one state to another. All data can be anonymously matched back to a “Universal ID.”
  • Outside-In Approach to Data:Leverages external data partnerships, and may include or exclude customer data, depending on objectives and the target customer. “Universal ID” enables cross-interaction recognition, integrated messaging and media efficiencies.
  • Integration provides greater customer insights but a one size fits all approach is suboptimal because the path to purchase is complex.
  • 3 integration barriers: poor data quality, siloed departments and inability to link different marketing technologies.
  • Stream together behavioral data with your customer data. Engagement from your audience can help optimize your content.

At the Integrated Digital Marketing Track: Search and Social, Making It All Work Together included presentations from Susan Emerick, Principal of Brands Rising, Jeff Alderman, VP, Partner of Performance Digital-Search, Universal McCann and Sean Hickey, COO of PWB.

Highlights on General Search and Social Integration:

  • Create a vision of the integrated world within your company and have a shared plan to get there.
  • Play to their strengths: search is a demand/pull tactic, social is an engagement/push tactic.
  • Encourage bi-directional learnings.
  • Be a testing fanatic.
  • Use a centralized measurement system.
  • Avoid waiting until it’s perfect.

Brands are looking to engage people that are seeking information and express intent to purchase. The real time bidding ecosystem including SEM and social enables brands to identify, engage and acquire audiences throughout their decision journey.

In the Effective Social Campaigns breakout, we heard fronm Kelly LaVaute, Editor in Chief, Chevy Social, FleishmanHillard, David Murray, Manager of Social Media, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Taylor Hulyk, Social Media Director, re:group.

All three speakers shared real campaigns, what their goals were, what the results were and what they learned. My favorite takeaways from this breakout were:

“Branded hashtags don’t really insert you into a conversation. Broad ones help you to be a part of a broader conversation.” – Kelly LaVaute

“I believe that creating an emotional connection with social communication is the most important thing.” – Dave Murray

“When faced without assets, advertisers can use social to run photo contests that drive engagement and assets.” – Taylor Hulyk

Following the workshop, re:group posted a blog on how to execute social media contests for the purpose of crowdsourcing customer multimedia assets based on Taylor Hulyk’s talk at the workshop. Make sure you bookmark it!

We wrapped up the day with a lunch panel that included Bob Chunn, Co Founder and CEO, ContentOro, Shamir Ozery, Director of Marketing, Message Blocks, Matt Laurin, Web Marketing Analyst, General RV and moderator Grace Hsia, Co-Founder and CEO, Warmilu.

We discussed in general, how do you make digital work without blowing the bank?

Here are some tips:

  • Business owners should learn how to do as much as they can on their own. Use videos and blogs to teach yourself how to do a lot of your own work, and outsource what’s left.
  • Use marketing channels for what they’re intended for.
  • Creating content! Content creation is not paying for search but get the benefit of people searching.
  • Content marketing is a solution to the need to communicate with customers.
  • Creating content and curating will help you avoid spending a lot of money and getting nothing back.
  • Figure out what your goals are FIRST. Figure out what you’re trying to accomplish, THEN look at the data according to that.
  • Focus your efforts on the outreach and use free tools to analyze data.
  • In order to grow you need to look at unbranded traffic/keywords.

The workshop resulted in plenty of valuable information and takeaways that were very applicable to marketers and their everyday use of digital marketing. I am looking forward to 2016!

You can catch more highlights from myself and all the attendees who were tweeting out information and quotes with the #EMUDigital hashtag with my storify story:






light up content linkedin publisher

Light Up Your Content With LinkedIn Publisher

Every time I use LinkedIn Publisher I remember why I like publishing articles on LinkedIn. Why? First of all, it’s simple and easy. But there’s much more to it than that. It gives new life to content I’ve already written. While you can certainly write brand new content for LinkedIn and that’s absolutely great, my strategy is repurposing content. How would you like to give more visibility to content you’ve already written? With LinkedIn Publisher, you have a chance to provide useful content to your audience, increase your visibility, and further establish yourself as an authority in your field without having to write brand new content.

LinkedIn Publisher is super easy to use and allows you to gain more exposure to your content.Click To Tweet

Repurpose, Republish.

You can get started publishing right away simply by reposting your blog posts onto Linkedin Publisher. If you decide to copy the entire post, make sure you leave some time between your post and when you republish to LinkedIn. This gives Google enough time to index, understand which post is the original, and rank that one higher than the content you republish.

I choose to use my evergreen content, and usually it’s at least a year old. It gives me to opportunity to freshen up the content a bit with new information that adds to the existing post. Often, I simply copy the majority of the post and link the rest to the original blog post on my site.

This shows readers you are being transparent about republishing and it will lead them to your site where they can read more of your articles.

Another good practice is to create a new headline for your LinkedIn Publisher post that’s slightly different from the original. This is also beneficial for those searching the keywords online to find more of your content in search results.

If you don’t want to copy and reshare the same article, get inspired by some of your content, especially the more popular ones, give it a new spin or use it to inspire a whole new direction on the same content. For example, I have a post that was very popular, “Why Posting From Facebook To Twitter Is So Not Social”, I could find another faux pas around the same lines as inspiration for a new blog post to share on LinkedIn.

From Long To Short.

If you’ve written e-books, created presentations, trainings, speeches or slideshows that are too long for LinkedIn, you’ve got a content goldmine!

Use long-form to create multiple posts. Break them down into individual posts for LinkedIn Publisher adding great headlines and images and you’ve got a whole new source of content for your LinkedIn audience.

LinkedIn Publisher is a great way to increase visibility and gain new readers. Republish your evergreen content, find inspiration from existing blogs, and get more eyes on your content. There are lots of possibilities!


how to be engaging online

How To Be Engaging Online

Your online presence is important for many reasons. Let’s face it, you’re trying to grow your business. You want people to know who you are and what you do. You want to be seen. Sure, you can use social advertising to be seen. 

Before you place an ad, be seen online by simply being engaging, and starting conversations.Click To Tweet

We all want our content to stand out. So we work hard to make it interesting, shareable and valuable. But your content isn’t always seen unfortunately due to busy newsfeeds, tricky algorithms and timing, right? So. What else works? Simply being engaging!

I’m not just talking about when people comment, like and share YOUR content. I’m talking more about BEING engaging, starting conversations, and showing genuine interest in others. What are some great ways you can be engaging?

  • Engaging with followers. Start a conversation. If they share their recent blog post, retweet it adding your own comment.
  • Make a twitter list of companies or people you want to network with or do business with and make a point to start engaging with them. Having a list helps you target them specifically.
  • Make new connections with people you want to network with and take a genuine interest in what they share Comment on and share their content. Comment on their blogs posts.
  • Ask questions! Questions are conversation starters. Conversations lead to relationships which can ultimately lead to business.
  • Tag users in posts that are relevant to them. If you notice an article, a graphic with a statistic or fact that you think they could speak to, tag them and ask for their thoughts or just let them know you thought they’d be interested in hear about it.
  • Be human. Your audience wants to engage with the person behind the logo. So make it personal. Share your likes and interests beyond your business. Share your hobby. You can make a connection with your audience on things you have in common or just by showing a bit of yourself outside of your business.
  • Give them a sneak peek. Let them see what goes on behind the scenes. Share what a day in the life of YOU is like.

Often we focus so much on our own content and what we are sharing, that we forget the flip side to social media and that’s simply being social, engaging and having conversations. Building relationships keeps you top of mind with your audience. We all like to do business with people we know and trust. Get to know your audience.

instagram photos pop

Make Your Instagram Photos Pop

It’s no wonder that Instagram is as popular as it is. It’s fun, it’s simple, it’s easy to use. I love it for personal use, but it’s also a marketer’s dream. It’s constantly growing. It has more than 300 million users with high user engagement. With a large young user base and great engagement, it’s hard to ignore. As a marketer, you need to consider it as part of your strategy.

Instagram is an important asset for visual content, a driving force in social.Click To Tweet

People love visual content. Instagram users love appealing, creative photos. There are countless apps designed to enhance your Instagram experience. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with various different photo editing apps and other photo related tools and I’ve found some clear favorites.

There are apps that help enhance your selfies, foodie shots, landscape shots, etc;. I’d like to note that I use an iPhone6. Here are the the apps I use most, what I use them for and why I like them:


Sometimes instead of posting one pic of a time, you’d like to post a collage of photos. Layout is my go-to for this. With layout you can easily combine multiple photos into a single image. It automatically shows you previews of custom layouts from the photos you from your camera roll. There’s also a Faces option that shows you all the photos in your camera roll that feature people. My favorite feature is the drag and drop. This allows you to arrange your photos, pinch to zoom or pull the sides of each photo to adjust its size and get your layout just right.



Facetune means not having to take 100 shots to get the right selfie or portrait. It means you can make the perfect picture. With lots of great filters and editing tools to whiten, brighten, color, take away blemishes, it’s like photoshop at your fingers tips. You’re ready for your closeup!



This app is designed for taking a beautiful picture WITH the app. It’s not designed for you to take a pic and then upload it to edit. It’s like having an analog camera app. I like it for shots of objects like this necklace:



It’s no wonder that Snapseed is made by Google. It has everything I love about Google+ photo editing. It’s like having all the google+ photo editing tools I love to use on my laptop but on my smartphone. The “tune image” tool and the Glamour Glow filter are what I use most.



The editing tools are great on this app. I especially like selecting “clarity” which automatically enhances the photo. I used it on the photo below. This app is also about organization for me. It allows you to do three things:

  • manage your edited photos – the photos your take in the app are stored your Lightbox photo where you can view and delete them so you only keep exactly what you want.
  • Photo details – View detailed info about your photos including when they were shot, dimensions, sizes. You can also see at a glance all the edits you applied to any pic.
  • Sharing – easy sharing features including email right from the app.



Pomelo just makes photos pretty! Gorgeous, state of the art photos are created with the over 70+photos on this app. And it’s free! I love to use this app for anything: landscape, portraits, objects, you name it.



The best thing about Retrica are the live filters. You can preview how your photos will look, before you even take the photo. With over 100 filters, your options are countless.



The first thing this app does when you upload a photo is it gives you the option to crop it right away for Instagram sizing. Score! It also has over 100 filters. What’s unique about it is it’s layering effects. PicFX has tons of layers, in a wide variety of subtle tone shifts and gradients.

SM climbing

The most important thing to do with Instagram and photo editing is to try out your options for yourself. I encourage you to check out a few apps beyond the ones I’ve named here. There are plenty. I’d love to hear about your favorite apps and features in the comment section below. Please share and be sure to connect with me on Instagram.





Social Media Spring Cleaning

Spring 2015 is coming up fast. Traditionally, Spring means it’s time to clean up as in “spring cleaning”. Winter is over and winter can be rough on many things, so there’s spring cleaning to be done in the house, the yard, your car, etc;. But spring cleaning can be done with your business as well.

Spring is a great time to do some social media spring cleaning. There are several things you can do to “spruce up” your social media accounts. Here I share 5 ways you can get things in order, socially.

1. Check your “about” sections.

Has anything changed in the last few months? Have you changed your twitter handle? Did you add new services? Maybe you added a new social profile. Make sure that your about sections are current and your links are accurate.

 2. Make a Spring cover photo.

Update your Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus cover photo with a new look for Spring. As you work to attract new visitors to your pages, let them see that you’re updating your page regularly with not only posts but your cover photo, which is the first thing new visitors see. Make a good first impression.

3. Make new friends.

Go out and socially explore. Be genuine about it. Like some new business pages on Facebook. Follow new people on Twitter. Make sure you add them to lists so you can keep up with updates. Find new and interesting people or businesses to follow on Instagram. And on the flip side, clean out those Twitter lists and newsfeeds. Are you following some pages, or people and businesses on Twitter who have changed their focus? Or whose updates don’t interest you anymore? Maybe they don’t share the kind of content you thought they would or it isn’t relevant to their business. No need to clutter up your news feed with what you don’t want to see.

 4. Brush up on new features.

There may be some new social media features that you weren’t aware of that have surfaced in the last few months. For example, are you taking advantage of the call to action feature on Facebook business pages? Have you had a chance to get familiar with the new LinkedIn layout? Do you have yet to add a cover photo to your LinkedIn profile? Get caught up on the latest in social media platform updates to see what you might be missing out on.

 5. Re-evaluate your strategy and content.

A new season is a good time to reflect and improve. Take a look at your analytics and see what’s working and what’s not. Maybe you get more engagement from videos and you may need to concentrate there. Maybe you will find that certain types of blog posts do better than others. Find out what you need to change to fine tune your strategy and do more of what works.

What else would you recommend doing to polish up your social profiles for spring? Please share in the comments below.


Your Daily Social Media Task List

As a business owner you know that it is not just important to have an online presence, it’s mandatory. You have to go where people are and these days people are on social media. In the world of social media marketing there are so many platforms, so much to do and it’s constantly evolving. How does someone with probably already too much on their plate keep up?

If you’ve put in any sort of effort to social media, you know that it is a big job that requires a lot of time. As a business owner you may decide to manage your Social Media accounts on your own or hire someone to do it yourself. Either way, you still have a role to play.  How do you tackle such a big job? You approach it like anything else that is huge: consistent small steps. Consistency will be the key. Don’t let the work build up, stay on top of it daily.  A great way to do that is by having a daily social media task list. This way, you’re getting a little bit done everyday which will add up over time,  and you’re saving time in the long run.

Your Daily Social Media Task List:


It may seem obvious, but make it a point to log in daily to check your account. If you aren’t in the habit of signing in, you have to remind yourself to do just that.


Responding and responding in a timely manner is important for your business. No one wants to be ignored. Make sure you are checking all your notifications and inboxes daily. Be proactive about negative feedback. If someone posts a negative comment make sure that you address it openly so that other potential customers see that you are addressing it.


Post new content daily. Make sure the content is relevant to your audience . Whether it’s an article, a video, infographic, photo or text, share at least one thing each day on your networks.  Sometimes you may simply want to ask a question to encourage engagement. You can always use a tool like Buffer to schedule content ahead of time.


Social Media is about building relationships. Maintaining and developing relationships is important. Genuinely reach out to someone in your network and start a conversation. Reply to a tweet, comment on a status or blog post. Having conversations is a crucial part of your daily social media task list. Building relationships lead to doing business.


Retweet, mention, like, share or comment on content that others share. It’s likely that they’re return the favor.


Set aside a few minutes to jot down a few ideas for content that you can create. If you experience something with a customer or client that you think would be valuable  to share with your audience, jot it down. It may help you write a blog post or craft a helpful tip to your followers. You’ll also want to curate content that other people write so that you can in turn share this with your audience. I like to use Swayy and Google+ . These are my go-to places for curating content. If you work on this daily, you’ll begin to store up content and spend less time hunting for it.


Facebook and Google+ provide analytics that help you see what content is working best, who you’re reaching, when you’re reaching them and more. Stay on top of this so you are making the most of your time and effort. Is your audience growing? What’s getting the best engagement? No need to share content that no one is responding to. Find out what’s working for you. If you use a scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite, they provide you with analytics as well.

If you set aside time to do these steps for just a little time each day, you will see the benefits in the long run. Business owners understand that nothing happens overnight. It’s those small consistent steps that make a huge difference. Do you have a daily social media task list? What things do you do to stay on top of your social media marketing? Please share below.