Shared posts

15 Jul 07:15

This is How You Share Content in Social Media

by Douglas Karr

If you truly want to maximize your reach on Facebook and Google+ when you share content, look no further than our client, Angie’s List. Many folks (like us) push our content to social media utilizing a host of publishing applications like Hootsuite or Buffer.

The problem is that our articles are seen on Facebook and Google+ with minimal reach. Not too many shares, not too much dialog. We’re using a a third party to publish them so we know that Edgerank is already driving our visibility down. The posted articles look like this:
Click to view slideshow.

Now take a look at Angie’s List and how they publish their articles:
Click to view slideshow.

23 Shares, 32 Likes, and 9 comments on the topic, How to Choose the Right Shingle Color! Folks… that’s not exactly some amazingly fascinating topic the world was waiting on, was it?

The difference between our sharing method and theirs is that they provide a very nice photo and upload it with a short link to their article. This is a manual process and requires the additional time of developing the graphic and uploading it manually… but it’s getting hundreds, if not thousands more people seeing the article by doing so.

The images are displayed at the full width of the stream – a huge difference compared to the small thumbnail accompanying other articles. As folks are scrolling through their streams on Facebook and Google+, they breeze by the text, may catch one or two article thumbnails, but their eyes can’t miss these large images! Google+ publishes them at almost full browser width!

You may want to think about developing some kind of template in Illustrator of Photoshop to easily build out these images to post… they really do work!

© 2013 DK New Media.

25 Jun 05:15

Amy Winehouse's Brother Speaks on Her Death for First Time

His first interview since she passed in 2011.

Amy Winehouse's Brother Speaks on Her Death for First Time

07 May 07:13

Here's A Rottweiler And His Deer Friend Playing

AKA the cutest 33-seconds you'll see today.

Source:  /  via:

07 May 04:10

How I Was Cured of Ever Wanting to Write Poetry Again

by Demian Farnworth

Crashing Plane

The ninth post in The Education of a Writer (TEW) series. A Monday feature. Next up: “I Thought I Was the Next Robert Collier.”

Call me lazy. I go where the jobs are. I go where the path offers least resistance. I go where the data indicates. That data being my feelings of wanting to land a job, and then get back to life …

To what I love (poetry). That was my attitude back then. Towards career. Towards life.

Here is how I left the job with the television evangelist: I asked a close friend to review my resume. I said I needed to find greener pastures. My last raise — after 18 months — was for 17 cents an hour. That’s like I earned less than a penny an hour for each month I was there. If I was going to provide for my family, I was going to need more than that.

My friend accepted the invitation to review my resume. Then he invited me out for dinner. At dinner he told me that he and his partner were doing quite well after five years of near poverty-level living. The real estate market had taken off … and their company with it. And to enjoy some of the fruits of their labor (and actually take a vacation), they were in a hiring spree. And they were looking for a writer. Was I interested?

Was I interested? The job was two miles down the road. I would be writing vast amounts … but a particular kind of writing. Direct response writing. I shrugged, “Yeah, baby, sign me up.”

“Then we need you to write us a sales letter — selling you.”

“Consider it done, baby,” I said, slamming my ice water down. “Consider it done.”

I got up and left.

When I got in my car, I nearly panicked. Up until this point I’d never written a sales letter. I wasn’t even sure what a sales letter was. So when I got home I jumped online and started to study. I immediately felt a little icky.

“Sales letter,” turns out, was another word for “infomercial.” At least that’s what I ran into online. Whatever. I wanted away from the 40-minute commute one way to the television evangelist, days of empty-handed production, and copy-cat product descriptions.

So I wrote the sales letter.

It wasn’t that great, but had potential. That’s what I was told when they hired me. I didn’t care. I’d learn how to be great.

My first day on the job I met my boss. He was a kind man, tall, studious in his glasses, but casual in his faded orange polo and cargo shorts. I was in love with his office … a bookshelf-lined room punctuated with giant windows.

I was thinking, “Excuse yourself and let me dig through those books, baby.”

We chatted, I shared my experiences, he shared his vision. And then he handed me a book.

THE book.

I turned it over in my hands. The book jacket was white with chunky blue and gold letters declaring the title and author. On the back I scrutinized the photo of the writer.

“How do you pronounce his name?”

He pronounced it. I winced.

“When you finish that book, I’ve got more from where that came from.”

“Okay. I look to read, baby. I look to read. I’ll be back.” I winked and zipped out of his office. When I reached my desk I set the book down and hovered over it. I curled my lip and my stomach churned.

“What a loutish, brain-boiled excuse for a book,” I snarled. “Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion … a tome for idiot-worshippers.”

But because I was a loyal and dedicated employee — and because I’d committed myself to being done soon — I sat down to read it. From page one I fell in love with it.

Who couldn’t love a  chapter called “Weapons of Influence”?

… and the opening story about a jewellery store owner (trying to unload a stubborn shipment of turquoise pieces) orders her sales lady (in a note) to “sell everything at 1/2″ then heads out for a short vacation …

Only to come back to learn the entire turquoise inventory sold out in a matter of days because, instead of discounting everything by half, the sales lady, misreading the note from her boss, doubles the prices.

O my, I thought, what is this mysterious power that influences people to pay more for items they ignored at a lower price? What is going on here? I blew through that book in an afternoon. And then read it again.

A few days later I returned to my bosses office, handed the book back, and asked for another. He gave me Joe Sugarman’s Advertising Secrets of the Written Word. My reaction to the book was less violent than before, but I could still feel the book snob was still alive in me.

Wounded, but still alive.

After Sugarman I read The Robert Collier’s Letter Book, Ogilvy on Advertising, Tested Advertising Methods by Caples.

I then read the books, sales letters, and blogs of living copy legends like Dan Kennedy (The Ultimate Sales Letter), John Carlton (Copywriting Secrets of a Marketing Rebel), and Gary Halbert (the “most valuable website on the internet“).

I then dove into the ancient works of dead legends. The guy who made Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People a best seller in the 1930s (Victor Schwab). The father of scientific advertising and ceaseless promoter of “reason why” copy (Claude Hopkins, circa 1904). And the copywriter who Rodale press supposedly paid $54,000 for four hours of work in the 1950s, and … has the most stolen book from the library (Eugene Schwartz).

The impact on my own writing was massive.

Over time I learned how to write clearly. No more obscure meaning, clunky sentence structure, or dense copy. No more flowery detail or five-syllable words. Out with the conflicted, constipated, meandering professor … in with the relaxed, liberated, gun-slinging outlaw.

A few months went by and, by chance, I looked at my old poems. The ones I was so proud of. I furrowed my brow, flipped them to the side, and shook my head. I stared at the volumes of Wallace Stevens and Ezra Pound on the bookshelf. It was obvious: I could no longer write like that … I could no longer depend on being obscure, ambiguous, or circular … making the reader work for the meaning … earning the right to read me … a languid genius the world didn’t deserve …

What happened was I finally left that cave, walked down the mountain, and into the village below to join the rank and file. To live amongst their sweat, their dirt. The carts spilling corn cobs as it wobbles down the road, the sulphur odor spilling from the smith shop, the shouting of the leather merchants, the gossip of the cotton seamstresses, the swarthy taste of figs and pork dishes.

I drank coffee with the accountants, the electricians, the veterinarians. I hung out in Las Vegas with soldiers and real estate developers. I grilled coders and dentists in Miami. I watched screaming children play in a fire hydrant gushing water. Jobless youths smoke and skateboard. The elderly sneeze and break their hips on the edge of a table.

I wanted to be plain spoken. Simple. And persuasive as all get out. Then it happened.

After several months at the new job I swore that I would never return to poetry. To complexity for complexity’s sake. I couldn’t see how it could happen. I’d been awakened to a realm of writing that demanded clarity and potency. That forced me to look at people and figure out their hopes, dreams, and fears. I would board up that old place. Allow it to grow over with weeds. And hitch a ride to new spaces full of people and warm-blooded relationships.

If only it was that easy.

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Image source: Four-Color Process

20 Apr 15:53

The 10 Best Things To Do On The Internet This Weekend


Cool stuff!

20 Apr 15:49

My Starbucks Idea: 5 Years Of Inspiring Ideas

by Igor Beuker

My Starbucks Idea exists 5 years and they have turned 275 of consumer generated ideas into reality. What can CMOs learn from open brand innovation at Starbucks?

Starbucks1 500x384 My Starbucks Idea: 5 Years Of Inspiring Ideas

We discovered My Starbucks Idea back in 2008. And I decided to cover it as “amazing potential” here on ViralBlog. Why the love?

Ausdauer or Mechanism with Mileage?

Already in 2008 I had the gut feeling that this Starbucks program could be leading towards something special: An ongoing movement or a mechanism with mileage.

The Germans would call such a long term program “ausdauer“. Freely translated by me as; Staying power, endurance or persistence.

Where most brands tend to go for short term campaigns and being in control, Starbucks went for long term. Showing the marketing community it’s in control enough to let go.

In FMCG or CPG, we see lots of “new” flavours being introduced to push the market penetration up a tiny percentage.

Honestly, how often do we see TVCs about “new and improved” facial creams or even better shampoos? If that happens too often, consumers might think; “Hey, why not creating a better product right away?”

At C-level, we mostly brief agencies on campaigns. Long term programs are often being neglected, straight away.

Most large brands are very scared to release consumer generated ideation, or open brand innovation.

Like consumers do not rate their products or services on sites like Epinions or TripAdvisor anyway?!

True Social Media, Open Brand Innovation or Social CRM?

6a00d8351b44f853ef00e54f137f528833 800wi 500x303 My Starbucks Idea: 5 Years Of Inspiring Ideas

I am not sure how to “label” My Starbucks Idea. But, does the label truly matter?

I only know that the consumer generated and voted suggestions are shaping Starbucks in the best of ways.

A brand that listens to its customers, now that is true social media, right?

Or should I call it open brand innovation? Or social CRM? That decision is up to CMOs. Or you.

Science, analytics, observations and experience at C-level, are showing me that consumers are engaged with Starbucks.

And that consumers are smart, certainly in similar wisdom of crowd format.

Mostly the sum of consumer generated ideas is often smarter than the brand’s own R&D department.

My Opinion on My Starbucks Idea?

I liked the approach back in 2008 and 5 years later, I even like it better from a branding and marketing point of view.

Share. Vote. Discuss. See. They seem like 4 simple words, not a very big deal, right?

But any CMO knows and understands the possible impact of such a program. Most CMOs won’t even take the risk to be labelled radical.

I do have some quotes (from others) to express my appreciation for this Starbucks program:

“It takes an architect to vision and build cathedrals. Everything else is just bricks in a wall.”

“Learning is experience. Everything else is just information.”

Some brands can become part of our badge of belonging. Starbucks achieved that. When its going got tough, CEO Howard Schultz revealed his true DNA.

The My Idea program helped Starbucks over its tipping point from mindshare to heartshare.

Two thumbs up for this mechanism with mileage.

What About You?
How would you label My Starbucks Idea? How do you rate it? What other great examples can you share with our readers?

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About the Author
Igor Beuker was CMO at 3 listed companies, chairman at the IAB, jury member at Webby, AMMA and Esprix awards, founder of 3 digital agencies (sold to WPP) and global chief social officer at Mindshare. Now he is freejack consultant and still a sought after keynote speaker.

The post My Starbucks Idea: 5 Years Of Inspiring Ideas appeared first on VIRALBLOG.COM.


20 Apr 15:42

The Best Spring Shoes to Buy Right Now

Time to lighten up the kick game.

The Best Spring Shoes to Buy Right Now