What do Privacy and the Easter Bunny have in common?

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THEY ARE BOTH FIGMENTS OF YOUR IMAGINATION!

The more I thought about privacy and the more research I did, the more apparent it became that I, like the Easter Bunny, Santa Clause and others, stopped believing in Privacy years and years ago.

The Internet has made Privacy an extinct species. If you have entered ANY information on a computer, your smartphone or whatever – it is out there somewhere.

People don’t even try to hide anymore, as much as they’d like to think they do. Saving information on your computer to more quickly fill out forms, refusing to passcode lock your phone and making it so ridiculously easy for people to access your information is BEGGING them to have their way with your life. At what point do we throw the idiots in jail for baiting the so called criminals?

Seriously though, nothing is truly private anymore, but that doesn’t mean we have to make it easy. Being super paranoid doesn’t help, just makes you look like a fool because someone with the skills and time can access anything about you if they choose to do so. However, the random guy who lives in his mom’s basement and likes to steal phones for kicks hoping he’ll find people who don’t lock them and keep everything saved for his use can be stumped with a little work.

So like I said – expecting true privacy is stupid … but so is just expecting privacy because your phone is “yours.”

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Embrace or extinct

ImagePhoto courtesy Wyoming Liberty Group

Rule number one to properly utilizing social media for your business – STOP BEING A SCAREDY-CAT!

Seriously. Step the heck up and join the 21st Century.

This week’s lesson states the following:

“One of the regular challenges being faced by marketers today is helping the brands they work get comfortable with not only the opportunities but also the risks associated with social media. Since many people still do not fully understand this medium, it can be a challenge to get the right buy-in. The following steps will help you demonstrate to the cautious and the naysayers that social media is a valuable tool in the arsenal.”

Dinosaurs who would rather continue living under their rock instead of working in the new age are scared of the risks associated with providing the masses a public forum to bash their company. But, that’s the risk we take with this newfangled technology. For every bad comment there is the chance for a good one. For every good comment there is the chance for a share – then another and another … see where I’m going with this?

The time when social media is considered new or emerging media is behind us. So to the T-Rexes, velociraptors and stegosauruses – hop on the train or become extinct!

Search Engine Optimization is SeO important

ImageDISCLAIMER: While I find the above image hilarious, don’t you judge me, I will without shame admit to my love of the mystery meat that is SPAM. That is some good stuff – I don’t care what anyone says.

While not the best way to go about Internet marketing for everyone, the relatively inexpensive investment in proper SEO can help a business tremendously. By playing the game to have your business, company, organization or whatever near the top of the Google search list (if you are not using Google you are wrong) you have made the all important step to bringing traffic your way. This is done by writing content that involves frequently searched keywords such as “Shane is awesome,” “I love SPAM” and “OMG I love X-Factor.” If you are writing a blog chances are you’d get more traction with the last one in that trio, but you never know.

BLACK HAT SEO

There’s a dark, evil corner of SEO commonly referred to as Black Hat SEO. I would have just finished the blog a bit ago, but this just sounded so hilariously devious to me that I couldn’t help myself. Writing content and placing keywords in legitimate places is great, but it’s pretty slick, and wrong, to hide words inside the site that you can’t see and only serve the purpose of boosting your SEO. An example of this would be writing “Shane” in blue and then placing it on a background that is the same color blue.

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Yes, his hat is not black, but if you get the reference you are awesome.

Facebook: One Stone, A Billion Birds

The Wild Ramp is Huntington, W.Va.’s, only year-round indoor farmers market. Every time I walk into the store and am confronted with shelves and shelves of amazing fruits, veggies and more from LOCAL producers I feel like I’ve died and gone to a much, much happier place.

Well, except for that one time I went in to get the BEST cherry tomatoes known to man only to find out they were already sold out …

And there’s where Facebook is a wonderful and bad (well, for me in that one case) thing.

The Wild Ramp draws a lot of traffic into the shop by constant updates to let loyal followers know what is there and when. The Wild Ramp has some staples, but almost every week the faithful will find something different on the shelves. What if you already went a few days ago, got your meat and produce and had no intentions on going back until next week … but then saw an update that shows that a wonderful farmer came in and dropped off that food you just LOVE. Well, then you get your butt in your car and rush there and hope enough others didn’t beat you to it!

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Sadly, this is not what I drive when rushing to The Wild Ramp

Long story shot – The Wild Ramp utilizes Facebook in its most base form and it does so very effectively. The organization boasts nearly 4,000 “likes” and each one of those has a potential of sharing information with the more than 1 billion Facebook users.

The Wild Ramp’s Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/HuntingtonLocalFoodMarket

Unofficial blogging – good for business. Period.

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So for a quick ramble on the current topic of conversation in class.

Companies that throw kiddie tantrums over bloggers stepping up and writing about them, both good and bad, just makes me chuckle. And here’s why:

Positive Blogs

* Promote the brand
*Get people talking
* Free advertising

Negative Blogs

* Promote the brand (albeit in a bad way)
* Get people talking
* Free advertising

Ummmmmmm, see the connection here? Unofficial blogs say things people will trust more because it doesn’t come directly from the source. Of course a company is going to say good things about itself, but a blogger, a person whose only bias is they like (or dislike) a company – I don’t know know about you, but that person I trust to tell me the truth the most.

Also, unofficial blogs create an atmosphere commentors may feel more comfortable sharing their true feelings. This is a pool companies can easily access to see what the audience is saying – and when they act like children, oh buddy to the comments reflect that.

3 Es of IMC – Engage, engage, engage

Integrated Marketing Communications’ primary mission is to market through relationships, and the number one best way to get into the hearts and minds of the people is through social media engagement.

Perhaps these look familiar to you?

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Actually, there is no question. Unless you have lived under a rock (and even possibly then) you recognize at least one or two of those. My grandma rocks a Facebook account from her Kindle Fire on a daily basis. Heck, she posts more things than I do. The point is, young/old, man/woman, rich/poor – almost everyone utilizes social media. We share pictures, stories and the contents of our plates – for some social media is the only way they stay connected to old friends and family. So using those platforms for marketing purposes makes perfect cents (and sense).

For example, this summer Facebook had over 1 billion registered users – that would make it the world’s third most populated country behind China and India. Number four? That would be the good ole U.S. of A. at a paltry 316,747,000 and plenty of change.

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* Click on the image to check out an updated by the second documentary of overpopulation.

Okay, there are a ridiculous number of people on social media so how do we get to them? You post things they care about, things they will want to share and most importantly, you ENGAGE. Interact with your followers, fans, etc. Let them know your page not only updates regularly with interesting and fresh content, but there will be someone managing it who will answer questions, who will give a personality to the page. While they are sharing their pictures of births, weddings and food – be there with them. Your news will show up on their feed just like everyone else’s, a part of their lives, something to care about.

Tools for the forgetful procrastinator

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I forget things – a lot. Even when I do remember them I have a tendency to just say “oh, I can do that later” – and then I of course forget about them. I’m pretty sure if my wife ever divorces me or murders me in my sleep it will be because I forgot something one too many times.

Fortunately, the Internet is stepping up to help those suffering from C.R.S. Apps, such as my new favorite Evernote, are constantly popping up to offer the latest new way to stay on top of things. I’m sure others are awesome, but since Evernote is the one I am currently trying, for the purposes of this blog post it is the greatest thing since sliced bread while the others apps are boring rock loaves.

One of the things I really like about Evernote is you can access it virtually anywhere. Your computer, phone, tablet, all are devices that make it so you can check your notes anywhere there is Internet or 3G (or whatever the faster version is called now-a-days). Always a big fan of Post-It notes, I like how Evernote sort of feels like a digital version of my favorite way to keep notes (though, my monitors are still covered with little yellow squares). You can organize your notes in a variety of ways, including tags and locations. All-in-all, Evernote provides an easy and useful way to digital keep notes to hopefully help remind you to do what needs to be done. This is important for everyone – students, workers and those of us crazy enough to do both at the same time … especially for us poor saps.

Currently, my most pressing need for Evernote is help remembering to blog …

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So if you are interested in organizing your life a little – I recommend giving Evernote a go.

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