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NewspaperGirl – Online PR, Blogging, Social Media

How to Retain Customers through Building Community

Every Sunday I read the newspaper I learn about the community and something I want to blog about. I rarely actually blog though. Life moves on and I forget with all of the other things I do.

Today I read in the Salt Lake Tribune, about a project that is headed by a Utah woman I know, Crystal Young-Otterstrom. Her job is an audience development specialist (which is kind of like what I do with social media, right?) with the Utah Symphony and Utah Opera and she is amazing at it. I’ve seen her work mostly from a distance for many years.

I don’t usually write about the arts, but I love them. My husband and I volunteer at the Symphony at Deer Valley every summer since we’ve been married, with me taking time off to watch our daughter. It’s a highlight of our summer.

First, Crystal started Vivace, a group for professionals that meets at local restaurants after concerts.  She is continually educating the group about music and developing loyal fans. Today I learned that she also founded Cadenza , a group for older men and women to go to dinner and attend the symphony together. They also get a discount on tickets. Both support local businesses and are building community.

If you’re new in town and don’t have a date or someone to go to the symphony or opera with, you might decide not to go. Same if you’re older and live alone or just don’t have friends who can go to these events with you. Crystal noticed that “every year we lose some subscribers because their partner or spouse died and they have no one to go with.” With these two groups they’re reaching two key audiences: people who have money for the arts, (professionals) and those who are retired. Vivace will be the future Candeza.

If your business mainly reaches an older crowd, think about how you can replace and retain your most devoted customers. You must continue to find ways to engage with your best customers or you risk becoming forgotten or shrinking. Religions must do this. Businesses must too.

Are you Building (2)

Building community is also brilliant marketing.  One of the most rewarding things I’ve done for my career is to build a Facebook group of Utah bloggers. With just over 800 members, we teach and learn from each other. We see each other at events. The loyalty and community have have been hugely beneficial and enabled me to do so much more than I could’ve without them.

Facebook groups of all types have really made my life better, sometimes acting as my newspaper and connecting me with people. I don’t complain about Facebook, because of all that Facebook does for my business and for me personally, without charging. It makes buying ads or working harder for reach worth it.

My friend Mariel at Or So She Says told me she recently started to reward community by randomly sending gift certificates to her readers who leave comments and who respond to her content. It has greatly increased the loyalty of her fans, who comment and otherwise participate enthusiastically even after winning.

Sometimes I miss the comments and community I used to have on this blog when I blogged regularly. After my blog got deleted and I lost so many comments and I lost momentum. At around that time I switched more from writing about business to learning and applying it.

Encouraging or facilitating a community around your product or service can pay off. Sharpie has done it so well. Who would guess that a pen company would be so sharp at community building? They are long-time favorites.

When people find a sense of belonging with you they are less likely to look elsewhere. It makes being a part of something meaningful. As marketers I feel we do our job best when we appeal to people’s emotions, or heart. Community brings that into a business. You should look for ways to bring it into yours.

What other examples have you seen of brands building a loyal community?

How can you add more community into your business or cause? 

Affiliate Summit and How the Affiliate Industry Has Evolved

Affiliate Summit has always been my favorite conference because as I like to say you get all types. Everyone is an entrepreneur, so there’s a lot of self-made people and a lot of hustle. This was at least my 5th time attending and honestly one of my favorites. I didn’t expect what I found!

How Affiliate Summit has changed

How Affiliate Summit Has Evolved

No one goes to classes any more.

At past Affiliate Summit’s people came to learn affiliate marketing. Now they go to meet and make deals. The market has matured to the point that the classes were hardly full but the “Meet Market” and exhibit halls were. In fact all the halls were full. If someone opened the door there was a roar of sound coming from the hall!

In the past people went to classes, tweeted and otherwise shared their experiences on social media. Not this year. I didn’t see as much activity on Twitter during the conference. It felt like most of the people who went to classes were newbies.

What this means: if you attend a class you have a great opportunity to network with the speakers. They are experts and you have access to the smartest people in the room. Over the years some of my best experiences have come from meeting the speakers.

The blogger/media room was practically empty.

Again, I remember this being a big deal. I met other bloggers, there were interviews going on and networking. This time if it weren’t for some Utah bloggers, I think it would’ve been pretty quiet. Besides my blogging friends from Utah, there was John Chow, Zac Johnson, travel bloggers Yeison and Samantha from Our Tan Feet, and Will from Going Awesome Places. Yeison and I talked about setting up private affiliate programs with local businesses. I really loved how he takes care of each customer as if they are his own.

John affectionately nicknamed our group The Real Housewives of Affiliate Summit. Here they are sporting some swag from the exhibitor hall:

Utah-bloggers

He took a video and blogged about the “Real Housewives of Affiliate Summit“. Now they’re even more famous!!

Again, this is probably because people want to meet up and aren’t as interesting in reporting. I saw this as a great way to get know bloggers and made some great connections.

LobbyCon

Meet Stefan, the mobile game entrepreneur. He stood outside Affiliate Summit holding a sign to try to get investors and publicity for his mobile game. What I didn’t know is that he was rude to Missy and staff, didn’t have a ticket, and so was asked to leave. I was interested in his story but found it difficult to like him after hearing this. Check out more on John Chow‘s post and my Facebook update

I’ve put on events and someone taking advantage of my hard work by not paying or not paying their fair share is maddening.

Instead he could’ve done this (ok, I’m not 100% sure this is allowed):

affiliate-summit-lady

Affiliate Summit was profitable for me too. It’s already resulted in a sale of $1,000 and many introductions and knowledge that are worth more than that to me.

What hasn’t changed is that Affiliate Summit is a lot of fun, it’s hosted at a great place and it’s still has it’s share of characters! Just don’t expect to see anyone but the Utah bloggers at breakfast on Saturday. Everyone else is hung over and still sleeping.

Thanks Shawn and Missy for another incredible conference! I’m so glad it’s in Vegas (one of my favorite cities). Can’t wait for next year!

Vegas

Top Twitter Mistakes Bloggers Make

For years I’ve seen bloggers make mistakes on Twitter but today was my breaking point. I just have to write about the top Twitter mistakes bloggers make. Hopefully seeing these mistakes will help you avoid them.

Twitter Mistakes Bloggers Make that Make Me Cringe

Top Mistakes Bloggers Make on Twitter

You have your Twitter sharing buttons set up all wrong.

The most common thing I see is bloggers using a plugin like ShareThis and do not change the plugin settings. You should customize them by adding your Twitter name (like @Newspapergrl). If you don’t add your Twitter profile then any time your readers share your posts on Twitter @ShareThis gets tagged instead of you.

top Twitter mistake

I also see no tags. I like to get credit for my tweets. People can edit the tweet but most people won’t. This tweet has no attribute at all:

Twiiter-missed-opp

The last thing is to default to the name of your blog. It seems like you’d at least make it a URL. This one just says the blog name – The Sugarbuzz Project. Instead I’d put Sugarbuzzproject.com (eliminating the www to avoid a link shortened making the link unrecognizeable).

Twitter-another-missed

Here’s an example of a shared blog post from Ordinary Traveler that is done correctly. It has the title of the post, a short URL, and it tags the blog’s Twitter handle.

Twitter-correct

My favorite plugin to share posts on Twitter is Social Image Hover.

You don’t promote your blog posts on Twitter

I know a lot of purists say that you have to engage on Twitter but I don’t believe it. You can still benefit from tweeting out your blog posts automatically, even if you do not do anything else. Seth Godin only shares his posts and does not respond or engage. He doesn’t follow anyone. For some people it works. Regardless of what you have heard, there is no right or wrong way to tweet (although some may be less effective or get you banned).

Speaking of advice on Twitter. You don’t need a lot of followers to get results. I tweet on an account that gets incredible results with a simple strategy I came up with. In fact, I’ve never used Twitter more effectively as far as ROI. The account doesn’t have a lot of followers. I could care less how many followers we have because that’s not our goal. I don’t care how many followers we lose either.

This tweet has been retweeted again & again. Notice how it has a URL without a www so you can see the website address for PinAlerts  (and it’s clickable). It also has @pinnable on it so you can click through and follow. If I were them (I’m a cofounder but am no longer actively involved) I would simply autoschedule this tweet to go out on at different intervals.

Pinnable

Using Twitter Tools plugin my posts get automatically tweeted when they go live. No extra work needed. If you want to get more mileage from your posts you should use something like CoSchedule to schedule various versions of your blog posts to go live automatically on Twitter every few weeks or months.

You make it too hard for me to share your blog posts.

Please, please, please don’t make me hunt for a link to share your post. I spend a lot of time sharing posts and it becomes incredibly frustrating if I have to look for your sharing button. If you only put a link to share at the bottom of your post only, and the post is super long, I hate that you made me scroll. I read your post, like it and want to share it. But wait, I have to go to the end of the post. Not fun! I like the sidebar share that scrolls with you or bloggers who have links at the top AND bottom of every post.

This post is an example. Notice that it’s not even obvious where the sharing buttons are because they look like follow buttons. They are only at the bottom of the post. I also noticed that the follow buttons at the bottom of the page are broken. I would remove them from the bottom and only have them at the top. Again, I hate having to search for buttons to follow a blogger on social media.

What other mistakes do you see bloggers make on Twitter?

Oh, and if you liked this post, I hope you’ll tweet about it. Thanks!

@Newspapergrl PR and Marketing Tweets of the Week 2015-01-13

@Newspapergrl PR and Marketing Tweets of the Week 2015-01-06

@Newspapergrl PR and Marketing Tweets of the Week 2014-12-30

@Newspapergrl PR and Marketing Tweets of the Week 2014-12-23

What MARKETERS want for Christmas this year

What marketers want (1)I asked my marketing friends what they wanted for Christmas this year. I specified that it had to be something you could buy, not something like peace on earth (ahem, Joshua). It’s not too late (almost) to gift them some of these wishes!

When I was assembling this list I felt how much respect and friendship is in this group. There is my good friend Paul who started a lot of what I do, as well as some I don’t know as well and all in between. What great people! They are my friends who when I asked, responded. Isn’t that what social media is all about? When you do ask and there is trust, people respond.

Oh and I want a new blog design and an elliptical for Christmas.

Thank you so much to everyone who responded. Merry Christmas everyone and I hope you get your wishes!

ryan-avila Ryan Avila – marketing/personal training/photography.Websites: http://healthyryan.com & http://facesintheworld.comGoPro http://shop.gopro.com/hero4/hero4-silver/CHDHY-401.html
GoPro
scott Scott Cowley, Marketing Instructor at Arizona State University & Internet Marketer.Website: http://www.giftso.meFor Christmas, I want “Trendologytrendology
 Russ Russ Page, COO at an Interactive Agency (web, apps, digital marketing)
Website: www.fiftystudio.comWants: http://www.patagonia.com/us/product/mens-nano-puff-jacket?p=84211-0-COCRjacket
danrmorris Dan R. Morris, I help bloggers focus on what makes their blog successful.
Website: Blogging ConcentratedI want a more specialized camera:camera
michael Michael Jensen, Sr. Content Marketing Manager at BlendtecI’m not going to lie and this is not a shameless plug: http://www.blendtec.com/blenders/professional-800.I want the Pro 800 or Stealth so I can make smoothies for my kids in the morning without waking up my wife. Or looking at getting the new iPhone.blender
 adam Adam Riemer http://www.adamriemer.me and President of Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC. I help small and large companies scale as well as bloggers and affiliate grow and succeed.An all inclusive trip to Rio for Carnival and then to relax in Mexico on a beach in Puerto Vallarta to recover.
 mitchell Mitchell Levy, Thought Leader Architect & Chief Aha Instigator.I’d like to see the Aha Amplifier get another 750 users, doubling the user base. The gift is awareness: could be advertising, could be being introduced to the “right” partner, open to ideas.
 michelle Michelle McCullough, I’m a speaker and marketing strategist, www.startupprincess.com and www.michelleontheair.comI want a new MacBook and an in-home video studio + a video intern that will edit all of my videos. A girl can dream, right?
 jesse Jesse Stay – Social Media Strategy and Advertising and Futurist. http://jessestay.com, http://staynalive.com I like anything LEGOs, or home automation devices like the Schlage Connect Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt or things they sell on SmartThings.com, or camera lenses for Canon DSLRs. Or, just anything off my Amazon wishlist: http://amzn.com/w/WNBKSU3QBQDU
 lee Lee Gientke I’m the managing partner of Webmix Marketing (www.webmixmarketing.com). We do online marketing for service businesses.Maybe a some credit at Fiverr or a Surface2 if it has to be marketing related.
 cheryl Cheryl Snapp Conner, www.snappconner.com, owner, PR agency.I’m buying the book Flow – and Cision. Wish I’d bought it a long time ago.
 Mat Mat Siltala I grow a pretty decent beard. Avalaunch Media is my company.I want a trip to Fiji, but there really is no link to that?
 Rachel Rachel Brenchley – Founder of http://modifyink.com/ a startup in the maker space. We deliver an online platform for art-customization. Select art, then change the colors and patterns of each element to match yourdécor or event. We are getting ready to launch custom party and card suites in the next few weeks.

What i really want for Christmas is a team bloggers to help me launch my new company. I’m looking for perfect-fit, dynamic and creative DIY, ART, PARTY and HOME DÉCOR bloggers to join my team! I’m more of the “brand” looking for marketing partners! Marketing is a big job!

 Barett Barett Christensen, Director of the Social Media Marketing Degree Program at LDS Business College.

Always looking for great adjunct…though I am good on those for christmas and this next winter semester. I would be excited if Santa left me a Garmin Vector Power Meter. Yeah, I know it has nothing to do with marketing, but it would be awesome to get one.

garmin

http://sites.garmin.com/en-US/vector/

 

 cory Cory Huff. I run theabundantartist.com, where I teach artists how to sell art.

I just signed a book deal, so I’d love a European writing retreat for Christmas. Also, I’d love someone to set up Infusionsoft for me.

 cary Cary Snowden, I develop online marketing platforms for business marketers.
http://steptap.com

All I want for Christmas is a Makerbot Replicator Mini so I can print a few of my ideas to test. http://store.makerbot.com/replicator-mini
I am currently looking through the cushions to see if I can help Santa justify the big ticket.

 Paul Wilson Paul Wilson Profession: Marketer/Owner/University Teacher
Websites: PinAlerts.com, BeautifulPearls.net, RPCO.com

I believe mastering the art of video should be on every marketer’s Christmas list. The raw emotional power that comes from video is not to be underestimated and can be an effective and persuasive marketing tool. I state this because my list is thousands of dollars of pure video equipment.Iwas asked by the university to think of marketing tools that will best benefit the students. IMHO video gadgetry that tells and enhances your business story is worth the investment.

MY SANTA LIST Ü

Panasonic GH4 Camera
- Panasonic dmw
-ms2 shotgun mic
- Field Recorder
- 2 Lavalier mics
- Tripod
- Camera Slider
- Camera rig, shoulder rig, follow focus
- Steadicam
- Wide Native Lens (12mm)
- Narrow Native Telephoto Lens
- GoPro HERO4 SILVER

DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter V2.0 Bundle with 3

-Axis Zenmuse H3-3D Gimbal for GoPro

Go Pro Accessory Kit 

 Joshua Joshua Steimle, CEO, MWI www.mwi.com

I want a 36 hour day, a creative director, another front end dev, a CRO expert, a few more SEOs, a few more content marketers, and world peace so we can get on with more marketing!

  Sterling Sterling R. Morris  Marketing,Intermountain Healthcare.

A page-turner on non-intuitive findings in my field.

 Joan Stewart I’m Joan Stewart, aka The Publicity Hound. I show small business owners how to promote their expertise and businesses using free publicity.

I want a simple video studio in my basement with a few decent backdrops so I can record more video for YouTube. I’ve tried creating this myself and just can’t make it work as well as I’d like. While we’re at it, how about a high school kid to edit all those videos I’d be cranking out?

There you have it. If you are a marketer with Christmas wishes, please add yours in the comments!

@Newspapergrl PR and Marketing Tweets of the Week 2014-12-16

@Newspapergrl PR and Marketing Tweets of the Week 2014-12-09