Yay or Nay on the New Facebook Privacy Settings?

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Facebook is really starting to feel like that nosey relative who stays too long at family get-togethers and asks way too many personal questions. At first, the bombs dropped about how the social media giant was giving away your private information to whomever logged on – including the FBI and other federal agencies – appeared to be a cross over into scary Big Brother type territory. This publicized panic didn’t really discourage anybody from using Facebook, however. Facebook masterminds in suits claimed that the site wasn’t in the business of handing out the more

Kids Blog the Darndest Things!

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I am always nervous when we collectively jump in line to crown the “it” blogger of the moment. Nevertheless, these are the times we live in. So when the usually snooty Economist takes note of 14-year-old Tavi Gevinson, it stirred the coals of conversation regarding bloggers and what their impact truly is.

Gevinson, for those of you who haven’t heard, is today’s “it” blogger. What makes Gevinson interesting is that, at 14, she has managed to secure herself as one of the blogosphere’s most-talked-about personalities. The kid writes the highly read and mildly banal StyleRookie blog. She blathers on about her favorite magazines and which designers inspire with a tone the Hannah Montana set never could identify with. Gevinson is a savvy marketer and quite good at PR. She was the talk of last year’s Fashion Week. In Paris, the little moppet apparently ruffled the feathers of fashion warlord Anna Wintour when she got better seats than her at a show. The industry, suffice it to say, has taken notice of Gevinson, though the verdict is uniformly split. On one hand, the Gen Y set applauds the girl’s moxie. After all, she did all of this in her room with her computer. Reportedly, her folks didn’t even know what their little darling was up to until The New York Times called. On the other hand, seasoned fashion writers and designers see her as a gimmick and a joke.

Love her or loathe her, Gevinson is proving that blogging is alive and well. Gevinson, in my opinion, while sometimes a cringe-inducing writer, is a kid armed with today’s proper bogging publicity tools. She’s part of the Perez Era – she knows how to play the game and wind up on the front page. Gevinson should be applauded for zeroing in on the power of blogging. Mainly, blogs like StyleRookie as well as our small business blogs are invaluable marketing tools for building a brand. The best part about marketing through blogging? It’s so easy, even a kid can do it!

The Chicken Chronicles, Volume 2

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Last month in this very blog, we covered the culinary Godzilla that is KFC’s Double Down. The marketing and buzz for the heart-clogging delight was unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Not to be outdone, everybody’s favorite closed-on-Sunday chicken hut, Chik-Fil-A, has launched an online, full-tilt boogie campaign for its new spicy chicken sandwich.

For being widely considered an old-fashioned, good-family-values kind of fast food chain, Chik-Fil-A knows how to rock online marketing, social media and positive word of mouth. Chik-Fil-A tweets regularly about more

Email Marketing: Wash, Rinse, Delete?

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Remember email marketing? Collecting addresses and sending out notices about your businesses happenings via email now seems such a sentimental practice when you look at our reliance on the ease of micro-blogging and social media. And yet the practice of email marketing has endured. I often envision it as being pounded out conveyor belt-style while those on the receiving end use their ninja-like reflexes to press the delete button. Much like that flyer that gets crammed in your mailbox for a suspicious Thai restaurant you are never going to try, email marketing continues despite serious reservations about its efficacy.

A bounty of articles addressing the state of email marketing has surfaced online in recent days. Many are saying the marketing technique needs tweaking. For starters, the big trend in email marketing seems to be tailoring our emailed messages and newsletters to fit the needs and demographics of our readers. Much like how search engines “magically know” what to advertise and to whom it should be advertised, company-produced emails look to reach clients with customized content. Relying on high-tech metrics is another trick we can expect email marketers to employ. Big-time retailers and marketers will leave no stone unturned as they rely on metrics to comb everything from e-commerce to social media in order to learn more about their customers. The travel industry, for one, now is looking for new ways to reinvent the marketing crutch they’ve so heavily relied on in the past. Network television, on the other hand, reportedly is scaling back its emphasis on email marketing in favor of aggressive social media campaigns.

But what do you guys think? Is email marketing still an effective tool? What are some of your email marketing triumphs and failures? And what company email do you actually love seeing in your inbox? Sound off below!

Social Media Walks the Red Carpet at Cannes

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Weary film festival junkies are finally at the halfway mark in Cannes. But much like the parties on yachts, the marketing through social media at Cannes never stops.

Not one to miss an opportunity where booze and celebrities are so warmly welcomed, beer brewing company Stella Artois has launched a series of black and white films featuring the suave King of Cannes, Jacques D’Azur. In the films, the King of Cannes may be ruling in more