5 Things You Might Have Missed!

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Well, well, well. If it isn’t our old pal Friday! To celebrate its triumphant return, we’ve cooked up yet another serving of our tasty dish we like to call “5 Things You Might Have Missed.”

1.) Sure Beats Stale Doritos: In a geolocation twist on the modern vending machine, Nokia came up with the Gifting Machine. When lucky folks stumbled upon the contraption, they were encouraged to check in on Foursquare in order to win a prize. Some people got free candy (yay, free candy!) while one lucky vending visitor won a free Nokia phone. Rad, guerilla branding and location-based marketing from a phone company that may not have the bells and whistles of other kids but is proving the one to beat when it comes to clever marketing.

2.) Come on Kindle Light My Fire: So the Kindle Fire might not be as big as the iPad or able to take pictures, but the recently-announced gadget is only $199 bucks and is loaded with all the goodies Amazon devotees have come to love. Expect this to be the digital must-have of the season, assuming you don’t already have an iPad.

3.) Because Snorting Oreo Lines Would Be Weird: Here’s a clever concept from Miami Ad School that puts the black dust left behind by America’s favorite cookie to good use. Introducing the Oreo Crumb Case! This concept-only product makes the list for giving us the go-ahead to hoard our cookie crumbs and dump them in our milk. Brilliant and delicious!

4.) Your Channel Could be Next: So this list published by the Wall Street Journal of the top YouTube channels shows up on our list for being so darn inspiring. Sure, it’s filled with big guns like Vevo at No. 1, but how about do-it-yourself channels like No. 3 Machinima or Internet goofball Jenna Marbles at No. 24? Proof that viral campaign success is there for the taking for all sizes of companies.

5.) Twitter Fight in Real Life: Twittiocy, or the act of being an idiot on Twitter, was taken to the streets this week. Two sports reporters, both of whom cover the Philadelphia Eagles, started a word battle online which led to throwing punches on Wednesday. More journalism classiness from the City of Brotherly Love? You betcha. But this stupid tiff makes our list for reminding us what not to do on Twitter. Thanks, guys!

Taking a Ride on the Google+ Bus

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Over the summer, we wondered just how powerful Google+ would actually become. We had our doubts, particularly considering how the search engine giant’s other social media efforts had come up short. But as the platform became available to everyone last week and we played on it some more, we started to realize the vision, enjoy the benefits and wonder if we should talk to our social media marketing clients about adding Google+ to their social media repertoire.

Now, don’t get it twisted — we’re not hopping on the bandwagon in favor of ditching Facebook or Twitter. Those channels still work and are valuable marketing tools for communicating with clients. But Google+ does win in the ease category. If you already have a Google or Gmail account, signing up takes less than two minutes. Google+ then uses all of your information to gather up things you might like and tries to find people you might know. It’s basically a risk-free social media endeavour for those who might have resisted signing their lives away to Facebook. Google is a trusted brand that social media doubters might feel a little more comfortable hanging out with.

Given the news-feed overload of Facebook and the recent Twitter ad explosion, Google+ is refreshing in its stark, easy to read and easier to use layout. Decked out in Google’s primary colors with a white background, the site reminds me of YouTube’s kinder, gentler, less-branded days. While the ad-free space surely won’t last, we hope Google+ hangs on to its layout for a while since it helps the site stand out from the pack.

But the big question remains: Can Google+ be used as a marketing tool? Many brands are already saying yes. In fact, given the numbers — the site is the fastest growing social media site in history with the No. 1 app on iTunes — taking your business to Google+ couldn’t hurt. Unlike Facebook, Google+ is moving businesses to network on the site like individuals. It remains to be seen what else Google will load the site with to entice marketers and companies alike to use the tool to reach customers. But consider us hooked and intrigued.

Readers, what’s your take? Are you interested in Google+ or have you burnt out on social media altogether?

Email Marketing and Social Media Marketing: You Can Have Both!

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Like Bert and Ernie, chocolate and peanut butter and Michele Bachmann and crazy, email marketing and social media marketing are two things that go great together. We’ve heard from folks for quite some time that they feel restricted to use one or the other. Either they had to channel their marketing efforts into an engaging social media effort or an interactive email marketing initiative. But time and resources never allowed for both. Well, we say “poo” to that kind of thinking — and here’s why.

Let me be Captain Obvious here for just a minute. The point of both email marketing and social media marketing is to drive business to your site. So using both channels is bound to improve click-through rates since your odds are increased, no? In fact, businesses that use both email marketing and social media marketing recently reported higher click-through rates than businesses that focused solely on email marketing, according to a new study from Constant Contact. The social media and email marketing combo platter is also a great way to increase your contact list. Getting more followers and potential customers is the name of the game, so encouraging your social media friends to hop on your email list is a great way to do just that.

But let’s talk about the time thing. How much time does it require, really? We firmly believe you can do all of your digital marketing in just 60 to 90 minutes a day, 3 to 5 days a week. Thanks to nifty technology and people like us, there’s no longer a need to feel exhausted at the mere thought of tweeting and sending out emails. The best part is that email marketing and social media marketing can be created in advance to match your style and language. Aside from new developments, the majority of messages sent out on both platforms can be planned out well in advance, making execution even faster.

In the end, both channels are about reaching out to your clients — so why not try both to increase your chances of success?