All posts by Debbie Hemley

4 Steps for Evaluating Social Marketing: Using MarketingSherpa’s Social Marketing ROAD Map as a Guide

Last week I wrote a post about MarketingSherpa’s Social Marketing ROAD Map Handbook which included eighteen lessons I learned from the report.

This is a true story. Yesterday morning I met a friend for coffee. She’s owned and operated a business in the design industry for many years where she’s worked with both B2B and B2C customers, and lately has grown more curious about social marketing.

My friend told me that she’s always been an early adopter of technology and has even been a little surprised that she hasn’t considered social marketing earlier. Like so many other business people, she hasn’t known where to begin.

It wasn’t until driving back to my office after the hour we spent together that I realized I had used the ROAD map as a way to walk her through the basics of social marketing. As a refresher, MarketingSherpa identified ROAD as Research, Objectives, Actions and Devices.

Here’s how we approached the topic together for her first time:

Research: My friend told me that she reads a number of blogs in the creative design industry and has for some time. There are blogs she’s come across which she thinks are excellent and others that in her opinion, don’t provide any value. This is a great first step and I suggested that she take it  further by trying to identify what she thinks are good about those blogs. What could she emulate in her own blog if she were to start one? What would be the topics and focus? What content would best demonstrate her firm’s expertise? What would set her company apart from others? Ongoing research of blogs and other social media channels will be an important part of the process.

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18 Signposts I Learned from MarketingSherpa’s Social Marketing ROAD Map Handbook


The title of MarketingSherpa’s 2010 Handbook, Social Marketing ROAD Map, is not only a clever analogy referring to the territory marketers must navigate to map out a social media strategy, the acronym is memorable and quite right-on. ROAD stands for: Research, Objectives, Actions and Devices.

I know writers are supposed to resist the temptation to use clichés—but I can’t help it—so indulge me here for a moment while I offer you a personal perspective. For me, someone who fears getting lost, my Global Positioning System (GPS) has changed my life with its turn-by-turn voice directions. The ROAD Map Handbook offers the comfort and confidence that I’ve come to rely on from my GPS. I think you too will find great direction from the guidelines, best practices and tactics, templates, suggested resources, worksheets, list of social media platforms, and comprehensive glossary.

Whether you’re a marketer just starting out in Social Media or have been traveling these roads for some time, you’re bound to find many valuable tips and strategies in MarketingSherpa’s Social Marketing Road Map Handbook.

You’ll want to read the Handbook yourself to receive the full benefit but to get you started, here are some of my favorite marketing signposts. Continue reading

Advice for Bloggers: Write for the World

Internet's universe...

In the new book, The Yahoo! Style Guide, bloggers are advised to “write for the world.” We’re reminded that the web is a worldwide medium and “site visitors probably come from more than one country and more than one culture. Collectively, they probably speak several languages.”

I review the analytics for this site on a regular basis and am often intrigued to see the far-reaching range that posts can have. This past month visits came from 47 countries/territories and 23 languages. (Drilling down a little further I could even see that one recent post was picked up and cited on a blog in Brazil and then viewed most heavily in Sao Paulo.)

So what’s a blogger to do?

• You can start by following five best practices from the style guide: 1) Keep the sentence structure simple, 2) Include “signposts”: words that help readers see how the parts of a sentence relate, 3) Eliminate ambiguity, 4) Avoid uncommon words and non-literal usages, and 5) Rewrite text that doesn’t translate literally.

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How To: Get the Most Value from Your Blog Posts

Emergency "Twitter was down so I wrote my...

In a new post by Denise Wakeman she suggests repurposing your blog posts into different formats to “get more exposure and more value from the time you’ve initially invested in creating the content. Not to mention that you can drive more traffic back to your home base.”

What can you do with the post once its been published on your site? Denise suggests turning the content into different formats such as “reports, white papers, articles, slide shows, videos, podcasts, teleseminars, ebooks, etc.”

One place where you can repurpose your content is in your email newsletter by including a few lines in a short piece and linking back to your blog. That way you’ve not only repurposed the content but possibly have taken your non-blog reading client to your posts and demonstrated to them what they’ve been missing. Include too, a call to action to to sign-up to receive updates about your posts via rss feed or by email subscription.

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Running an Online Daily Deal: Factors for Businesses

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 25: In this photo illu...

We’ve been thinking more about the one deal a day business model since our post last week, “Who’s Buying In to Groupon, LivingSocial & the One-Deal-a-Day Business Model,” which explored the demographics of users.

In a recent post by Barrett Lane,  a blogger for Yipit, he  looks at considerations for businesses who are contemplating running an online daily deal.  We also found a post by Jim Moran, co-founder of Yipit, which sheds some interesting light on the psychology of persuasion and what motivates individuals to act on a purchase.

Last but not least, a discussion of one day a deal offers wouldn’t be complete without looking at how engaged a business is in social networking.

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Who’s Buying In to Groupon, LivingSocial & the One-Deal-a-Day Business Model?

There’s a lot happening on the Internet these days. People are looking forward to checking their e-mails and following businesses on Facebook and Twitter all in the name of deals, not any deals for that matter, but the “one deal a day” type. One deal a day is a web-based business model in which a single type of product is offered for sale for a period of 24 hours…and operate within geographic territories.

People are not only checking their e-mails and reading online content about deals but business is reportedly up for Groupon, LivingSocial and their competitors. Techcrunch reports that people are buying coupons for restaurants, massages, discounted memberships to fitness clubs and museums, local activities, tourist attractions, and merchandise.

Marketing has always been about looking at demographics and understanding what sells in specific markets. Techcrunch states “You can tell a lot about a city by what is being bought on Groupon.” Apparently Boston residents love laser hair removal, Segways, and learning how to fly a helicopter. San Diegans are into Pole Dancing, unlimited carnival rides. Denver loves Cold Stone Creamery and Speed Raceway. Atlanta is into NASCAR and Chicagoans enjoy the Tall Ships.  The site has accumulated 3 million subscribers and currently manages roughly 40 markets. Groupon states that their customers are socially active, both online and off. 68% are between 18-34; 50% have a bachelor’s degree, 30% graduate degree; 49% are single, 33% married; 77% women, 23% men. 66% read Groupon write-ups every day and use Groupon primarily as a guide to explore their city. (see more about groupon’s demographics)

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Still Looking for the Definition: What is Social Media?

Social Media may be one of the most written about topics out there and yet what’s so interesting is that people are still looking for ways to define and implement it into our lives. Last week, Mashable asked readers to define social media and submit their answers via Twitter—which was a good idea, too, to limit the responses to 140 characters. Tweets are very effective, done nicely they make everything seem so profound!

That’s how I felt about the 20 best reader responses when I read them, which Mashable has classified with key characteristics such as: collaboration, network, conversation, sharing, etc.

I’d add to their list: Timely: Social Media is all the news fit to blog, tweet and post.

What about you? What would you add?

P.S. Tell Your Friends & Followers & Join in the Celebration of Social Media Day on June 30th!

Charlene Li’s ‘Open Leadership’ -Book Review

Charlene Li ‘s new  book, Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead, opens with a memorable story about musician, Dave Carroll, and his unfortunate incident when United Airlines damaged his guitar. Nine months later, when Carroll hadn’t made any progress being compensated for his guitar, he did something a little different to vent his feelings. He made a music video called “United Breaks Guitars” and posted it on YouTube. Charlene writes, “Within three days, the video had over one million views, and Carroll’s anthem became a viral sensation. By the end of 2009, there had been over seven million views and hundreds of news stories about Carroll’s experience.”

With this story, Charlene lays the groundwork for her new work about the ways in which social technology has changed the shift in power, where “individuals have the ability to broadcast their views to the world.”

Throughout the book, we learn from one example after another, how leaders need to find a way to communicate as openly as they can, and how this comes more easily for some than others. Charlene includes Open Leadership Self-Assessment tools so leaders can determine where they fall in the spectrum. She offers hope too for those who may not naturally be inclined towards openness by suggesting they start small. As she says, “It’s hard to suspend a mind-set that’s driven you throughout your professional career-it may feel completely unnatural to you and go against every fiber in your body.”

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