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“Ticks vs. Humans: Can Social Media Crush Pathogens?” at SXSW Interactive 2014

NIM Founder and Designated Editor Founder Suzanne McDonald and Dacia Daly from the Tick Encounter Research Center, have put in a proposal to speak at SXSW Interactive 2014. Their talk, “Ticks vs. Humans: Can Social Media Crush Pathogens,” discusses how college interns and professionals in social media and public health collaborated on a pilot research project about lyme disease prevention.

SXSW_Logo_2013_BlackBG_CS

In addition to giving information about the impacts of lyme disease, Suzanne and Dacia hope to educate attendees at SXSW Interactive 2014 about how their project forged a new model of public health communications. Also, how they overcame challenges like motivating college interns and working in the virtual workplace.

Here are the questions Suzanne and Dacia’s presentation will answer:

  • How can brands use visual social media when the subject makes people — including the social media team — literally recoil?
  • How can higher ed and social media pros forge a new model to best meet the needs of paying client, intern learning experience, and professionals’ interest and fulfillment?
  • Which social media platforms are most effective in helping to prevent vector-borne diseases and how may they work for other public health campaigns?
  • What do students know already and are they equipped to jump into effective roles as social media communicators on behalf of a brand?
  • What to look for in interns and how to keep interns motivated when working virtually?

Show your support for bringing “Ticks vs. Humans” to SXSW by voting on the SXSW Panel Picker website and spreading the word to your friends and colleagues!

DonnaMac

Maximizing your Multimedia Output

Donna Mac of DMacVoice & Media shared her expert advice on how you can you bring your website alive AND help boost SEO by turning boring text into exciting audio/visual content.

At this NIM event, audiences learned how to create their own professional production with a few simple tools and techniques that will bring your market alive with exciting new content.

Audiences received advice on how to obtain a more interactive and appealing selling point through subjects like the following:

  • Importance of multimedia, such as video and podcasts
  • Responsive design and material
  • Understanding the audience
  • Authentic delivery & what to include
  • Do it yourself production overview
  • Implementing production and your final product

Meet Donna Mac

DonnaMac
Donna Mac is a pioneering female broadcaster with live, on-air experience as a news producer, editor, and radio personality. She’s led countless events as a keynote speaker and facilitator. She’s owned DMacVoice & Media since 2003, giving her clients the ability to create high-quality multimedia products that promote businesses and educate audiences. She also coaches executives on improving their presentation skills. This way, their messages are concise and compelling, whether delivered live or virtually.

Missed this great talk? Learn more about video & visuals and more via the NIM media library!

Become a NIM $upporting member for access to the vast video library of past presentations and watch at your convenience.

What A Website Should Really Cost: A Look Into NIM’s October Event

From wanting to launch a knitting site, to running a marketing firm, Marketers from all sides of business came hear just what this month’s panel had to say. Newport Interactive Marketers’ wrapped up 2012 focusing on websites. What are the must-haves? How to save money on site development? What type of expert help do you need and can you afford it?

The panelists answered questions from those who’ve never had a website, to those who create websites professionally. Meet the Panel:

 John Picozzi

   Senior Web Developer at Rubic Design + Interactive, John is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University and holds a bachelor’s degree in web design and e-commerce as well as an associates degree in web development. John is highly skilled across all areas of website development and design: from server-side coding, to content layout, and site architecture. He comes to Rubic Design + Interactive from the advertising and PR industry where he built and maintained web solutions for national brands like CVSCaremark, Marriott International, and Dunkin Donuts.

Matt Medeiros

  Co-founder of Slocum Studio, WordPress architect, business development, blogger at MattReport.com, and inbound marketer. Helping others on the web.

Sean Walther

  Sean Walther is a freelance web developer and has been doing what he loves for almost 15 years. Recently Sean has been specializing in WordPress deployments, but has a varied history with many types of web technologies.  Prior to his current freelance role, Sean was the CTO of a web development firm in Boston for 3 years. Sean is a graduate of Boston University, with a BA in computer science.

 David Englund

owner of Englund Studio. Founded in 2002 offering graphic design and illustration services, Englund Studio has since been the winner of both the Webmasters Award and the American Design Award for creative website design. Improving customer interaction and attraction through WEO (Web Experience Optimization) is a vital concern. Englund Studio has created custom websites, WordPress sites, mobile sites, blogs, and squeeze pages for customer lead generation. David is preparing to launch a podcast show called Marketing Differently.

 

Key takeaways from October’s Newport Interactive Marketers

  • You get what you pay for. If you’re willing to pay more, you’re going to get more. So what is more: a more custom website, to a more involved developer who can plan for where your business is headed.
  • Those with smaller budgets were able to learn about alternatives, such as website templates, which allow you to develop and update your own website, using a platforms such as WordPress. But be sure to purchase your own domain, such as NewportInteractiveMarketers.com.
  • Another cost effective way of having an online presence without breaking the budget, would be working with a designer who can put together a basic website without any extensive plug-ins or features. Lindsay Logan from WOMA design, a Newport Marketer, talked about ways that she personally helps clients with this and how it is less costly than most options.

 

Website considerations BEFORE meeting with a developer

  • Know your audience. What are they looking for in a website? Know the main draw of your audience and emphasize it in your website. Should that be the focus of your website that is easy to access on the home page.
  • Bring a list of competitor’s websites and examples of the similarities and differences you want.
  • It’s not what you want to see on the site, it’s what your viewers need to see. Do what’s best for your business & let web designers help you, after all you’re paying for their expertise!
  • Come with a theme to start out. Panelists warned against free themes, like Theme Forest due to malicious or sloppy code.

 

Where do you want to be in two years?

  • Don’t be afraid to tell the person your working with, your budget. If you have a smaller budget like $1,500 then maybe craigslist or WordPress is better for you. It’s important let them know these things and you can discuss the best options within your budget range.
  • Designers, Developers, Marketers, SEO, and content strategists are all incorporated into the FULL process of designing a website: Keep in mind that this is what you’re paying for and discuss what each will be able to do for you. Know what you’re paying for and let them know what you want from them.

 What sparked debate?

WordPress & Drupal

  • Is WordPress good? Yes. Small budget? Go for it. Test it out. Use if for a year, higher income – then spend the money. Website = Virtual salesperson.
  • WordPress does not have a great online ecommerce store, where as Drupal does.
  • WordPress plug-in options: fantastic! Includes: Contact for 7, advanced custom fields, designer clients (extra forms on pages), WD Photo Kit, Contact 17.
  • You always have the option to pay for it. Why pay for it when you can get it for free? Support! You get what you pay for.
  • Web developer should have no excuse or at least a good reason not to have a WordPress up and running for you.

Audience’s questions answered:

Is the cost is going up or down?

The prices of websites have gone down because now there are free options to creating websites and many people are able to do it themselves with these options.

Why go local in choosing a developer?

Go Local! Meet with designers face to face and get to know the person that’s helping to develop your business. Also, be able to receive training on how to use and update the website! You want to know the where about of your developer, constant contact is key, especially when you’re paying for it.

What are the price ranges that our panelists are charging their clients?

They currently start looking at projects in the $1,500 as a starter. And average prices range from 5,000 to 10,000.

What is the value that developers add to the price?

The value that developers give to the price is time. They take care of it, maintain it, and spend the most time with the website’s construction and maintenance.

What are some key components a website should have?

  • Blog OR consistently updated with content
  • News Letter
  • Email options but not a barrier to website, always keep your website accessible without effort by your viewers.
  • Search Bar & Social Media Icons
  • Should you have a feed of social media? Depends on whether or not you’re social media is a key part of your business and whether or not it is a good outlet that would be appealing to your customers.
  • Definitely Images and Video – CRITICAL. Less reading and more media.

 

And remember, a website is a virtual sales person, so take your time and make sure it’s saying exactly what you want it to say! 

Integrating SEO and Social Media With Google’s Eric Enge

SEO guru Eric Enge broke SEO and Social Media down into plain English at NIM’s Aug. 23 event. Stressing an integrative approach using SEO and Social, Enge said the best way to compete in SEO keywords is to be user-centric.

If anyone knows how to boil down complex ideas for an audience, it’s Enge, who is CEO of Stone Temple Consulting, a 25+ person SEO firm with offices in Massachusetts and California. Enge is also a frequent speaker at marketing conferences like SES, PubCon, and SMX.

According to Enge, the job of any website is to be first in that search. So his PowerPoint presentation boiled down complex SEO and Social Media topics so that attendees of all social media aptitudes could learn just how.

Integrating Search and Social Media highlights

  • Spun or garbage content or cheap tricks to build brand and rank is not the best way to go
  • Devote the right amount of space to anchor text, key phrases, brand names, and domains
  • Avoid bad link-building and backlinking practices, e.g. low-cost or paid-for tactics
Eric Enge From Stone Temple Consulting

Eric Enge featured guest speaker at NIM’s Aug. 23 networking and learning event.

  • Emphasize users in your web content, because they are central to the Google algorithm
  • Make sure your brand lends itself to your audience (and if it doesn’t, ask yourself what it will take to get there)
  • Provide diverse, quality content
  • Title tags play a big role
  • Meta description influences click-through rate

Learning Google’s Algorithm

Quoting Google Search Quality Group expert Matt Cutts throughout the talk, Enge explained that Google algorithm finds quality, diverse results help solve problems for users.

Enge discussed the impact of Google’s Panda algorithm update, ushered in on Feb. 23, 2011, and the impact of Penguin, which came to the fore April 24, 2012.  He discussed the viability of SEO, Social, PR and Real Content integrated together for a masterful integrative marketing plan.

You can build a huge audience even if you’re a small brand, according to Enge, who said 48.8% of the population uses Google+ (that’s 150 million US users) and Google+ creates community circles. But he warned against trying to get too much out of driving FB “likes” and Google+ “+1’s” since these don’t specifically address which part of your content is working. Likes, +1’s and shares aren’t visible to Google. Tweeted links, for example, can help Google discover content faster than Facebook and Google+.

Title Tage, Meta Description & CTR

NIM attendees learned how large a role Title Tags play, how Meta Description can influence click-through rate (CTR), and more specifically, how Bing uses CTR.

“Saying SEO is dead is like saying you 85-year-old grandmother can configure your web server,” Enge explained.

In addition to good content that is user-focused, Enge provided an example of how one guest posting propelled one site from 0 to 100,000 customers using an integrated approach.

In the hierarchy of social media effort, the 1-on-1 meeting is at the top (takes the most effort), then the meeting, then meetups, then blogging, then LinkedIn, Twitter, then Facebook. The bottom line? Make the effort to meet with actual people to build real communities, and that will fuel social media activity that builds your reputation, since that’s what people (users) value most.

Thanks to Eric Enge for speaking in Newport; you can visit his website at www.stonetemple.com, follow him on Twitter @stonetemple, or add him to your Google+: +Eric Enge.

 

Pinterest: A Top-Tier Social Media Tool for Business

 

If instead of posting quotes on Facebook, you’d rather share tapestries you found at the bazaar in India, or smiling sloths from your trip to Costa Rica, then you’ll love Pinterest. But did you know that in addition to providing the perfect platform for those who are more visual- than text-oriented, Pinterest can also help your business gain traffic and credibility?

For baby boomers, the act of “pinning” may still conjure up a fraternity engagement ceremony. But Pinterest is so on the edge of marketing platforms that even the aughts ought to know about. In fact, it’s one of the top three social media tools including Facebook and Twitter, according to Annie Colella of Discover Newport (gonewport.com), who presented a talk to NIM April 26.

So, what’s Pinterest?

Simply defined, Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing network about your personal and business interests. “Pinners” discover and post photos they love or are inspired by and organize them into a thematic pinboard. Then they share them so that people they know and people they don’t know gain access and the ability to follow them. Think Facebook+Flickr+Twitter+Youtube. (Pinterest even accommodates video uploads for pinning, from Youtube and Vimeo.)

Colella, whose sunny personality, high profile position at gonewport.com, and visual bent make her the quintessential pinner, presented a Powerpoint rich in easy-to-understand tips for business promotion through the fun and surprisingly simple act of “pinning.” The pinning expert summed up Pinterest in one sentence: “It’s Like Fantasy Football for girls.”

Pinterest has cross-reach

While the 80/20 rule applies to Pinterest in terms of women (80) and men (20) are users, in time, Pinterest promises to level out once business people see its merits, Colella said. Those merits are numerous because Pinterest is integrated with Facebook and Twitter. This way users can sign in through one or the other of their social networks, making cross-networking sharing easier. Pinners can pin their own, or, with attribution, re-pin somebody else’s image.

“Great boards promote the event and lifestyle of their demographic,” said Colella, underscoring why Pinterest is such a great tool for brand creation and development.

Generating traffic for your brand via Pinterest comes down to traditional SEO and link building, Colello told NIM. In addition to integration with other social media accounts, pinners can also bring new visitors to their associated websites, blogs and digitally published guest articles.

How does Pinterest stack up to other social?

Not sold yet? Pinterest outsmarts Facebook for time spent, according to mashable.com. And in October of 2011, the website of Tim, Inc’s Real Simple Magazine got more traffic from Pinterest than Facebook.

Pinterest has another advantage: most pinners re-pin rather than pin new items from the Web, and if they are linking back and crediting the way they should, that means Pinterest is a remarkable website traffic referral tool. This is true particularly for apparel retailers.

Another gleaming statistic is that Pinterest hit $10 million U.S. monthly unique visitors, faster than any independent site in history. Like Google, Pinterest also contains analytic tools for tracking traffic such as PinReach, which tracks interests, followers, boards and pins via analytics to measure the most popular boards by re-pin and who your influential followers are.

Now, NIM-ers are savvy marketers already, but so much new stuff comes onto the social media horizon that every new platform introduced can bring apprehension. To reinforce the power of Pinterest, Colello explained that Pinterest was the top social referrer for marthastewartweddings.com and marthastewart.com, sending more traffic to both properties than Facebook and Twitter combined. Pinterest generates more referral traffic to web sites than YouTube, Google+ and Linkedin combined.

You have to be invited

The only downside thus far, Colello said, is Pinterest is still a closed community, therefore users have to request an invite from existing users to join. So Colella promised to take names at the end of her talk so she could send out Pinterest invitations. She then invited guests to find her on Twitter if they had any more Pinterest questions. And that, folks, is the way social media should work!

After the talk, Portsmouth resident Cheryl Digennaro said she would consider using Pinterest in addition to Facebook to promote her reiki business. “I didn’t really know much about Pinterest before,” said Digennaro, “but now I plan on using Pinterest to post photos and quotes from my favorite authors, holistic practitioners, physicians and quantum physicists who support my message.”

Some of Annie’s hot Pinterest tips & takeaways:

  • Don’t be selfish; pin from sources other than your own site
  • Re-pin, “favorite” and comment on other users’ pins
  • Always provide linkbacks and credit your sources
  • Use keywords to make your pins easy to find
  • Be nice!
  • Include item price in description
  • Link back to your e-commerce site so the consumer can make a purchase
  • Use pleasing graphics, good inspirational images – a “wow” effect makes a good Pinterest board for users to follow
  • Don’t be over-promotional. Concentrate on great products, inspirations, corporate and social responsibility.

 

Photos by Ramon at www.smalltimevideo.com

DE/NIM would like to thank @anniecolellahttp://www.gonewport.com/@41northhttp://www.41north.com

Please stay tuned for the next meeting of NIM in June!

Innovatour: Athletic Standard Helps Recruiters I.D. Student-Athletes

Athletic Standard Logo Rhode Island-based Athletic Standard simplifies the college athlete recruiting process, resulting in a win-win for both student-athletes and the institutions where they will pursue higher education and athletics.

Through certified athleticism and athletic potential testing, Athletic Standard provides potential players a gateway to college coaches across the country. Testing is based on the EPIC Index, which was used by a major Division 1 university to win more than 25 national championships in 25 years.

Via social media, Athletic Standard registers prospective college athletes’ information and test results into a database that can be accessed by coaches across the nation. The coaches are able to view a complete athletic profile, which includes academic records, videos of students on the field or court, and more.

Athletic Standard is revolutionizing the youth athletic market through this testing. If an athlete wants a recruiting edge then Athletic Standard is a must.” –Steve Gibbs, Hoop Mountain Basketball.

Hoop Mountain Basketball is one of Athletic Standard’s key players. With numerous locations throughout the country, facilitators of these programs assist scholastic basketball players in meeting their athletic and academic goals. The testing tool also provides student-athletes with maximum exposure to college and prep school scouts, which is a crucial connection for prospective players. Other key players include Noble and Greenough School and Elite 75, which is specific to New England.

Athletic Standard benefits Rhode Island by preventing nationwide coaches from overlooking the small state’s potential athletes. It gives coaches outside of our state the opportunity to observe the talents of students whom they might not have access to otherwise.

Who are Athletic Standard’s key players?

  • Their key players are Mountain Hoop Basketball, Elite 75 New England and Noble and Greenough School.

What is the Process Athletic Standard uses?

  • ATHLETIC STANDARD can help simplify the college recruiting process by testing and registering potential college athletes for free onto a secure database that can be seen by college coaches from all over the country. Coaches will have a certified athletic test score as well as a complete athletic profile including academic records, game video, and more. (athleticstandard.com)

How does Athletic Standard benefit Rhode Island student-athletes?

  • Allows students to be matched with Rhode Island colleges.
  • It helps high school and club coaches looking to provide opportunities for athletes.
  • It helps college coaches who want to take advantage of the recruiting process a high school or club coach looking to provide o

Why do you personally find it interesting?

  • I personally find it interesting because I have never heard of this type of organization. Rhode Island can benefit from this because it is the smallest state and high school athletes can be overlooked. I think the website is a great and safe way to help coaches and athletes in the right direction.

Alexa O’Rourke and Claudia Blanco