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Hispanics Online: Young, Mobile and Bilingual July 3, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in Web 2.0.
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The US Hispanic Internet population is growing—in numbers, broadband connections and time spent online. eMarketer estimates that this year there will be nearly 23 million Hispanics online, over 50% of the US Hispanic population.The Hispanics Online report analyzes the trends driving the growth of this young, mobile and vibrant population.

Hispanics make up 12.3% of the US Internet population in 2009, and will increase to 13.9% in 2013.

Like its offline counterpart, this group of Internet users is young—63% are under age 35—and mobile. Some 81% of Hispanics own a cellphone, and for 25% of these adults, their mobile is their primary phone. They use phone features, including Internet access, at higher rates than other mobile subscribers.

Many marketers and online publishers are creating campaigns and Websites in English and Spanish, to reach an audience that switches between languages and cultures.

Cheap-TV-Spots.com Now Incorporating Social Media in its Package June 19, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in Marketing Plan, Social Media, Strategic Growth Concepts, Web 2.0.
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Cheap TV Spots, the award-winning, international, Internet-based discount TV advertising agency for entrepreneurs, says it’s aiming at Twitter these days.

“While Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and the like are all interesting ways for businesses to communicate with customers, we’re really fascinated by Twitter’s ability to take social media by storm,” says Ann Clark, Cheap TV Spots co-founder. “Twitter is doing for the web what Disco did for the dance floor. It’s all about stayin’ alive.”

Cheap TV Spots has developed a unique advertising methodology for entrepreneurs that helps link their television campaign with their online presence, creating a cohesive message that resonates with consumers. Cheap TV Spots can use the power of the bigger screen to channel customers to a Twitter page, website, or just about any online or mobile destination. Also, Cheap TV Spots can design TV commercials to be online-friendly, to complement a social website, company home page, blog or email campaign. With over 180 international awards, Cheap-TV-Spots.com has the proven expertise to design the ultimate media convergence.

Clark says, “It’s important to have an integrated plan. Social media is a great customer destination after you’ve gotten their attention with TV.”

Cheap TV Spots offers this recession-busting tip: To save money, stay away from automated, choose-it-yourself air time buying sites where the advertiser presumably picks her own airings from a list. Such sites can be deceptive, charging extra commissions in addition to the network air time cost, and selling air time that may not be available. That means the advertiser may get very little for her advertising dollar.

Ms. Clark says, “These so-called do-it-yourself sites give the impression that you can pick your airings from a list and pay a guaranteed price, when in fact the site cannot make such promises. It’s up to the networks whether air time is available, and whether they will even accept your commercial for broadcast.” Cheap TV Spots helps advertisers overcome these hurdles by negotiating with the networks on their behalf, and Cheap TV Spots never adds extra commissions. 

Cheap TV Spots produces award-winning, custom-made, national quality TV commercials for its low, flat rate. Cheap TV Spots also offers air time placement services scaled for start-ups and small- to medium-sized businesses.

Serving entrepreneurs since 2001, Cheap TV Spots is the world’s first global, Internet-based, discount TV ad agency. Cheap TV Spots is a registered trademark of Academy Leader, Inc., a privately held, multinational media company, which spans TV, motion pictures, radio, outdoor, publishing and mobile media.

Franchising and Social Media: Integrated for Bottom Line Profitability June 17, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in Social Media, Strategic Growth Concepts, Web 2.0.
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BlogTalkRadio graphicToday’s broadcast of Strategic Growth Concepts for Small Business, featured franchising expert, Paul Segreto of FranchisEssentials discussing social media and its importance to the franchising industry. Areas of discussion included:

  • The ‘new’ franchise development business model
  • The ways social media can aid in franchise development efforts
  • What are the best social networks for a franchise to utilize and why
  • The importance of integrating social media marketing with traditional marketing
  • The role of women in social media and franchising

The interview with show host and CEO of Strategic Growth Concepts, Linda Daichendt, included a wealth of information providing value to franchises and other small businesses with regard to effective utilization of social media in growing your business. Be sure to download and listen to the interview at your convenience.

A Basic Guide to Social Media Tools Geared Toward Small Business June 14, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in FaceBook, LinkedIN, MySpace, Naymz, Social Media, Strategic Growth Concepts, Twitter, Video Marketing, Web 2.0.
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Web 2.0 technology in the form of social media tools empower you to maximize your business’ exposure and interaction with customers, potential customers, vendors, employees, and the community at-large; allowing you to connect and stay in touch more often, and with more people, than was ever possible utilizing the previously standard methods of Marketing your business.  These tools are currently typically free, and therefore, the only investment required is that of time to insure that they are utilized effectively to promote your firm.

However, as I speak with small business owners, the question inevitably arises, “how do you utilize social media to market your business?”.  The answer begins with having an understanding of which social media tools are available, and of those tools, which are most useful for your business. In fact I’m often asked “what are the best social media marketing tools for small businesses?”.   So in this essay, we’ll provide a bit of an overview and our recommendations.

Social Tools

Communities   Social Bookmarking   Video Sharing
LinkedIn Facebook

MySpace

Friendster

Plaxo

Naymz

Hi5

AIM Pages
Badoo
Bebo
CyWorld
EarthFrisk
ECpod
Faves
Grono
iBritz
LiveJournal
Lovento
Multiply
MyWebProfile
NetFriendships
Netlog
Orkut
Passado
Skyrock
Tagged
Tribe
Trig
Windows Live Spaces
Yahoo! 360
Zaadz

Professional

APSense
Biznik
CitiAlly
Cofoundr – Entrepreneurial
CompanyLoop
DoMyStuff
Doostang
Ecademy
Fast Pitch
JASEzone
KillerStartups
Konnects
Lawyrs
MeetIn
MyCareer.ge
NetHooks
Ryze
Small Business Brief
StartupNation – Entrepreneurial
Startupping – Internet entrepreneurs
Synergy Street – Entrepreneurial
Tapped In – Educational professionals
Upspring
Venture Capital Network
Xing
Ziggs

  Digg    del.icio.us

Stumbleupon

Reddit

Newsvine

AllMyFavorites
Backflip
Blinkbits
Blinklist
Blogmarks
Blummy
BuddyMarks
BookmarkTracker
ChangeToLink
Chipmark
De.lirio.us
Diigo
Dogear
Favoritoo
Feedmarker
Foxmarks
FreeLink
Furl
GiveALink
Hyperlinkomatic
iKeepBookmarks
Jack of All Links
Lilisto
LinkaGoGo
Linkatopia
Linkroll
List Mixer
Lycos iQ
Mister Wong
Mobilicio.us
MyBookmarks
MyHq
Mylinkvault
MyPip
My Stuff (from Ask)
MyVmarks
Namakkal
Netvouz
Online Bookmark Manager
OnlyWire
Oyax
Shadows
Simpy
SiteBar
SiteJot
Snipit
Socializer
StartAid
Stufflinker
Sync2it
SyncOne
Turboclip
Windows Live Favorites
WireFan
Zurpy

  YouTube Blip.tv

Vimeo

Metacafe

Stickam

Broadcaster
Panjea
Revver
Tubearoo
Viddler
Video Bomb
Video Sift
Vimby
Xillian TV

         
Photo Sharing   Blogging / Micro-blogging / IM / Mobile    
Flickr    Fotolog

SmugMug

Zooomr

Photobucket

Webshots

  Blogger      Wordpress

Typepad

Twitter

BeeMood
Feecle – Japanese
FlickIM

Frazr – German & French
IMified
Jaiku
Komoo – Chinese
loopt

mbuzzy
Numpa – Dutch
Pownce
Radar
Robisz – Polish
Rummble
Zannel

   

Additional categories of social media include:

CONNECTING WITH FRIENDS:

Classmates
ConnectU
Friends Reunited
Graduates
Meetup
MyYearbook
Reunion
SKOUT

CONSUMER REVIEWS:

Cork’d – Wine reviews
Chowhound
– Food
Epinions

RateItAll
Yelp

All of these tools enable you to interact with people, but in each group a different kind of content is the focus.

Social Communities – in some ways the simplest because it is the content focus is YOU. Each individual creates a profile and the directory enables you to find and connect with people based on the information they supply about themselves in that profile. This has extended beyond individuals to “entities”. So that a company or group can also create a profile. One thing to be aware of about these social communities – that not all of them approach “entities” the same way and most of them don’t make it very easy to figure out how to create a profile for your entity. Facebook invites you to create a Facebook “page” for your business but does not want you to create a “profile” for your business even though pages and profiles can use many of the same features and tools (but not all). On the other hand, LinkedIn has a very limited “page” for businesses providing very limited functionality. Small businesses often struggle to figure out which kind of existence they should have in these communities (should it be me? Should it be my company? Should it be someone else within my company?) that allows them to stay within the terms of service and yet still maximize the tool’s marketing potential.

Social Bookmarking (also called Link Sharing) – these tools allow you to highlight and share individual Web pages you like by sharing a link to them. People can “vote” on each link that has been shared and the links with the most votes move to the top of the page making the site a portal to the “best” content as filtered by the participants of the community. Note that an individual profile is connected to the posting of each link so over time you can get to know your fellow bookmarkers by their sharing habits, genre, frequency etc. These sites are useful if you post a lot of content and would like that content to be found and read by more people.  Be aware though that in order to gain a following in these communities, it is best to post content of general interest and value rather than “promotional” content for your business.  Community participants can be rather unforgiving of those seen as “self-absorbed”.

Video Sharing – sites like YouTube are usually very straightforward in functionality. They make it very easy to upload your own video and once the video is uploaded, it is also easily viewed and commented on by others. YouTube also provides ways for the video to be shared and embedded in other sites increasing the video’s ability to turn “viral”.  Using video to market your business can be done easily with a minimal investment in equipment.  While editing can be an expense, it’s not really necessary for educational, promotional, or testimonial videos – shooting them live tends to give them an authenticity that is appreciated by consumers.  A recent video and PowerPoint presentation by Hubspot gives excellent information on ways to effectively use video for small businesses.

Photo Sharing – these sites are usually quite simple in functionality. Members can post photos which then can be viewed and commented on by the general public, or only by those who are invited to see them. Small businesses sometimes use these sites to share photo galleries instead of building photo gallery capability into their own Web site.

Blogging – the content is your creativity, your voice. You post content on a regular basis whether it’s text, video, photos, podcasts or all of the above. Blogs enable you to be an individual publisher, and usually enable readers to participate in the conversation by posting comments.

Of all the tools available, the top 4 in my list for small businesses to utilize would include:

  • Blogs
  • FaceBook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Maximizing New Media Today to Build Your Brand for Tomorrow and Beyond May 31, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in FaceBook, Marketing Plan, Strategic Growth Concepts, Twitter, Web 2.0.
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With all of the new media options available today to promote your business, sometimes the hardest part of developing an effective marketing strategy is thinking thru the ways in which each option can be maximized to promote your business.  Many of the options available, such as Twitter and Facebook, are still new enough that no one really has all the answers on using them to the best advantage, so new ways of utilizing them are being discovered every day.  It’s exciting, and intriguing and challenging – especially for those with creative minds who are adept at finding useful ways to take advantage of new technology.

Many people with analytical minds actually spend a great deal of time trying to predict the future of such new media technology in order to determine its longevity and value.  One recent analysis developed by the great minds at 24/7 Wall Street resulted in an article predicting ‘The Ten Ways Twitter Will Permanently Change American Business’.  It’s an excellent article which I encourage you to read, and while reading, think about it in terms of how their thoughts might translate into useful applications for your business. 

Right now marketers are in the unique position of being able to utilize the many, many new technology tools available today – at no cost, or low cost – and to help build the standards for how those tools are used in the future.  This unique opportunity will allow firms that take advantage of the current situation to be ‘the leaders at the table’ in the future.  If you want to establish such a leadership role for your business and your brand, now is the time to use all your creativity, all your strategic planning capabilities, and all the new technology resources at your disposal to establish that brand and its leadership role.  Learn everything you can about the new media tools available, and use them in every way you can to promote your company.  We at Strategic Growth Concepts will continue to do our part by providing you with information you need to help you in that endeavor, and we’re available to consult with your business whenever you need us, just contact us via our website or email at info@strategicgrowthconcepts.com.

Let Your Voice Be Heard by Your Customers May 28, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in email marketing, FaceBook, Social Media, Twitter, Web 2.0.
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Technology keeps evolving and providing small businesses with additional ways to communicate with our target audiences.  Now there is an Application that will allow you to record a voice message and have it distributed directly to your connections via Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace, as well as email and telephone.  It’s less complicated than developing a podcast or a video, and yet highly effective at communicating a message – even while on the move – and it provides distribution options including direct-to-telephone which cannot be achieved thru other methods.

This type of application has many potential uses for small business, including:

  • send an email invitation to a seminar with an actual voice invitation from your company’s CEO
  • it lets a public relations manager in the midst of handling a company crisis convey a message to all necessary staff at the corporate office at one time and they can listen to it at their convenience
  • your CEO can dictate a new corporate policy for immediate implementation and distribute it via email (or telephone)
  • you can describe a new product or service to all your Twitter, Facebook and/or MySpace contacts
  • many, many additional uses that can benefit your company.

Read the article below from Mashable for a complete description of the application and how it works.

_______________________________________________________

by Ben Parr, Mashable

 Phonevite LogoWhen you need to send a voice note or a dictation to multiple contacts, Phonevite has always been a strong option. However, while it does have an iGoogle Gadget, Phonevite has mostly been limited to voice-to-phone sharing.

That was until today, when Phonevite opened the social media floodgates of its voice services. Starting today, you can not only send voice messages to your friends via phone, but you can also share recordings via Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, email or just embed the audio directly to your website.

Once you have made a voice recording (either via a recording browser app or via phone), the recording will appear in your recording inbox. Now, however, you’ll see five small icons at the bottom for each of the key social services and embeds which you can use to distribute your content easily.

Facebook will post to your wall while Twitter will create the ready-to-share tweet. This makes it simple to send audio to all of your friends instantaneously. And of course, you can still send it to their phone if you need to send it directly.

Social media is an effective mass-communication tool, and Phonevite has tapped into its raw power to dramatically increase the potential of its products. Phonevite is no longer just for voice notes, but for rapidly distributing podcasts, interviews, and calls. It’s up to users and Phonevite, though, to tap into the potential possibilities.

 

Global New Media Trends and Using Them to Grow Your Business May 8, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in email marketing, mobile, Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Twitter, Video Marketing, Web 2.0.
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A recent report issued by The Nielsen Company, a global information and media company active in more than 100 countries, provides a comprehensive overview of the status of new media in today’s marketing environment.  Some highlights of the report include:

  • Online display advertising’s share of revenue has plateaued at 20% of total online ad spend in the U.S.
  • Despite online video’s persistent positive buzz, actual usage is averaging around six minutes per day in the U.S.
  • Packaged goods manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and telecommunications firms, three of the largest historical spenders on traditional media, are moving online at a pace we haven’t seen before, even as the recession continues to deepen.
  • Access to social networking sites via mobile devices almost tripled during 2008, largely due to rising smartphone penetration and improved network speeds.  Increasingly consumers are turning to their phones for a wide range of online content.
  • The pace of new online users has significantly slowed down, and the story has become about how much time people are spending online and what they’re doing while there.
  • Americans spend the most time online during the average month (about 2 hours per day).
  • The U.S. online population skews more to the age 50+ than the other countries listed in the study.
  • It is rare to see segments grow from BOTH an audience and an engagement standpoint, but we are seeing exceptional growth in these areas over the last couple of years in both video and social media sites.
  • While Member Communities (Facebook, MySpace, etc) have been garnering impressive audience numbers for the last five years, video audiences have been growing at meteoric rates.
  • From a time spent perspective, Member Communities surpassed email for the first time in February 2009.
  • From February 2008 to February 2009, the viewers of online videos grew 10%, the number of streams grew 41%, the streams per user grew 27%, and the total minutes engaged with online video grew 71%.
  • The reach of Member Community (social networking) sites is highest in Brazil (80%) but growting fastest in Germany (from 39% to 51% in one year).
  • The steady upward march of micro-blogging site Twitter will likely be the biggest online media story this year.
  • In the U.S., the mobile Internet audience grew 74% between February 2007 and February 2009.
  • More than 12 million U.S. mobile subscribers access their social networks over their phone.
  • As consumers look to do more on their phones while maintaining or perhaps decreasing their overall wireless spend, we expect that consumers will continue to warm to the idea of ad-supported mobile content.

This information is extremely valuable to marketers and small business owners as it enables companies to see areas of tremendous opportunity where they can maximize their firm’s brand awareness among target audiences.  Click HERE to review the complete Nielsen report and determine how it can be utilized to your company’s benefit.  Should you need assistance sorting thru the options to develop the best marketing strategy for your firm, please contact us to schedule a FREE initial consultation.

Video Marketing; A Great Way to Showcase Your Business April 23, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in Video Marketing, Web 2.0.
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In today’s Web 2.0 marketplace small business owners are learning to take advantage of every new technology tool they can find to grow their business. One of the least understood tools is Video Marketing. In this week’s episode of our BlogTalkRadio program ‘Strategic Growth Concepts for Small Business’, our panel of experts explains how you can utilize Video marketing to grow your business, and how you can achieve this extremely cost-effectively. If you’re seeking new ways to market your business in the Web 2.0 environment, this is the show for you. Our panel of experts includes: Tim Tevlin, President of Local Business Videos Online; Greg George, Founder of iVideo Makers; and Bob Sullivan, Development Director of Think Creative Media Works.

Click HERE to listen to the complete broadcast!

A Social Media ‘How to’ for Small Business March 29, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in Social Media, Web 2.0.
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In my conversations with small business owners about social media and utilizing it to promote their businesses, one theme is consistent in almost every conversation, and that theme is their intimidation about using it.

This intimidation likely results from the fact that social media is still a relatively new medium, particularly for those who have not previously been involved in the internet or advertising industries. Therefore, as with all new technology-based ideas, there is a learning curve involved in bringing the masses up-to-speed. To help enable that learning and shorten the curve for readers of this blog, I went in search of some other writers’ “tips” to add to my own, which can help you get started with an easy-to-understand procedure.

The following are among the best of the articles I found, and I believe a review of these articles should be enough to help you get started.

  • During this quest I found a blog posting that was specifically targeted to small business and will get you started in the right direction. Click HERE to read information from Chris Garrett in an article entitled, “Quick Social Media Tactics for Small Business”. I like Chris’ list, but one thing that I do see as a problem with it is that I’m don’t believe it’s basic enough for the majority of people in search of this information.
  • Another interesting article I found in the New York Times included an interview with a small business owner who has effectively put social media to work for his business. It even provides an example of a promotion he did utilizing social media and two other methods of advertising. He tracked the costs and results of each method to identify which provided the best ROI. Click HERE to read the article.
  • A third article I found on the Startup Nation website speaks specifically about LinkedIN, a social networking site for business people. This site allows you to develop a very comprehensive profile on yourself and your business, allows you to join ‘discussion groups’ on just about any topic of your choice, and also allows you to start groups if you want to be the one managing the discussion. I personally recommend this site as the one you start with, and I suggest that you begin with building out your profile as completely as you can (it’s very easy to understand and implement). I then recommend that you do a search for groups in your industry and join a couple of them. For the first week or two, just observe – or answer a question/comment in the group discussions now and then. The idea is to get a feel for the “personality” of the group, ie: what gets positive reaction and what gets negative reaction. After you’ve ‘learned your way around’ so to speak, then you should start making postings in the group –information of interest, articles you’ve seen, resources group members would find of value, etc. These postings are designed to help you build your credibility as an expert – but DO NOT attempt to sell anything. Click HERE to read the Startup Nation article for additional information.

Social media is a burgeoning industry these days. Almost everyday I learn about another site that seems to be gaining momentum. The danger for a small business owner lies in trying to participate in all of them (and I know several who have tried!) and ends up doing none of them well and getting nothing else in his/her business accomplished. A far better strategy is to check them all out as you learn about them, but only join those that really look as though they will have value to your business. To help you start your process, have a look at this list of social media sites by Peter Bordes; it’s comprehensive but by no means complete. Review the sites that interest you and try a couple of them out. And remember, start slow – observe first and then begin participating. It will make your participation much more productive once you become more active.

If after reviewing these materials you still feel you need some guidance on developing the best social media strategy for your business, please feel free to call upon us. We can be reached by email at info@strategicgrowthconcepts.com.

_______________________________________________________

The author, Linda Daichendt, is Founder, CEO and Managing Consultant at Strategic Growth Concepts, a consulting firm specializing in start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. She is a recognized small business expert with 20+ years experience in providing Marketing, Operations, HR, and Strategic planning services to start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. Linda can be contacted at linda@strategicgrowthconcepts.com and the company website can be viewed at www.strategicgrowthconcepts.com.

A Master Class in Web 2.0 March 27, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in Social Media, Uncategorized, Web 2.0.
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Whatever your politics, there is one fact that is undeniable about Barack Obama, the man knows how to utilize today’s Web 2.0 technology to reach his audience and convey his message. In the following story you will learn how he utilized an interactive website to obtain citizen participation in developing questions to be answered on an Internet broadcast, and that he had them casting votes to decide the “favorite” questions (or the ones that would be most popular with his Internet audience). You will also learn about the Internet broadcast Town Hall Meeting where he utilized those questions that were voted on. What the article doesn’t tell you, but I can because I saw it, was that he publicized the whole thing (both the website question request/voting and the Internet broadcast) via Twitter, which then resulted in hundreds of retweets, and postings on both Facebook and in LinkedIN groups. As I said, whatever your politics, you have to be impressed with his ingenuity in reaching out to his potential audience – and the response number he received (as indicated in the article below) that shows it to be working.So my question to you now is – “How can you apply these same strategies to your business to help it grow?” Think about it, if your website became interactive and allowed you to obtain customer response that helped you to market your product more effectively, wouldn’t that be helpful? And, if you could drive people to your website at absolutely no cost by developing a creative “Tweet” that would cause people to retweet and to post your information on Facebook and LinkedIN to be seen by even more hundreds of thousands of people – wouldn’t you find value in that?

With the country and the media saying that small business is necessary to the turnaround of the economy, and small business owners looking to Barack Obama for answers on how to help those small businesses help the economy – in my opinion, he’s already given us one of the answers. Follow his lead in the use of technology in promoting our businesses to our target customers – it costs us essentially zero dollars and the impact can be huge! So I challenge all small business owners out there – read the article below and then sit down and evaluate your business to think of ways you can utilize Web 2.0 technology to promote your business and increase sales. And if in the final analysis you decide you don’t know enough about it to come up with the ideas, then contact me – or another marketing professional – to help you make the most of this opportunity! I assure you, “our cup runneth over” with ideas we’d like to provide to clients willing to jump in to this new marketing arena and we’d love to hear from you!

 

Obama wraps up first-of-its kind Internet Q&A

 

 

 

 
  By Ron Edmonds, AP
   

WASHINGTON — President Obama wrapped up a unique Internet-era town hall meeting at the White House on Thursday, pushing hard for support of his $3.6 trillion budget and asking people to be patient with the administration’s efforts to resuscitate the USA’s ailing economy.

Obama said the precedent-setting online town hall meeting was an “an important step” toward creating a broader avenue for information about his administration.

He joked at one point about the number of questions about decriminalizing marijuana, saying he did not think that was the best way to stimulate the economy.

After a brief opening statement, Obama held a microphone and walked the floor in the ornate East Room, gesturing as he answered questions in an event reminiscent of town hall meetings he conducted in person across the nation during his campaign.

Before the event, the White House had said that 92,003 people have submitted 103,395 questions and cast 3,582,670 votes.

White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said about 67,000 viewers were watching the webcast, which was also televised on some cable channels.

In advance of the event, potential questioners signed up on the White House website “Open for Questions.”

CNN reported that Obama answered seven questions submitted that way, while also taking questions from the audience in the East Room.

Questioned also about growing unemployment, Obama said creating jobs was difficult during these hard economic times, and recommended that the work of the future should be in more high-paying, high-skill areas like clean energy technology.

Many of the lost jobs in recent years, Obama said, involved work that was done by people earning low wages and with limited work skills. He said it will take some time — perhaps through the rest of the year — before vigorous hiring resumes, and that might not happen until businesses see evidence the economy is rebounding.

On the home financing crisis, the second question put to the president, he was asked how his programs helped homeowners who are not facing foreclosure but have been deeply hurt by the recession. Many homeowners, after the housing price bubble burst late last year, now owe more on their homes than the houses are worth.

Obama told his Internet audience and about 100 people assembled in the East Room that his injection of stimulus spending into the housing market now makes it possible for 40% of all homeowners to take advantage of record-low mortgage interest rates. He encouraged eligible Americans to refinance.

Political operatives say the White House’s strategy is a way to reach a demographic key to Obama’s election.

“In the new world of online media, formal press conferences are just one element or program to get the message out — to those, usually older, who watch such things on TV. The online version he is doing is an alternative way to get out the same message, in this case on the budget, targeted toward a different audience, usually younger,” said Morley Winograd, a onetime adviser to former vice president Al Gore who now runs the Institute for Communication Technology Management at the University of Southern California.

“In both cases the questioners are just props — or, in some cases, foils — for the star, Obama, to deliver his message. But in the latter case, they get to self-nominate instead of be selected by elites,” Winograd said.

In a way, it’s part campaign-style politics and part American Idol, said political strategist Simon Rosenberg.

“Barack Obama is going to reinvent the presidency the way he reinvented electoral politics,” said Rosenberg, president of the New Democrat Network and a veteran of presidential campaigns. “He is allowing everyday people to participate in a way that would’ve been impossible in the old media world.”

Yet the process lends itself to softer questions and ones the White House is eager to answer, Republicans noted.

“The president is going back to the safe confines he was always most comfortable with, in this case a friendly audience where the focus is on the sale rather than the substance,” GOP strategist Kevin Madden said.

Contributing: Richard Wolf at the White House; Steve Marshall in McLean, Va., and the Associated Press

‘Social Media’ the Topic of Recent BlogTalkRadio Broadcast March 21, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in Social Media, Web 2.0.
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Had an excellent panel recently on the ‘Strategic Growth Concepts for Small Business’ BlogTalkRadio show.  Topic was “Social Media:  How to use it to grow your business”.  Panel consisted of:  Kevin Green, Director of Social Media Marketing at Digital Influence Group; Derek Mehraban, CEO at Ingenex Digital Media, blogger at The Digital Bus, and instructor at Michigan State University; and LJ Jones, Social Media Strategist at Studeo, and featured blogger on Social Media Today.

Conversation dealt with how best for a small business to maximize social media opportunities, including:  the development of an appropriate strategy, selecting the right social media vehicles, designating the right person or people to lead your firm’s social media initiatives, and insuring that your firm is providing valuable content which will drive interaction.

The hour-long broadcast provided a broad array of “hints & tips” to maximize your firm’s social media experience.  If you’d like to check it out, the podcast can be downloaded from:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/strategicgrowthconcepts or a link can be found on the ‘Media’ page of this blog.

Our next topic, scheduled for March 24th at 2:30 p.m. EDT, is ‘The Legal Aspects of Starting a Business:  How to Prevent Pain and Expenses in the Future’.  Please join us to insure that you – and your firm – are properly protected!

Using Web 2.0 Technology to Teach About Using Web 2.0 Technology March 18, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Social Media, Web 2.0.
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A recent survey by Local Mobile Search, in conjunction with AllBusiness.com (as reported by Opus Research, Inc.) indicates that 59% of businesses surveyed say they do not participate in online marketing of their businesses. The survey further reported that the reasons most cited were high cost, lack of time and not knowing where to begin.

Strategic Growth Concepts is striving to change those results because we believe that with the largest percentage of businesses today having less than 5 employees and little, if any, startup capital, it is imperative that small business owners are made aware of the wide array of Web 2.0 technology tools and resources available to aid them in growing their businesses with little investment other than their time and effort. This technology can teach them how to maximize their business’ resources (both human and financial) and provide them with the tools to do so.

As part of Strategic’s effort to educate small business about the technology by utilizing the technology, our firm has scheduled several upcoming broadcasts on our BlogTalkRadio show, ‘Strategic Growth Concepts for Small Business’. These broadcasts will focus on topics of interest to small business, and will feature experts in each topic area. The following is a schedule of the broadcast topics currently scheduled:

The Legal Aspects of Small Business:  How to Prevent Pain & Expense in the Future

March 24, 2009 @ 2:30 p.m. EDT

 

Using Public Relations to Grow Your Business

April 7, 2009 @ 2:30 p.m. EDT

 

Mobile Marketing:  What is it and can it help you grow your business?

April 14, 2009 @ 2:30 p.m. EDT

You can participate in these broadcasts, or gain additional information, by accessing our site on BlogTalkRadio at:  http://blogtalkradio.com/strategicgrowthconcepts .

Mobile Marketers Guide to Mobile Commerce March 16, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Social Media, Uncategorized, Web 2.0.
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I read an interesting article recently in the Mobile Marketers trade association newsletter regarding the use of Mobile Commerce as an advertising channel. The article provided examples of firms that had used Mobile advertising quite effectively, made reference to the fact that consumers took awhile to warm up to eCommerce as an advertising/purchasing channel and that the same was likely with Mobile Commerce, and it also contained links to excellent Mobile Commerce educational tools. Among the tools available via this article is a PDF copy of the Mobile Marketer’s Classic Guide to Mobile Commerce, an excellent overview of this emerging industry. The link below will take you to the article on the trade association’s website.

http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/commerce/2173.html

While you’re there, I also encourage you to review the website for additional industry white papers and educational materials, as well as a section where you can sign up for a free educational newsletter. I have found this site to be quite full of very useful information and refer to it often.

Now is the time to learn everything you can about Mobile Marketing and Mobile Commerce as it’s becoming obvious that this is likely the next big advertising/purchasing channel. Though this channel is still in its infancy, due to the high penetration of cell phone users in the U.S. (approximately 85% market penetration) and higher-still penetration in Europe (140% market penetration – meaning that users have multiple devices), it is highly likely that Mobile Marketing/Mobile Commerce is not going away but rather will become an integral part of our everyday lives.

Let me know if you find this article link of value; if so, I will continue to seek out similar educational tools and opportunities to make available to you.

For additional information on Mobile Marketing, or to learn how we can help you develop a Mobile Marketing campaign for your firm, please contact us via our website or email us at info@strategicgrowthconcepts.com

Using Facebook to Grow Your Business March 12, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in Social Media, Web 2.0.
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Like most small business owners, I’m always looking for new ways to promote my business and make people more aware of what I do. And like many of you who are “social media savvy”, I’ve had a personal profile on Facebook for awhile now as one more avenue meant to promote my business. However, I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated with it, as it really IS much more of a “social-oriented” medium and that’s not what I was looking to gain from it. So, I took a couple of basic steps – first, I started a second Profile under my company name (http://profile.to/strategicgrowthconcepts), and then I also started a Group under my company name (http://groups.to/strategicgrowthconcepts). Both of these have given me additional opportunity to provide more focus on the business, though not quite yet to the extent that I wanted. The “wall” page is still very “social-oriented” because that’s what it’s designed to be, and what most people use it for. The “Group” has allowed me to do a better job of “controlling content” in order to insure that it stays business-focused. But, I still wasn’t happy with it.

So, I did as I normally do, and I started conducting research; in this case on the ways other companies are utilizing Facebook – and I found the answer I was seeking. It turns out that Facebook is currently in the midst of implementing some changes that are designed to solve exactly the problem I was having. They have developed a “Page” concept that is meant to focus on different categories of businesses. Each category comes with a specific template of included sections that you can then customize as you like. The “Pages” allow you to include a lot more detailed information about your company, as well as any events you want to promote, discussions you would like to initiate, various applications that you would like to attach, as well as uploading files you want to share, video, photos, etc. It also allows you to customize the Tabs included on the page so they are best suited to your company’s purposes.

I just set up my company’s page today so I still have some work to do to it, but I thought the concept was so great that I wanted to share it with all of you. Check out my “page” at: http://companies.to//strategicgrowthconcepts. Also, to help you learn about this new offering from Facebook, I was able to track down a Facebook location that takes you thru the process, as well as providing additional information and resources; see this at: http://www.facebook.com/advertising/?pages .

Also a great supplementary article on the same topic is located at:  http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=69194224781&h=fPAf4&u=Xld_F

The New Basics of Marketing March 4, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Social Media, Web 2.0.
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What you need to know about: websites, email, mobile phones, social networks, viral video, blogging.

Inc. Online, February 2008

By: Leigh Buchanan, Max Chafkin, and Ryan McCarthy

The world of marketing is radically different than it was only a few short years ago. From viral video to text-message campaigns and avatar sales reps, marketing tools that only recently seemed rare and futuristic are quickly becoming commonplace.  They’re the New Basics.

Mainstream marketing was invented by big companies to convey simple messages to the masses. New marketing, in contrast, is about complexity and individuality. There are, for example, 100 million blogs worldwide. No matter how small the market for your products or services, one of those blogs probably serves it.

But though today’s marketers have more choices in terms of the tools they use to reach customers, their jobs aren’t getting any easier. With an explosion of new offerings, it’s hard to know when and how best to spend your marketing dollars. In compiling this report, Inc. looked for developments that are new and creative but also effective and affordable–and, of course, well suited to nimble, entrepreneurial companies. Use them creatively, and you just might transform your business.

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