Tag Archives: New Media

Monday Morning Quick Tip – If Your Ears Are Burning, Check This To See What’s Being Said About You

Remember that old saying about if your ears are burning, it’s because someone was talking about you? With online conversations happening 24/7 via social networking, wouldn’t you like to be privy to what’s being said by others about your horsebiz?

Social Mention is one way to quickly search over 100 social media sites to see who’s saying what about you, including social media powerhouse sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Digg, and Google. You can search for your own name, your business name, your Twitter or Facebook name, or a topic…even search and see what’s being said about others, including your competition.

For example, ‘secretariat’ was a trending term at the time of this article, so I looked to see what’s being said. Apparently the movie Secretariat was being shown on Starz, and folks were commenting about the movie via social media.

Don’t have time to search, or think it’s something you’ll forget to do? They’ve got a solution for that, with daily Social Mention Alerts you can set up based on search phrases, types of media, and mentions in 43+ languages. The alerts get plopped into your email inbox every day. There’s also a ‘Realtime Buzz Widget‘ you can embed into your blog or website, capturing ‘buzz’ mentions about your brand as they happen.

Knowing what’s being said, either positive or negative, gives you the opportunity to engage with the person saying it. Social Mention is a free, easy-to-use tool that can give you a leg up in both awareness and responsiveness in the social sphere.

What was being said about your horsebiz? Share your Social Mention results via the Leave a Comment link below. You can also give this article a score, from Very Poor to Excellent, via the new Rate This tool right under the title (hint, look for the stars!).

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Facebook, Monday Morning Quick Tip, New Media, Twitter, Uncategorized

Monday Morning Quick Tip – Are Advertisers Listening To You Via Your Smartphone?

Have you heard about an app called Shazam? Having it on your smartphone allows you to scan and identify, plus buy, music playing in your vicinity (I recently used it to identify a song playing at a store I was at, when a staff member was unable to tell me what the song was).

Now, it turns out some advertisers are using the app to ‘listen in’ while you’re watching TV so they can send you targeted content. Is it a good thing? Can, and should, the horse industry make use of it?

Here’s how ‘Shazam for TV’ works: If you’ve got the Shazam app loaded and working on your smartphone, it can listen to music playing during a TV show or a commercial. A business that’s using Shazam for TV would have a ‘Shazam NOW’ logo in their commercial, prompting you to click the Shazam icon on your phone so the smartphone could listen to and identify the music. Then, according to the Shazam website, with that single click you can get exclusive content from the advertiser sent to your phone, or even shop for that company’s products from your smartphone.

The ‘marketer’s dream’ part of it all is how targeted this can be; it’s also taking advertising back to the days before time-shifted viewing, when primetime television and no fast-forwarding during commercials meant a captive audience for ads. It’s also an interactive audience; the Nielsen organization released survey results in May that showed a whopping 68% of smartphone owners use their phones while watching TV, which is why the Shazam for TV program is so intriguing.

Here's a screen capture of the Shazam NOW icon in the Old Navy movie theater commercial.

Here’s an example of an Old Navy commercial that’s been playing in movie theaters; watch early on for the ‘Shazam NOW’ icon on the lower-right side.

As for horsebiz uses, can you envision this technique being used for the theme song in an equestrian TV show on HRTV or RFD-TV? Or maybe commercials from equestrian companies at the movies, when the movie is a horsey one like Secretariat or Buck? Imagine the possibilities, when either horse owners or horse lovers are able to download information about horses while sitting in the theater waiting for the movie to start?

While the current costs and segmented nature of the equestrian market likely make this a ‘deep pockets’ marketing strategy for now, I think it will be interesting to watch this and see where things go. Since Shazam is currently the No. 4 most-downloaded app (according to Apple) and the iPhone is very strong in the horse world, this seems like a marketing trend for us to watch.

What do you think about Shazam for TV and smartphone interaction for horsebiz marketing? Post your thoughts via the Leave a Comment link below.

Leave a comment

Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Monday Morning Quick Tip, New Media, Twitter, Uncategorized

Monday Morning Quick Tip – Spend Less Time On Your Horsebiz Email

How much time are you spending on checking, storing, responding to, and composing emails? More than you’d like?

Email has now been around for 40 years, with the official ‘birthdate’ occurring last month. For some, email provides an opportunity to connect and share information. For others, it’s a necessary evil and a time-sucker. Some have been saying email will go away now that we have social media, but have you noticed that everything you sign up for online requires an email address to do so?

Love it or hate it, email’s probably here to stay. But now two guys are doing something to transform email and the amount of time we spend chained to our accounts.

Chris Anderson (curator for TED) believes an ’email charter’ that we can mutually agree upon can transform traditional email; you can read it, sign it, and share it here: http://www.emailcharter.org/

Dave Troy and his company 410 Labs have released a simplified email service that’s linked to Twitter called Shortmail; with a 500 character limit, it automatically filters spam (hooray!) and attachments aren’t allowed. If you’re already using Twitter, you can ‘claim’ your Shortmail address through your Twitter account; it’s the same as your Twitter @ name but with an @shortmail.com at the end.

This article from Ragan’s PR Daily has more details on both. And if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by your inbox, take a break and celebrate email’s 40th birthday by checking out this History of Email infographic (originally from ReachMail.com) for some humdinger email trivia and factoids.

Do you love email, or hate it? Post your thoughts via the Leave a Comment link below.

Leave a comment

Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Monday Morning Quick Tip, New Media, Twitter, Uncategorized

Monday Morning Quickie: Strategy + Tactics = Results That Win

About a week ago, I received an award for a client e-newsletter I wrote and produced in 2010. While my decades of writing experience certainly had something to do with it (how the time does fly!), there are some basic strategies and tactics that can help your own horsebiz communications, too.

That's a happy me, holding my Silver Trumpet award!

The Publicity Club of Chicago is the largest independent PR membership organization in the U.S., so award recipients represent the ‘cream of the crop’ when it comes to public relations. Other winners in my category, a Silver Trumpet in New Media, included The Field Museum, University of Illinois at Chicago, and a PR firm handling a campaign for Sara Lee, all nice company to be recognized in.

You can read the 2009/2010 archived e-newsletters for Horsemen’s Laboratory at their website to see what I did, but here are a few strategic tips & tactics you can implement for your equine business:

  • When there’s only a template option, using colors and images consistent with your brand can result in a more custom look.
  • A focus on client education can position your business as a leader and trusted resource.
  • Variety in articles and information, including industry news and guest expert interviews, can add interest for the reader as well as information.

Have you ever heard the carpenter’s adage ‘measure twice, cut once’? It applies in public relations and marketing strategy, too. Think through what you want to accomplish, and then design your tactics to hit that target. Whether your efforts win awards or not isn’t important, as long as they win over customers.

Share your thoughts about these tips via the Leave a Comment link below!

4 Comments

Filed under Awards, Equine Industry Marketing, Monday Morning Quickie, New Media, Uncategorized

Monday Morning Quickie – Are You Quitting Facebook Today?

Facebook has been the ‘800 pound social media gorilla in the room’ for a while now; however, they’re facing increasing criticism and unrest from users due to Facebook’s treatment of user data and their complex privacy opt-out settings. May 31, 2010, has been designated as Quit Facebook Day; is it a sign of things to come? Or will it be business-as-usual come tomorrow?

An excellent article by Ian Paul at PCWorld.com covers the issues on this topic; he reports that while only a small percentage of surveyed Facebook users intend to quit today, over 80% are now being more careful on the social networking site, with 76% sharing less personal information. Paul’s article also covers some of the recently simplified privacy changes, in case you’re interested.

__________________

Facebook: Do you love it? Or hate it?

__________________

On a related topic, Mashable.com has an alert about a Facebook ‘clickjacking’ worm that is spreading via ‘likes.’ If you use Facebook and regularly ‘like’ items, you might want to read the alert and use some caution until it’s cleared up.

Many horse people like to connect and share information via Facebook, so until something better comes along, it’s probably a good idea to share private details sparingly when it comes to Facebook.

(Note – due to the Memorial Day holiday, this ‘Monday Morning Quickie’ turned into a ‘Monday Early Evening Quickie’ – hope you’ve enjoyed it anyway!)

Thank you to all of our armed forces and their families, past/present/future,  for your service and your sacrifices both small and large.

5 Comments

Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Facebook, New Media, Uncategorized

Monday Morning Quickie – Most Small Biz Looking For 2010 Growth

As reported today on MarketWatch (part of the Wall Street Journal’s Digital Network) a recent survey of small businesses indicated that 79% have a neutral-to-confident outlook when it comes to business growth for the rest of 2010. The results contain useful lessons for horse business owners, too.

A survey of almost 7,000 small businesses indicated that:

  • They’re doing more with less
  • They’re looking for new efficiencies to offset increased costs
  • Many of them are anticipating growth in 2010

The 2010 Small Business Attitudes & Outlooks Survey was conducted by Constant Contact (which I’ve used for years for my own email marketing!) in collaboration with several other organizations focused on small businesses, including SCORE, the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC), and the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE).

____________________

If word of mouth is so important, how are

people finding out about your horse business?

____________________

Here’s what I find particularly interesting from a marketing point of view – while 90% of responses indicated that word of mouth was far and away their most important marketing tool, 43% have cut their marketing budget. My question is, how are people supposed to find out about your business, and talk about it, if you’re cutting back on spending in areas that help them know what you’re doing?

It’s also interesting that the study shows small businesses turning to social media and digital tools as a way to get the word out, presumably capitalizing on word of mouth and doing so in a low-cost way, using tools such as Facebook (51%), blogs (29%), LinkedIn (27%), and Twitter (26%).

Equine businesses can do this, too! Many online and social media tools are free or low-cost. They just need to fit with your overall marketing plan and strategy, reach your target markets, and be something you can maintain over time.

Studies have shown that businesses decreasing their marketing spending during economic downturns were at a disadvantage when things improved. Even with a small budget, there are ways you can market your horse business now, to best position yourself for the growth to come.

Leave a comment

Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, New Media, Polls & Surveys, Uncategorized

Who’s Who In The Horse Community, And Who’s Watching?

New media use is increasing among horse people and equine industry business. It’s a fabulous communication tool, bringing all of us into much closer contact with one another and allowing us to connect with like-minded others as well as promote all of our equine activities to a potentially global audience. However, where there’s an upside, there can also be a downside, and the downside of ‘open book’ sharing can be safety, security, and potential identity theft issues.

Here’s a great article at the Huffington Post by Internet Security Analyst Robert Siciliano on new media security; I bookmarked it when it came out in July 2009, but it’s definitely still relevant today, and even into the future. Not to be paranoid, but with many horse people sharing private details and activities via Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc., can we be sure that the people reading have 100% honest intentions?

I encourage horse people to read this article, and consider what you’re posting. It can be a good idea to have discussions about these topics, with family, friends, and employees.

Mr. Siciliano goes into great detail as to the security questions to ask youself, so I won’t repeat them here. What I will say is that for equine businesses, it’s a good idea to establish a policy about what to share and not share on the Internet. Because once the horse is out of the barn, there’s no closing the door.

Leave a comment

Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, New Media, Uncategorized