Filmmaking Tips and Tricks for Cinematographers and Grips

first_imgHere are some professional tricks of the trade from the man who literally wrote the book on being a grip.Top image Californiacation set via ShutterstockI am currently reading Michael G. Uva’s The Grip Book, and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a must-read for all of those considering getting into filmmaking and video production.This book is full of photos and detailed illustrations showing you everything from clamps and camera mounts to safety ties and taco carts. There are even accompanying how-to videos on the Focal Press website.The book’s author Michael G. Uva has agreed to an interview with PremiumBeat, so keep your eyes peeled in the weeks ahead — and if you have any questions about grip work, sound off in the comments below.In the meantime, here are some great secrets to filmmaking and a few of Uva’s Tricks of the Trade.Just starting your career in the motion picture industry? Odds are you will start working as a grip or electrician. Oftentimes, you may actually find your true calling in one of these departments. I know plenty of people who have worked as grips for years. It can be a very fun position that is very mentally challenging.As a grip, it’s your job to make a production work with whatever tools you have available. If the director calls for a last minute shot, you may need to go into full MacGyver mode at a moment’s notice. (If you don’t know who MacGyver is, just wait for the reboot.)Grip Tips on ClothesOne of the first things you will need to do to become a grip is to learn how to dress and what to carry. You aren’t going to be on camera, so you don’t need to wear your fancy new shoes. Dress for comfort and weather.You’ll want to have comfortable shoes, because you will be on your feet all day. A lot of grips and crew member wear dark clothes, which is preferred but not always necessary — especially if you’re shooting in the desert. The location weather should be a key consideration. Will you be working before the sun comes up? There’s a good chance it will be cold. The most common combinations on set are t-shirts and jeans or cargo shorts and fishing shirts — which have lots of pockets and breathe well.Grip Tips for ToolsImage via Shutterstock As far as your grip bag and gear go, there are plenty of standards like carabiners, a hammer, an array of tape, as well as a tape measurer. Also, be sure to always have your own pair of ear plugs in your bag. For a hammer, Uva recommends a nice straight claw-type Estwing hammer — these are great for pulling nails. Pro tip: When building, hammer the tip of the nail before driving it into a piece of lumber. This will help prevent the wood from splitting.When working with screws, draw circles around screw heads on the back of fly-away walls. That way when the time comes to move the wall, you will have a quick count and location of every screw you need to take out.With hammers, screwdrivers, and other tools — some grips attach a lanyard or small roped loop around the end, that way they can attach the tool to their wrist. “Some folks make a small loop that goes over their wrist while working high in the perms, green beds, or from a tall ladder.There are two schools of thought on this issue: If you drop the tool, it should not fall. If you fall and the lanyard gets hung up, it could be a different problem.”Grip Tips for TapeImage via ShutterstockAs far as tape goes, it’s not just gaff tape you will need. You will need ATG tape, which is often called snot tape on set. You will also want some white tape to mark damaged equipment — which is a standard throughout the industry. Photo black paper tape is often used instead masking tape because it will almost disappear on film due to its matte backing — as photo tape uses a black glue as opposed to the white glue in masking tape. Black photo tape is great for masking and flagging lights, as you can easily tape off up to two inches of a fluorescent light tube to reduce unwanted light.On the topic of photos and tape — did you know that you can use a ball of tape to get rid of unwanted glare from a picture frame on set? If a reflection shows up on camera, just place the ball of tape behind the frame to tilt it up, down, or to the side. It may look odd in person, but done right it will register as a flat frame on camera.As always, there are tons of ways to use gaff tape on set. One of Uva’s recommendations is to put gaffer tape over the wheels of electric scissor lifts. This prevents them from marking up newly painted surfaces. You can use all sorts of tape of different varieties and colors when it comes time to tape marks for the dolly. Uva usually has three or four different color tapes pre-torn into tabs for dolly work.Also, be sure to always tab off the tape so its ready to peel when needed.Grip Tips for Working With GelsImage from KeepOnTruckin via Wikipedia Tape comes in handy for all sorts of tasks. One of Uva’s tricks is to use a tab of tape on a gel, and then staple through it. This will prevent the gel from ripping or tearing. Furthermore, you can mark and label gels with magic markers, as they will not show when light is projected. Often you will see the color of the gel labeled, or you may see a note for a specific shot or set piece.Gels are also great for a last second rain hat. Caught on a rainy set without a cover for the camera? Use a gel frame and lighting gel over a camera to protect it from water. Aim the gel side up and the frame side down to prevent water from filling the frame. Be sure to angle to rain hat so the water runs to the rear and side.Grip Tips for MeasuringIt always benefits you to have your tape measure on your person at all times, but if you left it on the other side of the set — pull out your wallet. A US dollar bill is 6.14 inches long, great for rough estimates. Alternatively the average credit card is 3 3/8 inches long and 2 1/4 inches wide.You should also know the length of your wingspan. If you spread out your arms side to side, know the distance from one finger tip all the way to the other. Unless you are an NBA player with a massive wingspan, odds are your wingspan is about 2 inches longer than your height. So when the time comes for you to grab some rope, you can measure length by using your wingspan. Let’s say you have a wingspan of 6 feet. Then the length of rope across your wingspan will be 6 feet, and once you start looping the rope you can quickly measure out 50 to 60 feet of rope in no time.For more tricks and a ton of insider knowledge, check out The Grip Book: The Studio Grip’s Essential Guide Fifth Edition from Focal Press.last_img read more

PBA: Alaska staves off elimination, shackles Globalport

first_imgLOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary LATEST STORIES San Sebastian repulses EAC to even slate at 5-5 View comments Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Murphey Holloway had 25 points to lead the Batang Pier with 25 points and nine rebounds.Globalport point guard Stanley Pringle was absent from the game as he went back to the United States to mourn the passing of his father. Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games PLAY LIST 01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fightcenter_img A strong fourth quarter push propelled Alaska over the Batang Pier with Calvin Abueva and Noy Baclao scoring all of their combined 20 points in the period as the Aces outscored Globalport, 34-21, in the final 12 minutes.“I’m happy to see these guys put together another win,” said Aces head coach Alex Compton in Filipino. “Because during our 14-game losing streak there were times when we were ahead then the other team will catch up and now instead of folding we bounced back and that’s the thing I’ve been waiting to see.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAlaska was in the worst period of its storied history when it lost 14 straight games dating back to the Commissioner’s Cup before the Aces broke the curse in Pampanga beating San Miguel, 90-79.LeDontae Henton put up a massive double-double of 31 points and 21 rebounds to lead Alaska while Calvin Abueva finished with 12 points and five boards. E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Read Next WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Photo by tristan tamayo/INQUIRERAlaska remained in the hunt for a playoff spot in the PBA Governors’ Cup after taking down Globalport, 101-88, Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.The Aces, who lost the first six games of the conference, won its second straight to improve to 2-6 and climbed to the 10th spot while the Batang Pier slipped to 3-5.ADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients last_img read more

HubSpot TV – Make Content Creation Your Super Power

first_img , a financial services company SethGodin – “I think comments are terrific, and they are the key attractionfor some blogs and some bloggers. Not for me, though. First, I feelcompelled to clarify or to answer every objection or to point out everyflaw in reasoning. Second, it takes way too much of my time to eventhink about them, never mind curate them. And finally, and mostimportant for you, it permanently changes the way I write. Instead ofwriting for everyone, I find myself writing in anticipation of thecommenters…. So, given a choice between a blog with comments or noblog at all, I think I’d have to choose the latter.” Marketing Takeaway: Watch out for our new music video on Tuesday, brought to you by @ repcor abdinoor Manage your social media profiles and what content others are publishing about you. and @ Responses: “Closingoff comments is like shutting the door in someone’s face or walkinginto a room and only talking about yourself and then leaving.” in your tweet. Forum Fodder Dan Ronken Marketing Takeaway: From repcor Marketing Tip of the Week New Section: Let’s Ask Twitter Dave Carroll: ! (Starring HubSpotters @ !) vleckas Giant digital fishing net… Collects Twitter, News and Blogs! to learn how to use online video to grow your business with inbound marketing. Game created by Peak6 Marketing Takeaway: CP&B Put’s It All Out There Also, new section “Let’s Ask Twitter” — watch out for it later in the show! Don’t limit your PR outreach to traditional media, your best influencers in social media could be more effective! 1.5 Million Views Good PR pros need to develop huge networks of people on Twitter and major blogs to be effective. Episode #48 – July 10th, 2009 : Specifically targeted at Netbooks www.HubSpot.tv with Personal details of new UK spy chief on Facebook Crispin Porter + Bogusky, an advertising design factory Marketing Takeaway: Thegame is a fun, free, risk-free way for real people to learn about thestock market; gain knowledge, experience, and confidence; and empowerthemselves to take control of their financial lives. United Breaks Guitars WeSeed : Empower your audience to create content for good! Even better if your best influencers create content too! United Breaks Guitars (YouTube Video) DaveCarrollMusic.com karenrubin David Milliband, (incoming head of Britain’s international spy agency) wears a speedo…apparently. “No comment is like Communism.” How do you get started with YouTube, video podcasting, live streaming, or viral videos. Marketing Takeaway 1: Don’t worry about it with regards to your marketing. If it becomes a big enough deal, we’ll let you know. and VP Sales Mark Roberge! If you can offer free tools that people will use on an every day basis, it helps insert your brand into their everyday lives. Don’t be afraid to try new things or break new ground when generating buzz about your business. “To me, a blog w/o a commenting option is a newspaper, and we all know how those are doing” Public Relations is Social Relations cantwell Subscribe in iTunes: Closing http://itunes.hubspot.tv Spinning the Web: P.R. in Silicon Valley , @ Intro : ” Star Spangled Banner Ads and Blogging Download the free webinar Direct competition to Microsoft? Where do you go to find influencers online? Marketing Takeaway 2: Missed last week’s episode on July 2, 2009? View it here: (Episode Length: 19 minutes, 53 seconds) Initially closing off comments? Don’t undermine the power of your consumers. Listen to them because the internet makes it much easier for them to be heard! Introducing the Google Chrome OS Google Announces Their Own Operating System Happy Birthday HubSpot TV CoProducer, @ Originally published Jul 11, 2009 11:30:00 AM, updated July 04 2013 Webinar: How to Use Online Video for Inbound Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Doing It Right ” What is your opinion on closing off comments until a decent amount ofreadership is built? If I see a blog with large number of posts and nocomments on any of them, it feels less engaging to me. How to interact on Twitter: @ Bathing Suits On Facebook? Headlines Angry United Airlines customer gets attention with YouTube complaintlast_img read more

3 On-Page SEO Mistakes and Tips for Franchisees

first_img 1. Create an Optimized Page Title on-page search engine optimization (SEO) best practices . Failing to do so is a simple yet costly mistake that many websites make. Making this mistake, especially if most of your business comes from a local geographic radius, means you are instead competing for keywords that are much more difficult to rank for because of the increased competition around these more broad-based keywords. Originally published Aug 10, 2011 8:01:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 competing against other local businesses Each individual page of your website offers an opportunity for you to Many local franchisee websites fail to optimize their page titles around for your franchise. . Here are three on-page SEO tips for franchisees to help get found by more people looking for their products and services.  improving your on-page SEO What should franchisees do? As a franchisee, how does your website’s on-page SEO stack up? If you’re making any of these three mistakes, it might make sense to spend some more time 2. Optimize Your Page Titles Around Geographically Specific Keywords To see this in action, perform a Google search for “George Washington.” Notice that the first result that pops up is the Wikipedia page where the based on its authority from inbound links, which is another contributing factor that helps this page rank so well in search engines. If your page title reads “Home” or “X Company,” we suggest changing it to something that contains your top one or two keywords. For example, imagine that you own a leather furniture store in Jacksonville. The page title on the home page of your website should not be “Rick’s Furniture Store” unless that’s what you want to get found for. Rather, your page title should be something like “Leather Furniture Store Jacksonville | Leather Sofas Jacksonville” because those are likely keywords that searchers who have never heard of Rick’s Furniture Store will be typing into search engines. For example, a Google keyword search for “leather furniture” shows 18.8 million website pages in the Google index. A Google search for the keyword “leather furniture Jacksonville” instead has only has 299K website pages indexed in Google. This means there is a lot less competition, and therefore, it is a lot less difficult to rank organically for “leather furniture Jacksonville” compared to plain old “leather furniture.” In other words, instead of competing with everyone in the country who is vying for that general keyword, you are only Your page title or title tag is the most important piece of real estate on your website. Why? The page title is the first thing search engines read when crawling your site. Page titles are crucial because they tell search engines what you want to get found for. Many franchisee websites experience difficulty getting found by prospects in organic search because they haven’t optimized their page title with the What should franchisees do? On-page SEO . geographically-focused keywordscenter_img rank for a new keyword in search engines for specific keywords you want to target. Make sure you weave that keyword into as many on-page SEO ranking factors as you can without sacrificing readability for your site visitors. Take the time to Many franchisees either do not have a website or do not have access to their website to make geographically-focused SEO improvements. First, if you do not have a website for your locally owned and operated franchise, we recommend getting one set up ASAP! 3. Use Each Web Page as an Opportunity to Rank for a New Keyword most important on-page SEO elements Another common mistake is setting your company name as your page title. Making sure you are not making these two simple — yet powerful — mistakes will go a long way toward helping Second, it’s also important that your website has an easy-to-use CMS, or content management system. A CMS will allow you to easily update and edit your website when necessary instead of paying a webmaster $100 or more each time you need to make an update. Topics: appropriate keywords carefully search engine optimize each page on your website in your geographic area. . In fact, a common mistake many companies make is having a generic page title that reads “Home.” Having “Home” as your page title tells search engines that you want to get found each time a searcher types in “Home.” Not ideal. improve on-page SEO off-page SEO What should franchisees do? In the United States, the franchise industry accounts for almost 40% of all retail sales. Unfortunately, many franchise companies with large networks of franchisees spread throughout the country are not taking advantage of . Your search engine rankings will thank you. (page title, URL, H1 tag, alt text) are all optimized around the keyword “George Washington.” This is not an accident. One of the reasons Google has indexed this page as the most relevant and authoritative website on “George Washington” is because its on-page SEO structure is perfectly optimized. Wikipedia also has strong Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

13 Brands Using LinkedIn Company Page Features the Right Way

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Back in November, I set out to write a post to highlight businesses that were using LinkedIn’s company page features effectively. Needless to say, I couldn’t find enough examples to create a compelling post, so in my dismay, what I actually ended up writing was, “11 Reasons Your LinkedIn Company Page Sucks.”What can I say? I was a little bitter and, frankly, slightly disappointed in the social media marketers of the world. We recently reported that, in a study of the over 5,000 inbound marketers where we pitted LinkedIn against Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn proved to be the most effective social media channel for lead generation — 277% more effective, in fact. As a marketer, particularly if you’re in the B2B game, how could you not leverage that awesome lead generation potential?Well, it’s been several months now, and I wanted to give you LinkedIn marketers out there another chance. While it was still difficult to find examples of businesses effectively using all of the company page features at their disposal, it was a bit easier to find some great examples of individual feature use. Looks like some of you may have gotten the hint! Let’s take a look at some of the admirable use cases of the main LinkedIn company page features to inspire you to give your LinkedIn company page a little more love. You want to leverage LinkedIn’s lead gen potential for your business as much as possible, right?Blog RSS FeedLet’s get a few low-hanging fruit features out of the way first. There’s a very simple way to populate your LinkedIn company page with your business’ content, and it’s called your blog’s RSS feed. While simply including your blog’s feed won’t broadcast its content to your LinkedIn page followers via the updates feed on their homepage (unlike Company Status Updates, which we’ll cover later), it’s a really easy way to promote your blog content to the visitors on your page.See the example above, which is a screenshot from Kuno Creative’s company page. If you’re going to add your blog’s RSS feed to your page, just be sure you’re regularly updating your blog with content. A stale feed of outdated posts that shows you haven’t updated your blog in months will likely do you more harm than good. Kuno Creative, for example, maintains an active blog, so the blog RSS feature is a welcome addition to its LinkedIn company page. To add your blog’s RSS feed to your LinkedIn page, click the dropdown menu next to Admin Tools for your page’s ‘Overview’ tab, scroll to the bottom of the page, and enter your blog’s RSS feed.News ModuleThe next low-hanging fruit feature you should enable on your LinkedIn company page is the news module. This pulls in any news mentions of your company that LinkedIn finds on the web and features them in the right-hand column of the Overview tab on your LinkedIn company page, as seen on Red Shoes PR’s company page (pictured here). Adding this module is a great way to highlight the media coverage your company has earned, adding third-party credibility and validation to your page.The option to enable news mentions to be displayed on your page is right below the option to add your blog’s RSS feed while you’re in edit mode of the Overview tab.Company Status UpdatesLinkedIn’s rollout of company status updates in October was a big win for marketers everywhere, but not many have been leveraging it. Just as marketers can post updates to their Google+ page and Facebook page timeline, they can also do so on LinkedIn. This gives marketers the opportunity to expose more of their content directly to their LinkedIn followers, who see status update content in their LinkedIn updates feed on their LinkedIn homepage.PR 20/20’s Company Page is a great example of one that is effectively making use of company status updates, regularly sharing blog posts and reports they’ve created as well as third-party coverage of their brand. This drives traffic from LinkedIn back to PR 20/20’s website and positions them as a thought leader within the LinkedIn community.Overdrive Interactive is another great example of a company using company status updates well, sharing helpful content from themselves as well as others to ensure they keep their LinkedIn company page regularly updated with content for their followers.Keeping a frequently updated and engaging page is the best way to organically attract new followers and expand your LinkedIn reach. Don’t have company status updates enabled for your page yet? Check out our quick tutorial here to start getting more out of your LinkedIn company presence.Products/Services TabAs a LinkedIn company page admin, marketers can also highlight their product/service offerings on a separate ‘Products & Services’ tab. Building out this tab is a great way to highlight and promote … why yes, your products and services!Voices.com’s company page provides a great example of a robust Products & Services tab, highlighting 11 of its services and utilizing some of the other great features available for this tab, including a Products & Services Spotlight as well as a video (we’ll get to these features later).But are your products and services the only thing you should highlight on this tab? No way, Jose! You can also (and you should) leverage this valuable LinkedIn real estate to feature your marketing offers such as webinars, ebooks, free trials or other content to support lead generation, as we’ve done on HubSpot’s LinkedIn company page.The other awesome capability offered through the product tab is audience targeting. LinkedIn enables you to create up to 30 distinct landing pages for specific audience segments. This means you can show visitors to your products tab different variations depending on the targeting options you set up based on that user’s company size, job function, industry, seniority, and/or geography. So if you have various segments of products or offers suitable for different audiences, you can only surface the ones that are applicable to those users. To learn how to set up targeted product tabs for your LinkedIn company page, check out this handy guide.Videos on Products TabWhile you’re editing your Products & Services tab, don’t miss out on the opportunity to add a video! Use this space to explain your products, services, and value proposition in a video format, and if you’re leveraging product tab targeting, you can add a different video for each tab variation you create. The only caveat is that any video content you use must already be hosted on YouTube; the video feature requires you to include a YouTube link for your video in order to display it.Both OPTIO Solutions and ClearRisk are leveraging the video feature nicely on their LinkedIn pages’ products and services tab to capture the attention of any LinkedIn page visitors who’d prefer a more visual overview of what these businesses offer. Topics: LinkedIn Company Pages Just as Taproot has done, treat your Product and Service Spotlight as call-to-action buttons. Depending on your current goals and promotions in progress, you can use them to feature your lead gen marketing offers, promote registration for an upcoming event you’re hosting, increase subscribers to your blog, highlight your presence on other social networks, etc. The possibilities are endless!  RecommendationsSocial proof is a real thing. According to a CompUSA and iPerceptions study, 63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews. Lucky for you, LinkedIn provides users with the opportunity to recommend your business’ products and services. This is also one of the reasons why it’s important to add your products and services to your products tab. Without products and services, your LinkedIn page visitors would have nothing to recommend! And without recommendations, page visitors are left with some very underwhelming social proof. When a LinkedIn user recommends one of your products or services, it’s displayed on the individual detailed page for that product. The total number of recommendations across all of your products/services is also displayed on the main products tab on your page.Check out Salesforce’s Products Tab, for example, which boasts 821 recommendations across its 10 products and makes for a very compelling LinkedIn page.While it’s up to LinkedIn users to recommend your products, making sure your products tab is complete as well as boosting your LinkedIn following (here are some tips!) can help your page accumulate recommendations since A) users will have something to recommend, and B) your page followers are more likely to leave you recommendations than LinkedIn users who aren’t following you. For a deeper dive into how you can generate more online reviews for your business, read this helpful guide.Careers TabThe final LinkedIn company page feature at your disposal is the ‘Careers’ tab. And while LinkedIn can serve as a valuable marketing and lead generation tool, one of its most powerful benefits is in its professional networking potential. And what better tool to help you recruit top talent for your business than a social network populated by professionals? According to an internal LinkedIn survey, LinkedIn beats the major job boards 3 to 1 on applicant quality. Use the basic careers tab (albeit not free) to advertise your current job openings, as GE Energy does in the following example. Want to take it one step further? Get more robust capabilities by upgrading your account to a Silver or Gold Career Page, which gives you access to a “full suite of features for promoting careers at your company, including a clickable banner, customizable modules, analytics on who is viewing the page, direct links to recruiters, video content, and more.” If you choose the Gold Career Page, you can even customize up to five different versions of the page to display different content and job opportunities based on the viewer’s LinkedIn profile. Think of it like targeted product tab variations, but for careers! Deloitte’s ‘Careers’ tab is an example of an upgraded careers tab: Zipcar: Rocking All LinkedIn Page FeaturesLooking for a great example of a company that is leveraging many of LinkedIn’s company page features well? Check out Zipcar’s page.Zipcar leverages every feature we highlighted in this post, and while we do think they could be sharing more compelling content via their company status updates, Zipcar provides a solid example of a business that ‘gets’ the value of LinkedIn company pages.How well are you taking advantage of the features available to you on your LinkedIn company page? Product and Service SpotlightAnother products tab feature worth mentioning separately is the ‘Product and Service Spotlight,’ which enables you to feature three scrolling, clickable banner images (640×220 pixels) near the top of your products tab. Again, if you’re leveraging targeted product tab landing pages, you can choose different spotlight images for each variation.Check out how the Taproot Foundation, a nonprofit organization that makes business talent available to organizations working to improve society, leverages its Product and Service Spotlight using the three images below. Each image includes a call-to-action for visitors to perform a few different actions: ‘Apply Now,’ ‘Visit Our Facebook Page,’ and ‘Learn More.’ You can visit the products tab on Taproot Foundation’s company page for the full scrolling, interactive experience of how this works. Originally published Mar 20, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016last_img read more

Who Should ‘Own’ Social Media at Your Company?

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: It’s a common debate in many businesses. Just who should be responsible for managing my company’s social media presence? Sales? Marketing? Customer Service?Do you want our perspective? How about all of the above? For most companies, social media management is a function of the marketing department, but there is a slew of social applications for your customer service and sales teams, too. Wouldn’t your sales team like to know if their assigned leads were asking questions about your products on Twitter? And aren’t customers constantly flocking to social media to complain about or seek help with products and services? In fact, according to a study from Booz & Company, 75% of marketers using social media identify customer service as a primary use of their social media platform. That being said, only 26% of respondents in the same study describe customer service as a department responsible for contributing leadership to social media strategies.Let’s be honest. The old adage, “too many cooks …” needn’t apply to social media management. Marketing, Customer Service, and Sales can all have a hand in your business’ social presence, and it doesn’t have to be a headache. You just have to know how to organize it. So let’s discuss how you can create a social media management function that everyone can take part in — and profit from.Identify Your Contributors Let’s be clear: just because you shouldn’t limit social media management to only one department, doesn’t mean you should have a million hands in your accounts. As I emphasized a few sentences ago, you have to know how to organize it, and part of this organization involves designating a few key players. So before you move on, identify who these key players are from each department. Ideally, you’d have one or a few people (depending on the size of your organization) from each department who are responsible for helping to manage your company’s social presence.You should also assign one or two point people from one department to manage your company’s overall presence. Because the marketing function of social media requires a lot of content creation/sharing and frequent updating of social accounts, you’ll probably want your marketing department to ultimately drive your company’s social presence. These social media managers will oversee the day-to-day operation of your social media accounts, as well as implement and carry out any social media marketing promotions. Essentially, these people will field and ‘outsource’ any sales or customer service/support-related queries that pop up in social media to the designated sales and customer service contributors.Choose the Right ToolsFor social media collaboration to work smoothly, you’ll also need to implement the right tools. Otherwise, the “too many cooks …” adage will start to apply. Luckily, there are plenty of tools available that enable you to manage social media collaboration among multiple contributors. When you’re evaluating social media management tools, you’ll want to look for tools that give you the ability to do the following:Schedule updates for the futureSet up filters to monitor your business and keywordsMonitor multiple social networksSupport multiple collaborators Assign specific social media updates to your collaborators for follow-upBONUS: hooks up to your marketing software for closed-loop social integrationHootSuite, for example, is a third-party social media management tool that enables you to do all of the above. It even now integrates with HubSpot’s marketing software to give customers the ability to monitor their leads’ activities in social media, and better use social media for lead nurturing — a huge win for Marketing and Sales.Now let’s dive into each of your social media contributors and the roles they should play in social media management.Marketing’s InvolvementAs we mentioned, your marketing department is likely to have the most proactive social media involvement, as marketing’s main use-cases for social media are promoting marketing content and offers, and engaging fans and followers. Be sure your marketing point person is sufficiently balancing updates about offers, educational content, and content that engages (e.g. questions, visual content, etc.).It’s also Marketing’s job to work with other teams’ contributors to be sure everyone has the opportunity to share the messages and updates that are important to those teams. For example, the customer team might want to share news of an upcoming webinar specifically meant for customers or announce the launch of a new customer-only email newsletter that customers can opt into receiving. To make this more efficient, have your point people create a sort of social media editorial calendar for the social networks you’re participating in. Fill it with the marketing content and offers you plan to promote, leave some open spots for other team’s messages, and give them access to the calendar so they can add their desired updates. To make this seamless, set a deadline each week for when submissions need to be made, and then schedule the content on a week by week basis.  And as the point person/people for your company’s social media engagement, your social media manager(s) will also be responsible for monitoring mentions of your company, products/services, and industry terms. Make sure your point person routes questions to the appropriate social media collaborators in Customer Service and Sales as they arise. If you’re using HubSpot’s HootSuite integration, for example, and the point person notices that a lead in the HubSpot Contacts stream is asking a question about your product pricing, you might assign that update to your sales team collaborator who can either follow up directly or loop in that lead’s assigned rep.Customer Service’s InvolvementAccording to eMarketer, 46% of customers want to solve a problem when they’re engaging with a brand on social media, and 39% are looking to give feedback about a product or service. No wonder it makes total sense for customer service to have significant involvement in your business’ social media presence. That being said, using social media for customer service communication doesn’t go without its challenges. In fact, we’ve highlighted 7 of these such challenges and how businesses are tackling them in this past blog post. And while there are certainly challenges, that shouldn’t deter your customer service team from getting involved. After all, who is better trained and capable of handling a disgruntled customer or answering a nitty gritty product question — your marketing team, or a customer service rep? Do we even need to answer?Any customer service reps who are collaborating with your social presence should be at the ready to answer questions or respond to customers that your marketing point people can’t appropriately handle on their own. Whether your customer service team is using the same social media accounts, replying via a dedicated “Help” account, or contacting the customer through another method such as email (all are acceptable options, depending on your business), the customer service social collaborator should be following up in a timely manner and providing the most helpful assistance manageable. Furthermore, these contributors should be collaborating with the point person to communicate important customer-related updates that pop up unexpectedly, such as software outages or maintenance.Sales’ InvolvementLet’s not forget about Sales, folks. Your sales team is chatting it up with potential customers all the time, and knowing how to use social media to help them be more effective in the sales process can be a very valuable sales tool. And besides just responding to social media assignments from your marketing point people, your sales team should proactively be using social media to prospect as well as prepare for sales calls, follow ups, and nurture their assigned leads.If social media participation is new to your sales team, train them! Teach them how to locate their leads in social media to conduct some research in preparation for sales calls. Some marketing software, like HubSpot, may even show your sales team their lead’s social media account information, if available. Does the lead have accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or another social network or community popular for your industry? Once the sales rep has identified them, have them scan the lead’s information and updates on these social media sites. Encourage them to learn about the lead’s interests and pain points and strategize about how they can leverage these insights on their sales calls. After they’ve been in touch, Sales can even use social media as another way to keep in touch with and nurture their prospects by sending leads links to helpful content and looking for opportunities to answer their questions so they stay top of mind.What other social media collaboration tips would you share? Should other departments be involved in social media management? If so, who? Originally published Jun 19, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Social Media Marketerslast_img read more

How to Create Spam in 20 Simple Steps

first_img Topics: Someone once told me that “how-to” content is really great for business blogging. Since I want to be a good inbound marketer, I thought I’d take a stab at writing a “how-to” blog post, and teach everyone how they can become a spammer.I also heard that accessibility is important in your writing, so I narrowed it down to just 20 steps.If you haven’t made up your new year’s resolution yet — or you’ve already failed at three or four and need a new one to tackle — any and all of these 20 steps would be excellent considerations. So, here you go, 20 steps to becoming the best spammer the world’s ever seen! Enjoy. (And please regard all of this as totally straight-faced marketing advice.)How to Create Spam on Social MediaStep 1) Pin a bunch of stuff to Pinterest that has no visually redeeming qualities. Be sure to shorten the links in your pins’ descriptions, too, if you really want to get marked as spam. Marketers who are particularly on the top of their game will make their links go to unrelated web pages; the cream of the crop will just make them broken links.Step 2) Cram your tweets with dumb hashtags, especially if they’re unrelated to the tweet’s subject matter. You might even consider crafting a tweet made entirely of hashtags!Step 3) Hijack someone else’s hashtag. For example, when the next #twilight movie comes out, be sure to use that to promote your upcoming webinar, because of the natural tie-in between werewolves and your data appending service. (Twilight has werewolves, right?)Step 4) Automatically retweet everything an industry leader shares, indiscriminately, so you can be sure to bombard their @Mentions feed. That’s how they’ll notice you. Similarly, it’s a good idea to personally ‘Like’ everything you post on Facebook immediately after you publish it, so Facebook and page visitors know your content is engaging. This works best when you are the only one who Likes your updates, ever.Step 5) Don’t do any targeting in your social media PPC or advertising. Best to just blanket the social mediasphere so everyone sees your stuff.Step 6) Follow hundreds of thousands of people every day on Twitter, and scoop ’em right up into your Google+ Circles, too. Then (and this next step is critical) mass unfollow people in similarly large quantities. The best time to do this is right after they’ve just followed you back.How to Create Spam in BloggingStep 7) Original content can come off as braggy. Pay homage to bloggers you admire by copying and pasting their content into your own CMS, instead. Don’t forget not to link to them before you hit ‘Publish,’ too.Step 8) Tag each blog post with no fewer than 37 tags. That’s how readers and search engines will know what your post is about. It also makes for easy categorization and an intuitive user experience.Step 9) If you’re still worried readers and search engines won’t know what your blog’s about, help them by including several keywords that you want your blog post to rank for. While some experts have probably coached you to reach somewhere around 1%-3% keyword density, strive for more like 15%-20% keyword density to make sure readers really **get** what you’re saying.Step 10) Leave comments on people’s blogs with an inbound link back to your website to help improve your SEO. Try to think of relevant comments, though. For example, a blog post about how to conduct effective email follow up might benefit from a thoughtful comment like, “Make $5,000 from blogging at home like my cousin did!!! http://www.makemoneyfastnowblogathome.com.” Notice how the keyword phrase “blogging at home” is included in the comment, as well as a link back to the website, for maximum SEO impact.How to Create Email Marketing SpamStep 11) Remember that as a marketer, you know what’s best for people. As such, you should go purchase a list of people who you know need your business, and email them to let them know about the favor you’re doing by being in their lives and, most importantly, their inboxes.Step 12) Some people still won’t know what’s best for them, even when it’s staring them right in the face. No matter how much your email recipients ignore you, don’t relent if they never respond. Just increase your email frequency. Even better, send the same email a couple times in a row. They can’t ignore you forever.Step 13) Some people might email you back pretty angry after you do that. But remember, you know what’s best for them, so don’t offer them an unsubscribe option in your emails. Not even if the law says so.Step 14) If you’re really worried about the whole “not-providing-an-unsubscribe-option-being-illegal” thing, go ahead and add it — but don’t worry about honoring those unsubscribes right away. Many companies are courteous enough to send a kick-back email stating that it could take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to remove you from their email list, even if the law requires they remove unsubscribes within 10 days. People should understand that you have quite the backlog, and since you’re doing this all manually, they should really be understanding of that as you continue to bombard their inboxes.Step 15) Don’t segment your list by any, like, specific criteria. That takes a lot of time, and you’re a good enough writer that you can create one piece of content the resonates with your entire email list.How to Create Spam on your Website & SEOStep 16) Because your time is valuable, it’s best not to spend it organically acquiring inbound links. Instead, make a list of all of the websites your friends have and ask them to please link to yours. If any of them resist, offer to pay them. If they resist still, tell them you’re okay with them using white text on a white background so their readers don’t actually see the link. (Hint: Don’t get hung up on the authority or relevancy of your friends’ domain names, either — any inbound links, from cat accessory websites to organic dill weed farming sites, will be invaluable for your SEO.)Step 17) Distract readers from the purpose of each page on your website with things like disorienting animations, or videos that play at full blast upon page load. That’s the kind of entertainment readers need as they search your website, trying to discern what your company does.Step 18) Using a pop-up box, ask me to subscribe to your email list the exact second — and not a moment later — that I land on your site. I typically don’t like to evaluate the validity of an author’s content before I sign up to receive daily updates from them.Step 19) You can also really impress your CEO by adding an additional revenue stream to your business — ad revenue! Replace all the calls-to-action on your website with third-party ads that you’ll get paid for when visitors see them. Remember, the best ad models are the ones in which you have no control over the subject matter of the ads that will appear on your site. If you’re lucky, they’ll serve ones on your site with lots of boobs, or maybe the ones with those sparkling, multicolored starbursts. (Hopefully both!)Step 20) Finally, keep your website generally unkempt. You can achieve this look through things like broken links, dead ends, and fun “Website Not Found” errors. These are all signals to Google that your website is valuable, because it probably means you have so many pages on your website that it’s too untenable for upkeep — and the more pages you have, the better your rankings. That’s how SEO works.How else can marketers strive to be spammier and spammier each and every day? And just to be clear — because our lawyer told us to — please don’t actually do any of these things. Or at least check with your own attorney before you do.”Image credit: koi. Originally published Jan 4, 2013 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Email Deliverability Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How to Create a Google+ Event [Quick Tip]

first_imgGoogle+ has a slew of amazing features and hidden gems that may or may not come in handy in your marketing, but Google+ Events are definitely one feature that every business should consider taking advantage of. Whether your company is hosting a webinar, industry conference or event, employee BBQ, happy hour, hackathon, or something else… Google+ Events can help you get the word out and amplify the reach of your event.One of the biggest benefits of Google+ Events is the fact that anyone using Gmail or Google Calendar will easily be able to add the event right onto their calendars. With just the click of a button, all the information and details about that event will populate in their calendars. What a time saver! Furthermore, the event will automatically be added to the Google Calendars of anyone who is already in the Circles you invite.What’s more — these events are fully customizable, and you can invite entire Communities at the same time.So, what do you say? Are you ready to get started? Great! Let’s run through the steps for setting up an event on Google+.How to Create a Google+ EventStep 1: Click on the ‘Events’ TabNo matter which section of Google+ you’re looking at, if you’re logged in to your company account, you will see a sidebar on the left-hand side of the page. This sidebar includes options to select Home, Profile, Pages, Hangouts, Communities, Events, Photos, and More. In this scenario, you’ll want to click on the ‘Events’ tab, which is listed as the sixth icon from the top.Once you’ve clicked on the ‘Events’ tab, you’ll be directed to a page that will guide you through creating your event. The images you see are various options for event cover images, and above these you’ll see a bold, red button that says ‘Create Event.’ Step 2: Click ‘Create Event’Once you’ve clicked on the ‘Events’ tab, you’ll be directed to a page that will guide you through creating your event. The images you see are various options for event cover images, and above these you’ll see a bold, red button that says ‘Create Event.’Step 3: Fill in Your Event InformationOnce you’ve clicked on the red, ‘Create Event’ button, an event template will pop up where you can add your event information. Is this event a Google+ Hangout? Is it a webinar? A live talk for employees at your company? Be as specific and explicit as possible, and make sure you fill out every form as best you can. Tip: It’s best to include both a start and end time for your event so folks using Google Calendar can add the event to their calendar without any question about the event’s end date. Once you have sizing down pat, upload your image, and test it out. Keep in mind that you should leave some white space open in the bottom left corner, because on the final event page, this space will be taken up by your event’s title, as you can see in the image below: Voilà! You’ve successfully created an event for your business on Google+. Once the event is over, you still have the option to communicate with folks who attended through the Event page. This is a great place to upload photos of the event, give any updates about next year’s event, etc. Have you ever created a Google+ Event? What types of events will you try this with? Step 4: Customize Your Event’s Cover PhotoTo customize your event, click the transparent grey, ‘Change Theme’ button in the bottom left corner of the current cover image you see (see image above). Once you’ve clicked this button, you’ll be brought to a page that shows you a variety of options for your Google+ Event’s cover photo — all provided by Google. Email Inbox Tips Step 5: Add More Details Via the ‘Advanced’ TabBut wait … there’s more! To add even more information to your event, under ‘Event Options,’ click ‘Advanced.’ Remember those “advanced” fields I mentioned earlier? See how the URL showed up in the bold, ‘Official Website’ section of the event description?The Final Product:Your final Google+ Event page will look something like this:And when the event is shared in a Google+ Community or on a Company Page, it will look something like this: Here, you can add a URL and other details for your event: Here’s how you event might look in edit mode up until this point: center_img Of course, if you’re a DIY design whiz, you’ll probably want to upload your own cover photo. Creating a cover image that’s unique to your company and your specific event is a great way to differentiate it from any other created by the people you’re following. Consistency is key here. Don’t believe me? Check out these 15 businesses we admire for consistent, stellar branding. They’ve got it down to a science, and it really makes an impact.To upload your own cover photo, choose ‘Upload’ from the list of theme options: Step 6: Invite GuestsOnce you’re satisfied with your event, you can start inviting guests. Depending on who the target audience for your event is, you can add specific Circles, Communities, email addresses, or simply make the event public on your company page. Once you’ve added the names of the people you think would be most appropriate for this event, click the green ‘Invite’ button. Remember, the beauty of Google+ Events are that they automatically get added to the Google Calendars of the people in the Circles you invite. Once you’ve published your event, the description will look something like this: Originally published Apr 6, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated October 01 2013 Some social networks will allow you to choose a photo of any size, and will resize it to fit the dimensions of the cover photo. But because the cover photo for Google+ is so long and narrow, you’re going to have a hard time using a pre-existing image without resizing it. Your best bet is to create a custom image that’s exactly 940 pixels wide by 280 pixels tall. By clicking ‘Advanced,’ you’ll be able to notify people that this is a Google Hangout, an on-air event, or provide a URL where people can learn more about the event. This is particularly important if your official event registration is located elsewhere, which will most likely be the case.To add a URL, click ‘Show Additional Fields.’ Don’t forget to share this post! 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The Highs (and Lows) of Letting Your CEO Manage Twitter for a Day

first_imgIf you were following @HubSpot on Twitter yesterday, you would’ve noticed that our CEO and Co-Founder Brian Halligan had commandeered the account. And while all you social media and community managers out there are probably cringing as I say this, I bet the CEOs and Twitter users of the world are cheering and applauding Brian’s noble endeavor.Like Brian quoted in a tweet through the @HubSpot account: “‘You need to upset the status quo … it will upset people — get over it’ — Sheryl Sandberg.” Upsetting the status quo isn’t always easy, but it can be extremely rewarding.Although there were certainly both some highs and lows that came out of the experience (more on those in just a second), overall, I’d highly recommend encouraging your CEO to be more involved in social media (and even your blog for that matter!). Here are a few gems from our own experience.The Lows of Letting Your CEO Manage TwitterSocial media/community managers, I challenge you to give the car keys over to your CEO for a day. Yes, it will be terrifying at first to give up control — it could go amazingly well, or there could be some bumps in the road. Just make sure you’re available for backup if needed, but let the events unfold as they will. You’d be surprised how lovable it is for your followers to have direct access to your execs. Of course, letting go also means letting things happen naturally. And those things could certainly be, well, not ideal. Here are some examples of the “lows” …1) Breaking news before your company even knows about it.2) Getting picked on by investors … and Dunkin Donuts.3) Using the company account to get Gwyneth Paltrow’s attention.4) Making some Freudian slips. (Hey, they happen.)Okay, so there were a few hiccups in there, but nothing too horrible. Our followers actually seemed to enjoy the little accidents because it was clear that there was a human behind the brand and not some unlovable Twitter bot. The Highs of Letting Your CEO Manage TwitterI’d say the highs of the day certainly outweighed the lows overall. Our CEO certainly took my advice when I suggested he should keep the entire company’s goals in mind when tweeting as himself. I noticed he was also very vigilant, thought of the bottom line, and kept calm throughout the entire day. Here are some highlights …1) Considering the company’s goals above his own.2) Knowing the product, and using it well.3) Being helpful.4) Asking for feedback to help us improve.Brian, I must admit: The social media team was very pleased with your work yesterday. Perhaps you should consider joining us full time. ;-)Have you ever let your CEO take over your social media accounts? If not, do you think you’ll give it a try after learning about Brian Halligan’s big day?  Topics: Originally published May 9, 2013 4:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Twitter Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Facebook’s Graph Search Update Offers Marketers Juicier Data

first_imgHey, remember that groundbreaking, cool feature Facebook announced back in January? It was called Graph Search. It supposedly was going to change the way people used the platform … but it wasn’t really available to be used quite yet. Then in July, Facebook announced it was going to roll out to all U.S. users — again, it was exciting, but Graph Search didn’t have great data points that I as a marketer would love to use. All in all, pretty meh-worthy announcements. … That is, until today. Facebook will start including status updates, photos, check-ins, and comments in your graph search. Yep, you heard me right — pretty soon, you’ll have access to data that will actually be useful to your life as a marketer. Previously, you only had access to pages, apps, and groups that included search terms. Now, you can search for terms in posts, updates, check-ins, and comments from your friends and people who post publicly. Here’s what the different will look like:What Graph Search Currently Looks Like Featuring Dancing With the StarsWhat Graph Search Will Look Like Featuring Dancing With the StarsIsn’t the second much more useful?This new feature opens up a slew of opportunities for marketers, such as:Monitoring Facebook posts about events they’re running. Researching product usage. Identifying content opportunities based on the interest of their most enthusiastic Facebook Fans.Tracking brand mentions by influencers.And lots and lots of other things!We’re kinda bummed because this new feature won’t be available to everyone with Graph Search. First, it’ll be tested in a small group of people, and then roll out to everyone after that. But, once it’s rolled out, marketers have a huge opportunity to make their content even more relevant to their audience with this data — which is something we all can get pumped about.Once you have this Graph Search feature, how will you use it in your marketing? Share your ideas with us in the comments.Image credit: Ksayer1 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Sep 30, 2013 5:39:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: SEO and Social Medialast_img read more