If Giants’ front office is convinced by team’s success, Zaidi can’t trade Bumgarner

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — If the Giants truly believe they can shock the rest of baseball and storm their way into the playoffs, then Madison Bumgarner isn’t going anywhere.There’s no doubting the significance of what Bumgarner means to the franchise, where he stands in the club’s storied history and how much his postseason performances resonate with Giants fans.But for the first two months of the season, there was concern over what type of value a free agent-to-be held on a team that appeared destined …last_img read more

Glimmer of hope in Sudan

first_imgRefugees flee fighting in Sudan in May 2008. (Image: Irin Photo)The Sudanese government’s announcement of a ceasefire in Darfur would not alone solve a crisis that has lasted nearly six years and left hundreds of thousands of people dead – but offers a glimmer of hope, analysts say.On Wednesday 12 November Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir announced an “immediate, unconditional ceasefire” in Darfur. He called for an immediate campaign to disarm militias accused of committing some of the worst atrocities during the conflict.The pronouncements were among the recommendations of the Sudan People’s Initiative, bringing together government, political opposition parties and civil society to brainstorm solutions to the crisis in the North African country.Darfur rebels boycotted the forum and one of the most powerful groups, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), said it would not accept a ceasefire without a framework of agreement, declaration of principles and a timeframe for ceasefire.“Without that, we are not interested in any talk that is not going to be substantiated by improvement on the ground,” El-Tahir El-Fak, speaker of JEM’s Legislative Assembly, said.Observers said the success of the latest ceasefire depended not only on its implementation, but other political steps.Pagan Amum, secretary-general of the Southern Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), a partner in a government of national unity following the 2005 peace deal, said the ceasefire was a good start.“[But] declarations are not enough. Implementation is what is needed.”Amum said this ceasefire alone would not be enough to convince the international community to suspend Bashir’s likely indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, but rather, “a peace process, giving results and serious commitment”.While many are sceptical of just how genuine this latest commitment is, others doubt the promises made now will be kept if and when the ICC decides to issue an arrest warrant.PreconditionsA Western diplomat said the government had to meet a set of criteria in order to seek a deferral of the indictment: faster deployment of the UN-African Union force, Unamid, cessation of hostilities, a better environment for displaced people and humanitarian aid workers, and uninterrupted implementation of the 2005 comprehensive peace agreement.This ceasefire, if it held, would satisfy only one of those criteria. What is more, the president announced the ceasefire with a caveat – “provided that an effective monitoring mechanism be put into action and be observed by all involved parties”.“There are no forces that can monitor the ceasefire,” said Foreign Minister Deng Alor of the SPLM, adding that he doubted Unamid had the capacity yet. “The decision to call for a ceasefire is a positive thing, but then it has to be made to work.”Other Sudan People’s Initiative’s recommendations – all endorsed by the president, who said he would create a special committee to monitor their implementation – included the release of Darfurian political prisoners, individual and collective compensation, and increased police presence in the camps for displaced people.Darfur rebels said they were disappointed that some key issues were not nailed down, including the release of JEM fighters sentenced to death, making the three states of Darfur a semi-autonomous region, and giving the region a vice-presidential post.These issues, according to analyst Alex de Waal, were critical for Darfurians, “because they provide those cast-iron guarantees that Darfur’s wishes cannot be overridden by a national political system in which they are a numerical minority”.Bashir called on the rebels to come to the negotiating table and said he would create a committee charged with wooing them, but De Waal said: “Bashir needs to build a lot of confidence before he can expect the movements to respond positively.”Still, the analyst remained cautiously optimistic.“The most important reality today is that the denial and self-imposed political paralysis that have marked the Sudanese political establishment’s approach to Darfur have been decisively overcome … There’s a glimmer of hope.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at marya@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Source: Irin NewsRelated articlesAfrica: fast factsBetter government across AfricaUN, AU strive for peace in Africalast_img read more

Addo’s lion cubs leave home

first_img21 May 2015The famous three lion cubs at Addo Elephant National Park have started the next step towards their rehabilitation back into the wild.Towards the end of 2014, the cubs were orphaned when their mother, Gina, died. Now nine months old, the male and two females have been moved from a holding boma in the park’s main game viewing area to a much larger, 200ha camp within the Kuzuko contractual area in the north of the park, about 100 kilometres away by road.Now estimated to weigh about 80kg each, Shireen, Lara and Robin have the freedom to explore and start hunting small animals for themselves. “They will be closely monitored by Kuzuko management on a daily basis as it may be necessary to supplement their diet until such time that they are able to hunt on their own,” says Addo’s conservation manager, John Adendorff.“It is estimated that they could spend between one and two years in the camp before being released into the larger Kuzuko section.”The trio became a national news item in December 2014 when the park made a desperate plea for visitors to report any sightings of them after Gina died of a suspected snake bite. They were seen and photographed by a guest in mid- December – looking exceptionally thin and withered before not being sighted again for six weeks.Posted on Facebook, the photographs garnered widespread interest and concern, and people visited the park specifically to look for them and offer their services in the search. Local and national print and broadcast media also closely followed the story, appealing to visitors and prospective visitors to report any sightings to the park’s conservation staff.It was believed that in the six weeks or so that they weren’t seen, they were initially cared for by another female, Josie, which later had a litter of her own. They somehow survived on their own after Josie had its cubs.Long after park staff had given up hope after finding them alive following aerial searches, ranger patrols, follow-ups on numerous leads and eventually calling off the search, a guide from one of the concessions said he may have spotted them on 10 January.Although sceptical, they still went out and found the three – albeit severely malnourished and lethargic. News of their survival travelled fast, as good news does, and turned what was a bleak start to the new year into one with renewed hope.The cubs were darted and placed in a boma where they received immediate medical attention. They have spent the past four months here, being regularly fed and bulking up for the next leg of their adventure, which now starts at Kuzuko.Source: Sanparkslast_img read more

8 Tips for Leveraging Platforms for Marketing [@InboundNow #37]

first_imgPhil Simon joins us for another exciting episode of Inbound Now, HubSpot’s social media and inbound marketing podcast! Phil is the author of The Age of the Platform, The New Small, Why New Systems Fail, and The Next Wave of Technologies. He focuses on the intersection of people, management, and technology.In this episode, we chat about:The concept of building platforms and planksAdopting community and letting people develop on your platformLearning from the gang of four (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google)How to compete against an entrenched platformTips on building your own platformEmerging platforms to keep an eye onGetting people to build on top of your platformThe future of where the platform is headed Topics: 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 Oct 20, 2011 8:00:00 PM, updated July 03 2013center_img Check out other episodes of Inbound NowPlatforms and Planks”All platforms are not the same. The planks that I have in my platform, for example, are different than the planks that HubSpot has in its platform.”Your platform is your core business, and your planks are all the other elements and areas that lead back to your main platform. The more planks you have, the more powerful your platform becomes.It’s all about diversifying and not being afraid of failure.Adopting Community and Letting People Develop on Your Platform”You want people to take your product and services in different directions.”An example of this is Twitter and TweetDeck. Several months ago, Twitter bought TweetDeck — a company that took its API in an interesting direction.Learning From the Gang of Four”One of the bones of contention in a few of the interviews I’ve given is this notion that a small or medium sized company can’t learn something from Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google. I say yes it can.”There are lessons for mid-size companies to learn from the gang of four (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google). Perhaps you can implement Google’s notion that engineers get to play around one day a week, or create your own app in the App Store.You can build your own platform, even if you’re just a company of one.Can You Compete Against an Entrenched Platform?”Look at Facebook. It was by no means the first social network. There was MySpace. There was Friendster. There was Classmates.com. But if you read an excellent book that I referenced in The Age of the Platform, in The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick, he writes about how Mark Zuckerberg, back in 2000, 2001, was obsessed with speed.”Being first to market your product means nothing if you can’t support the volume and you can’t scale.On the flip side, there is something to be said for being first (you can build an online bookstore tomorrow, but it won’t overtake Amazon anytime soon). It’s just not always a given. It’s a competitive edge to be first, but it’s not a given that you’ll always be first (things go viral very quickly).Tips on Building a Platform”By building a platform and embracing this notion of ecosystems, you can increase the probability that when something happens, you can respond really quickly.”You can’t be afraid of experimentation or failure. Look at your platform, and see what planks make sense. For Phil, he runs a publishing company and he does speaking — so having a book and being active on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn make sense.You can’t predict the future, but you can be prepared to act.You want to make your own platform as easy as possible to navigate. Don’t spend the time and money integrating video into your website — be on YouTube and Vimeo. You can take advantage of other platforms by using them as planks of your own.Emerging Platforms”There’s no reason that the Gang of Four has a monopoly on platforms.”Twitter, believe it or not, could be considered an emerging platform. They’re not quite at the level of Facebook, in Phil’s opinion, but they’re getting there through partners in different ecosystems.WordPress is an emerging platform. A fraction of the top thousand websites are running on WordPress, and they have a whole community of developers and companies that take WordPress in different directions.There’s also Salesforce.com and Force.com. They’re trying to let people build bridges to and from data, giving them apps, etc.Getting People to Build on Top of Your Platform”If you look at what the Gang of Four does with marketing, I think it’s very different than traditional marketing. I would argue it’s not marketing to people and not marketing at people. You’re almost letting the users and the consumers market for you.”Some of the companies we’ve mentioned do traditional advertising. But the real value is from people evangelizing their platforms on their behalf.The Future of Platforms”I think that platforms will become more and more important. Technology keeps changing faster and faster. People are looking for convenience and the one-stop shopping.”Phil sees platforms becoming more important. But if companies don’t continue to change and evolve and embrace uncertainty and risk, they won’t be around.Connect With Phil OnlineYou can follow Phil on Twitter @PhilSimon and on his main site. Also, make sure to pick up his new book, The Age of the Platform. Inbound Marketinglast_img read more

101 Signs You’re an Inbound Marketer

first_imgWe inbound marketers need to stick together! Sure, we have our quirky obsessions with data, Excel, content creation, and lead generation. But hey, that’s what makes us so darn successful! Read this list, and see if you can relate. If you do, there’s a very good chance you’re an inbound marketer too!101 Signs You’re an Inbound Marketer1. You can calculate visitor-to-lead conversion rates in your sleep. (Tweet this!)2. You dream about Excel. (Tweet this!)3. You could have a full conversation in acronyms, including CRM, CTR, SEO, and CTA. (Tweet this!)4. You keep in touch with your mom using a lead nurturing campaign. (Tweet this!)5. Your salespeople go from asking for more leads to asking for more high quality leads. (Tweet this!)6. You don’t know whether to laugh or cry when you encounter a website that is built in FLASH. (Tweet this!)7. You’re the mayor of your office (on Foursquare). (Tweet this!)8. Your dog/cat/bird/hamster is named Godin/Kawasaki/Brogan/Scott. (Tweet this!)9. Your friends who don’t ‘get’ inbound marketing think you “do social media” for a living. (Tweet this!)10. You ward off outbound marketing ghosts and spirits with The New Rules of Marketing and PR. (Tweet this!)11. You click “send” on a marketing email, and then obsessively check how many leads came from that send every five minutes. (Tweet this!)12. Your funnel is so fat, you have to do lead scoring to help your sales team prioritize their time. (Tweet this!)13. You measure everything. Twice. (Tweet this!)14. After seeing a couple of data points, you feel an immediate itch to create an infographic. (Tweet this!)15. You know all about cookie tracking (and it has nothing to do with your two-year-old). (Tweet this!)16. You know exactly how many visitors, leads, and customers you got from Facebook … yesterday. (Tweet this!)17. Your CEO asks you how you can invest more in marketing, instead of asking you to cut the budget. (Tweet this!)18. You brainstorm blog post ideas in the shower. (Tweet this!)19. Even your personal Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts include calls-to-action. (Tweet this!)20. The funnel is your favorite shape. (Tweet this!)21. You tell salespeople who cold call you that they should learn about inbound marketing. (Tweet this!)22. You “like” everything. (Tweet this!)23. You send out daily emails to your team with graphs and charts. (Tweet this!)24. NoFollow tags make you cry. (Tweet this!)25. Your sales team loves you. (Tweet this!)26. When Twitter goes down, you feel lost. (Tweet this!)27. To you, “going viral” is a good thing and has nothing to do with zombies. (Tweet this!)28. You constantly publish blog posts titled, “X Ways to do Y.” (Tweet this!)29. You don’t actually like the Grateful Dead’s music, but you think their marketing rocks! (Tweet this!)30. Your email is your to-do list. (Tweet this!)31. You write blog posts on the fly on your smartphone while traveling. (Tweet this!)32. You follow more internet marketing celebrities on Twitter than mainstream pop celebrities. (Tweet this!)33. You use tools to streamline as much of your marketing as possible. (Tweet this!)34. You have a favorite URL shortener. (Tweet this!)35. You respond to every request for event sponsorship with … “Well, what if we wrote a guest blog instead?” (Tweet this!)36. You understand 302 redirects are evil. (Tweet this!)37. You know the ROI of social media. (Tweet this!)38. You know search engines can’t be gamed, but gosh darn it — you still try! (Tweet this!)39. Your Facebook feed is more about work than friends. (Tweet this!)40. Sometimes #YouThinkInHashtags (Tweet this!) 41. Salesforce integration with everything is a necessity. (Tweet this!)42. You have multiple monitors to monitor Twitter and Facebook as you work. (Tweet this!)43. You obsess about the number of business days in a calendar month. (Tweet this!)44. You’re a little bit embarrassed to even *suggest* increasing your paid search or display ad budget. (Tweet this!) 45. Your emotional attachment to “traffic” is strong enough to make you jump in your car and seek gridlock. (Tweet this!) 46. You create badges for everything. And you compete for them. (Tweet this!) 47. You know what a persona is, and you create content that appeals to that persona. (Tweet this!) 48. You always know the event hashtag, and you livetweet from conferences. (Tweet this!)49. You can type on your smartphone as fast as you can on your computer. (Tweet this!)50. You take your follower count very seriously. (Tweet this!) 51. To you, link love is more romantic than flowers and candy. (Tweet this!)52. You have your Twitter username on your business cards. (Tweet this!)53. You know what your prospects’ buying cycle looks like. (Tweet this!)54. You obsess about creating content that appeals to prospects at all stages of their sales cycle. (Tweet this!)55. You know ‘content marketing’ and ‘social media marketing’ are tips of the inbound marketing iceberg! (Tweet this!) 56. You have no shame asking for an inbound link when someone mentions your company in a blog article. (Tweet this!)57. You fight against killing kittens by not sending spam emails. (Tweet this!) 58. Your CEO asks you how you lowered cost-per-lead quarter over quarter. (Tweet this!)59. You roll your eyes when salespeople tell you they have to attend another trade show. (Tweet this!) 60. Your executives understand the importance of blogging, and they make time to do it. (Tweet this!) 61. Your company has more “fans” than Justin Bieber. (Tweet this!)62. You segment your leads via lead source, company size, and hair color. (Tweet this!)63. You watch YouTube for inspiration. (You swear it’s for inspiration!) (Tweet this!)64. You’ve trained your sales team to use lead intelligence to time their sales calls better. (Tweet this!)65. Whenever someone asks you a data question, you tell them to build a pivot table. (Tweet this!)66. Your Website Grade is greater than an 85. (Tweet this!)67. You have a Salesforce dashboard to monitor all your Salesforce dashboards. (Tweet this!)68. You know what a marketing SLA is. (Tweet this!) 69. At every event, you take photos, videos, and write a wrap-up blog post. (Tweet this!)70. Your emails to colleagues use bolded phrases, headers bullets, and optimized subject lines. (Tweet this!)71. You keep up with what your friends are doing via their blogs. (Tweet this!) 72. In casual conversation you’ve said, “That would make a great ebook,” or “I’m doing a webinar on that.” (Tweet this!)73. You Google yourself every day to make sure nothing embarrassing is suddenly ranking for your name. (Tweet this!)74. You can speak in 140 characters. (Tweet this!)75. Your blogging software knows which keywords to fight to the death for, and how hard it will be to rank. (Tweet this!)76. You test EVERYTHING, including layout, button color, subject line, and sender name. EVERYTHING. (Tweet this!)77. You love reading blog post lists, which is why you’ve read this far. (Tweet this!) 78. You believe that traffic is a useless measure unless you can see how much of it converts into leads. (Tweet this!)79. You can multitask tweeting, blogging, reporting, and emailing all at once. (Tweet this!)80. You run three different browsers to manage all of your Google accounts. (Tweet this!)81. You’ve been known to save bad marketing automation emails, forward them to friends, and laugh at them. (Tweet this!) 82. Your best friend’s idea of a practical joke is to start a website to make fun of you. (Tweet this!)83. You require flexibility to change your landing pages and website content whenever you want. (Tweet this!) 84. You actually KNOW which pages on your website signal the greatest likelihood to buy. (Tweet this!)85. You’ve empowered your non-marketing colleagues and customers to evangelize your company on your behalf. (Tweet this!) 86. You take Twitpics wherever you go. (Tweet this!) 87. You have to force yourself to leave work at the end of the day. (Just one more minute! This post is almost perfect!) (Tweet this!)88. Your favorite night out is a networking event. (Tweet this!) 89. You own an iPhone/iPod, MacBook, AND an iPad. (Tweet this!) 90. Email marketing is your best friend and your worst nightmare, all at the same time. (Tweet this!)91. You’re the star contributor to every LinkedIn group you’re a part of. (Tweet this!)92. Long-tail keywords are your best friend. (Tweet this!)93. All the SWAG you give out has QR codes on it. (Tweet this!) 94. Your family has a Google+ Circle, and you plan to use Google Hangout to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. (Tweet this!)95. You celebrate your Twitter anniversaries. (Tweet this!)96. You have more landing pages than products. (Tweet this!)97. Your bookshelf has all 3 versions of The New Rules of Marketing and PR, bookended by Inbound Marketing. (Tweet this!)98. You regularly have more browser tabs open than a developer or engineer. (Tweet this!)99. You’ve taken every FAQ out of your email archives and turned it into a blog post. (Tweet this!)100. You brainstorm secondary conversion offers at lunch. (Tweet this!)101. Your business is growing in a downturned economy. (Tweet this!)What are the signs telling you? Are you an inbound marketer? 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: Social Media Marketers Originally published Oct 27, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016last_img read more

Why We Acquired Two More Companies … And We’re Just Getting Started

first_img Marketing Strategy Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack As you may have seen this morning, HubSpot has acquired Chime and PrepWork, both of whom will bring great innovation and unique IP to the HubSpot team. Below, I’ve outlined why we made these specific acquisitions and explained how we view acquisitions like these as part of our commitment to rapid growth and transforming the marketing landscape entirely.1) Both Chime and PrepWork deliver on our vision for new ways to humanize bottom-of-the-funnel interactions.At HubSpot, we started with a fundamental belief that the ways in which humans interact is changing rapidly as a result of technology. That vision influences both our culture and our product, which is focused on making every marketing interaction more human, personalized, and lovable. Both Chime and PrepWork have created products that make bottom-of-the-funnel interactions fundamentally more human, and that’s paramount to us as we think about the next generation of marketing and our product. Personalizing and humanizing the customer’s journey is critical to our mission, and both of these companies deliver upon that promise.The Chime team built a Chrome plug-in that allows users to get all of their social media notifications in their browser in a user-friendly manner. PrepWork constructed a platform that syncs with your calendar to give you relevant information about people you’re meeting with. Streamlining all my notifications in one place and arming me with information about sports scores relevant to the person I’m meeting with next? That’s relevant, contextual information consumers love. In other words, both companies were focused on personalization and solving for a customer need. That’s exciting to our team here at HubSpot, because we believe that’s what inbound marketing is all about, and we look forward to the knowledge, assets, and user feedback that both Chime and PrepWork bring to bear on our vision of creating marketing people love.2) 1+1=3At INBOUND 2012, we talked about how having a back end leads system and a front end web system together in HubSpot uniquely facilitates a more personalized customer journey. These two companies take an additional step forward by allowing people to have much more personalized engagement with customers, but with a true commitment to efficiency and effectiveness. The HubSpot product always helped convert strangers into prospects — then the acquisition of Performable allowed us to more effectively convert prospects into qualified leads. Now, the addition of Chime and PrepWork gives us deeper knowledge and assets to convert qualified leads into customers. Attracting, converting, engaging, and delighting customers has never been so easy because HubSpot delivers all the tools you need to personalize each interaction in one, easy-to-use interface.Hundreds of companies email us each year about getting acquired by HubSpot, and many of them dazzle us with their technical knowledge or specific expertise in a given area. However, one of the key elements we look for — which stuck out to us about both Chime and PrepWork — was both companies’ commitment to solving for the needs of a customer and getting that interaction right. Chime has over 20,000 users in public beta as well as outstanding ratings in the Google Chrome App Store, and there’s a reason for that: The Chime team took user feedback and considerations seriously to create the right signal to noise ratio. PrepWork was founded by Dan Wolchonok and provides briefing emails relevant to forthcoming meetings via a sync with users’ calendars. Chime and PrepWork ultimately built and brought to market successful products that solved for customer needs. That dedication to the customer is core to what we do at HubSpot, and we love that both companies set out to solve for a market need and worked furiously to deliver upon it. Replacing loud, interruptive advertising with engaging and personalized marketing efforts is inherently linked to understanding how consumers live, so Chime and PrepWork align perfectly with our criteria and our notion that having all-in-one marketing software creates better engagement for customers and a more efficient approach for marketers.3) Cultural FitDharmesh and I have always taken culture seriously. So seriously, in fact, that we recently doubled down on our commitment to employee autonomy and transparency with the Culture Code deck Dharmesh presented to our company and the world two weeks ago. As a result, acquiring companies isn’t something we take lightly when it comes to cultural fit. We look for people who are incredibly smart, operate at a rapid pace, are innovative, independent thinkers, and are driven by GSD: getting stuff done. In both PrepWork and Chime, we felt fortunate to find teams who fit wonderfully into the existing culture at HubSpot, and we can’t wait for them to join us full time in June.At HubSpot, we have a strong tradition of acquiring companies and integrating them seamlessly as contributors to our team, culture, approach, product, and customer success. Just as we have done with Performable and oneforty, we believe we’re adding some incredible rock stars to our team and are honored and excited to announce that they are now officially part of the HubSpot family.This is an exciting step in HubSpot’s growth, and we believe we’ll have more of these announcements to share moving forward, so keep visiting us here as we continue to expand our team, our product, and our commitment to changing the world of marketing. Originally published Mar 28, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics:last_img read more

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

51 Ridiculous Keywords Google Won’t Let Me Track Anymore

first_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack This post originally appeared on Inbound Ecommerce, the ecommerce section of HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing blog.It’s been a busy month for Google, the 50 billion pound gorilla of the search world. Even my dog, Zoe, got in on the analysis. She wrote an article for her blog (that’s right, she has a blog … and a Twitter account …) summarizing her opinions on the changes from Google.If you’re not sure what changes I’m talking about, earlier this month, Google decided to encrypt all keyword data — except for keyword data from ads, of course.We’ve been trying to provide you with content on how to deal with the changes if keyword traffic analysis was part of your strategy. Personally, I’ve historically looked at keywords for which I get very little traffic to give me ideas for long-tail keyword phrases. Sometimes I’ll find keyword phrases that are basically blog articles writing themselves! For example, one of our recent articles was inspired in part by discovering someone had hit our website searching for “how do I sell to people in the awareness phase of the buying cycle”.However, my dog had a slightly different use for this data — one of her favorite activities was writing about the weird keywords she does get traffic from. Sadly, that will have to end, but for your entertainment I decided to do some diving to see what kinds of amusing keywords we here at HubSpot get traffic for … that are totally random and irrelevant. (Note: These are straight from our historical keyword data, so the misspellings are intentional.)Google Keywords We Won’t Miss Being Able to Track1) “i want you tagline”I’m really hoping this is some Valentine’s campaign we wrote about, and not someone looking for a pickup line.2) “horseless headsman pumpkin carving pattern”A horseless headsman could just, like, buy a horse? Right?3) “people who don’t care about others facebook quotes”Not sure if that’s really mean or highly relatable. Either way, hope we helped!4) “black humpback whale jewelry”My personal hope is that they were looking for jewelry to give as a gift to their friend, who’s a black humpback whale.5) “catchy headlines about love”We at HubSpot are known for being hopeless romantics. Not even joking.6) “why somebody interest working at target”I’m sure Target is a great company to work for! I guess. I don’t really know I’m just being positive.7) “like facebook but better”If you find an answer to this, lemme know. I’ll be an investor.8) “what to say on store intercom if child is lost”Aren’t there codes and procedures for this? I’m concerned we showed up as an informational source. I feel that if this is your responsibility that you should already know this.9) “keywords in the ocean”There’s a joke in here somewhere. Keyword fish? Lots of people think my Inbound Commerce methodology looks like a fish … ok I’m really reaching here.10) “boring writing”Now Google is just being hurtful. I think our writing is quite good. Most of it anyways. We’re kinda jumping the shark with this post.11) “automated jokes”So a robot walks into a bar and orders a beer and asks the bartender how much. Bartender is in a great mood and says “For you buddy, no charge.” The robot shuts down.Get it? Automated robot? He had no charge? Ok moving on …12) “is it hard running a business”Yes. At least that’s what Brian Halligan tells us.13) “adverts that bring down other brands”That’s just mean. And probably ineffective. Don’t chase your competitors. Lead them.14) “what percent of people pay companies on time”I always pay on time, except when the rent is too damn high.15) “cheat to get 10000tweets”Cheaters never prosper, friend.16) “free email spam sender”Spammers never prosper, either. Let’s face it, they’re just really uncreative cheaters.17) “can you retweet something about yourself”You’re so vain, you probably think this tweet is about you. Also, yes you can. I do it all the time.In other news, I’m vain.18) “sick of being customer serice rep”Come work here. Customer Support Rep happiness is literally a metric we track. Who wants to talk to someone who’s sick of their job at the moment when they need support?19) “do you remember better with bullet points or number”… I honestly don’t know. Is someone studying this? Seems like someone should.20) “can people have a relationship through social media”But I would tweet 500 times, and I would tweet 500 more, just to be the man who tweeted 1,000 times to TwitPic at your door …21) “scary costumes list”HubSpotters are also known for their creative Halloween costumes. This year I’m going as an MQL.22) “elvis presley & the jamaican wailers”Thank ya, thank ya very much mon! (try reading that in both accents in your mind, it gets funny over time).23) “how to make your business facebook”Go back in time and take over Mark Zuckerberg’s life. Just be careful. Terrible things happen to wizards who meddle with time, Harry. #ImANerd24) “living in parents basement”… I … I have nothing for this one. Do what you gotta do.(Editor’s Note: This might have been due to this blog post.)25) “don corleone as a role model”I guess everyone has redeeming qualities. Like, landing pages should make the prospect an offer they can’t refuse. (See what I did right there?)26) “format of best article ever in the world”*blushing* Awwww … thanks Google for showing us for that. That makes up for that hurtful “boring writing” result from earlier.27) “it may not work out the way you had planne”Ain’t it the truth.28) “red color button”Fair enough. We haz red buttonz.29) “red better than green”Boy, that escalated quickly. You should test that yourself, variate testing results will be different site to site.30) “hubspot rentals”Like, you want to sublet one of our apartments? We’re usually cool to have guests. Just bring cupcakes.31) “awesome companies”*blushing again* Thanks, guys :)32) “presentation 90 hours”I’ve been in some presentations that felt like they lasted 90 hours.33) “trick to calculate if 1700 per month payment what is the payment of one day”Divide by number of the days in that month (figured I’d be helpful once today).34) “fashion focus group questions”Some of us actually have excellent fashion sense. But I am not one of them.35) “how to call back telemarketers”Please video tape yourself doing this. For me.36) “some junk words”I’m hoping this was someone teaching their parents how to use The Google.37) “dependability as a strong branding in bars”I get it. My bartender’s dependability is a big reason I come back. He never fails to put me back on my bar stool when I fall off.38) “stuff kids can make for a trade fair”I used to make crafts out of palm fronds. I’d love to pretend that “used to” means when I was a kid and not last week …39) “worst thing a customer has ever yelled at you for”I once yelled at the JetBlue Twitter account for scheduling bad weather while I was flying. They apologized and said they’d do better next time. I <3 them.40) "what can a 40-65 year old do in america"Anything they want!41) "goodbye just means hello will be coming soon"Don't know what they're searching for -- looks like they have all the answers already!42) "mack my google plus page"Add flame decals. Flame decals make everything better.43) "where in my home can i find some of elements"You know, questions about elements are the only reason people bring me to trivia nights. I can do the Periodic Table from memory alphabetically, by weight, or by atomic number. They obviously don't bring me to raise the cool factor.44) "rotten pumpkin"Load it into a trebuchet and watch it explode. Problem solved.45) "how to hack a private instagram account"BAD! BAD GOOGLER!46) "ignore the haters"Amen.47) "jordans shoes boston red sox colors"#GoSox48) "pick up lines to make a girl like you"I'd recommend just having great content to attract people. Content is what's inside. #DeepThoughts49) "guerrilla football idea"I really want this to be a real game! Just pop out of the bushes and throw a hail mary.50) "secret love prediction"Just tell them how you feel, my friend. Life's too short for secret loves.51) "how to approach a drug dealer"... with a badge. Because you should only do this if you're a police officer.I hope you enjoyed this! As marketers, any loss of data makes us sad. We want to create relevant content that helps people answer their questions. If there are any posts you'd like to see us write, you know where to find us -- leave a comment, tweet at us, find us on Facebook, whatever makes you happy.What about you? What weird keywords have you seen in your data? How will losing the keywords data affect you? Keyword Research Originally published Oct 10, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

7 Facebook Marketing “Tips” and “Tricks” That Don’t Actually Work

first_img Facebook 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 Originally published Mar 13, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 People will go to all sorts of lengths to get attention from a small subset of Facebook’s 1.23 billion monthly active users. Sometimes it’s good — people focus on creating more compelling content or integrating Facebook with the rest of their marketing strategy. Though it takes more time, their Facebook Page grows steadily and actually delivers results. Other times people want to take the “easy” way out. They hear of some hack that got one company thousands of followers/page views/comments in a day and think they should start doing the same. They don’t have the time to build a Facebook following — they need eyeballs on their content now.But there’s little evidence to support that these “tips” work. They’re like ads claiming to lose 20 pounds in a week. Bonus: some of these “hacks” could end up decreasing your Facebook performance.Yikes.So if you’re going to spend time on Facebook to build your business, steer clear of the following “tips” that could do you more harm than good … or could just do nothing at all.1) Including a Link in the First CommentThis was a pretty popular myth going around about a year ago. Folks claimed that including a link to your content in the first comments instead of in the post itself would increase your chance of appearing in the News Feed because a photo-only or text-only post would perform better than those with links. Here’s what that looks like:But this isn’t exactly true. In fact, Facebook’s algorithm has been promoting posts with links in them more recently and in the past, has favored photo updates. Only a few people have seen anecdotal evidence that this works — and some haven’t seen anything affected at all. Maybe trying this “trick” on your page boosts numbers for a while, but it’s actually a pretty terrible user experience. In the long run, you won’t be serving your Fans and Followers — the folks that you need to impress if you want to build your page — because it takes much more effort to find your link than a normal Facebook post. If you have a large fan base, your link could even get buried (which is completely counterproductive). Don’t get sucked into a fad for the sake of engagement — solve for your Followers and all else will follow. 2) Auto-Posting Tweets to FacebookWhen you first start out on Facebook or Twitter, you may hear that it’s best to just sync up your Facebook and Twitter accounts to automatically cross-publish your content. Anytime you post to Twitter, it also gets posted to Facebook and vice versa. After all, this’ll help you save time and still have a successful social media presence, right?Well, this “trick” might help you with the first part, but definitely won’t help with the second for two reasons. First, people who follow you on Facebook aren’t the same as those who follow you on Twitter. Facebook Fans and Followers may prefer different content in different formats delivered to them at different times of the day than people on Twitter. If you want to grow your audience, you need to post content that they care about, when they care about it.Second, when you link up your Facebook and Twitter accounts, your posts end up with really weird, Twitter-specific formats for your Facebook posts (and vice versa). It’s very obvious that you just synced up your accounts — your Facebook Page will have lots posts from the past day and zero engagement.Why? Because they look like they’re tweets, not Facebook posts. They don’t display links and pictures the same way because they’re pulled from Twitter. Facebook had even come out to say that they devalue updates like these.So don’t rely on thoughtless automation to do this for you — instead, create tailored posts for each platform. The extra time you put into to creating custom content will pay off.3) Buying Fans and FollowersThis is probably one of top “tricks” people recommend to “build a following” on Facebook. If by “building a following”, you mean “increasing number of Likes and Followers,” this trick works. You buy followers and see that little number next to your page go up …… But if you’re on Facebook to do anything else besides getting people to Like you, this is definitely a trick to ignore. If you want to grow an engaged audience that might eventually convert, buying Fans and Followers will actually harm your brand. Facebook will see that your percentage of your Fans engaging with your posts is suddenly way lower … and might not include your next update in your Fans’ feed. Before you know it, this “trick” could end up shooting your marketing in its proverbial foot. 4) Tagging Irrelevant People in Your PhotosWhen someone gets tagged in a photo on Facebook, they get a notification … so some people suggest doing this to get random people to notice your brand.Don’t do it. This is a tactic that spammers have used in the past, and people are pretty wise to this trick now. Unless you are tagging someone in your photo that is actually in the photo, stay away. It’s spammy and probably won’t work, anyway.5) Tagging Other Brands Recently, Facebook updated its News Feed algorithm to reward brands tagging other brands in their posts — but that doesn’t mean that you should start tagging brands in every single post. Facebook will surface content to Fans of tagged pages if it’s performing well in general and/or you also like the other page. They’re pretty vague on the mathematics behind it all, but the takeaway is clear: This tactic should only be used when you have strategic and relevant content for both audiences. Here’s an example of a post that strategically tags another brand:center_img 6) Trying Engagementbait  I made up the word “engagementbait” but I know you’ve seen posts like these in your News Feed. Usually it’s a picture with a caption like “We’re offering two types of ice cream today: Vanilla and Chocolate. Like if you prefer vanilla, comment if you prefer chocolate, and share if you like them both!!!!!!” Even if that post example were on Friendly’s Facebook page and getting lots of Likes, comments, and shares, what do you think it’s doing for the brand? Not much.If you wanted to be generous, it could help you generate awareness of new products and potentially help you get your next post into the News Feed (because the engagementbait post was highly engaged with). But it’s really not doing much to help your bottom line. And that’s most likely why you’re on Facebook. Instead, try posting content that doesn’t try to game the Facebook system — content people like just … because. This short term play may work for you, but in the long run, you’re not going to be able to grow your following with it. 7) Hashtagging EverythingBack when Facebook first launched hashtags, people were pumped. Everyone started incorporating them into their Facebook content — and heck, we even encouraged it. But since then, Edgerank Checker found that posts with hashtags have less Viral Reach than posts without hashtags. So in the future, use hashtags sparingly on Facebook — a good use case would be if you’re trying to promote a cross-platform campaign that has a hashtag.The moral of this all is that you really shouldn’t be trying to “game” any part of building a presence on Facebook. What may work one day could be detrimental another, and you could end up hurting yourself in the name of “growth hacking” your Facebook page. What other myths have you heard about growing your Facebook Page? Debunk them with us in the comments below.  Topics:last_img read more

The Free Design Templates You Need to Create Stunning Visual Marketing Content

first_img Topics: Originally published Jun 8, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Or this one? Snapchat Menu Hacks is back and spicer than ever. Follow “TacoBell” to find out how to make all of these creations. pic.twitter.com/6hGwKXo4p0— Taco Bell (@tacobell) May 19, 2016 Download your 5 free SlideShare templates. (Then check out this post, which provides you with some SlideShare creation tips and best practices along the way.)3 PowerPoint Presentation Templates (Download Here)What about if you’re creating a slide deck that’s not necessarily meant for SlideShare? Maybe it’s for an internal presentation you’re giving to share the results of a project you did, a deck to report on your monthly marketing metrics, or some slides for an upcoming speaking gig you have.We have a few general PowerPoint templates available for download as well, which also comes with a series of four videos to teach you some basic PowerPoint creation tips, including how to enhance images, how to clean up your text, and how install premium fonts — all right in PowerPoint.Download your 3 PowerPoint templates here.50 Customizable Call-to-Action Templates (Download Here)Of all the templates on this list, this one is probably the most utilitarian. After all, CTAs are pretty darn essential for lead generation — and lead generation is one of the most important goals for many marketers. But there’s also no denying that CTAs still require some design skill.Luckily, this template download offers 50 customizable CTAs in — you guessed it — PowerPoint! Here’s one I created from scratch in PowerPoint to promote our data hub, HubSpot Research.And if you want more inspiration (and proof) about just how professional-looking you can make CTAs in PowerPoint, check out this blog post featuring seven big-brand CTAs recreated in PowerPoint. It’s life changing.Download your 50 customizable calls-to-action.18 Ebook Templates (Download Here and Here)… because your ebooks deserve to look better than a 10-page chunk of text in Microsoft Word. We started out by building five free ebook templates, and then more recently added 13 additional templates — so you’ll have plenty of professional-looking, attractive design options to choose from when you’re creating your next ebook.And if you need help with ebook creation in general, this blog post walks you through it step-by-step using one of our very own ebook templates.Need a little more help with the whole writing part? This free guide will walk you through how to write an ebook — from content and concept to design and promotion. Download your ebook templates: 5 here | 13 here195+ Design Templates for Canva (Download Here)It can be hard to find the time and resources to create a cohesive set of campaign visuals, from Twitter graphics, to blog images, to email header images. That’s why we partnered with Canva to put together the ultimate set of 195+ design templates for every visual marketing need, including infographic templates, social media templates for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, email header templates, blog featured image templates, and more.These design templates are easy-to-use, work for any industry (finance, dentistry, agriculture, law… we’ve got ’em all), and are completely free. For each template, you’ll find 10 visual design types and multiple themes that are carried through each design type — making it easy for you to quickly spin up a visual marketing campaign across multiple channels.Download your 195+ design templates for every visual marketing need here.550+ Royalty-Free Stock Photos (Download the First 80 Here)Okay, so this is the one resource on our list that isn’t exactly a template. However, you can (and should) absolutely remix and customize these free stock photos in PowerPoint. These are completely free images you can use in your marketing campaigns — no royalties or fees whatsoever. Use them on your website, on your blog, in your emails, in social media, or anywhere else without any worries about attribution or copyright infringement.We have four collections of stock photos available to download:80 Assorted Photos75 More Assorted Photos160 Business-Themed Photos250 Holiday-Themed PhotosHere’s a preview of our assorted stock photos collection:To customize these images, simply plop them into PowerPoint and work your magic: Write captions, crop them, add thought bubbles, remove backgrounds, and so on. Check out the following example of how we took one of our stock photos and made it our own by adding a screenshot to the laptop screen:Download your free stock photos: 80 Assorted Photos | 75 More Assorted Photos | 160 Business-Themed Photos | 250 Holiday-Themed PhotosWhile not a template, if you’re just getting started with visual content marketing, you might also want to check out The Marketer’s Crash Course in Visual Content Creation. Consider this the do-it-yourself (DIY) designer’s handbook: It not only explains why visual content marketing is important, but it also runs through the types of visual content you can create, 10 best practices for DIY design, 23 free tools to help you with visual content creation, and a design evaluation checklist so you can ensure you’re following all the DIY design best practices.Ready to start creating awesome visual content quickly and on a budget? Get downloading — then start creating!Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2013 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. The second one, right? Case in point.But Twitter isn’t the only social network where visual content will garner you more engagement. In an analysis of one billion Facebook posts from three million brands globally, BuzzSumo found that the post formats that get the most engagement are questions and images.So what can you do to make the content you post on Facebook, Twitter, and all other social networks more visual? Lots of things, it turns out. Here’s just a smattering of options you’ll get when you download the visual social media content templates — much more visually stimulating than just a description and a link, right?And here’s an example of visual social media content we’ve created for HubSpot’s own Facebook Page — right in PowerPoint:Download your 100 free social media graphic templates. (Then check out this blog post to see how quick and easy it is to customize them.)5 Pre-Sized Social Media Cover Photo Templates (Download Here)As you now know, social media is where visual content thrives. So to get started, you’ll want to make sure your business’ social media accounts are optimized with attractive cover photos. This download includes five pre-sized PowerPoint templates to help you create customized social media cover photos for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube using the right cover photo dimensions.In fact, we frequently use PowerPoint to create HubSpot’s own Facebook cover photos. Here’s an example of one of our former cover photos that was used to promote our free stock photos (we’ll cover that later in this post).Download your 5 social media cover photo templates here.15 Infographic Templates (Download Here)When you think about visual content and marketing, what’s the first thing you think of? I bet many of you think of infographics. The infographic is a great choice for visual content — particularly for your blog — since it can generate a lot of traffic, inbound links, and social shares. After all, infographics are Liked or shared on social media 3X more than any other type of content. But man, can it take a lot of time and skill to pull off.Enter our 15 customizable infographic templates, which can help you cut back on the time, effort (and, yes, skill) required for infographic creation.There are 15 infographic styles to choose from, and each is completely customizable. And because all you need is a little PowerPoint know-how (don’t worry — the download also offers some basic PowerPoint tips) and the content to plug into them, these templates will severely cut back on the time, effort, and design skills necessary for infographic creation.In fact, my colleague Lindsay used one of these templates to create a brand new infographic in under an hour. Read this blog post to see the before/after, and what she did to create it.Download your 15 free, customizable infographic templates.5 SlideShare Presentation Templates (Download Here)Another great option for creating visual blog content is SlideShare. SlideShare is a site that allows you to upload files that people can view, share, and embed. It’s most typical use is for sharing slideshows.SlideShare presentations are great for content that is best presented in a visual way — like quick tips or best practices, data, visual examples, or content that tells a story. But like so many other forms of visual content, SlideShare creation does take time and skill.That’s why if you grab one of our five SlideShare designs and plug in some content (like a blog post) you’ve already created, you’ll make things much easier on yourself — and shave off valuable content creation time, too.Below is an example of a SlideShare presentation we created from scratch using PowerPoint. The contents of this presentation also provide some helpful tips for using stock photos in your visual content. Lucky for you, we’re about to throw some free stock photos your way, too ;-).center_img Cooking Rule: If at first you don’t succeed, get Taco Bell.— Taco Bell (@tacobell) May 3, 2016 Visual Content Visual content is in high demand. Just about every piece of content you create can be enhanced by some kind of visual element. In fact, content with relevant images gets a whopping 94% more views than content without relevant images.And in social media, visuals pretty much make or break your presence. According to Buffer, visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. And if you need any more evidence to convince you visuals are essential to your content marketing, just consider all these stats.But honestly … who’s got time for all that? And I don’t know about you, but I don’t exactly have a degree in graphic design, or the budget to hire someone who does. So, what’s a design-impaired marketer to do?Luckily, over the past couple years, we’ve been on a mission at HubSpot to make visual content creation much less of an obstacle for the average marketer. How, you ask? Templates, my friends … templates. And what’s great about these templates is they’re all built for software you probably already have on your computer: PowerPoint.Click here to download our full collection of free templates for designing stunning visual content like infographics and more. I’m going to walk you through all the visual content marketing templates we have available for free to download, and show you how we’ve used them ourselves to create awesome visuals right in PowerPoint.(Want to learn more about content creation, strategy, and promotion? Get started with this free online course from HubSpot Academy.)The Free Templates You Need for Visual Content DesignClick on a template below to jump to that section:100 Templates for Visual Social Media Content5 Pre-Sized Social Media Cover Photo Templates15 Infographic Templates5 SlideShare Presentation Templates3 PowerPoint Presentation Templates50 Customizable Call-to-Action Templates18 Ebook Templates195+ Design Templates for Canva550+ Royalty-Free Stock Photos Download 195+ visual marketing design templates to use for social media posts, infographics, and more. You know how I said before that visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content? That’s right: Visual content rules the roost in social networks. On Twitter, for example, early research into visuals for the Buffer Twitter account revealed that tweets with photos earned 150% more retweets and 18% more clicks than tweets without images.It makes perfect sense why: Just consider how much more prominently visual content gets displayed in social media feeds compared to text-based content. Of the two tweets below from Taco Bell, which one draws your eye more quickly?This one? 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