Flowers growing in the Drakensberg’s Injasuthi nature reserve. (Image: MediaClubsouthafrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library) The UN has declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB), and South Africa, with its wealth of natural treasures, is set to mark the event along with the rest of the world.The year-long celebration of the variety of life on earth is driven by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), under the slogan Biodiversity is life, Biodiversity is our life.The CBD, a global plan to tackle important issues facing biodiversity, entered into force in December 1993. The secretariat exists to facilitate meetings of the parties to the CBD and to coordinate with relevant international bodies.South Africa became a signatory to this important convention in 1993, and a party in 1995. The country has since ratified the instrument, which means that it has been approved by Parliament and is now binding.The 10th conference of the parties, known as COP 10, takes place in Nagoya, Japan, in October 2010.The IYB will be officially launched in Berlin on 11 January under the auspices of Germany’s Federal Environment Ministry.Its goals are to raise awareness of the importance of conservation and threats facing natural life, promote understanding of the economic value of biodiversity, encourage organisations and individuals to step up their conservation activities, celebrate achievements, and to forge an effective plan going forward from 2010.Global extinction crisisThe CBD has stated that global biodiversity is in the throes of the greatest extinction crisis since the demise of dinosaurs 65-million years ago.Some experts estimate that precious species are disappearing at up to 1 000 times the natural extinction rate, and worse, the CBD predicts a dramatic rise in the already-frightening rate. Current trends show that around 34 000 plant and 5 200 animal species face extinction at this moment, and that 66% of ecosystems around the world are approaching ruin. Now is the time to act.The IYB also coincides with the 2010 Biodiversity Target, an international conservation agreement to significantly reduce the global biodiversity drain due to often-irresponsible human activity. The target was first adopted by the EU in June 1991 and later confirmed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg in 2002.Announcing the IYB, executive secretary of the CBD, Ahmed Djoghlaf, said not one country had met the terms of the target, which were to achieve, by 2010, “a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on earth”.The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Countdown 2010 branch has brought together around 1 000 participants – representing governments, civil society and corporations – to work towards achieving the 2010 biodiversity target.Celebrating our biodiversityAlthough South Africa covers just 2% of the world’s surface area, it is home to nearly 10% of all the world’s plants, which amounts to 24 000 species. About 7% of the world’s vertebrates and 5.5% of all known insects also call the country home, making it a biodiversity treasure trove.Within its borders lie three internationally renowned biodiversity hotspots. These are the magnificent Cape Floral Kingdom, the Succulent Karoo – which flows into Namibia, and the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany region. Maputaland-Pondoland is shared with Mozambique and Swaziland.South Africa is also famed for its marine biodiversity. About 11 000 species – some 15% of the global total – dwell in South African waters, with 3 496 species, or over 25%, endemic to the country. South Africa is the fifth richest country in Africa and 24th in the world in terms of the number of mammal, birds, amphibians and reptiles that are native to her soil.The South African government is well aware of the immense value of the country’s biodiversity, and between 2003 and 2005 developed and implemented a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. This document, overseen by the national Department of Environmental Affairs, identified nine areas for conservation priority and also laid out steps to conserve freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystems.The country’s Biodiversity Act was signed into law in 2004 by then-president Thabo Mbeki, providing biodiversity protection at the highest level. Among others, the act calls for full environmental impact assessments before the development of any genetically modified organisms, and also permits communities to benefit from any profits gained through exploitation of natural materials, such as medicinal plants, that involve their indigenous knowledge.Raising awarenessIn addition to the numerous environment-aware celebrations in South Africa each year, the country is hosting the Biodiversity Expo 2010, a gathering which will explore the work currently being done in that field, and establish what more needs to be done.South Africans are encouraged to attend, if possible, and to broaden their knowledge of biodiversity, perhaps even becoming involved on a volunteer or career basis.The expo takes place from 25-28 March 2010 at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Newlands, Cape Town. This well-known research institute and tourist drawcard is part of the South African National Biodiversity Institute.South Africa will mark the following environment-related events in 2010:• World Wetlands Day (2 February);• National Water Week (15-19 March);• World Water Day (22 March);• Earth Hour (27 March);• Earth Day (22 April);• International Day for Biodiversity (22 May);• World Environment Week (31 May-14 June);• World Environment Day (5 June);• Arbour Week (1-7 September);• International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer (16 September);• Marine Week (11-15 October);• National Bird Week (22-26 November).Football stars support biodiversityThe UN Environmental Programme has teamed up with sportswear manufacturer Puma in an IYB campaign to support Africa’s vulnerable plants and animals, and raise awareness of the year-long event among football fans.Play for Life sees 12 Puma-sponsored African teams adopting a unique continental football strip known as the Africa Unity Kit, as their official third kit. They are Ghana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Mozambique, Togo, Tunisia, Senegal, Morocco and Namibia.The 12 teams will also wear the Fifa-approved strip during friendly games in the build-up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup, which kicks off on 11 June in Johannesburg.The Africa Unity Kit debuts at the 2010 African Cup of Nations football tournament in Angola between 10 and 31 January. All profits from worldwide sales of the replica kit will support biodiversity programmes in Africa. Besides the kit, other items such as Unity t-shirts and lacelets – collectable shoe laces featuring patterns from leading American artist Kehinde Wiley – are available.“In 2010, Africa will be at the centre of the footballing world. The Play for Life campaign and the release of the Africa Unity Kit is a powerful statement for Puma,” said the company’s CEO Jochen Zeitz.“Puma is creating a unique kit embracing the diversity of African teams while valuing the unity of players and supporters towards a common goal – raising both awareness and funds through the sale of our Unity products,” he said.
View comments Chooks-to-Go 3×3 league set to kick off with 12 city-based teams The 10 most watched games all had a verified average TV audience of more than 260 million viewers. The second-highest rating was 327.5 million for Croatia’s semifinal win over England in extra time.FIFA’s research suggests most viewers also watched for longer than they did four years earlier.The number of people watching at least 30 consecutive minutes of any game in their home was almost 2.5 billion — up more than 27 percent from the same measure in 2014.South Americans were the most avid viewers despite watching fewer hours overall of a tournament where Brazil exited in the quarterfinals, and Argentina in the round of 16.FIFA said 96.6 percent of South America’s population saw at least one minute of any game. However, their 5.52 billion hours of total viewing fell 26.9 percent from the 2014 tournament where host Brazil placed fourth.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LATEST STORIES Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening MOST READ In Europe —which provided all four semifinalists in Russia — the 2018 World Cup reached 86 percent of people watching an average of 14.6 hours.“In contrast only 38.4 percent of the Asian population were reached by World Cup coverage, reflecting relatively lower interest in the Indian subcontinent,” FIFA said.Still, almost 30 percent more viewing hours were measured in Asia, where games in Russia were played in time zones more convenient than in 2014.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Changing viewing habits — and no South American team in the final — help explain a drop from the 545-million average TV audience for the Germany-Argentina final in 2014.In comparison, the 2016 European Championship final attracted a 284.4 million average audience for Portugal beating host France. The most-watched Super Bowl in the United States was 114.4 million when the New England Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks in 2015.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefFIFA said the global TV audience for the 64-match tournament in Russia averaged 191 million per game — up from 187 million for the 2014 edition in Brazil.“Each game was a global televisual event in its own right,” soccer’s governing body said, citing research by Publicis Media Sport & Entertainment. BREAKING: Corrections officer shot dead in front of Bilibid SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. FILE – In this Sunday, July 15, 2018 file photo, people watch a giant screen during the World Cup final between France and Croatia, on the Champ de Mars next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. FIFA says more than 3.5 billion people viewed some of the 2018 World Cup, with 1.12 billion watching at least one minute of France beating Croatia 4-2 in the final. A FIFA-commissioned review of World Cup viewing says Friday, Dec. 21 the final’s television audience was 516.6 million by the traditional measure of “global average in-home audience.” (AP Photo/Bob Edme, file)GENEVA — More than 3.5 billion people viewed some of the 2018 World Cup action, with 1.12 billion watching at least one minute of France beating Croatia 4-2 in the final, according to FIFA.A FIFA-commissioned review of World Cup viewing published Friday said the television audience for the final was 516.6 million by the traditional measure of “global average in-home audience.” More watched on digital devices and out-of-home screenings in public spaces, bars and restaurants.ADVERTISEMENT
, business phone systems 7-Eleven teamed up with Farmville creator Zynga to, “allow millions of consumers the ability to redeem exclusive virtual items with Zynga games Topics: According to the Facebook page participants will, “date 60 different characters, including MTV CAST MEMBERS. Ask them questions, and then rate their answers. The I Woo You Meter lets you know if you’re a match. Go on a date and post your date photo on your wall.” As a marketer one of your duties is to get your company’s brand awareness out to the right audience—and that is sometimes easier said than done. Staying up to date on the latest tactics is a must for your niche market, and social media seems to be the golden child for some. Although this is true, I think most of us are getting tired of reading about how Twitter will make your company thousands of dollars a week. Nielsen found that One of the main reasons many companies do not participate in social media in general is they can’t tie it to any type of ROI. This is largely due to the fact that they don’t define any reason for participating other than other companies are doing it. , said, “the true strategic question is how does your brand engage with your audience in a relevant and valuable way? We feel that this is one of those ways for us to be able to do that in a fun and engaging manner.” Resource Nation Depending on your company’s target audience, social media games could be a great way to keep them engaged in your brand and help with word-of-mouth marketing (which is why social media can do so well). MTV is the latest company to roll out a to, “give 10 free Facebook Credits in exchange for trading their coins for a cash voucher at one of 10,000 Coinstar locations, which are usually in grocery stores. That’s about $1 in value. On the back of the voucher ticket, you get a web address that you can enter on your computer. Then you claim your Facebook Credits and can proceed to use them in games and other apps on Facebook.” Chances are if your major competitors are engaging in social media, you should be as well. Before you dive in, make sure you take the time to plan out any initiatives you will be doing. (tweeting, blogs, creating games etc.) Start out small and test the waters before dumping a large amount of money into social media campaigns. You might not be a heavy hitter like MTV and 7-Eleven, but that doesn’t mean social media games could be a waste of time for you. Take the time to research and plan and you could be seeing a great benefit from these games. MTV is not the first to implement these type of games. At the beginning of summer, based in San Diego, California. She writes extensively for Originally published Sep 16, 2010 3:00:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Facebook game What’s the Point? (Farmville and Mafia wars) at their local 7-Eleven store.” Rixty has decided to team up with Coinstar Social Media What to Look ForBefore implementing a social game you need to have two main points defined—is your target audience participating in social games, and how will you measure its success. If you can define these two points, you will be able to decide how and if a social game can bring in revenue. Taking the lead from this promotion, Damon Burrell, VP of marketing at MTV , “online games overtook personal email to become the second most heavily used activity behind social networks – accounting for 10 percent of all U.S. Internet time. Email dropped from 11.5 percent of time to 8.3 percent.” entitled, “I Woo You.” an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions. The following is a guest post by Shannon Suetos is an expert writer on So why are these heavy hitters participating in social games? Well like Burell said above, it helps customers engage with your brand. It is also a great way to collect information such as email addresses and other contact information—better than purchased lists and outbound 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
I hope that you found these tips useful. If you did, would you please retweet or “Like” this post 😉 Thanks! Topics: recent overtaking of the Guinness World Record content creation in 24 hours certainly did the job. Only hours after Figure out what distinguishes you from the competition, and make sure you share this with your audience. This will not only help you to attract a loyal following, but it will also help you because he wanted his fans to know he loved them. As a result of his continued effort to share remarkable content with the world, not only was Weezy able to maintain his fan base, but he actually increased it! that your competitors may not be focused on. 2. Never Stop Creating Content 3 Social Media Marketing Tips From Rapper Lil’ Wayne Don’t make your visitors’ experience more difficult by throwing a barrage of links and choices in front of them. Provide them with and then offer them one simple next step. WeezyThanxYou Although there are thousands of rappers in the world, Lil’ Wayne uses his uniqueness to help him stand out in the overpopulated sea of lyricists. His love of rock music, the Green Bay Packers, and his brief stint in jail are just a few of the things that Wayne uses to distinguish himself from others. Originally published Feb 17, 2011 12:00:00 PM, updated July 03 2013 Social Media start ranking for long tail keywords is the key to any inbound marketing strategy. Oreo claimed the record 1. Be Unique As an internet marketer having a social media presence isn’t enough. The social media landscape is always changing, and because of this it’s important to understand the most effective ways to utilize the tools available for your marketing efforts. Here are a couple things all internet marketers can learn from Lil’ Waynes success. valuable content Lil’ Wayne shares a lot of exclusive content with his fans on Facebook. He also makes it extremely clear to them how they can show their appreciation by including a simple “Like this post” call to action in many of his posts. By telling his fans what to do next Lil’ Wayne is making his fan’s lives simpler and helping them with the decision-making process. This works incredibly well on his Facebook Page as we can see with all of his posts including the most recent Guinness World Record post. Facebook Growing a following and attracting inbound links is a long gradual process. Don’t lose hope if you don’t see immediate results. Quality and consistency of If Lil’ Wayne hadn’t already established himself as one of social media’s elite, his most for themselves with 114,619 “Likes,” Lil’ Wayne and his fans obliterated it with a whopping 588,243. Now I know some of you are probably thinking, “well he probably just has a lot more fans than Oreo,” but that isn’t the whole story. Oreo has 16,711,040 fans on Facebook to Lil’ Waynes 20,112,726, and although this is a significant advantage, it does not completely explain why he got more than five times as many “Likes” on his post. for most “Likes” to a post on You would think that being locked up might put someone’s rap career on hold. But instead of slowing down, Lil Wayne seemed to work even harder while he was in prison. As well as continuing to write songs, he also launched a blog called Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 3. Tell Your Fans What to Do!
Your fan community can be a valuable resource when conducting research. Use surveys to collect information about your fan base. Trying to determine what kind of content is most valuable to them? Want some Facebook Fan Page lack luster is not only good for building stronger evangalists, but more enagement actually means more traffic back to your website. Facebook uses an algorithm call Once you get your fans buzzing, don’t just sit back and watch. Get involved! Join their conversations, thank them for their contributions, and continue to nurture the discussions happening on your Page. You shouldn’t be a silent facilitator. You should be an active member of your Page, too! Use Facebook’s discussions feature to spark conversation or debate on a certain topic related to your business. Invite fans to share their opinions on a hot-button industry issue. You might end up learning something new about your fan base, or it might even spark an idea for a blog post or an ebook. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack EdgeRank ? You might be attracting new fans to your business Page, but if they’re not actually engaging with you, you’re missing out on an important opportunity. Facebook fans can serve as fans who will be more likely to share your content and spread positive messages about your company and its products/services. First thing’s first. Are you at least giving your fans the opportunity to engage? Whether you initially turned off this functionality intentionally or not, it’s important to enable comments on your Wall. Within your Page’s settings under “Manage Permissions,” make sure your Page’s posting ability is set to allow users to write or post content to your Page’s Wall. You might just find that the reason your fans weren’t engaging in the first place is because you simply weren’t letting them! , and by ‘liking’ your Page in the first place, they’ve already indicated a level of interest in what you have to offer. ? What things have you tried, and how have they worked? So how do you activate your fans to be more engaging? A great way to encourage engagement on your Page is by posing questions to your fan community. Ask them for advice on certain topics; ask them to share their favorite blog article on a given topic; ask them for their opinions on industry news and announcements. The possibilities are endless, and questions are sure to get your fans talking. 6. Participate! Here are 6 tips to help you instantly improve fan engagement on your business Page: If a 5. Start Discussions In what other ways can you improve engagement on your Facebook fan page powerful brand evangelists for your business , they likely follow your business and already know a bit about you. This also means they probably have some opinions to share with you. Request their feedback! Ask them to share their thoughts on a new product, service, or feature you’ve launched. Motivate them to tell you how you can make their experience on your Page even better. Then listen to what they have to say, thank them for their feedback, and seriously consider implementing it. This will make them feel like a valued member of your community and emphasize that your company thinks their feedback is respected and appreciated (because it is!). ? Want to know which features of your product/service they value the most? Create a quick poll using Facebook’s question feature and post it to your Wall. bigger 1. Enable Comments Topics: ideas for your next blog article 2. Ask Questions 4. Conduct Surveys super to determine what stories show of in a users newsfeed. The more a person enages with your Page the higher the likelihood that those actions will appear to their friends driving more likes and website traffic. Nurturing these current fans into even Does your Facebook Page enagement 3. Request Feedback Originally published Jun 30, 2011 2:13:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 fans will ultimately reward you with a larger following of Social Media Engagement Facebook user is a fan of your Page
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack I’d pet a million stray pit bulls before I’d eat a single pink-slimy McBite. #McDStories bit.ly/wd0BDe— Laura Goldman (@lauragoldman) February 4, 2012 The takeaway here is to consider the other ways people could possibly interpret your hashtag. A fast food chain, especially one that has experienced controversy and negativity toward its brand in the past, should understand that it probably has quite a few naysayers willing to speak out against their brand.Step 4: Promote the Hashtag by Incorporating it Into Other Marketing ChannelsA hashtag is only useful if people know about it. So to start generating conversations through your hashtag, start adding it your existing resources and channels. For instance, every time we have a webinar, we add the event hashtag to our email reminder or follow-up communication, and the presenter reminds attendees of the hashtag at the beginning of the live webinar as well. Similarly, we add the hashtag to the social media sharing links we include on landing pages.Step 5: Don’t Hijack Hashtags for Sensitive Situations As we’ve covered in a previous blog post, hijacking hashtags designed for serious and sensitive issues can lead to some pretty bad consequences. Designer Kenneth Cole, for example, tried to insert his brand into conversations about the Egypt uproar by tweeting the following: Through this tweet, Kenneth Cole tried to hijack the #Cairo hashtag in attempt to promote his spring collection. His message was received with strong public disapproval and media criticism. As David Meerman Scott says, “Don’t attempt to piggyback on news when it conveys extremely negative information, such as people’s deaths.”Below is Twitter’s official stance when it comes to hashtag abuse. As you can see, there’s more at stake than just PR backlash …”The following behaviors and others like them could cause your account to be filtered from search, or even suspended:Adding one or more topic/hashtag to an unrelated tweet in an attempt to gain attention in search.Repeatedly tweeting the same topic/hashtag without adding value to the conversation in an attempt to get the topic trending/trending higher.Tweeting about each trending topic in turn in order to drive traffic to your profile, especially when mixed with advertising.Listing the trending topics in combination with a request to be followed.Tweeting about a trending topic and posting a misleading link to something unrelated.” Hashtags Topics: Step 6: Keep it ShortBe sure to keep your hashtag short and easy to remember. Remember that Twitter users are only allotted 140 characters in each tweet, with or without a hashtag. By keeping the hashtag brief, you’ll save your audience some room to include more commentary about your content.What are some of the lessons you’ve learned from using Twitter hashtags? Share them with us in the comments! Every time we host live webinars (and as this long list suggests, that is quite often), quite a few attendees get confused about what to do with the hashtag we provide. What is it? What does it do? How do you create one? Let me explain!Click here to access a free Twitter for Businesses kit.What is a hashtag?A Twitter hashtag is simply a keyword phrase, spelled out without spaces, with a pound sign (#) in front of it. For example, #inboundchat and #ILoveChocolate are both hashtags.What does a hashtag do?A Twitter hashtag ties the conversations of different users into one stream, which you can find by searching the hastag in Twitter Search or by using a third-party monitoring tool such as HootSuite.So, if Twitter users who are not otherwise connected talk about the same topic using a specific hashtag, their tweets will appear in the same stream. In that way, Twitter hashtags solve a coordination issue and facilitate a conversation. Popular hashtagged words often become trending topics — topics so many people are talking about that they are a “trend.”Hashtags are great for centralizing conversations around live, in-person events or conferences, live webinars, or other marketing campaigns you’re running.How do you create a hashtag?Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need any tools to create a hashtag. Hashtags are simply text, and they can be placed in the beginning, middle, or end of a tweet. Just decide on the keyword you are targeting, place a pound sign in front of it, and you are all set! See the image below for an example:How to Use Hashtags on TwitterStep 1: Check If It’s NewAfter you decide on a keyword or a phrase, search for it. Visit Search.Twitter.com and enter your preferred hashtag in the search box. Did you get any results? Is someone else already using that hashtag for their event or campaign?If there is a lot of conversation around it already, you might want to revisit your decision and pick something that isn’t as frequently used. In that way, you will reduce the chances of people who are not a part of your target audience entering/diluting the conversation you want to take place.Step 2: Pick Industry or Brand KeywordsHashtags can also help communicate a message to those not actively searching for them. For example, if someone you’re following is tweeting about an event using a hashtag, you will still be able to see their updates in your main Twitter feed without accessing the entire hashtag conversation. In other words, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of what they’re tweeting about and quickly connect the content of the tweet to the hashtag they’re using. And if the hashtag reflects an industry or branded keyword that is interesting to you, you might be inclined to check out the rest of the conversation happening around that hashtag, a win for the marketer who created it!Step 3: Be Careful With SentimentsA lot of politicians and big brands have experienced Twitter failure by choosing hashtags that include the word “love” in them. Love is a strong word, so if you are putting it in the mouth of your followers, make sure they really love you. Otherwise, they might turn against you and cause a major PR controversy. For instance, theMitt Romney Twitter campaign that sought to wish him a happy birthday also attracted quite a lot of critical comments. If you are just starting out, pick something neutral that simply reflects your topic or campaign.Furthermore, beware hashtag campaigns that have the potential of getting abused by users. The McDonald’s #McDStories hashtag campaign, which was launched as a way to share fun stories about people’s experience at McDonald’s, is a great example of a hashtag choice gone wrong. What McDonald’s didn’t foresee was people sharing negative stories about the McDonald’s brand, and that’s exactly what happened. Anyone who searched for “McDStories” were immediately met with thousands of tweets similar to the one below, which described awful experiences users had with McDonald’s. Originally published Apr 24, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017
Originally published Nov 25, 2013 4:00:00 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 SlackSlack Topics: What’s the difference between a healthy tweet and a sick tweet? Simply put: Healthy tweets live longer. How long, you ask? Well, the jury’s still out on that. Some reports say 48 hours, while others say 18 minutes. Either way, we marketers are always striving for those healthy tweets — ones that reach out to our followers and get them engaged with our brand.But with 9,100 tweets scrolling by every second, we have to do everything we can to get our tweets noticed. There’s a lot of outside factors that influence the lifespan of a tweet — numbers of followers, time of day you’re tweeting, etc. — but to make sure your tweets are as impactful as possible, you have to have a game plan.So, here are five strategies you can employ on Twitter to give your tweets the best chance to be healthy and get noticed by your followers. 1) Optimize your tweets for retweets.One of the best things about marketing on Twitter is that it gives you a built-in mechanism for extending the lifespan of your tweet: the retweet.When someone retweets your tweet, it means they found the content valuable enough to share with their own followers, thus extending the lifetime of your tweet. It’s a great way to pass along content to your followers that you didn’t create yourself or to show support to a fellow business or colleague.Get started by: Checking out the free tool RetweetLab.com. Powered by HubSpot, the tool allows you to analyze any Twitter account to get the data you need to make sure your tweets are retweetable. The tool was created by Dan Zarrella, who wrote The Science of Retweets and has spent years analyzing data to bring us best practices for social media marketing. (One quick tip: Always cap your tweets at around 115 characters for optimal retweet-ability.)2) Schedule your tweets in advance.Twitter is a great platform for on-the-fly updates, but when you’re using Twitter as part of your overall social media strategy, you’ll want to schedule tweets in advance that complement other aspects of your marketing. This will help keep your tweets healthy because you’ll have time to optimize them.That’s not to say you can’t post Twitter updates while at a big conference or event. But what if you’re the sole social media marketer for your company and you’re at the event? It’s good to have a few tweets cued up for backup that still support your other marketing efforts.Get started by: Setting aside 10 minutes a week to schedule tweets in advance. Friday might even be the best day to do this, so you know when you get in to work on Monday, you have your social media content all planned out for the week. This leaves you room to practice newsjacking for anything that’s relevant to your industry or capitalize on a marketing campaign that’s doing really well by adding in a few extra tweets mid-week.(HubSpot customers: We just made a fantastic planning spreadsheet so you can bulk upload tweets with ease.)3) Include a link in all of your organic tweets.Unless you’ve got a Twitter update that shakes the entire world, adding a link to your tweets is great way to keep it healthy. It brings even more content to your tweet while staying within the confines of Twitter’s character limits. It also gives people something valuable to pass on to their followers beyond your commentary on the link. Providing valuable information to your followers is the best way to get noticed.Get started by: Taking a link and coming up with multiple ways to promote it. We recently posted this article and suggest promoting one link in five different ways by using the title of the page, a quote, one takeaway you discovered, one statistic, and a sentence of commentary. Not a bad exercise to do, especially when tweets with links are 86% more likely to be retweeted.4) Get more Twitter followers.There’s no magic number when it comes to Twitter followers. But the more followers you have, the more likely it is that someone will see your update and engage with you. For example, if Justin Bieber were to retweet you, it’s possible your tweets would be seen by millions (maybe even tens of millions). But unless you’re a megastar, you’ll have to settle for getting followers the old-fashioned way.Get started by: Engaging with others in your industry on Twitter. You can search Twitter for relevant hashtags, or industry terms, to help you find other people or companies that are like you. You can even create lists of these folks so you can easily monitor their Twitter updates and see who else they’re engaging with. Connect with them by retweeting them or asking them questions about content they’ve shared. But don’t resort to getting new followers by tricks or bots — that’s just not proper social media etiquette.5) Use a hashtag in your tweets.Hashtags are commonly used in tweets to give those scanning through some quick context about the subject of the update. You may not say the word “social media” in your update, but adding #socialmedia to your tweet will catch the eyes of those interested in the subject. Also, hashtags are a great way to search for tweets – so your tweets should be optimized for search as well.Get started by: Having a handy list of 7-10 hashtags that you can always use in your tweets. Setting up the list early takes the guesswork out when your tweeting on the go or scheduling tweets for the week. You should use these hashtags when sharing your own organic content and especially when you’re curating content to make it easy for your followers to understand the relevance of your retweet.Along with these five strategies to keep your tweet healthy, don’t forget to make sure you’ve put some thought into the copy, too. Crafting your update to include an attention-grabbing title, or colorful commentary, will go a long way in making sure your tweets get noticed by your followers. Be interesting, be authentic, and most importantly, keep the “social” in social media by being human.What other strategies do you have for making sure your tweets last as long as possible? Let us know in the comments!
Topics: The way people buy has changed, so the way businesses market themselves has also needed to change. And as an educator prepping students to enter the workforce, this means that your job has changed, too. Truthfully, this change can be tough. There are so many marketing strategies, tools, and tactics out there, and you need to assess them all and then learn them yourself so you can knowledgably educate your students. To help make this transition easier, below are some free resources you can use when you’re teaching your class and even some tools you can pass on to your students.1) Digital Marketing SyllabusThis Inbound Methodology Syllabus template is a guideline for a 15-week class. It’s a fully editable Google Docs file you can download and customize to fit the needs of your class. It includes goals and class objectives, course overview and requirements, and a list of required readings. It’s been created and vetted by other marketing professors, so it’s chock-full of information that professors actually care about.2) An Email Template for Reaching Out to Guest LecturersEspecially when you’re teaching tactical, “real-world” concepts, it can help to bring in outside talent. How should you go about finding (and securing) the right guest speakers?Try to find a connection with the person you are reaching out to. Ask friends of friends, or do a little research on LinkedIn. If you can find a connection, ask for a warm introduction from someone you already know. A request from a friend is always easier to accept.If you need to send a cold email, play up any prestige or connection your school has to the person you are reaching out to. Did they attend your university for undergrad? Will they be speaking to 2,000 students? Are you teaching material the speaker created? This type of information could be just what you need to convince a guest speaker to attend your class.Below is an example of an email you could use as a framework to ask someone to speak in your classroom:Hello Amy,I teach at Boston University and am looking for an expert content marketer to speak to my 1,000 student marketing class at the end of May. We’ve been using HubSpot’s Inbound Certification for our class, and I recently read your article on Inc.com about how content marketing helped you grow your Boston startup 10X. You were one of the first people who came to mind and I wanted to reach out. Would you be interested in guest speaking in my class about content marketing?Best, Lauren3) PowerPoint Deck TemplatesDesign can go a long way to aiding student comprehension and retention — but the truth is, designing PowerPoint decks may not always be a teacher’s strong suit. To help you get to the good stuff (the substance of the lesson), here are a few free, gorgeous PowerPoint templates you can download for your next class.4) Factbrowser.comThis is a basically a search engine for facts and stats. It runs quite the gamut in regards to content topics: social networks, gaming, specific industries, holidays, coupons, marketing, and so many more. For instance, you’ll find stats such as 53% of US digital marketers plan to prioritize mobile ads in 2015 over social media (Forrester Research) and 40% of women like strawberry flavored alcoholic drinks (Nielsen). Sources for their data includes Deloitte, Nielsen, TechCrunch, and Forrester Research (among others). If you’re ever in a pinch for stats for class, Factbrowser.com is just what you need.5) Moz AcademyMoz Academy is a resource created by Moz that’s full of short, comprehensive lessons about inbound marketing. Specifically, Moz Academy focuses on SEO, link earning, social media, and content marketing. Videos on their site as the time of this writing include how to recover link equity, keyword research, and using Moz analytics.Note: You need to be a Moz Pro subscriber to take advantage of this resource.6) LinkedIn GroupsIf you’re looking for a virtual place to gather ideas, brainstorm topics or connect with other educators, join a LinkedIn group. Here are a couple Groups that are private and only available to educators (yes, they you will be manually added to this group should you choose to join, by an actual human!), so they’re full of helpful, relevant content:Marketing, Advertising and Communication ProfessorsQualitative Marketing Researchers and ProfessorsHubSpot Academy Group7) CanvaCanva is a free tool our marketing team uses daily to creating beautiful, simple designs. You can create an account in seconds and start designing something right away. The software features stock photography, custom graphics, fonts, and pre-sized templates for sizing. Users can also upload their own photos or designs. It’s perfect for students who need to design presentations, social media cover photos for a campaigns, blog graphics, business cards, and more.8) CrayonCrayon is a marketing design search engine. This powerhouse of a database has over 11 million real marketing designs that are searchable and organized. For example, you can use filters to search for landing page examples from automotive industry. Other filters include traffic level, device type, and page type (such as jobs pages, team pages, or ‘about us’ pages.) If you are looking for case studies or your students are searching for examples, Crayon is a gold mine.9) UnsplashWhether it’s for a student’s end-of-semester marketing project or for a lecture you’re creating for your students, beautiful visuals can make a big difference in improving a piece of content. Unsplash.com is a completely free stock photography website. Ten new photos are uploaded every ten days, so there are always new photos to download. And, the photos are drop-dead gorgeous. You can even subscribe to their email mailing list and you’ll be the first receive the new photos.10) Marketing GraderWant another hands-on ways to critique real companies’ marketing? Run a free Marketing Grader report for a quick snapshot about how a company’s marketing is doing. The report critiques and suggests ways to improve a company’s blog, social media accounts, SEO tactics, lead generation methods, and mobile optimization. You could use these takeaways for examples in your lecture or even assign your students to run a Marketing Grader report and analyze the results themselves.Want even more free resources for your curriculum? HubSpot is giving away thousands of free marketing and business books all summer long. All you need to enter to win is an email address. You can enter to win here. Inbound Marketing Education Originally published May 13, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated May 23 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Content Planning Originally published Apr 28, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack When I first started editing articles for HubSpot’s Marketing Blog, I didn’t quite realize how much time each one would take.Depending on length, topic, author, and other variables, it can take anywhere from twenty minutes to an entire afternoon to edit a single blog post.This post isn’t about cutting corners; it’s about editing efficiently. That sometimes means giving more thoughtful feedback up front so your job is easier when the final draft does come in. Other times, it means keeping a few key websites handy so you can refer to them quickly — whether you’re checking the author’s math or adding a Pinterest Pin It button to an image.What are some ways to edit more efficiently while maintaining integrity? Whether you’re editing your own piece of writing or someone else’s, here are 12 ways to save time when you sit down and whip out that proverbial red pen.12 Ways to Save Time While Editing a Piece of Writing1) Find a quiet space to do your editing.Don’t try to get your editing done in a meeting, or when you’re around chatty coworkers. Research shows that multitasking like that can make us far less effective at our work and increase mistakes and stress. And when you’re editing, you’re trying to catch those mistakes — so you want to be extra diligent.Instead, find a place where you can plug in and concentrate fully on the piece in front of you. When you get there, turn off those pesky email and social media notifications, and put your phone on airplane mode (or, better yet, leave it in your bag). The phone part is particularly important: In a 2015 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, people who received notification of a call — even if they didn’t pick it up — were 3X more likely to make mistakes. If you’re working through a piece of writing that’ll require more than a few hours of careful editing, consider blocking out chunks of concentrated time separated by breaks. Otherwise, you may lose focus and begin missing things. In fact, a study by the Draugiem Group found that the employees with the highest productivity spent 52 minutes working, followed by 17 minutes of rest.2) Be sure the topic aligns with your content strategy.You might be tempted to dig into the meat of the piece and begin meticulously editing it straight away. But, as an editor, it’s important that you put the content into context before you dive into the details. First, take a quick skim of the working title, the layout, and the main ideas covered in the piece. Think to yourself:Does this topic align with our content strategy?Will our readers and buyer personas care about it?If you’re concerned the piece isn’t about a topic your readers will be interested in, think about how to tweak the angle.You’ll also want to reflect on how the piece fits in with what you’ve written in the past — especially if the piece is a blog post. Search engines like Google might see the second post as duplicate content and penalize you in search. Even if Google doesn’t consider it duplicate content, competing for keyword ranking against another post from your own blog will hurt your SEO strategy. The questions to ask yourself here are:Have we covered this topic comprehensively in the past?Will it add anything new and interesting?If both answers are yes, you might consider updating and republishing the original draft. 3) Read for content & ideas first, grammar second.Never start diving into detailed edits before you read the whole piece through. It’s important to reflect on it holistically so you can pinpoint places where the content and ideas can be made stronger. This may seem like we’re adding time here, but trust me, this’ll save you a lot of time and pain in the long run. If you’ve ever started editing a piece line-by-line only to realize it needs to be completely restructured, you know what I mean.The key takeaway here is to recognize when the piece needs more work from the author. “Sometimes, an author sends a piece in before it’s ready to be edited,” says Corey Wainwright, HubSpot’s Director of Content. “Learning to recognize those instances can save you a ton of time, because otherwise you start just rewriting the piece, which isn’t helpful to either of you.”Ginny Soskey, manager of HubSpot’s Marketing Blog, agrees. “Your job, as an editor, is to preserve the voice of your writer while making sure they are meeting your Quality Bar,” she explained in her post on editing confessions.If you notice the piece doesn’t flow well, or the introduction needs to be tightened up, or there aren’t enough points in the article for it to meet your standards for quality, then it’s better to send that feedback to the author via email than to try and fix it yourself.If the piece needs an overwhelming amount of editing help, then the author’s writing may not be a fit for your publication — and you’ll save a lot of time by telling the contributor outright.4) Check for places where the author can fill in the blanks.Aside from providing larger, more broad feedback, you should also read through the piece to identify smaller improvements that you might want (or need) the author’s help on. Here are some questions to ask yourself:Are there any structural inconsistencies in the piece? For example, if they included an image in every section of the piece except for one or two, you might ask them to find an image for those sections for consistency.Are there any points that need more, better, or any evidence? Statistics and data can elevate the quality of your content and make it more interesting for readers.Are any sources missing citations? (This is a big one.)As you read, take notes on these points in an email draft to the author. Once you’re done, make sure you clean up the notes so they’re comprehensible. 5) Bookmark helpful websites for quick referencing.If the content, ideas, and structure of the piece are all ready to go, you can get down to the nitty-gritty of editing the piece. This is where I like to keep a few websites bookmarked for reference. Here are the ones I prefer.Your company’s style guide: For when you want to double-check how something is spelled or referred to.Percent change calculator: For checking math.Your favorite keyword tools: For identifying top keywords for the content so you can use them in the title, headers, and relevant anchor text.Pinterest Pin It widget builder: For creating Pin It buttons for graphics or infographics.Embed code generator: For creating embed codes for any original graphics or infographics. (Learn how to use it here.)Click-to-tweet: For adding click-to-tweet links to tweetable quotes in a blog post. (Learn how here.)For more ideas, read this blog post for the ultimate list of websites every blogger should bookmark.6) Keep useful code snippets close at hand.Along with bookmarking helpful websites, it’s also a good idea to have all those useful snippets of HTML or other code that you tend to use easily accessible. For example, you might notice that we add borders around many of our images on the blog. To add these borders, I need to add a specific snippet of code into the source code of the blog posts I write and edit.To make this process easy, I save code snippets in my Evernote. When it comes time to add them to the source code of my blog post, I simply pull up the note and plug in the snippets as need. (Download our free guide to HTML here to learn some simple and useful HTML coding hacks.)7) Read the piece out loud.Reading out loud isn’t just good for memory retention; it’s also a great way to find errors in a piece of writing. You’re more likely to you find clumsy sentences and other things spell check won’t necessarily catch if you hear those errors out loud.Best-selling author David Sedaris uses this verbal approach to fine-tune his writing. According to Fast Company, Sedaris tests his works-in-progress by reading it aloud to live audiences because it helps him notice imperfections in the text. As he reads, he’ll circle everything from confusing or misleading phrasing to closely repeated words or words that sound alike in the same paragraph”I used to hate it when a book came out or a story was published and I would be like ‘damn, how did I not catch that?’” Sedaris said. “But you pretty much always catch it when you’re reading out loud.”Reading out loud will help you catch these errors in the first go-round, which will save you time later.8) Use “Find and Replace” to quickly fix common errors.Here’s a useful tip from my colleague Ginny from that great blog post on editing I mentioned earlier. Think about it: What are the mistakes you tend to make when writing or editing? What things do you tend to miss? For example, you might notice that one of you typically get hung up on the difference between there/their or you’re/your. Knowing that, you can make sure to do a “Find and Replace” before publishing a piece to correct these little slipups. It’s a far quicker way to polish a piece than looking for these instances manually.To do a “Find and Replace,” hit Control + F on a PC (or Command + F on a Mac), type in your problem word or phrase and click “Find,” and let your browser take you to the word or phrase. Then, look through each instance of that word or phrase and swap it out with the right thing when needed.9) “Find and Replace” HTML snippets to quickly clean up a post’s formatting. You can use the same principle when you’re cleaning up the formatting of a piece of writing for a blog post or other piece of online content. Skip the time-consuming manual work and find specific pieces of code using “Find and Replace.”For example, if you’re finding rogue tags or other troublesome code in the source code, you can use “Find and Replace” to replace them with something else or strip them out completely.Simply hit Control + F on a PC (or Command + F on a Mac), type or paste in the code, and click “Find.” Under “Replace,” either fill in the code you want to replace it with, or leave it blank to strip out the code completely. When you hit “All,” it’ll be gone.10) Copy and paste the piece of writing into Microsoft Word to find spelling and grammatical errors.It doesn’t matter how meticulously you eyeballed a piece of writing: More often than not, you will find additional errors using spell check that you would otherwise miss. If your writing software has spell check, use it. We also recommend pasting the content into Microsoft Word (length-permitting) for a final check. Just remember to give the document a few extra seconds to process your piece once you’ve pasted it in there, as Word takes a little longer to “read” your piece and uncover any mistakes. Then, you can go through it and assess any red or green squiggly lines you see.11) Know when the content is good enough.I know as well as any other editor that letting go of perfectionism is hard. But it turns out that perfectionism, while helpful in certain contexts, can become a major roadblock for productivity.There will always be something you can do to improve a piece of writing — and it can drive you crazy if you let it. You might think of “done” as spending every possible minute improving, polishing, and refining a piece until it’s whittled to perfection.But what are you sacrificing by making more, minor improvements? And are those sacrifices realistic? Are they worth your time? At some point, you need to ask yourself: When is “good enough” good enough? Of course, knowing what the threshold for “good enough” is easier said than done. Here’s a helpful formula to give you some direction:The piece successfully solves the problem, addresses the need, or conveys the message intended.It is clearly and distinctly on brand.The quality of work is consistent with or above the level of previous work.It has been thoroughly yet objectively scrutinized by other qualified individuals.The final decision of preference had been left in the hands of the creator.Make sure that you complete the most important editing and proofreading tasks. Then, once you’ve refined a piece enough to move on … just move on.12) Keep this pre-publish checklist handy.Before you hit “publish,” it’s time to do a final once-over to make sure you’ve checked all the boxes. While this seems like another extra step, remember that this is an investment of time that’ll save you from having to return to the piece later to make edits and adjustments.But there are a lot of little things to remember before you publish a piece of writing — which is why my colleague Pam Vaughan created this online editing and proofreading checklist. Use it to ensure all the important boxes are checked before you hit publish so that when a piece of writing is shipped, it’s shipped for good.How do you save time when editing while still giving the piece its due diligence? Share your tips with us in the comments below. Topics:
Originally published Sep 15, 2016 5:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Communication with Clients Topics: It’s inevitable: at some point, your client will give you the silent treatment. They probably don’t mean to make you blow steam from your ears — it just happens — and getting over the communication slump starts with walking a mile in their shoes.It’s important to remember that many companies are understaffed and stretched thin. And even though studies show that burnout is bad for business, we see it happen all the time.While it may be frustrating when you can’t get an answer from your client, it’s usually not the result of ill will or without reason. There’s a good chance your client lives in meetings for most of their days, leaving them with only a small window to take calls and answer emails. An empathic approach to your client relationships — rather than an angry one — will be better for both you and your client in the long run.Why Clients Go DarkThere are several explanations for why your clients aren’t answering you. It could be as simple as email clutter. Haven’t we all tried to block off calendar time to clean out our inboxes, only to veer off course into this project or that phone call? We’re only human.Experts say you need an entire minute to recover from reading a single email. And at bare minimum, you’d need three hours a day dedicated only to reading and sending emails if you were to stay completely caught up on your inbox. Your client might not have the bandwidth to sift through their inbox every day.They could also be waiting on another department or team member to weigh in before they get back to you, and they just don’t have anything new to report. They could be putting out other fires they perceive as more important, or they could simply be stalling because they’re suffering from a bit of decision paralysis (again, it happens to the best of us).Worst case scenario, they have bad news to deliver and they’re putting it off. But don’t jump to conclusions. While it’s normal for you to devote roughly 25 percent to 40 percent of your time to a project, clients usually devote only 5 percent to 10 percent of their time. Most likely, their lack of communication stems from the fact that they’re juggling a lot at once and are strapped for time.The question is this: How do you move forward without feeling like you’re constantly nagging them?Strategies for Breaking the SilenceIt’s not easy to keep clients engaged when they’re seemingly tuning you out, but these simple strategies can help you stay in touch without hurting the relationship.1) When setting deadlines, emphasize the most important ones.If you assume your clients are going to miss any deadlines right out of the gate, you’re already planning ahead. Tell them upfront which deadlines are essential, and be firm about which will affect the success or timing of the project. If they’re going to forget something, it might as well be one of the less important somethings.2) Be clear about the consequences of missing specific deadlines.Don’t be afraid to put things in concrete terms: “If we don’t get X, we can’t make Y happen.” This will light a fire in many clients right away because they don’t want to risk failure of their project. If you’re not clear about what you need from your client, you’ll end up taking the blame for missed deadlines yourself.3) Don’t use calendar due dates.Instead, set deadlines in number of days. For example, “Five workdays after we receive X, we can deliver Y.” This creates a more visual timeline of what happens when even one small deadline is missed. It also gives your client a better understanding of the big consequences their lack of responsiveness can have on the project.4) Get a structure in place for clear communication.Agree on turnaround times and communication methods right away with your client. Ask if phone calls are better than emails. Maybe face-to-face meetings are more your clients’ style. Don’t assume that what works for you will work for them. If they have days they know are more hectic or they know they’ll be unavailable, make note of those, too.5) Don’t end a meeting without scheduling a follow-up.It’s kind of like getting a second date with someone you like: If you like someone, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask him or her out again. Go after your clients in a similar way. If you leave the schedule open-ended, you’ve just created another step you have to take to set it up later (and more messages for which you’ll have to wait for responses).6) Create a ‘If we don’t hear from you’ plan.Proactively ask your clients things like “How can we move this forward on our own, just in case we don’t hear from you?” It creates a backup plan right away, making it more likely that your deliverables and timeline can press onward. Plus, the more your clients can trust you to make decisions on their behalf, the stronger your relationships will become.7) Get acquainted with your clients’ schedules.When you want to escalate your communication urgency appropriately and respectfully, that might look very different if your client is having a “normal” week as opposed to being out of the office for a family reunion or vacation.Get a sense of what your clients’ weeks typically look like so you can set reasonable deliverable dates. Making a “tell us about your week” question part of your usual status meetings with clients is a quick, easy way to anticipate issues and also understand what is reasonable and what might not be.The Better You Understand Your Clients, The Easier It BecomesFrom the agency’s perspective, an unresponsive client can squeeze the agency’s time to complete the project. Sometimes, a project has a fixed deadline, so no matter how the client delays the work, the agency still has to scramble to get it done. It can also lead to rush charges or other unnecessary expenses. But think of client silence this way: You should always be seeking to understand your customers better anyway, and unresponsiveness is yet another opportunity to do just that. Getting through this slump could be just the thing to bring you closer together. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack