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Votes are in, Judging Underway for Leading Moms in Business

It is our hope that the competition creates exposure for mom-run businesses by creating excitement for each business’s constituency. It’s our hope that the ranking results are a big PR hit for the winners. And with this eBook, it’s our hope that we can warm newcomer moms to the fires of entrepreneurship!
If you’ve been on the sidelines and think just maybe you’re ready to follow in the footsteps of the millions of other moms who’ve started up, consider the first step we are happy to recommend: download your copy of Start Your Own Mom Business!.
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I am ever amazed by the intensity and on-top-of-itness of competitors in the StartupNation Leading Moms in Business Ranking competition. The popular voting and entries phases have just closed and now we’re tabulating those votes and selecting stand-out competitors as judged winners. It’s always a difficult process – so many of them deserve the spotlight [...]

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Social Media Marketing: What happens to your social media when the person who’s doing it is gone?

Lately I’ve noticed a problem that I thought was worth bringing up.  That is; what happens to your social media when the person who’s doing it goes away?

This was brought to mind because it’s this time of year when organizations elect new leaders and volunteers change positions and move on.  For many organizations that means that the person who was doing your social media has gone.  Have you made provisions to replace them?  Often times the answer is no.  That means that any momentum you created through Twitter, Blogging, Facebook, etc. is soon lost.  And often times, the new person taking over has to start from scratch all over again because the last person doing the social media had all the passwords.  This also can be a problem in itself.

So what do you do?  Here are three tips:

1.  Before you ask volunteers or employees to step in and handle social media for you, create a social media policy for your organization. Outline the parameters of use, i.e., the goals of use, platforms used and what is considered appropriate for public sharing.  Also outline the consequences of a breach of social media policy.  Sounds like a small thing, but the fact is that your organization could be found libel for the comments or actions of one of your volunteers or employees who are using social media on your behalf.  It happens all of the time. Remember whatever you put out on the Internet stays there forever.  This is one of those cases where it’s not better to ask for forgiveness than permission.  Make sure what employees are posting on social media is appropriate at all times.  Here’s a link to Intel’s Social Media Guidelines as a sample. 

2.  If you’re going to have a presence on social media, make sure your accounts reflect the organization’s brand. Take the time to make sure your profiles are designed in accordance to your organization’s branding standards.  Create a professional background that matches your website and clearly communicates that you are the “official” page of the organization.  Here’s an example:  http://www.twitter.com/southwestair

3.  Keep a master list of passwords and change them regularly. This is recommended to help cut down on unwelcome hackers into your account.  Also, it will allow you to keep up on your accounts in case of personnel changes.

Social media is not going away, so as you adopt this technology into your culture, it’s important to take a few extra steps to insure that the experience will be a successful one for you and your organization right from the start.

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Lately I’ve noticed a problem that I thought was worth bringing up.  That is; what happens to your social media when the person who’s doing it goes away? This was brought to mind because it’s this time of year when organizations elect new leaders and volunteers change positions and move on.  For many organizations that [...]

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Will Smart Phones be the New Driver of Local Commerce?

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Over the last year or so, location-based services that integrate tightly with mobile phones have been one of main themes watched by the venture world, and for good reason. As we continue moving forward in a world influenced less by mass media and more by our interactions with new technology (social networks, smart phones, etc), [...]

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Back to Business – Good News or Bad?

With Labor Day comes back-to-school and back-to-business. With this in mind, are you dreading your old routine and the cooler months ahead?   Well, here are a few things you can do now to make a smoother transition and have more business success.   1.      Check Your PR Action Plan. Review your plan of action [...]

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5 Facebook Tools to Help Online Retailers Sell More

Just about every online retailer out there is looking for ways to utilize Facebook as a channel to enhance their online shopping experience and acquire more customers. Below are 5 useful tools that help retailers do that: Addoway: An online marketplace for fashion, collectibles and more that integrates with Facebook’s social graph to recommend merchants [...]

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Survival Tips for Attending A Celebrity Gifting Suite

Whether you agree with the phenomena or not, celebrity sells. I have personally seen the momentum it can create with my own company, Glamajama. A celebrity fan or customer gives your brand credibility in the marketplace and makes your company newsworthy. Celebrity Gifting Suites are one of the many ways you can gain access to [...]

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Get PR Results – Not Rip-Offs

“I just paid a small fortune to a big, PR agency and have nothing to show for it!”   “We hired a freelance copywriter, and he took our money and ran.”   “I paid a lot of money for media placements. Isn’t that how it works?”   Yes, folks. These are just some of the [...]

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Inspiration to StartUp: Should YOU Follow Your Passions?

This question has been in my heart and thoughts lately as my pet project, FitandFearLESS.tv, finally launches. As always, there are naysayers. Naysayers that question what a childrenswear designer could possibly know about the crazy world of online entertainment. As I take my first steps in this new venture, I’m often asked “I know this [...]

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Is Your TV, Computer or Bed Making You Lose Sales?

Ok. You may think I’m nuts, but I’m writing this at 4:45 on a Tuesday morning. I just put three loads of laundry into the washing machine, and I’m now tackling several, SEO writing assignments in addition to this blog. Don’t hate me because I’m a morning person. I had to train myself to get [...]

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What Stinks?

Ahhh. Summer. You sit back in your lawn chair with a cold beverage in one hand, and your favorite book in another. Enticing barbeque aromas waft past your nose, and your stomach grumbles with anticipation. You catch the sweet scent of roses in the garden and the fresh cut grass from next door. But wait [...]

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The Secret Weapon to Stay Ahead of the Competition

You smell the freshly cut grass and the tangy barbeque sizzling on the grill. You sip a nice, cool beverage by the pool and start to fall asleep.   Ah…summer. It’s time for rest, relaxation and fun. But wait a minute…Wake up!   It’s also a time to be aware of your business. Why?   [...]

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Invention In The Spotlight – august (girl in bikini reads book)

  No, the invention of the month is not the girl in the bikini; it is the clever floating bookstand she’s using to read in the hot tub! Each month, I like to provide the StartUpNation inventor community with one invention that seems to catch people’s attention, whether it’s the creative nature and uniqueness of [...]

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Got Press? 5 Ways to Create News

As a new business owner, it’s easy to rush through publicity efforts in order to concentrate or core business activities and priorities. But before you contact the media or post a press release, ask yourself if the information you’re about to send is really newsworthy. Will a reporter really care about what you have to [...]

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Referrals are the future of Social Commerce, not conversations

“Social Commerce” is a big buzz word these days. As many continue to talk about merging social media and e-commerce, there is no clear consensus as to what the main driver of social commerce will end up being. Many think its about finding ways to promote and sell products on Facebook, others think its about [...]

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Video Surveillance: Should You Have One?

Security…is it important? All and all, I guess it depends. If you have children and are a single mother, I’d say it’s more important than if you are a single 26-year-old man who is 300 pounds of pure muscle. But, that’s just me (being a female and all). For businesses, same rule applies (not the [...]

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Want Free Publicity? Pick up the Phone!

  As a small business owner, getting the media attention you deserve is not as difficult as it may seem. In fact, it’s just a matter of picking up the phone and being a good sales person!   Here are five tips to help you get started.   1.      Research.   Before you contact reporters, [...]

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5 Ways to Use Foursquare to Market Your Location-Based Business

I’ve been mulling this around since posting the last Foursquare article and thought that there were more practical tips could be added.

Foursquare is a hugely untapped and powerful little tool for business marketing, especially if you own a business that requires customers to physically visit your location to make a purchase.  Unfortunately most businesses don’t understand just exactly how they can use Foursquare and are missing out on a fantastic and inexpensive marketing opportunity!!

So here are five very practical tips on how to use Foursquare to market your location-based business.

1.            Use Foursquare like a customer loyalty card

The cool thing about Foursquare is it shows the user how many times they have been at each location, so you could offer customers a freebie after so many check ins.  Make sure you set clear rules about how to redeem the offer including: check ins more than once per day do not count towards redemption of the free offer; or free offer value at $5.00, may not be accumulated or transferred, may not be redeemed for cash, etc.

The women’s clothing store Ann Taylor recently launched a Foursquare promotion like this in New York City giving shoppers 15% off at the store after their 5th check in and giving the person with the most check ins at one location (called the Mayor) 25% off their purchase at that visit.

Another company, Tasti D-Lite, offers frequent shoppers a branded Foursquare badge, as well as additional loyalty points on their physical loyalty card, plus freebies and other perks.

2.            Organize a real-time treasure hunt.

Now this could get really fun.  Leave a clue of the day on the “Tips” section of your Foursquare page with the answer to each clue being a different special of the day.  The customers who come in and guess the special, get the special, plus they are eligible to win a bigger prize at the end of the contest.

Another company, Jimmy Choo, a high-end designer footwear brand, runs this contest by having a pair of Jimmy Choo sneakers check in at various hot spots around town.  The person who is able to guess the next hot spot and arrive there before the Jimmy Choo shoes arrive will win a pair of very expensive shoes.

3.            Use Foursquare to entice new customers to come into your store by offering a 1st Timers check in discount or freebie.

“Show us your check-in and your dessert is on us!”  Again, make sure you communicate clearly in your offer what the rules are; i.e., free dessert is only for first check in, and must be redeemed with purchase of a meal; etc.”

4.            Leverage word of mouth marketing.

One of the benefits of Foursquare is that friends can “follow” each other and thus can see each other’s check in’s on Foursquare.  Note:  The check in’s are also posted on Twitter, Facebook and Yelp, if they’ve enabled the function.   This is huge for your business because every check in at your location is a tacit recommendation from the person checking in there.    Leverage this exposure by inviting people to check in via Foursquare.  Providing special offers for those who check in via Foursquare will invite people to check in more often.

Also, make sure you pay attention to what people are saying on Foursquare about your business, because whether you use it or not, people are using it, and chance are, they are talking about your business.  Personally reply back to people who leave tips or make positive comments and thank them.  Likewise, it’s just as important to respond to negative comments as well and to remedy the issue as soon as possible.    Don’t be negative; just say something like, “I’m sorry that you had a bad experience.  Let’s get it touch and discuss how we can make it up to you.”

5.            Tie in text message marketing with Foursquare.

Invite people to take photos of them having fun or otherwise enjoying your location and text the photos to a special text message phone number.  Once they do this they will have opted into your text message marketing program and you will be able to send them additional specials and discounts via text.

What other ways can you use Foursquare to market your high traffic location based business?    I would love to hear your comments.  Next post, how to market your non-location based business on Foursquare.

Wendy Kenney is a nationally known Buzz Building Expert and the Founder and CEO of 23 Kazoos, a marketing firm specializing in inexpensive and creative small business marketing strategies.  She has honed her marketing skills through over 26 years of entrepreneurship and business management.

Wendy just released her new book called How to Build Buzz for Your Biz- Tap into the Power of Social Media, Publicity and Relationship Marketing to Grow Your Business” based on her knowledge of what works and what does not work in small business marketing.  This book features practical and low cost marketing strategies, such as “How to Grow Your Business Using Social Media,” as well as valuable links, resources, and tips and is available on Amazon.com.

Wendy frequently speaks to organizations about marketing for small business.  To get more information or to schedule Wendy to speak go to:  Business Marketing Speaker

Claim your free download (no email necessary) on Wendy’s website:  23 Kazoos

How to Build Buzz for your Biz:  23 Creative and Inexpensive Marketing Strategies That Will Get You Noticed

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I’ve been mulling this around since posting the last Foursquare article and thought that there were more practical tips could be added. Foursquare is a hugely untapped and powerful little tool for business marketing, especially if you own a business that requires customers to physically visit your location to make a purchase.  Unfortunately most businesses [...]

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Are You Ready to Send Out That Release?

You have your business up and running and are ready to announce it to the world. Hold on! Before you send out that press release letting everyone know about your services, there are three things to keep in mind:   1.      Is your site ready?   If people see your press release and visit your [...]

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Ladies: Getting Your Legal Foundation in Place is Sexy!

This one is especially for the ladies, because I think this is an epidemic issue with us.  But men, you are warmly welcome here!  I hope everyone gets something from this post….read on! There are so many programs out there that talk about marketing, sales, Social Media, finding your bliss, etc….  All of these things [...]

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Get More Customers with Foursquare

Note:  This is a guest post by Social Media DIY Foursquare is currently one of the most popular services that combines social networking and location-based social media. Launched in spring 2009, it includes businesses in more than 100 cities across the United States with more than 300,000 users. Foursquare allows customers to check-in when they arrive [...]

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