Category Archives: twitter

Don’t Kill Direct Mail in the Name of Social Media

A couple of mentions around the marketing world by NextDayFlyers blog and MarketingPilgrim regarding the effectiveness of direct mail have got us thinking about the integration of print and social media campaigns. Some companies have reviewed the cost savings offered by digital communications compared to cost to print, mail and design mailers, letters and postcards and have begun shifting marketing dollars for those projects. E-mail, Twitter, Facebook and other channels can be cost-effective ways to build an online presence and connect with customers and prospects. But, let’s face it, social media ROI can be difficult to measure. For some businesses, an online-only strategy might be a shortsighted approach.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Are your prospects and customers online? It’s easy to assume that everyone is “plugged in” these days. Despite the meteoric rise in popularity of Twitter and Facebook, some people are not using them regularly and some not at all. Understand your audience and how they want to interact. Social media isn’t the best fit for all companies.
  • Consumers are digitally saturated. The quantity of e-mails, tweets, blog posts and news articles the average consumer must sort through can be overwhelming. Relying only on communicating through these channels is taking a risk that your messages are glossed over or worse, sent directly to the trash file.
  • Coordinate messages across mediums. Direct mail and social media can work in concert – extend your online messaging to coordinate with mail. Use direct mail to drive traffic to your Facebook fan page or Twitter account.
  • No matter the method, the goal is to inspire action! The point made in the NextDayFlyers blog is well-taken. Using direct mail to solicit feedback is a great idea. Many companies are getting noticed for using Twitter for customer service purposes (notably among several is @comcastcares and @jetblue), but why not direct mail?

A marketing strategy should coordinate several channels.  Here at SG, we blog, tweet, email and connect with prospects via snail mail.  Oh, and in person, too!  What is your company doing to create an integrated strategy?

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Filed under Direct Mail, Facebook, Marketing strategy, social media, twitter

We laughed, we cried. A look back at 2009

2009 is just about in the books.  As I think about the potential and promises of 2010, I wanted to take a look back at 2009 and review the highlights of a busy and productive year.  We welcomed new clients and team members into the fold, executed our first “Worst Website Ever” contest, built our blog and Twitter account (@strategicguru), let our hair down a little and prepped the business for the next step in growth. Phew!

Here are some of the Strategic Guru greatest hits from 2009:

  • Our top-viewed blog posts included, not surprisingly, posts on the Worst Website Ever contests. Over 14,000 votes were logged!  Congrats again to our winner, Dave of A & S.   Also, our thoughts on the rules of engagement for social media also caught reader’s eyes.  2009 marked the year when social media truly was embraced by businesses of all shapes and sizes.
  • We also garnered six design awards (go Janet)!  Among our proudest achievements are the MarCom Platinum awards conferred for a re-branding campaign for client Fuse Graphics and work on a corporate brochure for Knowledge Vector.  The PURL lead generation campaign for Piedmont Geologic earned a MarCom honorable mention.
  • Head Brainstormer, Carolyn Rhinebarger, appeared at 10 different speaking engagements and addressed over 200 attendees in national webinar hosted by Training Industry.  She’s also off to Amsterdam in early 2010 to lead a brainstorming session with global business leaders
  • We introduced two new product offerings: CaptureClix and OnTarget, lead generation and nurturing programs to help build sales.

2010 promises to be another year of change and growth.  A heartfelt thank you to our wonderful clients who we are thrilled to help.  See you in the new decade!

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Filed under Blogging, cary, north carolina, twitter

Educating A New Generation

“Things have changed since I was in school.” Sounds like something your parents said to you growing up, huh? That statement still holds true. Kids are a part of a whole new learning generation; interaction is mostly via instant message, text message, Twitter and Facebook and the internet is the first place they turn for research. The shift in marketing is taking place as we speak, but are Marketing and Public Relations instructors and professors educating their students about the phenomenon that is social media?

Back in the day, marketing majors were required to learn the 4 P’s (Product, Price, Promotion, Place) and that is still relevant, but along with the 4 P’s they need to have a basic understand of HTML, design software, e-mail marketing campaigns, search engine optimization, and knowledge of social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube,etc). However, are recent grads receiving said education?

We’ve all read that many companies are struggling to understand social media and how it can be used in their industry. With this occurring, companies are looking to hire recent grads with degrees in Marketing and Public Relations to fill the social media gap. But, are colleges and universities integrating the new trends in marketing into their curriculum – such courses as Internet Marketing, Digital Media and New-Media Marketing? Another challenge: are college professors and faculty on top of the changing trends in the marketing world? If not, they need to be. How can you teach it, if you don’t fully understand it yourself? As the old adage states, “lead by example.”

Here’s a questions for all our Marketing & PR majors out there –Are NC State, Duke and UNC teaching courses on new-media and internet marketing? Or are you educating the professors on social media?

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Filed under Email Marketing, Facebook, marketing basics, north carolina, social media, twitter

Twitter Lists 101 – What are they and why should you care?

Twitter launched the “Lists” feature a few weeks ago; here’s a quick and easy over view of the feature. Twitter Lists is a great way to organize your followers or find new ones on Twitter. It is very similar to creating groups in e-mail; it allows you to group Tweeps by family, location, industry, or whatever category you prefer.

Creating a list is easy. When logged into your Twitter account, the “Lists” feature appears below the search box, click on it to create a new list. You can make lists public or private. If public, you can recommend the list for other Tweeps to follow; they can either follow the list or people on it and it can be seen by anyone. If private, you and only you can see this list – perfect for keeping an eye on what competitors are doing. Next, hit “Create List” and you can begin to add users. The maximum number of users is currently 500 and the max number of lists is 20.

Following lists is another great tool to keep track of the happenings on Twitter. These lists won’t show up in your main stream, but can be easily seen by clicking on the “lists” link on the right side of your Twitter homepage. Some great sites that maintain categorized “suggested” lists to follow are:

Listorious – a 3rd party directory that categorizes the most “awesome” lists on Twitter. The site is user-friendly and allows users to browse or search for lists by category.
TweetMeme Lists – find the most tweeted about Twitter Lists.

Check out lists following us and that we follow here and more on how organizations are using Twitter lists.

Happy Listing!

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Filed under social media, twitter

A Few Quick Tips to Overcome the Social Media Hurdle

hurdleMany companies are using social media to build their brand and gain recognition in the marketplace, and others want to start integrating social media into their marketing mix but aren’t sure where to start.

Here are a few thoughts on launching a campaign:

• Embrace failure and learn from the mistakes – Look at Skittles – they launched a Twitter campaign by turning their homepage into a Twitter feed. When that failed Skittles tried another approach, but didn’t take into consideration what happened the first time! They didn’t learn from their first mistake and what happened – Strike 2! Their ego-centric approach didn’t work the 1st time, why would it work the 2nd time? Learn from the mistakes made and correct them on the 2nd approach to achieve the goal you sought out in the first place.

• Engage with your audience – listen to their ideas and thoughts; don’t make the social media effort all about YOU.

• There is no “I” in team – collaborate with team members to get their feedback and insight on the initiative.

• When launching a social media campaign have a clear, focused goal in mind and follow the necessary steps to achieve it. Is it driving visits to the website? Is it signing up for a webinar? Consider your goal and how you will measure the results of your effort. But recall, sometimes social media ROI can be fuzzy.

• Create something of value for your audience. Give them a reason to care.

• Know your audience before implementing a campaign and be prepared for the worst before it occurs.

• Be up front and honest with your intentions – it establishes trust and credibility.

Plan for success, prepare for failure!

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Filed under social media, twitter

Useful Twitter Tool: Hashtags

twitter-hash-logo-for-fluidIf you’ve been using Twitter for some time or are new to it, you’ve likely seen a word preceded by a hash symbol (#) in tweets, like #bigbadball. What are these used for? Simply put, Hashtags are a way to track tweets on a specific topic and make those topics easily searchable.

Hashtags can be a great way to track a social media campaign on Twitter if utilized properly. When using a hashtag for a campaign, be sure that it’s only included in tweets related to the campaign and not all of your tweets. Websites like What’s the Trend, Monitter and TweetGrid show trending topics and also let you search for a specific hashtag.

As mentioned earlier, we use HootSuite to manage Twitter and feel it’s a great tool to track the searches and tweets that include your #hashtag.

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Twitter Made Easy!

twitter-toolsWe’ve blogged several times about Twitter and how it can be leveraged to build a brand’s social media presence. Here are some more practical tools that can make your Twitter experience as painless as possible.

Twitter in Plain English – A brief 2 minute video that contains a simple understanding of Twitter.

Twitter for Beginners – provides tips on how to make best use of the 140 character limit, as well as many others.

Here at Strategic Guru, we use HootSuite to manage Twitter. HootSuite allows users to manage several Twitter accounts, pre-schedule tweets, run and save hash tag searches and see stats, such as link click rates. We love it!

Another great tool for getting followers on Twitter is TweetGrid – create a dashboard that allows you to search up to 9 different topics, hash tags, events, people, etc. No need to refresh the page either!

Let us know of any other tools you are using to enhance your Twitter experience.

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Filed under social media, twitter