Archive for the 'Blogs' Category


Dove proves you are more beautiful than you think

If someone asked me if I thought I was beautiful, I would say no. After Adweek released the “10 Best Ads of 2013,” ( featuring Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” as their number one ad, I learned I am not alone in my answer.

According to Dove, only 4 percent of women worldwide think they are beautiful – a mere 4 percent ( The viral ad, done by Ogilvy Brazil, created an astonishing perspective on beauty that is hard to ignore, with results even harder to believe.

The ad shows an FBI forensic artist sketching women (sight unseen) as they described themselves, and then as others described them. The differences in the final sketches are heart wrenching, and give “real” women, a reality check about self-perception – how we currently see ourselves, and how we should strive to see ourselves. Watch full ad here or below: (


With the overwhelming results of this social experiment, it is hard not to wonder who is to blame for the low self-esteem of women worldwide? Is it the advertising industry itself, or possibly the media, who constantly shoves photo-shopped, perfect-skinned, bronzed beauties down consumers’ throats? Whoever is to blame for the lack of self-esteem in today’s women, ads like Dove Real Beauty Sketches are impossible to ignore – and it has the “viralability” to prove it.

According to ( the ad garnered more than 114 million views total and more than 3 million shares, making it the most viral ad of all time. Dove was able to create content that viewers wanted to see, but more importantly, they wanted to share.

Dove’s “Campaign For Real Beauty” first launched 10 years ago, and has been helping women realize the real meaning behind beauty ever since ( Ads like “Real Curves,” “Evolution,” “Pro Age” and most recently “Selfie,” have brought to light the qualities that make women beautiful other than looks such as confidence, intelligence and happiness. Dove has increased sales by 1.5 billion since Real Beauty’s launch, proving the campaign is aging well.

What do you think about the most watched viral ad of all time? Tell us here and on our Facebook page – and, remember ladies – you are more beautiful than you think.


Social Media Marketing: What Brands Can Learn From “Mother Monster”

What could your brand do with 40 million followers on Twitter?  What about 45 million?  Celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber send out tweets daily to this amount of followers, while their fans continuously respond with compliments, love, and devotion.  So, what can brands learn from these enormous celebrities about how to create an engaging and interesting social media presence?lady-gaga-social-media-tactics

 1—Create A Culture

“Little Monsters” may be a little to eccentric for a company to call their customers, but the united culture is something to strive toward.  Lady Gaga has managed to turn her fans into a loving, supporting culture.  “Mother Monster,” as she’s called, has given her fans a home, and a sense of belonging.  Customers, consumers, and users are all terms that are too disconnected.  A brand should show their customers that they have a subculture that their buyers belong to; a family they didn’t even know existed until they started using your product and service.  Make your customers be proud to be your “little monster.”

 2—Believe In Your Message, But Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

Sarcasm is now a language within itself.  Sarcasm and humor demonstrate personality, which is crucial to a company’s social media presence.  You want to offer a human aspect to your accounts so fans and followers know they aren’t just engaging with a robot.  Lady Gaga is never afraid to poke fun at herself, her songs, her crazy sense of fashion, and the world around her.  Showing personality helps followers relate to your brand’s voice and feel like they know you.

LittleMonsters-Private-Beta 3—Encourage Collaboration

Shockingly, the people that know your customer base the best are your customers!  Lady Gaga took notice that her fans were just as artistically inclined as her, and opened up her own social network,  This site has provided a community for her monsters to share their art, while also creating relationships based on acceptance and their love for Gaga.  Opening up an opportunity for customers to use their creativity with your brand can help build loyalty towards your brand.

What are other celebrities that companies should learn lessons from?  Or what are other lessons that can be learned from the big names in music, movies, and TV?  Share with us in the comment section below, and also on our Facebook and Twitter!  Also, check out how we create brand cultures on social media at


Social Media and September 11th: Small Memorials, Big Impact

Social media has allowed us to remember September 11th through not just major memorials, but small ones, that have just as much impact. Platforms ranging from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram provide an outlet for memorials for those tragic events that touched all of our lives and indelibly changed our nation.nypd

Last year, New York Police Department was able to honor the different officers whose lives were lost during the attacks on the World Trade Center.  The Twitter account posted the names of the officers, as well as their end of tour date; 9-11-01.  These updates served as a reminder of the many public service workers who gave their lives to help citizens of New York that fateful day.

Twitter and Facebook have provided other unique venues for the public to share their emotions and stories in this continuously busy world.  Last year, Twitter was trending with stories of where each user was when they found out about the attacks.  Different age groups were able to illustrate the spectrum of emotions felt when the news of the attacks first broke.  Younger users told how they were in kindergarten class during the attacks, and had no idea what exactly had happened.  While the older population was able to see the news in their office or on their way to work.

September11In addition to a platform for stories, the Internet has become a place for remembrance in lieu of expensive and time-consuming memorial services.  Life unfortunately does not stop on difficult anniversaries, but that does not mean Americans cannot share their thoughts and prayers for each other.  A simple status update or tweet provides a short moment of silence, when the day doesn’t allow for a memorial service.  According to social media experts, these brief mentions have also helped to increase awareness of the importance of any day, which might have been forgotten years later.

Whether it is a moment of reflection, prayer, patriotism, or remembrance, social media has forever changed how Americans will commemorate September 11th, and all that was lost on that day.

How else have you seen others using social media to commemorate 9/11?  Tell us in the comments, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  Be sure to visit our website and learn more about our agency and all that we offer in social media.


I’ll have a burger please, with a side of social networking

If social networking hasn’t become the craving of the century, I don’t know what has.

Not only are people fascinated with how communication has turned into an interactive dialog, but whether they are finding friends on Facebook, tweeting their every move on Twitter, or now marketing their own customized burgers in the new frenzy that 4food has created, they are finding every excuse to play on the social media playground.

The restaurant, 4Food, in midtown Manhattan has brilliantly introduced a way to make creating your own burger an interactive experience.  Like some other build your own burger joints, the patty comes in a variety of meats (even veggie) and you can chose every aspect of your meal, from bun to sauces.  The donut shape of the patty is eye catching, however, leaving a hole in the middle of the patty for you to fill with a variety of “scoops” ranging from mac and cheese to Thai eggplant curry.

What sets 4Food apart is the marketing privilege the consumer acquires after their creation (from the 140 million combination possibilities) is complete.  Through 4Food’s accounts on FacebookTwitter  and their blog, you can name and market your personalized burger.

After you have marketed your creation, you earn a royalty every time that burger is ordered at 4Food.  The $.25 payment is credited to your account on

The learning curve is small, but fun for customers who currently use the provided iPads to order at the restaurant, and will be able to order on their smartphones in the near future.

The exposure that this new burger joint is experiencing purely at the fingertips of their customers is remarkable.  Social networking has driven itself to virtually take the legwork out of marketing for you, purely for free…how is your business using the power of social media to expand?



Franchise Marketing: Blogs For Franchisors

The contributors of The Side Note read, a lot. As employees of an agency that values continued education and is constantly seeking better ideas and solutions, we have managed to find many blogs we value. We want to share some of our favorites. This posting will focus on our favorite blogs for Franchisors.

There are countless blogs that provide franchisees and perspective franchisees all the nitty gritty details about franchising. We chose to ignore most of those. We read blogs that help franchisors and their corporate staff who support the franchise system. The following blogs fall within that framework.

Our Favorite Blogs For Franchisors

1. The New York Times: You’re The Boss Blog

This blog is fantastic for all sorts of great information on running a business. They also throw in franchise-specific blogs. Many of the postings are real-life examples, not just theoretical, which makes this our favorite business blog.

2. The Entrepreneur Blog

We love it because you can search for blogs on marketing, franchising, technology, money, etc. Well written and a great publication to boot.

3. Inc’s Franchise Section

Stories in the Inc franchise section are about franchising success, franchise growth and business ideas. It is a great news source and case study section for franchise executives. (Cheers to our friends Ron Lynch of the Tilted Kilt and Shelly Sun of BrightStar for making Inc’s 2012 top Franchises!)

4. Open Forum: American Express

All business executives should keep an eye on this blog. The contributors of Open Forum stay on the pulse of business trends and national news that impacts business.

5.  Duct Tape Marketing

This blog provides great insight into small business marketing. Good for the franchisor leadership and marketing teams for helping their franchisees keep on top of marketing themselves within their communities.

6. The Business Owner Blog

A Franchise system dedicated to growing businesses, The Alternative Board publishes a blog focused on just that – business growth. Franchisors in all areas care about growth and can learn tips from The Business Owner Blog.

7. The Franchise King

Against our original specifications, this next blog is NOT oriented to franchisors, The Franchise King is written for potential franchisees. He provides insight to people looking to own a franchise as well as helping them determine if they are cut out for franchising. Many of his tips can be helpful to franchisors in determining how your franchise system looks to potential buyers. He also points out some grave mistakes made by franchisees – issues that franchisors can use as teachable moments for their system. Because of his significantly high readership, franchisors need to know what he is saying because their prospects franchisees will know.

Finally – don’t forget to subscribe to The Side Note Blog to get your ongoing updates for integrated marketing, advertising and PR for franchise systems.

Did we miss one of your favorite blogs for the franchising industry? Be sure to tell us about it here!


Three Ways Your Blog Can Improve Your SEO

According to Hitwise, Facebook was the top visited website in the U.S. in 2010, accounting for 8.93 percent of site visits in 2010. Google came in second at 7.19 percent. Additionally, six of the top 10 searched terms were related to social media, this is further indication that social networking is the first source for information while searching the web.  There are some simple tricks to leverage your company blog and the social media trend that will increase your SEO.

  • Link Bait – Obtaining quality links to your website has a direct impact on SEO. One effective way to gain more links is to provide the bait to attract the links. Link Bait is anything you create on the Internet that inspires other people to link to it. You simply need to provide the incentive to get someone to link to your content.

You may ask, why would someone link to my content? Basic human nature, people share content that makes them seem funny, helps them appear to be clever or possess special information.

With publications like Newsweek predicting 2011 to be the year of the social media bubble, effective link bait will become critical as people turn to websites like Twitter and Facebook as their first source for information.

  • Easy to Share – By writing content that provides value, is easy to read and is easy to share, you’ll attract more inbound links. You must keep your headline ‘re-tweetable’. Not only must your headline be intriguing enough for someone to want to learn more, but you also need to account for the 140-character limit on Twitter. With many websites allowing visitors to post a micro URL (i.e., or onto their Twitter account, and to allow for your Twitter handle, you’ll need to keep the headline to under 100 characters.
  • Content to Share – Even if you create some great content and make it easy to share, you still need to consider what people will actually share.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, however, these categories are the most likely content to be shared:
    • First to Cover News/Discuss News
    • Insight/Perspective on Controversial Topics
    • Behind the Scenes or Insider’s View
    • Lists/Poll Results/Informational Graphics
    • Reviews/Recaps/Roundups
    • Really Humorous Video

Let us know if you have other SEO-improving tips for blogs. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.




Social media tips and tricks: Blogs

To complete our social media tips and tricks series, we wanted to cover some of the advantages that blogs can bring to the table.

According to eMarketer, 94.1 million adults were reading blogs in 2008. And astonishingly, the average time spent on a blog is much higher than the average time spent on a website.

The fact is that people are searching for the latest news online. And it is just not practical to update your website on a daily basis, but blogs are made to update daily – or even more frequently if you can produce content quickly. A blog can be a window into your office culture, a glimpse of your sales team, a peek at your originality or a reflection of your company’s genuineness. It shows clients and consumers the human side of your business and can be a great business tool.

Some things to keep in mind:

  1. Keep posts short and focused. People are more likely to read blogs that will only take them a minute or two.
  2. Optimize blog content and titles so that it is more likely to show up in search engine results for specific topics.
  3. Share blog posts thought RSS feeds and social bookmarking.
  4. Enable commenting so readers can join in the conversation.

There are a lot of free blog services out there. If you’re still not sure if a blog is right for you or your company, why not start a personal blog and test it out. By testing the capabilities of a blog, you’ll be able to better determine if a blog is something for you.

Let us know if you have some other great tips and tricks to keep in mind in while blogging.


Meet the new Tweet button

Meet the new Tweet button

Twitter has officially launched the new Tweet button. This new Tweet button will reside on your website or blog and has these main features:

  • Provide a retweet counter
  • Allow readers to easily share stories and other content
  • Enables readers to follow another Twitter user.

One major advantage of the new Tweet button is that readers can share what they’re reading without having to copy and paste the web link. Improved functionality of the Tweet button includes:

  • Clicking the Tweet button brings a pop-up box already populated with a short link tied to the Twitter user’s account.
  • Comments can be added next to the link (stay under 140 characters).
  • Twitter makes suggestions on other people to follow based on the author and content.

Twitter also released a short video explaining the new Tweet button.

The marketing implications are clear. The new Tweet button makes it easier than ever to drive traffic to your website.  There are a few website that were part of the Tweet button launch party including USA Today and You Tube. I used the new Tweet button today on a Walt Mossberg Digital Solutions blog and it was remarkably easy.  Placing the Tweet button on your blog will encourage content sharing and should improve SEO metrics.

The apparent loser with this announcement is the current Twitter sharing service, TweetMeme. However, TweetMeme announced they would be working closely with Twitter on technological challenges.  Hmmm…sounds like Twitter is offering TweetMeme a consolation prize.  On the other hand, Twitter says malfunction when the new button launched yesterday was only a momentary problem. So, if you’re seeing an error, be sure to clear your cache memory.

Until I get the Tweet button on our blog, be sure to follow us on Twitter:


Ready to Start a Blog – 7 free blog websites

For many, starting a blog is a daunting proposition; so today we’ll ease the task by sharing some blog basics.  Below are some of the most popular FREE blog hosting/posting websites.  When evaluating a new blog and these sites, be sure to understand how flexible the sites are in terms of images, content and scalability. Most importantly, determine the goals for the blog.

Blogr – Provides space to store and share photos, videos, audios and blog entries.

Blogger – Includes hundreds of background images, flexible layouts and widget arranging through a drag and drop interface.

Blogster – Part blog service and part online community of people who share interests and activities.

LiveJournal – Blogging platform focused on personal publishing, community involvement, and individual expression, blurring the lines between blogging and social networking.

Tumblr – Focuses on media-rich blogs, as the average user creates 14 original posts monthly. Half of those posts are photos. The rest are split between text, links, quotes, music and video.

WindowsLive – Free blog site, however must have an MSN account to another MSN service such as hotmail or messenger.

WordPress – Easy and intuitive platform that is the hosted version of the open source package. In the spirit of full disclosure, The Side Note is hosted on WordPress.

Another consideration when determining a blog website must be the additional features that can increase the blog scope/following and ability to monetize the site.  These considerations include:

  • Providing an RSS feed which is a text-based headline with a link, that is sent out to your subscribers as soon as it leaves your website.
  • A sync function to cross post with your other social media sites, such as your personal Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.
  • Paypal shopping cart to allow customers to purchase multiple items with a single payment, browse entire selection and view a consolidated list of items before purchasing.
  • Adding Adsense to incorporate advertising from Google (pay per click and pay per impression).
  • Plug in to help people  your posts on other social media services, such as Digg, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and

If you know of another free blog website that should be on this list or if there is another integral added feature that improves the ability to grow the site, please add it in a comment below.


Is Social Media our Industrial Revolution?

Yesterday, I was watching a report about the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.  I was surprised to learn that the spill was larger than the Exxon Valdez disaster. I was even more surprised to see how many reporters and analysts were ready to offer opinions on how to clean up the spill, how the U.S. government should be involved and the restitution BP should pay to the American people.  There was instant reaction by bloggers, Twitter and through other types of social media.

I was struck by how social media journalism has become mainstream.  I wasn’t watching objective journalism reporting the events of the day; I was on a roller-coaster of emotion.

The media industry used to be shaped by journalists. Today, enthusiasts, analysts and zealots masquerading as experts join them. Social discussion, opinion and advocacy journalists are filtering the news I see today.  This is a transformative time as we are able to participate in the news and information being disseminated. We are no longer only consumers of information.

Social media has evolved to influence the information we obtain. It is increasingly becoming the preferred method for the acquisition and spread of knowledge among common people.  Is social media our generations’ version of the Industrial Revolution?

In business terms, it is redefining how marketers respond to the marketplace.  It is increasingly important for businesses to have a social media strategy.  Without it, companies are missing important customers, stakeholders and influential opinion makers.  There are conversations taking place about your industry, your company and your market. You need to participate in those conversations to ensure the most accurate information is being disseminated. You need to listen to those conversations to understand consumer perception.

Most importantly, if you are active in social media, your influence in those conversations increases.  This has additional business value:

  • Improved search engine rankings (SEO)
  • More traffic to your company website
  • Ability to quickly respond to crisis situations

Participate in the conversation, by posting a reply to this blog. If you need to improve your social media prominence, contact us at Weise Communications. Check out Weise Communications on Facebook and “Like” it for future updates.

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