Posts Tagged ‘Blogs


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?



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:


Social media tips and tricks – getting started

There are a lot of social marketing proponents and statistics creating the image of social media as one of grandeur and greatness. Though this might be a stretch, the fact is that social media is a cornerstone for branding, sales and public relations in today’s world.

Of the Fortune Global 100 companies, 65 percent have Twitter accounts, 54 percent have Facebook fan pages, 50 percent have YouTube channels and 33 percent have corporate blogs.

Social media probably should not be the only place that your company markets itself, but it should be included in your overall strategy. And, success in social media is like success in general – it takes an investment of time, money and effort. Quality outcomes can only come from quality contributions.

One great benefit to online social media is that is highly track-able. You can easily measure the level of engagement and how this translates into increased revenue. So, here are some general tips to keep in mind when beginning your company’s journey into social media:

  1. Learn the lingo and etiquette of the communities. You are more likely to be accepted into a community if you play by the rules,
  2. Entries on all forms of social media need to be short, concise, focused and designed for SEO.
  3. Find your niche and invite participation with your social profiles and take a moment and explore others profiles too.
  4. Don’t give up. The social media may seem overwhelming at first, but with the right tools and strategy, you’ll be a productive member of social media community with a growing presence in time.

In the coming days, we’ll profile tips and tricks for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Blogs to help you understand why social media is such a powerful marketing tool. So stay tuned!


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.


Top Six Secrets to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Revealed

I participated in a webinar conducted by HubSpot, the Cambridge-based Internet marketing company, focused on tips and tricks to organically optimize a company search engine rankings.

The biggest takeaway was the creating of a ranking algorithm as a combination of context, authority and social graph.  HubSpot identified six SEO tips for companies.
1.    Optimize Your Content – The content you create must be a combination of what ‘searchers’ are looking to find and the keywords that search engines require.
2.    Attract Links to Your Content – Links are on-line recommendations from trusted websites. The most often shared items are new data and insightful blog posts. On the other hand, discount offers and product information are the least shared items.
3.    Publish Relevant Content Frequently – Internal HubSpot research showed that 61 percent of blogs are updated once a week or less.  Also, if you commit to a daily blog, you’ll be in the Top 10 percent of businesses.
4.    Be Active in Social Media – With the explosion of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Digg, interesting content is shared by trusted sources. Sharing content you find interesting will also help others consider sharing your content.
5.    Build Large Social Media Networks – Lisa Barone of SocialNetDaily gives 8 Ways To Find Relevant Followers On Twitter – see how easy it is to share relevant content.
6.    Use Call to Action on Landing Pages to Convert Leads – Once you have increased traffic to your website, you need to capitalize on the increased interest in what your company is saying. In the same HubSpot research, 41 percent of businesses acquired a customer through Twitter and LinkedIn, 46 percent through their company blog.
Tell us if you have any success implementing these tips, if your search engine ranking increases and if you are able to convert a lead generated by your social media efforts.
Follow Weise on Twitter and check out Weise Communications on Facebook and “Like” it for future updates.


healthcare and social media (part 2.)

As promised, Part 2 of Healthcare and Social Media will focus on two hospitals we think are doing a magnificent job integrating social media into their marketing strategy.

#1 The Mayo Clinic

Last month, the Star Tribune’s Chen May Yee reported on the Mayo Clinic’s communications manager, Lee Aase. Aase is essentially responsible for the hospitals social media marketing programs. He currently keeps the community up to date on the Mayo Clinic’s latest news and events via Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Blog accounts.

Aase explains that many patients say they chose the Mayo Clinic for treatment after watching video content on the hospitals YouTube channel. Most notably, “Aase found a six-month-old YouTube video of an exuberant white-haired couple playing the piano in the clinic atrium, to the surprise and pleasure of onlookers. He posted it on Sharing Mayo Clinic. In two weeks, the number of views soared from 1,000 to over 68,000.”

#2 The Children’s Medical Center of Dayton

Dayton Children’s Web site recently posted a media release that detailed their social media marketing implementation strategy. Some of the high-level points include:

-Created a Facebook page in December 2008. The page now has over 500 fans.
-Started the campaign internally, asking employees to become fans of the page first.
-Facebook “Cause” page enables fans (over 800) to donate to Dayton Children’s.
-Marketing communications and development departments are sharing maintienence responsibilities.
-Twitter account was launched in March 2009. They now have over 650 followers.
-Dayton Children’s launched their YouTube page over a year ago.
-Video content includes TV commercials, new stories and patient stories.

Both the Mayo Clinic and Dayton Children’s are doing a great job incorporating social media into their overall marketing campaigns. It’s very interesting that the Mayo has a blog and Dayton’s Children does not. In the same token Dayton’s Children is networking via a localized social media channel ( and the Mayo is not.

We hope today’s second installment is very helpful and, we would like to know how your healthcare organization is using social media to reach your employees, patients and families. Please share your story here.


healthcare and social media (part 1.)

Last week we announced that The Side Note would focus more on current PR and marketing strategy in the healthcare, B2B and franchise industries. Katie Williams was kind enough to leave a comment and request that we report on “ how healthcare organizations (from nonprofit to pharma) are utilizing social media.”

We have plenty of information on this topic, but we’ll start today by addressing hospitals that are using social media to connect with the community. Ed Bennett recently posted a comprehensive list of US hospitals that are using social media. The following is a statistical breakdown of the 250 hospitals on the list:

* 160 on Twitter
* 131 on YouTube
* 94 on Facebook
* 24 using Blogs

Obviously, hospitals are beginning to recognize the importance of implementing social media programs into their marketing plan. However, only five of the 250 hospitals are using each of the four social media tools tracked by Ed’s list. This could very well mean that hospitals have just begun to incorporate social media and are doing so in phases.  We’ll be sure to check back in a few months to see how the list changes.

Stay tuned. Later today I will talk specifically about two hospitals that have implemented social media campaigns.

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