Don Schindler

Digital Strategy & Executive Social Media Trainer

Month: October 2008

Top Ten Websites for Black Friday Discounts – How Do Hot Trends Work For You?

So here are the top ten sites to get the Black Friday Deals – I didn’t steal this from anyone.  Just did a little research and this is what I came up with.

TheBlackFriday.com
BFads.net
iBlackFriday.com
BlackFriday.net
BlackFriday.info
www.dealtaker.com/blackfriday
daddyodeals.com
blackfriday.gottadeal.com/
blackfriday.dealspl.us/
www.blackfday.com/

Creative Commons by Olaf

Creative Commons by Olaf

This is more of an article about the speed of Trend Marketing and the your company’s communications.

I love Black Friday; even though, I don’t shop it.  I probably should but I just don’t get into shopping like that.  But you’ve got to love the deals.  I was in retail marketing for a few years as a marketing manager and coming up with the insane deals for Black Friday was always a good day.  Even when the rest of them weren’t so great.

But here’s what I wanted to do with the Black Friday that I love so much.  I wanted to see if I could grab some of the limelight that Black Friday is getting right now.  You see, Black Friday, is now raising at very fast rate on Google Trends – Oct 27th.

People are searching it.  People are starting to look for the deals.  People want to know where they will be camping next month in search for the bestest, cheapest gift ever.

So as Black Friday rises so does it’s importance on social networking sites.  Technorati, Digg, etc…  News outlets have articles out there.  Soon it will be all over the place.

Now if my hunches are correct, I’m going to drive good traffic with my title.  Now these won’t be my customers but you never know who may click over and read this article.

And to me, this isn’t black hat SEO, this is smart SEO and linking strategy.  All I’m doing is talking about a hot trend and how it relates to my work.

Think about this.  TV commercials spam me (not anymore since I finally got a DVR – how did I live without that before I’ll never know) in the middle of my favorite shows and nobody calls the better business bureau.  Though with the way some commercials are using shock techniques, somebody should.

This is how marketing on the internet should be.  Companies should be participating in the conversation, whatever the conversation is – not just what you think it should be.

What’s hot within your industry?  Do you have a take on it? What if you did, where would you put it?

I’ll bet in the past you put your take in a hard copy newsletter and sent it out to the people who unfortunately signed up for it.  Do you think they read it?  Can they comment back to you on it?

Come on, it’s 2008.  With the net, you can know what is hot in your industry or the world in general.  You can put your take out immediately.  People can respond to it.  Amazing.

Let’s see what happens to this article.  Maybe it will go through the roof – maybe it will die but it only cost me a half an hour to write.  How much time did you spend on your company’s newsletter?

If you would like some help to figure out social media marketing, trend marketing, SEO, SEM, and all that good digital stuff, we could help you.  Here at MediaSauce, we live and breathe it.

Lost in a social media world – what should I be doing online?

Recently, I traveled to NY to visit a client and help them with one of their learning websites. The business I did there was fine if uneventful but what happened on the way back to the LaGuardia really opened my eyes to how lost people can get in an online world.

First thing I blew it on was the directions. Instead of taking the time – and I have some being stuck in a hotel room in the middle of nowhere in New Jersey – I worked on a few projects and watched some TV. I could have easily gone to Google Maps or something and gotten directions but I didn’t. Instead I decided to trust my original Google map that got me to the business in the first place and just reverse my way back. That was big mistake.

Second, while leaving in plenty of time, this is NY and I should have realized that there is never enough time if you are traveling in New York City. Too many people. Too many accidents. Too much frustration – there’s never the right signs. I don’t know why I trust highway signs. Even though their entire reason for existence is specifically for directions – I always seem to get better instructions from billboards.

Thirdly, I trusted my mobile phone map which just isn’t big enough and it’s practically impossible to see especially when you are trying to use it in lunch hour traffic in the city.

So on my back I got frustrated while stuck in traffic on the GW bridge. This frustration clouded my judgment when it came to reversing the directions – should I go east or west? It says west but… And then I got lost. Badly. I got stuck on a interstate that didn’t have an exit for ten miles – are you kidding? Then when I got off to turn around, there was no entrance ramp on the other side. I was now in the belly of city and not on an artery. I was doomed.

Then in frustration, I put the wrong location in my phone and my phone proceeded to give me directions that got me further lost. I was sure I was going to miss my flight.

So I called my wife and through her soothing and calming voice and her Google map, I found my way back to LaGuardia and I actually MADE my flight. Thank God to because the next one was six hours later. A two-hour trip became four.

How did I get so lost? I’m usually one of those people that have a good sense of direction and I know my way around.

I got lost because I failed to take the necessary steps to plan my roadmap. I didn’t have the right directions. I trusted my gut instead of going with a plan. Then when things didn’t work out the way I wanted I got frustrated and used helpful technology in the wrong way and it messed me up even worse.

So what does this have to do with social media and your company? A lot actually.

The big one…is that if you are LOST IN A SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD, you need to have a real good plan of where you want to go with your social media online presence. There are many routes to go but you should know which is the best one for you and it should be mapped out and on the wall. Here is where you are at. Here’s where you want to go. Stick to it.

You could easily do a blog, social community, twitter, forum, widget, video, podcast, photos, facebook, myspace, etc…but does it really make sense.  How would you know if you’ve never done it?

When it comes to the online world, don’t trust your gut. Trust your research. Many, many people will call you and tell you that what they are doing is the right way – maybe the only way. You may like them. You may trust them. But don’t. Call the references. Check out the work. Do a search on them. Ask them lots and lots of questions about their methodology. They should have a plan customized for you.

Technology is not the answer. Just because it is cool doesn’t mean that it really does anything for you. You have to understand the technology (not in a bits sort of way – but what it is capable of and how it will work for you).

If things are going badly, contact someone you trust and listen to them. Their perspective can bring a whole new light to the subject you are stuck on. They could possibly guide you out of the mess you are in if you let them.

I’ll go back to NY just like you should go back to social media (if you’ve gotten burned in the past) but I’ll do it with a good roadmap (like the ones MediaSauce creates), lots of research, and access to a trusted source.

BTW, this came out today on social media. Customers want you to talk to them through it. Don’t ignore it because of the past.

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