Blogging for Children

It was a sudden thought, and I have indeed come across facebook pages owned by kids. But I have yet to encounter a blog created by kids. I remembered reading a blog post about a blogger who encourages her kids to blog, but I haven’t gotten a chance to click and view the blog myself.

If I were to blog since I was a child, I think by now, I could have more than a 1000 posts (considering I blog 4 times a month, and have been blogging since 10 years of age). But nope, I only started to blog in 2009, after I had my baby (the one who has grown into the little girl on the top of the page).

And at that time, I only wrote one or two posts, and then totally abandoned my blog till, a year later. Because I didn’t know what I was doing, and I think I didn’t have a good idea of the importance of blogging. My post was basically like a journal entry, ranting my frustrations and confusions.

Not till recently, I found more meaning to blog regularly. After learning from experts like Socialmediaexaminer, Hubspot, Guy Kawasaki, Rand Fishkin, Avinash Kaushik and many more that I should mention, I think I need to blog. Not for ranting per se, but for sharing knowledge, and motivating others at a time when they need it the most.

People love stories, especially stories that they can relate to. As we age, we are learning new things by ourselves, or by our interaction of others, whether intentionally or not.

So, by blogging, we are creating a space for this sharing of knowledge, sharing of experience, in a more subtle, non-pushy way.

I can imagine in the future, our kids especially. They will most probably be looking up answers to important questions in their lives using Google, forum pages, etc. But if we do have something we know that our kids need, and being parents we are supposed to be a good example for them, we should therefore compile a blog as a legacy for our kids.

Blogging moms and blogging dads – wherever you are, WELL DONE! I love reading stories of hope and all those very handy tips that you have shared.

I hope to still continue this effort, blogging as a legacy. Not only for my kids, but also for the like-minded.

Luv,

A.N.

Advertisements

Eyeing for Candy – The Web Is Still Hungry

Now, every ads provider wants to customise ads based on the user’s behavior and interest.

I remembered attending AdTech 2012 where I was awestruck by the technology of being able to target users by their interest coupled with friends’  or connections’ interests. Targeting smaller circles which are themed around a specific interest, and having many of these circles to power search results.

The circles then grow like mushrooms, and the conclusion of this technology is that the target reach of a search query will keep growing as the smaller circles grow.

Now, I see this technology picking up speed.

Google believes remarketing with display ads will benefit marketers a lot. But if the user clears the cookies every day, then remarketing can’t work.

Facebook feeds itself with recommendations which are strong tools to tilt items into your virtual pushcarts.

So this is no longer about you getting what you need from information on the Web.

Can you tell what this trend will lead to?

IMHO, I think this will bring about a stronger surge of marketing power, but users in general, will need to make more effort to choose what really is important for themselves. Not letting the Web shape your interest.

This is simply because we need to remember that an increasing number of ads that we are looking at are coming from our friend’s or connection’s interest too and may not be really the most relevant to what you need the most. In one word, biased.

On another aspect, these ads that are not relevant to you, but are “recommended” by your friends or by a cookie that you picked somewhere. Yes, they might get you to check them out. But at the end of the day, you find yourself wasting your time diverting from your original intention. I call it the “online temptation”, the power that keeps you browsing more than you should be.

The Web is hungry for online behavior data, online preference data, etc. We feed it each time we click on a link, each time we scroll down a page, and worse, each time we register on a website and enter our details.

As a user being exposed to a similar ad that appears too often, I feel the same way as being pushed by a salesman to purchase, when I actually do not want the item sold, and I do not have time for the sales presentation at all.

Now, this is the thing that irritates me about getting on YouTube to show my daughter her favourite videos, and my baby starts yelling each time she doesn’t see her video starting, but some other strange video (ads that you can skip after xxx seconds) starts rolling.

I hope not to let my kids grow up to be shaped by the Web ads. Buying what their friends buy, especially when the purchase is just a short-term craze and will not make the society grow morally stronger.

I rather my kids be shown snippets of advice or survival tips, or channels that foster efforts to conserve the Earth, or to help the poor and suffering. Even adults need these too, don’t you agree? Google won’t welcome this of course. They are living on the money from their Ads.

Yes, I am a marketer. I help others make that important purchase, but one of my daily goals is also not let my ads get into the view of the non-target audience. That is why, I hope Google will allow more search query data to be visible so that I can continue to build my keyword list and the negative keywords list. This way, I can help the Web regurgitate the right ads to the right users.

Quote

Facebook Ads VS Google Ads Conversion Tracking

Which conversion tracking could be more accurate? Facebook Ads VS Google Ads Conversion Tracking

I was just checking Google Trends a few days ago, and found there is a higher interest in facebook ads than Google ads.

This article that came out yesterday, totally confirmed why.

Facebook creates a customized conversion pixel that advertisers place on a page—like a checkout page on an e-commerce site, or a signup page for a subscription, or an app-download page—where a consumer’s taking the action they hoped their ads would prompt.
That lets Facebook link sales to ad campaigns, showing in aggregate which ads generated the most response.
Google has long had similar features, along with Google Analytics, a dashboard for doing deep analysis of users’ actions on a website.
But Facebook has rolled out something far more powerful that can consistently track users across mobile devices and desktop websites.
It can do this because it has a single, unified identity for each of its users, who tend to stay logged in to Facebook far more than any other website.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-google-conversion-tracking-2013-1#ixzz2JDwQvBtg

Here’s a little more juice on the difference between the two.

Basically facebook ads are more display “push” marketing for creating awareness (users will look at the ads while they are socialising, but will tend not to click or if they do, they will not do any further action e.g. convert), while Google ads are pull marketing and are used to get users to convert.

Facebook ads are more useful if you are doing a viral campaign for engagement.

http://www.linkedin.com/answers/marketing-sales/advertising-promotion/internet-marketing/MAR_ADP_INM/1052124-196511023

Social Media Marketing in 2013 – Trend & Forecast

Another day of analysis and discovery.

OK, today’s lesson is about facebook ads. Yup!

For many months, I have been neglecting the facebook ad, but now, it’s time to ‘face’ it.

Why? Look at these graphs that I got from Google Trends:

Image

And here is a quick look at what is on the minds of the marketers now…Yes, SEO still rules, and the developing countries are catching up in interest.Image

Of course, the next force to reckon with is the social marketing wave. Strategies have to take place now, and be reviewed frequently. As many experts say, we need to be AGILE in marketing.

Now is definitely NOT the time to just focus on ROI from Google ads alone. It is time to let the customers play their part in marketing your products. HUH?

Yes, via Facebook Ads and recommendations…and “so-and-so also likes this page”.  I actually did some behavioural predictions earlier.

Recommendations are the best of referrals. So facebook played the game really well. You can’t recommend much on Google Ads, unless you are logged on Google Plus.

But then again…who will click on a facebook ad if it is not a business-to-consumer ad, but a business-to-business ad?

Well, the fact that now some authorities banned the use of facebook during office hours make it a little hard. Unless you are using facebook solely for business during office hours.

Samsung has made it big on social media via facebook ads. I guess it comes with the type of product you are selling.

There is more to learn now about what works for facebook ads. Back to research mode.

Singapore Adwords Certified Mom

What’s life about for a Mom after Adwords Certification?

She learns that the ads on Google are pretty technical and involve quite a number of statistics. She enters the virtual world called search engine marketing.

“Search” is no longer a verb, but becomes a field that is rapidly changing.

She loses her online shopping habit as she gets busy with keywords performance and click-through-rate.

She couldn’t stop checking her campaigns even when she was on holiday. Adwords is not a job, but now has become a routine, after breakfast.

She easily spots who is marketing what, on the SERP.

She carries a diaper bag plus a laptop bag, each time she brings her kids out on weekends.

Her desktop becomes cluttered with excel files containing keywords analysis, and reports.

She began to realise that Google is more than just a search engine. It is a business keeping its survival, through many algorithm changes.

She quickly joins her new family: the large community behind Google and other Adwords enthusiasts, who are great motivators and supporters in her learning expedition.

She swops the Reader’s Digest for Mashable.

Keywords Crunch Time

Last week was the week of discovery. Discovery of weaknesses in my adwords account management and the strength of keywords based on the current search trend. Finally the 2012 keywords and search engine marketing can be properly scrutinised and analysed.

So there I was analysing the good keywords, the keywords that get clicked and then lead to a conversion. The mysterious keywords – those that we are always having doubts about whether to pause them or not. The actively participating keywords that gain lots of attention, but may rob other keywords of the budget.

infographics - keywords optimisation

Mining your search terms is a great start to optimise your keywords.

 

I also had a great time comparing the different countries- what people in each country prefer to find out, and why do they want certain products.

But at the end of the day, all these interesting findings are secondary. What customers of Adwords really want is a low cost per conversion. They want more conversions per dollar they spend.

So I always rely on my Tracking and Google Analytics to show me the high conversion keywords so that I can add more of such keywords into my account. And of course, the next favourite part of this optimisation process will be the A/B testing of ads. I realise that ads professionally written, with first letter of each word in upper case, and using keyword insertion in headline frequently give good results.

The most annoying part of the optimisation process is the unpredictable quality score and position of the ads. This much depends on Google and the relevance of your content to the keyword.

Thus my Adwords experiment continues…

Business Blogging is Thought Leadership

If you are blogging about your business, are your posts conveying much about the meaning behind your business organisation, or are they just content churned out to fill the schedule?

Blogging will be a routine for more businesses who have come to realise the power of content in marketing. But often there won’t be enough emphasis on who will be the right person to maintain the blog and to enrich the content. Sad to say, many business owners will rather outsource the task of content creation and blog or social media maintenance to an agency, then appointing the real business expert from among the staff.

So the agent who perhaps has only got to know the said business for just a month tries to pretend to be a part of the business. How could someone who doesn’t grow up with the business, try to write about the business – with an impact?

Personally, I think 2 years is the least time a person will need to “start growing roots” into a business organisation, to really understand the ups and downs of the company and to learn from mistakes.

Having said that, I would rather 2 years of intensive work, proactive instead of passive learning. Applying business concepts in a real setting, and analysing what can be improved from past performances.

Surely, business blogging is not easy. A person appointed for the task has to set aside a couple of hours to create a blog post. Sometimes, creative visuals too need time to be produced.

But as many bloggers will agree, subsequently, the time taken for content creation will be reduced as the writing momentum and passion for engaging readers are established within the author’s mind.

When someone reads your work and leaves a comment, you feel that your work is acknowledged and you will feel like writing more. It’s like what a teacher feels when the students respond to what is taught. Fulfilment.

Among the many employees in a business organisation, there must be one or two who have many ideas and strategies for the organisation they are working for. There could be those who are always quick at solving problems. These are the potential business bloggers who can bring up their organisation’s reputation by telling others that there are good people behind the name of the organisation  and they are reliable indeed.

Outsourcing content creation will be a temporary measure to fill the gap before the true experts can be appointed from within the organisation. Outsourcing content editing is fine but NOT content creation.

Do not close an eye towards content creation for your business blogging. Get the right person for the job, the person who will speak from experience and from the heart of the organisation.

Top 5 Online Behaviour of the 30 Somethings – 2013 Predictions

The online behaviour in 2013 can be summarised in just one word: real-time. People expect to get information and feedback fast. Time and redundant content are the worst enemies.
  1. More online forum participations for different interest groups, Facebook pages “likes” e.g. IT, lifestyle related, problem sharing
  2. More blogging and catchy visual content
  3. More YouTube views, for instant entertainment and for seeking extra knowledge e.g. “how- tos”
  4. More online conferences, meet-ups, e.g google hangouts as people can brainstorm ideas while being on different parts of the world.
  5. Increased e-commerce, perhaps facebook and pinterest will benefit marketers more than ever.

What platform and interface will meet the general online needs of this generation? Who will fall through the cracks? Any known hazards for too much social online?

Is Your Social Media Becoming Schizophrenic?

Personal Or Business role in social media? What is the ideal balance between these two roles? Will social media be a mess of personal posts and business interest in the future as more business pages are being set up in social media channels?

I have been pretty mixed about social media lately when social media is now steered towards branding/promotions. An effort must be made to maintain the delicate balance of the social media ‘mental processing state’, so that the majority of users will not be put off by the promotional ads and irrelevant status updates.

At the end of the day, users need social media to bring a sparkle in their eyes, not an eye sore. The magnet of social media lies in the ‘heart’ of the collective posts.

Ugly Encounters With Social Media in 2012

1. Business pages that are trying too hard, posting frequently on a product/service that is not new, or an article that is not of interest to you.
E.g the same old picture of the product every week.

2. Friends sharing a meaningless post just to win a contest
E.g. An uninspiring product image posted incessantly by your contacts who were serious about winning

3. Posts that are disconnected from humility and kindness
E.g. Complaining or showing off instead of counting your blessings

Memorable Moments With Social Media in 2012

1. Real life stories of kindness
E.g. The taxi driver who worked beyond his duty to drive an elderly woman around the places she wanted to visit, not realising he had fulfilled her last wishes before she died.

2. Posts encouraging cooperation and donations in the cause of helping an ill or needy person
E.g. Selling products via social media and using the money from the sales to help support the hefty hospital bills of an ill baby who needed a major surgery

3. Articles that teach you to lead a smarter life
E.g. How do you save from your salary, and how do you spend less time in managing daily tasks

What Most of Your Posts & Ads Should Include in 2013

1. Humility and sensitivity (No bragging)

2. Sincerity and thoughtfulness (Not an act done for the sake of getting into the limelight)

3. Life lessons (No one can get enough of this, and they can be life-changing.)

The New Social Need In Workforce

Social Media and The Modern Office ‘facebook’ Culture

How many times do you feel that your efforts at work are not being recognised? How transparent are your supervisors on project goals and their expectations of you?

The traditional work appraisal system will soon be irrelevant for the Gen Y workforce, where the employees are enthusiastic about acquiring new skills and moving on to accomplish bigger goals, after each successful mision is conquered.

This generation thrives on social recognition and enjoys keeping updates on one another. The diehard facebook generation, exactly. Almost each hour, their fingers will wander to the famous blue icon, happy to respond on an interesting post.

I was reading about a blog of hootsuite, and found 7 Geese, a software that helps to align company values with those of employees’. Basically, it provides a real-time platform for employees to set their goals and then announce through the network about any mistakes, success and task completion.

Others at the workplace can respond to the post, and this immediate response from the people involved will help to strengthen the team spirit and bring on a more motivated and empowered team.

This software has worked companies which are rapidly expanding like hootsuite. But it is a valuable tool, next to facebook, that I hope to use one day in the cause of teambuilding, work recognition and empowerment.

And I think the tool should be called the seriousfacebook. LOL