Top marketing news, articles and tips from the third week of August 2012.
There are tons of resources available online for marketers looking to advance their SEO skills. But, I haven’t c
ome across many that actually offer valuable advice on how to learn and understand SEO. Will Critchlow (@willcritchlow) reiterates the difference between the two, and that understanding how things work can help us improve and grow (think true knowledge versus memorization):
- Get curious and experiment; It’s the best way to understand how things work.
- Challenge yourself to learn something in two hours.
- File away the knowledge, and write it down.
Corporate Social Media Management
Lately, a number of big brands are making headline news, and not necessarily for the right reasons. Social networks have become extremely powerful tools for business’ crisis communications, but one slip can cause immediate and sometimes irreversible brand damage.
Last week, Progressive Insurance (@Progressive) faced a great deal of social media backlash for their response to a customer’s criticism following the death of a policyholder. It wasn’t the complaint itself that gained attention; rather, it was Progressive’s response, which was deemed corporate, insensitive, robotic and tardy.
Similarly, United Airlines (@United) fell victim to an outpour of rage on social media after a young girl who was traveling alone got lost, allegedly due to lack of airline assistance. While Progressive’s tale was one of poor crisis communication, United tried to avoid the issue altogether by deleting related comments from its Facebook page.
Twitter, Facebook and other social networks’ vocal and influential member bases can trigger a storm of controversy with amazing speed, and sometimes act as amplifiers for customers to attack brands online. Events like these bring their roles upfront, and highlight the importance of revisiting your crisis communication, social monitoring and engagement plans regularly.
- Google+ rolled out vanity URLs on a limited basis for select brands and celebrities. So far, there’s no word on when or how URL customization will be available to people and pages worldwide (please, no one take plus.google/pinterdomination).
- Motorola plans to close a third of its 94 offices worldwide and lay off 20% of its work force. The cuts are the first step in Google’s plan to reinvent the ailing cellphone maker, which it bought last May.
- “Sometimes the best answer to your question isn’t available on the public web—it may be contained somewhere else, such as in your email,” said Amit Singhal (@theamitsinghal) of Google Search. Which is exactly what Google is going to do—incorporate Gmail into its search results. A plus for marketers—this means an optimized email marketing campaign could potentially help you gain visibility in search results. On the other hand, it has raised privacy concerns for users, being thought of as "creepily invasive" (although apparently not a security risk).
- Admit it—you’ve checked the “I agree to the terms of service” box before without bothering to read any of the legalese above it. A new project called TOS;DR may put an end to this by summarizing and rating web apps’ terms to help empower and protect users.
- Last week, on-demand car service app Uber, was issued a cease and desist from the state of Massachusetts for its Boston location, which claimed that the app couldn’t operate until national GPS guidelines are put in place. Uber Boston has since been able to work with the state to keep the service going.
- Square is not only partnering with big-name companies like Starbucks (as we mentioned last week); it’s also getting on the good side of smaller businesses by offering a lower pricing option with zero swiping fees.
- Facebook may be taking notes from Twitter’s sponsored ads, as it plans to test promoted news feed posts to people beyond their fans on both desktop and mobile.
- Twitter announced major changes coming in version 1.1 of the company’s API, which will leave less room for developers to create unique experiences. Danny Sullivan (@DannySullivan) uses some trekky talk to help us make sense of the new Twitter ecosystem.
Stats & Studies
- According to recent a study by Monetate, website purchases from search-driven traffic in Q2 of 2012 beat average order size from both email and social networks.
What articles made your top list last week? We'd like to hear your opinions.