Recent Posts

LinkedIn Introduces Follow Company Button

February 28, 2012 - Posted by Shama Kabani

So once you’ve optimized your company page on LinkedIn (which we’re sure almost all of you have done, but we’ll get to you in a minute if you haven’t), how do you get people to follow it? Twitter and Facebook have like and follow buttons – respectively – that you can embed into your website, allowing people to become a follower or a fan with a single click. Too bad there isn’t an equivalent for LinkedIn. Well hold on to your hats, folks: now there is an equivalent for company pages on LinkedIn. As of yesterday, LinkedIn now has a Company Follow button for you to add to your website. Additional followers on LinkedIn can mean more leads for you in the long run. Read on for more on LinkedIn’s importance to your online marketing strategy. Installing the Follow Company Button Visit this page. Enter your company name in the… read more

Facebook Promotion Guidelines: What You Need To Know

February 24, 2012 - Posted by Shama Kabani

Those of you who’ve been following along may remember our post from a few months back about the difference between sweepstakes and contests. If you’ve decided that a Facebook promotion is the next step in your online marketing campaign, regardless of the type of promotion (if you’re doing anything where you’re going to pick a “winner” then you’re having a promotion), you need to be aware of Facebook’s official Promotions Guidelines before jumping in head first. Changes since we last wrote on this topic Our CEO Shama wrote a similar post about the Facebook Promotion Guidelines back in 2009. As you probably know, the site has had a few facelifts since then – and its legal language hasn’t been exempt from the company-wide makeover. The biggest change is that now you do not need written permission from a Facebook account executive to hold a contest, sweepstakes, or giveaway. Previously, you needed… read more

Social Media Marketing for Colleges and Universities

February 21, 2012 - Posted by Shama Kabani

It makes sense that colleges and universities would market themselves on social media – their target demographics can practically tweet in their sleep! Whether you’re trying to connect with prospective students or alumni, online marketing now plays a bigger role than ever. Below, we highlight three of our favorite examples from the higher education community. The University of Dayton’s video scholarship contest The University of Dayton is currently in the middle of their second annual video scholarship contest for incoming freshmen. The contest is based around the topic of “What does servant leadership mean to you?“, which UD featured in a 46-second video clip. The contest’s 46 entries are currently open to popular voting, and the top 10 videos with the most votes will be referred to a judging panel. The first place winner receives a $40,000 scholarship, with second and third place finishers also winning smaller financial aid awards…. read more

Four Useful Tools for the Busy Social Media Marketer

February 17, 2012 - Posted by Shama Kabani

When you’re trying to juggle all the aspects of your online marketing campaign, sometimes you can end up feeling downright swamped. Although we don’t yet live in a world where you can buy a person-sized robot to do all your work for you so you can take a well-deserved nap, there are applications and programs out there to help make your life a tiny bit easier. HootSuite HootSuite is most commonly associated with managing Twitter accounts, although the dashboard also supports posting to Facebook, Foursquare, Google+, LinkedIn, WordPress, Tumblr, Flickr, YouTube, and even MySpace. The application has both desktop and mobile versions. A noteworthy feature of this service is the ability to schedule future tweets. The basic version of the service is free, with limited functionality. Even the basic free version includes analytics to see your clicks and retweets. The paid version integrates with Google Analytics and Facebook Insights, as… read more

We’re Hiring: Social Media Marketing Intern

February 14, 2012 - Posted by Shama Kabani

Is social media your life? Do you physically cringe when a business has a Facebook profile instead of a page? Are you the mayor of all your friends’ houses on Foursquare? You just might be the person we’re looking for! We’re hiring a social media marketing intern for The Marketing Zen Group. This person will be responsible for researching, creating, implementing, and measuring engaging social media strategies to meet the objectives of each of our very, very different clients. You’ll work closely with the Social Media Lead, Account Supervisor, clients, and all other branches of the company. You must be able to work virtually. To be straightforward: this is a challenging position. If you think you’re up for the challenge, keep reading! What you’ll do: Thoroughly research clients’ social media needs and build from that strong strategies, timelines, content calendars, contests, advertising campaigns, etc. Implement the above strategies on a daily basis… read more

40 Social Media Tips for Nonprofit Organizations

February 10, 2012 - Posted by Shama Kabani

Although social media marketing is just as important for nonprofit organizations as it is for traditional business, some of the tactics are slightly different. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some important social media tips for nonprofits to remember. Remember: social media is about sharing and discussing, not broadcasting. Integrate social sharing buttons into your website so that visitors can pass along your content with just one (or a few) clicks. Make social media someone’s specific job. Assign responsibility to a person or group of people on your staff. Deliver quality information via your social profiles. Users should feel that your tweets or Facebook posts are useful and contribute to your mission. Research what organizations you admire are doing on social media. Set up a Google Alert for your organization’s name and other topics of interest to keep track of what people are saying. Encourage employees to include your social media information… read more

Ask Shama: What’s the Secret Sauce to Creating Compelling Content?

February 9, 2012 - Posted by Shama Kabani

How do you keep your content fresh after years of doing the same old thing? Shama gives three tips for making sure your audience stays engaged. Editor’s note: The marriage of technology and communication has been a boon to savvy entrepreneurs, but it’s also a huge challenge for those who aren’t sure how to navigate social networks. To help, Dallas-based entrepreneur and tech expert Shama Kabani is answering your questions. Email her at shama@marketingzen.com, or check out more of her advice at her online marketing company or on video. Dear Shama, I may not be very Web savvy, but one thing I’ve learned is that content seems to matter. And, from what you say, it matters in all shapes and sizes (videos, audio, blog posts, etc.). It strikes me as the cornerstone of all online marketing. Here is the million-dollar question: Where do you get the ideas? How can you… read more

Should My Business Start Using Pinterest?

February 7, 2012 - Posted by Shama Kabani

If you’ve been paying attention to social media news recently, you’ve probably heard about a little site called Pinterest. Maybe you’ve even ventured onto the site, pinning your favorite photos of hilarious baby animals and thought-provoking quotes. But what about Pinterest’s implications for online marketing? Surely it contains a lot of untapped potential, but is it potential that’s relevant to you and your business? What’s Pinterest again? Pinterest is a social network built on the concept of sharing visual recommendations via virtual pinboards. Users bookmark – or “pin” – photos of interest to theme-based boards. Users can also repin from other Pinterest users. The site has quickly gained popularity, and now drives more referral traffic than YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+ combined. That’s pretty impressive for a network that’s still invite-only. Have people already been pinning photos from my site? I don’t know! If your site draws a decent amount of… read more

7 Things You Should Know About Online Marketing…But Often Forget

February 2, 2012 - Posted by Shama Kabani

With all the advice floating around out there about online marketing, sometimes it can be hard to remember it all – or separate the good advice from the bad advice (from the weird advice). It’s easy to get caught up and forget the basics. If you’re feeling a little frazzled by it all, take a step back. Breathe deep. Then review our list of seven things you should know, but may have forgotten along the way, about online marketing. 1. It takes time. You can’t set up a Facebook or Twitter account and expect it to be successful overnight. Sure, this happens every so often – but mostly for huge, established companies like Nike who have a staggering offline presence. You might not even see results within the first week, so you can’t get easily discouraged. However, we’re also referring to the fact that you and your team need to… read more