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The Virality Behind the #IceBucketChallenge

Background

Since the beginning of July 2014, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken over social media feeds around the country and globe, raising millions of dollars in funds and massive awareness for the disease. Several million users have posted videos of themselves dumping ice water over their heads and challenging friends to do the same or donate $100 to the ALS Association. Participants have included the likes of Oprah, Bill Gates and the New England Patriots.

By every measure, the initiative has been a huge success for the ALS Association, bringing in $41M and counting, according to a recent New York Times report. Facebook’s research shows us that the epicenter of the phenomenon is Boston, MA, presumably sparked by local support for former Boston College basketball player and early participant in the challenge, Pete Frates.

Resolution POV:

The runaway success of this initiative clearly has strong ties to its noble cause. Regular people and celebrities alike are eager to participate, knowing that they are doing good by raising awareness and funds for ALS research. But a charitable component isn’t always necessary to achieve virality. There are a couple of lessons to be learned from the Ice Bucket Challenge that can apply across any type of initiative to garner user participation in social.

  1. Authentic influencer seeding. This phenomenon radiated out from Boston, where the story was kick-started by an influencer with a close friend affected by the disease. Pete Frates had not only connections to well-known Boston athletes, but also a highly personal reason to share this message. The one-two punch of social influence and an authentic connection to the subject matter is an absolute must in choosing individuals to help kick off a UGC campaign.
  2. A simple AND specific ask. Like planking, Tebowing and the Harlem Shake before it, the Ice Bucket Challenge is very easy to replicate. The rules are immediately clear, while leaving some room for improvisation, creativity and humor. This means that the videos are easy to create but also fun to watch. Too often, planned user-generated content (UGC) initiatives ask for a high level of depth or creativity, creating a high barrier to participation. By making the ask simple and specific, the Ice Bucket Challenge has made it easy to get involved.
  3. Keeping social social. Also taking a cue from past viral memes, the Ice Bucket Challenge makes the video creator look a little silly, and that entertainment quality is exactly what brings value to those who watch it and makes this content so sharable. Add in the social pressure of being “called out” by a friend to participate, and you have the makings of a wildly successful 21st-century chain letter.

Summary

The Ice Bucket Challenge has been incredibly successful in taking the well-established recipes of previous social trends and applying them to a charitable cause. The campaign’s success has once again proven that authentic influencers, a simple and specific ask, and entertaining content are core to any UGC initiative.

Before launching a similar social campaign, brands should look to this trend and ask themselves: Does my approach mirror that of the Ice Bucket Challenge and other organically viral campaigns of the past? If not, it may be time to revisit the campaign structure. Thoughtfully utilizing the learnings of social media phenomena like these means more investment up front, but it will also result in more organic participation and less investment in paid media and prizes to push engagement with a campaign that just isn’t engaging.

6 Free Local Small Business Marketing Tools

6 Free Local Small Business Marketing ToolsThe 6 free tools below have helped me in countless local small business marketing campaigns. You can use them separately or together to uncover the best medium-sized markets near your business. 1) Radius Targeting One of the most important factors in determining which area you should target is its distance. 5 Minute Site offers a...continue reading …

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Spammer or Saint? What You Need to Know about Email Sender Reputation

Spammer or Saint? What You Need to Know about Email Sender ReputationAs email spam continues to clog the arteries of the internet like so much digital cholesterol, a number of ISPs have taken drastic measures to filter it out before it ever hits the inbox. The downside to this approach is that an estimated 20 percent of legit, non-spam emails are getting tossed out with the...continue reading …

The post Spammer or Saint? What You Need to Know about Email Sender Reputation appeared first on Dex Media.

How to Get More Email Subscribers Overnight? Tip #1

List building is an essential thing in online world nowadays.

To be able to make money blogging, you need to have an email list. You could take it as a rule of thumb nowadays and I think it’ll be forever.

If you ask any marketer, who understand online marketing right, what you want more of, he’ll tell you I want more subscribers.

Check this post to know more about Why Email is Important to Build Sustainable Lucrative Business

So how do you actually build an email list? I’ll dive deep into many ways on how to build your email list and get more subscribers in this post series.

Now, let’s start with today’s tip #1:

Use a popup:

Seriously? Are you kidding?

No, I’m not kidding you. You need to use a popup.

I know how much people complain that popup are annoying and so on. But did you try it yourself? I tried it more than a time and no one had complained.

And you know what? They deliver results. They get you huge increase in email subscribers without much work.

Actually, most of the top bloggers keep using popups till today.

People like Neil Patel, Derek Halpern, Noah Kogan, Leslie Samuel, Yaro Starak, John Lee Dumas and many many others. They use it and they’re of the most reputable online marketers.

The reason they’re doing it is because they deliver results.

Even Zac Johnson uses one on this blog.

You really need to use a popup.

So you’re convinced to use a popup now?

If not, Derek Halpern said that anyone who don’t use a popup is an idiot because he is leaving money on the table and I agree with him.

So make yourself a favor and don’t be an idiot.

If you’re convinced, then you’re wondering…

How to create a popup?

There are many premium plugins that help you design a popup, like popup domination and hybrid connect.

You could use any. Popup domination is specified in popups only, but I prefer hybrid connect. Not only, you’re able to build forms and use anywhere and anyway you want to, you’re also able to make people subscribe using facebook.

So when they’re logged on facebook and check your site, everything will be ready, all they need is a click and they’ll be a subscriber. This is like a boost in conversion.

It’s your choice, but make sure to have one.

After you install the plugin, you’ll have many professionally designed templates to choose from.

Choose one of the templates you see there, customize it and start using it. You’ll find the difference yourself.

Last words:

Popup is a must-use to get more email subscribers to your list.

Check one of the 2 plugins and customize your template and start using it.

Check the stats next day and I’m sure you’re going to see the difference.

So take action and comment below with your experience on using popups to get more email subscribers. Hope to hear from all of you.

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The Benefits of Twitter Advertising for Your Business

The Benefits of Twitter Advertising for Your BusinessHas your business considered using Twitter ads? Earlier in the month Twitter revamped their advertising interface by making it easier for marketers and business owners to set up and launch campaigns. If you are a newcomer to Twitter ads or an experienced user, the new system is easier now with clearer campaign objectives and step-by-step instructions....continue reading …

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How to Start a Business Blog

How to Start a Business BlogSome of the most frequently asked questions from small businesses involve blogging. Should I have a business blog? YES! How do I start? SEE BELOW How often should I publish new content? REGULARLY. AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK What should I write about? WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU KNOW How do I get people to read...continue reading …

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3 Secrets to Social Media Success

Creating and maintaining an adequate, consistent presence on social media platforms is the key to success.

With traditional marketing techniques, such as newspaper advertising, TV or radio commercials and street advertising gradually losing their popularity, conquering the online space should offer a solid advantage over the competitors and open new opportunities and new potential “audiences” for your products and services.

Bloggers that hesitate to explore the powerful world of social media platforms miss out on so many opportunities because they fail to communicate efficiently with users and fail to engage in a meaningful way that symbolizes care and attention for their customers.

However, creating and preserving an effective social media presence requires the implementation of a few simple techniques and strategies.

Social Media Success Secrets

Here are three simple secrets to small business social media success.

1) Choose Your Target Audience and Social Media Strategy Carefully

Not all social media platforms are the same.

Although the idea of sharing, communicating and interacting is common to virtually all social media platforms, the tools and the representations may be different, which translates into targeting different categories of customers.

For general Internet marketing purposes, Facebook is a great choice since it has more than 1 billion users. You can adjust the content of your pages and messages to target certain categories of users, and contests or fun product themed videos or articles can result in more followers and potential clients.

However, you may want to look into other options, depending on the type of your product, if you’re into affiliate marketing. If your product is visually appealing, then establishing a strong presence on Pinterest or Instagram is a great choice.

If you own a shop or a restaurant, then interacting with potential customers, and sharing information through Yelp and Foursquare can provide a solid presence in the online space and bring more customers.

2) Engage In Social Media Meaningful Communication

Avoid being too “cold” or formal in your interactions on social media platforms. Customers prefer businesses that respond to their questions and comments in a “warm”, personal and dynamic manner.

Make potential clients feel like they are listened to and cared for, and you will soon discover the power of social media reflected in your business popularity and revenues.

3) Social Media Content Should be Consistent

Although it may be tempting to post different interesting topics, videos and articles on your blog to share it with your followers, consistency of content is the key to success.

If users want to read news or diverse information they can check other pages for such purposes. They are visiting your page for content related to your product, mission or service, so make it relevant to your brand and company, yet try diverse approaches to present these ideas and products in a new light.

These three simple techniques can help business-oriented blog to establish a solid presence on social media platforms and engage in meaningful interaction with their followers.

Over time, it should inevitably translate into more customers and higher revenues through a better exposure of large audiences to your brand, products or services.

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Website Speed – Why It Really, Really Matters!

We all know how frustrating it can be waiting for a website to load. In this fast-paced world, we want everything yesterday. What you might not know is, website speed can affect your SEO, the user experience, and most importantly, your business’s bottom line.

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SEO-wise, search engines review page speed as part of the algorithm that decides who appears in what position on the search results page. That means a slow site will hamper your rankings, where a speedy site will enhance them.

On the user side, sluggish websites can have an even greater detrimental impact. Nearly half of all users will leave a site that fails to load within 3 seconds, and more will abandon a transaction if it’s taking too long. Studies have shown that a 2-second delay in a transaction being processed dramatically increases a user’s anxiety about completing the purchase and, as a result, abandonment rates increase from an average of 65-70% to 87%.

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That extra 20% or so can have a dramatic impact on your business’s profits. It means 1 in 5 people who would have gone on to complete a purchase, now won’t do so. In real terms, for an eCommerce site making $25,000 worth of sales per day, that is a loss of over $1.8MM in revenue per year, just because your website is slower.

 

So How Do You Know How Fast Your Website Is?

The first step in speed and load time optimization is to assess the current performance of your website. There are a number of free programs online that can help you do this, and many will go a step further and give you specific recommendations as to what to optimize first.

Google’s Page Speed Insights

GTmetrix

These two tools will give your website a score and detail the issues you should prioritize to improve that score. The next step is implementation!

 

Making Your Website Super Speedy!

Some of the most common recommendations tie in with a number of the SEO best practices that we recommend to our clients. These include avoiding large blocks of CSS or JavaScript in your website code and optimizing your images.

Extraneous code, such as style information or JavaScript functionality, should be moved to external files. CSS should be placed in its own file whenever possible, instead of being coded directly within the webpage. This is relevant to both inline CSS (used to style a particular element) and CSS code establishing classes and IDs for consistent styling.

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JavaScript can also be parsed into separate files, allowing you to have the same function on multiple pages of your site, without the need for bulky, duplicative code on every page. Chat with your programmer about the best way to do this.

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Using larger images on your website can also have a huge impact to speed scores. Avoid uploading very large image files to the backend and then showing it at a much smaller width on the site – this doesn’t make the file smaller or reduce load times. For this reason, we recommend reducing the image file prior to uploading it, and compressing the image further to take up the least amount of memory, without sacrificing the resolution.

There are free online tools to compress images prior to upload. A few of these include Smush It and PunyPNG.

There will be plenty of other recommendations particular to a specific site, but these are some of the most common that we see.

Finally, don’t forget to check your mobile site, if that is separate. Mobile users expect the same performance on their smartphones as they do for desktop devices, and with mobile search growing at a rapid rate, this could be an area for opportunity if you get it right, to leapfrog your competition.

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Invisible on Google? Take These Emergency SEO Steps Now

Invisible on Google? Take These Emergency SEO Steps NowYour site is staggering along on page # infinity in Google searches for your business type and town name. Time for some CPR for your SEO. Perform these 5 emergency procedures recommended by search engine optimization (SEO) experts to show up in Google local business searches – stat! 1. Pick one name, one local address...continue reading …

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Facebook Contest Apps – How to Easily Create Facebook Contests

Facebook contests are one of the most effective ways to reach new audiences and drive a ton of viral traffic back to your site. With over 1.3 billion users on the social network, it’s no wonder more individuals, bloggers, brands and businesses are trying to create Facebook contests to drive more engagement and activity to their sites.

Setting up your own Facebook contest in previous years was a big hassle. You would have to mess around with the settings and tabs on your Facebook Fan Pages and this was usually more than a headache than anything else. Fortunately, a wide range of services have figured out how to make this process much easier and now anyone can create effective social networking contests in just a few minutes. What’s even better is that they are now more effective and powerful than ever.

How to Create Amazing Facebook Contests

With so many different solutions on the market today, I’ve chosen some of my favorite Facebook contest apps and gave the benefits of each of them below.

Wishpond Facebook Contest Apps Example

Before we jump into reviewing the top Facebook contest apps available today, I wanted to first highlight some of the best ways to tweak your campaigns and promotions for maximum performance.

  1. Choose a Prize that is Relevant

    While it may seem like a good idea to give away the latest tech toy or Apple product, you will do much better with your campaigns if you choose a prize that is relevant to your brand, product or service you are trying to offer.

     

  2. Give Your Promotion a Jump Start

    All contest and promotions need to start off with a bang. In addition to promoting your contest through social networks, you should also use your email lists and site traffic to give your campaigns a boost.

     

  3. Always Collect an Email Address

    No matter what your prize is or what you are trying to promote, be sure to always require an email address. A lot of people will enter your contest and never come back. An email address is the best way to keep them coming back for more.

     

  4. Make Sure Your Contest is Mobile Ready

    More people are using their mobile devices than ever before. Be sure to check your promotion and lead gen forms to make sure they are mobile ready and optimized so no leads are lost in the process.

     

  5. Follow Up with All Participants

    Once your promotion is over, be sure to follow up with all participants… not just the winners. This is another great opportunity for you to send out one more message to everyone, letting them know the contest ended, thanking them and pushing your end offer one last time.

Follow these contest and promotions tips, while using any of the recommended applications below and you will be setup for maximum performance and results!

Top Facebook Contest Apps List

Wishpond

Wishpond is the leader in social contest apps and promotions right now. Their service is quickly wiping out the competition and making it easy for anyone to setup social contests, landing pages, pop up newsletter forms and much more. In addition to all of the tools available through their site, they also offer tracking for ad campaigns running through Facebook, Google and more.

Compared to other contest and promotion apps out there, Wishpond is quite competitive at their base rate of $45 per month. You can also sign up for a free 14 day trial that allows you to try all areas, tools and features of the site based on the package you choose. Advanced packages include their own coaching program, email automation and white-label options. Should you decide to pay for a year in advance, you will also save an additional 35% off.

Wishpond Facebook Contest App

Heyo Contest Builder App

When it comes time for you to choose a quality Facebook contest app, going with a simple drag and drop solution may be your best option. That is exactly what Heyo had in mind when they were creating their service to drive activity and engagement through the major social network.

One of the main reasons why web sites, blogs and brands want to create contests and promotions across social networks is so they can easily grab email addresses that they can follow up with. Once setup with Heyo, you will have access to all of their templates for easy contest and promotion creation. Heyo offers a free 7 day trial with no credit card needed, and premium plans are available at $30 per month.

Heyo Facebook Contest Apps

ShortStack

ShortStack makes the process of building campaigns that engage with your audience easy… and best of all they can be used anyway. While most people are focusing their efforts on social networking contests and promotions, they are also forgetting about all of the quality traffic that they are missing out on at their own sites. ShortStack’s platform allows you to create completely custom lead gen forms to match the look and feel of anything you like.

You can start creating your own lead gen forms and pages with a free trial, then full access accounts start at just $29 a month.

ShortStack Facebook Contest Apps

AgoraPulse

If you are going to be focusing your efforts on Facebook contest apps and promotions, you may also want to look into an all-in-one solution like AgoraPulse, which allows you to create apps, engage with your audience and also measure your results in the process.

All plans include unlimited apps and start as low as $29 per month. Accounts that are billed annually also save up to 35%.

AgoraPulse Facebook Contest Apps

How to Choose the Best Facebook Contest Apps

Now that we have listed some of the best Facebook contest apps for you to choose from, it’s time for you to take a step back and see what you would like to accomplish with your social networking efforts.

The great thing about each of the services listed above is that each of them offer a free trial period for you to test out their tools and what they have to offer. It’s also important to note that all four of the contest and promotions services listed are top notch and recommended by some of the most well known marketers and media companies online. Choosing which is best for you and your brand is more about preference on how to use their system and looking at your budgeting options if you are going to scale heavily in size.

The best way to find which of the Facebook contest apps services is best for you, is to try each of them out. Don’t forget, each comes with their own free trial and some of them don’t even require a credit card!

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