Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Tim Peter Thinks

Tim Peter

By

July 31, 2013

How Connected are Social and Mobile?

July 31, 2013 | By | No Comments

I spend a lot of time talking and writing about the social, local, mobile web. One reason is due to how connected the two trends are. A chart offered on Business Insider today illustrates the connection clearly:

Social is mobile and vice versa

You can check out the whole article on Business Insider.

And if you’re interested in learning more about the future of marketing on the social, local, mobile web, register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

By

May 15, 2013

The Truth: How the Social, Local, Mobile Web Affects Sales Online and Offline

May 15, 2013 | By | 2 Comments

I recently had the pleasure of speaking to the New Jersey Chapter of MENG (Marketing Executives Networking Group). They were a fantastic audience, offering great questions and a lively dialog. The talk highlighted companies like W Hotels, Nike, Tesco and other companies who get what the transition to social, local, and mobile means for their customers (like those I highlighted yesterday). If you’d like to take a look at the slides, they’re linked below:

I also recorded a brief video with NJ MENG Chapter president Monique de Maio on omnichannel marketing and how it pays off for brands:

As ever, I’m available to speak to your group, too. You can get all the details here.

You can also register to receive a free copy of my new special report, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World,” produced in conjunction with Vizergy, here. While it’s targeted to the hospitality industry specifically, most of the lessons apply across verticals. And, if that’s not enough, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web, including:

Tim Peter

By

February 20, 2013

Burger King Gets Hacked: 4 Rules for Surviving a Social Account Hack

February 20, 2013 | By | One Comment

Twitter logo outlineI mentioned the big mistake in social marketing yesterday, but failed to note one of the big social media marketing stories of the day. The story? Burger King’s Twitter account got hacked.

Getting hacked is no fun at all. I’ve lived through it several times (once here, once on Twitter, once on Facebook, and once on a corporate site). The Facebook one was my fault (I’d used a public computer to check my private messages and forgot to log out), but the others caused just as many headaches.

I’ve covered how to ensure your website stays alive in the past, but I’ve never shared my experience with social sites before. Mnay of the same tips apply, but here are a few worth noting:

  1. Have a plan. Knowing what you’ll do in advance can help you recover quickly. Expect that you will be hacked and plan ahead for what you’ll communicate with fans, friends, and followers.
  2. Be upfront about what’s happening. While it’s unfortunate and, frankly, embarrassing, your followers usually will be understanding. Just keep them in the loop.
  3. Use alternate channels to continue communicating. One of the best reasons for having a presence in multiple social channels is that you can continue to communicate with your fans and followers via the accounts that weren’t compromised.
  4. Remember, it can happen to anyone. Sad, but true. Most social accounts fall into one of two categories: Have been hacked and will be hacked. If you’ve got any kind of follower count, you can bet the bad guys are looking for an opportunity to scam you. Make sure you’ve got a plan for how to handle any attack. Take note of Twitter’s steps to correct a compromised account and Facebook’s “Hacked Accounts” page. (For Google+, you need to reset your password first and Pinterest doesn’t seem to have an account recovery option that I can find).

Getting one of your social accounts hacked is no fun. It’s a pain in the rear and, unfortunately, can cost both time and money to correct. But with some proper planning and a robust web presence, you can usually recover relatively quickly. And, with any luck, you’ll never have to use your plan.

Interested in more? Sign up for our free newsletter and get more information on how to build your social, local, mobile marketing strategy.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Tim Peter

By

September 28, 2012

Social Success? 9+ Tips to Think About This Week (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – September 28, 2012)

September 28, 2012 | By | No Comments

Social marketing success tipsIt’s been a huge week on the social, local, mobile web. What, you think the NFL referees are the only big story this week? Seriously, there’s lots to talk about, so let’s dive right in:

  1. Leading off, Business Insider has a good look at the ROI of social media for direct sales.
  2. On a related note, MediaPost shows how social media leads to email and search conversion.
  3. Of course, not everyone’s a fan. The Wall Street Journal talks about CEOs on Twitter and how fear makes some executives leery of social media.
  4. What’s to fear? Well, Techcrunch reports Facebook is deleting lots of fake accounts, leading many Fan pages to lose followers.
  5. Privacy is another challenge on Facebook. But I argued earlier this week that Facebook’s supposed privacy problem may not be this big a deal (this time).
  6. Chris Abraham has a great post on Biznology explaining how business tweeting is a life-sentence.
  7. Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic details Urban Outfitter’s recent switch to iPads and asks whether this is the end of the cash register?
  8. Speaking of Apple, CEO Tim Cook has issued an apology for its disastrous Maps app. Thinks looked at the what you can learn from Apple’s Maps mess earlier this week and also dug into the issue in more detail during this week’s podcast.
  9. Mashable is reporting that Instagram now has more daily active users on mobile than Twitter.

And I’d like to welcome back the regular NFL refs. It’ll be fun to boo the real officials, instead of the replacements, for a change. Hope your weekend rocks, Big Thinkers! And I’ll see you back here next week with more social, local, mobile marketing goodness.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tim Peter

By

August 24, 2012

This week's best social, search and e-commerce tips (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – August 24, 2012)

August 24, 2012 | By | No Comments

Social media marketing smallJust a quick look this week at the best social, search and e-commerce tips I’ve run across. Enjoy:

Have a great weekend, Big Thinkers. See you back here next week.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

Tim Peter

By

August 17, 2012

Search, Social and Mobile: What You Need to Know This Week (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – August 17, 2012)

August 17, 2012 | By | No Comments

Social on mobileNeed still more evidence how linked search, social and mobile are? Wondering why content marketing matters? Check out this week’s links:

Have a great weekend, Big Thinkers. See you next week.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tim Peter

By

July 5, 2012

Building your followers on LinkedIn

July 5, 2012 | By | No Comments

LinkedIn WebLogo LowResExampleA few weeks ago, I wrote a post on the Biznology blog claiming that “everyone needs both Pinterest and LinkedIn.” And while I’ve offered plenty of Pinterest tips over the last few months, it’s unfair to say I’ve offered similar coverage of LinkedIn. Until now.

Here are some of my favorite tips for growing the number of LinkedIn followers on your LinkedIn Company page.

Your LinkedIn Company Page

Why have a Company page on LinkedIn? Lots of reasons, really:

  • Attract new employees
  • Stay engaged with clients and customers
  • Promote your products and services to LinkedIn’s 100 million+ members
  • Effectively measure your LinkedIn visitors
  • Improve search engine results for your brand name

So, to gain more followers, first they have to have a reason to care about your brand. In other words…

What are you using your LinkedIn Company page for?

You want visitors to your Company page to have a solid first impression of your business. What do you offer? Is it clear? Is it compelling? Are you doing a good job of telling your brand story? While it may be obvious, few people will follow your brand on LinkedIn (or anywhere else for that matter), if you don’t give them a reason to care about you. As I’ve noted before, make sure you promote your values and your value to your Company page visitors.

How to reach potential followers

Gaining followers for your LinkedIn Company page actually isn’t dramatically different from any other social network. The basic steps are going to be very similar.

First, begin promoting your Company page during your routine customer contacts. This includes places like:

  • Phone calls
  • Business cards
  • Email signatures

Do each of your employees have your Company page in their email signature? Do you still provide business cards to your team? Why not place the URL for your Company page there, too?

Additionally, following a “hub ‘n’ spoke” model for promoting your business, ensure your company’s website, blog, and product pages all include a “Follow Company” button.

Additionally, you can promote your Company page on any of your other social outposts, whether Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, or this month’s social site of the moment.

Once you’ve started promoting your Company page, begin updating the page regularly, offering your followers shareable content. We’ve covered the idea before, but you want to engage your (real and potential) audience with relevant items that engage, enlighten and entertain. As LinkedIn attracts a more “corporate” audience, you’ll likely want to skew the content towards “work-related” items. But that doesn’t mean they should be stiff or dry. Make the updates fun as well as functional to drive your follower count.

Conclusion

LinkedIn connects your company to educated and business-oriented contacts. Whether you’re looking to attract talent, customers or media, it’s a great source of high-value leads for your business. The social network’s Company page represents an effective means of reaching those folks. Ask potential contacts to follow your brand on LinkedIn and offer them solid reasons to do so. The rest, like much content marketing, is just a matter of time.

Oh… and while I’m at it, you can follow Tim Peter & Associates on LinkedIn, too.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tim Peter

By

July 2, 2012

The Transparent Web for the Hotel Industry

July 2, 2012 | By | One Comment

I spoke to a hotel industry group last week about The Transparent Web. Here are the slides from my talk for your viewing pleasure:

And, as always, remember you can hire Tim for your next event.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Tim Peter

By

June 29, 2012

Social and mobile strategy tips to drive your business (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – June 29, 2012)

June 29, 2012 | By | 2 Comments

Social and mobile marketing tipsNot a lot of build-up this week, Big Thinkers. Just the best social and mobile marketing strategy tips I could find this week. Enjoy:

Have a great weekend, Big Thinkers. We’ll catch you back here next week.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tim Peter

By

June 28, 2012

Why the old "negative review" trick is destined to fail…

June 28, 2012 | By | No Comments

Why fake negative reviews shouldn't worry you too much.Over the past few months, two different businesses I work with have told me a fascinating tale. You’re probably familiar with it. It seems their competitors have posed as customers and written negative reviews about clients’ businesses on various social media sites. It’s known as astroturfing and happens at least somewhat regularly.

A former hotel marketing intern also approached me at a conference recently and admitted her boss asked her to write a negative review online about one of their competitors (to the young woman’s credit, she talked him out of it).

Given the importance of review sites and user-generated content in many purchase decisions, it’s not surprising this sort of nonsense occurs.

But I advise my clients not to worry about this practice too much — and never to engage in it themselves.

Here’s why:

  1. A few negative reviews won’t hurt you. Assuming, of course, that your regular customers regularly post positive reviews, it’s unlikely a few bad reviews — whether real or astroturfed — will hurt you. In fact, Harvard Business Review (and others) report that, given certain conditions, negative reviews actually boost sales. Companies engaged in astroturfing may be doing their competition a favor instead of the intended disservice.
  2. This tactic won’t be around very long. For one thing, the FTC and European Union each regard this sort of behavior as bas for consumers and business overall and each has taken steps to address it within their jurisdictions. For instance, in several cases, regulatory bodies have fined offending companies for the practice. Many review sites are working towards increasing “validated reviews” (i.e., determining whether the reviewer ever actually purchased/used the product). And some services are taking action against those posting fake reviews. Does this mean that all fake negatives will go away? Of course not. There’s always going to be some idiot who believes the benefits of trying to “beat the system” outweigh the negatives. But any of your competitors willing to take that risk — and that focused on you, instead of their customer — isn’t a competitor likely to be around for very long either.
  3. Your good customers are often on your side. I can’t tell you the number of reviews I’ve seen for both products and services that begin, “I have no idea what [insert reviewer's name here], is talking about.” (I’ve personally experienced this one in one of my past lives). Give your customers something worth talking about and they’ll undermine the credibility of the “bad guys.”

Now, negative reviews — real or fake — are never fun. And none of this is to suggest that this isn’t a problem. But it’s a problem that you should give exactly the right amount of attention to — and no more.

Focus on your customers. Give them service worthy of writing positive reviews about. If you’re getting legitimate negative reviews, fix the customer’s concern and respond to the customer. And, where necessary, address the one-off fake review as appropriate. Just don’t make it your whole life.

[H/T to my friend Robert Cole for his excellent "Fake Review Optimization" series on Tnooz.com (parts 2, 3, 4 and 5)]

Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.