Get @TheCityHourApp For Social Networking

Soulati-Screen-Shot.jpgI recently had the distinct pleasure  to speak with Lance Seymour, chief marketing officer with CityHour, in this Google+ HangOut On Air. During that session, I also got to to send Alex Lubinsky, founder of CityHour, in the Ukraine some big love from we in the U.S. See what we get to do in sponsored posts? We can send hugs and kisses on a personal note across countries and oceans to those in strife. Big XO to you, Alex!

Now back to scheduled programming…

Hear About CityHour Here

CityHour is a new social networking tool with a big vision.

Have you ever traveled and had downtime in an airport or wandered aisles at a tradeshow wishing you were meeting someone instead? How about meeting someone totally new who also wants to do the same?

That’s what CityHour app does for iPhone users (coming soon to Android). Within minutes, and I mean minutes, you can hook into peeps you don’t know with your same interests and make connections happen. I’m impressed, and after seeing what Lance has to say below, you are going to be impressed, too!

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Are Google+ Communities A Thing Of The Past?

English: Google+ wordmark

English: Google+ wordmark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is the day I pull the plug on Bloggers Unite, the Google+ community I so eagerly and quickly established to build a place for we bloggers to qvetch, klatch, and ‘raderie.

It worked. For a bit.

In the beginning, as with most things new on the Interwebz, the sharing and energy around Google+ was #RockHot. Everyone wanted in on the action, and my community became a friendly place for peeps to read new material and cascade a few plusses around the sphere.

After that, the invasion of the non-English bloggers happened overnight. One day, we all knew one another, and the next folks from Latin America, Europe, and South America joined and posted blogs in their native tongues.

As owner of this community, it became challenging to support and share blogs I couldn’t read. Yes, someone did inform me to use Google Translation; however, my time is limited.

Segue.

It’s All About Time

What did Google+ communities offer beyond a Facebook group or LinkedIn group? The chatter wasn’t different (in my community, at least). We who jumped in together were already connected on other social channels.

Although I did try to jump start the conversation, it seemed bloggers posted something and took off to greater confines where the engagement was more robust. I get it, so did I!

Amber-Lee Dibble, kindly accepted the role as co-manager of the community, and then she got swamped on a wild horse adventure (no kidding, she lives in the Alaska interior).

Are Other Google+ Communities Thriving?

Like you, I joined some really robust communities back in the day. When I was publishing my first book a year ago, Writing With Verve on the Blogging Journey, (if anyone wants a free copy in exchange for jumping onto my list, let me know!), I joined APE The Book managed by Peggy Fitzpatrick for Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch. With 3,400 members, it’s easy to get lost and lurk.

After I gleaned all I could (it was crazy with information), I had to turn off notifications as it became too much sensory overload.

Viveka von Rosen owns a community of 600 members about LinkedIn, her specialty, and I still see those notices rolling in my in box.

Maybe that’s the ticket to success for a G+ community? Specialty topics everyone wants to learn about?

Could be! And, what do you think? Are you still involved in any #RockHot Google+ communities?

Please list them here and tell us why as I’m now seeking a new home to visit!

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The Business Of Happy Birthday

Just how many people are born in February, anyway? It seems like there are 3-5 people daily with birthdays I know within my little network. How about yours?

Since the snail mail snafus with postage increases galore (who knows the price of a postage stamp right now?), the volume of personal mail has subsided to a dull meow. When it’s your birthday, the tried-and-true BFFs from college send a greeting alongside mom, but everyone now sends global greetings the easy way — prompted by Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype and Google+.

Jayme-Soulati-Martini.jpg

Credit: Jayme Soulati

BTW, thank you EVERYONE for my birthday greetings! I remember about three years ago when I sat in front of my social channels until noon thanking every single person for my birthday wishes; it was a grand feeling for the whole day. About three years ago, it was a huge novelty to say happy birthday to everyone online. Now, you can even send gifts, and my goodness, I got one to NOT Dumb Starbucks (watch Steamfeed for the post I just uploaded on that topic!!).

Several weeks ago, I began to get birthday cards and I knew from the tell-tale envelope it was a personal greeting. Alas, not until I more closely looked at the marketing promo did I see that my birthday cards were from Kohl’s, J.C. Penney, Sunglass Hut, and my financial adviser (who always sends the best home-made cards, BTW.

Inside the retail cards were discounts on goods and services in honor of my special day. I could come on in and spend some money while getting $10 off that $75.

The business of happy birthday has gotten wayyyyy out of hand, but is it smart marketing? Do you rush to the retailer to cash in on the little discount they’re sending, or do you file the coupon? I did manage to use a Chico’s coupon for $10 off only because I was shopping for a business trip — see, still business!

Do you use birthday databases in your business? Tell me if you’ve had success with that and whether you recommend it as a good marketing strategy. I’ve never been a good birthday-rememberer, so I know already it wouldn’t be a strategy I implement, but I sure do enjoy saying happies to everyone else online!

(Please do note the very interesting compilation of blog posts from folks I don’t know writing about anyone’s birthday.)

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7 Social Media Tools Reviews Via @TomPick

As the use of social media marketing tactics have expanded and matured, two consistent challenges that remain are 1) finding enough time for all the tasks that need to be done, and 2) measuring the impact of social media marketing activities.

Into these voids have stepped all manner of developers and entrepreneurs with tools for social media monitoring, management, measurement, and more.

Need to find out how widely one of your links was shared on Twitter? Identify your most influential fans and followers for outreach efforts? Automate repetitive social marketing tasks? Find new industry influencers to engage with to help optimize your overall web presence?

Social Media Tools

Here are helpful reviews of tools to assist with all of those tasks and many more from half a dozen social media experts.

  • Nicole HarrisonNicole Harrison is “adamant” that, properly managed and executed, will deliver measurable financial results to a business, and provides brief reviews of 11 free social measurement tools including Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, and TweetReach, which she calls “a great tool for tracking a campaign or conversation on Twitter.”

Douglas KarrDouglas Karr shares an infographic which showcases 25 helpful social media marketing tools across five categories: social listening, social conversation, social marketing, social analytics, and social influencer identification. The infographic also identifies high-profile customers, strong points, and ideal users for each tool, as well as whether it is free or fee-based.

Nicholas ScaliceNicholas Scalice highlights his favorite social tools across eight categories, such as Social Report for analytics, Klout for Business for identifying “your most influential fans and followers,” and Bitly for link shortening.

Sheye Griffin reviews three social media management toolsóHootSuite, Agency Platform, and Sproutófor their value across three areas: ability to capture streams from multiple social networks; keyword search and geographical/trend analysis; and ease of engagement with followers.

Ian ClearyAsking “Do you struggle to get all your social media tasks done every day? Do you find that you perform repetitive tasks?,” (questions likely to elicit two “yeses” from many social media marketers), Ian Cleary reviews more than half a dozen time-saving social tools, including Social Oomph and Zapier (a tool similar to IFTTT).

Priit KallasPriit Kallas reviews 69 free social media tools, divided into two groups: “the services that I use regularly or seem interesting to check out immediately” and “an alphabetical list of tools for you to play with.” Included in the first group are popular tools like SocialBro, TwitterCounter and Klout.

About The Author

Tom-Pick.jpgTom Pick is a digital marketing consultant who helps clients increase their visibility, credibility, and business success online. His expertise in web presence optimization, SEO, search marketing, social media, content marketing and social PR has helped b2b technology clients ranging from single-person businesses to $1 billion+ corporations. Tom is managing editor of the Webbiquity b2b marketing blog, and a co-founder of: WPOinc, a provider of web presence optimization metrics; the B2BMarketingZone.com portal for B2B blogs; and the Social Media Informer social media content aggregation site. He can be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and .

Blog Owner’s Note: Here’s a perfect example that guest blogging is NOT dead! Thanks, Tom!

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Social Marketing Man Of The Year @Mark_Harai

Mark-Harai.jpgIf you’re not familiar with Mark Harai, you better dash on over to every social media channel to easily find him. Better yet, head directly to Blogger Beat, do not pass go, do not go to jail…just run already.

I began the privilege of getting to know Mark just prior to his hiatus from social media and blogging. He disappeared for some five months or so until we all encouraged him to return to blogging. Mark has one of those genuine writing gifts that open the flood gates and make you take a moment to ponder with feeling. Usually his comments on blogs are blog posts in their own right…well, back in the day, anyway.

I have become quite close to Mark spending time on Skype practically every day, and when he wants something he’ll track you down, corner you and relentlessly tell you why you have to do this or do that all in the name of growth and profit.

Mark is a formidable business man. He can generate leads like white on rice; I’ve never seen anything like it. He has built million-dollar companies over and over only to blow them up and start anew. Apparently, it’s a pattern we all have – entrepreneurs eventually blowing up their businesses (I know this as fact).

Why Mark Harai as Social Marketing Man of the Year

  • From little known ex-pat blogger to a visionary and internet influencer and entrepreneur
  • An aggressiveness second to none to get the job done and find ways around the obstacles
  • The intense ability to overcome the obstacles about what’s new and not in his wheelhouse in order to develop the win
  • Salesmanship with nurturing and relationship building extraordinaire
  • Development of Blogger Beat from a seedling that blossomed into a magnificent vision. BloggerBeat is a community of professional bloggers writing and selling in a marketplace of content, goods and services. Mark inherently knew the little guy was no longer going to make it without being surrounded by a team. I encourage you to reach out to Mark and get in on the groundfloor of his baby; no doubt about it, the best is yet to come.
  • The reblogger king. When Triberr launched its reblogging feature, Mark took to it like a kid to candy. He became the reblogging king (with pros and cons, IMHO). His traffic soared as a result of posting others’ excellent content with attribution on his blog, and the light bulb paved the way to his development of Blogger Beat.
  • A heart is a heart is a heart. Mark consistently wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s a man with passion second to none, and he will bend over backwards to share his generosity so authentically with you.
    Don’t get me wrong, if Mark has a goal and you’re part of it, he’s relentless until he gets what he wants. This guy is a force to be reckoned with, and everything upstairs? TRUTH!

Mark, I thank you for your intense personality, a passion that buoys you through thick and thin, a relentless drive to climb the tallest tree, and many virtual hugs you share with anyone who needs them. Your zest for life knows no bounds; when you fall, you get up, and when you’re up you bring everyone around you on the ride.

Can’t wait to see what 2014 brings; thank you for you.