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Social Media Workshop Highlights the Benefits to Businesses

Sam Brace takes the audience through the smorgasbord of social media tools they can use to build their brand's reputation. Caliber superstar Sam Brace gave an enthusiastic and informative presentation on social media this morning to the Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce at Ventana Medical Systems. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to attend on of Caliber’s many Smart Marketing Workshops, you can download a PowerPoint of the presentation at

Humanize Your Listings with Social Media

Some REALTORS® have found an excellent opportunity to reach homebuyers through social media, and Kelley Koehler is on the cutting edge. An associate broker with Long Realty and known to many as “the housechick,” she uses Internet applications like Twitter and her personal blog to reach potential customers, setting herself up as one of the top REALTORS® in Southern Arizona. More than 2,875 people follow her Twitter posts on real-estate trends. Her blog averages 3,429 unique visitors each month, hosting pictures of her scuba diving and relaxing with her dogs as well as her current listings. She also provides area statistics and trend articles about topics important to her readers, like how placing solar panels on your house can conflict with homeowner agreements.

Marketing Mommies via Social Media?

Mothers are actively using social media, according to a 2008 research report by eMarketer. Company advertising campaigns have gained popularity or have been grounded down through this vocal and influential community. Some have even adopted the term "Mommy Blogger" to brand themselves (though some have done so reluctantly or avoided the term completely) , using blogging or other social media outlets as an income source. Reaching this demographic is not a new objective for savvy marketers, many of whom has relied on TV viewing patterns and women-preferred publications as the advertising vehicles of choice in the past. Today social media is providing an outlet to mothers tied down to baby strollers, feeding schedules and nap times. Savvy moms are building online dedicated group of readers and followers who can become evangelists for a recommended product or service. However, just like planning when to air a 30-second TV spot, it's helpful to know when this demographic is actively blogging or Twittering so your message isn't missed.

Bing Uses Links to Advertise

Scroll down this recessionista story on and check out what happens when your cursor crosses one of several hyperlinks in the story. The result is a search preview window that hovers over the article you're trying to read and, of course, the Web search engine is none other than Microsoft's new bing! Formerly Windows Live Search and MSN search, it's no surprise that news giant MSNBC is promoting the new search engine.

Searching Social Media for Your Message

As social media continues to dominate marketing, media and PR conversations, I keep getting the same question. It's a fun tool, but what's it really have to do with business? In a nutshell: There are conversations taking place about your company/business. Whether those conversations take place in the men's room, at the watercooler, at the customer service counter or online, shouldn't you know what people are saying about you?

Bare Essential Message Strategy

Happy Thursday and here's your latest Caliber Pulse kudos to a company that clearly understands how to get our attention. (You bunch of cheeky monkeys!) Apparently Air New Zealand was a bit concerned that passengers weren't paying attention to the safety demonstrations at the beginning of each domestic flight. So they hit on a novel way to grab, and maintain, passengers' attention.

Cutting Out Negative URL Potential

NBC Universal, parent company of the newly-rebranded SyFy Network, realized there might be hecklers that didn't approve of the station's new focus or look. The executives bought to combat this, leaving Internet trolls and detractors one less avenue to damage the company's reputation or marketing campaign. This was a smart move for the company, especially since they knew a majority of their viewers were avid Internet users. If fans were unhappy about something, they would most likely find an avenue on the Web to address it. Some places like got through, but the damage was minimized.

Using URL Shortener for Marketing Efforts

Twitter has done a great job of making Internet users write more concisely with its 140 character rule. It helps that URL shortening services let us share links that may be too long in their original state. TinyURL and are great ways to condense a link into a small amount of characters for tweeting and retweeting purposes. The advantage to using is how it doubles as a marketing tool for departments and companies investing their time and money in Internet marketing and social media.

Facebook Gives Users Personalized Web Addresses

The Facebook Blog announces this week we can now personalize our Facebook pages by using our usernames in the address. So instead of directing friends to, we can now refer our friends to Why do we care? LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have become the business card of choice for social media savvy businesses. So now you can advertise your business Facebook page as It's definitely more reader friendly for marketing and advertising materials. To register, go to Then consider adding your Facebook address to your business cards as a great way for potential customers/clients to interact with and get to know your business. Take a look at what Radisson Suites Tucson and Gadabout Salon Spas are doing on Facebook to build relationships with customers/clients. Sharing special VIP events and sales is just one way for a business to gain "friends" online. How has your business successfully used Facebook? (Thanks to Hello Laulo for the picture!)

YouTube Ad Targets Arizona Education Cuts

Regardless of your political affiliation or philosophy, here's a great example of getting a message across using social media, in this case a YouTube ad. What makes it so great? Instead of asking your coworker at the watercooler, "Hey, did you see that Dodgeball ad last night," you can forward the link to her. Businesses or organizations which come up with an original and engaging message strategy can rely on their audience to spread the message, as opposed to hoping enough people were sitting in front of their television between 7:05 and 7:06 p.m. Thursday. Why does this ad message engage you? How do you feel watching it? Enraged? Angry? Disgusted? My guess is that's exactly what the Arizona Economic Council was going for. The Call to Action is the last screen - the Council's Web site, where you'll find a petition to sign on the right side of the homepage. I'd love to hear if this ad strategy is working. According to YouTube, the video has been viewed more than 2,000 times. How many viewers have visited the Council's Web site? How many of those have signed the petition?

Writing Online Content That Counts

I always feel a cheeky smirk coming on when a stranger acts surprised that I can make a living at writing. Well I have some great news for writers and a surprise for the naysayers: Writers rule! You can be the smartest dude on Earth, the savviest senorita in the board room - but what good are your fan-TAB-u-lous (that's a shout out to a former colleague!) ideas if you can't communicate them to the right people? Here's a great post on Lateral Action's blog this morning about writing online content that counts. I've heard every excuse I can stand for not embracing strong writing skills. TV and radio eradicated books. The Internet murdered newspapers. Twitter and Facebook are the wave of the advertising and marketing future.

Hulu: Is it the End of Cable TV and What Could That Mean for Advertisers?

Hulu, an online application that allows users to watch movies and television shows, has recently launched a desktop application that could affect how advertisers reach their desired audiences. The application brings the service to both PC and Mac users and works with Apple and Windows Media Center remote controls. With its slick interface, Internet streaming video is now an attractive option to cable television. A recent Wall Street Journal article indicates more viewers are foregoing expensive cable bills for YouTube, Netflix and now Hulu. As my personal cable bill runs close to $200 a month (including a landline phone and Internet service), I don't blame the "cord cutters" and have considered making the switch. But how could this shift affect advertisers and marketers?