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Hurricane Sandy

October 30th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted in News and Updates

Sandy’s doing a lot of damage. Please assist if you can.

American Red Cross | Disaster Relief, CPR Certification, Donate Blood

Disaster relief at home and abroad, CPR certification and first aid courses, blood donation, and emergency preparedness. Support the American Red Cross today.

13 Funny Job Descriptions

October 29th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted in Fun Stuff

My job is to: Spend most of the day looking out the window.
– Pilot

Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip, asked visitors to his website to describe their job in one sentence. Here are some responses.
from readersdigest.com

17 Brilliant Sources of Content Hiding Right Under Your Nose

October 25th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted in Information

Creating content is a pain in the puppy. (I’m watching my potty mouth, you guys.)

That’s coming from someone whose entire job is to create content. But if you’re a multi-tasking marketer — creating email campaigns, building landing pages, managing a staff, tweaking your PPC budget, designing calls-to-action — content creation has likely been elevated from a royal pain to a practical impossibility. I mean, maybe you’ll get a blog post written in a couple weeks. If you’re lucky, a new lead generation offer could get pumped out once a quarter. And an infographic? Ha, maybe next year.

If you identify with that overburdened inbound marketer description and are constantly frustrated at your inability to create as much content as you’d like, this is the post for you. Because we’ve been there, man. And we’ve worked with thousands of customers that struggle with the exact same problem. Needless to say, we’ve gotten mighty creative at finding solutions to content creation shortages — solutions that are usually right under your nose! So here you go … here are 17 sources of quick content that can help you out in a pinch so you can keep feeding that hungry inbound marketing machine of yours.

17 Sources of Quick Marketing Content That Are Right Under Your Nose

1) Tap your sales and services teams.

The best marketing content is the stuff that answers people’s common questions. And there’s this whole slew of people working at your company — the sales and services pros — that are fielding people’s questions all day long. Not only do they know the common questions; they also know the answers to them. Like the back of their hand, in fact. Ask them to write down the questions they get asked all the time, along with the answers they give. If the answer is meaty enough, it can stand alone as a blog post. Or, you can compile several questions and answers for a kind of FAQ-style blog post or downloadable offer!

Tip: If you record your calls for training or quality assurance, you can also use the recordings to transcribe questions and answers if you don’t want to bug your sales and services teams.

2) Pull from your company collaboration tool.

Many organizations — especially as they grow and struggle to scale internal communication — adopt online collaboration tools. We have a couple here at HubSpot, one of which is an internal wiki on which we post, among many things, educational pages with content we think others might benefit from. Sometimes, these pages are also veritable gold mines of marketing content.

For example, we recently released a brand new ebook, 7 Awesome Analogies to Help Explain Inbound Marketing. Guess where that content came from? A page on our wiki where an inbound marketing consultant posted an analogy he uses with customers to explain inbound marketing … and the comments on that post from other consultants with the analogies they use to explain it. Thrifty use of brainpower, eh?

3) Interview an internal expert.

A few things I’m not an expert on:

  • Which of the twelve remotes on my coffee table turns on the TV, which turns on the DVD player, and which turns on the cable box
  • How to French braid
  • The innermost workings of email spam filters

Unfortunately for me, my job requires me to write about that last one. Fortunately for me, we have an email deliverability expert on staff that knows … all about the innermost workings of email spam filters. That’s why we could publish this post — “How Marketers Can Avoid Those Dreaded Email Spam Traps” — without dropping everything for a day and researching the subject matter. We read an article on the subject, popped over to Email Expert Evan, and learned everything we needed to know in a fraction of the time. What I’m trying to say is, talk to people that know more than you. What they have to say is really handy, because you can quickly learn about a new subject matter, using their brainpower to power a brand new piece of content.

4) Interview an external expert.

This is just taking tip #3 on the road. If you have connections with experts or thought leaders in your industry, ask them if you can set up a short interview with them that you can turn into a blog post. If you conduct the interview over email, the writing is already done for you. If you do it over the phone, simply record it and transcribe your conversation — there are even transcription services you can pay for if you’re really strapped for time. You get some quick blog content, and your interviewee gets exposure to a new audience. Everybody wins!

5) Pull excerpts from lead generation content.

In April, we launched a new ebook, How to Unlock the ROI of Your Marketing Analytics. The thing’s like, almost 100 pages. So we didn’t think we’d be giving away too much to grab some of the content contained therein — maybe just a part of one of the chapters — and repurpose it as a blog post. In fact, teaser content like that helps promote the ebook, helping you get more downloads (read: more leads), as well as helping keep your blog afloat.

 

lead nurturing ebook

 

Just put a disclaimer of some sort in the post like you see above. It ensures everyone knows exactly where the content came from, and gives them another opportunity to download the offer if they liked what they read in the blog post.

6) Bundle your blog content into lead generation offers.

The love fest between your offer content and blog content works both ways. If you’re jonesin’ for a lead-gen offer, take a look at the blog content you’ve written. You’ll probably find you can bundle a lot of those posts that center around a similar topic into one lead generation offer. For example, if you’re a SEO consultant, you might have a bevy of content around long-tail keywords. Pull together the best of the best for a free long-tail keyword optimization kit!

Boom. Lead-gen offer. I mean, why reinvent the wheel?

7) Turn written content into visual content.

Do you have design talent? Does someone in your company? Do you have the budget to outsource design work? All or some of the above? Cool. Keep reading this tip.

Usually the hardest part of creating visual content is coming up with the concept. But if you already have the concept — say, in another blog post you’ve already written — you can turn that into a content visualization in a jiffy! Take our blog post, “7 Shameless Tactics Marketers Use to Lure an Audience,” as an example. That post performed really well, so we handed it over to a design-minded employee and had him turn it into a funny visualization – check it out here!

8) Wax poetic on camera.

Not interested in writing or design work? Well go get gussied up, because it’s time to step into the limelight. Great marketing content takes many forms, and one of them’s video. Think of a topic your audience would like some advice on, and conduct an interview with someone that has some good perspective on the issue. Alternately, you could hop on camera solo and give your two cents on the subject! Here, take a look at an example of this … it’s literally 30 seconds worth of content creation work.

9) Screen capture how-to content as you’re teaching it.

There’s more recourse for the writing and design averse. You — and lots of people within your organization — are teaching people things all the time. Whether it’s next time you’re training a new employee or you’re hopping on a screenshare with a customer to walk them through a process, those are fantastic opportunities to create how-to video content. Just grab some screen capture software (there are several options out there; Camtasia is one of my favorites that offers both a free and paid version) and record yourself in action!

10) Write out the steps of your how-to videos.

And now that you’ve created a how-to video, you can put that content in another format! Hey, some people like to learn by watching, some like to learn by reading. Write out what you taught your audience in the video, incorporating screenshots where appropriate to walk readers through a process without making them turn on their speakers.

11) Solicit content from guest contributors.

If you’re hurtin’ for content, consider leveraging guest contributors to help feed your content machine. This can come not only in the form of guest blog content – where bloggers write content for you and typically benefit by getting inbound links to their site within the content — but with co-written offer content, too. For instance, we’ll often host webinars with co-marketing partners that benefit both of us, because we each get exposure to one another’s audiences, as well as help in the content creation process.

12) Turn presentation slides into SlideShares.

Speaking of webinars, those things typically have slides, don’t they? They sure do! Turn the slides you use on webinars — or any other presentation, for that matter — into marketing content. You can publish those slides to your company SlideShare account, and then embed those slides into a blog post to amplify the impact. If you’re looking for a little guidance on how to make the most out of SlideShare, consult this blog post.

13) Record presentations.

Speaking of presentations, if someone in your organization is a stellar public speaker, see if their speeches can be recorded and uploaded to your YouTube account and, of course, your blog. For example, we launched HubSpot 3 at our marketing conference, INBOUND 2012, during a keynote address. So what did we do? We recorded it (obviously) and published the video to YouTube and in a dedicated blog post just for that video.

14) Compile compelling data.

People flipping love data. It makes them look smart, it’s easy to share, and it tells a big story in very few words. That’s why compilations of data — whether as a blog post, an offer, or both — are fantastic ways to come up with quick and successful content. Continually bookmark research studies and articles with interesting content so you don’t have to go data diving … you’ll just have an arsenal to work with all the time!

Curious how to turn data into an offer? Check out our latest data-driven offer, 47 Revealing Marketing Stats About Facebook for Business. It will give you an idea of how to make boring data points visually appealing!

15) Turn everyday tools into downloadable templates.

Think about the work you do every day. Of those tasks, what are the things other people might want to know about? Figure it out, and make it a template. It might even be a template you already have!

For instance, we’ve recently launched a series of templates to help marketers … do marketing. And these are all based on what we do every day, so it was easy as pie to create the templates! Take a look:

16) Update offers to align with personas.

If you have multiple buyer personas, it may help your conversion rates as well as your content backlog to tweak your lead generation offers to align with your buyer personas. Think about it … if you have one persona who works in enterprise level organizations and another that works in small businesses, don’t you think your content should be edited to speak in their terms? This not only helps you create more personal marketing content, but it also doesn’t make you go back to square one to launch a new offer. You already have the framework; you just need to make a couple edits here and there!

17) Set contribution requirements.

Finally, you shouldn’t bear the burden of content creation all on your own; ask employees to pitch in and share a bit of that burden with you. Depending on the size of your marketing team, you could set contribution requirements for each person (this is ideal for a smaller marketing team) or for each sub-team (this is ideal for a larger marketing team). So you might require everyone in your team to write two blog posts a month, and one lead generation offer per quarter. Or, if you’re working on a very large team with many smaller teams with rapidly shifting priorities, set content contribution requirements that jive with the team’s size and monthly priorities. Remind them that creating content on a regular basis not only keeps their writing skills sharp (or design skills, if that’s their superpower), it helps them build up an online writing portfolio that will come in handy for the rest of their marketing careers.

What other low-hanging content fruit is out there that marketers should leverage?

Image credit: Soggydan

Corey Eridon

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With Quebec’s tuition hikes defeated, CLASSE presses on for free education

October 25th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted in Information

One Quebec student group says that with tuition hikes officially off the table, it will now champion the idea of free education.

The new Parti Québécois government scrapped a controversial increase in postsecondary tuition fees this week and a hardline student group is now turning to free education as its long-term goal.

CLASSE, which speaks for 100,000 Quebec students, says free education is entirely achievable and used a march attended by several hundred people on Saturday to highlight the issue.

“Our struggle for accessibility to higher education is not yet over,” said Jérémie Bédard-Wien, a spokesman for CLASSE.

Free education is not a position shared by the province’s two other major student associations and with the proposed hike by the former Liberal government formally cancelled, Quebec has the lowest tuition in the country again.

But CLASSE says it wants education to be completely accessible by being entirely free.

It’s an opinion that has limited political support.

The PQ government has said it favours indexing tuition to inflation but has promised to call a symposium on the issue.

The CLASSE will counter indexing tuition in favour of “education that is free – not only from tuition fees – but also from corporate influence,” Mr. Bédard-Wien said.

Students celebrated a victory on Saturday that had them in the streets for months. Premier Pauline Marois, on her first full day in office, kept an election promise by cutting the Liberal’s proposed tuition hike.

The province’s universities have long said they are chronically underfunded and facing shortfalls. By cutting the proposed hike, the province’s tuition stands at $2,168 per year.

According to Statistics Canada, tuition has risen in every province except for Newfoundland and Labrador and now Quebec.

On average, Canadian students elsewhere will pay about $5,500 this year. Students in Ontario pay the highest in tuition – more than $7,100.

In a minority government situation, the likelihood of achieving free education in the current climate is highly unlikely, says one opposition Quebec politician who favours free education.

Françoise David of Québec Solidaire says her party is in favour of free education and will continue to promote it.

Ms. David says her party has demonstrated that it is economically feasible in terms of a five-year plan where funding slowly shifts to a zero-tuition model without cutting university funding.

However, the opposition Liberals and Coalition Avenir Québec most definitely are not on board, Ms. David said.

“It will be possible for a government that has the mandate,” Ms. David said. “It’s a question of time: We have to go step-by-step and convince the population that it’s possible.”

Some students say they like the idea of not having to pay tuition and it’s worth considering to ensure everyone has a chance to pursue education at a higher level.

“I think it’s a stark transition, I’m for it personally,” says Jason Ghikadis, 30, a University of Montreal student in the faculty of music, who attended Saturday’s protest.

“I think that realistically putting it in place … will take a bit of time.”

Mr. Bédard-Wien, citing examples such as Germany and Scandinavian countries, say Quebec could follow those models.

He says he believes its possible in Quebec with better management of university funds and a commitment to allocate tax dollars and find financing from other sources.

“These are societies that have made progressive political choices for public services to be accessible,” Mr. Bédard-Wien said, noting that Quebec can do the same.

“That we have tuition here is a political choice that can be reversed.”

Saturday’s march was a mostly peaceful event, held under a steady rain. Police and protesters had brief skirmishes during isolated altercations.

Montreal police reported two arrests after projectiles were launched and an officer suffered a knee injury. Charges – if any – were not specified.

Ms. David also said Saturday that her party favours a public inquiry into police actions over the course of the entire student conflict – spanning several months and including near-daily protests.

While those marches have come to a halt, student movement organizers warn they are ready to go again in big numbers if need be.

“Given that the strike is no longer and many students are in intensive catch-up situations, we won’t see numbers like before,” Mr. Bédard-Wien said.

“But if the newly elected government decides to attack students, they can expect mobilization to pick up at the same levels as the spring.”

Sidhartha Banerjee

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Share Conference Knowledge with Employees

October 24th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted in How Not For Profits

Managers and others attending work-related conferences should share what they learn with colleagues back at the office, says a leadership expert.

Linda Dulye, a management consultant, recently discussed with Fox Business her strategy for sharing conference content. She suggests:

  • Create an internal campaign. Dulye says she has a communication plan to regularly share information about a conference with the rest of her team. She has conference attendees send a daily email each morning that they’re out of the office. “Even though employees [at the office] haven’t left their desks, this makes them feel part of the conference experience,” she adds.
  • Hand out assignments. Dulye divides the workload of covering conferences among attendees—each person is responsible for writing and taking photos about specific sessions.
  • Give the team some guidelines. ”Make the assignments easy to navigate,” Dulye says. “Provide guidelines about content and context. We’ve prepared questions to help compile and package information. We’ve set a standard for the message length, accompanying visuals, distribution time and even the subject line. Guidelines help those on the sending and receiving ends. They promote consistency and accountability.”
  • Ask for employee feedback. Dulye says she encourages employees who remain at the office to provide frequent feedback to those attending a conference. She notes that this ensures that all involved are engaged with the ideas presented at the conference. She adds, “When your road crew returns, schedule informal team huddles to have them address questions or comments that weren’t answered over email. Make these timely—within a week of conference attendees’ return.”

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The Importance of Family Philanthropy

October 23rd, 2012 | No Comments | Posted in Fundraising

Preparing for a series of international presentations, I recently updated [and de-Americanized] a number of my most popular case studies. To my mind, there is no doubt that the process of philanthropy decision-making is cross-cultural and generic, but the context for making those decisions is heavily influenced by local laws and regional culture. A challenge for those of us who work and speak internationally is to help our clients and audiences understand which is which.

But what struck me in taking this fresh look at these well-worn and proven cases was how frequently I used family examples to illustrate the points to be made. Why?

Of course, the most obvious answer is the numbers. Of the approx 80,000 private foundations in the USA, the overwhelming number are fully run and governed by family members. If one wishes to find the most generic examples, “family funders” is the place to start. Independent and corporate private foundations play a very important role, but are a small fraction of the total cohort.

It is hardly surprising that smaller to midsize family foundations would full reflect the name, personality, and priorities of the founding family. Yet, in recent months I have had occasion to teach and advise a number of very large and well-known foundations. These are foundations with large numbers of professional staff, most of whom have a highly specialized expertise. They were hired to bring a level of knowledge to the grantmaking process which the families didn’t have. Interestingly, in virtually every case, no matter the size, it didn’t take long for the name, personality, and priorities of the family funders to enter the discussion at these places as well.

All of this underscores the centrality of family philanthropy in setting the style, agenda, and landscape of the private philanthropy world. It doesn’t matter whether the vehicle is a checkbook, a donor advised fund, or a private foundation. Indeed, often there is simply a technical line between a family funder and a foundation which bears his/her name. In other cases, the family foundation may be professionally run, in a second, third, or fourth generation and have outside-non family trustees. Sometimes, family giving is sophisticated and strategic; other times, it is idiosyncratic and socially driven. In every case, it matters.

It matters because family philanthropy fosters a family’s expression of altruism and socially responsible behavior. It is often a way in which core values are transmitted from generation to generation. Writ large, it is the way in which society manifests its commitment to cultural values, compassion, and identity. And, because thoughtful philanthropy alerts a giver to the larger environment of social need, interest, and solutions, family philanthropy is a frequent influence on public policy.

Long time readers may recall that several years ago I was invited to conduct a workshop on inter-generational philanthropy for 100 leading philanthropists from around the world. No one from the USA [except me] was invited, and I was explicitly told to avoid American examples. the moderator of the day was a prominent philanthropist from South Africa. At the end of the day, in his concluding remarks, he expressed his surprise at the generic nature of the issues. “What this fellow [referring to me] talked about was exactly what is happening in my family!” I suspect he found it liberating to know that his was not unique.

Similarly, when I speak at conferences for family funders or work directly with family foundations, I try hard to help them see that, in most cases, what they may have perceived as unique family personality constructs, or inter-generational obstructions are more typically generic issues which most families face. [True, some do it better than others, and sometimes there really are challenging family issues - but in most cases, families are dealing with very representative issues.] Here too I have found that discovering this is liberating for most families: it de-personalizes differing opinions of style and priority, and can provide an openness to learn from each other and other families how matters which may seem stubbornly intractable can be resolved.

From a macro perspective, family philanthropists are the freest to take risks, to experiment, to think and act outside the box. Our field not only needs to honor and defend that kind of freedom, it requires it. This historic vision of the risk capital role of private philanthropy still applies. Today that manifests itself in funding innovation, start-ups, politically sensitive initiatives, as well as more traditional new projects of established organizations. Family funders may be willing to explore new kinds of philanthropic investments, program and socially responsible investments, hybrid funding models even while they are in their infancy. [Frankly, most of us know that not all of these ideas will succeed, but none of us really knows which ones might.]

Those of us who teach and advise funders have an important role in helping families learn how to do what they want to do better, more effectively, and in a more satisfying way. But we also have to be careful not to, en passant, straitjacket those very foundations and funders from testing limits and reaching beyond their grasp. All of us, in the families, in our field, and in our communities, all of us need to have a commitment to do no less. It matters.

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40 Ways to Get Banned From the Top 5 Social Networks

October 23rd, 2012 | No Comments | Posted in Social Media

It may feel like a fustercluck, but there are actually some rules and regulations that go along with participating in social media. Not the kind that ban people from uploading pictures of their meals (PB&J no crust today guys! #omgsohungry), but the ones that help alleviate things like spamming, bad content, and a poor community experience. You know, the things that help make social media a nice place to be.

It’s not a perfect system the social networks have worked out, but it’s important for marketers to know — because believe it or not, lots of marketers are breaking these rules and don’t even know it. And it breaks our hearts to see marketers giving an honest go of social media get banned from the networks … and then not even know why the heck it happened.

This post will review the policies the most popular social networks have set up — some more stringent than others — that we think you should be aware of. And we tried to put them in plain English, too, devoid of confusing and boring legal babble. If you’re accidentally breaking any of these rules, at least now you can put the kibosh on your illicit activities before it’s too late!

Pinterest FaviconHow Marketers Can Get Banned From Pinterest

If you’re curious how the newest social network on the block works, we encourage you to read its Terms & Privacy page in full. But for a quick reality check, here are the guidelines marketers should remember when pinning to ensure they stay in Pinterest‘s good graces:

1) Grabbing another company’s account name. When you open an account on Pinterest, you’re indicating that you are authorized to act on behalf of that company. So if you’re not an employee of that company, you’re not authorized. And if you get caught, you’re not allowed on Pinterest anymore, either.

2) Pinning copyrighted content. Any content you post cannot infringe on the rights of the content creator. Make sure it’s either content you’ve created yourself, or content you have a license to share. That means if you’re posting an image from your blog post, that better be copyright-free!

3) Automating your Pinterest content. Marketers can’t use an automated service to post content to their pinboards, repin or like other pinners’ content, or create links. All the rewards you reap from Pinterest, in other words, have to come from your own hard work! Note: If you pin a ton of content from one URL all in one sitting — let’s say you just published a blog post with a ton of great images, for example — you may be prompted by Pinterest to verify that you’re not a bot. Just fill it in and keep on keepin’ on.

4) Scraping content from Pinterest. On a similar note, you can’t use automation to scrape content from Pinterest. Whether you wanted to use it in blog posts, on your Facebook page, to get a list of links — whatever — you can’t do it. Again, any information or content gathered has to be done manually.

5) Scraping for contacts. Any contacts you get from Pinterest have to be opt-ins; as in, they have to come to your site and fill out a form saying they want to hear more from you. Scraping Pinterest for pinners’ personal information so you can market to them later is strictly prohibited.

6) Spamming posts. Just like you shouldn’t be spamming the comments sections of blogs, you shouldn’t be spamming the comments sections of pins.

7) Putting links in the wrong place. Pinterest wants you to include links in your pins so pinners can follow the links to get more information on a pin. But they only want it in the right place. When you pin an image, click ‘Edit,’ where you’ll find a field labeled ‘Link.’ Put your link anywhere else and you may get banned.

8) Don’t get banned. If you’ve been banned once, you’re banned for life. Or as Pinterest puts it, “the Service is not available to any users previously removed from the service by Pinterest.” So, tread lightly.

LinkedIn WebLogo LowResExample2How Marketers Can Get Banned From LinkedIn

LinkedIn‘s rules aren’t as stringent as the ones we’ve seen on other social networks — perhaps the B2B playground hasn’t gotten quite so out of hand. You can read LinkedIn’s User Agreement in full, or just browse these highlights that jump out for marketers:

1) Connecting with people you don’t know. Seriously! You have to actually know the people you connect with on LinkedIn, or they can boot ya right off!

2) Posting copyrighted content to forums. Whether it’s your LinkedIn Group, LinkedIn Company Page, or on LinkedIn Answers, you can’t publish information that violates others’ intellectual property rights. This one won’t get you banned, but LinkedIn can remove the content and close your group or page. Additionally, LinkedIn will terminate the accounts of users who have been “deemed to be repeat infringers under the United States Copyright Act.” You know who you are.

3) Using LinkedIn messages as an ESP. LinkedIn messages are not to be used for mass emailing. This constitutes a misuse of service, and can get you kicked off the network.

4) Putting links and email addresses where they don’t belong. You get to fill out your profile however you want, as long as it’s accurate. So if you put, say, a link to your blog in, oh I don’t know, the ‘Name’ field … you’re gonna get shut down pretty fast.

5) Selling your LinkedIn presence. Built up a pretty big LinkedIn Group? It might be an asset, but you can’t sell it or monetize it in any way if you want to stay on the social network.

6) Using bots to get connections, followers, or members. Just like Pinterest and some other social networks we’re about to cover in this blog post, LinkedIn wants you to grow your reach organically.

7) Impersonating another company. Another familiar refrain, brands can’t create a fake profile for a competitor to mess around on. You’ll look stupider doing that than they will, anyway.

twitter bird blue on whiteHow Marketers Can Get Banned From Twitter

The full list of Twitter ”rules” can be found here: The Twitter Rules. Aptly named, eh? Here are the ones that are most likely to apply to marketers so you don’t get banned by that sweet little tweety bird:

1) Impersonating others. If you’re impersonating others in an attempt to mislead other Twitter users, Twitter will not be happy. That means no pretending to be a competitor — that’s a low blow move, anyway.

2) Snagging trademarked usernames. Another sketchy move is trying to grab your competitor’s username. If they’ve trademarked the name, Twitter will reclaim it from you on their behalf. Twitter will also suspend you if you’re using trademarked logos on your profile.

3) Squatting on handles. Ow, that sounds uncomfortable. This means you can’t grab a Twitter username and not use it. Well, you can, but Twitter will just grab it right back if it remains inactive after 6 months. On a related note, you can’t grab a username for the purposes of selling it.

4) Buying or selling Twitter usernames. There can be no transactions made around Twitter usernames at all. The penalty is possible permanent suspension from Twitter — for buyers and sellers.

5) Giving yourself an unearned Twitter badge. Twitter has little badges for Promoted Products and Verified Accounts. If you use one of these badges anywhere on your profile — including your profile picture or background image — your profile will be suspended.

6) Posting the same thing over and over. If you’re trying to get a tweet visibility, you can’t do it by tweeting it like a maniac, particularly if it’s duplicate content tweeted at specific users. Same goes for links — Twitter will penalize you if they see you tweeting the same link over, and over, and over … and over.

7) Following people like a bot would. That means you shouldn’t use a bot to manage your following and unfollowing, nor should you act like a bot when manually following and unfollowing people. Aggressive follow and unfollow behavior — particularly seeing a large amount of people followed and/or unfollowed in a short period of time — will signal to Twitter that something’s amiss.

8) Getting followers in sketchy ways. Specifically, those “get followers fast!” schemes. It may get you permanently banned from Twitter.

9) Hijacking a hashtag or Trending Topic. If there’s a #hashtag or trending topic blowing up Twitter and you want in on the action, you can’t try to hijack it with unrelated content about your brand. If you do, you could feel the wrath of the mighty blue bird mighty soon.

10) Posting links with no context. If your updates are just a slew of links with no personal content to give them context, you’ll not only annoy your followers, but Twitter will also want you off their network.

11) Getting ratted out. Sometimes the Twitter community self-polices. If a large number of people are blocking you, or your account has received a lot of SPAM complaints, Twitter will boot you. So play nice out there.

plus badgeHow Marketers Can Get Banned From Google+

If you’re using Google+, there are a couple surprises in here that you might not have considered. You can read their Google+ Policies & Principles in full here, or catch the biggies below:

1) Creating fake pages. Yes, it’s prohibited here, too. Big shock. Moving on.

2) Running contests. Ooooh, that’s a new one! You cannot run contests, sweepstakes, offers, or coupons directly on your Google+ page, but you can display a link to those promotions that leads people offsite.

3) Aggressive Circling. That’s a … weird phrase. But much like you can’t aggressively follow and unfollow people on Twitter without getting flagged, you can’t Circle a ton of people on Google+ without punishment.

4) Altering or adding +1 buttons where they don’t belong. Similar to the Twitter badge rule, you can’t, say, superimpose the Google +1 button on an ad. It’s a misleading way to garner clicks.

5) Keyword stuffing. Yes, it can happen here, too! Because Google+ is so closely tied with organic search, the penalties are just as stiff. If you’re trying to rank for a keyword, stuffing it into every Google+ update is not the way to do it.

6) Marketing regulated products. If you’re marketing in a regulated industry, such as alcohol, tobacco, medical devices, fireworks, pharmeceuticals, etc., you cannot use Google+ to market those topics.

7) Letting your page go dormant. If your Google+ account is dormant for more than 9 months, Google can snatch it right back from ya.

f logoHow Marketers Can Get Banned From Facebook

We’ve all probably participated in our fair share of complaining about leaving Facebook. But could they force marketers to leave? Maybe, if they start doing any of these things that violate the Facebook Page Guidelines:

1) Creating fake accounts. As Forrest Gump said, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

2) Using bots or scrapers. Well, almost. Facebook says you can’t use them “without our prior permission.” Which basically means no using bots or scrapers … if you had permission, you’d know it.

3) Posting copyrighted content. You’ve heard this one a bunch of times in this blog post, and if you do it a bunch of times on Facebook, they have the right to disable your account.

4) Naming your page in goofy ways. Facebook has some pretty stringent naming requirements! Your page name cannot consist of solely generic terms, like “pizza,” must use proper grammar and capitalization, may not be in all caps, and may not include character symbols.

5) Collecting user data incorrectly. What does that mean, exactly? It means you have to clearly state that it’s your business, not Facebook, collecting their information, and you will obtain their consent before using their data in any way.

6) Including calls-to-action in your cover photo. This includes promotions or discounts, requests to ‘Like’ or share your photo, contact information for your business, or generic CTAs like “Tell a Friend.”

7) Running contest or promotions outside of a Facebook app. If you want to run a contest or promotion on Facebook, you can only do it through one of their apps — either a Canvas Page or a Facebook App. You also can’t base participation on a requirement that a user take any action with your brand page, such as uploading a photo to your Timeline, or “Liking” a wall post. The only actions that are allowed as a condition of participation are “Liking” a page, connecting to your app, or checking in to a Place. You can’t use any Facebook mechanism, like the ‘Like’ button, in order to vote or register for the promo, either. Finally, you can’t notify winners through Facebook. So basically … you have to jump through a whole lotta hoops if you want to run a promotion or contest on Facebook.

Corey Eridon

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Chroncle of Philanthropy Article Claims Boards Still Uncomfortable With Fundraising

October 22nd, 2012 | No Comments | Posted in Fundraising

Nonprofit board members continue to fall short in meeting the fundraising expectations of their chief executives, a new survey has found.

The Nonprofit Governance Index, conducted every two to three years by BoardSource, a nonprofit group that works to strengthen boards, this year asked more than 1,300 chief executives about their trustees’ performance, policies, and involvement in fundraising and other issues.

Since the studies began in the 1990s, board members have become more likely to attend fundraising events and to make personal gifts, with nearly three-quarters of chief executives reporting financial contributions from at least 90 percent of their trustees this year.

But as was the case in 2010, chief executives ranked fundraising as the weakest area on a “board report card” that assessed how well their trustees perform 10 basic responsibilities such as financial oversight, evaluating the chief executive, and legal oversight.

Forty percent of the chief executives said their boards are reluctant to engage in fundraising, relying mostly on staff members to carry out that responsibility. Nearly 60 percent said their trustees are not comfortable asking others for contributions.

What can nonprofit leaders do to increase board members’ comfort level with fundraising and their willingness to help raise money? What has worked for your organization? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Holly Hall

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SEO Tricks

October 22nd, 2012 | No Comments | Posted in Information

When you are good at a game, automatically, you have tricks that always make you that winner, no matter how hard the opposition tries.

Have you seen someone good at a game?

Of course you have! It makes you mad every time you pulls a trick and humiliates you with a loss.

If one is good at a game, then he should be willing to learn to be good at another.

SEO tricks.

I bring that up because having tricks up your sleeve for SEO makes you a winner in this arena.

Being very well versed in SEO can bring traffic that you are desperately looking for.

SEO tricks up your sleeve might include some that you have never heard before.

 

That’s if you are a beginner or really haven’t looked deeper into SEO.

SEO tricks can come in handy when you need them.

Just as you write your next bog post, thinking of SEO is appropriate during this time.

Having SEO tricks at your disposal is the key to winning and succeeding every time!

 

1. Target Long Tail Keywords

The first step before even creating the headline is to find a long tail keyword.

Long tail keywords are keywords (usually three or more in a phrase) that are branching from its main, parent keyword.

Let me give you an example:

Dog could be the “main” keyword. Now lets add some words to that keyword in order to make it a long tail keyword.
“How to train a Dog”. That is now a long tail keyword. All I did was add more words to the main keyword. That is it.

This article on long tail keywords has some nice images to simplify the concept of long tail keywords.

 

2. Add The “Keyword” As Many Times As You Can

If you have identified the main keyword, then you have a job to do with that keyword.

Just finding the keyword and not using it is utterly useless to SEO.

As much as you can, add the keyword into the article body of your post.

But don’t over do it. Have a keyword density that doesn’t make it redundant, is the best way to go at it.

 

3. Optimize Your Post For SEO

Optimize your post as you write the article.

This trick has helped me gain a “rise” in Google.

It is not hard to do, and it should never be long. Add your keywords with H1 and H2 tags, or even H3 tags too.

That is all the optimization I do for the “H” tags, and is an easy trick to do while you write.

 

4. Have Social Sharing Buttons Visible To Your Post

Social sharing through the Internet has taken charge for traffic generation.

Social sharing is a fine way to generate some of your traffic to your site as well.

It can also help you with your SEO efforts. Those that have been shared the most are “ranked” higher than those that haven’t shared as much.

Next time you take a look at a top result, take a look at the tweets, likes, or +1′s on that specific post.

It will change your mind. It does matter.

 

5. Add The Most Quality Links To Your Page

Links rule in the SEO game.

If I told the most important hand in SEO is, it would be links.

But many don’t get right. They might get it right for a little while, but fail very soon as Google slaps them with a penalty.

Links need to be of the most quality as you can.

It may seem to take longer, but  the results are incredible when they start to take effect on certain pages.

 

6. Have Your Keyword In The Url and Title

This is a very important trick.

I recommend this step and is a must to do every time you are trying to rank a piece of content.

 

 7. The Anchor Text Of Your Links

Anchor text of your links back to your page will help you rank more on a specific keyword.

If you are trying to rank for a “specific” phrase and you are wondering why your post is missing for that respective “keyword”.

It could be most likely the anchor texts of your links are saying something else other than the “keyword”.

Next time, try to create excellent quality links with the anchor text that matches your “right” keyword or phrase.

 

8. Create A Well-Designed Article.

If your article is worthy of ranking higher than “normal”, then it is going to be ranked well.

Create a post that has excellent quality to it and has a number of images to it.

333DAKSNG3U3 Google indexes those images and might send you some traffic that way.

Also create videos and add them to your post.

Create a YouTube video, and link that to your article. Any traffic that goes to the video can also go to your website or blog.

 

Recap of the Eight!

If you are looking to get that number one spot on your next post, then these tricks will surely help you out.

Target long tail keywords, and build high quality links back to that specific page.

Very easy to do, and over time, you will climb the ranks and get that number one spot!

 

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Discussion of Academic Freedom

October 18th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted in News and Updates

In the wake of several high-profile disputes over undue donor influence at universities, some senior university administrators, faculty association representatives and scholars gathered recently to debate the impact that donor agreements and university partnerships have on academic freedom and institutional autonomy.

The research landscape at universities has changed, Martha Crago, vice-president, research, at Dalhousie University, told the conference. Universities now partner with industry but also with governments, international organizations, community groups and others, and all of these collaborations require equal vigilance, she said: “I make no distinction between public and private partnerships.” Universities have become more adept at managing these relationships, she went on, and institutions can and do say no to partnerships when donors overstep their bounds.

Rose Goldstein, vice-president research at McGill University, agreed. “We do negotiate,” she said. “Part of negotiating properly is knowing that you can walk away.” She said McGill has refused a partnership several times because the condition of academic freedom couldn’t be guaranteed.

Nonetheless, collaborations are vital to the academic mission of postsecondary institutions, said John Hepburn, vice-president, research, at the University of British Columbia. He said that Stanford University maintains close ties with California’s high-tech sector but remains a highly respected institution. “We can’t shy away from [these relationships],” he said. “We do need more dialogue.”

The one-day conference, held Sept. 6 in Waterloo, Ontario, was hosted by Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Waterloo and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. Both universities have been embroiled in a dispute over the governance of the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

The Canadian Association of University Teachers has been sharply critical of the Balsillie School, which was established in 2007 as a joint venture between Waterloo, Laurier and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), a private think tank funded by Research in Motion co-founder Jim Balsillie. CAUT has argued that the donor agreement and governance structure of the school, which require the three parties to reach a consensus on some issues, effectively give CIGI a “veto” over decisions involving the school’s academic programs, choice of director and selection of faculty chairs and graduate fellowships, among other things. The association of faculty unions has threatened to censure the universities – a serious move – unless the documents are amended.

Peter MacKinnon, who recently retired as president of the University of Saskatchewan, defended the partnership, arguing that the governance structure explicitly protects academic freedom. “I believe the Balsillie School documents are sound,” he said, and he called the threat of censure by CAUT “unjust.”

Professor MacKinnon said CAUT’s guiding principles for university collaborations are “an over-prescriptive directive on matters of detail” that try to deny donors any say over matters, even in an advisory role. If implemented, the guidelines would discourage university-industry partnerships, he argued. “If I were an industrial leader seeking collaboration and I was faced with these guidelines enshrined in the policy, I would head for the hills.”

He said Canada lags behind most industrialized countries when it comes to university-industry partnerships and that Canada’s economic development requires more collaboration between the two sectors. Moreover, for many faculty members, collaboration with industry isn’t optional but is essential to their ability to pursue research, he added. “We should be careful not to impede these scholars in their research and not put restrictive barriers in their way.”

One point of agreement between Professor MacKinnon and CAUT representatives is that the dispute about the Balsillie School didn’t revolve around the academic freedom of individual faculty members. Rather, argued CAUT, the academic integrity or institutional autonomy of the universities involved is at stake. James Turk, executive director of the association of faculty unions, said Laurier and U of Waterloo had compromised their academic integrity by agreeing to certain provisions of the donor agreement: “Credibility comes from the very nature of the university and the notion that universities cannot be bought. We trade on our integrity.” Agreements that give outsiders a say in academic matters undermine that integrity, he said, adding, “Then there’s no reason for our existence.”

The arguments about academic integrity and academic freedom have spilled onto other campuses. Earlier this year, York University cancelled a donor agreement with CIGI that would have created at joint graduate program in international law at Osgoode Hall because the law school’s faculty council was opposed. More recently, a $15-million agreement between Carleton University and a foundation established by Calgary businessman Clayton Riddell made headlines. The agreement, signed in 2010, established the Clayton H. Riddell Graduate School in Political Management at Carleton and called for creation of a five-member steering committee. Media reports alleged that most members of the steering committee have ties to Mr. Riddell and that the committee has the power to approve decisions about the budget, the selection of the program’s executive director and hiring of faculty.

But Peter Ricketts, Carleton’s vice-president academic and provost, attended the conference and disputed those claims. He said the steering committee isn’t involved in managing the program and has no authority over faculty hiring or other academic decisions. He said this was made clear in a revised agreement Carleton recently issued but that, too, has been the target of criticism. “Those criticisms are completely unfounded,” said Dr. Ricketts. “The academic integrity of the program is completely guaranteed.”

Canadian institutions aren’t alone in confronting these dilemmas. Robert O’Neil, an expert on academic freedom and former president of the University of Virginia and the University of Wisconsin state system, described several skirmishes on U.S. campuses and said that despite such examples, he supports university-industry collaborations. “We must as scholars and teachers make academic freedom mesh with industry-university collaborations,” said Mr. O’Neil, who is now general counsel for the American Association of University Professors.

Gary Rhoades, professor and director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona and former general secretary of the AAUP, praised the conference organizers and participants for openly discussing these thorny issues. In the U.S., he noted, professors have been much less vocal about criticizing university partnerships. He recommended holding regular conferences to keep the debate alive and having faculty members who aren’t directly involved in university collaborations to regularly review agreements between institutions and their partners.

Rosanna Tamburri

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