Ann Smarty is the serial guest blogger, founder of My Blog Guest and co-founder of Viral Content Buzz . Ann is also a proud member of Internet Marketing Ninjas team writing weekly at IMN blog and promoting their brand.
Latest by Ann Smarty
By Ann Smarty | annsmarty | June 30, 2015
Real talk: growth hacking is market babble.
We have all heard it referenced, and we have all nodded our heads in agreement when the guy you run into at Online Marketing Conference goes into his spiel about his incredible talent with it. We all have wished we had the secret growth hacking formula so we, too, can see miraculous boosts in our traffic.
But the dirty little secret is that growth hacking isn’t really a thing, Or, more accurately, it is many things. All of which have been given this magic bullet title that doesn’t really mean anything at all.
If you want to know what growth hacking really is, it is simple… growth hacking is an idea that …
By Ann Smarty | annsmarty | April 3, 2015
I will never forget the first time I was approached by a PR rep asking for a blog post about their product.
At the time, I was not working for my own website but as the primary blogger for another person’s brand. We were primarily news focused, but we did have a section for various categories like most news sites. One of which was Health and Beauty.
While we did not do them often, reviews were not unheard of when myself or someone else on the site found a product they were especially fond of. I had done a couple myself, and those reviews had generated a fair bit of traffic and social sharing, back when links of social networks …
By Ann Smarty | annsmarty | February 11, 2015
Instagram has previously been a platform based almost entirely around images. But videos are becoming an increasingly important part of interaction on the network, and it is now one of the most viewed forms of content there. Marketers are taking advantage of this fact by creating their own high quality video clips to improve their visibility.
For example, ice cream superheroes Ben & Jerry’s have used Instagram to make clips that directly connect to viewer’s taste buds. Showing the production of their product in an appetizing way, there is no chance you could see one and not want to pick up a pint.
General Electric targets their specific audience by creating videos meant to excite others in their industry. Behind …
By Ann Smarty | annsmarty | January 19, 2015
Twitter interviews are kind of the latest big thing. Stemming from the ever popular Twitter chats, a Twitterview is an opportunity to have a discussion with an expert on a public platform where others can take part in the conversation.
This makes it a much richer, more active environment than traditional interviews, and can draw a great deal of attention to a site, project, cause or topic.
But how do you hold a Twitterview? Just follow these simple steps, and your interview will be a sure success.
Step 1 – Track Down Your Expert
Your first obvious step is finding the person you want to interview, right? Chances are, you already have a couple of names in mind. …
By Ann Smarty | annsmarty | October 14, 2014
Artificial intelligence (AI) is here. We’re surrounded by intelligent machines we’ve all somehow failed to notice lately, and the machines are getting smarter. exClone, a New York project to clone human experience and expertise, it may end up being the smartest so far. I talked with the very first exClone called Michael last week. The discussion reminded me of something science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke once said;
“Any Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
The exClone Project, which is headed by a familiar figure in machine learning science, Dr. Riza Berkan, is a cognitive science development apart in many ways. exClone leverages machine learning algorithms, fuzzy logic, semantics, and more significantly what Berkan terms “social learning” …
By Ann Smarty | annsmarty | July 31, 2014
The Internet (and the social media boom) gave us an absolutely unique and amazing phenomenon: The emergence of micro-celebrities. It’s that era of “every little guy can get heard” that we didn’t dare to dream about just a few years ago.
Moreover, it has given small business owners an opportunity to get a competitive advantage without trying to compete with huge brands with huge budgets – by interacting those micro-celebrities (or niche influencers) and turning them into brand advocates.
Now, the process of attracting real people with distinct voice to your brand is not easy – but that’s what makes the outcome such a huge and important asset: If you do that right, you’ll be able to enjoy …
By Ann Smarty | annsmarty | June 14, 2014
Here are just a few ways in which you can get more creative with Twitter.
Run a Tweetchat
What is better than connecting with another human being through Twitter? Connecting with a bunch of them. You can run a full Twitter chat, effectively turning your feed into a live chatroom where the tweets are archived.
Just select a program such as TwChat, let your followers know the time, date and topic, and create a hashtag for them to use. Every time they tweet during that time they can use the hashtag, and use TwChat to monitor that hashtag to create a conversation they can scroll through, read and follow. Many blogs and organizations alike use tweetchats to better engage …
By Ann Smarty | annsmarty | February 16, 2014
Do you enjoy Facebook? Do you enjoy Twitter? Of course you do! They are the primary means of procrastination and biggest blows to productivity the world has ever seen. But they both have many applications, including professional, and that has brought up a polarizing question: which is better?
The truth is, it is more a matter of preference. Some people like Facebook, some people like Twitter. When it comes to marketing, one might be more suited than the other for specific users, but it isn’t written in stone.
In order to get an idea about the benefits of these social platforms, it is better to break them down into their positives and negatives.
Facebook: The Pros
Provides an in depth
By Ann Smarty | annsmarty | February 8, 2014
There are plenty of debates about social networking programs. But none are quite so polarizing as those between Facebook and Google Plus users. Unlike other sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, people are far less likely to both have and frequently use both Facebook and Google Plus. They tend to prefer one of the other, especially for a singular purpose like marketing or personal use.
Why is the topic so contested? Probably because the two have many things in common, and yet have other features that are vastly different. Creating matching, but not identical, social sites that cater to the tastes of their users.
You couldn’t really say one was really better than the other, as a result. However, …
By Ann Smarty | annsmarty | February 2, 2014
The other day I was looking at vacuum cleaners. My old one has served me well in the last five years, but the cheap appliance just can’t handle the volume of grime that gathers in my child and pet filled home any longer. Amazon was my port of call, as I began to compare different brands and types, trying to figure out what ‘whirlwind’ technology truly implies.
Later that day, I was browsing a couple of social media websites when something caught my eye. It was an ad for vacuum cleaners. What a coincidence, right?! Not really…this is called ad targeting, and it is everywhere.
But what exactly is ad targeting, and how does it work. Should we be worried …
By Ann Smarty | annsmarty | December 9, 2013
If you haven’t noticed, Pinterest is growing. In popularity, in size, in demand and in their policies. What started out as a really cool idea has rounded out into a niche social platform that for the first time is starting to see wide appeal. Sure, the primary demographic is still women under the age of 40. Yes, most users are still in the United States. But users who are male, in different age brackets and from other countries are increasing as well.
Perhaps the biggest change has been the way it is now embraced by companies. Brands have been looking to make their mark for awhile on Pinterest, and it has become a popular place for image specific social marketing. …
By Ann Smarty | annsmarty | November 18, 2013
I have mixed feelings about Google Plus. On one hand, it is the first example of Google actually managing to score a lasting hit with a social networking site. Their failures are all pretty embarrassing, and their ability to live up to some of the hype after the launch. According to the company reports, the platform is positively thriving and has a huge member list.
On the other hand, I am pretty sure their claims are bull. Many studies have been conducted, and the consensus of those studies is that G+ is a ghost town. A lot of profiles exist because any time you are signed up with a Google account – like the Gmail account we pretty much all …
By Ann Smarty | annsmarty | November 9, 2013
Facebook is one social network that has always really aimed to be applicable for businesses. When it comes to marketing potential they managed to do things right. But when they moved into more direct forms of business engagement, such as storefronts, the result was less than stellar. We watched Facebook checkout services crash and burn, even with small businesses.
Now the focus is once more on marketing and business to consumer communication and customer service. Which brings us to the latest incarnation of Facebook Business Pages and how they work. What can they do for a small or medium sized company that has to compete with the major corporations dominating social media today?
How Does Facebook For Business Work?
By Ann Smarty | annsmarty | August 22, 2013
Every year the best and brightest in the marketing industry gather together at different conferences to discuss the latest trends in the market. Each year seems to be better than the last, with more prominent speakers, more tracks and new topics to discuss. In 2013, we had an especially fantastic year for marketing conferences.
But the years isn’t over yet. There are some great events that are going to be going on this Fall, including some of the most popular series around.
You will have access to five different tracks: Paid, Owned, Earned, Integrated and Business Intelligence. Each has its own talk set in each block of time through the three day conference. You also …
By Ann Smarty | annsmarty | August 11, 2013
LinkedIn has proved over the years to be a unique and highly effective marketing tool. Originally aimed at high level executives as a means to connect to one another across the globe, it is now a networking program for people of all industries and employment levels. Including small businesses and sole proprietors that need help hooking up with others in their niche.
But the site is more than a platform for one on one networking. It is also a way for a company to represent itself on a professional level, and LinkedIn Company Pages help you to do that.
How Do Company Pages On LinkedIn Work?
Think of it as standard Business to Business marketing, but on a social level. …
By Ann Smarty | annsmarty | August 5, 2013
If you have been paying attention, you will see a trend that has become all the rage these days: crowdsourcing. This is the process of designating a task that might have once gone to a single person or team to a large group of people through an open call. Basically throwing the request out there and seeing who decides to take part in answering it.
News sites have jumped on board in a big way, with asking readers for their opinions, thoughts, photos and experiences. Local reporting has been especially beneficial in area where journalists are limited in access, such as some of the stunning information …
By Ann Smarty | annsmarty | August 3, 2013
I could start this post with a cliche about a picture being worth a thousand words, but we already know the drill. Images have a huge impact on marketing as a whole, especially online where there are so many distractions available that the attention of the viewer has to be immediately captured and held. That is just the nature of marketing as it is today: it has to be more visual, more succinct and stand out against the endless content that fills the internet.
So, how do you create an image marketing campaign that manages to promote visibility and compete with that content already existing and being added every day? Here are some tricks to keep in mind.…
By Ann Smarty | annsmarty | July 20, 2013
Hashtags have become such an ingrained part of the public consciousness that they are everywhere these days. You see them on tshirts, people write them in emails, and they are used on sites where they don’t even work properly. They have become so popular that Facebook has recently created clickable hashtags for their own site, and Flickr, Instagram and many others have long been using them.
Besides adding context or giving people a chance to be sarcastic (you know you’ve done it!), they are an efficient way of sorting, grouping and searching content. But did you know they are also a way to stay ahead of the game and see what is catching mass attention in social media at a …
By Ann Smarty | annsmarty | July 6, 2013
If you were to ask for a list of reasons why Twitter hashtags are awesome, we would be here for hours. While the use of hashtags was not originally created by Twitter but rather by IRC clients long before the social media site came around, there is no denying that they perfected the format.
A fact we have to credit to Chris Messina, who was taken on by the site in the earlier days to discover a way to group conversations while maintaining the innovative live search and update algorithm in place.
One of the best uses of the hashtag is that of the tweetchat. It is such an easy way to get together via a site everyone seems …