Although it’s been 20 years since 9/11/2001, it has never left me. It never will. There’s always going to be before 9/11 and after 9/11.
I was walking my late Yellow Lab, Sammy, on my way to the Farmer’s Market at the World Trade Center. We lived three blocks south on West Street.
When the first plane hit, I knew immediately that people were dying. I just didn’t think my own life would be in danger – until an hour later.
I don’t want to re-tell the whole story. I’ve written about it every year here on the blog.
Like so many other New Yorkers, I hate to write the date 9/11 or see 9:11 on the clock. I will always have physical remnants of that day, in my lungs. Thankfully, nightmares about the jumpers stopped after a few years. The images still appear in dreams occasionally and wake me with a start.
The PTSD triggers are with me to this day – 20 years later. I freeze any time there are prolonged sirens, a low-flying plane, a sudden loud noise, or a bright blue cloudless sky like on that day. I’ve learned to hide it over the years. But it still happens.
Remember the love
What I wish is that America could come together as one in the way we did for a short time after 9/11. When politics didn’t matter. Ethnicity didn’t matter. What you did for a living or where you lived meant nothing. All that mattered was that we were one country, united and filled with love for one another.
On Beyond Social Media Show #Podcast, I interviewed Tom Herman, serial entrepreneur, who’s got more than 20 years of experience starting companies and leading product development teams. He’s got a really exciting startup called Meta-Carbon that will bring gamification of NFTs to the education and marketing of carbon offsets to fight climate change.
We talked about the ways voluntary carbon offsets, climate change, blockchain and NFTs will be coming together in marketing, advertising and PR.
Blockchain and NFTs explained clearly (finally!)
In our interview on Beyond Social Media Show #podcast, Tom explained voluntary carbon offsets, blockchain and NFTs in plain English – making it one of the only places you’ll see these much used terms explained clearly. :) Tom explained:
“So let’s talk about the difference between fungible and non fungible tokens. Bitcoin is a fungible token. US dollars are fungible insofar as if you have a $1 bill, and I have a $1 bill, you’re probably happy to trade with me if I like yours better than mine.
They’re not exactly the same. They’re actually printed in different states and they have different serial numbers. But nonetheless, they’re fungible insofar as they have the same value. And there’s really no differentiation. The same is true with a bushel of corn, or a barrel of oil. Those are fungible commodities.
All of this is built on blockchain. Tokens live on blockchain? So when you think about Bitcoin, Bitcoin is a primary blockchain and the tokens that have value have like $55,000 a token right because a Bitcoin right now is actually built on the Bitcoin blockchain, that’s where they live. There’s other blockchains like Ethereum, and then there’s sort of odd blockchains, like, well, or other tokens like Dogecoin that are all, you know, out there and used for different purposes, and have actually quite different carbon footprints. So that’s how they relate to blockchain. They’re all built on blockchain.”
Creature Tokens to Fight Climate Change
Tom’s new company has created Creature Tokens, collectible NFTs which each represent an animal from an important habitat. Each collectible contains a certain number of Sustainable Development Goal tokens (SDGs) which come from Carbon Offsets. By purchasing a Creature Token, you are also helping to offset your carbon footprint. When you purchase a new creature token, it doesn’t have a name, so you get to name it. And boom, you have your own NFT.
This iPhone app is a podcast player which lets you highlight, add a note and share moments from episodes. When you hear something great, you can save it with one tap, or even with just your voice. You can share a moment anywhere, with a link or video clip.
UPDATE: Originally published in 2015. Alas, Betty’s not Tweeting anymore, but I’m bringing her back in honor of Thanksgiving.
Betty the Tweeting Chicken, @chickentreat seen here in her “training video” brings new meaning to the term “chicken scratch”. She’s vying for a Guinness Record if she can Tweet a 5-letter word before Oct. 30.
She’s not the first chicken to go viral. That honor went to the Subservient Chicken back in 2004.
So far, the closest Betty’s come to a 5-letter work is “Bum”, which prompted the warning “”Bum? Keep things clean, Betty.”
Betty has nearly 9,000 followers on Twitter, up from 700 before her video. And so far, according to Brand Tracker, she’s racked up more than 3,500 Tweets with the hashtag #ChickenTweet.There’s also a daily Periscope tour of her coop and an Instagram feed.
I love it when a brand has a sense of humor! The magic of Australia’s Chicken Treat Restaurant chain’s classic roasted bird is in its simplicity, branding and local marketing campaign’s light-hearted approach.
Not the first dirty bird
Of course, Betty’s not the first chicken to promote a brand. That honor belongs to Burger King’s deliciously weird 2004 Subservient Chicken, one of the internet’s first viral sensations. He was a man dressed in a giant chicken suit complete with a garter belt (??!) – who’d do anything you asked him, as long as it wasn’t x-rated.
Back in the days before social media, he racked up a million hits in the first 24 hours, eventually reaching more than one billion pageviews. Burger King brought him back, sort of, on the campaign’s 10th anniversary. But, alas, he didn’t fly.
How Employee Engagement Can Make Way For Better Customer Experience
For growing businesses to succeed and reach their goals consistently, providing an exceptional customer experience (CX) has to be one of their main priorities. Customers who associate positive experiences with business are more likely to be loyal and will keep coming back to make further transactions. In recent years, businesses have understood how an improved CX is a key differentiator in their scheme of things. That said, employee engagement is one of the most important aspects that drive customer experience.
Business leaders who want to achieve their organization’s mission agree that treating their employees well is a necessary first step toward providing a better CX. As a matter of fact, engaged employees spread their enthusiasm to customers and are more dedicated to providing the best possible service. Here is a list of valuable employee engagement statistics that reveal how powerful the motivation of engaged employees is when trying to further engage customers.
Just as how engaged employees make for happy customers, the reverse is also true. Customers who are thoroughly satisfied, also drive employee engagement. A positive CX reinforces how employees feel about the value and purpose of their work. In other words, a positive customer experience motivates employees to repeat their behavior.
Despite the emergence of new devices and software products designed to unite employees in more ways than ever before, the threat of organizational silos is still very real. In fact, a recent survey from My Customer.com, shows that 40 percent of company employees report that they aren’t adequately supported by their colleagues because “different departments have their own agendas.”
While silos deter communication and collaboration — both of which are vital to delivering smooth customer experiences and producing correctly functioning products — the root of the problem is that many managers fail to spot those silos as they formulate in front of their very eyes. After all, that shiny new company-wide intranet should ward off any chance of departments becoming isolated, right? To get to bottom of this, let’s reevaluate the nature of organizational silos; Read more detailed information about the meaning of siloed and the hidden dangers of a siloed company.
If you are looking forward to beefing up your employee engagement strategies, this is the right time to do so. Following are some of the best employee engagement practices that can prove to be a secret weapon to create a better customer experience.
#1 Create a Collaborative, Communicative, and Engaging Culture
Collaborative, communicative, and engaging culture is also known as employee-centric culture. It re-invigorates organizations by holistically engaging employees, improving retention, and increasing innovation. According to a study, 97% of employees accept that the lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project. So this lack of enthusiasm would invariably reflect on how the employees take up on their customer experience responsibilities. A collaborative and engaging culture ensures that employees are taught how to effectively respond to customers and how to represent the brand.
Fostering collaboration helps you make the most of your knowledge resources. By bringing all the minds together, you are allowing your team members to share a wealth of information and view challenges from different perspectives. This helps in devising solutions in various business operations, for example – how to make customers happier. You have to spend sufficient time, money, and resources to ensure that your employees have tools, environment, and understanding to effectively deliver the brand promise. Therefore, an employee-centric culture paves the way for employees who their key customers are and how they can add value to their experiences.
#2 Incorporate Employee Development Programs
There is no denying the fact that employees are one of the most valuable assets of your organization. So you need to ensure that they feel valued and confident about their long-term potential. It’s only when you give them more opportunities, autonomy, responsibility, as well as respect that they put their dedicated efforts in order to achieve your business goals. Employee development programs, therefore, are an initiative that elevates the existing skills, knowledge, and abilities as an individual. Employee development builds loyalty, which is very important in driving customer satisfaction. In business parlance, it goes without saying, a happy employee begets a happy customer.
Your employees experience a sense of pride when they see that the organization is investing time and resources in them. This means, in the future, you can extract the best out of them. Offering employees additional skill-training classes and mentorship opportunities makes them feel supported and respected. Providing hard and soft-skill training also makes them customer-oriented. Additionally, it helps you on two counts – your employees learn how different departments of the organization work together and how to promote the organizational values among your customers. Thus, providing employee development programs increases your reputation with both – the customers as well as prospective employees.
#3 Give your Employees a Sense of Purpose
A sense of purpose is integral to any successful work environment that eventually goes on to deliver better customer experience. If your employees are subjected to a purpose-driven mindset, they are more likely to be engaged, resulting in higher productivity and customer satisfaction. Giving a sense of purpose allows your employees to understand what they are working towards and how to make a difference. According to a Harvard Business Review, only a small percentage of employees understand their company’s strategy and direction. It highlights that even in better-performing companies that have clearly stated strategies, only 29% of their employees identify their companies’ strategies.
You can provide a sense of purpose in the following ways:
– Build a clear, agreed-upon strategy where all employees can contribute to its vision.
– Make them a part of the decision-making process.
– Devise organizational goals and measurements.
– Make sure your employees have proper resources that enable them to perform their best.
– Provide meaningful incentives, rewards, and recognition.
#4 Get the HR Team to Connect Employee Engagement to Customer Experience
Great customer experiences help companies survive and thrive, but who delivers these experiences? It has to be primarily employees. So you need to connect employee engagement to customer experience. The former is the vital metric for the success of organizational efforts and maximized customer experience. In view of this, the human resource professionals could hold the key to improving the CX and generating better business results. They should be involved in creating effective employee engagement initiatives. Therefore, you need to acknowledge your employees to be models of your values, thereby creating social validation.
Engaged employees are a reflection of your business values, who they are, what they believe in, and how they put across their message. According to a paper published by The Forum, customer perceptions of any brand, and the employee behaviors that influence them, have a direct and positive impact on CX. The paper further revealed that a 10% increase in efforts made by employees translated into a 22.7% increase in customer spending.
#5 Identify the Core Competencies that Lead to Happy Customers
If your employees possess the skills and characteristics that make them suited for the role of good customer support agent, your business is more likely to make your customers happy. This is because possessing right customer service skills are important traits that handle people’s problems effectively. And due to this reason, customer service has become one of the most frequently espoused values, today. Excellent customer service also encourages referral business and provides a sustainable foundation. Following are the core competencies that lead happy customers:
Loyalty: Employee happiness and satisfaction inevitably lead to loyalty. While hiring candidates, if they speak highly of the previous company or employer then they are more inclined to be loyal. A loyal customer care representative will put the company’s interest during interactions with angry customers – a quality reflecting patience.
Good employee traits: The perfect customer service employees have positive attitudes, patience with customers, and display politeness to all.
Problem-solving: It is a great customer service skill that includes taking a pre-emptive approach in managing or addressing possible risks.
Persuasiveness: Being persuasive isn’t being manipulative. Your customers should be able to steer customers into a direction that is a win-win to all.
Accountability: What separates top customer service professionals from the rest is they remain accountable in all situations and maintain ownership of their responsibilities.
Here’s a compilation of cool tools and apps for marketers. While many are free or have no charge trials, some are subscription models. I think you’ll find each of them worth trying.
Helpful Apps for Marketers and Small Businesses
Twitter Monthly Content Calendar for Marketers
Twitter for Business has provided a downloadable outline for a month’s worth of weekday tweet ideas to help marketers plan what to post every day. It’s not specific to any month, but can be used to plan content for any month. It even includes fun holidays. An extremely cool business tool!.
Free Hashtag Tracking Tool that monitors hashtag performance for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and more.
Askaway open-source remote work tool developed by Myplanet that allows businesses to more easily and efficiently ask and answer questions during large video conferences. It can be used alongside any video conferencing service (Zoom, Google Hangouts, Blue Jeans, etc.)
Attendees can upvote questions, which can be asked anonymously.
Tribe Small Business Browser Extension is a very cool, no charge tool to help consumers easily identify products sold by small businesses and/or cruelty-free companies on Amazon.
It appears as a small box in the corner of their browser window, alerting the shopper to the same or similar products offered by a small business. The new tool is currently available for download on Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.
A new tool for managing and optimizing your business for Google Maps. Specific features include:
Dashboard detailing 18 months of metrics, including views, visit, direction requests and estimated revenue
Single and multi-location optimization
Intelligent recommendations to adjust listing features to match customer behavior
CTA’s to improve/update photos, respond to customer reviews and publish specific content on Maps listing(s) to improve search performance and engagement
How to check your devices for stalkerware
Wired Magazine has detailed instructions for how to check your phone, laptop and online accounts to be sure no one is snooping on you. If you know how, you can find software tools that are designed to be hidden and difficult to detect.
Booklets.io is an Instagram library of sorts that combines education-oriented posts on social media into bite-sized learnings around product design, UX, marketing and branding, among other things.
The Creative Canvas Website Solutions can help you track trends, provide insights, demonstrate best practices and help you understand new technology.
There are some apps, most of these are free or inexpensive and may lead you to develop fresh strategies for your business. Stuck with business idea and don’t know what to do next? Then you must take guidance from sustainabilitystreet .
This gallery of real world marketing case studies is updated every day. You also can subscribe to a newsletter to receive the most recent updates.
Google Books Interactive Experiment
While this might not immediately appear to be a marketing app, it’s a wonderful research and learning tool. It can help you find great stories to add to your content strategy. Google Books service has a new design on desktop and new features use machine learning to connect images with book suggestions.
An affiliate program does not require that you have an advertising team for ad visuals or purchase ad space.
Rather than that, you’ll have to depend on your affiliates to come up with their marketing content. Other than the initial effort of selecting and vetting affiliates, there’s little effort required from you to market your products, which is one of the reasons it’s become such a popular method of marketing, checkout affiliate program management.
Once a company is comfortable working with an affiliate and has built a good relationship, they can for the most part let them get on with marketing your service or product.
You click on a picture of an elephant, for example, and you can find iconic books like “The Elephant Man” or Agatha Christie’s “Elephants Remember.” You’ll also see a story about the image.
Select a title and you’ll see a page with a summary and a link to Google Books with information including the book’s description, author’s bio and other works, reviews from readers and options for purchasing or borrowing the book. There are also bibliographies and a citation tool for those using the service for research.
More than 85% of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube video is consumed without audio – mostly because people are watching at work :)
To help with the marketing of your podcasts, Audiogram lets you leverage captioned short videos featuring your audio content to get more engagement on social.
You can make a short snippet of your podcast’s audio, add it to a video that has a thumbnail image and captions for the clip. Then you add a link to the full podcast so people can get right to it. Here’s an Audiogram I created for Beyond Social Media Show, the award-winning podcast I produce and co-host.
This is a great tool for upping your Instagram Story skills and it’s free on mobile. You can edit with 10 VSCO presets, and use basic editing tools like Contrast, Saturation, and Grain.
VSCO has a library of inspiring photos and editorial that you can use. And you can share your photos for a chance to be curated by VSCO.
This rather remarkable app uses AI to spot fake product reviews. It’s endorsed by Today Show, The Sun, CBS Moneywatch and many others.
Fakespot’s technology analyzes millions of product reviews, looking for suspicious patterns and incentivized reviews. It then assigns a letter grade to the reviews and explains the issues. For example, out of nearly 3,000 vitamins for sale on Amazon’s website, Fakespot found 30 percent to be fake and or unreliable.
Online retailers try to combat scammers, but it’s a rough battle because the sites carry so many products from third party sellers. Amazon and Walmart were recently cited in a U.S. Government Accountability report for counterfeit cosmetic products containing dangerous substances like cyanide and lead. This report also noted that in a random sampling one in five products purchased were counterfeit.
With Tall Tweets for Google Slides, you can convert any presentation into an animated GIF and share it on Twitter! You can also tweet individual slides of a deck and a high-resolution image of the slide will be embedded in your Tweet.
Just enter the name and company and zoom! You have the proven or most likely email for the person. Or, do a domain search and you get the most likely configurations for that organization. You get 100 free searches a month. It’s not foolproof, but it’s pretty good. :)
My choices for the top four social media stories of 2019 represent brilliant marketing that highlights social responsibility and causes.
And I just had to include one from the “You can’t make this sh*t up department.” It went viral because it was unintentionally hilarious.
1. Soul Asylum’s Runaway Train 25
Back in 1993, Soul Asylum’s “Runaway Train” was one of the first hit music videos to make a social statement. It rose to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and led to the recovery of 21 of the 36 missing kids featured in the video.
I include it as a top social media marketing story because the song and video have been remade to celebrate the original’s 25th anniversary. The band has partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to highlight the plight of missing children in the US.
Runaway Train 25 uses geolocation technology to turn the music video content into a search tool to find missing children. a standard version is available to watch on YouTube. However, if it’s viewed on the “Runaway Train 25” website, geo-targeting technology changes the footage so that viewers receive information about children from their area who have gone missing. The release came ahead of National Missing Children’s Day on May 25.
2. Loving Haters
Sprite took on social media haters, trolls and bullies in a global campaign, in which it suggests that hate can “neutralized” by words of love. They also revealed that got help from SearchUp to upgrade their website to the highest quality.
The brand developed an A.I. tool that and used data mining technology to identify the most aggressive hater. He had attacked 565 people in more than 1,000 tweets during the past year.
They invited him to participate in “an experiment.” When he arrived, he faced by 100 of his targets, who wore t-shirts bearing his hateful Tweets. They walked up to him and said them out loud to his face.
(“Nauseating rat, scum of life,” “The worst fear of pregnancy is ending up a fat and ugly slob like you”) until he realizes he’s hearing his own words. Then all 100 surrounded him, singing “All you need is love.” And then, amazingly, one by one, people stepped up and embraced him. See his reaction in the video.
This one shows top social media marketing on many levels!
3. Endangered Animals Sing About Extinction
The Wildlife Conservation Fund’ produced a powerful animated video in which animals sing an emotional rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables.
The video opens with the creatures existing happily in their habitats. Suddenly the video takes a sinister turn as scary men invade each environment. Sadly, the animals are no match for their guns, clubs, harpoons, and pollution. At the heartbreaking conclusion, the seal pup sings: “Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.”
4. Google Loon Balloons
Globally, more than five billion people are still not connected to the Internet. Back in 2013, Google sett out – by Loon Balloons – to change that. Now, Google’s tennis court-size solar-powered Loon Balloons are doubling as cell towers to address the digital divide in rural Peru.
Bonus: Pakistani Government Official Forgot to Turn Off Cat Filter During Facebook Live Press Conference
Provincial Information Minister Yousuf Shaukat Zai, from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in north-west Pakistan, and member of the ruling party PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) in Pakistan was talking to the local journalist at a Facebook Live press conference.
The event turned a bit awkward when cats ears and whiskers appeared on the minister’s face during the live video. His colleague also had a similar cat’s appearance.
And of course the video – since deleted – immediately went viral on social media.
It happens every day. I get emails from companies willing to pay for guest posts on my blog. They want DoFollow links and they don’t want to be identified as sponsored posts. “NoFollow link or no post. Google’s rules, not mine” is my response.
Google will flag your site as a spam site if you don’t use NoFollow links in paid posts. You will not be happy when that happens!
I learned that one the hard way. I had be reviewed by Google to prove that all links on my sponsored posts and ads are now NoFollow. Until then, my site was being qualified as spam.
New technology in Soul Asylum’s “Runaway Train 25” music video hopes to locate a new generation of missing children, while updating music’s role in social movements. It’s the “milk carton of the 21st century,” says the website.
The magic happens on the website
For the 25th anniversary, the group is collaborating with Jamie N Commons, Skylar Grey and Gallant to remix Soul Asylum’s hit song Runaway Train. “But it’s more than just a cover song,” the website explains, “it’s a dynamic music video, designed not just for watching, but for bringing home real missing and trafficked kids near you.” For more information about the group do visit cccf .
The original video featured real-life images of missing children, with hopes that they would be recognized and brought home. Amazingly, 21 of the 36 children featured – some of whom had been missing for years – were located and recovered.
In “Runaway Train 25”, Soul Asylum is working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). A standard version of the video is available on YouTube.
The magic happens when you view the video on the “Runaway Train 25” website. That video automatically updates itself with the profiles of missing children from the NCMEC database based on your location. It also provides links to share the images across Twitter and other social media platforms. The video also shows ways that pedophiles lure children away, and situations where runaways find themselves trapped.
The milk carton of the 21st century
Back in the pre-social media days of 1993, the original Runaway Train video became a top 10 hit on MTV, to which youth of the day (including me) were glued. Social media’s exponentially broader reach offers better chances of the missing children being recognized. Social media exponentially increases the potential reach of the video.
“This video is a game changer,” says NCMEC President and CEO John Clark in press release. “It highlights critical issues runaways face and will show real pictures of missing children. By creating and sharing this video, everyone has the ability to make a difference in their communities.”
B.L. Ochman is a seasoned Writer, content creator, strategist, and producer of podcasts and socially shareable video interviews. Let’s talk about how I can help your company.
Supplements are under constant debate among health professionals. While they can’t technically claim to treat or cure disease, manufacturers are allowed to list as many possible health benefits as they want. This can make every pill and powder seem absolutely essential — even when it isn’t. Take a look at the latest clear nails plus reviews to treat most of the current fungal infections.
While there are many benefits to certain dietary supplements, you don’t need to — and shouldn’t — take as many as you can afford for the sake of your health. Only a few will do just fine — if you even need them at all. In the world of bodybuilding, Trenorol is a popular legal steroid. It claims to help those who want to develop lean muscles without possible serious side effects. Speaking of health, rescue hair 911, trenorol is made from all-natural ingredients and is truly effective and worth trying for hair loss prevention.
If you do want to invest in one or several dietary supplements to add an extra layer of protection against certain diseases and conditions, these are the ones doctors recommend you choose.
A vitamin D deficiency isn’t a concern for most people. But it’s still possible you aren’t getting enough of it. Some dairy products and other foods are fortified with the vitamin during processing, If your diet varies considerably from day to day, though, there’s no guarantee you can eat enough to fill your quota. Visit Askhealthnews for more supplement tips and reviews.
The best place to get adequate amounts of vitamin D is from the sun. But most of us don’t spend our days working outdoors like we used to. Because only a select number of foods provide this vitamin, it probably doesn’t hurt to take either a vitamin D supplement or a multivitamin containing vitamin D.
Influencer marketing is often called one of marketer’s most valued tools. However, the emergence of “medical influencers” can he harmful to our health.
Influencers on Instagram are marketing medications and medical devices for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Most noteworthy: they’re not always making it clear that they’re paid for their endorsements. I think arturoherrera can guide you more about this.
These endorsements from medical influencers give their millions of followers the suggestion they could be as healthy and beautiful as the influencers, if they use these products.
Depending on the size of their following, influencers are paid an estimated $1,000 per 100,000 followers. Instead of print or broadcast ads, companies believe they can benefit from the candor and storytelling on influencers’ feeds.
Clearly, it’s time for a much closer look at what and how influencers are hawking.
Who’s regulating medical influencers? You are!
Most importantly, regulation is not exactly happening, explains Suzanne Zuppello, in a recent Vox article. The FTA and the FTC rely on consumers to report non-compliant ads, according to the FTC Advertising Practices Division.
“Using influencers to sell products to the sick can be a particularly insidious form of marketing in large part because of the vague parameters set by the FTC and FDA,” Zuppello says. After all, most consumers certainly aren’t experts in federal advertising guidelines. Nor should we need to be!
One influencer, who is compensated by a variety of brands outside of healthcare and preferred not to be named due to existing partnerships, told Zuppello that some influencers “bury the #sponsored tag deep in the copy or shorten it to #spon, despite the FTC guideline for disclosures to be “clear and conspicuous.” Here’s an example where the sponsorship is not mentioned by a medical influencer:
Consequences? Not Really.
Although the FDA and FTC are regulatory agencies, they don’t fully police their own guidelines, because they don’t have the resources to comb millions of posts to determine which are paid advertisements and whether they’re compliant.
Also scary: there are no real or immediate consequences for influencers omitting information required by the regulatory agencies, especially since every post isn’t reviewed. And even when non-compliant posts are cited, the company, not the influencers, is held responsible.
Important to remember: influencing is a job influencers that are paid to perform. Think about that before you click.