Today is Twitter’s fourth birthday, and to celebrate the occasion we asked our Twitter followers: “Let us know how Twitter changed your life – add hashtag #thankstwitter4 so we can find your tweet.”

We got thousands of responses — in fact, #thankstwitter4 has become a trending topic. As promised, we did our best to sift through the tweets and find 140 that represent the Twitter zeitgeist as we enter the social network’s fourth year. Below are our selections, split up into categories or sentiments that we noticed were particularly common.

Consider this Twitter’s birthday picture at age four. Is it cute or is it ugly? You decide!

– Finding Love
– Finding Fame
– Staying Up to Date With Current Events
– Stalking Justin Bieber
– Stalking Celebrities in General
– Making Friends Around the World
– Making Friends With Similar Interests
– Being Better Than Facebook or MySpace
– Decreasing Performance at School
– Tweeting on the Go
– Miscellaneous

See full post here: http://mashable.com/2010/03/21/140-reasons-we-love-twitter/


I absolutely love Chris Brogan!  He is such a social media expert, was in on the game early, etc.  Check out one of his latest posts:


The Future Is Evidently Blurry

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When launching and executing a social media marketing campaign, there are several rules of thumb to adhere to in order for your campaign to be successful and yield some ROI:

First, identify and target your market.  No marketing campaign, regardless of the platform being used, can be successful without properly targeting the audience.  It would be like trying to bake a cake without flour.  It just wouldn’t work.  The success of social media campaign relies upon the connections established within your niche community.  Proper targeting is imperative to start so you may engage your audience effectively.  It also determines which sites you should use in compliment of each other:  LinkedIn, facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Ning, etc.

Second, always encourage your followers to link to your site.  This is a way to intertwine SEO tactics into your social media marketing, while engaging your audience at the same time.  Creating and maintaining a blog can be very beneficial because fresh content can be loaded often.  This not only attracts indexing from the search engines, but it attracts a larger, more dedicated population of targeted followers.  You should also include a plug-in that allows your visitors to bookmark, tag and even tweet your blog posts.

Third, become an important resource for your visitors.  Social media optimization is dependent on give and take.  It’s about relationships and two-way engagements.  If you think it is just about tooting your horn and offering your services, think again.  Once you engage and start interacting with your audience, you can offer them what they want. Help them find the resources they need by linking to those sources. There’s no better way to know you audience than to just ask them directly and deliver.  Eventually, your site will be viewed as a resource hub and your followers will start linking to you, then their followers will, and so on and so and before you know it, your popularity will go viral all the while you are attracting inbound links, thus catering to your SEO needs.  It’s like killing two birds with one stone.

Fourth, remember to offer up the FREE.  In order to become a resource hub, you must offer up free advice, tips and guidance to your audience.  This builds trust and credibility.  And again, be sure to ask them what topics they want and get them to engage in the discussion.  Then when you do have an offer, you simply mention it and it pretty much sells itself.  It’s called ‘soft sales’ and it works so much more effectively than any other type of sales tactic.  Usually, the prospect never realizes they have been sold to – they think they made the decision to buy, not that you actually sold them something.  Remember the wise words of Jeffrey Gitomer:  “People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy!”

Fifth, implement a measurement system to monitor your success.  Integrate tracking tools to know when your site is mentioned elsewhere and to measure your site’s progress in the SERPs.  Generate linking reports to identify inbound links pointing to your social media pages and primary domain.  Metrics are crucial in determining whether or not your SMO campaign is effective.

And of course, as your clientele list increases, along with your profit margin, that is a metric in itself. Just remember that social media marketing takes time.  Have an audience, have a plan and be consistent.  It will pay off in the end.

While search engine optimization (SEO) is by far a thing of the past, the overall dynamics of online search is dramatically changing.  The newer, more focused online marketing landscape centers around social media marketing (SMM), also known as social media optimization (SMO).  Effective online search has previously relied upon the positioning of a Web site in the search engine result pages (SERPs), based mainly upon how many links were pointing to the site, thus indicating popularity, and how high of a page rank (PR) the site had been crowned by Google.  Now, with the steady increase of the social media phenomenon, we can foresee this unstoppable force anchoring itself mightily and building a sturdy home.  Page rank is quickly being replaced by friend rank.

Social media is not only the here and now; it’s also the wave of the future that is here to stay.  It will continue to grow and enlarge at rapid speed.  Social media is by far a trend.  According to Nielsen Online, social media networks and blogs are now the forth most popular online activity ahead of personal email.  Member communities are visited by 67 percent of the global online population.  The time spent in social media Web sites is growing at three times the overall Internet use rate, accounting for almost 10 percent of all Internet time.

Social Media’s Effect on Google, Bing and Yahoo

Although the SEO ship has not sailed and should definitely be a part of your online marketing campaign, social media marketing is the alpha male in the online jungle and he brings many changes.  Google used to separate “social” content.  Remember the separate Google search bar you had to download for blogs?  And another one for video and yet another for images, while nothing from the social media sites showed up at all?  Now Google streams ALL platforms into one system called Universal Search.  This means blogs, videos, images, news and user profiles and comments from social media sites are now integrated into the natural SERPs, shoving many previously placed Web sites right out of those coveted top spots.  Bing and Yahoo both have incorporated very similar systems.

With that said, you now understand how critical social media optimization is to your online marketing campaign.  By using social media sites such as facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, you can actually capture a greater number of organic search positions.  Did you know facebook alone has about 350,000,000 members from across the globe?  Talk about having your audience right at your fingertips!  Once you learn how to identify and connect to your target audience, you can definitely take your business to the next level and the next.

Intertwining Social Media Optimization and SEO

When properly executed, social media optimization can seamlessly dovetail SEO efforts. The ongoing, fresh content creation, social bookmarking, engaging and conversing directly with your audience, attracting inbound links by being a resource for your audience, etc.  – these methodologies are essential for pushing your Web site higher in the SERPs, increasing Web traffic and reaping the rewards of conversion and overall ROI.  SMO leverages an additional, effective set of online tools to accomplish the same goal as SEO: more exposure and better positioning for your Web site on Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The challenge lies in knowing how to use those tools effectively and without spending all of your waking hours in vain.

The bottom line is this:  The days of launching a basic SEO campaign alone within such a competitive online space and joyfully watching your site rise to the top of SERPs are long gone. Not only has SEO become far more complex than it was just a few short years ago, but social media optimization has transformed SEO from a relatively straightforward strategy into an intricate discipline that is confusing and frustrating to most.

While social media optimization is a must for any business seeking to boost exposure in the search engines, most companies are not up for the task at hand.  Turning to someone with social media expertise and experience to successfully go head to head with the alpha male of the jungle is the key reaping rewards from your online efforts.

Contact us today to face the alpha male for you.  Also, keep your eyes peeled for our next article:  Your Social Media Marketing Campaign:  Top 5 Tips for Successful Execution.

Email and Social Media Marketing Are Top Areas of Investment in 2010


Crystal and I had a discussion.  We concluded Black Friday should not be for retail shopping alone, nor should it only last one day.  So to celebrate this holiday season, Crystal Frog Marketing is offering 20% off your next marketing project. 
We appreciate your business and hope this special offer will help keep your marketing efforts going through this expensive time of year.  
To redeem the 20% discount, simply mention this offer and contract any new project with us between Friday, November 27, 2009 and Friday, December 4, 2009.  Our marketing services include, but are not limited to: 
  • Web site design
  • Custom web application
  • Internet marketing such as SEO, PPC, email and online video
  • Social media marketing

For a full list of services, please visit us at Crystal Frog Marketing.

* Please note that this special is not applicable to already reduced fee projects, such as nonprofit marketing, previously contracted projects or any recurring project.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.