…until, he decided to plunge headlong (head-first, somersault) into the Ja’neh impeachment suit in typical pro-poor style: ASKING NO QUESTIONS—JUST KICKING A**!By Attorney Keith N. Asumuyaya BestBut before throwing himself into the “hala hala” about impeaching Justice Ja’neh, Jones Nhinson Williams, presumably a young man, had written an article titled, “Liberia, Beneath (he had Behind) the Glass Ceiling: Are We in Trouble?” We couldn’t figure out how he came up with the above as a title, but the first half of the article struck us as nothing less than a gem (a costly, precious stone) for which he ought to be applauded (cheered).Reading the article was delightful from the start, with the author not caring that the man he was writing about might no longer be as popular as he had been prior to becoming president. We were not bothered by this either.Yes, that first part of Jones’ article was all about President George Oppong Weah! And it was refreshing to find out that Oppong had done far more than play the game as it was meant to be played.At the height of his career, we were informed, the soccer star had gone out of his way to help ensure that Liberian soccer aficionados (admirers, fans) receive some of the attention and support they had been deprived of for years. So, ‘kudos’ again to Mr. Williams for the enjoyable piece he brought us about Dr. Weah’s charitable (giving, kind) side.WILLIAMS’ FAUX PAS Unfortunately, praise for the article must end somewhere there in the middle of the article since, out of the clear, blue sky, the young man decided to leap into what is perhaps the most contentious (law related, debatable) political issue of the day—creating more disagreement, perhaps, than the so-called “currency crisis.”After writing as well as he did for the first part of his article, Williams should not have taken a false step, believing he had covered himself enough to harmlessly segue (transition, switch) as occurs like a movement from one piece of music to the other; or in literature, from one topic to the other, without setting it up correctly. When that happens, the change-over ends up neither smooth, true nor honest.But what the fine young writer is guilty of is no more than “jumping to the wrong conclusion”—like hitting a few non-musical, wrong notes in the fields of law and logic, and by implication grammar; all three. Let’s take a look.JUMPING TO WRONG CONCLUSIONS We pointed out earlier that Mr. Williams started off very well and kept the same tempo (rate, pace), giving the reader a number of exciting facts about the President they should enjoy and appreciate for almost one-half of Williams’ article. He reminded readers that Weah inherited a deeply corrupt and economically mismanaged nation.MEANS WELL As President of Liberia, today, “…Mr. Weah must take ownership of everything that must be done to fix what was broken by past Liberian administrations, going back in time in this order: Sirleaf’s, Bryant’s, Taylor’s and Sawyer’s,” Mr. Williams explained.“Fortunately,” Mr. Williams continued, “today’s President is sincere and honest about helping Liberians in a bid to improve the country for all. One reason why some of us like President Weah—and are willing to help him succeed—is rooted in his past humanitarian record, his humble beginnings and his sense of determination and persistence.”“There is no doubt,” Mr. Williams continued, “that President Weah means well. And, as most people know, he will be the first to admit that governing a nation is not easy. As such, we must give our national leaders credit for their time and effort in solving critical national problems; this we must do especially when—rather than remaining true, willing and rational partners—some lawmakers make nuisances of themselves by word and deed, instead of helping the President as ‘national partners’, ” the writer went on.ASSOCIATE JUSTICE JA’NEH “That is why every sound Liberian should be bothered by the actions and utterances of one Representative Ascarous Gray, who is said to represent Montserrado County,” Mr. Williams advised, sounding as though he had made a swing from one limb of a tree to another.“Honorable Gray is seeking the removal of a Liberian Supreme Court Justice from office in a process he calls ‘impeachment,’ even though there are no rational or compelling reasons provided other than that he just wants to impeach Justice Ja’neh,” Mr. Williams took it upon himself to proclaim.This unexpected development with the second part of his article, a veritable or true faux pas (blunder, misstep) left us disappointed for a number of reasons: imagine putting so much time and energy into the Weah segment of his article, only to let himself fall short by failing to discover (arrive at through search and study) a “rule-of-thumb” when dabbling in legal matters.What for example, might Associate Justice Ja’neh had been up to lately—or even earlier—that could serve as fodder (hay, food) or grounds for a lawsuit against the Justice, rather than anything to do with political or ethnic cleansing, as everyone or his brother seems to be volunteering or suggesting?BLIND FAITH But Williams saw no reason to be skeptical (disbelieving or doubtful) of anything related to Justice Ja’neh, just as we ourselves were sometime ago, following Ja’neh’s brilliant dissenting opinion opposing the other Justices in connection with the opposition’s protests against the shenanigans of the National Elections Commission; this took place during the final stages of last year’s presidential and legislative elections, following the vote of confidence the Judiciary publicly dashed the commissioner and his minions.“There is never anything wrong with disagreeing with what people do or what they try to say they are in the process of doing,” we have heard again and again. “That is exactly where we all want to be—in a position to wait and watch for things to develop. Then we can move forward, with the facts in our hands. Without this knowledge, we can do nothing under the law; any activity would be a waste of time without waiting to make certain that the relative and, therefore, needed facts, are true,” we learned some time ago.Instead of jumping ahead of himself, Williams might have waited for a few days to hear and benefit from the reasons outlined behind the action of members of the House involved in the impeachment effort.By the end of last week, Acarous Gray and cohorts had posted some of the counts that have surfaced in connection with the pending impeachment process said to be underway. They included misconduct, abuse of public office, wanton abuse of judicial discretion, fraud, misuse of power and corruption.Where does that leave Mr. Jones Williams? In a “pro poor mess,” that is hitting the fan faster than ubiquitous, mutilated (tear-tear) Liberian dollars. One day soon, he might come to understand that dealing with over-zealous (passionate, strong feeling) people—like the ones he decided to write about and that included Acarous Gray and his CDC partners, must first and foremost be allowed to clear the test of truth; whether they are in the right with what they are trying to do, or are in the wrong! This hurdle, at some point, will have to be allowed to be cleared by the impeachment people, no matter who likes it or not.Mrs. Annie Yancy Constance Under one of the counts of the impeachment bill, a local newspaper referenced Mrs. Annie Yancy Constance, a 90-year-old woman who wrote President George Oppong Weah as a victim of Associate Justice Ja’neh’s.Mrs. Constance explained that her property was “acquired” by the Justice, who claims ownership predicated on and “bought” from a mentally-ill son of hers, who could not have sold what he was neither able, willing nor ready to legally and responsibly dispossess her of.Consequently, Mrs. Constance pointed out, her house is still hers, even though Justice Ja’neh has had her evicted and is collecting rent from the premises.She is still hoping that President Weah will come to her aid, even though and up to this point the president seems to be staying far away from things that he finally might be learning are not a part of his job description. But there are many who think he could be wrong, and that one way or the other he could end up having something to do with this case in the long run as it is much bigger than most people think!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Shay GivenShay Given’s hopes of traveling to Euro 2016 took a knock today when he was forced off the field while playing for Stoke in the Premier League.The Lifford man is thought to have suffered a suspected groin strain.The injury will not help his cause of trying to impress Ireland boss Martin O’Neill.Given had conceded two goals in the opening half as Stoke went down 4-0 to Man City. GIVEN GETS EURO 2016 SCARE AFTER INJURY was last modified: April 23rd, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
The city council in Palo Alto, California, has voted unanimously to require that new houses built within city limits be equipped with rough-in wiring for an electric car charger. According to The San Jose Mercury News, councilors also agreed to streamline the permitting process for chargers and come up with other strategies that would encourage the use of electric vehicles.“Let’s figure out as a council what we can do to remove the obstacles to owning electric vehicles in Palo Alto,” the newspaper quoted Mayor Greg Scharff as saying. “I think what we really need to do is make it convenient, easy and economical.”Schraff said the electrical work would add about $200 to the cost of a house, one-quarter the cost of doing the work as a retrofit.As Green Car Reports noted, Palo Alto is a wealthy Silicon Valley community where average houses cost more than $1 million, so the pre-wiring won’t be much of a strain for most homebuyers.Palo Alto also is home to Tesla Motors, which produces luxury plug-in cars.
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Social media moves at the speed of light, so if you’re just getting started now, there are conceivably tons of nuances you may have missed. Many people seek out sketchy or outdated Google results instead of asking someone, because they feel these are things they should already know the answer to. Well we think that’s just not the best approach, so we compiled a list of those simple social media questions that people seem pretty timid to ask and are providing you the answers so you never again have to perform a panicked Google search or blindly nod your head in agreement during a marketing meeting.Answers to Your Google+ Questions1.) Where do I go to create a Google+ business page?Visit http://plus.google.com/pages/create to get started, and remember that you need a Google account to set up a page. Find more detailed instructions here.2.) What is the difference between a Google+ Page and a Google+ Profile?A Google+ Profile is for people, while a Google+ Page is for an entity (like your business!).3.) Can I add multiple page administrators?At this time, no. Until this functionality is added, a workaround is creating a team Gmail email address like firstname.lastname@example.org and using this to create your Google+ page. That way, multiple people on your team have access and management of your page is not limited to one person.4.) What is Direct Connect?Direct Connect allows searchers to immediately find a Google+ Page in Google search and add it to their Google+ Circles by searching +brandname. Right now, not all Google+ Pages that apply for Direct Connect functionality are given it, but everyone can and should make their page eligible so they are ready when functionality rolls out to everyone.5.) How do I become eligible for Direct Connect?The easiest way is to add your website link to your Google+ Page and add a snippet of code to your site, explained in more detail on Google’s support site.6.) Can my Google+ Page add people to Circles or +1 content?It depends. If someone mentions you or adds you to their Circles first, then your Google+ Page can Circle them. Otherwise, you cannot add people to your Google+ Page Circles. As for +1’ing content, no, you cannot +1 content as a Google+ Page.7.) Can I add someone to more than once Circle?You sure can!8.) What’s an Extended Circle?Extended Circles refer to your Circles’ Circles, so content a Google+ user shares with their extended circles will also appear in the incoming stream of people from whom they are one degree removed. Only Profiles can share via Extended Circles though — not Pages.9.) Can all business pages participate in a Google+ Hangout, and is there an attendee limit? Yes, all business pages can make use of the Google+ Hangout feature, but unfortunately the limit is 9 people for almost everyone. Google+ is experimenting with a feature called Hangouts on Air that will remedy this problem and allow people who aren’t participating to simply watch the Hangout, but it is not available yet.10.) Do Google+ Pages and posts appear in search results?Yes, both the pages and posts appear in search results, which is why integrating Google+ into your social media strategy can also help your SEO. Google continues to roll out more ways in which Google+ is integrated into search results, with four new developments in just the past few weeks.Answers to Your Twitter Questions11.) Can I change my Twitter username?Yes, you can! Simply go to the ‘Account’ tab on Twitter, and you’ll see a field to change your username. Doing this will not wipe out your tweets or followers.12.) Should I follow back everyone who follows me? There is not an established industry best practice on this, but let’s throw down a definitive answer on whether you should follow someone on Twitter. No, you should not follow back everyone who follows you. However, if that person provides useful or interesting tweets, you should absolutely follow them. Also, keep in mind that being stingy with your follow-backs makes you look…well…stingy. And that’s not a good look on anyone.13.) What is a #hashtag, and how do I use it?A #hashtag is a way to organize topics and make them easier to filter in Twitter search results. For example, HubSpot uses the hashtag #HoHoHubspot in holiday tweets to indicate the tweet is holiday related, to make it easier for people to find our holiday content on Twitter, and so they can also tag inbound marketing related holiday content in tweets of their own. Using #hashtags is also a great idea for online and offline events, so people at the event and those not in attendance can follow the conversations happening around the event.14.) How do I use an @reply?An @reply is a public message sent from one Twitter user to another. You can do this by putting another user’s Twitter username after @ somewhere within the body of the tweet. A user’s @mentions will appear in the tab @username on that user’s homepage. Again, this is not private, so don’t say anything you’re not comfortable saying to the world!15.) How do I use a direct message (DM)?If you need to message another Twitter user in a more private way than the @reply allows, opt for a direct message. These can be sent by clicking the Message link, or typing D Username into the “What’s Happening” field. Think of this as Twitter email.16.) What is a TweetChat?Also known as a Twitter Chat, a TweetChat is a conversation that happens on Twitter during a pre-designated date and time, usually centered around an industry topic and aggregated through use of a #hashtag. For example, HubSpot hosts tweet chats around marketing topics like search engine optimization with the hashtag #InboundChat.17.) How do I personalize a retweet?You can quickly retweet (RT) someone else’s tweet by clicking the arrows on the bottom of that tweet, but unfortunately, this doesn’t let you personalize the tweet. Instead, perform a manual retweet in four steps by copying the tweet and username, replacing the username with an @reply, typing RT at the front, and adding in your commentary.18.) What are Twitter Lists, and how do I use them?Twitter Lists let you group together the tweet streams of people you’re most interested in. Create a new list, name it according to those you’ll add, and simply input their Twitter usernames to create a more targeted stream of content. These can be private or public, so others can also follow your lists.19.) How do I find people to follow?Your follow list will grow organically over time, but the ‘Who to Follow’ feature on Twitter is a great place to start if you need suggestions. Type in industry keywords and keywords related to topics that interest you. You can also search for the names of people in your industry that you know to see who they are following.20.) What are Favorites and how do I use them?Think of Favorites like Twitter bookmarking. When you hover your mouse over a tweet you want to Favorite, click the star so it becomes yellow. That tweet will appear in your Favorites tab on Twitter, and can be referred back to for useful links, kind comments about you or your company, or important pieces of data.Answers to Your Facebook Questions21.) What’s the difference between a Facebook Profile and a Facebook Page?As with Google+, a Facebook Profile is for a person, while a Facebook Page is for an entity, like your company.22.) Oops, I set up a profile instead! Can I transfer it to a page?Yes, Facebook released a Profile to Business Page Migration Tool this year that lets you do this without losing followers or alerting them of the change. However, your page content and photos are not migrated over. If you have fewer than 100 friends, you also have the option to rename your business page.23.) When I set up my Facebook Page, can it have more than one administrator?Yes, as long as each administrator has their own Facebook account. Go to ‘Applications,’ then select ‘Page Manager’ to add someone else as a page administrator.24.) How do I claim my page’s vanity URL?First, you need to have at least 25 Likes (fans) for your page. Once you reach this milestone, go to http://facebook.com/username, click ‘Select a Username,’ enter your desired username, press ‘Check Availability,’ and confirm your username once you find the one you like.25.) What exactly does the ‘Talking About This’ number on my page measure?’Talking About This’ can be found under the number of Likes on your Facebook Page, and it measures user-initiated activity related to that page. This includes things like: posting to your wall, liking your content, commenting on your content, sharing your posts, sharing content on your page, sharing or mentioning your page, or checking in with you.26.) What’s the pricing structure for paid Facebook Ads?Facebook Ads run slightly different than Google’s PPC ads. Facebook will let you choose a CPM model, in which you pay per thousand ad impressions, or a CPC model, in which you pay for clicks. Click-through rate on Facebook ads is usually low, so a CPC model will likely be the least expensive.Answers to Your LinkedIn Questions 27.) Can I customize the anchor text in the ‘Websites’ section of my profile? How?Yes, and you should, because inbound links to your website with good anchor text drive more traffic. To do so, click ‘Edit’ next to the ‘Website’ field on your profile, and select ‘Other’ in the dropdown menu to customize the anchor text.28.) Can I message people on LinkedIn if we’re not connected?You can only message people if you have a first degree connection with them or you hold a Premium (paid) account. If you do have a Premium Account, you can do it using OpenLink if the user you’re attempting to message allows it.29.) How can I see who is viewing my profile?You can only see who is viewing your profile if you let them see when you view theirs. To allow this, click ‘Settings’ and select “See what others see when you’ve viewed their profile.”30.) How do I activate status updates for my Company Page?From your Company Page, click ‘Edit’ under ‘Admin Tools.’ If checked, uncheck the box that says “All employees with a valid email registered to the company domain.” Then select the ‘Designated Users Only’ button, and designate who you would like to be an admin under ‘Manage Admins.’ Only the people you designate as admins will be able to administrate the status updates on your Company Page.31.) How do I pull in my blog’s RSS feed to my LinkedIn Company Page?Blog feeds can be added to Company Pages via an app called Blog Link. More LinkedIn apps are available in the LinkedIn Apps section of the Learning Center, including a tweet app, a poll app, and a SlideShare app, all of which are excellent additions to turn your LinkedIn company page into an inbound marketing machine.What simple social media questions have you always wanted an answer to? Share questions and answers to your burning questions in a judgment free zone!Image credit: Andréias, Bruce Clay, Inc, topgold, dearanxiety, ekelly89 Topics: Originally published Dec 7, 2011 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Social Media
Originally published Jan 16, 2013 12:30:00 PM, updated June 27 2019 Marketing Resources Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: If your organization uses Salesforce or another CRM system , you probably know that it’s a powerful piece of software that is capable of transforming every aspect of how your sales team works. An effective CRM system can help your reps identify, manage, and close more deals more quickly. But with great power often comes great responsi … err, complexity.For many of us marketers, our CRM system is like a black box. We know it’s chock full of data that could be useful to us, and we have a sense that we don’t know enough about it, but we still don’t know how to get our bearings. Perhaps you feel like you’re neck deep in CRM terminology every time you have a conversation with your sales manager. Maybe you just don’t feel all that confident navigating through your CRM system, or maybe you know that as a marketer, you could get a lot more out of knowing it better.While different CRM systems use slightly different terminology, to ease you into a better understanding of CRMs, let’s take a look at some common CRM, and specifically, Salesforce terminology that marketers should know. A Account A standard object in Salesforce that represents a company or organization (but not necessarily a customer). An account may have contacts (individuals or employees who work there), opportunities (potential sales deals), and other objects associated with it. The contact record stores details about the company like the company name, address, etc. Activities Records stored on an object that are typically used to represent actions taken on a lead, contact, or account — things like phone calls, emails from a rep, or future tasks that a rep intends to complete. Many marketing software platforms can automatically insert activities into the activity history to give a rep context about key actions marketing is taking with respect to a lead (e.g. email sends, if those emails were opened or clicked, form submissions made by the lead, etc.). Activity History A list stored on a record in Salesforce that shows the history of activities that have been carried out on that object. For example, the activity history section on a contact record may contain a list of actions the sales rep has taken in working that lead — emails sent, calls made, etc. API An API (application programming interface) is a system used by a piece of software to talk to other pieces of software. Salesforce offers an API that allows it to be connected to outside systems like a marketing platform or email tool. Some third parties ( like HubSpot ) have standard “connectors” that makes it possible to connect them to Salesforce’s API easily and without any technical knowledge. Apex A programming language used by developers to build applications that interact with Salesforce. These applications are often hosted on the Force.com platform (see below); there are hundreds of generally available applications in the Salesforce AppExchange. AppExchange Salesforce’s app marketplace, which contains hundreds of integrations with third-party services that allow users to extend the functionality of their Salesforce instance. HubSpot’s Salesforce integration, for example, is listed in the Salesforce AppExchange. B Bi-Directional Sync A feature of a third-party tool (like HubSpot) that allows it to both read information from, and write information to, Salesforce. (Example: Because HubSpot’s Salesforce integration features bi-directional sync, it can both add new leads to Salesforce, and pull leads from Salesforce based on a user’s preference.) C Campaign An object in Salesforce used to track a marketing effort. The campaign object houses several standard pieces of data — a campaign name, start and end dates, expected revenue, budgeted and actual costs, and more. While Salesforce campaigns have many uses, most marketers use them for reporting purposes. Campaigns are often used in conjunction with closed-loop reporting from a marketing software platform like HubSpot. Chatter A set of collaboration tools that are woven throughout Salesforce, allowing individuals to work together and share information on deals they are working. Users can join different groups, comment on different objects and data, and share details through chatter. Closed-Loop Reporting A reporting methodology in which data about which leads/contacts/accounts ultimately convert into sales is passed back to a marketing platform . In the marketing platform, the marketer can then attribute that customer to the various marketing efforts they touched, and better understand the ROI each of those efforts generated. Closed Won Opportunity A standard stage in Salesforce that refers to the status of an opportunity. An opportunity is typically set to “closed won” status when a deal is closed and the associated account is now a customer. Systems like HubSpot listen for this “closed won” status in Salesforce to enable closed-loop reporting . Connector A piece of software that connects another system (like a marketing software platform, or an email tool) to Salesforce. Contact A standard object in Salesforce that represents an individual person. The contact record contains details like a name, address, email, and phone number. A contact can be attached to an account and opportunity record. Contact Role A standard field included on the contact record that can be used to define the role an individual plays in an account or opportunity (e.g. decision maker, influencer, etc.). Custom Field A specialized piece of data stored in Salesforce that is unique to the user’s business. (e.g. A dog food manufacturer might create a custom field for “favorite dog breed” in its system to track the favorite breed of each of its contacts.) Custom Object A specialized type of record in Salesforce created to meet the needs of an individual business. An example of this might be an “employee” object that contains several details about an employee that is used by an HR department. Custom Report A view of data in Salesforce that has been personalized by the user to include exactly the information they want to see. A custom report might use filters to determine which records it includes (e.g. this report should include only lead records in Massachusetts who are CEOs) and will contain a set of individually chosen fields, usually as columns (e.g. the name, email address, and lead score of those Massachusetts CEO leads). D Dashboard A dashboard in Salesforce is a graphical representation of what you might find in a report. Dashboards might include charts, gauges, or other graphics that represent the metrics that underly them. They make it easy for a team to track progress toward a goal or metric. F Field A field in Salesforce is a piece of data stored on an object. An example of a field might be the “First Name” or “Email Address” field found on the lead and contact records. Fields are also often referred to as “properties.” Force.com A cloud platform service that allows developers to build and host applications on Salesforce’s servers. Force.com is widely used to host applications that work in conjunction with Salesforce, like many of the apps available in the Salesforce AppExchange. Forecast Generally speaking, a forecast is an estimate of revenue that will be brought in during a given time period. In the context of Salesforce, a forecast is a type of report that shows a tally of data from opportunities expected to close in a specified time period. Your sales managers may use Salesforce forecasts to monitor their pipeline throughout the month. Formula Field A formula field in Salesforce is similar to a cell in Excel that contains a formula. The field relies on an equation to populate the data it shows. That equation may take other fields or information into consideration. An example of a formula field might be a field that shows the number of days since sales last followed up with a specific lead. L Lead A standard object in Salesforce that represents an individual identity at an early stage in the sales process. A lead record isn’t natively connected to other data in Salesforce, but is “converted” when it represents a valid opportunity (a process which creates a contact in its place, and associates it with account and opportunity records). Lead Scoring A process typically carried out in a marketing platform that assigns a numeric value to a lead to represent how qualified he/she is. Every organization typically devises its own scoring criteria based on factors that determine the likelihood that a lead is well qualified. Lookup A field that references the data in another field, possibly on another object. A lookup field can be identified by the clickable magnifying glass icon that appears alongside it. An example of a standard lookup field is the “Account” field that appears on a contact — this field is set to reference the “Account Name” field on the associated account object. M Marketing Cloud A suite of social analytics tools offered as an add-on to Salesforce that helps large enterprise organizations monitor and leverage social media. O Object In the context of Salesforce, an “object” is a type of record that Salesforce uses to store your data. There are several standard objects that every Salesforce instance comes with out of the box — an account, a lead, an opportunity, a contact, and many more. It is also possible to set up custom objects to reflect custom pieces of data or custom parts of your process. Opportunity A standard object in Salesforce that represents a potential sales deal. An opportunity record typically contains details about the potential deal, like expected deal size (a dollar amount that cascades up to Salesforce forecasts), expected close date, probability, and opportunity stage. Opportunity Stage A standard field found on the opportunity object that is used to track the status of an opportunity. The opportunity stage may be set to one of several values such as “Prospecting”, “Negotiation/Review,” or “Closed Won,” which represents that the opportunity is associated with a customer or won business. Q Queue A queue in Salesforce is akin to a “holding pen” for objects that aren’t yet assigned to an individual. An example might be a “Recycled Leads Queue” where your sales reps send unqualified leads to if they determine the lead isn’t ready for sales contact. R Report A report is what it sounds like — a view in Salesforce of a specific subset of records and fields of data. Salesforce comes with several standard report types out of the box (e.g. the Campaign ROI Analysis Report, or the Lead History Report). It is also possible to create custom reports in Salesforce. S Standard Object A type of record where data is stored that Salesforce uses out of the box. Examples of a standard object might be a lead object, a contact object, an account object, or an opportunity object. Also see the definition for “object.” T Task Tasks in Salesforce represent an action that has been taken or will be taken with respect to a record in Salesforce. An example of a task might be a phone call to a lead, or a marketing email that was sent to and opened by a contact. Tasks are listed on individual records, and are used by sales reps to manage their day-to-day actions for each lead. Managers can track tasks to measure the activity of a rep via reports. Trigger A piece of Apex code that is used to kick off actions in Salesforce when a change to a record, or creation of a new record, happens in Salesforce. An example use of a trigger might be to change the “company type” field on an account record to “enterprise” if an account is set to have more than 500 employees in its company size field. V View Think of a view as a predefined set of filter criteria that can be applied to a list of data from a drop-down menu. Many lists of data come with a preset list of helpful views; for example, you might choose to filter a list of contacts to see only “My Contacts,” which would surface a list of only contacts that you are set as the owner of. You can also create custom views in Salesforce. W Web to Lead A tool in Salesforce that allows you to create simple forms that you can place on outside websites. When a user fills out the form, a lead is created in Salesforce. Note that most Salesforce Web to Lead forms will only accept up to 500 submissions per day. Workflow Rule A tool in Salesforce that allows you to automate certain actions like sending notification emails, updating fields in your database, adding tasks to a record in Salesforce, and more. An example use of workflow rules might be setting up a rule that sends an email to a specific sales manager when a deal comes in that needs their approval, based on the company size (or any other characteristic) of the associated opportunity. Don’t Be Overwhelmed! While there are many terms you’ve probably heard used in reference to your particular CRM system, it’s important to not be overwhelmed. By biting off small bits and learning more and more from this CRM and Salesforce glossary , you’ll get a better understanding of the system your sales team uses every day, and how you can better leverage its capabilities to improve your marketing and your processes.Image Credit: JD Hancock
Originally published Jan 8, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Website Development Topics: Why Learn HTML?HTML and CSS are the basic programming languages for web development and design. They are beneficial to learn for developers, marketers, and people in many other disciplines. Learning HTML can be used for situations like formatting a blog or email, working with a CMS, embedding external content on your site, and creating usable content.I don’t know about you, but when I travel, I’m terrified of leaving something at home. I obsess over making sure I have enough T-shirts, jeans, shoes, travel-sized shampoos, earrings, books, magazines — because what in the world would I do if I didn’t have them, but needed them? And even if I over-pack, I know I’m prepared for any situation vacation will throw at me — a random fancy dinner out, a day at the pool, or just an afternoon out shopping with the family.In the same vein, knowing HTML is like making sure you’re fully prepared for a vacation. You may not end up using it every single day, but the times you do end up using it, you are so grateful that you had the foresight to figure it out. Knowing HTML can save you hours of frustration, precious time with your design team, or even money dealing with an external contractor.HTML has always been nice-to-have knowledge, but it’s becoming more than nice-to-have for the marketer trying to save a buck. (And that sounds like every marketer I’ve met.)In fact, there are a bunch of situations I’ve caught myself in in which handy HTML knowledge saved the day … and thus, this post was born. If you’re not quite convinced that you’d benefit from knowing basic HTML, keep reading. Here are seven* scenarios you might find yourself in that can be fixed with just a bit of HTML know-how. 1) When Formatting in Your Blog Post/Email/Landing Page Goes AwrySometimes, I swear my content has a life of its own — and a mean streak. That blog post that I worked on all day will suddenly have images with funky spacing, no text wrapping, and outrageous sizing, and, of course, all looks okay in my WYSIWG editor. Luckily, with some HTML knowledge, I can dig into the post to remove and tweak code that is causing the problem.HTML Pro Tip: If you find a bunch of funky tags you want to remove, copy the raw code and paste it into a raw text editor. Then, choose the Find and Replace option — you can search for offending snippets of code and leave the “replace” box blank. Once you’re done, you can paste it back into your HTML editor, and poof! De-bugged formatting. 2) When You Paste a Blog Post Into Your CMS From Word or Google DocsLots of people don’t know that writing a blog post in a typical word processing program — like Word or Google Docs — and then copying it into your CMS will give you lots of HTML headaches. Sometimes, when you do that, your CMS will add extra snippets of code to your piece that will mess up formatting.With some HTML knowledge and the pro tip above, you can easily remove any offending snippets when transferring content from Word or Google Docs to your CMS.3) When You Need to Tweak an Email TemplateI’m going to take a wild guess that you don’t want every email you send to look exactly the same. While sending consistent emails is a great thing most of the time, there will be specific campaigns you’re going to want to customize emails for. This could be as simple as right-aligning your images instead of left-aligning them or changing up the color of your text to stand out in your subscribers’ inboxes.With HTML knowledge, though, you can make these changes yourself, instead of relying on an in-house designer or hired development shop. Seriously, it’s empowering to make the changes yourself and move on to more pressing marketing matters. 4) When You Need to Make Your Content Easy to ReadOne of your top concerns when creating content is to make it easy for people to consume. This means using formatting (bold, italics, headers, colors, etc.) to make your content scannable and digestible. And while most WYSIWG editors will let you easily apply those formatting options to your content without touching code, not all will. So take control of the way your content looks by souping it up with some and
2. Create your blog domain.Next, you’ll need a place to host this and every other blog post you write. This requires choosing a content management system (CMS) and a website domain hosting service.Sign Up With a Content Management SystemA CMS helps you create a website domain where you’ll actually publish your blog. The CMS platforms available for you to sign up for can manage domains, where you create your own website; and subdomains, where you create a webpage that connects with an existing website.HubSpot customers host their website content through HubSpot’s content management system. Another popular option is a self-hosted WordPress website on WP Engine. Whether they create a domain or a subdomain to start their blog, they’ll need to choose a web domain hosting service after choosing their CMS.This is true for every blogger seeking to start their own blog on their own website.Register a Domain or Subdomain With a Website HostYour own blog domain will look like this: www.yourblog.com. The name between the two periods is up to you, as long as this domain name doesn’t yet exist on the internet.Want to create a subdomain for your blog? If you already own a cooking business at www.yourcompany.com, you might create a blog that looks like this: blog.yourcompany.com. In other words, your blog’s subdomain will live in its own section of yourcompany.com.Some CMSs offer subdomains as a free service, where your blog lives on the CMS, rather than your business’s website. For example, it might look like “yourblog.contentmanagementsystem.com.” However, in order to create a subdomain that belongs to a company website, you’ll need to register this subdomain with a website host.Most website hosting services charge very little to host an original domain — in fact, website costs can be as inexpensive as $3 per month. Here are five popular web hosting services to choose from:GoDaddyHostGatorDreamHostBluehostiPage3. Customize your blog’s theme.Once you have your blog domain set up, customize the appearance of your blog to reflect the theme of the content you plan on creating.Are you writing about sustainability and the environment? Green might be a color to keep in mind when designing the look and feel of your blog, as green is often associated with sustainability.If you already manage a website, and are writing your first blog post for that website, it’s important that your blog is consistent with this existing website, both in appearance and subject matter. Two things to include right away are:Logo. This can be your name or your business’s logo, either one helping to remind your readers who or what is publishing this content. How heavily you want to brand this blog, in relation to your main brand, is up to you.”About” page. You might already have an “About” blurb describing yourself or your business. Your blog’s “About” section is an extension of this higher-level statement. Think of it as your blog’s mission statement, which serves to support your company’s goals.4. Identify your first blog post’s topic.Before you even write anything, you need to pick a topic for your blog post. The topic can be pretty general to start with. For example, if you’re a plumber, you might start out thinking you want to write about leaky faucets.Then, as you do your research, you can expand the topic to discuss how to fix a leaky faucet based on the various causes of a faucet leak.You might not want to jump right into a “how-to” article for your first blog post, though, and that’s okay. Perhaps you’d like to write about modern types of faucet setups, or tell one particular success story you had rescuing a faucet before it flooded someone’s house.If a plumber’s first how-to article is about how to fix a leaky faucet, for example, here are four other types of sample blog post ideas a plumber might start with, based on the five free blog templates we’ve offered to you:List-based Post: 5 ways to fix a leaky faucetCurated Collection Post: 10 faucet and sink brands you should look into todaySlideShare Presentation: 5 types of faucets that should replace your old one (with pictures)News post: New study shows X% of people don’t replace their faucet on timeFind more examples of blog posts at the end of this step-by-step guide.If you’re having trouble coming up with topic ideas, check out this blog post from my colleague Ginny Soskey. In this post, Soskey walks through a helpful process for turning one idea into many. Similar to the “leaky faucet” examples above, she suggests that you “iterate off old topics to come up with unique and compelling new topics.” This can be done by:Changing the topic scopeAdjusting the time frameChoosing a new audienceTaking a positive/negative approachIntroducing a new format5. Come up with a working title.Then you might come up with a few different working titles — in other words, iterations or different ways of approaching that topic to help you focus your writing. For example, you might decide to narrow your topic to “Tools for Fixing Leaky Faucets” or “Common Causes of Leaky Faucets.” A working title is specific and will guide your post so you can start writing.Let’s take a real post as an example: “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.” Appropriate, right? The topic, in this case, was probably simply “blogging.” Then the working title may have been something like, “The Process for Selecting a Blog Post Topic.” And the final title ended up being “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.”See that evolution from topic, to working title, to final title? Even though the working title may not end up being the final title (more on that in a moment), it still provides enough information so you can focus your blog post on something more specific than a generic, overwhelming topic.6. Write an intro (and make it captivating).We’ve written more specifically about writing captivating introductions in the post, “How to Write an Introduction,” but let’s review, shall we?First, grab the reader’s attention. If you lose the reader in the first few paragraphs — or even sentences — of the introduction, they will stop reading even before they’ve given your post a fair shake. You can do this in a number of ways: tell a story or a joke, be empathetic, or grip the reader with an interesting fact or statistic.Then describe the purpose of the post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be having. This will give the reader a reason to keep reading and give them a connection to how it will help them improve their work/lives. Here’s an example of a post that we think does a good job of attracting a reader’s attention right away:7. Organize your content in an outline.Sometimes, blog posts can have an overwhelming amount of information — for the reader and the writer. The trick is to organize the info so readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content. The organization can take multiple forms — sections, lists, tips, whatever’s most appropriate. But it must be organized!Let’s take a look at the post, “How to Use Snapchat: A Detailed Look Into HubSpot’s Snapchat Strategy.” There is a lot of content in this post, so we broke it into a few different sections using the following headers: How to Setup Your Snapchat Account, Snaps vs. Stories: What’s the Difference?, and How to Use Snapchat for Business. These sections are then separated into sub-sections that to go into more detail and also make the content easier to read.To complete this step, all you really need to do is outline your post. That way, before you start writing, you know which points you want to cover, and the best order in which to do it. To make things even easier, you can also download and use our free blog post templates, which are pre-organized for five of the most common blog post types. Just fill in the blanks!8. Write your blog post!The next step — but not the last — is actually writing the content. We couldn’t forget about that, of course.Now that you have your outline/template, you’re ready to fill in the blanks. Use your outline as a guide and be sure to expand on all of your points as needed. Write about what you already know, and if necessary, do additional research to gather more information, examples, and data to back up your points, providing proper attribution when incorporating external sources. Need help finding accurate and compelling data to use in your post? Check out this roundup of sources — from Pew Research to Google Trends.If you find you’re having trouble stringing sentences together, you’re not alone. Finding your “flow” can be really challenging for a lot of folks. Luckily, there are a ton of tools you can lean on to help you improve your writing. Here are a few to get you started:Power Thesaurus: Stuck on a word? Power Thesaurus is a crowdsourced tool that provides users with a ton of alternative word choices from a community of writers.ZenPen: If you’re having trouble staying focused, check out this distraction-free writing tool. ZenPen creates a minimalist “writing zone” that’s designed to help you get words down without having to fuss with formatting right away.Cliché Finder: Feeling like your writing might be coming off a little cheesy? Identify instances where you can be more specific using this handy cliché tool.For a complete list of tools for improving your writing skills, check out this post. And if you’re looking for more direction, the following resources are chock-full of valuable writing advice:The Marketer’s Pocket Guide to Writing Well [Free Ebook]How to Write Compelling Copy: 7 Tips for Writing Content That ConvertsHow to Write With Clarity: 9 Tips for Simplifying Your MessageThe Kurt Vonnegut Guide to Great Copywriting: 8 Rules That Apply to AnyoneYour Blog Posts Are Boring: 9 Tips for Making Your Writing More InterestingThe Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Successful Blog in 20199. Edit/proofread your post, and fix your formatting.You’re not quite done yet, but you’re close! The editing process is an important part of blogging — don’t overlook it. Ask a grammar-conscious co-worker to copy, edit, and proofread your post, and consider enlisting the help of The Ultimate Editing Checklist (or try using a free grammar checker, like the one developed by Grammarly). And if you’re looking to brush up on your own self-editing skills, turn to these helpful posts for some tips and tricks to get you started:Confessions of a HubSpot Editor: 11 Editing Tips From the TrenchesHow to Become a More Efficient Editor: 12 Ways to Speed Up the Editorial Process10 Simple Edits That’ll Instantly Improve Any Piece of WritingWhen you’re ready to check your formatting, keep the following advice in mind …Featured ImageMake sure you choose a visually appealing and relevant image for your post. As social networks treat content with images more prominently, visuals are now more responsible than ever for the success of your blog content in social media. In fact, it’s been shown that content with relevant images receives 94% more views than content without relevant images.For help selecting an image for your post, read “How to Select the Perfect Image for Your Next Blog Post” — and pay close attention to the section about copyright law.Visual AppearanceNo one likes an ugly blog post. And it’s not just pictures that make a post visually appealing — it’s the formatting and organization of the post, too.In a properly formatted and visually appealing blog post, you’ll notice that header and sub-headers are used to break up large blocks of text — and those headers are styled consistently. Here’s an example of what that looks like:Also, screenshots should always have a similar, defined border (see screenshot above for example) so they don’t appear as if they’re floating in space. And that style should stay consistent from post to post.Maintaining this consistency makes your content (and your brand) look more professional, and makes it easier on the eyes.Topics/TagsTags are specific, public-facing keywords that describe a post. They also allow readers to browse for more content in the same category on your blog. Refrain from adding a laundry list of tags to each post. Instead, put some thought into a tagging strategy. Think of tags as “topics” or “categories,” and choose 10-20 tags that represent all the main topics you want to cover on your blog. Then stick to those.10. Insert a call-to-action (CTA) at the end.At the end of every blog post, you should have a CTA that indicates what you want the reader to do next — subscribe to your blog, download an ebook, register for a webinar or event, read a related article, etc. Typically, you think about the CTA being beneficial for the marketer. Your visitors read your blog post, they click on the CTA, and eventually you generate a lead. But the CTA is also a valuable resource for the person reading your content — use your CTAs to offer more content similar to the subject of the post they just finished reading.In the blog post, “What to Post on Instagram: 18 Photo & Video Ideas to Spark Inspiration,” for instance, readers are given actionable ideas for creating valuable Instagram content. At the end of the post is a CTA referring readers to download a comprehensive guide on how to use Instagram for business:See how that’s a win-win for everyone? Readers who want to learn more have the opportunity to do so, and the business receives a lead they can nurture … who may even become a customer! Learn more about how to choose the right CTA for every blog post in this article. And check out this collection of clever CTAs to inspire your own efforts.11. Optimize for on-page SEO.After you finish writing, go back and optimize your post for search.Don’t obsess over how many keywords to include. If there are opportunities to incorporate keywords you’re targeting, and it won’t impact reader experience, do it. If you can make your URL shorter and more keyword-friendly, go for it. But don’t cram keywords or shoot for some arbitrary keyword density — Google’s smarter than that!Here’s a little reminder of what you can and should look for:Meta DescriptionMeta descriptions are the descriptions below the post’s page title on Google’s search results pages. They provide searchers with a short summary of the post before clicking into it. They are ideally between 150-160 characters and start with a verb, such as “Learn,” “Read,” or “Discover.” While meta descriptions no longer factor into Google’s keyword ranking algorithm, they do give searchers a snapshot of what they will get by reading the post and can help improve your clickthrough rate from search.Page Title and HeadersMost blogging software uses your post title as your page title, which is the most important on-page SEO element at your disposal. But if you’ve followed our formula so far, you should already have a working title that will naturally include keywords/phrases your target audience is interested in. Don’t over-complicate your title by trying to fit keywords where they don’t naturally belong. That said, if there are clear opportunities to add keywords you’re targeting to your post title and headers, feel free to take them. Also, try to keep your headlines short — ideally, under 65 characters — so they don’t get truncated in search engine results.Anchor TextAnchor text is the word or words that link to another page — either on your website or on another website. Carefully select which keywords you want to link to other pages on your site, because search engines take that into consideration when ranking your page for certain keywords.It’s also important to consider which pages you link to. Consider linking to pages that you want to rank well for that keyword. You could end up getting it to rank on Google’s first page of results instead of its second page, and that ain’t small potatoes.Mobile OptimizationWith mobile devices now accounting for nearly 2 out of every 3 minutes spent online, having a website that is responsive or designed for mobile has become more and more critical. In addition to making sure your website’s visitors (including your blog’s visitors) have the best experience possible, optimizing for mobile will score your website some SEO points.Back in 2015, Google made a change to its algorithm that now penalizes sites that aren’t mobile optimized. This month (May 2016), Google rolled out their second version of the mobile-friendly algorithm update — creating a sense of urgency for the folks that have yet to update their websites. To make sure your site is getting the maximum SEO benefit possible, check out this free guide: How to Make a Mobile-Friendly Website: SEO Tips for a Post-“Mobilegeddon” World.12. Pick a catchy title.Last but not least, it’s time to spruce up that working title of yours. Luckily, we have a simple formula for writing catchy titles that will grab the attention of your reader. Here’s what to consider:Start with your working title.As you start to edit your title, keep in mind that it’s important to keep the title accurate and clear.Then, work on making your title sexy — whether it’s through strong language, alliteration, or another literary tactic.If you can, optimize for SEO by sneaking some keywords in there (only if it’s natural, though!).Finally, see if you can shorten it at all. No one likes a long, overwhelming title — and remember, Google prefers 65 characters or fewer before it truncates it on its search engine results pages.If you’ve mastered the steps above, learn about some way to take your blog posts to the next level in this post. Want some real examples of blog posts? See what your first blog post can look like, below, based on the topic you choose and the audience you’re targeting.Blog Post ExamplesList-Based PostThought Leadership PostCurated Collection PostSlideshare PresentationNewsjacking PostInfographic PostHow-to Post Originally published May 6, 2019 7:30:00 PM, updated October 25 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today: Topics: Free Templates: How to Write a Blog Post 1. List-Based PostExample: 10 Fresh Ways to Get Better Results From Your Blog PostsList-based posts are sometimes called “listicles,” a mix of the words “list” and “article.” These are articles that deliver information in the form of a list. A listicle uses subheaders to break down the blog post into individual pieces, helping readers skim and digest your content more easily. According to ClearVoice, listicles are among the most shared types of content on social media across 14 industries.As you can see in the example from our blog, above, listicles can offer various tips and methods for solving a problem.2. Thought Leadership PostExample: What I Wish I Had Known Before Writing My First BookThought leadership blog posts allow you to indulge in your expertise on a particular subject matter and share firsthand knowledge with your readers. These pieces — which can be written in the first person, like the post by Joanna Penn, shown above — help you build trust with your audience so people take your blog seriously as you continue to write for it.3. Curated Collection PostExample: 8 Examples of Evolution in ActionCurated collections are a special type of listicle blog post (the first blog post example, described above). But rather than sharing tips or methods of doing something, this type of blog post shares a list of real examples that all have something in common, in order to prove a larger point. In the example post above, Listverse shares eight real examples of evolution in action among eight different animals — starting with the peppered moth.4. Slideshare PresentationExample: The HubSpot Culture CodeSlideshare is a presentation tool owned by the social network, LinkedIn, that helps publishers package a lot of information into easily shareable slides. Think of it like a PowerPoint, but for the web. With this in mind, Slideshare blog posts help you promote your Slideshare so that it can generate a steady stream of visitors.Unlike blogs, Slideshare decks don’t often rank well on search engines, so they need a platform for getting their message out there to the people who are looking for it. By embedding and summarizing your Slideshare on a blog post, you can share a great deal of information and give it a chance to rank on Google at the same time.Need some Slideshare ideas? In the example above, we turned our company’s “Culture Code” into a Slideshare presentation that anyone can look through and take lessons from, and promoted it through a blog post.5. Newsjacking PostExample: Ivy Goes Mobile With New App for Designers”Newsjacking” is a nickname for “hijacking” your blog to break important news related to your industry. Therefore, the newsjack post is a type of article whose sole purpose is to garner consumers’ attention and, while offering them timeless professional advice, also prove your blog to be a trusted resource for learning about the big things that happen in your industry.The newsjack example above was published by Houzz, a home decor merchant and interior design resource, about a new mobile app that launched just for interior designers. Houzz didn’t launch the app, but the news of its launching is no less important to Houzz’s audience.6. Infographic PostExample: The Key Benefits of Studying Online [Infographic]The infographic post serves a similar purpose as the Slideshare post — the fourth example, explained above — in that it conveys information for which plain blog copy might not be the best format. For example, when you’re looking to share a lot of statistical information (without boring or confusing your readers), building this data into a well-designed, even fun-looking infographic can help keep your readers engaged with your content. It also helps readers remember the information long after they leave your website.7. How-to PostExample: How to Write a Blog Post: A Step-by-Step GuideFor our last example, you need not look any further than the blog post you’re reading right now! How-to guides like this one help solve a problem for your readers. They’re like a cookbook for your industry, walking your audience through a project step by step to improve their literacy on the subject. The more posts like this you create, the more equipped your readers will be to work with you and invest in the services you offer.Ready to blog? Don’t forget to download your six free blog post templates right here. How to Write a Blog Post1. Understand your audience.Before you start to write your first blog post, have a clear understanding of your target audience. What do they want to know about? What will resonate with them? This is where creating your buyer personas comes in handy. Consider what you know about your buyer personas and their interests while you’re coming up with a topic for your blog post.For instance, if your readers are millennials looking to start their own business, you probably don’t need to provide them with information about getting started in social media — most of them already have that down. You might, however, want to give them information about how to adjust their approach to social media from a more casual, personal one to a more business-savvy, networking-focused approach. That kind of tweak is what separates you from blogging about generic stuff to the stuff your audience really wants (and needs) to hear.Don’t have buyer personas in place for your business? Here are a few resources to help you get started:Create Buyer Personas for Your Business [Free Template]Blog Post: How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your BusinessMakeMyPersona.com [Free Tool] You’ve probably heard how paramount blogging is to the success of your marketing. But it’s important that you learn how to start a blog and write blog posts for it so that each article supports your business.Without a blog, your SEO can tank, you’ll have nothing to promote in social media, you’ll have no clout with your leads and customers, and you’ll have fewer pages to put those valuable calls-to-action that generate inbound leads.So why, oh why, does almost every marketer I talk to have a laundry list of excuses for why they can’t consistently blog?Maybe because, unless you’re one of the few people who actually like writing, business blogging kind of stinks. You have to find words, string them together into sentences … ugh, where do you even start?Download 6 Free Blog Post Templates NowWell my friend, the time for excuses is over.What Is a Blog?A blog is literally short for “web log.” Blogs began in the early 1990s as an online journal for individuals to publish thoughts and stories on their own website. Bloggers then share their blog posts with other internet users. Blog posts used to be much more personal to the writer or group of writers than they are today.Today, people and organizations of all walks of life manage blogs to share analyses, instruction, criticisms, and other observations of an industry in which they are a rising expert.After you read this post, there will be absolutely no reason you can’t blog every single day — and do it quickly. Not only am I about to provide you with a simple blog post formula to follow, but I’m also going to give you free templates for creating five different types of blog posts:The How-To PostThe List-Based PostThe Curated Collection PostThe SlideShare Presentation PostThe Newsjacking PostWith all this blogging how-to, literally anyone can blog as long as they truly know the subject matter they’re writing about. And since you’re an expert in your industry, there’s no longer any reason you can’t sit down every day and hammer out an excellent blog post.Want to learn how to apply blogging and other forms of content marketing to your business? Check out HubSpot Academy’s free content marketing training resource page. Hi 👋 What’s your name?First NameLast NameHi null, what’s your email address?Email AddressAnd your phone number?Phone NumberWhat is your company’s name and website?CompanyWebsiteHow many employees work there?1Does your company provide any of the following services?Web DesignOnline MarketingSEO/SEMAdvertising Agency ServicesYesNoGet Your Free Templates Free Blog Post Templates
Originally published Sep 12, 2014 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Conferences Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: I just got out of a meeting where our #INBOUND14 event leader told us to remember to bring a bunch of stuff to the BCEC next week (we’re having out big annual conference — if you still want tickets, they’re available ’til Sunday!)It prompted me to start a pretty lengthy personal pre-conference to-do list: stuff to prepare, stuff to bring, that sort of thing. After I got through it all, I felt like it could be useful for anyone attending pretty much any conference soon. So, for those attending INBOUND next week, gearing up for other conferences in the fall, or just really into organization, here’s a little checklist to keep with you so you don’t forget to do, or bring, critical stuff. What to Pack & Prepare Before Any Big Conference1) Get a map of the conference center.Conference centers are big. They have like 47,000 entrances and exits. Often, they all look exactly the same. And if you’re like me, someone saying “Go to the North Entrance” means nothing, because I’m not a human compass. Give yourself a leg-up by accessing a conference map and printing that bad boy out — or simply bookmarking it on your phone’s browser for reference as you move from session to session.For INBOUND attendees, you don’t even have to mess with that … just download the mobile app. It tells you where everything in the conference center is located. It will be your best friend next week.UPDATE: Download the INBOUND 2015 mobile app for your device2) Get a map of the area, too.If you’re venturing into unfamiliar territory, bring a map of the area — or use Google Maps to orient yourself.If you’re coming to INBOUND, here’s a link that’ll explain the area and where you’re going, and here’s some information about fun stuff in the area, divided up by “persona” — because we’re geeky like that. 3) Pack a sweater so you can layer.Weather in Boston is crazy, so if you’re coming to INBOUND, I have one word for you: layers. It could be 80. It could be 50. Welcome to Beantown.But this goes for any conference — conference centers typically blast the A/C to account for the body heat attendees generate, and it may be a little too cold for some conference goers.If you run cold like I do, you’ll be glad you have some layers to pile on. If you run hot, you strut those summer legs for a few more weeks, you firecracker, you.4) Grab your laptop and charger.You’ll need it to take notes in sessions, live-blog, and do a little work/emailing. I look forward to seeing folks gathered around the outlets and charging station next week — they’re like the water coolers of conferences ;-)5) Don’t forget your phone charger, too.At the very least, bring a USB to charge your mobile from your computer. If you want to be extra prepared, bring a wall charger so your laptop better doesn’t drain so fast. (And if you want to make some friends, bring a power strip, too.)6) Get a stack of business cards — more than you think you’ll need.I’m notorious for forgetting business cards. I’ve already put them in my purse for next week. (Cross that off the to-do list.)7) Figure out the must-see sessions, and must-do activities.There’s likely a ton of stuff going on at any big conference — you won’t be able to see and do it all. Check out the agenda, sessions, networking events, and parties, and prioritize the ones you absolutely cannot miss. List those out, along with times and locations, to make it easy for you to plan your time at the event.(Hint: If you’re coming to INBOUND, the mobile app will make this easy to do with functionality to plot this all out right within the app. Download it here for iOS, here for Android.)8) Figure out who you want to meet.Research attendees that are going to the conference you would love to meet. It gives you time to set up meetings, research, and prepare. Also … you probably guessed I was going to say this, but .. if you’re going to INBOUND you can download the app and find other attendees. There, I said it. Just download the app okay?9) Figure out how check-in/registration works.Whenever I show up at a big conference, I get all swept away with the enormity of the thing and just want to dive right into exploring, sessions, networking, etc. Only I can’t. Because I’m not checked in yet.Boooo.It’s a boring necessity, but if you know how it works in advance, you can get it done much more quickly — and get to the conference fun a lot sooner. Research the process beforehand so you know:Where registration is locatedWhat time it startsWhat you need to bring to get checked inIf there’s an early check-in so you can skip the linesThat last one is critical. If you come at peak times, like the first day of the conference, or an hour before opening keynote, you’re going to face longer lines. That’s just the way it is. Make your life easier and show up in off-hours — we’re encouraging people at INBOUND to show up on Sunday from 2-6, or early Monday (registration opens at 7:30 AM that day) to beat the lines.10) Set your out-of-office (OOO) autoreply message, and enjoy yourself!If you need some inspiration for an OOO message (or a delayed response message, if you’re still checking email while you’re away), check out this post of hilarious and creative OOO replies.
This post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Sales Blog. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.If you haven’t started incorporating social media into your sales process, you’re not alone. According to a survey from PeopleLinx, only 31% of sellers currently use social to sell.But a quick look at the data backing social selling indicates that the trend will only get stronger in the years to come. For instance, 79% of salespeople who actively engage on social media outperform their peers, and over half of buyers consult social channels as part of their research processes — up from 19% in 2012.While there’s no shame in not being a social seller today, salespeople who refuse to join the party will get left behind in the near future. Need some convincing? Check out the data in the following infographic from Sales For Life. Better to join the ranks of social sellers late than never.484Save 484Save Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Apr 4, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Social Selling Topics:
When we think of marketers, we often think of using social media to promote content and engage with consumers online. But this isn’t the reality for all marketers (even though it should be).When you’re working within the highly regulated finance industry, there can be legal implications for companies that are seen as being “over-promotional” on social networks like Twitter and Facebook. The result? Many finance marketers have hesitated to adopt social media, saying the risk isn’t worth the investment.The reality, though, is that even financial companies’ customers are spending a lot of their time online — and these customers expect to be able to reach brands through social media.Not only are people willing to do business with finance-related businesses online, they’re actually more likely to do business with you if you offer engagement online. Plus, social media is resulting in more and more qualified leads for businesses (both B2B and B2C) as well as other beneficial functions like amplifying the brand at a low cost, customer support and public relations (showing off corporate social responsibility, charitable donations, fundraisers, sponsorships, and so on).Investors are among the few members of the finance community to embrace social media. According to a digital survey of investors, people still look to companies for information to inform their investment decisions. More and more, they’re looking for that information on social media. Nowadays, 81% of high-net-worth investors are using social media. Will other branches of the finance industry join investors and find a way to commit to social media?For many finance marketers, the first hurtle is knowing where to begin. First, run your website through HubSpot’s Marketing Grader. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to think a little more big-picture. In this post, I’ll go through three things finance marketers can do to get started on social media.1) See what your competitors do well on social.What better way to start than by competitive analysis? If this is your first full venture into a comprehensive social media strategy, take a look at what everyone else is doing — and do it better.First, dive into your website analytics and decipher which social media channels your own traffic is coming from. This will help you to eliminate spending time researching your competitors on channels that aren’t currently working for you. You’ll get to those, don’t wory — but only once you’ve nailed down the top-priority channels.Next, list your top ten competitors and evaluate their social media channels. Take notes on what you find good and bad.What do people engage with?What day/time seems to be more effective? (You can use the “analyze” function in a tool called Followerwonk to figure this out.)Which topics resonate with their audiences?Which images, hashtags, tones of voice do they use?What types of images are they using as their header image/profile photos?How do they describe themselves?Get a real feel for the experience a visitor to these companies’ social media channels has.Here are a few tools that will help you with this step.Twitonomy (For Twitter)The detail in this app is unbelievable for a free tool. It’s well worth spending time dropping your competitors’ handles in here and seeing what conclusions you can draw for your own plans.Likealyzer (For Facebook)Likealyzer isn’t as thorough for Facebook as Twitonomy is for Twitter, but it has the added advantage of a dropdown list of industries so you can peruse the best and worst pages easily in the vertical you care about. Plus, it’s also free.RivallQFor a deep-dive/holistic competitive overview, RivallQ is an excellent resource, despite being a paid tool. Type in your competitors URLs, and drill down into all the major social networks except LinkedIn. You can find out meta descriptions, bios, level of content engagement, and more.At this point, you should have a good idea of your competitors’ activity and have a better sense of what you can achieve via your own social media channels. (For more information on how to get customers from social media, check out our ebook How to Acquire Customers on Social Media.)2) Develop a social media usage handbook and crisis plan for your employees.It’s no secret that finance marketers are restricted by stringent rules and regulations, terms and conditions, standards, and provisions, no matter what their sub-industry. Indeed, the recent guidelines published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) set out guidelines by which U.K. financial marketers need to follow when it comes to social media promotion.Different regions around the world have different guidelines, so make sure to familarise yourself with any guidelines appropriate to you. Then, ask yourself: How can I get around these restrictions in 140 characters or less? Here are a few tips.Talk more about your customers than you do about yourself.One of the golden rules of social media is not to use it for purely self-promotional material. This is especially true if you’re bound by the regulated social media policies. Nobody’s interested in the person at the party that only talks about him/her self. Social media results rely on being social.It’s also often a good idea to have your more prominent company personalities available on a channel or two of social media. Take a look at the difference between these profiles: Topics: The @MoneySavingExp account was set up in May 2009, while @MartinSLewis (the human behind @MoneySavingExp) was set up in 2011. His personal account has 2X the followers and vastly more engagement than the generic business account.The takeaway here? A real face and a real voice is more trustworthy than a branded account alone. Plus — the business account only publishes updates about itself.So, how do you decide on what to post on the company social media accounts? The 10-4-1 rule is good place to start. For every 15 social media updates you post from a given account, 10 should be pieces of other people’s content, 4 should be your own blog articles, and 1 should be a landing page. Aim to be helpful and educational, not salesy.Point followers to your company’s terms and conditions.There’s little space for the vast list of required terms and conditions on social media posts. One way to get around it is to accompany your social media posts with an image that includes a message that terms and conditions apply, and where they can find them.Of course, all the better if your can include this in the main message (which you can do on Facebook). But for networks like Twitter that’s restricted to character limitations, the image solution works well.You’ll want to check out the social media guidelines in your region for best practices. If you want to see an example from the U.K., here’s a link to Section 1.13 of the UK’s social media guidelines for the finance industry.Be wary of implying misleading promises.It’s nice to get people excited with amazing statistics and enticing graphs. But it’s not-so-great when it can be misinterpreted as factual rather than merely possible.This is a common way compliance rules are broken. To avoid this, stick to stating truth and making people aware of potential losses. This doesn’t mean you have to be boring, just make sure to choose clarity and avoid misleading language.Join the conversation on topics aligned to your company, rather than specifically about your company.Find conversations happening around topics associated with your industry. Foller is a pretty new tool than can give you some pretty great insights into what people are talking about on Twitter within your industry. All you have to do is pop in your competitors’ handle and see which conversations they’re contributing to.For example, Allied Irish Bank’s social media team builds their Twitter campaigns around what their financial services enable people to do, not around specifically bank-related topics. Some of the hashtags they’ve used often include #thetoughest, #onegoodidea, #startup, #finals, and #savingselfie. They tweet about things their customers are interested in — like school and final exams. Try intregating some of the hashtags your competitors are using into your own Tweeting and become part of the conversation.Stay nimble.Staying current on social media can be a huge challenge for finance marketers. It’s rare that you would get pre-approval to post tongue-in-cheek updates on social media during major events like the Super Bowl, for example.For finance marketers, being responsive and current on social media usually means one thing: winning trust from the compliance department. Once you have their trust, you can grow the capacity to be more lenient over time.Sit down with your compliance team and develop a thorough social media policy and guidelines document together. (Here are a few examples of good ones.) Follow these guidelines to the letter, and make it clear that you’re doing so. After a couple of months of doing this, you should find it much easier to get quick pre-approval for your updates. Planning is absolutely key in finance. You should try to plan your content calendar a month in advance, which gives your compliance team time to approve any social media updates that need approving without any bottlenecks. (Here’s a great social media calendar template if you don’t have one already.)3) Plan regular training and crisis reaction sessions.Unfortunately, employees’ public social media accounts can sometimes be construed as speaking for the brand. This is why it is important to train in new employees, and to have training sessions when changes in the social media platforms’ rules are implemented.Here are a few tips:Recommend to your employees that they either make social accounts private or add a disclaimer to the bio stating, “Views expressed in this account do not reflect those of [Your Company Name].”Advise employees to see what items the company account is tweeting to get familiar with what bandwagons are acceptable to jump on, and what should be avoided.Lay some ground rules for the kind of content the company social accounts are allowed to curate and reshare/like/upvote, as well what’s NOT allowed to.Appoint a go-to person you’ll reach out to if you’re ever faced with a difficult scenario on social media, and don’t act until you have their advice on the next step.Have social media monitoring set up to catch negative messages before they get out of hand. (HubSpot customers: Monitoring is already a part of HubSpot’s Social Inbox tool.)Using social media in the finance industry can be challenging and frustrating. However, it should be seen as a vital part of your digital marketing strategy. Embrace it, use it, and use it well — while remaining within the confines of the law.Need some more guidance on how to integrate social media into your digital marketing plan as a finance marketer? Check out HubSpot’s new ebook, which is tailored specifically to marketers in the finance industry. Social Media Marketers Originally published May 13, 2015 4:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack