How Safe is “the Cloud”?

26 Jun

When sensitive data sits outside the corporate firewall concerns abound over the security of the cloud. Recent articles set out to tap into this fear and provide insight into how secure cloud services really are.

CIO.com collected survey data to see how our peers view the security of the cloud…that info was gathered into this infographic.

cloud security“As more enterprise resources move to the cloud, it’s inevitable that we will start hearing more about cloud incidents. Minor breaches have already hit GoGrid and the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite, but we’ve yet to see anything on the scale of TJX, the VA, RSA or any number of other on-premise breaches.” (cio.com)

An advantage in using a “big name” cloud service provider such as Google or Amazon, you know that their reputation is on the line if a data breach were to occur…therefore it is in their best interest to secure the environment.

The majority of companies agree that their most sensitive data should stay behind corporate firewalls…however, according to CIO this logic is flawed.

Carson Sweet, CEO of CloudPassage, discussed a client CloudPassage worked with (who prefers to remain anonymous) who had development servers in the cloud. A hacker placed a rootkit onto one of the virtual servers. When the developers noticed something was off with their servers, they brought them back behind the corporate firewall to re-image them. Unfortunately, they brought the rootkit in with them, infecting their entire network.

“Virtual machines can server as Trojan horses if you’re not careful,” Sweet said.


I can see the many benefits of using cloud services, but knowing my data is safe is important as well. Does the key to security lie in encryption? I would need an cryptographer to answer that one.

Tuesday is the BEST day to launch a Social Media Campaign

22 Jun

According to YesMail’s three-month study of consumer social engagement with online campaigns for 20 major retail brands including J.Crew, Abercrombie, and Forever 21 the title of this post is TRUE!!

 

best day for campaign

There is more to just posting a campaign on a Tuesday however…some other interesting findings from YesMail’s research include….

  • Fewer but very coordinated campaigns are successful

“When brands coordinate all the social media channels — Facebook, YouTube, Twitter — and their email campaigns, they see much greater engagement.”

  • Brands within the same corporation had wildly varying success rates

Example: Why is the Gap having less success than Banana Republic? “Clearly, there are some social media learnings that are not being adequately shared across the corporation.”

  • Surprising conclusions after analyzing YouTube

“The study suggests that factors increasing the success of YouTube campaigns include celebrity guest stars, incentivized user engagement (with prizes for commenting or posting in response), and interesting, odd titles that viewers have to click on to understand.”

  • Pay attention to your customers, you shouldn’t necessarily employ a campaign while you are at work

The best Facebook engagement was found in campaigns started between 10PM and 12AM Eastern. That was also the least-used deployment time slot. Part of the reason might be that many of these brands target college students, who tend to stay up later, and part of it might simply be the lack of other campaigns.

The best Twitter engagement was very different: The most engaging time slots for Twitter-based campaigns were 5AM-6AM and 7AM-8AM Eastern time. But over 84% of all Twitter campaigns went live between 9AM and 7PM Eastern — in other words, during regular work hours.

The point: Find good slots for your customers, not for you.

 

YesMail Interactive is based in Portland, Oregon, with offices in  Chicago, Atlanta, LA, San Francisco, and Omaha, as well as international locations in London, Singapore, and Toronto.

 

 

Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels

30 May

The multi-channel funnels in Google analytics are a little over a year old and provide valuable insights to those with conversions that spread across multiple campaigns.

Using the Google Analytics MCF you can determine which areas of large spend, i.e. PPC, SEO, etc. are performing.

Here is a great article that goes into more detail about multi-channel funnels 🙂

http://online-behavior.com/analytics/multi-channel-funnels

This article describes how to get actionable data and discusses current challenges with MCFs in general.

130+ Social Media Tools

22 May

Just ran across a new list of social media tools created by Erik Qualman. I haven’t had the opportunity to test all of them out yet. Some you actually have to pay for others provide free services. Check out the original page here.

  1. Percolate – Turns brands into curators. Creates content for the social web.
  2. awe.sm – Analytics for social media.
  3. TweetReach – How far did your tweet travel?
  4. Contaxio – Contact management for your social networks.
  5. PostPost – Awesome stuff gets lost on Twitter. Strip-search your timeline.
  6. SocialScope – A mobile inbox for your social networks.
  7. NutshellMail – Delivers a social media summary to your email inbox.
  8. Amplicate – Find out what people love and hate on social media.
  9. Bottlenose – A smarter way to surf the stream.
  10. AddShoppers – Reward sharing, measure results, add shoppers.
  11. GroupTweet – Create a more dynamic Twitter account with multiple authors.
  12. HowSociable – Measure your brand magnitude.
  13. North Social – Quickly create and manage Facebook pages.
  14. BrandMyMail – Include live social content in your Gmail emails.
  15. Social Mention – Real-time social media search and analysis.
  16. FeedMagnet – Social curation for websites and events.
  17. TabJuice – Ultimate e-commerce solution for Facebook (100% free).
  18. Conversocial – Deliver great customer service in Facebook and Twitter.
  19. Bitly Enterprise – Short URL branding, real-time alerts, monitoring and more.
  20. PeopleBrowsr – Social analytics for marketers.
  21. Needium – Social media lead generation.
  22. Crowdspoke – Find relevant content to share with customers, fans.
  23. The Archivist – Save and analyze tweets.
  24. MyLikes – Publishers promote your content through social networks.
  25. Postling – Provides small businesses with social media tools.
  26. Shoutlet – Enterprise social marketing platform.
  27. Awareness, Inc. – Publish, manage, measure, engage. (Socialnomics Favorite!)
  28. Unified – The world’s first social operating platform. Enterprise marketing.
  29. Wildfire – Promotion, analytics, monitoring and more.
  30. EngageSciences – The fastest growing European social marketing vendor.
  31. LocalResponse – Helps marketers respond to real-time consumer intent.
  32. GraphScience – Leverage the social graph. Optimize Facebook marketing.
  33. GoChime – Reach the people who are a perfect fit for your products.
  34. Adly – Celebrity endorsements in social media.
  35. Hy.ly – From fans to leads. Facebook presence, contents and more.
  36. SocMetrics – Engage influencers.
  37. MarketMeSuite – Your free social inbox. End-to-end social marketing.
  38. Fanplayr – Social game marketing.
  39. memelabs – Branded Facebook contests and much more.
  40. PowerVoice – Advertisers harness a consumer-to-consumer platform.
  41. Lithium – Social community and marketing solutions.
  42. Syncapse – Social media marketing, measurement and management.
  43. Vitrue – Helps you utilize social communities for business.
  44. Adotomi – Performance marketing for social media.
  45. Zoniz – Full-service social marketing management platform.
  46. Argyle Social – Data-driven social media marketing software.
  47. Buddy Media – Offers a social enterprise marketing suite.
  48. Extole – Consumer-to-consumer social marketing.
  49. BuzzParadise – International network of social media advertising.
  50. Zuberance – Energize your brand advocates.
  51. Involver – A social marketing platform and more.
  52. Silentale – Market and customer insights for Facebook page data.
  53. SocialTwist – Acquire new customers using social referrals.
  54. eCairn – Social media marketing solutions for marketing agencies.
  55. Netvibes – Social media monitoring, analytics and alerts dashboard.
  56. Brandwatch – Social media monitoring tools.
  57. ThinkUp – Free open source social media insights platform.
  58. DataSift – Unlock insights from historical Twitter data.
  59. Odimax – Actionable intelligence for social media marketing.
  60. GlobalWebIndex – Provides data on users of your web presence.
  61. Attentio – See what the world is saying about your brand.
  62. Traackr – Find the influencers who matter to you.
  63. Unmetric – The social benchmarking company.
  64. LiveWorld – Moderation, community programming and actionable insight.
  65. PeerIndex – Understand your influence across social media.
  66. Jive – Social media monitoring and much more.
  67. ethority – Social media intelligence.
  68. CliMet – Maintain your brands reputation on Facebook and Youtube.
  69. YourBuzz – Get the buzz on your business (American Express OPEN).
  70. Eqentia – Enterprise content curation, monitoring and republishing.
  71. Sentiment Metrics – Social media monitoring, measurement, engagement.
  72. MutualMind – Intelligently monitor, analyze and engage.
  73. Appinions – Discover and engage leading influencers on any topic.
  74. Social Fixation – Apps. Automation. Awesomeness.
  75. Digimind – Competitive intelligence and online reputation monitoring.
  76. StepRep – Listen to what people are saying about your brand online.
  77. Trackur – Social media monitoring made easy.
  78. CustomScoop – Online news clipping and social media monitoring.
  79. Beevolve – Comprehensive and affordable social media monitoring.
  80. Visible – Social media monitoring, analytics and engagement.
  81. Sysomos – Social media monitoring tools for business.
  82. Radian6 – Social media monitoring and engagement, social CRM.
  83. Sprout Social – Social media management, Twitter tools, social CRM.
  84. Spredfast – Social CRM and enterprise marketing.
  85. Nimble – Social CRM simplified. Turn communities into customers.
  86. Sprinklr – Social CRM, enterprise social media dashboard.
  87. HootSuite – Dashboard for teams using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.
  88. SocialFlow – Optimized publisher for Facebook and Twitter.
  89. uberVU – The intelligent social media dashboard.
  90. tracx – An end-to-end social media management system.
  91. thismoment – Engage everyone, everywhere, easily.
  92. Hearsay Social – Enterprise social media software.
  93. Sendible – Social media marketing, monitoring and management.
  94. Pluck – Integrated social media solutions from Demand Media.
  95. SocialVolt – Social media management software.
  96. Engage121 – Social media management  that enables customer relationships
  97. Parature personalized approach to web-based customer service & help desk software
  98. Tweetdeck Dashboard for teams using Twitter and Facebook
  99. The Future Buzz – Digital marketing and social media blog.
  100. SocialTimes.com – Your social media source.
  101. Social Media Today – News, strategy, tools and techniques.
  102. Mashable – Social media news and tips.
  103. Socialnomics – insights from brands & experts on the why & how of social
  104. Social Media Explorer – A blog about social media marketing.
  105. Social Fresh – The business of social media.
  106. The Social Media Marketing Blog – Marketing insights from Scott Monty.
  107. Chris Brogan – Learn how human business works beyond social media.
  108. Brian Solis – Defining the convergence of media and influence.
  109. Britopian – Discussing the latest in social business.
  110. Likeable Media – Dave Kerpen’s agency – top clients (Neutrogena, Verizon)
  111. Banyan Branch – Social media strategy, engagement, analysis and more.
  112. Converseon – Social strategy and analytics agency.
  113. Brickfish – viral map software – top clients (Redbox, Lemonhead)
  114. Splashcube – Social media marketing and training.
  115. WannaBeeSocial – Southwest Airlines of Social Agencies (cater small biz)
  116. Webtrends – Social, mobile and web analytics and tools.
  117. iStrategyLabs – Experimental social media marketing and more.
  118. Klout – Measures social media influence.
  119. Yammer – The enterprise social network.
  120. Gigya – Social login, social plugins, analytics, gamifaction and more.
  121. TrustYou – Social media monitoring for the hospitality industry.
  122. Cyfe – All-in-one business dashboard and real-time monitoring.
  123. Janrain – Social login, social profile storage, game mechanics, analytics.
  124. BzzAgent – A word of mouth marketing company.
  125. IZEA – Connects social media publishers with advertisers.
  126. Lotame – Data and audience management platform.
  127. OneDesk – Connect employees, partners and customers.
  128. SocialVibe – Engagement marketing.
  129. TwentyFeet – Social media monitoring and ego-tracking.
  130. Timehop – What were you doing 1 year ago today?
  131. Refollow – Discover, manage and protect your Twitter social circle.
  132. Alterian – SM2, social media monitoring and more.

Best New Resources for Web Marketers and the SEO Community

15 May

Every now and then I happen upon a gem that exercises my inner nerd.

After rummaging through recent articles on marketing tools and resources for 2012, I decided it was time to share…

So here it is, a list of 6 of the BEST new tools:

1. Speaker Deck: Not only is this a great website for posting your own presentations to share, it’s also a great place to soak up new material for research…you can search for just about anything in the search box, my preference “SEO”. I was particularly fond of Distilled’s presentation on “The Modern SEO’s Toolkit”

2. Trello: This tool is great for those that have a hard time managing their projects. Oh and you can add members to your private list so they can see what they are responsible for. Pretty nifty…

3. Get Stat: a FREE tool for the SEO community that tracks thousands of keywords for 90 TOP-performing websites, including Tumblr, Facebook, Superpages, Forbes, and CNN among others. BAZINGA!!

4. Blekko: This is an interesting tool…or rather I should say search engine. Blekko totes itself as being the spam free search engine. Sweet! Also, they have some pretty cool webmaster tools that you should check out also. They include an SEO tab for each result on the SERP. Holla!

5. GT Metrix: Tired of using Pingdom for your site speed analysis?? Me neither, but here is another tool that measures site speed using an A-F rating as well as gives you the yslow score. They also include a recommendations and Top 1000 section

6. Chandoo.org:  So I saved one of my favorites for last. This is one of those resources that I actually felt was necessary to add to my RSS feed. If you are a data nerd like myself you will love the Excel tips and tricks Chandoo provides on his blog. You can also sign up for one of his excel classes for a very decent price (I might add).

His article called 100 Excel Tips and Resources makes me want to sing Hallelujah!!

 

P.s. If you know of more tools I should add, please let me know!!

 

 

Reasons for Losing Website Traffic

25 Apr

There is a good chance you may have noticed your overall web traffic decreasing. You may be concerned? Current theories argue that brand websites are losing traffic to their Facebook and mobile counterparts.

Here’s the good news: It’s true, according to a study performed by web trends and adgregate markets. “The study revealed that 68% of the top 100 companies were experiencing a negative growth in unique visits over the past year, with an average drop of 23%.” (webtrends and Adregate 2011).  However, e-commerce websites consistently rank higher than their facebook counterparts, even with the new e-commerce platform launched on Facebook.

Facebook remains a popular destination to review brands and is increasingly chosen over the websites of certain companies.

“With the mobile web also growing in size and popularity, it is time for brands and retailers to understand that surviving online is no longer about all-in-one websites, but measuring and improving performance in all the social, mobile and web entities.”

(webtrends and Adregate 2011).

Here’s the bad news: If you have not embraced social media and easy to navigate mobile websites, you are missing out. You will be the kid that gets picked last in gym class.

Social and mobile networks will continue to dominate the digital traffic landscape. In fact, mobile websites will surpass desktop websites by 2015, according to ComScore and Nielsen research. As a side note, Ipads and the like  are also considered in the mobile traffic category.

It is more important than ever to stay atop trends and leverage each social media outlet and mobile site integration to its greatest potential.

SXSW 2012

21 Mar

 My experience at SXSW (without a badge)

First of all, I wouldn’t recommend traveling to  SXSW unless you have a badge/wristband or a couch to crash on. You will miss out on so many things with out a badge. Luckily, I had a couch to crash on so I went to see what all the fuss was about. Two words to summarize:

WOW + OVERWHELMING

A word of advice, if you don’t have a badge consider investing in a service that will RSVP you to every event…it sucks to wait in a long line only to find out you didn’t RSVP.

SXSW is still fun even if you don’t have a badge, but you won’t get all the perks. Watch out for events that over advertise…you won’t get in. For example, the Mashable House. You could get in for free even without a badge as long as you had an RSVP. Day of event, I was notified that I now needed a badge (wtf?). I went to check it out anyways. The line wrapped all the way around the building and we got there 45 minutes before the event started. We asked the doorman if we’d be able to get in…NADA. Found out later Mashable had 14,000 RSVPs…the event was in a Bar that probably held 300 max! Oh and VIP’s had priority over badges here. I assumed that even if I got in I wouldn’t be able to take advantage of mingling with the creators of Mashable.

Watch out for unorganized events…I’m talking about you Nike + Fuel! We got in line 2 hours prior to the doors opening for this event and didn’t walk in until 4 hours later, only to find ourselves listening to the last 30 minutes of Girl Talk at 1am. Here’s something to note…Austinites and visitors to SXSW like to cut in line  (found this out from a local). Oh and this event was advertised as RSVPs having priority access over Badge holders as long as you entered their secret code they announced via twitter (false). We eventually got in and ran into the winner of Top Chef Texas, that made it worth it!

While some events were disorganized that is not the case for all.  Examples being the Spotify house and Ray Ban Legendary visions house…both of which did not over advertise. We were actually able to enjoy those experiences. I especially enjoyed being in the front row watching Fun. perform an acoustic set with a free Heineken 🙂

Take advantage of all the South By has to offer by following SXSW on Twitter, make sure to save a search to follow those hashtags and keep informed of what’s happening. It’s imperative! 🙂

Overall, SXSW is an amazing experience, definitely worth the trip if you are interested in interactive, music, and or film culture. Next year I will try going with a badge. I don’t want to miss out on all the informative panels and discussions.

See you next year SXSW!

 

p.s. This is a picture of the Doritos stage for music guests…pretty cool

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