Bookkeeping for Digital Marketers

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Warning: This is the most self-serving post I’ve probably ever done in my career!

If you are spending all your time managing the social media accounts of clients, in addition to other digital marketing tasks, then I’m guessing the last thing you want to think about are your financial records. Bookkeeping is a chore. If you have a CPA, he or she probably won’t do it for you.

Well, I know someone whom I trust implicitly to get the job done. That someone is … ME. This year I opened the doors on my virtual bookkeeping service called BOOKKEPT. While I certainly welcome any money that is green, I started this business with the digital marketing community in mind. After nine years as a webinar producer, I understand what you do. I get what excites you. I know, for the most part, bookkeeping doesn’t.

So hop over to http://mybookkept.com and make sure to request the Bookkeeping Basics flyer which answers THE most basic bookkeeping questions and introduces you to cloud accounting.

At the same time, I’m still producing webinars and hoping to grow this blogging community.

In the comments below, tell me if you do your own bookkeeping and if you’re happy with the results.

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Presentation vs Interview

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Last week I attended the week long LinkedIn Summit event online. The event consisted of 30 video interviews between the host, Liam Austin, and a series of LinkedIn experts. I came away with an interesting observation.

Have you ever attended a live event with a dynamic speaker? I’ve attended many of these and quite often when the presentation was over, the dynamic speaker left the room long before the actual presenter did. What I mean is, when I went up to the speaker afterwards to chat a bit or ask a question, suddenly the dynamo was this awkward person who seemed to want nothing better than to leave the room.

Now you might be saying, “hey Matt, maybe you’re the problem”, but I have observed this behavior watching post-presentation interactions with other audience members. These folks seem quite comfortable “performing” but not interacting.

On the flip-side, the 30 participants in the LinkedIn Summit exhibited varying degrees of social comfort. Most of them acted so naturally that you felt if you could be a third party in the conversation, their behavior would not change one iota. Others (very few) were awkward from the get-go.

This makes me wonder: does the interview style of presentation afford the presenter with more opportunity to show who they REALLY are?

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

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What’s Changing

Social-Media-300pxSeveral years ago, I thought I might expand my webinar production business to do social media marketing. This site was originally devoted to that idea. I turned out to be much better at writing about social media than actually managing so it’s time to re-purpose.

Henceforth, this site will be totally about blogging on social media and digital marketing topics. While I plan to write articles now and then, I am much more interested in publishing other people’s work. Soooo … if you’re a new digital marketer and would like to establish some “street cred” and don’t want to start up your own blog, contact me for rights to publish here.

Moreover, I am soon to announce a new offering that will be of interest to digital marketers who want to FOCUS on digital marketing and not other ancillary duties. More on that in the near future!

If you’re interested in publishing here, contact me!

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Does Rick Santorum Have an SEO Problem?

When I’m not thinking about webinars and social media, I’m a major politics junkie. Rick Santorum is a former Senator from Pennsylvania who is running for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Rick has a search engine optimization problem which is unique and quite unfortunate for a politician.

If you Google “santorum” two of the top three entries (not including the paid advertisement) point to an obscene definition fabricated by his political foes. If you Google his full name, things get better and the obscene definition ranks about fifth down the page. I am not an SEO expert so I ask you, my audience, is Rick getting poor advice from the folks who run his web sites? Is there any way those sites could be tweaked so they appear higher on Google and push the offensive entries further down the list, or even better, completely off the first page of results?

For a politician who wants to be taken seriously, you would think some substantial effort would be applied to keep his Google results as clean as possible (barring of course any recent news events which would inevitably rank very high).

I think Rick has an SEO problem. What say you?

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Will Social Media Die and be Reborn?

A couple of weeks ago I caught Gary Vaynerchuk on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”. He was promoting his new book, The Thank You Economy which I have just started and will review here in the next few weeks (I’m a slow reader).  Ever the social media enthusiast, Gary covered his typical themes about the importance of engagement. One of my favorite concepts from Gary is the notion that social media via “new” technology is really a throwback to generations ago when your grocer knew your name and your kid’s names and what was going on in your life. Watch the excerpt of his interview and you’ll see this theme covered but you’ll also hear an ominous statement toward the end of the excerpt.

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Notice what Gary says at the 2:57 mark in the video. He compares the current social media phenomenon to the Internet bubble of 2000. In particular, he says:

Social media has had a lot of hype the last two years. The next three are gonna be soft because people are not gonna figure out the ROI and people are gonna be put out of business and huge businesses are going to blow up and explode and take over in 2013, 14 and 15.

This comment gave me the willies. I tweeted Gary for a 140 character clarification but my inquiry got lost in the thousands of tweets he must receive every day. What does Gary’s statement mean for the social media manager in the next 24 months? Is business going to slow down as more and more companies give up on the promise of social media, until a rebirth occurs in 2013 led by those companies who “get it”?

In a recent article in Ad Age, global brand strategist Jonathan Salem Baskin seems to add more gloom and doom to the outlook. He cites failed social campaigns by Pepsi and Burger King as harbingers of a sea change in social media. He seems to be wanting a more direct proven cause effect relationship between social media and sales.

… what good are invented metrics for social campaigns if they don’t evidence any influence on sales? There’s no such thing as a successful brand that doesn’t deliver successful marketing, is there? In fact, the latter builds the former. They can’t be disconnected, and if social marketing can’t be made responsible for tangible behaviors that matter to the business, not just to ideas about branding, then no made-up measures of its importance matter much at all.

via Do Campaign Failures, High-Profile Firings Signal the End of Social Media? | CMO Strategy – Advertising Age.

Baskin even goes on to attack that most famous of social media success stories, the Old Spice campaign, saying that we cannot isolate social media for Old Spice’s success. He concludes:

I think you should consider that the news might augur the end of a fad. No, not the end of social media, but rather the beginning of the end of social media’s infancy. … Technology has utterly changed the ways consumers get and use information, and it has completely disrupted how companies create, share and collect it. We’ve had a good run of years in which this revolution has prompted quack science, theory and some good ol’ fashioned mercenary selling, most of it by smart, earnest people who believe that new technology also changed human nature and the very purpose of business function. It did neither. People still need and do the same things they always did, and companies still need to sell to them. Pretending that conversation has any value apart from the meaningful, relevant and useful information within it — fad ideas, like “content” is anything more than a silly buzzword, or that anybody wakes up in the morning hoping to have a conversation with a brand of toothpaste or insurance — is no longer credible in light of the latest news.

via Do Campaign Failures, High-Profile Firings Signal the End of Social Media? | CMO Strategy – Advertising Age.

I’m not sure Vaynerchuk would sign onto Baskin’s prognosis fully but the two do seem to be saying one thing in common. Social media is not a magic bullet for sales. Even back in the days when your pharmacist knew your name, he still had to sell stuff to you. Prices had to be competitive. Products had to have quality. No amount of “how’re your kids?” could make up for lousy products and lousy pricing.

If indeed there are a glut of social media marketers and managers out there selling social media as the fast ticket to sales, those folks may get flushed out in the next 24 months leaving only those who have properly integrated social media with tried and true traditional marketing methods. Those folks may be the only ones to survive the bust of the social media bubble.

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