How to respond to negative reviews online. via @scalablesocial

Negative Reviews Online – To Delete or Not to Delete?

Late last week, I had this conversation via text with a friend of mine who is a marketer for a small business in Phoenix:

“Question: what’s your opinion on a client posting a negative review on social media or review site? Try to remove or address issue with care and compassion?”

“Absolutely address. Take it offline ASAP though.”

“I say address it but other person at work is trying to get it deleted.”

“Absolutely do not delete it. The last session of social media marketing world was all about this. It was called “hug your haters.”

“Responding kindly and professionally to negative reviews is powerful for brand advocacy. Deleting it can escalate things. Better to see it as an opportunity to be kind and compassionate – which is exactly what people want from (your company).”

“That’s what I told my boss. It’ll make her even more angry.”

“Yup. And you don’t want to have her posting bad reviews all over the web because you make her more angry. Big fat waste …

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Pinterest marketing tip

Pinterest Quick Tip: One Step to Better Pinning

The other day on Pinterest, I saw an image with one of my favorite author’s names on it. Yay! Something great to pin. Not recognizing the pinner, I clicked on the image – annnnd ended up on a spammy site with a cheesy video of a guy in a furry hat in his bedroom – in his mother’s house (I made that last part up). FOUL!! I reported the image as spam and told the author about it. I mean, it had her website url right on the image!

She then reported it as intellectual property infringement.  A tedious process, but come on, this was blatant.

The thing is, the person who pinned the image with the bogus source might have repinned it, not even know that the pin didn’t go to the correct article. He COULD be completely innocent. However, if he gets reported enough times, he will lose ability to pin, and may even lose his entire account. That brings us to the one step you aren’t taking that will make you a better pinner.

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How to hire a marketing agency

How to Hire a Marketer – 6 Insights from Successful Marketers

Is it writing skills? Insight into human thinking? Creativity? Technical know-how? Yeah, those sure help, but many of the BEST marketing minds have a little something extra. Often it’s an innate ability that has been cultivated. I have my own idea of what makes a good marketer, but decided to ask (via Google+) some of the best marketers I know to tell me what THEY think! What makes a successful marketer?

The hard part is, they were only allowed to give one.  If you’re looking to hire an agency to promote your business, you’ll find their insights extremely helpful.

It’s About Attitude

This first one comes from one of the most delightful people online these days, Peg Fitzpatrick. She’s co-author of the recently released Art of Social Media along with Guy Kawasaki. Peg is EVERYWHERE online, has a very distinctive style, and is relentlessly positive – always lifting up others. She makes social look easy (dagnabbit!). Here’s what she said.

I think having a great attitude is important because marketing is much harder than it looks! Having …

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Why Pinterest isn't a Social Network

Why Pinterest Isn’t a Social Network – And That’s OK

Even though Pinterest gets lumped in with Facebook, Twitter, and especially Instagram as a “social network,” it’s much like a search engine than a social media platform.

Sure, it has some social components like tagging and messaging, but by design, it is a discovery platform. Guided search, interests, related (or “picked for you”) pins, promoted pins – they’re all designed to help you discover something new.

That said, using the social elements of Pinterest can help you and your business stand out, so give them a try!

Pinterest’s Social Elements – It LOOKS Social!


You can (sometimes – it’s buggy) tag someone in a pin to give credit to the author of a post you’re pinning, to be chatty, or just to draw someone’s attention to a pin (“Hey, @Tinausernamehere, you need to check out these running tights!”). This is a feature that isn’t often used, so if you’re trying to get someone’s attention on Pinterest – give it a try! Just type “@” and start typing their username and you’ll be able …

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Your Content Marketing Could Use Some Cheese Sauce via @scalablesocial

Your Content Marketing Could Use Some Cheese Sauce

It is the rare child who begins their solid food adventures craving broccoli, despite the fact that it’s full of fiber, vitamins and even a good amount of protein – all things our bodies SHOULD be crying out to consume. Truth is, we seek out what tastes good, no matter the impact on our health and waistlines.

PS – Stock image providers – I am suspicious of all your images of children looking overjoyed about broccoli. I believe these may have been staged.

So, what’s a concerned parent to do? Well, you can try sneaking broccoli in to omelets, casseroles, soups, or covering it in melted cheese – a classic choice. Over time, you’ll likely be able to decrease the ratio of cover food to broccoli until your little ones love eating “baby trees” au naturale. It’s about giving your kids what they want AND what they need. And sometimes it just takes a little parental subterfuge to get to both.

When “Broccoli” is Wrong for Content Marketing

For many companies, the content they create in their blog posts, social …

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Fail-Proof Marketing Begins with Empathy via @scalablesocial by @alisammeredith

Fail-Proof Marketing Begins with Empathy

Recently, a lovely woman I knew passed away. She left behind six grown children and a devoted husband. Despite the fact that they were about as different as night and day, you could tell they absolutely adored each other. Of course, when we heard the news, everyone’s first thought was for her husband and his loss.

I’ve never been a widow, but does that mean that I’m completely clueless about what he must be going through? Does it mean I can’t anticipate the struggles he’ll be facing? Does it mean there is no way I can help? Of course not. While I wouldn’t pretend to understand completely – that would be presumptuous; I CAN utilize this amazing capability that we all possess – empathy.

What Place Does Empathy Have in Marketing?

On Dictionary defines empathy as, “the power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person’s feelings.”

Haven’t you ever said to someone, “I can only imagine what you are going through”? You were giving your friend the gift of empathy – and it is something our customers and readers appreciate and deserve as well.

We …

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Houzz Marketing – Is it Right for Your Business? [Infographic]

Visual social media is here to stay. The popularity of Pinterest, Instagram and other platforms are undeniable – and make fertile ground for marketing. Various niche visual sites are popping up as well, and Houzz, with over 25 million monthly users, is emerging as a real powerhouse of marketing for architects, builders, designers and others.

Why Use Houzz?

First, a 30-second overview of the way Houzz works. Users create ideabooks which serve as a kind of wishlist for their upcoming projects. They are comprised of images uploaded by professionals, and each image is clearly marked with that professional’s business name, making it easy for that person – or anyone who sees the ideabook, to know who did that amazing patio job, or where to buy that gorgeous lamp, or where to find a custom home plan in the perfect style. You get the point. Once they spot you, they check out your profile and can learn much more about you, your reputation, other projects, and find your website or other social channels as they try to decide who to hire …

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How to Hire a Marketing Agency When You Don’t Understand Online Marketing

I feel for anyone in this situation. Seriously. You know you need to be marketing your business online. You know you don’t currently have the skills required or the available time.

You probably don’t even have the time to learn enough to know if a given individual or agency knows what they’re doing.

Still, to avoid being taken in by a clueless or careless marketing agency, there are a few things you need to know. It’s worth the six minutes it’ll take you to read this!

Inbound Marketing Truth #1: It’s Not Cheap

If someone tells you they can offer you “full inbound” for $750/month, run away. To do all the work required is going to cost more – a lot more. Anyone who says otherwise does not know what “full inbound” means.

Inbound Marketing Truth #2: It’s Not Lightning Fast

Sorry. If you want instant results, you’ll need to shell out for Google AdWords and perhaps some paid social. This is not in itself a bad thing, but the advantage of inbound is that the benefits accrue over time – you …

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Overcoming Inbound Marketing Challenges - What if I have no budget?

Inbound Marketing Challenge: How to Implement Inbound with No Budget

One of the biggest barriers to entry to inbound marketing is a lack of budget.  So, what is a business to do? Not market at all? Just wait for business to flow in on its own? That is just going to lead to a bigger challenge, the “my business is in ruins” challenge. And we can’t help you there! So, before it goes that far, let’s find a way to make it work.

Stop Spending Money on Ineffective Marketing

Is there something you’re doing now that used to work, but just isn’t working as well now? Perhaps you’re still spending money on television or billboard advertising. Or, maybe you’re sending your sales team to several trade shows that just aren’t living up to your expectations. Used to be those brought in a decent amount of business, but perhaps now you are just throwing money away trying desperately to return to the days when that worked.

It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Most of us have those skinny jeans in the back of the closet just in case one day they …

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Let's turn content marketing strategy upside down - with Pinterest!

Content Marketing, Popstars, Pinterest, and Music Videos

If you follow Scalable on Instagram, or me anywhere, you know I’ve developed a slight addiction to running. It’s not the running so much as the feeling of accomplishment. And I need a good dose of distraction to keep me on the treadmill for three or four miles. I tried tv, music, music plus scenery and only ended up with motion sickness. Next stop – YouTube and music videos.

I started with a Mumford & Sons mix, which turned out to be a good choice. Some of the videos were just gorgeous – and totally distracting. Perfect! Some of them still have me puzzled. For instance, “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. I cannot understand what the muppet beating up on stuffed animals has to do with anything – unless they were going for a dog-fighting feel without the actual horror of it. No idea.

Some of the videos were fun, some predictable, and some were so beautiful that the music seemed just a nice addition. And a fair number of them were just plain …

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