Category Archives: social network

Should Companies Embrace Facebook?

bivI was interviewed for a cover article that appeared in this week’s edition of Business In Vancouver. The story reads “Surge in Social Networking Rings Corporate Security Alarms” and talks about the rising use of platforms such as Facebook and the potential negative affects it could have on the workplace. Privacy and security are increasing concerns as more people congregate, share and communicate online. I don’t disagree, particularly when it’s employees of companies disclosing corporate information not intended for the public on a ‘company Facebook page’. This is particularly true with publicly traded companies. The same careful administration bestowed to a company website, should also be taken with a Facebook page or Ning community site or Myspace space.

But this shouldn’t stop your company from embracing these social media tools and platforms, which allow you to reach prospects and customers in a meaningful and massive way like no other. First, you’re reaching them where they go and on their terms. At Facebook, a user will only get updates on your company if they opt-in by becoming a fan. At Twitter, a user will only receive your messages if they become a follower. They also have the power to share it with their friends, fans and followers instantly, giving you some viral love in return.

And second, these tools aren’t trendy, they’re cultural. More and more people find these tools to be just way too simple and powerful to ignore. And the price is right. Our raw and primitive need to communicate and connect will never change. How we do, does and will. And technology leads the way in helping us serve that need cheaper, faster and easier. These tools and platforms are revolutionizing the way we communicate and connect, and businesses may as well learn how to use them to their benefit, and not their detriment. Below is an excerpt from the article:

While a company may not be able to control negative comments that are posted on the Internet, the web’s interactivity allows companies to respond to them. “There’s a whole etiquette to social networking that not everybody gets,” said Rajan Sodhi, vice-president of marketing at PEER 1 Network Enterprises Inc. (TSX: PIX). One consistent rule is to communicate openly, honestly and often.

Vancouver-based PEER 1 uses a number of social networking tools and has an employee whose sole role is to cultivate the company’s online presence. PEER 1 also monitors the Internet for content that mentions the company. “It can be positive or negative,” said Sodhi. “If it’s something [about PEER 1] they aren’t happy with, we acknowledge them right then and there.” As well as reacting publicly on a blog or network on which a negative comment was posted, PEER 1 will usually follow-up with a phone call.

“We’re a real believer that these social media tools and platforms are here to stay,” said Sodhi, who is the administrator of PEER 1’s Facebook site. “You can be fearful of it and not embrace it, but I think you’re going to lose one of the best tools for communicating and reaching your market.”

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Filed under Business, Communications, Facebook, Internet, marketing, MySpace, Ning, Online marketing tactics, Selling, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, social network, Technology, Viral

Internet Marketing Key to Obama Win

Barack Obama wins Democratic nominationParticularly interesting post on the Wired blog that illustrates how Barack Obama’s branding and marketing campaign usage of the Internet played a key role in propelling him victory of the Democrat nomination. Below is an excerpt with a link to the original post:

“It’s impossible to imagine Barack Obama’s rise without the modern methods that his campaign used to organize itself, particularly around the internet,” says Simon Rosenberg, president and founder of the nonprofit think tank the New Democratic Network. “This really was the most successful campaign of the 21st century.”

“This is what happens when you have a charismatic candidate, and you organize on a scale not seen before,” he adds. “Literally, the size and scale of this is unprecedented in American political history, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the money, and passion, and support of millions of American people.”

The campaign came up with a number of innovations on the internet. It used wikis — online collaborative software — to coordinate and churn out precinct captains in both California and Texas. And it created a counter-viral e-mail campaign to combat the anonymous e-mail smears that question his religious faith and patriotism. It set up policy pages that solicited ideas from supporters, and at one point, the campaign solicited letters from supporters over the internet to lobby the undecided superdelegates.

And Obama’s campaign constantly updated its YouTube channel to keep its supporters around the country up to speed on his latest speeches.

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Filed under advertising, Barack Obama, Blogging, Branding, Communications, Internet, marketing, Online marketing tactics, Public Relations, Search Engine Marketing, SEO, Social Media, social network, Technology, Viral, Web 2.0, Web Sites, Word-of-Mouth, youtube

Telly Awards for Our Online Videos

PEER 1 Receives Four Telly AwardsIn past posts, I’ve profiled some of the online video work we’ve been doing at PEER 1 to promote the company’s web hosting services. A press release went out yesterday to announce that two of our videos, Growing Pains and Plentyoffish.com Customer Story received four Telly Awards for originality and creativity. We’ve had a lot of fun putting these videos together and it’s nice to see them get some recognition. Special thanks go out to Talkie21 Studios and OnDemand Production for their excellent work on these projects.

Videos Below:

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Filed under advertising, Branding, Brian Adler, Business, Co-location, Communications, data center, Dating, Hosting, Humor, Internet, Managed Hosting, marketing, Markus Frind, Online marketing tactics, PEER 1, Plentyoffish.com, ServerBeach, servers, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, social network, video, Viral

Interview in Ping! Zine Magazine – Blogging for Business

Blogging for Business in 2008I was recently interviewed by Dave Young for an article entitled “Blogging for Business in 2008” that appears in the latest edition of Ping! Zine Web Hosting Magazine. Below is an excerpt along with a link to the pdf:

I studied their products and services, their corporate websites, but the real studying was done by reading their blog posts. Three of my personal favorite blogs belong to PEER 1, Mailtrust, and MailChimp, names you may already be familiar with if you pay attention to what’s going on in the hosting and software industries.

Okay, so you are probably asking “what’s so great about these companies and their blogs?” I took the time to interview the people behind these successful blogs. The responses I received are quite intriguing. Rajan Sodhi, VP of Marketing and Communications at PEER 1, started “Big Marketing for Small Businesses” and has been posting to his blog (bigmarketing.wordpress.com) since august 2006. Sodhi said, “My blog has been successful in giving me an opportunity to discuss, share and engage with others about my favorite topic – marketing.”

Sodhi enjoys discussing ideas and concepts in marketing on his personal blog. However, blogs are able to do more than just communicate your personal thoughts on whatever interests you the most. For example, Pat Matthews, president of Mailtrust, a Rackspace company, said, “My blog has helped us generate business as well as recruit more effectively.” Matthews has been posting in his “Small Town, Big ideas” blog (patsweblog.com) for over 2.5 years. He believes potential customers and employees like to read about the company they are going to do business with or work for in the future. Matthews added, “My blog has made a big impact on both levels.” Sodhi and Matthews’ blogs are independent of their company’s websites and still help them build business. What happens when you fully integrate your blog within your corporate website?

Download article (pdf): Blogging for Business in 2008

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Filed under Blogging, Branding, Business, Communications, Hosting, Internet, Managed Hosting, marketing, Online marketing tactics, PEER 1, Search Engine Marketing, SEO, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, social network, Technology, Web 2.0

SXSW, All About Social Media and THE Interview

SXSW 2008Just returned from South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX. My first time and what a great event! If you’re wondering where the web 2.0 world has been the last few days, well I found them all on 6th Street. Social media was the talk of Interactive. From the continuing quest for enhanced monetization model ideas to raising VC money, to the increasing adoption by enterprise of affordable, open source online software over traditional proprietary versions. In case you thought social media was just the latest fad for techies and early adopters, many at SXSW would have you think it’s not… more like a cultural movement. And I agree. Users poking around in Facebook, sending mail through Google, and sharing photos through Flickr, are beginning to wonder why the software they are forced to use at work isn’t as easy or available. I see this changing and it will be driven by users of all types as more depend on it in their personal lives. The talk of Interactive, as you have likely heard by now, is the now infamous interview debacle by journalist Sarah Lacey of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to a capacity audience. Sarah appeared to have injected herself too much in the interview, plugging her book and wording her questions in a style that irked a live crowd that quickly turned on her, while empathizing with Mark. I wasn’t there in attendance, but you couldn’t walk ten feet without someone asking or talking about it.

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Filed under Blogging, Business, Communications, Facebook, Google, innovation, Internet, marketing, Online marketing tactics, SaaS, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, social network, SXSW 2008, Technology, Trade Shows, Web 2.0

Bye, Bye YouTube… Your Time is Up

Some of our staff members at ServerBeach got together to produce a hilarious farewell video to YouTube. YouTube started hosting their site at ServerBeach as a startup and continued on until their last server went offline here November 2007 and moved over to Google’s data centers as a result of being acquired. Check it out.

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Filed under Business, data center, Google, Hosting, Humor, Internet, PEER 1, ServerBeach, servers, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, social network, Technology, video, Viral, Web 2.0, Word-of-Mouth, youtube

2007 Top Ten Posts at BIG Marketing

Another year coming to a close and everyone is putting out their top ten lists, so here are the top ten posts read here at BIG Marketing. A sincere thanks to all of you who have supported this blog in 2007. Interacting with you through this medium is such a joy for me. Cheers and Happy New Year!

  1. Facebook, The Right Way to Design a Social Networking Site
  2. It Pays to be a Penguin
  3. Revolutionary Pen-Size Computer Uses Bluetooth Technology
  4. The Starbucks Experience Wins Over Coffee Every Time
  5. Plenty of Fish Founder Rakes in Google Ad Dough
  6. iPod In-Ear Headphones Don’t Stick in My Ears
  7. Product Packaging That Packs a Punch

  8. Craigslist Founder Won’t Sell Out
  9. NHL All Star Voting Has a Viral Storm on its Hands
  10. Philips Shave Everywhere Ad is Viral at its Best

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Filed under advertising, Blogging, Branding, Business, Communications, Craigslist, Facebook, innovation, Internet, ipod, marketing, Markus Frind, NHL, Online marketing tactics, Packaging, Plentyoffish.com, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, social network, Starbucks, Technology, Top Ten List, Viral, Web 2.0