Social Media News

Branding tip of the month

Take a guess at what actor has the most likes on Facebook. Is it the most famous, most talented or best-looking actor?

With more than 24.5 million fans, Vin Diesel is the most-liked actor on Facebook, probably because he’s the most authentic. He shares pictures of his family, videos and inner thoughts. Brands can learn from Vin: Share insights from real people, behind-the-scenes footage, and your brand’s personality.

It is content like that which brings brands to life in a way that nothing else can. Stories and pictures can be about the founding of the company, an employee who has overcome struggle, or a client who had experience with your product/service. In order for brands to tell a story at scale, they used to have to buy a 30-second TV commercial. Today, you can tell a story through tweets, photos and Facebook groups.

Ultimately, the most important rule for brands to remember is the Golden Rule: Take off your marketing cap and put on your consumer cap — would you click Like or RT? Remember, there’s a huge difference between using social networks to aggressively sell versus making it easy for consumers to buy. You’re using the social networks to build your brand, not necessarily sell it.

It’s no fun to create a client Facebook Page only to find that only “4 people like this,” no matter how many how enthusiastically (or repeatedly) you hit refresh. To build your base, start with your client’s most loyal fans — the ones that already exist. Place a call to action in emails or newsletters and make sure the Facebook Page is visible on your client’s website, blog, Twitter and on all physical promotional materials, especially those given out at offline events. If appropriate, place hyperlinks in press releases and other PR-related materials. Note that Facebook has specific rules about how it can be referenced and linked. For example, you cannot connect your client’s company name and Facebook in the same hyperlink. Be sure to read through Facebook’s brand permissions guidelines.

– Matthew Buchman

Social Branding Department



Social Media Marketing in the news:

From SMBs Get Social Marketing Crash Course

Small businesses that are just now considering using social media might ask: Where the heck do we start?

It’s tough to blame them. The sites and features change regularly–as does the menu of services and advice that swirl around. There aren’t many consensus metrics for measuring business effectiveness, either. (What’s a Facebook “like” worth to a real estate brokerage, for example?) Yet the social boom doesn’t show many signs of slowing–recent Pew Research Center data shows nearly half of U.S. adults are on at least one site. Constant Contact has rolled out a new site for small companies hoping to engage with that growing audience, but are either unsure of where to begin or how to take a planned, results-oriented approach, rather than simply firing blindly and hoping social efforts hit their intended targets. The online marketing firm’s Social Media Quickstarter is a free educational service; essentially, a crash course in the fundamentals of social media for smaller businesses. Mark Schmulen, Constant Contact’s GM for social media, said in an interview that while some SMBs are very socially savvy, others find that it resides outside of their wheelhouse.

“They’re very much domain experts–they’re the best tax accountant out there–but when it comes to technology and marketing, there are things they know they should be doing or think they should be doing,” Schmulen said. “We don’t think that this is going to appeal to every small business out there, but certainly the larger market–they need help.”

Though Constant Contact traces its roots to email marketing, which remains a core business, it has invested more heavily in social media and related applications of late–and in taking a more integrated approach to online marketing. Earlier in the year, for example, it acquired social CRM startup Bantam Live to build out its cross-channel platform. Constant Contact has roughly 450,000 small business customers. ….

By Kevin Casey InformationWeek

Read the full article here

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Welcome To The New A.R.E.S. Site!

Hey Everyone,

I just want to thank each and every one of you guys for sticking around while we were building and redesigning this site. We have some awesome and amazing plans for this site! So welcome and take a look around! More information will be coming along!!


Zack Childress

After the storms, we will stay strong!

A tornado near Seymour, Texas

Image via Wikipedia

On April 27, 2011 the Northern Alabama region along with several other states experienced a storm like no other. One made of heavy rain, thunderstorms and multiple tornadoes. (Studies have now revealed that over 300 tornadoes touched down April 27-28, 2011.) The worst of the tornadoes was clocked with over 250 mph winds. This Wednesday started off as any normal one for our office; answering phones, support tickets, and doing our ‘daily routine’ as it were. On this day we were also still continuing to answer questions about Zack‘s brand new product, the Automated Wholesaling Systems. A new product unlike any in its path that would teach and help students to do a wholesaling deal on almost any property in any area by one of six methods.

The day started off bright with lots of promise and soon the rain came and with it, a storm that none of us expected. We remember seeing the sky turn black and the clouds rolling in and twisting to build what would later become a tornado not too far from our office. Quickly Zack decided to close the doors and send everyone home to their families not knowing what would come in the future.

We remember rushing home and preparing for the unexpected. Trying to ‘hunker down’ and protect ourselves and our loved ones while waiting for the tornadoes and storm to pass. To try and explain what a tornado sounds like when it is close by or even on top of you, is practically impossible. Especially one with such high powered winds. In some ways it sounds like you are in the bag of a giant vacuum that happens to be filled with water and bits and pieces. Read more here.

The power in many cities went out as soon as one of the tornados made it way past TVA and damaged all of the 90 lines that bring power into our cities. Later we would find out that not just these power lines where hit but also many of the stations and the nuclear plant as well. And many of the citizens of the city would be without power for 5+ days after the storm had cleared.

After the storm cleared, we were in a stage of rebuilding. People went out in search of gas, food, supplies and anything else that they may need to get by for the days or weeks that laid before them without power. Pictures in the paper revealed the absolute devastation that hit our area when we saw not just buildings but complete cities wiped out from the tornadoes.

However the city, the state, and the people here are all not only resourceful but have a kindness of the south embodied in them. Neighbors were helping each other clean up the mess. Strangers came from all around us to come in and help clear debris and damage sustained from the storm. People flocked to the nearest hospitals to give blood. Others donated time, helping hands, food, clothing, bottled water and anything to help out.

The staff here started to find ways to get our support back up as quickly as possible so that we could both inform all of our students and clients that we were ok and continue to support you as well. We fought to get internet through a cell phone and a laptop so that we could stay in connection with all of you, in case it was needed. We were able to find it in the backyard of Zack’s home on his deck. That seemed to be a high point where we could get signal and internet access through our cell phones.

A few staff members got together to keep each other company while waiting for the power to come back. We played games, told stories and tried to keep our spirits up in the tragedy. Then, an even brighter light at the end of the tunnel–the kind words and wishes from many of you. We got emails and voicemails from many of you wishing us well.

On Sunday, many cities and areas began to regain power. Lights were coming back and businesses would soon re-open Monday morning. Slowly we are seeing our city come back to life. And with all of them, we are springing back as well. Luckily all of our staff members, their families, homes, and our office headquarters all made it out of this storm without much damage. There were some close calls, but we made it out.

Now, we are back up in our office and making our way through to forge on and forward. Zack is still coming up with ideas to help all of you through further training, mentoring, products and services. Our team is playing catch up but working fast to make sure that everyone is taken care of as needed and we continue to move forward. Someone on the news recently stated that “like the Phoenix, we will rise from the ashes.” We believe that we are in the same boat. We are lucky to have made it out of all of this without much damage.

The cities and families that were affected by this storm, still need help and donations. If you or someone you know would like to make a donation, please reach out to the American Red Cross to donate. You can text REDCROSS to 90999 and a $10 donation will be added to your next mobile phone bill. You can also donate online here.

More photos on the storm


Take care everyone and best wishes to anyone that was affected by these terrible storms.




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Branding tip of the month

Content about your Content!

You can have all the blogs you want, but if you don’t add any content, then it’s going to feel like you’re spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere with your branding. I know that sometimes it may seem like we’re saying the same thing over and over like a broken record. It’s because it’s true, content is king. The most common question I receive is: “Where should I get my content?” This is a very good question. Personally, I like to create my own content. I know what you’re thinking. “Create my content, Matt? I don’t have that kind of time!” I know it seems like a lot of work from the outside, but this part can be fun, entertaining, and educational.

One channel on YouTube that I constantly watch is about these two brothers. They post video messages to each other back and forth to each other. They’ve been doing this since January 2007, their videos are only 3-4 minutes long and they have 460,749 subscribers. What do they talk about? They talk about their daily lives, funny stories about each other, and about trips they take.

I would just take 5 minutes to prepare a small 2-3 minute talk about what you are doing in your area for real estate, maybe talk about your niche, or what sets you apart from other investors. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but in less than 10 minutes, you can have a short video that you upload to YouTube and post that across the social networks. Remember it’s easier to find a person who has 30 well tagged and key worded videos on YouTube than someone who has only one.

Until next time,

Zack Childress

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