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Facebook URL Grab: Claim your URL this Saturday

Facebook is altering the way in which people find your Facebook profile  - via the link to your personal profile, aka your URL. Read about the username change at their blog. It is allowing a word that means something to be in the URL, instead of the long sequence of numbers they started out doing.

How Gossip Girl* Changes Brands (*and all those other shows you secretly watch)

If you happened to be on Tin Shingle (or my personal) Facebook or Twitter pages today, you may have heard our buzzing about three great brands featured on Gossip Girl :  Gemma Redux, Kara James Bags, and Lust4Luxe handbags.

It's Mother's Day in Short Lead Media!

Hey Ladiesssss!

Happy Monday!  To steal a line from Sesame Street, "M is for Monday's"  and it's also for Mother's Day!  If you are a product that would make a great Mother's Day gift now is the time to reach out to your short lead outlets and not a moment later!  May is also sweeps time for television which means competition is even stiffer so be sure your pitch pops!

Short lead, constituting blogs, newspapers, radio, and television (as well as any weekly magazines) are already planning their Mother's Day issues.  Have you submitted your line sheets, samples, or pitches?  If so you should definitely be in follow-up right now! 

Be sure you keep your pitch quick and to the point and make it clear via your headline why you are emailing them.  For instance, be sure to mention if it's:

Eco-friendly Mother's Day Gifts
Under $100.00
Edible
Under $25.00
Personalized
etc.

When you pitch rememeber to quickly introduce yourself, explain why their readers/viewers would enjoy the product, and be sure you have a great looking website with a functioning cart to share with them.  Don't send attachments, and copy/paste your most recent press release in the body below your pitch for more information.

Clock is ticking!  Get moving!

How to Stay up-to-date with Oprah

Oprah - we all know that even when I tell you to stop focusing on her program you won't, so I figured I'd give you a few pointers....

I was talking to one of the executive producers at Harpo yesterday, and she let me know that they are currently working on their April programs so first of all, know that they are only about 3-4 weeks ahead in lead time at the moment....so if you are pitching, pitch accordingly.  Other pointers that will work?  Take some notes from our playbook!

* Go online and check out what the producers are looking for:  A show like the Oprah Winfrey Show creates amazing programming because they have outstanding producers creating it, and if you want a quick and easy sneak peek (and a chance to submit your brand for an appropriate story) just go to their website to see what they are working on next:  http://www.oprah.com/tows.

* Think seasonally, 3-4 weeks ahead, and big!  Pitching a product will most likely not get you a segment.  They may hold it for a future gift guide, or if it's appropriate for a different topic show, but you should really be thinking about how your story fits into a larger concept, and perhaps even bring a few more brands in on the pitch.

*  Remember that Oprah is now doing Hot Topics a la The View.....if you have a cool product or are part of a hot topic, this would be a better place to pitch.

* At Oprah there are actually groups of producers who are working on things in teams.  They have a schedule that shows what their specific shows are that they need to fill, as well as what other teams are working on.  If you create a great relationship with one, they can often find out who to pitch if they are not your best bet.  Want to get to know the teams and their styles?  Join them on Facebook!!  Read the Producers Blogs in the show's Facebook Group. 

* Watch the show!  Sounds silly I know, but if you haven't watched since you were in college you really don't know the current style and content.  Want to be an even better detective?  When you see an episode that is similar to content you cover, watch to see who produced it....this is the producer you should target for your pitch!

FINALLY....the more press you get in other outlets and in other venues, the more likely the producers will see you or hear about you and have you in mind for another segment!

Go get em!

When You Should Start a Fan Page on Facebook, and How

If you've been following our recent blog posts about Facebook and what it means to your and your business, then you'll know that journalist/author Marci Alboher posed a question to me about how to balance her professional friends in Facebook with her personal friends and family.

To Friend or Unfriend. Or Ignore. That is the Facebook Question.

What if you have too many friends in Facebook? A tough problem, right? But what if you maxed out at 5,000, and/or what if you were sad that you weren't keeping up with what your true friends are doing in their home towns? You would need to scale back in some Facebook friendships, and essentially, unfriend some people. If you're a person with a lot of street cred online, and you were reading this article on whether or not to create a Facebook Fan Page for yourself, then the next step you should be thinking about is how to handle your current collection of friends.

Why Do We Have Friends on Facebook?
If we are in college or high school, we are really just keeping up with our actual friends on Facebook - looking at their pictures, commenting on their funny videos, throwing snowballs at them, etc. If we are making our way in the world today, it takes everything we've got, and yes, we are using Facebook to network, sell product, sell services, and more. But with the 5,000 friend limit, which does really squash your chances of using Facebook for fun because you have so many networking types in your feed, you will want to reconsider why you are accepting friends.

Reasons to Accept Friends

  • You really want to know what they are doing, what events they are having, etc.
  • You want them to know what you are doing. You can assume they are going to be watching every move that you make, or you can decide to put a little bit of effort into them when they post a thought-provoking status update, release a video, post a link, etc.
  • They have sent you a little note with their friend request

Reasons to Ignore Friend Requests

  • You look at your mutual friends, and the mutual friends are all big time Facebook users who are more interested in having high friend numbers, than in the quality of what you are saying.
  • You have no idea who the person is, and you have no mutual friends. This person did not tell you why they have requested to be your friend.

How to Unfriend Current Friends to Make Room for New Friends
If you need to scale down your list, and you need to delete some friends in order to make room for new friends who you for either personal or professional reasons, you need to quietly unfriend people who are not helping your professional cause, nor are they contributing to daily doses of random happy things. There is no need to make an announcement that you are doing this, but before you do it, and if you have made a Fan Page for your business that you would like them to continue to follow, create a campaign for yourself.

How to Move Friends to be Fans
While you can't technically click a person to be a "fan" instead of a "friend", you can persuade your current friends to also become fans. Little do they know you may soon be cleaning house, and they will suddenly stop seeing your status updates, but that's ok.

  • Write about your new Fan Page on your blog, and link to it.
  • Put a "Find us on Facebook" graphic on every page of your website or blog. If you're not an "us", then make a "Find me on Facebook", but chances are, it takes some kind of community to do what you do, so consider sticking with "us".
  • Update your Facebook status to let your friends know you have a Fan page, and you will be posting lots of goodies to it, like helpful links, sales, etc.
  • Update your Facebook status a few times, to really give those who you will be unfriending a clear chance to know where to find you.

Lastly, keep in mind that this is all a work in progress. Facebook is always introducing new features and changing the rules. So what may have been a great strategy 6 months ago, may not apply today.

Friend and Follower Management: When you are too popular for yourself on Facebook

What to do when you've got too many Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Sigh...too many people are following me! Chances are, you are thinking this because you have followed or friended most of those people back, and you don't really know who most of them are.

SEO Tip: Checking Keyword History with Google Trends

Late at night, or in the middle of projects as a way to unwind, I dive into Google Analytics for some keyword research for websites and blogs that I run. I take a quick dip in what kind of keyword traffic they are getting, which helps me decide what kind of blog posts to write.

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