Connecticut runners part of debate over transgender athletes

first_imgIn this Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 photo, Cromwell High School transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood , right, braids the hair of teammate Taylor Santos, left, during a break at a track meet at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn. (AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb) NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Andraya Yearwood hears the comments, usually from adults and usually not to her face.She shouldn’t be running, they say, not against girls.Yearwood, a 17-year-old junior at Cromwell High School, is one of two transgender high school sprinters in Connecticut, transitioning to female.She recently finished second in the 55-meter dash at the state open indoor track championships. The winner, Terry Miller of Bloomfield High, is also transgender and set a girls state indoor record of 6.95 seconds. Yearwood finished in 7.01 seconds and the third-place competitor, who is not transgender, finished in 7.23 seconds.Miller and Yearwood also topped the 100-meter state outdoor championships last year, and Miller won the 300 indoors this season.Critics say their gender identity amounts to an unfair advantage, expressing a familiar argument in a complex debate for transgender athletes as they break barriers across sports around the world from high school to the pros.“I have learned a lot about myself and about other people through this transition. I always try to focus most on all of the positive encouragement that I have received from family, friends and supporters,” Yearwood said. “I use the negativity to fuel myself to run faster.”Connecticut is one of 17 states that allow transgender high school athletes to compete without restrictions, according to Transathlete.com, which tracks state policies in high school sports across the country. Seven states have restrictions that make it difficult for transgender athletes to compete while in school, like requiring athletes to compete under the gender on their birth certificate, or allowing them to participate only after going through sex-reassignment procedures or hormone therapies.The other states either have no policy or handle the issue on a case-by-case basis.Yearwood acknowledges she is stronger than many of her cisgender competitors, but says girls who are not transgender may have other advantages.“One high jumper could be taller and have longer legs than another, but the other could have perfect form, and then do better,” she said. “One sprinter could have parents who spend so much money on personal training for their child, which in turn, would cause that child to run faster.”Miller, who declined to be interviewed for this story, has said that if she felt a competitor had an unfair advantage, it would simply push her to try to improve.One of their competitors, Selina Soule, says the issue is about fairness on the track with wider implications. The Glastonbury High School junior finished eighth in the 55, missing out on qualifying for the New England regionals by two spots.Soule believes that had Miller and Yearwood not run, she would be on her way to race in Boston in front of more college coaches.“We all know the outcome of the race before it even starts; it’s demoralizing,” she said. “I fully support and am happy for these athletes for being true to themselves. They should have the right to express themselves in school, but athletics have always had extra rules to keep the competition fair.”The Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which governs high school sports in Connecticut, says its policy follows a state anti-discrimination law that says students must be treated in school by the gender with which they identify.“This is about someone’s right to compete,” executive director Glenn Lungarini said. “I don’t think this is that different from other classes of people, who, in the not too distant past, were not allowed to compete. I think it’s going to take education and understanding to get to that point on this issue.”Joanna Harper, a medical physicist and transgender runner from Portland, Oregon, says the issue isn’t that simple. She believes there needs to be a standard based on hormone levels.Until hormone therapies begin to work, genetic males have a distinct advantage over genetic females, she said. Most transgender teens don’t begin hormone therapy until after puberty. Younger teens can be on puberty-blocking drugs, but puberty is very individualized and testosterone levels can vary greatly from one transgender girl to another, she said.“The gender identity doesn’t matter, it’s the testosterone levels,” said Harper, who studies transgender athletes. “Trans girls should have the right to compete in sports. But cisgender girls should have the right to compete and succeed, too. How do you balance that? That’s the question.”Yearwood is hoping to qualify for this year’s National Scholastic Athletics Foundation national championships in March. The group recently adopted new rules allowing pre-pubescent girls to participate with their affirmed gender, though no ages are specified. Post-pubescent transgender girls must have completed sex-reassignment surgery and “a sufficient amount of time must have passed” after the operation or hormone therapy “to minimize gender-related competitive advantages.”Transgender girls who are not taking hormone treatments related to gender transition may not compete in female competitions, the organization said.Jon Forrest, whose daughter is teammates with Soule, is among a group of parents seeking a similar change to Connecticut’s state policy.He said they’d like to see the state adopt a hormone standard or allow transgender girls to run with other girls but have their results placed in a separate exhibition category.“The facts show Glastonbury would be the state champion based on cisgender girls competing against cisgender girls,” he said. “You don’t realize it until you see it in person, the disparity in the ability to perform.”Lungarini said the state organization is not in a position to perform hormone testing of athletes and simply relies on the schools to tell them who identifies as male or female.Yearwood’s coach, Brian Calhoun, said his runner also matters. As Yearwood kneeled behind a teammate, braiding her hair between races at another recent meet, Calhoun said the track team and community have provided the runner with a safe, welcoming place to be.“There’s never been an issue in our town,” he said. “These kids, many of them have known Andraya since elementary school. They know who she is. So when she signed up, the attitude was: ‘OK, Andraya is running with the girl’s team. Here we go.’”___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sportslast_img read more

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ROBBING: Return On Business Blogging Is Not Guaranteed

first_imgIf you have been reading this blog for a while, you likely know that I’m generally a strong proponent of the value of business blogging (particularly for small businesses).  I’ve been advocating the need for small businesses to start blogs as an important part of their Internet Marketing strategy for a while now.  So, why the controversial title for this article?  Simple:  If we’re going to try and rationalize an investment of time, energy and money by attaching an ROI (return on investment) to blogging, we need to be a bit diligent and thoughtful about how we do so.  In any case, here are some of my thoughts on about how to improve your chances of getting a return on investment for your business blogging efforts. ROI Of Blogging So, my points here are not particularly complicated.  My message is simple:  To really get value out of your business blogging efforts, you need to make sure that you are investing sufficient time into the process, measuring what matters and doing something about it.   First (and foremost) you should be looking to find more buyers for whatever it is that you are offering.  This is the best return you can hope for.  Of course, you can’t expect every visitor to your blog to whip out their credit cards (or call one of your sales people), but you can 3. Buyers, Back-links and Brand-Building:  This one’s a bit obvious too.  It is near impossible to demonstrate a return on your blogging investment if do something about it 5. Analyze and Adjust:  have an ROI – but just that an ROI is not guaranteed.  Also, my apologies for the acronym ROBBING (I just couldn’t come up with anything better).  I’m not suggesting that business bloggers are robbing anyone of anything.  All in good jest (and for some percentage of you, the word probably got your attention, thereby increasing the ROI of this article). .  You have to watch what works, and what doesn’t.  Do more of what works, and less of what doesn’t.  For example, one thing I’ve learned from writing for two business blogs is that a majority of my readership seems to appreciate my casual, informal style. c) Brand:  a) Buyers:  Improving The Return On Investment For Your Business Blog ”.  As you might suspect, the article (and the associated paper), discusses how to measure the return on investment (ROI) for a blog – and more specifically, a business blog.  Though I have not purchased the paper (it talks too much about big businesses), the article itself has a useful framework for looking at this analytically. Topics: These are the three primary areas of “return” I think businesses should strive for when writing their blog.  I even put them in descending priority order even though the alliteration sounded better with a different order.  You’re welcome.  2. If A Blogger Types In The stuff.  For a more dynamic explanation of this, I encourage you to watch a video interview of  Brian Halligan (my co-founder at HubSpot).  The video is titled “ increase Defining ROI On Business Blogs The article was sparked in part by an article penned by Charlene Li of Forrester who wrote on the topic of “ nobody is reading your blog Lots of business bloggers are diligent about tracking things like their daily traffic, referral sources and other common metrics available through most web analytics tools.  Though all of this is good, it’s not enough – and not nearly as meaningful as the Forest…:  1.  Launching Is Not Enough:  the likelihood that this will occur.  This is done by focusing your content (and your promotional efforts for the content) on the types of visitors that are likely to become clients.   I think too many businesses think that they can simply sign up for a Blogger account, write an article, and call it a day.  This is what I would call the “Look Ma!, I’m Blogging!” phenomenon.  Nothing against Blogger.  It’s just that if you’re actually looking to create a measurable return, it takes more than that.  Stated differently, to get an “R” (i.e. Return) you have to “I” (that is Invest).   I have an uncanny knack for the stating the obvious. b) Back-Links:  real Astute readers will also notice that I am not stating in this article’s title that business blogging ”.  For further reading, I’d also recommend Seth Godin’s article “ If you can’t close a customer, you want back-links.  The world of search engine optimization (SEO) is driven by back-links.  The more people you can get to your blog articles, the more weighting you will have in the search engines, and the more relevant people will “find” you when doing a search.  In fact, you can help test this theory by linking to this article with the words “business blogging” in the anchor text.  (smile).  Originally published Jan 29, 2007 11:42:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 doesn’t ” Simply measuring how your blog is doing in ways that are meaningful is not going far enough.  You need to Business Blogging 4. Measure Something Meaningful:  .  In this case, the value you get from blogging is likely little more than the satisfaction of expressing yourself (and perhaps impressing your friends and family).  So clearly, to get an ROI, you have to find ways to draw visitors to your blog and have them read it.  If you got to this article through one of the popular social news sites (like reddit or digg), that is certainly one way to do it.  There are others ways too.  But all of it hinges on writing content that people are interested in. High Resolution Mistakes Finally, if you can’t get a buyer or a back-link, you can at least build your “brand”.  Although you will likely never have a powerful brand like Coke, Nike or Apple – you can certainly benefit from increased visibility of your business.  Readers of your blog will (hopefully) be left with a positive impression of you, and your company and this could help with future interactions with that individual (and perhaps then, they will become a buyer or give you a back-link). Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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No Google PageRank Update in 4 Months: Should You Care?

first_img Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the update cycle. The last known update to the public Google PageRank number (as shown via the toolbar and tools like WebsiteGrader.com), was around April 30th 2007. So, as I write this article, it has been over 4 months since the last update. In all the time that I’ve been watching the Google PageRank updates, this is the longest lapse I’ve seen. This likely means that we’re going to see an update “any day now”. Measuring SEO 2. Updates happen inconsistently (you never really know when the next one is coming) Most SEO experts are of the opinion that the Google PageRank number that is available to the public (often known as the “toolbar PageRank”) is not very important. The toolbar PR (TBPR) is the number shown via the Google Toolbar and other software applications (like WebsiteGrader.com’s Originally published Sep 10, 2007 11:22:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 If you’re interested in knowing when the next Google PageRank update happens, I have a simple solution for you. Just 3. It’s a coarse number (0-10 — no fractions) in comparison to the “internal” PageRank number Google uses for its ranking algorithm. SEO Report First off, if you don’t know what Google PageRank is, then here’s a quick So, although Google PageRank has its limitations, it continues to be monitored and cited (if you’re in the market for buying a website, one of the things you’ll likely look at is the Google PageRank of the site). All of these are legitimate reasons that do indeed severely limit the utility of the public Google PageRank. However, this number continues to be interesting to many folks primarily because it is the simplest abstraction that can easily be accessed to determine the general “authority” for a given web page. It factors in the two most important things from an SEO perspective: The number of inbound links to a given web page and the power/authority of those links.center_img Topics: What does this mean to you? If you have a relatively new site, or have just started getting meaningful inbound links recently, don’t fret if your Google PageRank is zero. Since there hasn’t been an update in a while, chances are your current PR (or lack thereof) is simply based on the old data. Once the update occurs, you should see yourself move up. WebsiteGrader.com is currently at a PR5 (which is not bad), but I expect the site to jump to a PR6 as it has more powerful links than some of our other sites which already have a PR6. introduction to Google PageRank register for this site and we’ll send you a quick email when the update happens. We monitor hundreds of websites on behalf of our users, so when the change happens, we’ll likely be one of the first ones to know — and so will you. . SEO experts think Google PageRank is not a particularly meaningful number for a variety of reasons: . 1. Updates happen infrequently (every few months) Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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HubSpot TV – Olympic Champions and Social Media with Guest @ColleenCoyne

first_img “We knew that the Yahoo-Twitter partnership would be comprehensive and more encompassing than Twitter’s search partnerships with Google and Bing, but now Yahoo tells us the integration will focus on three primary areas: Spam vs Mahalo: Matt Cutts Explains the Difference Comic response from SEO Black Hat: mvolpe HubSpot TV is LIVE every Friday at 4:00 p.m. ET. From HubSpotter Christopher Haddad – #HubSpotTV Citibank never called or warned Fabulis at all inbound marketing will pay off ), Karen Rubin (@ How to interact on Twitter: Include #HubSpotTV in your tweets! On the show today is Mike Volpe (@ Citibank Freezes Some Fabulis Assets Doin’ It Wrong Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Citibank apparently froze the assets of Fabulis because of “objectionable content” on the company blog. “Starting Monday, Bravo will begin offering Foursquare players badges and special prizes when viewers visit more than 500 Bravo locations. Locations will be picked by Bravo to correspond with select Bravo shows including “The Real Housewives,” “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” “Top Chef,” “Kell on Earth,” “Top Chef Masters” and “Shear Genius.” . karenrubin Matt Cutts (head of Google anti-spam team): “When trying to decide if a page is spam, it is helpful to ask yourself this question: if I remove the scraped (copied) content, the ads, and the links to other pages, is there anything of value left? If the answer is no, the page is probably spam.” Ability to update status from Yahoo Question from Inbound.org Marketing Takeaway Closing to learn how to use inbound marketing to generate leads and break your dependence on programs with recurring expenses. , and chat ) and Coleen Coyne (@ www.hubspot.tv Marketing Takeaway Intro Special Guest, Olympic Gold Medalist Colleen Coyne Download the free video Fabulis is an established company with investors ($625K) and an experienced entrepreneur as founder (Jason Goldberg – SocialMedian and Jobster), but they are “the social network that helps gay men connect with amazing experiences nearby and around the world” : Cheating does not work.  Don’t spam Google, and don’t rely on PPC alone.  Do the hard work and Video: How to Get Off the Google AdWords PPC Crack Marketing Takeaway Headlines Should Mahalo Say “Mahalo” to Google for Tolerating Spam SEO guru Aaron Wall gets upset that Mahalo is stealing his content, not adding value and still ranking in Google. : Aggressively communicate with customers and be available for comment quickly. This will help problems from spiraling out of control. Although this deal will help put Foursquare in front of millions of mainstream television viewers, it also offers the company a chance to try to blur the lines between traditional television media and mobile experiences. Although some television executives have been successful integrating TV and the Web, merging TV with mobile has proved to be more difficult. Episode #81 – February 26, 2010 Dennis Crowley, Foursquare’s chief executive, said the company was excited to work with Bravo and push some of these boundaries further. “Bravo’s shows really overlap with our users and a new mainstream audience that we want to reach. I don’t think check-ins are a nerd-only experience. It’s about sharing content and experiences with others.” : If you are not Jason Calcanis, you need to create original and valuable content to rank in search . Twitter Goes Yahoo How many times should a keyword appear on a page for optimal density? , it’s going to work out in the end. There might be some bumps along the way, but the satisfaction of knowing you gave it a truly honest effort will be rewarding in and of itself. Additionally, you will definitely gain a following. There is no reward without risk, and there is definitely a market for authenticity.” March 19: HubSpot goes to Vegas! Access to your Twitter feed on Yahoo with us via Twitter using NEW hashtag, All old episodes are in iTunes: : Keep doing inbound marketing. Developments like this just make it more effective. Bravo to Foursquare as They Partner with Traditional TV Media Olympic athletes’ social media restrictions : Making trades is better than paying cash for advertising.  Get creative! (Episode Length: 26 minutes, 41 seconds) “If you are honest in your approach to Forum Fodder Foursquare Teams With Bravo TV Watch the show in real-time at  PPC is like liposuction Does Citibank Suffer From Homophobia Or Just A General Dislike For Startups? Learn how to break your Google AdWords addiction! . Ben Robbins – For several years now, good sources at Google (like Matt Cutts) have indicated that keyword density carries little or no importance in their algorithm. Keyword-related factors that are still considered include anchor text for editorial links, page title, page URL, and heading tags. They also seem to reward pages with lengthier content, maybe 500+ words, and long tail keyword variations. Marketing Tip of the Week https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/C2060/IMG4385.jpg” alt=”last_img” /> read more

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Google Introduces Analytics App Store

first_img marketing analytics .  You may come across an app that lets you organize your analytics in a way that helps you get more out of measuring your marketing.  The gallery is chock full of tools to help Analytics users understand their web stats.  It is currently divided into 12 categories, including business intelligence, campaign management, content management, data collection, e-commerce, , mobile solutions, phone call tracking, reporting tools, Originally published May 5, 2010 12:57:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 they should be Google’s Analytics Application Gallery Learn how to measure the effectiveness of Your web site. If you’re a Google Analytics user, take some time to browse the new gallery and check out Google’s Topics: If you’re a marketer, web analytics (different from  Today’s launch of will hopefully make it a little easier. The new gallery offers applications that extend Google Analytics’ reach deeper into specific areas like eCommerce and content management.  search optimization ).  Analytics help you determine how each of your initiatives are performing and can indicate whether you need to change or improve upon your existing programs.  In a nutshell, web and marketing analytics ) are a significant part of your marketing programs (and if they aren’t, Google Analytics Have you taken a look around the gallery? Are any of the offered tools useful to you? Share some of your favorite Google Analytics apps in the comments below. help you determine the ROI of your marketing efforts. Why is this helpful for marketers? Editor’s Picks email marketing Download the free video Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Trying to get more out of your Google Analytics? , site audit, and widgets & gadgets.  Currently, there are 38 available apps, though this number will continue to rise as developers submit their new apps to the gallery. to learn how to measure the effectiveness of your web site. Video: Marketing Analytics 101: How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Websitelast_img read more

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10 Common Business Blogging Questions Answered

first_img as part of our software package, guaranteeing that your posts are well-optimized and social media-friendly. blogging platform . More than 3,000 people from all around the world attended the webinar, posting over 1,000 questions during the webinar. . That is why we wanted to tackle some of the most frequently asked questions during the webinar and continue the discussion here! Topics: in the sphere of marketing, 6. Is it good to have a Contact Form page on my blog? The Science of Blogging ( here 8. Is it better to include personal bylines for company bloggers? and HubSpot’s inbound marketing experts will be happy to help you out! Don’t divorce blogging from link-building strategies. Your blog provides the perfect opportunity for building inbound links—sharing insights about your industry prompts people to refer to your expertise from their sites and social media profiles. Also, covering certain people and organizations in your posts will help you develop relationships with them. In order to start driving traffic to your blog, you will need to carve out a niche—focus on your industry and optimize your blog posts around specific industry key phrases. Figure out which keywords you would like to rank high for and concentrate on creating content around them. Use your blog to demonstrate your thought leadership in that subject and reach out to fellow experts. Another effective way to attract traffic is by answering questions that your customers are frequently asking (e.g. in the way we are doing with this post!). . Duct Tape that is specific to the content of the post. You can implement the social media sharing buttons directly from Facebook and Twitter. You can customize your Facebook “Like” button and get the code When creating calls-to-action, use active voice and verbs that convey educational offers. For instance, strong calls-to-action often begin with words like “find out,” “learn” and “try out.” Also, as Dan mentioned in his research, the most linked-to words in blogs include “recent,” “insights” and “answers.” These phrases also emphasize the marketing power of learning opportunities. Twitter request a free website assessment 5. What are your thoughts about moderating comments? dominant one 10. What are some blogs that do it right? Contact forms are not the best performing elements you can add to your blog (or, for that matter, to any other web page). Today your community can reach you instantly using social media, a practice that made contact forms even clumsier and more obsolete. So make sure you add social media sharing buttons to your blog. 3. Are there trigger words that make your calls-to-action more effective? in the eCommerce industry. All three share similar characteristics–frequency of publishing blog posts and inclusion of social media sharing and RSS feeds. Most importantly, they feature valuable content, varying from interviews with industry experts and actionable tips to discount offers. in the construction industry and 7. How much time per week should we allocate to maintaining the blog?center_img business blogging Originally published Dec 10, 2010 11:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Allocating time to blogging depends entirely on your previous activities and existing resources. If you already have writers or if you have content that you can develop into blog posts, then it shouldn’t take you long. If, however, you are starting from scratch, allocate at least 2-3 hours per week for blogging. Consider accumulating blog posts and use Some terrific blogs to examine for best practices include #BlogSci Dan’s research to publish them on best days Our policy at HubSpot is to let everyone comment on our blog articles and create an open space for authentic conversations. Even negative comments provide great opportunities for businesses to share something of value in the public domain and show personality and humanness. By allowing unfiltered comments in blog posts, your company will convey that it welcomes different opinions and embraces transparency. Yesterday Dan Zarrella expanded his scientific webinar series with a presentation analyzing among these remains WordPress, with its various plug-ins and options for customization. HubSpot also offers a But if you want your blog readers to take a specific type of action, then make that clear with a targeted form (not a generic “Contact Us” button). For instance, at the end of each of our blog articles, we include a Some of the most recognized (and free) blogging platforms you can use include WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr. The . 4. Where can we learn how to add the Like and the ReTweet buttons? 9. What do you consider the best blog platform to use? Lauren’s Hope River Pools and Spas ) quickly became a trending topic on Twitter, highlighting people’s strong interest in the science behind blogging for business call-to-action Starting and maintaining a business blog should not require any technical background—you only need to be immersed in your industry and willing come up with interesting content ideas around it. If you are interested in getting a personal blog review, feel free to 2. What has a greater effect on SEO: blog links or link building strategies? also allows you to pick from three different Twitter sharing buttons that count your ReTweets straight from each blog post, thus encouraging people to keep sharing. 1. How do you drive traffic to your blog? Including writer bylines in your company blog posts is definitely a good idea because it highlights the unique personalities of your writers and allows your readership to create comfortable habits. For instance, if the same blogger is posting an article every Monday morning, then your audience will start expecting to see her name and contribution at that specific day and time. This is a great way to build following and also motivate employees to contribute blog posts on a regular basis. Business Blogging Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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The 7 Worst Marketing Emails You’ve Ever Seen

first_imgMarketing shouldn’t make people cry. Do you get marketing email that makes you want to punch your fist through your computer in hopes of actually connecting with the person that sent it. Marketing shouldn’t suck this bad. Marketing should solve problems, not induce fits of rage.Raise your hand, and repeat after me. “I will stop sending marketing emails that makes people want to punch me.” Marketing automation shouldn’t be about doing more crappy marketing with less effort. Instead, it should be about giving people valuable information in a personalized and contextual manner. Let’s take a look at some TERRIBLE marketing emails and learn from them so that we can delight our prospects, leads, and customers.7 Unbelievably Bad Marketing Automation Emails1. Bragging About Clients: Really? You work with all of these companies? Wait…I don’t care! These companies are not related to my business, and it doesn’t matter what you did for them. It’s also great to see that you needed to send a super LONG email to brag about yourself; thanks for wasting even more of my time.Marketing Takeaway: Your prospects and leads don’t care who you work with. They care about what you can do for them. Send them marketing email that is customized to their business needs with specific recommendations for them. 2. Terrible Event Follow-Up: Could the email below be more obvious that it’s a mass email? This sender was so lazy, that he/she put everyone who attended two events on the same list and sent them all the same email. They also include three separate calls-to-action, and the first one for a free trial doesn’t even include a link. This couldn’t be less personal.Marketing Takeaway: Understand how each person gets added to your email list. Use this information combined with their interaction with your website and content to provide them with personalized content and calls-to-action (CTAs). And stick with one CTA per email, please!3. Failure to Test: Nothing (and I mean nothing) demonstrates a lack of personalization better than an error message that displays instead of the recipient’s name. By not sending a test email to check for technical issues, you can instantly lose credibility as a marketer.Marketing Takeaway: Great marketing automation is about more than just compelling content. It’s about making sure all the details are perfect. Your marketing is the first experience that a potential customer faces. Make this process perfect by testing your email marketing sends to ensure that the formatting and personalization features work correctly.4. Forgetting to Nurture: Really? We just met, and you already want to get married? That is often what bad marketing automation email can feel like. Too many emails like the one below go straight into the sales pitch without any prior nurturing.Marketing Takeaway: Plan your communication with prospects and leads to ensure that you have included several steps of sending educational information before transitioning into product-focused information.5. The Scariest Unsubscribe Link Ever: One way to make sure people never unsubscribe from your emails is to scare the heck out of them. Check out the email below: it has a three line long unsubscribe link. When I saw it, I thought about the terror that could be inflicted on me and my email address if I clicked on it. To top it off, this email is completely self-serving.Marketing Takeaway: Make it easy for people to opt in and out of your email marketing efforts. And again, don’t talk about why you are awesome. Instead, help make the person you’re emailing more awesome.6. Horrible Subject Line: An interesting subject line can make or break the success of an email. Nothing says compelling subject line like “Marketing List.” Seriously? That is just bad. To make it worse, this email goes on to prove itself irrelevant and REALLY long. It keeps going well past the screen shot below.Marketing Takeaway: Invest time in great subject line writing. Test different variations with A/B tests to determine which subject line copy works best for your business. 7. Complete Disregard for Targeting: What you see below is a seemingly well-designed and -written email. The problem lies in targeting. I am not a customer of this company. Their targeting is completely off. To make horrible targeting even worse, the email is about nothing. It has no clear action for me to take. It really has no purpose but to take up space in my inbox.Marketing Takeaway: Understand what your subscribers want from your email. Send them clear and actionable messages. Don’t waste paragraphs of text that basically say nothing. Keep your email copy brief with a prominent desired action.Email shouldn’t be evil. Email should be helpful! What other email marketing mistakes have you noticed in your inbox?Image Credit: Generation Bass Originally published Nov 15, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated August 29 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Email Marketing Mistakeslast_img read more

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How to Host a Facebook Chat

first_img Originally published May 24, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated April 04 2017 Facebook Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack When Facebook rolled out the ability to reply to comments on Facebook, my immediate reaction was … indifferent. Actually, I thought it was more likely it would complicate conversations and give spammers additional ways to pollute comment sections.But then I changed my tune when I saw the potential for a fun marketing activity — Facebook Chats! Similar to a Twitter Chat, a Facebook Chat is a scheduled time to, well, “chat” with a group of people about a particular topic on Facebook. With the introduction of the new Facebook reply feature, users could actually have conversations in the comments of a post. Users could reply to comments, Like comments, and make it immensely clear who they were responding to and which point they were addressing.Shortly after this light bulb went off, we hosted four Facebook Chats — we wanted to get the kinks out  before we shared it with you — and now we’re ready to explain how you can host your own. Settle in to learn how easy it is to host a Facebook Chat for your business.One More Time … What’s a Facebook Chat?A Facebook Chat is a virtual gathering of Facebook users to discuss a common topic. For example, during the first chat we posted a photo of our Social Media Manager and told folks they could ask her anything about social content, and for the rest of the hour, questions came flooding in. Our social media expert was then able to respond using the Facebook reply feature on comments. Here’s a wireframe of how this looked during our promotion of the Chat:Four Key Components Needed for an Effective Facebook ChatNow that we’re on the same page, let’s review what you would need to host an actual chat.Goal: Why is this chat taking place in the first place? Are you trying to increase engagement on your page? Are you looking to grow your Facebook reach? Do you want to help promote a particular campaign you’re running?Topic: What will people be discussing in the chat? Will it need a subject matter expert to moderate and answer questions, or will your social media manager suffice?Call-to-Action (CTA): Your chat should have a clear next step. Whether that’s following your page on Facebook, reading a blog post on more relevant content, downloading an ebook, or accessing a discount code to an event, make sure you’re giving those who engaged with you a destination to head to next.Tracking Token: If you include any links in your chat, they’ll help you gain insight into the success of your chat if you include a campaign-specific tracking token. This will tell you how many visitors, leads, and customers were driven over time with your chat as their first touch, or influencing conversion event. Our tracking code was as follows: /?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook &utm_campaign=facebookchat8 Simple Steps to Hosting a Facebook ChatWith that in mind, here’s how to host your own Facebook Chat.Pick a topic. You’ll obviously want to pick a hot topic that your audience cares about. At HubSpot, we’re asked about our content creation process often, which is why we held our first Facebook Chat on that subject.Pick an expert. Ask someone at your business, or in your network, who has deep knowledge on the selected topic, to be your chat expert. This person should be able to quickly respond to the questions that emerge. Facebook Chats are live, which means scripted responses won’t fly.Promote the date and time. Give your fan base at least a day’s heads up as to when the chat will be held. Unlike a workshop or webinar, there’s no form to fill out or ticket to purchase with a Facebook Chat, so folks can just jump right into the conversation.Create a dedicated web page. This page should host information relevant to the chat, whether that’s just relevant chat information, or a specific content offering you want to give attendees. If you want to provide a content offering to help generate leads, you’ll want to make this page a landing page with a form.Create a campaign tracking token. As mentioned earlier, use this tracking token every time you promote the dedicated landing page so you can track and measure chat impact on your overall marketing.Host the chat on a status update. Post about your chat topic on Facebook at the beginning of the chat, and make it clear that attendees can simply comment with their questions on the status update itself. Then have your expert reply to the comments with the Facebook reply feature.Monitor the conversation. Even if you have an expert responding to questions, ensure someone is available on that chat acting as a more neutral moderator. There will be questions that your expert may not have time to attend to, or may not be suited to respond to, so you can help out by linking to relevant resources (include that tracking token!) and responding where possible.Measure the impact. Use the campaign tracking token to look at how the chats performed. You can also dig into your Facebook Insights to see how that particular post performed compared to your other Facebook posts.What We Learned About Hosting Facebook ChatsAfter hosting four chats that first week of April, we found a few immediate things that might help you to know before you host your own chat.Responding in real-time ain’t easy. It’s hard to predict what kind of questions you’ll hear on the chat, or what people will say. Make sure your expert is able to handle quickly responding to diverse questions. He/she will need to not only be comfortable speaking on the fly, but able to respond eloquently when doing so.Facebook comments do not operate in real-time. Even though you’re responding in real-time … Facebook is not. After you respond to a question, you’ll have to refresh your browser to load the latest comments and replies on the chat.You may not get to every question. As helpful as you’d like to be, you may not be able to answer every question. Due to the time it takes to respond to a single question, you may miss questions that emerge while you respond. Try your best to interact with fans, but realize you may have to regretfully miss some — otherwise you’ll be on Facebook all day!Others will jump in to help. Fortunately, the world is full of brilliant minds. You may notice some users jump in simply to respond to the questions people are putting forward. Welcome these folks! Don’t be afraid to thank them for helping respond, and share your thoughts on their responses, too.If you’re ready to try a new content format on your Facebook Page, try a Facebook chat! Feel free to share your learnings after, too. This could be the beginning of something new! Topics:last_img read more

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