Hubspot asks who do you love?

The good people at Hubspot never let me down. I was doing my early morning scan of Twitter when I came across a tweet with a shoutout to send “LinkLove” to anyone you want (ie friend, colleague or favorite blog).  After a short music video starring Hubspot’s resident triple threat Rebecca Corliss (singer, dancer and inbound marketer), I checked out the lovefest.  All you have to do to share the love is enter your Twitter name, your friend’s Twitter name and “their URL”.  Like all good viral campaigns, the made it “stupid easy” to share and it wasn’t long before my Twitter stream was full of their #linklove hashtags. So why all the buzz about #linklove?  For those of use trying to build a business organically (OK, using inbound marketing as Hubspot would say), inbound links are gold.  When they come from a site with stronger page rank, this is even better.  I feel pretty confident that Hubspot has more Google page rank than 90+% of the people on Twitter (Hubspot = 6 vs. Tangyslice = 3) so the once the “linklove” pump is primed, this was highly likely to go viral.  Everyone wants a free link from a site with more page rank. Or so they would think…  OK, I’m not an SEO expert (but I play one on television).  A closer look, however, reveals that linklove.hubspot.com has no pagerank (yet).  Thanks to all those inbound links i would expect this to improve pretty quickly.  Would it have been better to put it on www. hubspot.com/linklove instead?  Any SEO experts out there to offer an more qualified opinion? A more cynical marketer might also suggest that Hubspot is getting the better deal as the value of the aggregate inbound #linklove links to likely exceeds the sum of the link building value to all of us “lovers”.  It doesn’t take an MIT degree to figure that it just doesn’t matter.  Unlike many forms of marketing, there’s no cost to giving somebody a link so in the end this viral campaign is fun and everyone loves a free link. I once again take my hat off to these guys (Rebecca, Mike Volpe, Rick Burnes, et al).  Half the battle is coming up the idea for the killer viral marketing campaign and the other is making it happen.  They did both really well… ...

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Selective Neglect

Early in my graduate school experience I learned a valuable lesson.  We had six classes each with a theoretical two hours of homework per class hour.  This added up to something like 60 hours of class and homework excluding the team meetings to coordinate group projects.  After a futile effort to “do it all”, I discovered the joys of “selective neglect”. I learned to make the hard decisions about what not to do ahead of time and living with the consequences.  This doesn’t necessarily mean slacking but instead spending time upfront making and communicating your priorities. It is better to make the decisions than to have them make themselves. If you are like me, January was a month of unbridled optimism with great things in mind for the new year.  All of those programs that never quite got done last year are now on your 2009 marketing plan, right?  Well, February’s reality has set.  Your resources haven’t changed much (if at all) yet you have made commitments you need to keep. So what can you do?  Working every weekend is a real option but in the long run it isn’t sustainable. My answer is ruthless prioritization and clear communication. It isn’t always straightforward.  As I often say to my teammates, it is easier to decide what you will do than what you will stop doing. So what are you going to stop...

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When worlds collide

I’ve had a number of conversations recently where people have asked whether or not they should keep separate social networks for friends (ie Facebook) and professional contacts (ie LinkedIn or Plaxo). However quaint (I borrowed that term from my colleague and lifestyle blogger Limeduck), the reality is that world do collide. While it is easy to ignore that Facebook friend request from that dude you hung out with at middle school band camp, what do you do when your boss friends you? There is no easy answer to that question.  I am not much of a Facebooker and not inclined to oversharing (what, you don’t want to hear about my kid’s latest temper tantrum) so I really don’t worry much about worlds colliding.  The truth is that you really can’t keep your “worlds” separate.  As George Constanza learned on Seinfeld you can’t keep “Relationship George” and “Independent George’s” worlds from colliding.  My advice is to embrace it. So here are my tips to avoid the discomfort when worlds collide: Think before you friend – Do you really want to reconnect with this person?  How well did you know them in the first place? Less is more – I know that you like to share but oversharing may come back to haunt you one day.  Needless to say I am glad there was no Facebook to document my college years. Understand you are in public place – Join the conversation but understand that others are listening. And finally have some fun and stay...

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How many KPIs do I need?

It always starts off with a simple request for KPIs or key performance indicators.   The challenge I often see is cutting through the noise and actually getting to the metrics that are truly “key”.  So what makes a KPI?  Here is my list: It is connected to your strategic or tactical goals It is unique (i.e. it is not strongly correlated or a subset of another KPI) It is diverse (think about a balanced scorecard of indicators) It can be calculated in a clear and consistent way (i.e. no debates about where the number comes from) Your team “buys-into” the number It has an owner who works toward improving it For an a small team, I generally like no more than KPIs (ideally 1-2).  If you feel the need for tracking every possible operating number, then create a separate spreadsheet filled with metrics.  You can always graduate (or demote) metrics if you identify trends that are connected with your successes or failures.  For a company or larger operating group, I like to keep the KPIs to under 20.  More than that and they are a list of metrics rather than key performance indicators.  In the end I prefer to make the difficult decisions about what numbers are truly important and track those.  The rest are just numbers about your business. So, how many KPIs are you...

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Why does your boss hate social media?

My recent question “why do marketers love social media?” got me thinking.  If marketers love social media so much, why don’t social media projects get immediately funded and senior execs jump at the opportunity to use social media to connect with customers, partners and employees?  Why is your boss such a social media “hater”?  Well, putting on my COO hat, here are my hypotheses: Your weak business case: Even though it has the measurability advantage of being an online medium, it is challenging to quantify the benefits of Twittering in C-level exec terms like revenue or leads. It is lonely at the top: Other than a small selection of high profile execs, most are not using social media (and if they are it is something practical like LinkedIn). Technology adoption: If your boss is not an early adopter or part of the early majority, there are very few convincing arguments for social media. Bigger fish to fry: We all know the sour economic environment is affecting business.  Chances are your boss is more concerned about meeting monthly numbers and keeping his/her job than “cool new opportunities”. Difficult to quantify ROI: Unless you are closing business or generating leads from social media, it is pretty challenging to build an economic case.  While community building and customer engagement are important, ROI is top of mind.  Given the Your boss has no friends:  Just because everyone you know is on Facebook or Twitter doesn’t mean that this is true for your boss. Your boss’ peers or friends may not be using social media.  Check out this research by the Pew Internet & American Life Project to see how social media use declines in older demographics. Can you think of any others I...

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