Help! My Competitors Are Following Me On Twitter, What Do I Do? // Nice @theideabrand :)


This morning I received an email from one of our Brand Partners asking how she should deal with direct competitors that are following her company on Twitter.

“Do we block direct competitors from following us or is this just what happens in social media?”

My answer: You can block competitors on Twitter but that doesn’t really make a difference.

theideabrand.com

When you block an unwanted follower, the user no longer has the ability to:

  • Follow you
  • See your profile picture on their page or in their timeline
  • Have their @replies mentions show in your mentions tab
  • Add your Twitter account to one of their lists

Why Blocking Competitors on Twitter Doesn’t Matter

Blocking a competitor doesn’t stop them from gathering competitive intelligence through other means such as following your account under a different alias.

In addition, your competitor can still monitor your Twitter profile without actually following your account by leveraging social media monitoring platforms such as Radian6 and Sysomos.  They can gather information about which Twitter influencers engage with you the most, analyze which topics are trending with your consumers, and track down your disgruntled customers to swoop in for a chance to be a hero.

Full article !

Exploring and Exploiting Your Way to Growth


HBR Blog Network / HBS Faculty

So far, 2012 has been another banner year for the ‘tyranny of success’ as once great companies slide ever closer to the abyss. Kodak’s bankruptcy, Nokia’s vanishing profits, and the continuing struggles of Blackberry maker Research In Motion to find an answer to the iPhone, show how rapidly heroes lose their edge. Each of these firms is struggling to respond to and lead disruption in their industries. Nokia and RIM have watched as Apple and Android have wiped away their leading position; each attempted to respond, but neither could execute. The question though is, why didn’t they move earlier? Why are companies often left flat-footed when competition strikes? Leer más “Exploring and Exploiting Your Way to Growth”

The 3-Step Process to Creating an Effective and Profitable Keyword Plan


http://bit.ly/JqiFPt | by NEIL PATEL | quicksprout.com

keyword research google

Would you rather get 1,000,000 visitors from Google each month or 1,000? Your gut is probably telling you to go with 1,000,000, but the reality is you don’t have enough information to make an educated decision.

The keyword game isn’t just about traffic, it’s also about quality. You have to look at conversion rates to make an educated decision.

This means you have to look at larger goals and breakthrough keyword volume.

In my ten years in the business I’ve made creating high-converting keyword research plans a priority…let me share my 3-step plan with you:

Step #1: Keyword research for SEO

When you research for keywords on your own site, it’s a lot easier to do because you know the content inside out. It’s almost instinct.

But if you are working on a new site, then it is best that you do a lot of keyword research. This means starting with a list of keywords. If you don’t have a list, then work through as much content as you can.

As you do that, think about this…

  • Think about any word or category you don’t understand – Drop these words into Google and see what kind of results come up.
  • Do these results match what you are trying to accomplish – Or does it look like their competitor? As you will see when we get into the conversion part of keyword research, keywords that don’t convert waste time and visitors.

When you find non-converting keywords, search through and remove any other keywords that are similar. As you do this your list of categories will probably change as you start to understand your site’s content. But it’s always easier to start with too many categories, which you can reduce later.

Check the estimated search volumes and make sure they match what you expect.

For instance, do more people search for “SEO consultant” or “SEO services.” Or do more people search for “florist” or “flowers”? Or do more people search for “washers” or “washing machines”?

While you may lean towards the more technically correct “SEO services,” you might find that more people are actually searching for SEO consultants, so you’ll want to work more references of “SEO consultants” into your copy.

And you are ready to use these 5 questions to maximize your keyword research. The following exercise is recommended by Jenny Halasz, and is a very helpful way to uncover keywords for clients efficiently and effectively…: Leer más “The 3-Step Process to Creating an Effective and Profitable Keyword Plan”

Twitter Marketing Guide

By Kristi Hines
http://blog.kissmetrics.com/twitter-marketing-guide/

While Twitter may not be as big as Facebook in terms of traffic, it has several advantages over Facebook. Not only is it easier to gain followers on Twitter, but you can engage with people before they become your friend on a personal profile or your fan on a business page.

The following is a guide to help you setup your Twitter profile and implement a successful Twitter marketing strategy. It gives suggestions and tips for those who are new to Twitter or are just looking for some new ideas.
Researching the Competition

If you’re just starting out on Twitter and need a few examples to follow, why not start by doing a little research on what your competition (or colleagues, if you prefer) are doing in the Twitterverse.

I can *almost* guarantee that there is a similar blogger, freelancer, entrepreneur, local business, or any-sized business already out there taking advantage of Twitter. You can find them by visiting their websites or using directories such as Twellow and Wefollow to search for Twitter users in a specific industry.

Be sure to find the best examples to follow – if you’re a local bakery, and your competition down the road isn’t on Twitter (or only has 3 followers), then try broadening your searching for a local bakery in a larger city. Once you’ve found them, follow them and see what they do. Note what seems to get a good response and what doesn’t.

For more tips on researching the competition, I wrote a post here a few months back called 7 sneaky ways to use Twitter to spy on your competition. Be sure to check it out to see what you can learn from others in your field!


twitter-marketing-guide

While Twitter may not be as big as Facebook in terms of traffic, it has several advantages over Facebook. Not only is it easier to gain followers on Twitter, but you can engage with people before they become your friend on a personal profile or your fan on a business page.

The following is a guide to help you setup your Twitter profile and implement a successful Twitter marketing strategy. It gives suggestions and tips for those who are new to Twitter or are just looking for some new ideas.

Researching the Competition

If you’re just starting out on Twitter and need a few examples to follow, why not start by doing a little research on what your competition (or colleagues, if you prefer) are doing in the Twitterverse.

I can *almost* guarantee that there is a similar blogger, freelancer, entrepreneur, local business, or any-sized business already out there taking advantage of Twitter. You can find them by visiting their websites or using directories such as Twellow and Wefollow to search for Twitter users in a specific industry.

Be sure to find the best examples to follow – if you’re a local bakery, and your competition down the road isn’t on Twitter (or only has 3 followers), then try broadening your searching for a local bakery in a larger city. Once you’ve found them, follow them and see what they do. Note what seems to get a good response and what doesn’t.

For more tips on researching the competition, I wrote a post here a few months back called 7 sneaky ways to use Twitter to spy on your competition. Be sure to check it out to see what you can learn from others in your field! Leer más “Twitter Marketing Guide”

5 Ways to Help Your Clients Network

Another great thing about being a freelancer is the number and diversity of clients you can have. By introducing them to each other, you are creating valuable connections that will likely result in more work for you. If you can help your clients be successful, it’s almost a sure bet that you will benefit, too.

Here are 5 ways to introduce clients to each other:

Drink More – Ok, maybe not alcohol, but schedule a coffee meeting between two or three clients that share a similar industry (but not direct competitors). Introduce them to each other, and see how the conversation goes.


Another great thing about being a freelancer is the number and diversity of clients you can have.  By introducing them to each other, you are creating valuable connections that will likely result in more work for you.  If you can help your clients be successful, it’s almost a sure bet that you will benefit, too.

Here are 5 ways to introduce clients to each other:

Drink More – Ok, maybe not alcohol, but schedule a coffee meeting between two or three clients that share a similar industry (but not direct competitors).  Introduce them to each other, and see how the conversation goes.

Eat More – Host a BBQ and invite a few of the clients that you enjoy working with.  Don’t have a place to have a BBQ?  Plan a picnic in a local park or at the beach.  It doesn’t have to be a large expense, just tell them that you’ve reserved a spot, and they are welcome to bring their own picnic lunch and have a relaxing day. Leer más “5 Ways to Help Your Clients Network”

Three Questions to Help Assess Your Strategic Position

by H. James Wilson

I’ve spent some of my professional life in strategy research and consulting organizations, where developing diagnostic frameworks on competition is the name of the game. But as comprehensive and complex as they are, these models are often unhelpful (or impenetrable) to front-line practitioners who might use them to improve day-to-day decisions and actions.

In contrast, I encounter some of the most practical competition frameworks in my personal life, where I train for and race in triathlons. For instance, fellow triathletes organize the competitive landscape of world-class competitors, like Ironman Hawaii qualifiers rather simply; FOPs are “Front of Pack” athletes who finish in the top 5%. MOPs are “Middle of Pack” and BOPs are “Back of Pack” (laggards and new entrants just getting into world-class competition. MOPs and BOPs have one goal: improve steadily from one race to the next; move toward the FOP.

I wondered if I could apply this simple framework to organizational competition, so I conducted a fun experiment, applying the FOP/MOP/BOP segmentation to a sample of 305 global companies that recently reported facing intense competitive pressure in their industry. (Source: 2010 Babson Executive Education survey. Thanks to Dr. Elaine Eisenman and James Liljedahl for input.)

Using annual revenue growth as the performance measure — the “finishing time,” if you will — I segmented competitors as follows:

* FOPs achieved greater than 15% annual revenue growth, which neatly puts them into the top 5% of all companies in the sample (16 companies in all)
* MOPs achieved 1-15% growth over the past year, and represent 48% of of the sample (145 companies)
* BOPs showed flat or declining revenues, and represent 47% of the sample (144 companies)


by H. James Wilson

I’ve spent some of my professional life in strategy research and consulting organizations, where developing diagnostic frameworks on competition is the name of the game. But as comprehensive and complex as they are, these models are often unhelpful (or impenetrable) to front-line practitioners who might use them to improve day-to-day decisions and actions.

In contrast, I encounter some of the most practical competition frameworks in my personal life, where I train for and race in triathlons. For instance, fellow triathletes organize the competitive landscape of world-class competitors, like Ironman Hawaii qualifiers rather simply; FOPs are “Front of Pack” athletes who finish in the top 5%. MOPs are “Middle of Pack” and BOPs are “Back of Pack” (laggards and new entrants just getting into world-class competition. MOPs and BOPs have one goal: improve steadily from one race to the next; move toward the FOP.

I wondered if I could apply this simple framework to organizational competition, so I conducted a fun experiment, applying the FOP/MOP/BOP segmentation to a sample of 305 global companies that recently reported facing intense competitive pressure in their industry. (Source: 2010 Babson Executive Education survey. Thanks to Dr. Elaine Eisenman and James Liljedahl for input.)

Using annual revenue growth as the performance measure — the “finishing time,” if you will — I segmented competitors as follows:

  • FOPs achieved greater than 15% annual revenue growth, which neatly puts them into the top 5% of all companies in the sample (16 companies in all)
  • MOPs achieved 1-15% growth over the past year, and represent 48% of of the sample (145 companies)
  • BOPs showed flat or declining revenues, and represent 47% of the sample (144 companies) Leer más “Three Questions to Help Assess Your Strategic Position”

11 steps to marketing nirvana

by ian

In the event of my horrible messy stinky death, please read this:

Today, I may get flushed down a toilet, then plunge 30,000 feet to my death. I’m not crazy, I tell you. See, I suspect that the Brotherhood of Magical Tea Party Activists is after me. I know they’re annoyed that I’ve actually read the Constitution before gum-flapping. So they sacrificed something small and furry, said the right evil chant and put a curse on me. Read on and you’ll see it’s totally plausible:

Yesterday I got stung by a bunch of extremely pissed-off ground wasps. I was pulling weeds, heard a lot of buzzing, and then “Ow… Ow… OW… HEY AUGHHHH.” I ran inside, flapping my arms around me like I was dancing in a rock tumbler.

ground-wasp.jpg

The day before I cracked one of my teeth so badly I had to go to an emergency dental clinic, and now have to get a root canal plus gum surgery to even make the tooth good enough for a crown. Previously over 15 years of perfect dental health, by the way. What was I eating? A sub sandwich, with no hard stuff in it. Apparently grilled cheese causes my teeth to spontaneously explode.

The day before that, I was recovering from a brief but nasty case of food poisoning. I don’t have a cast-iron stomach, but I think the last time I got food poisoning was 26 years ago, after eating shwarma in a town square in Jerusalem on a hot day. No one else at the conference got food poisoning, as far as I know. I ate the one piece of bad meat?


by ian

In the event of my horrible messy stinky death, please read this:

Today, I may get flushed down a toilet, then plunge 30,000 feet to my death. I’m not crazy, I tell you. See, I suspect that the Brotherhood of Magical Tea Party Activists is after me. I know they’re annoyed that I’ve actually read the Constitution before gum-flapping. So they sacrificed something small and furry, said the right evil chant and put a curse on me. Read on and you’ll see it’s totally plausible:

Yesterday I got stung by a bunch of extremely pissed-off ground wasps. I was pulling weeds, heard a lot of buzzing, and then “Ow… Ow… OW… HEY AUGHHHH.” I ran inside, flapping my arms around me like I was dancing in a rock tumbler.

ground-wasp.jpg

The day before I cracked one of my teeth so badly I had to go to an emergency dental clinic, and now have to get a root canal plus gum surgery to even make the tooth good enough for a crown. Previously over 15 years of perfect dental health, by the way. What was I eating? A sub sandwich, with no hard stuff in it. Apparently grilled cheese causes my teeth to spontaneously explode.

The day before that, I was recovering from a brief but nasty case of food poisoning. I don’t have a cast-iron stomach, but I think the last time I got food poisoning was 26 years ago, after eating shwarma in a town square in Jerusalem on a hot day. No one else at the conference got food poisoning, as far as I know. I ate the one piece of bad meat? Leer más “11 steps to marketing nirvana”

The dirty secret to finding a Unique Selling Proposition for something that isn’t unique

♠ When you’re selling, finding a point of difference is essential. You have to set yourself apart in the minds of your ideal prospect as the only—or at least the best—choice. Typically, the basis for this differentiation is a strong unique selling proposition (USP).

Figuring out a USP can be pretty hard—because, bluntly, you usually aren’t unique in a way that your prospects care about. And you aren’t selling anything unique in a way they care about. Virtually no one is. So what do you do?

If you’re smart, you cheat. Not in a dishonest way. Just in a cunning way. Read on, and I’ll let you in on the dirty lil secret that makes finding a USP much easier.
The three ways in which you can differentiate yourself…>>


♠ When you’re selling, finding a point of difference is essential. You have to set yourself apart in the minds of your ideal prospect as the only—or at least the best—choice. Typically, the basis for this differentiation is a strong unique selling proposition (USP).

Figuring out a USP can be pretty hard—because, bluntly, you usually aren’t unique in a way that your prospects care about. And you aren’t selling anything unique in a way they care about. Virtually no one is. So what do you do?

If you’re smart, you cheat. Not in a dishonest way. Just in a cunning way. Read on, and I’ll let you in on the dirty lil secret that makes finding a USP much easier.

The three ways in which you can differentiate yourself…>> Leer más “The dirty secret to finding a Unique Selling Proposition for something that isn’t unique”

Stelios lines up travel brands to rival easyJet

Haji-Ioannou, who wholly owns easyGroup, launched easyJet in 1995, but now holds only a minority stake in the airline. He stands to profit if the judge rules that easyJet is prevented from entering other areas of the travel industry.

The entrepreneur has launched a digital and outdoor ad campaign to promote easyHolidays.co.uk, a yet-to-launch travel proposition that will go into direct competition with a similar service launched by easyJet in 2007.


Alex Brownsell

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, chairman of easyGroup, plans to roll out a suite of “spoiler” travel products to take on easyJet, as his court case against the airline he founded reaches its climax.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou: in disupte with easyJet
Stelios Haji-Ioannou: in disupte with easyJet

Haji-Ioannou, who wholly owns easyGroup, launched easyJet in 1995, but now holds only a minority stake in the airline. He stands to profit if the judge rules that easyJet is prevented from entering other areas of the travel industry.

The entrepreneur has launched a digital and outdoor ad campaign to promote easyHolidays.co.uk, a yet-to-launch travel proposition that will go into direct competition with a similar service launched by easyJet in 2007. Leer más “Stelios lines up travel brands to rival easyJet”

Innovation Perspectives – A Common Purpose

This is the second of several ‘Innovation Perspectives‘ articles we will publish this week from multiple authors to get different perspectives on ‘How should firms collaborate with customers and/or value chain partners to co-create new products and services?’. Here is the next perspective in the series:

by Yann Cramer

Co-Creation Springs from a Sense of Common Purpose

Innovation Perspectives – A Common PurposeToo often the question of value extraction/retention is a dominant concern for all parties at too early a stage. For the sake of argument, let’s consider a supplier who has to develop a critical component for a customer who will integrate it in the design of a new finished product. The development process has not yet started that the customer plays its cards close to its chest with the conscious objective to retain as much of the value they will get from selling the finished product, and the supplier plays in a similar way with an equally conscious objective to extract as much value as possible from selling their component to the customer.

As a result, the supplier does not share unique knowledge for fear of losing leverage, the customer does not seek what could make the product unique for fear of tying itself to a particular supplier, and a great deal of time and effort is invested in crafting legal frameworks for knowledge sharing that anticipate on everything that could go wrong. But in reality, the biggest risk they run (without recognising it) is that while they position themselves for future negotiations some competitors will move faster and take the market.


This is the second of several ‘Innovation Perspectives‘ articles we will publish this week from multiple authors to get different perspectives on ‘How should firms collaborate with customers and/or value chain partners to co-create new products and services?’. Here is the next perspective in the series:

by Yann Cramer

Co-Creation Springs from a Sense of Common Purpose

Innovation Perspectives - A Common PurposeToo often the question of value extraction/retention is a dominant concern for all parties at too early a stage. For the sake of argument, let’s consider a supplier who has to develop a critical component for a customer who will integrate it in the design of a new finished product. The development process has not yet started that the customer plays its cards close to its chest with the conscious objective to retain as much of the value they will get from selling the finished product, and the supplier plays in a similar way with an equally conscious objective to extract as much value as possible from selling their component to the customer.

As a result, the supplier does not share unique knowledge for fear of losing leverage, the customer does not seek what could make the product unique for fear of tying itself to a particular supplier, and a great deal of time and effort is invested in crafting legal frameworks for knowledge sharing that anticipate on everything that could go wrong. But in reality, the biggest risk they run (without recognising it) is that while they position themselves for future negotiations some competitors will move faster and take the market. Leer más “Innovation Perspectives – A Common Purpose”

How to stay busy when you’re not

By Megan Byrne
The Sydney Morning Herald

Megan Byrne looks at how to stay busy when there’s seemingly nothing to do.

Most people have a quiet day at work now and then. But with businesses looking to cut costs wherever possible, you don’t want to appear idle for too long or you may find it’s your job on the chopping block. Don’t risk getting caught on Facebook or playing online sudoku activities that could potentially land you in hot water instead, use your time to improve your workplace, personal workspace, industry knowledge and career prospects.


By Megan Byrne
The Sydney Morning Herald

Megan Byrne looks at how to stay busy when there’s seemingly nothing to do.

Most people have a quiet day at work now and then. But with businesses looking to cut costs wherever possible, you don’t want to appear idle for too long or you may find it’s your job on the chopping block. Don’t risk getting caught on Facebook or playing online sudoku activities that could potentially land you in hot water instead, use your time to improve your workplace, personal workspace, industry knowledge and career prospects. Leer más “How to stay busy when you’re not”

Crowdsourcing Meets Communities: New Approach for Companies?


Recent Posts by Stefan Lindegaard

InnoCentive, Netflix Prize and Style Your Smart are just a few examples of crowdsourcing initiatives that pay cash prizes for selected or winning contributions. This seems to work just fine although you always have to find the right balance on what to offer for contributions. Some competitions only use very small cash prizes or just gifts such as iPods or clothing.

One example is the Tomorrow’s Urban Mobility Services contest held by the BMW Group. Here the prizes are not that great, but perhaps they believe that big, cash prizes will just attract many junk ideas. Perhaps they believe that quality input comes from people who care more about kudos and recognition than big cash rewards?

Personally, I think it is a question of striking a proper balance and finding out what works for your company and community. I am quite sure InnoCentive, Netflix and Daimler have learned a lot from their initiatives and that they constantly improve on striking this balance.

As I did some research on rewards and recognition, I found some great posts by Open Technologist. In one post, Crowdsourcing Example – People Participation In Crowdsourcing Platforms, they got into an interesting topic. Rewards do have to be direct; they can also also be indirect.

Open Technologist used the example of TopCoder, a software development house for outsourced projects that is different from its competitors as the work is crowdsourced to a community of over 240.000 members from over 200 countries in a competition format. Leer más “Crowdsourcing Meets Communities: New Approach for Companies?”