Junior League of Los Angeles Hosts Wpromote on Social Media Panel

Clockwise from top left: JL President Barbara Wright, Adria Holtzinger, Michael Wilde, Joanne Coghill, Michael Block, Lonny Schwartz

Last night, the Junior League of Los Angeles hosted an event called “Social Media for Non-Profits” at the Sheraton Delfina in Santa Monica. Wpromote was proud to send four employees to sit on the panel to discuss the importance of social media in non-profit marketing. Joanne Coghill, our Director of Human Resources, moderated and Adria Holtzinger, Lonny Schwartz, Michael Wilde and I sat at the dais taking questions and doing our best to articulate the value of social media.

It was a real treat to have been a part of this event. Not only was the presentation well-attended by about 200 professional women in the Los Angeles area but the audience was eager to learn, ready with questions and very enthusiastic about their cause. Nothing is more gratifying than talking about something you’re passionate about with a group of people who are equally passionate about learning.

The audience took to their phones to pose questions to the panelists.

In an effort to stress the importance of social media, we allowed attendees to submit questions via their smart phones to the Wpromote Facebook page. Those who asked their questions in this manner skipped to the front of the line because it’s in every organization’s best interest to address questions posed publicly first and privately second. Therein lies the value of getting your audience to participate on your Facebook page: when the conversation occurs on your Facebook page, you are given an opportunity to show off to your audience just how good your service is and how responsive you can be!

Below are some of the great questions that were posed during the event:

If there is anything that I would want to reiterate about the importance of social media, it would be this: other than the investment of time, almost all of it is free! That’s usually the magic word for non-profit organizations that are always looking for the most efficient ways to spend their budgets. I would recommend exhausting all free marketing options and leveraging user content (photos, videos, blogs, etc.) before spending a dime on expensive ads.

Thanks to all the folks that attended the event!

Lastly, always remember that social media engagement is no different than your interactions in everyday life. The difference between tweeting at someone and sending them a text message on your phone is minimal; the difference between writing a letter to a person and sending them a Facebook message is just the time it takes for that message to get delivered. Social media shouldn’t be looked at as some new-fangled, high tech solution that is inaccessible to anyone who doesn’t label themselves an expert. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! Social media is simply the online extension to the interactions that make up your life on a daily basis.

Thank you, once again, to the Junior League of Los Angeles for hosting us. We hope that those that attended learned a thing or two about marketing non-profits via social media and that they enjoyed the event. As soon as photos and videos are available, we’ll be sure to link to them!


Introducing Our Web-Based SEOAudit Tool

There are a tons of great SEO tools freely available on the web. I’m always trying new ones out myself, constantly on the hunt for the next tool that’ll simplify my job as an SEO. However, most of the SEO tools that I use regularly are either programs I’ve installed or browser extensions. The web-based SEO tools that I use are all for very specific purposes.

Wpromote set out to create a general purpose SEO tool that was fast and convenient. We were looking to create something that you could quickly turn to when you didn’t know much about a site, and wanted to get a basic idea of its strengths and weaknesses. And with that, I introduce to you our brand new web-based SEOAudit Tool!

Enter the URL of the site you'd like to analyze to view information for that site.

This bad boy is super helpful, especially if you’re in a rush. Simply enter a URL and click “audit”. Within a few seconds, you’ll have access to a wealth of useful stats, such as the number of pages indexed in Google, a backlink count, WHOIS info, SEOMoz metrics such as Domain Authority and MozRank, Alexa rank, the number of backlinks according to Yahoo, and a whole lot more.

The tool also displays social stats, such as the number of Facebook likes, Twitter shares, Diggs, etc.

Click the "add a URL to compare" link to compare 2 URLs.

Want to compare two sites? We thought you might – that’s what the “add a URL to compare” link is for. Clicking this will display a second URL field, allowing you to view all of the aforementioned metrics (and more) side-by-side.

Want to save all of that information? You can do that too. We’ve included options to export to both PDF and CSV, so you can store this information and use it later.

But wait, there’s more! If you act now, you can have unlimited access to this tool for the low monthly cost of… I’m kidding, it’s free. So you’ll probably want to go ahead and bookmark it; it’s bound to come in handy.

If you have any feedback on the tool, we’d love to hear it. Leave a comment on this post, or get in touch with us with any questions/concerns you might have.

On a somewhat related note: if you haven’t already checked it out, I’d highly recommend giving our Firefox SEO extension a shot. It’s got a lot of useful features, but I use it mainly for competitive research. It’s awesome for quickly and efficiently finding out what you’re up against. Just plug in a handful of competitor domains and quickly see important metrics such as index count, number of backlinks, domain age, and more.

Viral Video Friday!

Facebook Voicemails From My Mom


Like they say, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”  Ever had to explain Facebook to your parents?  It’s not always the same for everyone, but for some kids… it can get a bit ridiculous.  Watch and listen to this conversation from a very frustrated Facebook newbie.

Reactions to Duck Sauce’s Big Bad Wolf Music Video


After the success of “Barbara Streisand” by Duck Sauce, the crew has taken their newest video to a whole new level!  The “Big Bad Wolf” video is definitely NSFW, but to give you an idea of its shock-value, watch these reactions.

Gettin’ Sugar High


Trick or Treat!  You never know what kids will say/do when you fill their tummies with nothing but sweets!

Halloween Light Show 2011 – Party Rock Anthem


“Everyday I’m shufflin’…” Halloween isn’t until Monday, but this California homeowner is ready to party!  With some skillful coordination and a little help from LMFAO, this video has made quite an impression on YouTube over the past few days.

Viral Video Friday!

Betty White and Luciana – I’m Still Hot


Everyone’s favorite Golden Girl, Betty White collaborated with British pop singer Luciana to promote Lifeline Insurance in this very hilarious music video “I’m Still Hot.”  As comical as this was, the video didn’t get much viral buzz.  Did the video really have to be 4:29 minutes long?  While we didn’t see much of this video on Facebook and Twitter, it still kept us entertained!

A Magazine Is an iPad That Doesn’t Work


Nothing is more adorable than a baby trying to use a magazine like an iPad! Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the future!  OR Thank you Steve Jobs for a look into the future.

 Sophia Grace and Nicki Minaj on The Ellen Degeneres Show


In a pink dress and sparkling tiara, Sophia Grace and her cousin Rosie Grace’s cover of Nicki Minaj’s song “Super Bass”, was an instant viral video hit.  Ellen Degeneres invited the duo to her show this week, where they stole the show (as expected), with a little help from Nicki Minaj herself.

Haven’t seen the original video yet?  Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered!



Japanese Government To Launch Largest Link Bait Campaign In Search History

Dateline: October 11, 2011

By Ryan Farrell with Jaime Brown

Yahoo News reports that the Japanese Government is in talks to approve a travel initiative in combination with the Japanese board of tourism to give away 10,000 free airfare passes to passengers looking to travel to Japan

The Catch: This opportunity is only available to influential bloggers or those with considerable clout in the Social Media world.

I want you all to stop and think about the undigested brilliance of this move on the part of the Japanese board of tourism. Since a devastating Earthquake and Tsunami wrecked the Japanese coast in March, the number of foreign visitors to the country of Japan has declined considerably.

Couple that with the fact that virtually any and all searches in any one of the major engines for a japan related keyword term will give you some denigrating story about nuclear fallout or tsunami damage or displacement of refugees… and you are looking at a real public relations nightmare sitting squarely in the lap of the Japanese Government.

The Japanese need a cost effective way to manage their country’s reputation as a tourist haven… and quick. And what better way to do that than to Fly Seth Godin and Arianna Huffington to Tokyo and have them blog about their happy travels ostensibly using the anchor text “japan tsunami” or “Japanese nuclear disaster” linking back to www.jnto.go.jp? (I’ll bet you there is an anchor text clause in the contract you sign to get your tickets).

The Japanese are about to take white hat link building to the next level. And I for one would happily jump aboard this bandwagon with the rest of the blogger bunch, but I got a sneaking suspicion that they are looking to fill those Japan Air seats with a bit more clout than your average SEO Analyst carries.

Murdering People: The Google-Safe Way

To be clear, Wpromote is in no way saying that murder is acceptable or something one should do. Also, the views expressed in this post are solely those of Dom. While usually this statement is supplied in the cases when people are offended, so that those people know who to send their disapproval towards, the previous statement is also there so you know who to send your praise towards. Quick recap: if you hate it, let him know (that bastard); if you love it, let him know (that delightful rapscallion).

On September 29th The Guardian, a UK News source, reported that a family was sentence to prison (and various youth facilities) for plotting to kill their grandfather. Investigators recovered past searches, on Google, that the family made while plotting against their 89 year-old grandfather. Reportedly the searched phrases included:

  • “how to kill someone”
  • “10 easy ways to kill someone with no trace”
  • “can you kill someone with a punch?”
  • “easiest ways to kill old person”
  • “if you hit someone across the back of the head with a brick will they die or just get a bruise?”

Worst. Family. Ever.

Now, maybe it’s because I am in the search based industry, and the internet is basically my job provider, I couldn’t help but think…idiots! Don’t people know what not to do when planning a crime, and in particular, planning a murder? Apparently not. And that is why I have decided to put together…

5 Things to Avoid Doing on the Internet to Avoid Being a Suspect in a Murder Case

Clue Movie Poster
Great Movie About Murder
  1. Do not make a list titled, “5 Things to Avoid Doing on the Internet to Avoid Being a Suspect in a Murder Case.”
  2. Do not search phrases like “how to kill someone” or Clue-like weapon-related phrases such as “lead pipe,” “pistols,” “head-bashing candlestick” and “rope for hanging people”. Plus, searches for odd weapons like the 3 sided boomerangs would also be quite suspicious in one’s search history. (Note: if you forget this rule and end-up doing some late night drunken murder searches, try to remember to clear your search history.)
  3. Do not create a suggestively violent email for yourself. This means I wouldn’t use explodingdomomite@gmail.com, domkevorkian@gmail.com or imurderfools@gmail.com.
  4. Do not create a blogspot blog with the url, www.bloodspot.blogspot.com which simply consists of pictures of blood spots on objects such as clothing, rugs and Van Dam in the movie Bloodsport.
  5. Do not always follow the rules. Occasionally, break these rules. It’s too suspicious if you never search for violent things, or create a sweet Van Dam related blog. It’s only human to think horrible thoughts. Wait…I didn’t mean human. I meant reptilian. Wait…I didn’t mean reptilian. I meant republican. Political zing!

I know, I know. It’s getting harder to get away with murder these days. But if you follow these basic rules, you can at least give yourself a murderer’s chance. Good luck!

Posted on

Viral Video Friday!

3000 Photos, 930 People


Ever dreamed of traveling the country? Check out this stop-motion video exhibiting one man’s journey from L.A. to Maine, capturing snapshots of strangers from all walks of life.  Hitchhiking might not be your thing, but what creative travel tips do you have?

Puss In Boots – “The Cat Haz Swagger”


A new Old Spice guy? Nope, just Shrek’s furry animal friend Puss channeling Isaiah Mustafa (the original Old Spice guy) to promote his new movie out in November.

The battle of this week’s flash mob proposals:

Surprise Flash Mob Proposal at UCLA


A private dinner with a few candles and rose pedals just didn’t cut it for this hopeless romantic.  When Trang Vu walked outside a UCLA building, she had no idea this “spontaneous” dance was all for her.  But when her boyfriend Nam Tran joined in, it was obvious something BIG was going to happen.  I think we all know her answer…“Duh!”

Downtown Disney Flash Mob Proposal


What better place to propose to your princess than at the Happiest Place On Earth?!  Like they say— Disneyland is a place where dreams come true!  And this twinkle toed prince charming, Jamin Love (how appropriate) decide to make his girlfriend’s, Valerie Albania, dream come true with this unforgettable proposal.  And they lived happily ever after (as seen on YouTube).

There’s no question both these roMANtic grooms-to-be equally win, as these two videos were featured throughout countless blogs and Facebook newsfeeds from all over.  So how many tissues did you go threw watching these video proposals?


5 Simple PPC Management Tips For Q4 – Part Two

Without further ado, here are tips 4 and 5 from yesterday’s post on prepping your advertising campaigns for Q4…

4. Consider an engagement with Facebook Ads: Facebook is a juggernaut. In 2010, Facebook became the most popular site on the Internet in terms of time spent on site. In 2011, Facebook has continued to widen the gap. Facebook’s dominance isn’t in question by most advertisers, though; the biggest unknown is whether or not Facebook can prove to be a viable medium for direct marketers.

Facebook combines unique targeting options with volume of users to provide an interesting channel for advertisers.

To date, there are several takeaways from advertising in Facebook:

  • It’s incredibly important to keep ad creative fresh.
  • Advertisers concerned with ROI should stick to the cost per click (CPC) model rather than the cost per thousand impressions (CPM) model.
  • Although it can be easy to drive traffic from Facebook, driving conversions is much more difficult.

That said, Q4 may be the exact right time to try your hand at advertising on Facebook. Because of the unprecedented demographic information, Facebook makes targeting and segmenting unbelievably easy. Let’s say you are a retailer and the hottest item this Christmas is a new video game called Widgetworld. If the game is aimed at young adults, an advertiser can quickly create four campaigns aimed at male young adults, female young adults, the fathers of that audience and the mothers of that audience. Using age, gender, interest and other categorized information, an advertiser can tailor ads and bid levels to each group autonomously.

Some advertisers may be aware of this but still wary of Facebook as a medium. After all, people go there to hang out, not make purchases. If that’s what’s keeping you from advertising, think about my recommendations for mobile: start small. Start by advertising only to the exact audience that interests you and bid with the CPC model. If you know that 20-25 year old women who like cheese and are located in Alabama are your target audience, you can start with them! That way, you’ll know exactly the type of people to whom your ads will show and you hedge your potential losses by only paying for traffic. If this goes well, consider expansion and deeper granularity within that group.

Bonus Tips: When running a Facebook campaign, here are a couple of things that we’ve found useful:

  • If your target demographic is broad, have a minimum of four campaigns: 1) older males, 2) younger males, 3) older women, 4) younger women. This provides a good base for further segmentation in the future.
  • If your target demographic is narrow, target them with one campaign. Then, add a second campaign targeting a broader audience at a lower bid level. This allows you to put a premium on the highest value potential customers while still exposing your ad to a larger community.
  • Start with a minimum of six ads per campaign. There are three components to a Facebook ad: 1) headline, 2) description, 3) image. See the image below for reference. Come up with two of each component and mix-and-match the elements to come up with six unique ads. This will help you identify not only which ad works but which elements of which ads work.
Anatomy of a Facebook ad.

5. Don’t forget about Microsoft adCenter: If you’re not advertising in Microsoft adCenter–the platform that serves ads on Bing, Yahoo and partner sites–you should be, especially in Q4. A mistake that many advertisers make is to take their budget of X for AdWords and move a portion of it to adCenter. This is a mistake. Never rob Peter to pay Paul, as they say. If you checked in Google Insights and found that you should expect even a modest surge in traffic over the next three months, I would implore you to add on to your budget of X for AdWords with a budget of Y for adCenter. Your adCenter budget should be between 25%-50% of your budget for AdWords. If you are strapped for resources, use a similar strategy with moving into mobile: advertise first on your best–highest ROI–keywords before committing dollars to broader terms.

Click-for click, an adCenter account can outperform a Google AdWords account.

Even though the volume in adCenter is somewhat dwarfed by the volume that can be found in AdWords, adCenter accounts can often achieve a higher ROI than their AdWords counterparts. Lower competition, different serving policies and similar user behavior on Bing and Yahoo can lead to lower click costs, higher conversion rates and more consistent performance.

For those of you who are already advertising in adCenter, just make sure to give it the same care and attention that you’ll be giving your Google AdWords account this holiday season. Aside from the AdWords Search Network, I would list adCenter as the single most important channel for your online advertising efforts in Q4.

Bonus Tips: For the most part, all tips that apply to AdWords also apply to adCenter:

  • Start your adCenter campaigns on Yahoo and Bing only. The search partners can be more difficult for getting conversions at a reasonable CPA.
  • Revenue tracking is available but not obvious in adCenter and can be difficult to get set up. Ask Wpromote about setting up your revenue tracking if that is applicable to your situation.
  • Negative keywords in adCenter don’t work exactly as they do in AdWords. Ask Wpromote about what these differences are and how they can affect your marketing efforts.

The holiday season has become a three to four month marathon for advertisers but it’s no more trouble than any other season. The keys to making Q4 your best quarter and this year’s Q4 one to celebrate are vigilance, analysis and the confidence to test new things. Whether those new things are higher bids or different ads or taking a shot at a large scale mobile advertising effort, it’s important not to be caught flat-footed. For all the time that you spend standing still, your competitors may be pushing forward.

Just remember, not all new initiatives will succeed, especially not right away. Thomas Edison once said, “Restlessness is discontent and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.” Don’t let a dead guy talk to you like that! Keep on trying new things!

5 Simple PPC Management Tips For Q4 – Part One

It’s almost October and you know what that means. No, I’m not talking about figuring out how to end things with your summer fling or how to make your Justin Bieber Halloween costume less creepy, I’m talking about how to get your online marketing adequately prepared for the upcoming holiday season! If you think that September is too early to be gearing up for that all important fourth quarter, then you’re doing your competition a huge favor. Luckily, Q4 isn’t something to fear; it’s something to get excited about. Even if you aren’t a retailer, Q4 can mean the beginning of a new fiscal year, the return from a long vacation or the preparation period for the beginning of the 2012 calendar year for your potential clients.

Below, I’ve laid out five PPC management tips for Q4 that can be applied very easily for advertisers of all stripes, from eCommerce stores looking to have a big Christmas season to B2B service providers looking to keep a leg up on competing firms:

1. Get a preview of what to expect using Google Insights: Google Insights for Search is a tool that advertisers can use to see historic trends for some of their top keywords over time.

Google Insights graphs can give insight into Q4 trends.

In order to get an idea of what you can expect out of your potential audience, try entering in a few of your high volume terms into Google Insights. Make sure that you set your parameters correctly. For most of my clients, I like to view data from the United States only and I prefer to use a date range of January 2009 through January 2011. This will show you the most recent two holiday seasons and how they compare to other months. If you notice a big or even moderate increase in searches around Q4–as is shown in the graph above–you may want to consider raising your budget accordingly. You also may wish consider the addition of new channels of advertising, even if you plan only a limited engagement for the holidays.

Bonus Tips: If you’re expecting more traffic, you may be interested in trying the following:

  • Seasonal ads can often provide a boost. Try a holiday message in your AdWords ads.
  • Not sure if you’re ready to up your bids? Ask Wpromote about Google AdWords Campaign Experiments which allow you to bid in two places at once and review the results!
  • Consider adding “Black Friday,” “Cyber Monday” and other sale keywords to the account.
Even if customers aren't purchasing on their phones, the mobile experience is becoming more and more relevant.

2. Mobile advertising is becoming too big to ignore: Every year we hear the same thing: “This is the year of mobile!” Well, I hate to beat a dead horse, but this year really looks like the year. With the release of the iPhone 5 coming in October and Android phones selling like web-enabled hotcakes with 4GB cameras, shopping, price comparing and researching with mobile phones is becoming more and more common.

Is mobile advertising for you? The answer is yes, although the level of your investment may vary based on your goals, expectations and available resources. That said, almost every advertiser in the world should at least be advertising on their own brand in the mobile space. This is an incredibly necessary evil. Because there is so much less space on a mobile phone than on your laptop, failing to bid on your brand can mean that your competitors can keep you completely off of the above-the-fold view on a search for your own name!

Do a search on your web-enabled phone now for your brand name and see what comes up. If your business isn’t the first listing, then you should consider moving into the mobile space right away. Of course, there is much more opportunity beyond bidding on your brand name, but this is the easiest thing to fix.

Bonus Tips: If you have further interest in mobile advertising in Q4, I would encourage you to take the following steps:

Remarketing allows your ads to show up on high volume properties but only to customers that have been to your site.

3. Stay top of mind using Remarketing (a.k.a. Retargeting): By now, it’s likely that you’ve heard of retargeting as a method for advertising. Google has branded this feature as “remarketing” in AdWords and has made this powerful channel available to everyone. As a result, I’ll refer to it as remarketing here.

For those of you who are not familiar, remarketing allows advertisers to place a pixel on the users that have been to their site so that they can be grouped for display advertising later. Remarketing helps answer some very difficult questions that advertisers are smart to ask:

Q: I’d love to show up on gigantic websites but isn’t it too expensive?

A: By advertising only to the users that have been to your site, remarketing allows advertisers to show up on some of the Internet’s most legitimate properties while keeping the audience–and costs–limited.

Q: Where is the best place that I could put a display ad?

A: The answer isn’t about where, it’s about who. If you know that someone was interested enough in your services to go to your site and your site converts at less than 100%, then those users are lowest hanging fruit for your display efforts.

Q: But what if those people already made a purchase? I don’t want to bother my current customers.

A: AdWords allows you to exclude users that have already converted on your site from seeing your ads.

Q: I’ve heard about retargeting and don’t they charge you for impressions?

A: Not Google! Remarketing through AdWords allows you to pay per click just like in search. That means that you never shell out any money unless someone actually clicks on your ad.

Remarketing has proven to be the most effective means of direct marketing in the display network. Although reach is limited, conversion rates are higher and cost per acquisition (CPA) is lower with remarketing than other display options. Furthermore, remarketing is being continually innovated; you can now serve ads to customers based on the page of the site they went to or even the product that was viewed. Even for B2B companies, it’s important to test out remarketing while it’s still a young market. At best, it can become a significant revenue stream; at worst, it’s an easy way to keep your business top of mind for your customers.

Bonus Tips: If you are already engaging remarketing, now is the time to consider the following:

  • Add image ads if you are currently only running text ads.
  • Consider refreshing the ads or adding new ones to compete against the existing ones.
  • Look into making more granular ads for different pages on your site.
  • Keep an eye on the view-through conversions and think about what the value might be compared to a click-through conversion for your business.


Check out Part Two of 5 Simple PPC Management Tips!

It’s Great To Be Good – Social Media Week Los Angeles

Last week marked the second annual Social Media Week here in Los Angeles, where industry professionals and enthusiasts across the greater L.A. area gathered to celebrate Social Media and discuss current topics and trends.  On Tuesday, Wpromote was proud to host the “It’s Great To Be Good” event, honoring the thriving Internet industry and the many talented innovators and companies driving the future of advertising and business online.

The “Social Good” themed event was sponsored by socially conscious companies, that deeply embed the social good concept into their business models.  With the rise of the emerging trend of entrepreneurship and social good, it was an event not to be missed.

Hosted at The Vault, an iconic photography gallery in Culver City, guests packed the space to enjoy appetizers from Native Foods and drinks provided by sponsors, ONEHOPE Wine and VeeV Acai Spirit.  The “Social Good” event featured a panel discussion covering the topic “Social Good: Taking Social Media to Social Action.” Moderated by Michael Mothner, Founder and CEO of Wpromote, the panel put representatives Carter Reum (Co-Founder of VeeV Acai Spirit), Mike Weber (Director of Online for ONEHOPE Wine) and Mia Herron (Director of Marketing & Communications for Sir Richards Condom Company) in the hot seat with many great, un-rehearsed questions.  The panel also included a Fire Round, where panel members had to quickly respond to questions with one-word answers.

A few crowd favorites were:

What do you wish you had invented?
Carter Reum – “Facebook”

Wine or Hard Alcohol?
Mike Weber – “What’s on special?”

Have you ever deleted anyone from Facebook? If yes, how many?
Carter Reum – “Luckily I don’t have any crazy ex-girlfriends”
Mia Herron – “Less than 10 people”

Blackberry or iPhone?
Carter Reum – “Blackberry”
Mia Herron – “iPhone”
Mike Weber – “Is this what we have or what we wish we had? I have a Blackberry.”

First website you visit in the morning?
Carter Reum – “CNN.com”
Mia Herron – “Facebook”
Mike Weber – “Google Reader”

Who Will Win The 2012 election?
Carter Reum – “errr, um… Pass”
Mia Herron – “Ya… Pass”
Mike Weber –  “The person with the most votes!”

Excellent job in scapegoating the political question, these marketing guru’s are obviously well versed in public speaking.

After the discussion, guests continued to enjoy beverages and music by guest DJ DDS, and then later parted with swag bags including goodies from sponsors Clif Bar, Popchips and Nika Water.  Overall the evening was an overwhelming success and brought attention to some great companies supporting some amazing causes.  Thanks again to those who attended our event, and an even greater thanks to our speakers and sponsors!