Alexandra Samuel's blog

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WANTED: Innovative, entrepreneurial leader with a passion for conservation

MEC and CPAWS seek a Program Director for The Big Wild


For the past four months, Social Signal has been privileged to work with the Mountain Equipment Co-Op and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society on The Big Wild, a community for wilderness conservation. It's an extraordinary partnership and project: one that marries MEC's membership and special place in the appreciation of Canadian wilderness with CPAWS' advocacy for wilderness conservation.

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You could be the lucky winner

Using online contests as a marketing tool


Asked on LinkedIn:
In an earlier question regarding promotional ideas to promote our community classes, it was suggested that we offer a free sign language course (value $195) to someone in need; maybe a family member, spouse, or other individual who wants to learn this valuable and important language. We like the idea of this type of promotion, but not sure how to structure this offer and create criteria so that the selection of winner is fair. We plan to send a press release to announce this free offer. Do you have any ideas on how-to set the criteria, and/or any lessons learned offering a similar promotion?

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Don't write headlines, draw them!

DoodleBuzz offers a new way of visualizing the news


Tired of Google Reader's straight-ahead interface for catching up on the latest news? DoodleBuzz describes itself as a "typographic news explorer". Type in any keywords, and then use your mouse to scribble on the screen; DoodleBuzz will present news stories from your search, arranged along the outline of your doodle.

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4 steps for calculating ROI on social media


Asked on LinkedIn: Your thoughts about ROI with social media would be appreciated

Your best bets for quantifying ROI are:

1. Direct sponsorship/revenue: Think beyond advertising and premium fees to other ways of earning revenue with social media (product sales, licensing fees, sponsorships). These can be priced by other examples; the dollars that you earn this way will be directly trackable.

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Tips for a successful Facebook application launch


Asked on LinkedIn: Launching a Facebook application?

Consider running a contest -- something with genuine value, ideally a bit witty -- that you advertise on Facebook using smartly-chosen keywords to control where your ad appears. Make sure it's clear this contest is associated with a new recommendation tool. That will bring your target users to you, already primed for positive engagement with your application, without engendering the ill-will that comes from anything that feels spammy.

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5 reasons to send Direct Messages on Twitter


Asked on LinkedIn: Why do you send a Direct Message on Twitter?

Here are five reasons to send a direct message on Twitter:

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Pretty people, smart people

Using B2C social media for B2B marketing


Asked on LinkedIn: Has anyone had success using social media to market B2B?

The business-to-business versus business-to-consumer dichotomy can be a bit of a trap when thinking about social media. To achieve a critical mass of participation on a social media site, you need to be drawing on a potential audience of tens of thousands, ideally at least hundreds of thousands; this will be rapidly narrowed by the relatively small percentage who are interested in checking out any social media presence, let alone actively contributing to one. There are very few business niches in which you have a large enough, or techie enough, audience to achieve that necessary critical mass.

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Listen. Think. Engage!

Three steps for companies getting started with social media


Asked on LinkedIn: What are the first 3 steps every company needs to take to get involved in social media?

1. Listen.

No matter what industry you're in or how sensitive your organization, you need to be doing social media monitoring. At a minimum, set up an iGoogle page and add feeds from Technorati (to search for blog posts about your organization), Twitter search (for tweets) and delicious (to see what people think is worth bookmarking on your site or news coverage). Track the reputation of your company, brands/products, key leadership and industry, and discover where your strengths and weaknesses lie online. (Hint: no news isn't necessarily good news!)

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Zero patience? You can still have inbox zero

10 steps to get your e-mail inbox to zero every day


Tired of drowning in e-mail? After many efforts and declarations of e-mail bankruptcy, I've finally found a system that lets me get my inbox to zero every single business day. It accommodates my desire to send and respond to e-mail throughout the day -- I've never been able to stick to a "only hit receive if you have time to process" rule -- and keeps my total incoming messages to about 20-30 (down from 200+). Most crucially, it allows me to respond to all key client and prospect inquiries within 24 hours.

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A perfect zero

How I got to inbox zero

I've aspired to inbox zero for years, but it took a new member of the Social Signal team to help bring that aspiration into focus -- a team member who has utterly transformed my personal productivity. As our operations manager and my executive assistant, Morgan Brayton has reorganized our financial record-keeping, moved us into our swanky new digs, taken over our invoicing, and booked me within an inch of my life.

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Work Smarter with Evernote

Get more out of Evernote with Alexandra Samuel's great new ebook, the first in the Harvard Business Press Work Smarter with Social Media series!

Available on Amazon, iTunes and HBR.

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