Gifts That Keep Giving

goodwill logo#Giving Tuesday is over but that doesn’t mean to stop giving. You can give money, pack a box, knit a scarf for a homeless person or simply get rid of your old stuff and take it to your local GoodwillGoodwill Donation Center.

At the beginning of the month, I started cleaning out Fall things and bringing out the holiday decorations. I found plenty of things I didn’t need cluttering up my storage areas, drawers and garage. At one point, I wanted them. At one point, they were a new gift or an item I saw at the store I likedand bought. Now, they sit dusty and unused and there’s a place for that – NOT IN MY HOUSE.

This week, I am taking my old items past the curb on Friday and onto the Goodwill store where donations create jobs and change lives. Watch the following video about how Goodwill changed the life of this woman, Candice.

Some ways of giving are easier than others. Getting rid of your old items and getting a charitable tax deduction out of it is one of the easiest!

To see the impact your donation makes, check out the Goodwill donation impact calculator. To find a store near you, go to the website and simply enter your zip code.

This donation picture was from when I was helping my mom this last summer clean out her house and my childhood memories and she took ALOT to Goodwill!

Goodwill Donations

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Social Media Stats for 2013

I love great infographics and here are two about the state of social media in 2013. Enjoy!

Social Media Facts 2013

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

 

 

Social Media Dashboard

by jorobot.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

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5 Mobile Marketing Tools to Reach Busy Consumers

Mobile MarketingWith 80 percent of customers using their mobile device to shop, a marketing strategy that does not account for mobile is foolish at best and self-sabotaging at worst. More customers comparison shop online, make retail purchases and use their mobile device to review businesses. These decisions affect their brick and mortar shopping habits and follow the businesses they support to receive promotions and deals, which is why mobile marketing initiatives are more vital than ever. Overhaul your mobile strategy and improve your ROI with these five tools.

Red Stamp

Red Stamp lets small businesses build their own set of stationary or use templates and send messages on the go from a mobile device. Red Stamp customers have used the app to send customized thank you’s after pitch meetings, exchange business cards with clients and format real-time convos for sharing on social media networks. With templates for the first day or school, bar mitzvah, congratulations, Memorial Day and everything in between, staying in touch has never been easier. Some companies have used these templates to advertise new or one of a kind products to customers, increasing sales and maintaining top of mind awareness.

Swipely

This app puts customer loyalty cards on smartphones, making the loyalty program more attractive to busy customers who don’t want another plastic card for their wallet. Customers text to join, realizing benefits instantly. Swipely also processes online payments. The customer loyalty application is free to existing Swipely customers and provides a simple way to capture customer email data and market directly to customers.

Address Verification Software

Address verification software checks addresses entered into e-commerce websites and customer signup forms, reducing the amount of bad data entered. Whether entered by mistake or entered purposefully to avoid direct marketing, bad addresses cost you money when you send direct mailings. Enterprise address software automates the error checking process and cuts down on waste.

QR Functionality

QR codes allow on-the-go users to check out your latest promotion, event or product, connect with your business and even convert. To be mobile-friendly, your print messaging, promotional content, brochures and other non-electronic media should include QR codes. Mobile device users can simply scan the QR code to retrieve more information in a manner that’s easy to read on the go. Already digital content, like emails and websites, do not need QR codes because users are online already. However, that print flyer or promotional bookmark would benefit from a QR code and can reinforce your mobile marketing.

Qualaroo

The behavioral insight app has your back when it comes to mobile marketing efforts: Qualaroo for Mobile delivers a mobile survey that can help you craft your mobile website, Red Stamp messages and other mobile marketing messages. Draw on Qualaroo’s library to ask targeted questions such as “what is preventing you from converting right now?” or “what feature is most important to you?” When you understand what visitors do and why they do it, you have a leg up on your competition and can better incentivize customers to convert. The Qualaroo app integrates with KISSmetrics and Google Analytics, delivering actionable insights that can help improve your mobile presence and your market share.

 

Guest Post by Marc Reese

Marc is a young dad and mobile Web designer. When he’s not writing about how technology and business co-exist, he’s teaching his 2-year-old how to shout “YES” during NFL football games.

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CLOSED: iTunes Gift Card GIVEAWAY: New Kia Commercial Has New Improved #Hamsters and Soul

kiaUpdate: Congratulations, Gina

The Kia hamsters are back, bringing soul to the tiny screen as the Kia is transformed itself along with the Hamsters into mean, lean, soul machines.

Watch the video below and comment letting me know what you like about the commercial for a chance to win a $25 iTunes gift card.

Personally, I love the dual plot-build in the commercial when the car designer draws and builds his dream car as the Hamsters do what it takes to become lean (but quite nice and not at all mean). I am even more inspired now to work out and get in shape which I am working on very hard right now!

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Kia Motors

What is your favorite part of the new and improved @Kia #Hamsters?

{Disclosure: I was offered a gift card in exchange for posting this giveaway. All thoughts and opinions are my own.}

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New Product Widget By Shopcade.com

Shopcade widget Shopcade.com just released its new product widget which is fully customizable with dimensions set to auto-adjust to your site.

You can create a list or collection to highlight in the widget or you can set it to automatically pick up products from your content which is especially handy if you auto-add the widget below your past blog posts.

Shopcade

I also like that the pay-out is direct  with no minimum and that the rate for this affiliate program is 75% of Affiliate Commissions or roughly $3.75 on a $50 item.

About Shopcade: Shopcade has some key advantages because readers have easy access to coupons and cash-back deals if they choose to make a purchase. Plus, readers can “want” an item they see on your site and get an automatic notification when it goes on sale. 

In my sidebar you can see a widget I created using my “media” list. (It looks like it only shows up on the home page but I have also embedded it below.) I picked from items on the site already but I could add ones from around the web easily using the “add” function or the bookmarklet they provide for toolbars.

See the widget embedded here in my post:






Try it and see what you think. Right now: Bloggers who install the widget and write a post about their experience on Shopcade can enroll for the chance to be one of four lucky bloggers to win $500 and a full feature on Shopcade.com. The contest begins Thursday, July 25 and runs through Sept. 30.  You can read the contest rules and enter your blog post here!

(Disclosure: I work on team doing PR for Shopcade.com but on my blog all thoughts and opinions are my own.)

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Social Media Marketing for Dummies

I am working on a new class for a local college where I teach. I REALLY wanted to assign Social Media Marketing All-in-One For Dummies

I was informed quickly by my teen daughter that college kids aren’t going to want to be assigned a book “For Dummies” but I love this all-in-one book on Social Media that was put together by Deborah Ng (also the author of Online Communities for Dummies) and Jan Zimmerman.

About the book:

Social media continues to evolve at breakneck speed, and the savvy marketer needs to keep up. This bestselling guide to social media marketing has been completely updated to cover the newest vehicles, including Groupon and Rue La La, location-based services like Foursquare, and new social networking sites like Google+ and Pinterest. Checklists, case studies, and examples will help you decide the best places to spend your marketing dollars, and you’ll learn about valuable social media tools and analytics methods that can help you assess the success of your efforts.

  • A completely updated, all-in-one guide to social media marketing, a valuable way for businesses to reach current and new customers, assist customers with problems, and complete transactions
  • Covers the latest sites and location-based services including Groupon, Rue La La, Foursquare, Google+, Pinterest, and more
  • Minibooks examine the social media mix; tools and techniques; using content to grow your brand; Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+ marketing; other sites; and how to measure results and build on success
  • The perfect guidebook for the social media strategist, website manager, marketer, publicist, or anyone in charge of implementing and managing an organization’s social media strategy

I did find another textbook with a wonderful array of teacher resources that I am very excited about but I will be writing much more on that after the exam copy comes in.

Do you have a favorite book on social media?

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Blah, Blah, Blah

social networkMuch to talk about. Little time to say it.

It’s all about relationships, relationships, relationships.

And, yet, there are times I want to just shut it all down and go knit a scarf.

You?

GSZERK2B6ZPA

5XYEKG5BQGJU

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