Study: Prep sports injuries down due to gear, medicine

first_imgSANTA CLARITA — High school football doesn’t always seem so safe when the best player gets injured, but prep sports injury rates in the United States have dropped by more than half in the past decade, researchers recently reported. In a review of nine major sports, all except volleyball had injury rates that were at least two times higher in the mid-1990s than during the 2005-06 school year, said Dawn Comstock, a researcher at Columbus Children’s Hospital in Ohio and lead author of the study. Researchers said the drop likely reflected improved equipment and other advances. “Too often it’s believed sports injuries are unavoidable. We know that’s not true,” she said. The study was released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even if injuries aren’t as frequent, when they do happen, it doesn’t just affect the athlete but the coaches, too, according to Canyon High football coach Harry Welch. “A few years ago, we just had a rash of injuries, and it was starting to drive me crazy because as a coach I feel responsible if a player gets hurt,” Welch said. “We’re the ones who put kids in harm’s way on the football field.” Canyon offensive lineman Marc Valdez is back in the starting lineup after suffering a severe knee injury last season. One of the Foothill League’s top players, Valdez never considered not returning as soon as he could — and neither did his parents. And sometimes that determination can help heal an injury faster than anything. “Marc would never not play football. It’s his passion,” said his mother, Gina. “It’s been that way since he was a little boy watching the Dallas Cowboys with me on TV — they were my favorite team. When he got hurt, he just dealt with the situation and came back as soon as he could.” A previous study comparing national high school injury rates for different sports was published in 1999. It looked at 1995-97 injury rates for 10 sports at more than 200 high schools. Comstock’s group looked at injury rates for nine sports at 100 high schools in the 2005-06 academic year. The sports studied were football, wrestling, boys’ and girls’ soccer, boys’ and girls’ basketball, girls’ volleyball, boys’ baseball and girls’ softball. Nationally, about 4.2 million high school students participated in the sports during the academic year studied, and an estimated 1.4 million injuries occurred. Football had the highest injury rate, according to both the Comstock and 1999 study. In the Comstock study, the overall football injury rate was 4.36 per 1,000 — meaning a high school football player who participates in 1,000 games and practices can expect 4.36 injuries. A girls’ softball player, in contrast, can expect 1.13 per 1,000 games. In the 1999 study, the football injury rate was 8.1 and the girls’ softball rate 3.5. Devin Mills, a former Hart offensive lineman who helped the Indians to a 2003 section title, suffered a broken ankle as a high school freshman and a broken thumb as a senior. He missed his entire freshman season, but stuck it out during his senior year by wearing a cast during games. “It was tough as a parent to see Devin sit through a whole year because he really wanted to get back out there,” said his father David. “I played hockey as a kid and kept injuring my hip. Eventually, my doctor told me if I kept playing, I’d pay for it later when I got older. “Devin always wanted to play and always wanted to get back out there. He was one of the biggest, strongest players on the team, but by the end I think he was tired of getting beat up, and that’s one of the reasons he hasn’t played in college.” Comstock’s group defined an injury as a problem that required medical attention and restricted an athlete’s participation in sports at least one day beyond the day the player got hurt. In the 1999 study, injuries that did not keep an athlete off the field were not included. Comstock said that might explain some of the reported drop-off in injuries. But she said she believes the rates still would have dropped significantly if injuries had been defined the same way in the two studies. Much of the decline probably stems from rule changes, better safety gear and improvements in injury diagnosis and treatment, Comstock and others said. Scientific advances, for example, have improved the diagnosis of a concussion. Rule changes have increased water breaks, which in turn have decreased heat-related illnesses. Eye protection in stick sports like lacrosse has reduced serious injuries. Both studies gathered data only from schools with certified athletic trainers who have medical training. An estimated 42 percent of U.S. high schools have certified trainers. Many of the area’s top football players who’ve been injured in recent years have come back sooner than expected, thanks to expert medical advice and a willingness to work hard. Former Hart star receiver Ryan Wolfe came back from a serious knee injury two years ago, eventually earning a scholarship to UNLV. Canyon linebacker Tyler Hawkins fractured his leg three years ago, but eventually returned and keyed a section championship season as a senior last year. But worrying about whether a player will get hurt will take the fun out of sports, according to Saugus defensive back Kyle Monson, who suffered a concussion last year but has otherwise enjoyed a healthy career. “I think you worry more that if you do get hurt then you’re not going to be able to play as well,” Monson said. “For me, getting injured would take away some personal pride and break down my confidence. If you’re playing with a bad knee, you can’t cover a guy as well, but I’ve been playing for 10 years and don’t worry about it.” Brandon Arndt, a Hart defensive back, agreed. “There’s always that risk but you just can’t think about getting hurt,” Arndt said. “I broke my ankle playing football when I was a kid, but it wasn’t a big deal because I’ve been playing dangerous sports all my life. I used to race bikes in motocross, and that’s even more brutal than football.” Poorer schools may also have worse field conditions and equipment that result in higher injury rates, said Steve Marshall, a sports injury epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina. That’s not a problem in Santa Clarita, where football — as well as other sports — is a high priority, and so is medical care for the athletes. “The medical care today is the best I’ve seen by far,” Welch said. “On the sidelines, we have two trainers, two chiropractors and an orthopedic surgeon. Not only is there better medical care but there’s also better followup and better rehab. We have top-of-the-line rehab programs that compare to a Division I university.” Marshall praised the Comstock study and said it will probably become a standard reference for high school sports injury rates.— The Associated Press contributed to this story. Gerry Gittelson, (661) 257-5218 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

A big-hitting boost for SA, African cricket

first_img24 April 2014In a move that is set to boost cricket on the African continent and kick-start the South African domestic season in style, six teams from Africa and six South African franchises will contest the Global Softech Sixes at SuperSport Park in Centurion in September.South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya will feature in a six-a- side-format with the African Cup Challenge title up for grabs from 4 to 7 September.The Unlimited Titans, the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras, the Sunfoil Dolphins, the Chevrolet Knights, the bizhub Highveld Lions and the Chevrolet Warriors will also go toe to toe in a Franchise Challenge at SuperSport Park, also from 4 to 7 September. Both challenges will form part of the Global Softech Sixes.‘A fun element’The concept of the tournament was initiated and conceptualised by The Unlimited Titans. “This tournament is set to add a fun element that might appeal to a broader audience, which, in turn, might lure more fans and future players to the royal game,” Jacques Faul, the CEO of franchise, said in a statement.“The Global Softech Sixes also offers a unique marketing opportunity for the game of cricket to sport communities in the rest of Africa, while also strengthening relationships with our cricketing partners on the continent,” said Faul.Broadcast throughout AfricaCricket fans throughout Africa will be able to watch a live television broadcast of the event on SuperSport.The format will see batting teams limited to five overs each, with five of the fielding teams six players allowed to bowl one over each – a concept that will ensure frenetic action.‘A fun element’Although six-a-side cricket is not a new idea, the Global Softech Sixes event, with a distinct African and South African flavour, makes it both a local and international competition, which should get the South African domestic season off to an explosive start.Leela Ramesh Yemineni, the Chief Executive Officer of Global Softech Solutions, said the competition was an ideal opportunity for the company to become involved in cricket, especially because it reached into Africa, where the company is expanding its business.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Study: 72% of Businesses Have a Social Media Strategy

first_img Original content, both branded and expert are by far the most used tactic for social media (73%; 72%, respectively). Video content (51%), user case studies (45%), and reviews (41%) are also used by roughly half of all respondents. Should we use social media? Clearly, marketers are increasingly realizing the essential role that social media—and engaging content for those media—must play in any brand campaign, but it is just as clear that marketers are still struggling to identify best practices in the cluttered and often confounding space.  All of which might explain why a majority of companies (64%) aren’t yet requiring definitive measurable ROI to justify their social media budgets. Only 9% of surveyed organizations have full-time positions dedicated to managing social media responsibilities, while 90% include those as part of someone’s overall responsibilities. The following is a guest post by 85% of companies are handling their social media efforts internally. Topics: and Join and   Instead, the common refrain has become, How do we use social media and how do we know it’s working? This spring, custom media company Kipp Bodnar What about ROI? HubSpot HubSpot, Junta42 to survey more than 450 senior management and marketing executives on their ever-evolving relationships with social media.  We wanted to know how important different social media channels are to them, how they’re using them, who’s doing the work, and how important measurable results are.   Now we’ve pulled together their responses—along with some helpful analysis from us—into a new study:  No one can argue that social media isn’t ubiquitous.  But some people—particularly those who are business-minded—just can’t seem to get away from asking:  to have access to these charts for use in your own presentations King Fish Media. Branded original and expert content is used more often than any other type of content.  And development of an audience for content is one of the top objectives of marketers. , Director of Marketing and Research, Download the complete findings of the King Fish Media Survey on Social Media Usage, Attitudes and Measurability , Director of Marketing and Research at 43% of respondents revealed that they don’t need to show positive ROI to get social media funding from their organization. Originally published Aug 11, 2010 1:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 But is it relevant?  Does it really have a valid place in marketing? “2010 Social Media Usage, Attitudes, and Measurability:  What Do Marketers Think?” partnered with . Additionally you can hear a detailed explanation of these findings on a free webinar Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 2 p.m. EST/11 a.m. PST. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack as they review the results and discuss the implications and applications for marketers.   And, King Fish Media , Inbound Marketing Manager, Download the ebook now! So, what did we find?  Well, first and foremost, the vast majority of companies are now not only using social media in some form, but also have an actual social media strategy behind their online presence. Among the other key findings of “Social Media Usage, Attitudes and Measurability: What Do Marketers Think?”: Social Media Strategy Nearly three quarters of all companies (72%) currently have a social media strategy, and of those that don’t, the majority (80%) will within the next year. Free Download: Marketing Data: 50+ Marketing Charts and Graphs HubSpot has compiled over 50 original marketing charts and graphs on topics including Lead Generation, Blogging and Social Media, Marketing Budgets, Twitter and Facebook 85% of survey respondents say that original content is critical to the success of their social media campaign. Gordon Plutsky   It’s time for them to pull themselves firmly into the present.  Today, rare is the marketer who is asking, Gordon Plutsky King Fish Media Two thirds of the company’s surveyed (67%) focus their social media efforts on their company as a whole, while 41% promote individuals within the company and 24% promote a specific brand.last_img read more

How to Use Social Media Intel to Prep for a Sales Call

first_img Social Selling Originally published Jan 19, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack As a HubSpot marketer, I’m a firm believer in the use of social media as a powerful tool for not only driving traffic to a company’s website but also generating leads for your business.That said, the applications of social media don’t stop in marketing. Social media can also be a very helpful tool in the sales process when Sales is following up with leads and opportunities, especially considering the fact that, SiriusDecisions projects that by 2015, 71% of initial BtoB inquiries will be web-driven, and “a sound social media strategy is key to driving this inbound interest.”So how can you use social media intelligence to help you make a sale? I recently sat down with Chad Levitt, a member of HubSpot’s own sales team and the author of the New Sales Economy Blog, to discover how he uses social media intel to prep for his sales calls. This is what I learned…Using Social Media Intelligence in Sales 1. Conduct Research: First and foremost, you’ll have to do some sleuth-work. Do a little social media digging to investigate where your prospect is spending time online. Does he/she have accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or another social network or community popular for your industry? If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can easily find this data in the Lead Intelligence tool for any lead whose social media information is available. 2. Do Your Homework: Scan your prospect’s presence on these social media sites. Learn about their interests. Do you have something in common (e.g. a shared passion for cooking, watching college football, or scuba-diving) that could be used as a good ice-breaker on your sales call? If you’ve already connected with the prospect before the call by another means such as email, consider following them on Twitter or connecting them with on that particular social network.3. Strategize: Have you learned anything about the prospect that might be helpful fodder for your sales call? Maybe you noticed they’ve been discussing something in social media that your product or service addresses or solves. Perhaps accessing their company’s website URL you found on their LinkedIn profile reveals something about why they became interested in your company in the first place. Put on your best detective hat, and think creatively.4. Follow Up: Continue the conversation. Use social media as a way to keep in touch with and nurture your prospects after your sales calls. Send them links to appropriate, remarkable content, and look for opportunities to answer their questions.The beauty of using social media for sales is in its potential to make the sales process a lot more personal. Building relationships is an important part of sales, and social media offers a valuable platform for relationship-building. And — BONUS! — if you’re using a system such as HubSpot, closed loop reporting will also enable you to track leads from their initial referral channel through their first conversion all the way to becoming a customer. This allows your marketing team to track which social media channels are most efficient and provides actionable insight to make smarter marketing investments.And don’t worry about seeming creepy (unlike the man in the photo above). If the prospect has made themselves available in social media, they probably won’t be weirded out by the fact that you did some detective work. Chances are, they’ll be impressed that you’ve spent the time to do some extra thinking about how what you have to offer specifically relates to their problems, needs, or wants.Chime in! How else have you used intelligence from social media to prepare for a sales call?Photo Credit: Okko Pyykkö Topics:last_img read more

An Open Letter from Sales to Marketing

first_img You know what drives my sales people nuts? When you send over a ton of unqualified leads that you got at a tradeshow or some other promo event you did. Again, we don’t have the time to do this. When we finally uncover a company who can realize significant benefits from our offering, typically they’re not actively making a purchase decision. Instead, they’re trying to determine if it makes good business sense to change. I’ve got some ideas that might make it easier for us both. SNAP. SNAP Rule 1: Keep it Simple Sales Even our hottest prospects sometimes disappear into a black hole because it’s just plain easier to stay with the status quo than to invest all the time and effort into making a change. That’s what we’re facing out there every single day. and popular speaker at annual sales meetings.  SidewaysSarah Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Selling to Big Companies SNAP Rule 3: Always Align You’ve been just as hard on me as I’ve been on you. You’ve criticized my salespeople’s skills, telling everyone in the company that we’re incapable of selling value. You’ve carped about our bonuses, whined about our expenses or grumbled that we weren’t working hard enough. Enough already. We need to stop this blame game or neither of us will be successful. It typically takes my salespeople eight to ten contacts before they have a conversation with a prospective customer. We just can’t afford to keep doing this. It’s not a good use of our sales force’s time. I know we haven’t always gotten along.  In fact, I’ve been pretty critical of you over the years. Dear Marketing, Traditional prospecting and sales strategies don’t work anymore with today’s crazy-busy buyers. We’re spending more time and effort than ever before, but getting diminishing returns. We desperately need your help or we’re not going to make it. It all starts with high quality leads that you’ve nurtured. Let’s get together and agree on what this means – soon. We can’t wait any longer. Plus we need tools to nurture prospects. These are things you can create for us. SNAP Rule 4: Raise Priorities Originally published May 13, 2011 12:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Virtually the first questions our crazy-busy prospects ask is, “Is this relevant?” They don’t have time for anything else. And I hate to be brutal with you, but 90% of our prospects think that information about our products and services is totally irrelevant. So what do you think? I’m offering you a peace pipe and a chance to create a better future. I think it’ll only happen if we’re ready to work together. And I’m ready. I need you now more than ever. The truth is, I don’t want to be the fall guy when I don’t reach my numbers. You don’t either. Topics: Our overwhelmed prospects grind to a screeching halt whenever they encounter complexity. From their perspective, this means anything that feels difficult to decipher, difficult to decide on or difficult to implement. Photo Credit: On a daily basis, our prospects are buffeted by newly arising emergencies, reorganizations, shifting market dynamics, and ever evolving corporate directives. It’s an absolute imperative to work with them on their priority projects. Looking forward to talking soon, & Personally, I’m at my wit’s end. It’s harder than ever to reach our numbers and I don’t see things getting any easier in the future – especially when I talk to the people who buy our products and services. This is a guest post written by Jill Konrath, bestselling author of SNAP Selling SNAP Rule 2: Be iNvaluable Now more than ever, our prospects want to work with companies that “know their stuff” and who continually bring them new ways to improve their business. In reality, that’s our biggest competitive differentiator today – not our products or services. We need to attract those online seekers and get them into our database. Then we need to keep sending them great information till they’re ready to make a change. Marketing and Sales Alignment I’ve complained that you’re not doing enough to get us business. I’ve blamed you when our new offerings fail to achieve projected success. I’ve accused you of being out of touch with what’s really going on with our customers and prospects.last_img read more

Neil Patel on Blogging, Bribing, Business

first_img as one of the web’s top influencers. is the co-founder of Internet companies (view below), Patel reveals his top tips for bloggers: The Rise to the Top Now: Blogs can make money. AOL Be conversational, talk rather than tell by referring directly to the reader as “you.” Ask questions to spur comments and encourage interaction. Also format your layout, headlines and photos. You’re not real if you portray yourself as a fake person, a cartoon, or no person at all. If you’re reading the work of a business blogger with an Don’t shove the product down peoples’ throats. Blogs serve many purposes. and Originally published May 23, 2011 8:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Entrepreneurship is in Patel’s blood, as he grew up watching his mother and uncle work the skill. At age 16, he began blogging about marketing tactics, analytics and lead-driving. By speaking on niches at conferences, the kid snagged clients to consult. Ages 14-16: Began selling CDs, then legal car parts. KISSmetrics avatar, you’re not going to take him or her seriously, are you? Don’t mess with personal interaction. Age 21: Use a real photo of yourself. Speed is everything. Keep people engaged. HP ’s top 100 bloggers; recognized by the LOLcat , Technorati “Where the real money is, is being an entrepreneur. At the end of the day, over 10, 15 years, it starts rubbing off on you and you start picking up things over time.” Patel has assisted companies including , a visitor-tracking service, andcenter_img . Highlighted in his interview on Named one of So how he get this high up? Here’s the timeline in a nutshell: Online Marketing and Customer Acquisition Blog Especially notable is KISSmetrics’ Get content out quickly to stand above your competitors. Wall Street Journal Build your audience. Amazon Neil Patel Provide fresh, quality content. Develop a distinct writing style. Monetizing your blog is a great idea if you can figure it out and are willing to commit the time and effort. to make more money on the web. Fortunate enough to earn more than he has lost, Patel invests in things like apartment complexes, .com companies, the stock market, hedge funds, brick and mortar businesses, venture capital funds, and his parents. Topics: Also dropped in the interview is some marketing advice, including: ’s Crazy Egg , a software company that helps track and improve conversion rates, cleans cookies and tracks revenue and people. Currently determined to create that $100 million company, he is dedicating all of his time to KISSmetrics, focusing on building it as a whole in ways like growing sales and boosting marketing. David Garland You blog could be: your business, the method of promoting your business, the way of gaining recognition and visibility by particular markets. Do not say “but this, buy that.” Instead promoting free beneficial content (for example, webinars and ebooks in the case of a software company) can lead to new clients. Age 16: Got involved with companies by blogging and speaking at conferences. Continuing to build KISSmetrics; spends spare time blogging and responding to emails. The goal is to get more readers and bring them in as subscribers. Suggested strategy: pay people to promote your blog to their audience(s). Business Blogging Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

5 Misconceptions About the Mobile Web

first_img Mobile Marketing Topics: Originally published Jul 15, 2011 11:30:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack This is a guest blog post written by Adrian Mendoza.  As co-founder of Marlin Mobile , he  helps businesses create and deliver a winning mobile user experience by understanding and overcoming the fragmentation in the mobile market.  The mobile web is growing faster than we can imagine.  I compared it last year to where the web was in 1998, but this year we leap forward to roughly the state of the Internet in 2001.  Standards are coming into place with HTML5, adoption is growing faster on the mobile web than the desktop web, and companies are starting to do real business off of mobile devices.  Despite all the growth, major misconceptions exist among businesses about how to effectively use the mobile web to best serve their customers and support their business. Misconception #1:  The Mobile Web Screen Is Small, So Designing For It Must Be Easier. The mobile web browsers you find on your smartphone are far less forgiving than desktop browsers.  Your Google Analytics code, all those style sheets, and a portion of the HTML code on your website are not mobile optimized.  Don’t forget that Flash does not work on the iPhone either.  You might think, “I don’t have or need a mobile site”.  However, your customers are already visiting your page on their mobile devices.  Guess what?  You own a mobile experience, whether or not you decide to be!The amount of content you place on your mobile website can make the difference in whether it loads in two seconds or ten seconds, winning or losing customers and sales. A mobile web site requires you to reconsider your content, resize your graphics, and rethink how your customers view your experience on a mobile device.  Remember your web strategy is NOT your mobile strategy.  Mobile does not not just mean a smaller experience, it is a more complex equation. Misconception #2:  It Is Easy To Copy and Paste Mobile Apps From Platform To Platform. An iPhone is an iPhone, and a Android is an Android – their users are different and so are their habits.  Don’t think that every smartphone and their users are the same.  For example, Android users are accustomed to a menu button, but iPhone users have no idea what that concept even means.  iPhone users spend twice as many hours playing games as compared to android users 1 , while Android users are the largest consumers of data compared to the other smartphone platforms 2 .  Asides from usage, the iPhone now sports 4 different models (not including iTouch and iPads), while over 50 different carrier and phone combinations (and growing) exist on the Android platform in the US!Not only are the physical experiences different, but the performance of different phones and tablets is also an issue.  Even though a Motorola i1 performs slower than an Evo 4G by a factor of 10 3 , your brand is still impacted by the experience across both.  You must make optimize your mobile experience across multiple operating system, smartphones, tablets, and even carriers. One solution will not cut it. Misconception #3:  It Is Best Yo Fit Everything On One Screen. Amongst mobile devices, different screen sizes, proportions, and even screen types exist. Forget about designing for 1024 pixels or 320 pixels wide.  You must think about making a fluid design that fits across all phones and tablets.  Your customers are accessing the web on all kinds of devices, and your brand must be well presented across all screens.  Create a strategy for what you want your page to look like on tablets and phones.  Ask yourself these questions:  Do you deliver a different experience for Android and iPhones?  Do you want tablets to open your full site?  Do you want to deliver different versions of your mobile site based on a device’s performance?Once you have chosen a mobile strategy for delivering your site across the different platforms, now is the time to think about what you place on the pages.  Forget about cramming all of your existing content into this one screen.  Your mobile site is not your desktop site, so not everything needs to come over.  Be clear, clean, and make sure the important content is on top. Misconception #4:  Businesses Determine The User Experience. Your customer determines the user experience.  Your customers’ needs are unique on mobile.  Whether they are comparison shopping, checking their bank balance, or reading highlights from news stories, the mobile experience is different in nature.  The mobile experience is about information at the tip of the user’s fingertips (literally!).  Mobile users will NOT navigate through a four screen registration process or a complicated user experience on their small device.  Spend the time to survey your customers and ask for their feedback on what they want to experience on their phones and tablets.  By conducting research and soliciting customer feedback, you make sure that you deliver the optimal use cases.  Better to take the time to find out what your users want and give them that, rather than dictating what you think they want.  Again, copying what your desktop site is NOT the solution. Misconception #5:  Buttons Are Still For Clicks. Design using your finger, a small button does not cut it anymore.  The iPhone introduced us to the swipe, the tap, the double tap, and the pinch.  The “tap” is now part of the vocabulary across all smartphones.  Whether they are left handed or right handed, your customers use their phones leveraging these gestures by using both hands and multiple fingers.  Gone are the days of the mouse.  You do not have the luxury of such precision any more.  Your mobile site must be both friendly and accessible to the fingertips.  Buttons must be bigger and require more space around them to make sure fingers tap on the correct option.  Flustered fingers mean frustrated customers.These five misconceptions are just the starting point to understanding and embracing a mobile strategy.  As daunting as the task may seem, tools are available to help.  Your mobile success is contingent on how well your experience performs for your customers across the multitude of smartphones and tablets, bearing in mind factors like carrier, location, and signal strength all have an impact. What would you add to this list?  Image credit: mikeburns last_img read more

5 Clever Uses of LinkedIn’s Brand New Group Polls Feature

first_img Originally published Dec 16, 2011 1:15:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack LinkedIn Marketing LinkedIn rolled out polls this week, a cool new feature for LinkedIn Groups (important distinction: this feature is not available for Company Pages). The feature has been rolling out over the past couple of days, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you’re sure to soon. LinkedIn has also let you like, comment on, and follow polls, helping spark discussion and increase user engagement with the group. Let’s take a look at how to set up polls in LinkedIn Groups, and discuss 5 creative ways to use this new feature.Get the essential guide to using LinkedIn for marketing and professional networking.How to Create a Poll on LinkedIn GroupsLinkedIn makes it simple for you to create polls. Keep in mind that LinkedIn’s default setting allows anyone in a group to create a poll. If you’re the administrator of the group, you can change this and only allow moderators to create polls in your Group Settings. Now let’s set up your first poll.1.) Go to the group in which you want to set up your first poll. When you get there, you’ll see a sign like the one below. Click on the blue Poll button.2.) Type in your question and the answers from which people can choose when they vote.3.) Select how long you’d like your poll to run. Note: You can’t schedule a future start date for a poll at this time.4.) Hit Share to make your poll live. But before you do that, also check the Twitter box to tweet that bad boy out! This step isn’t required, but keep reading to learn why you should do it.5 Smart Ways to Use LinkedIn Group Polls1.) Create a poll, and use the results for blog fodder. If you’re ever short on content for your blog, there’s nothing people love more than research! Use your group (or another group, as long as their settings allow everyone to create polls) to do some market research on a topic that interests your audience. After you write the blog article, share it in that group, too, so people can see your takeaways from the poll.2.) Use polls to get product and service feedback. Thinking of rolling out a new product/feature/service? Use polls to see if people would find it valuable. Not sure what to prioritize next in your product update queue? Poll your LinkedIn customer group. The great thing about LinkedIn Groups is they can act as a focus group since they can contain an audience that’s relevant to your industry and your business.3.) Use polls to conduct research. There are great data providers out there, but sometimes the results aren’t exactly what you’re looking for. Use polls to perform targeted research that answers the exact question you need answered, with data. Remember, you can push your poll out to the entire LinkedIn community, too, if your group is open to all members.4.) Tweet polls to get more group followers. If your group is closed to the public, the poll can serve as a way to market your group on Twitter and get more members. And if your group is open to all LinkedIn members, well then you’ll get more participants in your poll and more engagement with your group.5.) Use polls to generate offers. Stuck for offers? Know you need a new offer to get leads, but don’t know what will resonate? Ask your LinkedIn Group! You can ask them what types of content assets they prefer to download (ebooks, whitepapers, webinars, videos, etc.) or ask which topics they want to learn more about. This type of feedback is important to capture to ensure your content strategy aligns with what your prospects and customers need and want.How often do you participate in LinkedIn Groups? Do you moderate your own group on LinkedIn?Image credit: nan palmerolast_img read more

How to Overcome the Most Debilitating Nonprofit Blogging Challenges

first_img United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley “Our most widely read posts share several key aspects; they are connected to relevant news topics, they provide a look “behind the curtain” with anecdotes and emotions not shared elsewhere, they are written by leading experts, and the content is fresh yet linked to additional information that provides context and additional factoids.” . Last week, United Way’s Adams writes: Reach out to them with a first-time blogging assignment and due date. Having a One organization in Boston, The Do you know of a nonprofit blog that has overcome blogging challenges particularly well? Share your experiences in the comments below! amidst their multitude of other tasks. Here’s what they said, along with a few tips from HubSpot’s own blogging experiences. Each challenge is also followed by its difficulty rating from : repurpose content By inviting your entire staff and your network of volunteers and donors to Crittenton Women’s Union successful blog Originally published Jan 10, 2012 3:45:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Lack of Time or Budget (31%) , who offered the following advice: which channels . But a number of other challenges emerged as well. I had the opportunity to talk to a few nonprofits about the survey and asked them how they handle managing a What to Do Right Now to Help Your Nonprofit Blog nonprofit Nonprofits have one of the most powerful sources for posts possible: the stories of their clients and participants. And though finding individual stories to highlight takes time, creating a channel for these voices gets to the heart of the mission and provides a direct line of sight to the impact donors and volunteers are trying to drive.   One way to save time and give your content a larger reach is to for you.” , the workload gets distributed in a more sustainable way, and the blog benefits from diverse voices and outreach opportunities. To keep things organized, we advise that one person act as a central blog editor. If you’re a nonprofit that deals with numerous causes, consider assigning different journalistic “beats” or topics to your bloggers and setting up a schedule that spreads out the posts evenly throughout the week and month. Christi Cahill of “Plan in advance. Set an editorial calendar and stick to it! If you’re running low on content ideas, find people willing to guest  Producing Content That Engages Supporters (27%) topic to write about “As the blog evolved, it became a broadcasting space for CWU program participants to use as a learning tool for their exposure to social media, especially as an advocacy outlet. This year, the blog will undergo yet another exciting expansion and will be transformed again to include the voices of our participants as well as keeping an active eye on anti-poverty reporting…” Create a recruitment list of staff, donors, volunteers, clients, and partners who would be good contributors to your blog. Examine your content challenges facing nonprofit marketers “Use your full network and staff to tell your stories. The informal nature of a blog means that there aren’t as many rules about what you post, provided it’s something that’s relevant to your audience.” blog center_img Nonprofit Marketing Cancer Foundation echoes this. She writes: on search engine optimization and community engagement are typically significant enough to validate finding the time. The question is, how? I talked with Brian Adams of  blogger Kivi Leroux Miller ran the results of a survey she conducted about the biggest to find your best channels for outreach. Topics: It’s no secret that nonprofit marketers often have to juggle an enormous workload. But the “We have had some success using the blog to preview content for an upcoming event. For example, our Women’s Initiative group held an educational panel about sexual exploitation, and we ‘previewed’ the content of the panel by featuring a guest blog post from each of the panelists in the week leading up to the event. It allowed those panelists some exposure on our blog (and hopefully gave us exposure through their networks) and also connected the on-the-ground marketing strategy with our online marketing strategy. During the event, we also shared quotes via Twitter and posted photos via Facebook.” LinkedIn Knowing Which Content to Use in Which Channels (7%) pasukaru76 Repurposing Content (7%) Create an editorial calendar and stick to it. Start with 1-2 posts a week if you can. It’s important to remember that the blog audience does not need to be restricted to just donors. It can be an important resource for the people your organization is trying to help, as well.  contribute posts benefits of blogging . Unsurprisingly,  for your blog from other channels, and vice versa. When doing so, nonprofits should keep in mind that repurposing is not a simple cut-and-paste operation. Think in terms of editorial campaigns, and leveraging the blog as one of many ways to get the word out about a particular topic of the week or upcoming event. Take this example from , you really need to dive into your marketing analytics to get a sense for the role each channel plays in your overall marketing and communications program. Channel behavior often varies by audience segment. What channels do your donors typically use? How does that differ from your volunteers or your constituents/clients? Do some research on your most active channels and their characteristics before creating your outreach strategy. For example, it might make sense to share content on ‘how to run a workplace fundraiser’ on time and money led the results with 31% of the responses To know which content to use in always seems less daunting than a blank page. Kivi’s study has taken a unique approach to this. They not only invite their staff and network to contribute to the blog, but also the families they serve. CWU’s Kirsten Blocker elaborates: blog analytics Photo by: United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley Pick a date (several months out) to evaluate your progress and choose next steps. The success of your blog will always depend on the quality and frequency of your posts. And while time can feel like a long lost luxury to nonprofit marketers, getting organized helps. As a final thought, here are a few things you can do this week to get started: , while personal stories of impact may be better shared with your email subscribers.  Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

HootSuite Partners With HubSpot to Offer Social Media Lead Nurturing #ClosedLoopSocial

first_img Topics: The news is out, and we’re excited to announce that HubSpot and HootSuite are teaming up to make the world of marketing an even better place. Team HS & HS are launching a new product integration, a record-breaking webinar, multiple ebooks, and more, all centered around a single idea: we should make it easier for marketers to generate, nurture, and manage leads via social media, so they can finally “close the loop” on their social media marketing efforts (what we’re calling ‘closed-loop social’ for short).The partnership will directly connect social media to generating, managing, and nurturing leads for the first time, and we think it’s a match made in heaven. Social media is a growing channel, and the average budget spent on social media has increased 133% in just 3 years. However, during those 3 years, social was primarily used as a promotion and engagement tool, and we believe that social as a lead nurturing and closing tool has only just scratched the surface.The HubSpot HootSuite integration will make it easier for customers to use social media to better work their leads and make the close. Via a new beta app, users of both products can monitor their leads’ tweets in HootSuite to identify opportunities to follow up with their leads with a tweet. Users can also use the app to monitor their best-performing keywords in HubSpot for relevant conversations that could lead to prospecting opportunities. HootSuite Pro and Enterprise users are eligable to apply for the app now and take advantage of the released product in late June. Not too shabby! Social Media Strategy Originally published Jun 6, 2012 8:15:00 AM, updated February 01 2017center_img We’re also venturing to break the 2011 record for world’s largest webinar with our joint webinar, The Science of Inbound Marketing, co-presented by HubSpot Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella and HootSuite VP of Marketing Ben Watson.HootSuite will also serve as the presenting sponsor at HubSpot’s Inbound 2012, a 3-day blow-out marketing conference happening August 27th through the 30th in Boston. HootSuite’s presence at the event will be fun, educational, and topped off by a killer party in true HootSuite style. We’re looking forward to hosting this major event, which will help marketing professionals, business owners, and agency executives improve marketing effectiveness.So what does this social partnership mean for marketers? How can you take advantage of closed-loop social to use social media as a middle-of-the-funnel marketing tool? Let’s explain … 4 Ways to Use Closed-Loop Social Media to Improve Your Marketing1. Monitor key terms in social media as proactive prospecting.With closed-loop social, you can monitor the keywords and phrases that your best leads are using in social media. This enables you to identify opportunities to jump into the conversation and interact with your potential customers. The key here is to avoid being overly forward or “salesy.” Rather, be natural and add value where it makes sense. Offer your best content, be helpful, and eventually the people you’re tweeting with could convert into customers.2. Consider using social media instead of the typical email follow up. Traditionally, the playbook has been to exclusively nurture leads further down the sales funnel using email. But you don’t have to limit lead nurturing to email. There are certainly other ways to connect and communicate with leads one-on-one, and social media is one of them. Why not send a tweet to leads asking how they enjoyed their product trial or a recent demo they attended? They just might appreciate the follow up.3. Increase the likelihood for sales by nurturing leads through multiple channels.Some folks prefer certain forms of communication over others, so consider the fact that your leads might rather receive a tweet from your business than an email. Nurturing your leads via multiple channels lets your leads choose how they want to interact with you. By monitoring your leads’ behaviors, you’ll be able to engage with your prospects through their channels of choice, making for a much more personalized lead nurturing experience.4. Create advanced filters to catch “buying signals” from your leads.Imagine this: You’re monitoring social media and you see one of your recent leads tweeting, “I’m considering buying X product. Anyone have any experience with it?” Here’s your golden opportunity to say thank you for considering your product, and perhaps even forward one of your company’s customer success stories! To do this using closed-loop social, all you’d have to do when you start monitoring social posts from your leads is to set up specific filters for keywords like your company name, product name, industry keywords, etc. This way, you’re much more likely to catch a sales opportunity like this and follow up in a timely manner.Are you using social media to close the loop with your leads today? What tips can you share? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more