Tracy Petrucci: Marketing Ideas Into Action: 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

New Classes Start January 2014

My next round of classes start in January at MiraCosta College, Poway Adult Education, and Coronado Adult Education. I am taking a break from teaching at the San Dieguito Adult Ed until Summer or Fall.

For a full description of the classes click HERE.

Here are the upcoming sessions:

1-27 Full College Semester ONLINE CLASS MiraCosta College Social Media and Online Marketing

1-16 Seven Weeks 6p Poway Adult Ed Social Media & Email Marketing for Small Business

1-16 Seven Weeks 1p Poway Adult Ed Social Media & Email Marketing for Small Business

2-25 Four Weeks 6p Coronado Adult Ed Social Media & Email Marketing for Small Business

4-3 Four Weeks 6p Coronado Adult Ed Social Media & Email Marketing for Small Business

I will updating this soon with one or two more spring adult ed offerings when I've confirmed the times.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Absent

I decided to take a few moments and update my blog, especially since it's been a while since I posted. It was a bit embarrassing in my blog class last week when I said, "You really shouldn't let a month go by without a post" and of course, mine has now gone almost two.

Last month I went through a difficult experience. I took some time off, and then started easing back into work. I am very appreciative of my clients who have been so patient with me while I have been working through my emotions, especially because it's been harder to do than I imagined it would be. People always say, "Throw yourself into work and it will distract you" but sometimes you just can't be distracted.

I do a lot of work at night after I put my daughter to bed, and there are many nights, like tonight, where it's just too quiet and I just can't help but look around and let my mind wander. Soon it's been an hour, then two, then it's so late that I can't focus on work anyway, and I'm back at square one. People also say it's important to "process things" or "be sad when you need to be sad" and so I let myself go there.

I feel extremely behind, underwater, in the weeds, or whatever you like to call it. Digging myself out of a hole?

That's about all I have to say I guess. I'm trying.

In the mean time my daughter has turned 3 years old and I have taken her to see Santa, twice.

Olive on her 3rd Birthday

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bank of America Commercial

I saw this commercial recently and just wanted to say simply, that I liked it.

Although the advertiser and the message really seem far fetched from each other, I still like it. It makes me think about my own family- past, present, and future, and all the stages of life we aren't expecting, or look back on. It reminds me to be in the moment.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Introducing: Jessica Dringman

Marketing Molly introduced me to Jessica Dringman, who I am excited to announce will be interning for me through her school, Gonzaga University up in Washington.

I am very thrilled to be sharing my clients' marketing challenges and projects with them, and look forward to some fresh insights.

Here is a little bit about Jessica:

"I am currently a senior at Gonzaga with a business marketing major a public relations minor. I grew up in Billings, Montana and am the oldest of the eight children in my family. I have been dancing since I was three years old, and am currently the captain of the Gonzaga Dance Team. I also enjoy yoga, running, and skiing in my free time. I studied abroad in Florence, Italy last fall, so traveling has earned a special place in my heart as well. I plan to move to Seattle after graduation and pursue a career in Marketing."

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Milk Bone Commercial Shows Stay at Home Dad

I saw this commercial recently and noticed how they reversed roles between mom and dad. The dad is hanging out with the kid, getting dinner ready, and the mom comes in from her day at work. Not only did they have the dad staying at home, but the family dog was more excited to see the woman, than the man. It was just kind of fun and refreshing! Obviously mainstream society is coming to terms that more and more dads are staying at home, as reflected in the ad below.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Pinterest for Brick & Mortar

Pinterest has proved amazing for some businesses. I started experimenting with it for marketing long before large agencies and other marketing blogs started blowing up about it. I've since seen a direct correlation with Pinterest and web sales for my clients, not to mention the insane traffic flow it brings regardless. But the keyword here is for some. Traditionally, I've said if you have an online store, you're going to have more success than those that don't have a product for purchase online.

Most photos lead to somewhere, and if you're using Pinterest correctly (or others browsing the web pin your items), they will lead to your website. So naturally there is a greater chance of seeing direct ROI with online stores who use Pinterest.

Additionally, the photos have to be aesthetically pleasing, or have a great caption. Since Pinterest is visually driven, you really could have the best recipe in the world with the worst photo, and not see much action. Conversely, you could have an amazing photo staged to perfection that leads to a dead end link, and the repin rate will be through the roof.

With that being said, it's clear people indeed do bookmark things for a later date, filing them away on their vitual pinboard for when they need the product, service, or idea. If everyone was acting on their pins right away, you would not see so many things getting repinned that don't lead anywhere good.

I recently read an article about how Pinterest users are taking their pin information to brick and mortar stores to make buying decisions.

"Recent data distributed by Vision Critical and highlighted in the Harvard Business Review found that 21% of Pinterest users had bought an item in a store after pinning, repinning, or liking the item on the site. Vision Critical describes this as part of a wider phenomenon it calls "reverse showrooming," in which consumers search or browse products online and then enter the physical shop to make a final purchase.

(This contrasts with showrooming, which implies handling a product in stores, only to price-compare and buy it for less money online.)"



So this is good news for some who don't sell online but like the idea of a Pinterest presence. Will it be worth your time and energy however? If it's a platform you love being on yourself, absolutely. No harm can come of it. But if you're signing up your business simply because someone told you that you just simply HAVE to be there, give it some good thought first.

I would love to write pages more on this topic, but it's a holiday weekend after all, and I have a redbox waiting for me! Be on the lookout for more in depth articles on the topics of Pinterest.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Fall Classes

My next round of classes start in September and have repeats throughout October, November, and December. You can read more about these classes HERE.

Here are the upcoming sessions:

9-3 Full College Semester ONLINE CLASS MiraCosta College Social Media and Online Marketing

9-4 Six Weeks 6p San Dieguito Adult Ed Social Media & Email Marketing for Small Business

9-5 Three Weeks 6p Coronado Adult Ed Email Marketing for Small Business

9-10 Seven Weeks 1p Poway Adult Ed Social Media & Email Marketing for Small Business

9-21 One Session 9:30a San Dieguito Adult Ed Facebook Advertising

10-3 One Session 5:30p Coronado Adult Ed Facebook Advertising

10-17 One Session 5:30p Coronado Adult Ed Marketing with Visual Platforms (Instagram, Pinterest, etc)

10-23 Six Weeks 6p San Dieguito Adult Ed Social Media & Email Marketing for Small Business

10-24 Three Weeks (no class on 10/31) 6p Coronado Adult Ed Email Marketing for Small Business

11-9 One Session 9:30a San Dieguito Adult Ed Facebook Advertising

11-21 One Session 5:30p Coronado Adult Ed Marketing with Visual Platforms (Instagram, Pinterest, etc)

12-12 One Session 5:30p Coronado Adult Ed Facebook Advertising






Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My Home Office

[Update - My current office is located at 8885 Rio San Diego Dr]

People always ask me if I work from home. I never know what to say, because I kind of do and I kind of don't.

My Window Tree
I don't really have a home office, but I do have a lovely table from IKEA in my bedroom that folds up and down when I do or don't need it, and it looks out at a lovely tree. I am very thankful for this tree, because it's much more beautiful to stare at than a wall, for example.

Having a toddler in the house is probably the biggest reason I don't really work at home. Both her, and my husband, can tend to be a bit distracting throughout the day, and I find myself getting interrupted with bothersome questions, or getting caught up in the tantrums, pool time, or other things that I really shouldn't be doing.

This leaves Starbucks, local coffee shops, Panera bread, and other various free WIFI locations. However with this comes its own slew of problems such as insanely slow internet (or sometimes not working at all), table hunting and stalking, driving, parking, and spending more money on food and drink then I would at home. These things add up to a lot of wasted time... time, as something I treasure dearly these days.

Then I have my days I visit clients, stop by their homes or businesses, and get to spend much needed face time with some of my favorite people.

So there you! I guess I kind of work from home. Lately I've been trying to do more of it, closing the door, and just hoping my daughter doesn't notice. I try to sneak into the kitchen for my meals, and sneak back into my "office" without detection.

It's a tricky business... but no less a position I feel completely grateful to have. But if you have any tips I would love to hear them!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Marketing Molly

I wanted to take a moment  to introduce my new intern Molly. I'm excited to have her on board!


Molly has just returned from living in Florence, Italy for 8 months where she enjoyed the chance to travel to several different countries including Greece, Hungary, Scotland and Germany to name a few. She is going into her senior year at Gonzaga University as a business marketing major. She is interested in Leatherback sea turtle conservation and spent time in Costa Rica helping the endangered species. Molly is a fan of national geographic documentaries, beach days, Gouda cheese and Chianti. She hopes to move to Seattle after she graduates and start a marketing career with a non profit.

Time to load her up with experiences she can take on to change the world in her future projects.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Twitter Analytics

I am so excited that Twitter has announced new business analytics. I've always been big on quantity over quality... especially for the small business owner who is struggling to balance all their responsibilities. Do you need thousands of followers if they aren't relevant to your bottom line? Maybe, maybe not... it depends on your goals for Twitter. Even though I'm a marketing professional, I'm happy and content letting my followers grow as slow as molasses, as long as those who do are actually interested and engaged with what I have to say. I'm not into the follow, follow back, unfollow game just to boost the social media ego game of numbers. So now I am extremely happy you can actually differentiate more easily if your followers are indeed important, or just fluff!

I haven't had time to really investigate this yet, but stay tuned, as this is something I've been wanting for a long time! I am hoping it works good... I'll let you know.

You can read more about it here.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New Class in Poway

My next social media and online marketing class will begin next Thursday, June 27th from 10:30-12p.

The series is seven weeks long and covers Facebook, Twitter, Email Marketing, Blogging, Pinterest, and much more. Each class includes a lecture and is followed up with a hands on workshop. You can also opt in and register for certain classes in the series, instead of the whole thing.

For more information or to sign up, contact the adult ed program at 858-668-4024 or via email.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Email Blast Attack

Is there a new study out that says open rates are higher on Thursday afternoons? I just received so many emails that I just "CLICK CLICK CLICK" deleted them all. I've never noticed such an influx in email blasts, ever, and it compelled me to come to my blog.

Note to self, do not send an email on a Thursday afternoon.

What about you? Have you noticed a trend in email open rates? I used to spend a lot of time researching this, but at the end of day I realized there are many other factors that seem to rank more important than the time of day or week such as:

Photo from Turbo Social Media
1. The relationship between business and recipient
2. How well your lists are organized and how well-targeted the message is
3. How often you send emails in general

Sometimes I've mailed something at a random time on a weekend, or at night versus in the morning, and the most odd times often result in the best open rate. Some of my clients have exact times they send their newsletter, and their customers know and look for it each week. Other clients of mine are so off the cuff, they just send them when they are done, often as late as 10:30 at night.

Experiment and track your open rates depending on different variables and different times of day, and then you'll have a better idea of what your followers do.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

30% Off Constant Contact Email Marketing

I just found a promo code from Constant Contact, something I don't often come across, so I wanted to share it with you!

You have to be a first time customer, so if you've been on the fence about signing up, maybe this is the thing that will help you finally try it out. Email marketing is one of my favorite things, which consistently brings a ROI to my clients.

Constant Contact is one of my favorite ones to use because they have easy to use apps for Facebook, Text to Join, and phone support every day of the week. To me, time is valuable, and when I am struggling with a glitch or something not lining up right in an email, I love that I can call them and BOOM they fix it for me, or tell me how to fix it. Then I can get on with the rest of my day. I've been using them for almost a decade, so for sure I recommend their services to my clients.


Use the promo code 30JUNE at checkout for a 30% discount for three months whether you have a trial already, or are just now signing up via their website here.

This coupon code will expire on June 30, 2013. Happy emailing, you will love it!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Small Biz Tip: How To Use A HashTag

One of the questions I get asked most often in my classes is, "What is a hashtag?" and how do you use them?

A hashtag is when you put a # next to a word or phrase #likethis. When you use a hashtag on Twitter,  Instagram, or Pinterest it creates a clickable link to all the of the photos or tweets that have also used the same hashtag.

You might use a hashtag for any of these reasons (and more):

1. It helps other people find you! If you use a hashtag to describe where you are, anyone else searching for that hashtag can find you, follow you, or retweet your message. Maybe you're at a hot new restaurant and you hashtag the name of it #HotRestaurant. Well now you've made it possible for others to find you when they look that hashtag up. Anyone who is curious who else is at the same place, or even other businesses trying to find customers or size up their competition, may be looking at it. All of the photos or messages that use a hashtag end up in the same place so others can peruse them in one spot.

Here is an example... I ate at Gabardine in Pt Loma a couple months ago. I took a photo and used the hashtag #gabardine on Instagram. After a few minutes some of my friends had liked the photo, but so had a few people I didn't know, including Gabardine's Instagram account.

Anyone looking at photos of #pointloma or any of the other hashtags would see my photo. I don't use hashtags anymore on Instagram because I have made my account private and don't really worry about new people finding me, however for a business, this is a great way to get new exposure.

2. It can add to your story.  On Twitter, you only get 140 characters to describe something, so using a hashtag can add a lot of explanation or extra info to your sentence by cutting out the need to use extra words. For example, "It's Friday night but I'm up late studying, AGAIN. #nursingstudent". Adding the hashtag nursing student just reinforces the statement about being up late studying, without the user having to go into anymore detail, yet you now know much more about the story.

It can reinforce a feeling too, even on platforms where character limits are not an issue. "It feels like Summer around here! #happy #beachlife". The point is, she only wanted to talk about the fact it feels like summer, but can add that she's happy about this, and is probably hanging out on the beach, by adding a simple hashtag.

3. It can organize a conversation or contest. I've run many successful contests or conversations by making entrants use a custom hashtag. It creates a place where I can keep track of who is entering, what they are saying, and so forth. Click here to see what I mean and for a real life example.

You can not OWN a hashtag. They are public item, and you need to be creative when using hashtags so the right people find you at the right times, especially when talking about using them as a marketing tool. I will write a follow up post with more tips on actually using them.

He Talks In Hashtags
I meet a lot of people who underestimate the power of Twitter, but it only takes a quick look around at the major brands, tv stations, and advertisements to see that most businesses are using hashtags in marketing for various reasons. They are not silly... do you really think such huge organizations would be using something if it didn't work, or if only a tiny minority of people were participating? Additionally, things like hashtags can level the playing field for small businesses to compete, and they shouldn't be scoffed at for business purposes. You can however, scoff at the guy from The Bachelorette this week who constantly used hashtags in normal, real life conversation... I don't think I'm quite ready for that yet.

Here's an article I liked highlighting some brands using hashtags, and stay tuned for a follow up post with tips on using hashtags for marketing your business.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Using HARO for Blogging

I've written before about how Help A Reporter Out can get you press and exposure. It's a free service where people nationwide can submit a query when they are writing a story, article for a magazine, or a book. There are writers in every industry looking for products, services, experts, and so on, and you can respond to these queries instantly, often being quoted or linked to from their story! There's a short blog post on that, if you want a little more information click here.

But the other reason you may want to use HARO is to create your own awesome and original blog posts. Sometimes it is hard to find the time to write really great content when you're so busy operating a business. When other experts send you their advice, opinions, and outlooks on topics, the blog post will practically write itself. Once I wrote a story on Julia Child and how she inspired people and taught them to cook. I had so many amazing people write in their experiences, and it made for a great original piece, and the content just came right to my inbox.

Think about your target audience, what they'd want to read, and maybe try reaching out through HARO to create a series of posts that are content rich and completely unique to your blog.





Friday, April 12, 2013

Personal Friday Night Post

This post is quite personal, and I suppose may not fit in on my work blog. However the only reason I was prompted to write about it, was when I had an 'aha' moment about social media and celebrities.

I had a dream last night about someone semi famous, who I don't normally ever think about. In the dream there was a connection. . . call it friendship, call it love, it was a dream and that was all it was. He is a stranger, but he wasn't in my dream.

I woke up, told my husband about it, and it quickly seemed to fade as my day went on. However when I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep again tonight, the dream started to replay.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Text to LIKE a Facebook Page

I was scrolling through my blog and found this little gem... The topic of this post had already slipped my mind and I thought I'd recycle it here in case anyone else needed the refresher as I did!
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News flash to me. You can text to "Like" a Facebook page. I've been giving my clients the code for customers to sign up for email marketing via text, but I've found out you can do this for Facebook too, and this is old news.

It just goes to show how much there is always to learn about social media marketing. . . it never ends people.

To do this, just text the word like and then the business page username to the number 32665 and you will become a subscriber to their page.


  
For example:
Like tracypetrucci to "32665"

This only works if the page has at least 25 fans and a user name. Plus, it will only work if your mobile phone is connected to Facebook from THIS page.  

Remember, you can have the Facebook App on your phone and get notifications, but it's still different than having the account connected to your mobile via the settings page from a computer, so check that out if anyone has problems. 

This is a great tool for marketing on the go. If you meet someone at an event, during a networking mixer, or anywhere out and about, if they are interested in your business it's an easy to get them connected.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Free Half Hour Consultation

I'm offering a free half hour consultation to the winner of a random giveaway.

If you win, you will be able to meet with me in person if local, or just talk on the phone and go over the topic of your choice related to social media & online marketing. What tools would be best for you, which tools might be a waste of resources for your particular business, and how is your over all online presence looking right now?

To be entered, all you have to do is follow my Facebook page by clicking LIKE here.

Additional entries will be added if you:

Follow me on Twitter here- @tracypetrucci
RT about the giveaway
Share the giveaway on Facebook

Good Luck!


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Facebook Insights: Demographics

Looking at your demographics can provide valuable insight to your marketing strategy. Facebook will share basic information with you, such as location, sex, and age. Looking at the demographics of those who LIKE your page VS those you REACH is the key to seeing if you are reaching your goals, especially if you're using Facebook Advertising and you want to see if you are reaching whom you set out to. I have a video where I explain this more in depth, so stay tuned and I will post it soon.

As you can see in the photo below, a page may have certain groups of people who like it, but may be reaching a different set of people. Outside of advertising, this is important in general. If you start a marketing campaign targeting your local customers instead of your national ones, or men instead of women at Valentine’s Day, looking at who you are reaching will tell you if you’re succeeding in reaching the targets of the campaign. Outside of that, it also tells you general information about who tends to be most engaged in your business. This will be good information to know if you have trouble nailing down your perfect customer, since those who interact most with your posts are most likely to be in this category.

What differences do you see in Page Likes VS Page Reach?

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Perfect Social Media Advice

I swear, I am so ahead of my time.

One of the leading social media and online marketing agencies HubSpot just came out with an article, "30 Terrible Pieces of Social Media Advice You Should Ignore" and I love it. Seriously. It sounds exactly like what I tell my students and clients, and I urge you all to read it here.

As I have time over the next few months, I will break this article down and expand upon some of my favorite things it summarizes.

I just can't believe these concepts are just now making it into the limelight! Read it, enjoy it, and let's talk about it.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Small Biz Tip: Move the "likes" on your Facebook Page

The top row of apps on your Facebook page is prime real estate.  You are only allowed four to show there, so I always advise customizing those to get the most of our them.

While I'll save some of my favorite apps for another post, I'll leave the easiest one for this round.

Move your LIKES off of there. They are already on the page right next to your profile picture.

Who cares how many likes you have? If you have only a few, maybe it will make you feel better to have them a little more discrete. If you have a lot, get over your ego!

There are plenty more important things to feature on that row that a number.


Note the likes are still listed under the business name. But now we can feature photos, Pinterest, a sign up for email, and events. 

To move apps around on the top row of your timeline, click the arrow to the right of your apps to show more, then hover over the corner of the app you want to move up to the top row. An edit box will open and you can simply select  "swap positions with" and you are good to go!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Classes

I will be teaching four courses this winter for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Tuesday Nights 1-15 through 2-26 6:00-8:30p at San Dieguito Adult School
Saturday Mornings 1-26 through 3-2 at San Dieguito Adult School
Details can be found here.
Wednesday Nights 1-23 through 3-6 at Poway Adult School
More info can be found here.
ONLINE at Mira Costa Community College starting 1-17
More info found at http://www.miracosta.edu/

To read more about these classes you can visit my UPCOMING CLASSES page here.