What is Empire Avenue

They bill themselves as “The Social Media Exchange”

Empire Avenue is an exchange (think Stock Exchange) where you can invest in any social media profile (buying and selling shares) meet new people, and earn boatloads of virtual cash by being active and social online!

As my advisor put it, they (Empire Avenue) has taken everything all the social networking sites tell you you can’t do and rolled it into another social media.

Get More Juice for your Google Searches

As with any backlinking effort, one would hope that the links from Empire Avenue itself, along with the people who ‘buy’ a piece of you will create more juice for you when there is a search on your terms.

More Fun than Farmville

And, obviously more sophisticated . . . check it out for yourself:

How Social Media is Changing the Business of Television

In this article, Bravo Digital Media’s Senior Vice President Lisa Hsia writes about how social media is reshaping the television business. Social media has opened up means for people to share real-time to practically anyone in the world, and that is helping quality television get more people engaged and watching.

Real-Time Participation Generates Buzz and More

[F]riends tell friends when things happen on the air, and that viral conversation turns TVs on,” says Hsia. At the core of it, what social media has done is to give TV viewers a voice and the power to influence programming and other audiences via this avenue for instantaneous feedback.

Bravo is still starting out on measuring and utilizing statistics that show how much social media use affect TV ratings. Yet the means available to them through social media measures not only the number of people who are tuned in, but also the sentiment of a specific group, with the help of tools such as the Trendrr dashboard and Sysomos.

“From Must-See TV to Must-Tweet TV”

Because the activity from social media is now easily archived and measured, social media is ever so inclined to influence the development of programming. The same tools mentioned above can be used to determine future programming decisions, such as whether to keep a program running for another season or not, or which pilot to develop going into a new season based on viewer votes.

Keeping the Conversation Going

Online conversation about a TV program typically increases during prime time and the day after airing. Naturally, the next step would be to get the discussion going all day, everyday, and this goal is what has inspired Bravo to create Bravo Talk Bubble and @BravoTV, where fans, producers, actors, and others invested in a program can keep the conversation going in a more meaningful way. What that also means for advertisers is an ongoing possibility of opening discussion about their own product.

Hsia recommends any TV network must strive to gain access to real-time conversation about shows, brands, and TV personalities to help in programming development and tap into its potential in keeping audiences engaged.

Learn more on how Bravo Digital Media makes the most of the social revolution.


5 Predictions for the Public Relations Industry in 2011

Late last year, sparkpr managing director Leyl Master Black came up with predictions for the public relations industry for the year 2011. Looking back at the past decade, the media industry has faced major challenges – from shifting focus to online presence and readership, to keeping up with new online media competitors that attracted more and more attention and advertising revenue.

Black points out that the recent social revolution has gotten industry people on the edge of their seats once more.

Online social networks have taken on the function of crowdsourced news editors, allowing end users to visit one site to get just about all the news and trending info they need. And now, mobile devices such as the iPad are in the mix, inspiring a major change in media infrastructure and sitting in the center of media strategies for leading print publications.

With these rapid changes in mind, what should PR practitioners focus on while creating plans and campaigns for this year?

Black has presented these 5 pointers.

1. Social Sharing of News

Expect more PR strategies that emphasize social sharing, using stories that inspire controversy or go against the grain and thus have a better chance of being re-tweeted. PR professionals will find an increasing demand to include social sharing metrics in evaluating the success of a program.

2. Increase in “Direct Editorial”

As media companies turn to content-driven ad placements for revenues, more company execs will lend their knowledge to prominent publications. Also, more companies will get into corporate blogging, as promoting blog content becomes easier than ever through social media.

3. Greater Demand for Exclusives

Take one bit of breaking news right this moment and you’ll find a few dozen different websites featuring the same story. As people demand for more new information on a certain topic, journalists and publications are veering more towards in-depth reporting that offers more detail and insight to stand out from the pack.

4. Growth in Multimedia

As publications strive to create visually-rich content keep their audience engaged, PR professionals should direct creative efforts towards producing podcasts and video interviews to complement online and print stories.

5. Data, Graphics and Apps

Visual representation of data, original research and apps are all the more important in bringing stories and getting the message across to the online audience. Expect a more sophisticated presentation of these data to supplement stories.

See the original article here.

Matt Cutts: Speed, internal links and CMS optimized and Social Media for SEO

If you were an in-house SEO of an advanced level, within a large corporation, what 3 things would you make sure you had included in your 2011 strategy?

Matt Cutts, of Google, includes Social Media as one of his big three.

Content: Buyer Personas Dictate

Make It Easy On Yourself: Do Your Homework First

You’ve decided you want your promotion to go VIRAL!  What now?

  • You know marketing campaigns that “go viral” are wildly successful.
  • You know you can create brand recognition significantly faster when your message spreads organically through the internet and lands on the monitors of the fan boys and gurus who are today’s Rainmakers.  Influencers in the parlance of the web.

But how do you get their attention?

I want YOU to want me!

Cheap Trick, circa 1979; YouTube (if you’re feeling nostalgic)

You have to speak to them in their language. You have to know the goal of your marketing, what questions you are answering, what problems you are solving.

You must know each of your buyers’ Personas.

And what, pray tell, is a buyer persona? As defined by David Meerman Scott,  a buyer persona is

… a representative of a type of buyer that you have identified as having a specific interest in your organization or product or having a market problem that your product or service solves. 

This is going to take some serious thought.

Man, Woman, Child?  Entire Family Group? An industry?

After you decide who your Buyer Persona is, you need to know more about him or her.

  • What do they want of your product?
  • Are they young, single, childless with expendable income?
  • Or married with a mortgage and kids?
  • Is your product a luxury to them?

Answering these questions, and any more you think of for your product, will guide you to the best way to present to each ‘persona’.

Have more than one target market?

Simple: create more than one Buyer Persona. Create every one of the ‘personas’ you imagine who could need what you’ve got.

A great example that Scott used when discussing Buyer Personas in the book The New Rules of Marketing and PR – Second Edition is the 2004 presidential election. He shared that the campaigns for the two major parties broke down voters into groups (often called Micro Targets in politico speak) the examples being Nascar Dads (“rural working class males”) and Security Moms (“mothers who were worried about terrorism and concerned about security”).

The campaign folks then spoke directly to those personas.

You can, and in my opinion, should, create as many Buyer Personas as you can manage marketing to directly. The more specific your content the more impactful it will be.

Do not create a broad sweeping and all inclusive, hits-all-the-targets ad campaign. Even if you could, there’s no data to recommend that as a method to get the results you seek.

Have you seen an ad campaigns that spoke to everyone, across gender/race/age/socioeconomic divides and compelled you to buy?

Thought not.

Have you seen videos that were forwarded among friends that were hilarious and interested you in the company that could produce them? And did you forward them on to friends? Or tweet them?  Or ‘share’ them on Facebook?  That’s you helping take things viral.

I have “followed” my favorite companies on twitter and “retweeted” their funny, informative, or interesting tweets.

I have “liked” company pages and suggested them to my friends.

I do read my Facebook wall and I pay attention when a global company speaks directly to me there. I like going to their pages and interacting with other people who feel the same way I do.

That’s the whole idea of Social Networking.  Building a community where people interact with a company and the people they attract.  People that feel they are part of a group that thinks along the same lines.

Probably, I have done these things because somewhere out there, there is someone at those companies who created a Buyer Persona with a woman like me in mind.  (Radical thinker he was!)

Then they began speaking to me, in a language I understood and appreciated. So I told two friends. And they told two friends.

And on, and on.

That’s viral.  And that’s what we all want.

Watch David Meerman on Vimeo: How to Generate Attention For Your Business

Get his book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR – I nag my clients to read this before they start making decisions.

“You can buy attention (advertising)
You can beg for attention from the media (PR)
You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales)

“Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free: a YouTube video, a blog, a research report, photos, a Twitter stream, an ebook, a Facebook page.”

David Meerman Scott

How to get your own Comment Avatar

We know that making intelligent comments on blogs and other sites is a good social activity to promote your presence on the web.  So why would you do that faceless?  We are all cognizant of the power of faces (thank Facebook for that), and you can carry your face with your email address by registering at Gravatar.com.

Faceless No More

Take a look at this screenshot.  Would you rather sign your blogs with the default avatar, the faceless one, or your own design?  It doesn’t have to be your photograph, but if you are building your ‘brand’ I suggest you use the same photograph and populate the internet with it!

A Globally Recognized Avatar

Your Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums, so why not on any site?

Got a Website of Your Own?

If your site doesn’t automatically recognize Gravatars, there are plugins for wordpress and other content management systems and they have tutorials that make it a snap.  So Gravatar your Avatar!


Has SEO evolved to handle the explosion of Social Media?

Michael D. Harris Jr asked on LinkedIn:

How has SEO evolved to handle the explosion of Social Media?

Are there any specific guidelines reagarding social media? Also, are there any Top Selling books that talk about the subject that I can recommend to colleagues and friends?

I don’t think SEO has evolved to handle Social Media, I think they are separate and distinct.

Search engines (Google particularly) LOVE blogs, twitter, and facebook. They get indexed almost immediately, which isn’t ever going to happen with a website even if you spend $10,000 a month on SEO. But while social media is “search friendly” it should never be market driven. IE, don’t use it to hawk your wares – you’ll just drive away the people you want to draw closer!

Social Media should have as its goal the forming of a community around you or your product, or in the case of Facebook, creating a space in an on-line community in which you can interact with the larger community.

Social Media is really only about making yourself (meaning you, your company, your product, etc.) known, taking care of clients’ needs, perhaps being humorous, and always, engaging. Giving, rather than getting.

We all presume that if we do Social Media well, we will be rewarded by the fact that if we are better known (and well-liked) eventually it will lead people to our doors and they will buy something.

I’ve found that it isn’t always so. You do really need to have something people want badly enough to buy no matter what you use (SEO, SMO – social media optimization, google adwords – whatever).

But there are those amazing success stories of people who have gotten book deals AND movies, not to mention reality tv shows because someone spotted a blog, or a funny twitter account. (Really, I know of two twitter accounts that are now on tv. Go figure.  Read From Twitter to Hollywood, another success story)

I write about getting traffic and touch on what to use and how in the series I’ve listed below in the web resources box – “If you Build it, Will they Come?”



And . . . this answer was chosen by Michael D. Harris Jr, President/ Publisher Ardynn PR, as the best answer submitted.

Reputation Management (a/k/a Damage Control)

Start Reputation Management Before You Need It

There are systems that you should put in place before you’re in trouble . . . true damage control comes with being prepared, not trying to put out fires as they pop up. The worst instance of the need for damage control was the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf in 2010, but they made it worse with their efforts to downplay the level of contamination.  Then Tony Hayward, chief executive, visited Venice, Louisiana, to apologize for the disaster (the worst oil spill in American history) and said “no one wants this over more than I do.”  But he added the remark,

I would like my life back.

Damage control for their damage control

That faux pas actually made it to the number one spot in “the year in Briefing’ in Time magazine’s person of the year issue for 2010, along with John Tyner remarking on his “junk”, Hillary Clinton denying another run for the presidency and Pope Benedict XVI acknowledging fault in the child-sexual-abuse scandal.

Talk about bad company.

Cinéma vérité, better known in Los Angeles as Reality TV

I use both Google Alerts and StepRep for some assignments I’m working on – the most amusing are for a couple of C-List Los Angeles actresses (who shall remain nameless, less I shoot myself in the foot here) who have more bad press than good. And, who shudder every time they think a producer or casting company may ‘google’ them before making casting calls.

There are probably a dozen instances of reality tv catapulting people into prominence (and with that, a successful career in entertainment) but there are even more instances of reality tv ‘stars’ being vilified in the press.  The very nature of reality tv, to show the viewers how absurdly the reality personality lives, encourages the very worst press coverage.  Actors who think they will use reality tv as the path to fame and fortune seldom realize that path is wrought with peril – particularly if they really do live the drunken debauchery they portray in their particular reality series.  When the reality tv ride comes to an end, and they don’t have, and can’t get, a decent gig, all that ‘hot’ press they got for their last job may not be the answer to moving to A-List (or even B-List) status.

Get Rid of the sleaze or Replace it with some Sparkle

Unfortunately, getting rid of the avalanche of bad publicity is never an easy task, however, in this day and age of blogs and social media it is possible to actually push the trash to back pages by simply overwhelming the media with better info.  A blog that is indexed by Google will, in pretty short order, have every page listed at the top of search results.  Ditto with Facebook and Twitter: they are indexed almost immediately, and a search for an actor or actress will bring up the fresh content first, moving the bad PR to page 2 or 3.

There is such a thing as “bad publicity”

It is simply a matter of getting an organized view of the trash talk and working the tools to get ahead of it.  Way ahead.  We can do that.

Damage Control Tools

There are several methods of keeping up with what is being said about you or your brand that are better than taking the time to ‘google’ yourself or your company. Google Alerts is a great tool, but can be overwhelming if you aren’t precise in your settings. Google tells you you can monitor the web for “interesting new content” but the people I know use it to monitor it for interesting new content relevant to them.

Google Alerts suggests

  • monitoring a developing news story
  • keeping current on a competitor or industry
  • getting the latest on a celebrity or event
  • keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams

Designing your Google Alerts

Once you’ve set up an account to get Google Alerts, enter your topic, and choose the level of results you want to receive:

  • Choose from news, blogs, realtime, video, or everything
  • Choose to get the results as it happens, every day, every week
  • And then it is the volume you are willing to receive. Your choices are All and only the best

StepRep: reputation intelligence for small business

An alternative to Google Alerts, is StepRep, who advertises as “reputation intelligence for small business.” I use StepRep as a supplement to Google Alerts.  StepRep gives you all the data that Google Alerts does, and gives you the opportunity to go through their findings and mark your personal content along with things that are not relevant to you or your search.

I was dismayed to find the number of people named Traci Gregory on the internet. Not that it seems such an unusual name, but I had to go through a lot of data that was irrelevant to get to the instances of my Traci Gregory.

Start Now, Before You Need It

Set up your alerts on either service (or both) and think of all the worst phrases you would hate to see in connection with your brand.  Think also of what you’re going to do on your blog and your website if worst comes to worst and you’re fighting some really bad press.  You can’t catch it all, and you certainly can’t contain it if you haven’t got a plan.

But you can call me; or send me an email: traci@tracigregory.com


Related Articles in this Series: Reputation Management Part 2: Who is talking about you in Social Media?

Other Surprising Moments in the Press

Former Pres. George W. Bush, and brother Jeb

From Twitter to Hollywood, A Success Story

From Blog to Book . . . to Movie!

Los Angeles Social Media Services

In times past, you could be obscure, yet secure — now, that’s harder.

— Michael Goldhaber, Wired Magazine

We are a full-service internet marketing company.  We design strategy to leverage the Internet for clients in any industry.  We work with attorneys, physicians, designers, manufacturers, chefs.  We are very good at what we do because we get it.  We know how the Internet works, how it inter-relates, and how to leverage the larger sites available (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google) to enhance your web presence.

We provide a full menu of internet marketing services —

Coordinated Presence across Social Platforms

  • Google Plus pages for your business

  • Twitter Promotions: Custom Background Design, Twitter followers campaigns, finding your specifically targeted Twitter audiences.

  • YouTube Channels and distribution of video content

  • Linked In Business Pages

Recent LA clients include a music promoter, a well known criminal defense attorney, and a couple of actresses in need of  “damage control”.

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